Developers: XSEED, Falcom
Publishers: XSEED (PSP), Hudson Soft (TG-16), Atlus (DS), Falcom (MSX2, NES, PS2, PC, Others)
Original version - 1987
A whole bunch of other versions in-between - 1989-2009
Ys Chronicles (JP July 2009, US/EU February 2011)
Ys, also known but rarely referred to as Ancient Ys Vanished: Omen, is the first game in a not particularly well known series released by Falcom originally for the NEC PC-8801 in 1987. When it was first released in Japan, it was one of the most groundbreaking games made at the time. I mean, shit, it had graphics, music, even a plot! For games in 1987, this was a rare encounter, and it was executed exceptionally well. It received a lot of praise in Japan and was highly rated during a very early stage in the video game market.
For everyone outside of Japan, well we didn't hear of this game until the Master System port released in October of 1988 and while it sold reasonably well compared to other Master System games it didn't really do well in the United States. There was a Famicom port as well, but it wasn't very good and by the Famicom era Ys was starting to look a little outdated compared to games like Crystallis and the Legend of Zelda series.
Over the years Falcom and various other studios continued to make remakes of the game for different consoles like the PC, PS2, DS and finally the PSP. Where it has received massive graphical updates, awesome music but the gameplay has more or less remained exactly the same. This can be seen as both a good and a bad thing, which I will explain over time.
Ys Chronicles was released in the US and other "not-Japan" countries early this year to support the re-release of Ys: Oath in Felghana and Ys Seven for the Playstation Portable. It received the overseas porting by a company called XSEED games who have been doing an excellent job translating and producing games that otherwise wouldn't have made it off Japan's shores.
Long story short, this game is OLD.
The story of Ys, why it has such a stupid name and what it actually means unfold over 4 games in the series: Ys Origin, 1, 2, and 4. Of course, there are two versions of Ys 4 and one of them is non-canon thus causing all sorts of confusion. Regardless, the actual explanation of Ys is best left to the TG-16 opening: Ys Book I & II (lines voiced by Alan Oppenheimer. You know, SKELETOR), but to put it in written form:
"Ys - the ideal utopia - once a country so peaceful and prosperous, a country where children were as free as the wind, a country where harmony blew through the hearts of all men.
Ys - a kingdom ruled by the wisdom and charity of its six powerful priests; an empire watched over and blessed by the enchanting aura of its two beautiful goddesses.
Ys - the seemingly tranquil paradise suddenly pulled from the height of its civilization to the empty abyss of infinite isolation.
How could such a land of promise simply vanish from the face of the planet? How could such prosperity be forgotten?
The legend has been silenced for over 700 years, and now the mystery unfolds."
We play as Adol Christin, a red-haired swordsman who while on a solo sea voyage to hell-knows-where falls victim to a mighty storm, is then washed overboard and left for dead. By some act of divine grace of a more powerful being he is washed ashore on the continent of Esteria: a land that has not seen a foreign face for almost 6 months.
How did Adol survive? Why was he washed ashore here of all places? Why does this game not have an attack button? Why is this game called Ys? All these answers and more will soon unfold. In the meantime, buckle up tight; it's going to be a bumpy ride.
About this LP
- This LP will be playing the Ys I&II Chronicles 2011 PSP release. Between Ys Eternal, Complete and Chronicles, not much gameplay-wise has changed. It's just a general graphical/musical upgrade, and the music is all re-arranged.
- Both games will be played to 100% item completion on Normal difficulty. I will not be 100%'ing the Ys II bestiary because I despise grinding. If you really want to see the full stat bestiary, I can do a bonus video or something.
- I will be running through both games' boss rush modes. That's a thing.
- For Ys II, I might not be able to show off all the mascots. Truth be told, I don't know if I have 100% of them, and there is no complete resource that confirms all of them.