Phantasy Star Online 2
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Phantasy Star Online 2 is a free-to-play online action role-playing game in the Phantasy Star series developed and published by Sega. Created as a successor to Phantasy Star Online and Phantasy Star Universe, Phantasy Star Online 2 features gameplay elements and aesthetics reminiscent of previous Phantasy Star games while incorporating unique twists on the formula. The initial version was released for Windows in Japan in July 2012.
|Phantasy Star Online 2|
Logo from Episode 4 onwards
|Genre(s)||Action role-playing, Massively Multiplayer Online|
A PlayStation Vita version was released in February 2013 and shuts down in September 2020 (originally August 2020), while a PlayStation 4 version was released in April 2016. A spin-off/companion game, Phantasy Star Online 2es, was released for Android and iOS in 2014. A Nintendo Switch cloud version, entitled Phantasy Star Online 2 Cloud was released in April 2018 and then on PC, released in December 2018. At E3 2019, it was announced that the game would be releasing outside of Asia for the first time on the Xbox One and Microsoft Windows in early 2020.
A massive updated and separate "shared universe" game, titled Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis is scheduled for a 2021 release. It will be available on Microsoft Windows, Xbox One and Xbox Series X in North America; and available on Microsoft Windows (both the download and cloud versions), Nintendo Switch (cloud version), and PlayStation 4 in Japan.
Upon starting the game, the player can select one of several servers, known as "Ships," to play. Players create and customize their characters to be used in the game. The name, gender, race, character class, body and facial features are available for customization during the character creation process, and later, the player can acquire a number of accessories and aesthetic goods to further customize their characters. There are various races available to the players in the game, which include Human, Newman (bio-engineered humanoid elves), CAST (manmade androids), and Deuman (species that contains recessive Falspawn genes in them).
At the start of the game, players may select from one of nine starting classes, each with unique stat spreads and weapon specialties. Three more "Scion Classes" can also be unlocked when the player meets certain requirements. Classes can be changed at will in the game's lobby; levels and statistics earned with a specific Class are independent of progress made with other Classes on the same character. Classes can also be customized with Skill Points earned from leveling up, which can be spent on a Skill Tree to learn Skills unique to the Class; Skill abilities can range from passive effects such as boosting stats to toggle abilities that power up your character temporarily. After a certain level, players can also assign a Subclass, a secondary Class that augments the player's Main Class by granting access to most of its Skills, Photon Arts, and Techniques.
The user interface and controls are similar between the PC and the PS Vita. By default, players can play the PC version using a mouse and a keyboard, but may also play the game using an Xbox 360 Controller, which the game supports natively. The player's Character ID, Health (HP) and Photon Points (PP) are displayed at the bottom left corner of the screen. At the bottom of the screen, the sub-palette may contain consumable items, class active skills, Techniques and Photon Blast skills. The mini-map is located at the top-right corner of the screen. When a target is acquired, the top-left corner of the screen displays the information and status of the target.
The chat log displays messages left by players and NPCs, as well as system messages. Chat commands can customize text in many ways, such as changing the colors of the text or using special speech bubbles and animations. The player can also create and display Symbol Arts, images made within the game out of various symbolic objects. Autowords can also be created for a character to react to certain events in battle automatically, such as dying or successfully completing a mission.
Gameplay in Phantasy Star Online 2 is action-oriented, and features a diverse selection of weapon types and playstyles for the player to choose from.
In combat, players engage enemies in real-time with various attacks; attacks can be chained for additional damage. In addition to standard attacks, combos can be augmented with powerful attacks called Photon Arts that use a resource called Photon Points (PP). Certain Classes have the ability to use Techniques, attacks similar to magic, that also use PP. PP is consumed whenever the player uses these attacks; the player cannot attack with Photon Arts or Techniques if they do not have sufficient PP, but PP naturally restores on its own or can be recovered manually by attacking enemies with standard attacks.
