I will be continuing to work on the Arc of Fantasy series, but I need to decompress and allow everything to process.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.
Updated Video Game List
Now for a list of the Star Ocean games and their available platforms:
Star Ocean: Second Story
Star Ocean: Blue Sphere
Star Ocean: Till the End of Time PlayStation 2
Star Ocean: First Departure - remake PSP
Star Ocean: Second Evolution - remake PSP
Star Ocean: The Last Hope XBox360; PlayStation 3
Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness PlayStation 3 (Japan only); PlayStation 4*
*-I've not seen where the game is available on the XBox system. If it is available for the XBox, I will update accordingly.
Now for the conversation rehash.
This was the original post from January 31st
And I am so looking forward to getting my paws on Star Ocean 5. New conversation topics! New characters to analyze! And it'll be yet another game where there was a character with the last name of Kenny playing a significant role in the game's outcome. ^_^ I love it!!
Also, I want to remind everyone that these are called conversation topics for a reason. You are more than welcome to add to these thoughts at any time or even disagree with them. I created the Star Ocean Universe and the Star Ocean Project for the following reasons.
1 - To allow Star Ocean fans to interact with each other and to connect, to build a community
2 - To promote Star Ocean conversation.
3 - To compile a list of Star Ocean memorabilia
4 - To encourage fans to display their custom-made creations
Anyway, today's topic is about The Last Hope and one of the promises it failed to deliver upon in the course of the game play. Let me start somewhere near the beginning.
As we players all know, upon landing on Roak and meeting Sarah for the first time, we hear the word "Muah" once more. The Cardianon leader referred to Edge and Reimi (and Crowe) as descendants of the Muah, but they are from Earth. On Roak, no one has forgotten about the Muah, but the origins are still shrouded in some kind of mystery.
Exactly who are the Muah here?
Unfortunately, we don't learn the answer to this question. We know that Earth and Roak are now connected to each other by way of the Muah, that the Muah are ancient. Beyond that, though, well, we get nothing. We don't even get the chance to explore that.
It's what's called a tease. We get hints of one thing but nothing further. And it isn't that the story of The Last Hope gets waylaid. Far from it because the story progressed as it needed to - remember, these are games about saving planets and then, eventually, the entire universe. It's just the formula the game writers use for each game. It might be a different "villain" each time, but it also makes no less for interesting game play.
Still, I'm disappointed that the origins concept ended up ignored after Edge and company discover the destruction of the exploration base on Aeos. There definitely needs to be a second part to The Last Hope with a return to Roak for this AND with Crowe as the main playable character. I love Edge, but I want to know more about Crowe and his powers as a descendant of the Muah. (This is where I wish I could write fanfiction and publish it for pay. How many would love to read this, I wonder!)
With the release of Star Ocean 5, what do you think the chances are we could ask for more games with Edge and company, and Fayt and company, and actually receive them?
Anyway, a reminder of the rules for the Ask the Star Ocean Character segments.
I will be revisiting the original entries for Reimi Saionji, combining it with some previous questions from the first reboot attempt, and will be taking questions. The date will be announced soon.
I was going to do a conversation topic, but I forgot what I was going to write about yesterday. It was inspired by watching the cutscenes from The Last Hope. I'll definitely be revisiting them.
The reboot is still underway. I do need to revisit the older entries, and one of them is whether or not Luther is the reason behind the Grigori. When I get to a certain point in the game again, I'm going to pay very close attention to what EX says about the Grigori's origins. Or at least pay attention on the youtube videos I've discovered with all of The Last Hope's cutscenes. I've not even made it through the first video yet!
Anyway, there is something of interest to note here, and it's about Commander Kenny. I don't know if it's something that doesn't quite trigger in the brain when it's first viewed. This is during the launch of the five SRF ships. He's just taken over command from Shimada, and he tells Heinz in very specific wording (an obvious form of forshadowing) about them. He doesn't say any names, just the Seeds of Hope.
Now, if you've got the subtitles on at this point, you know the phrase "Seeds of Hope" is written exactly like that. Due emphasis, right? As the clueless beginner, you're probably wondering who the Seeds of Hope are or you're just expecting it to be the crew of each ship being sent out. Of course, you learn later the truth of it all.
The Seeds of Hope are Crowe, Reimi, and Edge, each attributed with a specific genome in order to survive super intense situations.
In watching the sequence again, I know Commander Kenny knows about the project. A high-ranking officer doesn't make that type of remark without some type of previous knowledge. What I wonder is whether or not he's actually met Edge and Reimi, but they were just too young to remember it. Was he there, overseeing the procedures with Arnold Maverick and the Saionjis? Or did he just read the reports but still know who they were due to their names and attached pictures?
That would be a fun story to read. I plan on tackling a one-shot for this in the near future.
Anyone else up for that challenge?
And it's coming back! Ask the Star Ocean Character! First character up will be Reimi! Rules will be reposted tomorrow.
I'm not going to discuss what could have led up to World War III in the Star Ocean universe. I'd rather save it for another time and a different blog entry. Instead, I want to talk about how totally screwed up the SRF was the moment it was implemented.
Here is the basic rundown of the SRF mission and status.
There are five ships total for space exploration. We know from character conversations that they're heading to worlds that are human friendly. This is not a reference to indigenous life.
I repeat, this is not a reference to indigenous life.
For terms of gameplay, human friendly simply means the gravity tolerable, the air breathable, and the environment hospitable. That's it. On Aeos, they get lucky in that there are no humanoid settlements that they can completely muck up with their technology. Lemuris and Roak? Yeah, not so much.
