The game was released on September 28, 2017 on PlayStation 4. Publisher NIS America has announced to be publishing the game in Fall 2019.
The first field study in April takes them to the southwestern Sutherland Province. They discover the society Ouroboros is active in the area, ultimately leading them to their first Aion experiment near the ruins of the forgotten village of Hamel. Following a series of battles against Duvalie and Shirley, supposedly dead Zephyr leader Rutger reveals himself as pilot of Deus-Excellion Zector.
The second field study in May takes place in yesteryear’s annexed Crossbell. As Class VII wraps up a series of requests to quell cryptids from the area, Ouroboros attacks the Orchis Tower during a Special Inspectorate banquet. The confrontation concludes with Campanella and McBurn withdrawing but is resumed the next day on top of the Stargazers' Tower. The second experiment results in the destruction of a second Aion and the reveal of Siegfried who resembles Rean’s deceased classmate, Crow.
The third field study in June takes them to the western Lamarre Province during the Provincial Council and Summer Festival. While going about their field study, Class VII has a brief clash with an unknown jaeger corps, which then leads into investigating Millium’s sudden disappearance. After investigating Bryonia Island and rescuing Millium, Ouroboros, being led by Arianrhod and the Stahlritter, reveal their hidden plan by attacking Ordis and Juno Naval Fortress with the previously unidentified Northern Jaegers and the stolen railway guns. Once Class VII and their allies quell the majority of the conflict and confront Arianrhod at the top of Juno, she then reveals her true identity as Lianne Sandlot and initiates the third Aion. Following an intense series of battles, Arianrhod summons her Deus-Excellion Argreion to destroy the Aion’s remnants to prevent its technology from being examined and leaves. Right after the battles conclude and Ouroboros withdraws, Musse reveals her true identity as Mildine and is elected as temporary Duchess Cayenne. Meanwhile, Angelica is suspicious about the circumstances behind Crow's death and burial due to Siegfried's appearance and goes to investigate his grave. After digging up Crow's body, she discovers that his corpse is actually only an extremely well-crafted dummy. She is then immediately shot by an unexpected assailant due to her discovery.
The fourth field study in July takes place in the imperial capital Heimdallr. Class VII's main orders are to investigate and apprehend any Calvard spies they may discover during their study and to specifically investigate the catacombs for this purpose. They manage to apprehend several Calvard spies in the catacombs in spite of their use of the never-before-seen orbal technology RAMDA, but upon further investigation in the catacombs, Class VII and crew note many strange odd and supernatural occurrences that cause them to deepen their investigations. Their journeys eventually lead them to a strange gate in the catacombs that opens into an alternate dimension where they find and quell the cause of the oddities, Zoro-Agruga. Following public acknowledgement for their efforts and Heimdallr's official Summer Festival, they attend a celebration in the Valflame Palace hosted by the royal family. After Rean’s talk with Emperor Eugent and his biological father, Osborne, the festivities are interrupted when student Ash attempts an assassination of the emperor’s life using a Calvard-made gun.
Taking advantage of the fact that Ash's gun was a Calvard model, Osborne, Cedric, and Rufus use it as an opportunity to declare war against Calvard while pulling public sentiment into their favor and passing the National Mobilization Law, which mobilizes the entire country for the purpose of war. Behind the scenes, however, Osborne and Ouroboros collaborate to invoke the Great Twilight, starting by transforming the Karel Imperial Villa into the Gral of Erebos. Rean and his students then make their way to the bottom of the Gral to face off against a defiled Holy Beast of Earth. After witnessing the Courageous with Prince Olivert onboard exploding and Millium sacrificing herself to save Rean, he loses control of his demon power and uses Millium's final form as the Sword of Demise to slaughter the Holy Beast. By doing so, he completes the Great Twilight, wrapping Erebonia in invisible flames of erosion. Rean then turns to confront Osborne but is stopped by Osborne himself, pilot of the pitch-black Deus-Excellion, Ishmelga.
- Main article: List of Trails of Cold Steel III characters
- Rean Schwarzer (19): Graduate of Thors Military Academy's experimental Class VII and current Instructor at the Thors Branch Campus. As the Awakener of Divine Knight Valimar, he was hailed as the Ashen Chevalier, the hero who ended the Erebonian Civil War.
- Juna Crawford (17): Inspired by the Special Support Section and powered by a strong sense of justice, Juna decided to enroll at Thors Branch Campus to learn more about the Empire that annexed her homeland Crossbell.
- Kurt Vander (17): Born into the prestigious Vander Family, Kurt was forced to pursue a new path in life after Chancellor Osborne ended the family's guardianship of the Imperial Family. Following his brother's advice, he enrolled at Thors Branch Campus.
- Altina Orion (est. 14): Agent of the Intelligence Division under the codename "Black Rabbit". She was tasked to enroll at Thors Branch Campus in order to keep an eye on her Instructor, Rean Schwarzer.
- Ash Carbide (17): Raised in the slums of Erebonia's pleasure district, Ash rallied a team to fight brigands plundering his hometown during the civil war. Turning down offers from the Imperial Army and Bracer Guild, he followed the advice to enroll at Thors Branch Campus.
- Musse Egret (17): Daughter of Count Egret, dropped out of St. Astraia Girls' School due to circumstances and enrolled at Thors Branch Campus, where she is known for her good grades and attempts to seduce Rean.
Trails of Cold Steel III replaces the traditional ring command system during battles with a direct command system, in which the directional and action buttons are directly linked to battle actions. It is also the first game in the Kiseki series (not the first Legend of Heroes game) to feature seamless transitions between overworld and battles.
Trails of Cold Steel III introduces the Break system, which allows players to break through an enemy's defence to inflict greater damage. Each enemy now has a parameter for their breakability, displayed during battles as a 'Break Gauge'. When this gauge is depleted during battles, the enemies enter a 'Break' state until their next attack turn. A broken enemy grants the players the following benefits:
- Damage to the target is increased
- Items are dropped upon entering 'Break state'
- Any parameter boosts on the target are cancelled
- Target becomes completely unbalanced
- Main article: List of Brave Orders
Juna Crawford is the only party member in Trails of Cold Steel III who make use of Style Change (directional button right).She can switch between Striker Mode and Gunner Mode.
In Striker Mode, she uses her gunbreakers as if they are baton and attacks close-range. In Gunner Mode, her stats are lowered but she can target multiple enemies at once from a distance.
Trails of Cold Steel III was first mentioned as "the next installment of the Sen no Kiseki series" by Falcom president Toshihiro Kondo in an interview with Dengeki PlayStation in May 2015. During Falcom's annual investor's meeting in December 2015, the tentative logo was revealed and confirmed that the game was in development.
Shortly after the release of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana in July 2016, Kondo was featured another interview with Dengeki PlayStation in which the described the development stage of Trails of Cold Steel III as "heavily underway". He also mentioned that while the game is primarily developed for PlayStation 4, a port for PlayStation Vita (similar to how its predecessors were ported from PlayStation 3 to PlayStation Vita) is a technical possibility. The question as to whether Rean Schwarzer will return as the protagonist of the game, Kondo simply stated that the protagonist and outline of the story had been decided.
On August 10, 2016, Falcom posted on Twitter that fans should "look carefully as [Tokyo Xanadu eX+ protagonist] Kou runs through the Star Camera", which upon analysis reveals the first key visual of Trails of Cold Steel III. The picture features a slightly older Rean Schwarzer wearing a white coat, holding his tachi in front of him. A reflection of his backside can be seen mirrored behind him.In an interview regarding Tokyo Xanadu eX+'s upcoming release with Famitsu Weekly, Kondo states that Trails of Cold Steel III will become a milestone in the series, with characters from the Liberl and Crossbell arc making their reappearance. It will be a leap forward compared to previous titles and the scenario is said to be enormous. In Falcom's advertisement for their annual Winter Fair, they prominently portrayed Alisa Reinford's new model for Trails of Cold Steel III. In the background, the Bracer Guild sign of the East Street in Crossbell can be seen, indicating that the game will partially take place in Crossbell. The sett on the street seem to have been replaced with asphalt. Since both Rean's artwork and Alisa's model look significantly older than their counterparts in previous instalments, it is assumed Trails of Cold Steel III will take place after a time skip, most likely to deal with the liberation of Crossbell early S.1207.
During the Nihon Falcom shareholder meeting on December 20, Falcom officially unveiled Trails of Cold Steel III for the PlayStation 4. In addition to its logo and a release date of Autumn 2017, they indicate the game takes place in the second half of S.1206 and released five screenshots.
