PSO and PSO Community Appreciation Thread


Staff member
Hello, Hunters of PSO!

I've been doing some reflecting and noticed that, wow, it's has been quite the journey with PSO for me.

I've been in the PSO scene for quite some time! Online AND offline, I've played every release of PSO so far... JP PSOv1, US PSOv1, JP PSOv2, US PSOv2, JP EP1&2 Trial, US EP1&2, US EP3, JP PSOBB, US PSOBB. I've even tried all the game's potential successors such as PSU, PS0, and PSO2. But none of the more modern titles ever captured the magic of the "OG" PSO.

I think we can all agree that PSO is truly a lifestyle. Once you dive into this Hunter life, it's truly hard to ever get out of it. Sure, you may take a break from time to time, but we all seem to find our way back to the planet of Ragol.

I also made my way around the various PSO communities... As a member and eventually admin of the classic PSO-world PSO fan site, as a member and eventually admin of the classic Schtserv, as a member and admin of the PSO community, and as a member and admin of the Ephinea PSOBB server.

I've met so many great people from so many places. I've made some great PSO and now real life friends throughout the years and I feel we'll always remain friends for life. I'm truly thankful for all of you!

I remember wanting to learn how the game works on a technical level and making friends with various programmers. People like Kohle (now known as fuzziqersoftware), Myria, and Schthack really helped me to understand this game more. With the knowledge learned, I developed a very popular PSOGC proxy that is still used to this day.

I also remember getting the phone call on the day after my 27th birthday in 2008... I got the call that my father had been murdered the day before.

I became pretty depressed at this time and, wanting to find a way to push through it, wanting to find a way to focus on something else, I started to develop the PSOBB server software Tethealla, which the majority of private PSOBB servers, including Ephinea, also still use to this day.

When a certain PSO server started to use my software to make money, I became upset, stopped working on Tethealla, and left the PSO community for some time. It was @tofuman who managed to pulled me back in some time later and get me working on Tethealla again. tofuman also joined the development team officially.

Shortly after I started working once more on Tethealla, I became passionate about PSO's development and, sometime shortly after that, the Ephinea PSOBB server was born!

I think, at that time, the PSO community really needed a GREAT PSOBB server since also at that time, another server had fell due to staff negligence.

I wanted to create a place where players could enjoy the game again. I wanted to create a place where players could feel safe and that their data was safe. I wanted to create a PSOBB server that was mostly, ahem, "vanilla", but I wanted to also improve the quality of life for Hunters who decided to play on the server. I just wanted to do things RIGHT.

At that time and for several years after, Ephinea did not take donations to keep things running, everything was financed from my own pocket. I did this because of how much of a negative impact money coming in had on both the popular PSOBB servers at the time.

The other servers let players buy items, gave them double experience, and other things, for cash, which effectively makes the game pay to win to line the server creators' pockets. And, even with that money coming in, a server still managed to not backup any of the user data and lost everything. It was truly a "Wow" moment.

One of the very first things I made sure to implement was a way players could download their character data so as to not totally rely on the server, even though we had multiple backup locations for Ephinea.

People began to play on Ephinea and I was lucky to find great staff members who wanted to help moderate the game and also provide input on ways we could improve the server experience for players as well. And, even though I may have not always heeded to the input given to do things my own way, I did actually appreciate the input.

I know sometimes, it can seem like I can get emotional or angry at some things sometimes. I want to apologize for those moments, but it's really because I do have passion about this game and it's development. I want to do things to improve the game, but I also don't like upsetting people. I can also get stressed about things not working.

Thanks to the birth of my son in December of 2022, I'm more busy with real life than ever, though I'm still around day-to-day. But, you can ask Ender, when he says "Hey, this isn't working" or "I need you to do this", he always follows up with "BUT YOU DON'T NEED TO DO IT RIGHT NOW", because he knows I always want to fix things right away and I can get stressed out.

Oh yeah! On that note, although I'm thankful for ALL of my staff, I'm so especially thankful for @Ender as well. He has definitely improved development here with his own ideas on things and implementing new features. Ender comes up with things I didn't think were possible... He even comes up with things I didn't even think about to develop myself. He's an actual genius. Ender is definitely the real MVP lately.

Ephinea has evolved so much over these years. We've put servers in multiple locations, implemented so many quality of life changes, and so much more to become what many see as the definitive PSOBB experience. It has truly been one wild ride.

I'm so thankful to everyone who has joined up to explore planet Ragol here on Ephinea. I'm so thankful to the people who, day to day, choose to make Ephinea their server of choice to level up their characters and find the rare items of their dreams.

I'm also very thankful to our Patreon and Ko-Fi supporters who, now that we've opened up donations (which don't give donators any benefit except a Discord role), help to keep Ephinea running for, hopefully, years to come.

I want you to know, I love you all, and I hope all you Hunters of PSO continue to rock with Ephinea as well.

If you'd like to share your own PSO or Ephinea reflection, feel free to share it in a reply to this post.

Thank you for playing on Ephinea!
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to experience PSO online for the very first time, with real people, and as authentic as it can get on a modern machine! <3
Thank you (and all of the staff, both present and previous) from my heart for all the work you've done, all the engagement and passion you've put into this, and all in your free time :') It's deeply appreciated!
When I was a kid growing up, I had only heard about the game Phantasy Star Online Episode 1 and 2 through this trailer on my Master Quest bonus disc
My family never bought it but I thought it looked so cool. Fast forward to US PSO2 release and I tried it out and kinda liked it but I was in college and it kept deleting itself off the microsoft store. ( I believe it was a common bug at the time?) So I said screw this I'm not trying out pso again. I did end up playing New Genesis quite a bit but then I quit that too for different reasons as I was also getting into psu then fully played psu for a while. Then a friend referred me to Ephinea and I decided to try it shortly before this recent Christmas Event and I gotta say everything about this game immediately got me hooked. The Story, the classes and weapons, the community, and just how darn nice everyone was with helping me throughout my journey of leveling and getting my gear. It was and is STILL so satisfying and enjoyable and I've found and made a lot of friends along the way. I'm so glad I found this game because it's my first experience with the orginal and it makes me feel like I'm a kid again and makes me genuinely happy. I also just got to level 180 just recently :)
Here's to many more years of Ephinea to come, and if you need a FOnewearl let me know :)
I spent weeks looking for this stupid game so I could get a Tails Chao in SA2B, but then it accidentally turned out to be a lot of fun for both me and my siblings. I ended up hopping on Schthack in 2008 and playing there on and off for years until the data loss - I don't really remember what I searched for to get here, but I do know I had really good timing, since I joined, what, a couple weeks after the server properly opened?

Either way, it's been somehow both a crazy and comfy eight and a half years around here. It's weird to think I've been here since I was dicking around looking at battle params in university computer labs, and even weirder to think we've been around longer than Scht was for its original run. That shit seemed like it lasted for an eternity back then, but I guess I can chalk that up to years feeling longer since I was a kid.

Here's to more years of hanging out and helping out in the best community I've ever been a part of.
Although I've only been here for a year, it's been a great time. I wish I could have experienced it from the server launch, but better late than never! Before Ephinea, I had only played PSO offline on the gamecube with my cousins occasionally, but you've given many of us a chance to experience something that I thought had already passed.
I really want to say I appreciate many of the changes (Damage cancellation, omni-spawn, the events, and so much more) and concepts you've tried in the game (Hardcore mode seemed cool!).
I've brought my cousins and even my wife to the server (even though I play a bit more than them) and we all appreciate what you guys have created over the years. Really, just want to say you've all done such a great job developing the game and keeping the community alive, thank you!
Ever since I came here in 2015 this has been one of the best PSO experiences of my life! I want to thank you and everyone involved with keeping up with such a fantastic place to play the game! I do come and go as do other players, but every time I come back there's always someone to play with and the forum community is always fun to be a part of too. :D
Thanks for toughing it out bby, I'm not smart enough to write a more detailed appreciation post. Probably because I only appreciate YOU! and ender hes pretty cool
ryan is boring and matt sux
give me npc access
Took me twice as long to read this once the blur of tears arrived. I love you too! I already knew most of your story due to it being briefly touched in other places a long time ago, but I can't tell you how much I appreciate having this all written out so clearly and in such great length!
CONGRATULATIONS on your first child!!!!!! You deserve to be a father as great as the one you had!!
Creating this server has been a gift to so many beautiful people! I, for one, will never be able to thank you enough for it!
And thank you, Ender! I knew you were critical in the development, but until Soda said so just now, I never understood how pivotal you've been!
And of course, a special thanks to Mew, for solidly being what I refer to as Mother-PSO!

You all have all my thanks forever.
Viva Ephinea!

- Kevin


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I remember playing on launch day PSO v1 and getting three of my neighbors into PSO. I've made lifelong friends through this game, some that are no longer with us, and there are so many memories from this smol game that I don't have the time to type out but thanks to you and the community for keeping this server and this game alive. I don't play much anymore (no time!), but it's good to know the community has someone like you to keep it together.
I spent weeks looking for this stupid game so I could get a Tails Chao in SA2B, but then it accidentally turned out to be a lot of fun for both me and my siblings. I ended up hopping on Schthack in 2008 and playing there on and off for years until the data loss - I don't really remember what I searched for to get here, but I do know I had really good timing, since I joined, what, a couple weeks after the server properly opened?

Either way, it's been somehow both a crazy and comfy eight and a half years around here. It's weird to think I've been here since I was dicking around looking at battle params in university computer labs, and even weirder to think we've been around longer than Scht was for its original run. That shit seemed like it lasted for an eternity back then, but I guess I can chalk that up to years feeling longer since I was a kid.

Here's to more years of hanging out and helping out in the best community I've ever been a part of.
hahaha, I am also a PSO gamer because of Tails Chao, although I never played the GameCube version originally as I only started looking for how to get a Tails Chao in 2010, where I discovered Blue Burst and started playing it. I'm still here for some dumbass reason.

Also SCHT started in 2003, so we still got quite a bit to go, unless you are only counting the public Blue Burst access.

Finally, Ender might be the best thing that happened to PSO... probably better than Soda himself. ;) *flees*
I didn't start until around 2004 or so when me and a friend went to a game store and he was all "Omg this is the GC game my cousin has been playing for a while and it's looks really cool. When we got back home I made a RAcast called RedBullet21, he was red, chunky, and a Redria. I played non-stop for a long time, never online. But I frequently skipped school just to play PSO. Never went past level 110, because let's face it, it's offline GC PSO. I did farm for an Agito 1975 though!

Eventually looked into Schthack server to try out what online/ep4/Blue Burst had to offer. I met someone who I knew as Darky, as that was part of his character name. We farmed for a PWand for ages with my RAml and his FOnl. One day around 2012(?) he introduced me to a Skype call with around 20 or so people. Of which, about 4 of them are still very close friends that I speak to near every day. So without PSO I wouldn't know my current friendgroup.

I knew about Ephinea launching when it happened, but was content with what I had accomplished across other servers, and while I was being persuaded into playing Eph, I said no because I didn't want to start all over yet again, that and Path of Exile takes a lot of time. Sometime 3-4 years ago I gave in and joined playing Ephinea. Running through this new quest Lost SOUL BLADE with my friends Thomas and Alex felt nice. Tom helped me get my initial RA gear together, and since then I flourished and made a BUNCH of other friends through my time playing. And have had some insanely good times.

So thanks Soda, and other previous PSO server admins for making a lot of my life to what it has been so far.
I started PSO way back on the Dreamcast. Can remember a friend and I pouring over the strategy guide between classes and trying to figure out what weapons we wanted (which was basically just picking what color we liked best). At that point neither of us had any clue about rares or anything. Gamecube though is where I got "serious". I had the network adapter, I found that giant GC controller with the keyboard (that I maybe got to use a dozen times), and I invested in multiple characters.

I had known about Ephinea for years, but getting a Steam Deck is what ultimately drove me to dive in. I'm still so new but it's but such a great time so far. Just logging in after work and seeing people online is such a cool feeling. I'm basically a lurker at this stage. I have very little experience with group stuff in PSO, my gear is iffy at best, and I think I currently have like one PD to my name but I'm still having a blast.

For me PSO is a game that has never really been duplicated. No other game under this same umbrella hits the way it does and I'm incredibly grateful to the staff and community here for keeping this very special game alive.
Soda, I can't imagine going through that in regards to your father, let alone all this but grief will do that to you I guess. As for getting emotional, I actually expect that if your running a project or part of a team and I'd be weary of the person that doesn't. One can keep their composure while feeling something but how in the hell am I suppose follow and partake in a server when the staff just going through the motions? You wanna know how I partake? I don't and move on which I haven't from playing on this server. Take that as you will.

I suppose though with a community this small though, in all other means that situation that other server had should have been a kill shot for the community, I honestly remember telling myself that is how PSO died in 2015 but 9 years later and here we all are. That really gives you an idea how resilient the playerbase is for this game. It's truly astonishing. I think I can see why though, nothing sega made after this quite captured the essence that this game was and it's by choice, I mean obviously PSO2 and PSU the issue is not really getting gear as you will get it eventually as it's more like grinding to get that gear max'ed out and I haven't even mentioned new genesis which is off doing it's own thing, probably eating elmer's glue with sprinked with paint chips like the last time I checked. Anyways none of them will never have the same driving appeal of having something really rare drop after weeks, months, hell even years of hunting for it for it to have the stats you are not looking for and get enough of a fire in your belly to attempt it again. I'm just grateful (yeah I know I'm not great at expressing my gratitude in-game) there is enough head cases who feel the same way along the way with that same tick. I wouldn't have it any other way.

I feel like I need a shower and some pepto-bismol after all this feelings and crap, makes me feel sick.... I appreciate you all.
except Corey
i kid
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I haven't been around for a long time, but it's not because I don't want to play, but rather, I need to find the time! I always visit the site here a few times a week to see what's new even if I can't play.

I just wanted to sign in and say thank you. To Soda, and everyone invoked in keeping Ephinea running. Thank you for your contributions to the software and the server. It truly is a special place.

I'll be back to play again soon.
I think this will always be one of my number one favorite games. I learned about it from Kohle (friends since 5th grade) and he and I convinced our two other friends to play. I have come back and forth to this game and I never truly could put it down for good. The community is unique, niche as hell, and honestly one of the best out there. I wish I could go back and do some things over and be nicer to a lot of people over the last few years, but this game and this place will always hold an immense amount of space in my heart. Thank you, Soda, Ender, Matt, Ryan, and everyone else who has done more than their fair shate to keep ephinea running, and everyone who has fought to keep PSO alive.
I haven't played pso for long, at least relatively, but from the second I joined I was hooked, the world, the music and the community made me play for hours on end.

It also gave me a place where I could forget about whatever was weighing on my mind at that time, 'zen' is the way to describe it, relax, kill monsters, get loot, level up, to me its a perfect game in its own little way, its simple, but only if you want it to be.

To everybody in this little community of ours, thank you.
Played with my bro growing up, forgotten about the game but always vividly remembered the times we slayed them boomas calling them boogers when I was smoll. Game holds a lot of memories and I am grateful I am able to play ((!!FOR FREE!!)) as well as making friends along the journey. Never forget @Harborer of Hope to help me and probably more than 80% of the players starting fresh on this server.
Gee mother freakin Gees