evolution

The characters of Symphonia exhibit a great deal of character growth and development, which is perhaps the biggest reason I love the game. In the case of Sheena, the evolution we see in her character has a lot to do with overcoming her fear of failure and realizing that everyone belongs in the world and has a right to live, despite their past actions, race, or family.

Sheena took on the mission of assassinating Sylvarant's Chosen in order to prove her devotion to Mizuho by saving Tethe'alla. It's fairly obvious that Sheena isn't the type to kill in cold blood, so we see that her resolve towards the mission is caused by her need to atone for what happened with Volt and perhaps put an end to her feelings of alienation within Mizuho. She also reveals at one point that she wasn't even born in the village, and that her grandfather found her in Gaoracchia Forest. And as a summoner, she likely has some elven blood. Both are further reasons behind her need to fit into. But she gets by with a little help from her friends, so to speak, who help her get over her guilt and even her fear of Volt.

Lloyd, although naive, acts as the voice of reason that influences the growth of many of the game's characters. In his mind, everyone has value, just by being alive. Sheena was uneasy about forming pacts at first, but Lloyd encouraged her to try, and she succeeds a number of times.

But when it comes to Volt, Sheena breaks down.

After the vice-chief of Mizuho reveals the original incident to the party, Sheena runs away. But Lloyd reassures her and he and Corrine pledge to help her form the pact, and she finally agrees to do so. Things don't go entirely smoothly, however, as Sheena fails to understand Volt's language and he attacks. But Corrine sacrifices himself to protect her and the party defeats Volt. Sheena finally forms the pact, inspired by Corrines sacrifice and the support of her friends. A good portion of her confidence is restored after doing so.

But the guilt from the incident continues to haunt her. After hearing she successfully made a pact with Volt, Kuchinawa betrays her, no longer believing her first failure was an accident. It's his image that haunts her in Welgaia, telling her that it that, "everyone would be happier had you not been born" and attempts to convince her to work with Cruxis. But Lloyd manages to convince her of the illusion, telling her that her life has value. From then on, Sheena resolves not to run away from her fears.

In an optional sidequest, Sheena and co. are able to visit the Temple of Lightning to retrieve the chief's spirit and awaken him from his coma. After that, Sheena is named the new chief of Mizuho, which is almost a symbol of her transformation: awkward assassin trying to overcome her past failures to confident chief of her village. How nice :).

"Tales of Symphonia" and its characters © Namco. All other content belongs to Michelle.