[Editorial] Regarding Suspicious Retail Listings

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Once upon a time, my best friend would call me the ‘crusher of hopes and dreams.’ It’s almost like Dogi and walls, but makes the world a little more sad sometimes. This is because I try to provide a realistic view of things, and I would like to take a moment and give people that chance now.

Yes, this is absolutely prompted by the listings on GAMES.es regarding ‘Trails of Cold Steel.’

Let me start by pointing out the glaringly obvious thing- this is the fact that GAMES.es is showing ‘NAMCO’ as the publisher… yet back in January, the name was found having been registered by XSEED Games.

“But what about European publishers?” You may ask. Or what about the fact that GAMES.es seems to use NAMCO as a place holder publisher. Sure, I’ll give you both of those.

But let’s look at XSEED Games again, since our only piece of real evidence comes from the registered domain- and let’s just assume that it’s Sen no Kiseki, because we need to remember that XSEED has yet to give any response to confirm or deny this speculation as well!

We know that XSEED Games is currently working on Trails in the Sky SC for release for Steam and PSP, as they’ve tweeted about it. We can also look back at how long it took XSEED to release FC, and it was about a year and a half of work. SC has been well over three years’ worth. And at this point, it’s just been a year and a half since Sen no Kiseki’s release.


To think that we’ve not had a single hint or clue or announcement from XSEED themselves and the game is expected for release in October is kind of wild. Especially if they have had resources tied into SC of late, which I can promise has been happening. Any chance of XSEED releasing Sen no Kiseki in English at all in 2015 is simply setting up unrealistic expectations. I think it’s very important that people remember that.

Besides, it’s not outside of the realm that it’s just a retailer trying to draw attention for a preorder. Amazon most certainly has done it before.

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As linked above, Amazon has had- and still has- the Last Guardian up for preorder for the PS3. This game was announced at E3 six years ago, and we have yet to see any hint of a release for it, due to internal issues with Sony, Fumito Ueda, and the game’s development. Amazon, yet, continues to give people some hope. Despite the repeated incidents of rumored cancellations and Sony squashing them, that preorder remains valid on Amazon’s site as they dutifully change the release date each year. Retailers make these connections in hopes to keep customers and gauge interest in possible future titles.

This, to me, doesn’t mean confirmation of a game’s release at all. In fact, XSEED has said this on multiple times that the only time you should trust a release date from them is when they themselves announce it.

If you want my personal opinion, I think it’s for the best if people sit back and not let their own excitement get the better of them right now. I can promise it would only lead to disappointment in the likely event that the game isn’t even announced come October, let alone released. It’s most definitely not enough evidence to warrant me adding a ‘Trails of Cold Steel’ tag here anyway.

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[Editorial] The Origin of the Title of ‘Ys’ and its Misspelling

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With the recent announcement of the PS4 Ys title, I have seen so many people commenting with the erroneous ‘Y’s’ misspelling that seems to be everywhere. What about the origin of the title itself? Or the origin of the misspelling?

The series roots itself into a fantasy retelling of our own world. Most of the cities and nations are slight renames of what actually existed in Europe. Looking at the map below will actually show you many of those names.

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Nevertheless, the Ys series is rooted in old Breton mythology, of all things. Often called ‘Caer Ys,’ the myth tells the story of a beautiful city built by Gradlon Mawr, that was said to be once located in the Bay of Douarnenez in Brittany. After Gradlon’s conversion to Christianity, he intended this city to be a great capital to his newfound faith. However, his first love, was enraged by this, and her daugher, Dahut, vowed vengeance.

Flight of King Gradlon, by E. V. Luminais. Source: Wikipedia
Flight of King Gradlon, by E. V. Luminais. Source: Wikipedia

Dahut would find different suitors and bring them with her each night. So they could never see her face, they were given a mask- which would then strangle them and kill them, after which she would throw the body into the sea.

This continued until a knight in red came to Ys, and met with Dahut. As a storm broke that night, the knight convinced her to steal the key from Gradlon, and used it to open the gates, which caused the city to be flooded.

I’ve read different versions of the myth- some where it claims where the main in red is the devil, trying to destroy a capital built to Christianity, or that it was an agent of God starting a chain of events to rid the world of a demonic princess.

In the end, as Gradlon and Dahut went to escape, they couldn’t, because the weight of them combined was too much for Gradlon’s winged horse- and Saint Gwenole showed to tell him to kill her- to throw Dahut into the sea. It was then when Gradlon realized the true nature of his child and he did as commanded, where she was with the god of the sea and turned into a mermaid.

Some sailors even say that in the Dournenez Bay, if you listen at night, you can hear Dahut’s singing as she sits upon a rock, brushing her hair.

