star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Ask the Star Ocean Character - Deputy Director Shimada

Hello everyone, and welcome to the fifth installation of Ask the Star Ocean Character. After much trials and tribulations, I am pleased to announce today's guest, Deputy Director Shimada!

Read more... )
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Dream Houses, Part Five - Deputy Director Shimada

Deputy Director Shimada is the kind of person who wouldn't be satisfied with the kind of mansion or estates the rich and pompous have come to enjoy. I'm sure that's the kind of home he has for the events of The Last Hope, a very grand and ostentatious home that displays the kind of opulence he enjoys.

However, I don't think he's satisfied with what he has for a home - multiple bedrooms, a full kitchen, and rooms for recreation, entertain, and political bantering and boosting complete with a staff that he abuses as much as he does his subordinates in the USTA and SRF. Shimada wants the highest symbol of power. He wants the White House equivalent. He wants that status of  power and the ultimate symbol to show that would be to live in a house people associate with power. Where that particular home is located, I don't know, but it's an agreed upon location that would offer up some form of neutrality for the world's population.

After that, his home of opulence is where he would be once he served his terms of "service".

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Character Facts about Shimada

Furin Cha is his Japanese voice actor

I couldn't find on imdb.com who voiced him.

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Character Study - Deputy Director Shimada

From the in-game dictionary: Read more... )
Shimada is probably one of the most despicable characters in The Last Hope. I find the bosses fought along the way to be more  palpable than Shimada. At least most of the bosses fought along the way, they have a reason or driving force behind their actions. They're not always right, but there is a sense that they could be redeemed, if they were given the chance.

The Deputy Director is not one such person. He's the kind of guy the player wants to see die an agonizing death or receive some kind of comeuppance. According to one fan on the Star Ocean wikia, he's quite abusive towards his subordinates, and I definitely agree with that assessment. Some might feel he got it when half of the Moonbase was wiped out in the attack from Nox Obscuris. I personally wanted to something different for him at the end of the game. I wanted him to live so he could feel that resounding defeat of Kenny winning the election. I like it when I can see characters sulk . . .

Anyway, to Shimada's personality . . . he's quite the self-absorbed character. He doesn't want anything to make him look bad, never mind he's got a gut that makes him look he's pregnant. I'm not against fat people, but his gut gives me the impression he eats as much food as he can, not because he thinks he's going to starve (something that would stem in many thanks to WWIII), but more because he doesn't want anyone else to have his food. He's selfish, arrogant, and more than a little stupid.

But why is Shimada so self-serving? What is it that we're not seeing about him that maybe we should?

In essence, nothing, really. Some people, no matter how nice you are to them, no matter how well they're raised by their parents, they're just creeps all around and not very nice people.

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Halloween Reminder

Final reminder for Halloween! If you have anything Star Ocean related, Halloween themed fan art, fanfiction, and photography and you'd like to share it on this blog, please email me at luthersfayt@gmail.com. No sexual content, story ratings should be kept at PG13.

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Ask the Star Ocean Character Reminder - Deputy Director Shimada, Bacchus D-79, and Peppita Rosetti

Second to last reminder for Ask the Star Ocean Character. I'm doing a triple threat on Ask the Star Ocean Character. Taking questions for the following characters of Deputy Director Shimada, Bacchus D-79, and Peppita Rosetti. Questions can be submitted between now and midnight, October 31, 2012. Limit three questions per character per person, and keep the questions clean of vulgarity and sex talk. I will not use any questions submitted if the person is swearing at the character. Yes, I do realize that this is a fictional universe. There is swearing and sexual situations implied, but I do not tag very many things as containing adult content for this journal. It means anyone of any age can read it. I hate to sound mean about this, but I want to keep this as clean and inoffensive for everyone as much as possible. I don't care if you dislike the character and the question reflects that, but I do care if you use foul language to demonstrate it. I want this to be fun for everyone, not a select few.

Thank you for your understanding. As always, you can submit questions via comment, PM, or email (luthersfayt@gmail.com). The only other requirement is that you let me know what kind of name you wish for me to use or if you wish to remain anonymous. Thanks again!

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Weekly Schedule

Here's this week's schedule.

Monday:
Fanfiction Writing Tip
Conversation Topic - Halloween Costumes, Part 4, Segment 1: Maria Traydor, Sophia Esteed, Peppita Rosetti, Lieber, Marietta
Final Ask the Star Ocean Character reminder
Halloween Fanfiction entries

Tuesday:
Conversation Topic - Halloween Costumes, Part 4, Segment 2: Cliff Fittir, Mirage Kaos, Robert Leingod, Ryoko Leingod
Halloween Fanfic Entries
Albel Nox's birthday

Wednesday:
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
Fanfiction entries
Halloween photos

Thursday:
First day of NaNoWriMo!
Game Talk, Part Seven
Conversation Topic
Ask the Star Ocean Character Announcement
Birthday Reminder for Myuria Tionysus

Friday:
(Three separate entries)
Ask the Star Ocean Character - Deputy Director Shimada
Ask the Star Ocean Character - Bacchus D-79
Ask the Star Ocean Character - Peppita Rosetti
Character Facts - Deputy Director Shimada
Character Facts - Bacchus D-79
Character Facts - Peppita Rosetti
Character Study - Deputy Director Shimada
Character Study - Bacchus D-79
Character Study - Peppita Rosetti
Dream Houses - Deputy Director Shimda
Dream Houses - Bacchus D-79
Dream Houses - Peppita Rosetti

Sunday:
Not Available (I will be away from a computer the entire day)

Sunday:
Weekly Schedule
Ask the Star Ocean Character Reminder
Impromptu November Birthday List

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Birthday Reminders

Celebrating Albel Nox's birthday on October 30 and Myuria's on November 5. If you'd like to submit a story, fan art, fan poem, you can email your submissions to me at luthersfayt@gmail.com. Please include the following when submitting stories:

Story Title
World (for everything but birthdays)
Rating
Pairing, ONLY if applicable
Warnings, if any
A Disclaimer
A Claimer on OCs
Author's Notes, if any

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November Announcement

I will be participating in NaNoWriMo once again this year. For those of you who don't know what that stands for, it's National Novel Writing Month. Because I will be trying to focus most of my time on writing, I'll be paring down what I do for the weekly schedules. For this year's NaNo, I plan on returning to Destinies Intertwined by Fate, which I'd started for NaNo 2010. I'll try to post the newer sections for each chapter as I get them written. There will be no one-shots, except for the birthdays.

Until tomorrow!

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Halloween Reminder

Less than a week away from Halloween. Still seeking the following from fellow Star Ocean fans:

Photos - carved pumpkins, cosplay done for Halloween
Halloween art
Halloween fanfic

All Star Ocean games welcome. Submissions must be no higher than PG13 in rating. Implied sexual content is okay but nothing explicit. Chaptered fiction will be accepted on the basis that it's complete. Fiction submissions must include the following:

Title
World
Rating
Pairing (if applicable)
Warnings
Disclaimers on the established characters
Claimers on OCs
Summary
Author's Notes (if applicable)

Submissions should be emailed to me at luthersfayt@gmail.com

Thanks!

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Ask the Star Ocean Character - Deputy Director Shimada, Bacchus D-79, and Peppita Rosetti

Three more reminders for Ask the Star Ocean Character. Taking questions for the following three characters: Deputy Director Shimada, Bacchus D-79, and Peppita Rosetti. Limit three questions per character per person (meaning three questions for Deputy Director Shimada, three for Bacchus, and three for Peppita). No profanity, no vulgarity, or I won't use the questions, and let me know if you wish to remain anonymous or if there's a user name you'd like for me to use. Questions can be submitted to me via PM, comments, or email.

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Game Talk, Part Six - Seventy Years Before Till the End of Time

I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that this particular segment isn't about anything official from Square Enix or tri-Ace. Last I heard, there are no other Star Ocean games currently in the designing or production phases. This is merely what I'd like to see in more games in the future - wishful thinking at its best. Please don't ask me when such games will be released. Chances are, we will probably never see such games . . . not unless we start a petition going on what we'd like to see in future Star Ocean games. This is just a "for your information". It will also be vague so readers can infer their own ideas into what I'm suggesting. Thanks.

This would be a more difficult game to pull off, in my opinion. If I'm recalling correctly for Till the End of Time, the last "major" event to hit the universe was when the Twelve Wise Men set out to destroy the universe. At least, that's the summary given at Star Ocean wikia and in the strategy guide and game manual for Till the End of Time.

However, I think it could be pulled off if done correctly. The Last Hope was the universal threat never told. The same idea could apply to events taking place seventy-years before Till the End of Time and it could demonstrate whether or not changes should be made to the UP3. The pact has been in place for over seven hundred years. I personally wonder if any changes at all have been made to it or if it's been left in its original form since its inception.

A game like this would definitely give people new planets to explore, which is something Star Ocean fans adore. I know I mentioned it before, returns to Aeos and Lemuris, and, if not utilized in another game concept, the returns could happen here. I'd also like to see a break away from some of the usual cast of fighters. A swordsman is definitely in order - what would Star Ocean be without a swordsman in the group? - but a variety of swordsmen, i.e. ranger or ninja, etc . . ., would be interesting. Summoners would be a nice addition to the symbologists category. (We have Lymle in The Last Hope, but she has only one creature at her disposal.) Thieves and bards would be nice to have in the cast of playable cast. A change in how skills are learned would be unique, I like the Crystarium in Final Fantasy XIII as a new way to attain new skills and cross skill sets. That's just something in my mind, though.

