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Hordes of Nei

Hack of Phantasy Star

Description:

This is a thorough alteration of Phantasy Star for the Sega Master System to make it better tie-in with the rest of the classic Phantasy Star series. Nearly every piece of equipment has a different attack or defense value, many cost more, some items have been overhauled, some are only found from battles with boss monsters. The monsters now come at you in large numbers, so be prepared to fight the Hordes to get where you are going. As for Nei… that is for the player to discover!

Features:

  • Every single piece of equipment has a use! If something costs a great deal of money, it is worth it.
  • The restorative spells, (Heal and Cure) and items, (Cola and Burger) are now more potent and require more MP/Meseta to compensate.
  • All the guns do more damage.
  • Many of the shops have different items for sale.
  • The following items are no longer in the game: Wand, Needle Gun, Silver Fang, Ceramic Sword, Iron Shield, Laser Shield, and Light Suit. The items that replace these are FAR better.
  • All four of the player characters have been greatly changed to better represent their roles in the party.
  • Alis and Myau have new Spells.
  • Finally, the monsters have all been edited to keep a challenging level of play throughout, including having different combat skills, and nearly all drop more money to buy the new ultimate equipment.
  • New graphics for characters and vehicles!
  • Some dialogue fixes and renamed Noah: Lutz!

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Phantasy Star (USA_ Europe) (Rev 3).sms - NOINTRO
  • CRC32: 00BEF1D7
  • MD5: 1110938DF80F4E44C8213D7F85CFB5E6
  • SHA-1: 07FCF297BE4F4C9D92CD3F119A7AC48467E06838
  • SHA-256: 9E324E92BD833B45126861B6F1D2DCBB51251BDF3DF6D563AB3A3FF784D8CF88

Links:

Screenshots:


Credits:

Credits
ContributorType of contributionListed credit
The KomradeHacking

User Review Information

A flawed, but mostly pretty cool hack

Reviewed By: Greatshot on 20 Oct 2011

Let me start this review by stating that I absolutely *love* Phantasy Star. It’s my favorite game of all time, and I have played it to the point I have the entire game virtually memorized. What drew me to this hack was the claim of large hordes.. putting the “terror” of death around the next corner that the dungeons inspired as a kid before I mastered it (in reality PS is a pretty easy, just very grindy, game).

That out of the way, so you know where my POV is at, the hack was fun, but flawed.

The opening is VERY tedious. The vastly improved early monsters leave you tied to fighting Sworms and small packs of Scorpions for a long time, as anything stronger absolutely butchers you. Due to the very poor decision of making the Iron Sword MUCH more expensive than it normally is (the typically dirt cheap Irn. Swd. makes Scorpions more or less 1 hit wonders, which does a tremendous job of speeding up the process of early game meseta grinding). Without it, getting the money for the passport and roadpass to get Myau and actually get the game underway becomes, coupled with the higher strength monsters, an exercise in boredom.

HOWEVER, once that’s out of the way, the game becomes quite fun. Monsters are much harder, but once you get Myau and Odin on team, the game picks up a nice, tough pace. It’s much harder than the normal game, requiring resource management and occasionally actually retreating back to the hospital. This continues for a good chunk of the game, until you hit Dezoris. Here, the game ramps up the difficulty significantly, and you really have to struggle to get the end-game gear together. Not a bad thing for the most part, I found the difficulty quite challenging in a fun way for the most part (Holy crap! Evildeads can stone you? Hell, I’m out of here till i get the Mir. Shld. Cool surprise).

Unfortunately, it’s that “for the most part”, that’s the problem. There are a handful of monsters that come in large groups with high(er) HP and defense that either cast Rope or Cure. These battles are not “hard”, they’re AGGRAVATING. You wind up spending 5+ minutes in a single fight because the monster either starts spamming high level cure spells, or your entire party is repeatedly bound and unable to move while you watch the enemy battle animation 7 or 8 times. I’d rather deal with them flinging fire or thunder, or for their stats to simply be boosted further.

On the other side of the coin though, the hack does a very cool thing of making the game’s myriad of “useless” monsters interesting. Phantasy Star has a bizarre design choice of throwing several monsters at you on Dezoris (and a few other higher level dungeons) that don’t appear anywhere early game, and are already totally outclassed by Alis and Friends by the time you can encounter them (Lich, for instance). The hack turns these into genuine, high level encounters, which is pretty neat.

