July 12th, 2003 | Feature | Master System
Creating a walkthrough for a game as old as Phantasy Star is indicative of two things: 1) I love the game enough to give it as much coverage as possible and hopefully turn some people onto it, and 2) I’m a big dork. Both factors come into play time and again during this walkthrough, which is overloaded with more useless information on the game than you could ever need. This thing has been in the making on and off for three years, and the final result is more than adequate for getting you through this bear of a game with minimum fuss. Plus you’ll look really cool when you nail any Phantasy Star-related questions on Jeopardy!! WHAT IS THE PORT TOWN OF SCION ALEX
This FAQ is also available at GameFAQs in text form, although what you see here is just about as close to the final version as anyone will ever need. The experience tables are about four levels short from being maxed out, but unless I spontaneously quit my job, drop out of school, and isolate myself from friends and family, they probably won’t see completion. You can totally romp on the final boss without maxing out your party, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Additionally, this version of the guide is structured differently and missing such sections as “Updates” or the riveting “Introduction” as a result of it being a site feature accompanied by a profile.
Since it’s more likely that you went out and bought Phantasy Star Collection for the GBA instead of tracking down an original SMS copy, let’s kick this cavalcade of dorkery off with a few differences between the Master System and Game Boy Advance versions of Phantasy Star:
1. Left button (in this case B) no longer cancels.
From just about any screen in the game, pressing button 1 or 2 will call up the main menu. And looky-do, it’s here for you.
These commands are self-explanatory, although the ITEM menu has a few submenus. When an item is selected with button 2, three new commands pop up. The USE command will activate the selected item. The EQP command is used only for weapons and armor, and also asks which character to equip the selected piece on. Finally, the handy DRP command lets you ditch excess baggage such as the plethora of Flashes that accumulate in your inventory after just a few bouts with Vampires and Sphinxes.
The only time you’ll want to use the SRCH command is when you need to locate a hidden item or accidentally decide to turn down opening an enemy’s treasure chest. If you do turn it down, the game just leaves in front of you. If you still want it, just use the SRCH command to bring up the question again. If you don’t want it, hit button 1 and walk away.
These commands are also quite simple. The only thing worth mentioning is that the RUN command is rendered ineffective if you’ve hit a dead-end and encounter an enemy after rotating in place. To avoid this, take a step backwards after walking into a dead end, then rotate. The TALK command is rarely used, and gives the enemy a free round if you attempt to talk to a monster that cannot speak.
Navigation in the world of Phantasy Star can be either simple or a bit difficult, depending. The simple areas are the ones that allow you to control Alis and party via a simple standard 8/16-bit view, with all four members of the party all lined up. This is employed only on the world map and in towns. The second view, 1st person, is used in caves, dungeons, and towers. This can be confusing for several reasons… First of all, until you obtain the compass, you have no idea in which direction you’re walking. Fortunately, maps are provided in this FAQ for all of the caves, dungeons, and towers.
Another major stumbling block in the world of the intrepid catacomb-lurker is the pitfall. These traps can seem randomly placed at times, making certain areas absolutely hellish without a map. For your convenience, pitfalls and other traps are labeled on the maps. Other traps include trapped treasure chests, containing either a spear trap (damages a random party member) or exploding traps (damages the entire party). If you don’t have this FAQ handy, use Myau’s TRAP spell to spot and disarm any potential traps you might find while exploring the dungeons — about half of the chests you find in the wild are trapped.
A few caves (like the cave to the Governor’s mansion or the tunnel to Gothic) have been omitted because they’re simple, one-path areas. I trust you guys are smart enought to find your way through a cave with no turns.
In this FAQ, a map is included for each dungeon, along with the enemies and treasure located therein. Below is a brief key explaining the symbols used in these maps. [ ] = one space
Because of the 1st person POV, mapping events in the dungeons was a bit of trouble. However, if you see this…
…It means that you will see the event or chest that appears at C1 when you have stepped on square B1. In the game, it will appear that the event or chest is in *front* of you, one space ahead. Be aware that if something is marked on a square, you will have to deal with it one space ahead and not necessarily on the marked square.
Also, note that since every dungeon mapped herein makes use of a coordinate system, finding out where a pitfall or a set of stairs leads is simply a matter of finding the same coordinates on the next floor of the dungeon. If you fall through a trap on space G14 of a tower’s top floor, you’ll land on space G14 of the floor below. Both locations will be indicated on the maps with # and x, respectively. You’ll note that the early maps are rather crudely drawn and that map quality increases as I got farther and farther into the game, but every map is accurate regardless of artistic quality or stupid eraser marks.
Phantasy Star has a decent array of items, although the majority of the non plot-related ones are pretty worthless. Items preceded by an asterisk are important to the plot or otherwise required.
Phantasy Star was way ahead of its time as far as battles go. Enemies can not only fill up a sizable portion of the screen, but even sport attack animations; fairly good ones at that.
Random encounters occur very erratically in PS. Sometimes you’ll be plagued by battles every other step, and sometimes whole floors can be traversed without incident. When you encounter an enemy, the battle menu will pop up, as well as the names and HP of your party members and the enemy. Phantasy Star may have the neato-keeno battle animations, but it only allows one enemy sprite onscreen. To signify multiple enemies, multiple rows of enemy HP will appear, all with the same number to start. Choosing the ATTK command will force the character to hit a random enemy. This can be very troublesome when formulating a strategy, which is why most boss fights are actually quite simple; you’ve just got one target.
There is a special breed of weapons available, the guns, that allow ALL of the enemies to be hit for precisely the same amount of damage. The degree of damage varies from gun to gun, but they can be very useful sometimes. Guns are only usable by Odin.
Perhaps the biggest indicator of Phantasy Star’s ahead-of-its-time play mechanics is the leveling of enemies along with the party. While enemies’ HP maximums will stay constant throughout the game, their ATK and DEF stats will rise accordingly, allowing even the weaker enemies to inflict medium damage on a fully equipped level 30 party.
The number of enemies that can be encountered in a given battle will never exceed 8, and can be calculated at any point in the game by taking the total number of party members and multiplying by two. So as Alis begins her adventure, she will only encounter Sworms and Scorpions by the 2’s; by the time Noah makes the roster, enemies may strike in groups of 8. Stronger enemies will only appear in 6’s and 4’s, while the strongest of the bunch only attack 1 or 2 at a time.
After you’ve sent your opponent back to the murky depths, you will be treated to a treasure chest. The amount of meseta (the universal currency of the Algo Solar System) and experience that are earned can be found in the beastiary.
Also, beware of trapped chests; the game is brutal about booby-trapping chests dropped by enemies or found in dungeons. If you’ve already obtained the maximum 65535 meseta, simply choose not to open the chest. If you’re ultra-cautious and don’t have this guide handy, you can just save your game on the spot to see which chests are trapped and avoid them.
The original Phantasy Star’s instruction manual closed with a few important pointers like reminding you to talk to everybody and to draw maps for all the dungeons, but since this walkthrough (hopefully) takes the burden off the player in these areas, I’ve got a few tips of my own before you get this thing underway:
1. Save often
2. Keep the faith
3. Follow pre-op procedures
4. Review the dungeon maps beforehand
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