Phantasy Star II

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Phantasy Star II
Phantasy Star II.jpg
Developer(s) Sega AM7
Publisher(s) Sega
Designer Akinori Nishiyama (writer / director)
Yuji Naka (producer / programmer)
status Status Missing
Release date Mega Drive/Genesis

March 21, 1989 (JP)
August 14, 1989 (NA)
Virtual Console
January 29, 2008 (JP)
February 18, 2008 (NA)
February 15, 2008 (EU)
August 26, 2010

Genre RPG
Mode(s) Single-player
Age rating(s)
Platform(s) Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Virtual Console, Xbox 360 (XBLA), iOS
Arcade system Arcade System Missing
Media 6-megabit cartridge, DVD, Download
Input Gamepad
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Phantasy Star II (ファンタシースター II 還らざる時の終わりに Fantashī Sutā Tsū Kaerazaru Toki no Owari ni?, lit. Phantasy Star II: The End of the Lost Age) is a console roleplaying game released on March 21, 1989 for the Sega Mega Drive in Japan and on August 14, 1989 for the Sega Genesis in the U.S., then later in two different compilations for the Sega Saturn and Game Boy Advance named Phantasy Star Collection. It was also released on the Sega Smash Pack Volume One for the Dreamcast. The game is available through Nintendo's Virtual Console service as of February 18, 2008. It is also part of the Sega Genesis Collection for PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable.

A remake, named Phantasy Star Generation 2, was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2005 as a part of Sega Ages. The game is available in Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. On June 10, 2009, it was released on Xbox Live Arcade under the Sega Vintage Collection banner. It is the second entry in Sega's Phantasy Star series of games that began in 1987.

Gameplay is similar to Phantasy Star, the first game in the series. The battle system is turn-based, allowing the player to choose commands for up to four characters. Each of the eight characters has a different set of preferred weapons and armor, as well as techniques, suited to the character's job. The player must defeat enemies in the overworld and in dungeons to advance in the game.

It is the second installment in Sega's acclaimed Phantasy Star series and serves as a sequel to the original 1987 game Phantasy Star for the Master System. Phantasy Star II was the first fourth-generation console role-playing game released in the West and was the first video game to use a 6 megabit cartridge.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Story[edit | edit source]

Somewhere deep within the Andromeda Galaxy lies the Algol Star System. The parent star, Algol (referred to as "Algo" by this point in the timeline), has three planets orbiting about it. First is Palm (formerly "Palma" in the original Phantasy Star), the home of the government. Governors, treasurers, and great thinkers dwell here in great ivory towers, away from the hubbub of everyday life. Next is Mota (formerly "Motavia"), the shining jewel. Once a dry desert planet infested with ant lions, Mota has been transformed into a blue and green tropical paradise. Domed farms grow crops, and the water is regulated into dammed rivers. Life on Mota is sweet, peaceful, and easy. The people have everything they want and do not need to work. Farthest out is Dezo (formerly "Dezoris"), the ice planet. Little is known about this mysterious and dark planet.

One thousand years have passed since Alis and her friends liberated Algo from the evil Lassic. Algo has since prospered under the care of a giant computer called the Mother Brain. The Mother Brain regulates the climatrol tower, the bio-systems lab, and all other things that provide whatever the Mota people need.

The game begins with a short monologue in which the character Rolf recalls a strange recurring nightmare he has been having. In the dream, a young girl who resembles Alis from Phantasy Star is battling a demon, although he, himself, does not know anything of her identity. Although Rolf is nearby, he is unable to even move or speak while the demon is striking at the girl. Finally, just before the demon kills the girl, Rolf awakens. From his home in the Motavian capital Paseo, Rolf goes to the central tower to meet with the commander, the head of government on Mota, in order to receive his newest mission.

