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Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I’ve started in on Ys VIII. It feels kinda strange to have camera control in an Ys game, but it seems like they’re sort of combining the VI and VII playstyles, by which I mean there’s a jump, which is a good thing. And hold the dodge button to run instead of mashing it to roll everywhere! Thank goodness! Or has that been there all along and I missed it in VII and Celceta?

I’m like ten minutes into chapter one, just met my first other character. Adol comes around the corner, and she’s standing in the river wearing only a towel, which promptly falls off. Sigh. That and the costume design have me worried about this one.
 

Mommi

Miss or be made.
(She/Her)
Apparently all the bullshit is frontloaded, and after a couple dumb scenes you're free of it.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Yeah, that scene is the most egregious, and then other than some character outfits, you're free of that crap.

So I just beat Ys VIII, and I'm pretty sure I did 100% of it (well, minus a few hunts and raids, but who cares). Got all the treasure chests in the game, all the harvest points, and 100% of the map. Beat the game, beat the (super long, and very fun) bonus dungeon, and had a blast almost the entire time.

It's definitely my favorite Ys game. It is uncharacteristically long for the series, but despite some goofy parts (the serial killer/murder mystery plot being ended by a dinosaur eating the guy, pretty much everything with the ghost ship appearing all of a sudden, the over the top ridiculousness of Dana's entire backstory/plot), I had a great, great time. I actually wish there was more of past Dana's gameplay - I really liked her different stances and while they basically reflect your three person party, I liked that for those parts I had to singlehandedly do everything. Plus her really fast stance was fun to control. After plowing through the bonus dungeon, I ended up with most of my party around level 90, with Adol/Laxia/Sahad all at 93 and 94, which was like 20 levels higher than when I beat the main story lol.

Ranking:

1. Ys VIII
2. Ys Origin
3. Ys Oath in Felghana
4. Ys Celceta
5. I
6. II
7. V

Onto Ys VI, the only game in the series I haven't yet played!
 

Wolf

Ancient Nameless Hero
(He/him)
Apparently all the bullshit is frontloaded, and after a couple dumb scenes you're free of it.
Aside from Dana's costume, and the general mode of dress for her culture, that's pretty accurate.
 
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Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Ys VI is fun! About two hours in, just got the second sword.

The jokes about Adol not being able to get on a boat without it sinking are more apt than I thought though lol
 

Wolf

Ancient Nameless Hero
(He/him)
And yet when Ys VI was first made, that had only happened once or twice before, depending on whether you're going with the older or post-Eternal versions of Ys I, and depending on how Ys V starts. I've barely played it, and can't recall. Now, if we're talking about games where Adol starts off incapacitated in some way...
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Ys V actually starts with Adol safely disembarking off a boat, so yeah, it wasn't much of a pattern at the time.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Oh, I remembered I had a few questions about VIII (spoilers for the whole game):

Thanatos was not Ricotta's biological father, right? So... how did she get to the island? I kept waiting for it to turn out she was a descendent of the Eternians or something but they never really went there. Was she just a kid of some shipwrecked person who passed away before she could remember? I probably just missed something, but I maxed out her (as well as everyone else's, I'm pretty sure) happiness or whatever and watched all their codas, and don't recall getting any answers on this.

Also why was he even called Thanatos? I was waiting for him to turn on the castaways and attack, and he never did. I've played too much Shin Megami Tensei lol

I kind of wish we got like a bonus mode or something where we're allowed to explore the northern half of the island post-Eternia wipe. Even though I enjoyed those bits, the southern half, where you feel like you've really shipwrecked on a deserted island, were my favorite feeling of the game. Alas.
 
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Oh, I remembered I had a few questions about VIII (spoilers for the whole game):

Thanatos was not Ricotta's biological father, right? So... how did she get to the island? I kept waiting for it to turn out she was a descendent of the Eternians or something but they never really went there. Was she just a kid of some shipwrecked person who passed away before she could remember? I probably just missed something, but I maxed out her (as well as everyone else's, I'm pretty sure) happiness or whatever and watched all their codas, and don't recall getting any answers on this.

Also why was he even called Thanatos? I was waiting for him to turn on the castaways and attack, and he never did. I've played too much Shin Megami Tensei lol

I kind of wish we got like a bonus mode or something where we're allowed to explore the northern half of the island post-Eternia wipe. Even though I enjoyed those bits, the southern half, where you feel like you've really shipwrecked on a deserted island, were my favorite feeling of the game. Alas.
Thanatos is not her biological father. I believe the most we get on her history is that Thanatos found her there and she can't remember her parents or how she got to the island. Presumably her family was shipwrecked and died when she was very young. Or because the game doesn't really care so much for the mundane, maybe she sprout from a flower.

Also, I really liked the ghost ship. Really nice tragic hero kind of story.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Thanatos is not her biological father. I believe the most we get on her history is that Thanatos found her there and she can't remember her parents or how she got to the island. Presumably her family was shipwrecked and died when she was very young. Or because the game doesn't really care so much for the mundane, maybe she sprout from a flower.

Well, I'm glad I didn't miss anything, then lol. Kinda wish that would've been explained, though.

Also, I really liked the ghost ship. Really nice tragic hero kind of story.

Well, the story of the captain of that ship was good, yeah - it just wasn't seeded into the story very well, imo. It just sort of appears, you go on the boat and beat a boss, and all of a sudden have a map of the currents surrounding the island and the movements of Oceanus lol. I kinda wish it'd have been spotted before the Lombardia sinks or something, so it's in the back of your mind the whole game or whatever.
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
It was telegraphed a little bit, at least, with all of the pirate remains that you find. But yeah, they probably should have had the thing itself appear a handful of times prior.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
It was telegraphed a little bit, at least, with all of the pirate remains that you find. But yeah, they probably should have had the thing itself appear a handful of times prior.

I suppose that's true, but those felt disconnected from that particular ship - I assumed as I was finding them that all those pirates were shipwrecked over the years on Seiren from tons of different ships, since apparently that island had been a no-go zone for ships for hundreds of years. I guess I didn't realize those pirates were all from the same (ghost) ship.
 

Wolf

Ancient Nameless Hero
(He/him)
There's so much Ys VIII did right for me, personally, that it's hard for me to find fault even where it's due. Which is not me saying not to bring it up, just... gushing, I guess.

The story, bonkers as it is, strikes a few particular topics that interest me all at once. Blacking out possible spoiler content: I love stories that involve lost, ancient civilizations. It's one of the reasons Ys appeals to me in the first place. I also have an interest in what I think of as pre-cataclysmic stories, which is what Dana's past sections are all about: Disaster is coming, we can't prevent it, we probably can't survive it, so what do we do? And I have an interest, too, in the idea of an endless cycle of history, the notion that certain huge and catastrophic events can and do recur, that the slate is periodically wiped clean and the world starts afresh, with just the barest suggestion of something older surviving, niggling little hints for which there is not enough context even to hope for interpretation or understanding. These objects simply stand as mute and inscrutable monuments to their makers, defying all explanation.

So when Ys VIII puts all this together, of course I'm going to be there for it. Exploring ancient ruins is du rigeur for the series, but getting to see the ancient civilization that made them firsthand -- and not through cutscenes, but actual play of the game! -- is something that I don't think has really been done before in the series. Then we find out that this has all happened before, that the cataclysm we're witnessing is not unique, though no less heart-wrenching for all that. In a way, it puts me in mind of Mass Effect, where we find that the setting-wide extinction event that initially informs so much of the story is not a one-off thing, but rather the tip of the iceberg, a question that hints at a much vaster mystery and a much greater problem. The amount of time over which it's suggested this process has been occurring is staggering in its cosmic scale. Dana makes for an odd Javik analogue in this comparison, but she at least has a more pleasant personality, and a more sympathetic perspective.


Even when Ys VIII's story clanks a bit here and there, it's hard for me to care because it's tweaking those sections of the story-focused part of my brain that feel starved for their favorite content. I don't often run across stories like this, and there's a particular "feel" that's important, which may not be present even in the stories that superficially address these topics. And here Ys VIII takes that ball and just runs with it, and isn't afraid to be goofy and dumb about it here and there, in the name of being fun and entertaining, and it's just wonderful.

I love it.

I think I had a point to make at some point in all of this, but it turned into me just gushing for a few minutes. My apologies for the total absence of a point in any of this.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I enjoyed the story, too, goofy and dumb as it can get at points. I just wish it hung together a little better, not that it's bad or anything, it just throws A LOT at you and I wish it were maybe a little more focused at times. That is a bit of a nitpick, though, because I'm sitting here a couple hours into Ys VI (which I'm enjoying just fine) and I want to go back and play more Ys VIII (maybe a hard or inferno mode playthrough, or something). The game absolutely kicks ass.
 

Wolf

Ancient Nameless Hero
(He/him)
Incidentally, that's another thing I like about Ys VIII. It takes the party style of the series (which I enjoy, but have never been wild about) and joins it to the Napishtim/Felghana/Origins style that is probably my ideal for the series (having nothing at all to do with being where I came in, no sir). It's just a joy to play. I'm a fan of the series as a whole, but VIII takes the cake.
 
Ys VI is fun! About two hours in, just got the second sword.

The jokes about Adol not being able to get on a boat without it sinking are more apt than I thought though lol
Adol hates boats like Dogi hates walls. Him getting on a boat should void the insurance.
 

