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Thread: The Legend of Heroes

  1. #1
    The Alpha and the Omega WarZidane's Avatar
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    Cattleya Paphia (Sargatanas)

    Default The Legend of Heroes

    Since this sub-forum has gotten more and more SMT/Persona-centric lately, I figured I'd up the variety a bit, and what better way to do that than making a thread about my favorite RPG series?

    So here we are, a Legend of Heroes thread! Relatively unknown compared to the big names like FF, DQ and SMT, but it's actually been around almost as long, with its first release back in 1989, and at this point I actually prefer it over all of those.

    Granted, I never played the first two games and while I found 3-5 entertaining enough, I didn't think they were anything special either (perhaps influenced by the apparently bad PSP versions).

    No, my real interest started with the 6th entry, in 2011 (2004 in Japan though, talk about a big gap between JP and English releases):
    header.jpg

    The start of the Trails sub-series, currently at 8 games and counting (5 of them localized with 4 of them on Steam so far). Since then, Legend of Heroes, or more specifically Trails, has been a shining example of world building and storytelling in games to me. The basic structure of this series is that while they are in the same world, not every game has the same main cast and locations. They're divided in arcs, with each arc in a new part of the world and a new set of main characters. They are, however, all connected by one big overarching story in the background, as well as returning characters who may or may not sometimes join the new cast.

    So there's already a thing I really like about this setup: A huge world that you slowly explore throughout the games, one country/kingdom/nation at a time, with enough to remind you that this is the same world you grew to love in the previous game, but also more than enough new things to keep it from getting stale.

    Each arc slowly introduces you to its country, the cast building up camaraderie as you go along and the stakes gradually building up from low to high, which I also enjoy very much. These characters are not instantly best pals, and they don't go from beginning adventurer to savior of the world in a heartbeat.

    Also, the music in these games is just plain amazing. Exhibit A: The most basic battle theme of Trails in the Sky


    Lastly, for convenience's sake a list of the Trails games and the best points of entry:
    Trails in the Sky 1, 2 and 3 - All of these are on Steam, and Trails in the Sky 1 is the best entry into the series if you don't mind the fact that it is technically a 2004 PSP game. 2 and 3 are no good as an entry point for obvious reasons.

    Zero no Kiseki + Ao no Kiseki - As of yet, not localized, sadly. That said, even if they were, Zero would be a relatively bad entry point, and Ao being the sequel would make for an even worse entry point.

    Trails of Cold Steel 1, 2 and 3 - 1 and 2 are localized, 1 is on Steam and 2 should be on Steam before the end of the year. Cold Steel 1 is a good entry point into the series if you do mind Sky being a 2004 game. It spoils very little of the Sky trilogy and nothing of real consequence, while having massively upgraded gameplay and graphics.

    Well, that post went on a bit longer than I'd anticipated. So, have you played any Legend of Heroes games? If so, thoughts? If not, are you planning to play one at some point? If not, can I persuade you to do so?

  2. #2
    SHAAAAAUN! Scotty_ffgamer's Avatar
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    I have Trails in the Sky on my vita, but I havenít gotten around to playing it yet. Iíve been interested in trying this series though.

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  4. #4
    Zora's Avatar
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    Default

    One of my favorite series! Played all 5 games that made it to the west.

    My boyfriend got into the series last summer, and I've played through all 5 games that made it over here (Sky 1, 2, 3rd and Cold Steel 1/2). Waiting on the superior fan translation for Trails to Zero before starting it or hoping xseed (or someone) will conjure a PC port out of nowhere. There's supposedly a questionable, but functional, fan translation out there.

    For those starting with the series, chronological order (Sky-->Zero/Azure "Crossbell"->Cold Steel) is best but you can start with any sub-series. PC is currently best way to play each game, with the 3rd being PC exclusive. But, for a given subseries, do go in order. The main reason to play the series is the world/lore building. The countries each subseries feels very down to earth, and seeing countries (both from within and viewed from others) creates a storytelling that feels very real. Being a JRPG, there's plently of anime tropes to go around (like a certain organization's existence); however, because of how all the games are related, there's really no series that makes you feel alive in the world quite like Trails does. Also, if you do play, do talk to the NPCs. They update their dialog all of the time so they are another lens into the world building.

    Also, for TC and others who have played through Sky SC:

    (SPOILER)

    Who do you think is the grandmaster?


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