star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Taking a Moment

When I look out the windows of my home, one thing I can't help but notice is the scenery. You see, I currently live in the country, across the road from a farm that grows corn. Some distance behind the house is a tree farm. When I look out my window, I can see the sun shining on a warm, summer or cold, snowy day. I can look out and see when it's snowing or raining. The house I live in is old, bought by my stepdad's parents sometime in the sixties, so when the wind really gets to blowing, I can hear it. On those warm spring and summer days or in the colors of fall, I can head outside whenever I want and just soak it up. I can take a blanket out with me along with some notebooks and pens and write.

The Star Ocean games have really opened my eyes on what it is we truly have to lose, either to a rapidly changing climate or to war. I personally can't imagine what it's like to not be able to go outside when I want to, to feel the sunshine warming me up, to go swimming in one of the local lakes, to walk among the colors of fall, or to feel the clean, crisp air of a wintry day. I don't like being outside during the winter because I'm not overly fond of the cold, but it's still something I can do when the mood strikes me. The human cast members of each Star Ocean game - Edge Maverick, Reimi Saionji, and Crowe F. Almedio (The Last Hope - The Eldarians and Morphus also don't experience the same things due to controlled or harsh environments); Ronyx J. Kenny and Ilia Silvestri (Fantastic Space Odyssey/First Departure); Claude C. Kenny (Second Story/Second Evolution); and Fayt Leingod, Sophia Esteed, and Maria Traydor (Till the End of Time) - really do not have that kind of a luxury. For those from The Last Hope, Earth's atmosphere is in critical condition. People live in underground cities in order to survive. For those from the first three games, Earth's atmosphere is stabilized but controlled. Animals are vague memories. Trees grow, snow falls, but it isn't the same as what we in real life (and those fictional characters from the underdeveloped planets of Roak, Expel, Vanguard III, and Elicoor II) experience. Please note, also, that what we currently experience in our real lives isn't at all similar to what the fictional characters from Roak, Expel, Vanguard III, and Elicoor II experience. If there are any similarities, it would be to what our ancestors experienced hundreds of years ago when first coming to the Americas or before the discovery of the Americas.

I think the ones who would be the most amazed by natural weather in a natural environment would be from The Last Hope. Edge, Reimi, Crowe, Faize, and Arumat would, when they allowed themselves those brief moments, would truly stop, look around, and stare in wonderment at what they were seeing. Edge, Reimi, and Faize, for sure, would be, at first, afraid to walk on the grass because, to them, it's delicate and should be cherished. Such a fear would be overcome because they have their missions to complete, but it would also be something that they would take the opportunity to lay in and feel it against their skin.

This isn't to say the casts from the other games wouldn't take those moments to lay in the grass and go swimming because it is something I feel all of them would do. Of the human characters, the two I feel that would do it the most are, naturally, Edge and Fayt.This is mostly because I know the planets they're able to visit, and where some of the best places for them to lounge around and have a picnic, as it were, are.

It isn't lost on me that these characters live in the Eternal Sphere, the brain child of Luther Lansfeld of the four-dimensional realm. His world is just about as bleak as the majority of the playable characters for The Last Hope. For him, there is no concept of time. For Luther, he lives in a pristine, white and technologicall advanced world where nothing ever changes and that has left him bored and seeking something different, something flawed that makes it perfect. He and his team of developers create the Eternal Sphere, I think not only for money but because it gives them something to look forward to, to create, and to enjoy themselves. It makes perfect sense for me that he'd do anything to protect it (even if it means destroying or attempting to destroy it in the end).

For my fellow Star Ocean fans (and anyone who comes across this and reads it), take a moment. Take a moment and step outside. Feel the sun on your face, the cool breeze on your skin, and to soak up the colors of fall and spring. Go for a drive and find a nice spot to have a picnic. Be kind to Mother Nature because, as of right now, this is our only home in the universe, and, though the events be fictional, if we do not want them to come to fruition, we must be mindful of how we take care of ourselves, our fellow humans, and our environment. Let's not leave it for future generations to worry about.

