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The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure (英雄伝説(えいゆうでんせつ) 碧の軌跡(アオノキセキ)) is the fifth installment in the Trails series and the second game of the Crossbell arc, set in Crossbell.

Synopsis

Setting

Plot

Prologue - Traces of D

Trails to Azure begins several months after the ending of Trails from Zero. Crossbellan politician Hartmann and his secretary Earnest Reis had fled to Erebonia, only to be exiled. They ultimately found shelter in the former D∴G Cult lodge of Altair, the westernmost city of Calvard. The political turbulance in Crossbell led to the formation of a special investigation group, consisting of Special Support Section (SSS) leader Lloyd Bannings, Crossbell Guardian Force lieutenant Noel Seeker, Crossbell Police Department chief inspector Alex Dudley and A-rank bracer Arios MacLaine, all equipped with the new Enigma II tactical orbment.

Halfway through the lodge, the team discovers the two political refugees arguing: Hartmann expresses his willingness to turn himself in, but gets dragged away by Earnest and the team is stopped in their tracks by the archaisms cult leader Joachim Guenter left behind. The battle results in a cave in, separating Lloyd and Noel from Dudley and Arios. They agree to meet each other at the end of the lodge and each group goes their way.

With Dudley and Arios hindered by ten more archaisms, the first to catch up with the refugees are Lloyd and Noel. In an attempt to attain "true awakening" like his master Joachim, Earnest takes an overdose of red gnosis and demonizes. Dudley and Arios catch up and together they manage to hold off Earnest, whose consciousness is steadily fading. Lloyd tries to keep Earnest as sane as possible until the unexpected arrival of the Gralsritter's fifth Dominion, Kevin Graham. With the power of the Stigma and the Septian Church's Testaments, Kevin manages to subvert Earnest back into his human form.

Back in Altair, Dudley expresses his dissatisfaction with Kevin's sudden appearance. Kevin explains his actions in Crossbell are closely guarded by archbishop Eralda, who is known to loathe the Gralsritter's methods, and only showed up because he owed Arios a favour. As Kevin sees Lloyd and Noel off, Gralsritter squire Ries Argent returns from shopping. Kevin suggests he rather joins Ries during her stay in Crossbell, after which she reminds him of Eralda. Kevin's hunch that Crossbell's alias of "City of Sins" might live up to its name soon and asks her to resort to their 'trump card' if anything happens.

On the Transcontinental Railroad train bound for Crossbell, Noel entrusts Lloyd with how her personality reflects the strict parenting of her father Ozma Seeker, who died during an accident in S. 1194. Before long, they arrive on Crossbell Station where KeA comes running toward Lloyd, followed by section chief Sergei Lou, fellow SSS member Elie MacDowell, Noel's sister Fran Seeker and Testaments leader Wazy Hemisphere. Sergei reveals to Lloyd that Noel and Wazy will be joining the SSS for its restart in the second half of S.1204.

Chapter 1 - Omen: A New Daily Life

Lloyd and Elie introduce Noel and Wazy to the SSS's way of working. After waving goodbye to KeA, who was playing with friends at Central Square, the SSS moves to the Crossbell Police Department for their request to confirm whether Lechter Arundel is indeed in Crossbell and reveal who he really is. Grace, whom they bump into in the Back Street, claims she last saw Lechter in the Dragon's Old Restaurant. Rather than keep himself concealed, Lechter welcomed the SSS and introduced them to the chef of the restaurant. During the chef's talk, Lechter had disappeared. The SSS ultimately found him in the casino. They managed to verify details of his stay before their talk was interrupted by Shirley Orlando, member of the Red Constellation jaeger corps. She bit in Lloyd's earlobe and subjected Elie to sexual harassment, only to disappear without a trace alongside Lechter.

A phone call from Sergei directed the SSS toward the Crossbell Police Academy. Noel's suggestion to go by foot to fulfil the monster extermination quest led them to an encounter with Sigmund Orlando, the Red Constellation leader. He challenging Lloyd to count the number of passengers on the passing train and compliments him for answering correctly, asserting him that these sharp eyes will keep him alive on the battlefield. After Sigmund leaves, the SSS find the monsters they were supposed to exterminate shredded to pieces and assume that they, too, had a run in with Sigmund.

