Ys IX gets a performance boost on Steam thanks to Trails from Zero optimization work for Switch

Written by. Marco Farinaccia based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-05-25 19:47 JST)



Publisher NIS America has released a brand-new update for Ys IX: Monstrum Nox (ver 1.1.3). The patch further improves the overall performance of the game, but what’s really interesting is that it came about as a result of trying to optimize the Nintendo Switch version of The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero.

Depending on the hardware and in-game scenario, some testers saw an increase in frame rate performance of 25% in CPU limited scenarios.


It is important to note that this improvement requires Direct3D feature level 11_1, and some players may have older hardware or an operating system version that does not support it. In this case, the game will automatically revert to a previous rendering path.

The method of improvement was discovered by Durante while he was working on the upcoming release of Trails from Zero and trying to keep the Nintendo Switch version of the game at a solid 60 fps on all maps. He thought that the optimization that he implemented would also benefit the PC version of Ys IX and ported it over.

Some background on Peter “Durante” Thoman

Peter “Durante” Thoman, originally known for modding PC games, worked with Engine Software on porting and optimizing the PC version of Ys IX: Monstrum Nox. He specializes in improving Japanese games, and his work on enhancing the performance of the PC version of Dark Souls, which he did independently, caught the attention of XSEED Games who brought him on as an official developer to improve the PC port of Little King’s Story.

He once again provided support for XSEED with the Steam port of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel, where he improved various aspects of the game, such as optimizing performance and implementing a turbo mode.

In 2017, NIS America requested help from Durante for the PC port of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA, which had been delayed due to difficulties in fixing performance issues. Durante improved both GPU and CPU performance, developed a system that resulted in better frame rates, and resolved an issue with shadow rendering.

Following this, he worked with Engine Software on optimizing the PC version of Ys IX, and his efforts made it possible for the game to be released on schedule and without any major problems.


In March of this year, it was revealed that Durante would be working on both the PC and Nintendo Switch ports of The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero and The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure, and it seems that this is the first time he has worked on porting a game to the Switch. As mentioned earlier in this article, his efforts have resulted in “a performance patch that nobody expected” for Ys IX: Monstrum Nox.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure


The PC version of Ys IX: Monstrum Nox, further improved courtesy of the optimization expert Durante, is currently available via Steam.

The Steam version of The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero will be released on September 27, while The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure is due out some time in 2023.

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