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Video Game: Phantasy Star Online 2

Infinite Adventures

Phantasy Star Online 2 is a free-to-play MMORPG from Sega's Phantasy Star series. Using all of what they learned from the Universe series, Sega has built the game in a style much like Online's, but incorporating features and aesthetics from Universe. It was developed alongside Portable 2 Infinity for PSO's 10-year anniversary.

In the future, the invention of the "Oracle" colony fleet has ushered in a new era of exploration for mankind and expanded their operations across the galaxy. As many undiscovered planets can harbour dangerous wildlife or terrain, an elite organisation of Private Military Contractors known as "ARKS" were formed to initiate first-contact exploration of any new locations and determine their value for colonisation. However, the ARKS soon encounter a threat to not just humanity, but all of life itself: the Darkers, an eldritch race who spread across the universe like a virus, infecting and mutating whatever they come into contact with.

You are a new ARKS recruit who narrowly survives their graduation exercise when it is unexpectedly attacked by Darkers. Guided by the enigmatic Xion and her pre-cognisant "Matter Board", you begin to investigate the reasons behind the largest and most dangerous spike of Darker activity in recorded history.

After several alpha tests and a few beta tests, the game was released for PC on July 4th, 2012. It is also available for the PS Vita, with cross-platform online capabilities. An overseas release of the PC version was announced by SEGA for a 2013 release, but was officially delayed until at least 2014 in fall 2013.

A single-player version titled Phantasy Star Online 2esnote  is available for both Android and iOS. In this game, players will embark on an original story throughout the PSO2 world, alongside the Operator Seraphy and the mysterious Dr. Cohen.

This version of the game is a more-traditional room-based dungeon crawler interspersed with simplified versions of the real-time battles seen in Phantasy Star Online 2. Among the game's many features includes a Chip battle system not unlike other smartphone games of its kind, where players may collect numerous Chips based on Photon Arts, Technics, enemies, and characters, and bring them into battle to use against your foes. Players who also possess a SEGA ID and a PSO2 character can also use their characters and inventory, feed their MA Gs and acquire Passes remotely, and get their hands on the elusive "Soul Receptor" and "Gift Receptor" abilities.

A Gaiden Game, Phantasy Star Nova, was released in November 2014.


Phantasy Star Online 2 provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Laboratory: The Ascended Facility field on planet Vopal was where Luther conducted some of his questionable research in genetic manipulation. Mutant Oceanids, land-walking Bal Rodoses, and the occasional pirates abound.
  • Abnormal Ammo: The "Kamikaze Arrow" Photon Art lets you aim and fire a multi-hit arrow at an enemy, with you as the "arrow". A few (usually Joke Weapon or Lethal Joke Weapon) Ranger and Gunner weapons also use non-standard ammunition, like a barrel that fires (fake?) Rappies, or water guns that shoot water, or a set of machine guns that fire meseta! (Don't worry, it's not actually Cast From Money.)
  • Achilles' Heel: In addition to their standard weak points, many enemies and even bosses have less-obvious weaknesses that make them much easier to deal with. Falz Arms and Dark Falz Elder collapse and expose their weak points when shocked, Quartz Dragon and Dragon Ex take much more damage when poisoned, Vol Dragon can have his feet frozen to the ground, and so on.
  • Action Bomb: In Mining Base Defense, Destroyed World Investigation: Naberius, and Episode 2 Chapter 6, you'll encounter Goldrahdas, a variety of insectoid Darker that is exclusive to these three quests. They're bigger than you, wield one of three varieties of weapons, and if you let them sit long enough, they'll explode in your face. In the case of Mining Bases, they'll also detonate at the end of a Wave and can deal considerable damage to Mining Bases.
  • Action Girl: Almost every female NPC you converse with, including Echo, Lisa, Marlu, Io, Azanami, Matoi/2nd Gen Claris Claes, the list goes on.
  • Action RPG: Real-time battles are still the norm.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: Emergency Code: Explosion involves outpacing a stream of random explosions blowing up the surrounding area. You can get caught in it and not die, though the blasts will deal significant damage. The explosions can only be stopped by defeating a boss somewhere in the area.
  • Aerith and Bob: Some names are quite unique, such as Melphonsina, Ulc, and Afin. Then we have particularly normal-sounding ones like Barbara, Theodore, and Lisa.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: What kickstarts Phantasy Star Online 2 -ON STAGE-'s plot is that Takuya and his team's PSO2 characters start going ballistic, so Takuya has to get involved and fix it.
  • Alien Abduction: The Darkers do this to you randomly whenever you're about to begin a Time Trial on Very Hard. See Bonus Level Of Hell below.
  • All There in the Manual: The OST features Boss Subtitles for all the bosses in their background music titles. Sturdy Gladiator for Dragon Ex, Fleet Fencer for Blu Ringahda, Inevitable Fate for Hadred, to name a few.
  • Alternative Calendar: The story starts in A.P. 238/2/20.
  • Alternate Universe: The story will not take place in either Ragol or Gurhal, and consists of several planets for the player to explore.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The Parallel Worlds are often the same area you were wandering before you entered the Telepipe, but now overlaid with rainbow colors here and there and an aurora-filled sky.
  • And I Must Scream: See that watery pool surrounding every solid platform in the Oracle Mothership? That's what's left of the Photoners.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: The Phantasy Star Online 2 Side Stories light novel, which features several of the game's NPCs as main characters.
  • And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating: Enemies sometimes drop room items. Some are even related to the enemy in question, like a bust of a Rockbear or Vol Dragon's head on a mantle.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The Telepipe given to you after completing a mission will follow you around, in case you need to backtrack and pick up something you missed.
    • Episode 2 Chapter 5 is very, very, very long. It's also the only Story Quest that gives you checkpoints and lets you continue from the last one you hit, rather than forcing you to start over.
    • Episode 3 added the "My Set" feature for class changing. You can save your current equipment and their assigned Artes, your class combination, name them, and you instantly change to that very load-out with a few button presses. No more fumbling with reassigning your weapons!
    • November 2014 includes a change that tells you where incapacitated players are. No more waiting for people to find your corpse! As an added incentive, players who revive other players will gain also FUN points for the trouble.
  • Anti-Gravity Clothing: The Hero/Wild Muffler seems to have a mind of its own at times... in fact, certain accessories such as the White/Pink Cherry Bracelets qualify for this due to the way they're positioned on the player.
  • Anti-Grinding: The Ultimate Quest was deliberately designed with relatively low EXP payouts to force players to focus on Item Farming instead.
  • Anti-Poop Socking : Like most smartphone games, es has Drive energy that you pay to go on Quests, and if you can't pay, you can't go. Drive, however, can be recovered by spending a Rappy Medal or leveling up, which makes it easy to play for extended lengths of time by switching to another, untrained class and getting an easy level.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Averted. While in the Mines, if a battle takes place near a Lillipan, they will cower in fear and possibly cry until combat ends.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Multi-Party Areas are limited to 12 players and partner cards total.
  • Arbitrary Maximum Range: All ranged weapons and projectile-like technics are limited in how far they can shoot before their projectiles simply cease to exist. Oddly, the bows of all things are the ones with the longest range.
  • Arc Words: "10 years ago" tends to show up unusually often. It marks a major Darker offensive against the ARKS that became the turning point for a lot of characters. You get to see exactly why when you gain the ability to travel back to that date.
  • Armed Legs: Jet Boots aren't exactly boots in structure. Rather, they're a bladed attachment to your own footwear.
  • Artificial Humanoid: The Deumans this time, according to Io, as the result of questionably inhumane experimentation.
  • Art Shift: When Sukuna-hime and Kotoshiro explain the history of Harukotan, the story is illustrated with a shadow play.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The AI used by NPC allies you can bring with you is incredibly stupid. They miss a lot of things like healing you (or themselves) with the healing spell Resta when they need it (while they DO use it, they don't do it often enough) or treating the support spell Megiverse as an offensive move. They also assume the sword photon art Rising Edge has a horizontal range (which it doesn't; it's a vertical attack) and often use short-range photon arts/techniques at long-medium range. An update secretly improved their AI a bit, but it mostly extends to teaching them how to switch weapons.
    • Also, some Photon Blasts seem to have a horrible time determining what to target or which direction is forward. Those blasts in question would be: Helix Proi, Helix Nifta, Ajax Proi, Ajax Imera, Cetus Imera and Julius Imera.
  • Ascended Meme: Dudu gets a lot of hate as being the go-to guy for Weapon/Unit Grinding (see Luck-Based Mission). This didn't go unnoticed by Sega, and in August 2014 they added a Dudu Sandbag Room Item you can punch.
  • Attack Its Weak Point:
    • Almost all enemies and bosses have areas that, when hit, will make them take more damage than usual. Sometimes they are obvious, sometimes not. Additionally, the darkness seed embedded on the heads of boosted enemies also acts as a weakpoint for them.
    • Dragonkin bosses have crystals on their tails that are just begging to be hit. Breaking it momentarily stuns the boss and exposes the flesh underneath as a weakpoint. The boss will reform the crystal after waking up, however.
    • Rangers are able to take the Boom, Headshot option for extra damage, whether it's that specific enemy's weakpoint or not.
    • Rangers have the skill Weak Bullet for assault rifles, which turns the part of the enemy you shoot into a weak point (via an orange mark, amplifying damage done to that point). Weak Bulleting an already-existing weak point For Massive Damage is a common tactic.
    • Some Stage Orders in Extreme Quests ask you to do this to kill an enemy.
    • One objective in the boss fight against Magatsu is to use ballistae armed with binding arrows to attack designated weakpoints on its body. Hitting these weakpoints enough times will temporarily pin Magatsu down.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Happens quite frequently with the bosses, most of which make your character look like a mouse in comparison.
    • Also any time a Dark Falz shows up as a Disc One Final Boss, which make you look like ants in terms of sheer size. Elder gets special mention for being the size of a planet pre-boss fight.
    • And then there's Magatsu, which is the size of the titans it's a reference to and just about as terrifying to boot.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Ilfoie. Giant falling meteors that explode? Cool. Sky-high PP costs, long charge time, and inability to move while charging? Not so cool.
    • Namegid, a formerly almighty Technic, also costs a lot of PP, and takes a ridiculously long time to charge. After it got slammed hard by the Nerf bat, it lost its viability as a boss killer.
    • Kazan-Nadeshiko. Essentially Over End for Bravers with the added benefit of boosting the Gear Gauge, except with (again) a really long charge time, along with immobility.
    • Meteor Fist for Fighters. It has staggering damage potential... if you can get the right results.
    • Jet Boots for Bouncers. Their high-flying style of combat certainly looks impressive, but it is one of the more complicated classes to master (their Weapon Action button has multiple functions depending on when it is used), suffers from an awkward build path (no subclass supports both T-Atk and melee engagement) and sacrifices raw damage output for the versatility of a support mage. This is why most Bouncers prefer Twin Blades, which is straightforward DPS compatible with any S-Atk build or subclass.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: The Council of Six, according to Patty, are the strongest members of Arks. The most prominent members are the Three Heroes, who helped rid the ARKS of Dark Falz: Regius, Casra, and the 3rd Generation Claris Claesnote .
  • Background Music Override:
    • Usually, when a quest is cleared, a special theme signifying its end plays.
    • In the event the ship is threatened by Dark Falz Elder or Loser, a high-tension tune replaces the lobby music.
    • In the Emergency Mission "Arks Ship Inferno", the theme to Burning Rangers will replace the City music, and continue to play past clearing the quest until you return to the Campship.
    • The Valentine's Day and White Day emergency quests replace the background themes from the Volcano and F. Continent fields with themes from Feel The Magic: XY/XX, "I Would Die For You" and "Where Do Babies Come From?", respectively.
    • The "Wild Easter" emergency quest replaces the BGM with "E.G.G.M.A.N." from Sonic Adventure 2.
  • Badass Longcoat: The Crouch/Kraz Repca costume. There's also the Heretic Lord/Queen outfit (Gettemhart's clothes) and the Punish Jacket to name a few.
  • Balance of Power: Within the Council of Six, the Even Numbersnote  are designed to balance the Odd Numbersnote . The #4 position is conspicuously empty. Zeno eventually fills the missing slot.
  • Balloonacy: In the casino, players can take one of the balloons from the stand to float up to the ceiling.
  • Barrier Change Boss: Anga Fandarge is a Mythical Beast that shows up in the Ultimate Quest Destroyed World Investigation: Naberius. Along with being able to boost other enemies and heal them, it also periodically changes weapon and elemental resistances every so often based on how the attacking party fights, forcing players to shuffle tactics and weapons according to Fandarge's changes.
    • It also gets the most wondrous honor of getting its own Emergency Code: Disaster.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Two emergency quests pitting players against Dark Falz Elder has players fighting on top of a platform made out of floating spaceship wreckage, in open space. Breathing seems to be a non-issue.
  • Battle Aura: When initiating a stance-type (Fury, Guard, Brave, or Wise Stance to name a few) skill, one appears for just a short moment. Countering with a Katana with full gear also invokes this, engulfing the player in a purple aura.
    • Your sword gets one after charging it with photons through the Sacrifice's Bite PA, with the strength of the aura proportional to the amount of photons absorbed.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Rockbears, one of the first bosses you encounter in the game.
  • BFG: Launchers in general.
  • BFS: As usual, Sword-type weapons are various magnitudes larger than their users. Users of Over End swing a Hard Light blade that's about double the length of your sword.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The multiple Dark Falz seem to be assuming this position.
    • Elder is the first Dark Falz formally introduced to the Arks, having taken over Gettemhart after being released from his forty year slumber. He either manifests as the head-above-human size Falz Hunar or his planet-sized, multi-armed true form to do battle, serving as the penultimate and final boss of Episode 1 respectively. He commands the aquatic darkers.
