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The Main Duo
The Protagonist of the series, Adol is a wandering swordsman who appears in the majority of games of the series. He is a very capable swordsman and an adventurer who is detailed in the world's history centuries after his adventures ceased.
- Badass: To the point where he is often acknowledged as such in-universe. His reputation in the later games is spoken of often, to the point of drawing the ire of Romn's Army in Ark of Napishtim for an occurrence in prior games.
- Badass Normal: Adol usually starts off as such until he receives powers from mysterious artifacts and/or higher beings.
- Bad Bad Acting: Duren points out that he's a terrible liar in Memories of Celceta after he tries to set the party up to take the fall if something should happen to Calilica when she forces her way into the party.
- Been There, Shaped History: The tales of his exploits apparently inspired the Age of Exploration.
- But Now I Must Go: EVERY! GAME!
- Chick Magnet: Adol's had multiple girls interested in him throughout his career.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome
- Clear My Name: Twice in Memories of Celceta when it is revealed that disaster befell Selray and Comodo soon after he left said villages before losing his memories. Naturally, it gets lampshaded.
- Deadpan Snarker: In Memories of Celceta, some of the dialogue choices are pretty snarky.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Does this for a living.
- The Drifter
- Get on the Boat: Adol usually begins his adventures in one of two ways: On a ship, or shipwrecked (or otherwise unconscious).
- Hero with Bad Publicity: in Ys Seven, where he's falsely accused of assassinating the king halfway through the game.
- Heroic Mime: Played With. Although we never hear him speak, how the games handle the trope vary from game to game. Early in the series, he didn't speak period, outside of one or two instances, Ys III made him speak, Oath in Felghana aside, and most later games has the narrator describe what he says to others. Justified because the games are actually stories based on Adol's personal journals.
- Not to mention in Ys Seven, you could hear his battle grunts like the other party members. Interestingly enough, there's an option to mute him and only him.
- Fully averted in The Alternative Saga, but only if he's the player character in Story Mode.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Adol can always be seen with a sword of some sort in battle.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Dogi.
- Jumped at the Call: No matter what kind of predicament he is in, he will never refuse an opportunity for adventure.
- Knight in Shining Armor
- Like Father, Like Son: Memories of Celceta reveals that his wanderlust is hereditary and that his father journeyed for several years before settling down.
- Magic Knight
- Red Baron: "Adol The Red".
- Red-Headed Hero: Provides the current page picture.
- Red Is Heroic: Often wears red.
- Unwitting Pawn: In Ys III and Ys V, he gathers ancient artifacts only to end up giving them all to villains, who then proceed to use those artifacts to release Sealed Evil in a Can.
- Walking the Earth
Introduced as a thief who breaks Adol out of prison in the first Ys, Dogi is a Breakout Character
and Adol's traveling companion in the majority of the series.
The Twin Goddesses
Introduced as a mysterious amnesiac blue-haired girl
who is locked away underneath a shrine until Adol comes along to rescue her in the first Ys, she turns out to be a key character in both Ys I and Ys II as she is one of the twin goddesses who governed over the mythic kingdom of Ys.
Voiced by: Louise Vallance
A mysterious blue-haired poet
in Minea who asks Adol to find her lost harmonica in the first Ys. Just like Feena, she later reveals herself to be one of the twin goddesses who governed over the mythic kingdom of Ys in the second game.
Characters in Ys I & II
Voiced by Thomas Haden Church (TG-16 version)
Head of the thieves in Esteria. Despite the claims that his group was stealing all the silver around the island, it wasn't: Dark Fact was the thief.
Some time before Adol's arrival to Esteria, he led an ill-fated assault on Darm Tower, which lead to the group's pulling back but losing Dogi in the process. He comes back in the second game at the last minute and also re-appears in The Dawn of Ys.
He has an older relative in one of the towns, and a sister that is a fortune teller her fate is ambiguous in the TG-16 version and re-arrives in the non-canonical Dawn of Ys, dies in every other version
Voiced by: Mea Martineau (TG-16 version)
A kind-hearted girl who finds Adol lying in the field after he's catapulted through the sky at the beginning of Ys II. She is also tragically unaware that she has a terrible illness that will kill her any day. After Adol repays his debt by finding the cure, Lilia develops a hilariously overbearing crush that's powerful enough to bleed into the later games.
Voiced by: Bruce Lanoil (TG-16 version)
A sleepwalker who happened to be in Darm Tower. Helps Adol out by giving him family heirlooms that help traversing the higher levels of the tower. Despite having an injury, he survives the first two games.
The second-highest villain in the second game and one of the main antagonists in Origin
, actually a dark mage who answers to Darm, and leading the series of killing off the Six Priests' descendants.
His looks have varied depending on the version (TG-16 version has him looking outright evil under his hood, some versions of Eternal are just red eyes in shadow, and Chronicles
has what he looks like from Origin
under a hood).
Characters in Origin
The grand-daughter of one of the six priests of Ys, she is part of a search party to discover what happened to the goddesses. Her main weapon is a small axe.
The ancestor of the evil Dark Fact, Hugo is a powerful magician with projectile based spells. He controls two floating orbs that effectively triple his firepower. He also has a variety of shields at his control.
The Claw/Toal Fact
Cain Fact/The Demon King Darm
Voiced by: Alan Oppenheimer (TG-16 version)
The leader of the Six Priests who govern the mythical kingdom of Ys along with the twin goddesses. When the goddesses go missing, he sends down the search party to the surface to look for them. He is secretly responsible for every calamity that befell in Ys. In order to gain the power of the black pearl for himself, he allowed the Clan of Darkness and demons to invade Ys, causing the continent of Ys to float. At the end of Toal's route, he shows up and finishes Dalles off, revealing his true colors in the process. He then proceeds to fuse with the black pearl and become the demon king Darm. Nonetheless, he is defeated by his son Toal and gets sealed by the twin goddesses. The seal gets broken again 700 years later, but this time, he is defeated for good by Adol.
Characters in The Oath in Felghana
A blond kind-hearted girl from the village of Redmont who gets saved by Adol at the beginning of the third game, she is a childhood friend of Dogi. She is worried about her brother Chester, who has gone missing for past few months.
Elena's brother and Dogi's friend who has gone missing for past few months. He later shows up and reveals that he has become the Count McGuire's knight in order to make a name for himself. He quickly becomes a menace to Adol as he is also looking for statues that house the power of the ancient demon Galbalan by the order of his master. It turns out that he is actually trying to get revenge on the Count McGuire for destroying his hometown. While his plan for the revenge is successful, he does not realize that he has been used as a pawn by the real mastermind - Bishop Nikolas - for the complete revival of Galbalan.
Bishop Nikolas Garland
Head of the Felghana diocese. Once served at Redmont's church, but now focuses his efforts on trying to keep relations between the count and the townsfolk as smooth as possible.In reality, he is the mastermind behind Chester's Roaring Rampage of Revenge and the Count McGuire's more vicious actions. After making contact with Galbalan at the Illburns Ruins some point before the game, he became convinced that Galbalan is the true god and did everything in his power to bring Galbalan's revival to completion. After revealing his true colors near the end of the game, he kidnaps Elena in order to use her as a final sacrifice to Galbalan. The dark bishop is ultimately defeated by Adol, who proceeded to destroy his "god" Galbalan as well.
The feudal lord of Valestein Castle, and a materialistic nobleman from the Romun Empire. Levied heavy taxes on the people of Redmont for many years, and is regarded as a despot. In the game proper, he seems to be looking for the statues that house the power of the ancient demon Galbalan...
An ancient demon from the legend. Supposedly, it was slain by the warrior Genos with the blessing of the winged ones. However, it turns out that even Genos could not defeat the beast completely so he divided its powers into the four statues and sealed each statue at different regions across Felghana. Somehow, it managed to get in contact with the bishop Nikolas at Illburns ruin, turning the once devout priest into the fanatical madman who would stop at nothing to revive his true god. Through Nikolas, Galbalan was able to destroy most of the descendants of Genos and regain his powers. After receiving Elena's energy, Galbalan starts to awaken and declares his intention to destroy everything and spread terror across the world. Fortunately, Adol manages to arrive just in time to face the would-be destroyer. Although Adol manages to critically weaken the monster, it starts to regenerate rapidly. Ultimately, Chester, in his moment of redemption, sacrifices himself to blow up the whole island, destroying the demon for good in the process.It is implied that Galbalan is an artificial creation from ash emelas that was created by the clan of darkness long time ago as a weapon of mass destruction. It somehow managed to gain sentience and went on a rampage before getting sealed in Felghana by Genos.
Characters in The Ark of Napishitim
The Priestess of the Rehda clan, Olha is a hunter that finds Adol washed ashore, and believes in him, despite everyone in the village not trusting his non-elven face.
Olha's little sister. Initially scared of Adol, but after he saves her from the ash emelas monster, she comes to look to him as a big brother. She also has visions of his fierce battles, and worries endless.
A mysterious mercenary whom Adol encounters in the sixth game. He is famous for his skill with pole-arms and talismans. He seems to be knowledgeable about strange events that are happening in the Vortex of Canaan...
- The Atoner: He is trying to make amends for his ancestors' mistakes, unlike many other members of the Clan of Darkness that Adol encounters throughout the series.
- Blade on a Stick
- Dark Is Not Evil: Although he wears all black and is bit of a jerk, he is a man with good intentions, especially considering that he is also a member of the Clan of Darkness.
- Dark Is Edgy
- Fairy Companion: Has three of them after Ark of Naphatism that once belonged to his brother.
- The Red Baron: The Black Mercenary
- The Rival
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: He tries to do this in Seven once he realizes that Adol is the one destined to fight Big Bad for the fate of Altago, not him, but ends up staying due to some persuasion from Clarius.
A Romun general who leads the Romun troop to the land of Canaan. He seems to have some connection to Geis...It turns out that he is Geis' brother and a descendant of the Clan of Darkness, who tried to gain control of the weather control Napishtim but failed. Unlike Geis who is trying to atone for the mistakes of his ancestors, he seeks to obtain the power of Napishtim for himself. To that end, he sends out his three fairies in order to undo the seal on the ark and kidnaps Isha. Using the control key Almarion and Isha's power, he manages to gain control of the ark but is ultimately defeated by Adol. After his defeat, Ernst tries to draw more power from the ark but fails, causing Napishtim to go berserk in the process. As he lays dying, he apologizes for his actions and asks Adol to stop the ark, opening the passage to the control room. He also bequeaths his three fairies to Geis.
Characters in Memories of Celceta
A cheerful, honest young girl who lives in the treetop village of Comodo. An extremely skilled huntress, she puts most of the other hunters in the village to shame with her accuracy and cunning talent. Her weapon of choice is the throwing knife, though she has an unfortunate habit of throwing first and asking questions later…
Karna's younger twin brother and a bit of a resident Black Sheep
in Comodo in that he has chosen the path of an artist/craftsman/historian rather than following the way of the warrior. His disappearance from the village is what prompts Karna to join Adol's party
- Big Damn Heroes: With Leo during the climax.
- Brilliant but Lazy: Is accused of being this. The "lazy" part is inverted in that he works hard to not reveal how good he really is because he respects Karna's hard work and doesn't want to discourage her by making it look too easy.
- Determinator: Withstands the effects of Bami's death curse on him long enough for Adol's team to kill the one who placed the curse on him and break it.
- Fake Defector: Pretends to join the Rohm army, but only to act as The Mole on Adol's behalf.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: His reason for pulling a Fake Defector act was to infiltrate the Rohm army and feed information to Adol's team.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Male version.
- The Unfought: Possibly as a result of being Reverse Mole.
An information dealer whom Adol encounters at a bar in Casnan. He claims to have met Adol before – though with no memory, Adol remains skeptical. An extremely kind-hearted man (though he’d never admit it), Duren can’t bring himself to walk away from someone in need, making him a perfect travel companion.
- Bare-Fisted Monk
- Chew Toy: He is a target of many snarky comments from party members and NPCs alike.
- Childhood Friends: With Frieda.
- Hypocritical Humor: Claims that he hates "goody-two-shoes" type like Adol, but as others pointed out, Duren is often too kind for his own good.
