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Before yesterday06 - News : Kiseki

Trails of Zeroing in on Zero: Imminent Release is All But Azured

By: Ribose5

Hello, soon-to-be detectives! Ribose here. It’s time for an update! It’s been a while, but things have NOT calmed down here. In fact, they have ramped up as we ready for a release, soon.

On My Way, Listen You Have to Obey, Magic Is Mine to Command, I’m The…

Now that it’s time for a new update, it’s time for us to say what has happened since the last one. The first reveal is that our friend, Sorcerian, is the one editing graphics for us! While omgfloofy did some graphics such as the location intro text, chapter title cards, and quartz/arts notebook pages, Sorcerian has filled in to give us the rest!

This includes a long checklist of notebook help pages, battle status and AT icon redraws, and 40+ textures of signs that needed to be adjusted for one reason or another. Addaberry, who provided the cursors, also edited a few sign textures.

Here are a few of the beautiful notebook help pages that Sorcerian has made for us.

And here are a few shots of various parts of the game. If you’re familiar with the game, see if you can spot all of the small adjustments.

Advancing Bravery

In past installments, we have revealed our Options replacement menu and Save List replacement menu, I’d like to show off how they look now with a bit of polish and iteration.

A shout out is due, once again, to the almighty Dear ImGui library powering these user interfaces. By simulating the game’s behavior with text shadow and a background made out of the game engine’s window backgrounds, it should convincingly feel like part of the game! Mouse, keyboard, and controller support is, of course, still present, and should be better than before.

Now, it’s time to show off three core features of our patch that I may or may not have said were impossible in the past. These all rely on the incredible Dear ImGui library in some part.

#1: Individualizing Your Soundtrack

The first feature is one that was brewing for probably years now. We used a little-known (and not very great) UI library for a short time before finding and switching to ImGui for our UI needs. This “OST switch” existed as a (non-functioning) dropdown menu on THAT interface. So that pins it down to at least a year and a half ago.

With my work on replacing SOUNDARC with an emulation thread (a story for another day…) and JoseJL’s continuing work disassembling and finding out more about the game’s systems, and specifically its “t_bgm” table, JoseJL was able to complete this feature. I provided some much-needed UI work to make the selector easy to use and work with our Options overlay.

I also gave it one last touch: each item can be played on the fly! So, with that addition, this became more of a combination Sound Test and OST selection popup. The game will return to the track for the area you are in when the popup is closed.

I also edited the English translations of the song titles to align with our edited project. For song titles that were already in English, such as the famous Get Over the Barrier!, no change was made. If you want the original song titles (the mix of Japanese and English titles found on the official track list), then please check out our release in Japanese display mode.

#2: Button Prompt Icons For Everyone

If you look back at the notebook help pages I posted first, you may notice something. In fact, early experiments of this idea have been going on for at least a year. Old updates posted to this website contained button prompt icons hidden in them.

Now, this feature could require an explanation that could hog one or a few full-length blog posts! So for now, I’ll just state what it is, and leave the how it works for another day…

Button prompt icons are the icons that appear in the top left of the screen during battle and certain menus, as well as the “L” and “R” icons displayed on tabs, and, unique to our release, embedded in the scenario, non-scenario text, and on top of notebook help pages that need them.

Why are they so special? Well, on PSP, PS Vita, PS4, and practically any console out there, button prompts are hardcoded (technically, PS Vita and PS4 let you remap at the OS level, but games frequently do not even change to accommodate this remapping). By hardcoded, I mean that you only have one set of icons and their meaning is exactly what it shows. For example, the Circle button on the PSP was hardcoded to always mean “Accept” and this is irrefutable in that version of this game. It also always would use the Circle glyph and that was fine.

Then, Joyoland ported Zero no Kiseki to the PC platform and did absolutely the bare minimum to work with the platform. They changed the icons to generic DirectInput icons, but the icons did not change when rebound.

We can finally unveil that in this patch, we have fully-rebindable button prompt icons! Under Options > Display, you can choose an icon set (Xbox, DualShock, Switch Pro, and Default). Then you can rebind to your heart’s content! By default, the patch is configured to expect the default layout for each of the three controllers listed.

The other part to this feature is keyboard button prompt icons.

This feature will be expanded upon in a future deep-dive blog post. For now, know that you can select your icon set in the Display tab, and select your binding preset (or set your own) in the Controller, Keyboard, and Mouse tabs, and the game should display sane icons for most regular configurations. This should also provide parity with the existing Trails of Cold Steel PC ports!

#3: The Message Log

And for the final big feature reveal, let’s compare this game to the newest English release in the series, Trails of Cold Steel III. One day while that release was hot on our minds, Arvin asked the impossible question: I had an idea. How about a backlog for text? JoseJL looked into it, and ended up making it possible! He came up with the proof-of-concept, and then we refined it. I provided some UI programming work and improved the scenario parsing to include everything from color to embedded icons. Now introducing: the message log.

This message log of course saves text far into the past just as the game displays it, supports Japanese or English text (depending on your display mode), and displays text with full color and any icons. It also lets you replay scenario voices, if they are installed, and shows the speaker title and speaker portrait if present. It is also saved and loaded with the save file (in a JSON file stored in the save’s folder).

Is That All?

Of course not! There’s always more to this amazing project and it has been an absolute blast to work with the other Geofront team members as we continually make the impossible possible on this game that has become so important to us.

So what’s more? Well, a few shout outs first.

Shout out to all of our amazing testers! They are the real heroes, finding typos, finding strange bugs with the default input sensitivity of the Switch Pro controller in DirectInput mode, finding connections to things we missed from Trails in the Sky FC through Trails of Cold Steel III that they’ll never let us live down for missing, and just generally being collectively comprehensive and thorough like our limited number of eyes could never be. They will be fully listed in our credits on the project’s release day.

Shout out to the previous team’s translation work (that is, translators Guren and Yangxu and others). While we can say with absolute certainty that this project needed an editing pass, and we can also say that we have probably checked the original Japanese on literally thousands of lines, terms, and names, we wouldn’t be here without their first step.

And obligatory shout out to Nihon Falcom for such an incredible game. The story told in this game must be told to you guys. It’s worth the wait to see the humor, the intensity, the characters, the machinations…

Please, just wait about one month longer, for we hope to get this patch in your hands soon. Remember, it’s done when it’s done. We have a few bugs to sort out, but at the rate things are being completed, testing is progressing, and issues are being resolved, I don’t expect it to take much longer. We’ll have you know, we will probably be hard at work on this until that very last moment. There are so many parts to the project, it’s kind of unbelievable that a finish line is in sight.

Supplemental Material

We would like to remind you once more of the treasure chest messages form. Since that will be implemented into the game last, I expect to close that form in a couple weeks. Do get your submissions in!

We will be opening a channel on the Falcom Discord specifically for the discussion of our patch called #trails-from-zero-geofront.

We have a few other supplemental projects to detail and provide related to the game. Please look forward to them!

Now I would like to hand this over to Arvin.

Hello!

Hey guys, Arvin here. I haven’t had the opportunity to write in one of these yet, so I wanted to start by saying hello. So… Hello…

Cool. It’s been about five months since I first started working on this project, and I have to say, whew, it’s been a heck of a ride. I dove into the game with almost no experience in any form of editing, so it was a bit of a struggle at first. However, I’m pleased to say that I’m in my comfort zone at this point, and any of my older, awkward writing was completely banished during the second pass.

On the topic of passes: The first pass essentially served as a means of rearranging the original script into more legible English. The second pass was initially meant to be our proofreading phase, but I felt that all of the writing could have used a bit of an upgrade. I spent a solid two months giving every single NPC a voice, so that they sounded like an actual ‘character,’ as opposed to just a translation. There were a few NPCs I had a ton of fun with, especially in Neinvalli Exchange, Guillaume Factory, and the Fisherman’s Guild. Part of me thinks I was actually born to write fishermen dialog. I also spent time getting down the voices of all the SSS characters, and I think I’ve done a great job of matching Zerker’s writing style to help give everyone a seamless experience. I am especially fond of Randy, if my avatar hadn’t already made it obvious.

P.S. Give me full credit for all of the funny lines, and blame Zerk for any bad lines!

P.P.S. Ouch! I’m funny sometimes! – Zerker

Beta Testing Phase

As you may have seen on Twitter or Discord a few times, we are now more than a month into the beta testing phase! What does that entail, exactly? Well, KillScottKill, Addabery, Zerker, Cata, and myself have been hard at work cleaning up the script. Scott and Adda are currently playing the game and combing through every single piece of dialog to find any spelling mistake, punctuation error, poorly written line, or anything that reeks of a mistranslation and/or inconsistency. Zerk and myself are correcting any mistakes, or rewriting any lines that call for it, while Cata retranslates any lines that seem off. It’d be safe to say the game’s script wouldn’t be nearly as good without Scott and Adda’s efforts, so thank you!

Often times, our discussions can revolve around a single snippet of text, sending us down a massive rabbit hole to confirm its accuracy. One of our more recent examples includes this line:

Could there really be just one Bracer Guild branch in all of Remiferia? Scott found that hard to believe, so we dove into every available script on trailsinthedatabase.com, as well as tried to reference Akatsuki (we know it’s not canon, don’t worry!) After painstaking research, we were able to determine that there are, in fact, at least two branches in Remiferia. Given that Arios is in contact with the Prince of Remiferia fairly often, it was safe to make the assumption that the Ardent branch of Remiferia was contacting them, as it is their capital city. Ardent is also mentioned by name later in Azure. The line now reads: “You see, I was just contacted by the Ardent branch in Remiferia.” You can imagine how easily this can become a time sink when it happens on multiple occasions.

So again, thank you to our testers and the rest of the team for putting in so much work to ensure this localization becomes one worthy of comparison to the official releases. I see measurable improvements to the script every single day, and I have full confidence it will be spectacular by the end. 

I plan to play the game in its entirety once Scott and Adda have finished their current playthrough. I probably won’t adjust much, but I hope to add better quips. I’ve actually gone back and added in a few these last couple of weeks.

And Sign Off

Zerker here. It’s been a hell of a ride, but one I’ll never forget. We’re all extremely proud of the work we’ve done, and we hope you enjoy playing it as much as we’ve enjoyed working on it. You don’t have too much longer to go. Thank you for sticking with us. Thank you for everything.

The post Trails of Zeroing in on Zero: Imminent Release is All But Azured appeared first on The Geofront.

Falcom’s 2019 End of Year Financial Sheet – Record Profits Earned!

On November 7, 2019, Falcom posted their balance sheet reporting on the end of year results for their most recent fiscal year. For those who are unaware, Falcom’s fiscal year runs slight off of the norm, starting from October 1st and ending on September 30th. (The norm in Japan is April ~ March.)