The series' primary antagonist, Dark Force, the embodiment of evil, returns in Phantasy Star II as one of the enemies Rolf and his friends must defeat. Mother Brain, a computer system built to control and maintain the Algo Star System, begins malfunctioning during the game and must be investigated by Rolf. However, he ends up having to defeat it. During the adventure, the party discovers Neifirst, a half human, half bio-monster, that is also part of Nei. Being part Bio-monster (biologically altered animal), she was an outcast from society, causing her to loathe mankind. This caused her to sabotage Mota's Climate Control system, as well as the bio-systems laboratory, causing a drought on the planet. Nei confronts Neifirst with her actions and attacks her in a one-on-one fight, but gets defeated and killed. Straight afterward, Rolf and the remaining party take over and finish Neifirst off, bringing an end to the Biomonster hazard.

Characters[edit | edit source]


Note: Many of the details in this section are taken from a developers' book released in Japan, and as such conflict with the setting in the English release of the game. Primarily the English version takes place in the year AW 1286, whereas the original Japanese game took place in AW 1284.

Rolf[edit | edit source]

  • Japanese: ユーシス (Yūshisu, Eusis)
  • Race: Palman
  • Birthdate: September 17, 1263
  • Age: 21
  • Job: Agent
  • Height: 173 cm (5’8”)

Rolf is definitively not given a surname in any version of Phantasy Star II or any of its corresponding official material.

File:Phantasystar2 top down.jpg
Phantasy Star II's top-down style travel is shown as Rolf and Nei move through a town.

Nei[edit | edit source]

  • Japanese: ネイ (Nei, Nei)
  • Race: Numan/Newman
  • Birthdate: August 30, 1283
  • Age: At least 7 months
  • Job: None
  • Height: 164 cm (5’4”)

Rudolf "Rudo" Steiner[edit | edit source]

  • Japanese: ルドガー・スタイナー (Rudogā Steiner, Rudger Steiner)
  • Race: Palman
  • Birthdate: July 1, 1249
  • Age: 35
  • Job: Hunter
  • Height: 190 cm (6’2”)

Amy Sage[edit | edit source]

  • Japanese: アンヌ・サガ (Annu Saga, Anne Saga)
  • Race: Palman
  • Birthdate: April 26, 1261
  • Age: 23
  • Job: Doctor
  • Height: 158 cm (5’2”)

Amy's definite age is known: According to the same source as her birthdate, "she finished her internship spring of this year" thus the game is set after spring of "this year", hence after her birthday.

Graduation occurs in early March in Japan.

Hugh Thompson[edit | edit source]

  • Japanese: ヒューイ・リーン (Hyūi Lean, Huey Reane)
  • Race: Palman
  • Birthdate: June 12, 1264
  • Age: 20
  • Job: Biologist
  • Height: 175 cm (5’9”)

Anna Zirski[edit | edit source]

  • Japanese: アーミア・アミルスキー (Āmia Amirusuki, Amia Amirski)
  • Race: Palman
  • Birthdate: Unknown
  • Age: Unknown
  • Job: Guardian (Counter Hunter in Japan)
  • Height: 168 cm (5’6”)

Josh Kain[edit | edit source]

  • Japanese: カインズ・ジ・アン (Kainzu Ji An, Kainz Ji An)
  • Race: Palman
  • Birthdate: December 9, 1263
  • Age: 21
  • Job: Wrecker
  • Height: 180 cm (5’11”)

Shir Gold[edit | edit source]

  • Japanese: シルカ・レビニア (Shiruka Rebinia, Shilka Levinia)
  • Race: Palman
  • Birthdate: April 1, 1263
  • Age: 21
  • Job: Thief
  • Height: 161 cm (5’3”)

Shir's definite age is known for the same reason as Amy's: Her birthday for the year of the game's setting has passed.