- Ki Attacks
- Knowledge Broker: He helps out Adol with his ability to gather information and point out the places in Celceta that they should visit.
- Miser Advisor: Shades of this - his intro scene even has him declaring Adol is his favorite "source of money" before correcting it to "friend".
- Nice Guy: Somewhat subverted in that his helping Adol regain the lost memory turns out to be not so altruistic. At the same time, however, he is shown to be the type who doesn't like leaving people in trouble, as much as he hates to admit it.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: He is actually very knowledgeable about all events that were transpiring in Celceta, including Adol's memory loss and what led to it. He tags along with Adol in order to point him in the right direction.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Frieda.
- Tsundere: Mild example.
Voiced by: Yuko Kaida
[Frieda] and Yui Kano [Nina] (Japanese)
A female knight from the village of Danan who also serves as a storyteller. She has a homunculus fairy, Nina, as a partner and wields a halberd.
A resident of the village of Selray, and the sole remaining member of the tribe which cares for the sacred beasts known as Spardas. Though young, Ozma acts as the village’s leader and has managed to uphold its peaceful ways for as long as he’s been in charge. Reliable, level-headed and dedicated, he is loved and respected by all of the village’s residents. While extremely stubborn and inflexible when it comes to the laws of his tribe, he is also extremely loyal to the people in his charge.
An energetic, curious young girl who is mature beyond her years in many regards. She harbors something of a complex about her age and youthful appearance, and is constantly seeking to be recognized as an adult by those around her. She looks up to Leeza as an older sister, and has been with her since they were both children. As such, she will hold back at nothing if she can be of assistance to her.
A girl who lives in the plateau town of Highland. Generally a quiet polite girl, she can act rashly to protect the people she holds dear.
A winged man who lives a solitary life on the top of the tower in the Land of Origins. Before Adol lost his memory, the two had encountered each other…
A sharp-eyed man who came from the Romun Empire to serve as an assistant to the Governor Griselda. He seems favorable to Adol but perhaps there is more to him than meets the eye... He is actually a member of the Clan of Darkness from Danan. Unlike most members of the clan from that village (such as Frieda) who regret their ancestors' actions, he left with Ernst and Geis to Romun, before returning in search of the Mask of the Sun.
- A God Am I
- Big Bad: He finally goes from The Heavy to the full-fledged Big Bad.
- Dark Is Edgy
- Dragon Ascendant: While he ends up being the final antagonist, Dark Eldeel was the one who established the Evil Plan long before he was even born.
- Duel Boss: The very last battle against him.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Subverted. He disagrees with the previous Darklings' MO of blindly seeking power for its own sake. Unfortunately, his goals are also far more destructive than the previous group, since Dalles and Zava planned to simply run off with their new powers rather than unleash it upon humanity.
- Evil Former Friend: Of Frieda and Duren.
- Final Boss
- Flunky Boss
- One-Winged Angel: He transforms into a gigantic colossus for the first phase of the final battle.
- Clipped Wing Angel: He becomes a shadowy humanoid in the last Duel Boss against Adol and is much weaker than the gigantic colossus form
- The Man Behind the Man: He is pretty much behind everything in this game.
- Misery Builds Character/The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People: An extreme version of this trope. He intends on using the power of the Akashic Records to create a massive calamity for humanity because he believes that people can unlock their full potential only at the face of extreme danger.
- Obviously Evil: The biggest surprise isn't that he is a bad guy but that he is the Big Bad in this official version of Ys IV.
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Unlike Eldeel, he believes that if humanity cannot survive his trials, they don't deserve to exist.
- Spoiler Opening: The intro to the game shows him smiling while the town of Highland is getting burned to the ground. Also in the trailer, he states the line "Humans are like insects before the power of the ancient one," which clearly shows that he is not one of the good guys. Of course, those who played other versions of Ys IV already know that this character is a bad news for Adol.
- This Cannot Be!: After losing against Adol in the final Duel Boss battle.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: According to the villagers of Danan.
- Villainous Breakdown: Once Adol and his party defeat his godlike colossus form, he becomes completely unhinged. Right before the final Duel Boss against him, he even starts muttering a Madness Mantra.
