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Video Game / Phantasy Star

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Saving the universe from Dark Force since 1987!note 

Sega's answer to the RPG craze of the late 1980s, the Phantasy Star series was a classic contemporary to Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy with a Science Fantasy spin on the genre. Having been in the hands of several of Sega's development studios — in chronological order: Sega RD4, Sega AM7 (Overworks/Sega Wow), and Sega AM8 (Sonic Team) — the franchise has taken several different forms since its inception.

The original tetralogy of turn-based role-playing games is primarily set in the Algol solar system, focusing on the planets Palma, Motavia, and Dezoris. Across thousands of years, various heroes rise to combat those who would threaten their home worlds, particularly the evil entity known as Dark Force.

Three Gaiden Games, mostly focused on Phantasy Star II, were released as well. Phantasy Star II Text Adventures and Phantasy Star Adventure, a duo of text-based Adventure Games, explored the past of the PSII cast and told an unrelated story set in the same era of the Algol system's history, respectively. Phantasy Star Gaiden, an Eastern RPG for the Game Gear, took place roughly halfway between I and II in the Copto star system, a sector of space colonized by the Algolians. The protagonists are two colonists, Alec and Mina — the latter being a clone of I's heroine, Alis Landale. None of these games were released outside of Japan.

A number of times, the games of the tetralogy have been ported to newer consoles. At one point, there was even a remake of the first two games in the tetralogy — Phantasy Star Generation 1 and Generation 2 — for the PlayStation 2. On top of a more fleshed-out story (far more in Generation 1's case) and updated graphics, there were a few additional quests and tweaks made to the remakes. Of course, nobody outside Japan got to see these either. A similar remake of IV was planned and a US release bundling the three was announced, but the remake of IV disappeared and the US release along with it.

Sega's continued to make games in the Phantasy Star series, but they've largely taken place in entirely new settings with only tenuous connections to the Algol System... well, apart from the fact that Dark Force just can't seem to leave the universe alone. For more information on the sub-series that came after the tetralogy, see Phantasy Star Online, Phantasy Star Universe, and Phantasy Star Zero.

All four games from the original series are available on Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, though the first installment (because it isn't a Genesis game) must be unlocked, which isn't that hard to do.note  As of 3 May 2012, the original versions of Phantasy Star II, III, and IV for Sega Genesis can also be purchased and played on PC via Steam, and as of 2018, the three Genesis games are available on Sega Genesis Classics for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

The Phantasy Star series includes:
  • Phantasy Star I (1987): When her brother is murdered by the forces of the tyrannical King Lassic, Alis Landale will embark on a journey across the Algol System to liberate the people from not only Lassic's brutal reign, but the otherworldly evil controlling him. Features first-person dungeon crawling, a rarity among JRPGs of the time, and one of the first female protagonists in the genre. Notable for being the first major console JRPG to be localized for release in America and especially Europe, making it a kind of Trope Codifier for those territories.
  • Phantasy Star II: At the End of the Lost Age (1989): Peace has reigned on the planet of Mota for a thousand years under the guidance of the supercomputer known as Mother Brain, but with bio-monsters on a rampage, government agent Rolf must get to the root cause of the planet's woes. While the first-person dungeons were removed, the game featured several recruitable characters and graphical improvements befitting the series's jump from the Master System to the Sega Genesis.
    • Phantasy Star II Text Adventures (1990): During the shortlived run of the Japan-exclusive Meganet service, eight bite-sized text adventures were made, centered around each of the playable characters from Phantasy Star II.
    • Phantasy Star Adventure (1992): Shortly after the events of Phantasy Star II, another Mota agent travels to Dezo to visit a friend, only to be caught up in a new conspiracy. Made in a similar vein to the Phantasy Star II Text Adventures.
    • Phantasy Star Gaiden (1992): Following the events of the original Phantasy Star, Alis founded a new colony on the distant planet of Copto, where she sealed an ancient evil to protect the people — an evil now threatening to re-emerge.
  • Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom (1990): A young prince of the kingdom of Orakio is to marry a Mysterious Waif when she is abducted by the forces of Laya, setting into motion events that would determine the fates of not only both kingdoms, but his descendants. Developed by a completely different team from the previous console iterations, the game was ambitious in its scope, but the end result is what many consider the black sheep of the original console RPGs.
  • Phantasy Star IV: End of the Millenium (1993): The Grand Finale of the original console RPG series. A thousand years after Phantasy Star II, Chaz Ashley, a rookie Hunter, embarks on an adventure that will not only see him contend with the root of the evil plaguing the Algol System, but unearth the very nature of the Star System he calls home! Notable for its sheer scale, the improvements made to the series's battle system, and its comic book-style cutscenes, making it one of the most essential JRPGs of the 1990's.
  • Phantasy Star Online (2000): After a six-year Sequel Gap, the series returned to the Dreamcast in a radically new game. With the Pioneer Project, a massive undertaking to colonize the planet of Ragol, thrown into jeopardy by a mysterious explosion causing the disappearance of the first wave of colonists, players must band together to investigate the planet and uncover the fate of the colonists. This game is one of the first online console RPGs made, with players forming parties of four to explore vast dungeons.
    • Phantasy Star Online Episodes I and II (2002): A stand-alone expansion of the original Phantasy Star Online released after the Dreamcast's discontinuation on Gamecube, Xbox, and PC. In addition to adding three new character types, the game also features a brand new area to explore, a new story to undertake, and new mysteries to unearth.
    • Phantasy Star Online Episode III: C.A.R.D. Revolution (2003): Released exclusively on Gamecube, Episode III of the PSO saga is a Genre Shift to a collectible card game put against the backdrop of a civil war brewing among the Pioneer Project's colonists.
    • Phantasy Star Online Blue Burst (2004): Released exclusively on PC, Blue Burst is not only a port of the previous versions of PSO, but a continuation with a fourth Episode centered around a mysterious meteor falling onto Ragol. Noteable for the sheer number of private servers still running the game years after official support was discontinued.
  • Phantasy Star Generation 1 (2003): An Enhanced Remake of the original Phantasy Star, featuring updated graphics, an arranged soundtrack, and other quality-of-life adjustments.
  • Phantasy Star Generation 2 (2005): An Enhanced Remake of Phantasy Star II. In the same vein as the previous remake, Generation 2 updates the graphics, soundtrack, and gameplay of the original game.
  • Phantasy Star Universe (2006): Released on PC, Playstation 2, and Xbox 360, Universe represents a new direction the online series took. In addition to a robust multiplayer component, the game also featured a dedicated offline story mode centered on Ethan Waber, a newcomer to the GUARDIANS peacekeeping organization, as he contends with a dangerous threat to the Gurhal System.
    • Phantasy Star Universe: Ambition of the Illuminus: An expansion released in 2007. This time, players assume the role of their own original character as they contend with the Illuminus, a human-supremacist organization that threatens the Gurhal System.
  • Phantasy Star Portable (2008): A spin-off title for the Playstation Portable that serves as an continuation from Ambition of the Illuminus. Once again assuming the role of an original character, players team up with the kindly CAST Vivienne to protect the Gurhal System from a new threat.
  • Phantasy Star Portable 2 (2009): The sequel to Portable and the final game in the Universe saga. With Gurhal's resources depleted after a long war against the SEED, subspace technology is pioneered to find a new place for Gurhal's residents to call home. As a member of mercenary unit Clad 6, players team up with the Brilliant, but Lazy Emilia to investigate a string of mysterious occurrences that have a dark connection to the secrets of subspace.
    • Phantasy Star Portable 2 infinity (2011): The Updated Re-release of Portable 2, released exclusively in Japan on the PSP. Shortly after the subspace incidents, a new race called "Deumans", human-SEED hybrids, begin to appear across the Gurhal system. Emilia and the player join a Deuman named Nagisa and seek to discover her connection to an ancient evil that threatens the universe.
