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 I really do want to explore a bit more about Fayt's character and the revelation he might be one of the first pansexual characters Tri-Ace and Square Enix have created. Not to say other main characters aren't pansexual. Cloud from Final Fantasy VII comes to mind as well, but Fayt strikes me as the one being the most comfortable in his skin about who he's attracted to throughout the game. I mentioned a year or so ago that there are few characters throughout the game who actually gain Fayt's attention to the point where he's thinking about them after he's met them (this being Mirage, Nel, and Albel. Sophia is a given, but his worry over her is very understandable given that they've known each other from very young ages). 

Anyway, I got to thinking about something else in regards to the female characters of Star Ocean throughout the entire series. Mind you, I still haven't played the first two games, either at all or all the way through at this point, but there is something quite formulaic going on with the female cast members.

There are very few close range fighters amongst the women characters.

In fact, I daresay there's maybe one female character per game that is a close range fighter. Ilia from the very first Star Ocean game is a fisticuffs fighter, if her little bio from the game manual is anything to go by. I'm not entirely sure on the second game - I'm guessing so for those of you who have played, please chime in on this - but I believe Precis is the only close range combat fighter in the game. Again, I could be wrong. My current play-through I've recruited Ashton, and he's not a well-liked character by other characters you haven't met yet. 

Getting into the games that I have played and therefore do know, it becomes clearer that it is about one female character per game. Till the End of Time has Mirage but also might be the only exception to the one female close range fighter per game. The only symbology she learns is whenever you get the tomes that teach Common Attack Symbols and Common Support Symbols, if you so choose to do that with her. Otherwise, she is straight up fisticuffs on par with Cliff. Nel Zelpher and Peppita Rosetti are the other two that are close range fighters. Nel uses daggers, which can be short range or long range for attacks, and symbology. Peppita basically uses her acrobat skills. The difference amongst the three is you have a choice on whether or not to recruit Nel and Peppita to the party. Mirage becomes automatic after Styx. Other than that, well, Maria and Sophia are actual distance fighters. Their classifications in the whole questing party puts them at a great disadvantage after a certain point in a tight combat situation. (Sophia is basically classified as a mage, and, because we're going with classic Dungeons and Dragons style gaming with our video game RPGs, Sophia is unable to handle any type of weapon beyond a staff. She also has lower hit points compared to other players and thus makes her an easy kill if you have her out and are not paying a lot of attention to what it is she's doing. For some reason, Adray is the only one who gets to break the rule of a mages not being allowed to wield swords, going more Lord of the Rings style in that Gandalf carried a sword with no penalty. I digress.)

Star Ocean: Till the End of Time seemingly breaks the rule for close range female combat fighters, but The Last Hope and Integrity and Faithlessness resume it. Meracle Chamlotte and Anne are the only close range fighters of the female persuasion. The rest - Reimi, Lymle, Myuria, Sarah, Miki, and Fiore - they can fight close range, but, again due to their classifications, they're long range fighters. 

This is kind of disheartening for me because, well, I love sword fighters. That is the truth. I love sword fighters. And to realize a series I love doesn't have the option for a female sword fighter is . . . boring and, well, not up to date with the types of warriors a person can play. Even in the old days of table top gaming, women/female characters could be sword fighters. After all, there are a wide range of blades out there that a woman can wield.

Maybe the game writers for Star Ocean will finally take the hint that the writers for Final Fantasy did when they went into production for Final Fantasy XIII. Female lead, female sword fighter, and no need for a love interest.

Those are just my thoughts, though.
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 I feel confident enough to say that the majority, if not all viewers and readers of this blog, are gamers. I feel even more confident in making the claim that we find characters to love beyond what other people would consider normal. I chalk it up to our ability to idenity with the character that we like the most. Of course, identifying with a character isn't always the reason why we love those characters. There are other factors involved, and everything from this point about connecting with the female leads I've encountered in my Star Ocean gaming experience (Rena, Maria and Sophia, Reimi, and Miki) is coming from my own personal observations.

Trust me, as a woman, this is actually rather hard for me to do, identify with the majority of Star Ocean's female leads. Hard to do, but, at the same time, not impossible. It does become a matter of personal reflection and character analysis, and, when it comes down to it, I am going to blame bad, cliched writing on the part of the gaming writers because they're going with what they know, what they deem acceptable, and so on and so forth (based on things I have been told so I'm rather guilty of listening to hearsay . . . if anyone who has been to Japan and studied Japanese culture more in-depth than what I've been able to do, feel free to chime in and lend me your thoughts).

This is also actually a bit of a rant because the gaming writers have gotten stuck into a bit of a rut. One, we have genetically modified individuals in at least three of five games. THREE of five (because I'm not counting Blue Sphere or the cell phone apps that are in Japan only and, if you're lucky, you've gotten it here in the U.S., too) games where one or more (often) character has been genetically modified against his or her own will. Those who have done so willingly (Arumat, Miki, Fiore) are on a very short list. We can't seem to break away from genetically modifying individuals.  

In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and say four of five games, and we have individuals modified (because SO2's Ashton is now coming to mind as I write this). I am going to attribute this to Final Fantasy VII's insane popularity for this. 

Anyway, moving forward with the rant about the gaming writers' rut. The whole genetic modification thing could go across several entries, tragic backgrounds (parents dying to protect their children or a child) but this isn't about genetic modification or the tragic "Daddy was killed in front of me" backdrop. It's about connecting with the established female leads in the games that I have played.

I haven't gotten very far into Star Ocean: Second Story. I'm rather hooked on replaying Star Ocean: Till the End of Tim. Here is one thing I've noticed about these two games.

Rena, Maria, and Sophia do not treat the male leads (Claude and Fayt) like they're totally incompetent of going off to some location without them. In fact, Sophia has no choice in where she ends up at the start of the game because the goal was to separate her from Fayt and to have that reveal about her powers be even more of a punch to the gut (plus, if you want the Defeat Luther at Level One trophy, you kind of need Sophia to be not there at the beginning - but that's also a battle trophy thing). 

Maria doesn't even act like Fayt is incompetent. Clueless (because, yes, Fayt is adorably clueless on a few things - note, I find his cluelessness to be on the adorable side - others might not) but not incompetent. By the time they connect on Elicoor II, Fayt has already endured a great deal, and for her to do so would be a very gross insult to everything he's endured.

Rena, I actually admire her for the same reasons. She doesn't treat Claude like he's incompetent. If anything, she's been the one to take off with Claude going, I hope she's all right. 

Reimi and Miki . . . Oh my goodness. Edge and Fidel can't do anything without them? They're too reckless? They'll do something stupid? That tends to sum up a lot of people's adventures in life. "You won't believe the stupid thing I just did!" aspect of storytelling is what makes us laugh at one point or another or has someone wondering, what is wrong  with you? . . . and leading into another interesting conversation. 

To note on something here. This is not a stamp of approval for doing things you know are stupid, ie running a red light and so on. What irritates me about Reimi and Miki is they're already in dangerous situations, Edge and Fidel are given tasks by those they answer to, which is what they are supposed to do in those types of situations, and they're still treated like they can't do it alone. In the case of Miki, she literally goes all dramatic, drops to her knees in a form of a temper tantrum, in order to get Fidel to relent in his decision to leave her behind. And these are two characters who like to act like they're more mature than the male characters. This tends to be, for me, the reasons why I dislike the female leads, preferring the secondary female characters like Nel, Mirage, Myuria, Sarah, Anne, and Fiore. 

Now, whether or not it's cool for females to do this in Japan is rather irrelevant. I've noticed a changing attitude amongst people in the United States, Canada, and Europe where female characters are concerned. Characters like Reimi and Miki, yeah, they grow but they still fill a stereotyped female role, and it's annoying. (There is more to the annoyance of having a crush on your childhood friend aspect, too, that's been going on in the Star Ocean series, but that also comes from personal experiences in my real life, and have no forebearance on my ability to at least try and connect with the female leads.) Why can't, for once, we get the female lead who isn't interested in the male lead as a husband? The behavior I see on display with the female leads, specifically Reimi and Miki, tends to border on narcisstic and abusive. How many times did Reimi slap Edge because he did something that made her cry? Or because she wasn't paying enough attention to her surroundings (alternate Earth, anyone)? Why not, for once, have that female lead that isn't so prudish and has zero interest in becoming someone's wife? Someone really needs to ask that question of the writers! (I may just do it.)

Anyway, now with the ranting out of the way, it's time for me to scale back and look at the more admirable traits of the Star Ocean female leads I'm familiar with.

Again, I do love Rena because she doesn't really need Claude. She has no interest in him as a husband, or so the story starts out. How it ends, I don't know just yet (okay, maybe I do, but that doesn't mean I've played it out just yet), and she's not afraid to stand up to Claude. She's not afraid to let him go on his own. She may not like the new lady hanging around, but she doesn't treat Claude like he's a pervert and can't be left alone with her. (That's so far, from my gaming experience.)

That takes care of Star Ocean: The Second Story. I know it isn't much, but chances are, none of these are going to be extremely long. I'm sure everyone knows by now, I'm not fond of the female leads in these games.

