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''Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium'' is a direct sequel to the second ''VideoGame/PhantasyStar'' game, returning to the Algol System a thousand years after the events of ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarII''. The game stars Chaz Ashley, an apprentice Bounty Hunter who lives and trains on Motavia with his [[TheObiWan partner and mentor]] Alys Brangwyn. Chaz and Alys are summoned to the Motavia Academy, where they're hired to deal with an unfortunate monster infestation of the school's basement, then to investigate the cult that is causing suffering and destruction all over the planet. This eventually leads Chaz on a mission across the entire system, where he finally discovers the truth behind Dark Force.

Generally considered to be the apex of the original tetralogy for a number of reasons (not the least of which was the more advanced technology behind the game allowing for a ''much'' more expansive and better-produced experience than its predecessors), and more arguably the best game of the entire franchise. Certainly it's one of the highest-reviewed entries and holds a special place in the hearts of longtime fans.

The tech for the game did require a very expensive cart. The game was first sold at ''double'' the average for games at the time. Fortunately, the game has since been released on several compilations, and is available on the VirtualConsole, each at a fraction of that price.
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!!Provides Examples Of:
* ActionGirl: Alys, Rika, Demi, and Kyra all qualify.
* AdventurerArchaeologist: Seth, who has some pretty potent skills for an old dude who just wants to poke around an abandoned ruin. [[spoiler: This is because he's actually Dark Force.]]
* AfterTheEnd: A millennium after the destruction of Parma, the downfall of Mother Brain, and the collapse of Algo's civilization.
* AmazingTechnicolorBattlefield: The entire final dungeon appears to be some sort of flashing lava lamp dimension.
* ArbitraryHeadcountLimit: Justified; if a character isn't on the battlefield, they're not in your party, because the plot makes sure that whenever someone leaves, there's someone new to take up the fifth slot, right up until the end: [[spoiler: there's only five Rings of the Stars, so you'll have to choose your fifth member. It's arbitrary because ''no one'' can equip the Rykros Ring, so whoever you pick at the end doesn't get one anyway.]]
* ArtificialHuman: Rika.
** Wren and Demi count, to a extent.
*** They're also a few enemies that fall into this.
* AwesomeButImpractical: While most of the game's combination techniques are quite practical, the ultimate one isn't really any use at all, because it bumps into the game's (fairly low) damage limit and does less damage than your late-game characters can do individually.
* BackFromTheDead: Lassic/Lashiec, one of the {{Big Bad}}s of the original ''{{VideoGame/Phantasy Star|I}}'', returns as a major boss.
* BatmanCanBreatheInSpace: Averted. When first arriving at the Air Castle, which is floating amidst the asteroid field of debris that is the remains of the planet Parma, the party is genuinely surprised to find a breathable atmosphere waiting for them.
* BatmanGambit: A client in one of the guild missions tries to pull one off by [[spoiler: siccing some hired hunters onto the head honcho of a flock of birds he himself bred. He assumed the hunters would be defeated and his fellow villagers would be encouraged to leave the flock alone]]. It backfires on him, since the hunters he hired just got back from fighting an EldritchAbomination.
** Incidentally, his choice of words ("head honcho bird") was mercilessly lampooned in the LetsPlay run of PSIV.
* BecomeARealBoy: Averted for Wren, Demi, and Seed. Their [[RidiculouslyHumanRobot remarkable human-like qualities]] have nothing to do with a sudden epiphany of human understanding, they're just ''hundreds of years old''. Their calm logic is also never compromised by their feelings. [[spoiler: Upon sending Rika into the world, Seed even self-destructs in order to end the monster outbreak without a moment's hesitation or a sliver of existential crisis.]]
* BerserkButton: Don't mention Alys' measurements while she's around. Unless you like being {{Megaton Punch}}ed in the mouth.
** Kyra's is more broad, as the thing that pisses her off is watching other people suffer, but her first reaction to seeing [[spoiler: Meese slowly becoming a zombie hotbed]] is to haul off alone and try to kill the source. [[DamselInDistress It doesn't go well]].
* BeyondTheImpossible: Wren and Demi are androids, hundreds of years old, and have no biological components but if you get their levels high enough, they will eventually gain points in the Mental stat (they normally have 0, because they're machines), and although they never learn anything to spend them on, ''they will gain Technique Points''.
* BishonenLine: [[spoiler: Dark Force]] fight one is against an organic blob monstrosity [[BodyHorror (with a face)]] integrated into a wall of machinery, fight two is against a chitin-armored juggernaut scorpion thing covered with fang-filled maws [[BodyHorror that also has (the same) face]], and fight three is against a giant nightmare humanoid with a sword for an arm.
** [[spoiler: The Profound Darkness]] would be a more traditional example, as its first and second forms are gigantic [[UpToEleven and even more nightmarish]] versions of the first two fights mentioned above, and its final form is a still-colossal, apparently female, and rather nubile humanoid with [[FlamingHair long, glowing tresses]].
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: The Profound Darkness is defeated once and for all, but the heroes all return to where they come from. And since Wren and Demi take the Landale to Zelan with them, Chaz has absolutely ''no chance'' of ever seeing Raja or Kyra again. Basically the implication is that everyone returns to their lives and none of them ever see each other again.]]
** [[spoiler: However, the closing scenes show the heroes happy and content, with the people of Algo able to live free from the threat of the Profound Darkness. And Rika [[IChooseToStay chooses to stay]].]]
* BluntMetaphorsTrauma: Alys is referred to as "Alys the Eight Stroke Sword", and takes great offense to it, leading to some players wondering why she would be so bothered by such a cool nickname; the phrase in Japanese is a little closer to "Rip-Their-Guts-Out Lyla", which is a bit more understandable. This still makes sense in either translation when you realize she's a consummate professional who makes it obvious she doesn't like to brag.
