Sega decided to celebrate their back catalogue of IP during the PS2 era with the Sega Ages 2500 series of titles sensibly priced at ¥2500 (hence the series title). As part of this series, Sega released remakes of Phantasy Star 1 and 2 with hi-res 2D and 3D graphics, new instrumentation of the original soundtrack, a few tweaks to the gameplay and retained the grindy difficulty the originals were known for.
The Phantasy Star games for the Sega Ages 2500 series originally included Phantasy Star 4 in the mix and the English localisation had already been earmarked in the mid-2000s, but the developer in the US went under and Phantasy Star 4 never made it to market in Japan, with Sega shifting its strategy to pursuing emulation excellence with the help of M2, resulting in some amazingly thorough compilations that put most commercial offerings to shame.
With this in mind, the Phantasy Star faithful (few that we are) figured all was lost. I ended up using a combination of existing FAQs and my rough knowledge of Japanese to play through Generation 1 and Generation 2 (Phantasy Star 1 and 2 respectively) a few years back, and thoroughly enjoy the experience despite the difficulty, something I minimised once I managed to work out a convoluted processes of moving my saves between my PS2 and my PC, hacking selected hex values, then transporting them back to the PS2 to play with some maxed out characters.
However, a few years back Phantasy Star: Generation 1 received an amazing and welcomed fan-translation, and with the groundwork on the original game completed, the hacking tools were re-purposed to suit the sequel. Much conversation ensued over at Phantasy Star Cave, but it looks like everyone managed to finish it up so we can all geek out and enjoy!
I might just have to dust off my old hacking data and maps to give this another whirl 😉 I’ve been contacted by a reader for a copy of the hacked save files, so once I’ve had time to make some tweaks I’ll see if we can get them onto the site for everyone to check it out. In the meantime, check out some footage of the fan translation in action:
Source: Retro Collect