SEGA Mega Drive / Genesis Collected Works

SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works, written by Keith Stuart and designed/edited by Darren Wallis, is a book from Read-Only Memory chronicling the hardware, games, and stories from the console’s heyday. It’s not a “comprehensive” guide of every game, but rather a “behind the scenes” guide. I’ve been slowly devouring it over the course of the past few weeks, and it’s incredible.

Within its pages there is plenty of Phantasy Star content. From high quality versions of official art to sprites from the games, there are all sorts of visual treats for fans.

The highlights however, are the interviews. This section features instrumental SEGA hardware and game designers from the Mega Drive era. Most exciting to Phantasy Star fans are the interviews with Yuji Naka (Phantasy Star, Phantasy Star Online), Naoto Ohshima (Phantasy Star I & II), with the highlight being Tohru Yoshida.

Yoshida was the visual designer for Phantasy Star II, and the director of Phantasy Star IV. In the interview he discusses working on both games, but the coolest bit for me was when he was asked about Phantasy Star II’s ending:

I agree.

Order the book here.


Welcome to Rocket To Motavia

In 2011 I wrote a blog post on my now-defunct Sega fansite Blue Skies Daily about hearing music from Phantasy Star Online 2 for the first time. I didn’t say much, but I was pretty dang stoked. Nine years later, the game has finally officially launched in the West on Xbox One, with a Windows 10 Store version launching next month.

As I write this, planning to launch this site, most of the world is being affected by the global pandemic, COVID-19. I have gone from teaching in a classroom to presenting lessons in video calls. There is a stay at home order in my city. No going to concerts, movies, bars, or restaurants. Reading the news every day is an exercise in staying calm and not getting too emotional about things I cannot control. I’m in a constant state of anxiety and worry.

Needless to say, like many of us, I needed a project. Something to celebrate. Something to share.

As I mulled over potential projects, ranging from Spawn comics to a blog about progressive metal, Phantasy Star just felt right. It’s probably my favorite video game series, and one that still has an air of mystery and discovery, at least in my mind.

So what is this site? There will definitely be a lot of nostalgic looks back on the history of the series, merchandise, and random cool stuff. I’m recruiting for a podcast, but we’ll see. I’ve been playing PSO2 since the XB1 beta, so that’ll probably make up a chunk of the content here (but don’t expect much in the way of mechanics deep dives or news. For that sort of stuff check out the official site, The PSU Blog, PSO World, and the Phantasy Star Wiki).

My goal here is simple: I want to celebrate the past, present, and future of this weird, fantastic series in the spirit of my early Sega blogging. Let’s do this.