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 (826 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 29, 2014

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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
2,398 of 2,612 people (92%) found this review helpful
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 29
Alright, kiddo, here's the deal with the deal. You want more JRPGs on Steam, right? Of course you do. You have your Final Fantasy, you have your Agarest, you have a few others, but you want more. I want more. We all want more. Guess what Trails in the Sky is. That's right; a JRPG. You buy it, you tell publishers "hey dudes look there's a market for this genre."

And are you the type of person who sees a bunch of games starring rugged white guys with guns and gets sad that there aren't more female game protagonists? Well, you see that person with the staff and the ponytails up there? Guess what that person is. Female? You bet your sweet buttery biscuits she's female. Her name is Estelle. She's pretty interesting. And there are three other playable ladies in the game. They're all interesting also. And there's four dudes as well, and all of them are interesting. Everyone is really frigging interesting.

"But I don't want to give money to some jerky big-name game publisher. Who is getting my hard-earned regional currency?" Wise up, you dingus; your hard-earned regional currency is going to XSEED. You know how awesome XSEED is, mofos? Really really awesome. More awesome than you and I put together.

As for the game itself? Alright, fine, let me serious up for a minute. *ahem*

Call me odd, but when it comes to JRPGs, I'm the type of person that prefers strong gameplay over a strong story. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with video games as a storytelling medium (hell, the entire genre of visual novels exists for this exact purpose), but if I really want a good story, then I have both a library card and a Netflix subscription to take advantage of. I play video games because I want to, you know, *play a game*. Because of this, I'm much more likely to enjoy - as well as replay - JRPGs that favor complex gameplay over a compelling story (Pokemon, Golden Sun, Final Fantasy V) than JRPGs that favor a compelling story over complex gameplay (Lunar, Earthbound, Final Fantasy IV).

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is one of the only exceptions.

That's not to say that the gameplay is bad; think of the battle system as a cross between Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy Tactics. It's fun, it moves at a good pace, and it features the *classiest* damn battle music I have ever heard. The thing to be aware of before diving in, though, is that the game is broken up into five chapters, with each chapter having its own locations, dungeons, sidequests, enemies, and so on. Once you complete a chapter and move on to the next one, you can't go back, meaning that anything you missed is now completely inaccessible. Even within the individual chapters, the sidequests (of which there are a TON, a plus in my book) have relatively small timeframes; there are also a bunch that aren't even listed until you happen to bump into them, including a couple that make me seriously wonder how anyone at Falcom could think that players could complete them all without a guide. While the sidequests are, of course, optional, they do offer some nifty rewards, challenging battles, and humorous cutscenes, and if nothing else, it's frustrating to be at the endgame and be missing only one or two entries in the bestiary or recipe book.

But Trails in the Sky features quite literally the most vibrant, detailed world of any JRPG I have ever played.

This game has an immense amount of text, and XSEED did an absolutely wonderful job translating it for English-speaking audiences. Be aware that the story is not fast-paced in the slightest - it's a slow burn with an emphasis on character interactions and world-building. Because of this, the cutscenes in Trails tend to take a long time, like many other entries in the genre, but the writing is so strong and the characters so likable that you won't mind at all. Even beyond the main characters and story, you rarely have to go far to find an NPC with something interesting to say - not a whole lot of "Welcome to Corneria" or "Press Start to open the menu" here. (Protip: reexamine each treasure chest after opening.)

Interesting characters. Vibrant world. Stellar soundtrack. JRPGs. XSEED. Come on.
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336 of 349 people (96%) found this review helpful
35.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 31
Unbelievable world building and detail, well-developed characters, careful deliberate pacing (although slow due to having to set up a huge saga as its first entry) and a well-written script all contribute to creating a world that pulls you in and is populated by characters you care about. Despite the huge amount of text in this game (yeah by the way, stay away if you don't like reading) I found myself savoring each and every line in the game, even those by random NPCs.
It's like reading a good fantasy novel, it really is the best world building and such work that I've seen in a JRPG, most likely ever.