At the Crossbell Police Academy, Sergei reveals that Mayor Dieter Crois appointed the SSS a ZCF-built orbal car and subjected the group to a crash course on traffic laws. Noel was appointed to driver based on her prior experience with vehicles at the Crossbell Guardian Force. As they drive back to Crossbell, they drive by Randy Orlando and Mireille who just returned from the Survival Training Area in Knox Forest. On their way back, they decide to pick up KeA from Sunday School at the Crossbell Cathedral. There they run into Ries Argent, under whom Elie had temporarily studied in Arteria. After introductions, Ries privately asks Elie to keep her identity as a Gralsritter squire hidden. Back at SSS, Tio Plato video calls the group from Leman to let them know her return would be delayed.

Later that week Sergei discussed the encounter with Sigmund, whose whereabouts could not yet be confirmed by the top brass of the Crossbell Police Academy. Per Wazy suggestion, the SSS visits exchange shop Neinvalli to ask owner Ashleigh for possible clues regarding Sigmund's whereabouts. Shortly after the SSS concluded Sigmund must be a jaeger based on Ashleigh's information, they run into Vipers leader Wald Wales. Wazy suggests that Wald, too, should move on from his role as gang leader which led to a heated fight. Wazy enveloped his body in a mysterious yellow glow and quickly ended the fight, leaving Wald behind. Realising that Wazy had been holding back during all their prior duels, Wald is set on finding his own path.

After an interview with Marcel Nielsen regarding the Cult Incident, the SSS headed toward the Doll Studio where they run into an argument between Doll Studio owner Joerg Rosenberg and his superior, F. Novartis accompanied by Campanella. Novartis' demand for Joerg to hand over the data of Pater-Mater is met by criticism that Novartis sees Renne Hayworth only as a research subject. As the SSS approaches the Studio, Joerg dismisses the Ouroboros members and shortly thereafter the SSS as well. They continued their way to Mainz to investigate the mysterious light in the mines that kept the miners awake with worries. As they entered the mine, an explosion had the entrance collapse blocking their way back out again. While working out who could possibly be responsible for the explosive trap, the discover that the light phenomenon was caused by radiating flora within the mine. Behind them had crept up an enormous Fairy Drake on the one side while Zeit and Randy came storming in from the other side. They defeated the monster and returned to Mainz.

On the way back, Randy shares his observation that the explosive small in the mine are still commonly used by jaeger corps. As Lloyd told about the red-haired persons they met earlier that they, he was rang by Dudley that the former Revache & Co. venue was purhcased by "Crimson & Co." Recognising the name, Randy explains that it's a dummy corporation for the Red Constellation as a company runs high-end entertainment businesses in Erebonia. As the SSS car passed the hanging bridge, Novartis and Campanella are shown discussing their course of action. Novartis, reminding himself that he will carry out the Phantasmal Blaze Plan in Crossbell alongside Arianrhod, asks Campanella to report the completion of the Astral Code and act on behalf of the Grandmaster. Campanella then warps away.

Back in Crossbell, Randy jumped out of the car and speeds toward the new Crimson and Co. establishment. There they learn that Lechter Arundel was responsible for buying the venue before Cao Lee could get to it. Facing off against Sigmund and Shirley, Randy learns that Sigmund's brother and Randy's father died approximately six months prior in a fight against the rivaling jaeger corps Zephyr's leader. As the two Orlando's enter the building, Randy reveals to the rest of SSS that his uncle Sigmund and cousin Shirley are second-in-command and squad leader, respectively, of the jaeger corps Red Constellation.

Chapter 2 - West Zemuria Trade Conference

In preparation for the first West Zemuria Trade Conference, the SSS attends a briefing regarding the security measures for it led by Dudley at the Crossbell Police Department. After the briefing, the topic of discussion then shifts to their run-in with the Red Constellation to which Dudley adds that there had been an enormous conflict between them and Heiyue in Calvard one year prior. Randy explains that unlike the mafia, jaegers are not attached to specific nations, and will therefore grant their clients' wishes as long as they pay up.

