Video Game / Phantasy Star Online 2

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Infinite Adventures

Developed alongside Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinity for the 10th anniversary of Phantasy Star Online, Phantasy Star Online 2 is a free-to-play MMORPG from SEGA's Phantasy Star series, and Spiritual Successor to the original Phantasy Star Online. 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. After several alpha tests and a few beta tests, the game was released for PC on July 4th, 2012. A PS Vita version was also released on February 28th, 2013, and a Playstation 4 version was released on April 20th, 2016, both supporting cross-play capabilities with its PC title. While the game was due for a Western release, it has since up and vanished, although a somewhat altered English version was published in Southeast Asia regions by AsiaSoft.

In the future, the discovery of the "Photons", a light particle that is omnipresent throught the universe, revolutionized modern man and gave birth to "Oracle", a space exploration organization dedicated to scouting out planets fit for colonization. However, a threat was soon discovered: the Darkers, an eldritch race who spread across the universe like a virus, infecting and mutating whatever they come into contact with. When Oracle discovered that Photons were the antithesis to the Darkers, the suborganization known as "ARKS" (Artificial Relicit to Keep Species) was formed to carry on the will of Oracle while eradicating the Darker threat.

Much like its predecessors, the game has been divided into numerous "Episodes". In Episode 1, you are placed into the shoes of 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.

In Episode 2, you continue to investigate the strange planetary incidents, which now include the oceanic planet Vopal. However, as histories and secrets are delved into, a shadowy figure known as Luther emerges, leading the player, now joined by the amnesic Matoi, on a mission that threatens the very nature of Oracle and ARKS itself.

Episode 3 focuses on the feudal Japan-esque planet of Harukotan, where an ages-long feud between the planet's two factions, the Shironians and the Kuronians, is reaching a boiling point, kept only at bay by a delicate balance in the form of the powerful Ash Shrine Maiden, Sukunahime. Now assisted by Xiao, you begin investigating the truth behind a conflict that appears to be more than it seems on the surface.

Episode 4 takes place two years after the defeat of the Profound Darkness. A recent influx of unusual ARKS members has created suspicion amongst the ARKS, and you are awoken from cryonic sleep to investigate the issue. When an introductory mission with one such ARKS known as Hitsugi takes a turn for the worse, the player finds themselves in the midst of a mystery sweeping the planet "Earth" and a video game known as Phantasy Star Online 2.

A single-player version titled Phantasy Star Online 2esnote  is available for both Android and iOS. In this game, players embark on original stories across the PSO2 world alongside the Operator Seraphy. The gameplay retains the Action RPG feel of the main game while introducing Chips, representations of entities in the Phantasy Star world and beyond, to augment the players' abilities and grant them an edge in combat. There are also interconnectivity features with Phantasy Star Online 2, such as MAG feeding and Quick Search.

Its popularity has spawned a variety of supplemental material, including Phantasy Star Nova, a Gaiden Game in vein with many of the older post-Online titles, Phantasy Star Online 2 -Side Stories-, a short story compilation starring the game's various NPCs, Phantasy Star Online 2 -ON STAGE-, a Screen-to-Stage Adaptation, and an anime adaptation, Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation.


Phantasy Star Online 2 provides examples of:

