star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Welcome back to Ask the Star Ocean Character, everyone! I'm your host, Dragonfly Moonlight.

 

Read more... )

 


Yay!! The reboot is done!!

Reminder: Taking questions for Albel Nox for Mrs. Nox's birthday next month!
Tomorrow: Birthday reminders.
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
I know I haven't posted any reminders, but, as I really want to get back on track with the series, I won't be extending the deadlines for more questions. I will do this, though.

For any Star Ocean fan who stumbles upon this and wants to ask a character, who has already been featured, a question, I will still accept them. They just won't appear until the next time that character comes into play.

So tomorrow! Reimi Saionji makes her second appearance on Ask the Star Ocean Character! Today, for missnox and her upcoming birthday, I am announcing the next character for the next segment.

Albel Nox

Yes. I am announcing that the next character to be featured in Ask the Star Ocean Character is to be Albel Nox. I'm making an exception for him because missnox has done a few extraordinary things over the past year. She may not feel they're extraordinary, but, to me, they are, and this is for her.

A reminder of the rules.

1 - No profanity please and thank you! The blogs are open for fans of all ages. I know there is some swearing in the games, but I'm running clean sites. So please. No profanity. Thank you for that courtesy.

2 - Limit yourselves to three questions. If you have more, please let me know. I want everyone who wants to ask a question to have the chance.

3 - Please be respectful to the character in question. Your least liked character is someone else's favorite.

4 - Deadline: All questions for Albel Nox must be in by midnight on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Albel's segment will appear on Friday, May 2, 2014, in time for
missnox's birthday.

5 - Pick your user name! If you wish to be "anonymous" or have a certain I.D. designation, please let me know, or I will use what I know you by.

6 - Let's just have some fun. Don't care how silly you think your questions may be. Everything helps me to get a handle on the character. So ask away!

Questions can be submitted to me via comments, private message, or email (luthersfayt@gmail.com or thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.com).


See you tomorrow when I grill Reimi once more!
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
 Yeah, I'm not dead. Not yet. I've just been lacking motivation big time. There's so much I want to do with this blog that I still can't just yet, including more conversation topics spanning every game in the series.

So first up - what's going on if I have all of this time since I'm not working? Well, I've obviously been goofing off on the internet. deviantArt, facebook, and Scribophile have been my favorite places so far. I've also been consumed with story-telling and working on an original story. The original story process is important. I really want to not worry so much when I have no work about money coming in and trying to survive. I've always wanted to be a writer anyway, and fanfiction was my first step. And I do admit. I've been avoiding eBay. Doesn't do me any good to look at Star Ocean merchandise when I have no money. Having cash would be good for buying the official merchandise, creation of my own, and helping with the cosplay.

I know. Economics for a lot of people suck right now, and I really do appreciate that. That's why I'm just keeping my fingers crossed my temp agency will place me soon so I can do some of this stuff while I write.

So let me do my best to get back on track.

For Star Ocean birthdays, we have the following for next month:
April 10 (assigned by me) - Adray Lasbard
April 24 (official) - Arumat P. Thanatos

For holidays:
April Fool's Day (April 1)
Palm Sunday (April 13)
Passover (April 15)
Good Friday (April 18)
Easter (April 20)
Earth Day (April 22)

If you have a piece of fanfiction, fan art, or even a cosplay for these to characters in celebration of their birthdays or these holidays, I am accepting submissions. For the deviantArt people, just submit to the gallery and write in the description if your works can be cross-posted to livejournal and dreamwidth. I will not cross-post unless I have permission. For livejournal and dreamwidth (and soon to be wordpress) people, please keep your stories to one-shots. I do have limited space in these journals. I don't mind posting multiple entries, but I do want to keep the number of posts to a minimum. If you've found me through twitter - yes, there is now a twitter account for this journal, link will be forthcoming for those of you already on twitter - you can still submit something to me.