Now, to get to the title used in the series, and the continuous use of ‘Y’s.’ You have seen the image at the top of the page- this is a t-shirt that Falcom released with cooperation from Mars16. The text on the shirt says the following:

Ys is a Japanese-origin computer role-playing game series, and Nihon Falcom corporation’s flagship franchise. It started on the NEC PC-8801 in 1987, Ys titles appear on the MSX2, Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive, Famicom, Super NES, PC, Playstation 2, PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 CD-ROM, and cellular phone.
“Y’s” arises from a typographical error in the packaging of the English-language versions of the Sega Master System.

(Emphasis is mine)

Y’s is a typo that happened early on with the series, and as it seems to be continuously propagated by many different sources, it seems to be confusing to this day whether the series is ‘Ys’ or ‘Y’s.’ Don’t worry. It’s definitely ‘Ys.’

And it’s pronounced like ‘fleece’ – just without the ‘fl.’

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[EDITORIAL] Happy Tenth Anniversary, Kiseki Series! Picspam Unboxing of the Original Trilogy Limited Sets

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On 6/24/2004, the first game in the Kiseki series would be released in Japan as The Legend of Heroes VI: Sora no Kiseki. As this title was released, there was no hint at all as for what the series would bring with it- which is arguably one of the most expansive worlds designed for an RPG series.

Since that date, many changes have happened to Falcom as a company- they’ve gone public, joining the Mother’s List of the Nikkei Stock Exchange, changed leadership with Toshihiro Kondo taking the helm as the company president, and abandoned PC development to release games to Sony systems: the Playstation Portable, the Playstation Vita, and the Playstation 3.

In ten years, this series has seen six titles released: Sora no Kiseki, Sora no Kiseki Second Chapter, Sora no Kiseki the 3rd, Zero no Kiseki, Ao no Kiseki, and Sen no Kiseki- with Sen no Kiseki II looming over the horizon for release in September of this year. Each of these titles is identified by its massive script- with First Chapter being the shortest at a whopping 1.5 million Japanese characters- to give some perspective, Final Fantasy XII’s script sits at 750,000 Japanese characters. Over ten years, Falcom has written a series of six titles, containing an approximate total of 17.2 million Japanese characters over all of their scripts combined.

The series tells the story of the Zemuria Continent. Through the perspectives of different casts in each game, the mysteries and events of the six games are all interlinked in what is an unprecedented style of storytelling in a video game series. The concept of a continuous story over the course of many titles is not looked on favorably with may game developers, because it makes it difficult for newcomers to jump into a series.

The original trilogy, Sora no Kiseki is three games- the first two, now often referred to as First and Second Chapter, tell the story of Estelle Bright while the third title opens the doors to the full expanse of mysteries to be presented throughout the Kiseki series, from the perspective of Kevin Graham, a newcomer to arrive to the series in Second Chapter. In 2011, seven years after its original release, Sora no Kiseki FC found itself to be published for English audiences as Trails in the Sky by XSEED Games. Its startling cliffhanger ending has left the players scrambling for the eventual release of Second Chapter, just as it did with those who frantically waited 20 months after the initial Japanese release in 2004.

Little did the those who played the title in 2004 realize what they were getting into, those doors have yet to be fully opened for the English speaking fans of the series. It’s an exciting time to be someone who has played the Kiseki series since its original release, as it means I can- in a way- relive the same excitement I had for the series through watching the newcomers to the series experience the new twists and turns it has to provide for the first time.

For some bonuses before we get into the pic spam… Here’s the original video for Sora no Kiseki, as released with the Falcom Special Box 2004. This was the original announcement for the game itself:

If you notice that the song isn’t in Sora no Kiseki’s soundtrack, you are very right. This song was, in fact, from the soundtrack of another little known game released by Falcom by the name of Rinne.

And one other blast from the past- Falcom’s IR Report (PDF) to announce the release date of the game. It was posted on 3/24/2004.

Continuing on through this article is an extensive series of photos of the original limited edition boxed sets, as they were originally released. This series has its roots in PC gaming, as will be evidenced by the three sets.

You can find the images and details of the boxed sets past the cut below.

Read more…

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[EDITORIAL] Udon Entertainment’s Kiseki Series “The Characters” and “The Illustration” Artbooks

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I apologize in advance for the quality of my photos. Cell phone camera and all.

I was eager to pick up these books to support a good opportunity of something, even if it’s a little questionable choice to release them to English speaking fans when only 1/5th of the games featured in them has been released- and major spoilers for future games of the series are contained within the books. I was eager to be able to sit down and gush about the books all over again, but I didn’t expect to find some of the things that I came across when I got into my Amazon box.

Read more…

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[EDITORIAL] Falcom and Twitter

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Basic Information

It all started on Jan 19, 2010: Falcom decided to join the world of twitter. In this amount of time, they have managed to amass over 44,000 followers, and are very active on the network: having published over 18,157 tweets as of this writing (when looking back at an earlier draft of this post back in June, they had 17,800 tweets at that time- 300 tweets in less than a month!). In the past few months they have finally become an official ‘verified’ account. The oldest post I can track down is from 1/24/2010.

Read more…

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