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General Trails thread (Trails of Cold Steel 4 (PS4) out now).

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Cold Steel III has been released for Switch since this week.

Litte note: In the E-Shop there's a little sale of the Digital Deluxe Edition (= game with all the DLCs) which costs the same as just the regular game. I assume this offer is timely limited, so if you're interesting in the DLCs, it'd be a good opportunity to grab it right now. It costs 60 € / $ (as the regular game does).

 

 

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I finished the Sky trilogy. Tears were had.

 

Just started Steel, and oh my god, it is Three Houses. Or rather Three Houses is Cold Steel. 

 

The gameplay in Cold Steel definitely feels improved from Sky, but I worry about the reworked orbment system. I liked mix and matching stats and getting huge spell lists from that (even if Fire, Earth, and Time sepith lacked variety), whereas the new system of having to slot active skills could be less satisfying. For orbments that are supposed to be more powerful, they feel less so. I hope I'm wrong about potential negative impacts.

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2 hours ago, Fabulously Olivier said:

I finished the Sky trilogy. Tears were had.

 

Just started Steel, and oh my god, it is Three Houses. Or rather Three Houses is Cold Steel. 

 

The gameplay in Cold Steel definitely feels improved from Sky, but I worry about the reworked orbment system. I liked mix and matching stats and getting huge spell lists from that (even if Fire, Earth, and Time sepith lacked variety), whereas the new system of having to slot active skills could be less satisfying. For orbments that are supposed to be more powerful, they feel less so. I hope I'm wrong about potential negative impacts.

In Cold Steel (at least 1 and 2) crafts are much more powerful and useful than arts compared to the Sky Trilogy. In a way they pretty much simplified the orbments in that what arts you can use is determined by the Master Quartz and certain rare quartz plus you can 'stack' quartz with similar effects on the same character (ex. Action 1, Action 2 and Action 3 can all be used together instead of only being able to use one of them). Plus the lines on each orbment pretty much exist to limit how many debuff and status inflicting quartz you can put on there.

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1 minute ago, NSSKG151 said:

In Cold Steel (at least 1 and 2) crafts are much more powerful and useful than arts compared to the Sky Trilogy. In a way they pretty much simplified the orbments in that what arts you can use is determined by the Master Quartz and certain rare quartz plus you can 'stack' quartz with similar effects on the same character (ex. Action 1, Action 2 and Action 3 can all be used together instead of only being able to use one of them). Plus the lines on each orbment pretty much exist to limit how many debuff and status inflicting quartz you can put on there.

I got that impression immediately. Like, I was shocked at how I was often gaining CP from using crafts on multiple foes and actually using more crafts than regular attacks.

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2 hours ago, Fabulously Olivier said:

I got that impression immediately. Like, I was shocked at how I was often gaining CP from using crafts on multiple foes and actually using more crafts than regular attacks.

Yep, pretty much. Most crafts have a large attack range to them so mob battles are kind of joke not to mention the main protagonist himself starts with a Master Quartz that involves gaining tons of CP. Also support crafts are better than support arts since some of them do multiple things and do to not need to wait from casting and again there is a character who has not one but two crafts that can restore a ton of CP.

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Quote

 Or rather Three Houses is Cold Steel. 

This describes if fairly accurate.

 

Cold Steel has aspects of Persona with day organisation and answering school questions.

It focusses on world and character building as Sky FC does, so earlygame might start a bit slow.

The protagonist is by far less exciting than Estelle.

The master quartz system isn't as good (because less balanced) as the line quartz system in Sky imo.

Ao no Kiseki does it best by combining these two.

Edited by Julian Teehee

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If there is one thing I don't like about Cold Steel it was Bonding Events since it locks character development behind optional events and more often than not it makes most characters look out of focus in the main story and Cold Steel has a large cast so...Especially since Trails in the Sky managed to give all of their main cast their moment to shine and grow at various parts in the story. Another thing I don't like about Bonding Points is that it leads to Rean feeling like an avatar character and it leads to shipping wars even though it is clear the developers and writers wanted Rean/Alisa to be the pairing for the story. Which I personally don't mind that pairing I just wish they didn't beat around bush about it.

