Ys Origin is a game that keeps growing. You begin with two possible heroes. You can go through the story as Yunica or Hugo, each one having a unique storyline and perspective on the events happening in Darm Tower. But, this isn’t a game you just go through once. You have to go through it multiple times to really understand what’s happening and see how Ys Origin’s events influence all previous Ys games. Fortunately, everything about this game is designed to encourage multiple playthroughs.
The main thing being The Claw. The Claw is probably Ys Origin’s worst kept secret. He’s the third character and the one many would consider the true and most essential route through the game. Now, the PlayStation 4 version of the game is a little different than the one you may have gone through on Steam. The PC version from 2012 only required you to beat the game with either Yunica or Hugo to unlock him. On the PlayStation 4, you need to beat Ys Origin with both Yunica and Hugo to open up The Claw as a third option. This harkens back to the original PC release. While it means more work, it also means you’re really better prepared to appreciate The Claw’s story.
It’s once you get through Ys Origin with all three characters that even more opportunities open up. To start, you’ll be able to have 10,000 SP bonus when you begin a new game. You’ll also open up the Arena and Time Attack modes. Time Attack is the Boss Rush mode. You can time yourself fighting ant boss or every boss, trying to get through it as quickly as possible. Arena has seven different stages, though you only start with one. Each one has you trying to fight through and survive waves of enemies in exchange for SP. Each one is designed to help you hone your skills and get better at the game, so if you do go through again, you can find everything and defeat all enemies as quickly as possible.
That extra SP is used for the additional unlockables. See, you can not only purchase extra Arena stages in Ys Origin, it is also possible to purchase additional characters. The Ys: The Ark of Napishtim and Ys: The Oath in Felghana versions of Adol are both available and can be used in the Arena stages once purchased. There are also Extra versions of all three main characters that can used every possible mode. These characters have slightly stronger elemental attacks than normal, with extra bonuses and ranges.
The very last few bits of Ys Origin content only come from playing through the game repeatedly. Once you get everything possible from playing the Arena, it’s time to head back into the main game. If you manage to beat the campaign with each normal and extra version of the three heroes on Nightmare, the hardest difficulty level, you can access the final Arena stage and acquire a school uniform for Yunica. The seventh Arena stage needs to be the first of the final two items to be unlocked, and the outfit will be available after. Naturally, the Arena stage is the most difficult one, but the extra costume is completely decorative and offers no additional perks.
Ys Origin is an amazing adventure. It’s the sort of game you’d want to go through multiple times so you can experience everything. Fortunately, there’s enough reason here to keep going through it. It’s only after beating it at least twice that The Claw appears as a playable character. Then, you only get the extra modes after you go through his storyline too. It’s almost like the game isn’t satisfied unless it does everything possible to keep you entertained, and all these little extras provide the motivation you need to always return to the title.
Ys Origin is now available for the PlayStation 4. It will come to the PlayStation Vita on May 30, 2017.