Story and art submissions can be sent to luthersfayt@gmail.com or thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.com

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I do have an interesting question to pose to everyone who has played Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. Why do you think Fayt goes on a family vacation with his parents when he's a college student and doesn't spend much time with them anyway?

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Re: Ask the Star Ocean Character.
Because I've taken way too long to post Roger and Adray's parts, they will not appear right away. Now don't freak out if you've submitted your questions. They will be answered. I promise you that. I'm rebooting the whole thing. I want to post it back to fanfiction.net and that means a whole new way of writing the series.

With that in mind for Ask the Star Ocean Character, I am taking questions for Reimi Saionji of Star Ocean: The Last Hope. Limit three questions per person. (That means, one person can ask three questions.) Keep the vulgarity down. I don't care if you don't like the character. There are people who do, and, out of respect for them, keep the vulgarity down. You wouldn't want anyone disrespecting your favorite character.

So three questions. Questions MUST be submitted by Wednesday, April 9, 2014, by midnight. The Ask the Star Ocean Character reboot will take place on Friday, April 11, 2014. On April 10, I will announce the next character. You can leave me a comment with your questions or send them in a PM. Email works, too.


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Character Studies:

The Star Ocean Universe wants to know what you think! Send me your character study! It can be in the form of a fanfiction one-shot, essay, or just general analysis.

Character study postings will coincide with the Ask the Star Ocean Character segments. I'll accept anyone at any given time, though, and post them when that person appears in Ask the Star Ocean Character.

Just keep it clean!

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Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/StarOceanFan

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One other update before I forget, and this is in regards to conventions.

As of right now, due to lack of work and income, I will not be going on a huge convention circuit ride. It's going to be pushing it for me to even try to get to the three I really want to attend this year. In fact, I'm not even going to announce which conventions I am making (tentative) plans for attendance. When I have something confirmed, I will announce. Even then, my huge convention hopping is going to wait until next year.

However, if you're cosplaying as a Star Ocean character for any convention or just for fun, share your photos with me! I would love to display them, and any instances where you've met a Star Ocean voice actor.

This is your Star Ocean fandom. These are your Star Ocean experiences! I'd love to hear from you and share your wonderful stories as well.
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
This is actually going to be one huge conversational topic. The ideas listed pretty much interconnect anyway.

So lately, I've been on this super hero kick. Last weekend, I'd planned on having a movie marathon that consists of Marvel's Cinematic Universe Phase 1. I ended up watching the first two Iron Man movies, seeing Iron Man 3 in 3-D last Saturday, and watching Captain America: The First Avenger and Marvel's The Avengers. Thor and The Incredible Hulk were left to the wayside, sadly enough. However, it's these movies that have sparked my questions and thoughts for Star Ocean. Because, personally, I think I could tie them together in some way.

For starters, one thing I've been wondering for the last couple of weeks or so is about comic books. Are they something that continue to exist in some form or another? Or do they fade away as people look for other ways to distract themselves from the horror of their lives? Of course, as I ask myself this question and pose it in this entry, I believe that comics will continue to exist so long as the human race continues to exist. I also believe that many heroes would receive reboots. It's currently happening with The Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man, Batman and Superman. I have no reason to think that it wouldn't continue a hundred years into the future.

That leads me to Edge Maverick and Crowe F. Almedio. While they don't necessarily strike me as the geeky type, a part of me could see them reading comics as a way of entertainment while things like computers were repaired, replaced, or completely reinvented. It's World War III, or at least post-World War III. The internet may no longer exist. I can also see Edge identifying greatly with Steve Rogers, aka Captain America. (If you're not familiar with Captain America, I highly recommend renting the Captain America movie and watching it. Yes, my inner geek is shining through at this moment in time, and I don't intend to give away spoilers for those who haven't seen it.) Crowe, I can see respecting Tony Stark and Nick Fury and definitely loving Bruce Wayne. Reimi would sympathize with Bruce Banner in feeling like a monster and Rogue in being unable to touch another person and feel safe about it, but I can see her wanting to be more like Wonder Woman - strong, confident, and determined.

