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SMS Phantasy Star II
Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2022 6:56 am
Future project, port Phantasy Star II to the Master System. This would be pretty challenging, but seemingly doable. My initial thoughts on tile management on being the most difficult problem to solve, without losing graphic quality (During battles). A possible solution could be to do what the original Phantasy Star did with monster encounter graphics, but instead of using sprites for the edges, do tile merging similar to other titles like SFII and Golden Axe? That way sprites could be used solely for battle animations for each character, as well as technique and damage count effects. It'd still be tight, but possibly manageable.

So far I have only created mock ups. I have vetted the palettes and converted to SMS colors, however. I would also like to introduce quality of life improvements. Like the macro system from PSIV, and possibly the skill system, as an added feature. Maybe side missions as well. For many of the other features, the Master System seems capable enough.
sms_ps2_0003.png (27.46 KB)
Arima WIP
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sms_ps2_0005.png (24.11 KB)
Paseo WIP
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sms_ps2_0011.png (20.22 KB)
Battle mock up
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sms_ps2_0012.png (21.89 KB)
Battle mock up
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sms_ps2_0013.png (19.49 KB)
Battle mock up
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sms_ps2_0010.png (23.26 KB)
Comparisons to original
sms_ps2_0010.png

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Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:12 am
Funny to see this come up here!

For quite a while, I've been convinced that the Phantasy Star II music must have been ported over from the Master System to the Mega Drive, given the arrangement of the tracks is usually the lead, three FM channels as the backing chords, the bassline, and the drums.

Deconstructing the chords, this becomes a very very PSG-like arrangement of instruments.
Of course, this is just a theory - I have no actual proof behind this.
But I'd love to see a skilled PSG artist approach porting over the soundtrack with this in mind.

Has the artwork been redrawn with the pixel-aspect ratio in mind... though, I suspect nobody really cares about that. And this is all mockups, of course.
They look absolutely fantastic!

I've often thought about the idea of such a port for a long while now...
But it'd be insanely cool to see someone actually pull this off. I'd love to see this come to fruition!
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2022 9:04 am
xfixium wrote
Future project, port Phantasy Star II to the Master System. This would be pretty challenging, but seemingly doable. My initial thoughts on tile management on being the most difficult problem to solve, without losing graphic quality (During battles). A possible solution could be to do what the original Phantasy Star did with monster encounter graphics, but instead of using sprites for the edges, do tile merging similar to other titles like SFII and Golden Axe? That way sprites could be used solely for battle animations for each character, as well as technique and damage count effects. It'd still be tight, but possibly manageable.

So far I have only created mock ups. I have vetted the palettes and converted to SMS colors, however. I would also like to introduce quality of life improvements. Like the macro system from PSIV, and possibly the skill system, as an added feature. Maybe side missions as well. For many of the other features, the Master System seems capable enough.

Fantastic! The game will follow the same storyline or you will change some puzzles?
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2022 12:29 pm
Very nice. I actually prefer your versions of the characters to the originals, as I feel they are more detailed and better defined. I do think that the persons’ spines are too pronounced in the back view images for the battle screen, though. It looks a little weird, IMO, as if the character's backs have a huge gash in the middle. I know that due to the SMS’s palette, more subtle colour ramps aren’t really possible, but maybe you can still find a way to improve it a bit. I could imagine that losing the darkest shade in the middle might already do the trick.
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2022 1:35 pm
I guess I’d heard the story of PSII being moved from SMS to MD enough times that I thought it was established fact rather than just a hypothesis…
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2022 2:03 pm
Maxim wrote
I guess I’d heard the story of PSII being moved from SMS to MD enough times that I thought it was established fact rather than just a hypothesis…

No. Rieko Kodama really claimed this.
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2022 2:55 pm
Flygon wrote
Funny to see this come up here!

For quite a while, I've been convinced that the Phantasy Star II music must have been ported over from the Master System to the Mega Drive, given the arrangement of the tracks is usually the lead, three FM channels as the backing chords, the bassline, and the drums.

Deconstructing the chords, this becomes a very very PSG-like arrangement of instruments.
Of course, this is just a theory - I have no actual proof behind this.
But I'd love to see a skilled PSG artist approach porting over the soundtrack with this in mind.

Has the artwork been redrawn with the pixel-aspect ratio in mind... though, I suspect nobody really cares about that. And this is all mockups, of course.
They look absolutely fantastic!

I've often thought about the idea of such a port for a long while now...
But it'd be insanely cool to see someone actually pull this off. I'd love to see this come to fruition!