* BodyHorror: Used a few times; one of Dark Force's abilities is the corruption (and literally Corrosion, both the process and the in-game magic ability) of mortal bodies. [[WombLevel Garuberk Tower]] is an entirely biological mass with random veins and eyes in it, [[spoiler: Seth and Zio]] both undergo some very painful-looking reshapings, even [[spoiler: Alys]] is said to consciously reject all healing due to the Black Wave. It's [[AllThereInTheManual never shown in game]], but Zio also has a gnarled, monstrously deformed hand due to Dark Force's... "blessing".
* BossInMookClothing: At least two to speak of:
** Early in the game, Infantworms would burrow under the ground and either call mommy or grow up really, really fast, as you'd find yourself facing a SandWorm that you were most likely ill-equipped to fight at that point. This occurs after an optional mission involving a sand worm fight, and so the player may expect the battle to go at least similarly or, more likely, with greater ease. [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown Turns out it doesn't quite happen that way.]]
** (Much) later on, you'd encounter the [[UnfortunateNames Prophallus]], and boy, was he a [[JustForPun hard one]]. Who knew that a monster with only one attack could mop the floor with your RagtagBunchOfMisfits so effortlessly? Then again, with a name like his, he must have had the living [[SmallReferencePools falz]] teased out of him on the demon playground as a kid. All that resentment's gotta go somewhere.
*** That monster's name in the Japanese version is [[EldritchAbomination Dark]] [[VideoGame/PhantasyStar Falz]], and [[CallBack looks]] ''[[CallBack exactly]]'' [[CallBack like the original one]].
* BrokenBridge: Quite a few, though generally not solved with "fixing the bridge." The more common solution is [[spoiler: "now we've got a super-high-tech vehicle that obviates the obstruction."]]
** The one absolutely straight example is the bridge that connects the two landmasses between Zema and Nalya. You can't cross until after Rika joins your party.
* CassandraTruth: Raja probably knows more about what's happening on Dezolis than anyone on the planet, outside of [[spoiler: the high priest of Gumbious Temple and Lutz himself]], but he's a crusty old man who makes bad jokes and generally irritates people, so no one wants to listen to him. This may have something to do with why he was [[ReassignedToAntarctica sent to manage a backwater temple in the middle of nowhere.]]
* BruiserWithASoftCenter: When Alys isn't busy maintaining her status as the guild's top hunter, pressuring information out of suspicious clients, slugging dirty old men in the face and being all around badass, she cooks tasty food for her elderly neighbour... which genuinely surprises the other party members when it's revealed. Much to Alys' embarassment. Said neighbour later reveals Alys is also into poetry. You do the math.
* ButNowIMustGo: Everyone leaves to return to their lives at the game's end. [[spoiler: But this applies to Rune more than the others, as he as to pass on Lutz' essence to future generations.]]
* ButtMonkey: Hahn, TheSmartGuy, is this for the first part of the game.
* [[CallingTheOldManOut Calling the Old God Out]]: Chaz gets this combined with a WorldOfCardboardSpeech during Le Roof's ExpositionBreak. [[spoiler: When informed of the whole cosmological conflict between the Great Light and the Profound Darkness, Chaz [[{{Deconstruction}} points out]] the [[UnfortunateImplications less-than-optimal consequences]] of the Great Light's [[SealedEvilInACan imprisoning the Profound Darkness]] and then [[HaveYouSeenMyGod vanishing from the known universe]].]]
* CallARabbitASmeerp / CallAHitPointASmeerp: Each character has two pools of abilities, called "Techniques" and "Skills." Using Techniques draw from a character's pool of [[{{Mana}} Technique Points]] and generally look and act like magic spells. Skills generally involve some kind of physical act or special talent and follow a [[VancianMagic Fire-And-Forget]] model that allows each individual learned Skill to be used a certain number of times. Both Technique Points and Skill uses are restored during rests. This distinction wouldn't merit a mention were magic not an in-universe phenomenon declared to be separate from Techniques; the magic abilities certain party members learn are Skills, not Techniques.
* CombatMedic: Rika.
* CombinationAttack: Certain combinations of techniques and/or skills will result in these as long as nobody else acts in between the involved characters' turns. Results in a
** DiscOneNuke: By the time the first dungeon is finished you should have access to Triblaster [[spoiler: Foi + Wat + Tsu]]. It can oneshot anything you encounter in random battles and is potent enough to be of use in boss fights for nearly the entirety of the time you spend on Motavia.
** The game also has a few enemies that can either combine to become a bigger, meaner monster or team up to unleash a very painful attack on your entire party. You want to let the former happen since the bigger monster gives more experience, but the latter is to be avoided at all costs. One trio of bosses also uses a painful combination attack as a counter against multitarget attacks.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: "Whee! A crash landing! Cool!!!"
* ContinuityNod: One of the towns contains a statue of Alis Landale, heroine of the first game. A store in that same town even sells expensive souvenirs, including "Alis' Sword", a pathetic (toy) weapon with really low attack power.
* CoolBigSis: Kyra views herself as this towards Chaz.
* CoolOldGuy: Raja, who is also a DeadpanSnarker.
* TheCorruption: The Black Energy Wave. It causes a degenerative disease that not only incapacitates its victims, leaving them bedridden and in pain for days, but forces them to actually ''reject'' all healing techniques and treatment until they finally die. If their corpses continue being exposed to it, then it revives them as rotting, poison-spewing zombies. The only way the Espers manage to keep any of the people in Meese's hospital alive is by directly conferring their own life energy to the afflicted people's bodies, and even that much is just a stopgap, not a solution.
