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Video Game / Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim

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The cast of Ys VI.note 

Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim is the sixth installment in the Action RPG franchise Ys. It was released in 2003 for Microsoft Windows, then ported to the PlayStation 2 in 2005 and PlayStation Portable in 2006 by Konami, with a worldwide release available on Steam in 2015.

Series protagonist Adol Christin and traveling companion Dogi board a pirate vessel for travel. It gets attacked in the middle of a maelstrom by the Romun Empire due to being a pirate vessel that preyed upon Romun vessels, sending Adol overboard. Upon awakening, he finds himself alone in the Canaan Islands, surrounded by a giant, unceasing storm called the "Vortex of Canaan", preventing ships from entering or leaving the archipelago. With help from the native Rehdans, Adol must explore these islands in search of his missing friends and find a way to stop the Vortex to escape.


Ys VI is the first title in the series where sprite-based visuals are abundantly used for characters and monsters; large bosses are presented as full 3D models, insteadnote . The game expands on prior installments by taking a bird-eye-view perspective from Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished - Omen, using different elemental swords for combat in Ys IV: Mask of the Sun and featuring jump mechanics like Ys V.


Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim show examples of:

  • Adipose Rex: Admiral Agares of the Romun navy. So much that Baslam uses a banquet to lure him out of his ship.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: After Ernst accidentally destroys the control key, Almarion, the Ark of Napishtim goes insane and tries to destroy all civilization in Eresia with a giant tidal wave.
  • Artificial Gill: The Grattheos Talisman allows Adol to breathe underwater.
  • Backtracking: This game is hit hard by this. Before the Broken Bridge is fixed, you have to keep using the "Mythos Path" to traverse the islands; this is especially bad when you have return the Mirror Fragments to Olha.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: The battle with Geis in the Mythos Path. If you lose, Geis just taunts Adol and warned him to don't get in his way. If you win, he says it was a fun fight and leaves.
  • The Bermuda Triangle: The area where the Canaan Islands are located is viewed as such by the outsiders, due to a Perpetual Storm that surrounds it. Many ships are said to disappear in the region and, later, it is revealed that the vortex is a defensive mechanism of the ark to prevent anyone from finding it.
  • Big Bad: Ernst, the Romun general who send his fairies cause most of the trouble in the Canaan Islands and cause a big strife when his fleet arrives at the place. He is also revealed to be Geis older brother and a descendant of the Clan of Darkness who wants the power of Napishtim for himself.
  • Big Good: Alma, as before. Although she never makes a physical appearance in game, her statue serves as a plot point.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Alma Trials in the PS2 port and the Sealed Cavern in the PSP.
  • Boss-Only Level: The last dungeon of the game has no enemies or puzzles, only the last three boss battles.
  • Broken Bridge: There is one between the first two islands. The inhabitants of both places blames the other for breaking it, raising the tension between them.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: The Limewater Cave, which doubles as a Blackout Basement and leads to a Underwater Ruins.
  • Co-Dragons: The three fairies (Xisa, Jue and Sera), to Ernst.
  • Collapsing Ceiling Boss: Orjugan can cause rocks to fall by creating a Shockwave Stomp with his hands. There is also the "Kishcarin" Mini-Boss in the ruined city of Kishgal.
  • Death Mountain: The Grana-Vallis Mountain. Adol is explicitly warned of its dangers but is forced to traverse it to find Ur.
  • Early Game Hell: Catastrophe on Story Mode can be this due to the ban on carrying healing items. While there are stat boosting seeds for sale in Rimorge, they're too expensive to farm until the endgame.
  • Elemental Weapon: The three magic swords: Livart, Blirante and Ericcil. There is also Ernst's Almarion, who acts as a Evil Counterpart to the others.
  • Equipment Upgrade: Leav, a Rehda that lives in Port Rimorge, can upgrade Adol's swords using Emels.
  • Escort Mission: Adol has to escort both Olha and Terra out of the Romun Fleet. They don't fight back and take much more damage than Adol does. But at least when Adol heals, his charges heal the same amount.
  • Everything Fades:
    • Ernst's body vaporizes after he dies.
    • Averted with the Romun Empire Mooks, whose bodies lie on the ground until you switch screens.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Ark of Naphistim has the shape of a giant tower.
  • Experience Booster: The "Starlight Medal", a missable accessory found at the Romun Fleet.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • The Ruman army refers to the Rehda as "subhumans" and capture some of them as a gift to the emperor.
    • Downplayed with the Rehda views on "Eresians". They have a distrust for outsiders because the humans from Port Rimorge deforest the island to build towns and hunt for treasures. The tension increased when the bridge was destroyed, leading to both races to blame the other for it.
  • Hard Mode Perks: The Catastrophe modifier, despite being more difficult overall, does have some advantages over the standard item system. The auto-consume gimmick can be useful if the boss summons item dropping enemies, which wouldn't work on the standard item system unless Adol equipped the same kind of consumable that was dropped. Additionally, there are more Capla Waters available, which can be sold for thousands of gold. Finally, Croix will sell stat boosting seeds on Catastrophe, allowing the player to stat grind in the endgame.
