Falcom’s gacha game Trails of Cold Steel Northern War heads West

With the usual freebies going if you pre-register
Nihon Falcom/Userjoy

Trails of Cold Steel: Northern War, a new gacha mobile game from Nihon Falcom and Userjoy, is headed West a year after its launch in Japan. Userjoy is hosting a pre-registration campaign with several rewards on offer, though there’s no official release date yet.

The rewards include a mix of currency and upgrade items common to this kind of game:

  • 100,000 registrations – 100,000x Mira
  • 300,000 registrations – 200x Septium
  • 500,000 registrations – 300x JC
  • 800,000 registrations – 10x Gacha Tickets
  • 1,000,000 registrations – SSR Elie MacDowell

Falcom and Userjoy also teamed up for Trails at Sunrise in 2016, another gacha game, but one that was never officially localized. 

Northern War follows the eponymous Crunchyroll anime’s basic plot. A young mercenary named Lavian Winslet joins a resistance force dedicated to keeping her homeland of North Ambria an autonomous nation. She and a crack crew of other fighters are sent to the neighboring Erebonian Empire – an aggressive nation bent on continental domination – on recon and sabotage missions in a desperate bid to stave off invasion.

You’ll know how that effort goes if you’ve played Trails of Cold Steel 3, and if you haven’t played any of Falcom's RPG series, you might be a bit lost. Unlike Trails at Sunrise, though, Northern War is a bit less focused on expanding Falcom’s world and puts heavier emphasis on collecting characters and sending them off in turn-based battles, even when it makes little sense. 

Zero and Azure’s cast, characters from Sky, new characters specific to Northern War – they all make an appearance, despite the causes with the series’ established story. Well, they make an appearance if you’re lucky. It is a gacha game after all.

If you’re keen on checking out the Trails series without the baggage of half a dozen previous games - and an admittedly very good epilogue - hanging over you, you might want to hold tight for a bit. NIS America is releasing Trails through Daybreak, a clean break in the series’ narrative continuity, on July 5, 2024.

Josh Broadwell


Joshua Broadwell is a freelance writer with bylines for GameSpot, NPR, Polygon, and more.