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

List of Games

* Canon to the series

Ys The Ark of Napishtim
PlayStation 2
Nihon Falcom, Konami
Napishtim Engine
February 22, 2005
Reflections of Ys
By Limfinite

Like most players in North America, my first experience with The Ark of Napishtim was on the PlayStation 2, which was translated and localized by Konami. This port from the PC version was then ported to the PSP a year later. Some notable differences from the original Japanese PC version was the inclusion of a horrifying CG introduction (see the first screenshot of Adol below), full voice-overs, and a host of extra in-game content including trials and cheats.

I played the Ys games in the chronological order of Adol's age, so my time with Napishtim came immediately after The Oath in Felghana that shares the same game engine. In fact, The Ark of Napishtim pioneered the engine, which Falcom then used to produce the definitive version of Ys III: The Oath in Felghana (the latest remake of Wanderers from Ys). Rather than automatically healing and earning gold from enemy drops (Felghana and Origin), Adol has an inventory system to store items for later use. It was an interesting mechanic and makes the game a lot easier in comparison.

Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim is one of my favourite games in the series, not simply from a gameplay perspective, but because it is a culmination of Ys lore that started back in 1987. I've often described Napishtim as - The Avengers - of the series. Each game is based on one of Adol's journals and Napishtim brings together the experiences chronicled from Ys I to IV, along with archived events from Ys Origin. Although Napishtim can be played as a stand-alone much like every other Ys game, the story heavily relies on everything Adol had learned up to this point. It is highly encouraged that The Ark of Napishtim is played after completing Ys I & II Chronicles, Origin, Memories of Celceta and The Oath in Felghana.

Konami added a few exclusive bonuses to the PlayStation 2 port; most notably Alma's Trials and cheat codes. Once acquiring the Wing of Alma, players can begin to attempt Alma's Trials, which are hidden dungeons constructed deep below Zemeth Island on the ocean's floor. A fairy named Crevia (one of Konami's original characters and not by Falcom) is the dungeon keeper. Completing each trial rewards the player with XP, gold or emel, with emel being the best choice. Cheat codes were accessed from the main menu, where Adol walks into a single room with coloured crystals lying about. Striking the crystals in a certain order activates each cheat code. Unlocks include the original Japanese intro movie, maxed out equipment and statistics, and lowering the price of shop items.

The marketing of this game included a Not For Resale playable demo disc that was given to players who pre-ordered Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater on PlayStation 2. The first act of the game was fully playable with certain areas translated with altered dialog from the final product. Furthermore, you could also battle against two bosses. These were selected from the demo menu. I also find it interesting that Konami decided to remove VI from the game's title that was in the original Japanese logo and later used in the Steam re-release in 2015 by XSEED Games. Perhaps they didn't want players to be put off that it was a sequel in a long line of games, the last one having been localized in 1991, and wanted to market it as a standalone title. It also didn't help sales that the game was released on the same day as the blockbuster hit Gran Turismo 4.


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