The Legend of Heroes: Trails through Daybreak Preview – A New Trail Unfolds

    The Calvard Republic awaits!

    The Legend of Heroes: Trails through Daybreak marks a turning point for the long-running Trails series, bringing more real-time action combat into a tried-and-true formula that greatly evolved since Trails in the Sky. This intriguing new title also brings fans to the Republic of Calvard, a country that helped shape the overall narrative of the Trails series as a whole. Recently, Final Weapon had the opportunity to attend a preview event for The Legend of Heroes: Trails through Daybreak and dive deeper into what this RPG brings from the perspective of protagonist Van Arkride and his crew.

    In Trails through Daybreak, a new story arc begins in the year S. 1208, one year after the events of The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie. The game’s story delves into the aftermath of the Great War, including post-war reparations and public unrest in Calvard, from the perspective of spriggan Van Arkride. This young man is the leader of Arkride Solutions Office and accepts jobs from sources both noble and dubious. He meets first year student Agnès Claudel, who gives him a request that leads them on a dangerous quest.

    Trails through Daybreak aims to be a starting point for players new to the series, but it’s worth noting that certain topics from Trails into Reverie will be touched on. As a result, returning players will certainly get to experience settings and elements that have been teased in previous games. 

    Trails through Daybreak Marks an Evolution of Existing Trails Systems

    With a new protagonist comes a revamped battle system, updated customization options and features, an alignment-based system, and improved visuals in Trails through Daybreak. The game is a natural evolution of Trails, and it’s made even more apparent in combat.

    Firstly, the game features an Action Time Battle system that incorporates Field Attacks, allowing players to enjoy fast-paced combat similar to Ys. Players may seamlessly switch between the two, with Field Attacks allowing them to stun enemies in real time with a preemptive strike. This grants Van’s party the advantage in traditional turn-based combat (Command Battles), which has some new twists this time around.

    While in turn-based combat mode, party members may move freely within a radius, similar to Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth. Although the real-time action elements are now present, Trails through Daybreak emphasizes strategy and positioning more so than any other Trails entry. This is due to the area of attack/use that each Art and Craft may bring over the grid space that’s given. 

    Of course, boss fights are presented in turn-based mode only, as these encounters demand a more thoughtful approach. Players should also consider the S-Boost meter as well, which fills up over the course of a battle. Using S-Crafts in a pinch, which I certainly did in Trails into Reverie, no longer applies in the same way due to the S-Boost mechanic. One S-Boost must be used to get the character into a focused state, allowing them to unleash their unique S-Craft.

    Aligning Orbments and Connecting Recipes

    Orbments get a major revamp in Trails through Daybreak alongside the combat system, prompting players to take a slightly different approach to a Quartz setup. Xipha Orbments places emphasis on each Quartz line, yielding Shard Skills to those who properly assess each character and create a build that caters to their strengths.

    Specifically, each Quartz will have an element value, and these values will count toward Weapon, Shield, Drive, and Extra parameters that grant the skills. There are other factors that play into the overall Orbments setup that players will discover as well. I personally believe the Quartz/Orbment system is looking better than ever due to the amount of options being presented.

    The alignment system is also worth noting, as it does have an effect on gameplay by determining side characters players may use during a certain segment. These values include Law, Gray, and Chaos, which all work well thematically with Van’s role as someone who takes shady jobs. These values will change depending on player choices made in the story and on side quests. 

    Another new element in Trails through Daybreak is Gourmet Points, which are obtained by eating food. Characters can gain permanent stat increases when they level up, so cooking recipes is something that players will want to do for gameplay benefits. 

    Stat boosts are also given when completing Connect Events. These events will be insightful as they let players learn more about each party member. Options are limited though, so time must be spent wisely. 

    Trails through Daybreak is an Exciting Leap Forward

    The many gameplay elements and features of Trails through Daybreak are set to deliver a compelling experience for newcomers and returning Trails fans alike. Trails through Daybreak experiments with the combat system fans know and love while giving it a refreshing uplift. The Calvard saga is leading Trails to its most exciting era yet, and the opportunity to dive in with Trails through Daybreak is certainly enticing. I will always recommend playing the previous Trails games leading into Trails through Daybreak since the payoff is going to be incredible later on.

    There’s a lot more to Trails through Daybreak, and players can see what it’s all about by trying out the free demo on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. The prologue and first chapter are available in the PlayStation 4 version, while the Nintendo Switch version only has the prologue. Save data transfers from both versions into the full game at launch, however. 

    Gameplay footage from the preview is found in Final Weapon’s Trails through Daybreak video:

    The Legend of Heroes: Trails through Daybreak launches on July 5 for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC via Steam in the West. Read up on Final Weapon’s reviews of Falcom RPGs below:

    Soul Kiwami
    Soul Kiwami
    Raul Ochoa, a.k.a. Soul Kiwami, is the Managing Editor of Final Weapon and a Games Writer at Game Rant with four years of writing and editing experience. Raul is passionate about the Japanese gaming industry, and he's a huge fan of Nintendo Switch, PC hardware, JRPGs, and fighting games. business email: [email protected] | Muck Rack:

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