YMMV / Ys

Games with their own subpages:


In the series as a whole:

  • Awesome Music: Enough that it has its own page.
  • Breather Level: The fifth area in Ys Origin, "The Blighted Blood" - while not remotely "easy", it's at least easier than the previous area "The Silent Sands", and even the one before that. There are definitely fast, hard-hitting enemies around, but unlike The Silent Sands, The Blighted Blood doesn't throw things like quicksand, moving spike pillars, health-draining flies, slippery floors or Khonsclard. As for area's boss, depending on the difficulty chosen at the start of the game and the protagonists' Character Level, it either provides a good challenge or turns out to be one of the easiest bosses in Origin.
  • Broken Base: XSEED Games is not the publisher for Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, but rather NIS America, who acquired exclusive publishing rights for the game. Unfortunately, the latter company hasn't exactly had the best track record when it comes to localizationnote , especially when XSEED Games stayed consistent for every Ys installment ever since the start of their partnership with Falcom. While many fans were wary of NIS America's approach to this franchise (particularly with Falcom backing their proposal to localizing Ys VIII), others were willing to give them a chance, seeing as this was their first foray into Ys. Discussions continued when NIS America withheld the launch of the PC version of Ys VIII by delaying it indefinitely a day before launch due to the publisher's concerns the game wasn't fully optimized for the platform (see Porting Disaster below).
  • Cliché Storm: The plots for each installment often face accusations of this. When the franchise was new, the accusations didn't have as much teeth (since the entire medium, let alone the genre, was still in its infancy), but most people agree it slowly got less predictable with Ys V: Lost Kefin, Kingdom of Sand and Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim, whereas the older games suffer from it too much. As for Ys SEVEN, much like the game-play is significantly changed up from its predecessors, the story deliberately sets up an apparently cliche experience, only to turn player expectations completely on their ear on just about every front, such as The Reveal of certain party members being Evil All Along and deconstructing tropes regarding The Chosen One.
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Counterpart Comparison: Ys is to Japan what The Legend of Zelda is in the West - a solo protagonist's adventures through a large, colorful world with Action RPG elements and an emphasis on dungeon-crawling and exploration that tends to start out in a new location for every installment. While both franchises originate in Japan, the latter receives greater popularity and acclaim in English-speaking countries while in its native country, the opposite holds true.
  • Demonic Spiders: Enemies in the lower mines for Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished - Omen, especially in the Ys Eternal port, mainly due to their movement speed and attack power, coupled with the mines' limited visibility. Elite Mooks in the upper levels of the "Darm Tower" can also quickly mow down players, even if they have the best armor, shield and weapon in the game equipped.
  • Early-Bird Boss: Jenocres, the first boss in Ys I, is a teleporting wizard who uses mounted flamethrowers on the sides of the boss arena, is this in the Android, iOS, PlayStation Portable and Steam versions for players who are at level four or below. If players decide to Level Grind to level five and has bought mid-level equipment in the shops, this boss will fall after taking three hits. The primary reason most players for the Android and iOS versions do the grind is they can earn the "God Mode On" achievement, which require beating Jenocres without taking any damage whatsoever.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Dogi in Ys I; due to his popularity, he has became a Breakout Character.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Inevitably, Flame Bait ensues when there have been plenty of Ship Teasing between Adol and the heroine of each game, even though there's never any confirmation.
    • Feena remains a popular choice in spite of the minimal screen-time she had with Adol. It helps that Falcom has confirmed Adol shared an anonymous connection with her throughout Ys I and Ys II, and their last moments together could be interpreted as romantic. Fans still hold out for Feena's reappearance in future installments, no matter how unlikely that may be.
    • Elena Stoddart from Ys III has the slight lead over the other "love interests" in terms of general popularity, largely due to her appearance in Spin-Off Massively Multiplayer Crossover Ys vs. Trails in the Sky: Alternative Saga (where she Took a Level in Badass), which a lot of fans want to see explored more rather than as proof-of-concept (Ys vs. being non-canon). Moreover, the popularity of Ys: The Oath in Felghana in the West undoubtedly helped garner her reception.
    • After Ys: Memories of Celceta was released, Karna won a lot of character polls online, beating out several other female characters throughout Ys, but only lost occasionally to Dogi. Not only is she the one who has gotten the most physical with him (via a Glomp), but Karna's essentially the Action Girl Distaff Counterpart to Adol.
