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|Creator(s)|| Masaya Hashimoto |
|Composer(s)||Falcom Sound Team jdk|
|Platform(s)||NEC PC-8801, Sharp X1, MSX2, FM-7, NEC PC-9801, Sharp X68000, Master System, Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, Famicom, NES, Nintendo DS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, TurboGrafx-CD, IIGS, Mobile phone, Super NES, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One|
|First release|| Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished |
June 21, 1987
|Latest release|| Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana |
July 21, 2016
Ys(イースĪsu, IPA: [iːsɯ] ) ( // ) is a series of role-playing video games developed by Nihon Falcom. The first game in the series, Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished , was released on the NEC PC-8801 in 1987. Ys games have also appeared on the Sharp X1, MSX2, FM-7, NEC PC-9801, Sharp X68000, Master System, Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, Famicom, NES, Nintendo DS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, TurboGrafx-CD, Apple IIGS, mobile phones, Super NES, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. As of 2017, the series had sold over 4.8 million copies worldwide.
A role-playing video game is a video game genre where the player controls the actions of a character immersed in some well-defined world. Many role-playing video games have origins in tabletop role-playing games and use much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. Other major similarities with pen-and-paper games include developed story-telling and narrative elements, player character development, complexity, as well as replayability and immersion. The electronic medium removes the necessity for a gamemaster and increases combat resolution speed. RPGs have evolved from simple text-based console-window games into visually rich 3D experiences.
Nihon Falcom Corporation is a Japanese video game company who primarily develop role-playing video games, most notably in the Ys and The Legend of Heroes series. The company was founded in 1981, making them one of the oldest role-playing game developers still in existence today. They are credited with pioneering the action role-playing game genre, the Japanese role-playing game industry, and the development of the personal computer software industry in Japan as a whole.
Ys: The Vanished Omens is the first installment of Ys, an action role-playing video game series developed by Nihon Falcom in 1987. The name is commonly misspelled Y's due to an error on the packaging of an English-language release.
The Ys series chronicles the adventures of Adol Christin, a young man with a zest for adventure and an uncanny knack for being in the right place at the right time. Gameplay usually revolves around Adol, though his comrade, Dogi, is a frequent companion in his travels. Thus far, Adol has visited the regions of Esteria, Ys, Celceta, Felghana, Xandria, the Canaan Islands, and Altago.
A feature of the early Ys games is the Darm Tower (or Dahm Tower in some translations). In the story, it is an unfinished and deserted tower, built with the intention of touching the sky. The tower houses a small annex, titled "the Tower of Rado" (or simply "Rado's Annex") three quarters of the way up. According to in-game lore, the normally immortal ancient Ys aged because humans overused the magic power of an ancient artifact, known as the Black Pearl. The result of this misuse was evil magical energy bringing forth millions of cruel demons. The people of Ys fled to the Palace of Solomon and used the Black Pearl to lift the palace into the sky, creating a safe haven. The demons, focused on controlling the Black Pearl for their own intentions, began building the Darm Tower, day and night, attempting to connect to the Palace of Solomon with their construction. As in-game-events transpired, however, the demons' efforts were thwarted.
Later games feature a variety of plots but frequently begin with a shipwreck. A stranded Adol then gets involved in the new area's events and adventure ensues.
In early games, the player uses only the directional pad to fight. The player must run Adol into enemies, hitting them on the side, back or slightly off-center of the front. This was created with accessibility in mind; while other RPGs at the time had either turn-based combat or a manually activated sword, Ys had Adol automatically attack when walking into enemies. While most Ys titles do not use the 'bump attack' system, it has become one of the series' defining features.Falcom staff have compared this style of gameplay to the enjoyment of popping air bubble sheets, in the sense that it took the tedious task of level-grinding and turned it into something similar to a high-score-based arcade game. According to GamesTM and John Szczepaniak (of Retro Gamer and The Escapist ), "Repetition of the act was pleasurable as you developed a psychological rhythm and, even in the event of backtracking, progress was always swift since the player never needed to stop moving."
A gamepad, joypad, or simply controller is a type of game controller held in two hands, where the fingers are used to provide input. They are typically the main input device for video game consoles.
