Follow TV Tropes

Following

Video Game / Ys

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/763c95e953824fdf881df32585302fc9.jpg
Adol Christin, saving the world for the umpteenth time.

"In my life, I've wandered everywhere... Around this world, hope would always be there."
Excerpt from the opening of the English translation of Ys: The Oath in Felghana
Advertisement:

Ys (typically pronounced as "ease"note , though "yees" was used instead in the English localization of Ys: The Ark of Napishtim) is an Action RPG video game franchise developed by Falcom and published by its developer in Japan and currently published by NIS America worldwide, with a large number of companies having localized licensed ports in the past (such as the TurboGrafx-CD versions) that has spanned over thirty years and twenty consoles. Nearly all titles chronicle the adventures of Adol Christin, a wandering swordsman with fiery red hair who always seems to be in the right place at the wrong time as far as world-threatening disasters are concerned. The eponymous "Ys" is a mythical island floating in the sky, which is visited in some games and merely referenced in others.

Advertisement:

The games have a few recurring characters (leaving aside Adol, who is the primary playable character in every game except for the Prequels Ys Origin and Ys Strategy) and take place in the same world with a consistent Continuity, but otherwise keep things fresh by introducing a brand new cast of characters, location, and scenario for every major release, not unlike fellow traveling swordsman-starring series The Legend of Zelda. Most are generally played with an isometric top-down perspective - the earliest games require Adol to "ram" into enemies in just the right spot to attack and defeat them, while later installments use a traditional Hack and Slash style of game-play (beginning with Ys V). The franchise has gotten Video Game Remakes and "re-imaginings of installments in order to fit them better into the series' ever-expanding mythology (simulataneously, Compilation Rereleases like Ys I & II Complete and Ys Eternal, remakes of Ys I and Ys II, still feature ramming combat, which would be carried over to the PC and Sony PlayStation Portable version Ys I & II Chronicles).

Advertisement:

Ys is also famous for its power-rock soundtracks composed by various members of Falcom's "JDK Sound Team", most famously by Yuzo Koshiro (I-II) and Mieko Ishikawa (II-III) and performed by Ryo Yonemitsu (music for the TurboGrafx-16 versions and the "Perfect Collections") and, more recently, Yukihiro Jindo (arrangements of Ys: The Oath in Felghana and Ys I & II Chronicles). In addition to standalone soundtracks, the TurboGrafx-CD games have much of their in-game soundtracks encoded in the same standardized "Red Book" format as a typical audio compact disc, allowing the game discs themselves to double as soundtrack CDs when placed into a CD player or other optical media player. Meanwhile, the Windows version of some Ys games store their audio files in the Ogg Vorbis format (an open format, thus probably supported by almost any media player) and can be found and played by digging through the game's files and getting the ".ogg" files from the music folder. A few Ys re-releases also do special things with their soundtracks, specifically their soundtrack historynote .

For the longest time, the franchise suffered from extensive No Export for You syndrome after the series' lackluster initial release push in the early 1990s, the primary reason why Ys was practically unheard of outside of Japan for so long. Beginning with the release of Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim on the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable, Ys: Book I & II on the Wii Virtual Console, and Legacy of Ys: Books I & II for the Nintendo DS, the games started to reach a much wider audience, with XSEED Games having announced a partnership with Falcom since 2010 that includes the localization of Ys SEVEN, Ys: The Oath in Felghana, and Ys I & II Chronicles for the PlayStation Portable in the North American market, in that order. By March 2012, XSEED and Falcom followed this up with a series of releases on the Steam service of Valve Software, starting with the original Windows version of The Oath in Felghana and the Japan-only Ys Origin, continued by a further-updated PC version of Ys I & II Chroniclesnote . Finally, both companies capped it off with the release of Ys: Memories of Celceta, Falcom's definitive version of the Ys IV duology on the PlayStation Vita, released in English in November 2013. XSEED did not take the reins on 2017's Ys VIII localization because NIS America, which published the PlayStation Portable version of Ys: Memories of Celceta in the European region, outbid XSEED Games for the worldwide localization, publishing, and porting rights.

Thanks to all this, the series' No Export for You tendencies are well and truly over, as Ys was one of XSEED's most consistent sellers and the company had openly stated they'd love to work on any future releases. (Through they lost the license to NIS America starting with Ys VIII.) Between the PlayStation and Steam market, virtually every major Ys installment is available in English, both at retail and digital download. Although Ys V: Lost Kefin, Kingdom of Sand and Ys vs. Sora no Kiseki remain the only ones untouched, even that merely extends to official localization - a fully playable Fan Translation patch is available courtesy of Aeon Genesis for Ys V.

The Ys series consists of:

    open/close all folders 

    Main series 
  • Ys: Ancient Ys Vanished ~ Omen (1987)
    • Platforms: PC-88, Sharp X1, PC-98, FM-7/77, FM-77AV, MSX2, Sharp X68000, Sega Master System, Famicom, MS-DOS, Apple IIgs, Microsoft Windows, Sega Saturn, PlayStation 2, Virtual Console, Nintendo DS, iOS, Android
    • Ys I introduced the ramming-based combat called the "Bump Attack" system and Regenerating Health, the latter considered rare for Action RPGs and repeatedly used for subsequent installments. Furthermore, the perspective is taken from a top-down camera.
    • Adol Christin sets out for his first adventure, winding up in the town of Minea on the island of Esteria. When a fortune teller speaks to him of an evil lurking in Esteria, Adol seeks out the Books of Ys, six tomes containing the history of the ancient "Eldeen" civilization and knowledge on how to defeat this darkness. Ys I also introduces the "Clan of Darkness", a group of recurring antagonists whose ties to Ys form the Myth Arc of the franchise.
  • Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished – The Final Chapter (1988)
    • Platforms: PC-88, PC-98, Sharp X1turbo, FM-77AV, MSX2, Famicom, TurboGrafx-CD, MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows, Sega Saturn, PlayStation 2, Virtual Console, Nintendo DS, iOS, Android
    • The Bump Attack system returns for Ys II, with the addition of introducing magic spells that can be used via wands.
    • An immediate Sequel to Omen, upon assembling the six Books of Ys at the end of the previous game, Adol is instantly transported to the mythical Floating Continent. The secrets of Ys are unraveled in this game, alongside the identity of the twin goddesses and the Eldeen civilization they once belonged to.
    • Because of its immediate Sequel status, any Video Game Remake of Ys II is generally packaged together with Ys I, the first being Ys Eternal on Windows in 1997 that has updated visuals; this was done again with Ys I & II Complete for the same platform in 2001. However, the definitive bundle is Updated Re-release Ys I & II Chronicles for the PlayStation Portable in 2009, featuring two different game modes, change in character portraits (from Complete or Chronicles) and choice of soundtrack (the original PC-98, Complete or PlayStation Portable-exclusive re-arrangement); Chronicles would be ported to Steam in 2013 as Ys I & II Complete Plus.
  • Ys III: Wanderers from Ys (1989)
    • Platforms: PC-88, PC-98, MSX 2, Sharp X68000, Famicom, Super Famicom, Sega Genesis, TurboGrafx-CD, PlayStation 2,
    • Eschewing the top-down bird's-eye view, Ys III is presented as a side-scrolling platformer, akin to Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Because of this, the Bump Attack system is removed; instead, a dedicated button for attacking is used. Other than rings replacing wands for magic spells, much of the game-play for Ys III remains the same as its predecessors.
    • Taking place roughly three years after Ys II, Adol and traveling companion Dogi return to the latter's hometown of Redmont in Felghana, ruled by Count McGuire. Upon arriving, they discover monsters are threatening the townspeople, caused by the slumbering of an ancient demon, whom McGuire desires to awaken.
    • Remade as Ys: The Oath in Felghana in 2005 for Windows, this version replaces the side-scrolling aspect in favor of the 3D game-play used in Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim, while expanding the original story and dungeons for further play. Like Ys I & II Chronicles, a PlayStation Portable version was released in 2010 and a Steam release in 2012.
  • Ys IV: Mask of the Sun (1993) and Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys (1993)
    • Platforms: Super Famicom (Mask of the Sun), PlayStation 2 (Mask of the Sun), PC Engine (The Dawn of Ys)
    • Using the same top-down format of Ys I and Ys II, Ys IV returns to using the Bump Attack system. However, Mask of the Sun removes rings and wands in place of elemental swords that casts spells, while The Dawn of Ys retains magic via rings from Ys II. Interestingly, neither of these titles were developed by Falcom directly: they only provided a plot outline laid out with its soundtrack still being done by the JDK Sound Team. Instead, Mask of the Sun was published by Tonkin House and Hudson Soft developed and published The Dawn of Ys; the PlayStation 2 port of Mask of the Sun was handled by Arc System Works.
    • The first Prequel in the franchise, both games occur a year before Ys III, where Adol returns to Minea to catch-up with old friends, but departs for the land of Celceta after coming across a message in a bottle requesting help. The difference between Mask of the Sun and The Dawn of Ys with regards to plot is none of the events in Minea occur in Mask of the Sun: Adol immediately leaves for Celceta, while he stays in Minea for a while in The Dawn of Ys. The "Romun Empire" is introduced in these games, another group of antagonists that make recurring appearances throughout the franchise.
    • Both games were compiled and developed directly by Falcom as Video Game Remake Ys: Memories of Celceta, released for the PlayStation Vita in 2012, including a worldwide PC port in 2018note , displacing Mask of the Sun and The Dawn of Ys in the series' Continuity. Furthermore, Memories of Celceta borrows from the combat utilized in Ys SEVEN, while refining its three-character party system, alongside new mechanic "Flash Move", where dodging an enemy attack right before it hits temporarily slows all enemy movement down (akin to "Witch Time" in Bayonetta). In May 2019, a port for the PlayStation 4 was released for the platform.
  • Ys V: Lost Kefin, Kingdom of Sand (1995)
    • Platforms: Super Famicom, PlayStation 2
    • Like Ys III, Ys V preserves the dedicated attack button rather than use the Bump Attack system, while introducing jump and defending with a shield mechanics, all in the classic bird's-eye view perspective. Magic is overhauled, where higher level spells can only be cast by holding down the button, and seperately leveled up rather than simultaneously with physical skills.
    • In search of more adventure, Adol hears of the lost city of Kefin, having vanished from five hundred years ago, and seeks out the reason for its disappearance by heading to the desert city of Xandria. Whereas prior games were set on the continent of Eresia, Xandria is located on the southern continent of Afroca.
    • Due to player complaints of Ys V being deemed "too easy", Falcom re-released the game as Ys V Expert in 1996 with increased difficulty, published by Koei. The PlayStation 2 port was developed by Arc System Works instead, published by Taito. Notably, Ys V remains the only pre-2000 Ys installment to never receive a Western release.
  • Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim (2003)
    • Platforms: Windows, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, iOS, Android
    • The first Ys title to use 3D graphics extensively, Ys VI presents characters, monsters and some bosses via pre-rendered sprites, while larger bosses are full 3Dnote . This installment builds and refines on the previous games of a top-down view (Ys I), elemental sword combat and magic (Mask of the Sun) and jump mechanics (Ys V). Of note is Konami, the developer and publisher for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable ports in 2005, dropped "VI" in the game's title. A port to iOS and Android have been announced by Manhattan People, due for release in 2021.
    • Adol is attacked by a Romun Empire navy in the Atlas Ocean while traveling aboard an allied pirate ship some time after the events of Ys V. Its crew steers into the "Vortex of Canaan" maelstrom, throwing Adol overboard, washing him ashore on the nearby Canaan Islands. He discovers there's no way off these islands unless the Vortex surrounding it stops, pressing him to unlock the mysteries and secrets behind this phenomenon.
  • Ys Origin (2006)
    • Platforms: Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
    • The first game where Adol is not present at allnote , Ys Origin is also the first game where three different characters serve as the protagonist, each with different point-of-view takes to the overall plot, alongside distinctive combat skills and play-style. An "expansion disc" featuring new difficulties, an arena mode, alternate versions of the three protagonists with upgraded skills and the ability to play as Adol in non-story modes with additional secrets was available after launch; the 2012 Steam version includes all content. Finally, the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita ports were released in 2017; the Xbox One and Switch versions would follow in 2018 and 2020, respectively.
    • The most distant Prequel in the franchise, Ys Origin is set seven hundred years before Ys I, detailing the nature of Ys and the twin goddesses, but also the genesis behind the Clan of Darkness and their motivations that led into the first game. Players take on the role of three characters:
      • Yunica Tovah, granddaughter to one of the priests of Ys, and the ancestor to a side-character from the first game. Her play-style is reminiscent of Adol's from Ys III: The Oath in Felghana and Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim, except she uses An Axe to Grind.
      • Hugo Fact, a magic user who launches magic bolts with help from a pair of Attack Drones.
      • "The Claw", a white-haired warrior who works for demons wielding Wolverine Claws.
  • Ys SEVEN (2009)
    • Platforms: PlayStation Portable, Windows
    • Ys SEVEN is the first game to introduce multiple playable characters who can form a party of upwards to three - players control the leading member, while the AI controls the other two. Rather than elemental weapons used in order to determine damage dealt, SEVEN switches to the type of weapon wielded via "slashing", "striking" and "piercing" attributes. Furthermore, each character has his or her different assortment of attack skills that can only be used if a skill meter is filled by attacking enemies. Finally, blocking enemy attacks at the right moment called "Flash Guard" nullifies damage taken, but also guarantees a Critical Hit for the next attack. Oddly, Ys SEVEN had an earlier PC release in 2012, but was only available in China; its Steam release was released at the end of August 2017.
    • Deciding to find more adventure, Adol and Dogi head to the capital city in the Kingdom of Altago six months after the events of Ys VI. Despite being thrown into jail for stopping the army from harassing citizens, the duo's reputation from the previous games leads the king of Altago into requesting their help with regards to strange earthquakes that have been occurring with much frequency.
  • Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana (2016)
    • Platforms: PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Windows, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia
    • Building on the game-play from Ys SEVEN and refined by Ys: Memories of Celceta, Ys VIII features the same combat and party mechanics, but with a new "Break" status, where enemies hit with an attack which they are weak to causes them to become weak to all attributes. Due to story-events, the game includes a simulation-based aspect, where players will build and upgrade a settlement with added Tower Defense elements called "Beast Raids". Although the PlayStation Vita version was released first in Japan during 2016, a worldwide release was set for the PlayStation 4 and Vita platforms in September 2017, coinciding with the franchise's 30th anniversary; the PC version was delayed until April 2018, while a Switch port was released in June of the same year, with a Google Stadia release set for April 2021. Finally, rather than long-time partner XSEED Games, NIS America took over publishing duties for this release.
    • When Adol is shipwrecked traveling from Xandria back to the Eresia mainland by a giant sea creature immediately after Ys V, he wakes up on the unfamiliar Isle of Seiren in the Gaete Sea, alongside other passengers from their ship "Lombardia". Trapped on this uncharted, uninhabited place, Adol must work with his newfound companions to survive and find a way off the island; meanwhile, he begins having dreams about a blue-haired woman called Dana, who has a connection to this place, and the horrible curse behind it. While Adol is the primary protagonist of the game, the story occasionally switches perspectives to Dana, who serves as the Deuteragonist.
  • Ys IX: Monstrum Nox (2019)
    • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia
    • Retaining the core mechanics from Ys VIII, Ys IX introduces the titular "Monstrum" serving as the central characters, whose "Gifts" can be utilized in exploration and combat. Like Beast Raids from the previous game, players will participate in Tower Defense segments during mandatory events. Ys IX was launched first on September 26, 2019 in Japan for the PlayStation 4, with NIS America publishing the localization for a February 2, 2021 release, while the PC and Switch versions will release on July 6; the Stadia version will come out later in the same year.
    • Returning to the Eresian continent from Altago after the events of Ys SEVEN, Adol is arrested by Romun authorities upon arriving at "Balduq", a "prison city" in the Gllia region, for his actions from previous adventures. Upon making his escape from prison, he is cursed by the mysterious Aprilis and turned into a Monstrum, forced to combat demonic entities called "Lemures" during the "Grimwald Nox". Alongside other Monstrum suffering the same fate as he is, Adol must find a way to band with other Monstrum undo their predicament, while solving the connection between Balduq and the Grimwald Nox.

At the start of 2021, Falcom announced that they are developing the next game in the Ys franchise, though no details about it have been released.

    Spin-Offs 
  • Ys Strategy (2006)
    • Platforms: Nintendo DS
    • A 4X Real-Time Strategy installment, the first Ys Spin-Off was developed by Future Creates and published by then-Marvelous Interactive (currently Marvelous Entertainment) in Japan, and is the second game to not include Adol. In a twist, Australia and Europe received a localization by publisher Rising Star Games, but left North American audiences no access to a version.
  • Ys Altago (2019)
    • Platforms: Android, iOS
    • Made by Chinese developed UserJoy, this smartphone-exclusive title is a re-imagining of Ys SEVEN.

There are also manga adaptations of Ys I, Ys II and Ys IV, though they diverge from the games considerably, including an eleven-episode Animated Adaptation of Ys I and Ys II. There are also a series of novels based on the games, as well as two side-stories with no game equivalents: Record of the Destroyed, set between Ys II and Ys IV, and Crusade of Blood and Sand, set immediately after Ys V. Of course, none of these are available in English, except for the OVA versions of Ys I and Ys II.

Last but not least, the music itself.

Not to be confused with the second music album of the same name by Joanna Newsom, nor is the series based on the mythological city of Ys (or Ker Ys), though the game does take its namesake from the myth.


