However, is this also the way it is in the English PS Universe? Are we presented in English PSI with a wizard named Noah, who also appears to help the PSII characters with the new name "Lutz," and who appears, in a way, in PSIV as Rune Walsh, the Fifth-Generation Lutz? This question must be answered solely by the player's opinion and his interpretations of the games in the series, as the facts of the English versions do not offer a conclusive answer either way (despite some fans' adamant belief to the contrary).
Herein, however, I will outline my reasons for my belief that PSI's Noah is not, in any way, shape, or form, the character seen in PSII as Lutz; as well as my belief that PSIV's Rune Walsh possesses the memories of this PSII character, Lutz, who, again, is not PSI's Noah. As a caveat, note that this theory applies only to the English versions of the Phantasy Star games and the "universe" contained within them, and as such, it is not compatible with the Japanese games and the "universe" contained within those games.
This theory is compatible with Phantasy Star Ultimate as created by James Maxlow and myself.
There are seven main reasons why I do not believe that Lutz has anything to do with Noah:
1. Quite simply, we are told, in PSIV, that "Rune Walsh... Is the fifth-generation Lutz" -- not that he is the fifth-generation Noah. Some have responded to this argument by saying that Noah changed his name post-PSI, or that his full name is "Lutz Noah" or "Noah Lutz" or something similar, but I reject these theories simply because of other evidence (outlined below) which suggests to me that Noah and Lutz are seperate individuals.In a nutshell, I reject the idea that Noah was the first Lutz because of a complete lack of any reference to Lutz having known Alis or Myau; because I don't buy that Noah changed his name post-PSI or that his "full name" includes "Lutz"; because I don't buy that the "glorious man" mentioned in PSII is anyone except Noah. Anyone who wishes to argue that Noah was the first Lutz must come up with answers to these questions, and as I have yet to find answers that are in any way satisfactory, I refuse to believe Noah was the first Lutz.
2. If Noah did change his name, post-PSI, to Lutz, or if his full name is "Noah Lutz" or something of the like, and PSII's Lutz character is indeed PSI's Noah, why does "Noah" make absolutely no mention of the fact that he fought with Alis, or even simply that he knew her? PSII Lutz says, "Beautiful Alis, the symbol of Algo, was fighting the dark force in that dream. The dark force was trying to destroy Algo, but in the end was itself destroyed." How easy it would have been, then, if PSII Lutz and PSI Noah are one and the same, for him to have said, "The dark force was trying to destroy Algo, but in the end was itself destroyed by Alis, myself, and our friends." Or an even simpler statement: "Beautiful Alis, the symbol of Algo, and my good friend..." These crucial omissions cast tremendous doubt on the idea that Noah and Lutz are one and the same.
3. When the Xe-A-Thouls steal the Eclipse Torch from Gumbious Temple in PSIV, one of them says, "Hey, you... the one dressed in white! If you're Lutz" (emphasis added) "you remember, don't you?" For the sake of argument, let's again say Noah changed his name after PSI. Why, then, don't the Xe-A-Thouls call Rune "Noah"? That was his name at the time of the battle with Lassic two-thousand years before. Are we to say that these creatures, who later promise to "mutilate and kill" Rune, do him the common courtesy of referring to him by his "changed name"?
First Xe-A-Thoul: "We will mutilate and kill you with these very hands, Noah!"It's simply ludicrous!
Second Xe-A-Thoul: "Show some respect, you insolent barbarian! He wants to be called 'Lutz' now!"
First Xe-A-Thoul: "Oh, sorry. My bad?"
4. One of the residents of Esper Mansion in PSII says, "The glorious man who used to fight to save Algo is buried here." And just who might this glorious man be? Myau? PSIV tells us he is still alive. Odin? Perhaps, but why would he be buried at, of all places, Esper Mansion. No, it is most likely that this dialogue refers to Noah, which means that the folks at Esper Mansion have acknowledged Noah's death, as of PSII... and yet in PSIV, Kyra says, "Our... chief of the Esper Mansion... Lutz... About two thousand years ago... He, along with a heroine called Alis, saved Algo and has come to be known as a legendary wizard!"
