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  Generations Of Doom
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Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom for the Sega Genesis

An In-depth Guide to Technique, Weapon and Battle Strategy 








/=\ Version Information:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
6-02 - Original Input


/=\ Contents:
------------------------------------------------------------------------

I.   WHAT IS THIS?

II.  PSIII STRATEGY OVERVIEW

III. WEAPON AND COMBAT STRATEGIES
     - Melee Weapons
     - Ranged Weapons

IV.  TECHNIQUE STRATEGIES
     - Heal Techniques
     - Melee Techniques
     - Time Techniques
     - Order Techniques

V.   GENERATION-SPECIFIC STRATEGIES
     - First Generation
     - Second Generation ( LENA )
     - Second Generation ( MAIA )
     - Third Generation ( ALL PATHS )

VI.  LEGAL

------------------------------------------------------------------------
I.   WHAT IS THIS?
------------------------------------------------------------------------

I recently found my old Genesis in storage, and sure enough I found my 
copy of the black-sheep of the PS series in working condition.
I've noticed in the past few months that despite the strange aspects of 
this game, there are few resources on strategies in PSIII.

In fact, many of the suggestions in the sparse FAQs avaliable are just
wrong, and they will make the game tougher and slower for you especially 
in the first generation.

This is not a walkthrough.  
This is an attempt to help others avoid frustration.  

A lot of people say bad things about this game, and most of them have 
to do with misunderstanding the battle and technique systems.  
My strategies are focused on minimizing the time you spend in-battle,
and maximizing your party's potential so you spend less time dying.

If you want a walkthrough I highly recommend Voltron's, 
but it lacks in-depth discussion of strategy except against Dark Force.

*** NOT SURE ABOUT SOMETHING I MENTION IN THIS GUIDE? ***

Get even more information at the Phantasy Star III Shrine.
Maintained by Orakio at:
http://www.rpgclassics.com/ps3/
	
------------------------------------------------------------------------
II.  PSIII STRATEGY OVERVIEW
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Do not assume the strategy in Phantasy Star III is just like any RPG.  

* Your weapon attacks NEVER MISS.  
* Your enemy's weapon attacks NEVER MISS.
* There are no CRITICAL HITS.
* Most weapons in the game are limited in targeting specific enemies.
* Techniques ( the magic equivalant ) behave much differently than usual

* KEY TACTIC: Emphasize Offense Over Defense.
------------------------------------------------------------------------  
Try to defeat your enemies in a single battle round.

Unlike other RPGs where you can miss attacks or get smashed by surprise 
critical hits, in PSIII the best DEFENSE is winning the battle as quickly
as possible.  This means you don't waste any time using special attacks or 
support Techniques, you simply have your FASTEST attackers make key hits
and plan your party's moves to maximize damage.  The few exceptions 
include the Generation bosses and Dark Force, all of which will take a 
maxed-out party multiple rounds to defeat.

* KEY TACTIC: Make Use of Weapon Options
------------------------------------------------------------------------  
Defeating your enemies quickly while taking minimal damage means carrying 
flexible weapons, and using them to their fullest extent. 

* Only a handful of characters in the game have much option as to the
weapons you can equip them with.  These options give you the ability to
concentrate your attack when encountering tough foes, or spread out your 
attack when encountering big parties of annoying weaklings.

Also remember that you have other options not common to the RPG genre.

* Unlike most RPGs, Melee Techniques can be considered as a primary attack, 
given their pitifully small cost per use.

* Another abnormality you can take advantage of is the ability of party 
members to carry Shields/Emels in each hand.  

What if you already have enough offense to win most battles in a 
single round, but you're getting beaten to death because all the enemies
attack before you do? Take your best Melee Technique user and give 
him or her a pair of Shields / Emels, and stick them in the 
front of the party!

* KEY TACTIC: Use Your Slowest Party Member as an Anchor
------------------------------------------------------------------------ 
Most of the time your slowest party member cannot make pre-emtive attacks,
and when they do it is inconsistent.

Wren will be your slowest party member for nearly the entire game, so his
powerful weaponry cannot be used in pre-emptive attacks.  However, he IS
the key to ending all your battles in one round, or disabling key 
back-row enemies before they get a second attack.