  • Phantasy Star Zero (2008): A Spiritual Successor to the original Phantasy Star Online, released on Nintendo DS. On a distant planet ravaged by war, players take on the role of an adventurer helping to rebuild civilization.
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 (2010): The long-awaited and highly successful continuation of the Online series, released for free on PC, Playstation 4, and Nintendo Switch in Japan, and Xbox One in North America. As members of ARKS, the military organization of the Oracle Fleet, players must contend with a dangerous breed of monsters known as "Falspawn" that threaten all life in the cosmos. This game has become notable for the Development Hell that entailed in attempting to release it outside of Japan, with an official English-language version failing to materialize for several years until 2020.
    • Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis (2021): The sequel to Phantasy Star Online 2, released for the PlayStation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch in Japan and for the Xbox One and Xbox Series X in North America. A millennia after the end of Oracle's war against the Falspawn, players join a new generation of ARKS and their fight against the DOLLS that populate their new homeworld.
  • Phantasy Star Online 2es (2014): A mobile phone companion game and spin-off of Phantasy Star Online 2 that follows a team of ARKS known as the Darker Busters and their adventures into the dark side of the organization.
  • Phantasy Star Nova (2014): A Playstation Vita spinoff of Phantasy Star Online 2. When the ARKS Ship "Delta Valiant" and its passengers are stranded on the planet Makia, its crew must not only survive but uncover the secrets of the Gigantes, a race of artificial bioweapons inhabiting the planet. Curiously the only post-tetralogy game that lacks an online component.
  • IDOLA: Phantasy Star Saga (2018): A free-to-play RPG released on mobile phones. On the distant planet of Vandor, the Aries Knights, a peacekeeping organization dedicated to repelling titanic monsters known as Idola, must contend with the revival of Dark Falz and those that would use its powers for their own gain.

The series provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: From Alis in the first game, to Nei, Rika, and Alys in the sequels.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Throughout the original tetralogy, this is averted and subverted. If a robot or AI is causing problems, then it's either because the AI was given faulty or incomplete orders, the situation has changed over a thousand years and the original orders are no longer relevant, or it was designed and programmed by the enemy to begin with.
  • Algol Is the Center of the Universe: Thoroughly justified in PSIV, as it's revealed that the entire star system and all that live in it were originally created by the Great Light to imprison the Profound Darkness.
  • A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away...: Inverted. Though the tetralogy's set primarily in the Algol star system, seemingly in its own universe, Algol is actually a real-life star system, its name is Arabic for "demon star." Now, think back to the plot in IV ....
    • Additionally, although obliquely, hinted at in I, it's confirmed in II that Earth does exist within a far future context, as its race tries to conquer Algol to colonize it for resources and living space.
  • Anyone Can Die: This series is not even slightly shy about killing off its main characters. PSIV's Wham Episode had Alys dying from the effects of the Black Wave. PSIII never killed anyone in the active party, but was absolutely murderous to the heroes of the first and second generations. And then there was PSII.
  • Arc Number: A millennia. A period of 1000 years is required for Dark Falz to return, which is a key plot point in the original tetralogy, especially Phantasy Star IV (the game subtitled End of the Millennium, no less). A 1000 year Time Skip is also involved between Phantasy Star Online 2 and its sequel, New Genesis.
  • Art Evolution: PSII, the Gaiden Games, and PSIV opted for a cel-drawn art style for cutscenes that was evocative of late '80s and early '90s anime. PSI and PSIII have a different (but still animesque) style. Generation 1 and 2 sport their own cel-shaded style as well, distinct from the original PSII and PSIV.
  • Artificial Human: The Numans: Neifirst, Nei, and Rika.
    • The android/cyborgs of III and IV probably count as well. And then there's Seth in IV.
  • Big Good:
    • Subverted by the Great Light, the physical antithesis of the Profound Darkness whose sole goal is to prevent its resurrection. While the Great Light's interests align with that of the heroes, it doesn't actually have humanity's best interests in mind; rather, it sees the sentient beings that it created to help seal the Profound Darkness as part of the solution. Chaz pretty much gives it what-for when he finds out.
    • The Phantasy Star Online 2 counterpart of the Great Light, the Player Character, plays it straight.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Notably one of the few long-running game series to suffer from this even in modern games, with not only the tetraology but both PSO2 and IDOLA having inconsistent and/or half-assed translations.
  • Body Backup Drive: I and III used churches to resurrect dead party members, but II and IV, to better fit the sci-fi theme, justified resurrections by having your party going to a clone lab to bring back companions.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Rolf in II. I and III don't have enough characters per party to use this trope, while IV selects your party for you up until the end, and then, you only get to choose one Optional Party Member to take along with the four required ones.
  • Character Name Limits: Four letters max. This hilariously is why the name Dark Falz exists at all, since "Dark Force" couldn't fit into the four letter limit, so they just changed 'Force' to 'Falz' and it stuck even in Online and Universe, which have no such limit.
  • Clarke's Third Law: Throughout the series, the explanations for the games' equivalent of magic, "Techniques", has differed. For instance, the manual for Phantasy Star II describes the fire Technique "Foi" as compressing oxygen into a small space until the molecules ignite and create a fireball, suggesting they are technological or psychic in nature. Meanwhile, Phantasy Star Universe describes TECHNICs and their melee equivalent, Photon Arts, as computer programs uploaded to weapons on discs.
  • Compilation Re-release: No shortage of these with the original series. The Sega Saturn and PlayStation 2 both offered collections which combined all four original games into one package, the Game Boy Advance offered one which combined the first three, and compilations of Genesis games tend to contain at least the three for that system (the collection for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 contains all four, albeit requiring the first to be unlocked).
  • Conlang/Spell Levels: Techniques from PSII onwards. The base spells (such as "Foie" or "Resta") are augmented with prefixes, with "Gi" and "Na" strengthening them and "Sa" making them target multiple subjects. This is much less obvious in the English translations with their five-letter limit.
  • Continuity Nod: The original tetralogy were something of a rarity for JRPGs in their day, being one of the few series to have all entries explicitly be set in the same world with a concrete timeline. As such, though one can play any game in the series and understand it on its own, there are numerous call backs and reference to previous game's events in each sequel:
    • Phantasy Star II opens with Rolf having a dream of Alis' final battle with Dark Force, and he is explicitly noted to be her direct descendant.
    • Phantasy Star IV's opening narration details the degradation of Algol civilization as a result of Mother Brain's destruction, and a town you visit not only has a statue of Alis, but sells souvenirs like "Alis' Sword". Rune is also revealed to be a reincarnation of Lutz.
    • The Big Good of Phantasy Star Online 2 Episode 5 is a updated version of Alis, with character like Lutz also appearing as other major characters.
  • The Corruption: A series mainstay alongside Dark Falz, weirdly enough. D-Cells in Online, the SEED in Universe, F-Factor in Online 2, and so forth, with each being implied to be an extension of Dark Falz.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Nei and Rika, Numans in general.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to many JRPGs of the period, the series was far darker and far less willing to pull its punches. The first game started out with the heroine's brother being casually murdered by government agents, and the second through the fourth established that not only can anyone die, but that important characters will die and that your actions and failures will have consequences even if you succeed.
  • Dead Character Walking: Can be done in Phantasy Star II game. First, kill off everyone except Shir, then enter a shop repeatedly until she steals something and leaves the party. You'll now be able to walk around with an all-dead party, though the second you get into an encounter, you'll die immediately.
