Ys (series)


Ys (series)

nihongo|"Ys"|イース|Īsu|extra=IPA2|iːsu̥ (English IPAEng|ˈiːs) is a Japanese computer and console role-playing game series, and Nihon Falcom corporation's flagship franchise. It started on the NEC PC-8801 in 1987. Ys titles have appeared on the MSX2, FM-7, Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive, Famicom, Super Famicom, Nintendo DS, PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, TurbGrafx/PC-Engine CD-ROM, cellular phone, and on the Wii's Virtual Console service from Nintendo. The common misspelling "Y's" arises from a typographical error in the packaging of the English-language versions on the Sega Master System.

The "Ys" series chronicles the adventures of Adol Christin, a red-haired young man from a Germanic country with a zest for adventure and an uncanny knack for being in the right place at the right time. Gameplay always revolves around Adol, though his comrade, Dogi, is a frequent companion in his travels around Esteria. Adol is the only truly playable character in the series. Feena was a non-controllable companion in "Ys Eternal", and Tarf was set up in "Ys II Eternal". Several characters follow Adol in "Ys IV."

The most used gameplay mechanisms involve using the directional pad to fight, where the player must literally run Adol into the enemy. Tactics developed from this involving running into the side, back or slightly off center of the front of most enemies. "Ys III: Wanderers from Ys" played a bit more like a standard side-scrolling action-adventure type of game, using an attack button and D-Pad usage giving Adol a regular slash, a crouching jab, a standing upward thrust or a downward thrust while sailing through the air. The classic control scheme made a comeback in "Ys IV: Mask of the Sun". With "Ys V: Kefin, the Lost City of Sand", the game became much more of a top-down affair similar to "The Legend of Zelda" series. "Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim" graphically departed from its predecessors, using three-dimensional graphics and hack-and-slash gameplay. The Turbo-Grafx games (particularly Books I and II) are considered the best of the series by the older fans of the original series.

List of Ys games

Main series

*"" – 1987, 1998: NEC PC-8801, NEC PC-9801, Fujitsu FM-7/FM-77, Fujitsu FM-77AV, Sharp X1/X1Turbo, Sharp X68000, MSX2, Famicom, Sega Master System, Microsoft DOS PC, SegaSaturn, Microsoft Windows PC (as "Ys Eternal" and later "Ys I Complete"), PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, Apple IIGS.
*"" – 1988, 2000: NEC PC-8801, NEC PC-9801, Fujitsu FM-77AV, Sharp X1Turbo, MSX2, Famicom, SegaSaturn, Microsoft Windows PC (as "Ys II Eternal" and later "Ys II Complete"), PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS.
*"" – 1989, 1991, 2005: NEC PC-8801, NEC PC-9801, Sharp X68000, MSX2, Famicom, TurboGrafx-16, Sega Genesis, SNES, PlayStation 2.
*"" – 1993, 2005: Super Famicom, PlayStation 2.
*"" – 1993: PC Engine.
*"" – 1995, 2006: Super Famicom, PlayStation 2. Same year re-released as the Expert edition.
*"" (Japanese: _ja. ナピシュテムの匣 "Napishutemu no Hako") – 2003: Microsoft Windows PC, PlayStation 2 and PSP.
*"" (Japanese: _ja. フェルガナの誓い "Ferugana no Chikai") – 2005: Microsoft Windows PC.
*"Ys Origin" – 2006: Microsoft Windows PC.
*"Ys Strategy – 2006: Nintendo DS."Ys: The Oath in Felghana" is not technically a new game in the series, but is rather a heavily "re-imagined" remake of "Ys III: Wanderers from Ys", intended largely to make the game's events fit in better with the overarching plot threads introduced in later games.

Mobile games

Several mobile games in the series were released in Japan.
*"Ys I" – 2002, Hudson. 2-D graphics. Later this was released in North America as "Ys Book I" (2005, Hudson Mobile). This is the first mobile Ys title available in North America.
*"Ys II" – 2002, Hudson. 2-D graphics.
*"Ys I – 3D" – 2005, Taito. A 3-D remake of the original Ys game.
*"Ys I – 3D – Adventure of Dogi" – 2005, Taito.
*"Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim" – 2005, Taito.
*"Ys IV: Mask of the Sun – A new theory" – 2006, Taito.

