Speaking on behalf of the entire team working on the English localization for Trails of Cold Steel, Brittany, the Production Coordinator at XSEED Games, confirmed the current status of Cold Steel‘s localization:
We didn’t want to jump the gun on announcing Trails of Cold Steel too early (and we didn’t, because the translation process started a year and a half ago!). As of this writing, not only is Trails of Cold Steel fully, 100% translated, we’re reaching the final stages of editing as well and will very soon be recording a whopping 10,000~ voiced lines for the game.
Brittany also brought up the question as to why they decided to localize the game before its earlier games:
When Falcom approached us with interest in seeing the game localized (and yes, they came to us), I naturally was all for it. But like most fans, I worried because of the two games that preceded it—Zero no Kiseki and Ao no Kiseki […] because they have some events in them that seem to tie in with Cold Steel directly. Is it okay to publish the series out of “order”? If we do take on Cold Steel, will people be missing out on some critical information by not playing Zero and Azure first?
She took the worrisome question to the president of Falcom:
I was fortunate enough to be able to express this worry in person to the president of Falcom, Toshihiro Kondo; I was also just as relieved by his response. Immediately, he responded: “Actually, this is kind of intentional. We wanted Cold Steel and Zero/Azure to be playable in any order because we noticed that, with Cold Steel, the demographic suddenly became younger. Many new fans of the series were going back to the old games.”
Brittany talked up why bothTrails to Azure and Zero haven’t been localized yet:
The simple answer is this: Zero and Azure started as PSP games and by the time we would have finished both of them, the PSP will have long been dead as a viable platform. Even though we’re working on Trails in the Sky SC for PSP now, all the effort going into its PSP launch is a labor of love, not profit.
However, there does exist a Japanese PC port of Trails to Zero and a Chinese PC port of Trails to Azure. This means that, theoretically, we could go back to the duology at any time if the series remains successful, since Trails in the Sky has found new life on PC in the west. PC love won’t be falling out of fashion any time soon.
While this is great news for the fans still holding out hope for the earlier games, what about the much-anticipated Trails in the Sky Second Chapter? Thankfully, fans won’t have to wait that much longer:
Yes, we are still in QA for Trails in the Sky SC for PSP (PS Vita/Vita TV compatible) and PC. And yes, it will also be out before Cold Steel, so you will be able to thoroughly enjoy the conclusion to Estelle and Liberl’s story before Cold Steel’s launch.
I say “conclusion” because, while 3rd is related to content within FC and SC, the overarching story fans were introduced to from the first game will indeed be concluded with SC, satisfactory ending and all.3rd serves as something of an intriguing offshoot from the series and stars a beloved character introduced in SC: one Kevin Graham. Rather than take on the grand scale of FC and SC, it dives even deeper into character development and series lore, with said lore dipping its fingers into every game in the series in some way, shape, or form. Needless to say, I would be thrilled to work on it, and have made my opinion very much heard in the office. Ha ha.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is being launched across both PlayStation 3 and PS Vita some time this Fall in North America. Our European fans can expect a release in their region, via NIS America.