The GWJ JRPG Club - Q3 2020 - The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II

Welcome to the GWJ JRPG Club's pick for the third quarter of the Year of Hell 2020: The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II!

Here is an estimation of how long it takes to beat it (courtesy of HowLongToBeat.com, of course):
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/p2AuT64.png)

If you do not own the game and want to jump in, it is available for the following platforms:

  • Playstation 3
  • Playstation 4
  • Playstation Vita/Playstation TV
  • PC via Steam/GoG

The game is currently on sale on Steam for 30% off (valid until July 9th, I believe).

Spoilers:
If you are referring to specific story elements, please mark them as spoilers, as not everyone will be at the same point of the story you are. Before the spoiler, if possible, please give a clue as to where you are in the game, so people can better determine if they should click the spoiler button or not.

No need to mark anything from the first game as a spoiler.

If you have not played the first game, or if, like me, you need a refresher, you can access a summary from Trails of Cold Steel II's main menu.

Stealing some info from LastSurprise's post below:

LastSurprise wrote:

A couple notes from the other thread:

Cold Steel 1 Carry-Forward Bonuses

Cold Steel 2 (Relatively) Spoiler-Free Guide to Missables. This will help you find all optional quests, as well as making sure you can get all copies of the books, etc. in the game.

Count me in! Just watched the story summary on the second game before I start

Yay, time to lose another 110 hours of my life on my first playthrough of this game! I am interested to see where the story goes after the ending of the first one.

Darkhaund wrote:

Count me in! Just watched the story summary on the second game before I start

Do you mean on the first one?

I phrased that totally wrong

I just watched and read the summary of the 1st game that comes with the second game right before the start.

I will add this to the OP:

There is no need to mark anything from the first game as spoilers. Anybody playing this should have played the first game and/or watched/read a summary of Cold Steel 1.

Is Cold Steel 1 the one where Dumbledore dies?

garion333 wrote:

Is Cold Steel 1 the one where Dumbledore dies?

No, it's the one where Sean Bean's head get cut off.

I thought it was the one where Gilderoy Lockhart gave Dark Arts at Thors military school.. mhhhhh

All in!

Officialy just started" I will try my best to alternate this with Ys VIII, since i WAS enjoying that one as well

I'm in! Though I'm away from home now and won't start this for a couple days, yet.

A couple notes from the other thread:

Cold Steel 1 Carry-Forward Bonuses

Cold Steel 2 (Relatively) Spoiler-Free Guide to Missables. This will help you find all optional quests, as well as making sure you can get all copies of the books, etc. in the game. Those collectibles were necessary to obtain end-game weapons in Cold Steel 1; I don't know if they're necessary here.

Just on the beginning area. I admit I set it on "easy" since Im practically new to the series and for now I just want to enjoy the story. I barely played the 1st game and I forgot all about the quarz and arts and the sepith etc. The summary of the 1st game that comes with this did help.

I'm in! I actually played about 10 hours or so already, so I've just started Act 1 Chapter 2 I think.

Normal difficulty, only one boss has put up much of a fight so far.

It is fantastic. It picks up speed after you get your

Spoiler:

homies/Class 7

.

I will see you people when part 3 is in the game club.

I have updated the OP to include the links provided by LastSurprise regarding missables and carry-on bonuses, and I have also added a mention of the first game's summary in the game's main menu.

I have my PlayStation TV set up and ready to go! But I'm also playing other things at the moment, so progress will be slow at first for me.

Off to a very slow start. Took just about 3 hours until I got a party and had a chance to play with the combat system again.

Yep, it's a Trails Of game.

Yeah, Falcom being Trails Falcom...

garion333 wrote:

Yeah, Falcom being Trails Falcom...

Is that good or bad?

I’m in! The game’s installed, the clear file’s imported, and I have started.

Two things struck me right away: man, this opening movie is very anime (just like the original). And, Rean is so, so earnest (just like the original).

Darkhaund wrote:
garion333 wrote:

Yeah, Falcom being Trails Falcom...

Is that good or bad?

Depends what you're looking for. Trails games are notoriously slow burns.

All I meant is it's a Trails game, so it's got some long lead ins at the beginning. They pretty much all do.

Well thanks for the clarification.... So far so good.. lol

And this game does not fool around.. siblings rubbing backs in hot springs lol!!! Jesus!

So, I haven’t gotten there yet, but ... you’re probably talking about Rean and his sister. I’m not sure if the game made it clear yet but Rean’s adopted. And his sister definitely has the hots for him.

And even more oddly, to my eye, there appears to be no taboo about step-siblings in this game’s culture. Other characters encourage her, and in a deleted scene from the first game, it’s clear that at least Rean’s mom approves, at least. Rean’s dad might disapprove, but in overprotective dad grounds—not incest grounds.

Crazy stuff hehehe. but well interesting.

Anyay.. quick question about Links.. I currently have Elise and Rean linked but I notice I can switch the link with Toval during fights. In fact I can link Rean (or any character for that matter) with Rean. Is this the way to go? Or should i just leave Rean linked to one character ?

LastSurprise wrote:

So, I haven’t gotten there yet, but ... you’re probably talking about Rean and his sister. I’m not sure if the game made it clear yet but Rean’s adopted. And his sister definitely has the hots for him.

And even more oddly, to my eye, there appears to be no taboo about step-siblings in this game’s culture. Other characters encourage her, and in a deleted scene from the first game, it’s clear that at least Rean’s mom approves, at least. Rean’s dad might disapprove, but in overprotective dad grounds—not incest grounds.

Rean being adopted is a plot element of the original, so shouldn't be any sort of reveal in the second game. I assume you mean the second game hasn't explicitly mentioned (or reminded!) that he's adopted yet.

It's def a weird thing for Falcom to keep putting in their games (see also: Trails in the Sky), but considering incest is legal in Japan... It's a trope I hope not to see them repeat.

Yeah... it is a cultural thing.. i ma not into that sortta thing...

Darkhaund wrote:

Crazy stuff hehehe. but well interesting.

Anyay.. quick question about Links.. I currently have Elise and Rean linked but I notice I can switch the link with Toval during fights. In fact I can link Rean (or any character for that matter) with Rean. Is this the way to go? Or should i just leave Rean linked to one character ?

It doesn't really matter, at least early in the game. As you level up link with a character you get access to more powerful link abilities, but the amount of link xp you get from early battles is really small. What I tend to do is stay linked to a character until I hit a level up, then switch to someone else for a while.

Later in the game you might need a certain link level to access special events with a character, but that's much later on and you'll have plenty of time to decide who you like in the meantime.

As for the brother-sister thing, yeah, I keep hoping they will just quietly drop it but they keep bringing it back up... That and the random comments on the girls' appearance. At least the girls usually give them a serve back, though.

garion333 wrote:
LastSurprise wrote:

So, I haven’t gotten there yet, but ... you’re probably talking about Rean and his sister. I’m not sure if the game made it clear yet but Rean’s adopted. And his sister definitely has the hots for him.

And even more oddly, to my eye, there appears to be no taboo about step-siblings in this game’s culture. Other characters encourage her, and in a deleted scene from the first game, it’s clear that at least Rean’s mom approves, at least. Rean’s dad might disapprove, but in overprotective dad grounds—not incest grounds.

Rean being adopted is a plot element of the original, so shouldn't be any sort of reveal in the second game. I assume you mean the second game hasn't explicitly mentioned (or reminded!) that he's adopted yet.

It's def a weird thing for Falcom to keep putting in their games (see also: Trails in the Sky), but considering incest is legal in Japan... It's a trope I hope not to see them repeat.

Correct. And I knew Darkhaund didn't play the first game, so he probably didn't know that plot point from the first.

Hmm. Didn't know that about Japanese culture. Legal or no, it still seems weird to me how many people not only seem to condone it, but that several women in the game (Alfin, and now some random lady in Ymir (?!)) keep commenting on how Rean's oblivious to Elyse's attraction.

Thanks for clarifying that, it's been so long since I finished the first game that I totally forgot about it was weirding me out. Brother/sister/crush?! It's a bit clearer now.

But it does make me feel weird about that hotspring scene. Cultural differences and all, it's still strange to me.

Also... i keep getting mixed up about Arts and Crafts.... and then the S-Craft that can be used very once in a while.

I guess things will fall into place as I keep progressing.

Mechanical spoilers for about midway into chapter 1 Act 1 (relating to links):

Spoiler:

You eventually get the ability to have your characters go into "Overdrive" with their linked partner. This lets them take 3 turns in a row (2 for initiator, 1 for link) with instant cast Arts and guaranteed crits, and restores hp and ep (or whatever the magic points are called). Overdrive *only* works with Rean until you open the special blue chests scattered around the world that will unlock Overdrive between the rest of Class 7. As soon as a character is recruited, Rean gets Overdrive with them due to his deep bonds from the first game.

I also wish Japanese developers/anime creators in general would stop doing the adopted brother/sister love thing. I get it is not taboo in their culture since there is no blood relation, but it is really weird for western sensibilities. All I know is my Rean was going strong with Laura in the first game and I plan to follow that as much as possible in this one.