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 (1,655 reviews) - 93% of the 1,655 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 29, 2014

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"A turn based JRPG with solid game mechanics. It features a slow burning well crafted and detailed storyline and well written dialog. Get this one!"

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

    • 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
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Compatible with DirectX 9.0c
    • 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
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Compatible with DirectX 9.0c
Helpful customer reviews
416 of 424 people (98%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
52.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 5
My Impression:
Words cannot even begin to describe what I feel for this game.
If you have ever been in love - thats the closest it gets to describe it <3
I may sound like a game-addict but thats just not it, you have to play this game to comprehend it.

For those who don't feel brave enough to face the wall of text (warning: this game is like wall of text itself and the Second Chapter will be even more so ;-)), still have a look at the verdict, please.
Positive Mediocre Negative
+ Great Story ~ slow at times
+ Living World
+ Interesting NPCs
+ Fun quests - easily missable
+ Breathtaking locations
+ Loveable Characters ~ you have to part with at some points
+ Enjoyable Combat ~ moving is mostly a waste of your turn
+ Beautiful artdesign ~ old Textures
+ HD Graphics in Dialogues ~ for important characters only
+ Goosebumps music

The Story:
Over 50h in length (it took me 52h) spans a grand story which isn't even over after this but lets you craving for more.
  • As it is, it is supposed to be a search for your father, who was on an airship, that suddenly vanished from the skies. So you try to accomplish this by stepping in your fathers shoes and beginning your job as a so called 'Bracer' - a kind of inofficial law enforcer. Therefore your sibling pair starts as 'Junior Bracers' and tries to fill the role left by your Father, which takes them nearer to him and the secrets behind his disappearance
  • Slow at times, just like a walk with your friends through forests and mountains,
    then rapid at others like 100 things suddenly making sense, things you thought might happen, happen, people do things you never thought they would do
  • Breathtaking and keeps you in the world for hours without letting you go - just like magic

The World:
Its a big, living world - there are interesting quests, NPCs and locations everywhere.
  • The NPCs were very special to me - some already kind of know things about you (yeah, sounds spongy - sorry, dont want to spoil anything), some might remember you if you encountered them before. I have to add, that I really tried to speak to every NPC - if he would sell me something, give me a quest or just chat with me
  • That I did every quest possible (though I failed 1 or 2 - since you always have a timeframe depending on your main questline to do sidequests) was just natural - you were motivated to do your 'job' and help the people of the country
  • Ancient towers, beautiful lakes, magnificient towns, military buildings, rocky mountains, dark forests, misty valleys make up the scenery around you and there is even more to see

The Characters:
Very different but every one enjoy- and loveable.
Your two main characters are Estelle and Joshua Bright, with Estelle being the main-maincharacter, so to say. On your journey you encounter multiple other characters to add to your fellowship. It was always hard on me to lose old comrades and gain new ones as i didn't know those and just got to love the others (looking at you here, little T <3) - and thats one of the things that made this game very special to me.

The Combat:
  • First of - i hate turn based games. Second thing being - i loved the combat in this game.
    Sounds strange again? - I know, but manipulating the flow of the fight by using crafts[1] or arts[2], just focusing attacks on the next enemy to come, deciding whether to heal or attack when between a rock and a hard place - it makes the turns feel exciting and gets your heart racing.
  • Additionally this game also features elemental advantages, so if fighting against a plant like monster, fire attacks will most likely 1-hit the cabbage. Naturally this works both ways, don't think about attacking the water-guys with fire attacks and be wary of their attacks when you modified your defense to fire. Nevertheless to utilize this, you either need the knowledge, where the Monster Book comes in handyor a quartz[3], that lets you see enemy stats (well, I used the latter for the whole game).
  • Still here also lies one thing i didnt like and that is, that moving your character costs you the full turn, I really didnt like this and ended up using the moving in only 1 or 2 fights in the entire game, which is a bit sad but makes you try to position your characters by attack certain areas.
  • The 'Rety Offset' (downscaling) on losing encounters is another nice feature for those who don't like dying over and over again without seeing any light in a difficult fight. After all this game is about the story and not the combat and you shouldnt rage and get to hate this game over one single fight.

Definition of Terms
  1. Crafts are unique special abilities of each character, they use CP (Craft Points) which you get by attacking or beeing attacked. At 100 CP you can use an even more powerful S-Craft, which gains power as your CP-Bar rises further, up to 200
  2. Arts are the magic in this world, you gain access to magic depending on the quartz installed in your orbment (a device for using arts)
  3. Quartz are made of so called Septium Crystals (kind of a secondary currency in the game), they come in different elements and strenghts and feature boni to your basic abilities like Attack and Defense, but especially give you access to arts

The Visuals:
I wont call it Graphics, this game is old and you can certainly see this. But as this is the PC version you wont have problems playing it on 1080p, text is easy to read, the graphics(theres the word) of the faces (for important characters only) are magnificient and most importantly - the style matches the games and enhances the atmosphere perfectly. You can certainly see that there was much thought and love put into designing the whole world and even every interior. Well to be honest the trees in the forest don't look like hand-placed, but who cares about that anyway?

