The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie is an exciting and masterful culmination for a saga that first began nearly two decades with The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. The Crossbell duology of The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero and Trails to Azure. also won the hearts of many, and the Trails of Cold Steel games helped cement the franchise outside of Japan. Beloved characters, impactful stories, stellar turn-based combat, and other exceptional aspects meet in The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie, the ultimate love letter to Trails fans.
In The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie, the stories of Rean Schwarzer and Lloyd Bannings reach their conclusion, and the mysterious C makes their triumphant return. Each story route takes interesting twists and turns with shocking revelations, making this story one of the most memorable in Trails yet. Furthermore, the game’s story is bolstered by its intriguing world and a refined turn-based combat system that makes every single act feel special. The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie is one of Nihon Falcom’s biggest games to date, and the quality of its content speaks volumes.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie – Intertwined Trails
Nearly six months after the Great Twilight crisis, the Special Support Section is ready to finally liberate the remnants of Erebonia’s rogue soldiers from Crossbell. Lloyd’s story route begins in earnest as the SSS and its allies clear out enemies and launch a raid on Orchis Tower. Their efforts are successful, and players may roam Crossbell and catch up with characters from the Crossbell duology in nostalgic and heartwarming reunions. With official recognition from neighboring nations and the Septian Church, Crossbell is now ready to put pen to paper and become a free nation. However, the mysterious arrival of former governor general Rufus Albarea and several antagonists quickly turn a day for joy into a nightmare. Lloyd’s first act of the story ends, the Trails to Walk system comes into play with different perspectives on an interconnected crisis.
The Trails to Walk system of The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie allows players to progress the story as Rean Schwarzer, Lloyd Bannings, and C. This system becomes immediately available in Lloyd’s first act after catching up with some Class VII members. From the Trails to Walk menu, the player may finish the act as Lloyd or immediately start Rean’s story while saving current progress for Lloyd’s. After completing the first act as Rean, C’s route opens and the plot thickens even further. Subsequent acts will follow a similar pattern with the main stories being locked occasionally until sufficient progress is made in another route. All three routes are intertwined with meaningful discoveries and intense battles, and certain progress must be made to move onto the next act. Overall, Trails to Walk presents the story in a very engaging way from multiple perspectives instead of just one.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie features the tried-and-true Arts and Crafts combat system that the franchise is known for. However, Falcom developed Trails into Reverie as the magnum opus for this particular combat system with several quality-of-life changes and major improvements. These improvements include the maximum amount of Battle Points being increased to eight, weakness indicators for Arts, and the introduction of the Zero Craft AT bonus in battle. The Quartz system returns with a new Ultra Rare rating for Quartz and Orbment slots. Fortunately, two out of three slots for ARCUS II units are already upgraded, and sepith is available from an abundance of sources.
Players now have access to United Fronts, powerful battle commands that allows their party to regain Battle Points by expending the Assault Gauge meter. These United Fronts include United Attack, United Arts, and United Heal, which are all self-explanatory. This new mechanic is extremely useful in normal battles and boss battles, and the Assault Gauge recharges over time in combat. In short, combat is more fun and addicting than ever before in The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie, and players gain access to bonuses and even more improvements by progressing in the True Reverie Corridor.
Realm of Reverie
The True Reverie Corridor brings beloved characters of The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie together in a mysterious realm that strips them of recent memories. An omniscient Central Core found within this realm believes the party may change their ultimate fate in the real world and realize many possibilities. In the True Reverie Corridor, Rean and Lloyd’s parties will progress through floors of the mysterious tower to unlock secrets, memories, mini-games, cosmetics, and so much more. Upgrades acquired in this strange realm may be used in the main story, and the True Reverie Corridor is accessible at any time after making sufficient progress in the main story.
The Reverie Garden serves as the party’s main base of operations in the True Reverie Corridor, but it also acts as a major hub for lounging and activities. Characters may have conversations and fight together despite being far away or unavailable during the main story routes. Returning mini-games like Vantage Masters and Pom Pom Party are unlocked by completing missions given by the Central Core unit or by using Sealing Stones. With Sealing Stones, players may also recruit characters, draw rare items, and unlock bonus story scenarios called Daydreams. In essence, True Reverie Corridor caters to longtime fans of Trails and encourages them to build their dream team. This massive dungeon is a true highlight of The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie due to the sheer amount of content.
A New Standard for Trails
Alongside several quality of life improvements, The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie includes improvements to animations, and the game’s opening movie was captured with in-engine footage. Character models are more expressive when compared to those from The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III and IV. Further, in-game cutscenes now have a cinematic feel due to the aforementioned improvements to character models and animations. The Trails series has come a long way, and Trails into Reverie emphasizes an content-rich, high-quality approach that fans should appreciate while playing.
Every single hour spent in Trails into Reverie is filled with something new to experience due to its extremely well written story and the robust True Reverie Corridor. Although the True Reverie Corridor is not an entirely new feature for RPGs, the massive dungeon and its wealth of content greatly complement the main story and act as a meaningful and entertaining diversion. Trails into Reverie’s unique features and content create an enticing and complete package, marking a true return to form for the Trails series. What’s more, every returning feature is even better now in Trails into Reverie.
Experience on Nintendo Switch
Playing The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie in handheld mode is a serious joy, and the Nintendo Switch version looks really great on large displays. The game targets 30 frames per second on Nintendo Switch and manages to stay locked in most instances. A few instances, including the Crossbell’s grand ceremony during the first act, brought some serious frame dips on the platform. Fortunately, frame rate drops are not common, and the High-Speed Mode works well without any problems.
During my playthrough, I experienced a few crashes while fishing in the Crossbell region. Fortunately, progress in my playthrough wasn’t lost, but these crashes are worth noting nonetheless. Additionally, the version 1.0 build of The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie has some localization errors, including typos for enemy names and items. Patches should address these lingering issues as soon as possible. Although the Switch port isn’t perfect, Trails into Reverie holds up quite well and looks notably better than early Falcom releases on the platform due to engine optimizations.
The Ultimate Trails Love Letter
Finally, The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie is an incredible epilogue to the Trails saga that fans have been following for many years now. Each protagonist is given another chance to shine in a brilliant story that wraps up many loose ends from The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV. At the same time, the game’s story and content gives fans a glimpse of what’s to come in the next saga. Falcom’s newly improved engine for Trails into Reverie brings the Trails world to life in ways that weren’t feasible before.
What’s more, Trails into Reverie manages to improve an already great turn-based combat system by introducing helpful new features like United Fronts. This content-rich RPG emphasizes the importance of variety by giving players an avenue to explore the lore of Trails and enjoy several mini-games in between main story quests. Despite having some technical hiccups, Trails into Reverie is an exceptional RPG, and it’s a must buy for those who have caught up with the long-running franchise. Trails into Reverie is the ultimate Trails love letter from Falcom, rewarding longtime fans with an unforgettable experience.
Disclaimer: NIS America provided Final Weapon with a review copy of The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie for Nintendo Switch.