Ys I

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This page is for the newer versions of Ys I, from Eternal to Chronicles+. The DS and PS2 versions aren't discussed here, as they contain extra elements of gameplay not present in these versions. This info is meant for an any%, Easy difficulty run.

Version Differences

While all of these versions share the exact same core gameplay, there are still a few small differences to take into account if trying to directly compare runs of one another.

Eternal, 1998 (PC, Japanese only)

Mostly the same as Complete, but is considered inferior for speedrunning purposes, mostly due to the higher cost of certain items (for instance, Wings cost 2,000 gold).

Eternal does actually let you reasonably deal with Jenocres a little sooner compared to other versions (level 3 with Long Sword, 4 with Short Sword), but in addition to the Minea Plains/Mountain enemies giving less EXP in this version, the Luta Gemma sidequest awards no EXP. And while the lowest difficulty setting is "Easy", it's the equivalent to "Normal" in Complete and Chronicles / Chronicles+. Even so, under-leveled Jenocres is probably still the fastest way of dealing with him.

In addition, using a Wing to skip the item jingle when collecting certain items doesn't work in this version, as the Wing animation takes place before the item is placed in your inventory.

For bosses, you can in most cases move around even as they make their entrance, but even though you can reach Vagullion in time, he has invulnerability as soon as he appears.

Finally, the Roda Seed actually doesn't need to be eaten in this version to obtain the Silver Sword, but you still need to have found it first. Consequently, the scene where you get the Silver Sword can neither be skipped or sped up in this version.

Complete, 2001 (PC, Japanese with unofficial English patch)

Faster than Chronicles+, but is believed to be slightly slower than the Japanese PC version of Chronicles; however, more testing is required at this time.

This version only allows you to double-tap to clear the text boxes fast; holding cancel to further speed up the process didn't exist until Chronicles / +. It's believed that Complete still has the advantage over Chronicles+ in this instance, due to the text being in English for Chronicles +. However, when compared to Japanese PC Chronicles, the text speed is slower, because both games are in Japanese, but only Chronicles can further speed it up via holding cancel.

In this version, you are also allowed to use the Wing as you're opening chests. Unlike Eternal, you are given the item by doing this, and you don't need to wait for the jingle to complete before doing so, which saves ~4s. Naturally, this is only useful for a select few items, not every chest.

Like Eternal, for bosses you are free to move around as they appear, but in this version, you can actually score a hit on Vagullion right away.

For the Roda Seed, you do need to have eaten it to obtain the Silver Sword. However, due to a glitch, it is faster to talk to the tree before doing so, eat it directly afterwards, and talk to the Roda Tree again. Doing so will for some reason speed up the text as if you had done the scene once before, which saves ~10s.

Chronicles, 2009 (PC, Japanese only) and Chronicles, 2011 (PSP, Japanese and English)

The Japanese PC version of Chronicles is believed to be the overall fastest version, but more testing is needed. Regarding the PSP version, it is assumed that the Japanese version is on par or slightly slower than its PC counterpart, due to loading times. The English release of the PSP version can be assumed to be on par or slightly slower than Chronicles+, again due to loading times.

In addition to double-tapping confirm to speed up text, you can hold cancel to make it go by even faster. With the text being in Japanese, it goes by even faster than it does in Complete.

Like Complete, you are allowed to use the Wing as you're opening chests, gaining the item but not needing to wait for the jingle to finish, saving ~4s each time.

For bosses, you unfortunately have to wait as they make their entrance. This means it sometimes takes just a little bit longer to reach them to deal damage, which unfortunately means you can't deal a free hit to Vagullion in the beginning of that fight, unlike the Complete version.

While you still need to eat the Roda Seed in this version, the scene where you obtain the Silver Sword can be skipped entirely, saving ~35s over Complete.

Chronicles+, 2013 (PC, English only)

With the likely exception of Eternal and the English PSP version of Chronicles, + is believed to be one of the slower versions among these to speedrun. For certain, it is slower than Complete by at least 30s, most likely closer to 45s or a minute.

Fundamentally, both it and the English PSP release are exactly the same as their Japanese counterparts, but the text being in English slows them down, to where even Complete can beat them, despite being able to hold down cancel to speed up the text vs. Complete's double-tapping confirm.

Despite this, Chronicles+ is probably the most accessible version of the game, and is the one most players currently seem to run.


Obtaining an item while warping

Simply use a Wing right as you're opening a chest, which will allow you to grab the item without waiting for the item jingle to finish as is customary. Since you end up back in Minea, it's usage is a little limited. Useful times to use it are when obtaining the Roda Seed, and obtaining the Shrine and Mine Books of Ys. It can also be used when getting the Golden Pedestal, though the timing is more strict compared to chests, and a successful attempt will not bring up any text, so it's a bit of a guess if the glitch is actually successful. This does allow you to obtain and re-sell the Golden Pedestal again later (infinitely so, if desired), but this is not useful (can't do better than the Long Sword early, and for armor, the Silver Shield/Armor is found pretty quickly).

Extra EXP from Feena

Feena gives EXP when escorting her to Zepik before killing Nygtilger and finding the Book of Ys within. Doing it after Nygtilger gives you nothing, as you are then forced to save her before you can leave (unless you do the warp trick when getting the Book of Ys, but there's no point to that, since you'll just have to save her later). Anyway, there are ways to receive more than the intended reward (500 EXP) from her, but it depends on what version you're playing, and the amount of bonus EXP you can receive will also vary.


It is not possible to receive any extra EXP from Feena in this version.


If you're playing this version, you have two options. You can rapidly mash confirm to help her, for a potential total of 2,000 EXP, though realistically, you'll only receive 1,000 or 1,500. This can only be done once, since the escort mission is started immediately after.

Alternatively, you can confirm to help her, then refuse at the last second. This can be done repeatedly (up to 1,000 each time, but 500 is more likely), but is extremely difficult to pull off. While helpful, it is best avoided in single segment runs, as it'll likely end in accidentally agreeing to help her before you're ready, with less EXP as well.

Chronicles and Chronicles+

In these versions, you can still receive bonus EXP, but only when helping her, not when trying to refuse. But, rapid confirm mashing doesn't work here. Instead, when agreeing to help her, you'll need to rapidly press confirm, cancel, confirm. Currently, only a total of 1,000 EXP seems possible.

Faster Roda Tree text

In Complete only, there is a glitch to make the special text during the Roda Seed scene speed up when getting the Silver Sword. Chronicles / + is able to skip the scene altogether, but Complete and Eternal have to sit through it. For Complete, however, you can talk to the Roda Tree without understanding it, eat the Roda Seed *after* that, and then trigger the scene properly. Doing so makes the game think the scene has already played once, and so displays the text quicker as a result. The cutscenes having faster text is actually intended behavior for the first set of Roda Tree scenes before returning the Harmonica (only when replaying them, however), but the second set of scenes when you're getting the Silver Sword can only be viewed once. This doesn't work for Eternal, because in that version you don't need to eat the seed, but you still need to find it first. Anyway, doing this when getting the Silver Sword saves about 10 seconds over doing the cutscene right the first time.

Dealing with Jenocres

There are a few ways of dealing with Jenocres, but they all fall under two categories: being under-leveled, or grinding to deal reasonable damage.


This is the faster option of dealing with Jenocres, though much more dangerous. Regardless of weapon choice, it will not make a difference here; same for armor, regardless of level (he does fixed damage, changing only with the difficulty setting). However, the Long Sword could be useful if deciding to also obtain the Silver Sword early on, but it's a toss up. Getting the Long Sword at least puts you at level 2 (because you'll need to do the Sapphire Ring quest to help make the money), which means you can make 3 additional mistakes compared to level 1. However, doing that takes 13 or so additional seconds, and the Long Sword only truly helps if you can kill the early Mine enemies without slowing down very much. That said, the fight is much more survivable at level 2 than level 1, but either way practice is definitely needed.

As for the fight itself, it's important to note that his location is not set in stone, at least not immediately. He tends to appear further from where you are, but with enough practice, you can get a sense of where he'll appear, and adjust your movements accordingly. He at the very least appears opposite of you on the vertical axis. If you are top, he *will* spawn bottom. This often means dancing between the flames is necessary to get where you want to be in time. Halfway through the battle, the timing to get through the flames safely is not as lenient, so if going this route, practice is definitely advised.


These methods are up to 2 minutes slower than doing Jenocres under-leveled, but they also make him much more survivable and quicker to kill. While it also does put your overall EXP amount higher, any extra EXP these routes yield can easily be made up in the Mine, or even when rescuing Feena. Anyway, if grinding, you'll need to be level 4 with the Long Sword to do any additional damage, or level 5 with the Short Sword, but level 5 takes far too long to reach at this point in the game. That means grinding to 4 is the only real option, and there are two different ways to reach it fairly quickly.

