At the end of the Prologue, when Class VII (whose members are all off to a rocky start) team up to defeat a giant monster, working in tandem for the first time and realizing the potential of their ARCUS devices.
Despite being the most timid member of the group, Elliot pulls an impressive I Never Said It Was Poison bluff on Celdic's corrupt Provincial Army when investigating a theft during their field study. Laura even says he'd make a great military tactician someday.
Gaius managed to silence Patrick (who, after losing to Class I in combat, began insulting them one by one even after Rean offered a friendly handshake) with only one question in chapter 3.
Gaius: *speaks with composure* (...) I can understand the importance of tradition, lineage, dignity, pride I get why those would matter... But where do you think they let you get off saying the kinds of things you did?
Rean taking on a four meter tall automaton knight singlehandedly and managing to force it back in order to save Elise. He also pretty much defeats it on his own, with only a little support from Crow. This machine uses a sword bigger than Rean is. It's also the first time we see Rean's Superpowered Evil Side
Any time Fie and Laura team up, whether it's to get revenge on Rean or to stop Gideon's plan in Heimdallr, with Laura playing golf with a giant dragon skull and Fie using the distraction to leap in and kneecap the guards holding Elise and Alfin.
Arianrhod, a.k.a Lianne Sandlot, saving your party at Lohengrin Castle, full stop.
The prelude to the final dungeon, where everyone's bonds of friendship cause their ARCUS' to resonate, allowing them to walk through the barrier surrounding the Old Building and take back their festival.
Seeing the full faculty of Thors demonstrating that being a certified badass is a requirement if you want to teach there. We see the aftermath of their battle against a pair of tanks (final score, Faculty 2, Tanks 0) and then the Panzer Soldats appear and the faculty takes it in stride, like giant robots that nobody knew existed an hour ago aren't anything they can't handle.
Sharon temporarily disabling one of the Draken units, before pulling out a knife and standing alongside her former enemy Sara. This is especially awesome because an Enforcer of Ouroboros is fighting on our side. Because you don't endanger Alisa in front of Sharon...
Rean manages to do the following before his Super Moderuns out by himself. Note that all of the people he fights are boss level enemies that normally require a party to survive. And remember: he's carrying Alfin with him.
Stalemates Bleublanc and Duvalie for some time before giving them the slip.
Creates afterimages to slip past Xeno and Leonidas.
When the party reunites with Millium and Alisa in the Nord Highlands, they have to assist them in fighting off a cryptid, a powerful monster. Later, they travel to Legram and Lohengrin Castle, where they find Laura and Emma battling a cryptid inside. Laura and Emma take it down by themselves!
Gaius's Big Damn Heroes moment. When Rean and his team investigate the remains of the Nomadic Settlement, they find themselves cornered by jaegers and their beasts. When all starts to take a turn for the worse, a hawk flies overhead, followed by Gaius riding on horseback with spear in hand and killing all of the beasts in sight, forcing the enemy to retreat.
Alisa's mom of all people gets one when she confronts Director Heidel. While she commends him for managing to outwit her and steal the Reinford Company, what she can't excuse is the fact that the director used her family's home as his personal lounge without her permission. Before the director can say anything else, she gives him a well-deserved slap across the face and then punches him in the gut. Now we know where Alisa gets her tenacity from...
Instructor Sara saving the party from Duvalie and McBurn. She then one-ups that moment by single-handedly taking on an army of jaegers in the assault on Bareahard after learning her second S-Craft. She does such a good job they decide to not only abandon their current employer, but the entire war. Ladies and gentlemen, this is why she was once called the Purple Lightning.
This makes Kevin soloing the Northen Jaegers at the Lusitania in The 3rd even more awesome as he casually refers to the Northern Jaegers a bunch of "jaeger dropouts" then proceeds to deliver a Curb-Stomp Battle with them. Sara meanwhile keeled over after the battle was over and she's a strong person.
Jusis gets one if you visit his father in Bareahard before the end of the Finale. They're you find Duke Albarea ranting about trying to find a way to get back to the top of the Noble Alliance. Jusis was having none of that and chews him out epically. Considering his relationshipwiththe Duke, its a pretty sweet to see Jusis stand up against him.
Several characters get their own moments to shine on your way up the Infernal Castle.
Rean using Spirit Unification while piloting Valimar, resulting in a powerup that can break the ultra-strong magical barrier Vita placed on the castle. The rest of Class VII compare it to Crow's Ordine Super Mode at the end of the first game.