Okay, so the goal of the super secret SRF that very few people on Earth know about is to explore planets that can host humans. Five ships with a crew of five. Seriously. Five people per ship, that's twenty-five people who have been trained not just as astronauts but as anthropologists, botanists, and whatever else they think they're going to need in order to establish a colony or at least contact with whatever local civilization. That's four crew members and one captain per ship.
No medical officers, no medical bays to treat the injured because somehow we . . . overlooked that when we were establishing the USTA and the SRF. No biologists, no physiologists, no zoologists, nothing else of great importance here. For entymology, we have Faize and eventually Arumat. For engineering and robotics and mining, we have Bacchus. For compounding/medicines, we have Myuria. Our ornithologist is Meracle, and our zoologist is Sarah.
Does anyone see the resulting issue here? We have two humans who have studied anthropology (Edge) and Reimi (botany), but everything else is going to the alien races that we're befriending. While there is nothing wrong with the game's diversity, it makes me feel like the game's writers were more interested in creating eye candy in Reimi, Meracle, and Myuria than actually applying what an actual space exploration team would need.
Let me break it down as to what every space exploration team is going to need. I base all of this on watching reruns of the original Star Trek series, the Star Trek movies, and the highly beloved Star Trek: The Next Generation.
To begin with, we have our intrepid leader, the captain of the ship. Everyone knows what his job is - delegate responsibilities to those who are most suited for the task at hand. Very self-explanatory at this point.
Second-in-command: The person who can take over in the event the captain is incapacitated or killed.
Medical officer: The person who puts the band-aids on the scrapes and basically keeps everyone alive.
Communications/Linguistic - Not only are we sending out more than one ship on this space exploration mission, we run into the possibility of encountering an alien species, one that's either equally intelligent or more intelligent than our own. Keeping in contact with our sister ships is important. So is making sure that the aliens we've just met are friendly and not about to shoot us.
Botany - Studying the indigenous life on another planet is a bonus and comparing it to known Earth samples so we can determine what's safe and what isn't is a major bonus here
Anthropology - Studying humanoid creatures in the event they're going to attack us is a bonus because we're on a mission of, not only exploration, but survival.
Mineralogy - Yes, this is an actual word. I googled it. Having someone who knows the chemical structure of minerals like iron and silver is a very valuable asset.
Engineering - We need someone to keep the ship from breaking apart. Otherwise, we can't do it, Captain. We just dun have the power! (Gotta love Star Trek)
Biology - And here I'm going to break it down simply because there are many aspects to biology to be covered. There are the following sub-categories: Environmental, physiology, zoology, herpatology, microbiology, evolutionary biology, marine biology, the aforementioned anthropology, entymology, and I'm sure there's a few other things I've missed in this vast field of biology. Some people could probably cross-train, after all, because all we really need is notice similarities and do the required studying of the new life flourishing on the planet stretching out before us.
Compounding/Pharmaceutical Technology - We're aboard ships with a limited amount of resources. Eventually, we're going to run out of what we have onboard our ship in order to tend to the sick so knowing how to actually compound medicines from local resources is a MUST. Absolute MUST.
Geologists/Seismologists - We need to determine if the land we're thinking of inhabiting is not only stable for the construction of homes and eventual businesses but for the eventual mining that we're going to need to do. We are coming from a resource-strapped planet. Having ships ferry resources to us is completely out of the realm of possibility. We'll have better luck taking everything back to Earth than we would to the new home.
Now, mind you, the SRF is just an exploration group. They're eventually going to pave way for more people to come once it's been determined that the planet is safe for us to inhabit. That's the whole point of the exploration group in the first place, and, like I said, some people could possibly cross-train in order to save on the numbers being sent out into deep space. Still, the lack of a decent medical bay and having a doctor onboard each ship is very disturbing. I may have to blame this one on Deputy Director Shimada being one cheap S.O.B. because the ships were ridiculously small and really could only hold upto eight people.
A quick rundown of the SRF ships - there's the bridge/command center, the local lounging around area, a conference area with two storage rooms to either side and upper portion to the ship with a battle simulator, two bathrooms (one for guys, one for gals), and four bedrooms with two beds to each room.
When the ships crash, all of the injured are taken into the bedrooms while someone tries to work on the injuries, someone who, upon talking to him/her, doesn't seem to be trained for such an event. This is bad planning on the part of the SRF.
Also, all five ships are heading for the same planet. I'm going to try and break it down on the logic on this.
Aeos is our first planetary stop on our adventure. Our command people at home have sent out unmanned drones throughout the vastness of space and have reported back on Aeos. We have the life-friendly atmosphere that we need - breathable air, tolerable gravity, temps and plantlife reminiscent of the Jurassic area, and, most importantly, no large scale life forms. We have chosen this planet as our first stop so we're sending all five ships to this planet.
One way to justify this is we have small crews to start with - 25 minimum, 40 max. They're not going to be remaining in orbit over the planet upon arrival, they're going to be landing and exploring immediately before moving on to the next planet. Thank goodness we're not reliant on fossil fuels for this endeavor.
Five ships to one planet tells me that they're trying to cover as much ground in as little time as possible because we have other planets we want to explore. And if one ship gets in trouble, the crews from the other four can immediately lend a hand.
This is both wise and foolish. This is putting all of your eggs into one basket and hoping none of them crack. This is counting your chickens before they've hatched. You're just not going to know what you're going to get by sending that many people to one location and by having them land immediately when there may not actually be a suitable landing place.
It's also clear at this point that the crews are meant to live on the ships while they're on the planet. They have no means of constructing any type of shelters nor is there anyone aboard that has knowledge of how to construct a shelter. It's like the excitement of the exploration project overrode the basic necessities of what the crew would need.