In some areas of the game, Photons can be generated by defeating enemies to fill up the Photon level in the environment. In return, Photon-sensitive effects (PSE) can provide bonuses to the players in that area. When one of these effects reaches the maximum level of 8, an event known as PSE Burst can occur where many enemies will rapidly spawn for a limited time. This can be further extended by causing a different PSE Burst to form a Cross Burst.
Upon reaching a certain level, each player will be granted a Mag, a small droid that hovers around the owner. Mags can be fed a variety of items in order to strengthen and eventually evolve them. In addition to enhancing the player's stats, a mag will support the player with abilities such as healing or buffing under certain circumstances. Mags also enable the Photon Blast ability, in which the player and mag summon a Photon-based avatar for a brief time to attack enemies or support party members, depending on the type of mag. Photon Blasts can only be used after defeating a certain number of enemies and generating enough Photon energy to fill up its gauge.
The game's story primarily focuses on the exploits of the space-faring organization known as Oracle, who uses Photons to traverse the universe and seek new planets for potential colonization while simultaneously suppressing the threat of the Falspawn, alien beings created by evil entities known as Dark Falz that only exist to destroy the universe. Oracle is split between a Mothership, housing the fleet's central core, and a massive fleet of spaceships that contains all civilian entities and the fleet's prime military and exploration department known as ARKS (Artificial Relicit to Keep Species).
Initially, ARKS is sent to investigate activity on three planets: Naverius, a planet whose ecosystem was primarily forest before much of the planet became locked in eternal winter, Lillipa, a desert planet inhabited by rabbit-like natives known as "Lillipans", and Amduskia, a bifurcated planet with a volcanic core surrounded by a mass of floating islands inhabited by humanoid dragonfolk. Later story arcs feature the planet Wopal, an ocean planet, and Harukotan, a planet in the shape of a taijitu inhabited by two opposing races. In EPISODE 4, exploration expands to encompass a fictional counterpart of Earth located in an alternate dimension, and in EPISODE 5, an alternate dimension known as "Omega" located within a black hole becomes the focal point of the story.
The story follows the player character, a graduating member of the ARKS Cadet program. During their graduation exercise on Naverius, the Cadets are attacked by the Falspawn, forcing ARKS veterans Zeno and Echo to arrive and rescue the player. Upon arriving on the ARKS Ship, the player encounters a woman named Xion, who grants the player a Divergence Matrix, an artifact with the ability to alter fate. Using the Divergence Matrix to return to the graduation exercise, the player rescues a girl named Matoi, who has apparent amnesia, and sends her to the ARKS Ship to recover.
During an expedition to Naverius' Tundra area, the player obtains a fragment of a mysterious weapon named Clarissa, and is urged by Xion to find the remaining pieces hidden on Amduskia and Lillipa. Upon doing so, the player takes the pieces to master weaponsmith Zig, who agrees to repair the weapon, but during a Falspawn assault on Zig's ship, Themis 128, the completed weapon is stolen by ARKS members Gettemhult and Melfonseana.
Zeno, Echo, and the player are accompanied by Council of Six members Casra and Maria to pursue the two rogue members to a shrine within Naverius' Ruins area. Gettemhult gravely wounds Melfonseana and uses the Clarissa to break the seal on Dark Falz [Elder], a Dark Falz fought by ARKS 40 years in the past. After [Elder] possesses Gettemhult, the player and Echo escape with Melfonseana while Zeno, Casra, and Maria lure [Elder] away. Zeno is presumed dead after the incident. ARKS proceeds to wage war on [Elder] once more, and are successful in defeating him. During a post-battle scene, [Elder] meets with other Dark Falzes: [Apprentice], [Gemini], and [Persona].
After the battle, the player discovers that a mysterious girl that they have repeatedly encountered over the course of the story is actually a famous pop idol named Quna who lives a double life as an assassin. Quna reveals to the player that she is chasing a dragon named Haddred, her childhood friend who was created by ARKS to be used as a living weapon but escaped from captivity. Quna and the player corner Haddred at Amduskia, where they ultimately decide to kill him as an act of mercy. Haddred shares parting words with Quna prior to his death.
