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. The game has been developed alongside Portable 2 Infinity for PSO's 10-year anniversary.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. A single-player version titled PSO2es will also be released for iOS and Android in 2013, with its Closed Beta for Android slated for summer. 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 Darker and Edgier companion game set in the same universe, titled Phantasy Star Nova, is in development and is set to release for the PS Vita in 2014. Tokyo Game Show trailer here.
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.
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.
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, Cetus Imera (the worst offender), Ajax Proi, Ajax Imera and Julius Imera.
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.
And you can also aim for a Boom, Headshot 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 amplifying damage done to that point). Weak Bulleting an already-existing weak point For Massive Damage is a common tactic.
Background Music Override: Usually, when a quest is cleared, a special theme signifying its end plays. In the Emergency Mission "Arks Ship Inferno", however, the theme to Burning Rangers will continue to play even after the quest is cleared, and will only stop when 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.
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.
Apprentice is revealed after Dark Falz Elder's defeat. Apparently not sealed away, she's had her current vessel for ten years now. She is shaping up to be Episode 2's Final Boss.
Double, as his or her name implies, possesses a pair of twins. Apparently the strong, silent type.
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.
Bigger Bad: Luther, the last Photoner, seems to be responsible for everything that's going wrong in the game.
Power-Up Food: The reason it consumes said Darkers is for Mega Manning; it gains new body parts - and by extention, new attacks - depending on how many it eats in one feast.
Blood Knight: Gettemhart, oh so much; he's willing to fight anything and everything that provides a challenge. When asked if he's lost his mind, he flat out admits that he's never really been sane. He's even willing to release the series' staple Eldritch Abominationjust to fight it head-to-head.
Ironically, Elder seems to be every bit the Blood Knight that Gettemhart was... but is somehow less insane.
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: Destructions that will spell doom for you if you fail at them. At the end you fight Falz Hunar and an Arks Cloneof yourself and all of your player party members. Many players attest that Darker Den is the hardest level in the game right now 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.
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.
Bullet Time: Anyone wielding Twin Mechguns undergoes this when they use their dodge action three times in a row, which is strange because is it is only them 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.
Call Back: 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 the its predecessor...
Some weapons are inspired by those from previous games in the series, such as the Doublesaber Legacy, Talis Legacy, and Spread Legacy. Others come back outright, such as the Falclaw (Rika's Claw), Flame Visit, Psycho Wand, etc.
Sato, the fox-like Mag from PSO, returns as a Mag Evolution Device.
Latan/Lantern Rappies are pretty much Hallo Rappy 2.0. And St./Saint Rappies are back for Christmas too. And Love Rappies for Valentine's Day (and they're SO MUCH cuter than before). And Egg Rappies for Easter.
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.
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.
Technically four, but the fourth takes up the "hit the enemy" action's slot. A Force can also cast from the sub-palette regardless of if they have a rod or talis in hand at the time or not.
Techniques can also be charged for higher damage.
You can mix Photon Arts with regular attacks within a three-input combo.
Gunners have 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.
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.
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.
Deflector Shields: When performing Guard or Just Guard with the Sword/Wired Lances, a round energy shield appears in front of you, representing the impact while nullifying the damage. Partisans would also count if their "shield" weren't of the Spin to Deflect Stuff variety.
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.
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.
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.
Elite Tweak: With the variety of equipment, abilities and skillsets, this is entirely possible to do.
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 Over End 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 And pray they're not swimming in Poison Resistance.
Expy: Bal Rodos is undoubtedly one of De Rol Le and Barba Ray from the first game, being fought in a similar manner and mimicking attacks from both. Well, minus the myraid of gun turrets located on the platform to make the fight significantly easier.
Sideboob: The Candy Crown costume has a bit of it. Melphonseana averts this since she wears under armor though.
Stripperific: The future is scantily clad. The default HUnewearl costume "Naver Quartz" is one of the main offenders.
Walking Swimsuit Scene: Three AC scratches worth of bikinis and swim trunks are in the game. They're not necessarily just those types either; there's also one-piece swimsuits and speedos. Overlaps with Walking Shirtless Scene for the guys.
