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"We are not the tools of any higher power. Each of us is the very embodiment of free will. Even so, there comes a time in every man's life when he must answer a call to destiny beyond human understanding. How will you respond when that moment strikes you? Truly, nothing is more awe-inspiring than one who unceasingly pushes himself beyond the threshold of his courage and will. I had hoped to embody such an ideal myself. Even now, many decades later, my awe for her remains unwavering."
Adol Christin
Preface to "Travelogue of the Gaete Sea"

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is the eighth primary installment of the Ys franchise, developed and published by Falcom. Initially released on the Sony PlayStation Vita in Japan on July 21, 2016, Ys VIII was ported to the Sony PlayStation 4 on May 25, 2017. NIS America, rather than long-time partner XSEED Games, published the localization, releasing it for North America on September 12, 2017 and on September 15, 2017 for Europe, coinciding with the franchise's 30th anniversary. A PC release was planned for the same date, but was delayed until April 16, 2018 due to a need for further code patching and re-work on the language localization. A version for the Nintendo Switch launched in June 2018, also courtesy of NIS America.

An immediate Sequel to Ys V: Lost Kefin, Kingdom of Sand, series protagonist Adol Christin boards the Lombardia, a passenger ship taking him and traveling companion Dogi back to the Eresian mainland from the city of Xandria on the Afrocan continent. However, while passing through the mysterious Isle of Seiren, the ship is destroyed by a giant sea creature, stranding Adol, Dogi, the surviving crew of the Lombardia and its passengers on Seiren. Adol must cooperate with these "castaways" to survive on the island until they can find a means of escape. Throughout his stay on Seiren, Adol begins having dreams about a blue-haired woman called Dana Iclucia, who has a connection to Seiren from the distant past in the ancient Eternian civilization. These dreams slowly unravel the mysterious bond between the two, revealing there is more to the Isle of Seiren than meets the eye.


Continuing the party-based game-play from Ys SEVEN and Ys: Memories of Celceta, Ys VIII features a full three-dimensional world where players are encouraged to explore every nook and cranny of the Isle of Seiren. Featuring returning mechanics such as "Flash Guard" and "Flash Move", Ys VIII includes a new "Break" status, where-in enemies hit with attacks they are weak to causes them to become weak to all weapon attributes of piercing, slashing and striking. Furthermore, as the castaways are stranded on Seiren, players will help build a settlement and repel the island's hostile fauna in Beast Raids using Tower Defense elements. Finally, due to the narrative of Adol's dreams, the game will occasionally shift to Dana, who shares the headlining role with Adol in Ys VIII.


Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana provides examples of:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Downplayed. If you do a good amount of side content, enough to reach the True Ending, your party will likely reach around the high 70s (out of 99) by the end of the game.
  • Action Girl: By default, Laxia von Roswell, Ricotta Beldine and Dana for the active party; out of the castaways, Silvia qualifies on the surface, but the trope is applicable to every female from Castaway Village as they all participate (off-screen) in beast raids and beast hunts.
  • All in a Row: Whomever is in the current party will be shown as this throughout the game, except at Castaway Village outside of mandatory events; the rest of the party are in reserve off-screen.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: At mandatory points in the game, Adol's party must rest for the night. When he dreams, the story shifts to Dana - depending on the point in the game, players will gain control of her.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different: While the earlier parts of Ys VIII is simply charting Seiren and getting as many survivors as possible back to Castaway Village, the last bits of Chapter 2 turns the narrative into a murder-mystery, as there's a Serial Killer hiding among the castaways. Players must deduce this person's identity before he or she causes more chaos for the survivors.
  • Anti-Frustration Features
    • The fast travel system from Memories of Celceta was cumbersome during the early parts of the game, as players can only warp to locations based on its corresponding color to warp crystals in its area on the map (red crystals cannot allow warp to blue crystals, for instance); only later is there a mandatory Warp Whistle acquired that finally unlocks fast travel to any crystal. Ys VIII allows fast travel to any crystal discovered or campsite unlocked at the start of the game, including a simple button press for returning to Castaway Village upon bringing up the map; later, Location Discoveries are also added as fast travel points.
    • Adventuring Gear (items granting passive abilities like breathing underwater or Double Jump) in prior Ys games were limited to a single slot, thus players must pause the game to swap one for another in order to use different abilities. Ys VIII makes it possible to increase the number of Adventuring Gear slots permanently, upwards to six, by finding key items around Seiren, rewards for completing Sidequests or acquired through giving gifts to people at Castaway Village.
    • Similarly, it was not possible to increase the SP Gauge (used for attack skills) beyond its maximum in Ys SEVEN and Memories of Celcetanote , but Ys VIII features "Spirit Elixirs" (also acquired as Sidequest rewards from castaways) that once consumed will permanently increase the gauge by ten points, to a maximum of two hundred, allowing characters to use attack skills more often as possible without fear of depleting the gauge.
    • Several trophies in Memories of Celceta required 100% Completion in every category of Adol's Journal; by missing accessories, armor, consumable items, materials and weapons (some of which are exclusive to one play-through), players must go through the game again on New Game+ to get them. Not only does Ys VIII feature a Post-End Game Content, the sole trophy that can be missed relates to not completing all Sidequests from Castaway Village, thus vigilant players who check the village's bulletin board after every story event will never miss one. Also a case of Throw the Dog a Bone to players: the trophy for completing the Monster Compendium does not require Primitive Fish-types, the randomly spawning enemies that can be caught in the Fishing Minigame, which would otherwise be a huge Luck-Based Mission.
  • Anti-Grinding: In addition to the usual diminishing returns algorithm Falcom uses on XP, the game makes it impossible to grind for equipment upgrades by making the resources needed to purchase upgrades in various tiers only be available if you advance into new areas. Weapon upgrades in particular require Fire Stones to unlock a new tier of weapons, and apart from the first one (which the smith has on her when she's recruited), these can only be acquired by defeating bosses.
  • Apocalypse How: At least a Class 3 is known to have occurred to the Eternians; it's later discovered there have been at least five Class 3 events in prehistory, the eponymous "Lacrimosa", with humanity on the edge of the next one. Taken to the ultimate extreme where a Class X-4 occurs as a result of the party trying to prevent the current Lacrimosa.
  • Artifact Title: Like some of its preceding installments, Ys VIII seemingly has nothing to do at all with the formerly floating island of Ys for most of the game. However, subverted by the Lacrimosa which will wipe out all of humanity including Ys's residents and by the Golden Ending as The Reveal states the whole world set in the franchise is a dream by Maia, the Earth Goddess, thereby involving the eponymous Ys altogether.
  • Beef Gate: "Bullfroodons" in the Eroded Valley block certain paths in these caverns, with more Hit Points than prior dungeon bosses at that point in the game, can spew poison to inflict the status effect, will cause rocks to fall from the ceiling, and are capable of swallowing party members whole (on "Nightmare" difficulty, it's a guaranteed One-Hit Kill, yes, even when you're on New Game+ at Lv 99). The team will even give a What the Hell, Hero? to whomever aggravates one the first time a Bullfroodon is engaged in battle if the party has Character Levels that are too low to have a reasonable chance of defeating it (unless players are capable of pulling off successful Flash Guards and/or Flash Moves).
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The original English localization was one of these. It was so bad that the localization had to be redone and released as a patch.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Many of the non-boss Primordials are capable of dealing more damage than non-Primordial bosses of the same level or higher.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Since the "Ares Seal" Adventuring Gear is awarded for 100% map completion, it can't be acquired until immediately before the Final Boss, limiting its usefulness.
  • Broken Bridge: Various terrain obstacles (one of them a literal broken bridge) around Seiren cannot be cleared until Adol has either found a certain number of castaways or Dana has changed something in the past, usually by planting a prayer tree.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: What remains of the Sanctuary Crypt becomes available for Adol's party to explore after completing the game - five full floors jam-packed with high-level enemies, mini-bosses that respawn upon leaving the dungeon, and Save Crystals available only at the beginning and end of the dungeon.