The Sound:
Yeah this gets an extra bulletpoint, because everytime I started up this game I immediatly got goosebumps all over - I thinks thats enough to describe it.
Moreover 'The origins of light' (or 'of the stars') is just a beautiful soundtrack and by far not the only one in this game. It really adds to the atmosphere in the game, the sound, that is.

The Verdict:
Last but not least, the game is extremly fun and thats what matters in a game at the end of the day - having fun.
I finished this game with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes, I didnt know wether to laugh or cry - the best ending ever in the videogames I played.
Therefore I am soo excited for Second Chapter (which was supposed to hit steam 'this summer'...).
I advise just anyone to get this game and enjoy the magic journey of the Trails in the Sky :-)

If you read this far - thank you.
I hope this review helped you in deciding to buy this game and if it did, I would be grateful for a 'thumbs up', if you didn't like it, you can give me a 'thumbs down' but I would be glad to hear your opinion on what you didn't like.

My review for Trails in the Sky Second Chapter.
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201 of 232 people (87%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
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.
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48 of 52 people (92%) found this review helpful
48.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 11
Long story short: One of the best narratives in any RPG, coupled with engaging gameplay and aesthetic. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky may be a bit too long and forgiving for some, but is the most perfect game to get for anyone looking into the JRPG genre.


I haven't played too many JRPGs apart from Final Fantasy VII, Fire Emblem, and a butt-load of Pokemon games, and I've also never played a game before in the Legend of Heroes series, which has been going for nearly 30 years. This game was originally released back in 2004, and only got an English release in 2011 for PSP.

Before we get into mechanics, aesthetically it feels like an older game. Textures and models are a little low res, characters are 2D sprites, and may look a little strange with texture filtering, and the audio may sound more like MIDI loops at times. I also found that with 16:9 resolutions, sometimes you'd see the void past the skybox or the world in the corners of the screen. That being said, the art style itself is vibrant with expressive character portraits, and the music itself is very catchy. The regular battle music does not get old, which is always a plus. Even with some of the technical issues from being an older game, it still has a unique charm to it.

The gameplay itself has you walking along areas with monsters lying about. Touching an enemy (or getting touched by it) enters the battle, similar to Earthbound, and you can approach it from its back to get an extra turn. This allows the player to avoid encounters (and in fact the game is very forgiving, as you can run away from battles, no risk, no cost). Each of the game's chapters takes place in a different region, and generally you'll be hanging around in each area for a bit, doing a few side quests presented to you (which may count for about 30% of gametime). Side quests are presented via a bulletin board, and give a time limit on how far you can continue with the story without losing the quest, which is nice for those new to the game to know about.

The combat takes place on a grid-based board, where characters can move towards enemies and attack in 2D space. Characters have magic attacks which take time to charge (costing EP), and have special abilities which can be instantly casted for CP (which is earned by dealing or receiving damage). Every character has an S-craft (a limit break ability) if they reach 100 CP, which becomes extra powerful at 200 CP, and they can execute these not only on their turn, but also in between anyone's turns. On top of that, special effects like critical attacks are attached to a certain upcoming turn, and the player can use arts magic and S-breaks to try to swing those effects to their favour, adding another level of depth to the combat. Since the overall game starts a bit slowly, it gives the player plenty of time to learn these mechanics, and to understand how they fit together. When the player dies, the game is very forgiving, as you can just restart a battle from how it started. The game also enables a feature by default where restarting a battle like this lowers the skill of the opponent by a bit, making it easier to beat them. Dedicated players should turn this off, but I believe this feature works well for keeping the story flowing.

Magic and equipment are mostly given to you throughout the game. There exist shops that sell these items, but money is a bit scarce in the game to do that all the time, and it ends up just being easier to find these items on the field or by doing side quests. Generally equipment is clearly better or worse than other equipment. It purely comes down to which one has the better numbers. On top of that, some later magic items are clearly better than others. Fortunately, you only get 6 magic slots per character, so deciding what kinds of magic each character uses is interesting, as they can not only give types of spells, but also passive bonuses such as extra HP or dexterity. This concept is pretty fleshed out, and gives the player a lot of room to experiment with different strategies, and trying to find playstyles for each character. Overall, the combat is very interesting, and is presented quite nicely for new players to the genre to get into. It's also not insultingly simple, so you'll feel good doing combat, and since you can run from encounters easily (apart from bosses), you'll never feel that you're just grinding through an area.

