Ys Seven’s Aisha shows what happens when power changes hands

What happens when the torch passes from one ruler to another? In some video games, we get an idealized order of events when succession takes place. Perhaps a hero vanquishes a corrupt ruler, an heir that is much better suited to the task steps up and everything is suddenly well again. With Ys VII, we get a slightly more realistic take on events. When the worst happens in Altago, things don’t go from a king to the preferred heir.

As one of the few Ys games with multiple playable characters, it is imperative that these additional allies matter. After all, they are joining legendary characters like Adol and Dogi. This brings us to Aisha. Though she is (very) poorly disguised, we know almost from the outset that she’s no ordinary archer. Rather, she’s the princess and next in line to take the throne. But when her already ill father, King Kiemarl, dies, we’re faced with the murkier side of succession. By having her as an ally, we get a better look at the situation and more investment in Altago’s affairs.

Aisha is established as a typical princess-type character. She can be a bit haughty. Adol and Dogi don’t request the pleasure of her presence. She decides that she is joining them. She doesn’t appreciate the behavior of some other party members, thinking Dogi and Maya should treat her differently. She also ends up contributing to Adol’s woes in this foreign land, as her presence paints him as a kidnapper when the Dragon Knights arrive after getting the Sea Dragon’s crest on Ruin Island.

But when her father falls, we see the complications that come when the status quo is shaken up. Even though Aisha had been spending quite a bit of time checking out what was happening in Altago secretly and, despite personality quirks, genuinely cares about the kingdom. Since her father couldn’t be going out and investigating situations, she was. She is aware of many situations. But, since her father was ill, much of the actual governing was left to Prime Minister Orbus and members of the Dragon Knights like his son, Raud. This means that the two of them end up taking control, rather than her.

This makes for a more interesting game and better insight into various characters. After all, Aisha learns a harsh truth from this succession situation. While she wasn’t exactly in power when her father was alive, she did have an effect on the course of the kingdom via acting as King Kiemarl’s agent and walking among the people. But once Prime Minister Orbus and Raud make their move to rule Altago as they see fit, she is forced to grow up. Both as a result of these painful events and Adol’s influence, she comes to be a better person. She steps things up, connects with people and becomes more motivated to help Adol save Altago.

In turn, we all become more connected and dedicated to the kingdom’s affairs. Our party has a more personal connection to the ruling party, one that wants what is best for Altago and the world. We can better identify with someone who has suddenly realized they will be the one at the head of the kingdom, but that an obstacle is keeping them from their rightful place. We are able to watch a princess grow into someone who could be a good ruler. Aisha and her plight help make the game richer.

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