As you may well know, last fall I kicked off what would basically become a meta-series that focused on Falcom’s Ys franchise of action-RPGs. The first game I covered was Ys Origin for the PC, followed later by Ys I Chronicles+ and then Ys II Chronicles+. I really enjoyed playing these games and I did get good comments about them, so I wanted to go ahead and continue the saga. Yet, would this mean that I would need to try Ys III (remade as Ys: Oath in Felghana) next?
No, not really. See, like a lot of RPG franchises, the Ys series has an interesting continuity to it. While it’s true that Ys III was released after the second game, in terms of series chronology, Ys IV takes place directly after the second game. Now, as I explain in the opening to this video, things get a tad more complicated when we consider that there were two distinct Ys IV games released back in 1993 – Ys IV: Mask of the Sun (Japanese Super Famicom) and Ys IV: Dawn of Ys (PC Engine). Of the two, although the PCE version is technically superior in many ways, the SNES variation is considered the “canon” version. This was backed up in 2005 when the game received a Japanese-only remake on the PlayStation 2 under the title Ys IV: Mask of the Sun – A New Theory. Of course, the game was finally published worldwide by XSeed for the PlayStation Vita as Ys: Memories of Celceta.
Anyway, this video will kick off a new series focusing on the SNES version of the game. Our journey begins in the port town of Minea, where the very first game began. Adol discovers a letter in a bottle imploring any heroes to travel to Celceta to help the people there, so he sets sail from Minea to the town of Promolock on the mainland and then journeys south (I think?) to the town of Casnan. Casnan sits on the borderlands of the Romun Empire (yes, the series is based on a fantasy version of Earth around the 1st century B.C.), which has recently occupied the area. After getting arrested (and released later from jail), we decide to head into the nearby hills and journey across them to the great forested realm of Celceta. We encounter several characters who will be important to the story later, venture to the ruins of Celceta, and finally end things at the entrance to the forest. I also spend some time grinding up several levels and buying the best weapons and armor that are for sale in Casnan, and I think, while possibly a bit boring, this is something that will pay off in the end.
Worth noting for those that care about this sort of thing is that, as mentioned before, the Ys games take place in a fantasy version of Europe in ancient times. Promolock is somewhere along the coastline in the northeast of present-day France and Casnan is to the south, near the Pyrenees along the Spanish border. Celceta is in the north of today’s Spain, most likely based on the modern name of Catalonia. Hopefully this gives an idea of how you can visualize some of the things seen as we play!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this new series! :)