Compilations

"Ys I" and "Ys II" has been released together several times.
*12/21/1989, "Ys I & II", PC Engine CD-ROM (Japan).
**1990, "Ys Book I & II", Turbo Grafx CD-ROM (North American version of PC Engine game).
**1992, "Ys I & II", as a pack-in game for TTi's TurboDuo console. This was a re-pressing of the TurboGrafx-CD version, but with new silk-screening on the CD-ROM (i.e. the TG-CD logo was replaced by the new "TurboDuo" logo, among other changes).
*06/28/2001, "Ys I-II Complete Limited Edition"
*08/07/2003, "Ys Eternal Story", PlayStation 2. A Limited Edition was also released.
*12/21/2005, "Ys I-II Complete Cheap Edition"
*08/04/2008, "Ys Book I & II", Wii/Virtual Console. Re-release of the TurboGrafx-16 version.

Series chronology

According to the official chronology of the fictional universe that the Ys series is set in, the correct order is:
*"Ys Origin"
*"Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished"
*"Ys II: The Final Chapter"
*"Ys IV: Mask of the Sun"
*"Ys III: Wanderers From Ys" (remake "Ys: The Oath in Felghana")
*"Ys V: Kefin, The Lost City of Sand"
*"Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim"

At the beginning of "Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys", Adol and Dogi are returning to Minea for the first time since leaving after "Ys II: The Final Chapter", and Dogi states "it's been two years since we left." The epilogue of the game depicts the events just before Adol and Dogi arrive in Felghana at the beginning of "Ys III: Wanderers From Ys". Also, at the beginning of "Ys III: Wanderers From Ys", the opening states that three years have passed since Adol saved the land of Ys from the clutches of evil.

"Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys" is not part of the official series timeline. Due to various changes in the Hudson-produced versions of the games for the PC Engine CD-ROM, they are often considered to take place in their own alternate (unofficial) timeline.