  • Devil in Disguise: In Phantasy Star IV, you are accompanied for the span of one dungeon by an adventurer named Seth. While his name doesn't really say anything of what he really is, using the Talk command from the menu gives subtle hints, and his abilities (most, if not all of which were used in previous fights by Dark Force) are almost a dead give away if you are paying attention. "Seth" is also the name of the ancient Egyptian god of darkness.
  • Devious Daggers: Twin Daggers are a commonly available weapon in the setting. You're more likely to find daggers in the hands of graceful acrobats (even villainous ones like Dark Falz Apprentice) than grinning sadists. (It helps that they're usually pointed at rampaging monsters and not other people.)
  • Dropped A Bridge On Her: Alys.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • Possible with every character, starting with PSII, and highly encouraged when it's not more effective to use a two-handed weapon. You can even dual-wield shields if you need to beef up a magic user's defense.
    • Every post-tetralogy game has them in some form, which come in both melee (such as Twin Swords and Twin Daggers) and firearm (such as Mechguns and Twin Machineguns) varieties.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Dark Force/Falz, natch. The Profound Darkness even moreso, but the Primordial Darkness takes the cake, whose design quite literally screams "cosmic horror".
  • Equipment-Hiding Fashion: Most notable in the Online and Universe games, but characters often never visibly show they're wearing armour, instead wearing whatever clothing they started in, with the online games declaring that the same technology that creates the clothes also forms Deflector Shields.
  • Expy: There's a reason why Numans seem catgirlish; Nei was deliberately meant to carry on Myau's legacy. During development, she even had a musk cat's tail. Rika was originally meant to be Nei herself, as was said by Tohoru Yoshida in an interview; conflict within the staff compelled him to make subtle alterations to keep Rika in.
    • In fact, the four main characters of PSIV are, in a sense, representative of the games of the tetralogy. Rune Walsh given his identity as the fifth-generation Lutz represents PSI. Rika, originally meant to be Nei, represents PSII. Wren represents PSIII, as another android of the same model was part of the main cast in that game. Chaz himself represents PSIV.
  • Fighting a Shadow: Dark Force's relationship to the Profound Darkness — especially true in PSIV. Lassic also has a "shadow" fought partway through his castle in PSI.
  • Foreign Cuss Word: The fan translation renders the final boss of Phantasy Star Gaiden as Cablon. Remember that Japanese can switch L and R at will, and that name becomes mighty interesting in Spanish...
  • Genre Shift: The jump from classic console RPG to MMO Action RPG between Phantasy Star IV and the later sub-series, as well as the side-story text-based adventure games like Phantasy Star Adventure.
  • Global Currency: Meseta, which is more of an interplanetary currency. One of the mainstay concepts of the series, even after the tetralogy.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Dark Force/Falz has a nasty habit of appearing in nigh every game in some way, shape or form. The Profound Darkness gets a turn at hijacking in PSO2 as well.
  • Hollywood Silencer: On a laser gun, no less.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: As with most RPGs' inventory systems.
  • Inconsistent Dub:
    • Localization teams lacked consistency with translations; as an example, the name of the Algo/Algol System's planets (as well as the system itself, as noted here) have plenty of variations on their names (Palma/Parma/Palm/Parm, Motavia/Motabia/Mota, Dezoris/Dezolis/Dezo).
    • The translation for "Dark Falz" has varied across the series. The tetralogy referred to it as "Dark Force" (and "Dark Phallus" at one point), while every game from Online onwards stuck to "Dark Falz".
  • Insistent Terminology: SEGA maintains that the post-tetralogy games are not MMORPGs despite their online multiplayer components, instead opting to refer to them as "online Action RPGs".
  • LEGO Genetics: Numans are humanoids comprised of human, monster, and animal DNA.
  • Lighter and Softer: The series has gradually gotten significantly less dark as more entries have been added, which started from Universe. Nova is an exception, as it's a Darker and Edgier counterpart to Online 2 that attempts to invoke the feel of Online.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me:
    • Men get traditional shields, while women instead wear emels — basically thick gauntlets. Unfortunately, in a franchise which offers higher rewards for Dual Wielding, these are largely useless except on your Squishy Wizards and Healers, whose physical offense is virtually nil anyway but benefit from the extra boost to defense.