That would be reason enough to jump in, but the RPG underneath that world is also fun, balanced, and somewhat nostalgic.
Battles have that "everything matters" feeling, a sort of mix between a strategy game and a traditional RPG system. Character progression is tied to the story, but gets really good after about the midpoint in the game, and battles ramp up in strategic scope as you go along.

Overall, this should not be missed by fans of JRPGs, or anyone that enjoys good narrative and world building in video games, especially the more literary types who are accostumed to diving into fantasy novels and taking in all the details and workings of a fictional world to heart as it slowly unravels in your head.
By the way, the random NPCs who roam around the village and such? The soldiers? The innkeepers? They have character arcs.
Character. Arcs.

That's all. There's no overstating the narrative and world detail that goes into this series.
Get it.
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664 of 780 people (85%) found this review helpful
60.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 29
JRPG on Steam? Check.
NPC's that have new dialogue after every plot point? Check.
One of the deepest and most consistent worlds ever in a video game? Check.
Awesome localization? Check.
Empty chest jokes? CHECK.

Note: Almost all crashing issues present at launch seem to have been patched out. The game is perfectly playable now.
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346 of 407 people (85%) found this review helpful
54.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 29
Trails in the Sky, or Sora no Kiseki, is an expansive RPG trilogy with massive content - very well done world-building and well-paced characterization. The story begins slowly and quietly with Estelle and Joshua, along with a couple friends. The pace picks up during mid-game before ending with a fantastic finale. The story does well in holding an epic scale while at the same time remains personal where it’s needed, as Estelle and Joshua travel together and develop themselves. It’s pretty clear that Falcom’s ambition is to create a tasteful unified world for all of their Kiseki games. That is something I really value.

Estelle is pretty annoying, to be quite frank. But regardless of that, she’s a very well-developed character with a lot of personality depth. To compliment her stubborn and hot-headed nature and balance out the personality chart, there is her ugh … partner, Joshua, who is usually quiet, calm, and very clever. Their interactions and relationship in general are a pleasure to watch. The rest of the cast consists of very well-distinguished characters too, but I’m going to let you decide that. SnK isn’t the only game with well thought-out characters for sure. All I’m saying is, Estelle and Joshua are one hell of an enjoyable pair.

The battle system is a mixture of traditional turn based and grid based battle system. Aside from the usual RPG combat elements, the grid provides the players with a lot of depth for strategic combat decisions, regarding space and sometimes even time. In terms of combat abilities, the characters are also very well-varied and well-balanced, allowing a lot of customization to suit your playstyle. Not to mention that the Quartz system plays a big role in determining each character’s combat abilities as well.

If you love JRPGs, you should definitely give Trails in the Sky a try. Despite the slow beginning, I promise the deep world-building and character interactions will keep you engaged.
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1,166 of 1,533 people (76%) found this review helpful
22.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 29
Me like JRPGs. You like JRPGs. This incredible JRPG. You buy JRPG. They bring over more JRPG.
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107 of 117 people (91%) found this review helpful
58.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 2
Updating this review now that I've finished the game and there have been a bunch of fixes.

The game was updated with support for XBox 360 controllers. The controller mappings are perfect and everything works seamlessly. That the dev continued to support this game after what was a totally adequate release is amazing. (Bug fixes, high resolution character portraits, higher res menus, and I'm sure other stuff I'm missing.)

I've finished the game at this point, and it was 50+ hours well spent in a meaty and memorable JRPG.

