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DodgeDusk

Sen no Kiseki/Trails of Cold Steel III: PS4 exclusive, Sep 28th, 2017 (JPN)

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Note: This post will contain open spoilers for both Trails of Cold Steel and Trails of Cold Steel II. If you have not played these games, I seriously suggest turning away now. As the Sky trilogy and the Crossbell duology are not required to understand what is happening during the Cold Steel games, I ask that all posts relating to the Sky trilogy and the Crossbell duology are to be kept under spoiler tags and clearly labelled. With that being said...

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(Official website)

 

Some screenshots:

 

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Key art:

 

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There are also some Dengeki scans, which I will link below:

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Other details include:

  1. Set one and a half years after the events of Cold Steel II (September 1026, if I'm not mistaken). Class VII have gone their separate ways, Rean is still working under Osborne (who mysteriously survived Crow's assassination), looking to find a new path for himself. Western Erebonia and Bryonia Island, the island where the other giant statue is located (first one is in the Nord Highlands), will also be visited.
  2. Rean is, again, the main protagonist.
  3. Falcom are experimenting with seamless battle transitions. They're also trying to tie the Divine Knights into the battles, making them feel less like special event battles.
  4. Someone from the Crossbell games and a number of characters from the Liberl games will be "joining the party".
  5. The three new characters featured in the screenshots (girl using tonfas, boy dual-wielding swords, and the green-haired girl) are wearing a new school uniform, bearing the crest of Thors Military Academy. Altina is also seen wearing the same uniform. The emblem on Rean's shoulder is, however, different.
  6. Sen no Kiseki III will be a "turning point" and a "mid-point climax" for the Kiseki franchise.
  7. Falcom are expecting a Fall 2017 release for the Japanese version of the game.
  8. Falcom chose the PS4 as the game's only platform so that it would be easier to release the game in other markets; releasing a PS3 game for the Western market in late 2018/early 2019 (personal expectation, not fact) would be very difficult, if not impossible.

I could add my personal interpretations and opinions in the OP, but I'd like to keep the OP as factual as possible.

Edited by DodgeDusk

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I have a freakin' OG PS3 sitting around, and considering these games' good word-of-mouth I have no reason not to play them

*sigh* The issues of having a life and a backlog.

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If you're a fan of turn-based, strategical JRPGs, you owe it to yourself to play the Kiseki/Trails games. The writing and world-building are superb, the characters grow out of their initial troupes into (mostly) fantastic characters, and the actual combat is just fun to play. Sen no Kiseki/Trails of Cold Steel is the 6th entry to the Kiseki series, but it's a great entry point to the series if you want to test the waters.

However, if you want my personal opinion, I'd start with the Sky trilogy, also known as Sora no Kiseki or Trails in the Sky. The first two games can be bought relatively cheap on Steam and similar websites, and the last game is due out Spring time next year. The first game is the first in the Trails series, stars one of the best protagonists in the genre, has an engaging plot (even if it takes some time to get going), and an interesting bunch of characters. If I'm not mistaken, the game is on sale right now on Steam.

Here's some sample tracks. Bear in mind that the video suggestions and comments may spoil stuff for you.

If you find the time to play these, I seriously would suggest you do so.

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If you're a fan of turn-based, strategical JRPGs, you owe it to yourself to play the Kiseki/Trails games. The writing and world-building are superb, the characters grow out of their initial troupes into (mostly) fantastic characters, and the actual combat is just fun to play. Sen no Kiseki/Trails of Cold Steel is the 6th entry to the Kiseki series, but it's a great entry point to the series if you want to test the waters.

However, if you want my personal opinion, I'd start with the Sky trilogy, also known as Sora no Kiseki or Trails in the Sky. The first two games can be bought relatively cheap on Steam and similar websites, and the last game is due out Spring time next year. The first game is the first in the Trails series, stars one of the best protagonists in the genre, has an engaging plot (even if it takes some time to get going), and an interesting bunch of characters. If I'm not mistaken, the game is on sale right now on Steam.

Here's some sample tracks. Bear in mind that the video suggestions and comments may spoil stuff for you.

