While the Master System is sorely lacking in turn-based RPGs, the Genesis begins to pull up the slack with a decent number of releases (though still nowhere near the NES or the SNES). The Phantasy Star franchise again gets to break the proverbial cherry for RPGs on a Sega console (the first was done waaayyy back at Game 003). In proper sequel fashion, the look and sound of PSII is immediately reminiscent of the first installment.
|I can see not giving Noah a|
name-drop but Myau?
After this short overview of the last game, the current situation on Mota unfolds. Due to the arid conditions of the planet, civilization has been forced to build domed cities and landscapes. Proper maintenance of these domes are handled by a gigantic computer called the Mother Brain. Everything was going fine until monsters (known as Biohazards) started showing up (story of my life). I, the somnolent Nung, awaken from dreaming about the first Phantasy Star and begin to ramble to myself.
|I was also head of my exposition|
class three years running.
My commander tells me that I should go investigate the Bio-Systems Lab, where the outbreak of monsters is believed to have started. As I start to ask for backup or perhaps a weapon better than this pocket knife I have, the commander stops me with a wave of his hand and tells me to "Just git 'er dun". Seriously considering retirement, I head home to prepare to leave. Nei, a foxy lady who is part biohazard herself, refuses to let me leave without her. She showed up seven months ago and has been staying with me ever since (Hey, Shen ain't no speciesist).
|Just me, baby... just me.|
Luckily, the commander didn't give me any kind of deadline on this assignment, so Nei and I spent the better part of this week with me killing monsters with my knife while she hid in the bushes and cast RES (healing) spells at me. Classic tank-healer combo. Flush with meseta, we scurry into town and buy some headgears before heading into the weapon shop. We run into a bit of snag here dealing with the world's worst salesman.
|Ouch! Emasculation damage x2|
coming from this guy.
Well, his sick burn must have had some impact on me as, after purchasing the dagger anyway, I was unable to wield it. I'm quite the agent if an off-hand rib from a local merchant can completely destroy my ego. I am so despondent that Nei has to drag me back into the wilderness where all the monsters I slay now seem to be topped with a thick mat of voluminous red hair.
|NO, YOU MUST JOKING! YOU MUST BE|
My confidence returns after we reach the next town and I manage to purchase a new weapon from a clerk who isn't a jerk (though they have the same terrible hair style). Our path to the Bio-Systems Lab is blocked by a bandit named Darum who is known to be robbin' folks. His daughter, Teim, has been kidnapped and he is trying to raise the 50,000 meseta ransom. Rather than help him raise the cash, we elect to just rescue Teim our own damn selves.
|We'll have to find another way|
around; there's no way I'm jumping
over these tubes or whatever.
Since the ransomers will no doubt be on the lookout for Teim, she puts on a veil to hide her face. Unfortunately, she forgets to take it off before meeting Darum and also forgets to identify herself after Darum demands meseta from her. We watch the drama unfold from the sidelines, not wanting to get involved in family quarrels.
|K, way is clear now. Let's go, gang!|
We now have an open path to the Bio-Systems Lab and waste no time in exploring its vast, monster-infested corridors. Well, we waste a little time in order to grind out a few levels for Amy, a doctor who just decides to join us after hearing about our biohazard investigation.
|I have a different idea for a sign of closeness.|
*wink*(k, I gotta stop hitting on all the females)
We also have a gun-toting brute named Rudo in the group but he's fairly quiet and I had forgotten about him up until now. Amy proves to be quite helpful while exploring the Lab; we now have three party members who could heal. Amy also has access to better healing techniques than Nei or me. The Lab itself is quite the labyrinth and has contamination spills that hurt us (especially those wearing sandals and not boots). A few retreats back to a city are necessary after our healing pool runs short. Hopefully this trend doesn't continue in other locations we may visit (Future Shen: "It does."). Our efforts pay off, however; we now have the MacGuffin we came for!
|Sweet! Now you guys can hear my|
rendition of Canon in D Major!
A detailed analysis of the data we acquired shows that the biohazards are a result of too much energy being dumped into the system. This caused a rapid evolution of unnatural lifeforms which are now interfering with the planet's natural cycles somehow. They break out the charts at this point so I take the opportunity to activate my doze mode.
|You'll need at least a 3D pie chart|
to hold my attention, lady.
Nei kicks me in the shin to reactivate me and I learn that we have to find and investigate Climatrol, the facility that obviously controls the climate. I don't know where it is but perhaps I missed its location during my nap. No one else is forthcoming with that information so I'm just going assume none of us know. Tales of our investigation must be spreading as two more people are interested in joining our group. One is a biologist named Hugh and the other is a guardian called Anna. They're pretty decent folk; they both like to dual wield pointy things just like me.
|I've got something you can|
concentrate on right here in my
pa — dammit Shen, cut it out!
Well, it's time to randomly wander around in hopes of finding Climatrol. If anyone calls me on it, I'll just say that we're using this time to test out Hugh and Anna in combat; that oughta hold 'em for a bit anyway.