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The Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki III (英雄伝説(えいゆうでんせつ) 閃の軌跡(せんのきせき)Ⅲ) is the eighth instalment in the Kiseki series and the third game of the Erebonia arc.

The game is currently scheduled for a September 28, 2017 release for PlayStation 4.

Synopsis

Setting

Approximately one year and a half after the Erebonian Civil War, Erebonia annexed North Ambria, making Erebonia far larger than its rival, the Republic of Calvard. Meanwhile, the Imperial government has centralised its power and the provinces once ruled by the Four Great Houses suffer new problems in their weakened state of disarray. Ouroboros finally moves again in the shadows; they align their plans with the movements of jaegers in Calvard.

With the enrolment of Crown Prince Cedric Reise Arnor, Thors Military Academy has transformed into a full-fledged military academy. Children of the (former) Four Great Houses and foreigners are accepted at its branch school in the City of Leeves in West Erebonia.

The principal of the Branch Campus Leeves is Aurelia Le Guin. The school offers three classes: Class VII for special affairs under Instructor Rean Schwarzer, Class VIII for combat and practical skills under Instructor Randolph Orlando, and Class IX for accounting and statistics under Instructor Towa Herschel.

Plot

Prologue - Spring, Once Again

Rean fights his depression.

Chapter 1 - Reunion ~ The Old Capital of Chalkstone~

Rean and co. journey to Saint-Arkh, and upon arriving via the Derfflinger the camera pans to show Fie Claussell overlooking. Once they get off the train, they meet with Marquis Hyarms and his butler, Celestin, who gives them a variety of quests to complete. While searching for a missing cat, they encounter Shirley Orlando, who directs them to the cat's location, hearkening back to her love of cats.

During a required quest, an archaism is encountered, upon defeating it, Rutger Claussell appears in casual clothing, and makes small talk about why they are out there after the talk, they notice there are about 15 broken archaisms in a ditch, all of them shocked that the old man beat them all. In Isthmia Great Forest, the higher elements are active. Upon reaching the end of the forest they find the flower used in making Vita Clotilde's perfume, Rean's heart throbs, and the screen turns red. Roselia appears and begins talking about how things have started to happen, but it is still too early to be concerned.

Traveling further down the same path they eventually arrive at a gated off area that isn't listed on the map. The party wishes to investigate, but Michael refuses to let them. While there, they are attacked by archaisms, but Laura saves the day. The party returns to the base camp, but as if they can't get a break, Duvalie and Shirley arrive to attack them. The entire school engages in a battle to fend them off, and Fie and Elliot also appear to lend their strength. Eventually, Fie and Shirley retreat without an end to the fight.

The next day, Lechter Arundel delivers an order from Chancellor Giliath Osborne. The Ashen Chevalier is to "Discover the motives of the society and prevent them from realising them." Fie, Elliot, and Laura join to help. Rean does not allow any Class VII members to help, even Altina. As they leave the camp, Lechter is seen communicating with Ash about some sort of "mission".

In Saint-Arkh, Rean and co. communicate via video chat with Toval Randonneur, where they discuss how Osborne took over the Phantasmal Blaze Plan at the end of Sen II, and discuss how Ouroboros may be trying to take it back. Agate walks in on this discussion, and after being unable to come up with a next move, he hands Rean a list of quests.

They encounter Agate at the entrance to Hamel, who asks them what they expect to find inside. He then reveals to them the events that transpired there prior to the Hundred Days War. Kurt, Juna, Ash, and Altina watch them enter from atop a nearby cliff. They then signal for the rest of the students to come, to which Michael is understandably shocked.

On the way to Hamel, Agate tells them about how he traveled with Prince Olivert four years prior, during the events of the Trails in the Sky trilogy. Upon arriving in Hamel, Agate tells them of the story of Joshua and Loewe. He then reveals the full story behind the Hundred Days War, the empire hiring jaegers to destroy the village, etc. Rean's heart throbs, he gets flashbacks of Karin, Loewe, Joshua, and Osborne carrying him on his back.

Upon arriving at the back of Hamel, Shirley and Duvalie are standing at Loewe's Grave. Duvalie slumps down to her knees, and she and Shirley offer prayers to the grave, they step aside to allow the party to place flowers at Loewe's grave, and pay their respects. Duvalie comments on the brilliance of the demon sword Kernviter, they then leave without fighting, as it would be disrespectful to their deceased comrade.

