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Googleshng - May 2 '00- 1:30 Eastern Daylight Time

Sorry this column is up so late. Long story short, last night a whole lot of stuff happened varrying from really cool to really depressing, so not only was I not really in the right mindset, but it was 3 AM by the time I finished reading all the letters. Moving on, my wacky scheme to get more mail actually worked. I really surprised how many Phantasy Star questions I got considering how most people I've talked to have never heard of the series.
Well, on with the column!

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Sooo you want a Phantasy Star question? I have one. For the original Phantasy Star, is it absolutely necessary to make maps? It's such a great game, but such a pain to make the maps. You have to use graph paper, correct? That's tedious enough, but what makes it worse is that I'm constantly screwing them up and having to start all over again. Any pointers? Downloading maps (cheating) would not be an option. Thanks a lot.

JuntMonkey

Googleshng:
Personally, I always had fun making maps while playing the original PS, but no, you don't have to. Almost all the time, you can just hug a wall, for example, turn left whenever you can, never turn right unless you have no choice. The only places I can think of where this doesn't work. The cave where you get Noah, which is basically just a bunch of concentric circles (well, squares really) so you just move outward one way and inward the other. The very end of the game, where the bottom floor looks like it's just a tiny little loop but there's a secret door. And finally, that one big hideous trap filled maze on Dezoris, for which there's hints all over in the game to get through.

One for each game
Spoilers for all PS games

Sorry for the double, but here's a few more questions... these ones should make you consider something... and you've been yearning for real questions for a while!

Phantasy Star Madness....

1. In Phantasy Star, I found that if you equip Odin with a gun and kick him up seven or eight levels, I've got the feeling that he does practically nothing compared to everyone else... and he's supposed to be a fighter! Is this supposed to happen, or can I prevent this by equipping him peremently with a axe or something?
And also, you know the tower up north of the town you start in, with the guard, how do you get the roadpass you need to get past it? It keeps saying the one I've got is fake, and I can't find the secret the old man was talking about, leaving me no choice but to use the exit spell... Hirukas I think.

Googleshng:
There are three guns in the game. All of them do a fixed amount of damage to all enemies. No ammount of character building is going to change that. So basically, if you do a decent ammount of character building, you're going to be better off with an axe most of the time. On the other hand, when you have one of the better guns, and you're fighting a ton of wimpy little things, they really get the job done. Guns are also handy against things with defense so high that just attacking does less damage than the gun would. As for the forged roadpass, quite frankly, you can't get a real one. You aren't exactly on good terms with the government. When asked for the road pass, just say no, and kill the cop. Although if you only just got a gun for Odin you REALLY shouldn't be going there just yet, it's more of an end of the game sort of thing.

2. In Phantasy Star 2, what would be the best team lineup for the final battle, as well as the maze to get there? I keep getting belted, even though I've owned this one for years!

Googleshng:
Most people agree that the best party for the end of the game is Rolf, Rudo, Anna, and Amy. Hugh and Kain are only worth having in a couple places, and Shir, while cool, kinda sucks in terms of actual combat.

3. In Phantasy Star 3, I've only got this one a few days back looking through e-bay, but anyway, what's better, to marry Lena or to marry that weird girl (I forgot her name)? What's the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Googleshng:
Except for some minor variations and 4 different endings, the basic gameplay is the same no matter what. Whatever you don't get to do in the second generation, you get around to in the third. The big difference therefore is who's on your party. If you marry Maya, you get your two androids, a main character who can cast healing spells, Lyle's daughter who obviously is more or less a mage, and Sari, who's just an icky Orikian girl with slicers, plus a big jerk. More importantly, this means that at the end of the second generation, you have a choice of marrying your second cousin, or the biggest jerk in the game. These give you a total of 3 or 2 people with healing techs for the third generation. If you marry Lena however, I seem to recall you get some cool parts for Wren sooner, you get to team up with the hippie resistance getting a character with shades in the process not to mention your androids and HUGE SPOILER WITH BLOND HAIR, then at the end, you get a choice of marrying SPOILER WITH FUNKY HAIR, or HUGE SPOILER WITH BLOND HAIR. The former gives you three healers, and the latter gives you four. Everyone but Wren! Plus you wind up with Gwen, who goes up levels faster than anyone in the game, like, 12 levels after the very first fight against a chirper. All in all, that's my favorite party, with my least favorite being Crys' (Sari's kid). On the other hand, if you don't marry Maya, you realize of course that the entire plot of the first generation becomes pointless.

4. In Phantasy Star 4, are they any real secrets in the game? I finished it hands down, but it's like something's missing... it was almost too easy and linear! I found that claw from Nyaw in PS1, Did all the Quests, and I've even bothered to find the place which dispenses unlimited repair kits! The game's nice and all... but is there some sort of secret worth playing it again for?

