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Memories Archive IV


From: C.J. Showers (x99@CCIA.CCIA.COM):
I remember when I first got a Genesis. It was 1990, I think. I didn't have a lot of games at the time. Altered Beast, and Hard Drivin'. That was it. Then I was at Toys R Us, and saw it. Phantasy Star II. I'd played Final Fantasy for Nintendo (don't kill me! (G)) and thought it was great. I was hooked on RPGs. So I persuaded my mom to let me get PS2 and I played it. And played it. And played it. It's definitely the hardest RPG I've ever played. I still haven't truly beaten it. I got out my Game Genie once and used it to beat Dark Force and Mother Brain. I cheated. I didn't want to. But PS2 is the hardest game I've ever played, and probably ever will play.

Then I heard about Phantasy Star III. I thought to myself, 'Marriage? Who are you going to fight, your ex-girlfriend??' But after the initial shock set in, I rented it. It didn't look much like PSII, but I still liked it a lot more than I thought I would. Finally, on my birthday last year, I found a used copy for $25 at Electronics Boutique. I played it and played it. Two weeks later, I'd gone through one ending already. And it sank in. I knew how Algo gained four more planets. It wasn't Algo! I knew (well, theorized) what happened to favorites like NaFoi. Through the years, the more powerful techniques were just...lost. Overall, I liked PSIII, but PSII (although I never truly beat it) was just better.

I'd heard about Phantasy Star IV. Not much, but I was aware that it was going to exist soon. I prayed to the Christmas gods that Santa would bring it to me. And, three weeks later...I saved the universe. The Profound Darkness was destroyed. True peace came to Algo (at least until PSV!). PSIV is my favorite. With the extra cut-scenes, it really drew me into the plot. And I still love to play through PSIV just to watch the awesome combination attacks.

I wish I could write about the original, the one that started it all. But I can't. I have never played Phantasy Star I. I have a Master System, and nearly 40 games. Not one is PSI. If anyone will enlighten me with a copy, please e-mail me.

Thanks, Sega, for a great time.

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From: Louiery R. Sincioco (louiery@sfsu.edu):
The Phantasy Star I was definitely way ahead of its time. The game play, sound, graphics, control and its battery backup was a revolution for its time. In 1988, a friend of mine lent me the game, and I immediately got hooked to it. I spent hours diligently playing PS1, raising levels, sketching maps, talking to every person in town. PS1 was a hard game that took hours upon hours to get ahead. When I finally reached the last maze, I got stuck! Later my friend helped me finished the game--and took the game back. Ever since then, RPG became my favorite game category.

In 1989, Phantasy Star II came out which I got as soon as I could. As I watched the game in my Sony TV and listened to it in my surround sound stereo, I immediately fell in love to its graphics and sound. The battle mode is still one of the best I've seen to date (ahem, I'm also a Final Fantasy fan). The fluidity of the animation was simply amazing. At times, I would pause the game and press the B or C button and just observe how the enemies are being animated--SEGA obviously spent an awful lot of time on the animation part. Some may find it hard to believe, but I enjoyed the mazes in PS2 more than I did in PS1. I found PS2's puzzles and mazes to be just as hard as PS1 (but at least you can see more of the maze at any time), maybe that's why SEGA decided to bundle the game with a hintbook.

In 1991, Phantasy Star III came out, and I must say it was not what I had originally expected. The battle mode was a radical and backward approach: the use of moving icons and a Phantasy Star I type of fighting. But I did like the fact that you get to chose who you want to marry which changed the outcome of the game. I didn't think the music was too bad, but I still prefered PS2 over PS3. Wren, due to his transforming capabilities, automatically became my favorite character. Thank goodness that Wrengot carried to PS4.

In 1994, Phantasy Star IV came out. Finally the Phantasy Star series was back on track, with cool graphics, fast beat sounds and a PS2 type of battle mode--this time with a backdrop. The combo attacks were excellent, and thank goodness you could store them in a macro. Despite its cool graphics and techno beat sounds, I still enjoyed PS2 more (by a small margin). I found the game too short, which I sometimes blame for the unnecessary comic-type intermission (and those useless backdrops in battle mode). But after spending a $100 bucks for it, rest assured PS4 has a special place in my heart (if not in my pocket).

Overall, the PS series is one of a kind. I only wish that SEGA would just make one more series on the Saturn. I guess we all just have to keep our fingers crossed.

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From: Joseph Pierce (piercejg@bc.edu):
I am a true science fiction and rpg junkie. Upon buying Phantasy Star II, the first game I purchased for my genesis, I soon discovered that this game was the best of both worlds. As many others were, I was also extremely touched by the death of Nei. However, her sacrifice was justified when the Mother Brain met her righteous demise. PS II also had a very warped sense of humor. Who can forget, "If you stay on this planet too long your body will rot!" Or, "The truth is, the clone lab grandma is really a man." My favorite line from the whole game has to be, "We hate computers!" uttered by a very frustrated citizen of Dezo. If you think about it, that phrase is almost as bad as screaming, "Big Brother Sucks!" what with all those control towers scattered everywhere across the Algo system.

I spent most of the summer of '92 playing PS II. Since PS III was already out, I wasted no time in picking it up. I'm aware of those who've said that it wasn't the best of the PS series, but to completely trash it is unwarranted. Even though it was easy to breeze through all four generations, the gameplay on the whole was extremely satisfying.

The wait for PS IV was utterly agonizing. It was probably worth it, though. As far as graphics and the depth of gameplay are concerned, PS IV is the best game I own for the genesis. The translation was a bit sloppy, but at least it was released in the US. As I so strongly associate the summer of '92 with II, I experienced many beautiful sunrises and bleary eyes while playing IV in '95. I don't think I've ever been so absorbed in any video game. Raja is a riot. Some of my favorite quotes: "Four Motavians flee, fly...and fall, right on my temple hall!" Another one: "A talking doll, and a girl with horns!" And finally: "An droid...the droid...whatever!" Fissure of Fear and Tinkerbell's Dog have to be some my most unique rpg adventures.

Alas, I have never played PS I. However, from what I have read on this web page, this game must be one of the most challenging and brilliant of all 8-bit games. If anyone has a copy they'd be willing to sell, please e-mail me! Thank you, once again, for allowing me to share my memories of this incredible series which has etched itself permanently into my memories. Long live the Algo star system!

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From: Tibika (kaklaus@rapidnet.com):
I rember the first time I played PS I. it was a phenonimal leap over the rpgs that I had ever played. I really got into the game, and the art. That was about the time i started seeing Japanese style art, and I later learned there was anime and manga, and went totally head over heels for it all. PS II was also fantastic. I feel that I don't have much to say, about all this, I think it all has been said. PS III was a huge dissapintment, but a long, semi-satisfying game. PS IV has all the cool cinemas and a great tie-in with I and II, and managed to fit in the ever messed up III.

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From: Sean Berg (berg_family@msn.com):
It's not every day that you get to have a party consisting of everything from phaser-wielding robots to guys that have lived for 2000 years.

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From: Wye Lai Peng (weinar@pacific.net.sg):
I really got hooked onto Phanstasy Star the moment I saw the awesome graphics. Playing was another thing-I remembered sleepless hours in front of the TV set and feeling the heat radiating from my Master System. The TV got spoiled after the completion of PS. I was not ready to leave the worlds of PS yet. I got PS II (not really that good as PS I). But it was sufficient to satisfy my hunger. I borrowed PS III (translated version) from a local gamestore. It was OK. I really fell in love with Laya's twin brother.(And it was the urge to view him that made me continue)

PS IV came. It was the ultimate. I got the original Japanese version, feeling the need to see the original Japanese names. Thay sounded better then expected. I got the Japanese guidebook for 50 bucks with all the colorful anime scenes. The storyline was great. I replayed it again and again in order to view the ending sequences. Below is a bit of extra information for all PS Fans about the real (untranslated) names of the characters of PS IV. (Hope it does not spoil your dreams of them.) :

Chaz = Rudy/Rudei Alys = Raira Hahn = Han/Hahn (also!)
Rika = Fal/Faru Rune = Surei/Surey Wren = Foren Demi = Furena
Raja = Raja Kyra =Shiesu/Shiasu Gryz = Paiku

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From: Josh Kimmelman (KIMMELMAN@vaxvmsx.babson.edu):
I have vivid memories of this amazing game. I remember all-nighter weekends with my friends, my basement, and several empty bags of Doritos. I remember one night how me and a friend tried desperately to get to the top of the floating castle, but it was useless, so I went to bed, admitting defeat. I woke up at 7:00 a.m. to the ecstatic screams of my pal as he gleefully pointed to the screen as it displayed our destination. That was the most beautiful morning ever!

I remember getting PS for Hannukah and playing it until my eyes bled. At that time, my MS was in the kitchen. I stayed up all night playing it, and I remember my father waking up to make breakfast early the next morning and literally having to drag me away from the TV set to my room.

I remember scared we got when we had to fight the dream Dark Falz and got our asses kicked. We thought we were dead and we didn't save it. Luckily, it was all a dream. I still think that it is a benchmark for all RPG's out there, and the 3-D dungeons look cleaner on the MS than on some 16-bit games. I think Sega should come out with a CD with PS I-III, plus some other classic MS RPG's like Miracle Warriors and Y's. Maybe someday...

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From: Chris Cantrell (cantrell@iquest.net):
For me, it all started with Phanasy Star II, which IMHO is the best game ever made, period. I played that game like it was my only reason for living. There was never a game that captured my soul with its depth and unending playability. I just never realized that I had this much company in my addiction.