So what would comics look like for the World War III and post-World War III eras? Internet access could work both ways in either being non-existent to the public or the only means for information and entertainment. Would comics be digital? Would they still be paper? Or would they be both, like they are now? Really, anything is possible when it comes to comics. Personally, I would like to think that there would be a revival for the paper form, but I'm not one hundred percent certain how it would happen in the Star Ocean universe. Nearly every single renewable resource has been trashed or contaminated beyond the point of use.

In watching Captain America: The First Avenger, which is set during World War II, I've wondered what would spark World War III. Would it be a surprise invasion, much like what Germany did to itself and its neighbor, Poland? Or would it be something everyone could see coming, like civil unrest that just escalates? What heroes would we see emerge in the entertainment industry? Would Captain America be the same guy from the 1940s or would he receive a new back story? Would someone new emerge out of the horrors that follow in the days of fighting? And just how long would World War III last? Using nuclear weapons at the start wouldn't make it much of a war, in my personal opinion. For me, there would need to be something that would trigger the fighting - an invasion, civil unrest, or a repeat of history. (And don't think it wouldn't happen. If I made this blog political, which I have absolutely no intentions of doing, my fellow Star Ocean fans would hear what I think of current social and economic trends and attitudes. History does repeat itself if we fail to learn from it the first time! Also, please don't ask me about my political views. You may not like what I have to say, and that isn't what this blog is for anyway.) The use of nuclear weapons would be a last resort and the one event that would trigger the political leaders of the Star Ocean universe to come to a compromise. (Yeah, I'm not totally buying into nuclear weapons were used from the very beginning to the very end of World War III in The Last Hope's opening sequence. There wouldn't be anyone left if they had.)

Of course, this all very much speculation on my part. Other fans may have other ideas about things like comics in the future and the way World War III plays out for the Star Ocean universe.

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Merchandise Notation:

As of right this moment, while I will be keeping an eye on eBay for the Star Ocean figures, I'm thinking I'm going to place the majority of my Star Ocean purchasing on hold. I will still try to pick up a few things here and there. However, I'm feeling a tad bit wary of anything that says it's from Hong Kong and China, not Japan. This is mostly because China's been known to sell knock-offs for dirt cheap, and, while the bootleg items would be nice, I would rather much have official items when and where I can.

What does that mean?

I'll simply be buying from those who bought the official merchandise that's either in the U.S., Canada, and Europe or from sellers located in Japan. I also want to see what I can get when I (finally) take a trip to Japan. That means, as of right now, I'll be looking at buying video games (not that I need to get that many more of them), manga (so long as it isn't listed as Chinese - don't ask me why it would be listed as Chinese manga. I don't know), and doujinshi. Kind of sad, too, since there's a watch up for sale, but since it might not be official . . . yeah. I'm not going to be buying it.

And, yes, this is very important. I believe I've mentioned it before, but I'll say something again. Most official Star Ocean merchandise isn't going to come out of places like Hong Kong and China. It's going to be bootlegged. When I started this journal, started seeking out Star Ocean memorabilia, I found a website with some very interesting items, and they were posted by someone who had been in Japan at the time of Till the End of Time's release. Given her knowledge, I'm inclined to believe her when she says if it's out of China or Hong Kong, it's probably not official. (Although, I'm not saying such things wouldn't be nice to have . . . I'd just be very dubious about calling them official.)

Also, I will be moving sometime over the summer as well as attending Otakon. Funds are going to be quite limited starting next week for the foreseeable future, but it's something I'm very happy is happening.
star_ocean_fan: (Edge Maverick)
The Thing That Struck Reimi as Strange and Exciting When It Shouldn't Have

Saturday was the first time in quite a while that I'd been able to play The Last Hope. It wasn't because I misplaced the game (I make sure to know where it's located at all times . . . it was because the TV remote disappeared and I didn't have much of a desire to play until recently. Anyway, as I was roaming around Woodley yesterday on my fifth or sixth game start, I was reminded of something I'd done in another play-through when wandering around Triom and Woodley both. 

