I’ve cleared the rest of the game in one sitting, for the most part. I got to the last boss, but then took a break before grinding for a level in order to beat him more easily. Most of the bosses on the way were quite easy even without grinding, all thanks to gaining a couple of levels before beating the mantis boss.

Ys: Origin, Top of the Tower

The top of the tower offers a nice view.

Hugo also had to deal with a loss, but it wasn’t his brother, as I sort of expected, but Epona. Later on, he I had to fight the axe wielding warrior and found out he’s actually Epona’s brother. I also fought Toal and Zava, but both were beaten on the first attempt. Honestly, most of the bosses after the mantis were very easy, other than the final boss, though he wasn’t much harder. I decided to grind before killing him, but as it turns out, I managed to beat him at level 51 without even using the resurrection item I got. Come to think of it, I didn’t need to use the item with Yunica either.

Anyway, as usual, the younger characters decided to stay on the surface, while the leaders transported to the shrine and then the game ended.

Ending the game unlocked Toal as a playable character as well as Hugo as a character in time attack mode. I decided to try my luck with time attack on easy and managed to beat it with Yunica. Now that this is done, what’s remaining is beating the game with Toal and then I might consider it 100% complete. Technically, that wouldn’t clear all of the achievements, but some of them are just too much of a time sink for comfort. I have other games to play to.

I’ve cleared the Silent Sands and killed the boss at the end, but not after grinding for about two levels. I decided to do this with all the future bosses. It’s much faster time wise to just grind for a bit first and then kill the boss, than to go fail about two dozen times and then resort to grinding anyway.

Blighted blood was next, and it was sort of tough from the start, meaning I’m probably underleveled, if anything, in spite of the grinding. After some exploring and training, I finally managed to push to the second save point. I got all the items I could and went to the spot where the knights get petrified. Yunica was there, so I had to go get the Black Pearl replica from Hugo’s brother. I got it and brought it to Rado’s Annex, where the goddess fused it with the Dream Idol. I then returned to the knights with Yunica and got the medallion key I needed to get to the next boss. All this took a long time, so I ended my session. I will grind tomorrow.

Silent Sands seemed a bit on the difficult side, but gaining a few levels fixed that. I got all the items, including the Evil Ring I knew I’m going to need pretty quickly. I’m now also sure that all of those secret areas marked by symbols on the floor or walls are supposed to be accessed by the magical mask you get at the start of the game. Sure, some of them can be reached by jumping, using the wind skill or double jumping, but all of them can more easily be reached via the mask.

Ys: Origin, Rado's Annex

It’s this place again!

I got to Rado’s Annex and fought the demon Zava summoned. I found it slightly harder than with Yunica, but I still managed to beat it on my first try. I got to the door and then returned to charge the Evil Ring. It seems you can’t charge it until you actually get it and talk to the people waiting at the evil door. After that was done, I spoke to the captured goddess, took the key and opened the door to the rest of the Silent Sands. Due to lots of talking, all of this took a bit long, so I ended my session.

On a side note, Hugo is a complete ass. Every time someone tries to be understanding or helpful, he just screams at them. I get that he’s supposed to be a troubled person, but it really gets annoying.

I’ve moved on through Guilty Fire, learning my fire skill, which I like a lot, and soon reaching the Devil’s Corridor. This time, the puzzle was not as simple as with Yunica, and I have to admit, I’ve used google to get past it. First of all, getting the fruit for the cute creature the name of which I forgot again involved using the mask that shows hidden paths, instead of just using my wind skill to get over the gap. Actually, come to think of it, I might have been able to use the mask with Yunica to, but just never thought of it, since whirlwind was enough. Secondly, I didn’t get the harmonica and the creature didn’t teach me a song. Instead, I got a hammer.

Ys: Origin - Hugo's Sword Scene in Guilty Fire

Yunica is the token valiant heroine, while Huge is the token misunderstood asshole.

