Hailed as one of the largest, longest and most meticulously detailed turn-based JRPG series of all time, this first chapter in the ongoing Trails saga sets the stage for what's quickly become Ys developer Nihon Falcom's most popular and best-selling franchise in their entire 30+ year history.
User reviews: Very Positive (1,414 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 29, 2014

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky

 

Recommended By Curators

"Even Steam has great JRPGs!"

About This Game

Modern society owes much to a mystical technology known as “orbal energy.” Fifty years ago, during what’s come to be known as the “Orbal Revolution,” the invention of this technology and the “orbments” developed from it led to a period of rapid human advancement, birthing innovations of all shapes and sizes -- not the least of which was the airliner, or “orbalship” industry. Although the positive impact of this revolution is obvious, every coin has a flipside; for every beneficial device developed with these new materials, so too were advanced weapons and other implements of war. Thus, the land became mired with turmoil, and remains in such a state even now.

Enter, the bracers: an organization established to serve as police and intermediaries alike, holding above all else the peace and safety of the lands under their jurisdiction. Whenever a citizen is in need of assistance, he or she may place a request at the local Bracer Guild -- and be it monster extermination, crime prevention or even peace talks among warring nations, the bracers will do whatever they can to resolve the matter cleanly and efficiently.

Some matters require a gentler touch than others, however. When an orbalship transporting a legendary "S-rank" bracer named Cassius Bright suddenly goes missing, said bracer's daughter, Estelle, and adoptive son, Joshua, must join forces in search of him across the entire Kingdom of Liberl.

And what they find along the way could change both of their lives forever...

Hailed as one of the largest, longest and most meticulously detailed turn-based JRPG series of all time, this first chapter in the ongoing Trails saga sets the stage for what's quickly become Ys developer Nihon Falcom's most popular and best-selling franchise in their entire 30+ year history. Introducing people, places, ideas, events and lore that rival in complexity those of even the most highly-regarded fantasy epics in literature, the care and attention given to each and every NPC, location and historical in-game event is what sets The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky apart from its contemporaries.

Come join Estelle, Joshua, Scherazard, Olivier and the rest of the cast as they uncover the secret underbelly of Liberl in their first 50+ hour masterpiece, and see what Japanese gamers have been raving about for over ten years.

Key Features:

  • The original version of the first chapter in this historical series, featuring strategic turn-based combat with unmatched customization.
  • Over 50 hours of gameplay on average, with countless side-quests, collectibles and secrets to encourage replay.
  • A vast world where every NPC has a name and personality, every town has its own unique politics and economic concerns, and no detail is ever trivial.
  • Support for a wide variety of fullscreen and widescreen resolutions, including true 1080p HD.
  • Fully adjustable controls supporting virtually any USB gamepad, as well as a standard keyboard and mouse setup.
  • Over two dozen unique Steam Achievements, Steam Cloud support and Steam Trading Cards featuring gorgeous anime-style art from the franchise's original artists.
  • Numerous updates previously seen only in the handheld version, including:
    - Selectable difficulty level and new game+ features on subsequent playthroughs
    - Full voice-acting during combat
    - "Retry Offset" feature to lower the difficulty of battle with each attempt if desired

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Pentium III 550 MHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 32 MB VRAM, 3D accelerator compatible w/ DirectX 9.0c
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Compatible with DirectX 9.0c
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows Vista, 7 or 8 (64-bit supported)
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo 2GHz or higher
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 64 MB VRAM, 3D accelerator compatible w/ DirectX 9.0c
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Compatible with DirectX 9.0c
Helpful customer reviews
125 of 177 people (71%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
67.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 28
There's a book in this game that teaches you cat dialects.

Actually the greatest video game ever made.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
25 of 29 people (86%) found this review helpful
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 23
I played the original release of Frist Chapter back in 2006 and the Second Chapter in 2008, and now my son (4-yr-old) is playing the re-released on Steam. On a glance this is one of your staple JRPG: cute and seemingly clueless though motivated protagonists, tactical turn-based combat, heavy text-based menu and stats/mechanisms. But beneath that thin layer of disguise, you would have one of the most wonderfully made story-driven RPGs with a plot as dark as the Witcher series (dare I say) you have ever played--if you play all three entries you will reach the same conclusion.