Luta Gemma

The faster option is to do the Luta Gemma sidequest, which involves some backtracking, but nets you a nice chunk of EXP. First, purchase a Wing in Minea, then grab the Golden Pedestal from the pond on the Plains. Before heading back to sell it, sidetrack to Zepik, and talk to Iris wandering outside the house furthest southwest, and then warp to sell the pedestal and purchase your equipment. In order to cover the cost of the Long Sword, you'll want to buy and return the Sapphire Ring to the one-eyed man in the bar, plus it nets you 150 EXP. Return to Barbado, show the doctor your sword, then exit and re-enter the town to find Luta. After the scene, you'll need to rescue him on the plains (go west from the screen with the mine entrance, then south), which will automatically put you in Zepik, conveniently close to Jeba. You'll likely still be 50 EXP or so shy of level 4, but that can be made up pretty quickly outside the Shrine.

Note: Further testing is currently Ongoing. The two "Level 4" routes may be equal in time, which would still make this route the more consistent, safer route.

Note 2: If you're playing the Eternal version, the Luta Gemma sidequest doesn't award any EXP, and so you are forced to fight Jenocres under-leveled, or grind outside the Shrine. Fortunately, the level requirements to do reasonable damage are reduced by 1 (3 with the Long Sword, 4 with the Short Sword), but level 1 or 2 is likely still faster.

Killing Enemies

To the left of the Shrine
This alcove is the closest and fastest to trigger respawns

The other option is to simply repeatedly kill the armored enemies outside the Shrine's entrance, but you need to wander a certain distance away for them to respawn optimally. This is ultimately slower and probably more dangerous than doing the Luta sidequest, and is not recommended.

Note: Further testing is ongoing and this may be even on time with the Lute Gemma sidequest, however it's much riskier and much less consistent due to enemy movement patterns.

The optimal grinding route uses two spawn triggers, one to the left of the shrine, the other above a vertical position - the best place for this is the alcove to the left of the pillars and right of the stairwell. One Cycle will net you 4 kills, 32xp, if there are no errant enemies boosting that amount.

Silver Sword

The Silver Sword can be obtained a little early in these versions, which makes the remainder of the Shrine a bit easier to get through. You need the Treasure Box Key from B2 of the Shrine to get the Roda Seed and Silver Harmonica, so that should be collected at the same time you get the Prison Key to save Feena. It is debatable whether or not getting the Silver Sword early saves time, as there are a few variables to consider. Generally, it's thought to be very slightly slower, or breaking even with a route that gets it normally. It at least makes Nygtilger and the rest of the Shrine easier, getting slightly more EXP compared to a route that does things normally, but said EXP is arguably quick and easy to make up in a timely manner when you're forced to grind anyway, so it's a really tough judgment call whether or not to get it early. Doing so, one should proceed to use it for the remainder of the Shrine to reach level 7, making quick work of Nygtilger. That said, depending on which version you're playing, the optimal conditions of such a route vary slightly.


If getting it early in this version, making the most of it is thought to be something in conjunction with the Long Sword. You'd receive 1,500 EXP when rescuing Feena, and coupled with the other enemies in the Shrine, would likely be 1 or 2 fungi kills from the Mine entrance to reach level 6. At level 6, all but the eyeball rock enemies can be defeated on the way to the Harmonica and Roda Seed. The downside is you practically need to take those Mine kills slowly, as it's only 2-3 hits before they kill you this early on.

In light of that, a good alternative is to use a Short Sword setup, killing what you can in the Shrine, and avoiding enemies in the Mine. This misses out on some EXP, but the 13 seconds or so it takes to get the Long Sword is debatable to actually be worth it for the extra EXP it could potentially get. Given how quick the mantis grinding goes at 480 EXP each, it's really not much time loss, considering the earlier Mine enemies give about half that.

On the flipside, going without the Silver Sword early, you'd simply do the Shrine as normal, and kill Nygtilger under-leveled. He takes a bit of time, and can end the run if you're careless, but is pretty easy even under-leveled. Part of the reason this takes more or less the same time as getting the Silver Sword early is because this route has no need to grab the Treasure Box Key early. Anyway, the main drawback is actually being able to make it this far, which can be tough, but it's otherwise a toss up as to which route to use.