    • Apprentice is revealed after Dark Falz Elder's defeat. Apparently not sealed away, she's had her current vessel for ten years now. She doesn't usually get involved personally other than the occasional verbal exchange, instead working through her vast swarm of insect darkers.
    • Double, as the name implies, possesses a pair of twins - a boy and a girl. Makes a small cameo after the Elder fight, but is introduced for real after the Loser fight; unsurprisingly, they're an Enfante Terrible duo, and command darkers based around Living Toys. They've showcased the power to clone other beings... like Dark Falz Loser.
    • Persona is possibly another Falz who antagonizes the player at every given opportunity during Episode 1, and unlike Elder fights just like a Hunter class. Worth noting is that "Persona" is just a name Apprentice gave him, as even she isn't quite sure who he is. Turns out he isn't a Falz, but something much worse: you!
    • Loser (no, that isn't a typo) is a new Falz introduced near the end of Episode 2, summoned by Luther, whom he uses as his vessel. Either manifests as Falz Angel, or as the Disc Two Final Boss that has control over time. He commands the avian darkers.
      • Bigger Bad: Speaking of Loser's host; Luther, the last Photoner, is responsible for everything that's going wrong in the story. Most notable are the devastating darker attack ten years prior to the game's events (he convinced Apprentice to do it), duping the current Claris Claes so he can make clones of her, possibly experimenting on Hadred and the other Chrome Dragons to make them into ravenous monsters... the list goes on.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Krahdas, Dagans, Breeahdas, Gwanahdas, Dark Ragne, El Ahdas... most Darkers on the first three areas have an insect-like appearance.
  • Big Eater/Extreme Omnivore: Chrome Dragon, who 1) consumes Darkers on a regular basis, and 2) can even eat Darker bosses whole in the matter of seconds.
    • Power-Up Food: The reason it consumes said Darkers is for Mega Manning; it gains new body parts - and by extension, new attacks - depending on how many it eats in one feast.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Male Harukotanese resemble massive hulking oni demons, while female Harukotanese more closely resemble dewmans.
  • Black and Grey Morality: Dark Falz (as usual) versus the ARKS. While Dark Falz is the usual universe-ending Eldritch Abomination as he's been for the past several games, the ARKS themselves isn't above doing morally questionable things behind the scenes, including human (and otherwise) experimentation, making people "disappear" just to shut them up, or branding you as the enemy of all humanity and brainwashing the entire organization to kill you. The player, however, is completely exempt from this, if only due to the fact that they're guided by a third party.
    • ARKS is moving away from this, now that Luther is out of the picture (he's partly responsible for all the mess), and Quna went and exposed all of ARKS' confidential material, bringing all of its shady work to light. As of Episode 3, ARKS has effectively been reborn with a clean slate, only time will tell if the organization will make amends.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage: If Hunter is your Main Class or Sub-Class, pressing the Guard button right when an attack connects initiates a Just Guard, which negates damage. You can even receive additional beneficial effects with the right skills learned. As a Main Class, you can additionally block attacks from any direction with All Guard.
  • Blown Across the Room: Standing on an erupting fire pillar in the Volcanos of Amduscia tends to have this effect, much to the hilarity of onlookers watching your body fly around, hit walls, and launch into the sky.
  • Body Surf: The Dark Falzes are possibly capable of it, as seen when Apprentice ditches her old body and takes Afin's sister's instead in the Darker raid of A.P. 228.
  • Bonus Level Of Hell: Darker Den, where you're taken after a Darker Abduction. The entire place is filled with highly-toxic water, Lv. 50 Darkers including all of the Darker bosses - three of which you're forced to fight - and Emergency Code: Destruction's that will spell doom for you if you fail at them. At the end you fight Falz Hunar and an Arks Clone of yourself and all of your player party members. Many players attest that Darker Den is incredibly challenging and will require actual teamwork and planning to complete. Also, after a successful clear, it can't be done again until 72 hours later so that the Clones you've just unleashed on your Ship can expire.
    • Now even more hellish with the Super Hard incarnation, which changes the layout and progression dramatically, as well as introducing Episode 2 Darkers and throwing waves upon waves of Level 70 enemies at you to suffer over.
  • Boring but Practical:
    • Most Assault Rifle Photon Arts involve simply loading the gun with special rounds before shooting it, a far cry from the flashy moves some other weapons have. That said, there's little question as to their effectiveness.
    • Zondeel, a Technic that creates an electric field that pulls enemies in. That's it, nothing incredibly shocking. Yet, it finds its way into being the most used Technic, solely for the fact that it gathers enemies into one place and holds them down, allowing other players to slay the entire crowd in one go. Although, using another electric Technic within the field is another story.
    • Kanran-Kikyou, a common Katana Photon Art. Simple area-of-effect attack that damages enemies at a wide radius. This is the move you'll see most Bravers spam, especially when crowds need clearing.
    • Photon Blade Fever. Its effect doubles the number of Photon Blades you fire. On paper, it sounds pretty lame compared to all the other crazy stuff every other class gets, but in practice it's not hard to whittle down a boss's health extremely fast just by repeatedly pushing your Weapon Action button.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: The Bal Rodos fight at the Coast would probably have been a lot harder if there wasn't a Photon Harpoon in the vicinity.
  • Boss-Only Level: Any Dark Falz Emergency Quest and the quests that precede them.
  • Boss Rush: The end of Episode 2 Chapter 5 features Level 60 Blu Ringahda, Theodore, Luther, and Falz Angel all one after the other. Though, there is a checkpoint between the second battle and the rest, which is just as well.
  • Bottomless Magazines: A rather odd example. Only assault rifles and launchers have reload animations, but their ammo is still infinite like Twin Machineguns. The Bullet Bow quivers have an infinite amount of arrows too.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: The Braver class wields katanas and bullet bows.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:
    • You have a Support Partner, and a Mag, and amusingly there's Support Partners with Mags.
    • Then there's Darkers, enemies infected by Darkers, and... infected Darkers???
    • Phantasy Star Online had the Handgun: Guld and Handgun: Milla Handguns. PSO2 brings us the Guld Milla, which, as it implies, is the both of them combined.
  • Breakable Weapons: Not for the players, thankfully, but you can bust the weapons of certain bosses to nerf them. There are some drops that can only be obtained in this fashion, notably, the Elder Pain, an incredibly rare 10★ Sword that may drop when you break Falz Hunar's sword.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: A very weird zigzagged example. On one hand, the AC shop is mainly boosters, asthetic changes, and Premium Service bonuses that does nothing to hamper the free players. On the other hand, Premium Service the ability to buy 10★ and 11★ weaponry skews the richest players to be strongest. Yet, with the missions dropping said rares so often, it almost seems a waste to buy it from another player since it's very possible to obtain the weapon you just bought.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: A Weapon Camo for Talises is this, and the money is the Talis.
  • Bullet Time:
    • Anyone wielding Twin Mechguns undergoes this when they use their dodge action three times in a row. Strangely enough, it is only the gunner that slows down; everything else flows like normal. Fortunately, the slow-motion dodge grants plenty of invincibility frames.
    • Gleefully invoked with the Gunner photon art "Messiah Time", where the player character performs a slow-motion lunge and spin ripped directly from The Matrix, firing all the while, complete with slow-motion bullets that leave soundwave trails. As with the triple dodge, the user is invincible for a fair portion of the move.
  • Butt Monkey: Akari, Butt Monkey in her home series, Butt Monkey in Phantasy Star. She isn't even pictured alongside the main cast during the Yuttari Recreation Scratch announcement (instead being a separate picture stuffed in the corner) and the "Akarin" Lobby Action has the user turning invisible.
  • Button Mashing: Aside from the Smashing Survival example as seen below, a handful of Photon Arts will let you mash the cast button for additional effects and/or damage, such as extra gunshots for Messiah Time and Infinity Fire, or extended duration and pulses from Nazonde.
  • The Cameo:
    • Toro and Kuro, the Sony Computer Entertainment Japan mascots, appear in the PS Vita version of the game and hand out Client Orders in the Lobby. They also got their own MA Gs for an event, and their own costumes and Weapon Camos for another.
    • Hatsune Miku and Megurine Luka made a stage appearance, performing a cover of Living Universe, the opening of Phantasy Star Portable 2.
  • Cast From Money: In an aesthetic form. Klotho has a reputation for being the go-to guy for quick cash. So what do SEGA do when they decide to make him show up in Emergency Codes? Why, give him special Twin Machineguns that shoot Meseta, of course!
  • Chain Lightning: Gizonde.
  • Chainsaw Good: The Chain Sawd, a returning weapon from Phantasy Star Online, is basically a gigantic two-handed chainsaw sword.
  • Character Customization: An insane level of it. Users don't just use a few randomly labelled sliders, nearly every aspect of the player's body can be changed by way of a grid-based system. Yes, including the chest. Episode 3 adds the ability to re-position accessories via an X-Y-Z plane. No more awkward clipping!
  • Character Portrait: Small windows featuring other characters can be utilized along with chat text.
  • Charged Attack: Of the "Hold-to-Charge" variety.
    • All techniques can be charged (Nabarta is an exception) up for extra power, ranging from extra pulses from Resta, a bigger fireball from Foie, etc.
    • Some Photon Artes are capable of this, but swords in particular take magnitudes longer to power fully without the aid of Weapon Gear. Katanas, on the other hand, require you to time the release for the boosted damage.
    • Partizan and Wire Lance Gear, however, use the "Collect" type, in the form of a three segment meter. Using Artes will spend the meter for added power. Dual Blades Gear is similar, except that instead of powering up PAs, more meter equals more photon blades.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Done in a weird sort of way. An update added Support Partners, customizable, personal versions of Friend Partners. When you go back in time to save Theodore's girlfriend Ulc as part of Episode 2 Chapter 5, Xiao takes over one of your Support Partners to assist you. Of course, he gets caught in the act, but no one knows until it's too late.
  • Close Range Combatant: Fighters are fast, powerful, and not too fragile, but need to get up close and personal with their foes.
  • Color-Coded Elements: Going by the Technic's icons, Foie is red, Barta is blue, Zonde is yellow, Zan is green, Grants is white, and Megid is purple.
  • Combos: The combat system has been expanded to feature more fluid and dynamic combos.
    • Rods and Talises (Talii?) store up to three techniques, and can also be used for physical attacks. Techniques can be assigned to sub-palettes to further expand attack options.
    • You can mix Photon Arts with regular attacks within a three-input combo. Tech-Arts Just Attack Bonus encourages this.
    • Gunners have Chain Trigger, a skill that allows them to rack up combos by hitting a particular part of an enemy's body multiple times. Once the combo is finished by hitting the target with a Photon Art, the damage inflicted will be based on how many hits the combo has racked up.
    • Jet Boots get Branched Attacks, a unique mechanic that allows them to chain Photon Arts into follow-up attacks that automatically cast support Technics.
  • Colossus Climb: The fight against the Big Vardha is one alright. The first segment of the fight consists of destroying the many turrets of the sides that prevent you from climbing to the deck. And then, you have to climb onto the core mecha's Wave Motion Gun to Attack Its Weakpoint.
    • Gigur Gunnegam, a gigantic samurai-like boss on Harukotan. You don't climb his body though; he just makes it so you can.
    • Magatsu, the Sealed Titan, is an absolutely massive Kuronian boss that appears in the White Territory and is multitudes larger than Gigur Gunnegam. Players must scale walls, bring him down with the Binding Arrow turrets, or reach new heights with Sukuna-hime's Divine Protection to take him out.
  • Combat Parkour: Jet Boots are all into this, attacking enemies and casting Technics with inverted spins, midair slides, leg splits, and more.
  • Combat Stilettos: Quite a good chunk of the female outfits feature heels (Crazy Kitten, Stoa Colette, Party Santa Dress, to name a few), and the girls who run in them aren't any slower than those with more practical footwear.
  • Combination Attack: Emergency Code: Unite invokes this, as clearing it requires you to perform them with NPCs to kill enemies.
  • Composite Character: The classes in Nova are a combination of the original class and its secondary from Online 2. Hunters are a mix of Hunters and Fighters, Rangers combine Rangers and Gunners, and Forces meld Forces and Techers.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Inverted for any enemy that can use Mirage Escape. For players, Mirage Escape has total invulnerability all the way through. The computer gets none of that, which makes you wonder why they use it in the first place. Zigzagged for Theodore, who also suffers from this, but can also use Mirage Escape to fly much farther distances than any player can travel with it.
  • Computers Are Fast: The Katana Trainer Room Item minigame on High Score Mode. The reaction time required to beat the computer is nearly impossible to the average human.
  • Confused Question Mark: The Lobby Action "Head Tilt" pops this with the aforementioned head tilt.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: If it's a major boss, expect it to be immune to all of your Standard Status Effects except for the one inflicted by its primary elemental weakness.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Dark Falz not being able to be truly defeated? That's normal for the Phantasy Star series. Having several different Dark Falz (Falzes?) at once? Now we have a problem.
  • Crate Expectations: You can find lots of containers scattered around the area for you to break. They generally contain healing items or common weapons, but sometimes you can find rare weapons from a Red Container. They may also contain Darker Bombs that fire up once the container is broken, and blow up seconds afterwards.
  • Creepy Crows: Darkers on Vopal have a bird theme to them, and they're black and evil all over.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The vast array of unique weapons, armor units and skills can sometimes lead to this, usually due to workarounds to equip certain things. One example is the Elysion wand that requires S-ATK to equip rather than T-ATK; another is a whole armor set that greatly boosts attacking stats and most defense stats, but has exactly zero base S-DEF.