This series contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: Chester takes a massive one in the transition from III to Oath, going from a story-only antagonist to a major boss. Also, Elena, at least in secondary materials. She appears in promotional materials and in Alternative Saga with the Brave Sword and a knight's outfit not unlike her brother's.
  • A God Am I: In general, the Eldeen attitude towards humanity, though most of them are benevolent like Alma, Feena, and Reah.
  • Action Girl: Karna in all versions of Ys IV, Yunica Tovah in Origin, Aisha, who fights with bows along with her teacher Sigroon, and later in the game the melee fighter Cruxie in Ys SEVEN, and Calilica and Frieda in Ys: Memories of Celceta.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the original version of Wanderers From Ys, Elena & Chester had bright blond hair and blue eyes with maybe a hint of purple in the art (though generally not ingame due to palette restrictions of the era's hardware). In Oath in Felghana, they're now flaxen-haired, notably fairer in complexion than any other Redmont residents (or nearly anyone else in the franchise), and they now have prominent violet eyes, which were also basically unique to them note . This might be a bit of Foreshadowing on the artists' part to hint at the fact that they're originally from Genos Island. The new coloration has been carried forward into every appearance the Stoddart siblings have made since, most obviously Ys Vs. Trails in the Sky. The "violet thing" has become so prominent that in the Ys Heroines Calendar bonus for Celceta, violet is even Elena's signature color.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The OVA version of II tightens things up considerably and adds a few interesting elements like a twist on the in-game reliance on magic.
  • Aerith and Bob: Lots of towns feature characters with a mishmash of European-sounding names with a couple oddballs thrown in. For example, Xandria in Ys V features Neina and Rije.
    • Although Niena isn't from Xandria...
    • Ys: The Oath in Felghana is better about this. Characters other than villains (aside from Count McGuire having a real last name) tend to have normal names such as the sibling duo of Elena and Chester, Mayor Edgar, and even a miner who has recently been mistaken to have died in a mining accident named Bob.
    • Ys SEVEN gives us two sibling characters. The older one is a young man named Mustafa — a real Arabic name and thus one that works for someone from a location based on part of North Africa. His younger sister, Cruxie, however, has a name that doesn't sound like something someone from North Africa would have.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The titular Ark of Napishitim in Ys VI goes insane and tries to destroy all civilization in Eresia once the control key Almarion is broken.
  • All There in the Manual: Perfect Data of Ys contains a whole lot of interesting information about the world. The plotline for Ys SEVEN has been hinted at for at least a decade quite literally in manuals and the loading screen of Ys Eternal.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Several of the games have their main town occupied by the enemy at some point and/or the residents captured. The Oath in Felghana has the town of Redmont attacked instead of occupied with everyone getting close to losing hope, but things get better when Dogi's trainer, Berhardt, gets everyone's spirits up and has the women and children take shelter while the men heavily guard the town, complete with more upbeat music starting up.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: This is American box art for Ys III for Sega Genesis. Just compare Adol with the picture above. The SNES version and the TurboGrafx-CD version (the latter of which depicts Genos instead of Adol) aren't quite as bad, especially since the SNES version doesn't end up making Adol look like some sort of barbarian, though they still ditch the anime look the series is known for.
  • Anachronic Order: The order the games were released is not the order in which they occurred - chronologically, events in the franchise (released up to 2017) begin with Origin, I, II, Memories of Celceta, The Oath in Felghana, V, VIII, VI. SEVEN and ends in IX.
  • An Axe to Grind: Yunica Tovah wields a battleaxe in Origin.
  • And Man Grew Proud: The miners of Esteria ignored the ancient warnings against mining Cleria, a magic ore that is responsible spawning the demon army that ravaged the ancient kingdom of Ys. Also, the Clan of Darkness, who in their pursuit of knowledge and power destroyed much of their and Eldeen civilizations.
  • And Then What?: Dogi asks this of Chester after learning his motivations for collecting the four statues in Oath. Dogi wonders what Chester's going to do after he's gotten his revenge, and if it'll be worth it. Chester briefly falters, but announces that he's come too far to turn back and stabs Dogi.
  • Anti-Grinding: The amount of XP granted from a given enemy is a function of the monster's level relative to Adol's level. After a while, defeating a monster will only yield 1XP, with hundreds or thousands needed to level up. Most versions of Ys I also have a 10 level cap that is maxed out so quickly that there's usually no point in grinding (even without trying, you'll end up within one level of reaching it by the time you find the third book of six. This is also the point where the game moves to a region with no shops, making grinding for money pointless).
  • Apocalypse How: A Class 2 occurred centuries before the collapse of Ys, which itself was a Class 1. The Eldeen's continent was destroyed by unknown means, scattering humanity, demi-humans/beastmen, and a small fraction of Eldeen to the Eresian lands.
    • Lacrimosa of Dana has four Class 3a events happen in its backstory; with only one survivor for each event. None of these events happened in the era of humanity.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Count McGuire in The Oath in Felghana. Chester actually refers to him as Lord McGuire. Turns out he was being manipulated by Garland.
  • Art Evolution: The series's art style varies between games, though one example of a change in art style is Ys SEVEN having Adol and Dogi looking older than in the first game (which they both debuted in), but since several years passed between those games, it actually makes more sense than a lot of examples of the trope and ends up being less noticeable. Notably, Ys I & II Chronicles introduces new in-game artwork different from the Eternal / Complete versions Chronicles is based on while also including an option to use the artwork from those versions.
  • Artifact of Doom:
    • The Black Pearl, which was really the Sealed Evil in a Can for Darm, formerly Cain Fact. Interestingly, the Black Pearl, despite its association and color, was originally benevolent. It was only after the unchecked usage of its power gave birth to demons that it became the full fledged example of this trope.
    • The four statues that house the power of Galbalan in Oath count as well.
    • The philosopher's stone in Ys V also is said to bring destruction to lands around it.
  • Artifact Title: Many of the games in this series have no connection to Ys itself. However, Eldeen artifacts and history have been scattered across the known world, causing similar events that doomed Ys to repeat.
  • Artificial Gill: Grattheos' Talisman allows Adol and his party to breathe underwater in Ys VI and VII. In VIII, the Hermit's Scale serves the same purpose.
  • Artistic License – Engineering: Rado's Annex (a two-story tower that is connected to the 16th floor of Darm Tower by a bridge that is only anchored to the ground on one side) is pretty much structurally impossible. Yunica actually points this out when she first sees it in Origin.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Dogi, the Wall-Crusher! Witness how in Ys I, he's little more than a guy who busts Adol out of prison... never appears In Ys II, and in Ys III (as well as its remake, The Oath in Felghana), he's Adol's only friend and travelling companion, implying they've met before the first game. This got to a point where he's playable in SEVEN (and the first member of Adol's party, for reasons made obvious in Ys III and The Oath in Felghana), in which he pilots a boat under the name of Dogi the Wave-Crusher.
    • Each of the playable characters in Origin can be considered this from the perspective of the other routes.
    • Also, in Oath in Felghana, Dularn and Garland. In the original Wanderers, both barely counted as characters (Dularn got one line, if that, depending the version). In Oath, both have vastly expanded roles. Specifically, as Sister Nell Dularn and Bishop Nikolas Garland. Nell's both a presence in town and stalks you as "Dularn" throughout most of the game, and Garland does a great job fooling everyone before showing his true colors.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The fate of twins Feena and Reah at the end of Ys II, Eldeel in Ys: Memories of Celceta, and Alma in Ys VI. The Eldeen just can't seem to stick around, it seems.
  • Atlantis: The 'Atlas Continent' which is the home of the Eldeen civilization and the birthplace of Feena and Reah. To a lesser extent, the titular Ys.
  • The Atoner: Berhardt was once a mercenary involved in the genocide of Genos Island, but he quit and raised the Stoddart children because he could not kill children.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Not just for boss fights, either. The franchise's collective soundtracks as a whole have a rather disproportionate number of rock tracks for a medieval fantasy series.
  • An Axe to Grind: Some members of the Clan of Darkness can use battle axes.
  • Badass Normal: Adol again. There's nothing obviously supernatural about him, he's just a dude who decided to wander a bit, and yet he pretty much eats gods for breakfast as a living. And even though he can use magic in some games, it's always for plot-related reasons (such as the bracelets in The Oath in Felghana) and not innate ability (as we said, there's nothing obviously supernatural about him), and he loses it after the journey's over. His best friend, Dogi, is pretty much a Badass Normal as well.
    • In Origin, Yunica Tovah also has no innate magical abilities and requires her axe to fight until, like Adol, she gains magical artifacts that make up for it.
  • Badass in Distress: This has happened to Adol and Dogi.
    • Adol often gets captured or arrested. He either needs to be rescued or is released when a reasonable government realizes that it has arrested the wrong person for a crime.
    • Chester stabbed Dogi in The Oath in Felghana, requiring Berhardt to nurse him back to health.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Several good characters use magic which is fueled by the Black Pearl which is made of black emelas, which generates demons when it is used by anyone not made up of white emelas. This variety of magic is therefore Black Magic.
  • Bag of Spilling: Adol tends to lose pretty much all his equipment and level in between adventures; somewhat justified in that he tends to get in massive shipwrecks to start each adventure.
  • Baleful Polymorph: In older versions of Ys IV, Bami's favorite hobby is to transform humans into monsters (she simply uses mind control in Memories of Celceta). This includes Adol. Dalles did it at least once himself.
  • Beef Gate: The Abandoned Mine in Ys I, the area beyond the barricade on Quatera in Ys VI, etc, as well as many bosses. When they tell you "don't go there until you're strong enough", they ain't kidding.
  • BFS: Almarion, the Black Key, and The Tovah family's Crimson Lotusblade.
  • Big Bad
    • Ys I: Dark Fact
    • Ys II: The Black Pearl / Darm
    • Ys III/ Ys: The Oath in Felghana: Galbalan
    • Ys IV: Mask of the Sun: Eldeel
    • Ys IV: the Dawn of Ys: Arem
    • Ys: Memories of Celceta: Gruda
    • Ys V: Jabir
    • Ys VI: Ernst
    • Ys Origin: Darm / Cain Fact
    • Ys SEVEN: Tialuna