After googling, I’ve learned I have to use the hammer on one of the pillars in the previous outside area between two floors. The pillar has a crack on it if you look close enough. Apparently, it’s through the pipes in the pillar that the toxic mist gets to devil’s corridor. Seriously, screw that puzzle. How the hell was I supposed to know that? I mean, I talked to everyone in game and no one even hinted at it to my knowledge.

Anyway, moving on, I’ve dealt with lighting the torches for the construct key and then fought the construct. The fight seemed easy enough, but I kept making silly mistakes, so it took me a few tries. With killing him, I got to the Silent Sands area and ended my session.

I’ve encountered Epona in the sunken prison again. She summoned two bat demons this time, but they turned on her, so I only had to fight one of them, while she was dealing with the other. I’m not sure if I mentioned this, but I’m playing the game at Hard difficulty this time, so the boss didn’t fall as fast as I had hoped. After a few tries, though, I did manage to kill it. After some more exploring, I’ve found my lightning skill, which drops a mine at my position. I soon also found my first topaz, allowing me to charge the skill. The charged version drops a mine that does more damage and has a larger blast radius.

With the help of the mine, I killed the centipede boss, but it was a really tough fight. I actually had to train to level 18 in order to get through it, but it was still very difficult and I barely made it after several tries. The next area, Guilty Fire, was easy to deal with due to the extra levels. Similarly to Yunica, I’ve first rescued one of the sorceresses, who seems to have a crush on Hugo. Then I met lady Feena and she was taken by the enemy. This time, though, it was the clawed man that I had to fight and lose to. There was a revelation before the fight to, but this one was much bigger than “I killed your father”, though it was still kind of expected. The clawed man is a traitor of Ys and Hugo’s brother, Toal.

Ys: Origin - Hugo vs Toal

Sibling rivalry.

After Hugo lost the fight, Toal wanted to kill him, but the rest of the rescue team got there in time to save him. Everyone teleported back to the ground level and that’s where I ended my session.

Apparently, Hugo wakes up at the other Roda tree, at the opposite side of the tower. Compared to Yunica, he seems much more confident in his abilities, to the point of arrogance. He also plays much differently. His main attack is ranged, shooting parallel missiles in the direction he’s facing. Once I use boost, he shoots 2 additional missiles, for 5 in total.

Ys: Origin - Hugo's View of the Tower

Hugo starts out at the second Roda tree.

I expected the story to be different, but it turns out it’s more or less Yunica and Hugo switching places, or at least that’s what it looks like right now. Of course, we have a different character now, so the events play out differently, but it’s not two parallel stories as I thought it would be.

I played up to the water area, the name of which I managed to forget again, and got to level 10. My first skill is again wind based, but this time, it’s a shield which blocks one or several attacks, depending on being charged or not. It also does a small amount of damage to enemies extremely close to Hugo and slows down Hugo’s falling speed. I expected a sorcerer to be more skill focused, but the way it looks like now, he uses skills more rarely than Yunica. We’ll see what the lightning skill will do.

Ys: Origin - The Darklings

The strangers are apparently called “The Darklings”

Instead of the first boss being the bat demon, I’ve fought Epona. She seemed really tough at first, because I kept trying to dodge everything and wait for my chance to attack, but eventually, I realized it’s better to use my shield constantly and just shoot her at point-blank range. She had very little health, so I killed her before she killed me.

The second boss was the same beast demon Yunica fought. The fight took longer, since Hugo does less damage, but I think it was easier overall. The shield helped me nullify the most dangerous attacks and made it much easier to climb on the bosses head when he was stunned.

Anyway, I saved my game at the start of the water area and ended my session.

As expected, the rod opened the mirror portal, and I entered the Halls of Reflection. The place was basically a teleporter maze, but not too complex in design, so I managed to get all the loot and find the exit soon enough. At the exit, Zava was waiting for me with a trap. Luckily, Roy got there in time to free me and I managed to beat her eventually. There was a huge price, though.

