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Sky Bright With Phantasy Star Universe Info
03.26.2005

HEATH HINDMAN
STAFF COLUMNIST
ADRIENNE BECK
TRANSLATOR



PSU

The official website of Sega's upcoming Phantasy Star Universe recently revealed some story details. The game is set in the Ragol solar system, which has three inhabitable planets. Each planet has its own distinct race and culture. Parum is the planet of the humans, Neudaiz is where Numans reside, and Motwob is the desert home of animal-like people. War is a common character in the history of the three planets, but it has been 100 years since the end of the last battle. The three planets' respective governments have since come together and signed a peace treaty, and created an Allied Army designed to prevent any more interplanetary wars.

The game's beginning puts players in the middle of the Centennial Celebration of the peace treaty's signing. A 17-year-old named Ethan and his younger sister Rumia are enjoying the festivities on the Guardian Colony when a huge swarm of meteors engulfs the area. The meteors destroy much of the Allied Army's space fleet, and most of the planet's surface is reduced to burning rubble. Monsters soon ooze forth from the meteorites, which certainly suggests that they are not normal space rocks. Later dubbed "SEED," the swarm of meteors was not a random chunk of bad luck for Ragol. Instead, they were intentionally sent by an unknown enemy set on obliterating all life in Ragol. Surrounded by chaos on Guardian Colony, Ethan borrows the gear of a downed army officer to save his sister, who's buried somewhere in the rubble. He does not find her....

These events lead Ethan to join the Allied Army's police force, "Guardian," where he trains under Karen Era. Karen is also 17, but a "numan," rather than a human like Ethan. Despite her youth, she already has three years of experience being a Guardian. She got into this business after losing her mother, and tries very hard to be strong leader, hoping to compensate for her lack of technical know-how.

Gamefront has also published some details regarding the gameplay. The game will feature an offline, plot-driven game estimated to be over 40 hours long. While the story may be linear, players will have plenty of free time to investigate the world. In offline battle, players will control the main character, while giving general instructions to the others.

The online play will be very different from that of Phantasy Star Online. First off, robotic assistants have replaced the "mags" which assisted players in previous games. Also making a first appearance are vehicles; no specific types have been unveiled, though. Much customization of one's online avatar will be possible, as well. One can now edit the lip color, eye color, and a few other features previously unchangeable. Attack combos may contain up to six sttacks, including special techniques. Attacking will be possible while using two weapons. It is not known whether or not the number of combo hits goes up when using two weapons.

There are still no exact release dates set for Phantasy Star Universe, but Japanese gamers can expect it some time next winter. No official localization plans have been announced for anywhere else.

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