The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie Review – The End Of An Era – Gamer fang

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For nearly 20 years, Nihon Falcom has created the richest set of original characters, history and politics in video games with The Legend of Heroes. Across three narratives (and counting), I’ve explored myriad diverse locations, cultures, governments, and organizations, making the continent of Zemuria the most immersive world I’ve ever experienced in the medium. Trails Into Reverie, the latest entry in the long-running franchise, is a bittersweet culmination; I could potentially say goodbye to some of these characters forever after the series successfully captured my heart.

After countless emotional moments of joy, shock, and tragedy, the further I got into this entry, the more I dreaded saying goodbye to these wonderful and gratifying characters that I came to love so much. The fight itself continues to build and develop, and even though the story is arguably one of the weakest in the series to date, the deep ongoing theme of what shapes someone into the person they are has stayed with me ever since. is stuck. By the time the credits rolled, all I could think about was how grateful I was to be able to reach this point and experience this unique epic firsthand.

Apparently, this is the 11th entry in an ongoing series. Starting with Trails in the Sky, it’s extremely important to play them in order to get the most out of its narrative. Trails in Reverie more or less serves as the epilogue chapter for both the Crossbow (Trails from Zero/Trails to Azure) and Erebonia (Trails from Cold Steel I to IV) arcs.

Six months have passed since the end of The Great Twilight, and the now autonomous kingdom of Crossbow has been liberated by Erebonia, it is about to finally declare its independence until a familiar enemy stops the plans. Compared to the rest of the series, Reverie is arguably the most out-of-the-box story, weaving together a more streamlined experience while continuing the high-quality storytelling and character development that longtime fans have come to expect.

Instead of featuring one main character, three separate branches focus on a specific character – a series first. Reverie puts you back in the place of former main protagonists Lloyd Bannings and Rein Schwarzer, as well as a masked man that fans of the series will remember known as “C”. The paths of these characters converge in another compelling narrative where each of them overcomes the personal burdens they’ve struggled with over the past several games. Each character’s story comes to a satisfying conclusion, and I’m glad there’s a chance for them to return in future entries.

While important things happen to both Rinne and Si, Reverie really feels like Lloyd’s story, with the narrative primarily focused on Crossbell, her home. In the final hours of this nearly 60-hour entry (including recommended postgame content), I was able to watch Crossbow in full 3D. Trails from Zero and Trails to the Azure presented an isometric perspective with characters in chibi model style, so it was fun to see everything I discovered in those games in a new light while staying true to the original vision.

Even though the series is known for its level of free exploration, Reverie is a more straightforward experience, structured similarly to Trails in the Sky the 3rd. There are no traditional side quests, which is ultimately disappointing because I love learning new lore about the world. However, The Legend of Heroes specializes in developing places you visit over and over again in entries; Even when there isn’t much to do in a place you haven’t been to many sports, it’s still rewarding to walk around and talk to familiar faces.

The combat in The Legend of Heroes series, while overall great, has been more or less the same since its inception. It has been simplified over time, which is troubling, but thankfully the core elements remain intact. A notable mechanic introduced in this entry is called “United Front”, where you can launch an all-out attack that deals massive damage to your enemies or heals your entire party. It didn’t fundamentally change my approach to combat compared to previous entries, but it definitely got me out of some tough spots.

Aside from the story, the main gameplay experience unfolds in a pocket location known as the True Riveree Corridor. Not only does it serve as a home base for the cast, but it’s also where most of the additional content resides, including buying equipment, fishing (a series staple), and the simple, but well-designed card game Includes Vantage Masters. Other activities include engaging trials with specific characters to obtain unique upgrades, as well as fun minigames like Rail Shooter and even trivia about the franchise.

However, the main purpose of Reverie Corridor is to serve as a dungeon crawler for leveling up your party. As I explored each floor, I found treasures and formidable enemies that give me Ceiling Stones, which can unlock new characters, minigames, and “daydreams”. These compelling slice-of-life pieces are my favorite unlockables from Reverie Corridor, as they focus on various cast members’ events that take place between the events of Cold Steel IV and Trails Into Reverie. Probably the best part of The Legend of Heroes is the vast number of well-written, detailed characters. However, the main story focuses on a select few people, so it’s a great way to make it feel like an intimate final huddle with them.

By the end of the game, there were over 40 characters I could choose from to form my party, and for each one of them, I knew their intimate background and history from one or more of the 10 previous entries that came before. That makes this entry feel like a celebration of these characters and the incredible quality of storytelling that has developed throughout the series.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails Into Reverie is not your average game; Nearly decades of world-building, character arcs, and detailed lore have led to this culmination. The franchise isn’t exhaustive, but this series is totally unique. It is a monolith that should be recognized alongside such icons as Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Kingdom Hearts and Persona. The detail of the continent of Zemuria is unlike anything I’ve experienced in gaming, and its cast now includes many of my favorite characters in the medium. Reverie has the intimidating task of closing the page on three arcs that span nearly twenty years of characters and storytelling. Even though the narrative of this chapter is shorter than previous entries, it still stands above most other games in this genre. If Trails Into Reverie is the last time we see most of these beloved characters, it serves as a grand farewell.

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