Good:
+Great in Big Picture
+Fully compatible with 360 controller
+Great music
+Good graphics (if you're into retro)
+Save anywhere
+Varied quests and side quests with interesting outcomes and unexpected twists
+Exceptional dialog and character development (even on "fillter" NPCs)
+Great, incredibly detailed story
+Difficulty level is right on - there are no ultra frustrating battles, but when you die there's an...
+Option to retry after wiping your party in battle (this is a HUGE plus for me)
+100% chance to flee battle

Not Good:
-Battle system can feel pretty slow and the music is super lame and repetitive
-Annoying low level enemies will interrupt your travels often (but again, 100% chance to flee)
-The 3/4 view is weird and can be disorienting since the camera angle changes often

Overall, this is an exceptional JRPG with a ton of awesome dialog and a really meaty story. I'm impressed and highly recommend to JRPG fans who don't mind a LOT of reading mixed in with gameplay. Really looking forward to the second chapter after that unexpected cliffhanger of an ending.
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85 of 91 people (93%) found this review helpful
73.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 18
Now this is one of those games that scratch that nostalgia itch, nostalgia for times when I was a decade or two younger and all I could ask from a game was to tell you and let you participate in a story that's worth being heard. You will find no shiny loot to show off to your acquaintances with, you will find no quick instant gratification here. If you seek that, go grab the current flavor of the month blockbuster.

What this game has, and in spades, at that; is the world, the characters, the story, the music and a lot of subtlety. Oh, and a boat chase scene. It has a boat chase scene.

Moving along, this isn't a game to be played with half your attention elsewhere. You're going to miss on a lot if you don't really pay attention. And when I say you're going to miss a lot, I mean both quests and entertainment. The character interaction, while scripted, is a lot more natural than is typical for the genre, with off-hand remarks, interjections, under-the-breath murmurs and such. The protagonist duo, again, not typical for the genre, does well to avert the usual "Brooding Bishonen with Baggage" protagonist problem with JRPGs to a large degree. Also, it is not a story about a couple of kids saving the world of useless adults; It's more about a couple of kids getting swept up into more than they bargained for, and doing their part.

The combat can get a little repetitive at times, hair-pullingly frustrating at others, and just plain annoying at others still, because, dammit, I was in the middle of something and now this bunch of mobs is trying to interrupt me! Still, the possibilities with the customization of every character's magic setup along with the option to interrupt an enemy turn with your own limit break makes for quite tactical combat that can get you away with your skin even from a surprise attack.

The storytelling is detailed and at times quite persistent, there are several scenes that last for about ten minutes before you're back to the gameplay, but again, with how naturally the characters converse, it doesn't feel off. Now, the story itself does get a bit overwhelming at the halfway point, but if you've been paying attention, you can see many of the twists coming; or rather, you will figure out that there will be a twist; the twist itself is still likely to sweep you clean off your feet. Oh and by the way, NPCs travel around the world too, and remember you if you met before, and the subtlety of the worldbuilding is amazing. For a minor example, at some point there's a restaurant where you can hear that recent problems with monsters are making it hard to get ingredients for their dishes. If you don't take care of that problem, they will actually go and change their menu (and the items you can buy there).

The music is simply amazing, but that's nothing new for a Falcom game.

Now excuse me, I have a New Game Plus to play. On Nightmare.
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132 of 164 people (80%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 29
One of my favourite games for the PSP has finally started to show life again by having the first chapter arrive on Steam after 3 years!

It features the main character Estelle Bright and her adopted brother, Joshua, as they go on a journey to follow in their father's footsteps become Bracers, who are basically a request guild (or oddjobs, if that makes more sense, but in a more justicey kind of fashion) that lets you explore the world and its rich self-contained lore. The game presents its characters in a bright fashion that can't help but make you feel attached to them, especially well done with its two main characters, but its not limited to just Estelle and Joshua. As you go on about your adventure, you'll meet interesting characters (including NPCs, yes, they have personalities! Take that, Skyrim Radiant AI) from all across the land all while protecting your country and its Queen.