An arcade game or coin-op game is a coin-operated entertainment machine typically installed in public businesses such as restaurants, bars and amusement arcades. Most arcade games are video games, pinball machines, electro-mechanical games, redemption games or merchandisers. While exact dates are debated, the golden age of arcade video games is usually defined as a period beginning sometime in the late 1970s and ending sometime in the mid-1980s. Excluding a brief resurgence in the early 1990s, the arcade industry subsequently declined in the Western hemisphere as competing home video game consoles such as the Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox increased in their graphics and game-play capability and decreased in cost. The eastern hemisphere retains a strong arcade industry.
GamesTM was a UK-based, multi-format video games magazine, covering console, handheld, PC and Arcade games. The first issue was released in December 2002 and the magazine was still being published monthly in English and German up until the last edition was published on 1 November 2018.
A feature that has been used in nearly every Ys title is the recharging healthmechanism, which had previously only been used in the Hydlide series. Recharging health has since become a common mechanism used in many video games today.
Hydlide is a 1984 open world action role-playing video game developed and published by T&E Soft. It was originally released for the NEC PC-6001 and PC-8801 computers in 1984, in Japan only; ports for the MSX, MSX2, FM-7 and NEC PC-9801 were released the following year. A Nintendo Famicom version was first released under the name Hydlide Special on March 18, 1986 in Japan; three years later, in June 1989, that version saw a North American release for the Nintendo Entertainment System by FCI, its title having been returned to simply Hydlide. The game sold 2 million copies in Japan, across all platforms.
Ys II introduced magic spells to the series (e.g. shooting fireballs), and the ability to transform into a monster, which allows the player to both scare human non-player characters for unique dialogues, and interact with non-boss monsters.
A non-player character (NPC), also known as a non-playable character, is any character in a game which is not controlled by a player. In video games, this usually means a character controlled by the computer via algorithmic, predetermined or responsive behavior, but not necessarily true artificial intelligence. In traditional tabletop role-playing games, the term applies to characters controlled by the gamemaster or referee, rather than another player.
Ys III: Wanderers from Ys adopted side-scrolling action-adventure gameplay, similar to Falcom's own Dragon Slayer series and Nintendo's Zelda II: The Adventure of Link , with an attack button and a variety of different attacks.
A side-scrolling game, side-scroller, or horizontally-scrolling game is a video game in which the gameplay action is viewed from a side-view camera angle, and the onscreen characters can generally only move to the left or right. These games make use of scrolling computer display technology. The move from single-screen or flip-screen graphics to scrolling graphics, during the golden age of video arcade games and during third-generation consoles, would prove to be a pivotal leap in game design, comparable to the move to 3D graphics during the fifth generation. Although side-scrolling games have been supplanted by 3D games, they continue to be produced.
Action-adventure is a video game genre that combine core elements from both the action game and adventure game genres.
Dragon Slayer is a series of video games developed and published by Nihon Falcom. The first Dragon Slayer title is an early action role-playing game, released in 1984 for the NEC PC-88 computer system and ported by Square for the MSX. Designed by Yoshio Kiya, the game gave rise to a series of sequels, most of them created by Falcom, with the exception of Faxanadu by Hudson Soft. The Dragon Slayer series was historically significant, both as a founder of the Japanese role-playing game industry, and as the progenitor of the action role-playing game genre.
Ys IV: Mask of the Sun returned to the original control scheme.
Ys V: Kefin, the Lost City of Sand uses a top-down viewpoint and requires the player to press buttons to attack or defend with a shield.
Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim graphically departed from its predecessors, using a mix of three-dimensional graphics and sprites. Gameplay is hack and slash generally without the ability to actively block. Ys: The Oath in Felghana and Ys: Origin share this gameplay style.
Ys Seven reintroduces the ability to actively block, introduces skills, introduces stun meters for enemies, introduces weapon types, introduces super combos known as EXTRA skills, and introduces the ability to parry hits from attacks with a flash guard system. Failed flash guards result in the player character taking extra damage compared to failing to defend at all. Memories of Celceta introduces a flash dodge where a player character dodges just before a hit. A successful flash dodge results in time slowing down for the enemy whose attack was just avoided. Ys VIII continued this style.
|1987||Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished|
|1988||Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished – The Final Chapter|
|1989||Ys III: Wanderers from Ys|
|Ys I & II|
|1993||Ys IV: Mask of the Sun|
|Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys|
|1995||Ys V: Lost Kefin, Kingdom of Sand|
|2003||Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim|
|2005||Ys: The Oath in Felghana|
|2007||Ys Online: The Call of Solum|
|2010||Ys vs. Sora no Kiseki: Alternative Saga|
|2012||Ys: Memories of Celceta|
|2016||Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana|
|2019||Ys IX: Monstrum Nox|
The Ys series has its roots in the Japanese computer system NEC PC-8801. Each of the first three games was released on that platform first. Ports of the games to console platforms have usually been handled by various other licensee companies, such as Hudson Soft, Tonkin House and Konami. In terms of the number of game releases, the Ys series is second only to Final Fantasy as the largest Eastern role-playing game franchise, as of 2011.
