The Trails of Cold Steel 3 ending was shocking to say the least. With obvious SPOILERS, we really need to discuss the main points from the dramatic cliffhanger.
Wait, what just happened?
Despite Rean’s careful use of his ogre powers throughout Trails of Cold Steel 3, his worst fear was finally realised. The threat to his class caused him to lose control, unleashing his full strength and transforming Ashen Knight Valimar with him in the process.
He slashed away at the Black Holy Beast, butchering it and releasing a dark curse across the entire land, invoking “The Great Twilight”.
Crow suddenly remembered who he was, and – along with a bunch of other divine knight chevaliers – managed to restrain Rean before he murdered Osborne and Black Alberich.
Giliath Osborne summoned his own divine knight Ishmelga, grabbed Rean by the neck, delivered a chilling Darth Vader-esque line about writing the end of the tale together, and the game… just ended. A true cliffhanger if I’ve ever seen one.
Did characters actually die?
You know the stakes are usually low when even the bad guys all turn to each other and say “Err, hang on, was that really allowed?”
But… it would appear so. Trails of Cold Steel is notorious for allowing literally everyone to come away unscathed from an all-out battle supposedly to the death, so it was a genuine surprise to see so many characters bite the dust in quick succession.
The casualties from the Courageous appear to be the legendary Radiant Blademaster and Laura’s father Victor S. Arseid, skilled bracer Toval Randonneur and charming Prince Olivert himself (sob).
Meanwhile, within the depths of the Gral of Erebos, Millium bravely sacrificed herself to protect the party from the dark dragon’s attack and become the Sword of Demise, the blade needed to slay it.
Finally, George insisted to Towa that Angelica is dead. We heard the gunshot but never saw a body when she dug up Crow’s grave at the end of Chapter 3. Under normal circumstances, we’d never expect this death to stick, but after seeing the shocking image of Milium’s bloody body flying through the air, who knows?
Why did the Courageous explode?
Though it appeared to be out of the blue, this was hinted in the previous chapter. When the Courageous landed in Heimdallr airport, we saw a maintenance worker who looked suspiciously like George (or Copper Georg) make his way ominously toward the airship.
George hooked up the explosives and provided the remote switch Alberich used to blow it to smithereens.
What exactly happened to Ash?
In a scene that brought back memories of some of the mind-control antics in the Trails in the Sky series, Ash took a Calvard weapon and shot Emperor Eugent III at the close of Chapter 4 (to be fair, he asked for it).
The vague reasoning given was that Ash was possessed by Erebonia’s curse, a force that has apparently influenced people for generations, causing them to perform destructive acts that threaten the peace.
Osborne subdued him. Ash ended up in a coma and was arrested, but Principal Aurelia rescued him and appeared to take him to safety with the Weissland Army. Ash was still unconscious at the end of the game.
What is Giliath Osborne’s plan?
Not unlike the infamous Hamel incident, it looks like the assassination attempt on Emperor Eugent has been played as a reason to blame and attack an innocent country – this time Calvard, who created the weapon shot by Ash. Osborne announces as much at the start of the final chapter with his promise of the National Mobilization Law
Turning to “The Great Twilight”, Osborne and Alberich believe the curse of Erebonia is the cause of tragedies and wars going back generations. By slaying the Holy Dark Dragon and releasing the curse, their intent is to ‘complete’ its effect and utilise the “black seed” it plants in people.
When the curse is released, we see a series of confrontations among common people. With such bad vibes around, Osborne can continue waging war.
“Don’t you find it ridiculous for us to continue to be at the mercy of such a thing? … I could use it to drown the world in conflict, and endless struggles leading humanity to ever greater heights”
How will Class VII escape?
This likely won’t prove much of a problem. At the climax of every chapter, a hopeless-looking situation is usually resolved by the so-called ruthless enemies deciding their fun is over, their master is calling or they’ve got a dinner date, before abruptly vanishing.
Everyone will probably teleport away leaving both old and new Class VII free to stroll out, grab a drink, and start preparing a plan to save the world. But it seems less likely Rean will escape Osborne’s clutches and join them just yet.
Who were the Divine Knight pilots?
There are seven divine knights, and six appeared in the climactic final scene. The knights and pilots we know are:
Ashen Knight Valimar – Rean Schwarzer
Azure Knight Ordine – Crow Armbrust / Azure Seigfried
Vermillion Knight Testa-Rossa – Prince Cedric Reise Arnor
Argent Knight Argreion – Arianrhod, the Steel Maiden
Palantinate Knight Zector – Rutger Claussell
Ebon Knight Ishmelga – Giliath Osborne
When is Trails of Cold Steel 4 coming to the West?
Trails of Cold Steel 4: The End of Saga is available NOW. The final instalment was finally released on 27th October 2020.
Here is a recent trailer for the game:
Trails of Cold Steel 4 was released in Japan on September 27th 2018, so Falcom have stayed true to their previous form by delivering the Western version around two years later.
The main reason for this timeframe is simply the sheer volume of translation involved (as mentioned in my review, the amount of text is more than the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the entire Harry Potter series!). It’s a pleasant surprise that it appears the coronovirus outbreak hasn’t affected the localisation.
Trails of Cold Steel 4 can be purchased now from Amazon:
What happens next?
Trails of Cold Steel 4, the final chapter in the saga, is now out there, so spoilers are available if you really want them.
But not knowing beforehand is part of the fun, right? The best thing to do is purchase Trails of Cold Steel 4 and witness the end to the wretched fairytale for yourself!
Read my review of Trails of Cold Steel 3 here.