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Some Things the Developers of Star Ocean Got Wrong

This is a nitpick on my part, and it's aimed at some of the scenery we see in the games. It isn't about the characters or the overuse of "gentically altering an individual for this reason or that". Heck, it isn't even how poor of a villain Luther is compared to the Apostle of Creation or even Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII. Rather, this nitpick is about some of the environments created for the underdeveloped planets.

The grass is often too short.  The grass in various places on Aeos, Roak, Vanguard III, Elicoor II, and any other underdeveloped planet, even in parts of Lemuris, is too short for the given areas where we see it.

Now, you might be thinking that I'm being a bit ridiculous about this, but think about it: In the summer, when there's the right combination of water and sunshine, grass grows. And it grows. It will continue to grow as long as someone isn't mowing the lawn either on a frequent or infrequent basis. If the seaons don't consist of constant weather change or only experience mild winters with little snow, grass can grow to be as tall as wheat without someone tending to it. There are places on Aeos where the grass should be taller than Edge, on Elicoor II that reach Fayt's waist, and so on. Everything is neatly trimmed despite not having enough human or humanoid traffic to warrant it being so, especially on Aeos and in the fields between Arias and Peterny and Peterny and the Sacred City of Aquios. (There are no signs of any kind of livestock in Till the End of Time to warrant the grass being short, either.)

If anyone knows anything about a wild, untamed wilderness is that the grass is at least half the height of an adult human. In ancient forests and in rainforests, this doesn't hold true, not when the trees are tall and their branches thick and filled with fat leaves. This makes some parts of Aeos and Elicoor II very accurate, but there are many patches of land that just look like perfectly manicured lawns. Aeos was likened, by Reimi no less, to Earth's Jurassic era. There should have been many areas with grass reaching the tallest character's chin.

Also, there's the lack of huge piles of snow in places like Airyglyph and Lemuris. Now snow is something that can fall in a somewhat neat way. It can also form a crust, so to speak, so people can walk along the surface without sinking with every step. For these places, the snow should be piled higher than what it truly is. I've only been through mountainous areas a few times in my life, in the spring and in the summer, but, in the distance, when I've looked upon those mountains, I've been able to see the snow. Wind Swallow Valley is the only place that has the right amount of snow for a cold planet. Airyglyph, between the castle city and Kirlsa, not so much.

This leads me up to another thing I feel they did wrong, something I'm sure I've mentioned before - the lack of farms. It's definitely implied that farming takes place. If it didn't, players shouldn't be able to buy things like steamed buns, apple pies, or any other restorative item and, for The Last Hope players, item creation ingredients available. Now, I know that, when one steps into the village of Triom The Last Hope, there are visible gardens. That explains how one can buy (for the short time) certain things at the shops there. It doesn't explain how the shops in Woodley come by their items for sale or in the shops on Roak or En II (or the shops in the other games, for that matter - Whipple on Vanguard III, I believe, has an area for farming, but that's it for Till the End of Time). Where are the farms? Where is the wildlife that often makes up forests and fields and deserts? Yes, we have the monsters to fight? On Aeos, where are the mammals? I've seen snakes and bugs and have heard birds on Aeos and Roak - one can even see water spouting up in the oceans in the distance on Roak - but there are many things these areas simply lack that, while minor in terms of details, could enhance the game so much more.

Please do not get me wrong on this. I realize that a lot of what's been left out has been done intentionally due to different factors - money, storage space, and the like. It's especially true for the older games where everything is saved to a memory card, but the platforms are changing. Information earned throughout the gaming is stored into the consoles themselves, but the graphics are all on a disk. I rather like seeing how realistic a different planet could be. Every time I play, no matter how many times I play, I see those wonderful graphics for these inhabitable planets, and every single time I think . . . I want to go there. I want to see those strange yet similar oceans for myself. I want to go swimming in them. I want to stand in the shade of those tall, ancient trees, to smell the strange scents of flowers not found on Earth, and to simply experience as much of everything about that planet as I can. Imagine how intense it would be if those little things - tall, untamed grass; wild herbivorous animals roaming in the meadows; huge piles of snow that are a work out to walk across; farms growing unique grains, fruits and vegetables with similar yet different kinds of livestock - were there to add to that experience?

It's only my opinion, of course.

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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: (ocean view)
Halloween Costumes, ,Part Three - Claude C. Kenny and Bowman Jeane

Okay, I admit. I only know about Bowman because of Star Ocean wikia. Still, he's human, and he's part of the Star Ocean 2 cast. I'd like to include him.

First up is Bowman. From what I've learned of him on the Star Ocean wikia, he's generally a nice guy, and he's intelligent. He runs the pharmacy that Claude and company can use so that gives me a fair idea of what, as a child, he'd dress up as for Halloween. I personally believe that most children, if they, at an early enough of age, show an interest in certain fields, it is what they grow up to be as adults. I can see Bowman trick-or-treating as a doctor or many variations of a doctor, i.e. vampire doctor, zombie doctor, dead doctor, etc . . . He's relatively easy for me since I'm running with what I've learned from one website and not from playing the game (yet).

Second is Claude. As the son of a well respected, heroic captain, Claude would either want to emulate that for trick-or-treating . . . or he' d want to steer clear of such an image entirely. Vampires, zombies, ninjas, samurai, cowboys . . . those are the kinds of costumes I can see Claude wanting to be for Halloween.

By the time Claude and Bowman are born, I can see candy companies making a return. Theoretically, as was mentioned in The Last Hope segment, we might not see a return to the Nestle, Hershey's, M&Ms/Mars, Brach's, Reese's, Russel Stover, and whatever major candy companies exist in Asia and Europe. However, I believe we definitely would see the return of manufactured candies and chocolates for mass consumption. I believe the characters would even see candies that don't even exist right now. (Chocolate covered mixed berry cremes? Citrus delights? Mocha chocolate mints? Sounds delicious to me! Yes. I invented those right off the top of my head.)

Tomorrow, when it comes to Halloween, I'll be discussing the kinds of treat bags people could be using in the Star Ocean universe as well as the conditions our chibi heroes and heroines would encounter in their neighborhoods. For the next Halloween Costumes segment, I'll break it into smaller sections and focus more on the individual characters.

Thus concludes today's entry on Halloween costumes.

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Dream Houses, Part 4 - Meracle Chamlotte

Here is the final, solo installation of Dream Houses. The next three segments will coincide with the Ask the Star Ocean Character, Facts about the Character, and Character Study segments scheduled for Fridays.

Meracle is actually fairly easy for me to figure out when it comes to what she'd want in her own home. It wouldn't be an overly elaborate place to live, but it wouldn't be overly small, either. Meracle's home would be quite simple in design, perhaps in homage to her time living with Eleyna Farrence.

I also think Meracle would like for her home to either be a boat on the ocean with glass plating at the bottom of one section of the ship . . . or able to be under water. Meracle likes fish. I think she'd have fun just sitting there, watching the fish as they swam by her. If not on the water, then she'd definitely have several chicken coops in the yard. She likes chicken as much as she does fish. Her home would reflect her ability to fish/be a chicken farmer in that respect.

Meracle's home would also be rather standard . . . a few bedrooms, a kitchen, a place for her to groom herself like a shower or something with a sink, and a room for her to play around in with her guests and her family. The walls would have paintings of fish and chickens . . . and Lady Eleyna and Edge, whom Meracle just absolutely adores.

Yes. Meracle is quite the simple Fellpool when it comes to what kind of dream home she'd want . . .

