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Ys logo.png
Genre(s) Action role-playing game
Developer(s) Falcom
Publisher(s) Falcom
Platform(s) X1, X1turbo, MSX2, FM-7/77, FM-77AV, NEC PC-9801, X68000, Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive, Sega Saturn, Famicom, Super Famicom, Nintendo DS, PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, TurboGrafx/PC-Engine CD-ROM, cellular phone, SNES, Virtual Console
Official website

Ys (イース Īsu?, IPA: [iːsɯ]) (English: /ˈiːs/) is a Japanese computer and console role-playing game series, and Nihon Falcom corporation's flagship franchise.[1] It started on the NEC PC-8801 in 1987. Ys titles have appeared on the X1, X1turbo, MSX2, FM-7/77, FM-77AV, NEC PC-9801, X68000, Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive, Sega Saturn, Famicom, Super Famicom, Nintendo DS, PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, TurboGrafx/PC-Engine CD-ROM, cellular phone, SNES, and on the Wii's Virtual Console service from Nintendo.


Common elements



The Ys series chronicles the adventures of Adol Christin, a red-haired young man with a zest for adventure and an uncanny knack for being in the right place at the right time. Gameplay usually revolves around Adol, though his comrade, Dogi, is a frequent companion in his travels around Esteria.


In early games, the player uses solely the directional pad to fight. The player must literally run Adol into enemies, hitting them on the side, back or slightly off-center of the front. Ys III: Wanderers from Ys adopted more traditional, side-scrolling action-adventure gameplay, with an attack button and a variety of different attacks. The classic control scheme returned in Ys IV: Mask of the Sun. With Ys V: Kefin, the Lost City of Sand, the game adopted a top-down viewpoint. Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim graphically departed from its predecessors, using three-dimensional graphics and hack-and-slash gameplay.


Ys series fictional chronology

Ys Origin
Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished
Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished - The Final Chapter
Ys IV: Mask of the Sun
Ys III: Wanderers from Ys (remake Ys: The Oath in Felghana)
Ys V: Kefin, The Lost City of Sand
Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim
Ys Seven

Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys

The Ys series has its roots in the Japanese computer system, the NEC PC-8801. Each of the first three games was released on that platform first. Ports of the game series to console platforms have usually been handled by various other licensee companies, such as Hudson Soft, Tonkin House and Konami.

Only two versions of the fourth game were released, and Falcom licensed both versions out, the Super Famicom version to Tonkin House (who had handled the Super NES port for Ys III), and the PC Engine version to Hudson (who had ported all three previous games to that platform). They allowed Hudson to take considerable liberties with the game, though, and as a result, the two games are very different. They share the same setting, cast and much of the basic plot, but the actual structure of the story plays out in a completely different manner, as do the game's levels themselves.

The Super Famicom version, titled Mask of the Sun, is the official continuation of the series. The PC Engine version is called The Dawn of Ys and takes several different turns, plot-wise, including some significant inconsistencies with the canonical storyline. For this reason, The Dawn of Ys is essentially an "alternate universe" take on the events in Celceta. A PS2 remake of Mask of the Sun was released in May 2005.

When Falcom released Ys V, it came out on only a single platform: the Super Famicom. As a stand alone title, it was one of many late generation games that took advantage of the true abilities of the SNES, partially due to the liberties it took with the gameplay (in particular, giving Adol a jump and making him swing his sword). It was also extremely easy. In response to this, Falcom soon put out Ys V Expert, which was exactly what it claimed: a much harder version of the game. A PS2 remake of Ys V by Taito was released March 30, 2006 in Japan.

After this, the series sat dormant for eight years, during which time, Falcom abandoned console development altogether, choosing instead to focus on the Microsoft Windows platform. Out of nowhere, they announced a new game in the series, entitled Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim, which was released on September 27, 2003. It took what Ys V had done and refined it, turning it into a very fast-paced action-RPG, which was generally well-received.

In early 2005, a new title in the series was announced, this one titled Ys: The Oath in Felghana, which is a top-to-bottom "re-imagining" of Ys III, covering the same plot as the original, but expanding on it greatly. It could be considered a retcon, but a rather minor one, as it basically clarifies and expands on events in Ys III, rather than overwriting them entirely. In spite of how much has changed, it is not "Ys VII." It was released on June 30, 2005.

A spinoff game called Ys Strategy was released on March 16, 2006 in Japan for the Nintendo DS. Unlike the rest of the series, this game is a real-time strategy game instead of an action-RPG. It received lackluster reviews and general disdain from fans.

A new Ys game entitled Ys Origin was released in December 2006. It takes place 700 years before the events of the first game, just following the separation of Ys from Esteria. The two initial playable characters are Yunica Toba and Hugo Fact. The two characters' stories play out somewhat differently during character interactions. Adol does not appear aside from being a hidden bonus character. Falcom has since released a new version of the game that required a copy's registration serial number sent to Falcom along with shipping charges to get an extra enhancement disc for the game. With this disc the player would be able to play as Adol along with other new features added on.

English releases

Until 2005, only the first three Ys games were available in North America: Ys: Ancient Ys Vanished, Ys Book I & II, and Ys III: Wanderers From Ys. The original PC-8801, PC-9801, X1 and MSX2 versions, as well as the Famicom ports remain exclusive to Japan. English ports of the Japanese PC game Ys VI: Ark of Napishtim for the PS2 and PSP were released by Konami in 2005 and 2006, respectively, marking the first English release of the series in thirteen years.

At one point, NEC Interchannel proposed bringing Digicube's Ys Eternal Story to North America, but the idea was rejected by Sony, commonly thought to be because of their prevailing attitude toward the viability of 2D games in the North American market;[citation needed] but as more small profile 2D games have been released in the PS2's lifespan the decision was more likely due to numerous technical issues with the port itself including: long load-times (even for a PS2 game), frequent lock-ups, resolution flickering during menu or screen transitions and an abnormally large save file, clocking in at 1MB (1/8th of a memory card) whereas most, and much more recent RPGs average 100–200KB is size compared to a PC game. Many of these problems are associated with the game being quickly ported and released as Digicube was partially going out of business.

The original Windows PC remakes were Ys Eternal and Ys II Eternal. Later, there was a compiled rerelease, which bumped up Ys Eternal's visuals to Ys II Eternal's level (more color depth, primarily) and made the soundtrack sound more cohesive between the two. This was released as Ys I & II Complete. Later, once this was out of print, Falcom began selling the two separately again, as Ys I Complete and Ys II Complete. Falcom complicated the issue by changing the "Eternal" to "Complete" on all external packaging and advertisements, but not in the actual games themselves. In one of the English patches, the internal bitmaps are edited to reflect the external change for the packages.

Nintendo added Ys Book I & II to the US Virtual Console Service on 25 August 2008. The Virtual Console allows owners of the Nintendo Wii to download classic games. This marks the first release of the Ys series on a 7th Generation home console. Atlus released the games in one package entitled Legacy of Ys: Books I & II on 24 February 2009 on the Nintendo DS.

So far, no version of Ys IV or V has been released outside Japan.


In 2009, Ys Online was released as an open beta for European players. Americans are prohibited from playing. The setting is centuries after Adol Christin's adventures.


There are two separate OVA anime series of Ys, with the first spanning seven episodes and covering the events of the first game, and the second spanning four episodes and loosely covering the events of the second game. The first anime expands on the relatively thin storyline of Ys I including a retelling of the prologue, previously only told in text in the original Japanese manuals.

Both series were released on DVD in English by Media Blasters' anime label "AnimeWorks". They can be purchased separately, or in a three-disc box set, entitled Ys Legacy. The dubbed/audio tracks have changes to some character names ("Dark Fact" becoming "Dark Factor", "Adol" becoming "Adle", and "Lilia" becoming "Lillian," for instance). Pronunciations of various names are inconsistent, sometimes within the same scene.

Included on one of the discs is what appears to be a preview for an anime based around Ys IV. This was created by Falcom as a "pitch" trailer to shop around to various animation studios, to see if anyone was interested in producing the series. They had no takers, however, so this trailer is all that exists of the rumored Ys IV anime.


The Ys series is particularly known for its original music soundtrack by Yūzō Koshiro, Mieko Ishikawa and Hideya Nagata. The composers' works have been remixed for each subsequent release of Ys I and II, most memorably by Japanese computer musician Ryo Yonemitsu for Hudson Soft's Ys I and II, and Ys III: Wanderers from Ys releases for the PC Engine CD-ROM. Combining Yuzo's composition and Ryo's arrangement abilities, this arrangement found itself introducing video gamers, for the first time, to video game soundtracks that can stand on their own as full orchestral pieces of music. Consequently, the Ys series is seen in the video game music industry as groundbreaking, demonstrated by a never-ending series of music CDs based on the series' music, with almost infinite variations on its themes. The only other series with similar impact on video game music industry at the time was Dragon Quest.


  1. ^ "Falcom License Information". Nihon Falcom Corporation. 2004. Retrieved 31 December 2009. 

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Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Ancient Land of Ys
Box artwork for Ancient Land of Ys.
Developer(s) Nihon Falcom
Publisher(s) Kyodai
Release date(s)
Nintendo DS
Genre(s) RPG
System(s) NEC PC-8801, NEC PC-9801, Sharp X68000, Sega Master System, MSX2, NES, MS-DOS, Apple IIGS, Windows, Nintendo DS
Series Ys
This is the first game in the Ys series. For other games in the series see the Ys category.

Ancient Land of Ys (also known as Ys, Ys: Book I, Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished, and Ys I ~Complete~) is a RPG originally published for the PC-8801 personal computer in 1989. It was later ported to the Famicom and NES, and published for the Sega Master System in Japan as Ancient Ys Vanished Omen or Ys: The Vanished Omens (English translations).

The game features traditional 2D RPG-style graphics and control.


Malificus has used the six Books of Ys to imprison people. It's your job to retrieve the books and put an end to Malificus.

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