Chronicles and Chronicles+

Pretty much the same choices as Complete, except this version can only receive 1,000 EXP when rescuing Feena. This means that a couple more of the fungi enemies need to be killed if choosing to do the Long Sword way of things while grabbing it early to get the most extra EXP. Otherwise, the other options for Complete are just as viable, only that they're still behind 500 EXP.

Incidentally, the 200 EXP the fungi here give means that missing out on any extra EXP before Jenocres is a non-issue, as it can easily be re-obtained here in a matter of seconds (either here, or with the B3 Mine enemies, who give more than double that amount).


More testing is needed for this version, but it's likely that early Silver Sword isn't worth it here. First of all, the EXP trick when rescuing Feena isn't present in this version, so it misses out on even more EXP than Chronicles / + does compared to Complete. In addition, Wings are expensive to purchase in Eternal (2,000 gold), and so the Ruby and Necklace would likely need to be picked up and sold to have a shot at making the route decently fast.

While getting the Silver Sword early would indeed be helpful, it is most likely faster to take a normal gameplay route through the Shrine (perhaps still picking up the Ruby and Necklace) in order to ensure enough Wing purchases are possible to complete the Mine without backtracking.

Reaching Level 10

In order to do decent damage to Vagullion, you absolutely need to be level 10, with the Silver Sword equipped. Regardless of whether you took advantage of any early Shrine or Mine EXP, the remainder of the EXP should come from the final mantises on B3 of the Mine. The passage where the last one spawns, you just can go straight up and down in the room right before it, which will cause two of them to respawn quickly. While killing the knights yields a little more EXP (510 compared to the mantises 480), they also take more hits to kill, and are not as easily respawned. Still, the knights should be used as the very last kills to hit level 10 just as you reach Vagullion's room.

Darm Tower Balconies

Strange as it may seem, there is an optimal direction to reach the doorway to the next floor of the tower, though going either direction leads to the same doorway. Choosing the optimal direction will save a little over half a second each time. Here is the optimal path, which should save 7.5 to 8 seconds with the 15 rights it takes as opposed to 32 lefts (which is by far the easiest "route" to remember):

R (Evil Ring), L, R, L, R, L (trap), R, L, R, L, L, L (Pictimos), R, R, L (smashable pillar), L, R, R, (Khonsclard), L, L, R, L, R, R (Luta), L, L, R, L, L, R, L (Flame Sword), R

Re-obtaining the Silver Shield and Armor

A little known fact about this game is that having the Silver Shield and Silver Armor equipped is not necessary to defeating Dark Fact. It's not even necessary to being able to enter the top of the tower. They are necessary to being able to enter the tower in the first place, so even if one doesn't use them, they must still be obtained earlier in the game. As they are not necessary during the tower, re-obtaining them should therefore be skipped if one is confident enough. Even if armor is determined to be necessary, either the Silver Shield (~11s) or Battle Shield (~13s) should suffice. The Silver Shield helps more during Dark Fact, but the Battle Shield helps more for Yogleks & Omulgun, which is by far the tougher of the two battles, at least on Easy difficulty.

Pictimos is a boss you'll already be dodging a lot, so armor doesn't really play a factor - you would also have to ascend one extra level to get the Silver Shield only to return to the lower level after. Against Khonsclard, armor does not make a difference for the damage he deals, and running around in circles or up/down kills him quickly as is. Dark Fact goes by very quickly on Easy so as to probably not be an issue without wearing armor.

So, that leaves just the twin head boss, Yogleks & Omulgun. With enough practice, he can be taken down even without armor very quickly. It is a risky strategy, but the battle plays out more or less the same each time with consistent movement from the player. But, to stand a decent shot, you should be at full health. To this end, a Healing Potion is strongly recommended to have as a backup; if you could not save the one from before Vagullion, it is suggested to take the one next to the Evil Ring. Still, the battle can go south pretty easily, so if opting to try this strategy, be sure to give it a lot of practice, preferably a few times right before a run so the feel of the battle stays fresh in your mind.

Supplemental Info

SDA planning thread

Current fastest known run of Complete (single segment, beats current segmented run)

Current fastest known run of Chronicles+ (single segment - lacks a bit of polish compared to the Complete run above, but it's mostly meant as a comparison video)

New segmented run in progress (Complete version)

A threaddetailing lots of glitches throughout the various Ys games (though some games aren't covered very well) . Many are minor and unfortunately presumed useless, but the info may serve as a foundation for stuff yet to be found.

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