If you find the time to play these, I seriously would suggest you do so.

I second this entire post. (I didn't look at the CS3 Spoilers because I'm playing CS1 Soon). Estelle is an amazing MC

Trails in The Sky FC is currently 50% off, 10$, SC is as well.

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Trails in The Sky FC is currently 50% off, 10$, SC is as well.

SC is on sale, but it's actually only 35% off at ~20 bucks. (SC is more expensive that FC at regular price)

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SC is on sale, but it's actually only 35% off at ~20 bucks. (SC is more expensive that FC at regular price)

My bad at the misinformation. Also sorry for hijacking this CS thread.

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Erm, which games are the Crossbell duology again?

Zero and Ao no Kiseki. They haven't been released in English and it's unlikely they will be.

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Assuming the Kiseki games come out at the same rate as they have been, it means that the series should be around for a very long while. YAHOOO~!

[spoiler=Dengeki scan observation]Sara's tracking Lector? Oh, THIS will be interesting!

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Are you familiar with Star Door 8 from TitS 3rd, Eclipse? It leads into Cold Steel pretty well, and...

[spoiler=Don't click if you haven't watched it]it throws some heavy shade at Lechter's way, given Sara's actions in that Dengeki scan some weight.

If you haven't seen it before, I'd give it a watch. It sets up Cold Steel and it has some really nice interaction between important characters.

--

As this isn't the OP, I feel comfortable laying down some suspicions, theories, and opinions. All will be spoilered since some people have come into this thread and not played the Cold Steel games.

I'm guessing Rean is going to be/act like an instructor figure to the new characters

Altina will be replacing Millium as the playable Thirteen Factories character. I have no doubt that Millium will be important to the plot, however, and probably any development Altina gets

The majority of Class VII will be relegated to minor roles; Jusis will be too busy ruling the Kruzen Province, Machias and Elliot will be busy in their respective schools, Alisa will be preoccupied with the Reinford Company, and Millium is probably doing her own Ironblood tasks. Fie, Gaius, and Laura will probably have a bigger role, since they're either not as developed when it comes to characters and/or opposing Osborne. Emma I have no doubt will be important since she it's her duty to look after Rean.

The new Thors uniform indicates that the class system it once had has been abolished, probably since Osborne is now in charge (probably why Class VII got disbanded). But that's too early to call.

In the screenshot with the green-haired girl, we can vaguely see the crest of House Cayenne on the flags, meaning that picture was probably taken in Ordis. If this is true, then we might be visiting the areas Rean didn't visit during the class expeditions.

The Crossbell character I have no doubt will be Lloyd Bannings, the protagonist for the two Crossbell games. The Liberl characters is a bit of a harder stretch; the obvious would be Estelle and Joshua, but I have a funny feeling that it'll be the Capuas returning, since they hail from Erebonia.

It's been one and a half years since Rean has sided with Osborne. Initially, he participated with the annexation of Crossbell since he knew he could lower the body count. However, I wouldn't be surprised if his biggest reason for staying by his side was to find out how exactly he "survived" Crow's assassination. I put survived in speech marks since it's looking likely that Osborne got resurrected; Xeno, Leo, and the rest of Zephyr are looking to "bring back the boss", even though it has been stated by Fie on more than one occasion that she saw Rutger Claussell die with her own eyes.

[spoiler=SC ending spoilers]Kevin also killed Weissman from an arrow forged from the Pillar of Salt so that there was no possible way Weissman could be revived, indicating that resurrection is a possibility.

If Osborne did indeed die but then came back to life, then it would just look like he survived the assassination attempt by Crow. Rean also isn't stupid--it's possible he's clicked on the possibility of resurrection, since he was present when Xeno and Leo told him and Fie that they were looking to "bring the boss back". And, of course, he's currently working under a man that was thought to be dead. If this is true, then he might be working with Osborne to find out how resurrection is possible, and might try and see if he can revive Crow. Which I hope personally doesn't happen, since the dude is a terrorist.

