In Phantasy Star, Palma is a temperate world, in between the orbits of Motavia and Dezoris, which all travel about their sun Algol. It is featured prominently as the center of government for the human civilizations on the three planets, as well as being the place where heroine Alis begins her quest of vengeance against the regime that was responsible for her brother Nero's death. Palma has vast seas, forests, grasslands, as well as volcanic regions and mountains. There are human settlements scattered throughout, and one of the largest is a walled, largely peaceful region that includes Camineet, Alis' home city, and Parolit, as well as a dangerous forest within that contains such monsters as owl bears. There are many secret locations that only those with the proper means of transport can reach (the use of transportation devices is a hallmark of all Phantasy Star series).
In Phantasy Star II, Palm as it is now called, is never visited. It is referred to as the center of government and civilization for the Algo star system. Though not central to the game, it still figures prominently in a key scene mid-way through the game.
In Phantasy Star III, Palma is only referred to in conversation once the truth of the world is revealed, and only in one of the four possible endings to the game. Phantasy Star IV references this very discovery when part of the history of Palma is revealed to the main characters.
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 Palma, it had more to do with the difficulty of transliterating the sounds "r" and "l" from Japanese to English. Sources say that the intended name for the planet was actually Parma. In the second installment of the series, all of the planets' names are shortened, but one would assume the Japanese version, if shortened, was likely Parm.
Palma has some of the weakest monsters in the first Phantasy Star (the Sworm) and has very difficult areas, including a hard-to-reach location where the tyrant ruler Lassic resides. Players are limited in their exploration by available transportation and braving dangerous caves, although transportation to and from Dezoris and Motavia is relatively easy, through use of the spaceport, once authorization is acquired.
Most of the intelligent creatures on Palma that the players encounter are humans, although there is at least one example of the variance of life in Algol through the main character Myau.
Through conversations and actions, from the beginning story sequence, to the conversations with many of the locals, to the rigmarole in acquiring transport documents, one gathers that life on Palma is especially oppressive under Lassic's rule.