Ys: The Oath In Felghana – My Two Trips Through Tigray Quarry

By Spencer . October 22, 2010 . 7:37pm

Prologue novella 2

Before firing up Ys: The Oath in Felghana, I plugged in my Super Nintendo and played through the opening of Ys III: Wanderers From Ys. As you may recall, The Oath in Felghana is a re-imagining of Wanderers From Ys. While both games follow Adol and Dogi as they return Redmont, Ys: The Oath in Felghana is played from a top down perspective instead of the Zelda II-esque Ys III. Also, Adol doesn’t talk in Oath. A narrator fills in when Adol needs to introduce himself and confirm that he’s ready to save the mayor.


On their return to Dogi’s home village, a pack of monsters attack the duo. In the Wanderers, this fight is part of cutscene. In Ys: The Oath in Felghana its a tutorial where Adol rushes to Elena’s rescue. A menu pops up and explains Adol has a one button combo system and a couple of jumping attacks. Whether Adol slashes or downward thrusts depends when you hit the attack button during the jump.


Dialogue - Dogi - Covered in monster gore


Ys: The Oath in Felghana is fast paced. Compared to other action RPGs, Adol flies over ground and enemies will lunge at him. Since Ys: The Oath in Felghana is played in a top-down perspective it’s possible to get surrounded. Burst comes in handy here. If your burst meter is full Adol can activate burst mode to reduce damage and hit enemies harder.


The party returns to Redmont after saving Elena. She returns to her home in the corner while Dogi and Adol rest in a separate house for the night. Dogi takes off for the mountains in the morning leaving Adol alone. In both games an injured miner crawls back to Redmont informing Adol (and the player) the mayor is still trapped inside. Without hesitation, Adol runs to the quarry. Actually, you can say "no", but that wouldn’t be very adventurer-like would it?


While Wanderers from Ys has a map that teleports Adol to the right location, Oath in Felghana has an overworld with monsters to explore. Being the first dungeon, Tigray Quarry is only a few screens away. Monsters greet Adol when he steps inside and just like the side-scrolling Super Nintendo game there are flying creatures pester players too. One iconic part of Tigray Quarry is a huge chasm. You can take the stairs and walk safely down fighting brutes along the way or jump off a broken staircase all the way to the bottom. I always leaped in the pit in the Super Nintendo game. So, I’m glad to say you can do the same thing in Ys: The Oath in Felghana.


Action - Tigray Quarry 2


The level design and layout of Tigary Quarry felt quite familiar in Oath, except that enemies are more aggressive. Before monsters body slam Adol, they flash giving players a warning to jump away or cancel their attack with a combo. Monsters also explode in a pool of body parts and orbs after defeating them. While the limbs flicker out of existence, the orbs play an important role in the game. Grab these to temporarily boost Adol’s strength, defense, and magic recovery rate. Since buffs only last for a fixed amount of time, the system encourages players to hunt down more enemies so they can take advantage of the stat boosts and collect more orbs. Slaying monsters is also the main way for Adol to heal. Some enemies drop HP restoring healing herbs.


Since Ys: The Oath in Felghana doesn’t have the ring system I ran straight to the boss, ignoring the storehouse key I got from a miner. In Wanderers From Ys, Adol has to jump over and duck under wind blades to get close to the boss. All you need to do is evade and jump slash to defeat her. This strategy failed miserably in Ys: The Oath in Felghana. There are still wind blades to dodge (one is wide so you have to jump over it, the other is tall so you have to sidestep it), but you can’t hit Ellefale, the Azure Queen of Death with your sword. I died and was given an option to retry the boss battle (I did) or go to the last check point and leave.


first boss 2 

I backtracked to the storehouse to fight Dulan who attacks Adol with flying swords. He wraps himself with a shield while casting so Adol has to focus on dodging. After three rounds of sword attacks, some that lock-on-lite to Adol, he drops his guard just long enough for a short combo. Then he teleports away. Learning these patterns is critical in Ys: The Oath in Felghana because you only have one life bar for each boss fight. Enemies don’t drop herbs and Adol can’t come into a fight wearing a cure ring. There is an expensive pendant that can bring him back to life once, though.


Once Dulan fell I received a fire bracelet that gave Adol his first ranged attack – a fireball. Now I had what I needed to defeat Ellefale. Fireballs eventually took Ellefale down, but since magic recharges slowly some parts of the battle were just dodging wind blades. To throw players off, Ellefale changes her pattern when she’s low on HP adding more moves (like an Adol chasing cyclone) and damaging attacks. A dozen more fireballs after the pattern change and Ellefale was finally defeated. The mayor was saved, I met Chester, and returned to Redmont.

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  • Really can’t fricking wait for this, needs to be November 2nd now.
    Just paid off my pre-order completely, so all I need to do is pick up my premium edition when it releases.

  • cmurph666

    I can’t wait to actually start these games some day.

    Still waiting for that I & II remake.

  • “Before firing up Ys: The Oath in Felghana, I plugged in my Super Nintendo and played through the opening of Ys III: Wanderers From Ys”

    My deepest apologies. Glad you liked Oath though

  • Just reading this makes me want to avoid this game like a plague. It sounds rather extremely brutal and difficult. One health bar on a boss and no recovery tools? Thats too difficult

    • http://cheberet.com/hugeguts.jpg
      You just gotta be more like this guy. This game brings you back to a time when games were about using skill to beat bosses, it’s pretty wonderful.

      • Thats just plain awful. Im so used to stocking up on tons of healing items for bosses in RPGs that it just becomes more of a fight of endurance than a fight of “figuring out the patterns”. I would feel so last at each fight, not even a guide would be beneficial I think.

        • It’s… seriously not THAT bad.

        • Actually… I was using that more for the title than the article itself. =3 I couldn’t simply just say those words and leave everyone saying “Huh?”

        • Its like a Megaman Boss, you come in and the battle is straight one on one. Learn the boss pattern, and you can take them down. The boss fights are probably the greatest thing in this Ys game. Too bad you if you need everything handed to you mind as well play some RPG in easy mode.

    • Exkaiser

      There’s an Easy Mode.But, you know, in most games you only have a single life bar.

      Wait a second, weren’t you going to play Zettai Hero Project? That game’s gonna be tough, too!

      • Ereek

        I can’t even imagine he will enjoy a roguelike if he thinks Ys games are too hard. Well, I suppose there’s no other way to learn but from experience.

        I, for one, plan on getting both.

        • Exkaiser

          I’d really like to get both, but I’m tight on cash, and I’ve already played Oath in Felghana!

          Great game, though. Really hope it sells well over here, since Ys Seven was fairly well-received.

      • Easy mode or not, if theres no way to use healing items in battle than I will just feel severely disadvantaged. That is like if someone came up to you during some sporting event and took away your playbook, one would feel severely disadvantaged because their vital tool to winning has been removed from their very hands.

        ZHP, the article here didnt make it out to seem like it was brutal in difficulty or had limitations placed on it. Im quite sure I can manage to get through it, even if it leaves me in tears and agony if its on the challenging side.

        • RPGRocker

          Give it a shot. I think you’ll find that the process of stocking up on healing items becomes very monotonous. Healing items are just a crutch for lack of player skill. When you finish Oath in Felghana’s bossfights, you’ll know that you did so on skill alone, and you’ll feel like a total badass when you’re victorious.

        • Exkaiser

          But it’s not a vital tool to winning because boss battles in Oath in Felghana don’t need you to have more than one life bar. Especially since they only have a single life bar themselves. Unlike the bosses in some action RPGs that take an extremely long time to kill but pose very little threat, in this game they go down quicker and put up a strong fight.

          It’s not an endurance match, it’s a fight to the death! Seriously, it’s not that hard. Certainly, the boss battles are harder than the dungeons, but they’re completely doable in one life, even on Hard Mode. It really isn’t brutal at all.

          ZHP is a roguelike. You should expect a brutal difficulty! Anything less is just not… roguish.

          It just seems like you’re saying two completely opposite things at the same time. You’re willing to slog through ZHP despite the difficulty, even if it leaves you in tears, but balk at the idea of boss battles that require finesse in Oath in Felghana?

          • Well we shall see. The article here didnt make ZHP seem that difficult to be honest. This Oath in Felghana article, seems to state right out the back that it is difficult with that one life bar no healing items handicap.

            In the case of Oath in Felghana, maybe I will find a guide or FAQ that covers easy mode and tells the exact strategy to be employed for the bosses. If they have it nicely detailed with great instructions then it wouldnt be difficult at all, I think. I wouldnt have to think of strategies or waste valuable time analyzing the patterns of the bosses, I would know exactly where to go, and such. Hm that sounds like a great plan!

          • Feynman

            “…wouldnt have to think of strategies or waste valuable time analyzing the patterns of the bosses?”

            “…know exactly where to go?”

            Why do you even want to play this game in the first place if your idea of a good time is a game that requires absolutely zero thought, effort, or skill?

