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  #1  
Old 12-22-2008, 02:29 PM
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Default FC 38: Phantasy Star IV

I know, I know, it's an RPG. But it's here. And it's shorter. So sue me.

Phantasy Star IV
Sega | Genesis/VC | Planetary RPG | 1995

It may be shorter, but it's still an RPG. This will be a two-weeker.

Tenative Deadline: 12/31/09

Last edited by SilentSnake; 12-29-2008 at 01:35 PM.
  #2  
Old 12-22-2008, 02:38 PM
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time to bust out the monomate, guys.

god, i've played this so many times i can walk through the entire game in my head.
  #3  
Old 12-22-2008, 02:38 PM
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Yeah, me too.

Do you do the grind in the basement until Chaz and Hans reach level 3 or so too?
  #4  
Old 12-22-2008, 02:39 PM
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depends on how i was feeling. generally though, i like to get out of that first area pretty fast, though.
  #5  
Old 12-22-2008, 02:40 PM
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Bugger, I can't start this until I get back home. Ah well. Count me in.
  #6  
Old 12-22-2008, 02:44 PM
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Good thing I gave into temptation and started this anyway. It's really amazing how much I can get done in 30 minutes compared to damn near every other modern RPG, notably P4. At least both have fast battles!
  #7  
Old 12-22-2008, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyblue View Post
Yeah, me too.

Do you do the grind in the basement until Chaz and Hans reach level 3 or so too?
The best time to grind early game is after Rune joins the party, since HEWN just destroys everything.
  #8  
Old 12-22-2008, 02:54 PM
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I have never played a single Phantasy Star game despite being completely obsessed with Phantasy Star Online for at least a year.

Is this a good one to start with?

Last edited by ringworm; 12-22-2008 at 04:05 PM.
  #9  
Old 12-22-2008, 02:55 PM
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Geez, I want to finish my Holiday Tradition Game of Super Metroid before I started this.

You're making me second-guess myself Mr. Snake!
  #10  
Old 12-22-2008, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ringworm View Post
Is this a good one to start with?
It's the only one that I would recommend without serious caveats. It's very good. Its predecessors, not so much.
  #11  
Old 12-22-2008, 03:07 PM
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Boo! Hiss! We want more Zack and Wiki!


Sorry. Carry on.
  #12  
Old 12-23-2008, 02:55 PM
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Okay so I just got this and fired this up. It's pretty good so far! It's like a quality 16-bit JRPG, only faster in every way. Seriously, the walking speed is lightning fast and the battles go by real quick. I was expecting the graphics to be better, but I don't really have much of a context for when it was released. That being said, the writing in this game is suprisingly good. I love how Alys charges Hans to accompany the party. Also, crossing Alys is "the sixth most dangerous thing" or something. The cartoon panels add a lot as well.

Very nice.
  #13  
Old 12-23-2008, 03:26 PM
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the thing i liked the most is that they really develop the world in a way that a lot of 16 bit rpgs lack. like, you really get a sense of alys's reputation, or how the various nations work, and you've always got the feeling that there's more to the world happening beyond your scope. and not grand scale shit, but that normal people have stuff to do that you just aren't concerned with.
  #14  
Old 12-23-2008, 03:47 PM
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I'm not playing along, but I want to say that among 16-bit RPGs this game is second only to Chrono Trigger in my opinion. (I haven't played DQ5 though...)
  #15  
Old 12-23-2008, 03:53 PM
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Also, the soundtrack sounds a bit dated, but it's soooooooo charming.
  #16  
Old 12-23-2008, 04:19 PM
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The soundtrack is kind of game-music-y and I guess it doesn't have the same chops as Square's 16-bit stuff, but it's actually completely brilliant. There are tons of games with awesome music, of course, but very few of them have awesome music that fits so well with everything. It works well with the setting and mood of the game, and it emphasizes the driving pace of the entire game, with strong basslines and generally rapid rhythms.

