Tales of the World: Summoner's Lineage (テイルズオブザワールド サモナーズリネージ Teiruzu obu za Waarudo Samonaazu Rineeji ) is a tactical role-playing game developed and published by Namco and released exclusively in Japan for the Game Boy Advance on March 7, 2003. Tales of the World: Summoner's Lineage's characteristic genre name is Fantasy Simulation RPG (ファンタジーシミュレーションRPG Fantajī shimyurēshon RPG ). As part of the Tales RPG series, it retains several familiar features while adding a good deal of new ones.
The game acts as a follow-up to the events of Tales of Phantasia, with the main character, Fulein Lester, actually being a descendant of the character Claus Lester from the aforementioned title. It is the second sequel to Tales of Phantasia, after Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon.
Summoner's Lineage takes place in the same world as Tales of Phantasia, in the year 4765 by the Aselia Calendar (411 years after ToP's future). As a young summoning apprentice, Fulein K. Lester and his sprite-like companion Macaron are studying the principles of calling upon magical beasts into the physical world. However, their exploits are cut short when a significant number of monsters and other beasts begin to appear within their world, threatening the stability of their long-peaceful nation. It is decided that in order to combat these creatures, the legendary Heroes of Time (the name given to the main characters of Tales of Phantasia after their adventures across several centuries in the previous title) would have to be called upon. It is then that Cress, Claus, Mint, Suzu, Arche, and Chester make their appearance, and with their combined skills, along with the help of some new faces, they will hopefully rid the world of this new crisis.
Though structurally quite different from the usually Tales games, Summoner's Lineage features items and enemies that were seen in other titles. In this game, characters are moved across a grid-like board, only going into combat once they have moved themselves close enough to an enemy. It is then that they will enter combat and be able to issue various commands such as physical attacks and magic spells in order to defeat their opponent. Each character and enemy is given an elemental alignment that determines which attacks will be best suited to defeating them (a "fire" character would take more damage from a water-based attack, for instance).
These differences in structure can be attributed to the fact that Summoner's Lineage is actually a gameplay sequel to a little known Japanese Namco Game Boy Color game called Pocket King, a sequel to the 1988 Famicom title King of Kings (featured in Namco Anthology 2).
In addition to the principal characters of Tales of Phantasia, the player can also utilize Fulein's ability to summon several different kinds of creatures to aid in battle. These monsters, like any other character, have their own unique statistics and attacks, as well as their own ways of approaching combat.
- Fulein K. Lester (age 15): Summoner class character. The main character of the game who, like his ancestor Claus F. Lester, is studying the principles of summoning magic. Though his knowledge on the subject still has a way to go, and his work ethic is questionable, he shows significant potential and is able to summon a large variety of creatures even at his novice state. In battle he is responsible for fortifying the player's army with additional units, and can even change his elemental alignment given the situation. He is constantly followed by his fairy-like friend Macaron (actually an android of magitechnology), who gives him advice along the way.
- Mark/Myra Ginihle (age 15): Fighter class character. Mark (later revealed as a female named Myra), although not skilled with magic, can fight considerably well with a pair of longswords. Mark's brash personality and courageous nature are somewhat of a foil to Fulein's usually reserved mannerisms, and in battle serves more as a frontline fighter. She initially has the "fire" elemental attribute.
- Velga Montor (age 13): Monk class character. An uptight and hotheaded girl who has trained herself over the years to become an agile fighter, preferring to use her fists and feet as weapons. Alongside her twin brother Volga, she is determined to assist Fulein in his journey to become a master summoner.
- Volga Montor (age 13): Wizard class character. Velga's twin brother who, unlike his sister, is often very quiet and less prone to making rash decisions. As a student of the magic arts, Volga is able to call upon the very elements of the world to aid him in battle.