The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd (
Trails in the Sky The 3rd was originally released for Windows on 28 June 2007. The game was subsequently localised for Korea, China and Hong Kong on 21 September 2007, 8 July 2008 and 26 August 2008, respectively. In the meanwhile, Nihon Falcom had started the process of porting the Kiseki games to PlayStation Portable, with Trails in the Sky The 3rd following on 24 July 2008. A high-definition remaster for PlayStation 3 was released on 27 June 2013.
On 11 March 2016, XSEED Games celebrated the five year anniversary of the Trails series with the announcement that they will bring Trails in the Sky the 3rd for the PC to the West in 2017.
- 1 Synposis
- 1.1 Prologue - The Gralsritter
- 1.2 Chapter 1 - Phantasma
- 1.3 Chapter 2 - The Otherworldly Capital
- 1.4 Chapter 3 - Golden Road, Silver Road
- 1.5 Chapter 4 - The Dark Stigma
- 1.6 Chapter 5 - Labyrinth of Shadows and Light
- 1.7 Chapter 6 - The Guardians' Trials
- 1.8 Chapter 7 - The Distant Flames
- 1.9 Finale - The Future We Dream Of
- 2 List of episodes
- 3 Development
- 4 Gallery
Prologue - The Gralsritter
The story begins with Kevin Graham's infiltration of a Reinford Company vessel called the Lusitania. On board, a masquerade ball is being held by the Conrad Company, which is led by one Hermann Conrad. Taking of advantage of his low profile, Kevin sneaks his way through the ship and reaches Conrad's cabin. After a bit of poking around, he opens a hidden door to a secret room found at the back of the cabin. There, he finds one of his main objectives: an artifact known as the Fool's Locket, which allows its user to convincingly tell any kind of lie. Unfortunately for Kevin, picking up the locket triggers a security alarm, which traps him inside this room and alerts Conrad's henchman that someone has broken into it. With no options left, Kevin blasts his way out of the room with his crossbow and fights off gangs of henchmen as he makes his way back to the main ballroom. Once there, Kevin confronts Conrad, who attempts to pull a gun on him, but is easily subdued. A group of North Ambrian Northern Jaegers attempt to surround Kevin, but he jumps out of the Lusitania's window and lands on his Merkabah vessel flying by, taking Hermann Conrad along with him.
On board the Merkabah, Kevin contacts his superior, Ein Selnate, and reports on his successful capture of Conrad and the Fool's Locket. Shortly afterwards, Ein orders Kevin to head to Liberl for an investigation of an artifact found there. Before ending communications, Ein lets Kevin know that an assistant would helping him out with this mission; something which Kevin finds most unexpected.
Leaving the Merkabah back in Arteria, Kevin decides to take the international Gretna Airliner to Grancel. On board he meets Dorothy, whose usual scatterbrained tendencies led her to accidentally board an airship bound for Calvard. Upon arrival, Dorothy gets a scolding from Nial, while Kevin is greeted by Major Cid, who escorts him to the cathedral. Once there, Kevin is met by the archbishop and Erika Russell, the latter of which accompanies him to the lower levels of the cathedral. At the very bottom, the group seemingly hit a dead end, but thanks to Kevin's use of Thaumaturgy, they are able to enter the cathedral's innermost area. There, they find a Primal Ground: an area used to seal away the powers of artifacts. On a pedestal found at the Ground's center, the group examines a newly-found artifact recovered from Valleria Lake after the fall of the Liber Ark: the Recluse Cube.
Kevin learns that the Recluse Cube has remained inactive since its retrieval from Valleria Lake. This put the artifact in a legal gray area, as inactive artifacts are not required to be immediately confiscated by the Septian Church. As such, Kevin is tasked with investigating the artifact and giving the final word on Liberl's possession of it. Erika wants to the artifact to remain in the country for research purposes and as compensation for the ZCF's hand in its retrieval. She goes on a short rant about the Church's rigid control over artifacts and how she feels that they hide important truths from the people. Just then, a girl dressed in a habit enters the Primal Ground while quoting scripture from the Book of Ezer.
“That brief hesitation was all it took to spawn a great evil. It crawled through the fields, ran through the hills, and spread disaster in the skies above.”
— Book of Ezer, Verse 2, 'Disaster Unleashed'
The girl introduces herself as Ries Argent, a squire of the Gralsritter, and the one assigned to aid Kevin on his mission. Ries and Erika debate the ownership of the Recluse Cube a bit longer, then leave the final decision to Kevin. However, before he can answer, the Recluse Cube reactivates behind everyone. For better or worse, this settles the dispute and puts the artifact under the Church's jurisdiction.
Later that evening, Kevin and Ries have a personal discussion outside of Grancel Cathedral. The two turn out to be acquaintances of some sort who have been out of touch for the last five years. Ries believes that her past ties with Kevin are irrelevant and wants him to see her as nothing more than a subordinate. Kevin disagrees and urges her to drop the formalities. Despite her efforts to remain stern, Ries' growling stomach gets the better of her, convincing Kevin that she is still the voracious girl that he once knew. After warming up to each other a bit, the two go grocery shopping in east Grancel.
As they walk out of the store, Kevin and Ries notice someone spying on them. After being cornered at Grancel Port, the spy is revealed to be Gilbert Stein, who changes into his jaeger armor and engages the duo. After being defeated, he pretends to beg for mercy and forgiveness, but quickly calls forth an Ouroboros archaism he calls the G-Apache. A second fight ensues, and after Gilbert is defeated again, the Recluse Cube activates. Suddenly, a masked man with long, white hair appears on top of a nearby storage shed, beckoning Kevin with a few cryptic messages. Before they can do anything, Kevin and Ries are enveloped in a strange, white light and black out. When they finally regain consciousness, the duo find themselves in a mysterious area known as the Hermit's Garden.
