Phantasy Star games
Group DescriptionPhantasy Star games, created by Sega, include the original Japanese-style role-playing series (which encompassed four games), its various spin-offs (such as the Phantasy Star Text Adventures series), and online RPGs, which originated with Phantasy Star Online (2000) and have been dominating the series ever since. The initial games were designed by Rieko Kodama and Yuji Naka.
All Phantasy Star games take place in the same fictional universe, which is somewhat similar to that of Star Wars, incorporating space travel, alien races, elements of medieval fantasy, and the overarching "good vs. evil" plot that involves the ultimate antagonist, the Dark Force. The original tetralogy is set on the Algol Solar System, which consists of four planets: the technologically advanced Palma, the originally desert-covered Motavia, the icy Dezolis, and the mysterious Rykros, which is visible only once every thousand years. The four games also feature common chronology and recurrent characters. The online games took the action to other solar systems within the same universe.
The first Phantasy Star (1987) is widely regarded as one of the progenitors of Japanese-style role-playing games, influencing the subsequent development of the genre with its distinct anime style, stylistic variety in the setting, and emphasis on character-driven narrative. Notable gameplay elements of Phantasy Star included two navigation perspectives (top-down for towns and world map, first-person for dungeons, similarly to Ultima), integration of both medieval (swords) and futuristic (laser guns) weapons, and usage of TP (technique points) for "techniques" which replaced magic spells.
Phantasy Star II (1989) contained most of the original's gameplay elements, while replacing first-person dungeons with top-down ones; their maze-like nature, however, was preserved, and even increased. Phantasy Star III (1990) differs from other installments due to its predominantly medieval fantasy setting. Phantasy Star IV (1993) concluded the tetralogy; after its release, the series has entered seven-year hiatus, ending with the release of Phantasy Star Online, which took the series into a new direction.
- History of: The Phantasy Star Series - A feature article on the fansite Sega-16, which provides a history of the series and the company that developed it, as well as information about the individual games themselves, including a release chronology (Aug. 14th, 2004).
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Front cover for Phantasy Star Universe
Front cover for Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
Front cover for Phantasy Star
Front cover for Phantasy Star Portable
Front cover for Phantasy Star Online: Episode I & II Plus
Screenshot from Phantasy Star II Text Adventure: Anne no Bōken
Screenshot from Phantasy Star II Text Adventure: Kinds no Bōken
Screenshot from Phantasy Star II Text Adventure: Nei no Bōken
Screenshot from Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
Screenshot from Phantasy Star II Text Adventure: Rudger no Bōken