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Ysing myself into the Ys franchise.

Dylan

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Jul 20, 2011
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I noticed the Ys games are 66% off on Steam right now. As someone who has never played a single entry in the franchise, I figure this might be a good time to check it out.

The games on sale currently are:


I've been craving an old-school type action RPG experience, and I seem to recall RPG sage Christian Nutt of Gamasutra mentioning that the Ys games were his favourite of all time (or something).

My question for you, GAF, is where do I start? I know that Ys I & II seems like the logical first step but to be honest, I would rather just buy the best one out of the 3 above and work my way from there if I like it. Any suggestions?

Take 'er Ysy.
 

evilalien

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Feb 24, 2010
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If you only want to buy one and ease yourself into the series, get Oath in Felghana. It is the most representative of the series and isn't as dated as Chronicles (though Chronicles was enjoyable still I think). Origin is a great game, but it is a pure dungeon crawler and I believe people new to the series should start with a game where you play as Adol.
 

Bladenic

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Sep 13, 2011
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Oh shit!!! A sale?? I still need to play Origin and 1+2. Thanks OP.

I love Oath and 7.
 

twentytwo22

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Feb 15, 2011
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Start with Origins or Felghana, play Chronicles second, and then the other one third, IMO. They are all fantastic -- Origin and Felghana play on the same basic game engine, but Chronicles are classic games and play very differently (but are still great games).

Me personally, since I've gotten into Ys in the last two years I played Felghana > Seven > Origin > Chronicles > Celceta, but there wasn't really any rhyme or reason for the order.
 

fates

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Feb 2, 2009
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I see what you did there... several times.

Anyway, Ys I and II are obviously the ideal starting points, but they use the "bump" system for combat, which many find bizarre. I liked it, but yeah just keep that in mind. It seems to be very polarizing.

Oath of Felghana is basically a really good remake of Ys 3. Most consider the best game in the franchise, afaik. No bump system there.

Ys Origin is basically a prequel that used the same engine as Felghana. It's also very good. No bump system there other.

If you think the "bump system" isn't for you, there's no harm in starting with Felghana as it really doesn't require the story of I+II to understand.
 

Dylan

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Jul 20, 2011
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If you only want to buy one and ease yourself into the series, get Oath in Felghana. It is the most representative of the series and isn't as dated as Chronicles (though Chronicles was enjoyable still I think). Origin is a great game, but it is a pure dungeon crawler and I believe people new to the series should start with a game where you play as Adol.
Thanks for the tips! Would you say the Ys games are more story heavy than mechanics heavy? Just at a shallow first glance, I can already tell that I won't care about the story at all, but I'm willing to get through it if I can scratch my action-rpg itch.
 

wyrdwad

XSEED Localization Specialist
Feb 15, 2011
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I actually just answered this on the Steam forums not too long ago, so I'm going to copy/paste my response here. Apologies for the "lazy way out," but hopefully you'll find this informative -- and if you have any further questions, you may certainly feel free to ask, and I'll do my best to address them.

The Ys series is a little different from most, in that it's completely episodic -- you don't have to play the games in order, since each tells a self-contained story. Besides which, story isn't really the draw for most Ys titles anyway; it's all about the gameplay.

That having been said, here's the quick rundown:

Ys I & II Chronicles+
- Remake of the very first two games in the series, originally published in Japan in 1987 and 1988. Old-school to the extreme, with a lot of obtuse puzzles, a classically-styled fantasy storyline, and gameplay that's decidedly not modern at all (but is very fun if you give it a chance!). A good starting point for retro gamers, but might be better suited to those who are already fans of the series, and is definitely not recommended if you've been weaned on modern video games.

Ys: The Oath in Felghana
- A complete reimagining of Ys III, though its connections to the other Ys games are tenuous at best (read: it's one of the most standalone games in the series, story-wise, spoiling nothing and requiring no prior knowledge of the series whatsoever). Considered by many to be the best Ys game, myself included, though its high level of difficulty may make it a little less accessible to gamers who aren't used to challenging games (fortunately, there are 6 difficulty levels to choose from, so you have options to make life easier for yourself!). This would be my recommended starting point, however, as I feel it best represents the series as a whole.

Ys Origin
- The earliest point in the series story-wise, taking place 700 years before Ys I & II. However, it's also the only Ys game that doesn't star (or even really feature) series protagonist Adol Christin (since, you know, he's not born yet!), and it's also the only Ys game to feature no overworld and no towns -- the whole game takes place inside a giant tower. Feels very arcade-like, but also happens to have the most complex and interesting storyline in the series, as well as some of its best gameplay (though its map designs aren't quite as good as Felghana's IMHO). May be a good starting point if you prefer your games more straightforward or really want an engaging story to focus on.

