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Video Game / The Legend of Heroes: Kuro no Kiseki

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At azure skies’ end, a flash of light will lead you to the land of dawn…note 

WARNING: Due to the Trails Series being a Long Runner, this page assumes that you have played The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie. The page will likely be filled with unmarked spoilers from the previous games so be careful of Late Arrival Spoilers ahead.

The Legend of Heroes: Kuro no Kiseki is the eleventh game in Falcom's Trails Series. It marks the start of the second half of the series, as well as its fourth arc, following the Sky, Zero/Azure, and Cold Steel arcs, taking place sometime after the end of Reverie.

The story is set in the Republic of Calvard, one of Zemuria's two superpower nations and the Empire of Erebonia's long-standing rival, during an unprecedented economic boom due to war reparations from the Erebonian Empire and a radical political upheaval by the country's newest president Roy Gramheart. It stars Van Arkride, a man living in the capital of Edith, who works as a "Spriggan," an underground profession infamous for accepting work from any client, even criminals. One fateful day, on August 27, S.1208, he is visited by Agnes Claudel, a girl attending Aramis High School, who decided to ask for his help in finding her late great-grandfather's Orbment, rather than approaching the police or the Bracer Guild. And from there, what started out as a peculiar job to find a lost item would take Van and Agnes on a country-wide adventure that may decide the fate of the Republic and Zemuria as a whole...


The game released in Japan on September 30, 2021 for the PlayStation 4.

The official website can be found here. Trailers of the game can be seen here. (Warning: spoilers ahead.)

