Ys IX: Monstrum Nox Gets New Details on Playable Characters, Story, Screenshots

Details on the "Prison City" of Ys IX: Monstrum Nox and why it is nicknamed as such, comments from Falcom's President Toshihiro Kondo.

February 28, 2019

Nihon Falcom revealed new information on Ys IX: Monstrum Nox in the latest issues of Famitsu and Dengeki PlayStation, with both magazines featuring the same information and screenshots. We’ve got many new details on the game’s setting and the “Prison City” Balduq. Along with Adol, all the Monstrum characters have been confirmed as playable, plus another mysterious character wearing a red scarf. Here’s everything we learned:

As we already know, one of the biggest places explorable in Ys IX is the city of Balduq, located northeast of Esteria (the island of Ys I), in the Gilia Eltlingen region. The reason why Balduq is called a “Prison City” is because in the deepest part of the city lies the biggest prison in the Romun Empire.


Balduq is huge and inhabited by people of many different backgrounds. The city houses many merchants, religious institutions, and the Gilia Company, one of the biggest organizations in the Romun Empire. Balduq is also organized in multiple districts, with some much poorer than others. As the city became more economically developed, the taxes increased, so more and more people of the labor classes moved to the poor districts. These districts are full of unemployed people and of those who went bankrupt following the increase of Romun merchants settling in the city.

The city also has multiple facilities like theaters and public baths. The areas beside the waterway have a market selling fresh food, accessories and daily necessities. In the evening, it is packed with locals and travelers.

The prison in the heart of Balduk used to be a fortress protecting the Romun Empire’s border, which was remodeled to now house prisoners. The only entrance is the drawbridge at the front, and the entirety of the fortress is surrounded by a steep stone wall. In ancient times, citizens who criticized the Romun Empire would be imprisoned in the fortress as political prisoners.

The outskirts of the city have grasslands, forests, ruins, and more that players can explore. Some people also live in houses in the forests outside the city.

In his comments, Nihon Falcom President Toshihiro Kondo hinted that the woman shown in previous key visuals is the prison’s jailer, because of her lantern, but he didn’t confirm it. We still don’t know if she’s playable or not either.

Kondo also confirmed that all 5 Monstrum characters shown in the previous visual are playable along with Adol. We obviously knew they would be playable, but it wasn’t official until now. The newly revealed character with the red scarf is playable too, but more on them will be revealed later. Kondo said we should focus on that character’s clothing and its colors to try and guess their identity.

As previously stated, the environments and battles of Ys IX: Monstrum Nox have a huge focus on verticality, which is something unusual in the Ys series. Kondo said that fans of the series shouldn’t worry as they managed to conserve what makes Ys battles fun all while giving it a new fresh feeling.

According to Kondo, while Ys IX has bigger areas and more variation in environments to explore than the Siren island of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, it’s difficult to directly compare the explorable area size of both games because of the verticality of the environments in Ys IX. But we will definitely be able to see how big the game is just by walking around Balduq.

Night as a concept will play a big part in the game, hence why “Nox” is included in the subtitle. Not only as a part of the story but also through gameplay elements. This is just my own guess, but in all the information revealed so far there’s a strong implication that the Monstrum can only use their special powers at night.

The 2D artworks, included in the gallery below, were drawn early in development. The first one represents the city of Balduq at night. The second one shows the interior of the prison.

Falcom also revealed the March illustration of the official Falcom 2019 calendar. It features multiple female characters from Ys games. You can find it as the end of the gallery below and you can check the previous calendar illustrations and other resolutions here. The gallery also includes two new direct-feed screenshots from Falcom’s official Twitter, showing the dual-wielding blonde Monstrum fighting a horde of bats, and the pink-haired Monstrum.

Ys IX Monstrum Nox will launch in 2019 on PS4. We’ve previously covered more details on the Monstrum characters. Kondo also said it’s fine to start playing the series with Ys IX. The game’s first trailer will be revealed on March 24, along with possibly a new Kiseki game.

Iyane Agossah

Living near Paris, Iyane (He/Him) is the head of Japanese content at DualShockers. He speaks Japanese, has been loving anime and Japanese games for over 25 years and plays Genshin Impact for its story and exploration. You can reach him on Twitter at @A_iyane07.

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