The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel

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Ranylyn Oct 5, 2017 @ 11:47pm
So, about that spoilery opening mission... (Please avoid spoilers.)
Found out my comp wouldn't run it, got it on PS3, came here to discuss it since I figure the community is more active due to the recent PC release. I never really had an interest in it before this year since I wasn't into the series, but I happened to get into Trails in the Sky shortly before 3rd's release, so... just keeping this momentum, really!

I'm still not that far (I'm investigating the smashed bazzar stalls) but honestly, I just can't get past how utterly WRONG that opening felt. At first I was like "Oh, do they already know each other? This should be interesting. Skip the introductions, focus more on the team dynamic, that can work." Then I opened the menu. Level 49.

My immediate reaction was not positive.

"Oh frig, ANOTHER random pointless "Here, have something that happens later as outright spoilers just to give you a taste of action" kind of thing!? I'm honestly really tired of games using this and giving away major events purely to go "Don't you want to see what led to this?" Stop giving away what'll happen and let me just play the damn game and get there, myself!"

Is there any actual plot reason why this would be a thing, like maybe in Fire Emblem Awakening, where it was shown for a reason, and that reason was explained later? Or is this just a bad opening? After moving to Cold Steel from Trails in the Sky, it just has me thinking about how wrong FC would feel if it starts with breaking into Leiston Fortress with Agate and Tita before cutting back to Cassius bringing Joshua home. You have to admit, that would be VERY stupid, and just feel absolutely out of place... downright wrong, even.

Don't get me wrong. I'm liking everything else, like the caste system and the conflict this causes with Machias and Jusis. But I just can't get over that opening.
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Showing 1-15 of 39 comments
Vladislak Oct 5, 2017 @ 11:58pm 
The end of that opening sequence isn't quite what they made it out to be. So despite them seemingly spoiling something they didn't quite do so. I'll leave it at that to avoid specific spoilers.
Last edited by Vladislak; Oct 5, 2017 @ 11:58pm
Ranylyn Oct 6, 2017 @ 12:04am 
That's actually not surprising; I wouldn't expect things to play out exactly that way regardless. There were very few enemies, etc, so yeah. Still, maybe I should try to stop worrying about it and look forward to how they toy with the expectations they tried to set.

I wholeheartedly admit the only reason I'm this cynical is because way too many games do this and do it badly, just because. There's a ton of things that are overdone that this series repeatedly goes "This can be interesting if done WELL, see?" Like generic adventurers' guilds kind of things, or in this case, a school setting. So yeah, I should give them the benefit of the doubt on this, probably.
Last edited by Ranylyn; Oct 6, 2017 @ 12:09am
Vladislak Oct 6, 2017 @ 12:08am 
That's understandable, nothing more annoying than a poorly handled story trope. Personally I enjoyed Cold Steel, although I do feel the Sky games were better overall.
Last edited by Vladislak; Oct 6, 2017 @ 12:08am
Ranylyn Oct 6, 2017 @ 12:10am 
I'd also like to say: Sorry for whining. Just had to get that out of my system. It's been over 24 hours since I played that part, and I barely got any sleep anyways, and it was still bugging me. Sooooo... yeeeeeah.
Vladislak Oct 6, 2017 @ 12:14am 
Haha. No worries, like I said it's quite understandable.
DDR Oct 6, 2017 @ 12:15am 
Why that scene is there can be explained if you've played Zero and Ao no Kiseki, but huge spoiler for those untranslated games so I'd rather not put it here. But yeah, the thing is that what you play through in the opening isn't exactly the same as the scene later on, I guess.
Ranylyn Oct 6, 2017 @ 12:20am 
I have not played the Crossbell games, no. I at least have some investment because of how Trails in the Sky explained it's political situation and everything. (Heck, at first, I thought Renne was just a storytelling vessel for that, but... well... turns out she was there for a lot more than just that.) It's something I can empathize with, even if I can't actually understand from personal experience. So at least anything concerning Crossbell in this will be something I'm interested in, if nothing else.

Thank you for respecting my wishes to not spoil it, by the way. Much appreciated.
dean.dip Oct 6, 2017 @ 12:24am 
One thing that opening does is that the closer you get to that part of the game, you may feel concern for the fate of some characters, even more so than you would if the opening wasn't a flash forward.
Ranylyn Oct 6, 2017 @ 12:27am 
I actually WAS curious about that; I took a look through the playable roster at the start (I even swapped the party around a bit to try everyone) but I don't remember seeing everyone. I think there may have only been 7 of the 9 students, maybe. I could have just not been paying attention, but there was definitely at least one person missing, if not two. Granted, I didn't know everyones' names and faces yet, but yeah.

(In particular, I'm almost certain I didn't see Alisa and I wouldn't surprised if a few others weren't there.)

Let's just say I almost expected Machias to die during the orientation, considering. I know that's stupid, but having someone run off on their own and die for it would set a somber tone.

EDIT: Upon going back to check since I was curious, everyone was in the cutscene, but the party selection was missing Alisa, Machias, Elliot, and Fie. So yeah, they just weren't playable.
Last edited by Ranylyn; Oct 6, 2017 @ 12:39am
dean.dip Oct 6, 2017 @ 12:52am 
I'm just gonna say that the concern I mentioned has to do with the big weapons out of the side of the cliff. You learn of some things about it starting in chapter 3 I think, and then as time passes closer to the event, you start connecting dots about things and worry sets in, at least that's how it was for me.
Ranylyn Oct 6, 2017 @ 12:53am 
When you put it like that, I'm actually looking forward to it. Thank you.
autoraso Oct 6, 2017 @ 1:01am 
The intro is a Hook really. When you compare Sky’s opening to this one, Sky’s was extremely boring and had no real hook to grab players till like chapter 2.

Also things are still not quite what they seem, in multiple ways.

It does work better if one has played the Crossbell games as they would be familiar with the location and the conference but not the incident and really wonder what the heck is going on. Also those games add a bit of an in-universe explanation to flash forwards.
Last edited by autoraso; Oct 6, 2017 @ 1:05am
LrdDimwit Oct 6, 2017 @ 1:05am 
It has no in-story justification. It's purely there because the game has some pacing issues - namely, the first couple of field study missions are kind of low-key and low-stakes, and there is no strong overall narrative thread holding the game together.

A lot of games have character building moments in the early game that lead into the main story events happening later, but Cold Steel's feels even more disjointed than many.

So they put this in up front as a cheap attention grabber. It's not my preferred solution (I would have preferred giving the characters some immediate goal to worry about while the story spun its wheels waiting to introduce the real plot), but it didn't annoy me as much as it seems like it annoyed you.
Ranylyn Oct 6, 2017 @ 1:13am 
Honestly, after thinking about it, I get it.

As much as I personally despise that way of starting a game, it's true that I know a LOT of people who gave up on Trails in the Sky FC around Bose, because it really was slow to get the ball rolling. I personally loved it for the focus on the worldbuilding, but honestly, I get why that slower pace could drive away people who just can't stick with it until they really get invested.

Considering Cold Steel was after Sky... I mean, it's just logical that they'd take the issues a lot of people had with the previous games into account. Sure, you could say that 3rd just launched straight into it with something interesting, but it had already established Kevin's character in SC, so that intro made sense. I just finished Chapter 1 of Cold Steel and I don't know enough about the characters yet to really see a way to do this in a similar manner.

It basically comes down to the same reason I went "ugh, school setting" when I first learned what Cold Steel's setting was. I was psyched for Erebonia, but "JAPAN, ENOUGH, STOP!" I just get way too sick of overused things. Heck, the only reason I gave Cold Steel a try despite the school setting was because of how good Trails in the Sky was, and how they basically took some overused things but did their own unique spin to make them interesting. It made me willing to give them a chance with Cold Steel's school thing.
autoraso Oct 6, 2017 @ 1:15am 
There is technically in Crossbell games.

Spoiler for Crossbell and this game it is another part of KeA’s whole alternate timeline thing. Just like how the SSS got wiped out in Crossbell then saved the second time through with Estelle and Joshua being part of the party the same thing happens here, Crow and Milium are part of the party and the gun is mysteriously armed with blanks for the first shot.
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Date Posted: Oct 5, 2017 @ 11:47pm
Posts: 39