Phantasy Star Online Episodes I & II is an online hack-and-slash RPG produced by SEGA and Sonic Team for the Nintendo GameCube and Microsoft Xbox. The first version (ver1.0) was released in Japan in September of 2002 (Later once again in November of the same year for ver1.1) for the Nintendo GameCube. It was released in America on October 29, 2002 for the Nintendo GameCube and on April 23, 2003 for the Microsoft Xbox. It was rated T for Teen by the ESRB for Blood and Violence.
Phantasy Star Online Episodes I & II is broken into two story arcs called Episodes, which contain unique stories.
Episode I begins as Pioneer II arrives at Ragol, attempting to land and begin colonizing the new planet. While preparing to land, a huge explosion rocks the surface of Ragol, causing all connection with the first colony down below, Pioneer I, to be lost. The Principal reaches out to the group of warriors called Hunters to go onto the surface and search for clues of what happened to Pioneer I, the colonists, and the Principal's daughter, Rico Tyrell. The player will make their way through four different areas of Ragol, Forest, Caves, Mines, and Ruins in search of what happened to Red Ring Rico and the cause of the mysterious explosion.
After Episode I, the player is asked to help the government explore a recently found laboratory on Gal Da Val Island. After some training missions, you begin to explore the island, only to find mysterious voice capsules from Healthcliff Flowen, a military commander that the government had presumed dead. The player will travel through 7 different areas,Temple, Spaceship, Jungle, Mountain, Seaside, Central Control Area, and Seabed in search of the fate of Healthcliff Flowen and the mysterious plan begun by Dr. Osto.
Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II follows a hack and slash style of gameplay. The player's character uses a weapon which can attack up to three times by hitting the attack button. These strikes could be normal or strong, strong being slightly slower. If the weapon had a special ability, that could be used as a means of attacking. The player receives six action slots, three are active at all time. The other three can be accessed by holding down a certain key. In these slots the player could put the action of attack, a technique, an item or a trap. If the action can not be preformed, the square is grayed out.
As a player made their way through the levels, they gained experience points from killing the monsters. Once a certain require of experience points are met for that level, the player will level up. The highest level in this game was 200.
Modes of Play
As with most of the Phantasy Star Online games, Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II contains both Online and Offline modes of play. Aside from Online and Offline, it also contains Battle Mode, a death matched style free-for-all and Challenge Mode, a difficult mode in which a party of players is striped of all armor and weapons.
Phantasy Star Online contains twelve different classes, each broken down into three main groups:
- Hunters: Specializing in melee weapons.
- Rangers: Specializing in ranged weapons.
- Force: Specializing in Techniques.
Each class had four different race and class combinations you could then choose from:
Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II features many of the same things from the Dreamcast version of the game released a few years prior. However, it also contains large differences.
- Introduction of a new story line and areas, Episode II.
- Three new playable class: HUcaseal, RAmarl, and FOmar
- Forces are the only job that can use Reverser, Grants, and Megid.
- Various balancing of items powers and removal of certain items.
SEGA re-released in 2003 an updated version of Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II for the Nintendo GameCube in 2003 called Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II Plus.
Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II Plus
Early in the effort to run unsigned code on the GameCube, people found that when playing PSO and connecting to a server using the GameCube Broadband Adapter, a regular PC could be made to pretend it was a server which would fool the game. After making the connection, data could be streamed back to the GameCube, making it easy for hacking and false servers. Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II Plus was created in mind to fix this problem. Along with this problem, SEGA included extra content for offline with this game including:
- Episode II Challenge Mode, which was perviously only online.
- Perviously Online only quests, Seat of the Heart, West Tower and East Tower are now available offline.
- Central Dome Fire Swirl, a downloadable quest for the Xbox, is now available offline.
- The downloadable goods from Fake in Yellow quest are now available offline.
Aside from some extra cheat protection, Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II Plus ran exactly the same as the original version and all data from characters, items, ect, can be swapped between the two instantly.
Server Shut Down
SEGA no longer maintains servers for Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II. There are still unofficial servers that can host the game, however, such as the Sylverant Server
- March 26, 2004: Servers for Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II ver1.0 (Japan) are shut down.
- April 1st, 2007: Servers for Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II on the Nintendo GameCube (Both ver1.1 and Plus) are shut down.
- January 31st 2008: Servers for Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II on the Microsoft Xbox (Japan) are shut down.
- April 22nd, 2008: Servers for Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II on the Microsoft Xbox (US).
Prior to the server being shut down, SEGA would offer the final month of the games life to be played online for free. Although April 22nd, 2008 is when the Servers for the US Xbox version were shut down, SEGA had originally planned for it to end on the 30th.
|Character Classes||HUmar - HUnewearl - HUcast - HUcaseal - RAmar - RAmarl - RAcast - RAcaseal - FOmar - FOmarl - FOnewm - FOnewearl|
|Important Characters||Alicia Baz - Ash - Bernie - Calus - Elenor Camuel - Elly Person - Heathcliff Flowen - Kireek - Montague - Red Ring Rico - Rupika - Sue - Ult|
|Locations||Pioneer II - Forest - Caves - Mines - Ruins |
The Lab - VR Temple - VR Spaceship - Central Control Area - Seabed
Crater - Subterranean Desert
|Weapons||Sabers - Swords - Daggers - Partisans - Slicers - Handguns - Rifles - Mechguns - Shots - Canes - Wands - Rods |
Katanas - Claws - Double Sabers - Twin Swords - Fists - Launchers - Cards
|Items||Weapons - Frames & Armour - Units - Barriers & Shields - Mags - Support Items|
|Techniques||Foie - Zonde - Barta - Gifoie - Gizonde - Gibarta - Rafoie - Razonde - Rabarta - Grants - Megid |
Resta - Anti - Reverser - Shifta - Deband - Jellen - Zalure - Ryuker