The games boasts a big +50 hours worth of core gameplay, not including the many sidequests that are set aside for you to take on later, which are inhernt in any kind of RPG. It plays as a strategy RPG, similar to titles like Disgaea, minus the crazy numbers and level grind, but it has the unfortunate drawback of being a bit slow and takes its time before being more than just natural button inputs during battle. While there is an interesting crafting system such as the quartz (basically materia if you wanna go by Final Fantasy 7 familiarity) and weapon skill crafting, it doesn't help the in-game combat to be more exciting and only forces you to sift through more menus and text. I'm hoping the second and third chapter will add more to it to help create much more needed combat management in a S-RPG, nothing crazy like Phantom Brave, but it definitely leaves something to be desired as its main strengths are the incredibly large amount of dialogue.

I'm so sorry, Xseed translators, that you had to put off second and third chapter off for so long because of the scary amount of texts.
EDIT: Whoops, probably should've worded that properly to avoid any confusion. I'll just clear it right now. I AM SO HYPED FOR SECOND AND THIRD CHAPTER THANKS TO CARPE FULGAR, AHHHHHHHH. That'll fix it.

If you have a love for old school type of JRPG that have memorable characters, such as Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 4, or even Tales of series, then I'd definitely would say its worth investing in this trilogy.
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59 of 68 people (87%) found this review helpful
106.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 30
This game is pure fun, especially now that most of the crashing issues are fixed.

So, the game. Mostly, it's an exploration and dialogs where the fun lies. And books. But there's a light turn-based tactical combat, although it's far more simple than any other established title in the genre (FF:T, Agarest, Disgaea, etc.).

Story progression revolves around the Bracers Guild quests, with some optional sidequests picked around the town(s). To sweeten the pot, there's a magic system based on Quartz crafting (similar to materia system from FF7) and cooking.

Also, it has a wonderful soundtrack.

This game was quite thoroughly polished from it's original version released in 2004, with a lot of additions from the later PSP release (some features are coming down the road, after release). Sadly, it had some rocky start, but now it runs quite stable and very smoothly (it's an old game with low system requirements), but it holds very well, especially with new high-res fonts.

In conclusion, if you're looking for some refreshing JRPG with very detailed world, characters and story-oriented gameplay, you MUST try it. Also, every sold copy will help to bring the rest of the series outside Japan.
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47 of 50 people (94%) found this review helpful
44.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 18
Making its first appearance on the western market only in 2011 on the PSP, Trails in the Sky First Chapter is a game originally developed in 2004 and in many ways shows its age, from its rudimentary (yet pleasant) graphics to the slow battle animations. But these small things are nothing compared to the merits that this gem of a game shows.

First of all let's start from what sets this game apart from all other JRPGs: the WRITING.
This is some of the best writing I've seen in any jrpg; unlike a lot of other titles, the dialogues actually sound like things people would say in a normal conversation; while some of the dialogue might seem a bit superfluous and pedantic, every line and event shows a deeper meaning in the long run and you'll be pleasantly surprised every hour about how natural the interactions between the characters sound.
Which brings me to the second biggest point of the game: the characters.
The main cast of the game is exceptional: the members of the party are more or less all representative of a certain trope (the Genki Girl, the rude but tender-hearted warrior, the Spoony Bard etc.) but they all have interesting quirks about them and falling in love with all of them is pretty easy. Every character has a personality of its own and a role to play in the story. Even the NPCs (ALL OF THEM!) have their own name, personality and parallel story going on in the meantime.
The game presents a level of detail hardly seen in the genre, and the lore is simply astounding. The world of the game presents a very complex socio-political situation and an interesting history spanning more than a thousand years, with so many different elements (cultural, religious, economic etc.) that give off an organic vibe usually present only in novels.