The writing is mostly good, although a few lines (particularly that "Someone keeping information from me is the sixth most dangerous thing in this world!") come out somewhat convoluted and obviously wrong. They're still funny, though.
  #17  
Old 12-23-2008, 05:03 PM
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I kind of wish that the game told you what the Techs and Skills did before you used them.

I'm still not quite sure if Wat is supposed to be an electric (Short for Watt) or Water-based attack.
  #18  
Old 12-23-2008, 05:06 PM
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It's water. Actually, a lot of these make sense eventually as short versions of words, especially the "SAK" spell in 2. Amy used NASAK!
  #19  
Old 12-23-2008, 07:23 PM
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If you're uncertain about spell names, look them up in the manual from the Home menu. They're listed on one of the last pages.
  #20  
Old 12-25-2008, 02:03 PM
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I remember repeatedly renting this game (my first Jrpg) when I was 6 or 7, starting over every time, quitting whenever the game required me to do anything even remotely complicated (I had no idea how any of the mechanics worked).

I'll play along (my first Fun Club!) so I can have some idea of how the game plays beyond the 2-hour mark.
  #21  
Old 12-25-2008, 07:11 PM
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How long is it? I'll probably be finishing up Mother 3 in the next couple days and will need a new portable fix for lunch break.
  #22  
Old 12-26-2008, 11:49 AM
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20 hours at best.
  #23  
Old 12-26-2008, 04:32 PM
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20 hours is a very good length, I believe.

Color me impressed. The writing, graphics, and battles are all far better than I expected from a Genesis game. The manga panels make for much better low-fi storytelling than today's character portraits (I'm looking at you, NIS). I could kill for in-game descriptions of spells, though. I keep forgetting what they do (and I'm playing Genesis Collection for PSP, which as far as I can tell has no in-game manuals).
  #24  
Old 12-26-2008, 09:13 PM
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Techs (not all of em, but the names of others escapes me atm, and this should cover most of the commonly used ones.):

Foi series = Fire [single target]
Wat series = Water/Ice [single target]
Tsu series = Lightning/Light [single target]
Zan series = Wind [multitarget]
Gra series = Gravity [multitarget]
Res series = Healing [single target]
Sar series = Healing [multitarget]
Brose = Mecha instakill [multitarget]
Anti = Poison cure [single target]
Gelun = Inflicts "Hold" status [multitarget]
Deban = Phys. Def buff [multitarget]
Shift = Agi buff [single target]
Saner = Str buff [single target]
Rever = revival (to 1/2 HP) magic [single target]
Regen = revival magic [single target]

Strength goes from * -> Gi -> Na: A Ga-level technique is usually around 4-5 times more powerful than the * level tech, and the Na-level around 10-11.
  #25  
Old 12-26-2008, 09:14 PM
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Mightyblue gets a gold star for the Fun Club.
  #26  
Old 12-26-2008, 09:53 PM
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Skills are a bit of a pain in the butt too, but they tend to follow the characters' personalities as well, just like their tech distribution. Skills also work off of stat multipliers to a degree, far more so than techs, anyway.

Chaz gets mostly physical attack Skills, the only exception being Earth which is the same as the Gelun tech. And equally useless, but then...

Alys only gets three Skills for reasons that become apparent through the plot, but they're not half bad either. Death is a single target instakill with a good rate of connecting, Moonshadow is another Gelun type spell, and Vortex is a single target phys. attack.

Hahn gets only a few Skills, and the only ones I remember offhand are Vision (ups Hans' Dex for better hit/crit %) and Astral (which is a Men based single magic attack).

Rune...is a jerk. :P But he's your resident offensive magic user, where Hahn gets all of the finicky instakill and stat debuff crap that never really works. Flaeli = Fire [single target, somewhere between Ga and Nafoi]
Hewn = Wind [multitarget, somewhere between Ga and Nazan]
Tandle = Lightning/Light [multitarget, somewhere between Ga and Nathu]
Diem = Single target death spell
Efess = multitarget Holy damage*
Negatis = Grav. based multitarget death spell
Legeon = multitarget heavy magic damage.

