Did I come up with this topic to talk about something that I’ve wanted to talk about in a while but didn’t have an excuse to at the time? Short answer, yes. The point of entertainment is to entertain you. Rather that be a good book, tv show, movie, or video game, entertainment wouldn’t be successful if it did not entertain you. Entertainment can be achieved by being a well produced work of art, funny, thought provoking, or just generally make you feel good. Then there are the time where something can be so good that it is painful. I’m talking about those events that glue you to your seat since you have to know what happens next. What the hell is going on!? I don’t know, but this is an event that I’m going to remember for a while.
*Spoilers for The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel. Read at own risk (or if you just don’t care).
So there is this little game called The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel. It is a long as hell JRPG game that spans 4 games (10 games in total if you follow the overarching storyline). I knew nothing about this series until I found a copy of it in the store one day, and decided to give it a go. You play as the chad Rean Schwarzer as he goes through the daily life of military school as a member of Class Seven, a class that has a mix of commoners and nobles as an “experiment” to shake up the social status of the nation. It is your typical story of learning the struggles of the commoners and the nobility with the members of Class 7 learning to cast aside their issues with one another and the world around them. I’m not here to give a synopsis of the entire story, but it is a really good one that I really enjoyed.
Anyhow, at the end of the game, Rean and his classmates are enjoying the success of yesterday’s Summer Festival. Out of nowhere, they hear that the chancellor of the nation has been shot in the heart by a terrorist, who happens to be one of their classmates, C. This act invokes a civil war between the nobility and resistance force. This shakes things at the military school, since now they will have to involve themselves in an actual war. Things would be fine, but then the school gets attacked by the nobilities forces. What’s more, C is now a piloting a freaking Gundam that was nowhere in the series. Being the chad he is, Rean also summons his Megazoid (I’m sorry for those who don’t get these references) and the two battle it out in the games first and only mech battle. Why they decided to have this at the end of the game? Don’t know, but it was badass. The battle ends with C overpowering Rean since he is not accumstomed to his new partner Valimar. Rean’s classmates come to his rescue and pled beg him to flee while they hold him off. Rean refuses, but Valimar doesn’t care and sends him and Rean flying off. All Rean can do is watch and scream as his friends hold their own as they take on C. Then the screen goes black. Cue the music and roll the credits.
This left me shocked. How are you going to introduce a new mech battle mechanic at the end of the game and then leave on a cliffhanger like that? My words don’t justify the scene enough, since this was the first dark turn that the game throws at you. I remember putting the controller down and reflecting as the sick J-pop played in the background. If you want to see the ending for yourself, I linked it down below (skip to 7:18 if you don’t want to watch the whole fight).
So naturally, I started playing the second game immediately. Nothing too outrageous happens in the second game, but it does drop a lot of bombshells throughout the plot and a significant plot twist that sets up the next game. For a while, no game had hit me hard with an emotional end like. I highly recommend this series since it does a great job with all of its characters and knows how to keep the player invested in the story. I knew things were going to be okay at the end, but I would have hated to be the poor people who had to wait for the second game to release. From that point, I would top this as one of my top 10 anime betrayals.
Thank you for reading,