Phantasy Star Online (Nov 1, 2000 prototype)

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Title Screen
Phantasy Star Online (Nov 1, 2000 prototype)
Build date Nov 1, 2000 09:39:27
Build name USA Region 11-2
Dump status Released
Dumped by Sazpaimon
Released by Hidden Palace
File release date February 25, 2023
Origin GD-R
Labels PSO USA Region 11-2
Dump method Plextor PX-755A (DiscImageCreator)
Game Phantasy Star Online
System Dreamcast
Genre Role Playing
Final build JP Dec 6, 2000
EU Jan 20, 2001
US Jan 20, 2001
Release date JP Dec 21, 2000
US Jan 29, 2001
EU Feb 23, 2001
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An English prototype of Phantasy Star Online for the Dreamcast.


  • This is an English localization prototype. However, because the localization began during the development of the game itself, this is actually a prototype of the game during production.
  • In general, this prototype of the game shares many similarities with the commercially released Network Trial Edition. A write-up of the Network Trial Edition can be found here. The only major difference between this prototype and the Network Trial Edition is that the Network Trial Edition lacks an Offline Mode.
  • The following can be used as the Serial Number and Access Key:
    • Serial Number: 89ACB092
    • Access Key: 78VYewQA
  • The differences between this prototype and the final are as follows (differences written by Laurent and ehw).
  • Title screen differences:
    • The Sega logo is light blue and not dark blue
    • The Sonic Team logo is much larger than in the final version.
    • The main options menu has only one toggle for stereo or mono music; you can't change the game's language (untranslated, like a secret encrypted message, this problem is recurrent in the game as for the names of the quests for example)
    • The title screen will display and loop the BGM forever, as there is no opening movie to show.
    • The opening movie is replaced by a text crawl as the title screen music plays, but you only see it when making a new character.
    • The B button cancels the text crawl, while the A button makes it scroll faster. The Start button doesn't seem to do anything.
    • Unlike the retail versions, the prototype doesn't seem to save your serials to the DC's flash memory.
    • The “I” in the SEGA / SONIC TEAM copyright on the title screen lacks spacing between letters.
  • Gameplay Differences:
    • The game is more susceptible to lag, especially when using Photon Blasts on a group of enemies in a graphically intense area.
    • There is a bug that can damage your save file where if the game starts to lag very heavily, changing areas can potentially crash the game.
    • The poison status effect icon sometimes doesn’t go away even after curing your character of the ailment. The effects of stun and poison (the icon) also remain after death.
    • Every item box in CAVES 2 contains the same item, usually a very rare high-level weapon. This also affects almost every area in Hard/Very Hard difficulties.
    • Some sound effects take precedence over the level-up jingle (such as a door opening).
    • Stat changes do not appear when you level up.
  • Mags
    • Mags get hungry every 40 seconds or so in the prototype, whereas it takes longer before you can feed them again.
    • There is no sound effect when mags level up or consume items.
    • Unlike the NTE, you can unlock your mag’s third form and Photon Blast in this build.
    • Mag pictures are missing.
    • Mag increases your current stats, not your base stats, so you can't use them to help you meet the requirements of a weapon.
    • Mags appear to stop leveling at level 199. You can still feed the Mag but no bar progresses. It seems impossible to reach the level cap of 200.
    • Boss teleporters display a confirmation dialogue when you enter them. In the final game, boss teleporters activate automatically if you're playing alone online.
    • The object pickup slider and sound effect do not change when you target an object that you don't have enough room to pick up.
    • Unable to access Simple Mail and Log Windows (they are locked).
    • Some item names have changed. For instance “Evade Material” is known as “Avoid Material” in the prototype. Descriptions of some items have also been altered, either suggesting existing stat differences in comparison to the final are old differences that have since been changed.
    • Several songs have not been implemented in the prototype. Some tracks, such as DARK_B2, SHIP_N, and MINICLEAR are different.
  • System Differences - Virtual Keyboard:
    • The words of some pre-recorded phrases are not separated by a space, for example - Path “FIXED CITY”, “Shall we go to theshops first?” instead of “Shall we go to the SHOP first?”
    • Some words or pre-recorded phrases are missing, for example, Path "FIXED ANSWERS", "Thank you" is not present
    • The title of the sections or access paths is not correct, for example, “FIXED SHORT MAIL” corresponds to “FIXED INTRODUCTION”
    • The order of the pre-recorded words is not correct, for example - On the prototype, “LIST ALL” begins with "SECTION ID". On the final version, it starts with "ELEMENT".
    • In “LIST ALL”, the box on the right "NEXT" is missing to allow you to choose yet another word for the desired formulation. On the prototype, we go directly to "everybody" without going through this step.
    • For symbol art, there is no representation of them when navigating in the sub-menu.
    • The head of the symbol art is square and not round.
    • The last symbol art of the submenu (it corresponds to "I'm angry!") has more icons in its design. The eyes and the mouth of the smileys can also differ from one version to another
    • The final version has an empty (grayed out) smiley box called "Not in use". There are 6 of them for a total of 12 Smiley slots. The prototype has only 6 Smiley and has no extra slots.
    • The character's name is not displayed in the speech bubble.
  • System Differences - SYMBOL CHAT:
    • On the prototype, when selecting the option, a sub-menu opens asking if we want to go to the next page (list of Symbol Art) or go back. On the retail version, we arrive directly to the list of smileys.
    • Symbol Art does not appear in a white speech bubble but in a box with the standard PSO background.
    • By navigating among the 6 pre-recorded symbol art, each one plays its own sound, the same as when you use it in the game. In the final version, the sound effects are made by selecting the desired smiley to modify it.
    • When trying to create a new symbol art, its original color is green instead of gray.
    • When the game asks to choose the shape of the symbol art (Face Type option), the help written below the symbol art box is missing, there are only the buttons to use without their explanations. It is impossible to change the color, only the possibility to choose the shape of the symbol art. When validating the shape of the symbol art, the prototype plays a validation sound specific to this version.
    • The "New Part", "Parts Edit" and "Register Symbol" options are visible in the symbol art creation sub-menus but do not work. By validating them, the game returns to the main menu of the "Chat". A sixth option (impossible to translate because of the problems of the build), the final version has only 5, is present. It is specific to the prototype but reacts in the same way as the options mentioned above.
    • The "Change SE" option works. When you select the sound you want for your symbol art, you will also hear the confirmation sound of PSO. The confirmation sound will override the sounds of the different emotions of the symbol art. The confirmation audio will be muted during the Phantasy Star Online master.
    • You can save the newly created symbol art but you won't be able to use it unless it is a modification of one of the 6 pre-registered symbol art.
  • Enemies:
    • Almost all the enemies and bosses give different experience points. The majority of the enemies (such as the weakest of the trash mobs) give less experience in the prototype in comparison to the final. Bosses give slightly more experience points on average than the final equivalent. However, the stronger of the trash mobs (Gigoboomas, Guli Sharks, etc) are slightly stronger and thus give more experience points in comparison to the final.
    • Enemies seem to need a line of sight to you to wake up. If the terrain stands between you and a Booma, even if you stand at melee distance from it, it won't notice you or wake up at all unless you step out from behind the obstacle. We can manipulate the elements of the scenery to target them without them seeing us.
    • When playing PSO Online, there were more enemies than in the Offline mode. On the prototype, the Offline mode should be the same as the Online mode, the enemies are more numerous.
    • Some enemies lack a defined type in the prototype.
    • Enemies will usually always drop something in this prototype. In the final, there was a higher chance of some enemies dropping nothing.
    • You can’t target some enemies unless they roar or yawn in this build.
    • Most enemies in Hard/Very Hard difficulties stay stationary, take one hit to kill, and give you no experience points. However, some of the bigger enemies don’t do this. The purpose of this is unknown.
    • Pan Arms are susceptible to physical attacks in the prototype. In the final, it has a high defense rate and can only really be hit with magic unless it splits.