Rika plays out as your light duty medic and support character, as she's really more of a jack-of-all-trades. She gets some of the more important techs that you'll need early on, but she doesn't really excel in any one area. Her skills are:
Illusion: Lowers the enemies' hit rates (but not terribly noticeably)
Dblslash: One-two phys. attack combo.
Disruption: Multitarget phys. attack
Eliminat[e]: Single target death skill.

Demi--as one of the two androids, most of her Skills are locked in place (along with an inherent weakness to lightning based techs, and magic in general due to her innate Men score of 0), but she does get two unique ones of her own:
Medic Power: Revives the fleshsacks in your party to 1/4 HP, or just restores 1/4 of their HP.
Stasis Beam: Puts a target to sleep. Useless.
Phonomizer: Multitarget sonic/wind attack.

She shares these with Wren:
Recover: Fully repairs herself (this is important as the androids play differently than the organic members of your party)
Barrier: Creates an energy nullifying barrier; i.e. it reduces the magic/tech damage your party takes.
Spark: Single-hit instakill on machines that works quite often.

Wren is the other android you get, and one of the permanent members of your party once you recruit him. Essentially the "tank" of your party. He gets the shared Skills with Demi, but also more on his own:
Flare: Shoots heatbeams outta his eyes for single-target fire damage.
Hyper Jammer: Basically stuns mechanical enemies for a few rounds. Incredibly handy, unlike other sleep effect stuff.
Burstroc[kets]: Multitarget Fire damage.
Posi[tron]bolt: Massive multitarget damage.

Gryz is your resident arse-kicker with a knack for...nothing really. He only gets Brose as a tech, and his Skills are equally simple. Crash is his single hit instakill, War Cry raises his Str, and Sweeping is his multi target phys attack.

Raja is the man, and also utterly breaks the game. His Skills are mostly geared towards support, and are also mostly awesome.
Blessing = Deban with blue sparkles.
Holyword = Single target instakill on Dark enemies.
Ataraxia = Restores a portion of the party's TP. <---Win button.
Miracle = Revives dead peeps, restores around 1/2 HP (including Androids). <--Secondary win button.
St. Fire = Multitarget Holy damage*

Kyra basically plays the role of magic-using Rika, and has a relatively balanced Skill and Tech set. Also the other character who uses slicers. She gets Flaeli, Hewn, and Tandle as well.
Medice: Revives dead people, and restores around 1/2-2/3 HP.
Warla: Deban, but with gold sparkles.
Telele: Gelun mk. IV (or is it V?)
Bindwa: Debuffs Str multitarget. Not as useful as you'd think, since Bosses rarely use straight physicals.

ETA: Forgot the note on Holy stuff. :P Basically there are weapons and skills with the "Holy" attribute that only deal damage or extra damage to enemies with the "Dark" qualifier. Dark enemies are savagely strong, and only inhabit places that aren't exactly "normal" so you can usually pick out what they are, which is why you get Skills and gear that give you an edge against them.
  #27  
Old 12-26-2008, 11:08 PM
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jesus christ, is THAT what brose does??? I've had absolutely no idea for like a decade now, and i just thought gryz was a lamer.
  #28  
Old 12-27-2008, 05:25 AM
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It works pretty well too. Death abilities work in this game. You can basically classify enemies as "deathable" and "not deathable".

Anyone wanna guess what "AROWS" does?
  #29  
Old 12-27-2008, 10:27 AM
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I think it's cute when characters say "shall" when they obviously mean "should."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coinspinner View Post
Anyone wanna guess what "AROWS" does?
Accuracy?

Also, thanks a ton, Snake. Though I didn't read your second post as I want to be surprised as to who joins the party.
  #30  
Old 12-27-2008, 10:33 AM
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As I recall, most of them appear and then join in very short order, but maybe I'm wrong. Also: They have portraits.
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