I think out of everyone right now, the one I can really get behind is Sophia, and I can thank a really old SO3 fanfiction for that, a story in which Luther is disguising himself as an Eternal Sphere resident in order to monitor Fayt, Sophia, and Maria as they grow up. The story itself is centered on Sophia some, how, if he had to choose who to save of the three children, Luther had chosen Sophia because of her powers of Connection. And that power is more than just being a bridge between two realms. It's also her ability to have great empathy for those around her. It's because of her increased empathy to others that this author picked up on that makes her less annoying. And, when I get right down to it, I do have to look at her age, at where she's at in her life, and, so, yeah. As annoying as it is for us who have to hear her say, "That's not nice!" after a bad guy beats her up some, it's also . . . realistic. She's 17, a high school student, never been in combat before the whole Vendeeni thing, and truly does expect, on a naive 17-year-old level, everyone to be nice.  She has a naivete that not many of us possess anymore because our experiences in life have been very different from her fictional world. 

I can relate to Maria's impatience with others. If they're wallowing for an extraordinary amount of time that I deem is beyond reasonable, I admit. I get irritated. She had to grow up fast, and, so did I, after a certain point in my life. (Not due to parental death but divorce and because my mom needed to work in order to support me and my brother. Being the oldest, I was expected to be the responsible one and to make sure that things got done.)

Reimi is a bit harder, but she can be relatable in the sense that she hates her own body. And I feel like a lot of women hate their own bodies (myself included) because of everything we see on what is deemed to be "ideal" for what women are to look like. She is an intelligent young woman - she studied botany as part of her training for the SRF and USTA; she obviously got good marks to handle working on a space ship for space exploration. I'm not going to deny she's an intelligent young woman, determined and all that. That's where I'm going to leave it with Reimi as everything else portrayed about her casts not only her in a negative light but all women, and I'm quite honestly tired of those tropes.

Finally, Miki . . . I find her desire to protect Relia (and, by default, Feria) to be her most admirable trait. She does defy, if you look at her planetary society, some social norms. Yes, it's typical that she knows how to cook and do laundry, be a mother type, but she is the only female character from her village to run to the village's defenses when the rest are all guys. And it took some courage for her to get her first symbol etched onto her body. I don't know how it's done with the symbology for Faykreedians, but getting a tattoo hurts. And I'm presuming it's like a tattoo. I have a tattoo. And I'm scared to death of needles. If she is, too, it took guts. That's all I'm saying.

So there we have it on the female leads. I do understand other people will find other traits about the female leads to like, more than what I mentioned in this entry, but please remember that these female characters are not amongst my favorites. They will probably never be amongst my favorites because they do display annoying and alarming behavior, at least in my personal opinion.

As always, people are welcome to chime in with their thoughts on these characters. Just remember to not get carried away with why you dislike them. There are others who do like them and more so than other fan favorites, like Albel and Faize.

Finally, I have some ideas for some fanfiction to write. One is stemming from a desire to put Fayt and Faize in the same room and letting them talk symbology and the like. It's probably going to be a chaptered piece, mainly because it's going to look into the history of Asmodeus. Just the thought of putting Fayt (from the year 772 S.D.) into the same room as Faize (from the year 10 S.D.) led to an interesting revelation (of course, my own theory) on Asmodeus and how Faize nearly became the archfiend of Roak. It's an idea I'm jotting down for future reference. 

The other idea is more of a one-shot offer, a look at Fayt wanting to be normal. Again, I'm jotting down the idea, mainly because I do find Fayt to be an interesting character to, well, torment. (I'm a writer. I'm sure it's in my job description somewhere.)

And that's it for today. With me going through on Star Ocean: Till the End of Time again, I've had some time to consider Fayt's character and how the endings are set up based on Private Actions, answers, and the like. This will be a topic for another day, too, but I wonder, I wonder, I wonder . . .

Is Fayt one of the first pansexual characters in modern gaming history? I'll be exploring that thought soon enough!

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 Tossing this out there real quick. I am looking for logo artwork for the Star Ocean Universe for the facebook pages and for the deviantart group. It is a goal of mine to get like a min Star Ocean convention going for fans. I still have a lot to find out in regards to hosting a convention, but it is on my dream wish to do list. (I mainly want to see SO artists, crafty peoples, and cosplayers in one place. Who can blame me?)

So, here we go with the State of the (Star Ocean Universe) Union update. 

I've currently played and beaten three out of five games. Star Ocean 2's first play-through has stalled just a wee bit, Star Ocean 3 on the PS4 has stalled (system wants to update, and the PS4 belongs to my stepdad), and Star Oceans 4 and 5 need another go-round in the play-through department. 

Right now, my biggest complaint is on Star Ocean 5, and my lack of understanding of the characters (this includes the hero, Fidel Camuze). Of course, I have a tendency to burn through a first play-through (on any game, really) to get to the ending. I try to take my time and rediscover/discover what I didn't the first time around. I mean, I've played Star Ocean 3 how many times now? LOL

With all of that said, and I know I keep saying this, too, (but I never get around to it), I am rebooting the Ask the Star Ocean Character series. With what I've currently played, I'll be revising the order of character that get featured. Participation in the series - yes, I invited my fellow Star Ocean fans to join in on the fun here - is not required. I understand that, if someone hasn't played 5 yet and I get to a character like Miki Sauvester, said fan isn't going to know what to ask. (That's for those who haven't played the game in question.)

Since it's been a while on the whole Ask the Star Ocean Character, I'll go over the rules then announce who I'm rebooting the series with.

1 - Keep all lines of questioning clean. This means refrain from cussing, sexual innuendo, death wishes/threats, and so on. The overall goal of Ask the Star Ocean Character is to get a feel for the character and to learn more. As I'm the one immersing myself into the character's point of view, if I'm immersing myself into Reimi or Cliff or even an NPC like Deputy Director Shimada, I am not going to be appreciative or even responsive to someone who is being blatantly disrespectful. (Note: If I'm Albel, I may just return the favor and insult the querent back, which may not be appreciated by the  querent upon seeing the response.) While we may not like certain characters like Reimi Saionji or even Sophia Esteed and Miki Sauvester (my personal least favorite characters), there are others out there who do love these characters, and I respect that greatly. I would want someone to treat my favorite characters with respect when it comes time for me to see them on a page. I will return that favor to those who like the characters I find annoying. 

The other side to this is everything about these pages are open. The last thing I want is for some underaged individual to bypass Mom and Dad's secruity on the computer, see this exchange, get caught seeing the exchange, and the end result being my pages being shut down because a line of questioning went into Not Safe For Work territory. As the administrator/governor of the blogs, dA group, and facebook pages, I do reserve the right to answer any and all questions at my discretion, to delete lines of questioning I feel are inappropriate, and so on. I would expect other people running similar pages and similar activities to do the same thing.

Final note on this rule: I will be posting the entries to archive sites like,, and as a deviation on deviantart. 

2 - Limit the number of questions to three per person. This used to be one question per person, but, after the first go-round with Reimi and only one other participant, I felt it prudent to expand it to three. 

3 - Questions can be submitted via comment, private message, or email. My email addresses are and

4 - The deadline for each character is by midnight the Wednesday before the segment is to appear. For example, if I announce Reimi Saionji (again) as the first runner-up for the segment and that her segment will appear on September 29th, then everyone who wishes to ask her a question or three has until midnight, September 27th to get their questions submitted. 

5 - Requests for Specific Characters
Honestly, I am not taking them. Not because I don't want to delve into the deeps of a fan favorite (I'm looking at you, Albel Nox), but rather I want to say the ones I deem to be fan favorites (and my own personal favorites) for towards the end. So, yes, I will get to Albel Nox at some point or another, but it will be after I get through my list. (So write your questions for your favorite characters down and submit them when I announce that character's segment is coming up.)

6 - Have fun!
This is meant for some good, lighthearted fun in the grand scheme of things. Participation is encouraged but not required. Questions can be as light or as serious as you, the potential querent, want them to be. 

With all of this said, I am announcing the reboot of the Ask the Star Ocean Character. In case you missed it in the deadline rule, it's Reimi Saionji from Star Ocean: The Last Hope. Given I am also quite busy with real life, the Ask the Star Ocean Characters will be done once a month, at the end of the month. I'm gearing up for a major publication release (the third book in my Arc of Fantasy series) in November, I do have a full time job, plus I am working on a variety of fanfiction and original material projects. This is one of many that I will be investing time into because, well, I do love Star Ocean quite a lot, and it is the inspiration behind my Arc of Fantasy series. 

The deadline for all questions to be submitted is on Wednesday, September 27th, 2017, by midnight central time. I will not be capping the number of questions answered in total. I plan on answering any and all questions sent Reimi's way. On Thursday, September 28th, 2017, I will announce the next character in the segment. Given October is my birth month, i may just treat myself to either announcing Fayt or Luther. We shall see.

That's the final note on the Ask the Star Ocean Character of this entry. Moving forward.

As I noted with the Ask the Star Ocean Character segment being interactive with my fellow Star Ocean fans, this whole endeavor is meant to be quite interactive with my fellow fans. I see us as a community of individuals who share the same love of a series. We're no different than the Star Wars or Star Trek or even the Game of Thrones communities that exist out there. By all means, share your favorite moments. Share why and how a beloved character is for you. For the livejournal, blogspot, wordpress, and dreamwidth blogs, email those moments to me - again, my email addresses are and - and I will post them to the blogs. For dA users, send them to me in a note, and I will highlight that in the blog there. For facebook, post directly to the pages. Share pictures of your crafts and cosplays, no matter how old they are. Share your fanfiction and your art. Just remember to keep everything work-safe and to be respectful of your fellow fans. 