* CosmicHorrorStory: This game reveals that [[spoiler: the Algo System is the padlock on a dimensional cage sealing the Profound Darkness. Palmans, Motavians, and Dezorians were created by the Great Light to prevent the Profound Darkness from breaking free--and that the reign of Lassic and the destruction of Palma by the Earthlings were just a part of its attempts to escape. Chaz is not happy with this, though he ultimately stands against the Darkness anyway]].
* CrutchCharacter: Alys is much more powerful than the other early game characters at first, but even leaving aside [[spoiler:the fact that you lose her after her PlotlineDeath]], her growth curve is such that other characters quickly catch up if you {{level grind|ing}}.
** Not to mention Rune, when he first joints the party; he's capable of wiping out screenfuls of enemies with a single attack and comes with a weapon that can be used as an unlimited supply of healing spells. Taking a moment to level grind with a macro that starts with someone using the Wood-Cane and Rune casting Hewn or Gra is a very easy exploit.
* CurbStompBattle: Chaz vs Re-Faze, and it's a beatdown for the ages.
* CuteMonsterGirl: Rika.
* CutscenePowerToTheMax: Rune's Flaeli skill is only a bit stronger than his weakest fire spell, but in a cutscene he can blast a wall of rocks to dust with it.
* DamselInDistress: Demi and Kyra both need to be rescued prior to joining your party. [[spoiler:Demi is being held captive in Zio's tower, and Kyra needs to be saved from [[LeeroyJenkins her own foolhardy assault]] on Garuberk Tower.]] They're both rather unusual downplayed versions of the trope, in that Demi's capture is a necessary strategic move [[spoiler: because she's a vital component of the environmental control system]] and Kyra isn't kidnapped, she's just too hot-blooded and pissed off to run [[spoiler: which is the only way to escape the carnivorous trees alive.]]
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarII'' depicted Motavia as a CrapsaccharineWorld: the once barren desert world was now a lush green world and people lead easy lives (albeit with restricted freedoms thanks to Mother Brain). Now, Motavia is a desert world once more, with monsters as far as the eye can see and all the technological progress from the previous millennium lost.
* DeadpanSnarker: Raja first and foremost, but Alys and Rune also have their moments.
* DecoyProtagonist: [[spoiler: Alys. Considering how similar her name is to the protagonist of the first game, you'd think she was the main character, wouldn't you? Beside, she's usually swapped into the first character slot when she joins and acts like a leader.]]
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything: A few examples:
** If you want to find out if the dialogue changes if you don't have anyone who can cast Gires [[spoiler: when Alys dies]], you will find that Juza will spam his powerful Forceflash ability (unless one of your healers will level up and master Gires with the EXP gained from defeating him) to kill your entire party. Even if you grind to make Alys and Gryz as powerful as possible, Gryz's lack of useful Skills and Techniques and Alys' extremely slow and limited growth path, as well as the fact that neither of them have healing techniques, mean that Juza will still wipe the floor with them. It'll just take longer.
** Guards don't let you leave first city until you've done with the story. You can try spending several hours grinding monsters in very first dungeon in horribly painful attempt to gain access to level 7 and spell that would teleport you to world map, but even then guards would appear on world map along you and drag you back.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: It's a CosmicHorrorStory with a positive (if not entirely happy) ending; this is par for the course.
* DirtyOldMan: Grandfather Dorin, albeit amusingly so.
* DiscOneFinalDungeon: Nurvus, [[spoiler: especially since all of the plot development up to that point indicates the problems will be solved once through. Veterans of the series would understand that the lack of space travel would indicate the game isn't over, leading to the second DiscOneFinalDungeon at the Kuran satellite. After vanquishing Dark Force and restoring order to Algol's rogue climate-control systems, it might almost seem like the game was over. Nope.]]
** [[spoiler: ....and then they do it ''again'' with Garuberk Tower.]]
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: [[RobotGirl De]][[RidiculouslyHumanRobot mi]] asks for everyone else to turn their back to her and close their eyes while she installs a new weapons system. Chaz lampshades this with his confusion at the request.
** It must be stated that this secret weapon just so happens to be installed in her ''chest'' of all places, oddly enough.
* EldritchAbomination: Dark Force qualifies. [[spoiler: The Profound Darkness even moreso.]]
** Probably [[spoiler:The Great Light as well, but we never see... When Le Roof gives his history lesson, at one point all we see are cosmic images like galaxies supposedly representing them.]]
* ElementalRockPaperScissors: PSIV has some fairly standard ones like fire, ice, lightning and light elements, but it also has more obscure categories like "force" (most physicals and wind), energy, holy (different from light), EMP and "destruct".
* EnemySummoner: Some enemies can do this.
* EnemyToAllLivingThings: [[spoiler:The Profound Darkness]], given that even limited exposure to its power is enough to cause everything in the vicinity to die.
* {{Expy}}: Rune (Lutz of ''Phantasy Star''), Rika (Nei of ''Phantasy Star II''), and Wren ([[NamesTheSame Wren]] of ''Phantasy Star III'') are all ''very'' similar to major characters from previous games in the franchise.
** Rika was initially meant to be Nei herself by one of the designers, but his colleagues made him change her into a new character.
** [[spoiler: {{Justified|Trope}} in Rune's case because Lutz has been passing on his essence to successors since his body's physical death in anticipation of future generation's need to fight against Dark Force.]]
** And justified in Wren's case because they're both robots of similar models. The "Wren" model series can be found as random encounters in most of the technological facilities; the Wren who joins your party just happens to be the top bot in the AI hierarchy.
