Fan translation group The Geofront, which has been diligently translating JRPGs on a volunteer basis, has announced a partnership with NIS America for the western releases of The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero and The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure. NIS America announced during the recent Nihon Falcom 40th anniversary concert that it would be localizing four games from the Trails JRPG franchise in the next two years. The other two games are spin-off The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails and the next mainline entry, The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie. Both are slated for a 2023 release.
Prior to those releases, NIS America will put out Trails from Zero in fall 2022 and Trails to Azure in 2023. These two games are known among fans as the “Crossbell” duology. They were originally released in Japan in 2010 and 2011, respectively, but never had an official English localization. It’s due to The Geofront’s immense work that fans of the series have been able to experience those titles until now.
“We reached an agreement with NIS America and, now, our text — the text you have seen in our localization patches — will serve as the basis for the official releases of the Crossbell duology,” begins the announcement post, written by lead editor Zerker. “Each and every member of our team is thrilled about this opportunity because it’s the culmination of our driving motivation: To ensure Crossbell gets the localizations it deserves so that people can experience these engaging, touching, wonderful games.”
The announcement post contains several personal statements from various Geofront members reflecting on the important news. As a result of the partnership, The Geofront’s patches for Trails from Zero and Trails to Azure are no longer available on their website. The group would love for fans to support the official releases when they come. It’s not clear how NIS America will be compensating the group for using its fan translations as the basis for the official localizations, but it sounds like an agreement that has been wonderful news for all involved.
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We recently spoke to members of The Geofront about their impressive work. “What makes the core of Geofront successful is a passion for the quality we saw in official translations,” Geofront programmer Ribose told Fanbyte. “We wanted to be able to enjoy the games that did not get translated at that level. We wanted consistent character writing, consistent terminology, and above all, a consistent, quality-tested writing style.”
“In a way, we view The Geofront as a fan translation hub — a place where passionate people can collaborate and work on interesting games,” said Zerker. “We want our projects to be the best that they can be; doing things half heartedly isn’t something we want. After all, most of these projects stem from us loving and having a passion for these games.”
The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero will be released in the fall of 2022 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure will be released for the same platforms in 2023.