  • Big Damn Heroes: The NPCs of the search party, in the final section of Darm Tower in Origin, unless you play as Toal, in which case they show up for three previous bosses but are conspicuously absent when Toal confronts Dalles and Cain.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Look no further than the Fact family. The Stoddart family in III/Oath isn't much better. The Clan of Darkness also counts, with some members wanting to become all-powerful and take over everything or start an apocalypse, other members trying to atone for their ancestors' crimes and therefore getting into conflicts with the first group, and at least one member doing a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Black Magic: All magic in Ys I, II, and Origin is this because it is sourced from the Black Pearl. Whenever the Black Pearl and other artifacts made of black emelas are used as a source of magic by anyone other than beings made of white emelas like the Eldeen, demons are generated as a side effect.
  • Black Magic: The Philosopher's stone in Ys V is powered by human sacrifices.
  • Blade on a Stick: These weapons are the weapons of choice for members of the Clan of Darkness. Examples include Geis in Ys VI and Ys SEVEN, Kishgal in Ys Origins, and Frieda in Ys: Memories of Celceta.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: There are many instances.
    • Falcom's own official romanization for the Fact family is Fukt. Feel free to start laughing any time. Falcom might have turned this into a hint on this family's status as a Big, Screwed-Up Family in Ys: Origin because Cain Fact turned his entire family into demons and pitting his sons against each other.
    • The DS version of Ys I & II translates the name of the Shrine of Solomon (that being the translation used in XSEED Games's translation of the PSP version, previously worded as Solomon Shrine in the TurboGrafx-CD version) as Palace of Salmon. One implies wisdom. The other implies fish. The weird thing is that Atlus USA did the DS version's translation and didn't do terribly bad with the rest of the game, but Atlus and XSEED Games both try to go for natural-sounding English text in their translations (and not just for Ys), with XSEED being the one to do so with its translation. A similar translation shows up with DotEmu's iOS and Android ports of Ys Chronicles II when the title card for the Shrine of Solomon shows because these versions use the Japanese title cards which shows the Japanese on top and Falcom's own English translation of the place name below the Japanese with the English title being the Shrine of Salmon. This is despite the fact that DotEmu used XSEED Games's localization for the English version's other text in Ys Chronicles II.
    • The same localization as in the item above also shows that Falcom's internal Romanization of "roo" is "loo", but these funny animals are not toilets so most English localizations translate this word into "roo".
    • Falcom's initial English title for Ys: Memories of Celceta was Ys: Foliage Ocean in Celceta, despite the fact that its Japanese title can be neatly translated as Ys: Celceta, the Sea of Trees.
  • Bonus Boss: Several in 3D Ys games. Including the Nigh-invulnerable Majunun, which is kind of an über-Boss in Mook Clothing. Its attacks kill you instantly the first time you are able to reach it.
  • Boss Rush:
    • An extra featured in I/II Chronicles and Oath in Felghana; surprisingly absent from SEVEN, however.
    • The Black Pikkard is essentially a Boss Rush in a boss fight, pitting you against three elite mooks and then the Black Pikkard itself.
  • Boss Subtitles: In the Japanese versions of the games, glorious Engrish subtitles began with Ys VI and continued in Oath and Origin, giving us such wonders as 'Garland — Mind Broken of the Darkness'. The accompanying Japanese subtext tended to make a lot more sense but wasn't half as fun. Ys SEVEN has only Japanese titles. XSEED Games's localizations translate these properly, and had fun with at least one in SEVEN, with one boss having the subtitle "big bug beast". Falcom actually started doing this with Ys Eternal, where the titles all went "[Boss Name] — [Ys Priest Name]'s Redemption of [Priest's power]". This was dropped in II Eternal and removed from the original entirely in Chronicles.
  • Bowdlerise: Blood effects are removed from console versions of Ys VI published by Konami to get a lower rating from many video game rating and censorship bureaus.
  • Brain Uploading: The Eldeen were said to have created new bodies out of white Emelas in the distant past to host their minds in stronger, purified bodies. Once they were able to have children in these forms, the Eldeen species became immortal.
  • Break Meter: Enemies that are hit with a large number of attacks at once can be stunned in Ys SEVEN, Ys: Memories of Celceta, and Lacrimosa of Dana; the latter also has a separate weakness break, where striking enemies with their attack weakness will eventually render them vulnerable to all weapons.
  • Broken Bridge: Some demons that guard a chest containing a critical item were changed from a Beef Gate where you had to be at least level 6 in the original Ys II in order to damage the stone demons guarding a chest to requiring a long sword or stronger sword in order to damage these demons in the TurboGrafx-CD version since levels carried over from Ys I.
  • Brown Note: The music in the Devil's Corridor in Darm Tower in both Ys I and Ys Origin will kill the player character if that character does not either neutralize the music or escape in a short amount of time.
  • But Now I Must Go: Adol is the king of this trope. Most often, he'll leave behind some maiden who's obviously fallen for him standing on a dock, watching him go. Also, the twin goddesses at the end of Ys II.
  • Call-Back: In terms of release order, not chronological order (considering it's the first chronologically) Origin is loaded with them, such as the fact that the setting is Darm Tower.
  • Canon Discontinuity: It's generally agreed that outsourced versions of the games not handled by Falcom themselves are considered non-canon (despite some fans considering the Hudson Soft-produced PC Engine ports to be the definitive renditions of the first few games). The only exception to this is the Super Famicom version of the fourth game (which was not directly developed by Falcom), at least until an internally developed version was made years later. Ys VI confirms the original (by a month) Tonkin House-developed Super Famicom version, Mask of the Sun, canonical over The Dawn of Ys (which allegedly deviated from Falcom's treatment). Remakes of the game (including the Falcom-made Memories of Celceta) also follow Mask of the Sun.
  • Cap: With the exception of the TurboGrafx-CD version, which has a 62-level cap in both Ys I and II with the endgame level and experience of I carrying over to II, Ys I typically has a 10-level cap which you'll reach long before the final dungeon. That the enemies keep getting stronger while Adol doesn't aside from some new equipment is the main source of difficulty in the game's second half. Ys II has a much more reasonable 52-level cap.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Played straight in SEVEN due to plot reasons; averted in Memories of Celceta and Lacrimosa of Dana.
  • Charged Attack: Ys Seven, Memories of Celceta, and Ys VIII have charged attacks. Ys Seven requires you to manually charge attacks by holding the attack button down. The later games have attacks that automatically charge if you wait long enough between attacks. Hitting enemies with charged attacks is the primary way to fill the SP meter.
  • Chaste Hero: Adol. One can even say Adol is a Celibate Hero since his job description says, "After saving beautiful women and making them swoon all over for you, leave for another adventure." The TG-16 version of Ys II may be the only game in the series where he goes so far as to kiss one of the girls.
  • The Chosen One: Adol is a rare combination of this and The Unchosen One. In most cases, The Chosen One becomes badass because they were chosen. Adol, by contrast, didn't even Jump At The Call — he set out looking for calls. In the OVA of Ys I, it turns out he has the same name as the prophesized hero, but this is Lampshaded when the seer's superior reminds her that Adol Christin is a common name and the last one that came to town was a little girl. It turns out that the prophecy is in fact talking about him, but instead of him becoming a hero because he was chosen by the prophecy, it just correctly predicted that he'd show up and save the place. Adol's reputation begins preceeding him as early as the first game. It's generally because of who he is and what he's done that he's given any powers or ancient artifacts that he doesn't get himself — if you need a hero to save your land, it's only sensible to choose someone with job experience. In the sixth game, the daughter of Alma running the trials is not impressed with this random man who just showed up out of nowhere, but after he begins passing them, she asks around about who this 'Adol Christin' guy thinks he is. She grows much more impressed and respectful after that.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: Felghana's monotheistic religion, which as pointed out below is centered around a benevolent deity referred to as God rather than a Crystal Dragon Jesus, seems very much like the Ys world's equivalent of Catholicism, since it has priests, nuns, bishops, etc.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Adol. An interesting case where the Chronic Hero Syndrome isn't because he can't say no when someone's in trouble and keeps running into problems, but a deliberate lifestyle choice by a character who set out to look for problems and people in need of saving. He's far less hapless than most examples of the trope.
  • The Clan: The Clan of Darkness. Evil members of this clan have become one of Adol's two recurring enemies. While this clan spawns several enemies, it also has spawned several allies and friends that Adol works with.
  • Climax Boss: Vagullion in I, Zava in II, Gildias in III, Chester in Oath, Gadis in Dawn, Eldeel in Memories of Celceta, Dorman in V, Orjugan in The Ark of Napishtim, the Oceanus in Lacrimosa of Dana.
  • Clock Tower: McGuire built one in Valestein Castle with the obscene taxes he levied in order to impress his wife.
  • Clockworks Area: Adol has to climb the insides of a Clock Tower while dealing with a Zombie Apocalypse in the area in Oath in Felghana.
  • Collision Damage: Played straight and inverted in the earlier games — Adol gets hurt when enemies hit him and enemies get hurt when Adol runs into them.
  • Colon Cancer: The first two games are titled Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished: Omen and Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished: The Final Chapter, at least in the English translation of the recent PSP versions.
  • Competitive Balance: This is played straight in games utilizing a party system, where all characters have their own stat builds and skills. This is downplayed in Origin, where all characters have the same stat growthnote , but have different movement speeds, different normal attacks, and different skills.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Enemies in Oath of Felghana are not affected by environmental hazards like moving poles that have spikes. Downplayed in Origin, where some enemies can survive all environmental hazards while some specific enemies can drown in water or blood pools.
  • Continuity Snarl: Ys IV. Even putting the (now resolved) two version problem aside, if Memories of Celceta also takes place before The Oath in Felghana, Adol should have very specific notes on how to kill a Galbalan by the time he reaches Felghana, not to mention a special anti-Galbalan sword....
  • Corrupt Church: If the Romun Empire's religion is not a Scam Religion, Bishop Nikolas Garland turns the church in Felghana into this.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Enemies explode into Ludicrous Gibs when killed in the 3D games and Eternal remakes. Not Adol, though. Although enemies can "critical attack" you on Nightmare difficulty, possibly delivering a One-Hit Kill.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Subverted with the religion practiced in Felghana (and implied to be so elsewhere with the explicit mention of a Felghana diocese), as it is a monotheistic religion centered around a benevolent deity explicitly referred to as God.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Some enemies have defenses against the entirety of some characters' attacks that these characters are forced to defeat such enemies with this strategy. A character can also intentionally use this strategy to fill up the experience multiplier meter if it is present in the game with weapons an enemy is strong against to level up quickly because that meter does not care about the quality of the hits as long as those hits deal at least Scratch Damage.
