Ys: The Vanished Omens

aka: Ancient Land of Ys, Y's, Ys, Ys: Ancient Ys Vanished, Ys: Ancient Ys Vanished Omen, Ys: Book 1
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Description official descriptions

In this game, the player takes the role of Adol (Aron in the English-language Sega Master System version) Christin, a red-haired adventurer and expert swordsman. One day he encounters a fortune teller who sends him on a quest to find information about the six books of Ys. It appears that there was once an ancient land called Ys, whose secret was sealed in those six books. Before long Adol learns that the six books were all stolen by the evil wizard Dark Fact (Dulk Dekt in the Sega Master System version, Malificus in the English-language computer versions). It is Adol's task to defeat the villain and discover the secret of Ys!

Ys: The Vanished Omens is an action role-playing game with its own trademark combat system: instead of pressing the "attack" button, the protagonist simply runs into the enemies he encounters. More damage is inflicted upon the enemies if Adol charges at them from the back or from the sides - a head-to-head collision might result in the hero's death if the monster is stronger than him. The player gains gold and experience points for defeating foes; once enough experience has been accumulated, Adol levels up and becomes stronger. The hero can buy and equip swords, armor, shields, and other accessories.


  • イース - Japanese spelling

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Credits (MSX version)

27 People (15 developers, 12 thanks) · View all



Average score: 79% (based on 20 ratings)


Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 45 ratings with 4 reviews)

Filling the 8-bit console RPG niche for PCs.

The Good
I don't have a lot of experience with console RPGs like Final Fantasy 3, Legend of Zelda, etc., but if Ancient Land of Ys is anything like them, they must indeed be fun.

Gameplay consists of running around your surroundings in an overhead view, bumping into people to talk with them (or bumping into enemies to hit them). The more you fight, the more experience you get; the more experience you get, the more hits you can take and the faster you recover.

The graphics are decidedly anime, but there's a certain charm in that.

The Bad
Certain parts of gameplay are not obvious and frustrating. At one point, the only way to go from one section to the other is to find a hidden door. You can easily see this door if you're wearing a special mask. But if you're not wearing the mask, you not only can't see the door but you can't open it either! I had "opened" the secret door at least 10 times before I stumbled through it with the mask on.

The Bottom Line
If you like console RPGs, you'll love Ancient Land of Ys.

DOS · by Trixter (8947) · 1999

This game did what Playstation could only do decades later...

The Good
It's a cute game for one thing. Very similiar to many Playstation Anime RPG's when RPG's first became popular in Playstation.

The game is simple enough...probably too simple for my tastes now, but I do recall it being fun when I played it then. The game has a very clear (and short) story line that is similiar to Playstation RPG's: Talk to people, complete their quests, kill monsters on the way.

The game is divided into 3 major places: The town, wilderness and dungeons. The town of course is where are the people are, where you get quests, buy stuff, etc. Wilderness is the area-in-between from the town to a certain place you want to go. Random monsters weren't created yet if I'm not mistaken, so you know what to expect each time monsters re-generate. Dungeons represent places where there is a certain quest you have to complete. Of course it's packed with monsters.

The Bad
The game as I said was simple. A little too simple. I usally enjoy RPG's that have 'unique features', something this game did not present much of. Or maybe because this game was one of first in its line...

The Bottom Line
Well, it ain't bad for an RPG. Could've been much better if they put a little more 'effort' in it...

DOS · by Indra was here (20633) · 2004

There just isn't any good reason to play this game.

The Good
Charming in that Japanese anime sort of way.

The Bad
Ys has all of the bad things about Japanese console RPGs, with almost none of the good. Graphics are weak even by the PC standards of the day. Combat is excessively simple (bump into your opponent!) and extremely monotonous. The plot is ok, but nothing that special. There really isn't anything in Ys that isn't done much better by countless other Japanese-style RPGs.

The Bottom Line
I would only recommend this game to very small children or other people who enjoy lots of repetition.

DOS · by PCGamer77 (3159) · 2013

[ View all 4 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Translation patch? Edwin Drost (7088) Feb 18th, 2021


Name changes

Ancient Land of Ys was ported to many different computers and consoles, but the PC port was the only one to change the names of some of the game characters.

NES translation patch

On March 30th, 2000, fan translator David Mullen released a complete Japanese-to-English patch for the Nintendo version. You can download it here.

Information also contributed by j. jones

Related Games

Released 1991 on Sharp X68000
Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished - The Final Chapter
Released 1988 on PC-88, 1988 on MSX, 1990 on NES...
Ys III: Wanderers from Ys
Released 1991 on Genesis, SNES, NES...
Legacy of Ys: Books I & II
Released 2009 on Nintendo DS
Ys I & II Chronicles
Released 2009 on PSP, Windows, 2012 on PS Vita
Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim
Released 2003 on Windows, 2005 on PlayStation 2, 2006 on PSP
Ys: The Oath in Felghana
Released 2005 on Windows, J2ME, PSP
Ys: Memories of Celceta
Released 2012 on PS Vita, Windows, 2019 on PlayStation 4

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

J2ME added by john brandstetter. Windows added by firefang9212. BREW added by Kabushi. PC-98, PC-88 added by Terok Nor. Apple IIgs added by Игги Друге. FM-7, SEGA Master System, MSX, NES, Sharp X1 added by Unicorn Lynx.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, chirinea, Sciere, Alaka, Kabushi, formercontrib.

Game added August 23rd, 1999. Last modified September 18th, 2023.