We're all fans of Star Ocean for a reason. We still stick with the series for a variety of reasons. We might be a small community, but that's also quite all right. It's an awesome fandom either way.

Have a good Monday! 
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 Summary: The Creator has been defeated, and the Eternal Sphere is relatively still in one piece, except in the places where it isn’t. Albel journeys with the crew of The Diplo to find out the fate of one of their own, Fayt Leingod, said to have disappeared in the Arcturus system or somewhere close to it. 
Pairing: Albel x Fayt
Characters: Blair Lansfeld, Maria Traydor, Mirage Koas, Cliff Fittir, Albel Nox, Fayt Leingod, Azazer, Berial, Adray Lasbard, Claire Lasbard, Tynave, Farleen, Nel Zelpher, Ryoko Leingod
Rating: PG13, borderline R
Rated for: Albel
Written for: Zenphoenixa
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, and I do not profit financially from writing this story. 
Author’s Notes: I’d originally contacted Zen about doing some original art for me on my paperbacks, but, given real life situations, she had to decline. (Completely understandable, too! No worries, Zen!) All she asked for in return if she had said yes was an Albel/Fayt one-shot. As I was originally an AlFay gal before finding Luther/Fayt material, this is actually not that hard to oblige! My challenge is to leave out Luther. Because. I love Luther, and I inherently pair him and Fayt together as much as possible.
Oh, and she’s getting a chaptered piece, too! Hope you enjoy, love! Consider the first chapter the giftfic in response to the Fayt vs Luther comic page you did for me! <3 you! I would say sorry that I don’t do crack!fic but yeah. #sorry #notsorry
Finally, there will be a slight blast from the SO4 past! Just a small one, though.
His heart’s rate sped up with every passing second he dangled over the side. Small scrapes and cuts covered his face along with dirt, blood, and sweat. Parts of his suit were torn open, revealing more superficial injuries. His fingers ached from holding on to the rocks keeping him from plummeting to certain death, but even that hold was becoming more and more precarious. 
Read more... ) 
Albel’s eyes flew open. For a moment, he lay still, numb and confused, before a scream tore itself from his throat. He bolted forward, gasping for air. He held his right hand over his racing heart. Frantic, he searched his surroundings, relieved to be somewhat safe in his bed on The Diplo. No dirt hit him in the face. No wind rushed past him. Yet he recalled nothing of his dream that even indicated he’d been falling.
‘What . . .’ He shook his head. ‘Nothing. Nothing at all. Why?’
He scowled and shoved his blankets off of him, fighting them a little where they’d tangled around his ankles. With a growl, he stalked to where he bathed – showered; he needed to remember that term; only people on luxury spaceships got to bathe, or so Maria told him when he’d insisted upon joining Quark – and fed into his frustrations.
Nightmares were a normal part of his nightly routine. Still he detested them, viewed them as a sign of his inherent weakness, and he had plenty of bad memories to fuel his dreams for years to come. 
‘Never had this much of a problem with Leingod around,’ he groused to himself. ‘Why didn’t he join the wench and her crew after defeating the Creator? Would make my life so much simpler.’
According to some, because Fayt never told anyone, not even Albel, why he chose to return to his home planet, the young blue-haired man did so because both his parents were dead, and Fayt needed to make arrangements of some kind. In similar customs on Elicoor II, the children of the deceased were responsible for seeing to funeral preparations and handling estate affairs. As his parents’ only child, Fayt couldn’t shirk those responsibilities, and Albel would have mocked him if he had. And, also according to the same people and to Fayt himself, the Leingods had accumulated a great deal of wealth and fame for their research. 
Still, that had been months ago, and the lack of word from Fayt left everyone on The Diplo on edge. Maria constantly hounded the Pangalactic Federation on the young man’s whereabouts, though she never relayed what they told her to anyone, not even Cliff and Mirage. With Fayt’s powers, the young captain grew more convinced the Federation had tucked Fayt away somewhere, were conducting experiments on him, and were planning on using his powers to eliminate their enemies.
Though he belonged to Quark, Albel found her musings and fears to be rather ridiculous and unfounded. The Pangalactic Federation had always known about Fayt’s powers and could have used them at any given time, with or without the dead professors’ permission. 
He stripped his clothing off and turned the water to scalding. Albel hissed as he stepped under the water, which did wonders to ease the knots in his neck and shoulders.
‘Perhaps he’s taking the time to mourn their losses,’ Albel mused. ‘The Gods only know that wench never allowed him the chance. Yet, why does it seem like we should have heard from him by now? Is it because he belongs to a different political group than these maggots? I don’t understand. And why am I even thinking about Fayt? It isn’t like I haven’t dealt with my nightmares on my own before . . . yet I wasn’t having a nightmare. I don’t even remember what I was dreaming about.’
Albel allowed the water to roll over him. He closed his eyes.
Truth was, he missed Fayt. He missed Fayt more than he thought he would, and a nagging guilt insisted he shouldn’t have joined up with Quark, should have followed Fayt to Earth instead. Yet, he (and Nel, Claire, Tynave, Farleen, and Adray) had not, though they had been welcomed to do so when Fayt and Sophia decided they were going home.
‘Maybe I should just ask that wench to take me to the nearest Federation outpost,’ he groused, shutting the water off. His hair clung to his back and shoulders, annoying him even further. ‘At least someone there might tell me what’s happened to Fayt.’
In truth, Fayt was the only one out of the whole war that Albel respected. Well, Fayt and Mirage. Both had this ability to give him, Albel, this look in particular that said, ‘Keep it up, and I’ll knock more than just your teeth out’, and Albel found himself more than a little frightened by those looks, especially when the two gave him said look at the same time. Fayt, he respected for the obvious reason the young man could destroy an entire battleship if one angered him enough. Mirage? Well, let’s just say Albel learned to not mess with her after Cliff had tried to demonstrate to everyone on why one didn’t mess with Klausian women. To see a woman her size drop a man as big as that buffoon onto his head after holding him on her shoulder for close to a minute? Albel knew then he liked his skull intact.
He dried himself off and dressed, still grumbling to himself as he did. 
Albel resisted the urge to toss a dagger at the buffoon’s throat. Killer reflexes were hard to contain. Instead, he glared and hissed, “What are you doing in here? I thought I told you I’d kill you if you entered in here again without my permission.”
“Normally, I’d take you at your word,” Cliff said. He sat in one of the chairs closest to the door. His normally jovial expression wasn’t there. Albel blinked. This was the buffoon serious. 
“What is it?” he asked, tempering his voice a little and his urge to kill the man.
“Two things,” came the reply, and Cliff held up two fingers. “One, we’re heading to the Arcturus system. It seems there’s a bit of a conflict going on between the Federation and two different new species, one called the Cardianon and the other called the Morphus. Both, from what we’re hearing in the scuttlebutt, are highly advanced civilizations yet the Federation is claiming that the one has attacked them and tried to steal their tech as well. We’re going to investigate and to mediate.”
“And what’s the other?”
“It’s about Fayt.” Here, Cliff paused and fidgeted. “We heard from his mother, Ryoko. Seems she’s still alive, which is a good thing for Fayt. He at least has one parent left.”
“And? What did she have to say?”
“It isn’t good. Seems he disappeared around the same time the Morphus and the Cardianon started their squabble with the Federation.”
“Did Maria tell you this?”
“No.” The buffoon shook his head. “Though Maria was present, Ryoko specifically requested to talk to me and to Mirage. Apparently, Fayt told her he was going to help with an expedition of some kind in the Arcturus system, that he needed a little more time to process everything he’d learned and experienced, but, if she didn’t hear back from him within a certain amount of time, she was to contact me, you, and Mirage directly. She took a chance, Ryoko did, we’re sure, and we didn’t have time to get you. Anyway, she hasn’t heard from him in far longer than just a few weeks. In fact, the research team had been reduced to two survivors, and they’d arrived to Earth twelve hours before.”
“So what are we doing then? Investigating and mediating? Or looking for Fayt?”
“Maria, Lieber, Steeg, and Lancar will be investigating and mediating,” the buffoon answered, standing up. “You, me, and Mirage? We’ll be looking for Fayt.”
“All right then.” Albel nodded, flexing his right hand. “How long before we get there?”
“Another day. Maria set the course two hours before Ryoko contacted us. I just thought you should know since Fayt had asked that you be informed.”
* * *
Azazer ducked behind a tree just as a laser blast whizzed by him, nicking the flesh of his upper arm. Silently, he cursed under his breath. He dared to peek from around the tree at his attackers.
How he ended up stuck in the Eternal Sphere, he didn’t know. The last thing he recalled was walking up in Sphere 211’s hospital area, nursing injuries from the errant data from the Eternal Sphere and marveling at their capabilities, specifically their leader’s abilities.
‘What was his name again?’ he mused. He searched for the creatures hunting him. ‘Or did I never learn it? How odd. Perhaps I should have. He was rather . . . exquisite in appearance. Almost like the Owner himself.’
Azazer almost laughed at himself. A life and death situation – the graze to his arm brought into stark reality his situation and the fact he could very be killed by these creatures – and he marveled over an AI and his appearance.
‘Such a fool I am. No matter. Perhaps I will find him here, again, in the Eternal Sphere. After all, I probably am a God all the same.’
Another blast flew past him, several meters away from his face, the lizard creature chasing after him being rather lousy with its mechanical device. Azazer ducked behind the tree again and closed his eyes.
‘A weapon. I need a weapon. Think. I would prefer a blaster, but that would keep me out of true killing range of this confounded beast. Think. What would the Owner prefer? What did that AI have? 
“Inferior being!” the lizard creature shouted. “Come out now, and I will make your death less painful. It is the will of the Gods!”
“I am a God,” Azazer muttered, frustrated. “A sword? That’s what the AI had. Then that’s what I shall use since I can’t remember what the Owner preferred.” 
He tried to call up the computer to replicate him a weapon and fast. Nothing beeped at him. His right hand remained empty.
“Dammit all,” he cursed, glancing around wildly. “I can’t stay here and let this thing kill me!”
A glimmer in the dirt to his left, and in the path of fire, caught Azazer’s attention. The hilt of a sword, or possibly what remained of a sword, jutted up from the ground. He gazed at it for a long second or two, his thoughts cold and calculating.
‘Here goes nothing.’
He drew in a deep breath and made a dash for the weapon . . .
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I currently have Star Ocean: Till the End of Time sitting in my PS2 when Star Ocean: Second Story deserves at least one play-through from me, if not two or three, based on the different ways to recruit characters. As I chose Claude for my first play-through, I cannot Dias Flac, and he's turning out to be one of my favorite characters from the game (based on the interactions I've had with him). I'm also loving Ashton, but I will have to not allow my pity for him to guide me so I can at least get to know other characters.

Part of my problem with the second Star Ocean game is that I feel like I've played it before . . . in Final Fantasy VIIFinal Fantasy VII was released in 1997, and I didn't get to play it for many years after the fact until like . . . 2009 or thereabouts. (My brother loaned me his copy of FF7 so I could play, and, man, was I ever excited over it!)

I haven't gotten very far in Second Story right this moment, but, based on everything I've learned so far in the game, a lot of the elements are extremely similar to Final Fantasy VII. Extremely. An object falling from the sky, causing trouble. The angst-filled hero . . . Comparing Second Story with Till the End of Time, story-wise, Till the End of Time, story-wise, can actually stand by itself because it isn't relying on copying FF7's success or storyline. 

Of course, Star Ocean does cash in on some of the success of the Final Fantasy franchise. The stories of each game are actually very independent of each other so playing Game 5 is not reliant on playing Games 3 and 4. So that particular aspect is quite refreshing (especially since, until Sony released the games on the PSP, no one in the U.S. had ever played the first game, and I played Till the End of Time first over Second Story and The Last Hope went in another direction entirely).

And, in speaking of The Last Hope, I want to bring this up as a conversation topic, to get everyone's input on this.

A while back, on facebook, I shared a link to a story that crossed both games. The story has long since vanished from Archive of Our Own (which is a bummer - I did want to read how that was going to play out), but, in their author's notes, the writers mentioned that The Last Hope actually took place outside of the Eternal Sphere and thus had no connections whatsoever to any of the previous Star Ocean games. They said it because that's what the Perfect Guide for The Last Hope had mentioned. 

Now, I do want to get my hands on the Perfect Guide (simply because it is Star Ocean and every bit of information helps in maintaining these blogs and pages), but, at the same time, I have a hard time believing this, if only because of how the game plays out. Everything that happens in The Last Hope has an effect on what happens in the games that follow. In fact, because OF The Last Hope, I put forth the theory that the entire gaming platform of the Eternal Sphere was that of one massive MMORPG where 4-D beings could play at any given point in history and place in the Eternal Sphere. 

So how would this be possible, the events of The Last Hope being outside the events of the entire Eternal Sphere? While maintaining that the Eternal Sphere is this massive, multi-timeline, multi-planet MMORPG, The Last Hope could fall outside of the Eternal Sphere for this particular reason: It's a reboot of the gaming system. A pilot program, if you will.  

Mind you, there is nothing in the game itself that suggests it's outside the events of Games 1-3 and 5. The UP3 is there, or at least its conception. The beginnings of the Pangalactic Federation are there. The last name of Kenny is there (which, if everyone remembers, Kenny is the prominent name throughout the whole series and at least gets honorable mention in Game 3's dictionary). 

That is my theory on how The Last Hope can exist outside the Eternal Sphere. It doesn't necessarily explain Welch's appearance in every. Single. Game. But it is something.

By the way, guys, those of you who are claiming that Welch is a 4-D being and that's how come she's in every. Single. Game. I BELIEVE YOU. I really do. That particular theory lends to my theory of the Eternal Sphere being the MMORPG on that massive scale.

Lend me your thoughts on the MMORPG theory and where The Last Hope stands in the comments, guys. I would love to hear from you on that.

Some cosplay notes: My green coat for the Fayt Leingod cosplay variant needs some repair. One of the buttons came off, no biggie, really, and I need to find some braiding that won't fall off. I now have some styrofoam balls and paints to try and recreate Fiore's weapons from Integrity and Faithlessness for the Fayt cosplay. Fayt can use symbology some so why not, plus they're going to be easier "weapons" to carry at cons and in public than, say, swords (though I plan on creating a sword for the cosplay, too). 

I'll get pictures up as soon as I have things completed.

Finally, well, I want to attempt yet again to revive the Ask the Star Ocean Character segments to this blog. I actually had fun doing those. I'll post tomorrow the rules I've set forth. Know that I will start over again, and I'll be starting with Reimi Saionji.

That's all for now! I have a book to write!
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 So wonderful, wonderful news out there, my fellow Star Ocean fans! Till the End of Time is now available for purchase in the Sony store. You can then download it for the Playstation 4.

The news heard round the world earlier this year is true. 

Some of you already know this. In fact, because you've already purchased the game, and I follow you on social media. it's how I know the game is available for the PS4.

In terms of story, I realize this game is not the greatest. When compared to the likes of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, the story is a bit weak, but then that's also the game's charm. It holds the potential for so much to be filled in by the player, and the wide array of playable characters gives a little bit of something for everyone. Mind you, I'm still not overly fond of characters like Maria and Sophia - they do experience the least amount of growth and development, in my opinion - but they hold a great deal of potential in the hands of the right writers.

This game is one of my biggest inspirations, not just for my Arc of Fantasy series but for another novel I started for NaNoWriMo many years back. I'm still writing Star Ocean fanfiction. I own a copy of nearly every game (sans Blue Sphere for the Gameboy and The Last Hope for the XBox 360; yes, I own the original SNES Star Ocean: A Space Odyssey in the original Japanese; no, I haven't played it yet. I don't know how to read the kanji) for this series. I've had my fair share of disappointments in the ones I've played. I mean, if you get onto youtube and find all of the cutscenes, the longest ones are for Till the End of Time (at nearly ten hours), followed by The Last Hope (which I've found done in segments). Integrity and Faithlessness is a mere four and a half hours. While the game play is updated, it could have been so much more than what it was.

That's just me, though, and I do plan on addressing what I'd like to see in future games, you know, if I could become a gaming story writer for the series. Yes, I would revisit Till the End of Time and The Last Hope, for sure. I'd even revisit Integrity and Faithlessness, and I'd come up with a few new things as well. 

I will be at Tokyo in Tulsa in a couple of weeks. I have exhibition space for my original works, and I do plan on trying to generate more interest in the Star Ocean community. So wish me luck!

<3 to you guys for being so awesome!
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 I finally found me a (now) reasonably priced copy of Star Ocean: The Second Story for the PS1. Right now, I chose Claude.

I'm not thrilled with him, which is weird, considering how much I do love Fayt and Edge. Then again, I don't feel much of anything for Fidel at this point.

I'm going to get me a PSP so I can play my two PSP Star Ocean games. For Second Evolution, I might just choose Rena instead of Claude. I might just do it on the original version, too, simply to change things up.

But, as of right this moment (and really, only 2 1/2 hours in), I'm not impressed with our heroes.

I'll be pacing myself. I have a lot of writing to do, a lot of work to do for ShutoCon. Man, that's creeping up on me!
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 And overall gaming updates! Woohoo! What a time to be alive!

I just now found out that, in Japan, there is a mobile phone app for Star Ocean called Star Ocean: Anemesis, which follows along the same Star Ocean storyline of space travel and landing/crashlanding on underdeveloped planets. According to Kojika (from Kojika Cosplay), the girl you meet can summon heroes, and she's managed to unlock an SO2 event where she has the character Rena available. Go, Kojika!

Kojika has also shared this link from, and I'm reading it right now!