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    Tropes A-D 
  • 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.)
  • Achievement System: The game features Titles, which reward you for performing well in-game via handouts such as weapons, Units, booster tickets and so forth. Some rewards are only available through this system, such as the Coat Doublis.
    • The Playstation versions also use the Trophy system for non-Title related achievements.
  • 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:
    • Sparzyles from the Lilipan Tunnels will set off its fuse when hostile, and will explode after a set time, whether it's KO'd or not.
    • Goldrahdas, a variety of insectoid Darker. They're bigger than you, wield one of three varieties of weapons, and if you let them sit long enough or if you don't destroy the red weak spot on their back before they die, 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 Commands: In es, certain boss attacks will cause a prompt to swipe in a certain direction to appear onscreen; succeeding allows you to jump back or escape from the attack. Failing can lead to massive damage.
  • Action Girl:
    • Almost every female NPC you converse with, including Echo, Lisa, Marlu, Io, Azanami, Matoi/2nd Gen Claris Claes, the list goes on.
    • Seraphy in es, a first for Operators. Gené is also a heroine, so no wonder there.
  • 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.
    • Hitsugi tries invoking this by giving the boy who appeared in her room some wildly exotic names from literature and legend, all of which he adamantly refuses to be called. She eventually subverts it by calling him "Al", which he takes a shine to.
  • 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.
  • Akashic Records: So dubbed as such by Luther, the Akashic Records are a compilation of everything Xion has and ever will calculate, from the beginning to the end of the universe. Of course, given that you can Screw Destiny, it can be wrong on multiple counts.
  • 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.
    • One also occurs as per the plot in Episode 2 Chapter EX.
  • 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.
    • The Materials Collection books contains a vast treasure trove of information never expounded upon in-game, such as background information behind the Genesis Weapons, the names of Matoi Viel's weapons, and design tidbits normally unnoticeable in normal gameplay.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Dante in es takes cues from multiple bosses, such as Org Blan's advancing slam, Decol Malluda's claw slash (although it uses the "rock throw" animation), and Chrome Dragon's spike shots.
  • Alternative Calendar: The story starts in A.P. 238/2/20. The A.P. stands for "After Photon".
    • Averted with Earth, which takes place in the year 2028 A.D.
  • Alternate Universe: As with all new continuities in the franchise, none of the series' previous systems return.
    • Episode 4 reaffirms it's alternate universe status in a unique, for the franchise, way. The fact the game is now installed as standard on all computers in Japan means the Darkers, as well as ARKS operatives, can pass between our world and the alternate universe of the 'game'.
  • The Alternet: The Ethernet, which is virtually identical to real life internet, except powered by Ether particles.
  • Always Accurate Attack: Grants, Rafoie, Namegid, and Ilbarta will always connect with their target.
  • 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.
  • The Anime of the Game: Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation.
  • 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.
    • Some Story Quests from Episode 2 onward subvert Checkpoint Starvation and mark certain parts of the Quest when you pass them, so if you fall in combat, you can retry from the last checkpoint instead of starting over. This mostly happens with Marathon Levels, though, so tough luck on the smaller stuff.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Guar Zigmorde is the only Field Boss where dying doesn't instantly fail the Quest. This complements her special "curse" ability, which is a One-Hit Kill if she uses it.
    • If you are interrupted while Gathering, you will not lose Stamina if you did not receive your reward.
  • 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: Ultimate Naberius was deliberately designed with relatively low EXP payouts to force players to focus on Item Farming instead. This proved to be not that popular, so its successor, Ultimate Lillipa, had better pay.
  • Anti-Poop Socking :
    • Like most smartphone games, es has this as a function, although there are two pools from which to draw from: Drive and Operation Points.
      • Drive Energy is what is paid to attend Quests, and if you can't pay, you can't go. The player must wait five minutes to charge a single point of Drive, but it can also be refilled immediately by spending a Rappy Medal or leveling up. To extend the Drive cap, the player must complete new Quests, and each new set completed will reward players with a Drive Cap Increase.
      • Operation Points are spent to attend Emergency Quests. You can only have up to six, and recharging a single Point takes 20 minutes. Unlike Drive, leveling up doesn't recharge OP, but impatient players can also use OP Medicine to recharge Points instantly.
    • Gathering is limited by Stamina, of which you have 100 of. Each character has separate Mining and Fishing Gauges, and performing any sort of action involving those costs 10 Stamina of the applicable gauge. The Stamina restores very slowly over time, but can be recharged instantly using Stamina Drinks, which can be acquired from events or bought with real money.
  • 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.
  • Applied Phlebotinum:
    • Photons, a miraculous source of both light and energy that was discovered by man in the distant past. Once used as a source of light for interstellar navigation, its uses have expanded to standard and advanced technological features, such as empowering engines, energy shields, and weapons. The first ARKS were developed with the capability to harness photons in mind; as the Human race were discovered to be the most capable of races to harness this new energy, races that came after, including Newmans, Deumans, and CAST, were all based on Humans. Due to their wide range of applications throughout the story, a minor fandom joke involves pinning anything unnatural to "because photons".
    • Ether particles, a mysterious type of particle discovered on Earth in the year 2016 AD. Even in the modern day, it is still unknown what Ether is or how it works, but it is capable of high-speed data transmission, which is used for the Ethernet, an advanced form of The Internet that utilizes Ether to achieve lightning-fast wireless communication anywhere on the globe. This service is maintained by ESC-A Towers, which are large, glowing spires built in numerous places across Earth for the purposes of dispersing Ether. Phantoms are also comprised of the same Ether that makes the Ethernet run.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Multi-Party Areas are limited to 12 players and partner cards total.
    • The Vita version can only have up to four players total onscreen for Team Shots due to system limitations. Gameplay is otherwise unaffected, however.
  • 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.
  • Area of Effect: When Apprentice spawns in Demise, she covers the outer ring of the field with a black-red miasma that damages players that wander into it. This is to dissuade players from wandering outside of the area of focus, but this area is also where crystals start spawning more frequently.
  • 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.
    • Chapter 2 in es throws out the text-supported screenshots Chapter 1 used and goes for a visual novel-style presentation using anime-style portraits.
  • 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 Extra: Franka the chef was finally recognized in Episode 4 with her own official area bearing her name, Franka's Cafe.
  • 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: King Rappies and Queen Rappies are just scaled up Rappies and Love Rappies respectively that completely dwarf players. They're also a type of Pi˝ata Enemy and are guaranteed to drop a Super Rare Chip on defeat.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: The Council of Six, who are the most senior members of ARKS.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: The local Theme Music Power-Up for The Profound Darkness, The whole new world -Code: SINEN- takes the regular theme tune and injects it with awesome electric guitar riffs, among other things.
  • Award Bait Song: Episode 2's "Living on like stars" and Episode 3's "Hello".
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Ilfoie. Giant falling meteors that explode? Cool. Sky-high PP costs, long charge timenote , and inability to move while charging? Not so cool.
    • Namegid plays around with this, as its absurd 60 PP cost and five second charge time is extremely offputting for anyone who wants to simply deal fast damage. However, despite getting slammed hard by the Nerf bat, it's insanely powerful, and with the right stats and Dark Mastery, it becomes a simple task to deal upwards of 100,000 damage to a boss's weak spot with a Just-Attacked Namegid.
    • Kazan-Nadeshiko. Essentially Over End for Bravers with the added benefit of boosting the Gear Gauge during Katana Gear, except with (again) a really long charge time that involves a lengthy and pointless startup animation, along with immobility.
      • Kazan-Nadeshiko Type-Zero, on the other hand, negates all of this by turning it into a Charged Attack that gets a powerful super armor effect during the charge step, and gets a damage boost the longer it's charged. Best of all, it loses the aforementioned startup animation, allowing you to spam it with impunity if need be.
    • 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.
    • Torim Spiral straddles the line. It's a close range PA that requires a very long charge time to be fully effective. The problem with this is that Torim can't move while charging, which means mobile bosses will avoid it, and he can't take much punishment anyways. However, at max charge, it nukes harder than Vinto Gigue, and is one of the highest raw damage attacks in the game.
  • Background Music Override:
    • Usually, when a quest is cleared, a special theme signifying its end plays.
    • A high-tension tune replaces the lobby music in the lead-up to and during the Dark Falz and Magatsu emergency quests.
    • 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 Adorable: Many of the Weaponoids take the form of young women, but are still personified weapons, they have the skills to stand up to their names. Standout examples include Dragon Slayer, H44 Missouri T, Rabbit Wand, Bio Triner, and Niren Kamui.
  • Badass Longcoat: The Crouch/Kraz Repca costume. There's also the Heretic Lord/Queen outfit (Gettemhart's clothes), the Punish Jacket, and the Oletgill Parka, 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.
  • Battleship Raid: Played literally; an Emergency Quest pits the ARKS against the quintessential Japanese battleship, the Yamato, in battleship-to-mecha combat.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Rockbears, one of the first bosses you encounter in the game.
  • The Beastmaster: The Summoner class, introduced in Episode 4, uses a Baton to direct Pets in battle. Said Pets include Wanda, a horned horse-like creature boasting wide-ranged attacks; Torim, a falcon with powerful single strikes ideal for bosses; and Sully, a supportive Pet specializing in crowd control.
  • 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 Dark Falzes that spawn and control the Darkers.
    • Luther acts as a more traditional Big Bad in Episode 2.
  • 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, topped with a reformation of the staff by Episode 4.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage: Pressing the Guard button (provided the weapon allows it) 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 Hunter Main Class, you can block attacks from any direction with All Guard. If you have Charge Parrying, you can additionally block with any charging-type Hunter Photon Arts.
    • If you have Tech C Parrying, you can block with your Technics.
    • Certain Photon Arts grant Just Guard frames at the start of their animations, such as Dead Approach and Deadly Circle Type-0.
    • As a Braver Main Class with a katana-type weapon, triggering a just guard can initiate a counter attack that can do potentially 500% damage of your normal attack, along with a significant damage buff for a lengthy period if you charged up your gear, provided you invested in the right skills.
  • 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 capable of this, being incorporeal lifeforms made of corrupted photons. Dark Falz Elder fully possesses Gettemhart after it is released from confinement. Dark Falz Apprentice tries to possess Eucreta, but only manages a partial possession.
  • Bonus Level: The Bonus Quest, only accessible with special keys obtained from playing Recommended Quests. Enemies are absurdly weak and drop like flies, Metal Slime Tagamikazuchi are encountered with frequency, and in the full version, you can encounter the Empe Rappy, a gigantic, fat Rappy with a crown that drops unbelievable EXP. At the end of it all, you even get a boss crystal that only drops rare items and a row of boxes that drop rare stones.
  • Bonus Level Of Hell: Darkers 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, which doubles the number of Photon Blades you fire for a limited time. On paper it sounds boring; until you realise that landing a full volley of Photon Blade Fever will rack up enough hits to completely refill your Gear Gauge. In practical terms, this means that you can machine-gun Photon Blades for the entire duration of the effect.
    • Cetus Proi is the only non-offensive Photon Blast. In lieu of any spectacular, super powerful attack, it merely increases your PP regeneration... to be ridiculously fast, so you can spam your strongest techniques with impunity. Compounded with a Force's Charge PP Revivalnote , techniques will be flying virtually nonstop.
    • Vinto Gigue's Branched Attack is... a kick. No spinning Zanverse, no Ground Pound Shifta, no Deband backflips, but a kick. As it turns out, it's also an absurdly powerful kick, and is easily one of the strongest attacks in the game in terms of raw damage. It's not hard to turn even an Elite Mook to a pile of dust with a Vinto Gigue to the face.
  • Boss Bonanza:
    • Mining Base Defense Quests are fans of throwing two to three bosses at the party simultaneously at later waves, which will go through Base HP very quickly if left unchecked.
    • The Solo Extreme Quest will chuck multiple bosses simultaneously at you. Can you survive three Caterdra'an and a Vol Dragon all at once?
  • Boss-Only Level:
    • Big Vardha's Emergency Quest is this, with its power ramped up to handle 12 players as opposed to 4 in the Tunnel Free Field.
    • Any Dark Falz Emergency Quest and the quests that precede them.
  • Boss Rush:
    • The end of Episode 2 Chapter 5 features Blu Ringahda (which you can just walk past and skip), Theodore, Luther, and Falz Angel all one after the other. Though, there is a checkpoint between the second battle and the rest.
    • July 2015 includes an Emergency Quest that involves fighting both Dark Falz Elder and Dark Falz Loser one after the other.
    • The Solo Extreme Quest occasionally sets you up against waves that are simply multiple consecutive bosses.
  • 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???
  • 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★, 11★, and even 12★ 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.
