Ys I & II Chronicles

released on Dec 24, 2009

A remake of Ys: Book I & II

Ys: I & II Chronicles is a remake for the PSP of the two first iterations of the critically-acclaimed Ys series. The graphics have been reimagined in HD hand-drawn 2D and the soundtrack newly rearranges, while returning fans have the option of playing with the original music or using alternative character art. Four difficulty levels and a time trial mode have also been added, making this the definitive version of the legendary series’ origin.

Released on



More Info on IGDB

Reviews View More

Ys I and II Chronicles contains the first games of the Ys franchise with updated graphics and music. Originally, I was going to play Ys II after finishing Ys I, but after beating the first Ys, I do not feel like doing the second game. The first game is a passable, yet archaic RPG and the second game does not look like it has a lot of differences for me to consider playing it. Who knows? Maybe one day I will play the second Ys, but I will be focusing on the first one for this review.
Since Ys originally was released in the 1980s, it is incredibly basic. The story is basic and the gameplay is basic. For how basic the story is, I can see the seeds being planted for something grander in the franchise.
The game is an Action RPG and the gameplay has the protagonist Adol “bumping” into enemies. There is no attack button; Adol automatically attacks when you bump into an enemy in the front or the back. It is actually not mindless since attacking in front of the enemies is not the go to strategy most of the time. I do like how fast Adol moves, so the game has good pacing.
I love the sprites and the soundtrack. Adol’s spritelooks cute and seeing him mow down enemies is amusing. The soundtrack is phenomenal. I chose the newer option for the soundtrack and it sounds amazing. Why did it take me this long to listen to music from Nihom Falcom? I hope more of their games have great soundtracks.
Remember when I mentioned Ys I is a “passable, yet archaic RPG”? Well, this is a game where a guide is required if you want to beat it. There is no map system in this game and the game is rather vague on what you need to do. Huge shout-out to StrategyWiki for having a helpful walkthrough. Trust me, you need it for the Abandoned Mine and Darm Tower. Those two are nightmares to navigate.
Link to the walkthrough: https://strategywiki.org/wiki/Ys:_Ancient_Ys_Vanished/Walkthrough
It is a shame that Ys I has some of the worst bosses I have ever encountered in a RPG. The first boss that really got me to almost rage quit was the bat creature, Vagullion. This boss is luck based. Vagullion will divide itself into multiple bats and chase after you. These bats drain your health like nothing else and they can be a pain to avoid. Once Vagullion becomes big again, you have a short window to attack. I swear it is random when it decides to become big again. I took so much damage trying to run away from those bats and the many game overs got my blood boiling. Vanguillion does not hold a candle to Dark Fact, the final boss.
I despise Dark Fact so much. This fight is unfair and bullshit. You have projectiles all over the screen draining your health (meaning you have a limited amount of time to defeat Dark Fact), he is constantly moving, and once you attack that motherfucker, a square disappears. You can fall and get a game over if the square you are standing disappears. Just like Vaguillion, I swear what square disappears is random. It is not fun; it is a clusterfuck. I died so many times that I almost gave up. After many attempts, the fucker is defeated and the game is over. I felt so relieved.
Ys I is an old school RPG that requires a guide to know what to do. Without it, you are screwed. Even with the great sprite work and soundtrack, the archaic design and bullshit fights with Vanguillion and Dark Fact soured my opinion on the game. I do look forward to trying out more Nihom Falcom games like the Trails series since I heard great things about those games.

I rate this so high because it's a really great remake of the original compilation. The games feel a bit zoomed in in my opinion, but the games to my knowledge are very faithfully recreated. I will say though that a minimap might have been nice.

There's a certain confidence to Ys Chronicles; it knows what it wants to do and what it wants to be. And it's no wonder, this a longstanding series, that's gone though many iterations, and you can tell that this version was made with a certain amount of reverence. Ys Chronicles looks good and sounds great, and its deliberate pacing plays well. Overall, this is a true classic that holds up amazingly well--especially on a portable device.

I generally had a blast playing these games even though their not perfect and show their age especially with the bump combat, it's a short but sweet playthough, this remake especially has some kick ass remixes so that helps, good entry point for Ys imo

A fun game with an amazing soundtrack and a battle system, which you'll either find pretty weird or enjoy quite a bit.
The first game is the weirder of the two, having you reach max level before the final dungeon, which btw takes around half the game length.
The second game introduces magic, adding a cool new layer of gameplay. The leveling system is also readjusted.
Unfortunately the game doesn't give you a very good idea of where to go and what to do a lot of the time, making you kinda roam around until you figure it out.