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  • 100% Completion: You get a Title that awards an Ability Success Rate +45% for completing all of the Quests in a single Episode with an S Rank. There is also a Title that awards 40 Ability Transplant Passes for clearing all Quests from EP1 through EP6 with an S Rank (thus earning 100% for the entire story).
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The events of EPISODE 4 take place in the year 2028 on Earth.
  • 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 Bar Lodoses, 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.)
  • Aborted Arc:
    • The plot thread that was set up in EPISODE 3 Chapter EX is seemingly abandoned in EPISODE 4; they're only tangentially related via the anime, and a loose connection at best. Interestingly, Chapter EX was played up as being a lead-in into EPISODE 4, but then the game decided to take a different direction.
    • The story makes a big deal out of Mitra breaking Nanaki, but no attention is drawn to it after the fact and its wielder immediately stops being relevant afterwards. The weapon is seen perfectly intact by the final chapter, implying it was simply repaired off-screen.
  • Abusive Precursors: Later Episodes make it abundantly clear that the Photoners are a bad bunch. Every single Dark Falz in the game except for Persona has had a Photoner host at one point, and Luther, Shiva, Varuna, and Mitra are all Photoners and are all pretty dang evil. The Photoners are also the reason why the Profound Darkness is even running around at all, and most of the Xion clones scattered across the multiverse are also their fault.
  • 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 and Xbox versions incorporate standard achievements as well.
  • Achilles' Heel: In lieu of having status effects apply to bosses or giving them total Contractual Boss Immunity, many bosses will have special reactions to being afflicted by the status effect corresponding to the Element that they are weak to, but are otherwise immune to statuses. Some examples include Fang/Snow Banshee/Banther catching fire if afflicted with Burn or Anga Fundarge and Dark Falz Persona getting stunned if afflicted with Panic. There are also a few edge cases, such as Elzelion getting afflicted with Paralysis if Shocked despite not being weak to Lightning.
  • Action Bomb:
    • Sparzyles from the Lilipan Tunnels will set off its fuse when a player draws near. If its bomb is active, it will detonate in a short period of time even after it is defeated. However, if you defeat the Sparzyle before its bomb can activate, it will fade away harmlessly like other enemies.
    • Goldrahdas and variants thereof will detonate if killed before the red core on the back of their head is destroyed. In Mining Base Defense, they will also rush the Mining Base at the end of the Wave and attempt to detonate themselves.
    • The Damoth and its Esca Falspawn counterpart Esmoth serve no purpose other than throwing itself into your Mining Base or Buster Tower and blowing up, but if it does, it deals a ton of damage. This isn't helped by the fact that they typically attack your bases in droves. However, they typically have very little health, so well-placed crowd control attacks will quickly mow down waves of them before they can do any harm.
    • The Bonta Bakutta will attempt to jump onto the player. If it grabs them, the weak point on its head will gradually inflate until it explodes, dealing substantial damage with knockback.
    • When defeated, a Maxwell will start blinking red and approach you, then explode after a set time. However, if it crosses paths with a Laplace's barrier, it will explode and break the barrier instead, enabling you to attack Laplace directly.
    • The Bomber Orc will light the fuse on its barrel bomb and try to suicide bomb players when it's low on health. It also shares the Goldrahda quirk where it will rush the Buster Tower at the end of a Buster Quest Wave.
    • The "Endless Belligerence" Emergency Quest also introduced the Bomber Dagash, a variant of the Dagash whose core sticks out above its head like an angler fish, instead of being in its mouth. If left alone at the end of a Wave, it will begin to blink red and rush the Buster Tower before exploding, dealing heavy damage.
    • An absurd number of normal enemies get this as a suicide tactic in the "Perpetual Madness" EQ, including most minibosses. Some enemies can deal massive damage or One-Hit Kill your Buster Towers outright if allowed to detonate.
    • Divide Quest introduced a gimmick called Spread Bombs, which appear as rings around enemies. When the enemies are killed, they'll explode and deal massive damage to all other enemies in a certain radius. Players are encouraged to take out the bomb enemies as soon as possible to knock down large swaths of enemies in one go.
  • Action Girl: It'd be faster to list the females among the named cast who aren't combatants.
  • Action RPG: Real-time battles are still the norm.
  • Actor Allusion: Due to the massive amount of voice tickets and equally-massive amount of voice actors, a handful of voice tickets sound eeriely similar to the voice actor's previous roles.
  • Actually a Doombot: The Shiva that the player and Matoi defeat in EP 6 Chapter 3-2 turns out to be Mitra in disguise, who bought time for Shiva to get the jump on Sukunahime. However, the damage she sustains in the fight ultimately kills her.
  • Adam and/or Eve: Ardem S. Sacred and Phaleg Ives are all but outright stated to be the first humans, hence their unusual supernatural abilities that aren't related to Photons or Ether.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The Omnibus Quest versions of Episodes 1 to 3 are dramatically streamlined; the "alternate" versions of events that are non-canon are removed entirely, and the multiple-choice plot mechanic that defined the story was also removed save for the climax of EP3, which requires it as a plot point. Many Story Quests are also significantly shortened from their original versions, oftentimes simply cutting straight to the boss fight or removing extra rooms.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal:
    • The Erythron Dragon EQ is this in the English fan translation, which calls it "The Crimson Castle Crusher". Ditto for its Rematch version, which is titled "The Dark Demolisher".
    • The Fall 2019 season also gave us the Trigger Quest "The Scarlet Space Splitter".
    • In the global release, Hagith Phant is called an "Autonomous Avatar Arms".
  • 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.
    • Demoire Dominus' DPS check is an unusual case, as it is not the wall that kills you, but the wall is pushing you into something that can definitely kill you if you don't break the wall first.
  • 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 settles on "Aru", a much more plain name that he takes a shine to.
  • A.I. Breaker:
    • Despite the fact that the inclusion of jumping was pitched as a major addition to the Phantasy Star series, many enemies are not designed to deal with verticality. It's very easy to use Jumping Dodge or Hero's Talis to fly into the air, then pick on enemies with ranged attacks until they die while they helplessly swing at you at ground level. Certain solo bosses (including Omega Masquerade and Demon Phaleg) feature an "anti-air" mechanic to counter this as a result.
    • A famous "exploit" in Challenge Quest's "Mission: START" involves baiting Cougar NX to stand behind a certain Desert structure, then cross to the other side of said structure. Because of Cougar NX's size, it will constantly attempt to run over to the players on the other side to no avail while the players stand in place and wail on it with impunity until it dies.
  • 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: A recurring existence in the story, as Xion seems to be able to read from them to predict the future to a degree. Luther covets such nigh-infinite knowledge from her as a result. Several characters revolve around both the records and the history recorded within them, such as Alma existing post-mortem as a spirit inside of the records.
    • Perhaps the biggest reveal for this in the normal ending of EPISODE 6 is that the player character is in a Stable Time Loop as the origin of the Akashic Records, thanks to an untimely possession by the Primordial Darkness and a Heroic Sacrifice by time traveling to the beginning of the universe and purging themselves to become the non-sentient records, whereupon they are inevitably created by Xion to fulfill this destiny and the whole process starts over again until they finally break free.
  • Aliens Speaking English: For some reason, ARKS has absolutely no problems whatsoever communicating with people from Japan, despite the fact that they're literally from another dimension. This doesn't apply to other planets either, as Amduscia's Draconian are only able to communicate with ARKS via telepathy, the non-hostile Oceanids on Wopal are a Justified case, and Translator Microbes are required for Harukotan.
  • Allegedly Free Game:
    • Downplayed; a number of functions are sealed off without paying for a Premium Set (the game's equivalent of a subscription, but optional), but most of those features, such as access to extra Block space and peer-to-peer trading, are merely enhancements and aren't required in any way to enjoy the game to its fullest, but rather, provide conveniences for players who are playing often.
    • Played painfully straight in the SEA versions however, no thanks to the company running it in that region, AsiaSoft, who is notorious for this. Among other things, not only was ARKS Cash devalued to 1/10th its normal value to compensate for currency exchange, a variety of aggressive P2W additions were installed, such as Costume Affixes that tied powerful stat enhancements to outfits, and AC Scratch Rankings that actively encouraged spending more cash by ranking players based on how much they spend, and the top ranking playerss would receive additional prizes.
  • Alien Abduction: The premise behind Falspawn Den; the player's Campship is attacked by Falspawn en route to a Time Attack, sending the player deep into the heart of the Falspawn territory.
  • 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.
  • Alternative Calendar:
  • Alternate Universe:
    • As with all new continuities in the franchise, none of the series' previous systems return.
    • Episode 4 reaffirms its 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 Falspawn, as well as ARKS operatives, can pass between our world and the alternate universe of the 'game'.
    • There's even another alternate universe within the story itself, as Omega is host to medieval fantasy counterparts of various Oracle residents, such as Luther.
    • This is the explanation for Kirito and Asuna appearing on Oracle, as they had unwittingly transferred themselves through the video game "Alfheim Online" from a parallel Earth. While their minds remained intact, their forms adjusted themselves to their appearances from their first VRMMORPG, "Sword Art Online", as the result of Aether resonating with their strong memories of the game.
  • The Alternet: The aethernet, which is virtually identical to real life internet, except powered by aether particles.
  • Always Accurate Attack: Grants, Rafoie, Namegid, and Ilbarta will always connect with their target.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The Parallel Worlds are dazzling lands consisting of floating islands and ruins backed by a brilliant aurora-filled sky. The exception to this, of course, is Urth's Fount.
  • An Adventurer Is You: While initially starting out as the standard Hunter/Ranger/Force triad of Phantasy Star games past, the repertoire expanded gradually with each Episode, adding more and more new Classes. Uniquely, because of the emphasis on solo play, every Class is a DPS class to some degree, although they each fall into their own archetypes.
    • Hunter: Essentially the archetypal Blademaster, they're a Mighty Glacier class that fights slow, hits hard, and soaks damage. They also pack the best Draw Aggro ability in the game that can also debuff enemy ATK after a certain level.
    • Ranger: Ranged DPS that combines elements from both The Archer and The Nuker with their two weapons, the Assault Rifle and the Launcher. Also has DoT elements due to access to Traps.
    • Force: Archetypal Ranged DPS Squishy Wizard. Their Skill Tree powers up and enhances their ability to cast powerful Techniques. Also has Healer and Status Effect elements, but isn't overly focused on them like Techer.
    • Fighter: The Scrapper. Glass Cannon that has a Cast From Hitpoints Skill to bolster damage and relies on a myriad of conditionals combined with fast, multi-hitting weapons.
    • Gunner: A combination of The Scrapper and The Nuker. More of a melee-range Class than the name would imply and relies on racking up Combos with the Chain Trigger Skill to unleash devastating damage against bosses.
    • Techer: A Magic Knight that is simultaneously The Healer, The Status Effect Guy, The Resource Master, and Melee DPS. Its Skill Tree enhances Techniques and grants various boons to players when using Shifta and Deband. The Super Treatment Skill also grants a PP recovery bonus when the Techer heals status effects. The Wand is a unique hybridized melee/tech weapon that integrates melee attacks with AOE explosions to attack multiple enemies simultaneously.
    • Braver: A Melee/Ranged DPS Class that combines what is effectively two separate classes into one: a Bullet Bow and a Katana. The Bullet Bow is the archetypal Archer while the Katana is The Scrapper. Also quite squishy.
    • Bouncer: Also combining effectively two different Classes, the Bouncer wields Dual Blades (The Scrapper) and Jet Boots (The Nuker as a Magic Knight).
    • Summoner: The Beastmaster.
    • Hero/Phantom: The Jack-of-All-Trades Classes, known as "Successor Classes" for combining all of the attack types into one.
    • Étoile: Also a Blademaster with emphasized tanking and DPS abilities. Comparatively slower than Hero and Phantom, but they hit like a freaking truck and eat damage like nobody's business thanks to Damage Balancer.
    • Luster: A Scrapper heavily influenced by the Stylish Action genre. The class is defined by its access to by far the most combat variety and the Voltage system that rewards staying on the offensive to rack up buffs that make them even more powerful.
  • 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 the Adventure Continues: The Stinger for Episode Six ends with Book-Ends - the player character walking up to the transport pool and jumping in, just like in the very first opening.
  • 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:
  • Answer Song: The ending theme of EPISODE 6 is one to "Living on like stars", if you got the Bad Ending.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • If you were playing the Japanese PC version of Phantasy Star Universe by the time the game shut down in September 2012, you had the option to transfer forward any unused GUARDIANS Cash into the new ARKS Cash premium currency instead.
    • 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 introduced Loadouts ("My Set" in Japanese) 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 setting with a few button presses. No more fumbling with reassigning your weapons!
    • As of November 2014, incapacitated players are marked with a red icon on the minimap. This avoids the old problem of other players not reviving you due to not noticing that you're knocked out.
    • 13★ weapons have much more lax Grind odds than that of the notorious 12★ gear, comparable to that of 10★ weapons. This is to account for the absolutely enormous amount of resources you have to pour into it, including rare, hard-to-obtain Lambda Grinders and 196,000 Meseta per attempt.
    • In Ultimate Quests, 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. This format also extends to EPISODE 5's Enchanted Forest Exploration and eventually to all Expeditions in general.
    • If you are interrupted while Gathering, you will not lose Stamina if you did not receive your reward.
    • If you disconnect while playing Arkuma Slots, the game will cash out the accumulated pot for you so you leave with some coins, regardless if there's a net gain or loss.
    • Expeditions allows players to simply return to the field in the event that they are defeated in the boss room. Previously, this wasn't allowed, and the Quest would fail if you have to return to the Campship without defeating the boss.
    • Unwanted AC Scratch items and SG Scratch items can be exchanged for AC Recycle Badges and SG Recycle Badges, respectively. These function identically to the original items for the purposes of being traded in for other items, but can be stacked. This significantly frees up inventory space by allowing you to get rid of things you don't want while being able to use the replacement currency for things you do want.
    • If you're particularly fond of a certain ticket-bound accessory, Base-wear, hairstyle, etc., it only takes two tickets of the item in question to make it an account-wide unlock, so you don't need to splurge excessively if you play a ton of characters.
    • Story Quests from EPISODE 4 onwards don't run your Boost Ticket timers even if you forgot to turn them off in the Drink Shop.
    • EPISODE 4 added an option to auto-pickup items of 13★ Rarity or highernote , preventing cases where a 13★+ item drops but you can't find it or your Party Leader starts a new Quest or abandons party, for whatever reason.
    • EPISODE 5 enabled accessing the Recycle Shop from the Campship as a shortcut to having to return to the Lobby to empty your inventory.
    • EPISODE 6 added the much-desired ability to buy a new Drink even if you already have a Drink Effect active, allowing you to try for a different Drink Effect if you didn't get one you liked.
    • Due to their limited availability and rarity, it is impossible to discard, drop, or otherwise lose a Time Reversal Stone Chronos, a Circular Amphitrite Stone, or an Unlocking Liberate. Likewise, their corresponding weapons (Atlas/Atlas Ex, Lightstream, and Liberate respectively) cannot be discarded or used as materials for a process that would destroy the weapon.
    • The Orota Biketta enemy has a specific case where it will not trigger its Turns Red ability if it is attacked by a Summoner's Pet, possibly to compensate for the player's lack of control over Pet targeting and positioning.
    • If you missed a prior item during the Mission Pass Season or want duplicate copies, completing all 30 Tiers of the Mission Pass unlocks Overrun Mode, where you gain access to five additional Tiers that grant cosmetics from previous Tiers one time each.
    • Updates have made it progressively easier to purchase equipment from other players. This includes removing the pass limit on 12★ weapons, making all 13★ and 14★ weapons tradeable, making 12★ Units tradeable, and making Rolls and 13★ Parfaits sellable as long as they aren't compressed.
    • Unlike almost every other effect in the game with a limited duration, the Fluxio series Potential outright adds a floating meter next to your character while it's active as opposed to ambiguous character-based auras and visual cues. This makes the timer on the Potential much easier to track than most.
    • From a general game design standpoint, EPISODE 5 marked a significant transitory period in the route of weapon progression by moving away from the traditional Phantasy Star Online style of Rare Random Drops being the main method of getting better gear and focusing on trade shop gear that can be earned with enough time and effort. By EPISODE 6 this had evolved to the point where the game's best gear can be obtained simply by putting in enough hours, with the rare drop upgrades being limited to Unit S-Grade Augments that have comparatively less impact than weapons. As a result, the game is incredibly friendly to more casual players and those who take breaks for long periods of time, as the process of playing catch-up isn't nearly as punishing as in other online games.
  • 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 Quests typically have low EXP pay to force players to focus on Item Farming. That being said, you can still rake in substantial EXP if you kill enemies or bosses at Infection Level 4.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: 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".
    • Aether particles, a mysterious type of particle discovered on Earth in the year 2016 AD. Even in the modern day, it is still unknown what aether is or how it works, but it is capable of high-speed data transmission, which is used for the Aethernet, an advanced form of The Internet that utilizes Ether to achieve lightning-fast wireless communication anywhere on the globe. This service is maintained by Esca Towers, which are large, glowing spires built in numerous places across Earth for the purposes of dispersing Ether. It's eventually revealed that aether is simply a parallel evolution of Photons.
  • Apocalypse Maiden:
    • Matoi is destined to become the vessel for the Profound Darkness. In the Stable Time Loop, the player and Persona team up and kill her, but in the timeline where Xion's interference allows the player to escape the time loops, Persona becomes the vessel for the Profound Darkness in her place.
    • In one version of events, Harriet becomes Shiva, the Goddess of Annihilation.
  • April Fools: The 2018 April Fools English patch fed much of the game's text except really important stuff through an "OwO translator" and changed "Force" into "Wizard" (from the much-reviled SEA translation). It was reversed a few hours later.
  • 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 Falspawn 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.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack:
    • Elzelion's roar causes players to enter a long flinching animation that can't be cancelled if the player is on the ground. It is also one of the few attacks that ignores Super Armor. It can be evaded or blocked, however.
    • Complex Photon Arts don't initially look like one, but they have unique damage calculation that ignores all forms of multipliers whatsoever and only uses stats for calculation. This includes both the player's positive multipliers and the enemy's negative multipliers. On bosses with inherent resilience to damage like Anga Fundarge and Rematch Bosses, CPAs ignore their resistances completely, allowing the player to hit them with the full brunt of the attack's damage.
    • To compensate for being the only class capable of wielding a single weapon inherently (not counting Summoner), Luster has a Class Skill called "Weapon Resist Rule Out", which allows the user to ignore the effects of enemy weapon resistances, particularly handy for pesky enemies like Anga Fundarge and Demon Phaleg.
  • Artificial Humanoid: The Deumans this time, according to Io, as the result of questionably inhumane experimentation.
  • Art Evolution: There is a notable jump in cutscene quality between the Oracle Arc and EPISODE 4. Characters in cutscenes are far more lively and have less stiff animations, and battle cutscenes are more frequent and are more involved and dynamic. This was toyed with back in EPISODE 3 but is fully fleshed out from EP4 onwards. EPISODE 5 built upon this with additions such as hand animations for NPCs (otherwise not normally possible) and bigger, grander setpieces.
  • Art Shift: When Sukuna-hime and Kotoshiro explain the history of Harukotan, the story is illustrated with a shadow play.
  • The Artifact: In Mesetan Shooter, Mr. Umblla gets upset upon being shot, then proceeds to throw out several bombs. This mimics his behavior on the field... at least until 2016, where he was changed so that hitting him no longer angers him. However, his behavior in Mesetan Shooter remains unchanged, so the idea of not hitting him is less obvious than it used to be.
  • 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. There's seemingly no AI whatsoever for proper dodging, either, so they'll eat attacks 'til they drop. 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. And because their damage ultimately doesn't scale thanks to never changing equipment, unless it's one of your Auxiliaries you've personally leveled and geared up, they're essentially useless for damage output, making them little more than inefficient aggro targets.
    • 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.
    • Nyau as the Black Nyack dealer can be awfully dumb at times. He randomly fakes out players by stalling out one more hit on his hand...even if the house already won. This usually ends up busting himself out, and allowing players with worse hands but haven't busted to win because of his stupidity.
    • Luster has a special function called Smart PA that allows you to push it and the game will automatically pick the attack it thinks is appropriate for the situation. While meant to ease daunted players into the class by giving them an option to simply push a button and get an attack, the game's decision-making in battle is not very good, oftentimes being very conflicted over whether a ranged attack or a gapcloser is more appropriate from range and having pretty sketchy rotations at close-range. Many will tell you that the sooner you learn how to use the class and stop using Smart PA, the better.
  • As Long as There is Evil: The explanation for the EPISODE 4 raid bosses. Since Ether resonates with the emotions and fears of humankind, they'll always come back even after being defeated.
  • 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. Dudu and Monica also got their own soundboard floormats and Dudu's infamous voice line, "That's Amazingly Bad Luck You've Got There" is the name of a Trophy and Achivement on PSN and Xbox Live and is highlighted in a cold opening of an episode of Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation. The TCG even added Dudu and Monica as one of the opponents you can play against in Raid Boss Mode, which is (appropriately) a Luck-Based Mission.
    • Chroto has been famous for years for being the go-to source of free Meseta in-game. When EPISODE 3 finally gave him a Partner Card, he was given an exclusive weapon, the Chroto M238, a pair of golden Meseta-themed revolvers that shoot Meseta and make Meseta-like sounds on impact. The usable version released to players also has a max R-ATK stat of 777 when fully Grinded and its Potential boosts Meseta gain by up to +15%.
    • There are often idle players near the quest counter who left a looping dance lobby action active. This is referenced with a background character in Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation and with Faceless Masses in the Pusonicomi Web Animation. While the former just had one low-key appearance of a lobby dancer, the latter includes several uses of the "Dance 2" lobby action in particular, to the point that Mitarashi even had it as her Dark Blast transformation action.
  • Assist Character: During the final phase of the Primordial Darkness battle, one of the three heroines will call in an assist if the players break the gildings on its hands. Matoi massively increases the players' HP and PP for the remainder of the fight, Harriet nukes the boss for several million damage, and Hitsugi sends flaming spears to pin its hands down, dealing minor damage and stunning it temporarily.
  • Atrocious Alias: The Four Heavenly Apprentices that appear in the Kingdom of Epic all have awful, self-deprecating titles that they (and the game itself) seem perfectly content to call themselves by, which include Aika the Misunderstander, Rina the Isolated, Aurora the Coward, and Eucrita the Stubborn.
  • Attack Drone:
    • Omega Apprezina is accompanied by two bugs that follow her around. They can perform auxiliary attacks or merge with her to heal her.
    • Phantom's Rifle PAs are able to summon bits that can either attack enemies with lasers or seek and attack targets directly to damage them.
  • 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.
    • 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 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.
    • Elzelion's weak point is its head. In addition to serving as a standard weak point, inflicting enough damage to the head will cause the Dragon to stagger, interrupting whatever attack it was using.
  • Attack the Injury: Draconian bosses have crystal-covered appendages that are just begging to be hit. Breaking those momentarily stuns the boss and exposes the flesh underneath as a weakpoint (e.g. Vol Dragon's tail, Quartz Dragon's horn and tail, Dragon X's crown and shields, etc.). Some bosses like Vol Dragon, though, will reform the crystal after waking up, forcing you to shatter it again.
  • Audience Participation: The game regularly holds polls (referred to as "General Elections") where players can vote for their favorite characters and enemies, and in-game cosmetics are distributed to players based on the winners. Weaponoid General Elections for Phantasy Star Online 2es were also added, which, in addition to cosmetics, also host a themed event in PSO2 as well as limited themed Chips in PSO2es featuring the winners.
  • Augmented Reality: One of the features exclusive to the Vita is an AR camera that allows you to superimpose images of PSO2 characters onto real life using the Vita's camera, then take pictures. The feature is surprisingly robust; you can load any saved Character Creator data, set up props using any of your character's in-game weapons, set different poses via owned Lobby Actions (including the ability to use frame-by-frame advance to get the right pose), and superimpose chat bubbles as well. You can even use NPCs as characters, provided you obtained the proper Partner Card in-game.
  • 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:
    • Gunblades are one of the most stylish weapons in the game in terms of combat, but lack in stats and raw power compared to class-specific weapons. That being said, they're still respectable weapons. A late 2020 update rectifies this by giving the weapon its own dedicated Successor Class.
    • Ilfoie. Giant falling meteors that explode? Cool. Sky-high PP costs, long charge timenote , and inability to move while charging? Not so cool.
    • Kazan-Nadeshiko. Hits hard, looks super badass, and regenerates Gear during use. Also takes goddamn forever to come out and leaves you extremely vulnerable to getting manhandled by whatever enemy you wanted to use it on. Its Type-0 variant fixes most of its issues, upgrading it to "situationally useful".
    • Meteor Fist. Despite literally being able to drop giant fists on enemies, its nature as a Randomized Damage Attack makes it wildly inconsistent for DPS.
    • Dark Blast gives you what essentially amounts to a Falz form, but Power Creep has rendered it below-par in damage compared to regular classes. It still has its applications in specific content, but the places where Dark Blast would be better than just staying on foot is extremely limited.
    • Off-meta combinations in general suffer regardless of what kind of crazy stuff they can pull off that normal meta combinations cannot due to restricted availability of weapons strong enough and suitable for them. Specifically, a lot of weapons usable by non-native Classes are locked to Phantasy Star Online 2es and requires significant time/effort investment in said companion game to acquire them.
    • Weaponoid Potentials tend to vary in usefulness despite the relative difficulty in acquiring them. Some of them are incredible (Dragon Slayer), some of them are situationally good (Salus Punisher and Avenger-NT), many are held back by the weapons they are associated with (most of the 7★ to 11★ Pots), some are just plain bad (Weddle Park-NT and Yamigarasu).
    • Refomelgion. Carve a path through enemies with an elemental lance made of fire and darkness! That sounds cool, right? Except it chews through PP like mad, has miserable damage output relative to the rest of Force's/Techer's kit, and has very little practical application even as a mobility tech, as it has massive backdash distance making it almost completely useless for approaching enemies and is straight inferior to Ilzonde and Safoie Type-0 for standard movement.
    • Fomelgion itself dropped into this, partly due to buffs to Zandion and partly due to newer content heavily discouraging its use. While having access to a fire/darkness Wave-Motion Gun is fun, it has random elements and literally makes you a sitting duck with Immune to Flinching, allowing most endgame enemies to rip you to pieces.
    • In story, Margaretta has access to an immense, ancient power that she can call upon at the drop of a hat... Except it works in exactly one room in the entire Kingdom of Epic.
  • Back for the Finale: Nearly everyone comes back for the final Chapter of EP6. Even Xion!
  • 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 raid boss 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.
    • In the Chaotic Beguiler Level Up Quest, different Nyau variations summon different BGM to go with it. For example, Sonic Nyau causes Live and Learn to play, while Sakura Nyau plays E.G.G.M.A.N.
    • Whenever specific NPCs appear as part of a Trial, theme songs may override the current theme. All Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation characters replace the song with one of the BGM from the show, depending on the pair of characters. Ethan Waber and Karen Erra replace the music with "Save This World", and so forth.
    • In the White Day 2017 Emergency Quest, the final Code is always a Duel with Itsuki as the Partner. Whenever this occurs, the background music is automatically overridden by the anime's theme song.
    • When the Omega Falzes appear in a Buster Quest or the Enchanted Forest, they are accompanied by their battle theme.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit:
    • The game has plenty of formal wear that lets characters of both genders be this trope.
    • This is the standard uniform for the Earth Guides.
  • Badass Longcoat: The Crouch/Kraz Repca costume, the Heretic Lord/Queen outfit (Gettemhart's clothes), the Punish Jacket, and the Oletgill Parka, to name a few.
  • Balance Buff: Katanas were initially perceived as weak on launch. They were progressively buffed down the line, including giving them Shunka-Shunran, Combat Escape, and Guren Tessen, and now sit at their current standing as one of the easiest high-damage weapons in the game.
  • 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.
  • Bare-Handed Blade Block: In Omnibus 2-2, you protect Sara from Falz Hunar's attack by blocking his Elder Pain with nothing but your wrists and Photons.
  • Barrier Change Boss: Anga Fandarge is a Mythical Beast that shows up in Ultimate Quests. 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:
    • Quests that pit the players against Dark Falz Elder take place on a destroyed ARKS Ship, with only its rubble remaining and completely exposed to the vastness of deep space. Breathing out here is a complete non-issue.
    • Averted, surprisingly, for the EPISODE 2 climax. ARKS Ships are apparently outfitted with a mechanism that allows for the recycling of breathable air. Luther, in all of his rage, tries to kill ARKS by turning it off. Commence a brief state of panic before Xiao jumps in at the last minute and usurps control to avoid a mass space-induced death by suffocation.
    • Double time on Earth, where the fight against ESC-A Falz Mother takes place on the Moon, and the fight against Deus ESC-A takes place in what is effectively the boundaries of outer space.
  • 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.
    • When Katana Gear is active, your character becomes enveloped in a purple, flame-like aura. Learning the Braver Combination Skill turns your Katana Gear aura blue when you switch to a Bullet Bow.
    • Sacrifice Bite envelops your Sword with a blue power aura whose size is based on how many absorptions were executed. The Type-0 craft instead always gives a massive blue aura that doubles as a Laser Blade extension of your Sword.
    • An AIS Exoda that Turns Red gains a black and red flame-like aura while flashing its glowing red eyes.
    • Activating the PP Unlimited Skill in Battle Arena causes your character to sparkle red while its effect is up.
    • When a Hero is using Hero Time, they get a subdued, orange glow with some sparks.
  • Battleship Raid:
    • Big Varda is a giant mecha on top of an even larger mobile platform with an impressive arsenal that can be destroyed before finishing off the Varda itself. At fairly equal or lower levels it's highly advisable to destroy most of it too.
    • The Mining Base: Demise emergency quest is a raid that combines the tower defense mechanics of the past Mining Base emergency quests with the final showdown against Dark Falz Apprentice Dia.
    • Played literally; the Unleashed Prestige emergency quest pits the ARKS in a full twelve player raid against the quintessential Japanese battleship, the Yamato, in battleship-to-mecha combat.
    • Sector 2 of Armada of Demise usually has you boarding one of the Luminmech battleships on foot and wreck it from bottom to top. Sector 3 either has you blowing up three of them at once, or taking the fight to the core of the fleet's flagship directly.
  • Bears Are Bad News:
  • The Beastmaster: The Summoner class, introduced in Episode 4, uses a Takt to direct a variety of Pets in battle.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: The Demon Castle "Buster Valace" is equipped with its own Buster Piles similar to the ones used by the players that it summons as part of its Desperation Attack to attack your Buster Towers.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy:
    • Halfway into EPISODE 4, it's revealed that the Moon is actually Mother. This is the result of an Alternate History where the "giant planetoid" that collided with the Earth billions of years ago in the event known as the "Great Impact" was actually Mother, who was discarded into the Earth dimension by the Photoners after she had failed them; the debris from the impact merged with Mother's fragmented body and formed the Moon.
    • Toward the end of EPISODE 4, Ardem reveals that the Earth Guides have been impersonating historical figures for centuries to manipulate the course of human history.
  • BFG: Launchers in general. Some of the Rifles you can find are also pretty huge.
  • 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. If you acquire Sacrifice Bite Type-0, you can have a Laser Blade for three minutes at a time.
    • By consuming Dual Blades Gear, the Étoile class is capable of combining their Dual Blades into a single, massive sword to perform an extremely powerful uppercut attack.
  • Big Bad: Interestingly for a character who is relatively insignificant in the grand scheme of things, Dark Falz Apprentice is by far the most persistent of the Falzes and has influence in a crazy number of plot threads.
    • Apprentice serves as the Arc Villain for the final Chapters of EPISODE 2, opposing the second Klariskrays.
    • Apprentice (or rather, someone who thought she was Apprentice) also serves as a major character in Afin's subplot that runs throughout the first three Episodes.
    • Apprentice reprises her role as the main villain in Phantasy Star Online 2 EPISODE 0, which is loosely based on the events of EPISODE 2.
    • The original Apprentice, the Photoner Aurora, is the focus of the EX Chapter in EPISODE 3.
    • Apprentice appears yet again in EPISODE 5, shedding light on the backstory behind her second host.
    • Apprentice is also the main villain in Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation.
    • While not appearing directly, Apprentice's Mind Control powers serve as the basis for Anatis' powers in Phantasy Star Online 2es.
  • Big Bad Ensemble:
    • The Dark Falzes that spawn and control the Falspawn.
    • Luther acts as a more traditional Big Bad in Episode 2.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Dark Falz Apprentice controls the Bug Falspawn, which are, well, insectoid-themed. They also happen to be one of the most common types of Falspawn in the game.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Alma tries to invoke this during the climax of EPISODE 5 by using her power to forcefully summon records to Omega, which causes the records of Wolf, Atossa, and Klariskrays I to materialize before the player and join the fight. However, when Falspawn start breaking through the barrier she created to protect herself, Regius and Maria appear at the nick of time to assist.
    • At the finale of the "The 6th Angel" Emergency Quest, Rei and Asuka in custom A.I.S. Vega arrive at the nick of time to defend Shinji from Ramiel's final attack by combining their Counter Shields, giving him the opportunity he needs to fire the killing shot and destroy Ramiel.
    • EP6 Chapter 3-2 manages to do this twice within the span of two minutes. Right when Shiva is about to obliterate the player, the Dark Falz essences stored within the player emerge to defend them, destroying Shiva's energy bomb. Then, when the player collapses after attempting to fight again as Persona, Phaleg of all people suddenly rockets in from space and teleports the heroes to safety.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The primary endings of the episodes tend to result in these.
    • Episode 1 ends with Dark Falz Elder routed, but he manages to escape in the aftermath, and Zeno is apparently dead which has lasting effects on Echo, Ulku is listed as KIA in the aftermath of a Falspawn attack which drives Theodore's mental stability off a cliff, there's more Dark Falz than Elder that have cropped up, and Luther is starting to make his move to reach Xion.
    • Episode 2 has the threat of Luther overcome, but also ends with Xion dead, Klariskrays II traumatized, and the revelation that Persona is fully capable of time traveling and has their sights set on either killing or corrupting Matoi, or at least in so much as being the cause of a Stable Time Loop incident that causes Xion to send her amnesiac to the start of the story.
    • Episode 3 has the cast manage to rescue Matoi and defeat the Profound Darkness, but ends with Persona performing a Heroic Sacrifice so they can keep the Profound Darkness stuck within a Stable Time Loop, with the implication that it won't last forever, and Matoi vowing to let no one sacrifice themselves anymore. Falz Elder is also dead and Gettemhult with him, after he performed his own sacrfice to save Melrandia from the Gemini siblings, and the entire Nightfaller populace of Harukotan are gone forever as well.
    • Episode 4 ends with Adam being defeated and his plans foiled, but Deus ESC-A is a lingering, recurring threat to all of Earth, and Mother fades away like Xion due to her own death. Most of the rest of the cast carry on in the aftermath, but deeply regret what happened to Mother.
    • Episode 5 has Omega Luther die with regret after his Oracle memories entered his mind and drove him insane enough to try to destroy everything, Lutz dying because of his being corrupted by the Ephemera and having to be taken down for it, and while the Omega dimension is saved from Elmir, the good vibes are cut short after sealing the dimension because Shiva decides to invade the ARKS ship to confront the player, handily demonstrating that the cast are no match for her on a Cliffhanger.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Male Harukotanese resemble massive hulking oni demons, while female Harukotanese more closely resemble dewmans, though the only one seen is a special case, being the only known Harukotan to be both kuronite and shironian.
  • 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.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: While the story and dialogue in the North American version is pretty competently translated, the rest of the game isn't so lucky. The quality of the translation outside of the main story varies wildly; at best you have weird-sounding and/or overly literal translations, and at worst you get completely nonsense phrases that look like the translators threw the text into Google Translate and copy-pasted the first thing it spit out.
  • 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, triggering a Just Guard can initiate a Counter-Attack that can potentially hit for 500% damage of your normal attack damage, along with a significant damage buff for a lengthy period if you charged up your Katana 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.
  • Blue Is Heroic: ARKS and Oracle as a whole are using blue and white color scheme. The same goes to the photon energy they use, as opposed to the color of red, black, and purple used by the Falspawn.
    • Subverted during Episode 4, as Mother Corps also use similiar color scheme, at least until their Heel–Face Turn.
    • Played straight during Episode 5, as Kingdom of Cuento is Hariette's kingdom, especially after she's able to reclaim her throne. This coincides with Hariette's True Blue Femininity
  • Body Surf: The Dark Falzes are capable of this, being incorporeal lifeforms made of corrupted photons. Dark Falz Elder fully possesses Gettemhult after it is released from confinement. Dark Falz Apprentice tries to possess Euclyta, but never really gets to do so as she's consumed by Gemini before anything significant happens, which results in some Falspawn-based abilities being imparted to Euclyta, but she otherwise never actually becomes possessed.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • Watching a certain cutscene at the end of EPISODE 4 unlocks a boss battle against a super-souped-up Phaleg known as "Demon Phaleg".
    • Survive 998 rounds against Omega Masquerade, and you'll be rewarded with Lv. 999 Omega Masquerade, who is identical to previous fights except all of his attacks inflict 999,999 damage.
  • Bonus Level: Bonus Quests, special Quests that can only be accessed by paying special Keys obtained from Recommended Quest Presents, Scratch Bonus, or the Meseta Treasure Shop. They come in several different varieties, each with its own rewards and gimmicks.
    • Tokyo: A Bonus Quest occurring on the Tokyo map. Phantoms and Tagamikazuchi appear and dispense enormous amounts of EXP. In the Gold version, additional enemies are added, including an Empe Rappy. Rewards include rare Kageseo stones and Tokyo drops.
    • Magatsu: A Bonus Quest based on the Annihilator's Apparation Emergency Quest. Players board A.I.S. and tackle waves of Kuronians with boosted EXP payout. The fight culminates in a battle against Magatsu or Magatsu Sai, depending on whether you're playing on Silver or Gold level. Rewards include Star Gems, various Stones, Lambda Grinders, and a pool of Magatsu drops.
    • Rappy Fever: A Bonus Quest that takes place in the Rappy Nest map. All enemies consist of numerous varieties of Rappy and several Empe Rappies. Rewards include NT weapons affixed with Empe Embrace and assorted rare Gathering materials.
    • Kazuchi Assault: A Bonus Quest that takes place in Shironia. Multiple Tagamikazuchi and Izanekazuchi spawn, and rewards include rare Crafting Materials and Tagami/Izane drops.
  • Bonus Level of Hell: Falspawn Den, where you're taken after a Falspawn Abduction. The entire place is filled with highly-toxic water, Lv. 50 Falspawn including all of the Falspawn 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 Falspawn 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 Falspawn and throwing waves upon waves of Level 70 enemies at you to suffer over.
  • Book-Ends: The final scene of the story is your Player Character replicating the opening scene from the game's very first opening movie.
  • 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 a popular Technic, especially for Techers, solely for the fact that it gathers enemies into one place and holds them down, allowing you or 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. Prior to Guren Tessen, this was the de-facto crowd control Katana Art.
    • 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. An absurdly powerful kick that 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 and Buster Quests will oftentimes sic multiple bosses on you at once, requiring the players to strategize to defeat them in an efficient manner before they deal too much damage to your Bases/Buster Towers.
    • The Extreme Quests designed for solo play tend to have rooms where you fight multiple bosses simultaneously, or timer-based spawns that will end up causing this if you're too slow.
    • The final room in the "Revelry of Darkness" Limited Quest pits you against all four Omega Falz minibosses in a row, two at a time.
    • The Ruins and Quarry rooms in "Traces of Darkness" pit you against a boss flanked by two minibosses. The Quest culminates in a fight against Falz Angel, Falz Dourumble, and Falz Hunar simultaneously. The Ultra Hard variant of the Quest cranks it up a notch; not only are the bosses replaced by their much stronger Ultralized counterparts, the game swaps out the original Falzes for Omega Falzes and sics Omega Apprezina on you after killing one of the first three.
  • Boss-Only Level:
    • Big Varder's Emergency Quest is this, with its power ramped up to handle 12 players as opposed to 4 in the Tunnel Free Field.
    • Most raid boss Emergency Quests are this. Notable exceptions are Dark Falz Apprentice Gia, who spawns as part of a Mining Base Defense EQ, and all EPISODE 4 raid bosses, Erythron Dragon/Dragon Atrum, and Omega Falz Apprentice, which all have a mobbing or gimmick section prior to the boss fight.
  • Boss Remix:
    • The boss music for Mother Cluster's Apostles is a frantic remix of their cutscene theme.
    • It's subtle, but Deus ESC-A Zephyros's battle music is a souped-up version of Ardem's theme, "Nobleness".
    • Elmir's theme undergoes a heavy remix for the battle against him as Persona Elmir.
  • 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 Luther one after the other.
    • Single-player Extreme Quests occasionally set you up against waves that are simply multiple consecutive bosses. Can turn into Boss Bonanza if the bosses are on a spawn timer and you don't deal enough damage.
    • The "A World Engulfed in Shadows" Quest sets you up against every Ultimate Quest boss in the game in back-to-back fashion.
    • The "Special Breakthrough Training" Quest series involves tackling multiple bosses in a series of stages while fighting some mooks in between. The initial five versions of the Quest were themed after the first four Episodes and were released in 2017, while the sixth version themed after EPISODE 5 was released in 2019.
    • Omnibus versions of raid bosses sometimes put the accompanying "lesser" raid boss before it, such as Raging Dark Arms before the Dark Falz Elder fight or Apos Dorios before the Dark Falz Luther fight.
    • February 2020 added "The Piper of Disharmony", where you fight four waves of Ultralized bosses from four different planets, ending with a fight against Train Ghidoran's Ultralized counterpart, Lizeth Ghidour. Unlike previous boss rushes, the bosses you encounter on each planet are randomized between different sets and maps.
  • Boss Subtitles: While not quite naming the boss, the Odin boss fight carries over the "Black Shroud, Urth's Fount" text from Final Fantasy XIV that appears during his boss cutscene.
  • Boss Warning Siren:
    • Emergency! Code: Duel!
    • If, at any time, you see a red border appear accompanied by a low humming noise, that means a boss is going to drop in on your position in a minute or two.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Only 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.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • A few character-related aspects have been subtly altered in the North American version. These include the lower height limit for characters being increased (presumably to prevent characters from looking underaged) and the removal of the "Smart Inner" Innerwear (which was essentially pasties).
    • Some instances of nudity in EPISODE 4 were censored, such as giving Al basic undergarments in his first scene and putting a school uniform on Hitsugi during a scene inside her mind. The bathhouse scenes were also Dummied Out despite being fully dubbed (which, incidentally, also glosses over the squickier parts of Kohri's Comedic Lolicon tendencies).
    • An update in September 2020 changed the names of the "Slave" series weapons to "Raven". This is likely due to some very unfortunately named weapons like "Slave Shooter".
    • Harriet's battlewear Basewear was very slightly adjusted in the Global version due to having a "boob window" that otherwise allows Innerwear to show through the Base.
    • On the Fan Translation's end, a few weapons had their names changed in 2020 due to their translations being accidentally racist due to use of Gratuitous English, such as changing "Illegal Negro" to "Illegal Nero" and "Hebrew Punisher" to "Hebrew's Punisher".
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Absolute Order/Code ABYSS. No matter what, when the order is given by the Trio of Heroes, all ARKS drops what they're doing and immediately act on them, complete with Red Eyes, Take Warning. Matoi is able to free Fourie, Risa, Marlu and Oza for reasons later revealed while Quon fixes the rest.
    • Averted when Ulc invokes it in EPISODE 6. She has repurposed Code ABYSS into a Tactical Withdrawal mechanism, instantly teleporting every ARKS operative out of Mothership Xiao.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • Whitill Units are earned from Title Rewards only and are not considered useful for most classes outside of Summoner despite sporting high PP values due to their paper-thin defenses.
    • The Ace of (Class) Stickers are earned from the Heaven and Hell XQ and are totally cosmetic. Their only actual use is for maxing the below-mentioned Effort Symbol Ring.
    • Effort Symbol subverts this somewhat. They can be made using materials obtained from the Bounds of Corruption XQ and have a cosmetic effect as well. They also give 1% damage, 10% Critical Hit Rate, and 3% damage resistance. While niche, they see use on classes or class combos that can't use R/C. Strike or use multiple attack types simultaneously (where R/C. Strike wouldn't be useful).
    • The reward you get for clearing Lv. 999 Omega Masquerade is a Palette Swap of a cosmetic you get in the first 100 Depths.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:
    • You have a Support Partner, and a Mag, and amusingly there's Support Partners with Mags.
    • Then there's Falspawn, enemies Tainted by Falspawn, and... Tainted Falspawn???
  • Breakable Weapons: Not for the players, thankfully, but you can bust the weapons of certain bosses to nerf them. There are a few 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 Hyunal's sword.
  • Breaking Old Trends: The Étoile Class, the 3rd Successor Class and the second Class introduced in EPISODE 6, is distinguished by several unique properties.
    • It is the first Class that was released in the middle of an EPISODE since the Fighter, Gunner, and Techer Classes in EPISODE 1.
    • It is the first Class that cannot use Techniques since Braver in EPISODE 2.
    • It is the first Successor Class that focuses exclusively on a single type of attack; Hero and Phantom are "hybrid" classes that combine Striking, Ranged, and Tech elements, while Étoile only uses Striking.
    • It is the first Successor Class to use individual Weapon Gears instead of a universal "Class" Gear like Hero Gear and Phantom Gear. By extension, it is also the first Successor Class to lack a Super Mode, its unique Class Active being a temporary party buff instead.
    • The Class has a heavy Mighty Glacier emphasis, contrasting Hero and Phantom which are designed as Lightning Bruisers.
    • The class's demo characters are the first demo characters to not be named after Online-era NPCs. They are instead named "Fouren/Wren" (male CAST), "Shess/Kyra" (female CAST), and "Frena/Demi" (female Human) after the characters from Phantasy Star IV.
  • Breath Weapon:
    • Vol Dragon, being a stock standard fire-breathing dragon and all, can spew fire from his mouth as an attack.
    • Diabo Igrithys, the Aberration of Vol Dragon, also does the same, firing flame "bullets" from his mouth to snipe players.
    • Box Dewbles, the Aberration of Tranmizer, replaces Tranmizer's electric blast attack with a laser beam it fires from its mouth.
    • Blizzard Banshee and Blizzard Banther have an ice beam attack they can spit from their mouths and sweep across the field, Freezing any player it touches.
  • Breather Episode: EPISODE 5 Chapter 4 comes after the rather despondent Chapter 3, and prominently features the game mercilessly parodying and lampshading as many anime cliches as possible, parodying its own characters, and throwing out some of the most bizarre boss fights in the entire Story, including an evil Emperappy and an oversized SORO. The character getting a Day in the Limelight is a Butt-Monkey queen-in-name-only who is notorious in her kingdom for being ridiculously petty and essentially goes about the entire Chapter pretending she's the main character in her own drama. Even after Elmir forces Margaretta to transform into Dark Falz Apprentice, the game immediately snaps back into Margaretta giving the Butt-Monkey treatment to her adult self.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory:
    • The game tries hard to zigzag it. You can greatly accelerate your cash flow with Premium features and whaling on AC Scratch for shop fodder, but Shop access is possible as F2P and there are ways to get tons of Meseta without paying a cent of real cash if you know what you're doing. Most other paid features are merely convenience and do not actually help you get better at the game.
    • The ill-fated SEA version sadly played it straight with 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 real cash.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: A Weapon Camo for Talises is this, and the money is the Talis.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Afin and Eucreta get a shot at showing off their combined skills against the Luminmechs during the final Chapter of EPISODE 6, even getting a Back-to-Back Badasses moment.
  • Brown Note: Empe Rappies sing like regular Rappies. The main difference being that the musical notes they emit are big and heavy; so heavy, in fact, that they fall to the ground and shatter, damaging players they hit.
  • Bullet Time:
    • Anyone wielding Twin Machineguns undergoes this when they use Stylish Roll three times in a row. Strangely enough, it is only the player that slows down; everything else flows like normal. Fortunately, the slow-motion dodge grants plenty of invincibility frames.
    • Gleefully invoked with the Gunner PA "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.
  • But Now I Must Go: With the cycle of fate finally broken in the true ending, Persona, Xion, and the Falzes, their purposes fulfilled, say their goodbyes to the Guardians for the last time and depart for the great beyond.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • In the trailers, Gilliam, the default male CAST.
    • 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.
    • In concerts with a Rhythm Game gimmick, you will occasionally see the target surrounded by a massive wave of rings, which indicates that you should hammer the button as fast as possible for best results.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • EPISODE 5 has quite a few.
      • Xiao returns after skipping EPISODE 4 due to in-story reasons.
      • Omega is inhabited by alternate universe counterparts of characters who have been killed or otherwise disappeared from the Oracle universe, such as Luther, Gettemhart, (the original) Melphonsina, and Rina Izumi (from the anime).
      • Omega is also inhabited by characters from past Phantasy Star games, such as Alis Landale and Lutz.
      • Some characters on Oracle itself also return due to their relationship with the Dark Falzes, including Melrondia, Eucreta, and Aurora.
    • EPISODE 6 as well.
      • Ro Kamitsu and Ko Rera return for the first time since EPISODE 3. The story this time around also delves into Ro Kamitsu's true origins for the first time.
      • Sukunahime also returns, as the player and their crew desperately try to find ways to defeat Shiva.
    • The Burning Rangers-themed Quest "ARKS Ship Fire Swirl" was rerun in 2021 after being retired back in 2014.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • A Story Quest in EPISODE 2 forces you to create a Support Partner as a requirement, as Xiao possesses it for the duration of the Chapter.
    • In Omnibus Quests, some dialogue "trees" only have one option due to the non-canon routes being removed for Omnibus.
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    C-D 
  • The Cameo:
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": An In-Universe example. Omega features such things as "Mana" and "Magic", which, to Oracle, are actually identical to Photons and Techniques, just called a different name by Omega's residents. Ephemera as well, which is essentially Falspawn corruption from the Profound Darkness, but in a different, more malleable form.
  • Call-Back:
    • 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.
    • The core of the Moon Base is deliberately designed to appear identical to the interior of the Oracle Mothership; in fact, it's pretty much the Mothership, but everything is blue due to Ether. Even the central room where Xion was located on the Mothership in Episode 2, Chapter 6 is identical. This is also referenced with a minor cutscene leading into the boss room: when Hitsugi and Enga approach the back wall, they stare at it and look confused for a little. The player, having already seen that wall and recognizing it as a gate, nonchalantly walks straight into it like the gate leading to Xion in the Mothership.
    • Elmir tries to pull the same trick on Harriet that Persona pulled on Matoi back in EPISODE 2. However, unlike Matoi, Harriet sees through the ploy immediately.
    • Abyss, first used in EPISODE 2, is used once again by Ulc in EPISODE 6 to teleport all ARKS on the Mothership out of further harm from Shiva's assault.
    • EP6 Chapter 3-2 once again has Sukunahime sending Matoi and the player to guard Magatsu's seal, just like in EP3 when they were sent to defend it from Dark Falz Gemini. Only this time, their goal is to break the seal, by tricking Shiva into destroying it.
    • Itsuki, Rina, and Aika use The Power of Friendship to summon Stargazer in EP6 Chapter 4, just like in the final episode of The Animation.
    • Phaleg uses the same phoenix-styled flaming kick against a wave of Luminmechs that she used during the Bonus Boss battle of EP4.
    • The wings that the three heroines wear to the final battle against the Primordial Darkness reference their past appearances; Matoi has six petal-like wings like her appearance as Matoi Viel in EPISODE 3, Hitsugi has eight golden serpent-like wings similar to Deus ESC-A's eight serpent heads, and Harriet has futuristic photon wings resembling the blades on her Genesis Weapon form.
    • The final pre-credits scene of EPISODE 6 evokes the fight against the Profound Darkness, with the player and the heroines ending up in a flower field on Amduskia with "Rose Confession" playing in the background.
  • Canon Immigrant: Some of the exclusives in the now-defunct SEA version, like some of the special themed outfits and the Board series 12★ Units, were brought into the Japanese version later on.
  • Cap:
    • There is a 999,999 limit on damage values. Whether it is a hard cap or soft cap depends on content; most raid content added from Deus ESC-A onwards as well as some single-player bosses have it as a hard cap, while most other content has it as a soft cap. The Divide Quest update added an extra digit to raise the visual cap to 9,999,999.
    • Most items in storage have a max limit of 999 items per stack. If the item is in Material Storage, there is instead a stack limit of 65000.
  • 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. Chroto 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.
  • Censor Suds: Phantasy Star Nova's "Shampoo Style" outfit can be obtained for those who earn Scratch Bonuses for the "Automata Replica" AC Scratch.
  • Chain Lightning: Gizonde.
  • Chainsaw Good:
    • The Chain Sawd, a returning weapon from Phantasy Star Online, is basically a gigantic two-handed chainsaw sword.
    • Ultimate Chain, a Double Saber returning from Portable 2 infinity, is essentially two Chain Sawd blades stuck to each other on opposite ends.
  • 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.
    • Launcher's Rodeo Drive Type-0 is unique in the sense that it requires you to charge the finishing blow while attacking. As you fly, the rocket flames on your Launcher steadily grow until it hits max growth, at which point it will start emitting a whistling sound. Releasing the PA button at this point will maximize the final dunk's damage.
  • 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 Luther complain about the player character draining their energy while fighting them. Then in Episode 2 Chapter 6 it is revealed that Matoi/Klariskrays II absorbs the energy from Falspawn she kills, and by the time Persona stabs her she has such intense F-Factor 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 F-Factor stored up as Matoi, and when the two confront Gemini they are both nearly turned into the Profound Darkness (until Matoi ultimately takes both sets of energy and becomes the Profound Darkness herself).
    • EPISODE 3 introduces the idea that the Photoners created numerous failed clones of Xion and cast them out into space, which is later explored upon in EPISODE 4 and EPISODE 6.
    • Kohri's handheld device that she plays PSO2 on is shown off as early as Chapter 2, and is never brought up again until the very end, when the player and Mother use it as their exit gate from Oracle to Earth to intercept Deus Hunas before he can kill Hitsugi.
  • Chess Motifs: The Tactio and Strategio weapons are based on chess pieces, and incorporate the piece they represent into both their unsheathe animation and the weapon itself.
  • Childhood Friends: The three Successor Class Masters, Stratos, Kyokuya, and Lucotte, share this dynamic. Lucotte's sudden reappearance after having been presumed dead for five years forms the crux of a major subplot for the trio.
  • Close-Range Combatant: Fighters are fast, powerful, and not too fragile, but need to get up close and personal with their foes.
  • Collision Damage: During the first phase of Racing the Phantom Mother, any solid object or laser you run into with your Rideroid deals a ton of damage to yourself. Unfortunately, the Rideroid isn't a particularly sturdy contraption, so learning how to control it is vital to not dying a whole lot during the first phase.
  • 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.
    • Luster has a class mechanic called "Luster Voltage" that rises when the player successfully performs certain actions in combat (dictated by the class's Stance System). Raising Voltage to high enough values grants powerful effects, such as automatically bestowing Shifta and Deband and raising attack power. Getting hit by enemies causes you to lose your Voltage, but you also regenerate HP and PP based on how much Voltage you had when you got hit.
  • 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. This was eventually removed and replaced with a more normal "kill enemies" version.
  • Comeback Mechanic: There was originally a random mechanic in Battle Arena called Emblem Fever, where Rainbow Emblems will rapidly spawn near the losing team's area instead of in their usual spawn point. In some cases, the points gained from this can allow a losing team to bounce back and steal victory. An update in March 2020 removed Emblem Fever.
  • Compressed Adaptation: A rare case done while the game was still in circulation. To get new players up to speed faster, the Matter Board system was removed; this resulted in players no longer having to find cutscene triggers in the field, now accessible by a menu from the Quest Counter. The trade-off was that the story mode suffered a bit from missing pieces:
    • A good number of the NPC cutscenes not seen as story-critical were removed. This does however result in some missing lore that would've been a lead-up to the story quests that involved it.
    • In one case, a cutscene chain that was actually story-critical was rehashed: in the original story when investigating the Haddred case, the player got the required information from Pati and Tia risking their necks for it, showing they're not all talk. These conversations were completely removed in the story rework, and the player instead gets the info in a mid-mission info dump from Casra. A bizarre choice as all of Pati and Tia's unrelated cutscenes, none of them plot-essential, were left intact.
    • During the ARKS Tournament story mission, the original had the player get offers from various ARKS NPCs to partner up with you in the tournament, with each having a different ending and a potential Bonus Boss (Klariskrays for most of them, Huey for Sarah specifically). In the rework, all of these extra paths were removed and the player is stuck with Afin, whose path automatically ends in "failure" due to a story-mandated cutscene with Apprentice.
    • An Episode 2 story mission involving Quna and Aki was completely excised. This mission would've had Aki be revealed as having performed the horrible experiments on Haddred and seeking to atone by making peace with the dragons, Aki's assistant Wright revealed as a spy to keep an eye on her, and Quna finding some measure of closure for Haddred's death.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • Inverted for the few enemies that can use Mirage Escape, who don't have invulnerability while using it. Theodore plays it straight, since he also doesn't have invulnerability but his Mirage Escape travels much farther than yours.
    • 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.
  • Conlang: The Omegan language is an entirely fictional language made of arcane runes that translate to Latin characters but use fictional words that sound vaguely like English words. Nearly every song in EPISODE 5 has a title written in the Omegan language, and some vocal songs also use it. The RECITEA soundtrack includes a dictionary pamphlet that can be used to translate the song titles and lyrics to English.
  • 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.
    • A 2019 Secret Phrase gave everyone a MAG based on a SEGA Mega Drive to commemorate the announcement of the Mega Drive Mini.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: Much of EPISODE 6 is spent making pit stops at settings where previous Episodes took place and reuniting with their characters, with much Call-Back involved. Chapter 2 goes to Amduskia (EPISODE 1 and 2), Chapter 3 goes to Harukotan (EPISODE 3), Chapter 4 goes to Earth (EPISODE 4), and Chapter 5 goes to Omega (EPISODE 5).
