Phantasy Star II

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Phantasy Star II: The End of the Lost Age is the second game in Sega's long-running Phantasy Star series of science fiction/fantasy Eastern RPGs. This is the first entry in the series released for the Sega Genesis, and it is widely considered the most difficult. It was also hailed as the best RPG on the system, only unseated by Phantasy Star IV five years down the line.

Phantasy Star II takes place a thousand years after the original Phantasy Star, and in the intervening centuries the people of the Algo(l) system mastered terraforming, using complex control systems to transform Mota(via), the original game's desert planet, into their breadbasket. But the normally automated control systems are starting to go haywire. Our protagonist, Rolf Landale, a government agent (and descendant of PS 1 heroine Alis, as it happens,) is sent to investigate. Accompanied by his mysterious friend Nei, they find themselves caught up in a plot to destroy the entire solar system. They stop the plot, but not without great losses.

Caution. It's nearly impossible to explain the plot without giving away spoileriffic details; even the titles of many of the tropes are spoilers. Therefore, UNMARKED SPOILERS ahead. You have been warned.

Tropes used in Phantasy Star II include:
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Subverted. It turns out Mother Brain is working just fine. It's just working for the enemy.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Nei, particularly on the Japanese box art. She looks somewhat less muscular in-game.
  • Artificial Human: Nei and Neifirst.
  • Back from the Dead: Phantasy Star Generation 2 allows you a chance to bring Nei back after she dies.
    • Which is kind of a letdown, since the revival process is exactly the same as if she had been flatlined by a mook monster, giving the impression it was tacked on as an afterthought more than anything.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: When the party is attacked by the Earthlings at the end. In the original Japanese, it's clearly stated that Rolf and co. won; in the English release, the game ends ambiguously.
  • Chest Monster: Dark Force.
  • Climax Boss: Neifirst.
  • Colony Drop: The Gaira satellite was dropped on Palma, leading to an Earthshattering Kaboom.
  • Covers Always Lie: The box art shows Nei with a BFG. In-game, that's Rudo's specialty. Nei uses tiger claws.
  • Crutch Character: Nei levels twice as fast as anyone else, but only learns a handful of techniques compared to the others. This is so that she can carry the rest of the party until they're strong enough to go on by themselves... which, if you're careful about Level Grinding, should be just in time for her demise.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Nei
  • Debut Queue: Remember, every time you reach a new town, go back to Rolf's house. Someone will be waiting to join the party.
  • Difficulty Spike: While the game is already hard enough, things suddenly become much more difficult once you start facing robots in battle after completing roughly one-third of the game. Most of them hit harder and are much more resistant to damage than the biomonsters you were (finally) destroying with ease due to being sufficiently geared / leveled. The shops don't sell anything new, and you won't be coming across any new ones for quite a while, which means that your only resort is to find better upgrades in the dams. If this wasn't bad enough, it comes right after you've lost your heaviest-hitting character. Good luck.
    • And it further spikes once more when you first reach Dezoris about two-thirds through the game. The spaceport isn't too difficult, though rarely you may face a few powerful robot types there that you haven't previously. Once you step foot on the surface, you'll inevitably be confronted by biomonsters far higher in power than anything that was on Motavia. They are the easy ones... the dungeons have even more powerful biomonsters that are capable of decimating your party and often attack in groups, much like the Blaster example from very early in the game. Also, depending on where you are, robots may show up from time to time which have absurdly high HP and defense and can take a very long time to kill, but usually aren't as threatening as the biomonsters.
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: Climatrol.
  • Doing In the Wizard: PSII replaces the vast majority of magical elements in PSI with science fiction; magic is replaced with Techniques that the manual describes with a heavy dose of Techno Babble and may be Psychic Powers, resurrection at churches is replaced with Clone Labs, and all monsters on Motavia are either genetically engineered or robots. Dezoris retains some magical elements, but in general they're limited to the Espers and creatures under the influence of Dark Force.
  • Downer Ending: The party succeeds in saving the world by ushering it into a new technological dark age, and has its own Bolivian Army Ending to boot. And shortly before the ending, the original game's main planet blows up, killing most of humanity.
  • Down in the Dumps: Roron, an abandoned waste management facility that is home to a group of Motavians, who enjoy living in an environment of rotting garbage and junk.
  • End of an Age: See Just Before the End.
  • Earthshattering Kaboom: Palma.