The first two games in the series were originally intended as a single game, but the creators Masaya Hashimoto and Tomoyoshi Miyazaki eventually decided to split it into two separate games: Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished – Omen (1987) and Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished – The Final Chapter (1988).They were later re-released together in the enhanced remake Ys I & II (1989). It was one of the first video games to use CD-ROM, which was utilized to provide enhanced graphics, animated cutscenes, a Red Book CD-DA soundtrack, and voice acting. Its English localization was also one of the first to use voice dubbing. The game received the Game of the Year award from OMNI Magazine in 1990, as well as many other awards. The Sharp X68000 remake of Ys I released in 1991 was notable for its early use of 3D pre-rendering for the boss sprites. An MS-DOS remake called Ys II Special was also released exclusively for the South Korean market in 1994; it was a mash-up of Ys II with the anime Ys II: Castle in the Heavens (1992) along with a large amount of new content.
After completing Ys III: Wanderers from Ys (1989), Hashimoto and Miyazaki left Nihon Falcom and founded Quintet.Two versions of the fourth game were released, and Falcom licensed both versions out: the Super Famicom version to Tonkin House (who had handled the Super NES port for Ys III), titled Ys IV: Mask of the Sun ; and the PC Engine CD version to Hudson Soft (who had ported all three previous games to that platform), titled Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys . Hudson Soft took certain liberties with the game, and as a result, it is very different from Mask of the Sun. 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 and enemies. Mask of the Sun is the official continuation of the series, while Falcom have deemed The Dawn of Ys to be essentially an "alternate universe" take on the events in Celceta. A PS2 remake of Mask of the Sun was released in May 2005, further subtitled "A New Theory".
Falcom released Ys V as a Super Famicom exclusive. A standalone title, it gave Adol a jump and manual attack. It was criticized as being too easy; in response to this, Falcom put out Ys V Expert, a harder version of the game. A PS2 remake of Ys V by Taito was released 2006 in Japan.
After this, the series remained dormant for eight years (except for remakes such as Ys Eternal), during which time Falcom abandoned console development altogether, choosing instead to focus on the Microsoft Windows platform. They announced a new game in the series, entitled Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim , which was released on 27 September 2003. It was generally well received.
In early 2005, a new title in the series was announced, Ys: The Oath in Felghana , which is a top-to-bottom "re-imagining" of Ys III, greatly expanding its original plot. It was released on 30 June 2005.
A spinoff game called Ys Strategy was released on 16 March 2006 in Japan for the Nintendo DS. Unlike the rest of the series, it is a real-time strategy game instead of an action RPG. It received lackluster reviews and general disdain from fans.
Ys Origin was released in December 2006. It takes place 700 years before the events of the first game, following the separation of Ys from Esteria. The two initial playable characters are Yunica Tovah and Hugo Fact. The two characters' stories play out somewhat differently during character interactions. Adol appears only as 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 various other new features.
Ys Seven was released in Japan in 2009 for the PlayStation Portable. Unlike the previous entries in the series, this time the player has a party of characters fighting simultaneously against enemies on the field, and can change the controlled character on the fly with the press of a button. This system has been maintained in all subsequent games in the series. The graphics also had a significant upgrade compared to Ys Origin.
In September 2012, Ys: Memories of Celceta was released for the PlayStation Vita. Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana was released in Japan on 21 July 2016 for the PlayStation Vita, and was later ported to the PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, and Nintendo Switch.Ys IX: Monstrum Nox will be released on the PlayStation 4 in Japan in 2019.
Until 2005, only three Ys games were available in North America: Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished (Master System, MS-DOS, Apple IIGS), Ys I & II (TurboGrafx CD), and Ys III: Wanderers from Ys (SNES, Genesis, TurboGrafx CD). The original PC-8801, PC-9801, X1 and MSX2 versions, as well as the Famicom ports remain exclusive to Japan. English ports of the Japanese PC game Ys VI: Ark of Napishtim were released by Konami in 2005 and 2006 for the PS2 and PSP, respectively, marking the first English release of the series in 13 years.