- Villain Teleportation
- Walking Spoiler
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: See Misery Builds Character above.
- White Hair, Black Heart
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity
- Wolverine Claws: He sports these for the final Duel Boss battle.
- Worthy Opponent: He considers Adol one. Though he later loses the state of mind for that.
Voiced by: Yurika Hino (Japanese)
A female sorceror who seems to be working with Gadis for some nefarious purpose in the trees of Celceta.
A large man claiming to be a ‘beastmaster’ whom Adol and his party encounter during their adventure.
A Romun governor who recently got stationed in Celceta. At the beginning of the game, she asks Adol to clear monsters and to create the map of Celceta.
- Defector from Decadence: While she and Leo show that not all Romuns are bad, they both acknowledge that people's mistrust towards Romn is more or less justified due to its corruption and militant expansionist policies.
- Everythings Betterwith Princesses: She is the fourth crown princess of Romn.
- Quest Giver: She asks Adol to create the map of Celceta, the sidequest that spans throughout the whole game.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: The townspeople of Casnan are surprised to find that unlike previous governor generals who only cared about lining their pockets, she sincerely tries to improve the living condition of people in Celceta. She is also one of the few authority figures from the Romn empire who isn't hostile to Adol at any point.
- Rebellious Princess: In one of the memories, she states that she is hated back in her homeland, just like Leo.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: After Gruda's attack on Highland, she personally visits to apologize and has her troops stationed there and at Selray as a defensive rather than occupying force.
The commanding officer in charge of the Romun troops stationed in Celceta. He was once held in high esteem as Roaring Leo but he got demoted and sent to Celceta. He always appears with the two soldiers under his command, Sancho and Panza.
Characters in Kefin, the Lost City of Sand
A shopkeeper from Xandria and Stan's adopted daughter. Two years ago, Stan and others found her at the desert of Felte. She does not recall what happened to her before she got lost in the desert.
- Distressed Damsel: She is kidnapped by Dorman to be used as a hostage in exchange for crystals.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia
- Mysterious Waif
- The Reveal: She's actually an alchemist from the city of Kefin who was sent to prevent Rije and others from breaking the seal. However, the impact upon arriving the outside world caused her to lose her memories.
A guard-captain and partner of Dorman. She's actually a royalty from the sealed city of Kefin. When the seal on Kefin got weakened, she escaped along with some of her soldiers and manipulated Dorman into hiring adventurers in order to break the seal on Kefin completely.
A wealthy merchant from Sandoria who hires Adol to look for the mystical alchemy from the lost city of Kefin, claiming that such power can be used to stop the desertification of Sandoria. In reality, he is trying to harness the power of alchemy for himself. However, it turns out that he is manipulated by his partner-in-scheme Rije, who has other ideas in mind.
Stoker's fiance. In order to prevent Kefin's soldiers from taking the light crystal, she sealed herself along with the crystal. Stoker has been watching over her ever since.
- Heroic Sacrifice: However, Adol goes back in time and saves Foresta and Stoker, thereby making her sacrifice unnecessary.
A spirit from 500 years in the past, Stoker might seem sinister, but there's more to him than it initially seems. He longs deeply for his fiancee, Foresta.
A local alchemist who lives in the cabin near the village of Foresta. She helps Adol in his quest by using elemental stones to create alchemy spells for him to use.
Niena's adoptive father and a veteran adventurer who has gone missing while looking for the lost city of Kefin. It turns out he did manage to get into Kefin and decided to become the leader of La Résistance against its oppressive regime.
A scurrilous little scamp from a group of outlaws in the forest, she first tries to scam Adol by pretending she's a maiden in distress. She and her family continually cause mischief for Adol throughout the game but become allies later on.
JabirAn alchemist who found the philosopher's stone in the jungle of Sandoria 500 years ago. With its unimaginable power, he became immortal and took control of Kefin from the shadows. He then sought to conquer the rest of the world but other alchemists, led by Foresta, stopped him by sealing Jabir and the entire city of Kefin in another dimension. Since then he has been seeking to break the seal while maintaining the power of the philosopher's stone through human sacrifices.