This is all leading up to the shareholder meeting, which is taking place on December 18th, 2019 at the Palace Hotel Tachikawa at 1:30 pm Japan standard time. (11:30 pm eastern standard time on December 17th for people in the United States.)

Per Falcom’s supplemental document, the primary game titles that impacted the 2018-2019 fiscal year are:

  • The Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki IV -The End of Saga- (JP) (PS4)
  • Ys VIII -Lacrimosa of Dana- (International) (Switch)
  • Ys VIII -Lacrimosa of Dana- Christmas Gift Package (JP) (PS4)
  • The Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki Entry Pack (Sen 1 + 2 Set) (CN / KR) (PS4)
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel -Thors Academy 1204- (EN) (PS4)
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II -The Erebonian Civil War- (EN) (PS4)
  • The Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki III (CN) (PS4)
  • The Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki III (KR) (PS4)
  • The Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki IV (CN) (PS4)
  • The Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki IV (KR) (PS4)
  • Ys: Memories of Celceta Kai (JP) (PS4)
  • Ys VIII -Lacrimosa of Dana- Super Price (JP) (PS4)
  • Ys IX -Monstrum Nox- (JP) (PS4)

Editors Note on all JPY > USD Conversions: All amounts are an approximation, and as of 12/26/2019, utilizing google’s currency conversion. This data is provided by Morningstar for Currency. Additional rounding may have been performed for concise numbers. The financial tables will not see number conversions- all conversions are in the summary information.


The numbers are listed in the table below:

In one million yen increments.

Total Sales Operating Profit Operating Income EOY Net Income
FY 2019 2,454 4.1% 1,470 13.9% 1,472 13.7% 1,006 20.2%
FY 2018 2,357 14.7% 1,290 33.0% 1,294 33.7% 836 30.2%

Date: 11/7/2019
Listed Company Name: Nihon Falcom
Company Code Number: 3723
URL: http://www.falcom.co.jp
TEL: 042-527-0555
Delegate: Board Selected President Toshihiro Kondo
Contact Representative: Board Member Takashi Nakano
Scheduled Shareholder Meeting Date: 12/18/2019
Scheduled Dividend Payout Date: 12/19/2019
Scheduled Securities and Bonds Reporting Date: 12/19/2019
Do Supplemental Documents Exist? No
Is A Meeting to Explain Documents Planned? No

Table of Contents

  1. Analysis of Operational Results
    1. Analysis of this Term’s Operational Results
    2. Analysis of Current Term’s Financial Condition
    3. Current Term’s Cash Flow Analysis
    4. Forecast for the Future Term
    5. Policies Regarding Profit Distribution and Dividends for Current and Upcoming Terms
  2. Fundamentals on the Selection of Accounting Standards
  3. Financial Statements and Important Annotations
    1. Balance Sheet
    2. Profit and Loss Statement
    3. Document Regarding Fluctuations in Capital Stock
    4. Cash Flow Statement
    5. Annotations Related to Financial Statements

EDITOR’S NOTE

  1. Relevant Information

Analysis of Operational Results

( 1 ) Analysis of This Term’s Operational Results

During this fiscal year, the Sony PlayStation 4 console has become the fastest console to reach 100 million units sold worldwide and the Nintendo Switch broke through 15 million units sold in North America alone. Even while these numbers are continuously growing, trends on the next generation of consoles, including the PlayStation 5 and Google Stadia are being observed. As competition in the video game industry is fierce, excellent contents are being developed at a steady pace.

Regarding this company, we will continue to push forward with development of game software that will be enjoyed by many users.

As a result, for the PlayStation 4, we have re-released Ys: Memories of Celceta and launched Ys IX -Monstrum Nox-.

As the market remains strong for smartphone and browser games, we will continue to provide downloadable content utilizing our IPs. As long with this, we will be collaborating with various comics and other media. Additionally, we will continue to push forward with the planning of special live events, such as live musical performances, the Kiseki Series 15th Anniversary event that we held earlier this year.

As a result, total sales came out to 2,454 million yen ($22,399,710) (an increase of 4.1% from the previous term), the operating profit was 1,470 million yen ($13,417,920) (an increase of 13.9%), operating income was 1,472 million yen ($13,436,170) (an increase of 13.7%), and the net income was 1,006 million yen ($9,182,600) (an increase of 20.2%).

The divisional outlooks are below.

Manufactured Products Division

This fiscal year saw the releases of Ys VIII -Lacrimosa of Dana- Christmas Gift Package in December 2018, Ys Memories of Celceta Kai in May 2019, and Ys VIII -Lacrimosa of Dana- Super Price in June 2019 – all of which were for PlayStation 4.

September 2019 saw the release of Ys IX -Monstrum Nox-, the new title in the beloved landmark Ys series that has been having titles published since 1987.

As a result, for this fiscal year, the total sales for the manufactured products division was 811 million yen. ($7,402,670) (A reduction of 27.8% from the previous year.)

Licensing Division

The licensing division of this company has assisted in granting consent for licenses to help expand the IP contents and characters developed within the company. One such example was the releases of Sen no Kiseki for the PlayStation 4 in traditional Chinese and Korean in November 2018 This was followed up in January 2019 with a traditional Chinese and Korean release of Sen no Kiseki II for PlayStation 4, as well as a ‘Sen no Kiseki Entry Pack,’ which contained both games.

In March 2019, not only was Sen no Kiseki IV -The End of Saga- was released in both traditional Chinese and Korean, but Sen no Kiseki Kai (Trails of Cold Steel) was also released in English. In June 2019, Sen no Kiseki II (Trails of Cold Steel II) also saw an English language release.

In July 2019, the smartphone story RPG Hoshi no Kiseki was released in China, and in September 2019, the MMORPG version of Sora no Kiseki began its service.

Additionally, Lineking Entertainment Technology (located in Beijing) has executed a contract, giving them the rights for worldwide distribution of a smartphone version of Ys VIII -Lacrimosa of Dana- and other new licensing contracts are advancing.

Furthermore, Falcom’s userbase continues to grow, as older titles from Falcom’s library are being released in English, the online story RPG Akatsuki no Kiseki continues its service, Ys VIII -Lacrimosa of Dana- is released on Switch and the development of a collaboration event in Langrisser Mobile.

As the Kiseki series breaks past 4.3 million units sold, this year is its 15th anniversary, and many shops have had collaborative events and goods developed for sale.

As a result, for this fiscal year, the total sales for the licensing division was 1,642 million yen. ($14,987,900) (An increase of 33.1%)

( 2 ) Analysis of Current Term’s Financial Condition

( Total Assets )
The assets for this fiscal year saw a 582 million yen ($5,312,400) increase, to 6,592 million yen ($60,170,690). The primary cause of this is an increase to 1,028 million yen ($9,383,410) of cash in banks and a reduction to accounts receivable to 426 million yen ($3,888,460).

( Liabilities )
For liabilities, this fiscal year saw a decrease of 320 million yen ($2,290,900), coming to a total of 523 million yen ($4,773,860). The primary factors for this were an accounts payable decrease to 121 million yen ($1,104,470), and a decrease to 187 million yen ($1,706,900) in unpaid taxes.

( Net Worth )
This company’s network saw a 903 million ($8,242,440) increase this fiscal year, totaling out to 6,068 million yen ($55,387,700). The primary cause for this is the surplus of 102 million yen ($931,040), in regards to the 1,006 million yen ($9,182,600) operating income for this fiscal term.

( 3 ) Current Term’s Cash Flow Analysis

For this term, cash and cash equal assets (hereon referred to as ‘capital’) saw an increase of 1,028 million yen, totaling out to 5,586 million yen.

The next information is regarding this term’s cash flow.

( Cash Flow Through Business Activities )
Capital from business activities has increased to 1,131 million yen. This is primarily due to 620 million yen paid in corporate tax, sales credit decreasing to 426 million yen, and stock liabilities decreasing to 121 million yen. This lead to a pre-tax, current net income of 1,463 million yen.

( Cash Flow Through Investments )
Investment activities have resulted in a decrease of 1 million yen. This is due to expenses in obtaining tangible fixed assets.

( Cash Flow Through Financial Activities )
Financial activities have resulted in a decrease in capital to 101 million yen. Dividend payments are the primary cause of this with expenditures coming out to 101 million yen.

  2015 Term 2016 Term 2017 Term 2018 Term 2019 Term
Capital-to-Asset Ratio 91.4 92.4 87.8 86.0 92.1
Capital-to-Asset Ratio of
Market Value Base
265.7 154.6 206.9 222.4 213.8
Ratio of Interest Bearing Debt
Against Cash Flow
Interest Coverage Ratio

( 4 ) Forecast for the Future Term

The next fiscal year will see the release of Trails of Cold Steel III in English for the PlayStation 4 and the Chinese and Korean releases of both Zero and Ao no Kiseki Evolution for PlayStation Vita. Ys IX -Monstrum Nox- will be seeing a PlayStation 4 release in Traditional Chinese and Korean. After the successful releases of the Kai versions of Sen no Kiseki and Memories of Celceta, multiple ‘Kai’ versions of other games are being developed for PlayStation 4.

This is content that has been translated for use on Endless History – http://www.esterior.net/

With a focus on the Ys and Kiseki series, developments for Japan, North America, Europe, and Asia are in progress, as well as continued promotions on previously released titles.

Additionally, a new work for the Kiseki series is planned for release. The Kiseki series has won many awards, such as the Japan Game First Prize of Excellence, Japan Game Future Award, Famitsu Award, PlayStation Award Users Choice, and others, and has broken 4.3 million units sold.

Again, for the next term, we intend to continue with development plans for various titles on other platforms and smartphones, and collaborative works with other game developers utilizing our IPs and other multiplatform developments. As recent years have seen strong growth in download sales, a stronger effort for the development of downloadable content will also be made.

Now, including both the Ys and Kiseki series, we have the opportunity to push for new challenges with console games and continue with new titles. From here on out, we intend to offer attractive game software and other content.

For the term that ends in September 2020, we have made a forecast of 2,100 million yen in total sales (a reduction of 14.4%), an operating profit of 1,000 million yen (a reduction of 32.0%), an operating income of 1,000 million yen (a reduction of 32.1%), and a net income of 680 million yen (a reduction of 32.4%).

Now, a distinction of this company during development is the tendency for the total sales to be focused on the months of the release of new products. We expect the next term to follow this trend, and much of the percentage comes from the second half of the year. As such, through the second quarter, the year will appear very low when compared to the earnings forecast.