At one point, NEC Interchannel proposed bringing DigiCube's Ys Eternal Story to North America, but the idea was rejected by Sony Computer Entertainment America.
The original Windows PC remakes were Ys Eternal and Ys II Eternal. Later, there was a compiled re-release called Ys I & II Complete , 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. Once this was out of print, Falcom began selling the two separately again, as Ys I Complete and Ys II Complete. Falcom changed 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.
In 2002 Nicolas Livaditis, an avid Ys fan and software engineer, spearheaded an English fan translation project for the first PC remake, Ys I Complete. This led to other projects for Ys II Complete, Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys, Ys: The Ark of Napishtim, Ys: The Oath in Felghana and Ys Origin, though not all were completed; the Ys VI project for example, was cancelled to respect Konami's licensing rights. Completed translation patches were made for Ys I & II Complete and Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys. In 2010, Xseed Games purchased the fan-translated script for Ys: The Oath in Felghana from Jeff Nussbaum, the actual translator, an act considered historic and unprecedented, as unlicensed translations are technically copyright infringements as unauthorized derivative works. XSEED went on to purchase three more fan-translated scripts for Ys I, Ys II, and Ys Origin.
Nintendo added Ys Book I & II to the US Virtual Console on 25 August 2008, the first release of the Ys series on a 7th Generation home console. Atlus released the games in one package entitled Legacy of Ys: Books I & II on 24 February 2009 on the Nintendo DS.
In May 2010, Xseed Games announced plans to localize the PlayStation Portable games Ys I & II Chronicles , Ys: The Oath in Felghana, and Ys Seven in North America. As of 2011, all games have been released.
In March 2012, Xseed Games announced that they will be starting publishing Japanese PC games through Steam, starting with the PC version of Ys: The Oath in Felghana on 19 March 2012.On 31 May 2012, Xseed Games released an English version of Ys Origin on Steam. Ys I & II were also released via Steam on 14 February 2013 as Ys I & II Chronicles+ - XSEED's Steam programmer Sara managed to combine Falcom's PC port of Ys I & II Chronicles with the earlier fan-favorite PC release Ys I & II Complete, effectively mixing all the best features of both versions like selectable soundtracks (PC-88 original, Complete and Chronicles) and art styles from both Chronicles and Complete, alongside the visual flexibility of Complete, such as greater viewing area, togglable screen frame and support for windowed mode.
Ys: Memories of Celceta was released in North America on 26 November 2013 by Xseed Games. The American release also was released as a very limited edition called Silver Anniversary Edition, which features a 3-CD collection of both original and arranged music spanning the history of the franchise, a cloth map of the land of Celceta, a logo-emblazoned compass and Adol's Travel Journal, containing around 120+ pages of adventuring strategies and artwork. Ys: Memories of Celceta was also released in Europe on 21 February 2014, courtesy of NIS America.
In 2009, Ys Online was released as an open beta for European players, but was discontinued by 2013.[ citation needed ]
There are two separate OVA series of Ys, with the first spanning seven episodes and covering the events of the first game, and the second running for 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 and expansion of the prologue found in the game's original Japanese manual.
Both series were released on DVD in English by Media Blasters' anime label "AnimeWorks", packaged both separately and in a three-disc box set. The dubbed/audio tracks have changes to some character names ("Dark Fact" becoming "Dark Factor", "Adol" becoming "Adle", 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; however, they had no takers, so this trailer is all that exists of the rumored Ys IV anime.
The first two games were composed by Yuzo Koshiro, Mieko Ishikawa,and Hideya Nagata, whereas Mieko Ishikawa handled the soundtrack for Ys III. The composers' works have been remixed for each subsequent release, for instance, by Japanese musician Ryo Yonemitsu for Hudson Soft's Ys I & II , Ys III: Wanderers from Ys and Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys releases for TurboGrafx-CD. The TurboGrafx versions made very early use of Red Book audio in video games.
Consequently, the Ys series is seen in the video game music industry as some of the finest and most influential role-playing video game scores of all time,demonstrated by an extensive series of CD releases based on the series' music, with numerous variations on its themes. It has also inspired video game composers outside Japan, such as Chris Hülsbeck who has cited it as a direct influence.