The player and Xion are approached by Luther, the founder of ARKS and the last remaining Photoner, who desires to gain omniscience by absorbing Xion. Following a preliminary expedition to the planet Wopal, the player meets Xiao, a version of Xion from an alternate universe. Xiao bestows the power of time travel to the player and sends them back in time to rescue Zeno and ARKS operative Ulku to thwart Luther's plans.
Xion reveals that she is the Mothership's core and sends the player and Matoi to rescue her from Luther. During the expedition, Matoi is revealed to be the true wielder of the Clarissa. Luther successfully absorbs Xion and gains omniscience, but is defeated by the heroes. Luther's anger over his defeat causes him to transform into Dark Falz [Luther] and take over the Mothership, but Xiao intervenes and summons his own Mothership, saving ARKS from imminent peril. Xion helps the heroes escape from [Luther], but perishes.
Xiao sends the player ten years into the past to meet Klariskrays II, a member of the Council of Six and Matoi's former identity. Seeking to provoke Klariskrays II to further his schemes, Luther helps an older version of Dark Falz [Apprentice] attack an ARKS Ship. During the attack, Klariskrays II confronts [Apprentice], but is deterred by [Apprentice]'s powers. [Persona] comes to Klariskrays II's aid but impales her shortly after, causing Klariskrays II to transform into a Dark Falz. The player intervenes and repels [Persona], who is revealed to be the player from an alternate timeline. The Clarissa partially purifies Klariskrays II, but Klariskrays II loses her memories and is sent ten years into the future as a result.
Xiao sends the player and Matoi to the planet Harukotan to stop the efforts of Dark Falz [Gemini], who are consuming planets for an unknown reason. [Gemini] reveals that the true purpose of the Dark Falzes is to revive the [Profound Darkness], a failed clone of Xion corrupted by the Photoners that had to be sealed away; the fight between the Photoners and the [Profound Darkness] caused the Photoners to lose their ability to use Photons, prompting them to create ARKS in their place.
After escaping a trap laid by [Gemini], the player and Matoi confront them in the Black Territory's throne room at Harukotan and defeat them, but [Gemini] retaliates by attacking them with highly-concentrated F-Factor in a last ditch effort. The player attempts to sacrifice themselves to save Matoi, but Matoi, unwilling to see the player become the [Profound Darkness], absorbs the F-Factor, becoming the [Profound Darkness]. [Persona] appears and steals the Clarissa that was left behind.
[Persona] confronts the player and offers to join forces to kill Matoi, thereby destroying the [Profound Darkness] and saving the universe. The player agrees to help [Persona], and together they confront Matoi at the heart of Naverius' Corrupted Area. [Persona] sacrifices itself to allow the player to kill Matoi, but Matoi's death causes the player to transform into a new [Persona], creating a time loop.
Using the Divergence Matrix, the player discovers a new fate, and declines the offer to help [Persona]. With the assistance of the Council of Six, the player seals Matoi's power and defeats her in a bid to purify her. Matoi, unwilling to allow the [Profound Darkness] to be fully reborn, attempts to kill herself with a large amount of F-Factor. The player again attempts to sacrifice themselves for Matoi, but [Persona], inspired by the player's ability to defy fate, uses the Clarissa to absorb the F-Factor from both the player and Matoi, causing them to become the [Profound Darkness] in Matoi's place. ARKS successfully repels the [Profound Darkness], but Xiao warns that given the power of its host, it may return.
Four years after the events of EPISODE 3 and one year after the events of Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation, the player is revived from stasis by the operator Xiera to accompany a new recruit named Hitsugi, a young boy, who is suspected to have ties to an internal invasion of fake ARKS members. During the mission, Hitsugi is attacked by a mysterious black mass; the player attempts to purify Hitsugi, but Hitsugi disappears prematurely. "Hitsugi" is revealed to be a high school girl from Earth playing the video game Phantasy Star Online 2, who finds a strange boy with her avatar's appearance in her room after the fiasco. Hitsugi names the boy "Aru".