Outside of Hamel, they face each other and prepare for combat. Duvalie reveals her hometown suffered a tragedy similar to that of Hamel. Upon defeating Shirley and Duvalie, the party is repelled by Ines and Ennea who protect Duvalie, and Gareth who protects Shirley. Shirley then pushes a button, activating a gargantuan blue robot. This robot is revealed to be Aion Type-Gamma II. Rean summons Valimar to combat the Aion. Upon the sight of her father, Fie's voice begins to waver, and she gets flashbacks of her past, asking why he is alive. Rutger summons a translucent purple robot to finish off the aion, before stating that that this is a fight between "us" and "them" before leaving with the members of Ouroboros and Red Constellation.

The entirety of Thors II goes and offers flowers to Loewe's grave. and upon thinking about Hamel and the events of 14 years ago, Ash's eye starts to throb. The next day, Rean and Class VII bid farewell to Laura, Fie, and Elliot, and thank them for their assistance. They then head back to Thors II.

Chapter 2 - Crossbell's Conflict

Rean fights a trap.

Chapter 3 - The Pulse of Steel ~Profusion of the Sea Capital~

Rean fights an old hag.

Chapter 4 - Glimmering Heimdallr

Rean fights a dragon.

Finale - For Whom The Bell Tolls

It's all ogre now.

Characters

Main article: List of Sen no Kiseki III characters

Main characters

Mechanics

Sen no Kiseki III replaces the traditional ring command system during battles with a direct command system, in which the directional and action buttons are directly linked to battle actions. It is also the first game in the Kiseki series (not the first Legend of Heroes game[1]) to feature seamless transitions between overworld and battles.

Brave Order

Brave Order icon (Sen III)

Sen no Kiseki III adds a new use for Brave Points, which were first introduced in Trails of Cold Steel to perform link attacks between two or more characters. The new feature Brave Order (directional button up) allows characters to execute party-wide orders for a specific number of turns.[2]

  • Battle Formation [Conflagration] (Rean Schwarzer): When this order is activated, all damage dealt by the party is increased, and during its run, CP earnings are increased. Costs a small amount of BP.
  • Noir Crest (Altina Orion): All enemy attacks will be unconditionally reflected. As this is a powerful order, it uses a lot of BP and good timing of its use is essential.

Style Change

Some party members in Sen no Kiseki III can change their fighting style (directional button right).

Juna Crawford can switch between Striker Mode and Gunner Mode. In Striker Mode, she uses her gunbreakers as if they are baton and attacks close-range. In Gunner Mode, her stats are lowered but she can target multiple enemies at once from a distance.

It appears that Ash Carbide's varia axe makes similar use of the Style Change ability.

Development

Announcement

Sen no Kiseki III was first mentioned as "the next installment of the Sen no Kiseki series" by Falcom president Toshihiro Kondo in an interview with Dengeki PlayStation in May 2015. During Falcom's annual investor's meeting in December 2015, the tentative logo was revealed and confirmed that the game was in development.[3]

Shortly after the release of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana in July 2016, Kondo was featured another interview with Dengeki PlayStation in which the described the development stage of Sen no Kiseki III as "heavily underway". He also mentioned that while the game is primarily developed for PlayStation 4, a port for PlayStation Vita (similar to how its predecessors were ported from PlayStation 3 to PlayStation Vita) is a technical possibility. The question as to whether Rean Schwarzer will return as the protagonist of the game, Kondo simply stated that the protagonist and outline of the story had been decided.

Teases

Rean Schwarzer Promo Art (Sen III)

Rean 's design as originally shown in Tokyo Xanadu eX+.

On August 10th 2016, Falcom posted on Twitter that fans should "look carefully as [Tokyo Xanadu eX+ protagonist] Kou runs through the Star Camera",[4] which upon analysis reveals the first key visual of Sen no Kiseki III. The picture features a slightly older Rean Schwarzer wearing a white coat, holding his tachi in front of him. A reflection of his backside can be seen mirrored behind him.

In an interview regarding Tokyo Xanadu eX+'s upcoming release with Famitsu Weekly, Kondo states that Sen no Kiseki III will become a milestone in the series, with characters from the Liberl and Crossbell arc making their reappearance. It will be a leap forward compared to previous titles and the scenario is said to be enormous.
Alisa Reinford (Sen III, ad)

Alisa Reinford's design as promoted in an advertisement for Falcom's Winter Fair 2016.