  • Death Ray: Orjugan and Napishtim's second form in Ys VI and Gadis in Ys: Memories of Celceta use this type of attack.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Adol's rival in The Ark of Napishtim and SEVEN, Geis, joins the party in the latter after losing a duel. Of course, in this case it's more like "defeat means becoming willing to provide assistance in defeating a common enemy", since Geis was never terribly fond of Adol.
  • Depending on the Artist: As the series has been running for three decades and across a huge spectrum of hardware, this has, unsurprisingly, cropped up. 1&2 tend to be particular examples due to how often they've been ported & remade. An especially notable example is Lilia - or specifically, Lilia's hair. In many of the early releases, it seemed more reddish than anything - darker than Adol's flame-red, but still red. Some of the promo art from that period, though, gave her dark brown hair. These days she's more consistently a medium-brown.
  • Determinator: Nothing can stop Adol from uncovering mysteries behind ancient ruins and destroying whatever abominations that were sealed in there.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: The Ark of Napishtim summons a tidal wave to wipe out Eresia; this is shortly after countered by a Deus ex Machina.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Normally, this is inverted, as in most games the female lead doesn't get the guy (as Adol leaves on another adventure). However, it is played straight in Origin; in Hugo's route, he fails to get Epona, and in Toal's route, he fails to get Reah. In both cases, it's because the girl isn't available for romance by the end of the game. This also arguably applies with Adol and Feena in Ys II.
  • Direct Line to the Author: According to Ys Eternal's loading screen and the opening movie of Ys II Eternal, the games are actually 'novels' translated from Adol's own journals. This serves as a nice handwave for things like the blatant differences between Mask of the Sun and Dawn of Ys. This conceit was carried forward into Oath, though oddly enough not into Ys SEVEN. Memories of Celceta picks it up again in the game's intro and in the companion "journal" that comes in the limited edition.
  • Disappears into Light: "Dularn" and Garland in Oath in Felghana, Ernst after his defeat in The Ark of Napishtim, Tialuna and the Five Dragons at the end of SEVEN, and Gruda after his final defeat in Memories of Celceta.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: The Abandoned Mine in I, after which is the Point of No Return and the Evil Tower of Ominousness that takes up the entire second half of the game. Also, the Moat of Burnedbless in II, the Elderm Mountains in III (which features the last Fetch Quest item), and the Xandria underground in V, where you fight the Climax Boss, the One-Winged Angel of The Dragon, Dorman, and Ruins Island in SEVEN.
  • Distressed Damsel: Multiple cases, but the worst offender has to be Elena in Oath, whom you have to rescue at least three times.
    • Adol himself qualifies, getting captured or trapped and requiring Dogi to break him out of jail/a cave-in at least once per game.
    • Reah and Feena each have to be rescued once in I, II, and Origin (in each path).
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The English-language intro to The Ark of Napishtim. "I'm Dogi, the Wallcrusher. Wanna get your walls crushed?"
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Gruda in all versions of Ys IV, who was simply manipulating Eldeel in order to attain the ancient power.
  • Dual Wielding: In his second boss fight in Oath, Chester fights with both his original sword and the Brave Sword.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Somewhat subverted since Adol becomes more popular as he goes through many adventures. However, that still doesn't stop lazy townspeople from asking him to do some menial tasks.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Adol for every single female in the series. As with so many common series tropes, Ys SEVEN has a lot of fun with this one.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: VIII's Bad Ending can only be feasibly attained if you actively go out of you way to be a dick to everyone by treating them poorly, refusing their side quests, refusing to defend the village during monster attacks etc, and given how the rewards for doing all of this range from handy to downright crucial, its almost impossible to get the Bad Ending unless you're actively hunting for it.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Ys I and II Eternal were loaded with these, ranging from a developer's room to fun but pointless tricks with various items to a cutscene that lets you check out Feena's measurements (If you must know, 158-84-56-85, which translates to 5'2", B33" W22" H33.5"). Most of these were removed from the DS games that were combined and then released overseas as Legacy of Ys. They were restored for Falcom's own handheld version, Ys I-II Chronicles for the PSP.
    • In Ys: Memories of Celceta, Misshy from the Trails series appears in various places. (This could possibly also qualify as a Shout-Out.)
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Starting a game on the very easy difficulty of the North American and European version of the Windows version of Ys: The Oath in Felghana unlocks the achievement "More Like Adol the Yellow."
  • Elemental Powers: Generally ignored until Ys VI, even though several games possessed weapons that look elemental. SEVEN and Memories of Celceta have taken this trope even further with each playable character having his or her own element.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors:
    • The harder difficulties of The Ark of Napishtim feature color-coded enemies, which can only be damaged with the same color sword, as well as the occasional black ones that are Invincible Minor Minions.
    • In Ys SEVEN, Ys: Memories of Celceta, and Lacrimosa of Dana, you have striking, slashing, and piercing weapon types. Some enemies are vulnerable to one while resistant to others.
  • The Empire: The Romun Empire, which resembles the ancient Roman Empire, in Ys: The Oath in Felghana, Ys IV: Mask of the Sun, Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys, and Ys VI: The Ark of Napisthim. It is downplayed in Memories of Celceta because Griselda, the local ruler from the Romun Empire, is an oddity who wants to stamp out corruption and hires Adol to map out the area. She also declares the evil military officers as rogue military officers that Adol and his party have to hunt down. This trope is also downplayed in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana because the military cop from that empire in that game is an honest cop who is hunting down a Serial Killer. This trope is played completely straight in Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim, where Adol has to rescue slaves from a Romun admiral. The Romun Empire has become one of Adol's two main recurring enemies, the other being the Clan of Darkness, many of whom take high-ranking positions in the Romun Empire to get the resources they need for their own plots.
  • Empty Room Psych: Quite a few areas exist purely to show off the pretty graphics and make players wonder what they're missing. Subverted with the empty room at the bottom of the mines in Ys I. It's just an empty room at first, but in Ys II, when the titular land is restored to its place, it becomes the doorway to the Core of Ys. Also, some of the dead ends in the mines in I and II make more sense once you realize that you're looking at two halves of what used to be one structure. In fact, both mines are named Rastin/Rasteenie.
  • Enemy Mine: The Redhan Village and Port Rimorge are ready to go to war in Ys VI because the residents of Port Rimorge keep destroying ancient ruins that the Redhan Village do not want destroyed for building materials. However, they are united when a Romun Empire fleet attacks the islands and enslaves several Redhans. Baslam, the leader of Port Rimorge, hates the Romun Empire because it is trying to conquer his home country, Altago, and therefore helps the Redhans in order to strike at his homeland's enemy. Adol helps in this effort.
  • Energy Weapon: Zirduros, a boss in The Oath in Felghana, can fire a laser cannon.
  • Escort Mission: Happens at least once in every game except Ys V. Thankfully, most of them aren't that bad for the simple reason that the escortee will usually stick close to Adol.
  • Everything Fades: Even main characters' bodies fade or blink out of existence upon death. A notable example is Ernst in The Ark of Napishtim, where his body seems to vaporize or sublimate.
    • Averted when Adol kills Romun soldiers in The Ark of Napishtim. Adol can rack up a high body count while rescuing enslaved Redhans from a Romun fleet that is enslaving them on the basis that they are "subhumans" instead of humans, and the bodies stay in the scene until Adol leaves it.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Romun Empire considers sentient nonhumans like the Redhans to be slave races.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The franchise takes place in a semi-medieval fantasy counterpart world (the fact that Ys VIII and Ys IX shows two moons in the sky means that it isn't a perfect parallel, however). Most of the games take place in locations based on the continent of Eresia (Europe) and Afroca (Africa), while the Atlas Ocean (Atlantic Ocean) seperates Eresia from the continent of Atlas (Atlantis). Presumably, the equivalent of Asia exists to the east of Eresia, but has yet to be explored. Meanwhile, the "Vortex of Canaan" in Ys VI is a reference to The Bermuda Triangle, while the "Romun Empire" is an obvious stand-in for The Roman Empire. Furthermore, regions such as Garman, Greek, Creet, Gllia, Ispani and Britai are based on similar, geographical areas of Germany, Greece, Crete, France, Spain and the British Isles, respectively. Specific locales, however, are estimated as the following.
    • Ys I - Esteria (An island off the southwestern coast of Brittany, France)
    • Ys III - Felghana (Northern Germany, around Rostock)
    • Ys IV - Celceta (Celtiberi Region in the Hispanic peninsula of Spain)
    • Ys V - Xandria (Alexandria, Egypt)
    • Ys VI - Canaan Islands (The Caribbean Islands)
    • Ys SEVEN - Kingdom of Altago (Ancient Carthage in Northeastern Tunisia)
    • Ys VIII - Isle of Seiren in the Gaete Sea (Saronic Islands in the Aegian Sea of Greece)
    • Ys IX - Balduq (Paris, France)
  • Fantasy Pantheon: IX introduces the Nors, which is this series' analogue to the Norse Pantheon with Grimnir being a combination of Odin and Thor, and Luki being, well, Loki.
  • Feed the Mole: One of the demons tells Ado-roo (Adol in roo form that is mistaken for a demon by many humans and demons and is able to speak and understand the demons' language) that a key item is in the subterranean canal in Ys II. However, she lies about what part of the subterranean canal that item is in.
  • Feelies: Atlus released a soundtrack CD with the DS compilation of the first two games and XSEED Games released soundtrack CDs and various other items (such as a cloth map of part of the series's world) with the premium editions of SEVEN and The Oath in Felghana and the initial release of I & II Chronicles.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Flesh-Eating Zombie: Ys I has some dead soldiers that have been turned into zombies guarding the shrine. Ys II has a few zombies in the Ruins of Moondoria. They came about due to being possessed by demonic spirits. Ys: The Oath in Felghana has most of the residents including the soldiers of Valestein Castle turned into zombies due to a spell that Chester used in the castle to exact his revenge on Count McGuire. They all were caused by supernatural means.
  • Forced Level-Grinding: In earlier games, this is pretty much required if you want to be able to hurt a boss even slightly. Fortunately, reaching the level caps in earlier games is easier than in later ones (in the more recent remakes of the first one, the level cap is just 10, though the TurboGrafx-CD version goes higher than this).
