Q: What is Phantom Dust?
A: Start with the detailed game overview page, it will probably answer a lot of your questions: What is Phantom Dust?
Q: What’s so great about Phantom Dust?
A: Creator Yukio Futatsugi (Panzer Dragoon Saga) has created a brilliantly balanced Xbox Live battle game that is both action and strategy based. You’ll need to react fast, but be able to plan ahead all in the same battle. You need to pick and choose skills to execute your plan and place them into your arsenal (deck). Once in battle you’ll have to react and respond in real-time to your opponents and the random order in which the skills form your arsenal appear. There’s nothing else like it on the Xbox. It’s a breath of fresh air and really stands out in the sea of sequels and Xbox Live FPSs, racing, and sports games. The way the game mixes elements of first-person arena shooters, 3D fighting, and tabletop card games has never been done better. After hundreds of hours of online play we are still learning subtle and some not so subtle strategies — that’s a deep game.
Q: How much will the game retail for?
A: Majesco budget priced the game, making it a mere $19.99. 2017 rerelease price is TBD
Q: How many missions are there in the single player game?
A:114 missions broken down into 7 Chapters.
Q: Is the single player story any good?
A: Yes, it is good. I wasn’t expecting much of a story, nor the large underground world filled with NPCs. I was pleasantly surprised.
Q: I heard I get to choose from a predefined set of names for my character. Is this true and if so how many are there?
A: Yes, this is true. You get to select one of thirteen names. Should you not choose any of them you will be named Nanashi. Your choices are Alpha, Ice, Age, Key, Gin, Glen, Cruz, Io, Air, Duke, Beard, Silver, and Green.
Q: Do I receive anything as a reward for completing a mission?
A: Yes. During the early battles you will receive credits, which you will be able to spend at Mac’s Shop later in the game. You also receive a Memory Box, which usually contains a helpful game tip not found in the manual. Starting around mission 23 you will start receiving a skill for each mission you complete in addition to credits and a memory box.
Q: How long does the single player game take to complete?
A: It will take the average player anywhere from 20-30 hours, depending on their skill level. Some missions are very easy and take a minute or two to complete. Others are more difficult and you may have to try them multiple times. Some missions can last near the full 15 minutes, the longest a battle is allowed to go.
Q: How many skills are available in the single player game?
A:300 skills. [update, 374 will both skill updates downloaded] 2017 rerelease is assumed to have 374
Q: How do I get all of the skills?
A: Complete all 114 single player mission. More skills become available to you at Mac’s shop (the skill and arsenal shop) with each mission you complete. If you don’t see the skill you are looking for, just exit the shop’s buy list and go back in. It regenerates each time and you will eventually find the skill you are looking for. 2017 rerelease, unknown if this will be the case.
Q: Can I buy skill packs at Mac’s Shop?
A: Yes, you can buy booster packs called “junk” which contain 5 skills, or you can buy the skills individually.
Q: Is there a game save available so that I can access all of the skills right away?
A: Much like Phantasy Star Online or Dead or Alive, you cannot copy your Phantom Dust game save from your (non-altered) Xbox. You can save a custom arsenals to a memory card. This will allow you to battle with it at a friend’s house, but the arsenal can only be loaded in the split-screen multiplayer menu. 2017 rerelease, unknown how this will work.
Q: At what point in the single player game do I get to create my own custom arsenals?
A: At the beginning of Chapter 3 you will receive your first arsenal case and access to Mac’s Shop. Mission 22: Abundance of Memory if the final mission of Chapter 2. [EDIT: This will be changed for the 2017 rerelease, allowing you custom arsenals right from the start.]
Q: How many arsenal cases can you have?
A: Sixteen per game save.
Q: How many identical skills can I use in a single case?
A: A maximum of 3 of the same skill can be placed into an arsenal. The only exception is for Aura Particles. You can have as many or as few as you’d like in an arsenal.
Q: Can I revive my teammate if they die while in a battle?
A: Yes, you can do this with either an NPC teammate (single player mode) or an Xbox Live teammate. Hover over their body, much like a skill orb, and select an empty face button on the Xbox controller to capture them. You may also choose to overwrite a skill if all of your buttons have a skill assigned to them already. After capturing them press the same button again to bring them back to life with 50% of their previous maximum health.
Q: Is there a way to see a player’s name above their character without having the camera locked on to them?
A: Yes, press the white button on the Xbox controller. The name will appear in white above the character when the camera is not locked on to them.
Q: What type of download content is available?
A: For the original version two skill updates came out. The first, skill update 1.1.0 had 40 additional skills and skill balance changes to some of the original 300. This skill update was available for the North America launch of the game. A second skill update, 1.2.0 introduced an additional 34 skills and again re-balanced some of the existing skills. It is assumed the 2017 rerelease will have all 374 skills with some additional balance changes.
Q: How many people can battle in an Xbox Live match?
A: Four, the match can be set to a free for all, teams, an one on one.
Q: Why only four players at once on Xbox Live?
A: This number works well. This isn’t a first person shooter, it’s a strategy-based battle game. Even during four player battles you may find yourself getting hit from behind while attacking someone. Here is the official word from the director of the game: “We had to [limit the game to four players] because of the game rules, which are pretty complex. We first tried designing the game to allow more players, but it just wasn’t fun. With eight players it was really hectic, and naturally, we would have to build larger and less detailed maps to support it.”
Q: Is there a way to replay the cut-scenes found in the single player game?