While the claim that most of the monsters give you more money isn’t actually true (very few of the values have been changed) but you do wind up with much more cash due to the sheer NUMBERS of them, the hack has turned boss encounters into fights with real weight, dropping high amounts of XP and money, as well as interesting items. However, these boss fights are not always planned out very well – several do not seem to be powered up over normal at all (I utterly CRUSHED the normally extremely overpowered Succubus, for example, both Bl. Dragon and Dr Mad were equally easily disposed of as well), but terrible design choice rears it’s head when you meet Lassic. There’s 3 of them, and they’re each more powerful than he normally is by a fair chunk. Given that he’s already the strongest boss in the game, has a hit all attack that does HUGE amounts of damage WITHOUT the hack, this fight turns into more dumb luck than any sort of strategy. I had a nearly full power party (more on this in a bit), all one level from max/cap and wound up more or less having to save state my way through this fight in order to “luck” into Lassic doing those occasional low damage strikes often enough to actually keep people alive for more than 2 turns. This battle really needs work. But aside from those few complaints, on the whole, the monsters are really well planned. Also, the author gets MASSIVE kudos for losing the annoying and pointless Flash drops and replacing them with actual usable items (cola and burgers).

On the whole, the item redesigns are pretty cool. Most of them are interesting (protip - the item replacing the Wand still has it’s inlaid Bye spell) and add a new dimension to the game, but the Neiarmor is either overpowered or underpriced. 20k for something that totally outclasses the “legendary” Laconian Armor that requires a subquest to obtain is a bit silly. Either boosting the Lac Armr or making the Neiarmor much more expensive so you can’t easily buy two suits of it (thus requiring you to make a decision on who gets the purchase until you obtain the “free” one later) would be a good call.

The characters too, have undergone some interesting revisions. Odin is now what he SHOULD have been, by far your strongest party member physically, an absolute tank that can’t use spells. Interestingly, this makes your endgame decision (the storebought gun vs the laconian axe) a much more interesting one – in the normal game, the axe is a comedic joke and should only be gotten for completion sake. In the hack, you can make an argument for either, as he’s actually strong enough to hack out large chunks of damage with it. Lutz now has enough MP to actually cast combat spells reasonably often as opposed to more or less just being a Cure-bitch, which too is a great improvement. Myau too is mostly improved, being quite strong, still acting as combat healer, and now has Thun, which makes him quite handy against larger groups.

The downside is poor Alis, who normally is a one-woman wrecking ball. For most of the game she’s really quite underpowered– wind is far less useful than normal as it’s targeting is pretty random, and does much less than Thun on groups, and while she now has Cure, she can only use it in battle (why? she only has 2 non-combat spells typically. This seems weird). Coupled with the stronger defenses, and the fact she doesn’t get Odin’s massive strength boost buff, she really doesn’t do a whole lot until you get the special sword near the end of the game (this is a continuity error, incidently, as Elsydeon IS the Laconian Sword from PS1. Also the fact it’s got the basic sword animation is a bit lame after using the Lac Swd, but that’s a minor complaint). In general, Alis needs *something* to round her out. Either a higher attack, or for her to also get Thun, or for her to be able to use at least the laser gun. Something.

Oddly, the change in spells leads to an interesting (intentional?) exploit that dramatically reduces the game’s difficulty when the monsters ratchet up on Dezoris and the final towers. By giving Myau Rise, the hack allows you to have infinate MP. Rise, when cast (for a reasonable cost of 18mp, barely more than a couple Cure spells), brings you back to life with FULL HP and, more importantly, FULL MP too. Use up most of one’s magic, Rise them, use up the other’s, repeat.

Lastly, I need to mention the altered sprites. Some of them look quite sharp (Alis, Lutz, the Landrover), some of them just look BAD – Odin (who’s also glitchy, flickering out to the background color on certain frames of animation walking upwards), Myau (who looks like an ugly, low res squirrel, to the apparently broken Luveno (which is half normal, and half repainted. Glitch?). Also, the sprites are only recolored during actual “gameplay” scenes – the two spaceships are not recolored when they’re parked, and any background/character art is not recolored (Lutz and Odin’s sprites when you meet them, the manga cut scenes, the shuttles in the background at the spaceports, etc), which is jarring and a disconnect.

On the whole though, the good mostly outweighs the bad, and the bad could easily be improved in an updated version (which I’ll agree with the previous reviewer, would also benefit from being compatible with the fantastic SMSpower patch). I enjoyed it, and if you’re a fan of the game, or of hardtype hacks in general, I recommend it.

Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
HeadlineAuthorDateVersionRecommended
A flawed, but mostly pretty cool hackGreatshot20 Oct 2011N/AYes
Same stuff, different flavorobscurumlux0124 Feb 2011N/ANo