While I didn't mention it in some of my other Game Talks, I'd like to see longer game play and more in-depth look at the characters. I don't like to have completed nearly 100% of my game in under thirty hours. It isn't challenging for me. I realize I'm probably one of a few people who are like that, but, as much as I love Till the End of Time and The Last Hope, a lot of my play time is from me running around, filling side quests (The Last Hope), leveling up my characters, and spending time in the optional dungeons. I don't mind new enemies appearing in the optional dungeons after defeating the game, but I don't think the challenges presented in them should be limited to those areas.

Of course, in the optional, post-game dungeons, fighting Gabriel Celesta and the Ethereal Queen are musts for the games I've mentioned in this little series of mine. I can't imagine post-game dungeons without them. Seeing Lenneth would be fun, too . . .

And that's this week's game talk. I'll try to carry it up to a total of thirteen games, to put it on par with the Final Fantasy series. We'll see what I can come up with in the process.

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Halloween and Halloween-like Holidays on Underdeveloped Planets

Halloween has been around on Earth for many centuries. It hasn't always been referred to as Halloween. When the customs surrounding the holiday began, it was referred to as All Hallow's Eve or Samhain. To this day, it's believed that, at the end of October/beginning of November, the veil between the spirit world and world of the living is at its thinnest. The souls of the dead can cross over to visit loved ones.

It isn't too far of a stretch to believe that, on an underdeveloped planet such as Elicoor II and Roak, a holiday similar to Halloween would exist. Belief in the supernatural and paranormal, especially on planets where symbology is common and used for military and healing applications, would be more than abundant among the population and respected. Even as the use of technology increases and more about the natural world is learned, it would still be hard for someone to denounce the customs that surround the Halloween-like holiday.

What such holidays would be called, I'm not entirely sure. One, it depends on the language of the culture in question and the planet as to what the holiday's name would be. How and when the holiday is observed also plays a factor as well as the beliefs surrounding what the supernatural and paranormal creatures that visit would do with the living. It could be similar to Halloween, All Hallow's Eve, or Samhain, or it could be something completely different. For this, it comes down to what the fan wants to do.

As for customs for the holiday in question, I believe there would be customs similar to carving gourds and wearing costumes in order to "confuse" the spirits of the dead and demons. That's something I feel would be universal, that fear of being snatched away in the night by some dark, evil creature . . .

It would be interesting to see how these holidays would compare, collide, mix, match, and clash with traditions we have on Earth.

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Birthday Reminders

October 27 (assigned by me) - Stephen D. Kenny
October 30 (assigned by me) - Albel Nox
November 5 (official) - Myuria Tionysus

Accepting fan art, fanfiction, and poetry for these characters. Please submit everything to me by midnight the previous nights via email: luthersfayt@gmail.com

And that's all for this Thursday. Until tomorrow . . .
star_ocean_fan: (lutherxfayt)
 Here is this week's upcoming schedule for topics. I'm leaving a few things open.



And that's this upcoming week's schedule! If there's anything you'd like to see, please let me know and I will do my best to accommodate you.

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Ask the Star Ocean Character Reminder - Deputy Director Shimada, Bacchus D-79, and Peppita Rosetti

I'm doing a triple threat on Ask the Star Ocean Character. Taking questions for the following characters of Deputy Director Shimada, Bacchus D-79, and Peppita Rosetti. Questions can be submitted between now and midnight, October 31, 2012. Limit three questions per character per person, and keep the questions clean of vulgarity and sex talk. I will not use any questions submitted if the person is swearing at the character. Yes, I do realize that this is a fictional universe. There is swearing and sexual situations implied, but I do not tag very many things as containing adult content for this journal. It means anyone of any age can read it. I hate to sound mean about this, but I want to keep this as clean and inoffensive for everyone as much as possible. I don't care if you dislike the character and the question reflects that, but I do care if you use foul language to demonstrate it. I want this to be fun for everyone, not a select few.

Thank you for your understanding. As always, you can submit questions via comment, PM, or email (luthersfayt@gmail.com). The only other requirement is that you let me know what kind of name you wish for me to use or if you wish to remain anonymous. Thanks again!

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Official Star Ocean Character November Birthday Announcement

Because someone at Square Enix was gracious enough to give Bradley Games the information, we have a birthday coming up next month for Myuria Tionysus. Novermber 5 is her birthday. Starting today, I'm accepting fan poetry, one-shots, and art to celebrate. All submissions must be emailed to me at luthersfayt@gmail.com no later than midnight November 4, 2012.

Like with Halloween, this isn't a contest. The only thing I could offer up as a prize for anyone for submitting the "best" is a one-shot based on what the winner wants to see in a story, and I'd have no guarantees as to when I could get the story written. I'd rather it just be a celebratory display for a beloved character and nothing more. If I hold a contest, I want to be able to give out cool and unique items. I do hope to be able to host contests in the near future, though, so please stay tuned!

In a similar vein as Ask the Star Ocean Character, all fan works must be considered work and school "safe". Profanity in stories should be kept to a minimum and sexually explicit material will not be accepted. At all.

This also goes for Star Ocean Halloween fanfiction and poetry. Please, when submitting any Star Ocean fiction of any kind, include the following:
Story Title
World (for everything but birthdays)
Rating
Pairing, ONLY if applicable
Warnings, if any
A Disclaimer
A Claimer on OCs
Author's Notes, if any

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Impromptu October Birthday List

This list will only cover from today until October 31 and pretty much the NPCs from The Last Hope and characters from Till the End of Time. I've asked Kojika to help me compile a list of the playable characters and memorable villains and NPCs from First Departure and Second Story/Second Evolution. It is my goal to have a complete birthdays list that I may have to eventually change. Hehehehe.

Anyway, these are the impromptu birthdays that I will be celebrating on this blog. All fellow Star Ocean fans are welcome to join me and submit fan art, poetry, and one-shot fiction. Suggested format for fiction is under Myuria's birthday, and the same rules do apply.

Robert Leingod - October 24
Stephen D. Kenny - October 27
Albel Nox - October 30

Submissions will be accepted until midnight the day before the "celebration" commences. I know it's very impromptu and very short notice. I hope to get the list compiled faster in advance so everyone has a better chance to write/draw something.

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Merchandise Announcement

Sadly, no, this doesn't mean what everyone thinks and hopes it means. There is no new official Star Ocean merchandise - I checked. The announement I'm making has more to do with the old merchandise that was released in years past and how I plan to proceed in letting everyone know what there is. Here is the deal:

As I buy the official merchandise release for each game, once I have enough, I'll take pictures of what I have and post them to share. I know I've asked for other people to send me their lists (missnox, you, tri-ace super fan, and Charry are life savers on that) and for pictures as well . . . I'm still accepting photos and lists from anyone who wants to submit them (lists should be submitted via PM or email ONLY whereas photos should be submitted to me via email or links only), but I'm going to wait to post what's available until I have it in my hands. This will be the procession:

Games and their Strategy Guides
- already listed in the January 31, 2012, entry, but I'll start over. Once I have my hands on Second Story for the PlayStation One, Blue Sphere for the Nintendo Gameboy, and The Last Hope for the XBox360, I'll repost the games list along with the picture of the games. Yes. One picture. The same will apply to the strategy guides, including my new very beat-up guide for The Last Hope.

Additonal Books
- This will not include manga or doujinshi, but the variants for the strategy guides in Japanese and art books. I know what's available and what I can find on eBay and yahoo! auctions. I will be working on it. This will probably be ongoing due to the number of variant Japanese strategy guides for Till the End of Time and The Last Hope.

Manga
- The only game that hasn't had a manga released for it was The Last Hope. Second Story/Second Evolution, from what I've been able to gather, has enjoyed a few different releases with cover variants. There is also supposedly an English version of the Till the End of Time manga. I want to get my hands on that. Once I have all of them, the pictures will be posted.

Anime
- One game has been turned into an anime. Once I have all of the DVDs, the pictures will be posted.

Figures
- These will appear once collections are completed.

CDs
- These will be listed, along with track titles, once my music collection is completed.

Miscellaneous Merchandise
- From what I've learned in talking with tri ace super fan (I don't know if she has an LJ or not, but that's how I know her), of the games, Second Story and Till the End of Time enjoyed great popularity in Japan so there's a plethora of merchandise out there, from cardboard standees, posters, and keychains to trading cards and other unusual items (she had a picture of a Peppita alarm clock up on her site). This will also include the themed console covers released.

Unofficial Merchandise

Doujinshi
- Expect this to be forever ongoing. eBay doesn't even cover half of what's been released in Japan

Plushies and other hand-crafted Items
- I have found people with commissioned Fayt and Albel plushies. I even know of someone who crafted a Fayt and Albel plushie set for herself. Charry has done some work with clay as well as sewn a Star Ocean bunny and her own Albel plushie. missnox designed her own coffee mug, I do believe. Fans are crafty individuals. I'll find what I can and ask for permission to post who's done what plus try my hand at creating my own Star Ocean merchandise. Be afraid. Be very afraid. :)

Bootleg Items
- Basically, this will be whatever I've bought on eBay that's come from China, Korea, or Taiwan. It looks official, but chances are it probably isn't official. We may never know.