    • Starting from September 2015, players with a Linked Character can receive two 15000 EXP Tickets every day just for logging into PSO2es. If you have a Premium Set active, this value doubles to four Tickets per day. While the Tickets become largely irrelevant at endgame levels, having those two extra Tickets means an extra 30,000 EXP per day, which significantly helps push up lower level classes faster than with just two Tickets.
    • An update to es also added a function called "Quick Search", where your character retrieves items from the Ultimate Quest and returns with some goods and Meseta. You can do this once daily for free, but you can also purchase an additional five runs with ARKS Cash. Each purchased run gives an increasing amount of items and a boosted Rare Drop Rate. Considering that you can farm Ultimate Quest stones or pick up a 13★ if you're lucky, it's a simple effort to buy your way to power if luck be a lady. Not to mention that this function exists for the purpose of gaining items for the main game, so anything good you get can be sent to PSO2 and be used to beef up your character there.
    • The SEA version introduced the Costume Affix system, which grants Costumes a semi-random set of Abilities upon being obtained from an AC Scratch. While this averts And Your Reward Is Clothes, this necessitates both acquiring your own costume and potentially looking out for good costumes on the market that can cost millions of Meseta due to good Abilities that you can grant to the costume of your choice. Or you can just pay for all of it with cash.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: A Weapon Camo for Talises is this, and the money is the Talis.
  • Bullet Time:
    • Anyone wielding Twin Machineguns undergoes this when they use Stylish Roll 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.
    • One Lobby Action allows players to perform the exact same slow-motion fall as in The Matrix.
  • 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 MAGs for an anniversary event, and their own Costumes and Weapon Camos for the Doko Demo Issyo! collaboration event.
    • Hatsune Miku and Megurine Luka made a stage appearance, performing a cover of Living Universe, the opening of Phantasy Star Portable 2.
    • Nagisa from Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinity makes an appearance as an NPC, offering a series of Client Orders that allow you to obtain her Partner Card, allowing you to fight by her side.
    • You can acquire an adorable MAG version of Phantasy Star Online's Red Ring Rico. Rico and Flowen themselves also appear as field partners in the Incarnation of Darkness Limited Quest.
  • Call Back:
    • The July 2015 update adds costumes based on the original Phantasy Star Online in addition to a Team Room that replicates the Pioneer 2 Hub City.
    • At the very beginning of the game, once you find Matoi, you can partake in Client Orders to gather Naberius flowers for Matoi. At the conclusion of Episode 3, Sara and Claris Claes each present Matoi with a bouquet of Naberius flowers.
    • An odd form of call back happens in Episode 4. You see Hitsugi in her school uniform with her computer on it's desktop. As a bonus, The desktop wallpaper is the default of the ESC-A system from the anime.
  • Casino Park: Played with in Las Vegas. While it aesthetically looks like the quintessential "Casino Park" level, especially at night, there is no form of "casino-type" gameplay.
  • 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!
  • Celebrity Paradox: Played with spectacularly. Phantasy Star Online 2 exists in-universe as a wildly popular MMORPG in future Japan, except it and Earth exists in an alternate dimension where Oracle doesn't exist. However, characters of PSO2 players become real in the ARKS' dimension, and since they act like video game characters with the associated mechanics, this has caused a rather strange problem between the original ARKS and the video game players. It's only when the Player Character uses PSO2 as an inter-dimensional gateway that this trope kicks in full force.
  • 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! Episode 4 expands it even further with additional customization options (including the long-awaited butt slider), resizable accessories, and even the ability to dictate where exactly your weapons stick to when they're not drawn.
  • Character Portrait:
    • Small windows featuring other characters can be utilized along with chat text.
    • The Vita version has Trophies. If you obtain a group of Trophies together in the order as described in the Trophies app, the Trophy icons will form one of these of the game's poster girls when viewed from the top down. The Episode 2 and Episode 3 expansions add three new Trophies each, both sets forming a picture of that Episode's poster girl as well.
  • Charged Attack: Of both varieties.
    • All techniques are of the "hold-to-charge" variety, ranging from extra pulses from Resta, a bigger fireball from Foie, etc. Nabarta is the sole exception to this, where holding the technique just simply prolongs it.
    • Some Photon Arts also charge the same way as techniques, but swords in particular take magnitudes longer to power fully without the aid of Sword Gear. Katanas, on the other hand, require you to time the release for the boosted damage.
    • Partizan and Wire Lance Gear 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.
    • Throughout Episode 2 Elder and Loser complain about the player character draining their energy while fighting them. Then in Episode 2 Chapter 6 it is revealed that Matoi/Claris Claes II absorbs the energy from Darkers she kills, and by the time Persona stabs her she has so much Darker energy stored up that the trauma causes that energy to go out of control and nearly turns her into the Profound Darkness. Then by the time of Episode 3 Chapter 6 the player character has about as much Darker energy stored up as Matoi, and when the two confront Double they are both nearly turned into the Profound Darkness (until Matoi ultimately takes both sets of energy and becomes the Profound Darkness herself).
    • In PSO2es's Chip Laboratory, Seraphy's My Room has one of those neat weapon displays that shows off a Launcher. She is later shown to be proficient with Launchers as her Weapon of Choice.
  • 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.
    • Even the guys aren't immune. Some male outfits, like Einzam and Heretic Lord, have high heels.
  • Combination Attack: Emergency Code: Unite invokes this, as clearing it requires you to perform them with NPCs to kill enemies.
  • 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.
    • Bosses don't explicitly adhere to the same boundaries you do. When bosses are found outside of their normal boss areas, it's common for parts of bosses to clip through walls, making it significantly harder to hit that particular spot. This can be especially frustrating if the boss's weak spot is out of sight.
  • Confused Question Mark: The Lobby Action "Head Tilt" pops this with the aforementioned head tilt.
  • Console Cameo:
    • Toro Kuro Nyau wears a PS Vita around his neck.
    • You can transform your MAG into a Dreamcast. No, not the character, but an actual, miniature SEGA Dreamcast.
    • You can acquire a Project DIVA Arcade machine and several variants of the Mai Mai machine as Jukebox reskins.
  • 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.
  • Cool Versus Awesome: If you succeed at phase one of the Magatsu battle, you will unlock phase two, where you and eleven others get to face off against several Magatsus at once in an A.I.S.
    • Thought fighting a 50-meter titan of darkness in Mini-Mecha was cool? How about fighting the Yamato in Mini-Mecha?
  • 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.
  • Cosplay: Thanks to numerous collaboration outfits and what-not, you can dress your character up as a variety of popular anime and video game characters. Your party may consist of a Vocaloid, a member of the Survey Corps., a legendary warrior summoned to do battle for the Holy Grail, and a CPU, and that's just scratching the surface.
  • 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.
    • After the power gamble that was the 1st Generation ARKS, Oracle's advancement's in Photon research in relation to lifeforms led to the 2nd Generation of ARKS post-Elder War, which attempted to solve the problem by having specialized photon affinities. What this meant was that many ARKS had one class they were good at, but sucked at anything else. This is prevalent in characters such as Zeno, who is weaker as a Hunter than as a Ranger, and Echo, who is outright incompetent as a Hunter.
  • 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. Unless set up a very particular build involving Crafted Weapons (see Difficult but Awesome), you probably won't be investing in crits all that much.
  • Crossover: With its main competitor Final Fantasy XIV, starring a PSO2 version of the Trial "Urth's Fount" versus the Elder Primal Odin. Outfits featuring the Miqo'te as well as XIV's Relic Weapons were also brought into the game.
  • Counter Attack:
    • Bravers can learn the skill Counter Edge, which allows Katana wielders to respond to a Just-Guarded attack with an extremely powerful, wide-ranged slice. If your timing is spot-on, you can even counter multiple consecutive attacks for enormous damage.
    • The Sword Photon Art Ignite Parrying isn't innately a Counter Attack in itself, but if the user hits the Guard button just when an attack is about to connect, the user negates the damage without stopping and the Art's remaining slashes increase in power.
  • 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 eight different locales (Forest, Tundra, Desert, Ruins, Floating Continent, Volcano, City, and Darkers Den), 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.
  • 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 10 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.
  • Dark Reprise: The Bad Ending of Episode 3, Chapter 7 features one of Episode 2's ending theme, "Living on like stars".
  • Dead All Along: Every single Kuronian. Double had gone and consumed them all way in advance; the Kuronians you're fighting are mere facsimiles of the original Kuronians.
  • 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.
    • Not so with Extreme Quests, as they consume rare and expensive Extreme Passes every time you want to give them a go. Fall in battle and have no way to revive? Have fun spending more Extreme Passes! Made even more painful if a whole party falls, as someone/everyone has to repay the fee for reentering.
    • In Quests where you have unlimited use of the AIS, getting killed makes little difference beyond a five-second respawn period.
  • 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.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • The Trophy List for the Vita version is upgraded with every new episode as expected. However, The Episode 4 release added PS4 support, several months before the PS4 version even got out of beta, due to the fact it still uses the same servers.
    • RINA and SORO's Partner Cards can't be used simultaneously because they're played by the same person.
  • 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.
      • For that matter, Vinto Gigue's Branched Attack. It takes time to execute and has extremely awkward timing to pull off, but it's one of the highest raw damage attacks in the game.
    • Crafted Weapons. Their stats can reach a staggering level, possibly surpassing even 12★ levels of power. However, crafting a rare weapon tosses the damage variance limiter applied to most rares out the window, causing Crafted Weapon damage to fluctuate wildy, rendering those awesome stats largely useless. However, with careful manipulation of the Skill Tree, it's entirely possible to create a Critical Hit-centric build that renders you far more powerful than what most other classes can get away with.
    • Forces require a lot of investment to get the ball rolling, including figuring out the best Subclass to use, grabbing a rainbow palettenote , Grinding and adding Potentials all of them, grabbing Compound Technics, deciding what Element to specialize in, and whatnot. In short, it's a massive time and resource sink compared to other classes that are significantly more straightforward. However, once all the pieces are in place, it will pay off.
  • 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.
    • The SEA version suffers from an awful case of this; due to the addition of exclusive mechanics and many Photon Arts and Techniques being reworked to match Episode 3 standards far earlier than expected, enemies on Very Hard have stats scaled to Super Hard difficulty seen on the Japanese version, while retaining the same level requirements. It's not uncommon to get steamrolled by regular Mooks upon first arriving on VH.
  • 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.
    • If you purchase the EPISODE 4 Deluxe Package, you get a 10★ Rappy Egg, based on Aika Suzuki's Rappy, that hatches into a Rappy Pet for the Summoner Class. This can easily carry you through much of early and mid game until you get other 10★+ Pets from mid to late game.
  • Distinguishing Mark: Dragon Ex has a very distinctive scar on its wing. Its rare counterpart, Noire Draal, has a different, more elaborate scar.
  • 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.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect: In Extreme Quests with Chrome Dragon involved, some Stage Orders require you to break parts. However, he only has two breakable parts to begin with, and Stage Orders generally ask for three or four. The only way to get more breaks is to let him summon Darkers and consume them before heading in for the kill; offing him too soon won't get you anything.
  • 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. The reason is simple: Quna is an agent of the Council of Six, and puts on performances when there is a large impending attack in order to draw a large number of ARKS to one place.
    • A badly executed War Cry can easily swamp you with more than what you can chew.
    • Zanverse creates an area of effect that causes damage inflicted within that area to be re-dealt to the same target at 20% potency. Thing is, all of that damage is attributed to the caster for the purposes of Hate Accumulation (read: aggro). If a lot of players are inflicting a lot of damage at once, an unlucky Squishy Wizard may find themselves being hounded by the very boss they were just beating the crap out of ten seconds ago.
  • Double Jump: Jet Boots enable the wearer to perform one.
  • Downer Ending: If you choose to Mercy Kill Matoi in the finale of Episode 3, you trigger a Downer Ending that reveals how this action (and your acceptance of Matoi's wish to die so that you and the rest of the universe can live) turns you into Dark Falz Persona.
  • 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.
    • Falz Daran/Darill act as a pair of individuals initially, but once one of them gets beaten up enough, they'll fuse together into the more dangerous Falz Darumble.
  • Dual Wielding: Dual Blades, obviously. They fight with a style reminiscent of nito-ryu.
  • Dualvertisement: The game does TONS of cross-promotion with various Sega franchises, popular anime, and even other video games. This includes:
  • Dub Name Change: The SEA version edited numerous terms, such as turning "Force" into "Wizard", "Techniques" to "Photon Magic", "Emergency Code: Attack" into "Emergency Code: Assault", and "Lisa" (the generally accepted translation) into "Risa" (the official translation). Needless to say, many of these changes highly irritated both fans of the game and older Phantasy Star fans.
  • 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.
  • Dump Stat: Dexterity/Aptitude. Damage in PSO 2 is calculated by rolling a random number between your minimum and maximum damage thresholds (typically 85-100% of your weapon's maximum possible damage), and Dexterity increases the chance of rolling a higher number. While this does even out your numbers somewhat, it does nothing to raise the upper level of damage you can do and is the least efficient way of increasing your DPS.