But the biggest draw of this game is its story, mainly through how complete every character seems. They all have motives, they all have personalities, and quite a few of them develop. Generally, each party character is introduced in a chapter of their own, and they all have small story arcs as they try to overcome a problem that they're having. The two main characters, Estelle and Joshua Bright, are incredibly engaging to follow on their quest as they head to each region to become senior bracers. There is a clear goal from the beginning to end of the story, and it feels complete when it everything comes together in the end. Those two characters are some of the best written that I've ever seen in any video game, and I wish I was exaggerating that statement. There's a motif of growing up echoing through every scene of the game, and it's expressed heavily through these two characters.

While each chapter of the game is its own mini-story, each with its own new characters, villains, and locales, there is an over-arching plot that I won't say anything about. The two main characters end up getting pulled into this plot through everything they do, and it's quite clever how everything ends up in the game. Overall, it's a little cliched, but the writing itself, as well as the strong personalities of the characters keeps it from feeling bland and rehashed.

The world itself oozes personality too. NPC characters are witty and all have personalities too, and generally world events, even those that happen before the game's story, all echo through architecture and dialogue. The strongest part about all of this is that you don't need to play any other game in the franchise to learn this; it's all introduced fluently and succinctly. The most amusing part are the comments that display when you try to check an opened treasure chests. I won't spoil any, that'll be a treat for you.

I'd recommend this game to anyone, particularly if you've never played a JRPG before. It's charming, it's engaging, and it's complex enough to be interesting without alienating the player. It's extremely forgiving with its quick saving and difficulty tweaks, and its story and world is so captivating that it's hard to stop playing. And it's $20, which is a steal for its length of ~40 hours.

My up/down rating system tries to differentiate between games that are mediocre (less ups and downs total), and games that are interesting but flawed (more ups and downs totals). Ups relate to how much good a game has, and downs are how much bad a game has.

0 UPs 1 UPs 2 UPs 3 UPs
Not worth playing, skip it Alright, play it if you're into the genre Very good, play it if you're looking for something worth trying One to go down in history, a must have for everyone
Nothing detrimental in the game A few things wrong, but doesn't ruin it Kind-of broken or aggravating, you may not be able to put up with it Very, very broken, a lesson on what not to do
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53 of 63 people (84%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
65.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
Beat it on PSP, liked it, got it for PC to "legalize" my pirate portable experience.

I tell you what: this is the best version of game. It looks way better than PSP version (which dosn't mean that game looked bad there) and they actually remade the game for PC.

I can't remember when I controlled a menu screens in JRPG with mouse cusror. MOUSE CURSOR! WORKING!

Not just that, they've made some interface enhancements mouse controls, like buttons for quick access to map, notebook and such. Fully customizable controls for KB+M and Gamepad, free camera rotation, ability to turn off text "tick" sounds...

"Valkyria Chronicles bla-bla awesome port bla-bla" pfffft, no. THIS is an awesome port.

P.S. This is the fourth year I am waiting for a localized sequel. It will be nice to have it on Steam too.
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16 of 18 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
38.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 15
I'll make it very clear now before I proceed: Trails in the Sky is an excellent JRPG I hold in very high regards. With that said, let's move on aye?

I have played some great JRPGS, even some counted as the best this world has ever seen. Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 6, the Tales series, Star Ocean and the Quintet trio. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the sky... definitely has the right to stand amongst them. It's not the best JRPG I have ever played, but definitely somewhere near the top. I'd even say this is one of the best games I have played in 2015, on Steam, and definitely on the PSP. But aye, my word is no fact, so let's list a few reasons:

- The story is really good, albeit predictable at times. This is even more complimented by the EXCELLENT characters. Every character gets enough development, and have some sort of relation with at least one of the characters, which makes everything fall in place. Especially the main duo, Estelle and Joshua, are great characters. You just can't wait to see how they develop throughout the game.
- The gameplay is good. It doesn't really do anything bad, but not anything outstanding either. But every character feels different from each other, and this is further distinguished by the orbal system. Want your Estelle to be a healer or a tank? That's where the orbal system comes in. S-crafts and S-breaks also have the potential to change the tide of battle, and it's exciting to see these attacks pull off.
- All locations, towns and dungeons feel different from each other. They are fresh, and never feel like a drag. You can even explore some of these locations before doing them in the main quest, netting some neat equipment and making the journey even easier.
- Quests feel varied and never really boring either. There aren't even too many quests that involve killing a certain amount of monsters, so there's no need to worry about that.
- The game can be finished in 30 hours, but why would you? The game has so much content and if you want to do everything, it can easily go up to 40 or 50 hours.

There is only one negative I can think of when it comes to this game: it's a completionist/achievement nightmare. Unless you use a guide, there's bound to be something you miss, resulting in you missing more than just one achievement. I am not an achievement hunter at all, but even then it's pretty discouraging to see that you have just missed some tiny pieces. I got the feeling that I talked to everybody, and even then it wasn't enough.

Overall, a really great JRPG I recommend to everybody. Can't wait for part 2 to come on to Steam!
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