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Falcom President Toshihiro Kondo on Hajimari no Kiseki and Falcom’s New Engine

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Recently, Falcom president Toshihiro Kondo sat down for an interview where he discussed questions about the upcoming The Legend of Heroes: Hajimari no Kiseki, as well as Falcom’s new engine that has been in development since the end of development for The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV. (Thanks, A9VG via Renka!)

Editor’s Note: There will be The Legend of Heroes series and Trails of Cold Steel series spoilers below.

Here are the highlights below:

Regarding The Legend of Heroes: Hajimari no Kiseki:

  • According to Kondo, Trails in the Sky 3rd protagonist Kevin Graham will appear in Hajimari no Kiseki, but only in a rather subdued role. However, due to his association with the Septian Church, he’ll be more important to the second half of the Kiseki series’ overall story.
  • When asked if players will be able to remember all the characters appearing in this game, considering how there are 50 playable characters, Kondo replied that due to the game being split into three chapters, it’ll be easier to keep track of the characters. Each route also has characters making surprising appearances, and the True Reverie Corridor will also unlock side stories that add some depth to characters.
  • Kondo’s personal favorite story route is the one featuring new character C, especially since there is an air of mystery around C’s purpose, and since C’s group is a ragtag group filled with all sorts of interesting people.

Hajimari no Kiseki

  • With so many playable characters, character balance has been made so that the characters who are known in-universe to be very strong will be strong from the start in terms of stats and skills. That doesn’t mean that the other characters are weak though. Every character can be strengthened using items, as Kondo knows each playable unit has their own fans. Players looking to strengthen their favorite characters should look forward to obtaining these items from the True Reverie Corridor.
  • While Hajimari no Kiseki will only take place in regions previously shown in the series, there are some new characters who haven’t appeared up until now, who will also be important in the future.
  • Kondo acknowledges that Hajimari no Kiseki has been associated by fans with Trails in the Sky 3rd, due to both games partially revolving around a closed space. However, 3rd‘s story was based on the exploration of the Hermit’s Garden, whereas the main story in Hajimari no Kiseki is beyond the Reverie Corridor. One of the main things shown during this game is Crossbell’s re-declaration of independence, which was only lightly touched upon in Ao no Kiseki.
  • The True Reverie Corridor features many strong opponents that will require players to rethink their quartz setups. In one of the side episodes, Prince Olivert holds an unofficial martial arts tournament, and Cassius and Estelle Bright will appear there to do battle.
  • Akatsuki no Kiseki characters will not appear in this game, but Kondo reveals that there was a proposal to have them appear during the development process. Sadly, Kondo felt there wasn’t a good opportunity to add them into the story. However, he knows that the protagonists are popular, and therefore won’t rule out them appearing in future games.
  • The game will not allow you to skip back to previous chapters, so in case you want to re-experience the story, Kondo advises to keep separate save data.

 

Hajimari no Kiseki

Regarding Falcom’s new engine and future Falcom games:

  • Hajimari no Kiseki will be the last game made using the current engine, and the next game will use a brand-new engine that has a strong focus on improved graphical presentation compared to the current one. If there are any chances in the future to remake past titles, Kondo hopes it will be using the new engine.
  • The new engine entered development after the release of Trails of Cold Steel IV, roughly around two years ago. At that time, Falcom didn’t receive any info on the next Sony game system, so the new engine is still based on PlayStation 4 standards. Kondo hopes that games developed with the new engine will release on PS5, and reaffirmed that Hajimari no Kiseki will get PS5 compatibility via a post-launch patch.
  • Future games will use a new orbment system that’s primarily based on that of the Sky, Zero, and Ao games.
  • Kondo acknowledges that there is a large demand for a Photo Mode for the Kiseki series due to the variety of characters.

  • Kondo still wants to make a sequel to Tokyo Xanadu if there is a chance, as once upon a time they wanted to raise the new IP as one of their flagship series. Considering the expansion of Falcom and the growth of their new employees, Falcom will proactively pursue the creation of new IPs.
  • Regarding spinoffs like Ys vs. Sora no Kiseki and Nayuta no Kiseki, Kondo says that it’s not a good time to consider these sort of games while developing new engine. After development is complete and the engine is stable, Kondo will see if there are any staff members who want to make a spinoff.
  • Falcom currently does not have plans to make a new Zwei series game.
  • Kondo wants to celebrate Falcom’s 40th anniversary, no matter if it’s some sort of event or product. However, things are still in discussion due to the pandemic.
  • Many players have voiced that they want the Kiseki series to be ported onto Nintendo Switch, but with the company’s limited resources, it’s hard to port games to many platforms. Falcom will look into working with partners on ports.
  • There are currently no plans to port Hajimari no Kiseki onto other platforms, but Kondo wants to if the opportunity rises.
  • There are certain scenes in Hajimari no Kiseki that utilize Falcom’s new engine, and Kondo hopes that players will be able to spot them.

The Legend of Heroes: Hajimari no Kiseki will launch for the PlayStation 4 in Japan on August 27, 2020.

Alistair Wong
Very avid gamer with writing tendencies. Fan of Rockman and Pokémon and lots more!