The player is subsequently sent to investigate Earth. Through trans-dimensional video feeds, it is discovered that Earth uses a parallel mutation of Photons called Ether that is primarily used as a method of high-speed data transmission, but also resonates with the emotions and fears of the general public to create monsters called Phantoms. The company ESC-A, who created Phantasy Star Online 2, is actually a front for a mysterious organization of Ether-sensitives known as Mother Cluster. Opposing them are the Earth Guides, Ether-sensitives lead by Ardem S. Sacred who fight back against Mother Cluster's Phantoms.
The player, Hitsugi, and Hitsugi's brother Enga travel around the world to suppress Mother Cluster's efforts. During an attack on Las Vegas, Hitsgui is killed; this triggers Aru's Dark Falz powers to awaken, and he revives Hitsugi, who is captured and taken to Mother Cluster's home base on the Moon. Enga and the player rescue Hitsugi, but discover that Hitsugi was a ploy to allow Mother Cluster to attack the ARKS Ship. The player and Hitsugi return to the ARKS Ship and fend off Mother Cluster, but Mother, the leader of Mother Cluster, absorbs Aru and escapes.
The heroes pursue Mother back to the Moon base, where she reveals that she is a failed Xion clone discarded by the Photoners and seeks vengeance against them. The heroes defeat Mother, causing her and Aru to separate, and she is redeemed by the heroes. However, Ardem appears and kills and absorbs Mother, revealing his true plan to usher in the next stage of humanity's evolution with Ether. The heroes travel to Yggdrasil and confront Ardem, who banishes the player back to the Oracle dimension and strips the heroes of their Ether abilities. Back on the ARKS Ship, Aru is revealed to have a fragment of Mother's consciousness remaining with him. Mother possesses Aru and returns to Earth with the player, restoring the heroes' powers in the process, and they defeat Ardem with their combined power.
The player and Matoi are sent to destroy the [Profound Darkness] permanently by absorbing its host, [Persona]. During the attempt, the player utilizes Ether against the [Profound Darkness], prompting it to capture the player and transport them to an alternate dimension. After rescuing a young girl, the player returns to Oracle and is approached by Alma, the human host for the first Klariskrays, who informs them of a strange black hole containing an alternate dimension known as "Omega". Alma uses her ability to stop time to send the player back to Omega.
In Omega, the player reunites with the girl, who introduces herself as Harriet. Omega has become overrun with a substance called Ephemera, which is discovered to be a form of the [Profound Darkness]'s corruption. The player, assumed to be the chosen one from an ancient prophecy, agrees to help Harriet free Omega from the power of Ephemera.
The player and Harriet travel across Omega, putting a stop to Ephemera-based schemes. In each of Omega's four countries, the heroes encounter a host of a Dark Falz and defeat them, with the player absorbing the host's consciousness and some of their powers. They are also repeatedly accosted by Elmir, who appears to be forcing the hosts to become Dark Falz. After all four Falzes are defeated, Elmir is revealed to be the successor of [Persona] and tricked the heroes into defeating the Falzes so their essences could be absorbed by Omega, revealed to be an incarnation of the [Profound Darkness]. Elmir kidnaps Harriet and intends to use her to destroy the outside dimensions, sealing her in a giant flower. Advancing to the flower's interior, the player confronts and defeat Elmir once and for all. Harriet is saved and is deemed the new goddess of Omega.
After the black hole closes, the heroes are intercepted by Shiva, a Photoner imbued with the power of the [Profound Darkness] who used the black hole's power to return to life. Shiva defeats the player and other powerful ARKS members in battle, but is interrupted by Harriet, who has been reincarnated in the form of a weapon. Shiva vows to return and escapes.
Shiva and her cohorts, Varuna and Mithra, begin their assault on ARKS' forces, starting with an attack on Mothership Xiao. During the raid, Shiva successfully takes over the Mothership and gravely wounds Xiao, forcing ARKS to retreat. To save Xiao, the heroes travel to Amduskia, where Sarah merges a fragment of Xiao's consciousness with the body of a dormant Xion clone named Kashina to grant Xiao a new body.