    • Although the titular Dana in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is the Deuteragonist of the game, Laxia von Roswell is the one whom most players desire to see paired with Adol, being the most prominent party member in the game, obvious Belligerent Sexual Tension for Adol and heavy promotion by NIS America in marketing and Downloadable Content.
  • Friendly Fandoms: In spite of occupying the polar opposites in the Story-to-Gameplay Ratio and being a more traditional Eastern RPG compared to Ys and its Action RPG stance, expect Trails fans to also be Ys fans. This is likely because they share the same developer, art style, and are localized and published by XSEED Games, except for Ys VIII (NIS America is the one doing it).
  • Game-Breaker: "Flash Guard" and "Flash Move" - successfully blocking just as an enemy attack hits and the former activates, wherein all damage is negated, and Critical Hits are guaranteed for a period of time; similarly, the latter triggers upon dodging at the right moment before an enemy attack lands, slowing down all enemy movement for a duration, just like "Witch Time" from Bayonetta. Combined with accessories in certain games that either restore Hit Points when Flash Guard occurs or lengthen the time of Flash Move slowing down enemies, alongside players being able to pull off both mechanics with ease after practice, it's possible to not get hit in a play-through at all, nor is the level of difficulty a concern anymore.
  • Genius Bonus: The Roos "speak" using runes - one might even call it a "Roonic" languagenote .
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: While the Ys franchise has always been well respected and popular in its home country, Falcom's financial earnings consistently show the games sell more in North America, whereas the Japanese market prefer the Trails series, though there are certainly fans of both (see Friendly Fandoms). To English-speaking players, Ys is the more popular title from the company due to its obscurity and infrequent release schedule with their older works.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks: Ys V was so easy, Falcom had to make an Updated Re-release entitled Ys V Expert three months after the Super Famicom original.
  • Memetic Mutation
    • Adol Christin - HE EATS GODS FOR BREAKFASTnote 
    • Because of their Heterosexual Life-Partner status, expect Dogi to be the one chosen to win any argument on "who Adol should be paired up with", even if Dogi is not a selectable option.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Members of the Clan of Darkness really love crossing this in Ys Origin - during Hugo Fact's scenario, Dalles not only petrifies his Implied Love Interest Epona, but also shatters her to pieces right in front of Hugo; likewise, in Yunica Tovah's route, Zava kills Roy right in front of Yunica.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The sound that bosses make as they're defeated and dissolve away in the early games (and kept in the remakes of Ys I and Ys II), especially if it's That One Boss.
  • Polished Port
    • Several ports of Ys I and Ys II are this: the TurboGrafx-CD version included excellent voice acting, CD audio, Anime cutscenes and character portraits, combined both games into a single campaign and kept player stats, which all subsequent ports would follow up on, and fine-grained movement when the PC-88 version only had FM audio and movement restricted to one tile at a time. The PlayStation Portable version that was subsequently ported to Steam has some expanded areas, significantly upgraded visuals with high-resolution sprites, a more expansive, colorful script, and allows players to pick between the Ys Complete midi arrangements, the PC-88 originals with unused tracks or a remixed symphonic rock score with live band and orchestra (though it lacks voice acting).
    • The console versions of Ys III: developer Tonkin House's Super Famicom port significantly upgraded the graphics when porting from the much weaker PC-88, while the Hudson Soft TurboGrafx-CD port only slightly upgraded the visualss due to the limited amount of main memory and graphics data that could be accessed in its RAM, yet significantly outdid the Super Famicom's sound upgrade due to having red book audio and enough space on the CD to hold voice acting.
  • Porting Disaster
    • In general, the PlayStation 2 ports are pretty shoddy: their versions of Ys I, Ys II and Ys IV: Mask of the Sun use polygonal graphics and voice acting, but textures are blocky and appear sub-par, while music has been downgraded to midi, and the art coloring isn't improved. Its attempts at revamping combat only leads to sluggish controls. The only exception is the Konami port of The Ark of Napishtim.
    • The Nintendo DS versions of Ys I and Ys II has awkward polygons, another stiff attempt at melee combat, the bottom screen map is distracting from the top's game-play. While the bump-based combat can be used, it can only be done via touch controls that are choppy and unresponsive. These ports might have had some unique additions (Co-Op Multiplayer), they don't make up for their lack of quality. However, its music arrangements are very solid, as it uses Ys Eternal as a basis.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The Bump Attack system of combat in Ys I, Ys II and Ys IV, where attacking enemies doesn't involve hitting a button to strike with a weapon, but rather runninginto an enemy from any angle except directly in front of them in order to deal damage while avoiding it simultaneously. It's especially unpopular with newer players, even those who try out the enhanced remakes of Ys I and Ys II, who often come in expecting a battle system like The Legend of Zelda or Crystalis. However, there have been some old and newer fans of the franchise who will defend it on grounds other than nostalgia, citing it can be fun to simply bulldoze over enemies and that it requires a different kind of strategy (although it's telling the game-play was radically altered in Ys III and changed to be more "traditional" in installments by Ys V).
    • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: However, reviewers of the Android and iOS versions of Ys I and Ys II state the combat system works exceptionally well on touchscreen devices because it eliminates the need for a virtual button to initiate a physical attack.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: 1UP called the original duology one of the most boring games of all time in 2004. It isn't hard to see why - an "Action RPG" where players don't actively attack much of the time. Even by 1988 it was getting stale, and the next three games were all about the franchise essentially trying to find its footing in an industry with plenty of competition. These days, seeing what made the early Ys titles significant in any way can be extremely difficult (the impressive-for-the-era graphics, amazing music and the fact the games were voiced at all - nowadays, meh; in 1990, absolutely mindblowing).
  • Sequel Displacement: Ask a Western gamer to describe an Ys game (assuming they know of the series at all); most likely they'll get a description of a Nice Girl named Elena, her Jerkass brother Chester, and a town called Redmont. Ys III is the best-known of the franchise in the public eye, thanks to the fairly significant amount of promotion the game got and the width of its release on all three then-modern fourth-generation consoles, followed by a remake on the PlayStation Portable and its port onto Steam. More recently, a fair number of people may describe Ys SEVEN as the one they vaguely recall due to its exclusivity on the PlayStation Portable (until its Steam port in 2017); similarly, Ys VIII with regards to NIS America's divisive localization and PC efforts. Just about nobody knows of or remembers the original games, though, despite their TurboGrafx-16 release in North America, while The Ark of Napishtim may dimly register on the radar of those who have played the PlayStation 2 port.
  • Snark Bait: The fiasco with NIS America over the localization of Ys VIII and its delayed PC port has seen no end of mockery by the greater Falcom fan community.
  • Superlative Dubbing
    • While the English voice work for most of the games that have it are divisive at best, its use in the TurboGrafx-CD version of Ys Book I & II is often considered to have the best English voice work for a TurboGrafx-CD game and is still generally considered good, namely on how Hudson Soft and Falcom surprisingly got known voice talent, such as Alan Oppenheimer, Michael Bell, Jim Cummings, and Debi Derryberry to provide voice acting in key scenes..
    • The primary cast of XSEED Games' PlayStation Portable version of The Oath in Felghana: while a lot of the extras tend to vary, Elena and Chester stand out as fantastic performances and rarely go without praise. The game's story wouldn't be half as charming without them.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
    • The Item Get! jingle in the franchise (particularly the Playstation Portable versions) sound oddly like the same jingle from Metroid.
    • Ernst's Leitmotif in Ys VI is suspiciously similar to "Moon Over the Castle" from the Gran Turismo series.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: The Roos are the only cute, innocent demons of the franchise. Likewise, thanks to the simplistic, colorful graphics and Super-Deformed art style, older versions of the first four Ys games look adorable compared to its successors, who slowly eschew Super-Deformed in favor of 3D models and sprites.
  • That One Boss
    • Vagullion in all versions of Ys I: this boss appears initially as a swarm of bats that can't be hurt, all the while chasing players around the boss arena to damage them. Every once in a while, these bats coalesce into a gargoyle, Vagullion's true form, and players have but a split second to hit Vagullion without taking damage themselves, else the boss turns back into bats, forcing players to redo the entire thing over again.
    • Gruda's One-Winged Angel transformation in Mask of the Sun: not only is this the hardest boss in the game, but it doesn't help that players have to go through a long unskippable dialogue before the battle.
    • Karion and Jabir's One-Winged Angel form in Ys V, particularly in Ys V Expert: both are battles of attrition, where players will need plenty of healing items.
