Editor’s Note: This article may allude to spoilers in The Legend Of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III.
UPDATE: The trailer is now available on the official NIS America YouTube channel. We have added it to the article.
NIS America have announced The Legend Of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV will be coming to North America, and to additional platforms.
Originally launched in 2018 in Japan, the game is the final entry in the Trails of Cold Steel series. Announced exclusively through Game Informer [1, 2], the story (in their words) “will not have its standard student-life setting,” due to events in the previous game.
In Game Informer’s interview with Nihon Falcom President and Producer Toshihiro Kondo, he explained how the game proceeds from The Legend Of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III’s climatic ending, and how the game even culminates elements from the Trails in the Sky series.
“You might be able to imagine due to III’s ending, but IV opens with Rean being separated from his companions. It is similar to II, but the Erebonian Empire is once again making a push towards war and Rean’s companions’ circumstances are even more severe. I think you can tell from the characters’ clothing in the game’s key visual that they are not able to continue their lives as students. Things are escalating quicker than ever before.
[…] Rean is still the main character. However, IV is the culmination of a larger story we have been telling since Trails in the Sky. Many characters make an appearance as this title marks a clear delineation in the overall story. Faithful comrades from outside of the Erebonian Empire will show up as well. The number of characters who join the party is the largest in series’ history.”
When asked what new will be added to the gameplay this time around, Kondo explained that “aside from Rean, other members of the Thor’s Branch Campus will be able to call upon Panzer Soldats”– mecha in the Trails of Cold Steel series.
“Players will also be able to use powerful Lost Arts, which are from an ancient age and have various affinities. Using these are at the expense of a full EP gauge, but their power is unmatched.”
Kondo also stated the game has a “full auto mode,” “for those players who want to proceed through the story on a lower difficulty level or those who want to see everything the game has to offer.” He also stated the game has the most quests out of any game in the series, some that “tie up loose threads that have been carried on throughout the entire Trails of Cold Steel series.”
Bonding events with characters will also return, and “are the same as in previous games. As this is the last game in the series, each and every bonding event is rich with detail.”
Kondo was also asked “How did you approach this as a team to ensure it would be a satisfying finale, and what are you most proud of?” His answer hints more at what will happen within the plot, and it will end “unlike anything ever seen thus far in any JRPG.”
“This title holds an important place as the end of the Cold Steel series and the mid-point of an overall story that began with Trails in the Sky. We’ve hinted at various mysteries since Trails in the Sky and all of those related to the Erebonian Empire will be revealed here. Additionally, characters who have made appearances in previous games will cooperate with Rean and his companions here against a common, final enemy. Many characters will join the party and you could say that the final swell in this grand tale is unlike anything ever seen thus far in any JRPG. I think you will be shaking your heads in agreement once you pick this game up.”
You can find the announcement trailer and screenshots of the game (via Game Informer) below.
In addition, the day one special edition dubbed the Frontline Edition was revealed. As seen in the images below, this includes the game, a soundtrack, an artbook, and reversible coversheet. It would seem this edition is only available for consoles.
We will keep you informed as we learn more.
The Legend Of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV launches in North America Fall 2020 for PlayStation 4, and 2021 for Windows PC, and Nintendo Switch. The game is available in Japan on PlayStation 4.