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  1. #1
    Harmonious Harmlessness feather-flower's Avatar
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    Default Motavian Memories, Ragolian Reminiscences and Insights from Real Life!

    Greetings.

    Despite the obvious downturn in forum usage within the sections that I intend to post in, here I am, to share what I learned in the long gap between the days of 2003-2004 when Phantasy Star Online was officially active on Sega servers and the present moment.

    Pardon me as I head off to other parts of the forum, in order to disseminate what I have to offer.
    "May my ripples benefit ALL beings (everyone/everywhere/everywhen) and catalyze only cascades of goodness, with zero unwanted repercussions or unintended badness. Truly & sincerely."

  2. #2

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    Hi & welcome.
    It's an old forum, but a lot of people enjoy a good time here.
    Blink & you might miss it! ;3

    Oh, keep sig at 600x180 px & 49KB, yah?

  3. #3
    Harmonious Harmlessness feather-flower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dhylec View Post
    Hi & welcome.
    It's an old forum, but a lot of people enjoy a good time here.
    The welcome is certainly appreciated greatly, Dhylec.
    And while activity here has taken a major downturn since PSO's official SEGA servers were active, it is my hope that I can atleast contribute a few worthwhile threads, for anybody still around.
    Thank you again.


    (Also, apologies to anyone who might have been kept waiting in anticipation of my next intended post, from last night.
    Experiencing some "technical difficulties" and need a bit of help with a "word filter" issue that's holding me up.)

    ==================================
    "May my ripples benefit ALL beings (everyone/everywhere/everywhen) and catalyze only cascades of goodness, with zero unwanted repercussions or unintended badness. Truly & sincerely."

  4. #4
    That's Mister to you. Freeze's Avatar
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    HEY, new blood. Welcome Aboard.


    ]The Ragol Trilogy: Ragol's Gift, Ragol's Curse, Ragol's Legacy GT Xbox One: Eries Fury

  5. #5
    Harmonious Harmlessness feather-flower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freeze View Post
    HEY, new blood. Welcome Aboard.
    ^_^

    Appreciate the additional welcoming! Thank you, Freeze!
    "May my ripples benefit ALL beings (everyone/everywhere/everywhen) and catalyze only cascades of goodness, with zero unwanted repercussions or unintended badness. Truly & sincerely."

  6. #6
    Harmonious Harmlessness feather-flower's Avatar
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    Oh!
    I almost forgot to include my personal history with both the Phantasy Star series and with the PSO-World website in this thread!

    Where to begin, but the beginning, right?

    So...
    ...our family only got a video-game console for the first time in 1996.

    It was a Sega Genesis, even though newer consoles were already released.

    That Genesis came with "Sonic Classics", a 3-in-1 cartridge that featured the first two Sonic The Gedgehog games and Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine.

    And initially, I wasn't that thrilled, especially because we set-up the system on the wrong "channel" of the TV, which meant that there was no sound! Of course, once we figured out that there was a "Line1" channel AND a "Line 2" channel, things were certainly improved by hearing the music to those games.

    Even so, the games were not easy for me, and marked the beginning of my "Level 2" problem. Which meant that after finally beating Level One... The second level was always incredibly more difficult.... and for YEARS, it seemed impossible to make headway in almost ANY game.

    The only exception was the first game that I actually picked for myself: Vectorman 2.
    For whatever reason, I slowly made more progress, even if it still took years to figure out how to reach the end.
    (And since Vectorman 2 was already out, that should further clarify the time-period of our acquiring the Genesis 3 version of that console.)

    With all that said, during that era our family never encountered the Phantasy Star games, but the experience did cement a lasting appreciation for Sega in general.

    Eventually the original Pokemon phenomenon happened and that experience helped me connect to real-life friends through games, since we had very few common interests in terms of actual activities to do.
    Which meant that I gravitated towards games that we could play together, because it was kinda boring taking turns with single-player games and just watching.
    (Especially since my turns would quickly end with defeat, and my friends lasted longer.)

    After the Digimon Tamagotchi & Gameboy Color-era, I returned to Sega's systems.
    The Dreamcast was already out, so there was a lapse before ever getting the Saturn a year or two later.
    Which meant that the next game(s) from Sega ended up being the ones included on the Sega Smash Pack Vol. 1.

    (Cue "Back In Time" by Wilco Ibes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DfXZ_PRRn4 )

    HERE is where I first made contact with Phantasy Star!

    Phantasy Star II, to be precise.

    It and Shining Force were the pair of RPGs available on that disc.
    which marked my first RPGs beyond Pokemon Blue, Yellow and Silver.