I don't know how many people have done this, but, if you enter various homes and shops, you can find interaction points. Not the ones with the bright magenta/violet exclamation point but one where the "examine" option appears when wandering around the room. It's actually quite fun, especially when you check the well in Woodley. (If you haven't tried examining the homes and shops on Lemuris, I highly recommend it! It doesn't do anything to progress the game or give away affinity points, but it's still entertaining.)

In one such home/shop - I'm not remembering which at this moment - Edge, Reimi, and Faize discover a table with food, a knife, and a cutting board on it.  The moment Reimi "sees" these very similar items, she's excited.  "They cook like we do!" 

Those might not be her exact words when you find the right area to examine, but it's pretty close. I do get her excitement to an extent - she does like to cook and bake, after all, and her main inventing talent is cooking. I, too, like to cook and bake when I can get the chance - but at the same time, I ask myself, "Really? You expect other civilizations to not prepare meals in a similar manner? How can this really be that surprising? It isn't like they're the bugs from Aeos!"

The Lemurians aren't too far off from human in appearance. They're not human, but they look human. Logically speaking, it's natural for them to prepare food in a manner that's similar to humans. 

At least . . . that's my opinion on the matter.

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Fanfiction Writing Tip #8 - Comparing Yourself, the Beginning Author, to Established Fanfiction Authors

In a phrase - don't do this. Whatever you do, do not compare yourself to someone who has written fanfiction for years. I recently had someone do this to me, and I had to gently "scold" her for it. Why? Well, one, I didn't find it very flattering because I've been writing for years and she was also, at the time, throwing a temper tantrum over a critique I'd left her (long story - I'm not getting into it). Two, she was driving herself nuts comparing her writing style and her ability to write period to mine. As a beginning author, if you're comparing yourself to someone who's been writing for a year or more, that's all you're going to do is frustrate and defeat yourself.

I've been writing fanfiction steadily since the beginning of 2000 (my first forays were when I was in the sixth grade, and they were class assignments - something to do while the majority of the class was in band; I've been writing off and on since I was nine). It's taken me years to get as far as I have with my writing. During this time, I've encountered a wide variety of people, and a few of them have said, "I could never write as well as you do" to me, despite my encouraging them to actually write their own works, and I personally find that particular attitude rather annoying because I've been writing fanfiction for so long. I'm not the sadistic kind of writer who lets such talk get to my head. If anything, it worries me when a beginning author is so frustrated that they're not at the same level as a favorite fanfiction author, that they feel like they can't write and they won't ever be good at it. Those of you who've written fanfiction for a while now know it's something we do as often as we can. Yes, many of us are born with the ability to write, but we're also always writing and therefore always improving. I'll admit that I'm conceited about my works, too. If I'm bored and can't find something good to read, I'll read my own stories, but I also know that there are other authors who are just as good, if not better, than what I am. I just don't compare myself to them for the sake of my own sanity and desire to write.

So don't defeat yourself before you can truly begin. Don't compare your writing skills to other authors. The only one who can truly write the stories in your head is you.

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Ask the Star Ocean Character Reminder

This is everyone's reminder for Ask the Star Ocean Character. I'm taking questions for Deputy Director Shimada, Bacchus D-79, and Peppita Rosetti. Limit three questions per character per person, and keep it clean!

The deadline for submitting questions is midnight, October 31, 2012. 

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Convention Talk - Specialized Conventions vs. General Conventions

This will probably fall into the same area as Smaller Conventions vs. Larger Conventions so please bear with me on this.