** AND justified in Rika's case. Nei [[spoiler: (well, Neifirst, anyway)]] was initially an experiment by the Motavian bio systems in genetic engineering, and Rika was created by SEED (who happens to be the Motavian bio system) based on roughly a thousand years' worth of research into genetic engineering. If Nei[[spoiler:first]] was the FlawedPrototype, Rika would be the SuperPrototype made at a much later time. SEED doesn't get around to making a production model.
* FantasticRacism: Strongly implied to be the reason Zio wiped out a village of native Motavians, though the implied in game reason was they had the only known cure for Zio's stone curse.
* ForcedLevelGrinding: Largely ''averted'' for the first time in the series. So long as you do the sidequests when they become available and don't run from battles, any needed extra grinding is fairly minimal.
* FriendToAllChildren: Hahn's fiancee, Saya. She's a teacher, and all of her young students completely adore her.
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Musk cats react favorably to the party'. You'll want to keep that in mind.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** [[spoiler: The first time the player has control of a character, it's Chaz... after being separated from Alys. She's a DecoyProtagonist, and Chaz becomes the party leader proper after she dies.]]
** [[spoiler: When Alys dies, Rune asks Chaz if he really thinks Alys was only fighting monsters for the money. Yes, she did make it her career, but being a hunter also meant she was saving lives. This sets up Chaz's later realization that even if being a Protector means doing the bidding of an absent, neglectful god, it's worth doing for the sake of the lives it would save.]]
** The monster that stows away on the emergency shuttle. [[spoiler: It's the first time one of the Darkness creatures actively attempts to kill the party on their own turf, and he only confronts them directly after being discovered: he was trying to sabotage the engines to deny them access to space travel... which would give them access to Rycross.]]
** The FortuneTeller in Aiedo [[spoiler:offers to tell Alys her fortune for free. But she becomes noticeably distressed by what she discovers and doesn't reveal what it is, instead claiming that she's not feeling well.]]
** You can visit the cemetery in Aiedo and talk to the gravekeeper, who will chide Alys about finally buying a plot for herself, presumably because she's top earner in the most dangerous profession in the city. Alys scoffs at this, and tells him she'd rather be buried somewhere peaceful. [[spoiler: She dies and is buried in Krup, the ''only'' town on Motavia that doesn't suffer some kind of tragedy or hardship just by existing. It's never attacked by anything, it's not plagued or forced into isolation by monsters, there's no earthquakes, no meteorites, no corruption, no genocide, no quicksand, no giant birds; just a peaceful little village with a cute little schoolhouse and a nice view of the Soldier's Temple on the lake.]]
* GameBreakingBug: The game would screw up a character's stats if they reached level 99.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: The shady inn in Kadary (the town with the Zio cult) has a showgirl on the second floor. She scoffs at how young Chaz is, but still offers to show him a good time. Chaz just backs away in bewilderment.
* GoodBadTranslation: Some links between this title and previous games, along with a few {{Mythology Gag}}s, are lost in the western version due to {{Dub Name Change}}s, plot rewrites, etc, such as when Daughter is moaning at "For...n..." (Fuoren, Wren in the US version) when she is defeated.
* GoodIsNotNice: [[spoiler: The Great Light and its followers aren't ''evil'', but they're not ''nice'' either. While they're supportive to Chaz and company, and aid them with the necessary equipment to stand against the Profound Darkness, they also require that Chaz's group go through tests of physical and magical combat to prove themselves.]] Le Roof, at least, seems to be genuinely affectionate.
** Re-Faze, [[spoiler: of all the guardians of Rykros]], is the most literal example of a JerkWithAHeartOfGold. [[spoiler: Just as long as you say no to his offer.]]
* GoodShepherd: Raja.
* GuestStarPartyMember: Seth; Rune during his first stint with the party arguably also qualifies.
* GuideDangIt: Several.
** Figuring out the fourteen Combination Attacks is a matter of trial and error, one of which (Lethal Image) can be used for only a ''very'' short time. Many players will likely never realize that they've missed it. Also, the combinations of Blizzard, Conduct Thunder, Fire Storm and Shooting Star get much stronger if you use higher-level spells ([=NaWat=] instead of Wat, etc...) as opposed to lower ones.
** Several of the weapons in the game can be used as items to create a magic effect, especially staffs. Rune's initial weapon, the wood-cane, can be used to produce a Res effect that will pull its weight for the whole first quarter of the game.
** Most of the magic elements are typical in terms of strength and weakness against each other, but since the game never actually tells you what elemental damage type each attack does (or that elemental damage is even a thing in the first place), you're pretty much left to figure the more esoteric ones out by keeping track of how much damage you're doing with which spells against which monsters... and the monsters can often fit different elemental weakness profiles even in the same enemy type.
* The battle with [[spoiler: the carnivorous trees to rescue Kyra]]. Many a player has fought tooth-and-nail against these bastards, only to deplete their stock of magic and technique points and healing items in the process. [[spoiler: You can't actually win; you have to end the battle by ''running''. And since the encounter looks and feels like a boss battle, which are impossible to escape, many first-time players got piles and piles of game-overs before realizing the trick.]]
* HeroicBSOD: Chaz has several over the course of the game, with the first coming right after [[spoiler:the death of Alys]].
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Alys]] saves Chaz' life by leaping in front of an attack intended for him.
* HideYourChildren: You won't find any dead kids anywhere, but you can find child-survivors of several in-game disasters, notably Nalya's meteorite impact and Reshel's zombie plague. Also played literally in the case of Zema: the only people not affected by Zio's petrification curse are two children stashed in the basement by their parents.