    Virtua Cop 2 & Golden Axe provided the 2-player experiences which continued to help me spend time with friends who didn't care about catching bugs or snakes.

    But it was definitely clear that the RPGs offered a longer scenario to enjoy than watching a movie, or playing games we couldn't beat.

    So when no friends were available to visit, or be visited by, I began trying out those two RPGs.

    The futuristic/mystic blend of Phantasy Star II's premise did appeal much more to my preferences,
    but for a couple reasons... I originally played Shining Force more.

    As most reading this message probably already know: Phantasy Star II is comparatively difficult for even RPG-aficionados,
    and back then I still had major struggles beating any games beside Vectorman 2 and Pokemon. (And I needed help from friends during the "rock-moving puzzles" and the "warp tile" puzzles, too)

    So, without even figuring out that you should buy "Bars" (a.k.a. Claws) and equip them on Nei....
    ...I made the most of what I could do in exploring the main map of Planet Mota.

    Before eventually running out of HP and gettung defeated.

    Again, there was so much to like about Phantasy Star II: the general art-style and character-designs. Not to mention the incredibly enjoyable music!

    But it was just too hard for me.
    (At that time, we also lacked a computer, so no Walkthroughs from GameFAQs.)

    Hence turning towards Shining Force, which I persisted with for a VERY extended period. Making progress bit-by-bit.
    Yet ultimately, I got permanently stuck in Runefaust, unable to beat the Level 99 King, if I recall right.

    Still, that game had a wonderful biodiversity of lifeforms amongst its large cast, which I feel fondly about even today.
    After-all, where else can your team include Domingo the Flying Jellyfish/Squid, Jogurt/Yogurt the Hamster, or Guntz the Steam-powered Armadillo?
    Even Bleu the Dragon, Zylo the Werewolf, as well as Balbaroy & Amon the two bird-people, seem conventional in contrast! Yet those four are ALSO quite exotic!

    In any case, both games reached their impassable points and time continued to march on.

    Amusingly enough, I never encountered Phantasy Star Online while the Dreamcast-era was still alive.
    But then again, it probably wouldn't have mattered since our family didn't have a computer or internet.

    However, after Sega stopped making consoles, they DID keep making games.

    And as everyone here knows, amongst them were upgraded versions of Dreamcast games.

    So one day... a good friend invited me to play a new game he got....

    ...which had offline split-screen....

    ....and the ability to make your very own character, and save it to your own memory card!

    Yep, that friend showed me Phantasy Star Online Ep. 1&2!

    From the start, it was a great experience.

    Making your own character appealed to me very much!
    And even though it had a limited selection of species, when I would have wished to create a unique alien from its selection of available components to mix & match....
    ....I still managed to make a FOmar whose visual appearance seemed stylish to me.

    Upon doing so, we jumped straight into Co-Op mode and entered the VR Temple of Episode 2!

    That place was so beautiful and mysterious. It didn't even matter that I had no clue what to do, or that we never made it ANYWHERE near the second zone.

    If I recall, the automated fire-pillars gave us the most trouble, since they robbed an absurd amount of HP for some reason.

    But the sense of exploration was wonderful. And the whole thing exuded a vague promise of even more to come.

    So despite having made that character on his Memory Card, it did incite me to get PSO Ep.1&2 as soon as possible,
    so I continue exploring on my own too!

    Not sure how long till we got our own copy of PSO, but once I did, I recreated that FOmar and had a joyful Summer with about 5 of my friends from middle-school, who also got the game.

    The offline co-op was a vital component to our experience,
    since the five of us could keep playing & progressing individually, before getting together to team in the split-screen mode.

    It was particularly amusing when I outleveled my more game-savvy friends for the first time and we thrashed Vol Opt togather, thanks to that FOmar's -Zonde techniques!

    We did beat Episode 1 together offline, but not Episode 2.

    However, when the next school-year started, it ended up being a requirement that reports were typed on a computer.

    So my grandfather gave us an obsolete Windows ME computer, which meant that we also ended up getting internet.

    Hence, I was able to play online for the first time!

    My friends also had online access, but didn't use it much beyond acquiring free Rares that "dupers" would hand out en masse.

    In contrast, I really did try to make actual friendships and even attempt "roleplaying", but the phantasy was soon shattered, because it seemed very few people wanted to play "in character".

    Also, it turned out that I didn't like playing as a FOmar in online teams.

    It was mainly the difficulty-spike when compared with offline play. I just couldn't keep up.

