Ys VIII: Lacrimosa Of Dana Tries Its Best To Make People Care About Dana

By Jenni . September 11, 2017 . 12:00pm

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Adol isn’t the only lead in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana. While there have been multiple games where he’s shared the spotlight with some more minor characters, this installment has him sharing top billing with a new character. Dana is a young, blue-haired woman who seems to be just as strong and awe-inspiring as the adventurer we’ve come to know and love. But, she’s also a completely new person tossed in among recognizable faces like Adol and Dogi. Fortunately, Nihon Falcom does its best to try and make her feel important, so people actually care about this heroine.


People’s first encounters with Dana are via vague dreams. Not long after starting Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, Adol begins having dreams about her. The first one is subtle and tugs at players’ emotions. In this first segment, we see her taken away from everything she knows. She possesses a gift and is chosen, which involves her leaving her father and home, going into the keeping of people who will encourage these gifts. It feels as though it is executed in a way that makes her seem as sympathetic as the people who are trapped on Seiren Island. We feel for her as much as we do them, as both are placed in circumstances beyond their control.


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Dana is never set up to be a replacement for Adol, another feature that makes her sudden inclusion and headlining in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana easier to bear. She comes to us in dreams. Both Adol and the player are learning about her experiences and life between important chapters of his story. She is there to provide a sense of balance. Her attacks are slash attacks with similar range and features. She goes through dungeons that are reminiscent of the ones Adol experienced in earlier Ys. There’s a familiarity to her role as a chosen hero, as we have followed Adol through similar situations where a great destiny was thrust upon him.


The placement of Dana’s dream segments end up being rather ingenious. Yes, it takes you away from the the actions of Adol and his party. We are forced to temporarily give up that to which we have become accustomed. But, there is a positive to this. Through Dana, we get to experience other locations that we wouldn’t get to see because Adol and his allies are trapped on Seiren. It expands our horizons. I don’t want to spoil exactly what sorts of spaces we will see yet, since Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana isn’t yet available, but it adds to the game’s diversity. Dana’s civilization is more advanced, and it shows when we are able to explore these additional areas.


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Finally, there’s her appearance. Dana looks very nostalgic. People who played the original Ys games, or more recently Ys Origin, will note how her character desig calls to mind Feena and Reah. She has long, blue hair, just like the twin goddesses. Though, that does change when her attribute changes. She could even be seen as a fan-service character, as her outfit is quite intricate and appealing, she has a personality that is easy to root for, and has a sense of duty and loyalty that makes her admirable.


Dana leaves quite a mark on Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana. The heroine is an admirable, attractive, and sympathetic woman whose appearance may call to mind earlier Ys leads. Her segments add a bit of diversity to the game, as they give us new areas in some occasionally unique spaces to explore after being trapped on a deserted island. Her story adds intrigue and additional information to Adol’s story.


Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana will come to the PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and PC in North America on September 12, 2017, followed by a September 15, 2017 release in Europe.

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