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The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III (英雄伝説(えいゆうでんせつ) 閃の軌跡(センノキセキ)) is the eighth installment in the Trails series and the third game of the Erebonia arc.

The game was released on September 28, 2017 on PlayStation 4. Publisher NIS America published the game in North America and Europe on October 22, 2019, and in Australia on October 29, 2019.

Synopsis[]

Setting[]

Approximately one year and a half after the Erebonian Civil War, Erebonia annexed North Ambria, making Erebonia far larger than its rival, the Republic of Calvard. Meanwhile, the Imperial government has centralised its power and the provinces once ruled by the Four Great Houses suffer new problems in their weakened state of disarray. Ouroboros finally moves again in the shadows; they align their plans with the movements of jaegers in Calvard.

With the enrolment of Crown Prince Cedric Reise Arnor, Thors Military Academy has transformed into a full-fledged military academy. Children of the (former) Four Great Houses and foreigners are accepted at its branch school in the City of Leeves in West Erebonia.

The principal of the Thors Branch Campus is Aurelia Le Guin. The school offers three classes: Class VII for Special Operations under Instructor Rean Schwarzer, Class VIII as the Combat Tactics under Instructor Randolph Orlando, and Class IX as the Military Finance under Instructor Towa Herschel.

Story[]

Main article: /Story

Characters[]

Main article: List of Trails of Cold Steel III characters

Main characters[]

Mechanics[]

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[1]) to feature seamless transitions between overworld and battles.

Break System[]

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
Brave Order icon (Sen III)

Brave Order[]

Main article: List of Brave Orders (Cold Steel III)

Trails of Cold Steel III adds a new use for Brave Points, which were first introduced in Trails of Cold Steel to perform link attacks between two or more characters. The new feature Brave Order (directional button up) allows characters to execute party-wide orders for a specific number of counts or turns.[2]

Style Change[]

Juna Crawford - Striker Mode (Sen III)

Juna Crawford's gunbreakers in Striker Mode.

Juna Crawford - Gunner Mode (Sen III)

Juna Crawford's gunbreakers in Gunner Mode.

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 batons and attacks close-range. In Gunner Mode, her stats are lowered, but she can target multiple enemies at once from a distance.

Development[]

Announcement[]

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.[3]

Shortly after the release of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana in July 2016, Kondo was featured another interview with Dengeki PlayStation in which he 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.

Teases[]

Afterglow - Key Visual (Sen III)

Rean 's design as originally shown in Tokyo Xanadu eX+.

On August 10, 2016, Falcom posted on Twitter that fans should "look carefully as [Tokyo Xanadu eX+ protagonist] Kou runs through the Star Camera",[4] which upon analysis reveals the first key visual of Trails of Cold Steel III. The picture features Rean Schwarzer in his Trails of Cold Steel III attire, holding his tachi in front of him. A reflection of Azure Siegfried can be seen mirrored behind him.

In an interview regarding Tokyo Xanadu eX+'s upcoming release with Famitsu Weekly, Kondo stated that Trails of Cold Steel III will become a milestone in the series, with characters from the Liberl and Crossbell arc making their reappearance, called it a leap forward compared to previous titles and said the scenario will be enormous.

Alisa Reinford (Sen III, ad)

Alisa Reinford's design as promoted in an advertisement for Falcom's Winter Fair 2016.

In Falcom's advertisement for their annual Winter Fair,[5] they prominently portrayed Alisa Reinford's new design for Trails of Cold Steel III. In the background, the Bracer Guild sign of the East Street in Crossbell can be seen, revealing that Crossbell will be featured in the game. The sett on the street seem to have been replaced with asphalt.

Reveal[]

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 indicated the game takes place in the second half of S.1206 and released five screenshots. The first shows the New Class VII in their uniforms, the new battle interface and the town of Leeves. In the second one, Rean Schwarzer can be seen running through a re-designed version of Crossbell City's East Street, passing by the Bracer Guild and Neinvalli, which moved there from the Downtown District. Alisa Reinford can be seen in the third screenshot.

The last two screenshots were taken in new locations. The first one features Musse Egret welcoming the spectator in Ordis, and the second one shows Sara Valestein sneaking up on Lechter Arundel in Saint-Arkh.

Promotional roll-out[]

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 Parm.

Dengeki PlayStation 639 Cover (Sen III)

Dengeki PlayStation Issue 639 featured Trails of Cold Steel III and Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana on its cover.

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.[6] 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'.[7] Two recurring characters from Trails from/to Zero and Azure, 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 Shanshan and Xin; 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,[8] 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.[9][10]

Kiseki Box - Combined (Sen III)

First-print edition of Trails of Cold Steel III

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 Annabelle, 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.[11] 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 Mech Battles 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:[6] 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 has taken back his old position as leader of the Zephyr. 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.

Retailer bonuses[]

Image Description Store
Altina Kitty - Geo Bonus (Sen III)
Kitty Noir

DLC that changes Altina's outfit.

Have Altina wear the cute, cat-styled swimsuit forced upon her by Millium.

GEO
Musse Egret - Coquettish Blue (Sen III)
Coquettish Blue

DLC that changes Musse's outfit.

Change into the refreshing, cute outfit picked with Instructor Rean in mind.

Amazon
Juna Crossbell Cheer - Tsutaya Bonus (Sen III)
Crossbell Cheer!

DLC that changes Juna's outfit.

Change into a costume Juna used to wear during extracurricular activities at the Crossbell Police Academy.

Tsutaya
Class VII's Return - Key Visual (Sen III)
Original B2 sized tapestry (KISEKI BOX only) and DLC Item Set A. Sofmap
Wondergoo Bonus (Sen III)
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
Tita, Agate & Schmidt - Imagine Bonus (Sen III)
A1 sized poster Imagine
Orbment Keyholder - Chara-Ani Bonus (Sen III)
Original Orbment Key Holder Chara-Ani
Rean & Altina - Trader Bonus (Sen III)
Original B2 tapestry Trader
Musse - Pao Bonus (Sen III)
Original B2 tapestry PAO
Promides - Stellaworth Bonus (Sen III)
Set of 2 original promides Stellaworth
Clear Files - Enterking Bonus (Sen III)
Original A4 Clear File Enterking
Afterglow - Key Visual (Sen III)
Omnipage Original irogami Kougado
Crossbell of Conflict - Key Visual (Sen III)
Original A3 Clear Poster Animate
Exceed!! - Key Visual (Sen III)
Original B2 Tapestry Gamers
Takarajima Bonus (Sen III)
Alisa Reinford microfiber cloth (200mm × 400mm) Game Shop Takarajima
Tita - Amiami Bonus (Sen III)
Original Tita acrylic figurine Ami Ami
Juna SSS - Dengekiya Bonus (Sen III)
DLC that changes Juna's outfit into Lloyd's outfit.
  • Derfflinger B2 Tapestry
  • Rean's character file notebook
  • Original shoulder bag
  • Original T-Shirt
Dengeki
PS Store Bonus (Sen III)
  1. PlayStation 4 theme
  2. Mini soundtrack
  3. DLC that changes Rean's outfit to his Cold Steel II outfit
PlayStation Store
Keychain - Falcom Bonus (Sen III)
Thors Branch Campus leather keychain Falcom

Opening Movie[]

Trivia[]

References[]

See also[]

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