The Phantasy Star Series


Review

Published by: Sega Of America
Reviewed by: Kelesis
System: Sega Master System, Sega GameGear, Sega Genesis and Sega Dreamcast
Genre: True RPG

Back in 1988, Sega released a Role Playing Game called Phantasy Star for their 8 Bit system, Sega Master System. Phantasy Star was (and still is) considered and best Master System title.

Phantasy Star, undoubtfully, has the best graphics ever seen on any 8 Bit system, the music is great, the dungeons are amazing 3D, but, in my opinion, the most important ingrediant on the game was the sophisticated, long and awesome plot.

The place: Algol Star System, deep in the Andromeda galaxy, a Solar System of three planets:

Phantasy Star 1 (Master System, 1988)

The story:

The time: Space Century 342.

Under the democratic rule of King Lassic, life was good as he provided everything his people could want. Space Travel had been discovered 200 years before, and deep space shuttles had allowed colonization of Motavia and Dezoris.

But slowly, over time, things began to change. It started with a new religion which was rumored to have come from another galaxy. The dark priests of this religion, never seen by any mortal, promised immortality to all who joined. You would live forever!

King Lassic was getting old. The idea of living forever appealed to him, so he became the first to join. Then, he.... changed. It started with the threatening suit of armor the priests made for him. The armor looked evil and corrupt, and that's how Lassic begun to rule his people. Outrageous taxes became a burden on everyone. Business on all three planets shut down and entire towns fell into decay. There was no way for the people to make any money.

As time passes and the people suffered, horrible creatures and monsters began to stalk all three worlds. When the dead came back to live, the people feared the worst, and guessed the truth. Through black magic, Lassic has become an evil tyrant.

But where's evil, there is also always good. Brave individuals began to rally in secret against Lassic. But his Robotcops were ruthless in hunting out these defenders of the people. One of them was Nero, a spaceport worker in Camineet, the central town of Palma. Long ago, his father had disappeared trying to learn Lassic's evil secrets. Now, the Robotcopts had crushed Nero as well. Before he died, he passed on his short sword and his quest to his sister, Alis. He also told her to find a brave fighter named Odin.

Alis raised the sword to the sky, and vowed that Nero's death would not go unavenged.


Graphics:

Undoubtfully the best graphics ever seen on any 8 Bit console. 3D animated dungeons and battles, with many kinds of monsters, which are both creative and fit the place and the time. During the battles, there are backgrounds, 3D as well, fitting the kind of surface you were walking on.
In one word: AMAZING!

Rating: 10/10

Sound and Music:

The music is good, catchy yet doesn't repeat itself too much, and there is plenty of it. There is a certain music for each kind of dungeon, city/village, or planet, which helps analyzing the game better. The Sound Effects are good, and really add to the feeling of the game.

Rating: 9/10

Gameplay:

Tied to the story, the gameplay makes this game just almost impossible to leave. I remember playing it hours over hours, skipping school and staying awake full nights, just because I could not leave this game, no matter how much I wanted to. The only flaws in the game are the speed (which was normal back then, so it didn't bother me at the time), and the fact that you have to do A LOT of walking, at least until the second half of the game, when you get a vehicle, but even then, you can hardly move from a city to city easily. At least it forces you to fight, and therefore, much less level-building is required (I remember not building levels at all, on my first game, and I reached the maximum way before the end of the game).

Rating: 10/10

A Green Dragon

Lassic

Hehe... wait until you meet THAT!

As for the characters in the game:

Alis Landale - a young girl, trying to avenge her Brother, Nero's, death.

Myau - a mysterious talking cat.

Odin - a legendary warrior.

  • Noah - a powerful wizard, hiding somewhere in Motavia.

    The Phantasy Star Team



    Phantasy Star 2 (Genesis, 1989)

    Somewhere drifting in space is the beautiful Algol Star System. Around the parent star, Algol, whirl its three children: Palma, Motavia, and Dezoris .

    Closest to Algol is Palma, the economic and intelectual stronghold of the system. Thinkers and rulers live there, high in ivory towers, away from the hubbub of everyday life.

    Next is Motavia, the shining jewel. This fertile farm planet is a tropical paradise, peaceful, prosperous and happy. On Motavia everyone has everything they want. No one has to work hard - or even work at all.