Characters


*Adol Christin: The red-haired swordsman who is the protagonist of the Ys series. He was born in a small village to the east of Promalock. His first adventure begins when he departs for Esteria from that port town. His heroic exploits throughout the series earn him the nickname "Adol The Red", so called for his flame-red hair. One of his stranger points is that he has the curious knack of falling into the sea and washing up on beaches, to be rescued and nursed back to health by the game's female leads.
*Dogi: Adol's best friend, Dogi is a resident of the Felghana region. He is taller than Adol and has blue hair. A former thief who worked as part of Goban's Robin Hood-esque group. His most outstanding trait is his incredible strength (he has a penchant for knocking down walls with his bare hands to break Adol out of prison), which is offset by his kind heart, deep loyalty, and frequently goofy demeanor. Named "Colin" in the TurboGrafx CD port of Ys (though oddly reverted to Dogi for the TurboGrafx CD port of Ys III).
*Feena: A major recurring female character in the series. Feena appears in the first two installments, Ys IV and Ys Origin. One of the two Goddesses of Ys, she is the first in a long line of girls to fall in love with Adol. Reah's younger sister. At the beginning, she lost her memories, but was awakened to her destiny as a goddess by the song of Reah's "Silver Harmonica". She may also be the character responsible for a major JRPG trend: female lead characters featuring blue hair.
*Reah (sometimes romanized as "Leah" or "Lair"): A major recurring female character in the series. Reah appears in the first two installments, Ys IV and Ys Origin. The second Goddess, Reah is Feena's older sister, and the keeper of the Silver Harmonica.
*Sarah Tovah: A fortuneteller from the town of Minea in Ys 1, and keeper of the Book of Tovah. She suffers a tragic fate which differs depending on the game (i.e. captured by enemy, killed, turned to stone, etc.). She later reappears in "Dawn of Ys" alive and well in that timeline. She is a descendant of Tovah, one of the six priests that governed Ys.
*Goban Tovah: Leader of the Thieves' Guild, and protector of the door to Darm Tower in Ys I. Sarah's cousin, and a descendant of Tovah, one of the six priests that governed Ys. .
*Slaghf (sometimes romanized as "Slaf"): Appears in Ys 1 Eternal, the leader of the militia in Port Barbado, who finds Adol washed up on the shore (in the anime, he is the leader of the local militia, and only finds Adol outside the gates of Minea). Slaghf is the son of Buldo, the village elder. In the anime, he is the son of Minea's doctor, Klaus.
*Luther Gemma: A kind-hearted bard from Zepik Village, and keeper of the Book of Gemma. Luther first meets Adol near the ruined town of Rastine in the first game. Luther is a descendant of the Priest, Gemma, and plays a crucial role in Ys I. He reappears in II and IV. Sometimes spelt "Luta Jemma."
*Raba: A sage first encountered exploring the Tower of Darm in Ys I. He appears in Ys VI and has studied the ancient civilization of the Canaan Islands and the ruins of Celceta. Spelt "Rasha" in the TurboGrafx CD version.
*Jevah Tovah: The eldest member of the Tovah family, aunt of Sarah and mother of Goban. Takes care of Feena before she recovers her memory.
*Dark Fact: The main antagonist of the first game. Dark Fact is a powerful sorcerer, and holder of the final Book (The Book of Fact). Although he had a good heart, Dark Fact was possessed by Darm, and enlisted as a servant of evil. Appears again in "The Dawn of Ys" for a minor role when Keith Fact is placed under a spell. He is a descendant of Fact, one of the six priests that governed Ys.
*Lilia: A major recurring female lead in the series. Lilia is the girl who finds Adol when he arrives at Ys in "Ys II", and brings him back to Lance (or Rance) Village. She reappears in Ys IV. She is deeply in love with Adol and in "Dawn of Ys" it is implied that they get married and have children in the future, as shown during the credits.
*Keith Fact: A boy who is transformed into a monster in Ys II. He helps Adol in the sewer tunnels of Solomon Shrine. He is a descendant of Fact, one of the six priests that governed Ys.
*Dalles: An evil wizard and servant of Darm, he causes Adol a great deal of trouble before he finally dies. In the OVA he appears in the events of Ys I as well. Also sometimes spelled "Duless". He appears in Ys Origin as a boss, though his role is unknown at this time.
*Darm: A demon lord born from the Black Pearl, Darm is a major recurring antagonist in the series. He is a physical extension of the pearl itself, and destroying him also destroys the Black Pearl. Sometimes spelled "Dahm." Although his first true appearance is during the events of "Ys II", Darm is responsible for manipulating Dark Fact behind-the-scenes during the events of "Ys I". Darm also appears in "Ys Origin" as the true final antagonist after unlocking Thor Fact. He is detailed in Ys Origin as being a combination of magic, the Black Pearl (or Core) and of Kain Fact. Another "Darm" appears in "The Dawn of Ys" as a boss fight. This Darm does not speak; it is merely a resurrected shell of the original demon lord, and originates from a smaller Black Pearl.
*Chester Stoddart: The 'White Knight', older brother of Elena and an antagonist in "Ys III: Wanderers from Ys" & "Oath in Felghana". He is a descendant of Genos and his actions conceal a hidden motive.
*Elena Stoddart: Chester Stoddart's younger sister. She was raised by Chester.
*Edgar: Mayor and elder of the town of Redmont.
*Lord McGuire: Known in some versions as "Lord McGaya". He is the lord of Valestein Castle in the land of Felghana. His misguided actions play a major role in the events of that game. He is like a Romun overseer in the Oath In Felghana.
*Galbalan: A monster who terrorized Felghana in the distant past before being sealed up by Genos. He is later reawakened, only to be stopped by Adol and Chester. In Oath in Felghana he mentions "The Black Ark." (This could be a reference to the Ark of Napishtim.) In some US versions of the game, he is referred to as "Demanicus." In the US translation of Ark of Napishtim the name is translated as Galbalan. Two more forms of Galbalan appear in Ark of Napishtim. One is Demi-Galba (an incomplete Galbalan) and the second is Galba-Roa, the Original Galbalan (another creature like the Galbalan in Felghana but substantially weaker). It is also touched upon that they are the byproduct of a substance called "Ash Emelas".
*Karna: A female fighter from Celceta who befriends Adol and helps him out from time to time. In "Dawn of Ys" she actually fights alongside you for a while.
*Leeza: Appears in Ys IV and lives in Celceta. She cares deeply for Eldeel, and wants to know why he has become evil.
*Lemnos: A young man from Karna's village, transformed into a monster by Bammy. After Adol defeats him, he returns to normal. In the PS2 version of Ys IV, he is Karna's younger brother. The kind of monster he is transformed into differs, depending on the version of Ys IV that is played.
*Duren: The information broker (in other words, a spy) whom Adol meets in a Romun prison.
*Bammy: One of the three elite Romun mages sent to Celceta to seek the power of the ancient city. She has a habit of transforming people into monsters. Sometimes translated as "Vammi." She is a member of the Clan of Darkness instead in "Dawn of Ys".
*Gadis: Another Romun elite, a giant of a man who wields a massive axe. Sometimes translated as "Gadeis." He is a member of the Clan of Darkness instead in "Dawn of Ys".
*Guruda: Leader of the Romun elite in Celceta. Adol's dark opposite, he wields both sword and magic with skill. Could be translated as "Garuda." Is a member of the Clan of Darkness instead in "Dawn of Ys".
*Eldeel: The last known surviving member of the Eldeen, an ancient race of winged humanoids who were worshipped as gods by many different cultures. Formerly a kind creature, by the time of Ys IV he has become evil.
*Arem: The main antagonist in "Dawn of Ys". Arem tried to conquer the Celceta region ages ago but was killed. After many failed attempts at resurrection by the Clan of Darkness they decide to obtain the Mask of the Sun and use that to revive him. He is killed by Adol, whom is wearing the Mask of the Moon and Cleria armor empowered by the magic of El Doran.
*Niena: A young girl from Xandria and a key element to the story of Ys V.
*Stoker: He is trying to rescue his beloved from a crystal in "Ys V".
*Terra: A thief girl. First appeared in "Ys V", showing up with the Ibur Gang to cause trouble, and later appeared in "Ys VI" three years older, with a major crush on Adol. As an item of note, she is the first character to appear in more than one game whose first appearance was NOT in Ys I or II.
*Alga:
*Jue: One of three homunculi created by Ernst to unseal the Ark of Napishtim in Ys VI. She has feline features and fire element, and represents the red sword, Brillante.
*Ladoc: Terra's father and captain of a pirate ship. He takes Adol and Dogi to Canaan in Ys VI.
*Ord: Chief of the Rhedan Tribe. Initially distrustful of Eresians, he comes to accept them after Adol repeatedly demonstrates his goodness. He gives Adol the first of the three Emelas swords.