The player and Matoi are sent to Harukotan to thwart a Luminmech invasion and ally with Sukunahime to ensnare Shiva in a trap, but are tricked into fighting Mithra. Mithra is fatally wounded in battle and dies due to the trap, but Shiva regains the upper hand and defeats the heroes. Phaleg, a member of Mother Cluster, intervenes and rescues the heroes.
Phaleg and ARKS are alerted to a Luminmech attack on Earth, and the player returns to the Earth dimension to assist in the counterattack. The player travels across Tokyo, teaming up with allied forces on the planet as well as ARKS member Aika to repel the Photoners. Following the assault, Xiao reveals to the heroes a plan to use Omega to seal Shiva's abilities on a universal scale.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (August 2013)
According to Sega COO Naoya Tsurumi, Phantasy Star Online 2 took over five years to develop. Sega "pulled out all the stops", believing the game to be a crucial entry point into the growing free-to-play market on multiple devices. A cross-platform strategy involving PC, handhelds, and smartphones was made possible by the sharing of cloud data. Moreover, Tsurumi stated that the game would serve as a model for other intellectual properties as part of Sega's broader strategy "to further develop the whole of Asia as a single market."
On February 5, 2011, at the Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinity Nationwide Fan Thanks Festival 2011 in Japan, Sega announced that the alpha test for Phantasy Star Online 2 would begin in the summer. They stated "Entry into the test will not be open; instead, all participants will be selected by lottery. And your first chance at putting your name into the drawing will be by purchasing Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinity." On February 7, Sega listed alternate ways for users to enter into the lottery on the PSO2 website. On March 9, 2012, Sony announced that Phantasy Star Online 2 would also be released on the PS Vita. On March 26, it was announced that the game would also appear on iOS and Android as Phantasy Star Online 2 es.
Open beta began on June 21, 2012, as free-to-play. Open beta ended on July 2, 2012, in preparation for release on July 4, 2012. Characters created by players during open beta were carried over to the live servers.
EPISODE 2 of Phantasy Star Online 2 launched on July 17, 2013, which introduced the new Deuman race and the Braver class. EPISODE 3 launched on August 27, 2014, which introduced the new Bouncer class and Casino, new skills for every class, new items, a new planet, and new quests. EPISODE 4 was released on January 27, 2016, and the main theme was revealed to be 'new experience'. It introduced even more advanced customization features, a new planet (Earth), and the brand-new Summoner class.
The game was launched in Japan on July 4, 2012. The game was free to download and free-to-play, with an optional real money to in-game currency feature known as the "ARKS Cash" system. Sega also has released a retail version of the game on September 13, 2012 along with an installation disc bundled with extra bonuses and in-game items.
Southeast Asia releaseEdit
Asiasoft, an MMORPG publisher released Phantasy Star Online 2 in Southeast Asia. The game was fully translated to English with huge changes to its menu, items and classes name. This is mainly to make the game much easier to understand for newcomers to the series. They also released a Thai language version of the game for Thailand players only. The closed beta for it began on April 10, 2014, with the official launch on May 29, 2014. Asiasoft announced they would also distribute Episode 2, which was released on March 5, 2015.
However, on April 5, 2017, Asiasoft announced they would end servicing Phantasy Star Online 2 to Southeast Asia countries, including Thailand, on May 26, 2017.
There's also a traditional Chinese version released in Taiwan and Hong Kong, which also lasted three years before the server closed in early 2017.
On June 9, 2019, a North American release was announced at Microsoft's E3 press conference, launching in spring 2020, with no current plans for a release in Europe, Middle East and Africa. The game will feature cross-play between Xbox One and PC with Xbox Play Anywhere. On February 7 to 9, 2020, a three-day closed beta test phase was only playable on Xbox One.