    Tropes E-G 
  • 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.
    • es eventually introduced "Weaponoid" Chips, special high-ranking and powerful Chips that were Anthropomorphic Personifications of weapons. Come Chapter 2, and a Fairy Companion named Moa joins your party, who happens to also be a Weaponoid himself.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Minor example; the Puella Magi Madoka Magica collaboration outfits, one of the first few collab outfits released, chained the hairstyle to the costume, causing the player's hairstyle to be overridden when the costume was worn. Every collab outfit since has kept the outfit and the hairstyle separate.
  • 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.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: If the scenery and schools didn't already tip you off, the Tokyo Tower can be seen in the distance while on the Earth Field.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Lorette Beldia from the Halloween Night Masquerade AC Scratch. May not necessarily be gothic, due to having a light pink color variant.
  • 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 Zandion has the player fusing their wind and lightning powers to dash around while hitting enemies with wind attacks and dropping lightning bolts on them. Likewise, Fomelgion has the player fusing fire and darkness powers to create a dual-element Wave Motion Gun. Lastly, Barantsion creates a pair of light-infused blades of ice that are wielded for a furious slashing combo.
  • 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 their own group of Darkers to control.
  • Eldritch Location:
    • The Darkers' Den, which among other weirdness, contains the devastated remnants of an ARKS Ship on its ceiling, that being comprised of a former City. It was also where Luther was able to conduct his experiments on cloning in secret.
    • The Pocket Dimension within Dark Falz Double is a vast red void filled with floating debris (Including what appears to be the remnants of an entire planet at its center) and creatures from around the universe, along with some random bits of colorful toy-like architecture. It's made more unsettling by the fact that the only ambiance there is the sound of children laughing.
  • Elite Tweak: With the variety of equipment, abilities and skillsets, this is entirely possible to do.
  • Enemy Mine: In Episode 3, due to the actions of Dark Falz Double.
  • 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.
    • The goal of Code: Escort is to protect an NPC while it digs up random items and meseta, or if it's a change over from Code: Protect, the NPC will try to find its' friend. You can still heal and buff it though.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Earth has a Tyrannosaurus Rex as an enemy.
  • Everything's Better with Samurai: The Braver class is known as "Samurai" in the SEA version.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Almost everything evil is going to be bigger than you. Dark Falz, Magatsu, the Profound Darkness, Yamato, you name it. The only exceptions are the Falz clones that Dark Falz Double produces regularly, Falz Hunar, who is just somewhat taller than the average player, and Persona, who is almost always roughly the same size as players, give or take. The "evil" can be argued in the latter case, since Persona is really a Well-Intentioned Extremist Anti-Villain version of the Player Character who just wants the best for the universe and Matoi.
  • 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 
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Certain specific Story Quests lock you into the bad route the first time, forcing you to watch the bad outcome. Alternate options are only unlocked by completing the stage and playing it over again.
  • Fanservice Costumes: Phantasy Star Online 2 is practically renowned for its diverse selection of these, skimpy or otherwise.
    • 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.
    • Cleavage Window: Matoi's Mikoto Cluster. Also, the Female Sinner's outfit.
    • Fundoshi: Released for the Oriental Expo scratch, with the girls donning Sarashi with theirs.
    • Hell-Bent for Leather: The Orakio costumes have a leathery texture and are skimpy regardless of gender.
    • Kimono Fanservice: Whether it be from the Taisho era or a New Year's furisode, they got them.
    • Latex Space Suit: Direct from Space Battleship Yamato 2199, in all their skintight glory.
    • 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: Too many to list. ARKS Trainee Uniform, Student S Repca, ARKS Blazers, Hoshihama Academy outfits, Tensei Academy outfits, Seiga Academy outfits...
    • Sarashi: Available as body makeup for male and female characters.
    • 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. The Edomaki Clara, on the other hand, leaves nothing to the imagination.
    • 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 and Suzuna Kushinada show off a bit of this. The latter by way of Cleavage Window.
    • Walking Shirtless Scene: Gokou Baori, Orakio Jacket, and Shizuru Repca.
    • 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, a summer season Emergency Mission, may occasionally feature the NPCs fighting in swimsuits! Ever wanted to see Echo in a bikini or Zeno in swim trunks? Heck, in its third iteration, players get a bonus for wearing a swimsuit during this mission, encouraging players to invoke this trope.
    • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Edel Serin and Active Camisole. 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.
      • This can also be pulled off with male characters by combining the IF Tights with an outfit that shows a lot of leg (such as Matsuri Soul.)
  • 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.
  • Field of Blades:
    • The May 2015 update included a Scenery Pass for players that allows their MyRoom to overlook the Trope Namer itself.
    • When you go fight Matoi Viel, the battlefield inexplicably has numerous weapons scattered around, giving off a downplayed version of this. One of them is a Coat Edge, which you use to kill Matoi.
  • Fighting Spirit: Ilios-type Photon Blasts function like this: upon being summoned, Ilios will float around you and attack enemies you target.
  • Final Boss: Each Episode has one.
    • Episode 1: Hadred, a plot-relevant Chrome Dragon. Dark Falz Elder is the Episode's Climax Boss, however.
    • Episode 2: Falz Angel, and by extension, Dark Falz Loser.
    • Episode 3: Viel Hunar, and by extension, The Profound Darkness.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: Launchers have Flame Bullet, a Photon Art that works by eating up PP in exchange for a constant stream of fire.
  • Fish People: Planet Vopal is home to a new type of native enemy, dubbed "Neptunians"/"Oceanids".
  • Fission Mailed: The first time you run the finale of Episode 3, you are forced into the Downer Ending where you Mercy Kill Matoi and shown the ending credits. This is purely so that the Stable Time Loop which creates Persona can come to pass, since Persona plays a critical role in the true ending.
  • 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.
  • Flunky Boss: Some of the bosses have reinforcements, should you bring along a couple of friends. Actual players specifically, NPCs don't count.
  • 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.
      • Also in Mining Base: Despair? The AIS, which is equipped with its own Photon Particle Cannon that's so powerful, it makes the cannon turrets that preceded it look like battery-powered fans, in comparison.
    • The Satellite Cannon photon art for rifles have these, courtesy of a Kill Sat.
  • 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.
  • For Want of a Nail: Part of the reason why Luther's plan's and Elder's resurrection were unfathomable by Xion? You killed Hadred. This allowed his body tissue to be sent to the past somewhere down the line, resulting in the creation of the Deuman race and vastly diverting the future.
  • Forced Level Grinding: Very early in the game's lifespan, unlocking new Quests followed the "classic" PSO model, where you would need to be a certain level before you could unlock the next set of Quests. However, this was far before balance patches reduced the amount of EXP needed to get through the first 30 levels, which meant cycling through Forest, Desert, and Volcanoes constantly before you could hit Level 30 and unlock Tundra. A patch on September 12th, 2012 fixed this by giving all Quests Normal difficulty and reducing the level requirements for Hard.
    • Successive patches have since attempted to avert this without making it too easy to achieve the level cap too soon, such as chopping down the EXP required for early and mid-game, turning Advance Quests into ideal Level Grinding zones with a permanent +100% EXP buff, and introducing 15000 EXP Tickets that give you 15000 EXP instantly upon consumption. This is still prevalent late-game, however, although this is also around the time where you have access to Super Hard Emergency Quests, which dispense ample EXP.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • 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...
    • If you look closely, the symbol that appears on the Phantoms' weak points when exposed is the ESC-A logo. This is the same brand that publishes the choice OS of modern-day Japan, as described by Rina Izumi in Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation.
  • Friendly Fire: If you let Melon or Maron sit at maximum charge, they'll eventually self-destruct on their own. If you happen to be standing near them while they do so, you'll also take the brunt of it. It can't kill you, but it can bring you dangerously close.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The ARKS logo has it written in small letters that it stands for Artificial Relict to Keep Species.
  • Fusion Dance: Fusion Technics work like this, where the user smashes together elemental orbs to create a new, powerful Technic, like Zandion and Fomelgion.
  • 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. :(".
  • Game Within a Game: Phantasy Star Online 2 Episode 4 has Phantasy Star Online 2. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • The Game Come to Life: In -ON STAGE-, Milla, a dewman NPC, ends up awakening in Takuya's reality. Unfortunately, Dark Falz also finds a way into the real world, as well.
    • Episode 4 begins with characters and phantoms leaping out of the game and into Tokyo. Subverted: according to the anime, PSO2's world is real and only presented as a game to earthlings.
  • 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. The AI-controlled clones can still be given specific tactics by the one who registered them as AI partners, but it doesn't help all that much, especially if you're not in contact with whoever registered them.
    • Any Pets that faint in battle are recalled and revived after a period of time. This can happen indefinitely, but since Pets are also your only method of attack, it's not recommended to let them bite the dust.
  • 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.
    • In gameplay during the climactic battles, you have entire parties of other players with you. Storywise however, these party members are usually the named ARKS characters, such as the trainers and more notably Matoi, whose gigantic kill count as Claris Claes II and helping defeat Elder and Loser is a big reason why she becomes the Profound Darkness.
  • Gameplay Grading: You're ranked at the end of every Quest based on several deciding factors. For most Quests, this involves Enemy Extermination Rate (how many enemies were defeated) and Revives (how many times did you get sent back to the Campship upon KO). Certain Quests use different factors instead; Time Attacks run solely on Time Elapsed, Mining Base Defense also grades on Mining Base HP, and most Story Quests grade on Damage Taken. This system is also used to deliver a certain sort of Player Punch later in the Story; in Episode 3, Chapter 7, "Saved Matoi" counts for 100 Points.
  • 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.
    • Within Episode 4, Hitsugi suffers from one of these... Except, in her case, it throws her avatar out of the game LITERALLY.
  • 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.
  • Gender-Neutral Writing: Due to the fact that you can quite literally be anyone you design, the game tries to uphold this throughout all story context. However, this is simultaneously played straight and averted due to discrepancies between voiced dialogue and text dialogue; almost all characters refer to your character with gender-neutral pronouns when in voice, but the text version has some characters clearly referring to you as male.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss:
    • When encountered in a multi-party area, bosses who can dig, such as Vol Dragon can go across the map instead of popping up near where it spawned.
    • A very unusual take with Dark Falz Double. It itself usually stays within close proximity of the players, but its weak spot, the only place where it's vulnerable, has a tendency to move around a lot, forcing players to chase after it.
    • Yamato isn't a fan of staying in one spot for long. It will dive into the ocean every few seconds and resurface elsewhere on the field, then open a barrage of laser attacks on players. Players will need to chase it using the High Boost skill to quickly move across the field.
  • 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!
  • Glass Cannon:
    • In the early days of the game, Katana Combat. Sure, you could basically fly across the battlefield and gained an insane power boost topped off by a ridiculous AOE finisher, but it was hard to use any of it when you still died to an enemy in four strikes. A later update granted Combat Escape, a Katana Combat augmentation that grants it invincibility, allowing them to go ham on bosses without fear of retaliation.
    • Forces and Techers could qualify for this department; they are both Squishy Wizards, but they can pack a punch if built correctly. Fighters could also be this with Limit Break on.
    • Against a properly geared player, everything in Solo XQ dies if you so much as punch it once. The problem being that those very same monsters can and will drop you just as easily.
    • Torim is the most fragile of the three Summoner Pets, possessing the lowest HP values and dying easily if not properly maintained. However, he also packs a huge punch with his Photon Arts, and is a formidable threat to foes on the battlefield.
    • The Bonus Quest version of Magatsu Sai dies to a single Weak Bulleted Photon Particle Cannon to the chest. However, his AI from the original EQ is retained, which means he hits really damn hard and is hyper aggressive like crazy.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Nyau, the adorable cat-like rare enemy, hosts and is the dealer for the Black Nyack Casino game.
  • 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.
    • Some fans have noticed that if you pause at just the right time during the scene where Hitsugi opens the menu and logs out of PSO2, it can be seen that the Main Menu is in English for no good reason, even though Hitsugi is Japanese and is playing from Tokyo.
  • 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.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Elder War, a massive counteroffensive instigated by the 1st Generation ARKS against Dark Falz Elder. It occurred 40 years before the start of the plot, and is often referred to by other characters. It was here that Regius, Casra I, and Klariskrays I became the Three Heroes and sealed Dark Falz Elder within Naberius.
  • 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.
    • Nowhere in the game alludes to the fact that Gameplay Grading affects drop rates.
  • Groin Attack: Some humanoid darkers have unfortunately placed cores. They usually come equipped with jock strap armor that you can break, which is surely a ''very'' heroic thing to do.
  • 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.