Another way to look at it: Chronicles+ feels kind of like an old-school Zelda game in fast-forward, Felghana feels kind of like a 3D Metroidvania done right, and Origin feels kind of like an old-school pre-SotN Castlevania game in 3D (again, done right).

Would you say the Ys games are more story heavy than mechanics heavy?
Nope! Totally the opposite, in fact. Except in the case of Origin, where there's a much greater balance between the two.

-Tom
 

BarrenMind

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Dec 8, 2008
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Over the past week I FAQ'd myself through Ys I & II Chronicles. My hat's off to anyone who played those games without help. So many obscure moments where I doubt I would have figured out the right thing to do next.
 

shaowebb

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Dec 12, 2006
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Played 1 and I am at the end of it. Want to play 2 and I'm camping on copies of the others. My backlog is big...i'll likely get some PSP time on them pretty soon though.
 

twentytwo22

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Feb 15, 2011
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Thanks for the tips! Would you say the Ys games are more story heavy than mechanics heavy? Just at a shallow first glance, I can already tell that I won't care about the story at all, but I'm willing to get through it if I can scratch my action-rpg itch.
For these three games, there is a story but it is lightweight stuff and doesn't interfere much with 'dat Ys action.

Newer games in the series (7 and Celceta) are much more story-heavy.
 

evilalien

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Feb 24, 2010
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Thanks for the tips! Would you say the Ys games are more story heavy than mechanics heavy? Just at a shallow first glance, I can already tell that I won't care about the story at all, but I'm willing to get through it if I can scratch my action-rpg itch.
Ys games are about the most action oriented action RPGs you can imagine. The story in these games is there but is always incredibly standard stuff, not terrible by any means but you won't be wowed by the story. The combat is what will have you raving about the games though.
 

ampere

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Mar 30, 2007
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Fun thread title. I remember Aeana saying it's pronounced "eeece" like fleece, so the OP got it right.

I've never played an Ys game, but they are tempting with so many on Steam.
 

TheChaos0

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Feb 20, 2013
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That rocking soundtracks in Ys, get them all. I personally started with Chronicles, they aren't very long, actually might as well be 1 game instead of 2. For how basic the combat is... (bumping into things)... I found it oddly addicting. And soundtrack helps so much.
 

YoungOne

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Mar 4, 2012
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Well based on what you said I would say start with Origins or Felghana. I personally would tell you to go with Origins first since I consider Felghana the better game (Haven't played Ys I and II). If you have a psp I highly recommend checking out ys 7 too.
 

Bladenic

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Sep 13, 2011
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I think I asked this before long ago, but is Ys1+2 collection noticeably better on PC compared to PSP?
 

Dylan

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Jul 20, 2011
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Wow, thanks for all the helpful responses. I really apprYsiate it.

Looks like it's fairly unanimous; I'll start with Oath. Thanks GAF!
 

DSix

Banned
Nov 10, 2011
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Beginning by either Origins or Oath is good.
1+2 are a bit special and can feel dated if you're not already into Ys.
 

Sophia

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Feb 8, 2008
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Wow, thanks for all the helpful responses. I really apprYsiate it.

Looks like it's fairly unanimous; I'll start with Oath. Thanks GAF!
Good choice. Oath is a fantastic starting point.

I think I asked this before long ago, but is Ys1+2 collection noticeably better on PC compared to PSP?
The PSP Game (Ys I & II Chronicles) was essentially a port of the PC version (Ys I & II Complete) with things like new portraits and music. If I'm not mistaken, the Steam version (Ys I & II Chronicles Plus) has all the extras from the PSP one. So you get the option to use the original aspect ratio or the widescreen one of the PSP version.
 

twentytwo22

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Feb 15, 2011
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And yes, because these soundtracks cannot be mentioned enough...

Termination (Ys II Chronicles ver)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJQdOIAo7Tk

Ruins of Moondoria (Ys II Chronicles ver)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhFSwGb6a9M

A Searing Struggle (Felghana ver)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsGPthUe8Po

Valestein Castle Full ver (Felghana ver)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXHtkHlLcxQ

Water Prison (Ys Origin)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVL34JQkW6Q

Termination (Ys Origin)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6yLoUNzqmQ

Innocent Primeval Breaker (Ys Seven)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbAUHmHk0Sk

Mother Earth Altago (Ys Seven)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oenpsp8VAwE

The Sacred Beast's Nest (Harlequin's Temptation) (Ys Celceta)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiU7j8m9VcM

Dawn of Ys (Ys Celceta)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dY9XD1zhi2I
 

jj984jj

He's a pretty swell guy in my books anyway.
Aug 30, 2005
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I hope the Steam versions have been doing well enough so that we can get VI and other Falcom games.
 

linkboy

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No matter what game you start with, you're in for a treat.

This series is one hell of a ride and some of my favorite games ever.

Don't forget Napishtim on the PS2 (the best way to play the game in the US without importing).
 

Delusibeta

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Ys games are about the most action oriented action RPGs you can imagine. The story in these games is there but is always incredibly standard stuff, not terrible by any means but you won't be wowed by the story. The combat is what will have you raving about the games though.
Yep. These games are the most action-packed RPGs this side of Dragon's Crown.
 

rockmanjoe

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Jan 22, 2013
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Oath and Origin are absolute must plays. IMO they are simply the greatest action rpgs you can play to date.

Once you play those and become a fan you can play I&II if you want to experience the beginnings of the series. I & II's bumping combat is weird at first but after a bit you get used to it quickly.

The music in all Ys games are all fucking amazing though. Falcom is famous for their amazing soundtracks across all their games and I just can't get enough of them.
 

krYlon

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Jan 30, 2011
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You made a wise choice to start with Oath. Still my favourite arpg of all time.
Origin is pretty great too.
 

LuuKyK

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Mar 18, 2012
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I am torn between Seven and Oath for my favorite Ys game (though Origin is still pretty cool, I am just not really fond of the tower concept - it gets extra repetitive, even if the floors have different themes). I think I would go with Seven. I am still starting I & II +.

The PSP Game (Ys I & II Chronicles) was essentially a port of the PC version (Ys I & II Complete) with things like new portraits and music. If I'm not mistaken, the Steam version (Ys I & II Chronicles Plus) has all the extras from the PSP one. So you get the option to use the original aspect ratio or the widescreen one of the PSP version.
You are right, you can also choose what artwork style for the portraits you want.
 

Kumubou

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May 27, 2013
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Short answer: Yes.

Less short answer: Flip a coin between Oath in Felghana and Origin. I personally like Origin better, but Oath in Felghana is much more representative of the series. I got Chronicles+ on Steam during the sale and have gotten a fair bit through 1 so far and... it's kind of rough, heh. It's not necessarily bad (it still has a lot of the properties that define the series; I like the statement another poster made about the games feeling like Zelda stuck in fast-forward), but it definitely feels like a game developed in 1987.

I really wish they had soundtrack bundles with the games on Steam. Falcom plz. ;_;
 

steveovig

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Jun 29, 2008
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I've been waiting for these to drop in price for ages and they finally do but it's right after the summer sale! I probably won't be able to pick them up now, although I might still try and scrounge up some cash somehow. The problem is I still have Steam stuff, Pikmin 3, Cloudberry Kingdom, Picross e2, Ducktales, Animal Crossing, ibb and obb, and Earthbound on my plate for the next couple weeks. How can I possibly throw in the Ys games?
 

iavi

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Jun 8, 2010
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Ys games are about the most action oriented action RPGs you can imagine. The story in these games is there but is always incredibly standard stuff, not terrible by any means but you won't be wowed by the story. The combat is what will have you raving about the games though.
This is all true, but you do become weirdly attached to the characters, though little dialog actually happens. Something I've only experienced with this series.
 

evilalien

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Feb 24, 2010
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This is all true, but you do become weirdly attached to the characters, though little dialog actually happens. Something I've only experienced with this series.
Yeah, I can't deny that I've felt the same while playing these games, but the main attraction will always be the combat for me.
 

Tain

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I started with Oath in Felghana. It is a really good action game.

I then played I and II Chronicles+. They're nowhere near as good, but if you are more into the RPG aspect than the action aspect you might enjoy the casual save-anywhere structure of these games more than Oath in Felghana's more designed challenges. These are action games through and through, though, so I don't know why someone would play them for the very little they share in common with traditional JRPGs.

I'm looking forward to playing Origin, Arc of Napishtim, and despite what I've heard of the lowered difficulty, 7 and Celceta.
 

Qrusher14242

Banned
Mar 26, 2012
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I played Origins first, then Seven and they were both great.

Have tried a few times to get into the first games, but they just play so different can never really figure them out. I just keep dying to the first few enemies lol.

So i just started to play Oath instead, much more like the others.
 

The Return of

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Mar 16, 2010
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Short answer: Yes.

Less short answer: Flip a coin between Oath in Felghana and Origin. I personally like Origin better, but Oath in Felghana is much more representative of the series. I got Chronicles+ on Steam during the sale and have gotten a fair bit through 1 so far and... it's kind of rough, heh. It's not necessarily bad (it still has a lot of the properties that define the series; I like the statement another poster made about the games feeling like Zelda stuck in fast-forward), but it definitely feels like a game developed in 1987.

I really wish they had soundtrack bundles with the games on Steam. Falcom plz. ;_;
Yeah, Origin is my favorite as well, but I would recommend OiF before it any day. I can understand why people might not like Origin as much.
 

Monado Blade

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Jul 11, 2011
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These are great games and people should get them while they're on sale. Oath in Felghana is one of those rare games where the gameplay and music are all top notch.

I recommend playing with a controller though.