A group of Thors students made up of members from different classes take on the magic knights that appear in the Heimdallr Square, with Instructors Thomas and Makarov providing backup. Then, Mueller Vander and Major Neithardt appear to aid the students and decide to have a friendly match to see who could destroy the most enemies. Epic ass-kicking ensues.
After another battle with Bleublanc and Duvalie, the latter, now fed up with being beaten once again, attacks with blinding speed, showing off why she's called "Duvalie the Swift." But before she can attack any further, Prince Olivert and Toval arrive to keep her at bay and allow Class VII a chance to move further into the castle.
Claire and Sharon teaming up to fight against Xeno and Leonidas.
McBurn finally decides to stop holding back and proceeds to show us why he's the Blazing Demon of Ouroboros, transforming his appearance and casually destroying pillars left and right. Just as Rean is about to call Valimar, Victor, the Radiant Blademaster himself, appears to do battle against McBurn and buy time for Class VII. What ensues is a clash that transcends human limits and begins to raze the landscape. As awe-inspiring as it is to watch, Rean and the party decide it's in their best interests to get the hell out of the battlefield before there's nothing left.
Go back to the battleground where they fought and grab the Zemurian Ore Shard while you're at it, and unlike the first two, the entire battleground is reduced to nothing but rubble.
From a gameplay standpoint, actually beating him is a major accomplishment that is bound to make the player feel awesome. And story-wise, even if he was holding back, Class VII still managed to prove themselves worthy of his time (something that not many people alive have the privilege of) and force him to use his Super Mode, which he normally saves for the strongest fighters in the world. That has to count for something.
The party travels into the Twin Dragons Bridge to rescue Elliot's sister Fiona and is forced to fight two powerful military monster dogs. After the battle, the soldier holding Fiona reveals that there are two more. Then Instructor Neithardt appears and one-shots them both.
Sara: Well, look who showed up to steal all the glory. Good to see you alive, Major Neithardt.
Rean and Crow teaming up to fight against Vermillion Apocalypse in their respective mechs. There's even an exclusive Combination Attack with them!
The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny with the protagonists of Zero and Cold Steel fighting against each other. And you're playing as Lloyd and Rixia fighting against Rean and Altina.
Rufus gets several in the entire damned game:
Shows up fighting against Class VII, minus Rean as he's busy getting curb stomped by Crow in their Divine Knight fight and deals with them quickly.
Manages to kill Grianos and injures Vita, catching them off-guard.
Declares that he's there to arrest Duke Cayenne and Vita, while subtly revealing himself as the primary member of the Ironblood.
Delivers the biggest wham to Rean's life, subtly telling him who his father is and that said father is Osborne.
Osborne's return. Duke Cayenne breaks down completely just by seeing him, and his coming back from the dead, if he ever did die, manages to outwit Ouroboros! Really, when you can claim that you win just by showing up, you deserve to be awesome.
A retroactive one after playing Cold Steel IV: the reincarnation of Dreichels manages to defeat Orthros' descendant, again.
Duvalie's declaration to Duke Albarea that the only reason she's even there with him at Aurochs Fort was to witness its fall. She even stated that she would have personally gutted him if it weren't for the orders of her lady. Fighting the heroes was just a bonus for her as well.
Sharon: Witness the Severing Chains. ... I'm afraid your fate is now sealed... Fall into Death's embrace!
Better, this S-Craft is 100% instant death to anything without Deathblow resistance.
In the first game, the party fought Loa Erebonius, which was said to be a "fragment of the Great Power." At the end of Cold Steel II, they face Loa Luciferia, which is said to be a "a copy of the Great Power." Furthermore, they're told that this a "shadow trial" that has no reward, but Rean responds that they don't need any reward - this will be their final challenge together as Class VII.
If you have any of the secret characters in the party for this final battle via the Phantasmal Mirrors]], then each of them will have a message for the party in text following the scene afterwards.
Any of the Big Damn Heroes moment old Class VII does to Rean and new Class VII counts as this, which also counts as a Running Gag for Rean whenever he's about to either summon Valimar, or use his Spirit Unification, just to show off how much they've grown.
Laura takes on the other leftover archaisms all by her lonesome self. Then takes on Duvalie during the night raid, also by herself.
Fie stops Shirley in her tracks when the rest of Thors II students didn't even want a foot near her, complete with the train top duel shown in the trailer.
Elliot manages to heal up everyone very easily with nothing but his violin.
Alisa and Sharon combine their attacks when taking on a new magic knight that appeared at Geofront F.