Ys: Origin - Yunica Death Scene


Defeating her revealed the stairs to the top level, the Devil’s Throne. It was not a very difficult place, but the enemies definitely took longer to kill. Eventually, though, I managed to clear it and get the final piece of my gear, a pair of boots with a chance to negate any attack. Once this area was cleared, I had access to the tower summit, where Dalles was waiting.

Ys: Origin - Boss Battle Against Ax Man

It’s payback time!

Before that, though, there was one more fight to win – Yunica’s father’s murderer was there. He was beaten on the first attempt. It was a close call, but thanks to one last boost attack, he well with me critically low on health. I ascended the stairs and approached the summit to face Dalles.

Thanks to all of Yunica’s friends, I managed to get past his defences and engage in combat. It was a hard fight and I lost several times, before I decided to try and get a few more levels. I returned to the Devil’s Throne and gained a single level, bringing me to 50. This was enough to finally beat the boss and finish the game, at least with Yunica. The ending sequence was bittersweet, revealing there was one more, huge price to pay, but I was done.

Ys: Origin - Yunica Ending Scene

The End

Time to try my luck with Hugo Fact now. I hear he’s a bit more difficult to play with.

I spoke to the priest first, but he didn’t know what to do. I then went to see the goddess and she told me it might be possible to remove petrification, but an extremely powerful item, the Dream Idol, is needed. Luckily, Dino might have it with him, since he was tasked with protecting it at the shrine. I went and asked him about it, and he had no issues with giving it to me. The problem was I still needed a strong source of magic to power it.

Ys: Origin - Trapped Goddess

The flow of the story makes me think the game was cut short during development. It’s either that, or just poor writing.

The copy was enough to power the Idol and I managed to remove the petrification from the knights. They all thanked me and one of them gave me the medallion I needed to move on. I teleported to the boss immediately and started the fight. It was a huge mantis insect this time, and he wasn’t too hard to beat. The catch was, it summoned a bunch of minions once it was at low health, so I had to kill as many of those as possible, or they would heal it.Since I had nothing, I continued to explore the rest of Blighted Blood, using the key I found to open a door stopping me from doing so before. I managed to get all the way to the next boss, but I couldn’t open the door, since I was missing the required medallion. I backtracked a bit and soon found an area I didn’t see before. I stumbled into Hugo there, having an argument with one of the opposing party’s members, the man with the claw weapons. After he left, Hugo gave me the Black Pearl, or actually, a weaker copy of it that the enemy was using.

Ys: Origin Insect Boss

This boss wasn’t too hard, but mostly because I was a bit overleveled.

The next area was called Demonic Core, and it had a high-tech purple theme going with it. It was pretty straightforward to explore, with not much backtracking needed. Halfway to the end of it, I encountered a huge mirror. It looked like a portal of some kind, but it was blocked by magic, so I couldn’t do anything about it.

Moments after I purified the second goddess statue of the floor, something happened with the tower. It looked like it started sprouting, for lack of a better word. Huge tendrils grew out of it and enveloped the entire Solomon Shrine. Before I could even think about it, Epona ambushed me again, saying something about how Dalles started the ritual and how the era of Darklings is about to arrive. I beat her a second time, again with ease, and found a magical rod in her possession. I’m hoping the artefact will unlock the mirror and help me continue on.

That was enough for this session, though.

I returned to the tower base and spoke to everyone, as usual when I’m stuck. One of the students told me of a secret area in one of the rooms in Silent Sands. I went there and found a demonic ring. Hoping it would help me get past the gate, I brought it to the small tower. However, the ring was depleted of its power, so it didn’t work. Hugo did notice how the design similar to some of the undead enemies in Silent Sands. Sure enough, killing a few of those charged the ring. Now the problem was, if I wear the ring, it would kill me outright, but that blue necklace I used to get past the trap in the early game stopped that from happening. I put the necklace and the ring on and approached the gate. The ring was destroyed completely, but the gate opened.

Ys: Origin - Opening the Demon Gate

Yunica has a tendency to just do things, without overthinking it.

As expected, Lady Feena was there. She was trapped under a force field, but fine otherwise, so she finally filled Yunica and the rest of the party in on what was happening. The black pearl and its magic is what created the demons. While it does give plenty of advantages to everyone in Ys, this is an unavoidable side effect of using it. The goddesses were hoping they could destroy both the pearl and the demons by bringing it to the tower. This is why it’s imperative to find and help Lady Reah.

The commander ordered the sorcerers of the party to stay and find a way to remove the force field, while the knights, including Yunica, were ordered to continue the search for Lady Reah. Before that, thanks to what she did, Yunica got promoted to a full-fledged knight.

I continued exploring the Silent Sands and soon got to the boss. This one was a plant like monster and I had a really hard time defeating it. There was so much damage coming from so many sources, I just couldn’t avoid getting hit well enough. After several failed attempts, I decided to take the easy way out and do some training before fighting the boss. Gaining a total of three levels seemed to do the trick and the boss was then easy to deal with.

Ys: Origin - Silent Sands Boss

This was an extremely annoying and difficult battle.

The next area was called Blighted Blood and it had a high-tech/corrupted nature theme. Tanks to the extra levels, the monsters there were easy to deal with, and the traps and puzzles were more skill oriented, so they weren’t hard to get past. Eventually, I’ve found the save point and encountered Lord Dalles in the next room. The rest of the knight squad used the opportunity to try and ambush him, but nothing worked. He played with us for a bit, but finally decided he was sick of it and turned everyone but Yunica to stone. After he teleported away, I contacted the tower base via the magical shell I got at the start, and was told to get advice from the priest or Lady Feena on what to do next.

I was tired, though, so I decided to end my session here.

Silent Sands, as the new area was called, was difficult at first, but after I gained a few levels, I had no problems handling it. This time, all the different areas intersected to a great degree, so there was a lot of backtracking. This was all made simpler once I’ve found an item which allowed me to double-jump. With this in hand, I’ve found some secret items, including a new pair of boots, and encountered Lady Reah (I mistook the other twin for Reah, when in fact she was Feena, so I’ll correct that in my previous logs). She had the pearl with her and told me she needs to get to the top of the tower to do something important. She was also very obviously sad, so I’m guessing she’s hiding something big.

Ys: Origin - Rado's Annex

That tower doesn’t look sinister at all.

She also said her captured sister was kept in a smaller floating tower connected to the main structure via a bridge. I soon got to that bridge and met two of the mages from the search party, as well as another mage who I’ve been hearing a lot about up until now – Hugo Fact. I believe he’s the other playable character and is supposed to be an extremely powerful magic user. He sensed something powerful and evil in the small tower so they were all hesitant to go there without knowing what it is. Since Yunica doesn’t have such issues with magic, she decided to go first. The gate sealed behind here the moment she entered, and the sorceress from the hostile party revealed herself. I believe her name is Zava, but I can’t remember right now. If you haven’t realized it by now, I’m really bad with names.

Anyway, Zava summoned a demon to attack me. The fight wasn’t too complicated. All I needed to do was to dodge everything on the ground trying to hurt me and hit it every chance I had. Since I played a lot of World of Warcraft in the past, it wasn’t hard to move out of stuff on the ground. I guess I learned something from that game. The demon was soon destroyed and Zava was about to attack me, but then a sinister sounding voice told her to retreat. She referred to the voice as Lord Dalles (or something similar – bad with names), so I’m guessing he is their actual leader.

Ys: Origin - Demon Boss Battle

Surprise, surprise! Another demon!

She retreated and the rest of the party came in after me. On the floor above, there was a demonic gate with a strong enchantment, blocking the way to Lady Feena. One of the mages said the enchantment only allows demons through, so I’ll need to trick the gate into thinking I’m a demon.