Having just completed The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II, I must say that it's been an incredible journey. Here, I'll summarize all of the events that unfolded in its final chapters so don't read any further if you're trying to avoid spoilers.
The finale began with Rean and gang heading to Karel Villa in order to free the Imperial family as well as Rean's sister, Elise. After Rean and Alisa shared a kiss, it was time to head off! Upon infiltrating the villa, Altina tried to stop our mission. We defeated her (of course) and Rean reunited with Elise. Although most of the captives were rescued, Prince Cedric was still missing. We were told that he was brought to the palace for a ritual. Before we knew it, the palace was then transformed into a demonic structure known as the Infernal Castle. So, that's just where we headed next!
Towa wished us luck then we entered the mysterious castle. There were plenty of boss fights within including Duvalie and Bleublanc (after which Toval and Olivert helped us), Xeno and Leonidas (where Captain Claire and Sharon saved us), and McBurn who transformed into the Blazing Demon that Viscount Arseid battled in our place. Finally, we came to the Vermillion Throne where Duke Cayenne, Vita, and Crow were waiting alongside a captive Prince Cedric. Duke Cayenne planned to fulfill his duty as the descendant of the False Emperor so we fought Crow and Vita then Rean boarded Valimar to fight Crow one on one. Instructor Sara rambled about how form is emptiness then Duke Cayenne brought life to the Vermillion Apocalypse by using Prince Cedric in a ritual. Rean battled him with Crow by his side and used Enlightened Domination to rescue the prince. Unfortunately, Crow perished in the fight but Rufus and Altina finally took care of Duke Cayenne. We found out shortly after that Chancellor Osborne (the official that Crow "murdered" at the end of the first game) was still alive and that he is Rean's father. Now, that's one crazy Darth Vader moment!
You'd think that would be the end of the game, but it's not. This chapter has you control Lloyd Bannings (a rookie detective) and Rixia Mao (a performing artist). Western fans may not be aware but these characters come from the country of Crossbell and star in The Legend of Heroes VII games Zero no Kiseki and Ao no Kiseki. To be clear, Trails in the Sky is the sixth Legend of Heroes story while Trails of Cold Steel is the eighth. Anyway, you play through a somewhat complex dungeon in order to steal some data. However, Rean and Altina showed up to confront the duo then they let them escape. Honestly, I don't really understand this portion but I'm sure it would make more sense if you played the two Legend of Heroes VII games. It was definitely fun, though.
Rean arrived back at his beloved academy after being in Crossbell for a month. Meeting everyone at once was heartwarming and watching Machias spoil the mood by talking about studying was pretty funny. Some interesting events happened around campus such as Towa comforting Rean after he discussed his guilt about Crow's death, Rean and Angelica having a bike race, and we challenged a few students and faculty to some duels. The fun wouldn't last long, though, because there's something brewing at the old schoolhouse.
Upon entering the old schoolhouse, we saw that it had changed completely. Valimar told us that it was created by the gnomes (what?) and that the Great One was the cause of it. Wait, so now Wayne Gretzky is involved? I understand that all of this is just a silly excuse for one final adventure with Rean and gang yet I was actually quite pleased with it. We worked through the 17-floor dungeon while fighting a few bosses then finally beat the last one: White Shadow. After all that commotion, Rean said goodbye to all his friends and everyone thanked Instructor Sara. It may not have been an epic ending, but it sure leaves a warm feeling in your heart.
I'm very happy with the ending of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II. It doesn't finish with a cliff-hanger but it also left room for a sequel. I know that Trails of Cold Steel III will probably be out eventually, but for now: it's very satisfying to be done the first two games. Have you finished both of them? What did you think of the ending? Let's talk in the comments below!