Don't Miss Trails In The Sky On PC Today

Here is your reminder that The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is out today on PC, it's $US20, and it's really, really worth your time.

Granted, I have a bit of a soft spot for deep, twisty role-playing games with hundreds of thousands of words and treasure chests that talk. If you prefer your games to be on the shorter, more-action-packed side, TitS might not be for you.

But if you like longwinded RPGs -- if you live for that feeling of grand adventure that comes with fighting your way across a giant, fictional world where every NPC has a name -- and you haven't had a chance to check out Trails on PSP or Vita, then here's your chance. It's out on GOG and Steam today.


Comments

    Do you think they chose the name just to make the acronym TitS?

      It's a direct translation of the Japanese title, Sora no Kiseki. So just an amusing coincidence.

    As someone who doesn't play handhelds, I didn't even know this game existed before this week. Now I want it more than almost any other game!

      I think you will enjoy it. I put about 100 hours into it on Vita and only did about 90% completion. The theme song is glorious and the characters are some of the best I've come across. My faves are Olivier and Schera but Estelle and Joshua's relationship is just so touching and genuine. Also, the gameplay itself is quite decent.

    Trails in the Sky is an excellent game. However there are some things you should know going into it. The biggest thing is that if you're coming in expecting an epic storyline where a random bunch of misfits band together to fight some evil guy and save the world or whatever, you are quite likely going to be disappointed.

    The story is much more low-key than your usual JRPG fare. The two protagonists, Estelle and Joshua, are teenagers, and the game is written such that this is actually taken into account, rather than the usual trope in these sorts of games where the only people capable of getting anything done are about sixteen. They're tough, talented and capable, but they're always chaperoned by more experienced older characters. They're trainees in what is basically an adventuring guild (the Bracers), and in order to be recognized as full members, they need to travel to each of the major branches of the guild and work under the guildmaster there to earn their approval.

    As such the plot is low-key. It's a very slow burn. If you're coming into the game expecting something big and fast-paced and epic, then Trails is the wrong one of Falcom's franchises and you'd be better off playing their action RPG series Ys.

    That's not to say the plot is bad or anything, IMO it's great and there is an overarching plotline linking things which comes together really nicely as the game progresses. The scope and scale increases as it goes along too, as the various threads come together and you realize the bigger picture. But the bulk of the plot is really about character development, and the deepening relationship between the two protagonists. There's a lot of dialogue and sometimes the game feels far too wordy and verbose, really wants to talk your ear off at times.

    The other really important thing you need to know going in is that the game is part 1 of a franchise. In particular, Trails in the Sky is actually sort of a 'trilogy'. First Chapter (this game) ends on a cliffhanger! The plot is largely resolved but there are some new threads introduced toward the end which are left completely unanswered in this game. The upside, unlike when the game released on PSP a few years ago, is that XSEED & Carpe Fulgur are together fairly deep into translating the second chapter and we can expect that some time late 2014 or early 2015. Second Chapter basically finishes the main story, and then 3rd expands on the characters and continues it, so you might consider 3rd to be an epilogue story or a sequel. Subsequent games after Trails in the Sky take place in different areas with different characters and make reference to each other.

    The big downside to the game being a franchise is that we're miles behind. Trails currently has six games (not counting Nayuta no Kiseki, which was an unrelated PSP action RPG spinoff) with a seventh due out in Japan later this year. Aside from TitS SC, we don't have any confirmation that further games will be translated, though I think XSEED will try to do it since many of their staff are massive fans of the games. A lot of whether it's viable to do it will depend on how well this release on Steam does. But you should know that while you will definitely get the resolution of the plot in this game eventually, you won't get it immediately, and if the game gets its hooks into you enough that you care you're probably going to spend a lot of time staring wistfully at all the more recent Japanese releases and crying inwardly :(

    The reason these take so long and are so hard to translate is the sheer amount of incidental text. Each town will have maybe 20-30 NPCs, and each of them has maybe 3-4 lines of unique dialogue when you talk to them. The big thing though is that in each arc there are maybe 15+ plot arc changes and sidequests and stuff, and each NPC's dialogue will change depending on the point you are in the story and depending on sidequest completion. Heck, every chest has a unique line of dialogue when you empty it out.

    One final thing that you really need to know going into it only matters if you are a completionist. The game has a lot of sidequests and items which you can very easily miss. You need to go into unexpected places in very specific timeframes to see specific scenes or unlock specific quests. What this means is that if you want to get 100% of everything in one run through you will need to consult a guide.

      Great mini review. I too have played the chinese version when it first came out. Definitely AAA material and I dont use the term loosely.

      You are a deep deep fountain of knowledge.

      NOT /s

    I purchased this knowing absolutely nothing about it besides the amount of love it has from it's fanbase and I'm hella excited to play!

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