Some time around 1999 or 2000, I purchased an Official Dreamcast Magazine and saw a multi-page spread on on a game called Phantasy Star Online. Being exclusively a console gamer, I was absolutely blown away by the next-gen graphics and the ability to play with strangers online. I read and re-read the article innumerable times, until I finally got the game as a gift from my parents. Though they would not agree to the recurring payment for Dreamcast’s online service, I spent 100’s of hours in solo mode and considered the game one of my favorite of all-time.
With the game, I purchased a strategy guide that had a history of the Phantasy Star series in the back, and I was intrigued. This directly lead to my exploration of these games that I had missed in my SEGA Genesis days, due to a lack of perceived interest in RPGs.
By the time I had experienced PSO, I had already been thoroughly indoctrinated in RPGs, my new favorite genre, and was ready to partake in the founding entries of the series. The obvious starting point was the game that laid the foundation for the series, a game that was truly ahead of its time; that game was Phantasy Star for the SEGA Master System, a console I had previously known nothing about.