Welcome back to The Game Collection!
I am SuperDerek and I’ve finally finished
my journey through The Trails in the Sky Series.
And what an absolute wild ride it has been.
But now it’s time to talk about its 3rd
and final entry.
Be forewarned though that the footage I will
show during this review may spoil some aspects
of the game such as characters that join the
party for a time.
So if you just want to know if you should
give it a go the answer is yes.
And for everyone else, I am SuperDerek and
this is Trails in the Sky the 3rd!
Trails in the Sky the 3rd is the aptly named
third entry in the Kiseki series, but the
English naming convention breaks stride with
Trails in the Sky FC and SC because the game
itself is also a bit of a departure from the
first two entries.
In a way you could think of this as an extended
bonus epilogue to FC and SC, and yet at the
same time, is a prelude of things to come.
The first major departure from the first couple
of games you are likely to notice is that
this time around the game follows everyone’s
introduced towards the beginning of Trails
in the Sky SC, and his apprentice of sorts,
Major spoilers for Trails in the Sky FC and
SC ahead, so skip ahead to this point in the
video to stay unspoiled.
The game opens with Father Kevin in talks
with Professor Russell and leaders in the
Liberl Army meeting to discuss the fate of
an artifact recovered after the fall of the
Liber Ark, a floating techno paradise island
in the Sky taken down by our heroes at the
end of Trails SC.
The artifact appears to be inert, but the
Gralsritter of the Church of Aidos have a
vested interest in Artifacts and their containment,
which is where Kevin and Reis come in.
Unfortunately, something causes the recovered
artifact to spring to life, transporting Kevin
Graham and Reis Argent into what appears to
be one of the several levels of Gehanna, the
Trails universe’s version of Hell.
While exploring the area and searching for
a way out, and after defeating a massive devil,
they recover a shining golden cube, which
is revealed to contain everyone’s favorite
canon-wielding little girl, Tita, and unlocking
the way forward.
And this pattern follows throughout the course
of Trails in the Sky the 3rd: Make your way
through dungeons, unlock characters by defeating
bosses and make your way further through the
depths of Gehanna.
And while on the surface that might sound
like an extremely dungeon heavy experience,
rest assured that the game maintains the balance
of fighting and dungeon exploration with long
stretches of narrative, lore and world-building,
character backstory expansion and character
The game accomplishes this by placing doors
throughout the layers of Gehanna, and with
the right characters and items collected,
you can unlock these doors to view events
that occurred between titles, or in some cases,
events that occurred long before the first
Getting to see more glimpses of how our heroes
and heroines lived in their earlier lives
is both wildly endearing at times, and sometimes
The events of the 15th door in particular
hits like a truck, and isn’t for the faint
One of the things that Trails in the Sky the
3rd really did well was enhancing my enjoyment
and understanding of the previous titles in
For instance, Father Kevin Graham who was
introduced in Trails in the Sky SC wasn’t
one of my favorite characters.
In fact I could easily say he was one of my
He showed up late to the party, it was subtle,
but he never seemed to truly fit in, but now
thanks to Trails in the Sky the 3rd I can
see that was an intended effect masterfully
This game really drove home to me the masterful
prowess with which this series had been localized
by the team at XSEED.
In order to convey those feelings about Father
Kevin without beating you over the head with
it, without being ham-fisted about it, takes
not only a great understanding of the material,
but also demands skillful and finessed writing.
Once again Trails in the Sky the 3rd has a
wonderful modding community behind it that
was able to bring the Japanese voice-acting
from the PSVita release of the game to the
This EVO Voice mod in my experience remains
the definitive way to experience the game
as it enhances the mood of the game, and decreases
the fatigue that can set in after reading
pages and pages of dialogue.
Mechanically Trails in the Sky the 3rd is
very similar to Trails in the Sky FC and SC,
however it does introduce some new mechanics
to the table to help shake things up just
a little bit more than last time.
Because we are now in another plane of existence,
monsters and fiends fought are able to be
affected by strengths and weaknesses of 3
additional elemental types to the existing
four from before, Time, Mirage and Space elements
which had previously existed outside of the
elemental weakness equation are now integral
to properly dispatching fiends of the world.
Additionally aside from the existing assortment
of turn modifiers from before, such as Critical
hits, extra sepith bonuses and so on, some
turns have new modifiers such as instant death
for physical attacks, damage nullification
for all combatants on that turn, and being
removed from the plane of existence temporarily.
There’s a lot of extra stuff going on that
feel like a solid iteration on the existing
combat system, and I welcomed it with open
The 3rd also featured some new mini-games
to enjoy in the form of doors, which include
some gambling opportunities, competitive fishing,
participating in tournaments and more.
The world of Trails the 3rd features a lot
of the same locations used throughout FC and
SC, and triple-dips on many assets found throughout
both titles including enemies, boss designs,
characters and so-on.
And the beautiful thing is that even after
spending a couple hundred hours in this world,
I wasn’t tired of them yet.
Revisiting these locations is like returning
They were re-used, yes, but used in a way
that helped them feel fresh.
And the condensed overall experience, and
switching locations often kept everything
feeling fresh moment-to-moment.
The 3rd feels like a budget title comprised
of the leftovers and scraps that were turned
into a delicious juicy game-burger.
Again though, where some might perceive corners
cut, others will see purposeful decision-making.
And I think it was well enough done that most
who made it through FC and SC will not be
displeased with what they find at the end
of their journey.
Musically I think Trails in the Sky the 3rd
may in fact be the best of the bunch so far.
Many classic entries return, but the highlights
are the several new compositions.
Each time a new song would play I found myself
feeling the need to say just how great that
song was, to the point where it was practically
a meme in my twitch streams by the end.
One banger after another, Falcom continues
to prove that they know exactly what they’re
Trails in the Sky the 3rd was released digitally
only on the PSP, and also on PC in the West.
We never got the Vita release officially,
though there are patches available for those
But the best way again in my opinion is the
PC release, which also features quality-of-life
improvements such as the turbo-speed button.
Trails in the Sky the 3rd was a fantastic
way to tie a bow on the first saga within
the Kiseki series.
It answered a lot of questions I didn’t
know I had, had me fall in love with characters
I didn’t expect to care about, and scarred
me emotionally in ways that few titles have
been able to do.
And the best part is this is still only the
prelude to a world of Kiseki games on the
And that’s why Trails in the Sky the 3rd
has earned itself a spot in The Game Collection!