Regarding the forecast in this document, this judgment has been made based on information that is currently available at this present time. Actual results may be greatly different from the forecast once more information has become available.

( 5 ) Policies Regarding Profit Distribution and Dividends for Current and Upcoming Terms

The management of profit return is an important topic for all of the shareholders of this company. While in line with profit gains, it is necessary to secure capital from internal funds to strengthen business operations. It is the company’s basic policy to determine the appropriate dividends based on the term’s performance.

The dividends for this fiscal year will be 6 yen per 1 share (general dividend), as well as a commemorative 6 (due to the Kiseki series 15th anniversary, and the 15th anniversary of the public listing), totaling to 12 yen per share.

For next term, there are plans for a commemorative bonus to the 6 yen per share dividend as well.

Fundamentals on the Selection of Accounting Standards

As this firm does not prepare consolidated financial statements, there has been consideration on using international standards for drawing up said statements, but they were instead prepared using Japanese standards.

Financial Statements and Important Annotations

( 1 ) Balance Sheet

In thousand yen increments.
  Prev. Year (2018) Current Year (2019)
Property Division    
Current Assets    
Cash on Hand 4,554,444 5,586,537
Accounts Receivable 1,154,166 728,053
Products 2,276 2,926
Raw Materials 1,387 1,083
Prepaid Expenses 5,612 4,693
Misc. 1,396 11,684
Current Assets Sum 5,723,284 6,334,979
Fixed Assets    
Tangible Property    
Facilities Related Installations 16,281 16,281
Total Depreciation Amount ▲ 15,465 ▲ 15,628
Facilities Related Installations
(Net Amount)
815 652
Tools, Equipment, and Furnishings 33,625 34,717
Total Depreciation Amount ▲ 30,576 ▲ 31,929
Tools, Equipment, and Furnishings
(Net Amount)
3,049 2,788
Fixed Assets Sum 3,865 3,440
Intangible Fixed Assets    
Software 346 170
Telephone Procurement 757 757
Intangible Fixed Assets Sum 1,103 927
Assets from Additional Investments    
Security Investments 116,578 116,578
Deferred Tax Assets 134,735 106,969
Securities and Deposits 30,015 29,683
Sum of Assets from Additional Investments 281,329 253,230
Sum of Fixed Assets 286,297 257,598
Total Assets 6,009,582 6,592,557
 
Debt Division    
Current Liabilities    
Accounts Payable 229,802 107,828
Arrears 85,514 79,692
Accrued Expenses 17,049 20,992
Unpaid Corporate Taxes 406,054 218,569
Unpaid Consumption Taxes 67,228 54,235
Advances Received 33 108
Deposits 12,154 12,403
Reward Provisions 26,250 30,000
Sum of Current Liabilities 884,087 523,829
Total Debts 884,087 523,829
 
Net Worth Division    
Shareholder Equity    
Capital Stock 164,130 164,130
Capital Surplus    
Capital Reserve Fund 319,363 319,363
Sum of Capital Surplus 319,363 319,363
Profit Surplus    
Miscellaneous Profit Surplus    
Contingent Reserve 710,000 710,000
Transferred Profit Surplus 3,972,191 4,875,556
Sum of Profit Surplus 4,682,191 5,585,556
Treasury Stock ▲ 189 ▲ 300
Sum of Shareholder Equity 5,165,494 6,068,748
Total Net Worth 5,165,494 6,068,748
Net Worth Minus Debts 6,009,582 6,592,557

this is content that has been translated for use on Endless History – http://www.esterior.net/

( 2 ) Profit and Loss Statement

In thousand yen increments
  Prev. Year (2018) Current Year (2019)
Sales    
Sales of Manufactured Goods 1,123,648 881,511
Royalty Income 1,234,342 1,642,617
Total Sales 2,357,991 2,454,128
Cost of Sales    
Cost of Sales for Manufactured Goods *1 347,263 *1 220,176
Cost of Sales for Royalty Income 3,000
Total Cost of Sales 350,263 220,176
Total of All Sales 2,007,727 2,233,951
 
Sales and Administrative Costs    
Shipping and Freight Costs 21,710 9,435
Advertising Expenses 58,697 58,763
Promotional Costs 24,542 14,889
Executive Salary 53,434 55,484
Employee Salary and Wages 26,443 27,642
Bonuses 2,764 5,333
Sums Transferred into Bonus Reserves 2,763 2,899
Legal Costs 13,415 14,095
Hiring Costs 12,349 11,833
Utility Costs 1,011 1,071
Payment Handling 40,802 36,267
Supply Expenses 1,827 3,024
Travel Expenses 1,583 1,571
Communication Expenses (Postage) 628 546
Depreciation Costs 957 537
Research and Development *2 414,476 *2 479,202
Miscellaneous 39,687 41,019
Sum of Sales and Administrative Costs 717,095 763,618
 
Operating Profit 1,290,632 1,470,333
Earnings from Outside the Business    
Interest Receipts 42 51
Dividend Receipts 1,738 2,321
Profit on Currency Exchange 1,268
Excluded Profits from Unpaid Dividends 966 710
Sum of Earnings from Outside the Business 4,016 3,082
Costs from Outside the Business    
Losses from Foreign Exchange 1,084
Sum of Costs from Outside the Business 1,084
Current Profits 1,294,648 1,472,367
Special Costs    
Costs from Eliminating Fixed Assets 0 0
Sum of Special Costs 0 0
Current Income Before Taxes 1,294,648 1,472,637
Corporation, Municipal, and Enterprise Taxes 547,554 438,437
Sum of Adjustments from Corporation Tax ▲ 89,783 27,766
Sum of Taxes 457,770 466,203
Current Net Income 836,877 1,006,163

Detailed Statement of the Cost of Sales of Manufactured Goods

Operation Section Previous Year (2018) Current Year (2019)
Division Amount Ratio (%) Amount Ratio (%)
I. Material Cost 310,738 89.7 204,409 92.6
II. Outsourcing Cost 35,639 10.3 16,416 7.4
SUBTOTAL 346,486 100.0 220,826 100.0
III. Inventory Count of Goods
at Beginning of Term
3,053 2,276
SUM TOTAL 349,540 223,102
IV. Inventory Count of Goods
at End of Term
2,276 2,926
Difference in Costs
of Goods
347,263 220,176

Document Regarding Fluctuations in Capital Stock

Previous Term (Oct 1, 2017, thru Sept 30, 2018)

In thousand yen increments
Shareholder Equity Sum of
Net Worth
Capital
Stock
Capital Surplus Profit Surplus Treasury
Stock
Sum of
Capital
Stock
Capital Reserve Misc. Profit Surplus
Special Reserve Transferred Profit Surplus
Current Term Balance 164,130 319,363 710,000 3,217,553 ▲ 117 4,410,929 4,410,929
Change of Sums in Current Term
Surplus Shares ▲82,239 ▲82,239 ▲82,239
Current Net
Income
836,877 836,877 836,877
Treasury
Stock Profit
▲72 ▲72 ▲72
Sum of Fluctuations
For the Current
Period
754,638 ▲72 754,565 754,565
Remainder at
the end of this
Period
164,130 319,363 710,000 3,972,191 ▲189 5,165,494 5,165,494

Previous Term (Oct 1, 2018, thru Sept 30, 2019)

In thousand yen increments
Shareholder Equity Sum of
Net Worth
Capital
Stock
Capital Surplus Profit Surplus Treasury
Stock
Sum of
Capital
Stock
Capital Reserve Misc. Profit Surplus
Special Reserve Transferred Profit Surplus
Current Term Balance 164,130 319,363 710,000 3,972,191 ▲ 189 5,165,494 5,165,494
Change of Sums in Current Term
Surplus Shares ▲102,798 ▲102,798 ▲102,798
Current Net
Income
1,006,163 1,006,163 1,006,163
Treasury
Stock Profit
▲111 ▲111 ▲111
Sum of Fluctuations
For the Current
Period
903,365 ▲111 903,254 903,254
Remainder at
the end of this
Period
164,130 319,363 710,000 4,875,556 ▲300 6,068,748 6,068,748

Cash Flow Statement

In thousand yen increments.
  Prev. Year (2018) Current Year (2019)
Cash Flow from Business Activities    
Current Net Income Before Taxes 1,294,648 1,472,367
Depreciation Costs 3,605 2,162
Reduction of Fluctuations of Reward Reserves
(▲ is decrease)
2,250 3,750
Interest and Dividend Receipts ▲1,780 ▲2,372
Loss from Elimination of Fixed Assets 0 0
Reduction of Fluctuations in Sales Credit
(▲ is increase)
▲192,164 426,188
Reduction of Fluctuations in Inventory Assets
(▲ is increase)
2,701 ▲301
Fluctuation Amounts of Other Assets
(▲ is increase)
702 ▲9,036
Reduction of Fluctuations in Purchased Debts
(▲ is decrease)
84,746 ▲121,973
Reduction of Fluctuations of Arrears
(▲ is decrease)
27,031 ▲121,973
Fluctuation Amounts of Unpaid Taxes
(▲ is decrease)
6,031 ▲12,993
Fluctuation Amounts of Other Debts
(▲ is decrease)
8,652 ▲1,517
Subtotal 1,236,426 1,749,978
Amounts Received via Interests and Dividends 1,780 2,372
Amount Paid for Corporation Tax ▲445,478 ▲620,923
Cash Flow from Business Activities 792,728 1,131,427
Cash Flow from Investment Activities    
Expenses from the Value of Tangible Assets ▲1,562
Cash Flow from Investment Activities ▲1,562
Cash Flow from Financial Activities    
Expenses from the Value of Treasury Stock ▲72 ▲111
Dividend Payments ▲81,713 ▲101,660
Cash Flow from Financial Activities ▲81,785 ▲101,771
Increased Reduction in Cash and Cash Value Articles
(▲ is decrease)
710,942 1,028,093
Balance of Cash and Cash Value Articles at Start of Term 3,847,502 4,558,444
Balance of Cash and Cash Value Articles at End of Term * 4,558,444 * 5,586,537

Annotations Related to Financial Statements

(Annotations Concerning Business Condition Continued)
No applicable information.

(Important Accounting Policies)

1. Appraisal Standards and Evaluation Policies for Marketable Securities
Other Marketable Securities
There are no market value items.
Moving average is calculated via cost price.

2. Appraisal Standards and Evaluation Policies for Inventory Assets
Manufactured goods and raw services.
Utilizing the previously mentioned cost price ( calculations based on the declining book value of profitability) principles.

3. Depreciation Estimates Process for Fixed Assets
( 1 ) Tangible fixed assets
Using a fixed rate. (based on building installation value laws instated on 4/1/2016)

Below is the average service life.

