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The first game in the Phantasy Star series was Sega's answer to Dragon Quest for their Sega Master System, and with a heavy Sci Fi twist. In Japan, the first installment came out within days of Final Fantasy; it also came out in the United States well before either of its contenders.
It tells the story of Alis Landale, a young woman seeking to avenge the death of her brother at the hands of the corrupt ruler Lassic.
The game is notable for animated enemy sprites, using pictures instead of just text to tell stories, and 3D dungeons (although the latter element was dropped for the sequels).
Probably the single greatest legacy left by this entry was the fact that it was one of the very earliest games to feature a lead heroine (as noted below in the Action Girl entry - Alis is right up there with Chun Li and Samus ). Furthermore, hers wasn't a quest driven by the need to explore, follow a heroic love interest, or treasure hunting... hers was a quest driven by straight up vengeance. She could still serve to hand out some lessons to RPG heroines today.
Provides Examples Of:
- Action Girl: Seeing as this has been around since the start of both DQ and FF - Alis is one of the earliest female heroines of gaming, alongside Chun Li and Samus Aran.
- Awesome but Impractical: The Laconian Axe. Statistically, it is the most powerful weapon in the game and is capable of doing heavy damage, especially when combined with Myau's Help spell. In reality, it is often less useful than the Laser Gun, which does a fixed 20 points of defense-ignoring damage and also targets all enemies. Against high defense enemies (including the final bosses), you will on average do more damage with the gun than the axe.
- Blind Idiot Translation: It does run into this sort of problem occasionally, being an 80s game. In addition to the gender confusion concerning Noah, we got the classic "I tell you no one can do!"
- But Thou Must!: When you finally confront Lassic, he asks you if you really want to kill an old man like him. Answering "no" causes him to become insulted and commence the fight anyway.
- And your party loses initiative for the first round. No small thing in a boss fight in a game that involves a lot of defensive spells you want to cast ASAP.
- Subverted in the confrontation with Doc Mad. He asks you to hand over Myau. If you say "no" he gets angry and fights you. If you say "yes" he gleefully kills Myau and attacks you anyway.
- Cash Gate: At the beginning, you need to collect 200 meseta for a road pass, then an additional 100 for a passport. You also need to upgrade your starting equipment to fight anything other than monsters just outside the city's exit.
- Complete Monster: Lassic hasn't been treating the Algol star system well.
- Credits Gag: Story by April Fool.
- Cultural Translation: In the English version, the healing items "Perolimate" and "Ruoginin" were respectively translated as "Burger" and "Cola". As it turns out, "Perolimate" is a play on a Japanese energy supplement product called "CalorieMate."
- Disc One Final Dungeon: The Air Castle.
- Early Installment Weirdness: First-person dungeons, for one thing. Also, the iconic Newmans hadn't come about yet, and plain magic is used instead of techniques.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: After Dark Force is defeated Alis is very suddenly and undramaticly revealed to be the daughter to the former king of the Algol star system and the rightful ruler. Whether or not she assumes this position is up to you.
- Faux First Person 3D
- Forced Level Grinding: All of the "good" armor needed to survive battle cost an arm and a leg. Then there's the fact that there are a ton of essential vehicle items that cost as much as Alis's ultimate armor (15,000 meseta).
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Phantasy Star was one of the first games officially translated (sorta) into Portuguese. 20 years later, Brazilian gamers still have fond memories of it.
- Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: Dark Force's role as the final boss.
- Give Me Your Inventory Item: The beggars.
- Hot Chick with a Sword: Alis
- Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Every monster carries with them a treasure chest for some reason.
- It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Myau is pronounced like "meow." Yeah.
- It's Personal: Alis' quest to destroy Lassic starts with the death of her brother Nero.
- Japanese Ranguage: In this world, Fast Food Shops are called "First Food Shops".
- Or possibly a pun on first aid.
- Kick the Dog: Doc Mad's "experiment" on Myau.
- Last Breath Bullet: With his last strength Lassic transforms the Governor of Motavia into Dark Force.
- Laughing Mad: Doc Mad if you allow him to kill Myau.
- Loyal Animal Companion: Myau the musk cat to Odin (and Alis).
- Mad Scientist: The appropriately named Dr. Mad.
- Marathon Level: Baya Malay Tower is the biggest and most complicated dungeon in the game, with many dead ends and looping corridors to get hopelessly lost in while tough monsters whittle down your party's HP and MP. If that alone isn't bad enough, you have to face the Air Castle directly after it with no hospital or inn nearby to heal, which itself is also full of monsters and a tough boss at the end. If you wasted your party's MP (and thus can't cast the nearly mandatory Fire, Cure and Wind spells), forget trying to beat him. If you are low on HP or MP you can, with a Transfer or the Fly spell, escape to the last church you visited, but to get back to the Air Castle you'll have to go through Baya Malay all over again. The only reasonable way through both dungeons is to run away from every single battle possible using a spare Wand in your inventory, to conserve your MP for Lassic.
- Magic Knight: Alis
- Mini-Dress of Power: Alis
- Nintendo Hard: "Alis hope cannot overcome the power of Lassic. The adventure is over."
- Ominous Floating Castle: Lassic's invisible floating castle.
- Palette Swap: Beyond just the enemies, the game's dungeons are all palette swaps of each other as well.
- Random Encounters: These encounters also include potential non-hostiles, where you can end/skip combat just by talking.
- Revenge: Alis' motivation.
- Saintly Church: The churches provide the party with resurrections and as a destination for Alis' Warp Whistle.
- She's a Man In Japan:
LutzNoah was referred to as both a "he" and a "she" in the English version, apparently by accident.
- Talking Animal: Myau.
- A few of the monsters as well, though sometimes you need to use magic to understand each other.
- Trauma Inn: Normaly averted as you need to visit hospitals to heal you character... Or just spend a night at Suelo's to heal everyone for free!