The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails | Visual
Title The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails
Developer Nihon Falcom
Publisher NIS America, Inc.
Release Date Sept 19, 2023
Genre Action RPG
Platform PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC
Age Rating ESRB – E10+ for Everyone 10+
Official Website

Back in 2012, Japan saw the release of Nayuta no Kiseki, an action RPG spin-off in the Trails franchise. Unlike other entries in the franchise, the game was not set in the continent of Zemuria, meaning past games released had no bearing on this title’s story. As a fan of the franchise, I was at least familiar with Nayuta no Kiseki’s existence, and was interested in playing it at least once. But I realized the difficulty in this due to the game being a Japan PSP exclusive and having no overseas release. However, something happened that finally gave me a chance to give this game  a try. Nihon Falcom decided to remaster Nayuta no Kiseki for modern platforms, and NIS America surprisingly announced that they would be bringing this remaster to overseas fans for the first time as The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails. How would an action RPG spin-off in this famed franchise fare? Would the story be as strong or complex as others with the Trails moniker? I enter this brand new land with these questions in mind.

The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails | Stars

The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails starts as two young men, Nayuta and Cygna, return to their home island of Remnant Isle for summer vacation. As they start to re-acclimate to their hometown, a strange tower ruin falls from the sky and lands on the coast nearby. Being the adventurous lads they are, the two of them explore the tower. At the top they run into an unconscious fairy and two strange men: one clothed in black, the other armored with a greatsword. The two strangers take an item from the fairy and leave, and Nayuta takes the fairy home to recuperate. The fairy is named Noi, and she hurries back to her homeland to chase after the man in black. Nayuta and Cygna follow her and find the mystical land of Terra, the land Nayuta knows as Lost Heaven. The two young men must now help Noi retrieve the four stolen Master Gears and help restore peace to Terra. 

Nayuta’s story is pretty straightforward. You gather items and try to save the world, all while trying to understand the motivations of Zechst (the man in black) and his right hand man. As you play the game, you can probably make a good guess on how the story will unfold, and some of the twists you can see coming from a mile away. There were some revelations that intrigued me, but none that really blew me away. I will say there is nothing wrong with the story being simple and straightforward. Sometimes, I like to pick up a game and not think too hard about how a story will unfold, I just play. And not being related to other Trails games actually helps The Legend of Nayuta, as you won’t have to play multiple games to understand the plot or characters involved, making the story easily accessible to newcomers and veterans alike.

The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails | Scaring Noi

I did like the main cast in the game. Nayuta is curious, loves to learn, and is a good-natured young man who grows considerably throughout his journey; Cygna is Nayuta’s best friend and an older brother figure with tremendous sword skills; Noi is Nayuta’s guide throughout his adventure and comes to accept humans through her experiences with Nayuta and his friends; Eartha is Nayuta’s doting sister and a great cook; Lyra is a childhood friend of Nayuta and has a hard time relaying her feelings to him; Creha is a kind and mysterious girl Nayuta meets in Terra who opens up more as she spends time on Remnant Isle. I personally liked Nayuta and Noi the most in this story. Nayuta goes from a boy just curious about an unexplored land to a young man with the conviction to do anything to save his friends and loved ones. Noi goes from despising humans to enjoying their company and loving the world they come from. The two of them also make one heck of a team, much of their success being attributed to their trust in each other. I also found a soft spot for the NPCs on Remnant Isle. They’re like one close knit family and care a lot for each other, and seeing them band together in times of crisis was a sight to behold.

The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails | Confrontation

Gameplay is mostly split between two sections: preparing on Remnant Isle and exploring Terra. On Remnant Isle you can purchase new equipment, items, and cook delicious food to bring with you on your adventure. In addition, you can take on handyman requests from the Remnant Isle residents. These quests reward you with mira (currency) and other items that are helpful for your journey. In addition, you can also learn new sword skills and gain special equipment from Master Orbus, but this requires accomplishing certain things in Terra. But best of all, you can get a dog for Nayuta’s house. Not only is it just comforting to have a dog, Nora will bring you collectibles occasionally after you return from Terra. Who doesn’t want a good doggo in their lives?

