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Video Game: Phantasy Star Universe
It's a brand new universe.

After the unexpected success of Sega's MMORPG, Phantasy Star Online, the company was eager to try and follow up with a more developed successor.

Phantasy Star Universe is that successor. Universe takes place in the Gurhal System; a solar system composed of three planets and five races. Several hundred years ago, Humans created three races in their likeness to develop the worlds: CASTs for working with computers, Newmen to study TECHNICs, and Beasts for working in harsh conditions. Eventually their creations became societies in and of themselves, and have taken over control of the planets of Parum, Neudaiz and Maotoob respectively. There have been a slew of expansions released as stand-alone games, which are all covered on this page due to their content and placement in a shared timeline.

The series started with Universe for PC , Xbox360 and PS2 in 2006, roughly six years after Online. On the centennial anniversary of a peace treaty ending a brutal centuries-long war between the races, the Gurhal System is attacked by mysterious alien lifeforms known as the SEED. The SEED fall and infect the worlds, corrupting wildlife and people alike. Caught in the middle of this chaos is the Player Character Ethan Waber, who is convinced to follow in his Disappeared Dad's footsteps and join the GUARDIANS. But it's not simple, as the Gurhal System isn't as squeaky clean as its inhabitants would have you believe, and various organizations seek to use the SEED crisis to advance their own agendas.

A year later, an expansion pack Ambition of the Illuminus was released. This time it took the form of a stand-alone game that replaced Ethan with a player-made character as the main character. While the first half of this expansion ("Episode 2") could be played either offline or online, the second half ("Episode 3") could only be played on the online Network Mode.

Episode 2 is set after the events of Universe and features the Player Character as a GUARDIANS rookie fresh out of boot camp and under the critical eye of their instructor, Laia Martinez. Ethan Waber is on the lam after (supposedly) attempting to assassinate the president of the GUARDIANS. The story concerns Laia's attempts to track him down and unravel a sinister conspiracy created by the secret human-supremacy organization known as the Illuminus.

Episode 3 directly continues the storyline of Episode 2. Having been promoted to Instructor, the Player Character is given the responsibility of tutoring Lumia Waber, Ethan's little sister and new GUARDIANS recruit. However, the Illuminus/SEED conspiracy is reaching its final stages, and Lumia finds herself a target of their plot.

After another year-long hiatus, a new expansion entitled Phantasy Star Portable was released for the PSP. Set between the events of Universe and Episode 2, the Player Character (not the same one from Episode 2 or Episode 3) is a recent GUARDIANS graduate who finds themselves partnered with a new Super Prototype CAST called Vivienne. Together you are tasked with investigating the remnants of SEED activity after the events of Universe, and a mysterious terrorist called Helga Neumann who seems to be directly tied to the attacks.

Eventually Portable recieved a sequel called Portable 2. Set three years after Portable, the Gurhal System's resources have been devastated after the fight with the SEED. With no choice but to colonise other worlds, the four planets band together to research subspace travel derived from Lost Technology. The Player Character (who can be the same one from Portable) is a mercenary who gets hired by the paramilitary company "Little Wing". Together with their partner, the reluctant and lazy Emilia, they discover a dark secret behind the subspace technology that stretches back to the Gurhal System's very origins.

The final instalment of the Universe series came in the expansion Portable 2 Infinity for the PSP. This expansion added on several new missions and a new race called "Dewmans": mutated humans who have gained supernatural powers from exposure to the SEED virus. Its new story focuses on one such Dewman, Nagisa, as she searches for some mysterious fragments for a shadowy figure known as Wainal.

With Infinity, Sega has begun focusing on a more literal successor to Online in Phantasy Star Online 2. See Phantasy Star for the original tetralogy. Also check out Phantasy Star Zero, another Spiritual Successor that came out during Universe's run.


The Phantasy Star Universe sub-series includes:

  • Phantasy Star Universe
  • Phantasy Star Universe: Ambition of the Illuminus
  • Phantasy Star Portable
  • Phantasy Star Portable 2
  • Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinity


Phantasy Star Universe provides examples of:

  • Abusive Precursors: The Ancients. All except Mika want to use their creations as vessels so they can return to the physical realm, and are willing to destroy the minds and souls within those bodies to do so.
  • Action Girl: Karen and Laia.
  • A Lighter Shade of Grey: The GUARDIANS Security Corporation is, essentially, a mercenary company with more morals than the standard. On one hand, they have limited police powers and high-minded ideals, but they often overlook legally questionable actions by their own employees (such as using black market weapons or receiving aid from outlaws).
  • The Atoner: The A-Photon researchers, especially Kanal Tomrain, Dr. Dorson Warren Darren, and Kou Taragi of Episode 1, who were responsible for the Mellvore explosion and seek to redeem themselves by discovering the true purpose of the Confinement System towers.
    • Kanal Tomrain is especially an Atoner after the events of Episode 2, since the Illuminus capture him and force him to help complete an A-Photon bomb called the Sochee.
  • All There in the Manual: Shadow of the Arkguard, a moving comic which takes place a month after Episode 1 and alongside Episode 2 that fills in details not found in any of the games.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: In the Story Mode for Illuminus, completing one of the Episode 2 story missions unlocked more clothing options (as well as other items). This had to be done only once with a character; all other characters in the save file would earn the reward as well, whether or not they had progressed at all.
  • Beach Episode: Episode 2 Chapter 4 in Portable 2 Infinity.
  • Becoming the Mask: Orson was originally an Illuminus Spy, before Dallgun convinced him to betray them.
  • BFG: Many of the SUVs come in the form of massive guns ...
    • Gatling Good: ... some with lots of Dakka.
    • Chelsea from Portable 2 is notable for carrying massive bazookas. And also large firearms.
  • BFS: Plenty of big blades to choose from, including the swords used by the ancient Stateria. If that weren't enough, two of the SUVs usable by CASTs are massive Laser Blades the size of a Stateria themselves.
    • Chainsaw Good: PSO's Chain Sawd makes a comeback. And it's as big as ever.
  • Big Bad: Howzer for the entire series.
    • Magashi in both games.
    • Helga in Phantasy Star Portable.
    • In Portable 2, Shizuru, who is controlled by Kumhan the Sun King, takes over.
  • The Big Guy: Any Beast, large or small, can temporarily transform into a massive version of themselves with Super Strength to match through a technique called "nanoblasting." Canon-wise, Leogini Santosa Berafort is the literal Big Guy of the cast (of the Gentle Giant variety). Tonnio Rhima, on the other hand, blends Cute Bruiser with Boisterous Bruiser.
  • Big "NO!": Ethan gets one when Orson dies.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Phantasy Star Portable: Vivienne seals Helga inside of the SEED Hive, preventing the SEED invasion, and escapes with the player's character before the AMF assault on said Hive. However, they are both then discharged from the GUARDIANS. Thing is, this is supposed to be the good ending ...
  • Boss Rush: Mission 10-2 in Portable 2.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Any CAST infected by the modified SEED-Virus will become this, most notably Headmaster Nav and Curtz.
    • In fact, every CAST in the Alliance Military gets infected due to Helga corrupting Mother Brain, taking advantage of a top-secret command and control protocol embedded into AMF CASTs.
    • In Portable 2. Many of the people who Shizuru so much as looks at. Also, Shizuru himself.
  • Break the Cutie: An Episode 3 subplot does this to Lumia, starting with her witnessing Helga killing Professor Tomrain with her unable to do anything. This treatment continues onward with her being kidnapped by Helga and later learning of Howzer (seemingly) killing the Player Character, who came to rescue her. All to fill her with enough negative energy for her to serve as the catalyst for Dark Falz.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Emilia could be the poster child for this trope at the beginning of Phantasy Star Portable 2.
  • Broken Hero: Kraz, who became a glorified drunk as a result of the murder of his wife and son.
  • Camera Centering
  • Camera Lock-On
  • Cancellation: Phantasy Star Universe and Ambition of the Illuminus can no longer be played online (officially), as all servers for both have been shut down. The games do have single player modes, but those modes miss out on a lot of the content and missions only available through online play.
  • Character Level: Like with Hyperspace Arsenal, Universe justifies this common RPG game mechanic by way of photons and technology based on them. Photon reactors (used in all weapons and armor) use spiritual energy to function. A person with a strong spirit can cause more damage with Vendor Trash weapons than a rookie can with an Infinity+1 Sword. And the best way to get stronger is ... Bonus points in Infinity, where you can literally make it an Infinity+1 Sword by grinding the weapon, using an Extend Code, and then using an Infinity Extend Code then grinding it once.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Part of the game's justification for having nanotransformers; nanotransformers use A-Photons, the energies of which attract the SEED. At the same time, the ancient Confinement System towers are massive nanotransformers used to banish the SEED to a pocket dimension.
  • Clip Its Wings: In at least the first Playstation Portable spinoff, one of the bosses can be knocked to the ground by hitting its wings enough times. You can hit it with melee weapons, and then the wings grow back and you repeat until you beat it.
  • Cloning Blues: In quite a few ways. The most significant one is the existence of "Copy-CASTs": machines that are created with the mind and appearance of a real person but none of the rights granted to CASTs. Magashi is a Copy-CAST of Illuminus mastermind Howzer, although the original Magashi eventually develops his own personality and becomes a kind of Blood Knight. Vivianne is a Copy-CAST of Helga, created to act as an unwitting Illuminus spy within the GUARDIANS. In a non-Copy-CAST example, the Helga in Phantasy Star Portable is a clone of the original. Because the clone was created from SEED cells, her original personality has been corrupted to serve the needs of Howzer and the SEED.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: PSU, like PSO, color-codes the speech bubbles of the party with a similarly colored icon next to their name. Given that PSU allowed for six-member parties instead of four, the red/yellow/green/blue icons included cyan and magenta.
  • Continuity Porn: The Transcending Space and Time Side Mission in Infinity, bar none. Following Rico down into the ruins, fighting Olga Flow— it's like a canon fanfic.
  • Continuity Snarl: Vivienne's fate in Portable. Shadow of the Arkguard implies that the bad ending is canon while an Episode 3 subplot implies that it is the normal ending. However, a side story mission in Portable 2 implies that the good ending is canon as you meet up with her.
  • Copy And Paste Environments: A common feature of all post-millennial Phantasy Star games. PSU had about as many environments starting out as PSO did with all its expansions, with additional variations depending on whether or not the area was infected by the SEED. Ambition of the Illuminus added more, but many of these are reskins of Episode 1 areas (Justified or not).
  • The Corruption: Any non-CAST (Human, Newman, or Beast) exposed to the modified SEED-Virus will transform into a SEED-form. Most notably Hyuga in Ambition of the Illuminus, which was foreshadowed by Kou Taragi's transformatin into a SEED-form towards the end of Episode 1.
  • Crapsaccharine World: At first blush, the Gurhal System looked like an idyllic place before the SEED Invasion. Then you start learning about the various flavors of Fantastic Racism an the Cycle of Hatred that has been stewing for decades, that the races Humans designed were originally meant to be subservient, and that there are dark otherworldly forces seeking to lay waste to all life well before the SEED's arrival. The overall plot of the series tends to flip the state in the world back and forth between this and A World Half Full.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Newmans don't qualify as much any more as their monstrous heritage has been played down, but Beasts sure do make up for that.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Ethan and Lumia's father, Orson, faked his death in order to keep his family safe from Illuminus.
  • Defector from Decadence: Mika is the only Ancient who goes against Kumhan's plan to use their creations as vessels. Kumhan also states that during the time of the Ancients, Mika was the only one who openly opposed his tyrannical rule.
  • Demonic Possession: Vivienne does this to Lou... Twice.
  • Deus ex Machina: Episode 3, Ethan and Karen, trapped within the exploding HIVE, are rescued by a spirit barrier thanks to Mirei.
  • Dirty Old Man: Lucaim Nav, headmaster of the GUARDIANS Academy. Loves pinching the butts of his female students ... for training purposes, no less!
  • Downer Ending, in Ambition of the Illuminus: Due to the infected AMF CASTs attacking the GUARDIANS Colony en masse (with one ship making a kamikaze run), the colony begins deorbiting onto Parum. The best scenario at this point is reaching the main control room that would release the residential area from the colony. In the end, the residential area is safe, but the rest of the colony along with President Dallgun, who stayed behind to initiate part of the activation needed to release the residential area, crashes into Parum, killing thousands of people ... and this was the best case scenario.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Much to anyone's surprise, the pleasant and peppy Chelsea Enchante. Once an infamous drill instructor in the AMF, she changed her figure and speech post career. Even a platoon commander is still scared witless amongst the mention of her name.
    • Laia Martinez has also gained notoriety for being one.
  • Dying as Yourself: Kou Taragi's death in Episode 1, after he succumbs to the modified SEED-Virus and is killed.
  • Elite Mook / Evil Makeover: A LOT of the enemies that originated from Phantasy Star Online that appear in this series, especially Portable 2, have gotten really big upgrades and have gotten harder and smarter as well:
    • The Booma line will feign death sometimes, like the Rappies did before when you beat them.
    • The Sharks can guard and side-step alongside lunging forward.
    • Ill Gills have one of the best upgrades. They can combat-roll, charge faster, and even run after you to perform a powerful scythe combo. Don't take your eyes off them...
    • Sand Rappies are another majorly upgraded enemy. They've always been little crit-scoring demons in PSO: Episode 4. Now they get a running lunge, and four consecutive pecks in a row while dealing damage that belies their size.
    • Astarks are now burly punching beasts that can also spew poison breath AND roll up into a ball to charge at you.
    • Dark Belras are not only powerful punchers and can shoot their arms out forward with the strength of their Ultimate counterpart, Indi Belras, but they can now sprint after you as well.
    • Even the PSO Dragon boss is more of a challenge this time around. Gone are the days were you can make it drop to the ground and bash on its body and head; it can breath damaging fire, charge and lunge at players, and any spots it leaves when it burrows are now erupting volcanoes.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Phantasy Star Portable 2: Emilia overhears Kraz talking to Lumia and the player character about taking her off the team (Though, his reason is to protect her from the Big Bad). Causing her to run away and work on her own.
  • Expy: A number of characters in the Universe games are Shout Outs to previous Phantasy Star games, as well as some other Sega titles:
    • Fulyen Curtz, whose stoic nature and first name are nods to the Wrens from Generations of Doom (PSIII) and End of the Millenium (PSIV). (Only, Wren wasn't nearly as much of a Jerk Ass.)
    • Hal, the news anchor from Gurhal Channel 5 who bears more than a striking resemblance to Ulala from Space Channel 5. (Heck, she's got a SC5 song as her own personal theme!)
    • Helga Neumann, whose command over SEED-forms, personality, relationship with Vivienne, and last name (which is very similar to "numan") are all references to Neifirst, the original numan from End of the Lost Age (PSII).
    • Izuma Rutsu, whose appearance and last name are references to Lutz from Phantasy Star as well as PSII and PSIV (Lutz was renamed to Noah in the American release of PSI).
    • Alfort Tylor, whose nature as a honorable space pirate is a reference to Tyler from End of the Lost Age. His ship, the Landeel, is also named after Tyler's ship.
    • The Gurhal System Itself. Parum is an Expy of Palma, Moatoob is an Expy of Motavia, and Neudaiz is an Expy of Dezoris (putting aside the fact that most of its water is not ice, its name can be read as "New Dezo"). To top that off, Episode 3 revealed that there's even an Expy of Rykros, named exactly the same and with the same "hidden" nature as Algol's Rykros.
    • As a not Phantasy Star-related expy, Ethan is a Red Headed Wide-Eyed Idealist whose shirt is white with colored sleeves: a dead ringer for Shirou Emiya.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Partner Machines will eat just about anything you feed them.
    • Big Eater: Partner Machines can be fed one hundred items before they are "full" ... for half a day. May we remind you that a single item can be anything from edible restoratives to massive room decorations like stone columns?
  • Eyepatch of Power: All of the Dewmans have this. Justified as it serves as a Power Limiter.
  • Fantastic Racism: Multiple flavors of this exist, thanks to the events of the Backstory. Humans created CASTs, Newmans, and Beasts centuries ago, but civil wars broke out along racial lines that lasted for five hundred years. These wars ended when CASTs usurped control of the human nations and brokered a peace treaty and alliance that left the human race on the bottom of the social ladder.
    • On Parum, CAST Supremacy runs rampant, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. CAST Supremacists view the other races, especially humans, as inferior beings. Social mores on Parum prevent humans from speaking with CASTs unless spoken to, and CASTs can have humans arrested very easily. CAST Supremacists despise the GUARDIANS and its culture of racial equality; they are also very anti-religious, and have more than a few harsh words for the faithful.
    • Then there's the Human Fundamentalist groups, of which the Illuminus is the most prominent. While their ultimate goal is to restore systemwide human rights, they believe that the other races must be made subservient once again. The Illuminus in particular will do whatever it takes, to the point of using a virus to commit genocide on the other races.
    • Newmans are more subtle in their racism. In Episode 1, Ethan encounters a young Newman girl who has been taught by her parents to hold Newmans over Humans for multiple reasons ... and in Episode 3, Light Master Rutsu's views about the superiority of the Newman race come out in an encounter with Ethan Waber and the player's character. It takes a What the Hell, Hero? speech by Karen before Rutsu gets off the high horse.
  • Feed the Mole: Nav does this in Phantasy Star Portable when he "leaks" information to Vivienne.
  • Field Promotion: After her adopted father President Dallgun's Heroic Sacrifice, Laia becomes the new President of the GUARDIANS at his dying wish.
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: The final form of Dulk Fakis and Dark Falz suddenly transport you into a place in space in the center of the Gurhal System. It's explicitly referred to as an alternate dimension in Episode 3.
  • First Episode Resurrection: Near the beginning of Portable 2, the Player Character takes a hit for Emilia and wakes up seemingly unscathed, though Mika later reveals that they did die, and she rebuilt their body.
  • Fission Mailed: The final chapter in Episode three, depending on the subplot, Howzer seemingly kills the player character after trapping him.
  • Five Races: As of Infinity, we have an ensemble of them, unconnected from Tolkien as they are. Bonus points for being able to assign them to the Five-Man Band:
  • Freudian Excuse: Emilia's hatred of the GUARDIANS is understandable when you find out that she was used as a tool by their scientists and was left to die.
    • As is Kraz's drinking problem. He lost his wife and child, turning him into the drunk that he is.
  • Fungus Humongous: Habirao District becomes a land full of these in Illuminus.
  • Generation Xerox: Played with somewhat as a "defective" Magashi hints that his obsession with defeating Ethan is passed down from Howzer's jealousy towards Orson.
  • Genius Ditz: Maya, who developed a vaccine to the SEED-Virus.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!:
    • In Episode 3, Ethan verbally does this to Laia to convince her to take up the role as President of the GUARDIANS.
    • Done twice in Portable 2. First, Emilia does this to Lumia in the VR simulation when she begins to take the mission too seriously. Later, She would receive the same treatment from Kraz after she ran away believing that no one really cared about her.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Lumia until Portable 2.
  • Grand Theft Me: The objective of Big Bad in Phantasy Star Portable 2 is to do this on galactic scale in order to revive the ancient civilization and become its absolute ruler again.
  • Happily Ever After: The Ending of Phantasy Star Portable 2, which is more likely than not guaranteed to cheer everyone up after some of the downer endings of the previous games in the "Universe Sub-Series"!
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: As an NPC and in promotional art, Ethan's always depicted with some kind of sword—he'll often be shown using a one-handed saber and pistol or a two-handed blade.
    • All player characters, by default, start out with a basic saber and pistol. In the Story Mode for Illuminus, Human characters also get a basic two-handed sword.
  • Heroic BSOD: At the start of Episode 3, Laia has revealed to have gone into one after the events in Ambitions of Illuminus.
  • Heroic Mime: The player's character in Ambition of the Illuminus on and in Phantasy Star Portable. Constantly lampshaded in the latter.
    • In Episode 3, your character still doesn't talk visibly, but you are given options for dialogue that characters will react to as if you had said something.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: President Dallgun in Ambition of the Illuminus. Possibly Vivienne in Phantasy Star Portable.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: The GUARDIANS as of Episode 3.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Guess who's back from the original series as the final boss of Portable 2?
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Against Ethan and Liina, Nav in the last chapter of Episode 2.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: The story thoroughly justifies its usage here; Gurhal extensively uses storage technology called 'nanotransers', which attaches to the body and projects the stored weapons/armour/clothes/items as needed. Also a very important Chekhov's Gun.
    • One humorous moment features the device that gives characters their hyperspace arsenal being stolen from the main character - leaving him in the middle of a city wearing only his underwear.
  • Idiot Hero: Ethan, in Episode 1.
  • Improbable Age: Many canon and player-made GUARDIANS are rather young. People can join the GUARDIANS as young as fourteen, and the player can make a character that looks (and sounds) even younger than that. CAS Ts and small beasts can look young without actually being young, but it doesn't explain the humans or newmans.
    • The young recruitment age could potentially be justified in that the younger members probably aren't supposed to be doing much until they've been around for a few years (and the age has historical precedent with apprenticeships and such), but of course plot circumstances lead to everyone being needed no matter what. It gets worse when these members are promoted and taken along crucial missions despite being young and inexperienced.
    • Hyuga becomes the head of GRM at the age of seventeen. This is justified in that almost everyone else in the company was arrested, and he ended up inheriting control.
    • Emilia from Phantasy Star Portable 2 is a deconstruction of this trope. She is a genius prodigy at 16, but has been used by the GUARDIANS for that very reason for years. This led to her having crushingly low self-esteem as she was treated more as a component in a machine than as an actual person.
  • Informed Ability: Some of the weapon descriptions are a little too ... boastful. The De Ragan Slayer's description claims that it can "strike down a De Ragan in a single blow" (which might be possible if the wielder sufficiently outleveled the De Ragan). The legend behind the Ely Sion, however, states that it has the power to cleave even planets in two. Better watch where you swing ...
    • Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness: Many of the common B, A, and even S-rank weapons list themselves as "high-end" or "limited run" for "advanced users." When they were first available, this seemed true as they were rare and highly expensive—but as higher-end content was made available and these weapons turned into Vendor Trash ...
  • Jerk Ass: CAST Supremists fall under this. Most notably Curtz and AMF soldiers, who get better later on after Ethan saves Curtz's life in Episode 1.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kraz treats Emilia like crap most of the time like (IE: throw a present she bought for him with her bonus gained in a previous chapter) but he cares about her such as keeping the present he throws for her birthday.
  • Joke Item: Frying pans, parasols, roses, toy hammers, guitars, magazines... some of which are lethal.
  • Justified Tutorial: Karen teaches Ethan how to form parties in Episode 1, which is treated as an in-universe system for assembling Guardians for a mission.
  • Klingon Promotion: Howzer kills the leader of the Illuminus, Randolph Luntz, during the events of Episode 3 and takes over the organization.
  • Kill Sat: The Paradi Cataract SUV rains icy beams of divine punishment on a CAST's foes. The description for the SUV's armor unit mentions that this weapon is an out-of-date military satellite.