Anyways, I'm done ranting about Bonding Events. I wouldn't call any of the Cold Steel games my favorite (Sky the 3rd and Zero are my favorites) and I am still playing through Cold Steel 3 at the moment and despite its fault at times I still like the characters, music, world building and lore the games bring.

Edited by NSSKG151

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1 hour ago, NSSKG151 said:

If there is one thing I don't like about Cold Steel it was Bonding Events since it locks character development behind optional events and more often than not it makes most characters look out of focus in the main story and Cold Steel has a large cast so...Especially since Trails in the Sky managed to give all of their main cast their moment to shine and grow at various parts in the story. Another thing I don't like about Bonding Points is that it leads to Rean feeling like an avatar character and it leads to shipping wars even though it is clear the developers and writers wanted Rean/Alisa to be the pairing for the story. Which I personally don't mind that pairing I just wish they didn't beat around bush about it.

Anyways, I'm done ranting about Bonding Events. I wouldn't call any of the Cold Steel games my favorite (Sky the 3rd and Zero are my favorites) and I am still playing through Cold Steel 3 at the moment and despite its fault at times I still like the characters, music, world building and lore the games bring.

I kind of dig bonding events because they add a certain level of replay value, which I honestly feel the Sky games lack. I enjoyed my time with the Sky games (despite feeling that the side content was a slog), but I don't ever see myself revisiting them.

 

The storytelling of the Sky games is top tier, but I really felt like actually playing them was a means to an end. I mean, they're so slow-paced that they literally have a button dedicated to speeding up the gameplay. So does Cold Steel, but at least it's a toggle rather than a hold in CS (my poor, aching hands!)

Edited by Fabulously Olivier

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2 hours ago, Fabulously Olivier said:

I kind of dig bonding events because they add a certain level of replay value, which I honestly feel the Sky games lack. I enjoyed my time with the Sky games (despite feeling that the side content was a slog), but I don't ever see myself revisiting them.

 

The storytelling of the Sky games is top tier, but I really felt like actually playing them was a means to an end. I mean, they're so slow-paced that they literally have a button dedicated to speeding up the gameplay. I mean, so does Cold Steel, but at least it's a toggle rather than a hold in CS (my poor, aching hands!)

I feel like that is just the consequence of the Sky Trilogy being old games at this point (they were made all the way back in 2004-2007) and being the first set of games for the Trails series. Plus all the Trails games are really long and are kind of a slog to go through if you are trying to 100% them or at least trying to do as much as you can in a single playthrough. I'm thankful they added a turbo mode to the games since fighting random battles just to level up or grinding sepith gets boring after a while.

I never really saw much replay value to bonding events since I could just save before using any points so I could technically watch all the events but to each their own. Really I only had to play Cold Steel 2 a second time just because there is a cutscene you can only see in NG+ and it is considered canon in Cold Steel 3.

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On 5/14/2020 at 4:18 PM, Anomalocaris said:

Apropos of nothing, somebody actually made a Trails In The Sky version of a certain Last Of Us 2 meme that's been going around lately.

Anybody who's been frustrated by Sun Door 2 may get a kick out of it. I know I do.

Sun Door 2 was bad....

 

But it has nothing on Sun Door 4, which caused me to stop my completionist run by itself (and youtube the story critical Star Door 14). Why am I being tested on my poker skills in a JRPG, and why can I only drop his difficulty twice?

Edited by Fabulously Olivier

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On 7/27/2020 at 2:35 PM, Fabulously Olivier said:

Sun Door 2 was bad....

 

But it has nothing on Sun Door 4, which caused me to stop my completionist run by itself (and youtube the story critical Star Door 14). Why am I being tested on my poker skills in a JRPG, and why can I only drop his difficulty twice?

I didn't think it was so bad, but I enjoy and understand poker.

Didn't stop Jack from busting a royal flush on me once though.

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On 8/15/2020 at 10:02 PM, Fabulously Olivier said:

Just finished Trails of Cold Steel 1. What a ride! Looking forward to jumping into Cold Steel 2 tomorrow.

I've been working through Cold Steel 1 myself. Just finished the fourth floor of the Old Schoolhouse.

The Old Schoolhouse bosses are really annoying with them constantly spamming AoE attacks that also inflict status effects. I heard Cold Steel was easier than the previous games so I've been playing on Hard instead of Normal, and it's been fun, but the aforementioned bosses are just annoying.

