Gaming Diary – Phantasy Star Gaiden Pt. 02

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Console: Game Gear
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Release Date: 1992
ROM Translated by: “Magic Destiny”

On to part two of the Gaming Diary, and it’s become clear to me that this Gaiden title has a lot in common with it’s predecessor. Mainly, it’s emphasis on grinding. In order to progress, I found myself having to spend well over an hour battling enemies until I managed to not only level up, but also replace my equipment with the strongest varieties available in shops. Just to put things in perspective, equipping one character with the strongest equipment available in the first town costs 520 mesetas – the in-game currency – so to fully equip both party members we have to fork out 1040 mesetas. Given that the enemies in the first area drop between 3-14 mesetas… this proved to be a rather tiresome effort.

Image26This is a screen I quickly became all too familiar with…

Nonetheless, I endured the monotony, and after killing a Scorpius for what felt like the billionth time, I finally managed to have my party fully equipped – and each armed with a basic healing and attacking spell (which set me back a further 90 mesetas, although in comparison to the prior costs that felt rather negligible). In retrospect, the thing that annoyed me most during this process was my inability to check how many mesetas I currently had, without going to a shop. This led to numerous pointless trips to the weapon store, where I would discover my wallet to be just shy of my target – forcing me to go out into the wilderness once more…

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So, after a bit of exploring – and a wander off in entirely the wrong direction – we finally come across the cave we were supposed to arrive at. I discover this rather begrudgingly, after having previously visited the dungeon across the river (as shown in the picture below), where I found myself being beaten rather thoroughly by a fixed encounter three steps in.

Image29Hey! Who turned out the lights??

Now that we’re on the right track, however, we can continue with our mission. Upon entering the dungeon, I find myself in a blackout. Luckily, thanks to having played Phantasy Star prior, I came prepared with a stock of Torch items – and thus, am able to light up the darkness, and progress onwards. While I’m sure it would be possible to progress onwards (unlike the game’s predecessor, which prevented the player from exploring areas in which they couldn’t see), I can’t really see any merit to the idea of doing so, considering Torches only cost about 30 mesetas a pop.

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One thing worth noting at this point, is that Torches don’t last forever – in fact they expire a lot quicker than one would expect. As such, it would be prudent to come with a hefty number of Torches in tow (I came with only 3).

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Luckily, with the aid of a map, I manage to make it to the chest containing our objective just as the first Torch begins to fade. So, with that in mind I suppose two Torches would be adequate assuming you know exactly where to go. If you’re playing without any form of aid, however, I would recommend bringing 3+ Torches, as the cave features numerous dead ends, which could leave you stuck in the middle of the cave without light, should you waste too much time going down them.

With the Scroll of Truth in our inventory, we can now return to Old Rob, and see what gems of wisdom he has to impart upon us now.

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Old Rob:
Ah!! An old parchment…
How odd… Mina’s name is written here…
What!? It also reads that Mina is of Alis
and Alec is her champion…
These Chosen shall seal the Evil…
Wow!! You’ll journey far… confront Cablon
and vanquish him!
Alec: Whoa! Not so fast, Sir…
My only concern is for my dad.
Mina: Either way, you’re not leaving me behind!

With that, we return to town… with literally no idea as to where our next destination is. On the plus side, at least Alec is back to acknowledging the fact that his father’s capture is actually a rather important issue – although why he agreed to wander off into a cave at the ramblings of a senile old man to begin with is still beyond me. Either way, this seems like as good a time as any to end Part Two – although I will leave you with this…


Image27
I met this woman during my adventures on the wrong side of the river. She had this to say of the planet Alisland. Without getting into just how small this planet must be… I’ve already come across four towns during my journeys; Tedo (the first town), the Gypsy Encampment (set in a desert just South-East of Tedo), Mektor (a town just across the river), and “Tinyville” (a town right in front of the cave I accidentaly wandered into earlier… and ironically the largest town I’ve visited so far).

With that said, I can’t say I have high hopes in regards to the longevity of this game… but I could still be proven wrong at this point – though I assume the game’s longevity was most likely focused on grinding, as my experience so far tells me that my time grinding has only just begun. Anyway, see you in Part Three! =)

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