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

List of Games

* Canon to the series

Ys IX: Monstrum Nox
Pact Edition
PlayStation 4
Nihon Falcom
NIS America
NIS America
SEVEN/Party Engine
February 2, 2021
Reflections of Ys
By Limfinite

The following Reflection will contain NO story spoilers.

Since the announcement of Ys IX, we’ve been often asked if it can be enjoyed without any previous knowledge of past games. It’s an understandable question, seeing as IX is indeed a high number. Although the Ys series was written with an overarching narrative, most of the games were developed with a self-contained story that can be experienced at any time. Nihon Falcom designed these games to be more inclusive, hoping to reach a wider fan base. Ys IX can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone, but rewards long time players with THE MOST fan service in the series, rivaling even that of Ys VI’s prestige. Ys IX is by far the largest, most ambitious Ys game to date with countless things to do, blurring the line between linear and open-world sandbox. I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone with or without previous knowledge of Ys games.

A reminder to our readers, this is a Reflection, not a review. I'm not here to tell you what the game is about or the differences between each port (PS4, Switch, PC). Some of our reflections may include those editorial elements, but only relevant if that's how the writer wants to remember their experience. I'm here to reflect on how Ys IX affected me as an Ys fan.

Ys IX takes place at the very end of the Ys Chronology in the Gllia region just East of Esteria (Ys 1). It is one of THE MOST story-driven experiences in the series. Have you watched Captain America: Civil War? Then you’ll understand that past events have repercussions, and this is where Adol finds himself within the first act. The plot kicks off right from the very beginning, so story enthusiasts should be very satisfied. Those who have been following the movements of the Romun Empire in earlier Ys games will especially appreciate the political subplot. My only criticism about Ys IX is how incredibly predictable the overall story is. The game's foreshadowing is heavy-handed and unsubtle, at best. However, the likable cast, world-building, and gameplay, more than make up for this. Long time fans will greatly enjoy the literal connections to previous games. If you have PS4 save data from Ys VIII or Ys: Memories of Celceta, you’ll be rewarded with bonus equipable accessories.

If you thought Ys VIII was great, Falcom took the same formula and improved on it tenfold. For example, Adol has immediate access to his Double Jump from the very start. The city of Balduq is absolutely massive. Unlike previous games using the Ys Seven/Party system blueprint, just about every surface of Ys IX is scalable and reachable. As in, if you can see it, you can likely get there. The game also isn’t limited to the city alone, with a substantial overworld beyond its gates.

Unlike other Nihon Falcom games, including past Ys games, side missions are CLEARLY marked on the overworld map. In fact, the inter-woven stories of these optional quests play such a crucial role in the overall narrative that even “missable side quests” are so clearly indicated. We hope Falcom keeps this style of gameplay for all future releases, as its refreshing to enjoy a game to its fullest without the need of an online guide. It makes the game easier, but much more welcoming, inclusive, and streamlined.

The performance of Ys IX plays well on a base model PS4, running at 30fps and only dips for brief moments during battle. Its hardly distracting and fully enjoyable as this was the native platform Ys IX was developed for. Those looking for a smoother experience, playing on a PS4 Pro or PS5 increases its framerate, with the latter running at a solid 60fps in full HD.

Since the official announcement of Ys IX in the West, NISA has provided a steady flow of digital information, trivia, art, and merchandise shared on their social media platforms and eblasts. With the challenges of COVID-19, there weren’t any live tradeshow events like E3 or Anime Expo, where Ys VIII was heavily promoted. This meant a lack of promotional swag, which is understandable considering world events. Like they did with Ys VIII, the playable Ys IX DEMO on PS4 made a significant boost for awareness, but barely even scratched the surface on how fantastic the full game is. As with many of NISA’s games, there was an online poll for fans to vote between various art to be used in the reverse cover of the retail game. Finally, the push for a Ys IX Limited Edition, official merchandise, and extras that come with the base “Pact Edition” game were a welcome addition to the growing number of Western products, which fans have been hungry for.

As a long-time fan of the series, I can honestly say that Ys IX is one of its best entries. Most of the games have its lore hidden behind scriptures and world observations, but Ys IX is a gem that shares its story on the main stage with its addictive gameplay and stirring soundtrack. If this is your first Ys game, welcome to the World of Ys. If you’d like to learn more about the series, view our WHAT IS YS page. If you already know the name Adol Christin, we hope you agree with us in saying that Ys IX is an incredible game. We look forward to seeing the series grow as more fans are introduced to our favourite red-haired adventurer. Keep playing, keep streaming, keep telling the world about Ys. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook where we have daily Ys posts, news, alerts, giveaways, and original content. Let’s embark on Adol’s adventures together for years to come.
Pact Edition

The Pact Edition includes the base game, Mini Art Book (Monstrum Memoirs), and a Soundtrack Sampler (Melodies of the Macabre). Pact Editions were not sold at any additional cost.

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