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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, '14, 6:24 pm 
Copy pasta-ed from another board. I'm attempting to work on a fan game and will at some point drop some major cash into this. Right now there are some problems with the past Pstar game's storylines that I think are in need of a retcon or massive rewriting. Anyone want to take a creative stab at addressing any of these discrepancies? Or maybe point out more for the games that I haven't really touched down upon? Give it a shot plz!

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Looking back at the previous classic Pstar games, it's readily apparent that there is an abundance of flawed or weak plot mechanics and motivating factors driving the characters and villains. While that may have been acceptable back in the 80's and 90's, by today's standards, it leaves a lot to be desired. I want to list these discrepancies, provide fixes within this thread for this purpose, expanding upon some of the previous game's plots to increase their usefulness and impact upon my own fan game here. If anyone has any ideas, please contribute, I'm in no condition to turn down good ideas Razz

Phantasy Star I: (I haven't played and beaten this one, so if anyone's aware of any weak plot mechanics, please list some)

Phantasy Star II:
- Darum: Alright. One guy. One inter island connection tube. He's blocking it. There's three of you, there's one of him (Did I mention this already? :P ). He's a swordsman. You have a swordsman, a gunner, and an experimental humanoid weapon. Sense please.

- Earthmen/Terrans: They had the weaponry, the technology, and enough force to simply take, use and abuse the Algol solar system as they saw fit. So why, with the extorting edge they had would they go about seizing the Algol solar system the most roundabout way in storytelling history anyone has ever seen? What was the point of creating such massive satellites and terraforming technology to aide the inhabitants and make them lethargic when the end goal was to take it from them anyway, especially since such plans could've easily backfired? Why didn't they just do that first and fix things later? Palmans, Motavians, and Dezolizians were of no threat to them.

It is also not stated as to why they want to simply take the planets rather than simply coexist with their inhabitants. Well, we already get the idea that they're evil, having PROBABLY been corrupted by Dark Force and all, and aren't operating on sane minds, but if they're sane enough to do what they've been able to so far, they're definitely competent enough to learn from their mistakes. The motivating driving factor behind these people seems very weak, and not very sound at all. (This is why I wish the English patched Pstar Generation 2 dialogue was released, because I'd like to see what they've added to make sense of this particular scene).


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, '14, 6:25 pm 
Phantasy Star III: (Have not beaten this game. When I played this game some 15 years ago, I got Wren, and then I got lost. This game was on Sega Channel, and the games had been replaced the next month, along with my save data, making me swear it off forever. So if anyone has any weak or flawed plot mechanics, please point them out Smile )

Phantasy Star IV:

- So Zio's army showed up one day and just started causing havoc? I've had this discussion before with other people at PS Cave, and apparently Zio's army didn't just show up out of thin air like I thought. But here's the thing, where DID they come from then? You would think that citizens within Palman/Motavian towns would've noticed some guy building up an army and at some point, someone or some group would've intervened. Where's the centralized government in this game? Military? Even in badly populated areas and even at the worst of times in human history did people have some sort of structured organization, and a means to put up with any mess that comes their way. So where are these factors? It makes more sense to me that Zio appeared with an army out of thin air rather than actually build one up over time using the citizens of Motavia to do so, what with their being a spaceport with a spaceship very close by to his castle.

I also believe Zio to be Terran, having gained his magical ability from Dark Force, since he dresses very similarly to those from the ending of Pstar2. No one seems to know him, but only know of him, and there are no clues as to who he was before going all dark on everyone, so it only makes sense that he never really existed on the planet beforehand. He could be the last surviving Terran from Noah.

- What's up with every non human black haired person in PStar4 being an enemy character? XD Hell, even Wren is admittedly of Terran origin, having been built to oversea the functions of the systems. Things could've turned out very differently under different circumstances if you think about it.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, '14, 6:26 pm 
Now, some solutions that I've come up with:


PSTARII:

Earthmen/Terrans: Having failed to properly control the machinery and technology that they used to manipulate nature on Earth, which lead to the planets' very ruin when malfunctions caused hypercanes and disastrous volcanic activity and eventually an antimatter explosion as a result, they created a new prototype system for weather regulation and terraformation. They designated it Mother Brain, and needed a suitable planet or planets to test it on. Upon entering the Algolian system, there was something there that they noticed that they were jealous of.... afraid of. This was the ability known of as Magic. It was a force that could contend with their technology and bring the Algolians on equal footing with them had it become widespread. The output was far beyond the simple techniques they learned from the Allissa 3 (level 1 techniques like Tsu, Foi, Wat, etc). If they could add it to their knowledge base, they would become an unstoppable force throughout the known galaxies. Unfortunately, attempts to make peaceful contact with the Espers and persuade them to teach it failed, as they could sense the Terran's dark, ulterior motives. So instead, the Terran commander decided to kill two birds with one stone - they could not only use the Algolian system as a test subject for their newly created Mother Brain device, but utilize it as a Trojan horse - doom packaged as a gift to the Algolians to work magic out of their everyday lives and make them dependent on the systems put in place to fix and control the harsh conditions on the planets. It started off as just controlling the weather and the orbits of the planets, and then worked it's way into everyday life to the point where no one needed to do anything but enjoy a blissful life of peace and happiness. The plan was a success. > Smile Now the Espers were cornered and had barely anyone to turn to or anywhere to run, in their eyes. The magic threat was neutralized, and if they can't have it, no one will!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, '14, 7:36 pm 
Shen-FN-Woo wrote:
- Earthmen/Terrans: They had the weaponry, the technology, and enough force to simply take, use and abuse the Algol solar system as they saw fit. So why, with the extorting edge they had would they go about seizing the Algol solar system the most roundabout way in storytelling history anyone has ever seen? What was the point of creating such massive satellites and terraforming technology to aide the inhabitants and make them lethargic when the end goal was to take it from them anyway, especially since such plans could've easily backfired? Why didn't they just do that first and fix things later?


There weren't likely more than several hundred Earthmen on the Spaceship Noah, and the people of Algo already had advanced enough spacecraft and spaceflight technology for cheap interplanetary transit, along with combat androids and practical directed energy weaponry even in the time of Phantasy Star I. Even if there were more, the Noah was a colony ship, not a battleship.

As for the second, the only two things in Phantasy Star 2 that the Earthmen built themselves were Spaceship Noah and Mother Brain, the latter of which took over the Algo computer networks and directed the Algolians themselves to build all of those structures and facilities.

Quote:It is also not stated as to why they want to simply take the planets rather than simply coexist with their inhabitants. Well, we already get the idea that they're evil, having PROBABLY been corrupted by Dark Force and all, and aren't operating on sane minds, but if they're sane enough to do what they've been able to so far, they're definitely competent enough to learn from their mistakes. The motivating driving factor behind these people seems very weak, and not very sound at all. (This is why I wish the English patched Pstar Generation 2 dialogue was released, because I'd like to see what they've added to make sense of this particular scene).


Perhaps for any of the same reasons people have found to destroy each other instead of coexist for the thousands of years of recorded (and unrecorded) human history, I'd wager.


Last edited by R-90-2 on Tue Jan 21, '14, 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, '14, 7:45 pm 
Quote:Phantasy Star IV:

- So Zio's army showed up one day and just started causing havoc? I've had this discussion before with other people at PS Cave, and apparently Zio's army didn't just show up out of thin air like I thought. But here's the thing, where DID they come from then? You would think that citizens within Palman/Motavian towns would've noticed some guy building up an army and at some point, someone or some group would've intervened. Where's the centralized government in this game? Military?


The last government the Algo system had exploded along with Palma in Phantasy Star II, along with bringing down pretty much all of the support structures that supported that civilization. 90% of the people in the entire system were killed, the ones who didn't die in the destruction of Palma likely through a combination of famine and disease. People basically had to rebuild civilization from first principles and devote time and effort to rediscovering older ways of doing things basically from scratch. Combined with Motavia's natural climate beginning to reassert itself, much of those thousand years were likely spent trying to find some stable way of surviving, much less re-forming a defunct nation-state. It's very, very dark age around there- everyone's just trying to get back to something they can call a civilization.

Secondly, Zio's fort was on the other side of impassable quicksand, and the only other way was a cave filled with monsters, and the only nearby town was firmly in his pocket. There were people/things who knew he was up to something beforehand, but one had been captured, the other was inaccessible, and the third is a jerk who likes to keep his secrets.


