Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Up until now role-playing games haven't worked on the Sega. Miracle Warriors was a weak mixture of simple game ideas and Golvellius wasn't applicable with its strong arcade overtones. Y's brings out the true classical elements of role-playing.
The hero of the hour, Aron Christian, finds himself stranded in a strange land following a shipwreck. The nearby town of Minea is the starting place for Aron's adventures and it's here that the adventurer learns of the six magic books of Y's, books of incredible power which, if all are found, could be used for catastrophically evil purposes.
Tales are rife around the village of an evil sorcerer called Dekt who's searching for the books. No-one wants to take him on and it looks like curtains for the land and its people unless someone can come to their aid — Aron.
From Minea Aron can set out to explore the land, but courage and a thousand gold pieces just won't do to survive the perils of the wilderness and beyond. Around Minea traders buy and sell many an object: armour, weapons, food and miscellaneous items are all available to those with money.
Scant clues, red herrings and advice can be obtained from the locals in the pub or alternatively people wandering the streets.
Eventually Aron meets Sara the Seer and it's from here that the adventure really begins — Aron ventures out into the wilderness and the surrounding lands containing villages, a temple, a mine and other sites rich in adventure.
Somewhere out in the dark land lies the first three books of Y's, the other three are a little harder to obtain. Dekt has got them and the way only to get them is to enter his Tower of the Doomed. No role playing game would be worth its salt without the spice of combat. Aron can arm himself with swords and other weapons but even the enemy just outside Minea are tough nuts and best avoided. Later on secret powers and new weapons help in the task if he lives long enough.
Like Miracle Warriors. Y's also has a vital save/load function to back up positions. The battery storage is quick and efficient to use and a necessity if Aron is to be in with a chance of completing what is a truly deep and demanding RPG.
The Sega is really coming into its own with games like Y's. An obvious cross-console comparison would be with the Zelda games on the Nintendo and against them Y's compares admirably — in many respects the character detail and all-round presentation make it the better game visually, although the puzzles aren't quite so involved or devious.
The characters are small, squat and endearingly cute as they move around an extremely smooth-scrolling playing area. On entering buildings you're greeted by excellent close-ups of people enhancing the already rich atmosphere. Elements like this assure a success for Y's as one of the top-rank RPGs around.
See more reviews of Y's: The Vanished Omens / Ys (イース)
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