In Falcom's advertisement for their annual Winter Fair [5], they prominently portrayed Alisa Reinford's new model for Sen no Kiseki III. In the background, the Bracer Guild sign of the East Street in Crossbell can be seen, indicating that the game will partially take place in Crossbell. The sett on the street seem to have been replaced with asphalt. Since both Rean's artwork and Alisa's model look significantly older than their counterparts in previous instalments, it is assumed Sen no Kiseki III will take place after a time skip, most likely to deal with the liberation of Crossbell early S.1207.
  • Juna Crawford shown in battle.
  • Rean Schwarzer running through East Street in Crossbell.
  • Alisa Reinford in Crossbell's East Street.
  • Kurt Vander seen in a grassy area.
  • Musse Egret greeting the player in Ordis.
  • Sara's new design, Lechter can be seen in the background.
  • Promotional Artwork for Sen no Kiseki III.

Reveal

During the Nihon Falcom shareholder meeting on December 20th, Falcom officially unveiled Sen no Kiseki III for the PlayStation 4. In addition to its logo and a release date of Autumn 2017, they indicate the game takes place in the second half of S.1206 and released five screenshots.

In these screenshots, we see a new group of protagonists in dark-coloured Thors uniforms. The traditional battle circle has been replaced with a new battle interface where the directions buttons and functional buttons make selecting attacks easier. Combat Links and therefore ARCUS will return. A new battle mechanic shown is the Order command, accessed by pressing up on the directional button. By setting an Order command, it seems that it alters certain parameters during battle, unlike the Remote Ability in Trails in the Sky The 3rd. The fight takes place in a yet unknown location; the store Pawn Shop - McEnroe sign in the background has not yet appeared in the series. The area looks familiar to the last of these six screenshots.

Rean Schwarzer can be seen running through a re-designed version of Crossbell City's The East Street, passing by the Bracer Guild and Exchange Shop - Neinvall, which moved there from Downtown. Alisa Reinford can be seen in a second screenshot of Crossbell. The townscape in the screenshots suggests that Crossbell expanded in the eastward direction. The seventh screenshot features 2 new characters who works alongside with Rean; a blue haired male character wielding a knight's sword and appears to be from a noble family, and a pink haired female character wielding a Tonfa, she is expected to be speed oriented rather than power.

The last two screenshots were taken in new locations. The first one features a young woman affiliated with the Thors Military Academy welcoming the spectator in Ordis, provincial capital of Lamare. In the background a Kleist Mall can be seen. On the last screenshot, Sara Valestein is seen sneaking up on presumably Lechter Arundel in a yet unseen location. The antiquity of buildings, dirt on the walls and yet unseen Pub & Inn - Hermit sign may suggest that this is Saint-Arkh, the provincial capital of Sutherland and the last provincial capital to be confirmed in-game.

Promotional roll-out

Falcom announced that the limited edition of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana for PlayStation 4 would feature an exclusive artbook with artwork of the upcoming Sen no Kiseki III. Through the teasers Falcom posted, it was found that Sen III would mark the return of Barkhorn and the introduction of locations Ordis, Juno Fortress and long-awaited Parm.

Dengeki PlayStation 639 Cover (Sen III)

Dengeki PlayStation Issue 639 featured Sen no Kiseki III and Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana on its cover.

After the initial announcement and introduction of core characters, RPG Site editor HDKirin reported that through directory diving the names of new characters had been found on the website of Sen no Kiseki III.[6] The first of these, Musse Egret, Ash Carbide, Towa Herschel, Aurelia Le Guin and Major Michael, were officially announced in the Dengeki PlayStation and Famitsu issue of April 27, 2017 (637). The return of Trails in the Sky characters Agate Crosner and Tita Russell as well as Professor G. Schmidt were announced in the Dengeki PlayStation and Famitsu issue of May 11, 2017 (638). This issue also set the release date of the game on September 28, 2017 and announced a limited edition 'Kiseki Box'.[7] Two recurring characters from Zero and Ao no Kiseki, Randolph Orlando and Tio Plato, were announced alongside Olivert Reise Arnor in the Dengeki PlayStation Issue of May 25, 2017 (639). The subsequent issue of the magazine, June 8th, 2017 (640), was completely dedicated to Ouroboros, confirming the return of Enforcers Campanella, McBurn, Shirley Orlando; Anguis Arianrhod and her commanding Stahlritter, Duvalie, Ennea and Ines. Following that, the next issue, on June 22, 2017 (641), showcased Elise Schwarzer, Alfin Reise Arnor, and Cedric Reise Arnor.