Zettai Ryouiki: The default Female Deuman costume "Edel Serin" has this with boots and shorts. Other costumes such as Wonder Treat and Marie Wind have this, and by extension many other costumes, should they use the several knee socks options in the game.
Fighting Spirit: The Photon Blast Ilios functions like one: upon being summoned, Illios 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".
Floating Continent: Planet Amduscia has small islands floating in the air, visible from the Campship. You can explore them once you've reached a high enough level and completed other pre-requisites.
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 Varhda, Quartz Dragon, Dark Falz Elder, and so forth.
During the Mining Base emergency quest, players can erect turrets that fire continuous streams of energy. These particular turrets hit like a freight train and can take down Dark Vibrace in short order.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most of the Darker-aligned bosses combine this with Demonic Spider by breaking the "own locale only" rule, teleporting in and attacking you whenever the hell they want; bonus points for Dark Ragne almost being a literal spider.
Boss Bonanza: Most Emergency Quests and Limited Quests are built around this mechanic to send one boss after another at you, with increased chances of encountering their rare versions.
Grievous Harm with a Body: Any Photon Art that grabs the enemy, and a few that launch the enemy, are capable of this. Wire Lances excel at it.
Good Is Not Nice: For a founding Arks member, Clariskrays/Claris Claes has a gigantic ego and isn't afraid to call the player a peonnote She uses the pronoun "kisama", which holds a very rude connotation.. Fortunately, there is a storyline quest that allows you to beat the crap out of her. The Villainous Breakdown that follows is glorious.
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-CrazyBlood Knight who actually wants to find and resurrect Dark Falz.
Graceful Loser: With the exception of Persona, any boss enemy you fight in Story missions doesn't seem the least bit angry that they were beaten. Even Elder doesn't think much of getting walloped by the Arks fleet over and over again, due to being just that happy that his seal was broken.
Harder Than Hard: Super Hard difficulty. Not only are the enemies are obviously stronger, but they're faster and have different attack patterns. Oh yeah, have fun fighting the occasional Falz Arm!
Hellish Pupils: Dewman can have eyes that have strange patterns for pupils. NPC dewman tend to only have one eye like this, with it being a different, brighter color than their "human" eye.
Hello, Insert Name Here: Although with the voice acting, the NPCs refer the player as "you", "partner" by Afin, or "senpai" by Io.
Horned Humanoid: The Deuman race naturally has horns. The males have only one horn, while females have two, making the race similar to oni.
Horns can also be bought and worn as accessories by any race.
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.
Identical Twin ID Tag: Played with. The twin Newmans Patty and Tea essentially look the same facially, but wear differently (but similar enough) styled clothes, as well as wearing their hair in a slightly different manner between the two of them. The main reason it's played with is because their personalitiesare different enough to tell them apart, not to mention that they both have different body types, despite being the same heightnote Patty being the more filled out of the two.
The biggest examples so far are the Elder Painnote Life Drain potential and bonus stats from the Elder Unit sets, though it requires a clever Skill Tree build due to those Units having 0 S-DEF and Ely Sionnote MASSIVE base S-ATK with a Last Chance Hit Point potential, usable by Fighters as well as Hunters, the Psycho Wand Rodnote huge T-ATK and a potential that reduces PP consumption, and can be used by both Techers and Forces and the King's Bit Talisnote using the King Unit set makes it the most powerful ranged Technic weapon in the game, while also boosting your HP and Defense like mad.
11★ weapons were introduced with the Extreme Quests; they will take a long time to gather all the materials for, but by the time you succeed and obtain it you'll have enough skill and power to break the game over your knee.
Every slope in the Gate/Shop area is of the Frictionless Hill Variant.
Internet Counterattack: The 10/10/12 "Call of Mortality" update caused this. Among several new features that were mostly given a positive response (like the inclusion of Subclasses) the update also raised the level cap from 40 to 50, or according to most players, from 40 to 41, because the EXP to go from 41 to 42 cost 2.8 Million EXP, which is twice as much EXP it took to go from 1-40. To make it worse, each subsequent level cost roughly double the previous level. Naturally, this caused a huge backlash. The official PSO2 blog and Twitter accounts blew up with complaints, ranging from players claiming they would quit the game, to actual death threats against Sega staff. Within 24 hours, an update to address this ridiculous amount of EXP was pushed out. A second update was made to reduce it even further.