The gameplay side of the game, while it's nothing overly exceptional (it's a 2004 game after all) is well made and fairly entertaining. The battle system is some kind of hybrid between Grandia and Xenosaga, you can move your characters around the battlefiled almost like in a tactical jrpg, and every other turn you can get a bonus like HP healing, critical hits and so on. The battles are pretty easy (and a bit boring) in the beginning but things get quite different after enemies become stronger and more difficult to kill and you have access to more interesting and complex spells and crafts. At the end of the game things can get quite challenging, and there's a boss battle in particular which will feel extremely satisfying to win.
The ability system of the game is quite similar to the one present in Final Fantasy VII, you have these orbs called Quartz, and according to the combination of the Quartz's elements you can access different spells in battle (and also get some passive bonus like +10%HP and so on)

The plot of the game is very solid: unlike most jrpgs where you have to save the entire world from catastrophe, the action is restricted to a single kingdom and there is no thousand-years old deity to slay at the end of the game; the game presents and more "humble" and personal story where two young adventurers set off to a journey to travel around their homeland and end up finding a lot of unexpected things along the way. Nevertheless it's quite intriguing and after a certain point in the game you'll keep playing to see how things turn out in the end.

The Good:
- Superb writing
- Massive and interesting lore
- Complex and lovable characters
- Good battle system
- Story packed with intrigue and mysteries (after a few hours, though)

The Bad:
- The pacing of the story is not always perfect, and you might yawn a few times during the first hours
- Slow battle animations
- So many missables. Getting everything in this game without a guide is a nightmare

In conclusion:
PLAY THE GAME IF: You're into jrpgs, good writing, engaging stories, and you're not afraid to delve into something that might be a lot more complex than you thought.
DON'T PLAY THE GAME IF: You don't like reading and have little patience for a plot that takes a while to evolve. Also if you hate cliffhangers.

Overall, I'd give this game a 8.5/10. One of the best surprises of the recent years!
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104 of 140 people (74%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 29
Brought this to support XSEED and friends in their brilliant effort to localize this great series. The Kiseki series prides itself on its immersive worldbuilding and attention to small details (no NPC left out, seriously), and of course, spinning up an epic tale. Sora no Kiseki/Trails in The Sky FC (First Chapter) by itself may not be brilliant or epic in terms of story when compared to other entries in the Kiseki series, but every decent tale needs an exposition. FC is the hand (for a lack of better term in my head) that will pull players into the world of the Kiseki series. Story aside, the combat is dynamic and deviates from the usual and monotonous single button mashing. On the first playthrough, players will need to pay attention to the battles or risk having the mooks wipe the floor with them. On subsequent playthroughts at higher difficulties, mainly nightmare mode, this also applies, even if the player has acquired end game tier equipment. Those who are obsessed with optimizing their party will spend a lot of time on orbment customization. There are also many sub quests and secret sub quests that players can undertake to obtain both better equipment as well as other tidbits of info that contributes to world building. Completionists should be satisfied with the replay value this game offers. The game's OST is done by Falcom's own jdk band and there are quite a few iconic gems in the game, keep your ears opened and you won't be disappointed.

All in all, FC is but a prologue for the epic tale that spans over seven other titles. If you are a first time player of the Kiseki series, give this game a shot and see if you're hooked enough to play the sequel which should be translated soon. You won't regret jumping on this train (well, maybe a little bit. You'll be waiting for a long time if you don't know either Chinese or Japanese. The scripts for each game are pretty big). For long time fans of the series who have disposable income. Please get this to show support for those gutsy enough to translate these games for the peeps who weren't fortunate enough to try out this great series all these years.

On a more technical note. Game is crashing way too often. Three crashes during the prologue scene is a bit concerning.
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62 of 75 people (83%) found this review helpful
40.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 3
I've been playing JRPGs for about 20 years now, and Trails in the Sk is one of the best I've played in that time. It was wonderful back in 2011 on the PSP and it's even better now on the PC.

If you want a JRPG that defies convention while retaining a classic, yet complex battle system; Trails in the Sky is for you.

If you want a JRPG that holds your hand, gives you a win button and features cookie cutter characters talking about darkness and the world of hearts; Trails in the Sky may not be for you. But hey, you might want to give it a try and see what JRPGs are all about once you move past the ridiculous conventions that Square Enix has fostered over the last decade with Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts.

