Who harmed the Shrine of Lathander? A one-off mystery.
My players enjoy using their noggin to piece together information they collect from NPCs and adventures. When the party arrived at a brand new town, I knew I wanted to scratch that itch. I also wanted to introduce a new villain, a cleric of trickery. The following is a quick mystery I wrote up that includes these factors for the players to pursue when they wanted a break from the main plot. An entire night of cultist-chasing later, and I believe it was enough of a success to share here!
I’ll give you a quick breakdown of the scenario, the players, and what skill checks I laid out for the players to collect their clues from. When running a mystery, it may help to write things out the way I have below. That way, you can know each NPC’s motivations, and what knowledge they have at a glance. Introduce these pieces of info as if comes out organically in play. It’s unwise to railroad a mystery plot because all the fun comes from the players steering the investigation where they may.
What you need to know
The town has been consistently raided by a vicious orc clan over the past month. Now, Abbot Branigan and his clerics are cut off from their divine magic after the Shrine of Lathander’s was found desecrated. Branigan found the shrine ruined after the latest orc raid, and assumes the orcs are responsible. In truth, one of his abbesses is responsible: a woman truly named Petra Corsair, but goes by Abbess Victoria as a cover.
Petra, disguised as Abbess Victora, snuck into the religious sector of town in the dead of night with a stolen bottle of brandy, and burnt the liquor in her ritual to convert the Shrine to Lathander to Beshaba, her CN deity of misfortune. She then applied some magic to the shrine to cover her tracks before disappearing into the night. She will target another shrine when the next orc raid strikes, and will continue to use the chaos as a cover for her actions.
Abbot Branigan. A cleric of Lathander, and head of the religious sector in town.
Is personally affected by the desecration. He is helpless and requires the help of other clerics and town officials to investigate.
Believes the orcs have done something to the shrine, though he will admit its never happened before.
Abbess Victoria / Petra Corsair. A cleric of trickery, masquerading as a cleric of nature. Responsible for the desecration of the Shrine of Lathander.
Will insist the PCs focus on other “more impending matters” like the orc raid, and to let the clerics of the town do their investigation.
Will suggest the orcs are responsible.
Commander Gulliver. A city-appointed paladin who is mainly in town to prepare it for battle against the orc raids.
Isn’t worried that the Shrine of Torm, his god, will be targeted next.
Doesn’t believe orcs have any part in the desecration of the Shrine of Lathander, but has no leads.
Shop Owner. A merchant who sells wines and spirits in town.
Will report a break-in the night before the last orc raid. Will not have a good visual description of the culprit since Petra cast “Pass Without Trace” to steal the brandy and get to the religious sector undetected.
Investigating the Shrine of Lathander
Players may approach the shrine one at a time, and can use any relevant skills they like. Here are the notes I’ve made with my own party in mind.
DC 14: Can detect Illusion magic on the shrine. (This is from the Invisibility spell on the antlers that have been driven into the shrine to honor Beshaba.)
Players may assume there is a wizard at work, instead of a trickster cleric, because they pick up on Illusion magic.
DC 5: Lathander’s sigil, a setting sun over a crossroad, has faded.
DC 14: There are burn marks at the base of the shrine, but nothing seems burnt. (This is from when Petra burnt the brandy around the shrine to honor Beshaba and start the process of desecrating the shrine.)
DC 18: The PC finds a shard of glass from a bottle and a nail.
Players are learning about cleric customs and how they appease their gods, though they’ll need to speak to Commander Gulliver with these findings to learn that clerics of Beshaba use brandy in their rituals.
DC 14: The faint smell of burnt liquor is in the air.
DC 15: There are small cracks near the top of the shrine.
Similar to the Investigation checks, these clues teach the players about the culprits methods.
DC 14: Can detect chaotic divine magic affecting the shrine.
DC 15: This will identify Beshaba’s sigil if it is made visible.
When the players get too nosy, Abbess Victoria will have to step in to throw the PCs off her trail. To do this, have her step up to the Shrine of Lathander, maybe at the request of Abbot Branigan, and fudge some rolls as a DM to have her fake a Religion check. Petra will mention that Grummsh, a powerful orc deity, is responsible. This is the red herring, which is reinforced by the town’s general distrust towards orcs as of late.
