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 ~Spoony Spoonicus on 01:30pm 03/13/12 (12:17am 03/12/09) in 2h30m55s  §  28263 eyeballs
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So this is the artifical satellite Kuran that has sent the entire planetary control system out of whack.

My head is out of whack! Man am I dizzy!

Come on, let's go.

Yes, we must hurry to the main control center!

You, you...

---

More mechanical enemies in here. There's also a few decent treasures laying around; mostly equipment for Wren. In other words, it's your average mechanical dungeon.

Wren can also earn his first new skill a short distance in by opening the first treasure chest you see.

Hello. What's this?

It's an internal weapon unit for androids. I surmise that it is a Hyper-Jammer.

Hyper Jammer?

It is a weapon that temporarily scrambles the AI of machines with strong electromagnetic waves. There seems to be no incompatibility in its specification, so let's install it.

Device installed. Hyper Jammer can now be used.



As implied, the Hyper Jammer stuns all mechanical enemies temporarily. It may not work on all of them, though.



We also have our first run in with enemy combination attacks here. Neither of these enemy types are a very big threat on their own, but when together they can unleash a combination attack that does about 60 damage to the whole party. Pretty annoying, but we'll get some cool ones later ourselves.

Near the end, you'll get a brief dialog scene:

So, this is the main control center?

I shall search for the cause of the malfunction right away.

Wait! What's that?

What? Where?

Over there, in the shadows!

---

Once you see this scene, stop where you are. Confirm that your party is at least at Level 22 and has their HP and MP replenished before you continue on. If you're low on MP, Raja's Ataraxia skill can restore it; however, it can only be used in battle, so you'll have to backtrack a bit and fight a few mundane enemies to use it.

You might also wish to set up a Macro before continuing on:

Rika: Saner
Raja: Blessing
Wren: Barrier
Chaz: Githu
Rune: Gifoi

Get everyone's defense buffed up and throw in a little damage for good measure. Nathu does light-element damage, so it's more effective than Crosscut here.

Once you're ready, head back in.



Dark... Force!

Did you say Dark Force!? You mean the Dark Force who revived Zio as a god?

It appears that Dark Force is the cause of everything. Let us remove it.

Easier said than done.

OK! I'm going for it!

---



Our first run-in with the series' iconic villain, who has appeared as a major foe in every game. He's even continued on into many of the series spinoffs; he was the final boss of Phantasy Star Online, and a similar entity (oddly named "Dulk Fakis") was the main antagonist of Phantasy Star Universe.



In this fight, he'll use various android techniques against you, including Flare Shot and Phononmezer; fortunately, his variation is much less dangerous than Demi's. He also has one we haven't seen yet; Burst Rocket, which can inflict upwards of 70 damage to the entire party. Fortunately, with Raja's powerful healing magic around, these attacks are much less of a threat.

If you get a chance to use it, his Saint Fire can also inflict heavy damage. As I stated earlier, it's holy element, not fire, so it's especially potent against dark monsters.

After he takes about 4500 damage, the battle will end and you'll get a ton of experience.



Yep! We've won! OK Wren! Get Kuran back to normal!



Hmph...

Rune, can I ask you something?

What is it?

How did you know... that monster was the Dark Force Zio was talking about?

Ah!





I'll tell you sometime. Just wait until then, will you?

Well...

Rune...



do is make some final adjustments at Zelan. What is the matter?

Ah... nothing.

Let's go to Zelan!



All the main systems for the Algo environment are working properly.

Well, we've been through a lot, but I guess we've solved everything.

Wait!



The snowstorm hasn't stopped? Has the control system for Dezolis been restored?

Yes. Everything is in working order.

I TOLD YOU! Didn't I tell you that the Garuberk Tower was the cause? The demons that live in the Garuberk Tower are creating the blizzard! Why don't you listen to me once in a while?!

Er... ahem.

Anyway, this means there is some other cause for the snowstorm in Dezolis, right?

Now even Rika's not listening to him. Harsh.

If the snowstorm continues unabated, there is a danger that the Parmanians and even the Dezolisians will perish.



Let's go to Dezolis!



As the mission has not been accomplished, I shall continue my responsibilities.



Hmmph... unless I go you won't be able to get anything done, eh Chaz? What with Dezolis in a wall of ice, we won't be able to move around freely. What shall we do?

If we use the Ice Digger we can break through walls of ice.

Ice Digger? What's that?

In planning for action on Dezolis I had an ice breaking car built.

Why don't you tell us these things sooner?

I shall load it onto the Landale.

An unrelenting snowstorm...

---



The Ice Digger operates pretty much the same as the Landrover, except that it can also drill through walls of ice. It's also got a higher SP total and two new sub-weapons for you to play with. So, let's head through the ice wall to the northwest and end up at the town of Zosa.

* This is the town of Zosa. The egg of the Dezolis Penguin is our special product!



Rune, do you think it's cute?

Not really.

No fun at all.

We also hear the first of Gumbious Temple and a bit more about the Garuberk Tower here:

* The Garuberk Tower is located beyond the forest of carnivorous trees. Apparently it's not a place that you can get to!

The armor shop simply has a Phantarobe, which is some better armor for Rune and Raja. The weapon store has some pretty cool stuff though.



They're a bit more powerful than the stuff we have now, but more importantly, that these items each cast spells when used via the item menu; the Flame Sword casts Flaeli, the Thunder Claw casts Tandle, the Tornado Dagger casts Hewn and the Dream Rod casts Bindwa, all at no cost. So even when you find some better gear for your party, it's still to your benefit to keep these around.

The Flame Sword can also be set to your basic attacking Macro; have Rune use it instead of his Flaeli skill. Boom, no more running out in the middle of a dungeon. You can also set up variations with Tandle (for mechanical enemies) and Hewn (for fire-resistant enemies) if you wish.

---

Alright, let's take a short break at this point for some sidequests. We're heading back to Motavia!

The Hunter's Guild has three new jobs.



'Our household pet 'Rocky' has disappeared. Please find him...' that is the message. This certainly doesn't seem to be the caliber of work for a hunter. The fee offered is 2000 Meseta. Will you take on this request?



* You sure must have a lot of spare... no, no -- I'm so very thankful! The fact of the matter is that Rocky, our daughter's dog, is missing. We searched the town, but couldn't find him. And outside the town with all those monsters... That's why we went to the Hunter's Guild. I beseech you, help us!

This quest is pretty simple. First, you have to get a Shortcake from a semi-hidden shop in Aiedo; to get there, you start at the gate of town and sneak around the left wall, Dragon Warrior style.

This is a small tribute to the original Phantasy Star, wherein you'd have to venture to the bottom of a dungeon and pay a large chunk of change to get a Shortcake as a gift for Motavia's governor.



Anyway, once you have that, head to Monsen and talk to the dog on the south end of town twice and the job will be completed.

That was one interesting dog!

Perhaps... there's a trait that he has in common with you!

Don't be ridiculous!

---

Next up: Missing Student.

We have a request from the caretaker of the student dorms in Piata. 'One of the students entrusted to our care has disappeared. Please find her...' The fee offered is 3000 Meseta. Will you take on this request?

* Oh, you're the hunter from the guild? Pl... please help! The fact of the matter is that one of the female students living here is missing! Apparently, she has become an enthusastic devotee of some kind of religion and just up and left. I thought the infatuation would pass and eventually she'd come back, but she still hasn't... I have the terrible responsibility of being entrusted with the care of another's child! With a blunder like this, even the academy's reputation could be tarnished! Please, could you bring her back here before things become known to the public? I appreciate the trouble I'm putting you through.

The wording here always makes me laugh.

Well, all this should sound familiar. To Kadary we go!

(I had a screenshot of this area, but it's gone missing. Sorry!)

Yes, let's go back to Piata!

You'll take me back? Th... thank... you

Hey, you! Are you all right!?

I... am... hungry...



* She should be given something nutritious to eat.

Hmm, something nutritious...

Remember back in Termi...



Yes, this is the item we need.

* Hey! You're holding a Perolymate! Does that bring back memories! That has high nutritional value! I used to eat those back in the old days! Lemme see, let's give it to this girl!

Oh. What has happened to me?

Thank goodness you've revived! Now, let's go back to Piata.

* Thank you so much! Now we can keep up appearances at this dorm. We shall remit the agreed upon fee to the guild! Oh, and also... I would appreciate it if you could keep this matter to yourselves.

---

Granted it was due to Zio's spell, but how can a human being change so drastically?

It sure is scary!

---

And finally, Fissure of Fear, which sounds like a Disneyland ride.

This is a request from Eddie who lives in Monsen. 'My son has fallen into a crack in the earth! Please help my son!' The fee offered is 5000 meseta. Will you take on this request?



Yes, Eddie is a woman.

*You see, I let my son, Tallas, play outside, but he simply disappeared. I've asked around, and I've been told that he fell into the crack in front of our house! Since then, I haven't been able to do anything. Of course I want to rescue him, but creepy groaning sounds have been coming out of the crack! Oh please! Rescue my son!

This conversation causes the sign outside to move, so that you can enter the fissure.

Wh... what's this? There's an underground cave like this in Monsen?

I wonder where on earth Tallas has gotten to?

There's not much to say about this area, really; it's just a short little cave section with some rather easy slug enemies. I think the intent Sega had here was for you to do this quest before the first fight with Dark Force, as I'm capable of taking out everything I run into in a single hit at this point.



It's a really big slug.

Oh no, Chaz, Tallas... This monster couldn't have...

Cut it out, it's bad luck to even think such a thing!

It's coming for us!

This fight's easy, since he can only attack one character at a time for moderate damage. Pelt him with fire spells and this fight will be over in a flash.



Yeah, definitely should have came here before doing Kuran.



Is this the other side of the planet?

Yikes! Were you really eaten?

Thank goodness! You seem to be all right. You would have been digested had we not come along in time.

Oh yeah, that's right. I was attacked by some weird slug.

You know, we saved your life.

Oh. Thanks, mister!

Anytime.

---

* Thank you so much! To tell you the truth, I had lost hope. I'm so glad he's safe! I mustn't let him out of my sight again. I shall send the agreed upon commission fee to the guild.

No commentary when you finish this one, strangely.

---

Alright, that's it for this time. Next entry: we investigate the evildoings on Dezolis.
 
 
 rawks  §  rad comments, dogg.
 ~Spoony Spoonicus  §  at 02:52am 03/12/09
 


Dark Force defeated



A bit of humor with the Dezolis Penguin.
 