  • Continuity Nod: The Emergency Quest against Omega Falz Apprentice, "The Underground Nightmare", is essentially one big love letter to the the anime, and it ends with a near perfect shot-by-shot recreation of the final battle of the anime, where Itsuki and friends use Stargazer to destroy Dark Falz Apprentice.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity:
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Hitsugi and Enga's parents died in a building collapse. The EPISODE 4 Materials Collection reveals that Mother Cluster is to blame for the incident. They managed to cover it up pretty well.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Pretty much any raid boss Emergency Quest in an A.I.S. Among other things, you can fight a gigantic evil monster titan, a gigantic evil monster titan but gold, a gigantic evil monster titan but IN SPACE, a flying battleship Yamato, space battleships, kickass Humongous Mecha with Laser Blade arms, and Ramiel from Rebuild of Evangelion.
  • Coordinated Clothes: In EPISODE 4, Sara and Klariskrays III get new outfits that complement each other, which signifies their status as being Lovely Angels and the latter being a clone of the former.
  • 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.
  • Counter-Attack:
    • Bravers can learn 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.
    • Dodging through an attack as Hero will trigger the Hero Counter skill, which is marked with a "shing!" sound effect. Using your Step Attack or the TMG Photon Art "Brand New Star" immediately afterwards will prompt a flashier attack that hits much, much harder and significantly fills the Hero Gear Gauge.
    • When armed with the Bullet Kunai TMGs as Hero, dodging through an attack will additionally fire off a blade at your target that hits for a hefty 1000% of your base attack.
    • Phantoms have a similar skill to the Hero's in Dodge Counter Shot, which lets them launch a cluster of Photon Bits at an enemy after a successful Phantom Step.
  • Cover Version:
    • Song Festival IV features a Japanese cover of the Moon Base theme, "Tears of the moon", performed by Mother's voice actress Rina Sato.
    • The same album also includes a cover of "Fly Me to the Moon" by Phaleg, Och, Phul, and Mother's voice actresses.
  • 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 Falspawn Bombs that fire up once the container is broken, and blow up seconds afterwards.
  • Creepy Crows: Falspawn on Wopal have a bird theme to them, and they're black and evil all over.
  • Creepy Jazz Music: Omega Dourable's theme has a section where most of the instruments give way to a jazzy piano solo that plays over the other instruments. Since this is a battle theme, it just highlights how chaotic and frenetic the action is.
  • 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.
    • Each Unit in the 12★ Whitill series gives a whopping 20 PP as part of its hidden stat; put together, all three Units combined give a total of 60 PP innate, which is even higher than a Crafted Saiki set. The tradeoff? The set's DEF stats suck.
  • Critical Hit: Unlike most RPGs, critical hits in PSO2 do not deal extra damage by default but rather bypass a weapon's damage variance to always deal the maximum possible damage. Rare weapons generally have a fairly narrow range of variance to begin with so crits tend not to be terribly valuable, but some weapons and class skills do boost their damage, making them worthwhile if you spec for them.
  • Critical Hit Class: Fighter was originally the main class for this trope, as it boasts the Critical Strike Skill that boosts the user's Crit Rate and Crit Damage in addition to normal Crit-boosting skills. However, with the advent of Phantom and Étoile Subclasses as well as various S-Grades, nearly every class now specs for Crit, with Crit Damage boosting effects now considered one of the most consistent sources of free damage in the game short of actual unconditional multipliers. The only class that doesn't exclusively build for Crit is Hero due to its single Crit Rate skill being restricted to weak points, but this just means that only two of your three weapons build for Crit instead of all of them.
  • 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.
    • The Monster Hunter Frontier event featured the Elder Dragon Elzelion randomly appearing in XH Free Fields, as well as a special four-player encounter against him at The Tower.
    • The Neon Genesis Evangelion event has Ramiel, the 6th Angel, invading the ARKS Ship Urban sector, with a squadron of A.I.S. Vega deployed to eradicate it.
  • Crutch Character: The Summoner class. Prior to endgame, Pets are stupidly overpowered and have no restrictions as to equip requirements, allowing a Level 1 Summoner to wield 13★ Pets and completely roll over all of the content in the game without giving it a second thought. However, endgame is where other classes start to outpace Summoner, which forces a Summoner to start focusing intensely on Candy Box improvement and Units to keep pace with everyone else.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Shiva and her crew are on a completely different power level than even the Player Character; almost every single encounter with them that the heroes have ends with the heroes losing.
  • Custom Uniform: Klariskrays, Huey, and Casra have slightly modified versions of the basic outfits, all of which are in the "Heroes Summer Beach" scratch. Episode 4 gives Huey a further-modified version.
  • 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.
  • Cut-and-Paste Translation:
    • The Southeast Asian official English version was strongly reviled for this as it had changed long standing terminology from the Phantasy Star franchise.
    • In contrast, the offical North American release largely averts this with translations far to close to a literal cut and paste (though an effort does seem to be in progress to fix some of the larger problems) but some of the localization changes are by and far vastly different to an extreme degree. It doesn't help though that some of the voice lines don't properly match the subtitles or word baloons in the times they're supposed to (some of the Navigator dialouge wasn't intended to match up in the first place but some of the lines that were do not match, such as Hilda's word balloon saying "Gods be operative" when she says "Godspeed").
    • For reasons unknown, the North American version also surgically removed any terminology that contained the word "dark" or "black" and replaced them with alternatives. Funny enough, this also applies to the Sacrifice Darker weapon, which predates this game.
  • Cutscene Boss: Unlike the previous two denizens of Apprentice in Omega, Eucreta and Aurora are fought entirely in a flashy in-engine cutscene. The player and Eucreta eventually fight to a draw, but the player uses the Coat Edge to purify Aurora, and when Aurora and Eucreta get into yet another petty argument, the player uses the opportunity to purify Eucreta as well.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: The vast majority of nameless cannon fodder end up dying in a single hit in cutscenes no matter what hit them, from a giant minotaur wielding an axe to your average Dagan.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max:
    • Conversely, anyone with a status higher than cannon fodder tends to take a lot more punishment, and usually get to banish mooks in one blow no matter what they're fighting.
    • In the climactic battle of EPISODE 5, the player deals the final blow to Elmir with a kickass combo that involves switching between all four Dark Blast forms in rapid succession. This is obviously impossible to pull off in-game.
  • Cyborg:
    • In the lore, most CASTs aren't 100% robot, most of them being Humans/Newmans whose bodies could not handle their own photonic abilities, so their brains were essentially put in robot bodies. Becoming a CAST as a result of life threatening injuries or old age isn't out of the question either as can be seen with Regius and Maria. Although the conversion process can potentially have some unusual side effects as seen with Risa. The exception to this are Hi-CAS Ts who are wholly androids.
    • In a more cosmetic sense, Cast "Looks" are costumes for non-Casts that allow them to take on the look of one, while many regular costumes can be worn by Casts, giving them a more humanoid appearance.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss:
    • Magatsu used to be one of the most notorious examples due to having horribly inflated amounts of HP; up until EPISODE 5, it used to be one of the biggest examples of Character Select Forcing, since not having a Ranger in the party would likely drag out the fight for several extra minutes. Thankfully, SEGA wised up with the EPISODE 5 update and nerfed Magatsu's HP accordingly when Weak Bullet was nerfed.
    • 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.
    • For the NA version Dark Falz Luther on Super Hard gets special mention. Why Super Hard and not Extremely Hard? This is because the NA version raised Super Hard Luther from level 70 to 75, which due to the way the enemy level scaling works ends up TRIPLING his HP. Furthermore Extremely Hard doesn't follow the same level scaling as Super Hard and as a result level 75 Luther on Super Hard actually has MORE HP than the Extremely Hard version! Combine this with the nerfed weak bullet and its fairly common for fights to drag on for nearly the entire 30 minute time limit or even time out altogether.
    • The Primordial Darkness takes this Up to Eleven, with an absolutely ludicrous health pool that puts every other raid boss in the game to shame. The fact that it's also a multi-phase raid ends up turning it into a Marathon Boss even with copious amounts of cheese strategies.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • Jumping into Super Hard difficulty straight away after finishing up on Very Hard can throw new players for a loop due to the revamped enemy AI.
    • 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. This is presumably why the ability was eventually extended to all classes.
    • Averted on PS4; PSO2 is one of those very rare titles that fully supports external keyboard and mouse. Plug in your peripherals, and it'll play exactly like the PC version.
    • In Necky's Challenge and Base Defense Training: VR, crystals spawn in the back, where the enemies spawn, instead of the sides. Players who are used to the Mining Base: Invasion map may have to adjust to this change first.
  • Danger with a Deadline: Gehl Bulfs are flying, nigh-unkillable, intangible Falspawn that deal massive amounts of damage to any ARKS op they come into contact with, chasing them through walls and obstacles to ram them as many time as they can. But they can only last a few minutes at most and can only move in a straight line with short pauses between rushes. ARKS ops are recommended to simply avoid it until it expires by running in wide circles, though a stationary Photon Cannon that can kill the Gehl Bulf in one hit will sometimes be teleported in.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • Aru. While he may have been created like a Dark Falz and has similar powers, he's still a force of good.
    • Dark Blast allows the user to harness the power of Dark Falz and assume one of their forms while retaining full control of their faculties.
  • Dark Reprise: The Bad Ending of Episode 3, Chapter 7 features one of Episode 2's ending theme, "Living on like stars".
  • Darker and Edgier: EPISODE 5 is a complete U-turn from EPISODE 4's Lighter and Softer story, marked with a more in-depth plot and quite a bit more violence. Shout outs to 5-2-1, in which Melfonseana is seen gouging out the eyes of an Orc, a Red Shirt gets mauled to death by an Omega Wolf, and Gettemhult kills another Omega Wolf by tearing its jaws apart.
  • Day in the Limelight: Many of the Extra Chapters are these for specific side characters.
    • EP2-EX explores "Melfonseana"'s complicated relationship with Gettemhult and develops both of their characters (despite Gettemhult not being present until the end).
    • EP3-EX gives the focus to Afin's recently recruited sister Euclyta and her new Photoner partner, Aurora.
    • EP5-EX gives character development and backstory to Hero Class trainer Stratos.
    • EPISODE 5 in general is one for the Dark Falzes, most of whom had very little prior backstory and/or characterization.
  • Dead All Along: Every single Nightfaller. Gemini had long since gone and consumed them all; the Nightfallers you fight are hollow facsimiles they created.
  • 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.
    • The Acure Charis Wired Lance, based on the Dral Veluge Luminmech miniboss, summons orbital strikes on nearby enemies when you use the Heavenly Fall PA.
  • 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. Ditto for the Ridroid in racing Esca Falz Mother, although if you are killed more than 5 times while in the Ridroid, your Rank drops.
  • Decomposite Character: In the SEA version, the Rappy-themed cosmetics had a unique visual effect where Rappy feathers would constantly float down from your body. When said cosmetics were brought over to the JP version in EPISODE 5, the outfits and the visual effect were separated into two separate items, the former becoming a standard costume while the visual effect was turned into a Unit.
  • Deface of the Moon: If Esca Falz Mother wasn't bad enough, Deus Esca Zefirot fires a Sword Beam into the Moon, shattering it from below to kick off the final phase.
  • Deflector Shields:
    • When performing Guard or Just Guard with the Sword/Wired Lances, a round energy shield appears in front of you, representing the impact while nullifying the damage. Partisans would also count if their "shield" weren't of the Spin to Deflect Stuff variety.
    • Goronzoran's gimmick is his energy shield that is supposed by the four floating rods around him. Breaking all four rods will break the shield and render him vulnerable. Even better, his entire body is a weak point.
    • Laplace's Demon is guarded by an impenetrable barrier. However, defeating one of the Maxwell's Demons it spawns and luring it to Laplace will destroy the barrier.
    • The "Sacred Shield" and "Enticing Ward" Potentials generate barriers around the user that grant damage resistance and super armor for one hit, respectively. The user is encouraged to maintain the barrier for as long as possible as the barriers also grant bonuses as long as they're active. This also goes for their enhanced counterparts on the Austere-NT weapons.
    • Nemes Ange is protected by a shield that reduces all damage it takes to Scratch Damage. Players must attack the shield unit hovering over its shoulder to break the shield.
  • Demonic Possession:
    • Dark Falz's modus operandi, naturally.
    • Schlegger does this to Melphonsina in a last-ditch effort to kill Gettemhart and the player.
    • Lutz manages to possess a dragon.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Quna has negligible relevance after her Character Focus, mostly operating in the background throughout EP2 and doing not much else afterwards.
    • Everyone who isn't a new character but appears in EPISODE 4 gets shafted. Even Matoi, who is the former heroine, has a significantly downgraded role.
    • After serving as a major supporting character throughout EP5, Alma is reduced to infrequent cameos in EP6.
  • Desperation Attack:
    • Certain bosses have an attack that they will trigger when their HP hits certain thresholds, such as Falz Hunar's shockwave attack, or Dark Falz Luther's time stop attack. Notably, of these, Deus Hunas' and Deus Angeus' are two of the only ones in the game that actually stops his HP from decreasing until he can use his, despite the player being able to hit him.
    • Some, mostly Fighter, 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 Potentials have a similar effect. Most notably, the Potential "Black Heart" grants a +400 boost to S-ATK and R-ATK when your PP drops below 50%.
  • 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.
    • There are five unique variations of the Franca's Cafe introduction cutscene. Which one you get depends on the season you visit the Cafe in EP4 for the first time.
    • Whether you face Persona the Masked or a Mirror Match during your fight against the Profound Darkness depends on where you are in the story.
    • On the off chance that you fight Omega Falz Apprentice without having Dark Blast Luther unlocked, the game will still allow you to transform with some abilities temporarily unlocked for the purposes of the fight as well as some levels pre-allotted for a few skills.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • The Sword Art "Ignition Parrying", which causes the user to slash six times in rapid succession. Its damage output is fairly lackluster even for Sword, and can only be powered up if you block an attack with it. The block timing is also tighter than Guard; an enemy has to hit you while your aura is active or else the block will whiff. However, if you nail the block correctly, Ignition becomes extremely potent, boasting one of the highest DPS options in Sword's arsenal.
    • Backhand Smash is one of the strongest non-Pet Photon Arts in the entire game, but the range of the move is so horrendous that it requires you to literally stand in the enemy's face to hit. Not to mention trying to get Tech Arts off to combo into Backhand can be a bit of a challenge if the target is active, which is why Backhand is best used to punish downed enemies.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Battle Arena has Bullet Bows. Their Photon Art, Last Nemesis, is very hard to land consistently due to requiring the target to almost literally stay in place, and the execution takes so long that if an enemy sees you, you're as good as dead. However, Last Nemesis can One-Hit Kill any player in the game, and if mastered with Third Person camera, you can snipe targets from across the map and wreak havoc.
    • Melon Strike. The gimmick behind Melon Strike is that while significantly weaker than Marron Strike at first glance, Melon can be tossed multiple times in a row before deflating, with each consecutive Strike dealing more and more damage. However, if you mess up and fail to re-catch Melon after a Strike, Melon will self-destruct and faint. The timing for a re-catch has a learning curve, as it initially appears unintuitive and difficult due to requiring you to push the PA button in the middle of your throwing animation to confirm a re-catch. However, learning the timing for re-catch Strikes will allow you to execute one of the highest DPS chains for Summoner in the game.
    • By the end of EPISODE 5, this was the state of the Hero class. While the class has exceptional damage output and utility and packs the traits of a Lightning Bruiser while being by no means a Glass Cannon or Fragile Speedster, competent Hero play is very difficult to achieve due to the bulk of your core damage multipliers being tied to the Hero Boost passive, which grants 60% damage as long as you don't take more than 20% of your HP in damage at once. Maintaining this boost is very difficult since most relevant content hits hard enough to wipe your Hero Boost in one hit, but if you can keep it active you can sustain very strong DPS.
    • As of the NT Crafting update, Crafted NT weapons. Long story short, it's a staggering resource sink, with a massive amount of rare materials needed to fully Craft a weapon. The final ATK stats, while very high, still fall short of the entire 15★ rarity tier. The true strength in NT Crafting lies with Ripper/Slayer abilities that give a damage multiplier when fighting enemies of a specific elemental weakness and type, respectively. Their effects also scale inversely with weapon rarity; 15★s experience a measly 1% damage boost, while weapons 10★ and below get a whopping 13% per affix! Note that Ripper/Slayer is not easy to affix either, as the best base transfer rate you can get is 20% with four copies, meaning that you will have to fight Dudu to the death to get all the affixes you want on your Crafted weapon. The icing on the cake is Weaponoid Potentials, which saw a resurgence in popularity on low rarity weapons due to how utterly busted many of them are. The end result is a weapon that requires an immense amount of resources and luck to produce and only works in extremely specific content, but if used in said content can produce more damage than the Infinity +1 Sword by a country mile.
  • Difficulty by Region:
    • The defunct SEA version had Very Hard have stats equivalent to JP Super Hard due to getting EPISODE 3 balancing early (but none of the content). The result was numerous complaints from players getting curbstomped the moment they stepped into VH difficulty.
    • The North American version did something similar to counteract having EPISODE 6 balance changes by making all Super Hard enemies Level 75 instead of their normal level range (55~70) from the Japanese version.
  • Diminishing Returns for Balance: Due to how multipliers stack, stacking damage reduction or PP cost reduction quickly becomes less effective the more of it you add on. Inverted for increasing multipliers, due to the same system; anything that increases a value (such as damage boosts) becomes more effective the more you stack.
  • Disappears into Light:
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Mother in EPISODE 4, who is set up to be the final confrontation in the story... until Ardem kills her and steals her power, making him the real final boss of the Episode.
  • Disc-One Nuke: The game gives away equipment that is quite strong for lower-level players at the time of acquisition. Story progress can earn you a free complete set of Phobos Units, while Leotina Certificates can be used to purchase Ray and Phobos weapons that have already been upgraded to +30. This gear will be replaced later on in endgame by stronger, relevant gear but will carry newer players through early XH.
  • 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 Falspawn barrier. Your teammate can break themselves out, though, if they can deal good damage and have lots of patience.
    • Other types of Rescue feature the classic variant, including saving an innocent Oceanid from a trap or protecting a Lillipan while his friend tries to help him escape from a volatile Gilnas body.
  • Ditto Fighter:
    • Esca Falz Mother's gimmick is that the majority of her attacks are all based on other Dark Falz. While the attacks she uses aren't exactly the same, they're clearly related to them, such as the use of sword attacks for the Luther Arm and punching strikes for the Elder Arm.
    • Dark Falz Persona's first two phases involve him donning one of four masks at random, each one based on a Dark Falz. The fight then becomes a Call-Back to that specific Falz (Elder's mask giving him floating fists with weak points on their backs and slow but strong attacks, Luther's mask giving him twin blades and a time stop, etc.) The Gemini mask also takes some elements from the Profound Darkness fight since it and Gemini share an Emergency Quest. His Ultra Hard-exclusive Turns Red phase also has him taking cues from the Omega Masquerade fight.
  • Do a Barrel Roll: Unique to the ESC-A Falz Mother EQ, the Rideroid's dismounting ability is replaced with a barrel roll action. However, unlike typical barrel rolls, this roll is used to attack; use it in close proximity to a weak spot, and you'll deal a lot of damage.
  • 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 Falspawn and consume them before heading in for the kill; offing him too soon won't get you anything.
