Players have a huge roster of characters to choose from in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel. There are nine possible party members. Even though you always have to have Rean with you, him being the main character and all, that means you still have to decide which of the other eight will fill the three remaining slots on your team. It’s a difficult choice. Some may be tempted to go with characters they think look cool; that’s fine. There are some really cool dudes and chicks in Class VII. An even better idea is to go with the game breakers.
Every game has them. There’s a character that somehow has a skill, weapon or combination that makes any battle a cakewalk. Diddy Kong can be a game breaker in Super Smash Bros. Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan’s Imperial class is another. Let’s not even get into Final Fantasy VII’s Knights of the Round materia. With The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel, Elliot and Machias are our powerhouses.
Elliot is the first and most evident one. In addition to being one of “those” mages who can deal magical damage with a standard, physical attack, he comes with one of the most unprecedentedly awesome starting skills I’ve ever encountered in a game. When he first joins your party, he knows Resounding Beat. When used, it boosts the defense of all allies by 25% and casts a regen spell that heals 30% of their health every turn. It is astonishing. It’s the sort of skill that never goes out of style and yes, you should always be using. (Same with Echoing Beat, another buff skill Elliot knows.) He’s your gamebreaker for the first third or fourth of the game.
Because really, Elliot is nothing compared to Machias. I know, Machias is that guy. He cops an attitude with anyone who might be a noble, just because they’re a noble. It gets old fast. Fortunately, his range and Crafts redeem him. His nickname should be Medusa, because he’s going to turn everyone to stone. Petrification Shell has a 50% chance of petrifying any opponent it hits. (Well, so long as it isn’t resistant to that status.) There are additional Quartzes that can be added to increase that up to 70%, as well as an abnormal status Master Quartz. He’s going to make every opponent sick. Also, Machias’ Burst Drive makes every ally immediately take their turn. You’ve got to love that. A good strategy is to have him use his first turn inflicting a status ailment on as many opponents as possible. Then, next time, Burst Drive.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel’s last game breaker isn’t a person; it’s a thing. The Imperium Quartz is amazing. Equip it on a character and it will double the damage dealt on your first non-magic attack. Put it on Laura or Rean, add other, strength boosting Quartz to their personal collection, then use your strongest Craft or S-Craft and hope for the best. It’s a great way to make either of those a one-hit killing machine.
You’re probably going to go with your personal favorites for The Legend of Cold Steel, even with this advice. That’s absolutely fine. I’m just saying that a party with Machias and Elliot in it might be better than one without. Especially if you also happen to have a Rean or Laura along with an Imperium Quartz equipped. Make things a bit easier on yourself. Go with some of Class VII’s winners.