But most of all, support Trails in the Sky to get more JRPGs on Steam. Trust me when I say that Japanese developers and publishers are watching the PC space. A lot of JRPG players have moved to PC and have wanted to see the genre make the jump for years. We're seeing a few games hit the PC, but it's nearly not enough. With Trails in the Sky, we can send a clear message to all the publishers and developers that strong story-based JRPGs have a home on the PC and that it's well worth the investment.

But first, you have to invest in Trails in the Sky and it's a good investment.
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65 of 80 people (81%) found this review helpful
16.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 31
Do you like JRPGs but grow tired of playing RPG Maker games with poorly written scripts? Worry no more - this game is for you.

It has everything one could want from a 32-bit style RPG. Recipes, side quests, NPCs galore, beastiary, etc. etc.

This episode alone takes 40 to 50 hours to complete and includes a New Game+ mode
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45 of 51 people (88%) found this review helpful
43.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 2
One of the best RPGs I've played in years. Never played any games in the Legend of Heroes series before but since the game was by Falcom I thought I had to try it. (Falcom developed Ys, Xanadu, and various other series, they very reliably make quality games)

I really enjoyed the combat system, it's got a nice mix of strategy rpg features while remaining fairly simple to understand. Positioning and pushing enemies around becomes important quickly, and making up good combination attacks on the fly is fun. There are randomly placed bonuses for each turn which force you to play differently each time (criticals, etc) and adapt. One negative though is that there is no way to skip or speed up attack animations, this can get pretty annoying fighting large groups or once you've played the game a lot.

After the sluggish prologue the overall pacing of the game is great and the enemies and bosses stay varied throughout the game. Sidequests feel connected to the main game and give you worthwhile rewards.

I wish the difficulty selection was available from the beginning though. I'm sure normal difficulty is very easy for some RPG veterans, I found it a bit easy but still died a fair amount of times. I felt like I was only just getting the hang of combat by the final boss, so I wish I could've started on hard.

I enjoyed the characters in the story, none of them felt overly generic or annoying and there's a good amount of character development and surprises. The plot twists are well done in that they all have some hints towards them, nothing really comes out of the blue so paying attention to details is rewarded. The story ends on sort of a cliffhanger but that isn't much of a negative if you get this now since the sequel (Second Chapter) should be released by the end of this year.
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32 of 34 people (94%) found this review helpful
74.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 29
Trails of awesome
Adventure awaits you, maybe not adventure of your lifetime, but one not easily forgotten. You go through hardships, kill monsters that nobody can take on but you, explore world and do good deeds, mostly of protecting folk, but most importantly you talk, and oh boy if it isn't the best kind of talk, the one you have with your best buddies at your best times. Estelle is your girl for all fun talk needs, but others help too, NPCs aren't NPCs, they are people, they have names, histories, characters and something to say on every subject. Liberl is alive and oh so real.
Battle system is interesting, creative, complex, at times unfair, but always fun.
Cooking is helpful, even if coming by ingredients is problem of sorts. Magic is something of your creation, as it depends on what orbs you craft and which ones you put on.
Sidequests are for the most part not bad, some even good. You get to play detective a lot.
To borrow from Estelle's treasury of sayings:
- We can kill three birds with one stone!
Three birds being: fun, good read and engaging gameplay.

We need the second chapter, pronto!
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47 of 59 people (80%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 1
Oh man, I remember playing this back on the PSP. :D

This is a JRPG that was originally released back in 2004 on PC, 2006 on PSP and also on Playstation 3 in 2012.

I'm really happy to see this released again on Steam with new features and it even supports the new higher res displays. It also supports the XBOX 360 Controller, too. Nice. :D

This game is brought out by Nihon Falcom, known for the legendary JRPG series, Ys.
If you remember playing RPG games on the original Playstation 1, especially games like the Grandia series with the exploring style, then you will get used to this game right away.

The story is great, the detail is amazing, the sound score is awesome and the game brings a kick back nostalgia feeling. What more can you want? :D

Oh by the way, for anyone who wants to know how to set up the game's options properly, you have to run the game's configuration tool from the Steam client. There you will have access to change the filter, resolution, button mapping and more.

