Kyle Herbert, voice actor for Dias from Second Evolution
and Arumat P. Thanatos and Crowe F. Almedio, will be appearing at AnimeWorld Indianapolis, which will be July 5-8, 2012. From his website, here is his complete convention schedule:
PORTCONMAINE June 21-24, Portland, Maine
ANIME EXPO June 29-July 2, Los Angeles, CA
ANIMEWORLD EXPO July 6-8, Indianapolis, Indiana
ANIME FESTIVAL ORLANDO August 3-5, Orlando, FL
MOTAKU August 17-19, Kansas City, Missouri
ALCON September 6-9, Leicester, UK
RURONIKON September 14-15, Edinburg, Texas
ANIME BLAST CHATTANOOGA November 9-11, Chattanooga, Tennessee
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Agriculture on Underdeveloped Planets, Part 5 - Elicoor II
I now come (finally) to the last planet on the list of underdeveloped planets that I'm familiar with in the Star Ocean series - Elicoor II. This is only for the interim, until I've had the chance to play Second Story/Second Evolution and to get to know the underdeveloped planet/s in the game. I'm looking forward to exploring Expel and learning more about the Twelve Wise Men.
Back to Elicoor II . . . as with Vanguard III, we know that there is farming taking place. In the peace talks between the queen of Aquaria and the king of Airyglyph, the Holy Mother remarks that the war has taken a toll on the Glyphians and that their harvests were meager. Farming, specifically the lack thereof, is why Arzei has waged this war in the first place.
While, as is usual in the Star Ocean games I've played, we don't see the farm lands and livestock, the fact that this tactic is employed in Till the End of Time as one of many reasons to wage a war gives the game a sense of realism I find a bit lacking in The Last Hope, though not too severely. The mention of agriculture, of farming and providing food for a person, a family, a country, is something that dates back to the dawn of man. The ability to farm, to provide, no matter the country, no matter the planet, is something that can unite people or send them to war.
Since the land and atmospheric composition is always similar to that of Earth on the underdeveloped planets (it's the only way carbon-based life forms such as ourselves are able to exist), it stands to reason that the food stuffs grown there will be similar in taste, texture, and smell as they would on Earth. As with the other planets, I believe that, if they'd place such things to at least walk by in the games, we'd see fields with grains similar to wheat, rye, and rice as well as vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, potatoes, gourds like pumpkins and squash, and fruits like tomatoes, cucumbers, apples (we can buy apple pies on Elicoor II), blueberries, and blackberries. For livestock, we'd definitely see animals similar to sheep and cows. They just wouldn't be similar in appearance as to what we have on Earth.
And I bring up livestock because there's a slight inconsistency between the game of Till the End of Time and the seven volume manga as written/drawn by Akira Kanda. In the game, there are horse-like animals called lums. They're treated like horses, used for riding into battle, and they're as tall as horses . . . but they have horns like rams. In the manga, they're drawn as horses. I don't know how much was tweaked between the initial release of Till the End of Time in Japan and the director's cut of the game, but I'm quite certain the tweaks were more to do with the programming than with the game's animation. Why Kanda left the horns off of the lums, I'm not sure . . . perhaps to make the animals more believable to the readers buying the manga who probably hadn't played the game just yet.
For some people, it might seem strange and more than a little silly to nitpick about such details in a video game. After all, depending on the animation style (Till the End of Time
is CGI compared to games like Dragon Quest, which can add things like cows and sheep), details like grain fields, animals in the wild, etc . . ., can add to the loading time of the game. (We've been there before . . . the frustration of waiting for a scene to load . . .) It's these little details, though, that can make or break a game.
Of course, it isn't just up to the game's designers to add these details. We, the players, hold some accountability in that, to use our imaginations on what it is that we can truly find in the games. Also, if we choose to write fanfiction, we add to our accountability on what we can find if we're exploring the pre-created planets of the Star Ocean universe or the planets that we create for ourselves.
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Finding Forgiveness - Maria Traydor
This is just a brief look at why she aggravates me as much as she does.
A lot of my aggravation with Maria stems from the lack of character growth and development. She enters the picture partway in the game, already at a certain level, and as the Captain of The Diplo and leader of Quark. We learn a bit of her background after saving the Sacred Orb of Aquios from the Vendeeni, but we still don't get to see much in the way of development with Maria.
One thing that does bother me is how Maria seems to be so anti-forgiveness. At first, she doesn't want to forgive the Leingods and their research team for the experiments. She's harbored the anger and resentment in her for years (which, it shouldn't have taken her "hours" to get over, as it were), but that part is understandable. That was something that's impacted her life, skewed her perceptions of herself, and has her doubting why she's in this world in the first place. As someone who's had that happen in her life, I can relate to how she feels about that, and it's hard to let go.
The one thing, though, that has me bothered about Maria and her anti-forgiveness . . . campaign, as it's striking me, is that she's adamant about it. After the events of the 4D realm and Styx and the return to Elicoor II, if you head to Kirlsa and to the inn, you can find Maria there and talk to her.
I bring up the events because she doesn't always say the same thing, depending on what has or hasn't passed. For this particular conversation (which isn't an actual event, just dialogue between her and Fayt), returning to Elicoor II after returning to The Calnus on Styx is necessary. Upon initiating the conversation, Maria mentions how they shouldn't forgive the 4D beings/Luther for trying to manipulate their minds, their actions, and their world.
Now, originally, initiating this conversation never bothered me on my first play-through. I loved the game, but the love wasn't to the point where it is today (the writing of fanfiction in the form of poems, one-shots, and mult-chaptered stories, choosing pairings that I absolutely adore, collecting merchandise, wanting to create my own merchandise, and cosplaying). So I never paid too much to the emotions driving Maria. However, now that I've delved into fanfiction writing, choosing the pairings that make me happy for when I write, and trying to figure out the intricacies of personalities, I find her unwillingness to forgive people at this point a turn-off. I understand her hatred towards the Leingods, but she's taken the leap from hating them to understanding and "slowly" accepting what they did in a very short amount of time. There is a very fine difference between what the Leingods did and what Luther is trying to do with something he created.
And what Luther tried to do isn't all that different in how people operate today. We do try to influence the behaviors and thoughts of others, be it religiously, politically, or financially, to get that which we desire. If we were to be unforgiving of every person who tried to manipulate us into thinking or behaving a certain way, we'd be very lonely.
I will chalk Maria's mannerisms up a lot to the way she was raised after the death of her parents. It isn't for any child to live on a ship with no true parental figure. That kind of thing can have an impact on a person. I liken it to that of living in foster care, only she didn't have to move from home to home to home.
Maybe, if there's a sequel to Till the End of Time
, we can see some more emotional growth and character development with Maria. Aside from seeing some qualities in her that I see in me, I don't find much to like about Maria.
That's just me.