 
 ~Spoony Spoonicus on 01:13pm 02/26/12 (07:40pm 02/28/09) in 5h21m39s  §  28119 eyeballs
 Now with more game!
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Alright, now that we've got the means to take down Zio, let's get to it.



We don't get a manga scene here, the electric currents just fade out.

Underneath here is Nurvus, the center of the entire control system!

Zio! Is Zio in there?

Chaz, I know how you feel, but... right now, we've got to shut down Nurvus!

We don't have time to talk about it! We must hurry!

And down we go.

There's some pretty good treasures to be found down here, most of them better equipment for Demi. There's also a Plasma Claw for Rika and a few Dimates here and there, which will be handy for the upcoming battle. The enemies here are also fairly tough, mainly because they like to attack in large groups.



Techmasters are particularly annoying; they like to cast Wat, Foi and Zan spells, and erase any damage you do to them with Gires and Sar spells. Fortunately, they have fairly low HP, so if you concentrate your attacks on one of them at a time they go down pretty fast.



Once you reach an area that looks like this, you'll probably want to exit and heal up before continuing onward. Zio's just a short walk ahead, and you'll probably be low on MP and Skills from gathering all those items on your first trip. So exit, heal up, restock your Dimates, and take the shortest route back here to make sure you're as well-equipped as possible. Being at level 20 or higher couldn't hurt either.

At roughly Level 22, Rune will learn Rever, which revives one ally with about 30 HP. This will also help in case you run out of Medic Power.

Well, well... You've made it here. It was to be expected. You should be aware that one step further is the road to your death. I won't let you escape this time! Oh, reverent one! Lend me power!



Just like last time, he'll put up a barrier before the fight begins. With the Psycho-Wand in hand, however, we now have a way to counter this. Be sure to have someone use it (via the Item menu) on the first turn to lower his defenses while the rest of your party uses their various buffers (Barrier, Saner, War Cry). Zio will spend his next turn casting Nightmare, which will let you put up Rika's Deban and get a few free hits in with your other characters.

From here on out, though, it gets really tricky. Zio uses Corrosion (~50 damage to the whole party), Hewn (ditto) and Black Wave (90+ damage to one character), which are all really nasty. Rika should be using Gires and Sar full-time; if needed, Demi should also use Medic Power to revive anyone who dies, and Chaz should use Gires.

Just keep everyone alive and keep chipping away at Zio, and eventually he'll go down. If he proves too tough, go up a few levels and try again.

---





Dark Fo... Aaargh!

Alys!

---

At this point we're not going to be able to stop Nurvus by normal means. I am going to connect myself directly to Nurvus' system and crack its security.

Connect directly?

Yes, this is goodbye, Chaz.

Demi!

Good-bye everybody... thanks for everything.



Access main system... Issue top priority interrupt...

Has... has it stopped?

The operation is a success.

Demi! Where are you now?



Right now, all the systems that have been maintaining Motavia are halted. Now there won't be any more disasters.



halted, sooner or later the entire planet will become barren. We must work to restore the functions of each system as soon as possible!

To do that we'll have to do something about Zelan.

That's right. As long as the satellite is sending abnormal signals, we cannot control the system.

Chaz. Why don't we go?

...OK! Let's go to Zelan!

But, this Zelan, isn't it located in outer space?

Don't worry. An emergency shuttle is available at Nurvus. It's being readied for you. I won't be able to leave here just now. I must stay and perform maintenance on each of these systems.



Wren? I know him!

She's got connections all over the solar system.

When I was at the Bio-Plant, I often telecommunicated with him! About half a year ago, I've been unable to reach him on the communication circuits. I've been concerned! Please Chaz, let's go find Wren at Zelan...

Well, good luck with Zelan everybody... Be careful.

A spaceport unearths itself just outside the fortress.



I know, I know. You just can't leave your little sister.

Exactly. Sorry.

Much like the vehicle center, within the Spaceport you can find those cool glowy panels that completely heal the party. Before you head off, however, you may want to sell off your extra equipment - you probably have a lot of redundant stuff from the previous two dungeons.



Alright, let's do it.



Blast off to adventure in the amazing year 400,000,000,000!

There's a bunch of chests readily available on Zelan, containing, among other things, another Plasma Claw, a Plasma Sword and a Pulse Laser, which Wren will be able to put to good use shortly. There's also a "Canceller", which we'll need to get to our next destination.





This is the man-made satellite Zelan, which has complete control over all the environmental systems for all the planets in the Algo solar system. I am the android who manages it all. Rika, finally we meet face to face.

Yes, Wren! I didn't know that you were so tall!

And these other people?



They're great pals!

Who and who are great pals?

Whatever. Anyway, nice to meet you.

This dialog always makes me chuckle.

Demi told us that the reason the systems in Motavia are out of control could be found here... We've come to try and cure the problem, but from the looks of it, it doesn't seem likely.

That's right. Zelan is not causing the systems in Motavia to run out of control. We have no control at all.

What does this all mean?



It is the artificial satellite Kuran that is causing the Motavian systems to run amok. Originally, Kuran was supposed to play a supportive role to Zelan, but somebody has occupied Kuran and usurped our control.

Is that so? Since Zelan is at the top of the chain of command...

Demi must have determined that it was Zelan that had gone awry!

Zelan's telecommunication functions are paralyzed. There isn't even a way to communicate.

So that's why we were incommunicado! I was so worried!

So this means we have to go to Kuran!

Chaz, if it's OK with you, may I accompany you? Zelan is presently completely cut off from all the other systems. It is impossible to do any system restoration from here. I was hoping to go to Kuran to get the situation under control.

Oh Wren, it would be so reassuring if you came with us!

Wow... you have a lot of faith in Wren!

Oh yes! Wren and Seed were my teachers!

This current crisis was brought about by my lack of power. I must take responsibility. It seems that Seed has left me responsible, too...

Wren...

Why don't we get a move on!

Stop trying to take charge, Rune!

All right then, you take charge - if you can.

What did you say?!

Rika... what's going on here?

Oh, this happens all the time.

---



Wren is the game's definitive tank character, with the highest HP total by a wide margin and no shortage of defense to boot. His abilities are largely similar to Demi's; he retains Barrier, Spark and Recover and has an offensive move called Flare, which does decent damage to a single target. Like Demi, he'll also earn more as we find installable parts for him. For now, though, move him to the front of the party to take advantage of his defensive ability, and equip him with that Pulse Laser; not only is it stronger than the weapon he's currently equipped with, it has the added bonus of being able to hit every enemy at once.

Oh, and just for reference, Phantasy Star III also had an android character named Wren, but this isn't the same guy. Probably a similar model of android, yes, but not the same one.





room.

Problems in the engine room... that's bad. Well, let's go see what's going on!

I told you, stop taking charge!



Spooky spaceman up to no good!

* Oh my, I've been found out already.



* engines or kill you right here! You're not getting to Kuran!



Here he is, the game's hardest boss! Okay, I'm kidding, he's easy as hell; in fact, he'll probably die in two turns and won't inflict anywhere near enough damage to put you in danger. Despite this, he gives a pretty good chunk of experience.





Rune! Couldn't you have applied a little bit of self-control?!

Shut up! You're in no position to talk!



It's impossible to get back in that orbit! We will be able to make a crash landing on Dezolis, the third planet in the system. Shall we try?







What are you saying! Hey. Hey! Are you OK? Hey!

Calm down, Chaz. You should endeavor not to let your blood pressure become too high.

Relax.

Why are you all so unconcerned?! Yikes!!!



This scene still makes me laugh every time I see it.



* It's an extremely cold planet covered in snow and ice.

I don't know who's narrating here, exactly.



You wouldn't know it from the sprite, but that was one big f'ing ship. We end up pulverizing a building as we land.



Wow! What a flamboyant landing!



Huh?

You... what on earth are you?

Huh, it's a Dezolisian. It's the first one I've ever seen!

Answer me, you bonehead! You've destroyed an important temple!

Oh, er, sorry about that!



It looks like we've crushed someone's house...

Who are you people? A girl with horns, and a mechanical doll!

These are ears, I tell you!!!

Please use the word android, will you?

An droid, the droid -- whatever.

Quiet, you old fart!

Hmm, I see... from Motavia... on a ship that flies. Or flew, anyway, before it fell. That's extraordinary... Four Motavians flee, fly -- and fall, right on my Temple hall.

Ha, ha, ha! What a funny old man!

Ah...

Chaz, this shuttle is done for. It's beyond repair.

What shall we do?

Hey, old man.

My name is Raja! You'd better remember that, little girl.

Ah, yes... Raja. Are there any facilities where we can fix this ship?

None that I know of.

Then how are we going to fix our ship?

I'm not. But... hee, hee, I do have some welcome news for you.

What, what, what, what?

There are other spaceships on Dezolis?!

Tell us where, old man!

Hee, hee, okay I'll tell, but on one condition.

A condition?

This sounds interesting. Take me along.

What?!

If you do I'll overlook the destruction of the temple.

I don't want to drag this old man around with us... what shall we do?

I don't mind. I like him. He's kind of interesting.

I don't think we have much choice.

It seems a very practical choice.

Oh? Then, let's go!

Great! Now listen carefully! A long, long time ago, Parmanians came here to Dezolis on a ship that traveled the skies. It is said that the ship still exists in the town of their descendants!

Is this true?

Of course it's true!

Chaz, under the circumstances, we have no choice but to rely on this information and go there.

And where is this town?

It's a Parmanian town called 'Tyler' a short distance northwest of here! Everyone, let's get going!

All right, all right...



Raja is, without a doubt, the best supporting character in the game. Not only does he use healing techs to great effect (one basic Res can restore over 70 HP, as opposed to 30 for most characters), but he has the extremely useful skills Blessing (same effect as Deban), Miracle (restores HP to everyone, including Androids) and Ataraxia (restores some TP to the entire party). His lone attacking skill (Saint Fire) isn't too shabby either; it's Holy element, so it's especially potent against dark and demonic enemies.

Upon stepping outside, we get a bit more dialog...

Wow! What a heavy snow storm!

This has been going on for three months now. This planet has always had a cold climate, but even I have never seen anything like this!

There must be a malfunction in the Dezolisian climate control system.

No, I bet the cause of all this lies in the Garuberk Tower!

The Garuberk Tower?

Raja, what makes you think that?

It's a feeling I have. And my feelings are always good -- get it?

The music stops and we get a moment of dead silence.

