Crossbell City Councillor
- Dec 6, 2018
Welcome to the Metacouncil official thread for Trails from Zero.
In this thread, we can discuss all aspects of the 4th game in the Trails series (or the 9th game in the Legend of Heroes series). Please mark spoilers accordingly. Post your experiences, screenshots, tracks, fan arts or clips from your favourite vtubers.
You may recall the OT that I made for the Geofront release. This thread is going to be mostly a low-key affair compared to that one, but if anyone has any questions about the game, ask them here, and hopefully, I can answer them to the best of my ability.
For this OT, I'm going to talk about what makes Crossbell unique. Trails in the Sky SC and 3rd are very special games to me, but Zero is my favourite Trails game out of all the currently released games in English. For starters, there is a certain team dynamic within SSS that really stood out to me right from the start. Crossbell being the melting pot of Zemuria is an interesting place to be in and observing the SSS' activities within it was such a great pleasure. Combined with the diversity of its inhabitants, the metropolis vibe has an entirely different feel, even when compared with Liberl's largest city, Grancel.
It's pretty clear where the inspiration for the city was drawn from. Crossbell is heavily populated by immigrants from all over Zemuria, but despite that, they identify themselves as Crossbellans first and foremost, no matter where they are from originally. The SSS interacted with people from all walks of life in Crossbell. Street gangs, students, statesmen, gamblers, farmers, miner, doctors, hoteliers, crime lords and last but not least: a real estate agent. These diverse demographics represent a microcosm of Zemuria. This diversity makes Crossbell such a unique place with its own identity. There is still a distinction in class strata, as we can observe from the various locations in the City. Being a metropolis, Crossbell shares the issues we found in the real world as well. Housing, healthcare, public trust and organised crime are represented here, even though the examination may not be as deep as it should be.
Just like the city it represents, The Special Support Section is a unique team with diverse background. Lloyd is a novice detective, but he is a fast learner and immediately takes charge of his team, as he rightly demonstrated from the very first mission in the game. Randy, the oldest of the bunch, has combat experiences to support his wisecracks and also the most free-spirited, but even at the surface, we can tell that that's not all who he was. Elie represents the ruling class, with certain political aspirations. My criticism from my first play through remains true, since I feel her character feel underdeveloped during the course of the game. And last but not least is Tio, the youngest in the team with talents that borders on the supernatural. I feel Zero as a whole tell us Tio's story as much as Lloyd's.
Another aspect of what makes Zero interesting is that it doesn't concern itself too much with the secret organisation we all come to love (or hate, depending on the person you asked). Instead, it focuses on the interpersonal relationships between the characters and how it affects Crossbell as a whole. Amongst these actors, Crossbell's geopolitics is examined here as we encountered characters from both sides of the borders; even as a major economic power, Crossbell has no significant military power. The Crossbell political machine ultimately has been designed to serve the two superpowers in the region, both with their own agenda. A detail which will often be revisited during the course of the game, the second half of the duology, and later in Cold Steel series.
Like any other Trails game, the NPCs are quite well written, oftentimes to a fault. I sometimes think why some of these secondary characters has better development than Elie, even though she is supposed to be one of the central characters. There's one storyline about a college kid in low-income housing trying to make it through medical school. An Erebonian immigrant living apart from his family. A rural farmer fighting with his dad over how best to run the family farm. A government worker trying to make it through his day. There's plenty to read and observe if you're keen on backtracking, even though I understand that it may not be for everyone.
Last but not least, the music. My personal favourite track from the game is probably the final dungeon theme, A Light Illuminating The Depths. It's probably one of the best final dungeon themes Falcom JDK has ever come up with. There's a bit of that sound motif from the Sky series we're all familiar with. And speaking of Sky motifs, Arrest the Criminal is probably one of Momiyama's best work in this game. The acoustic guitar in Tomorrow is Another Day is sublime, and Limit Break has that trance breakdown we're eventually going to get acquainted with in the later Cold Steel entries. On The Green Road is a great travel tune perfect for over world exploration. And of course, Ancient Pulsation is a great antithesis to it.
Anyway, I better stop here, since I can go on and on about the music. This official release of Zero will be my second time playing the game, and I have no doubt that I will have a great time once again. I hope people will enjoy the game as much as I did and develop an interest in playing (or replaying) both the former and the latter games in the series.
Thanks to Kiseki Wiki for the image assets.