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Fanfic: Destinies Intertwined by Fate
Chapter Three of Twenty, Part 1
Chapter Title: Bittersweet Reunions
Pairings: Luther Lansfeld x Fayt Leingod, Maria Traydor x Lieber, Albel Nox x Mirage Kaos, Cliff Fittir x Nel Zelpher, one-sided Fayt Leingod x Maria Traydor
Summary: For Fayt Leingod and Luther Lansfeld, the end of the final battle is only the beginning. Worlds collide as the rebuilding begins.
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Ocean 3 or the characters from the game. They belong to Square Enix and Tri-Ace. I do not profit from the writing of this story. All OCs presented within belong to me, and I will protect them zealously from any and all unauthorized use. Please ask me first before writing them into your stories. Thank you.

Warnings: Some chapters will contain adult content and adult themes. Other warnings include yaoi, or, for the anime-lacking in their lives, at least one male/male relationship, some language (Fayt is no saint), implied torture and hints of sexual assault, science fiction and fantasy elements, momentary scenes of intense and graphic violence, and potential character deaths, be they of the original character or main game character variety. Also, Albel and Luther can both be dickheads when the mood strikes them.
Author's Note: I'm going to treat this like I'm at fanfiction.net . . . there will be implied adult content as opposed to actual adult content. Not that there isn't any adult content in the story itself . . . I'm just covering my behind when it comes to potential minors finding this journal and reading something that perhaps their parents don't want them to read. :) That's all.

 

Read more... )

 


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Birthday Wishes - Robert Leingod

Happy birthday to Robert Leingod!

I know, I know. I assigned today to him for the celebration. It could very well be wrong but I'll take my chances. Here are some ficlets for everyone's reading pleasure.

Read more... )
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The Life of a Famous Symbological Geneticist

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star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Continuing on with more Star Ocean cosplays by Kojika. Today, we'll see Kojika dressed as both Rena and Claude from Second Story/Second Evolution from various photo shoots and conventions. I also have a photo of Kojika's Star Ocean 2 cosplay group, which was taken at Anime Expo 2003.


Right left to right - Kojika, himeko, Sakura85, and Urd-Chan. (User IDs for dA . . . that's all anyone's getting out of me. :))


Taken just the other night - Kojika decided to try on her Rena costume after many years and says the outfit fits her better now than it did in previous years. :) How about that?

There are more photos of Kojika as Rena. She's working on adding back a lot of the convention photos from before. So please bear with her on that. She's a busy gal in real life and one of the sweetest people I've ever met. :)

The following pictures are from NMACon (short for Northern Michigan Anime Convention) 2010.

Outdoor photos were taken outside near Great Wolf Lodge.



Did Claude do all of that? O_O ;)


I love the rock in the second photo. As I haven't had a chance to completely explore the grounds for Great Wolf Lodge, I don't know where it is . . . it's still very neat. :) And why does it look like Claude has an iPod? 0.o?

Sacred rock? Forest of Expel? Who can really say? :)


I've seen some of Kojika's cosplays as Faize (which appear over the weekend), and . . . I think Claude's taking after Faize . . . :) Are they somehow related?

This photo wasn't taken at NMACon . . . I don't remember where Kojika said, but it's still a nice shot. :)

I'm pretty sure Kojika has more Claude pictures. I'm actually glad I chose the ones from NMACon 2010 simply because of the scenery alone. While it's held in Traverse City, Michigan, there are still plenty of forest-like areas near the city so it makes for a very realistic-looking setting. :) I haven't played Second Story/Second Evolution just yet, but I know it's on an underdeveloped planet. The scenery works out beautifully.

No chapter to add to Destinies Intertwined by Fate just yet. Perhaps over the weekend. When I first started to write the outline for the story, I got as far as Chapter Three (the current chapter in progress) and with two PoVs - Fayt and then Albel. I'm still working with Fayt because of the internal struggles he's been facing thus far in the story.