*Ur: The son of Ord.
*Isha: The younger sister of Olha and one of the lead females in Ys VI. Isha has been blessed with the gift of foresight and the power of the Rhedan priestesses who safeguard Alma. She is captured by Ernst near the end, but saved by Adol.
*Olha: The older sister of Isha and another lead female in Ys VI. Current priestess of the Rheda who live in the Canaan Islands. She was captured by the Romun Empire for her powers, but was saved by Adol. It is implied by her reaction after saving her that she may have feelings for Adol.
*Geis: Appears in Ys VI as a dark-haired, intimidating mercenary. The younger brother of Ernst and a descendant of the humans who stole from the gods. Geis tries to protect the Canaan Islands from the Ark of Napishtim (an artificial entity that controls the world's weather and keeps the surrounding currents intact), but fails. Like Adol he is a wanderer, though he is "not too proud" to work as a mercenary to earn money.
*Ernst: The older brother of Geis, and the main villain in Ys VI. A corrupt Romun commander who tried to force the Rheda tribe into slavery. He also tried to control the Ark of Napishtim, a weather-controlling device deep under the Canaan Islands. Ernst has three fairy-like homunculi to do his bidding: Jue Blirante, Xisa Livart, and Sera Ericcil. He is the wielder of the stolen sword known as tbe "Black Key of Almarion." He briefly steals Isha's powers to become a black-winged demigod, but is defeated in a sword duel by Adol. After his defeat, he attempts to control the Ark of Napishtim, but the effort backfires, destroying the Black Key of Almarion and fatally injuring Ernst. He dies after using the last of his powers to open a stairwell to the Sanctuary Floor of the Ark.
*Ark of Napishtim: The weather control device in the Canaan Islands that was created by the Eldeen civilization. Humans tried to control it for themselves but could not make the white Emelas needed to do so. It ended up being sealed away by Alma to prevent disaster and was eventually unlocked by Ernst. The Ark ends up going out of control again though and takes action to try and eliminate all the Eresian civilizations with tidal waves. It is finally destroyed by Adol in the end.
*Yunika Tovah: One of the playable characters of Ys Origin, an axe-wielding girl who was trained to serve the two Goddesses of Ys as a Holy Knight. Sent from Ys to Esteria to seek out the missing Goddesses. She is related to the priest Tovah.
*Hugo Fact: One of the playable characters of Ys Origin, a magician who uses a skill known as the 'Eye of Fact'. Sent from Ys to Esteria to seek out the missing Goddesses. Thor's little brother, and a relative of the priest Fact.
*Thor Fact: See "The Claw".
*Saul Tovah: Yunika's father and original captain of the Holy Knights. A relative of the priest Tovah.
*Galleon: Galleon is the current leader of the Holy Knights sent to the tower.
*Rico Gemma: A young Priest of Ys, sent to Esteria to seek out the missing Goddesses and the first to enter Darm Tower. He is a relative of the Ys priest Gemma.
*Cecilia, Ramona and Roy: Other members of the Holy Knights. All are chosen to assist in searching for the Goddesses.
*Cadena and Mucha: Mages who assist in searching for the Goddesses.
*Sera: One of three homunculi created by Ernst to unseal the Ark of Napishtim in Ys VI. She has bat wings and represents the gold sword Ericcil.
*Syon, Dino and Eolia: Attendants of Solomon Shrine who serve the Goddesses and assist in the search.
*The Claw: A mysterious individual who is actually Thor Fact, the elder brother of Hugo. Serves as an antagonist to Yunika and Hugo though his motivations are unclear. He is unlockable as the third playable character of Ys Origin. He was vice-captain of the Holy Knights under Saul Tovah alongside Galleon before becoming The Claw.
*Zava: An antagonist in Ys Origin working under Dalles. Originally appeared as a boss in Ys II.
*Kishgal: An antagonist who carries a poleaxe. He is sometimes called the 'Battle Demon'. Not known if the name is a reference to the city of Kishgal in YS VI.
*Xisa: One of three homunculi created by Ernst to unseal the Ark of Napishtim in Ys VI. She has aquatic features, and represents the blue sword Livart.
*Epona: A female antagonist in Ys Origin who carries a trident. Kishgal's sister. She seems to be connected to Hugo Fact in some way. In a rather humorous coincidence, she shares her name with Link's horse Epona in rival game series "The Legend of Zelda".
*Kain Fact: A high ranking magician. Hugo and Thor's father. Has a twisted personality and causes all the problems in Ys Origin.