Chapter 2 - Professor Ceiland on Gnosis (Ao).jpg

While out looking for information on the corps, they wrap up a number of requests from their terminal. Per the request of librarian Miles Neues, the group investigated the missing ancient book collection at the top floor of the Stargazer's Tower and assisted Douglas with a Crossbell Guardian Force drill. After completing Professor Seiland's quest at St. Ursula Medical College, she sat down with the SSS to discuss her analysis of Gnosis. She concluded that biochemically alteration of the human body through demonization is an impossible phenomenon and that she couldn't find any differences between Red and Blue Gnosis.

Per the request of the Bracer Guild, the SSS gathers information about Red Constellation's whereabouts. Newly appointed commander Sonya Balz adds that Red Constellation met up with an Erebonian businessman near the Bellguard Gate not too long ago. That night the SSS meets up with the Bracer Guild to exchange information on Red Constellation. Arios, having returned from Calvard, found that Rocksmith Agency office manager Kilika Rouran had been stimulating negotiations between Heiyue and the Republic government. Since neither party conceals their contacts with governmental bodies, Arios dismisses Michel's suggestion that they might be preparing an assassination of the superpowers' leaders during the upcoming West Zemuria Trade Conference. The SSS and Bracer Guild decide to continue their cooperation and return home.

As the SSS approaches their dormitory, Zeit's growling in front of the door triggers Randy to rush inside, where they find Shirley Orlando making herself comfortable at the couch. She invites Randy to the club Neue Blanc, where Sigmund waits for him, and Lloyd and Wazy invite themselves to tag along, ignoring Randy's objections. While Shirley and the SSS were transported to the club, Tio video-called in from Leman for a brief talk with Elie, Noel and KeA. Sergei, returning from a meeting, tells the group that Neue Blanc is already under surveillance by the Crossbell Police Department.

In Neue Blanc, Randy was welcomed as Randolph by his uncle Sigmund. Sigmund figured Lloyd and Wazy tagged along to ask questions, so he let them ask away. He immediately couldn't answer Lloyd's first question for his reason to stay in Crossbell because of the NDA in his contract. To Wazy's more subtle approach to Red Constellation's relationship with Lechter Arundel, Sigmund said he makes a great peer for Cao Lee whom he met during the run-in with Heiyue in Calvard. As for Lloyd's question about the fee his contractor reserved for the mission, Wazy suggested 100 million mira to which Sigmund nodded. Sigmund ended their stay by demanding Randy would take over the position of War God from his father. Shocked, Randy withdrew from the building followed by his two SSS companions and the three of them walked back to the dormitory on foot, declining the car offered by Neue Blanc's manager. Reporting back to Sergei, Lloyd concludes that the 100 million mira contract must be from the Imperial government to ensure Chancellor Giliath Osborne's safety during the West Zemuria Trade Conference, to which Sergei invites them to attend as security officers.

In Erebonia, Mueller Vander is surprised that Prince Olivert Reise Arnor is still working. As a member of the board of directors of the military academy, he is skimming through the reports of the children that motivate him so. Even though Olivert jokes around as usual, he knows Chancellor Osborne is a target for terrorists and wondered if he has become a target, too, asking Mueller for his support. In the airspace above Liberl, Crown Princess Klaudia von Auslese receives a letter about the turmoil in Calvard brought to her by her falcon Sieg. As Julia Schwarz walks out on the deck, they share their hopes to rely on the assistance of the SSS whom she received recommendations of from Estelle and Joshua Bright. Klaudia then falls into a deep thought on to how to replace the non-aggression pact her grandmother Queen Alicia von Auslese II introduced with a superior system. In the meanwhile, Campanella successfully installs the Astral Code on the Orbal Network from the terminals in Geofront B - Block 8.

