star_ocean_fan: (Default)
 Back on January 30, 2012, the inaugural entry of The Star Ocean Universe, I wrote about the reasons of why Fayt Leingod and Maria Traydor's powers manifested in the way that they did and the differences between the two of them.

Here is the original entry.

"As most people who've played Till the End of Time know, the characters of Fayt Leingod, Maria Traydor, and Sophia Esteed are the ones chosen by a group of scientists (their parents) to save the universe. They are given the following powers: Destruction - Fayt, Alteration - Maria, and Connection - Sophia. I'm leaving Sophia Esteed out of the equation due to how and when her powers manifested in the game. Unlike the situations for Fayt and Maria, Sophia's situation for manifestation isn't severe. It's more of getting to the right point in the game when her powers trigger. The reasons for her power manifestation are completely different from those surrounding Fayt and Maria.
Read more... )
star_ocean_fan: (Immoral Feather)
And, once upon a time, Mondays were for conversation topics, fanfiction writing tips, and convention talk. Of course, naturally, everything started to fizzle because of the following:

1 - I haven't played First Departure, Second Story/Second Evolution, or Blue Sphere. I'd have a wealth of more ideas if I'd played those games already. Sadly, I do not have the following to make any of this happen:
a convertor for the SNES - I own the original Japanese version of Star Ocean, but the cartridge doesn't fit my console. I also don't speak or read Japanese just yet;
a copy of Second Story - you might think I need the PS1 or a PS3 (if the game can be downloaded from the Sony website) but I don't. I'm pretty sure I could play the game on my PS2 as long as I have a PS1 memory card (which I do have) so all I need is a copy;
a copy of Blue Sphere - I could play this on my sister's Nintendo 3DS. Alas, like with the original copy of Star Ocean, I do not speak or read Japanese;
a PSP - I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but I own the PSP versions of the first two Star Ocean games. I just need a PSP to play, and I'm not required to speak or read Japanese to play.

2 - There are only so many fanfiction writing tips that I can write without me sounding like an overbearing, bossy brat on how to write an excellent fanfic. At some point, those who want to write fanfiction need to just start writing. Star Ocean fanfiction, as a whole, is only going to be moderately received, even with the release of a new game, if there is a release of a new game.

3 - There's only so much that can be written about conventions as well. I've not been an avid con-goer for the last several years so I'm pretty much new to the whole thing once again. I'll be learning as I go once more.

Now, with all of that said, time to resume everything once more.


Fanfiction Writing Tip #6 - Trust Yourself and Your Instincts

Recently, through a different account, I had someone contact me about idea and character sharing (which I'm not necessarily interested in doing - I'll turn on my diva side here in a little bit). Some time passed, and the same person contacted me again about reading over the initial fanfiction idea to see if it passes whatever because I happened to be something of a Star Ocean something. (I forget the exact phrasing. It was a compliment, I'm sure, but I'm already wary of this person as it is.)

I am going to take this moment to reiterate another tip from last October: Do not compare yourself to someone who is already established as a fanfiction author, more than especially if you're going to run on the self-deprecating side instead of the more positive side of writing. I cannot press upon the importance of this enough. Yes, this author may have a great following of readers. Yes, that author may produce wonderfully written pieces that stir great emotion within your heart and inspire you to do the same thing. But this author and that author have done ONE thing that you, as a new writer, may not have done: they started to write. They trusted their abilities well enough to open that word document and start an outline, start the first chapter, or whatever approach s/he finds best. At some point, all of the best advice in the world is going to screw with your head, and you're going to doubt yourself and your abilities.

Just start writing.

If you're a review whore, here are some things to take note of: The Star Ocean fandom is small. You're not going to receive a crapload of reviews, no matter which fanfiction site you post your stories to, be it FFN, AO3, deviantArt, adultfanfiction, or your own website. There are also no guarantees that if you chose to write in a larger fandom - Hetalia, Final Fantasy VII, Inuyasha, Gundam Wing, etc . . . - that you will receive a crapload of reviews because of the volume of stories either being updated or added on a daily basis. You might get lucky and gain five reviews and two followers. You might not gain anything at all. That's just how fanfiction works.

That said, just keep writing. No one else is going to tell your story the way that you want it told.

Trust yourself and trust your instincts.


The Diva In Me

Now for my diva side when it comes to fanfiction: Yes, I am something of a snob from time to time. I do not like being approached by others with things and characters they think will enhance my stories. I used to listen to others and politely reject their ideas because said ideas just didn't jive with what I was doing. Heck, I really don't even like people asking me to read their stuff because I often have a feeling I know what they're after from me: reviews of praise and glory and not necessarily the constructive criticism I tend to hand out if I review at all.

Read more... )

Conversation Topic - Why Did It Take Symbological Genetics So Long to Become a Field of Study?

I'm not sure I've touched on this before (I really need to go through and compile a list of all the conversation topics I've done since 2012) so if I have, I apologize. But has anyone wondered why it took a little over seven hundred years for Symbological Genetics to become a field of study? Not just for humans but for the entire universe? Remember, Robert Leingod is the leading authority on the subject and the pioneer of the field. They establish as much in the game with the Vendeeni taking him (and Sophia) hostage and hunting Fayt from one end of the universe to another.

I bring this up (again, possibly) because symbology does appear in The Last Hope. The first human to (allegedly) use symbology is Edge. Now I understand why symbological genetics may not have taken off in the new calender year (by this, I mean the year ending in S.D. instead of A.D.) - with Edge as the only human capable of using symbology, he may not have told anyone about it. I don't think he'd relish the idea of being a guinea pig once more (though the injection of alien D.N.A. explains how he's able to use and learn Symbology). Not helping this is Lemuris being declared an underdeveloped planet along with Roak, the Eldarians forsaking their technology to live there, and the Morphus disappearing into space once more. It isn't for another three hundred years, when the stone sickness returns on Roak, that symbology even becomes an issue once more. (Ronyx apparently learned it when he's tossed back into the past to defeat Asmodeus - that's according to the Star Ocean wikia so if that's incorrect, someone please let me know.) The first three hundred years are covered, providing Edge and Reimi after their nuptials (yes - that's apparently canon if you get Reimi's ending) never have any children (and I have my doubts about her ability to conceive) and providing the human race doesn't encounter any more symbologically-inclined alien races.

But what about after those three hundred years? Yes, it is mentioned in Till the End of Time about books on symbology - if you talk with the flirt on the beach and either claim to not know Sophia or say she's like your little sister, you find out the title of at least one well renowned book because it's something Sophia is "lusting" after because Fayt offers to give his dad's copy to her - but still Robert Leingod (along with his wife) is the leading and only authority on symbological genetics.

Till the End of Time's in-game dictionary does give some insight as to why no one else has touched the subject of symbological genetics - religious and ethical groups. These are also the same people who are responsible for why Robert's experiments on Fayt, Maria, and Sophia are forbidden: They don't want "super" humans to be created and thus perhaps bring down the wrath of God/the Creator/what-have-you upon them. (The reason for their reasons, I'm inclined to believe, have nothing to do with the experiments done on Crowe, Edge, and Reimi as only a select few seemed to know about that. Those experiments were such closely guarded secrets, I'm surprised Reimi's parents had the courage to tell her when they did and under those circumstances.)

This isn't to say symbology wasn't studied over four centuries. The more space is explored, new races encountered, and new tech developed, the exposure symbology gets. All Robert really did was combine the study of symbology with genetic-engineering, which took a lot of years of studying, I'm sure. It just amazes me no one does it sooner.

Thoughts on how come this took so long?


Convention Talk - Going it Alone

If you've never gone to a convention before but would like to, you may want to make your first venture to one a solo one. There are some good reasons behind this:

1 - You won't feel obligated to hang around the people you may end up carpooling with. This gives you the opportunity to explore the hotel/convention center where the event is being held without influence from others.

2 - You can talk to other people without feeling rushed.

3 - You can attend the panels you want.

4 - You get that newbie's first time experience without influene from others.

Now, this isn't to say you can't do that if you carpool with people you've known for a very long time or have just met over the internet. Because, really, you can. But traveling by yourself can free things up for you if you're unsure of what to do. Yes, there are risks to traveling alone, the least of which is incurring all of your travel and hotel costs. In this day and age, though, most people who are traveling tend to have cellphones.

Of course, how you travel to a convention is entirely up to you, the new con attendee. The size of the convention also makes a difference. Over the course of the next few weeks, I'll weigh the pros and cons of traveling with others for first time attendees as well as the larger vs. smaller conventions for first timers.