* HijackedByGanon: Subverted. At first the new character Zio is set up as the villain, but then it turns out he's a servant of Dark Force, the perennial Phantasy Star FinalBoss. Then [[spoiler:you beat Dark Force midway through the game, and the actual final boss is the creature that keeps bringing Dark Force back, The Profound Darkness.]]
* HistoryRepeats: The opening sequence involving the investigation of Motavia Academy is actually [[OlderThanTheyThink older than you might suspect]]; a very similar event happened in ''Phantasy Star II Text Adventures,'' with Hugh Thompson as a student of Motavia University investigating a biomonster infestation at the behest of the principal.
** In fact, the monster Hugh had to take care of WAS an Igglanova (the boss critter in PS4's basement) during the earlier stages of its evolutionary development.
* HolyBurnsEvil: There are three "Holy"-type weapons in the game: [[SwordOfPlotAdvancement Elsydeon]], the Silver Tusk, and the Psychowand. All do extra damage to "Dark"-type monsters, which include the FinalBoss, its chief minions, and almost every late-game enemy.
** Conversely, there are two "Dark"-type weapons: the Shadow Blade and Genocyde Claw. Using these against (non-boss) "Dark"-type monsters will ''kill'' them instantly... only for them to ''immediately revive at full health''.
* AHomeownerIsYou: You can stay at your house in Aiedo for free. Contains traces of AnInteriorDesignerIsYou since you can display souvenir items from a local tourist trap inside.
* HopelessBossFight: The first fight against Zio. It ends when [[spoiler: Zio fires a Dark Wave in Chaz's direction and [[HeroicSacrifice Alys pushes him out of the way]], leading to her PlotlineDeath]].
** [[spoiler:Re-Faze. Though in this case it is ''not'' part of the storyline, but a result of choosing poorly to its [[SchmuckBait offer]]. You are still ''taught'' Megid in a sense... by having it used on you to your death. Without cheating, it is impossible to win because Re-Faze has more HP than any other enemy in the game, is faster than Chaz, and does nothing but spam Megid endlessly.]]
* HumanoidAbomination: Many basic enemies are (sometimes very visibly) organic nightmare humanoids, with the "[[VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline Dark]]"-esque ones being almost entirely so. Dark Force [[spoiler: number three]] also qualifies.
* IChooseToStay: [[spoiler: Rika in the ending.]]
* IneffectualLoner: Inverted with Kyra; she tries to take on the carnivorous trees guarding Garuberk Tower by herself, which doesn't go well, but not because she doesn't understand ThePowerOfFriendship; it's because she was so pissed at how her friends were suffering that she couldn't stop herself. Luckily, [[TakeYourTime no matter how long it takes you to show up]] [[BigDamnHeroes the party comes to her rescue]].
* InsistentTerminology: They are ''ears'', not ''horns''.
* KillEmAll: [[spoiler:Fairly late in the game, the entire population of the village of Mile is wiped out thanks to the Black Energy Wave and the Profound Darkness.]]
** Also implied late in the game[[spoiler: if Chaz accepts Re-Faze's offer to teach him Megid. Re-Faze nukes him like a cheap burrito... which leaves Rune without a champion and Elsydeon without a wielder.]]
* KleptomaniacHero: Averted / {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d; if you attempt to steal from peoples' houses, Chaz will remark that "it's not very nice to look through other peoples' cabinets without their permission" - the only exception is the cabinet in his own room, which [[KleptomaniacHeroFoundUnderwear contains only underwear]].
** This doesn't stop him from ''looking'' at other people's stuff, though, and he'll happily share his opinions about the housekeeping habits and weird knick-knacks of strangers.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: Rune's farewell address in Tonoe. Rune tells Chaz not to get any silly ideas in his head, such as taking on Zio. "At this stage of the game, you're no match for him!"
* LetsPlay: This game took on legendary status on the SomethingAwful forums as the first three attempts at an LP failed.
** [[http://lparchive.org/Phantasy-Star-4/ Fourth time's the charm.]]
* LevelGrinding: ''Defied''. If you reach the level cap, you actually start losing points in your stats -- WordOfGod is that this was intentional, to prevent gamers from simply powergaming their way to victory.
* LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards: Subverted; when he first joins your party, Rune is of a [[ATasteOfPower much higher level]] than the other party members and can pretty much tear through any {{mooks}} you encounter on his lonesome. When he later re-joins the party, they've caught up, and while he remains powerful until the end of the game, he's not noticeably moreso than the other characters.
* LoadBearingBoss: Multiple instances.
* LongSongShortScene: "Take Off! LANDEEL" is a peppy synth-poppy tune that takes about fifty seconds to play all the way through and perhaps thirty seconds to hear everything the song has to offer. It only plays during space-travel cutscenes that, at their longest, last twenty seconds. The times when the cutscenes are longer, the song switches to some different cutscene BGM.
* LostForever: Make sure you do the last Hunter's Guild mission before making your second visit to Esper Mansion and [[spoiler:getting Elsydeon]]. If you don't, you'll be barred from [[spoiler:Vahal Fortress]], preventing the acquisition of Wren's most powerful gun and skill.
** The Swift-Helm can only be found in [[spoiler: the Air Castle]], which gets destroyed after you finish it. It's one of few armor pieces that increases agility and very handy, especially if you manage to hang onto it for [[spoiler: Gryz]] at the end.
* MagicKnight: Chaz eventually evolves into one; Kyra can be one too.
* TheManBehindTheMan: [[spoiler: The Profound Darkness.]]
* TheMedic: Raja
* MegaNeko: [[spoiler: Myau.]]
* MiserAdvisor: Alys.
* TheMole: [[spoiler: Seth.]] You know who ''else'' liked to use Deathspell and Corrosion a lot? That's right, ''Dark Force''.