Now we know that the wizard who helped Alis save Algo was named "Noah," not "Lutz," and we know the Espers acknowledge Noah is dead as of PSII, so we must respond to Kyra's statment either by saying that (A) Noah changed his name to "Lutz" and also, between PSII and PSIV, the Espers somehow just forgot the fact that he died, the entire culture experiencing some kind of collective, sudden amnesia or (B) feats Noah performed have been, over time, attributed to someone else -- another Esper, named Lutz.
Based upon the fact that Lutz is never seen ("It's said he is still alive in the deepest depths of the Esper Mansion!" --Kyra) and the fact that the Espers have devoted their lives to him nonetheless ("We believe in the legend of Esper, that Lutz lives on and is leading us, don't we?! That's why...that's why we're all trying so hard... he has to exist!" --Kyra) and the fact that we know there's many a legend about Lutz ("The reverent Lutz is an unparalleled magician whose feats have given rise to many a legend!" --Kyra), it becomes clear that Option B is the most logical choice.
5. It can also be argued that Noah changed his name after PSI and died, and that the man Rolf meets in PSII is the second Lutz. This, too, does not work. In PSIV, Rune states (with no reason to lie, as no other Espers who believe in the Legends of Lutz are around when he says this) that, "The first generation of Lutz stored the Aero-Prism in the Soldiers' Temple!" Since we had last previously seen the Aero-Prism in Rolf's possession at the end of PSII, this dialogue proves the Aero-Prism must have been stored in Soldier's Temple after PSII, which means that whomever it is we see in PSII's Esper Mansion, he is the first Lutz. And as established in argument two above, crucial ommissions very much suggest that the leader of Esper Mansion in PSII is not the same wizard who travelled with Alis Landale in PSI.
6. At Kuran, when Chaz asks Rune how he knew the monster they'd just fought was Dark Force, Rune replies, "Ah! ...er... I've seen it before." But later, at Gumbious Temple, Rune says, "The first generation Lutz and his companions fought a man in the Air Castle... That man's name was Lashiec!" Note the curious change of perspective: at Kuran he uses first-person when he talks about seeing a Dark Force before, but he uses third person when he talks about facing Lassic. I believe this change of perspective indicates Rune was speaking from memory when he talks about seeing Dark Force (as Lutz saw the events that took place on the space ship Noah in PSII, including the battle with Dark Force, through Rolf), and playing along with the (inaccurate) Legends of Lutz when saying the first Lutz fought Lassic with Alis. It's a slip of the tongue. Rune admits that "I" saw Dark Force before, but then, when he's playing along with the legends, he forgets to say, "I fought Lassic before."
7. During Chaz's adventures, his party journeys to a mysterious valley on Dezoris, in which they meet a large laerma-endowed Musk Cat known as the "Old Man" who possesses Myau's weapon from PSI, the Silver Fang (called the Silver Tusk in PSIV). While the game does not come right out and say it, the "Old Man" is obviously Myau himself. Therefore, if Rune does indeed possess the memory and will of PSI's Noah, then when Chaz's party reaches the mysterious valley, Rune is reunited with Myau, and yet he doesn't say a word to his old friend. This complete lack of any interaction between "old friends" clearly suggests that Rune does not possess Noah's memories.
Instead, I believe the games clearly establish that Lutz is a seperate Esper, who later passed his memories on via the Telepathy Ball to Rune Walsh, and to whom many feats have been attributed that actually were performed by an Esper that came before him, Noah.
Naturally, certain questions arise based on this theory, as well, but unlike the questions raised by the theory that Noah and Lutz are one and the same, the questions raised by the "Noah and Lutz are sepeate" theory are easily answered:
Q: Before we get into all this, can't we just say it's a translation error and leave it at that?