And this concludes Sunday's entry. Hope everyone has enjoyed a safe and wonderful weekend!
star_ocean_fan: (Edge Maverick)
Personal Update:

I believe I did very well in yesterday's interview. I was very excited for it, and it was obvious to the lady who interviewed me. However, there is one more hurdle, if you will, before I will know whether or not I have the job. It's a second interview, and I've not received any calls about it just yet. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I will post on it when it happens. However, if I don't get the job, I won't be too terribly disappointed. Because I felt I did very well yesterday, it's given me the courage to continue seeking work and the confidence to know I won't blunder terribly in any future interviews.

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Star Ocean - Universal Economics

I can't help myself on this one. Well, I'm sure I could . . . I just really want to refrain from talking about economics . . . but the idea behind universal economics is a very interesting one to me. (It's also taking Star Ocean for me to get on the subject, as opposed to Star Trek, which also follows a post World War III universe. Then again, economics doesn't really come into play much in Star Trek so . . .)

Anyway, with the current political focus on economics and how uncertain things still are, it sparked a notion into my head. What would the impact of exchanging, not only ideas and cultures with alien races be like, but economic trade as well? Earth would definitely have food stuffs, like blueberries* and blackberries, and cultural ideas that would be foreign to someone not from this planet.

For example, how easy would it be to get an alien from Eldar or Morphus addicted to cheesecake? Or chocolate? Coffee? A chai latte? Then there's social media. Would the Eldarians and Morphus have such a thing? Could you imagine how popular Eldarian and Morphus music and food would be on Earth and vice versa?

All of this, of course, would boost Earth's economy and the economies for the alien races. There would be a period of great economic prosperity, and it would continue so long as more planets and alien races that are on par with Earth's technology level are discovered.

Let's not be fooled that the prosperity could last long. If the new planets aren't discovered, if new alien races don't establish trade with us, the prosperity will dip, and the planets involved would see recessions and depressions. Let's not forget what could happen if war breaks out between planets. Everything that affects our local economies would affect a universal economy.

This is a very exciting thought line for me. It makes me wish I could live long enough to see planetary exploration, colonization, and alien trade economies put into place.

* - Blueberries are native to the North American continent. My theory on how the Eldarians and Morphus could start replicating them is that they discovered the fruits when talking with humans, liked them enough to find out how to reproduce them and voila! Blueberries on Aeos and En II. As for Roak, they could be native to certain areas on the Astralian continent and are blueberry-like enough for offworlders to call them blueberries. I think it's strange and cool that the Japanese chose blueberries as a restorative item

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Gonna try something for Election Year . . . I need to work it out, though, and get some information established about the two candidates. Yes, this is a fictional election that happens to coincide with an actual election year. I think everyone will know who the candidates running will be. If you'd like to venture a guess, please leave me a comment. I'd love to hear what other people think I'm going to do.

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Second Call for Ask the Star Ocean Character - Deputy Director Shimada, Bacchus D-79, and Peppita Rosettii

This is the second call for Ask the Star Ocean Character. I'm taking questions for three characters, to get myself back on track. Once again, here are the rules:

Rules for Ask the Star Ocean character:

1 - Questions must be submitted no later than the date posted at the end of each chapter. Questions can be submitted via comment, private message, or email ( luthersfayt@gmail.com).

2 - Limit three questions per person.

3 - Keep the language clean of profanities and from a bunch of dirty talk. While it's fun to mention the things that happen in the games, it's something else entirely to be vulgar and obscene.

4 - Let me know if you want me to use your current user ID, a different user ID, or if you wish to remain anonymous entirely. If you don't let me know, I'll use whatever name you've used to review, PM, or email me with.

5 - Have fun! The questions can be as silly or as serious as you'd like.

Again, the questions are for Deputy Director Shimada, Bacchus D-79, and  Peppita Rosetti. Questions will be taken until midnight October 31, 2012.

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Dream Houses, Part Three - Sophia Esteed

I think this will be the second to last time I write Dream Houses as a separate entry.  I'm beginning to feel that is something that would go well with the character studies and Ask the Star Ocean Characters. I say second to last because I've written four Ask the Star Ocean Character segments and four character studies. 

Anyway, onward with this week's Dream Houses segment. This week, I'm taking a look at what heroine Sophia Esteed from Till the End of Time would want in her dream house.

It would be a grand two story home, almost like a sprawling mansion. Sophia dreams of being treated like a princess by the one she sees as her knight, who is Fayt. In my mind, it stands to reason she'd want a house to reflect with that innocent grandeur. It wouldn't be too big of a a mansion, but it'd be large enough for about three or four children, the husband she dreams about, and to house their respective parents and grandparents. There would also be plenty of guest rooms and the like for friends who come to visit. There would also be an attic, a basement and a separate storage cellar on the grounds for her to store things like holiday decorations.

The upper floor of her home would be where the bedrooms are. Some two story homes have bedrooms on both floors. Sophia would keep them separate. I don't know why. I just think it's something she'd do. Most of  the bedrooms would be around the same size with a couple of bathrooms for people to use, except for the master bedroom. The master bedroom would border on ostentatious. The adjoining master bathroom would make any peasant or noble woman on Elicoor II jealous. The tub would be heart or seashell shaped . . . something that would make a girl with a "pink" personality feel pretty.

As for the main level, it would definitely be grand on the inside. I think Sophia and Reimi would be very much on par with what the lower floor would contain: a large and spacious kitchen for cooking, a food pantry, and an adjoining bathroom; parlor to entertain guests, a dining room with a large table and tables fit for a king, a recreational room (because if she's married to Fayt, she's going to want to keep him happy some of the time by having his favorite video games on hand), and a family room. Each would be large enough to hold twenty people, or more, in the case of the parlor and dining rooms. The walls would be filled with family portraits and classic paintings.

And it would be painted in various shades of pink and white, with the exception of the recreational room and the bedrooms. Yes. I can even see the exterior painted pink. Not an obnoxious shade of pink but pink all the same. The grounds would be sprawling, filled with flowers and cat statues.

This concludes Sophia's Dream House. segment Since she's very similar to Reimi, it wasn't too terribly hard to come up with how things would look in her home. I hope you enjoyed.

Next Dream House segment will feature Meracle and what she would want if she wasn't living with Lady Eleyna at the end.

Happy Hump Day, everyone!
star_ocean_fan: (Immoral Feather)
I apologize for that. I've had a lot on my mind lately, most of it centering on writing original material, some health issues, and searching for work. I don't like being limited to talking about two games for Star Ocean when there are four major games and one side game (Blue Sphere for the Gameboy). Oddly enough, for me to be able to talk about the first two games (and possibly Blue Sphere), to start on the cosplay, ball-joined doll, and crafts I want to do, collect the merchandise and doujinshi . . .  all of this requires money, of which I have very little right now.

So some updates on me:

1 - I'm obviously still broke so that takes YoumaCon out of the picture for me this year and possibly Anime Apocalypse in December. Anime Apocalypse is going to be on a "maybe" list - it depends on what happens between now and the first of December in terms of a cash flow. I really do want to get back into the convention circuits so I can meet new people and catch up with friends. However, the lack of cash coming in is hindering that, and there are some other things taking priority over heading out to conventions. That could be changing soon. I received a phone call for a job interview today so I'm crossing my fingers!

2 - Health status: I'm still alive, still relatively healthy. I just now have to watch my caffeine intake and take a water pill due to my blood pressure running on the high side. I really should start taking my healthy living cues from Fayt. He's such a healthy, albeit fictional character. I think we could learn a thing or two from some of our favorite characters . . .

3 - There has been some tragedy in my family. I'm not going into details about it. Just know it was a sad time for one of my family members, and it's the kind of thing I don't ever wish on anyone.

4 - Writing progress is questionable. It depends on the story. That could change, depending on how the job interview for tomorrow goes. Yes. I am crossing my fingers that this pans out for me. The heavens above know I could use something to keep myself going. (Not working sucks. I realize I'm looking at a minimum wage job, but I don't care. Work is work.)

Beyond that, not much is new. I have no other reasons for not updating this journal regularly.

So onward with the entry! 

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Writing Conversation - What Would Everyone Dress Up as For Halloween? Part One

In the spirit of the upcoming holiday of Halloween, I'll be writing a four-part series on what I think the humans of the Star Ocean universe would dress up as to go trick-or-treating. Some of it will be guesswork, since I still haven't played First Departure and Second Story/Second Evolution, but I will pose the question to Kojika, who has played the games. If you have thoughts, please feel free to leave me a comment on what you think and why.

First of all, I'd like to say that, on the subject of Halloween, it is a holiday I think would survive in a post-apocalyptic world. It's something that, by this point in time, people will have celebrated for at least a century and more than a few decades. It would bring about a sense of normalcy after such a great deal of catastrophic destruction. Whether people would remember why the holiday is celebrated is another subject entirely.

To start, I'll be writing in the series' timeline chronological order, not in publishing chronological order. (This gives me something to actually start with since I'm familiar with the characters of The Last Hope.)