Needless to say the story goes beyond the good vs. evil scheme, but characters in this game also evolve in a believable way. They are very aware of the changing world and interact with each other in meaningful ways. Suffice to say you won't find any one-dimensional character in this game, be it a protagonist or antagonist.

Also worth mentioning is the quality of English translation, which I believe has been to be marvelously done by professionals. It's almost like a re-interpretation of the source material--if you will--in Japanese. This definitely sets this game (and most likely its sequel--Second Chapter and the 3rd) apart from the likes of Final Fantasy and such.

You will probably find choke full o' troupes or cliché common to comics and mangas in this game:
- shadowy groups with profound motives beyond human comprehensions and far reach to every corner of the continent by all means fathomed by only the most conspiracy-minded individuals in the creative industry,;
- mysterious enemy combatants ranked in number not by sheer strength but their legendary reputations;
- villains turned out to be activists manipulated by a greater force each step of the way without a clue;
- etc.

However if you can look past this and accept that most of the deeper story-driven games are more or less like this, and it's only a matter of expertise to conceal the usage of these troupes, then you will have a wonderful time like me to explore this universe--its lore and its characters. Not to mention this is one of the few REAL steampunk themed games available on PC, or even the entire industry, consider it being a niche not generally looked into. And if you are concerned about cliffhangers since this is the only the first entry, worry not--for each "chapter"(game) conclude its story in a satisfying way, while foreshadowing the next one and leaving room for a respite and a sense of achievement.

Gameplay wise, this game sports both open-world (opened up gradually in the first 5 hours) and meaningful character customizations (able to be re-speced at any time) through assemblies of clockworks and gem-socketing (thus comply to its Steampunk theme). Enemies are varied and requires certain tactical thinking in the manners of both character positioning in the battlefield and strength/vulnerabilities of each enemy type. Character progression is also non-linear, meaning there's no hard coded class definition, so you can have detailed customization of each character's role, while everyone still has their unique specialties.

Aesthetically this is one of the more pleasing JRPGs you'll ever come across. The graphics have been remade into HD and its aesthetic design definitely takes cue from both contemporary and mid-19th century old-world life, and the visual design does a great job taking care of every minute detail in 3D and the textures are excellent if you take into account of the fact that this game is made in the early 2000's.

The soundtracks have been one of my favorites and it certainly sounds like it 's heavily inspired by the work of Academy award winner Joe Hisaishi.

To conclude this review, I would absolutely recommend this game to all RPG enthusiasts, even if you don't usually touch JRPG. When you do, make sure you endure through the first 3 or 4 hours of this game after which point the story really starts to pick up its pace.

Final verdict: first chapter of a deep and story-driven steampunk RPG trilogy, 9.5/10.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
15 of 21 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
51.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 25
I rate this anime game 4/5 Gokus, because it has some of the best characters and storytelling I've seen in any recent jrpg. It reminds me of the kind of tone that classics like Grandia and Lunar had. The attention to detail is insane, and every npc villager in every town has something new to say after almost every event. I was really impressed by how much small talk dialogue they added.

It loses a Goku because the battle system is a ton of wasted potential. It gives you movement and attack ranges, and could easily have had more combat depth because of positioning, but in practice that doesn't happen because using a move takes your entire turn. This ends up encouraging you to simply attack at all times, since moving is baked in, and leads to no control over position unless you chose to spend multiple turns micromanaging (and if the enemy moves you have to do that again). This of course results in the usual jrpg menu-battling slapfights that I have a severe aversion to.

The combat is sadly very jrpg, requiring little player agency aside from the rare interupt to disrupt casts. Most fights can simply be completely avoided, but doing this led to me being a dozen or so levels lower than what I needed to be at the end of the game and unable to pass the levelcheck at the final boss until I pointlessly ground out bear asses to make my numbers good enough to do damage to his numbers.

The game ends as part 1 of 3, and there's a pretty huge cliffhanger. So waiting for the second chapter (which supposedly ends the main story of the two protagonists) might not be a bad idea if you're worried about Falcom's typical glacial pace.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
12 of 17 people (71%) found this review helpful
58.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 6
Female heroine FTW.