Also if you're using the Ruins Charm or Ruins Gloam 10★ swords you will surf on a Laser Blade.
I Shall Taunt You: Hunters can get the War Cry ability that draws the enemies' aggro to them. This is good since Hunters have a much easier time aiming for enemies that aren't frantically chasing someone else, or he can just be a very effective tank while his allies lay waste to his oppressors, both cases usually leading to huge amounts of monster corpses around him...
Doom Magnet: ...unless he isn't skilled or properly customized, which instead leads to the Hunter becoming a liability that dies too much, or failing to account for where his allies are while in a backwards example of Deadly Dodging.
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.
Jump Physics: Fights and dungeons are now more three-dimensional with the addition of jumping.
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: Hopefully you remembered to run away from that dying Dragon or Fang/Snow Banther/Banshee. Being landed on does as much damage as their regular attack, meaning that on higher difficulties, this can kill you.
Kill Sat: The Launcher Photon Art "Satellite Cannon".
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.
Large Ham: Huey. Boy howdy does he have dramatic speech and mannerisms!
Last Chance Hit Point: Hunters can get a skill called "Iron Will" that, at max level, has a 75% chance of leaving you at 1 HP after what would normally be a fatal hit.
Made of Iron: Becomes this if the Hunter in question also has Automate Halfline and/or a Mag crammed full of healing Trigger Actions, causing him/her to heal immediately after Last Stand procs. 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. There's also a 12★ Sword with a Weapon Potential that can further increase the success rate.
Law of Chromatic Superiority: The red versions of base weapons (Red Sword, Red Rifle, Red Talis, just to name a few) are quite powerful. In addition, all rare drops are colored red when on the field.
Lethal Joke Item: Some weapons look pretty weird, but are quite strong, like the Bouquet Rifle and the Space Tuna.
Not using any weapon at all leaves you with just your 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.
There is also an 11★ Twin Machine Gun called Guld and 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. More traditionally, Fighter and Bravers with katanas are this, boasting high S-ATK and several skills and Photon Arts that attack fast, but their short range often puts them at risk.
Limit Break: The Mags' Photon Blasts. Unlike the previous game, however, they are limited to one blast type.
Bravers with katanas also get Katana Gear, which temporarily boosts their power (complete with a power-up aura) after Perfect Guarding, and the skill Katana Combat, which makes them attack super fast and fly around at ridiculously high speed.
Lip Lock: Minor example. Most lip movements follow the same patterns and pay no regard to what a character is setting. Quna averts this during her live performances.
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. Bring a fat wallet.
The terrible twosome are also your go-to people for affixing special Abilities onto your equipment, such as extra stat points in pretty much everything and the power to inflict Standard Status Effects. The affix system is admittedly well done, like a puzzle game: depending on what abilities and items you're using, you can heavily tweak the odds into your favor. This doesn't mean that Dudu and Monica can't still fail transferring abilities though, which also takes away the "slot" that ability was taking up. Trying to add or replace slots can be very difficult depending on how merciful the Random Number God is towards you, especially if you're gunning for an absurd number of abilities like five or six. (The maximum is eight, for the record.)
But Not Too Evil: 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. Unlike them, Dudu and Monica never do anything irreparable to your gear and you can try and try again as long as you have the required Meseta and materials.
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.
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 though you can try bruteforce one into existence by resetting a Very Hard Arks Mission until it appears.
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.
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.
Mysterious Waif: Matoi. She knows absolutely nothing except how to speak and what her name is. Oh, and she knows your name too. But that's all. You don't do anything for her except talk to her about places you've been to (she can't fight) and gather various mob-dropped flowers for her.
Near Victory Fanfare: When Dark Falz Elder's HP gets low enough, the music will then shift to the game's opening.
An update made the rare items pop up next to you if you couldn't find them after 60 seconds.
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.
