Phantasy Star 1


This is a classic game, in fact one of the old RPG’s from Sega’s Master System released in 1987. You read that date right 19, 87. Nineteen, eighty seven. Considering that date you can imagine my surprise seeing that the main character of this game is indeed a girl, she’s a fighter and a warrior. The healer is actually the cat-like pet and the magician dude, reversing the tropes that hadn’t yet even been born all that much back then. It also steers clear from the popular trope in that era of not being medieval fantasy but instead being a sci-fi fantasy. It’s refreshing even now that there’s no castles, no kings, no dresses, no crowns, no bland locations!


You are probably imagining the graphics are ancient but actually there’s some real cool stuff in this game graphically speaking.

There’s anime like cutscenes with incredibly detail and pixel art rendering. The monsters and backgrounds in fights are also incredible when it comes to detail and colours. I was astounded how good this game is graphically. The only parts you can tell it’s an old game is the over world map and the sprites from the people. They are incredibly simplistic but they get the job done 👌

The dungeon crawling also shows its age by being a first person dungeon crawler with no map included in this old version (GBA collection of the 1st game to the 3rd one). Although there’s good news for those that have Switch’s, there’s a release of the game on the Switch’s virtual console and it got added quality of life improvements, among them a map. I had to play this game with a map guide because I’m notorious for getting lost even in places you can’t be lost! 😂 😂


Part of the reason is also because the world is quite big and there’s many places to visit, from a desert world to an ice one. And they’re indeed worlds, as in different planets. Which you can visit via a space ship. There’s also laser guns and other type of vehicles in this. It’s refreshing to experience this game even now among the sea of zelda, dragon quest and final fantasy 1 inspired games with their setting in the old ages instead of in the future.

The music is impressive for the year this game was released, there was some good eerie songs and a nice boss battle theme. The game isn’t piss easy but neither did I find it too hard, though I was very surprised seeing it considered one of the hardest rpg’s in GBA and SMS when while it’s true at first it takes a bit to get your bearings, after that I stayed ahead of the curve of the game just enough where the game was enjoyable but I never had to grind particularly for a boss. Though consider I seldom fled battles aside in 1-2 dungeons where I wanted to conserve my magic,,,


The story isn’t anything to be memorable on these days but it wasn’t bad. Alis’ brother Nero dies in her arms in the opening cutscenes and he asks her to stop Lassic once and for all. Lassic is the ruler of Algo, the star system this game and the sequels are set in, and he’s corrupt and declared martial law, executing any traitors and even poisoning towns. There’s hunger, thirst and impotence from the people in these worlds, but Alis is the strength that unifies and defeats all those to go and combat Lassic.

Truthfully speaking I didn’t think I’d like this game much, and while there’s definitely much that nowadays would be fixed and was indeed fixed and changed in the PS2 Remake that has a completely finished fan-translation available to be able to be played in a real PS2 or an emulator, I still found I had fun.


Though of course I cheated 😛 I don’t mean in-game cheats, but instead save states and also 2x fast-forward for the game to be faster. That’s just the thing, I hate games being slow the most, and these old games were to be slow so you’d take longer traversing, plus it also quickens the battles. Win-win only in my book 👌 👌

I’d tried playing this game 2 times before, once this same GBA version which I lost my save because my laptop died a decade ago and then the PS2 version on my then desktop that also died,,, One would think this game is cursed, but it wasn’t only this game that went down the drain in those, it was many because I started many games back then and I’d bounce around between them 😂 This time it was on my cellphone, I’ve only recently found out how advanced android emulation was so I feel like I’m discovering all the shinies!, and everything run 100%. I played it on John’s GBA Lite emulator, which has ads when you close the app and reenter, but otherwise doesn’t bloat. There’s also paid version for cheap for those not wanting ads, and he has others for NES, SNES and GBC that I also downloaded the lite versions 👍


So yeah I’m pretty of myself for starting and finishing this 😊 I think I’d like to see if there’s any hacks or a “remake” done of this by fans, but for now I won’t be returning to this game and I’ll instead play other games so I can play the sequel Phantasy Star 2 fresh. PS 2 can be played on android games for free cause Sega released it on the app store alongside Sonic, Shining Force and many others. It has ads of course and the emulators for those classic games don’t seem to be the best from what I’ve read online.

I think it’s definitely worth a spin and go back to simpler games where the story wasn’t on the written word but in the space between them, the adventure itself, your imagination as it filled in stories and worlds and expanded the game into so much more than it is because of hardware limitations.

The guide I can recommend and I find it’s the best with lots of helpful tips and good maps is this one from RPG Classics, Phantasy Star Shrine.

And with this I’m signing off 👍



  1. Those graphics really are amazing!
    I 100% agree with you on the x2 speed and save-state cheats, the one thing I can’t stand whenever I’m trying to play old games is the speed. I’m too impatient now to wade through an entire swamp to talk to one person only to go back the entire way on foot, for example u_u
    Thank you for the lovely review!


    1. Right? It’s amazing how incredibly detailed they are considering the hardware is 30 year olds!
      X2 speed and save states are a must, older games are unbearably slow and tedious walking. Losing progress because in the stone age one couldn’t save as easily is BS, but I forgot to say Phantasy Star 1 does indeed let you save anywhere you want, it’s just the save state helped not have to reload the game just for that purpose 😉
      Thanks for reading and enjoying it uwu 💘


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