I then promptly bought a Power Base Converter for my Genisis and the coveted Phantasy Star I. I don't think I have ever spent that long on one game. The graphics were definately on par with anything out for 16-bit at the time and nothing could touch its storyline. Absolutely nothing short of amazing.

Then after waiting all too long for PSIII I bought it immediately(1st day it was on sale) and when I pluggeed it in I was distraught to see the change in the battle sequences but I was powerless to resist the game. After all, it was pure Japanese RPG bliss.... I didn't stop with that one until all the endings were discovered (entireley too short IMO,) and then had to live another couple years with only PS-wanna-be's.

When I heard that PSIV was finally coming at(at no less than $90) my pulse quickened once more. I thought that I had returned to that one place in the universe where my heart could be content (PSII-land) and was amazed that they did a wonderful job of peicing the whole thing together for me (except for the final results of PSIII) but why did they remove the best feature of PSII, the ability to custom choose your party (well you could at the end, but thats just not good enough)? It left me as all the rest do, awaiting the next fix.

I would just like to thank you for this site and hope you can keep it up forever as a testimony to our undying hunger for the best in RPGdom. And just maybe we all have some hope that Dark Force will rear its ugly head again.

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From: K. Megura (cgfm2@mailhost.hooked.net):
After coming across this too-cool-for-words site, I figured I might as well give my opinion on the Phantasy Star games. They sure beat the hell out of other RPG's, and that includes all the Enix and Square games I've played. There's not a single RPG out there that comes close to the originality and depth of a Phantasy Star game.

I bought Phantasy Star III first, and it was so hard I didn't play it for a year after my files got erased! I figured I'd give it another shot some time later, and it was a helluva lot of fun. Since the plot referred to characters in the other PS games, I bought Phantasy Star II a few months later. What a game! PS 2 is THE BEST game on Genesis I ever played, then and now. Where in the world does anyone get a plot as good as that?

When PS IV came out, I snatched it up, but, sorry to say, it wasn't as good as PS 2 (Better than III, though). I mean, the whole storyline had a really rushed feel to it and when you finally learn the history behind the Algol System it seems tacked on to the game. Not to mention the lag time between its debut in Japan and its release over here....

All this time, I'd been looking for a copy of Phantasy Star (the original) and I finally bought a used copy for five bucks after three years of searching. Hey, it's so hard I still haven't beaten it! Considering how easy the other PS games were, as well as RPG's today in general, Phantasy Star is a real gem to play. I almost enjoy dying! (That, and the fact that my battery doesn't always work...) I gotta agree with some of these guys; PS is one of the best SMS games out there, along with Spellcaster. (Just had to get that in!) I wonder how long it'll take me to conquer it?

To this day, I still have a lot of questions about the PS series, but more importantly, I'm enjoying them to the fullest, so that's all that matters. I hope anyone out there who hasn't played any of the Phantasy Star games will find a copy and give 'em a try!

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From: Matt (matt@kw.igs.net):
Hi there...

Back during the wacky 1980's I bought a first pressing copy of PS1 (with the date 1987 on the title page instead of 1988) in Florida - stumbling upon it just as it arrived in stores, desparate for a new quest for ANY system...

At that time I hadn't seen any graphics that were as impressive on a home gaming system. (Zelda on Nintendo was good but overhead...; Ultima on the IBM was complex, but had really basic animation and graphics; and the just released Dungeon Master on the Atari ST was stunning - spending many endless days to solve it - but it used the 'step method' instead of 'smooth flowing' dungeon graphics.

So... I walked into a game store and found a very expensive box titled: Phantasy Star for the Master System.

PS was very impressive from the start and I went through the quest several times over the years - facinated by the graphics and unfolding plot. At one point I wrote an extensive walkthrough that contained every shop, item, creature, town, dungeon, and even the complete dialogue of every person in the entire game (!).

My friend Randy, (also an RPG fanatic) was just as amazed by PS1. He went through and double checked everything, as well as searched every wall (every one!) for hidden rooms/items during one long run through to finish off the book. At one point, not looking for anything new, we timed the game and got down to 8 1/2 hours to go from start to finish. In the end... we had a massive guide (hand written) that contained everything possible about the game. We even calculated the hit points of unique creatures sush as Succubus, Medusa, and DarkFalz using weapons that had exact damage counts. And found out every creature that talked in the game (some no one knew about - even certain dragons that would do strange things).

We even found some 'easter eggs' in the first edition that weren't in the 1988 'Tonka' edition including strange locals, hidden doors, and the mysterious 'Flash Rod' on the Ice Planet.

In the end, I phoned Sega and offered the walkthrough guide for the 1988 game called 'The Complete Phantasy Star Guide Book' to do what they wished with - as a thanks for creating the game - but by then, they were not interested (since it was 1989) and they had moved on in development and games. (Too bad, since I thought many gamers, and fans of the game would have wanted a PS guide).