The PS4 Release

One of the last times I mentioned a new release for Star Ocean, which is currently a mobile phone game for Japanese residents, I commented on how the release of the PS4 could mean a new Star Ocean game. This is something we've looking forward for since the last game's release. I know I am, but, at the same time, I'm experiencing some trepidation about the new system's release. Here's why:

According to what my brother has heard (and he's not heard any differently as of yet), it will cost players $5 a month to play the games for the new PS4 console. From the sounds of it, Sony is going to require all players to connect to their server in order to play any games, be they downloaded or an actual hard copy. This is in addition to paying for the console itself.

This isn't striking me as necessarily a good thing because gamers are already paying close to $400 for the console. This doesn't include the average price of $40-$60 of brand new games. (New consoles don't have used games out until a few months or so into sales.) If a player only earns X dollars per month, the cost of the console and the games are nothing to sneeze at. Add onto that another $60 per year just to play however many games a player decides to buy on top of the cost of the games? It does add up, and, for me, that $60 could go for something else - like a brand new game, the registration cost of a convention, etc . . . To me, it feels like gouging the customer, and no console is worth an additional $60 a year just for the privilege of playing.


The Thirty-one Days of Halloween

This is very tentative on my part. As of right now, I would love to do something I'm calling the 31 Days of Halloween. What does this mean, you might ask? It means that, starting on October 1, I will post a Halloween-themed one-shot all the way through to the end of the month. I am not taking requests, and if I gift-fic a piece for someone, it will be posted as to who it's for in the author's notes. This is tentative and all dependent upon how much time I have to focus on writing as well as inspiration. Sometimes it's real easy to knock out a one-shot, sometimes it isn't. It really can be a hit or miss.

And that concludes today's entry! Have a wonderful Monday evening!
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.


Breaking news:

Square Enix is releasing a mobile, card-based game for Japanese fans at this time. The announcement was made here:

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


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.


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 ( and, 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.


Fanfic status update:
Still working on it!



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!

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Correction for yesterday:

When I spoke of Peppita and said to use her to make the Potion of Youth (Fake), I was mistaken. You need her for the Philospher's Stone to recruit another inventor. Someone on deviantArt asked me about that today, and I realized my error on the item but not the area of item creation.

Also, when inventing something, if you can, look at how much a given person affects the cost and time for item creation. Peppita affects inventing costs by an additional ten percent. Some have negative costs, meaning it takes less fol, and others affect the time. This includes the inventors.

Thank you.


Conversation Topi
c - Why Releasing Star Ocean: The Last Hope was a Good Idea

Several months ago, I wrote my thoughts on why I thought releasing Star Ocean: The Last Hope wasn't such a good idea. There were some plot holes in the storyline, the game play didn't last quite as long as I'd like, and it didn't have my favorite characters from Till the End of Time in it. I was really looking forward to seeing Fayt again.

In retrospect, I didn't cover every aspect of The Last Hope's release. I wrote about the bad. Now it's time to write about the good.

First up on the reasons why it's a good thing it was released: Symbology. The Last Hope covers how humans were introduced to the concept of symbology. It gives us the foundation for Robert Leingod's research seven hundred years into the future and how he is able to turn his son into a lethal weapon of destruction. While I've not played the first two games, in going over walk throughs and the Star Ocean wikia, I've discovered that symbology can be passed on to the human characters - according to Star Ocean wikia, Millie teaches Ronyx symbology, which, if I interpret events from Till the End of Time and The Last Hope correctly, the latent ability must be there, or the character just can't cast (case in point - Reimi). Edge is the first human in Star Ocean history to have that ability, and this is after he and Reimi see Faize use it against the first boss of the game.

I like the different spells in The Last Hope. I wish Symbolic Weapon was available to me in Till the End of Time or something very similar to it and the vile goop with the same effect. It would make it much easier to keep certain people from dying all the time from loss of magic points.

Second, I like that I can go harvesting and mining for materials. It adds to the experience earned for all of the teammates available at the time of harvesting or mining, and it helps to increase the fol. It makes shopping for items like blueberries, blackberries, and fresh sage rather obsolete (unless you're making things like the resurrection elixir and mist . . . then you buy and make until you have enough of both to take down whichever boss you're gearing up to battle).

