So as a PC player with nothing to do but mind his own business and wait for the eventual PC announcement, I figured I would bring up some random PSO2 facts that some people may or may not know! ^^;
PSO2 Development Details
Phantasy Star Online 2 began development in 2008, a year after Phantasy Star Universe: Ambitions of the Illuminus was released. During early development of Phantasy Star Online 2... one of the early discussions was literally whether the game should be called "Phantasy Star Online 2" or "Phantasy Star Universe 2".
Early PSO2 Prototype & Characters
During one of the game's livestreams from the developers, an early build of the game which I estimate to have been made between 2008. The game has various notable aesthetic and gameplay differences but at the same time seems to have some elements that seem to already be established (Falspawn design, the Urban area, etc). You can find footage of this prototype here: https://youtu.be/vpSMKmohAFE?t=113
In addition, hidden in the game's Art Book is art of some of the default characters featured in demo (who appear to be drawn in Phantasy Star Universe's art style as opposed to PSO2's).
Phantasy Star Universe was the base for PSO2's Free to Play Model
This is a fact that is not too well known in the mainstream Phantasy Star Universe community. To give some context, the PC and PlayStation 2 version of Phantasy Star Universe closed in 2010, leaving only the Xbox 360 version of Phantasy Star Universe open. In Japan, the PlayStation 2 version would be dropped at some point and in 2011 the game would become Free to Play, utilizing a currency known as "Guardians Cash" (GC). This currency existed in the past as an optional purchaseable currency but at this point it became the main source of revenue for Phantasy Star Universe. When PSU closed, players could choose to have their Guardians Cash converted to Arks Cash (AC).
The Xbox 360 version (which had world-wide servers and was the only way to play the game in the West around this time) unfortunately remained subscription based... though there was always the free demo...
The Game had a Korean release planned
Before the original 2012 Western announcement was made, a localized Korean version of PSO2 was shown off at a South Korean game expo back in 2011... when the game was still in Alpha in Japan. A South Korean release was part of SEGA's plan alongside the South East Asia and Taiwan version but it ultimately never came to fruition and was in the end "delayed".
The following is an album featuring screenshots of the game's South Korean demo: https://imgur.com/a/zIpgc6K
And the localized PSO2 trailer for South Korea (which still has game footage from the JP version): https://youtu.be/38_0ZdicWBE
PAX Demo Oddities
What was shown off at PAX in 2012 represented only a few months of work into the game and as such not everything was completed just yet, the following are just a few of those things:
The game's server-side text wasn't translated yet, as a result many item names appear blank:
Links to the JP site were still present in the game:
Not an oddity as a result of Localization but rather the way things were set up... apparently the Vol Dragon fight in the Cauldron (the localized name for "Volcanic Caves", more on that later...) is apparently listed as still set on Naverius (Naberius)...
Hidden old PSO2 Site Pages
The website for the original planned 2013 Western release had a lot of pages which would have become 'unlocked' as more details on the game was released... which we all know never happened. That said, at least one page appears to have been completed and could be accessed by typing in its URL address. Its the Legacy page which has an interesting write up on the Phantasy Star franchise's history, always a nice read! Below I have I have provided an archive of the page as well as a screenshot of the page in question! https://web.archive.org/web/20150726140155/http://www.pso2.com/us/html/legacy.html
Pati and Tia are a pun on "Patientia"
Yea, believe it or not. This is the reason the SEA version (which used SEGA of America's translation in many areas) and the current translation has their name spelled "Pati" and "Tia".
The game's logo is different between Japan and Global
Although early Phantasy Star Online games kept the Japanese Katakana in the game's logo. This change was made to the PSO2 logo from the original planned Western release AND the current release. You can see the differences here:
While we are at it, not a PSO2 fact but did you know the SEGA logo used in Japan is different from the one in the West?
Light Blue: Japanese releases
Dark Blue: English releases
This change is applied to some instances of the SEGA logo in certain games, PSO2 included... try playing some past games and see all those instances the SEGA logo was changed to dark blue!
SEGA of Japan has a set of 'official English terminology'
While many changes in the SEA version were down to AsiaSoft's whim (Wizard, Health Drink) and SEGA of America's whim (Paradigm Matrix, Patrol Quests), and the same goes for the current localization (Falspawn, Alliances), there are many terminologies that are in fact dictated by SEGA of Japan to be used (though as we can see in a few cases, localizers were able to argue against some of these). You can find these SOJ terminology in sources such as the original JP Episode credits (in the case of character names) and the game's official soundtrack.
I'll go over a few of these! (ill be comparing these against the current NA terminology):
- Forest Expedition = Greenscape Probe
- Volcanic Caves Expedition = Cauldron Probe
- Desert Expedition = Lost Sea Probe
- Tundra Expedition = White Summit Probe
- Underground Shafts Expedition = Underworks Probe
- Floating Continent Expedition = Skyscape Probe
- Gateway Ship (Campship in JP) = Gateship
- Falspawn = D-arkers
As you can see, these terms were the ones that were going to be used in the original 2013 release and did end up used in the SEA version (as the SEA version used portions of SEGA of America's script). The current location names are more in line with the original names displayed in the JP version.
Musical Nods to Classic Games
To say that Phantasy Star Online 2 has an incredible soundtrack would be an understatement, however lets make things a bit better shall we? There's nods to the classic games in MANY areas!
- The full version of PSO2's opening theme "Whole New World" has the first verse be the same as PSO1's as opposed to just the first few notes which is used in the short version (used in trailers, opening 1, etc).
- The name of the title screen music is "A Lyric for Everlasting Story", a parallel to PSO1's "A Song for Eternal Story". Other than that, a few instruments from "A Song for Eternal Story" is used in PSO2's Title theme (its very short mind you..).
- The song "Quietly Decision" (plays mainly during cutscenes, look at the scene where Dark Falz Elder is awakened to hear it) has the tune of "Let the Winds Blow", the main theme of Phantasy Star Online: Episode III CARD Revolution, thrown in.
- A superficial nod but... PSO2's main lobby theme is "Day Stream", a parallel to PSO1's "Day Dawns" lobby theme... you can't deny that they have the same feeling though.
- "Falz Arm - Last Engage" is a remix of "Cry, for 'IDOLA' the Holy" from Phantasy Star Online.
- Profound Darkness has two of the best remixes... "Ooze" from Phantasy Star IV is reused for its first phase and "'IDOLA' The Strange Fruits" from PSO Episode III is used for its second phase.
Wew, thats it for now alright! Lets see if either I come up with more facts or others have their own facts of the game to share!