A: I think that everyone understands this as being the cause of the entire problem: that in the Japanese PS Universe, there is one Esper named Lutz who fights with Alicer in PSI, helps Eusis in PSII, and who has passed on his memory and will to Thray in PSIV. However:
Q: Okay, but the Japanese version of PSI calls Noah, "Lutz." Can't we just say that the English version is wrong somehow?
A: No. Because the English games are official releases from Sega, they are canon, and 100% valid, official, and true. Thus, they can never be "wrong."
Q: What if Noah didn't change his name? What if his name was always Lutz and he just went under an assumed name during PSI?
A: If you say that Rolf meets Noah in PSII, only by then Noah is using the name "Lutz" instead of "Noah," for whatever reasons, the question of why he does not make any reference to his own past remains unanswered. And we can not say that Noah went by the name of Lutz after PSI and that the Esper Rolf meets is the second Lutz (or third, or fourth), because we know, based on the storage of the Aero-Prism in Soldier's Temple, that PSII's Lutz is the first Lutz.
Q: Yeah, but... PSI's Noah and PSII's Lutz look identical.
A: Most assuredly, they are wearing the same clothes, but just as, in PSIV, the Frad Mantle has been handed down to Rune (he finds it in Ladea Tower), likewise, I believe the Frad Mantle was handed down from Noah to Lutz. Aside from clothing however, I do not believe Noah and Lutz are anything close to being identical. Noah has a thinner nose, and Lutz's eyes seem bigger.
Q: Kyra Tierney says, "Lutz... About two thousand years ago... He, along with a heroine called Alis, saved Algo and has come to be known as a legendary wizard!" Doesn't that make things pretty clear?
A: No. We know from PSI that the wizard who fought with Alis was named "Noah," not "Lutz." There is no "Lutz" anywhere in PSI. Why does Kyra say this then? Well, we know that Lutz is "in hiding" ("It's said he is still alive in the deepest depths of the Esper Mansion!" --Kyra) and that, despite the fact that he is never seen, the Espers practically worship him ("Besides...besides... we all are believers, aren't we? We believe in the legend of Esper, that Lutz lives on and is leading us, don't we?! That's why...that's why we're all trying so hard... he has to exist!" --Kyra). Therefore, isn't it perfectly logical to say that in his absence, the Espers started telling many stories about their great leader and the object of their almost fanatical devotion, and that not all of them were true? Of course it is, and we have proof that that is exactly what happened: "The reverent Lutz is an unparalleled magician," says Kyra, "whose feats have given rise to many a legend!"
Q: Yeah, but doesn't Rune himself say, "The first generation Lutz and his companions fought a man in the Air Castle... That man's name was Lashiec!" and "Lashiec was defeated by the first generation Lutz!"?
A: Yes, indeed, but did Noah and his companions fight a man named "Lashiec"? No, they fought a man named "Lassic." Now, I am not saying that "Lassic" and "Lashiec" are two seperate individuals, but if Rune truly possesses Noah's memories, and if he were speaking of Alis's battle in the Air Castle, he would have used the name "Lassic" in this scene, not "Lashiec."
So why does he use "Lashiec" then? My interpretations on this matter come from Black Francis, who posted this idea on the Phantasy Star Discussion Board. I believe "Lassic" was the man's name when he lived his natural life, prior to his death at the hands of Alis and company, and "Lashiec" was the man's name after his reincarnation. Such a minor name change is not uncommon; look in the Bible, Genesis 17: God renames Abram "Abraham" and He renames Abraham's wife Sarai "Sarah." Note that these are simply variations of the same name -- much like can be said of "Lassic" and "Lashiec" -- and the minor change is made to denote the covenant that has been made between God and Abraham. I believe that when The Profound Darkness made his dark covenant with Lassic to reincarnate him over and over again (Upon death in PSIV Lashiec says, "But, even now, I will not die! I will reincarnate over and over again. I must work for Him! As long as He exists, I will continue to bring calamity to the future of Algo!"), Lassic was likewise renamed "Lashiec."
