where my people at
Sheena is just one character out of a large, colourful cast. The characters in Tales of Symphonia are a huge part of why I love the game so much – how they develop over the course of the story and how they engage and relate to each other kept me hooked. Sheena has interesting relationships with a number of characters, which this section will explore.
Tales of Symphonia had a relationship gauge known as the Affection system. This allowed the player to make dialogue choices that would have a hidden reaction in the other characters. Their affection for Lloyd could increase, decrease (or stay the same) depending on their own personal views. Having a high affinity rewarded you with titles, z-skits, etc, and the affection levels of the characters will determine events in certain scenes – for example, if you fail the mini-game at Thoda Island, the character present with the highest affection will rescue Lloyd. The character who ends up with the overall highest affection for Lloyd is commonly referred to as his 'soul-mate'.
Like all the other playable characters, Sheena can end up as Lloyd's soul-mate. The biggest areas this affects are the night in Heimdall, the Flanoir scene, and the conversation at Dirk's house. In each of these scenes you learn a lot about the soul-mate's history, and at the end of the game this character will be the one to accompany Lloyd when he goes Exsphere collecting.
Colette is what you might call the "default" soul mate – think of how easy it was to get Aeris on the Gold Saucer date in Final Fantasy VII. I'm not sure on the exact machinations on how to get Sheena, or any other character, as Lloyd's soul mate. There are in-depth guides available online (Gamefaqs would be a good place to start), but here are some general tips:
There are areas on the world map that trigger z-skits, several for each character. To raise Sheena's affection for Lloyd, go to the following spots and choose the answer you think Sheena would like to hear.
In the mountains south west of the Palmacosta Human Ranch.
Southeast of the Tower of Salvation.
South of Mizuho.
North of the Temple of Lightning.
Southwest of Latheon Gorge.
If Sheena has the highest affection, in her conversations with Lloyd she will tell him that she was abandoned as a child and about how lonely she was. It's also really clear that she has a crush on Lloyd. She will also be there for Lloyd when he needs someone – like just before he battles Kratos. It's actually a lot of fun to try do this for each character, as it's the only way to learn some more about them.
Corrine was Sheena's first friend. For Corrine, Sheena was his only friend. Despite – or perhaps because of – being a man made Summon Spirit, Corrine hated the Research Laboratory where he was created and the people there. They were looking only to expand their knowledge, and Corrine suffered in the experiments they pursued for this goal. He cares only for Sheena, and will do anything for her. He aids Sheena in battle, and also supports her emotionally – they often talk, and when she is uncertain about forming a pact with Volt due to how disastrous the first attempt went, Corrine does his best to reassure her. Sheena is unconvinced, and tells Corrine that he isn't strong enough to help her – words she later regrets.
When Sheena and the rest of the group go to the Temple of Lightning to attempt the pact with Volt, the Summon Spirit once again becomes aggressive and attacks the group. Sheena panics, no doubt expecting everyone to die like the last time she tried this, and is unable to defend herself. When Volt aims a bolt of electricity at her, Corrine blocks it. He saves Sheena's life at the sacrifice of his own. Completely devastated, Sheena weeps over his body, seemingly forgetting about the dire circumstances she and the others are in. It takes Lloyd to snap her out of it and make her realise that she can't let Corrine die in vain.
Finally facing up to her biggest fear, Sheena fights and defeats Volt, successfully makes a pact with him. It is, of course, bittersweet. She has lost her dearest friend. Left only with Corrine's bell as a momento, she swears never to forget him. And she apologises to Corrine for saying that he wasn't strong enough. Sheena knows that she would never have succeeded if not for Corrine.
Much later in the game, the group return to the town of Iselia. Here, Sheena is convinced that she can hear Corrine calling her. Rushing to the Temple, she finds Verius – the Summon Spirit of Heart – waiting for her. Verius is Corrine's true form. While she can't make a pact with him, Verius is always with her, giving her strength like Corrine always did.
