Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim - Localization Blog #1
The translation part was simple: After evaluating our options, we decided that re-translating the game was the way to go. Konami’s official translation, while excellent, features an entirely different tone and different nomenclature from what we at XSEED were looking to produce, and the fan-translation largely followed suit, so it only made sense to give this game a full-on “makeover” to bring it more in line with the rest of the series we’ve had on offer up to this point. To do this, we called in our ringer, Dan: the same Falcom fanatic who translated Ys: Memories of Celceta for us.
One of the most daring and unconventional features Falcom added to Ys: The Oath in Felghana, and later carried over to Ys Origin, was the removal of stockable healing items. In vanilla Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim, it’s very often possible to stock up on powerful healing items, then just spam them during battle with difficult bosses, virtually eliminating the need to discern patterns or strategize. Felghana and Origin remedied this by making it so that healing items were used automatically the moment you picked them up, and since they couldn’t be stocked, they couldn’t be relied upon during boss battles – every boss had to be defeated on a single life bar. This made these two games notably more difficult, but also turned every boss into a sort of puzzle as players attempted to figure out the best way to defeat them (and made traversing the dungeons a little more exciting as well!).
Our newly-added Catastrophe Mode in Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim, which players can optionally select at the start of play (and combine with any existing difficulty level), mimics this by removing all stockable healing items from the game, instead having them auto-use when picked up via monster drops. To help give players who select this mode a fighting chance, we’ve also replaced Croix’s grocery stock with tremendously expensive yet permanent stat-altering seeds, as well as swapping out all healing items inside treasure chests with a slightly modified version of the “Capla Water” item, which can be used outside of boss battles to cure status effects and refill Adol’s magic gauge but has been stripped of all its restorative powers from non-Catastrophe gameplay.
These excess Capla Waters may seem like a huge boon, but thanks to us also removing all other items that cure status ailments from Catastrophe Mode gameplay, they now represent your only line of defense against poison, confusion, curses, etc. (outside of accessories, anyway), making a certain dungeon (Ys fans know which one I’m talking about!) much more threatening than ever before.
Add to that all the usual bells and whistles (widescreen visuals, enhanced compatibility, Steam achievements and leaderboards, etc.), and possibly a little something extra if the stars align just right, and you have yourself a fully modernized version of Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim that can easily stand tall among its brethren.