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Ys IX: Monstrum Nox (イースIX -Monstrum NOX-?) is the ninth installment of the Ys series. It features Adol Christin's adventure in the prison city of Balduq in Gllia.

Synopsis[]

Setting[]

Preface:

What is real... is defined by what is not.
Who one is... is defined by who one isn't.
To move forward, one must accept these truths.
Yes, in this prison — this cradle — my dreams and reality became one.

~ Excerpt from Prison of Balduq

Ys IX: Monstrum Nox takes place in Balduq, northeast of Esteria in the Gllia region, under Romun control. Balduq is known as "the prison city" for its large prison facility inside the town and its architecture featuring high walls as a result of being built upon the fortified era. The city is an important nexus for transportation in the region, resulting in a wide range of inns, bars and trade centers. In more recent years, public facilities such as theaters and baths have started to be developed too.

In more recent years, rumors of enigmatic individuals called "Monstrums" are said to have started appearing. The Monstrums are said to possess unique supernatural abilities, some of them seem to be helping the poor and helpless, while others are outlaws up to no good. This dichotomy has earned them both notoriety and ire from the many denizens of Balduq.

Balduq Prison, located at the edge of the city, is supposedly the largest prison facility of the Romun Empire. Originally, it was a fortress built to protect the Romun border, but it has recently been repurposed as a prison facility. Featuring only one entrance through a drawbridge, and surrounded by steep rock walls and deep moats, it is said to be inescapable. The townsfolk do not hold the prison facility in high regard, as the facility is also used to detain critics of the empire and political prisoners.

Main Characters[]

Main article: Ys IX: Monstrum Nox/Characters
  • Adol Christin / Crimson King: A peerless adventurer whose more than one-hundred travelogues document his journeys for future generations to discover. As a key suspect in the disappearance of the Romun Fleet on the Atlas Ocean, Adol was apprehended by Romun soldiers at the site of his next adventure: the Prison City of Balduq. While attempting to escape incarceration, he came across a mysterious woman with a gun, setting into motion his involvement in the strange happenings of the Prison City and its Monstrums.
  • White Cat: She fancies herself a chivalrous thief, stealing from the wealthy and giving to the Shantytown, where the poorest in Balduq reside. She makes frequent contact with the city's denizens, and is often seen making ostentatious public displays throughout town. Her nimble, cat-like physique makes her particularly suited for speedy, agile attacks.
  • Hawk: Known in Balduq as the "Feral Hawk," a maniac who tests his skills by assaulting others in the name of "divine retribution." A vicious drinker with a penchant for violence, the Hawk enjoys instigating fights with others, and is prone to losing his temper over minor squabbles. He is the least cooperative of the Monstrums, and has proven to be a handful even for them.
  • Doll: A Monstrum with the appearance of a flawlessly crafted antique doll. She possesses the ability to perceive that which normal humans cannot. The Doll conducts herself in battle with a manner one could only describe as uncanny, and her origins are a mystery to even her fellow Monstrums. Her encounter with Adol seems to not be without some sort of purpose...
  • Raging Bull: She specializes in pure, raw power. A dynamo in battle, she wields an enormous war hammer to smite her foes. Unlike the White Cat and the Hawk, the Raging Bull is far more down-to-earth, and prefers mediating the Monstrums' quarrels to involving herself in criminal activity. Rumors state that she has family living within the Prison City. Whether that's true or not remains to be seen.
  • Renegade: A Monstrum whose ragged vestments and unconventional appearance lend him his name. An ardent pessimist, the Renegade rarely shows himself in public. As such, few in Balduq can profess to have ever actually seen him. He seems to be very knowledgeable about the history of Gllia, as well as the Prison City of Balduq itself...

Gameplay[]

Battle[]

Ys IX: Monstrum Nox largely builds on the gameplay foundation of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, where players control multiple main characters that can be switched between on-the-fly, each with their own play styles and unique skills.

  • Skills: Consume SP (Skill Points) to unleash a character's unique skill attacks. SP will restore when you land hits on enemies, but it can also quickly regenerate while not attacking. Later in the game, Valkyrie Hammer can also be used to restore SP.
  • Boosting: A returning mechanic from Ys: The Oath in Felghana and Ys Origin. It can be activated once the Boost Gauge is at least half-way full, and continuously drains with time. In addition to increasing damage dealt and reducing damage taken, Boosting also increases attack and movement speeds, allowing for bigger and better combos to be performed.
  • EXTRA Skills: Can only be activated during Boost mode. EXTRA Skills boast tremendous power and massive ranges of effect, but they will instantly deactivate Boost mode.

Difficulty[]

When the player begins a new game, the difficulty can be selected from "Easy," "Normal," "Hard," "Nightmare," "Inferno," or "Lunatic." The difficulty can be changed at any time. The difficulty statistics are:

Variables Easy Normal Hard Nightmare Inferno[1]
Damage Received x0.5 x1.0 x1.75 x3.0 x5.25
Damage Dealt x1.56 x1.0 x.0.95 x0.82 x0.82
Stun Value x1.2 x1.0 x0.85 x0.4 x0.4
SP Recovery x1.5 x1.0 x1.0 x1.0 x1.0
Boost Refill x1.5 x1.0 x0.8 x0.5 x0.5
EXP Gained x1.5 x1.0 x0.75 x0.5 x0.5
  • [1] Lunatic has the same multipliers as Inferno, but damage received is doubled.

Systems[]

  • Monstrum Gifts: The supernatural powers of the Monstrums, called Gifts. Each Monstrum has their own unique Gift, they can be activated anywhere in the city, field, or dungeon, and they're useful not only for battling enemies, but also for clearing dungeons and exploring the city. As you gain the cooperation of the Monstrums that appear in Balduq, the number of different abilities you can activate will increase.
Monstrum Gift Function Meter Exhaust[4]
Crimson King Crimson Line Fly to the nearest pre-determined spot 10% per use
75% on enemies
White Cat Heaven's Run Run up vertical walls 30% per second
Hawk Hunter's Descent Glide across a short distance 20% per second
Doll Third Eye See hidden traces or keypoints 2% per second
Raging Bull Valkyrie Hammer Break through cracked walls
Break defending enemies
40% per use
Renegade Shadow Dive Go under passages too low to enter
Avoid detection
17.5% per second
  • Sacramentals: Special items known as Sacramentals can be obtained through exploring or when certain conditions are met. By equipping Sacramentals, the entire party will receive a special benefit that can greatly aid during combat or traversal.
  • Azure Petals: Blue flower petals scattered throughout Balduq are said to bring fortune and joy to those who gather them. Deliver them to Marguerite in the city to earn various rewards. For some reason, Marguerite's manner of speech seems to change upon reaching certain milestones.
  • Graffiti: Old scrawlings found in various locations throughout Balduq. Examine and report them to Professor Vallin, the anthropologist, to earn various rewards. Strangely, in addition to offering valuable insights on the past, certain special graffiti will bolster the Monstrums' stats when examined.
  • Grimwald Nox: The Grimwald Nox is an alternate dimension in which the Monstrums gather to fend off countless hordes of evil spirits, known as Lemures. Eradicating the Lemures and dispelling the Grimwald Nox will release various barriers placed throughout Balduq, allowing you to explore more locations throughout town.
  • Connection with other games: If the player has a save file of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana or Ys: Memories of Celceta, they can receive an in-game bonus for each save they have in their system. Nintendo Switch version players can receive both bonuses with a save file of Ys VIII only. Each of these games don't need to be completed for the bonus, only the save file on the system is required.
Item Received Stats Required Save File
Old Seal Ring Old Seal Ring STR/DEF +15
Critical Rate +30%
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
Celcetan Wreath Celcetan Wreath DEF +10, HP +200
Resist Curse
Ys: Memories of Celceta

Downloadable Content[]

There is a variety of paid cosmetic DLC such as costumes and attachments.

Development[]

2017[]

Nihon Falcom president Toshihiro Kondo stated that he wanted the next Ys game to lean more towards the adventure genre, with Dana's arc in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana as a hint.[5] In another interview, Kondo said that he wanted to take the new axis of direction and movement introduced in Ys VIII to the next level, citing examples such as an air dash or a hook shot.[6]

2018[]

In an interview with French website ActuGaming, Toshihiro Kondo stated that the next Ys game will not be a remake but a brand new title, and is set after the events of Ys VIII.[7]

Teaser site image

On December 5, Falcom launched a teaser website for Project N.O.X. The website featured a countdown that ended on December 19, the text "I had a Dream, found out the Truth in a prison called 'cradle'...", and a teaser image.[8]

On December 19, Ys IX: Monstrum Nox was revealed for PlayStation 4 during Falcom's shareholders meeting, scheduled for release in 2019.[9]

2019[]

On March 9th, during a stage event at PlayStation Festa, Falcom president Toshihiro Kondo shared that Ys IX will be using motion capture in some areas of the game.[10]

2021[]

On July 6th, Peter "Durante" Thoman released an overview of some of the PC-specific optimization and features in Ys IX's PC port.[11]

Release[]

Ys IX: Monstrum Nox released in Japan for PlayStation 4 on September 26, 2019. A Traditional Chinese and Korean localization of the game released February 6, 2020 in Asia, published by Clouded Leopard Entertainment.

On June 23, 2020, in the New Game+ Expo 2020 Showcase, it was announced that Ys IX would be released on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC in the west with the release window of 2021, published by NIS America with English and French localizations.[12] The PlayStation 4 version was released early February 2021, whereas the PC and Switch versions released on July 6th.

The PC and Nintendo Switch versions were developed by Engine Software and PH3 Games.

On January 17th 2022, the PC version of Ys IX was updated to add a local co-op mode.[13]

Related Media[]

Reception[]

Ys IX: Monstrum Nox received "generally favorable" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic, with an 80% for the PlayStation 4 version,[14] while the Nintendo Switch version received a 75%.[15]

Sales[]

The game sold 45,378 retail copies during its launch week in Japan on PlayStation 4,[16] and 7,324 copies on Nintendo Switch.[17] In Spain, the game sold out with over 400 copies distributed during its launch week.[18]

Gallery[]

Packaging[]

Key Visuals[]

Concept Art[]

Promotional Screenshots[]

Trivia[]

  • Ys IX is the first Ys game developed primarily for a home console since Ys V: Kefin, Lost Kingdom of Sand on the Super Famicom in 1995.
  • Ys IX pokes fun at how Adol "loses" all artifacts from previous games, and his ability to have "accidents" with boats.

References[]

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