    • Pofuilly Slimes can get stuck indoors in this build. In the final, they can respawn if they are close to the door.
    • The lava in the Dragon boss causes you to flinch but you don’t take any damage.
    • Unlike the Network Trial Edition, boxes appear after defeating the Dragon boss. However, there is nothing in any of them. The Dragon doesn’t seem to drop anything either.
    • The enemy So Dimenian, in Normal, doesn't get any experience and is killed in 1 hit (like in Hard and Very Hard mode).
    • See Sega Dreamcast Info Games Preservation for a detailed enemy table.
  • Pioneer 2:
    • You can get target locks on the NPCs who provide services, except for the Check Room NPC, as the counter is too thick to get close to her.
    • When you try to deposit or take Meseta from the Check Room, the quantity selection window starts on the maximum number of Meseta you have.
    • All items have stack quantity indicators in the Check Room, even if they aren't stackable.
    • All levels and sublevels are unlocked. That is, you can go to Ruin 3 at level 1.
    • Pioneer 2 is called CITY in the prototype, when you want to go to the city from the general HQ (Teleportal)
    • The dialogues of the NPCs are, for many of them, slightly different. Important words are highlighted in this way : "xxxxxxxx". This will not be the case in the commercial version.
    • On the prototype, dialogues can be passed more quickly even before the conversation bubble is completely filled by the dialogue.
    • Magic techniques can be bought with MST restrictions. You can learn them right away. The prices in the shops are all different, most of them are cheaper in the prototype. The descriptions are also different here and there too. “Purchase” instead of “Buy” in the prototype. Disks are stackable.
  • Bugs:
    • Learned Techniques are bugged in this prototype as you play the game. You can randomly lose access to Technique and even have specific Techniques lose or gain their levels for no reason.
    • Sometimes putting an item away in the bank will lose that item forever.
    • Depositing and then withdrawing items from the bank will allow you to take out certain items more than once, allowing you to duplicate items based on the number of things you currently have deposited in the bank. The same bug can occur when selling items.
    • Sometimes enemies can become untargetable.
    • Some techniques can become “corrupted” where the levels will randomly fluctuate each time Pioneer 2 is loaded. For instance, Resta can sometimes alternate to a negative integer.
    • In certain scenarios, it’s possible to get stuck in gates that need to be unlocked by clearing rooms or finding buttons/switches.
    • Sometimes the list of maps accessible from Pioneer 2 can be randomly changed for some reason.
    • Certain untranslated Japanese text will print out using the US character set, displaying garbage. However, some text will display properly in Japanese (like the save game menu).
    • The game can slow down if there are a lot of enemies killed at once on the screen, especially with a Photon Blast.
    • Accessing the weapon shop can sometimes crash the game.
    • Certain quests can crash the game when loading up another area.
    • Warping to an area with the Pioneer teleporter will sometimes put you in an area that doesn’t have a teleporter, like behind a locked room with boxes. This occurs when you warp to a non-one area from the teleporter.
    • Text will often run off the window or prompt, usually due to newlines being added or removed. This can affect the main menus, where specific options don’t appear because the text pushes some of the selections of the window.
    • The mini-map for CAVES 3 doesn’t fill when you go from area to area. Strangely, this bug does not occur in the NTE.
    • Telepipes can sometimes not be used even though Ryuker can be (like the Dragon boss area).
    • The poison status icon next to your character’s meters near the HUD won’t disappear even after you have been cured by an antidote, an NPC, a health ring, or even in death. Using Anti is the only way to get rid of the icon.
    • Impossible to pick up an item, no locking (Ruin 1 normal). This bug can also happen for boxes and some teleporters. You have to try to load another zone in the game (e.g. Telepipe) or you have to leave the game. This bug happens, it seems to me, after death.
    • Ryucker magic or Telepipe sometimes doesn't work. The animation and sound play but the portal does not appear. This bug appears when using them in the corridors of Ruin
    • You can even push enemies through walls and scenery.
    • The Scape Doll item works, but since the game is calibrated to return to the infirmary directly, the item does not have time to resurrect the character.
    • Slicers don’t seem to work against Rappys.
    • The Meseta drop amount caps at 255. During the later stages of Very Hard mode, the value of dropped Meseta falls back to a lower amount.
    • Ruins 3 has a chance of warping you to an invalid location (like a small locked room with boxes).
  • Character:
    • You're allowed to move your character before you've finished loading, so you'll see a disembodied shadow moving around, instead.
    • You start with only 1 Monomate, 1 Mmonofluid, and 100 Meseta (in the final it would be 4 Monomate, 4 Monofluid, and 300 Meseta)
    • You can't move the camera with the joystick to look around when you're dead. You will be teleported directly to the infirmary without a message asking you if you want to go there (Yes) or stay there (No)
    • Units increase your current stats, not your base stats, so you can't use them to help you meet the requirements of a weapon.
  • Quests - Universal Differences:
    • Starting and ending quests don’t replenish your health automatically.
    • No quest will give you any description (Client, Quest, Reward). Selecting a quest will just give you a YES/NO prompt.
    • None of the quests are translated yet, but all of them are unlocked.
    • Most quest files have “dummy” title names that are referenced when attempting to quit the quest.
    • Some quests crash the game entirely, potentially causing lost save data (quest 1). Some soft lock the game (quest 5).
    • Some sound cues (like the objective completion, and quest completion jingle) are missing.
    • None of the partner NPCs will attack monsters for you. They just sit and take damage.
    • Certain effects like screen fade-ins/outs don’t occur fast enough, causing NPCs that are supposed to disappear to vanish into thin air visibly.
    • Most quests start off with different camera angles upon loading them up.
    • NPCs based on player data seem to load much more quickly in the prototype.
    • Most quests seem to base their enemy layouts on the normal offline enemy layout.
    • The teleporter room on Pioneer 2 will always be available, even though the teleporter might not be able to be used in the prototype. In the final, the gates leading to the teleporter will be locked if they aren’t meant to be accessed.
    • The prompts when getting the reward at the end of the quest are different. However, you do get rewards for each quest you complete.
  • Individual quest differences:
    • Quest 1 - Claiming a Stake
      • This quest will crash upon loading Forest 1 and might lead to lost save data.
      • This quest cannot be completed.
    • Quest 2 - Magnitude of Metal
      • This quest will crash upon loading Forest 1 and might lead to lost save data.
      • This quest cannot be completed.
    • Quest 3 - The Value of Money
      • Different sound effect during the “weapon-fetish” line.
      • This quest can be completed.
    • Quest 4 - Battle Training
      • KIREEK is level 21 in the prototype, but level 36 in the final.
      • Some dialog boxes are delegated to white text boxes that can be progressed while moving. In the final, most of the dialog is in the form of a “black bar” or “cutscene” where you have to progress through the dialog before you can move again.
      • Some of Ash’s dialog that is based on player data appears as player dialog (as if an actual player sent the text in the chat).
      • Ash gets up after defeating the last enemy in the room in the prototype. In the final, you have to talk to him while still on the ground after the room is cleared.
      • There are a few dialog boxes when picking up the reward. What the text boxes say is unknown.
      • This quest can be completed.
    • Quest 5 - Journalistic Pursuit
      • NOL starts at level 6 in the prototype. In the final, she’s level 5.
      • The first gate before the first open area with monsters is still red in the prototype, preventing you from progressing any further. If you go near the gate, you will get stuck and will have to either be killed by a monster or quit/save the game.
      • This quest cannot be completed.
    • Quest 6 - The Fake in Yellow
      • This quest can be completed.
    • Quest 7 - Native Research
      • Even though this quest is timed, there’s no timer that displays.
      • The Quest Board has a delay when showing the icons of quest objects.
      • Messages from the device when defeating waves of enemies come from the player rather than a white box prompt. The special effect that displays when this happens is absent from the prototype.
      • No health pod in Forest 2.
      • You have 10 minutes to complete the quest in this prototype. In the final, you have 20 minutes.
      • This quest can be completed.
    • Quest 8 - Forest of Sorrow
      • Alicia is in level 11 in the prototype. In the final, she’s level 10.
      • Despite Alicia being unable to attack, she can heal herself at least three times. When she dies, you teleport back with full health near the guild.
      • Forest 1 is almost completely devoid of enemies. The enemies that do remain use the same layout as “Native Research”.
      • No health pod in Forest 2.
      • This quest can be completed.
    • Quest 9 - Gran Squall
      • This quest will crash upon loading Forest 1 and might lead to lost save data.
      • This quest cannot be completed.
    • Quest 10 - Addicting Food
      • This quest can be completed.
    • Quest 11 - The Lost Bride
      • This quest is significantly more difficult because there are more enemies in each wave which makes it difficult to keep your partner alive.
      • Cecil is level 10 in the prototype. In the final, she’s level 13.
      • This quest can be completed.
    • Quest 12 - Waterfall Tears
      • The quest will crash upon loading Caves 1 and might lead to lost save data.
      • This quest cannot be completed.
    • Quest 13 - Black Paper
      • The quest will crash upon loading Caves 2 and might lead to lost save data.
      • This quest cannot be completed.
    • Quest 14 - Secret Delivery
      • The quest will crash upon loading Caves 1 and might lead to lost save data.
      • This quest cannot be completed.
    • Quest 15 - Soul of a Blacksmith
      • There are additional untranslated white window prompts after the initial dialog with the quest giver.
      • FOREST 1, CAVES 1, 2, and 3 are available from the teleporter immediately. In the final, only FOREST 1 is available.
      • When picking up one of the materials needed off the floor, the text prompt for certain materials can appear more than once if you walk near the area where the material was.
      • The Dragon boss doesn’t spawn a teleporter or the item boxes, causing you to get stuck indefinitely. Telepipes for some reason doesn’t work in boss areas. However, Ryuker still works.
      • You cannot get any of the materials from the big stone near the beginning of CAVES 1. You have to somehow find your way to CAVES 2 to get the actual material.
      • The door leading to the areas beyond the shiny rock in CAVES 1 is locked. You have to use the Pioneer 2 teleporter to get to CAVES 2, where you can find the material in the waterfall area. Walking near the door in the CAVES 1 area can cause you to get stuck.
      • This quest can be completed.
    • Quest 16 - Letter from Lionel
      • Forest 1 and 2, and Caves 1 and 2 are activated in the Pioneer 2 teleport by default.
      • The game seems to crash when loading Forest 2.
      • This quest cannot be completed.
    • Quest 17 - The Grave’s Butler
      • The game seems to crash when loading Caves 1.
      • This quest cannot be completed.
    • Quest 18 - Knowing One’s Hear
      • This quest can be completed.
    • Quest 19 - The Retired Hunter
      • The game seems to crash when loading Ruins 3.
      • Caves 1 and Ruins 1 are available from the teleporter.
      • This quest cannot be completed.
    • Quest 20 - Dr. Osto’s Research
      • The game seems to crash when loading Mines 2.
      • Caves is present in the teleporter.
      • This quest cannot be completed.
    • Quest 21 - Unsealed Door
      • The game seems to crash when loading Mines 2, but Mines 1 works correctly.
      • Caves is present in the teleporter.
      • This quest cannot be completed.
    • Quest 22 - Doc’s Secret Plan
      • Elenor is level 6 in the prototype. In the final she’s level 27.
      • Elenor, unlike other nonplayable partners, can die and stay dead in this build until you resurrect her. In the final, the quest is over when she dies.
      • Elenor doesn’t leave your party when you approach the Hunters Guild. Because of this, the quest can’t be completed if you talk to the quest giver.
      • This quest can be completed, kind of.
    • Quest 23 - Seek my Master
      • The game seems to crash when loading Ruins 2, even though Ruins 1 is playable.
      • This quest cannot be completed.
  • Ruins Differences:
    • You can go through some doors of Ruin, usually the doors to be unlocked with the red switches. Some switches can also be crossed. You can sometimes get stuck, however.