    Tropes H-L 
  • Happy Ending Override: Episode 4 quickly reveals that thanks to inheriting Time Travel from its host, the Profound Darkness was simply able to come back by bringing forward a version of itself that existed in the past. During the last two years you were asleep, ARKS was still fighting the Profound Darkness to the present day. Xiao has disappeared to find a way to prevent it from returning for good.
  • Harder Than Hard:
    • Super Hard difficulty. Aside from the general stat and level boosts, bosses and mooks also get revised AI that makes them tougher to deal with, as well as souped-up infection cores that can also fight back against players, such as sniping players with projectiles and giving the enemy the ability to Life Drain on hit. In addition, Falz Arms can show up as a random encounter. Yes, even in the Raging Dark Arms Emergency Quest.
    • 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, a special difficulty that cranks the enemies up to Level 80! Complete with some curve balls to ruin your day!
  • 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.
    • Summoners get HP Restorate, which naturally begins restoring HP at set intervals when the player's HP becomes low.
  • 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.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Baizes make a hellish noise of agony when attacked. Every time they're attacked.
  • High School: Hitsugi and Kouri attend Tensei Academy, a boarding school in Japan. It is located near its sister school, Seiga Academy, accessible via bus. You get to take a visit when you pop out of Hitsugi's PC to save her from a Phantom attack.
  • Hit So Hard the Calendar Felt It: Oracle went through a calendar reset when the ARKS was formed to counteract the Darker threat; the current calendar is referred to as "A.P.", or "After Photon".
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Wands reach farther than you'd expect. This is a particularly invoked case for balance; the weapon itself was slow and its reach was dismal when it was first released.
  • 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 (and/or Nyau) variant emerging.
    • The SEA version also tosses in alternate events in place of Japanese holidays, such as a Singapore/Malaysia Independence Day event in August and a Lunar New Year event in Winter.
  • Human Aliens: As far as Earth is concerned, Human ARKS, who are human, but aren't from Earth. Newmans and Deumans could almost classify as this, if they weren't Space Elves and Horned Humanoids respectively.
  • Human Popsicle: Cold Sleep Capsules, introduced in Phantasy Star Nova, are designed to cryonically preserve ARKS members and citizens for long-term travel, such as during planet scouting.
  • 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:
    • On September 12, each class was given a branch Class that used to be an unlocked class at 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.
    • The Reborn update brings about the Summoner class, who use batons to control powerful creatures that attack enemies and cast Techniques.
  • 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.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Pulled on Dark Falz Apprentice by Afin repeatedly. It eventually works.
  • 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.
  • Immediate Sequel: Aika's meeting with Hitsugi takes place literal days after the anime's epilogue, where an ARKS Ship materializes just outside the Moon, which also occurs in Episode 4 Chapter 2.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Let's face it, trying to replicate many of the outfits in this game and make them practical is hell in itself. And let's not get started with trying to figure out whatever the hell the clothes are made of in the first place. Heck, it's a wonder how Oval Load stays up despite being one bow away from a wardrobe malfunction.
  • In a Single Bound: Attack a Bikkuda Rabitta from afar, and no matter how far you're standing from it, it will take a massive leap and pound you into the ground in one swift motion.
  • 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 from the local Ultimate Quest (the Aries series) and from the Challenge Mile shop (the Ideal series). 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 10-meter tall Humongous Mecha that players can summon and jump into a la Titanfall and run around mass murdering Darkers and Magatsus with a Photon Saber and a Solid Vulcan capable of heavy supressing fire, missile spam, and spewing a Photon Particle laser, among other things. While initially introduced in Mining Base Defense: Despair, their overwhelming popularity lead to their inclusion in several other Quests, such as the Magatsu EQ and Mining Base Defense: Demise.
  • 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.
  • Interspecies Romance: Due to all races being based off of the Human race, it's possible for two people of different races to copulate and reproduce. Yes, even CASTs are eligible.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: The Summoner's Candy Box is essentially this. The Box takes the form of an 8x8 grid divvied up into smaller areas by way of various 1x1 colored blocks located semi-randomly across the Box. Candies you can acquire have a Size, and to boost a Pet's stats, the Candies must be sorted into the Box Tetris-style. To expand Box space, the player may acquire items to remove certain color blocks such as Caramels, although steel blocks cannot be removed. Additionally, to reduce the amount of space a specific Candy takes up in the Box, you can Grind it, which shrinks its size. However, rarer Candies have a higher scaling Grind Risk, and the smaller the Candy, the higher the Grind Risk.
  • 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 a specific variant of Emergency Code: Destruction that involves using special cannons to destroy them, although you can still choose to avoid them until the timer runs out.
  • 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.
    • The March 8, 2016 update adds an item-gathering system and a new shop that utilizes items gathered in Free Fields. Minerals can be used to craft Skill Rings, while fish, produce, and meat can be used to make Power-Up Food.
  • 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. There are some oddities however - taking a screenshot tends to cause long hair to quiver, and female chests seem to awkwardly jiggle from a default position into a resting position whenever a character model is suddenly loaded (such as changing clothes in the salon, or browsing players on the Mining Base Defense results screen).
  • 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, some of these ridiculous weapons are at least 10★ weapons. Umbrellas, paper fans, surf boards, lollipops, the list goes on. 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.
    • Defeated Big Vardha? GET OFF AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. The ship is going explode and can potentially blow you up if you just stand there.
    • 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.
    • Minor example; an obtainable outfit is of Homura sporting Madoka's hair ribbons, a style she only uses after Madoka Cosmic Retcon'd the universe at the end of the series.
    • A lot of the content of the story quests is a little awkwardly paced, which are somewhat handwaved by the time travel elements of the story. For example, pretty much every player who isn't playing the story content the moment each chapter releases is going to fight a major story-relevant boss such as Dark Falz Hunar during an Emergency Quest or random encounter long before they actually play the boss in the climactic fashion the story presents it in. Likewise, most players will fight one of the major, Emergency Quest-exclusive Dark Falz battles before they witness the events that reveal how that boss came to be. On a slightly lesser level, the start of most story quests shows a sweeping vista and introductory title card for the area you're about to embark exploration upon, despite the fact that you will have needed to visit that area several times in regular quests to complete Matter Board objectives beforehand.
  • 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.
  • Last-Second Ending Choice: In the true route of Episode 3 Chapter 7, you're still given the choice to kill Matoi, despite it being illogical to do so since you had already seen the outcome the first time you played the Chapter. Doing so instantly gives you the Bad Ending of the Chapter despite having taken the "good" route.
  • 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.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: A strange aversion to Console Cameo; many Japanese youth are seen playing PSO2 on handheld game systems that look suspiciously like the PS Vita, except the screen is larger and the buttons are different.
  • Legacy Boss Battle: Gal Gryphon from Phantasy Star Online, who makes his appearance in a special Limited Quest. His moves (as well as the arena and music!) are completely intact, and is still pretty nasty, if not nastier.
  • Leitmotif: Each of the Dark Falz bosses save for Apprentice have a particularly recognizable musical element associated with them.
  • 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.
  • Light Is Not Good: In Super Hard and above, the Infection Cores become bright and sparkly. Some even fire beams of light at the player.
    • Anga Fundarge is basically the Evil Counterpart of a Photon Blast. It has a white and gold body and all sorts of shiny techniques to wipe you out with.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Il Zonde does this quite literally, charging the player with electricity then making zip forward to damage enemies.
  • Like Cannot Cut Like: Downplayed; AIS Exoda in Demise greatly resists damage from other AIS, making it inefficient to take them down with one. Meanwhile, it's weak to damage from non-AIS sources, such as players on foot.
  • Limit Break:
    • The Mags' Photon Blasts. Unlike the previous game, however, they are limited to one blast type.
    • Fusion Technics. Level 70+ Forces can pick them up, and they are dual element "super" Technics that must be charged by attacking enemies with Technics. When cast, the user becomes temporarily invulnerable, and the attacks themselves deal incredible damage to anything in sight. Of the currently released Fusion Technics, there is Zandion (Wind/Lightning) and Fomelgion (Fire/Darkness).
    • A Fighter skill, literally called Limit Break, is a Cast From Hitpoints type Skill that trades max HP for a massive S-ATK boost. It also happens to trigger literally every other skill on the tree, which combine for an obscene stat bonus.
    • 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: 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.
  • Logical Weakness: Darker cores are susceptible to damage because the EPISODE 1&2 Materials Collection shows that Darker particles form around a central core to form a Darker.
  • 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.
    • The Rappy Pet has a voice clip where it says "kyu kyu~" in a SEGA jingle tone, much like the Lillipan voice ticket.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Luther/Double Saber Persona's boss theme. It's very possible to stomp them before you hear much of the track.
  • Lost Forever: A meta-example. If you download the free PS Vita version, you can only use a Japanese Playstation Network account to do it, and upon logging in for the first time, the game locks your SEGA ID to whatever account you used to log into the game. Which can be jarring for achievement hunters when they find out they just region locked their own account. Averted for anyone who buys the physical Deluxe Editions, as all PS Vita game cards are region-free.
  • 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.
    • Of course, the drop tables. You can boost it by activating Rare Drop Rate Boost bonuses, but the player must be wary of Drop Rate Boost bonuses, which are not the same thing; due to the way drop mechanics work, having a Drop Rate Boost over a Rare Drop Rate Boost can actually lower the odds of getting a Rare Random Drop!
    • PSO2es is a free-to-play mobile RPG with a collectible element, which means there's a gacha. Have fun with the esScratch if the RNG isn't having its way with you.
    • For that matter, forcing Passive Chips with rates of "Low" to trigger in es. Depending on your luck, this can either take no time at all or upwards of thirty seconds if the RNG doesn't like you that day.