I still have the binder that holds the book, filled with pages of details and notes, packed in a box somewhere in the attic. Well, things moved on... and more games came out... Unfortunately, with every PS game (and other quests) that followed, I hoped for a return to the greatness of the original - especially the front view dungeons - but to no avail.

Still, I think back and remember the amazement the first time I saw the game and later showed Randy. At one point I even remember solving the original PS quest again using a Sega Game Gear (and a converter) on the long bus trips back home! Madness. Anyway, both Randy and I felt we were the part of the 'elite' PS players back then with hours of playing behind us, and fondly remember the old days...

In the recent past, I am reminded of the game in things such as Looking Glass Technology's Ultima Underworlds and System Shock - occasionally creating a world inside a game that is worth the trip. But as for today, most of the time, the quests coming out since 1994 - especially on home systems - don't cut if for long. (Wake up Sega! Get moving on some 32bit or 64bit RPG stuff!..) Hopefully someone (with a sense of creativity will bring out something as impressive as PS was on 8 bit) in the 64/128 bit days ahead...

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From: Suzanne Govier (GovierS@msn.com):
I didn't start with PS 1 and go in order. Last year, I got Phantasy Star 4 and fell in love with it. I had a crush on Rune for a long time. I've beat that game 5 times and I'm halfway through my 6th. I'm even working on a Parmanian language for myself. Everytime I beat the game I cry when Alys dies, at the end of the game and the 2nd conversation with Le Roof after visiting the 2 towers. The end was heart breaking.

Then I rented PS3. It was different, but I liked it so I bought it. (I got a crush on Lyle until I found out he had a daughter) When I got PS2, I became even more obsessed in the series because (aside from getting a crush on "Rolf") it reminded me so much of PS4. I almost liked it better. I cried when Nei died. In the cheat book, they didn't show any scenes, so I only had to see the scene once. (That was enough) I didn't play the game for a while after she died because I was too emotainally damaged. Musk cats are so adorable.

I went really insane when I was serching for the origanal Phantasy Star. When I had gotten six people obsessed in the series and they all wanted to see the origanal, I searched all over before I even knew what a Master System was. I called Sega of USA and they told me to look in pawn shops and flea markets. I searched for a year until I got the game and the SMS from a friend on the internet.

This series has changed my life. More people look up to me now for reasons I didn't understand until I got the whole series. (By the way I got a crush on Noah.) Maybe it was because I started talking like Wren, telling stupid Raja jokes, and drawing Musk cats everywhere. I kind of like Square Soft games, but do you realize how much they COPY from the PS series? Techniques, Combo spells, ESPERS... I really don't know what else to say, exept If anyone doesen't agree with me that this is the best series ever invented, I'll ask Myau to scratch out their eyes. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

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From: Kenneth Uhnak (97kju@wheatonma.edu):
I first asked for Phantasy Star for Christmas in 1988, when I started to play it i was hooked....forever... Rpgs are my favorite genre of game and they will always be. Phantasy Star 1 is the best game of all time! Without a doubt! I believed that then, and I still believe it now! The graphics on the first one are so incredible that I still cannot understand to this day how a video game on an 8 bit system turned out to be so great. I played it months on end and beat it several times! I still to this day play it every once in a while. When I was 13, im 20 now, Phantasy Star was my whole life, I never mapped out a single maze, I memorized them all, I still have them memorized. Phantasy Star changed my life!

In fact it saved my life, at that time my life was hell and Phantasy Star was my savior, it put me in a world that I had control of but this world was far superior than any other I've ever experienced. When i was 13 I even had a crush on Alis and to this day if I see a girl that looks like her, I melt away, it sounds sappy but Phantasy Star was the most awesome thing ever.

I awaited Phantasy Star 2 and got it it was awesome! Part 3 was different to say the least, but it was enjoyable. Part 4 was a different story, it wasnt going to come out here so I bought the Japanese version and cruised through it. IT was awesome, then when it finally came here I bought it again. The Phantasy Star series was so awesome but I had always wished that they had created a true sequel, when in which Alis, Myau, Odin and Noah were in it again. I grew attached to those characters so much! People can say what they want and argue, but let me put it straight right here, part 2 and 4 were great but part one to this day is unparalled! I hope they make another, I'll have to buy a Saturn, already have a Playstation! It may be blaspheme, but i also love Final Fantasy series on the SuperNes, in fact I just ordered FFV in Japanese because they wont release it here! I can't wait to play it! Let me say once again that PHANTASY STAR 1 IS THE BEST GAME OF ALL TIME!!!!!!!!

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From: Ido Hammer (i_hammer@netvision.net.il):
Well - I've first encountered PS in 1990, I think. It was PS1, for the Sega Master System. I had seen the game before at a friend's house. I didn't think then this game would be as amazing as I've found it later, after buying it.

