What Are CAST? (possible Spoilers)

So, from every PSO game to another, it always seems to be different.

In this game it seems CAST's are "Cyborgs" of sort, with human minds/brains, just tranferred into Robotic bodies. But from playing PSO games long ago, I always figured I guess that CAST's were just offensive robotics designs with the purpose of just that, "Full offensive", and this is why many of the previous games did not allow CAST's to use Magic/techniques.

I've been watching the Anime, AFTER I beat the NA story (played JP story only so far), and in this version Risa, the crazy Robot chick actually sort of explains that she was once a little girl, but her body wasn't suited for photonic arts, so, her mind was actually transferred to a robot, thus, is what we call "CAST's" in this game now?

I ponder this, again, haven't fully played the JP version, and just now after finishing episode 3 in game, am watching the anime now, although there's no mention in the Anime how Risa came to be (as of yet).

So what really are CAST's? Cyborgs with human mind intigration, or... Just robots to do what they're told? We already know from the game and Anime/Manga "Code Abyss" Affects everything.

Just wondering about other opinions. Cause as an Oldschool player, I guess they never really went in depth with CAST, aside them being Robitics with no Magical force at all.

IF we go by what all the installments say about CASTs, Universe explains that the body gets moved in to an artificial shell (The robotic cast) at a very young age since you cannot survive for long if your body started rejecting the photons or they were too strong.

So far as I know, they separate the brain in to the head unit and the child's or baby's torso is in the middle compartment and the arms and legs function separately and can easily be changed while the head unit needs a bit of work but I suspect there's a core shell that never changes and they just apply a nice looking ''glamour'' shell on top of it.

I actually don't remember Universe talking about any biologic parts, but I haven't played that in a long time. I DO remember they are classified in that game as human created artificial life forms used to lead and control some aspects of human society because of their supposedly more impartial nature, and somewhat controlled by "Mother". A large robot and AI you get to fight in game when it goes haywire thanks to D cell infection. So I thought the biological thing was a PSO2 thing only.

I also don't remember anything about any biologics in the original PSO, but do remember a series of missions named "Seek my master" that had a Cast that would shut down when her master (a master swordsman with a ramar body, of all things) died. She spoke about how she was an older model and all that. And no mention at all about any biologic matter was made in that quest. But again, I haven't played those in awhile so I may have missed details.

https://phantasystar.fandom.com/wiki/CAST

There's also this, which is a collection of the descriptions throughout the games.

This topic probably belongs in the Story > Races section, but...

@xxHumorxx said in What Are CAST? (possible Spoilers):

I've been watching the Anime, AFTER I beat the NA story (played JP story only so far), and in this version Risa, the crazy Robot chick actually sort of explains that she was once a little girl, but her body wasn't suited for photonic arts, so, her mind was actually transferred to a robot

That's exactly the same as how the game explains what happened to her, in an Episode 2 non-battle story quest whose entire purpose is to elaborate on CAST conversion.


CASTs are different in Online 2 than the constructs in Universe; The Universe manual describes them thus:

CASTs are artificial life forms of mechanical origin. They think logically and move with precision.

All CASTs in Universe were manufactured; their part of the backstory war was for equal rights. This explained their connection to Mother Brain in Episode 3. The only real variance was that some CASTs were made in multiple to copy others, for instance the Magashi units being copies of Howzer, and these were termed Copy CASTs.

Universe was also the point where CAST became their race name; up to Online, it was android (or "humanoid" for the mess that was Episode III). In Online "cast" (not capitalised) was just their code name, e.g. HUcast was an android hunter, the way HUmar was a human hunter. Androids were manufactured beings up to and including Online, which was a referenced to the androids from the classic series including both Wrens, Mieu and Demi, and continued their trend of having mechanised abilities in place of techniques.


So in short the biological convert part is quite new to Online 2, enabling racial differences that were almost a plague on Universe to be considerably narrowed and allowing the aspect about technique limitation to be rolled into the theme of photon aptitude that was used to flavour the proficiencies of Zeno and Echo and explain Ulku's initial inability to join Arks. Interestingly they did retain the aspect of characters incapable of using techniques as well (though not with a CAST) and to me that detail served no purpose other than as a reference to previous Phantasy Star games.

@ZorokiHanuke For me If I ain't wrong, the old CAST teacher guy who joins the main character from Universe on the train mission was more or less something of a biological type cast or was just extremely humanoid looking.

@SleeprunnerInc said in What Are CAST? (possible Spoilers):

@ZorokiHanuke For me If I ain't wrong, the old CAST teacher guy who joins the main character from Universe on the train mission was more or less something of a biological type cast or was just extremely humanoid looking.

If you mean the old guy with a HEAVY master Roshi behavior, he was also full cast from what I remember. He was also affected by the whole Mother Brain thing just like every other cast. As I remember, he was pretty old, like a hundred or so years, and referred to himself as an older model. BUUUT again, haven't played that game in a long while. So I could still be way wrong.

@SleeprunnerInc said in What Are CAST? (possible Spoilers):

the old CAST teacher guy who joins the main character from Universe on the train mission was more or less something of a biological type

Lucaim Nav is the oldest known CAST in Universe at nearly 200 years old. I'm not sure I agree that he looks more biological that most other CASTs in the game (except Fulyen Curtz). It's just most of the others are decked out in metal "look imma robot" getup and Nav is practically wearing a tracksuit.

He was also pretty much the only CAST in the, er, cast, to crash due to essentially being dated hardware which is about as robot as you can get.

@Miraglyth True, but that's also the cost of trying to upkeep your body using machinery.

I'm pretty sure you could change up your hardware and still be biological if the only part you change are the components keeping your body alive.

@SleeprunnerInc said in What Are CAST? (possible Spoilers):

I'm pretty sure you could change up your hardware and still be biological if the only part you change are the components keeping your body alive.

Perhaps, but I don't recall any part of Universe that suggested this. That CASTs fought for rights really paints them as having originated as constructs to me.

@Miraglyth said in What Are CAST? (possible Spoilers):

@SleeprunnerInc said in What Are CAST? (possible Spoilers):

I'm pretty sure you could change up your hardware and still be biological if the only part you change are the components keeping your body alive.

Perhaps, but I don't recall any part of Universe that suggested this. That CASTs fought for rights really paints them as having originated as constructs to me.

Fair enough, to me that's an arguable part tho.

You can go through a procedure to transplant yourself in to a machine for several reasons (Most common is that you don't have a choice other than to die or get implanted) and since they are kind of a separate ''race'' on their own while not being a race since arguably they are just Humans, Deumans etc implanted in to a machine due to reasons they kinda had to fight for new rights.

@SleeprunnerInc said in What Are CAST? (possible Spoilers):

@Miraglyth said in What Are CAST? (possible Spoilers):

@SleeprunnerInc said in What Are CAST? (possible Spoilers):

I'm pretty sure you could change up your hardware and still be biological if the only part you change are the components keeping your body alive.

Perhaps, but I don't recall any part of Universe that suggested this. That CASTs fought for rights really paints them as having originated as constructs to me.

Fair enough, to me that's an arguable part tho.

You can go through a procedure to transplant yourself in to a machine for several reasons (Most common is that you don't have a choice other than to die or get implanted) and since they are kind of a separate ''race'' on their own while not being a race since arguably they are just Humans, Deumans etc implanted in to a machine due to reasons they kinda had to fight for new rights.

That's kind of what Risa said too in this game, she was weak, so, it was either die, or her mind would be embodied into essentially what this game see's as a "CAST".

I mean, I always thought this was weird, mainly because Zig always kept saying stupid things like "It's in my Heart" and stuff, so it kind of got me thinking as to what a cast really is. Again, I've played original PSO, where the original Idea was, they have absolutely no Photon skills at all, and are basically used as "Offensive Fodder".