A: Yes, In Chapter 4 Mikan (the nurse in the clinic) will have a mission. After beating it you can select any of the cut-scenes from her to view them again.
Q: Does Phantom Dust support custom soundtracks?
A: Yes (2005). 2017 rerelease will not at launch, but they are looking into it.
Q: Does Phantom Dust support Xbox Live 3.0 features?
A: Phantom Dust supports some of the feature found in Xbox Live 3.0, like voice messaging, but there is no clan support. [EDIT: This will be different in the 2017 rerelease for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC as it will support modern Xbox Live features including the new Xbox Arena.]
Q: Can you trade your skills online?
A: Yes, the game does support skill trading. The interface is not the greatest, but if you setup a trade beforehand it gets the job done. 2017 rerelease support for this is unknown.
Q: How many maps are available?
A: There are seven different stages and each stage has one to three variations. A variation includes a change in color palate, state of destruction, jump pads and moveable objects for a total of seventeen battle maps. Last, but certainly not least, is the beautiful underground world.
Q: Are there any differences between the Japanese and American versions?
A: Yes, subtle differences. Director Futatsugi has mentioned that the “boss effects” in the North American version have been altered. Besides that, no other changes are known.
Q: When was Phantom Dust initially released?
A: Phantom Dust first hit Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong on September 23, 2004. The game’s default language was set to English for territories outside of Japan. It was release by Majesco in North America on March 15, 2005.
Q: What type of battle modes are there for multiplayer?
A: 11 modes and 3 game types
- Battle Royale : In a Battle Royale, each player is pitted against every other player. The last player standing wins.
- Tag Team : Players are divided into two opposing teams. Defeat the players on the opposing team.
- One-on-One : A head-to-head battle. Defeat your opponent first to win.
- Standard Battle* : A battle is played with standard rules. All players begin with 20 Health, and starting Levels begin at zero. The surviving player (or team) wins.
- Ante* : The basic rules of Ante battle are the same as a standard battle, except that each player antes up one Skill. The anted Skills are randomly selected from the Arsenals being used.
- Quick* : The Quick battle rules allow you to play at your convenience without preparing an Arsenal. The Arsenal that each player uses in battle is randomly selected from several Arsenals customized for Quick battles.
- Puny : Makes it easier to use low-cost Skills. Each player begins with 10 Health, and Levels max out at 5.
- Heavy : Makes it easier to use high-cost Skills. Each player begins with 40 Health, and stating Levels being at 5.
- Special Environment : At preset intervals, an indestructible Environment Crystal appears.
- Single School : Players choose one of the Schools (Psycho, Optical, Nature, Ki, or Faith) and battle with Arsenals made of entirely of Skills of that School.
- Highlander : Players battle with Arsenals that contain only one of each Skill.
- Puny Only : Players can only use Arsenals composed of Skills that cost 3 or less. This rule enables battles with only low-cost Skills.
- Heavy Only : Players can only use Arsenals composed of Skills that cost 3 or more. This rule enables battles with only high-cost Skills.
- KO Number Battle : Players compete to defeat the most enemies within the time limit. All players have 5 Health, and when a player is defeated, that player is revived after a certain amount of time.
*Standard, Ante, and Quick rules are official matches, and their results will be tallied on the scoreboard.
Q: What determines the color of the Aura around your character?
A: The color will change depending on which school the majority of the skills in your arsenal are from.
Q: How many schools are there, what are they and how do they differ?
A: There are five different schools.
Optical uses light as its base power. It has many mid- to long-range Attack skills with fast shells. Optical Defense skills have low levels of protection, but they are easy to use and inexpensive. A unique characteristic of this school is its ability to control Level. It is geared toward Espers who appreciate well thought out battles. The Optical school has no effective close-range attacks; therefore, locations that are cluttered and not well suited for mid- to -long-range attacks will most likely place Optical skills at a disadvantage. The who posses a majority of Optical’s skills have a yellow aura around them.
Psycho uses the force to move objects as its base power. The majority of Psycho skills have effective close- to mid-range attacks. Their power of attack is high and is optimal for aggressive battles. Another characteristics of this school is the bountiful number of movement control skills. There are a few technical skills in this schools, such as Erase or Status skills; therefore, one would be at a disadvantage if engaged in battle against an opponent who has these types of skills. Those who posses a majority of Psycho skills have a red aura around them.
Ki uses your psychological stamina as its base power. It’s filled with skills best suited for close-range battle and skills that knock down opponents. In most cases, powerful Attack skills can’t be used repeatedly. It will be a long battle when facing an opponent pared with Defense skills. Also with this school you can use your will against others: You can erase their skills and interfere with strategies. Those who possess a majority of Ki skills have a blue aura around them.
Nature uses the natural surrounding environment as its base power. With close- to long-range attacks and abundant Defense skills, there is no downside to this school. And with the many variations of Attack skills, there’s an infinite selection to choose from. If a weakness must be noted in this school, it would be the high cost associated with using Nature skills compared to those of other schools. Few skills interfere with others, but some skills change the status of everyone, including the Esper who uses it. In addition, few skills of Nature School would take another by surprise. Those who possess a majority of Nature skills have a green aura around them.
Faith uses your will as its base power. The many powerful skills in this school have a high Cost or take away Health when used. Shell speed is slow, but homing on these is quite accurate. Many Faith skills can reverse a battle situation, but they are typically difficult to use. Those who possess a majority of Faith skills have a purple aura around them.