Thursday, April 19, 2012

Game 8: Ys: Book I & II (TG-CD) - Catching Up

*Plop 2*
My observant self was on break when I started playing again, and I didn't take notice until the game started talking about magic (about 10 minutes in) that I now had magic points. Rings were replaced by Magic in the equipment slots. Unlike HP, MP aren't automatically regained by standing still. There still aren't inns to refresh oneself; the game resolves this by providing an unlimited supply of magic replenishing nuts. With most magic costing fractions of a point instead of whole points, I've yet to run out completely. At least the game isn't completely broken though, they have yet to give me healing magic.
Can you tell I didn't read the manual?
The first step is to return the six books of Ys to the statue of the priest that wrote it. I'm still not certain of the connection these books have with Ys, or in fixing the problems they have here. All but one are readily accessible through a cave of twisty passages.

In search of the sixth, I found at all ways dead ends until I decided to search for secret passages (i.e. blindly trying to walk through walls). This proved fruitful, even though the first passage was another empty dead end. Eventually--in one of these secret passages--I found an item that allowed me to open another passage in town; here was the last statue. The game has lost my trust.
Can you find the secret passage?
When transitioning from Ys I to II, Adol pretty retains his stats: level, HP, and experience. This led me to think that it's possible to over-level. It wasn't the case. Many of the monsters killed me in only a few hits. Luckily magic evens the odds a little more in my favor. Actually, it more or less tips the scales over into my favor.

The first spell Adol gets is the fireball (the only offensive spell so far). It harms and pushes back the enemy, and costs about 1/10 of a MP: max MP is equal to max HP. At this point I can cast fireball about 1500+ times, and it takes 4 or 5 hits to kill an enemy. I found a certain spot that continuously spawns 5 - 6 monsters while I stand still firing pot shots. Levels don't seem to have the same impact as they did in Ys I, and I found myself mainly grinding for gold to get the latest gear. This is probably how they balanced out the possibility of having max level character start the game.
With the TG-CD turbo button I finally get a break
Bosses have also taken a step back in challenge. They're more gimmicky now with little variation in attack pattern. Shoot one with fireballs when its eye opens. Shoot another with fireballs only when its mouth opens. Shoot a jumpy one when he lands. I'm currently stuck at a spider, probably because I don't know when exactly to shoot him.

One thing that helps when I get stuck is taking a break. Often I'll come back at the game with an idea on how to proceed, and when it works I wonder why I couldn't think of it at the time (when it doesn't I continue to wander around aimlessly). Maybe that will happen with this boss, or maybe I just don't have the right "key." This game likes its lock and key type puzzles, and many items lose all function beyond their one use. Light magic, which I'd been carrying around since nearly the beginning of the game, was completely useless until I found the one place where it has a purpose. Now it's completely useless again.
I still don't know what this is for, but I'm sure it will only have one use
The most interesting magic is the transform wand, which turns Adol into a monster. In this form he can speak to other monsters, and even towns people who scream in terror or confess to helping the dark powers. I've found this the most enjoyable part of the game.

Slight spoiler here, but there's one portion where demons are discussing their plans. The only way to hear them is listening through a crack in the door while wearing special earrings that enhance sound. Even with figuring that out it gave me the message that I didn't understand their language. Thinking I'd missed somewhere to learn to speak demon I wandered around a bit, but I quickly ran out of possibilities. Sitting in front of the door I had the idea to transform while wearing the earrings, this being the solution. Combining these two previously used items/magic in a very logical combination should be the cornerstone of the game. Unfortunately, it's an exception that I'll probably not witness again. Whichever game designer came up with this puzzle, I'd like to thank you. You give me hope for the potential of future games.
I'm the yellow one
Shortly after this point though, I got stuck again. I'd just found a key that opens all the locked doors in the shrine, yet even after seeking all doors in the shrine progress was halted. Thinking on it after I had called it a night (my mind wanders while drifting to sleep, usually towards games) I remembered another door that I hadn't tried. This one was deep in a dungeon area, so I hadn't considered it part of the shrine even though it was under the shrine. I'm guessing behind it I'll find a way to swim (it's engraved with a sea dragon), and I've seen another door across some water. We'll see what tonight brings.

Session Time: 5h15m (Total Time: 10h35m)

I mentioned previously I'd been behind on posting, and it doesn't look like I'm catching up at my current pace. So, I've decided to make a combo post here; this post covers the last couple play sessions. Let me know if this is better or worse because I may just do it again. To keep it close to the same length, I cut out most of the details and left more of an impression. I hope it's still enjoyable.


  1. Certainly the most enjoyable of your Ys posts so far. I guess Imfind it interesting too since I haven't played this one.

    1. Thanks, I guess it helps to wait until I have more to discuss about the game rather than summarizing what's happened.