The second good thing about The Last Hope is more of a bonus for me. So are the simplicity of item creation, the four member battle party, not being incapacitated when magic points hit zero, and being able to switch a dead person out for someone in reserve to keep the battle. Tri-Ace changed up the game play to make it more interesting, more engaging.

Third, the storyline connects the dots for the Star Ocean fans, and there is a sense of familiarity with it. Roak is a familiar name. The Calnus is a familiar name. While there are some differences between the games, there's still plenty to connect them to still make it Star Ocean, and the cast of The Last Hope is fun, entertaining, interesting, and annoying all at once. Releasing this game has kept the flames alive for many Star Ocean fans, and it is my sincerest wish that Tri-Ace and Square Enix continue to release games for this series. (And it is my sincerest wish to see more of Edge and Fayt, maybe even in a game or two together. Ah, the fangirl in me just sighs in happiness at such a thought . . .)


Gaming Tips - The Best Way to Utilize Spellcasters and Leveling Up

Today, I'm going to write two different gaming tips, only because one is really short.

I mentioned this in my very first gaming tip for the Star Ocean games, and that's utilizing the main characters, or the heroes, wisely. It's a rule that applies to all AI controlled players in the battle party on the field. In the games where magic hitting zero means incapacitation, don't let your characters waste time and restorative items doing stupid stuff. If you have two characters out, both of whom have attac and healing spells, set one for healing (and shut OFF the attack spells) and the other for attacking.

Also, pay attention to which spells can do what and which ones are the most useful. If the enemies are not casting buffing spells - increase intelligence, attack, defense, etc . . . - then characters like Myuria, Lymle, and Sarah shouldn't be casting void. They're wasting their magic and their time. Shutting the spells off isn't hard. Just head into use skills or use symbology and use whichever button on the controller is needed to shut the spell off. If you have the battle trophies option turned on, you get battle trophies for long or how quickly a battle ends. Keep that in mind.

Second tip - leveling up.

Leveling up can be the pain in the butt of game play. A player can spend hours and hours just doing this alone. I rather like leveling up in the games. I like heading into the next area, able to take on the enemies and not die within one or two hits from my opponents.

In games like Star Ocean, leveling up is quite necessary and sometimes still not enough. It's a matter of what you want to do when it comes time to fight certain bosses. If the player goes up against a boss that is either taking way too long to defeat  and ultimately kills the entire battle party or that kills the characters off within a matter of a minute, it's time to walk away from those fights and level up. Don't be afraid to take the time to increase experience points to the necessary levels. Increasing levels means an increase in a character's base attack, hit points, magic points, defense, intelligence, agility, etc . . . The more those are increased, the better chances the characters have of surviving the more difficult fights.

If you're at max level and the boss is still defeating you rather soundly, that's an equipment and accessory issue. I will write about that next Saturday.

That does it for today. I now leave everyone with a link to pictures of a Lego Level 255 Robo Gunner from Till the End of Time as done by rougeshell on deviantArt.

The upload feature - not working. Not happy about it, either. But please head to that gallery and check out those photos. That is some serious Star Ocean geekery to be appreciated!
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Fanfic Writing Tip #10 - Writing Effective Songfic and Using Lyrics in Your Stories

I want to start by saying that I am not against someone writing a songfic, a story with the same name and with the lyrics throughout the story, or using song lyrics in a story. One of my first stories is a songfic, and it's one that I consider to be among my best stories. I still like to write songfic and to use lyrics in my stories, all because it's an added effect to the story I'm writing. Get the right song for the right mood and the right theme for the story you're writing, and you will have a very powerful piece that will move the reader on levels they didn't even realize existed.

There is some etiquette involved with writing songfics and using song lyrics in a story, some dos and don'ts that can either make or break your story for the reader. Some can also get your account deleted.

In order to keep your account from being deleted on a particular website, read the site's Terms of Service very carefully. Some fanfiction sites do not allow song lyrics in stories, unless they are your own. Period. It doesn't stop people from posting their stories, however, so, if you choose to violate the site's ToS on song lyrics, do so at your own risk.

Some sites don't follow the "No Song Lyrics" allowed rule. They do, however, restrict the amount of lyrics used. There has to be a certain amount of story for each line of lyric in it. Because of this, I advise that the writer read the Terms of Service for each site s/he uses for posting fanfiction.

Now with the site restrictions out of the way, there are a few other things authors should keep in mind when using song lyrics in a story.

1 - Disclaimer and Credit!!! Not all songs are in the public domain, i.e., they can be posted anywhere at any given time (think of the many Christmas songs you used to sing in elementary school for Christmas programs). Most of the songs I've seen used (and have used myself) are copyrighted. If you've ever looked in a CD liner with lyrics, you might see "reprinted with permission" somewhere. Because of this, make sure your readers know that you don't own the song lyrics you're using and credit the band or singer, along with the album it can be found on, performed the song.

2 - There are a few different ways to utilize a song for a story, especially if the story is based around it. Watch how you use the song in question. Beginning authors might not realize it, but there is a correct and incorrect way to use a song.

For example, I love this song called "Invisible Boyfriend" by a band out of New Orleans called the Continental Drifters. It's a very sad and haunting song. To utilize the lyrics for the story, to title the story after the song itself, I would do this:

Line 1 of a verse
Line 2 of the same verse
Line 3 of the same verse
Line 4 of the same verse
--- Invisible Boyfriend, Continental Drifters, Continental Drifters (1995)

(Story section based on the verse)

That gets the song out there, gives the reader an idea of what the segment is about before I repeat the process for the next segment (or what would be a PoV change if you're using more than one PoV)

Now, if the character is listening to a song, and there's a current mood about that character in that tender, happy, or sad moment, a snippet of lyrics isn't a bad way to go. A line here, a line there are more than sufficient to add to the mood, to create the effect. To make sure people know who sang what, I write in an author's note, often at the end of the story (or at the beginning - depends on where I'm trying to convey mood or indicate what I'm listening to when I write a segment or a chapter) so the reader can then find the song. (When I started writing fanfiction in 2000, I uploaded CDs to my computer. This was before iTunes and youtube.)

The biggest mistake I've seen when people try to use song lyrics is that they overload the story with an entire song. This is a big no-no. One, it takes up more space than it needs to and that can be dedicated to story. Two, it overwhelms the reader who isn't reading the piece for the song but for the story itself. It's cool to share a song that you love. After all, there are plenty of good songs out there that deserve more love than what they may or may not receive. It isn't cool to overwhelm your readers with your favorite songs. As an author, your ultimate goal should be to tell a story effectively without taking up space for song lyrics. If someone points that out to you, it is for good reason. If you've ever felt cheated on a story because an author has done that, then please keep that in mind when writing songfic and using song lyrics yourself. Readers don't like to be cheated out of story.

Next week's writing tip: Asking for Critiques Before Posting - Writer to Writer Etiquette


Conversation Topic - Power Hungry Characters of Till the End of Time

As with any game, there is always one or two characters that want more than what they already have. They're always grasping, reaching, and doing whatever they can to have more - more land, more money, more weapons, more power - and it's often without regard for who gets trampled along the way.

In Till the End of Time, there are three characters that I would classify as power hungry. No. Luther Lansfeld is not on this list. He probably should be on it, but he has his reasons for doing what he's done. I don't see him so much as power hungry as I do extreme OCD and control freak. He's already at the highest level of power in the game. He's the Creator. He's God.

First on this list, naturally, is Norton. Yes. Norton. Remember him? He was the first boss players fought on Vanguard III, the one who if you were leveled up high enough, didn't last five minutes. He didn't get much air time and you don't see him again until after you've defeated Luther and start wandering through the locked levels of Sphere 211.

Norton is definitely a power hungry character. He wants to turn his little area of Vanguard III into a kingdom. Anyone who stands up to him, who doesn't do as he wishes, dies. His mistreatment of the villages of Whipple leads them to mistrust Fayt when he first arrives.

Second on this list is Duke Vox, Captain of the Dragon Brigade. He, too, is a power hungry character who might not have stopped at his current rank if he had not died an untimely death. There isn't much of a backstory for his ascent to power unless the player recruits Albel before the fight with Crosell instead of the default of Nel. Upon recruiting Albel over Nel, taking him to the four dimensional realm opens up the ability to obtain a legendary sword called the Crimson Scourge.

Vox tried to wield the sword after he set up Albel for the Flame of Ascension when he was too young. Albel fans know that it was his father, Glou Nox, who saved him from certain death, but the right of passage left Albel physically and emotionally scarred. Vox himself is driven to the point of madness because he tried to claim the Crimson Scourge for himself.