Again, there is a logical way to look at this - they're not meant to be there that long, but they also were not meant to crash land due to some unforeseen circumstance. Three shipps slagged, one immobilized but completely repairable, and one lost to the vastness of space. Yes. One huge muck up of a mess.
Now, I will give the SRF this - they did train the crews on defense. They have weapons in the event they do find unfriendlies, and that obviously happens when the crew is attacked by insects taller than they are.
They just didn't train them enough. It's like no one truly expected to encounter hostiles along the way. Reimi's capture on the alternate Earth clearly tells me they didn't expect their crews to be caught and interrogated. It's a sad thing when we look at it this way: Fayt Leingod is a college student. He and Reimi, if we put them in the same timeline, are the same age. He has no military training whatsoever, but he holds up better under torture than what Reimi did upon her capture. As he told Cliff in their cell, "What could I say? It's not like they'd believe I'm from outer space" (or something to that effect).
By contrast here, due to her training with the SRF for space exploration, Reimi should be the more calm and collected out of this particular comparison. Yeah, we can say it's apples and oranges, we can also say Reimi doesn't have the UP3 guiding her, either, but she's touted as being an intelligent woman and a "level-headed navigator" (guidebook that comes with the game). She has more training and more education than Fayt for this exploration mission. She truly needs to be on par with someone like Maria Traydor, but she's not, and that's because the SRF training program has ultimately failed her. At the beginning, one of her favorite things to do is to tell Edge "don't do anything stupid".
Now, honestly, I don't know how long the training program for the SRF is. Edge Maverick (MMC) is 20, and Reimi (FMC) is 19. The guidebook says she was chosen at a young age, so that could put either of them anwhere from 13-14 to 15-16 to begin their intense training and education.
The only ones who know about the fact that there are aliens in this game are the captains. The crews are told nothing until the friendly alien race, the Eldarians, show up. There is a complete lack of trust going on here. Yes, we humans are trying to do this on our own, but, hey, we're on Aeos. Giant insects who are immune to laser blasts! We need help, and we have no medical facilities.
Once more, in the defense of the SRF, things on planet Earth are not so great. We all know the atmosphere is compromised. We're in the aftermath of World War III and the massive fallout from the nuclear weapons. Our planet is dying, and we have got to do something. NOW. The fact that we've taken steps to build ships and train young people to head into the stars should be more than sufficient because we have millions of people who can't even live on the planet's surface anymore.
The rush to get into space, while doing so in secret, is the SRF's biggest downfall. No medical teams, no eventualities in place for encountering alien species, and then, the biggest thing of all is the three genetically modified humans they've sent into space.
I don't know what Crowe's genetic modifications are. He isn't a playable character for any of us so, at best, we're just speculating. Maybe he was given the same properties as Edge - superior speed and strength in a combat situation - but I highly doubt it. The ones involved - Reimi's parents and Edge's father - didn't see fit to do the same thing with Reimi, and, as an archer, being gifted with speed and the ability to calculate where an enemy is going to move to and still hitting the mark is a vastly useful trait. Of course, what they gave her is vastly useful, too, but only to Reimi herself. She's also the actual loose cannon.
At this point, I'm going to mention I will be cross-posting this to the Elise K. Ra'sha writing blog as part of the Words of Wisdom Wednesday/Writing Tips entry, so I'm going to sound redundant to all fans who have played the game. For this, I apologize, but a bit of a refresher might help.
Reimi's genetic modification is that she will never die of any type of sickness. She has a super-enhanced immune system, one that led to her survival from radiation poisoning while the same thing cost her the lives of some friends. This, in and of itself, is not a horrible thing in that, should she encounter some type of alien sickness, she won't die from it, and she'll recover faster upon given the cure (providing there is one).
What makes this the bonehead move? No doctor to study the disease and the cure and how they interact within a human body and the great, great, GREAT potential for the disease to mutate and infect someone else, be it a member of her own crew or a member of the alien population they happen to be visiting.
The basic story behind The Last Hope is one of very hopeful adventure and survival so it doesn't really differ from any other epic fantasy adenture out there. It capitalizes on the human spirit for survival, but doesn't take into account some of the very real things that an exploration crew faces. It isn't a horrible game to play. Not in the very least. Hey, I have my favorites, and I utilize them almost all the time when I get the chance to sit down and play. It also explains how we got the UP3 and why we're not supposed to a) engage with less technologically advanced species and b) what should happen in the event we accidentally time travel. As a writer, though, and one of science fiction and fantasy, it's a cautionary tale of what to keep in mind when writing about space exploration and what a crew is actually going to need in order to survive.
1 - You know I've only played two of the games, Till the End of Time and The Last Hope. I own all but Blue Sphere and the newest game, but getting to play them hasn't been possible at this point.
2 - Of the games I have played, I tend to not like the main female characters for one reason or another. Maria is too extreme in her course of dislike for those who have wronged her, but that can be attributed to the fact that, from age 10, she was raised on a ship, a more nature than nurture environment. Sophia is too naive, but that can be attributed to the fact that her ordeals have not been on a game-changing level. She's been able to maintain her cluelessness, despite learning she'd been genetically altered to fit into a bigger picture.
And then there's Reimi Saionji in all of this with her apparent jealousy of other women whenever they get too close to Edge and her constant crying of perv whenever Edge freezes up on something or says/does something that the player has ultimately commanded. (Anyone else remember her initial reaction at the Citadel on Lemuris?)
It isn't because I dislike female characters. Far from it, actually. From Till the End of Time, I favor Mirage and Nel of the playable characters and find Tynave, Lady Elena, and Farleen to be fascinating. From The Last Hope, I absolutely adore Sarah, Lymle, and Myria of the playable characters and Lady Elayna (anyone notice what they did there? ^_^). I'm disheartened with the treatment of Meracle. Yes, it's awesome that she's maintained a cheerful and upbeate attitude despite all she's endured, but, to me, that didn't give the writers right-of-way to treat her as nothing more than comedic relief upon introducing Sarah and for antagonizing Cerebrus. Peppita, I'm a bit annoyed with as well, but the reasons for my annoyance with her can also be attributed to having such a hopeful nature and positive attitude about where she's going in her life. I won't touch on other games as of this moment, but others are more than welcome to chime in and point out the pros and cons from the first two games. Let's just leave the newest game off the table until I can get a chance to play it. ^_^
That said, what is it about Reimi that makes her the more susceptible of the female characters I've listed so far? Reimi has discipline. She's mastered two styles of archery (no easy feat, either, I might add, to do one, let alone two). She's studied botany as part of her SRF training. She's the first officer of The Calnus. She has discipline.
Reimi's problem is that she doesn't exert enough of her training in intense situations. She possessed knowledge that her captain did not, knowledge that was beneficial for him to knwo from the beginning. Let me run down the brief list here.
1 - Alternate Earth
Reimi is captured by the U.S. military in basically what is an Area 51 type scenario. Area 51 is one of many favored subjects every science-fiction fan loves to read and talk about. Naturally, the people there are going to jump on the chance to get their hands on a spaceship that has oh so foolishly landed right on top of their base.
Now, it's absolutely no guarantee that Reimi would not have been drugged at Camilla Bachtein's request, and this is a bit more of an indictment against the SRF and its training than it is against Reimi.
There is one thing that is sticking out with me that Camilla said that must be considered.
She told Edge and the crew she'd drugged Reimi to keep her calm. This, to me, implies that Reimi had gone into fight/hysterics mode in order to get away from them. It's entirely possible that Camilla lied - she wasn't above using Edge's emotions against him in order to obtain the crystal core of the engine drive from him. She wouldn't be above lying about Reimi's behavior in order to justify drugging the poor girl. I personally didn't interpret Camilla's words about Reimi as being completely false. I'll get to that in just a moment.
2 - Roak
Here is where her silence on the Seeds of Hope project could have cost her, not her life, but that of her friends and that of the Roakians. Yes, she has an amazing immune system. Her body will never develop cancer, and her immune system will agressively attack anything that tries to make her sick.
But, what if in her body's efforts to rid itself of the stone sickness, it mutated the virus and it spread to the others? Bacchus himself would be immune to the disease, but that's because he'd already contracted the disease and it mutated on him.
This is where Mr. and Mrs. Saionji lose brownie points for bad parenting and Reimi loses respect from me.
She knew about the genetic experiments done on her due to some stupidity on the parts of her and some friends. They died from radiation poisoning, she lived. Mommy and Daddy told her the truth, not just about her but about Edge and Crowe. This is the same yet completely different scenario that played out between Fayt, Maria, and, eventually, Sophia. Maria learned the truth about herself, much like Reimi did. The knowledge caused her to hate herself, hate her body, much like Reimi hated herself.
Here's the difference: Maria is not a childhood friend of Fayt's. They don't meet until they're both 19. Sophia doesn't even know a blessed thing about her powers until she's at Moonbase with the rest of them and finding out at the same time as Fayt and Maria. There are no secrets in this particular group.
Reimi keeps quiet on the whole matter. For herself, I kind of understand. For most people, someone who is genetically different is quite obviously a so-called freak. That's how our society has behaved since the stamping out of the Pagan cultures. Her fear of rejection is quite understandable.
With the person in question was anyone other than Edge. These two, upon his father's death, grew up together. The Saionjis technically adopted him. Why did it take Reimi contracting the stone sickness for that particular truth to come out? And Reimi had plenty of opportunities to tell him the truth, from the time they crashed on Aeos (they had plenty of alone time) until they secure the cure and her body heals itself.
This isn't just a lack of trust and faith in a trusted, childhood friend. It's a lack of faith and trust in her commanding officer. For this mission, trust is key to survival.
3 - The Collapsing of Nox Obscuris
This is actually a very pivotal moment right here. Faize, as Sataniel, has been defeated. Nox Obscuris can no longer sustain itself, and the crew needs to get to safety. Reimi is the second in command. It should be obvious by now that Edge is not going to leave a man behind, no matter how severe the betrayal is. Edge has a great capacity for kindness and compassion here. He's being, not just a good leader, but a damned good leader, one who is leading by example and buiding his crew up instead of tearing them down.
Reimi's focus is solely on Edge rather than ensuring the rest of the crew gets to safety. This is gross dereliction of duty here, one that, in our current times, could get her court-martialed.
To put it bluntly, Reimi has the responsibilities of Maria but the emotional nature of Sophia. She's not fit to be on any type of an expedition, not if she's going to ignore her training to remain calm and collective and to put the lives of the crew before hers, before Edge's.
To me, this is actually quite sad. Reimi gets a stereotype depiction that's unbefitting of everything she's accomplished. Even Sophia, who is two years younger than her, has enough sense to remain calm in a stressful situation. Sophia has no training whatsoever, and she, too, endured captivity. If the writers had gone in a slightly different direction with Reimi, I might have been able to find her more tolerable as a lead female character. Instead, we get a young, 19-year-old who's infatuated with a guy who is, in a sense, her adopted brother, and allows her emotions to rule her. She is not a strong female character. Meracle, for the poor character treatment she's given, is a far stronger female character than Reimi.
When it comes right down to it, Reimi (along with Meracle, Maria, and Sophia) gets shafted as a potential strong female lead. Perhaps some character exploration is in order. We'll see what happens.
Here is the original entry.
"As most people who've played Till the End of Time know, the characters of Fayt Leingod, Maria Traydor, and Sophia Esteed are the ones chosen by a group of scientists (their parents) to save the universe. They are given the following powers: Destruction - Fayt, Alteration - Maria, and Connection - Sophia. I'm leaving Sophia Esteed out of the equation due to how and when her powers manifested in the game. Unlike the situations for Fayt and Maria, Sophia's situation for manifestation isn't severe. It's more of getting to the right point in the game when her powers trigger. The reasons for her power manifestation are completely different from those surrounding Fayt and Maria.
( Read more... )
To all new followers, welcome! I see you on facebook! I know when you "like" my stuff. Ha ha!
For all of you new peoples, there is something I started upon beginning the Star Ocean Universe. It's called Ask the Star Ocean Character, and I post who I'm going to interview. I will be incorporating the characters from games 1 and 2 upon finally playing them. I haven't done that yet. No PSP.
In addition to the main casts, I've selected a few of the bosses and NPCs to be apart of this. It's been a fun ride.
This is an interactive thing, Ask the Star Ocean Character. Fellow fans are invited to submit up to three questions per character that they want to ask. The questions can be fun, thought-provoking . . . almost anything goes, and I do my best to interpret how that character will react to those questions.
There are some rules to this. Old time peeps who've followed this blog from the get-go know them.
1 - No profanity, no lewd comments and no disrespecting the character in question. You may not like the character, but there are others that do. Also, this is a public page, public blog. It means anyone old enough to get onto the internet can find it and read it. I'm not having my blog shut down because some parent threw a hissy fit over the language used. While I can't control what kids find on the internet, I can control whether or not I keep this going. Any questions and comments that break this rule will NOT be used.
2 - As mentioned above, there is currently a three question limit. Ask what's most pressing to you. If you want to ask more, save them for a later date because I will cycle through the characters and start over again.
3 - Dont' ask me about when your favorite character is going to appear. I know you Albel Nox fans love him. I did one with him already as a birthday gift for a fellow Star Ocean fan, but he's not goin to appear until way later in the series. Fan favorites like him and my personal favorites are reserved for last.
4 - Questions must be in no later than midnight of the Wednesday night before the Star Ocean Character segment is to appear. Ask the Star Ocean Character is reserved for Fridays, something fun to start your weekend. Questions can be left in comments, or sent to me as Private messages or in emails. You can email the questions to me at email@example.com
5 - Please let me know what name you want me to use, if any, when I write the segment or if you wish to remain "anonymous". If you don't, I will use the name that appears with the inquiry.
6 - Most of all, let's just have some fun with this.
As this is going to reboot the entire series, the first character in the line up is Reimi Saionji from the Last Hope. Her segment will appear on Friday, June 19, 2015. All questions must be submitted no later midnight on Wednesday, June 17, 2015.
Enjoy your weekend, folks!
I'm back, my fellow Star Ocean peeps. I apologize for the somewhat lengthy absence. I had a few things come up that demanded my attention. It's probably going to continue, but I've got the strength, love, and perseverence to carry through, carry on.
Last entry was about books that I would love to discuss with the likes of Edge Maverick and Fayt Leingod. This time, it's about movies.
Oh, man, the horror that would cross Edge's face over the Austin Powers movies. I love Austin. He's so wack-a-doodle British, and it's just hilarious to me. Of course, I do have a bit of a sick and dirty sense of humor. Of course, with Reimi and Myuria there, it'd be even more hilarious.
I'd warn them off some of the movies based off of books. Why? Because not all book-based movies are true to the books. I've been hooked on the Percy Jackson series for some time now, so much so, I've been reading them over again, and I watched the two Percy Jackson movies. They've mucked up so much of the storyline, it isn't funny, and they're not even worth watching or owning. And, yes, I understand and accept that, when it comes to books and movies, there are time constraints. You can't put everything into the movie that's in the book. (Anyone remember the fuss over The Lord of the Rings and the fact they left out Tom Bombadil?) And some changes to a storyline are good. To me, they add to the spirit the author intended to create when writing the story.
Not so much with the Percy Jackson movies. Too many changes were made, and, once I'd read the books, the first movie lost its charm. I do thank it for being the reason why I've read the books and enjoyed them so much.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe movies are also so some fun ones along with the Batman movies done by Tim Burton. Yeah, I like them! So sue me! LOL And the natural disaster movies! They may not think such movies are so much fun, might actually believed such things happened, but they'd be fun for me. I especially love nitpicking at some of the SyFy original natural disaster movies, they're so corny.
One thing I would need to remember, though, especially with the likes of Edge and Reimi, is the need to explain to them that this all just entertainment. Even true story movies have had some liberties applied during the filmmaking process. Not very many, but enough for some people who know to realize the difference.
Anything I would preserve I would make sure there's a note saying as much. And I would take pictures, of family, of friends, of the people I will be eventually leaving behind, and of this good, green Earth.
Of course, there are other things I would love to do if fictional people were real and from a future depicted in the Star Ocean games. Most of this - the music, the books, the movies - we can download onto disks and tablets, and I can send those back into the future. What's really appealing to me would be to take them to the lakes here in Michigan, to go to the Sleeping Bear Dunes and walk back to Lake Michigan on a nice, hot summer day. Maybe run outside when it's raining.
So now that this is done, this is written and posted for everyone to enjoy, I pose these questions to you: What music, what books, and what movies would you share with your favorite Star Ocean characters?
Does anyone remember the scene with Edge and Welch? The one that plays in Item Creation after Bacchus is recruited and Welch is being an utter goofball about some literature she'd read? Anyone?
The first thing Welch had in front of her was a cardboard standee cutout of a French maid's outfit. She called Edge "Master", claiming she'd read it in some ancient literature. Of course, Edge was incredulous. Why would anyone want to be called "Master" and what were the previous generations thinking in leaving behind literature like that?
Good times in our Star Ocean lives, right?
Of course, we the players know that literature wasn't written for people living one hundred years later. It's written for the people who live in the times the stories are created and published. We don't necessarily think of the people who may survive something catastrophic, say, like nuclear World War III, and may not understand fiction is just entertainment for us and a way to live out certain fantasies and adventures. Could you imagine Edge's reaction if Welch had read romantic erotica and used that instead of the French maid outfit? Oh boy!!
Naturally, in writing about the types of music I'd play for Edge and Fayt yesterday, I wanted to also talk about movies and books. What novels would we, could we read together and discuss? What would I want to specifically send back with them to the future in the event it's something that doesn't survive? What else can I fill this space with until I get my gaming consoles and play more? LOL
In all seriousness, I do wonder what books would survive so that would definitely be one thing I'd ask them. What has survived? What don't you know about when it comes to fiction?
There is a great chance a lot of the classics don't necessarily survive something like WWIII. If the bombs don't destroy nearly everything, the radiation levels will. I'd be very sad to learn if stories like The Lord of the Rings and The Three Musketeers aren't somehow preserved. (Can anyone else imagine Fayt reading The Three Musketeers and acting out the swordfights? Or even getting wound up in Frodo and Sam's journey into Morder? I can!)
Even more fun for me would be to introduce them to what we consider to be Middle-grade/Young Adult fiction like the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson series. Would Edge and Fayt be fascinated by the fact that many of us, in the 20th and 21st centuries, believe in magic and in Gods? Or would they call us silly and shake their heads?
All the things to imagine and consider with these fictional boys.
Welcome to Wednesday, my fellow Star Ocean peeps. Today, I want to discuss music. Not necessarily what music might sound like for our intrepid heroes in each Star Ocean game but rather the type of music I'd like to play for them should the likes of Fayt Leingod or Edge Maverick or even both appear in front of me.
There is a great diversity of music nowadays, from classical to rock, hip hop to rap, folk to country, and Christian rock to . . . whatever His Infernal Majesty happens to represent. Some of it is quite the same in terms of sound - electric guitars, bass, drums, keyboards - and lyrically - rap has a bit of a consistent theme anymore.
In addition to the mainstream stuff I grew up with in the 1980s, I would present to Edge and Fayt some of the more obscure music I found in the early days of my internet browsing, bands like the Continental Drifters with their line-up of Peter Holsaple, Robert Mache, Susan Cowsill, Russ Broussard, Vicki Peterson, and Mark Walton (I think that's his last name) or the duet of Debbi Peterson and Siobhan Maher in the form of Kindred Spirit. Of course, I would also play Gackt and the Beatles and Elvis and my favorite band of all time, the Bangles. There's some of the classics from the 1950s and 1960s, Bach and Beethoven, and German bands like Rammstein I'd love to play. To wind everything down, I'd play Enya, Annie Lennox, and Loreena McKennitt.
I could spend an entire week introducing them to the kinds of music that gets lost to the ravages of World War III, even longer trying to get everything downloaded and preserved so people in the aftermath of World War III have something to lift their spirits. To me, it wouldn't matter if I didn't like the type of music, I'd still have them listen to it and find a way to preserve it. As a writer and in light of current events, I truly understand just how difficult preserving things like music, movies, and books can be and how they can be easily taken for granted. There is nothing more heart-wrenching to realize that one's hard work can be destroyed in an instant. While I can't preserve music that hasn't been released yet, I can certainly try with what's already accessible.
And this is inspired by me finding an untitled Star Ocean 3 story on my flash drive where I'd typed in some of the lyrics for a song called "You Were on My Mind". I've heard the song performed live before by the Bangles, and I just . . . want to share such moments, such memories with those who may end up robbed of such things.
Tomorrow, it's books I'd share and the conversations about those books!
Ola, my Star Ocean compatriots! It's been a very long time since I've posted much of anything. My last entry consisted of a little bragging rights, if I recall correctly. I published, under the pen name Elise K. Ra'sha, two stories, The King and Queen of Wands and Portal to Gaming, Book 1 to my Arc of Fantasy series. I believe I also mentioned that the Arc of Fantasy series is Star Ocean-inspired. If not, well, there you have it! I started an original story based on my love for Star Ocean, specifically Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. It is my goal to get myself back on track with the Star Ocean blogs. I'll be copying and pasting entries to my flash drive at some point so I don't repeat myself on topics.
Here is a topic that recently came to me as I played over the events of Star Ocean: The Last Hope. For all of you Faize lovers, this entry is for you!
I don't know how other people have played the game, which answers they chose when they were on Lemuris or if they even did this before setting out to Triom and obtaining Lymle. I've created a few different play-throughs, and, on one, I had Faize tell Edge something personal about himself.. Spoiler alert here: Eldarians are pretty much test-tube babies. Faize in no exception.
However, test tube babies need genetic donors. While we don't necessarily see too many female Eldarians as major players or even NPCs, we can presume that Faize does have a female genetic donor somewhere out there. As for his male genetic donor or "father", I have a theory I know who this might be.
