Monday, October 1, 2012

Game 11: Phantasy Star II (Genesis) - Finished!

I bet you weren't expecting this post so soon. I decided to push through to the end without another post about how there's basically no additional plot points beyond, "here's a prism, go dungeon crawling."
I hardly notice the scrolling foreground anymore
Last I left it, there was only one small area on the Dezo over-world left to explore. There I found a crevasse. On the other side was the strange man mentioned by the Dezo people. Lutz, previously known as Noah in the first Phantasy Star, welcomed Kyle. He has been watching over Algo for 1,000 years, ensuring the line of Alis would live on to save the star system again (minus one planet). He even once saved Kyle from a spaceship collision 10 years prior. It seemed someone was trying to end the line of Alis, and seize control of Algo.
Actually, you haven't said my name yet. Translation issues?
In order to stop the nefarious plot, I'm tasked to find some enchanted items called the Nei equipment. Wait... Nei? As in, my fallen companion Nei? No, she's actually not mentioned and the game never explains a connection. Maybe it's just coincidence. I was given a prism, which unlocks four new towers to explore. You see, they were invisible and intangible before and now they're not.
My sketched map of Dezo over-world. Triangles are the hidden towers. You can see one of the easy ones on the other side of the paper on the right side.
These last areas range from mildly annoying to 5 hour slogs (less if I used someone else's map). Nothing too difficult, only time consuming. Combat is what really drags on. Not much thought needs to go into how to handle each fight, and by the end of the game I wondered how the final battle(s) would deal with an otherwise lacking combat system. While spells are helpful, I'd be out of them by the time I reached the actual dungeon if I relied on them heavily.
And here is the nightmare dungeon that took upwards of 5 hours to map and explore. (Not to scale.) I got kind of lazy towards the end and didn't even bother mapping the bottom two floors.
So, instead I spend a good minute or two each battle. Now, I know part of this is my own fault. I got rid of Rudo (Luke), which is huge chunk of damage and tanking gone. I suspect he would rival Kyle for damage dealing by the end. The game pretty much told me who I should have in my final party by giving me the Nei Shot, Nei Crown, and Nei Slasher, which are only usable by Rudo, Amy, and Anna respectively.
Finally a Nei item I can use!
After collecting all the Nei items, I returned to Lutz and was given the Nei Sword. Lutz then offered to transport me to the final dungeon. This dungeon is actually rather simple. Going the wrong way usually brings about a dead end quickly. Like a few other dungeons, this one is lacking treasure chests; however, a mimic style boss tempts the unwary traveler. It seemed out of place, as the only treasure that blocked my path in the entire game. I prepared myself for a fight, and, on the advice of Sean (once again), saved my game.

The first round went to Dark Force (the game doesn't name him, but that's my best guess), but I was victorious in the second. Dark Force is definitely the hardest fought battle up to this point. His attacks either turn a party member evil or damage everyone for about a third of max HP. Evil characters have a high chance to do nothing for their turn.
Casting "Snow Crown" [doubles defense] before the fight with Dark Force
I haven't decided if my first attempt was very unlucky, or my second was extremely lucky. Maybe both. The only thing that makes this fight manageable is the Nei Sword, which has a small chance to dispel the evil presence from the party and this happened zero times, or in the case of my second chance, nearly every time the party had fully turned evil. I was a little worried by having burned through all my Star Mist [heals party fully], but I pressed on.

Mother Brain was waiting for me just around the corner; however, I thought it best to fully recover first, which meant another trip through the dungeon. For this final battle, I fully expected a tougher fight than Dark Force, which is exactly what I didn't get. Mother Brain is pretty much a pushover. She has two attacks as well, hit everyone or hit one. Everyone in the party could heal themselves more than she could hurt them. A battle of attrition began and ended with the inevitable.
This battle is very psychedelic with Mother Brain cycling through all the colors of the rainbow
With Mother Brain defeated, it was time to leave. Mota needs rebuilding. But wait! Lutz tells me there's someone else on this space station. Could it be... Nei? No, it turns out it's just a bunch of humans that were behind Mother Brain all along because they had tarnished their home planet of earth, and came to this star system in order to control the evolutionary path of the people of Algo. Well, we won't let that happen! Cue the slaughter of the last remaining humans.

Let me guess, you ruined nature in pursuit of technology thinking you could control everything?

Somehow I fully expected Nei to return at the end. Why are all the final equipment named after her? I still don't know what the GR Sleeves item was supposed to do. Well, time to read up on walkthroughs and make a final rating post. Thanks for sticking around. I'm going to update the poll afterwards, make some cuts to the list, and finally start up the next game this weekend, Final Fantasy.

