Phantasy Star Compendium pages 31 to 35

Page 31

Page 31

PROMOTIONAL HANDBILL SAMPLES

These flyers were widely distributed at events like the Toy Show and in from of shops. Their main purpose was to promote new products, and, since the games, recognized as masterpieces, had a lot of handbills made for them and were well-publicized, they were easy to get. All four PS games had handbills made for them, and each turned out to be quite splendid.

PSIII's "quick-finish contest" was considered quite impressive and an extraordinary event in RPGs at the time. When At the End of the Millennium first came out, you were also given a writing board [shitajiki] when you bought the software; why wasn't I one of those lucky people?

Picture Captions:

[Joy Joy magazine with PSI (and After Burner)]
PSI passouts are now rather valuable items. In the old days, when Sega had control over the flyers, "Joy Joy News" was sent out to the toy departments of department stores, and it was available almost everywhere. We longed for another title...
[PSII "Mega Press" passout]
Printed on thick paper, this was splendid. It featured "Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Sky Castle" and "Super Great Strategy".
[that PSIII "quick-finish" poster again]
It was quite a daring scheme, but... Were there really people who received "Broxede" units for the other quiz?
[PSIV big poster]
There are probably still a lot of people who have the At the End of the Millennium giveaway. The kinds of prizes in the [PSI] reissue campaign were really well-received and were available afterwards. [The poster touts a "'Search for the Roots of Phantasy Star!' Campaign", which features the Megadrive version of PSI. Other PSIV-related headlines talk about "A Magnificent Story and Talked-about Battle System Revive a Role-Play Legend" (top), "The Tale of the Algol Star System Now Brought to Light" (other yellow box), "Dynamic Fights, Machine Battles!" (left bottom), "Flowing Marching Window Visuals!" (middle bottom), and "This Innovative Luxury, Combination Battle" (bottom right).]

STRATEGY BOOKS - GAME BOOKS

If it's an RPG, it's a sure thing that strategy guides will be released for it. It's human nature to want to know the dungeon maps, the items, and the solutions to all the puzzles perfectly. Did so many people turn to strategy books for help because PSII's dungeons were so intricate and mapping was so hard?

While there are exceptions, though these game books were quite the rage when they were released, they are little known today. The ones for I and III were big sellers, but they're hard to get now.

Picture Captions:

[PSI guide]
One book that gave a hard-to-understand event order. Strategy for After Burner was included as a bonus (ha).
[PSII guide book/Eusis cover]
Is this the book that everyone bought? It gives the locations of all the items, but what else does it offer...
[PSII guide book/Rudger, Anne, Nei, Eusis cover]
Many lovely supplemental illustrations were published in this game book, such as a battle scene against the Earthmen where Alisa sends Nei's spirit to Noah.
[PSIII guide book/Mieu/Shirren cover]
Due to the volume of this game, this book was divided into two parts. It's interesting how it relates the game's opening in comic-book form in the front of the book.
[PSIII guide/Kane/Mieu cover]
The hair color and clothing in the character introduction illustrations didn't all feel right...[I might be a little off on this sentence.]
[PSIV guide book]
I think that you can still get the At the End of the Millennium strategy book. There aren't many places [in the game] to get stuck, but the book's become one of the more valuable character goods, so do get one if you can find one.

Apology - The number listed to ask about ordering character goods on page 49 of the Memorial Drama CD & Fan Book "Phantasy Star" is in error. The one on page 30 [in this book] is correct. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused all our readers.

Page 32

Page 32

PHANTASY STAR TV-CM

The PS World Recreated with Picture Tubes

Commercials were made for whatever title of Sega's crown RPG series was popular at the time. There are probably a lot of people for whom it's been an unbearably long time since the commercials were released, with their deft use of sound effects and well-paced presentation of game screenshots. Here, we present these precious TV images.

Phantasy Star

The opening, the sudden appearance of a real-life Alisa, is interesting. It's also quite atmospheric. The game shots, such as the smoothly scrolling dungeons or a screen divided into nine fields with monsters popping up one after another, were perfectly segued and drummed up sales for the game.

Picture Captions:

[Alisa, back to camera]
A girl stands in a wasteland. Something is stalking her from behind...
[monster eyes]
Monster up! It's supremely powerful.
[Alisa with sword]
The girl turns about; the heroine Alisa! The sword in her hand gleams. Has the time for battle arrived?
[PS logo]
The logo appears! After this comes a succession of game screens.
[monsters]
Beautiful monster animation unfolds all over the screen.
[Alisa in blue mist]
Alisa raises her sword to the heavens, and lightning strikes in a beautiful but violent sky. A deep story in a short space of time.

Phantasy Star II: At the End of the Time Which Can Never Be Returned to

Quite different from PSI, this commercial was composed only of game screens. The monsters were full of animation. The fields used vivid colors unseen in any previous RPG. A clear distinction from I was drawn, and high expectations were raised.

Picture Captions:

[Fanbites]
It opens abruptly with monster animation. We see one after another, and...
[PSII logo]
The PSII logo materializes flying out of a monster's mouth!
[jet scooter]
The Flow Mover [jet scooter] crossing the waterways. The green of the fields is so vivid!
[fight with Whistle & Polezi]
Battle scenes with monsters are displayed without nary a pause for breath, followed by projected lettering. That lettering...
["16-BIT RPG"]
...says "16-BIT". It was then the only family game for the Megadrive.
[Megadrive]
The power of the Megadrive shown in only fifteen seconds!