...Now that that's out of the way, this game is definitely not for non-RPG fans, unless you like text. A lot of text. The story has decent pacing, and I like how every chapter ends on a really strong note. It makes you feel like Estelle and Joshua more than earned their recommendations. The characters however, other than Joshua and Estelle, can be rather forgetful, even if they are somewhat charming. There's just nothing special about them. They fill their tropes and fill them well. Except Schera: she's one of the standouts. As for Joshua and Estelle, they're much better characters. They should be; the entire adventure is about them. The music is good, but not great for the most part. (There are exceptions obviously.) Graphics are clearly not the main focus of the game, but what it does, it does well enough.

Bottom line: The game is pretty good for RPG fans. However, if you don't have time and/or patience, the phenomenal ending may not be worth it. If you DO have time and/or patience, I still would recommend this game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
58.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
Final Fantasies, Front Missions, Suikodens, Saga Frontiers, Vandal Hearts, Chrono Trigger, Shin Megami Tenseis, Fire Emblems, Breath of Fires, Grandias, Tales, Xenogears and Xenosagas; in all I've played easily over 50 jRPGs. And if I had to name the best jRPG I've ever played, there's no doubt in my mind- it is The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. Forget about cult classics Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 7- they were very good games to be sure, but just don't measure up to this little gem. The only jRPG that comes close as far as I'm concerned is the original Suikoden, and even then I'm aware that's mostly my nostalgia speaking.

On to the game itself: its combat is serviceable. I know that's not much of a recommendation, and it shouldn't be; the tightness of their combat systems has never been a main draw of jRPGs. In this genre, combat is usually more relaxing and cathartic than engaging, and while there are exceptions in harder games or game modes, the way to beat those is more brainy puzzle-solving than high-octane action. Combat in jRPGs mostly serves as breaks between storytelling segments, and the combat for The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky does an excellent job in that regard; you can dodge encounters when you don't feel like fighting, if you're underleveled you'll earn a lot of experience and catch up quickly, and if you're overleveled combat will provide very few rewards, signalling that you're more than ready to advance the story. Tip: Speed is the best stat, seek to boost it with your orbments.

The cast of companions is good but not hugely memorable; besides the two main characters, there will be high points in your cast of companions like the devious Scherazard and low points like the dullard Agate. This works just fine, because the spotlight throughout the game is shone on protagonists Estelle and Joshua, and the mystery surrounding their father, Cassius Bright. I won't go into detail because spoiling the story would be criminal; it is hands down the best story I've ever seen in a jRPG, and probably the best story I've seen in a videogame, period. It is full of intrigue, misdirection and foreshadowing; in a fantastic deconstruction of jRPG tropes, not everything foreshadowed ends up coming to happen, as your group only sees an incomplete picture of a complex puzzle, and their interpretations of events and what's going on behind the scenes are merely educated guesses- which sometimes hit the mark, and sometimes don't. When the end of the game comes along and the storylines unravel, I was flabbergasted; I couldn't stop thinking about the game for weeks.

The game's writing is delightful. In jRPGs, we've grown to expect either shoddy translations or faithful translations of shoddy original dialogue. Not here; the lines the characters speak always feel authentic, like something people would actually say in their situations. When Estelle and Joshua are playing the part of the rookies, travelling alongside a more experienced Bracer, it is brilliantly reflected in the story and the dialogue; there's a myriad of small details which Joshua and (especially) Estelle might miss, but a more experienced Bracer like Scherazard wouldn't. When a more senior bracer pulls rank on you, you can tell that they have good reason to do so (except when Agate does it. He's just a jerk).

There's a bunch of optional quests to complete throughout the game in the form of Bracer assignments; some are fairly straightforward, others require more lateral thinking, and one in particular just about requires looking up the answers on the internet. Yes, the stupid library quest for finding the missing books. These side quests are okay, but nothing to write home about; the heart and soul of this game is in the story and the writing. The places you visit, the people you meet... it seems straightforward, but then it hits you in the face and you realize it was a curveball. Not always. But just often enough to keep you on your toes.

If you have any interest at all in jRPGs, do yourself a favor and play this game. It is the best the genre has to offer.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny