This week's Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu has a feature article on Nihon Falcom’s Ys IX: Monstrum Nox, the latest game in the Ys Action RPG franchise. The game was officially announced a few days ago, during the Falcom's annual shareholder meeting a few days ago.

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According to an interview with Falcom's boss, Toshihiro Kondo, Ys IX is the game which follows the critically acclaimed Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana. Due to the success of Ys VIII, Nihon Falcom is feeling quite the pressure as they’re developing the game, doing their best to not disappoint. The first key illustration and screenshots should give us a good idea of how the game will feel like. They decided to go with a different type of story and atmosphere than the previous games to challenge and renew themselves. Like the subtitle Monstrum Nox indicates, Ys IX‘s story and game systems will revolve around the night and the “Monstrum,” the mysterious individuals shown in the key visual.

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Timeline-wise, Ys IX: Monstrum Nox’s story takes place several years after Ys Seven, which makes this version of Adol Christin the oldest yet. By the time of Ys IX, his heroic deeds and skills as an adventurer have become quite recognized around the world. The fact that Adol’s fame has spread is also linked to Ys IX‘s storyline.

However, Adol’s exact age and appearance at the time of Ys IX: Monstrum Nox will be revealed at a later date.

As for the battle system, it follows a similar party-like system found in recent Ys games. However, we currently don’t know how many characters are included in a party. The game’s characters, the Monstrum, all have unique supernatural abilities, which include being able to transform into a shadow or run across walls. The wall dash ability especially will fit perfectly with the verticality of the environments, and players will be able to enjoy exciting, aggressive 3-dimensional action gameplay. The identity of the Monstrum and their link with Adol will remain secret for now.

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The “Guild management” system which was revealed a few days ago is also in the game, similar to the village building found in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana. Director Kondo also talked about the hooded woman with a prosthetic arm and leg seen in the key visual at the end of the interview. He noted how she’s the only one out of the cell in the visual, but maybe you should flip your point-of-view, and consider she might be the only one truly imprisoned. He said this will turn out to be one of the key aspects of the game. I wondered if this is considered a spoiler from Falcom?

According to Director Kondo, the game’s development is currently at 50%, and they’ll now enter full-fledged development. Nihon Falcom will strive to bring to gamer an exciting action RPG that both fans and newcomers will be able to enjoy.

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Here are all the keynotes from the interview in Famitsu Magazine:

  • The concept of the game is the subtitle “Monstrum Nox” (Monsters’ Night) itself.
  • The game’s setting, Baldeux, is a three-dimensional town with different elevations. Its outskirts include grasslands, forests, and ruins.
  • Set in an era after Ys Seven, Adol will appear at his oldest age in the series yet. His name as an adventurer is becoming known all over the world.
  • Party battles and simple controls return. Additionally, the game introduces supernatural actions that lean on the supernatural abilities possessed by Monstrum. Wall-running and moving as a shadow are also possible.
  • The new “Guild Operations” system is an expansion of Ys VIII‘s “Drifting Village” system.
  • The hooded woman equipped with artificial arms and legs is a major key to the game’s story.
  • Development is currently 50 percent complete.

Ys IX: Monstrum Nox will launch for PlayStation 4 in 2019.