Googleshng:
Aside from all the hunters guild missions, and getting Megid, there isn't really any side stuff. If you really want an excuse to play it again though, beat 1 and 2 first, then go back through looking for all the cool backreferences.

5. I heard there was another Phantasy Star game on the Game Gear... What's it called, and is it really true to the Series, or is it a bad conversion?

Googleshng:
There's two actually. Phantasy Star Adventure, which is an illustrated text adventure, like Shadowgate, and Phantasy Star Gaiden, which is an unspectacular (and noncannonical) RPG involving Alis going off to another planet. Neither of those are by the actual Phantasy Star team (3 wasn't either actually), weren't translated, and aren't all that great. In other words, don't worry about them.

6. How is Phantasy Star Online going to run? I mean, Is it going to be run like Ultima Online, or like Diablo with small rooms? Is it going to have a Phantasy Star storyline? (which would have to land before 4, cause we both know that the darkness was banished peremently after that...) Or a completely new one? More importantly, is it worth getting hyped up over, or just a bad release.

Googleshng:
First of all, as I have said several times, PSO is NOT a massively multiplayer online RPG. It's more analogous to Secret of Mana. There's a party of 4 characters, you control one, the other 3 are either controlled by friends of yours via modem, or by the computer. It also has communication shortcuts so you can boss said characters around. I've been wanting a game like that forever, and of course I've wanted the PS team to get back to work forever too, pretty cool that I get to have both at once. Furthermore, it's appearently an action RPG, which isn't nessessarily good or bad, just different. As for the setting, from the available information, I have pieced together the following possibilities: 1- It's set WAY after PS4. This one isn't very likely though because it has been said that characters from one of the other games will be in it. 2- It's set on another planet, which was discovered by an escape ship from Palma, this would just suck, and also conflict with the old characters statement. Finally, 3- It's set just before, during and/or after PS2 (probably after). This is the most likely, since it explains screen shots of sky scrapers, tropical climates, allow for cameos, and it would allow for a Dark Force free plot that would actually be pretty cool (cleaning up the chaos caused by losing Mother Brain). So, if this is the case, I'm really looking forward to it, the other two hypotheses are less than gripping. Oh yeah, just to answer another question someone sent on the subject, I believe PSO, like all other DC games so far, features a free chat/game making setup similar to Blizzard's Battle.net service.

To Googleshng, What is it with your sex? I mean, I thought slimes didn't have a sex to begin with... I would have imagined they were spawned out of some massive generator, or maybe something like Secret of Mana, where they split, without any sort of reproduction! As for why Phantasy Star doesn't rate a mention... read the editorials recently? The RPG demographic is more focused to the FFVII up, so an old classic like Phantasy star doesn't seem to rate a mention anymore.

Googleshng:
Take a look at the little comic strip at the bottom of the column. As for Phantasy Star BECOMING unpopular, it never was in the first place. Nobody owned an SMS, PS2 came out before Sonic so nobody had a Genesis, PS3 doesn't count, and PS4 wasn't advertised. It was a question of walking into a game store, seeing it on the shelf, and having your jaw drop, drooling in excitement (if you were amoung the few fans of the series). Of course then you saw the $100 price tag.

Kitty on a Quest!
Ok. I loved Phantasy Star 1. I clearly remember the day me and my buddy were playing it and we entered that fateful door that led to Dark Falz. Dude, it was scary looking on his 45" television. I almost pissed my pants. But we won, with only Mayu left. It was cool. My question is...was I the only one who killed everybody in the party other than Mayu just to see him run around by himself? I really hope I'm not...

Finally...what was your favorite song in PS4? 'Behind the Circuit' and 'Ryucross Field' were mine, but what were yours oh great gelatin?

- The SinfulAllen

Googleshng:
Heck no! I used to do that all the time (not generally by choice, just because everyone else happened to die). It REALLY is amusing to just have this little yellow cat running around, killing giant insects, talking to people, and going to church to get everyone else back. 8) As for the best music in PS4, well a lot of it is pretty darn good, particularly remixed songs from the original, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would have to be the remixed Fantasy Zone music in the place with the dancing girls.

PS5?
Hey Google,

I have a dreamcast and waiting impatiently for some classic rpgs. Now of course Shenmue, Eternal Arcadia, and Grandia 2 will be nothing but sweetness. But then one other game stands before all PHANTASY STAR ONLINE. This game really is going to be great but i wouldve liked for it to be 1 player game period and just slide off the ONLINE part. I really hope Phantasy Star V will be developed and soon. Sega doesnt realize that another "true" sequel (not online) of Phantasy Star could push their limits way up to Sony's level. Have you heard a possible rumor (a rumor would make me tear) on the development of Phantasy Star V.

Ssj Android-"time to meet your maker"

Googleshng:
Well, it was publicly stated the PS4 was the last game in the series before it was even out I seem to recall. If you've won it, you know that it put some serious closure on the series too. So, while they can't go making a dirrect linear sequel, they CAN go back and stick in side stuff (PSO), and they can make similar games (Eternal Arcadia). That's good enough for me personally.

Change of pace
The Big Xenogears Spoiler

Hi there. These here are a few quick questions for Xenogears that I haven't been able to find the answer to. I hope you can answer them. 1. How come Rico left the Imperial Capital of Nortune when they never took off his bomb collar? You can see it still on him in the ending FMV.

Googleshng:
Well, as I understand it, after Rico first became the champ, he was no longer required to wear the collar, but he liked the way it looked, so he just had them take the bomb out.

2. What is the purpose of the Mermaid's Tear? I mean, I got it in the beginning of the game, and I can't use it. What's it for?

Googleshng:
It's involved in all the weird secret disk two side stuff that I missed the first time through.

3. If Fei was born in Shevat (his parents are from there, right? And even if he wasn't, his parents would still have kept him in their custody), how come he has a limiter? Those are only put into surface dwellers that solaris can come in contact with. They can't get in Shevat, so how'd they do it?

Googleshng:
I don't recall it ever saying that Fei was born in Shevat, and even if he was, knowing what he can do, wouldn't YOU put one in? Besides, everyone has one, even Solarians.

4. If Grahf is Lacan, and Lacan looks like Fei, how come he looks like Kahn when he takes his mask off? I mean, can he change is face? Is that possible? I know he "acquire" Kahn, but does that mean he can assume his identity? That's pretty much all I can come up with right now, if I find anything else, I'll be sure to write in. I hope this helps with your letter shortages. -That Kid

Googleshng:
Because Grahf is a possessing entity basically. At the time, he's possessing Kahn.

Worth it?
Yo Googs,

I got PS4 a while ago (I kept renting it so I just bought it) and got pretty far, I haven't beaten it, mostly because when I plug it in the the tv there seems to be waves or something going across the screen (its soooo annoying), but anyway I was wondering if the other games in the series are worth playing? I always see PS3 in stores for like 10 bucks or so, wondering if I should pick it up.

Punko

Googleshng:
Well... PS3 doesn't really count but is still cool, the others, well, if you can stand playing really old games, go for it, they're great... for their times at least.

Quickies

Dude,

Was Phantasy Star 1 ever re-released on the Megadrive?

Cheers
Raps

Nope, although all four games were rereleased on one disc for the Saturn... in Japan only. 8(

Do you think that somehow you guys (all the RPGuru's/Q&A hosts) have answered all the questions about RPGs and that's why there's a lack of answers?

-Hiedran

As I think today proves, no. All the questions about what's out right now seem to be covered, but not every question there is, not by a long shot.

Hey Googleshng,
This wierd but I thought you would get a kick out of it.
http://www.askjesus.org/ask.cgi?http://www.rpgamer.com/rpguru/googleshng/ag050100.html
Natron

Ick, that REALLY messes up the top of the page, and kills the background. Pretty funny though.

Do you suppose that
I should get a Playstation
Just for Chrono Cross?

-- Cranium "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him pee in it"

No. First off there's also FFT and Xenogears, second, for $50 less you could play'em on a Mac... or PC I suppose TECHNICALLY...

Googleshng,
What do you think about Silent Hill? I think it's the scariest thing I have ever played in my life... o_O
Also...what do you think is scarier than Silent Hill?
--Toby,...the real one. (who hopes this makes it in your mail on time)

I love the RE series, but I've never been able to bring myself to play any of it's clones. Mostly because I keep hearing things like that you can shoot while moving. Ick.

Hey Google I have a quick question on pronunciation. Yggdrasil, I have seen this in Xenogears and before that as the tree spirit in BOF 3. I'm guessing something like EUG-DRAH-SILL or UGH-DRAH-SIL.

The best approximation I can type is Yig-drah-sill. Not perfect, but I'm in a hurry.

Hey, I didn't even know you had a GP joke. Sorry if I stole it, ya know. But it does seem logical, doesn't it?
--
CX, very sorry for what he's done

This probably doesn't make any sense to most people.

The Last Laugh:


For the person who wondered how slimes reproduce:

That reminds me, I really should get a new rant up soon. Anyway, this was a really fun column to write, sorry it's up so late. I'll get the next one up on time though, really! Anyway, off I go.


Googleshng "Myau" @rpgamer.com
The governor likes shortcake.

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