  • Calling a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Primordials (known as Saurians by the Eternians) are the setting's versions of Dinosaurs.
  • Cartography Sidequest: After reuniting with Captain Barbaros of the Lombardia, Adol is tasked with finding other survivors and mapping the island, though the former takes priority. Filling the map at 10% intervals will reward players with items or materials.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Averted like Memories of Celceta, where Adol does not need to be part of the active party; as long as one remaining character isn't knocked out in the current line-up, the game continues until all are unavailable to use.
  • The Chosen One: A rare example where Adol and Dana are this; Deconstructed as they're "chosen" by the Lacrimosa to become the last living representatives of their respective species (human and Eternian) to witness every other of their kind in the world be wiped out to make room for the next dominant species to inhabit the world, and continue the cycle forever.
  • Closed Circle: Apart from the prologue, the entire game takes place on one island, with the party spending the game trying to find a way off it.
  • Colony Drop: Several incoming meteors would have destroyed Eternia if nothing was done, but Dana managed to predict it just in time to have an Essence-fueled shield around Eternia put up to stop all but the one that would have destroyed the royal palace if she did not plant a prayer tree to protect it by supporting it. Unfortunately, the meteor shower caused enough dust clouds to be thrown into the atmosphere, creating an Endless Winter that caused the Eternians to become extinct except for Dana.
  • Continuity Nod
    • The sword Dogi tosses to Adol when fighting the Oceanus at the start of the game, the Isios Sword, is the same Infinity +1 Sword acquired from Ys V.
    • As Ys VIII takes place years before Ys SEVEN, Adol's attempts and desire to get to the Kingdom of Altago are mentioned several times.
    • Upon encountering Mishy in the caves of Seiren's mountains, one of Adol's dialogue options is mentioning he met Mishy before during his time in Celceta. Additional nods from Memories of Celceta include telling Captain Barbaros he has experience at charting maps and setting up camps in the wilderness to the party.
  • Developers' Foresight
    • Kiergaard has an approval rating in the character entry, just like the other castaways, at least until this person is revealed to be the Nameless Ripper. Similarly, Sir Carlan's maximum approval is two stars, not three like every other Non-Player Character. However, once players discover he's Not Quite Dead and returns to Castaway Village, his rating increases to three.
    • Various party conversation snippets will change depending on who the player is actively controlling at the time. If Laxia is in the lead during an ivy climbing segment in the Towering Coral Forest, she will complain that "A gentleman would have offered to go first", while having Adol or Sahad in the lead causes the latter to "Flex too hard", implying that Sahad farted in her direction. Others include various responses based on who is active the first time the party agitates a Bullfrodoon in the Eroded Valley.
    • It's possible to explore the cave where the ghost ship is docked after obtaining the Double Jump ability, but before clearing the Tower of Baja. Not only does Hummel ask, "Should we even be here right now?" but the ship is nowhere in sight and the treasure chest containing the item that causes the ship to open up for exploration does not spawn.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Oceanus, the Primordial sea creature that has served as the primary obstacle to escaping the island for the whole game.
  • Dream Apocalypse: The Golden Ending shows the world of the Ys series is merely the Earth Goddess Maia's dream, and the party accidentally woke her up by trying to prevent the upcoming Lacrimosa. She later falls asleep again and prefers to continue to stay asleep in order to dream about Adol.
  • Dream Land: The Golden Ending shows the world of the Ys series is merely the Earth Goddess Maia's dream, and she prefers to continue to stay asleep in order to dream about Adol.
  • Dream Weaver: Earth Goddess Maia is able to construct the world within her dream as she sees fit, even interacting directly with its inhabitants.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: Played with; while Ys VIII features a Bad Ending, it requires players to defeat the Final Boss with a "Reputation" rating of less than 75 points. It's certainly doable by avoiding Sidequests like the plague, not giving gifts to characters, not finding optional castaways on Seiren and doing really poorly during Beast Raids and Beast Hunts. To put this into perspective, if you find all castaways as soon as possible, complete all sidequests as soon as possible, and S-rank all the raids, you'll have a reputation of 65 at the end of chapter 2 (of 6), and a perfect approval rating at the end of the game is over 300 points.
  • Endless Winter: A nuclear winter caused by several meteors striking the Earth caused the extinction of all Eternians except for Dana.
  • Exposed to the Elements: The Stripperiffic clothing of the typical Eternian is totally unsuited for the Endless Winter brought about by the Lacrimosa. Many of them freeze to death, while the rest starved because their crops and/or animals for food froze to death.
  • Fanservice: Notably more so than previous titles.
  • Fartillery: "Warsadessa", an ape-like monster, will attempt to paralyze the party by farting.
  • Fishing Minigame: Present via fish appearing near the surface of water sources. It's possible to catch treasure chests thanks to tell-tale signs of glittering, while there's also a chance players might not catch fish, but rather an enemy monster.
  • Five-Man Band: The island exploration party.
  • Genre-Busting: On the surface, Ys VIII is an Action RPG like Ys SEVEN and Memories of Celceta though wider in scope thanks to its Wide Open Sandbox premise. However, beast raids are really a Tower Defense mini-game, where players must defend fortifications against waves of invading enemies, while beast hunts use the inverse - players attacking fortified enemy strongholds.
  • Hammer Space: Zigzagged between party members - Adol will always sheath his sword when he's not using it since he carries a scabbard, but the rest of the party simply pull or sheath their respective weapons from nowhere.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Zigzagged; while eating food (ie. fruits and nuts) and drinking potions heals characters instantly, gourmet dishes can also provide passive Status Buffs for a period of time. However, consuming one dish prevents the party from consuming another until the cooldown of the current buff dissipates. In order to eat a second dish instantly, players must consume one of Miralda's Fresh Vegetable Juice, thereby getting rid of the Status Buff immediately to allow a new dish for consumption.
  • Infinity +1 Sword:
    • Adol gets the Mistelteinn sword in an endgame story event, which is even stronger than the Isios Sword that he lost at the start of the game. Unfortunately, the true ending segment downgrades him to Hyperion Blade because history was rewritten so that he never gains access to the Tree of Psyches to get Mistelteinn.
    • If Dana finds all the spirits in the past, she can enter an optional event where they transform her Edelsphere blades into the Spirit Ring Celesdia.Due to the spirits returning to the Earth, her weapon reverts back to the Edelsphere before she's recruited in the present. After completing the "White Memory" time crystal, Dana's weapon in the present will transform back into the Spirit Ring Celesdia.
    • At the end of the game, Kathleen can craft the best male and female body armors, Shining Chronos and Lechesis Flare respectively, from Pure Orichalcum.
  • Insistent Terminology: Certain fauna on Seiren are classified by Laxia as "Primordials" because of their evolutionary roots, while Dana states they are known as "Saurians" to the Eternian civilization. To players, they are clearly dinosaurs or resembling other prehistoric animals (the kraken for the Oceanus, for example). Justified in Dana's case - she lived in an era where her people co-existed with them since the Eternians were descended from them.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Being chosen by the Tree of Origins means watching an entire race die out in some form of orchestrated disaster, yet live forever and observe the Tree elevate another race to dominance on Earth, only for the Lacrimosa to wipe them out as well, over and over again.
  • "Just Frame" Bonus: Flash Guard returns from Ys Seven and Ys: Memories of Celceta, with no early guard penalty or reduced damage. Instead, a successful Flash Guard will result in a short period of invincibility. Flash Move, like in Celceta, grants temporary invincibility and slow enemy movement. Unlike previous games, the effects of both Flash maneuvers have their duration displayed.
  • Multiple Endings: Ys VIII is the first game in the franchise to feature a normal and Golden Ending, including a possible Bad Ending depending on how much "reputation" (IE, how much you did in-game) you accrued by the end.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands
    • Until the introduction of Orichalcum into the story, Adol's party can stun or knock out, but not kill Primordials; once Kathleen forges the party's weapons using the element can these creature types be killed like every other monster in Ys VIII.
