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The “Ys: The Oath of Ferghana” you played back then is back

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This article comes from the WeChat public account:Touch music (ID: chuappgame)Author: Feiyun

Would you still choose to experience the Switch version?

In mid-2022, Falcom announced that its famous “Ys” series will launch a new work “Ys 10”. At the end of 2022, Falcom announced that the high-definition remake of “Ys: The Oath in Felghana” (Ys: The Oath in Felghana, hereinafter referred to as “Ys F”) will also be available on Switch in the spring of 2023. platform.

This is the third version that Falcom has released for Ys F. The earliest version of “Ys F” was the PC version launched in Japan in 2005. In 2010, the “Ys F” PSP “Evolution Edition” was released on the PSP. If you continue to go back, “Ys F” is actually a very special game-it is actually a remake of “Ys 3: Adventurers from Ys”, which has made various changes based on the original game. Improvement and evolution have changed the mixed reputation of the original work in one fell swoop, received a lot of praise, and sold well.

For domestic “Ys” players, “Ys F” is also a very meaningful name. In 2006, the game launched the official version of the Bank of China on PC, which played a very important role in further understanding and familiarizing domestic players with the “Ys” series. Many players have deep feelings for this game.

Perhaps it is precisely because of the excellent performance of “Ys F” that year that Falcom chose to add new elements and new content in the latest high-definition remake, rather than simply transplanting the old version to “fry cold rice”, showing a certain sincerity.

After many years, come back again

“Ys 3” received mixed reviews

The original version of “Ys F” “Ys 3” was released in 1989, starting with the PC-8801 platform (a home computer released by NEC in Japan in 1981), and soon expanded to MSX, SFC, MD, PCE, etc. Multiple mainstream PC and console platforms at the time.

Unlike the first two games in the Ys series, “Ys 3” has received mixed reviews and mixed reviews. This is mainly because of the many twists and turns encountered in the development of “Ys 3”. The first generation of “Ys” was not taken seriously in Falcom, but later became popular with the second generation and became a hit game of that era. Falcom, who has tasted the sweetness, hopes that the development team will remake a new game under development as “Ys 3”, positioning it as a rumor of the “Ys” series, which caused dissatisfaction with the development team at the time——The main creator Miyazaki and Qiao The “Ys” originally envisioned by Ben Masaya should be over after two works, and Falcom’s interference in creation made them unacceptable. The two quit the company in the middle of the research and development and established Quintet, which later developed many games for SFC.

PC-8801 version of “Ys 3”

Following the two main creators, developers have left Falcom to join Quintet. Falcom was originally a small company. In order to cope with the situation of a large number of talents leaving, it had to urgently recruit a group of freshly graduated college students to develop “Ys 3”. The quality is much worse than that of the previous series.

In addition to the twists and turns in the development, the dissatisfaction of the old players of the series with “Ys 3” at that time was also concentrated on the change of the game mode: the first game and the second generation adopted the attack mode with a bird’s-eye view and automatic collision, the operation is simple and refreshing, The difficulty is quite high, giving players the desire to challenge repeatedly, which is the key to the initial success of the series. But “Ys 3” has become a 2D horizontal version of ARPG, adding the design of attack button and jump button, and no longer the automatic collision mode, which makes it difficult for players who are used to the first two games to adapt.

The PCE version of “Ys 3” released in 1991

At the same time, the plot of “Ys 3” is also mediocre, the world view is somewhat different from the previous two works, and the overall charm is not enough.

Of course, the game also has advantages, such as music and visual performance. In terms of music, the series has always maintained a high standard; in terms of graphics, the first PC-8801 platform version achieved the amazing triple scroll effect of the year, which is a design that other transplanted versions did not achieve.

But overall, the reform of “Ys 3” still failed. After that, Falcom gave up its own research and development of the 4th generation, but produced the original project and handed it over to several cooperative companies to make different host versions. That’s another story.

Many years later, TAITO launched a remake of “Ys 3” on PS2, still using the horizontal version

The Great Evolution of Ys F

“Ys F” is of great significance in the whole “Ys” series. On the one hand, as a remake of “Ys 3”, it achieved a double harvest of word-of-mouth and sales, and even attracted some new players to return to play “Ys 3”. On the other hand, after “Ys 6: The Ark of Napistine” saved the series sales and Falcom’s turnover in 2003, “Ys F” successfully “successed” and let players restore the “Ys” series. love.

However, in history, these doubts from the outside world are not without reason. The quality of the “Ys” series of works often jumps repeatedly between peaks and troughs-in 2009, “Ys 7” on the PSP handheld was like that “Ys 5: The Lost Sand Capital Kaifen” also fell into a trough (of course, the situation is not as serious as the 5th generation), but fortunately, “Ys 8: Dana’s Fall” turned out, which once again made the series Back to the top.

For Falcom, “Ys F” is significant enough

The success of “Ys F” stems from its four major evolutions on the basis of the original.

The first evolution is on the game mode. The original “Ys 3” is the only one in the series that uses a horizontal version of the operation, but players don’t recognize it very much. The solution of “Ys F” is that the game as a whole is 3D. On the basis of the full 3D space operation mode, some horizontal levels in the original version are retained, such as mine pits and snow mountains. This allows some well-designed horizontal version levels in the original version to be experienced, and the switch between horizontal version and full 3D space can also bring a certain sense of freshness and fun. At the same time, for those players who like the horizontal version, this design also takes care of their hobbies.

It can still be played as a horizontal version in scenes such as mine pits

The second evolution is the change of gameplay. “Ys F” is the first work in the series to add double jumps. This design is an evolution compared to the jumping and cutting in “Ys 6”-the jumping and cutting in “Ys 6” is often easy to misuse. Being criticized by players, the double jump is much simpler and more convenient.

In terms of the combat system, the biggest change in “Ys F” is that the “ring energy magic” system of the original “Ys 3” has been cancelled, and replaced with the three attribute bracelet magic of fire, wind, and darkness, as well as the ability to explode.

The so-called “ring energy magic” system means that the protagonist Yatru of “Ys 3” can get various rings. After equipping different rings to activate abilities, the energy value will continue to decrease with the passage of time. Once it returns to zero, you need to go to the town Spend money in the store to restore energy.

This combat system was not bad back then, ensuring the consistent simplicity and refreshment of the “Ys” series, and it also has a certain degree of innovation. But in the era of remake, it seems a bit outdated.

The “ring energy magic” system in the 3rd generation

The design of the three-attribute bracelet magic added to “Ys F” has greatly improved the sense of refreshment: the flame spirit bracelet can emit fireballs for long-range attacks; The platform in the distance; the dark spirit bracelet can send out shock waves to remove some obstacles, and it is also effective when eliminating a group of enemies.

Yatru can also use the accumulated anger tank to perform explosive operations. The protagonist in the explosive state will enter a short-term invincible state, and the attack speed will become extremely fast. Using explosive attacks in critical moments can cause huge damage, and then Come back.

As the game progresses, players can use gems to strengthen the magic attack ability of the bracelet, and they can also get the key item “Wuqi Seal”, which greatly increases the burst time.

Double jump and whirlwind bring a refreshing experience

In addition, “Ys F” also continues the high-difficulty design of the early series, adding a number of new bosses, and strengthening the design of traps and mechanisms. The overall difficulty has been improved compared with “Ys 3”, with a relatively Highly challenging. How the player uses the bracelet magic and the ability to explode is quite difficult but full of fun.

Concise, refreshing, high difficulty, coupled with the substantial evolution of the system, “Ys F” has been recognized by players, and many people have cleared the level many times and relished it repeatedly.

Boss Ice Dragon in “Ys F”

The third evolution comes from the aspect of music. Due to the resignation of the composer Gu Yuzo, who played well in the first and second generations of the series, all the soundtracks of “Ys 3” were composed by Mieko Ishikawa alone. In the 2nd generation, the two cooperated quite well, but Kou Yuzo joined Falcom for many years and was still an intern, unable to become a full-time employee, so he chose to leave the job, and the composing work of “Ys 3” naturally fell to Mieko Ishikawa. Later, Gu Yuzo composed music for game series such as “Iron Fist of Rage”, “Inheritor of Light”, “Super Ninja” and “Wangan Racing”, continuing his early glory.

Almost every piece of “Ys 3” is very listenable, not inferior to the previous two works. The initial adventure song “Wing を 持った少年”, the background song of Ballestan City “Barestain City”, the background song of Snow Mountain “厳格なる旘志”, the ending music “Wanderers from Ys” are all famous songs, which are very popular among players.

“Ys 3” X68000 Version Soundtrack Cover

Many years later, the soundtrack of “Ys F” recruited the musician Kamito Yutodai, and he was responsible for re-arranging all the tracks of “Ys 3”. Shen Teng himself is a music school teacher. He has a solid foundation in classical music and rock music, and has also delved deeply into electronic synthesis music technology. He has created a sense of grandeur that is no less than real orchestral music through electronic synthesizers. Among them, “Wanderers from Ys” is the most typical song, and the electronic rock version of “Balestain City” also brings out the passion and blood in the adventure of the protagonist Yatru to the extreme.

Shento has cooperated with Falcom for many years, but “Ys F” is a rare work in which he is responsible for all arrangements, and it is also one of the pinnacles of his personal music career. The success of “Ys F” is largely due to the music. Whenever I revisit these famous songs, I can recall the scenes of fighting in the game.

Kando Yutodai

The fourth evolution is the strengthening of character creation. In the original “Ys 3”, the character creation is actually flat and facial, there are not many characters on the scene, and the plot is relatively simple. “Ys F” has added a lot of dialogue, making the original tool-like NPCs in the town into flesh and blood, with their own personalities and stories, and the newly added nuns and other characters make the overall plot fuller.

In addition, Mike Gaia, the lord of the city of Ballestan, the game boss, is no longer the purely evil villain in “Ys 3”. The stories between him, his wife and children make players realize the tender side of this character.

McGaia’s children also have stories

The Influence of the PC National Bank Version

In March 2007, Beijing Yutong Company issued the official version of “Ys F” PC National Bank as an agent. Previously, Yuyuetong had introduced “Trails in the Sky FC” and “Ys 6”. Together with “Ys F”, these masterpieces let domestic players begin to understand the two series of “Traces” and “Ys”.

Interestingly, apart from Falcom, not many Japanese game companies were willing to launch games on PC, and overseas manufacturers generally did not pay much attention to the Chinese market. The reason why Falcom appears to be “unique” is because its own situation is quite special. It has been focusing on the PC platform for many years, but it is inseparable from the host.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Japanese personal computers used a completely different architecture from the PCs we are familiar with. Unique models such as PC-88, X68000, FM Towns, and MSX appeared. The early successful works of Falcom were mainly published on these platforms. For example, the total shipments of the masterpiece “Dragon Slaying Sword 2: Reno Nidu Chronicle” launched in 1985 on these platforms exceeded 500,000 sets, which was an amazing number at the time.

DOS version of “Dragon Slayer 2: Reno Nidu Chronicle”

Of course, other companies will also launch games on these platforms. For example, KONAMI has launched works such as “Metal Gear” and “Contra” on MSX. However, with the strong rise of consoles, more and more mainstream Japanese companies are focusing on the development of console games and are unwilling to make games for the PC platform. In the twenty or thirty years since the 1990s, many console masterpieces did not have corresponding PC versions. This situation did not change until Steam became popular all over the world.

Falcom is quite special. Due to the long-term limitation of the company’s size (until now, Falcom only has more than 60 people), even in the period of strong rise of the console, there is not much energy to develop games on the console itself, so I chose to specialize in the PC platform , the host versions of its new works are all outsourced to other companies – HUDSON is one of Falcom’s partners, responsible for the PCE version of the early works of the “Ys” series, and the SS version of “The Legend of Heroes 3: White-haired Witch” Transplantation of other works.

The copyright logo of HUDSON appeared on the main interface of the SS version of “The Legend of Heroes 3: The White-haired Witch”

Falcom also tried to get involved in the console market, but the company spent a lot of effort to make the exclusive work “Ys 5” for SFC that year, and the sales volume was disastrous, so it could only go back and keep on the PC.

Japan’s PC game market is limited after all. Japanese players have a large number of games to choose from on PS2 and other consoles. No matter how hard Falcom works on PC, its competitiveness is far inferior to those console manufacturers. Under such circumstances, Falcom thought of expanding overseas markets. And because of the lack of understanding of the European and American markets, the company’s first choice is the large population of Chinese players. At the beginning of this century, most of the PC games produced by Falcom will be released in simplified and traditional Chinese versions. Regional distribution. For a small company, adding tens of thousands of sales is enough to push it to make a Chinese version.

The characters are speaking Chinese

The national version of “Ys F” was launched in 2007, when the development of domestic online games was in full swing. At that time, there were not many new games that could be played on the domestic stand-alone platform. Those games launched by Falcom just satisfied this part of stand-alone game fans. demand. I also “entered the pit” at that time, and bought almost all the PC national version games under Falcom, and later became a fan of Falcom as a matter of course.

On the other hand, although there were many Japanese game masterpieces on PS2 back then, due to factors such as rampant piracy and insufficient spending power, domestic players failed to enter the field of vision of console manufacturers. talk about. In contrast, “Ys F” not only has a Chinese version, but the price of a box of tens of yuan is much cheaper than the original console game at that time. In addition, the game quality is very high, and you will not feel bored after repeated customs clearance. Really sucked a lot of powder.

In contrast, the original “Kingdom Heart” still does not have Chinese support

What’s more interesting is that later, due to the poor sales of the PC version of “Twin Star Story 2” in Japan, works such as “The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky FC” and “Ys F” transplanted to the PSP were very popular, and Falcom gave up. Abandoning the PC platform strategy that he had insisted on for many years, he turned to develop games for consoles and handhelds. This makes domestic players who are accustomed to Falcom’s PC national line feel disappointed.

Later, the domestic publisher Happy Best bought the copyrights of works such as “Legend of Heroes: Trails of Zero”, “Legend of Heroes: Trails of Blue”, “Ys: Sea of ​​Trees in Celceta” and other works exclusive to PS handhelds at that time. Transplanted to PC, introduced domestically. Most of these games are “violent transplants”, and the menus and UI are not well adapted to the computer. Now, we can still find traces of these games on the official website of Soulgame, of course, the activation code has long been unable to purchase.

You can still open the official website of the PC version of “Traces of Zero” with “violent porting”

Returning “Ys F”

Although “Ys F” was on Steam a few years ago, the Steam version has the same fundamental problem as the previous PC version-it is too difficult. Due to the limited means for players to increase blood, the later Boss battles, especially the final Boss, can easily make players lose confidence in the battle. When I played for the first time, I had to use a modifier to play it, and then I passed the level with my own strength. In addition, the PC version has no voice throughout, which is also a pity.

In contrast, the PSP version of “Ys F” released a few years later is much more mature. Not only has the design of the second-stage explosion been added, but the explosion can also return blood, which reduces a lot of difficulty. Full voice is a highlight of the PSP version. However, the handheld platform itself has limitations. The resolution of the PSP version is only 480×272, which is obviously far from meeting the needs of today’s players.

The 2010 PSP version has many improvements over the 2005 PC version

The Switch high-definition remake, which will be launched on April 27, is an “ultimate enhanced version”. Based on the PSP version, the resolution has been upgraded to high-definition level, and new character portraits have been added. Players can freely switch between old and new portraits. In addition, the Switch version also adds new voice and high-speed modes, as well as various support functions for beginners of action games, such as “Not Fall” that can recover without damage from a high place and recover immediately.

Therefore, from the perspective of game balance, dubbing, and screen performance, the Switch remake is quite ideal and has a certain replay value.

old version

New version of vertical painting

Of course, for Falcom, choosing to remake “Ys F” should also have practical considerations. With a scale of dozens of members, Falcom is currently busy producing two new works in the “Track” and “Ys” series. According to president Yoshihiro Kondo, the company is also developing a brand new game series. In this case, retrofitting a classic is much easier to do.

So, if you bought the National Bank version of “Ys F”, would you still choose to experience the Switch version?

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