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Classic action-RPG Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim journeys to Windows PC via Steam next week

Last week, we reviewed a Steam game called Gurumin: a Monstrous Adventure from Nihon Falcom, creators of the action-RPG series Ys. Although Ys is a long-running and beloved series among old-school gamers, many Xbox players are unlikely to be familiar with it. Newer entries have largely appeared on PlayStation consoles and portables. Luckily, four Ys games are available on Windows PCs via Steam.

Windows gamers now have another Ys to look forward to, as XSEED Games has announced that Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim will be coming to Steam and GOG.com. We don't have long to wait either. The Ark of Napishtim will launch on April 28th. With several graphical enhancements and an all-new translation, this is one game that fans of classic action-RPGs won't want to miss.

Read on for our full preview with trailer, screenshots, and concept art!

A quick history of Ys on English consoles

The very first Ys game debuted on Japanese PCs way back in 1987. In America, it was released on the Sega Master System and eventually the Turbografx CD (bundled with Ys II). Nintendo DS and PSP ports would follow.

The first game introduced the series' primary protagonist, a red-haired adventurer named Adol Cristin. His initial quest was to discovered what happened to the ancient land of Ys, a place of powerful sorcery and immortal goddesses. In the second game, Adol reaches Ys and attempts to restore the goddesses to power. The best version of these two titles is Ys I & II Chronicles+ on Steam.

Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim character art

After the release of Ys III on Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, and Turbografx CD, the Ys series would not see another English release until Ys: The Ark of Napishtim arrived on PlayStation 2 and PSP in 2007. Napishtim became the first 3D game in the series, a trend followed by all subsequent releases. I very much enjoyed playing it between classes back in college!

Other games followed, including Ys: The Oath in Felghana and Ys 7 on PSP, and Ys: Memories in Celceta on PlayStation Vita. Plus several Steam releases, including the upcoming enhanced version of Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim.

Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim for Steam

The Ark of Napishtim

In this Ys adventure, Adol finds himself traveling on a ship when it suffers an attack from an aggressive military fleet. Our hero's ship turns towards unknown waters. A large storm catches the ship, throwing Adol overboard. He awakens on an island surrounded by the mysterious Canaan Vortex.

Because of the Vortex, few visitors from the outside world have ever reached the island. An elven race called the Rehda rescue Adol, although they distrust him. Another group of humans have colonized the opposite side of the island, where they scavenge and destroy the local ruins.

Soon a third faction enters the fray when the Romun army that attacked Adol's ship reaches the island. They seek the legendary Ark of Napishtim, which has the power to control the weather. Our hero will have to stop their plots and restore peace to the island before he can escape!

Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim for Steam

Ys VI is an action RPG in which Adol runs through forests, ruins, and other environments. He can slash with swords, jump, and use magic bestowed by the artifacts he finds. Jumping and dashing come in handy, as many chests with important items require platforming to reach.

Adol will explore intricate dungeons and fight massive polygonal boss monsters. The environments are also 3D, whereas the hero and non-boss characters are rendered sprites. Much like Gurumin, the soundtrack is fantastic (which you can hear in the announcement trailer included in this article).

Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim for Steam

New, improved, and coming soon

Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim originally debuted several years ago, so it's not the most impressive looking game you'll see. But American publisher XSEED has made several improvements to the original Japanese PC version that improve the experience for modern Windows gamers:

  • Brand new translation
  • Support for high graphic resolutions (presumably 1080p)
  • True widescreen support
  • Full controller support
  • New warp points that reduce the need for backtracking (yes!)
  • New Catastrophe difficulty level: Healing items can't be purchased or stored, so be careful!
  • Unconfirmed, but likely: Steam Cloud support and Achievements

Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim for Steam

The Ark of Napishtim has extremely low recommended specs – it can run with only 1 GB of RAM but works best with 2 GB, and requires 2GB of storage space. Practically any Windows 8 tablet or PC should be able to run it.

We'll test Ys VI with the original Surface Pro when it launches on Tuesday, April 28. The game will cost $19.99/£13.99, but during launch week you'll be able to get it for 15 percent off.

In the meantime, you can catch up on the Ys series with the following Steam games:

  • Ys I & II Chronicles – Windows – $14.99 – Steam Link
  • Ys: The Oath in Felghana (Ys III) – Windows – $14.99 – Steam Link
  • Ys Origin (series prequel) – Windows – $19.99 – Steam Link

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

25 Comments
  • Looking forward to the release, the artwork of the characters looks great.... I know what I will be doing on April 28.
  • Windows & Steam together is superior duo! Gabe Newell was making the first windows OS?
  • I don't like them porting to Linux and steamOS. Ruins game quality and less Windows exclusive titles.
  • Great news! Love this series. Hopefully they'll consider tweaking the horrendous voice acting.
  • The PSP version didn't have voice acting, but the PS2 version did. Not sure whether or not this one will have any.
  • I'd rather they have no voice acting over the voices they used on the PS2 version. It was the only thing that marred the experience of an otherwise fantastic game.
  • Dude LOL? Ps2 version has both JPN Audio and (Crap) English !   There is "how to" activate within game JPN voices in it.Just google a bit ..
  • Only the PS2 version has voice-acting. The PC version of Ys VI has no voice-acting whatsoever -- same with the other PC Ys games (save for the brief French-language opening scene in Ys Origin, which was redubbed with an actual French-speaker).
  • Kind of a shame! I loved the voice acting in Ys I & II on Turbografx CD (never played the CD version of III).
  • Xbox One. Please. Pretty.
  • Extremely unlikely to happen, I'm afraid. This is a Japanese-developed game, and originated as a PC title in Japan in 2003 before being ported to the then-popular PS2 and PSP. We're only publishing the already-existing PC version (albeit with some major improvements and additions), but we don't have the means to create a whole new port from scratch -- that would be far beyond our budget and manpower, and would require programmers familiar with Xbox One hardware and Microsoft programming requirements, as well as an Xbox One dev kit, none of which come cheap. And Falcom, the developers, are highly unlikely to support the Xbox One due to the general poor reception Microsoft consoles have had in that country.
  • RPG with platforming sounds fun
  • Still have my UMD of this game.
    So far I completed YS Origins, Oath in felghana, Ark of napishtim. As for Seven I lost the save at the final boss. I they consider making a windows phone port I would give another run. Great series
  • Still need to play the first two on steam.  
  • Streamed The Oath in Felghana on Twitch awhile back.  The game was quite fun and had interesting characters.  It should be a good edition to the Steam library.
  • Those ears
  • I thought the same thing.
  • This will be a great edition to Steam! I remember playing this on my PS2: great game, but it definitely could be longer. When the Asus T100 chi drops, this will probably be the first game I download. It would be cool if a touch-optimized version was made available in the Windows Store.
  • Man the art is frigging gorgeous in this game, will buy. Also I hope it pushes much higher than 1080p which is a joke resolution for pc gaming.
  • Super high resolution matters a bit less when the assets are natively lower resolution - but it's always nice to have the higher resolution support, regardless.
  • Yeah, it's tricky when dealing with sprite's especially, but still would look amazing running at the native res on my surface.
  • I have Ys Memories of Celceta are the other games better? I never knew this was a full series.
  • Celceta is widely regarded as the best in the series, but they're all good.
  • Oh really? Now I feel bad for not finishing it.
  • This makes me want to break out my TurboDuo and play Ys Book I & II, Ys III: Wanders from Ys and Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys.