Title: Phantasy Star II
Year: 1990 (1989 JP)
Exploration - Top-down (w/ layering)
Combat - Turn-based (random order)
"I had the same dream. A nightmarish vision of a giant demon and a woman warrior locked in combat. I'm but an observer to this, unable to act in any way. The horror releases a flurry of blows, and I awake with a start. I am alone in my room, the early dawn showing through the window. I'm Kyle, an agent of Paseo, capital of Mota. Shaking off the dream, I rise for the day ahead. I've been called into the commander's office to report for a special assignment first thing this morning.
|Static scenes show the introduction above|
The Algo (shortened from Algol) Star System is now run by a giant computer named Mother Brain. (With both this game and Metroid mentioning Mother Brain, I wonder if this is a cultural reference of some kind.)
All of the planet names have been shortened as well. Alis' home planet of Palma is now Palm, the previously dry desert world of Motavia is now a lush fertile world called Mota thanks to the biolab, and finally, the icy and desolate Dezoris has become the mysterious and mostly unknown planet Dezo.
My first task was to name the lead character. Not giving it much thought, the first four letter name that came to mind was Kyle (default name is Rolf). The game offers the option of renaming each character as they join the party, except for Nei. I'm going to take full advantage of this, and name them all differently, to protect their true identity.
Before venturing too far, I explored Paseo and gathered as much information as I could from the library and townspeople. Not much was really of note, but the manual mentions any tidbit of info could prove helpful later on. I have a bad habit of not taking notes, and not mapping, especially when there's no grid. I really should correct this: map everything, note everything, and not worry about taking my time.
|'Room', nice descriptive text|
Arima had been hit hard by a band of scoundrels. Using dynamite, they blew open most of the houses, leaving them in heaps of rumble devoid of valuables. Once here, I headed back home to find Rudo (short for Rudolf) offering to join my cause. I renamed him Luke and accepted his offer.
|I feel like if I ask "where is Shure?" that I'm starting a joke I don't want to get into...|
If you couldn't tell, my second bad habit is not saving regularly when visiting towns. Unlike the first Phantasy Star, there's no save anywhere system. Granted the port I'm playing offers save states, but I'm not going to take advantage of them. I'm forcing myself to only save in towns with the memory bank (save point). It was a hard lesson to learn, but 2 hours lost will hopefully teach me to save at every opportunity.
|This seemed like a battle I could win. In two rounds I'm facing the title screen|
Even though the world seems small--and so far there's no mention of traveling between planets--I have hope things will open up. There are after all more party members that will join my merry company than can fight in the four person expedition. I can only guess they decide to move in with me because that's where party management occurs.
Session Time: 3h10m (Total Time: 3h10m)
Since having written up the above, I decided to put the time in to get back to about where I was last night. It only took an hour to make the same game progress, although I'm short a couple of levels, and some extra gold. I've had a much easier time thanks to dual wielding bars on Nei and knives on Kyle. I hope my previous encounter with the Blasters was a fluke, and I can find a way to up my defenses or something before facing them again.
I also want to mention that there was a hint book, and maps that came with the original game. It's hard to tell what originally came with the game and what didn't though from the online resources I've found, so I won't be using any maps. The fact that they call it a hint book dissuades me from using it, so I'll refrain from either resource. The manual is my only reference material.
Session Time: 1h12m (Total Time: 4h22m)