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Romancing the SaGa
June 1st, 2012

06/01- 12:00PM EST

Welcome to another episode of Q&A! Ys Origin is now out on Steam and I hope you're all getting your Ys on. I've also been continuing to play some Shiren the Wanderer, Romancing SaGa, and Devil Survivor. Lots of challenging games on my plate! What's everyone else playing? I have to wonder if any of you readers are Shiren fans, and no I'm not just asking that because I died on floor 29 and am in desperate need of a rescue.

Anyway, letter time!

The Letters
Ysy Times

Long time no speak, I just wanted to write to you to let you know I am a huuuge fan of the Ys series, I was 14 when I first heard of this quirky game on the turbographix 16. (although I could not afford the almost $600 total price tag for the system and cd add on.) When I saw pics in a videogame magazine I was hooked and then eventually got to play it at a friends house, I thought this was so real, so lifelike, incredible....


Good to hear from you again (and to hear that you're an Ys fan)! Ys I&II on TurboGrafx-16 is what got me into the series as well, though much later. I had listened to a podcast talking about the history of Falcom, and they mentioned that it was available on the virtual console. Having only played the horrible NES version in years past, I decided to download it and give it a try, and I absolutely fell in love with the game. So much so that I eventually imported several Ys games directly from Falcom, including Oath in Felghana well before its release on PSP here. It swiftly became one of my favorite games series! I never thought combat involving just bumping into enemies could be so engaging...

I have played all the Ys games released in the u.s. on the turbo cd, snes, genesis, psp, ps2 ect....


I have to ask you then, which is your favorite version of Ys III? I've heard the Genesis version is the best, but I didn't really care for any of them, preferring to just play the superior Oath in Felghana. To be fair of course, I have yet to play that particular version.

I have also sent you a contest entry awhile back when the Ys games for psp were being released, you asked something like, if someone had to make an Ys game what would it be about..

I said something like starting from Ys 7 fighting all the bosses and ending up at the begining of Ys 1 has he is trying to get back home...(I can't actually find the email) I lost but hey I got the game anyway...


I remember your entry, it was quite interesting! You'll be happy to know that you're one of two to write in about Ys so you've got a pretty good shot at winning a code for Ys Origins!

I have included a pic of my ever growing Ys collection.....including in the upper left the Ys anime book 1...I know there are others that have waaay more Ys stuff than me but I just wanted to show my love for this series..



That is a nice little collection! Surprised you don't also have the PSP version of Ark of Napishtim. Very nice to see all three premium editions. How is the Ys anime? I have pondered picking it up, but was worried that it wasn't any good.

I have been wanting to play Ys origins since it was announced for the pc back in the day for Japan, but I did not want to resort to importing and such, this is awsome that xseed has decided to bring over Ys origins to us....I only wish it was a physical copy of the game, but something is better than nothing. If we support this enough they may just port it over to say...the PS Vita.

until next time,
always keep your wheels rotated



A PS Vita port would be nice! I had thought  after the Oath in Felghana PSP port  they'd port Origin there as well, but  Origin may require a bit more graphical punch. We shall see! At the very least, we've got the complete remake of Ys IV on the way for Vita, which I'm hoping XSEED will tackle. Anyway, good to hear from you again. Don't be a stranger!

Game of Ys

Heya Wheels,
You wanted to discuss Ys, right?

Well, I have very little experience with the games. I played a PC version for a couple of hours, and it wasn't really for me. So sorry, I can't help you there. The only interesting tidbit I found was where the name "Ys" comes from. Apparently it's the name of a mythical city in France that was swallowed by the sea. A sort of Atlantis, so to speak. The story behind it is pretty cool and I had never heard of it before, which is kind of strange because I do have an interest in such things. Look it up, if you didn't know about it either.


I'm thinking perhaps you played a PC version of Ys I with the bump based combat? If that's the case I can't blame you for not liking it. It is very old fashioned and not everyone digs it. I was aware of the actual legend of Ys, which oddly Falcom doesn't seem to pull from too much. They have used other legendary lost cities in the series, and I'm hoping at some point they can use Atlantis in a cool way. Sad to hear you haven't really found an Ys game you liked. If Oath in Felghana wasn't the one you tried, you should grab that from Steam and give it a try! Well you've got a chance to win that Ys Origins code anyway.

Glad to know the Game of Thrones books aren't as bad as the television series. I thought it was a terrible letdown. Especially considering some episodes span several chapters from the books, they probably just rushed through everything, trying to take out the most interesting bits, ultimately making it... not very interesting... not to me at least. Oh well, you can't have it all.


Well, there is less sex yes, but certainly more politics than the show, which seemed like something you weren't really into. It is a bit rushed compared to the books, but they've done a good job fitting in all the major plot points. I still recommend you try reading the first book.

Anyways, speaking of volunteering for reviewing pen-and-paper RPGs, I am not sure I am the right guy for the job. I love reading through rulebooks, but I hardly have the time to actually take the books and play the game with friends. If that wouldn't be a problem, I wouldn't mind reviewing something every now and again... But I wouldn't be churning out reviews like there was no tomorrow... But I understand the "scarcity" of reviews if only one person is responsible. It's not even that it's that little, I appreciate the coverage that is given.


That's OK, reviewing takes a lot of time to do so I completely understand. I'm glad you find our coverage at least sufficient.

There are no games I would like to see in a retroview. I think you guys do a great job reviewing those games I never heard of before and that is what I enjoy most. Unless you guys would like to retroview Terranigma. I think your American readers would like to know more about that one.
Everyone, keep up with doing a great job. RPGamer is one of my favourite sites.


That's good to know, as picking games for retroview is no easy task. The big titles have obviously been covered to death, and it is a challenge to find interesting obscure games to take a look at. I think the reviewers do a great job of finding interesting titles. I would love to see a retroview of Terranigma as well! I've never played it.

Glad you enjoy the site! The staff works very hard and I think they do a great job.

Tales of Villainy

Hey Wheels, wassup?

Remember a while back when I challenged you to come up with a central villain for an RPG?  Whatever happened to that?

So, to beat you to the punch and to encourage you to write in, I'm presenting to you... a philanthropist.


I do remember that challenge, I just got bogged down in other stuff. I shall come up with something brilliant though. Let's see what you've got!

Darius Kreux was born to a wealthy family in a human principality of the middle lands between the elven and dwarven kingdoms. After losing his parents in an accident when he was ten, he went to live with his elderly grandfather. These were the some of happiest years of his life, but too quickly his grandfather also passed away from age-related illnesses. Still in his teens, Darius made a vow that he would solve the ills of aging and disease, and with the bulk of his inheritance behind him, he proceeded to do just that.  He studied in the great libraries of the elven healers, experimented in the laboratories of the dwarven apothecaries, and searched the savage lands for rare and potent herbs. The organization that he founded helped raise the standards of health across all the human lands.


Sounds quite ... non-evil so far, continue...

And then, almost thirty years later, he looked around and saw that it still wasn't enough. People were living longer, yes, but they were still dying of illness. They were still tied to the cycle of age and weakness that had taken so much from him. He wanted to know why, so he could also know how to stop it. He looked at the elves and dwarves -- long-lived, but with small populations and few births. He looked at the savage races, the orcs and goblins with their short lifespans and high birthrate. He considered these, and came to a conclusion. It wasn't the obvious one, that longer-lived peoples had fewer children as a reaction to population pressures. No, he decided that there must be some force, some anima generis that was shared by all members of a species. Thus, the more people there were, the farther this force was stretched, and the shorter the lifespans of all became.


This sounds like it's headed to a pretty dark and awesome place, continue!

Now that he thought he knew what the problem was, he put all his resources into solving it. He set up "production colonies" in far-off lands, promising the human princes material rewards if they would help supply him with labor. Thousands of the poor, the criminal, and the luckless were sent to these colonies to work, but none ever returned. His researchers did their work, searching for his theoretical anima, attempting to quantify the energy of a human life. The test subjects, reduced to husks, were then used in other experiments on the potential of replacing anima -- in effect, inventing necromancy. These reanimated husks were then set to work producing all the materials that the princes desired. Money, materials, and propaganda ensured that no one questioned the fate of the riffraff "honored and blessed" to be chosen to work in the colonies.

Right about the time the game would start, when the heroes-to-be narrowly escape being put on a colonial conscript vessel, Darius Kreux has his 70th birthday. By this point he is obsessed with proving his theories to be correct, and at the same time frantic that there does not seem to be any change in human longevity, even now. He constantly calculates and recalculates the numbers of birth, life, and death, and makes his final decision. In order to raise humanity to the same level as the elves, with lives that span centuries and health that cannot be blemished, then ninety percent of humanity simply cannot be allowed to continue its existence. He has the nobility on his side, though they do not realize what he plans. He controls much of the resources and infrastructure of the human realms, either personally or through proxies. He is known and loved by the populace as the man who brought an end to plagues. And he is about to unleash hell on the world.

Beat that, Wheels.

Your fellow columnist,


Wow, that is quite powerful. I don't think I will be able to come up with anything quite like that. A villain such as this would make for a very interesting plot, taking a good idea and stretching it so far that it becomes a vile and evil thing. Please convince some developer to make a game with this villain!

That's it for this week!

Q&A is going to take brief holiday next week, so get some letters in for me to answer the following week!


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What I can't wait for:

1. Gungnir

2. Kingdom Hearts 3D

3. Ys IV Vita

4. Persona 4 Vita

5. Gravity Rush

On my Playlist:

1. Romancing SaGa soundtrack

2. Ys Origins soundtrack

3. Atelier soundtracks

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