Hello, everyone! It’s been one year since Trails from Zero released, and we’re ecstatic to be able to celebrate that anniversary with this post. We’ve made quite a few changes to Zero in this past year, and the time has finally come for us to publish Zero’s last feature update and for the game to take its final bow and ride off into the sunset.
Why did there need to be an update?
Three major things have happened in the year since Zero released: NIS America launched Trails of Cold Steel IV, we edited the entirety of Trails to Azure, and thousands of you have told us about your experiences with our patch. As you can imagine, that leads to more changes to the script than could possibly be documented here.
To give you a general idea, we first and foremost implemented every newly localized term in Cold Steel IV. This includes things such as the naming of the Residential District, Elie’s Randy-given nickname, Ilya Platiere’s moniker, and so much more.
Beyond that, there have also been changes to the script to make the game more congruent with the editing style of Azure, add more polish, as well as correct any text bugs that have been submitted to us over the last year.
The technical changes
However, there have also been several other changes to the game underneath the surface. As alluded to in the last Azure update post, Zero’s script is built on a new format than from when we originally released the game a year ago. This format, which is also what Azure uses, is based on EDDecompiler. The change has made both games much easier to edit and is partially responsible for Azure’s editing process having been as smooth as it’s been.
A positive side effect is that our Zero script is now more consistent with the Japanese releases. What I mean is, an unintended consequence of the older, clunky format was that we had the ability to inadvertently change the number of text boxes in the game. This occasionally led to instances in the main story where some text boxes would not have voice acting when playing a scene using the Evolution voice mod.
In the above, the blue text would be a text box that correctly has voice acting play with it, and the black text indicates that we added a text box where there wasn’t one, thus no voice acting would play. These instances were rewritten and consolidated to the correct box count, and this mistake won’t be repeated when we eventually release Trails to Azure. All in all, the scenario files are far more stable in this format, and any crashes related to the scenario should be a thing of the past.
There have, of course, been several other fixes that you can read about in the changelog below. A few highlights are improved controller support, corrected resolution option settings, and a new-and-improved version of our installation and launcher program. We’re also happy to say that the few of you interested in installing and playing the game on Linux should have a much better experience with this version.
One feature we, unfortunately, were unable to implement was support for any languages beyond English and the original Japanese — namely Chinese. However, with the coming PC port of Zero no Kiseki: Kai by Clouded Leopard Entertainment for Chinese and Korean, I think that will be a non-issue for any fans wanting to play in Chinese. We apologize and thank you for your understanding.
The visual changes
Finally, among the features added to Zero are visual improvements. This includes a few new textures that have been backported from Azure to enhance the graphics in Zero. Additionally, there’s one visual improvement that I’m personally very proud to announce: the support for HD video.
The unmodded version of the game doesn’t support video higher than 240p — the same as what’s in the PSP version, obviously. Our lead programmer, Jose, was able to add support for 1080p. All of the game’s movie files are now in full HD, including a remastered opening edited by our video editors, Choojermelon, DrCullenPHD, and _seaPancake, and a new ending done by our graphics maestro, Sorcerian.
To our talented artists and editors, thank you for indulging me and making this goal of mine a reality. I felt as though HD movies were the one thing Trails from Zero was lacking for it to truly be a complete and modern port. Hopefully, everyone who plays Zero from now onward will appreciate this addition, and, suffice to say, you can also expect HD movies to be a part of Trails to Azure.
Farewell to Zero
Thank you all for going on this journey with us. Trails from Zero has been a project that has touched and changed many of our lives. Sharing it with you all has been the opportunity of a lifetime.
We’re still hard at work finishing up Azure, so please be patient with us. Releasing this month is unlikely, as the game still has several outstanding bugs and things to be completed before we’re comfortable launching. However, we are getting closer, and the game has taken great strides this month. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Before you go, have a look at Trails from Zero‘s updated opening and feel free to peruse the full changelog. Thanks again, and see you all soon.
To install the patch, download the installer again, extract it, and run the launcher. Please note that all past and current save files will continue to function, so long as you keep track of your savedata folder.
- Implement support for higher resolution movie files.
- Improvements and design adjustments to Sound Test and the underlying music.json. The format should now be easier to explain. It now displays entries with their disk/track numbers in the original soundtrack.
- Fix resolution settings not sorted/matched correctly on some systems.
- Fix controller analog stick behavior: Dead zones are now radial instead of biased toward cardinal directions. Using the stick to navigate menus should also be improved.
- Improvements to voice matching. More “vanilla” lines should play during cutscenes where no “additional” voice is present.
- Fixed three known “default pose” Lloyd appearances in theater event scenes.
- Fixed two known “default position” party appearances in event scenes where the bus is ridden.
- Use Evolution timing/sequence for chase scene after theater scene at end of Chapter 2.
- Use Evolution timing/sequence for chase battle scene in Chapter 3 Day 2.
- Improve voice timing throughout the game.
- Implement Japanese descriptions for the settings menu when Japanese display mode is used.
- Fixed typos on a couple of quartz notebook pages.
- Improved appearance of various textures, most notably the place introduction images.
- Changes to align with choices made in Trails of Cold Steel IV.
- Countless changes to the text of the game to correct typos, as well as for accuracy, consistency, and much more.
- Ported launcher to .NET 5, which is a more modern base. Includes numerous improvements and bug fixes.
- The program is now a “self-contained executable” and does not have a separate setup process. Simply run the launcher with the mods in the same folder, and it’ll present the same installation process.
- Greatly improved install speed and correctness for the game’s original files (.arc archives).
- Improved the install progress reporting to show the files being copied.
- There is now a 32-bit and 64-bit version of the same launcher, allowing those with 32-bit operating systems to install the game and mod. Linux users may appreciate this, as well.