Trails of Cold Steel 3 Bond Events, Romance Guide, and Gift List
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 3 follows its two predecessors by including a bonding system, where Rean can spend time with, and learn more about, his friends and colleagues during the course of the story.
There's more to it this time around, though, including more characters and more ways to bond with them, plus actual "romance" options. This guide will cover how to get the most out of each bond event, how to unlock the final bond event and trophy, and who the romance options are.
How Cold Steel 3's Bonding System Works
The Cold Steel 3 bonding system works similarly to that of the previous two games. On Rean's and Class VII's Free Days, you get a limited number of bonding points you can spend on specific characters, and you get at least one more on the evening of the same day.
There are always more people available for bonding events than there are points to spend, so like with Cold Steel and Cold Steel 2, you won't see all the bonding events until New Game+.
The first two Cold Steel games tied bond levels to Link Experience, but Cold Steel 3 keeps the two completely separate, which means you're free to Link with whomever you like in combat without suffering any social consequences for it. Additionally, there's a way to increase bond levels without actually spending time with a character: sending gifts.
Gift items are available usually once or twice during each chapter, and you can send them to characters not in your party by selecting the item in your inventory. You can also gift them directly if the recipient is nearby.
Sometimes gifting items will increase parameters for one of the recipient's stats as well.
While the bond meter increase is not as hefty as when you experience a bonding event, it's a handy way to move things along.
Another way to (very) slightly increase a friendship meter is using the baths in the dormitory every morning/afternoon and evening when you're free to explore Leeves. You'll get a brief scene with someone else in the baths. If it's someone with a friendship meter, then you get roughly a quarter of a star increase.
Do Cold Steel 2 Bond and Link Levels Carry Over to CS3?
Nope, nary a bit. Rean's bond levels with Old Class VII start at a predetermined level regardless of who you snuggled up to in Cold Steel 2.
How to Unlock Final Bonding Events in CS3
There is, as always, a final bonding event for each character, accompanied by a trophy for maxing that character's bond points. Fortunately, it's not quite as difficult as the final event for the first Cold Steel.
Even though it's the last bonding event, it's worth mentioning now so you can plan ahead. You must do the following two tasks:
- You need to max out that character's friendship meter, aka their favorability rating, before or during the Summer Festival in Chapter 4
- Spend at least one Festival Ticket on that character to unlock their final bonding event
Spending a Festival Ticket also triggers a regular bonding event and can help get you to that maxed out level if need be.
During the Summer Festival, you can even get four extra Festival Tickets if you complete the optional sidequests on that day, giving you extra chances to increase bond levels.
There are two final, important things to note on the subject of bonding events.
- In general, because you get more bonding events with the Branch Campus kids (Juna, Kurt, Altina, Musse, and Ash) - you should take advantage of bonding opportunities and gift-giving with Old Class VII when they arise if you want to see their final bond events.
- Elise and Princess Alfin work a bit differently as far as their final bonding event. They share a friendship meter, with the max rank for that one being four stars rather than five. Outside gift-giving, there are only a few specific story points when you can increase that meter as well, which we'll include in each chapter below.
Chapter 1 Bond Events and Gift List
April 16: Anytime
- Silk Handerchief (Elise) - Purchased from Lapin Boutique
- Mizu Yokan (Altina) - purchased from Nyo-Sui-An Imports (Increases Altina's ADF by 10)
Available Bond Events (2 Bond Points to spend)
- Musse (Character Note updated)
April 16: Evening
Available Bond Events (1 Bond Point to spend)
April 22: Morning (Saint-Arkh)/Afternoon (Parm)
- Fountain Pen (Kurt) - Exchanged at the Demeter Exchange in Saint-Arkh for 1 Silver Glasses and 1 White Earring (Increases HP by 100)
- Quilted Pouch (Millium) - Purchased in Parm (Increases Strength and Defense by 10)
Chapter 2 Bond Events and Gift List
May 13: Anytime
- Imperial Sports Encyclopedia (Juna) - purchased from Carnegie Book and Game store in Leeves (Increases Strength by 10)
- Elegant Scrunchie (Claire) - Exchanged for 1 Holy Chain at Neinvalli in Leeves (Increases Strength and ATS by 10)
May 14: Morning/Afternoon
Bonding Events (3 Bond Points to spend)
- Millium (Character Note updated); event also includes Claire
May 14: Evening
Bonding Events (1 Bond Point to spend)
- Elliot (Character Note updated)
May 20: Anytime
- Blue Glass Wind Chime (Elliot) - Purchased from a stall in East Street in Crossbell (Increases ATS and ADF by 10)
- Orbal Dryer (Towa) - Purchased from Orbal Store Genten in Crossbell's Central Square.
- Orca Floatie (Altina) - Purchased from Southwark in Times Department Store, located in Crossbell's Central Square (Increases ATS by 10)
- Camellia Lipstick (Laura) - purchased from Lucca's in Times Department Store, located in Crossbell's Central Square (Increases Strength and Defense by 10)
May 21: Morning/Afternoon
There aren't any normal bond events in Crossbell per se, but there are two things to keep in mind on May 21.
