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The Trails series makes a number of references to the Gagharv series, a trilogy of interwoven The Legend of Heroes games that were released before the start of the Trails series.

Hypothetical same world references[]

Direct references[]

Thematic Similarities and Indirect References[]

  • The overarching plot of the Trails series (involving Ouroboros, the Septian Church and the Sept-Terrion) is the second half of A Tear of Vermillion's plot (with Octum's Apostles and the Sacred Treasures of Bardus) writ large and a number of characters in the early games have obvious inspirations from Gagharv characters, but much more developed.
  • Joshua Bright in has a number of similarities to Rutice in A Tear of Vermillion. Both joined a secret society following the destruction of their hometown and were trained as assassins. Both also consider themselves 'broken' but get over it due to interactions with the rest of the cast and especially with the protagonists who is also their love interest. Both also have nice scarves and use knives. And Joshua was originally conceived as a female character according to interviews.
  • Scherazard Harvey has several similar personality traits to Muse from A Tear of Vermillion, along with a similar fashion sense and a preference for whips. Schera's abilities Bind Whip and Queen's Bute (Sadist Whip) originally appeared in the Gagharv trilogy as an ability and a weapon for Muse, respectively.
  • Olivert Reise Arnor and Muse are both royals who use assumed names to operate undercover and both would rather have fun than take responsibility. Olivier's ultimate motives are however better developed and far more complicated.
  • Leonhardt and Kevin both owe some of their characters to Madram from A Tear of Vermillion. Loewe has a red sword and pulls an impressive heroic sacrifice while Kevin is a holy warrior who experiences a crisis of faith, all of which were first seen in Madram. Both characters have problems relating to a lost love and/or parental surrogate and in Loewe's case Karin's death motivates him in a similar way to how Dominique's death motivates Madram. Rufina herself has some similarities to Dominique by being a member of the Septian Church like Dominique was part of the Church of Bardus. Rufina Argent was also seen as special, though due to her skills and great effort rather than due to being a unique entity.
  • The character of Campanella has a predecessor of sorts in the (supposedly fictional) character of Harlequin from the Doll Knight novels in Cagesong of the Ocean. As those novels appear directly in Trails, the link between the two characters may be explicit but this remains uncertain as of Trails of Cold Steel II. Harlequin is a mask-wearing puppeteer who serves as an assassin and speaks in a constantly mocking style. Campanella also speaks in a similar style, he is known as The Fool and he serves as both an observer for the Grandmaster and implicitly (and unofficially) as an assassin if necessary, manipulating events from the shadows like a puppeteer. Adding to the parallels, early concept art of Campanella had him wearing a mask.
  • The Arseille of Trails in the Sky SC was inspired by the Planetos of the Gagharv trilogy. Both bear similar nicknames, with the former being known as the White Wings (of Liberl) and the latter as the White Eagle (of the Sea), both are the fastest ship in existence and both serve as a base of operations for the protagonists at some point in the narrative. The captains of both ships also become playable characters and both have international reputations, albeit for different reasons. Both ships also have advanced engines with similar names, the XG-02 for the Arseille and the HF-II for the Planetos, which give them their amazing speed.
  • Multiple characters in the Trails series share names with and greatly resemble characters from the Gagharv trilogy. These include the MacDowell family maid Joanna (a playable character from White Witch) and the Crossbell Guardian Force's 'Demon Instructor' Douglas (a playable character from A Tear of Vermillion).
  • The Combat Orbment system in Trails is a more developed version of the [[Resonance Stones from Cagesong of the Ocean, with both systems being plot-integrated methods of enhancing your characters and learning magic by equipping special stones. Orbments are specifically mentioned as 'resonating' with their users and in the case of the ARCUS model, the users resonating with each other. Combo Crafts and Links have an antecedent in Ensemble Magic.
  • The Carnelia books in Trails in the Sky SC are very similar to the Swordswoman Sapphie books from the Gagharv trilogy. Both books are fictionalized accounts of real individuals and in both cases the in-universe author and the individual or individuals serving as the basis for the story are met during the games. Both title characters are also strong female characters who use swords and have nicknames taken from gemstones.
  • Ouroboros and Octum's Apostles from A Tear of Vermillion have some similarities, both being antagonists who are opposed by an organized group of adventurers and the local church and have (or possibly have) more noble goals than their methods would suggest.
  • The Bracers in Trails are a much more developed version of the Adventurer's Guild from A Tear of Vermillion (particularly the PC-98 version where there was a sidequest mechanic) and both games feature sequences where more experienced members (Scherazard/Agate Crosner and Martie/Douglas) spend time mentoring the protagonists who have just joined the guild.
  • Joshua's second S-Craft and title Black Fang is likely to have been a subtle nod to Mile's strongest special attack from A Tear of Vermillion when he was acting as one of Octum's Apostles, Black Wing.
