Well, it's been a long time coming, but the first two articles on the classic series as now out, with the rest scheduled to come up in the next few days. Coverage will included the mainline Genesis games and their ports and remakes, as well as the Game Gear and MegaNet/Mega CD spin-offs. It's both a narrative of the series' creation and a series of reviews.
Seems like it's just a jump from motherboard to Mother Brain.
The Sega Ages version of PS1 is pretty great. Aside from some general "8bit-ness", my only problem is that enemies only drop flashes (dungeon lighting) which are obsoleted fairly quickly. I think one hidden encounter might have dropped a weapon. It's annoying how quickly you end up with an inventory full of useless items that don't sell for much.
PSII is one that I don't like too much. The dungeons are way too complicated and so much grinding! It'd be nice if there will be an SA version since the vanilla version is such a chore. It's a shame that the weird ending didn't lead to anything at all. It kinda makes the game "non-canonical" since it was a pretty significant ending.
"and the battle sprites like they were drawn by a Westerner trying to do manga"
Why wouldn't a westerner be able to draw manga? Good article otherwise.
They usually aren't. There are, of course, exceptions; it's not like the ability to draw manga is genetic. But perhaps because there isn't the same framework as in Japan to develop their skills, with a lot of mangaka starting out as assistants under established mangaka, then learning to draw tons of their own, week after week, under harsh editors*, most Westerners that try to do manga end up drawing mediocre imitations. You can see it in a bunch of indie games with character portraits that really don't hold up under scrutiny, too. Those PS Generations battle sprites look like they recruited some random person on Deviant Art.
*Of course their work conditions are regularly awful, too; I'm not saying everything is good when it comes to the world of manga publication.
dsparil PSII's ending leads directly into the state of the world Algo when PSIV begins. You don't hear about a certain group of people anymore, but that just implies that they either all died or fled Algo.
Post by ommadawnyawn2 on May 12, 2019 20:59:57 GMT -5
Amateur would be a less prejudiced and hostile wording; yeah indie/budget games are often made by amateurs so that's to be expected, and there are many more westerners than japanese so there's gonna be more low quality work.
Phantasy Star 2 itself doesn't state weather the party defeats the Earthlings at the end of the game....but logically they must have, as there is no mention of the Earthlings in PS4.
Also, the destruction of Mother Brain is the reason why Motavia is degenerating, albeit very slowly, back into the desert it was during PS1. The party also encounters a crashed ship which is stated to be an escape ship that fled Palm before the planets destruction in 2. And some of the techy facilities and even party members are left overs from the days when Mother Brain was around.
Lastly, we find out that the destruction of palm weakened the seal on the profound Darkness, the classic series ultimate villain...so in hindsight this means that PS2 is a game that counts as "villain wins".
Phantasy Star 3 also ties into 2, as near the end of the game it's revealed that the entire game takes place on one of the escape ships that fled Palm in 2(Also, some charactrs endings have the ship end up on earth, which in turn is a good explanation of why Earthlings are antagonists at the end of 2).
That's what I get for being vague and also editing out part of the post because I didn't want to get ahead of the articles. Should have just waited until they were all up. "Non-canonical" isn't really the right word and also not the one I had originally. Some events of II obviously are important, but with III being only tangentially connected and totally retconned out story-wise by IV (the story mention is completely different from what happens in III but you do recruit a much more talkative Wren android) and IV itself referencing the original a whole lot more, I got the feeling when I played them recently that I -> IV has the strongest connection. Two events mentioned are important to IV, but nothing else is. It's kinda like a highway that starts at I and ends at IV with II being an off ramp that remerges and III is an exit that goes somewhere else entirely. I don't want to belabor the point. I just liked the ending of II after feeling iffy about everything else, and it makes me sad that it wasn't directly continued.
I like PSIII a lot. It does have problems, but I thought the combat was the most fun and the lack of grinding was a real plus after II. There's a few points where you get real low level characters as opposed to the main character that resets to a fake level 1 on generation change. It barely takes any time to get their strength up with numerous levels gained after each battle. I like how enemies are divided into two rows and two columns with some spells targeting columns instead of rows along with the large number you can fight at once. I really miss techniques having a "skill point" system although the weird square for allocation I could have done without since there isn't always any relationship between two techniques paired together. I disagree with the art being "sober" or plain in general. There's a lot of quirky enemy designs like the Clops enemies that flex their pecs to attack you! The overworld is a little bland, but the enemies make up for it.
Post by Sac (a.k.a Icaras) on May 14, 2019 0:57:27 GMT -5
I don't really remember anything in IV that retcons III.
That said, III is clearly a side-story, so it really doesn't matter either way.
One thing that's odd is that the timeline of the game is different between the English and Japanese versions (http://www.ripplinger.us/camineet/theories/twophantasystars.asp).
The Japanese III takes place 2000 years after II, while the English III is 1000 years after II.
So in the English version, this states the Orakio/Laya war happened not long after the ships fled Palm...which doesn't really make sense, as Palm was an advanced futuristic planet, and the people would be clearly still advanced at that stage, I can't think of why they'd suddenly have a monster/robot war.
Whereas in the JP version, 1000 years go by before this war, plenty of time for the people in the ship to have a civilization breakdown and forget they're on a spaceship, so them having such a war then makes sense.
That said, this also means that the JP version of III takes place 1000 years after IV. So Dark Force reviving kinda doesn't make sense, as I'm pretty sure the implication of Chaz and co defeating the Profound Darkness at the end of IV is that anything relating to it (IE The Dark Forces it spawns) is completely gone so, no more dark forces will be spawned or revive, and Algol is free. (To be fair, this storyline didn't exist when III was written of course)
With the English version, III and IV are happening at pretty much the same time, so the PD was still around to revive (a) Dark Force to plague IIIs cast (and course by the end of the game they'd have no way of knowing he was gone for good due to the actions of Chaz and Co).
One last point, I'd argue the crashed ship you see in IV confirms the events of III, as we know IIIs Dark Force was traveling around destroying the various escape ships. I'd say it's likely the crashed ship you see during IV happens to be one of the 1st ships Dark Force got too, with the rest at least managing to leave Algol before they get destroyed.
Also, the point on Wren, they're of the same type, but are meant to be different models. I'd argue the one in IV is a more advanced Wren than IIIs
In PSIII, Dark Force is actively trying to destroy all the fleeing ships and has destroyed all but two of them and then possibly destroys a second depending on which third generation you play. In IV, it's stated that most of the ships landed on Motavia and Dezoris with some leaving the system entirely.
From these dialogs:
III from a townsperson in New Mota (all sections aside from the first): "Our ancestors thought they had at last escaped from the clutches of the undying master of evil. But Dark Force managed to slip aboard a ship. It destroyed all but one of our sister ships before Orakio and Laya trapped it on Alisa III. Now there are only two ships left of our fleet: our ship, the Alisa III, and the Neo Palm."
IV at the wreckage site: "Wait... This is not the only ship that escaped from Parma! It seems that other similar ships were able to escape successfully. Most of them landed either in Motavia or Dezolis, but it looks like some of them went right out of the Algo solar system. I can't get an accurate number, but it looks like some tens of ships."
Last Edit: May 14, 2019 11:18:48 GMT -5 by dsparil
I'd actually say it's minor retcon, changing it from being that all of the Palman fleet leaving Algol, to only some of the fleet. But the line you quote (from IV) still states ships still left the system. (Hence we know for sure ships are out there to take part in the events of III). The line quoted from III...well, it would be true...the ships that stayed in Algol landed on the two remaining planets, hence were no longer part of the fleet(IE: Those that continued on out of the system are the fleet.).
That said, weather the majority of the ships stay in Algol or leave, doesn't impact the events of III from happening, given the only requires the ship the game takes place on and the 2nd ship. And I don't believe there's ever been source for how many ships there were in total, nor how many stayed/left, besides vague "some" or "most".
(Also, the amount of ships that stayed/didn't stay in Algol wouldn't impact the story of IV either)
That said, it doesn't matter TOO much, as III is still essentially a side-story/gaiden game
I can see what you mean, but there's still real inconsistencies. The English III says that it's been 1000 years since the war between Laya/Orakio that left Dark Force sealed not that it's been 1000 years since II. Maybe the Japanese version just firmly pegs it at 2000 total rather than an implied minimum of 2000. IV is also supposed to take place 1000 years later. The line in the Japanese version is "ろして千年..." which seems to translate to something along the lines of "A thousand years..." So, that would put DF (and PD) being defeated in IV while also being sealed on the Alisa III in the backstory to III which doesn't work. IV does the only sensible thing when faced with this and simply takes DF out of the equation entirely which results in the ships not being destroyed either. It really seems like a deliberate choice to excise III since simply moving IV to three thousand years later clears up the DF problem which wasn't done.
III says 400 ships left, but IV doesn't give a total number. II doesn't bring up any ships at all.
dsparil The likely real-world explanation is that the PSIV team didn't especially care for or simply didn't know PSIII that well, having had nothing to do with it, and decided to continue from PSII, with just a few nods to PSIII (that ship, the Wren-type android) for the fans.
But within the games, an explanation could be that Dark Force, once spawned from the Profound Darkness's soul, can continue to exist on its own, so if Orakio and Laya only sealed the one on the Alisa III rather than destroy it, it could still be alive. There was only the two of them in that battle, after all, since Siren and Lune didn't know about it, so maybe they weren't strong enough to kill it.