Why The Legend Of Heroes: Trails Of Cold Steel is my favourite RPG

A reader explains his love for Falcom’s cult role-playing game and why he thinks it’s better than any other JRPG, including Final Fantasy.

I could spend many hours talking about my favourite role-playing games, but I’ll cut to the chase and tell you how The Legend Of Heroes: Trails Of Cold Steel is without doubt the best role-playing series I’ve ever played.

From the start I can’t list many likeable role-playing frontmen, they usually have amnesia or are pretty surly, which is what makes Rean Schwarzer such a breath of fresh air. He’s likeable. He genuinely wants to help everyone, including enemies at times. He cares for his classmates, he’s a joy to control. You enjoy playing as him as he’s a genuinely nice guy.

This isn’t the only area where this series is different from the norm. This isn’t a story of good versus evil, as per usual, it’s all about perspective.

It involves class systems, government versus noble classes, commoner versus rich. It’s a real world where no big evil has invaded, just politics (even worse!). It’s a struggle of people against the establishment, for better or worse.

With a fleshed-out game world established we start in a military school with a mix of commoners and nobles, but each in their own segregated classes.

Enter Class 7, a motley crew of both forced together as an experiment to see if the individual parts can be greater than the whole, and defy social expectations.

And here is where the game works. You genuinely care about the characters, their relationships, how they shift their views about each other and question what they’re government is doing for them and their country, and where their allegiances lie. It has much more emotion and relatability between its central characters than Final Fantasy or any other top role-playing game ever has.

There’s also a great mix of supporting characters, many of whom are new to the series, although some were featured in previous games. After all, this isn’t the first tale in this world, just in this land. This could put people off but, honestly, it serves to flesh out the world even more; there’s history and backstory you may not fully understand but you love the glimpses into it.

Honestly, I could talk on and on, but this just describes the first game. I would love nothing more than to talk about two and three (eagerly awaiting four) but I hope you play the games yourselves to discover what happens and learn more about this series.

By reader Liam

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