...you don't mind me calling you MJ, right?
I don't mind at all!
Hehe... I can't help but think, if Kosuke Fujishima hadn't been the character designer for ToP, I probably wouldn't have paid attention to this series until I finally got a PSX of my own (which had only been around a year and a half ago).ToP
centers mostly around time travel, somewhat like Chrono Trigger. Only here, you don't exactly get to decide which era you go - the game takes you there as required. The game opens with a very good quote:
"Truly, if there is evil in this world, it lies within the heart of mankind."
~ Edward D. Morrison
To make a long story short, somebody planned to revive a wizard which had been sealed by four heroes ten years ago. You take control of Cless (swordsman), the son of two of these heroes. Together with Chester (archer), his best friend, and Mint (healer), the daughter of another one of the heroes, they try to prevent the wizard's awakening from taking place (and to avenge their parents' deaths as well). Along the way, they travel to the past due to necessity, where they meet Arche (magic user), a spunky half-elf, and Klarth (summoner), a scholar. They would also need to travel to the future near the end, to defeat the wizard once and for all.
, you take the role of Stahn, a cowardly country boy who finds himself becoming the bearer of a sentinent sword named Dymlos after the airship he had hitched a ride on got attacked by monsters. Eventually, Stahn will meet people who also bear sentinent swords similar to Dymlos, all of which were once people involved in a war that took place a long time ago. A lot of things will happen, but their primary goal in the end is to make sure that this big crust of land floating above and surrounding the planet doesn't fall down.
As for ToE
, you play childhood friends Reid and Farah, who stumbled upon a spaceship containing a girl named Meredy who speaks a language different from theirs. She came from the land of Celestia... which is actually a whole world lying opposite and directly on top of Infernia, where Reid and Farah live (they must be living in a pretty cubic world... I wonder what's located at the sides?). In this game, the two worlds are slowly falling towards each other, and if they don't do something, the two lands will collide, and everyone will get crushed in between.
That should be the general plot for the first three Tales games.