star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Tomorrow, I leave for Kojika's to head for Otakon this weekend. This is the last entry before the convention so it's definitely going to be quite brief.

A note to all beginning cosplayers: If you plan on making your own costumes, I have a bit of advice for you before I dash off for the rest of the week. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! And ask questions of the people who can help you. Seriously. I have Fayt's shirt mostly finished but may end up scrapping it because I didn't enough material to make it look pretty. It's not bad for a first attempt - cutting out the design, sewing it together - but I didn't buy enough material to smooth out the rough edges around the edges. I also cut out too many pieces from the pattern that I don't need. I'm kind of in panic mode over this because I want the shirt to look right and nice for this upcoming weekend. Right now, it looks like neither, and I'll be attempting to salvage it before I leave for work. (If not, I plan on redoing it before leaving Kojika's home on Thursday - which I'll be down there tomorrow so I'll have some time.) So . . . don't rush yourself. When buying the fabric and patterns you want, ask about modifying it so it looks the way you want. Seriously. I forgot to tell my mom (who has been helping me with this) that I needed to modify the shirt.

Also, confirmed - Kyle Herbert will be at Otakon! You better believe I'll be getting his autograph on a few Star Ocean things. :)

Other than that, I've got nothing else for you guys.

Last entry before Otakon. If you're going, I hope to see you there. If you're not, look forward to a picture spam sometime in the following weeks. I leave you with a reminder for Ask the Star Ocean Character.

If you have some questions for Roger, I'll still accept them and add them in before I post it. In the meantime, I'm accepting questions for Adray Lasbard from Till the End of Time. Is there something about him you'd like to know? Please ask! Questions can be submitted via comment, email (luthersfayt@gmail.com and thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.com), or private message. Limit three questions per person, no profanity please.

I will get to posting Roger's segment a week from this Friday. Questions need to be in by midnight next Wednesday.

I love you guys. I'll be posting once more next week! Hope to see some of you at Otakon (If you're attending).

star_ocean_fan: (Star Ocean 3 game cover)
And this Star Ocean fan girl is excited. I've bought more material to get started on my Fayt cosplay. If you're going to be attending, it won't be complete. It'll just be a start - Kojika and reading over my fanfic have been instrumental in me wanting to get it at least started for Otakon so we'll see how it looks.

Otakon has also released the tentative schedule online, and I'm very pleased to note that Kyle Herbert is going to be signing autographs. He hasn't announced anything official yet on his facebook page so we'll see if he's going to be there. If he is, you can bet this fan girl is going to get a few things signed, like my guide for SO2 and maybe some other Star Ocean goodies. For those of you who may not be aware, Kyle has voiced Dias Flac (possibly a few others as well - nothing else is listed) for Star Ocean: Second Evolution as well as Crowe F. Almedio, Lias Warren, and Arumat P. Thanatos in Star Ocean: The Last Hope. Again, if this is true, not only will I get a few things signed, but I'll get a few pictures, too! If I can. :)

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Ask the Star Ocean Character - Roger S. Huxley and Adray Lasbard

If you have some questions for Roger, I'll still accept them and add them in before I post it. In the meantime, I'm accepting questions for Adray Lasbard from Till the End of Time. Is there something about him you'd like to know? Please ask! Questions can be submitted via comment, email (luthersfayt@gmail.com and thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.com), or private message. Limit three questions per person, no profanity please.

Note: This is by no means OFFICIAL. This is me delving into the characters' minds for a bit of fun. Granted, Ask the Star Ocean Character for the blogs is on hold right this moment, but I'm still accepting questions.2



star_ocean_fan: (Immoral Feather)
I'm sure I have no hope of catching up on anything, either. At, least not for the first part of the year or for birthdays, official and unofficial. So, what I'm thinking of doing is this: I'm going to post the long list of birthdays. Anyone who wishes to submit a piece of art, story, or poetry may do so with the rules regarding writing and artwork remaining intact. I will still aim to post stuff for holidays. I will aim to get more fanfiction in general posted as well and try (for the love all that's holy and divine!) to get Ask the Star Ocean Character back on track.

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Breaking news:

Square Enix is releasing a mobile, card-based game for Japanese fans at this time. The announcement was made here: http://s1.zetaboards.com/Star_Ocean_Universe/topic/5185869/1/#new

Not quite what we're looking for on this, but the forum gives me hope that the fandom is still alive and well.


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Star Ocean Online

If there's one thing I can say that I'm glad about, it's that Star Ocean's popularity hasn't quite reached the same level as Final Fantasy. Don't get me wrong on this. I do wish the series was more popular, but, at the same time it's a curse, it's also a blessing. There are no online versions of the game to be bought.

Please understand. I'm of the opinion that there can never be enough Star Ocean games. I'm hoping to resume and finish Game Talk  as time allows. However, an online MMORPG version of Star Ocean would probably fare about as well as the Final Fantasy online games, which is not very well. These games are designed in Japan, released there first, and, by the time they are released in the U.S., the Japanese players have already finished. There's nothing left, and their opinions of such games are scattered on the internet.

Plus, there's the issue of cost. Most MMORPGs are free to play. Why would I pay upwards of $40 for an online game when I can play World of Warcraft or Dungeons and Dragons Online for free? (Yes, I know that, for WoW, it's a basic account, and if you want to keep going after a certain point, you do have to buy like a gaming card or something - I'd have to ask my brother, who's played both WoW and D&D Online.)

Of course, the flip side to this is, while I feel Star Ocean may not be suited for online game play, I could also be wrong. The series could very well be suited for it. It is very difficult to say when it hasn't happened and probably never will.

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Ask the Star Ocean Character - Roger S. Huxley and Adray Lasbard

If you have some questions for Roger, I'll still accept them and add them in before I post it. In the meantime, I'm accepting questions for Adray Lasbard from Till the End of Time. Is there something about him you'd like to know? Please ask! Questions can be submitted via comment, email (luthersfayt@gmail.com and thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.com), or private message. Limit three questions per person, no profanity please.

Note: This is by no means OFFICIAL. This is me delving into the characters' minds for a bit of fun. Granted, Ask the Star Ocean Character for the blogs is on hold right this moment, but I'm still accepting questions.



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Fanfic status update:
Still working on it!


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CALLING ALL STAR OCEAN FANS!!

Next month, I'll be in attendance at Otakon. The convention is in Baltimore, Maryland, and will run from August 9 through 11. I will be with Kojika. Sadly, because of the on and off working I've been doing (days not working here, a week or so there), I will not have my Fayt Leingod cosplay ready in time for the convention. I am hoping, however, to work on it after Otakon and have it ready for possible attendances to Ramencon and Youmacon.

In the meantime, here's some Star Ocean cosplay pictures for you!

Leon1
Leon2
Leon3
Leon4
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
I hope everyone's having a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend so far. As of right this moment, today's the only downtime I've gotten since leaving work Friday afternoon. However, I'm not going to complain because everything has been worth it.

You see, this weekend was busy not only because we're gearing up for the end of the school year, but three people in my family - two cousins and my nephew - have graduated high school. Their open houses (or graduation parties - however you call it where you live) were on Saturday and Sunday. So a very big and heartfelt Congratulations to the Class of 2013. As I told my cousin Rachel on Saturday (not at her party but at the store where I saw her and my aunt), the next part of your journey begins.

And speaking of journeys, graduation, and all that, I want to take a moment and reflect on the following for the Star Ocean universe: Has anyone noticed that the only high school student in the whole series is Sophia Esteed? Yes, there are other characters that are younger than Sophia, but it's never mentioned what kind of schools those characters attend or even if they do. Sophia is the only one who has yet to start that next beginning of her life, but even so, the events of Till the End of Time are, in my mind, a perfect example of the following: how we think our lives should go and how they actually turn out.

You see, in life, there are no promises to get what we think we deserve. It's full of hardships, and I think it's great that such moments are depicted in our video games. Look at the moments of self-doubt and self-hatred Edge and Fayt put themselves through when certain events are triggered. To say it's just fiction and in no way reflects on real life does reality a great injustice. Reality isn't perfect. Even though we're not into space travel and exploration and working with life from other planets doesn't mean we still don't experience great joy and great despair in our lives.

So, to the graduating class of 2013, wherever you are and if you're reading this, please remember that reality, in many ways, does reflect science fiction and vice versa. Science fiction merely puts the stress of every day life into an alternate setting. And, again, congratulations on making it this far in life.

With that said, onwards with more Star Ocean universe business.

Star Ocean Universe fanzine and cookbook

As of right this moment, I'm putting the fanzine on hold. I will not have anything ready for Otakon. There are some reasons for this.

1 - Transportation.
I won't have a way to transport however many issues with me to the convention. I don't own a car, and I'm not sure how much space is going to be available with Kojika. At this point, I'm taking Indian Trails to either Gary, Indiana, or Chicago, Illinois - whichever is more convenient for Ko for her to pick me up.
2 - Finances.
Finances are a very huge issue right now, thanks to the upcoming move in July/August and Otakon in August. Plus there are my cosplay costs. I feel like the mad scramble to get everything done has started, and I'm nowhere near ready.

As for the cookbook - I've been thinking about it, and I'm considering a couple of different things. One is to move away from the kinds of foods created in the series. Most of it already exists, and recipes are available online. Another is to utilize those recipes, put my own unique twist on them, and come up with ones themed for Star Ocean. A third is just to come up with my own Star Ocean themed recipes. I'm liking Option #2 the best.

Star Ocean fan event

I'm still not getting enough feedback on this, which is okay. I've been debating as to when I'd like to hold such an event, and I'm now leaning towards sometime in 2015 as opposed to 2014. The reason for this is there's a lot I want to do just for this particular event alone, and I'm going to need the time to get everything done.

Ask the Star Ocean Character - Roger S. Huxley and Adray Lasbard

If you have some questions for Roger, I'll still accept them and add them in before I post it. In the meantime, I'm accepting questions for Adray Lasbard from Till the End of Time. Is there something about him you'd like to know? Please ask! Questions can be submitted via comment, email (luthersfayt@gmail.com and thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.com), or private message. Limit three questions per person, no profanity please.

Note: This is by no means OFFICIAL. This is me delving into the characters' minds for a bit of fun. Granted, Ask the Star Ocean Character for the blogs is on hold right this moment, but I'm still accepting questions.


Have a wonderful Memorial Day.

~Dragonfly
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Okay, so to start, I'm reposting the birthdays and holidays list as well as the reminders for Ask the Star Ocean Character - Adray Lasbard and the rules governing cosplay, fan art, and fanfiction.

Birthday and Holiday Reminders/Submission Rules for Cosplay, Fan Art, Fan Fiction, and General Star Ocean Photography

Birthday List - covering January to June

January 1 (Late; assigned by me) - Crowe F. Almedio
January 23 (official) - Claude C. Kenny
January 25 (assigned by me) - Ilia Silvestri
January 31 (assigned by me) - Ryoko Leingod
February 3 (official) - Faize Sheifa Beleth
February 15 (assigned by me) - Peppita Rosetti
February 16 (official) - Noel Chandler

February 29 (official - can swing to either February 28 or March 1) - Precis F. Neumann
March 2 (assigned by me) - Roger S. Huxley

March 16 (official) - Meracle Chamlotte
March 28 (official) - Reimi Saionji

April 10 (assigned by me) - Adray Lasbard
April 24 (official) - Arumat P. Thanatos
May 5 (official) - Bacchus D-79
May 7 (assigned by me) - Blair Lansfeld
May 13 (official) - Rena Lanford
June 1 (assigned by me) - Cliff Fittir
June 29 (assigned by me) - Maria Traydor
June 30 (official) - Lymle Lemuri Phi

Upcoming Holidays:

New Year's Day - January 1
Valentine's Day - February 14

St. Patrick's Day - March 17
Easter - March 31

Earth Day - April 22
Mother's Day - May 12
Father's Day - June 16

As of right now, I will be hosting a make-up day for birthdays and holidays. You can submit the birthday and holiday themed stories for the listed holidays.

Regarding: Fanfiction, Fan Art, Fan Poetry, Cosplay, Fan projects

I really don't have very many rules regarding what I'll accept for fan-related material. It does have to be well-written. I won't just post whatever happens to come my way for any of this. This is an open journal. You do not need to be a follower in order to read or comment on what I'm writing. I would very much like to keep it this way because one never knows when a fourteen-year-old might become smitten with Star Ocean.

So here are the rules for submitting fan-related material like fiction, art work, cosplay, and other projects.

1 - No smut. Period.
When it comes to art and photography, no nudity. There are sites out there already dedicated for such themes.

2 - All pairings are accepted.
I don't care if it's a pairing I don't like or that I can't see for whatever reason is in my head. If you've taken the time to write it or draw it, I will post it. That means I will accept heterosexual pairings (Edge x Reimi), xeno pairings (i.e., Edge x Myuria), yaoi pairings (Luther x Fayt), and yuri pairings (Maria x Sophia).

3 - No character-bashing.
This is a little . . . sticky. Yes, you can portray Fayt or Edge or whoever as an S.O.B. - providing there's a reason for the behavior. If you're just doing it because you don't like the character, well, take it to a different site. I have goals in mind for this journal. I'm not about to risk those goals for someone who just wants to be a jerk about a character s/he doesn't like. Remember that people do have their likes and dislikes.

4 - As was mentioned above, all stories must be well-written.
By that, I mean you've taken the time to craft your story. There are no errors in spelling, punctuation, or sentence structure. I don't care if it's just fanfiction. Seriously, just because it's fanfiction does not change the reasons for why people read. Just because it's free for everyone to read (meaning you're not charging them to read it and thus you're not being paid to write it) doesn't mean you should skimp out on the technical parts of writing. Write like you care, or I will throw my pocket grammar guide at you.

5 - Themes/Genres and Crossovers
I will, for the most part, accept nearly every single theme that there is. If it's an alternate universe story, I'll accept it. If it crosses with another fandom, I'll accept it. If you're crossing Till the End of Time with First Departure somehow, I'll accept it.

Now, there are some themes out there that do venture into the adult/mature audience category that I will accept as well. Anything with graphic sex just isn't in that area. Tackling current social themes (bullying, body image issues, etc . . .) are definitely accepted.

6 - Cosplay
I definitely would love, love, LOVE it if people submitted their cosplay pictures to me. They can be from conventions or personal photo shoots. It's all cool. If anyone does the how-to as the cosplay is created, definitely would love to share those, too.

Adding In: As I'm still very much in the dark for First Departure, Second Story/Second Evolution, and Blue Sphere in terms of game play, when you submit a photo, please let me know who the character is and what game the character is from as well as where you took the photo (i.e., backyard, lake, convention, etc . . . I don't need to know your personal address) . . . I know only a few characters from each, like Claude, Rena, Ashton, Roddick, Dorne, Ilia, and Ronyx. Having the names to go with the characters portrayed will be very, very helpful. Thanks!

Most importantly, to me, is that people are having fun and sharing the love for Star Ocean. That's what this is about - bringing fellow Star Ocean fans together. I will definitely let everyone know when I'm posting their works.

One more thing - no personal attacks, no being mean to the author/artist/cosplayer for any submissions. Be respectful of each other at all times. As of this moment in time, we are not a very large fandom when compared to the likes of Hetalia: Axis Powers or the Final Fantasy series. We don't have to like a particular character or a particular pairing or even a particular Star Ocean game, but we must remember that there will always be someone out there who does. Disrespectful attitudes will certainly not be tolerated.

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Ask the Star Ocean Character Reminder - Adray Lasbard from Till the End of Time

Roger's segment is coming! I swear that it is! If you have some questions for Roger, I'll still accept them and add them in before I post it. In the meantime, I'm accepting questions for Adray Lasbard from Till the End of Time. Is there something about him you'd like to know? Please ask! Questions can be submitted via comment, email (luthersfayt@gmail.com and thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.com), or private message. Limit three questions per person, no profanity please.

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Regarding the Make-up Day for Holidays and Birthdays, The Star Ocean Fanzine and Fan Event

As noted above and in previous entries, I do plan on hosting a make-up day for missed birthdays and holidays. In fact, I'm considering it over a course of four days, possibly a weekend, and it could very possibly consist of multiple entries. Given that I've missed these so far as well . . . I'm aiming for June. There's still plenty of time to submit birthday and holiday fan art and fanfiction for the above listed birthdays and holidays. Come July 1st, the list will change. Fan art and fanfiction not relating to birthdays and holidays are welcome at any time. Just please follow the rules I've listed above.

Please note: In addition to taking art, cosplay, and fiction submissions for this journal, I'm taking them for a Star Ocean fanzine. Since I've returned to work, I know that I can get something together in the next couple of months, maybe even by the time Otakon rolls around. When it comes to submissions, please, please, please specify where you want your works to go - the journal or the fanzine. If there is no specification, I will run with the notion that it's  meant for the blog, not the fanzine.

Now that I've done that, it's time for me to ask for the help of my fellow fans.

As I know from browsing sites like deviantArt and talking with some rather crafty people myself, fans can be very creative. It isn't just with things like cosplay, art, and fiction. It's the creation of plushies, and, in Charry's case, the Ducky bomb. I'd like to know what my fellow fans have created so take a picture and email it to me. I'd love to share what everyone has done with other fans.

Finally, regarding the Star Ocean Fan Event - I still want to hear from my fellow fans on this! The more input I have, the better! And it isn't just for U.S. fans. It's for all Star Ocean fans around the world. The more interest generated, the more I can plan and try to cement details like when, where, and for how long.

And that concludes it for today. Happy Tuesday, everyone!
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
I'm certainly not a happy camper right at this moment, but, oh! The joys, the joys!

All things considered, I really can't complain too  much. After a brief few weeks of not working (but still not posting - bad me), I'm back to working again, and I feel like I just never have enough time in the day to do everything I need to do. That's nothing new, really, but a few things are that I'm hoping to overcome.

That said . . . well, it's time to get back into the groove of Star Ocean.

News:
As everyone knows, there really isn't anything new, game-wise. Sad, but not entirely unexpected, either. Other games are enjoying more popularity than the Star Ocean series. I am tempted to fire off another email to Square Enix and to find out at which conventions they'll have representatives. I can't promise I'll make it to those particular conventions, but I can promise to try. (Note: In the event that I do get to a convention where Square Enix has representatives and panels, I can't promise I'll come back with any kind of news. Their biggest selling point to keep fans interested, it seems, is the Final Fantasy series. Nothing wrong with it, but, as we all know, there are other games in addition to that.)

Cosplay:
The wig for my Fayt Leingod cosplay has long since arrived. It's still in its plastic bag and is awaiting washing. I do have the material, some thread, and a pattern to sew Fayt's white shirt. I haven't started sewing yet because, well, one, I'm feeling particularly lazy about it on my days off. Two, my sewing skills are lacking, and, three . . . I'm not quite ready yet, weight-wise, to make the shirt. The material I bought was a little on the expensive side, and I have no way to get back to Jo-Ann's for a while to get more if I screw it up. The beginnings are here! That's something!

Also, I have some cosplay photos of Leon from Star Ocean: Second Story by Brittany Peterson to post. Thanks to Brittany in advance for sending them my way. I haven't forgotten that they're in my inbox! It shames me to admit, but I just haven't been very motivated lately to  much of anything regarding any fandom I enjoy.

Merchandise:
I have added to my Star Ocean collection. I do recall saying that I'd settled on something to purchase. The figures have long since arrived and a photo of them taken. However, I'm not entirely happy with the backdrops I have (meaning, I don't have any whatsoever) to take pictures of my Star Ocean stuff. The lighting (and the walls) of my home make everything look yellow when I take pictures. Given that my collections (no matter what they be for) are very dear to me, I want to take the best photos possible. This is stuff I'm proud to own. I want my pictures to reflect that. Plus . . . I want to get more stuff.

Conventions:
Ah, the wonderful thing about plans is that they're subject to change at a moment's notice. Regarding my tentative convention schedule, I will be taking NMACon off of the list. This is mainly due to the fact that I have no idea where I'm going to be living come September, be it in Oklahoma, Washington, or Pennsylvania. YoumaCon may be off that list as well. It just depends on where I end up after the summer. Otakon, however, is still on that list. It's been a long time since I've attended a really good convention and over a year since I've attended any conventions at all. I'll keep my fellow fans posted as to which conventions I'll be attending.

Conversation Topics:
Still working on that. I wrote a lot of things last year, and I may go back to some previous ones to see if there's anything I can or change. Plus, with the working (and totally into watching The Avengers and Captain America: The First Avenger), I haven't played much in the way of games. Planning a weekend, though!

Ask the Star Ocean Character:
I'm going to keep this on hiatus for another month. I'm still accepting questions for Adray Lasbard, but, until I can get myself to where I can post and write in the hours before and after work, I can't promise when I'll have everything ready. Roger's segment is done. All that remains is to prepare the character facts and study.

Fanfiction:
Yeah, I haven't been doing very well wit this, either. Nothing for the birthdays or holidays or even on Destinies. I feel so horrible about that. Need to change it, and I will.

That concludes this for today. Hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday and drinking lots of caffeinated beverages!

~Dragonfly
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
It's a few days late, but that's all right.

Everything on my end has been, well, chaotic. Between work and running into a few snags here and there, posting and writing have taken a bit of a hit for time. I've also decided, when it comes to Destinies Intertwined by Fate, I'm going to repost it. I joined a writing group, and I've posted the prologue to the site for critiquing. My goal is to really polish the story up and maybe . . . just maybe have it printed in a novel form. We'll see, though. It's the kind of story I want to see published officially, but I have my doubts as to whether or not tri-Ace and Square Enix would go for it. I am, after all, leaving out Sophia.

I will have some cosplay photos to post soon . . . like on a day where I've not slept in until 10:30 in the morning. They're also not by me (yet). We're getting there, my fellow fans! We are getting there!

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Cosplay/Convention Meet-ups

Now, I realize that we are a small fan-base when it comes to the number of followers and whatnot. Still, I do believe that there are some ample opportunities for meeting up.

This isn't one of those, oh, let's drive to this place and get together type deals. It'd be nice, and it's certainly possible for those who live close to one another (I can reach Kojika's home in under eight hours, either by driving or taking the bus). However, it just isn't economically feasible when a person gets right down to it.

This little shout-out is for the convention goers. As mentioned in one of the last entries, my convention goals for this year are definitely Otakon and YoumaCon with the potential for NMACon. Most of these are local conventions for me (so if you're in the Great Lakes area and wish to meet up at either YoumaCon or NMACon, leave me a comment or a PM. I will get back with you on that) so getting there isn't too much of a big deal. I will try to aim for ShutoCon, but I have no clue as to whether or not I have to work that Saturday. Anyway, those are my convention goals. Like I said, if you're going to be at any of them, especially the local conventions, give me a shout-out, and we'll arrange something.

That said, I would love it for my fellow fans to utilize these journals as a way to meet up with each other, either at conventions or on your own time. In my mind, there is no reason to be shy about any of this. We're connected by a common love for the Star Ocean series. Let's share the love.

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An Issue of Translation

As many people already know, many of the games we love to play are designed and created in Japan. They're released to the Japanese audiences first, sometimes even up to a year in advance, before hitting places like North America and Europe. I don't need to remind my fellow fans that Star Ocean is one such series.

However, in starting this blog in the last year, I've come across a couple of complaints from my fellow fans about character names. The complaint is that some of the names get changed in the translation process, i.e. Ratix to Roddick and Souffle to Peppita.

This isn't an uncommon complaint, in my opinion, from the fans who know how to speak and read Japanese and therefore have played the games in the Japanese. It's something I wish that I could do, but that will take some time on my part. Also, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being able to play a game in both its original language and the translated version. That's just a matter of personal preference.

However, and this comes up from talking with my younger brother about games, names, and translations, I feel that the fans who can play the games in the Japanese because they can speak it and read it tend to forget that the average gamer does not read or speak much Japanese. Otakus might be able to speak some, but the vast majority of gamers tend to speak one language. I happen to be one of them. (And I don't count knowing a few words here and there from the Japanese, Russian, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, and French languages as being able to speak them.) The average gamer is going to look at a name like Souffle and wonder why the character is named after food. Souffles are food. There's no getting around that, and the average gamer who probably knows next to nothing about Japanese culture may not realize that the name Souffle is meant to sound exotic to the Japanese audience. Souffle isn't exactly exotic to English and French-speaking cultures. Heck, I'm going to add in most of Europe into that as well. It's just how it is.

For a moment, let's consider the latest of the Final Fantasy games of XIII, XIII-2, and XIII - Lightning Returns. In the original Japanese version, Lightning's name is Eclair. According to my brother, eclair is French for light. However, if you ask an American what eclair means, that person will tell you it's a pastry. If the translators had left Lightning's name as Eclair, I'm very certain that many people would ask the question, why is she named after a pastry? It's just how the mind works when you don't speak a certain language.

There is also one other aspect to translation that some people just don't get. This is coming more from my brother about the Final Fantasy fandom where fans have complained about how some of the names have changed, and it's in regards to the letters "L" and "R". I will use Till the End of Time for this particular example.

For those who speak Japanese, they know that there is no "L" in that language. Yet there are "L" sounds throughout the language. Azazer in the Japanese game was pronounced Azazel. Berial was Belial, and Belzeber was Belzebel. Just because there is no actual "L" in the Japanese language doesn't mean there isn't a sound for it. There were reasons for leaving the Rs in for these particular names.

Finally, there is one other aspect to translation that people really do need to consider, and that is meaning. In Till the End of Time, Luther was Lucifer*. For most English-speaking peoples, Lucifer is the name of the angel who defied God, tried to start a revolt amongst the angels, and was cast out of Heaven for his actions. A name like that with such a negative connotation isn't exactly conducive for selling games to people who claim Christianity as their religion. (That also touches upon another subject which has more to do with role-playing games and misconceptions in general than just name meanings. It's something I'm open to discussing . . . but I won't be writing about it in this particular journal simply because it heads into some completely different fan-bases.)

In conclusion, there are reasons for why names are changed in the translation process. There is nothing wrong with liking the Japanese names or meanings over the translated names and meanings. Again, that lands into the area of personal preference. I simply ask that my fellow fans, the ones who do prefer the Japanese over the translated, please remember the average player isn't like they are and respect that for many Ratix is Roddick and Souffle is Peppita. No one has to like the reasons for why something is done the way it is done. The respect, though, needs to be there. Otherwise, we're just chasing people away.

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Birthday and Holiday Reminders/Submission Rules for Cosplay, Fan Art, Fan Fiction, and General Star Ocean Photography

Birthday List - covering January to June

January 1 (Late; assigned by me) - Crowe F. Almedio
January 23 (official) - Claude C. Kenny
January 25 (assigned by me) - Ilia Silvestri
January 31 (assigned by me) - Ryoko Leingod
February 3 (official) - Faize Sheifa Beleth
February 15 (assigned by me) - Peppita Rosetti
February 16 (official) - Noel Chandler

February 29 (official - can swing to either February 28 or March 1) - Precis F. Neumann
March 2 (assigned by me) - Roger S. Huxley

March 16 (official) - Meracle Chamlotte
March 28 (official) - Reimi Saionji
April 10 (assigned by me) - Adray Lasbard
April 24 (official) - Arumat P. Thanatos
May 5 (official) - Bacchus D-79
May 7 (assigned by me) - Blair Lansfeld
May 13 (official) - Rena Lanford
June 1 (assigned by me) - Cliff Fittir
June 29 (assigned by me) - Maria Traydor
June 30 (official) - Lymle Lemuri Phi

Upcoming Holidays:

New Year's Day - January 1
Valentine's Day - February 14

St. Patrick's Day - March 17
Easter - March 31
Earth Day - April 22
Mother's Day - May 12
Father's Day - June 16

As of right now, I will be hosting a make-up day for birthdays and holidays. You can submit the birthday and holiday themed stories for the listed holidays.

Regarding: Fanfiction, Fan Art, Fan Poetry, Cosplay, Fan projects

I really don't have very many rules regarding what I'll accept for fan-related material. It does have to be well-written. I won't just post whatever happens to come my way for any of this. This is an open journal. You do not need to be a follower in order to read or comment on what I'm writing. I would very much like to keep it this way because one never knows when a fourteen-year-old might become smitten with Star Ocean.

So here are the rules for submitting fan-related material like fiction, art work, cosplay, and other projects.

1 - No smut. Period.
When it comes to art and photography, no nudity. There are sites out there already dedicated for such themes.

2 - All pairings are accepted.
I
don't care if it's a pairing I don't like or that I can't see for whatever reason is in my head. If you've taken the time to write it or draw it, I will post it. That means I will accept heterosexual pairings (Edge x Reimi), xeno pairings (i.e., Edge x Myuria), yaoi pairings (Luther x Fayt), and yuri pairings (Maria x Sophia).

3 - No character-bashing.
This is a little . . . sticky. Yes, you can portray Fayt or Edge or whoever as an S.O.B. - providing there's a reason for the behavior. If you're just doing it because you don't like the character, well, take it to a different site. I have goals in mind for this journal. I'm not about to risk those goals for someone who just wants to be a jerk about a character s/he doesn't like. Remember that people do have their likes and dislikes.

4 - As was mentioned above, all stories must be well-written.
By that, I mean you've taken the time to craft your story. There are no errors in spelling, punctuation, or sentence structure. I don't care if it's just fanfiction. Seriously, just because it's fanfiction does not change the reasons for why people read. Just because it's free for everyone to read (meaning you're not charging them to read it and thus you're not being paid to write it) doesn't mean you should skimp out on the technical parts of writing. Write like you care, or I will throw my pocket grammar guide at you.

5 - Themes/Genres and Crossovers
I will, for the most part, accept nearly every single theme that there is. If it's an alternate universe story, I'll accept it. If it crosses with another fandom, I'll accept it. If you're crossing Till the End of Time with First Departure somehow, I'll accept it.

Now, there are some themes out there that do venture into the adult/mature audience category that I will accept as well. Anything with graphic sex just isn't in that area. Tackling current social themes (bullying, body image issues, etc . . .) are definitely accepted.

6 - Cosplay
I definitely would love, love, LOVE it if people submitted their cosplay pictures to me. They can be from conventions or personal photo shoots. It's all cool. If anyone does the how-to as the cosplay is created, definitely would love to share those, too.

Adding In: As I'm still very much in the dark for First Departure, Second Story/Second Evolution, and Blue Sphere in terms of game play, when you submit a photo, please let me know who the character is and what game the character is from as well as where you took the photo (i.e., backyard, lake, convention, etc . . . I don't need to know your personal address) . . . I know only a few characters from each, like Claude, Rena, Ashton, Roddick, Dorne, Ilia, and Ronyx. Having the names to go with the characters portrayed will be very, very helpful. Thanks!

Most importantly, to me, is that people are having fun and sharing the love for Star Ocean. That's what this is about - bringing fellow Star Ocean fans together. I will definitely let everyone know when I'm posting their works.

One more thing - no personal attacks, no being mean to the author/artist/cosplayer for any submissions. Be respectful of each other at all times. As of this moment in time, we are not a very large fandom when compared to the likes of Hetalia: Axis Powers or the Final Fantasy series. We don't have to like a particular character or a particular pairing or even a particular Star Ocean game, but we must remember that there will always be someone out there who does. Disrespectful attitudes will certainly not be tolerated.

*************************************************************

Ask the Star Ocean Character Reminder - Adray Lasbard from Till the End of Time

Roger's segment is coming! I swear that it is! If you have some questions for Roger, I'll still accept them and add them in before I post it. In the meantime, I'm accepting questions for Adray Lasbard from Till the End of Time. Is there something about him you'd like to know? Please ask! Questions can be submitted via comment, email (luthersfayt@gmail.com and thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.com), or private message. Limit three questions per person, no profanity please. All inquiries must be in by midnight of March 28th, 2013.

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
As the subject line says, I'm making some adjustments. It isn't that I want to do this. It's that I'm still not getting the balancing act figured out yet between journaling, writing, and work. I'm not complaining that I'm working. I love that I am . . . I'm complaining about not getting up when I want to because I'm tired. I may have to trick myself after today. :)

Anyway, here is the deal. Come hell or high water, I will be posting Roger's Ask the Star Ocean Character segment this month. I hate to do it, but I haven't had a chance to ask people in other places yet . . . Adray's segment will be postponed until March 31st, 2013. I don't want to do this, but, given how busy I've been during the week, it's something I need to do in order to give others a chance to submit questions and the like.

Now with that, I want to mention cosplay.

I previously noted that I am accepting submissions for a variety of fan-related projects - fiction, art work, poetry, cosplay, plushies, etc . . . The rules for this were posted in the previous entry. What I would like to do is, at least once a month, post a cosplay corner. The frequency in which I post the cosplay corner will depend upon how many photos I get. There is no deadline for anyone to submit anything when it comes to cosplay (or other fan-projects; just holidays and birthdays). Submit the pictures whenever you want and as many as you want. If you attended a convention and want to report on the doings of that, my only requirement is that it's well-written. Unless you specifically ask me to do so, I will not proofread it as I am very short on time in the hours before and after work. Until I can start tricking myself into getting up earlier.

And that concludes the adjustments I'm making for this blog. Have a few other new projects in mind, but we'll see how everything goes in the next few weeks.

******************************************************************

Merchandise and Personal Cosplay Update

One thing that I was looking forward to with landing a job was resuming my searching and purchasing of Star Ocean merchandise, both official and unofficial (doujinshi falls under unofficial). Yesterday, I surfed through eBay, found a few things to save in my watch list. Right now, it's a matter of getting enough saved and deciding what I want to get first. It's also being smart about my money, too.

Also, I'm gearing up for my Edge Maverick, Fayt Leingod and Luther Lansfeld cosplays. Luther will definitely take me a lot longer than what either Edge or Fayt will - I have PVC figures of Fayt and one of Edge as well as the strategy guides for Till the End of Time and The Last Hope. I have a handful of screenshots for Luther. I know which is more beneficial for me in getting everything I need. (I'm also gearing up for another cosplay for another fandom, too. That one is going to be just as fun.) Right now, for Luther and Edge, it's finding the right wig that I can interchange between both of them.

Note: I do plan on creating variants for established characters. It will be fun.

********************************************************************

Convention Update

So my plans this year for conventions were to attend ShutoCon, which is in Lansing, Michigan, Otakon, and YoumaCon, which is in Detroit. It looks like ShutoCon is out. It's coming up in April, and I may be working that weekend. I would have to double-check when I get to work. I may supplement with NMACon to make up for ShutoCon. It just depends on what my finances will allow me to do for the interim. Otakon, however, is the big one that I really want to attend.

I will keep my fellow Star Ocean fans updated on the whole convention thing and whether or not I'll be cosplaying.

This concludes everything for today. Happy Hump Day, everyone. Tomorrow, I will be getting to the last question I asked. If you're just tuning into the Star Ocean Universe, here it is once more:

Question: What are Luther's true motivations for trying to destroy the Eternal Sphere?

Friday and Saturday look very iffy on the posting fronts. We'll see what happens.

Until the next time!

Whew!

Feb. 20th, 2013 10:51 am
star_ocean_fan: (manga Fayt Leingod)
Well, it's been one interesting week after another since I've started working. Right now, it's a matter of keeping warm and keeping busy. Thankfully, the job helps with both for about eight hours during the day. Going in on my second week, and I'm still trying to find the balance for this, for writing, and for work. The job, naturally, is trumping everything else. I will get this worked out!

In the meantime, I'm still taking questions for Adray Lasbard. Limit three questions per person, no profanity. All questions must be submitted no later than midnight of February 25th, 2013. They can be submitted via comment, PM, or email (luthersfayt@gmail.com or thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.com).

Also, here is the birthday and holiday reminder list:

Birthday Reminders

Birthday List - covering January to June

January 1 (Late; assigned by me) - Crowe F. Almedio
January 23 (official) - Claude C. Kenny
January 25 (assigned by me) - Ilia Silvestri
January 31 (assigned by me) - Ryoko Leingod
February 3 (official) - Faize Sheifa Beleth
February 15 (assigned by me) - Peppita Rosetti
February 16 (official) - Noel Chandler

February 29 (official - can swing to either February 28 or March 1) - Precis F. Neumann
March 2 (assigned by me) - Roger S. Huxley
March 16 (official) - Meracle Chamlotte
March 28 (official) - Reimi Saionji
April 10 (assigned by me) - Adray Lasbard
April 24 (official) - Arumat P. Thanatos
May 5 (official) - Bacchus D-79
May 7 (assigned by me) - Blair Lansfeld
May 13 (official) - Rena Lanford
June 1 (assigned by me) - Cliff Fittir
June 29 (assigned by me) - Maria Traydor
June 30 (official) - Lymle Lemuri Phi

Upcoming Holidays:

New Year's Day - January 1
Valentine's Day - February 14

St. Patrick's Day - March 17
Easter - March 31
Earth Day - April 22
Mother's Day - May 12
Father's Day - June 16

As of right now, I will be hosting a make-up day for birthdays and holidays. You can submit the birthday and holiday themed stories for the listed holidays.

Regarding: Fanfiction, Fan Art, Fan Poetry, Cosplay, Fan projects

I really don't have very many rules regarding what I'll accept for fan-related material. It does have to be well-written. I won't just post whatever happens to come my way for any of this. This is an open journal. You do not need to be a follower in order to read or comment on what I'm writing. I would very much like to keep it this way because one never knows when a fourteen-year-old might become smitten with Star Ocean.

So here are the rules for submitting fan-related material like fiction, art work, cosplay, and other projects.

1 - No smut. Period.
When it comes to art and photography, no nudity. There are sites out there already dedicated for such themes.

2 - All pairings are accepted.
I don't care if it's a pairing I don't like or that I can't see for whatever reason is in my head. If you've taken the time to write it or draw it, I will post it. That means I will accept heterosexual pairings (Edge x Reimi), xeno pairings (i.e., Edge x Myuria), yaoi pairings (Luther x Fayt), and yuri pairings (Maria x Sophia).

3 - No character-bashing.
This is a little . . . sticky. Yes, you can portray Fayt or Edge or whoever as an S.O.B. - providing there's a reason for the behavior. If you're just doing it because you don't like the character, well, take it to a different site. I have goals in mind for this journal. I'm not about to risk those goals for someone who just wants to be a jerk about a character s/he doesn't like. Remember that people do have their likes and dislikes.

4 - As was mentioned above, all stories must be well-written.
By that, I mean you've taken the time to craft your story. There are no errors in spelling, punctuation, or sentence structure. I don't care if it's just fanfiction. Seriously, just because it's fanfiction does not change the reasons for why people read. Just because it's free for everyone to read (meaning you're not charging them to read it and thus you're not being paid to write it) doesn't mean you should skimp out on the technical parts of writing. Write like you care, or I will throw my pocket grammar guide at you.

5 - Themes/Genres and Crossovers
I will, for the most part, accept nearly every single theme that there is. If it's an alternate universe story, I'll accept it. If it crosses with another fandom, I'll accept it. If you're crossing Till the End of Time with First Departure somehow, I'll accept it.

Now, there are some themes out there that do venture into the adult/mature audience category that I will accept as well. Anything with graphic sex just isn't in that area. Tackling current social themes (bullying, body image issues, etc . . .) are definitely accepted.

6 - Cosplay
I definitely would love, love, LOVE it if people submitted their cosplay pictures to me. They can be from conventions or personal photo shoots. It's all cool. If anyone does the how-to as the cosplay is created, definitely would love to share those, too.

Most importantly, to me, is that people are having fun and sharing the love for Star Ocean. That's what this is about - bringing fellow Star Ocean fans together. I will definitely let everyone know when I'm posting their works.

One more thing - no personal attacks, no being mean to the author/artist/cosplayer for any submissions. Be respectful of each other at all times. As of this moment in time, we are not a very large fandom when compared to the likes of Hetalia: Axis Powers or the Final Fantasy series. We don't have to like a particular character or a particular pairing or even a particular Star Ocean game, but we must remember that there will always be someone out there who does. Disrespectful attitudes will certainly not be tolerated.

And that's it for today. I have about an hour left before I need to get ready for work. Hope everyone is having a very good Hump Day!
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
I apologize for the long silence in updates. I've been trying work on balancing everything I want to get done in the day and just not succeeding very well. Plus, I've been sick since this last Wednesday. It's the first time in nearly eight years that I've felt this lousy. I'm feeling better . . . just not fast enough for my liking.

Anyway, things are starting to look up. I'll post more of what's going on as time goes by. I just don't want to jinx myself too badly. I already feel like I'm getting ahead of myself on a few things.

This week is Valentine's Week. Also, on Friday, I've designated Peppita Rosetti's birthday. Anyone wishing to submit an art piece, a short story, or a poem, please feel free to do so. All submissions can be emailed to me at luthersfayt@gmail.com or thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.com.

*******************************************************************
The Morphus

The other night, as I tried to sleep, I was thinking about the Morphus from The Last Hope. They have an interesting ability that even the Eldarians don't possess - they can regenerate.

If one pays does the correct private actions with Bacchus, it's something the player learns. While his body is repairing the damage from the mutant strain of stone sickness, he's in his metallic body. This led to a particular thought: If the Morphus have the ability to regenerate, how is it they can die? Bear in mind, I am taking into consideration that some parts of the Morphus body simply can't regenerate, like the brain and the heart. Yet it's interesting to contemplate how many were dead on Nox Obscuris. In fact, at one point, two are found on the verge of death near a save point. Why we're not allowed to drag them back to En II is beyond me, other than the two near death serve a purpose. Orwen is a side quest, the other is to refill the element rings (which if you have Charge for Lymle is pointless). I do wonder what the point of having a regeneration ability is if the story is going to demonstrate that it's ultimately . . . pointless.

What do my fellow fans think?

*******************************************************************

Question: What are Luther's true motivations for trying to destroy the Eternal Sphere?

*******************************************************************

Ask the Star Ocean Character - Adray Lasbard

Roger's segment is coming! I swear that it is! If you have some questions for Roger, I'll still accept them and add them in before I post it. In the meantime, I'm accepting questions for Adray Lasbard from Till the End of Time. Is there something about him you'd like to know? Please ask! Questions can be submitted via comment, email (luthersfayt@gmail.com and thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.com), or private message. Limit three questions per person, no profanity please. All inquiries must be in by midnight of February 25th, 2013.
star_ocean_fan: (ocean view)

Yesterday, I asked the question what I believed everyone thought Edge's powers were based upon what they observed in the game. People can look at the in-game dictionary to learn a little bit more - I know I have - but I, personally, am still unclear as to what his genetic alteration's effects are on him. With Reimi, it's quite clear. She can recover from an illness once her body realizes how to combat it when said illness could kill another person.

Edge, we do get clues. When he receives a burst of adrenaline in an intense situation, the crest on his right hand lights up, and he's ready for battle. Really, though, what does that crest do? When looking at the weapons in The Calnus, Edge finds one and laments how he was never able to hit any target with it. The changes Edge undergoes aren't visible to us. We do know that he's quick at calculating what move to do next and when in a battle. This is all great for adapting to a harsh environment, but I feel like there is more to it than just being quicker with a sword and casting symbols in and out of battle.

************************************************************************

The Star Ocean Universe asks - Who do you think would win in this kind of a fight: Edge vs. Fayt using Symbology?

************************************************************************

Game Talk, Part Eight - Revamping Till the End of Time

I love, love, love the game of Till the End of Time. I love it. Please make no mistakes on that. At the same time I love it, I feel that it lacks a very strong tale for the wonderful characters that are presented to us. For this Game Talk, I'm going to break down the game's strong and weak points and what I'd like to see if Square Enix were to ever ask me what they could do to improve it for a re-release.

Note: This is not a game review!

Till the End of Time's Strong Points

1 - Graphics
The graphics are visually stunning. The landscapes are real. The characters are real in appearance. Everything about the graphics can lead a player to believe that such events could eventually play out in that kind of a future.

2 - The playable Characters
Each playable Character has a strength that lends to the battle party's overall ability to defeat an enemy. There's a variety from swords and daggers, to fisticuffs and symbology and guns. It's like Star Wars . . . without some creepy dude in black telling you he's your father.

3 - The battles are challenging.
Yes. The player mashes buttons, so to speak, but that doesn't mean the enemies are pushovers. If one isn't careful, it's game over. The player needs to keep an eye, not only on hit points but magic as well. In most other games I've played, no magic simply means the person with the magic can't cast a spell once it hits zero.

4 - Item Creation
I like creating items so that I can "survive" between save points. I like that I can boost the stats of a weapon or a piece of armor and potentially defeat the enemies at a slightly lower level. I like recruiting the inventors, too.

5 - The overall plot
Saving the universe can be quite a mind bender on the person who finds himself or herself in such a situation. Parents making a difficult decision to do what's right by sacrificing their children's forgiveness presents a very moral quandary. It has a lot of potential to be nerve-wracking, exciting and dangerous, and many of those elements are there.

Till the End of Time Weak Points

1 - The overall plot
Yes. The overall plot makes it into the game's weak points as well as the strong points. Saving the universe from destruction of an angry God bent on destruction is cool. Saving the universe from an angry God-like being because his bottom line is being threatened by anomalies and "viruses" and that everything is just a game? It's very lame. While it doesn't make Luther any less of an interesting villain (for me), it does make him to be a pathetic villain.

2 - Lack of Character growth and development
Let's face it. The only character who gets much in the way of development is Fayt. He's the only one who grows from his experiences. Yes, Maria does a little bit, but she still doesn't get much in the way of development. She, and Sophia, are key players as well. While I'm not going to complain about where they arrive as playable characters in the story, they are still flawed and really unaffected by the events taking shape around them.

3 - It doesn't take enough time
I like a good challenge. However, defeating a game in a grand total of three days' time isn't very challenging. People may think that's a long time for a game, but it really isn't that long.

4 - Not enough areas to explores
I don't know about anyone else, but I find it annoying that I can only leave Peterny in three different directions. I come from the south and need to head north once I reach it. I can also head west but not east out of Peterny.

The same holds true for Gemity. I don't want to head to just Arkives or Sphere 211. There's more to explore. The information technology industry is quite fierce. So what? We have Sophia! She has that amazing ability to "connect" to things! Why is it that we're just limited to Gemity?

I also ask what areas lay beyond the palatial cities of Airyglyph and Aquios. I'm an exploration nut. I want to go to all of these areas.

5 - A pathetic villain.
I know. I've said it in the first reason, but Luther really is a weak point in this game. There has to be more as to why he's trying to eradicate these anomalies when all he needs to do is reboot the system, as it were, and start over to get rid of the "viruses" and "bugs". Maybe Luther isn't the true villain, but he's what we're given.

6 - Unrealistic actions in various environments
Okay, this comes from the fact that, in the mountains, the player can run from the castle to Kirlsa with no effect. However, when the player reaches the Mosel Desert, until a particular item is obtained, we have to hop from water hole to water hole because it's so unbearably hot. Why is the mountain not so unbearably cold that heat pockets need to be found in order to keep from freezing to death?

7 - Lame final boss fight
Luther is a challenge if you aren't aware of what it is you need for that battle, both in terms of items and battle set up for the main party. That said, fighting Luther isn't as challenging as it could be. Luther is the Creator. He should be healing himself when he's dangerously close to dead. He should be summoning up little crystal spheres like we see in the Shrine of Kaddan when we go after the Sacred Orb once more. Nearly everything the playable characters can do (minus the non-MP draining special attacks like Sidekick and Fists of Fury), Luther should be able to do as well and with more damage. He should be able to shoot energy from his spear. Luther could be a Bad-A** fight, but they wimped out on him.

8 - Travel time is boring
By this, I mean that it's just too easy in terms of distance and time to get from one city or village to the next. Geographically speaking, for how short of a distance it is to go from Kirlsa to Arias, Airyglyph should have overrun Aquios before Cliff, Mirage, and Fayt arrived, no matter what kind of weapons they created and used to fight back. They wouldn't have had the time.

With all of this in mind, I would definitely, if given the opportunity to talk to the game's developers, say revamp the game's maps and strengthen the plot. Give it more punch. Show us the changes that are affecting everyone.

One thing I'd also like, in addition to the costume changes, is to see the differences in armor for the playable characters. Not every single time a change is made, but often enough to know that they're equipped with different armor.

Finally, I'd love to see an ending for some of the NPCs and villains. I would love to see what happens to Luther afterwards to answer the question, "Is he really dead?". I'd love to see the alternate universe where he ends up with Fayt as his protege (in the event of the Fayt solo ending, based on affinity from others).

There is so much that could be done with this game, and it would definitely elevate the experience.

************************************************************************

Because I ended up procrastinating too much to get this entry done, this will be this week's Game Talk entry.

************************************************************************

Happy belated Birthday, Claude C. Kenny!

Sadly, I don't have any fan art or fanfiction to commemorate the day. If anyone wants to send anything for it, I will gladly post it.

************************************************************************

Birthday Reminders

Birthday List - covering January to June

January 1 (Late; assigned by me) - Crowe F. Almedio
January 23 (official) - Claude C. Kenny
January 25 (assigned by me) - Ilia Silvestri
January 31 (assigned by me) - Ryoko Leingod
February 3 (official) - Faize Sheifa Beleth
February 15 (assigned by me) - Peppita Rosetti
February 16 (official) - Noel Chandler
February 29 (official - can swing to either February 28 or March 1) - Precis F. Neumann
March 2 (assigned by me) - Roger S. Huxley
March 16 (official) - Meracle Chamlotte
March 28 (official) - Reimi Saionji
April 10 (assigned by me) - Adray Lasbard
April 24 (official) - Arumat P. Thanatos
May 5 (official) - Bacchus D-79
May 7 (assigned by me) - Blair Lansfeld
May 13 (official) - Rena Lanford
June 1 (assigned by me) - Cliff Fittir
June 29 (assigned by me) - Maria Traydor
June 30 (official) - Lymle Lemuri Phi

More birthdays will be added in, and reminders will be posted.

Upcoming Holidays:

Valentine's Day - February 14
St. Patrick's Day - March 17
Easter - March 31
Earth Day - April 22
Mother's Day - May 12
Father's Day - June 16

I've added in Earth Day to the list of holidays because of the message that lies behind The Last Hope. I think it's the kind of holiday that Star Ocean fans could have a field day with so I've included it for that purpose alone.

When it comes to the holidays and the birthdays, I am looking for the following: art, stories (one-shots), and poetry. The highest rating I will accept for stories and artwork is R. No explicit material please, and proofread your work. All submissions can be emailed to me at luthersfayt@gmail.com or thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.com and must be submitted no later than midnight the previous day. All genres except for smut accepted.

************************************************************************

Ask the Star Ocean Character For January - Adray Lasbard

There is a slight change for Ask the Star Ocean Character segments. Instead of weekly, the segments will appear once a month on the final day of the month. This will give people time to submit their questions, either here or at fanfiction.net.

The next character in the que is Adray Lasbard from Till the End of Time.

As per usual, the rules are as follows:

Limit three questions per person
No profanity.
Keep it clean (no sex talk)
Be nice
Have fun


Questions need to be submitted by midnight, January 28, 2013, and they can be submitted via comments, private message, or email (luthersfayt@gmail.com or thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.com).

One final thing - please let me know if you wish to remain anonymous or have a specific user handle you'd like for me to use. I will gladly keep the question asker anonymous or use the handle s/he has specified. Otherwise, I will use the name I know you by. This is something that I will be very flexible with because this is based on fan interaction as much as it is what I come up with for it.

For those of you wondering about the Roger segment, I have a few things I want to tweak on it, add to it, and I will post it this Saturday.
star_ocean_fan: (Immoral Feather)
Yesterday, I asked this question: Who is your favorite Star Ocean character? Today, I answer my own question (though I'm sure some people already know the answer, and I know that some people do).

I've mentioned before in gaming tips that I have a penchant for controlling the main character of the game. Most often, that is the hero of the game. I'll change it up every now and then, based on what I want or perhaps will need to do. For the most part, however, I like to control the hero of the game. That, of course, may lead some people to believe that my favorite character of any game is the hero.

When it comes to the two Star Ocean games I've played, that belief is true. I have a penchant for swordsmen. It also means I have more than one favorite character. (Who doesn't have more than one favorite character?)

From Till the End of Time, my favorite character is Fayt Leingod. He's tied at number with Luther Lansfeld. Of course, when it comes to writing fanfiction and pairing, Luther and Fayt are my OTP.

From The Last Hope, my favorite characters tied at number one are Edge Maverick, Crowe F. Almedio, and Myuria Tionysus.

I do tend to gravitate towards the main protagonist in a game or a book. There's something about that character I identify with more than I do other characters. Mind you, Star Ocean was not my first ever RPG. That goes way back to the beginning of personal gaming systems, like the Nintendo, and the release of Dragon Warrior (Dragon Quest in Japan; became Dragon Quest in the U.S. with the release of Game 8 on the PS2) for that system. However, upon playing Till the End of Time for the first time (at a friend's house), I became enamoured with it. I also became quite enthralled with Fayt Leingod. He was emo, but he wasn't emo. He wasn't as filled with angst as they could have done with him . . . at least, he wasn't in my opinion, and there was a lot the game's developers could have done with him for everything endured. Yes, he displays character growth, but the premise behind Till the End of Time's plot is very weak.

Luther wasn't really on my radar for a favorite character. It wasn't until I read a fanfic called The Devil's Thrill where he and Fayt started to bond and realize there was a potential connection between them that I became a fan of Luther and of the pairing Luther x Fayt. Plus Luther has blue eyes. I'm a sucker for a guy with blue eyes. (Yes. Fayt's eyes are green. His hair is blue. Blue is my favorite color.)

I do like most of the other characters from Till the End of Time. I'm just not enamoured with them the way I am with Luther and Fayt.

I like Crowe F. Almedio because he's something of a mystery for me. There isn't much that he isn't able to do, from what we can see of him, but what little interaction we have with him and Edge is just priceless for me. He's got the kind of confidence any person can respect and admire.

Myuria is a favorite for me as well because she's not only a strong woman, confident and beautiful, but intelligent. Yes, when it comes to her husband's death, she is ruled by her emotions and a misunderstanding, but, when she realizes her mistake, realizes what she thought was wrong, she's contrite and ready to forgive. She's mature enough to not be angered by little details or actions of a guy she has feelings for but lacks the courage to tell. Which, in my mind, if Myuria wants a guy, she could have him because she's just that awesome to me.

Edge is on my list, not just because he bears features similar to Fayt or that he could be Luther and Fayt's love child (not m-preg!), but because he shows character growth. He starts out cocky and overconfident. He makes a decision in which he gets knocked down, and he goes through a period where he's like, "I don't know what to do!" Then he comes back. It's very nice to see.

Fayt Leingod vs. Edge Maverick

For me, Fayt wins this little competition of which hero is better. Hands down. I like them both a lot, but, for as clueless as Fayt can be about things, I feel he's smarter than Edge when it comes to things happening. Yes, some of it's due to the fact that Till the End of Time is seven-hundred, sixty years into the future, but how much of an excuse can that truly be? Edge is a year older than Fayt (he's twenty to Fayt's 19). Granted, some of this has to do with the pacing of each game, but Fayt gets over his angst at what others are doing in their efforts to get him than what Edge does when it comes to a situation in which Edge lost either way.

That's just my opinion.

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The Star Ocean Universe asks: What is your favorite Star Ocean moment?

Response to follow tomorrow.

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Ask the Star Ocean Character For January - Adray Lasbard

There is a slight change for Ask the Star Ocean Character segments. Instead of weekly, the segments will appear once a month on the final day of the month. This will give people time to submit their questions, either here or at fanfiction.net.

The next character in the que is Adray Lasbard from Till the End of Time.

As per usual, the rules are as follows:

Limit three questions per person
No profanity.
Keep it clean (no sex talk)
Be nice
Have fun

Questions need to be submitted by midnight, January 28, 2013, and they can be submitted via comments, private message, or email (luthersfayt@gmail.com or thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.com).

One final thing - please let me know if you wish to remain anonymous or have a specific user handle you'd like for me to use. I will gladly keep the question asker anonymous or use the handle s/he has specified. Otherwise, I will use the name I know you by. This is something that I will be very flexible with because this is based on fan interaction as much as it is what I come up with for it.

For those of you wondering about the Roger segment, I have a few things I want to tweak on it, add to it, and I will post it as soon as possible.

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Birthday Reminders

Birthday List - covering January to June

January 1 (Late; assigned by me) - Crowe F. Almedio
January 23 (official) - Claude C. Kenny
January 25 (assigned by me) - Ilia Silvestri
January 31 (assigned by me) - Ryoko Leingod
February 3 (official) - Faize Sheifa Beleth
February 15 (assigned by me) - Peppita Rosetti
February 16 (official) - Noel Chandler
February 29 (official - can swing to either February 28 or March 1) - Precis F. Neumann
March 2 (assigned by me) - Roger S. Huxley
March 16 (official) - Meracle Chamlotte
March 28 (official) - Reimi Saionji
April 10 (assigned by me) - Adray Lasbard
April 24 (official) - Arumat P. Thanatos
May 5 (official) - Bacchus D-79
May 7 (assigned by me) - Blair Lansfeld
May 13 (official) - Rena Lanford
June 1 (assigned by me) - Cliff Fittir
June 29 (assigned by me) - Maria Traydor
June 30 (official) - Lymle Lemuri Phi

More birthdays will be added in, and reminders will be posted.

Upcoming Holidays:

Valentine's Day - February 14
St. Patrick's Day - March 17
Easter - March 31
Earth Day - April 22
Mother's Day - May 12
Father's Day - June 16

I've added in Earth Day to the list of holidays because of the message that lies behind The Last Hope. I think it's the kind of holiday that Star Ocean fans could have a field day with so I've included it for that purpose alone.

When it comes to the holidays and the birthdays, I am looking for the following: art, stories (one-shots), and poetry. The highest rating I will accept for stories and artwork is R. No explicit material please, and proofread your work. All submissions can be emailed to me at luthersfayt@gmail.com or thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.com and must be submitted no later than midnight the previous day. All genres except for smut accepted.

star_ocean_fan: (Default)

Fanfic Writing Tip #9 - Leaving Reviews and Letting Your Work Stand on Its Own

At some point, fanfiction writers read fanfiction. In fact, reading fanfiction inspires other fanfiction writers to actually write instead of dream/daydream the scenarios in our heads. I know that's how I finally got my start as a fanfiction author.

Now, there are many things I see when browsing sites like fanfiction.net, things I don't necessarily like or think an author should be doing when writing summaries and author's notes. Things in summaries like "plz read and review" are not appealing to me, and they don't draw me in to read the story. Reading in an author's note "I'll update after I receive X number of reviews for this chapter" or "What's your excuse for not reviewing?! Review, gosh darn it!" are the kinds of things that inspire me to either not pick the story up again or leave a very harsh criticism of the work and the writer's attitude. (What one may think of as being cute and funny doesn't necessarily come across that way in black and white.)

Yes. I will admit right here, right now that reviews are gravy. They're awesome, and they go a long way in boosting a writer's confidence and inspiration. Those seeking professional publication will ask established author's for a quote to garner more sales. Book reviews either boost sales or decimate them. However, in the online world of fanfiction publishing, writers aren't paid, except in reviews, and the only things reviews are good for are pointing out where we've made mistakes and ego-boosting. To me, it's in bad form to require a reader to review your work and to require reviews in order to update. That says, in my mind, "I'm a review whore. That's the only thing I care about so that's why I'm writing this story", when that may not even be true. (These are also the kinds of writers who annoy me because I will leave a review and it isn't what they want in a review. They're also the ones that tell me "it's just for fun. Don't like it, don't read it." To that, I say, "Don't want people leaving you their honest thoughts, don't ask for reviews". Yes. I have a slight mean streak.) Readers are in no way obligated to read a person's works. They're in no way obligated to leave a review.

Let your work stand on its own. Write the story. Let your skills at summarizing and writing a compelling tale lure the reader in. Pack it with emotion. Give the reader a reason to write that review to you based on the emotions you've drawn out of that person, not because you need your ego-stoked.

Addendum to last week's writing tip.

Last week I wrote about writing in a logical order and using logic to write your story. That is something that will only go so far, and I was reminded of that when I read last week's Daily Kick by David Farland. There are times when logic will need to be thrown out the window, and it's often based on the kinds of situations the protagonists and antagonists find themselves facing . . . Unexpected reactions to conflict are good. Writing a single parent leaving his two-year-old child sleeping at home alone is still bad, though, because then the reader is expecting something bad to happen while he's gone and then nothing happens and there's a feeling of being cheated out of something really good.

Also, please note, I'm coming across as harsh, and my intentions are to actually help people with their fanfiction writing. I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds the behavior I've encountered in the last decade of fanfiction writing and reading to be annoying . . . I just happen to be quite outspoken on a lot of issues. So while I may sound harsh (it's the disadvantages of text-based forums and formats), it isn't my intention. Writing fanfiction may be for fun . . . but the reasons for reading don't ever change.

Next week's writing tip . . . Writing Songfic

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Halloween In the Four-Dimensional Realm

Given that the world of Star Ocean is nothing more than a fabrication, a multi-player game, the brilliant child of the brain trust at Sphere 211, it isn't too far of a stretch to think that Halloween exists in the four-dimensional realm. It isn't too hard to believe that the creators of the game implemented many holidays and traditions into the game they themselves celebrate. To do so gives the game a sense of familiarity for the players.

How do I see Halloween in the four-dimensional realm? Well, I don't see the likeliness of a real pumpkin being carved into a jack-o-lantern. Maybe there would be what we see in stores like Wal-Mart and KMart . . . ceramic, glass, plastic, plastic covered in glitter . . . If it's a "real" pumpkin, chances are it was fabricated from a replicator.

Ghosts would probably be no different than what we see . . . white sheets or ephemeral wisps depicted in paint . . . something fleeting.

Zombies, ghouls, and demons wouldn't change from what the players see in their gaming experiences. Witches would have gone from ugly old crone to cute and sexy little caster.

All of this would translate into what the worlds and cultures in the Eternal Sphere would see for their Halloween traditions.

Now, if you ask me who would celebrate Halloween out of the four-dimensional beings we encounter in Till the End of Time, I'll address that in the Halloween costumes sections.

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Halloween Costumes, Part Four, Segment One

By now, we're seven hundred plus years into the future of the Star Ocean series. Customs have been traded and upgraded, new holidays added into schedules, and more than one culture celebrates All Hallow's Eve. For this part of the Halloween Costumes segment, I'll be focusing on the following characters: Maria Traydor, Peppita Rosetti, Sophia Esteed, Lieber, and Marietta. I'm also going to toss in Belzeber and Flad, from the 4-D realm.

First up is Maria.

Of this particular group for today, I actually find her the hardest to determine the kinds of costumes she'd wear to go trick-or-treating. Her personality is far different when we first encounter her than what it was as a child. Was she the princess/ballerina type? Personally, I think her parents might have raised to be a little of both the girly type and the boyish type. Her mother is a scientist, her father a soldier . . . heck, she could have dressed up as a soldier-scientist hybrid as an homage to her parents. I do think princess and ballerina, too . . . maybe even a Featherfolk or Lesser Fellpool, too. This would, of course, continue until the destruction of her home and the deaths of her parents. I do feel that Cliff and Mirage would try their best to get Maria to go trick-or-treating once she's in their care, because it would offer up a sense of normalcy after everything she's endured. I'm just not sure Maria would go for it because of everything she's endure. Losing your parents at a young age and in a violent manner like that tends to force a child to mature emotionally in many ways than it would others who haven't lived through such trauma.

Peppita is a little easier for me to decipher. She wants to be famous, and she's learned to dance. Princess or ballerina or even dressing up as a famous dancer/singer/actress would be her style.

Sophia is also very easy for me, and I can see her insisting upon themed costumes with Fayt, much in the same way Reimi would with Edge and Crowe. Fayt would have an easier time drawing the line on what he wouldn't want to hear for costumes with Sophia. It would simply depend on what she'd want to dress up as for Halloween, and I can see her wanting to be a princess. Almost every single year. It is a fascination with her, princesses. (This is based on the kinds of responses Fayt can give her when she's joined the party and in places like Aquios and Airyglyph.) And the dress would be pink or maybe pale blue or lavender . . . but mostly pink. I'm pretty sure that's her favorite color. (She wears a lot of it.)

Lieber . . . Oh, Lieber . . . yes . . . I believe Klausians, after years of dealing with Earthlings, would celebrate Halloween. Lieber, before meeting Cliff and Mirage and falling in love with Maria, would want to be something . . . dynamic . . . heroic . . . noteworthy. He's very  much a romantic at heart. Knights, poets . . . elves . . . those would be what he'd want to dress up as for Halloween.

Marietta is another one I'm finding a little difficulty in determining. In truth, interactions with her (and Lieber) are on the limited side. Still, I think Marietta is tough, despite some of her cringing in a crisis (but then who doesn't?) . . . a pixie or a fairy from Klausian folklore would be cool. She has the features for something so delicate (at least in modern day Disney portrayals) . . . I could also see her (or even Sophia) wanting to dress up as Raggedy Ann, if that somehow is revived after World War III . . . and I think a fighter pilot. She becomes a member of Quark and is the communications officer on The Diplo. A fighter pilot isn't too far-fetched.

Flad is still a kid so I'm sure he'd head out trick-or-treating to his neighbors' homes. He'd be dressed as either his character persona from the Eternal Sphere or some other kind of character, i.e. elf, menodix, etc . . .

Finally, the second add-in for this, Belzeber.

Out of the enemies I've encountered in Till the End of Time, Belzeber has to be one of two of the power-hungriest characters (the other being Duke Vox). I don't lump Luther, Azazer, or Berial in that category for other reasons, which will be discussed at a later date. As the child of a powerful information technology magnate, Belzeber would be the child of entitlement, and his costumes for Halloween would reflect that - corporate businessman every year. He might switch it up every now and then, depending on who his friends are (which I do see him having Blair, Luther, Azazer, and Berial for a group of friends . . . for a while) . . . he might dress up as the hero to Luther's villain . . . but I don't see him deviating away too much from what he truly wants to be in his life - a powerful businessman controlling the 4-D realm.

And thus concludes today's segment of Halloween Costumes, Part 4. Tomorrow will see Cliff, Mirage, Robert Leingod, Ryoko Leingod, Blair, Azazer, Nel Zelpher, Roger S. Huxley, Adray Lasbard, and Clair Lasbard.

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Halloween Fanfic Entries

This was written as a surprise giftfic for missnox!

Title: Halloween Culture Shock
Characters: Albel Nox, Fayt Leingod, Maria Traydor, Sophia Esteed
Pairing: Albel Nox x Fayt Leingod
World: Till the End of Time
Rating: PG13
Warnings: male/male relationship, language, violent urges (It has Albel in it!)
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Ocean - Till the End of Time. The game and the characters from the game belong to tri-Ace and Square Enix respectively. I don't profit financially from writing this.
Summary: Albel receives a culture shock when Fayt invites him to celebrate Halloween on Earth.

Read more... )

****

This was written as a surprise giftfic for Rachel Snowden on deviantart.

Title: A Trick For a Treat
World: Till the End of Time
Characters: Albel Nox, Fayt Leingod, Sophia Esteed, Maria Traydor, Lieber, Luther Lansfeld
Pairing: Albel Nox x Fayt Leingod, Maria Traydor x Lieber
Rating: PG13
Warnings: Language, male/male relationship, violent tendencies
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Ocean - Till the End of Time. The game and the characters from the game belong to tri-Ace and Square Enix respectively. I don't profit financially from writing this.
Summary:  Albel decides what he wants the most for the Hallowed Night’s festivities.
Author’s Note: The Hallowed Night is what I’m calling Elicoor II’s Halloween-type holiday.

 

Read more... )

 

****

This was written as a surprise giftfic for Charryblossom over at deviantart.com

Title: Lonely Hallow’s Night
World: Till the End of Time
Characters: Albel Nox, Nel Zelpher, Clair Lasbard, Adray Lasbard, Tynave, Farleen, Fayt Leingod
Pairing: Albel Nox x Nel Zelpher
Warnings: mild language, implied sexual situations
Rating: PG13
Disclaimer: I don’t own Till the End of Time or the characters of Fayt Leingod, Tynave, Farleen, Nel Zelpher, Clair Lasbard, Adray Lasbard, or Albel Nox. They belong to tri-Ace and Square Enix. I don’t profit financially from writing this story. I do profit from surprising people with these stories. XD
Author’s Note: Canon pairing. Not much else to say about it except I could have used Charry’s character, Charry, but I never asked her for permission to do so . . . plus I know from her cosplay photos, she’s an Albel x Nel fan.
Summary:  Nel and Albel stare at the moon on the Hallowed Night.

 

Read more... )


***

This was written as a surprise giftfic for Kojika on deviantart.

 

Title: Carving the Pumpkin (Part Two)
World: The Last Hope
Characters: Edge Maverick, Faize Sheifa Beleth
Pairing: Edge Maverick x Faize Sheifa Beleth
Warnings: Male/male relationship, implied sexual situations

Rating: PG13
Disclaimer: I don’t own the characters of Edge Maverick and Faize Sheifa Beleth or Star Ocean: The Last Hope. They belong to tri-Ace and Square Enix respectively. I don’t profit financially from writing this story.
Summary: Faize and Edge share some time alone on The Calnus and discuss the ways to carve a pumpkin.
Author’s Notes: Yes, I know I have a story up called Carving the Pumpkin, featuring Luther Lansfeld and Fayt Leingod from Till the End of Time. The idea of carving a pumpkin with Faize was just as appealing to me, and I’m not above rehashing story titles where appropriate.


Read more... )

 

 

(more fanfic in another entry)

 

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to write about at this moment and, with many things paused until I get my own computer or the fall, it's making things a bit more difficult.

I'm still waiting to hear back from Laura Bailey on the interview. I may just ask her on facebook instead of through her website. We'll see.

So anyway, to this gaming tip of mine. It isn't for those who've defeated Luther. Repeatedly. On the same play-through. Like me. This tip is for the beginning player and can actually be applied to most any Star Ocean game where one has the symbologists with the crappy wind up time for casting.

When utilizing characters like Adray Lasbard and Sophia Esteed in boss fights, SHUT OFF THEIR OFFENSIVE SYMBOLS AND SET THEIR TACTICS TO FOCUS ON HEALING/RECOVERY. A while back, I watched a video on youtube of a person's first fight against Luther, and I wanted to scream at the person to quit wasting his fresh sage and to shut Sophia's attack symbols off. It was very painful to watch, especially since one could see he had less than ten fresh sage left. What didn't help this player was Sophia was out undoubtedly for her plethora of symbols, both attack and healing - she and Adray are the ONLY ones who get the Restoration and Faerie Light spells. Unfortunately, she spent more time casting the attack symbols on Luther rather than focusing on healing and reviving Fayt and Cliff when they were incapacitated.

Now, I personally don't like to use either Sophia or Adray in fights. I keep them leveled up for the sake of posterity. I like to run with Fayt and Cliff with Nel, Mirage, and Albel interchangeable. Those are just my personal preferences. It helps to keep the other characters leveled up just in case they're needed in other battles. One never knows. There's just one very noticeable problem in using characters whose primary functions are symbologists. They rely too much on the symbology to fight, which wouldn't be so bad if they weren't so slow in their wind-up times for releasing the spell. Even with the accessory that cuts their casting times in 2/3, I have found that Fayt has a better wind-up time and he can heal others faster than Adray and Sophia. However, my personal preferences aren't necessarily the same as others, and I get that.

There are some other tricks when it comes to utilizing characters like Adray Lasbard and Sophia Esteed to keep them from doing stupid things - like casting Explosion when Restoration or Faerie Light is needed. One, as mentioned above, is to shut off the attack spells. This can be accomplished both in and outside of battle. Enter Symbology either in the main menu outside of battle or while in battle and used the square button to shut off all attack spells. While you're at it, shut off "Silence" and "Antidote" . . . maybe even "Angel Feather", "Power Up", and "Reflection" . . . Sophia and Adray will try to join the fray by hitting with their weapons, but there isn't much a player can do to stop them when such characters are on auto-pilot. Just be sure that they're set on Focus on Healing/Recovery, and you'll be okay.

To ensure that they have the best casting times, recruit inventors, and get into your workshops. You want the Crafting skill to invent the items that reduce casting time by either 1/2 or 2/3, 2/3 being the better option. The Star Necklace and Rapid Invocation (which can be bought in Gemity) are what a player wants for Adray and Sophia. Also employ the writers to get the Brittle Tome . . . reduce how long it takes Adray and Sophia to cast their spells as much as possible.

Also, increase their defenses with their armor and accessories and their hit and magic points as much as possible. Because they are spell-casters, both have low defense and hit points. If they don't have enough of both, they'll die quickly and you'll still be wasting your Fresh Sage and Resurrection Elixirs on them just to keep them alive.

Level them up before heading into a boss fight. If you have the strategy guide or are following someone's walk-through on gamefaqs.com, if they recommend tackling a boss at a certain level, have Adray and Sophia be at least two levels or more higher than the recommendation. The rules of battle indicate that you get rid of your spell-casters first because they can do the most damage from afar and keep your actual fighting party alive.

Finally, if you have the patience to deal with how slow they move across the battlefield, set up the other characters on whatever tactics you deem necessary for them and play as Sophia or Adray. This is actually the best method for ensuring that your party stays alive and healed without incessantly wasting restorative items like the fresh sage, analeptic, resurrection elixir, and resurrection mist.

These tips definitely apply to Sarah Jerand in The Last Hope, though there is only the accessories that can reduce her casting time (Fast Cast goes only to Myuria and Lymle) as well as any other character that has a large arsenal of attack, defense, and healing spells. Utilize your spell-casters wisely. You can save on battle times (you don't get bonus points for spending over twenty minutes in battle with Luther) and aggravation at wasting your time and restorative items in the boss fights, especially if you're already low by the time you reach said boss fights.

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