Ys: The Vanished Omens beat Phantasy Star to the Master System bya year, making it the first RPG available for the system. This is also the first North American exposure to this long-running and influential RPG series from Falcom.
Ys stars Adol, an adventurer that must rid the land of the horrors of Dark Dekt. In order to defeat the sorcerer, you must hunt down six stolen books that reveal the secrets of the land of Ys.
Ys is not a turn-based RPG like Phantasy Star. Instead, you are given a three-quarters look at the world. In order to attack an enemy, you simply run into with Adols sword. Depending on where you strike, such as the back or the side, you do more damage. As you kill more monsters, you gain experience …
… and level up, gaining more life on the bar at the bottom of the screen.
There is a second bar beneath yours that shows the life of the monster you are attacking. When you see a larger bar than yours, you must give pause. The need to kill monsters to gain experience and gold made Ys something of a grinder in the beginning, but the colorful graphics and exquisite music from Yuzo Koshiro makes it easy to push through. The games map is huge, the locations are varied and detailed, and the boss battles are a thrill.