Falcom President Talks Legend Of The Heroes: Trails In The Sky And PSP Remakes

By Spencer . May 17, 2010 . 2:18pm


After Ys SEVEN, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky series will find a path to North America. Xseed has the first game in the trilogy slated for release next year. We spoke to Toshihiro Kondo, President of Nihon Falcom about the Trails in the Sky titles, Ys vs. Sora no Kiseki, and because of Siliconera fan demand Brandish: The Dark Revenant.


Namco Bandai released some of The Legend of Heroes games here. How does that saga connect with Sora no Kiseki?


Toshihiro Kondo, President of Nihon Falcom: The concept of Sora no Kiseki (Trails in the Sky) started off with the mindset of creating a solid story, just like the other Legend of Heroes games, but at the same time to tackle new challenges never previously done in the series. There’s no connection in the story or system but it fully carries on the spirit of the series.


What inspired the three game epic?


We first planned to create a single game, but since this was a new Legend of Heroes from scratch we all went above and beyond to come up with new ideas. We soon found out that all our new ideas would not fit into a single game so there were talks to take out some episodes, but by doing so it inevitably decreased the perfection level of the story. So we said, “In that case we should divide it up, especially since there is a huge plot twist between the First Chapter (first game) and Second Chapter (second game), it might cause some buzz about it.” I would love for everyone to understand what I’m talking about so please check it out in the game.




Are there any future plans for the Legend of Heroes series?


The other day we just announced Legend of Heroes: Zero no Kiseki in Japan. We are planning to release it sometime this year. I would love to bring it over to the US in the future too.


Ys vs. Sora no Kiseki is a different direction for Falcom. How did development on this game start?


During the development of Ys SEVEN, since there was a new party system we were trying to implement co-op via ad-hoc. Unfortunately, we were not able to implement it at that time, but after Ys SEVEN was complete we had the right components to build on this idea and continued developing the concept.


For Trails in the Sky, the battle system is a command input turn-based system, but each character has enough battle graphics equivalent to a fighting game. One time we were joking around saying that if we wanted to we could create an action fighting game, and that triggered the start of this project.


With the above two events happening at the same time we thought it would be great to put the two ideas together.  By crossing the two series together, it became something unconventional and created a lot more depth than an ordinary game.


Recently, Falcom remade Brandish. How did this come about and are there plans for other Brandish games?


I believe that Falcom has a lot of titles that are fun to play regardless of how much time may have passed since its initial release. It will be a shame to leave them buried like other older titles, so like good films and books we thought it would be great to do a remake so that it can be passed on to a new generation of game players. Also, we get a lot of request for remakes and like to actively pursue those titles with lot of requests. Nothing else in particular planned for Brandish at the moment.




Falcom has a library of titles (Dinosaur, Xanadu, Popful Mail). Are there any in particular you would like to remake or re-envision like Ys: The Oath in Felghana?


I would like to remake Sorcerian. Back then the character creation and the added new expansion scenarios that it featured were pretty innovative at the time. If we are to remake it I would like to create some type of new system utilizing a network and not just a graphical update. This is just my personal opinion and no plans have been set.




Now that Falcom is working with Xseed, are you planning to develop games with the West in mind?


Of course we have the US and European markets in mind when creating a new game. However, since we are Japanese, I would like to concentrate on how to evolve the good parts of Japanese games and create something that will inspire our domestic users. I’ve heard that a lot of creative works, not just games, which are deemed masterpieces, were made while the creator was thinking about their loved ones and/or families which are close to them. I think it would be great for us if we could create something in that sense and in the end reach out to all the players abroad with content that we’re passionate about.


Missed part one? Catch up on what Kondo said about Ys here.

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  • TNA_Lewis

    …ok, Falcom, I already have the Ys SEVEN announcment to give me a heart attack. I don’t want to end up in a coma; then I wouldn’t be able to play ANY of them!

  • Hours

    I’m so glad the the Trails in the Sky trilogy is coming out in North America. It’s still a bit of a wait but hopefully it won’t be too long.

    I’d really like to see Legend of Heroes: Zero no Kiseki & Ys vs. Sora no Kiseki come over too. I’m glad Flacom has found a solid partner in XSEED, I hope it works out well for both of them.

  • At last~!! XD

  • SeventhEvening

    I like his answer to the last question. This generation has had too many examples of games “designed with the west in mind” that failed to appeal to the west and simply alienated the gamers who were generally fans of that companies games. I’ve seen lots of commenters mentioning how excited they are about Y’s, so clearly not much needs to be done to tailor the series for westerners other than putting it in english.

    • neo_firenze

      Agreed 1000%. Perfect answer, and it gives me great faith in Falcom. This guy gets it when so many other game publishers don’t. I wish other Japanese companies (Capcom, Sega, Square-Enix) would understand this same concept.

      The passion and love for your game shows through when you just focus on making the best game you can without trying to pander to “the west”. Fumbling around to try to appeal to some other culture and removing things that make your games uniquely YOU is a recipe for mediocrity.

    • Artavasdus

      I agree with you. Personally I’m not against cultural contaminations between western and eastern game designs andor aesthetics (I am truly liking Nier, for example, even if I feel that its “western” factor is rather low), but I feel that more often than not those hybridations aren’t a way to experiment new possibilities but simply a marketing tool who risk to damage the game’s coherence.That said, it would be absurd for Falcom to pursue such an objective, as you say they will only risk losing their fanbase.

  • syraxith

    Out of the six Xseed is localizing, the SnK series is the one I’m most excited for. That said, I plan on preordering all of them.

    • Artavasdus

      I feel the same as you. While Brandish is extremely import-friendly and the Ys can be played in japanese without losing the core experience (even if Felghana had a strong plot and I hear that even 7 is more plot heavy than other chapters), the three Sora no Kiseki were completely off the chart for anyone who hadn’t a native understanding of japanese because of their homungous amounts of dialogues and texts and of the importance they put on the plot and on the character relations. I began playing the Pc version of SnK FC years ago, but had to abandon it because my japanese was (and still is) far too poor to enjoy the game.I can’t begin to describe how happy I am that XSeed is localizing the series, I feared that they would announce only the first chapter and then leave the other two to rot. The fact that the Falcom president mention even the possibilty of Zero no Kiseki’s localization is another reason to rejoice and to wholeheartedly support XSeed (I plan to buy multiple copies of all their games but Ys 1-2 Chronicles ).

  • holyPaladin

    Yes Thanks XSEED

  • It’s nice to see a company like Falcom get a much deserved chance overseas like this. That said, I’ll try my best to get these games ASAP and help make sure they stick around too.

  • Mazen

    Iam looking forward to these games more than YSs.

  • Nico87

    A remake of Popful Mail would be like a portable blowjob.

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