Zelos Wilder is the Chosen of Tethe'alla and he is, to use the slang of today, a complete fuckboi. He and Sheena have known each other for a few years due to her time spent in Meltokio (Zelos' home) to train at the Research Laboratory in summoning. Zelos is a huge flirt and has a reputation in Meltokio. He puts on a good show of being a carefree, playboy Chosen, but it conceals darker aspects – including his loneliness, resentment and insecurity. This boy has got some issues. Zelos is a really interesting character.
On the surface, Sheena is irritated by Zelos who teases and flirts with her relentlessly (as is his style). She calls him an idiot Chosen, he calls her a violent demonic banshee (let's call the whole thing off). Despite this, they are friends and the two care about each other deeply. I really enjoy their dynamic.
I'm not going to lie to you – I am a big Sheelos fan. They're my two favourite characters in the game and they have some of the most entertaining skits. They bicker like an old married couple in a sitcom, but they are still close. They definitely do not hate each other, although Sheena definitely gets frustrated with him at times. Zelos' hunnies do seem threatened by her, even warning her to stay away from him. And the way Zelos acts with Sheena is different to the way he flirts with other women. Unfortunately with Zelos you don't get a lot of scenes with him in which he isn't being flirty and brash to cover up the fact that he's desperately lonely and knows his life is a joke and just really wants Sheena to notice him. Oh, Zelos. :(
Sheena does come across as being bitter towards Zelos at times. It's not clear whether they've always just been friends or if something more happened between them in the past – the game never states it outright. However, Sheena is still... pure (which, aside, is gross virginity idolisation), as proved by the unicorn scene at Lake Umacy. So Zelos possibly isn't as big as a ladies man as his reputation suggests, or he treated her differently from the others. Another possibility is that if they had something going on a few years ago, they were simply too young for a physical relationship – Sheena is nineteen during the events of the game and Zelos is three years older.
It's also important to note that Zelos is the Chosen of Tethe'alla. A close relationship with him could be dangerous. In this world, the Chosen lineage is tightly controlled by the Church and the last thing they'd want is the Chosen procreating with a summoner who was found as a baby in a forest and raised in Mizuho. Zelos had a messed up childhood because of who he is, and it's made him into a messed up adult. Perhaps Zelos was pressurised to distance himself from Sheena, so he pushed her away – you know, for her own good. You hurt the ones you love, isn't that what they say?
In the game, it's obvious Sheena has a crush on Lloyd and she can be Lloyd's soul-mate if you choose it. For me, personally, I always think of Lloyd with Colette and that Sheena's feelings are one-sided. Lloyd is completely oblivious, bless him, but I wonder if that crush would sadden Zelos and perhaps make that decision to betray the group a little bit easier. There is so much going on with Zelos that isn't noticed by the others, not even Sheena. If the Kratos route is taken in the game (which results in Zelos' death), I feel like Sheena is the only one who doesn't completely sweep that under the rug. Any relationship they have would be tumultuous for sure, but there is genuine affection there, and I don't think they'd have it any other way.
I love these kids, and I hope they can work it out. (I can't use emoji here but if I could there would be ten crying faces right now.)
Kuchinawa Azumi lost his parents during Sheena's failed attempt at making a pact with Volt that results in a quarter of the population of Mizuho being killed and the village chief falling into a coma. Keep in mind – Sheena was about seven when this happened. He was most likely raised by his older brother Orochi after the death of their parents. Being from Mizuho, both of these names are pseudonyms that mean 'snake' in the Mizuho language. SNEK
The death of his parents is something that Orochi has made his peace with, and he supports Sheena and the Chosen group. But Kuchinawa is not okay with it, and has become bitter. When he finds out Sheena has successfully formed a pact with Volt, he is filled with rage. He blames her completely for the death of his parents and feels like she simply didn't care enough or try hard enough the first time around. It's her fault that he and his brother were left orphans. In return for his loss, he wants her life.
Judging by Sheena's reaction to this, it appears she had no idea Kuchinawa was harbouring such resentful feelings. They grew up together and she gets along with Orochi just fine and didn't appear to have any problems with Kuchinawa (SNEK) previously. It's her successful pact with Volt that brings out his hatred and resentment, and Kuchinawa turns cold and cruel towards her. In a way, it is understandable – he lost his parents at a young age in a tragedy that should never have happened. Sheena is an easy target to focus his grief and anger on. But Kuchinawa can't accept that Sheena feels as much pain as he, and that she holds so much guilt and sadness about what happened. The only repayment he can accept is her life. He wants her dead.