------------------------------------------------------------------------
III. WEAPON AND COMBAT STRATEGIES
------------------------------------------------------------------------

You will have three types of party members:

* Layans: typically only have one weapon option per individual, although as
an option they are capable of carrying Shields or Emels.  Their flexibility
lies in their ability to use Techniques.

* Orakains: lack Techniques, but they are more flexible with weapons 
than other characters.  You start out playing the full-blooded Orakian Rhys. 
Though the classic picture of an RPG hero includes a Sword, do not just 
assume Swords are the best choice of weapon for your Hero.  
He can make use of single-handed weapons like Knives and Needlers to 
spread out his attack and make a smaller party more effective.  
Keep in mind that the only other Orakians that join your party will be 
women, and they are not capable of using Swords or the more powerful 
Needlers.

* Cyborgs: have no weapon options whatsoever.  They are made to use one
type of weapon and they use it well.

Note that the weapons in this game have no special attributes.  
There are no special "elemental" weapons certain enemies might be 
weak/strong to, and there are no weapons that cast spells or have 
status effects.

Battlefield Layout:

---------- Group C ----------    ---------- Group D ----------

---------- Group A ----------    ---------- Group B ----------


/=\ Melee Weapons ( Swords, Knives, Claws, Staves )
------------------------------------------------------------------------
These weapons are very limited strategically.  
They can be used to target enemies in Group C or D only if there are 
no enemies in Group A or B.  Thus, a party with only these weapons can be
counter-productive, as the strongest enemies usually hide in the 
back row.  You end up spending an entire round wasting swords and 
claws on worthless cannon fodder.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Swords:
Two-handed, single concentrated target, good defense.  For the hero only.

* Knives, Claws, Staves:
One-handed, a pair can be used to attack different targets.  
The top-end versions tend to offer increased speed and/or defense.
Knives are used by Orakians, Claws are for Mieu, and Staves for Layan men.


/=\ Ranged Weapons( Needlers, Shots, Slicers, Bows )
------------------------------------------------------------------------
These weapons are more flexible than the above as they can target ANY 
enemy, but they are also more limited in avaliability and generally give 
no defense.  With the exception of Needlers, you will never have more 
than one person capable of using these weapons in your party.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Needlers:
One-handed, expensive both in cost and defense.  Orakians only.  
They attack all enemies in a column ( group A and C or group B and D ).  
Overall, their individual attack is weak, but the group effect makes 
them worthwhile.   High-end Needlers tend to increase your speed, 
but they all leave you defenseless, and like Shots their damage does 
not increase with stat increases.

* Shots:
Two-handed, for Wren only.  Cut through an enemy's defense, deliver 
consistent damage. Two models ( the Ceramic Shot and the Pulse Vulcan ) 
can attack a whole row or the whole screen respectively.  Damage does 
not increase with stat increases. 

* Slicers:
One-handed.  Attack all enemies in a row.  Used by some Layan women.  
Each slicer can target a different row.

* Bows:
Two-handed.  Attack any single enemy.  Used by some Layan women.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
IV.  TECHNIQUE STRATEGIES
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Every character's Techniques have an effectiveness rating seen on the 
status screen.  These ratings have a direct effect on how the Technique 
behaves ( discussed below ), and is not normally optimized for your usage.

You can visit a Technique Shop and have these ratings re-balanced.  
There are limits to how much you can pour into a single Technique 
( up to 1/2 your total rating ), and adding to one Technique inherently 
steals from another / adds to another due to the rectangle-based balance.

* BEWARE Enemy Attack Techniques.
There is no way to raise your strength against enemy attack Techniques,
furthermore you are vulnerable to them all.  Of greatest annoyance is the
abundance of enemies that cast Poison.  Poison attacks never fail, and
as noted below, it can be rather costly to your Technique Points when 
ridding a character of Poison.  Player characters cannot cast Poison.