DEAR HUMANS FROM GOOD HOMES PLEASE STOP GLAMOURIZING BEING HOMELESS
As a mix lady partly being Mexican. When I was growing up I remember hearing my dads friends telling me story’s of how they got into this country. They hitch hiked and train hopped all the way here. To live a safer better life.
When I see kids from good homes glamourizing homeless. I understand. Its really cool to be able to be free in this world. But you get to go home after. So many of my dads friends didn’t make it. So many of my friends didn’t choice this life.
Please if your going traveling and taking advantage of people. Please just think about it.
Trails of Cold Steel II this fall (and Trails 3 to follow!) ⊟
Here are the first English screens of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II, which XSEED will release on PS3 and Vita this fall. And then, next year, it’ll be followed up by The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd! That one’s only been announced for PC at the moment.
So this series is about to be five games deep in the space of about six years. That is some serious hustle on the part of XSEED (and its other localization partners).
Encounter idea: Desperate goblins and a hungry bulette
Got a deadly encounter in mind for an upcoming session. Here’s the bare bones of the encounter.
How would you expand on this encounter?
This encounter takes place at a mountain range, where a small party of goblins hide atop a 40 ft. cliff to escape the hungry jaws of a bulette, which travels just beneath the floor’s surface. A few goblins have already been devoured by the bulette, which leaves a gaping sinkhole in its wake as it rises from the cliff floor to eat. The goblins want to leave, but are afraid to move or disrupt anything that may give away their location; any distraction which gives them a chance to escape is welcome to them.
To introduce the threat of the bulette, start the encounter by having the group discover one of the sinkholes it left behind. This sinkhole is 5 ft. wide, and is discovered near the cliff which hides the goblin party, so the goblins can observe the PCs actions.
Investigation check to search for a specific thing near the sinkhole.
There is rubble around the sinkhole, so make the DC more of a challenge, if the thing the PC is looking for is present at all.
A PC may discover a trail in the earth where the ground bulges slightly. This is the route the bulette took after it burrowed.
Nature check to understand what beasts may leave sinkholes.
Unless a PC is a ranger, survivalist, or has met a bulette before, compare the sinkhole to a badger’s tunnel but obviously more massive.
Perception check to get a closer look at the sinkhole.
There is opportunity for a PC to spot specks of blood on the rocks, or a severed arm or finger of a devoured goblin.
A PC may detect a slight tremor underneath them if a bulette is approaching.
The combat begins when a PC rolls poorly on a skill check that interacts with the sinkhole, or if rocks drop to the ground. Anything that would alert the bulette’s tremor sense of 60 ft. will trigger a surprise attack round. Once the bulette is active, the goblins will throw rocks down the cliff while hidden in order to drive the monster towards the party, and away from themselves.
SP: 40, burrow 40
STR (+4) / DEX (+0) / CON (+5) / INT (-4) / WIS (+0) / CHA (-3)
It can jump forward up to 30 ft. and it can jump vertically up to 15 ft.
If it jumps at least 15 ft. as part of its movement, it can land on a target. That target must pass a DC 16 STR or DEX save or be knocked prone and take 3d6+4 bludgeoning damage and 1d6+4 slashing damage. On a successful save, the target only takes half damage and isn’t knocked prone, but is moved 5 ft. away instead.
Bite. (+7) to hit. 2d10+4 piercing damage.
The bulette will attack whatever target it deems the easiest to eat, goblin or PC. It will stay on the floor of the cliff to attack stragglers who fall off the cliff or fail to flee fast enough. Once it has eaten three targets, it will burrow away from the scene.
When it burrows, the bulette leaves a 5 ft. sinkhole in its wake. The area 5 ft. around the sinkhole is considered difficult terrain, and the sinkhole is 15 ft. deep beneath the surface.
STR (-1) / DEX (+2) / CON (+0) / INT (+0) / WIS (-1) / CHA (-1)
Can take a Hide or Disengage action as a bonus action.
Scimitar. (+4) to hit. 1d6+2 slashing damage.
Shortbow. (+4) to hit. 1d6+2 piercing damage.
The goblins will never leave the cliff or reveal their spot if they can help it, and won’t share their hiding space with anybody climbing up to their spot. They will throw rocks to draw the bulette’s attention to the PCs, and will resort to shoving PCs off the cliff if needed. If the bulette hasn’t made an appearance yet and the PCs are getting close to the goblins, the goblins will attack from their hidden position with their short bows.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails Series - Localization Blog #1
Hey, Trails fans!
