Phantasy Star Online Episode 3
FAQ v1.01
copyright 2004 John "Fry" Fanjoy

123456789A123456789B123456789C123456789D123456789E123456789F123456789G123456789

This document and the information contained herein are the intellectual 
property of John 'Fry' Fanjoy. Any use, replication, or sale of this document,
in part or in full, other than those purposes listed below, without the 
express consent of the author, is prohibited. All trademarks and copyrights 
contained in this document are owned by their respective trademark and 
copyright holders.

a. GameFAQs is the only website authorized to post this FAQ.
b. Individuals may download, read, and/or print out this document, for private 
use only.

FAQ history:
-mid-May, 2004, it occurred to me that there were tons of questions getting 
asked over and over again on the PSO Episode 3 board on GameFAQs. What I have 
done here is to assemble my answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions 
about Phantasy Star Online Episode 3.

-version 1.0: June 26, 2004. 25 questions (and answers) seems like a good
  place to start.

-version 1.01: July 27, 2004.
    Minor changes. Moved some Q&As to more appropriate sections, realized
    I pointed people to the wrong section in one of my answers. Oops.
    A few more common questions.


What this guide is not:
-Walkthrough for the game
-detailed deckbuilding strategy
-how to go online
-how to cheat at the game

What this guide is:
-answers to common questions
-generic deckbuilding strategy for specific quests

So, on with the questioning....!

I.   Questions about the game
  -What's this game like?
  -Should I get this or Episode 1+2?
  -Can I use my character from Episode 1+2?
  -Why can't I use my character in battle?
  -So what good is the character I created at the beginning?
  -Is there still FSOD? FSOD-X? 

II.  Questions about specific quests (possible spoilers; you have been warned.)
  -How do I get the Episode 1+2 linkage quests?
  -Backup
  -Unseen Enemy 2
  -Leukon Knight
  -Castor
  -Pollux
  -Amplum Umbla

III. Questions about cards
  -How does the card rarity scale work?
  -What are the Rare Ns?
  -What do the different card packs do?
  -When am I going to get an S card? An SS card?
  -Where do E cards come from?
  -What is this Evolution thing I keep hearing about?
  -How does Assault work?

IV.  Miscellany
  -Does Section ID do anything in this game?
  -What does Clv do?
  -How do I get meseta?
  -I got a Rare Coin. How do I use it?
  -How do I get a better grade in battle?
  -Why can't I summon any more creatures/play any more items?
  -Where is a good place to play online?
  -How do I whisper during a battle?

I.   Questions about the game

-What's this game like?
Phantasy Star Online Episode 3 is a Gamecube game that is best described as a 
collectible card game (CCG) in the Phantasy Star Online (PSO) universe. Many 
of the items, creatures, and locations from PSO episode 1+2 are present in the 
game. It has a few twists from standard card games; each battle is played on a 
map you have to move around on, and the amount of attacking and defending you 
can do each turn is controlled by a roll of the dice. If that sounds like it 
is very dependent on random chance, well, it is, but it's usually not that bad.
If you haven't had previous experience with PSO though, the characters and 
items and creatures won't be as meaningful to you, so you may not like the game
as much as a PSO vet.

-Should I get this or Episode 1+2?
They are completely different games.  1+2 is over-the-shoulder hack and slash, 
with some character-building. Ep3 is a card game. Really no comparison. If you 
are asking the question, you probably want 1+2.

-Can I use my character from Episode 1+2?
Nope, sorry.

-Why can't I use my character in battle?
Your character is just the commander; you deploy other characters to do your 
fighting for you. Yes, it would have been cool to have your own avatar command 
from down on the field, but it would have been very difficult to balance out 
stats and abilities for commanders.