Ha, ha ha!

Ouch...

This kicks off the trend of Rika enjoying Raja's jokes while the rest of the party tries their hardest to ignore him.

---

Heading a bit north, we come to the Dezolisian town of Ryuon. There's only one required event here, but you can get a few more corny jokes out of Raja by talking to people if you wish.

Anyway, let's hit up the bar to talk to Gyuna and get some useful information.

Oh my, a first-time customer. Ah, you're friends of Raja. In that case, I'll tell you anything.

Do you want to know about the damage from the snowstorm?

(Answer Yes) - This snow storm started three months ago, and hasn't stopped since. It's been a terrible disaster, hats being blown off all over the place and lips getting chapped!

Hats? Lips?

Ahem! But the biggest problem is the wall of ice! The storm has left snow drifts all over the place, and has created walls of ice. This has divided Dezolis up into parts. We can't get anywhere!

Do you want to know about the Garuberk Tower?

(Answer Yes) - It's said that there's a tower somewhere in Dezolis where the demons live. As the story goes, the tower suddenly appeared overnight!

That's it! It's those demons who are destroying the universe! Algo is under a curse!

Could what Raja says be true?

That I don't know. But, Raja being what he is, he may be sensing something.

And you have no idea at all where the Garuberk Tower is?

All who've seen it say something different. ...All I can say is that it's up north somewhere.

I see...

Do you want to know about Raja?

(Answer Yes) - I've known him a long time. He's a weird one... but, he's a skilled magician, and he's well-liked at Gumbious Temple.

Wow. I can't believe it. That old freak?!

But, he was tricked by those who were jealous of him, and was banished to this rural place.

Really... it doesn't seem possible.

I detect sarcasm.

Actually Raja himself is quite happy that he was able to get away from that constrained temple! He's a good guy! He's a good friend of mine.

Do you want to know about the whereabouts of the space ship?

(Answer Yes) - Are you talking about the space ship that is underground in the town of Tyler? I don't know a lot about it, but apparently, if you take a good look at the grave, a path will open for you.

A grave...?

The armor shop also sells a Silver Mantle and a Silver Circle, which are both a step up for Rune. Grab those before you leave.

---

Head a bit northwest and we'll soon come to Tyler, which offers some mediocre weaponry and some neat armor for Chaz and Rika. You can also give Rune two Silver Shields to replace his Psy-Shields. You should have more than enough money from all the stuff we scrounged from Zio's Fort and Zelan to do all of this.

Alright, let's check out that grave.



'Here lies the great leader Tyler... Touch us... listen to our voice... Entrust that body to us...' So this is Tyler's grave...

Lying alone... what a horrible fate.

Gyuna said to inspect this grave closely, but I don't see anything... There's just this inscription... Ahh!? The plate just moved!

It moved? Chaz, push it again!

OK!



Wow! Incredible!

Maybe there's a space ship down there? Let's go see!

Another brief history lesson: Tyler was a space pirate in Phantasy Star II who left Algo when he became tired of life under the rule of Mother Brain, taking many others with him. About mid-way through the game, he rescues the party from the artificial satellite Gaira before it crashes into Parma. Apparently he returned to Algo after Mother Brain's defeat, founded several Parmanian colonies on Dezolis and became revered as something of a hero.

---

We have a short walk through a misspelled "Hanger" first, which is really just a cave. There's only one chest down here, with some Zirconium Gear for Wren, and a few enemies which are oddly resistant to fire attacks but weak against ice.



So this is the space ship the Parmanians used in coming here so long ago!

Here's an emblem. L-a-n-d-a-l-e... 'Landale'!

It's called a Landale. What a cool name!

Appropriately, Tyler's ship is named after the first game's protagonist, Alis Landale.



So, how is it. Hey, Wren!

Hey! Don't ignore me!



With a little maintenance, it could be perfectly useful.

Whew! We sure are in luck!

Wren, make preparations for takeoff!

Roger!



Another spaceport reveals itself outside Tyler.

---

And that's it for this entry. Next time: We head to Kuran and have our first run-in with the evilest of the evil.
 
 
 rawks  §  rad comments, dogg.
 ~Spoony Spoonicus  §  at 10:47pm 03/01/09
 


 
 
 ~Spoony Spoonicus on 01:05pm 02/26/12 (02:55pm 02/24/09) in 2h18m52s  §  29073 eyeballs
 Now with more game!
 anchors: none.
 
The Plate System, as you probably expect, is another mechanical dungeon. The enemies can deal a lot of damage, but fortunately Demi's Spark and Stasis Beam skills make them much easier to deal with.

Within we find a few pieces of Laser equipment (which is effective against both biological and mechanical enemies), the Stun-Shot (a weapon for Demi that can paralyze biological enemies) as well as our first Repair Kit for Demi. We also come across a box containing some odd mechanical parts.

What? There's some weird machines here.

Weird? Don't be so rude. These are spare parts for androids.

Spare parts?

Yes, they look like internal weapon units. Let's see... they seem to be in working order. And they look like they will fit. I will install them right away. Will you close your eyes and turn your back?

Huh? Why?

Just do it, Chaz!

Oh...

The screen fades in and out briefly to the sound of some mechanical parts being installed.

Hmm... OK everybody, I'm done. Now I'm powered up!

I don't see anything that has changed.

It looks that way doesn't it? Well, soon you shall see.

Huh?

It's the new weapon 'Phononmezer!' I can't wait to try it out!



Demi gets a new skill, a powerful little device that deals heavy damage to all enemies, both mechanical and biological. In case you're wondering, yes, this is how all skills are earned for Android characters.

This is the control center of the Plate System!

Demi performs a quick hack-job and shuts down the Plate System.



Now there won't be any more earthquakes! Hooray!

Yes, we'll be all right for the time being. But this doesn't solve the problem, you know. The abnormalities will not end until we shut down Nurvus - and maybe even Zelan!

Yes, you're right... And, in order to do so... first, we must get to Zio!

Right!

That's about all there is to say about that. Now we can move on to our original goal.

Well, okay, not quite. A bit further east and across some more quicksand, we come to the town of Termi.

* My, you must be strangers here. This is Termi. This is a village that worships a heroine of Yore.



A cat? I wonder if it's a pet.

The heroine of yore is, in fact, the protagonist of the original Phantasy Star. The cat is Myau, another of the game's protagonists (and a pretty good support character to boot). We haven't heard the last of either of them, as we'll find out later.

There's also a gift store here:



Capitalism at its finest.

The Pennant and Wood Carving can be bought and kept in your house back in Aiedo. Nothing really comes of it though, aside from Rika berating you for wasting money. Good for a laugh, though.

More important, though, is the Armor shop, which sells Psy gear. This stuff not only provides some solid defense, but also boosts your character's Mental stat, making their techs more effective. It is fairly expensive, but you should have enough money after tackling the Plate System and selling off all of your outdated gear. Grab two Psy-Shields while you're here too.

Alright, without further ado, let's head to the Ladea Tower.

The music in here is actually an arranged version of the dungeon tune from Phantasy Star I, which is pretty neat if you're a fan. The enemies aren't too bad; several are recycled from Zio's Fort (and significantly weaker due to our upgraded gear), and the few new ones aren't particularly dangerous.

On the third floor up, we reunite with Rune.

Rune! So you were here after all!

You've come, Chaz! Amazing that you got all the way up here with those short legs of yours!

Rune! This is no time for jokes! I implore you, give us your assistance!

Hey? What happened to Alys? Is something wrong?

Well, the fact is...

Is that right... Such a thing happened... Alys... But let's not be hasty. As soon as we get the Psycho-wand...

'Psycho-wand'?

Yep, I came here to get it. The psycho-wand is the only weapon that can break through Zio's magic barrier!

So... Rune!

The Psycho-wand is supposedly sealed up in the uppermost level of the Ladea Tower. I haven't got my hands on it yet. I'm on my way to get it now. Will you accompany me? Once you find the Psycho-Wand, I will be more than happy to lend a helping hand.

OK, OK, I get it.

Rune rejoins the party, decked out in Psy-gear. However, you'll soon realize that, although it didn't look so earlier, his HP and defense are actually quite low, and one or two solid hits from the enemy will knock him dead. This is why we picked up those two Psy-Shields earlier; equip them both on Rune to give his Defense a major boost.


This has the disadvantage of not allowing him to perform a normal attack, but you can easily program in a new attack Macro to compensate for that.



Now Rune will go last each turn and, should his turn come up, he'll use Flaeli. Since he starts off with thirteen uses of it and only gains more as the game progresses, this makes it a good candidate for a standard attack. He's also gained a few more powerful Techs since we last saw him, and will only gain better ones as the game progresses, so it's best to save your TP and your more powerful Skills for the boss battles.

Moving on, we find a Star-Dew in a chest. Like Moon Dews, these are really rare (and really good) items, restoring the entire party's HP to full (sans Android characters). Again, save these for the later stretches.



I'd never gotten one of these before in my previous playthroughs, so I just thought I'd point it out. Very rarely, the Shadowsaber enemies may drop a weapon called a Shadow Blade, which would provide pretty decent attack power had we gotten one in Zio's Fort. Unfortunately, since we now have the Laser Sword, it's obsolete, and the hefty stat penalties to Defense, Agility and Mental Power don't make it a particularly appealing choice in the first place. On top of that, it only sells for 1 Meseta, so it's not even any good in that regard. Bummer.



Another subtle reference to the original Phantasy Star, wherein it was the best piece of armor Noah could acquire. While that's not the case here, it is a step up from Rune's Psy-Robe.

At the very top, we come to a sealed chest.



We can now break the barrier!



You're Zio's underling!?

Hmph, what a brain dead kid you are. Chaz, don't let him get the Psycho-wand!

You don't have to tell me that! Stop ordering me around all the time!

Come on! Is this any time to bicker? It's coming!



Ugly beastie, isn't he?



Alright, now that we're at our first proper boss fight, it's time to introduce three all-important skills: Demi's Barrier, which reduces skill and tech damage, and Rika's Saner and Deban, which boost everyone's speed and defense respectively. You'll want all of these active within the first two turns to greatly reduce the damage you take. The boosted speed will also allow you to heal your party members before the boss gets his turn in, which is very important.

Once you've gotten everything set up, just blast away with your strongest attacks. Gy-Languiah is resistant to fire, but ice works quite well, so have Rune nail him with Giwat. Chaz's Githu also inflicts decent damage once he runs out of Crosscuts. He's actually pretty easy once you're properly buffered, as he can't kill anyone with a single critical physical attack anymore. Should that happen, just use Demi's Medic to bring them around, then have Rika heal them.



