Ys III: Wanderers From Ys

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Original box art.

Ys III: Wanderers From Ys is an action adventure fantasy game developed and published by Nihon Falcom for the PC-9801 and PC-8801 on 1989-07-28. It was later ported to several other platforms. It is the third game in the Ys series.

I didn't know about the Ys series when it was most popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I had seen the titles in lists of games, but because they were mostly Japanese releases, I didn't bother trying to play them. At the end of 2018, I finally decided to try a Ys game because I saw that Ys III had several elements of my favorite game genre, Metroidvania.


I do not own this game. I began playing the SNES port, but after learning how bad it is, I switched to the Genesis port.


  • Overall: 4/10
  • Best Version: Genesis


  • The graphics are both pretty decent in the 8-bit ports and the Genesis port. However, the graphics look a bit dated by the time the SNES port was made.
  • The music is really enjoyable.
  • The game lets you save and load pretty much everywhere which is nice considering how easy it is to take damage.
  • The NPCs change their dialogue as the game progresses which is nice.
  • It has a pretty good ending.


  • The game caps you at level 12 which I ended up hitting the level cap a little over halfway through the game. After that, fighting monsters was mostly pointless for the rest of the game and most of the bosses were painfully easy.
  • Several monsters move so fast it's very hard to avoid taking damage.
  • Hit detection is bad in several ports, but especially the SNES where wnemies can hit you even when they aren't visually touching you, but your sword also has a huge hit box, so it equals out.
  • A lot of the bosses have attacks that are extremely difficult to dodge, so you basically just mash the attack button and hope you have enough hit points to survive.
  • In the Genesis port, the enemies have fairly basic movement patterns, but they even worse in the SNES port.
  • Enemies don't collide with walls and instead walk right through them. They're usually placed in areas where they won't walk though walls, but sometimes they do.
  • The animation on the weaker ports (PC-88 and MSX) are terrible.
  • Items have liner upgrades, so they should automatically become equipped, but they aren't.
  • The dialogue is often confusing because it's hard to tell who is speaking. Some ports color Adol's dialogue, but that's still not enough.
  • Despite Dogi being your adventuring companion, he lazes while you do all the hard work.
  • The NES and SNES console ports use the start button to pause and select for the menu. This should have been reversed.
  • The porters must not have had clear game lore because they use different names and spelling variations for a lot of the locations, and the Genesis port has a lot of typos.
  • The final boss is really annoying.


  • Across the various ports, the player control is pretty bad. Movement is a bit difficult to control, jumping is a bit jagged, attacking doesn't feel fluid at all, and the down-strike on a jump attack is odd. The SNES port is especially bad, the Genesis is one of the better ones. The bad controls really become annoying in the Clock Tower.
  • Neither the player nor the monsters recoil from getting hit. This is a terrible way to handle combat because, with such a short invincibility timeout after getting hit, monsters can walk through the player and cause damage over and over again.


Box Art




Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Ys III: Wanderers From Ys
Japanese イースIII – ワンダラーズフロムイース Isu Suri – Wandarazu Furomu Isu Ys III: Wanderers From Ys