  • Fantastic Racism: Nei has to deal with this due to her being half human, half animal.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Dark Force, the Giant Space Flea From Nowhere from Phantasy Star, is indirectly behind Mother Brain. He's behind the Earthlings, too, but this is less of an example as the Earthlings' role is revealed after Dark Force is defeated.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Nei finds an evil version of herself that's exponentially more powerful. Defying reason, she insists on fighting it alone. She dies. Even if Nei were sufficiently leveled to the point she could take the boss out, she will still die afterwards because Nei was originally part of Neifirst.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The Earthmen, true human beings from Earth, are all presented as the Outside Context Villains of the game. Though Darkforce was likely brainwashing them into the plan to destroy Algo, they still were forced to leave Earth because they destroyed its environment.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: Mota's Biomonster problem is a result of an accident at the Biosystems Lab. Because of this, Motavian monsters tend to be giant-sized simple lifeforms, such as insects, worms, amoebae and bacterial colonies. The exceptions, of course, are the two Artificial Humans who are the source of the problem.
  • Guide Dang It: Amusingly, the game came with a strategy guide in the box. You'll need it.
  • It Got Worse: Almost every victory you obtain in the game is accompanied by a tragedy. End the biomonster infestation? You'll lose your closest friend in the process. Save Motavia from flooding? Palma becomes space dust. Pry Motavia from the corrupt supercomputer controlling it? Society will collapse as a result.
  • Just Before the End: As the subtitle indicates, this is the end of Algol's golden age. Palm is an ivory-tower world where the wealthy spend their lives in an idle paradise. Mota's great cities are equally idyllic, but the rest of the world is beginning to collapse into anarchy due to the breakdown of the Biosystems Lab and Climatrol, and space travel is forbidden. Later, Palm is destroyed when Mother Brain suddenly Colony Drops the Gaira satellite on it. Rolf and his party eventually have to destroy Mother Brain to save what's left of Algolian humanity, ending the technological Golden Age that she made possible and knocking technology back to a lower level than it had been in the PSI era.
  • Justified Extra Lives: Thanks to the Clone Labs.
  • Killed Off for Real: Nei.
    • Can be averted if you do a special quest in Phantasy Star Generations II. If you have just have the original however...
  • Master Computer: Mother Brain.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The Sonomech and its ilk perform these as their attack animation.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Once Rolf and his party are pursued by the Motavian government after blowing up Climatrol, enemy encounters turn exclusively into these. They share space with biological enemies on Dezo, though.
  • Monster Lord: Neifirst is the humanoid master of the Biomonsters of Motavia, and by far the most powerful.
  • Nintendo Hard: This one is the most brutal in the main series in terms of difficulty. All characters you obtain start at level 1 with sucky stats and equipment and there's no Leaked Experience ever. Equipment is generally expensive. Enemies hit hard and their melee attacks never miss while your attacks (and spells) miss frequently. Except for hospitals, there's no way to replenish mana points, which you don't get a lot of in the first place. Enemies can ambush your party, but you can't ambush enemies. Later monsters tend to be resistant to non-gun melee attacks (meaning most of your characters can barely do double-digit damage to them) while their attacks can kill a character in a few strikes. And the dungeons are extremely complex, even if you have access to maps.
  • No Ending: The Earthlings who had been trying to destroy the world in the Bolivian Army Ending of PSII were never mentioned in PSIII or PSIV. It's stated in one of the Universe Bibles that Rolf's True Companions defeated the Earthlings, but for those of us outside Japan, there's no clue whatsoever whether they won, lost, or won a Pyrrhic Victory and died stopping them... Damn you, Sega!
    • Anyone who played PSIV probably figured out the Earthlings lost, since the Earthlings stated they'd build another Mother Brain, but that never happened.
  • Plotline Death: Nei's, but the Fridge Logic part is averted: The party immediately tries to get her cloned back to life. Unfortunately, she's Deader Than Dead.
  • Prison Ship: Gaila.
  • Psychic Powers: Techniques
  • Psycho Prototype: Neifirst
  • Shoot the Dog: Destroying Mother Brain, and incidentally destroying technological civilization throughout the Algo system.
  • Soiled City on a Hill: Algo's civilization became too dependent on Mother Brain, and the people grew fat and lazy in paradise. Mother Brain was destroyed and took civilization down with her.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Occurs on this very page. Is it Gaila or Gaira?
  • Spared by the Adaptation: One CAN save Nei in the Updated Rerelease Phantasy Star Generation 2 (Only in Japan), but it requires that you have a saved game from Phantasy Star Generation 1 after beating the final boss, get every discussion scene and to unlock absolutely every dialog in the game and saving and then playing again. This makes no change to the plot except for a single picture of her in the ending.
  • Stripperiffic: Nei's "battle teddy." In the Japanese box art, it shows a visible camel toe, even viewed from the side.
  • Terminally Dependent Society: Motavia's terraforming depends on Mother Brain, and in addition, robots make it so everyone can live in paradise. When she's destroyed, Motavia goes to hell. All of this was, of course, planned by the Earthlings who introduced her into the system in order to make Motavian society lethargic and weak.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Tiem rushing out to meet her father Darum while still veiled; would it have killed her to take it off? Because it certainly killed her to leave it on.
  • We Need to Get Proof: Your first assigned mission at the start.