Grab this game while it's on sale, it's worth it. ^ ^
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33 of 37 people (89%) found this review helpful
43.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 15
Disclaimer: This is my favorite JRPG in the entire universe, so please take this review in the spirit in which it has been given. Please forgive any potential fangirl squeeing.

LEGEND OF HEROES: TRAILS IN THE SKY (Sora no Kiseki FC)

WHERE TO BEGIN?!

This is my favoritest of favorite JRPGs. Ever. Seriously. There is not a JRPG I love more than this game, though I suspect that the release of SC may change that--you know what, no. Technically SC and this game are the same game, Falcom just had to split them up! So it still counts! I'd be willing to even say that FC is one of my top ten games of all time, regardless of genre. Considering the other games in that list include the original Fallout, Baldur's Gate II, Chrono Trigger and several other games widely regarded as "best game ever," that should tell you something.

Trails in the Sky (Sora no Kiseki FC) is, on its surface, a pretty basic story with a fairly basic game attached to it. It looks unassuming and pedestrian on the surface, but that is simply because it hides, biding its time, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. And strike it does, and when it strikes, it strikes hard! Trails in the Sky is a fairly standard high fantasy story set in a world of political and military intrigue, but it is also the story of how two goofy teenagers grow up and mature into capable adventurers over the course of the game. But that doesn't even really cover much. The meat of the game is in its writing and story--and there's a lot of writing. Gobs and gobs of dialog and story; even the sidequests are usually fully fleshed out rather than a simple "go collect twenty bear asses" that tend to plague older RPGs just as much as they do MMOs. Even unnamed filler NPCs will commonly have multiple lines of dialogue. Trails is one of the very few games where I really feel like the characters are having an actual human conversation as I play--complete with interruptions, asides muttered under their breath and a collection of emotive portraits for most named characters that really helps convey the tone very well. Obviously the conversations in this game are scripted rather than chosen by the player, but they just feel very natural and real.

The story--oh, the story. It starts out very simple, a basic pair of greenhorn adventurers, Estelle and Joshua Bright, new to the Bracer Guild, a group of unionized do-gooders and monster-hunters, learning the ropes and working their way to full bracer status. Over the course of what will easily end up being a 50+ hour playthrough--even on my fourth playthrough, with prior knowledge of the game and using an achievement guide to get a maxed-out save file ready for SC, I still logged 42 hours on my file when the credits rolled--you will see the story shift from hometown heroes retrieving a stolen jewel to helping with a school festival, to busting a thieves' guild and unraveling a real-estate scam. And it only gets better from there, culminating in an epic yarn that spans political intrigue, military secrets, ancient technologies and the remnants of a lost, highly-advanced culture. With all of this going on, the story starts out very light-hearted, but slowly darkens over time, growing more and more serious, setting up for the Second Chapter's much darker overall tone.

Writing teenagers is really quite hard, but Falcom and XSEED's localization staff really pulled it off fantastically. Estelle and Joshua feel genuine, like people you could really meet one day. Estelle acts goofy, makes realistic and understandable mistakes and Joshua is the archetypal bookish boy (though of course his story is more complex than that). The level of realism in how the plot handles having teenage main characters is actually really impressive. The two leads contribute a lot to solving the major cases they're assigned to by the Bracer Guild, but they've always got backup from more experienced and powerful adults. They're told reasonable things about their limitations, and they reasonably and realistically fail. A lot. The fact that they mess up and they experience real consequences as a result is something I love about Trails. This isn't the usual "little kid saves the world, adults are totally worthless" sort of story that seems to happen with annoying regularity every time you've got a teenager as the protagonist.

