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Before yesterdayEndless History

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.

[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!

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 ]

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