Actually, my brother bought this game (he's now 16, 11 then), after my strong recomendations. ;) And then my twin brother (11 years old then), a friend of mine (16 years old then) and, of course, me (almost 13 then, almost 18 nowadays), started to play it. At the begining, it seemed nice, but as the plot advanced, we couldn't get away from the Sega device... The graphics were AMAZING for 8Bits 16 colors, and the musics and sound effects were outstanding too! But the best thing on the game was the plot. Until now, after playing this game about 5 times ;), I remember every little detail of the game.

About 6 months ago, I've got PS4 for my Mega Drive (Genesis). The game was amazing as well! But I wasn't as excited as I was while playing PS1... It just wasn't better, as I thought it would be. ;( Well - I still haven't found PS2 and PS3 available for purchasing, but I'll be looking for them until I find them. Anyway - if you still don't know the series - get it, and see why it's worth to live!

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From: Tom Miller (crs0052@inforamp.net):
The first time I played PS on my Master system was incredible. I was blown away by the graphics and sheer brilliance of the game. It's hard to look back now, after having played three other Phantasy Stars and think what it was like to play that first one, the first time. But, I think I can sum it up, incredible.

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From: Melvin R. Miller (mrmillr@connecti.com):
It is difficult for me to relate in words what the Phantasy Star series means to me. It has been a source of joy, sadness, intrigue, and has truly become a part of my soul. The characters and story will live on in me forever. It is almost incomprehensible how the plot can be so good and come together so well in Phantasy Star IV...This series is absolutely the best ever created.

The first experience I ever had with an RPG was about 5 years ago (I am now 16) and the game was PSIII. As I began to play this game, I was immediately intrigued by the style of play and the way things worked. Being a totally new experience for me, it took a little while for me to pick up all of the features, but when I figured out the game, I flew through it eagerly devouring the storyline and was all the time hungry for more. I finished the first generation in about 5 days, but had to return the game (I rented it) and was very disappointed (needless to say :-)) So, as soon as I could I went out and rented it again. This time I finished the game with two of the characters (the sons of Ayn) and the story became a bit confusing - the part with the spaceships that fled from Palma (I think that's it...)

I then decided that I should play Phantasy Star II to clear things up. I rented the game at first, but when I saw how long it took to get the meseta to buy the shotgun and the sword in the first town, I realized I would need to buy the game. So I found it about 2 months later and began my journey into the unknown, hoping to clear up what was goin' on in III. This game took forever...about 6 months to be more precise. I found out about the spaceships, about Dark Force and Mother Brain, and I was enthralled by the plot twists, but saddened by the death of Nei. Actually, I couldn't beat this game myself...I spent about a month just gaining levels with my characters in the final dungeon..place..whatever. I actually beat Dark Force once, and thought that the game was over! :-) But then I got fried by Mother Brain...and guess what? Yep, I didn't save (Arrrghhh!!!!!) the game! I tried and tried to beat it again, but just couldn't do it. So I got a game genie and became immortal....and got to see the ending, which remains one of the coolest endings ever...(It was amazing back then!)

Ok. Now what do I do? I had PSIII and PSII...but I wanted more. Unfortunately, to this day I haven't been able to get my hands on a copy of PSI...So I waited, and waited, aching for Phantasy Star RPGin'. One day, I heard from a friend about PSIV...I went crazy! I wanted this game so bad. But then Sega said, "There's no market," so we won't translate it. Thanks God it did eventually come out over here (U.S.). So I went out and bought the game, took it out of the box, and put it in my Genesis. The intro was REALLY cool...the music was so fitting for a PS finale. I could tell this game would be special. With all of the animations, plot twists, great music, characters, and spells (not to mention those great combo attacks!) I decided this was the best game I had ever played. I liked it more than anything SquareSoft could ever produce. The ending to this game is incredible, and a great connection between the other games, especially to PSI (which I haven't played, but have figured out a lot about from this game and story segments I got online).

I guess through all of this I am just trying to say that I love the Phantasy Star games, and hope more people will become involved in their incredible story and partake of all the joy, all the sadness, the good times and the bad, and overall, the great fulfillment at the end.

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From: Steve Swanson (sswan307@student2.uwsp.edu):
I've read all of the thoughts people have had about Phanasy Star 1, 2,3 and 4, and it is difficult to say more. But I will.

Phantasy Star is one of the only games that I have ever played that actually touched me. When Nei died, a part of me went with her. When Rolf, Rudo and the rest of the gang fought to stop the creators of Mother Brain, I cheered. When the lineage of Rhys was able to defeat Dark force, even on a space ship... a sigh of relief escaped me.

Then, Phantasy star 4. Undoubtedly, the most incredible RPG to ever hit a video game system. It brought the worlds of the Phantasy star series together, and in a way, made me whole. It isn't easy to put into words what Phantasy Star means to me, and I may seem a little strange the way I'm carrying on about it... but it has become a part of me. I thank Sega from the bottom of my heart... and I also implore them, keep Phantasy Star alive for all of those who where touched as I was.

