I am a huge fan of Yu-Gi-Oh! if you haven’t noticed. One of the first sites I built back in 2016 was YGOPRODeck. Most of my love and continued enjoyment for Yu-Gi-Oh! stems back to 3 events;
- Playing/Trading Yu-Gi-Oh! in school. It was mega popular!
- The Yu-Gi-Oh! Anime.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories on the PS1.
Rediscovering a Timeless Classic
I have poured more time into Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories than I have with most games on the PS1. I still return to it on my original PlayStation that I have hooked up to my XRGB-Mini. I was only playing it the other day and reminiscing about how much time I put into the game. And I often come back to the thought process of whether Forbidden Memories should get a remaster or a port to modern-day consoles.
Addressing the obvious concern first, I’m skeptical about either happening. Historically, Konami hasn’t ported or remastered older Yu-Gi-Oh! games for modern systems. With the latest launch of Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel, the likelihood seems even slimmer. I believe they wouldn’t want to divert attention from their current cash cow, Master Duel.
How Would a Forbidden Memories Remaster Shape Up? In today’s varied remastering landscape, there’s potential for numerous tweaks. I’m not suggesting a full-blown remake, given the nature of Forbidden Memories, but a refined touch-up would certainly be appealing.
One obvious way to approach a remaster could be updating the game’s character and environment art. Having these redrawn with some high-quality artwork could improve the game’s visual novel-style story.
Another quick and easy aspect would be improving the gameplay side of things. Firstly, the game speed could be improved. Forbidden Memories isn’t exactly a slow game when you are dueling, but a slight speed increase would be welcome for veterans of the original.
Another great addition would be an expanded and enhanced library section. It would be fantastic if you had an in-game reference point for what duelist dropped what cards, the percentage rate that they dropped at, and the victory condition required to obtain the card. There is a ton of quality of live improvements here surrounding card drops that could be implemented.
Better duel victory rewards would be another excellent quality of life improvement. Many popular Forbidden Memories mods will change the victory conditions to reward 5-10 cards instead of 1. The game is already known for it’s brutal and usually necessary grind, and the slow pace of 1 card per duel has always been a little excruciating.
The 3D battles in the game could probably benefit the most from a remaster effort. Imagine having high-quality models battle it out instead of the weird polygon ones we currently have. I know many of use don’t use the 3D battle function in Forbidden Memories as it slows duels down immensely, but I think having them look prettier and maybe occur faster could incentivize more people to use it.
Starchip rewards are another area that can be reworked. You obtain 1-5 stars per duel victory, which you can trade in for a single card copy. The problem, however, is that all of the good cards cost 999999 starchips, making them unobtainable. As we previously mentioned here, you would have to complete 200,000 duels, earning five stars per duel, to get one of these cards. This can and should be reworked.
Next up, the cheating AI could probably do with being looked at. Forbidden Memories is considered a hard game, but it’s mostly considered a hard game for the wrong reasons. Much of the game’s latter half contains enemy AI that will immediately summon a monster with ATK power higher than most monsters you will ever have access to in the game. The only way to defeat them is by either using a Spell Card/Trap Card, which is notoriously slow in Forbidden Memories, or equipping your strong monsters with equip cards. Either of these methods usually requires some form of grind in the Free Duel mode in a desperate attempt to get what you need to complete the game. This can be partly solved by improving the starchip system and drop rates I mentioned previously. Maybe let’s ease up on the Gate Guardian plays?
And, of course, the prospect of online play! The fun factor of Forbidden Memories online remains uncertain. With a solid endgame deck, most duels in Forbidden Memories wrap up in just 3-4 turns. While this might echo modern Yu-Gi-Oh! dynamics, the unique gameplay style of Forbidden Memories might not seamlessly fit into an online experience. That said, I’m definitely open to seeing it integrated!
This is a more likely scenario in the unlikely event something ever happens with Forbidden Memories! I think the game is a prime candidate to be added to the PSN Classic Catalogue. This would give us access to play the game on modern systems without needing to get out our old PS1 discs.
Trophy Support would be a fantastic addition to the game and something that Sony can easily add, as we have seen with other PSN Classic games. However, I believe it would be up to Konami to add these trophies, which again leads me to believe that if the game ever did arrive for the Classic Catalogue, I do think it would be missing trophies. Some fun trophies could be:
- Obtain a Meteor B. Dragon card.
- Win X duels by S-Tech.
- Beat the game in X time (this is a heavily-speedran game).
Like a potential remaster, online play is another aspect that could be introduced with the port. Forbidden Memories did support both Multiplayer and Trading by inserting a second memory card that included a Forbidden Memories save file. However, as of the time of writing, no PSN Classic Catalogue PS1 game supports online play.
Regardless of the choice, I would love to see something happen with Forbidden Memories. Even right now, you can find people streaming it on Twitch and YouTube. In this era of endless revivals and remasters, it would be a disservice for such a gem to languish in obscurity. Konami, with its vast resources, possesses the capability to ensure that this game doesn’t just fade into the annals of history.
So, the lingering question remains: What would you envision for the future of Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories?