Tales of Arise is a highly regarded game for tackling the topic of racism and its structural influences on our society, but also the same could be said for the dynamics it gives birth to between the main cast members, and how they are constantly finding out more about themselves during every step of the way. Also it was really charming in how it paves the way for us to see many different kinds of love bearing fruit.
The main spotlight in Tales of Arise are undoubtedly Alphen and Shionne. The latter was overly cautious at first of interacting with other people, and later opens up to the feelings of friendship and love, but for Dolhaim and Kisara we have had the same amount of investment, because of their unusual class circumstances, and how they subvert the usual roles between the princess and her knight, leading them to go on an internal journey to find a standing ground where they could meet (and love) each other as equals .
Our feelings about the two were solidified in one side quest which we think players should not miss, as it’s very important to their character development. We discuss in this guide how to unlock the quest, and the hidden implications behind it in translation and meaning.
How to unlock the side quest “Her Place” in Tales of Arise
You’ll find the client at the south campsite in Shinefall Woods once you reach Ganath Haros. The quest could only be unlocked after finishing the main story quests in Pelegion and then heading towards the Forland Mountains. The Dahnan client will ask you to defeat the Regent Bee Gigant Zeugle (Level 45), located not too far north from the same area, and then return to rest at the campsite after finishing the quest.
As for defeating this elite boss, you will need to take out the smaller bees first and clear the area, then be aggressive with your melee characters at targeting the weak point. The vital element of this fight are your melee characters, so you should consider equipping them with some accessories that decrease aggro and prevent status ailments, as the bee’s stinger can paralyze anyone easily and its would very determinate to the pacing of the fight. Your long ranged characters won’t suffer much in this fight so just focus on close ranged combat.
A life without you is no life at all (Spoilers beyond this point)
When everyone settles down at the campfire, Kisara seems perplexed by the sudden maturity of everyone and how far they have gone in handling their everyday chores. Again she feels useless and wonders where will her purpose lie if she stopped being useless to the people around her. Dolhaim, as someone well versed in all kinds of art, including music and poetry, answers this question in his usual mystifying mannerism.
“Lost though you may be, With Utopia but a dream. Life without you, Is no life at all. With you by my side, Even the bitter times can taste sweet.”
First of all, I would like to give appreciation to the English translator for making the words look more poetic and grandeur than their Japanese counterpart. It even earned the praise of Japanese fans if you check the couple’s hashtag on twitter specified for them テュオキサ/Toukisa. But also I would like to give more in-depth on how Dolhaim handled her existential problem in the Japanese version of the same scene
The original text looks like this:
家事疎く理想郷なぞ虚空の果て君いなければ生きる意味無しきみとなら苦汁でさえもいと美味しkaji utoku risōkyō nazo kokū no hate kimi inakereba ikiru imi nashi kimi to nara kujū desae mo ito bimi shi
It roughly translates to something like this, but it has to be taken into note that Japanese omit a lot depending on the context, and since Kisara was talking about how everyone became good at household affairs, this answer is a reply to that point. Also kanji can refer to more than one meaning.
“Distant as I am from domestic chores/household matters, and the likes of an ideal world/utopia, I end at an empty sky. Without you, living has no meaning. With you, even the bitterness also tastes really sweet”
Dolhaim is describing how is distant and ignorant about many things, and that everything is futile unless Kisara is with him, in addition to the word empty sky 虚空 pronounced also as skyそら, which can have a double meaning as if saying his sky is ending without her, or the sky is empty if it’s not her. (The Japanese language can add another reading to any word to enhance the meaning or give it another layer depending on the writer)
Either way, this is not the only hidden depth in his words and actions, as a lot of written conversations in Tales of Arise reflect the ambiguity and complexity of not just Dolhaim’s character, but everyone’s intertwining relationships and circumstances. This is the quest where I felt the writing shines the most, and probably one of the best JRPG side quests we have witnessed in a very long time.
A popular fanart to reflect the moment can be found here, credit to buncyoi3.