    • "Emergency Code: Duel" may sometimes change to "Emergency Code: Capture" part way through the battle. If your damage output is very high there is a good chance you will kill the boss before the notification even comes up, resulting in you failing the Code.
  • 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 Techters do their job and give you access to a part you can break.
    • Take a shot every time an MPA downs Train Ghidoran then immediately targets an unbroken door, ending his stun phase early due to the door break animation taking priority. An update in EPISODE 6 fixed this behavior, so players are now free to wail on whatever door catches their eye the moment he goes down.
  • 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 trouble than you can handle.
    • 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: Originally introduced as a special feature of the Jet Boots, double jumping is now available to all characters after reaching level 40 and unlocking the "Next Jump" skill in any class. Bouncers and Heroes have access to the skill "Encore Jump"; for the latter, it allows them to jump again after bouncing off an enemy, while the former can do so after hitting an enemy with any attack, though they must be using the Jet Boots.note 
  • 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 Persona.
    • If you don't get the S Rank on the Quest to assault Shiva's Mothership, EPISODE 6 ends with the player escaping to a place beyond space and time to prevent the universe from suffering the threat of the Primordial Darkness, with Xion sending them back to the creation of the universe to become the Akashic Record.
  • 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!
  • Draw Aggro:
    • A few Classes have this skill, such as Hunter's War Cry, Gunner's Showtime, and Hero's Victory Shout, all of which boost your Hate Accumulation. Of these, War Cry is the only one of these that explicitly draws your target's attention, as it also resets the Hate of all affected targets so that they only focus on you.
    • Dark Blast Elder can learn the Skill "Darkness Wall", which is a variation on the above in that it places a destructible barrier that draws enemy Hate to it.
  • Dream World: The world of Omega is the dream of the Akashic Record brought to life, based on its memories. It is implied to have always existed, but never actually manifested until the Profound Darkness had a bad reaction to Ether.
  • Dual Boss:
    • The Snow Banther and Snow Banshee at the end of the Tundra free-field. Banshee starts the battle off on its own, while Banther hops in to assist once Banshee has sustained enough damage. Its Forest counterparts Fang Banther and Fang Banshee act the same way during certain Emergency Quests, but the Banshee goes solo as the regular area boss.
    • 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 Cassadora and Rheo Madullard team up against the players for a boss fight in the Floating Facility. The latter generates toxic oil puddles that the former 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 Douran and Falz Dourill act as a pair of individuals initially, but they share a health pool and once it gets low enough they'll fuse together into the more dangerous Falz Dourumble.
    • The limited quest "A World Engulfed in Shadows" features battles against Plosiorgles and Bayaribbles, Vilma Leopard and Falke Leone, two Box Duvals, potentially Drago Deadleon and Gruezoras Drago if you take too long killing Deadleon (and potentially the Box Duvals in there too) and Anga Fundarge and Dio Hunar as part of its Boss Rush.
    • The "Lead Border-Breaker" EQ starts with a fight against Tranmizer and Tranzexia and ends with a battle against two Cougar NX.
    • The final Step of Divide Quest ends with a battle against Shiva and Varuna together.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • Twin Daggers involve wielding two short swords.
    • Twin Machineguns are, of course, two semi-automatic handguns that are dual wielded.
    • Dual Blades, obviously. They fight with a style reminiscent of nito-ryu.
  • Dualvertisement: Many types of collaborations are done with the game, typically as a form of cross-promotion for recently released products. These include:
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: Downplayed. Due to international censorship of certain cutscenes in Episode 4, Xiera's mention of footage (from her surveillance of Hitsugi and Al) taken from "that one time, in the bath" is relegated to Noodle Incident status, where in the Japanese version it was a reference to a specific prior cutscene.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • Mostly played straight with the fan translation. For the most part, any item or character that has appeared in a previous Phantasy Star game that had a localization keeps their localized name for the sake of consistency. The one exception is Lutz Cero Ray Cuent, who keeps his Japanese name despite Phantasy Star I changing it to "Noah".
    • The SEA version edited numerous terms, such as turning "Force" into "Wizard", "Techniques" to "Photon Magic", "and Emergency Code: Attack" into "Emergency Code: Assault".
    • The Western version changes numerous terms. Highlights include:
      • "Darkers" are now "Falspawn", a change introduced in Funimation's subtitled version of Phantasy Star Online 2: Episode Oracle.
      • "Techers" have been translated as "Techter". Phantasy Star Universe used the former, while the latter translation is more accurate to the katakana.
      • Bizarrely, the mundane "Dual Blades" were changed to the far more flamboyant "Soaring Blades".
      • Dark Falz Double becomes Dark Falz Gemini, and Dark Falz Loser becomes Dark Falz Luther.
      • The Absolute Order is renamed the much more frightening Code ABYSS.
  • 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 Beginner Time Attack Quest forces this type of battle after the first room, forcing each player to split up into separate rooms where each of them fight a different boss.
    • Most "Solo"-type content, including "The Endless Darkness", "Destroyers of Light", and "Remnants of Other Worlds", pit you alone against a boss or bosses.
  • Dummied Out:
    • Vegas Illusia was found to have a roulette attack coded in that was not used in any of its normal appearances. It was later properly implemented for the Endless Quest "Eternal Rondo" and the "Wild Easter 2019!" Emergency Quest.
    • This is generally how the game handles Temporary Online Content; it gets "removed" but is still left in the files, just without any way to access it. There's still content in the files dating back to the game's alpha, and contributes to the game's heavily bloated file size.
  • 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. It's more useful as a Mag stat, though only if you play certain classes: the Braver Mag and Bouncer Mag skills added 50% of the DEX value to both their Striking and Ranged/Technique Attack, respectively, but even then it was considered more advantageous to simply focus on one... until they received a buff in late 2017 that increased that to 100%, effectively giving them three stats for the price of one. Then the Phantom was introduced with a similar skill, except it applies to all three attack stats. Outside of Mags, though, it's still of decidedly limited use.
    • For Summoners, HP is also a dump stat. A maxed out Dear Master Skill means that a Pet's HP pool is functionally added to the player's. This makes it so the user is basically unkillable unless the Pet takes an attack that deals enough damage to KO both the Pet and its user simultaneously via Alter Ego damage, far less likely to happen after the user learns Alter Ego Harmony. This ultimately makes HP redundant as any possible increase in HP on the player's side has very little effect on Summoner's already-outstanding survivability.
  • Dynamic Entry: Ko Rera pulls off a Big Damn Heroes moment in the final Chapter by teleporting in with Sukunahime's Ash Transfer horn first, crushing the Luminmechs below her that were about to attack Huey and Maria.

    E-F 
  • Eagleland: SEGA's interpretation of American Independence Day is exaggerated to a hilarious extent, featuring a Statue of Liberty adorned with a massive red white and blue backdrop, Christmas(?) trees adorned with patriotic streamers, and fireworks constantly going off in the background. There's also the fact that featured cosmetics include a superhero Uncle Sam getup with a huge American flag as a cape, as well as Room Items such as eagles and a Liberty Bell.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Dark Vibrace Yuga was the very first Tainted Falspawn enemy, first introduced in Base Defense: Despair. Turns out Tainted are the Ultimate Quest versions of regular enemies, and with the release of Ultimate Quests a few months later came Tainted versions of other enemies.
    • The North American version got an Urgent Quest that featured the Las Vegas area before EPISODE 4's official release as part of the Independence Day event.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Some early collab outfits chained the hairstyle and outfit together, causing your hairstyle to be overridden when the outfit was worn. Later outfits separated the hair and outfit entirely.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Our heroes manage to fend off a multi-dimensional catastrophe in EPISODE 5, saving the entirety of Omega and allowing Harriet to become the new god of Omega and be "reborn". Unfortunately, Shiva reveals that this version of events only occurs in the version of Omega that the player entered.
  • Earpiece Conversation: The canonically main means of communication over long distances.
  • Easter Egg:
    • On PlayStation and Steam, the achievement icons form portraits of the poster girls when unlocked.
    • 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.
    • If Nyau is on the field, saying "ニャウ" in chat will cause Nyau to visibly blush.
    • Setting a certain Sword Art Online Title as your displayed Title on your ARKS Card causes the Log Out button to become blank and disabled, a Mythology Gag to the Aincrad arc of the series where the players become trapped in the titular Sword Art Online.
  • 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.
    • Much like the mining base quests, Buster Quests have a lot of enemies thrown at you at once. However, free matches are locked to level 20 or below and main matches require you to farm free matches to continue playing them.
    • Franka the chef's Fetch Quests. Most of the materials can be flat-out bought from the Player Shops, allowing you to quickly rack up EXP simply by buying a ton of materials for dirt cheap and turning them in.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: The January 2017 update added an Easy difficulty exclusively for Story Quests. This vastly reduces the maximum level cap for enemies to basically nothing, so people who are having trouble passing the Quest, or those who want to only see the story, can get through them. However, Easy difficulty bars you from earning any Titles related to that Quest.
  • Eenie, Meenie, Miny Moai: Following the defeat of Deus ESC-A Zephyros, the multi-party winds up on Easter Island to pick up the loot.
  • 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 Tokyo Field.
    • Averted in Las Vegas; the iconic Stratosphere hotel is replaced by an ESC-A Tower. Other Lawyer-Friendly Cameo versions of popular Vegas landmarks appear in the field itself, however.
  • 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 Technique cast.
    • The special Compound Techniques combine multiple elements into exceptionally powerful attacks. 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.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Zig-zagged. Enemies are not particularly attuned to a specific element, but various families of monsters often have a single widespread elemental weakness among them.
    • Naverian Sylvants are weak to Fire. The Tainted Sylvants are weak to Ice instead.
    • Oceanids are weak to Ice. Volcanic Draconids are also weak to Ice.
    • Automata are weak to Lightning. The Tainted Automata are weak to Fire instead.
    • Phantasms are weak to Wind.
    • Falspawn are weak to Light.
    • Nightfallers are weak to Dark. Skybound Draconids are also weak to Dark.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • It wouldn't be a Phantasy Star game without Dark Falz, though this time, it has the aid of its minions, the Falspawn. 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 Falspawn to control. And if that weren't enough, then there's the mother of them all, the Profound Darkness.
    • Episode 4 introduces Phantasms, bizarre aberrations that resemble Earth-based animals, people, and pop culture icons that appear to be linked to Esca's global ethernet. The Big Bad of Episode 4, Mother, also fits the bill, especially as Esca Falz Mother.
  • Eldritch Location:
    • The Falspawn 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 Gemini 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.
  • Empty Levels: Levels 91 to 95 are mostly for bragging rights. The stat gains are extremely nominal (about 10 to 15 points in each stat total), and while you do get SP, most classes already have enough SP and skill trees have already been streamlined due to years of updates, meaning there's barely anything to spend an additional 5 SP on except throwaway skills. The only real advantage is getting a base PP boost per level, but it only amounts to an additional +10 at Level 95.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • In Episode 3, Gemini's actions force Elder to step in and help the heroes.
    • The Christmas 2020 event featured Holiday Mode variants of Mother, Elmir, and Shiva (the antagonists of EP4, EP5, and EP6 respectively) as NPCs, and they can be recruited to the player's side by getting their Partner Cards.
  • 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.
  • Energy Donation: The Silent Tree weapon has a unique Potential that gives fallen teammates an Auto-Revive that gives 50% of your HP to your teammate.
  • Energy Weapon: Present in a wide variety of forms.
    • 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, Falspawn Particle Cannons, appear when Falspawn infect one of your Defense Sockets in Mining Base Defense: Despair and Ending and can be used against your Mining Bases like the Photon Particle Cannons can be used against Falspawn. 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. Have fun with AIS Exoda, which are corrupted AIS units.
    • The Launcher photon art Sphere Eraser functions like a miniature version of the AIS's Photon Particle Cannon, firing a concentrated beam of energy that can maintained for as long as you have the PP to spare.
    • The Satellite Cannon photon art for rifles have these, courtesy of a Kill Sat.
  • Engrish: A few of the songs in the game have English lyrics but are sung by a non-native English speaker, so the lyrics can come off as weird and somewhat nonsensical.
  • Epic Fail: Standing in a Zanverse field while using Marron Strike at point-blank range? Congratulations, you just killed yourself.
  • Equippable Ally:
    • Aurora reveals that there is a group of Photoners known as the "Seven Gods and Thirteen Goddesses" that is comprised of Photoners who transformed into Genesis Weapons. There are seven known members, five of which appear in the game: Aurora (Aurora), Mai (Mai), Labyu (Labrys), Flora (Flowenberk), and Nanaki (Nanaki). In addition, there are two members, Roto and Tam, that have gone missing. They were turned into Weaponoids.
    • Harriet's soul takes the form of a Genesis Weapon in the Oracle dimension once the black hole to Omega is sealed.
  • 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.
    • Continuing the tradition of Apprentice and deserts in the game being associated with the most annoying defensive playstyles, the eight player Apprentice Complete Form raid has you escorting a tank.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Earth has a Tyrannosaurus Rex as an enemy.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows:
    • Items of rarity 13★ or higher are denoted by a glowing rainbow field model, as opposed to a regular red. In addition, untekked Weapons have glowing rainbow item boxes, and appear as rainbow when in the Tekking menu. The icons of 13★+ Weapons are also backed by checkerboard rainbow.
    • Rainbows are a possible weather condition in certain fields that support weather. When a rainbow appears, the odds of getting a PSE boost from killing an enemy rises significantly.
    • The Hyper Rainbow and Hyper Sunlight Jet Boots leave rainbow trails when kicked.
  • Everything's Better with Samurai: The Braver class is known as "Samurai" in the SEA version.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Pretty much every major boss dwarfs the ARKS. Dark Falz, Magatsu, the Profound Darkness, Yamato...
  • Evil Knockoff: Emergency Code: Clone pits players against cloned versions of other players that have cleared Falspawn 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 
  • Evolving Weapon:
    • Some Potentials grant a damage boost based on how many enemies the user defeats while it's held.
    • The Akatsuki transforms into its Unsealed form when a Hunter successfully Perfect Guards with Weapon Action, becoming much more powerful and granting an alternative set of buffs. This effect is also cloned by a certain S5, allowing any Sword with the slot to use it.
    • Comes in a customizable flavor with the Flash S1s. There are six different varieties of Flashes, and fulfilling the condition of the chosen S1 grants a buff and summons a Battle Aura. The trick is that there's an entire series of Augments for other slots that synergizes with the Flashes and grant additional buffs while it's active, including Petalsea, Moonleaf, and Rainbow. The former two only work with three specific Flashes each, while Rainbow works with all six.
    • Ironically subverted with the Sealed J-Sword, which unlike Phantasy Star Online does not power up after 23,000 kills and simply shares a generic Potential with a bunch of other weapons. However, as an homage to its original appearance, you can unlock a Weapon Camo version of the Tsumikiri J-Sword by killing 23,000 enemies while the Sealed J-Sword is equipped.
  • Excalibur:
    • You can get the Sword of Promised Victory as a Weapon Camo. Most of the time, it's wreathed in Invisible Air, but reveals its true form when using certain Photon Arts. However, when used with a Katana, the Invisible Air is ignored and its true form is shown by default.
    • A later AC Scratch also added the Excalibur Morgan exclusively for Swords.
  • Exact Words: The Offensive Inspiration Potential resets its damage boost if you use any Mate item. Keyword is "Mate" here. This excludes Atomizers, so you can simply pack lots of Atomizers to heal yourself instead and keep the damage bonus.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Exium Bunker Launcher has a Potential that boosts the Zero Distance PA. The Potential's name? "Zero Distance Launcher".
  • Extreme Omnivore: Chrome Dragon feasts on Falspawn regularly and in massive quantities. Falspawn double as Power-Up Food for Chrome Dragon, as it will spontaneously grow body parts based on the types of Falspawn it consumes. This also goes for its upgraded counterpart, Apostolo Dragon, who not only eats Falspawn but also tries to consume players for powers as well. Apostolo is especially dangerous against Dark Blast, as it can inflict a One-Hit Kill if it eats a Dark Blast.
  • Eye Scream: The Kuklonahda and Cyclonahda have a weak point at their eye. If you apply enough damage to break it, they will reel back in pain and flail their weapon wildly before falling down.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fat Bastard: Goronzoran is a large, heavily obese Draconian mini-boss who sits atop a floating throne guarded by a barrier supported by four rods. Breaking the rods breaks the barrier and causes Goronzoran to collapse under his own weight, allowing players to wail on him while he's down.
  • Feathered Fiend: The avian Falspawn, 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 a Shadow: This is the default justification for most raid bosses. Nothing's ever permanently "dead" even though what created the raid boss in the first place may be, which is typically attributed to either the boss being a hollow shell or being a copy created by Applied Phlebotinum.
  • 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: Persona the Masked caps off the Episode. Dark Falz Luther, the Dark Falz version of Arc Villain Luther, serves as the Climax Boss.
    • Episode 3: Viel Hunar, a corrupted version of Matoi, and by extension, the Profound Darkness. Anga Fundarge, a catalyst of the Profound Darkness, serves as a Post-Final Boss in the EX Chapter.
    • Episode 4: Deus Esca, a god-like Phanstma summoned by Adam. Before that, Esca Falz Mother, an Esca Falz version of Mother, serves as a Disc-One Final Boss.
    • Episode 5: Elmir is the last enemy of the story as Elga Masquerade. Dark Falz Persona is a Post-Climax Confrontation.
    • Episode 6: Shiva serves as the Final Boss of the normal ending. The Primordial Darkness, which is the Profound Darkness without a vessel, serves as the True Final Boss for the entire PSO2 story as a whole.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: Launchers have Flame Bullet, a Photon Art that works by eating up PP in exchange for a constant stream of fire. Weirdly enough, it does not deal Fire-elemental damage; the flames count as regular Ranged damage.
  • Fish People: Planet Wopal is home to a new type of native enemy, dubbed "Neptunians"/"Oceanids".
  • Fisher King: The general design of the Motherships tend to change based on who owns it at the time. The Motherships owned by Oracle are blue and later white, while Dark Falz Luther's Mothership turns orange with giant energy wings while Shiva's Mothership has purple and red hues reflecting the Luminmech color scheme and some villainous interior design changes.
  • 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.
  • Flash Step:
    • The Dicahda and Predicahda Falspawn can use Super Speed to teleport to their targets in this fashion.
    • The Hero class has this as its dodge animation when using Twin Machineguns.
    • Katana Phantoms with the "Quick Cut" skill can flash-step to an enemy if they redraw their katana the moment they sheathe it after an attack.
    • Luster has a similar option to Quick Cut with "Quick Slash", which isn't necessarily a teleport attack unlike Quick Cut but can perform the function if you hold the directional key/analog stick towards your enemy when doing so. It also comes with "Quick Fall" to teleport to the ground while airborne.
  • Flashback: While chasing Omega Luther, the player starts to experience visions of Omega Luther and Harriet's past, which is the result of the Akashic Record attempting to subtly guide the player.
  • 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.
  • Fragile Speedster: Jet Boots in Battle Arena. They're extremely mobile and have strong Photon Arts, but always have base 300 HP and will die immediately to most attacks, especially when Lv. 3 weapons open.
  • Framing Device:
    • Luther and Harriet's shared history is told through a series of flashbacks that the player experiences en route to Luther's secret lab deep within Cuent Canyon. This is projected by Xierra to be the Akashic Record's attempt at guiding the player.
    • Likewise, the history of Flo and Clarissa in the Oracle dimension, and by extension the backstory behind Dark Falz Gemini, is told through visions given to the player during the Es-Ars chapter.