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From: Quang Lai (qvlai@thinkage.on.ca):
I got PSI right when it first came out. I was still young and at that time, it was 100$ Cdn (which was an incredible amount of money for a video game at that time). I didn't even know what a RPG game was at that time! In fact, for the 1st few times that I played it, I didn't know what the hoolies was going on! It was really frustrating and I had thought that I had wasted a lot of money. Anyway, I started to play it as less of an action game (press the button as fast as you can) and started to realize how the combat system worked and after that, I was _hooked_ bigtime! Being my 1st RPG, it was the hardest for me. To me it had a lot of nasty lil' tricks and what not. In fact, it took me 4 years to finish! :) (no hints or help from anyone 'cept for my bro and sis who were also hooked on it). I remember when we finally got the spaceship and was ready to go to Motavia, we were like, "Woooow!!!!!". PSI was an incredible game and if it wasn't cuz my nephew has my SMS, I'd be playing it...I think I've replayed that game more than 50 times (but only finishing it once).

When I heard of PSII for the Genesis, I freaked and right after I bought my Genny, I bought the import version of PSII (somehow they didn't have the American version). It took me _two_ years to finish that game; no hints, guide or pre-made maps and worst of all, it was in a different language! My knowledge of Japanese increased dramatically because of that one game. The animation/graphx was incredible and I replayed that game many many times as well. The storyline (from what I made out of it), was good though it lacked a lot of treasure finding (like the Laconian stuff from I). I also thought that some of the dungeons were a little bit too hard (they were harder to map out than PSI). However, both PS's were incredible and I was eagerly waiting for the next one.

When I got PSIII, I was actually got disappointed. The idea of generations was great, though I thought the implementation was pretty bad. It got annoying going through the same towns and dungeons n times etc. The enemy animation was also very pathetic IMHO and it really didn't make me want to play. The backgrounds were nice but I'd rather have the grid like in PSII and let the enemies have cool animation. :) However, I diligently finished it all four times (ack) and have not touched it since (unlike the other two). For me, the best thing about PSIII was probably Wren. :)

Finally PSIV came out and it was an _incredible_ journey. The greatest thing (IMHO) about the PS series is the continuity (I've played several of the FF (even Jpnese versions) series and there is little to be had in continuity. For a finale, PSIV was awesome. Though I do have some gripes about it, overall the game was fantastic and brought my faith back in the PS series. I loved all the flashback and references to the previous three games (mostly of one though - which was ok) and how Noah has been around for so long. What else need be said?, this was for me much better than FF3 though it was shorter.

What I'd really like to see is a PS collection CD for the Saturn and one more PS for the Saturn as well. Wouldn't it be cool to have both 1st person perspective and top view dungeons?! Best console RPG series IMHO.

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From: Doug Kern (DA_Kern@ACAD.FANDM.EDU):
Well I guess it's time I tell the world about my thoughts on what I think ia probally the BEST series of games to ever be released on any platform, the Phantasy Star series.

I got the first game in the series as a Christmas present from my Dad. While he was bored by the game, he said that he paid $75.00 for a game in which people follow each other around, which today BTW is joke between us whenever I get a new consol rpg :-), was a little to much. Still even before I started playing I knew that there was something magical about the game. And when I did play it, WOW! This game had probally the best graphics that existed on any home system at the time. Yet this is not what made the game great. There was a story behind the game, and while going through it, I became quite attached to those charectars. Another thing I really enjoyed was that I was allowed to explore wherever I wished. This game did not suffer the linearity that most Japanese rpg's today have a problem with. When I finally defeated the Dark Falz, I got a great sense of accomplishment, and also eagerly awaited the next installment.

With the Genesis came the next installment, Phantasy Star II. While I enjoyed the game, and I know that many people will not agree with me here, it did not seem to capture the magic that the first one did. The game was much darker then the first one, and more linear. However some things really did stick out, IMHO. The tragic fate of Nei was probally the saddest moment that I ever saw in a game, and the seeing of Noah, I just can not except him as Lutz, was a great high point of the game. The repetiveness of the dugeons that were not in the cool 3-D perspective of the first game, did hurt PS II, though.

A little more then a year later, Phantasy Star III came out I rushed to purchase it. While the enemies were a disappointment animation-wise, it was nice to have backrounds again during battles. Also PSIII had some really good music in it, and was a little more serious in it's tone then the rest of the series. I enjoyed it as a nice side story that explained what happened to the people of Palma after PS II. Plus the wedding feature was a cool idea.