Chapter 1 - Phantasma
Kevin and Ries begin their investigation of the Hermit's Garden by examining the large library in their immediate area. Much to their surprise, it is filled with everything from rare and forbidden texts to mundane publications like a guide to Liberlian cuisine. The duo walk around the garden and examine several key landmarks: a fountain to the west, a large tree to the east, and a strange blue stone monument in the center. Unsure of where to go next, Kevin and Ries return to the central area. Suddenly, the Recluse Cube activates once more, this time shattering the duo's quartz. Meanwhile around the garden, the fountain, tree, and monument begin to glow with a bright blue light. A strange portal also appears in the cul-de-sac to the north, along with a translucent blue barrier in front of it. Interested in how the area has changed, Kevin and Ries decide to do one more sweep around the garden.
The landmarks have now become useful aides whose master has instructed to help Kevin and Ries. The fountain serves as a Craft Point restoration spot. The tree serves as an ingredient shop for food. The most versatile of the three is the blue monument, which serves as a rest point, a fast travel location, a shop, and an orbal factory all in one. After visiting each of the landmarks a second time, the barrier to the north disappears, allowing Kevin and Ries to enter the portal beyond. After stepping into it, the duo find themselves in an area called the Jade Corridor. Shortly after stepping into the corridor, the duo are attacked by monsters. After defeating them, Kevin and Ries are puzzled by how the monsters are here at all and why the higher elements - time, space, and mirage - are more active in this place than in most parts of Zemuria.
The duo continue through the corridor until they find a Sealing Stone at a dead end. The Recluse Cube reactivates once more, instructing the duo to present this stone to the blue monument and unseal whoever is trapped inside. The group warp back to the garden and do so. The person sealed inside this stone turns out to be Tita Russell, who only recalls being surrounded by a white light before ending up in the garden. After much confusion and inconclusive discussion, Kevin, Ries, and now Tita continue to traverse the Jade Corridor, where another blue barrier has been lifted since Tita was freed.
Further down the corridor, the trio encounter a strange sight: they find the Arseille suspended off the side of a dead end in the corridor. The group investigate the craft and find another Sealing Stone inside. They return to the garden once more and unseal this second stone, freeing Captain Julia Schwarz from within. After being briefed on the situation to the best of everyone else's knowledge, Julia joins the trio and the team continue further into the corridor. After a good bit of traveling, Kevin and Ries notice a strange scent coming from somewhere in the corridor: the scent of something from the underworld. The two caution Tita and Julia, and carefully tread further on, until suddenly a monster spawns from a purple portal on the floor.
Ries recognizes this monster as Bennu, one of the Seventy-Seven Devils described in the Testaments. The team engage the devil and defeat it after a long and grueling battle. Shortly after their victory, the masked man that Kevin and Ries saw at Grancel reappears and taunts the team for barely making it through. He addresses Julia and Kevin personally, revealing that he knows quite a bit about the team. Ries attempts to lunge at the man with her sword, but he easily blocks her attack and tells Ries that her skills are still a far cry from her sister's. Before teleporting away, the man gives his name as Schwarzritter, and says that his lord wishes the team venture deeper into this realm, which he calls Phantasma.
Chapter 2 - The Otherworldly Capital
Chapter 2 begins with a flashback to Kevin and Ries' past, where Ries and her older sister find Kevin sitting destitute in a a snow-covered alley. Showing concern for him, Ries' sister talks to Kevin and offers him a bar of chocolate. Kevin declines and tries to drive the two girls away, but Ries' sister ignores him and proceeds to feed a chunk of chocolate to him mouth-to-mouth. Kevin winces in disgust over this, but the elder sister is happy to have fed him regardless. She introduces herself as Rufina Argent and Kevin gives her his name in return.
Back at the Hermit's Garden, Kevin and the others discuss what they learned from their encounter with Schwarzritter. In particular, Julia is curious about how he recognized Ries and supposedly knew her sister. Ries reveals that Rufina was a knight of the Gralsritter who died during a mission five years ago, leaving Julia somewhat remorseful of prying into her past. The team continue their journey through Phantasma, using the portal just beyond the place where they met Schwarzritter. On the second plane of Phantasma, they find themselves in Grancel, but with nary a person in sight and monsters roaming the streets. After wandering around, the team enter the Erebonian embassy, where they find another Sealing Stone in its archive. This stone unseals Mueller Vander, who recounts conducting an inspection in Parm alongside Olivier prior to being trapped by the now familiar white light.
After the reunion, the team hear the woman's voice from the Recluse Cube once more, which segues into a tutorial on switching party members and remote abilities. Upon their return to Grancel, the team notices that the time of day has changed to the late afternoon. They head to Grancel Port, where they find the Bobcat docked nearby. Unfortunately, the airship is locked, so the team end up scavenging the port until they find its key. Once inside, they find yet another Sealing Stone. Unsurprisingly, this stone unseals Josette Capua, who, as it turns out, has since abandoned her former life as a sky bandit along with her brothers and crew. After receiving a full pardon from the queen, the Capuas started a courier service, utilizing the Bobcat as their main mode of transport. After some discussion and expected confusion on Josette's part, the team return to Grancel, where the time of day has shifted once again; this time to night.
The party enter the Grand Arena on the east side of Grancel, where a few members recall Estelle, Joshua, Zin, and Olivier winning last year's tournament. After some searching around, the team enter the main arena, where three battles await them, including a stronger version of the Dark Bringer from SC. Upon defeating these three rounds of enemies, the team find another Sealing Stone; this one containing Joshua Bright. After being briefed on the situation, Joshua joins the team in combat and they head to Grancel Castle.
After some thorough exploration, the team head to the roof of the castle, where they hear someone call out for help. As it turns out, Gilbert had somehow found himself in Phantasma as well, and was surrounded by a group of Skull Heads. The team quickly dispatch the monsters and tell him to stay out of their way. Gilbert, being the nincompoop that he is, takes offense to this and vows that he will find his way out of Phantasma by himself, running off immediately afterwards. The team then find their way to the castle's balcony, where a ghostly figure of a woman congratulates them for making it this far. She drops the Treasury Key on the floor, and disappears shortly afterwards.
Thus, the team head downstairs into the treasury and take the elevator down to the ancient ruins beneath the castle. Upon entering them, however, a few members notice that the layout of these ruins has changed. As the team head further into them, Kevin once again smells the coffin-like scent of a devil. Shortly after he mentions the smell, a voice calls out to the the team, and a masked person dressed in a black robe appears before them. This person addresses himself as the Lord of Phantasma, the self-proclaimed ruler of the realm. Julia immediately lashes out at him, demanding that he return Grancel to its original form or face death by her hand. The Lord states that this request meaningless, for, as the team soon realize, this Grancel is nothing but a warped replica of the real city. The Lord of Phantasma continues to taunt the team and eventually presents another Sealing Stone to them. Julia quickly realizes that this stone holds Princess Klaudia. The Lord then tells the team that this stone will be their reward for overcoming a trial.
He casts an art and summons forth Rostrum the Savage, a gatekeeper of Gehenna and another of the seventy-seven devils mentioned in the Testaments. After the devil is defeated, the Lord of Phantasma quickly hands the Sealing Stone over to Julia. Kevin then asks the Lord why he is here and why he has brought everyone to Phantasma. The Lord tells Kevin that he is a shadow created by this realm and states that a shadow needs a source to be cast. Irritated by his cryptic nonsense, Kevin fires four bolts in the Lord's direction, realizing that the figure, which had been standing before them this whole time, was just an illusion. The Lord of Phantasma's disembodied voice commends Kevin for figuring out his trick and tells the team to go further into Phantasma, where more trials await them. Satisfied with their recent victory, the team head back to the Hermit's Garden to free Klaudia from the Sealing Stone.
Chapter 3 - Golden Road, Silver Road
Chapter 3 begins with another flashback to Kevin's past. Kevin is seen in bed waking up from a nightmare; one which he has had numerous times now. He feels frustrated for not being able to rid himself of the dream, knowing how worried Rufina must be about him. Ries stops by and condescendingly assures Kevin that worrying about him is something Rufina is quite used to. Realizing that he may be late to rise, Kevin gets up and goes to help Ries with cleaning the chapel. This day marks some kind of special occasion for Rufina, and the two need to be ready.
The two find Rufina kneeling in prayer at the chapel. They wonder why she is up so early, considering today is the day she makes her long voyage to Arteria for squire training. She replies by saying that this may be the last time she gets to pray at this chapel for a while. After all, the workload for a squire is quite demanding and will likely keep her from returning home for a long time. The three make small talk about Rufina's choice of career, their history as a family, and, of course, Quincy's chocolate. Reluctant to have Rufina leave him and Ries behind, Kevin hopes that she isn't cut out for squire work and comes home soon. In response, Rufina hopes that they give her a warm welcome if that is the case, and proceeds to help them clean the chapel.
Back at the Hermit's Garden, the team release Klaudia, as well as her falcon Sieg, from the Sealing Stone. They explain the situation as per usual and continue their journey into Phantasma. On the third plane, they arrive at a fork in the road, where a silver road lies to the west and a golden road lies to the east; each closed off by a large gate. The Recluse Cube activates once more, now projecting the ghostly woman that the team saw on the Grancel Castle balcony. She instructs the team to proceed through both gates in sync and vaguely warns them of something ahead. Thus, Kevin and Ries each lead a group of four down one of the two roads: Kevin takes the golden road and Ries takes the silver road.
Both of the two roads are labyrinthine and filled with strange, fairy tale-like monsters. As the groups wander along their respective road, the leaders come across two treasure chests containing strangely familiar weapons: the Aion Bow and the Sylvahn. Stranger yet, each road ends with a battle against a doppelganger of the other team's leader; each accompanied by a group of monsters. After defeating a doppelganger, each team leader is presented with another Sealing Stone. Having defeated both doppelgangers and retrieved the Sealing Stones, the teams walk through two more sets of gates and meet at an intersection of the two roads.
Kevin and Ries are relieved to see other alive. They conclude that the doppelgangers each team fought were Grimoires - monsters formed from the remains of human souls cast into Gehenna. They also assume that the cannon and mirror monsters that accompanied them were cursed items of a similar origin. Suddenly, a familiar voice speaks out from behind. Schwarzritter teleports before the team and congratulates them for making quick progress through the roads. He also gives the team some information on the ghostly woman that has been helping them. He calls her the "hermit" and mentions that she is the master of the Hermit's Garden. However, he also says that the Lord of Phantasma has absorbed most of her power and that she can do little more than struggle to guide them. Afterwards, Schwarzritter gives a message to Kevin:
“Your next destination is the path of beasts. Devour the new offering presented to you, and display your seal once more. Then shall the flames of Gehenna burn ever fiercer and my kingdom draw closer to its true completion.”
Irritated by his riddles, Kevin draws his crossbow at Schwarzritter. Noticing that it's the Aion Bow, Schwarzritters says he hopes that Kevin finds his lord's gift useful and that it brings back memories to him. Stating that he will meet the team again in the near future, Schwarzritter teleports away once more, leaving the team to ponder the true meaning of his message.
Chapter 4 - The Dark Stigma
In yet another flashback to his past, Kevin is shown being appointed a squire of the Septian Church. After the ceremony, he is seen talking to Ein Selnate, whom he thanks for all her guidance and support as an instructor. Ein recounts the day she first met Kevin, who came groveling to her, begging to become a knight. Kevin asks her to forget this rather embarrassing tale, and assures her that he had his reasons for wanting to be a knight so desperately. As the two continue to make small talk, Rufina ends up joining the conversation.
Kevin is surprised to see Rufina here, as she was recently assigned to a mission in Remiferia. Rufina says she did her best to finish the mission quickly, as she didn't want to miss his appointment ceremony. She congratulates him on becoming a squire and also thanks Ein for taking the time to train him. After a bit of conversation, Kevin goes to pick up his new room key and medal while Ein and Rufina continue talking. Ein wonders why Rufina is so worried about Kevin; she believes that Kevin holds great potential as a knight and may even someday manifest a power called a Stigma. Rufina replies that while she understands all this, she fears that Kevin's kindness may someday be his downfall.
Back at the Hermit's Garden, Kevin unseals Prince Olivert and Zin Vathek from the previously found Sealing Stones. Unlike the other team members freed from the stones, these two are fairly calm and collected after being released; even having a chat before asking for explanations. As the team explain the situation to them, Zin and Olivert make some keen observations about the team's current disposition. Zin believes that the garden, the ghostly woman, and monuments scattered across Phantasma are all connected to each other, and are part of someone's effort to help guide the team through the realm. Olivert adds that the Recluse Cube is likely related to this as well. Afterwards, Olivert asks one final question: who is the Lord of Phantasma?
Olivert believes the Lord is somehow related to Kevin. He recounts that he and Schwarzritter knew Ries' sister, have the power to summon devils described in the Church's writings, and seem particularly fixated on Kevin and Ries in general. Kevin says that he has no idea who the Lord is, but remarks that he is likely an enemy of the Gralsritter as a whole. As the discussion comes to a close, something unexpected happens: Ries, claiming that she is not feeling well, wishes to take a break from exploring Phantasma and remain in the garden for a while. Puzzled by the suddenness of her request, Kevin goes after Ries to ask her what's wrong.
After catching up with Ries, Kevin apologizes to her for acting friendly with the rest of the team while keeping her out of the loop. He regrets that he's become so distant from her these past five years while getting close to people he had only known for a short while. Ries replies that although she does feel a bit lonely and jealous of Kevin's newly-found friends, that isn't her biggest problem. She says that she understands how much Rufina's death hurt Kevin and how it convinced him to punish himself by staying away from Ries and doing all sorts of undesirable work. She also says that he hasn't really made any new friends. He's kept everyone at a distance; afraid to get too close and cause them any harm. Thirdly, she thinks Kevin had actually understood Schwarzritter's message from the Lord of Phantasma and was hiding it from everyone else. Kevin brushes this all off, suggesting that Ries take a break and not jump to such wild conclusions about him. Hurt and frustrated by Kevin's comments, Ries slaps him and runs off.
Shortly afterwards, Joshua approaches Kevin, having saw what happened from a distance. He says that he managed to learn a good bit about Kevin since they met in Liberl, including his position in the Gralsritter, his role as the Heretic Hunter, and his job to assassinate Weissmann. Joshua is also aware that Kevin let Estelle be abducted by Ouroboros so as to use her as bait. Nevertheless, Joshua is grateful for what Kevin did to help him, Estelle, and the others. Kevin denies having any good intentions in doing so, saying that he only helped the others because it made his job easier. However, this does little to change Joshua's mind. He says that it was Kevin's actions, and not their intent, that matter to him, and those were enough to earn Kevin his gratitude. Knowing that Ries will likely remain in the garden for a while, Joshua offers to serve as Kevin's right hand for the time being, and Kevin accepts.
Thus, the team set off for the fourth plane of Phantasma. Upon exiting the portal to it, they find themselves near a lodge somewhere in the mountains. After looking at the building's sign, they realize they are in the Le Locle training camp for Bracers. Immediately after examining the sign, the team are attacked by a group of anthropomorphic monsters called beastmen. The team dispatch a few of these beastmen, compelling the rest to retreat. After the battle, the Recluse Cube activates once more and the ghostly hermit appears before the team again. She warns the team of three ordeals ahead of them and gives them a map of Le Locle before disappearing. Thus, the team examine the map and head for Balstar Channel, where they expect the first ordeal to await them.
The Balstar Channel has gotten quite a face lift since SC - it's now filled with boiling-hot lava! The team make their way through labyrinthine channel, fighting off various beasts and making sure not to burn their legs off. At the end of the channel, they meet a grimoire doppelganger of Anelace Elfead accompanied by two werewolves. The team defeat the grimoire and acquire a Sealing Stone from it. As per usual, they return to the Hermit's Garden and unseal Anelace from the stone. Afterwards, a new location appears on the team's map of Le Locle: Saint Croix Forest. Thus, the team head off to face the second ordeal.
Much like the Balstar Channel, Saint Croix Forest looks somewhat different from when Estelle and Anelace trained there. Its trees now don an autumn look, with leaves of red and yellow. Joshua is a bit puzzled by the sight, given that most coniferous trees don't lose leaves or change colors during the colder seasons. Kevin tells him that while a few varieties do, he finds the woods somewhat strange and tells the team to keep a lookout. Further into the woods, the team hear a voice crying out for help. They once again find Gilbert in a pickle: this time having been tied up by a pack of wererats.
The team fend off the wererats and free Gilbert. They ask him how he ended up here in the first place. Gilbert explains that he fell through some kind of vortex after battling a group of knights back at the false Grancel. Afterwards, he found himself near the Le Locle lodge like the others. They continue to ask Gilbert questions, such as why the wererats tied him up in the first place. Gilbert tries to skirt around the answer, but Kevin and Joshua quickly realize that he had been stealing the wererats' food. Flustered from having been figured out, Gilbert runs off again, saying that he will keep all the food he had stolen for himself. Finding no point in trying to talk sense into him, the team venture onward.
In the depths of the forest, the team come face to face with another grimoire clone - this time of Scherazard Harvey. They defeat the monster and its cohorts, retrieve Schera's Sealing Stone, and return to the Hermit's Garden to unseal her. After filling Schera in on the situation, the team return to Le Locle and head for the fourth locale marked on their map: Grimsel Fortress. Like their other areas, the fortress is somewhat different from its real world counterpart. It has a very different layout from the original, and is even more labyrinthine. In the depths of the fortress, the team encounter a grimoire copy of Agate Crosner accompanied by two anthropomorphic horse demons. They defeat the doppelganger and unseal Agate back at the garden.
The team then return to the Le Locle lodge, where they notice the landscape has changed significantly. What was once a few of a mountain range has now turned into some kind of cosmic void. In addition, a portal to a new plane of Phantasma has appeared near the cliff's edge to the north. The team move towards the portal, when suddenly, another giant devil is summoned before them: Astarte of the Abyss. The devil uses an Evil Eye curse and binds the team where they stand. Just as the devil readies its axe for the killing blow, Ries appears from behind and fends it off with her Thousand Sparrows attack. She continues to fight Astarte with a combination of arts and sword attacks. Despite Ries' best efforts to defeat the devil, it manages to teleport behind her and land a heavy blow with its axe. Out of fear for Ries' life, something awakens inside of Kevin.
Kevin lets out a yell and breaks Astarte's curse. A bright crimson insignia forms on his back as he initiates a counterattack on the devil. With the help of Kevin's newly-unleashed Spear of Loa craft, the team defeat Astarte and clear the way to the portal. Another Sealing Stone also appears and Kevin grabs hold of it. Suddenly, the Lord of Phantasma teleports before the team. He restates his previous message to Kevin and says that while his fight against Astarte was a bit sub par, things mostly turned out as he planned. Kevin asks the Lord to reveal his true identity. The Lord responds that he would be happy to do so, but that it would be against Kevin's interests to do so.
The Lord of Phantasma proceeds to tell the team about their next destination. He calls it the "path of the dream devils". He also calls the person contained in the new Sealing Stone the "child of the sun". Before anyone has a chance to ask more questions about his riddles, the Lord teleports away once again. The team have a good idea of who is in the stone, so they go back to the Hermit's Garden to free them. That person happens to be Estelle Bright. The team catches her up with their current situation and she agrees to join them in exploring Phantasma. Shortly after, Kevin hands the Recluse Cube over to Ries and passes out, having exhausted himself from the use of his strange power in the fight against Astarte.
Chapter 5 - Labyrinth of Shadows and Light
Chapter 5’s flashback opens with Kevin sitting with his face down in what appears to be a cell. Ein Selnate is shown speaking to him, offering her condolences for Rufina, who had died in a tragic accident sometime earlier. Rufina’s death had taken quite a toll a Kevin, who had shut himself away and skipped meals for the past few days. Traumatized and destitute, he feels he has no reason left to live and asks Ein to take his life. Ein refuses, reminding Kevin that he swore an oath before Aidios to offer his body and soul to the church. Instead, she tells Kevin that she has come to deliver an important message: The Congregation of Sacraments and the Pope had named Kevin Fifth Dominion of the Gralsritter.
Ein goes onto to explain the details of the position to Kevin, who by the sheer incredulity of the situation, can barely bring himself to pay attention. For a moment, he loses his composure, and sardonically laughs at the bitter irony of the situation: Kevin, who had been mentored by Rufina and became a knight of the church to protect her, had ultimately risen through the ranks because of her death. Kevin accepts his appointment to the Gralsritter and asks to be tasked with the toughest, most unpleasant work available for him. He also comes up with a title for himself: Heretic Hunter.
Back at the Hermit’s Garden, the team catches Estelle up on what’s happened so far. She worries about Kevin, who has remained unconscious since using his strange power to defeat Astarte. Upon further discussion, Joshua believes that Kevin’s power is a Stigma. Ries confirms his guess and elaborates more on the nature of Stigmas. She also explains that Joshua’s Stigma is a mere replica of the original, created by Weissmann using research stolen from the church. With Kevin still recovering, Ries decides to take over leading the journey through Phantasma. Estelle also steps up to the plate, volunteering to be Ries’s right hand for the time being. When Ries asks her why she is so eager to help, Estelle explains that she and Joshua owe Kevin a lot for his help back at Liberl. She also believes that Kevin is like family to Ries and knows what it’s like to want to help someone that important out of a tough situation. Thus, with everyone set to go, the team heads to their next destination: The Luminous Labyrinth.
Shortly after entering the labyrinth, the team is attacked by dream devils: Monsters that feed off the minds of their victims. After vanquishing them, they wander about the labyrinth until they stumble across another Sealing Stone. His stone happens to free none other than Alan Richard, the ex-military officer who led the coup d'etat back in Liberl. After he is freed, a new path opens in the Luminous Labyrinth. It takes the team to the second part of this plane: The Umbral Labyrinth. After some exploration, the team finds another Sealing Stone. The prisoner of this stone is immediately obvious to the team, given that a ghostly image of the mechanized doll Pater-Mater is found floating in the space behind it. Thus, they head back to the Hermit's Garden to free Renne from the stone.
Renne's introduction to the team starts off an unpleasant note. After waking up and regaining her bearings, Renne gets angry and Estelle and Joshua, who she knows have been tracking her for the past few months. She says she knows they're out to capture her and readies her scythe to take on them and the rest of the team. Ries steps forth and confronts Renne, calling her a self-centered child for antagonizing the team, despite likely knowing they're not out to get her. Unfortunately, this only makes matters worse, as Renne threatens and belittles Ries, compelling her to draw her sword in return. It takes Tita crying and yelling for the two to stop for the situation to finally settle down. Despite still being somewhat wary of the team, Renne decides to help them out, given that they provide a good explanation for how and why she ended up in Phantasma.
In her discussion with the team, Renne hypothesizes that Phantasma is shaped by the thoughts and emotions of those within it. She uses Richard's uniform as an example: He had worn casual business attire during on most of his work days, but had suddenly showed up wearing his old military uniform after being freed from the Sealing Stone. Thus, Renne believes that Richard's attachment to his past as a military officer manifested itself as that uniform. Renne also wonders who or what is ultimately responsible for this aspect of Phantasma. She thinks that this power must have already existed in Phantasma prior to the appearance of the Lord, who had usurped it to carry out their whims. And so, with her curiosity piqued and the others satisfied with her deductions and observations, Renne decides to help the team with their journey through Phantasma.
The team proceeds further into the Luminous Labyrinth and eventually run into a group of spider devils known as Arachne Graias, led by one gigantic spider called Arache Zigma. Defeating these monsters gives way to another Sealing Stone, albeit a somewhat different one from the others. Upon retrieving it, Ries notices a "divine" aura emanating from the stone. Suddenly, Schwarzritter appears once more, complimenting Ries on her observation. He commends the team for their quick progress through the fifth plane and states that the Sealing Stone that they just picked up is a "rule book" of sorts which will help them on the rest of their journey. He also warns of them of a series of trials awaiting them in the next plane, one of which will be himself. Then, he teleports away as usual. Ries, Estelle, and company return to the Hermit's Garden and unseal their newly-acquired Sealing Stone. To their surprise, this stone frees the ghostly figure that had been guiding them through Phantasma all this time: Celeste D. Auslese, an ancient ancestor of Princess Klaudia.
Chapter 6 - The Guardians' Trials
Chapter 6's flashback begins with Kevin answering a call from Rufina at the Emerose Church. The two are apparently returning home after being away for quite some time. It has been nine years since the Argents took in Kevin, and two since Kevin left his foster home to pursue life as a knight of the Church. Shortly after hanging up the orbal phone, a priest comes up to Kevin, warning him that a group of men dressed in black were spotted at the outskirts of town, heading up the mountain path to the Aster House. Kevin makes his way to this place and finds it occupied by a group of jaegers. Worried about the children inside, he readies his crossbow and prepares to take the jaegers on alone.
Back at the Hermit's Garden, Celeste begins giving a thorough rundown of the team's current situation. She explains that she is a copy of the real Celeste Auslese's personality embedded into Phantasma to serve much like a central AI. Phantasma itself is a vast multiverse of intertwined worlds which interacted with the Aureole to grant people's desires. In essence, Aureole would read and parse those desires and Phantasma would shape reality as the people willed. Thus, when the real Celeste and company wanted to seal away the Aureole, they relied on Phantasma's world-altering capabilities to trap it. To do so, they created the Recluse Cube, which could interact with Phantasma directly rather than use Aureole as an intermediary. With this artifact, they took advantage of Phantasma's powers and sealed the Aureole away in a temporally stagnant gravity barrier.
Celeste and Phantasma remained dormant for over a millennium after the fall of Liber Ark, remaining only to prevent the Aureole from being unsealed or to help seal it again should the need arise. However, with Ouroboros having removed the Aureole from Phantasma, there was no longer a need for the two to exist, and both the realm and the ghostly AI would have peacefully faded away had it not been for the appearance of the Lord of Phantasma. This person, whoever they are, created a seventh plane of Phantasma and shaped it to their liking. They then began to take over the rest of the realm, sealing away Celeste and changing things however they saw fit. Celeste was quite puzzled by this turn of events and knew little of the Lord's motives or their identity.
Fortunately, Kevin had just regained consciousness and was willing to provide a bit of insight. He says that he has a fairly good idea of who the Lord of Phantasma might be, but also says that he needs to confirm one more thing before he can be entirely sure. He insists that he will find the answer in the sixth plane. Thus, with the team's trust behind him, Kevin reconciles with Ries and the team proceed to explore the newly-accessible plane.
Upon entering the sixth plane, the team find themselves on what seems to be a reconstructed version of the Erbe scenic route. Scattered along the route are a number of stone monuments which require a particular party member to be present in order to start their trial. The four monuments are named after the Tetracyclic Towers in Liberl: Sapphirl, Carnelia, Amberl, and Nohval. There also stands a large barrier in the middle of the route which blocks the team's path forward.
The first monument that the team examines is the Sapphirl Monument, which requires Kloe on the team to proceed. With her present, they are transported to the Monochrome Schoolhouse, a black-and-white reconstruction of the Jenis Royal Academy campus. The team fights a series of dark knight monsters to restore color to the campus and unlock the path to the old schoolhouse. Along the way, they come across Rais, Rocco, and Deen, who had been brought into Phantasma by the Lord in order to serve as a trial for them. The team defeats the trio and goes inside the old schoolhouse, where they are met with the guardian of the Sapphirl Monument's realm: Phillip Runall, the butler and bodyguard of Duke Dunan. The team faces off with the skilled fencer and defeats him, thus completing the trial of the Sapphirl Monument.
The next monument that becomes active is the Amberl Monument, which requires Anelace to proceed. This monument transports the team to a mirrored version of the secret Ouroboros facility that Estelle and company infiltrated in SC, aptly named the Looking Glass. Here, the team faces off against Anelace's former team of Grant, Carna, and Kurt as they travel through the facility. Upon reaching the roof of the compound, they face off against its guardian: the Calvardian Bracer and agent Kilika Rouran. After defeating her, the Carnelia Monument becomes active back at the scenic route.
The Carnelia monument requires Richard to proceed. This monument transports the team to the Impregnable Fortress, a warped recreation of Leiston Fortress. Here, the team face off against some of the strongest members of the Liberl military: Lt. Colonel Maximillian Cid, Kanone Amalthea, General Morgan, and, of course, Cassius Bright. Upon defeating these guardians, the Nohval Monument becomes active.
The Nohval Monument requires Joshua to proceed. This monument transports the team to a re-imagining of Ouroboros airship Glorious called the Black Ark. The team makes their way through the vessel until they come face to face with Don, Kyle, and several other ex-sky pirates who now work for the Capua delivery service. Further in, they also battle three of the four Enforcers present during Liber Ark incident: Bleublanc, Walter, and Luciola. After defeating the trio, the team are warped to an area with a long, upward staircase. At its end awaits the final guardian of the sixth plane: Schwarzritter, who the team finally realizes is a clone of Leonhardt (Loewe). The team battles him and a large, mechanical construct called the D-Phantom. With his defeat, Schwarzritter bids farewell to the team and fades away. The barrier which stood in the Erbe Scenic Route also disappears, allowing the team to venture further on. Beyond the barrier, the team stumbles across a patch of thick fog, and after heading through it, they come across a reconstruction of the Aster House, the Septian gospel facility where Kevin, Ries, and Rufina grew up together.
Chapter 7 - The Distant Flames
The team enters the reconstructed Aster House and spends some time investigating the place while Kevin and Ries reminisce about their childhood. Eventually, the team decides to enter the chapel, at which time Kevin warns Ries and the others that once they do, they will find out the unpleasant truth of what happened on the day of Rufina's death. Once inside, Kevin and Ries begin to recount the events of that day.
According to them, a group of jaegers hired by an unknown party raided the Aster House and bound all the inhabitants. They were looking for an artifact secretly held in the facility in preparation for being sealed away. Taking a secret passage to the left of the chapel's altar, Kevin leads the team down the spiral staircase to the Aster House's primal ground. On the way there, Kevin recalls finding out about the jaegar attack while in town and deciding to take matters into his own hands. Thanks to his experience as a Gralsritter squire, he was able to subdue the jaegers and free the matron and children that they had held captive. He had some trouble finding Ries, but eventually stumbled upon her hair ribbon near the secret entrance to the primal ground, which consequently led him to her.
Upon reaching the basement, Kevin begins to open up about his own past. Before living as an orphan in the Aster House, Kevin lived alone with his mother, who had given birth to him out of wedlock. His father was a wealthy man who had a family elsewhere and rarely showed his face around their household. Around the age of seven, his father abandoned his mother altogether, leaving her despondent and in poor health. During one winter's day, Kevin's mother snapped and attempted to take his life by strangling him. Kevin successfully fended her off and ran away from home. He returned sometime later, only to find his mother had committed suicide with a knife.
The team enters the reconstructed primal ground and Kevin continues with his account. He says that it was there that he finally caught up with the jaeger that had taken Ries. Alarmed that someone had followed him, the jaeger dropped his gun and ran to grab the artifact held there: the Spear of Loa, a malignant spear that transforms its wielder into a monster. Kevin tried to fight the beast, but was no match for it. However, when the monster raised its spear and attempted to kill Ries, Kevin's Stigma activated, drawing the power of the artifact into itself and summoning a throng of spears that were propelled at the monster. The Stigma's power had filled Kevin with an uncontrollable bloodlust. He utterly slaughtered the jaeger turned monster and would have likely killed Ries had Rufina not rushed in at that moment. Making sure to keep Kevin away from Ries, she approached Kevin and embraced him, enduring the barrage of spears launched into her body, before drawing her last breath and dying with her arms around him.
Having finally told everything he knows, Kevin faces Ries and prepares to accept whatever revenge she wants to take on him. However, Ries' reaction is hardly that of vengeance. She is furious with Kevin for not having told her anything about the incident in the last five years and realizes that he chose his line of work because he wants to punish himself for the deaths of Rufina and his mother. Suddenly, a familiar voice calls out in agreement as the Lord of Phantasma appears once more before the team.
The Lord congratulates the team for making it this far into Phantasma. He mentions that beyond the chamber they are in is the seventh plane, the place of his birth and foundation of all the other planes. Once again, the Lord asks Kevin whether he wants to know his true identity. Kevin accepts and even reveals the Lord's identity himself: a replica of the deceased Rufina Argent. The false Rufina explains that she is a creation of Kevin's mind, formed of his desire to be punished for his deeds. In fact, all that has happened in Phantasma was in preparation for this moment. In the seventh plane of Phantasma lies Kevin's eternal punishment. Having finally accepted the truth and his fate, Kevin asks the false Rufina to take him there.
However, Ries refuses to yield to either the false Rufina or Kevin, and swiftly attacks Rufina with her sword. She says that the real Rufina would never allow Kevin to subject himself to something like this. In response to this, the false Rufina decides to send Ries to the seventh plane instead, stating that this would serve to increase Kevin's suffering. She pins down the rest of the team using the Evil Eye curse and opens a rift underneath Ries, sending her falling into an abyss. Before the rift is shut, Kevin breaks out of the curse and jumps in himself to save her.
The two end up in the seventh plane of Phantasma, a hellish realm of fire and brimstone closely resembling Gehenna. Kevin briefly scolds Ries for trying to take on the Lord of Phantasma alone, but admits that isn't in any position to chide someone for doing something foolish. He says that while a part of him still wants to be punished for his past deeds, Ries' presence here changes everything and gives him reason enough to want to leave this place. Thus, the two resolve to get out of this reconstruction of Gehenna together.
Along their way, Kevin and Ries encounter a variety of demonic fiends, including ones resembling dead figures from Kevin's past. The first of these is Bishop Owen, a corrupt member of the congregation of sacraments that was branded heretic for orchestrating the Aster House attack as revenge for being exiled. The second of these is Elmer, a child that was turned into a flesh-eating monster by a devil-worshiping cult that used artifacts in their rituals. Despite his best efforts to cure him with thaumaturgy, Kevin was forced to take Elmer's life in the end. The third of these is a ghostly version of Kevin's mother, whose defeat takes a load off Kevin's mind, despite also being extremely emotionally draining. Lastly, the duo run into Georg Weissmann, Kevin's last target as the Heretic Hunter, standing before the gate out of Gehenna.
Weissmann bemoans his own failure to discern Kevin's true identity during his mission to assassinate him and offers a backhanded compliment to the congregation of sacraments for their cunning in hunting him down. He also discusses the nature of Phantasma and the Aureole, remarking that it was Kevin's Stigma that ultimately caused Phantasma to respond to him due to how much trauma he had experienced in his life. After all, it was Phantasma's function to grant the desires of people, and Kevin's bitter internal conflict was enough to compel it into action. Finally, Weissmann offers Kevin a proposal. He suggests that Kevin cast aside his humanity and use his Stigma to become the new Lord of Phantasma. This would, in essence, turn him into a superhuman being unfettered by emotions and human desires - a being that Weissmann had long sought to create during his time as Anguis.
Despite seeing some potential benefits in Weissmann's offer, Kevin declines. In response, Weissmann summons Astarte and Rostrum and prepares to attack Kevin and Ries. Although the odds seem stacked against the duo, a new Stigmatic power called the Spear of Ur awakens inside Kevin. Armed with this newly found power, Kevin and Ries defeat Weissmann and the two devils. However, in spite of their victory, they remain trapped inside Gehenna, with the gate to the outside firmly shut. Suddenly, the two hear a voice from afar. Unexpectedly, Gilbert shows up in this plane and is chased down by a group of tough winged devils. For a short while, it seems like Kevin, Ries, and Gilbert are done for. However, the rest of the team suddenly opens the gate and rushes in to rescue the trio, having found them with the help of Celeste. With their backs covered by their friends, Kevin and Ries safely escape the seventh plane.
Finale - The Future We Dream Of
Kevin, Ries, and the others meet back at the Hermit's Garden and discuss everything that has happened thus far. Kevin sincerely apologizes for getting everyone involved in this mess and thanks them for supporting him all this time. The team comes to the conclusion that they must defeat Rufina but have no idea where she is in Phantasma. Thankfully, Celeste knows the answer. She believes that Rufina exists somewhere outside of the planes of Phantasma in an extra-dimensional area roughly the size of the Zemurian continent. The team is shocked by this revelation and wonder how they could traverse such a vast swath of land in a timely manner. Worse yet, Phantasma itself is on the verge of exuding its influence onto the real world due to the Lord of Phantasma's power. Thankfully, Tita brings up the idea to use the replica of the Arseille to transport them there. She believes that since Phantasma manifests the thoughts and wishes of people within it, they could wish for the Arseille to actually work and get them to Rufina's whereabouts. The others agree to this plan, make their final preparations, and take off.
The team's destination is Phantasmagoria, a castle-like lair in which Rufina resides. Along the way there, the team gets tailed by a group of D-Phantoms. To fend them off, Gilbert decides to play hero and distract them using the G-Apache. This helps the team lose their pursuers at the cost of Gilbert having to run for his life once more. Some time afterwards, the team arrives at Phantasmagoria.
Once there, they split up into four groups and scour the castle, fighting off various monsters and looking for Rufina. Unsurprisingly, Kevin and Ries' team is the one to come face to face with her. She elaborates on Phantasma's situation and how it could impact the outside world if the Kevin and company fails to defeat her. However, she also states that if the desires of humanity are pure, merging the real world with Phantasma could lead to a peaceful, thriving future.
Kevin disagrees with the notion. He sees the downfall the Liber Ark civilization as a prime example of why something like Phantasma shouldn't exist. He also states how much his trip through Phantasma changed him as a person and how he believes that the strength of people to overcome adversity is what really drives the world forward. Finally, Kevin says that Rufina isn't even a copy of the person he once knew, but simply a copy of his Stigma created by the autonomous core of Phantasma. This core, known as Anima, manifests its true form in front of the team and summons three subordinate monsters to fend off the other groups while Anima itself faces off against Kevin's. Thus, the groups engage in combat with their respective opponents.
Upon defeating Anima's monstrous form, it transforms into something similar to the light blue Stigma that Kevin first unleashed in Gehenna. Shortly afterwards, Kevin and Ries return to the place where they fought Schwarzritter sometime earlier. Rufina calls out to them, saying that she made this place for the purpose of saying farewells. She congratulates them on their victory, but says that as long as she exists, Phantasma will continue to expand. As it turns out, the light form of Kevin's Stigma that Anima is imitating right now is only a temporary state that will fade over time. Thus, Kevin and Ries offer their final farewells to Rufina and shoot her with Kevin's crossbow, which destroys Anima and sends Phantasma on the path to destruction.
Afterwards, Kevin and Ries reunite with the others near the entrance of Phantasmagoria. There, Celeste tells the team that Phantasma is quickly reverting to its unstable form, and after some time, only the Hermit's Garden will remain. However, it seems that Rufina had made a replica of the gates of heaven before she disappeared, which allow the team to escape from Phantasma before it's too late. Thus, the team members take turns saying their goodbyes and heading out through the gates. Even Gilbert manages to come return before it's too late. Kevin and Ries end up being the last to leave. They ask Celeste what will happen to her once Phantasma reverts to its unstable form. She says that she will remain in deep slumber until Phantasma has disappeared completely, at which point she will be free of her duty. She also says that she has disabled the functionality of the Recluse Cube so that it will not cause anymore trouble in the real world. And so, with little time left, Kevin and Ries run through the gates to heaven and leave Phantasma once and for all.
List of episodes
- Main article: Memory door
Throughout the game, special episodes can be unlocked through the use of scattered Sun, Moon and Star Doors throughout the Planes once their requirements have been met.