Halloween would be, in the future, like it is now - a fun time of the year that signifies change and is one of the few times where it's socially acceptable to dress up as something else. (Conventions are excluded because not all people believe it's okay to dress up for such a thing. I know a couple of people who are like that. Only the dedicated dress up year-round.) It would also be the one time of the year where people could forget about their troubles.

Since they grew up together, it isn't hard to imagine Crowe, Edge, and Reimi along with her brother trick-or-treating as a group. What would be interesting to see is if they would be coordinated in their costumes. Would Reimi insist upon a theme or would they be random? I can't see Crowe and Edge (mostly Edge) always agreeing to be what Reimi wants them to be for Halloween.

And just what do I think Reimi would want to dress up as for Halloween? A couple of costumes come to mind. If any of the Disney movies are still available, I can see Reimi wanting to be one of the many princesses, from Snow White to Ariel, from Aurora to Belle, and everyone else who she would see as beautiful, strong, independent, and pure. (Remember fellow fans, she thinks she's a monster because she knows what she is.) If not a Disney princess, then a fairy tale princess of some kind. Anything that would make her feel beautiful about herself, albeit if only temporarily.

Heading down the non-princess route, there are also the bride, bridesmaid, flower girl, housewife, chef, and maybe a delicate fairy or a ballerina. Reimi is quite the girl - feminine, pink, frilly, cute - and, as I said before, it would come down to her wanting to feel beautiful about herself. Costumes at Halloween would reflect that.

Between Edge and Crowe, I feel like Crowe would be the one more likely to accommodate Reimi in her requests for themed trick-or-treating. In my mind, it would depend on how soon he knows about being a Seed of Hope and if he knows. That's the one thing, for me, that remains up in the air, only because Crowe remained as an NPC throughout the whole game. I'm leaning towards "yes" because he's got such an excellent poker face, but it'll be unclear  and up to the player in that regard. However, I think he'd only accommodate Reimi so far based upon what he knows. Crowe is very much a leader-type character, and it would most definitely reflect in his Halloween costumes. With dreams of heading into space, that, too, would play a factor in the kinds of costumes Crowe (and Edge). Crowe definitely sees himself as some kind of a hero, but he's also quite modest about it.

Both Edge and Crowe would be Reimi's knights in the times they accommodate her for themed Halloween costumes. I can also imagine both of them dressing up as ninjas, samurai, archeologists, adventurers, pirates (what little boy doesn't want to be a pirate for Halloween? What little girl, for that matter, too?), and any kind of modern military soldier (including rank). There might be some of the cutesy stuff in there because of their parents - pumpkins, ghosts . . . typical Halloween fare - but, of the two, I think the only one who would want to dress up as something "evil", for the fun of it, would be Crowe. He's got vampire written all over him!

So what would our intrepid heroes and heroine receive as Halloween treats? Companies like Hershey's, Nestle', M&M/Mars, and Brach's are no longer in business. What would people hand out for the youngsters out and about on Halloween night? Well, if the building in Antarctica survives (it contains the seeds for all fruits and vegetables as well as herbs, grasses, and the like), I can see people giving out fruits like apples, oranges, bananas, pears, and plums. There would also be homemade caramel corn, popcorn, popcorn balls in a variety of flavors, cookies, cupcakes, and homemade candies.

As for the non-human characters, if they were to visit Earth, they wouldn't need to dress up for Halloween because everyone would think they were already in costume. The discussion for how Edge and Reimi would explain the concept of Halloween will be another entry.

Kinds of costumes and treats are definitely open to discussion. Feel free to leave me a comment on what you think.

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Writing Fanfiction Tip #7 - Write in a Logical Order And Use Logic

I recently wrote a review on a story where certain events didn't follow in a logical order. In the story, a new parent, a recently divorced dad, has moved, with his two-year-old son, to a new town. While the dad is trying to cook Ragu and pasta, the son goes outside to play, and he finds a kitten. Like a two-year-old, the boy takes the kitten back into the house, and the dad wonders where his son found the critter. This, naturally, leads to the dad asking the boy where the kitten was found and to the discovery of a dead mother cat with the rest of the litter still alive. Concerned over the kittens, the dad takes them to a local vet to find out what he needs to do in order to keep them alive. Cue the dad heading home, finishing dinner, giving his son a bath, putting the child to bed, and then heading to the pet store with the two-year-old left home alone.

This isn't a logical procession in events. Everything is okay until the dad returns home, finishes preparing dinner, and gives his child a bath so he can go to bed. It's after the child is in bed that he realizes he needs supplies for the cats in his care. Of course, my biggest problem with the procession of events is the fact a two-year-old is left unattended for at least twenty minutes as the parent rushes to the pet store with one of the kittens in tow. For someone who is a parent or who has helped to take care of young children, this is a major no-no and likely to offend and anger the person reading. It's also going to have the reader scratching his/her head, saying, "This doesn't make sense. No parent would leave a two-year-old, even sleeping, home alone. Too much can go wrong in a short amount of time". It doesn't matter if a person can be scatter-brained at times. People in real life have those moments, but I can speak with authority that a "new" parent or a single parent isn't going to leave any child under the age of 12 home alone.

And that's something a writer, any writer, must always be aware of whenever starting a story. What kind of a logical order will events take place? In the story I reviewed, for me, the logical order of events, after the trip to the vet, the dad should have gone to the pet store to get the necessary supplies, with his son in tow, after the trip to the vet or at least take his sleeping son with him when he left to get the supplies. What this tells me, as a reader and as someone who's lived with a two-year-old, that the writer of the story doesn't know what she's talking about when it comes to children and the various things that can go wrong if a parent takes his eyes off his son for a scant minute. (Note: a two-year-old can drown in a bucket of water only a quarter filled in under two minutes.)

Now, it might seem mundane and more than a little nitpicky on a logical procession of events, especially over something as simple as heading to the store. Sometimes authors will try to do something that will create a conflict or add to a conflict, but it comes at the wrong point in the story or it isn't exactly true to how a person in a similar, real life situation might behave.

Here are two examples.

Character A is an experienced bank robber and is planning his next heist. Like anyone who's attempting or has attempted the same thing, he doesn't want to get caught, and he takes the necessary precautions he's always taken before. The character in question isn't going to walk into the bank, guns ablazing and then remember to put the mask on his face to conceal his identity in the middle of the crime. Yes, doing such a thing would create a problem for him, but it would be more interesting if he happened to walk into the bank for some other reason than robbery and be caught in the middle of another robbery.

Character B is a firefighter and needs to check her equipment to be sure it's functioning properly. She isn't going to gear up, run into a place that's on fire, and then stop to ask herself if she's got enough oxygen in her tank onceshe's entered a burning building.

If you've never been in a particular situation before but want to write about it, start asking questions. If you're writing about a man who's married, a parent, but is going through a divorce, ask someone who's gone through a divorce what it was like. If you're curious about police procedures, ask your local cops or utilize a search engine. Fanfiction is something that's free for anyone who has internet access to read. If you're not getting it right, you're going to lose a reader and end up with the kind of review that I left for the author of the story with the dad and the son and the new acquisition of kittens - not a very nice one.

It's just something to think about when you start writing.

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Halloween

I'm looking for Halloween photos, artwork, fanfiction, and fan poetry for display. Photos can be of Star Ocean carved pumpkins, figures with Halloween decorations, and the like. Cosplay is definitely welcome. The only requirements are the works must be themed for Halloween and must be related to Star Ocean (obviously). Fanfiction should be limited to one-shots and vignettes, but I will accept multi-chaptered stories so long as they're complete. They can be submitted to me at luthersfayt@gmail.com and I'll accept submissions until October 30th.

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Doujinshi Call Out

Looking for doujinshi titles. Pairings doesn't matter. Rating doesn't matter. I'm trying to compile a list of all Star Ocean doujinshi. Any and all help is appreciated. You can PM me, leave me a comment, or email me what you've got.

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Convention Talk - Creating Your Cosplay

Finally! The long-awaited topic of how to create your cosplay is finally here! I know. It took me long enough, didn't it?

First of all and foremost, to start with, the most obvious thing to do if you're going to create your own cosplay is pick your character. The type of character you choose, from what I've been able to discern from others, will determine the the type and costs of materials you'll need in order to create the costume. Are you choosing Sophia? Albel? Nel? Reimi? Claude? Crowe? Arumat? Bacchus?

Once you've answered that question (and, chances are, you already know this in advance), then you can answer the question of what kinds of materials do I need to buy or will I need to buy? Will I need to find a sewing pattern? Naturally, if you're going to be sewing, you'll need fabric and thread to match the color. Other materials include vinyl (or leather, though it was recommended to me to avoid leather), plastic canvas, craft foam, paint, paint brushes, sewing needles, yarn, knitting needles or a knitting loom, embroidery thread, and maybe an empty two-liter bottle. This last item is completely dependent upon which character you intend to cosplay, and everything listed is just for the outfits of the characters. If you plan on creating the weapons to go with your cosplay, you'll definitely need additional materials, i.e. wood, sand paper, maybe cardboard, and additional paint, perhaps even craft foam and plastic canvas. (Wood and cardboard are tricky to work with because, once you screw up, you have to buy more and start from scratch.)