We'll get back to this issue a few questions further down.
Q: Okay, okay... but like you yourself just said, on Kuran, Rune says he's seen Dark Force before. And only Noah fought Dark Force before.
A: Right, only Noah fought Dark Force before... but Rune doesn't say he fought Dark Force before, does he?
CHAZ: "How did you know...that monster was the Dark Force Zio was talking about?"Rune states only that he'd seen Dark Force before. In PSII, Lutz, though down on Esper Mansion, obviously knows enough about what's going on aboard Noah to tell Rolf the ship isn't empty ("'Rolf wait!' Lutz's voice filled everybody's heart. 'There's still somebody in the ship! You can't return again!'") and to teleport the rest of Rolf's companions to the ship at the right time ("Thanks to Lutz's power, they were sent on their way."), so it's safe to say Lutz telepathically saw Rolf's fight with Dark Force, and hence, Rune's statement on Kuran is made true.
RUNE: "Ah! ...er... I've seen it before."
Q: In Gumbious Temple, one of the Xe-A-Thouls tell Rune, "Hey, you... the one dressed in white! If you're Lutz, you remember, don't you?" And another chimes in, "You know who will be waiting for you at the Air Castle!" Doesn't this make things clear?
A: It makes something clear, but that something is not "Noah is Lutz"! For the sake of argument, let's say Noah did indeed change his name to Lutz after PSI or started using his "true name" of Lutz after PSI. Either way, when Noah was in the Air Castle, he went by the name "Noah." We know this from PSI. Yet the Xe-A-Thoul says, "If you're Lutz..." (emphasis added). Are we to say that these monsters who later admit they plan to "mutilate and kill" Rune do him the common courtesy of addressing him by his "proper" name? That's ridiculous.
Q: Well, they say, "If you're Lutz, you remember, don't you?" Doesn't that prove that some previous Lutz was once in the Air Castle? And isn't the only wizard we've previously seen in the Air Castle Noah?
A: Yes and yes. The only wizard we've seen in the Air Castle is Noah, but that doesn't mean he's the only wizard who's ever been there. Lassic tells us in PSIV, "I will reincarnate over and over again. I must work for Him! As long as He exists, I will continue to bring calamity to the future of Algo!" No, what the Xe-A-Thouls' dialogue in Gumbious Temple makes clear is that Lashiec was reincarnated at least once prior to PSIV, and during that reincarnation, the first Lutz and his friends confronted him in the Air Castle.
True enough, this is a major event that takes place between games, but the alternative is that the Xe-A-Thouls are polite murderous demons who always make sure they call their enemies the exact names the enemies wish to currently be known by. So is the concept of Lashiec being reincarnated at least once prior to Phantasy Star IV such a stretch?
Q: Well, no, but if the first Lutz had been there, why doesn't Rune know Lassic can be reincarnated? Doesn't Rune specifically say, regarding the Air Castle, "I don't know what we'll find until we get there."? And when he sees Lashiec, doesn't he say, "Lashiec! Why are you reincarnated...like that?"? This seems to indicate Rune doesn't know about Lassic's reincarnations.
A: Read Rune's dialogue again very carefully. Rune says, "Why are you reincarnated...like that?" Why does he pause before "like that"? Think for a moment back to Phantasy Star I. Lassic was tall but had either a normal or even gaunt build to him; it's hard to say exactly, as he's wrapped in his blue cloak. In Phantasy Star IV, however, Lashiec is big and bad and as ripped as Arnold Schwarzenegger. I believe Rune's line "...like that" is the indication that when the first Lutz had previously confronted Lashiec (the reincarnated Lassic) in the Air Castle, Lashiec looked much more like Lassic did. Rune's comment is more of a commentary on the nature of Lashiec's current reincarnation, not the reincarnation itself.
