Phantasy Star Online Dreamcast
Phantasy Star Online (abbreviated PSO) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game released on Dreamcast in 2000 in Japan and early 2001 in Europe and the United States. It is often considered the first true console game of its kind. Players categorize it as a hack and slash. it is the precursor of a whole new genre: the online role-playing game on console. At the time of its release, the title was often compared to Diablo.
It is the work of the Sonic Team and Yuji Naka (short biography here) . He will know a sequel on Dreamcast called Phantasy Star Online version 2 which will include new game modes such as "ultimate", "challenges" and "battles". It was possible to increase the level of his character to level 200 unlike level 100 of the first PSO.
The story :
This is not the strong point of the game. The scenario is minimalist knowing that the interest of the title consists in playing it in network.
Faced with the imminent destruction of their world, Coral 2 , a very large-scale evacuation project has been devised in order to find a habitable planet: the Pioneer project. Automatic probes sent into space made it possible to discover a planet where life was very rich. The first wave of settlers was mainly made up of scientists. They went there aboard the Pioneer 1 spacecraft and named Ragol the future home of humanity. The first line of business for the Pioneer 1 crew was to establish the Central Dome, where the rest of humanity could make contact with their new home.
Seven years later, the main wave of refugees finally makes it to Ragol, which the crew of Pioneer 1 worked on to make it pleasant and comfortable. The transport is done thanks to Pioneer 2, a Ship-World, connected to smaller ships. Everything seems to be going for the best, until the moment when Pioneer 2 enters orbit around Ragol and tries to communicate with the Central Dome. A gigantic explosion on the planet cuts all communication, and all contact with the thousands of men and women on Ragol is lost. This is when the player enters the scene.
The game system:
The player will be able to choose between skilled fighters in one or more of three forms of combat: swords and other melee weapons (Hunters), firearms and other heavy weapons at long range (Rangers), or magical invocations known as of Techniques (Forces).
Depending on the specifics of his fighter class, he will have to choose the right name of his hero. The name will influence his character's ID which will correspond to his frequency of item appearances throughout the game.
For example, by having the ID "Redria", it will be easier to find armor or shields. If we opt for the ID "Bluefull", we will more often see canes for spellcasters.
There are 4 levels, "Forest", "Cave", "Mine" and "Ruin" each with a boss at the end including Dark Falz for the end boss.
Whether in offline or online mode, the player has the choice between four difficulty levels: Normal, Hard, Very Hard and Ultimate (only available on PSO v2). Hard mode is available online once he has passed his character's level 20. Very Hard mode, when he has reached level 40. While in offline mode, he will have to finish the game at the first level of difficulty to move on to the next.
Three buttons on the controller allow you to perform an action such as a melee hit or to cast spells, which are called techniques in the game. This configuration of the controller can be changed at any time. Concerning the melee blows, sequences of three blows can be carried out, provided they are done in a very precise rhythm. For Techniques, they can be cast continuously as long as his magic level allows.
The peculiarities of the pink disc:
If we trust the GD-Rom in a hurry, it would not be a Beta. Looking at the build date, it is indeed a prototype. The pink color is surprising.
This version of PSO does not require serial and access key. It only turns 50 hz.
It could be some kind of white label. If it had been released, we would undoubtedly have called it "Phantasy Star Online Beta" knowing that the WL known to the mention of "Master"
The hypothesis of knowledge in English:
It's totally legit as far as I can tell. Apart from the ringcode being the same type as the usual ringcodes from PAL GD-ROMs, Sega appears to have been using a system where part of the ringcode indicates specific GD-ROM content / mastering. It's the xxxxSS part, which in your case is 0430SS. I have made catalogs with all numbers I know from PAL and JP discs. There are many gaps in my catalogs as I don't know / have all discs released. Your 0430SS fills nicely one of those. The retail PSO is 0319SS and the retail PSO v2 is 0495SS.
2) The PAL White Label "Phantasy Star Online Master" has been dumped and is exactly the same as the retail: http://dcemulation.org/dumpcast/viewtop ... f = 5 & t = 1619
3) Your ringcode is 952-0134-0430SS. There are several white labels that have 952-XXXX ringcodes, some identical in content to retail versions and others slightly different / earlier. The closest known to your disc is Fighting Vipers 2 Beta White Label, with ringcode 952-0135-0431SS. Which in my books almost certainly indicates that they were created at a similar time frame (FV2 Beta has a date of 12/26/00 on the header and is slightly earlier than the retail). 0432SS is again an unknown. 0429SS is retail Project Justice.
My theory: It appears that Sega decided to print regular non-final code GD-ROMs for 2 games (or 3, if the unknown 432 is something similar) around Xmas 2000. Most likely for same purpose as the other White Labels.
But for some reason the Phantasy Star you have (and maybe also the missing 0432 ...) did not receive wide distribution. Possibly scrapped and replaced with the more advanced / final code Phantasy Star Online Master, which received wider printing as a regular White Label. Perhaps if this disc had come out as a standard White Label, it would have been marked "Phantasy Star Online Beta".
You can download it below: