Ok, well I have finally had a taste of what combat is like in Phantasy Star and it’s kind of like going to Epcot Center and trying all the different sodas from around the world. China has their head on straight, but the Italians clearly have dead taste buds. And don’t even get me started on Israel. The battles in Phantasy Star take place from a first person POV and consists of ATTACK, MAGIC and ITEM. Oh, and RUN. RUN rocks. Love RUN. You don’t get to select which enemy to target, which can get really amusing sometimes. By amusing, of course I mean frustrating and by sometimes, of course I mean all the time.
Picture if you will, the following scenario: you are fighting two enemies and you stand a good chance of beating them, but only if you eliminate one of them rather quickly. So you whittle one of the foes down to 1 HP (the game is kind enough to show you the enemies HP, but personally, I think it does it to taunt me) and then your character, henceforth known as Alis the ADD Adventurer, decides to leave that one alone and target the OTHER one. So rather than wipe one out and then finish off the other, she lets both of them tag team her (and consequently, me) until I am forced to RUN. And I RUN so far away.
The enemies so far are run of the mill. There is a wasp called a SWORM (localization…phail) which is easy to kill. I can take on two of them no problem at all. There is a SCORPION, which is a little tougher, but in a pinch, I could beat two of them. Then…the Owl Bears. Don’t let the name fool. These look nothing like owls nor bears. They are flying eyeballs with wings. Another phailure in localization, I reckon. These things are tough. I can go toe to toe with one of them and IF I survive, I will likely have 3 HP left. So they killed me a few times. Which is why I save after every battle now because I don’t want to waste any more time than necessary. So imagine my horror when I come across TWO Owl Bears in one battle. I know what you’re thinking: RUN. Simple, easy and safe solution, right? Nope. They blocked my escape and had their wicked way with me. So reload and try again. Two steps later, the same two bastards attacked again. RUN, right? Nope. Unplug the PS3, turn off the lights and hide under the covers until the coast is clear. Owl Bears take no prisoners and Anthony takes no chances.
After a bit of grinding I managed to scrimp up enough money to save up and buy a better sword. This was helped by the nice lady who allowed me to stay at her house for free and heal up. This new sword, IRN SWRD as it is called, manages to turn those Owl Bears into my bitches. “I’m Rick James, Owl Bear Bitches!”. So now we feel a bit stronger, got some money, gained some levels we decide to head over to Scion, the town to the east where Odin (who better be a bad ass) is hanging out. But what’s that? I am playing a JRPG? So does this mean that Odin is somewhere else? You bet your sweet ass it does. Turns out he was headed to Medusa’s Cave, south of Camineet. And she turns people to stone. Awesome. Memo to self: stay the hell away from there.
Exploring the town reveals two things: the first is that the townspeople, namely this one dude who I named Supreme Allied Commander Obvious, are morons. SAC Obvious told me about the other two planets in this universe. He said, “There are Motavians on Motavia and Dezorians on Dezoria! I want to visit them all”. I didn’t want to tell him there are Americans in America and Chinese in China because the impact of that knowledge would have literally blown his already fragile mind. The other thing I learned is this game is wacky. There is a shop in Scion and it sells an item called SECRET. Well, being the nosy bastard I am, I tried to buy it. The merchant kicked me out! So I tried again. Same result! Third time was the charm because SECRET is really a PASS, which would allow me to go to the spaceport and travel to another planet.
Whoever thought of this stupid puzzle deserves a swift kick in the back of the head, followed by a gentle, yet thorough curb stomping. Like this:
I take my PASS and head back to Camineet. Time to get past the Clone Troopers and on to the spaceport. Turns out I need a PASSPORT, in addition to my PASS. This is definitely a post-9/11 world. It only costs 100 mesetas, which is quite a bargain since the PASS cost me 200. From there, I board the rocket ship located in the center of the spaceport and blast off to Motavia! I hear there are Motavians there! A little animation shows my ship heading up and …up. It goes on forever until I hit a button. Awesome. I step out and take my first step into a larger universe.
That’s all for this episode, but check back soon for Part III: A Whole New World. Here’s a preview:
Did that cat just talk to me? Am I on drugs?