  • Lethal Chef: Maya Shidow. We first get a taste of this trope in Episode 1, where it's revealed that she has been heading a research project to develop rations with a shelf-life for a century. Then in Online Mode, we find out about the synthesis boards she created that tries (and fails) to make a home-made cake ...
  • Lovable Rogue: Tylor, who makes it a point not to hurt or rob from the poor.
  • Male Gaze: The player's first impression of Chelsea in Portable 2.
  • Man Behind the Man: Howzer, especially after he kills the leader of the Illuminus, Randolph Luntz. Also, Kumhan behind Shizuru in Phantasy Star Portable 2.
  • Manchurian Agent: Vivienne.
  • Masquerade: After Mirei's death, Karen decides to take up her mantle as the Divine Maiden. One ending in Episode 3 reveals that she admitted the truth about Mirei as she retires as the Divine Maiden.
  • Meganekko: Maya
  • Minovsky Physics: Photons work very differently in the Universe games than in the real world. Information about how they work, and how Photon and A-Photon based technology utilize them, is found scattered throughout dialogue in the games and elsewhere.
  • The Mole: Vivienne is revealed to be one in Phantasy Star Portable, though she didn't know at the time. Ethan also becomes one in Ambition of the Illuminus to track down his missing dad.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Maya, who has the largest breast size in the game (larger than the maximum size for a player's character, in fact!). Her normal method of getting past men is to shamelessly flirt with them—it even worked on Fullyen Curtz, who was a staunch CAST Supremacist at the time.
    • Chelsea from Portable 2 also has a large rack, but she also has a french accent in the english dub and a dress who shows lots of cleavage.
      • Chelsea's VA in the Japanese version is clearly using an accent, possibly with similar connotations but specced for the home audience. Also, Chelsea very noticeably drops said accent during her side mission when you get to learn about her past.
    • You can turn your own character into this. Running around on missions in bikini or even in a bath towel? No problem. Especially the Stripperiffic Magical Princess suit from Portable 2. This costume was designed by Kentaro Yabuki, though, so that's to be expected.
  • My Little Panzer: Gurhalian toy manufacturers have a thing for making their toys just a little too powerful. There's also weapons that deliberately resemble toys.
  • Never My Fault: Happens twice in Episode 3:
    • First the refugees, most notably Pipi Vol, blame the GUARDIANS for the GUARDIANS Colony crash-landing on Parum.
    • Then Tylor, leader of the New Rogues, blames the GUARDIANS for the SEED-infected Beast massacre in Ambition of the Illuminus.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Portable's good ending. "Hey thanks for saving the world, rookie! But since your partner was an (unwilling) patsy for Helga's scheme, we have to discharge her and declare her a traitor to the galaxy. And since you refused to abandon her, we have to do the same to you. Sorry!"
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: In an alternate ending to Ambition's End (Episode 3, Chapter 5), Lumia of all people unleashes a literal explosion of anger on Howzer.
  • Not Quite Dead: Magashi, three times and even more than that when you discover that there's a whole army of him!
    • Ethan and Lumia's father, Orson, is revealed to be alive in Episode 3.
    • The same could be said about Helga, who was thought to be dead after Phantasy Star Portable, since she shows up in Episode 3.
    • Howzer also applies to this as well, as he appears in the final chapter.
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo: While the Illuminus' A-Photon bombs have the visual effect of nuclear weapons, they're actually a lot worse than nukes because of what A-Photon energies attract when used in great enough quantities ...
    • On top of this, nuclear energy and weapons are mentioned in the Universe Bible as having been used prior to the development of photon-based technology, thus avoiding the "don't mention nukes" aspect of the taboo.
  • Older Than They Look: Small Beasts, most notably Tonnio and Liina, that are full-grown tend to look like children. Emilia looks to be in her early teens, yet in the game she's 17.
  • Old Save Bonus: Between Portable and Portable 2; if you completed the story of Portable and imported your character to Portable 2, you'll get an extra title: Former Guardian. Characters in the story will also recognize that you were once part of the GUARDIANS (but they won't mention what you did in Portable—not even Vivienne).
  • On the Next: In Universe, each chapter of its Story Mode behaves like an anime show would, with opening and ending sequences (complete with theme song!). Just like at the end of any anime show episde, a narrator (or the characters themselves) provides a teaser for the next Story Mode chapter set to snippets of future cutscenes.
    • In Ambition of the Illuminus, as well as the online Story Missions for both games, this was changed from voiceovers to text, and the staff roll sequence was dropped (except for at the very end of each story arc). The opening sequence and theme song still plays at the opening of each chapter's Story Mission, however.
  • One-Winged Angel: Magashi in Episodes 1 and 2, and Helga in Phantasy Star Portable both transform into more powerful SEED-forms. They both transform even further into Dulk Fakis, who also has a second form.
  • Our De Ragans Are Different
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Beasts.
  • Parental Abandonment: Karen's mother was killed by Tengohgs while rescuing her from her father, who wanted to kill her to transfer her power to Mirei.
    • Ethan and Lumia also apply, as before the series begin, they've lost their mother and father, who is revealed to be Not Quite Dead.
  • Playing with Fire: Renvolt Magashi, who not only loves the Two-Headed Ragnus twin saber set, but is capable of using fire-elemental TECHNICs while wielding them. (Not only is it fire, it's rapid fire to boot!)
  • Please Wake Up: Emilia does this to the player character after he/she pushes her out of the way of a fatal attack and ends up taking it in her place.
  • Plotline Death: Mirei, Kou Taragi, and Warren Darren. Can also happen to Orson Waber and Magashi.
  • Precursors: The Ancients. Interesting in that they turn out to essentially be humans themselves, who ended up destroying themselves because humans just can't get along.
  • Private Military Contractors: The GUARDIANS Security Corporation, which was granted limited police powers by the Gurhal system's government. Portable 2 introduces another company, Little Wing, which just so happens to be the subsidiary of Skyclad, a company best known in Gurhal for clothing and resorts.
  • Puny Earthlings: Since Humans Are Average, they are often overshadowed by the more specialized races.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Vol Brothers.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Kraz wears a pink Badass Longcoat.
  • Real Time Weapon Change
  • Redemption Demotion: Somewhat averted as Ethan only seems to have done a Face-Heel Turn. As a Rogue, Ethan uses two S-Rank weapons (Crea Doubles and Blackheart), but when he becomes a GUARDIAN again, he trades in his Blackheart for the A-Rank DB's Sword. He also downgrades his sword and wand.
    • Magashi is a straighter example as after Emilia "upgrades" him. He trades in his Two-Headed Ragnus for regular ground-element GRM twin sabers.
  • Robot Girl: Female CASTs, who are called CASEALs.
  • Rogue Protagonist: Ethan becomes a literal example in Ambitions of the Illuminus.
  • Sadistic Choice: Howzer invokes this twice. First, in Shadow of the Arkguard, when he forces Ethan to kill Dallgun in exchange for his captive father. Then, in Episode 3, he uses Karen as a hostage to force Ethan and the Player Character to merge with SEED!Helga.
  • Scunthorpe Problem: The swear filter in Phantasy Star Universe—even more so in the Xbox 360 version—is a very good reason why swear filters should always be optional in games (or never implemented at all).
  • Send in the Clones: Renvolt Magashi is actually a Copy CAST of Howzer ... and there's more than one of him.
    • Helga is also revealed to be a clone made from SEED cells. And, like Magashi, there's more than one of her.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Lumia in PSP2, apparently.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Part two of Chapter 9 in Ambition of the Illuminus.
  • Shout-Out: So, so many! On top of the Expies, like Phantasy Star Online, Phantasy Star Universe and Portable make a number of references to older Phantasy Star games as well as other Sega titles.
    • A number of common weapons in Episode 1 had references to common Phantasy Star Online weapons, as well as some rare weapons (such as the Yasminkov 0002, which is a Shout-Out to PSO's Yasminkov weapons).
    • Ambition of the Illuminus and Phantasy Star Portable included a whole slew of PSO weapons. Phantasy Star Portable 2 included a flood of PSO rares, including certain Mags, armors, and even more weapons.
    • Maya Shidow's deadly Homemade Cake is a reference to PSII—specifically, the cakes that Motavians offer in the Roron garbage dump.
    • A notable rare Shout Out to PSIII: Ambition of the Illuminus brought us a new kind of line shield, the Rabol Orakio, named for one of the characters in Generations of Doom. (In true Sega fashion, though, the name was transliterated to Rabol Orachio when it appeared stateside.)
    • The Naura Cake Shop makes yet another appearance, based directly off of the PSO incarnation. In a virtual reality simulation of Ragol, no less.
    • The Opa Opa from Fantasy Zone sometimes appears to drop weights on the heads of enemies when CASTs use the Ancension Gift SUV. It also appears in Portable as a ranged combat support machine.
    • Phantasy Star Portable 2 has expanded the number of Shout Outs to include series not even related to Sega; Vocaloid, Evangelion, and Fate/stay night items are obtainable in the game—and that includes Saber's Excalibur and Rei's Longinus, as well as all three Children's Plugsuits.
    • Infinity managed to throw in some Vocaloid fashions and even a few item for Gurren Lagann.
  • Space Elves: Newmans are often disparagingly referred to as such by the player base due to the Flanderization they've suffered as a race ever since the original tetralogy. They most closely fit the Type II (Enlightened Mystic Race) flavor, although they're really more Space Japanese than anything.
  • Space Station: Gurhal is implied to have many of these, but the only ones visitable are the GUARDIANS Colony (of course) and the HIVEs (space stations consumed by the SEED). Portable 2 introduces Clad-6, home of Little Wing, as the only lobby and explorable location outside of missions.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Ethan's father: Orson or Olson? Take your pick.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Laia in Ambition of the Illuminus. Though she's actually a well-rounded character, the fact remains that the Story Mode of Ambition is all about her. Your character is nothing more than a background extra.
    • Subverted in Episode 3. While a good amount of focus is placed on Lumia becoming a full-fledged Guardian, your character is no longer just a background extra. The player character can now make decisions that can impact the story and which ending you receive, leading up to becoming the new commander of the GUARDIANS Mobile Defense Force. ...Too bad it's implied that you stepped down and gave the position to Orson.
  • The Stoic: Lou. Justified as she was programed not to show emotion for the sake of her missions.
  • Strange Bedfellows: At the final part of "The Magashi Plan" side-story mission, the player character, Lou and a "defective" Magashi must fight off a wave of SEED unleashed by Helga.
  • Stripperiffic: Justified by the usage of Line Shields for personal armor (see Tron Lines below). Indeed, it seems very much as if the cultural reaction to having armor that is functional with any piece of clothing was for acceptable fashion to grow ever skimpier ...
    • Shirtless Scene: Feel like going commando as far as possible? Grab yourself a swimsuit or a speedo! Some of the other clothes also qualify, such as the Vigor Coat (which isn't much of one).
  • Sword and Gun: Can be done with any one-handed weapon in the game.
  • Teen Genius: Emilia! Mostly dormant at first due to repressed memories.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The ending to Episode 2. It gets better, though.
  • The Ghost: Exaggerated with the Illuminus, an entire organization that plays this role during Epsiode 2. Even as the main antagonist of Episode 2, none of its members make any on-screen appearances. Some members show their faces in Portable and Episode 3, but the number that do can still be counted on one hand.
  • The Unfavorite: Karen. Oh dear god, Karen. So much that her father goes as far as to kill her to prolong her sister's life.
  • The Virus: The SEED-Virus.
  • This Loser Is You: Emilia at first.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Lumia.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Vivienne, who finds out she is a Copy-CAST based on Helga to be used as an Illuminus Spy.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Lumia in Portable 2. In Chapter 6, she pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment when she saves the party from a large group of native creatures with a Fire TECHNIC. Even Emilia mentions this during her aforementioned Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!. She's no longer the load she was in Episode 3.
  • Tron Lines: Line Shields project their protective fields as glowing lines on a characters' clothing, and the designs in which they are woven are a major aspect of fashion in the setting.
  • Too Slow: In your battle with Howzer, he occasionally shouts, "You're too slow!"
  • Two-Part Trilogy: Episode 1 is mostly self-contained, but Episode 2 introduces lots of new things that are left unresolved until Episode 3.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: At the end of episode 3, Tonnio is this to Liina. They get married between episode 3 and Portable 2.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: Universe did not do well at this at first. In the original game, the options available for character customisation were limited at best and the (offline) prices for new clothes- even for something as simple as a T-shirt!- were extortionate. Fortunately, the series got a lot better as time went by, with each new game offering a wealth of new appearance options and clothes.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Ethan and Hyuga. Hyuga has even stated that they were more rivals than friends.
  • Vocal Evolution: With some voices in Phantasy Star Portable, when compared to those in the original PSU, you'd swear that they have new voice actors.
  • Well Done Daughter Guy: Kraz is this to Emilia.
  • Wetware CPU: Emilia was turned into one by the GUARDIANS. This led to a great deal of angst when she was treated more as a component in a machine than as an actual person.
  • What Is This Thing You Call Love?: Of a sort: at the end of Infinity, Yut is booted from his village until he returns with a wife. The only problem is that he has no idea what a wife is.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Copy-CASTs apparently do not share the same rights as regular CASTs (Or any other race for that matter) as they're just machines as Vivienne finds out from Lou.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In Episode 3, Laia calls out Tylor on his decision to seal and abandon his allies in a SEED-infected mine.
    • Earlier in Episode 3, Pipi Vol berates the GUARDIANS about their ineffectiveness and willingness to abandon their friends. Although she does accuse the GUARDIANS of something they didn't do (dropping G Colony on Parum), the rest of her accusations ring true given events that took place in Episodes 1 and 1.5 (Portable).
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Hyuga and Shizuru. The latter acts as a traditional evil case at first but it is due to Demonic Possession. He turns out to be a nice person once freed from Kumhan's control.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Karen is afraid of Tengohgs, who are the cause of her mother's death.
  • Wutai: The entire planet of Neudaiz. Every aspect of the lives of Newmans—cities, culture, clothing, language, weapons—is like an idealized aspect of Japan.
  • Womb Level: The HIV Es.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Vivienne and Helga.

Persona 4 Arena UltimaxXbox 360 Ibara
PataponPlay Station PortablePhantom Brave
Phantasy Star OnlineEastern RPGPhantasy Star Zero
Phantasy Star OnlineAction RPGPhantasy Star Zero
PaRappa the RapperPlay Station 2 Phantom Brave
Video Game RemakeVideoGame/Phantasy StarPhantasy Star Universe
Phantasy Star Online 2Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing GamePhantasy Star Zero
Phantasy Star Online 2Science Fiction Video GamesPhantasy Star Zero

alternative title(s): Phantasy Star Universe; Phantasy Star Portable
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