  • Frame-Up: Adol is framed for assassinating The Good King.
  • Funny Animal: Roos tend to have witty dialogue if you have some means of communicating with them or if you decipher their "Roonic" language. As an example, the first Roo Yunica meets will demand to be fed, or they'll die and defecate over her skirt. The third one claims that if they receive a Roda Fruit without giving a reward, they'll be disemboweled by their comrades.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Due to its status as the first dungeon of Oath, the active shaft of Tigre Quarry is the absolute worst place in the game to grind for Raval Ore, despite that being where it comes from in the first place.
  • Genocide Backfire: McGuire ordered the genocide of Genos Island to kill the descendants of Genos. Chester Stoddart, one of the two survivors, turns almost everyone in McGuire's castle into zombies as part of his revenge.
  • Get on the Boat: Odd usage — some of Adol's adventures start with him getting on a boat... but gameplay doesn't start until the boat sinks (or Adol falls off it for some reason), leaving him stranded at the site of his current adventure. Adol has rarely set foot on a boat that has not later sunk. This trope is actually played straight with no sinking in Ys Seven.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Lots of the bosses have no connection with the storyline, although they may guard a Plot Coupon (e.g. many of the bosses in Wanderers/Oath) or fit with the dungeon theme, such as the Ice Golem in Mask of the Sun. One of the most out-of-place bosses is the centaur boss fought on Minea Plains in Mask. Also, in Ys SEVEN, Rul-Ende, the root of all existence in Altago which appears right after the battle with Tialuna with no explanation beforehand. In Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, in the true ending route, the Origin of Life appears at the end of the final dungeon with no explanation other than defeating it being the requirement to see Dana.
  • Girl of the Week: Ys heroines are known as "the Bond Girls of video gaming" for a reason — Adol seems to end up with at least one love interest per game. Lilia is the most "solid" love interest Adol's ever had but even she's been AWOL since the Turbo-Grafx version of Ys IV. Elena is (very arguably) the most popular one with the fans. And, as per its wont, Ys SEVEN really fucks with the player's expectations (and head) concerning this, especially at the end.
  • Godhood Seeker: The goal of most major villains in the series.
  • Guide Dang It!: Oooh boy.
  • Hair Colors: Every color has representation somewhere in the franchise. Several characters even rotate through the rainbow in different installments: Lilia's hair is red in most older games, dark brown in the OVA, and light brown in newer games. Karna goes all the way from dirty blonde to black depending on which version of the story you're looking at.
  • Harmful to Minors: Chester witnessed his village become a victim to genocide when he was a boy and became a victim of this trope. This is his motive for his actions. McGuire is the one who ordered this genocide. Nikolas Garland is the one who manipulated McGuire into ordering the genocide.
  • Haunted Castle: Chester turns Valestein Castle into this by starting a Zombie Apocalypse inside there.
  • Homing Projectile: Zirduros, a boss in The Oath in Felghana, can fire two homing missiles at a time.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The first fight with Garland in Oath. It is literally impossible to break his defensive barrier without the game's Sword of Plot Advancement, which you don't get until after the fight.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: These games include powerful Swords, Armor and Shields which are usually worthless against the Big Bad.
  • Informed Equipment: Played entirely straight in I-V where your appearance does not change based on equipment. Partially averted in VI where your weapon changes (and completely averted in the PS2 port where everything changes). Oath has your appearance change whenever you have a full set of matching equipment and only a full set. Appearance in SEVEN only changes based on weapon and shield. In ''Origin, Yunica's model subverts it by changing slightly when she changes between using her axe and her sword, while Toal's model plays it straight and does not change when he regains his sword before the final battle).
  • Instant Runes: Falcom really, really loves their insanely high detailed magic circles, runes, pentagrams etc. whenever someone casts a spell. Just take a look at Origins, the last level is basically Scenery Porn made of magic circles.
  • Internal Reformist: While the Romun Empire's government is generally thoroughly rotten, there are few people who do not fit this evil mold and work to reform it.
    • Griselda and Leo in Memories of Celceta are these because they do not tolerate the typical evil that is normal within the Romun Empire's government and instead care for the citizens.
    • Elizabetha, the wife of McGuire in The Oath in Felghana, vows to get her husband to atone for his crimes once Adol tells her about McGuire's evils. She also cares about the villagers of Redmont Village once she meets them.
    • Euron in Lacrimosa of Dana is a military police officer who was on the Lombardia in the first place to try and catch a serial killer. Not only does he want to keep the people of Romn safe from any more killers like Nameless, but he ever so discreetly warns Adol that the Romun Empire has a vested interest in him and to watch out after they get off Seiren Island.
  • Item Crafting: You can boost the power of your swords in VI and all your equipment in Oath by gathering enough Emel or Raval. SEVEN also allows you to create certain equipment and items by gathering the right synthesis materials.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: Alternative Saga crosses over Ys with The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky using SEVEN's engine and includes support characters from Gurumin, Zwei, Brandish, The Legend of Heroes III, and Trails from Zero.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: Black enemies in VI on Nightmare (one of the Mini Bosses is guarded by these), and the bats in the cave, until you get the Bell (unless you missed getting it before a certain point and it is no longer accessible.)
  • I've Come Too Far: Chester's motivation for not turning back, just before he stabs Dogi.
  • I Want to Be a Real Man: Dogi's motivation for leaving Felghana and setting out for adventure.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Notably averted. Adol's swords based on real-world weapons have taken inspiration from Europe, Africa, India, and Persia, but never Japan. Over 20 years after the series's debut, Scias in SEVEN is the first character in the series to have something recognizable as a katana.
  • Killer Rabbit: The Black Pikkard in Oath in Felghana, which can only be fought after beating the game on Inferno.
  • Killer Robot: The Ark of Napishtim is full of enemy robots.
  • Knight Errant: Adol, who is Walking the Earth looking for people in need of saving. He's good at both.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Adol suffers this in Ys: Memories of Celceta. More specifically, this is what happens to the outsiders who come into the village of Highland for knowledge and get out. Namely, they forget about the existence of Eldeel and the village of Highland but retain the knowledge they received from Eldeel. This is done to ensure that people do not come back for more knowledge and end up changing the future recorded in the Akashic Records too much. However, Adol suffered his amnesia from falling down a waterfall and forgot much more like his name and that he is a swordsman He did not have any amnesia inflicted on him in Highland because he refused to accept knowledge from Eldeel.
  • Leap of Faith: Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim has several of these in the Ruins of Lost Time. A failure to make one of these jumps will send Adol into a room full of monsters instead of killing him.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Adol qualifies. He will charge blindly head-on no matter how dangerous the place is.
  • Leitmotif: "Theme of Adol" (used in pretty much every game except VI and Origin, sometimes in Musical Pastiche form), "Feena", "Lilia", "Termination" (Darm), "Karna", "The Clan of Darkness", "Leeza", Eldeel's theme ("Eldeel" and "A Kiss from Eldeel"), "Niena", "Theme of Lovers" (Stoker's theme in V), "Theme of Kefin", "Turning Death Spiral" (the Quirky Miniboss Squad Boss Battle theme in V), Olha's theme, "The Successor of Almarion" (Ernst's theme), Napishtim's theme (heard in "Revival of The Great Ark", "Defend and Escape", "The Depth Napishtim", "Collapse of the Ark", and "Zeme's Protection"), etc.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The Moat of Burnedbless in II, the Fire Mountain in Mask or Nergal in Dawn, the Zone of Lava below Illburns Ruins in III and Oath, parts of the Ruins of Amnesia in VI... played only for visual effect until Oath and VI, respectively, made the last two straight examples.
  • Limit Break: An EXTRA attack. In Ys SEVEN, this meter was introduced and was explained as a product of the dragon energy that weapons from Altago possess. This meter is recycled in Ys: Memories of Celceta, but that introduces a Plot Hole due to not explaining how any of the party learned how to perform these moves, and because Adol does not use any similar moves in later games except for Ys SEVEN and Lacrimosa of Dana.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: The PSP port of VI is an exercise in patience due to its load times — 5-10 seconds for every screen (this gets especially annoying when trying to do jumping puzzles).
  • Long-Runners: The series has gone on for twenty years.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Ys III can get really weird/bad about this with the song "The Boy Who Had Wings" only played at the entrances of dungeons (these take 30 seconds to cross, typically, with the song being about two minutes long), "Prelude to Adventure" played on the world map (which can often be dealt with in under ten seconds, despite the song being about a minute per loop!), and "Theme of Chester" only plays in the last corridor of the Ilburns Ruins, and only in certain versions. On that note, the biggest standout is perhaps "Chop!!", which plays in a brief confrontation with Chester... exclusively in the X68000 version of the game, meaning most versions lack the song entirely! The status of most of these is inverted (almost certainly purposefully) in the Oath in Felghana, which gives "The Boy Who Had Wings" much more respect by making it the main overworld theme, while "Prelude to Adventure" can only be heard by stepping outside of town before it's time to set out for the first dungeon (which is after Adol introduces himself to the villagers), after which "The Boy Who Had Wings" plays there instead, and "Theme of Chester" is actually used as Chester's leitmotif, even getting a second version for later in the game. "Chop!!", meanwhile, was heavily remixed and became the theme of the infamously difficult second boss fight with Chester.
  • Love-Interest Traitor: Tia from Seven, though unlike most examples she did have feelings for Adol.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Ever since Ys Eternal, mook monsters have had tendency to explode into these; bosses can vary. They are particularly spectacular in Ys I & II Chronicles. Mercifully, this does not apply to our heroes being on the receiving end of a beatdown.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Zirduros, a boss in The Oath in Felghana, can fire lots of missiles at once.
  • The Magic Goes Away: Happens at the end of many installments due to Adol's defeating Sealed Evil in a Can.
    • Ys II: The destruction of the Black Pearl leads to the magic disappearing from Ys with the floating continent's coming back down.
    • Ys IV: Eldeel's sealing himeslf (the last of the Eldeen civilization) and the destruction of the Mask of the Sun result in the complete end of the Eldeen civilization and the Akashic Records being lost to the world.
    • Ys V: The defeat of Jabir and the destruction of the philosopher's stone cause the end of the mythical kingdom of Kefin and its alchemy.