On August 31 S.1204, representatives for each of the attending nations arrive: from Erebonia come Chancellor Giliath Osborne, also known as the Blood and Iron Chancellor, and Prince Olivert Reise Arnor by the high-speed orbal train, Eisengraf, accompanied by their bodyguards Lechter Arundel and Mueller Vander, respectively; from Calvard comes President Samuel Rocksmith and his aide, Kilika Rouran, by orbal car; from Remiferia comes Prince Albert von Bartholomeus; and finally from Liberl comes Crown Princess Klaudia von Auslese and her bodyguard Julia Schwarz. In front of the Orchis Tower, Crossbell's mayor Dieter Crois welcomes the neighboring nations' representatives and reveals the recently finished Orchis Tower, its sheer size leaving the SSS and the nations' representatives alike in awe. He then declares the start of the West Zemuria Trade Conference.

After the welcome ceremony, the rulers spend their day before the conference following a schedule drafted by Dieter while the SSS returns to their regular duties. Among the duties are a request from bracers Lynn and Aeolia for a training session in Armorica Village. Lynn expressed her gratitude by teaching Lloyd the Helix. They also helped a music manager find his lost musician and were assisted by Shirley Orlando in their quest for a lost kitten. After lunching with KeA at the SSS office, their attempt to patrol the city was halted by Klaudia's falcon Sieg. The letter it brought invited the SSS to Crossbell Airport.

They waited at Crossbell Airport until Julia escorted them to the briefing room aboard the Arseille. The very moment they board the Arseille, Tio tries to contact Lloyd to inform him of her return to Crossbell. The call never reaches Lloyd, however, since the Arseille's security system blocks the incoming orbal waves. Instead, Tio calls the SSS office and informs KeA of her return.

Upon entering the meeting room, the SSS meets Klaudia von Auslese. They are followed by Mueller and Prince Olivert, leaving Lloyd speechless over in his realisation that the musician Olivier Lenheim they had been looking for was Prince Olivert himself all along. Mueller apologises that this, sadly, is reality. The SSS learns about Klaudia and Olivert's ties with Estelle and Joshua, and that they've been brought here to exchange information of importance. Olivier confides that Erebonia is on the verge of a civil war and that despite his efforts to introduce a 'third path', the antagonism between the reformist faction and noble faction only worsened. In a desperate attempt to gain the upperhand, Olivier reveals that they have plans to have terrorist assassinate Chancellor Giliath Osborne in Crossbell.

Klaudia expresses similar anxieties over the situation in Calvard, which has opened its borders even further since its transitioning to a republic. and subsequently fueled the activities of anti-immigrant organisations. Both superpowers' information agencies, the Erebonia's Intelligence Division and the Ironbloods and Calvard's Rocksmith Agency, made sure this information would not land in Crossbell.

The SSS updated the leaders on their information on the Red Constellation and Heiyue before disembarking the Arseille.

Intermission - A Brief Respite

Beach scenes.

Chapter 3 - Flux: Carnival of Beasts

Where did they come from?

Chapter 4 - Crossbell's Fate

The most intense thing of things ever.

Fragments - Beyond the Paradise of Lies

Lloyd is thrown into jail and finds that his cellmate is Garcia Rossi. Garcia stages a fight with Lloyd, forcing the guards to intervene. Upon entering the cell, Lloyd and Garcia knock the guards out and make their escape from prison. Lloyd retrieves his belongings and as he makes his escape from prison, Garcia stays behind to buy time for Lloyd's escape as well as refusing to abandon his fellow Revache members in prison while escaping for himself.

Finale - And Yet, Here We Are

Upon breaking out from prison, Lloyd finds himself pursued by the State Guard until he is rescued by Zeit who reveals his ability to transform into a giant wolf. Zeit delivers Lloyd to Kevin and Wazy with the latter revealing his true identity as a Dominion of the Septian Church. They convince him to join forces to deal with KeA who is revealed to have become the Sept-Terrion of Zero possessing the mirage powers of the original Demiourgos in addition to powers over space and time.