As for "I don't know what we'll find until we get there," well, prior to this, Rune had only seen Lashiec reincarnated once before. He has no way of knowing that Lashiec is destined to be reincarnated over and over and over, as long as The Profound Darkness exists. "I don't know what we'll find until we get there" is Rune's way of saying, "It sure sounds to me like they're saying Lashiec is back again, but the first Lutz and his companions killed him, just as Noah and his companions killed Lassic, so who knows if they're bluffing or if he's returned once again?"
Q: OK, so you've proven that Noah and Lutz being two seperate persons is a completely valid interpretation of the English Phantasy Star games. But why would you want to interpret the games in this way?
A: Believe it or not, this is an actual question that was once asked of me. Is it so hard to believe that when I look at the English Phantasy Star games as a whole, and consider all the facts from every game in the series, that this interpretation is the one I find most likely? If you look at the games and you interpret PSI's Noah and PSII's Lutz as being the same person, that's fine! I, however, look at the same games and come up with a very different view.
Q: But Occam's Razor dictates that the simplest solution is usually correct. And the simplest solution is that Noah is Lutz.
A: Those who interpret Noah as Lutz love to use Occam's Razor. Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate -- entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily. Take the jargon out of it, and one way of translating Occam's Razor is "A problem should be stated in its basic and simplest terms" or "Keep it simple!" So, for the benefit of those who feel Occam's Razor should apply to this issue, I will apply it: Rune says the first Lutz was Noah, but in Phantasy Star II we meet the first Lutz, and he himself says nothing to suggest he and Noah are one and the same. Thus, Occam's Razor dictates Noah is not Lutz.
Since I'll wager the "Noah is Lutz" crowd is fuming right about now, since they've always believed Occam's Razor is their failsafe answer to any "Noah is not Lutz" argument, I should point out that you're trying to apply what is essentially a scientific principle to a matter that is very non-scientific. The Phantasy Star games are literature, albeit in a modern form. They are entertainment; I dare say they are even art. Applying Occam's Razor to art is apples and oranges. Use Occam's Razor to answer the question of which two artists are better, and one person would answer, "Artist A, because he produced the most paintings, so his massive output is proof of his talent!" while another would say, "Artist B, because he produced fewer paintings, so his quality must be better!"
The Phantasy Star games are role-playing games. By their very nature, the player is expected to portray the roles of the heroes in the game. This means the player brings a lot of himself into the role, just as an actor brings himself into a role he plays on stage or on film, and as such, every player is going to interpret the games differently. So I find it a waste of time to apply scientific principles to the Phantasy Star games, but if you insist... I consider "Noah is not Lutz" to be the much simpler answer, and thus, Occam's Razor applies to my theory.
It would probably come as a surprise to many people that, in truth, I really wish the man Rolf meets in Esper Mansion in Phantasy Star II was Noah! Phantasy Star I is my favorite game in the series -- it always has been and probably always will be -- and I'm all for its characters showing up repeatedly in other games in the series, as often as they like, whenever they like.
But when I look at all the evidence from all the English Phantasy Star games, I honestly can not accept that PSII's Lutz and PSI's Noah are one and the same. If new evidence is released in a future English Phantasy Star game that proves Noah and Lutz are, indeed, one and the same, I will be the first one to rip this theory in half and leap for joy.
In the meantime, the available evidence clearly indicates to me that Noah is not Lutz, and as you can see, all questions raised by stating that PSII Lutz is not PSI Noah can be easily answered. Thus, my theory that PSII Lutz is not PSI's Noah is a wholly valid and possible theory, despite the fact that for reasons that absolutely mystify me, this interpretation seems to drive many "Noah is Lutz" phanatics absolutely bananas, and they seem unable to fathom the very concept, yet alone accept it as being possible.
Nevertheless, it is a possible interpretation that can not be proven invalid, as well as being, in my eyes, a far more palatable alternative to the interpretation that Noah and Lutz are one and the same.
(Special thanks to Neilast and Black Francis for providing further support for this theory)
(See also my Phantasy Star Ultimate short story "The Fall of Esper Mansion" for more information on my Noah and Lutz theories.)
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