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This is the first game in the Phantasy Star series. For other games in the series see the Phantasy Star category.

Box artwork for Phantasy Star.
Phantasy Star
Developer(s)Sega
Publisher(s)Sega
Year released1987
System(s)Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, Wii
Followed byPhantasy Star II
SeriesPhantasy Star,
Sega Ages
Genre(s)RPG
ModesSingle player
Rating(s)ESRB Everyone 10+
Sega Ages Phantasy Star
Developer(s)M2
Publisher(s)Sega
Year released2018
System(s)Nintendo Switch
LinksPhantasy Star at Switcher.gg
Phantasy Star ChannelSearchSearch

Phantasy Star (ファンタシースター Fantashī Sutā?) is a role-playing game developed by Sega and released for the Master System in 1987. One of the earliest Japanese RPGs for consoles, ``Phantasy Star`` tells the story of Alis on her journey to defeat the evil ruler of her star system, King Lassic, after her brother dies at his hands. She traverses between planets, gathering a party of fighters and collecting the items she needs to avenge her brother's death and return peace to the star system. The gameplay features traditional Japanese RPG elements including random encounters and experience points. All the characters have predefined personalities and abilities, a unique element compared to the customizable characters of other RPGs of the era.

Sega launched the development of Phantasy Star so their Master System could compete with the burgeoning popularity of console RPGs, particularly Dragon Quest (1986) on the Famicom. Designer Kotaro Hayashida and programmer Yuji Naka formed a team, staffed by a large number of women for the time, including graphic designer Rieko Kodama. The team wanted Phantasy Star to be a unique RPG experience, so they added elements like 3D dungeon crawling, a female protagonist, and ample animation. The game's setting was a fusion between medieval fantasy and science fiction, an idea inspired by Star Wars. The team had to use several techniques to fit all their content on a four megabit cartridge, a large game size for the time. The game was released for the Master System two days after Final Fantasy arrived for the competing Famicom. It was praised for its grand sense of adventure due to its advanced visual effects and deep gameplay. The battery backup system drew praise, but also contributed to the game's notably high retail price which made it difficult for some critics to recommend. The game was re-released on several platforms in the following years, including a series of Phantasy Star compilations. In 2003, a remake was released for the PlayStation 2.

Phantasy Star is considered a landmark RPG for its use of predetermined characters and a science fantasy setting. Sega launched a series of sequels, some of which were developed by staff who worked the original. Kodama directed Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium (1993) and Naka produced Phantasy Star Online (2000).

Gameplay[edit]

Phantasy Star is a traditional Japanese role-playing game. It alters between a top-down perspective when the player is exploring the overworld, and changes to a first-person view when engaged in battle or exploring dungeons. The dungeons are long and twisted, and require the player to map most of them on paper. When exploring the overworld, the player can venture into a town to buy items and weapons. Outside the towns, monsters may randomly engage the player in battle. The player controls the main character Alis, and as the game progresses, other characters are recruited to her party: a wizard named Noah, a warrior Odin, and a talking cat-like creature named Myau. Each character has different strengths, weaknesses, and abilities. The party has a shared inventory of items and equipment.

When encountering enemies, all party members enter into battle. Battles are handled using a menu system which allows the player to fight or attempt to talk and negotiate with an enemy. When an enemy is defeated, party members gain experience points and are rewarded with a treasure chest that may contain money or a booby trap. As the characters gain experience points, they increase in level, gaining access to new magic spells and raising their offensive and defensive statistics.

Story[edit]

Phantasy Star is set in the Algol star system which consists of three planets: the lush and green Palma, the arid and barren Motavia, and the icy and desolate Dezoris. Algol is ruled by King Lassic, who while originally benevolent, becomes a cruel, sociopathic tyrant. After a string of harsh political changes, small pockets of rebellion emerge but are mostly ineffective against Lassic's iron rule. One such rebel named Nero is killed by Lassic's forces, and his sister Alis swears revenge. Alis builds a party of adventurers including a warrior named Odin, a wizard named Noah, and a catlike creature named Myau. Together, they embark on an adventure spanning the three planets, meeting with townspeople, battling enemies, and finding special items that will help in the fight against Lassic.

Table of Contents

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