Back at the tail-end of 2011, I bought five games off of Amazon: Solatorobo: Red the Hunter, Chrono Trigger DS, The World Ends With You, Monster Hunter Tri, and The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. All five of those games ended up becoming personal favorites. For most western gamers that have dipped their toes into the “Trails” JRPG series—called “Kiseki” or “軌跡シリーズ” in Japan—their first experience was probably 2014’s western PC release of the same PSP title I picked up nearly 5 years ago. For a number of years after the original title’s PSP localization, the rest of the series’ fate in the West remained uncertain.
Although XSEED claimed that they would eventually release the game’s sequel, titled Trails in the Sky SC, years passed, and the rest of the series released after that title were nothing but pipe dreams. It didn’t help that Trails in the Sky “FC” bombed with its initial western PSP release and, almost famously, nearly drew its editor mad.
In 2013 XSEED announced that they would release the PC version of the first Trails in the Sky in “Winter 2013”, along with Trails in the Sky SC on both PSP and PC in “Spring 2014”. However, programming woes and personal complications of one of SC‘s translators delayed both releases by a significant margin. Trails in the Sky eventually came to PC in the West in late Summer of 2014, while the sequel didn’t see a release until late last year—four years after many PSP players experienced what fans consider to be one of the worst cliffhangers in gaming.
Naturally, due to the fact that the title of this post references a “Trails of Cold Steel II,” the series hasn’t died in the West. Trails in the Sky FC had XSEED’s best launch of any PC title to date, and Nihon-Falcom, the series’ original developer and publisher in Japan, personally requested that XSEED translate “Sen no Kiseki” and its sequel for the West. The title, renamed Trails of Cold Steel during localization, released last December on Vita and PS3 to successful sales for XSEED. Trails of Cold Steel II is now more or less fully translated and tested, with its western release planned for sometime this fall. Trails in the Sky‘s “3rd” game – less a sequel to Trails in the Sky SC, and more a segway to untranslated titles “Zero no Kiseki” and “Ao no Kiseki” – is planned for an early 2017 release on PC.
With the series starting to find a larger fanbase in the West, and a wider variety of its titles finding themselves being translated, we decided to ask one of the series’ biggest fans, Brittany Avery, about what players can expect from Trails of Cold Steel II, and a little bit more about the miraculous rebirth of the series in the West. Check it out below!
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