July 8, 2020 3:01 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

I don’t know what caught me off guard more, the fact that NIS America announced the localisation of Ys IX: Monstrum Nox just last month, or the fact said a second announcement took place, declaring the forthcoming release of Ys Origin, but this time with Dotemu in the driving seat.

Still, it’s more quality Ys goodness coming to the Nintendo Switch, among other platforms, and we honestly can’t wait for it, so please join us once again as we chat to our friends over at Digital Emelas, to discuss all things Ys and help spread awareness of this stellar RPG saga:

Ys

Discussing All Things Ys with Digital Emelas

(Say “Yes” to Ys!)

 

The Team and their Mission:

Question: In typical interview fashion, would you be so kind as to introduce yourself to our readers, provide us with some background history and detail your involvement with Digital Emelas?

Limfinite: Absolutely. I’m commonly known as Limfinite within the Ys community, Producer of www.DigitalEmelas.com.

Question: Can you tell us a bit about Digital Emelas, what you’re about and why it is that you love the Ys series so much?

Limfinite: Digital Emelas is the ultimate Ys resource for new players, introducing the chronology of the games with a spoiler-free look at its history in North America. Our mission is to spread awareness of this incredibly niche JRPG series outside of Japan. The website was created by a small group of Ys enthusiasts, some of whom have worked on the official localization of Ys games.

I’ve personally played hundreds of video games, and Ys resonated with me by how the narrative is delivered. They’re told through journals written by the protagonist himself. In a way, these games are stories interpreted by the user. They’re CONSISTENTLY good, which is something I can’t say about 99% of other video games. You often hear people ask, “Which is your favourite Final Fantasy, Zelda, Call of Duty”… but ask a group of 100 Ys fans and you’ll have an answer across the board. That’s how solid the series is, and Ys deserves to be recognized as a AAA title, not some niche series only a small handful of people heard of.

 

A Link to the Past:

Question: Having actually interviewed you 2 years ago, what has Digital Emelas been up to in the meantime? How has the website changed in that time?

Limfinite: Let me ask you… what is culture? It’s the celebration and preservation of knowledge encompassing music, art, fashion, stories, and experiences. Over the past two years we’ve been busy keeping our website up to date with our game reflections and comprehensive galleries. With a lot of research and help from NIS America, XSEED Games, Dotemu, Limited Run Games, and the hardcore fan community, we’re now offering a 100% complete index of every official Ys item released in North America. We’ve been keeping a healthy relationship with said publishers and continue to spread awareness of the series. Follow us @DigitalEmelas on Twitter.

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A Double Dose of Ys News:

Question: For Ys fans, it’s an exciting time to be in, especially since it has been announced Ys IX: Monstrum Nox will see a western release on the PS4 later this year and then PC and Switch in 2019. What was your reaction to the announcement?

Limfinite: We weren’t surprised at all. You can imagine the amount of raining emails and comments from people asking, “Please tell me they’re bringing us Ys IX”. It was heavy. Fans are very vocal. And I kept saying, “Do publishers like money? Just wait. It’s a when, not if”. Really, its common sense if you think about it. It was inevitable, and here we are. I can finally talk about it.

Question: Talking of announcements, Dotemu will be bringing Ys Origin to Switch and very soon I might add. What was your reaction upon hearing the news and seeing the reveal trailer?

Limfinite: With every port released on another platform, more and more players have the opportunity to discover the Ys series. That’s important. Every publisher knows that any game released on the Nintendo Switch will sell quite well. We really hope new players enjoy the game.

 

The Localization of Ys:

Question: The NIS America localization of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA for Switch wasn’t well received for some players. What did you make of the port and what are your concerns when it comes to the upcoming port for Ys IX?

Limfinite: I personally felt it could have taken a few more months of polish, but it may have been due to hardware limitations and not a lack of trying. It’s a huge game, and Ys VIII on Nintendo Switch contained way more than the PlayStation Vita original. The port had a lot of shimmering and a number of frame rate issues. Then again, it’s a port of a port (Vita > PS4 > Switch), so the tradeoff for a “definitive package” on the go is a good argument. NIS America has a solid team when put under pressure, which we’ve seen in the past. I have reason to believe they’ll do a good job on Ys IX now that they have plenty of time to polish.

Question: With Ys Origin being ported to the Nintendo Switch by Dotemu, what are your thoughts on this?

Limfinite: Dotemu has such a credible team. I respect them a lot. Their work on Ys Origin for PS4, Vita, and XBOX One was phenomenal. I can’t stress enough how professional and skilled their team is. They’re also using the official translation by Jeff, one of our lead editors, who worked with XSEED Games on the original PC localization back in 2012. We have a solid relationship with Dotemu and will be collaborating to spread awareness of the series. Give them a follow @Dotemu.

VIII vs Origin:

Question: For Switch owners, Ys VIII could very well be the first Ys game they’ve played, how different is Ys VIII to Ys Origin, in terms of scale, story and gameplay?

Limfinite: Ys VIII and Ys Origin play very differently but retains that Nihon Falcom magic. They’re both great points of entry as they’re incredibly fun. Ys VIII has quite a long campaign that can take over 50 casual hours to complete. Ys Origin, however, is meant to be played several times over as it has three completely shorter campaigns, with the third “unlocked” character playing out the true, canonical story that takes place 700 years before Ys I. Ys VIII is the most removed from the entire Emelas Arc, while Ys Origin is one of the core games that’s quite lore heavy. If players are looking for a longer hack and slash, stand-alone game, Ys VIII is for them.  If they’re looking for an incredibly well-written story that tells a tale of love and prophecy, and is ready to dive into the entire series, we hope they enjoy Ys Origin.

 

Origin on Switch:

Question: Is there anything in particular you’re hoping a Switch release could offer Ys Origin?

Limfinite: I’d be happy for a straight port of the Xbox One version which included the Speedrun Mode and Blood Level Option. Beyond that, Ys Origin is one of my favourite video games of all time. I’m thrilled that more players will be able to experience it.

Question: Limited Run Games is publishing the physical release of Ys Origin in North America, and even has a Collector’s Edition! How cool is that?

Limfinite: Limited Run Games is an amazing bunch. I’ve spoken with quite a number on their team and they’re so down to Earth. You can tell they’re genuine gamers at heart. I also know they’re Ys fans, so this physical release is in very good hands. Preserving culture is part of our mission at Digital Emelas, and that’s literally what LRG does: Preserve games. It’s also worth noting that their Collector’s Edition of Ys Origin on the Nintendo Switch includes the first ever North American release of the Ys Origin soundtrack, which is one of the best in the series. We have deep love and respect for the LRG team, and couldn’t be happier with this physical Ys Origin release on Nintendo Switch.

 

A Rose by any other Name:

Question: Now, we have covered this before, but with the popularity of Ys growing all the more, would you be so kind as to instruct ourselves and our readers, the on the correct pronunciation of Ys?

Limfinite: When you click on “What is Ys” on our website, the very first line reads:

{ eess, “Geese” without “G”, noun }  It’s from French folklore.

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3 Decades of Ys:

Question: As a series spanning 33 years, what have been your favourite moments in the franchise history and would you mind providing us with an overview on the series history?

Limfinite: My absolute favourite moment is when XSEED Games announced they were bringing Ys Seven, Ys: The Oath in Felghana, and Ys I & II Chronicles to the PSP back when the platform ruled portable JRPGs. The publisher was known for its fantastic translations and truly re-energized the series in the West. It was exactly what the series needed. Beyond these three titles, every future Ys game had a localized release. Fans truly owe XSEED Games a debt of gratitude. Send them fan mail or a call out on social media. They’re simply wonderful people. And on personal note, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, XSEED Games reached out to me to check up on my family. They didn’t ask for anything else. They simply cared. What company does that, really?  I honestly have such deep respect for them.

For a more detailed history of each game released in North America, their release dates, and our personal reflections of each title, check out the Game Gallery of our website.

 

A Book by Many Authors:

Question: Being the huge Ys fan that you are, would you mind telling us what are your thoughts and feelings are towards series protagonist Adol Christin and his overall arc across all the games he has appeared in?

Limfinite: It’s quite unique how the stories are told in the Ys series. They’re interpretations of the journals written by Adol as he grows up, transcribed by different groups. It’s an inside joke we have amid our team that XSEED Games, NIS America and Dotemu are amongst said scholars, and some books were even re-written several times. Ys III alone has 4 official books, can you believe that? To those unfamiliar, I’m referring to the TurboGrafx-CD, Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, and PSP/PC versions. Each offered their own unique take of Adol’s third travelogue, but the most recent version is by far the most accurate, and thus canonical. That being said, I absolutely love the series and look forward to “reading” the next book.

 

Getting Started with Ys:

Question: We’ve asked this before, but we’ll ask it again, what is a good starting point for those looking to get into Ys?

Limfinite: We are asked this quite often, and we always point to our website. Depending on your play style, you can either go in order of Adol growing up (my personal recommendation), or by gameplay, or game release order. Click on “What is Ys” at the top of www.DigitalEmelas.com and you’ll have a full explanation along with the platforms they’re available on.

Question: Why is now as good a time as any to dive head-first into the Ys series?

Limfinite: Accessibility is a key factor. Each main entry to the series is available on PC, with the exception of Ys V which has yet to receive an official localization. The majority of the series is also available on PlayStation platforms (PSP/Vita/PSTV/PS4). This is all listed and explained on our website. With the marketing push from XSEED Games and NIS America, the series is finally turning some heads. We’re here to help them out. Between your Zeldas and Dragon Quests, please take a look at Ys when you have the time. It deserves your attention.

Ys collectio

Every physical Ys game in North America, including variants and re-releases

No Stranger to Nintendo:

Question: How about the history of Ys and Nintendo?

Limfinite: Nintendo isn’t a stranger to Ys at all.  In fact, Ys has been around since the early Famicom days. The first five games in the series were available on Nintendo platforms in Japan, and there was also a DS port of both Ys I & II which also made it to North America as “Legacy of Ys”. Now thanks to NIS, Dotemu and LRG, Nintendo players can also experience Ys VIII, and soon IX and Ys Origin.

 

Adol in Smash?:

Question: Although it seems unlikely, how would you feel if the likes of Adol was revealed to be a DLC fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? What kind of move-set and Final Smash could you see him having?

Limfinite: It would be a huge marketing push the series needs to spread awareness. It also would mean my notification alerts won’t stay silent. Haha. It would be nice to have an Adol Amiibo. I’m a huge Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Zelda fan, so I would finally be able to pit Adol against Cloud, Erdrick, and Link. As for move set, I think he shouldn’t have any attack buttons. He should just run into his enemies, bumping into them and off stage. This is, of course, in reference to the battle style of Ys I & II. Final Smash? Force his opponent(s) against a wall with his sword and Dogi comes in crushing them with his fist. I’m imagining the sound of a connecting baseball bat. PING! Wall crusher.

Question: And one more Smash related question to throw into the mix, should Ys get some well-deserved attention, what location would best serve as a stage, which songs are must have tracks and are there any characters you feel are deserving of Spirit status?

Limfinite: Since Ys itself is a floating island, I think it would be a perfect battleground to smash on. There are many memorable tunes in the Ys series, but the ones that immediately stand out are First Step Towards Wars (Ys I), To Make the End of Battle (Ys II), Valestein Castle (The Oath in Felghana), and Sunshine Coastline (Ys VIII).

Adol

The NeXt Chapter Ys:

Question: While it might be too early to entertain such thoughts, but when it is time for a Ys X, is there anything in particular you wish to see from it that hasn’t happened in the series previously?

Limfinite: I want to see Adol happy. Like, really happy. He’s always on a mission or trying to make others happy. I’d like to see a cutscene where he isn’t just listening to someone else talk. It’s hard to explain, but I want a scene where he’s actually content with life and his current state, even if it were only a brief moment. I think the only time I’ve really seen that was in the Ys Animated Series when he’s swimming/fishing with Lady Feena. They were both laughing and simply enjoying each other’s company.

 

The Final Word:

Question:  Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to your ever-growing fanbase?

Limfinite: If you haven’t played Ys before, or even if you’re a long time fan, we humbly ask you lend us 3 minutes of your time. We produced a 3 minute audio drama on the home page of our website, written by one of the official Ys translators who worked on the majority of Ys games (Chronicles, Origin, Felghana, and others), and voiced by the ever talented Anthony Sardinha. It’ll give you a sense of what the series is about. Keep an eye on @DigitalEmelas, @NISAmerica, @Dotemu and @XSEEDGames for news. Ys deserves your attention. We hope you check it out.

Bookmark www.DigitalEmelas.com and help spread awareness of the series.

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Huge thanks goes out to Limfinite and the efforts of everyone over at Digital Emelas who, on a daily basis, endeavour to spread the awareness of Ys as a series.

 

 

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This post was written by Solid Jack

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