I had to wait almost three years before I was able to play Phantasy Star IV, and the wait was worth it. When I stared playing it, I got a sense that reminded me of the fealing that I had when I played the first game. I loved the charecters, and the cool anime interludes. When it came out, I eagerly paid $90.00 for it, it was, after all, only 15.00 more then what I paid on the original games. When I finished it, I knew that I could finally say good-bye to the Algol system with a sense of closure. I knew that I could finally leave it.

Now that Sega may be possible working on a new series of Phantasy Star Games, called Phantasy Earth, derived from an ending from PS III, I am excited again. Hopefully the Saturn can be graced with the magic of this series which surpasses anything put out by Square. I look forward to the day when it happens.

goldbar

From: Marcel White (stogg@ATCON.COM):
The first time that I played Phantasy Star, I was really surprised Sega had done it. The game developed excellently as I picked up characters and fought a wide variety of enemies. Succubus was a cool surprise. Phantasy Star two was a big step again, but it was nice that they went back to PS to kind of get you going in the story. PS3 was a dissapointment, mainly because I think having choices of who to marry takes away from the game.

goldbar

From: Suvian@aol.com:
I started playing Phantasy Star 1 on the Master System when I was about six years old. As I grew older and became more familiar with RPG's I realized that the best one ever made was the first Phantasy Star. At the time, Phantasy Star had the absolute best graphics around. The game had more plot twists and surprises than any other RPG I have ever played.

When the series continued onto the Genesis in Phantasy Star II, I was happy to see that they mentioned Alis and Dark Force. PSII was a very entertaining game, but some dungeons started to get monotonous. It all made up for it at the end with Noah from PSI (under a different name) and low and behold the surprise leader from the FIRST Phantasy Star. I think that PSII had the all time best ending of any game on all platforms to date.

I had my hopes up for the third Phantasy Star but after buying and playing it for a month realized it was a far cry from the first two. It had many great ideas and premises but what really dragged it down was the HORRIBLE enemy animation. Some of the leaders were just great looking, but when confronted by a huge stone golem and being attacked by it's wiggling ears, yet utterly boring to watch. My favorite aspect of the game was the choice of different wives which led to different offspring who each had different abilities. But the fact that you had to play through too many boring monsters and dungeons was to much even for the first generation to get over with.

Regrettingly I have to say that not only have I not bought PSIV, I haven't even played it yet. I've heard much about it and believe it could easily be as good as the first two. I again would like to say that I was greatly pleased to see that someone else has a deep love for the Phantasy Star series. Thanks for brining back the memories.

goldbar

From: Lowell Wheeler (lowellw@lfs.loral.com):
I started the series with part 2 and was hooked. I've since played 3, 4 and just recently got a SMS to play the first (definatly the best IMHO). I still remember watching the father kill his own daughter at the first tunnel in part 2 and thinking, wait... he can't ... wow! And when Nei died, I knew that this series was special, because they wouldn't just use some formula plot to get you to the next boring dungeon.

goldbar

From: Todd Brown (TBrown5085@aol.com):
The first time I played PS1, I was incredibly overjoyed. I couldn't believe it was 8 bit. I played PS2 before #1. I thought everything about that game was incredible. Especially the music and the too cool for words graphics. I liked the little things like the hanging pipes in the factories on Mota to the blue grid which gave it cool futuristic appeal. The ending was the best of any RPG and even beats out 99% of today's games. When I won PS2, my search for PS1 began and it wasn't easy! I eventually found a copy for 69.95 at a distant Toys R us.

I've had it [PS4] since it debuted in japan. The game was incredible in every way! I especially liked the remixed music from PS1 in the Air Castle. The return of Lassic was an incredible idea except I didn't like some of the translations like Lashiec? or Dezolis? The Lutz story kinda confused me a little, but it was cool nonetheless. The music was also a masterpiece everywhere.

However, PS2 will always remain a favorite as far as a classic goes. Nothing will every beat it in the sense that it was the most fun game that I devoted hundreds of hours to. The mood was perfect everywhere.

goldbar

From: Francisco Jose Rivera (fjrc@netgate.net):
Before I knew RPGs existed, the closest thing I saw to one was a text-based game in which you explored a haunted house. You used commands like "left", "up", "get knife", "yes", and so on. After a few hours I became frustrated because the author of the program didn't give you any clues about how to proceed.

A few years later my cousin told me that she had a Sega Master System. She told me about the games she had and that the one she liked most was one called Phantasy Star. By the way she described it, it seemed like the text-based game I played before.

One day she came to my house with her Master System and her and let me borrow it (how generous of her :-) ). Since I didn't think I would like Phantasy Star, I played all the other games except that one. Eventually I became bored, so I decided to try it out "just to see what it was like". After I played for a while and realized what the game was about, I fell in love. At that time I became hooked in RPGs forever (I didn't know it at the time). After I finished playing I went back to my cousin (who was still at my house) and asked her all sorts of questions: "How do I do this?" "How do I do that?" She said that it would be unfair for her to tell me after going through all the work of finding all this things herself, and that I should start taking notes and draw maps. So I began to do that. By the way, she wasn't that cruel. After a while she gave in and started telling me a few hints. :-)

Unfortunately, my sisters told my cousin that I woke up at five o'clock in the morning to play Phantasy Star and didn't let them sleep. So she came back to my house and took it away. :-( A few months later she changed her mind and let me borrow it again, after I promised her that I would never play it again at 5:00 am. Of course, I lied. Eventually I started playing at 5:00 am but with the volume turned off.

