Phantasy Star IV is a role-playing video game released in 1993. It is the fourth and final game in the original Phantasy Star series, concluding the story of the Algol Star System. Phantasy Star IV kept many of the game play elements of the previous game, including turn-based battles, overhead exploration, and magic spells. Phantasy Star IV met with mostly mixed reviews upon its release, but has been subject to very positive critical retrospectives. Phantasy Star IV is an archetypal role-playing video game, featuring the staples of exploration, NPC interaction, and turn-based combat. Like the previous games in the Phantasy Star series, individual characters each have their own statistics and equipment that determine the character's performance in combat, improving their statistics by gaining experience levels. Additionally, non-android characters have access to Techniques, i.e. magic spells, the use of which draw upon a character's pool of Technique Points, with new techniques being learned as a character gains levels. Phantasy Star IV has a number of features new to the series, including combination techniques, manga-style panel illustrations that accompany the narrative, and an expanded script. Phantasy Star IV takes place 1,000 years after the events of Phantasy Star II. After an event called the Great Collapse, much of the once-thriving planet Motavia has been reduced to desert, and life has become progressively more difficult for the planet's inhabitants. To make matters worse, there has been a marked increase in the numbers of the biomonsters, a catch-all term for the strange and violent aberrations of Motavia's flora and fauna. Keeping these creatures under control is the job of hunters. During an investigation into such an outbreak, Chaz Ashley, a young hunter, learns of the relationship between the biomonster problem and the planet's ecological crisis. The planet is in the process of returning to its original desert state as the climate and biosphere-controlling devices installed over a thousand years previous begin to fail. The reasons behind the malfunctions are clarified as the plot unfolds, relating directly to the events of Phantasy Star II. Chaz and his allies connect the world's troubles to a cult leader called Zio, The Black Magician, whose aims appear to be total annihilation, not only of Motavia, but of the whole Algol solar system. The heroes stop Zio in order to restore the computer systems maintaining Motavia. However, it soon becomes clear that Zio is merely the vanguard to a much larger enemy, long buried in the past. The secrets of the Algol star system are revealed as Chaz and company discover both the nature of the threat to their worlds as well as the safeguards placed in a time long forgotten.