    • Ys Seven: Dragon energy goes away after Adol destroys Rul-Ende to keep Altago from being destroyed. Unfortunately, the dragons' existence is tied to Rul-Ende's existence, so dragon energy no longer exists because it uses the dragons as their source.
    • Ys IX: Destroying the source of the Grimwald Nox also destroys the Monstrum Curse, turning all the Monstrums back to ordinary people.
  • Made of Iron: Adol. When you survive getting shipwrecked and thrown off the cliff several times, you deserve the title.
  • Magitek: It's heavily implied that the Eldeen civilization was based on this. It's never outright stated, but dungeons strongly associated with them tend to look suspiciously high-tech, sometimes going so far as to include robotic enemies. The final boss of Ark of Napishtim is basically a magical weather-control supercomputer.
    • The Eternian civilization likewise utilized technology beyond that which exists in Adol's era, explained as running on Essence.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Darm behind Dark Fact.
    • Also Cain Fact behind Dalles in Origin. Which makes Cain/Darm the man behind two men, with Dark being his distant descendant.
    • Garland behind Chester and McGuire in Oath.
    • Jabir behind the entire kingdom of Kefin in Ys V.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Garland in Oath. Gruda in both versions of Ys IV (The Dawn of Ys and Mask of the Sun), who is mainly responsible for Eldeel's fall to evil.
  • Marathon Boss: The final bosses of I (excluding the TurboGrafx-CD version), II, The Dawn of Ys, Oath, and V.
  • Marathon Level: Darm Tower in I is so massive it comprises almost half the game.
  • Master Swordsman: Chester in Ys: The Oath in Felghana. Adol himself counts as well.
  • The Maze: The warp mirror mazes in Darm Tower, and in Iris Tower in Mask of the Sun.
  • Mechanical Monster: The Oath in Felghana and The Ark of Napishtim have robotic bosses.
  • Mercy Kill: In Taito's port of Ys IV, people transformed into monsters by Bami can't be saved; they can only be killed, briefly returning them to human form before they die. Karna was angry with Adol for killing Remnos until she saw another victim thank Adol for freeing him and allowing him to die as a man, after which she apologized.
  • Missing Secret: Generally averted as there's one item or piece of equipment to fill every inventory spot, so if you've missed something, you'll know. Played straight in Mask of the Sun, in which there are more inventory slots than items. The Dawn of Ys looks like it has this, but there are some rare items and post-game bonuses that fill the gaps.
    • Toyed with as a bug in the Korean Ys II Special. After beating the first boss, you will lose any sword in your inventory. There's a second sword you can gain before the boss; not picking it up right away gets you a better weapon later but the inventory system is balanced on the assumption that you grabbed it earlier and lost it forever along with the first sword.
    • Also, in Interchannel's DS port of Ys I (released worldwide as part of Legacy of Ys), where they added a new sword, shield, and armor but forgot to add a new ring, leaving your inventory permanently unbalanced and leading new players to wonder where the non-existent sixth ring was.
  • Money for Nothing: Ys I has this in two forms. First, most items that you can buy can also be found for free. The only things the game requires you to purchase are one armor and one shield of any kind so Sara will talk to you and give you the Coupon of Plot Advancement. Also, once you enter Darm Tower, you will still receive money for killing enemies even though there is absolutely nothing you can do with it.
  • Money Spider: Played straight in all games but V. Dead enemies drop money and occasionally things like Emel and Raval. Enemies in Oath and Origin also drop instant-use healing items and temporary stat boosts and enemies in SEVEN drop synthesis items. In V, the enemies don't drop money, instead they drop gems that you exchange for cash. (Don't ask why the literal spiders are carrying around topaz.)
  • Mook–Face Turn: Berhardt deserted McGuire's army in Oath because he could not carry out his order to slaughter everyone on Genos Island because his next victims would have been children. He rescued them instead.
  • Mook Maker: Several of the bosses, including Zomplus, Orjugan, and Napishtim (second form) in VI and Druegar in Ys II Eternal, do this.
  • Multiple Endings: VIII is the first entry in the franchise where Adol's choices directly influence and change the plot and ending.
  • Myth Arc: I, II, and IV originally. VI continued the arc and it plus Oath serve to tie III in as well, leaving V and SEVEN the only unconnected ones (save for the fact that V introduced recurring character Terra).
  • New Game+: The PSP port of ''Oath lets you choose from a series of bonus options including starting your next game with free gold and Raval, being able to upgrade equipment to higher levels, or beginning with certain abilities already learned.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Herod!: McGuire ordered the genocide of Genos Island to kill the descendants of Genos. If it had succeeded, an ironic case of Nice Job Fixing It, Villain! would have resulted because unsealing the local Galbalan requires draining energy from one of the descendants of Genos.
  • Nipple and Dimed: Whenever the goddesses are drawn without clothes, their nipples are not drawn.
  • Non-Action Guy: While his sister, Karna, is a hunter, Remnos is far more skilled with music than hunting. Or so he claims.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Averted by the title screen of the English Sega Master System version of Ys I, which adds an IPA guide next to the title. However, if you didn't notice the guide was there (it's easy to miss), or didn't realize that it was a guide, or didn't know how IPA pronunciation works, then you'd still be out of luck. Exacerbating the problem, the box spells the game's title as "Y's", with an apostrophe, leading to it being widely mispronounced as "wise".
  • Oddball in the Series The original Ys III: Wanderers From Ys. This one generated a fairly significant divided base; the music was awesome and people liked the story and art, but the sudden shift to Zelda II-ish side scrolling was deeply unpopular. Oath in Felghana more or less fixed all the problems people had with the game, though, and Oath is considered a contender for "best Ys game ever". The merits of the original Wanderers remains a point of contention, though. Interestingly, Ys III was also chosen to essentially "headline" the series' original Western push in the early 90s, once Falcom was interested in that market and since it was at that point the newest game. The game ended up being just as divisive in the West as in Japan, and so the original Ys push fizzled, leading to us missing Ys IV and V. On that note...
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Used during the "Revival of the Ark" cutscene in Ys VI. Also present in the True Final Boss's battle theme from Origin.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Galbalan in Oath and Arem in Dawn. They both declare that they will destroy everything before engaging Adol in the Final Boss battle.
    • The Ark of Napishtim could also qualify, due to its plan to flood all the continents and wipe out all of humanity.
  • Open-Ended Boss Battle: Ys Origin, when Hugo Fact first meets Lady Feena. The boss battle is difficult, but if Toal is defeated, he transforms and knocks down Hugo in a cutscene.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Dragons in this world are artificial creations by humans who tried to make Emelas but failed. However, this is recently subverted in Ys SEVEN, in which the five dragons of Altago, who are worshiped as gods there, have no connection to the Emelas or the Eldeen civilization.
  • Pædo Hunt: The achievement "Police Are On Their Way" from the Steam version of Ys II implies this. The icon shows Tarf, some hearts, and a black box with the words "NO. I REFUSE TO DRAW THIS" written on it.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Baslam despises the Romun Empire so much because it is trying to conquer his homeland that he will team up with the Redhans which he hates when the Romun Empire invades, occupies his town, and enslaves the Redhans.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • You have a limited timeframe to accept the sidequest leading to the Augite Brooch in Oath.
    • A missable accessory in Ark of Napishtim that allows you to attack and kill the Goddamn Bats in a later dungeon.
  • Pet the Dog: In Ys: Oath in Felghana, Count McGuire may appear as a typical evil aristocrat in most scenes, but he genuinely cares about his family.
  • Phlebotinum Rebel: Adol Christin and Hugo Fact can use magic that use the same source of power as what spawns demons, the Black Pearl. Since Darm and the Black Pearl became one entity in Ys: Origin, Adol is using Darm's power against him in their fight.
  • Physical God: The Eldeen race. They are even worshiped as gods by humans and the Rheda. However, subverted with Felghana's religion, which worships God and seems to be the Ys world's equivalent of the Roman Catholic Church, and anyone familiar with any of the real-world religions that worship him know that he isn't a Physical God.
  • Point of No Return: In some cases, a certain location will be rendered inaccessable after the completion of a quest objective, causing any missed objects there to be lost forever.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: In Ark, the special power in Isha's bloodline is required to awaken the titular Ark from its slumber beneath the ocean. And also to give Ernst his dark angelic wings, when he steals some of her power for himself.
  • Private Military Contractors:
    • Geis is a mercenary.
    • The party can accept quests which are mercenary jobs in Ys SEVEN and Memories of Celceta.
    • Berhardt is a retired mercenary in The Oath in Felghana.
  • Powers of Two Minus One: Adols HP and MP gauges max out at 255 in the original versions of Ys I and II. In Ys II Chronicles for Steam, PSP, iOS, and Android, the gauges max out at 256, but you have to grind until you are at level 55, the maximum level in those versions.
  • Prongs of Poseidon: Some members of the Clan of Darkness can use tridents as weapons.
  • Rain of Arrows: Aisha and Sigroon have a skill that does this.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Feena and Reah are literally over 700 years old, given that they are the Goddesses of Ys, which fell 700 years before the start of the first game.
  • Real-Time Weapon Change: In VI, you can rotate through your Emelas swords during combat. Oath and Origin allow you to do the same thing with your magic-granting items.
  • Rebellious Princess: Aisha.
  • Recurring Riff:
    • Recurring (non-leitmotif) themes include the treasure box and game over jingles, "Termination" (reused in the recap of the Darm battle during the intro of The Dawn of Ys), "Beat of the Terror" (remixed as Overwater Drive in VI), "Tower of the Shadow of Death" (returns in Dawn and Origin), "Battle Ground" (redone in Over Drive, Sanctuary, and Armored Bane), "The Dawn of Ys" (remixed as "Temple of the Sun" later in the game), and "Memories of Celceta" (sort of the main theme of Ys IV).
    • "Ernst", in addition to using the beat of "Final Battle", is also suspiciously similar to the tune of "Moon over the Castle", the theme of the Japanese versions of the Gran Turismo series.
    • The Boss Battle themes "Holders of Power", "Protectors", and "Death Blitz" from the first three games use a common riff during their "refrain" sections.
    • "Lava Field", "Battle #58", and "The Heat in the Blaze" (main guitar riff).
  • Redemption Rejection: In Oath, Dogi's speech to Chester about how empty and self-destructive his quest for revenge against McGuire is actually causes Chester to falter for a moment, but he ultimately decides to continue his plan because he feels he's too far into it to back out now.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: In Oath, Garland's eyes become noticeably redder after he reveals what's Beneath the Mask. Sister Nell also has red eyes, though nothing seems to be particularly insidious about her until you learn that she's actually Dularn. In Origin, Toal and Hugo's eyes become red when they activate their demon seeds.
