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Before yesterday06 - News : Gaming [Current]

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.

The post Trails from Zero: 90% appeared first on The Geofront.

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pauder

Come to our Granblue Fantasy Versus booth at #EVO2019 at 5PM TODAY to enter our raffle and meet @cygamesbeast! We've got...

Come to our Granblue Fantasy Versus booth at #EVO2019 at 5PM TODAY to enter our raffle and meet @cygamesbeast! We've got...

Come to our Granblue Fantasy Versus booth at #EVO2019 at 5PM TODAY to enter our raffle and meet @cygamesbeast! We've got some great prizes as well as a live exhibition!

Day 1 physical "Knowble Edition" for Heroland is now available for preorder!...

Day 1 physical

Day 1 physical "Knowble Edition" for Heroland is now available for preorder!
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Two more days until London Detective Mysteria Windows PC Launch! Check out the website to learn more about the...

Two more days until London Detective Mysteria Windows PC Launch! Check out the website to learn more about the...

Two more days until London Detective Mysteria Windows PC Launch! Check out the website to learn more about the characters❤️ #Mysteria #LDM https://bit.ly/2Yv5pFw

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pauder

Want an extra reason to pick up SENRAN KAGURA Peach Ball on Nintendo Switch? The physical version comes with a lovely...

Want an extra reason to pick up SENRAN KAGURA Peach Ball on Nintendo Switch? The physical version comes with a lovely...

Want an extra reason to pick up SENRAN KAGURA Peach Ball on Nintendo Switch? The physical version comes with a lovely sticker book and a full color manual! You can pick the game up from Amazon, Best Buy and our online store https://bit.ly/2YiJscO #MondayMotivation #SENRANKAGURA

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pauder

[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!

Name a more iconic duo... we'll wait. ...

Name a more iconic duo... we'll wait. ...

Name a more iconic duo... we'll wait.
https://bit.ly/2WjhKHG
#TheLegendOfHeroes

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The Legend of Heroes: Trails Series - XSEED Games

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Have you heard the news? The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II is out now for PS4! You can see details here and pick up the game today: https://bit.ly/2Z2wufO

L’image contient peut-être : une personne ou plus, ciel, nuage, plein air et nature

The wait is over! You can pick up The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II on PS4 today from retailers and the...

The wait is over! You can pick up The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II on PS4 today from retailers and the...

The wait is over! You can pick up The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II on PS4 today from retailers and the PlayStation Store.

It's time to join your classmates and continue the epic...

The Legend of Heroes: Trails Series - XSEED Games23 h ·

It's time to join your classmates and continue the epic saga. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II is out now on PS4.
Physical "Relentless Edition": bit.ly/2EFiZLt
PlayStation Store: https://bit.ly/2EPhtqk

#TheLegendOfHeroes #TrailsOfColdSteel2

The wait is almost over! The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold...

The Legend of Heroes: Trails Series - XSEED GamesHier, à 13:02 ·

The wait is almost over! The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II "Relentless Edition" for PS4 will be out tomorrow. Are you ready to dive in? Pick up the game today: bit.ly/2EFiZLt #TheLegendOfHeroes #TrailsOfColdSteel

L’image contient peut-être : une personne ou plus

⚠️ This is not a drill ⚠️The Legend of Heroes: Trails of...

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⚠️ This is not a drill ⚠️The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II will be out on PS4 in one week. Now is the time to prepare and pre-order. What will be the first thing you do when you get your copy? https://bit.ly/2EFiZLt #ColdSteel

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