We are all here getting anxiously excited and ready for the arrival of Tales of Arise in the next couple of weeks, so how about a throwback husbando from the beloved JRPG series to celebrate in the meantime as we wait?
In the lore of Tales of Symphonia, there exist two worlds that are connected by the flow of mana – when one world has no mana, they struggle to survive, but the other world, consequently, thrives as a result with an overabundance of it. This leads our heroes (from the world of no mana) to put all their hopes into the “Chosen” – one person designated to go on a journey to restore the world’s depleted supply of mana.
Along the journey, we see the sacrifice that the Chosen has to go through to complete her assigned role in the world – but eventually we find that the other world has a “Chosen” of their own – and the world loves him almost as much as he loves himself!
Who is Zelos Wilder?
Zelos is the cocky, skirt-chasing, pretty boy lady-killer who fills the role of Chosen in the mana-rich world of Tethe’alla – he knows he’s adored by all he meets and so there hasn’t been a lady in his world his charms haven’t worked on. He’s bored and wants a challenge – afraid he won’t find one here!
Colette (the Chosen from the mana starved world of Sylvarant our heroes are from) and Zelos are written to parallel each other at every turn – Zelos is a hotshot playboy, whereas Colette is everyone’s friend and the MC’s childhood love interest; Colette is going through her journey to heal the world and knows it will take the sacrifice of her life, Zelos has no cares in the world and is free to capture the hearts and minds of all he meets (including us!).
Zelos is a fiery, free spirit who enjoys a world that gives him everything for nothing.
Why we love him
Zelos is a much-needed injection of carefree attitude into a story which had shown us nothing but the evils of humanity until meeting Zelos. Zelos is rarely serious, acting as comic relief for the group, always ready to cheer the party up at heavy-hearted moments.
Despite this, he is seen to be far more perceptive than he lets on and is always seeing the positives and fun that can be had in any situation or discussion – sometimes as a way to distract other party members from problems that they may otherwise dwell on. Zelos doesn’t let this slip easily, but he’s actually a very giving person — he just can’t admit it and would rather be seen as a bad boy in order to protect his image – what a sweetheart!
Why you’ll love him
Zelos is a character with endless charisma – a far cry from all the super serious “I fight to protect my friends” tropes that plague some of the other members of the main cast, and he really stands out because of it. The Tales of series relies on skit segments while exploring to flesh out characters and give exposition at times as well as meaningful insight on character’s relationships with other characters — and when these skits involve Zelos, they’re always a riot!
Zelos also has a lot bubbling under the surface in the actual plot, however this ventures too far into spoiler territory to reveal – suffice it to say for now that there is a lot of darkness lying in Zelos’ backstory, and the time you get to spend with Zelos will make you realise just how much his story impacts his way of living. He’s sympathetic, mysterious, hilarious and backed by one of Kosuke Fujishima’s hottest male character designs in the entire Tales of series; it’s hard not to fall for the charms of the game’s resident playboy Zelos Wilder!
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