Page 33

Page 33

Successors of Time: Phantasy Star III

Quite a novel work. It's sword-wielding young men dancing about with no game screens in the entire piece. A few people were probably startled when they first saw it. The strange BGM and "King of RPG" lettering were impressive.

Picture Captions:

[sword guys]
Against the backdrop of a wasteland, nine swordsmen appear and, with a strange-sounding score playing, start dancing.
["KING OF RPG"]
The swords are hoisted, and the "KING OF RPG" lettering appears! The dancing gets furious. The camera pans up.
[fireball]
Flame spews from hands pointed toward the heavens. Up-tempo, feel-good music plays at the first cut-away.
[sword pose]
A young man lifts his gaze to his sword. The movement of his fingertips is strangely sexy.
[PSIII logo]
Everyone raises their swords, and the title logo appears.
[Megadrive]
A glimpse of an announcement for the quick-finish contest. All in a fifteen-second instant.

Phantasy Star - At the End of the Millennium

This was the final and most elaborate of the series, and it spread Sega's confidence [in the game], which really permeated the piece. Sound effects ran throughout the whole thing, and the real-life characters that appeared made an intense impact. There were a thirty-second full version and a fifteen-second short version, but I wonder if both versions got seen?

Picture Captions:

[PS logo]
The Phantasy Star logo materializes while the planet Parma explodes.
[Forren, Fal, and Rudy]
The trio of the real-life Rudy, Fal, and Forren appear. The atmosphere is perfect.
[Rudy with Eclipse Torch]
Rudy looking at the Eclipse Torch. He's a little older than he is in the game, but, otherwise, this is cool!
[Forren climbing]
Forren scales a wall in the midst of a billowing fireball. The braced expression is so like Forren!
[Fal in crystal ball]
From the valley to the plains toward the valley again, crystal balls projecting the faces of the trio fly by the camera at high speed.
[dark star]
Rudy's globe flies into a monster's face in a looming star, and...
[PS: ATEOTM logo]
The title logo appears on a flaming star. It's truly overwhelming!

Page 34

Page 34

At the End of the Millennium Television Commercial Production Continuity Sheets

On this page, the picture continuity sheets drawn during the production of the At the End of the Millennium TV commercials are presented in their entirety. The sound effects and the explanatory text give a better understanding of the staff's images and the continuity sheets' steps.

Picture Captions:

[Parma exploding]
This is the beginning of the scene of Parma blowing up. The contrast between the continuity charts and the realistic picture is interesting.
[Fal with claw]
Notice the arm [claw] on Fal, which was not in the game but was on the back of the package drawn by Yoneda-shi.
[Forren in crystal ball]
A scene of Forren's globe passing by. Forren's pose and expression really make the chara image.
[Rudy in crystal ball]
Rudy's crystal ball. If you look at the continuity sheets, Fal was originally last, but it was changed to Rudy to clarify the story.

Page 35

Page 35

PSIV STAFF INTERVIEW

Phantasy Star: At the End of the Millennium Staff Interview

We got together with four members of the Sega staff that worked on the production of Phantasy Star and created At the End of the Millennium, and they shared their memories with us. Here are the comments of those four and of others on the development staff.

Q:
Talk about the particulars of producing At the End of the Millennium.
Rieko Kodama:
I was told by the company to make the RPG as soon as possible. They also asked me to try and bring together the original scenario writers, illustrators, and character designers, but I met with Yoshida in the meantime, and I heard that a story had come to him while he was taking a bath. (laughs)
Tohoru Yoshida:
I must have subconsciously approved of it. (laughs) Anyway, even though we were on our own up to the very end, you could say that we were somewhat relieved not to have anything or one hanging over our heads. Looking back now, it seems wonderful that we were allowed to do things our own way.
Q:
Were you very satisfied in the respect that you were allowed to create [the game] however you wanted?
Yoshida:
Oh, it goes without saying that, in retrospect, it was marvelous that we didn't have any outside direction.
Kodama:
Since I got together all the talent that they [Sega] asked me to, they let us have our own way. On top of their way of doing business, I was also told that Sega eagerly wanted another installment of this RPG series. If I said that we were done after Yoshida made part II and I made part I, some would think that is not true (laughs). Some of us wanted to make a collection of the previous games. On the other hand, Tsugawa and Nishiyama wanted to create a game from the player's point of view because they were players when I and II came out. This is a game that has two different sides of thoughts.
Q:
Didn't the team break up after that?
Akinori Nishiyama:
Well, we didn't really break up. We made a good game since we thought this was the last one (laughs).
Yoshida:
After all, we didn't interfere with each other's work, did we? But that was a weird job when I think about it now.
Nishiyama:
We argued this should be that and that should be this when it first started, but eventually no one tried to check that kind of detail...(laughs)
Yoshida:
Each one of us has talent to some degree and satisfied their need. That’s why sometimes we totally relied on each other in each division.

Rieko Kodama

Greatest works - Phantasy Star, At the End of the Millennium. In charge of general direction on At the End of the Millennium. Also was responsible for dungeon and battle screen backgrounds.

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