The Ys series has gone from the strength to strength in recent years. The ninth main entry, Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is a terrific game that will please existing fans and new players alike with its excellent battle system, music and exploration.
To get the best out of the game, there are a few things to be aware of. Here are my top 12 Ys IX: Monstrum Nox tips.
Save all of your Tempest Elixirs until the end of the game
As tempting as it is to level up with the simple consumption of an item, you’re definitely best keeping these until the final chapter.
Like virtually every RPG, the EXP required to level up increases with each level. More importantly, the EXP earned from slaying monsters scales as well. The earlier in the game you use them, the less EXP you’ll receive from the monsters beaten afterwards. You’ll probably find that your other, under-levelled characters actually come close to catching you up.
In short, if you use a Tempest Elixir shortly after getting it, you’ll essentially be wasting it.
Ys IX explicitly tells you when you’re in the final chapter, and this is the time to use them up. If you’ve been thorough with exploring and finding chests, you’ll likely have at least 20.
It’s up to you whether you use these all on Adol, or balance them between your entire party. I personally use them all on Adol and got him from around level 70 to level 93. If a character is nearly on a level up, then use things like Bitter Remedy or Sweet Remedy first until they gain a level, which again maximises the benefit of the Tempest Elixir. This is perhaps the handiest of our Ys IX: Monstrum Nox tips as it will give you a far better chance against the final boss and the hidden, optional boss.
…But use all other stat boost items immediately
The difference with Strength Elixirs, Defence Elixirs and Life Elixirs is that you received a fixed stat boost regardless of when they are used. This is +3 for strength and defence, and +100 for HP respectively.
Unless you are going to carry them over to a second playthrough on one of the hardest difficulties, there is no upside to holding onto these. I would suggest immediately consuming them and reaping the benefits as soon as possible.
Again, it’s a completely legitimate strategy to use them all on Adol, but you can share them out if you wish.
Buy every present you see
In shop menus, presents are usually at the bottom of the list, denoted by a little brown bag icon. Once purchased, they’ll be sold out.
Each present can be gifted to somebody specific, boosting their affinity and getting Adol one step closer to a final relationship event with them. These events occasionally come with other rewards, such as rare items and equipment.
None of them are missable, so it’s not the end of the world if you can’t afford them. However, it’s better to have them safely stored in the inventory to save you having to hunt around later in the game.
Sell old equipment, but keep everything else
Once a better weapon is available, the old ones are obsolete. And since each character has personalised weapons, there is no need to keep them. As for armour, this is the same story except older, weaker equipment can be palmed off to other party members where you can’t afford the newest gear for everyone. Once a piece of armour is worse than everyone’s currently equipped armour, it can go.
You can keep enhancing the weapons with Tito, but sometimes it is actually better to just buy the new one from Silhouette or the weapon shop and save the materials to enhance it. For instance, if you’ve only got a handful of a specific material you may only have enough to upgrade the weapon and then enhance it once. If you just buy the weapon, you may have enough to enhance it twice, leaving you with a stronger weapon.
As for other items, you’re best off keeping them. Even weak materials can be traded up with Arche to become useful, and food items are handy as well. One of each food item will be required for one of the bonding events, and one of each cooked meal can be donated to the church in return for some rare items.
Flash Move, then Flash Guard
The flash move is certainly the most overpowered mechanic in the game. Slowing down time doesn’t just give an opportunity to land some free hits, but this also allows you to charge your SP gauge.
You can reap even more rewards by taking advantage of the slow-motion and utilising a flash guard. Since the enemy will still usually be mid-attack when the flash move is activated, you can quickly ‘run into’ the attack and press the block button as you do so.
Do this immediately, and you’ll have a window of critical hits as well. Go on a frenzy of attacks and skills, which will in turn raise your Extra gauge.
A single flash move can completely turn the tide of a boss battle, provided you know how to best take advantage of it.
Equip accessories that double Flash Move duration
Along the same theme as the above, the best accessories are the ones that double your flash move duration.
Once you find the Shadow Shoes accessory (available in Lillet’s Gift Shop in the Entertainment District), these are well worth equipping for the rest of the game. That is until you can enhance them into the Chronos Boots at Marcel’s Smithery in Artisan Lane in Chapter 8.
Since a flash move is so good, doubling its duration whilst utilising the tips immediately above will allow you to decimate anything in your path. If you know what you are doing, you can literally destroy a boss within one or two flash moves.
I can’t be the only one who finds it easy to accidentally trigger an Extra skill. The default controls activate this by pressing the dodge button whilst the skill/block button is pressed.
With the fast-paced, frenetic action of Ys IX, your fingers will never be far from either of these in the heat of battle. After a couple of accidents, enough was enough.
I personally switched the Exta skill to R1 and L2 rather than R1 and L1 (on PS4). You can do this without actually changing the dodge and block buttons themselves. I never had a problem again.
Use Extra skill to restore HP after beating all nearby enemies
This is one of the neatest little Ys IX: Monstrum Nox tips, and one that’s easily forgotten, but it’s a handy way of saving your items or saving you from standing there waiting for HP recovery.
If you’ve beaten everything around you, then your Extra gauge will shortly start to deplete. If this reaches zero, then it’s been completely wasted.
Rather than letting this happen, you should activate the Extra move and utilise the HP recovery it provides while you are running to the next area.
Don’t let the many difficulty settings deceive you
There are a lot of difficulty settings, and most of them sound pretty daunting.
For experienced Ys players, normal mode will likely prove an absolute joke, and even hard mode is relatively easy.
In my opinion, Nightmare mode is where the real test starts. This might be worth it for series regulars, due to a healthy challenge that also grants the Nightmare Survivor trophy – but be warned, you must play the entire game on Nightmare to earn this trophy.
For players unfamiliar with the series and its mechanics, but want some sort of challenge, I would still probably opt for hard mode. Anything below is for those wishing to simply enjoy the story without being tested. It’s each to their own, of course.
Check the noticeboard for quests – don’t just rely on the map markers!
The map is incredibly useful. It marks side quests, graffiti, shops, and other points of interest. It generally has everything you need to know.
This is with one main exception. Namely, the monster hunts commissioned by Aprilis. If you do not check the noticeboard, these hunts will not appear on the map.
Make a habit of checking it every time you are told new requests have been posted. Once the monster locations have been added (you’ll be informed of this), then you can revert back to simply checking the map.
Always fill the map first time around
You’ll gain rewards for every 10% of the map filled in. Speak to Parks, who’ll provide Adol with some nice rewards that are well worth obtaining.
Before you leave an area, be sure to open the map and check if you’ve filled it entirely. If not, it’s usually quite easy to spot the places you’ve missed – just look out for dark, shadowy areas. Sometimes this can be annoying, but you don’t want to be left with an irritating 99.9% at the end of the game.
There you have it. 12 Ys IX: Monstrum Nox tips that will hopefully assist you during Adol’s adventure in Balduq.
Check out our Ys IX: Monstrum Nox review here.