Here we are, at last, the second part of the Crossbell duology. It's been a little over a year since Geofront's patch for Zero was released, and to say that I have a large expectation of this game won't be an understatement. Trails from Zero is my personal GOTY of 2020 and unless Azure turned out to be a nukige halfway through, I'd say it's already in the running for my GOTY for 2021. To be able to play these two games without compromises in terms of localisation and PC features rivalling those of professional developers — all these years of waiting have been worth it. I hope Azure will live up to my expectations, and I hope yours as well.
While the list below is not an exhaustive list of all the features implemented by Geofront, I hope it will still give us a rough idea of how extensive the project is.
- Dual language support without system locale emulator.
- A fully-edited English script, inline with XSEED's localisation style of Trails games.
- English script is checked against Trails in the Database for editing consistency.
- Certain terminologies are adapted to follow NISA's localisation choices in Trails of Cold Steel III and IV.
- In-game lore consistency is checked against Kiseki Wiki as the primary reference.
- The game no longer has extreme slowdowns from a common graphical effect during Aerial, other arts, map fadeouts, and numerous other instances.
- The game no longer inexplicably flickers every so often.
- The game no longer runs poorly if you play without a controller attached.
- Text no longer shakes when scrolling in.
- Character art for portraits, menu art, and any other place is no longer of a muted colouration compared to the PSP and Vita versions (and all three versions of the sequel).
- Numerous other small fixes.
- Arbitrary resolution support.
- Up to 144 fps framerate target.
- Anisotropic Filtering (16x).
- Multi-sample Anti Aliasing (up to 8x).
- Borderless Window/Exclusive fullscreen mode.
- High-definition variable-width fonts support.
- Extended draw distance.
D. Quality of life improvements
- Improved mouse input support.
- Fully redrawn detective notebook graphics.
- Edited in-game sign graphics.
- Alphabetised Crossbell City Library material.
- Context-sensitive custom cursor support.
- The game autosaves when entering a new map.
- Improved save/load menu.
- A modernised interface that is similar to Trails in the Sky and Cold Steel PC ports.
- 1000 save slots (not including autosaves).
- Viewing and saving of savegame metadata independent of the system locale.
- Viewing and loading of PSP or Joyoland port savegames.
- Turbo mode up to 8x speed.
- Input binding and remapping for KB&M and gamepads.
- XInput controller API support.
- Fully-rebindable button prompt icons for Xbox, DualShock 4, or Switch Pro controllers.
- Native support for Ao No Kiseki Evolution voice assets (voice mod), soundtrack and HD videos.
E. New Features
- Message log history.
- Custom soundtrack builder.
- A BGM track name indicator. (*backported to Trails from Zero as of v1.1.1)
- Treasure chest messages.
Buying and Patching
NOTE: Joyoland's website does not have an international version. For an English-speaking audience, I'd advise using Google Translate/DeepL to navigate it, or follow Geofront's guide, below.
The link here will take you to a post from last year explaining the process which has been updated with a visual guide.
The game can be purchased here. It costs ¥60.00 (approximately $12 AUD), and they accept PayPal as a payment method.
NOTE: Geofront has advised NOT to install and activate the game. Instead, their launcher will install and patch the game seamlessly. Additionally, all the options related to input, graphics and sound are accessible from within the game.
Two files can be downloaded from the Baidu account as described in Joyoland's product page for Azure, BG_setup.rar and AO_JOYO_Patch.zip. The file BG_setup.rar is the game asset archive, and the latter is Joyoland's platform patcher for the executable. While these two files are free to download from their server, the download times can be quite slow due to various circumstances, and sometimes it will take days(!) to finish. The direct link to BG_setup.rar plus mirrors is provided below.
Additionally, I have mirrored the file below exclusively for MC (react to this post to reveal). You can compare the checksum as well.
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The patch can be downloaded here.
Direct link: London mirror
Evolution Voice Assets
NOTE: The voice assets of the (Switch) KAI version of Ao no Kiseki is of higher quality in terms of bitrate. I don't have access to these files, unfortunately.
Geofront provides native compatibility with Ao No Kiseki Evolution voice files. Players will be able to hear voiced dialogues taken from the Ao No Kiseki Evolution version. The installation will detect the voice files from the game package when placed in the game directory. Follow these instructions to prepare the voice asset files.
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HD Texture Mod v2.5 (+HD portraits, HD UI, environment textures, fixes) (assets upscaled using ESRGAN neural network).
The mod has been repacked to follow Geofront's mod installation format as well.Cradawx said:New for this version is many new textures including all HD character portraits, and most UI textures, icons, art and environmental textures and more. All the environment textures have been redone too for hopefully better quality and less buginess.
Order of Play
For new players, I highly recommend playing through the entirety of Liberl arc (Trails in the Sky FC, SC and 3rd) before jumping to Crossbell arc (Trails from Zero, Trails to Azure) and ultimately, the Erebonia Arc (Cold Steel I to IV).
I found a bug! Literally unplayable! What do?
Squashing bugs sometimes aren't as easy as it sounds, so providing as much concise information as possible will help them replicate the issue, and hopefully fix it. And to do so, Geofront has set up an issue tracker on their website. You can also check other cases reported by other users.
Issue Reporting - The Geofront
Alternatively, you can join Geofront's official Discord here and ask for support in #azure-troubleshooting
Nihon Falcom — for making great games for 40 years.
Geofront — for their dedication over the years towards completing this project.