Saturday, April 14, 2012

Game 8: Ys: Book I & II (TG-CD) - Bump to Attack

"I watched as Adol arrived by boat. A woman approached, calling out to him. We learned her name is Sara, and she believes Adol is a hero that will save the land. First we must prepare for the journey; Sara suggests (instructs) Adol gets a sword, shield, and armor before venturing forth. Only having enough for a sword and armor we save up for a shield (the most expensive piece of the set). Before heading out we stop by the bar where we learn a man would like to taste of a special fruit, and another has lost his engagement ring. The ring is in a secondhand store, but sells for more than we have. I've noted it for later."
My first task--before I set out to save the world--is to prepare by buying some equipment. Somehow Adol has money yet no equipment; not really sure what the back story is, but an adventurer carrying 1000 gold with no weapons or armor doesn't seem very smart to me. Exploring the town leads me to conclude that most random NPCs are useless. I find the equipment stores, and can only afford two out of the three recommended pieces. I go with a sword and armor.
So close
I put a good number of tries into getting enough gold for a shield only to be faced with a 'game over' screen shortly before reaching the goal of 700. Eventually, I noticed that the harder enemies really aren't any more rewarding, and focused my efforts on the first group of easy enemies. This made it much easier; I purchased the shield and returned to Sara who informs me of the Books of Ys.
You see... there are these books about Ys, and they're called...
These books are described as the history of a country called Ys [pronounced like 'east' minus the 't']. When the land of Ys vanished so did the books. Sara mentioned she has a crystal that indicates one of the books is in a nearby shrine. Off I go! I'm not really sure how this will save the world, but collecting mysterious things is usually a good first step.

I'm really liking the game at this point. The combat is quick--although repetitive--yet still manages some challenges; I think I'm managing it a bit better now that I've gained some levels. HP regenerates automatically when standing still outside, so for the most part, healing items are unnecessary. Everything starts moving along at a manageable pace, but then the enemies spike in difficulty. My only answer is to grind. Twenty minutes later I have enough to purchase all the high-end equipment from the store.
The key is to find a good grinding spot
At this point there's little else to purchase, rendering gold useless. Getting through the shrine to find the first book goes by quickly with my new equipment, but I'm left wondering if I prepared a bit too much. Nothing to do about it now.

With one of the books of Ys collected, I return to Sara; however, she's gone into hiding and left something with a local poet. Instead of just giving me what Sara left behind, I need to find this poet's lost harmonica. The only area to explore is a nearby cave where enemies have wrecked me in the past. With a few more levels due to getting through the shrine I'm now on par with most of them. Once again the challenge has jumped, and what I thought was over-grinding may have just been grinding early.
How does this make sense? Stolen goods in random chests deep in caves...
In fact, once I arrived at the boss in this cave I found that I couldn't touch him. After multiple attempts without ever making a dent I returned to the town with the Silver Harmonica. For my trouble I gained some experience (two levels) and another book of Ys. Maybe it was these levels, or the next one gained getting back to the boss, but when I returned to the cave boss I enjoyed the opposite experience. He couldn't harm me, and I quickly took him down. If this is how all the bosses go from now on, then I can't really say I'm going to enjoy it too much.
From impossible win to impossible to lose
After collecting the Silver Sword some NPCs led me back to the Thieves' Hideout where the secret entrance to Darm Tower lies. Shortly after entering the tower all of the silver gear I had collected was stolen. Picking my way through the tower I find another boss I can't hurt. Luckily he's not blocking the way forward, so I went on as far as I could, but seemed to be missing something. Having no immediate ideas I ended here for the night. I was stuck at the tunnel where my HP continuously depleted.
Music so bad it kills you
I seem to be nearing the end at this point, but I still have a number of items I didn't find a use for. I have a ruby, a necklace, and the seed of the Roda tree. In fact, I thought the seed was given to someone asking for it, but apparently Adol doesn't care to part with it. It's a little confusing having these items sitting around. Maybe they're just there to sell to the secondhand store for extra cash, but I'm definitely not suffering for gold.
I have it right here, but you can't have it--nah nah nah

Session Time: 2h58m


  1. What, no comments for this fine Ys gameplay post? OK, I'll write one. I am enjoying your blog a great deal (learned about it via the CRPG Addict's blog). Thank you for playing all these ancient RPGs so I don't have to!

    1. Hey Victar, thanks for stopping by. Glad to hear you're enjoying it. Ys is a fun game, and one of the few I'd actually recommend. There are a number I've played that can easily be passed over without missing much.

  2. Just started read, mainly because I need a break from Computer RPGs. Not a hater, it's just not what I grew up on. I loved Ys, and out of all the ports I've played, the Turbo CD is my fav. There is just something special about the music on these and similar titles that really capture the late 80's and early 90's of CD console gaming. It was like devs really didn't know what to do with the extra storage space, so they filled it with bass-slapping synth rock with the occasional voice samples. Looking forward to more of the same.

    I also am really looking forward to all the Working Design games. Played most of them, but I don't want to pay the outlandish prices just for sake of nostalgia.

    1. The music was definitely my favorite part, although other TG-CD games haven't lived up to the expectations set by Ys.

      I've been lucky picking up games over the last decade for less than they're going for now. If I were starting from square one today I might actually go full emulator.