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Game References


In Phantasy Star, Motavia is a harsh, desert world.  It is nearest of the three known planets to the sun, named Algol.  Upon Motavia is a major spaceport linking it to the head planet of the human government, Palma.  All the organized settlements on the surface of Motavia are populated by humans.  It is suggested that the natives are farmers (e. farmer, n. farmer) and nomads (barbrian) by the random encounters players make with them on the surface.  Though these encounters can easily result in hostilities, all native Motavians are willing to talk with the player characters without the use of magical translation devices.

Though the planet's surface is dominated by deserts and mountains, there is a significant amount of water on the planet's surface, and even stretches of grasslands.  There are also animals which so dominate the landscape that they might as well be considered a terrain feature: the ant lions.  Ant lions prevent travel past their territory without special assistance.  Players who attempt to cross ant lion territory without a special vehicle will face unlimited, static encounters with the creatures.  Gaining levels and meseta in this fashion is not advisable, as the rewards for defeating these creatures are minimal.  These creatures have basis in fact, based upon real animals of the same name, which create miniature sink holes in the dry ground to trap their prey.

While the third planet from Algol, Dezoris, also has human colonies, the colonies on Motavia seem well established.  There is even a town, Sopia, which is situated in the middle of a field of natural poison gas vents.  One of the inhabitants remarks that before the rise of the Algol tyrant Lassic, even their poor town thrived.  The Motavian government is strong enough that it even has a governor, who presides in the human capital city of Paseo, and is rumored to not be on good terms with Lassic.

In Phantasy Star II, Mota as it is now called, is one of the two main locations in the game.  Mota has undergone a dramatic change in the sequel.  Now the planet is covered in green fields, with canals running from a central lake out into the planet's sea.  Although the original Motavia had bodies of water, the canals, sea, and lake now dominate the landscape.  Paseo remains the capital city, and is now a thriving metropolis.  It is in this city that the game begins, and one of the first tasks that must be completed is to investigate the malfunctioning climate control machines which have helped keep Mota green.  When the player characters first exist Paseo, one can see a dry lake bed, a reminder of Mota's past.

The natives of Mota remain on the outskirts.  There are still a few of them in cities which the players may talk to, but many of them now live off the refuse left behind by the pampered human population.  Unlike in the first game, no Motans are treated as hostile encounters in Phantasy Star II...  unless you really like to eat garbage.

The secrets behind the disturbance of the climate control machines on Mota is the central mystery of the game, and the resolution of this mystery results in one of the elements that make Phantasy Star II such an enduring classic.

Phantasy Star IV begins upon the surface of Motavia.  This time Motavia has reverted back to its natural desert-like state, though still with a surface-dominating sea, and the native peoples have risen to some prominence in the story, with one of the main player characters actually being a Motavian.  In the game, too, the Motavians actually call humans "Parmanians," in refernece to their origin world, this time called Parma instead of Palma as in Phantasy Star I (see Palma).  Motavia is one of the sources of the turmoil that plagues the world, and players must delve into it to learn its secrets.

Nomenclature


The translation of many terms in the Phantasy Star series have been less than exact in many places, often due to the limited screen space that latin characters allow, as opposed to Japanese syllables.  In the case of Motavia, the four-letter name of the planet, Mota, does not conflict with either the Motavia of Phantasy Star I in its English release, nor Motabia of the Japanese release.  Sources suggest that the intended name for the planet was actually Motabia.

Game Ecology


In Phantasy Star I, Motavia has one of the most lucrative "Meseta farming" sections in the game, where player of a reasonable level can kill monsters of the sandworm type, which yield high Meseta and experience for their difficulty level.  The ant lions, on the other hand, are difficult, but yield almost no reward and should be avoided. 

Barbrians (probably supposed to be barbarians, but BARBRIAN was all that could fit into the eight character monster name display) also yield good experience and money, as well as a hitpoint recovery item (cola) for every kill, but encountering them is not reliable, and one may wonder about the ethics of killing native Motavians for loot.

Arguably the most difficult battle in the game takes place on Motavia. 

Use of both the Hovercraft and rover are essential to fully exploring the surface of Motavia.

Two of the game's main characters can also be found in Motavia.

In Phantasy Star II, encounters of low to mid-level can be found on Mota, and they vary from bio-monsters to machines.  Use of the hovercraft is necessary to encounter the machines, as well as to explore mist-covered islands far from the mainland.

Phantasy Star IV's Motavia is rife with machinery as well as bio-monsters, and larger creatures are now encountered when the player is using vehicles.  Although many consider Phantasy Star III to not have much to do with the main series, its influence on the series is felt strongly in IV, with the use of Android main characters, and machine mazes which resemble those in III.

Throughout the series, Motavia has been a seat of defiance against the darkness that plagues the Algol star system.  Even in the first game it is where players begin to turn the tide against the dark forces.

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