    • The Gigur weapons, extremely powerful 11★ weapons only dropped by Gigur Gunnegam on Super Hard. They require R-DEF to equip, and none of them are Ranged weapons.
  • Critical Hit: Notable in that crits don't actually apply any sort of damage multiplier or ignore defense as one would think. Player damage inflicted has a degree of randomness known as "damage variance", and a critical hit applies the maximum possible damage to the target, ignoring damage variance instead. As a result, crits are far less valuable here than in most standard RPGs.
  • Counter Attack: Katana-wielding characters can pull one off by blocking at the right moment. Bravers with Katana Gear also get a nice attack and crit buff for the trouble.
    • The Sword Photon Art Ignite Parrying isn't innately a Counter Attack in itself, but the user can Guard through the Art without stopping, and if an attack is successfully Just Guarded against, the Art's remaining slashes increase in power.
  • Crossover: Prone to these. Currently included crossovers include Puella Magi Madoka Magica, the Fate series, Dengeki magazine, and Attack on Titan. The creator has even mentioned interest in doing one with Final Fantasy XIV.
    • Works the other way too. The game has also seen representation in recent SEGA titles, namely Project DIVA F and Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax.
  • Custom Uniform: Clariskrays/Claris Claes, Huey, and Casra have slightly modified versions of the basic outfits, all of which are in the "Heroes Summer Beach" scratch.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: The game is much better about averting this compared to its predecessor, with several different locales each with their own gimmicks and particular level designs. This unfortunately doesn't hold true with es, since there are only seven different locales (Forest, Tundra, Desert, Ruins, Floating Continent, Volcano, City), which results in many "new" Quests being recycled older areas, with only the enemy level and Drive requirements changing.
  • Cutscene Incompetence/Cutscene Power to the Max: Because showing characters actually fighting mooks in cutscenes is boring, many cutscenes with mooks will feature one or both of the following: 1) minor characters dying in one hit to the average mook, or 2) major characters killing mooks in one hit. This goes Up to Eleven where you're concerned, since you're almost never shown with a weapon, so you wind up punching out everything in one hit.
  • Cyborg: In a more cosmetic sense. The Non-Casts can obtain Cast "Looks" to dress up as them, and there are several costume options that the Casts can wear to masquerade as a humanoid.
  • Cypher Language: The strange hexafont you see on the ship actually spell English words. Here's a guide if you wish to try to decode it.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: For a cute little feline, Nyau is surprisingly resilient. Most attacks will only inflict one or two digits worth of damage, and you'll be hard-pressed to defeat him with brute force. It is possible to defeat him that way, but bring a friend to help whittle him down. About 11 more of them for good measure.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory: You think the transition from Very Hard to Super Hard will go smoothly? TOO BAD! The enemy attack patterns are changed and you'll have to adapt!
    • The Jet Boots' double jump is very useful for hopping up cliffs you'd normally have to use a platform to get to. Naturally, a player switching to a weapon that isn't Jet Boots may find themselves hitting the Jump key again while forgetting he/she can't double jump anymore.
  • Death from Above: The Technic Ilfoie lets you drop giant exploding meteors from the sky onto foes.
    • Meteor Fist, a long-ranged Knuckle Photon Art, drops a giant gold fist(s) onto foes. It also happens to be a Randomized Damage Attack.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist:
    • Falling in battle and returning to the Campship merely lowers the grade you get for the mission, not the entire party, resulting in a lower bonus for you. Unless you are solo and you die while fighting a boss in a non-Random Event, and even then you can just retry the mission immediately.
    • Averted with Dark Falz Elder whenever his event happens, which probably surprised a few unfortunate players. If you and the rest of the ship don't kill his first phase hands enough times, you don't even get to fight Falz himself. And if you do fight him but then die/run out of time, you're not allowed to retry. In both cases, you have to wait until the next Falz event for another crack at him.
    • Not so with Advance Quests and Extreme Quests, as they consume rare and expensive items (Advance Capsules and Extreme Passes respectively) every time you want to give them a go. Fall in battle and have no way to revive? Have fun spending more Advance Capsules/Extreme Passes! Made even more painful if a whole party falls, as someone/everyone has to repay the fee for reentering.
  • Deflector Shields:
  • Degraded Boss: Later on in PSO2es, Wolgahda, Ga Wonda, and Gu Wonda, who previously appeared as boss mobs, start showing up as normal mooks.
  • Demonic Possession: Dark Falz's modus operandi, naturally.
  • Desperation Attack: Some Skill Tree abilities apply a boost to certain stats if you go below a specified threshold or HP or PP. Unfortunately, they're usually stuffed into the ends of the Skill Tree and are generally ignored in favor of better skills.
    • Some Weapon Potentials also do this, without needing SP in this case.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: In the Ultimate Quest, if there is already a substantial amount of players partaking in the Quest on the field, you will be given the option to drop at the spot closest to the largest group of players, instead of at the standard start point.
  • Difficult but Awesome: Jet Boots, mainly for their highly unorthodox play style. If one were to carefully understand their quirks and build accordingly, you'll have close combat in one hand, Technics in another, all while zooming from point A to point B in a blink.
  • Difficulty Spike: Episode 2 Chapter 5 suddenly ramps up in difficulty, due to the sheer amount of enemies you have to fight, consisting of brainwashed ARKS and Claris Claes clones and several boss fights containing enemies like Lisa, Ohza, Marlu, Fourier, Claris Claes, Regius, Casra, Theodore, Luther, and Falz Angel. The level of the fights scale, but they can potentially be at Level 60 by the time you take it on. While you have to do it by yourself, the game is generous enough to save your progress at the occasional checkpoint in case you screw up and die, as opposed to other Story Quests that make you start over.
  • Disc One Nuke: Literally. Some of the Photon Art discs you would normally only find on Very Hard difficulty are sold by generous (or greedy) people via the Player Shop. Only discs Lv. 10 and below can be put up for sale though, anything higher you must find yourself.
  • Distressed Dude/Damsel in Distress: Played with in Emergency Code: Rescue. Your teammate gets kidnapped, and you have to to save him/her from a Darker barrier. Your teammate can break themselves out, though, if they can deal good damage and have lots of patience.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: Unless you're trying to inflict Shock, do not attack Dark Falz Elder's lower arms (the ones he guarded his chest with) - they aren't breakable because he needs them for his attack animations, and he has barely enough HP to fully break all his parts without hitting the wrong thing. If you can't cast Sazonde and think you might do too much damage trying to shock him, its best to just let the Forces and Techers to their job and give you access to a part you can break.
  • Doom Magnet:
    • For some bizarre reason, something bad happens right after Quna's live performances. It ranges from the Third Mining Base being invaded or Dark Falz Elder showing up to crash the party.
    • A badly executed War Cry can easily swamp you with more than what you can chew.
  • Double Jump: Jet Boots enable the wearer to perform one.
  • Dragons Up the Yin Yang: Planet Harukotan is divided into two nations, white and black-colored and currently in war. Where's the taijitu on planet Harukotan? The planet itself is one!
  • Dual Boss:
    • The Snow Banther and Snow Banshee at the end of the Tundra free-field, as well as their Forest emergency mission counterparts Fang Banther and Fang Banshee. Banshee starts the battle off on its own, while Banther hops in to assist once Banshee has sustained enough damage.
    • The minor bosses can also do this if you have other players (not Friend Partners) in your party - up to three in one battle. Usually you'll only see two and have to wait on the third, but if you have a full multi-party area and all twelve players and running together, you can spawn three at once.
    • It's theoretically possible to have up to nine bosses in the area at once, if by some Million-to-One Chance you get three minor boss Emergency Codes at the same time with a full multi-party scouring the map.
    • Nepto Casadora and Leo Madulard team up against the players for a boss fight in the Ascended Facility. The former generates toxic oil puddles that the latter can ignite with fire attacks, creating some particularly nasty damage combos if they're within close proximity to each other. In parties of two or more, splitting them up is a good idea.
  • Dual Wielding: Dual Blades, obviously. They fight with a style reminiscent of nito-ryu.
  • Dualvertisement: The game does a lot of cross-promotion with other Sega products and popular anime. This includes:
  • Duel Boss: Technically. The game calls any boss encounter as Emergency Code: Duel. This trope is played straight if going alone; otherwise averted with teammates. The Naberius II Time Attack Quest also forces this type of battle.
  • Dub Name Change: The SEA version hosted by Asiasoft changed some of the terminology in-game, such as "Force" to "Wizard" and "Techniques" to "Magic".
  • Dump Stat: Dexterity. Its only effect is to increase the minimum damage threshold. While it may be useful for builds based around crafted weapons, it is largely considered one of the most useless stats in the game. Min-maxers stay away from Dexterity as much as they can like the Black Plague, and the only other reason to get DEX ever is to equip a certain piece of equipment that requires it.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Dark Vibrace Yuga was the very first Darker Aberration enemy, first introduced in Base Defense: Despair. Turns out Aberrations are the Ultimate Quest versions of regular enemies, and with the release of Ultimate Quests a few months later came Aberrant versions of other enemies.
  • Easter Egg: If you somehow manage to acquire all of the Instruments, and two Microphones, and have them all activated by individual players at once, you can hear a special, duet version of Our Fighting. Good luck buying them all, though.
  • Easy EXP: Averted in that you need to be in-range of enemies to earn party exp... But in multi-party areas you don't have to be part of the party that killed the enemy to get credit (and loot) for it.
    • The "in-range" part is at least ignored during Mining Base Defense, and considering how much EXP those quests dispense, it truly does become easy EXP.
    • Franka the chef's Fetch Quests. Got an ample amount of Meseta in the wallet? Say hello to effortless EXP.
  • Elemental Powers: Techniques are divided into six elements: Fire, Ice, Wind, Electricity, Light, and Darkness. Weapons, likewise, can be imbued with an element.
    • The Weapon Gear for Jet Boots allows it to change the primary element of its attacks into that of the last charged Technic cast.
    • The Technic Zandeon has the player fusing their wind and lightning powers to dash around while hitting enemies with wind attacks and dropping lightning bolts on them.
  • Eldritch Abomination: It wouldn't be a Phantasy Star game without Dark Falz, though this time, it has the aid of its minions, the Darkers. It later turns out that there's actually at least five separate incarnations of Dark Falz, each possessing a title and presumably their own group of Darkers to control.
  • Eldritch Location: The Darkers' Den, which among other weirdness, has what appears to be a city on its ceiling.
  • Elite Tweak: With the variety of equipment, abilities and skillsets, this is entirely possible to do.
  • Enemy Summoner: By himself, Nyau, an adorable, klutzy, feline-ish creature with a sword, isn't very strong, and will probably go down without too much effort. He also has the defining quality of occasionally making bosses appear after he vanishes.
  • Escort Mission: Some Story Quests ask you to bring a certain non-combatant, who joins your party, from point A to point B. It has none of the implications, however, as the escortee is treated the same way as a Partner and is thus protected by the Gameplay Ally Immortality described below.
  • Evil Knockoff: Emergency Code: Clone pits players against cloned versions of other players that have cleared Darker Den; this can include your own clone if you've accomplished this yourself. They function exactly like Friend Partners, getting all the original's weapons and all but one of their stats; you won't find Infinity Plus One Photon Art Shunka-Shunran to be so fun when it's used on you.
    • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The one stat they don't copy? HP, which they have quite a bit more of. Better get out the poison!note 
  • Fanservice: LOADS of Fanservice Costumes are in the game.
    • Barely-There Swimwear: The Sexy Bikini Wear covers the essentials, but there isn't much to look at.
    • Bedlah Babe: The Alf Layla costume, to a T.
    • Chainmail Bikini: Luna Prophecy, the infamous bikini armor is back from Phantasy Star Universe.
    • Fundoshi: Released for the Oriental Expo scratch, with the girls donning Sarashi with theirs.
    • Kimono Fanservice: Whether it be from the Taisho era or a New Year's furisode, they got them.
    • Meido: Yep. If short skirts aren't your thing, you can opt in for a longer one.
    • Modesty Towel: In both dry and wet variety. The height of audacity in PSO2 is to have a multiparty full of towel wearers going up against Dark Falz Elder.
    • Playboy Bunny: In a multitude of colors from the Moon Bunny scratch.
    • Proper Tights with a Skirt: The complete female ARKS Blazer outfit features this.
    • Qipao: Straight from the Wild Ocean Pirates scratch as seen here. A shorter version was introduced in a later scratch.
    • Sailor Fuku: The Arks Trainee Uniform also closely resembles traditional sailor school uniforms. A later scratch released color variants that mimic the iconic red scarf and blue collar style as well. The Student S Repca, a costume from 7th Dragon 2020, also fits the bill. The ARKS Blazers from the Cosmic School Life scratch are of the traditional type, with the Hoshihama Academy outfits from Phantasy Star Online 2 -ON STAGE- being modified variants of the Blazer.
    • School Swimsuit: Autumn Sports Festival-themed scratches included this as part of their repertoire. There's one with the swimsuit by itself, and another that includes a jersey jacket worn Coat Cape style.
    • Sexy Backless Outfit: The Jahiroke combines this and Absolute Cleavage with what appears to be some sort of corset.
    • Sexy Santa Dress: Word-for-word, from the Very Merry Christmas scratch.
    • Sharp-Dressed Man: Completely possible with the Ceremony Tuxedo, or perhaps even Battle Butler status with the butler coats.
    • Sideboob: The Candy Crown costume has a bit of it. Melphonseana averts this since she wears under armor.
    • Stripperific: The default HUnewearl costume "Naver Quartz" is one of the main offenders, but we'd be here for a while if we listed all of them.
    • Underboobs: The Halter Top Bikini shows off a bit of this.
