I have finished Trails of Cold Steel and with it I am pleased, angry, frustrated, satisfied and tempted. While the spoilers are masked, it might not make sense unless you’ve finished the game too.
Just like the other Falcom games I’ve played, man it doesn’t disappoint as shit hits the fan, the moments become highly intense and things get wrapped up for this game. Oh and don’t worry about the header image, it’s purely aesthetic as the game’s fin screen.
Pleased and Satisfied
So far, the game’s final events have gone exactly how I wanted it — it’s plot-driven, shit hits the fan and a lot of surprised gasps and turn of events that I had not anticipated. Hell, the game had the gall to pull off a Sora no Kiseki with Vita Clotilde (a-ha! another Ouroboros Anguis in plain sight and around the entire time! Just like Weissmann) and with C’s reveal and the assassination of the Blood and Iron Chancellor Osborne.
So yeah, Ouroboros has indeed fueling the flames of war once again so that the Noble Faction and the Reformist Faction get to fight each other while they’re going to find ways to bring up yet another Sept-Terrion in the midst of chaos. Just like Liberl, and presumably Crossbell since the Imperial Chronicle has reported on the incident in Garrelia Fortress. I guess it’s the same time Zero or Ao is going with their own struggles to contain their own incident.
The ending is also satisfying in a way that it makes sense, even if it’s a bitter pill to swallow. Crow really DID use his own knight for years, so it makes sense for him to win AND for Rean to escape to fight another day. It’s a bitter escape that fits the Ouroboros and the ILF’s school of tactical retreat that we’re all sick of seeing at the end of a chapter in Sora and Sen. I’m also satisfied because I got Alisa’s thoughts during the final scene before Rean had to retreat and abandon Class VII . Her final exchange that really fits the way I wanted it (after all, Rean x Alisa is my core ship, and yes, I DID dance with her during the festival. It’s a scene that they both deserve!)
Angry and Frustrated
Of course, I’m also angry and frustrated. All the reveals were shown up all of a sudden (no idea what Phantasmagoria is, although I’m willing to bet it’s covered in the other JP Kiseki games) and as expected of how they did it in Sora FC — Class VII is powerless to do anything about the events that were unfolding at the time.
I’m also angry at the fights — I was expecting something as epic as Sora FC or SC’s fights where you’re actually using the party you’ve spent time to blossom to their full potential, but the game cuts you short with only ONE mech fight with the party (which wasn’t even as challenging compared to Nosferatu, or even at the Realm of the Great Shadow) and finishes the rest with Rean’s newly-acquired mech with Rock-Paper-Scissors mechanics to victory. What the hell was that? Everything ends up in chance on your first playthrough? Why is the finale reliant on retries? You have to be really lucky to kick Crow’s ass on the first time, and it’s super disappointing to fight him off with Nosferatu levels of toughness but with specific sets of steps to win, as opposed to what the Kiseki series is really good at combat — making YOUR way of playing to WIN the fight that you’re up against.
The frustration of course lies on the meta side of things. Shit has been happening at Crossbell during this time, and I’m supposed to know what’s happening through Zero and Ao. Well okay, it’s not required per se, but it is significantly more meaningful if you do. I cannot do that, nor can any of the English gamers playing this game. If only Falcom could port their stuff to the PC or PS3/PS4, then maybe XSEED could localize it but even then, localization takes a LOT of time. (I admire XSEED for doing so, especially with their struggle in Sora no Kiseki SC).
Finally, all this has tempted me to continue playing Trails of Cold Steel II. I have no idea where Rean’ll end up. Maybe in the far reaches of Erebonia? I’m guessing any place northwest of Trista at this point, perhaps Ymir, or Jurai SEZ (for plot purposes with Crow) Saint-Arkh or I dunno, assuming all of these are at that direction. Sutherland Province might also work if they want to poke towards Liberl, but I think it’s far too close to the heat of the upcoming war.
So yes, this has been a hell of a run, and I love every bit of it. I’ll definitely play Cold Steel II sometime, but maybe I should focus on filling ALL THESE GAPS on my posts for Cold Steel I first.