Session Time: 13h29m (Total Time: 38h00m)


  1. Was fun watching to the end. To think I had all that trouble years ago because I didn't know about the items casting spells. I had to rely on healers and a lot of trimates. I think I leveled up enough to get Rolf able to cast Megiddo (Megid) 3 times and that helped a lot. I am thinking of picking up final fantasy 1 on the iPad and playing along since I've never played it before or any of them really. The only thing dissuading me is the ridiculous price Square Enix has on the iTunes store. Maybe it seems a little tame today but at the time it was a pretty amazing ending considering it was 1988. I hope you enjoy final fantasy, because Super Hydlide is pretty bad. Not long but not very good and pretty hard to manage the mechanics of food and time. The only way I beat it was to find a trick in a magazine where you you searched a certain spot and found 10,000 gold which made it manageable. It's not exactly a cheat but it very unlikely someone would find it during a normal play through . It does have great music though.

    1. I'm surprised you got through the game without using items. It seems tough enough just trying to make it through using Snow Crown every fight. I suppose having Amy and Rudo in the party would have helped.

      I can't say revisiting Final Fantasy is worth it (I'm not sure how much it costs on the iPad), but it'd be cool having someone else playing along. Would you pick the same party members or go for something different?

      One thing I fully expect to annoy the heck out of me is targeting enemies in battle. If a character's target dies, then they don't auto-target the next monster. If you have the option for the Wii version that's probably a little cheaper.

      So far, all the games I've played have been on my radar for some time. Super Hydlide is the the first one I know nearly nothing about. I was able to get the instructions with the game though, so I'm hoping that will help. I'm looking forward more to playing through these games I know nearly nothing about than I am to visiting old favorites.

    2. So I have the GBA version of FF 1&2. What exactly are you asking for?

      Also, I would hope you would play the original on VC or atleast the playstation remake on hard mode (keeps leveling and magic system closer to the original's, but I think you now have auto -retarget and fixes for all the bugs and dated graphics..... not that I mind the original graphics, as I could have played a few more games like FF3 on the Famicom for as charming as it was).

    3. I was suggesting the VC version as the cheapest. I have the original cart with a working battery. I'm good to go. I played the GBA version of 1 & 2, and remember the major differences being the auto-retarget and the magic system.

    4. I don't think I could handle playing the original NES game. But I just picked up the iPhone port for.aying on my iPad. I believe it is the same as the PSP port but with all touch screen controls. Supposedly has some extra dungeons and boss fights added in. But sincemive never played any FF game I figured I should play it on a platform where I can play in my free time or at work oer in bed. And with something graphically appealing. I didn't choose the same classes being as its the first time for me so I wanted to be more balanced. I chose a fighter, monk, white mage, and a black mage. Although if I was going to play the original I would probably just emulate it. Who knows,mic I really enjoy it I may pick up number 2 on the iPad as well.

    5. Oh and after playing through the first couple of battles it does auto retarget.

    6. If you're looking for an easier time, I'd suggest swapping the monk for a red mage.

  2. I'm glad to see you beat it, although I have a feeling you will savage this in your final write-up. One thing I'd really like to comment on here is the story. I know that, in comparison to modern games, there's not really a lot going on here, and you have generally tended to make fun of the lack of logic. But, for the time, this shit was outta control. Palm, the setting of PS1 and the main planet of Algo, is completely destroyed? Your closest companion is killed? You end the game by destroying the life-sustaining Mother Brain, which leads to essentially 1000 years of darkness for Algo? Then you have to exterminate the remnants of Earth, with your heroes almost certainly dying in the process? This shit was straight CRAZY back when it was released. Nothing else comes close for years. Maybe I just have a particular taste for dark turns in my fantasy, but, honestly, PS2 is really a landmark JRPG in terms of breaking expectations.

    1. The story is definitely different from all the other games I've played so far on this blog. The major difference is the story actually progresses. Instead of knowing what the final goal is at the outset, you're given new goals each time one is completed.

      What I didn't find compelling is the motivation, especially when I'm suddenly told that Dezo is my next destination without knowing why.

    2. Actually I was reading a text page on the game and the space pirate Tyler tells you there is a man on Dezo who can do things that Mother Brain cannot. And your commeander comments on your decision to go to Dezo to check it put. But ya it's not very fleshed out. Basically Tylermtells you about the guy and comments that he might be a criminal.

    3. Ah, you're right. Although the bit where he says, "I remember now! You were heading for Dezo." doesn't make sense since I actually wasn't headed there at all.

      I seemed to have glossed over that one comment, although reading it now, I know I read it before. For whatever reason it didn't seem important at the time.

  3. This was a long process, but fun watching you go through the various phases of the game until you beat it. :)

    Excellent write-ups and I'm curious to read through your final thoughts and scoring.

  4. Congrats!

    Also, quite enjoying that ending. It was the humans all along!

  5. Sorry, why did you kick those people out of your party again?

    1. A couple reasons:

      I wanted to shake things up. I wanted to be able to use and comment on the full cast of characters.

      'Why I stuck with it after it was fairly obvious Shir was dead weight?' is a better question that I'm not sure how to answer. She at least allowed me to use the Snow Crown for protection before the enemy the majority of the time.

  6. "Cue the slaughter of the last remaining humans."

    Geez... I guess Dark Falz really did turn your party evil. O_o

    1. Well it's a bit understandable for them to fight against those that tried to wipe out their entire civilization. I wonder how this will resolve in the sequels.