Since that game is very hard (now, looking back, it is the hardest RPG I have ever seen) I got stuck many times. After not playing that game for a few months, or after other game players game me hints, I came back to it. Eventually, I killed Lassic and got stuck at the last cave. I never finished the game, even after other players gave me hints, mainly because my cousin asked for the machine and the games back because she wanted to give them to a friend who didn't have much money. So I will always have in my subconscious mind the fact that I never won Phantasy Star. :-(

Believe it or not, I never bought Phantasy Star II because I didn't like the graphics. I bought Phantasy Star III and it was all right, but I didn't like the ending. Furthermore, although the fact that it has four endings depending on who you marry was a good idea, the four games weren't much different from one another. So I only played through one ending. Now, looking back, I would say that Phantasy Star III is not really a sequel, but a spin-off of Phantasy Star. And there is nothing wrong with that. And now I would buy Phantasy Star II if see a used copy somewhere.

For years I waited for Phantasy Star IV. When I saw the first pictures of the town of Piata in a magazine (before the game was finished) I knew I had to have it. I became frustrated when Sega of America said it would not translate it because it would be too expensive and "there isn't enough market for it" but eventually (thank God :-) ) they decided to do it. After many delays, it came, but what is this? A hundred bucks? I said that there is no way I would pay one hundred dollars for a game. I would wait until its price came down.

A little later I bought another game for the Sega CD, which cost only half of what Phantasy Star IV sold for. I don't remember what this game was called, but it was about vikings. After I played it for a while, I became bored with it because it didn't have a plot. It was just a series of puzzles. Besides, I didn't like the way the fights were implemented. So I came back to the store to return it. This is the only time I returned a game.

When I came to the store I said that there was no way I would buy Phantasy Star IV, and that I would choose another similarly-prized game. However, I carried with me another fifty dollars "just in case". ;-) And guess what? When I looked through the store, I found out that the only game I really liked was Phantasy Star IV, and besides, I was in an "rpg kind-of-mood". Have you ever felt the urge to play a new RPG, and that urge doesn't go away until you actually do so?

So I told myself "What the hell, you only live once!" The employee told me that if I returned a game because I didn't like it, I could not return the game I took in its place. I didn't worry about it at all because I knew I would never want to return Phantasy Star IV. After I reached my house and played it, I fell in love all over again. I believe that this is the best Phantasy Star of them all, and it is a great way to end the series. It has a great plot (on which the plot of Phantasy Star I is remembered), great music, great characters, great magic spells (especially the combination attacks) and great graphics. It's true that they changed the names of many of the characters, items, and places, but who cares? This mistake lowered the grade of the game from a 100 to a 95, but that is still a solid A.

Phantasy Star IV is the best game I have ever played. When I bought the Nomad as soon as it came out (as a birthday present for myself) the first game I plugged into it was Phantasy Star IV. I have won this game five times already, and still play it once in a while.

goldbar

From: Kenshiro (Philippe.Verhelst@ping.be):
It was a long time ago, the Megadrive/Genesis was only just out in the stores, and I was a young fool to have one. The price was very high, too much, something like 400$!!! My first game was Altered Beast... There was not a lot of choice, and there was Sword of Vermillion and Phantasy Star II.

I knew PS by name, I have see it on the Master System a long time ago... With one of my friend, I bought PS and SwOfVerm. I finished SoV very fast, then the time was come for PS.

I had one week of holiday, the house for me alone, no mother to bother me. The big TV to play... And it was the beginning of the quest...

No map, no hint book, nothing at all, it was my friend that has it... And that was a marvelous week, I played only PSII, I woke up at 10 to 11 AM, went to sleep to 1 to 2 AM... Long Quest... Lot of traps... No hints... One full week...

And the sunday, I was proud to finish the best game that I have played... The Ending of this game is I think the greatest experience I had known. I was young, I'm 24 now, I must have been at that time 17 or 18 years old. And still now I remember Nei... My beloved Nei... Her death... The ending, when I wanted to say: "Not yet, I will defend myself against all these Terrans." And still now there are a lot of mysteries...

I have played PSIII, not yet PSIV, but I wonder what I will discover... The words miss me... But, PSII is the best RPG I have played, and for that I can thank SEGA... That's it. It is short maybe... But I will be able to write a book about it, but time go too fast... Sorry if my English is bad, I speak French in fact...

Thanks, and High Hope for PSV on Saturn...

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