Geography

The world of Ys will become more realized by "Ys Strategy". Falcom devised a world map based on Europe with seven or so different races.

Eresia: Europe or Eurasia.
*Europa: Europe. In Ys it applied to the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Japanese: _ja. エウロペ.
*Ispani: Spain or "Hispania" as it appeared on maps from Ancient Rome.
*Greek: Greece.
*Garman: Germany or "Germania" as it appears on maps from Ancient Rome.
*Romun: The Romun Empire is a parallel of the Roman Empire.
*Gria: Gaul.
*Afroca: Africa. Was also called "Aphrike" referring to somewhere hot and faraway.
*Shala Desert: The Sahara Desert.
*Atlas Ocean: The Atlantic Ocean.
*Britai: Great Britain or "Britannia" as it appears on maps from Ancient Rome.
*Orietta: Saudi Arabia.

There are some places without direct geographical counterparts, but their equivalent locations are as follows:
*Altago: A city on the northernmost tip of what would be Tunisia (most likely Carthage).
*Canaan: May refer to the ancient Biblical Canaan, a nation of slaves. Also an archipelago of three islands out to the west, which serves as an analogue to the Bermuda Triangle. It may also reference Atlantis, and is where "Ys VI" takes place.
*Celceta: A land at the northern border between Ispani and Gria. Its map location places it most likely close to San Sebastian in Spain. This is where both iterations of "Ys IV" take place.
*Xandria: A city in what would be Egypt (most likely Alexandria). It and its surroundings are the location of the events in "Ys V". Sometimes written as "Sandria" or "Sandoria," (a literal but non-canonical Romanization).
*Promalock: A port town on the northern coast of Gria. The maps are not identical, but it is probably meant to be geographically close to where La Rochelle is.
*Esteria: A small island out to the northwest of Promalock. The Japanese spelling is "Esterior". It is the location of Ys itself (once it returns to earth), and is where the first game take place. The location is roughly equivalent to that of Mont Saint-Michel, and some of its architecture appears to have been inspired from the real-life location as well.
*Ys: An island floating above the clouds, it once was part of Esteria and, at the conclusion of Ys II, it returns there. It is possible that Ys is named after a mythical city built in the Douarnenez bay in Brittany by Gradlon King of Cornouaille, for his daughter Dahut. This city was called Ys and was flooded, rather than raised to the sky.
*Ediz: A city on the southernmost tip of Ispani (most likely Cadiz). The only involvement that this location has had in the games, is that it is where Adol and Dogi were when the Romun soldiers came looking for them, just before they were taken into hiding by Ladoc and Terra (Ys VI).
*Barecia: Most likely the equivalent of Barcelona, but it is in Gria rather than Ispani, since the border between the two is not the same as the real-world borders. Like Ediz, it has not been mentioned in a game, but is on the world map.
*Steldum: A city on the north coast of Garman. Geographically, it is probably the equivalent of Hamburg. It has also not yet been mentioned in-game.
*Kiev: A country that appears to take its name from the as modern day Kiev, capital of the Ukraine, although this is uncertain.

Many of the names according to the Romun on the map for the games are, in fact, much closer to those spelled on the maps charted by those from Ancient Rome.

Release history

The "Ys" series has its roots in the Japanese computer system, the NEC PC-8801. Each of the first three games was released on that platform first. Ports of the game series to other platforms have usually been handled by various other licensee companies, such as Hudson Soft, Tonkin House and Konami, to name a few.

When it came time for the fourth game in the series, there were only two versions released, and Falcom licensed both versions out, the Super Famicom version to Tonkin House (who had handled the Super NES port for "Ys III"), and the PC Engine version to Hudson (who had ported all three previous games to that platform). They allowed Hudson to take considerable liberties with the game, though, and as a result, the two games are very different. They share the same setting, cast and much of the basic plot, but the actual structure of the story plays out in a completely different manner, as do the game's levels themselves.

The Super Famicom version, titled "Mask of the Sun", is the official continuation of the series. The PC Engine version is called "The Dawn of Ys" and takes several different turns, plot-wise, including some significant inconsistencies with the canonical storyline. For this reason, "The Dawn of Ys" is essentially an "alternate universe" take on the events in Celceta. A PS2 remake of "Mask of the Sun" was released in May 2005.

When Falcom released "Ys V", it came out on only a single platform: the Super Famicom. As a stand alone title, it was one of many late generation games that took advantage of the true abilities of the SNES, partially due to the liberties it took with the gameplay (in particular, giving Adol a jump and making him swing his sword). It was also extremely easy. In response to this, Falcom soon put out "Ys V Expert", which was exactly what it claimed: a much harder version of the game. A PS2 remake of "Ys V" by Taito was released March 30, 2006 in Japan.

After this, the series sat dormant for eight years, during which time, Falcom abandoned console development altogether, choosing instead to focus on the Microsoft Windows platform. Out of nowhere, they announced a new game in the series, entitled "Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim", which was released on September 27, 2003. It took what "Ys V" had done and refined it, turning it into a very fast-paced action-RPG, which was generally well-received.

In early 2005, a new title in the series was announced, this one titled "Ys: The Oath in Felghana", which is a top-to-bottom "re-imagining" of "Ys III", covering the same plot as the original, but expanding on it greatly. It could be considered a retcon, but a rather minor one, as it basically clarifies and expands on events in "Ys III", rather than overwriting them entirely. In spite of how much has changed, it is not "Ys VII." It was released on June 30, 2005.