I am so stoked over the news of Star Ocean 3 heading for the PS4 in Japan. I hope it does make its way to the U.S. I already planned on getting my own PS4 so I can work on redoing Star Ocean 5 (and for DQ Builders, I love that game, too), but, man, I'm just so stoked over this! Everything looks the same, which is fine by me. Considering the game's popularity, there will be a North American and European relaunch as well. Digital only, at this point, but I'm stoked enough to not care. From what I understand about how this works with buying digital versions, once you buy it, it's yours, even if something happens with your PS4. It's in your account with Sony/Playstation. (It, for me, also doesn't matter since I already own a hard copy for the PS2.)

With all of that said and out of the way, it makes me super glad I will get to finally debut my Fayt Leingod cosplay variant, Captain of the Dragon Brigade, this year at my first convention of the year, ShutoCon.

ShutoCon is next month, guys, and I'm stoked. I'm also going to be attending Anime St. Louis, Tokyo in Tulsa, Otakon, and YoumaCon, with a tentative plan for Comic Con Oklahoma City. 

2017 is a Star Ocean year!
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 Yeah, it's been a few days, give or take one or two. 

A reminder I will be at the Tulsa Comic Con this weekend. I'm aiming to attend Friday and Saturday. Of course, as of today, finances are a wee bit iffy, I won't have any copies of my books on hand thanks to Amazon only having one printing press in South Carolina . . . and it's hurricane season . . . HOWEVER, I will do what I can to be in attendance at Comic Con this weekend!

And! Well, it won't be 100% complete - could not find the right size interfacing for the shirt and pants nor do I have the material for the pants - but I will be in cosplay! It's a personalized costumed-variant of Fayt Leingod from a fanfiction idea I have where he ultimately becomes the captain of the Dragon Brigade. 

I am so looking forward to that!

The idea for today's conversation topic comes from when I watched all of the cutscenes on youtube for Till the End of Time. It's something I happened to notice about Fayt.

Certain people manage to attract and hold his attention.

Of course, this isn't to say he doesn't notice people. He most certainly does, but there were some who were just like an awed "whoa" with him.

Let's go through our list, shall we?

First up, natually, is Sophia. The two have known each other since childhood. If you head to Airglyph after gaining Sophia as a party member, you find out that the two of them met when they were children, and it was on a vacation to a place where it snowed. If I recall the conversation correctly, Sophia was either three or five years old at the time. It's been a while for me since I've played and got the two to talk so I'm not 100% certain who was five, but I do remember she was old enough to remember snow. She'd remarked on the difference between the temperatures of Earth and Elicoor II.  Due to this long-term relationship, Fayt does wonder about her and worry for her safety. Ameena's likeness to Sophia makes her a contender for memorable people for Fayt.

Peppita Rousetti is the second person Fayt encounters. 

Third is Cliff Fittir. Fayt's first encounter with the Klausian is nothing short of memorable. It was the fight with Norton, after all, and Cliff was the first Klausian Fayt had ever met.

The fourth person Fayt takes notice of is Mirage. In fact, in his recollection while onboard The Eagle is how he thinks she's beautiful. 

Nel Zelpher comes to Fayt and Cliff's aid when they're in the dungeons of Airyglyph, thus making her the fifth person Fayt encounters. Her abandoning her duties to save Farleen and Tynave bothers him because she's also admitted responsibility and duty towards Fayt and Cliff. Add in he's an only child with his parents hardly ever being around, and he's going to take note. However, he isn't the one to remark on Nel's appearance. (That would be Cliff.)

Albel Nox is the actual sixth person Fayt meets and that's after the rescue of Tynave and Farleen. 

Roger S. Huxley is the one that's hit or miss. If you don't find him at the right point, Fayt will never encounter him. 

Adray hears wind of Fayt and Cliff and rushes back to Aquaria to join them. Depending on the conversations the player has upon first arriving to the Sacred Kingdom of Aquaria, Adray joins either before heading to the Bequerel Mines or after. But either way you're getting him!

Finally, there's Maria, the leader of Quark. 

Everyone here has the ability of becoming a traveling companion of Fayt. Roger, Peppita, Albel, and Nel are the ones players can choose from to make up the final party.

Out of everyone here, only THREE get very major notice from Fayt. Naturally Sophia is the top of this list due to how much time he spends worrying about her through the game, up until she becomes a permanent team member.

Second is Mirage. After crashlanding on Elicoor and escaping from the dungeons, he asks Cliff a bit frequently about whether or not Mirage got out of the city okay. Even after arriving in Aquaria for the first time, Fayt asks Cliff about Mirage. It's after they've been assigned a room in the castle, and Fayt manages to play Cliff a little bit.

Nel gets some notice due to the fact she's been assigned a mission, and she forsakes it to help some comrades. Fayt finds it admirable, but, I think he's got some Kenny bloodline in him because he's really all about duty and responsibility. (Just my musings on Ryoko's side of the family.)

Finally, there's Albel. The first time the two meet, it's after Shelby's been defeated, and Albel's like, his mess, not mine, not taking any responsibility for this crap. Of course, we know that Fayt argues against that with the "he's your subordinate, you HAVE to take responsibilty for what he's done".  The second time, they actually fight, Fayt wins, and then walks away with Albel still breathing.

Here's where things with Albel get interesting. 

When it's clear that they will not be able to finish the Thunder Arrow in time and they rush to Arias to defend, it's noted that Albel is not in attendance, and Fayt wonders about that. Now some of Fayt's wonderings about Albel could be considered more of a "what the" type moment. Albel is the captain of the Black Brigade, and, to him, it would make sense that Albel would be on the front lines, seeking revenge. Duke Vox is there, Woltar is undoubtedly around somewhere, all three brigades are taking to the field, but not Albel? To Fayt's mind, that probably isn't logical. 

I do think it runs a wee bit deeper, though, with Albel. All because of the meeting with the King of Airyglyph and his terms of Albel joining the team to tame the Marquis (Crosell). Why wonder about an enemy's safety if Fayt never really saw Albel as an enemy in the first place?

In going through the number of playable characters and members of the party, it becomes . . . weird for me to really consider the number of pairings Fayt can be involved in when, really, there were few he took note of.

You see, for Sophia, I can explain her as being seen as the kid sister, and he's failed to keep her at his side and to protect her. After all, during the escape at the Hyda IV evacuation facility, Ryoko tasks Fayt with protecting Sophia. The only time it even seems like he might be interested in Sophia beyond a sibling-style relationship is at the end of the game, after everything's been deleted, and he has a montage of thoughts to bring him back, most of which are about Sophia. Why? Well, she has been a steady influence in his life for at least twelve years. Why he not think of her?

But Mirage and Albel are the trickier ones. All I can think is that there is something about their appearances and personalities that strikes a resonance within Fayt. Why those two, I don't know, but, when it comes to pairings, I personally can only see three that would make perfect sense.

But that's just me. ^_^
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 To start, for my fellow Star Ocean fans, if you're in the Tulsa area or are going to be in the Tulsa area October 21-23 for Comic Con, I will be in attendance there, for sure, Friday and Saturday. Sunday is the iffy day. I will be working all weekend, and Sunday's attendance will be determined by how tired I am by the time I leave work. I will be in cosplay as Fayt Leingod, Captain of the Dragon Brigage, a costume variant based on a fanfiction idea I'm currently hammering out (along with my original fiction and the 31 Days of Halloween Celebration). If you're in Star Ocean cosplay, too, look me up and you will get a free signed copy of any of my publications I have on hand. Promise!

Now, for the conversation topic, inspired by Charry. (<3 to you, Charry! Thank you so very much for the idea! <3)

When I started to play Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, I had no idea that Victor Oakville was voiced by none other, Crispin Freeman. Didn't know but was more than pleased to find out. In fact, I think they got the same VA for Welch from SO4 to give her life in SO5.

Of course, I have noted similarities between SO5 and SO3 as well as SO5 and SO4. Mainly, it's the movements and the attacks of certain characters. Fidel moves like Fayt, has two of his attacks (Air Raid and Abyssmal Gate, which is the equivalent to Fayt's Dimension Door) and possesses some of Edge's attacks (Cyclone Blade, Double Slash). Get into Rush Mode with Fidel, and he unleashes Ethereal Blast. 

Victor is no different in this respect. He moves across the battlefield very much like Albel in that zigzagging motion. He also has Dragon Roar for an attack, along with Nether Strike and Diabolical Edge (which were attacks for Arumat - both Arumat and Albel have Dragon Roar). So, in this respect, Victor and Albel (and Arumat, sans the voice actor - Kyle Herbert voices our tank of an Eldarian) are very much the same. Tonal qualities in voice are what actually separate them. (Victor lacks that distinctive growl we all love about Albel.)

There is also one other difference between Albel and Victor, that I've noted. Well, a couple of things, actually. Victor doesn't get a magic, talking sword to save the universe whereas Albel gets the Crimson Scourge, but that's just story twist. Both are actually very straightforward and honest in how they view their worlds, how they feel, and in how loyal they are to their causes.

Rather, here is the huge difference I've noted between Albel and Victor.

Albel is not superstitious. He doesn't give a rat's behind about black cats crossing his path, which foot he set down upon getting out of bed, nor does he suspect old men are after him. Of course, we don't necessarily get a lot of Private Actions with Albel to find out exactly where he falls in this particular spectrum. My personal interpretation on Albel is he doesn't necessarily believe in ghosts, and, if he did, they're just a nuisance in his way. It's quite the contrast to Victor, who doesn't have a problem singing the praises of his subordinates. 