Building Installations: 10 ~ 15 years
Tools, Devices, and Furnishings: 4 ~ 8 years

( 2 ) Intangible fixed assets
Based on the in-house availability (5 years) of software used in the corporation.

4. Appropriation Standards for Reserves
( 1 ) Irrecoverable debt reserves
Prepared to have ready for losses caused by irrecoverable debt from credits. There is a considered ratio for irrecoverable debt to go along with the general credit, as such this is a sum of money to maintain for the times when it’s impossible to claim a debt.

( 2 ) Bonus reserves
Provisioned expenditures set aside to give to employees as a reward.

5. Scope Regarding Funds in the Cash Flow Statement
Cash on hand is made up of money that can be quickly withdrawn, and items that can be easily liquidated, moreover the company takes responsibility for small risks from value fluctuations that can be paid off anywhere between three days to three months.

6. Important Notes Involving the Standards for Drawing up Other Financial Statements
Accounting of consumption tax: based on formulas that include tax amounts.

( Changes to Account Objectives )
No applicable information.

Editor's Note

In case you didn’t know, this is a monster document. In the Japanese document, we are currently on page 14 of 19, even. At this point, the document is going into a list of why certain changes are happening to the document, based on new standards in corporate tax accounting and so forth, and it is very dry.

To get this to you faster, and before the financial report that is happening tonight, I am omitting these tables and annotations towards the end except for two of them, seeing as I know that they would hold interest to a lot of my readers.

If you are interested in seeing these notes and numbers, you can find the article here, on Falcom’s IR page.

Additionally, if you want the supplementary report that gives you a broader sample of information from the end of the year, you can find that here.

Relevant Information

Prev. Term (Oct 1, 2017 ~ Sept 30, 2018)

( 1 ) Information on Manufactured Goods and Other Services

In thousand yen increments.
  Manufactured Goods Div. Licensed Goods Div. Total
Total Sales of External Clients 1,123,648 1,234,342 2,357,991

( 2 ) Regional Information
→ Total Sales

In thousand yen increments.
Japan Asia North America / Europe Total
2,033,602 144,422 173,966 2,357,991

Note: The information is based on client sales, sorted by region.

→ Tangible Fixed Assets

( 3 ) Major Client Information

In thousand yen increments.
Major Client Name Total Sales Related Segment Name
Konami Digital Entertainment 991,587 Game Development / Sales
Sony Interactive Entertainment 683,489 Game Development / Sales

Current Term (Oct 1, 2018 ~ Sept 30, 2019)

( 1 ) Information on Manufactured Goods and Other Services

In thousand yen increments.
  Manufactured Goods Div. Licensed Goods Div. Total
Total Sales of External Clients 811,511 1,642,617 2,454,128

( 2 ) Regional Information
→ Total Sales

In thousand yen increments.
Japan Asia North America / Europe Total
1,856,004 198,628 399,495 2,454,128

Note: The information is based on client sales, sorted by region.

→ Tangible Fixed Assets

( 3 ) Major Client Information

In thousand yen increments.
Major Client Name Total Sales Related Segment Name
Konami Digital Entertainment 830,925 Game Development / Sales
Sony Interactive Entertainment 718,682 Game Development / Sales

Sources:
Falcom IR Information – Summary of Accounts for Term ending in Sept 2019

Ys IX Monstrum Nox OST Set for Nov 22 Release

This morning, Falcom has announced that they will be releasing the original soundtrack for Ys IX: Monstrum Nox on November 22, 2019.

This soundtrack set will include 3 CDs, containing 62 tracks that were used in the game, including boss battle themes like ‘MONSTRUM SPECTRUM,’ impressionable field themes such as ‘NORSE WIND,’ and the trailer song, ‘GLESSING WAY!’

The soundtrack will have two different versions, both a standard release for 3500 yen, and a first press limited release for 3800 yen. The first release set includes a tall case, a shadow sleeve that will block out the monstrum to only show their silhouettes, reversible jacket, and cards featuring the illustrations from the game’s ending.

You can find the standard release for sale here on Falcom’s shop, and the first press release here.

The soundtrack will also be available digitally in both standard and hi-res versions. The standard digital release is 2917 yen, or 139 yen per track. The hi-res version is 3148 yen, or 231 yen per track.

You can find more information on the album here on Falcom’s Hot Information page.

Trails from Zero: 100%

Well, we made it. For a while, I wasn’t sure if we would—yet here we are. The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero’s first editing pass has been completed. It’s still a little weird to say. After sinking so much of my life into this project for over two years, it’s numbing to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Putting sentimentality aside for now, I suppose you’re asking what happens now? I’ll try to answer that.

The Plan

From here, we are going to run a proofreading/minor editing pass over the areas in the script that need it. This should take a fraction of the time that it took to edit the script, so worry not. Towards the end of proofreading, the testing phase is planned to start. Truth be told, I’m not 100% sure how long that will take, so Ribose will talk about that below! Either way, things are progressing at a rapid pace.

Testing Phase

Hello, Ribose here! The way testing will work is players will be given access to the patch (obviously), as well as a channel to talk to us with, and the issue tracker to report any and every issue found. The issue tracker also contains a wiki containing all of my technical notes for reference, such as a list of all of the quests (and notable optional interactions within them), the NPCs, the documentation of all debug functions (that we’ve found), and the things people are recommended to test.

Any and all terminology is being synchronized with Kiseki Wiki, such that an inconsistency between what the wiki says and what the game says is also considered a bug. Technical bugs, graphical bugs, scenario script bugs (typos, context, etc), inconsistencies, and anything else reported will be looked into and the team will attempt to fix it. Of course, the testers will be able to see reported issues and be able to talk with us and get feedback. Testing will begin soon and will be by invite. We hope it’ll only be a few months until release!

A Special Thanks

Zerker back. Before anything else, I have to thank our friend, Arvin. He has been an immensely huge help in finishing the first editing pass, and has grown to be an invaluable member of the team. Genuinely, I don’t know if we could have finished it (har, har) without your dedication.

Surprises?

On top of the patch, we also have a few mini-projects in the works—related to Zero, of course! Imagine it as the extra toppings on the pizza. Not necessary, but they’re nice to have! One is planned to be released before the patch, and the other concurrently with Trails from Zero.

The post Trails from Zero: 100% appeared first on The Geofront.

Trails from Zero: 90%

10% to go. Looking back, it’s amazing that we got this far to begin with. When I first joined the project, I don’t think I understood just how massive of an undertaking this was going to be. And yet, here we are. 10% until all of the dialogue has undergone edits. Wild.

I suppose that I should clear the air. For the past 7-ish months, I hardly touched the project. I could probably count the number of times I opened the spreadsheet on one hand. Why, you may ask? Well, a lot of burnout. A lot of life happenings. A lot of me shirking my responsibilities, too, I guess. I got engaged to the love of my life, and I’m also trying to get into law school. But, honestly, I think I’ve used those as excuses to push the project to the side. Without Ribose, Cata, and Jose always working on it, I don’t know what would have happened. You don’t need to worry, though. Trails from Zero is coming out, and it’s going to be damn good. With an extra set of hands and renewed energy, we’ve done nearly 10% in about a month. No, we aren’t rushing. We just want to deliver on what we promised. I want to.

Within the next month or so, we want to hit 100%. Unfortunately, that does not mean the patch is ready for release. We will have to go over everything, clean things up, and get ready for QA. Luckily, that should take a fraction of the time. Just be excited, okay? I’ll hand the mic over to Ribose now.

A Small Technical Update

While things may have been slow on the editing front, Jose and I (Ribose) continued to fix things in the background. There were a number of issues affecting the build, from issues running on Windows 7 (now fixed), and issues with the build configuration (we hope is fixed). Also, strange memory leaks and annoying crashes that generally had to do with our modifications to the texture loading, which we also hope are fixed.

We also took the time to implement what wasn’t implemented into our mod, so now we can show off one little thing that was hinted at in the last technical update.

Options Menu

In the previous update, I mentioned this at the start of the save menu replacement section:

A while back, Jose switched the UI library he was using in order to improve the options menu and expose them to players.

Here is how our options menu looks!

Jose and I have worked to make this options menu functional with mouse, keyboard, or controller input. I’ve gone so far as to make it respect keyboard/controller/mouse bindings as the game’s input system sees them. This means if you unbind the accept button, you might need another input method to bind it again…

The menu itself provides all of the options that the external config.exe tool did, but in both Japanese and English, and while the game is running! We chose to do it this way to avoid having to hack a second executable just for English strings, and to have a non-redundant location to easily add additional settings to. While the external tool may still work to a degree, it will not be patched and may not function well with a non-Japanese locale (or due to numerous observed bugs in the original, such as with rebinding). We recommend that players not use the external tool, and just select “OPTION” in the game, as you normally expect from a modern game. The startup process of the game has been adjusted to launch the game at your current default monitor’s resolution in borderless window mode, if the config.ini file (where settings are stored) could not be found.

Once more, this uses the amazing Dear ImGui library, which is a graphical user interface overlay system featured in other mods such as Special K. Mind you, ImGui itself doesn’t add any of the features of other mods using Special K, as it just provides the interface.

Other Technical Updates

We have also improved a lot of tiny details about the overall project in important ways. Please look forward to the completed patch containing:

  • XInput controller support (complete):  If you use Steam Input (that is, you add the game as a “non-Steam game” shortcut with Steam’s controller support enabled), a real Xbox 360, Xbox One, or Steam Virtual Controller (a.k.a. Steam Link), the game will detect it as XInput and will label the button names in the options menu appropriately. It’ll also work as other XInput-enabled games on Steam currently do (such as Trails in the Sky and Trails of Cold Steel). I recommend pairing it with the “Xbox/XInput” preset for a reasonable default button mapping. It will actually use this preset automatically if config.ini cannot be found and XInput is detected.
  • Controller button prompt replacement (working):  Currently, the game will replace the generic numbered button icons with those found on the Xbox, DualShock, or Switch Pro icon sheet (part of the included textures). This is a setting you can select from.
  • Xbox prompts on the state map.
  • DualShock prompts on the quartz menu.
  • Switch Pro prompts on the cooking menu.
  • Alphabetized Crossbell City Library material (awaiting editing):  One minor detail about the library was that the Japanese release categorized and sorted their entries about the lore in Japanese kana order. That is, the first category is “A~Z”, the second is “ア行” (meaning the “A line” of the Japanese alphabet, which includes words starting with ア, イ, ウ, エ, or オ– a, i, u, e, or o, in that order), and the third continues along that alphabet. This makes a lot of sense for Japanese, but almost none in English, when words are also translated into those with different starting sounds, or with English’s tendency to have deviations from spelling to pronunciation. Our solution was to reorder the menus entirely in this section, sorting it in English alphabetical order, and fixing the resulting haphazard letter-splitting that then occurs. So for example, the page containing 5 “カ行” items (“K” line, sorted ka, ki, ku, ke, ko, of course) was changed to contain 4 “E-F” items, as shown below. Do note that the most difficult part of this was changing the number of items in each menu.
  • If you know the game, then you’d be aware what it means when I say the Information Terminals are implemented properly now.
  • You’ll be able to press “1”, “2”, “3”, and “4” on your keyboard as quick-access to the S-Break feature, as well as to the four notebooks outside of battle.
  • Here’s a closing image of the save menu from the previous update, with minor updates and the functioning button to “Show in folder”. With keyboard or controller, you’ll be able to access those two options from the “Slot” menu on top (press the CAMP binding to toggle between the menu and the save items).

