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Ys III Wanderers from Ys
Sega Genesis
Nihon Falcom
Reflections of Ys
By Johnathan "ABF" Sawyer

Ys III: Wanderers from Ys for the Super Nintendo was my first foray into the Ys universe. The third Ys game has the honor of being the most ported Ys title, to practically everything available around the late 80's / early 90's. In English, we saw it come to the SNES, Sega Genesis, and TurboGrafx, with the SNES being the most popular. Regardless of which version that was played, the base game and all of the levels were the same, so you were able to get (roughly) the same experience regardless. With that in mind, I tried the Sega Genesis version expecting much of the same... and had a few mixed reactions. This reflection comes after playing the SNES version, The Oath in Felghana (PC & PSP) and the TurboGrafx version.

The only Ys that have a side-scrolling Adol paired with his bear of a friend Dogi is still there, visiting his hometown and taking care of his hero business. But something bizarre threw me off – everything and everyone that wasn't a major character had a different name. Elena and Chester are fine, but that's about it. Redmont is now Sarina. Mayor Edgar is now Mayor Grady. Ilvern / Illburns Ruins is Alcaino Ruins. The Eldam / Elderm Mountains is Mt. Seko. You get the point. And even worse... they didn't proofread. On the menu, "Herb" is definitely an Herb, but everywhere else in the game? "HARB". The localization team missed several of these throughout the game, and it's painfully glaring when they did. But that can be easily forgiven and pushed aside as a minor detail.

Personally, the only deal-breaker for me is the Genesis's AWFUL sound chip. Even the glorious tracks from Falcom-past are brutally slaughtered. You can definitely recognize all of the tracks, but they definitely aren't as good as they should've been; if you don't have anything to compare it to, you'll likely not even notice and just find it to be normal. For others, sound doesn't matter, and I've even met several who LOVE its sound chip. To each their own.

This may sound mostly negative, but it's mostly just nitpicking at the other versions' superiority. If you have this version or want to try a version of Ys III and can't get ahold of the SNES version, then by all means, go for it. It's still just as wonderful and mind-numbingly difficult as the other versions. The difficulty level is pretty high (as usual), though this one does seem to taper off after a while compared to its SNES counterpart. Keeping both the localization and sound in mind as the only real differences, this is the same Ys adventure that you could play on the SNES or TurboGrafx. Not all my reactions to it were bad. Quite a few still took me back to the times of playing when I was younger, and all of my reflexes and memory still worked in my favor as I cleared the game. And I'm glad I finally took the time to do so.


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