Trails in the Sky the 3rd, as we can now officially call it, provides a wealth of background information of the Zemurian continent and its history through its gaiden, or side stories. You’ll be able to enjoy dozens of these once the games hits digital shelves in 2017. Some of those, however, are inaccessible through the game and are hidden among the tens of thousands of lines that did make it into the game. Today we got one of those: the pre-release or prototype version of Star Door 14.
Below is a translation of said pre-release Door.
Anguis: Hmph, you had us waiting…
Anguis: What a pain…
Anguis: Is that the Ring…?
Anguis: You safely recovered it…
Campanella: We shouldn’t forget that its retrieval came at a price… …Everyone, silence. The Grandmaster has come…
Campanella: Enforcer No. 0, Campanella the Fool. …I have returned.
Grandmaster: Please, raise your head. And, Campanella…?
…Did the world unfold as I had foreseen?
Campanella (Lucciola lives): Yes… As You had predicted, the Ring has been successfully activated. but because of unforeseen circumstances that followed, Anguis No. 3 and Enforcer No. II have embarked ‘outward’, one after another. Also, the whereabouts of Enforcer No. VI and No. XV are currently unknown.
Campanella (Lucciola died): Yes… As You had predicted, the Ring has been successfully activated. but because of unforeseen circumstances that followed, Anguis No. 3 and Enforcer No. II have embarked ‘outward’, one after another. Also, the whereabouts of Enforcer No. XV is currently unknown. And unfortunately… One wasn’t able to overcome the trial.
Campanella: Though, do not blame Yourself. The sacrifices that were made led us to grasp victory in the end. …Please, accept this. Only when the Ring is returned to You, the Gospel Plan is accomplished.
Grandmaster: Aureole, the Shining Ring… It is back in my hands at long last. The bell in the West has rung,
The first treasure’s duty has ended. Now, it is time to end the “Gospel Plan”… And announce the start of the next… “Orpheus”.
Apart from being much shorter than the original, it contains a number of noteworthy differences with the final version.
On embarking ‘outward’
First of all, Campanella emphasises the word “outward”, written with the character 外 (soto, ‘outside’). The character is enclosed in Japan’s equivalent of double quotes — nijuukagi-kakko — further emphasising its significance. It is difficult to not immediately associate it with Divergent Laws, written in Japanese as 『外』の理 (soto no kotowari, literally ‘Outside Reason’). This suggests that in some way, the Divergent Laws are related to the Kiseki equivalent of the afterlife.
The weapons crafted through the means of Divergent Laws are considered demonic; Weissmann called Loewe’s Kernviter a “demon sword forged through divergent laws” (『外』の理で造られた魔剣だ, soto no kotowari de tsukurareta maken da) when he was reminded of its destructive capabilities at the end of SC. If weaponry would be forged under the natural ‘laws’ of the afterlife and brought back into the present, then that surely would classify them as demonic.
The concept of multiple worlds is not new, however. The fifth of the six tenets of the Gralsritter reads: “Thou shall maintain order and peace in the three worlds.” While none of the games elaborate on this concept, one can readily assume it is based on the buddhistic theory of the existence of the past, present and future (traiyadhvika in Sanskrit); both the game and the theory in Japanese make use of the phrase(sanze). But let us save that for a different time.
On the unknown whereabouts
The dialogue branches during Campanella’s report on the Gospel Plan’s outcome. The dialogue is branched: one branch has Campanella reporting the whereabouts of Enforcer No. VI and No. XV as “unknown”; a second one has Campanella reporting the whereabouts of Enforcer No. XV unknown and the other one — Enforcer No. VI — unable to complete the ‘trial’. The branche most certainly was intented and dependent on whether or not the player would’ve loaded a clear file of SC at the start and/or whether the player would’ve brought Scherazard to the battle with Lucciola at the Axis Pillar.
On bringing back the Sept-Terrion
Furthermore, the Grandmaster expresses her gratitude toward Campanella for bringing the Aureole “back in [Her] hands at long last”, which suggests that at one point in time the Grandmaster was in the possession of at least the Sept-Terrion of Space. This suggests that — as many fans have already surmised — that the Grandmaster is none other than, indeed, the goddess Aidios herself. It is possible that Falcom had originally this in mind and decided to take a different, more creative approach to the Grandmaster’s identity.
On the lack of Phantasmal Blaze
In conclusion, the Grandmaster announces the conclusion of the Gospel Plan and declares declares the start of the next, “Orpheus”. Whereas the actual plan that made it into the game is called “Orpheus Final Plan”, it was just called “Orpheus” at the time of The 3rd’s development. This also means that during early development of The 3rd, the Phantasmal Blaze plan did not exist yet. This corresponds with Falcom’s initial wish to shift the focus of the series to Erebonia after Liberl, but ended up moving to Crossbell first.
Though still opaque, this pre-release Door helps us in understanding a little bit better what is at play — or, what at one point of time in The 3rd’s development cycle was at play — at Ouroboros’ headquarters:
- It looks like Divergent Laws refer to the natural laws of the afterlife or underworld;
- The name Orpheus is dervied from a Greek myth in which the eponymous protagonist attempts to save his beloved from the underworld;
- The name Ouroboros is Greek for ‘tail devourer’ and was universally considered the symbol of rebirth of some sort, and for some, such as the gnostics, the boundary between realms.
Ouroboros is definitely up to something the Church won’t let go by unnoticed. What do you think they’re up to?