NOTE: This article is 98.37% spoiler free. However considering there’s a better than good chance you have not yet played The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (and you absolutely should, especially now that it’s available on PC via PlayStation Now), if you want to know NOTHING about the plot or characters...well...you know what to do.
So Trails of Cold Steel, despite some pacing issues, is probably one of the best written and designed RPGs of the decade. And the sequel, which is allegedly even better, is now upon us. Thus I figured now was the ideal time to no-man’s-land of JRPG fandoms and explain to all the laymen out there the simple truth that seems to have been missed by both the fanbase and Nihon Falcom alike. That being the many reasons as to why Laura S. Arseid should be the true female lead of Cold Steel and why she is infinitely better than Alisa Reinford.
5. She has a big F**king Sword!
This one should be pretty self explanatory, but I will do so anyway. Since the beginning of time (1997) it has been written in the sacred book of RPGs that only the most worthy of souls will posses the gift to wield impractically large blades in combat. This ancient prophesy began with Could Strife of SOLDIER, and has now been fulfilled in the Laura’s skill with the Arseid family blade.
If you need even more proof, one my third playthrough she obliterated the “final” boss in two strikes. So...there you go.
4. She can cut a tree trunk in half with one blow.
On the topic of swords...
3. She has the (second) best dad.
Now no sane individual would dispute the fact that the true best dad of Trails of Cold Steel is “Lieutenant-General Olaf Craig the Red” father of your adorable, violin-playing, friend Elliot Craig.
That being said, Laura’s father, Viscount Ariseid takes a close second, if only on account that he has an even bigger f**king sword.
2. She and Rean have actually chemistry
Trails of Cold Steel is very clear in it’s attempts to encourage a romantic relationship between the protagonist Rean and the Alisa. The problem is that very few of their interactions feel genuine. Most of the bonding events range from you typical rom-com anime shenanigans such as the two getting locked alone in a room together, or Reans face ending up in...compromising locations, or else Alisa conveniently wandering into a room alone away form the rest f the group for no other reason than she can have a private conversation with the guy that she “totally don’t like or anything, b-b-baka”. While Alisa is thankfully far better written than your typical tsundere, she would do well to not hold to so many of their mannerisms.
By contrast every interaction between Rean and Laura felt authentic. Not only do the two have shared passions and interests, but they contently encourage each other to strive to improve themselves. In combat the two play to each other’s strengths and cover each other’s weaknesses perfectly,with Rean acting as a fast acting saboteur weakening enemies and creating opportunities for Laura to do the maximum amount of damage to enemies. Even outside of combat, instead of one character rely totally on the other, the pair both are able to share their issues with and encourage the other. They really equally on and bring out the best in each other, just as a most couples with lasting relationships do.