Interesting information. I know nothing about the audio side of the Master System, but I'd love to hear PSG versions. Possibly there are some already out there, I haven't looked.

segarule wrote

Fantastic! The game will follow the same storyline or you will change some puzzles?


I think I will follow the original as closely as possible. Although this forum is great when it comes to suggestions, and I do look at suggestions closely. I know I have mentioned some add-on features to modernize the title a bit, but balance must be considered as well.

Kagesan wrote
Very nice. I actually prefer your versions of the characters to the originals, as I feel they are more detailed and better defined. I do think that the persons’ spines are too pronounced in the back view images for the battle screen, though. It looks a little weird, IMO, as if the character's backs have a huge gash in the middle. I know that due to the SMS’s palette, more subtle colour ramps aren’t really possible, but maybe you can still find a way to improve it a bit. I could imagine that losing the darkest shade in the middle might already do the trick.


Good point, always appreciate a second set of eyes. I have updated the graphics, and attached an example, am I on the right path?

Maxim wrote
I guess I’d heard the story of PSII being moved from SMS to MD enough times that I thought it was established fact rather than just a hypothesis…


It definitely seems that way.
sms_ps2_0014.png (19.86 KB)
Another WIP
sms_ps2_0014.png

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Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2022 3:24 pm
Yeah, PSII was first listed for SMS in Sega's trade '88 Summer catalogue as due out December 1988 (21st post in).
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2022 4:45 pm
xfixium wrote
I have updated the graphics, and attached an example, am I on the right path?

Yes. Excellent work. That’s exactly what I had in mind.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2022 5:52 am
This is a dream come true, only I know for how long I waited for SEGA to release PSII on the SMS.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2022 7:21 am
PrOfUnD Darkness wrote
This is a dream come true, only I know for how long I waited for SEGA to release PSII on the SMS.


Awesome! It'll be interesting to see where this project goes.

As for progress, I have converted the colors (as well as did some editing to a select few) of all the enemies except for 4 of them. I did their alternate colors as well, and created at least one of their groups for each type. I also created a project for this game.
sms_ps2_0021.png (91.95 KB)
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sms_ps2_0023.png (30.15 KB)
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sms_ps2_0025.png (19.17 KB)
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sms_ps2_0016.png (18.96 KB)
sms_ps2_0016.png

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Post Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2022 7:26 pm
You are working magic with pixels. The characters, the monsters, the title screen all looks perfect.

I do have a tiny suggestion. The lightest blue color seems a bit too saturated to me.
I would tone down the blue of the street and buildings like it did in the attached screenshot.
I also did also toned down "medium" blue, but that is not necessary and up to you.

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Post Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2022 8:08 pm
slogra wrote
You are working magic with pixels. The characters, the monsters, the title screen all looks perfect.

I do have a tiny suggestion. The lightest blue color seems a bit too saturated to me.
I would tone down the blue of the street and buildings like it did in the attached screenshot.
I also did also toned down "medium" blue, but that is not necessary and up to you.


I actually like your suggestion better, I'll make the change.
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Post Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2022 5:24 am
xfixium wrote
Future project, port Phantasy Star II to the Master System. This would be pretty challenging, but seemingly doable. My initial thoughts on tile management on being the most difficult problem to solve, without losing graphic quality (During battles). A possible solution could be to do what the original Phantasy Star did with monster encounter graphics, but instead of using sprites for the edges, do tile merging similar to other titles like SFII and Golden Axe? That way sprites could be used solely for battle animations for each character, as well as technique and damage count effects. It'd still be tight, but possibly manageable.

So far I have only created mock ups. I have vetted the palettes and converted to SMS colors, however. I would also like to introduce quality of life improvements. Like the macro system from PSIV, and possibly the skill system, as an added feature. Maybe side missions as well. For many of the other features, the Master System seems capable enough.


This has so much potential!

Any chance of some QOL improvements?

Like, backgrounds when fighting monsters rather than the stupid blue grid. That was clearly a shortcut to meet a deadline when PS2 was released in the 1st gen Genesis phase.

Hoping you are open to other suggestions too.
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Post Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2022 7:33 am
nolansorrento wrote

This has so much potential!

Any chance of some QOL improvements?

Like, backgrounds when fighting monsters rather than the stupid blue grid. That was clearly a shortcut to meet a deadline when PS2 was released in the 1st gen Genesis phase.

Hoping you are open to other suggestions too.


Yes, introducing PSIV's macro setup, should help a bit. The system menu will also allow players to adjust a exp and meseta multiplier. The ability to change the movement speed, and other options.

We'll have to see about the backgrounds. Looking over everything, it most likely will not happen. Unless some sacrificing of other graphics comes into play. Personally, I'm fine if it retains the look of the original, but I'm going to try getting some actual backgrounds in first.

Always open to suggestions.
sms_ps2_0019.png (52.59 KB)
UI options, when they actually get in the game
sms_ps2_0019.png

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Post Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2022 5:27 pm
slogra wrote
You are working magic with pixels. The characters, the monsters, the title screen all looks perfect.

I do have a tiny suggestion. The lightest blue color seems a bit too saturated to me.
I would tone down the blue of the street and buildings like it did in the attached screenshot.
I also did also toned down "medium" blue, but that is not necessary and up to you.

A fun thing about blue saturation is that it differs on different Master System models!
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Post Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2022 8:22 pm
Very good, xfixium! The graphics are looking better than the Mega Drive version. This really deserves to see the light of day.

One suggestion: Making it possible (but optional to the player) to have Nei revived through a hidden sidequest along the game, thus unlocking new locations, equipment, and consequently adding new elements to the story. And of course, including her portrait to ending sequence. ^^
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Post Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2022 1:15 am
tsp wrote

One suggestion: Making it possible (but optional to the player) to have Nei revived through a hidden sidequest along the game, thus unlocking new locations, equipment, and consequently adding new elements to the story. And of course, including her portrait to ending sequence. ^^


Here's my plan.

Add in jobs at central command (Much like PSIV's guild jobs). The job rewards will make it so that equipment costs are less burdensome, especially towards the end of the game.

Since Nei can not live without Neifirst, I think not being able to revive her should stand. I know PS2 generations you were able to revive her. Which was cool, Nei being my fave character in the game n all, but I think I have another idea.

My idea is to introduce a brand new character, derived from Nei's DNA, but a complete version of her, found at another abandoned biolab. This would be done through a series of jobs, from the new job list at central command.

Since the new "Nei" is a complete version, this could really boost the character in other areas. Rolf could take her under his wing, in Nei's honor.
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sms FM module
Post Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2022 6:10 am
What about porting the MD's music over to the SMS FM module? PS2 on the MD has some of my favorite music from that era.
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2022 7:53 am
turboxray wrote
What about porting the MD's music over to the SMS FM module? PS2 on the MD has some of my favorite music from that era.


I'd definitely like to. If possible.
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Post Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2022 12:36 pm
Please, make the difficult more like the remake or the Mega Drive 2 mini version, the original is just lame.
Also, like people said before, a few of the quality of life improvements of the remake would be nice, like stages akin of where you're fighting (as long they doesn't mean a cut in the color of characters and enemies), the extra dialog between the group and the Nei revival quest.
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Post Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2022 4:33 pm
maxi wrote
Please, make the difficult more like the remake or the Mega Drive 2 mini version, the original is just lame.
Also, like people said before, a few of the quality of life improvements of the remake would be nice, like stages akin of where you're fighting (as long they doesn't mean a cut in the color of characters and enemies), the extra dialog between the group and the Nei revival quest.


There will be system options to cater the difficulty to your liking. The encounter rate, exp and meseta multipliers, etc.. etc.. can be helpful as well. The difficulty can be raised to be even harder, if that's what you're into.

My thoughts on a completed Nei still stands, some sort of storyline will need to be created. I'm no writer, however. So I have no clue how that will look, at this point.

I also have a Chat menu item planned. As to give hints on what needs to be done next. Much like PSIV. I forget what they call the option in PSIV though. It will make for some new dialog.
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2022 9:57 pm
xfixium wrote


Here's my plan.

Add in jobs at central command (Much like PSIV's guild jobs). The job rewards will make it so that equipment costs are less burdensome, especially towards the end of the game.

Since Nei can not live without Neifirst, I think not being able to revive her should stand. I know PS2 generations you were able to revive her. Which was cool, Nei being my fave character in the game n all, but I think I have another idea.

My idea is to introduce a brand new character, derived from Nei's DNA, but a complete version of her, found at another abandoned biolab. This would be done through a series of jobs, from the new job list at central command.

Since the new "Nei" is a complete version, this could really boost the character in other areas. Rolf could take her under his wing, in Nei's honor.


Interesting!

See if you like the following:

1) After Rudo joins the party, the Hunters Guild becomes available in Motavia (it could be at any previously unused building in Paseo). Once a certain job is completed (must be before the Climatrol), the party finds an item which stores peoples memory/consciousness. This item is cannonical, because a similar one exists in PSIV, containing Lutz's memories.

2) If Hugh is in the party during the battle against Neifirst, then he stores Nei's consciousness in said item before she dies, and takes DNA samples from Nei and Neifirst. When the party goes back to town and tries to revive her in the Clone Labs, upon attesting the impossibility, Hugh will say he knows of a certain biomonster facility where he could try to revive her, but its location is a mistery.

3) The Hunters Guild in Dezoris has more jobs available, and one of them points to the location of said lab. If Hugh is in the party when visiting the lab, he will use its facilities build a "Neithird" (as you wrote, based on the DNA of both N and NF) and implant the original Nei's consciousness on her.

This way you can also make an improvement from the original: making Hugh actually useful. ^^
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2022 10:24 pm
tsp wrote

Interesting!

See if you like the following:

1) After Rudo joins the party, the Hunters Guild becomes available in Motavia (it could be at any previously unused building in Paseo). Once a certain job is completed (must be before the Climatrol), the party finds an item which stores peoples memory/consciousness. This item is cannonical, because a similar one exists in PSIV, containing Lutz's memories.

2) If Hugh is in the party during the battle against Neifirst, then he stores Nei's consciousness in said item before she dies, and takes DNA samples from Nei and Neifirst. When the party goes back to town and tries to revive her in the Clone Labs, upon attesting the impossibility, Hugh will say he knows of a certain biomonster facility where he could try to revive her, but its location is a mistery.

3) The Hunters Guild in Dezoris has more jobs available, and one of them points to the location of said lab. If Hugh is in the party when visiting the lab, he will use its facilities build a "Neithird" (as you wrote, based on the DNA of both N and NF) and implant the original Nei's consciousness on her.

This way you can also make an improvement from the original: making Hugh actually useful. ^^


Wow, that is quite good! That creates some great options, and having Hugh useful towards the end of the game is perfect!
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2022 11:24 pm
That would be, indeed, a Hugh improvement. :P
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2022 2:36 am
haroldoop wrote
That would be, indeed, a Hugh improvement. :P


😆😆😆
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SMS PhS2
Post Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2023 5:43 am
I literally started playing this on emulator again just last night. I only made it back to Paseo when I fell asleep... not even sure if I saved the game.

I'd actually forgotten that this game was made first for the SMS, then ported to Genesis. Sadly, that was probably the right business decision for SEGA, but I ended up missing this game in my youth.

Another retro game I'd love to work on. I've just now gotten the hang of ProMotion for artwork.

I'm not sure how we'd do the backgrounds for these fight scenes, but digitizing and dithering might produce decent results. That's been my preferred approach to still graphics on these machines.
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Post Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2023 6:52 pm
Hello,

This is my first post here. I will introduce myself further when I will create my first topic :)

I am really impressed by the pixel-art you achieve with the SMS palette. I find it really inspiring.

It is nice seeing a Phantasy Star II project as it was the same game I picked when I decided to learn coding on Game Gear, and my very first project was a proof of concept with moving characters in a scrolling town, as well as the battle screen. I learnt a lot doing these. I will share it eventually (nothing too exciting).

Looking forward to your progress.
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 14, 2023 7:46 pm
Hello,
I just discovered your project and congratulate you! :-)


Today I discovered a great source of information that might be of interest to you. I don't know if you already know it...


THE STORY OF PHANTASY STAR II NOT TRANSFORMED INTO A GAME

Whether they ran the project over-spec or whether the development window was too short is unknown, but there were many ideas beyond those which were able to make it into the game Phantasy Star II that designer Chieko Aoki wanted to include.

The following dissertation is taken from the book The World of Phantasy Star, pgs. 91-104 :
http://www.sceneryrecalled.com/trans/bizarps2.htm
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2023 5:35 am
Cleeem wrote
Hello,
I just discovered your project and congratulate you! :-)


Today I discovered a great source of information that might be of interest to you. I don't know if you already know it...


THE STORY OF PHANTASY STAR II NOT TRANSFORMED INTO A GAME

Whether they ran the project over-spec or whether the development window was too short is unknown, but there were many ideas beyond those which were able to make it into the game Phantasy Star II that designer Chieko Aoki wanted to include.

The following dissertation is taken from the book The World of Phantasy Star, pgs. 91-104 :
http://www.sceneryrecalled.com/trans/bizarps2.htm


I was not aware of this. Thank you for sharing :) It's interesting to read that they always intended to destroy Parma (Palm, Palma). I guess I always thought it just didn't make it in because of time constraints. I like the choices they eventually went with. Although, I may be a bit biased because I grew up with that storyline XD
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2023 1:23 pm
With pleasure. :-)
Phantasy Star II is certainly one of the games with the most unknown parallel content.

