[an error occurred while processing this directive] After weeks and weeks of preparation, Phantasy Star Ultimate has finally arrived. For those expecting a huge bombshell, such is not the case. Phantasy Star Ultimate, or PSU, is something that will unfold slowly, gradually, and in fact many of you won't notice its effects for some time.

But what is it?

PSU is a framework around which I and my partner, Michael Ripplinger, will endeavor to create a cohesive, consistant, and (hopefully) enjoyable representation of the Phantasy Star Universe. It will consist of fictional stories, written by us, that adhere to PSU's main ingredient: the PSU Timeline. This timeline contains every single "official" PS event revealed in the games, AND it holds every plot element that we came up with ourselves to glue every game together. I can say right now, with utmost confidance, that there are NO paradoxes, NO contradictions, and NO inconsistancies present in the framework, unlike the games themselves. Note here that we based our framework on the American versions of the games, and we only include events from the original Japanese versions if they do not conflict with the subsequent "translations." This in no way proclaims the American plot lines as better than the originals; we are simply catering to a certain audience who, for the most part, has only been exposed to the American versions.

You've gotten a taste of PSU already. Both The Epic and Agent's Destiny are mutually compatible with each other, and with PSU as a whole. That's the idea. Whenever either of us produces a story, you can be assured that it will exist firmly in the PSU boundaries. Everything will be linked with everything else.

A bit egocentric? Perhaps. No rational, sane beings would spend endless days discussing plot details so minute as to make your head spin. Regardless, we felt the need to offer what no PS fan has yet been given: Unity.

I'll wrap this up now, but first a few words on the features of PSU. The stories that you've read already will be joined by new ones, extrapolating events that are never fully explored in the games. Look to the Upcoming section for a glimpse at where PSU is headed next. The Time Line section will allow you to see for yourself what we've charted out and when, though I have to warn you, it will be rare that you'll see an event listed that hasn't been revealed in any of our stories yet. Sorry.

Finally, LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! Is PSU a good idea or a bad idea? What are we doing right? What can we improve? You can email me,, or Michael. Come on, we can take it...

Thanks for your time.

James Maxlow-- July 4th, 1996

"By the way, there are some plot points coming up in my story that may have an impact on yours that I would like to get your opinion on. I'd really like to see our stories be compatible rather than contradictory, so I'd like to know what your interpretation of some game events are."

That was what Jim wrote to me one day shortly after I started chatting with him via email. I suppose it's that line that started it all, though it could go back further, to the day I first discovered the Phantasy Star Pages and thought, "Hmm, maybe I've found some people that would like that old Agent's Destiny thing I started writing and never finished." Or, you could even say it started the day my brother Todd and I first plugged a cartridge into our Sega Master System called Phantasy Star. (Four-Mega Plus indeed.)

Regardless, the project now called Phantasy Star Ultimate started off as an attempt by Jim and myself to (A) make Phantasy Star -- The Epic and Agent's Destiny compatible with one another and (B) turn some of the question marks in Algo history into periods, or in some cases, into exclamation marks. From there, it grew until we weren't just making our stories compatible, but the games themselves, as well.

At first glance, Phantasy Star II doesn't have much to do with the first game, except that it takes place in the same solar system, and there are a few references to the heroes I had come to love so much from 1000 years before. When Phantasy Star III came around, I wasn't even in Algo anymore, and it wasn't until the very end of the game that I found out people actually remembered the coolest place in the galaxy. There were indeed stronger links in Phantasy Star IV, but still, overall, the games felt a little too much like isolated incidents -- almost independent of each other -- for my tastes.

I guess Jim felt the same way. In Phantasy Star Ultimate, we've created a framework in which the four Phantasy Star games are not just four important eras in one solar system's history, but one epic 2000-year long adventure, in which generations of brave heroes and great Protectors -- people like Alis, Rolf, and Chaz -- dedicate their lives to defending their world against a threat from before time itself, the Profound Darkness.

As Jim stated above, we can't unveil everything just yet, as we'd rather announce our theories in stories rather than in the timeline, but if you'll be so kind as to give us a little time, you'll find that, truly, everything happens for a reason in the Algo Star System. And if we've succeeded, you'll really enjoy yourself learning how.

Michael Ripplinger-- July 4th, 1996.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]