    Tropes M-P 
  • 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 Genetics: Word of God states that Abyss/Absolute Order works on the genetic level. This prevents civilian non-ARKS from being affected by it.
  • 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.
    • Unleashed Prestige: Be prepared for a mad-dash through large crowds of mobs for twenty minutes, followed by another ten to twenty minutes battling the Phantom Warship Yamato.
  • Master of All: 3rd Generation ARKS are this. Because of advancements in Photon compatibility with lifeforms, 3rd Gen ARKS have a high competency for any Class. This is a longshot from 2nd Gen and 1st Gen ARKS, the former tend to be specialized and poorly suited for Classes not of their own, while the latter simply tended to be all over the place; you were either extremely capable or barely capable.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Like Algol, Naberius is named after the fictional demon, Amduscia is likewise named after the demon King Amdusias, Lilipa is named after Lilliput, a fictional location from Gulliver's Travelsnote  Vopar/Vopal was most likely either named after the Vorpal Sword from media related to Alice in Wonderland or the demon Vepar.
    • Dark Falz Elder is the oldest Dark Falz aside from the Profound Darkness, Apprentice is Elder's apprentice, Double has two hosts and possesses copying powers, Loser was created when Luther lost control of the Arks after losing to the player and Persona is an alternate timeline's version of the Player Character.
    • Like Rag Rappies, which can only be found on Ragol, Nab Rappies can only be found on Naberius
  • Meat Moss: The Darker Nest seems to be made of flesh and metal.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Robotic enemies appear one planet Lillipa.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: Summoners. Not only are they relatively non-combative compared to other classes, the introduction of Pets brings up a whole new slew of mechanics associated with them, to the point where Pets have their own facility dedicated to them, the Pet Laboratory.
  • Mega Twintails: Straight Large Tails, Intake Large Tails and Casual Large Tails are past waist-length, and HUGE.
  • MŕlÚe Ó Trois: Happens whenever the Arks (Player Characters), the native fauna of the planets they explore and the Darkers meet in the same place.
  • Mercy Invincibility: You cannot be hit while on the ground or while getting up. However, you can still be hit while you're sailing through the air after taking a hard hit, which can lead to some unfortunate deaths if a fairly weak attack tosses you into something much more deadly, or you just get hit by a combo.
  • 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.
  • Microtransactions:
    • In the form of ARKS Cash, or AC for short. AC can be used for paid, although unnecessary, functions such as buying Premium Sets, special MAG Devices, expanding your inventory, or trying your luck on the Scratch Cards for a shot at the exclusive outfits and usable items. If you also have es, you can also use it on the esScratch for a shot at rare and powerful Chips. Players with the iOS version of the game can also buy themselves iAC, which functions identically to AC, except it cannot be transferred to the main game.
    • Episode 4 introduced Star Gems, a pseudo-replacement for AC that can be bought with AC and used in similar fashions, except that it can be earned for free in-game, albeit at very slow rates. The functions it provides are merely convenience features, such as recharging Stamina for Gathering and number of times a Pet can be fed. The June 2016 update introduced the Treasure Shop, a shop that wheels and deals in Star Gems primarily. This shop enables players to purchase Emergency Quest Triggers and tries at SG Scratch, a Scratch played with SG and functions similarly to AC Scratch.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: As Regius demonstrates, Arks that are issued an Abyssal Order (which is a mind-controlled ultimatum) have their eyes glow red.
  • Mini-Game: Casino Area aside, there's also ARKS Ball, a soccer/football game in the Lobby where teams of players compete to score ten points, and ARKS Dance Festival, a concert where players can dance along by inputting timed commands in a rhythm game-esque fashion.
  • 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 Quests such as Despair, Demise, and Yamato.
    • In Las Vegas, you can board the Rideroid, a small jet-equipped vehicle on two legs that can be used to traverse the city.
  • 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:
  • Moe Anthropomorphism: The "Weaponoid" chip series in es, whose art depicts personifications of the various weapons in the game. Many of them fall into this category, some of them qualify for another.
  • 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.
  • More Dakka: Million Storm manages to accomplish this for a Bow. Using it fires an endless stream of photon-based arrows to rip apart your enemies; the longer you hold the button, the more arrows you can push out.
  • Mundane Utility: In the distant past, Oracle originally used Photons as a source of illumination due to its omnipresence across the universe. It eventually came into other uses as more research was performed.
  • 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. His theme, as well as one of the more dramatic cut-scene pieces, also contains the opening notes from Phantasy Star Online: Episode III's main theme.
    • Shironia's background music contains a very obvious throwback to a riff from "Mizuraki C.D." from Phantasy Star Universe, which can be heard very early on in the original track. A more subtle reference in PSO2's field music comes in the form of a very small section of PSO's Seabed theme, "Abysmal Ball" appearing in Skyscape's music, though it is easier to hear on the soundtrack version of the song, due to rarely appearing in the dynamic selection of music sections heard in-game.
    • The fight against The Profound Darkness skips the "new song with sample from old song" formula altogether and flat-out remakes Ooze and IDOLA the strange fruits from Phantasy Star IV and Phantasy Star Online respectively.
  • 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". Not only is this a reference to the Bigger Bad of Phantasy Star IV, it also cleverly foreshadowed the existence of the Profound Darkness two years in advance.
    • 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.
    • Episode 3 added the Casino, allowing you to win exclusive items with Casino Coins.
    • Dark Falz battles still continue the "IDOLA" naming tradition with their themes.
    • 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. The Zestiria Collection AC Scratch also contains ensembles that of Chelsea from Phantasy Star Portable 2, and Hyuga Ryght (based on his Infinity appearance).
    • 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.
    • Ultimate Lillipa contain a lot of new machine aberrations. The new Signo variant can remind one of Sinow Blues and Reds from PSO-1's ultimate mines. One of the unique bosses, Zeta Guranz, is none other than an upgrade of the CCS area's Epsilon, complete with four shields, laser spin, and now legs. It even inherits some traits of the Garanz enemy from Phantasy Star Online, such as its missile-launching attacks.
    • Ultimate Naberius' replacements for Za Oodans are called Gibbloodans. Their design takes some cues from Gibbles, a mini-boss from PSO-1.
    • When teleporting to the boss battle against Final Fantasy XIV's Odin, there is a transitionary cutscene with the name of the area (The Black Shroud: Urth's Fount) displayed. Odin's stronger attacks also have telegraphed AOE indicators before they are executed, a holdover from battles in FFXIV.
  • 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, received very significant damage nerfs, cutting its original damage output to less than half of what it used to do. That being said, it's still good at dealing damage, it just doesn't steamroll everything like it used to.
    • Clones were nerfed very badly to the point of being borderline non-threats. As they are now, they hit for a fraction of the damage they used to hit and die far faster than they used to.
    • 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.
    • Generally, SEGA will more or less nerf aspects that result in overpowered strategies that everyone relies on. For example, the Nabarta/Elysion combo was badly hit by nerfing both Crafted Nabartas and Innocent Appearance. The aforementioned Gunner nerf was made in response to players not playing the class how it was intended (Combo oriented), and it didn't pan out as expected; Gunners went from being one of the most popular classes to being one of the least popular classes almost literally overnight.
  • Neglectful Precursors: It's noted that the Photoners were as lazy as hell; this created the Profound Darkness because their laziness allowed their man-made Xion replica to become corrupted with negative Photons.
  • New Media Are Evil: A literal, and rather unique, twist to the concept. For some reason, the same Applied Phlebotinum that makes The Alternet of 2028 run also happens to power the Phantoms, hostile constructs that threaten Earthlings and ARKS alike.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: It happens a lot. In Episode 2, stopping Luther saves the lives of everyone onboard Oracle, but creates a new Dark Falz.
    • In Episode 3, Persona's Heroic Sacrifice saves the life of Matoi, but inadvertently gives the power of Time Travel to The Profound Darkness, allowing it to infinitely revive from defeat. What's more, the creation of The Profound Darkness tears such a wound in space-time that it affects the parallel world of Earth, paving the way for the creation of Mother Cluster and the Phantoms.
  • 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...
    • The Phantom-type enemies in Tokyo are stranger still: their ranks include zombies with blades and machine guns hidden in their torsos, tanks that can summon missile launchers of varying shapes and sizes, polar bears that can split their heads in half to project larger hidden mouths, Tyrannosauruses Rex that can stick their skulls out of their stomachs to use as a Wave Motion Gun, and for the field's boss, bullet trains fusing together into a three-headed dragon ala King Ghidora.
  • 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. Extra Hard then goes and gives him even faster attacks, a shield that appears over his main weak point, and new moves (including a double time stop!) Have fun!
    • Mining Base Defense: Despair. Not only are bossess and Elite Mooks far more plentiful than in previous iterations, but the field is wider and there are far greater elements in place that single-handedly threaten entire runs with their presence, including Darker Particle Cannons, which One-Hit Kill Mining Bases if left unchecked, infected Campships, which kill players as fast as you can say "Oh Crap!", and the addition of new Waves with Falz bosses and greater enemy numbers than ever before. You get the A.I.S. on your side for this mission, but if you're not careful with how you use them, you can still throw an entire run down the drain with one slip.
    • It's basically impossible to get a net gain out of playing Mesetan Shooter without bringing friends. An update lowered its difficulty, but it's still difficult to acquire more Casino Coins than you paid for without at least one extra player.
    • Extreme Quests can get fairly nasty even for parties towards the end stages. The Solo Extreme Quest deserves special mention, which pits one player against nigh-insurmountable odds, AKA heaps upon heaps of ridiculous Level 80 boss fights.
  • 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.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: Karin does not wear an ARKS Trainee Uniform. No one seems to know why.
  • Nostalgia Level: Gal Gryphon's arena was basically ripped straight out of Phantasy Star Online and given updated textures. Gal Gryphon even makes its appearance the same way!
  • Not Completely Useless: While the majority of Partners are only good for being meat shields and drawing Hate from enemies you aren't fighting, some are actually decent to have around. For example, Echo (EP3) knows War Cry in spite of being a Force, allowing her to distract enemies for you. Ranger Partners also know Weak Bullet most of the time, although they treat it the same as a normal attack and won't necessarily fire it where you want it. Friend Partners with optimized builds can also deal actually respectable damage if their normal damage output is high enough.
  • 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.
    • Some players may keep a Rod, Talis, or Wand around on their Weapon Palette even if they have zero offensive use for it, because holding one gives the user Mirage Escape. Mirage Escape is the game's longest evasion maneuver, and thus gives the most invulnerability, which makes escaping sticky situations much easier than if one used Step/Dive Roll/Stylish Roll/Mirage Step.
    • In boss fights where One-Hit Kill attacks are involved, many players don't bother using their Photon Blasts for actually attacking; rather, they save them for when said One-Hit Kill attacks occur, so they can survive them by abusing the Photon Blast's ten-second invincibility window.
    • Techers were introduced as a class that specialized in support techniques, with Wand Gear providing some melee ability to distinguish them from the long-range Forces. Yet the sheer burst damage of a fully-charged Wand Gear combined with the enemy-gathering power of the Zondeel technic is so ridiculously effective at clearing large groups of mobs that "melee Techers" are by far the most popular build.
    • Jet Boots in a nutshell. They were designed to be melee weapons that used T-ATK to determine damage, which would let them be Magic Knights. The Switch Strike skill lets them change to S-ATK, presumably so that S-ATK Bouncers (specialising in Dual Blades) could also use Jet Boots. However, because there is no subclass that supports both melee combat and T-ATK, the most dominant Jet Boots builds are based around S-ATK.
    • The Katana PA Guren Tessen is known more for its ridiculous travel speed than its damage. It's one of the fastest ways to navigate short of Katana Combat if you have enough PP to spam it.
    • Some players may put items on their Player Shop for overtly exorbitant prices when the item in question isn't worth a fraction as much. Why? Because it frees up inventory space.
  • 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 a 10★+ 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. This also applies if a player/partner gets hit with an attack that inflicts Weak Bullet.
    • Sometimes in Single-Party Areas or after completing a mission on Very Hard or higher, 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. Subverted when the real reason for Quna's live performances (to get as many Arks in one place as possible to prepare for an oncoming threat) is revealed.
  • 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
  • Older Than They Look: A lot of characters are much older than they appear to be. For example, Zeno is actually almost as old as Huey, Matoi is 18, and most CASTs have crazy ages; Regius is 73 years old. It's justified in the last-most case, since CASTs are also robots and look the same consistently. Though as Regius himself has proven, CASTs are not immune to looking rustier over the years.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • Guar Zigmorde's so-called "instant death" attack, where she attacks with an area-wide slash that causes a wisp to appear over the heads of those affected. If you wait too long, she will follow up with a second attack that will one-shot all affected players instantly.
    • Dark Falz Apprentice's Wave Motion Gun has an extremely high chance to one-shot most players not protected by invulnerability or Iron Will/Automate/Dear Master. It also one-shots AIS and Mining Bases.
    • Odin's Shin-Zantetsuken, as is Final Fantasy tradition. Once he starts it up, the battle becomes a fight to the finish; failing to kill Odin before it goes off results in the death of the entire Multi-Party, no questions asked.
    • The advanced version of the Profound Darkness uses these as regular attacks. If your HP isn't at least 1300, it can and will one-shot you with extremely high frequency.
  • One-Hit Polykill:
    • Penetrating Bullet for Assault Rifles. It doesn't do a lot, but it goes straight through enemies, allowing you to hit multiple enemies in one attack.
    • End Attract seems like it would be this, but it stops at a single enemy. Instead, it penetrates through an enemy, dealing continuous damage throughout. Against boss monsters, one fully charged bullet burns through health faster than the lava of Amduscia.
    • Last Nemesis for Bullet Bow takes the cake. Single piercing arrow that hits for astounding damage, and with enough R-ATK and damage multipliers, you can mow down a line of enemies in one blow.
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • Most Dark Falzes have this, the specifics of which are difficult to describe.
    • Averted with Dark Falz Apprentice Gia; while it is a Falz form, it isn't complete, as it requires the essence (read:host body with Apprentice) of Dark Falz Apprentice to become complete. Guess where it decides to look?
    • 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.
  • Only the Knowledgable May Pass: Meta example. To play the game, you are required to possess a Japanese SEGA ID. Since this is usually the only game of interest to foreign players that requires it, many potential players are subject to the account creation process. This comes with a standard-issue captcha, which wouldn't be so bad... if it wasn't Hiragana based. This requires a rudimentary knowledge of the Japanese kana alphabet; if one does not know anything about Japanese kana, they can expect to either have their recognition skills tested or ask a friend who does.
  • 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.
    • The boss of the Tokyo Free Field, Train Ghidoran, is a hydra-esque dragon formed out of multiple sentient trains.
  • 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.
  • Painting the Medium: When Hitsugi travels into PSO2 for the first time, the process of being transferred is depicted as her "loading" into the game, replete with interactable loading screen.
  • 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 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. A different variant comes in the form of Type C bosses, which are Red and Black and Evil All Over.
    • 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.
    • Unusually, Cyleion, an NPC in Franka's Cafe, is a copy of Hyperion, but with orange tertiary colors instead of green.
    • At the end of Chapter 3 in es, you face Dante, an Org Keratos with a unique color scheme and weakness distribution (Light/Dark).
  • 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.
  • Pi˝ata 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.
  • Play Every Day: The game encourages this by granting you FUN Points in increasing values for every consecutive login, starting with 100 FUN on the first day and up to 500 FUN on the fifth day.note  You can also get Login Stamps, which granted a neat present for every five days you logged in. There are also a variety of things that run on a 22-to-24-hour clock, including Daily Orders, Extreme and Casino Coin Passes, and certain Client Orders.
    • An update overhauled the Login Stamp system by gifting you an item every day and sweetening the pot, such as granting Este Passes and Grind Skips.
    • es has a more downplayed version of this by giving you a small pittance of Meseta and 100 FUN Points every day you log in, though it doesn't have to be consecutive. You can also earn coveted Rappy Medals for every 3rd and 5th day you log in, which can be exchanged for Drive recharges and rare Chips.
  • 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.
  • The Points Mean Nothing: Played with. In Mining Base, you gain points from killing enemies or collecting Crystals. While the points from killing enemies are completely arbitrary, the points from collecting Crystals are not, as they help fund important tools such as Base Recovery and AIS. However, both systems count toward a "total" score, and at the end of each Wave and at the end of the Quest, every player in the current Quest is ranked based on how many points are collected that round. This system is also completely arbitrary and exists purely for bragging rights.
  • PokÚmon 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 Fusion Technics makes the caster glide as movement.
    • Prolonged usage of Nazonde in the air keeps you suspended mid-air until you drop the attack.
  • The Power of Friendship: In the final battle against The Profound Darkness, the players who clear the boss fastest contribute towards a massive HP/PP buff for the players who are still fighting, making things easier for them. This buff is appropriately called, "ARKS".
  • 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.
    • The March 8, 2016 update adds a restaurant that can make stat-boosting food from fish and produce gathered in free fields and meat from defeated monsters.
  • 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.
  • Punny Name: "Type C" enemies, a red-black colored variant of regular non-Darker bosses found in PSO2es. Arriving to a fight against one unprepared can lead to a world of hurt. The pun? In Japanese, the letter "C" would be pronounced as the character "shi", which sounds like both the word for the number "four" and the word for "death".
  • Purple Is Powerful: With the Katana Gear, Bravers can envelope themselves in a fiery violet aura that boosts their critical rate.
  • Purposely Overpowered: The A.I.S. (ARKS Intercept Silhouette) (See Instant Awesome, Just Add Mecha.) It comes equipped with a portable Photon Particle Cannon, and will make mincemeat of pretty much everything. However, it comes with a strict time limit; over-use makes it vulnerable to Darker infection and possession. Thus it is only used sparingly, such as Mining Base Defense: Despair/Demise, Gold Magatsu and Phantom Yamato.

    Tropes R-T 
  • 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: Randomly-occurring "Emergency Trials" happen every so often in Quests, and can be anything from defeating a group of enemies or even a boss to collecting a bunch of items and returning them to a designated point. There's no penalty for ignoring them, with the exception of a rare few that block your progress until completed.
  • Rank Inflation: At the end of a Quest, you're given a grade based on a variety of factors, and grades can range from C through S.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over:
    • The Darkers' default color scheme. Rare variants go for lots of red instead. Dark Falzes like a more varied palette, though.
    • The rare version of Chrome Dragon, Haze Draal, is black-and-red instead of white-and-red, which happens to make it look quite a lot like the Darkers it summons and devours.
    • Type C enemies in es are Palette Swaps of regular bosses, but in this color scheme. Not helped by the red haze that constantly accompanies them.
    • Donovan in es. It'd be more surprising if she weren't evil with that palette.
  • 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 NPCs 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.
  • Retconjuration: This is the Matter Board's actual ability; by collecting "Matter" via nodes, the player is able to edit the past and create possibilities not foreseen by the Akashic Record.
  • Retro Upgrade: The Fighter, Gunner, and Techer classes were once used by ARKS in the distant past, but were eventually retired due to being rendered obsolete by the Hunter, Ranger, and Force classes. However, the Fighter, Gunner, and Techer classes were subsequently revived in A.P. 238 due to advancements in technology and outfitted with everything new to make them bright and shiny classes again.
  • 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!
  • Rock Beats Laser: In the 5th opening, the Battleship Yamato and a fleet of World War II-era biplanes are seen trouncing a Zerg Rush of A.I.S. The ARKS still manage to gain the upper hand through sheer numbers and a special weapon.
  • 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.
  • Sad Battle Music: Combined with Lonely Piano Piece for the battle against Matoi Viel.
  • 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.
    • The Pocket Dimension Double holds all it consumes in is a barren wasteland littered with fragments of various iconic scenery from previously-visited fields, such as remnants of pagodas from Shironia, and building rubble from the City. Naturally, practically every enemy type in the game appears here as well.
  • 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!
    • The Black Territory/Kuron may be one of the most aesthetically fantastic areas yet.
    • Thanks to the Stage 6 graphics setting, All of the areas fall into this. See for yourself with the Tokyo Game Show 2015 Trailer.
  • 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.
  • Schr÷dinger's Gun: Overlaps with Schr÷dinger'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. Hilariousin Hindsight when you move onto the 4th Episode and anime.
  • Screw The Rules, I Have Absolute Authority: At the end of Chapter 2. Quna uses that she is the head of the Council Of Seven, and defacto leader of ARKS, to release all the corrupt dealings Luther and his cronies did behind her back.
  • 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.
  • Shoot the Hostage: One cutscene involves Apprentice chokeholding Afin and putting a Twin Dagger to his throat while she tosses his Gunslash, preventing him from fighting back. You pick up the Gunslash and charge a Penetrating Bullet, and whether you want to or not, you shoot them both, knocking them out.
  • 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...
  • Short-Range Shotgun:
    • Diffuse Shell for Assault Rifles. It has pitiful range, and will probably hit about three meters in front of you. However, it packs a huge punch and knocks down instantly, and if you happen to peg a monster in the face, with the right skills you can be almost guaranteed to One-Hit Kill regular Mooks.
    • Nazan is the Technic version of this. The effective range is absolutely horrendous, but it deals gigantic damage to whatever's in front of you, and on smaller enemies, it also deals absurd Knockback.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Sega Stars Collection and Sega Platinum Selection are a collection of costumes and weapons from other Sega franchises. Ranging from Selvaria's outfit and hairstyle to Arle's ensemble, the players can cosplay as them if they wish.
    • 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 planet Lillipa is named after a continent of little people in Jonathan Swift's novel Gulliver's 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.
    • The Sonic Knuckle is available as a Weapon Camo, which mimics Knuckles' gloves.
    • There are three Puyo Puyo themed Mag evolution devices: a Green Puyo, a Red Puyo, and Carbuncle.
    • Played with with the Egg Blasters. The weapon was originally from Phantasy Star Online, but was a Rifle. In Online 2, it's been reclassed as Twin Machineguns as a reference to Sonic Riders.
    • Most likely unintentional, but Chrome Dragon looks disturbingly similar to an Evangelion.
    • 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.
    • Train Ghidoran is a bit of an on-the-nose Expy of King Ghidorah that uses train tracks similar to the ones used by the train-themed heroes, Kamen Rider Den-O and Ressha Sentai Tokkyuger, both shows also being of the Tokusatsu meta-genera, tough they are part of the live action version of the Henshin Hero sub-genera and not the Kaiju sub-genera.
  • Show Within a Show: One of the fan videos Sega played on the lobby monitors in the spring of 2015 was a fan-made Super Sentai parody made within PSO2.
  • 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.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Strangely, the Summoner does not appear in the 5th opening sequence for the game despite being billed as the face of EPISODE 4; instead, the A.I.S. take center stage.
  • Situational Sword: Salus Punisher's Hidden Potential. It provides a whopping +27% damage... but only during the hours of 9 to 3.
  • Skyscraper City: The City Area has lots of tall buildings to navigate around. Tokyo being, well, Tokyo, is also this.
  • 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.
    • Partizans get in on the action with Tears Grid, an Art where they jab with the Partizan an innumerable amount of times before finishing off the target with a powerful thrust.
  • 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"?
    • Thanks to Japanese Ranguage, a lot of "official" spellings for character names in the credits can vary wildly from their translations given by the fan translation. For example, Lisa is "Risa" in the credits, and "Melphonsina" is "Melfonseana".
  • 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.
  • Spoiler Title: Long-time fans of the series might be able to realize from the start that Naberius is home to a sealed Dark Falz.
  • 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:
    • Burn: Gradually reduces HP. Capable of spreading to others in close proximity.
    • Freeze: Renders you completely immobile.
    • Shock: Causes you to twitch occasionally, throwing off attacks and leaving you vulnerable.
    • Mirage: Causes attacks to miss randomly.
    • Panic: Causes enemies to attack one another. Players, on the other hand, have their directional controls scrambled.
    • Poison: Gradually reduces HP. Unlike Burn, which deals flat damage per tick, Poison damage scales with your max HP.
    • Stun: Renders you completely immobile. Wears off faster by spinning the analog stick/mashing the movement keys in a circular motion.
    • Jellen: Decreases ATK stats.
    • Wound: Maximum HP Reduction.
    • Weak Bullet: Multiplies damage taken. On monsters, Rangers can target specific spots to afflict this condition on.
  • Stat Stick: Because you can't really fight with them, Batons only serve to give you extra ATK.
  • 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.
  • Stop Poking Me!: Weaponoids will give these types of reactions if you tap them in the Lobby.
  • Stripperific:
    • Bluesy Rhapsody. Her outfit wouldn't be out of place in pornographic material.
    • Many an outfit, but special mention goes to the Smart Inner, a default Innerwear piece that covers little more than the essentials. While it's intended for clothes that show a lot of skin, it's enough to make even non-players tilt their heads.
  • 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.
    • Melon and Maron, a pair of Pets for the Summoner, have this as their main gimmick. Once they've been hit enough, they'll inflate to large sizes and begin to blow off steam, at which point you can use a Photon Art to throw them at enemies like a grenade for massive damage. Maron Strike, Maron's throwing PA, has the highest power of any existing attack at 25,500, but using it knocks him out instantly. Conversely, Melon Strike, Melon's throwing PA, is substantially weaker, but to compensate, Melon can be chucked multiple times in a row before going out.
  • Suddenly Voiced:
    • Hadred, right on the verge of his death, after having been Quna's silent friend for who-knows-how-many years.
    • Seraphy in Chapter 2 of es. Her only other voiced appearance was when she cameo'd in the main game as a representative for her game, and she didn't get many lines at that.
  • Summon Magic: The Summoner Class. It's in the name!
  • Super-Deformed: Tama-hime, which looks like a miniature chibi version of Sukuna-hime.
  • Superpower Lottery: 1st Generation ARKS literally worked like this. Due to unrefined Photon compatibility, whether an ARKS member was competent at wielding Photon energy varied wildly. You either got ridiculously competent members, near-useless members, or anything in between. Regius and Maria won the lottery, but were forced to sacrifice their original bodies for CAST bodies due to their original bodies being unable to withstand the sheer power.
  • 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.
    • The avatar summoned by the Ilios Imera Photon Blast attacks using these.
  • Swords/Guns Akimbo: Dual Blades, Wired Lances, Twin Daggers, and Twin Machineguns.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: The Clarissa, a Genesis Weapon which can absorb, transfer and purify corrupted photons. This ability makes it invaluable to certain characters throughout the first three Episodes, and since it contains a copy of Xion's consciousness, it can act as the final key to her Core.
    • From -ON STAGE-, Star Quaser, the katana used by the legendary ARKS "R", is the only weapon that can defeat Dark Falz.
  • Synchronization: The Summoner Skill "Alter Ego" has this effect: in exchange for boosting attack power, you'll take damage when your Pet gets hit.
  • 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.
  • Tank Goodness: One of the Phantoms is a modern-day tank that can blow you up with its cannon, launch a Macross Missile Massacre, burn you with its flamethrower, or nuke the surrounding area with a giant honking rocket.
  • 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 battles against Dark Falz Elder or 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 Vita version, conversely, only supports up to four players in the shot. If you aren't in a full party, any remaining slots are filled by other random participating players.
  • 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.
  • Terse Talker: The Dragonkin on Amduscia usually speak like this.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Hitsugi learns this the hard way in the first episode of Chapter 4. In the anime, it's revealed what could have ended up happening to her. And it's revealed that almost all the computers in 2028 have Phantasy Star Online 2 installed...
  • 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".
    • Katana Photon Arts feature Floral Theme Naming as a Bilingual Bonus, such as Sakura-Endonote  and Kazan-Nadeshikonote .
    • 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. This gives the player pinpoint-precise aim, and it is often recommended to master it to attack targets that your lock-on can't latch onto.
  • Throw It In: In-universe example; when a Secret Stage starts in an Extreme Quest, Karin will briefly mention not having included it in the training program, then tells the player to roll with it.
  • 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. Each bomb has glowing lines running across its side connecting an unlit node to a lit node on the other end via tracks that direct the player to move up or down across the maze; defusing the bomb is a matter of deciphering which of the unlit nodes, Top, Middle, or Bottom, links directly to the lit node. However, 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.
  • Time Skip: Two years pass between Episode 3 and Episode 4, during which you remain in Cold Sleep.
  • 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.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: When the ARKS discover the planet Earth, where do they decide to land? Why, Tokyo, of course!
  • 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.
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • Many AC consumables, including Scape Dolls and Cosmos Atomizers. It costs real money to get them, so odds are, you either won't get them or you'll never use them because you're waiting for that exact moment when you absolutely have to use it. Downplayed with Half Dolls, which are distributed for free via the Stamp Card and various promotional events, but the player can only carry one at a time, so figuring out the best situation to expend your only one can be a task.
    • Grind Rate Up (+100%). It allows you to bypass the RNG and get any single grind guaranteed. However, they're one of the few items you can't get through either AC Scratch or the normal course of gameplay; they're only ever event-distributed and untradeable at that, so you'll only ever have a handful at once.
  • 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.
  • Total Party Kill:
    • If Magatsu breaks the final gate, it will unleash a blast that wipes out everyone in the party.
    • In Demise, Apprentice has a charging Wave Motion Gun she'll launch every so often. If the charge isn't stopped before the attack is launched, it's basically a Non Standard Game Over; the beam is a One-Hit Kill against players, AIS, and Mining Bases.
  • Transforming Mecha: The Tranmizer miniboss, as well as the core of the Big Vardha.
  • Trap Master: In addition to the regular guns-and-bullets assortment, Rangers are also fluent in Trap Skills. They can passively search out set enemy traps before they activate, and they can lay down their own traps that can inflict various status conditions or launch enemies.
  • 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.
  • Turns Red: Notably, Orota Biketta can do this. If you trigger both of its alarms, it becomes enraged and begins rampaging around the area while slamming everything around it with its gigantic lollipop. Unless you're fairly tanky, it's pretty easy to die to this. A fair number of bosses also get it, usually denoted by a specific animation accompanied by an aura/sound shockwave.
  • Turtle Power: Zeshrayda looks like some unholy fusion of Blastoise and Gamera.
  • Twenty Minutes into the Future: Episode 4 reveals that the entirety of the plot takes place little more than a decade in the future.
  • 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.
    • Most of these can be used to level your support partner, who can also be used to take part of the work as long as it has the right level and equipment to actually beat the required enemies.
    • 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.