By locating gaps in the forcefield deployed over Crossbell, Lloyd reunites with Tio at St. Ursula's. The group then heads to the Ancient Battlefield and spot Pleroma Grass growing in the area. Investigating a lead that a group of Defence Force members were ambushed, they do indeed fall into an ambush by the Red Constellation, but are saved by the timely arrival of Heiyue, who are accompanied by Rixia. The Red Constellation leave, and Cao reveals that he and his men used the old cult lodge as a hideout. Rixia asks Lloyd if he could overlook her crimes as she wants revenge for what the Red Constellation did to Ilya, stating that she would leave Crossbell when she was done. Lloyd instead revealed that Ilya had awoken from her coma and had told him to tell her to decide her own path. Rixia then realizes that she wishes to remain with the troupe, much to Cao's disappointment. He nulls her contract with her, allowing her to do whatever she wishes, but forces Lloyd to work with him for taking Yin away.

After picking up Rixia, the group learns that some of the CGF had formed a resistance group to oppose the new president. They make their way to Mainz, stopping by the Rosenburg Studio to visit Joerg. Joerg, anticipating their arrival, invites them in. Despite collaborating with the society, he does reveal that the group has moved on with their plan to Erebonia, and is willing to help the group out as Dieter and the Red Constellation had gone too far. Relieved that Joerg is willing to help, they continue to Mainz and are ambushed by Red Constellation beasts, but repel them. They make it to the outskirts, where Rixia saves Lloyd from Gareth. Gareth orders several monsters to attack, stating that they are too late to save the resistance, but Zeit's wolf pack unexpectedly join the fight and give the resistance enough strength to repel the jaegers.

Randy then ambushes Gareth, who commends his newfound resolve and skill. Respecting the young master, he agrees to leave and orders a retreat. Randy is relieved to see the group once more. As they return to town, he, Grace and Mireille are notified of the gravity of the situation they're in. Per Mireille's insistence, Randy joins the group, with Grace coming along to get a massive story. Tio and Fran soon detect a safe spot in the middle of West Crossbell's highway, near the police academy and prison. Lloyd opts to head down, hoping to get Sonya's opinion on the current state of affairs. On the way, the group discovers an access point transcontinental railroad, where Lloyd reveals that he wishes to head to Bellgram, despite Randy's fears they may be walking to their apprehension.

Sneaking into the fortress, the group is confronted by Noel, who had anticipated that they would use the tracks to sneak in. She orders them to leave, but Lloyd refuses, stating that despite her resolve to the protect Crossbell, he can tell that her feelings with the SSS are getting in the way and making her weak. He then challenges her to a one-on-one duel, in which if she won, he would allow her to arrest the entire group, but if he won, she would be his. Noel confuses this as a date, only for Lloyd to clarify that he is worried with her well-being. The two then duel, with Lloyd prevailing. Sonya then walks in, stating that she ordered the garrison out as everyone could hear her fight. The two are then informed of the current situation, but Sonya refuses to help, as Arios still leads most of the defence force and her group would be annihilated if they tried to assist. Lloyd then realizes that with Henry's view on the matter, they could have people convince the legitimacy of Dieter's rule, which in turn would allow Sonya to assist. Sonya reveals that Henry and Elie are being held in Mishelam by the Red Constellation and allows Noel to join them.

On the way, Zeit reveals that with more joining the group, he would leave, as he had only come to help Lloyd when he needed it the most. As a final gesture, he intends to distract most of the Red Constellation in his beast form and separates from the group once they drop down. Clearing the remaining forces, the group comes face to face with the final group outside the guest house, where Randy greets Sachs. Besting the jaeger group, Sachs warns them of "those enemies" inside, revealed to be archaisms. The group manages to destroy them and are greeted by both Elie and Henry, the former glad to see Lloyd again. To the group's surprise, they are also met by Jona, who had been thrown with them by Mariabell for his repeated hacks on Orchis' servers. The group retreats before Sigmund could send more reinforcements.

In the skies, Henry states that he does not support Dieter's cause, but the group wonders how they can broadcast his announcement to the people of Crossbell. Jona reveals an experimental booster near Tangram Gate that he can hack into to start the broadcast, while Tio would redirect the announcement to ensure everyone in Crossbell would hear it. The "invalidity" of Dieter's presidency would then determine how many people would be convinced, and to ensure Sonya's assistance in the matter. Hacking into the servers, Henry declares Dieter's rule illegitimate, while the group resolves to find Sergei.

