Ys Series - Digital Emelas: A Fansite Spreading Awareness of Ys

List of Games

* Canon to the series

Ys Chronicles 1
Nihon Falcom
Bump System
April 29, 2015
Reflections of Ys
By Limfinite

I rejoiced the moment DotEmu announced Ys I was available on mobile devices, and for less than $10! When I watched the trailer and noticed it was a port of Chronicles, I cheered even more! I purchased it without hesitation. The intro was crisp on my screen. And the music... oh the music. It all flooded back. Then, the first line of in-game text was displayed and I noticed something odd: the NPC names had changed. I then noticed the dialog was different. My PSP was immediately booted up to compare the translation. It was completely new. DotEmu had re-translated the entire game despite an already perfect translation by XSEED games. What sank my enthusiasm further were the subtle errors I found within the first 5 minutes of play. As you can see from the cropped screenshots below, the letter spacing was off in the spelling of "Slaghf", and the speech box in the second image cuts off the bottom line of text. No, the text didn't scroll. This was the full box.

Now, this didn't break the game for me. I fairly enjoyed it regardless of the translation. Once I looked past these minor glitches, the Ys experience was as fun as ever. The touch controls felt similar to Legacy of Ys Books I & II on the Nintendo DS, where you'd run around and interact with a stylus, only I'd be using my finger. There's also controller support for your mobile device, which I highly recommend.

Falcom had originally included some English text in the Japanese versions of Ys Chronicles, such as location names that appear when you first enter a new area and NPCs in Adol's journal. DotEmu had left these unchanged, unlike XSEED who had them modified for the PlayStation and Steam ports. These are images and not live text, which meant a graphic designer would have had to go in and manually alter each asset one by one. XSEED had tweaked several names in small ways to sound natural, or correct what Falcom was obviously trying to convey but misspelled (such as Drothy to Dorothy in The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky), while still retaining the basic pronunciation and meaning of the original Japanese version. DotEmu had left the original unaltered names by Falcom, which would sound unusual to most players if English were their main language.

If mobile gaming is your only option to experience the first Ys game, I highly encourage you to pick it up. Other than a few visual hiccups, it was a solid port for players who don't own a PSP or Vita. The music and graphics transferred really well onto both my Xperia Z1 and Z3 (Android). The sprites come alive and are incredibly vivid. The interface is clean and tapping their respective icons gave intuitive menu access (items, rings, etc). In addition, DotEmu added 25 achievements that can be linked to your Mobile Gaming Profile. What's even more exciting is that they're different than those found on the Steam version of Ys I Chronicles+! Ys Chronicles 1 is a great way to get your Ys fix if you don't have your PSP or Vita on you. I don't know a single person who leaves their home without their smart phone.


Purchase for Mobile

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All Ys Games, Art and Music © Nihon Falcom Corporation.