    • One of the major plot twists in The Stinger of EPISODE 5 is that the narrator in the story cutscenes is actually a mysterious enemy named Shiva who had been reading from a book.
  • Freaky Electronic Music: Much of EPISODE 6's soundtrack is electronic, so it's no surprise that its antagonists, Shiva and her Luminmechs, would be represented by harsh, discordant synths and oppressive beats.
  • Freemium: In addition to being free to play, the game offers a paid subscription called a Premium Set, which comes in 30, 60, and 90 day packages (with bulk discounts). Premium offers a slew of additional features while it's active, which include, among other things, unlimited My Room and MyShop access, Premium Space access, access to Premium Drinks, a passive "Premium Triboost" buff, access to direct trading (including putting items in Boxes), and various other cosmetic features. Still, the boons bestowed by Premium are largely considered to be convenience features and are not required to fully enjoy the game.
  • 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.
  • Fog of War: One of the possible Accidents that can occur in the "Perpetual Madness" Emergency Quest is that the entire map becomes obscured in a thick fog and the minimap is disabled, making it very difficult to perceive enemies far away from you.
  • 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...
    • Part way through EPISODE 2, new Falspawn with a more angelic theme start appearing, and often involved with Luther's plans and secret facilities, especially in what would've been Ulku's death without the player's Time Travel. In said situation, there's also all sorts of sabotaged ARKS systems and downright malicious ambushes and traps, likely intent on killing the ever-living hell out of anyone that entered the area. Is it any surprise that Luther staged it all to an obscene degree? Xiao also points out at length his hacking the player's Auxiliary in this situation, which is used against them as one of the charges for a Code ABYSS order to kill the player as a traitor to ARKS.
    • 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.
    • Ophiel and Adam both discuss "advancing the evolution of humanity" during EPISODE 4. Turns out they have the exact same goal and Ophiel had been a spy for Adam all along.
  • Forever War: ARKS exists to fight the threat of the Falspawn, and has been battling since their inception. The problem is that the Falspawn have been around for three separate generations of the organization, with seemingly no end in sight and no one having a clue of whether there would even be an end. It takes 238 years to finally have a notable breakthrough due to a huge series of upsets and a tangible and final objective in the Profound Darkness, and still takes the better part of the next three years before the protagonist finally eliminates the Primordial Darkness, (theoretically) ending the war once and for all.
  • Freemium: The game offers a Premium subscription, which, for the (comparatively pricey) expense of 1300 AC per month, enables a ton of convenience features, which include access to Premium block space, unlimited access to Personal Shop listing and Personal Quarters, player-to-player trading (not as useful as it sounds, unfortunately), a decently large Premium Storage box, access to Premium Drinks, an "overflow" limit for Daily Boost, a passive Triboost effect that's always on, the ability to pause Emotes, access to custom spotlights and some basic visual filters, additional custom cameras and Fashion presets, an additional Login Stamp every day, and doubled Client Order capacity. The actual playable content doesn't change regardless of free or Premium, but for players who play very frequently Premium is considered worth the cost.
  • Friendly Fire: If you let Melon or Marron 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 to 1 HP.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The ARKS logo has it written in small letters that it stands for Artificial Relict to Keep Species.
    • The same text appears on the sides of the screen on the mobile version.
  • Fusion Dance: In EP6 Chapter 3, Sukunahime combines with Magatsu to take control of it, giving it a Palette Swap in the process.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Played for Laughs. When Margaretta transforms into Dark Falz Apprentice, Margaretta's soul is seen on the other side of a mirror that Apprentice looks into. Margaretta is utterly disgusted with how her older self looks and talks, and she basically gives the player permission to beat the ever-loving shit out of her adult self.

    G-H 
  • Gag Boobs: Can be invoked with an accessory called the "Ballooned Bosom" ("Enormous Breast Pad" in the fan translation), which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: padding that resembles huge breasts, much larger than normally possible via the Character Creator, and with much more prominent Jiggle Physics. Since this is an accessory, it is possible to have duplicates of it equipped simultaneously as well as manipulate it to a large degree, allowing the player to use it for non-conventional purposes that range from what can best be described as "unique" to downright terrifying. Oh, and it's not exclusive to female characters, either, being usable on male characters as well as certain costumes (including the Rappy and Saldeenian costumes). There are also Japanese-themed and sci-fi themed variants of the accessory, providing extra options. Also overlaps with Boobs of Steel if just used to give a female character larger than standard breasts.
  • Gag Sub: While the Fan Translation is 99% faithful to the source, the translators also enjoy indulging in memes once in a while. Some of these include Pietro having a "Hon hon hon" tacked onto one of his text boxes, and Hitsugi's generic battle cry at the end of the Primordial Darkness fight being altered into the much-more-hilarious "LET'S GOOOOOOO!" in all caps.
  • Gaiden Game:
    • Series director Satoshi Sakai has stated that EPISODE 4 can be more or less considered a side story to the overarching plot. While it does have connections to the main story and it introduces concepts that are used later in EPISODE 5, the events of the Episode are mostly isolated and are rarely referred back to in EPISODE 5 save for a few cutscenes.
    • Phantasy Star Nova, Phantasy Star Online 2es, and IDOLA: Phantasy Star Saga can all be considered these; they aren't tied directly to the core plot but expand and explore on various facets of the game world that the main game doesn't cover.
  • 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, HP notwithstanding, 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 outside of All Class Weapons, it's not recommended to let them bite the dust.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: When you move on past Episode 1, Quna and Matoi are seen, in Quna's case, overlooking the stage area from the highest point of the Shop Area, and, in Matoi's case, next to the medical facility. However, when you start Episode 4, they both vanish until you encounter them again, whereupon they reappear in the same spots.
    • Also, the people in the ARKS Ship Bridge increase and decrease as you progress through the story, and earn more allies. Notably, this does NOT include Zelsius Quna or Matoi,note  who appear as above, since you can interact with both liberally throughout the story.
  • 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 Luther 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.
    • Quna's "Cosmic twinkle star/Where the Light Ends" concert experienced major hiccups on launch for PC users due to the game being forced to render so many assets at the same time, which included anything from Quna rendering incorrectly (such as missing her entire head) to just outright forcing the game to crash. The maintenance a week after launch fixed the bugs.
    • In-universe, Hitsugi encounters one in the story, after a mysterious shadow attempts to take control of her character. This has some unintended side effects...
    • The June 27th, 2018 update accidentally included the option to switch to a Team Room that wasn't meant to be available until a month later. Switching to the Team Room would cause anyone trying to enter the Team Room to softlock.
    • Clearly the Guidance Trainer affix wasn't tested well prior to release, as it launched with various glitches that resulted in an infamous string of emergency maintenance sessions that shut the game down for at least three days over the course of two weeks in addition to regularly scheduled maintenance.
    • The PC launch for the North American version was riddled with problems relating to the forced usage of the notoriously buggy Microsoft Store combined with SEGA's buggy launcher, which included the game making massive backup files for no explained reason, the game deleting itself if installed to drive that isn't the same one that Windows is on, other miscellaneous errors that resulted in players being forced to re-install their entire OS, as well as persistent stutter and lag in the lobby that isn't present in the Japanese version.
    • Also related to the above is Xbox Live Services being used for almost everything related to multiplayer, which causes huge delays and hiccups whenever said system encounters problems on its end. Much like the Microsoft Store problems, these aren't present in the Japanese version.
    • In September 2020, bots on the Global servers started abusing a severe item duplication glitch that had previously been ignored and flooded the market with duped AC items and various other valuables. News of this occurring caused players on the Japanese servers to start using it as well, which resulted in SEGA being forced to take down all forms of peer-to-peer item trading temporarily on both servers to patch it out.
  • 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.
  • Gatling Good: Launchers go full gatling gun with their Complex PA, showering foes with a hail of rapid-fire bullets before firing a devastatingly powerful explosion that nukes the surrounding impact zone.
  • 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.
  • Genre Shift:
    • EPISODE 4 does away with the settings of the previous Episodes and opts for Urban Fantasy with elements of Science Fantasy blended in.
    • EPISODE 5 jumps to a High Fantasy setting (as a reference to Phantasy Star I) with splashes of the popular isekai anime genre thrown in for good measure.
    • Finally, EPISODE 6 brings the entire thing full circle by going back to Science Fantasy.
  • "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 Gemini. 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 or teleport 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.
    • Infamously, around the time he was released, Dark Falz Persona would often linger outside the stage boundaries for extended periods of time if any of his attacks caused him to wander offstage, making it impossible for anyone who didn't have long-ranged damage to hurt him. This problem was especially apparent if a Summoner's Pet had aggro, as this would cause Persona to wander offstage chasing the Pet, much to the chagrin of other players who were usually forced to stand there and watch. An update fixed this so that Persona immediately returns to within stage boundaries if he ever moves off-stage.
  • Ghost Leg Lottery: Emergency Code: Judgement is a bomb-defusing minigame. Each bomb has glowing lines running across its side connecting an unlit node to a lit node on the other end via tracks. The player must follow the correct path leading to a lit node.
  • 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: Used as a gameplay mechanic. Bosses randomly spawning on the field for no reason is a common occurrence in almost any field that allows it, and in some fringe cases they'll have an entire map area dedicated to spawning them. Some bosses will only appear on their planet of origin, but Falspawn bosses can happen anywhere, anytime. The only known exceptions are the final Raid bosses; even the penultimate bosses that lead up to the Raids can crash your party on occasion.
    • In a more traditional example, Dark Falz Persona's existence in the story has very little justification, as he is almost completely disconnected from the main plot and only appears after the story in Omega has already been resolved.
  • 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.
    • Toggling Limit Break cuts a Fighter's maximum HP to 1/4 in exchange for a enormous 20% boost to Striking damage. Fighters under Limit Break have some of the best damage output in the entire game, but have an effective lifespan of one to two hits.
    • Certain Pets have particularly low Defense and HP but have high damage output in return. Torim, Aero, and Synchro are the main Pets within this category. Torim averts this somewhat upon reaching Level 130 due to the massive stat inflation he receives at that Level.
    • In Battle Arena, Jet Boots are highly mobile and can deal quite a bit of damage with their Arts, but they have even less HP than Rods.
  • Global Currency Exception: The game has several alternative currencies that can be used to buy things that you can't buy with Meseta.
    • ARKS Cash, the premium currency of the game. It can be used to play AC Scratch and buy things from the AC Shop and other places that, while unnecessary to fully enjoy the game, help out somewhat.
    • Star Gems, another "premium" currency that can also be bought with Microtransactions, but are also handed out by the game. These can be used to play SG Scratch and purchase items from the Treasure Shop, as well as time-saver functions like recharging Stamina and buying Extra Tree Change Passes.
    • FUN Points, which are earned over time by simply playing the game. They can be used at the FUN Shop for goods, or used to play FUN Scratch.
    • Netcafe Points, which can be earned by racking up hours playing the game at a supported Japanese netcafe. These can be used at the Netcafe Shop to purchase rare items.
    • Casino Coins, which are used to play Casino games in the Casino Area. When you're not gambling with them, you can use them at the Casino Coin Shop to purchase special items, including Rare Enemy Triggers.
    • Challenge Miles, which can be earned from playing Challenge Quest. Miles can be spent at the Challenge Shop for rare goodies, including the Ideal series weapons and Units, as well as Photon Boosters used to unlock Hidden Potentials.
    • Battle Coins, which are gained from playing Battle Arena. BC can be exchanged at the Battle Coin Shop for exclusive cosmetics and Units, among other things.
    • While not officially deemed a type of currency, Excubes gained from Level Cap Bonus and exchanging rare weapons can be turned in at the Excube Exchange Shop for items like Lv. 17 Discs, Rare Drop Rate +250% tickets and Units affixed with the ability Lucky Rise I.
    • Photon Drops, Crystals, and Spheres can be turned in at the Photon Exchange Shop for prizes.
    • That's not even getting into the other shops that wheel and deal in non-standard items, like the Badge Shop, which only accepts Badges and Ragol Memories, and several limited-time stores like the Chip Fragment Exchange Shop and Gavas Ticket Exchange.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Nyau, the adorable cat-like rare enemy, hosts and is the dealer for the Black Nyack Casino game.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • Sukunahime tricks Shiva into breaking Magatsu's seal so she can control it temporarily and use it to fight Shiva. Unfortunately, Shiva easily defeats Magatsu, and now that the seal is broken there's another problem running around...
    • Hagith shows up during the Luminmech invasion of Earth and summons Phantom Battleship Yamato to fight the Luminmechs. Enga begrudgingly admits that fighting fire with fire is probably the right answer at the moment.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors:
    • Episodes 1-3 have the ARKS (mainly their weapons and technology) represented by bright blue and various grays. The Falspawn are generally represented by black, red, purple, and occasionally pink.
    • In EPISODE 2, the avian Falspawn and Dark Falz Luther add gold into the mix.
    • EPISODE 3:
      • The toy Falspawn mix rather visceral-looking blacks and reds with bright pastel colors.
      • The Profound Darkness, Dio Hunar, and Anga Phandaj zigzag this trope. They mix the traditional Falspawn color palette with uncannily pretty-looking white, lavender, and gold hues.
    • Zigzagged in two cases in EPISODE 4:
      • The Phantasms and the ARKS are both represented by cool blues, but the members of Mother Corps wear all white.
      • The climax's Big Bad, Deus ESCA/Adam, mixes white and gold with some earthy browns and greens that are quite uncommon for villains.
    • EPISODE 5 returns to black and red for its antagonists, but with more gold and light purple hues than usual.
    • The Photoners of EPISODE 6 have a white and red color scheme and their Luminmechs mix in a variety of other light colors. ARKS sticks to its usual colors, though the default Phantom outfits are blue and black for maximum contrast.
  • 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.
  • Grand Finale: EPISODE 6, which culminates in the player, Matoi, Hitsugi, and Harriet destroying the Primordial Darkness, the source of all evil in the universe, once and for all, and Persona, Xion, and the Falzes taking their leave for the last time.
  • The Grappler: Wired Lance-wielding Hunters often use their weapons to form Instant Knots around their foes to whip them around the battlefield, doing everything from turning them into a living projectile to picking them up and piledriving them into the ground or another unsuspecting foe.
  • 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.
  • Gratuitous French: The Étoile Class, whose name means "star" in French.
  • Gratuitous German:
    • The Takt weapon class is shorthand for the word "taktstock", which is German for "baton". This was altered in NA to a Woolseyism, calling them "Harmonizers" instead.
    • The Valkyrie weapons have a logo printed on them that reads "Walküre", which is German for "Valkyrie", and have a warning label written in both English and German printed on the side.
    • The Gunslash PAs Kriegenschlag, Regenschlag, and Strezwei all follow this naming scheme. These were also all renamed in NA.
    • All of Phantom's PAs have German names.
  • 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.
    • Redran has a Photon Art called "Redran Gravity" where it fires a bullet that turns into a gravity well when it makes contact with a target.
  • 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.
  • Grenade Launcher: The Skill Ring "Another Launcher Mode" causes your Launcher shells to be affected by arc gravity, essentially turning them from rocket launchers into grenade launchers. PAs are unaffected though.
  • 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!:
    • Bar Lodos' infamous water ball attack, where it nukes the field (which can be i-framed through) with a slow-moving yet targetable projectile bomb, can be destroyed before it hits your platform - but only by the turrets. Even if you deal enough damage to slay godly beings, your weapons are completely incapable of destroying the ball, while the turret that does base level damage and is functionally useless for battle by this point in the game can.
    • 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 Advanced 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 in certain Quests. Even worse, the game doesn't tell you which Quests are affected by this mechanic.
    • Hero and Phantom have a hidden "staling" mechanic where the user gains less Gear from attacking when the same attacks are spammed repeatedly over a short period of time. The mechanic is designed to reward the player for keeping combat fresh and using a variety of battle options instead of relying on the same few tricks. Unfortunately, nothing in-game mentions that staling exists at all, leading players to wonder why their Gear takes so long to charge when they only spam the same two PAs.
  • Gun Twirling: The Hero's TMG Weapon Action is Reload, which takes the form of spinning around your Twin Machineguns like Revolver Ocelot to recharge PP. This is to offset Hero's TMG normal attack, which consumes PP to use.
  • Guns Akimbo:
    • Twin Machineguns, of course. Bullet spam everywhere, with a dash of Bullet Time and fancy flipping around for extra style points.
    • Hero ups the ante by one-upping Gunner, throwing Gun Twirling and even more bullet spam into the mix with the Reload Weapon Action and Photon Arts like Brand New Star.
  • Groin Attack: Some humanoid Falspawn 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.
  • Hailfire Peaks:
    • Naberius has a lush Forest area slapped right next to an eternally-snowy Tundra area. Unlike most examples of this trope, this is noted in-game to not be a natural occurrence, and Rogio does some research into the phenomenon in EPISODE 1 that very nearly gets him assassinated by ARKS. The reason why this occurs is that the influence of Elder's essence sealed within Naberius has caused half the planet to freeze over.
    • Amduscia combines Lethal Lava Land with Floating Continent. The reason for this is not explained until EPISODE 6, where it is revealed that Ro Kamitsu is another failed Xion clone. The Photoners rammed her into her "twin" Kashina, yet another failed clone, in an attempt to merge them together; however, the attempt was unsuccessful and the resulting fragmented bodies merged together to create Amduscia. Kashina became the volcanic core of the planet, while Kamitsu formed the Skyscape.
    • Lillipa has Shifting Sand Land above ground and Eternal Engine underground. The factory associations with the Tunnels are more obvious with its Ultimate counterpart, where the factory is both pristine and active.
  • Hand Wave: The Holiday Mode variants of NPCs (like Halloween 2017 Matoi) not being the same as their original counterparts is explained away as being Ether/Photon constructs that are technically Phantoms, but are different enough to not register as one.
  • 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.
  • Hard Mode Perks:
    • Enemy HP and general difficulty increase as you move up the difficulties, but most of the best equipment and loot only drops on Extra Hard difficulty. This especially applies to Free Fields, many of which were given Extra Hard difficulty in November 2018 when Elzelion was added (in addition to Kuron, which already had it when it released), as the available drops jump from Super Hard (which typically only offers gear up to 12★) to 14★ weaponry like Gear Experience, Dual Bird, Gilde Girola, and Gilles Weihen.
    • Advance Quests use level scaling in the form of a Risk mechanic. Risk will increase by +1 every time the Quest is cleared or if you spend extra Advance Capsules to forcibly increase it. As Risk increases, the enemy level will rise and the odds that you'll find Boosted enemies increases, but the Rare Drop Rate for the entire Quest increases as well.
  • 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.
    • Going past Super Hard is Extra Hard, a difficulty that usually appears in Emergency Quests and in most newer content. XH content can be accessed from Lv. 70 onwards, and generally features enemies between Lv. 75 and Lv. 80. Some enemies and bosses even get drastic changes that mix up how they're fought, such as Luther's clock shield.
    • Ultra Hard was added as part of the EPISODE 6 update. Aside from the typical stat changes, new gimmicks are introduced, including the Luminmech enemy type, Photoner Infection Cores, Ultra Enemies (Underground Monkey versions of old bosses), and Enemy Shields.
  • 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.
  • Headless Horseman: The Phantom "Dullahan Rider" is a play on this; it's a headless biker.
  • 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. At Lv. 10, the skill will automatically start healing you the moment you take any damage. Étoile gets a clone called Et HP Restorate, which functions identically but is unaffected by the effects of the Damage Balancer skill.