-So what good is the character I created at the beginning?
Well, he's the person you drive around the Morgue and R-Base to talk to people.
If you go online, he's the face other people will associate with you. Other 
than that, not much. :P

-Is there still FSOD? FSOD-X? 
Unfortunately, yes.  You can still get the dreaded Frozen Screen of Death 
online. Fortunately, it is not as bad as 1+2, where you would lose all of your
unequipped items every time it happened. You don't lose anything but your time,
your temper, and possibly some XP if you are in the middle of a game. Unless 
of course someone does it while your memory card is being accessed- in this 
case, it is possible to lose your entire memory card(!). For this reason, I 
suggest not receiving guild cards in busy lobbies, and if you are going to be 
doing a lot of trading with someone, do it in a passworded room.

If you set your language to japanese, it will stop a LOT of FSOD from 
happening. An FSOD often looks like a speech balloon with no words, or the 
 "> Person" from a word select. If you see someone doing a lot of that, or if
you get a message that says something like "EAT MY FSOD!" and are then FSODed,
write down the person's name (EXACTLY), the ship, block, lobby, and the time 
displayed in the upper right corner, and send it to Sega, using the form at 
this address:

http://www.sega.com/function/pso_complaint.php

You are also required to have your own guild card number on hand, so write it
down when you get a chance.


II.  Questions about specific quests (possible spoilers; you have been warned.)

-How do I get the Episode 1+2 linkage quests?
You download them from episode 3. You have to have used the same hunter's 
license for both games. You also have to be sure to use the item you get 
during the conclusion of Blue Star Memories to unlock the download. Future 
Forecast is unlocked by beating the quest almost any way at all; to get 
Future Bullet, you have to defeat the Gol Dragon, and to get to that part of 
the quest there are certain criteria you have to meet. First, you have to get 
an A grade or better on the first three parts of the trial (not hard; 10 
minutes or better on each part). After you have finished the first three 
trials, Break asks you some questions, and you have to answer them a specific 
way. I think it's the lower answer for the first question and the upper 
answer after that. As I recall, you are telling Break that monsters did 
exist, and there were heroes that fought them, and you know who they are.

Psoworld has a guide for Blue Star Memories at 
http://www.planetdreamcast.com/psoworld/sections.php?op=viewarticle&artid=2001

-Backup
Peko will often kill off your creatures using Madness. Teifu and Viviana like 
equipping big shields, so you might want creatures with Guard Demolisher or 
the action Change Attack in your deck. Try to use little creatures to keep 
them penned in, away from Peko. Remember that dice max is 4, so you probably 
don't want anything that costs more than that. Dice +1 is your friend. Peko 
has a few machine creatures, so if you have a machine deck with Mine Brightness
it may be very effective here.

-Unseen Enemy 2
Your opponent is Inolis, and your ATK/DEF dice are fixed at 3. You probably 
don't want to have anything that costs more than that in your deck. Further,
your deck is unshuffled, so you will have to order it ahead of time (ugh). 
Try to use 1 and 2 cost monsters and attack actions. If you use Peko on this
mission, he would be good with Foie and Zonde. Bind, Acid, and Half Attack 
might work. Try to get several creatures out and keep them alive, so you can 
surround Inolis and attack her relentlessly. Maybe Boomas, Evil Sharks, and 
Claws?

-Leukon Knight
This battle would be way, way easier if it just didn't have the darn Deck 
Unshuffled rule. LK's Periodic Field ability changes his weak point every turn;
when he is black, only physical attacks work; when he is white, only tech 
attacks work. You should probably have both in your deck. Ability trap will 
get around the Periodic Field, if you need to. I have also heard that Maser 
Beam and Power Maser can both hit him when he is white, though I have not tried
that myself.

Be sure that anything you deploy has at least one point of AP, so when he uses
Revolt it is not immediately destroyed.  In some cases you can plan on the 
Revolt coming and use it to really hammer him; for example, if he Revolts a 
C-Sorceror's Cane (11 HP, 6 TP, 3 AP) it will suddenly have 11 TP and 6 AP!

-Castor
If you don't move your SC immediately, she will hit both you and your creatures
every round, and that is (obviously) not good for you. Suggestion is to use 
a couple small creatures and an SC that can fight hand-to-hand; Hyze and Break 
come to mind. If you have Aegis Guard, you might stick it in for this battle, 
as several of her attacks have the purple defense color.

