JRPG The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd is (finally) out

Legend Heroes the Third

JRPG The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd [official site] finally released worldwide on PC this week, almost 10 years after it came out in Japan.

It’s the third and final instalment in the Trails in the Sky sub-series and stars Father Kevin Graham, the priest with two first names. Expect third-person combat and a good chunk of dialogue.

I haven’t played any of the games myself, but the last two have been well-received and the initial player reviews on Steam are looking really positive.

The three games are part of the broader Legend of Heroes series, which has more branches than most high-street banks: four sub-series and three spin-off games at last count.

The universe is soon getting a PC refresh soon with the release of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel. It’s a four-year-old console game but the PC version will have 5,000-odd extra lines of voiced dialogue (“a 50% increase”, according to the developers). That’s due out this summer, and a sequel will follow at some as-of-yet unspecified point.

As for Trails in the Sky the 3rd, a small launch discount makes it £22.49/26,99€/$26.99 on Steam, GOG and the Humble Store.

From this site

18 Comments

  1. Nice Save says:

    I played the first one a bit, but then my pathological need to explore side-paths sent me up the wrong fork in the road and I eventually took on too many high-level monsters and died.

    Then I discovered there was no autosave, and my last 3 or 4 hours were gone.

    Then a year or two later I reinstalled it, and did the exact same thing – right down to the same place of death.

    Might be a while before I get to the third one.

    • Bluestormzion says:

      Ouch. Yeah, this is an old-school title. Like, literally so old that I could have still been in school, had I not opted to work for a living instead. But it’s completely worth it if you can remember to save often (and in many different slots, lest you save in a position you can’t get out of and need to redo dozens of hours of gameplay to avoid the unwinable fight that you’re doomed to repeat forever. Like I did. Twice.)

      But yeah, I loved the first, was INSANE about the second, and am currently being absorbed by the third one so much that I even start it up for two battles and walking down a hallway before I have to save and get to work in the morning. LOVE this series, and the world its crafting for me.

      • Kitsunin says:

        The worldbuilding is so good. I honestly have never played another series where I was as interested in hearing what the hundreds of NPCs have to say.

    • Cockie says:

      It actually DOES have autosaving (and saves pretty often, every few minutes and every zone change), but hides the fact very well – in the load menu, press the arrow to the left – autosaves are there (at the very end of the saves list)

      • Chillicothe says:

        Yup. It IS a CRPG, after all!

        Also, this is another miracle, everyone reward them for this!

        • Ringwraith says:

          It’s actually something they added in the localisation too!
          It’s not something the game originally had: autosaving on every screen transition.

      • sovn says:

        yes, some would miss the autosave feature since there was no explanation on it. bought FC 2 years ago and wasnt able to play it due to crashes when moving to another area. revisited it 3 weeks ago, found the fix and now i’m like 4/5 of SC xD

      • Nice Save says:

        Holy crap, you’re right!

        Thanks for that, I checked and I still have the saves even 6 months later.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Auto-saves being hidden on the zeroth page of saves has been mentioned, but also I think only the start of the game has any enemies which are too strong if you take a wrong turn, as the game’s quite linear. So only really in the early stages are you ever at risk of finding something you can’t handle, as the level difference has the most effect there, as normally you just can’t access areas that will squish you.
      Plus running away always works immediately, and you get more experience for beating enemies higher level than you (and vice versa, so you’re going to be on a consistent curve).

  2. Ringwraith says:

    Important to note: don’t start playing The 3rd unless you’ve seen the whole of the previous two games.
    Despite being its own story it’s very much a sequel and has numerous side-stories following up on events from the first two Sky games.
    These games are some densely interconnected writing when they want to be, which is often quietly set up. Plus, ya know, mentioning previous massive plot twists and turns very casually when they’re relevant.

  3. Dinges says:

    These games were a pleasant surprise – I never heard of the Legend of Heroes series, but came across TitS’ (yes, I’m using that acronym) first chapter last year. Enjoyed it a lot (Well, the setting and disgusting amount of world building, at least. Combat was fine, but setting up the magical crap (Filling the right slot with the correct quartz was a fucking hassle and made no sense whatsover) resulted in me looking up a guide to get at least something working.