    • Certain weapons can restore the player's (or other players') HP gradually. For example, 4★ Sword Claymore can heal 10% of your HP every 5 seconds, the Seiga Sword heals you to max HP every 40 seconds, and the Zeinesis series weapons, given that you acquired the Blessing of Life Potential, heals all players in the party for 10% of their HP every 10 seconds.
  • 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.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Text dialogue uses your player name when needed, but any speech refers you as "you", "partner" (by Afin), "senpai/Boss" (by Io), "leader" (by the Falspawn Busters, Gene, More, Annette and Bruno), "Guardian" (by most of the people in Omega) and some of its variations like, "Guardian-kun" (by Omega Luther) and "Guardian-dono" (by Varuna).
  • Helpful Mook:
    • Mr. Umblla, a rare miniboss. If he hits you with his cane, you get a +100% Rare Drop Rate Bonus for 5 minutes.
    • Mr. Bowan is a very rare spawn that appears in the "Joker" Code. If you can fill up the gauge at the side of the screen by damaging him enough, he'll bestow a massive +300% Rare Drop Rate Bonus for 5 minutes.
    • Empe Rappies have an "attack" where they try and hug you. If they manage to grab you, they'll cuddle you while healing your HP.
  • 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 Falspawn 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...
    • Stages or bosses with persistent damage-over-time effects designed to ward off or punish players can be heavily exploited by certain classes to great effect. This includes Counter-Attack-themed classes like Hero, Phantom, Luster and (situationally) Katana Braver, and especially Summoner, whose access to Marron makes them incredibly lethal when paired with a way to rapidly charge their bomb-pillow Pet.
  • 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.
    • The global version also has its own holidays rather than using most Japanese holidays, having events based on American Independence day and Thanksgiving.
  • Home Run Hitter: The Wand PA "Heavy Hammer" causes the user to swing their Wand like a baseball bat when sufficiently charged. If a fully charged strike makes contact with a target, it will create a crunchy impact sound and blast the poor mook straight across the field.
  • A Homeowner Is You: Every player gets access to a MyRoom, a little personal space that they can decorate to their desire. Although you start out with a tiny MyRoom Mini, with the power of Premium or a 3 Day MyRoom Pass (for the low, low price of a single Excube), you can get a full size MyRoom that supports up to three separate rooms and up to 150 slots. In addition to being a Meseta/FUN dump, your MyRoom also serves to manage Support Partners and Crafting.
  • Hope Spot:
    • During your mission to infiltrate the Mothership in Episode 2, you and Matoi are forced to fight the mentor characters of the initial three classes, all under the thrall of the Emergency Code: Abyss. Fourie then shows up behind you, declaring that she sides with you. Unfortunately, she then adds that she wants you to die anyway to keep the others safe - she's also under the Emergency Code's control, and the inevitable fight becomes more lopsided than it originally was.
    • During the events of EPISODE 6 Chapter 2, Ro Kamitsu sends the heroes to the depths of Amduscia's corrupted region in a bid to reach the planet's core. Too bad Varuna shows up and the core is shattered in the ensuing Luminmech assault. This is then immediately subverted when Sera taps into the fragment of Xiao dwelling within her to revive him.
  • 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.
  • 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-K 
  • 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.
  • "I Am" Song: The Moon Base's theme, "Tears of the Moon", is a tragic ballad sung from Mother's perspective explaining her emotions and motivations. Fitting, it was covered by her voice actress as an Image Song.
  • Idol Singer:
  • 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 as it does 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.
  • Improbable Use of a Weapon: Some Photon Arts utilize your weapons in rather unusual ways. The main offenders would be Ride Slasher, where you hop onto your Sword and fly around on it to deal damage, and Rodeo Drive, where you mount your Launcher backwards and fly around on it by using the Launcher as a method of propulsion.
  • 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.
    • Jumping Dodge gives the user an extra-high jump on a short cooldown (given the ring is fully upgraded.)
      • If a Technique-using class has this and the S-Class Ability High-Minded, they can follow up the jump with a gliding slow fall while casting techniques. Forces (and the occasional Techer with a Talis in hand) can mix in slide casting to cover more horizontal distance.
  • Inconsistent Dub: The North American version suffers from an astounding number of translation inconsistenciesnote , which include:
    • "Just Attack" being renamed to "Perfect Attack" but some Skills still keeping the acronym "JA" from the original Japanese.
    • "Snatch" being renamed to "Tackle" on Skill Rings but Braver's Snatch Step Skill still being called "Snatch Step".
    • Multiple cosmetics that are supposed to have the exact same name in Japanese but have been parsed differently in English, i.e. "Cat-Eared Hairband" and "Cat Ears Headband".
    • Good luck finding a Story Mode quest that has the same name in both the quest list and in the title you get for S-Ranking it on Hardcore.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: The Enchanted Forest field in Omega, perhaps unsurprisingly, has treasure chests in place of the usual crates.
  • In Name Only: Like Portable 2, this game features a Braver Class. Unlike Portable 2, where Bravers were a Jack-of-All-Stats class, the PSO2 version of Braver is a Bow and Sword, in Accord class with a Japanese thematic. This is addressed in localizations; the Western version of Portable 2 localized it as "Vanguard", while the SEA version of PSO2 refers to it as "Samurai".
  • In-Universe Game Clock: The field gimmick of Coast and Floating Facility is day and night cycles. The fields will be on one or the other when you spawn in, and will gradually switch every few minutes. In Coast, at least, day and night cycles affect how Shell Flowers/Blitzblossoms function; during the day, they will spew poison gas that can afflict you with Poison if you approach them, while at night, they explode when destroyed and inflict damage to any enemy near the blast.
  • Infinity -1 Sword:
    • Darkbanisher Ayer, the base version of the Primordial Darkness weapon series. It's surprisingly easy to get for its power tiering and is the third best weapon series in the Japanese version of the game, only losing to Stil and its own upgrade, Lightweaver Cras.
    • The Scion 15★s introduced in the Viva Las Vegas! update are also quite powerful, having a very similar power tier to Darkbanisher Ayer and sporting powerful effects, most notably Hero's series which significantly boosts the effectiveness of Hero Time.
    • The Fluxio series is statistically second only to Lightweaver Cras and have an extremely potent power tiering alongside an unusual combination of S1, S4 and S5 slots. They're also much easier to get than typical endgame weapons, with them being given out for certain Challenge Quest Titles, and despite only having access to up to five (and a Harmonizer) you can Category Change them for no cost.
    • Interestingly, Nebulos. A rare instance of a Phantasy Star Online 2es weapon series having a competitive tiering in the main game, it's also the best All Class weapon series available due to its respectable base, S-Grade access, and synergy with the powerful Phrase Decay.
    • The Global version has Atra. Loses to some drop-only 14★ weapons in raw power but otherwise has a respectable power tier and is comparatively easy to get, especially since version-exclusive Collection Folders make it significantly easier to grind for than when it was added in the Japanese version.
    • In-Universe, a few characters hold weapons exactly like this:
      • Klariskrays III carries Clarissa II the Ashen, a duplicate of the original Clarissa the White made by Luther. It's also a Shoddy Knockoff Product as while it's a powerful Rod in its own right, it was mass-produced for all the Klariskrays III clones and a means for Luther to subtly control the poor girl.
      • Matoi gains Clarissa III after losing the original during the events of EPISODE THREE. It's quite powerful, but it doesn't have all of the abilities the original had.
      • Theodor has Reinolt the Shapeless, another weapon made by Luther.
  • Infinity +1 Sword:
    • The Lightweaver series is the strongest weapon set in the game, with stats and a damage-boosting potential that handily outstrip everything else available on top of having five S-Grade Augment slots for customization purposes. The caveat is that it requires a Darkbanisher weapon and a variety of rare materials to make one.
    • In-lore, the Cosmogenic Arms are weapons created from the souls of Photoners to become objects of exceeding power. Yonohate is said to be able to cleave planets in half, while Labrys threatened to kill Dark Falz Elder in a single hit. However, this power comes at a price, and pulling one out is usually a sign that things have crossed the Godzilla Threshold.
  • 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 Falspawn 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: Ending.
    • EPISODE 6 introduces an enhanced version of the A.I.S. called the A.I.S. Vega, which is outfitted with special parts designed to acclimate to space combat. In addition to enhanced 3D mobility, the Vega boasts new functions such as the Multi-Lock Missiles, which can lock onto multiple targets simultaneously, and the Counter Shield, which allows the A.I.S. to absorb enemy attacks and reflect the damage back towards enemies.
  • 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.
  • Interface Screw: Downplayed in the Episode 2, Chapter 4 story mission, "Day of Resurrection". Regius calls in Emergency Code 'Abyss' to all ARKS. This Emergency Code, nominally meant to direct attention towards an imminent catastrophe, essentially brainwashes every available ARKS member, making them follow the stated instructions without question... which during the mission is "eliminate the traitor" - you! As a result, for the first few areas with that Emergency Code in effect, the 'Target' tag normally placed on your intended opponents is placed on you instead, the mission callouts on your HUD read "Defeat <Player Character>", and you proceed by defeating the ARKS sent after you, 'interrupting' the Code rather than 'completing' it.
  • 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: Gel Wulff, big brother of the Wulffs, appears in certain E-Trials. They are completely immune to direct attack and phase through solid obstacles to pursue players, forcing players to avoid their attacks until the timer expires. Later variations of the Gel Wulff E-Trial added a mounted cannon that can be used to destroy the Gel Wulffs.
  • 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:
    • In older content with a piloting time restriction of two minutes, the A.I.S.'s Photon Blaster can only be used once per session, as its cooldown is also two minutes.
    • The Hero Skill "Hero Will" is a Last Chance Hit Point Skill like the Hunter Skill "Iron Will", but has a 100% chance of activation when maxed. However, it can only trigger once per Quest. Ditto for Potentials that clone its effect, such as the Jutus/Lumiere/Atlas Ex weapons and certain Super Special Abilities.
    • Dark Blast can only be activated once per Quest. Furthermore, the Elder, Luther, and Apprentice Blasts each have a "ultimate" attack that is incredibly strong but can only be used once per transformation. Gemini Blast doesn't have this restriction as its "ultimate" is designed to be spammed repeatedly.
    • This is the gimmick of the Sign Burn Gunslash. It gives its user a free, single-use nuke attack that hits all enemies in a huge radius for massive damage. Once you use it, it can never be used again in the same Quest instance, and all of the weapon's attacks deal 1 damage afterwards.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Just Following Orders: This trope causes a lot of the headaches for the Player Character and others in the first two EPISODEs.
    • When you first meet Quna, she's on the hunt for Haddrad, only being told that he was a traitor and needs to be put down. After awhile, the Player Character is able to rattle her brain enough to get her to question the order. She still goes through with it, but she ends up treating it more of a Mercy Kill than the assassination it was meant to be.
    • Then, there's the Absolute Order, which commands the entirety of ARKS to come down on a target. Everyone does this unquestionably when ordered on you (though admittedly there was some brainwashing involved in keeping them in line), but when Quna reveals everything, they wisely and rightfully back off. It's part of the reason why the organization restructures itself afterwards.
  • 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".
    • The Extra Hard version of Phantom Battleship Yamato busts these out once it Turns Red.
  • King Mook:
    • The King Yede, a giant Yede that looks very similar to a cross between a Rockbear and a Yede, and has properties and attacks from both. Also doubles as a Fake Ultimate Mook, as despite its relatively large size compared to other local fauna, it's barely stronger than other normal enemies.
    • Rappy-type enemies skip the "King" phase completely (although there is a King Rappy in a spin-off) and go straight to "Empe Rappy", a gigantic, obese Rappy adorned with a huge crown and has to be flown around by carrier Rappies tied to balloons. Empe Rappies are Metal Slimes that typically drop equipment affixed with the valuable "Empe Embrace" Ability that can be used to accelerate NT Grinding.
  • Knockback Evasion: Named "Just Reversal", pressing jump (Spacebar by default) the moment your body hits the ground will allow you to flip back on your feet. Once you learn the Air Reversal Skill, you can right yourself while being tossed into the air.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: Bar Lodos 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.

    L-M 
  • 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. This also applies to the Homura's Bow camo for Bullet Bows. Homura doesn't get a Bow until post-Cosmic Retcon.
    • 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 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.
    • The very beginning of EPISODE 5 spoils the climatic plot event from the end of EPISODE 3, where Persona became the Profound Darkness. This made very little sense to new players as clearing the prologue was required to unlock Omnibus Quest, which actually shows the plot event in question, but the EPISODE 6 update changed this so that Omnibus can be completed first.
  • Large Ham: A good chunk of bosses that can talk ham it up to some degree. Especially some of the Dark Falzes and Deus ESC-A.
  • Laser Blade:
    • Over End summons a big beam of light to envelop your Sword and extend its range while you slowly slash with it.
    • Sacrifice Bite covers your Sword in Photons and boosts your PP recovery. The Type-0 variant also gives your Normal Attacks boosted range and enhanced buff duration.
    • Stargazer, the 11th-Hour Superpower used by the main cast of Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation during the final episode and is literally fueled by The Power of Friendship. The player uses it to kill Omega Falz Apprentice in an identical fashion to her Oracle counterpart from said anime, and later on, the main cast of The Animation reunite to summon Stargazer again and blow an entire Luminmech battleship to high heaven.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The events of ten years prior to the start of the game. Xion was so upset at what happened to Matoi/Klariskrays II that she erased everyone's memories of the event, information of that event from being recorded and even prevents time travel beyond the point of Matoi's sacrifice. This proves a problem for the Player Character when, asking about the Dark Falz that was attacking there, they tell of a young child and not the adult woman they faced.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: In many, many varieties.
    • An entire line of skills called "Will", which includes Iron Will, Hero Will, and Luster Will. They all protect the user from lethal damage and give brief invulnerability, but all come with a handicap. Iron Will has only a 75% chance to activate, while Hero Will and Luster Will disappear on use and can only be restored with the Hero Refresh skill and reaching 500 Voltage respectively. Étoile Will is a variation as it fully heals the user upon activating instead of leaving them at the brink (but on the other hand, its single use per quest cannot be refreshed by any means).
    • The Fighter skill Limit Break Insurance protects against death if the user is in Limit Break, but deactivates Limit Break and extends its cooldown. The more times you activate it, the longer the cooldown increase, but going a full Limit Break without activating it resets the penalty.
    • Some Potentials, notably the Lumiere/Atlas Ex weapons, and a certain S-Grade has this as its effect, with the catch that It Only Works Once or its effect is random like Iron Will. Bringing multiple weapons with the same effect doesn't work either, in case you were wondering.
  • Last Episode Theme Reprise:
    • The Limited Quest "Special Breakthrough Training: EPISODE 1-4", one of the last Quests to be added in the final EPISODE 4 content update, is a Boss Rush set to all the theme songs used for the game over the past five years. Area 1 uses the Vita version's opening, Area 2 uses "Resonant Nation", Area 3 uses "Ten Shissouru Fu", Area 4 uses "Borderless", and Area 5 caps it off with a reprise of "The whole new world".
    • In addition to the Theme Music Power-Up, the credits for the true ending of EPISODE 6 features an orchestral arrangement of "The whole new world" With Lyrics.
  • 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 have a particularly recognizable musical element associated with them.
      • Elder generally features some sort of synth.
      • Luther has a lot of Ominous Latin Chanting.
      • Gemini gets violins.
      • Apprentice is associated with the "Mining Base Defense" musical style and themes.
    • When Dark Blast is activated, the transformation sequence is accompanied by a riff from the Dark Falz theme corresponding to the form being activated.
  • Lethal Joke Weapon:
    • Some of the crazy weapons are also pretty darn strong. Umbrellas, paper fans, surf boards, lollipops, the list goes on. Goodbye Fire Ver. 2 and Bullet Kunai take this to the logical extreme; Goodbye Fire is a fire extinguisher as a Launcher, and Bullet Kunai is a Twin Machinegun that shoots ninja kunai. They're also both 13★, and the latter is also armed with an extremely strong Counter-Attack that makes it one of the best Twin Machineguns for Hero in the game.
    • Innocent Appearance combinations can turn uncharged Techniques, which are typically quite underpowered, into very deadly sources of damage, depending on the Techs used. One popular one was with Nabarta in EPISODE 2, which was powerful enough to warrant nerfing both Innocent Appearance and Nabarta Crafts.
    • Anything you want if you Craft it to sufficiently high Extend Levels.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The volcanoes of planet Amduscia. Good for the players that in PSO2, Lava Is Boiling Koolaid.
  • Level Grinding: There is a vast spike in the grind curve upon passing Level 75, to the point where the EXP needed to get from 75 to 80 is greater than the combined EXP needed to get from 1 to 75. This is also required to get to a significant portion of the endgame content, as some Extra Hard content has level requirements as high as Level 80, with Ultra Hard requiring at minimum Level 85. Better break out those Bonus Keys!
  • Life Drain:
    • Megiverse causes any player within its range to heal back 25% of the damage they deal as HP.
    • A lot of Potentials have this effect. There's usually some sort of handicap on it, such as Vampiric Blade having uncapped healing but no damage multiplier, while all other healing effects have a cap of either 30 or 50 HP per hit. Some S-Grades also get in on this, such as a generic life-stealing effect, an effect that heals on Critical Hit and boosts the power/rate of Crits, and one that only has a 10% chance to activate but has a cap of 300 HP instead.
    • On Super Hard or higher, enemies with certain Infection Cores can recover HP when they attack a player.
  • 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.
    • In direct contrast to the Dark Falzes, the antagonists of EPISODE 4, Mother Corps, dress in white and blue. This extends to the Phantoms, whose signature color is a soft, ethereal blue, yet are just as dangerous as Falspawn.
    • Deus Esca is themed around light and earth, its name is Latin for "god", and it uses lots of light-based attacks. It also happens to be the Final Boss of EPISODE 4, and a cold, tyrannical 'deity' with no regard for life. The Phantasms it commands have a distinct angelic theme as well.
    • Luminmechs, Shiva's Photoner minions. It's in the name, even.
    • This applies to the Photoners in general, as later Episodes make it abundantly clear that despite their association with photons and by extension light, they were a thoroughly corrupt society of Abusive Precursors.
  • Lightning Bruiser:
    • Ilzonde does this quite literally, charging the player with electricity then making them zip forward to damage enemies.
    • Heroes can cover ground with incredible speed and hit like a speeding truck.
    • Nemes Ange, despite being many times bigger than an AIS, moves and swings its blades absurdly quickly.
  • Like Cannot Cut Like: AIS Exoda take severely reduced damage from other AIS, making it inefficient to take them down with one. Meanwhile, they're weak to damage from non-AIS sources, such as players on foot.
  • Limit Break:
    • Photon Blasts. Unlike the previous game, however, MAGs are limited to one blast type.
    • Compound Technics. They are dual element "super" Technics that must be charged by attacking enemies with Technics, and can only be used by Forces or Techers wielding the appropriate weapons. There are:
      • Zandion: A Wind/Lightning Tech. The user sprouts wings made of wind energy and flies around, dealing damage and dropping lightning bolts in his/her wake.
      • Fomelgion: A Fire/Dark Tech. The user annihilates foes with a gigantic beam made of fire and dark energy.
      • Barantsion: An Ice/Light Tech. The user forms blades of ice, then approaches a target and assaults them with a flurry of slashes.
    • 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 Battle Aura) after Perfect Guarding, and the skill Katana Combat, which makes them attack super fast and fly around at ridiculously high speed.