To put it this way, if Sophia (or even Victor) were to say she just got a lucky rabbit's foot, Albel would be the one to say it wasn't that lucky for the rabbit obviously.

Victor is what Albel could have been if Aquaria had been the aggressor over Airyglyph instead of vice versa. 

And Albel will always, always, ALWAYS have one leg up on Victor when it comes to character. Albel is far more fascinating and complex due to his past than what Victor will ever be. 

Those are my thoughts and plans for the upcoming few weeks. The 31 Days of Halloween are still on! (And I'm desperately playing catch-up!)
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 Title: The Veil Between the Living and the Dead

1 of 31

Prompt: fall colours

Prompt Summary: He sat alone, hoping to see something he’d never seen before. He received more than what he expected.

Disclaimer: I do not own Star Ocean nor do I profit from writing this story.

Written for the 31 Days of Halloween Star Ocean celebration.

Fayt drew his blanket tighter around his shoulders to ward off the early morning chill. The sun had yet to crest the horizon, not that it would have mattered in chasing away the chill. According to his quad scanner, the day was October 1st on Earth, shortly into the autumn season, and, from what he’d observed from his time there, Elicoor II appeared to be on the same seasonal axis as his homeworld. Given the lack of expansive cities and congestion of traffic but an abundance of natural scenery, he’d made it a point to return to the planet and to view the fall colors. Some old-timers who had been to underdeveloped planets had always said a fall morning at sunrise (and sunset) made the world look as if it had caught on fire and such beauty was breathtaking. Since he’d made it a point to return, he’d also made it a point to rise early.

“It’ll be worth it,” he said, his teeth chattering a little.

The minutes dragged by slowly. Every so often, Fayt yawned, but he resisted the temptation to curl up on his stony ledge and fall back asleep. Instead, he rested his chin on his knees and kept his gaze forward.

Fayt awoke with a start and to a blanket of stars in an inky black sky. He blinked then rubbed his eyes. His quad scanner indicated only five minutes had passed, but the fiery red of the sun had yet to appear in the horizon. If anything, as he gazed about, a deep fog now settled over the land. Moisture kissed at his cheeks, and a chill stole over him. The hairs on the back of his neck tingled. An electric charge, like the one before the start of a battle, filled the air.

‘Something isn’t right. Time to get out of here. I’ll have to try another time, when it isn’t so dangerous.’

Fayt scrambled his feet . . .

Just as a hand grabbed him by the shoulder and shoved him forward. Startled, Fayt flailed his arms and tried to skitter backwards, to keep from going over the edge. He glanced around to look for whoever was trying to kill him - the outcropping was rather high up - but saw no one. His knees jerked forward at an invisible kick, and the same hand added to his velocity in going over the side.

Fayt didn’t even have time to think. The wind whistled in his ears, and he reached out to catch himself.

His right arm exploded into a world of pain as did his head the moment he hit the ground. The bone near his elbow cracked then shattered, and Fayt struggled to catch his breath. Blood dribbled thickly over his tongue and onto the ground. The world blazed into a bright swathe of red and orange as the sun leapt into view. In a twisted, distant way, the colours of the trees sprang to life, just as the old timers had mentioned.

Or so it seemed from Fayt’s perspective. Silhouettes of dragons and humans surrounded him. He recognized the fallen form of Demetrio, the Dragon Brigade’s second in command. Booted feet approached him.

“What do we have here?” Duke Vox sneered. Fayt gazed up at him through pain-filled eyes. The man’s form mixed with the fog. “Another piece of Aquarian scum coming to die. I remember you, boy. You put up quite the fight when we met last. Not this time, though. Now there’s no one here to assist you. I will enjoy watching my men hack you into pieces.”

“Your men?” another voice, a gentler one, asked. “Are you so certain of that?”

An indistinct murmur rose around Fayt. He tried to lift his head to see who had spoken. He wanted to see who had spoken. He wanted to make sense of what was happening. Vox was dead, as was Demetrio. He knew. He’d been there for both. However, he lay still, his head aching and his body unwilling to respond to his commands. All he could do was stare at Vox and Demetrio as their spirits hovered over him. More booted feet stepped towards him.

Vox’s transparent eyes widened in horror and disgust. His lips curled into a sneer.

“You,” he said in a near growl. “You’re supposed to be dead!”

“And you are not?” the man asked mockingly. “Of course, I am dead, no thanks to you and your machinations. As are all of these men. Only upon my death were you named the captain of the Dragon Brigade. In death . . . you are not so spectacular now, are you?”

“I . . .” Vox began.

“Glou is right,” Demetrio interjected. “He is our rightful commander. You are nothing.”

Their voices started to become distant to Fayt. His head had not stopped its pounding. His eyes drooped closed.

‘Let me just sleep,’ he thought. ‘ This is just a dream anyway. I’ll wake up and everything will be okay. Just a dream . . .’

“I will not let you have him!” Vox roared.

“You’re too late, Vox,” Glou said. “He’s already mine.”

‘Sleep . . . At least I got to see the colours, right?’

Fayt closed his eyes.

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 And I've only got one offering at this point. /cue me drooping like Fayt when he had to admit to Peppita that they were lost when they weren't really lost/

That's the downside. Only one offering, and it's for Star Ocean: The Last Hope with the writing prompt of Night of the Werewolf. A bit silly, a bit serious for the first entry of Fright Night Spectacular, Faize at least becomes a little bit more comfortable with himself, and Commander Kenny makes an appearance.

The tidbit will appear at the end of the entry. 

I actually want to discuss, now that I mention him, Commander Stephen D. Kenny, also known as Lightspeed Kenny. He is, perhaps, going to be one of my favorite NPCs to explore out of the Last Hope segment of the Star Ocean series, along with Eleyna Farrance and the young girl from the Black Tribe (Ameena).

Commander Kenny remembers what the world used to be like before World War III. Heck, he's old enough to serve as a fighter pilot during World War III and to become a war hero. He certainly someone Edge Maverick looks up to throughout the whole game play. 

Kenny is definitely an enigma. He bears a lot of weight on his shoulders, which is very clear the moment he first appears on-screen. He fails to show up to the departure ceremony. He knows about the Seeds of Hope Project. He dislikes the command Shimada has given about the SRF but follows the command anyway, up to a specific point. He wants to continue relations and the sharing of information and technology with Eldar and Morphus and to bring Roak into the fold but ultimately backs down when Gaghan, Giotto, and Heinz back Edge in his refusal to further explore and potentially colonize already inhabited, yet underdeveloped, planets. 

All of this makes me wonder what type of past Command Kenny had before World War III. Was he a city brat? Was he an only child? Was his mother single? Did he grow up in the country?

For my overall writing purposes (note: this is NOT official on the part of Tri-Ace by any means), I've connected Commander Kenny's line to a set of OCs I've had running amok in various storylines for some time now. (To note here: I use this particular couple in almost every fandom I write for, including Star Ocean.) It's something I will be exploring in fanfiction over the course of time simply because the concept, the lingering sadness within Commander Kenny is empowering. Here is a man, as I've stated, who knew what Earth, what life was like before World War III. How does that impact how he views this new world, this destruction he may have known was going to happen?

Again, it's fascinating. 

And now for the first entry for the 31 Days of Halloween for The Last Hope part of the Star Ocean Universe

Title: Fright Night Spectacular
1 of 31
Prompt: Night of the Werewolf

Prompt Summary: With the combined efforts of Bacchus and Welch, some old horror flicks are rediscovered. Curious about ancient Earth pop culture, the crew of The Calnus decides to watch them to gain a better grasp of what used to scare Earthlings.

In which Lymle doesn't get it, Meracle just wants cookies, and Faize is . . . unfazed.

Guest appearances: Stephen D. Kenny, Lt. Heinz

Disclaimer: I do not own Star Ocean 4 nor its characters. I do not profit financially from writing this story.
Warning: Slightly AU

"So let me get this straight," Faize said as he watched Edge and Bacchus set up a large monitor in the item creation lab, which also served as the crew conference room. And by conference, mainly the times when Reimi wanted to test a new recipe but no one wanted to be the first guinea pig to try something new. "This is so we can watch what you Earthlings call moo-vees, specifically scary movies?"

Read more... )
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 01. orange blinking lights
02. skittles and starburst
03. chocolate
04. apple cider
05. bobbing for apples
06. mask
07. costumes/dress up
08. invitation
09. the party
10. trick-or-treat
11. the veil between the living and the dead
12. fall colours
13. ghostly excursions
14. witch's brew
15. black cats and paper mache' bats
16. haunted
17. pumpkin carving 101
18. "That's scary!"
19. Friday the 13th
20. moonlight madness
21. popcorn balls
22. night of the werewolf
23. "I vant to suck your blood."
24. not suitable for young children
25. in the forest at midnight
26. paint (can be anything)
27. "the best kind of lawyer is . . ."
28. scream; zombie's fright
29. the magic behind it
30. Day of the Dead
31. Halloween
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
 Last night, I added one more Star Ocean title to my belt of games defeated. That leaves me 3 of 3 - yes, I'm counting Blue Sphere, even though it was a Japanese, Nintendo Gameboy release only. I do hope it eventually gets released to a system here in the U.S., be it the PlayStation system (preferable) or the XBox system.