- Don't forget to head down the elevator corridor in Orchis Tower for a scene that raises your Alfin/Elise bond rating.
- Check the terminal in the SSS building for a scene with Sharon that increases her bond rating.
Chapter 3 Bond Events and Gifts List
June 10: Anytime
- Orchid Hairpin (Musse) - purchased from Nyo-Sui-An Imports in Leeves (Increases ADF by 10)
- Leather Blue Book Cover (Kurt) - purchased from Carnegie Games and Books in Leeves (Increases ATS by 10)
- Green Star Pendant (Fie) - purchased from the Branch Campus Cooperative Store in Leeves (Increases Strength and Defense by 10)
June 11: Morning/Afternoon
Bond Events (3 Bond Points to spend)
- Juna (Character Note updated)
- Alisa (Character Note updated), event includes Sharon
Alfin/Elise Bond Meter Increase
Speak to Rosine in the Leeves Chapel on this day to undertake the quest "Temporary Sunday School Teacher," which will increase your bond level with Elise.
June 12: Evening
Bond Events (2 Bond Points to spend)
June 17: Morning (Ordis)
- Phoenix Tea (Alfin) - Purchased from Kendall Imports in Kleist Mall, located in Ordis' Business Area.
- Compact Juicer (Juna) - Purchased at the Reinford (RF) Store in Kleist Mall, located in Ordis' Business Area (Increases HP by 100)
- Aroma Tonic (Ash) - Purchased from Hereford in the Riviera Court portion of Ordis (Increases Strength by 10)
- Rose Perfume (Sharon) - Purchased from the florist shop Glycine in Ordis' North Street (Increases Strength and ATS by 10)
- Heart Trilogy (Alisa) - Purchased from the Strauss Orbal Factory in Ordis' North Street (Increases ATS and ADF by 10)
June 17: Afternoon (Raquel)
- Amber Soap (Elise) - Purchased from Ikaros Mart in Raquel
- Classic Mill (Machias) - Exchange for Arabiki Sausage at McEnroe Pawn Store in Raquel (Increases Strength and Defense by 10)
Chapter 4 Bond Events and Gift List
If you couldn't tell already by this point in the game, stuff's starting to get serious, so your schedule is slightly atypical.
July 4: Evening
Bond Events (3 Bond Points to spend)
July 8: Evening
- Noble Ribbon (Celine — yes, the cat) - Purchased from Lapin Boutique in Leeves.
- Fairyland Iris (Atina) - Purchased from Carnegie Book and Game in Leeves (Increases HP by 100)
- Silver Cuff Link (Kurt) - Exchanged for 1 Silver Chain and 1 Cool Necklace from Neinvalli in Leeves.
- Colored Braid (Towa) - Purchased from Nyo-Sui-An Imports in Leeves
July 9: Morning/Afternoon
Bond Events (4 Bond Points to spend)
- Altina (Character Note updated)
- Ash (Character Note updated)
July 9: Evening
Bond Events (2 Bond Points to spend)
- Emma (Character Note updated)
July 15: Morning (Heimdallr)
- Stein Rose '96 (Sara) - purchased from Weston House in Plaza Bifrost, located on Vainqueur Street (Increases Strength and ATS by 10)
- Aurora Barrette (Juna) - Purchased from Lepanto and Co. in Plaza Bifrost, located on Vainqueur Street (Increases Defense by 10)
- Red Leather Key Case (Ash) - Purchased from Lumierre Orbal Factory on Vainqueur Street (Increases HP by 150
- Edel Casquette (Emma) - Purchased from Le Sage Boutique on Vainqueur Street.
- Ebony Pin (Gaius) - Purchased from Herschel's on Westa Street (Increases Strength and ATS by 10)
- Starry Night Minuet (Musse) - Purchased from Rieveldt and Co. in the Reica Area (Increases ATS by 15)
- Riding Gloves (Jusis) - Purchased from the Betting Window at the Racecourse Square (Increases Strength and ATS by 15)
July 17: Summer Festival Bonding Events
The Summer Festival on July 17 is the last point in the game Rean is able to spend time with friends and classmates. Everyone is available on this day.
It's also where you can access a character's Final Bond Event, if, as mentioned above, you've:
- Maxed their bond/friendship meter
- Used one Festival ticket on that character
You start out with 5 Bond Points on July 17, but you can earn up to an extra 4 Bond Points if you complete the optional quests available on that day.
Only one of these isn't listed for you outright, Melody of the Past. It's a Branch Campus request that you'll access by speaking to President Morgan at Rieveldt and Co.
Cold Steel 3 Romance Options
Some of these Final Bond Events turn romantic as well.
Cold Steel 3's romance options are limited to just Alisa, Laura, and Emma, and there's an option during their Final Bond Events to choose a romantic response or to keep everything friendly.
How this plays out when you transfer completed data to Cold Steel 4 is, as yet, unknown since the game isn't out in the West yet.