Trails of Cold Steel IV spoiler-ridden interview with Kondo Toshihiro

Response to Cold Steel IV’s rush of famous scenes and enormous volume

It’s been over two months since Cold Steel IV was released. How did fans respond?
Cold Steel IV is a game of enormous volume, something we’ve received the most response to. With a setting that large and bringing together main characters from all over the Trails series, not only united Class VII including Rean, but also Estelle and Joshua from Trails in the Sky and Lloyd and Elie from Trails from Zero to Azure, the game may have felt highly majestic.

What exactly was Ishmelga, the final boss?

Ishmelga has been revealed as the source of many incidents in Erebonia. Please share how Ishmelga came into existence.
Originally, the Divine Knights were the singular Sept-Terrion of Steel, which was split in seven in an attempt to control it. However, doing so only postponed the problem. The very system of the Divine Knights itself was unstable, so I think Ishmelga awakened to bad faith in one of the power's seven fragments.

Erebonia’s curse, the Twilight’s noise

Where lies the difference between those susceptible and those resistant to Erebonia’s curse?
If you think back on people who have undergone a major transformation, doesn’t it feel as if they have something in common? People enduring a mental trauma or bearing a large complex tend to be more susceptible to the curse’s influence. Take the mayor of Alster, those messages are easy to follow. Lightning strikes and burns down the Lenheim residence, and then the news of Olivier’s death reaches him, taking advantage of his enormous grief. It’s also partially accidental of course, so some are influenced a lot unexpectedly.

Characters and countries after the ending

In the true ending, Rean is seen leaving the dormitory at the very end. What happened to Class VII?
I think that basically everyone related to New Class VII will return. I don't know how Ash will be treated, but I want the same for him.

What powers held the Sept-Terrion of Fire and Earth?

Did the Gnomes become Ishmelga's kinship at the same time as the Holy Beast of Earth became the Black Holy Beast 900 years prior?
That’s exactly right. Furthermore, Franz became an immortal through the kinship's influence. That does not mean he became an Awakener, though.

Cold Steel IV scored a direct hit with brand-new revelations

In Cold Steel IV surprising new facts were revealed. Please tell us again about the world of Trails.
First off, I will refrain from commenting on any questions relating to the worldview of the foundation of the series. I can’t explain more than the keywords that have come up so far, as this is related to the development of future arcs.

The Grandmaster and the Society are observers? What is their goal!?

The aim of Ouroboros was revealed to be the observation of the Sept-Terrion. Will their stance be the same for the Eternal Recurrence Plan?
There's no doubt they’ll the move the same way in the future.

Is the full picture of the Septian Church gradually revealed!?

The Septian Church knew about the existence of Divergent Laws. Will they close in on the world’s mysteries in the future?
Yes and no, in a way. The Outside is something they want to keep hidden to prevent chaos. Conversely, in order to avoid confusion, there are also parts they need to know about.

The story hidden in the ending

Has there been a change in characters’ popularity since Cold Steel IV's release?
I feel that Altina, who was at top last time, is popular this time as well. Rean and Crow are also popular. Osborne’s share also increased thanks to those who saw the true ending. They think Osborne was a good father after all.

Are bonding events actually the hardest to make?

This time bonding events were also substantial.
Bonding events are the easiest for gathering the opinion of fans. However, bonding events are also the ones that makes the development staff complain the most, especially when it involves a lot of special animations... When I mentioned the next title, the first thing they asked was whether it would involve bonding events again. (sweats) But as fans seem to enjoy them, I think they’re okay with it.

The next game’s setting will be Zemuria’s eastern half!

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