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- Phantasy star -

Japanese RPG's are now widely popular but back in the days of 8-bit gaming many of the series we now know started their humble beginnings. Phantasy star was Sega's answer to dragon quest en final fantasy and though it was released later than those two it contains many things that are now considered standard for these type of games. The game starts when Alys, the main character, finds her brother dying at the hands of someone called Lassic. Her brother Nero utters some last words about a man called Odin who can help defeat Lassic and it is the start of a great adventure.

Directly after the death of your brother you must begin your quest to avenge him but you have no experience and little money to spend. First you must find Odin and along the way you will also meet a wizard and a talking cat called Myau who will help you in your quest. The game has a standard birdseye view and you can walk around town in safety from monsters and such so you can buy and sell items and talk to villagers without worrying about anything. In the first town is also a cave which amazingly changes the view from a topdown to a firstperson 3D view. Exploring the cave will soon yield some money with which you can buy some better equipment which is vital to advance in the game. Some caves are dark so you will have to buy a torch before you can go in and explore. Sadly you can only get money by defeating monsters and it's not uncommon for you to die while trying so you are stuck fighting lowlevel monsters until you have enough money to buy some better equipment which will allow you to go on to more difficult areas so you can do the whole routine over again. This was a weak point in many of the old RPG's and even some of today's, it's more of a grind then actual gameplay.

The setting of Phantasy star is pretty unique though as pretty much all other RPG's at the time took a medieval setting but instead this game mixes space travel with swords and sorcery. Close to the starting town there is in fact a spaceport which will allow you to travel to later area's. There also seems to be a bit of influences from many other myths like the name Odin who is from Norse mytholgy and the Medusa from Greek tales. It all comes together in a weird way with some of your party fighting with a sword while another shoots his lasergun and afterwards you can heal yourself up with burgers, it sounds really weird but it works for this game. The graphics are pretty much the same as most other topdown RPG's with your regular towns, houses and such. The 3D caves are interesting at first but they get really boring after a while since each one has the same graphics.

Though phantasy star has nowhere near equalled the success of dragon quest and final fantasy is has a strong following and I can understand why. The setting is unique and it had many refreshing features at the time of release. True it can become tedious when you have to level up and earn money before you can travel on but this is a flaw with most of the genre in those days. It's still an excellent game today in my opinion and well worth checking out.

Overal rating: 8/10

Erde Kaiser

This game was released for one system here are some notes:
SMS - Sega
Master system
Released in 1987.
The original had a battery backup but in this age of emulators it's better to simply use a savestate.

Date added Apr-18-2008 11:54
Name Phantasy star
Developer Sega
Publisher Sega
First released 1987
Genre RPG
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Download Sega Master System, filesize: 313 Kb
Manual No manual available
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