hantasy Star IV (sometimes PS4), released in Japan as Phantasy Star: The end of the millennium (ファンタシースター 千年紀の終りに?), is a role-playing video game released for the Mega Drive in Japan in 1993 and Europe and North America in 1995. It is the fourth and final game in the original Phantasy Star series, concluding the story of the Algol Star System. The game was also made available on the Wii Virtual Console in Japan on June 24, 2008, in the PAL regions on November 14, 2008, and in North America on December 22, 2008, for the price of 800 Wii Points. Phantasy Star IV is also part of the Sega Genesis Collection on the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable and on Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Phantasy Star IV kept many of the gameplay elements of the previous game, including turn-based battles, overhead exploration, and magic spells. Since its release Phantasy Star IV has been subject to very positive critical acclaim and is viewed today as one of the greatest role-playing video games of all time.
Phantasy Star IV is an archetypal role-playing video game, featuring the staples of exploration, NPC interaction, and turn-based combat. Like the previous games in the Phantasy Star series, individual characters each have their own statistics and equipment that determine the character's performance in combat, improving their statistics by gaining experience levels (achieved through victory in combat). Additionally, non-android characters have access to "Techniques," i.e. magic spells, the use of which draw upon a character's pool of "Technique Points" (TP), with new techniques being learned as a character gains levels.
Phantasy Star IV has a number of features new to the series, including combination techniques, manga-style panel illustrations that accompany the narrative, and an expanded script.
The instruction manual for the American version states that there are 15 possible combination attacks. However, only 14 were ever discovered. Occasionally, the "secret technique" Feeve, a useless technique accessible through hacking, is mistaken for the "lost 15th combo."
Phantasy Star IV takes place 1,000 years after the events of Phantasy Star II. After an event called the Great Collapse, much of the once-thriving planet Motavia has been reduced to desert, and life has become progressively more difficult for the planet's inhabitants. To make matters worse, there has been a marked increase in the numbers of the "biomonsters," a catch-all term for the strange and violent aberrations of Motavia's flora and fauna.
Keeping these creatures under control is the job of "hunters". During an investigation into such an outbreak, Chaz Ashley, a young hunter, learns of the relationship between the biomonster problem and the planet's ecological crisis. The planet is in the process of returning to its original desert state as the climate and biosphere-controlling devices installed over a thousand years previous begin to fail. The reasons behind the malfunctions are clarified as the plot unfolds, relating directly to the events of Phantasy Star II.
Chaz and his allies connect the world's troubles to a cult leader called Zio, "The Black Magician," whose aims appear to be total annihilation, not only of Motavia, but of the whole Algol solar system. The heroes stop Zio in order to restore the computer systems maintaining Motavia. However, it soon becomes clear that Zio is merely the vanguard to a much larger enemy, long buried in the past. The secrets of the Algol star system are revealed as Chaz and company discover both the nature of the threat to their worlds as well as the safeguards placed in a time long forgotten.
Phantasy Star IV is often seen by fans, critics and RPG enthusiasts alike one of the greatest 16 bit role-playing games of all time and one of the best games Sega ever developed.