    • Hero has the Hero Time Skill, which can be activated once their Hero Gear Gauge is full. When activated, the user recovers all of their PP and gains a stacking ATK buff and accelerated Hero Boost fill rate. If Hero Time is active, the user can use the skill again to activate Hero Time Finish, an ability that ends Hero Time to perform an extremely powerful super attack.
    • Similarly, Phantom gets Phantom Time, usable when at least half the Phantom Gear Gauge is full. Phantom Time enhances your Step invulnerability and reduces PP consumption; this can be further enhanced with additional Skills that boost your Mark build rate and Jellen application chance. One of these Skills also grants access to Phantom Time Finish, which is similar to its Hero Time Finish counterpart.
    • Certain weapons have access to Complex Photon Arts. Dealing damage charges the Complex PA Gauge, and when the Gauge has enough stocks, you can unleash an extremely powerful PA that inflicts tremendous damage. Notably, Complex PAs are the only attacks in the game that are completely unaffected by any form of damage multiplier, positive or negative, and thus do damage based solely on the player's raw stats.
  • Lip Lock: Lip movements follow set patterns with no regard for the actual words being spoken. Quna is an exception during her live performances.
  • Logical Weakness: Falspawn cores are susceptible to damage because the EPISODE 1&2 Materials Collection shows that F-Factor particles form around a central core to form a Falspawn.
  • 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.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • In ARKS League, if multiple players have the same score at the end of the League period, all players within that score threshold will receive the same reward. By making it so that all players tie for first, every player in the same grouping will receive the reward for first place. Depending on your grouping, your opponents may call for an unspoken truce so that everyone gets the max reward. Unfortunately, most players ignore this and simply gun for the highest score.
    • Normally, resetting a Skill Tree costs 500 AC to purchase a Skill Tree Reset Pass, but you need to pay this fee every time you want to reset a Tree. There is also a function that lets you move spare Skill Trees around for 100 Star Gems. Having a spare Skill Tree costs 500 AC up front, but you keep it permanently, and moving the spare Tree around refunds all of the points on the Tree. Thus, you can avoid having to pay the 500 AC reset fee by simply moving a spare Skill Tree with SG.
  • Loose Canon:
    • Side Stories and the voice dramas. While they fit into canon, they are never referenced at any point in the main continuity and are only mentioned by supplementary materials.
    • The Evangelion crossover story has the capacity to be canon, since the very end of the storyline explains that the entire plot was the result of Ether and that all of the characters (including Ramiel) weren't real.
  • 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!
    • If you don't play Phantasy Star Online 2es, unlocking Weaponoid Potentials. They require a material known as Weaponoid Boosters, and if you don't play the aforementioned spin-off, they can only drop as an E-Trial reward that involves PSO2es character Jeane. Needless to say, the chances of getting it to drop, much less getting a Code with Jeane at all, are very, very slim.
    • Arkuma Slots was pitched as being a "high risk, high reward" Casino game that cost 500 CC to play, but had extremely high potential winnings compared to every other Casino game. What this actually means is that half the "game" consists of a guessing match where you have between a 1/4 and 50-50 chance to lose everything you've earned, and if you don't hit the fail chance, your stock gets multiplied by a percent value. Potential earning can vary from the low 10,000s to even 100,000 CC, but even getting there is almost entirely RNG. The March 2017 update remedied the amount of luck required to actually earn a profit by adjusting the slot odds.
  • Lucky Seven: Chroto, the NPC who gives Client Orders for Time Attacks and Extreme Quests, is heavily associated with the number seven due to his fandom reputation for being filthy rich (which also makes it an Ascended Meme by extension). Not only do his unique Twin Machineguns have a raw R-ATK stat of 777 at +10, his corresponding card in the Trading Card Game is a 7 ATK/7 HP Character Card who costs 7 PP to play and has an on-play effect that consumes 7 PP to deal 7 damage to all opposing Characters.
  • 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. You can destroy said missile launchers to remove the threat, however.
    • In the ESC-A Falz Mother EQ, the Rideroid is armed with a Skill that allows you to fire a huge missile salvo at your crosshairs that can inflict huge damage if all missiles land. The skill has a fairly minimal recharge time of 15 seconds, so you're encouraged to spam it repeatedly to whittle down ESC-A Falz Mother's HP.
  • 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.
  • Made of Phlebotinum: Literally everything in Oracle is powered by Photons. Your BFS Laser Blade? Photons. Recoil Boost rocket launcher? Photons. Sentient battle creatures that you control with Magic Music? Photons. Flying cars? Photons. Healing your friends? Photons. Healing yourself? Photons. This eventually comes to bite the heroes in the ass when Shiva and her posse come along and suddenly the heroes are scrambling to figure out how to beat the Big Bad without the Applied Phlebotinum.
  • 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.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • The Rappy Pet only comes in two rarities: 10★ and 13★. 10★ is a Crutch Character if you're playing Summoner for the first time and happened to buy the Deluxe Package. 13★, on the other hand, is this; while 10★ has pretty lackluster stats at Lv. 85, upon passing Lv. 100, its stat growth explodes.
    • NT Crafting and Ripper/Slayer abilities applied this to low-rarity NT weapons. Due to the way NT Craft stat scaling works, any weapon eligible for the mechanic can reach a stat level equivalent to high 14★/low 15★ stats. Most weapons 13★ or lower don't have Super Special Abilities, but they get access to Ripper and Slayer affixes instead, whose damage scales inversely with the weapon's rarity: 7% on 13★ weapons, and 13% on anything 12★ and lower. The ultimate result is that you can wind up having junky-looking low rarity gear that matches or surpasses existing 15★ weapons with enough effort and investment.
  • Male Gaze: If you look at the icons for the game's Steam achievements, every single one of them, no matter what the achievement is for, is just a close-up of part of an attractive girl's body- a cavalcade of pretty faces, exposed bellies and cleavages, curvaceous thighs and buttocks, bare legs etc etc.
  • Mana Burn: Some enemies have the ability to deal PP damage with certain attacks, which is indicated by violet numbers and causes your PP to decrease on hit. It's typically associated with avian Falspawn and Falz Angel, but a few other enemies like Dagan Yuga and Shiva can do 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 Falspawn intent on busting your Mining Bases. Mining Base Defense: Ending is more of the same, except for the final wave Dark Falz Apprentice Zia joins in on the fun.
    • Dignity of Steel Unleashed: Be prepared for a mad-dash through large crowds of mobs for twenty minutes, followed by another ten to twenty minutes battling the Phantasm Warship Yamato.
    • EPISODE 2, Chapter 5 is notorious for being one of the longest Story Quests. This is partly because of the higher-than-normal cutscene density, but also because there's a lot of battles. Later Story Quests made a point of either including more generous checkpoints and being shorter in general so levels don't forever.
    • EPISODE 4, Chapter 8. If you don't skip any cutscenes, the entire Story Quest can take upwards of an hour, if not more. Doesn't help that it's one of the hardest Story Quests in the game, with the Hardcore level scaling and annoying bosses.
  • Master of All:
  • Master of None: The main reason the Rappy Pet isn't actually that good is that it does a lot of things decently well, but is sorely outclassed by Pets with specialized attributes. Its main saving graces are its strong normal attack and its Personality that speeds up the recovery time of other Pets, the latter of which make it a decent backup Pet.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The existence of power that is not related to Photons, Ether, or Mana is teased multiple times over the course of the story, although what the power actually is is never elaborated on. The three primary users are:
    • Phaleg: Runs on Charles Atlas Superpower and has been alive for literal millennia, being the first woman on Earth and all.
    • Alma: Has the ability to stop time, an ability that Regius and Maria have noticed is not Photon-derived.
    • Alis: Her degree of control over the Laconium Sword is nothing short of superhuman, and Xiera notes that neither her power nor the Laconium Sword itself draws its power from Mana, leading her to suggest that Alis could possibly be wielding real magic.
  • Me's a Crowd: Signo Beats can create holographic projections of themselves. The fakes look exactly like the real one, have the same HP, and can still deal damage, but when defeated, they simply fade away without giving EXP. Crowd control works especially well when you have to deal with the projections.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Like Algol, Naverius is named after the fictional demon, Amduskia is likewise named after the demon King Amdusias, Lilipa is named after Lilliput, a fictional location from Gulliver's Travelsnote  Wopal 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, Gemini has two hosts, Losernote  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, Nav Rappies can only be found on Naverius.
  • Meat Moss: The Falspawn Den is an ARKS ship that has been completely overrun by the Falspawn, and its interior is covered with flesh-like growths.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Robotic enemies appear on planet Lillipa.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: Summoners are frequently considered the black sheep of PSO2. They don't play by the same rules as the other classes, lacking common mechanics and abilities in favor of their own Mons system. Their power curve is the only one in the game that can best be described as "parabolic" (in contrast to Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards), and they are considered resource-intensive in the early game but extremely cheap to gear in the endgame.
  • Mega Twintails: Straight Large Tails, Intake Large Tails and Casual Large Tails are past waist-length, and HUGE.
  • Mêlée à Trois: Happens whenever the Arks (Player Characters), the native fauna of the planets they explore and the Falspawn meet in the same place.
  • Menswear Ghetto: If you were to look at a catalogue of costumes that have been released in its runtime, it's clear that female characters have more than triple the clothing options than the males.
  • 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: In several different varieties, mind.
    • Rappies, of course. In addition to being rather uncommon and non-combative, they can drop some neat stuff if defeated. However, they tend to be rather flighty.
    • A step up from Rappy is the Empe Rappy, a large, obese Rappy with an ornate crown. Unlike regular ones, this one does fight, and you won't be adoring it so much when it rolls over you. However, Empe Rappies can drop NT weapons affixed with the ability Empe Embrace, which gives a large EXP bonus when used in NT Grinding.
    • Tagamikazuchi drops an enormous amount of EXP if you can kill it. They're also vanishingly rare outside of Bonus Quests.
    • Izanekazuchi to a lesser extent, which is a golden Palette Swap of Tagamikazuchi. While still rare, it's somewhat more common, especially in Emergency Quests, and it doesn't really drop more EXP than most other targets. However, it does drop crystals that can be sold as high-priced Vendor Trash, and if you're lucky, it may drop one of its powerful 12★ Units.
    • Mesetan is a non-combative creature hiding in an oversized Meseta crystal. Not only does it constantly spawn Meseta while it lives, if defeated, it'll start chucking out massive amounts of Meseta. It's not uncommon to earn at least a few hundred thousand Meseta from a single Mesetan encounter.
    • Mr. Umblla is a big... thing that can randomly appear from the sky. If you let it hit you with its cane, it will be satisfied, and leave behind rare prizes, including the rare Umblla Stick. However, it doesn't like it if you attack it...
    • Mr. Bowan is a genie living in a bottle. If you inflict enough damage on the bottle before time runs out, it can bestow upon you a massive +300% Rare Drop Rate bonus!
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Mighty Glacier:
    • Launchers attack as slow as a truck. They also hit as hard as one, too.
    • While Synchro is a fast-attacking Glass Cannon, its evolution Vulcan qualifies as this. Its PAs come out aggravatingly slow and its Geki takes much longer to charge, but all of its attacks deal monstrous damage and it comes with a whopping 70% damage reduction built-in with its Personality.
  • Million-to-One Chance: It is possible to get a Falz Arms Emergency Trial during Raging Dark Arms, but the odds of this happening are phenomenally low.
  • 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 Falspawn 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:
  • Money Sink: For many players, cosmetics are the easiest ways to throw money away. Do they do anything besides make you look cool? Nope! Since they mostly come from the paid gacha, they also happen to be money sinks for real cash and double as a form of "sanctioned" RMT since they can be bought and sold with Meseta. The second biggest money sink is affixing, although this actually does something useful and dspending on your priorities you could actually spend more on that.
  • Money Spider: Mesetans are creatures who live in large, Meseta-shaped shells and spit out Meseta by merely existing. Defeating one causes it to become angry and toss out a huge batch of Meseta at once.
  • 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 Luther.
    • Dark Falz Gemini, 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 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.
  • Morph Weapon:
    • The Hero's Demonia Series weapons (and their close relative, the Lux Frieden camo) appears to follow this trend, as all three weapons in the series share a base form that transforms when unsheathed.
    • Ditto for the Dyne Series, also designed for the Hero class as Demonia was; all three weapons take the form of a BFS when sheathed, but the TMG and Talis versions transform into respective alternate forms. The Dyne Sword just uses the original form straight.
  • Most Gamers Are Male: Part of the reason why ARKS seems so saturated with women and females are the Game-Favored Gender.
  • Multicolored Hair: Certain hairstyles, typically denoted by the suffix "GV", for "Gradient Variant"note , allow you to pick two hair colors, with the primary color fading into the secondary color on the hairstyle.
  • 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.
    • Spread Needle, the 14★ Assault Rifle, is the only Ranged-type weapon that can cut grass.
  • Musical Nod:
    • The complete version of this game's rendition of The whole new world samples the theme of its predecessor, which goes by the same name.
    • Not only is the title screen music named "A Lyric for Everlasting Story", a reference to the name of PSO's title screen theme, "A Song for Eternal Story", it's also intentionally made to sound similar to its predecessor.
    • 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 Luther'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. The post-quest theme is also an updated version of "Rose Confession" from Phantasy Star Online.
    • ESC-A Falz Mother is given an updated remix of "Death Place" from Phantasy Star II.
    • Omega Apprezina and Omega Falz Apprentice both incorporate riffs from the Final Wave theme of "Resonant Catastrophe", which plays when you fight Dark Falz Apprentice Gia at the end of "Mining Base Defense: Demise".
    • Each of Dark Falz Persona's masks is associated with an enhanced version of the respective Falz's raid boss theme. "IDOLA da Sledge of Destruction" and "IDOLA the Audacious Joker" are remixed for the Elder and Gemini masks respectively, while Omega Falz Luther's theme is recycled with added instruments for the Luther mask. The Apprentice mask blends together Omega Falz Apprentice's theme and elements of the Mining Base Defense: Demise Final Wave theme as a reference to both of her raid boss appearances.
    • The credits theme for the Bad Ending of EPISODE 6 uses the melody of "Living on like stars".
    • The credits theme for the true ending features an instrumental section where the song reprises the melodies of "Eternal Encore", "Living on like stars", "Hello", "Where the Light Ends", and "FINARIA".
  • Musical Theme Naming: The Potentials of many Takts are at least tangentially related to music in name, and many feature the recurring word "Melody". This ties into the idea that the Takts are somehow related to Magic Music due to being batons, and the Pet Sympathy symbol being a musical note.
  • My Little Panzer: Falspawn on Harukotan all have a toy theme to them, following the insect theme and bird theme that the previous Falspawn had.
  • Mythology Gag: There's quite a few snippets here and there that touch upon its predecessor or even Phantasy Star Universe.
    • Many of the default characters seen in trailers are named after Phantasy Star Online characters. Braver's demo characters are named after Phantasy Star Portable 2 infinity characters (which also had a Braver class), Étoile's demo characters are also named after Phantasy Star IV characters, and Luster's demo characters are named after Phantasy Star Zero characters (as an homage to the Gunslash's debut game).
    • A forest full of wild animals, followed by caves full of dragons, followed by a desert full of machines, followed by ruins full of dark creatures? Three out of four locations in that order and all four enemy groups are a direct throwback to the first PSO, with the tunels full of mechs being added later on. Moreover, in the Japanese version, also three out of four are the names these enemy groups introduced in Episode 1, which are throwbacks to the orginal PSO: Natives, Mechs and Darkers but for some unfatomable reason, all of these names were changed in the offical North American release.
    • The Photon Arts Customization "Parallel Slider Type-0" was specifically made to emulate Gilliam, the default male CAST, from the very first opening movie, where he attacks a Dagan with sustained fire while gliding.
    • A good number of weapons are from past games. Especially the 14★ weapons, which include Eternal Psycho Drive, Spread Needle, Kazami-no-Tachi, and Lavis Cannon.
    • In addition to the above, many of the 14★ that are from older games bring back the weapons' special abilities from Phantasy Star Online as Potentials. For example, Spread Needle has a chance to inflict Stun on hit, and Lavis Cannon fires a shockwave when performing a basic combo finisher.
    • You can obtain a one-of-a-kind Tsumikiri J-Sword Weapon Camo by defeating 23,000 enemies with the ultra-rare 15★ Sealed J-Sword, the exact same way you upgrade the J-Sword in the original Phantasy Star Online.
    • 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", a clever reference to the Greater-Scope Villain of the original series introduced in Phantasy Star IV... and foreshadowing the existence of this universe's Profound Darkness two years in advance.
    • The Naura Cake Sisters are one in and of itself, but there's also a very rare variant of the Emergency Trial that involves finding and protecting the lost Youngest Sister as she tries to make her way back to the Shop van, a reference to a sidequest in Phantasy Star Zero where the Youngest Sister goes missing and the player is tasked with finding her.
    • In early versions of the game, there was a limited-time Emergency Quest that was themed around Burning Rangers, continuing a tradition among the online games to feature such a Quest. The Quest is even called "ARKS Ship Fire Swirl" as a reference to the original Online's Burning Rangers Quest, which was titled "Central Dome Fire Swirl".
    • Two classic weapons inspired by Sonic the Hedgehog have also returned: the Egg Blaster (twin machine guns) and Sonic Knuckle (weapon camo for knuckles).
    • The Gunner Skill "Chain Trigger" has a similar effect to the Chain mechanic from Phantasy Star Portable 2, where you build a Chain counter by using normal attacks, then using a Photon Art at the end that gains a damage multiplier based on the Chain count.
    • 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.
    • Bar Lodos 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.
    • 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.
    • Some Weaponoid Potentials borrow their names directly from the names of the Weaponoid's relevant ability featured in Phantasy Star Online 2es.
    • Mid 2017 saw the introduction of a new event type known as "ARKS Boost Rally", in which the player completes rotations of Advance Quests in order to gain an increasing boost to EXP, Rare Drop Rate, and Rare Enemy Rate. The name and format of the event is a reference to the GUARDIANS Boost Road event from Phantasy Star Universe.
    • The Erythron Dragon, the first raid boss in EPISODE 5, is a large, stock-standard red dragon, and doubles as a reference to the original Phantasy Star I, which had a Red Dragon as a boss. Furthermore, the special weapon you can pick up in the fight is known as the "Laconian Sword", which, in Phantasy Star I, was the best Sword in the game, only usable by Alis (who wields the true Laconian Sword in PSO2), and is acquired from defeating the Red Dragon.
    • The "Well-Done Steak" item, in addition to being a standard boost item, also increases your maximum PP by 20 while it's active as a reference to its Stamina-boosting properties in the Monster Hunter series.
    • The 7th opening changes Ash's weapon from the basic Sword into the Coat Edge, possibly referencing his anime counterpart.
    • One of Étoile's PAs, Saber Destruction, is heavily based on the Twin Saber PA "Blade Destruction" that appeared in Phantasy Star Portable 2 and the Japanese version of Universe.
    • The location where Dark Falz Elder is sealed is an obselisk in a green area, much like Dark Falz in the first game.
    • One of the last cutscenes in EPISODE 6 has Xion referring to herself as the Great Light, a nod to being the counterpart of the Profound Darkness in Phantasy Star IV.
    • The Phantasy Star Online 20th Anniversary event Limited Quest "Like A Phantasy" is a recreation of PSO's famous "Towards the Future" Quest, with players starting in Pioneer 2's teleporter room then fighting enemies in the Forest/Volcanic Caves, fighting Bar Lodos (standing in for De Rol Le), moving on to the Tunnels/Ruins, then fighting a Dark Falz at the end.
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