Brittany again, Production Coordinator at XSEED. So. Yes. The rumors were true.
Every time the words “Trails of Cold Steel” showed up on news sites, we were
giggling like preschooler dorks because we knew it was a real thing that was
happening. On the flipside, we were also visibly cringing because of how we
couldn’t participate in any forum discussion surrounding it whatsoever. And
with the fanbase Trails has, you can
bet there are always lots of questions.
will serve as more of a preemptive Q&A session for Trails in the Sky Second Chapter, Trails of Cold Steel, and the Trails
series in general to try and clear up the series’ position in the West as much
as possible. We’ll also be sharing the first official PC English screens of Trails in the Sky Second Chapter along the way!
Why the name Trails of Cold Steel?
Longtime fans of the series know the game as Sen no Kiseki, which roughly means
something like, “The paths/trails of a flash/flicker.” It’s typically meant to
represent that glint you see on a blade being drawn as it catches the light.
It’s clearly not a very easy word to render in English and still make sense
with the current “Trails” moniker, so we dismissed the more literal
“Trails of a Flash” and other similar titles rather quickly.
I suggested Trails
of Cold Steel for several reasons:
• The story is based around Thors
Military Academy, a place in Erebonia where many young political upstarts
balance school life and war tactics as part of their daily curriculum. Conflict
and weapons are something of a theme in Cold
Steel, and I wanted words which were specifically reminiscent of steel
• The term “Sen” is a fairly serious word—"Steel" alone wouldn’t have set the
right tone, but “Cold Steel” together helps reflect the strain of Erebonia’s
intensely classist, military powerhouse society.
• Being a big fan of the Trails
series myself, I’ve bought every single soundtrack related to the series. Even
before we had the rights to Cold Steel,
I’d bought the soundtrack. Hell, I bought it day one! And the main battle theme
(which is a killer track, I might add) is called “The Glint of Cold Steel.” The
second I saw it, I thought, “Well, that has quite a nice ring to it!”
• When Ken and I were in Falcom’s office and proposed the English title,
they immediately smiled and said, “Actually, we once considered using the word
‘Steel’ in the title ourselves, so that’s perfect. We like it.”
you have it. As of now, the official English name of Sen no Kiseki, completely endorsed by the original developers
themselves, is Trails of Cold Steel.
Aren’t there a few
games that come before Trails of Cold
Steel? What’s up with that?
Let’s get this out of the way: I am absolutely
thrilled we’re continuing the Trails
series in the West. It quickly became one of my favorite series along with Ys, and I absorb all information
relating to it much like how a northern clingfish clings to rocks. Look up
northern clingfish videos, by the way; they’re really cool.
When Falcom approached us with interest in seeing
the game localized (and yes, they came to us), I naturally was all for it. But
like most fans, I worried because of the two games that preceded it—Zero no Kiseki and Ao no Kiseki (which I
will henceforth be calling Trails to Zero
and Trails to Azure, though those
should not be considered final or official names)—because they have some events in them that seem
to tie in with Cold Steel directly.
Is it okay to publish the series out of “order”? If we do take on Cold Steel, will people be missing out
on some critical information by not playing Zero
and Azure first?
I was fortunate enough to be able to express this
worry in person to the president of Falcom, Toshihiro Kondo; I was also just as
relieved by his response. Immediately, he responded: “Actually, this is kind of
intentional. We wanted Cold Steel and
Zero/Azure to be playable in any
order because we noticed that, with Cold
Steel, the demographic suddenly became younger. Many new fans of the series
were going back to the old games.”
Essentially, their goal for Cold Steel was not only to continue developing the incredibly deep
lore behind the Zemurian continent, but to do it in such a way that would both
please longtime fans and help new fans feel right at home. Rest easy knowing
that you can canonically play Cold Steel
before Zero/Azure—you’ll simply be
getting a different perspective on events, seeing things in an order that
differs from what Japanese players experienced, but is still confirmed by one
of the Trails creators to be A-OK and
even pretty much as intended.
And, hey, while I’m all about encouraging people
to play Trails in the Sky first, you
could start with Trails of Cold Steel
and then go back to the Sky series if
you so desired; you’d just be enjoying a whole different set of Easter eggs. I
absolutely adore the ridiculous amounts of detail this series manages to put
out without completely shutting out a curious new audience at the same time,
and apparently Falcom does, too.
