New Falcom President Toshihiro Kondo Interview Grants Thought-Provoking Insights

Gaming Publication PushSquare recently interviewed Nihon Falcom’s president, Toshihiro Kondo, about the current state of the Trails/Kiseki series and various specificities regarding Crossbell. Still, there are some interesting tidbits to chew on outside the latter’s focus.

Kondo reiterates that with last year’s release of The Legend of Heroes: Kuro no Kiseki, the series’ story is around 60-70% complete. This information is not new, but hearing it stated once more in a recent interview helps inform this progression, especially to the Western fans who are in the dark about the currently Japanese-only titles.

Two lines stood out to me from this response, though:

Originally, I was happy to just to let the series go as far as it could with no real sense of an endpoint, and honestly, I didn’t think it would continue as long as it has.

I was never aware of that particular point, so one has to wonder when the endpoint of Trails’ collective narrative will be and when it was devised. Moving on, Kondo also revealed that there is no special method the staff uses to keep track of the countless characters throughout the Trails series. Instead, they simply “gather all of the previous resources and carefully explain what’s come before to new staff members until they’ve absorbed it.”

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This insight actually makes me respect the Falcom staff and their writing far more since the fact that they can remember and continually provide developments on so many characters and plot points via mouth-to-mouth is rather impressive.

Regarding accessibility, Kondo shared the following statements:

I recommend starting from the initial title in any of [the] subseries… One of the reasons that we periodically change the main characters and locations is to allow new players a chance to have multiple entry point to the series.

Trails is an undeniably overwhelming franchise to jump into, so hearing that part of the reason for these protagonist changes is to appeal to new players is sensical.

Trails of Cold Steel 11

Kondo then shared the following statement about the feasibility of the Kuro no Kiseki games releasing in the West:

Of course we intend to have it come out in the West. There might be a time gap between it and the Japanese release, but please wait for more information once everything is decided.

Of course, there already is a time gap with Kuro no Kiseki currently being Japanese-only. Regardless, seeing such a confident answer concerning localization is always relieving.

One final interesting point worth mentioning is how Kondo does not see Trails as a Japanese or global franchise. He instead sees it as the staff “creating the games that we want to make.” He also states that they have more non-Japanese Trails staff than ever before, which is honestly pretty cool for the diversification of culture and ideas.

You can read the full interview with Kondo via PushSquare’s website, which houses more thought-provoking tidbits.

Trails to Azure

The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero is releasing for Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC via the Epic Games Store and Steam on September 27, 2022.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure is releasing for Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC via the Epic Games Store, GOG, and Steam in early 2023. Its limited edition and unaffixed merchandise are available to pre-order, too (the PS4 version is sold out).

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is releasing for PlayStation 5 natively in Fall 2022. The Limited Edition is currently available for pre-order.

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Orpheus Joshua

Random gamer equally confused by the mainstream and the unusual.