Our Score: 9/10
In The Legend of Heroes: Trails From Zero when Lloyd Bannings joins Crossbell’s Special Support Section, he and his new friends have to establish themselves while battling the injustice of a corrupt city.
The Trail Begins
The Special Support Section is a recently established branch of the Crossbell Police Department. Made up of members Lloyd Bannings, Elie MacDowell, Tio Plato, and Randy Orlando. And is under the direction of the player throughout The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero. The cast is frequently charged with accomplishing tasks that are primarily intended to help the public in various ways and maybe improve the police department’s very negative reputation. Unfortunately, as a result, they frequently receive a poor reputation in society. Especially when compared to the Bracer Guild, a group active across the Zemuria continent that is recognised for helping the populace and is especially well-liked in Crossbell.
Life in the Special Support Section is a constant uphill fight. Caused by the aforementioned circumstances and a number of more harsh realities. Which literalizes the moniker “Trails from Zero” and lends the game’s underdog theme. Nevertheless, there are a plethora of other narrative lines to pay attention to. Such as the political quagmires Crossbell finds himself in. Due to its location between the Eerebonian Empire to the West and Calvard to the East, as well as the fact that it deals with more domestic problems, it is a perpetually problematic area.
Fighting for Justice
Turn-based combat is used in Trails from Zero. And there are two distinct categories of tactics to choose from: Arts and Crafts. The former refers to the magic system. Which is established by the Quartz that each character has added to their orbments. Quartz is often made in town using Sepith, a collectible that is frequently acquired through enemy defeat. The Sepith value of equipped Quartz and their location in a character’s Orbment determine the kinds of Arts they learn in this game, which is modeled after the Trails in the Sky trilogy.
Although these dynamics might be difficult for newcomers to understand at first, at their core, they simply promote experimenting with personalization. In addition, new players have access to a wealth of lessons in Lloyd’s Detective Notebook. Including those that detail the precise Sepith values required to construct each Art.
Crafts fall under the second category of battle mechanics that I’ve yet to cover, and they’re easier to summarise. Character-specific talents are acquired via leveling up, with S-Crafts being the most effective of these. It soon becomes clear that each character has unique specialisations, such as Tio being a potent offensive caster and Elie being a well-known healer. Success depends on understanding the cast’s strengths, which are shown through their stats, Crafts, and Orbments. This is especially true for the harder levels.
Localized and Modern
This release has no English dub, making it the first translated entry without any voice acting in English. Zero is voiced for the most part, and each character delivers lines both during and after battle with excellence. There are no issues there because the localization is excellent as well. I am confident that I spoke with every NPC in every changed line of dialogue, so I can attest to the meticulous nature of this. Only a few errors, mainly missing periods or the rare merged word, were discovered by me. There will be no need for you to worry about waiting for a patch to address various problems. There are just a very small number of extremely insignificant errors.
This update also includes a turbo option that dramatically cuts down on any potential replays and backtracking. Seeing this element used here, which has become somewhat of a standard in more recent Trails entries, surely makes the game more approachable. Finally, Trails from Zero’s melodies are great, offering memorable fight themes and appealing field tracks, just like they are in almost every other Falcom game.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails From Zero is another fantastic JRPG that will appease fans of the series and works as a great jump-in point for newcomers. The game features an interesting story with a good cast of heroes and really fun gameplay.