In an interview with Famitsu, Tales series producer Akira Yoshizumi talked about his current project, Tales of Symphonia for the GameCube. The game's development is currently 30% finished and is set for a release sometime this summer. The game's development began at the same time as Tales of Destiny 2's and the team is mainly made up of staffers who worked on Tales of Eternia.
The newest installment of the Tales series will offer about the same amount of play time as last year's PlayStation 2 hit title Tales of Destiny 2 and a lot of voice acting. In towns, the camera will remain in one fixed position, instead of being freely rotatable. During event scenes however the camera angles will change frequently. Players will be free to set up the entire cast according to their own tastes, for instance through different choices during event scenes. Talking about the cast, Tales of Symphonia's will be the largest of any Tales game. Depending on your decisions, a character-specific event will appear, or a character feeling neglected may leave the party.
While Yoshizumi didn't mention any names, he said a J-Pop artist will perform the game's main theme. While Tales of Symphonia's story will be one direct road with no branches, it will be impossible to see its entire events in one playthrough. System-wise, the development team is implementing special skills, grades and secrets, but leaving out SPs. At a level-up, it is possible to gain bonuses. The cooking aspect will be further enhanced, as the developers plan to add new menues. During conversations the focus will be on characters' facial expressions. Private conversations among characters will also lead to a mysterious mode, which Yoshizumi said was still secret. As far as mini-games are concerned, they also will be in 3D this time.
Tales of Symphonia will be available in Japan sometime in July 2003.