    • The huge crystals are not bright from the inside.
    • Item boxes contain fixed weapons depending on the character and difficulty mode. See Sega Dreamcast Info Games Preservation for more information.
    • Enemies can be pushed into the corridor, especially the Dark Gunner. The Dark Gunner enemy has a lot of problems.
    • Chaos Sorcerer can launch his Rafoie if you are in a corridor, with no zone delimitation.
    • None of the forms (phases) of Dark Falz have a cutscene
    • Once Dark Falz is killed (Very Hard), there is no teleporter to escape the arena, so your only option is to log out. The credits are not there but you can see the people who worked on the game by looking at the 1ST_READ.
    • Missing textures on a Ruin wall.
    • Enemies in the corridors that poison or paralyze (Ruin), give weapons by killing them. The item bugs and is half on the ground and half under the ground.
    • In normal Dark Falz has 4 phases and not two. When you reach phase 4, after a few seconds/minutes, the game freezes but the sound/music continues.
    • Phase 1 is more complicated in offline mode because it uses the online mode configuration, where there are more objects on the screen to avoid. The mini-map seems to be more zoomed in, you can't see it entirely. It is not completely round as it should be, as if there is a kind of corridor.
    • Dark Falz phase 2 still has the zoom problem but this time the appearance of Dark Falz is just shown with an orange dot on the mini-map and not a huge X shape taking up 1/3 of the mini-map.
    • The same mini-map problems as the previous phases. Dark Falz in phase 3 only moves, he does not make any special attacks.
  • Mines differences:
    • If a Canadine dies over a space, he can drop an object into the void and the box of objects will float in the air.
    • Some doors to be unlocked by stepping on 4 switches remain red.
    • Missing textures on a Mine wall.
    • Item boxes drop certain weapons based on character and difficulty. See Sega Dreamcast Info Games Preservation for more information.
    • Killing a Dubswitch only kills currently living Dubchics or Dubchics who have seen you. Dubchics still alive after the death of the Dubswitch will be immortal.
    • Garanz missiles are incredibly slow, short-range, and weak, which makes Garanz much easier to defeat than in the final game.
    • Volt Op: Shooting at the central part hanging from the ceiling does not seem to disturb the flow of the action. You can only shoot once at a pillar unless it is red (that's the one you have to shoot at first). The pillars are not paralyzed (missing animation) to prevent them from going back underground.
    • Vol Opt form 2's Resta has white text, rather than green.
    • Killing the screens gives 30 EXP, while each pillar gives 200 EXP. In the endgame, you get no EXP until you defeat the second form of Vol Opt.
    • One of the attacks of Volt Op phase 2 cannot be avoided, you are trapped every time after his green ray.
    • Boxes appear after defeating Volt Op boss. However, there is nothing in any of them. Volt Op doesn’t seem to drop anything either.
  • Miscellaneous Notes:
    • Game is emulatable: Yes (as of February 25, 2023).





File Type Date Size SHA-1
Phantasy Star Online (USA) (En,Ja) (Proto) (Track 3).bin File 2023-02-26 04:48:13 1.1 GB 9f11592fbd7e5fd93eb187164021c149de6be6af
Phantasy Star Online (USA) (En,Ja) (Proto) (Track 2).bin File 2023-02-26 04:37:41 2.2 MB 1312a9ce85a306e731945dc0e97a047b2a7c6187
Phantasy Star Online (USA) (En,Ja) (Proto) (Track 1).bin File 2023-02-26 04:37:40 1.18 MB 99bf171ceaea81b719971ada64e28b50f4c2d974
Phantasy Star Online (USA) (En,Ja) (Proto).cue File 2023-02-26 04:47:47 420 bytes 75beda10bf5f3daa0b2461e79b1c27543af9198c


Thanks to Laurent from Sega Dreamcast Info Games Preservation and ehw for researching and playing through this prototype! Special thanks to VincentNL for researching the game’s debugging content as well.

See also