Machias and Alisa manage to distract Campanella and McBurn from doing anymore damage at Orchis Tower.
Emma manages to break Campanella's barrier and help ease Rean's pain from using Spirit Unification.
Jusis on horseback and Millium take on the North Ambria jaegers near Ordis.
Sara and Angelica also take on another jaeger group with Angelica employing Bike Fu.
And finally, Gaius gets in-between new Class VII and Arianrhod at Bryonia Island.
New Class VII's Big Damn Heroes moments also qualify in that it saves the old characters when they need them.
The first time happens when Rean fights off Aion Type-II Beta where no matter what, Rean can't cut it for some reason. Enter Kurt who, until this moment wants to prove to Rean his swordsmanship, uses the Spiegel S to fight alongside him, linking Rean with both new and old Class VII.
Then there's Stargazer Tower where Campanella prevents Rean from summoning Valimar which forces them to deal with a full powered McBurn, who is being weakened by Emma but can't destroy the barrier while suppressing McBurn's flames at the same time. Enter new Class VII plus Ash and Musse who distract both Campanella and McBurn but don't really do much because of how powerful the latter two are. Then Juna calls Tita and has her launch the Drakkhen II with the boosters attached, flying it towards the barrier and shattering the barrier, allowing Rean to summon Valimar.
Valimar's first launch sequence in the game. The opening of the train, the take off, and the music ends up being one of the best sequences of the game. The surprise of everyone barring Towa is just icing on the cake.
Some of the fights Rean takes on in Duel Boss battles are awesome in that the other side is actually kneeling and barely any Gameplay and Story Segregation takes place. Doubles as an accomplishment for players if they pull it off especially on Nightmare since players don't really have any extra characters to help around, save for Brave Orders. Considering a few years ago, he'd run away at the first sign of seeing these people, the fact that he can finally stand up against them has shown that yes, he's grown up a lot.
Rean takes on Wallace the "Black Tornado" alone and manages to win against him when 5 of his students barely dented him.
Rean versus Aurelia happens a few times and the first time, he can barely keep up with her. By the final duel in chapter 5, he has to go all out and use Spirit Unification and wins with Aurelia kneeling on the floor. And consider that Aurelia manages to beat Arianrhod.
Aurelia taking on both Rean and Randy with nothing more than her Ace Custom against Rean's Valimar and Randy piloting a standard Hector. And she's one of, if not the hardest boss fight of Cold Steel III. When Rean says that their chances of winning are at 30%, he was not kidding.
When retaking the Juno Naval Fortress, Wallace takes on McBurn in his full powered self and the latter starts throwing fireballs at him. Wallace extinguishes them allby spinning his spear to deflect them! Toval meanwhile takes on Campanella and proves why he can cast arts so fast.
In one corner, Arianrhod the Lance Maiden and her Stahlritter. In the other corner, Rean, Sara, Gaius, Jusis, Millium, and Aurelia. The result? Everyone but Aurelia end up kneeling on the floor! Yes, Aurelia managed to beat the resident Physical God of the franchise! Granted, apparently Arianrhod was holding back during the fight according to Aurelia herself but it's still one hell of a feat considering who her opponent is.
Aurelia VS Victor her master in a Single-Stroke Battle. Aurelia wins by cutting Vic's scarf. Then they decide to perform an ARCUS link and fight Rean, Laura, Sara, and Fie!
Rean VS Azure Siegfried finally happens at the end of a very long dungeon, all to the tune of Blue Destination.
There is a main quest at the end of chapter 4 where Lechter asks Rean to gather people to help them find the last Calvard jaeger underneath the Heimdallr Catacombs. Rean thinks he shouldn't call on Class VII, figuring they need to take a break what they've been through. He ends up getting Olivert, Tita, Agate, Tio, Sara, Sharon, and Claire with Randy, Toval, and Patrick as rear support. In other words, the Dream Team is assembled! So great that Ash decided he wanted to join as well!
Just like in Cold Steel II, we also have another gauntlet boss. This time around however, the old Class VII steps up to the plate.
And the first fight the game throws at you? ARIANRHOD AND MCBURN. That's right. The 7th Anguis/Steel Maiden alongside the #1 Enforcer/Blazing Demon is the FIRST boss of the gauntlet. And the party you have for this fight? Laura - who seems to have mastered the Arseid sword style, Emma - who mastered her witch power to the point that her wand transform into one similar to Vita/Roselia and Gaius - the new 8th Dominion of the Gralsritter.