So let's do a real quick recap on the games in the Star Ocean series.

Star Ocean: A Space Odyssey - Super Nintendo, Japan only
Star Ocean: Second Story - Playstation
Star Ocean: Till the End of Time - Playstation 2
Star Ocean: First Departure (Game One re-release) - Playstation Portable
Star Ocean: Second Evolution (Game Two re-release) - Playstation Portable
Star Ocean: The Last Hope - XBox 360; Playstation 3*
Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness - Playstation 3 (Japan only); Playstation 4

* - I consider the Playstation 3 version to be a slight variant. Same gameplay overall but with different coding and different ways to do item creation.

Star Ocean 5 remains a bit of a disappointment on the overall scale. Right now, for me, it doesn't even warrant a second play-through, but, because I do know I missed a few things along the way and kept running through various scenes, I will probably start a second one to do what I missed and to better get to know the characters. Well, at least to the best of my abilities, that is. Again, the gaming is very straightforward. I spent an hour the other day just on triggering private actions alone, which got tedious, but I did it to unlock a role.

Of the characters we get - there's only seven instead of the eight, like in SO3 and SO4 - I have to say I like Fidel, Victor, and Emmerson the best. Not in the yaoi sort of way, either. I have a hard time envisioning Fidel with anyone at this point, including Miki, who is very obviously crushing hard on him. (Which leads me to be really annoyed with her all over again.) 

Also, at the same time, I don't want to envision pairings. Rather, if I were to start writing fanfiction for SO5, I'd want to explore the characters on their own and delve into what could make them unique. 

Now, don't get me wrong. I have nothing against Anne or Fiore or even Relia. If anything, as female characters go, they're interesting and unique, which seems to be standard for non main female characters for Star Ocean. 

I will say this about defeating the game. I ran into something that really made my heart leap for joy, something I will not be giving away just yet. That would be a spoiler for those who haven't played the game, and, quite honestly, no one likes spoilers.

I will say this: This particular twist is not something that comes up in a cutscene. You absolutely MUST defeat the game and get through the end credits to see it. (For those who know what I'm talking about, please take your thoughts to the comments so we can discuss it without potentially spoiling it for others who have not played the game and want to or who are playing the game but haven't defeated it yet. Thanks!)

So. Do I recommend Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness for Star Ocean fans who have not played the game?

The answer?


While the time was not taken to develop a more complex and intriguing storyline and character development is sorely lacking, there ARE elements in this new game which expand upon the Star Ocean universe and add an interesting dynamic, ESPECIALLY where SO3 is concerned.

With that said, have a lovely Wednesday, my fellow Star Ocean fans. I'm going to do what I can to resume playing Star Ocean 3. That's the game I truly want to play right now. Until the next time!
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
 First up, Ask the Star Ocean Character.

I found my original list of the Till the End of Time and The Last Hope cast (with blank spaces to compensate for First Departure and Second Story/Evolution upon playing). 

I'll just revise the list as each game is played.

What does that mean? It means when I finally get around to getting the reboot underway, Integrity and Faithlessness characters will be in the mix, including some of the NPCs. (Integrity and Faithlessness doesn't offer much in the way of NPCs at this moment, but I'll get something figured out.) Some characters, like Albel, Fayt, Edge, and such will be more towards the end, as originally intended. Unless, of course, I decide to do a special edition for whatever reason. I am allowed. ^_^

So the first character lined up for Ask the Star Ocean Character will be Reimi Saionji. I'll be looking at my calander to figure out which Friday her segment will appear. In the meantime, think up any questions you might want to ask her. Be as silly, be as personal as you want. Just be respectful and no profanity, please. Deadlines will be announced along with the segment re-appearance.

Second, and this is a reminder for people, too, starting on October 1 is the 31 Days of Halloween. It isn't a competition but something designed to get creative juices flowing. 

For each day in the month of October, post ONE Halloween-themed or inspired piece, be it one of the following: fan art, fan fiction, cosplay, collectibles, self-created items, or even baked goodies. Theme prompts will be posted for those who wish to use them. Participation isn't mandatory. If you do choose to participate, please at least try to do something every day. If you can't, it's okay, too.

There are some rules.

1 - Please do not post sexually explicit and/or artwork or fiction. If you want to write it, that's one thing, but post such things to the appropriate websites. For the purposes of Facebook and deviantArt, keep it clean. Anything of explicit nature posted to the pages and groups I manage on either site will be automatically down and a warning issued to the poster. Repeat offenses will get you banned. 

2 - Keep the profanity and violence down to a minimum, or, better put, keep everything within the PG13 to R range. I've said this before. I really do not want my pages and groups shut down due to complaints by overly concerned parents whose children figured out how to get around the parental controls on their web browsers. Also bear in mind, again, this event will be conducted through this journal, on deviantArt, and on Facebook. Again, I don't mind if you want to write it but post to the appropriate places. 

3 - For the cosplayers: Costume variants are welcome. I know Till the End of Time (from that point to the current game) offered in-game costume variants for the playable characters. Just please make sure it is still recognizable as Star Ocean. All games welcome in that respect.

4 - For the artists: Links to your fan art are more than welcome. Facebook participants can post directly to the pages themselves. 

5 - For the writers: Links to your fanfiction are equally as welcome. Facebook participants are encouraged to link to their stories rather than post the stories themselves. Acceptable sites are deviantArt, Archive of Our Own,, and basically any functioning fan fiction website, though the three mentioned are preferred (staying power).

6 - For deviantArt participants, please post directly to the Star Ocean groups. If you're not a member of the groups, please consider joining.

7 - Have fun!

Fans are not restricted to posting their creations to one site. Crossovers with other fandoms are also welcome. And, a reminder, there are Star Ocean birthdays for the month of October, some official, some unofficial. Since Integrity and Faithlessness hasn't assigned official birthdays, I will come up with some designations (for the purposes of the Star Ocean Universe/Project only - I encourage my fellow Star Ocean fans to choose the days they feel best correspond with their favorite characters in the instances where birthdays have not been assigned).

Starting with Game 1 through Game Four, here are the October babies, playable and non-playable characters

Ronyx J. Kenny – October 12
Chisato Madison – October 21 (Official)
Albel Nox – October 30
Robert Leingod – October 24
Steven D. Kenny – October 27
Eleyna Farrence – October 1
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
 I haven't defeated the game just yet. I do work, and I do utilize the TV and PS4 of others in order to play. I think my sister has surpassed me on events. I don't know. I don't care. The only thing I've "spoiled" for her are the hidden gems in the game that actually make it somewhat interesting.

So far, I'm more than a little disappointed with this particular chapter in Star Ocean history. The characters are not all that interesting when they could be. Fidel has some of the same attacks as Fayt Leingod from Till the End of Time and Edge Maverick from The Last Hope. Miki, the potential childhood love interest (depending on how you play out your Private Actions, of course), has some of the same mannerisms as Reimi Saionji from The Last Hope (basically, in my estimation, treating the so-called "hero" of the game like he's incompetent in battle without her and thus needs to tag along) but not completely. 

It's interesting to note that, while Fidel has some leadership experience (he takes over the guardianship of his village when his father heads to the country's capitol to be a military advisor), he doesn't really have enough compared to some of his compatriots, like Victor and Emmerson. Yet, by default, they follow him around. I can only surmise that it has something to do with his charisma as a person in addition to leadership skills because, when it comes to experience, both Emmerson and Victor have Fidel beaten. Of course, Emmerson defaulting to either Victor or Fidel is understandable since he's in a unique position, much like his predecessors in 1 and 2, that of being a Kenny and roaming around on an underdeveloped planet. 

Also, interesting to note and I've posted about this before to here and to facebook, Crispin Freeman makes a return to the Star Ocean world. He's the English voice actor for Victor. Till the End of Time fans will note he also voiced Albel Nox. 

What I haven't posted is some of the Easter eggs that have popped up in Integrity and Faithlessness. It's just kind of like a tip of the hat to American and geek culture. Emmerson has a backpack with Barbie's picture on it. In at least one cutscene, Miki's staff has a Dragon Quest slime hanging from it (kind of like how Sophia has a cat on her staff when you finally get her as part of the team), and Relia has two of the ghosts from the Pac-Man series on her backpack. What other little tidbits there are in that game, I'm not sure, but I'll find out.

Some of the music is the same from both Till the End of Time and The Last Hope, some of it is new. 

Here is one thing that I do like about what they're doing with Miki.

She likes to eat and is not ashamed of this fact. 

To me, that's awesome. Now if only they hadn't started her out as the annoying kid sister type who feels the hero can't do a thing without her presence. Even Sophia wasn't that annoying.
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
 Seems like the Star Ocean fandom has gotten much smaller. There was quite a good run back in the day. The first game appeared on the Super Nintendo System back in 1996 with Second Story/Evolution coming out in 1999. Till the End of Time came out in 2004 (I keep thinking 2002 because I'd played it at a friend's house first before getting my own copy in 2005, but the 2004 release year is accurate.) So it was three years between releases then five . . . then another five . . . and now seven years. Of course, Till the End of Time was buoyed by the release of Blue Sphere on the Gameboy in Japan. 

