Let’s face it. The more popular a game series gets, the higher the chance it will spawn knockoff titles trying to leech off the popularity. In case you’re not aware, a new title recently dropped on PC via Steam, called Trails of Illusion, that is available for free. At first glance, it seems like your typical JRPG, but it doesn’t take any longer for you to realize that this is a complete rip-off, down to the assets, of the Trails series by Nihon Falcom.
While the game starts you off with Chinese as its language, it is possible to change it to Japanese. In fact, that’s what I did because, otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to show you all the absolute mess that is this dialogue. Right off the bat, you start with two protagonists, who aren’t named at first, and the game straight up thrusts you into combat with a random bird enemy in front of a stone structure.
After which, the protagonist, who introduces himself as Levi, tells us how his family was all but decimated in an incident four years ago and how he lives with his sister Yamil and his grandfather, Fujiyoshi. Then, in order to know more about the incident, he trains with Dr. Niva. The dialogue does make me chuckle because some Japanese phrases are worded in the most awkward way imaginable, even to someone who’s not a native.
The similarities begin to show up right in the first battle. All of the assets, font visuals, and even some UI elements are straight-up lifted off from other games, particularly from Trails of Cold Steel III, IV, and Reverie. And this extends even to the terminology: Mira, Sepith, Orbments, Quartz, among other terms, are copy-pasted into the game’s dialogue. Oh, and the game’s world is called Semuria instead of Zemuria.
Controls are also another can of worms entirely. Plugging in a controller doesn’t make the game respond in any way, be it via Steam’s native form or by using a program like DS4Windows to spoof your controller into an X-Input one. The latter even crashes the game as it struggles to figure out what you are trying to plug in. Furthermore, all of the keyboard controls are in rather awkward positions, such as Enter and Spacebar not being useable at all. I’ve seen my fair share of games with poor controls, but this one takes the cake, honestly.
The game’s store description is all in Chinese, so I had a close friend who’s fluent in the language translate it.
Some…”interesting” points are that this game is a “homage to Falcom’s great JRPGs” and that they specifically got inspiration from Sky, or as it is written, Sora no Kiseki. (Even though, if you notice, there are zero elements that could remind you of Sky).
Although this game calls itself a homage to the series, in my honest opinion, ripping off UI assets and fonts is just something that should never be done unless you specifically go out of your way to acquire the usage rights to it.
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