A spinoff game called "Ys Strategy" was released on March 16, 2006 in Japan for the Nintendo DS. Unlike the rest of the series, this game is a real-time strategy game instead of an action-RPG. It received lackluster reviews and general disdain from fans.

A new Ys game entitled "Ys Origin" was released in December 2006. It takes place 700 years before the events of the first game, just following the separation of Ys from Esteria. The two initial playable characters are Yunika Toba and Hugo Fact. The two characters' stories play out somewhat differently during character interactions. Adol does not appear aside from being a hidden bonus character. Falcom has since released a new version of the game that required a copy's registration serial number sent to Falcom along with shipping charges to get an extra enhancement disc for the game. With this disc the player would be able to play as Adol along with other new features added on.

English releases

For a very long time, only the first three "Ys" games were available in North America:
*"Ys: Ancient Ys Vanished" – (Sega Master System, AppleIIGS and DOS versions)
*"Ys Book I & II" – (Turbo Grafx-16 CD-ROM, a single release combining the first two games in the series)
*"Ys III: Wanderers From Ys" – (Sega Genesis, SNES, and Turbo Grafx-16 CD-ROM versions)

The original PC-8801, PC-9801, X1 and MSX2 versions, as well as the Famicom ports remain exclusive to Japan.

Konami released "Ys VI: Ark of Napishtim" on PS2 and PSP worldwide (and dropped the "VI" from the title in the process). This marked the first official English release of a game in the series in over twelve years.

At one point, NEC Interchannel proposed bringing Digicube's "Ys Eternal Story" to North America, but the idea was rejected by Sony, commonly thought to be because of their prevailing attitude toward the viability of 2D games in the North American market;Fact|date=May 2008 but as more small profile 2D games have been released in the PS2's lifespan the decision was more likely due to numerous technical issues with the port itself including: long load-times (even for a PS2 game), frequent lock-ups, resolution flickering during menu or screen transitions and an abnormally large save file, clocking in at 1MB (1/8th of a memory card) whereas most, and much more recent RPGs average 100–200KB is size compared to a PC game. Many of these problems are associated with the game being quickly ported and released as Digicube was partially going out of business.

The original Windows PC remakes were "Ys Eternal" and "Ys II Eternal". Later, there was a compiled rerelease, which bumped up Ys Eternal's visuals to Ys II Eternal's level (more color depth, primarily) and made the soundtrack sound more cohesive between the two. This was released as "Ys I & II Complete". Later, once this was out of print, Falcom began selling the two separately again, as "Ys I Complete" and "Ys II Complete". Falcom complicated the issue by changing the "Eternal" to "Complete" on all external packaging and advertisements, but not in the actual games themselves. In one of the English patches, the internal bitmaps are edited to reflect the external change for the packages.

Nintendo added "Ys Book I & II" to the US Virtual Console Service on August 25, 2008. The Virtual Console allows owners of the Wii by Nintendo to download classic games. This marks the first release of the "Ys" series on a 7th Generation home console.

So far, no version of "Ys IV" or "V" were released outside Japan.

Animation

There are two separate OVA anime series of "Ys", with the first spanning seven episodes and covering the events of the first game, and the second spanning four episodes and loosely covering the events of the second game. The first anime expands on the relatively thin storyline of Ys I including a retelling of the prologue, previously only told in text in the original Japanese manuals.

Both series were released on DVD in English by MediaWorks. They can be purchased separately, or in a three-disc box set, entitled "Ys Legacy". The dubbed/audio tracks have changes to some character names ("Dark Fact" becoming "Dark Factor" and "Lilia" becoming "Lillian," for instance). Pronunciations of various names are inconsistent, sometimes within the same scene.

Included on one of the discs is what appears to be a preview for an anime based around "Ys IV". This was created by Falcom as a "pitch" trailer to shop around to various animation studios, to see if anyone was interested in producing the series. They had no takers, however, so this trailer is all that exists of the rumored "Ys IV" anime.