Wolf

Ancient Nameless Hero
(He/him)
Never mind the boat, can you imagine what a life insurance policy must look like for Adol?
 
oh also, I don't know much about oath, but I have III: wanderers. How much different is levelling/progression? wanderers has a semi frustrating curve where it seems necessary to spend some time levelling before really getting started, but I'm curious if that's about the same for oath. Want to know what I'm getting into if i decide to get into it.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Oath has a nice, smooth difficulty curve, imo. You probably will do some grinding later in the game, but it's not too bad. Early on it's fairly easy (imo).
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Aaaaand credits on Ys VI. I really liked it! It's a quick game, like most pre-VII Ys games. It's oddly balanced - most of the game is grinding levels and emel, so you'll find a nice easy area to grind in and go to town until you're leveled enough to where most things in the dungeon do single digit damage and you slaughter things in one or two hits. Not that I minded too much, as the dungeons were fun to explore (limestone cave aside, that place is a friggin maze), and the bosses were fun (again, limestone cave aside).

Lore questions (spoilers for... let's see, at least VI obviously but also I, II, and Celceta at least:

Of the two brothers, Ernst and Geis, which one was the one who dated the party member from Celceta? I'm still unclear on that lol. I'm assuming it's Geis, since he was good in the end? Or something? Did they even explicitly say in VI that those two were from Celceta? I suppose I may have missed something, as I missed at least one of those talismans or whatever that explain the backstory, since I was done exploring those friggin caves by the time I beat them lol. Though I doubt the bard would translate something that says who the baddies are... Maybe there was something on the Romun ship that indicated where Ernst was from. I was going to try to get all the treasure chests but got sick of the enemies respawning since I didn't memorize where the chests were and got sick of trying to escort them out of there while getting all the chests.

So the white wings indicate, as in Celceta, that the goddesses from Origin were Eldeen? Did they all live at the same time, I wonder? Did Feena and Leah know Eldeel and Alma? Should I care? lol


Ranking:

1. Ys VIII
2. Ys Origin
3. Ys Oath in Felghana
4. VI
5. Ys Celceta
6. I
7. II
8. V

Onto VII, which I played through once but remember very little of. Then after that I'll play Cold Steel IV. Falcom rules.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Ernst is the brother you're thinking of. And yep, the twins were refugees from the Eldeen disaster, but iirc they were very young when the collapse happened. It's never been said whether they interacted with any of the other survivors, but I don't think it's likely considering that they basically independently reinvented grey/ash emelas and invited much the same disaster and I think Eldeel at the least would've said something considering he set up shop next door.

I'm waiting on the PC port for CS IV myself, so it'll be next year for me.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Ys VII - like all Ys games, it's very fun, but why is learning new skills tied to equipment? Gosh dang it
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Ys VII - like all Ys games, it's very fun, but why is learning new skills tied to equipment? Gosh dang it

Eating my words, because I just grinded for like a half hour near the wind city to get new weapons to teach new skills to the main three characters (plus a hefty attack boost) lol
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
That's one thing I remember from my play of Ys Seven: grinding didn't actually take all that long. I'm hoping your report of it stacks up to how I remember it being. It used to be my favorite (and may still be, dunno), but Ys VIII made quite the run at dethroning it. If Ys IX anywhere close to that quality, I'm going to be a really happy camper.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Skills are handy in VII, but honestly the real game breaking is with Flash Dodges/Guards. Falcom nerfed it in Celceta and again in VIII because it was just that good in Seven.
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
Really? I thought they made it easier with each game. Flash Dodge didn't exist in Seven, and IIRC Flash Guard's input was more demanding (two separate buttons?) and actually required that you stop what you were doing (you can flash guard in the middle of standard attacks in VIII). Additionally, if you screwed up the timing, you actually took bonus damage.

It's been a long time since I last seriously played Ys Seven, though, so I may not remember just how strong it was.

That said, the shift in focus to Flash Guard and Dodge was a huge mistake. The bosses are uniformly terrible in Memories of Celceta and Lacrimosa of Dana and I think it's mostly because evasion is balanced around overpowered iframe mechanics instead of, you know, actually avoiding things.
 
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Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
The bosses are not uniformly terrible in VIII, I thought they were very fun, and I liked the dodge mechanics (I never used the guard much as I just preferred dodging around). Ys Seven doesn't have the Flash Guard/Dodge mechanics where time slows down if you dodge something perfectly, but you do have the dodge button and I think if you time it right you take 0 damage. But honestly? Besides the lack of bullet time, Ys Seven feels similar to VIII and Celceta in terms of combat, not just because of the three person team but because of the rolling around and dodging and such.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
it's been a few years, but iirc if you do a perfect guard in seven it nulls the attack basically and gives you a ton of SP. So Guard > high SP skill > Guard > etc is a very easy way to handle most of the bosses.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I'm about halfway through it having just finished my late lunch, but this is a good video about the very early history of Falcom:

 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I don't... think I beat Ys VII back in the day. I vaguely remember the "hidden" town, but I don't think I beat the first dragon boss because the entirety of the fire sanctum felt new to me, including the boss. I actually don't remember most of the game very well at all. I'm glad I played through VI because Geis is also all over this game lol.

In any case, it still rules. I'll probably beat it today or tomorrow, at which point I'll probably write a giant love letter post to the series, and then I'll stop bumping this thread lol.
 
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