  • Orbal Arts from Trails that have strong nods to magic from A Tear of Vermillion include Aqua Bleed (to Aqua Splash), Cross Crusade (visually, to Death Quake) and Flare Butterfly and Emma Millstein's Craft Aster Flare (to Flare Ghost).
  • The Eight Leaves One Blade style in Trails is very similar to the nameless style taught by Castor to his students Douglas and Lucias in A Tear of Vermillion, except that the Trails style is far more developed. Both styles share one technique in common, plus a second technique that is almost identical and in both cases, mastery of the style is recognized by the bestowing of the title of Divine Blade.
  • The names of two of the Seventy-Seven Devils first appeared in A Tear of Vermillion as the names of special equipment, Sealed Shield 'Astarte' and Spirit Armor 'Rostrum'.
  • The overarching plot of Cagesong of the Ocean contributed greatly to Trails in the Sky FC and SC. In both, an ancient civilization discovered that the power their society was built upon was causing unavoidable harm (the Harmful Frequencies and Aureole), both created a mechanism to counteract the threat which was hidden beneath a capital city and in both cases the threat was temporarily resolved by sending it to another dimension with differing physical laws. Both stories end with the root cause of the threat eliminated and an escape sequence as an ancient structure crumbles around the protagonists. In Trails in the Sky SC, Celeste considered whether to use Aureole's own power to seal it away but rejected the idea as unworkable; in Cagesong of the Ocean this was attempted and succeeded but had far-reaching consequences.
  • Sara Valestein is a former high-ranking bracer who was famous for combining lightning with swordplay and has a title to match. Douglas from A Tear of Vermillion is a high-ranking member of the Adventurers Guild known as 'The Thunderclap' and uses lightning in his attacks. Both wield weapons named for thunder or lightning.
  • Trails and Gagharv both feature a character named Thomas, who is more important than he appears at first. The two characters somewhat resemble each other, aside from the Trails character's glasses.
  • The visual effect of Rean Schwarzer using his 'ogre' power (hair turning silver and eyes turning red) are identical to what happened to Mile when he was resurrected as one of Octum's Apostles in A Tear of Vermillion and both characters have to fight to maintain or regain control of themselves when in this state.
  • Ordine, the Azure Knight represents a possible nod to the Blue Knight of the Doll Knight series. The title used to refer to its Awakener personally is identical in Japanese.
  • The Rosette Studio in Cagesong of the Ocean likely inspired the Rosenberg Studio in Trails from Zero, with their similar names and both producing world-famous dolls, including ones which can actually fight. The plot in the former game concerning the stolen doll Capri being used as a template for automaton soldiers has a parallel in Rosenberg's true nature as one of the Thirteen Factories and the producer of Archaisms. Rosette himself also has parallels to Dr. Russell in Trails in the Sky FC, SC, and the 3rd, as a kindly old man with an energetic granddaughter who becomes a playable character.
  • Aida of Cagesong of the Ocean would inspire Tita from Trails in the Sky FC, SC, and the 3rd by virtue of being the granddaughter and apprentice of a famous artisan who becomes a playable character and who can talk the protagonists ears off about their work if given half a chance. Aida also shares several traits with Trails' Estelle Bright, being extremely energetic, both using similar weapons and both having a scene when other characters expect them to be depressed, only to find that they're not letting it get to them because they still have work to do and they'll worry later.
  • Trails of Cold Steel III introduces Juna Crawford, whose name and appearance are very similar to Cagesong of the Ocean's Una and the former's new outfit in the following game resembles the latter's own in coloration. Both also share an interesting relationship with a blue-haired co-protagonist and, despite multiple opportunities to do so, have difficulties telling a character about their feelings.
  • The Dark Sun of Cagesong of the Ocean and the circumstances surrounding its revival by the Numeros Empire have parallels in the Great Twilight which afflicts the Erebonian Empire in Trails of Cold Steel III and IV. Both cause a literal darkening of the skies and both are strongly tied to emotions, though the former feeds on negative emotions while the latter amplifies them. The Curse which is revealed to afflict Erebonia in Trails of Cold Steel III is likewise similar to the Dark Sun. In both games there is a repeated refrain that everyone alive is atoning for the sins of their ancestors.
  • The nature of the Dark Sun and its effect on offensive Resonance Magic in Cagesong of the Ocean inspired the Orbal Shutdown Phenomenon caused by Aureole in Trails in the Sky SC. Both games feature a limited number of items which can be used to counteract the effect in the form of the Sound Stones and the Zero Field Generator.
  • The endings of A Tear of Vermillion and Trails of Cold Steel IV both feature very similar resurrection sequences. In Gagharv, the last power of the Divine Sword is used to give Avin the opportunity to save Mile before the power of Bardus fades completely from the world, due to the latter's life being linked to the now-deceased Octum. In Trails, the last power of the Divine Knights and the two Sept-Terrion are used to stabilize Millium and restore Crow to life before they were about to fade from existence due to their lives being linked to the Knights. In Crow's case, this also involved a reversion of his hair and eye color to what they had been previously, much like Mile's hair reverted after his resurrection.