Another possibility is that Osborne never died to begin with since he's a vampire. Read Red Moon Rose, Trail of Cold Steel's series of books, if you're confused.

Sen no Kiseki III is meant to be a "turning point" and a "mid-point climax" for the franchise? Ouroboros' Grandmaster is going to be identified, in my opinion.

The seamless battle transitions does not tickle my fancy whatsoever. I've played Tales of Zestiria, I know what that does to dungeon design. No opinion on the Divine Knight battle changes.

Actions are now mapped to specific buttons? Someone's taken inspiration from Persona 5! I'm gonna miss that rotating wheel.

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And in response:

[spoiler=SC ending spoilers]For Erebonia, I can see Renne being thrown in there. She's an otherwise unnamed girl who'd fit right into a school. I can also see

[spoiler=Cold Steel 2 spoiler]Kevin, due to Thomas being in the area

but that's a bit more of a long shot. Estelle/Joshua do make sense, because if there's one thing I've learned from the Garghev trilogy, it's that the main characters NEVER go away. Not sure about the Capuas, since they're a disgraced Erebonian family, and who knows how much influence they had before the fell from grace.

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And in response:

[spoiler=SC ending spoilers]For Erebonia, I can see Renne being thrown in there. She's an otherwise unnamed girl who'd fit right into a school. I can also see

[spoiler=Cold Steel 2 spoiler]Kevin, due to Thomas being in the area

but that's a bit more of a long shot. Estelle/Joshua do make sense, because if there's one thing I've learned from the Garghev trilogy, it's that the main characters NEVER go away. Not sure about the Capuas, since they're a disgraced Erebonian family, and who knows how much influence they had before the fell from grace.

[spoiler=SC ending spoilers]Renne in Thors? I can't see that happening at all, unless something happens to her during 3rd and I'm not aware of it. She just doesn't seem to be that kind of character who'd willingly enlist into a school.

[spoiler=Cold Steel 2 and SC ending spoilers]Kevin returning because of Thomas? I can believe that. I really do want to see how the the Gralsritter and the Dominions fit into the overall plot of the Trails franchise. The revelation of Thomas and Rosine being members of the Gralsritter really caught me off-guard.

Yeah, Estelle and Joshua make the most sense. But I don't know, I think the Capuas would fit in well. Not sure if Erebonia would welcome a bunch of sky bandits, mind, but it'd be nice nonetheless.

What are the Garghev games like? I do want to play them, but the poor translation puts me off. Is it worth stomaching the bad translation?

Or it could be just Olivier and Muller.

If these two aren't playable in Sen III, I'm going to be upset.

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[spoiler=Garghev]The writing is overall weaker, but it's still enjoyable. Song of the Ocean tied the series together nicely, but I really didn't care for the characters. A Tear of Vermillion did better in the character department, but the translation is AWFUL. Like the Trails series, you'll want a guide if you want everything, because things are in even MORE obscure places.

In terms of guest appearances, Avin and Mile (from Vermillion) show up in Song of the Ocean. There's a couple others, too, but that's an example of characters from one game being playable in another.

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If these two aren't playable in Sen III, I'm going to be upset.

On the other hand, the sources we have so far imply Trails in the Sky character(s?) from Liberl will join the party. After Sen 2 was advertised as having 20+ characters (the postgame overlay accessories weren't in the original release, so the game had exactly 20 playable characters at launch), I'm inclined towards interpreting those reveals literally... and thus my serious guess would be Estelle and Joshua. Sadly.

I'm more curious about the Zero character mentioned, but part of me suspects s/he won't even be playable at all.

Edited by TheEnd

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A bunch of new details emerged today. Sources are Gematsu and Dengeki, with translation work being done by omgfloofy. Nightmare has given me permission to revive the thread.