The later games in the series were composed by the Falcom Sound Team jdk, the collective name of Falcom's internal sound production staff (not to be confused with the jdk Band - a band made of freelance musicians who works for Falcom and performs Sound Team jdk's music for both arranged albums/soundtracks and live during concerts).
Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim is an action role-playing video game developed by Nihon Falcom, and the sixth installment in the Ys video game series. It was first released in 2003 for Microsoft Windows. Not counting the remakes of Ys I & II, it was the first new Ys game released by Falcom in eight years. The name Napishtim is a reference to the character Utnapishtim from the Epic of Gilgamesh.
Brandish (ブランディッシュ) is an action role-playing video game by Nihon Falcom.
Xseed Games is an American video game company founded by former members of Square Enix USA. It later became a subsidiary of the Japanese game company Marvelous, providing the localization and publishing services for video games and related materials.
Ys: The Oath in Felghana is an action role-playing game developed by Nihon Falcom. It is a enhanced remake of the third game in the Ys series, Ys III: Wanderers from Ys. It was first released for Microsoft Windows in Japan in July 2005, with an English localization by Xseed Games in March 2012. A PlayStation Portable version was also released in Japan in April 2010, and later in North America and Europe.
Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished - The Final Chapter is an action role-playing video game developed by Nihon Falcom, and first released on June 24, 1988 for the PC-8801 and PC-9801. It is the sequel to Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished, and takes place immediately following the end of the first game. The game has received a very large number of ports and remakes over the years.
Ys III: Wanderers from Ys is an action role-playing video developed by Nihon Falcom. It is the third game in the Ys series.
Ys IV: Mask of the Sun is a 1993 action role-playing video game developed by Nihon Falcom, and Tonkin House for the Super Famicom. It is the fourth game in the Ys video game series.
Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys is a 1993 Hudson Soft action role-playing video game developed for the PC Engine CD-ROM². It is the fourth game in the Ys video game series.
Dragon Slayer is an action role-playing game, developed by Nihon Falcom and designed by Yoshio Kiya. It was originally released in 1984 for the PC-8801, PC-9801, X1 and FM-7, and became a major success in Japan. It was followed by an MSX port published by Square in 1985, a Super Cassette Vision by Epoch in 1986 and a Game Boy port by the same company in 1990 under the name Dragon Slayer I. A remake of Dragon Slayer was also included in the Falcom Classics collection for the Sega Saturn.
Ys Origin is an action role-playing video game developed and published by Nihon Falcom for Microsoft Windows in 2006. In 2012, Xseed Games published an English-language localization of the game, via the Steam service and later through other download stores.
Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes is a role-playing game developed by the Nihon Falcom. It is the sixth game in the Dragon Slayer line of games, and the first in The Legend of Heroes series.
Ys I & II is an action role-playing video game compilation for the TurboGrafx-CD released in 1989 by Hudson Soft/NEC. It consist of enhanced remakes of the first two Ys games developed and published by Nihon Falcom for the PC-8801 home computer in Japan. It was released as Ys Book I & II for the TurboGrafx-CD in North America in 1990, and was a pack-in title for the TurboDuo in 1992. Ys I & II was released on the Virtual Console in Japan on October 2007, and worldwide the following year.
Ys Seven (イース7) is an action role-playing video game developed by Nihon Falcom and the seventh installment in the Ys video game series. It was released in Japan during 2009 for the Sony PlayStation Portable and was released by XSEED Games in North America on August 17, 2010, in Europe on November 3, 2010 and in Australia on February 20, 2013. The game was released for Microsoft Windows in China on June 20, 2012, and worldwide on Steam in August 2017.
Eastern role-playing video games (RPGs) are RPGs developed in East Asia. Most Eastern RPGs are Japanese role-playing video games (JRPGs), developed in Japan. RPGs are also developed in South Korea and in China.
Ys: Memories of Celceta is an action role-playing game developed by Nihon Falcom. The game was originally released for the PlayStation Vita in Japan in September 2012, and later in North America by Xseed Games in November 2013, and in PAL regions by NIS America in February 2014. A Microsoft Windows version was released in China in 2015, and worldwide in July 2018. A PlayStation 4 version was announced by Falcom in February 2019, slated for release in Japan in May 2019.
Brandish (ブランディッシュ) is a series action role-playing video games by Nihon Falcom.