    • Walking Swimsuit Scene:
      • A summer season AC Scratch is more than likely to have a swimsuit; from bikinis and swim trunks, to one-piece swimsuits and speedos. Overlaps with Walking Shirtless Scene for the guys.
      • Beach Wars 2, a seasonal Emergency Mission for the summer, may occasionally feature the NPCs fighting in swimsuits! Ever wanted to see Echo in a bikini or Zeno in swim trunks?
    • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Edel Serin, natch. Combines with the trope below.
    • Zettai Ryouiki: One of the default outfits for female humanoids, Edel Serin, has this with boots and shorts, while costumes such as Wonder Treat and Marie Wind have this in the traditional skirt and socks. Many other costumes that don't have this by default can pull it off when accompanied by the myriad of knee socks options in the game.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Cry Savior features a large shoulder pad on the left, and a cape draping on the right. This is what Zeno wears once he joins the Council of Six.
  • Feathered Fiend: The avian Darkers, who all bear a resemblance to crows.
  • Fighting Spirit: The Photon Blast Ilios functions like one: upon being summoned, Ilios will float around you and attack enemies you target.
  • Fish People: Planet Vopal is home to a new type of native enemy, dubbed "Neptunians"/"Oceanids".
  • Flechette Storm: The Dual Blades' special action consumes the user's gear gauge to send a flurry of small "photon blades" flying at the enemy. The Photon Blade Fever skill brings it straight into the territory of this trope by doubling the number of blades per salvo; since the gear charges with each hit, it's entirely possible to keep a near-constant stream of projectiles going for the duration of the effect. On top of that, most of the weapon's Photon Arts utilize these blades in various ways as well.
  • Floating Continent: Planet Amduscia's Floating Continent consists of small islands floating in the air, visible from the Campship.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Ragrants fires a beam of light. It doesn't stretch too far, but everything is better with lasers, right?
    • One of the Photon Blasts, Cetus Imera, fires a much larger beam. Scroll down to Wave Motion Gun.
    • A fair number of bosses enjoy them some lasers, such as Big Vardha, Quartz Dragon, Dark Falz Elder, and so forth.
    • Photon Particle Cannons in Mining Base Defense fire chargeable lasers. While they are expensive and you won't usually get them until the final round, these particular turrets hit like a freight train and can take down Dark Vibrace in short order.
      • The enemy version, Darker Particle Cannons, appear when Darkers infect one of your Defense Sockets in Mining Base Defense: Despair and can be used against your Mining Bases like the Photon Particle Cannons can be used against Darkers. They have to charge up for a while upon spawning, but if you leave them alone for too long, they hurt.
    • The Satellite Cannon photon art for rifles have these, courtesy of a Kill Sat.
    • The Resonance Cannon Gran Art in Nova, which aligns the Halo's rings and fires a laser out of them.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge:
    • A handful of photon arts, like the Partisan's "Assault Buster" (a flying stab) or the Twin Machineguns' "Dead Approach" (a shoulder tackle) allow players to perform this.
    • Naturally, several enemies and bosses can pull this off too. The Quartz Dragon in particular has several jet-powered lunging attacks that can punt players a fair distance.
  • Forced Level Grinding: Even if you have certain quests unlocked, the game will demand you meet a certain level before it will allow you to play that quest. Before the September 12th update, there was a significant gap in the level requirements needed to move on the the next set of quests in Hard Mode. Players would typically start hard mode around level 20, with the next set of quests unlocked at 25. To move on to the next new area, tundra (Hard mode is just a retread of forest, caves, and desert where the enemies have higher stats), or play the free fields on hard, you had to be level 30. There's daily repeatable client orders that help mitigate it somewhat, but suffice to say from 20-30 you were going to be spending a lot of time grinding in the first three areas. Since the September 12th update, however, all areas became playable in Normal mode, and the level requirements for several Hard mode quests were lowered.
    • There's still a noticeable gap between levels 25 and 30.
    • Slightly mitigated after a patch that reduced the EXP needed to get from 40 to 50 (and amusingly, refunded players who grinded before the patch, meaning a Level 50 player could pick up three levels instantly from killing a Level 3 Oodan).
    • There's also about 3.5 million exp between level 50, when you first unlock Super Hard, and level 53, when you can do most SH quests without exp penalties. Dark Falz Elder and later maps on VH help with this immensely.
  • Foreshadowing: In Episode 2 Chapter 6, you get to a wide open area of the city that has Turrets and Photon Particle Cannons from Mining Base Defense. Then you fight two Emergency Code: Attacks that involve fighting Mining Base Darkers. You might be feeling a little suspicious. Guess who gets to go one-on-one with Dark Vibrace?
    • In Episode 1 Chapter 3: Sadist In The Sands, Gettemhart describes you as "Oh, the one with the mask". He was talking about your first meeting, when he interrupted Persona, so one could consider this a flaw in grammar. Then you learn WHO Persona really is...
  • Fun with Acronyms: The ARKS logo has it written in small letters that it stands for Artificial Relict to Keep Species.
  • Fusion Dance: Using Zandion involves the caster smashing orbs of wind and lightning together to perform a powerful, limited-use hybrid Technic that causes the user to fly around on wind energy while dropping thunderbolts in his/her wake.
  • Gag Sub: The people behind the English patch have had some fun translating the game, and it shows in one of Kressida's client orders being titled "Gotta Go Fast!", a seasonal quest from Xie referencing the "doge" meme ("Such Love, So Popular"), and the description for The Scrappy weapon, the Mace of Adaman, ending with "Better luck next time. :(".
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: You can summon NPCs and AI-controlled clones of your friends to aid you in battle. They have considerably lowered stats compared to your actual friend, and die a lot. Of course, they get up after a while and keep going, but they're also incredibly dumb.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In Episode 2 Chapter 6, right when Matoi is about to let brainwashed ARKS kill her, you jump in and save her at the last second wielding a Coat Edge D, regardless of whatever weapon you actually had. Subverted, since it isn't really you you, but another you who became Persona and traveled into your timeline. It's complicated.
    • The story is weird about when it considers characters as "dead" or "incapacitated". More often than not, any ARKS member will be defeated instantly upon taking damage, unless they're major characters. And more often than not, they usually die on the spot, be it from a Dagan or from being attacked by their own ally. Except in certain cases, when they get hit and get teleported back to the Campship as opposed to dying, for reasons unknown.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The update on 5th December 2012 included a revamp to the physics engine and a few other things so that it can be compatible for PS Vita and PC user co-op play. Cue people getting stuck in the loading screen, stuck in boss room teleporters, applying strange textures to random models, model animations spazzing out (which, hilariously, includes people in Rappy Suits standing sideways with half their body into the ground and rotating anti clockwise at high speeds), buttons not appearing (rendering a certain quest incompletable). It rendered the game either nigh unplayable or an extremely annoying experience. Of course, an emergency maintenance fixed most of it.
    • The September 4 update induced a computer breaking patch, in which the updater wiped system files (and hilariously, Final Fantasy XIV files) from countless computers.
  • Game-Favored Gender: A sort of meta example; on one hand, the gachas tend to release more clothes for female characters, leaving the males with less clothing options. On the other hand, due to the large population of female characters, their clothes tend to be priced higher in the market, meaning the males can get the clothes they want earlier than the females.
  • Get Back Here Boss: The target of Emergency Code: Chase.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: There's no known way for the game to scan whatever's being displayed on Symbol Art. Unless other players have a problem and report the offenders, it's possible to get away with displaying very raunchy images.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Krabahdas, and since Seabed was introduced, Falcabones are literally this. The English patch named one of Hans' Client Orders this, but it's not what it translates to. The quest actually named "Birth of Dark Fog".
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Happens all the freaking time. Boss enemies won't always wait for you to get to them; during Free Field, Arks Missions or (should the quest take place there) Emergency Quests, they can ambush you in their locale. Some don't even need to be in the same area, just on the same planet (i.e. Lillipa Tunnels boss Tranmizer can appear in Lillipa Desert). It's not uncommon for a boss to spawn after or even during an Emergency Code. Worse yet, randomly encountered bosses can have have double their regular HP - this is denoted by their name having a prefix, like "Hollow Shell" for Dark Ragne and "Primal Shell" for Wolgahda and Zeshrayda. Darker-type bosses are notoriously repeat offenders of this. Falz Arm is not an exception to this if you're playing on Super Hard. Have fun!
  • Gratuitous English: Aside from the ARKS acronym, there's "STATE OF EMERGENCY/RAID/STRATEGY" when Falz attacks the ship, and even Engrish voice tickets for players to use. It's as funny as it sounds.
  • Gravity Sucks:
    • The Gravity Bomb, a Trap Skill for Rangers, creates a miniature gravity well that pulls enemies in.
    • Bullet Bows have access to Gravity Shot. It detonates into a mini black hole a second after it makes its impact, be it enemy or ground.
  • Green Hill Zone: Naberius Forest, natch.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Any Photon Art that grabs the enemy, and a few that launch the enemy, are capable of this. Wired Lances excel at it.
    • Barbarillipans may draw a Gilnas mech from their backpack, which they will smack you with.
  • Guest Star Party Member: Certain chapters add exclusive party members to your team for a while, and you can't get them as Partner Cardsnote . However, since they're still Partners, it's still all up to you.
  • Guide Dang It: You'd be pretty hard-pressed to figure out by yourself that getting the true end of Chapter 4 requires not only unlocking it on the Matter Board, but also killing every enemy in the first area of the quest, aside from any runners at the end of an e-trial. And even if you do get it, you might not be sure how you did it.
    • Averted in the english patched version where paying close attention to Aki's dialogue helps immensely.
    • The unlockable shortcuts for some of the Time Attack Quests, especially Naberius I and Lillipa, can be really obtuse. If you haven't learned them, better hope you have a teammate that did.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The camera cuts to black right before Persona impales Matoi with his/her sword. Subverted when you arrive on the scene of the crime ten seconds later and see Matoi horribly bleeding to death.
  • Government Conspiracy: The Arks higher-ups told everyone that Dark Falz had been defeated for good 40 years ago. Any person well-versed in the Phantasy Star series will tell you that this is baloney, and rightfully so: Falz was only sealed away, and the Arks have gone so far as to kill anyone including those in their own ranks who try to uncover that fact.
    • Lawful Stupid: Not that their motivations aren't understandable, but it gets a little ridiculous when you try to assassinate a research student who is merely curious, instead of the considerably more Ax-Crazy Blood Knight who actually wants to find and resurrect Dark Falz.
  • Graceful Loser: Elder has no problems with losing to the Arks repeatedly. He's happy as long as he has powerful opponents to fight.
  • Harder Than Hard:
    • Super Hard difficulty. Not only are the enemies are obviously stronger, but now you're dealing with infected enemies with their infection core retaliating. Oh yeah, have fun fighting the occasional Falz Arm!
    • If you get really unlucky, this can happen during Raging Dark Arms. Not fun having six Falz Arms to deal with, huh?
    • And now back from past Phantasy Star games, Ultimate difficulty! Manifested as "Ultimate Quests", the entire environment is a very far cry from normal questing fare, with entirely new enemies starting at level 80, Yuga-Darkers, and new bosses, one wrong move can utterly destroy your squad.
    • Things get Harder Than Harder Than Hard in Extra Hard Difficulty, an Emergency Quest-exclusive difficulty that cranks the enemies up to Level 80!
  • Harmless Freezing: The Freeze status traps you in a body-sized ice crystal. It's not harmful itself, but it can certainly set you up for some harm.
  • Healing Factor: Hunters and Gunners have Automate Halfline and Automate Deadline respecitvely, which will make the least powerful -mate item in their inventory activate when their HP goes below a certain point - 50% for Halfline, 25% for Deadline. It has a 100% chance to work when maxed out on the skill tree, and all three levels of Mates are a common drop from boxes.
  • Hellish Pupils: Deumans have access to a rather strange vortex-like eye pattern. NPCs of the race tend to have one eye like this, colored more brightly than their other, "normal" eye.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Clones of player characters can use all the Photon Arts and Technics the original character knows. This includes, among other things, Over End, Il Foie, Shunka-Shunran, Backhand Smash, Weak Bullet...
  • Hold the Line: Magatsu's ultimate objective is to break all the gates in the area, so the players must protect the gates and defeat him before he breaks them all.
  • Holiday Mode: The game frequently celebrates many holidays, international and Japanese alike. When a holiday rolls around, the the game is updated to match, including a new outfit for Xie, a holiday-specific Quest, a themed Lobby redesign, holiday outfits and accessories up for grabs, and a holiday-specific Rappy variant emerging.
    • The SEA version also tosses in an exclusive variant celebrating Singapore and Malaysia Independence Days, minus the Quests and Rappies.
  • Hunter, Force, Ranger: Players may choose between the classic three, though they have all been loosened up since Online. Each character has a different level for each class and can switch classes freely.
    • Each class has its own skill tree, which unlocks new skills and abilities.
    • In addition, CASTs can again be Forces as in Universe, and are actually competent at it this time.
    • Each class has a different form of dodging:
    • And as of September 12, each class now has an branch Class that can be used once they reach level 30: Fighters for Hunters, Gunners for Rangers, and Techers for Forces.
    • Episode 2 introduced the Braver class. They wield Bullet Bows and Katanas.
    • Episode 3 introduced another new class, "Bouncer", who wields Dual Blades and Jet Boots. Their array of skills pitches them as a cross between Magic Knight and The Paladin.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In one map of Episode 1 Chapter 6, you have to jump a series of pillars to reach an inconveniently placed switch. Zeno complains on why it's placed up there, and Echo answers that it's in such a place to make it harder to reach. On the second, higher one, Echo complains about the exact same thing, with Zeno calling her out.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: The Council of Six members (bar Claris Claes and Zeno) are generally content with using their standard weapons, but when the going gets tough, they aren't afraid to show power strong enough to give the Dark Falzes a run for their money.
