Publisher: Kyodai / Falcom / Unlimited Software Inc. Rated: Everyone Released Year: 1987 (Japan) / 1989 (NA)
- PC ~ Disk Operating System
The world of Ys is ruled by two Goddesses and guided by 6 priests. 700 years pass and they have all moved on, but monsters are plaguing the land. Enter Adol, a swordsman who is drawn into a prophecy that requires him to collect the books of the six priests and learn about the origins and history Ys, including the cataclysm which befell the land.
"A variant of the classic Ys that fell short of the many ports that exist for this game."
Plot / Concept: 6 / 10
The 1st Ys for PC starts off similar to most other versions of the 80's and 90's. Adol starts off in the town of Minea and is directed to a visionary named Sarah. She recognizes him as the one destined to save Ys from the calamity and guides him for the first part of the game. Eventually he meets others who help him while collecting a series of tomes and travels through dungeons and a very very tall tower.
Gameplay: 6 / 10
It's one saving grace. The gameplay is what you would come to expect for a traditional Ys game. Run into enemies and take them out. Fortunately, so many of them were so slow and the AI script was a bit lacking, so that made it easy to approach them off-centre and take them out. The game and map layout was nearly identical to the Turbo Grafx CD version, so if you played that one, you are not missing a whole lot by avoiding this version.
Controls: 5 / 10
It does require some knowledge of DOS game operations and playing around with the right keys, but it is reasonably intuitive. It is easy to get the hang of them, at least with the arrow keys.
Music: 2 / 10
This was so unfortunate. Even for a late 80's game, Adlib support existed, plus Amiga and Tandy systems could support far better audio support than the PC could. Even so, limiting the music to PC Speaker was bad enough, but the melodies did not even try to be impressive at all. It was a pain to have my headphones on and listen.
Graphics: 3 / 10
Being an 80's game, it is not surprising the graphics is limited to 16-colour EGA. Still, even for EGA graphics, it was rather disappointing. Many other games, made both in Japan and in USA at the time made far superior use of the colour limitations and were able to produce impressive and often stunning pieces of art to just stare at, rather than play. Too bad Ys is not one of those games. In some ways, it felt like they were trying desperately to save on resources by using as few graphics as possible, by limiting the number of tiles and sprites used, which made it rather visually unimpressive. Some of the close-up portraits were nicely done, but that one charm cannot offset the rest of the design, tragically.
Once you beat it... unless you are serious about the story, there is no other reason.