So, as long as we have this Psycho-wand, there's no need to fear Zio.

You two, is there anything wrong?





Rune and Rika sense a disturbance in the Force.

What's going on, you two?

Chaz! We've got to return to Krup right away!

Huh?

Get a move on it! We're leaving!

Rune and Rika sense a disturbance in the Force.

---

Chaz! Alys' condition has suddenly taken a turn for the worse!



...Chaz...were able to... meet Rune? That's goo..d...

Alys! Alys! Rune! Can't you do anything with your powers!?

It contains an even more evil power which I can't cure.

Chaz... don't worry. Chaz... ...Ru...ne...

I'm here... I'm right here... Alys.

...Rune... please help... Chaz... Rune...

Don't worry... leave it to me...

Alys...

Chaz... come here... let me take a good look at you...



From now on... you have to carve out... your own destiny... by yourself...

Alys! Don't say that! Alys!!!

Ch...az... Thank... you...









What... am I doing?

Chaz?

In a far off country, before Alys picked me up, I did some pretty bad things. When I joined forces with Alys as a hunter... I was at last able to earn some money, and live a pretty comfortable life. Everything seemed to be going fine... But now, Alys is gone. Of course I want to avenge her death, but what am I to do? Should I fight? If so, what for?

Money, huh? Do you really think that Alys was fighting just for money?

What?

Is fighting technique the only thing you learned from Alys?

I...





It was really a good thing that I was able to get out of the Bio-Plant. I've learned so much from Seed. About oceans, mountains, towns, and people! There's a big difference between knowledge attained from studying and actual real life experiences.



the bustling of a town, and the warmth of people.

Thank you, Rika.





I think it's best to report on what's happened so far. I plan to convince the academy to come up with a plan of action.

Good. I'm counting on you, Hahn!

I'm also going to return home. The children are waiting for me.

Chaz, keep your spirits up!

OK, we'd better go too!

And that's it for this time. Next time, we avenge Alys and save the planet in one fell swoop.
 
 
 rawks  §  rad comments, dogg.
 ~Spoony Spoonicus  §  at 02:58pm 02/25/09
 
 
 
 ~Spoony Spoonicus on 12:58pm 02/26/12 (04:42pm 02/16/09) in 3h6m23s  §  30097 eyeballs
 Now with more game!
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So, after we pass through the cave north of Aiedo, we come to a town called Kadary.

* This place? This is the town of Kadary. Have you come to visit Zio's church as well?

Not only a grade-A asshole, but a cult leader as well!

* Zio says that the end of the world is coming soon. I wonder if that's true?

At the north end of town is a rather creepy church.

* This is a church where we worship the great Zio. Zio says he's going to cleanse this soiled land with the fires of destruction... and then, he's going to build a utopian society populated with only the finest citizens! How wonderful! The thought makes me tingle!

This is starting to sound like a Shin Megami Tensei plot.

* No one other than Zio can save us from the uncleanliness of Motavia! Ahhh! Glory be to you, Zio!

(The priest passes out)

He's fainted...

How... how frightening.



We can also employ a bit of Dragon Warrior logic to sneak around the border of town to two more buildings. One's an inn filled with Zio's cronies, which results in a bit of humorous dialog but nothing especially useful.



The other contains a chest with a Laser Slasher for Alys, which will come in handy.

Heading a bit further south, we come to Zio's Fort.



We quickly come to a flight of stairs leading down, but there's some kind of barrier preventing us from entering. Looks like we'll have to wait a while to get down there.

There are a few cool treasures to be found in Zio's Fort, including a Laser Claw, Laser Sword and a Moon-Dew, a very useful (and rare) item that revives an ally from Dying status. However, to get some of these treasures, you'll have to jump down pits near the stairs. This will drop you down to a lower floor with a lone chest and a single exit that takes you outside, so you'll have to come back in the front door and hack your way through the dungeon all over again. Ah, the price you pay for awesome swag.




There are also a couple of semi-hidden bridges that you'll need to use to get to other sections of the fort, so keep an eye out for those.

At the center of the fort, we meet this charming character:





Juza is actually pretty dangerous, as his Force Flash technique can inflict 40-50 damage to the entire party. Fortunately, he doesn't use it too often, and the rest of his techs are pretty weak. He'll go down pretty quickly as long as you continuously hit him with Vortex, Cross Cut and Gryz's axe (buffered with his War Cry skill). Rika and Hahn should be healing full-time so that everyone has enough HP to survive his Force Flash.

After defeating him, a flight of stairs appears. Head on up.





Have we walked into a tentacle hentai?

Somebody's been captured... it's Demi!

We've got to rescue her!



Well, that was easy.



Alys Brangwin and company.

Thank you very much! You are all injured, are you not?



Huh? I feel strength welling inside me!?

It's my Medical Power. My name is Demi, and I am in charge of controlling Nurvus.

Whew! I heard she was supposed to be an Android, but this is beyond my expectations!

She's no different than a human being!

Be that as it may. Demi, can you stop the transmission of energy to the system that's malfunctioning? You're the only one who can do it, right?

Yes. I, too, have tried to freeze the entire system, but...

* Go no further.



Who's that!

That voice! it's Zio!

Zio! You son of a... !

Watch your tongue son. So you thought you would sneak in while the owner's out, eh, you little sneak thief?

Take a look at your own evil self before you dare put us down! Think about all you've done!

Hmmph. So I've wrought damage to Motavia. What's wrong with eliminating worms?

Worms? You dare call us worms?! You... you... I cannot forgive you!



A face filled with pain and anguish, begging fearfully for help, a face quivering with anger! Go, on! Get angry! Suffer! Be sad! That would truly be the ultimate offering to me and my great god!

Your god?

Son of a... blast! Come on! Let's go everyone!

Wait, Chaz! Zio! Do you understand what's going on? If we don't stop the systems that are running out of control, Motavia itself is going to become uninhabitable. You must let Demi...

Total annihilation of life, what a fine thing! Death to all that lives! Destruction to all that has form! That is indeed my desire!

Yeah, reasoning with the guy seems out of the question.

That's crazy!

My god will not tolerate any life forms in Algo! Everything must be wiped out. And I, with these very hands, will do just that!

That means you yourself will be gone too!

If my god wishes that to be so, that is also my wish.

You... you're out of your mind!



Spooky glowy eyes.

Anyone who dares get in my way shall perish. My humble self, who has taken it upon myself to do the wish of my god, shall destroy thee. Oh, the greatest, my one and only ultimate god, Dark Force!

'Dark Force'?



So we're thrust into a fight with Zio. However, we're powerless against the guy, as he uses a Magic Barrier on the first turn that makes him all but invincible; you can only hit him with techs or skills, and they'll never do more than one point of damage. Over the next few turns he'll summon an image of Dark Force himself:



And then fire some really nasty dark energy shit at Chaz, which brings the battle to a quick end.







We'd better make a temporary retreat!

I think you're right.





Blast it!

No! Alys!

We'd better return to my village, Chaz!

Alys... sniff

---

Alys...



It appears she isn't getting any better.

That Zio... there was something different about him from other enemies I've fought!

She refuses everything. It's as if she's... possessed by some evil power.

Damn you! Zio you devil!

Can we save her if we shut down Nurvus?

No, that won't work. Nurvus is located in the basement of Zio's Fort! Actually, Zio has erected his fort on top of Nurvus.

Oh, below that invisible barrier!!

So we'll have to defeat Zio after all!

I... If only Rune were...

Alys! Don't talk!

Rune should know... some way to do it.

Alys, don't worry. We'll defeat Zio somehow!

Now, listen. With what we have right now... there's no way we can win. We've got to do something about Zio's magic barrier.

Magic barrier?

'Magic'! That sort of thing should have ceased to exist a thousand years ago!

Come to think of it, Rune was indeed using some kind of magic! Something called Flaeli.

That's right... so if you can get the cooperation of... Rune...ooo!

Alys! Chaz, who is Rune?

Oh, he's a disgusting, conceited jerk! I hate to admit it, but we may have no choice but to ask for his help.

Didn't Rune go off somewhere with Grandfather Dorin?

If he's with Grandfather Dorin... perhaps he's gone to the 'Ladea Tower.'



Ladea Tower.

What's the Ladea Tower?

I'm not quite sure myself, but I hear it's located on a small island beyond the quicksand in the east. Grandfather Dorin said that something important is there.

How are we going to get across the quicksand? How did Rune and Grandfather Dorin do it?

That's beyond me. Probably that's where magic comes into play.



The Land Rover? What's that?

Do you mean to say there's still a Land Rover in existence?

Yes, absolutely. The Land Rover, is an all-purpose armor-plated car of an ancient civilization! With a Land Rover, crossing quicksand is nothing! If we go to the Machine Center directly south of here, I'm sure we'll find one.

A machine center? Is there such a place?

If you come with me, you'll see.

OK! In that case, let's hurry and get going!

Will you stay here, Hahn?

What? Ah, but...

We want you to remain here and look after Alys. Also, you have a cute girlfriend here!

Er...but...

Alys, I'm sure we'll find Rune!

Chaz...

Hahn, take good care of Alys!

---



Well, we've got our first android character. While not the first playable android in the series, Phantasy Star IV introduced several unique limitations to them. First, they cannot use magic, only skills. Second, they cannot be healed by magic or standard healing items; they must use their "Recover" skill to do so, or a Repair Kit item. However, they also have a few unique advantages: they are immune to most status effects, recover 1 HP per step, and should they die in battle, they will automatically revive after the fight with 1 HP.

Demi also has a unique ability called "Medic Power", which will restore a small amount of HP to the entire party (Androids included) and can even revive fallen allies. She also uses Barrier, one of the game's most useful buffer skills, and a few offensive abilities that will stun or instantly kill mechanical enemies.

---

Now we head a short distance southeast of Krup, where the Machine Center will now reveal itself.

Yikes! That scared me!

Please, feel free to enter.



The chest on the left contains the Control Key, which will get this place into working order again, while the panel on the right will completely heal your party at no charge. Nifty.

---

This place is still alive... It has become independent from Seed and Nurvus!

A lot of other machines are housed here, but they haven't been used for a long time. They probably need some repairs.

I have no idea what these machines are, but this is some place. You're pretty adept at handling these machines. Were you caught by Zio while you were trying to get the system back under control?

