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Subject: Persona 3: FES
Prize: $20 eShop, PSN or Steam code
Date: 3rd October 2014 Time: 16:00 EST
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Author Topic: Ys fans- I need your help  (Read 789 times)
deathsaber
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« on: April 10, 2014, 09:55:21 AM »

OK, here I am- a complete newbie to the series- never played ANYTHING in the series, but I'm interested in doing so to find out what I have been missing.  My only exposure to it at all, was from my super privileged buddy I had in Junior high whose rich relatives bought him every console at launch (this is a guy who had an actual Neo Geo at launch, and numeorus games) , who showed me Y's book 1 & 2 on his Turbo Graphx CD back around 1990 or so (I was still just a chump with an NES at the time, saving up for an eventual SNES)- I just remember there being amazing music to my young gaming ears (I vaguely recall him showing me a final boss, which had an awesome rock tune, and of course voice acting- which just floored me back in these days.)

So, I want to get into this series, but it seems to be on endless formats, and it appears there are even games being released now now which are remakes of the numbered originals.  

Now this is important- I don't play games on PC at all, so don't recommend anything to play on that- what I have is a Vita (and hence access to PSN PSP games), PS4, PS3, and Wii U (which can play Wii virtual console games).  Also I don't import, or care to play anything that isn't localized and in english.  I have no interest in buying foreign software and having to follow some kind of guide to help things make sense.  

What would you recommend I play, and in what order?  I understand the TG16 Y's book 1 & 2 from my childhood is on Wii virtual console, but I understand a remake is also on psp but that its sort of different.  Probably playing the psp version on vita is more desirable, but I'd be willing to play the TG16 version on Wii U if that version is so much better.  
Also, how about the sequels- which games are worthwhile, which might be avoided, what order should I play them, and which version on what console?

Any adivce is appreciated :)  thanks
« Last Edit: April 11, 2014, 06:15:26 AM by Eusis » Logged
Arklight
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2014, 10:12:28 AM »

The PSP forms of Ys 1 &2 are not horribly different from the rest of the dozens of remakes, just more visually impressive. If you've got a Vita to play Ys Chronicles: 1&2 on, I feel that's the best way to do so. However, no matter what format it's in, 1 and 2 are quite...dated. The bump and grind combat is used in most formats of the game except for the DS remake which has an option to press a button to swing as well.

If you don't mind, however, that's a decent place to start. However, with a Vita, you've got access to Oath in Felghana (3's remake), Memories of Celceta (4's remake), Ark of Napishtim (terrible PSP port of 6), and Ys Seven. These games have little to no connection, minus one shared character between 6 and 7. You really could start with ANY of them.

Just know that even if the combat of 1&2 isn't to your liking, the rest of those are perfectly fine action rpgs with much more enjoyable combat. Difficulty wise, however, I would consider playing 6 after the others. I found 6 to be quite a bit more difficult than the others.
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Zendervai
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2014, 03:27:00 PM »

If you have a VITA, Ark of Napishtim is out of your reach. It wasn't released digitally anywhere. Bear that in mind.

And it's kind of inevitable that some kind of remake of Kefin: The Lost City of Sand (the 5th game) will be made at some point, probably for the VITA if the pattern continues.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 03:29:14 PM by Zendervai » Logged
Holykael1
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2014, 03:37:22 PM »

Ys I and II Chronicles - PSP(by extension Vita because backwards compatibility) or PC(same as psn version with slighly better features)
Ys Oath In Felghana - PSP or vita for voice acting and more room to customize the difficulty, PC for 60fps goodness.
Ys Cekceta - Vita
Ys Ark of Napishtim - Definitely PC version, import a JPN copy and apply the fan translation patch, it has all the original stuff, 60 fps, better graphics and it's the ultimate way to play this game. The ps2 version is acceptable but it has slight input delay and you have to activate the original opening by using cheat codes before the game starts.
Ys Origin - PC exclusive, get it on steam.
Ys Seven - PSP or vita.

My recommended order of playing (if you don't have problems with old school games) - Ys I and II chronicles - Ys Origin - Ys Oath in Felghana - Ys Seven - Ys Celceta - Ys Ark of Napishtim
Otherwise: Ys Oath in Felghana - Ys Seven - Ys Origin - Ys I and II - Ys Celceta - Ys ark of Napishtim.

Oath in Felghana, Origin and Seven are the highlight of the series, I and II is absolutely fantastic if you enjoy old school games too. Celceta is excellent and Napishtim is merely good.
Can't speak for Ys V as I havent played it yet but there is a fan translation available.

Also just a friendly reminder, Ys has no apostrophe.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 03:40:15 PM by Holykael1 » Logged

Monsoon
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2014, 05:10:15 PM »

OP said that he isn't interested in PC versions.  

Ys I and II - the PSP version is better than the Wii version, so definitely go PSP.  I think they're weird and dated, so only play these if you try another Ys game and want to explore the series' history.  

Ys Origin - PC only.  Really nice game that takes place 1000 years before Ys I.  It's available in English, but if you aren't into PC gaming then you're out of luck.  

Ys: The Oath in Felghana - Remake of Ys III.  PSP version is (again) your best bet.  All you need to know is that Adol and Dogi are best friends and are visiting Dogi's hometown; the rest of the plot kicks off from there.  

Ys: The Ark of Napishtim - It's Ys VI. I've heard that the PC version is the best version, but North America never got it.  People have specific issues with both the PS2 and PSP versions, but they're both available in English.

Ys Seven - VERY different from the others in the series, as you control a party of three characters instead of just one.  If Origin and Felghana are kinda like Zelda, then Ys Seven is kinda like Secret of Mana.  PSP only.  There's one character from Ark of Napishtim returning here, but it's not crucial to play that one first.  The dark-haired guy is Adol's rival; that's all you ened to know.  

Ys: Memories of Celceta - Remake / re-imagining of Ys IV.  Uses a party system like Ys Seven.  I haven't played it, but DAMN I really want to.  Vita only.  Doesn't seem to have a major, spoiler-y story connection to other modern Ys games.  

My recommendation: Definitely try Oath in Felghana and Ys Seven, both on PSP.  Those two are really good and represent two different "flavors" of Ys.  If you like them, then try Celceta (if you loved Seven) and consider tracking down Origin and Napishtim (if you loved Felghana).  Sucks that Origin is PC-only.  If you like any of them and want to get deeper into the history of the franchise, then get Chronicles on PSP or PC.  That's all I got.  

Emulation: it isn't hard to get an emulator running for the TG/PC versions of Ys IV, Ys V, and Ys VI, especially if you get a physical copy.  It's something I'm planning to try one day down the line, but not yet.  Plenty of other games to play.  

Monsoon Ranks the Six Ys Games He Has Played From Worst To Best
Ys I
Ys: The Ark of Napishtim
Ys II
Ys Origin
Ys: The Oath in Felghana
Ys Seven

What can I say?  I like games where you control a party of characters.  Hope this helps. 
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 05:12:25 PM by Monsoon » Logged

Ramza
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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2014, 05:19:59 PM »

Also just a friendly reminder, Ys has no apostrophe.

This.

As an Ys fan, I'll also assure you it's pronounced "Eece" (fleece minus the fl), not "Wise"

Also, get over your PC aversion because Ys Origin is great. :)
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2014, 07:37:58 PM »

The PC Ys games have really low system requirements. Unless you're on like a Mac or something, you could probably run them.

From the ones I've played, Felghana's my favorite. Napishtim's similar and really good too but it's kind of frontloaded with all the worst parts of the game, so just keep in mind that it gets a lot better after the first area.

Ys 1 & 2 Chronicles pretty much obsoletes the original releases. They're still short games but even in that context they're /quite/ expanded compared to the originals. IDK if Chronicles is using a licensed fan translation like Felghana and Origins were -- I know Eternal DID get a fan translation at some point but that was a long time ago.

Also I think Dawn of Ys has a fan translation and it's also one of the cheapest TG16 games out there from what I can tell -- like, fifteen bucks on average for a complete copy -- and it's pretty great if you like bump combat. And TG16s don't have region lock afaik so if you have a Turbo Duo lying around for some reason you could totally run it.

The SNES Ys 4 is markedly less good. A lot markedly less good. Not really bad, by any means, just...

My favorites were pretty much Felghana and Dawn though.

Also I would also recommend picking up Ys by Joanna Newsom because it is a truly fantastic album, although so were Milk Eyed Mender and Have One On Me.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 07:44:36 PM by MeshGearFox » Logged

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Zendervai
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2014, 08:49:37 PM »

Why do so many people assume it's spelled with an apostrophe anyway? It's not in any of the logos, and it's the name of an actual historical legend. The sunken city of Ys off the coast of France that sank because the princess forgot to lock the flood-gates before the tide came in.

And I think it's pronounced Ees, because that's the traditional pronunciation of the lost city.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 08:51:32 PM by Zendervai » Logged
MeshGearFox
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« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2014, 10:05:41 PM »

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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2014, 10:15:42 PM »

ah yes, Sega Master System, where the brown-haired Aron faced off against "Dark Dekt."
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Reta
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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2014, 01:37:46 AM »

Ys is one of my favorite series, so I'll provide all of the info I can. (Which is far more than you ever wanted to know.)

Ys I and II:

Many iterations of these two have been released, more than even FF4. The Chronicles version (for PSP and PC) is the best in pretty much every respect. That said, I and II are still very much products of their time, so don't expect them to go as smoothly as the later games. For instance, there'll be a lot of instances where you'll only be given vague instruction on where you'll need to go next, or you might pass right by an item that'll be required later, without ever being informed of its existence. They also have a rather unusual combat system in which you attack enemies simply by running into them. The catch is that if you run into them head-on, you'll be hurt instead, so you need to attack them off-center or from the sides or behind. It's quite fun once you get used to it. Overall, I and II definitely still worth playing if you don't mind some dated design here and there. (Also, I think this was the song you were mentioning. This is the Chronicles version. Or it might have been Termination.)