    Tropes U-Z 
  • Uncanny Valley: In-universe, the "mysterious ARKS": a group of new ARKS members that look like regular ARKS members, but act rather strangely, behaving somewhat out-of-character and being capable of unusual actions such as "Logging Out", where they spontaneously disappear without warning or trace. As it turns out, the "mysterious ARKS" are Digital Avatars of video game players on Earth.
  • 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:
    • Several of the Dragonkin found in the Skyscape are the same as those native to the Volcano, but in pale blue and white colors instead of reddish orange (and weak to darkness rather than ice). Even the area mid-boss, Caterdra'nsa, is just a recolored Caterdra'n; in fact, they share the same rare variation.
    • The Aberrations faced in Ultimate Quests are massively powered up versions of previous enemies with new attacks. While the Darkers are simple Palette Swaps with a stronger black and red, many of the other Aberrations are visually completely different from their original counterpart. This is especially true with the bosses — Vol Dragon's Aberration is a giant bird found on Naberius, while Lillipa has mechanical versions of the Banshee and Banther.
  • Underwater Ruins: Vopal's Seabed.
  • Unexpected Character: Sachiko Kobayashi, famous enka singer. She performs in-game with her own concert.
  • 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.
  • Unique Items: Every item in the game can either acquired from someone else or you can gain multiple copies of. However, some Camos can only be acquired via Title Rewards, as well as the Coat Doublis, the "pure" version of Persona's Coat Doublis D, a very powerful one-of-a-kind Double Saber that you can get from getting 100% Completion on Matter Board 3-7.
  • 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).
  • Urban Fantasy: Everything happening on Earth is this.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Reverser Field. Revive your friends for free! Except it has a cooldown of 10 minutes, which means that unless it's called "Mining Base Defense", you're only going to be using it all of once most of the time. Also, it requires investment before it restores more than 50% HP so it can stop being a weaker Moon Atomizer with inferior range, at which point it also stops being worth it.
  • 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 Caring Potential: While playing as Summoner, Pets will occasionally ask the player to cast a certain Support Technic, marked by an icon appearing next to them. If you do so while the player owns the Pet Sympathy skill, the Sympathy increases, which boosts various Pet parameters, including damage.
  • 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!
  • Video Game Perversity Potential: There's no apparent moderation with what you can whip up in the game's Symbol Art system. Although not rampant, don't be surprised when someone shows off a picture of boobs, panties, or other lewd whatnot through Symbol Art.
  • Visual Pun: One of the pre-release screenshots for Jet Boots shows off literal Jet note  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.
  • Voice Clip Song: This NND video takes all of Loser's quotes (with some Dudu and Monica for good measure) and turns it into a minute and a half romp set to "Kokoro Odoru".
  • 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.
    • The Fusion Technic Fomelgion is essentially a giant laser powered by fire and darkness.
    • Dark Falz Apprentice has one in Mining Base Defense: Demise. It has more than enough firepower to destroy all of your towers in one blast, so it's a race against time to defeat Dark Falz Apprentice before it gets fired. At the finale of the battle, you get to combat its Wave Motion Gun with one of your very own and blow it to high hell.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: For some reason, AIS Exoda more or less die instantly to Vol Graptor or Banishing Arrow even at moderate re-applicable damage.
  • 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.
    • Episode 3 Chapter 4 is another one: First, turns out Apprentice isn't actually Apprentice (Double ambushed and ate Apprentice while she was starting to possess Eucreta). Then Elder of all people pulls a Big Damn Heroes and fights alongside the player (in human form) against clones of Apprentice and Loser. This culminates in Elder (again of all people) pulling a Heroic Sacrifice to save Melphonsina from Double. Elder's (or possibly Gettemhart's) parting words to Melphonsina give her the redemption she has been seeking and she begins using her real name again.
    • Episode 3 Chapter 6 continues the trend of significant plot developments. Double finally gets off their high horse to fight you and Matoi in combat, but no sooner than they are defeated that they attempt to infect Matoi with a large mass of corrupted photons to transform her into The Profound Darkness. Of course, being The Protagonist, you step in the way and take the brunt of it, and are very nearly transformed into The Profound Darkness before Matoi steps in and uses the Clarissa to transfer the mass to her, saving your life while becoming The Profound Darkness herself. After Sara carts the unconscious you back to the Medical Center, Persona appears and takes the Clarissa for his / herself.
  • 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.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer: Thanks to Complacent Gaming Syndrome, the majority of solutions to all of a Ranger's problems can boil down to two words: "Weak Bullet". Elite Mook in your way? Weak Bullet its face. Demonic Spiders? Weak Bullet them. Fighting Your Friend? Weak Bullet. Staring down a universe-ending Eldritch Abomination? Weak Bullet that too.
  • Whip Sword: The Wired Lance weapons can be used for medium-range special attacks.
  • Wingdinglish: The strange hexafont you see on the ship actually spell English words. There's sign boards that read "SHOP AREA" or security walls that read "KEEP CLOSE" to name some examples. Here's a guide if you wish to try to decode it.
  • Wutai: Episode 3's Harukotan has a planet-wide civilization that resembles feudal Japan.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Matoi becoming the Profound Darkness is all but predetermined; it's the only destiny you can't screw. What you can change is her ultimate fate.
  • 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.
    • When the Black King Clone that Double manifested begins to gain a consciousness, Double swiftly takes action and invites Sukunahime to the Black Castle, then offs the Black King Clone and pincers Sukunahime in a trap. She barely makes it out thanks to a Heroic Sacrifice from you and Matoi.
  • 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.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: One of the waves you can encounter in Solo Extreme Quests is six Nyau. They're pitifully easy to defeat if you bait out their spin attacks. Just beware the flailing of arms that follows shortly afterwards, which will make short work of you if you get too close.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Videogame/PhantasyStarOnline2