The second fight of the gauntlet has players facing off against Sharon, Shirley, Azure Siegfried, Rutger Claussell and Alisa brings out her new toy: an Orbal Gear, something Sharon didn't even know that it existed.
While the third boss gauntlet, the Ironbloods, probably wouldn't be as impressive as the first two, they reveal that they can do a four-way link, something that was never shown. And after Rufus reveals that he's not Jusis' older brother, Jusis still holds him in high regard and manages to have an epic duel with him.
When Rean has to summon Valimar and the three Soldats (Ash's isn't included because he's in a coma and is being carried away to the Pantagruel by Aurelia and Bardias in their Soldats), Thomas and Roselia reopen the way with Valimar opening activating Spirit Path to get inside to safety. Then Valimar pulls out the Zemurian tachi and destroys the barrier by himself! No, Rean isn't inside Valimar when this happens. Ash and Altina, despite both in a coma, still participate in spirit by being able to link up with their ARCUS.
While the above is going on, the NPCs are busy protecting people in the capital and elsewhere from the phantom beasts and magic knights. A list: Patrick cut down two magic knights at once while defending St. Astraia; Celestin K.O.ed a magic knight with one flying kick while defending the evacuating civilians at Heimdallr Race Course while the Railway Military Police are defeating the other two; Olaf Craig, Neithardt, and Alan showed up in Soldat units to defend Vainqeuer street; Josette, Ashley, and Jingo teamed up and bought fire arms to fight off the magic knights; Marquis Hyarms called in Brigadier General Bardias for reinforcement and Aurelia followed them. Finally, despite been told not to, Towa, Michael, and Randy led the non-Class-VII branch students (which includes Tita) to Karel Villa to provide support for the storming of villa joined by Agate and Tio in a bike. Awesomeness all around.
Speaking of which, the battle outside of the Imperial Villa is awesome in its own right, with characters from all three arcs join in (though the player can only control Erebonia arc characters). Students from the Reeves branch take on the students from the main branch, Agate and Tita take on Xeno and Leonidas, Randy and Tio take on all of the Red Constellation minus Shirley, Towa takes on George, and Thomas and Roselia take on Campanella and the Stahlritter.
At one point during the fight Michael's response to George trying to break Towa's spirit and attack her with his puppet is to shut him up by firing rockets at him.
Rean has always been afraid of what happens if his powers went out of control. Cold Steel III just shows that and he literally goes berserk after Millium dies and forges his sword with her soul and starts soloing a divine beast!
Not just soloing. He murdered the thing then kept on beating its corpse! And after beating its corpse after it disappears, he heads straight for Osborne and Alberich! Osborne and Alberich respond by not even being intimidated by it with Osborne just pulling out a Badass Armfold while Alberich just shakes both his hands and head as if to say "whatever".
It's chillingly awesome and terrifying to see six of the Seven Divine Knights all in one area. Rean has Valimar with a new upgrade, Crow, Rutger, and Arianrhod all jump towards the center from a great height while summoning Ordine, Zektor, and Algreion respectively, Cedric manages to make Testa-Rossa run without any of the evil dragon's influence, and Osborne reveals that he is also another Awakener by summoning Ishmelga! And there's one more to go!
Adding on to that, the sheer number of returning characters from previous games, regardless of whether they are playable or not. Just to name a few, we have the entire Bright family, Scherazard, Kloe, Agate, Tita, and Josette representing Liberl and the founding members of the S.S.S. plus KeA representing Crossbell.
An awesome moment during the Dengeki live stream where it's shown that players will finally be able to explore the infamous Black Workshop!
Juna and Ash in their soldats actually nicking Rutger's Zemurian Stone weapon without Rutger holding back.
Kurt, Juna, and Ash owning Cedric in his Testa-Rossa is a sight to behold, enough that Shirley tells him to do better so that he doesn't shame her weapon's namesake.
The assault of the Black Workshop itself deserves some praise as characters are split into three teams. Team A consists of the girls minus Sara while Team B consists of the boys and Sara. Team C meanwhile consists of Rean, who broke out of his chains and is in permanentSpirit Unification, Celine in her Cat Girl form and are joined by both Crow and Duvalie!
It doesn't stop there. Team A fights off a Brainwashed and Crazy Angelica, Team B fights off Copper George, and Team C fights off full powered McBurn with Innes and Ennea. Then, the new Class VII fight against against their instructor while the opening theme plays in the background, ending with Rean snapping back to his senses and leading his part of the fight against Osborne and Arianrhod.
