Nihon Falcom have announced The Legend of Heroes: Kuro no Kiseki, a new game in The Legend of Heroes series.
As stated in the press release and as Famitsu reports (translation: DeepL, adjusted) the game is part of the series’ 40th Anniversary, and developed in a new engine. It is also described as the “second half” of the series.
The game takes place in the Republic of Calvard in the year 1208, where the multi-ethnic nation is under an economic boom thanks to post-war reparations. Though it is not without problems, as parts of the capital city has issues with immigration and bold political reforms from the new president.
The story focuses on one young man acting as a “Spriggan.” This is essentially a fixer- someone who can solve the issues of detectives, negotiators, and bounty hunters in a discreet and “behind-the-scenes” manner.
This can involving helping police, dealing with affairs of individuals who need discretion, or even certain requests from criminals. As the man works for the Arc Ride Resolution Office, a strange request from a prestigious school girl ends up shaking the whole nation.
The battles have been changed from the AT (Action Time) battles of prior games. The press release describes them as “A speedy battle system that seamlessly transitions from action-based field battles to command-based turn battles, combined with the unique elements of the 6th generation tactical orbament ‘Xipha’, will be used in the ‘Trails’ series’ original evolutionary and developmental battle system.”
Further original elements include the Topic System, which that allows players to create advantageous situations and bargain as they act as a Spriggan thanks to information they have obtained. There is also the Alignment Frame, allowing players to change their attributes between Law, Gray, and Chaos based on playstyle. This alters statuses, battles, opposing forces, and how the story plays out.
More information was revealed in the latest physical issue of Weekly Famitsu. RPGSite reports the Republic of Calvard is situated on the Zemuria continent, east of Erebonian Empire, Crossbell State, and the Liberl Kingdom. The Xipha Orbament is also said to have different features to the western Arcus.
An example of the Topic System was also given. Players could find out a store has a sale next week, and depending on how a conversation goes with the shop keeper, could get the sale early. The Alignment Frame is altered depending on choices made during events; such as sending a criminal to the Bracer Guild or not.
However, these are not fluctuating statistics at odds with one another. RPGSite report “these parameters simply go up and can also be brought over to a new playthrough.” These stats can also carry over into New Game+. How exactly this will work when characters and the story react differently depending on these stats was not revealed.
Famitsu also reportedly interviewed Falcom president Toshihiro Kondo. Therein he promised the game would not have an excessive character roster (compared to The Legend of Heroes: Hajimari no Kiseki‘s 50 characters). This was due to it being the first game in a new “saga.”
An estimated 90% of the characters will be new, with the remainder being those that have appeared in prior Trails of games and related to Calvard. The content on offer is also promised to be “not inferior” to any Trails of Cold Steel title, though the story will be concluded within that single game.
Dual Shockers reports Calvard has an oriental atmosphere (mixing Asian and Eastern European cultures), while the issues with immigration have stemmed from dragon veins- also known as Septium vein. These mines of magical gems have begun to run dry, causing territories to migrate, and anti-migration sentiments to rise.
Kondo also reportedly revealed the game was one of two that were developed when The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV was finished. Further, development of the engine began in earnest once Ys IX: Monstrum Nox had finished.
The main cast include the unnamed Spriggan, the oldest protagonist in the series so far and someone more morally gray than prior protagonists. Due to his job, the player will also have more enemies than allies.
Battles were elaborated on more. The fights play out in the world, rather than a separate battle screen. The Field Attack has now become a new command you use in battle. Players will also be able to switch between a turn-based battle system (for in-depth control), and one with “action elements.”
In either case, the player does not control characters moving around during battle, and battles will be faster overall. Kondo also stated the terrain’s geography will have an affect on battles. Tactical Link and the Brave Order are two of the mechanics that the Xipha has replaced with new ones.
While a platform had not been confirmed at this stage, Kondo reportedly stated he would like for the game to be not only on PlayStation 4, but others as well. He reportedly stated it may be best to focus on the platform with the most demand first, though overseas fans have high demands for various platforms.
The new engine was also developed before the team had access to PlayStation 5 information. However, they are now making (in Dual Shocker’s words) “concrete progress.” While the press release states the game will launch in 2021, Kondo reportedly stated it would be closer to the end of 2021.
Finally, Kondo stated the team would like to host a special event for the series’ 40th anniversary, but it was difficult due to the pandemic and quarantine orders. As such, the team is also preparing other celebrations and merchandise. More information will be revealed by March 9th, 2021 (the anniversary day).
You can find screenshots and concept art for The Legend of Heroes: Kuro no Kiseki (via the press release) below.
This is Niche Imports. In this column, we regularly cover games that haven’t been announced for western audiences yet. Please leave feedback and let us know if there’s something you want us to cover!