The end result is a duel between the two. It is initially assumed that Kuchinawa, like his brother, is on the side of the Chosen group. But his hatred of Sheena means that he teams up with the Pope of Meltokio to capture them all – allowing him to get to Sheena and kill her. His intentions are first made known at the Otherworldly Gate, where Sheena goes to sacrifice herself to save the others. It is Zelos that forcibly pulls her through the Gate to Sylvarant, telling her not to be such an idiot. Kuchinawa is later encountered again upon the return to Tethe'alla and attempts to foil their plans and kill Sheena.
The result of this encounter is a challenge for a duel. Sheena accepts, and gives Kuchinawa Corrine's Bell – her only physical link to Corrine she has left. This proves that she will keep her promise to duel. Any time after this, you can visit Mizuho to battle Kuchinawa.
It's time to duel
This battle can be tough, particularly if Sheena is a low level or if you haven't used her much in battle. Being level 55 or above would be helpful. Be aware that you cannot use items and that summoning can be difficult as Kuchinawa doesn't give you time to cast. My tactic was to run under him when he jumps into the air, and use Pyre Seal to knock him down. Once he's on the ground, hit him with something big. Equipe Sheena with accessories to increase HP/DEF or have regen. Alternate between guarding and hitting Kuchinawa. It took me a while on my first playthrough to win this battle.
If you lose this battle, you will not get a game over. If you lose, Kuchinawa will basically tell Sheena she fails at life and cannot be forgiven. If you win, he says that about himself and then try to commit suicide. Either Lloyd or Sheena will stop him, and she will get Corrine's Bell back, as well as receive the Asura card. Regardless of the outcome, it's possible that Sheena won't see Kuchinawa again as his actions have made him unwelcome in Mizuho, at least for now. That's what happens when you are a snek.
While Lloyd at first regards Sheena with suspicion because she's trying to kill Colette, he starts thinking of her as a friend pretty quickly. Too quickly, possibly, but Lloyd thinks the best of everyone, the idealist. It is when he sees Sheena playing with the children in Luin that he realises that she isn't bad - that's she actually the opposite. Plus, Colette is also quick to like and trust Sheena, so perhaps Lloyd is also taking ques from her. Luckily, he is right to trust Sheena and they become close friends. Sheena also has a crush on Lloyd, something that he's oblivious about. Sheena manages to drop a few not-so-subtle hints and still Lloyd doesn't catch on. But their interaction are very cute and innocent. In some ways, the two are very alike, and Lloyd (along with Corrine) is a big help to Sheena in overcoming her past, and forming the pact with Volt. He lends her his optimism and strength when she most needs it.
Understandably baffled that Colette wants to be her friend after multiple assassination attempts, Sheena could be forgiven for thinking that Colette is an idiot. However, she comes to realise that Colette really does see the good in everyone, and seeing what Colette is going through in the world regeneration process really opens Sheena's eyes to the world of Sylvarant. It makes Sheena want to save both worlds, and save Colette from her fate as the Chosen. Like Lloyd, Colette and Sheena quickly become good friends. They both have a tendency to be clumsy (although Sheena is not nearly as bad as Colette!), and Colette's attitude and actions have a profound effect on Sheena. She really needed friends, and in Lloyd and Colette she found two lifelong comrades.
Raine is much more suspicious of Sheena than any of the others when they first encounter her. She does not warm up to Sheena in the same way that the others do. While they probably get along moderately okay most of the time, their relationship isn't a close one. Sheena, for her part, is baffled by Raine's ruin obsession and just doesn't understand what makes Raine tick. Finding out that Raine also likes to blow up human ranches does not help things. For Raine, Sheena could appear quite similar to Lloyd in some respects, and she probably gets frustrated by her. Despite this, and other differences, the two do care and respect each other more as time goes on. It's partly thanks to Raine that Sheena was able to make the pact with Volt, as Raine was the only one able to understand the language the Summon Spirit was speaking.