Yes, that's right. Zio is very violent.

Very funny.

Defeating Zio is not going to solve the problem.

What? Isn't the system running out of control a result of Zio's doing?

No. The real cause of the problem is that Zelan has been issuing abnormal commands.

Impossible! Not Zelan!

Zelan? What's that?



environmental maintenance systems. It's an orbiting station on the other side of Motavia.

Wow.

How are we going to get there?!

First, let's think about defeating Zio and stopping Nurvus!

Yeah, you're right. It's not enough just defeating Zio? If that's the case this makes me worry about... Dark Force!

The conveyor below brings this impressive monster to us:



I'm reminded of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for some reason.

Don't worry, it'll be alright! I'll start the Land Rover up! Let's go outside. It will be waiting.

---



What a functionally beautiful design! Don't you find it just fascinating!

Oh, er... yes!

---



The Land Rover, as the dialog suggests, is a carryover from Phantasy Star 1. However, it's been outfitted with some weapons in this game, allowing you to defeat the tougher enemies you encounter while driving around. It's outfitted with a powerful laser as its default attack, as well as two sub-weapons that are recharged when your party rests at an inn. It also has its own "SP" gauge, which serves the purpose of HP; if it hits 0, the game ends. It's kind of a moot point, though, since your SP is restored to full after each battle and its weapons are powerful enough to eliminate every enemy you meet in 1-2 hits.

A short drive across the quicksand leads us to Monsen. There's really not much to say about this town; it just has an item shop and an inn, and a brief dialog scene cueing us in to our next side quest.

* Th... there've been Earthquakes recently...

An earthquake starts up.

Ahhhhh! Help!

Yikes! Wh...what's wrong, Gryz!

Oh, I get it! Gryz's afraid of earthquakes, aren't you, Gryz?

Huh? Is that true?

What if I am afraid? I can't help it!

Ha ha ha, what a coward!

Oh, shut up!

Well, that was kind of mean.

At any rate, with earthquakes happening so often like this, it's a real problem.

I'm sure that the Plate System is the cause of all this!

Plate System?

It's a system located just north of here which controls the tectonic plates of Motavia's surface. I'm sure that system is malfunctioning!

Well, if that's the case, let's shut it down!

A group of villagers approaches.

* What, you're going to stop these earthquakes?

* Oh, thank you very much!

What? Er... we're kind of busy...

* Please. You must stop these quakes. Please.

But...

* Thanks!

Sure enough, a short trip north takes us to the Plate System...



which is where I'm going to stop for now.

Tune in next time, where we find some fun toys inside the Plate System, and then venture onward to the Ladea Tower.
 
 
 rawks  §  rad comments, dogg.
 ~Spoony Spoonicus  §  at 07:23pm 02/18/09
 


The rescue of Demi, confrontation of Zio, and the aftermath
 
 
 ~Spoony Spoonicus on 12:53pm 02/26/12 (10:03pm 02/13/09) in 13h38m24s  §  29592 eyeballs
 Now with more game!
 anchors: none.
 
Alright, before we head in, let's stop by Zema's armory, which has some slightly better gear for Gryz (a Broad-Axe to replace his Titanium one) and Hahn (the Graphite Suit). You can also pick up a Carbon Shield for him here, if for some reason you didn't do so back in Tonoe.



Heading back in, we find Holt's assistants, apparently beaten to a pulp.

*Ahhh... the monsters from the depths are...

*Professor Holt has gone into the depths and has not returned... Maybe... it's too late...
No...!

As expected, the depths of Birth Valley are much more advanced than anything else we've yet seen. We also apparently trigger some kind of alarm coming in...


Yikes! What's that!?
We... we're going to die!
Stop cowering! Men are such cowards! It's nothing!
That... that's true.

I hope that's a response to the last statement.



We also come face to face with our first robotic enemies here, as well as some slightly tougher palette swaps of Iggy and Xanafalgue. Nothing you shouldn't be able to handle, though you may have to use an Escapipe to leave, heal up and come back at least once, as the robots can dish out a lot of damage. Chaz also acquires the Hinas tech around this time, which serves the same purpose.

A few floors down, we find Holt again.



Oh, it's you, Hahn! You came to rescue me! Good job!
Well, it seems pretty safe here, but, how on earth were you able to escape on your own?
Well, you see, this person here came to my rescue.
Who?



What?!
Who are you?
My name is Rika. Pleased to meet you.
Rika.

Chaz, master of the one-word sentence.

Those ears... what on earth are you? And what is this place!?
This is the Bio-Plant. It's a research facility for bio engineering created by a thousand-year-old civilization.



Is it still operational?

Oh, yes. What's more, this isn't the only one. There are many such systems that have maintained their functionality. And it's thanks to these systems which control Motavia's climate, soil and ecology systems that the human race was able to avoid total destruction after the 'Great Collapse.'

Really? Is that true?

If that's the case, how come this recent environmental destruction is taking place?

Even though the control system is still functioning, it can barely maintain the minimal conditions for your existence. Even now this system is starting to run out of control!

Chaz... do you understand?

What? Well... ah...

Then, does that mean the recent increase of Bio-monsters is coming from here?

Yes, unfortunately so. ...If you want to know more, talk to 'Seed'. He's over there.

'Seed'?

---

So, where's this person called Seed?

He's right in front of you.

What's going on?



Wow! An artificial intelligence!

Hahn the ever-astonished.

I can't believe it!

*That's right, this is no exception. Check my status here. The system is beyond my control. It is continuously breeding harmful monsters.

Just as I thought.

*If we leave each of these systems running out of control... along with the monster problem, we will have abnormal climate conditions and violent changes in the planet's surface. Motavia will be destroyed!



The only thing we can do is shut down the system!

But stopping the system itself will cause problems. We won't be able to maintain the ecosystem!

That's better than the system ruining everything!

But, these systems are spread out all over the place!

Don't worry. All we have to do is shut down the plant 'Nurvus' which supplies energy to each system. That will shut them all down.

* First, please rescue the control android 'Demi.'



Rescue? What do you mean rescue?

* Right now, Demi is being held hostage by a man named Zio.

Zio again!

Who on earth is this Zio!?

* I myself don't know what Zio is all about.

So all we have to do is rescue this Demi, right? Where is she being held hostage?

She is with Zio,



Is that by any chance... beyond the quicksand of Mile?

Oh, that sinister looking castle north of Zema.

It's a pretty long way to go, but having heard all this we have no choice. Hee hee, it's been a long time since I've felt so excited! And while we're at it, why don't we get rid of that disgusting character, Zio!

Hey! That's the spirit!



Who is this girl anyway? She seems curiously knowledgable about these matters...

* She is... my child.

Are you saying that she is an artificial life form?

* That's right. She is the product of a thousand years of improvement on genetic information from a prototype prior to the 'Great Collapse'.

(That prototype would be Phantasy Star II's Neifirst, and by extension Nei)

* I have also given her a basic education. She will surely be a great help to you.



Thank you! I've always wanted to be able to see the outside world!

* Rika, take care...

OK, let's get going to Zio's Fort!

I must first go back to the academy! We have to spread this information as much as possible.

---

* There is only one way for me to stem the outbreak of monsters. Now that I have sent into the world the fruit of a thousand years worth of research, there are no obstacles to its execution.

(Seed's monitors all go red.)



Wow, I didn't know the sky was so blue! These flowers... they're so beautiful! How lovely!



be so novel...



An explosion!



Rika, you must carry on the will of Seed! You can't look back now!

I know...



If you're starting to think that everyone in this game has a four-letter name, then congratulations! You're pretty much right. This was also the case with the previous Phantasy Star games. Ah, the wonder of space limitations.

Anyway, Rika is pretty much our main "support" character, with mostly healing and buffer techs. She's also not bad in combat; though she gains very few offensive skills, she can deal a respectable amount of damage with two Claws equipped. She starts out at Level 1, but much like PS2's Nei, she gains levels more quickly than any other character, so she'll catch up fast.



Alright, across the bridge just a short walk west, which was broken earlier on to prevent us from getting back to Aiedo and buying the awesome gear available there. Ah well.

First, though, we'll stop by the town of Nalya.


*it's inhabitable anymore...

*About three months ago, a large meteorite fell just outside of town... and look what has happened! What in the world did we do to deserve this?

* You know, right after the meteorite fell, some kind of army came rushing across the bridge from the west. And then, just when they thought they returned to the west, we found the bridge destroyed. I wonder if they came from Aiedo? Who in the world were they!

Huh, I don't remember the part about the army. I can only assume it was Zio's doing again.

* Hey, doesn't it look like there's a machine in the middle of that big hole? We want to see what it is, but on the other hand, it's kind of scary and no one dares go near it.

Anyway, there's not much else to see in this town, aside from an item shop and an inn. Heading north of town leads us to the "Meteorite".



Which is apparently another high-tech facility.

This is one of the game's handful of sidequests, which can net you a few neat items and a bit of plot introspective, so we're going to check it out. You may have to level-grind a bit to make it all the way through, as the enemies in here are quite powerful.

At the very end we come to this scene.



I know what it is. Move over, Chaz!

Rika takes the controls.

Wow, pretty impressive.

It's a pretty hard security code to break, but... there! We can now access the main computer's memory!



Putting Radical Edward's hacking skills to shame.

What's this?

Look! It says that this is the space ship that escaped from Parma a thousand years ago!

What? Really?! But... Parma exploded a thousand years ago!?

Oh, you know about that?

Yes... I learned about it at the academy.

Parma, the first planet of the Algo solar system, was destroyed in AW 1284 when the artificial satellite, Gaira, crashed into it... Today, the only vestige of Parma is the asteroid belt.

But there were some people that were able to escape!

According to these records... just before the explosion, some people were able to escape... This space ship was damaged, and became trapped in orbit around Motavia. They floated around in space until all the humans aboard died. But the computer was able to sustain itself with its self-repairing mechanisms.

They all... died?

According to the flight chart, the orbit slowly decayed over the last thousand years... the ship finally crashed here!

Then, that means all the Parmanians perished?!

Wait... this is not the only ship that escaped from Parma! It seems that other similiar ships were able to escape successfully. Most of them landed in either Motavia or Dezolis, but it looks like some of them went right out of the Algo solar system. I can't get an accurate number, but it looks like some tens of ships.

...So they're still continuing their flight... somewhere in the universe...