          • Exkaiser

            You’d be wasting valuable time looking up a FAQ instead of just fighting the bosses yourself. Seriously, it’s not that hard.

          • To quote a certain distant relative of mine, “Don’t think. Feel.”

        • neo_firenze

          This is a game where it really doesn’t matter whether you have healing items. If you don’t have have your strategy down, you’re gonna get stomped – healing items or not. Once you do learn boss patterns, it’s not that hard.

          Besides, this “one life bar and no healing items” is just arbitrary stuff. Which is easier?
          1) A game where you have a 500hp life bar and can use potions that heal you for 50hp (and you can carry up to 10 potions)
          2) A game where you have a 1000hp life bar and no potions

          That’s the point here… it’s not about whether you have some amount of items, it’s about the balance of the game. Falcom is pretty thoughtful and puts a lot of care into getting that balance right – hard enough to not be stupidly easy (original version of Ys V being a notable exception), but not so hard that it’s frustrating.

          Also, yes, ZHP looks like it’s gonna be a hell of a lot harder than Felghana.

    • After a few deaths, Oath gives you an option to drop the difficulty level down. You can start on an easier mode too.

    • Feynman

      Too difficult? Not at all. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, that’s how every game was. You learned enemy patterns and developed strategies to deal with them, or you died. Heck, in Oath, if you die against the boss you can retry right from the start of the fight, so you don’t even have to spend time reaching the boss again.It’s kind of sad to see how nowadays so many people consider anything they can’t brute force their way through the first time to be “too difficult.”

      • Exkaiser

        And retrying is really, really quick. On the PC version, it drops you back into the action in a second, and Ys Seven for the PSP is similarly speedy.

    • Just try out Ys 7 first before Oath in Felghana. If you think that Ys 7 is brutal, then sorry, this game is definitely not for you..

  • Extra_Life

    I preordered this last week, really can’t wait for it. Looking forward to that great Ys atmosphere, the challenge, the story. It feels a bit odd getting Ys 7, then 3, then 1 and 2 next year (it even looks like the boxes will spell ‘Ys’ when sat next to each in reverse chronology), but it is great that we’re getting any of them at all.

  • Exkaiser

    Is it wrong that Adol’s scarf is one of my favorite things about Oath? I just think it gives him a nice decorative element while still retaining his very down-to-earth design. That, and I love scarves.

    • Bruce

      you should check shinobi (ps2) he knows how to wear a scarf XD

      • Exkaiser

        I love Hotsuma’s scarf! It’s really quite striking.

        Then again, I loved Shinobi in general. And to think, I picked it up just because Joe Musashi shows up as an unlockable!

  • neo_firenze

    I kinda want Spencer to just shut up, because I’m getting realllly jealous about now. ;) Hmmm… I haven’t pre-ordered yet though, I think I’ll go out and do that right now! The LE of course, since Falcom soundtracks are awesome.

    Another thought… what’s Falcom up to now??? Now that Zero no Kiseki is out in Japan (pleasepleaseplease get localized after Xseed does the Sora no Kiseki trilogy), they don’t have anything announced. So what’s next? Ys Origin PSP? A Ys IV or V remake a la Oath or the numerous 1&2 remakes? Something brand new? Sorcerian revival? I’m really getting curious.

  • falcomgamefan

    Man, this game doesn’t take that much skill and it’s more like running back and forth and back and forth through the same boring levels to pick up stuff… Play some of the older NES games like Ninja Gaiden or Castlevania and that’s where it’s at as far as difficulty go. Hell, Oath in Felghana starts only docking you like 1 H.P. when your levels get high enough. That’s not skill, that’s grinding. Ryu Hayabusa just loses more and more life and his life bar never increases as the game progresses. I think a bunch of people are going to be pissed when they see what they wasted 40 bucks on with this lame excuse for an action-RPG. Cliche story, boring game mechanics, and yeah, that part about Adol not talking anymore like he should is like “WTF?” for me. Seriously, I played this game on the PC a bunch and saw it on the PSP and it’s the same old crap with voice acting now. I’d rather have a new game like Zero no Kiseki way over these old Ys ports and the damn Trails in the Sky games.

    The ring system in the old version kicked ass and was just so useful. Now, with Felghana, we’ve got a bunch of power up drops and items we can’t even use in boss battles (which makes the game kind of stupid considering that all the power up drops and stuff really aren’t needed for the regular enemies since they’re pretty chump easy to begin with).

    • Then… don’t grind?

      “Man this marathon was too easy because I was in a car the whole time!”

    • You sound like megalink.

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