-Pollux
By the time her attack starts doing much damage, it will be piercing, so don't
bother with shields. The generic Mag is great; other good choices for this 
fight include Plantain Leaf and Heavy Blow (AP silence), Twin Psychoguns and 
Caduceus (Dark Slayer affects her for some reason), Penetrate Guard, Weakness, 
and TP Defense (to stay alive :P).

-Amplum Umbla
Be sure to have some assists you wouldn't mind playing on His Shadowness; 
Bullet Storm, Cave Wind, etc. will still help you even if they are played on 
your opponent. The reason you need assists is to get rid of Flatland if he 
plays it; Flatland (despite the card text) will let him play his creatures
anywhere on the field, which is bad when he uses his Infinite Summoning ability
(he is allowed to have any four creatures of ANY COST in play at once) to put
a Gibbles, a Delbiter, and a Crimson Assassin right next to you. Try not to use
Dice +1s; those just help him get his scary creatures out.  If he does start
setting big creatures, try your best to run away from them; sometimes he will
spend all of his attack dice chasing after you rather than attacking.

Punch Guard works wonders, especially if you are a Hunter.


III. Questions about cards
-How does the card rarity scale work?
In general:
         most common  N4  N3  N2  N1  R4  R3  R2  R1 S  SS  most rare
E cards fall outside of the scope of the above classification; Akiko's Frying
Pan, for instance, requires you to walk around the Morgue and talk to people;
some E cards can only be obtained from a specific online or download quest;
a few E cards require you to have 100% completion of items, creatures, actions,
or assists. Not all cards fall inside the normal N4-SS ranking very well
either, for example Punch is an incredibly common R1. (See also next question.)

-What are the "Rare Ns"?
Guilty Light, Ancient Saber, Recobox, Merillia, Skip Set, Gather, and Fast 
Attack. So named because they are all N3 and N4, and all exceedingly uncommon.
So uncommon that many, many people will have 100% of the N2, N1, and R1-R4 
without having even seen someone else with one. Though with the release of the
card mod, this will probably change. Anyway, these cards are rumored to be 
Offline Only.  I have it on good authority that it is possible to get these 
cards from both Story Mode and multiplayer Free Battle. If you find one, 
consider yourself lucky. If you find two, trade one to me. :P

-What do the different card packs do?
The card packs, from left to right are blue, red, green, and black. Someone
posted on the GameFAQs board a while back the results of an experiment with
getting 10 packs of each color, with the same number of cards in each pack.
The results were roughly the following:

         Creatures    Items    Actions   Assists
Blue:      50%         25%      20%        5%
Red:       25%         50%      20%        5%
Green:     25%         25%      45%        5%
Black:     30%         30%      25%        15%

As you can see, if you want creatures, take the blue pack; items, the red pack;
actions, the green pack; assists, the black pack.  I usually try to take the
black pack, just to keep things nice and balanced.

-When am I going to get an S card? An SS card?
It's all random. Some people have claimed to have gotten Dark Flows at level
2, but they are usually dismissed as liars.  Most people report finding 
Chaos Bringer (S) and Chaos Bringer+ (SS) around level 30 offline. Online, 
they usually start showing up around 35 or 40, but it varies for everyone.

-Where do E cards come from?
A lot of different places. Following info is not entirely from my own 
knowledge; some of this (JP quests, all-card cards) I took from psoworld.

