First Star Online 3 (Day #01)

The third iteration of a long-time niche 2D MMORPG.

Image from https://fso3.skelux.net/gallery01.png

First Star Online was created in 1997 and released with a $20 registration fee in the early 2000s. Originally a creation by R. Mulvany. It played a bit like a 16-bit era action RPG and a bit like RuneScape Classic, albeit development started before the latter was on the market. It appears unFun Games was the property holder and developer for quite some time, releasing a sequel (First Star Online 2) which also had a registration fee as well as beginning work on the third installment (First Star Online 3). First Star Online 3 was left unfinished by unFun Games, but the current developer took over the project and finished it. A niche MMORPG property with over two decades could have a very small, close-knit but helpful community, a very small, close-knit community full of established cliques, or perhaps something different. I typically see one of the first two options when perusing these titles, so we’ll find out soon enough.

Getting Started

First Star Online 3 is available at https://fso3.skelux.net/. It’s free-to-play and appears to be developed in one’s free time as a passion project. It definitely doesn’t look like a modern MMORPG nor play like one, but it’s graphical style has an old school charm that works. Movement is a bit quirky at times and it’s very easy to move on top of an enemy that you can’t attack yet is hurting you, or move on top of an item you want to pick up yet can’t because your own avatar is blocking the view. This is definitely frustrating at first but after an hour of play time — I got used to it.

Initial Impressions & Adventures

I was going to use my old character but I have no clue where that character is in the game world. The character was only level 5 and hadn’t completed any jobs, so it’s no issue to start over. I also prefer my newer monikers of choice (AunEgg, AunnahEgg, or Aunnah) instead of the classic “chknegg”, which has occasionally been taken as being some sort of derogatory name targeting a certain group of people. Oh well.. I like AunEgg and variations on Aunnah quite a bit more anyway.

I completed 4 early jobs. One such job involved planting 5 carrots from seeds, and the originating NPC told me where to buy the seeds. I figured buying 5 seeds would be enough yet different plants sprouted up (only 3 out of 5 were carrots). I failed the job because it had a 10 minute time-limit. I gave it a second go except this time I bought 10 seeds. I figured if 5 seeds resulted in 3 carrots, then 10 seeds should have a high probability of resulting in 5 carrots. Nope — 2 carrots. I finally completed the quest after using 15 seeds from another quest reward and another 13 seeds I purchased. Twenty-eight seeds to get 5 carrots. Oh well — at least my farming skill leveled up a few times.

This game seems to be trying to balance the line between being a traditional theme park MMORPG while also being a bit of a sandbox grinder as well, and it’s unclear whether it’s successful at either at the moment. It’s definitely a game with grind, but it also has lots of skills to learn and quite a bit of flexibility in how one chooses to approach the game. Well — quite a bit of flexibility given it’s a rather mechanically simplistic 2D pixel art game.

So far it’s been good enough to hold my attention. Whether it will hold up over time is still to be determined, but it does seem like the style of game Aun Meg wouldn’t have much of an issue playing. Perhaps we shall convince her to tag along tomorrow.

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Aun Collective

Aun Collective

We are a game preservationist, archivist, design and writing collective, focusing on multiplayer and massively multiplayer games. Also music preservation!