It's also, at least to me, as a "girl gamer"--that being, a female human who plays video games, of course--a treat to play such a fantastic game with a female protagonist. Especially impressive considering how old this game actually is--Trails was originally released in Japan in 2004! There aren't even very many games today, in 2014, with a locked female protagonist you can't change or play as male. In 2004 they were practically unheard of. That wins a lot of points from me personally, since I don't have a lot of money for gaming and I generally choose to spend my limited funds on titles with female protagonists over those with male protagonists.

Even as much as I love Trails, it's not perfect. It has some flaws, but none of them are dealbreakers by any stretch of the imagination. The PC Steam version has some weird bugs that the PSP version doesn't have. Some of these bugs are related to the fact that the PC version on Steam is the original 2004 PC version with the PSP features backported into it. Running it on Windows 7 and 8 results in weirdness and I understand a lot of XSEED's delay with getting Trails FC and SC out had to do with making the engine behave in an operating system not called Windows XP.

My biggest single gripe with Trails is the combat. No, I don't dislike the combat, but I think it's a bit too simplistic on the surface--I wish they would have gone with an AP system instead of a "single-action, single-turn" system. I like how the turn order changes based on different things you do and your stats as well as the use of S-Breaks to "cut in line" to get specific turn bonuses. All of that was really great, but I do wish they gave you a pool of AP to combine things like positioning or aiming spells and abilities without having to wait 5 turns to finish up the hit. Using an AP system would have made the combat a lot more fast-paced and enjoyable. The boss fights are still very fun for the most part, even with the SAST system. It's mostly the trash mobs you face in the field, especially when you get into a fight with a big-♥♥♥ group of eight damage-sponge mobs. It got so annoying at points where I'd waste Joshua's field-wide S-Craft simply to get through the fight quicker without losing XP and sepith.

So yeah. A lot of breathless fangirling in there, to be sure, but I'd like to think this "review" might actually be useful to someone interested in buying the game. My advice? BUY IT IMMEDIATELY. RIGHT NOW. THEN PLAY IT UNTIL YOU COLLAPSE FROM EXHAUSTION. Because it's that good. The Trails series has become Falcom's biggest money maker in Japan and the only way we're ever going to see more of the series than Sora no Kiseki FC and SC is if we vote with our wallets!
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25 of 27 people (93%) found this review helpful
104.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 18
I'm not really a reviewer, in fact I think this is probably my first one. The reason I feel compelled to write is that hopefully my voice will be heard, along with all the others, that will force XSEED and Falcom to ensure that the full saga is localised in English and released on Steam.

There is still demand, even now, for a well-crafted, fun-to-play JRPG with a memorable story. This game is one of them.

The story is a beauty, flawed maybe but still compelling enough involving central characters that I found I actually gave a toss for. The battle system is fun, didn't really get old - the S-Crafts (Limit Breaks, if you will) are always fun. A big plus for me is that there was very little grinding required and success was more to do with how you tactically approach battles that helped you overcome your enemies.

There is plenty of sidequestery to indulge in, indeed I don't believe I collared everything and there's also a New Game Plus for a second, tougher playthrough - which I'm just about to have a go at.

Essentially, whether you're a fan of JRPGs or not, wondering if they're still relevant in this age, it's still a great game.
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29 of 34 people (85%) found this review helpful
32.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
Wow. Just, wow. Do you like generic RPGs? Cliche as hell all the way through? Do you like a bunch of quirky characters fitting your typical mold? From quiet brave boy, to tsundere girl and perverted bard? We got you covered today!

Now, what if I told you you get all the typical RPG delights, and the game is actually good? Then you're in for a treat.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is fantastic if you want your JRPG goodness done right. Nothing new, nothing special, just good quality entertainment to be found. Can't recommend any more than this. Please buy it so we can get the whole trilogy in the US.
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46 of 63 people (73%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 29
Please support XSEED and buy this game! It is an absolutely breathtaking JRPG and has an absolute metric ton of content. My first playthrough was over 100 hours and I wasn't even close to seeing all you can see.

Everyone wants more JRPGs, and we will get them if we show our support to the genre.

Don't wait to buy this on sale, get it now, it is worth every penny!
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