In Terra you explore four different continents, all featuring different monsters and environments. This is where the bulk of the gameplay takes place. Each continent is split into multiple stages, and each stage has three goals for you to accomplish: clear the stage, collect three big crystals and all treasures, and another optional objective which differs in each stage. This last objective can range from not getting hit a certain amount of times to defeating a certain number of enemies. You can gain a maximum amount of three stars per stage, and these stars are added to your Swordsman Training Book. If you gain enough stars, you can learn a new sword skill from Master Orbus to help you on your journey. So, while you can progress the story by just clearing the stage without doing the optional objectives, it’s recommended to try to get more than one star per stage so you can unlock new skills, which in turn will make your journey much easier.

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Combat takes place in the land of Terra most of the time, and unlike other games under the Trails banner, The Legend of Nayuta features an action-based combat system. You perform attacks with the circle button, dodge with the triangle button, and jump with the cross button. The square button is used for Noi’s Seasonal Arts (magic). If you played a game in the Ys series, like Ark of Napishtim or Seven, then you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you’re getting into. In addition, you can unlock Gear Crafts for Noi, which are special abilities that can help you in combat and exploration. For example, the Gear Shield can nullify enemy attacks and let you run normally over difficult surfaces such as lava. Utilizing Gear Crafts drains the Craft gauge, and if it runs out, Noi will become incapacitated for a short amount of time, preventing you from using Seasonal Arts and Gear Crafts. The combat system wasn’t too complicated, and I found you could get through fights pretty easily on Normal difficulty. I enjoyed hacking through foes and blasting enemies with Noi’s Arts, it was pretty satisfying. However, it may have been too easy at times, even boss fights. I found I could win most of the time without thinking too much. Another complaint I have is that new skills were locked behind completing stage objectives and not leveling up. It’s kind of ridiculous you have to unlock the ability to guard, that seems like something that should be available from the beginning of the game. I understand it’s a way to motivate players to do these objectives, but I found it kind of annoying at times. Another thing that happened to me is that enemies would be able to hit me even though I was on a higher, or lower, platform than them. If you saw the height differences, you would think there’s no way an attack would hit, but it does anyway. This wasn’t just a negative, though, as I could also take advantage of this to damage foes. You could call it a double edged sword.

The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails | Gear Hold

Exploring stages in Terra also involves a plethora of platforming. You have to do a lot of jumping and running to get through these stages, and sometimes you will have to backtrack and redo a stage to finish all the objectives. This is unavoidable, as there are times when you’re too early in the story, and do not have the needed Gear Craft to get to a treasure chest or big crystal. This was a minor annoyance, but still frustrating all the same. Most of the platforming wasn’t too difficult, just needing some good timing to get through.

The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails | Creha and Nayuta

Nihon Falcom always delivers when it comes to a game’s soundtrack, and The Legend of Nayuta is no different. I appreciated how the stage music progresses as you get further in the story, it gets more epic as you continue your journey. The boss music is stellar too, matching the monstrous foes you have to face at the end of each continent. It would’ve been nice if each of the continent bosses had their own unique music, but that’s not a huge issue. The event music ranged from somber in the sadder scenes to ominous in the more serious scenes. I have no complaints there. The opening and ending themes were also quite good, Kanako Kotera did a great job singing both.

Continue Nayuta’s journey on page 2 ->

Patrick Aguda
Patrick is an avid fan of both video games and anime. He has been a fan of anime since his older sister introduced him to the genre when he was younger. He grew up watching shows such as Cardcaptor Sakura, Digimon Adventure, Gundam Wing, Dragon Ball Z, Tenchi Muyo and Yu Yu Hakusho. His favorite games include Persona 3 Portable, Steambot Chronicles and the .hack//G.U. trilogy. He strongly believes that Sinon, Maki and Mash are best girls.