Please remember to take caution when you're buying the materials to craft your cosplay. The overall idea is to make something that you can wear more than once and maybe outside of conventions, too. When it comes to materials, you get what you pay for in terms of quality, and I'm not talking about the vinyl or the plastic canvas. I'm talking about the fabric and thread used to create the base of the outfit. Keep an eye out for sales at your local fabrics store. Yes, for many Americans, it's cheaper to go to Wal-Mart than to some place that actually sells a larger (and decidedly more expensive) selection of fabric, but your local fabric stores do have sales. They do also offer up coupons and additional percentages off. Be smart about buying your materials. Go for quality but get it as cheaply as you can, when you can. If you plan on creating more than just one cosplay, it isn't a bad idea to stock up on materials

Now there are some things you may not or just won't be able to make. For example, let's say you're creating Albel Nox (once again). You've bought the wig and the right kind of foot wear, have the materials to sew his outfit, it's done, but you don't have the materials for his gauntlet (nor the time, the money, or maybe even the know-how to fashion them before the convention). How do you come up with that one crucial element that separates Albel from the rest of the Star Ocean gang?

You can start by checking your local boutiques for arm-length gloves either white or violet. If you can find a white pair that covers as much of your arm as needed, you can find the right color dye so that it looks appropriate. And don't forget that, for Albel and Sophia, thigh-length stockings are in order, too. Kojika, for her Claude cosplay, found moon shoes to fit her for an appropriate look.

All of this, of course, is only necessary if you plan making your own cosplay for your next convention and is what I've learned in talking with the experienced cosplayers I know (whom I'm also very proud to call my friends). If you're buying the materials so someone else can create the costume for you, talk to that person and find out what they need and how much of it so they can do just that for you. If you plan on heading to one of the many cosplay costume sights on the web, then the best advice I can give to you is to do your research on customer satisfaction. How well did the company craft the cosplay for others? Would the customers recommend the site again? Remember, it's your money that you're spending, and I guarantee that you'll have a ball at your next convention.

Next convention talk . . . to be determined.

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Ask the Star Ocean Character Call Out, Triple the Fun: Deputy Director Shimada, Bacchus D-79, and Peppita Rosetti

Taking questions for the following characters: Deputy Director Shimada, Bacchus D-79, and Peppita Rosetti. Questions can be submitted via PM, comment or email. The only rules are a limit of three questions per character, keep it clean and "polite", and the questions must be submitted by PM, comment, or email. I'll be taking questions until midnight of October 31, 2012.

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Okay, there are some things I need to do yet for Deputy Director Shimada (like get his character study written as well) so . . . I'm doubling up on the upcoming Ask the Star Ocean Character segment. Taking questions for both Bacchus D-79 and Deputy Director Shimada. There will be two separate entries on September 21.

Limit three questions per person per character.

Keep it clean.

Give me a user ID you'd like for me to use or let me know if you wish to remain anonymous. Otherwise, I will use whatever name I know you as.

I have nothing else for today.

star_ocean_fan: (Edge Maverick)
Today is the final call for Ask the Star Ocean Character - Deputy Director Shimada. Please submit any questions you might have (and the user ID you want me to use or if you want to remain "anonymous") via the comments system, PM, or email at luthersfayt@gmail.com. All questions must be submitted by midnight tomorrow night. Limit yourselves to three questions please. Thanks!

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Wondering . . .

Indeed, I wonder a great many things. Some of this is inspired by the series, Hetalia: World Series. If you've seen it, great. If not, check it out for yourselves and decide whether or not you like it.

Anyway, as many players of The Last Hope know, the opening scenes for the game are that of World War III and its aftermath on the planet and the human race. Every event in the opening scene moves along at a slightly quick pace so that we can start the game and begin the adventure of exploring the universe. Thanks to my delving into the Hetalia fandom, I can't help but wonder about the following:

What happens to the nations?

I'm not talking about the nations as characters, I'm referring to the actual nations, the ones we live in, call home, and give us a sense of identity. The first bomb the game shows razes the land, wiping out people, technology, and landmarks in the process. Will Europe, Russia, Japan, and America still even exist? I do believe, if certain comments made later in the game are to be accurate, everything becomes one in terms of politics (I'll write about that tomorrow; not even going to try and play catch-up at this moment but rather just try and resume). The people of Earth do unite to create one form of political system, and it's based off of what the U.S. has been doing since we won our independence from Great Britain.

One thing I'm sure of that survives in terms of cultural identity is that of food. In Till the End of Time, there are umai-bos, tortes, durians, stews, and cakes. In The Last Hope, there are pastas and fish and beef platters. (Oddly enough, when you can first buy uncooked pasta, it's from an Eldarian store on Aeos . . .)

Beyond the food, I'm not entirely sure what does survive when it comes to the cultural identities of the nations. I really am not, and I find it curious as to what could and would survive a nuclear holocaust.

I present the question to my fellow Star Ocean fans:

What do you think happens to the countries after World War III?
 

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In Memorandum

Eleven years ago today, the United States of America was struck with one of the worst tragedies since the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December of 1945 - four planes in total crashed, each hijacked by terrorists. As everyone remembers, two of the planes hit the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The third plane hit the Pentagon while the fourth crashed in a field in the Pennsylvania countryside. Over three thousand lives were lost in those dark moments and for the following week, this great nation was plunged into chaos.

If the history of the world is the history of the Star Ocean universe (which, it is), then it is entirely possible that this tragic event has played a factor in the series' World War III/post-apocalypse setting. The real world is still in chaos, and, while we're still completely aware of what a nuclear war can do to our planet, it doesn't necessarily mean that our politicians are smart enough to keep on avoiding it. While the first two games were released before the events of 9/11, Till the End of Time was released not too long afterwards . . . 2002 or 2003 (and I didn't get to play until 2004/2005).

This event, while it happened in the U.S., isn't just a tragedy for one nation. It's a tragedy for all nations. American lives weren't the only ones lost when the towers fell. It was called the World Trade Center for a reason, my friends. People from various nations worked there, and people from various nations died that day. We shouldn't ever forget that it wasn't just one nation affected by acts of terrorism. It was many nations.

For those who died not knowing what the day was going to bring, for those who died trying to save the lives of others, and for those who survived and will always live with nightmares, this is for you. We love you, and we will never forget what happened.



star_ocean_fan: (Star Ocean 3 game cover)
Second call for Ask the Star Ocean Character - Deputy Director Shimada.

To resume Ask the Star Ocean Character, first up for September will be Deputy Director Shimada. I know I tried to get it done over the summer, but time just wasn't allowing for it (plus no questions were asked - kind of hard to write out the segment when I have no questions but my own to answer . . . and not as much fun, either). Here are the rules, for those of you who've forgotten or just joined me on this.

1 - Limit yourself to three questions.

Why only three questions and not more? One, there is a space limit (believe it or not) for the host site. Two, three allows more than one person to get in a series of questions. (Original limit was one - depending on how popular this becomes, it could go back to a limit of one.)

2 - Questions must be submitted no later than Wednesday night at midnight.

By this, I mean, the questions must be submitted the Wednesday before the Ask the Star Ocean Character segment takes place. In this case, Ask the Star Ocean Character will resume next Friday (September 14, 2012) so questions must be submitted by midnight next Wednesday (September 12, 2012). Questions can be submitted via PM, comments or email - luthersfayt@gmail.com

3 - Keep the language clean!

I don't care if you dislike the character. In fact, that will make it more interesting if you don't . . . but keep your language clean. I don't like people using cuss words when leaving me messages (or reviews). Plus, this is a public forum where anyone who's played the games can read and discuss all things Star Ocean. I'm not going to have my journal shut down because some parent stumbles upon it and sees other people using foul language. It might just be me being paranoid, but I'd rather not take any chances.

4 - Have fun!

Seriously, have fun in creating your questions. I know I have fun trying to get into the character's head to figure out how he or she will respond to the questions, which is a learning process for me.
star_ocean_fan: (ocean view)
I know I keep saying this, but I really am looking forward to getting myself a PSP and an original copy of Star Ocean: Second Story so I can just play the games. I really do want to get a feel for the characters in those games and for the NPCs that give the games their unique "flavor", as it were. (Plus, it'll give me more to write about in terms of characters, plot, setting, game reviews, Game Talk, and Ask the Star Ocean Character!)

In the meantime, I'll continue to work with what I've got - Till the End of Time, The Last Hope, and a copy of the original Star Ocean game that I can't play due to incompatibility issues with the cartridge and the system. (Funny story . . .) And what I've got is an array of women characters to study and analyze in both The Last Hope and Till the End of Time.

The first woman that entered my mind when I started to write this entry on the women of Star Ocean was Lady Eleyna, from The Last Hope and how I've not encountered any NPC female like her in Till the End of Time. Eleyna is snarky, rude, blunt in her thoughts, and more than confident in her own abilities as both a woman and a fortune-teller. When Edge and the party first step into her home, the first thing I, as the player, noticed was that it wasn't an ostentatious place. Quite the opposite - it's a two-story home with modest furnishings for someone who looks like she'd be a modest person. Eleyna is anything but modest. She's kind and she's cruel. I can imagine the King sitting in his castle, speaking with Eleyna, and the sputtering outrage from his advisers from her blunt words on the matters the King might seek advice that only a fortune-teller like her could provide. (The King, of course, would be taking it in stride and not at all worried by her behavior - his interactions with Sarah tell me as much.)