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.
And then there's the Team Rooms, which are actually personal spaceships. At certain levels, the leader can spend Team Points to change the ship's music or temporarily park the ship in a hot spring, a forest base, or a even private beach.
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: All you'll hear from the Lilipans is "Li!". Fourie is attempting to learn their language. Somehow.
Female characters can also invoke this with a Female (C) Extra Voice 58 voice ticket, which allows them to change their voice to that of a Lillipan.
Precursors: Luther is a member of the long-lost race of Photoners, and a major antagonistic force in Episode 2.
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.
Rain of Arrows: The Bullet Bow PA "Torrential Arrow" is a textbook example.
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 Trials", 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)
Revenue Enhancing Devices: The revenue model for the game uses a currency called Arks Cash. Sega promised it will be mainly for aesthetic and grinding bonuses to avert it becoming a case of Bribing Your Way to Victory, and have so far kept their word; Premium status and the various knicks and 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.
The Lillipa species are a species of large, brown-furred critters sporting rabbit ears and are often taken as such.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Theodore falls into this when he finds out Ulc got killed in action by Darkers. Sure he's less of a sissy and is serious about destroying the Darkers now, but just listening to the way he speaks in Episode 2's Story Missions makes it clear that he's bordering on going completely batshit.
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.
Dark Falz Elder sprouting out of planet Naberius, making huge shockwaves/craters all over it. However, the aftermath is not clearly shown, so full details on wreckage to the planet cannot be determined... yet.
While the damage to Naberius can't be determined quite yet, we can clearly see in the mission where it is fought that it has run roughshod over part of the Oracle Fleet.
And chapter EX takes place on Naberius, which seems none the worse for wear and the story events are explicitly being after the fleet beats Elder.
Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Shion's purpose. It's hinted that she had Luther dabble with space-time before the player character, but he went off the rails with it, and now she's enlisting the player fix the damage.
Sempai Kohai: Zeno and Echo are your senpai, with Echo questioning if you're REALLY a rookie when you S-Rank a mission with her along. Zeno refers to this relation when pulling a Big Damn Heroes moment and later a Heroic Sacrifice.
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.
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.
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".
Quna's name was originally spelled "Kuna" in a trailer that introduced her and the theme song Our Fighting. The true spelling of her name was revealed in her live performances, spelled with a Q in the game's substitution-cypher alphabet.
How Lillipa is officially spelled in Japan seems to run into a few inconsistencies. Is it "Lillipa", "Lilipur", or "Ririepa"?
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 The name he calls for it translates to "world-destroying conflagration sword" 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.
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."
Take Up My Sword: Episode 2 features Echo using Hunter Class in place of Zeno after the Falz Elder incident.
The Gunslinger: Gunner-class players can fight with Twin Machineguns, hoping around and popping off shots like a John Woo character.
CASTs have the special ability to hover or skate instead of run.
Producer Sakai has stated that the number of races is open to change. Episode 2 added Deuman as the fourth race.
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!
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.
Token Mini-Moe: Io. She's wearing boots with heels and is still the shortest NPC!
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.
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.
Uncanny Valley Girl: Risa looks and sounds cheerful, but she is a bit too enthusiastic when talking about how she turns others into beehives. Possibly justified as she is a Caseal.
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.
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. The players themselves can invoke this too.
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.
Virtual Paper Doll: There's loads of costumes (or parts if you're a CAST, but some costumes can be worn by them.) for your character to wear, which can also be accompanied with a plethora of accessories.
You're playing through a story quest. A storyline Quartz Dragon enters from the sky and performs powerful, inhuman roars into the faces of you and your two NPC companions. The next thing you know, it has the voice of a little girl.
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.
The players themselves can invoke this for humorous effect, such as having an adult man having a high-pitched voice, or even a little girl with a man's voice, which is completely possible thanks to a certain voice ticket for females.
One of the operators briefing you before the climactic fight actually notes that the Arks collectively beating the crap out of his hands has weakened him considerably and reduced his size greatly, thus enabling them to take the fight to Elder himself. Apparently all the hands he summons before the final confrontation are Cast from Hit Points.