The Barrier

Listen: If you’ve played the old patch, that’s fine. If you played on the initial spreadsheet, that’s fine. If you can read Japanese, that’s fine. Hell, if you’ve waited all this time for us, that’s fine, too. (Also, you rock.) All I ask is that you look forward to experiencing the fan localization of Zero no Kiseki.

I cannot thank you enough for standing by us—a group of Falcom fans—all this time. We won’t let you down.

We’ll get over the barrier.

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[Anime Expo 2019] An Interview with Toshihiro Kondo

Toshihiro Kondo with the crocheted pom trio.
Toshihiro Kondo with the crocheted pom trio.

Just before Anime Expo, I had the opportunity to join NIS America at a press event held in San Francisco. There, I got to play part of their English build of Trails of Cold Steel III, as well as meet with Toshihiro Kondo for an interview.

If you are interested in reading about my impressions of the build, I have that posted here.

Not all of the questions and answers that I heard asked to Kondo during the week are included in this- this is primarily my own interview with him. Also, as I did with the previous interview, I opted to take a more ‘fan-based perspective’ from the start, knowing that most press outlets would end up asking many of the other major questions about the company at this point in time.

This interview was graciously interpreted by Alan Costa.


Endless History: Thank you for taking the time to sit down with me. This has been a very exciting opportunity.

What kind of advantages have you seen from working with multiple publishers to localize your games? And have there been any particular difficulties as well?

Toshihiro Kondo: To talk about the merits first, of using multiple publisher partners, is that the size of our company, since we’re not a very large company… A larger company would be, for example, able to do all of the localization and publishing themselves, but as you can imagine, that requires quite a bit of manpower. Therefore, for a company of our size, it is very difficult to devote people to that. So we need help on that front. Allowing other companies to do that allows us to do what we want to do, which is focus on game development and game creation.

And honestly, I can’t think of any demerits. For us, just being able to work with some outside party to publish the games for us for localization frees us up for development. So there’s really no demerit that comes to mind.

EH: Have there been any differences or changes in any English localizations that surprised you or that you really liked?

TK: One thing is that characters in our games have a lot of Germanic-sounding names. So I’m always kind of impressed when I see how the Germanic names end up actually looking in English.

For us, as Japanese people, we don’t really have this impression of German names being something specific. They’re kind of mixed into the idea of ‘the West.’ When we did see them, I always find it interesting to see just how different it actually is.

On the other hand, I know that it may cause some confusion or surprise, maybe, for people in the West. So recently, we’ve been trying a little harder to make sure that the names are a bit more accurate.

EH: Are there any other older titles that you would like to see released here in the West?

TK: I get this question a lot when I’m over here. What I would definitely like to see brought over here is Zero and Ao no Kiseki. Honestly, these games aren’t in a position to be played on consoles anymore and first of all, we’d like to address that issue and get them onto consoles that can be played. I would love for, once that happens, publishers in the West to raise their hand to take the games and bring them out here.

EH: That would be awesome.

TK: We’ll do our best.

EH: This ties into that, then. Are there any plans to keep the older Kiseki titles available as current platforms go into their end of production cycle?

TK: This is something we’ve really thought about. It’s a shame to think about all of the hard work that went into the creation of these games that will be lost once the hardware changes and it’s no longer able to be played. As you can remember recently, we’ve released a PS4 version of Memories of Celceta. So what we’d like to do, in that same way, is continue to update the games and bring them out so that they’re able to still be played.

EH: I recall that you have talked about some development issues with the original Trails of Cold Steel. Are you able to go into detail of any of the issues you encountered?

TK: To go into more depth of that, as you can probably remember, up until that time we never used full 3D for these games- in particular for the character models. What would be done is they would be rendered in 3D, then turned into a 2D image. In Trails of Cold Steel, this was the first time we attempted to [do it with] full 3D. As you know, there are tons of characters, which means we had to create a lot of different models for them. We ran into trouble in particular with creating those models, then creating their animations. So that’s something that we had to just work through trial and error over the years to get used to it to make it look good. And finally starting with Trails of Cold Steel III, we finally reached what we were going for in terms of the models and animations.

EH: I think you succeeded with it with Trails of Cold Steel III.

TK: Then on the story side of things, what made this one really difficult was that- obviously- the setting for Cold Steel is the Erebonian Empire, which is something we’ve been dropping hints to, talking about, and pointing towards since Trails in the Sky through Zero and Ao. So the difficulty here became- now that we’ve built this place up so much- how exactly do we tell this story? If we were to kind of throw in everything we were thinking of, or that we had hinted at, in the main story, it wouldn’t come together and gel well as an actual story. So the way we kind of got around this was we put different information in quests in the game, we had different NPCs talk about different things to give supplementary information to things we had talked about before. So that was another area where we really struggled, which was to make sure the story blended well.

The first view of Valflame Palace in Trails of Cold Steel, upon arriving in Heimdallr.
The first view of Valflame Palace in Trails of Cold Steel, upon arriving in Heimdallr.

EH: I’m glad you guys took the 3D approach, because seeing Heimdallr for the first time in Trails of Cold Steel was amazing, I don’t think it would have as much of an impact without being in 3D.

TK: It sounds like our efforts paid off.

EH: I think they did. I’ve been playing these since the first game came out in 2004, and after all the talk about Erebonia, that pan that goes down in Heimdallr, showing the castle, I had to stop and take a breather.

Clare from Brandish 4
Clare from Brandish 4

TK: Trails is a series we want to continue making in Japan. We think it’s very important that we reflect on the game’s user feedback and user desires so going forward we would like to improve these games and make improvements for people.

EH: Do you foresee an opportunity in the future to revisit some old titles like Sorcerian or Brandish?

TK: Yes, as you know, we have this rule now that we do a Trails game, then an Ys game, but that’s not the only thing we want to do. A few years back, we released Tokyo Xanadu, and it was a good thing that we did it on the development side, but we also got a lot of positive user feedback as well. It often comes up in our development meetings for what we want to make and the younger staff want to try their hand at things outside of the two games we just mentioned. Going forward, we want to continue to try our hand at older series that we’ve worked on before. We definitely want to put it into our view and make games both from the past and continue the series that we [currently] have.

And in order to accomplish that goal of being able to make more games we have been gradually increasing the amount of staff.

EH: What does JDK stand for?

TK: They won’t tell me. The name was actually bestowed to the sound team by Mr. Kato, the founder of the company, who is now the chairman. When I asked him about it, he said that there are some things you’re better off not knowing. I have to have investor meetings quarterly and I’ve actually been asked about that. I don’t know the answer, and it’s kind of embarrassing. One of the staff jokes is ‘Just Directed (by) Kato.’

EH: With the large music library that you have available, have you ever considered a rhythm game?

TK: This actually comes up every now and then and we want to do that. So I think that if we have the opportunity to do another game like Trails in the Sky the 3rd, we might throw that in as a mini-game or something. We have the song library for the entire Falcom catalog that is over 4,000 tracks. It would be a shame to not put those to use.

The cover for the Ys VIII Super Ultimate album.
The cover for the Ys VIII Super Ultimate album.

EH: With the recent release of the Ys VIII Super Ultimate Arrange album, there haven’t been a lot of arrange albums to this point. Is there any particular reason, and can we expect more of them in the future?

TK: There isn’t any particular reason as to why we haven’t released any arrange albums recently, but when it comes to this one that just came out for Ys VIII, the music for Ys VIII was highly evaluated by everyone. Given the positive reception for the soundtrack, we thought it would be a good time to revisit an arrange album.

I have a funny anecdote to tell you about Ys VIII and the music specifically. Early in the development, Mr. Kato- back in the day he used to give me and the development teams a lot of advice, but recently he’s been quite quiet and lets us do what we want. However, when we decided to make Ys VIII, he called me and the Sound Team into his office, and he said, “I want you to make the best Ys soundtrack in history.” This was a really vague command, yet at the same time it was a very difficult one to fulfill. So, we worked really hard with the Sound Team and, maybe more than usual, we gave specific directions on how we wanted things to sound. Obviously, we focused very much on the melody of the songs, so I think that hard work paid off in terms of what actually came out.

EH: On the topic of music, is there anything that Trails fans should be listening for in the lyrics of [choral] songs like Azure Arbitrator?

TK: I don’t necessarily think that, in terms of the lyrics, that we try and put any kind of deep hints in them or anything and there’s certainly nothing that would constitute as a spoiler. But that said, obviously the lyrics are related to the game and what’s happening in the game- particularly where they’re used. So I would like it for fans, once they’ve actually played the game and seen the scenes where the songs are played, to maybe listen again and see how it relates.

EH: Are there any chances of the lyrics being released in the future?

TK: We haven’t? I did not know that. We should probably get those out at some point. I’ll take that home with me as homework.

EH: Still on the topic of soundtracks, there’s a song in 3rd called ‘Phantasmal Blue Flower.’ I was wondering if there was a coincidence in its relation to the pleroma in [the Crossbell games.]

TK: Unfortunately, when we were making the 3rd, we hadn’t thought about what the blue flower signified yet and whether or not it would be there. This is just a coincidence.

If my memory serves correctly, after we made Zero and we moved on to Ao, there was a piece of key art that used this blueish-yellow… I’m fairly certain we decided to base the flower color on that image that we made.

In Japanese, the character that we used for Ao is normally translated blue, but that character actually refers to a blue that’s kind of between a blue and a green.

EH: I remember… I think it was on the Falcom twitter, at one point, where it was said that at a certain depth [of water], you can’t discern the difference of blue from green?

TK: Exactly. You remember very well. I totally forgot I had said that.

EH: There has been some commentary in the West about the almost ‘dating sim’ nature of the bond events in the Cold Steel series. Is this something you wish to keep going with, or [are there plans] to go back to the single love interest that you had in the original Sky trilogy?