Why do I stick with such a small, obscure fandom that only a select few seem to continue to love? Why am I making plans to do projects and events for something that may not garner much interest in the first place? Why do I run these blogs when no one else seems to have found them and jumped out to say, "Hey, I love Star Ocean, too! Thanks for running this blog!"

Well, the blog has suffered over the last couple of years, to be honest, and it's much to my chagrin and dismay. So much came at me, I hopped into other fandoms . . . I even thought of giving it up because no one else was around, but I've never truly left Star Ocean.

I won't leave Star Ocean.

I know it's not the biggest name from Square Enix and Tri-Ace - that's most definitely Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.

And I won't be giving up the journals, the facebook pages, the work on deviantArt anytime soon. Yes, there will probably be bouts of silence. I am working, I am writing, and I am busy with some cosplay plans to try and enact next month for Tulsa Comic-Con, but I will not abandon these journals.

I will not abandon these journals for this very reason alone: I remember what it was like to feel like I was the only one out there. You see, my fellow Star Ocean fans, I'm a long-time Bangles fan. I was born in the late 1970s and grew up in the 80s and 90s. The Bangles struck a chord so deep and profound within me that they remained my favorite musical group long after they'd disbanded, long after their popularity had faded into memories. I never found a band that created such a resonance within me as they did. And I felt so very alone in that little world for a long time. The internet introduced me to other fans, connected me with people who loved the same band that I did, and sent that loneliness running.

This is for all of the Star Ocean fans out there who haven't given up, who feel like they're alone. You're not alone. :)

Fun Fact!

Sep. 15th, 2016 03:13 pm
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
 Crispin Freeman has worked on two Star Ocean projects. In Till the End of Time, he gave voice to the Wicked One, Albel Nox. In Integrity and Faithlessness, he gives voice to Victor Oakville(? - I forget the guy's last name already! He cracks me up, though!).
Yes, I want to see Crispin at a convention. I have plans, my friends. I have plans!
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
A Testament to Faith by monochromemarionette and RottenAdel
Story Location: Archive of Our Own

Only one chapter is up. The authors are about in the same position that I'm in - you know, other works biting on them and demanding to be written - but, in the comments section, more is promised to be forthcoming.

This story is based on something stated in one of the guides for, I believe, Star Ocean: The Last Hope. It could very well change how everything for the previous games are perceived and for Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness.

According to the authors' notes, what this guide said is that The Last Hope exists outside the Eternal Sphere. For me, it's kind of mind-boggling and contradictory to how everything has played out. I've played and defeated both Till the End of Time and The Last Hope. (I'm currently in the middle of my first play-through for Integrity and Faithlessness.) I will save that discussion for another time. In the meantime, I'm posting the link for the story so fellow Star Ocean fans can read it and let the authors know what they think. If you do not have an AO3 account, you probably will not be able to view the story. If I recall correctly, the story will eventually have adult themes and will definitely ask the reader if he or she wishes to continue. AO3 does allow for anonymous commenting and kudos giving.

Also, fair warning, the story is yaoi, i.e., male/male pairings. If you do not care for such things, please do not follow the link and harass the authors.

If you wish to contribute a fanfiction link, be it to your own or one you've enjoyed, post the link in the comments section. Thanks!

Without further ado, the link to A Testament of Faith!
star_ocean_fan: (Albel Nox)
 I'm back. A lot came my way in the past few weeks. I ended up buying a car (I named her Sigyn, after a Norse deity), and I helped a friend move from one end of the country to the other. All of these things had preoccupied my mind, kept me distracted, but I have not lost focus, not for this, not for my writing career, or other life goals. 

And, though it seems silly in the grand scheme of things, in the grand scheme of life, I want to keep the flame, the love for Star Ocean alive. Despite how some people have ragged on it, it is an awesome game, an awesome series that needs better story, better character, and better playability treatment. 

On a collection update, I have added the latest installment, Integrity and Faithlessness, to my collection. I am making my way through the game in chunks. I may play later; depends on how much writing I get done on some of the novels and fanfic pieces.

One thing I'm going to note. As I helped my best friend move, we talked video games. Specifically, we talked about Star Ocean (the three games I have played - I own all but Blue Sphere at this point) and Final Fantasy. When it came to Star Ocean, we talked mostly about Till the End of Time, my favorite of the series. It isn't the first time we've discussed the game, but she's given me plenty of ideas to converse about and present to my fellow Star Ocean fans, including today's topic about Albel Nox.

Some things I will be bringing up in the course of the next few weeks, in addition to rehashing old conversations, posting fanfiction, and revisiting the projects list I created for myself in the beginning. Yes, I dearly want Luther and Fayt as ball-jointed dolls, and I want to resume learning how to crochet so I can make me some fantastic items, maybe even do trades with others. We'll see. Oh yes, and I want to make plushies. 

That's all for the next couple of weeks. To note, conversation topic ideas are always welcome. 

So here's what's coming up for conversation topics. I will be rehashing Luther and his motivations. I found an old fanfiction that presents Luther in a very different light, and I had a thought about him myself when watching the cutscenes on youtube. I also have a thought or two on Robert Leingod and his motivations upon finding the Time Gate. I even have a thought about Stephen D. Kenny and my initial impression of Star Ocean 5. 

That's what's coming up over the next few weeks, along with the Thirty One Days of Star Ocean Halloween Fanfiction. Now, it isn't going to be limited to fanfiction, but, as I can't draw worth a smeg at this point (I just don't sit down and practice. I could always improve, if I want), for myself, it will be fanfiction. 

At the end of September, I'll post 31 prompts for Halloween, for fellow Star Ocean fans to utilize if they wish, to write their own fanfiction, draw their own comics, draw, or cosplay. My goal is to post one-shots and drabbles as a means of celebrating Halloween throughout the month of October. I'm considering the same for the month of December. (For people on deviantArt only, there will be a deviation listed in the groups specific to Star Ocean for this - that way you will not have to search journal entries for the prompts.)

Starting October 1st, I will post fanfiction pieces for Star Ocean to celebrate my most favorite holiday in the world. I'll even look for my birthday list to remind people which characters have October birthdays, either officially or as designated by me. Fanfiction entries will appear in the journals, on dA, Archive of Our Own, and Links will be provided on the facebook pages.

One more reminder before I get into the (very brief) conversation topic on Albel, I do wish to remind everyone that the Star Ocean contest giveaway is still in effect. Any photos of Star Ocean cosplay from the last nine months will receive a free copy of my first publication, Portal to Gaming. Doesn't matter which game, doesn't matter if it's a convention setting or not, send me the picture to email or post to dA and to the specific pages of Arc of Fantasy, Elise K. Ra'sha Author, Dragonfly Moonlight, Star Ocean Project and Star Ocean Universe on facebook then a PM with your mailing address, you will receive a free paperback copy of Portal to Gaming. You don't even need to pay for the shipping. There is no deadline for this giveaway. 

Onwards towards everyone's favorite anti-hero, Albel Nox.

This is going to be quite brief. As mentioned before, I have discussed Star Ocean with my best friend, who really has not played the game. Everything she knows is based on what I've told her, what she's looked up, and what I've shown her in terms of video and artwork. She presented to me an idea that actually might make sense but will be quite controversial to all Albel fans.

Albel Nox - Is he male or a masculine hermaphrodite?

Personally, I can see this particular nugget swinging either way, but I'm going to bring up what my best friend, the non-player, noted when I linked her to official Albel artwork from the video game packaging. I even have an idea for fanfiction fodder on this, but I digress.

Here is what was noted about Albel in the official artwork.

For being such a skinny guy, he has some manboobs. Now, most artists tend to draw them as well defined pecs for Albel, giving him a muscular physique with his lithe form. This is something I can see. 

He also has some very girly legs, or at least the one sticking out of the slit in his covering so appears to her. 

This is not to say Albel is a girl. Hardly, though I have seen doujin for sale on eBay for femme!Albel in a relationship with Cliff Fittir. After all, Albel has quite the manly voice, for both the English and Japanese versions. (Or so I presume on the Japanese. The voice album is what gives me that idea.)

Now, if this particular tidbit is true and he is actually both genders rolled into one, this would present a very interesting and tortured character in the Star Ocean universe. Albel lives on a backwater planet with a low level of technology. He also lives in a region that focuses very much on the manliness of manly men and their ability to be warriors, as opposed to their neighbor, the Sacred Kingdom of Aquaria. This would also add to his inherent nastiness towards others, an effort to keep other people at bay so they will not find out his "shameful" secret. Who would want to be with someone who isn't completely one gender or the other, based on how everyone else looks and acts within their society?

And, finally, this would make Albel one of the most unique characters in the Star Ocean universe. Hands down on that. I'm not saying this is true, but I'm not saying it isn't true, either. I leave it up to my fellow Star Ocean fans to decide. To me, either way of looking at Albel will be quite correct. Seeing him as a perfect hermaphrodite would also add something to love even more about Star Ocean, the idea of inclusivity. Albel isn't a main character, but his gender identity certainly would not be an obstacle for someone like Fayt. I think it's been established pretty clear Fayt is incapable of really hating anyone.

So, there's the nugget on Albel Nox. Discuss it, ignore it, or run with it as fanfiction and fanart fodder. That's what we Star Ocean fans are really good at!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!!


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