Ys VIII bonuses

The limited edition of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana for PlayStation 4 was released on May 25, 2017 and contained an artbook featuring artwork from Sen no Kiseki III, called Sen no Kiseki III Confidential Material Book ~Erebonian Empire 1206~.

The booklet featured official artwork used in promotional artwork before as well as concept art for the main characters, new concept artwork for Red Moon Rose, the Northern Campaign, the aforementioned locations and rough artwork for the side characters: aforementioned Barkhorn; Class VIII students Jessica and Kairi, returning Crossbell characters Shan Shan and Shing; returning Erebonia characters Hugo Kleist, Beatrix, Alan and Vivi; Juna Crawford's mother and sister; and an unnamed woman with auburn hair holding a basket. KeA, who was initially teased in Falcom's promotional material[8], was not included in the artbook.

For the promotion of Ys VIII's release, Falcom prominently displayed a stand in the Sofmap in Akihabara that contained a screen that played a video for Sen no Kiseki III, marking the first time the game was shown in action.[9][10]
Kiseki Box - Combined (Sen III)

First-print edition of Sen no Kiseki III

Cover art reveal

In its weekly website update on June 29th 2017, Falcom revealed the cover art for the standard edition and first-print edition of the game, as well as the contents of the first-print edition. The screenshot of the artbook reveals the return of St. Astraia Girls' School alumna Annabel, Thors Military Academy alumna Dorothee, Kurt's mother Oriè Vander and Red Constellation member Gareth.

On July 13th 2017, Falcom revealed the designs for the Original Class VII members through Dengeki PlayStation issue 642. Alisa Reinford, Elliot Craig, Laura S. Arseid, Jusis Albarea and Machias Regnitz were added to the website, followed by Fie Claussell, Emma Millstein, Celine, Gaius Worzel and Millium Orion a week later.

Falcom publicly released the first footage of Sen no Kiseki III in a 15-second commercial on July 20, 2017.[11] The day after, the company revealed that they would be working together with Sony to release a limited PlayStation 4, featuring an original engraving on its vinyl.

On July 27th 2017, gaming magazines revealed the supporters of Original Class VII: Sara Valestein (who had already showed up in the initial batch of screenshots and again in the aforementioned commercial), Sharon Kreuger, Victor S. Arseid, Angelica Rogner and George Nome. The same issue provided details on the new additions to the mecha battle system, including all Thors Campus Leeves being able to pilot Panzer Soldats. This information was added to the Sen no Kiseki III website a week later on August 3rd.

In teasing their new Falcom Magazine on August 7th, Falcom revealed the identities of the so-called Infiltrators that appeared in the leak through directory diving the Sen no Kiseki III website:[6] Vita Clotilde acting separately from Ouroboros; Azure Siegfried who resembles a masked Crow Armbrust and is recognised as such by the Original Class VII members; and Red Roselia, who bears a strong resemble to the eponymous heroine of Red Moon Rose and appeared alongside a Gralsritter in the 15-second commercial. The issue also reveals that Rutger Claussell, the leader of jaeger corps Zephyr who was believed to be dead, has taken back his old position as leader of the corps. Furthermore, the issue features a first glimpse at Rufus Albarea and Claire Rieveldt's new character designs, which were revealed on August 24th, alongside Giliath Osborne and Lechter Arundel. One week prior, on August 18th, Falcom released a video with music samples of the soundtrack that comes with the limited edition.

It is unknown whether Black Alberich, previously found alongside Azure Siegfried and Red Roselia, is actually Vita Clotilde or Rutger Claussell, or a yet unannounced character.

Retailer bonuses

Image Description Store
Altina Kitty - Geo Bonus (Sen III)
Cute Noir

DLC that changes Altina's outfit.

Have Altina wear the cute, cat-styled swimsuit forced upon her by Millium.

GEO
Musse Swimsuit - Amazon Bonus (Sen III)
Coquettish Blue

DLC that changes Musse's outfit.

Change into the refreshing, cute outfit picked with Instructor Rean in mind.

Amazon
Juna Crossbell Cheer - Tsutaya Bonus (Sen III)
Crossbell Cheer

DLC that changes Juna's outfit.

Change into a costume Juna used to wear during extracurricular activities at the Crossbell Police Academy.