The game's four week open beta test phase began on March 17, 2020 and concluded on April 14, 2020 to concede the official launch. The PC version launched on the Microsoft Store on May 27, 2020. The Steam version launches alongside EPISODE 4 on August 5, 2020. That same day, the Xbox One and Microsoft Store versions were released in Europe.
The Western release features dual audio support with English and Japanese voiceovers, along with brand new English versions of the live concert tracks (including songs that are sung by Quna (voiced in English by Kayli Mills and in Japanese by Eri Kitamura)). The western release also supports Japanese UI text and subtitles.
|Phantasy Star Online 2|
|Genre||Action, fantasy, science fiction|
|Anime television series|
|Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation|
|Directed by||Keiichiro Kawaguchi|
|Produced by||Hideki Uchino|
|Written by||Mitsutaka Hirota|
|Music by||Takashi Ōmama|
|Studio||Telecom Animation Film|
|Original network||TBS, CBC, MBS, BS-TBS|
|Original run||January 7, 2016 – March 31, 2016|
|Anime television series|
|Phantasy Star Online 2: Episode Oracle|
|Directed by||Masaki Tachibana|
|Written by||Hiroshi Ōnogi|
|Music by||Takashi Ōmama|
|Original network||Tokyo MX, BS11|
|Original run||October 7, 2019 – March 30, 2020|
An anime television series adaptation based on the game aired on TBS from January to March 2016. The adaptation was directed by Keiichiro Kawaguchi at Telecom Animation Film, with scripts written by Mitsutaka Hirota and music composed by Takashi Ōmama. The story is set one year prior to the events of EPISODE 4 and five years after the events of Phantasy Star Online 2 On Stage.
A new anime television series titled Phantasy Star Online 2: Episode Oracle premiered on October 7, 2019 on Tokyo MX and BS11. The series recompiled the story of "Episodes 1-3" of the original game, and also included an original story. The 25-episode television series was directed by Masaki Tachibana at Gonzo, with scripts written by Hiroshi Ōnogi, Shigeru Morita, and Bunsei Asanuma, and characters designed by Shinpei Koikawa.
Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation (2016)Edit
|No.||Title||Original air date|
|1||"The RPG That Begins with "Nice to Meet You""|
"`Hajimemashite' kara hajimaru RPG" (「はじめまして」から始まるRPG)
|January 7, 2016|
|2||"The Aloof Warrior"|
"Kokō no senshi" (孤高の戦士)
|January 14, 2016|
|January 21, 2016|
|4||"Phantasy Star Offline"|
|January 28, 2016|
|February 4, 2016|
"Kinji rareta PSO 2" (禁じられたPSO2)
|February 18, 2016|
|February 25, 2016|
|March 3, 2016|
|March 10, 2016|
|March 17, 2016|
|11||"The Dark Falz"|
|March 24, 2016|
|12||"The RPG That Crosses Boundaries"|
"Kyōkai o koeru RPG" (境界を超えるRPG)
|March 31, 2016|
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (August 2013)
Registered users for the game exceeded 2.5 million in March 2013. By August 2015, the game had over 3.5 million registered users. As of September 2016, the game has over 4.5 million users. Sega confirmed in 2018 that the PlayStation Vita version had 1.5 million downloads.
Sega released Phantasy Star Nova in 2014. The game shares similar elements to and is set in the same world as Phantasy Star Online 2, and is also part of the Online series. A novelisation, Phantasy Star Online 2 Side Story, began on June 15, 2014.
The North American release received mixed to positive reviews. IGN gave the game a score of a 7/10, praising the visuals, story, online capabilities, and gameplay, while criticizing the implementation of micro transactions.
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- "Sega Reveals Phantasy Star Online 2: Episode Oracle TV Anime for This Year". Anime News Network. March 10, 2019.
- "Phantasy Star Online 2: Episode Oracle Anime Reveals Cast, Staff, 25-Episode Length, October Premiere". Anime News Network. July 14, 2019.
- "Phantasy Star Online 2: Episode Oracle Anime Reveals October 7 Premiere, Theme Songs". Anime News Network. August 19, 2019.
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