  • Idol Singer: Quna (voiced by Eri Kitamura). Have a listen to Our Fighting, Everlasting Encore, and Neverending Story.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of that Quest: Mining Base Defense: Despair. See Nintendo Hard.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: A Photon Art for Swords named Cruel Throw, which runs your target through with your sword and then lifts them up and tosses them aside while still on the blade. Needless to say, it works on clones, so you may find yourselves running your "friends" through with your sword. The clones can, however, do this to YOU as well.
  • Infinity -1 Weapon: Quite a few weapons that aren't 10★ are still quite decent and accessible, so don't fret if the Random Number God doesn't smile upon you.
  • Infinity +1 Weapon: There's at least one for every weapon type, and true to the trope (and the series), they can only be obtained from the hardest missions at a rare frequency. These mostly include weapons that either gain boosts from using a certain set of Units with it, having a good Weapon Potential, or just having the highest attack stat out of the type. The most notable pieces by far are the 13★ weapons, which drop from the local Ultimate Quest. Said weapons are stronger than any 12★ weapon in existence.
    • Storywise, these are the Genesis Weapons: weapons that carry such a high photon output that only the ARKS Council of Six are capable of wielding them. In the lore of the story, every weapon in the ARKS armoury is a reverse-engineered version of a Genesis Weapon, downgraded for general use.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Mecha: The A.I.S. (ARKS Interception Silhouette), a Mining Base-exclusive Humongous Mecha that players can summon and jump into a la Titanfall and run around mass murdering Darkers with a massive greatsword, an infinite ammo rifle, a rocket launcher, and a gigantic portable laser attack, among other things. Due to how much they cost in the Point system, they're both a Second Hour Superpower and an Eleventh Hour Superpower.
    • It is pretty much required to beat the third Mining Base mission, and their use should be properly rationed due to both limited duration of use, only available three times, and becomes vastly more expensive with each use. But they are so powerful that they can slaughter mooks with ease, and curbstomp Falz Hunar, and pretty much any other boss enemy that shows up, including the second variant of Dark Vibrace, who is mainly there as a damage sponge for the mechs.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Most of them are to prevent your characters falling to their death, presumably.
    • Every slope in the Gate/Shop area is of the Frictionless Hill Variant.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: The Gel Wulff appears during a randomly-triggered Emergency Code: Avoid. You cannot kill it, and it can fly through walls to hunt you down. The only thing you can do against it is to run from it until time runs out, and hope everyone else is on their toes. Though they later became much easier to avoid...
    • Subverted in Vopal, where there is a special turret that allows you to kill it.
  • Invocation: The Council of Six's special weapons work like this.
    Zeno: Sword of Commandment, Nanaki! *Weapon reverses colors*
  • Item Crafting: The January 15, 2014 update adds a crafting system to improve weapons, units, and Technics. Among the things that can be improved are Attack and Defense stats, HP and PP values, and even what classes can equip a weapon.
  • It Only Works Once: Due to the cooldown of an A.I.S. Photon Particle Cannon (2 minutes), you can only use it once per piloting session (also 2 minutes).
  • Jiggle Physics: Used for clothes, hair, some weapons, and predictably, chests. It's actually fairly realistic in the last case, though some lobby actions seem to exist primarily to show it off.
  • Job System: Classes can be freely switched between and independently leveled.
  • Joke Item: There's a handful of silly weapons that often don't surpass the power of the more serious ones. They've got brooms, fish, kendamas, surfboards, umbrellas, flower bouquets, bubble guns...
    • Lethal Joke Item: On the other hand, there's a couple of exceptions, like the Madamn's Umbrella which is a 10★ weapon that any class can wield. You can even fight with only your bare fists. They're obviously rather weak and only get one Photon Art (the Knuckles' Ducking Blow), but they're also quite fast and both their guard animation and Photon Art have a healthy amount of invincibility frames.
  • Jump Physics: Fights and dungeons are now more three-dimensional with the addition of jumping.
    • Milked to all that it's worth in Harukotan, which features a vast number of buildings that players can jump on the roofs of.
    • Twin Mechgun users (particularly Gunners, who have access to the relevant PAs) can augment their jumps with midair side- and backflips, letting them stay airborne almost indefinitely.
  • Kaizo Trap:
    • As is Phantasy Star tradition, Dragons (and this time, Fang/Snow Banshee/Banther) will hurt you if they fall on you during their death animation. Being landed on deals a surprisingly substantial amount of damage, meaning that on higher difficulties, this can kill you.
    • Breaking Nyau's weaponnote  causes Nyau to fly into a rage and assault the player with a flurry of punches, after which it'll make a desperate cry for help and vanish. Like the "landing" event above, it's entirely possible to die from this on harder difficulties. Stay on your guard through. A boss might actually answer its cry for help. Doesn't help that some of the boss entrances can and will flatten you if you're not paying attention.
  • Kill It with Fire: Foie-type spells all use fire. In addition, the Launcher PA "Flame Bullet" will allow you to use the weapon like a flamethrower.
  • Kill Sat: The Assault Rifle Photon Art "Satellite Cannon".
  • Knockback Evasion: Named "Just Reversal", pressing jump (Spacebar by default) will allow you to flip back on your feet when you hit the ground.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: Bal Rodos is of the Sea Serpent variation. Notable in that it's twice or maybe even thrice the size of De Rol Le and Barba Ray from the first game, and is every bit as powerful as it is intimidating.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • At this stage they don't even try hiding Dark Falz, much less the existence of the other Dark Falzes.
    • Many, many people and in-game accessories have put out there that the mysterious blue-haired, twin-tailed girl with the Twin Daggers is Quna, the pop idol.
    • The existence of Quna, Deuman Theodore, Melphonsina, Council of Six Zeno, and Episode 3 Matoi partner cards doesn't help either. Talk about a literal Walking Spoiler.
  • Large Ham:
    • Dark Falz Elder is no slouch in this department, either. When he unveils his gigantic true form, his ham levels increase in size proportionately.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority:
    • The red and blue versions of base weapons (Red Sword, Red Rifle, Red Talis, Blue Rod just to name a few) are quite powerful. In addition, all rare drops are colored red when on the field.
    • When a 7★ to 9★ item drops on the field, the "Rare Drop!" notification is colored white. When a 10★ to 12★ item drops, the notification flashes rainbow. When a 13★ weapon drops, the Rare Item Box in the notification as well as the item on the ground also flashes rainbow.
  • Lethal Joke Item: Nabarta and Innocent Appearance. Nabarta is an "icethrower" Technic that not only costs PP to start using, but constantly eats PP while in use, rendering it largely impractical. Innocent Appearance, the Potential of the 11★ Wand Elysion, boosts the damage of uncharged Techs, which no proper caster would have much use for. However, when combined with the knowledge that Nabarta cannot be charged, it creates a devastating combo worthy of eventually getting the Nerf bat in late 2014.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The volcanoes of planet Amduscia. Good for the players that in PSO2, Lava Is Boiling Koolaid.
  • Life Drain: The Megiverse technic is a variation. When a player does damage to an enemy while inside a Megiverse energy field, 25% of that damage comes back to them as recovered HP.
    • The 10★ sword "Elder Pain" has Vampiric Blade as a Weapon Potential that is this. The recovery isn't as drastic as Megiverse's buff, but as a Potential this is a permament gimmick affixed to the sword... if you can get it to +10 to even unlock the Potential. Or even acquire it to begin with.
    • There is also the 11★ Twin Machineguns called Guld Milla, which have a Potential called "Celestial Bullet" that also does this. Again, good luck grinding it, much less acquiring it.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Il Zonde does this quite literally, charging the player with electricity then making zip forward to damage enemies.
  • Limit Break: The Mags' Photon Blasts. Unlike the previous game, however, they are limited to one blast type.
  • Lip Lock: A minor example in that most lip movements follow the same patterns with no regard for the actual words being spoken. Quna averts this during her live performances, however.
  • Logo Joke: All voice tickets have a clip of them shouting "Sega!" like the modern Sega title card. Except the Lillipan voice, which says "Lili~!" to the tune of the old Sega title card.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Luther/Partizan Persona's boss theme. It's very possible to stomp them before you hear much of the track.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • Having Dudu or Monica improve your weapons and units by adding grind levels and abilities to them. In typical MMO fashion, this isn't always a sure thing; sometimes you could get a weapon to grind level +10 without any trouble, other times they'll happily drop it down by six several times over. Bonus points if you're going for the weapon's Latent Potential, which comes at the cost of your +10 grind level, meaning you have to do it all over again. Chances also worsen with rarer equipment, and Potentials have three levels to unlock. It doesn't stop there. These two also handle affixing special Abilities such as extra stat points, chance to inflict a status, and so on. If you're smart, there is a way to help influence the chance of success, but you'll still be praying to the Random Number God for a good result. At the very least, Dudu and Monica are a lot more merciful than other MMO weapon grinders however, like those from Dungeon Fighter Online and Dragon Nest who can destroy your weapon if you fail at too high of a grind level. Hope you have a fat wallet for all of this though.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Big Vardha comes packed with a total of fourteen missile launchers, and it's not afraid to rain missiles down on your parade For Massive Damage. You can destroy said missile launchers to remove the threat, however.
  • Made of Iron:
    • Trying to beat Nyau by actually attacking him is the equivalent of trying to break bricks with a teddy bear. His weapon doesn't follow the same rules, though.
    • If a Hunter has Automate Halfline and/or a Mag crammed full of healing Trigger Actions to accompany Iron Will, their HP will be restored right back up due to Automate Halfline and the Trigger Action's behavior. Maining or subclassing a Hunter skill tree like this means that as long as you keep picking up Mates and the Random Number God doesn't roll that 25% failure rate, you are immortal. For extra insurance, Ely Sion's (not to be confused with the Elysion, a wand) Weapon Potential that can further increase the success rate.
  • Magic Skirt: Despite all the crazy action, none of the skirts seem to flip up completely. Not even jumping up and down or doing a handstand. That doesn't stop the players from skewing the camera for Panty Shots.
  • Mana Burn: An extremely rare type of attack deals PP Damage (appears in violet numbers), sapping the PP of all who make contact. A handful of the avian Darkers and Falz Angel can use it.
  • Marathon Level: Mining Base Defense: Despair. Be prepared to sit at your screen for at least twenty minutes to over half an hour while blasting Darkers intent on busting your Mining Bases.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Robotic enemies appear one planet Lillipa.
  • Mega Twintails: Straight Large Tails, Intake Large Tails and Casual Large Tails are past waist-length, and HUGE.
  • Męlée ā Trois: Happens whenever the Arks (Player Characters), the native fauna of the planets they explore and the Darkers meet in the same place.
  • Metal Slime: The Rappies (not to be confused with Nab Rappies) appear uncommonly, are non-hostile (they are content to waddle about and sing), and drop rare loot upon being defeated, including Grinders, Photon Drops, and rare weapons. Large groups of them can appear in the randomly triggered "Emergency Code: Arrest", where they can move more quickly and, if not defeated in a timely manner, can teleport away.
    • Tagamikazuchi drops oodles of EXP...if you can manage to kill it among its storm of electric attacks.
    • Mesetan is an exceedingly rare enemy that drops large piles of money if defeated.
    • Most of the rare versions of enemies and bosses fall under this trope too, randomly taking the place of their original counterparts. Rare monsters will always appear in Parallel Worlds, which naturally are rare themselvesnote .
      • Special ones show up if you get Emergency Code: Presentnote , Emergency Code: Jokernote , Exception Code: Fortune, and Emergency Code: Variantnote .
      • Before the Super Hard update, the biggest offender was the Haze Draal, Chrome Dragon's rare version. It used to (and still does) drop some of the best weapons and units in the game, but came with a frustrating catch: it drops this equipment at Lv. 51, but all scripted encounters with a Chrome Dragon on Very Hard difficulty had it at Lv. 50 at most, meaning it had to be found in the wild. Since the original Chrome Dragon was already a recluse, this made finding a Haze Draal even more unlikely than looting its rare equipment, which is really saying something. Obtaining Haze equipment became a lot easier after Super Hard difficulty was implemented.
      • The 2014 Easter EQ introduced Mr. Bowan, an exclusive rare enemy that, if defeated, cranked the rare drop rates for players that help defeat it to 300%!
      • Episode 3 introduces a way to take out the randomness of meeting rare enemies through Rare Enemy Triggers you can buy with Casino Points. Upon consumption, a rare boss spawns instantly.
      • Episode 3 introduces another rare boss, Nyau, an expy of the original Phantasy Star's Myau. He fights with a sword as big as his small body, and defeating him can cause another rare boss to spawn.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: As Regius demonstrates, Arks that are issued an Abyssal Order (which is a mind-controlled ultimatum) have their eyes glow red.
  • Minigame Zone: Episode 3's Casino Lobby has slot machines and shooting galleries to blow away all your time on.
  • Mini-Mecha: The ARKS Interception Silhouette, or AIS, which can be piloted in one of the Mining Base defense quests.
  • Mirror Match: If you get abducted and taken to the Darker Den, you will be forced to fight a clone of yourself. For the next 72 hours after completing the stage, it is possible to encounter and fight your clone again. Not only that, but the rewards for killing your own clone are greater than killing other clones.
  • Mismatched Eyes: Deuman typically have heterochromia, noted in that there's two color palettes for the left and right eye when attempting to edit the feature.
  • Mix-and-Match Weapon:
  • Monster of the Week: While downplayed, the different Dark Falzes effectively function like this.
    • Dark Falz Elder takes the spotlight for the climax of Episode 1, after which his role is reduced to a bonus chapter in Episode 2.