Tsutaya
Original Class VII - Official Artwork (Sen III)
Original B2 sized tapestry (KISEKI BOX only) and DLC Item Set A. Sofmap
Wondergoo Bonus (Sen III)
B2 sized tapestry drawn by Sagara Riri.
DLC Item Set A BIC Camera/Kojima
DLC Item Set A Tay Two
DLC Item Set B Yamada Denki
DLC Item Set B Joshin
DLC Item Set C Yodobashi Camera
DLC Item Set C Edion
Tita, Agate & Schmidt - Imagine Bonus (Sen III)
A1 sized poster Imagine
Orbment Keyholder - Chara-Ani Bonus (Sen III)
Original Orbment Key Holder Chara-Ani
Rean & Altina - Trader Bonus (Sen III)
Original B2 tapestry Trader
Musse - Pao Bonus (Sen III)
Original B2 tapestry PAO
Promides - Stellaworth Bonus (Sen III)
Set of 2 original promides Stellaworth
Clear Files - Enterking Bonus (Sen III)
Original A4 Clear File Enterking
Rean Schwarzer Promo Art (Sen III)
Omnipage Original irogami Kougado
Crossbell's Rivalry - Official Art (Sen III)
Original A3 Clear Poster Animate
Exceed!! - Offical Art (Sen III)
Original B2 Tapestry Gamers
Takarajima Bonus (Sen III)
Alisa Reinford microfiber cloth (200mm × 400mm) Game Shop Takarajima
Tita - Amiami Bonus (Sen III)
Original Tita acrylic figurine Ami Ami
Juna SSS - Dengekiya Bonus (Sen III)
DLC that changes Juna's outfit into Lloyd's outfit.
  • Derfflinger B2 Tapestry
  • Rean's character file notebook
  • Original shoulder bag
  • Original T-Shirt
Dengeki
PS Store Bonus (Sen III)
  1. PlayStation 4 theme
  2. Mini soundtrack
  3. DLC that changes Rean's outfit to his Cold Steel II outfit
PlayStation Store
Keychain - Falcom Bonus (Sen III)
Thors Military Academy - Branch Campus Leeves leather keychain Falcom

Gallery

Packaging
 
Cover Art (Sen III)
Cover art
 
Box Art (Sen III)
Box art
 
Kiseki Box - Combined (Sen III)
First-print edition
 
Kiseki Box - Spread Out (Sen III)
First-print edition
 
Limited PS4 - Hardware (Sen III)
Sen III PS4 - Hardware
 
Limited PS4 - Packaging (Sen III)
Sen III PS4 - Packaging
 
Limited PS4 - Themes (Sen III)
Sen III PS4 - Themes
Official Artwork
 
Rean Schwarzer Promo Art (Sen III)
"Afterglow"
 
Exceed!! - Offical Art (Sen III)
"Exceed!!"
 
Crossbell's Rivalry - Official Art (Sen III)
"Crossbell's Rivalry"
 
Shields Of A Nation At War - Official Art (Sen III)
"Shields Of A Nation At War"
 
Ash Carbide (Dengeki artwork)
 
Musse Egret (Dengeki art)
 
Orbal Gear - Official Art (Sen III)
 
Derfflinger - Official Art (Sen III)
 
Ouroboros - Official Art (Sen III)
 
Original Class VII - Official Artwork (Sen III)
Original Class VII
Concept Artwork

References

  1. The PC versions of the Gagharv trilogy games also featured a seamless transition between exploration and battles. Source: https://www.esterior.net/2017/05/928-release-date-for-sen-no-kiseki-iii-tita-and-agate-unveiled/
  2. Source text: https://www.esterior.net/2017/05/928-release-date-for-sen-no-kiseki-iii-tita-and-agate-unveiled/
  3. https://twitter.com/finalbeta/status/676988321420152832
  4. https://twitter.com/nihonfalcom/status/763241650634170368
  5. https://twitter.com/nihonfalcom/status/801613589320593409
  6. 6.0 6.1 https://twitter.com/HDKirin/status/844373678380875776
  7. https://www.esterior.net/2017/05/928-release-date-for-sen-no-kiseki-iii-tita-and-agate-unveiled/
  8. https://twitter.com/nihonfalcom/status/824123543231361024
  9. https://twitter.com/nihonfalcom/status/867576704578891776
  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAIqERVe63s
  11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFN1pZB2_GM

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