    Dezoris is farthest out - and the most mysterious. Not much is known about this dark planet.

    Among the planets, Motavia's history is the most troubled. From far in her past comes the legend of Alis, the courageous young woman who fiercely fought - and succeeded - in ridding Motavia of the evil oppressor, Lassic.

    But now, another tragedy oppresses Motavia. This one is far worse than Lassic, being not a person, but an unknown evil! Everything is affected by it - the climate, the machinery, even nature!

    On Motavia, strange, vicious creatures infest the countrysides. They terrify and destroy! No longer does anyone venture outside a city - unless they don't want to return.

    What's happened to Mother Brain, the controlling entity on Motavia? Why have things gone so wrong? Who is smart enough to solve the riddle? And who is brave enough to save the planet?

    Graphics:
    Considering this game is one of the Genesis' first games, the graphics are great! However, what bothered me the most concerning the graphics, is the lack of background during the battles. Also the dungeons are now less impressive because they are not 3D.
    Rating: 9/10

    Sound and music:
    I haven't played the whole game, so I haven't heard all of it, but the some I have heard, is pretty good. The sound effects are standard.
    Rating: 8.5/10

    Gameplay:
    This game seemed to me much less fascinating than its older brother, the first in the series. But that's probably because I started playing it much after its time (1995). However, it was not the only reason. Needless to say, that the non-3D dungeons are much more boring, and that the high difficulty level frustrated me from time to time. But I guess that if I had played it right after its release, I would have really enjoyed it.
    Rating: 8.5/10

    A battle scene

    Lutz

    Wander on the surface of Dezoris


    Phantasy Star 3 (Genesis, 1991)

    Today's your big day. You're marrying Maia , the mysterious woman you found on the shores of your father's kingdom. But as you and Maia walk up the aisle, a winged dragon grabs your bride and disappears...

    This is the tragic start ot what seems to be a never-ending journey into a world of loathsome creatures and wicked souls. Explore seven dungeon-ridden worlds as you fend off mutated beasts with swords, knives and bows. Transform into an aerojet and fly over mountain peaks and lifeless deserts. Turn into an aquaskimmer and cross the blue seas. Or become a submersible and dive into a sunken palace.

    Live through three generations in this epic advanture and find out what lies behind this realm of terror. Only you determine which of the four endings you'll experience.

    The title screen

    A mysterious woman lying on the sea shore

    Dark Force

    Phantasy Star 4 (Genesis, 1994)

    Two thousand years ago, in the Algol solar system, there was a war fit to end all wars. The civilization that emerged from the wrackage flourished and prospered, until the fateful day when Mother Brain-the central computer system on the planet of Palma-exploded.

    Palma was destroyed, initiating the slow destruction of the same worlds that Mother Brain was built to protect. The ancient maintenance Bio-systems, which were built with the last great technological knowledge not lost in the war, begain to break down. Their malfunctions release terrible monsters upon the worlds the systems were built to maintain and protect.

    A caste of warriors, known as Hunters emerged. They were mercenaries who specialized in exterminating the Bio-Monsters that plagued the simple cities and villages.

    Our story begins on the world of Motavia, over two thousand years after the Great War. A young hunter named Chaz Ashley is about to embark on his first assignment. He doesn't know it yet, but his adventure will take him beyond Motavia, and beyond history itself.

    A battle scene (on foot)

    A battle scene (on vehicle)

    Explore a village

    A discovery

    Principles or money?

    Dark Force

    News! News! News! News! News! News! News!

    Phantasy Star Online, the fifth game in the series was officially announced for Dreamcast! It will be released in japan by the end of 2000. I guess it means we'll see the english version a few months later.
    Phantasy Star Online will feature the Dreamcast's modem to allow four human players to play together.
    Besides that, there aren't many details about the game. I'll keep this site updated with any details I come up with.












    Click to download a Phantasy Star Online Movie (psomovie.mpg - 3.18MB)

    For further information on Phantasy Star, check out The Phantasy Star Pages.

    Thanks to Maxlow of the The Phantasy Star Pages for the Phantasy Star screeshots and pictures!



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