    • Online featured Shields as a subcategory of defensive equipment, which could be equipped to the left hand. Later games replaced conventional equipment with invisible Deflector Shields as the justification for not wearing actual defensive gear.
  • Made of Evil: Dark Falz/Force is an entity created from pure hatred. Its progenitor, Profound Darkness, is also pure evil.
  • Magic from Technology: Techniques (typically shortened to "Techs", and at one point called TECHNICs), which, in most universes, involves manipulating Photons in such a way to perform elementally-charged attacks that are very similar to magic. Notably, the original tetraology had actual magic, but real magic gradually became rarer after the first game and was only learnt by a select few magicians; their place in the series was phased out by Techniques, which could be taught to most of the characters. Continuities after the original tetraology have opted to remove real magic altogether.
  • Magic Knight: Alis, Rolf, Chaz, and every third-generation protagonist in PSIII.
  • Mana Potion: Many games use Fluids as the magic restoring item. Games with the Photon Points system ditched Fluids due to PP being a naturally-restoring resource, although items that restore PP instantly also exist, like the Delicious Burger in Online 2.
  • Master Computer: Mother Brain in PSII. She's got a "daughter" named Daughter in PSIV.
  • The Medic: Amy and Raja are the best examples, and several PSIII characters can be turned into this with proper tech distribution.
  • The Multiverse: The concept of a Phantasy Star multiverse was introduced in Portable 2 infinity, where a Side Story reveals that subspace travel has the ability to connect entirely different universes, demonstrated as the player, Emilia, and Nagisa getting stranded in Ragol and teaming up with Red Ring Rico to save Heathcliff Flowen. This was later given a nod in Phantasy Star Online 2 where an EX Story for the Phantasy Star Universe 10th Anniversary event involves Emilia and Vivienne getting stranded on Naberius instead.
  • Oddball in the Series:
    • Phantasy Star III is this as a result of having been developed by a different team from other classic entries, with a notably different style from other games, a more classic fantasy theme, being less directly connected to other games, and being the only installment in the classic series not set in the Algol system.
    • Nova is notable for dumping several series mainstays, such as Dark Falz (who has no presence in the game whatsoever), Meseta (replaced by a Practical Currency called Gran Pieces), and Mags (replaced by the Gigantes, who double as Mons).
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Lassic/La Shiec's castle in PSI, Skyhaven and Lashute in PSIII.
  • Once a Season:
    • Starting from Phantasy Star Online, the theme for every "first dragon" boss in the game always follows the naming scheme "Growl, from the *insert descriptor phrase*".
    • Also starting from Phantasy Star Online, every Falz or Falz-related boss has "Idola the *insert descriptor phrase*" for their theme name.
  • Phantasy Spelling
  • Plotline Death: Tiem and Nei in PSII. Alys in PSIV.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: Slicers/slashers are a form of bladed boomerang wielded by Ladies of War. They are able to hit all enemies in a row before returning to their wielder's hand.
  • Required Party Member: Nei insists on joining Rolf for the first third of PSII. In PSIV, there are even less options on who to take, as the party makeup is often entirely decided by the plot. Even prior to the final dungeon, four characters in the five-man party are required.
  • Robot Girl: Mieu and Miun in PSIII, Demi in PSIV. A mainstay of the series after the tetralogy, given female CASTs were introduced in Online.
  • Science Fantasy: The setting is more or less sci-fi, but magic is commonplace in PSI and continues to exist in the games set afterwards (though its role is mainly taken over by Techniques). Magic was removed from the series entirely after the tetralogy, although the fantasy elements are still there to some degree.
  • Series Mascot:
    • Rappies, little fat fluffy yellow birds. It wasn't until PSO that they started to fill this role; it's more pronounced in the later games. They also appear in PSIII by the name "Chirper."