What I really like about Eleyna is that she's very much real in terms of how a strong, independent woman can be. The term many people would apply to her would be "bitch", but it's her upfront, borderline brutal honesty that is the push Edge needs to pull himself out of his pity party. Eleyna has that balance of beauty, intuition, and intelligence. She's also got the attitude she needs to ensure people don't take advantage of her. After all, if she didn't have the attitude, she wouldn't have been able to help Edge and friends save Sarah from death most assured.

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Ask the Star Ocean Character - Deputy Director Shimada

Here it is! The call for Ask the Star Ocean Character! At long last!!

To resume Ask the Star Ocean Character, first up for September will be Deputy Director Shimada. I know I tried to get it done over the summer, but time just wasn't allowing for it (plus no questions were asked - kind of hard to write out the segment when I have no questions but my own to answer . . . and not as much fun, either). Here are the rules, for those of you who've forgotten or just joined me on this.

1 - Limit yourself to three questions. 

Why only three questions and not more? One, there is a space limit (believe it or not) for the host site. Two, three allows more than one person to get in a series of questions. (Original limit was one - depending on how popular this becomes, it could go back to a limit of one.)

2 - Questions must be submitted no later than Wednesday night at midnight.

By this, I mean, the questions must be submitted the Wednesday before the Ask the Star Ocean Character segment takes place. In this case, Ask the Star Ocean Character will resume next Friday (September 14, 2012) so questions must be submitted by midnight next Wednesday (September 12, 2012). Questions can be submitted via PM, comments or email - luthersfayt@gmail.com

3 - Keep the language clean!

I don't care if you dislike the character. In fact, that will make it more interesting if you don't . . . but keep your language clean. I don't like people using cuss words when leaving me messages (or reviews). Plus, this is a public forum where anyone who's played the games can read and discuss all things Star Ocean. I'm not going to have my journal shut down because some parent stumbles upon it and sees other people using foul language. It might just be me being paranoid, but I'd rather not take any chances.

4 - Have fun!

Seriously, have fun in creating your questions. I know I have fun trying to get into the character's head to figure out how he or she will respond to the questions, which is a learning process for me.

I will post reminders on Saturday and Monday for Ask the Star Ocean Character. Don't worry. I won't let anyone forget! :)

Until the next time!!

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Well, I'm back from the long weekend. It was productive on a few different fronts, but I also have a short week ahead of me. I didn't get to play either Till the End of Time or The Last Hope, as I'd thought I'd do . . . which is okay. I still have a writing topic for today. That's better than what I had before the weekend started.

So first up is the call for the Ask the Star Ocean Character - Deputy Director Shimada. The rules for this are quite simple.

1 - They must be submitted by midnight tomorrow night. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Wednesday nights are the deadline.

2 - Limit of three questions per person.

3 - Keep the language clean. I don't care if you want to ask something that may "offend" the character, but offensive language will not be tolerated. The ages for Star Ocean fans vary.

4 - Let me know if you have a preferred user name or wish to remain "anonymous" for the segment. Otherwise, I will create a name for you.

Also, please let me note this: This particular segment isn't just how I see the characters. It's a chance for me to delve into their minds, to better understand them, and to pull myself out of a comfort zone when it comes to perceptions.

The character up for interviewing is Deputy Director Shimada, of the U.S.T.A. in The Last Hope.

The Ask the Star Ocean Character segment will appear on Friday, along with some facts about Deputy Director Shimada, and a character study. For those of you wondering about some of the more popular characters - Albel Nox, Fayt Leingod, Faize Sheifa Beleth, Arumat P. Thanatos, etc . . . - I'm saving them for further on, like after I've had the opportunity to play First Departure and Second Story/Second Evolution. I intend to cover every playable character from each game as well some of the NPCs, like Eleyna Farrence, Crowe F. Almedio, Robert Leingod, Ryoko Leingod, and some of the bosses, like Asmodeus, Luther Lansfeld, and the Sphere 211 employees. Depending on how well it goes over will determine on whether or not I repeat the process.

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Ask the Star Ocean Character: Deputy Director Shimada - FINAL CALL

Today is the final call for Ask the Star Ocean Character for Deputy Director Shimada. Everyone who's interested has until midnight tomorrow night to submit three questions.

I really don't have very many rules for Ask the Star Ocean Character . . . aside from keep your language clean, limit three questions per person, and that they be submitted before the deadline. If you want to remain "anonymous" or have specific user name you'd like for me to use, please let me know, or I will simply create a user ID for you.

Again, today is the final call for Ask the Star Ocean Character for Deputy Director Shimada. All questions must be submitted by midnight tomorrow night. Limit three questions per person.

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Convention Talk - The Art  and Costs of Cosplay

I pushed Convention Talk from yesterday to today because I wanted to delve into cosplaying, but I was running out of time at the computer.  I like having time to write. :)

First of all, I want to start out by saying it isn't mandatory to cosplay at a convention. I think that the decision to cosplay on the part of the attendee should also be up to the person in question. Cosplaying isn't exactly super expensive, but it also isn't super cheap, either, depending on the type of character the person has chosen. It can also be time consuming, again, depending upon the time of character chosen for the event and number of characters.

For example, if a Star Ocean fan has chosen to cosplay at an event, such as Otakon, there's the question of whether or not s/he wants to even choose a Star Ocean character. For the sake of the blog, I'll say that the person has chosen Star Ocean and has also chosen to cosplay as Albel Nox, not for the sake of simplicity but for the love of the character. After all, Albel Nox isn't going to be an easy character to create nor will he be cheap. An Albel Nox wig on eBay runs around $170.00 alone, if you're not fortunate enough to have hair long enough or similar in color to Albel's to pull it off. I'm sure there are other ways to get the hair situated for Albel Nox, such as buying two separate wigs and combining them. It might be cheaper to buy two or three separate wigs and the bindings used to give Albel those long tails.

After figuring out how to get the hair done, there is the rest of the costume and the question of how the cosplayer is going to proceed. There are companies and people that can be found who will put the costume together for the cosplayer. It can be done relatively cheaply, depending on the person/company contacted, and all the cosplayer needs to do is send in the measurements. This can actually be quite beneficial for the person who can't sew or is perhaps pressed for time when it comes to sewing. If you know someone in your immediate area or in your life who can sew, you might be able to get out of a little cheaper than finding a company through eBay or a google search, but remember, it will still cost, if only for the materials used. Also, Albel has that gauntlet that extends over his hand and fingers up to his shoulder. While the man skirt and crop top style shirt Albel wears won't be too much of a hassle to put together, I can only imagine what it would be like to assemble that gauntlet. (If this has sparked an interest to actually create an Albel costume, please find Kojika and Charryblossom on dA . . . they've created their own Albel costumes, and can tell a person better than what I could on how to create Albel Nox.)

Finally, to complete Albel is to create his twin katana blades. Getting them can be accomplished a couple of different ways. One - buy actual katanas and tie a white ribbon around the hilts and sheaths when at a convention. If the convention doesn't allow for real weapons (because you never really know), the other way is to make the blades one's self or commission someone to make them. While I've only seen the swords made from craft foam and plastic canvas, one can also use wood if s/he has a lot of patience, time, and determination. The craft foam and plastic canvas might be more forgiving than wood, but not by much, in my estimation. Like with the outfit and gauntlet for Albel, if you know someone who can craft the item better than what you can, don't hesitate to ask that person if s/he can do that for you.

When it comes to asking family and friends to help in the creation of a cosplay, be sure you know for sure if the person is capable at either sewing, accessory creation, or both. I have friends who can do both. I have friends who can't sew worth a smeg to save their lives, but they still come up with really cool cosplays.

Of course, there are other characters who won't necessarily be as time consuming in creating the outfits and weapons the way that Albel is. There are others who are more time consuming and perhaps more costly than what Albel is as well. Fayt Leingod won't ever be an easy one, due to his leg armor. Same goes for Edge Maverick, Bacchus D-79, Crowe, Arumat P. Thanatos, or anyone else who has a great deal of bulk to their outfits, unless you're going for a slight reinventing of the character, which, as long as you've got some of the necessities, shouldn't be too much of an issue. (But if you've chosen Albel, and Albel doesn't look like Albel, you've got a big problem.)

Along the same lines of difficulty, in my estimation, as Albel, I'd say Faize Sheifa Beleth, Luther Lansfeld*, Nel Zelpher, Reimi Saionji, Myuria Tionysus, Sarah Jerand**, Ioshua Jerand**, Eleyna Farrence, Meracle Chamlotte**, and, from what I've seen on dA for First Departure and Second Story/Second Evolution cosplay, Rena Lanford, Celine Jules, Precis, Ashton, and Ratix (Roddick) Farrence, Millie, and any other Lesser Fellpool.

For simpler costumes, Cliff, Mirage, Adray, Lymle, Illia, Ronyx, the Sphere 211 employees . . . basically anyone who doesn't have wings, tails, overly large ears, bulky armor, or any kind of bulk. Period.

* - Luther is here due to the amount of panels to his outfit. If it weren't more elaborate than the other Sphere 211 employees, I'd say it's simple but it isn't. Also, if you intend to do his hand-shaped wings . . . put him in the same group as Edge and Fayt. Those wings are insane!