Last edited by R-90-2 on Tue Jan 21, '14, 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, '14, 11:11 pm 
Shen-FN-Woo wrote:Looking back at the previous classic Pstar games, it's readily apparent that there is an abundance of flawed or weak plot mechanics and motivating factors driving the characters and villains. While that may have been acceptable back in the 80's and 90's, by today's standards, it leaves a lot to be desired. I want to list these discrepancies, provide fixes within this thread for this purpose, expanding upon some of the previous game's plots to increase their usefulness and impact upon my own fan game here. If anyone has any ideas, please contribute, I'm in no condition to turn down good ideas Razz


I gotta say, the vast majority of video game writing is terrible, not just the older stuff, ha ha. That said, I personally thought the story and character of the early PS games were probably their greatest attributes. Everything has to be judged in its own historical setting, and in the context of the the contemporary RPG milieu the Phantasy Star series was pulling off some pretty mind-blowing stuff in terms of plot complexity and setting. I think the writers were pulling from some real titans of science fiction in terms of influences, too, possibly even some pretty obscure stuff, though I guess we'll never know.

But anyway, as far as the particular examples, I totally agree with R-90-2 about the Terrans and Zio's rise to power. The point about humanity's very actual and historical sense of inhumanity is a very good one, and would explain any super-villainous tendencies the Terrans in PS II would have had. As pointed out, they were evidently being influenced or possibly fully corrupted by Dark Force, and even putting aside any silly or supernatural explanations for their hatred, actual despots and would-be conquerors have never been particularly rational. When we've got people like Kim Jong Un and Hitler running around through history it's not hard to imagine that somewhere down the line some "advanced" types would take a horrific pleasure in watching a world bleed beneath them.

As for Darum, I thought this was one of the most powerful scenes in PS II, and handled in that kind of powerful and innocent way that makes older games so much more evocative in my eyes than most modern ones. The man is completely broken after the events that put him in the place he is, and it's pretty easy to imagine the townspeople would be reluctant to deal with a man they've known all their lives in a way that would probably end in his death. It's not about brute force, I mean, most of our contemporary problems in the real world could be bulldozed by any number of world armies, but it's a question of how you deal with these things humanly. I have no problem at all believing a distraught father with a tragic back story would be able to hide out in the wilderness and hold a tunnel for a while.

Anyway, sorry to ramble, I guess that's my philosophy with gaming and most forms of entertainment. You gotta have a little suspension of disbelief, sometimes a lot of it. I'm not even particularly interested in speculating about the unseen intricacies of most game's plots, but I think a good game can kind of reveal the depth within without getting too involved or heavy-handed about it. Especially the old ones, they just suggest it, and I prefer it that way. Most modern entertainment writing is way too expository for my tastes.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, '14, 2:18 pm 
Bragatyr wrote:As for Darum, I thought this was one of the most powerful scenes in PS II, and handled in that kind of powerful and innocent way that makes older games so much more evocative in my eyes than most modern ones. The man is completely broken after the events that put him in the place he is, and it's pretty easy to imagine the townspeople would be reluctant to deal with a man they've known all their lives in a way that would probably end in his death. It's not about brute force, I mean, most of our contemporary problems in the real world could be bulldozed by any number of world armies, but it's a question of how you deal with these things humanly. I have no problem at all believing a distraught father with a tragic back story would be able to hide out in the wilderness and hold a tunnel for a while.

Anyway, sorry to ramble, I guess that's my philosophy with gaming and most forms of entertainment. You gotta have a little suspension of disbelief, sometimes a lot of it. I'm not even particularly interested in speculating about the unseen intricacies of most game's plots, but I think a good game can kind of reveal the depth within without getting too involved or heavy-handed about it. Especially the old ones, they just suggest it, and I prefer it that way. Most modern entertainment writing is way too expository for my tastes.


There is a such thing as overdoing high fantasy (forcing one to suspend disbelief) stuff though. I'd simply like for the game to have expanded on that particular part to not trespass into grounds that make it feel like it was insulting me. Don't get me wrong, I DO love the part about old games where you could make up the hidden details of the story as you go along, but for major plot points that are supposed to have an impact on you, there should be a definite explanation.

Of course I don't want to have everything explained for the player in my own fangame - I'd love them to come to their own conclusions themselves - but for ME, the one creating it, I have to make sure at least I know what's truly going on there.

EDIT: Btw, brute force doesn't always have to result in death ;). They could've disabled him, told him they would take care of getting his daughter back, etc. And wasn't it stated that Darum tried to kill Nei when she was very young? Didn't it take months for her to grow to adult size? A "little while" definitely doesn't span the time of believability when occupying a bridge for months.

Quote:It's very, very dark age around there- everyone's just trying to get back to something they can call a civilization.


I get where you're going at here, but these townspeople were organized enough to build complicated structures and everything. They even had (soldiers? policemen?) standing guard at the gates of Piata. Surely there were living conditions decent enough to have some sort of current 'government'. What with Alys being well known across the land, people have obviously been getting around just fine, even as the climate gets more harsh. This story doesn't take place directly after the fall of Motherbrain, you know ;) . What's more, a single town is hardly efficient of enough volunteers to create a formidable army as Zio's. Him having showed up one day at the space port directly "down the street" from Nurvus with at least a hundred troops sounds plausible.

But your point with the Terrans, I have two issues:

1.) The main "tyrant" spoke in terms of "we", not "I". This gives the notion that everyone was on board with this whole jealousy thing. So the 'despot" idea kinda doesn't work. But it did help me put deeper thought into this, because as of this sentence, I just thought that if everyone was high on hate from Dark Force, then hivemind mentality definitely explains that part.

2.) Do you think that I could still get away with trying to inject "fear of and desire for magic capability" into their driving motive without damaging the storyline, being too far of a stretch?


Last edited by Shen-FN-Woo on Wed Jan 22, '14, 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, '14, 2:21 pm 
And I'm still sure that the Terran technology was still far superior to that of the Algolians, though I can still get the point that they'd have to do something sneaky in order to worm their way into their lives.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, '14, 12:18 am 
Phantasy Star 1:
*Why, oh why, is the team forced to engage in random genocide with the Motavian and Dezolian "savages?"
*The main enemy to Phantasy Star 1 is a regular enemy in 4. I think if anything, this team had it easy.

Phantasy Star 2:
* No longer attacked by Palmanians, Motavians are still second class citizens who take joy in their filth. And all Dezolians lie habitually. I can safely say racism existed in Algol before the Earthmen came with their horrible technology and efficiency.
* I'm pretty keen on biology and genetics, but I still dont understand why Nei dies if her twin dies too.
* How can Rolf not recall a person from a tragic event 10 years ago? Who saved his life. If anything, he wouldnt forget it.
*Why would thieves lock their items and money in a very dangerous place--to them?
* I wonder at what point in the game the military stopped paying Rolf his paychecks. They even condemn him to death---but they dont dare put surveillance on his house a 5 minute walk from HQ. If anything, it woulda been a guaranteed arrest for Shir, the only one with a prior record.

Phantasy Star III:
I cant even bother. But it was a fun game. still is.

Phantasy Star IV:
*how most if not all of Algol forgot Rolf and co's ultimate sacrifice (and a much harder fight) but they dont forget about sweet ole' Alis. Shucks.
*What did the espers do with the cryonic machine? somebody must have still had it.
*"I'm seth, a suspiciously looking archaeologist with Dark techniques and a Zio-esque resemblance. But yep, I'm an archaeologist, even though one of your party works for the only university,in the world and even studies biomonsters, yet we never met!"
* "Oh Lutz....he's elegant, and classy. Our leader of Esper Mansion, and I saw him before." Yet Kyra is apparently one of the few if not only blue haired female espers, and Rune is the only blue haired guy in the game who uses 2000 year old magic, but, could be coincidence.
* Instead of simply rebooting, Seed found the only way to solve a fixable problem was suicide. Logical.
* Rune says he chose chaz to fight for algol, but obviously chaz is some sort of relation to rolf, from his blonde side of the family, which means he too is a Landale and thus couldnt have been chosen by Rune since it was fate regardless.
*If 1000 years ago a biomonster experiment failed horribly, what kind of logical thinking machine would tempt those waters with such a risk again?
* If the great evil is defeated at the end of the game, is it not logical for the 2 robots, err, androids, to just shut off and die? I'm glad Rika realised how boring it would have been on Zelan with such great company.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, '14, 5:51 am 
The main thing would be fixing the predestination time loop in Phantasy Star III.

That "plot twist" still rustles my jimmies to this day.


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