    • On a more general level, various pieces of Adventuring Gear that allow for overcoming obstacles (climbing ivy vines, illuminating dark areas, breathing underwater, purifying the undead, etc.) are obtained in mandatory dungeons where they serve the most plot relevance.
  • Only Shop in Town: Justified since Castaway Village is the only "civilized" location on Seiren and is built specifically by the survivors to function like a town with every facility imaginable (farm, medical clinic, tailor, trading post, smithy).
  • Outside-Context Problem:
    • Precursors like the Eternians are nothing new to the franchise, as prior games featured the Eldeen, who had one of the most technologically advanced societies before their collapse. That Ys VIII reveals there have been more species in the ancient past preceding the Eternians with their own civilizations, of which one of them were extraterrestrials, suggests there's far more to the lore of the world than players previously thought.
    • The Lacrimosa basically functions by introducing one to the race that has been marked for extinction. If they manage to survive it, the Tree of Origins will just crank it Up to Eleven and keep going until the race in question is no longer able to handle it.
  • Practical Currency: Justified; because the castaways are stranded on an island with no direct contact to civilization, gold is not used as money in Ys VIII. Instead, materials must be acquired by defeating enemies, scouring the environment or bartering with fellow castaways. Inevitably, nearly every material in the game is used as Item Crafting for everything, ranging from accessories, armor, consumable items to weapons.
  • Rank Inflation: Aquatic creatures caught when fishing will display their rarity in ranks, ranging from D (lowest), C, B, A to S (highest); likewise, the same ranking is used when finishing beast raids and beast hunts, with higher ranks unlocking better rewards.
  • Recurring Boss: Avalodragil; Justified because conventional weapons can't physically kill Primordials until New Powers as the Plot Demands kicks in.
  • Ret-Gone: Nearly every prehistoric and supernatural element on Seiren (Primordials, Eternians, ghost ships, the Tree of Origins, etc.) explicitly never existed to the castaways by the end of the game, including Dana. Averted in the Golden Ending, where only Adol's party is able to remember everything thanks to the Earth Goddess Maia restoring their memories of it occurring.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory
    • The party explicitly remembers points where Dana in the past changes the future by planting a prayer tree so its gigantic roots in the present allows them to traverse the environment (or fixing a reservoir or pulling out a huge rock blocking a path); they don't learn the actual cause until Dana actually joins up with them in the present.
    • Exemplified with Adol's bond with Dana via dreams: he's still able to recall the game's events in full despite the Ret-Gone in all endings of the game.
  • Running Gag: Once again, Adol is shipwrecked and loses his best equipment from the previous game. Lampshaded by Dogi who exclaims, "Oh, come on!" as he falls overboard when the Oceanus sinks the Lombardia.
  • Screw Destiny: The attitude everyone has towards the titular Lacrimosa in the game's final act, but Subverted when Lacrimosa is an inevitability ordained by the Earth Goddess Maia and destroying the source that fuels Lacrimosa results in The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Zigzagged. The party-based Ys games usually use a more zoomed-out top-down camera angle, but this game uses a third-person camera angle that focuses more on viewing the space in front of the character rather than the space around them. This change makes it more difficult to deal with being surrounded and requires better depth perception to guard and dodge incoming projectiles. However, Flash Guard gives more benefits than in previous games, Flash Guard/Move effect durations are shown on the screen, SP gain from charged attacks is increased, and the SP gauge can be upgraded.
  • Sequence Breaking: The skill that Ricotta learns from Master Kong allows the party to bypass small cliffs that require the Double Jump Adventuring Gear to clear normally.
  • Sinking Ship Scenario: This game starts with the Lombardia sinking with its passengers, its captain, and one surviving crew member washing up on the Isle of Seiren.
  • Spotting the Thread: The clue leading to the identity of the Nameless Ripper is the culprit mentioning having spent some time in Altago before the shipwreck - a nation almost impossible for outsiders to enter due to it being in conflict with the Romun Empire.