    The only character that truly lasted was a HUmar, who I did recreate a couple times because of learning about the effect that your name's spelling has on your Section ID. And your Section ID determined what Rares would appear if you were the team-leader.

    Eventually settling on Skyly, that HUmar made it to about Level 149 or so, with mostly "legit" play.
    But by the time Towards The Future came out, the endless pursuit of leveling up for no real reason had become unappealing.

    And people were talking about the Action Replay, which could instantly level you up to Level 200,
    which I decided to do. Even if "cheating" in online games has become more & more disapproved of, by even the players. Nevermind the intentions of the game developers.

    Yet, having grown up with weird codes & glitches, like the Missingno Trick in Pokemon, that choice didn't seem ignoble to me at the time.

    Either way, becoming Level 200 allowed me to accomplish various things with online friends that may have been impossible otherwise.

    Lke getting the S-Rank Reward for Labyrinthine Trial: the White Ring!

    To this day, I still like the White Ring better than the statistically-superior Red Ring.

    Mainly because if you played with other White Ring users, you got that Speed boost & angel feathers would materialize around your character. Which looked GREAT with the Angel Wings Mag!

    Now, here is a slightly murky memory: I'm not sure EXACTLY when I was directed to PSOW, because I did know that people from Antares apparently congregated there, before ever actually visiting the website.

    But I did need the most efficient route for completing Labyrinthine Trial within the S-Rank time-range, so that was definitely a point of contact.
    (Even if it might not have been the absolute first.)

    Regardless, there did come a point where some of the recurring online-friends I had... started to get bored with the game entirely.... and some stopped playing.

    But I happily played Ep.1&2 all the way to when Ep.3 was released.

    Sadly, I was no match for ANYONE in that game. And could only win battles offline during the Story scenarios.

    Ep.3 had some great ideas and was a visual spectacle to me, in terms of making all the colors seem more vivid,
    with new locations to visit.

    Yet, it would have still been more fun to run free through those areas than select actions in a turn-based manner, to me.

    Ultimately, that would spell the end of my online days with PSO.

    I'll refrain from including any of the real-life drama that was begining to happen, but for a convergence of reasons I finally stopped playing.

    Thus began a slightly dim period of my life.

    But to keep things on track: after my experience with PSO Ep. 1&2, I did eventually return to finish Phantasy Star II on the Dreamcast version of the Sega Smash Pack Vol. 2.

    From there, I eventually got the chance to play (and complete) both Phantasy Star III and Phantasy Star IV,
    on the Sega Genesis Collection for the Playstation 2.

    I really enjoyed all the Genesis-era games once I had the ability to look up Walkthroughs to guide me.

    Hard to say which one I prefer....
    ...the ability to fly around entire maps freely as Wren in Phantasy Star III?
    ...the talkative cast of characters in Phantasy Star IV?
    ...the sense of wonder as I excitedly explored the later areas in Phantasy Star II?

    In any case, the release of Phantasy Star Universe was on the horizon at this point.

    But for personal reasons, I never ended up getting to play it.

    When the trailer was released, I definitely intended to.

    But by the end of 2006.... I actually made the decision to stop playing video-games entirely.

    That had numerous effects on how my existence proceeded. Both good and bad.

    But I still missed my former friendships, which were almost solely based on the connection made by playing games.

    THAT was when I started reading the PSO-World iForums n silence.

    It helped replace the lost camaraderie I once had, to atleast get second-hand exposure to others who talked about imaginary things that mattered to them. This was something important to me, even after leaving behind actual hardware & software.

    Obviously, I also never played Episode 4 of PSO Blue Burst. Or even get to try the very first Phantasy Star.

    And over time, I was able to ween myself off reading the forums, especially since the activity took a plunge several times. Nevermind the current state of things in the Year 2022.

    But many usernames here will always be imbeded in my memories, due to the insights shared, chuckles elicited, and general banter between regular posters.

    The reason I'm posting now, is that after my own life has gone through some twists & turns... I feel that I actually have insights of my own to share.

    Maybe they would affect anyone here, to the degree that some comments, advice & stories did back then for me.

    But on the chance that I can contribute even a little... I wanted to atleast try reciprocating.

    In conclusion:

    Thank you to everyone I ever played with on PSO Ep.1&2, as well as Ep.3!

    Thank you to everyone who ever wrote even a single post on this message board!

    And thank you to whomever is reading this. Hopefully it helps you, in some way.
    "May my ripples benefit ALL beings (everyone/everywhere/everywhen) and catalyze only cascades of goodness, with zero unwanted repercussions or unintended badness. Truly & sincerely."

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