The Legend of Heroes is a long-running JRPG series. However, in The West, the games had less reception due mainly to the fact that they were only available on the PlayStation Portable (PSP). Recently, with the release of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel in North America on both the PS Vita and PlayStation 3, finally, the series is starting to gain the following it so rightly deserves. Being a millennial that grew up with JRPGs on the original PlayStation, I have been hard-pressed to find a modern JRPG that could match the joy of intense and difficult gameplay and the brilliant storytelling of games like Final Fantasy 8 or The Legend of Dragoon. That was until I picked up The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel for the PS Vita.
Trails of Cold Steel is by far the best JRPG I`ve played in a long time. For those just starting the game, as with most JRPGs, Trails of Cold Steel has a considerable amount of lore. As well, the battle system is easy to pick up and play yet does take some getting used to. To help you out, here are nine essential terms, phrases, lingo and names to help beginners get situated in the brilliant world of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel.
You will often hear people speak of the Orbal Revolution. Orbal technology is the source of the world’s power, much like natural gas in our world. Cars, streetlights, even weapons are all powered by orbal technology. Likewise, in the game’s menu, there is an orbments section. This section is where you can adjust each player's Quartz.
Similar to the materia system in Final Fantasy 7, quartz are magical gems which players can equip to boost character’s stats and unlock new arts. Aside from regular quartz, each character can equip one master quartz. Master quartz have a specific element and have the ability to level up along with the character they are equipped to. As the character levels up the master quartz it will unlock a variety of arts in the same element.
Arts refer to a character’s spells or magical abilities. Like in almost every JRPG, magical arts have different elemental attributes which can be used to the player’s advantage in battle. Unlike crafts, using arts depletes a character’s EP(energy points).
Crafts differ from arts in the way that they are unique to each character. No character can perform the same craft ability and each character’s crafts match their weapon style and fighting style. Unlike arts, using crafts depletes a character’s CP (craft points). CP cannot be replenished by any item. Instead, Craft Points replenish each time the character successfully lands an attack or art on the enemy or when the enemy lands an attack on the character.
Much like the limit break system in Final Fantasy, S-Crafts are exponentially more powerful special attacks that are unique to each character. S-Crafts require a minimum of 100 Craft Points and will use up all of a character’s CP. The more CP available, the stronger the S-Craft will be. S-Crafts are learned or acquired at different points in the game for each character.
In The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel you play as a group of military school students who have been placed into an experimental class, the first of its kind. This class is known as Class VII. As part of this experimental class, each student is given a prototype battle tool known as the Arcus. This tool grants battle members the ability to form combat links which basically gives the students the ability to attack and fight as one connected unit. The Arcus allows the party members to sense each other's actions and perform linked attacks.
7. Combat Link
Combat links are an important element of combat in Trails of Cold Steel. Only two party
members can be linked together at any period in time. When one party member performs a critical hit or special attack the second linked member will attack simultaneously. Not only do combat links provide combined attacks, but they also allow players to shield one another or auto-heal each other.
8. Imperial Army / Erebonia
Often the players will refer to the Imperial Army. The Thors Military Academy, as well as most of the character’s homelands, reside within the empire of Erebonia and thus are under the protection and/or rule of the Imperial Army. The two main governing powers in the game are Erebonia and the Calvard Republic who have often been on the brink of war.
9. Calvard Republic
The Calvard Republic is the second main governing power after Erebonia. The Calvard Republic and Erebonia have a fragile relationship and have been on opposite sides of the war in the past.
Do you love The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel as much as we do? Let us and our readers know what you think of the game in the comments below!