Finally there's the break out of the Black Workshop. The guys didn't have any plans of getting out the Black Workshop as they were just concentrating on trying to find Rean. Everybody is cornered and about to be destroyed by the enemy group when Rean decides to sheathe his sword and signals Gaius and Emma to open the gate since "they're coming". Gaius and Emma take the hint and lo and behold, cavalry arrives in the form of Vita, Aurelia, Thomas, Randy, Agate, Josette in the Bobcat, and Rosine in the Merkabah 8.
Compared to the assault on Thors in Cold Steel II where Rean and Class VII only had to deal with a Goliath, a Kestrel, and Patrick's team in order to liberate the academy, Cold Steel IV's assault on Leeves has him and the New Class VII storm the place as its swarming with Ouroboros archaisms, rescuing civilians along the way, and ultimately ends with a face off between Rean and his students against students from the main school and Michael.
The debut of the Courageous II. Compared to its predecessor, it's about twice the original's size and is now even armed to the teeth with various weapons including a BFG of a cannon on its front bow. It's crew is compromised of the students and staff from Thors Second Branch Campus and as well as some of the Courageous' original student crew from the civil war. And appropriately enough, who's the captain of such a ship? Why none other than Olivert Reise Arnor, having survived the explosion of the original Courageous and is now sporting an eyepatch.
It doesn't end there either. Accompanying Olivert are Schera, Toval, and Bleublanc.
Really just the culmination of Olivert's plan in general. The first Courageous was lightly armed and more an obvious show of defiance than any real threat. It ending up being a great way to shuttle Valimar around was a happy accident, as if they tried to use it in the actual Civil War it would have just been a big target. But it helped the Thor's student do their part in the war and more important gave them experience. So when Osborne blew up the obvious target that was more of a big middle finger to him than anything he was really just taking out a smokescreen for Olivert's real weapon, the heavily armed, faster stealth equipped Courageous II crewed by now adult Thor's students who knew what they were doing as well as to could guide the younger Thor's 2 students. And he gave him the perfect excuse to disappear for a few weeks to ready it as nobody would be looking for a dead man. And even if Olivert didn't survive Osborne's attack he had other people in place to roll it out anyway. Olivert looked helpless and outplayed in 3, but that was really just a feint that Osborne seemingly fell for.
The night before the final battle, Rean and Cassius have a duel for Rean to become a Divine Blade. While in reality he is facing Cassius, Rean, in his head, is facing his worst enemy: his ogre self. It culminates to Rean unlocking his final S-Craft that combines all of the eight forms of the Eight Leaves One Blade and actually manages to make Cassius Brightkneel! Granted Cassius gets back up anyway but the fact that Rean is actually the first person onscreen to make Cassius Bright kneel by himself is outstanding.
One of the sidequests of the game is to free Alan from the curse of Erebonia with Rean teaming up with Patrick who is piloting a Drakken.
The assault towards the final dungeon deserves a mention that it really wouldn't look out of place in a Super Robot Wars game: after the 5 pillars are down and the barrier has disappeared, the Courageous II launches an assault with its main weaponry. Class VII then starts repelling the rest of the stragglers that managed to get through those fire power and Rean and Crow make short work of the Aion Type II Beta and Gamma, nearly sinking them with one swing and ends the two of them at once with their Combination Attack.
The fact that the final count◊ of playable characters reaches up to 39 is astounding to say the least. And they're all teaming up to take down the True Final Boss and the source of all the terrible things that have happened throughout the series!
Rean finally managing to defeat Ishmelga in a Single-Stroke Battle using Millium as his sword and slicing the menace of Erebonia into two.
Could we all just give a round of applause to Giliath Osborne, the man who even in death, still won at the end of the day? In his appearance in Cold Steel IV, he manages to a: corner and nearly annihilate the Alliance before they could even take any action but instead just let's them go and give them an appointed date for their operation to take place on September 1, b: nearly gave the entire world a huge Curb-Stomp Battle due to his side having better military technology, the citizens all riled up thanks to the appearance of the Tuatha de Danaan, and that's without using the Black Workshop versions of his machines at the world war, c: gave one hell of a fight against all of Class VII all on his own and still treated it as nothing more than a warm-up, and d: scammed the hell out of Ishmelga, the curse of Erebonia and his long time alien stalker, out of Rean's body by instructing Rean on how to get rid of him so that they can finally destroy the curse for good. All of this and with him deliberately trying to lose on purpose to get rid of the curse that he long set out to do. Chancellor Giliath Osborne, one hell of a Magnificent Bastard to the end. Imagine if he was actually exerting even more effort than what he's doing.