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Phantasy Star Online was a Dreamcast game released in 2000, developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega. Version 2 of the game was released for Dreamcast and PC in 2001, and was later ported to the Nintendo GameCube and Xbox in 2002.

Djstump and I, along with long time friend Ik, have been playing a lot of PSO recently, and I mean a lot.

to be fair, it’s a game that I’ve loved since it first came out.

I was sat thinking about how we play the game recently when I came up with what I thought would be quite an interesting challenge.

Challenges

For those of you who don’t know, Djstump hosts a semi-regular

read: when he has the time and wants to do it

live stream of him playing PSO over at his beam channel – which you can find here.

One of his most recent series of streams was titled “Fry Cook’s Revenge”, and during this series of streams he played through the entire story on Normal, using only Akiko’s Frying Pan. It was really quite impressive to watch.

Anyway, I was thinking about this stream and other challenges that we’ve given each other throughout the years, and I came up with this new challenge.

The Waffling Taylors Challenge – The Rules

As I’m about to use the phrase “weapons, shields or barriers” a lot, I’ll replace this with the catch all term “equipables”

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Start a game on PSO with a brand new character
  • You must unequip your mag
  • You cannot purchase any equipables (or use any that you unlock through completing quests, etc)
  • Whenever an enemy drops a equipables that you can equip, you must switch to it immediately
  • If you smash open an item box, and it contains a equipables that you can use, you must equip it immediately
  • You can only change equipables as you pick them up, and you can never change back
  • You cannot drop equipables, unless trading (see the section “Multiplayer”) – you must sell all of your old ones
  • You can only use support techniques, but not those which boost your stats or reduce enemy stats
  • So the only techniques permitted are:
    • Resta
    • Anti
    • Ryuker
  • You cannot use grinders or other items which will raise your stats or those of your equitables – including Units

You might be forgiven for thinking that Force characters would have an easier time with this one, until you get to the final rule. No techniques unless they are support ones. This leaves the skill down to the player.

and picking a name which gives you a class with better equipable item drops

Multiplayer

A recent post on pcgamer shows that the online community for PSO is still alive and well, which is almost unheard of for an online multiplayer game.

unless its World of Warcraft (which is younger than PSO)

So if you play multiplayer (online or off) then the person who gets the kill (or smashes the item box), gets the equipable item. It’s down the the individual player to decide whether they want to give or trade their new item with other players. However, the trade must be for the currently equipped equipable.

For example:

  • Jeff has a Saber equiped
  • Steve has a Knife equipped
  • Jess picks up a Saber and decides to trade it with Steve
  • If Steve wants the new Saber, he must give Jeff his Knife
  • Jeff must equip the Knife, and Steve must equip the new Saber

Previous Challenges

Our other challenges (which we still play on a semi-regular basis) are:

Episode One: Fry Cook’s Revenge (difficulty: easy)

This is a silly challenge, for a little fun.

  • Unlock Akiko’s Frying Pan
  • Equip Akiko’s Frying Pan
  • Starting at Forests, play through each stage until you beat Dark Falz
  • Never change weapons
  • You are permitted to save and come back later
Episode One: Fry Cook’s Revenge – Single Sitting (diffculty: easy)

Only those with a lot of time on their hands should try this one, as it requires a lot of time.

  • Unlock Akiko’s Frying Pan
  • Equip Akiko’s Frying Pan
  • Starting at Forests, play through each stage until you beat Dark Falz
  • Never change weapons
  • You are not permitted to save and come back later – you must complete this challenge in one sitting
Episode One: Au Natural (difficulty: easy to medium)

For those who really want to get to know their chosen character class.

  • Start a new game with a new character
  • Un-equip all equipables
  • Un-equip your mag
  • Play through the game without any equipables or mags equipped.
  • You can only use support techniques, but not those which boost your stats or reduce enemy stats
  • So the only techniques permitted are:
    • Resta
    • Anti
    • Ryuker
  • You cannot use material items (which raise your character’s stats)
Episode One: Boss Rush (difficulty: hard)

The aim of this challenge is to complete the game at as low a level as is possible. I’ve seen players as low as level 7 take down the Dragon at the end of Forest.

  • Starting a new game with a new character, you must only take on the boss of each stage as you reach them (no grinding for experience)
  • Start at Forest in Episode One, and ending at beating Olga Flow’s Second Form (i.e. completing Episode Two)
  • You can purchase weapons, shields or barriers
  • You can swap weapons, shields or barriers out at any time
  • You cannot use grinders (or any other items which will boost your character or equipables)
  • You are permitted to save and come back later
Episodes One and Two: Boss Rush – Single Sitting (difficulty: hard)

As with the single sitting version of Fry Cook’s Revenge, this requires a lot of free time – more so, in fact as it covers both episodes

  • Starting a new game with a new character, you must only take on the boss of each stage as you reach them (no grinding for experience)
  • Start at Forest in Episode One, and ending at beating Olga Flow’s Second Form (i.e. completing Episode Two)
  • You can purchase weapons, shields or barriers
  • You can swap weapons, shields or barriers out at any time
  • You cannot use grinders (or any other items which will boost your character or equipables)
  • You are not permitted to save and come back later – you must complete this challenge in one sitting