    • Khonsclard in Ys I was largely a Luck-Based Mission, but its appearance in Ys Origin takes the cake: multiple targets, both its main body and several cacti-like Mooks spawning throughout the arena, the latter of which restore Khonsclard's Hit Points if they're not destroyed first. Khonsclard itself fires off plenty of projectiles, all incredibly hard to dodge, the number of cacti-Mooks increases as the battle progresses, and since the arena is sitting atop of shifting sands that pulls players towards Khonsclard's body, players also have to contend with limited movement options for the duration of the fight. Not even Final Boss Dalles is as difficult compared to this.
    • Nygtilger in Origin: most players won't beat it on their first try. Since it's a Segmented Serpent, each segment must be destroyed one-by-one first at it moves around the circular arena. The easiest method is to hop onto its back and hack away, but there's only a few scant seconds to do so before it barrels around and charges at players with a hard-hitting eletrical attack. Making this worse is every time a segment is destroyed, that part of its body begins spewing timed bombs that have a ludicrously big Area of Effect with knockback capabilities, inflicting poison. Before long, the entire arena will be littered with these bombs, such that players will barely have enough time to swat them away before they explode. Finally, once Nygtilger 's Hit Points reach less than 50%, it starts rolling around the arena in a lightning-fast motion, a manuveur almost impossible to dodge due to how unpredictable its path is.
  • That One Level: The "Tower of Darm" in Ys I, a 24-floor tall structure taking up a good half of the game, even if it's not a particularly long segment, has a confusing maze-like environment that's easy to get lost in, features a gratuitous instance of back-tracking at the very end (such as a mandatory traversal back down the tower to collect the "Blue Armlet" accessory), contains several Guide Dang It! moments, and is full of Demonic Spiders. This is before mentioning Adol loses his best equipment six floors in due to in-game events.
  • Vindicated by History: Ys III and Ys IV - the former was such a radical shift in the series' gameplay, going from a top-down Action RPG to a side-scrolling perspective with active melee combat, while the latter returned to its traditional roots, yet lacked direct involvement by Falcom (who only provided an outline of the story and its soundtrack), while featuring many contradictory versions. The TurboGrafx-CD and Sega Genesis ports of Ys III use altered translations, leaving the Sega Genesis port as the best with FM music ; even though the Super Nintendo version had a decent translation, its visuals were muddy and the music samples were terrible. Just about the only bad thing about the TurboGrafx-CD version was it was never released outside of Japan. Fortunately, thanks to definitive reworkings by Falcom themselves, Ys: The Oath in Felghana and Ys: Memories of Celceta iron out problems pertaining to both games, revamping them to reflect modern game-play elements in the style of Ys VI and Ys SEVEN, respectively, alongside live music. Meanwhile, for those that prefer the original Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys, a Fan Translation of the TurboGrafx-CD game was released complete with an English fan dub, giving players the opportunity to see what the game was like upon release.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Velagunder in the TurboGrafx-CD version of Ys II - without properly leveling up, this boss can One-Hit Kill Adol with any of its shots.
  • Woolseyism
    • XSEED Games seems to specialize in this with its English localizations, such as with the random Castlevania: Symphony of the Night reference in Ys SEVEN from a minor Non-Player Character and Ys I & II Chronicles Plus on Steam renaming Dr. Buldo and Slaghf to the easier-to-pronounce Dr. Bludo and Slaff. In fact, the publisher must have had a heyday with Chronicles Plus by throwing in every obscure reference they could think of whenever Adol hits a villager with a fireball rather than just use a generic angry phrase in Ys II.
    • In the first ten minutes of Ys I of Chronicles Plus, Slaff warns Adol of Nurse Ayla's formidable temper by singing the chorus of "Maneater" by Hall & Oates to him.
    • XSEED Games is not alone in using this trope, however: Falcom's own translation to English for the "Shrine of Solomon" in the Android/iOS versions by DotEmu that use Nihon Falcom's original title cards instead of localized title cards reveal Nihon Falcom's English name of this place is actuall the "Shrine of Salmon". Hudson Soft renamed it to Solomon Shrine in the English localization of the TurboGrafx-CD version, and the altter has stuck for almost every other English localization since.
    • Another attempted example Hudson Soft did was change the name "loo" to "quay" because the former is used in British English slang to mean "toilet". However, it didn't stick, and subsequent localizations changed the name to "roo".
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