    • Apprentice, after appearing in Episode 1's stinger, gets most of the screen time for Episode 2, until Luther hijacks her position by becoming Dark Falz Loser.
    • Dark Falz Double, who first made a cameo in Episode 1 Chapter 8's stinger and appeared as the next major antagonist in Episode 2 Chapter 5's stinger, is the current Big Bad for Episode 3.
    • Persona is the only Dark Falz that doesn't follow this pattern, being a minor antagonist in every Episode by far.
  • Musical Nod:
    • The complete version of Phantasy Star Online 2's rendition of The whole new world samples Phantasy Star Online's opening theme, also called The whole new world.
    • The opening riffs of the fourth version of the Falz Arms' battle theme are taken from Dark Falz's final battle theme in the original Phantasy Star Online.
    • Part of Dark Falz Loser's theme while time is sped up incorporates some riffs from Olga Flow's first battle theme, also from the original game.
  • My Little Panzer: Darkers on Harukotan all have a toy theme to them, following the insect theme and bird theme that the previous Darkers had.
  • Mythology Gag: There's quite a few snippets here and there that touch upon its predecessor or even Phantasy Star Universe.
    • Needless to say, some of the weapons are flat out taken from the past games. Talis Legacy, Double Saber Legacy, Twilight Rune, the list goes on.
    • The Vol Dragon mirrors its predecessor, the Dragon, by being a fire-breathing dragon that is the first major boss in the game. But this one isn't quite as much of a pushover as its predecessor...
    • Sato, the fox-like Mag from PSO, returns as a Mag Evolution Device.
    • What's a PSO game without Rappies? They're cudlier than ever and come with holiday versions! Lantern Rappies, Saint Rappies, Love and Lovey Rappies, oh my!
    • The second Dark Falz Elder-centric Emergency Mission's title translates into "Followers of Profound Darkness" or "Profound Darkness's Kin". Fans of the original Phantasy Star series may recognize the name of the end boss of Phantasy Star IV, since Dark Falz has taken his former master's place as the encompassing Profound Darkness.
    • The Naura Cake Sisters are back with their mobile shop...except you have to protect their scattered goods before the enemies destroy them.
    • As part of the one-year anniversary of the game, a mission based off of Burning Rangers was added (a similar mission was also featured in Phantasy Star Universe).
    • Two classic weapons inspired by Sonic the Hedgehog have also returned: the Egg Blaster (twin machine guns) and Sonic Knuckle (weapon camo for knuckles).
    • Photon Chairs made their return, and anyone can utilize any color as they wish, provided they have enough FUN points to purchase them. The text command to use them even uses their associated color-coded section ID from the first game.
    • Bal Rodos is fought very similarly to De Rol Le and Barba Ray from the first game, from the platform to its attack maneuvers. The only difference being the myraid of gun turrets located on the platform to make the fight significantly easier, and you use a laser harpoon to drag it down to the platform.
      • But then you get to the Ascended Facility, which has you face him on land.
    • The Episode 3 update will add a casino, allowing you to win exclusive items with Casino Points.
    • Guess what Dark Falz Elder's theme is called. "IDOLA" da Sledge of Destruction.
    • One rare boss, Nyau, resembles Phantasy Star I's Myau, except as a biped wielding a sword.
    • The November 5, 2014 update adds Cast Parts based on Renvolt Magashi and Lou from Phantasy Star Universe, along with voice tickets based on them (which, in Magashi's case, means Norio Wakamoto!).
    • The Techer Skill "Reverser Field", which has an effect similar to, and whose name is a reference to, the Reverser Technic from past iterations.
    • Phantasy Star Online 2es has a King Rappy.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Gel Wulff, again. And quite literally you have to run away from them! (At least in the earlier areas.)
  • Near Victory Fanfare: When Dark Falz Elder's HP gets low enough, the music will then shift to the game's opening.
    • Ditto for Dark Falz Loser, though it mixes in the Ominous Latin Chanting that's prevalent in his normal battle theme.
  • Necessary Drawback: Charge Escape allows a Force to Mirage Escape out of the way while charging a Technic, retaining the charge and allowing them to continue the charge later. The one Technic this doesn't work with? Namegid, which is in part due to its mechanic, but it's also the Technic Charge Escape would be most useful for, because of Namegid's own Necessary Drawback (see Awesome, yet Impractical).
  • Nerf: Shunka-Shunran, the Photon Art that single-handedly made Bravers popular, got hit with this. Even more was thrown all over the place by Episode 3; Gunners got hit with the brunt of it, Fury Stance isn't as strong, and some overpowered Technics or Artes got slammed with the nerf bat.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Downplayed. Good news is, you stopped Luther's plans for omniscience once and for all. Bad news is, you just created another Dark Falz.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In gameplay, Barbarillipans dig stuff out of their backpack to attack you with. However, they have a chance of throwing Recovery Pods at you, which restore your health.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Blu Ringahda is a badassnote  avian centaur darker. Even by this series' standards, this one is just plain weird...
  • Nintendo Hard: Plan on fighting Dark Falz Loser on Super-Hard? Better bring all the healing items you can carry and some friends to revive you when (yes, when) you get KO'd.
    • Good lord, Super Hard Mode Mining Base Defense: Despair. The first two Mining Base Defenses are cakewalks compared to Despair. It's not insomuch defending Mining Bases anymore as it is attempting to make your horribly painful failure as slow as possible. And those new all-powerful Humongous Mechas you get? Trust me, you'll need them all.
  • No Arc in Archery: Averted. Your basic Bullet Bow shots will be subjected to arc gravity. Charging your shots, however, can mitigate this for more accuracy.
  • No Sell: The Weapon Potential "Wings of Fortune", found on the Rappy weapons, has a chance to negate damage when the player is attacked.
  • Non Indicative Name: The Council of Six has a total of seven members. In numerical order, starting from #0: Quna, Regius, Maria, Casra, Zeno, Claris Claes, and Huey.
  • Not the Intended Use:
    • Prior to Episode 3's running speed buff, many players often used their dash action repeatedly to double-dash (or perhaps triple, with the aid of something like Assault Buster) to get from point A to B faster than just running on foot.
    • Many Forces and Techers who wield Ilzonde utilize it more as a sort of dash or faux-flying than as an actual attack.
    • Jet Boots in a nutshell. They were designed to be predominantly T-ATK weapons with Striking Damage properties, which would let them be magic knights, with the Switch Strike skill allowing them to switch the dominant damage stat for their Striking Damage. However, because there is almost no support for Striking Damage and T-ATK on the same Class, Jet Boots that dominate the game are almost always built with S-ATK in mind, with T-ATK falling out of favor.
  • Notice This:
    • Matter Board related items and events will have a gold sparkle when they appear.
    • You're also bluntly notified when a Rare Random Drop has appeared. The screen will display RARE DROP! in big letters, and it becomes rainbow colored if it's an 11★ item. If you can't find them, they teleport to you after 60 seconds or so.
    • When someone in the vicinity uses Weak Bullet on something else in the vicinity, a large, orange reticle makes sure everyone knows what just got shot.
    • Sometimes in Single-Party Areas or after completing a mission on Very Hard, you'll hear a short, cheery, ping-pongy tune unlike any other jingle in the game. This means that a rare Parallel World teleporter has appeared in the area. Beyond it are a gaggle of rare enemies: it will either a bunch of Rappies (either the best thing ever or a Zonk, depending on if you're looking for Rappies or not), or a rare boss with a bunch of rare mooks.
  • Not So Above It All: Amusingly, for some reason, Dark Falz Elder shows up 30 mintues after Quna's live performances start without fail. It's now a fandom joke that he's (literally) her biggest fan.
  • Oh, Crap: Just when you think you're through with Wave 6 on Mining Base Despair, the 7th wave reads "Wave 7 Start: EXTREME DANGER". You also hear Melitta freaking out over the Falz Arms showing up. On Wave 8 though...You hear the opening rift of Falz Hunar's theme, as well as a sudden visit from the Falz Hunar himself.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Dark Falz Elder's theme
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • Dark Falz Elder. He starts out as the relatively human-sized Falz Hunar, but then manifests himself into a terrifying thing nearly half the size of a planet.
    • The Chrome Dragon is a minor example. It's already an enormous monster, but as the fight goes on it starts eating the Darkers it summons. This causes it to sprout wings, a bloated, glowing torso and an array of claws and spikes. These additions substantially boost its abilities (and grant new ones) until destroyed.
  • One Steve Limit: Subverted; The game doesn't enforce this limit when naming characters, but is defined via Player ID and its assigned ID number. There may be multiple Alice's wandering around the lobby, but the ID number and Player ID assigned to each of them are unique.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The natives of Planet Amduscia are all dragonkin of one form or another. Full-sized dragons (typically based on the western variety) are a recurring theme in boss fights; Vol Dragon, Quartz Dragon, Chrome Dragon, Goronzoran and Dragon Ex all present a new spin on the concept.
  • Our Giants Are Different: Male Harukotanese tower over the players and the females of their race, with Kuronians being slightly larger than Shironians. Gigur Gunnegam, the boss of the Shironia field (along with its rare counterpart) is even larger than standard Kuronians, and Magatsu, the boss introduced in an Emergency Quest in the December 2014 update, is even bigger still: it features prominently in the game's fourth opening as ARKS members fight it in a sequence that wouldn't be out of place in Attack on Titan.
  • Palette Swap:
    • The rare versions of certain enemies are of a different color. Rare Darkers are a bright red, Burn Draal is gold, King Vardha is blue, just to name a few. Some of the monsters starting from Episode 2 also gain physical differences on top of the color change, such as Org Keratos' bigger, spikier horns when compared to Org Blan.
      • Occasionally in es, when taking on an Emergency Quest, you may get a 3★ boss that features an alternative palette swap for the rare boss you're fighting. For example, taking on a 3★ Burn Draal gives you one that's colored white and purple.
    • There's also the color variations for clothing that cannot be dyed with a Recolor Ticket, roughly four to six versions.
      • Mikoto Cluster, the outfit Matoi wears, however, has nine different colors, plus a special tenth. It's in Dark Falz colors.
  • Palmtree Panic: Vopal's Coastline field.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Phantasy Star Online 2es, in two ways. By itself, this can occur if you unlock high level quests, switch classes, and possess almost any Chip that grants an attack buff, allowing reclassed players to play Quests twice their level and succeed. The game doubles down on this trope when a PSO2 account is linked, as EXP gained in a class in es carries over to your character in PSO2 in the respective class on a 1/1 ratio, so power leveling in PSO2es may equal power leveling in PSO2, too.
  • Piņata Enemy: The Mesetan, who not only spawns Meseta by simply existing, but drops a ton of it upon defeat. Carrying tickets that boost Meseta drops is a common practice in case a Mesetan shows up.
  • Pixel Hunt: Somewhere in the casino, there's a Lilipan sticker that you can find. It does nothing significant, but it's a rather small object to find on a 3D environment, not to mention that the sticker's location is randomized. This is really just a fun little thing for most players, unless you're trying to get 100% Completion on the PS Vita, in which case it's a Trophy.
  • Playing Possum: (Nab) Rappies fake their death. After a few moments they'll get up and make a run for it, in which the players can hit them again to make them drop an item.
  • Pokémon Speak: Lillipans only ever say "Li!". Fourier tries to learn their language, and against all odds, successfully does so to a degree.
  • Power Floats:
    • When Jet Boots are brandished, the wielder hovers in the air.
    • When using Sphere Eraser or Final Nemesis from the ground, the user floats into the air before executing the attack.
    • Charging Zandion makes the caster glide as movement.
    • Prolonged usage of Nazonde in the air keeps you suspended mid-air until you drop the attack.
  • Power Gives You Wings: While using Zandion, wings made of wind energy appear behind the caster.
  • Power Palms:
    • Played With. The Signobraver gunslash is built from the arm of a robotic enemy, and fires/creates a Laser Blade from its palm.
    • And now there's the Elder Rifle which is Dark Falz Elder's arm which shoots bullets out of it.
    • Il Megid takes this trope quite literally by launching a hand made of darkness that flies into enemies palm-first to deal damage.
  • Power-Up Food: The Naura sisters' cakes provide stat buffs.
  • Press X to Not Die: X on the default keyboard setting is your Dash key. Since most things can easily kill you if you are not a tank, the preferred way to stay alive is to dodge every attack.
  • Previously On: After Episode 3 was introduced, players could access a lengthy video summarizing the plot (narrated by Xion) up to that point, even if the player hadn't completed up to that point or even started the story. Justified, as the update also allowed all players to begin Episode 3 without having finished Episodes 1 or 2, and they wouldn't be caught up on the plot otherwise.
  • Punched Across the Room: The Knuckles have a Photon Art called Backhand Smash that can cause this. While you have to be right in the enemy's face to hit with it (or at least moreso than all of the other Knuckles PAs), it hits hard; aside from doing a crap-ton of damage, anything that isn't a boss or otherwise defending itself will be sent flying straight backward. Bonus points if the enemy in question flies into a wall, in which case they bounce off of it and into the sky before crashing back down a few seconds later.
    • To a lesser extent, Rangers can get a Photon Art for their Launcher called "Crazy Smash" which is essentially using the Launcher as a golf club. Not as drastic as Backhand Smash, but still enough to knock some of the heavier enemies on their ass.
  • Purple Is Powerful: With the Katana Gear, Bravers can envelope themselves in a fiery violet aura that boosts their critical rate.
  • Purposefully Overpowered: The A.I.S. (See Instant Awesome, Just Add Mecha.) It's even stronger than the Photon Particle Cannon, and will make mincemeat of pretty much everything. This helps when the Quest it appears in is currently considered the single most difficult Quest in the game.
  • Rain of Arrows: The Bullet Bow PA "Torrential Arrow" is a textbook example.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: Can be invoked by players who ignore everything about Unit Sets and slap on a trio of mismatching Units with tons of affixes, giving them awesome boosts but making them look a bit ridiculous. Can be averted by equipping a Unit Set or just hiding your Units.
  • Random Drop: Decided on a character-by-character basis to avoid Loot Drama... though it may be inevitable if it was a Rare Random Drop, as the rares you get are displayed for every player in your party to see.
  • Random Event: These are called "Emergency Codes", can now happen in dungeons, and there is no penalty for ignoring them. Unless they are "Code: Elimination" or the wall variant of "Code: Collect", which blocks your way out and takes a long time to remove itself if you try to wait it out. (The walled Collect Code has no time limit, resulting in you having no way out other than to complete it)
  • Randomly Generated Levels: All levels, save story quest and boss areas, have randomized map layouts.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Knight Gear/Magiknight Gear flashes these during his pre-battle cutscene in Border-Piercing Blade.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: A weather effect in Mining Base Defense turns the sky a deep shade of red and boosts enemy stats. Bonus points for being accompanied by the word "WARNING" at the beginning of the wave.
    • Waves 7 and 8 in Despair get "EXTREME WARNING" with their red sky. They're not lying.
  • Relationship Values: Every NPC has a friendship level that gauges how friendly they are to you. Their friendship level can be raised by doing their Client Orders, and/or going on Quests with their Partner Cards if applicable. The system is mostly negligible, though, as it only affects how they talk to you, though there are some Titles, and NP Cs may give you presents, which range from Vendor Trash, to cool, to actually useful.
    • Your Support Partner also uses this friendship system, though it's a lot more applied, since it also affects their Nature and how many Client Orders they can take at any one time.
  • Revenue Enhancing Devices: The revenue model for the game uses a currency called Arks Cash. Premium status and the various knick-knacks in the AC shop are certainly convenient, but in no way necessary to enjoy the game.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Rappies! They even come in different flavors depending on the current promotion, season, or holiday PSO2 is running. Even the realistic-looking Nab Rappies are adorable.
    • The Lillipa species are a species of large, brown-furred critters sporting rabbit ears and are often taken as such.
    • Nyau is an adorable feline-like creature who carries a sword as big as his body, and seems to be a cocky kid out to fight ARKS. If you break said sword, he'll break down into tears. And possibly summon a boss in the process. Like Rappies, he also gets the seasonal change treatment, with him changing outfits and weapons by the occasion.
  • Robot Buddy: Mags are back. They can be fed weapons and armor like Phantasy Star Zero, use Photon Blasts and can perform auxiliary functions like in Phantasy Star Online, and higher-level mags can also assist in combat like R-Mags and Tech Mags in Phantasy Star Universe.
    • Episode 2 added Support Partners, reminiscent of PSU's Partner Machines. They have just as much customization as the player characters, in Fun Size!
  • Rocket Launcher Ride: The photon art Rodeo Drive has you mount your own rocket launcher with the barrel pointing backwards. Amusingly this is also one of the fastest methods of travel, assuming you have ways to recover your PP fast enough to continuously use it.
  • Scenery Gorn:
    • The emergency city missions takes place in a city devastated by the Darkers.
    • The battle against Falz Elder takes place among the wreckage of several Oracle Fleet ships.
  • Scenery Porn:
    • Vopal Coastline is a very scenic beach, complete with a sunrise and sunset sequence.
    • The rare, otherworldy Parallel Worlds look quite stunning. Better take some screenshots!
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: The Story Quests tend to invoke this, since the maximum level for a Quest at the beginning of a new Episode is always much lower than the maximum level of the last Quest at the end of the previous Episode, possibly to accommodate a new Class.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: Overlaps with Schrödinger's Player Character, oddly enough. Persona's gender, appearance, and battle voice are based on you.
  • Screen-to-Stage Adaptation: Phantasy Star Online 2 -ON STAGE-, which takes place in a separate continuity where Phantasy Star Online 2 is actually a video game, and the main characters are players.
  • Secret Level: Parallel Worlds. Sometimes when you wander around a mission, you might find a rainbow-colored telepipe that leads to a very otherworldly land. What lies in it? Oodles of rare spawns, rare bosses included. The warp to the area disappears once you get in, so you only have one shot at clearing the area.
    • With emphasis on "secret", during Extreme Quests, you may notice stages whose entries in the Stage Select are blanked out until you get to them. More often than not, it tends to be a normal stage, but occasionally, if you're (un)lucky, you may get to fight Dark Falz Elder.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: The Guwonda and Gawonda are twin enemies, sporting a large shield that deflects all attacks. Unlike the usual Shield-Bearing Mook strategy, the best way to take them down is to bumrush them the moment you see one, as they can turn around surprisingly quickly, but take some time to notice you.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The Desert field of Lillipa. The Quarry, from the same planet, is a subdued version of this, having pieces of Lillipan technology around, along with the occasional oasis.
  • Shooting Gallery: The Mesetan Shooter minigame
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Not the player thankfully, but a couple of NPCs are hit rather hard by this. In one of the sub-plots, you converse with Theodore, an unmotivated Arks Force who hates fighting, and Ulc, his (girl?)friend who is trying to join the Arks but has no combat skills. It takes some doing, but she eventually gets a job as a staff member before the Chapter 7 story mission. She's then killed offscreen in said story mission, because even staff members had to fight in emergencies, and Ulc knew what she was getting into despite that. Worse yet, come Episode 2, Theodore has all but snapped as a result...
  • Shout-Out: Some possible examples:
    • A Talis named Metalisolidum. With one of the enemies appearing in Mines appropriately nicknamed Metal Gear by some pso-world fans.
    • There's a Talis named Duel Gaze, which looks like a Duel Disk. Its description even claims that it's a remodeled card game device. For emphasis, it's latent ability is called "Trap Activation", which increases the damage of a ranger's trap tools.
    • The Monkey King Staff from the first PSO, now called the Nyoibo, makes a return as a double-saber type weapon. An improved version called the Ebony Nyoibo (Black King Bar) also exists.
    • The planet Lillipa is named after a continent of little people in Jonathan Swift's novel Gullivers Travels, the novel which also made mention of a floating city named Laputa, of which there are robot enemies on Lillipa that have a certain Miyazaki feel to them.
    • As a gift to players for an event, all players were given weapon camo for the classic weapon Sonic Knuckle, as well as an item that transforms a player's Mag into a green Puyo.
    • Most likely unintentional, but Chrome Dragon looks disturbingly similar to an EVA.
    • A quest in PSO2es is called March of the Malmoths.
    • The music that plays on the casino's Rappy Slots is an arrangement of Phantasy Star Zero's Rappy Fever.
    • The entire Magatsu fight is a shameless love letter to Attack on Titan. You're fighting in a walled-off city that the boss bashes its way into, facing off against a massive, vaguely-humanoid monster that towers over everything and looks like it could crush you flat with a single step. Attacks to anything but a weak point are completely ineffective, and you have to climb its body to get to those weak points.
  • Sigil Spam: Dual Blades have the Justice Crow Photon Art, where they generate the ARKS logo out of slashes, then fire it forward to deal damage.
  • Single-Biome Planet: Lillipa and Vopal are both a Shifting Sand Planet and ocean planet, respectively. Naberius and Amduscia subvert this trope: Naberius is covered all over in forest, but has frozen regions, while Amduscia has a whole two biomes: volcanic caves and floating islands.
  • Sinister Geometry: Most of the architecture on Amduscia is composed of distinctly cubic and cuboid shapes. Some of these can glow, move to trap players, or even (in Sanctum) unfold into turrets.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Naberius' Tundra. There is no slipping, nor sliding, though.
  • Smashing Survival: A couple of enemies, such as Rockbears, can grab you, but with enough clicks/key smashes, you can break free from possible death.
  • Sound of No Damage: Four different ones; one when your attack bounces off the shield of the Shield-Bearing Mook, another when you successfully Just Guard, one when you attack Goronzoran's/Zoron Goraal's energy shield, and one when Luther's energy shield deflects your attacks.
  • Space Elves: What modern Phantasy Star game would be complete without Newmans?
  • Spam Attack: The Twin Dagger photon art Facet Folia runs an enemy through repeatedly from every direction, the user being invulnerable throughout.
  • Space Pirates: Azanami (in appearance at least). The players can be one too, thanks to the Wild Ocean Pirates scratch including such costumes.
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • The players have been using the "Dewman" or "Duman" spelling since the race has no official English name. However, with the remade prologue including them, if one is able to read the stylized font, their spelling is actually "Deuman".
    • How Lillipa is officially spelled in Japan seems to run into a few inconsistencies. Is it "Lillipa", "Lilipur", or "Ririepa"?
    • There's also the case with Lisa, where her name is spelled as "Risa" in credits. This is mainly a case of Japanese Ranguage in the works.
  • Spin to Deflect Stuff:
    • The Partisan's method of blocking. Persona in Episode 2 Chapter 6 can and will use this against you, with a nasty Counter Attack waiting in store if your attack bounces off.
    • A well-timed spin with Twin Daggers will register as a Just Guard and nullify damage.
  • Stable Time Loop: The event that turns Claris Claes into Matoi happens because she mistakes Persona for you. This could only have happened if you had traveled back in time to meet her.
  • Stance System: Some classes have stances that alter the stats and nature of your attacks and abilities. They are as follows:
    • Hunter: Fury Stance (Increased attack, decreased defense) and Guard Stance (Increased defense, decreased attack)
    • Fighter: Brave Stance (Increased damage when attacking from the front) and Wise Stance (Increased damage when attacking from behind)
    • Braver: Weak Stance (Increased damage when attacking weak points) and Average Stance (Small amount of increased damage)
    • Bouncer: Break Stance (Increased damage when attacking breakable body parts) and Elemental Stance (Increased damage when exploiting elemental weaknesses)
  • Standard Status Effects: By element:
    • Fire: Burn. Gradually reduce your HP. Capable of spreading to others in close proximity.
    • Ice: Freeze. Renders you completely immobile. Can be broken free.
    • Electricity: Shock. Causes you to twitch occasionally, throwing off attacks and leaving you vulnerable.
    • Wind: Mirage. Causes attacks to miss randomly.
    • Light: Panic. Causes enemies to attack one another. Players, on the other hand, have their directional controls scrambled.
    • Darkness: Poison. Same as Burn, but the damage inflicted scales depending on your Max HP.
      • A particular handful of bosses have special reactions to one of the above effects if they're weak to the relative element. For example, Elder drops his hands when Shocked, and Loser opens his weakpoint when hit with Mirage. Goldradhas and Vol Dragon also get their feet frozen when Frozen.
    • There are three more effects that are pretty exclusive and aren't tied to an element:
      • Stun: Like Freeze, but wears off sooner. Players can wake up faster by hitting the directional keys in a circle motion repeatedly. Afflicted by certain boss attacks and a handful of Photon Arts.
      • Jellen: Decreases the target's ATK stats. Formerly available as a Technic in past Phantasy Star games, it is now only inflicted by the Ranger's Jellen Bullet skill.
      • A small pool of Darkers (namely Falz Hunar) can afflict a special status not unlike Final Fantasy XIII-2's Wound Damage, denoted by a red aura surrounding the player's head. Players experience decreased maximum HP. Wears off on its own or can be cured with Anti.
  • Stealth Pun: The Easter Emergency Quest's background music is, of all things, Robotnik's theme from Sonic Adventure 2, thus making it Easter Eggman.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Chances are, if you're fighting what's normally a raid boss in a normal Quest, it'll be far weaker than the actual fight. This generally happens to the ARKS Grand Prix version of Dark Falz Loser, the secret Dark Falz Elder fight that can happen in Extreme Stages, and the story fight against Dark Vibrace in Episode 2 Chapter 6.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Cars in the City, bombs on Lillipa. The latter tends to be more dangerous, since they're generally clustered in groups, and blowing up one can cause a chain reaction of bombs that can cause instant death.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Hadred, right on the verge of his death, after having been Quna's silent friend for who-knows-how-many years.
  • Super-Deformed: Tama-hime, which looks like a miniature chibi version of Sukuna-hime.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: The Rappy Fan Fan talis claims that "it definitely does not use real [Rappy] feathers... definitely not."
  • Sword Beam: One of the Photon Arts/Technics for sword-type weapons, named Sonic Arrow. They can hit multiple enemies at a range, with excellent damage. Also great for cutting the tall grass in forest levels.
    • It should be noted that Sonic Arrow does not create a single flying wave like most Sword Beams. Instead, it produces two air-current-like lines which rotate, forming a spinning projectile.
    • There's more than that: the Partisan weapon has Speed Rain and Slide End, both of which produce... Spear Beams?
    • A sword Photon Art, Over End, involves producing a huge blade of light over your existing weapon to cleave enemies with. The last hit in particular hurts.
    • Dragon Ex, the armored dragon knight boss in Sanctum, has his own version of Over End.note  If you're not a Hunter or Fighter with above-par HP, expect to eat dirt if you're hit by it.
    • The katana Photon Art, Hatou-Rindou, throws a vacuum wave in front of you. If you time the attack right, it can also produce a small blue flame.
    • Gigur Gunnegam combines this with Blade Spam by slashing several times in rapid succession, sending out a beam with every slash, before ending with a powerful thrust. It's one of his stronger attacks, has a moderate chance to inflict Freeze with every hit, and is almost inescapable if you get caught.