** [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation According to some fans]], [[spoiler: Seth may not have known about his Dark Force lineage, and went about life as an ordinary man before his true nature was revealed--or he may even have been the victim of DemonicPossession.]]
* MookMaker: Igglanova and Guilgenova. Nurvus and Kuran also contain some droids that can summon reinforcements and then use them to blow your party away with a CombinationAttack.
* NeglectfulPrecursors: The advanced, space-faring civilisation of the first two games was reduced to Precursor status by the cataclysmic ending of ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarII''. By the time of ''Phantasy Star IV,'' all the bio plants and climate-control facilities they left behind have gone haywire and started producing hordes upon hordes of monsters and causing earthquakes and environmental degradation. This was the best they could do, however; [[spoiler: the facilities were originally created by invaders from Earth to subvert, weaken, and ultimately destroy Algol's civilization, who are the true AbusivePrecursors]].
* NoEndorHolocaust: The setting is premised on an aversion. T destruction of the planet Parma as well and the sudden terminal shutdown of the central control systems of Algol's environment-controlling machinery lead directly to the fall of their space-faring civilization as well as the deaths of 90% of the system's inhabitants, and the game picks up a thousand years later.
* NoOntologicalInertia: The VeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon collapses when you defeat the final boss. {{Justified|Trope}}, as the VeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon is a hole in reality caused by an EldritchAbomination forcing its way out of its dimensional prison.
** The Air Castle starts to fall apart once Lashiec is defeated. Understandable since the conditions that enabled the Air Castle to exist, floating alone in an asteroid belt with a breathable atmosphere and Earthlike gravity, were in pretty harsh contravention to the laws of physics.
** Zio's fortress crumbles once he's defeated, and [[BodyHorror so does Zio himself.]] His dialogue suggests that Dark Force was channeling power into them directly to keep them standing, and it rescinded once it became clear that Zio was [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness not an efficient use of his resources.]] One NPC notes that the fortress appeared in a single night, giving the impression that it wasn't constructed so much as conjured by magic.
** Garuberk Tower crumbles once [[spoiler: the second Dark Force is defeated]]. Justified, since the entire structure was basically just a big, gross tumor.
* OhCrap: There are two closeups of Chaz in the game where his face says exactly this. The first one is when Zio launches a DeathRay (literally) right at him. The second one is played for laughs as the group's shuttle is about to crash, but for some reason only Chaz is thoroughly freaking out over it.
** [[FridgeBrilliance He's the only one in the party who has no experience with spacefaring technology.]]
* OminousFloatingCastle: The [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin aptly-named]] Air Castle.
* OnlyInItForTheMoney: Early in the game, Alys only continues along with the mission objectives as long as Hahn keeps paying.
** Rune, however, implied that Alys was always fighting for more than just money, so maybe she would have helped anyway if Hahn had stood up to her instead of forking over the cash immediately.
* PathOfInspiration: Zio's {{Cult}}.
* PlotlineDeath: [[spoiler: Alys]]; lampshaded as Rika will remark that [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration even the party's most powerful healing magic can't help, since the Black Wave makes her refuse it]].
* ThePowerOfFriendship: Done subtly with Chaz. When it comes to technology and technical things, he has a hard time understanding... but he's very apt when it comes to understanding people, emotions, and relationships. The bonds he forms with the rest of the party are very clearly his source of strength, and witnessing the struggle of Algo's people becomes his motivation for fighting [[spoiler: when he rejects fighting for the sake of destiny and the plan of the Great Light.]] At the end of the game, when [[spoiler: Rune, the last party member to leave, is about to go on his separate way, Chaz is ''devastated'' at the idea of living alone.]]
* ThePowerOfHate: Megid, the Forbidden Technique. It harnesses the user's anger and hatred and turns it into the most powerful destructive technique in the game. However, it's also ultimately deconstructed: [[spoiler: It's not villainous or evil to use it, and if Chaz passes the SecretTestOfCharacter (see below), he'll gently remind Chaz that anger and hatred are natural human emotions, so as long as he remains true to himself, he won't be corrupted by Megid's power. This is even clearer when The Profound Darkness uses it herself.]]
* PrecisionFStrike: Had some profanity, but at appropriate moments, and done rather tastefully. One of the villains even lampshades it.
* PrecisionGuidedBoomerang: Alys and Kyra are wicked accurate with boomerangs and slicers. They do miss from time to time (Kyra more often than Alys) but it's seldom and the weapon type has the benefit of targeting all present enemies with every attack. You're almost guaranteed to hit at least one of your targets and in those cases where there's a single target and every hit counts (e.g. boss battles), they're going to be using other tactics anyway.
* PuzzleBoss: The [[WhenTreesAttack carnivorous trees]] on Dezoris cannot be fought normally. Instead, one has to take the Eclipse Torch from one of the temples and [[KillItWithFire set them on fire]].
* PyrrhicVictory: Discussed and ultimately averted; when Chaz [[RefusalOfTheCall rejects his role as a hero]], it's because mindless obedience to a higher power is the bad guys' bag and there's no moral high ground to be found in the conflict [[spoiler: because it's being fought between two teams of puppets being ordered around by absent gods who don't care about them, or anyone, in the solar system.]]
** And, in the ending: [[spoiler: The heroes are contented, but will never reunite once they return home. Although the androids are prepared to help the environmental control system support Algo for as long as they can, the village of Mile is still wiped out, God only knows what happened to that giant hole leading to the Edge, and once the system does finally shut down, the natural environments of Motavia and Dezolis are going to reassert themselves to the way they were before being made suitable for Parmanian life by Mother Brain. And last but not least, Rykros will continue spinning in its orbit, its inhabitants left utterly without purpose, never to welcome Protectors again.]]
