NIS America has released a major update for the PC (Steam) version of Ys IX: Monstrum Nox, which introduces a local cooperative gameplay mode.
“Two players can join together to not only fight monsters and explore dungeons (as in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA), but also explore the city of Balduq,” NIS America said in the announcement.
The update also adds support for aspect ratios narrower than 16:9, such as the 16:10 screen of Steam Deck, and a number of minor bug fixes.
Here are some more details, via NIS America:
Local Cooperative Play
The local co-op feature allows two players to play Ys IX: Monstrum Nox together, at every point in the story where more than one character is available.
Note that there is an in-game co-op setting which you need to enable in order for co-op to be available. Once this setting is enabled, the co-op player can drop in and out of the game using the “Start” (or equivalent) button on any non-primary controller, while the “Select” button on the secondary controller toggles the player ID indicators (“P1” and “P2”) on and off.
Unlike Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA, where co-op was mostly limited to combat, the second player is largely equivalent to the primary player in terms of capabilities in Ys IX: Monstrum Nox, including movement and combat abilities, using Monstrum Gifts, discovering and triggering landmarks, enemies and events, opening chests, picking up collectibles, and initiating dialogue. Only interacting with menus and the map is restricted to player one.
Another significant improvement over the co-op feature in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA is that character switching is implemented individually for each player: that is, if there are three characters in the current party, players one and two can both independently switch to the currently-unused character without affecting each other.
Of course, given the experimental nature of this feature, there are some constraints and restrictions to keep in mind:
- You need two controllers to play in co-op (or one controller each for Steam remote play together), and it is not possible to re-bind the controls for the second player.
- There is shared camera control, and while the co-op camera code does its best to keep both players on screen, this takes some getting used to and requires a different approach to camera control than the single-player mode.
- The co-op mode is experimental, and in select situations sequences of specific actions could lead to a softlock (e.g. triggering some device which closes doors with the character controlled by player 2, and then logging that player out). Please keep this in mind.
We have completed 100 percent of the game in co-op at Nightmare difficulty during testing, and I personally think that it is an incredibly enjoyable way to experience Ys IX: Monstrum Nox.
16:10 Aspect Ratio Support
Previous versions of Ys IX: Monstrum Nox used letterboxing for any resolution aspect ratio narrower than 16:9. In this version, all 3D scenes render at full resolution for aspect ratios such as 16:10 (even down to 4:3). 2D elements such as the menu or map screens will still be letterboxed as, just like for ultrawide, the effort to redesign all of these to be aspect-ratio-independent is prohibitive.
Watch a trailer for the update below.