Music

The "Ys" series is particularly known for its funky music soundtrack by Yuzo Koshiro, Mieko Ishikawa and Hideya Nagata. The composers' works have been remixed for each subsequent release of Ys I and II, most memorably by Japanese computer musician Ryo Yonemitsu for Hudson Soft's Ys I and II, and Ys III: Wanderers from Ys releases for the PC Engine CD-ROM. Combining Yuzo's composition and Ryo's arrangement abilities, this arrangement found itself introducing video gamers, for the first time, to video game soundtracks that can stand on their own as full orchestral pieces of music. Consequently, the Ys series is seen in the video game music industry as groundbreaking, demonstrated by a never-ending series of music CDs based on the series' music, with almost infinite variations on its themes. The only other series with similar impact on video game music industry at the time was Dragon Quest.

Music list


*Ys & Ys II Eternal
*Ys – The Oath in Felghana – Pre Arrange Version
*Ys Origin Original Sound Track
*Ys Origin Super Arrange Version
*Ys Ancient Vanished Omens – Perfect Collection Arranged Soundtrack
*Ys Dramatic Concert
*Ys Healing
*Ys Heaven's Sanctuary Original Sound Track ~ Electric Orchestra
*Ys Heaven's Sanctuary Original Sound Track ~ J.D.K. BAND
*Ys II Renewal
*Ys II, Perfect Collection
*Ys III J.D.K. Band Special ~ X68000 Original Ver + J.D.K. Special Arrange Version
*Ys III Wanderers from Ys Game Sound Track
*Ys III Wanderers from Ys Super Arrange Version
*Ys III, Perfect Collection
*Ys IV – The Dawn of Ys
*Ys IV The Dawn of Souls, Perfect Collection Vol. 1
*Ys IV The Dawn of Souls, Perfect Collection Vol. 2
*Ys IV The Dawn of Souls, Perfect Collection Vol. 3
*Ys Piano Collection
*Ys Piano Collection 2
*Ys Renewal
*Ys Special Collection – All About Falcom – Memorial Sounds
*Ys The Oath in Felghana Original Sound Track
*Ys The Oath in Felghana Super Arrange Version
*Ys V Image Album
*Ys V Orchestra Version
*Ys VI The Ark of Napishtim Original Sound Track
*Ys VI The Songs of Zemeth ~Instrumental Only~
*Ys VI The Songs of Zemeth ~Ys VI Vocal Version~
*Ys VI Vocal Version, The Songs of Zemeth
*Ys, Perfect Collection
*Ys, Provincialism
*Ys, Symphony '95
*Ys, The Songs of Zemeth ~Instrumental Only~
*Ys, Very Best of
*Ys, Lilia
*Ys, Feena
*Music can also be found on:
*Falcom Classics
*Falcom Classics 2 Music Collection
*Falcom Ending Collection 1987–1992
*Falcom J.D.K. Band 1
*Falcom Music Sampler 96
*Falcom Music Sampler 97
*Falcom Nanba Collection
*Falcom Neo Classic ~ From Studios in London City
*Falcom Special Box '91
*Falcom Special Box '94

References

* [http://www.falcom.co.jp/licence/character/ys_e.html Falcom LICENSE Information]

External links

* [http://www.falcom.co.jp/ Falcom Official Homepage] (Japanese)
* [http://www.taito.co.jp/mobile/ew_docomo/falcom/game.html Taito Official Cellular Ys games] (Japanese)
* [http://www.hudson.co.jp/mobile/imode/iapp/genre/rp_ys1.html Ys I Hudson Cellular] (Japanese), * [http://www.hudsonentertainment.com/?page=games&gid=53 Ys Book I Cellular] (English) and * [http://www.hudson.co.jp/mobile/imode/iapp/genre/pr_ys2.html Ys II Hudson Cellular] (Japanese)
* [http://otakushrine.elementfx.com/falcom/ys6_index.htm Ys6] or at [http://otaku_ichise.sitesled.com/falcom/ys6_index.htm sitesled] (English)
* [http://otakushrine.elementfx.com/falcom/ys_oath_felghana.html Ys The Oath in Felghana] or at [http://otaku_ichise.sitesled.com/falcom/ys_oath_felghana.html sitesled] (English)
* [http://otakushrine.elementfx.com/falcom/ys_origin.html Ys Origin] or at [http://otaku_ichise.sitesled.com/falcom/ys_origin.html sitesled] (English)


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