Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom - Rhys' campaign
July 14, 2019

Phantasy Star III doesn't come close to the awesomeness of its predecessor. Instead of a glorious mesh of sci-fi and fantasy, it downplay the sci-fi and go more balls out with the fantasy. That's fine, except now the game is a run of the mill RPG with bad music and a gimmicky progression system.

There are seven playable protagonists this time. You don't only play Rhys, the hero prince and initial protagonist, but also one of his sons and a grandson. You can select whom you want Rhys to marry, thereby allowing you to take the role of one of his sons. Both of his kids can also marry two different women, allowing them to sire four different children. In other words, there are four different combinations to choose that lead you to the finish line, each with different parties and events.

...but the game only allows you to maintain two save files. So at some point, you'll need to play one of the characters' campaigns all the way through a second time. It would've been better if they had allowed you to hold three or four different files.

Thankfully, Sonic's Ultimate Sega Genesis Collection allows save states in addition to the two in-game files, so you can save before marrying one of the princesses and reload when you want to check out a different character's quest line.

As of now, I've completed Rhys' portion of the game and created a save state right before getting married. I chose Maia as Rhys' wife, and am currently playing as their son, Prince Ayn.

How was Rhys' segment? Well...

Phantasy Star always seemed like a trailblazing franchise in the old days. You didn't do much rescuing damsels and slaying dragons, and worked more to unravel mysteries and discover why society was so screwed up. The second game's dystopian setting and storyline involving a race of tech-dependent sheep was great. So was the revelation that Earth was gone, and only the wealthiest, most opportunistic and most exploitative Earthlings survived, and that they were trying to kill off your planet so they could take it over. Our own species spent its planet and decided to silently massacre another for its resources. That sounds about right.

Phantasy Star III starts off with a young prince who has to rescue a kidnapped suitress. You start the game, and right away a monster absconds with her. My reaction:

"Rescue the princess!"
"But I don't want to rescue the princess. I want sci-fi intrigue and mysteries and horrifying monsters and all that."
"Rescue the princess!"
"No."
"But you must!"
"No."
"But you must!"
"No."

So I set off with Rhys, did a fair bit of grinding and exploring, then bumped into my first roadblock.

"I need to go this way to find the princess."
"But you can't go any further until you go to a place and do a thing."
"Argh!"

In this case, it was traveling by boat, which I couldn't do unless I had a cyborg in my party. So I recruited one and got to ride a boat. After that, I needed to ride another boat, but couldn't do that because the sea was frozen. I needed to go to a weather control tower and do another thing. In order to do that thing, I needed to go to a cave and recruit another cyborg. I did all of those things, crossed the thawed sea and reached another point where I couldn't advance because I needed to go to another place and do another thing. I had to go back to the weather control tower and do the same thing I did earlier, except in a different part of the dungeon.

There's no actual story here. Go here, do a thing, advance, go there, do a thing, advance. It plays out like an experimental game someone tossed together with RPG Maker and decided to market instead of delete.

Eventually, you get to the end of the line and fight a boss. After defeating him, you get to marry one of two princesses: Lena or Maia. This is where I saved my state. When I reload that state later on, I'll choose Lena and see where that gets me.

So far, Ayn's scenario is playing out decently. There's something along the lines of a plot, involving cyborgs invading your country and your ally, and you don't know why. This is the content I came for. Please don't mess this up.

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Feedback
CptRetroBlue CptRetroBlue - July 16, 2019 (05:42 AM)
What I loved about this game is how after all of Rhys' trials to get Maia the game slaps your in the face with an option to either marry her or get Lena who's sole merit in the entire game was springing you out from your cell so you could *rescue* Maia, she even states so early in the game.
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - July 19, 2019 (01:16 AM)
I was actually tempted to marry Lena for that reason. I just wish I could've seen the characters' reactions.

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