The Legend of Heroes: Kuro no Kiseki provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear: The party experiences one in the Intermission chapter when they wake up only to find out that Yume is missing.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: In the opening of the game, Van lands a palm strike against Kasim who barely is fazed by it. Van ends up having a minor Oh, Crap! face before he disengages, blocks Kasim's strike, and fires a Coin Bullet at him.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: This game does not shy away from blood in general compared to the previous series.
  • The Bus Came Back: A page from the Reverie calendar teased that Kuro would mark the return of Jack and Halle, who haven't made any kind of physical appearance since Sky the 3rd, with a later screenshot confirming their inclusion. This will be their first appearance in 14 years.
    • The teaser trailer and official website confirmed that Zin the "Immovable" and Walter the "Direwolf" would also make a comeback after being off-screen since the end of the Sky games.
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    • Another screenshot revealed that Kilika the "Crimson Swallow", the third member of the Taito trio, would be making her first appearance since Azure, almost exactly a decade prior.note 
  • The Cameo: Olivert, Schera, Kevin, Wazy, Gaius, and Xin show up in the ending shots in the present day while Swin and Nadia show up in a flashback.
  • Childhood Friends: In addition to the returning Zin, Walter, and Kilika, Kuro also features two other trios that have known each other since childhood: Van, Kincaid, and Elaine, as well Agnes, Albert, and Odette. And while there's no third member, Aaron and Ashen are also given this classification.
  • Cliffhanger: Averted. Much like Zero, it manages to end on a more conclusive note than Sky FC and Cold Steel I, but it does leave some questions hanging by the end.
  • Dance Off: In a Call-Back to Reverie, the climax of chapter 3 has two sisters engage in one during the parade festival where one side is brainwashed with a mask and the other isn't.
  • Darker and Edgier: Certainly doesn't pull its punches with more people dying onscreen than in the previous games, complete with blood on some of the corpses even. Van even kills off someone in a cutscene (as a form of Mercy Kill but still). Truly hammered home with Gerard's nuking of Creil Village, indiscriminately killing innocent children and civilians alike, including the reporter Dingo Brad who exchanged his life to expose Gerard's horrendous crime to the Orbal Net.
  • Enemy Mine: Armata is so hated in-universe that the Bracers, CID, the jaeger groups, the Dominions, Heiyue, and Ikaruga are willing to join forces just to take them down. The party has to decide which faction to join only because everyone's forced to partake in a battle royale, otherwise Armata will bomb an entire city. Considering they already bombed an entire village, clearly they're willing to go through with their threat.
  • Everyone Can See It: Practically everyone can see that both Van and Elaine still have romantic feelings for each other, even when they've already broken up by the time they graduated high school.
  • Fighting Your Friend: At one point in the opening of the game, Van faces off against Elaine who is his childhood friend. In-game, players get to fight the faction of characters who weren't chosen. No hard feelings on their part however as they all know that Armata needs to be taken down but they also have no choice but to play along with their rules, otherwise Armata will destroy Oracion City.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: As seen on the official site, the main party consists of 8 members, 4 male (Van, Aaron, Quatre, and Bergard) and 4 female (Agnes, Feri, Risette, and Judith).
  • Guest-Star Party Member: While the maximum amount of people a player can have is up to four people at a time, there are moments in the game where characters join up with the party on the field but they cannot be controlled.
  • Henshin Hero: The 30-second commercial shows that two of the main characters, Van and Judith, can change into Grendel and Grimscats respectively, with the latter getting an explicit Transformation Sequence.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: Surprisingly averted. Kuro doesn't have a Fishing Minigame. The only game in the series that had no fishing minigame was Sky FC and that was back in 2004.
  • Hotter and Sexier: While fanservice is nothing new in the franchise, it was usually relegated to optional events and DLC costumes. Kuro meanwhile ramps up all these especially with the strip club scene at Tharbad and Judith's Wardrobe Malfunction moment.
  • Humongous Mecha: As shown in the opening movie, Calvard now has their own equivalent to Erebonia's Panzer Soldat, the "Assault Core."
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: At launch, Kuro unfortunately has lots of loading and frame rate issues that can hamper a player's enjoyment where a NPC will not spawn until a few seconds in and loading a screen take as long as nearly a minute. If a player is in the same area in a city, chances are it'll probably faster to run to the destination rather than fast travel instead. This also happens even if the player runs the game on PS5 consoles.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The party experiences this at the climax of the Intermission chapter when Shizuna reveals that she knows "Spirit Unification" which is acknowledged in-universe as Rean's Signature Move.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Van's "Coin Bullet" craft has him flicking five 10-mira coins, the same amount as Rean and Crow's infamous 50 mira relationship.
    • A blue-haired guy tells a girl with a pink ponytail to slap him after an Accidental Pervert moment, with the girl being annoyed at the guy for being so calm about it while she does so. Are we talking about Van and Judith or Juna and Kurt?
  • Nerf: For players who just went through Cold Steel and Reverie, players are in for a nasty surprise when a lot of powerful things in those games got nerfed hard. Some examples include:
    • If a character evades an attack, there is only a 50% chance the one who evaded will counterattack instead of a guaranteed counterattack unless the "Camio" Hollow Core is equipped.
    • Cooking can only be done at the inn, Van's office, or at the end of a dungeon's orbal station (depicted as yellow instead of blue). Better pack up as much as possible before setting out.
    • While inns are now free, they no longer restore CP. Players will need to take a bath at the sauna and they're only available sporadically.
    • Unlike Master Quartzes where they give the character the bonuses right away, Hollow Cores need to spend a S-Boost in battle to reap the bonuses from the Hollow Cores. And S-Boosting only lasts 2 turns if used once (three turns if S-Boost is used twice).
    • Players also need to spend two S-Boosts if players want to use a S-Craft to prevent spamming S-Crafts in general. To compensate however, S-Crafts now only cost 100 CP and no longer has the more powerful 200 CP option which means characters can throw out two S-Crafts if a character has 200 CP, which also increases the the amount of S-Boost Gauges which always starts at three every battle.
    • Players can no longer steal turn bonuses by manipulating Delay or using S-breaks, due to the turn order timeline being split into two. If a character uses a S-break in an attempt to steal an enemy's (or ally's) critical turn or anything similar, the turn bonus STAYS with the character it's assigned to, not reassigned to the character you just used a S-break on. Unless you've set up your orbments' Drive Line with the pre-requisite element values, which even then only gives a 25% chance to steal a turn bonus (100% when 2 S-boosts are used), good luck enduring an enemy's S-craft if ever they get a critical turn.
  • Pacing Problems: The game obviously falls victim to this from Chapter 5 up to halfway through the Final Chapter due to how many events and setbacks have to take place just to get from Point A to B. It picks itself back up afterwards.
  • Punch Parry: In the opening, both Zin and Walter duel with the two punching each other's fists, creating a shockwave.
  • Revisiting the Roots: Screenshots and gameplay videos have shown that Kuro will bring back some elements that were present earlier in the series, but not in later arcs.
    • The protagonist, Van, wields a Stun-Calibur, which is a non-sharp weapon like Estelle's staff and Lloyd's tonfas, in contrast to Rean's tachi. That being said though, it is very sharp in cutscenes where he "activates" the Stun-Calibur. Just ask Aida who he stabs as a Mercy Kill, Viola and Alexandre who he can slash with blood spilling if players didn't side with the Bracers in chapter 5, and Gerard when he gets stabbed in the chest with it in the same chapter.
    • After Cold Steel decided to only show the character you directly controlled on the field, Kuro goes back to showing your other party members following you.
    • The default battle themes for both the action-based and turn-based modes are very reminiscent of the more light-hearted tunes present in the Sky games, compared to Zero/Azure and Cold Steel's action-packed beats.
  • Running Gag: At the end of the chapter, the latest one introduced among the eight party members ends up joining Arkride Solutions Office to Van's dismay.
  • Sequel Hook: While the first game ends on a happy note, there are a lot of things unresolved. Some examples include: who was sponsoring Armata as hinted by Melchior in the final chapter, the location of the 8th Genesis artifact, the arc's Sept-Terrion and its Holy Beast, Renne still needing to know why Verne didn't join the Western Zemuria Technology Federation, the entire deal with Ikaruga, Ouroboros' third phase, Vagranz-Zaion potentially coming back to fuse with Van permanently, and Gramheart's own plans.
  • Story Branching: The "L.G.C. Alignment" system makes it so that certain choices you make throughout the game affect Van's "alignment," which can have an effect on the guest characters that the party can team up. Specifically, your alignment determines which group you can form an alliance with during Armata's battle royale in Chapter 5:
    • If you have enough points in "Law," you can team up with the Bracer Guild, with Fie as a playable character and Zin as a non-controllable ally.
    • If you have enough points in "Gray," you can team up with Heiyue, with Yin as a playable character and Cao as a non-controllable ally.
    • If you have enough points in "Chaos," you can team up with Ouroboros, with Walter as a playable character and Lucrezia as a non-controllable ally.
    • If you have enough points in both "Law" and "Chaos," you can team up with Ikaruga, with Shizuna as a playable character and Kurogane as a non-controllable ally.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: What kicks off the main plot in the first place. As stated in Prof. Claude Epstein's last notebook: "Find the Octogenesis by the year S.120X. If not, then everything will end..."
  • Time Stands Still: The final chapter has Melchior using one of the Genesis artifacts to summon a huge clock tower that stops the time. Only a select few are allowed to move in said time compression. He also ends up bringing back all of the dead Armata in the process.
  • Wham Episode: Right after a whole chapter of the party going on a relaxing hot springs trip to Longlai, they are greeted with the radio delivering the horrendous news of Creil Village suddenly getting nuked by Armata and a revelation from Mariel that Dingo was at ground zero when it happened. Then the chapter just... ends.
  • Wham Shot: While blood on bodies isn't anything new even with a guy dying in the first hour of the game, Van pulling a Mercy Kill to Aida at the end of chapter 2 definitely is this for fans as it's clear that Van averts the Thou Shalt Not Kill policy of prior arc protagonists. Another one is at the beginning of Chapter 5 where the audience is shown how Creil got wiped off the face of the earth through Dingo's point of view.

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