Released for the Sega Genesis in 1990, Phantasy Star II is the follow-up to Sega Master System's Phantasy Star set 1000 years later in the Algo Star System. This time around, you have a larger cast of party characters (eight characters you can mix-and-match into a party of four) with a more diverse set of weapons, armor, and magic abilities. The game focuses around main characters Rolf and his half-human/half-monster friend Nei. They begin by investigating sabotage at the local climate control system, and from there a much larger plot unfolds that takes place across multiple planets, numerous complex dungeons, and up to a decisive confrontation with the Dark Force.
This turn-based RPG pushed the console RPGs to the next level with complex plot lines, challenging dungeons, and a well-developed cast of characters. Gone are the location-based backgrounds in combat which have been replaced with a Tron-like blue-on-black grid. Both players and enemies move when attacking, and the attack graphics change based on the weapons being used. Phantasy Star II helped push console RPGs to the mainstream and beyond the generic character dungeon crawls that typified most of its contemporaries.