In these screenshots, we see a new group of protagonists in dark-coloured Thors uniforms. The traditional battle circle has been replaced with a new battle interface where the directions buttons and functional buttons make selecting attacks easier. Combat Links and therefore ARCUS will return. A new battle mechanic shown is the Order command, accessed by pressing up on the directional button. By setting an Order command, it seems that it alters certain parameters during battle, unlike the Remote Ability in Trails in the Sky The 3rd. The fight takes place in a yet unknown location; the store Pawn Shop - McEnroe sign in the background has not yet appeared in the series. The area looks familiar to the last of these six screenshots.
Rean Schwarzer can be seen running through a re-designed version of Crossbell City's The East Street, passing by the Bracer Guild and Exchange Shop - Neinvall, which moved there from Downtown. Alisa Reinford can be seen in a second screenshot of Crossbell. The townscape in the screenshots suggests that Crossbell expanded in the eastward direction. The seventh screenshot features 2 new characters who works alongside with Rean; a blue haired male character wielding a knight's sword and appears to be from a noble family, and a pink haired female character wielding a Tonfa, she is expected to be speed oriented rather than power.
The last two screenshots were taken in new locations. The first one features a young woman affiliated with the Thors Military Academy welcoming the spectator in Ordis, provincial capital of Lamare. In the background a Kleist Mall can be seen. On the last screenshot, Sara Valestein is seen sneaking up on presumably Lechter Arundel in a yet unseen location. The antiquity of buildings, dirt on the walls and yet unseen Pub & Inn - Hermit sign may suggest that this is Saint-Arkh, the provincial capital of Sutherland and the last provincial capital to be confirmed in-game.
Falcom announced that the limited edition of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana for PlayStation 4 would feature an exclusive artbook with artwork of the upcoming Trails of Cold Steel III. Through the teasers Falcom posted, it was found that Cold Steel III would mark the return of Barkhorn and the introduction of locations Ordis, Juno Fortress and long-awaited Parm.
After the initial announcement and introduction of core characters, RPG Site editor HDKirin reported that through directory diving the names of new characters had been found on the website of Trails of Cold Steel III. The first of these, Musse Egret, Ash Carbide, Towa Herschel, Aurelia Le Guin and Major Michael, were officially announced in the Dengeki PlayStation and Famitsu issue of April 27, 2017 (637). The return of Trails in the Sky characters Agate Crosner and Tita Russell as well as Professor G. Schmidt were announced in the Dengeki PlayStation and Famitsu issue of May 11, 2017 (638). This issue also set the release date of the game on September 28, 2017 and announced a limited edition 'Kiseki Box'. Two recurring characters from Zero and Ao no Kiseki, Randolph Orlando and Tio Plato, were announced alongside Olivert Reise Arnor in the Dengeki PlayStation Issue of May 25, 2017 (639). The subsequent issue of the magazine, June 8, 2017 (640), was completely dedicated to Ouroboros, confirming the return of Enforcers Campanella, McBurn, Shirley Orlando; Anguis Arianrhod and her commanding Stahlritter, Duvalie, Ennea and Ines. Following that, the next issue, on June 22, 2017 (641), showcased Elise Schwarzer, Alfin Reise Arnor, and Cedric Reise Arnor.
Ys VIII bonuses
The limited edition of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana for PlayStation 4 was released on May 25, 2017 and contained an artbook featuring artwork from Trails of Cold Steel III, called Trails of Cold Steel III Confidential Material Book ~Erebonian Empire 1206~.
The booklet featured official artwork used in promotional artwork before as well as concept art for the main characters, new concept artwork for Red Moon Rose, the Northern War, the aforementioned locations and rough artwork for the side characters: aforementioned Barkhorn; Class VIII students Jessica and Kairi, returning Crossbell characters Shan Shan and Shing; returning Erebonia characters Hugo Kleist, Beatrix, Alan and Vivi; Juna Crawford's mother and sister; and an unnamed woman with auburn hair holding a basket. KeA, who was initially teased in Falcom's promotional material, was not included in the artbook.For the promotion of Ys VIII's release, Falcom prominently displayed a stand in the Sofmap in Akihabara that contained a screen that played a video for Trails of Cold Steel III, marking the first time the game was shown in action.
Cover art reveal
In its weekly website update on June 29, 2017, Falcom revealed the cover art for the standard edition and first-print edition of the game, as well as the contents of the first-print edition. The screenshot of the artbook reveals the return of St. Astraia Girls' School alumna Annabel, Thors Military Academy alumna Dorothee, Kurt's mother Aurier Vander and Red Constellation member Gareth.
On July 13, 2017, Falcom revealed the designs for the Original Class VII members through Dengeki PlayStation issue 642. Alisa Reinford, Elliot Craig, Laura S. Arseid, Jusis Albarea and Machias Regnitz were added to the website, followed by Fie Claussell, Emma Millstein, Celine, Gaius Worzel and Millium Orion a week later.
Falcom publicly released the first footage of Trails of Cold Steel III in a 15-second commercial on July 20, 2017. The day after, the company revealed that they would be working together with Sony to release a limited PlayStation 4, featuring an original engraving on its vinyl.
On July 27, 2017, gaming magazines revealed the supporters of Original Class VII: Sara Valestein (who had already showed up in the initial batch of screenshots and again in the aforementioned commercial), Sharon Kreuger, Victor S. Arseid, Angelica Rogner and George Nome. The same issue provided details on the new additions to the mecha battle system, including all Thors Branch Campus being able to pilot Panzer Soldats. This information was added to the Trails of Cold Steel III website a week later on August 3.
In teasing their new Falcom Magazine on August 7, Falcom revealed the identities of the so-called Infiltrators that appeared in the leak through directory diving the Trails of Cold Steel III website: Vita Clotilde acting separately from Ouroboros; Azure Siegfried who resembles a masked Crow Armbrust and is recognised as such by the Original Class VII members; and Red Roselia, who bears a strong resemble to the eponymous heroine of Red Moon Rose and appeared alongside a Gralsritter in the 15-second commercial. The issue also reveals that Rutger Claussell, the leader of jaeger corps Zephyr who was believed to be dead, has taken back his old position as leader of the corps. Furthermore, the issue features a first glimpse at Rufus Albarea and Claire Rieveldt's new character designs, which were revealed on August 24, alongside Giliath Osborne and Lechter Arundel. One week prior, on August 18, Falcom released a video with music samples of the soundtrack that comes with the limited edition.
It is unknown whether Black Alberich, previously found alongside Azure Siegfried and Red Roselia, is actually Vita Clotilde or Rutger Claussell, or a yet unannounced character.
DLC that changes Altina's outfit.
Have Altina wear the cute, cat-styled swimsuit forced upon her by Millium.
DLC that changes Musse's outfit.
Change into the refreshing, cute outfit picked with Instructor Rean in mind.
DLC that changes Juna's outfit.
Change into a costume Juna used to wear during extracurricular activities at the Crossbell Police Academy.
|Original B2 sized tapestry (KISEKI BOX only) and DLC Item Set A.||Sofmap|
|B2 sized tapestry drawn by Sagara Riri.|
|DLC Item Set A||BIC Camera/Kojima|
|DLC Item Set A||Tay Two|
|DLC Item Set B||Yamada Denki|
|DLC Item Set B||Joshin|
|DLC Item Set C||Yodobashi Camera|
|DLC Item Set C||Edion|
|A1 sized poster||Imagine|
|Original Orbment Key Holder||Chara-Ani|
|Original B2 tapestry||Trader|
|Original B2 tapestry||PAO|
|Set of 2 original promides||Stellaworth|
|Original A4 Clear File||Enterking|
|Omnipage Original irogami||Kougado|
|Original A3 Clear Poster||Animate|
|Original B2 Tapestry||Gamers|
|Alisa Reinford microfiber cloth (200mm × 400mm)||Game Shop Takarajima|
|Original Tita acrylic figurine||Ami Ami|
|DLC that changes Juna's outfit into Lloyd's outfit.
|Thors Branch Campus leather keychain||Falcom|
- ↑ The PC versions of the Gagharv trilogy games also featured a seamless transition between exploration and battles. Source: https://www.esterior.net/2017/05/928-release-date-for-sen-no-kiseki-iii-tita-and-agate-unveiled/
- ↑ Source text: https://www.esterior.net/2017/05/928-release-date-for-sen-no-kiseki-iii-tita-and-agate-unveiled/
- ↑ https://twitter.com/finalbeta/status/676988321420152832
- ↑ https://twitter.com/nihonfalcom/status/763241650634170368
- ↑ https://twitter.com/nihonfalcom/status/801613589320593409
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 https://twitter.com/HDKirin/status/844373678380875776
- ↑ https://www.esterior.net/2017/05/928-release-date-for-sen-no-kiseki-iii-tita-and-agate-unveiled/
- ↑ https://twitter.com/nihonfalcom/status/824123543231361024
- ↑ https://twitter.com/nihonfalcom/status/867576704578891776
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAIqERVe63s
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFN1pZB2_GM