---

The destruction of Parma obviously refers to the events of Phantasy Star II. Phantasy Star III reveals that 400 ships had escaped before the planet's destruction - of them, all but two were destroyed by Dark Force. Phantasy Star III takes place upon one of the remaining ships, and had survived due to a hero named Orakio sealing Dark Force away with his magical sword. One of the possible endings even involves meeting the other surviving ship.

Interestingly, another of the game's endings has the ship travel through time to end up near modern Earth, which poses the question of whether the inhabitants of PS3's ship were inadvertently responsible for triggering the events of Phantasy Star II; namely, the destruction of Earth, the corruption of the Earthmen and the creation of Mother Brain. Of course, that would be a predestination paradox.

---

Alright, let's move on to Aiedo. Here, we can rest at Alys' house for free, which makes the Inn rather pointless. Interestingly, the place also has two weapon and two armor shops; however, one of each of them just sells outdated stuff that we've already come across in earlier towns. The other, near the Hunter's Guild, has the next tier of equipment for our entire party, the aforementioned Graphite and Ceramic. However, Ceramic stuff is quite expensive, so we'll have to get some money before we can afford it all.

Fortunately, there's an easy way to gain some cash; I speak of course of the Guild itself.



This is a request from a ranch owner at the village of Mile. 'The Sand Worms at my ranch have become so big that I'm at my wit's end. Please help me...' That is the message. The fee offered is 5000 Meseta.

See? Nothing but trouble, those sand worms.

---

The postings in here also offer a bit of humor.

'Hunters with the most cases processed: No. 1 Alys Brangwin...'

It says 'The guild is everyone's guild. Please use it quietly'...

To put that into context, there's a floor show with dancers and loud music one room over from this very sign. The tune they dance to is a slight variation of the theme from Fantasy Zone.

There's a notice posted here. 'Do not run on the floor'...

Running on the ceiling is loosely acceptable.

---

Alright, let's get this Sand Worm business sorted out not only for the money, but because it's a good chance to show off the Macro system.



Basically, you can set up what skills you want to use and the order you want to use them in before you actually get into a battle, which is useful for setting up buffers on the first round of combat, as well as performing the game's combination spells, which require two or more specific spells to be cast back to back with one another. Right now we're just going to concentrate on the former, since we don't have any useful combination spells yet.

By default, Macro A sets everyone to simply attack with their weapon, which makes random battles go by much more quickly.



* The sand worms I've raised in this ranch have grown so big, the situation is out of hand! P... please! Can you do something about it? I won't complain, whatever the outcome is!

We wander around in the pen for a bit until we come face-to-face with...



Well, he wasn't kidding.

This fight's rather easy, actually, since the Sand Worm can only attack one character at a time for roughly 50 damage, which Rika can easily erase with her Res magic. Alys casting Saner will also allow most of the party to get their turns in before the Sand Worm does, which ensures they won't be wiped out before they can be healed. Anyway, just have Chaz and Gryz attack, Hahn use Wat magic, and Alys use Vortex, and this should be over within a few turns. Rika can also dish out some damage with a normal attack or a Double Slash skill when nobody needs healing, though she'll probably only have one or two uses of the latter at this point.

---

Once he's defeated we'll gain enough experience to raise everyone at least two levels, and the ranch owner will have this to say:

* Sigh. And I was finally able to feed those sand worms successfully... The ranch... my dream... Sigh. Thank you. There's no use lamenting about the past. I should make a clean break and go on to the next thing. I'll send your compensation to the guild, so please pick it up there.

Good job. Congratulations on dealing with the sand worms so effectively! Please accept your commission fee of 5000 Meseta.
I'm glad we resolved the problem before anyone got hurt. Too bad for the ranch owner though.
But he seemed like a person who would not be daunted for long. I'm sure he'll prosper again.

If you're still short on cash for upgrading equipment, it's time for a bit of good old-fashioned money farming. Head into the cave north of Aiedo and fight the Zol Slugs; wait for them to combine together into a Meta Slug, then kill them for over 500 Meseta a pop. They give a pretty good amount of experience to boot.

---

Well, that's it for this entry. Next time: the inevitable showdown with Zio.
 
 
 rawks  §  rad comments, dogg.
 ~Spoony Spoonicus  §  at 02:53pm 02/14/09
 
Bonus Youtube video:



Seed and Rika's scene
 
 
 ~Spoony Spoonicus on 12:44pm 02/26/12 (02:49pm 02/06/09) in 3h21m37s  §  28938 eyeballs
 Now with more game!
 anchors: none.
 
Alright, last time we were on our way to Birth Valley to see just what Zio wants to keep hidden so badly. However, on the way there we came across a town called Mile, so let's see what they have to offer.

* This is the village of Mile, and this is our newly-built sand worm ranch. What do you think? Isn't it great? This will attract a lot of tourists.



It'll probably attract a lot of trouble too.

* You're looking for Birth Valley? Then go to a village called Zema.

* See that castle beyond the quicksand? I could have sworn that one night there was nothing and the next day there it was. It must have been my imagination, don't you think?

* Did you see the quicksand? It's spreading and spreading! How long is this town going to last?



The weapons store also offers us a chance to upgrade our artillery. Hold off for now though, as some much better stuff will be coming up shortly. The armor shop, on the other hand, just has Leather gear, which we start out with by default.

---

Anyway, let's head a bit further northeast to Zema.



Everyone in town's in this condition. That doesn't bode well, does it?

There's a small cavern in the upper reaches of town, which is only two floors long and holds a few minor treasures, including a suit of Carbon Armor. At the end, we find Holt, who is much like the rest of the populace here.





An ancient curse? I can't believe someone is able to cast such a spell in this day and age!

Isn't there any way to restore them?

I've heard that a medicine called "Alshline" is able to turn stone back to flesh.

Where can we find it?

I heard about it some time ago in a Motavian village... But, we're talking some time ago.

Which Motavian village?

It's the village of Molcum, which is far south of here.

All right then, let's get going!



I'll make you a deal -- just 500 Meseta.



Alshline also played a part in the role of the first Phantasy Star game, although due to the inconsistent translation between games, it was called "Alsulin" there.

---



A short trip south brings us here.



But apparently someone beat us to the punch. However, we find a lone figure standing in the center of the rubble.





Alys, you know this guy?

From a long time ago...



He's still a kid.

Watch what you say!

Stop it, you two. More importantly, Rune, what's going on?

This is all the handiwork of Zio.

Zio! I bet the person who turned the people of Zema into stone is also...

Well, your brain seems to work a little bit.

You...

Cut it out! It seems that everywhere we go, it's always Zio. Who is this Zio?

I'm not sure.

With the town destroyed, how are we going to find Alshline?

You're looking for Alshline? In that case, you'd better go to Tonoe.

Tonoe?

Let's see... from here, it's kind of far. First travel east to the village of Krup. And from there if you go North, you'll find a valley that leads to Tonoe.

We don't have to pass by Krup, do we?

Why?

Ah, let's just head straight towards Tonoe! Alys?

I haven't decided yet.

I'm going to invite myself to join your group.



Not so fast!



Alys!

Good, we're all set. And Shorty, try not to get in the way.

Stop calling me Shorty! My name is...

Chaz, that's what you said your name was, right? Hmmph, what a stupid name!

Actually, he didn't give his name.

Alys, I think he's going to be more trouble than he's worth.

Ha, I won't get in anyone's way.

You already have.

Ah... I'm a little uneasy about our destination.

So, now we have a fourth party member, as well as an endless source of amusement for his derisive comments toward Chaz.



He's a good ten levels above the rest of our party at this point, which will make getting to Tonoe a simple task. He's also the definitive mage character, throwing around the best offensive spells the game has to offer.

---

Well, in spite of what Hahn said, we're going to make a quick stop at Krup to heal up. It's a short walk to the east, so you probably won't even run into any random battles on the way there.

* This village's most successful citizen is Hahn, the Armorer's only son. He's a professor at Motavia Academy. We're really proud of him. What! Well, if it isn't Hahn!

* Well, Tonoe is north of here, but the road to Tonoe is like a maze. Moreover, the entrance to Tonoe is blocked by a large rock. That's what I heard recently.

* See that little island in the big lake near here? The building on that island has been called Soldiers' Temple since long ago. Once, I swam over there, but there were monsters all over the island! It was frightening and I came rushing home.

Upon entering the schoolhouse, we get a small scene.





Saya! I've missed you! Let me introduce you to everyone. This is my...ahem... fi...fiancee, Saya.

Fiancee!?

It's a pleasure to meet you. My name is Saya.

Saya teaches children here in her home.

Wow... I'm impressed!

Oh, no, it's about the only thing I'm capable of doing...

Alys and Chaz are hunters. They are assisting me in my task.

It's a difficult job, isn't it? Thank you for taking care of Hahn.

Now, don't you worry. Everything will be okay.

But, if anything were to happen to you, I...

Saya...

Hahn...

...Oh, you two...!

Just for a bit of extra amusement, you can check the bookshelves in here.



* Look at this picture book: 'A day with Ecco.'

* Look at this picture book: 'The Ceramic Soldiers'...

Ceramic is some pretty high-grade weapon and armor material in the Phantasy Star universe, just so you know.

* It's a children's picture book. 'Run, Hedgehog, Run!'

But perhaps the most amusing of all is in the back room.



---

The armor shop sells Carbon gear, which is the next step up. However, we're not going to buy anthing here either, for reasons that will become apparent shortly.

You can also speak to Hahn's parents for a bit more plot.

* Hahn! It's good to see you home. Your Pa goes on like that, but really he's very proud of you.

I know, Ma... but my feelings won't change!

* Hahn! Considering that you are disinherited, you sure have some gall to step into this house!? You don't help in the family business, you just study! What use is that?

Pa, right now, the whole planet is in serious danger! I want to help with the power of science! That's why I'm studying!

---

Well, let's head north.



No sweat. This should be a cinch! Everybody! Stand back!

* Flaeli!



Wow!

Shall we go?

That art he just used. I've never seen it before? The technique's different too.

Hee hee... I'm not surprised you've never seen it before. This is what they call 'magic.'

Magic!

---

Another short dungeon lies ahead, but Rune's high level should let you get through with barely a scratch. One Hewn skill or Gra technique can easily wipe out an entire enemy party.





And just because I don't believe I've covered it yet: "Techniques" and "Skills" both function as the game's magic. Techniques run off of TP, while Skills can only be used a set number of times between rests. Skills generally start with only one use, but you gain more as the character's level increases.

Anyway, there's a couple minor treasures in here, including a chest with 600 Meseta, so make sure you grab them.