Ys III: Wanderers from Ys:

The original version of Ys III (PCE/TurboGrafx and virtually everything else in that era) was sidescrolling, somewhat like Zelda II. It controls rather poorly, at least compared to the other Ys games, and is generally considered to be very difficult. It received an excellent, highly polished remake (PC and PSP) called Ys: The Oath in Felghana. Felghana completely overhauled and reimagined III using the Napishtim engine, and introduced the double jump (more on the Napishtim engine later). It remains arguably the most difficult game in the series, however.

Ys IV:

There are actually four different Ys IV's, only one of which was actually developed by Falcom. The four share many common elements, but differ in many areas as well. Memories of Celceta is also the only one of the four to see an official English release.

Ys IV: Mask of the Sun (SNES) was Tonkinhouse's version. It features the same bump system as I and II, but is more complex, in both gameplay and story.

Ys IV: Dawn of Ys (PCE/TurboGrafx) was Hudson Soft's version. It is generally considered to be better than Mask of the Sun, due to having 8-directional movement (a first!) and much better sound quality. The story, while sharing many characters and plot elements, also takes some different turns, and has a different main villain.

Ys IV: Mask of the Sun: A New Theory (PS2) was Taito's remake of Mask of the Sun. It plays more like the Napishtim-engine games (again, we'll get to that,) and takes some of its own liberties with the story. Generally not considered to be that great.

Ys IV: Memories of Celceta (Vita) is Falcom's own version. It has gameplay similar to that of Ys Seven (more on this later,) with a few new additions. It also has a huge overworld that is mapped as it is explored. As usual, the story is a bit different from the other iterations. This is now the canonical version. (Mask of the Sun was previously.)

Ys V: Lost Kefin, Kingdom of Sand (SNES) (not official title):

The only Ys game to not receive an official English release in any form (yet, at least). It's something of a black sheep, featuring much slower gameplay than the other games and being somewhat oddly balanced. It also uses a completely different musical style from the rest of the series, with a somewhat more orchestral sound. It received an "upgraded" PS2 port from Taito, which changed a number of systems, not necessarily for the better. Lastly, and most importantly, it was the first game in which Adol is able to swing his sword, rather than using the bump system.

Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim (PC/PS2/PSP):

This game was the first 3D entry in the series. It features such new abilities as jumping, dash jumping, and the ability to use multiple different magic swords with their own unique abilities (which would take on various forms in the later games, but the concept would remain similar.)

Ys Origin (PC):

Origin is a prequel to Ys I and II (by 700 years). It's very linear and intensely focused compared to the other games in the series, and is the only one not to star Adol Christin as the protagonist. Instead, there are multiple other characters with differing fighting styles. It uses a more refined version of the Napishtim engine, building on the original features and those added in Oath in Felghana.

Ys SEVEN (PC/PSP):

SEVEN (officially stylized that way) introduces a new engine, and brings with it some changes. Jumping has been  removed again in favor of rolling/dodging. Seven also is the first in the series to utilize a party system, allowing for switching between three selected members on the fly (out of an eventual max of seven). They all have their own unique equipment, fighting style and skills.

(On a side note, the way "Ys" is stylized in Seven's logo makes me cringe. It's like Falcom wants to perpetuate the idea that there's an apostrophe.)

The stories, while not generally amazing on their own, do their job well enough and don't get in the way of the action. Ys is not known for its focus on story. That said, they do connect to each other and reveal bits of overarching meta-plots. The chronology is Origin > I > II > Celceta > Felghana > Kefin > Napishtim > Seven.

Ys is also well-known for its amazing music. A few of my favorite songs:

Ernst
Valestein Castle
Sealed Time
To Make The End of Battle
Palace of Destruction
A Great Ordeal
Field
Road to Solitary Death
Crossing Rage!
Scars of the Divine Wing
Underground Ruin

Don't even get me started on Falcom's other big series, Legend of Heroes.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2014, 01:52:17 AM by Reta » Logged
Klyde Chroma
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« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2014, 04:51:49 PM »

Epic Ys summary ^^^ Nice post Reta, thanks. Though I may not be the OP of this thread, I only played Ys 1 and 2 and was a bit shaky in terms of my knowledge of what came thereafter. That was one hell of thorough breakdown!
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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2014, 05:36:35 PM »

We must not forget the little known (I think anyways) PC version of YS II...YS II Special!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBiV9rCYpck

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Der Jermeister
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« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2014, 06:29:28 PM »

Oath in Felghana and Origin are two of my favorite RPGs ever, so I would start with one of those, preferably Origin first since it is of course an origin story.
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« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2014, 02:00:16 AM »

Felghana's easily my favorite action RPG. Only thing I didn't like was the first real boss fight, and that's only because in retrospect I missed picking up the flame boosting attacking. All of the individual mechanics are really simple but the interplay between them is spot-on. Nothing feels extraneous or like it's dragging the game down.
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