  • Harder Than Hard: In addition to Falcom's traditional Nightmare difficulty, the most recent PC version allows the player to add a Catastrophe modifier to their difficulty, preventing Adol from stocking on healing items or using them manually. Instead, healing items dropped by enemies are used immediately and all healing items from chests are replaced by Capla Waters, which are nerfed and unusable in boss fights.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Played Straight with Rehdan Village in the beginning, where they don't want anything to do with Port Rimorge due to suspecting the residents of burning the bridge. This becomes downplayed after the bridge is fixed and both sides find it pragmatic to trade with each other despite their differing values.
  • Hybrid Monster: "Zonplas, The Wings of Avarice", fought at the Grana-Vallis peak, is a cross between a Giant Bug and a Giant Enemy Crab.
  • Kaizo Trap: When killing Demi-Galba, it's possible to get slammed by its falling body, forcing a retry.
  • Killer Robot: Most enemies fought at the Ruined City of Kishgal are robots. Also, "Ud-Meiyu", the Spider Tank boss fought at the Lethal Lava Land area of the ruins.
  • Leap of Faith: The Ruins of Lost Time/Ruins of Amnesia are full of these. Failing these jumps will send Adol into a room full of monsters instead of killing him.
  • Life Drain: When equiped, the "Bloody Nail" accessory allows Adol to regain HP by killing enemies.
  • The Lost Woods: "Woods of Quatera", the first dungeon of the game. Its most dangerous area leads to the Windseeker Heights.
  • The Maze: The Alma Trials, a dungeon composed of five floors, exclusive to the PS2 port.
  • Mini-Boss: A couple of them: "Piana-Pius", "Noodollon", "Kishcarin" and "Gaposasura".
  • Money Multiplier: The "Thief Glove", given to Adol by Lloyd after defeating the monsters on the Coastal Road.
  • Nintendo Hard: Downplayed. The dungeons have a noticeable number of Difficulty Spikes. Especially in the deeper areas. The enemies there become strong enough to kill Adol with a few hits, forcing you to either use Hit-and-Run Tactics or go all the way back to Port Rimorge to upgrade your swords.
  • Non-Indicative Difficulty: On Catastrophe story mode, the ability to farm stat seeds for STR and DEF makes the endgame far easier than on a non-Catastrophe run. This doesn't apply in Time Attack, which doesn't give Adol store-bought seeds.
  • Our Elves Are Better: The Rehda tribe has many elvish features. They also have tails.
  • Our Homunculi Are Different: The three fairies are revealed to be homunculi created by Ernst to undo the seal on the ark.
  • Paper Talisman: Geis puts some at the third island shrine to prevent the ark from being found. Unfortunately for him, Baslam and his subordinates remove them during their treasure hunt.
  • Pet Monstrosity: Agares' giant toad, Lanaluna.
  • Port Town: The story starts in a unnamed one. Also, Port Rimorge.
  • Puzzle Boss: Orjugan, the Background Boss of Limestone Cave, a semi-submerged giant that attacks you from afar with his Giant Hands of Doom, shoots lasers from its mouth and launches birds towards you. You can damage his hands, but the right strategy is to use the Brilante to reflect the incoming birds back at him.
  • Random Drop Booster: The "Emel Mallet". You can trade Capla Water for it at the Port Rimorge's pub.
  • Rare Candy: The seeds of Vitality, Power and Defense are used to permanently raise said attribute.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Napishtim is a reference to "Utnapishtim", a character from the The Epic of Gilgamesh.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Napishtim turns out to be a very dangerous magical Weather-Control Machine with enough power to destroy all civilizations in the world. Due to the danger it presented, Napishtim was sealed by its own creators, the Eldeen.
  • Shipwrecked: How everyone in Port Rimorge came to the Canaan Islands. Atypically for the Ys series, Adol does not start the game by being shipwrecked. He fell overboard instead, and then the ship made it to land safely without him.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: All versions of this game except the PlayStation 2 version use sprite characters, polygonal backgrounds, and polygonal bosses.
  • Standard Status Effects: Poison, Heavy, Confuse and Curse. The first do what you expect for an standard RPG; "Heavy" makes you slow and limit the jumping ability, "Confuse" reverse the directional controls and "Curse" reduces the attack power.
  • Stripperific: Rose, Port Rimorge's shopkeeper.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: The three swords that Adol finds are needed to open the path to the final island.
  • Temple of Doom: The Mythos Path, the Ruins of Amnesia/Ruins of the Lost Time and the Ruined City of Kishgal.
  • Tsundere: Terra acts like one to Adol and even blames him for "having fun" while they where searching for him. When Olha loses her composure and cries into his chest, Terra clearly gets jealous.
  • Updated Re-release: The game received update ports for the PS2 and the PSP. The original PC version also got one, called the "PC Vista version"; as the name implies, it's compatible with Windows Vista.
  • Video Game 3D Leap: Konami replaced the sprites with 3D models in the PlayStation 2 version, which made the game fit the PlayStation 2 better because it lacks the memory needed to store a huge collection of sprites, but its enormous polygon-crunching capabilities allow it to handle 3D models like nobody's business and use less scarce memory at the same time because 3D models use less memory than their corresponding sprite sets.
  • Villain Override: After Ernst is defeated, he attempts to drain more power from the ark with the Almarion, but fails and causes Naphistim to go berserk.
  • The Worf Effect: Chief Ord and Geis are defeated by Ernst to establish him as a formidable swordsman and a serious threat.


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