Even if the
games can be played in a different order, why didn’t you work on Trails to Zero and Trails to Azure first? Why “skip ahead” at all?
The simple answer is this: Zero and Azure started
as PSP games and by the time we would have finished both of them, the PSP will
have long been dead as a viable platform. Even though we’re working on Trails
in the Sky SC for PSP now, all the effort going into its PSP launch is a labor
of love, not profit.
However, there does exist a Japanese PC port of Trails to Zero and a Chinese PC port of Trails to Azure. This means that,
theoretically, we could go back to the duology at any time if the series
remains successful, since Trails in the
Sky has found new life on PC in the west. PC love won’t be falling out of
fashion any time soon.
Trails of Cold
Steel is only for
PS3 and PS Vita, however. With the PS4 already taking the world by storm, the
PS3 is slowly falling out of favor, meaning we have a very limited window to
get it out and still justify it as a smart business move—especially since we
have Cold Steel’s direct sequel to consider.
That’s the main reason we opted to move forward with Cold Steel’s localization even before we knew the series was
intended to be played in any order.
In short, what all of this means is that the
chances of Trails to Zero and Trails to Azure getting released here
are not, uh, zero. Just keep supporting the series, and let’s see what happens
You guys are still
working on Trails in the Sky Second
Chapter, right? Will it be out before Cold
Steel? What about the last game in the trilogy, Trails in the Sky 3rd?
Yes, we are still in QA for Trails in the Sky SC for PSP (PS Vita/Vita TV compatible) and PC.
And yes, it will also be out before Cold
Steel, so you will be able to thoroughly enjoy the conclusion to Estelle
and Liberl’s story before Cold Steel’s
I say “conclusion” because, while 3rd is related to content
within FC and SC, the overarching story fans were introduced to from the first
game will indeed be concluded with SC,
satisfactory ending and all. 3rd serves as something of an intriguing offshoot from the series and stars a
beloved character introduced in SC:
one Kevin Graham. Rather than take on the grand scale of FC and SC, it dives even
deeper into character development and series lore, with said lore dipping its
fingers into every game in the series in some way, shape, or form. Needless to
say, I would be thrilled to work on it, and have made my opinion very much
heard in the office. Ha ha.
While far, far, FAR from
confirmed, I will personally continue to push for 3rd and hope that fans will back me up by buying the hell out of SC. Please. Seriously. Buy it. I’m not even going to try hiding how
desperate I am here. I want us to keep working on this series forever.
We’ve been waiting
a long time for Trails in the Sky Second
Chapter. What’s the status of that? And what’s the localization status on Cold Steel? What about “Cold Steel II”?
We know you’ve been waiting for SC. Boy, do we know! And in hindsight,
we wish we could’ve scheduled its localization a lot better, because at this point
we want it out the door just as much as you (ha ha). I’m currently working
together with Trails in the Sky FC
& SC editor Jessica Chavez to
clean things up and make sure it’s as polished as can be within our crazily
hectic schedule. In fact, we’re working 100% in tandem with some of the series’
biggest fans to ensure that every fact is checked and every piece of
foreshadowing is correctly shadowed, and just in general taking every step we
can to ensure even our biggest critics are pleased with the final product. So
far, I could not be happier with the feedback we’ve received.
That being said, we know the series has had
something of a rocky start in the West in terms of scheduling, and it’s
stressed us out as much as it would anyone. We’ve even joked about it by
dubbing these delays and surprises the “Curse of Kiseki,” which has a
particularly hilarious acronym when also paired with Trails in the Sky’s now-infamous acronym.
Aaanyway, we’ve learned a hell of a lot over the years, so this time, we didn’t want to jump the gun on announcing Trails of Cold Steel too early (and we didn’t, because the translation process started a year and a half ago!). As of
this writing, not only is Trails of Cold
Steel fully, 100% translated, we’re reaching the final stages of editing as
well and will very soon be recording a whopping 10,000~ voiced lines for the
game. You may remember Nick from his sublime work in STORY OF SEASONS; he, together with the newest addition to the
XSEED team, Kris, are working together to bring you one sensational experience.
…Oh, and Trails
of Cold Steel II in already in the process of being translated, so don’t
you worry your silky little heads none.
Will Trails of Cold Steel I and II see physical releases, or will they
be digital-only like Trails in the Sky SC?
