Episode 3 CARD Revolution Title Graphic
What was PSO Episode 3: CARD Revolution?
It was the surprising 3rd game in the PSO series, because it took an online action ORPG and turned it into a card game. Card games were popular at the time, like Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon Cards & etc. Why anyone thought action ORPG fans were somehow ALL also card game fans, and that cardgame fans would suddenly care about another card game on the market is unknown. (Ex. why did they think it was going to succeede?)

However, because the game was well made & quite different from other games on the market, it DID succeede, to a degree. The hardcore PSO fans were desperate for more PSO in general, and would play it no-matter-what. Fans of card games enjoyed it because it employed such a different method from usual games. The graphics were decent, the music was good/really good, and the plot was more extensive than before.

The play style was computer randomized dice giving you points per roll to expend in putting a weapon or monster card into play, or making a move. You built decks, won new cards by winning battles, and could play PvP or PvComputer opponents in the story or practice matches. The play fields were grids imposed over pre-existing (familiar) PSO game play areas. Each character or monster had a move-set (how it could go on the grid) and dice rolls controlled how much movement could be accomplished on a turn. When an item or monster ran out of HP, (or a technic card was used) it would "break" and return to card form, then requiring more dice roll points to bring it back out again.

What's the premise?
After the defeat of Dark Falz & Olga Flow (at the end of PSO Episode 2) years pass, and the amount of monsters & hostile creatures dwindles. Pioneer 2 citizens become anxious to land the ship and colonize Ragol. The various governing figures argue over whether or not to land.

However, an evil is left over from the whole Falz business, called "The Germ", which is produced by "The Great Shadow". It can infect and kill people, but it can also be used to compress large objects into very small ones, and then restore them to their original form without damage. This includes living things like monsters (a booma), machine intelligence (a sinow) dark creatures (dimenians), and various photon based weapons.

The two factions in the game are Hunters Guild & Arkz.
Offline, you could choose a character from either side and play through the game to get that faction's story. Each side featured 1 character male & female from every class in the previous games. Online, you could create your own character, but when you battled anyone, all "your guy" did was walk up to a terminal & input which NPC they would like to be, and then that character would fight for you, using your decks on the battle field grid.

A team of fighters who use weapons placed into CARDs in order to work for the government of Pioneer 2. They equip shields, mags and weapons, as well as casting spells with the aid of CARD technology. With the hunter side, you move the character around the grid using dice-rolls, and it does all of your attacking and defending.

One of their missions is to help settle Ragol, and stop the Arkz from sabotaging various government endeavors. They are also explorers. This is basically what's left-over from the Hunters Guild that you were a part of on all previous games. They're more rules-based, their leader is a bit pompous/political, and they appear more power hungry than the previous games' "mercenaries for hire & warriors investigating the evil planet". Use the button above to see the whole list of hunter NPCs, read their profiles & learn more about their plot points.

The Arkz are a rebel group who use the various monsters present on Ragol to do their fighting. The obedient monsters are placed into CARDs and then summoned onto the battle field to attack and use techniques. The arkz character itself can move around, but it cannot use various weapons/mags/sheilds like the hunters can.

The main missions of the Arkz are to stop the over-development and spoiling of the natural Ragol environment and to end the use of all CARD technology. This rebel organization works against the power-hungry government of Pioneer 2. They end up being more 'hunter-like' if you compare them to the hunters of original PSO. Use the button above to see the whole list of Arkz NPCs, read their profiles & learn more about their plot points.

Episode 3 Character Guide Hub
Of course, there were various NPCs who have their own little stories, or provided plot for you as well.
Some of these were neither Hunters nor Arkz, so they have their own page.

Episode 3 NPC General Guide
Some characters in the story are bosses, never appear at all (they're just talked about) or some other obtuse thing. These fall under the general category of NPCs. They're still important, so read about them here.

Special Quests With Plots & Unique Characters
This game was on "the verge" of a time when console games (with memory cards, remember!) could be 'updated' by the developer to add content later. Remember: games weren't always update-able, and this was still a newer concept for consoles. By using pre-existing elements on the disk, but in new ways/layouts they could have small-enough sized updates that fit on the memory card to contain a 'new' level, written dialogue or not-yet-seen characters.

This type of thing is an excellent way to give the game new life & keep people playing. They mostly used the feature to add new elements to the plot or reveal back-story. The game wasn't THAT long-lived though, and the extra content was very slow. These things were also typical of the time of release.

Magazine Quests:
This was an early form of advertising in a game. Rather than putting up a blatant billboard or something, game magazines like EGM (Electronic Gaming Monthly) in the USA, and Famitsu (in Japan) commissioned quests to be added to the game in their name / with their theme. These didn't add anything to the plot of the game, but they were an interesting diversion / extra stages to add content and keep people wanting to play.