Tales of Arise has quickly become the surprise hit of the fall and is already one of this year’s best all-around games. We gave it a 4.5/5 and named it the best RPG of the year and with good reason. The combination of incredible visuals, gripping plot, and a great cast of characters just make the game a joy to play. Speaking of those characters, while you are able to play as anyone you choose, everyone is going to find their favorites. For many, that will be the first character you play as in Alphen. Alphen is your typical sword-wielding protagonist, but his arsenal of movies is anything but typical. Staying away from spoilers, here are a few ways to use Tales of Arise’s half masked protagonist.
How to use Alphen in Tales of Arise
Learn to Dodge
This can be a recommendation for every character but considering each dodge action is totally unique, it particularly rings true when using Alphen. Given one of the coolest looking dodge moves in the game, timing your dodge right with Alphen with send him spinning through the air backward, giving you a huge amount of ground to retreat from. In the early hours, you will get access to the Counter Edge. This move with Alphen is particularly valuable because he has a bit easier timing to his dodges than most other characters and also does more damage than most characters as well. Learning to time this properly can do wonders for you as just about every attack in the game is dodgeable and considering how often Alphen will need healing, you will want to avoid damage as much as you can.
The reason for Alphen needing healing all the time is the presence of the Blazing Sword. Once you get to a certain point in the story, you unlock this weapon and with it, the ability to do tons of damage. This gift however comes at a cost. Although Alphen can’t feel pain, he can still die and the Blazing Sword will drain your health no matter when you use it. As you progress through the Skill tree, you will gain the ability to charge the Blazing Sword attacks and essentially turn Alphen into a Kamikaze warrior.
There are a variety of different attacks you can use with the Blazing Sword, and all of them come following the use of an Arte attack. The trick here is that you have to use a specific Arte to get to a specific Blazing Sword attack. The first one you will receive is Infernal Torrent which comes after the Arte Swallow Blade. During this attack, you stick the Blazing Sword in the ground and charge up an insane fire slash.
With the skill unlocked to charge this even further, you can do even more damage. The big problem here is you can charge to your heart’s content, but when you hit 1 health, you can’t use the attack anymore. The tradeoff here is you can lose all your health at the cost of one big blow. That means you generally want to hold off using the charged attack unless you’re positive you either have healing items ready to go or your party is capable of healing you.
The best way to amp up both your Boost Attack as well as your Mystic Artes is by chaining Arte combos together. This is easier said than done because a lot of Artes are pretty awkward to chain together when they aren’t set upright, so the idea here is to find combos that complement each other. There are plenty of Artes to discover, but you’re given a handful in the early hours, and surviving some of the tougher battles here revolves around how well you put your combos together. One of the most effective combos here is Swallow Blade followed by Rising Phoenix and then finishing off with Mirage.
This is a simple three Arte combo and as you gain more length to your Soul Meter, you can make these combos last longer. This combo will do wonders at the start though as you will begin with a quick attack, then launch the enemy into the air, and from here, you can unleash a basic attack before smashing your enemy to the ground with Mirage. Some of the bigger enemies won’t allow themselves to be launched into the air, but your attack will launch you into the air regardless, so you should be able to keep the combo going either way.
Despite you likely playing as Alphen a lot, you might not have realized he has a Boost Attack you can trigger while using him. His Boost Attack is crucial because it inflicts Break on enemies and this is especially necessary when it comes to the larger boss characters. As with all Blazing Sword attacks, Alphen’s Boost Attack will siphon a little bit of your health away, but unlike the above moves discussed, this is almost always 100 percent worth the risk as causing the Break status on a boss is incredibly important and will allow the whole party to unleash hell while it is completely defenseless.
Use Your Basic Attacks
This might seem like an obvious statement, but it should not be overlooked as the longer you juggle an enemy in a combo, the less time you give it to deliver a response attack. Alphen’s basic attacks can be extended through the skill menu as well and it’s a great way to finish off a combo while still being able to contribute to the Boost Attack meter through using your Artes. This isn’t just for the ground either as your basic attacks in the air do a great job of laying on some extra damage before an Arte like Mirage smashes them back into the ground.
Tales of Arise has one of the most fun combat systems in any JRPG out there and if you choose to main one character, Alphen is an awesome choice as he can deal out the most damage in the game as long as you’re careful about when you choose to unleash it.
Tales of Arise is available September 10th, 2021 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox One Series X.