I’m pleased to say that both Cold Steel I and II are
confirmed for physical and digital launches on PS3 and PS Vita.
still plenty of work to be done, and I’m almost certain this blog won’t answer
everything, but I hope it clears up the biggest mysteries surrounding this
series. The world of Trails is
wonderful and full of life, and I hope fans will continue to support it in the
West for years to come.
And, hey, just because I can: my very first localization project, Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven, just launched on June 2nd physically and digitally for 3DS! If you like SRPGs and things that melt your heart, LoM might be the game for you.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Second Chapter - Localization Blog #4
Hey, guys. This is Brittany from XSEED. Trails in the Sky Second Chapter launched! FINALLY.
Considering how huge the Trails series is and how we’ve had
three different translation/editing teams for all three games we’ve done so far
(Trails FC, Trails SC, and Cold Steel), it’s a small wonder we’ve been able to
keep track of as many of the thousands of terms as we have. Of course,
that doesn’t mean we’re perfect. The series is constantly redefining terms even
in the Japanese, and sometimes we just happen to come across an innocent or
previously unclear term in earlier text that suddenly takes on a whole new
meaning thanks to the latest game in the series. Sometimes we learn something
from a random NPC, sometimes it’s from a guidebook only available in Japan, and
sometimes we just have to straight ask Falcom what the hell something means.
Or, you know, we just mess up an already-defined term in some way. It happens.
That being said, some terms discovered while localizing Cold
Steel I and II (or learned thanks to knowledge gained from other games in the
series) have clarified certain terms in Trails FC and SC, so we’ve revamped a
few terms for the PC version to give fans the best experience they can possibly get.
Unfortunately, the PSP/Vita compatible versions of these
games won’t be seeing these updates, as it’s impossible at this stage to patch
PSP games. Being that the three games as a whole have had seven editors in
total (which sounds like a lot, but averages to a little under a million Japanese
characters each among the three games), it’s also been a challenge to keep
the voice and terms of the series cohesive as well. We’ve tried our best, but please know that we’ll always strive to do better.
To keep fans of the series in the loop, I’ve been trying to
log all of things we’ve updated. This isn’t everything, but mostly things
that won’t reference or spoil the entire series as a whole. Also, keep in
mind that these won’t impact your experience if you’re playing the PSP version, as the game is plenty
comprehensive and enjoyable without them if the testers’ reactions are anything to go by. I just like keeping things tidy for
my own sanity, and it’s good to give a heads up to the fanbase and say, hey, this
is why things are slightly different between the two versions!
I’d also recommend
you play through at least FC before looking at this list because there are definitely spoilers for Trails FC in here.
The long-awaited followup to one of the most beloved RPGs in recent memory will be out on PC and PSN (as, get this, a PSP game) October 29.
Developed by legendary RPG specialists Nihon Falcom, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in The Sky SC picks up mere hours after the conclusion to The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, with Estelle traveling across Liberl in search of Joshua. Her journey involves more than seeking loved ones, however, as the Bracer Guild also tasks her with unraveling the mysteries behind the newly unveiled Society of Ouroboros.
Maybe I should actually play one of these Trails in the Sky things, because people seem to really dig on them. I just don’t know if they dig on them in a Dragon Quest “it’s a really chill and pleasant thing to do for a few minutes at a time” way or in the more traditional “there’s a big long story and you spend 90 hours learning how the dang numbers are supposed to work” JRPG way.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Second Chapter - Localization Blog #5
It’s good to see you all again! XSEED’s localization
programmer for PC games here. I come to you today in hopes that you might join
me in a look back on the journey we’ve had leading up to Trails in the Sky
Second Chapter’s release, as well as answering a few questions about the PC
versions that I’m sure you’re all curious about.
Looking Back –
Trails in the Sky First Chapter, July 2014 to the present
As many of us will recall, the PC release of Trails in the
Sky’s First Chapter was a bit bumpy. I was actually out on a trip at the time
of the release, over 8 hours away from my work PC. It was an adventure trying
to fix bugs with just an antique laptop and my raw determination, but somehow
we made it through okay, and I’m glad for that. That said, I know that some
bugs are still left behind in the original game, “FC”, and I would
love to go back and fix them as time allows in the future, especially now that
SC is finally out of the oven and steaming hot, ready to be served onto all of
your plates in wholesome slices.
A while after the release, I began adding the
high-definition assets we’d received from the PS3 version of Trails in the Sky.