Now mind you, before I continue any further, a lot of this speculation is based on memory. I've not played the games in several months, almost a year this summer, and I have no PS3 or XBox 360 for game play. This is driving me a little crazy because I really miss playing these particular games.
Continuing on - I believe Faize's father is the Eldarian commander, Gaghan. For some reason, out of all the Eldarians under his command (this includes Arumat), Gaghan has a specific interest in Faize. It could be due to Faize's intelligence, his ability to use a rapier, and his affinity for Earth-based symbology. It could truly be due to Faize's inexperience and nothing more. The thing is, I'm sure there are others under Gaghan's command who could have benefitted from traveling with Edge, those who might not have flipped and go psycho after dealing with some particular difficult situations. Heck, there's the issue with Arumat slowly dying because of genetic modifications done to his body to improve his fighting abilities, but evertying leads back to Faize. Gaghan takes a very keen interest in Faize Sheifa Beleth over everyone else. He asks Edge about Faize in communications before The Calnus crashes on Nox Obscuris and before Crowe joins the fight. Some could argue that, if Gaghan was Faize's father, Faize would have the last name of Gaghan, not Beleth. I could point out that it would only be so if the Eldarian family structure is anything like traditional European and American families - the last name is handed down through the father.
Of course, this is only a thought. :)
Until tomorrow, my friends!!
deviantArt peeps, if you don't see the entries appearing there, please refer to star-ocean-fan.livejournal.com, star-ocean-fan.dreamwidth.org and . I've decided to utilize a very handy feature for scheduling entries.
Thanks for following!
Yes, I've read the article. Yes, I'm excited!
One - I have moved a few times now. I've landed in the city I've dreaming of living in since 2002: Philadelphia, PA. It's here I hope to start a different life for myself and to breathe new life in the Star Ocean Universe.
Also, I've taken some major steps in publishing. Original material, inspired by one of the very games I love so much. The story is called Portal to Gaming, and it's available on Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble NOOK for $3.99. It's the first in a six-book series called Arc of Fantasy.
Portal to Gaming starts out with Fen Willows, the nineteen-year-old and only son of two universally renowned alien archaeologists, Farold and Victorie Amie Willows, and who lives in a peaceful, idyllic future.
The idyllic life is not for Fen. He longs for travel and excitement, anything to break up the dullness of his life and to ease his broken heart after finding out his boyfriend cheated on him. Unfortunately, war with an alien race known as the Salmorians keeps him Earth-bound while his parents continue to explore dig sites with the military backing them. With his best friends Daniel and Wolfgang Evans, he takes to the gaming simulators of Portal to Gaming, a giant in the entertainment and information industry.
It's in the simulators that his life is turned upside down. A stranger approaches him and utters three words.
"Draw your sword."
After that incident, strange phenomena follow Fen around wherever he goes. Convinced he isn't crazy, he finds himself in a position where he can't prove it and where no one believes him. He vows to find the stranger and confront him one more time in a fair fight.
Unbeknownst to Fen, his parents are hiding secrets from him, secrets that will change the course of the war and his life. Forever.
I hope my fellow Star Ocean fans check out the story, read the sample on both sites, and join Fen and his friends on their crazy journey.
And that's it! The craziness has begun!
I am moving to Seattle. Today. I'll be getting onto a bus with a few bags and heading to the West Coast. I will be seeking work, a place to live, and a computer.
On the bright side to this, I will be taking my SO figures and my camera with me. Pictures will be forthcoming and in better light!!
I hope everyone's had a wonderful summer and has a wonderful weekend! Halloween's around the corner, too, so any and all Halloween-related stories, artwork, and cosplay welcome!
Until the next time!
This isn't a permanent hiatus. It's just me taking the time, reorganizing for the page and the blogs, and balancing what I want to do with what I can do.
Know that I still love Star Ocean. That will never change. I just want to run the best page and blogs possible.
RE: Ask the Star Ocean Character - Sophia Esteed
As I never got around to posting it, I'm still accepting questions. I will aim for a fall segment. Thank you for your patience on this.
Before I get to the segment itself, a couple of things.
1 - If anyone has any thoughts to share on any aspect of the game and you want them posted to the blog, please let me know! Seriously! I will share almost anything and everything Star Ocean related in this blog. And you will be credited!!! (dA users, feel free to submit essays to the group with a tagline saying whether or not I can repost elsewhere.)
2 - I'm going to do ONE more Ask the Star Ocean Character segment then I will be tentatively taking the summer off from the series. My little sister graduates high school this year, and I'm going to once again attempt relocating myself in a different city. This is subject to change based on time and whether or not I finally get my own computer. I'll still post as often as I can, be it in revisiting old conversation topics or fanfiction.
3 - TILL THE END OF TIME IS TEN YEARS OLD AND THE LAST HOPE IS FIVE!! LET'S CELEBRATE!!
Want to share your favorite Till the End of Time or The Last Hope moment? I'd love to hear from you!
And now for the Ask the Star Ocean Character announcement. Since I've rebooted the entire series, up next in the queue is Sophia Esteed for Friday, May 23, 2014. Remember to limit yourselves to three questions, keep it clean, and have all inquiries in to me (comment, PM, or email - firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com )by midnight of Wednesday, May 21, 2014!
Onwards with Albel! And happy birthday, Noxie!!
Happy birthday, Noxie!
“Hello everyone! Welcome to a special edition of Ask the Star Ocean Character! I’m your host, Dragonfly Moonlight.
“Now, everyone at home might be asking why is today’s edition of Ask the Star Ocean Character special? Don’t we do this often enough?