    Second chapter was even more massive and, tho the story started to include some stuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuupid Japanese tropes (tiny girl with massive weapon + mech, to name but one), I liked the conclusion. Despite the open ending, the main character’s story was finished to satisfaction. This, plus the first game, was the only time I played 2 such massive games from start to finish with basically no distractions.

    This third chapter seems to continue on with one of the minor characters from the previous game (a priest/knight/spy-type) who’s a supposed bad-ass. Can’t help but wonder if it’ll have the same impact as the first 2 games, but I’m definately buying it (during a discount). But I’m really looking forward to the Cold Steel games, since, supposedly, the combat system was changed, which was the only real critique I have on this series.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Yeah, figuring out quartz setups can be a headache.
      Although depends if you really want something specific.
      Mostly just chucking all of the big elements into a single line as much as possible for me.

      Cold Steel does away with the mix-and-matching of elements to get spells, each quartz has specific ones on them, and some are just passive buffs.

      Trails a lot of the time is very surface-level cardboard cutouts and stuff, but it works in their execution. The characters are a lot more interesting and complicated than they first appear.

  4. Taear says:

    I got the first game, got half way through and loved it so much I picked up the second.
    Then by the time I’d finished the first I’d grown to hate it so much I refunded my purchase of the second.

    I’m always surprised that it gets so much praise. The characters are anime tropes, there’s a REALLY strange undercurrent of incest between the main character and her brother.
    And then it’s just insanely long. Normally I’m okay with that but it’s long in a padding way, lots that happens is just sort of busy work with me having to refer to a guide many times because what they wanted me to do was so badly signposted.

    Lastly the combat takes forever. Even if it’s a foregone conclusion you’re going to be in that fight for AT LEAST three minutes. Later on enemies have so many hitpoints that you effectively have to cast spells as well, making it take even longer.

    I’ve grown up playing loads of jRPGs and it was a disappointment to me that such a popular title was such a pain. I don’t like the feeling that my time is being DELIBERATELY wasted, I guess.

    • Ringwraith says:

      If you managed to get through the first game you’re through the worst?
      I love the series, hate the handling of the first game’s ending.

      Also yeah, there’s a definite lack of convenience features as the game’s 12 years old, so no skipping animations or anything like later ones (although they added an S-craft skip).
      The last dungeon of the first’s a slog (the enemies in chests take so long to kill) although defence is subtractive, so buffing attack can make things significantly quicker.
      Also just run from fights. You really don’t need to fight everything, scaled experience means you’ll be on track regardless, and running always works immediately, which it doesn’t really tell you about, oddly.

      As I’ve mentioned somewhere, the characters seem really cliché but often get more interesting once you really start learning about them. The first game’s way too good at keeping its true spark and agenda hidden though, as it was designed to not give any clues that a sequel would exist (until it runs a trailer at the credits).

      (Side cultural note: relationships between adopted siblings is less of a strange thing in Japan due its long-running history of adoption. Even entire clans in its Feudal era would sometimes be inherited by an adopted child, whom was probably fairly old at the time. There’s also a scientific name for that growing up around adopted siblings has you internalise them as your blood relations, and that it tapers off the older they are when adopted: the Westermarck effect).
      Also, sorry, I just like talking about these games as I find them interesting. Even their flaws. I’ll shut up now.

      • Sciencebot says:

        Never be embarrassed about your enthusiasm for something you love.

        • Ringwraith says:

          Oh, not embarrassed, just realising I’m taking up a lot of space.
          I do this with Trails, because they’re some of the best-written JRPGs hardly anyone’s played.

      • Taear says:

        I hope this actually replies to the right comment, it’s so hard to get this comment section to actually work.

        I did run away from most combats. But that meant by the end I wasn’t strong enough to fight any of the things in the chests and not strong enough to kill the final boss. By that point the game had annoyed me so much I just dropped it.

        • Ringwraith says:

          The final boss sucks. Much more than later ones in the series I’ve seen.
          It’s just a monster of health, which isn’t very fun.

          I mostly dodged/ran from everything in the final dungeon, although I beat up all the chest guardians, which honestly take too long anyway. The loot was well-worth it though, as it throws lots of really good equipment at you.
          You’ll have to fight some things, but I’d usually do it to make sure people were up to scratch, and the final dungeon has the chooseable members start at an appropriate level, which is nice.
          It’s very much a bad final dungeon, like many JRPGs sadly, they get somewhat better in some of the later games about this.

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