This made the game look a lot more modern, and I really like how it turned out.
I was even able to implement some that weren’t in the PS3 version at all,
making the PC version by far the most high-def. In SC, you can rest assured
that these are in right away, and they look fantastic. For those of you who
didn’t play FC after the changes, you are in for a massive visual treat. For
best results, I recommend playing the game at 1024x768 or 1280x960 resolution
if you’re using an old-school 4:3 monitor, and 1280x720 or 1920x1080 resolution
if you’re using one of those new-fangled HD whatsits.
The next little adventure happened with the game’s Monster
Guide feature, a feature that was surprisingly more demanded than I would have
imagined. I had a rough time implementing it, since the way in-game windows
work is completely different between the PSP and PC versions of the game. It
was fun, though, and I think the results ultimately spoke for themselves. A few
of you filled in the Monster Guide only to run into a bug where the last entry
would not complete, though, and I can assure you that’s finally fixed. SC has
an impressively significant amount of monsters compared to FC, and I can’t wait
to see you guys agonizing over how to fill it all in without wasting
Another feature I ended up adding after release was the
Boosted Font feature. I originally considered this an accessibility feature for
players playing on HDTVs, but I’m now realizing this feature really helps some
of you, and while working on SC, I realized the feature had a few bugs whenever
font size would change during dialogue. This has been cleaned up, and further
little corrections to the feature are forthcoming. You don’t have to worry
about it being absent – I assure you, I wouldn’t dare forget.
Borderless Windowed mode was a pretty demanded feature, and
I added that during FC’s development as well. The way to activate it was always
a little obtuse, since you simply use Windowed Mode at whatever resolution your
desktop is set to, but I was glad to have it. This is one of my personal
favorites, letting you have the best of both worlds with quick and easy
alt-tabbing with visuals that fill the entire monitor. I highly recommend trying
it if you never have before!
Last but not least, we ended up adding 1080p videos to the
game only a few weeks ago. These were created from the original files to get
the best quality I could possible squeeze out of them. They use a new codec to
reduce file size, the amount of errors we’d been seeing from DVD encoder
software, and other oddball things. I understand that some of you have had video
crashes. My advice: Use the Borderless Windowed mode. They seem to behave a bit
better in that situation. Until then, I’ll continue looking at ways to improve
and fix this post-release, but look forward to the same quality in all of SC’s
movies, of which it has quite a few more than FC! There are several that pop up
Second Chapter – The
journey to get a behemoth of a game working
You’ve probably seen our previous blogs detailing the
trouble we’ve had along the way. It felt like every bug I squashed made another
rear its head. There were also issues with various scenes in widescreen – so
many issues. I know I haven’t weeded them all out, but we’ve tried to catch
some of the most obvious ones and will continue to hunt them down. I’ll be
starting some fresh threads on the Steam Forums for reporting standing issues
in both games, hopefully a bit more categorized and orderly than we had with
I first began work on SC the same day that I began work on
FC. I remember it well. The games are quite well-coded, and while I can’t
discuss the details, I have to appreciate how hard Falcom worked on them.
Unfortunately, both games did take quite a bit of work to adapt to modern
tools, however, and SC was the real problem child in that regard. From the very
beginning of the game we were running into invisible walls, disappearing
characters, and general chaos the likes of which the game’s villains would
likely be proud of. Even as FC proceeded, I tried to copy all of our fixes over
bit by bit, slowly working SC into a more stable and workable game than it had
been after the initial conversion. This proved difficult, as SC had many of its
own problems, and more seemed to pop up with every day that passed.
To detail some of the biggest challenges I had working on
SC, the game adds a huge amount of new visuals and cut-ins, far more than FC
ever had, and I had to account for each and every one’s proper display – with
a couple stubborn cases. After that, I had to look over the PSP and
PS3-exclusive features of the game, as it contained far more of these than FC
had! I was surprised, and the more I got into it, the more trouble I had, even
having to work around technical limitations that made it difficult to insert the
English item names and descriptions for quite a while. Time went on, however,
and I conquered these, one at a time.
The most obvious feature for some would be the New Game+
feature. This was featured in FC as well; however, I couldn’t copy as much of
the code as I would have liked. Whereas you must load your Clear Data to begin New
Game+ in FC, in SC all of this data will be prompted for when you begin a new
game. New Games can start on any difficulty, and you can use any combination of
FC Clear Data and SC Clear Data that you’d like. Even Japanese saves will load
just fine, so if you’ve been a Falcom loyalist all this time, you won’t feel
penalized for starting a New Game and checking out all the things we’ve done
for this release!
The question most people have asked, however, is whether I
managed to add the two exclusive characters from the PSP and PS3 versions of
the game into our PC version of the game. The answer is yes. They are
completely implemented and you shouldn’t run into any trouble using them. All I
ask is that you please enjoy them! This was -definitely- the hardest feature
for me to implement, and countless hours were spent banging my head into my
desk trying to get each and every Craft to function just right – including
when playing in widescreen. Even in an imported Japanese endgame save, these
characters can be obtained; just go back and trigger a certain event, and
they’ll be ready to knock some heads!
The PSP and PS3 versions also added new ultimate weapons for
each character, whereas the original PC version only had two. These are
definitely in, and you’ll find yourself obtaining them quite the same way as
you would have in the PSP and PS3 versions. A fact few mention is that the
original two ultimate weapons were also rebalanced, making everything just a
bit more fair and in line with each other. Everything matches up, just as you
would hope for. In summary, the PSP versions and the PC versions are feature
equivalent. If anything, the PC version has quite a few more features due to
all the changes I’ve made over time!
Exploring the Galaxy
One of the newest things to come with the release of SC is
support for a rather recent service GOG has been introducing: GOG Galaxy. If
you want to buy the PC version, but don’t want DRM, GOG Galaxy would be a great
option for you. With GOG Galaxy, we’ve been able to implement achievements
while still providing what can be considered a DRM-free version of the game. FC
is also getting GOG Galaxy support, so if you want to play the GOG version of
the game but haven’t yet found an excuse, now’s your chance to hunker down and
play to your heart’s content.
Looking Ahead – The
Future of FC and SC
Even now, we continue to work constantly to find issues and
improve everything we can. Just a couple of hours before writing this blog, I
put the last touches on a new build of the game, containing the latest and
greatest translation adjustments so that we can provide the utmost quality
after these hard, long years. A small update went out for FC as well – you might
notice that the revival Art has a new name, and this will be carried forward
into SC as it launches. That said, bugs are the programmer’s undefeatable
nemesis. I’ve named my bugs Frederik. I don’t know, they just seem like a
Frederik to me.
Because bugs can never truly be defeated, I hope you’ll
understand that this launch won’t be completely without them. I’m working my
hardest, though, and hopefully together, we can all defeat these nasty
Frederiks, one after another, until the only ones that remain are the ones we
have fun with or couldn’t possibly notice. There are some standing issues I’ll
discuss briefly before I close things up, and hopefully it will be helpful in
training those who encounter them to defeat their insecty foes. Sorry in
One of the strangest bugs is a crash that only seems to
happen in Full Screen Mode with HD Assets enabled. It’s a rather minor bug,
generally only happening when you open the menu too quickly, or when you stay
in the Orbment screen for a long time, but it can be worked around by playing
in Windowed Mode. I’d suggest the Borderless Windowed mode I’ve mentioned
before, as it’s pretty similar to Full Screen, and that should work around the
bug if you’re experiencing it, for the most smooth game experience you can get.
Until then, I’ll keep chipping away, hoping I can find a permanent solution
Another bug that’s been noticed at times is disappearing
menu descriptions, also occurring in FC. If this happens, just close your menu
and re-open it; they were just a bit shy, so they went into hiding. I’m still
working on this, and definitely expecting a fix before long. Lastly, there
-are- still some widescreen issues in cutscenes, as mentioned before. Just
ignore them and maybe they’ll go away. Nah, but seriously, there will be a lot
of little patches to address these, as well as fixing the stragglers in SC.
On a brighter note, I’ve been looking at native XInput
support and I’m hoping I’ll have something to report in the next couple months.
This would mean your triggers would finally work on XInput controllers, as well
as the addition of accurate and precise button labels, though the controllers
themselves do work fine as-is otherwise. Cross your fingers that it all goes
according to plan, ‘cause with the so-called “Curse of Kiseki,” just
about anything that can go wrong usually has, ahahah.
Phew! That was a lot of text. I suppose I may have rambled a
bit, and I apologize for that. I’m sure you guys will enjoy the game, and
please be patient with me as I work hard to fix as many of your issues as I can
following the launch. As the in-joke goes, “Winter 2014 is finally