Game saves:
 Billy Hatcher- Clippen
 Sonic Heroes- Hallo Rappy, Sonic Knuckles, Beat

Download quests:
 Future Forecast: Richie
 Future Bullet: Cipher
 Game Informer: Game Informer (duh)
 Famitsu Cup (JP only): Famitsu (duh)
 Beautiful Inolis (JP only): Flower Bouquet
 Kid's Soul (JP only): Nintendo Kids
 Seashore Preacher (JP only): Nintendo Dream

Online quests:
 Dorimaga: Dremaga
 EGM: EGM
 Politan Appears: Dengeki, as well as Right Heavy Punch and Gi Gue
 Ripples: Game Gather

Other:
 All N4-SS items:     Red Ring
 All N4-SS creatures: Recky
 All N4-SS actions:   Parry
 All N4-SS assists:   Dice Fever+
 All N4-SS cards:     Del Rappy

The only download quests still available are the Episode 1+2 linkage quests,
Future Forecast and Future Bullet. (For how to get them, see the related 
question under "Questions about specific quests") None of the online quests 
are still available.

-What is this Evolution thing I keep hearing about?
Sometimes when you get a card from a pack, there is a chance it will try to 
evolve. It might not be successful at evolution. The chance to try and the 
chance to succeed are both proportional to the number of that card you already 
have.

-How does Assault work?
It is horribly mistranslated.  It subtracts the number of items/monsters you
have in play from five, and adds that to your attack. So if you have two items
in play, you get +3 AP.

IV.  Miscellany

-Does Section ID do anything in this game?
There has been no conclusive evidence one way or another yet. My feeling is 
that there is probably a very subtle affect of your character's ID on the cards
you get; after my data file corrupted, I started over with a different name 
and different ID.  I have been getting rare cards in a much different order;
for example, as a Pinkal I only had one Morning Glory by the time I was level 
35/35; as an Oran I had three of them before 20/20.  

-What does Clv do?
At low Clv you tend to get only common cards, as your Clv gets higher you get 
rarer cards more often.

-How do I get Meseta?
Win matches in tournaments, online.  For winning a match, you get
(100 times X) plus 300 if it's a human opponent plus 300 if it was the 
last match of the tournament. X is which round of the tournament (1, 2, 3, 4) 
you just won.

-I got a Rare Coin. How do I use it?
Sometimes when you put some Meseta in a machine at Pinz's Shop, a rare coin 
will come out. It is then immediately used in the Super card machine, which 
is much more likely to give you something valuable (instead of a 300th Visk, 
TP attack, etc.)

-How do I get a better grade in battle?
Win quickly, without taking much damage, and deal a LOT of damage to your
opponent(s). 

-Why can't I summon any more creatures/play any more items?
You can't have more than 8 points worth of monsters or items in play at one 
time. For example, since Nano Dragons cost 5, and Hildebears cost four, if you
have a Nano Dragon in play, you can't play a Hildebear, and vice versa. You can
have two Hildebears at once, but nothing else, etc.

-Where is a good place to play online?
Well, Deneb 7 is supposedly the official GameFAQs Episode 3 block, but it is 
almost always deserted. Vega 1+2 often have a lot of people in them, if you can
deal with the (sometimes not so) occasional FSOD. If you are handy with word 
select, or the japanese language, Mintaka 2 is often very busy.

-How do I whisper during a battle?
Hold the L button and press a button on the control pad:
UP: Direct speech to all players
LEFT: Toggle whispering to your partner on/off
DOWN: Toggle whispering to your first opponent on/off
RIGHT: Toggle whispering to your second opponent on/off

so, if you want to say something to both your opponents but not your partner,
hold L and then tap down and right on the control pad. The indicator in the 
bottom-center of the screen should change from "ALL" to the player number(s) 
of whoever you are whispering to.

Closing remarks: 
Feel free to send comments and questions to 
   fiveforfry at hotmail dot com
if you want. Please put "PSO Ep 3" or something similar in the subject line of 
your email, so I don't automatically delete it as junk. And try not to ask 
questions about things in the document without reading it first. If you have 
read through and still need a question about something, please let me know 
so I can try to explain it better. Also let me know about any typos, mistakes, 
etc. Any submissions I get will be attributed down here near the 
bottom of the page.  Yay!

This guide copyright John "Fry" Fanjoy.  No use allowed other than those 
mentioned at the top of the article.  All trademarks and copyrights contained 
in this document are owned by their respective trademark and copyright holders.