Long, long ago, there was an ancient kingdom called Ys which prospered under the auspices of two heavenly Goddesses. Over time, the kingdom came to be known as Esteria, and its divine history was largely forgotten by all but the descendants of those who once preached the Goddesses’ will.
User reviews: Very Positive (638 reviews)
Release Date: Feb 14, 2013

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Buy Ys I and II Chronicles+


Recommended By Curators

"This is a fun, classic JRPG game pack with great music and story. It also has options to use three versions of each song, making it really enjoyable!"

About This Game

Long, long ago, there was an ancient kingdom called Ys which prospered under the auspices of two heavenly Goddesses. Over time, the kingdom came to be known as Esteria, and its divine history was largely forgotten by all but the descendants of those who once preached the Goddesses’ will. The only reminder of this lost lore was a cursed spire at the foot of a giant crater, which locals came to regard as “The Devil’s Tower.”

Eventually, the men and women who called Esteria their home began mining a uniquely radiant silver from the nearby mountains, and development boomed. Towns were built, and the land became rich with life.

Then, all at once, monsters began to appear. Only a few at first – but soon enough, the land was swarming with them, and the Esterians had no choice but to hide in fear, remaining ever vigilant just to stay alive.

Our story begins with a young man who’d heard rumors of these misfortunes, and strove to verify them with his own eyes; a brave swordsman with an adventurous spirit bolstered by his own youthful naiveté.

His name was Adol Christin.

With no regard for his own safety, Adol set sail toward Esteria through a heretofore impassable barrier of neverending storms. There, he was destined to become ensconced within a 700 year-old mystery that would ultimately take him to a long-lost land nestled amongst the clouds...

Ys I & II Chronicles+ is the most modernized and up-to-date remake of Falcom’s classic franchise-spawning action RPGs from 1987 and 1988. Come see how the story began, and witness the birth of a legend!

Key Features

  • Classic buttonless “bump” combat receives a full analog-enabled upgrade for gamepad users, and is augmented in Ys II by a robust magic system.
  • Soundtrack selectable from among the original 80s FM-synth, an early 2000s MIDI-style remix or a modern studio performance by Falcom’s in-house rock band.
  • Character art selectable from 90s-style portraits or more modern anime designs.
  • Four selectable difficulty levels and optional boss rush mode grant players a true old-school challenge (if desired).
  • Transform into a demon to speak with any and every standard enemy in the game, creating unparalleled depth that still impresses even to this day. (Ys II only)
  • Unique Steam Achievements plus Steam Cloud support and leaderboards.
  • Adjustable high-resolution PC graphics with a smooth, consistent framerate.
  • Greater viewing area than in previously-available Ys I & II Chronicles editions.
  • Decorative screen frames available from the earlier Japan-only Ys I & II Complete PC release, in addition to the more modernized full-screen viewport of previous Ys I & II Chronicles editions.

System Requirements

    • OS:Windows XP
    • Processor:Pentium III 866 MHz
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:64 MB VRAM, 3D accelerator compatible w/ DirectX 9.0c
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
    • Sound:Compatible with DirectX 9.0c
    • OS:Windows XP, Vista, 7 (64-bit supported)
    • Processor:Pentium III 1.6 GHz or higher
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:64 MB VRAM, 3D accelerator compatible w/ DirectX 9.0c
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:3 GB HD space
    • Sound:Compatible with DirectX 9.0c
Helpful customer reviews
34 of 40 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
56.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 2
Ys I & II, being the first two games in the long-running Ys series, have had quite a number of releases over the years. It’s hit a number of different platforms, including the PC88, TurboGrafx, PC, Nintendo DS, Sony PSP, and now PC, each with their own tweaks to the game to fit the platform they were released on. XSEED Games and Falcom, who started their partnership with the release of Ys Seven, have set out on bringing the definitive version of Ys I & II to the PC. The question is, how does this port in the long list of existing ports fare?

Originally released in the late 1980s, Ys I & II definitely shows their roots in their story presentations. You play the role of Adol Christin, a (now very well-known) red-haired adventurer who sets off on a journey of excitement and ends up washing up in a nearby coastal city where he learns of demon attacks which are driving the country’s citizens into hiding. As you progress through the game, it becomes clear that things aren’t as simple as they seem, with items called the Books of Ys being collected as you progress through your journey. These later become important to unraveling exactly what is causing this country’s plight and showing how to set things right.

Most memorable for its combat, Ys I and II combine all the elements of a traditional JRPG: towns, shops, NPCs, equipment, character levels, exploration, and even some minor side quests and secrets. Ys I is more simplistic than its sequel, but both games are strikingly similar and tell two parts of the same narrative, even if those parts are two nearly identical story arcs. Each game can be beaten in less than ten hours, both have moments of great frustration, and they both climax in thrilling and memorable bosses. Ys I and II may be most well known for their shared "bump" combat system in which our hero Adol collides with enemies to injure them (and to be injured by them). The lack of an attack button and Adol's swift running speed make the action so frantic as to be absurd, and at times I found the red-haired sprite's action downright hilarious. I was skeptical and critical at first, but I learned to enjoy the simple combat, particularly during boss fights, which require much more thought than the dull standard enemies. Unfortunately, diagonal attacks are so overpowered in Ys II that regular enemies are slain with ease, and both games suffer from clumsy menus and balance issues.

Being that this is an older RPG, there are some grinding issues present in this release. Ys I, being merely a prelude to Ys II, only allows for Adol to level up to Level 10. Levels control whether you win or lose in Ys I, and at times you’ll have to grind in the initial dungeons to get through some of the bosses. This issue becomes a bit worse in Ys II, which ups the level cap to 55, but lessens the EXP gained from enemies as you level up. This requires players to, at times, spend time farming enemies in one area of a dungeon, lest they get instantly killed by enemies in a later part which Adol can’t touch with gaining more levels and grabbing enough gold to get the best weapons for that period in the game. Some of the latter bosses are particularly unfair in this regard, forcing players to gain 3-5 levels above what the enemies are at just to get through the boss fight with a sliver of life remaining. While this only occurs in a few parts of the game, it’s still an annoyance that could have been fixed with a few slight tweaks by Falcom for this release. Players who enjoy a challenge will find no problems with this though.

As both titles were released back in the 1980s, the RPG mantra of including key items in obscure places holds true. Numerous times in Ys I players will be unable to progress through the story because they forgot to talk to or walk into a specific story event that was either barely mentioned or not mentioned at all. While Ys II fixes this for the most part, there’s one key item in one of the final dungeons which requires players to go to a unmentioned room instead of a house in town, which is where players would assume it was located due to the game’s dialogue. The game could have greatly benefited from some streamlining for newer fans of the series.

Even with those negatives, as with most Ys titles, the first thing players will notice is the game’s soundtrack, which like in Oath and Seven, runs circles around most other games. The soundtrack, composed by video game music legend Yuzo Koshiro of Etrian Odyssey fame, along with Falcom stalwart Mieko Ishikawa, is easily the shining gem of this compilation. As explain before, Ys I & II have appeared on numerous platforms in the past, so the game compliments this by allowing players to choose between three different versions of the music.

One of the most impressive parts of Ys Chronicles outside of the soundtrack has to be the game’s storyline and translation. For a title which was released back in the 1980s, the story still stands shoulders above many other titles of that era, as well as some of the RPG hits of the 1990s. This combined with the music and the general artistic presentation of the game makes for some very heartwarming moments. The main storyline was translated in a way which feels authentic without falling into the “ye olde” trap that most remakes of classic RPGs fall into. XSEED also threw in a couple pop culture jokes in some of the more obscure areas of the game for those who take the time to check out everything.

Despite some of the negatives I've listed here, I thoroughly enjoy playing through these adventures. Being a long time Ys fan I owed it to myself to play the adventures that started them all. There is magic in Ys, and everyone should get a chance to see it.

Highly Recommended

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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 6
Oh Adol with your hair of red, won't you bump into monsters until they're dead?

I think I make a better poet than a game reviewer.
Ys I & II is quaint by action-RPG standards. These games were released in 1987-1988. Despite ports on many platforms and numerous remakes (including this one), the game-design has remained unchanged. This is interesting, considering that Ys III was given a complete re-imagining in 2005 (Oath of Felghana). While I'm sure many people would love a Felghana-level version of Ys 1 & 2, there's something to be said about allowing a classic to stand on its own.

There isn't much to say about Adol Christin. He's the guy fate calls for when evil threatens the world. Every adventure seems to start off with him showing up at just the right time. Either that or he's just prone to shipwrecks. He's not particularly talkative, aside from his knack for explaining the current situation. In Ys 7 and Memories of Celceta he even says a few words during battle. He's not mute, but he's usually surrounded, by extremely talkative NPCs that do the talking for him. Adol prefers to keep quiet, so he can save his strength for the next fight.

Actually, the Ys series doesn't fit the description of "action-rpg" all that well. This is especially apparent in the first game. The level-cap is a mere 10, and you'll be max-level before the first 1/3 of the game is completed. Money will cease to be relevant half-way through Adol's adventure. In fact, the latter half the game takes place in the lovely Darm's tower. The average play-through should run about 5 hours, maybe a bit more due to the freakin' backtracking right before the final boss.

As it has been stated time and time again, Ys 1 has a "bump2win" combat system. There aren't any buttons to swing your sword, you simply run into the enemy. Not directly of course, that would be suicide. This off-center approach represents the entirety of your interactions with monsters. Aside from the bosses, you don't have to worry about projectiles, sword slashes, clawwing attacks, or anything else when facing demons. Combat can get annoying, especially if you choose to leave diagonal-controls turned on. Like I said though, once you max out your level, there isn't any incentive to fight. The boss battles are definitely challenging, since they fill the screen with dangerous crap, and it isn't always apparent when they can be damaged. For the most part however they are fair and entertaining to fight.

Except for Dark Fact of course. He is one truly bull ♥♥♥♥ piece of ♥♥♥♥. Fighting this jerk on normal is what caused me to grow my first white hair. I'm not ready for nightmare-level Fact.

On the bright side, once you defeat him you can move onto the much-improved sequel.

Ys 2 employs numerous changes to the combat system. On the surface it's still "bump2win" but there's a bit more to it. Well, maybe less depending on who you talk to. The off-center approach works just as well as before, but now enemies can be diagonally attacked. This simple move is far more effective. The enemies of Ys have seen changes to somewhat counteract this. Enemies will now fire projectiles, swing weapons, and generally move around just a bit more. The game has still become easier, but it's also become more dynamic, and more fun.

The combat changes include the ability to cast spells. Early on, Adol receives a fire rod. This weapon completely changes almost all of the boss-battles. Now you're not expected to run into the openings, you just have to blow them away. The boss-battles somewhat resemble a 2D shooter, or one of those genre mash-ups like The Guardian Legend.

Unlike the previous game, Adol explores a larger variety of locales. The final dungeon is pretty massive, but it doesn't take up half the game like Ys 1. Instead you get to explore great locations like a fire cavern, some mines, a land filled with snow, sewers...Hey where are you going? Oh...yeah I guess going through the same areas as every other videogame can be really tiring. Keep in mind that this was all really novel for a game made in 1988. Of course, this excuse doesn't fly when Ys 3 (1989!) also features a fire cavern, some mines, a land filled with snow, and sewers.

The entirety of Ys 1 & 2 isn't just running through dungeons and bumping into foes, there are some light adventure elements as well. At a certain point in Ys 1, Adol has to wear a mask to see hidden passages (at the expense of seeing dangerous monsters). There's a staff in Ys 2 that allows Adol to change into a Roo, and actually converse with demons. Some additional scenes can be viewed by fulfilling certain conditions (most of which also award achievements). While they don't affect the game-design, they're a nice touch all the same, especially for fans of the series.

The first entry in the Ys series can be difficult to appreciate. The story isn't anything special, the combat -- while not without its charm -- isn't even a patch on Ys 6 and beyond, and there are some flat-out dull moments. Early on you're practically required to grind for experience and cash. I still believe that it's worth a play-through. If nothing else, you get to embark on an adventure without a lot of fat, and see the humble beginnings of a classic action (with RPG elements) series. I think Ys 2 holds up far better. It's more approachable, still retains its identity, and is generally more fun.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
36.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
This game screams: Epic. Retro. Action RPG. While we're at it, Ys Chronicles+ kicks Major ♥♥♥ (this is an E rated review)! The game mechanics are so simple and so addictive that you can literally spend hours grinding monsters, just because! And then you look at the clock and think, “Holy Pants! It's tomorrow! ...But maybe just a little longer...” and then you turn into a zombie. Yea, this is a hyperbole, but it's not as much of an overstatement as you might think.

And did I mention that this is a package of two games? Quick history lesson. When Falcom was developing Ys, limitations forced them to split the epic into two, resulting in two games, Ys I and II, collectively called (in this case) The Ys Chronicles (Ys Complete, Ys Eternal, Ys Epic Remake VII, these two games have seen a plethora of remakes, and Ys Chronicles+ is the latest and arguably greatest).

- Impossibly good soundtrack
- Addictively simple (or simply addictive) gameplay
- Epic, just epic
- Two games in one
- Too many subtle little things to list

- Some bosses (Ys I only) can be frustrating
- A few very minor things
- Review doesn't do it justice (but hopefully comes close)

Ys soundtracks are... you know what, there is no word that can properly describe how phenomenally awesome the music in Ys games are. In fact, Ys soundtracks should have their own special term. No really. I'm going to make one up right now: Ystoundingtrack. ...Maybe a work in progress. If you think the music doesn't somehow contribute to the addictiveness of this game, think again. The gameplay is addictive on its own. Now throw in the energizing rock music from the Ystoundingtrack and suddenly you have such an unstoppable locomotive of energy that you just want to cheer every time an enemy explodes into the aether (what a mouthful). The track that stands out the most in this respect is the Ys I overworld music. It's perfect. The rest of the Ystoundingtrack in both games are kick-♥♥♥ (darn E rating), but it's that overworld theme that's going to awesome the hours away.

Speaking of gameplay, Ys Chronicles has one of the most unbelievably simple yet inhumanly addictive gameplay ideas to every grace the world of video games. You ready for this? You sure? Well here it is: you bump into enemies, and they die. That's basically it. The game is presented in the standard top down perspective of retro RPG fame, and all you have to do is bump into enemies off centre to damage them, and then they die (if you run into them dead centre from the front or they run into you, you take damage... it's a little hard to explain with words alone). Now you might be thinking, “but how can something so mind-numbingly simple be so mind-numbingly addictive?” This gameplay element has been described by it's creators as the game equivalent of popping bubble wrap - they're not wrong. The gameplay results in very tight, fast paced action, and that only helps contribute to the energy of the game.

Other than the basic gameplay element, this is also an RPG. In Ys I, the RPG element is very downplayed, and by the time you reach the big mid-boss of the game, you basically have to be at max level (level 10) in order to face him. In Ys II, the RPG element is more developed and balanced. You also get the additional gameplay mechanic of magic in Ys II through the use of magical rods (bologna! they're magic wands - for those who don't know, bologna is pronounced: boloney). Ys II has a lot added features compared to Ys I (I'll get into some of these as I go along). In Ys I, the only thing enemies do is run around at varying speeds. It gets repetitive. Fortunately, Ys I is a short game, and it makes up for it's repetitive nature with creative and interesting locations (extra points for the enemies looking cool). In Ys II, however, every enemy has its own unique attack in addition to the regular means of damaging you.

The bosses are where Ys I becomes fiendishly hard. Don't believe me? The big bad mid-boss is a monster! A superboss!! Add to the fact that you can only properly fight him with... well I won't give it away, but if you've talked to everybody, you should have an idea of what you need to fight this boss. And that's not even the hardest boss in the game. That trophy goes to Ys I final boss. Every other boss can be defeated on skill alone, once you know what to do. The final boss, however, has such a luck factor involved that it's... awesome! Unbelievably, they somehow managed to make a luck based boss that's, in addition to frustrating, so frakin fun to fight that it's awesome. Don't ask me how, I honestly don't know. The bosses in Ys II aren't as challenging. In fact, that's the one thing I though was a downgrade from Ys I. The challenging bosses in Ys I is one of the things that I found made the game so enjoyable and memorable. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of enjoyable and memorable to be had in Ys II. And the bosses are challenging and fun, just not as challenging as I would have liked. Also, most of the bosses can only be killed with fire magic. It would have been nice to have some of the other magic come into play, but... oh well.

Ys II makes up for this by being a huge game compared to Ys I with a much grander story to go with it. The story in Ys I is more basic with fewer characters, and because it has fewer characters, it feels like they had more time to focus on and develope them. In Ys II, while the many characters do get time for developement, it's hard to focus on any one character because there's just so many of them. Heck, there's also a present system in Ys II, and if you give people presents they'll say something different than before. Heck+, with the right spell, you can TALK TO EVERY ENEMY IN THE GAME! Did I mention you can BURN VILLAGERS?! (They don't die, they just say something funny). Everyone and everything has something unique to say, and often more than one solitary thing. The most memorable characters of both games leave a lasting impression for one reason or another (in one case, literally because of a hole in the wall). The plot of both games is basically the same, and it's RPG generic, but the story weaves its way around the plot in such an interesting way that it transforms the simplicity of the plot into a foundational strength. That takes serious skill. While not what I would call a perfect story, the characters, the locations, the events, it all works together to make for a truly fun and enjoyable experience.

As a retro RPG, these games do have some minor annoyances. In Ys I, there is one point where you have to talk to a character about something pointless before being able to proceed to the final dungeon of the game. All the other stuff you have to do makes sense, but this short conversation... doesn't. Why was it necessary (maybe it's a bug)? Ys II doesn't have this problem. Instead, it has the hide important gameplay elements issue. There is a very minor gameplay element that is critical for dealing with one boss (you can technically fight the boss without it, but that's nearing the realm of impossible). So, what do they do with the explanation of this gameplay element? As far as I know, one of the characters tells you about it, but only if you give them enough presents, and there are a huge number of characters in this game. Personally, I don't think stumbling onto gameplay elements is good game design. It's always fun to have some puzzles in a game, but these puzzles should be a unique application of the gameplay elements you already know, not somehow stumbling onto the fact that if you press a certain control a certain way for a certain magic, something different will happen (as an Easter egg it would be OK though).

Ys Chronicles+ are two phenomenal games filled with great energy and fast paced fun. Recommended. Period.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
26.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 6
Ys I: you spend a couple of hours on getting to max level & collecting all achievements, and then another twenty on two completely randomized bosses that require more luck & angelic patience than skill.

Ys II: you beat Ys I and feel like you can take on anything, but it turns out to be a much better balanced game with quite interesting and fair bosses.
But really, even if it wasn't - if you beat Dark Fact, nothing can stop you.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 24
Worth a buy if you are a fan of JRPGs and worth a buy on discounted sales if you want to become one.
Old but gold, for fans of story driven RPGs definitely worth a look. First game is a tad short but thats why it comes in the bundle. At the beginning it felt a bit grindy but once you get used to the combat system it becomes bearable. Boss encounters are though and unbeatable below certain thresholds but thats how JRPGs handle business. Special props deserve the anime FMVs and especially the soundtrack, the music is superb!
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