There's Phantasy Star II Text Adventures from the Sega Meganet, of course.

There's also the PS2 version, which allows you to obtain new items, such as here:
https://www.pscave.com/psg2/items/quest.shtml

The biggest surprise on the PS2 version is certainly the possibility of resurrecting Nei:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lip1UjsxBXE

In short, so many resources to give you plenty of ideas :-)
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2023 2:17 pm
Really looking forward to this project!
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 21, 2023 1:45 pm
Cleeem wrote
With pleasure. :-)
Phantasy Star II is certainly one of the games with the most unknown parallel content.

There's Phantasy Star II Text Adventures from the Sega Meganet, of course.

There's also the PS2 version, which allows you to obtain new items, such as here:
https://www.pscave.com/psg2/items/quest.shtml

The biggest surprise on the PS2 version is certainly the possibility of resurrecting Nei:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lip1UjsxBXE

In short, so many resources to give you plenty of ideas :-)


I actually own a physical copy of PSII Gen that I got ages (pun intended) ago through Playasia. I'm familiar with the content. I eventually English patched the iso I made, and played through it all. I never could get Nei resurrected though XD.

NewHorizon wrote
Really looking forward to this project!


Thanks for your interest. I haven't touched it in quite awhile, eventually it'll get its turn. At least a great deal of the graphics have been converted. It'll be a challenging one, to be sure.
sms_ps2_0026.png (297.81 KB)
Converted enemy graphics (1 frame). Most of them had to have additional dithering applied, to make up for the lack of colors. Some have been overhauled to a degree. I have to say, PSI dragons were way more impressive
sms_ps2_0026.png

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Post Posted: Fri Jul 21, 2023 5:14 pm
My God!
That miracle you did with the Master system palettes.
Very good!
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 22, 2023 5:34 am
EmuBoarding wrote
My God!
That miracle you did with the Master system palettes.
Very good!


Thank you. Since I'm doing some brief repetitive future import housekeeping for this project, I figured I'd record the workflow:

https://www.pyxosoft.com/projects/sms_ps2/videos/psii_0001.mp4

Nothing all too exciting, just getting more of an idea of the scope of work, setting up project resources, etc.. etc... Obviously some color reduction for various enemies will be in order. I should've done this awhile ago tbh.
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2023 8:21 am
EmuBoarding wrote
My God!
That miracle you did with the Master system palettes.
Very good!


Yeah, xfixium is amazing with pixel art for the SMS. I worked on the SMS port for the Street Fighter II, and xf just did a way better job than I could even with the time I put into it.
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2023 6:38 pm
xfixium wrote
Cleeem wrote
With pleasure. :-)
Phantasy Star II is certainly one of the games with the most unknown parallel content.

There's Phantasy Star II Text Adventures from the Sega Meganet, of course.

There's also the PS2 version, which allows you to obtain new items, such as here:
https://www.pscave.com/psg2/items/quest.shtml

The biggest surprise on the PS2 version is certainly the possibility of resurrecting Nei:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lip1UjsxBXE

In short, so many resources to give you plenty of ideas :-)


I actually own a physical copy of PSII Gen that I got ages (pun intended) ago through Playasia. I'm familiar with the content. I eventually English patched the iso I made, and played through it all. I never could get Nei resurrected though XD.

NewHorizon wrote
Really looking forward to this project!


Thanks for your interest. I haven't touched it in quite awhile, eventually it'll get its turn. At least a great deal of the graphics have been converted. It'll be a challenging one, to be sure.

The pixel-art for the enemies look very good with great color choices, especially when you needed more than 6 gradients, which is challenging on Master System.

If I had to make a suggestion, for the homogeneity of it, I would try to reduce the black outline that some enemies have. For example the Snake enemy almost looks like it has a complete black outline, which tends to not match too well with the overall style of other enemies. This is also true for the "crab like" creature below it, and a few others.

The black outline gives the impression of a different art-style. Not too sure of how it will look on top of a pretty dark background as well.
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2023 8:14 pm
cireza wrote
xfixium wrote
Cleeem wrote
With pleasure. :-)
Phantasy Star II is certainly one of the games with the most unknown parallel content.

There's Phantasy Star II Text Adventures from the Sega Meganet, of course.

There's also the PS2 version, which allows you to obtain new items, such as here:
https://www.pscave.com/psg2/items/quest.shtml

The biggest surprise on the PS2 version is certainly the possibility of resurrecting Nei:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lip1UjsxBXE

In short, so many resources to give you plenty of ideas :-)


I actually own a physical copy of PSII Gen that I got ages (pun intended) ago through Playasia. I'm familiar with the content. I eventually English patched the iso I made, and played through it all. I never could get Nei resurrected though XD.

NewHorizon wrote
Really looking forward to this project!


Thanks for your interest. I haven't touched it in quite awhile, eventually it'll get its turn. At least a great deal of the graphics have been converted. It'll be a challenging one, to be sure.

The pixel-art for the enemies look very good with great color choices, especially when you needed more than 6 gradients, which is challenging on Master System.

If I had to make a suggestion, for the homogeneity of it, I would try to reduce the black outline that some enemies have. For example the Snake enemy almost looks like it has a complete black outline, which tends to not match too well with the overall style of other enemies. This is also true for the "crab like" creature below it, and a few others.

The black outline gives the impression of a different art-style. Not too sure of how it will look on top of a pretty dark background as well.


Yeah, eventually I'll adjust all of them. This is the raw format. I had been testing enemy formations against the PS1 grass bg, to gauge palette output, what would need to be done to reduce resource redundancy. I have lightly updated outlines for those, and added a generic shadow graphic.
sms_ps2_0027.png (28.53 KB)
palette test mock up
sms_ps2_0027.png
sms_ps2_0028.png (26.88 KB)
palette test mock up
sms_ps2_0028.png
sms_ps2_0029.png (26.92 KB)
palette test mock up
sms_ps2_0029.png

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Post Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2023 10:58 am
xfixium wrote
cireza wrote
xfixium wrote
Cleeem wrote
With pleasure. :-)
Phantasy Star II is certainly one of the games with the most unknown parallel content.

There's Phantasy Star II Text Adventures from the Sega Meganet, of course.

There's also the PS2 version, which allows you to obtain new items, such as here:
https://www.pscave.com/psg2/items/quest.shtml

The biggest surprise on the PS2 version is certainly the possibility of resurrecting Nei:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lip1UjsxBXE

In short, so many resources to give you plenty of ideas :-)


I actually own a physical copy of PSII Gen that I got ages (pun intended) ago through Playasia. I'm familiar with the content. I eventually English patched the iso I made, and played through it all. I never could get Nei resurrected though XD.

NewHorizon wrote
Really looking forward to this project!


Thanks for your interest. I haven't touched it in quite awhile, eventually it'll get its turn. At least a great deal of the graphics have been converted. It'll be a challenging one, to be sure.

The pixel-art for the enemies look very good with great color choices, especially when you needed more than 6 gradients, which is challenging on Master System.

If I had to make a suggestion, for the homogeneity of it, I would try to reduce the black outline that some enemies have. For example the Snake enemy almost looks like it has a complete black outline, which tends to not match too well with the overall style of other enemies. This is also true for the "crab like" creature below it, and a few others.

The black outline gives the impression of a different art-style. Not too sure of how it will look on top of a pretty dark background as well.


Yeah, eventually I'll adjust all of them. This is the raw format. I had been testing enemy formations against the PS1 grass bg, to gauge palette output, what would need to be done to reduce resource redundancy. I have lightly updated outlines for those, and added a generic shadow graphic.


Seeing this makes me wonder why no one tried to make a hack that added backgrounds to the original PS2 battle scenes, of course it's because of the difficulty of programming, editing the graphics and the hacker community's lack of interest in doing so. If I had that ability, I would even include an extra chapter that would take place in Palma before being destroyed, in fact that was my biggest disappointment in this game, not having an adventure on this planet.
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2023 12:44 pm
darthvaderx wrote

Seeing this makes me wonder why no one tried to make a hack that added backgrounds to the original PS2 battle scenes, of course it's because of the difficulty of programming, editing the graphics and the hacker community's lack of interest in doing so. If I had that ability, I would even include an extra chapter that would take place in Palma before being destroyed, in fact that was my biggest disappointment in this game, not having an adventure on this planet.


Looking at lory's disassembly on git, on the surface it doesn't seem too involved. Similar experience when I wrote a tool for the PSIV data. Which oddly, led me into SMS hacking. But you're right, there's not much interest there from the community, it seems.

Adding an extra chapter for Palma would be pretty interesting. After reading the material Cleeem posted, it looks like they originally intended on at least exploring the storyline that leads to Palma's destruction.

Last update for a bit. I reduced all the first wave bio monster palettes down to 6 colors (black and white are static throughout) That makes 14 palette entries for monster groups at any given time. With the 2 other colors for the original grid blue colors possible. So at the very least, the original graphics are possible. If I want to create new BGs for each environment, I'd have to most likely play to the monster group palettes as a whole, and adjust copies of BGs around those monster groups (If organized correctly). Which would be wasteful resource wise, as it creates redundancy, but I believe it's easier versus building monster groups around BG palettes, or say, dynamically adjusting the tileset data on the fly (If that's even feasible with good performance).

Still more questions to be answered, actual code testing. At some point it will require the tool I'm using to recognize tiles that contain the "transparent" color, and export those accordingly, as I explore tile merging in the future, and how that plays with animation.

It will be challenging overall. The last 10 tile rows on down will be using the sprite palette exclusively, so having that match with the BGs using the BG palette will be interesting. Most likely I'll use a simple repeating 4 tile pattern (Much like the PS1 mock up I posted), to layer characters on top of.
sms_ps2_0030.png (108.84 KB)
Mota BIO monsters reduced palettes, round 1. Surprisingly, they don't look like total crap yet.
sms_ps2_0030.png

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Post Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2023 2:20 pm
I see that the notion of planets is of interest here. ^^
Just sharing for fun. :-)

According to Rieko KODAMA, character creator, there were four planets in the original Phantasy Star project, but due to memory limitations, the project went from four to three.

An analogy with the 4 elements can be seen in the original project:
  • fire, with the desert planet Motavia
  • water, with the ice planet Dezoris
  • earth with the earth planet Palma (compared to our own planet in the game manual)
  • air with the planet レクシオン (Rekushion), described as a misty planet and featured in Phantasy Star IV as Rykros


interview source :
http://shmuplations.com/phantasystar/
air planet source (top of scanned page 11):
http://www.space-harrier.com/ps/samp.pdf


(As Palma is compared to planet Earth in the Phantasy Star manual, I was tempted to make a comparison with the others as well, but it's just for fun.)

  • life has been developed on the desert planet Motavia, with its desert side diminishing in Phantasy Star II (this planet with its original desert appearance could be compared to the red planet Mars and the fun plans to insert life into it).
  • Dezoris is the planet with the most coveted resources with Laconia mining. In Phantasy Star II, Dezorians mention that the people of Palm went there to mine Laconia (it could be compared to the asteroid 16 Psyche between Mars and Jupiter. Funnily enough,
    there are plans to conduct mining operations on 16 Psyche, to take advantage of its exceptional resources).
  • finally, the abandoned green planet is described in Phantasy Star IV as having a highly ecliptical orbit (this planet, named Rykros, could be compared to current hypotheses of a ninth planet in relation to the Age of Aquarius, Aquarius being an air sign).

Rykros planet.png (5.39 KB)
PS IV
Rykros planet.png
Rykros exploration.png (182.89 KB)
PS IV
Rykros exploration.png

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Post Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2023 11:49 pm
darthvaderx wrote

Yeah, eventually I'll adjust all of them. This is the raw format. I had been testing enemy formations against the PS1 grass bg, to gauge palette output, what would need to be done to reduce resource redundancy. I have lightly updated outlines for those, and added a generic shadow graphic.


Seeing this makes me wonder why no one tried to make a hack that added backgrounds to the original PS2 battle scenes, of course it's because of the difficulty of programming, editing the graphics and the hacker community's lack of interest in doing so. If I had that ability, I would even include an extra chapter that would take place in Palma before being destroyed, in fact that was my biggest disappointment in this game, not having an adventure on this planet.[/quote]

Can't agree more, Palma was my favorite planet in the first game and was frustrating to see it going away without having the chance to explore it. Even after the fact I thought the group would find a way to explore the remains.
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2023 11:38 pm
Last edited by Cleeem on Sun Jul 30, 2023 12:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
xfixium wrote
Adding an extra chapter for Palma would be pretty interesting.


I'm currently rediscovering the PS2 version of Phantasy Star II. It's full of cool winks. :-)
If you add a chapter with the planet Palma, here's an interesting piece of information on what Palma has become 1000 years later after Phantasy Star in terms of exchanges with Motavia.

A possible source of inspiration if you feel like it. :-)
PSg2 0544.png (129.73 KB)
Motavians on Palma
PSg2 0544.png
PSg2 0528+.png (121.82 KB)
Motavians motivation
PSg2 0528+.png

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Post Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2023 12:06 pm
darthvaderx wrote

Seeing this makes me wonder why no one tried to make a hack that added backgrounds to the original PS2 battle scenes, of course it's because of the difficulty of programming, editing the graphics and the hacker community's lack of interest in doing so.


If I had to guess, I'd say that palettes are certainly managed in a way that it would require to edit ALL the monsters and party gfx.

Quote
If I had that ability, I would even include an extra chapter that would take place in Palma before being destroyed, in fact that was my biggest disappointment in this game, not having an adventure on this planet.


Same here :)
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Post Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2023 12:10 pm
Cleeem wrote
xfixium wrote
Adding an extra chapter for Palma would be pretty interesting.


I'm currently rediscovering the PS2 version of Phantasy Star II. It's full of cool winks. :-)
If you add a chapter with the planet Palma, here's an interesting piece of information on what Palma has become 1000 years later after Phantasy Star in terms of exchanges with Motavia.

A possible source of inspiration if you feel like it. :-)


I think this remake is vastly under-rated. Yes, the character design in the cutscenes is debattable (but less than the one in the 1st game remake if you ask me), but the added dialogs, referring to PS2 Text Adventures, to Phantasy Star Adventure is coherent and totally in touch with the original game.
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2023 3:20 pm
The question of Palma is fascinating. It has become the planet closest to the Sun, whereas in the first game, the planet Motavia occupied this position.

But information about Palma is not the only one to look at.

I want to compile a file on all the data around Phantasy Star II. There are many resources.


Phantasy Star II
Provision of complete game texts

Phantasy Star Compendium
Summary of Prologue/Epilogue/various info (pages 55, 64, 65, 66, 67)

Phantasy Star Generation 2
Screenshots of all dialogue in the game (estimate: about 1,500 in all, I've done half of them already)

Phantasy Star II Adventures
I would like to produce a whole set of screenshots of the stories, like the current PS2 version.

The World of Phantasy Star
Link to the canceled Phantasy Star II story project, already mentioned here (pages 91-103).
Of the 125 pages of the book, some have never been translated and I will get the English translation.

Pages 76 and 77 talk about deleted content:
in-depth study of space travel
infrastructure
shops and items

Page 105 talks about two things:
the passage of the game from the Sega Master System to the Sega Genesis
the correspondence of the heroes between the first and the second game

Pages 106 and 107 talk about certain concepts such as:
the descendants of Myau
anecdotes about some items and some characters like Tylon and also Hapsby for PSII
anecdotes about the creation of the equipment

Page 108 confirms something:
what happened to the heroes of Phantasy Star II at the end of the game will remain a mystery...

Page 122 does not talk about Phantasy Star II but about Phantasy Star IV:
this is the process of creating heroes with their possible links to Phantasy Star II

I would like to produce clear and complete information complementary to what I have already given.
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2023 6:41 pm
Cleeem this is a great project, curious to see the outcome.
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2023 7:41 pm
Cleeem wrote

Phantasy Star Generation 2
Screenshots of all dialogue in the game (estimate: about 1,500 in all, I've done half of them already).


Since I was the hacker of the translation, I have the whole script in txt format if you want...
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2023 11:50 pm
PrOfUnD Darkness wrote
Cleeem this is a great project, curious to see the outcome.

Thank you !
My original motivation was to contribute a little something for xfixium and also for myself, for the pleasure of discovering a few new things.
Since other people like you are interested, I'll open a new topic to bring all these resources together.

Tryphon wrote
Since I was the hacker of the translation, I have the whole script in txt format if you want...

What a good surprise ! If I had known, I would have asked you sooner! ^^ I've just reached 80% and I'm going to finish. But one doesn't preclude the other. I'd be delighted to have the script as well. We'll look at it privately at first if you like.

I'm also interested in someone who could see about translating the Japanese texts, it's in progress anyway...
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2023 5:10 pm
Dev update. So my new strategy is just to make 12 colors static on the bg palette, 2 colors for enemy group 1, and 2 colors for enemy group 2. I'm still playing with the colors a bit. I want enough flexibility for the bg environments. I'll probably have 2 main static palettes, to fit Dezo and Mota environment colors. As I don't believe the bio monsters cross over between the 2 planets. For now, one palette to rule them all.

I have enough done to actually test tile merging (Also need to update the tool I've created to export tiles with a mask color in it, versus completely "solid" tiles). One aspect I didn't account for is needing an extra black color. My work around atm is using a pre-defined color the enemy doesn't use for the mask color, and condition on it when drawing on top of another tile. Not sure how it'll turn out. Not sure about a lot of things XD. Performance being a primary concern.

Also digging the continued discussion on PSII's storyline resources.
sms_ps2_0031.png (364.25 KB)
WIP of palette strategy
sms_ps2_0031.png
sms_ps2_0032.png (21.57 KB)
Animations to test
sms_ps2_0032.png

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