The details:

  • The Erebonia Empire has turned Crossbell into a Province, and during the year-and-a-half time skip, they also annexed North Ambria, stealing the Calvard Republic's title as the biggest power in Zemuria. North Amria's annexation will be explored during the game.
  • Erebonia as a country is unstable, and Ouroboros have major plans involving Erebonia's period of chaos.
  • A subberean area called Reeves in Western Erebonia will house a new military school: Thors II. Reeves is adjacent to Heimdallr, similar to Trista. Thors II will accomodate "problem" children--students who haven't performed well at schools, as well as foreigners. There are three special classes in Thors II: Class VII, who are a special duty group; Class VIII, who are a tactical group; and Class IX, who are an administration group.
  • Despite Rean's insistance on becoming an Erebonian military officier, he ends up becoming a teacher at Thors II.
  • The staff has completed changed for Thors II; Olivert is no longer on the Board of Directors, and the new headmaster is an "unbelievably strong character who once served as the Noble Alliance's Chief-in-Command."

Information on four characters:

  • Rean Schwarzer.
    Weapon: Tachi.
    Age: 20.
    Since Class VII graduated first before Class I, the relationship between Rean and Patrick has changed. The former students of Class VII keep in regular touch with Rean, and possibly themselves. Is finding it near impossible to control his ogre power.
  • Kurt Vander.
    Weapon: Dual Swords.
    Age: 17.
    Younger brother to Mueller Vander, Kurt was looking forward to guarding the Arnor royal family, but his dreams were crushed when Osborne terminated the Vander family's employment of looking after the Arnor family. Hestitant to follow up on his entry to Thors II, Mueller urges him to go on. Considers himself smart.
  • Yuna Crawford.
    Weapon: Gun Breaker (tonfas with projectiles).
    Age: 17.
    A Crossbellan native, Yuna wished to join Crossbell's Police Special Support Section (S.S.S.) before Crossbell got annexed by Erebonia. She got an invitation to enrol at Thors II from "someone inside", and said character is an acquaintance of Rean's.
  • Altina Orion.
    Weapon: Claiomh Solais.
    Age: Assumed to be 14.
    A member of the Imperial Army's Intelligence Division(?), Altina, even after the civil war, completed various objectives before being sent to survey Rean's actions as an instructor. She "enrols" as a student in Thors II. Changes in her emotions are said to emerge, and her relationship with Millium will be explored.

Other tidbits:

  • The former members of Class VII will be featured in a later update.

And finally, a new picture:

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The hype train has no brakes.

I'm slightly surprised we're already getting this info, though. I was expecting the spoiler/preview season to start with the info book that's coming as Ys 8's PS4 preorder bonus.

Looking forward to Emma's former Class VII's redesigns.
 

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3 hours ago, TheEnd said:

The hype train has no brakes.

I'm slightly surprised we're already getting this info, though. I was expecting the spoiler/preview season to start with the info book that's coming as Ys 8's PS4 preorder bonus.

Looking forward to Emma's former Class VII's redesigns.
 

Seconding this.

It's interesting that we have a potential full time playable Vander for once I must say though.

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9 hours ago, Jedi said:

Seconding this.

It's interesting that we have a potential full time playable Vander for once I must say though.

Muller is one of the earliest characters you recruit in 3rd, actually.
 

Edited by TheEnd

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45 minutes ago, TheEnd said:

Muller is one of the earliest characters you recruit in 3rd, actually.
 

Oh thats cool to know.

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. . .if Sir Ice Blue Hair is Kurt, then he looks more like Rean than Mueller!  Unless he's a half-brother?

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Considering his hair color, I've seen people speculating he might be adopted.

But yeah, he doesn't look like Muller at all.

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I'm not totally on board with the whole "it's Thors! again!" thing that this game seems to be pulling, but Yuna and Kurt's backstories have me intrigued -- especially after hearing about the conquest of North Ambria. I'm really hoping for Schera and Anelace to make their return, especially the former, but I know deep in my heart that "characters from Liberl" means "Estelle and Joshua, maybe Kevin and Renne if we're lucky."

As far as Class VII redesigns go I'm hoping for Elliot to go the way of his daddy and become a total beefcake. Not even the sweetest of cinnamon rolls can escape his destiny as Elliot the Red, Son of Olaf and Heir to Eresia. Might be neat to see how Fie turns out too, especially after Sara's influence.

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