The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel releases on August 2nd, will be properly optimized for the PC

XSEED Games today announced that The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel, the start of a new story arc in developer Nihon Falcom’s acclaimed series of role-playing games, is headed to the PC on August 2nd via Steam,, and the Humble Store by Humble Bundle with a launch week discount of 10% off the regular price of $39.99, €39.99, and £29.99.

Originally released in North America to wide acclaim in 2015 for PS3 and PSVita, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel will make its debut on Windows PC with visual enhancements and over 5,000 new lines of English voiceover dialogue (approximately a 50% increase).

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel builds on Nihon Falcom’s beloved Trails franchise, improving on the series’ formula while delivering an expertly told, standalone narrative that both series fans and newcomers alike will enjoy.

“Taking place on the same continent as fan-favorite Trails in the Sky, Trails of Cold Steel further explores Erebonia and gives players a chance to delve deep into the inner political conflicts of this oft-mentioned and powerful empire. Players take on the role of elite military students at a time of great turmoil, who enjoy school life as they bond with fellow students to earn new abilities in battle, and then utilize those abilities via tactical turn-based combat. In between skirmishes, players can upgrade their party members with the “ARCUS” system – a streamlined version of the classic “Orbment” magic system from previous titles – allowing for greater access to abilities and quicker customization.”

What’s also interesting here is that XSEED Games recruited Peter “Durante” Thoman to help optimize the game for the PC. As such, we can all except the PC version of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel to run properly.

In fact, thanks to Durante, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has transitioned from OpenGL to DirectX 11, bringing massive performance improvements. As Durante noted, the OpenGL/Cg rendering backend of the engine had major management shader issues, ending up with dozens of state setting calls for each individual draw call. This had a major impact on the game’s performance that Durante was able to resolve by transitioning the engine to DirectX 11.

Do note that this graph should not be used in order to back up claims that DX11 is better than OpenGL. As Duranted said:

“I’d like to note one important fact about this chart: please don’t quote it as some kind of argument for how much faster DX11 is compared to OpenGL – this result is a direct consequence of how these APIs are used in their respective rendering backends in the underlying engine. I assume that the GL/Cg version is designed more as a development aid to very closely resemble the console targets than for performance on PC.”

Still, the good news is that thanks to Durante, the PC version of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel will be properly optimized, so kudos to XSEED Games for recruiting him!