* QuicksandSucks: It's all over the place on Motavia, acting as a BrokenBridge preventing you from reaching certain areas until you reach the appropriate point in the plot.
* RecurringBoss: [[spoiler: Dark Force and Lassic/[=LaShiec=].]]
* RedBaron: Alys the Eight Stroke Sword, or for an alternate translation, Rip-Their-Guts-Out Lyla.
* RedOniBlueOni: After Rune sheds his {{Jerkass}} facade and rejoins the group, he and Chaz become this, with Chaz as red and Rune as blue. (even reflected by the color of their clothes) This principle also holds true for the main group as a whole, with Chaz and Rika forming the heart of the group and Rune and Wren being the brains and experience.
* RefusalOfTheCall[=/=]TenMinuteRetirement: Chaz. Faced with [[spoiler:the Great Light abandoning Algo and dumping the responsibility of maintaining the integrity of the Seal on its inhabitants, because that's solely what they were created to do]], Chaz gets ''pissed'' and refuses to be treated like a puppet. He even goes as far as comparing it to the mindless devotion that Zio had in following Dark Force. [[spoiler:He puts that aside when he meets Alis and the Elsydeon, and decides that even if it happens to align with the Light's plan, ''he'' intends to fight for the people of Algo who have struggled against the darkness for thousands of years.]]
* RequiredPartyMember: Generally averted, up until the end. Everyone who joins your party has a specific reason to be there, and they leave either when their goal is met, their attention is needed elsewhere, [[spoiler: or they've died. At the end of the game, however, all your party members regroup to fight the final boss, but you have to choose your fifth teammate because Chaz, Rika, Rune, and Wren are non-optional.]]
* RidiculouslyHumanRobot: Wren and Demi; [=NPC=] robots tend to be less so.
** Wren, being an older droid created for maintaining the system from an otherwise abandoned space station, is ridiculously human insofar as he has a human face, has hair, and is humanoid; he's also ridiculously tall and most of his body is geometric and metallic so he ''looks'' like he's made out of parts. Demi, on the other hand, is so human-like she refuses to install hardware into herself while others are watching and squees like a fangirl over big vehicles.
** Fanon suggests that Demi is more human-like than Wren because he designed her himself, after he'd developed emotionally enough to experience ''loneliness''.
* RobotGirl: Demi, though her behavior is quite human-like.
* SaintlyChurch: The Dezorian churches, as a contrast to Zio's cult.
* SandWorm: The [[BossInMookClothing most powerful enemy]] you're likely to encounter during the early-to-middle stages of the game; they have [=A LOT=] of hit points and an attack which can quite easily result in a TotalPartyWipe if you're not at full strength.
* SealedEvilInACan: [[spoiler: The Profound Darkness ... and the Algo System is the seal.]]
* SealedGoodInACan: The guardians on [[spoiler: Rykros]], and arguably [[spoiler: Elsydeon]], given that it contains [[spoiler:the spirits of previous heroes that saved Algo]].
* SecretTestOfCharacter: [[spoiler: Re-Faze and the Anger Tower in Rkyros. Re-Faze does a pretty nasty thing by separating Chaz from his party, then forcing Chaz to fight a copy of Alys, his dead mentor. Then Re-Faze offers to teach Chaz [[LastDiscMagic Megid]]. If Chaz doesn't refuse, Re-Faze [[HopelessBossFight will kill him]].]]
* ShieldsAreUseless: Similar to VideoGame/PhantasyStarII, Shields take up a weapon slot as opposed to an armor slot, yet for most of your party (barring Rika, Hahn, Alys, and Kyra) the best weapons are two-handed, strongly encouraging a player not to use them at all.
** This is subverted, however, by some equipment strategies for [[SquishyWizard Rune]] and [[WhiteMage Raja]] that advocate them using two shields as opposed to their (only) other option, staves. While this does prevent them from having a basic attack, their basic attack is all but useless, anyway, and in exchange they become the toughest party members despite their low HP.
* ShouldersOfDoom: Zio. Also Juza [[spoiler: and Lashiec]].
* SideQuest: The Bounty missions.
* SingleBiomePlanet: Motavia is almost entirely desert, [[FridgeLogic despite having plenty of water in the form of large oceans]]. Dezoris is permanently covered in snow and ice. And [[spoiler: Rykros is some sort of weird crystal world.]]
** Dezoris makes some degree of sense, [[spoiler: and Rykros (barring the structures) looks a lot like what a planet with an impossibly atypical orbit that spends the vast majority of its time exposed to pitifully tiny amounts of radiation from its primary ought to... though that then means that [[BatmanCanBreatheInSpace Chaz and Co. Can Breathe In Space]], as the snow on the ground would be frozen air.]]
* SkilledButNaive: Rika is a [[ActionGirl tremendous physical fighter]] and [[CombatMedic healing magic expert]], but she's about as unworldly as you'd expect of someone who's spent the only year she's been alive in an underground laboratory. This doesn't make her ''stupid'', though; she ''knows'' plenty of things and has common sense, but actually experiencing things she's studied is very intense for her.
* SoLongAndThanksForAllTheGear: Happens pretty much any time a character leaves or is removed from the party. If you've already played the game or consult a guide, you can easily strip Alys, Hahn, Rune (the first time), Raja, and Seth of their equipment before they go. However, Gryz, Demi, and Kyra leave in the cutscenes immediately after some fairly difficult boss battles, so you're likely going to have to let them walk away with at least some gear.
