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I could’ve sworn that at some point over the last two decades, intrepid flame-haired adventurer Adol Christin—protagonist of the venerable niche Ys Japanese RPG series for the past 26 years—woke up on a beach with amnesia. But no! XSEED localization editor Jessica Chavez informed me that Ys: Memories of Celceta is actually the first time such an original trope has been used in the series. And I, for one, can’t wait.
The history of the Ys series is quite complicated, and this entry is about as convoluted as it gets. This is actually the third game to be considered the fourth chapter in the Ys saga, but since the other two games weren’t made by series creator Nihon Falcom, they aren’t considered canon. But this one is. Huzzah! Simple, right?
First, lemme lay down a little pronunciation guide for ya. It’s Ys, pronounced “ease.” Not “yis,” “why-ess,” or “yuss.” I’ve heard all three—and even some worse butcherings over the years. And that’s a shame, because of all the Little Japanese RPGs That Could, Ys gets over that hill as successfully as any of them. That’s mostly due to its nice mix of humor and accessible, fast-paced combat, and Memories of Celceta is no exception. Ys fans will know what to expect here—but maybe they won’t, as this incarnation allows you to switch between three characters on the fly à la Secret of Mana and go to town on foes as a trio of trouble. It’s a little hard to judge Memories of Celceta without playing the localized game—XSEED only had a Japanese version available—since so much of the series’ charm revolves around interacting with the endearing, eccentric townsfolk and various neurotic adventurers you’re sure to run across. XSEED always does a bang-up job with their translations, though, so this should definitely be one to watch for RPG fans this fall.