  • Swords/Guns Akimbo: Dual Blades, Wired Lances, Twin Daggers, and Twin Machineguns.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: Most of Episode 1 has you collecting the pieces of the Clarissa, the Genesis weapon that Matoi/the real Claris Claes used to seal Dark Falz ten years before the story starts. You don't get to use it though, and it's conveniently stolen by Gettemhart and Melphonsina while you're distracted so they can unseal Dark Falz to fight him. Which turns out to be a bad idea.
    • Reaches Chekhov's Gun status a full Episode later, when Xion pulls Matoi out of her Laser-Guided Amnesia, which allows her to summon the Clarissa and use it to get past the final gate to Xion. Xion herself explains that the entire point of getting you to rebuild the Clarissa in the first place was to allow Matoi to do this.
  • Symbol Swearing: When an expletive is typed in chat, it is replaced by a bunch of symbols. The filter is, as per MMO tradition, overzealous due to trying to cover all intended regions' expletives at once.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: The Falz Hunar fight in Story mode. If you've done your Level Grinding, got your best equipment together, you could completely wipe the ass of a partly-awakened destroyer of the universe in under two minutes (possibly one), and it will still be standing (commenting on how the fight has warmed it up nicely) and you still have to leave two of your three NPC friends behind to do their Heroic Sacrifice. Even if you're thirty times stronger and one of them has a legendary status. Would've been a huge kick in the teeth by SEGA if his level were high enough for him to drop his rare equipment (you're booted back to the Campship and can't return, so no Boss Crystal), but thankfully he isn't 41+ here.
    • Now you can wipe what seems to be a fully awakened version of said destroyer in under three minutes (although there's twelve of you at him now, though it's disturbing how the player-base have practically turned utterly destroying Dark Falz Elder into an art form) and the previous guy who was possessed by said destroyer simply pops out and escapes. Oh, and Dark Falz is still in control of said body, so he's still alive.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: In the cutscene mentioned above, there's an argument between your NPC friends on who should rescue the victim who was (consentually) used to summon said destroyer and who should stay behind to fend him off to buy time. After you and another NPC leave with the victim, the following conversation happens:
    Zeno: "You were waiting for us? You're surprisingly considerate of people's conversations, Dark Falz."
    Elder: "I have no interest in weaklings who aren't willing to fight."
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Gigur Gunnegam infuses some of his stronger attacks with ice to boost their effective range and hit a lot harder. He also winds up freezing himself whenever he uses any of these attacks, creating ice structures that the player can scale to get to Gigur Gunnegam's head.
  • Team Shot: Similar to the final boss of the original Phantasy Star Online, winning the battle against Dark Falz Loser rewards the players (along with boss loot) with a shot of all the players who took part in the battle. Unlike in the original PSO, this Team Shot includes not only the player and their party, but the other parties that fought the battle for up to twelve players in the shot.
    • The fight against Elder also got its own retroactively.
  • Teleport Gun: Inverted with Chase Arrow, which functions like Chekhov's Gun weaponized. The user fires up to three arrows (per cast) into the sky, which warp out to... somewhere. After that, the next time the user attacks with a Photon Art, said arrows warp back in and deal extra damage to the target.
  • Theme Naming:
    • Many Darkers have -ahda attached to the ends of their names.
    • Twin Dagger Photon Arts are named after types of music and music terms, such as "Dark Scherzo" and "Raging Waltz".
    • Dual Blades Photon Arts are named after birds and bird terminology; "Starling Fall" and "Justice Crow" for example.
    • Jet Boots Photon Arts, which are named for synonyms of "wind". Moment Gale, Strike Gust, and so on.
    • The NPCs at the Casino have...well...casino-themed names. The emcee is "Deal", the quest receptionist is "Any Pair", one of the prize counter NPCs is "Chip", another is "Ante" (as in the term "Ante Up"), etc.
  • Third-Person Shooter: A button on the keyboard can switch the camera mode to over-the-shoulder, allowing ranged fighters to play like this.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: While Ulc did get killed offscreen, you eventually end up rewriting history so that she is simply believed to be dead. With her alive, she manages to pull Theodore back from the brink of despair.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works:
    • Falz Hunar has an attack that involves him tossing his sword and having it constantly hover around him like a boomerang. Subverted however in that you can break his sword, nerfing its damage by a great deal.
    • Then there's the Double Saber Photon Art called "Deadly Archer" which, if properly distanced, can inflict a ton of damage. It also has a variation called "Deadly Circle" that orbits you.
    • And then there's Hien Tsubaki for Katana!
  • Time Bomb: The target of Emergency Code: Judgement, where you have to defuse time bombs. Defusing them is pure trial and error, since you're not given any indication as to what to do to defuse them, but thankfully, messing it up only results in a painful shock, and you can retry a few seconds later.
    • Darchymes and Baize in Emergency Code: Destruction also do bad things if you let them explode, though, counter-intuitive to the trope and true to the Code's name, you have to destroy them to stop them.
  • Timed Mission: Let's face it, this is a staple for MMOs. A fair few of the client orders will have a time limit in which to fulfill them, started when you enter the required area/mission; fortunately failing doesn't mean you get kicked out of the area or anything, so it won't interrupt whatever else you're doing.
    • Literal Timed Missions - as in the ones that do kick you out for failing - exist as periodic events that are available anywhere between fifteen minutes to an hour, and their in-mission timers last anywhere between ten to twenty minutes. These mostly consist of invasions and Dark Falz Elder, though seasonal events do this too. The game server is at least kind enough to inform you well ahead of time if an event is going to start, so you have a chance to finish up whatever you're doing and prepare.
    • Many Emergency Codes are timed, and fail you for timing out, except in Emergency Code: Avoid.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: How the Time Travel aspect of the plot works. It's not technically time travel so much as observing different variations of the same timeline either to discover the full details of a complicated scenario, or to keep trying different things until you find a beneficial sequence of events.
    • Possibly zigzagged. While each different path for every Story Quest path retains the same timestamps, implying that you are indeed trying alternate scenarios, one optional cutscene with Afin has him stating that you and him did the training mission at least three times (one for each path), even though all three paths share the same time frame.
  • Tower Defense: The Mining Base emergency quest tasks players with defending three towers against waves of Darker enemies. Crystals scattered about the area provide points with which to repair the base, erect shields, and set up turrets.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Despite katanas making everything better, katana-wielding Bravers weren't exactly a class of choice due to their initially low hitting power, Glass Cannon status and lack of good Photon Arts. After Crafting was introduced and Shunka-Shunran arrived in a later update, it's not uncommon to see a crowd of Bravers take down a boss like Dark Vibrace in less than a minute.
  • Transforming Mecha: The Tranmizer miniboss, as well as the core of the Big Vardha.
  • Tricked-Out Shoes: The Bouncer's Jet Boots are weapons attached to one's feet that have blades for kicking attacks and allows the wielder to use magic.
  • Tron Lines: The pre-release image gallery has a few characters sporting a lot of these.
  • Tsundere: Friend Partners can get this as their Trait. A Tsundere Friend Partner will increase frequency of healing the player relative to how low the player's HP is.
  • Turtle Power: Zeshrayda looks like some unholy fusion of Blastoise and Gamera.
  • Twenty Rockbear Asses: A lot of the client orders take the form of either "Kill X (Monster Name Here)" or "Collect X Item Drops Off (Insert Monster Name(s) Here)". They're usually worth a significant amount of experience, so they're often necessary for grinding once you get into the higher levels. The monotony of it, however, is mitigated since all of these drops (excluding Team Order drops) can be and usually are sold in the Player Shop.
    • Most of these are courtesy of the NPC Franka, who is your best friend if you need EXP in a hurry.
    • The Random Event version occurs in Emergency Code: Collect, which has players doing things like collecting keys to open blockades, picking up crystals for inspection, or drilling for minerals.
  • Twin Banter: Done more creepily by Dark Falz Double. It's not yet clear whether the two have minds of their own or are being controlled by one individual who likes talking to themself.
  • Uncanny Valley Girl: Fourier herself states that CASTs are usually seen as being cool and calculating. The only two CASTs ever being portrayed as such are Regius and Maria. Everyone else is eccentric in one way or another.
  • Underground Level: The aptly named Subterranean Tunnels of Lillipa. Amduscia's Caves, too, to an extent.
  • Underground Monkey: Yuga Darkers, which are simply stronger versions of pre-existing Darkers with a Palette Swap and new attacks.
  • Underwater Ruins: Vopal's Seabed.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Emergency Code: Gesture. You must communicate a message from one Lillipan to another via Lobby Actions.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: Bal Rodos probably qualifies, since 90% of the fight consists of you shooting gun turrets at him. He fights a land battle with you in Ascended Facility, though.
  • Unidentified Items: The game gives rare weapons a chance to drop in an unidentified (And unequippable) state, though you can tell what type of weapon it is at a glance. This is a good thing for the most part, as when you do identify it, you're allowed to attach a special ability to it and to choose its elemental affinity. The only bad part is that you won't immediately know if you got something that's actually valuable in the case of enemies who have common and rare drops of the same weapon class.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Shii/Xie always shows up in a different outfit (usually to the lobby theme) in every appearance she's in.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Played with. You can't actually use weapons your enemies were using, obviously. However, some enemies may drop weapons that are fashioned like or built off that enemy's weapon (though a handful of these weapons ARE the weapons that the enemy was using).
  • Variable Mix: The music works this way. When you are attacked, the usually gentle music changes into a more intense mix, only to go back to calmness when the enemy is down. Boss battles also have variable mixes that become more intense the more you progress through the fight.
  • Verbal Tic: Nyau ends many of his sentences with "nyau". He also says it when he gets hit.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: If you've beaten your Clone in Darker Den, then congratulations, you've just turned it loose on the rest of the PSO2 community for three days; they copy all your stats and weapons and have a lot of HP, and you can potentially have given them a lot of good equipment. Expect anyone who dies to your Clone to curse your name if they see the real you.
  • Video Game Objectives: Emergency Codes work like this. Sometimes you're issued one of these, and they vary depending on the area. Common ones include "Attack" (Defeat the marked enemies), "Collect" (Find a specific pickup and bring them to the collection point), and "Duel" (Defeat the boss). Turned on its head in spectacular fashion with Emergency Code: Abyss, where you're the target!
  • Villain Exit Stage Left: What Falz Hunar does in Episode 2 Chapter EX after losing to you, due to disliking the environment, of all things.
  • Visual Pun: One of the prerelease screenshots for Jet Boots shows off literal Jetnote  Boots!
  • Vocal Dissonance: Seems to be a running theme for Dragonkin, though it's justified by them communicating through telepathy.
    • Dragon Ex suitably has the voice of a gruff, battle-hardened warrior. Its rare counterpart, Noire Draal, has the voice of a confident teenage schoolgirl.
  • Wave Motion Gun:
    • The Photon Blast Cetus Imera fires a large, frontal beam For Massive Damage. You can't exactly aim this thing, but it is smart enough to keep itself locked on a moving target.
    • The Big Vardha boss has five of them.
    • Dark Falz Elder has one that fires out of his head.
    • Photon Particle Cannons will rip apart nearly anything it hits, but you only get one shot.
    • The A.I.S. comes equipped with a portable one with its chaingun. It's notably far more handy than the Photon Particle Cannon featured in the same Quest.
    • Sphere Eraser turns your Launcher into a laser cannon, enemy-piercing included. Designed after the A.I.S.'s own Wave Motion Gun, no less.
  • Weather and Environment: Weather can change at random. Weather changes vary by region; some are pretty standard, like Thunderstorm, Thick Fog, and Heat Wave. Then there are the really weird ones, like Dragon Spirit, Black Dust, and Butterfly Dance.
  • Weapon of Choice: Each class has its own set of weapons that are unique to it (barring the universally equippable Gunslashes):
  • Weapon Twirling: Partizans have this as their main schtick, and it's not just for Rule of Cool. With Partizan Gear learned, letting the Player Character twirl the Partizan at the end of any combat action, be it standard attacks or Photon Arts, charges the Gear Gauge, which can then be consumed when attacking to boost the Partizan's effective range.
  • Wham Episode: After seven chapters of seemingly filler events and buildup chapters, Chapter 8 finally drops the first big bombshell of the game with Melphonshina's taking of a fatal attack from Gettemhart, Gettemhart reviving Dark Falz, Gettemhart's subsequent possession due to Dark Falz, and Zeno's Heroic Sacrifice. Episode 2 expands on this further by granting you the power of Time Travel and using it to pull a Big Damn Heroes moment to save Zeno.
    • Episode 2 Chapter 5 serves as another one, with the truth about Matoi and Xion finally being revealed, Zeno making his return (As one of the six heroes, no less), Theodore and Ulc being reunited, and Luther becoming Dark Falz Loser after his initial plan fails.
    • Chapter 6 keeps the whams coming, taking you back in time to the terrible darker raid ten years before the game's events.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Breaking Nyau's sword causes him to break down in tears, looking practically heartbroken. If you feel bad about doing that, that's understandable. However, what cements this trope is the possibility of actually getting downed by Nyau's tantrum, and if that wasn't enough, the game may throw a boss at you for good measure.
  • Whip Sword: The Wired Lance weapons can be used for medium-range special attacks.
  • Wutai: Episode 3's Harukotan has a planet-wide civilization that resembles feudal Japan.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: While a handful of the characters have normal hair colors, there are several characters with funny hair colors like Zeno's red hair, Marlu's light purple hair, Melphonsina's green hair, and so on. The player can gleefully pick any color of the spectrum if they so wish.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Aki is the first to get this treatment come Episode 2; in fact, the ARKS seems perfectly fine with doing this to a lot of their staff, seeing as how it considers most of them pawns.
  • Zerg Rush: The 3rd opening treats us to the characters facing off against an entire legion of Darkers on Lilipa Desert. Mining Base Defense throws you into that, and boy does it get chaotic.