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Japanator Exclusive: Nihon Falcom President Toshihiro Kondo Talks About About Trails of Cold Steel 3's New Class VII, Ys VIII & More

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Trails of Cold Steel 3 Has The Biggest Cast of Characters Yet!

Almost three months later, my coverage for Anime Expo 2019 still isn't done. While I didn't have the chance to properly conduct the interview in person due to some difficulties, I did get to briefly meet Nihon Falcom President's Toshihiro Kondo (as seen in the last picture.) during the convention. 

However, with the help of NISA, I was able to get answers for my interview via e-mail, in which he answers many questions of the upcoming Trails of Cold Steel 3, Ys VIII on the Switch, and about other Falcom titles. 

Christian Chiok (CC): When I had the chance to try out the game during the convention, I noticed the combat is different than the previous two games. Can you elaborate what has changed in Cold Steel 3?

NISA: New combat elements such as Brave Order and the Break System are introduced in Trails of Cold Steel III. Brave Orders are special commands you can issue anytime within battle without using up a turn. These buff your party for a certain number of turns, although only a single Brave Order can be activated at a time. The Break System is represented by a blue gauge underneath the enemy’s health bar. Depleting that gauge by attacking the enemy will leave said enemy “broken.” A broken enemy drops its held item, is more susceptible to damage, has their buffs canceled, and all Normal attacks/crafts can unbalance it.

CC: I’ve heard that the script for this game is massive compared to the previous two games as well. How long is the story compared to its predecessors? Can we expect a lot of voice acting in it as well?

NISA: The script is pretty formidable. As shown previously during our localization panel at PAX South 2019, there are approximately ~1, 111,111 words in Trails of Cold Steel III. This is about 2.3 times the length of the whole The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, or 1.02 times more than the Harry Potter series (all 7 books combined).

CC: The game introduces a New Class VII, with Rean as their instructor. What can you share about this new cast? Who is your favorite among them?

Toshihiro Kondo (TK): Up to the previous installment, the members of Class VII were kind of a microcosm of the types of people who inhabit the Erebonian Empire – the stage for the tale.However, from this game, each of the members of the new Class VII have very unique personalities and the tale begins with Rean attempting to get them to work together as a unit. Please look forward to how the tale unfolds for these very different individuals who must work together. I can’t say who my favorite character is because it would be a spoiler!

CC: The Erebonia arc has the biggest cast of characters compared to the other two arcs, with Cold Steel 3 adding even more characters.  What challenges came up when trying to manage that many characters and making sure they all receive their individual development and screen time?

TK: As Trails of Cold Steel is a culmination of all previous Trails games and as such, many characters from past installments make an appearance. We wanted to resolve threads that we had started with these characters for the fans who were waiting to see what became of them as well as introduce new, young protagonists who had their own tale to tell. Creating a game with this elaborate of a construction required a lot of data usage. Even with all this, there were threads that couldn't be resolved within the main story, so for those, we have Quests and optional conversations. With all that crammed together, I think this is a game with a highly concentrated amount of content showing off each character.

CC: Checking the Steam reviews for both Trails of Cold Steel 1 and 2, they both currently stand at “Overwhelmingly Positive,” which is beyond great. Any plans on releasing Cold Steel 3 on Steam or PC in general in the near future?

(declined to answer this question)

CC: What are some of your favorite video games and RPG series outside of those published and developed by Falcom?

TK: Recently, I haven’t had a chance to really sit down and game, but I would like to take the time to play (the most recent) God of War as well as Naughty Dog games.

CC: Are there any plans to add an "Infinity" difficulty or higher difficulties than Nightmare for the Trails of series similar to the Ys series to add more replayability?


TK: As Ys is an action game, many players told us that they want more challenging difficulty levels and many of them like to upload videos of their playing at these higher levels, so our staff created Nightmare mode as a challenge to those players.

On the other hand, the Trails series is a turn-based system and there are many players who want to enjoy the story, so we do not place as high an emphasis on difficulty levels as we do with the Ys series. However, if more fans reach out to us asking for higher difficulty levels, it’s something we would like to try.

CC: Were you satisfied with the sales of the Switch version of Ys VIII? Can we expect more Falcom titles on the Nintendo Switch, especially considering its portability?

TK: We really felt a lot of potential looking at the foreign sales particularly. It’s something we should certainly keep in mind going forward.

CC: Who are some of your favorite characters in the Ys and Trails franchises?

TK: Recently, it would have to be Dana from the Ys series. This is because I spent a lot of time with her throughout the development process.

CC: Any closing thoughts to both long-term and newer fans of Falcom?

TK: While retaining the good elements of Japanese games that Falcom has cultivated until now, we will take the opinions of our fans abroad into account as well and continue to create the games that only we at Falcom can create. If anyone is intrigued by the art, story, or gameplay of one of our titles, I encourage you to give it a try. We put a lot of time and care into each and every game we create and I believe you will be able to feel that passion when you play.

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Christian Chiok
Christian ChiokContributor   gamer profile

Christian has been a gamer since his early childhood. He's a big fan of the King of Fighters and the Metal Slug series. Additionally, Christian enjoys cooking, listening to music, watching anime ... more + disclosures


 


 



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