  • Regenerating Mana: Some of the games have the Magic Meter refill in various ways. In some games, it refills automatically. In others, it refills when attacking enemies with charged attacks or by parrying attacks.
  • Regional Bonus: When the Windows version of The Oath in Felghana was released internationally, it gained an achievement system and has the Inferno difficulty unlockable without a patch. Since it's distributed through Steam, updates would also be easier and the game is downloaded after it's paid for instead of needing a disc.
  • Retcon: Oath made a few of these to tie the plot of III further into the rest of the series.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Pikkards, which not only appear in every game, but also represent the series in Alternative Saga.
  • The Rival: Chester, in The Oath in Felghana only, as he's not a boss in the original Ys III; Geis in Ark of Napishtim and SEVEN. Geis joins Adol's party after losing a duel with him in his latter appearance.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Chester goes on this after learning the truth about the destruction of his village.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: There is a sunken city in The Ark of Napishtim, though, more based on Atlantis. Legend also tells of the "Atlas Continent".
  • Scarf Of Ass Kicking: Adol dons one in The Oath in Felghana and, in most games set after it, he still has it. Chester's redesign for Oath also includes one so you know he means business.
  • Sequence Breaking: It's possible to this VI by entering the Limewater Cave as soon as you reach Canaan Island. Provided you're good at running away, this lets you get the Galba Armor and Shield (the second best in the game) much earlier than you're supposed to.
  • Servant Race: The fairies that the Clan of Darkness manufactures are this.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Terra, who told Adol she'd do just this.
  • Shoot the Medic First: One of the robots in the ruined city of Kishgal in The Ark of Napishtim is a repair robot whose spells repair other bots. Of course, you could intercept its healing spell to get healed as well, but you will get healed for fewer hit points than a robot would get healed by the spell.
  • Shout-Out: See here.
  • Shrouded in Myth: A thousand years after the events of Adol's life, stories of his exploits can be found throughout the entire world. Some branded him as a just and virtuous hero, and others as an agent of chaos and discord.
  • Sinking Ship Scenario: Adol often starts many games after surviving one of these.
  • Slave Race: The Romun Empire sees sentient nonhumans like the Redhans as worthy only as slaves. Adol has to rescue them from this fate.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Played straight with mooks, but not necessarily true of bosses.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance:
    • The "Valley of Quicksand" theme is a laid-back Latin style "beach" or "surf" tune, played while, Exactly What It Says on the Tin, you're in a harsh desert ridden with killer quicksand pits. And "Quatera Woods" sounds like the soundtrack for a peaceful walk in the park with your special someone, but the woods of Quatera are anything but a nature walk, with Everything Trying to Kill You, even squirrels. And one of the worst offenders is "Crimson Wings", the Ice Mountain theme, which sounds like elevator jazz/muzak in the TurboGrafx-CD version of Ys IV, clashing with the song title as well, although in the SFC version and on the Perfect Collection album, it's much more upbeat.
    • "Defend and Escape" from The Ark of Napishtim, while musically sad, is played during a heated Escort Mission sequence.
    • The song "Anxiety" is anything but anxious-sounding.
    • "So Much For Today" from Ys I & II Chronicles is a cute, upbeat tune that plays when Adol is defeated.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Ys III and Oath can be particularly bad about this, since each English version was produced independently of any other, with the Wanderers ones all being done simultaneously. The TG-16 version goes so far as to completely alter most of the place names and some of the characters. More generally, these differences are just spelling-related (like Dularn/Dulan/Duran, Valestein/Ballecetine, or Elena/Ellena).
  • Stripperific: Olha and Crevia in the PS2 version of VI have hidden Stripperific moments. And Rose, the armor shopkeeper in The Ark of Napishtim. Ursa and Tia, after The Reveal in Ys SEVEN. Bami in Ys: Memories of Celceta. Dana in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity Every time you see a crystal in front of a path in ''SEVEN', you know a boss is coming up.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: If your last name is Fact, then you definitely have one. Eldeel in Ys: Memories of Celceta also has one.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement:
    • The Emelas swords in VI are required not only to fight with and use magic but are the keys that open certain doors around the islands and are required to control the titular Ark.
    • The Brave Sword in Oath is the only weapon capable of harming The Dragon and Big Bad. Fortunately, it's impossible to miss.
  • Taken for Granite: Dalles does this in Ys II and its prequel, Ys Origin.
  • The Unfought: Count McGuire in Oath isn't fought at all. After this Dirty Coward surrenders, he just comes to terms with what he was done and has a Heel–Face Turn.
  • There Was a Door: Dogi the Wall-Crusher, especially in Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys.
    Kid: Look, it's unlocked. Why'd you break the wall, exactly?
    Dogi: ...Sh...shut up! Kids should stay quiet!
  • Too Awesome to Use: The resurrection items, the Timestop magic, the sword magic in Mask of the Sun (except for the Hero's Sword).
  • 20 Bear Asses: Some of the quests in Ys: Memories of Celceta require you to fetch a certain number of a particular type of item.
  • Unlockable Content: Most Ys games have a Time Attack mode unlocked after beating the main story, where players can refight bosses, but with set equipment and levels. In Ys: Memories of Celceta, the player can activate Time Attack from the memories menu and choose any accessories they want to complement the preset gear, but the effects of Wanderer's and Hero's Cloaks are nullified for the sake of balance.
  • Unobtainium: Cleria in I, II, and IV, Raval in The Oath in Felghana, and Emel/Emelas in The Ark of Napishtim.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: It is possible to reach the first Zone of Lava boss without finding the Firewyrm's Amulet. However you'll be unable to outlast the damage from the lava during the boss fight itself.
  • Unwitting Pawn: In Ys III/Oath, Adol gathers all statues containing the essence of Galbalan. Of course, this ineviably leads to Adol's handing those statues over to villains, who then use them to unseal Galbalan. In * Unwitting Pawn: Also, Eldeel in The Dawn of Ys.
  • Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Every Ys game has one of these, with the exception of Origin, in which the entire game is one of these.
  • Video Game Remake: The first two games have been remade multiple times. The third game was re-imagined as a top-down game as Ys: The Oath in Felghana, which was ported to the PlayStation Portable and finally got an official translation on that system after the PC version wasn't released internationally (though that version was later released in English itself). The PlayStation Portable port of Ys I & II Eternal, Ys I & II Chronicles, were localized in 2011.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: This is averted for most recurring bosses, who are at the level that the game expects the player to be at. In Ys Origin, this includes bosses like Kishgal and Toal, despite how the player is meant to lose to them first time around.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: In some games, Adol gains the ability to transform into a Roo.
  • Waif Prophet: Isha in VI, whose visions terrify her.
  • Walking the Earth: Ys in general is kind of surprising about this. You'll do a lot of wandering around the various locales of the games, sure, but the actual distances tend to be moderately realistic and you never wander the whole planet in any game (because such journeys would take months). You never go from Altago to Romun and then take a brief jaunt to Kefin, for example; you're always limited to a geographical area that can realistically be traversed on foot. In fact, most of the games start with Adol on a ship or other conveyance after a long voyage to his new destination. (Dogi likes to point out how this rarely ends well for either of them.)
  • Wallet of Holding: Adol can carry gold and ore in the tens or hundreds of thousands of units. It gets lampshaded in The Oath In Felghana, where people wonder where you managed to store the large amounts of Raval ore you give them (in one case the amount is explicitly mentioned as being more than what is normally taken from the local mine in a month).
  • Weak Sauce Weakness: The Infinity +1 Sword is often useless against the Big Bad, forcing you to switch to a certain lesser set of equipment.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Raba's fate was left unaddressed for five games and sixteen years.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The final moments of Lacrimosa of Dana details the party's moments after the end of the game.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: A bit odd in that we have a map of Felghana in-game... but it doesn't appear on various world maps that have been put out over the years. Given the various parallelisms with the real world in the Ys setting and a few sparse hints in Oath, the best guess most people have is that Felghana is meant to be the equivalent of Flanders or Switzerland (the former being properly placed near the sea and close to the real-life equivalent of Esteria, making the trip not too distant; the latter's Alps seems to have served as inspiration for the Elderm Mountains), and one point for Switzerland is the fact that it has a town named Rougemont, which Redmont is basically an Anglicized version of. Although it's ultimately still conjecture and nobody is exactly sure where one of the best-selling stories in the franchise actually takes place. Finally averted with the release of Memories of Celceta, which puts Felghana in Northern Germany, around Rostock.
  • Wise Tree: Roda trees in Ys I, Origin, and Memories of Celceta.
  • With This Herring: Played straight in most games (it wasn't until VI that you actually started with anything) but averted in Dawn (which starts Adol off with the Cleria equipment). All the games since VI have given Adol a sword at the very least. Strangely, Adol doesn't even need to have a sword actually equipped to use one in Memories (though you're given your first sword right before you first enter combat, so you might as well equip it). To be fair, there's not much difference between starting with a sword/armor/shield and starting with the money to buy said sword/armor/shield. Although, one has to wonder, "just what happened to Adol's sword in Wanderers, the one he used to kill the beast in the prologue/cutscene with, if he shows up in Redmont with absolutely no equipment at all?"
  • Worldbuilding: Quite a bit. While it's not quite the most internally consistent world around, the large distances and realistic travel the protagonist does gives what might otherwise be isolated areas some realism. It makes sense that references to many of Adol's adventures wouldn't be understood or known about in places that are thousands of miles apart, just because it's the same world doesn't mean traveling is any easier in our own. More generally, subtle references and a similar underlying structure to the various magic systems and the occasional reoccurring character help tie things down.
  • You Are Too Late: In The Oath in Felghana, after handing over the statues to Chester, Adol sets off to Valestein Castle to recollect them. He does manage to find them, but not before Chester uses their powers to turn nearly everyone in the castle to mindless monsters, and those powers are transferred completely to Galbalan.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report