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Phantasy Star IV (Genesis)

85
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

The Algol star system is in troubled times. Many thousands of years ago, it was a peaceful world. Three planets surrounded the Algol star and were in perfect harmony: Palma, a lush green planet, where its citizens devoted their lives to arts and the sciences; Motavia, a desert planet, inhabited by humans and native Motavians; and the enigmatic Dezolis, a harsh ice planet, where the citizens were just as unknown as the planet itself. Unfortunately, the harmony and balance was not to last. Palma had exploded, and with it, ninety per cent of Algol's population died. Motavia had fallen into horrible conditions from the explosion, turning almost into a total wasteland. The Darkness spread its hand over the land.

A thousand years have passed. Motavia has healed somewhat, and life is beginning to return to the way it once was many years ago. The Hunter's Guild on Motavia helps to keep things steady. But a dark evil once thought to be long dead is beginning to stir once again, and the young hunter, Chaz, is about to begin his ultimate adventure - which starts with one simple routine assignment...

Phantasy Star IV is a Japanese-style role-playing game with top-down world map exploration, random enemy encounters, and turn-based combat. The gameplay of the fourth entry in the series is similar to that of the second installment, sharing notable features such as the ability to equip two weapons at once, most of the "techniques" (equivalent to magic spells in comparable games), etc. The dungeons are noticeably less maze-like than in Phantasy Star II. Player-controlled party may include up to five active combatants.

As before, leveling up and technique-learning is automatic, save for android characters, whose abilities are found in treasure chests in the dungeons. Androids also cannot be healed by conventional means and use their own item sets. Beside regular attacks and techs, characters also possess unique attacks that have limited uses and can be replenished after the character rests. Characters can also execute combination attacks, merging two or more techs or special attacks. The player may opt to assign macro command sets for the party instead of inputting commands manually.

There are a few segments in the game with vehicle combat, which mostly follows the same turn-based formula as the regular battles. Side quests are present in form of hunter assignments for Chaz and his friends. A "party talk" feature is available, displaying conversations between player-controlled characters. The game uses manga-style comic book panels as cutscenes.

Screenshots

Phantasy Star IV Genesis One of the game's many wonderful animé cut scenes
Phantasy Star IV Genesis Battling outside. Aren't the graphics fabulous?
Phantasy Star IV Genesis Vehicle battle
Phantasy Star IV Genesis Battle in a lab

Alternate Titles

  • "梦幻之星4" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "ファンタシースター ~千年紀の終りに~" -- Japanese spelling
  • "PSIV" -- Common abbreviation
  • "Phantasy Star: The End of the Millennium" -- Japanese title
  • "Phantasy Star: Sennenki no Owari ni" -- Japanese title

Part of the Following Group

User Reviews

Good flow, slightly mediocre content Kit Simmons (246) 3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars
Proving that Final Fantasy Is Not The King RPGS MasterMegid (897) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
Best in the series! Instant classic! George Henry (3) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

The Press Says

RPG Kingdom Nov 01, 2005 19 out of 20 95
GameFan Magazine Apr, 1995 93 out of 100 93
RPGFan Nov 28, 2000 90 out of 100 90
Legendra Jan 18, 2009 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Sega-16.com Jun 02, 2005 9 out of 10 90
Coming Soon Magazine Sep 27, 1995 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
GamePro (US) Feb, 1995 4 out of 5 80
Netjak Oct 10, 2007 7.9 out of 10 79
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) Apr, 1995 7.8 out of 10 78
Game Players Feb, 1995 70 out of 100 70

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Trivia

Character name differences

Almost all the names of your party members in the game were changed in the English translation. Some changes were probably necessary, since there was a four-letter limit for names written in Latin letters, while the Japanese could write longer names with their kana (syllabic letters). Other changes are seemingly without any reason.

Here are the names in Japanese and English versions, respectively:

Japanese: Rudy, Fal, Lyla, Pyke, Thray, Forren, Freyna, Shess.

English: Chaz, Rika, Alys, Gryz, Rune, Wren, Demi, Kyra.

Cut content

Many items did not make the final cut in Phantasy Star IV: the Blood Axe, a weapon for Gryz; a map similar to that of Phantasy Star III's "monitor"; a technique that when used was to fully restore your party, like healing at an inn (called "Resta" if memory serves correctly), as well as the return of the Skure Spaceport and the Nei Dungeons from Phantasy Star II.

These appeared in a beta version of the game and can be accessed via a ROM. But the Skure and Nei Dungeons cannot be entered.

Development

  • Phantasy Star IV was at one point going to be a Sega CD title, but about midway through development, Sega promptly cancelled the Sega CD version and stuffed it onto the Sega Genesis instead. This was probably done because of the low sales figures for the Sega CD.
  • Phantasy Star IV like the original Phantasy Star, was going to have 1st person dungeons, and battles. This was later dropped, in favor of the more common, 3rd person perspective.

Manual error

In the English Phantasy Star IV manual, it is written that there are 15 combination attacks, when there are actually only 14.

References

  • There are books on the bookshelf in Saya's house that reference Sonic the Hedgehog, Ecco the Dolphin, and Golden Axe.
  • There are cameos from previous Phantasy Star characters. Alis, and Myau appear and speak to you, while the rest of the cast of Phantasy Star and Phantasy Star II also make a non-verbal appearance.
Information also contributed by אולג 小奥 , MasterMegid, and Tiago Jacques

Related Web Sites

  • OC ReMix Game Profile (Fan remixes of music from Phantasy Star IV.)
  • Phantasy Star Wiki (A comprehensive database that covers the characters, locations, items and games in the Phantasy Star series.)
Satoshi Kunsai (1811) added Phantasy Star IV (Genesis) on Jun 06, 2002
Other platforms contributed by Picard (29347) and Sciere (263161)