Tales of Legendia starts players off as Senel Coolidge, on a boat with his sister Shirley. The boat ends up washing up on shore, but since the seawater hurts his sister, he quickly tries to get her to fresh water. Once he has he encounters Will Raynard, who informs him that him and his sister are on a huge boat called 'The Legacy'.
Tales of Legendia uses the Linear Motion Battle System like all the other Tales games in the series. The fight's in the game are on a 2D plain, while everything is rendered in 3D. Meaning, you can't move forwards and backwards, but you can move from left to right, and jump over enemies to attack them from behind.
Senel Coolidge is given skills that allow him to perform throwing attacks on enemies once they have been knocked over, which is unique to this entry in the series. In other Tales titles, knocking an enemy to the ground creates needless and frustrating downtime, as they are either invulnerable or extremely difficult to hit, but the addition of these throwing mechanics reduces that frustration and adds another element to what is otherwise the least complex battle system in the franchise.
After the main game itself is over, the game gives you more to play with by the addition of character quests. These quests dive into the backstory of each of the characters in your party, and tie up loose ends, while also providing much needed backstory for a number of the characters.
While on the surface, this appears to be a series of sidequests; it is much more akin to a full second act of the game. While following each character's individual plotlines, Senel and the party gather clues that build toward an even greater mystery than was presented in the core story. The combined length of these character quests is also comparable to the length of the main quest. Also, the option to start a New Game Plus file is not available until these character quests are completed, further supporting these story vignettes as being more than just side quests.
While many of these character stories are actually the most fleshed-out and interesting plotlines in the game, they are often overlooked as vestigial due to the lack of any voiceover and the odd way that the game attempts to separate them from the rest of the story.