    • The musk cats were basically this for the original tetralogy.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In PSII Text Adventures. Shir's quest involves stealing the Opa Opa, a famous treasure.
    • Some of the books Chaz finds on bookshelves in PSIV also reference other Sega franchises, like Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • Single-Biome Planet
    • Crystal Spires and Togas: Rykros.
    • Ghibli Hills: Palma before its destruction, and Landen, Draconia, Elysium, and Terminus on the Alisa III... before you factor in their sci-fi elements, of course. Motavia in PSII, due to terraforming.
    • Shifting Sand Land: Motavia started out as this, and is regressing back toward it after Mother Brain's destruction. Also Aridia on the Alisa III.
    • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Dezoris, along with Frigidia and briefly Aquatica until Rhys fixes it.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness: Subverted in PSII. Dezo sells Laconia Daggers for 18,400 meseta, and only Shir can equip them. You'd think they'd be her ultimate weapon... but it only boosts her damage by 4. That's even less than the Scalpel.
    • Generation 2 plays it straight, thankfully. They've been heavily buffed into being Shir's best weapon.
  • Square Race, Round Class: Some games give a CAST (a Ridiculously Human Robot race known for its very poor Photon control) the option to become a Force (a Class that requires high Photon control to be effective). They're predictably bad at it. Games from Online 2 forward play it straight, since racial stat differences have been reduced to almost nothing, so you're free to become the robot wizard or warrior space elf you always wanted to be.
  • Squishy Wizard:
    • Noah in PSI; Hugh and Amy in PSII; Hahn, Rune, and Raja in PSIV.
    • The defining trait of the Force class in post-tetralogy games.
  • Sticky Fingers: Shir, PSII's resident thief, has a chance of stealing something from every item, weapon, or armor store that the party walks into and taking it back to Rolf's home in Paseo. This includes any stores on Dezoris, which is extremely counter-productive given the circumstance.
    • Allowing Shir to steal something from Motavia's Central Command station nets you a visiphone that allows you to save your game anywhere (through the use item command), but she has to be over level 10 to do it.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: Nei Sword in PSII, Orakio's Sword in PSIII, Elsydeon in PSIV.
  • Talking Animal: Myau, and all other musk cats.
  • Time Skip: A 1000 year waiting period is fairly common between games, mainly the original tetrology. This is generally enough time for another iteration of Dark Falz to wake up and start making a mess of things, forcing a new band of heroes to team up and put a stop to it.
  • Trauma Inn: Averted in the first two games, where you actually visit hospitals to heal your characters and churches/clone labs to resurrect them.
  • Unobtainium: Laconia, a specific mineral found in the Algol star system (typically on Dezoris) which is among the hardest known to man. Your party's best gear will typically include several pieces crafted from it.
    • It should be noted that Laconia itself isn't rare, but the knowledge of how to refine it doesn't get spread around. In IV, several stores sell "Silver" weapons and armor, which one of the shop residents explains is Laconia, but a low-grade form of it because out of outdated processing techniques.
  • Underground Monkey: Like other console RPGs, the creatures and enemies found in the tetralogy have lots of cousins, many of them Palette Swaps.
  • Vicious Cycle: Dark Force is slated to arrive every millennium to destroy the world, until a space station slams into Palma in PSII, destroying it, and thus weakening the seal, allowing not one but three separate versions of Dark Force to slip into their dimension during PSIV.
  • When Trees Attack: The trees surrounding Garubrek Tower in PSIV are carnivorous. There are also a few biomonsters in PSII that appear to be trees, too.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Most infamously, Alis looks nothing like herself in Phantasy Star Gaiden, having purple hair and a completely different face, suggesting that she was originally going to be an original character who was later changed into Alis to better tie into the main series. By contrast, the manual depicts her in her traditional look.


Phantasy Star Universe

"Save This World" by Kelli Sae

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