Once we emerge on the other side, you may want to unequip Rune's stuff so that you can sell it for a little extra money, since he'll be leaving shortly. Don't worry though, by the time he comes back later he'll have replaced it with some even better gear.

To do that, press Left on the control pad to open his equipment menu, then select each item one by one.

You can also equip Hahn with the Circlet to give him a slight defensive boost.

---

Well, we've finally arrived. Let's check out the sights.

* This is Tonoe... Hey! how did you get in here?

* Yeh, I've heard about what's going on in Molcum! That darn Zio!

* Parmanians like to go to war! I refuse to get embroiled in battles started by people like that!

* Hey, it's a Parmanian! H...help.
Don't worry, I'm not going to hurt you.

* Go away!
How rude.

* Our pride and joy is the refined art of Titanium. I bet you've never seen a weapon of Titanium in any of your towns, have you?

* Oh? It's a Parmanian. We don't have anything to sell to you!

Yeah, it looks like Motavians and Parmanians aren't on the best of terms.



But that won't stop some of them from trying to make a buck off you.

Titanium's the best stuff we'll get for quite a while, so get everyone decked out at the weapon and armor stores. You might have to return to the tunnel and farm a bit of gold in order to afford everything, but it will be worth it. You might want to grab a couple of extra Monomates as well.

Oh, and be sure to equp Alys with two Slashers for double the damage, and Chaz with a sword. Hahn will have to make do with a Carbon shield, since he can't equip the Titanium variety.

When you're ready to move on, head north of the marketplace to Grandfather Dorin's tent, where three more Motavians await us.



That's all you'll get out of him for now.



My brother fought valiantly. He just wasn't a match for Zio. My mom and dad both died. My brother and I barely escaped with our lives...



What exactly do you want to ask? Is it about the secret of refining Titanium?

If you answer yes to this, you get:

I see. It is referred to as a 'secret' and it really is a secret!

If not, you get this:

You want to know why the path to this village is blocked by a rock?

Again, you can answer yes or no.

In preperation of a possible assault by Zio we've closed ourselves off.

If you choose no again, you get one final question.

Then do you want to know the measurements of that famous and beautiful hunter Alys Brangwin, also known as the 'Eight-Stroke Warrior?'

If you answer "Yes"...

Now you're talking. Starting from the top, thirty-six, twenty...



Yeow! Ouch!! Wh...what are you doing! How dare you strike me without warning! Huh? Yikes! Alys Brangwin!

You blabbing old fart! Do you tell every single fool who comes here my measurements!?

She winds up for another punch.

Ah! Oh... help me! Ah, Rune! It's you, Rune. Please help me!

You don't change, do you, old man!



The old man doesn't have any bad intentions.

That's why I put up with it.

Grandfather Dorin, I came to retrieve the item I entrusted in your care. Also, these people are looking for Alshline.

Ah, if what you want is Alshline, feel free to take whatever you need. It's in the back of the basement warehouse out back. Go help yourselves.

Thank you! Alys, let's go!



That place is unused right now. So it may be a teensy bit dangerous. Gryz, will you guide these people?

My pleasure. My name is Gryz. Nice to meet you.

Well, I have some business with Grandfather Dorin here, so I'll say so long here! Oh yeah, pip squeak...

I've had enough of you!

Don't get any silly thoughts, like taking on Zio, into that little head!



Guys...

At this stage of the game, you're no match for him! Maybe our paths will cross again. Alys...

Did he just break the fourth wall there?

Yeah...

Take care.

Me, taking on Zio?

Thanks Rune.

---



Well, this is the only playable Motavian in the series, and he's actually not bad. Pretty strong in the physical department, but with only one Tech and one Skill to speak of (neither of which are particularly useful). But on the plus side, he does come already decked out with Titanium gear.

Talking to Pana with Gryz in your party just adds this to the end of her lines.

Pana... I promise you that one day I will exact revenge!

---

Alright, moving on.



Oh, there's a little trick to opening this door. Just hold here... like so.... and then one, two, three, lift!

It opened!

Great, let's go in.



The enemies down here are a lot more dangerous than the fare we've encountered before; in fact, they can inflict 15-20 damage per hit on most of your party, even with Titanium equipment! It might be wise to reorder your party to put Gryz up front; his defense is quite a bit higher than the rest of your party at this point, so he'll only take single-digit damage.

Also, don't be afraid to use techs and skills; the dungeon is fairly short, so you're not likely to run out unless you spend a lot of time messing around. Hahn's Gelun skill in particular will be very helpful; it will weaken all enemies on the field dramatically, causing them to do only 1-2 points of damage a hit.

There's a few minor treasures around; mostly just Monomates, Antidotes and a bit of extra cash. One chest on the second floor is a Titanium Crown, which Alys can equip, so do try to find that.

Three floors down, we'll find what we came for.





Okay, let's hurry and return to Zema and help those people out!

Umm... do you think I can go along? My own town was destroyed by Zio. I couldn't save my father or my mother! One way or another I need to get my revenge!

Hey Gryz! We're not necessarily making this journey for the purpose of defeating Zio.

But didn't that tall guy who was with you say something like that?

Oh, that... he was just arbitrarily saying stuff.

Either way, I can't stay in this town forever! I'm coming along even if you refuse to take me!

Gryz!

C'mon, Chaz, there's nothing wrong with that. Gryz could be quite a help and, after all, no one knows what's going to happen from here on out.

Great. Once again... good to be working with you!

Yeah, whatever. Let's get going!

Hahn's just itching to get out of here, and I can't blame him since the monsters can still drop him in two hits. Fortunately, the other chest nearby houses an Escapipe, so we won't have to hack our way through dozens of monsters to get back out.

---

After a quick stop back in town to sell off Alys' old Leather Crown and get patched up, we're on our way back to Zema. Once we enter town, this scene automatically plays:







There are just tons of relics from an earlier civilization all over the place. You've come at the right time. You too...

Professor Holt! This is no time for that kind of thing! Do you know you were turned into stone by Zio?

Hmm? Oh, really? Well, here I am now, as good as new, so not to worry! Alright, let's reopen the investigation immediately. Hahn!

Yes sir!

Go back to the academy. Give them a report on the state of affairs here.

Er... yes sir.

Good! We're off further into Birth Valley!!



Oh well, at least we've settled one problem.

I'm so sorry... he didn't even say a word of thanks. Well, he's just that kind of guy.

Oh, don't worry about that, Hahn!

Well, I'm kind of tired after getting this job done. Let's take it easy today, eh Chaz?

OK.



I've got to report about what's been happening until now.

OK. What about Gryz?

You talking about me? I'm going off to conquer Zio... even if that means me alone!

Let's not be so rash!

I don't care whether it's rash or not. I've already made up my mind!



Normally, at this junction we would go back to the town of Aiedo where the guild is located.

* Ahhhhh!



Someone's screaming!



Well, if it isn't our old friend Igglanova.



We'll have to destroy it.

Now?!

Why, yes!



Iggy's buddy is here and itching for a rematch. Unfortunately for him, he's no stronger than his buddy back at the Academy was. In fact, with the array of Skills and Techs you've learned over the last few levels, you might just take him out on the first turn.



Well, it's a little better now.



* sacred area that something like this is happening!!





...Ah... Er, Alys?

I'll keep it to 1000 Meseta.

...M...My wedding fund...

Harsh.

---

What mysteries await us within Birth Valley? Tune in next time to find out!
 
 
 rawks  §  rad comments, dogg.
 ~Spoony Spoonicus  §  at 06:31pm 02/06/09
 
Bonus Youtube vids:



Rune's scene. Included mostly for his awesome theme music.



This one's just not the same without the sound effects.



Comedy gold.



Revived Zema dialog scenes + the easiest boss battle of all time.
 ~Spoony Spoonicus  §  at 10:00pm 02/13/09
 
Part 3 coming tomorrow.
 
 
 ~Spoony Spoonicus on 12:28pm 02/26/12 (04:02pm 02/02/09) in 4h18m30s  §  29213 eyeballs
 chained to: Spoony's Phantasy Star 4 Playthrough  §  first - previous - next - latest
 Now with more game!
 anchors: none.
 
Yeah, the definitive chapter in my all-time favorite RPG series gets a playthrough now that I've managed to find a screen capture program that doesn't suck copious amounts of ass. Doesn't get the most consistent frame rate, but I blame that on my aging PC.

So why is it my favorite series? Three simple reasons.

  • It pioneered a lot of things that wouldn't become popular until later games *COUGHfinalfantasy* copycatted them. Remember how shocked everyone was when Aeris got killed? Well, Phantasy Star also killed off a major character midway through the game - eight years earlier. Remember all those dark, vaguely cyberpunk JRPGs that came out in the Playstation Era? Phantasy Star II beat them to the punch. Unlike most RPGs, which just had scrolling bars to text narrating the battles or blinking sprites to symbolize throwing magic at you, Phantasy Star's enemies had actual animation frames. Hell, some series (Dragon Warrior, Shin Megami Tensei) wouldn't implement more than the minimum for battle animations until the 00's rolled around. It was even ahead of the game in the cinematic presentation front - PSIV had some nifty manga-styled cutscenes before full-motion videos became the standard, as you'll see shortly.

    Oh, and Chrono Trigger's combination moves? Yeah, Phantasy Star IV had those first.

  • Perhaps realizing that having to tap a button to plow through random encounters all the time got pretty damn tedious after a while, Sega expedited the process somewhat by including programmable auto-battle options. Phantasy Star II and III had the ability to set your character's moves before beginning a round, and they'd repeatedly do those attacks and spells until manually stopped. Phantasy Star IV includes a neat feature called "Macros", which allows you to pick what you want each character to do for one turn and save it to one of ten slots for later use. That way, when a battle comes up and you want to cast some buffer spells, all you have to do is hit the button twice instead of 10+ times. I'm amazed that this is still one of the few series' to do something like this.

  • There's nary a bad game in the series. Final Fantasy's entire history has been fairly hit-or-miss, and even my other favorites (Suikoden and Ultima) have had their sour entries. Phantasy Star remained innovative, fun and challenging right up to the end, and they knew it better to conclude a series on a high note than whore it out until it became an old, tired laughing stock. Just a pity they couldn't convince Sonic Team to take the same route with their namesake franchise.

    Well okay, that's not totally true; Phantasy Star III's gameplay and presentation definitely needed some serious work. That said, the game did have an enjoyable storyline, even if it had little connection to the other games in the series.


If you want to check out the series, your best bet is to grab Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for the XBox 360 or Playstation 3, as it's the first North American release to actually have all four games on one compilation, and it only took them fourteen years! If you don't have either of those systems, you can also check out Sega Genesis Collection on the PS2 or PSP (which lacks the first game) or Phantasy Star Collection on the Game Boy Advance (which lacks 4).

If you have the means to play imports, the PS2's Sega Ages 2500 Volume 32: Phantasy Star Collection is also a good bet, as it has not only the first four games (in both Japanese and English), but even the lesser known Game Gear and Phantasy Star II Text Adventure spinoffs as hidden bonuses (in Japanese only, sadly).

Sega Ages 2500 Volumes 1 and 17 are enhanced remakes of Phantasy Star I and II, though they're also only in Japanese.

But enough of this; my blathering probably isn't what you came here to see. On with the playthrough!

---

Behold the intro in all its 16-bit glory:



A brief rundown of the events in Phantasy Star II there, as well as some rather cryptic text, the meaning of which won't become apparent until close to the end of this game. We also get a brief shot of our game's four major protagonists, but I'll introduce them as they come along.

---

Alright, just so I don't have to eat up server bandwidth with 8,000,000 screenshots, I'll just snap the important stuff and type out all the generic text.



You'd better put your heart into it!
So... I'm not a trainee anymore.
From this day on, you are a full-fledged partner! Now come on, let's go!
Where are we off to this time?
It's a bit far. We're going to Motavia Academy in the town of Piata.
Wow! So we're going to the town of learning! I wonder what's happened there?
Who knows? The message said, 'Just come.' We'll get the details once we're there.

---

Since we're going to be there anyway, I'd sure like to tour the Academy.
Is that all you can think about? Get moving or I'll leave you behind!



It appears that in spite of its name, the game takes place about a quarter of the way into the millennium. But then, "End of the Century" just doesn't have as nice a ring to it.

---

Well, now is as good a time as any to introduce our protagonists.

Chaz Ashley, the game's central protagonist and a fledgling Hunter. As you might expect, he's good at a little bit of everything - decent with both offensive and defensive techniques, and he gets some pretty powerful physical skills to boot. He can equip knives, shields and two-handed swords. I much prefer the latter, as they provide the best offense and a bit of defense for good measure.

Alys Brangwin, Chaz's mentor who has gained high recognition as a hunter, being labeled the "Eight Stroke Warrior." She wields bladed boomerangs called "slashers", which hit all enemies on the screen at the same time. She also has some decent offensive skills.

---


I've got to find her!

Chaz, ya lovable dope.

Well, at least this grants us an opportunity to talk to people and get a bit more plot exposition in.

* About a month ago, monsters began to appear in the basement. I'm so frightened, I can't even think about my research!

* You're the Hunter commissioned by the Principal? A kid like you?! Are you going to be able to handle it?



As well as encounter some delightfully cheesy commentary.



She was less than twenty feet away this whole time and you thought you were lost? Really now, Chaz.

After a moment of getting chewed out for wandering off, we move on to speak to the Principal.



The first of the aforementioned manga scenes. I read somewhere that Sega actually added more panels to the North American release, but I haven't confirmed that yet.

I'm the principal of this academy. Let's see, you must be Alys, the hunter, and you are her assistant, Chaz.
Forgive me, but Chaz is a full-fledged partner of mine. Now, let's get down to business. Describe the situation.
Ah...


It appears that they have made the basement their headquarters. I've since closed it off. So far no one's been hurt, but who knows when they'll appear again? Please, I beg you to destroy all those creatures! Ah... I'd like to settle this matter discreetly, I'm counting on your reputation, Alys.
No problem. You can rely on us. Although, it's strange that all these monsters suddenly appeared in this academy. Usually monsters don't come in to inhabited areas. Do you have any idea how this happened?

Stop asking questions. Just hurry and exterminate those monsters! Don't forget, I'm paying you dearly for your services!

---

Something smells fishy here. That principal was hiding something.
Maybe he's afraid of the monsters?
I think there's more to it than that. Things are starting to get interesting!

---

Well, we could go straight to the basement, but let's get a bit more exposition in.

* Apparently, a thousand years ago there were ships that could travel through space. Today, the only thing we can do is view Dezolis through a telescope. Ah! Just once, I would love to go to Dezolis.

* Once, there were three planets in the Algo solar system, but during the Great Collapse, the planet Parma was lost. Now only Dezolis and this planet remain.

* A thousand years ago, our society was thrown into confusion by the destruction of Mother Brain. After that, Motavia sustained a direct hit by a fragment of the exploding planet Parma. Our civilization was almost destroyed. We call this "the Great Collapse."

All of these refer to the events of Phantasy Star II.




Yeah, but they called him "Doctor Luveno" back then.

(A Phantasy Star I reference, by the way)

It looks like Motavia still has its share of problems, as several characters also mention the monster outbreaks and the destructive seismic activity of late.

---

Alright, moving on.


You don't think we can do the job?
No, no, not at all! I didn't mean that!
Since we have the Principal's permission, let us pass.
Wait! Take me with you!
Hmm. And why should we?

I am an assistant at this academy. I work for Professor Holt, who has gone to investigate Birth Valley for his research. We haven't heard from him since. So, now I am searching for the professor's whereabouts!
Birth Valley... that's that mysterious place that has been called the sacred valley of life.
But what's the connection between the valley and this current monster scare?
After the investigating team, led by the Professor, was reported missing, the principal barred everyone from entering Birth Valley! We're trying to get information as to what's going on, but he keeps evading the issue. And then this monster scare begins! I'll bet anything that there is some sort of connection between these incidents.
Well, it is true that there's something fishy about the principal's behavior.
Given the circumstances, I feel compelled to investigate the basement myself. But come to think of it, it is a bit dangerous...
So, you were just waiting for us to arrive?
Well, ah, yes. You catch on quick!



What?
We'll take you with us for 100 Meseta. I hope you weren't thinking of asking to tag along with us for free?
Er... I can't get that kind of money from the principal...
That's not my problem. Now, what are you going to do?
...OK, I'll pay...

The first of many acts of extortion to come.

---

Anyway, we have a new party member.

Hahn Mahlay, the scholar. He's a bit on the weak side physically, with low HP and only being able to wield daggers and shields. However, he does have some decent offensive and support magic.

Useless trivia: He's one of the only two playable characters whose name is the same in both the Japanese and American versions of the game.

---



Down in the basement, we quickly spot a lone monster that runs off, and get into our first random encounters.



They're pretty standard early game fare; they can't really do more than single-digit damage and one or two solid blows will fell them. The two-headed ones are a bit tougher, but still nothing to worry about. Working our way through two floors full of these guys and a few minor treasures, we come to this:



Some kind of freaky genetics lab.



With a freaky monster on the loose!



Igglanova, the first real boss in the game. It's actually a pretty easy fight, as the boss will only create more Xanafalgues, and won't attack unless there are two alive when its turn comes up. So just have Alys use her Vortex skill to inflict heavy damage on Iggy, and Chaz and Hahn attack the Xanafalgues, and this fight should be over in a few turns.

---

We did it!
Chaz! You need more practice. Your swing is too slow!
What? But we destroyed the monster...
With my help...
Sorry.

Alys, ya buzzkill.

Now, Hahn? Come over here.
What?
What are these glass containers for?
These...
Hey, are you by any chance breeding monsters here? If that's the case, this monster business is no mystery after all!
I... I don't know anything! It's the first time I've been in this room! I've only just learned that such a thing exists at the academy!
Um..
Really, it's the truth!
I believe you... for now.
The principal must know about these containers!
He must also know the connection between this and the disappearance of Professor Holt.
Yes, let's see the principal again. C'mon Chaz!
Hey! Don't leave me here!

---

Wh..what's wrong? You seem upset. Were you able to defeat those monsters?
Yes, but there is something I want to ask you.
What?
Is it just my imagination that I saw some strange things in the basement?
Ah...


Someone keeping information from me is the sixth most dangerous thing in this world!
All right already... I'll tell you what I know. You are aware of the recent outbreak of a new breed of monster?
Oh yes. Thanks to the outbreak, I'm not hurting for work.
Three months ago, Holt identified Birth Valley as the origin of the outbreak, and he went to investigate... he says he discovered the remains of an ancient and advanced civilization! The investigation team brought back the monster breeding capsules, and immediately set forth on their second investigative mission. But...
Not one of them came back...
Yes, that's right Hahn.
And despite all this, you didn't send out a rescue team and banned entry to Birth Valley!
No, no! I... I was trying to send out a rescue team! But...
Something happened?
At that moment, a man who called himself 'Zio' appeared before my eyes...
Zio! I've heard of him. That fake magician!


how are you doing?
Who... who are you!?
My name is Zio. Zio the black magician. Do not intrude on Birth Valley.
What do you mean!?
In the future, if you ever let anyone set foot in Birth Valley...



Let me make something clear... there is no need for you to go to Birth Valley!
It's related to the research team!
So that's why the Birth Valley situation wasn't announced, and also why you tried to keep a lid on the monster situation. But... what is all this about? Remnants of an ancient advanced civilization and Zio?
It seems like these are signs of something to come.
I need to help the Professor! I'm going to Birth Valley!


This is egg-laying season for sand worms, so be careful.
Ah... Alys?
We'll tag along for 300 Meseta plus expenses.
Ah... deal! Birth Valley is to the northeast! Let's hurry!

---

Looks like Alys isn't going to let go of this nest egg, so we're off to investigate Birth Valley. That's it for this entry.

---

So far we've been introduced to Chaz Ashley, the central protagonist of our story, a fledgling Hunter and a bit of a putz. We've also encoutered Alys Brangwin, his mentor skilled in the art of extortion, and Hahn Mahlay, the rather wimpy scholar. We've also got the number of a shady character named Zio. Coming up next time, we'll encounter two new playable characters, including the first and only instance of a Motavian being a playable character in the series. Stay tuned!
 
 
 rawks  §  rad comments, dogg.
 ~Spoony Spoonicus  §  at 07:47pm 02/02/09
 
Bonus vid of the Zio scene:

 ~Spoony Spoonicus  §  at 02:56am 02/05/09
 
Update tomorrow if the Devil Cat doesn't keep trashing my room while I'm trying to sleep again.
 
filters  §  chained to "Spoony's Phantasy Star 4 Playthrough"
 
 
a cherry
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