He knew no bounds in his quest for power, either. Vox helped to start the war between Aquaria and Airyglyph by spreading the lie that the followers of Apris wanted to assassinate the king. Innocent people were tortured and killed because of that lie.

Finally, I come to the third person on this list, and that honor goes to Belzeber, of the four dimensional realm. Born into a powerful family and the son of the original owner of Sphere 211, Belzeber has a very strong sense of entitlement. He is not happy that, upon his father's retirement/handing over power of the company to Luther. While he doesn't care about the company itself or the gaming world of the Eternal Sphere, Belzeber thinks and feels that all of it should be his and his alone.

Belzeber is also the kind who doesn't care who he hurts along the way in order to get what he wants. He's willing to kill Blair, someone he's known for a very long time, because the Owner has decreed it. If he's willing to go that far on someone else's order, just how far would he go to try and usurp Luther from his position of power?

I'm sure that there are other characters in Till the End of Time that others think are power hungry. I encourage everyone to give me their thoughts on them. (For this entry, please keep the power hungry character comments to Till the End of Time. I will write on the other games for power hungry characters so comments for them.)


Convention/Cosplay Talk - To Go Alone or Join a Group?

When it comes to convention and cosplay, some people may find themselves asking whether or not if they should go alone, fly solo as it were, or if they should meet up with others for a cosplay group. This isn't exactly an easy question to answer when it comes to conventions and cosplay. Traveling in a group to the convention site is actually quite economical - the people in the car, truck, or van help pay for gas and thus save on gas - but it isn't always possible. If you can arrange a travel group, by all means, do it.

As for cosplay, this is where I say do both. Gather a group for one day, fly solo for another . . . have fun with it. If none of your friends are going to the conventions, find other people to hook up with for cosplay groups. There are many clubs on this site, deviantart, and, of course, one can always use facebook.

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
There is a belief among people that time perhaps isn't quite so chronological but perhaps more linear in nature. In fact, according to this belief, at the same time we carry about our lives, the French and Indian, Revolution, and Civil Wars are being fought simultaneously. Whether or not this is true for real life, I can't say. I find it to be a fascinating theory, one that could be explored for decades and centuries to come. I bring it up for the Star Ocean community because of how the differences in the flows of time between the 4-D realm and the Eternal Sphere may not, in fact, perhaps mesh.

For the denizens of the 4-D realm, Luther especially, the realm of the Eternal Sphere is one massive, interactive MMORPG, like World of Warcraft or Dungeons and Dragons. Time is linear for this particular (fictional) gaming program, much in the same way people in real life believe that time is linear. Here's how I can best explain it:

There are five people in the 4-D realm with whom Fayt and Co. interact, starting with Flad, moving onto Azazer then Blair, Belzeber and Berial, and finally with the end battle against Luther in his own Workspace. These five characters (as well as any NPCs spoken to in Arkives, Gemity, and Sphere 211) are able to create an ID, or character, for the Eternal Sphere. At the same time they're able to create this fictitious persona, they're also able to choose which point in the Eternal Sphere history where they wish to game.

For example, let's say Luther wants to test a new line of code for the Eternal Sphere. In order to test this code, he either enters the Eternal Sphere as he is (but not acting so pretentious, high, and mighty) or creates an alter ego. Depending on what era the code is for would determine when and where Luther enters the Eternal Sphere, be it when Edge Maverick is alive or when Fayt Leingod is alive. After all, it's how come he's still in his mid-twenties when he issues the proclamation of death to Professor Leingod and his research team and when the final battle with Fayt, Maria, and Sophia occurs.

As for the flow of time within the 4-D realm itself, I'm not entirely sure how it goes. I have no doubts it's chronological in nature for the people going about their daily lives (just as it is for us). People do age. Children are born, they are educated (to some extent), they grow so there is some indication that time does pass. However, compared to the Eternal Sphere, I have no comparison. Is it six months passing in 4-D for every two years in the Eternal Sphere? The game designers never really gave an indication so it's really speculation on the part of the player/fanfic writer.

Finally, for the denizens of the Eternal Sphere, time is absolutely chronological for them. Of course, since their world is based upon our world, there may be some who also believe that time is linear as well as chronological. Unfortunately, there are only five games so everything is mere speculation.

At least, we can always hope for more games in the future. :)


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