People who bought Phantasy Star II upon its original Genesis release knew what they were getting into immediately upon opening the box. This Phantasy Star II Hint Book was the first warning that the game was brutally hard (well, that and the Phantasy Star name, which was equally foreboding for Master System gamers). The 110-page Hint Book, clad in ALARM YELLOW (actually kind of a subdued yellow) was players' official notice that Phantasy Star II was the kind of game that you needed a hint book for.

We didn't have GameFAQs back then -- if a dungeon was complicated, we usually got lost; if a boss was challenging, we usually died. Sega's thoughtful inclusion of a hint book provided a nice alternative to assured failure: possible success -- with a side of failure.

We've excerpted the hint book for your perusal. Check it out if you just downloaded the Virtual Console version of Phantasy Star II and want help getting started, or if you'd just like to see the state-of-the-art in strategy guides circa 1990. If that's not enough (and it isn't), check Phantasy-Star.net for more transcribed information from the book!

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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