First Appearance: Phantasy Star (Sega, SMS, 1987)
Distinguishing Feature: Dark; forceful
Likes: Absolute power; hiding in chests
Dislikes: Being taken seriously as the universeís ultimate source of evil

Profile by Jake Alley? | February 19, 2011

Dark Force, or Dark Falz as he was originally known back in the days of First Food Shops and the barren wasteland of Dezoris, is a rather unique fellow as final bosses go. There are games where the final boss comes out of nowhere at the last minute. Thatís plenty common. You defeat the dark lord of evil darkness, and with his dying breath he explains how he was secretly working for this big wad of trees and naked girls made of pure hate or whatever. Dark Force isnít even that.

No, hereís the way it goes in Phantasy Star. You travel all over, gather the various artifacts of day saving, go find the evil lord of evil, kill him, and... nothing particularly interesting happens. No credits, no second form, heís just dead, and youíre still in his castle. It doesnít even start collapsing or anything. It would be perfectly reasonable to assume the developers just forgot to trigger the end game sequence.

The real ending comes however when, after killing said evil dark lord, you happen to stop by the home of an NPC of mild importance, and fall through a trap door into the true final dungeon. After a fair bit of exploration, you reach the bottom floor, where a hidden door along the wall leads to the true ultimate evil, in the form of a big blue guy who would look totally intimidating if not for the huge jowls and utterly baffling clown nose.

Itís also worth noting that secret doors along walls arenít actually a thing in Phantasy Star. This is the only one most players ever find. Now granted, after the battle thereís a little exposition what that was all about, and around halfway through the game thereís a dream sequence which arguably foreshadows this, but when it comes right down to it, the final boss is a totally arbitrary monster, hidden behind an invisible door, in the secret basement of some random guy.

Dark Force makes a return in Phantasy Star II in similarly baffling fashion. Right before the actual final boss fight, the player will encounter Dark Force, again with no buildup, by opening a treasure chest. Yes, thatís right. The nasty baffling final boss from the first game is now a rather arbitrary monster-in-a-box. Phantasy Star III ruins a good thing by keeping the chest gimmick but actually building Dark Force up as the final boss the whole game. Of course, PSIII is the Mario is Missing of the series, so who really cares. The real conclusion of the trilogy that is Phantasy Star IV? makes up for it with a whopping three Dark Force encounters out of nowhere.


Previous: Chaos | GameSpite Quarterly 7 | Next: Dark Link