Development[edit | edit source]

Localization changes[edit | edit source]

  • Lutz, a refugee Esper who lives in the Esper Mansion on Dezo, Lutz aids Rolf and friends in their mission. He is supposed to be the same Esper who accompanies Alis in Phantasy Star, but due to the English version of PS1 naming said Esper Noah, this point is lost.
  • In the Japanese version, Ustvestia, a musician who teaches the characters the Musik technique, is openly gay; when requested to teach a male character the Musik technique, he comments, "He looks cute", and charges less than he would for teaching female characters. Any obvious references to this were removed from the American release; he instead comments, "He looks smart" – and still charges less for teaching the male characters.[1]
  • While the tracks in the soundtrack are the same for both versions, the snare drums are much louder in the Japanese version.[2]

Reception[edit | edit source]

Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 85% (4 reviews)[3]
Sega Retro 87% (17 reviews)[4]
Review scores
Publication Score
Allgame 4.5/5 stars (SMD)[5]
4.5/5 stars (Wii)[6]
3/5 stars (X360)[7]
2.5/5 stars (PC)[8]
Dragon 5/5 stars[9]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 32/40[10]
Famitsu 28/40[11]
IGN 8/10 (Wii)[12]
8.5/10 (iPhone)[13]
ACE 887/1000[14]
Aktueller Software Markt 56/60[15]
HonestGamers 10/10[16]
Joystick 97%[17]
Mega 88%[18]
Player One 95%[19]
Raze 90%[20]
Sega Power 10/10[21]
VideoGames & Computer Entertainment 9/10[22]
Zero 89%[23]
Entity Award
Electronic Gaming Monthly (1997, 2001, 2006),
IGN (2003), GameSpot (2005), Stuff (2008)
Best Games of All Time
Mega (1992) Top Mega Drive Games of All Time (29th)[24]
Nintendo Power (2009) Greatest Role-Playing Games of All Time[25]
GamePro (2011) 20 Games That Defined Role-Playing Games[26]

Critical reception[edit | edit source]

The game was well received upon release. The March 1990 issue of VideoGames & Computer Entertainment gave it a 9 out of 10, stating that it is "far longer, tougher and graphically superior to the original. It's also a little less cute and significantly more dramatic."[22] In the April 1990 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, its panel of four reviewers gave it scores of 9, 8, 8, and 7, adding up to 32 out of 40 overall.[10] Ed Semrad, who gave it a 9, described it as "Incredible" and "the hardest, longest, and best RPG cart ever made!" Martin Alessi, who gave it an 8, stated that RPGs are not his "thing, but this one has a monstrous quest anyone can get involved with and lost in" and that "PS2 is presented well." Steve Harris, who gave it a 7, stated that it "never really offers that much action or excitement" but "the storyline is interesting for a while."[27]

In the August 1990 issue of Dragon, Phantasy Star II was described as "one of the best role-playing games yet to be released for any video game system."[9] Wizardry designer Roe R. Adams wrote in the November 1990 issue of Computer Gaming World that Phantasy Star II was a killer app for the Genesis,[28] stating that its "16-bit graphics are gorgeous, but the real fun lies in the science fiction story plot." He concluded that it is a "challenging and enjoyable" game with "superb combat and animated graphics."[29] Raze concluded that it is a "challenging quest packed with gameplay."[20] The July 1991 issue of GamePro gave it a positive review, with reviewer John Sauer describing it as a "stunning sequel" that "offers a level of complexity and play that is unrivalled on any other system." He recommended that for "players who want the near ultimate experience in adventure role-playing, this is it!"[30]

Retrospective reviews have also been positive. IGN's Levi Buchanan praised it as an "awesome game" with a "real sense of discovery" and one of his "favorite final twists in videogames."[13] On GameRankings, it is one of the highest-rated games of 1989, with an average score of 85% based on a sample of 4 reviews.[3]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

Phantasy Star II featured a much larger cartridge than its predecessor, holding 6 megabits (768 kilobytes) of data, making it the largest game on any game machine up until that time.[29] It was thus the first cartridge to cost $90,[31] equivalent to $163 in 2021.

Phantasy Star II is regarded by many as a forerunner for certain aspects of console roleplaying games, such as an epic, character-driven storyline, a strategy-based battle system, and the demand for extensive strategy guides for such games (Phantasy Star II included one with the game itself).

It has made a number of "greatest games of all time" lists. It was number 97 on EGM's list of The 200 Greatest Games of Their Time in 2006, and in August 2005 it was inducted into Gamespot's Greatest Games of All Time list.[32] Nintendo Power has called it, along with Phantasy Star IV, one of the greatest RPGs of all time.[25] It was also listed among the best games of all time by Electronic Gaming Monthly in 1997,[33] 2001,[34] and 2006,[35] and by Stuff magazine in 2008.[36]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Ripplinger, Mike (2002). The Two Phantasy Stars. Camineet. Retrieved on 2010-01-29
  2. Thomas, Damian (2008). Phantasy Star 1st Series Complete Album. RPGFan. Retrieved on 2010-01-29
  3. 3.0 3.1 Phantasy Star II. GameRankings. Archived from the original on 2012-01-11 Retrieved on 30 January 2012
  5. Phantasy Star II at Allgame via the Wayback Machine
  6. Phantasy Star II at Allgame via the Wayback Machine
  7. Phantasy Star II at Allgame via the Wayback Machine
  8. Phantasy Star II at Allgame via the Wayback Machine
  9. 9.0 9.1 Lesser, Hartley; Lesser, Patricia; Lesser, Kirk (August 1990). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (160): 47–52. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Electronic Gaming Monthly, 1993 Video Game Buyer's Guide, p. 46
  13. 13.0 13.1 Buchanan, Levi (August 28, 2010). Phantasy Star II iPhone Review. IGN. Retrieved on 28 January 2012
  15. Hoogh, Eva (August–September 1990). "Segas Sternstunde". Aktueller Software Markt (9). Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  16. Hartley, Gary (October 29, 2005). Phantasy Star II: Staff Review. HonestGamers. Retrieved on 28 January 2012
  17. JM Destroy (November 1990). "Phantasy Star 2". Joystick (10): 98. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  18. Mega, issue 18, page 71
  19. "Phantasy Star II". Player One (7): 24–5. March 1991. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 "Phantasy Star II". Raze (5). April 1991. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  21. Sega Power, issue 23, page 54
  22. 22.0 22.1 VideoGames & Computer Entertainment, March 1990
  23. "Phantasy Star 2". Zero (17): 88. March 1991. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  24. Mega magazine, issue 1, page 76, Future Publishing, October 1992.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Editors of Nintendo Power: Nintendo Power February, 2009; issue 2 (in English). Future US Inc, 39-42. Retrieved February 1, 2010.
  26. Kat Bailey (July 22, 2011). RPG Pillars: 20 Games That Defined Role-Playing Games. GamePro. Archived from the original on 2011-11-30 Retrieved on 6 September 2011
  27. Electronic Gaming Monthly, issue 9
  28. Adams, Roe R. III (November 1990). "Westward Ho! (Toward Japan, That Is)". Computer Gaming World: pp. 83. Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  29. 29.0 29.1 Adams, Roe R. (November 1990), "Wishing on a Phantasy Star II", Computer Gaming World (76): pp. 85–6 
  31. IGN's Top 100 Games of All Time. IGN. Retrieved on 2013-11-06
  32. Kasavin, Greg. Phantasy Star II. Gamespot. Retrieved on 2010-01-29
  33. EGM Top 100. Electronic Gaming Monthly (November 1997). Retrieved on 2011-06-01
  34. Top 100 Games of All Time, Electronic Gaming Monthly, 2001
  35. The Greatest 200 Videogames of Their Time. Electronic Gaming Monthly (February 6, 2006). Archived from the original on 2013-08-01 Retrieved on November 19, 2013
  36. "100 Greatest Games", Stuff: 116–126, October 2008 

External links[edit | edit source]