“The answer, my friends, is yes. What makes today’s edition special is not that we’re still coming to you. It’s who our guest for today is and that we’re coming to you live from Elicoor II, from the top of the Kirlsa Training Facility. Please give a warm welcome to . . . Albel Nox!”
The moment his name passes my lips, loud and joyous screaming echoes up from the audience surrounding the facility. Albel walks over, a swagger in his hips and a smirk on his lips.
“Welcome, Albel,” Dragonfly says, extending a hand. “We’re glad to have you with us today.”
“So I hear,” he says. The screams have not died down.
“Yeah. We couldn’t avoid the fangirl crowd.”
“It’s quite all right,” he replies. “It’s nice to know I’m more popular than that maggot Cliff.”
“Oh yes. That buffoon thinks because he’s strong like an ox – and he smells like one, too, by the way – that the girls love him more than they would me. This . . .” He grins wickedly. “Is vindication.”
“I see . . . Does this mean you and Cliff are competitive?”
“Only when it comes to women. Since our team has a good portion of females . . .” Albel shrugs. “It was inevitable.”
“So who gets the most attention from the girls?”
“Fayt? But if you and Cliff . . .”
“He and I are not competitive for the women who travel with us. Except perhaps that fool’s female counterpart. She’s a worthy adversary. So is that Aquarian slut. Otherwise, the rest of them are too busy competing with each other for Fayt’s affections. It’s most nauseating.” He makes a face.
“Do you say this out of jealousy?”
“What?” he snarls.
“Are you jealous?”
“Of whom? Fayt? Hardly?”
“What of the women, though? Are you jealous of Fayt’s attentions on them or not?”
“No. Why would you even ask that?”
“Well, because, in part, it’s a fandom thing. Many of the girls love to see you dominating Fayt.”
“Yes, which brings me to a fan question from Dark Signer Yusei – What do you think of the yaoi fan made stuff that’s out there?”
“As long as I’m not paired with that buffoon or that rodent child,” Albel shudders, “it isn’t so bad. Fayt isn’t exactly hideous to look at.”
“This is true . . .” Dragonfly’s expression goes dreamy for one moment. Then she blinks. “Still, it has to be tiresome to see yourself paired with guys an awful lot. I’m sure you do prefer women.”
“I prefer someone strong and intelligent, which most of the women I deal with are not. The only two who even come close to my criteria are Fayt and that Mirage woman.”
“I do like Mirage. She’s awesome. She looks like she could take you in a sparring match.”
“If she and I were to spar, she would prove a challenge, I’m sure. She’s even a decent field cook.”
“Really? Who is the best cook overall out of the group?”
Albel growls a little.
“As much as I loathe to admit as much, the Aquarian scum and the Esteed wench are the best cooks. Fayt isn’t bad, either. Do not let Cliff anywhere near a stove. Everything he tries to cook comes out as blackened wood.”
“That doesn’t sound promising.”
“It isn’t. When it comes to inventing, he’s better suited for blacksmithing and what you offworlders call engineering. He can’t even compound medicines properly.”
“Speaking of inventing, what’s your favorite invention overall?”
“The ducky bomb,” he replies with a wickeder grin than before.
“And what’s your favorite moment from your travels with Fayt and the rest of the group?”
“I honestly can’t decide between kicking Luther’s ass or Crosell’s,” he replies with a casual shrug. “Both were such great challenges.”
“And your least favorite?”
“Again, I cannot decide between meeting that Traydor wench or the Esteed one.”
“Why meeting them?”
“The first wench, while I don’t exactly oppose a woman in command – Aquaria proved their women are more than capable of leading – assumed herself to be a group leader when I first joined them. The buffoon listened only half the time, and only if it didn’t contradict what Fayt said to do.”
“But Fayt doesn’t have as much leadership experience as either you, Nel, Cliff, or Maria. Why him as the leader?”
“I don’t know.” Albel shrugs. “He’s certainly likeable, easy to approach with concerns. He has all the qualities of a leader.”
“So you’re just deferring to him so he can gain experience.”
“Something like that, I suppose.”
“So why was meeting Sophia one of your least favorite moments?”
Albel growls low in his throat.
“For someone who grew up with him and defended him against the Traydor wench’s words, she insisted it was not like him to be so gloomy. How else is one supposed to act when his father dies?”
“I think I can understand why that is.” Dragonfly gives him a moment to compose himself. “We’re almost out of time so we’ll get to the rest of the fan questions. Dark Signer Yusei also asks what do you dream about when you have nightmares?”
“I don’t remember.”
“And the last question from Yusei, what does the Ascension of the Flame ceremony entail?”
“Lots of drinking then wrestling a dragon.”
“No grand words?”
“Mine was too chaotic for me to truly remember. I’ve avoided other ceremonies since.”
“That makes sense. Finally, we come to Mrs. Nox, who is celebrating her birthday to her.”
“Happy birthday, wenchlet.”
“You’re so sweet, Albel. Her first question is about your hair. How is it two-toned? Do you dye it that way?”
“If she’d really like to know, she’s more than welcome to come and visit me. I’d be,” he grins as he speaks, “glad to show her.”
“That’s very . . . salacious of you. Second question. Do you prefer the use of your claw or your katana?”
“And finally, who is the best training partner in the group?”
“Oh, that’s easy,” he says. “Fayt. He’s one of the only other swordsmen in our happy little group. He’s young, he’s spirited, and he proves to be the best challenge. The worm Adray isn’t bad, either, but I prefer to train with Fayt.”
“And there we have it! Thank you so much for joining us today. I have one final thing to say to you, Albel.”
“And what’s that?”
“Run. The fangirls are scaling the walls.”