TK: Going forward, nothing is really planned yet in terms of how we’ll handle this, so I don’t know. But to talk about why we put this in Trails of Cold Steel in the first place… Obviously, the story of Trails of Cold Steel takes place in the Erebonian Empire and tells a grand story within that, and it tells a story about a man named Rean. What we wanted to show through these bonding events is that in portraying his life, Rean had many different choices on things that he could have done. So, we thought it was appropriate to the game system that, in order to show off that he has choices, to include a system of that sort within it. Again, because we don’t know where we’ll be going from here, and how we want to make the games, I can’t say whether a system like that will reappear or not in future titles.

Interestingly enough, in Japan, opinions are pretty heavily split between liking it and not liking it. The people who like it say, ‘next time, give us even more choices of girls to date!’ and on the other side of the equation are the people who say ‘I don’t know if this necessarily belongs in a Falcom game.’ I’d be very curious to hear what people over here think about the system.

EH: In a past interview, you had mentioned that the plans for the Reverie Corridor in Trails of Cold Steel II were to be an infinite dungeon. Are there any plans to revisit this concept?

TK: That’s actually a system that we’ve had in previous games, like Xanadu Next and Zwei. For the players who really like to get deep into a game, it’s a very well-received feature in the system. It is something we’d like to revisit going forward if it’s appropriate to the game we’re making. For example, it often comes up when we’re developing Ys games that this may be a suitable feature to have. That is definitely something we have considered.

EH: Additionally, congratulations on the 15th anniversary of the Trails series.

TK: Thank you very much.

EH: Are there any standout moments behind the scenes from working on the games for the past 15 years?

TK: Over 15 years, there are a lot of things that remain in my memory, but probably what sticks out the most is when we made Trails in the Sky FC. This is a game that took over three years to develop and we weren’t even finished but we were told by people above us that whether this game is finished or not, it needs to come out. And so we released it. As you know, the game ends on quite the cliffhanger, and that was an interesting challenge- a challenging way for the audience, as well- to make a game. That’s something I know I’ll never forget.

What we learned from that is, because we originally intended to release FC and SC as one game together. I look back at that and think about how young and inexperienced we were to have an idea like that. So what came out from those games had a direct affect on the games that followed. So we definitely put what we learned from those games to use.

EH: I remember how shocking it was without realizing it was going to have a sequel…

TK: Even for us, despite having more planned and being made to release what we had finished. We didn’t know if we could continue, so we were surprised too!

Back at that time, unless the fans had really praised the game and made their voices heard to us that they wanted to see more, we wouldn’t have been able to continue it. And so we thought of many different ways we could do this- try to make a preview version, or lots of other things we could do to make people say, ‘hey, we want to keep playing the series.’

EH: It’s been 12 years since 3rd came out. Are there any mysteries from it that are still unraveling?

TK: In terms of everything that we talked about with the Erebonian Empire, we pretty much covered everything leading in to that in Trails of Cold Steel. However, when it comes to the Ouroboros? No. There are still things that remain out there.

EH: [What about] the happiness stone door? Moon Door 5?

TK: (laughing) Once again, your memory is great. For a second, I had to think… is that the door that…?

EH: With chibi Ragnard?

TK: The thing is, the mystery of the Ouroboros is related to the entire continent of Zemuria. The only way we’ll find out all about them is when the overall series itself comes to a conclusion.

Kevin, from Trails in the Sky the 3rd.
Kevin, from Trails in the Sky the 3rd.

EH: I didn’t expect that kind of an answer! Of all of the characters in the Kiseki series that have been playable, what four would make your dream team?

TK: I think my dream party would be the main characters, so Estelle, Lloyd, Rean… and then one other…

EH: Kevin?

TK: Kevin! (laughing) Kevin is also a protagonist. And the thing is, there’s still a lot of mysteries that haven’t unraveled yet that are related to him specifically.

EH: Oh, really?

TK: There’s a lot left to tell on that side, as well.

EH: And probably more to learn about Rufina?

TK: And in the same way the Ouroboros is related directly to the world, so is the Septian Church as well as the religion for the goddess Aidios. It’s all connected, and those are things that, again, will be revealed as we continue to create more and more games [for the series.]

EH: Another question about the 3rd- are you able to comment on its importance to the series overall?

Trails in the Sky the 3rd

TK: The thing about 3rd is that we never originally intended to make it. We just wanted to go directly from FC and SC into Cold Steel to talk about Erebonia. The thing is, though, that when we were doing the planning and things like that, particularly when we started thinking about the Septian Church, and we had kind of name dropped Crossbell as a place, we realized that maybe we had a little longer to go to get there. We wanted to really portray Erebonia as a threat to the world, and we wanted to show what a mysterious and frightening figure Osborne is. So to do that, we ended up making the 3rd and the two Crossbell games. We thought that would make the whole story more dynamic and more interesting. Within that, it’s a very important part of the entire series.

EH: Just a fun random question: is Dorothy the Grandmaster?

TK: Unfortunately, she is not. Why do you guys think that it’s her? Because she’s wearing glasses?

EH: I think so. It’s a popular fan meme.

TK: Really? For Japanese fans, it’s Towa, since she is so talented at everything.

EH: I’m going to jump to the Gagharv trilogy…. what were your favorite scenes in it?

TK: Within the trilogy, the game that impacted me the most was Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch [also known as White Witch -ed]… there’s a scene in that where Geld reveals herself to the group. This is added on that, throughout the game, you don’t know if she’s alive or dead. When the truth is finally revealed, it really impacted me, I was even shaking from the excitement of that scene.

The titular White Witch in from the opening of the the game, and the start of the Gagharv Trilogy.
The titular White Witch in from the opening of the the game, and the start of the Gagharv Trilogy.

EH: I agree, that scene is a powerful one.

TK: And from that, I thought that the story and the scenario from the game was so good that it’s what inspired me to try my hand at writing scenarios.

EH: I agree- I finally got to play the trilogy for the first time last year. I think I cried a lot over the ending.

TK: That game is just so special and the story is so powerful… Nowadays, everyone looks at everything from a graphical perspective and when you put it into comparison to modern games, it might not look as appealing or as great, but from a story aspect, I think that it’s pretty much second to none. It’s a great example of the games overall- and obviously of the Legend of Heroes series.

EH: The impact of everything coming together at the end in Song of the Ocean [also, Cagesong of the Ocean -ed] was so great but on top of that, there were moments like Chris setting Jurio on fire in White Witch, or- one of my favorite scenes- the Triangle Rhapsody in Cagesong.

TK: Those are really comedic moments. There were lots of gags in that game.

EH: We had nicknamed it ‘Shenanigans the Musical’… But it was really neat how it had these gags and comedy, and suddenly it just went really serious.

The McVein Troupe playing the Traveler's Prelude from Cagesong of the Ocean.
The McVein Troupe playing the Traveler’s Prelude from Cagesong of the Ocean.

TK: I understand what you mean by it going from comedic to having this gravity to it. That’s kind of what makes that game great is that it does that so well.

That is a game I would love to revisit or remake but each one of those games in the trilogy has its own complete world… to remake it today would be kind of on the scale of Final Fantasy VII Remake [for Square-Enix]. But I would love to try and do it someday.

EH: The Kiseki series seeing a return of something like Ensemble Magic from Cagesong of the Ocean would be really great.

TK: As you know, in the world of Trails, magic is handled through orbments… but who’s to say, going forward, if we could incorporate something like that as well? Like a magical link attack.

EH: I know you’re extremely busy with everything with Falcom, but are there any particular things you like to do on the side, on your own? Like hobbies or anything?

TK: I’m really an outdoorsy person. I love to go mountain climbing and camping with my family.

EH: Since I loved the Michel response in my previous interview, I wanted to close off with another fun question- have as much fun with it as you want, it’s nothing serious… but if you could have any character in the Falcom library to show up in Smash Bros, who would it be and why?

TK: Having been directly responsible for Ys for a lot of my career, I would love to be able to say Adol… but the truth is, I can’t picture what his moveset would be. So, I think I’ll defer to Rean since he’s a swordsman and I think he’d fit in pretty well.

EH: Thank you very much- that was a very fun interview.

TK: Thank you.


Once again, I would like to take the time to thank NIS America for inviting me to do this interview! There will be more coverage and more promised questions that were picked up during the convention over the course of the week.

Additionally, I have also prepared some videos from this interview to be used as bonus material for awhile, so pay attention to this site’s twitter, @EndlessHistory for additional side content. That way, you can see some of the answers themselves- especially the fun JDK one!

[Anime Expo 2019] Trails of Cold Steel III – First Impressions

This week, I had the opportunity to play a build of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III thanks to NIS America at a press event in San Francisco. I played through the entire introduction, and had the was able to sit and watch someone play through the rest of the prologue.

Additionally, along with the event, I was given the opportunity to interview Toshihiro Kondo, and I will be publishing our conversation at a later date.

The first thing I noticed while playing through the game is the return of multiple voice actors who have been in the series for awhile now. And after talking to both Travis and Alan about this, I feel extremely comfortable in their promise of trying to get as many people to return as possible.

In the short time I had with the game, I found myself laughing at the delivery and enjoying the translation choices of various lines throughout the events. As an example, at first Erika Harlacher felt a little strange sounding as Juna for me, being that I’m so used to her Japanese voice. However, by the end of my time with the game, I was extremely comfortable with her voice and tone and it felt very appropriate and ‘right’ to me.

I loved hearing the other new characters, Kurt (played by Joe Zieja), Musse (played by Alexis Tipton), and Ash (played by Austin Lee Matthews). In fact, Ash was the instigator of one of my favorite moments in the section that I got to play and watch. Of course, while talking about the voices, I got to hear the voices for Randy and Michael, both of whom also sound great.

Gameplay-wise, the only real issue that I had with the game is the usual problem when going from region and struggling with the switch of the X and O buttons. This, of course, is an issue with the Sony architecture and not it’s something that any localizing publisher can control.

I’ve seen some concerns regarding video footage of the game where people feel that things look off in the game mechanics, but rest assured, I did not feel any issues. The game was as responsive and fast paced as I remember it being in Japanese.

Additionally, the game has Turbo Mode (now called ‘High Speed Mode’) and Auto added to battles. I was told that the addition of these features were inspired by the PC versions of Cold Steel 1 and 2 and that Falcom was wanting to get an enhanced version of the game out since it’s being released again.

There have been concerns over typos and odd words here and there throughout the game, and I can see that ones from older builds in past events that have been pointed out have been corrected.

The amount that I’ve played of the game is still a fraction of how much there is in the end, but I’m feeling a lot more confident about it after the bit I’ve seen. From the impressions I’ve had when talking to people from NIS America, they plan to really work to ensure that what happened with Ys VIII is not going to happen again with this title.

This has only been a small part of everything that will be happening this week, and I will provide continuous coverage of the convention and other happenings related to Kondo and NIS America at Anime Expo. For non-article information, remember to check out the twitter account for the site, @EndlessHistory.

NIS America and Cold Steel III Events at Anime Expo 2019

NIS America has not only revealed that they will be at AnimeExpo this year to promote their release of The Legend of Heroes: Cold Steel III, but they are also bringing Falcom president, Toshihiro Kondo along as a special guest.

Panel #1:
Toshihiro Kondo, From Fan to President
Day 1 (July 4th), 4:30 – 5:30pm – Live Programming 5 (404AB)
In his youth, Mr. Kondo applied to work at, Nihon Falcom, initially in their financial department, but ended up working in their web services team due to a Falcom Fansite he had created. See how he grew to have a big hand in writing and producing their beloved game series like The Legend of Heroes and Trails in the Sky, and how he rose to become the president for Nihon Falcom!

[Editor’s Note: I suspect that this will be similar to the ‘Fan to President’ panel from AnimeExpo 2017. This was a great panel and I suspect that this one should not be missed!]

Panel #2:
Trails of Cold Steel III Voice Actors Panel 
Day 1 (July 4th), 7:00 – 8:00pm – Live Programming 4 (411)
Sit down with some of the characters- er, voice actors/actresses from The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III and discover what it takes to bring these character voices to life! Some hijinks may occur!

Panel #3:
Behind the Scenes with Trails of Cold Steel III 
Day 2 (July 5th), 11:30am – 12:30pm – Live Programming 5 (404AB)
Take a look behind the scenes into the development process for The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III with the President of Nihon Falcom and producer of the Trails of Cold Steel series, Toshihiro Kondo! Get an exclusive peek at just a little of all the work that goes into the development of this great title and see some English game play in action!

NIS America also has a booth arranged at the exhibit hall for AnimeExpo. You will be able to find them at 3306. They have included the image below as a map on their AX19 page to show where to find them.

Additionally, they will be running a special event at their booth that is similar to the 2017 scavenger hunt they did with Ys VIII. You follow clues on a card to track down a group of individuals in various booths at the exhibit hall to get your card stamped. Once you collect all the stamps, you will be given a prize, which appears to be a medal for the new Class VII from Cold Steel III.

There is also going to be a Falcom gathering for cosplayers and fans alike! This will be on day 2 (July 5th) at 10:30am located at Site 8. Site 8 is off of Chick Hearn street, on the west side of the Staples Center. (Pictured above.) The description of the location and directions from the AnimeExpo site are:
Stone art sculpture display. Suitable for small-to-medium gatherings. Only one gathering may be held at a time. Please do not climb on these sculptures.  Directions: Exit West Hall Lobby front doors, turn left toward Chick Hearn Ct.

Come dressed as your favorite Falcom character and bond with fellow fans! Rean Schwarzer and Juna Crawford will be stopping by, plus a special guest might make an appearance!

NIS America’s description of the gathering on Day 2.

NIS America has also stated that Kondo will be holding signings as well. However, they don’t have any information or times on those yet. The way they worked at AX 2017 was that you could get a ticket for a signing at the NIS America booth in the Exhibit Hall. So make sure you keep in touch with their site, and if you’re at the convention, don’t forget to go see them. They will also have Cold Steel III among their playable demos, and you can get a pin for completing the demo.

If you aren’t going to be at AnimeExpo, NIS America has you covered as well. They will be having an AMA with /r/Games on Reddit, starting at 3:00pm Pacific on July 3rd, the day before the convention begins. They will also have a live stream on their twitch channel starting at 5pm.

You will want to pay attention to the NIS America AnimeExpo page for more updates and additional details.

On top of this, you can also find coverage of all of the AnimeExpo events on Endless History. If you don’t already, make sure you follow the site’s twitter, @EndlessHistory, for live tweets of panels and other events around the convention!

[Admin] Website Refresh

If you haven’t noticed yet, the website itself has gone through a complete overhaul. Here are some details on the site refresh!

As I have promised transparency with the site and what’s being done with it, I would like to relay to you how the site works and what happened.

The Geofront operates using WordPress, a pretty commonly used blog content management system that you can find throughout the internet. Due to being open source, it is very robust with a large community adding to it. However, this also means that it is also a very common target for bots and hackers- mostly with the intention to install more bots and keep their ‘spam virus’ going across the internet.

o hai dere wordpress

So the theme has been switched from Graphene to Lekh, another theme that seemed to have a much ligher footprint for the server. With a couple of additional plugins to allow me to make further changes to the site, some custom cosmetic CSS, I think I’ve gotten to the point where I like this new setup just a bit. (And it does have parallax, which I’ve been wanting to use on a site for guilty-pleasure reasons. So that’s a win.)

I believe the issue with the old theme was that it suddenly had issues connecting with the Gravatar system that WordPress uses. And since we also needed a theme that would be a lot more friendly for mobile users… well… here we are. It was good timing, as it was something I was planning to do anyway.

This refresh doesn’t necessarily mean news is on the horizon, but I’ve been working with Ribose on something to whet your appetites a bit while you wait. However, what it does mean is that the site remains secure and safe for you to browse, which is extremely important for any site on WordPress.

And while the site is open, this doesn’t mean that the changes are done. There will constantly be little things on the back end that I feel need to be tweaked and updated. Plugins updated, changed, removed, and so forth. Many posts for this refresh, for example, had to be updated to function along with it.

As always, if you run across any jankiness or oddities with colors or other things not displaying properly, let me know. You can always do that here via comments, or to me on twitter.

The post [Admin] Website Refresh appeared first on The Geofront.

Fandom Friday Returning – Submissions Open!

Fandom Friday is returning to Endless History! Have you created something that you want more eyes on? Do you want to show off a friend who has done some great work? This is where you want to be.

In the event that there aren’t enough submissions to make a full post, I will seek out an artist or musician in the fandom, get samples of their work, and ask a few questions about what they do, which Falcom games they love and so forth.

The Fandom Friday submission form can be found here. You can also find a link at the top of the page.

XSEED Games to Release Trails of Cold Steel II on PS4 on June 4 in US, June 7th in EU and AUS

Both XSEED and Marvelous have announced on twitter today that the PlayStation 4 release of Trails of Cold Steel II will be taking place in early June.

The US release will be first on June 4th, with the EU/AUS version following afterwards.

Just like with the first Trails of Cold Steel, this game includes the additional English language voice acting found from the PC version, with the Japanese voices also included. This will use cross-save capabilities to allow gamers to bring their saves over from the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 3. On top of this, the PS4 versions share the same trophy set.

Trails of Cold Steel was released on PlayStation 4 in March for US and EU/AUS regions, and Trails of Cold Steel III is to be released in Fall of this year by NIS America.

[ @XSEEDGames on Twitter ]
[ @marvelous_games on Twitter ]

Ys VIII Super Ultimate Arrange Album to be Released on May 10

Falcom will be releasing the Ys VIII Super Ultimate arrange album on May 10, 2019. There will be 11 tracks and music will feature at least 15 performers.

The track list can be found below:

1Sunshine Coastline
2Hope to You
3LOST IN GREEN
4Beyond the Flowing Night
5GENS D’ARMES
6 Everlasting Transeunt ~ Eternal Traveler~
7In Side My Head
8Dana
9 Theos De Endrogram – Trance Mix
10Eternal Sunshine
11Eternal Traveler

Performers listed include: Megumi Sasaka (vocals), Yuuri Suehiro (vocals), Yoko Kajikawa (vocals), ADD (sax), Mitsuhiro Furuya (EWI), Nobuo Tokunaga (harmonica), Yui Minou (violin), Akiko Nagano (violin), Takanori Yamagishi (cello), Terukazu Inoue (guitar), Tokunan Minami (bass), Sakka Junichiro (bass), Atsushi Enomoto (bass), Kohei Wada (bass), Shige Yamamoto (keyboard), Akihiro Horikawa (keyboard), and others.

5/10 marks the presale date of the album (the physical version will be available on the Falcom Online Store and Amazon.co.jp), whereas the general release will be 5/31/2019. Digital versions will go on sale on 5/10 as well. Sites such as iTunes, Amazon, mora, and music.jp will have the album available. There will also be hi-res versions available on e-onkyo, mora, and music.jp.

The physical CD will cost 2800 yen, while the digital version will be 2400 yen. The hi-res version will be 3000 yen.

[ Falcom IR Report ]
[ gamer.ne.jp ]
[ Falcom Online Shop ]

XSEED Games Reveals a March 26 Release Date for Trails of Cold Steel PS4 [UPDATED]

[EDIT] 11:22 AM CST: I’ve uncovered some information that sounds like miscommunication is happening somewhere regarding this release date. I’m starting to do some research on the topic. I’ll update this post as I learn more.

[EDIT #2] 11:42 AM CST: I’ve just spoken with the author of the Game Informer article and she has stated that she was given this information from XSEED directly.

[EDIT #3] 11:50 AM CST: I have also just received confirmation from XSEED Games as well.

In an article released by Game Informer earlier today, they stated that XSEED Games has given them the March 26th release date for the PS4 port of Trails of Cold Steel.

This has been without a release date for some time, and XSEED has been promising such a thing for weeks, with no information. With this announcement, it probably isn’t too far away to find out the release date for Trails of Cold Steel II.

The PlayStation 4 port of the title will feature dual-audio and the added English dialogue for Rean that is found in the PC release. The limited edition can be purchased for $49.99, which includes a steelbook case, a song selection CD, a 50 mira coin and more.

Ys: Memories of Celceta Receiving a PlayStation 4 Port on May 16, 2019

Ys: Memories of Celceta Kai was announced tonight by Falcom for a PlayStation 4 rerelease. It is due out on May 16, 2019.

According to the website, it boasts the following features:

A Hero with Lost Memories…!? Follow the Left-Behind Memories

Adol, the story’s protagonist, has lost his memories! The player works closely with Adol’s adventure to uncover his sealed memories. Adventure with Adol and his friends as they explore the massive forest of Celceta and follow the path of ruins, and Adol’s lost memories, to uncover the story set in the stage of Celceta.

60 FPS + Full HD Modifications Implemented for an Enjoyable Game

The game now boasts a 60 FPS and updated graphics for full HD, as well as a remastered soundtrack. It has been given a major upgrade for playability on the PlayStation 4.