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5 hours ago, Anomalocaris said:

I've been working through Cold Steel 1 myself. Just finished the fourth floor of the Old Schoolhouse.

The Old Schoolhouse bosses are really annoying with them constantly spamming AoE attacks that also inflict status effects. I heard Cold Steel was easier than the previous games so I've been playing on Hard instead of Normal, and it's been fun, but the aforementioned bosses are just annoying.

I really didn't find Cold Steel easier. Especially when any boss S-craft pretty much just wipes your party.

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Been combing through all the Hajimari pre-release footage to see if I could figure out all the playable characters shown off so far. Here's the full list, I believe.

Spoilers for past Cold Steel titles and Hajimari footage:

Spoiler
  • Confirmed fully playable, seen participating in battles:
    • Liberl:
      • Estelle Bright
      • Joshua Bright
      • Agate Crosner
      • Tita Russell
      • Renne Bright
    • Crossbell:
      • Lloyd Bannings
      • Elie MacDowell
      • Tio Plato
      • Randy Orlando
      • Wazy Hemisphere
      • Rixia Mao
      • Noel Seeker
      • Arios MacLaine
    • Erebonia:
      • Rean Schwarzer
      • Alisa Reinford
      • Elliot Craig
      • Laura S. Arseid
      • Machias Regnitz
      • Jusis Albarea
      • Fie Claussell
      • Emma Millstein
      • Gaius Worzel
      • Millium Orion
      • Altina Orion
      • Juna Crawford
      • Kurt Vander
      • Musse Egret
      • Ash Carbide
      • Sara Valestein
      • Crow Armbrust
      • Angelica Rogner (Possibly only playable in the True Reverie Corridor)*
      • Towa Herschel
      • George Nome
      • Elise Schwarzer
      • Alfin Reise Arnor (Possibly only playable in the True Reverie Corridor)*
      • Toval Randonneur
      • Aurelia Le Guin
      • Victor S. Arseid
      • Claire Rieveldt
      • Lechter Arundel
      • Celine (Now has an S-Craft)
      • Roselia Millstein
      • Vita Clotilde
      • Sharon Kreuger
      • Duvalie the Swift
      • Cedric Reise Arnor (Confirmed to be playable in a side-story, unknown if playable outside it)
    • <C>'s entourage:
      • <C>
      • Nadia Rayne
      • Swin Abel
      • Lapis Rosenberg
  • Confirmed to appear, unclear if playable:
    • Scherazard Reise Arnor (Features in a side-story, unknown if playable)
    • Olivert Reise Arnor (Features in a side-story, unknown if playable)
    • Klaudia von Auslese (Features in Lechter's side-story, unknown if playable)
    • Alex Dudley (Features in Machias's side-story, unknown if playable)
    • KeA Bannings (Confirmed to be available as an EX Character, probably not directly playable)
  • Totally unaccounted for:
    • Ines the Stout
    • Ennea the Sharp
    • Xeno
    • Leonidas

*Some recent footage of the True Reverie Corridor showed Angelica being released from a sealing stone and get referred to as an "EXTRA" character. I think this is distinct from the non-playable "EX" characters and refers to characters who are playable inside the True Reverie Corridor but not outside in the main story. If so, Alfin is the same, as she was the character demonstrated on the EXTRA tip screen.

If I've missed or miscategorized anyone feel free to correct me.

EDIT: I've updated my list based on this image. Contains spoilers up to Cold Steel IV, but I've censored <C>'s true identity for you.

Edited by Anomalocaris

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What a coincidence, I just finished Cold Steel 1 at around the same time.

Gonna 100% it in NG+ before I move on to Cold Steel 2. Thankfully I found a save file editor and the game now thinks I have all 15 NG+ points to spend.

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I'm nowhere near done with CS3 (just finished chapter 2). However, I have preordered CS4, as I really do respect Nihon Falcom. 

 

That said, I'm much more excited for Ys IX: Monstrum Nox next year. I'll be booking vacation for that, I think.

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42 minutes ago, Kasumi Yoshizawa said:

I can't download the preordered version for some reason.

Does anyone else have this issue?

I need help...

After crusing the Falcom reddit, it seems the problem is widespread. It isn't on your end and I don't think you can do anything but wait. Sorry.

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