** - These are characters that can easily bounce from time, cost, and difficulty in creating for one reason and one reason only - wings, tails, and ears. If you can buy them pre-made, they fall into the same category as Albel when it comes to creation. If you're making the wings and the tails, I'd bump them up into the same category as Fayt and Edge.

Naturally, if none of this truly interests you, that's quite all right. Not everyone is interested in cosplaying. Not everyone likes cosplaying. It's a personal preference. However, if you are interested in creating a cosplay, next week, I'll write about the kinds of materials you'll need to do so. This is from my own inquiries on the subject, and I'll be sure to ask my friends who've cosplayed for a good number of years about all of the kinds of materials needed.

Until next week!

* * * *

Tolerance for Others on Earth in the Future

At some point in the Star Ocean universe, there comes a certain amount of tolerance for those who are different from us. We see it in the characters as they interact with one another and with the various alien races they meet along the way. From the time we first meet Faize up to the moment we battle it out with Luther, we, as the players of Star Ocean, come across a wide variety of alien races, and the human race evolves along the journey.

But what does that mean for the human race? With the monumental knowledge that there is life beyond our planet, that there are exotic alien lifeforms on other planets, how does that change perceptions for the human race?

Based on what I've seen in the games, I believe civil rights have taken a very, very huge stride forward instead of backwards. In the efforts to rebuild after World War III, there might have been some throw-backs to the societal construct. How bad, I can't say. It's never really touched upon, but, given that the human race is moving forward in terms of technology and knowledge, I'd say the set-backs in the way people think and treat others is something that doesn't last.

So what do I think happens in this proverbial future of which Star Ocean offers us a potential glimpse? I definitely see more religious freedoms and the right to practice in the ways that bring us comfort and strength or to be atheists. I think that the human race comes to understand that, just because our religious practices are different, doesn't mean we need to try and kill each other in order to prove which one is the "right path". The introduction of any alien species might severely rattle the religious mindset of thousands of people anyway.

Civil rights would certainly become a thing of the past. I think about how, in twenty years, things will not be the same as they are now . . . and how those who are living in that time will look back to the current political trends and say, "What the heck was wrong with those people?" I believe that, in this future of Star Ocean, a person will be able to marry the love of his/her life. Everyone will be on the same footing as the other. Because if we can't learn to tolerate ourselves and our differences, we're going to become pungent to an alien race and become a pariah society to that race.
star_ocean_fan: (Albel Nox)
I've decided something. If Albel Nox were to have a facebook page, Mondays would probably not be his most favorite day of the week. Not saying he's lazy - far from it - but, up until he has the first cup of coffee in the morning, beware. Albel Nox is not pretty first thing in the morning.

(Luther, on the other hand, is a Monday person, a morning person, a "give me that coffee now" person, and a control freak. :))

That's my totally random thought for the day. Perhaps even for the week.

* * * *

Where Earth Stands Politically After World War III

I'm not someone who normally delves into politics. For the most part, I believe most politicians to be lying idiots who like to treat the general populace as nothing more than mere tools. Some aren't as bad as others, but it's just an overall feeling that I get.

I bring this up partially because the U.S. (my country) is revving up for another presidential election. Four years ago, it was a very brutal election. I mean, to me, there wasn't any particular candidate that I was excited for and wanted to see in office, and I don't think very many people were all that excited about the candidates. For many, like myself, it was a choice between the lesser of two evils. Now that it's a major election yet again in this country, it has me to thinking about the political face of Earth (overall) in the Star Ocean universe.

Cut for spoilers for The Last Hope )

* * * *

Fanfic Writing Tip #6 - Input from Readers

As a writer who's posted fiction to a fanfiction website, I can tell you there's something a little exciting about receiving constructive or positive input from a reader. Part of it is validation for the work you've put into the story. It stokes your ego to hear that someone loves your story. The other part of it is the thought of someone read my story. Constructive reviews can point out your weaknesses and help you to improve upon your strength. Reviews from readers can be inspiring. I personally love the kind of reviews where someone tells me I crafted such a well-written, emotional story, that it's put the reviewer in tears. And that person isn't prone to tearing up so easily. As a writer, I feel it is my duty to evoke some kind of emotion in the reader so those kinds of reviews let me know I've done what I've set out to do.

There is, however, a pitfall to receiving input from readers. For the beginning fanfiction author, be ware of the exuberant reader who gushes about loving your story and also starts offering up ideas on how to make it better. While finding ideas to inspire writing is always good, the source of the ideas isn't always good. This is in part because the reader in question, unintentionally, wants to make the story you've crafted as his/her own instead of taking the time to sit down and write a story. Such readers don't often realize that they can create an insecurity in the beginning author, which then leads to the author making some poor decisions when it comes to writing. Second-guessing yourself on what you need to do next isn't any fun, and it can take the fun out of writing.

Also, be ware of the fans who insist and persist on pushing their ideas on you. Gushing reviews with thoughts in the reviews on what you could do next are, in my opinion, rather innocent in nature and should be taken as such - suggestions to do with as you please. If the idea can spark a writing spree, it's always a good thing. (Be sure to thank the reviewer for sparking the idea, too.) However, some people want to talk to you personally, to offer up their ideas, and they're the ones who can become quite persistent. The ones who become persistent are the ones intentionally trying to take over your story.

Don't let them do that. My encouragement to fellow fanfiction authors is to trust their instincts on their ideas and on whether or not the story should be longer or stay a certain length. If you do feel that a reader is correct in an assessment, go with it. Just don't let anyone mess with your head.

To conclude this, I'm going to recommend that fanfiction authors do the following.

1 - When offered up ideas in a review, check the reader's profile. If there aren't any stories listed under the name, consider that a red flag. While the gushing nature of the review might be nice, I personally find it a tad insulting to get ideas from a person who either hasn't written a story or has but is too scared to publish it. If it's a red flag for you, be polite and decline the use of the ideas. If there are stories, be it one or two hundred, it isn't so much of a red flag for me. I can at least respect the fact that the person has taken the risk of not only writing but publishing.

2 - This ties in with checking a reader's profile. If the reader has published stories as well, don't just rely on the reviews to the stories. The number of reviews, the glowing praise of the reviews aren't good indicators as to how well that person can write. Click on a story that interests you and see the kind of style that the person has developed. If it gives you headaches, then the ideas the reader is offering you aren't the kinds you're going to want for your stories. Or so I guess.

3 - Trust your own ideas. Polish and hone your skills as a writer the same way you would participating in a sport of some kind. The more you practice, the more you refine your techniques, the better of a writer you will become.

* * * *

Convention Talk

I'm going to move this week's convention talk to tomorrow.

Hope everyone had a good weekend!
 
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Well, my brain for working on the blog just fried itself for the last week. So everything I was going to do last week for writing topics and Ask the Star Ocean Character will take place this week. Unfortunately, it means I won't be doing the Mother's Day entry for Ryoko Leingod. This year. Next year will be another story entirely.

Which leads me to the Ask the Star Ocean Character segment for Deputy Director Shimida . . . if you haven't done so yet but still want to, you have until midnight this upcoming Wednesday to submit inquiries for Deputy Director Shimada. Limit three questions per person. If you wish to remain "anonymous" or have a specific user ID you'd like for me to use, please let me know, and I will accommodate you.

If you're just joining me, the premise behind it is like a radio/television show where a character from the Star Ocean universe appears and is interviewed by me. It's kind of like a talk show in that respect and the readers of the blogs then become viewers. I do this is as a way of getting into the character's head so, when it comes to writing fanfiction, I can be as true as possible to the character, even if I don't like the character all that much. It's a once a week, which is allowing for me to be able to play First Departure and Second Story/Second Evolution to get to those characters as well. Previous characters featured are Reimi Saionji, Sophia Esteed, Maria Traydor, and Meracle Chamlotte.
 

* * * *

Weekly Schedule

Monday:
Writing Topic
Fanfiction Writing Tip
Convention Talk

Tuesday:
Writing Topic
Ask the Star Ocean Character: Deputy Director Shimada - Final Call

Wednesday:
Writing Topic
Dream Houses, Part Two - Maria Traydor

Thursday:
Writing Topic
Game Talk, Part 4 - Seventy Five Years Before First Departure

Friday:
Ask the Star Ocean Character - Deputy Director Shimada
Facts about Deputy Director Shimada
Character Study - Deputy Director Shimada

Saturday/Sunday:
Up in the air/Free
 
star_ocean_fan: (ocean view)
Ask the Star Ocean Character - Deputy Director Shimada

Starting this entry with yet another call out for Ask the Star Ocean Character. The character up for fan questioning is Deputy Director Shimada. Limit three questions per person, and all questions must be submitted by midnight, Wednesday, May 16, 2012.

If you wish to remain anonymous or want a specific name to go with your questions, please let me know, and I will accommodate you. Questions can be submitted via PM or comment system.

* * * *

The Weather Patterns of Earth - The Year Is 772 S.D.

I was watching the weather channel, thanks to my mom, and they were airing some of the older episodes of Storm Chasers. What they do on that show is follow people who are chasing tornadoes. It sounds wacky, it sounds crazy, but people do it in order to better understand tornadoes. The more we understand about them, better warning systems can be built and allow people to get to safety.