Either, or, nice to see a neat discussion on how CAST's have changed. Kinda makes sense having "Feelings" with them now.

@xxHumorxx said in What Are CAST? (possible Spoilers):

@SleeprunnerInc said in What Are CAST? (possible Spoilers):

@Miraglyth said in What Are CAST? (possible Spoilers):

@SleeprunnerInc said in What Are CAST? (possible Spoilers):

I'm pretty sure you could change up your hardware and still be biological if the only part you change are the components keeping your body alive.

Perhaps, but I don't recall any part of Universe that suggested this. That CASTs fought for rights really paints them as having originated as constructs to me.

Fair enough, to me that's an arguable part tho.

You can go through a procedure to transplant yourself in to a machine for several reasons (Most common is that you don't have a choice other than to die or get implanted) and since they are kind of a separate ''race'' on their own while not being a race since arguably they are just Humans, Deumans etc implanted in to a machine due to reasons they kinda had to fight for new rights.

That's kind of what Risa said too in this game, she was weak, so, it was either die, or her mind would be embodied into essentially what this game see's as a "CAST".

I mean, I always thought this was weird, mainly because Zig always kept saying stupid things like "It's in my Heart" and stuff, so it kind of got me thinking as to what a cast really is. Again, I've played original PSO, where the original Idea was, they have absolutely no Photon skills at all, and are basically used as "Offensive Fodder".

Either, or, nice to see a neat discussion on how CAST's have changed. Kinda makes sense having "Feelings" with them now.

There has been a debate about artificial intelligence. If it's intelligent enough, can it create a sense of self? Or even actual feelings? Can a future AI be eventually considered a person on equal footing with a human? It's an interesting concept if we look at it from the perception that we are essentially biological "machines". And as artificial machines, the biological ones (humans, animals and plants) range from simple mind beings that have a single task (cells, hive animals), all the way to highly thinking multi function beings like humans.

@xxHumorxx Speaking about ZIG, he was a living humanoid/Newman etc lifeform before being transplanted in to a CAST.

That's how PSO2 handles them (More lore revealed later on from JP).

Depending on the scale of the CAST, some of them might have humanoid components in them such as the HEART which can be enhanced and might be required to keep the cast alive, The brain which keeps their memories etc intact since transplanting all those memories in to a computer would be extremely hard and difficult to do even with the Photoner technology (Even if they do know everything, doesn't mean it's not hard to do.).

So Zig might have a humanoid heart inside him in short.

Some other casts might not.

@ZorokiHanuke That AI debate ultimately boils down to: What is life?

IN my honest opinion, a machine is forever a machine till it works without any premade programmin and develops itself.

Once the machine is capable of thought, self thinking without relying on programs, feeling etc then it is ''human''.

If it was a CYBORG (Human implanted in to a machine) it would already be Human.

If it was an Andorid such as Detroit become human, it's forever a machine even if it learns anything since there's no human components there.

@SleeprunnerInc That's the thing. What IS life indeed. Super advanced AI may blur the lines of sentience, but of life itself? I don't think so. Machines are made from materials we deem as non alive, like metals and plastics. On the other hand, advanced AI might make us re-think that whole thing about souls. Are we actually souls inhabiting a body? Or are we just as is and we end when our bodies end?

Religion claims we are souls and our bodies are our earthen vessels, and when we die, our souls move on. Pretty much all religions say so. But other than their ancient writings, nobody right now can say they know exactly what happens after our deaths. So if we do in fact, just end then and there when we die, we wouldn't be much different from a "sentient" machine. We all have what would be akin to basic programming, our instincts, and advanced programming in our thought processes and sense of self. So I feel that instead of asking ourselves what is life, we should ask what's sentience, since machines can already emulate "life" pretty well.

In cutscene Risa said her original body was not able to contain the photon aptitude and was transferred into a CAST. You will get more story about it in EP6.

But in EP4, I think Xiera (High CAST) was created by Xiao, so I dunno.