Hey there, prospective detectives! Zerker and the Geofront gang are here to provide you with another Trails from Zero update! It’s been a minute, but we have plenty to show off this time around!
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m still working my way through Crossbell City dialogue. I just finished up Ignis and Imelda Antique Shop, and am now working on Hotel Millennium! One reason this update took so long is
Hi, this is Ribose typing. This update should be more general and informative compared to the last one, which was the numerical breakdown of the text. We’ve implemented a lot of features to the Japanese PC release over the last two years! We will ensure that the Japanese PSP release still functions with a minimal scenario and non-scenario text patch. But the PC release definitely needed a lot of work to make it a quality version that people don’t have to hassle with to play.
You may have heard that three of us (
But you said features!
You’ll notice three things have been replaced by their English equivalent: the logo, the “Developed by Falcom” text at the end, and an easily-missed blue line saying “FIND ME”. We are excited to have this in!
This opening will come with the game and be played if you choose to play with English text. We are working to be sure that when this game is installed on a clean Windows install, you will still be able to run the game and play the videos.
By the way, it isn’t shown in the video, but you can optionally turn on English or Japanese subtitles in the mod and it will display those over the video.
The other feature: the save menu
While it was rushed through during the panel itself, we did show another amazing technical addition: the save menu. If you played this game on PSP (or any of the Sky trilogy on PSP), you would have recognized the original save & load menu that the Japanese game had. It had a column of large thumbnails on the left that you would scroll through and select your save slot from with details on the right. We tried a few things to try to fix that menu to have more slots or to handle encoding better but kept meeting challenges, mostly with the user interface itself.
A while back, Jose switched the UI library he was using in order to improve the options menu and expose them to players. Then he had the crazy idea of replacing save & load as well. With it, we could do much more than we could before, and we could build it to be more PC-oriented. We are making sure that keyboard, mouse, and controller support all stay strong in the custom interfaces.
Here’s a quick list of the functionality this interface implements for us:
- Save and load over 1000 slots (SAV0001-1000 are normal saves, SAV1001-2000 are clear saves).
- Load autosaves.
- Mouse interaction support (the original was very much a port of the PSP menu and didn’t actually use the mouse’s position. While it did technically honor left click, right click, and scroll wheel, you might as well have used a keyboard or controller).
- Better parity with the Trails in the Sky games which have an interface similarly designed for PC first.
- Viewing and saving of save metadata regardless of your system’s locale. That is, all created saves are made in Japanese encoding (English text is a subset).
- Viewing and loading of saves of a slightly different source. That is, saves created by the Chinese version of the game or by the Japanese PSP version (requires decoding), then copied into
savedata/, will be read and loaded as if they are this
game’s. Saving will only be in the Japanese format with English or Japanese metadata, depending on which language mode you’re in.
Shoutout to the amazing Dear ImGui library that this uses. It’s a pretty powerful little immediate-mode GUI overlay system that could be embedded in our DLL. There’s definitely more you can do with the library than shown. That is the default dark color scheme, after all.
Did you say autosaves?
Yes! Let’s move on to things not mentioned in our panel. Team members may have mentioned these things in passing in the last two years, but it sure would be nice to have one place with all the major improvements listed.
Things we can confirm or re-confirm support for are as follows:
- Japanese & English: You can play the game with our improvements in either text language (of course, voices are staying in Japanese). The setting for this affects all graphics and text which we’ve patched for English. Yes, even the English text in the executable, debug room, and created when you save the game will revert to the Japanese original when you switch this. Also, this works everywhere regardless of your system locale so locale emulation will not be required.
- Autosaves: When you enter a new map, an autosave is created in the oldest of the ten autosave slots. They can be loaded from just like any normal save from our new interface, by going back one page from the first page.
- Anisotropic filtering: The Sky games have this where textures at oblique angles from the camera appear clearer. Take a close look at the sidewalk up the stairs when comparing the two images below.
- Anti-aliasing: This was implemented several months ago, and I admit I thought it was broken. It turns out there had just been a crash bug in the options menu all along (to do with listing the modes that the GPU supports), which I’ve since fixed. We have Multisample Anti-Aliasing! This is tricky to show in a screenshot, but our videos should show it from now on.
- 60 FPS: One of the first things Jose implemented two years ago. You can choose to play at 30
FPS,if you want.
- Borderless window mode: The game can be played this way without the use of an external program or additional mods.
- HD, variable-width font: The English font file can be any TrueType font, though we are optimizing the system text for the font we will provide. For other glyphs and Japanese support, the original Japanese font will be used. It is also a TrueType font (it always was) and can be replaced if a select few of you would like.
- Extended NPC draw distance: NPCs no longer “pop in” at a relatively close distance from the player. Does not affect the visibility of monsters in the field.
- Turbo mode: Like the other five Trails games on PC, we’ve implemented turbo mode. Hold a button on your keyboard or controller and the game will speed up by a certain factor. This factor can be between 2× and 6× for both battle and non-battle. Optionally, use the analog pressure sensitivity of your controller triggers to have a turbo speed that you vary in the range between 1× and the set factor. For example, hold it down halfway with a factor of 4× set in the options, and the game will run at 2.5× speed.
- Custom cursor: The game already supported the mouse. To augment this, we’ve made a custom cursor that only appears when keyboard and mouse
isused, and disappears (and is ignored for the battle system targeting) when a controller is used. Also, the cursor appears as the arrow icon from the Sky games for visual feedback when moving on the field using the mouse button. Thanks to Adda (@addaberry) for creating and editing cursors for us. We may have more to reveal about this in the future.
That’s a lot
Yes, it is! There have been other technical changes, too, such as the numerous bugfixes:
- The game no longer has extreme slowdowns from a common graphical effect during Aerial, other arts, map fadeouts, and numerous other instances.
- The game no longer inexplicably flickers every so often.
- The game no longer runs poorly if you play without a controller attached.
- Text no longer shakes when scrolling in.
- Character art for portraits, menu art, and any other place is no longer of a muted coloration compared to the PSP and Vita versions (and all three versions of the sequel).
- Numerous other small fixes to make the game function with English text, alignment, rendering, and more!
Hello! Quick interruption by Floofy about a small update on the website.
There had been a minor tracking injection made to the header of the website and I have since cleared it out. No data for the site has been compromised, so don’t worry about that, at least.
I do want to thank TonRL from Reddit for notifying me of this issue. Remember, if you run into any other issues of this sort, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or R
That’s it for now, folks!
That’s all we got for this update! If you check our YouTube, you’ll find two more videos showing off turbo mode…
…and the new save menu and custom cursor support!
As always, we appreciate the support and patience! See ya, guys.