/=\ Heal Techniques: 5TP
------------------------------------------------------------------------
General: 
PSIII has some unique aspects: both the Life and Antidote Techniques 
( Rever and Anti )  are not guaranteed to work at all. It is a good idea 
to leave these techniques balanced if you only have one Healer in your 
party, as they are all useful ( and costly if they fail ).  
Specialize as soon as you have 2 or more healers to maximize the effect 
you get from your 5TP.  If you can specialize, be sure to make Gires a
priority in parties of 5.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Res: Restore HP to one character.
Heals 5x rating out of battle, effectiveness varies in-battle.

* Gires: Restore HP to all members of party.
Heals 2x rating out of battle, effectiveness varies in-battle.

* Rever: Restore all HP of a character who can no longer fight.
Effectiveness varies, can be successful at very low ratings.

* Anti: Remove Poison from one character.
Effectiveness varies, can be successful at very low ratings.  
REMEMBER that POISON does not adversely affect a character's stats, 
it simply prevents you from healing them.  So wait to Anti a character 
until you're ready to heal them.

/=\ Melee Techniques ( Battle Only ): 2TP
------------------------------------------------------------------------
General: 
In most other RPGs you casually use attack magic or magical 
items on enemies who are weak to the effects.

In PSIII, it is difficult to anticipate which enemies will be strong 
against which Techniques, as there is little visual clue.  You've also 
got to understand that you either structure a party member to use 
Melee Techniques almost all the time, or hardly ever - but not casually.  

So, ignore the "elemental" aspect and choose the Technique that 
complements your tactics ( single, row, column, or all enemies targeted ), 
and max it out.  If it turns out you guessed wrong, then retreat, 
change-up your tactics, and give it another go.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Foi: FIRE elemental
Attacks enemy for damage minimum 5x rating, maximum 8x.  
Enemies strong against this attack are rare.

* Zan: WIND elemental
Attacks one row, each enemy is damaged up to 4x rating.  
Enemies strong against this attack will be damaged up to 1x rating.

* Gra: GRAVITY / FORCE elemental
Attacks both rows, each enemy is damaged up to 3x rating.  
Enemies strong against this attack will be damaged minimum 1/2x and 
maximum 1x rating.  More enemies are strong against this Technique 
than any other.

* Tsu: WATER elemental
Attacks columns A+C or B+D like a Needler, each enemy is damaged up to 
4x rating.  Enemies strong against this attack will be damaged up to 
1x rating.

/=\ Time Techniques ( Battle Only ): 1TP
------------------------------------------------------------------------
General: 
You won't use these Techniques unless you're fighting a boss, or you find 
yourself severely out-classed ( rare ).  Don't expect Shiza and Deban to 
work on a boss unless you have maxed them out completely.  Do try to combo 
Shiza and Deban, as your enemy will just stand there if they succeed.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Ner: Increase speed of one party member
Works every time, cannot be used multiple times on the same character.

* Remit: Increase chance of running away
This Technique is useless, so remember that when balancing your 
Time Techniques.  This Technique would be useful early on in the game, 
where you stumble upon enemies much stronger than you, but you don't 
get this gem until you find Wren.  By that point, Nasak would be a 
better choice if you encounter a deadly enemy party.

* Shiza: Prevent one enemy from using Techniques
Will rarely work when the enemy has greater resistance then your 
Shiza rating, tends to have little effect on back-row Technique users.  
Effect lasts 3-5 rounds, regardless of caster's rating.

Deban: Prevent one enemy from attacking
Much higher chance of success than Shiza, in fact this can occasionally 
work on almost any enemy even using party members with a low Technique 
rating.  Effect lasts 3-5 rounds, regardless of caster's rating.

/=\ Order Techniques ( Battle Only ): 1TP
------------------------------------------------------------------------
General:
You won't use these Techniques unless you're fighting a boss, or you find 
yourself severely out-classed ( rare ).  In battle try to use Shu early 
on, and concentrate all uses of Fandi on a single party member who does 
not have Heal Techniques ( so they can always attack ).  Don't go into 
a battle with Nasak maxed-out, intending to use it 
( unless you're trying my Ultra Gires Tactic, below ) - if you need it, 
you're not strong enough.  Just keep the rating low and be amazed if it
actually works in a clutch.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Fandi: Increase attack power of one character
Works every time. EFFECT IS CUMULATIVE, so using it multiple times per 
battle on the same character will increase the effect.  This Technique 
works on ANY weapon, including those not normally affected by stats like 
the Shot and the Needler.  Attack power increase seems to be 
approximately 2x rating.  This will have a varied effect depending on 
how the character's attack power is converted to real-game damage.
 
* Forsa: Your concentrated energy blows away one enemy
This Technique is useless beyond the early parts of the game, so remember 
that when balancing your Order Techniques.  It does not work every time,
and it will not work AT ALL if your foe's resistance is higher than your
rating.  Worse, you don't get experience or Mesta for foes you dispose
of with this technique.

* Nasak: Your HP drops to zero, restores all live party members to max HP
Even at high ratings this Technique has a high chance of failure.  
If this Technique fails, it fails to work for the entire party, and the 
caster does not die.  

*** TACTIC: this can be combined with a slower party member casting 
Rever to create an Ultra Gires effect, but there is a risk of wasted TP,
and it only works in-battle some of the time.  
Both the Nasak and the Rever would have to succeed, in that order.

* Shu: Increases a character's defensive power
Works every time, cannot be used multiple times on the same character.  
Does not seem to affect Technique resistance.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
V.   GENERATION-SPECIFIC STRATEGIES
------------------------------------------------------------------------

/=\ First Generation
------------------------------------------------------------------------
One healer for the entire generation means you must finish off your 
enemies quickly, however, you will encounter large parties well before 
you have assembled your entire team.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Rhys: 
The best defense is a good offense, so don't play the Sword or 
Knife + Shield game.  A pair of Knives will serve you better because you 
can split or combine your attack to deal with different combinations of 
weak and strong monsters.  If you have the patience, a pair of 
Steel Needlers and later Laser Needlers would be even better, especially 
when combined with Wren's Ceramic Shot.

* Mieu:
An Orakian-built Cyborg, she is under your command for the rest of time.
There's not much option here, it's Claws or nothing.  She is one of the
fastest members of your party, so be certain you structure your strategy
around her attacking first most of the time.  Keep her Techniques 
balanced, since she is your sole healer.

* Wren:
An Orakian-built Cyborg, he is under your command for the rest of time.
Again, not much option, it's Shots or nothing.  Make the Ceramic Shot 
your top priority when it becomes avaliable.  Wren has Melee Techniques, 
but when equipped with the Ceramic Shot they are not worth persuing.

* Lyle:
A Layan male.  He is pretty pathetic when you receive him, so give him
a Shield and some levels.  Be sure to drop the Shield and equip him with 
a pair of Steel Staves once they become avaliable.  His Melee Techniques 
are also quite powerful, so if you've decided not to go the Needler route 
with Rhys, then max out his Zan and use it in combination with Wren's 
Ceramic Shot against strong back-row enemies.

* Lena:
An Orakian female. She holds the party back, she is your big challenge.
Her best defensive combination is a Steel Emel and a Steel Knife, 
however you may want to upgrade to a Ceramic Needler and Steel Emel
to actually get some use out of her.

/=\ Second Generation ( LENA )
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You will again have one healer until your final recruit, Laya, joins the 
party.  The battle capabilities will be very similar to last generation.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Nial:
Wren's Ceramic Shot will eventually have to be replaced with a more 
powerful single-shot gun for him to be effective, so it becomes imperative 
for the Hero to have a pair of Needlers.  If you didn't bring 
Laser Needlers with you from Rhys, you'll be able to purchase 
Force Needlers early on in South Divisida and later you can pick up 
Laconian Needlers.

* Wren:
Now you will meet a lot of situations where you have a lot of low-defense
enemies in the back row, or just one or two high-defense, high-HP enemies.  
Nial's Needler can deal with all the low-defense enemies, so you'll have to
upgrade Wren's Shot to deal with the high-defense ones.  Make the switch 
when you receive the Laconian Shot, and max-out Wren's Zan Melee Technique 
to offer an alternative row-clearing attack when you need it.

* Ryan:
A Layan male.  He lacks Lyle's Melee Techniques, but equip him with two 
Staves and he will perform as well as Mieu.

* Laya:
The daughter of the legendary Laya.  She's a flexible addition to the 
party after you get her levels up.  She will become a more powerful 
healer than Mieu, so leave Mieu balanced and max-out Laya's 
Gires Heal Technique.  Though her bow is single-shot, it can target 
any enemy on the battlefield.

/=\ Second Generation ( MAIA )
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You will start with two healers and finish the generation with three, 
making for a stronger party.  Be sure to specialize atleast two of the 
healers to Gires.  Roles will change due to party members with new 
specialties, and a rash of high-defense Cyborgs.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Ayn:
Ayn is torn.  The high-defense Cyborgs are Wren's specialty, however his 
Ceramic Shot needs Ayn's Laser Needlers to be effective early on 
( if you don't have them, purchase them when you go back to Hatazak ). 
Later when you're rescuing Thea, the enemy parties will get smaller and
their defense and attack will get higher, making Needlers useless.
If you go back to Knives, understand you will have to share all Knives 
found in treasure boxes with your new Orakian party member Sari.  
The Sword is a better option near the end of this generation.

* Wren:
The Ceramic Shot will be effective early on, but be prepared to switch
to a single-shot Cannon when the opportunity arises.  Make sure you 
max-out his Zan Melee Technique.

* Sari:
An Orakian female.  She is the most deadly Knife wielder in the game.
Don't bother stunting her performance with an Emel, as like Wren she 
can take the hits.

* Thea:
A Layan female. She introduces a new weapon, the Slicer.
She now fills the role Ayn filled with his Needler. 

/=\ Third Generation ( ALL PATHS )
------------------------------------------------------------------------
This part is more genralized because you will always end up with the 
standard party layout: Hero, Mieu, Wren, Slicer-wielder, and Bow-wielder.

You will start with atleast 2 healers and end the game with atleast 3 
unless you are playing Crys.  Crys and Sean will start with parties of 
three, but Adan and Aron will start with a fourth party member, which 
can save you some playing time.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Hero ( Aron, Sean, Crys, Adan ):
If you brought a pair of Laconian or Royal Needlers with you from the 
last generation, they're useful but not necessary.  You might want to 
start Sean or Crys with Knives to deal with the larger enemy parties, as 
it will be a bit of time before you get your fourth and fifth party member.  
Once you get Kara, there is no reason to use anything but a Sword.

* Mieu:
Not much to suggest. If you have less than 4 healers in your party, 
think about specializing her Techniques before you hit Laschute.

* Wren:
The only option you will encounter is the Pulse Vulcan, but it's very 
expensive, and by the time you can buy it you've got a full party anyway.
There's no point in splitting Kara's slicer attack and cleaning-up with
the Pulse Vulcan, because Wren is too slow for you to benefit.
It would be better to invest in upgrading Kara's slicers. Wren's Melee 
Techniques will also be utterly useless.

* Slicer-wielder ( Kara I or Kara II ): 
A Layan female, there are two versions of Kara.  The one you get with 
Aron and Adan ( Kara I ) has Heal Techniques.  Kara II comes with 
Sean and Crys, and although she cannot heal, as you might expect she 
is the stronger of the two.  Kara is the cure for all those little 
annoying enemies, and properly leveled-up and equipped she can take out 
an entire back row with her combined Slicers.  If you get Kara I be sure 
to specialize her Heal Techniques as soon as she joins.

* Bow-wielder ( Laya or Gwyn ):
Both Layan females.  Only Adan starts with a Bow-wielder 
( his sister Gwyn ), the rest have to track down Laya.  They are both good 
healers so be sure to specialize their Heal Techniques for maximum effect.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
VI. LEGAL NOTICE:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
This document copyright 2002 Defaultuser.

Sega Genesis and Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom 
are trademarks of Sega of America, Inc.

This document may only be distributed electronically, FOR FREE, 
in it's entirety, and only with the author's express permission.  
Currently only www.gamefaqs.com has permission to distribute this document.  

The reader is free to make electronic or hard copies 
of the whole or any part of this document for personal use.

Suggestions?  Comments?  Permission for use?
Email me at structuredmayhem@hotmail.com