Greetings once again, dear readers! This is Tom from XSEED comin’ at ya’ with some Ys I & II Chronicles info. Have you all preordered your copies? There’s only one short month left until release, so you’d best get those preorders in quick – supplies will surely be limited!
You can tell when developers had fun working on a game, and let me tell you, Falcom clearly had a ball working on these. Simply put, these are games that reward you for thinking outside the box and doing things you were clearly never meant to do. Got some new offensive magic? Try using it in town. Found a new item? Try using it EVERYWHERE. Escorting a pretty lady? Try, erm… well, I don’t know how to end that sentence without sounding like a total pervert. More on that in a bit!
There are so many hidden extras of questionable taste and undeniable wrongness that submitting an ESRB report for this title was… interesting, to say the least. Every time I thought I was done, I’d go back and find something new that was much, much worse, and clearly had to be written down. In the back of my head, I kept hearing a little voice yelling the words, “Hot Coffee! Hot Coffee! Dear Lord, this could turn into the next Hot Coffee scandal!” But I persevered, and in the end, I think I got everything that could possibly offend anyone – and Ys I & II Chronicles wound up with a T rating and six descriptors. Yeesh!
In no particular order, here are a few of the game’s more noteworthy (and soon to be infamous) extras:
Fireballing villagers in Ys II. This is a classic, and is actually super-duper fun to do. Most games would prevent you from using Fire magic inside a town… but not this one! You can role-play Adol as a real jerk if you want to, and have him shoot children and the elderly with searing hot balls of agony to your heart’s content – and what’s more, every single villager in the game has a unique exclamation of pain when struck. (And let me tell you, I had a LOT of fun with that in editing – River City Ransom, The Goonies II, Final Fantasy VI… anything and everything got its turn in the referencing pool!) The game even has a gift-giving system, and if you try fireballing a villager, then giving him/her a gift, he/she will call you out on your petty attempts at a materialistic apology. Take that, society!
Turning into a “Roo,” also in Ys II. Yep, there’s a spell in the game that lets you transform yourself into a cute, fuzzy little kangaroo-like creature. Once you’ve taken this form, you’re actually able to converse with monsters – and all the monsters in the game, from random level 1 goons on the first map to bosses, have unique dialogue (which is pretty astounding when you think about it!). What’s funny, though, is that villagers have unique dialogue as well for when you speak with them in Roo form… and most of them are scared to death of you, thinking monsters have come invading their home. Take THAT, society!
Speaking of Roos, that was the closest ESRB call of them all. See, Roos are actually pretty friendly, and you can talk to them even when you’re in human form – except you can’t understand a word they’re saying, which is represented by their dialogue boxes being written entirely in runes. Now, I can’t read runes, so I didn’t realize this at first… but it turns out all of this dialogue was actually in English… and if I could read runes, I’d have realized that these cute little creatures were saying things like, “PLEASE LEND MONEY.” Funny, silly stuff… except for one very angry, very foul-mouthed Roo (a Roo with issues!), who spoke such harsh runic words in the original Japanese version of the game that I dare not repeat them here! But fear not: His M-rated runic English has since been replaced with something a bit less abrasive, and the rest of the runic text has been “cleaned up” just enough to be serviceable, but without losing that original “Engrish” flair. Of course, I couldn’t resist sneaking a FEW fun little extra lines in there… such as the dialogue included in the attached screenshot. What could he be saying? Oh, I’ll never tell! Take THAT, society!
Now for the more… erm… “colorful” extras. Somebody at Falcom clearly has a bit of a perverted streak, as there are a few extras in these games that simply can’t be discussed without a bit of guilty blushing. See, in typical Ys tradition, each of these two games has a short escort mission to complete (though don’t worry, neither is annoying in any way!). In the first game, a young lady named Feena needs to be led out of an underground shrine; and in the second, a mischievous little boy named Tarf needs to be led through a volcanic lair. During the escort mission with Feena, there’s actually a dead-end corridor into which, with a bit of finagling, Adol can push her. After mashing her character sprite against the back wall for a couple seconds, she begins to get a little uncomfortable, and her measurements are added to your status screen. Man, Adol, what kind of hero are you?! Take that, society…
Even worse, though, is the escort mission with Tarf in Ys II. Yep, same story! It’s a lot harder to pull off, but there’s one specific dead-end you can mash Tarf against as well, to get HIS measurements! And most disturbing of all, you really have to go out of your way to do it – and it’s such a tight fit, the only way to get him in there is with fireballs! I had to get footage of this for the ESRB, and let me tell you… I’ve never felt dirtier in my life! Take that, society?
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, too. From snuggling in other peoples’ beds to using items where you’re not supposed to, to dangling scantily-clad character sprites from strings for decoration and robbing gold from a DUCK!, there are countless ways in which this game allows you to play Adol as a seedy, icky sort of hero. And you know what? As uncharacteristic as these behaviors may be for him, the fact that Ys I & II Chronicles allows you to be as naughty or nice as you wish is just… extremely refreshing! Not only are these games fun, fast, and totally metal, but they’re also role-playing games, in the strictest sense of the word.