Trials Trails in the Sky

box_jess

The End is Nigh.

Trails in the Sky SC’s text is done. I announced this back in January when I passed in the last file, but I think even those who know can sit back and appreciate that statement one more time. Trails in the Sky SC, a game that’s been baking in Gehenna’s oven for almost four years now, is finally on its way to something like an actual release date.

Initially, my duty on Trails SC was to oversee the project in a general sense. As the original editor for the previous game (and a person with the intimate and inane details of hundreds of NPCs burned into her brain), I was the logical choice to look over the sequel. I was to go over the edited files as they were finished, ensure the tone didn’t stray too far from FC, and fiddle with treasure chest text whenever a new bottle of wine was opened. From November 2013 until mid-2014 I busied myself with sifting through the main scenario, reformatting that text into a usable format with attractive windows, meddling here and there, and pulling the terminology into line. System text was not translated at the time the main scenario or NPC files were done, so I also took a seven month stroll through nightmare memory lane revisiting FC’s system text to make sure SC’s files matched internally and externally. This lead to a lot of amusing notes being added to the massive spreadsheet of NPCs I had created before I started on the project and some embarrassing discoveries.

trailssc_didyouknow

While I went through the main scenario text I also ran each major scene by a recorded playthrough of the game. SC’s main scenario is roughly twice the size of FC’s (*please see the “Dirty Breakdown”) and has more Olivier than ever. Based on just that alone, I think I can assure you guys with some certainty that you’re going to enjoy the hell out of the story. You’ll also probably need a spreadsheet to keep track of all the citizens of Liberl since they refused to stay in their respective regions and kept getting married and going on pilgrimages and…

olivert_heart

I Dream In .csv…

After finishing up my review/reformatting of the completed scenario text, I then moved on to scouring what NPC files were completed. But Trails being what it is (a game that eats people), I was brought on in full as a replacement editor back in July of 2014 to finish the remaining fifty percent of the game by December. I didn’t.

For the next six and half months until mid-January I spent a lot of time in the company of late night TV. As much as working on Trails at that pace feels like drowning half the time, I did, however, gain an appreciation anew of just how detailed this series is. It’s no secret to anyone who’s played FC that every damn thing in these games has something to say and they switch it up a lot. What’s been done even better in SC, however, is the scope and depth of these random characters you might pass by in other games. I followed an NPC with an existential crisis and a few screws loose all around Liberl, I applauded as a neglected wife got her revenge over the course of three chapters by mastering her husband’s beloved hobby, new generations were born, NPCs met, dated and got married… I’m still kind of in awe at the sheer planning that went into this game. (I can say that now that I’m done and past being horrified at the sheer planning that went into this game.)

For those not as impressed with the daily machinations of minor characters, there are other things to look forward to in SC, like fishing. And casino games. And new books. Did I mention there’s fishing? The magic system has also been beefed up (Combo attacks! New crafts!), and there are some pretty cool new books secreted about Liberl. And if you’re still concerned about replay value, know that early on you’ll have to buddy up with either Schera or Agate* and both branches are worth a playthrough.

Trails in the Sky SC has overcome a lot of hurdles getting to this point and tried the patience of many a fan. I’ve read the forums and seen the feedback online. Boy have I seen the feedback… You guys have been pretty great and understanding, though, seriously. It’s an absolute pleasure, then, to finally get to share some more details, especially some of the early jacked-up fruits of our labor.

estelle_uwaaaah

(Yay QA)

cassius_jpn

(I’m going to make his name “Mustachioed Dandy” and see if anyone notices)

Expect more, less wonky-looking details to reveal themselves in the next several months as we polish things on our way to release. And while that date’s not set yet, what I can tell you with pretty good authority is that though this game has been a long time coming, it’s one that’s definitely worth the wait.

-Jess

(More Trails and spider talk to be found on Twitter: @HProtagonista)(*TeamAgate4Lyfe)

Some final Trails numbers:

fc_vs_sc_breakdown

sc_wine

Disclaimer: All graphics made with great time and little skill using the touch pad of a dying laptop gummed up with the detritus of a 1000 bagels.

Disclaimer 2: Some information in the graphics was based on guesstimates arrived at by rootng through the recycle bin.