> As expected, my first PSO Memories article has been graced with rave
reviews. Not only has it refreshed my memories of "the realm", but
those who have read it as well. I'm ready for some more, how about
you? Let's roll baby...
> Although I had been playing the Japanese version of PSO since mid December
2000, I was in no way prepared for the online experience which was about
to begin... January 31, 2001. A date which I shall never forget.
Based on Sega's magazine advertising, many Dreamcast gamers were asking
themselves, "Do you have what it takes to be a hero?" I was at Babbage's
in time for their UPS delivery of Sega's latest gift to the hardcore gaming
community in America. An entirely new era in replayability was about
to begin... A whole new world was in our future... Phantasy
Star Online was unleashed!
> ~Playing with gods~ Within the first month of online gaming, I
met a Lv42 HUnewearl named Ecstasy. She proclaimed herself to be
a "god" in PSO. I believed it since I was a weak FOnewm named Necromancer,
who was only around Lv18. We chatted in the lobby of Ariel 10, and
exchanged cards when she proposed we begin a game. While in the game,
two more of Ecstasy's friends joined and we chatted by the Check Room for
a bit. All of the sudden, one of her friends started dropping money
everywhere! Ecstasy told me to pick one up so I did. Then I
realized that each one of those meseta packets had 999,999 in them!!
I was like, where did you get all that %#@$&%$ money?! No one
would tell me, but I knew there had to be some code or trick to it.
I begged them to tell me how this was done, but they would not budge.
Of course, now I know her friend had to be one of the first PSO hackers
-- most likely a Game Shark user. Oh well, after that, I never had
to worry about money again. =) I continued to see Ecstasy on an occasional
basis until early Summer, when she disappeared from PSO.
> ~The quest for Geist and Demon's Rayguns~ Being a Force means relying
on Techniques to gain experience points. That's not necessarily bad,
as I really enjoy wielding magic. However, I was always in search
of the best handgun I could find, which is the safest way for Force characters
to engage the enemy. One day, Akuto, Lucero and me went through the
mines on VHARD. Vol Opt was short circuited and Akuto found a "????
Raygun". He tekked it as a Demon's Raygun, which has the most powerful
potential attack you can get in a non rare handgun. It has the ability
to cut an enemy's HP to 1/4 in a single hit! Since Akuto preferred
Rifles and Spreads, he offered the Demon's Raygun to me, and I graciously
accepted. I used it often, and immediately became enthralled with
it's vast abilities (for a handgun anyway). At some point thereafter,
I found the most highly valued Force handgun -- a Geist Raygun! Why
is it so important? Simple. Its special attack steals 6% of
the user's TP, and adds that value to your TP. This translates into
rarely, if ever, needing to go shopping for fluids! Obviously a Force
wielding a Geist Raygun has unstoppable technique usage at his/her disposal.
=) But the joy would be tempered with a new, unknown enemy...
> One day I was in an open game with Lucero and two new players.
We were fighting De Rol Le and he shot me with his energy orbs, which easily
killed my Force. Unfortunately for me, this was my first experience
with what became known as BSOD/FSOD (black/frozen screen of death) -- the
NEW enemy of many PSO players. I died and was unable to pick my weapon
up! A few seconds later the screen went black and the game appeared
to crash (and it did)!!! I turned the power off and restarted, not
thinking much of the occurrence. When I got back into the game and
checked my inventory, the Demon's Raygun was still gone. I asked
Lucero and the other two guys if they picked it up, and they said there
was nothing there! My prized possession was gone forever, along with
everything else I didn't have equipped at the time. =( This
was only the beginning, as I would eventually lose at least three more
all important Rayguns to BSOD, including a highly sought after Geist Raygun.
It would be a long time before I found another Geist and Demon's Rayguns.
Sure I would occasionally find the lesser Heart, Mind, Soul, and Devil's
Rayguns, but they could not replace what I had lost. This was the
source of much frustration, and eventually led to my purchase of a Game
> ~Psychology at its best~ Once I got in the Lv70's with Necromancer,
I was ready for a new character. After all, we all know Force characters
can't attack or defend worth $&!#. For crying out loud, when
I finally got to VHARD at Lv40, I was lucky to do 75 points damage with
a hard attack! After some thorough consideration, I came up with
the idea to create a babe. Thanks in part to Temptress' influence,
I decided on the name Seductress. Since I wanted to make a babe,
a HUnewearl was the only real character class available. Next, I
needed a "look" that could live up to the name, and future reputation!
LOL. I remembered a hot HUnni a played with a few times named Valentine.
She wore the red outfit with long, sandy brown hair. That was it!
Seductress got the red clothes with long wavy blonde hair (to match my
wife's). Squall thought I was weird for creating a babe. That
is until I explained part of the reason behind it. You see, since
I never found anything really good, and didn't have a Game Shark (yet),
I needed to have a way to get sweet weapons. I figured Seductress
could easily convince other gamers that a few weapons were disposable from
their inventory! =) Squall, Lucero, and me played it up, and
it worked big time!!
> Actually, Seductress soon became my favorite character, as I had a lot
of fun role playing with her. For instance, I would warp into a crowded
lobby and almost instantly be bombarded with cards! LOL. I
loved the attention. Some guys would invariably assume I was a woman,
even though I would gladly set them straight whenever they asked.
There was one guy (a short HUmar) that kept interrupting Squall and me
while chatting in a lobby. I finally got pissed and said, "buzz off
shrimp, before I waste you!!" LMAO. That wasn't all I liked
about HUnni's. I soon discovered that their combination of attack,
defense, evasion, techniques, and sheer speed was perfect! Give me
a DOUBLE SABER and a God/Battle, and I could go through Forest to Falz
without shopping!! In the early days, I could often be quoted as
asking, "did I ever tell you?" To which Lucero would bite, hook,
line, and sinker, "what???" And I would reply, "HUnewearls ROCK!!"
> ~My first experience with the power of Heaven~ Lucero and I were
in an open game playing through the caves at the time. A RAcaseal,
whose name escapes me, joined the game and we piped her down. Everything
was going along normally until I noticed that every now and then a mysterious
rain of death would come from the heavens. Neither one of us had
any idea who was doing it, or where it was coming from. Monsters
would cower before the purple rays of certain death which seemed to emanate
from the skies above. The RAcaseal was wielding what appeared to
be a mere handgun. I finally asked her what she was using, and she
replied, "a HEAVEN PUNISHER". I asked if it was the source of this
amazing attack, which was similar to one of Dark Falz's, and she confirmed
it. Both Lucero and me were astonished that such a harmless looking
handgun could unleash such heavenly punishment! We set out to acquire
this immense power...
> Within a week's time, I ran into someone that was willing to trade his
HEAVEN PUNISHER. I honestly can't remember what I gave him for it,
but I do remember that it wasn't worth much. Obviously since I was
using Seductress, that had a role to play in the transaction. =)
He had nothing to lose anyway, because I'm sure he either made that weapon,
or knew someone that could. There was only one problem... My
two current characters (Necromancer and Seductress) were unable to equip
this Ranger-only weapon. But I knew who could -- my best PSO friend,
Lucero! The next time I saw him, he was presented with a gift from
heaven. We played through the forest and.... NOTHING!!! The
HEAVEN PUNISHER did not punish!!! Now, I remembered the guy who traded
it to me said it would only work at certain times, which I didn't really
comprehend. I was beginning to wonder if this was a hacked weapon
without the main ingredients. LOL. Anyway, we kept trying and
eventually realized that it only worked on alternate even 100 PSO time
beats. At this point, I needed a new character -- a Ranger!
I came up with the name Synbios (Japanese spelling), which I got from the
main hero of Shining Force III ~Scenario 1~. This new RAmar dressed
in the red outfit with brown hair became my third character. Thanks
to Seductress' influence, we easily acquired another HEAVEN PUNISHER.
Lucero and I spent many nights in anticipation, then execution of duel
punishment from above!!!
> ~Spreading misery made it fair~ At this time, early Spring, Game
Shark created weapons were still relatively new in the realm. Being
RAmars with relatively weak defense, Lucero and Synbios (me) weren't exactly
able to waltz through the ruins on our own in VHARD. We saw a new
weapon though, which had no problem cutting down the enemy. Akuto
was the first player I knew to acquire a SPREAD NEEDLE. He often
asked if it bothered me when he used it, to which I always replied "no".
I never understood his concern over the matter, and he never understood
why I was so "stupid". You see, he thought using a SPREAD NEEDLE
kept me from getting experience. I knew that all I needed to do was
damage the enemy, and I would still receive experience for their death.
Once I explained this to him, he felt much better. Anyway, Lucero
had a friend (whose name escapes me) with extra SPREADS (duped, I'm sure).
We joined his game and he dropped two SPREADS -- one for Lucero and one
for Synbios. The only % on the weapon was a -15% for Altered Beasts.
> From that point on, we had no trouble leveling, and making a lot of people
angry at us, especially since most people didn't seem to know why techniques
were useful. LMAO. Playing as Necromancer, I preferred that
at least one person use a SPREAD in the ruins to paralyze the enemies.
This made it easy to tech and pick them off with a Raygun. Also,
when we (as Lucero and Synbios) reached the once dreaded ruins, Delsabers,
Chaos Sorcerers, and the like would be dealt with quickly and efficiently!
Fear of the Dark became confidence in the Dark! On the other hand,
surviving Dark Falz's swipe was a whole different story. But we agreed
that SPREAD NEEDLES made VHARD difficulty fair for weak characters!
> ~PSO is contagious~ By late Spring, I was off the road again and
able to spend some more time on PSO. We had two TV's in our family
room so that I could play PSO, and my wife could watch TV. She saw
how much fun I was having and decided that we needed another Dreamcast,
keyboard, PSO game, and ISP. Mind you, my wife has never played videogames,
nor been interested in them at all. We bought all that and I made
a voluptuous Lv100 HUnewearl named Angel for her using my recently purchased
Game Shark. Of course I supplied her with all the necessary weapons,
armor, and units she would need to survive in the realm. Next, a
crash course in PSO control, which was enough to drive me (the perfectionist)
$%*&@%$ crazy!! Anyway, she eventually learned enough to join
us and live Sega's online dream. Even at Lv100, she died often (like
most women -- LOL/JK), and got lost a lot. =) Although she
didn't play very long (a few weeks), it was quite an achievement for me
to get her into playing a videogame. Angel still exists on my wife's
Dreamcast and VMU, but I rarely have the occasion to use her. We
were the first simultaneous husband and wife PSO team that I know of.
As you know, Paladin and Bambie also fit that description, except they're
team still exists on a nightly basis...
> You know, as much as I've written about PSO in these first two articles,
it truly only scratches the surface of my entire experience in "the realm".
I don't know if this experience can ever be surpassed by a future game,
but one thing is for sure: Sonic Team's achievement will always have
a special place in my memory and heart. If you haven't been touched
by Sega's dream, then you have missed a hardcore gamer's delight which