* TheSpock: Wren. He attempts to calm down a panicking Chaz by reminding him not to let his blood pressure get too high...while they're in the middle of CRASHING THEIR SPACESHIP.
* SpockSpeak: Wren, being a fairly old maintenance droid who hardly ever interacts with humanoids, speaks like this. Demi, on the other hand, speaks much more casually.
* SquishyWizard: Rune and Raja, specializing in {{Black Mag|e}}ic and {{White Mag|e}}ic respectively.
* StatusBuff: Several characters have skills to increase resistence, magic resistence or agility of your party. (as well as attack and critical hit rate) In later boss battles, the former skills are pretty much the difference between a balanced fight and a CurbStompBattle.
** One of the villains has his own special buff spell that makes him indestructible in battle. Finding a way to dispel it is part of the plot. Certain Mooks also use buffs, but since random encounters generally don't last long, those moves are often a wasted turn.
* StatusBuffDispel: The Psychowand has the power to nullify all status buffs an enemy can cast on itself and is at one point the only way a certain boss battle can be won. The final boss also uses a skill that can tear down your defenses and it likes to do so before smacking you with its most powerful spell in the next turn.
** This skill actually ''removes'' elemental resistances granted from equipment. Good thing that attack won't be doing even more damage than it would without, and nothing before this has it.
** [[GuideDangIt Though the game never tells you]], the Psychowand can be used against pretty much every extremely-important plot boss to incredible effect. Doing this is a big help in any playthrough and is pretty much necessary in [[SelfImposedChallenge low-level runs of the game]].
* StrongFleshWeakSteel: Inverted. Demi and Wren, being mechanical, are the most durable characters in terms of base stats.
* SwordOfPlotAdvancement: [[spoiler: Elsydeon]], which doubles as the game's InfinityPlusOneSword.
* TakenForGranite: An important part of the early portion of the game is figuring out why this happened to a scientific expedition sent out by the Motavia Academy.
* TalkingAnimal: The Musk Cats.
* TinMan: Wren. He starts out as TheSpock who has severe difficulty comprehending the logic behind the behavior of his humanoid travelling companions. (particularly the arguments between Chaz and Rune) In the end though, when he [[spoiler: takes Rika back to Motavia to be with Chaz]], he shows signs that he has gained some understanding of human emotion, despite not engaging in it himself. Even before that, he has an insightful discussion with another AI about the role of AI's in the human's lives.
* UselessUsefulSpell: Debuff and stun spells are still a bit of a liability, but unlike a lot of examples, instant death skills are effective enough to be used on a regular basis as long as you don't try to shortcircuit an organic enemy or shut down the nervous system of a robot. Instant death combination spells are a guaranteed kill for anything not immune. And, since many instant-death attacks have their own independent number of uses, they essentially cost nothing (in terms of what a party can bring to a boss fight) to use.
* VerbalTic: The Musk Cats, meow.
* WhenTreesAttack: Chaz and his group save Kyra from a forest full of carnivorous trees on Dezoris.
* WolverineClaws: Rika's WeaponOfChoice.
* WombLevel: The Garuberk Tower.
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: [[spoiler: Chaz's declaration against Le Roof, in which he points out the inherent moral failing of the Great Light's plan (to imprison the Profound Darkness using a seal it knows is flawed, and creating sentient beings whose sole purpose is to maintain it, and clean up whatever manages to leak out) and the accompanying hypocrisy (because Dark Force also charges its followers with mindless obedience to its will). Ultimately Chaz decides to go ahead and fight, not for the sake of the Great Light, but for the sake of all the heroes who died defending Algo, and for the people of Algo themselves.]]
* YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm: [[spoiler: The Great Light and the Profound Darkness to a degree. Descriptions and depictions of them are vague and allegorical, the manner in which they interact with the universe defies logic insofar as things we'd call their "emotions" and "thoughts" appear to have ''physical presence'' in our world (recurring series baddie Dark Force is described as the Profound Darkness' hatred and anger at being confined), and they work on such a scale that the Great Light's lock on The Profound Darkness' dimensional prison is Algol solar system; the efficiency of said lock is somehow related to Algol remaining in the form it was given. No one even tries to explain what's going on in the VeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon, and in the fight with The Profound Darkness, the thing (which first appears as a sinuous black blotch amidst the [[AmazingTechnicolorBattlefield psychadelic chaos]]) visibly disintegrates and reconstitutes itself several times over the course of the battle. The western version of the game does not go into any detail as to what fighting the Profound Darkness is supposed to accomplish and doesn't explain what happens once it's defeated.]]
** [[spoiler: Dark Force is spawned by the Profound Darkness every thousand years when the seal is weakest. Killing the Profound Darkness means that Dark Force is gone for good, the seal itself is then meaningless, and the souls sheltered in Elsydeon (and our heroes) can rest in peace. When the battle is over, the Edge is more or less sucked into an immense black hole. We don't find out what happened to that huge hole near Mile, but the rest is pretty straightforward.]]
** The original version is a little clearer on this front. [[spoiler: The Great Light and the Profound Darkness aren't singular creatures themselves. They're more like two opposing armies, comprised of spiritual beings who transcended physical bodies long ago. The inhabitants of Rykros are essentially members of that transcended race, and, being "fallen", the Profound Darkness has to assume a physical form to confront the heroes when they come to its prison-dimension, allowing the heroes to definitively kill it and letting the prison-dimension collapse on itself so that it can never regenerate again.]]
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Rika (pink), Demi (pale green), Rune and Kyra (blue).
* ZombieApocalypse: This has happened to a village on Dezoris as a result of a mysterious plague; luckily you can find the cure (well, more kill the cause) and the people of the village who weren't dead yet recover while the zombified deceased find peace.
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