star_ocean_fan: (Default)
2017-07-20 11:41 am

I Need to Get My Game ON

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!
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
2017-06-29 05:06 pm

Star Ocean: Till the End of Time - Oh, how we love thee!

 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!
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
2017-02-24 08:25 am

Star Ocean: The Second Story - Beginning Overview

 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!
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
2017-02-23 08:51 am

New Star Ocean game for Japanese mobile phone

 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 dualshockers.com, and I'm reading it right now!

http://www.dualshockers.com/2017/02/22/ps2-classic-star-ocean-till-end-time-announced-ps4-first-screenshots-released/

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!
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
2016-10-17 08:54 am

Conversation Topic - Fayt and the People He's Taken Note Of

 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. ^_^
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
2016-10-05 11:47 am

Upcoming Convention/Conversation Topic: Victor vs Albel

 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!)
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
2016-10-03 07:05 pm

[fanfic] The Veil Between the Living and the Dead, Chapter One

 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.

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
2016-10-03 02:05 pm

The 31 Days of Halloween are officially underway!

 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... )
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
2016-09-29 12:20 pm

31 Days of Halloween Prompt List

 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)
2016-09-28 11:25 am

It's Official!

 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?

Yes.

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)
2016-09-21 12:46 pm

Star Ocean Event! And update on Ask the Star Ocean Character

 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, fanfiction.net, 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)
2016-09-19 12:51 pm

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness - My current thoughts

 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)
2016-09-15 04:23 pm

Continuing with Star Ocean - A Confession

 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. :)
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
2016-09-15 03:13 pm

Fun Fact!

 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)
2016-09-15 03:08 pm

Fanfiction Spotlight

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!
http://archiveofourown.org/works/4182153/chapters/9444429
star_ocean_fan: (Albel Nox)
2016-09-07 10:47 am

Thirty One Days of Halloween Fiction Coming Up, Upcoming Conversation Topics, A Look at 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 fanfiction.net. 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!!
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
2016-08-11 05:47 pm

No posts for the rest of the week

 My last living grandparent passed away last night. It isn't that it's so much of a shock - when a person gets to be her age and gets the diagnosis she did and makes the decisions that she did - as it hurts. I've rationalized a lot of it, I'm okay with her death - it's hard to begrudge someone who lived a happy life - but it still hurts. And, due to when the funeral is, I will not be able to attend it. Most of my family resides in Northern Michigan, and I'm here in Oklahoma. 


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.

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
2016-08-09 01:55 pm

Conversation Rehash - A Look at Luther Lansfeld and Updated List of Video Games

 This post comes from Wednesday, January 31st, 2012, the second day of the Star Ocean Universe's launch.

Updated Video Game List
Now for a list of the Star Ocean games and their available platforms:

Star Ocean                                                          Super Nintendo; Japan only
Star Ocean: Second Story                                    PlayStation
Star Ocean: Blue Sphere                                      Nintendo Gameboy; Japan only
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 

If I'm not mistaken, the point of First Departure is to defeat the Archfiend Asmodeus while I know for sure the point of Second Story/Evolution is to rid the universe of the Twelve Wise Men. Of course, in Till the End of Time, the one to defeat is Luther, who is also the Creator of the world in which all of the other characters live, and finally, in The Last Hope, the object of the game is to defeat the Apostle of Creation/Satanail.

 

Addendum: I still have not played the first two games. I have read up on the Star Ocean wiki page, but it's been a while. For those who have played the first two games, please let me know if I'm correct in the objectives.

These are tidbits players of Star Ocean know, and one might think that, because he is the Creator throughout all of this, Luther is masterminding and orchestrating all of the events that lead up to these final fights. In thinking about this, I'm very inclined to say it isn't quite so simple.

See, those who've played Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, who've not only reached Luther in his WorkSpace and have actually defeated him in both battles, they know that Luther is trying to destroy the anomalies, these viruses that are rapidly taking over, that he feels are threatening this perfect world he's created. His creations are starting to head in directions he doesn't want them taking, and it alarms him when some of them have not only discovered the Time Gate, the one thing that can connect his world to theirs, but have found a way to enter his world as well, something that had remained physically impossible since the beginning of time (for the Eternal Sphere).

Now one thing to understand about the world Luther lives in is that it's backwards from what we know in our daily lives. Only the privileged can work and do work, and Luther is one of the privileged. Information is power, and he's one of the few that knows how to master the flow of information around him. He rises through the ranks at Sphere 211 as a computer and gaming programmer, the creative genius behind the world of the Eternal Sphere. This is something most Star Ocean fans already know because the Eternal Sphere is where most of our game play takes place. Even if a player hasn't reached the Spiral Tower leading to Luther's WorkSpace, those who've reached Gemity, a place in the four-dimensional realm, know that, because competition is fierce with companies like Sphere 211, no one can travel freely to the Lost City. This makes me wonder what that city looks like. :) Playing video games all day long is the only way to keep the general population in the 4-D realm under control, and, since it's free it seems like, no one seems to mind, either.

Addendum: It does make me wonder how gaming companies like Sphere 211 remain in business. Or perhaps my theory about the games being free is wrong, and the people receive a stipend from the government in order to take care of necessities like bills, food, clothing, and shelter with enough to go around to pay for luxury items. Come to think of it, my original theory is, in fact, incorrect since the Arena in Gemity charges you for taking on other combat teams.

I'm not sure at what age Luther obtains the coveted title as Owner of Sphere 211. I know he's managed to snake the title away from the original owner's son. Truth be told, I truly believe Luther displayed some kind of care and love for the company and the games created by them whereas the owner's son, Belzeber, really is only interested in the money and prestige that comes from owning what could be considered a Fortune 500 company, and Luther, at the peak time where he's starting to lose his grip on rationality, is twenty-six (or so that I've heard). He isn't old by any means, but it's kind of hard to figure this out since there is no notion of time passing in the 4-D realm. He's also a very brilliant man, especially if he's able to sway the original owner into handing over this Fortune 500 company and to create something as intricate and complicated like the Eternal Sphere.

The Eternal Sphere is something that Luther isn't out to destroy right away. Star Ocean fans who've reached him know he's thinking like a computer geek, thinking in terms of anomalies, bugs, and viruses. Things like that can wreak havoc on a system, and Luther's livelihood is invested in this. It's because of his thinking that I don't believe he's the one responsible for the Grigori that appear in Star Ocean: The Last Hope.

Before I continue further, for those who haven't played Star Ocean: The Last Hope, the game doesn't take place after Till the End of Time. It actually takes place before all of the other games, and the idea is the Earth is in so much trouble, it can no longer sustain human life.The Grigori are out to destroy the universe as everyone knows it by causing rapid evolution in species that aren't ready for things such as language, computers, and space travel. This in terms creates energy for some unknown force in a separate dimension. The idea behind the Grigori is to cause such rapid evolution and destruction to keep feeding this unknown source, labeled in computer terms as The Missing Procedure. In essence, the Grigori are causing anomalies, disrupting this perfect flow that Luther so desperately desires.

Some might argue that Luther is the one behind the Grigori. After all, the Eternal Sphere continues to live on after he's deleted the entire programming that's brought this gaming universe into existence. What better way to get rid of it by trying to destroy it at the start of mankind's ventures into space? He is an entity in a separate dimension. It'd be like him to want a blank universe in which to start over.

I will admit. That is a very true thing. It does sound like something Luther would do, sending something like that into the past. He is a control freak that way. Yet, I find the whole Grigori scenario as being Luther's masterminding to be very implausible. I can't see him sending something that will cause anomalies, bugs, and viruses into his precious program in an effort to destroy it. It, to me, doesn't make any sense to send in bugs and viruses to wipe out bugs and viruses.

What I am thinking is happening, from beating Till the End of Time and the Last Hope, is that somehow one of Luther's competitors has infected the Eternal Sphere data. As the game play for the Eternal Sphere pretty much is running side by side - at the same time Edge and Company are facing the Apostle of Creation/Satanail, Roddick and his friends are facing Asmodeus, and Claude and his group are facing off against the Twelve Wise Men while Fayt and his friends are preparing to storm his Workspace - it would be entirely possible for anomalies, bugs, and viruses to be appearing more rapidly than what Luther can fix them. However, since he's more focused on the year 772 S.D., he's not seeing that the vast majority of his problems are appearing in the year 10 S.D.* He's trying to get rid of the problematic data, whom he truly and honestly believes are in the forms of  Fayt and his friends. They're the one who crossed over from 3-D space into 4-D space, having the technology** to do so. Remember, Till the End of Time players who have defeated the game, in a last ditch effort to get rid of all problematic data, Luther deletes everything related to the Eternal Sphere. In that essence, in that Hail Mary effort, he's won over his creations.

* - Correction here. Edge and company take down the Grigori in the year 11 S.D. My error here.
** - They also have the symbological input as well.

So how would one of Luther's competitors manage to infest the Eternal Sphere universe with things like the Grigori? Well, Till the End of Time players who've reached the planet Styx, have reached the Time Gate and crossed from 3-D space into 4-D space, know they don't land in the Lost City. They don't land anywhere near the Lost City, but in another town called Arkives. They're coming out of this huge monitor that really isn't heavily guarded. In fact, if I'm recalling correctly, it isn't even guarded until after Fayt and Company jump through, weapons drawn and ready for battle, and do damage at a private residence. The Time Gate itself doesn't directly connect to Sphere 211. If that huge monitor isn't guarded until after the fact, what would stop a competitor from sending someone to it and planting the program of the Grigori into the Eternal Sphere? Even if there were guards there to keep competitors away, what would stop said competition from paying off the guards? Yes, it would mean crossing Luther and losing a job, but if the pay was right, it isn't entirely out of the question.

Nor is it impossible to think that perhaps Belzeber could be behind the Grigori, either. He isn't an unintelligent man, and it would be like him in an effort to overthrow Luther as the head of Sphere 211. By birthright, the company should be his. I'm still more behind a competitor placing the Grigori virus into the Eternal Sphere simply because the energy created from the rapid evolution and undeniable destruction of those like the Cardianon feeds the Missing Procedure, giving it more and more strength to keep producing Grigori. For me, and not just because I'm biased towards Luther, it seems far-fetched to hold the notion he's behind the Grigori when such things are the cause of his misery.

Addendum: I am adding in that, because it's a game, it's very much like a massive and multi-timeline MMORPG. I'd mentioned such a thing in another entry. 

For those of you who haven't played any of these games but have read through this entry with patience, you might be wondering what could cause someone who calls himself (appropriately) the Creator to want to destroy his creations? The simple, canon answer is Luther is a genius, bordering on insane, and is thus pushed over after Robert Leingod and his research team discovered how to cross over. One of the many problems he failed to account for when creating AIs is their curiosity about the world surrounding them. Robert and his research team meant no harm when they figured out the right combination to get the Time Gate to work and to find a way to crossover. (It doesn't mean the Pangalactic Federation wouldn't have tried something, but that isn't what set Luther off in the first place.) It was Luther's gut reaction to proclaim death to the research team. Why he didn't kill them right then and there, we don't know. It wouldn't have been much of a game if that had happened. :) Still, it's that proclamation that has sent events into motion, and the other thing Luther fails to realize, as he's looking at everything from a programmer's point of view and not as someone who's created life, is that his AI programs have adapted and evolved to their current circumstances. If you find the right house in Arkives, there's a girl at a computer, and she's creating a character so she can game in the Eternal Sphere program.

If you've ever created a character for a game, like Dungeons and Dragons (especially for Dungeons and Dragons and you're at a kitchen table with a group of your friends), it's very tempting to create the most powerful character imaginable. You want the perfect stats every time. High wisdom, intelligence, constitution, etc . . . The thing is, those high stats actually make for a very boring game play. If you have a Game Master who doesn't care for the all-powerful characters, he or she adapts the game play accordingly so that it's more difficult to beat that Level One goblin or that Level Two undead bovine. The same holds true for the AI programs and situations in Luther's Eternal Sphere. The girl in question is creating this powerful character so she can be seen as a Goddess by the Eternal Sphere denizens and thus be worshiped as such. Being the Owner of such a powerful company and thinking more in terms of 0s and 1s instead of actual living beings, Luther can't see that, and that is why he panics as quickly as he does when Robert Leingod and his research team make their discovery.

So why like Luther at all? What is it about such an obvious villainous character that appeals to someone like me? Well, for me, Luther isn't the typical cookie-cutter villain type. He really is trying to do the right thing, but in trying to do the right thing, he's creating all kinds of unnecessary chaos and havoc. If you stop and think about it, he really is doing his best to try and protect the one thing that means a great deal to him. He's put a lot of effort into creating the Eternal Sphere and building Sphere 211 into its current juggernaut status. That doesn't come about without effort or hard work or without a great deal of love for what he's doing. For the most part, villains, like heroes, are complex creatures, and I feel certain that, once his haze of insanity is lifted, Luther could see the error of his ways. It won't make him any less of a control freak and schemer, but he could still the error of his ways and somehow make it work to his advantage.

Parts have been amended with additions.

Now, in theory, if we think of the timeline of the Eternal Sphere as 100% linear, then, yes, it's entirely possible Luther is behind the Grigori. If he can destroy the past, he can prevent the future and start all over again with Faize as his energy conductor. Certainly for the denizens of the Eternal Sphere, time is linear. It moves straightforward, and they cannot undo the past. 

And even then . . . I still don't buy that Luther is behind the Grigori. If he wanted to change the past, all he'd have to do is make the death counts higher for Earth when World War III takes place, wiping out all of humanity instead of the majority of it. I don't think, until he tried to delete the Eternal Sphere, that Luther lost all connections with his creations. The anamolies happened too rapidly, and, like I'd said the first time around, it was easier to attribute the anamolies to Fayt and friends than it was to sort and sift through hundreds of thousands of lines of code in order to find the actual problem. In other words, Luther got a little lazy.

With that said, what do you guys think?
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
2016-08-08 09:12 am

Conversation Topic - Roak and Earth: Missing Origins

 I've remembered what I wanted to discuss last week when I posted the rules for the Ask the Star Ocean Character. I'm going to hold off a little while longer for that as I want to play Games 1, 2, and 5 first. So please be patient a little while longer on that. ^_^

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?
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
2016-08-03 06:51 pm

Ask the Star Ocean Character Rules

 A day late and a dollar short. That's about how it goes anymore.

Anyway, a reminder of the rules for the Ask the Star Ocean Character segments.

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 thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.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. 

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.

Happy Wednesday!