As with many video games, the Phantasy Star series uses material from history and mythology to add flavor and spice to the story. This is a list of some of the more interesting tidbits in the games. In addition to this list, many common enemies are based on real or mythological creatures such as elephants, dragons, centaurs, and manticores.
- A common name for special shields in video games, stemming from Greek mythology, where it was a shield used by Zeus or Athena. Phantasy Star probably references Athena's shield, which is said to have been decorated with Medusa's head.
- Air Castle
- Lashiec's Air Castle is located on a floating island, a concept which can be traced by to several sources. One year before the release of Phantasy Star, an anime movie titled Laputa: Castle in the Sky featured a floating island castle with a fate similar to that of the Air Castle. This anime is based very loosely on Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, in which Laputa is home to a tyrant, similar to Lashiec, who rules both the island and the land below it and also faces a rebellion. Swift's Laputa is in turn based on a manor house located in Ballyshannon, Ireland, where the author spent some time while writing.
The floating island concept also dates back to Greek mythology, where Leto (Latona in Roman myths) gave birth to Apollo and Artemis on such an island. This connection is weaker as the island holds little in common with the Air Castle outside of floating, but provides yet another Greek myth influence.
Also of interest is the use of La as a prefix in all of these related names: Lashiec, Laputa, Latona.
- In the games, this is the star of the Algo Solar System. In reality, it is the name of a star nearly 100 light years from Earth. Visible to the naked eye, the star has become known for varying brightness. It is actually a system of three stars, with the brightness variations caused by one star orbiting another.
Algol has been referenced in many cultures, including Hebrew, Arabic, Babylonian, and Greek. Due to the latter, it is part of the Perseus constellation as the eye of Medusa. This is also a probable reason for the use of the name in Phantasy Star. The three stars of the real system may have inspired the three planets seen in the first game.
The daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia, who was to be sacrificed to a monster in Greek legend. After the monster was slain by Perseus, she married the hero.
The Algo Solar System is located in a galaxy called Andromeda.
- A reference to a portion of the Underworld called the Elysian Fields, from Greek mythology. The Elysian Fields were said to be a paradise reserved for the afterlife of heroes.
The games make use of this twice. First, in Phantasy Star III, Elysium is the lead dome of the Alisa III where pilots operate the ship. Elsydeon, the final sword from Phantasy Star IV, is a more direct reference as the sword contains the spirits of past heroes.
- In Greek myths, Europa was the first queen of Crete and is associated with worship of bulls. Her name has been used for many other things, including a moon of Jupiter and the continent of Europe. Phantasy Star generation:1 contains an item called Europa's Earrings.
- A Norse goddess, more commonly named Freya or Freyja. This was Demi's name in the Japanese release of Phantasy Star IV.
- Since the letters L and R are interchangable in translations from Japanese to English alphabets, the name of this planetary system from Phantasy Star Universe can be written as Gulhal. This is an anagram of "alghul." Algol, the name of the solar system from the classic series and mirrored by Gurhal, is derived from the Arabic al-ghūl. Thus, the names Gurhal and Algol are derived from the same source and Gurhal has similar connections to those mentioned for Algol above.
- A well known figure from Greek mythology; the legendary Trojan War was fought after she went to the city of Troy. In Phantasy Star generation:1, Helen's Necklace is an accessory for Myau found in the Path of Troy.
- A small group of islands located near the country of New Guinea are called the Kuran Islands.
- A prefecture of Greece and location of the famous city of Sparta. Ancient Sparta was known for producing excellent soldiers who were fierce and intelligent warriors. Many considered Spartan warriors to be undefeatable in battle. In Phantasy Star, Laconia is a metal of similar strength.
- Phantasy Star's Laerma Tree shares the name with a city in Greece.
- A poetic name used for Earth's moon, like Luna. Lune is also French for moon. Phantasy Star III uses this as a name for Laya's general, who lives on a moon.
- The legendary Gorgon from Greek myth, famous for her hair made of serpents and a gaze that turned people to stone. She appears as a boss in Phantasy Star. According to other characters in that game, she was previously defeated by Perseus, using the Mirror Shield. That is also based on the Greek myth, in which Perseus beheaded Medusa, using her harmless reflection on his shield to guide his aim.
For her appearance in the game, she is said to have been reborn. Many of the mythological references in the series likely rose from the inclusion of Medusa or her related legends.
- The most powerful offensive technique draws on the name of Megiddo, a hill in Israel. This hill has been the site of many historical battles. According to some interpretations of the Bible, this area will be the location of the final battle between God and Satan, better known as Armageddon, which signals the end of the world.
- An emperor of Rome. Phantasy Star begins as Nero, the brother of Alis, perishes after being severely wounded.
- One of very few Biblical references in the series. According to the Bible, Noah built a great Ark to preserve his family and the creatures of the world when the Earth was flooded.
In Phantasy Star, this was the name of Lutz when the game was localized to English. Phantasy Star II uses the name for a spaceship used by Earthmen, perhaps in reference to the Ark story.
- One of the gods from Norse mythology. He is considered the chief of the Norse gods and fills many roles in the mythology.
- Both Palma and Parma are names of cities in Europe. Palma is in Spain, while Parma is Italian. A river in the city of Parma is also named Parma.
- Pandora's Box
- The legendary container from Greek myth, said to hold all the evils of the world and hope. According to the legend, when the box was opened, evil was released and befell mankind for the first time.
Pandora's Box appeared as a treasure chest in Phantasy Star II. When opened, the chest is said to contain "all that is evil, all that you call the dark force!" Thus begins that game's battle against Dark Force. In some later games, Dark Force would again appear when a box was opened, marking each of them as "Pandora's Box" as well, even though the name was not used again.
- A hero of Greek mythology, best known for defeating Medusa while using a reflective shield. He is said to have done the same in Phantasy Star, having buried the Mirror Shield afterward.
- Since the letters L and R are interchangable in translations from Japanese to English alphabets, the name of this planet from Phantasy Star Online can be written as Lagol. This is an anagram of "Algol," giving the word similar connections to those mentioned for Algol above.
- A name with Welsh origins, translating to "ardor." Ardor can mean eagerness, love, and passion, which are appropriate descriptions of the attitude of Rhys from Phantasy Star III.
- Shilka, an alternate spelling of Shir's name from the Text Adventures, is the name of a river and town in Russia.
- The city guards often seen in the first Phantasy Star (pictured to the right) wear armor that bears a striking resemblance to Stormtroopers and a helmet like Boba Fett, both characters from the original Star Wars film trilogy. Years after the game was released, an even more similar design was used for clone troopers in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.
- A Roman god of boundaries. The final dome of the Alisa III bears this name, perhaps because many of the passages leading to it have been destroyed to create boundaries holding the inhabitants of the dome in check.
- A variation of Theia, the name of a Greek Titan. The word itself also means "goddess."
- A city from Greek mythology, Troy was the site of the legendary Trojan War fought over Helen of Troy. A cavern in Phantasy Star generation:1 is called the Path of Troy and contains an item called Helen's Necklace.
Odin's hall in Norse myths, where warriors slain valiantly in battle reside until Ragnarok. Vahal Fort, the name of a complex in Phantasy Star IV, may be a shortened form of "Valhalla Fortress," as the complex holds the last remnants of the slain Mother Brain system from Phantasy Star II.