Touch Minigames Enhanced for the PlayStation 4

The PlayStation Vita version of Memories of Celceta featured a variety of touch-based minigames. These games have been adjusted and modified for use on the Playstation 4.

Additionally, Extra Skill functions have been modified to use the same ‘two button’ system from Ys VIII to create an enjoyable play experience with the PS4.

Simple, yet Deep and Speedy Party Battle System

Featuring real-time strategy shifts, to allow the party to jump from ‘Offense Preference’ to ‘Evasion Preference,’ this system also allows for quick and flashy skills to be used with simple key presses.

Train Your Favorite Characters with a Flashy System and Weapon Modification

Awaken the potential of the game’s playable characters as they can learn new skills in the middle of combat. Additionally, while journeying on your adventure, you can collect materials to use to upgrade the stats of character weapons.

Evasion, Coordination, and Skills

Timing your actions to coincide with enemy movements allows you to get a slow motion period through ‘Flash Move.’ This, performing skills to keep enemies in mid-air for aerial combos, and other features allows for a tactical, and refreshing action in this party battle system.

Special Release Item: The Rare ‘Ys Ancient Music Collection – Reprint Edition’ CD

Falcom has revealed that preorders of the game will come with a reprint of this CD that was originally released with the PlayStation Vita version- a CD that’s been since out of print. This contains a variety of tracks on it, collected from the history of the Ys series, including 5 tracks of music from the MSX version of the Ys I soundtrack. The tracklist can be found below.

1. Field of Gale [Ys V – Lost Kefin, Kingdom of Sand-]
2. Lava Zone ~A Kiss from Eldiel~ [Ys IV]
3. SUBTERRANEAN CANAL [Ys I & II Chronicles (Ys II)]
4. MIGHTY OBSTACLE [Ys VI -The Ark of Napishtim-]
5. DREAMING [Ys I & II Chronicles (Ys I)]
6. The Ambition of Duless -OVER DRIVE- [Ys I & II Chronicles (Ys II) / Ys Origin]
7. ICE RIDGE OF NOLTIA [Ys I & II Chronicles (Ys II)]
8. Ilburns Ruins [Ys -the Oath in Felghana (Ys III)]
9. The Beginning of SEVEN -INNOCENT PRIMEVAL BREAKER- [Ys SEVEN]
[ From the MSX version of the Ys Soundtrack ]
10. Open Your Heart (Opening)
11. Fountain of Love (Town)
12. Devil’s Step (Abandoned Mine)
13. In the Memory (Ending)
14. Fly with Me (Staff Roll)

[ Falcom IR Report ]
[ Memories of Celceta Kai Website ]
[ Ys Series Portal Site ]

Falcom Calendar Updated with February Wallpaper

Falcom has updated the calendar wallpaper for the month of Februrary. This features the art that was seen on the postcard that Falcom sent for the New Year.

You can find it in the following resolutions:

[ Falcom Calendar ]

Trails from Zero: 80%

Hey there, prospective detectives! Zerker and the Geofront gang are here to provide you with another Trails from Zero update! It’s been a minute, but we have plenty to show off this time around!

Scenario update

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m still working my way through Crossbell City dialogue. I just finished up Ignis and Imelda Antique Shop, and am now working on Hotel Millennium! One reason this update took so long is because I would often get stuck re-editing lines from the very beginning, but now my plan is to focus on wrapping up the first pass before going back to fix up the older stuff. Now, I’ll hand the mic to Ribose to explain what all is being added!

Technical update

Hi, this is Ribose typing. This update should be more general and informative compared to the last one, which was the numerical breakdown of the text. We’ve implemented a lot of features to the Japanese PC release over the last two years! We will ensure that the Japanese PSP release still functions with a minimal scenario and non-scenario text patch. But the PC release definitely needed a lot of work to make it a quality version that people don’t have to hassle with to play.

Features

You may have heard that three of us (omgfloofy, Zerker, and Ribose) were on the Falcom fan panel at MAGFest 2019! We met several fans there, including both a Lloyd and a Rean cosplayer, as well as many enthusiastic people like us. We, of course, showed off a little demo of the project’s progress, after using the first part of panel to talk about Falcom in general. Fear not, we are also waiting for them to post the recording of this panel.

But you said features!

Patience! The first thing we showed off was our newly edited opening video, edited by Cullen (@DrCullenPHD) and Elizabeth (@_seaPancake)! It is attached below:

You’ll notice three things have been replaced by their English equivalent: the logo, the “Developed by Falcom” text at the end, and an easily-missed blue line saying “FIND ME”. We are excited to have this in!

This opening will come with the game and be played if you choose to play with English text. We are working to be sure that when this game is installed on a clean Windows install, you will still be able to run the game and play the videos.

By the way, it isn’t shown in the video, but you can optionally turn on English or Japanese subtitles in the mod and it will display those over the video.

The other feature: the save menu

While it was rushed through during the panel itself, we did show another amazing technical addition: the save menu. If you played this game on PSP (or any of the Sky trilogy on PSP), you would have recognized the original save & load menu that the Japanese game had. It had a column of large thumbnails on the left that you would scroll through and select your save slot from with details on the right. We tried a few things to try to fix that menu to have more slots or to handle encoding better but kept meeting challenges, mostly with the user interface itself.

A while back, Jose switched the UI library he was using in order to improve the options menu and expose them to players. Then he had the crazy idea of replacing save & load as well. With it, we could do much more than we could before, and we could build it to be more PC-oriented. We are making sure that keyboard, mouse, and controller support all stay strong in the custom interfaces.

  • A normal save page
  • The autosave page
  • Some Japanese-created saves
  • Page 99?!

Here’s a quick list of the functionality this interface implements for us:

  • Save and load over 1000 slots (SAV0001-1000 are normal saves, SAV1001-2000 are clear saves).
  • Load autosaves.
  • Mouse interaction support (the original was very much a port of the PSP menu and didn’t actually use the mouse’s position. While it did technically honor left click, right click, and scroll wheel, you might as well have used a keyboard or controller).
  • Better parity with the Trails in the Sky games which have an interface similarly designed for PC first.
  • Viewing and saving of save metadata regardless of your system’s locale. That is, all created saves are made in Japanese encoding (English text is a subset).
  • Viewing and loading of saves of a slightly different source. That is, saves created by the Chinese version of the game or by the Japanese PSP version (requires decoding), then copied intosavedata/, will be read and loaded as if they are this game’s. Saving will only be in the Japanese format with English or Japanese metadata, depending on which language mode you’re in.

Shoutout to the amazing Dear ImGui library that this uses. It’s a pretty powerful little immediate-mode GUI overlay system that could be embedded in our DLL. There’s definitely more you can do with the library than shown. That is the default dark color scheme, after all.

Did you say autosaves?

Yes! Let’s move on to things not mentioned in our panel. Team members may have mentioned these things in passing in the last two years, but it sure would be nice to have one place with all the major improvements listed.

Things we can confirm or re-confirm support for are as follows:

  • Japanese & English: You can play the game with our improvements in either text language (of course, voices are staying in Japanese). The setting for this affects all graphics and text which we’ve patched for English. Yes, even the English text in the executable, debug room, and created when you save the game will revert to the Japanese original when you switch this. Also, this works everywhere regardless of your system locale so locale emulation will not be required.
  • Autosaves: When you enter a new map, an autosave is created in the oldest of the ten autosave slots. They can be loaded from just like any normal save from our new interface, by going back one page from the first page.
  • Anisotropic filtering: The Sky games have this where textures at oblique angles from the camera appear clearer. Take a close look at the sidewalk up the stairs when comparing the two images below.

  • Anisotropic filtering (AF): 1× (linear)

  • Anisotropic filtering (AF): 16×
  • Anti-aliasing: This was implemented several months ago, and I admit I thought it was broken. It turns out there had just been a crash bug in the options menu all along (to do with listing the modes that the GPU supports), which I’ve since fixed. We have Multisample Anti-Aliasing! This is tricky to show in a screenshot, but our videos should show it from now on.
  • 60 FPS: One of the first things Jose implemented two years ago. You can choose to play at 30 FPS, if you want.
  • Borderless window mode: The game can be played this way without the use of an external program or additional mods.
  • HD, variable-width font: The English font file can be any TrueType font, though we are optimizing the system text for the font we will provide. For other glyphs and Japanese support, the original Japanese font will be used. It is also a TrueType font (it always was) and can be replaced if a select few of you would like.
  • Extended NPC draw distance: NPCs no longer “pop in” at a relatively close distance from the player. Does not affect the visibility of monsters in the field.
  • Turbo mode: Like the other five Trails games on PC, we’ve implemented turbo mode. Hold a button on your keyboard or controller and the game will speed up by a certain factor. This factor can be between 2× and 6× for both battle and non-battle. Optionally, use the analog pressure sensitivity of your controller triggers to have a turbo speed that you vary in the range between 1× and the set factor. For example, hold it down halfway with a factor of 4× set in the options, and the game will run at 2.5× speed.
  • Custom cursor: The game already supported the mouse. To augment this, we’ve made a custom cursor that only appears when keyboard and mouse is used, and disappears (and is ignored for the battle system targeting) when a controller is used. Also, the cursor appears as the arrow icon from the Sky games for visual feedback when moving on the field using the mouse button. Thanks to Adda (@addaberry) for creating and editing cursors for us. We may have more to reveal about this in the future.
What? Is that a tonfa?!

That’s a lot

Yes, it is! There have been other technical changes, too, such as the numerous bugfixes:

  • The game no longer has extreme slowdowns from a common graphical effect during Aerial, other arts, map fadeouts, and numerous other instances.
  • The game no longer inexplicably flickers every so often.
  • The game no longer runs poorly if you play without a controller attached.
  • Text no longer shakes when scrolling in.
  • Character art for portraits, menu art, and any other place is no longer of a muted coloration compared to the PSP and Vita versions (and all three versions of the sequel).
  • Numerous other small fixes to make the game function with English text, alignment, rendering, and more!
  • How the Combat Notebook looks today
  • How it looked in a screenshot from 2017

Website update

Hello! Quick interruption by Floofy about a small update on the website.

There had been a minor tracking injection made to the header of the website and I have since cleared it out. No data for the site has been compromised, so don’t worry about that, at least.

I do want to thank TonRL from Reddit for notifying me of this issue. Remember, if you run into any other issues of this sort, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or Reddit and I’ll look into it for you. Thanks!

That’s it for now, folks!

That’s all we got for this update! If you check our YouTube, you’ll find two more videos showing off turbo mode…

…and the new save menu and custom cursor support!

As always, we appreciate the support and patience! See ya, guys.

The post Trails from Zero: 80% appeared first on The Geofront.

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