  • Stripperific: Nearly all the outfits from the Eternian era.
  • A Taste of Power: Twice in the game - during the prologue, Adol's first fight against the Oceanus' tentacles has him wielding the incredibly powerful Isios Sword that makes easy work of the creature. The first time players take control of Dana, she is at double the Character Level compared to Adol's party.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon:
    • Octus. A dimension inside of the Tree of Origins itself, filled with pocket dimensions of various eras destroyed by the Lacrimosa. And after getting Mistliteinn, the final area is unlocked: The Sphere of Selection, where Theos de Endogram looms in the background.
    • If you're on the True Ending route: The Abyss of Origin, a dark, water-filled location in which the Origin of Life is located.
  • Temporary Online Content: Several introductory DLC packages for the Steam and GOG versions were free for a limited time after release, but are no longer available or now cost money.
    • The Adol Adventure Essentials DLC, which is no longer available, included several items listed below:
      • Adol's Silver Armor costume. This resembles Adol's silver armor from Ys I and II.
      • Adol's Adventurer Clothes. This is a blue costume for Adol.
      • Adol's Survivor Kit. This includes a Blade Ring II (a strength buff ring), an empty bottle, and 10 iron ores.
    • Digital Mini Art Book. This is no longer available. It is a PDF of an art book that came in physical form for the PlayStation Vita version.
    • Digital Soundtrack Sample. This is no longer available. It contained several tunes from the game.
    • Laxia's "Eternian Scholar" costume. This was free, but now has a base price of $1.99 in Steam. It is a costume for Laxia where she wears Eternian-style clothing.
  • Time Lapse: By the end of the story, the castaways have spent at least eighteen months on the island.
  • Translation Train Wreck: The initial NIS America localization was a "Blind Idiot" Translation at best, but digging deeper into the text and it becomes this trope, with an egregious amount of redundancy ("I-I was actually a medical student..."; "A medical student...?"; "That's a student who studies medicine."), nonsensical nomenclature ("Ancient Species"), and blatant name/term changes when there were perfectly good ones from the original Japanese source ("Archeozoic Big Hole" from "Crevice of the Archeozoic Era"). It's little wonder fans were in an uproar and complained directly to Ys developer Falcom, leading to the head of NIS America apologizing for the localization, ordering a complete re-do of the whole thing.
  • 20 Bear Asses: Many of the Sidequests tend to be of a "bring me X so I can make some improvement to the settlement"; Justified due to Money for Nothing.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The fights through to the end of Chapter 1 are relatively easy, up until Adol's party encounters the Avalodragil, the first Primordial in the game. Suddenly, players are against a very plausible chance of death, as the Avalodragil hits harder and has more attacks than any other monster thus far, forcing players to take advantage of Flash Guard and Flash Move, as well as learning that some creatures in the game have deliberate weaknesses.
  • Wham Episode
    • The end of Chapter 2: Sir Carlan is killed by the Oceanus, and Captain Barbaros bleeds to death from one of Kiergaard's deviously laid traps.
    • Chapter 5 reveals the true nature of the Tree of Origins: it instigates the titular Lacrimosa, a worldwide cataclysm that kills every member of the dominant species in the world, having reached the pinnacle of their evolution, allowing their successors to reap the benefits of evolution.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The Golden Ending provides a blurb of text for each playable character detailing what happens to them after escaping the island.
    • Hummel rejects a marriage proposal from a noble, in favor of continuing his trade as a black market transporter within the Romun Empire while simultaneously looking after the same orphanage he was raised in.
    • Sahad returns to Crete, reuniting with his wife and daughter; all records about him are scarce, but it's said he lives in relative peace.
    • Ricotta and her adoptive father Thanatos head to central Afroca, following a peace treaty between the Romun Empire and the Kingdom of Altago; their whereabouts are unknown.
    • Laxia finds her father again at the Gllia Academy, dedicating her time into studying about the Primordials, becoming one of the most foremost experts on the subject.
    • Adol stays for a brief while in Greek before deciding to head west, a setup for the chronological events detailed in Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim.

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