Hope everyone's enjoying the Cosplay by Kojika! Albel will appear on Thursday. :) 

Edit 04/19/2012:
This is actually a post-dated entry . . . was waiting on the use of a certain computer after getting the Rena picture since Claude was not on the computer I was using when Kojika posted it to dA . . . Anyway, I have been informed by Kojika that the photos for both the Albel and Claude shoots were actually done at the Northwestern Michigan College campus and not Great Wolf Lodge (where last year's NMACon was held). The last photo of Claude was taken at Kolliscon at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL.

I feel so silly . . . I used to attend that college . . . :) But it's been so many years so . . . Still doesn't stop me from feeling so silly, though.
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
If there's one thing that's ever a constant in a fandom, it's the use of certain names. It's this use of common names that not only brings in new fans but tries to snag the older fans as well. In glancing over the manuals for First Departure and Second Evolution and playing The Last Hope, one last name comes up quite a bit. That is the last name of Kenny.

It's understandable that the last name of Kenny carries some weight. In the Last Hope, which chronologically is first in the storyline for it starts everything to be seen in the previous games, Stephen D. Kenny is a war hero. Stephen is introduced to us at the start, thought not as a playable character. By the way everyone reacts to his presence - from Deputy Director Shimada's mild disdain and whatever else he is towards Kenny to the hero worship on Edge's part - Stephen D. Kenny has already made a name for himself from the last war on Earth. In fact, with the appearance of Stephen D. Kenny, the legacy of the Kenny family has started. While he isn't the hero of the story, Ronyx J. Kenny of the very first Star Ocean game does play a major role for being a minor character. In Second Story/Second Evolution, his son, Claude Kenny, takes center stage, thus proving just how noble and heroic the Kenny line and last name truly is.

However, in Till the End of Time, there are no characters, not even NPCs, with the last name of Kenny. The famous name you hear most is Leingod, because the Leingods - Robert and Ryoko - have established themselves not only as brilliant scientists, but brilliant scientists in a relatively "new" field of study: Symbological Genetics and Genemorphism. Their son, Fayt, is the hero of that particular story (as all Star Ocean fans know).

Does this mean that the legacy started by Stephen D. Kenny has died out? I personally don't think that it has. I think that, in the hands of the right fanfiction authors, the last name of Kenny is still alive and living up to the reputation of previous predecessors. I also think that girls were born with the last name of Kenny, and those who married took on the last names of the men they fell in love with, depending on how far away they want to get away from the last name of Kenny. (Traditional mindsets will see the women taking on their husbands' last names. And some people, if it's a very famous last name, do their best to put as much distance between them and the family name as possible, especially if expectations are exceptionally high due to the last name alone.)

For myself, I believe that Fayt Leingod has ties to the Kenny family as a direct descendant. It may seem unlikely, since he is the son of two scientists, but, if I'm guessing correctly as to who Claude's mother is (Ilia Silvestri), it doesn't seem too far-fetched as she is not only a soldier but a woman with an education. (According to the game manual for First Departure, she has a Ph.D.) Just because his parents don't have seeming military ties doesn't mean he isn't of the Kenny bloodline.

With that, I ask, who in Till the End of Time do you think has ties to the Kenny family? Or even to the Maverick or Saionji families?

star_ocean_fan: (lufay trading card)
The Sibling Factor

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An Irritant
 
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As for The Last Hope, it baffles me as to why there weren't more released and why Meracle was chosen over Bacchus, Myuria, Sarah, or Crowe in part. I get that she's a cat, basically, but her pose as a PVC seems a bit strange (she's jumping in the air). I'd like to see more for this game as well.

The lack of collectible figures for this series is irritating. Heck, the lack of overall merchandise in general is irritating to me. I love this series. I'd love to collect anything and everything that I can when it comes to the official merchandise, even for the characters I don't like. However, at this point in time, it seems very doubtful that, unless the series experiences a surge in popularity that can rival that of Final Fantasy VII and the Dragon Quest series, we'll see any more official releases of merchandise.
 
 

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Cosplay For Sale

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