In watching these people in Tornado Alley and seeing some of the severe weather they encountered, it got me to wondering and thinking about Till the End of Time. I wonder what the weather on Earth is like in the year 772 S.D. With the atmosphere stabilized, is weather controlled? Or does it occur of its own volition? Would the human race still see tornadoes on its home planet? I feel like the answer is that the weather on Earth is now controlled. The eco-structure is still in this strange, delicate place thanks to the devastation of World War III. It's taken decades and perhaps a century or two in order to completely clean the radiation out of the ground, the air, and the water. In order to stabilize the Earth's atmosphere, which is obviously done, or Earth would be called Earth II in Till the End of Time, I'm quite certain controlling the elements becomes a very necessary factor. Hence, it would mean no more hurricanes or tornadoes. Rain becomes a controlled element, falling when and where and in the quantity it's needed. Snow is provided in areas that thrive on that particular industry.

It makes me wish for another good thunderstorm thinking about it.
 

star_ocean_fan: (lutherxfayt)
Ask the Star Ocean Character - Deputy Director Shimada

Starting this entry with yet another call out for Ask the Star Ocean Character. The character up for fan questioning is Deputy Director Shimada. Limit three questions per person, and all questions must be submitted by midnight, Wednesday, May 16, 2012.

If you wish to remain anonymous or want a specific name to go with your questions, please let me know, and I will accommodate you. Questions can be submitted via PM or comment system.
 
* * * *

Dream Houses, Part One - Reimi Saionji

I finally get to start this! Yay!!! I'm going to go outside and do a little dance of happiness . . . hopefully I can also bring in a really good thunderstorm as well but not one that will knock the power out. I'm in the process of working on fanfiction and original material.

First up for Dream Houses is Reimi Saionji. I've chosen her as the first one not only because she's one of the characters that annoys me the most severely, but also because she strikes me as someone who would love to play Susie Homemaker.

So what do I think Reimi's dream home would look like, aside from clean? Well, since she's admitted in the game (in my very first play-through, at least) that she's always dreamt of marrying someone and having a family, I do believe her home would be quite on the large side. By large side, at least a two-story, maybe three, home with an attic and a basement. I don't know how many children she wants to have. I just know that she wants to have them (and preferably have Edge as her baby-daddy) so a home with two levels for family would definitely be in order.

On the first floor, like in many houses I've had the pleasure of visiting and living in, wouldn't be too different from the first levels of other homes: kitchen with a walk-in pantry, bathroom, hallway, living room/parlor, dining room, and perhaps a recreation room. Depending on the size of the house itself, I believe the two largest rooms on the main floor would be the kitchen and the dining rooms. Reimi loves to cook, and I can see her kitchen possessing all of the latest in kitchen appliances. The dining room would be large, too, because I can see her trying to host dinner parties of all kinds and going out of her way to be the perfect hostess. As for the size of the other rooms, the bathroom would at least have the basics - toilet and sink - and perhaps not be so large. The living room would be the third largest, depending on whether or not that's where she and her husband spend time with their children. As I'm not sure how much of a gamer she is, the gaming room would be the second smallest, depending on what interests her children take up.

The second floor would definitely have a lot of bedrooms and at least two bathrooms with a linens closet thrown in there. Again, this is depending on the overall square feet of the house and the property Reimi decides is perfect for her. Naturally, there will be a master bedroom with a master bathroom complete with a large, oval tub perfect for soaking and taking bubblebaths. A shower would also be installed because, well face it, baths on work days are simply too tempting for wanting to skip work. The rest of the bedrooms would be about the same size . . . When children are involved, they will fight over almost everything, including who has the biggest bedroom and the most stuff. Since it's vaguely hinted that Reimi does have at least a brother and Edge living with her from a certain age, this is something I'm sure she knows quite well.

About the only things I'm not sure would be in her home would be a library/study and a laundry room. I've known people to place their washing machines and dryers in the basement so it's possible the machines could be in the basement for her. It would depend on how big washing machines and dryers are in the future . . . not very big, if you investigate the men's room in The Calnus . . . It could be she won't need an overly huge space for laundering clothes. Anything is possible, though, especially where her children would be concerned. I've also included the library/study in this section because, while she is an intelligent young woman (at times), she doesn't strike me as someone who's out to constantly improve herself and expand her knowledge. If it's there, it's because her husband (whoever it might be) wants it and is an intellectual, much like her parents.

Now for the yard. Reimi's home wouldn't be complete with a large yard for the children to play in and an area for her to have a garden. Her strongest skills in the game are harvesting, botany, and cooking. Be able to grow her own fruits and vegetables, maybe even having livestock, would be very important to Reimi. I could see her wanting about a fifteen-acre lot of land to build her house and anything else she needed in order to provide good food for her family.

How do you see Reimi's Dream Home?
 

* * * *

The End of World War III - What Has Survived And What Hasn't

A few years ago, I read an interesting Albel/Fayt story written by a former friend of mine. In it, Fayt and Albel were watching a variety of different scenarios playing out in various incarnations of their universe. In one of these scenes, both Albel and Fayt were women and concubines to Luther. They were also in a lesbian love affair, which was forbidden by Luther.

While Fayt and Albel watched their feminine counterparts talk with each other, they noticed that the female versions of themselves were eating Hershey's Kisses. The author wrote it so that Fayt (as we know him from the game) doesn't know what a Hershey Kiss tastes like. After World War III played out, many things were lost, including the factories and recipe for Hershey Kisses, or so is my guess. (Not sure I'd even be able to find the story anymore as the author's waffled about fandoms for the time I knew her and has added and removed stories from places like livejournal and fanfiction.net like you wouldn't believe. She's still an excellent writer, though.)

After knowing for sure that World War III has taken place in the Star Ocean universe, it makes me wonder out of what we have know that could survive catastrophic, apocalyptic circumstances. I know that there is a facility in our world that is a doomsday facility. In this building are stored the seeds for fruits and vegetables, perhaps even for herbs, trees, shrubs, and grass, humanity will need to survive after the worst case scenario has played out so our natural food supply won't be extinct. However, what does that mean for companies like Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Lays, Doritos, Hershey's, M&Ms Mars, Coffeemate, Hagen Daas, Blue Bunny, Nestle, Kelloggs, General Mills, and Post? If their facilities are destroyed along with anything that carries their recipes, would they be able to resume their businesses? Would they still even be in business in the years leading up to the war?

It's one of many things I find intriguing about the Star Ocean universe, and I'd love to hear what other fans think. Let the discussions begin!
 
star_ocean_fan: (Albel Nox)
Challenge: Generating Ideas for Fanfiction Item Creation

Item creation is a staple of the Star Ocean universe. It's been in every game, and it's often been utilized as the way to either create better weapons, armor, and accessories for the playable characters or to improve what already exists. Many of the best restorative items are created through item creation. My personal favorite is the verduous potion in Till the End of Time. One hundred percent hit point recovery and, if you play it just right, you don't even have to be in a workshop to get the credit for inventing it.

This could fall into the realm of a fanfiction writing tip . . . however, I'm not going to write it as such . . . This is more of a challenge for fellow fanfiction authors. We write it. When it comes to item creation, we often utilize what's already available to us in the game. The idea for this is to generate NEW ideas in our stories (and in our artwork, if you're an artist) for weapons, armor, accessories and food . . . maybe even restorative items.  Be careful, though, with inventing new kinds of restorative items. There aren't very many status ailments in the game, and I'm also someone who likes to read her fanfiction as an epic story, not a video game.

So how about it? Anyone up for the challenge? If so, let me know what you're thinking and where I can find it.

* * * *

Call Out for Doujin and Official Star Ocean merchandise

In addition to compiling the official merchandise list for Star Ocean, I'm also looking for doujin/doujinshi titles. Please only compile what you have in your collections. I can find titles on eBay, but eBay doesn't cover the grand scope of things when it comes to doujinshi. Of course, the doujinshi list will probably never be complete due to the facts that not everyone can collect them all and often times doujin authors are coming out with more.

If you can't discern the titles of your doujin, please let me know. I'll contact someone or point people in the direction of others who can translate Japanese.
 
* * * *
 
Creating Family Trees

Aside from item creation, the UP3, and the words "Star Ocean", the games don't always have much in common. In fact, only three of the games can be tied together - The Last Hope, First Departure, and Second Story/Second Evolution, thanks to the appearance of Stephen D. Kenny, who provides the illustrious and perhaps the difficulty of having last name of Kenny for his future family members to deal with. Because there isn't much to tie games 1,2, and 4 with game 3, I've decided I'm going to create my own Star Ocean family tree for the Leingods.

I know I've brought up the possibilities in a previous entry, but I find the tracing of roots to be quite fascinating. Just how far back can the Leingods trace their family history? Does it, indeed, go back to the Kenny family? Does it even touch on the Maverick or Saionji families?

My answers will be forthcoming in fanfiction, and I hope those who read it enjoy what I've created.

* * * *

Ask the Star Ocean Character - Deputy Director Shimada

Not sure what number this is . . . third, I believe (I need some more coffee) . . . anyway, this is yet another call out for Ask the Star Ocean Character. The character being interrogated, I mean interviewed, is Deputy Director Shimada. Limit three questions per person, and all questions must be submitted by midnight, Wednesday, May 16, 2012.

If you wish to remain anonymous or want a specific name to go with your questions, please let me know, and I will accommodate you. Questions can be submitted via PM or comment system.

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