The team journeys to the Temple of the Moon and confront Campanella. After a fight, Campanella concedes the team has won and teleports away allowing the team to stop the bell from resonating. At Stargazer Tower, the team fights three of Arianrhod's valkyries before facing Arianrhod. Though the team is unable to defeat Arianrhod, she still allows the team to take down the bell allowing them entry into Crossbell.

The team regroups with Dudley and Sergei who plan to infiltrate Orchis tower. The team successfully infiltrates Orchis tower and confront Dieter who joins with the white Gordias-class archaism that was given unlimited power by KeA. After a fight, Dieter comments on how the party cannot hope to defeat him until the archaism suddenly loses power. Novartis informs Dieter that the contract has been modified and that he has been setup by his fellow conspirators including Mariabell. Ian Grimwood is then revealed to be the master conspirator behind the entire saga. The Azure Tree then emerges.

The party journeys to the Azure Tree and overcome Shirley, Wald, and Sigmund in their territories which bar the team from progressing until they defeat the boss waiting within. The final territory sees the team face off with Arios who reveals how Erebonia and Calvard's politics caused him to lose his wife, the loss of Ian's family, as well as the deaths of Lloyd's own parents. Lloyd deduces that while Arios had confronted Guy on the day that Guy was killed, it was actually Ian that shot Guy behind his back during the fight. The party defeats Arios and proceed to the heart of the tree where they find Mariabell, Ian, and KeA. Mariabell reveals KeA's powers over causality and Ian details his dreams of a world where Crossbell is no longer under threat from Erebonia and Calvard but instead dominant over them. He recognizes that KeA has the ability to make his dream a reality and reveals that KeA's powers had actually saved the party during the events of Trails from Zero where they were originally killed by Joachim.

The party manages to convince Ian on the error of his ways which result in him being blasted by Mariabell. Upon defeating Mariabell, she reveals KeA has the ability to unconsciously manipulate people into loving her which results in her losing control and becoming the Azure Demiourgos. Following the final boss fight, KeA attempts to follow in the footsteps of the original Demiourgos and delete herself from existence. Lloyd follows KeA and has a conversation with his dead brother who has been brought back into existence in KeA's World of Zero. After a final conversation with his brother, Lloyd leaves to reunite with KeA and convinces her into returning to her family at the SSS. This results in her losing her powers as the Sept-Terrion of Zero. Mariabell reveals that she did not actually kill Ian though announces her intentions to replace the missing Anguis, Weissman, who had been killed in the events of Trails in the Sky SC. The party escapes the Azure Tree with KeA, Ian, and Arios in tow. Dieter is arrested and Speaker MacDowell is temporarily restored as mayor, but the October War ends with Chancellor Osborne victorious, and 70 years of autonomy end with the Imperial Army invading and subjugating Crossbell.

Gameplay

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New Features

  • Burst: A new gauge during the battle that can be functional when you have a full party. When the gauge reaches max, your party gains the full turn advantage till the gauge returns to zero again. During Burst, your characters have full dexterity, cured of all status, cast arts with zero chanting.
  • Back Attack: Part of the field encounter where enemies gain the advantage. Watch your behind or the enemies will ambush your party, which randomly forces some of your support characters to enter.
  • Object Break: there are breakable objects which might have some goodies.
  • Master Quartz: a special rare quartz which is center-slotted in the new Enigma module. It can level up per battle, boosting the equipped character's parameters.
  • Car Customization: The SSS now has a car for instant transportation, and can be customized with different parts and paint jobs.
  • Data Import: If the save data from Trails from Zero was kept, you can load the data into the new game. Some event scenes are altered from this effect if continue the storyline. In addition, the link events with other characters inheriting the same status, and unlocking new events.

Development

The development of Trails from Zero's sequel was announced under the name of Ao no Kiseki on March 24, 2011 along with its release date, September 29, 2011. They also released a teaser trailer.[1]

Falcom decided on the kanji ao (碧) because it represents an unfathomable colour that occurs when you reach a certain depth under water and you look up at the surface, you can no longer distinguish blue from green; or a stone with compound colours and an infinite sense of depth that is both highly transparent and clear.[2]

Gallery

Official Artwork

References