In the Smaller Conventions vs. Larger Conventions discussion, I wrote about how to decide which convention would be better for the first time convention attendee. Smaller conventions tend to be more local whereas the larger conventions are in major cities. The same holds true for the specialized convention, i.e. the convention dedicated to a specific series, when compared to attending a general convention. Which one would be better?

This, while finances play a huge part in what a person can attend, has more to do with what the individual fan wants from a convention experience. Also, what a fan is looking for in terms of merchandise and exclusives factors into this particular equation. For example, if one attends Anime Expo, Otakon, ShutoCon, YoumaCon, or even ComiCon, one will find a larger selection of merchandise in the dealer rooms and artists alleys. Convention exclusives will range from a variety of fandoms, and many of the cosplayers won't strictly be in anime, manga, or comic book characters. The guests will come from different series, be it the voice actors or the writers or anyone else involved in the creation process. (Some of my friends cosplayed Spaceballs characters at the 2011 Otakon event. Just an FYI.) On the other hand, a more specialized convention (like BotCon) will cater more to the fans of that particular series. Convention exclusives are tailored for the fan base. The dealer room and artist alley will be marginally smaller (depends on the convention) and feature items also geared towards the fan base. A more specialized convention may also be more expensive in terms of registration, which is something to consider as well. Also, another factor that plays into whether or not anyone attends is location, location, location. At both, the chances of meeting and making friends with like-minded people are extremely great (so you won't ever be lonely).

In the end, it's entirely up to the person as to what kind of a convention s/he wants to attend. As for me, I rather like both so I won't hesitate in recommending that people attend at least one fan-based convention in his/her life.

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This week, I'll be celebrating the assigned birthday of Robert Leingod, Fayt Leingod's dad. I'll also be posting Halloween-related stories. If you wish to write something impromptu for Robert's birthday, I will accept it and post it. I'll be celebrating Albel (October 30) and Stephen D. Kenny (October 27) as well.

Have a good Monday everyone!
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Today's going to be a short entry since the next Ask the Star Ocean character segments won't be ready until November 2.

Explaining the Concept of Halloween

I think it can be agreed upon that all cultures have myths, folklores, holidays and traditions that surround such events. Oral story-telling has kept alive many traditions from the ancient worlds of Rome, Greece, Egypt, Celt, and Norse worlds. As more people learned how to write, the traditions were kept alive in the form of books. As long as we have those written texts available to us in case we wonder how come such traditions exist.

In the Star Ocean universe, most of the books no longer exist. Because they no longer exist, the characters may not completely understand why some holidays and traditions are still celebrated. They'll know what they're told by their parents, who will know what they were told by their parents. How many will know the reasons for the celebration of Halloween, or Samhain, would remain to be seen. This is, so everyone knows, is speculation on my part because we don't get to see holiday celebrations in the games, and we're left to write and draw our own fan works. Also, I don't know how many people in real life know why we have the Halloween traditions that we do. If you don't know but want to, please send me a PM, and I'll be happy to talk to you about it.

Anyway, this brings me to Edge and Reimi trying to describe the holiday of Halloween to Faize and Lymle and everyone else in their crew. How does one explain why humans dress up on Halloween? How does one explain why people give out treats? I imagine the conversation would be awkward at first, depending on how many of the people are recruited. Faize, Myuria, and Bacchus, I can see asking the hard questions of "Why" and "When" and "how come". Lymle and Meracle would be more interested in wanting to get the treats. (Who can blame them, really?) As for Sarah . . . she is the tricky one. Out of the entire recruitable cast, I think she would actually be the one to know because it might sound like something similar to a holiday on Roak. Lymle might actually get why, too, and I say that because they're both from underdeveloped planets. The notion of spirits walking with the living wouldn't be too farfetched to them.

This, of course, goes without saying when it comes to encountering cultures that are different from our own. The ones I see having the most difficulty in explaining the traditions and concepts behind Halloween are, of course, The Last Hope cast. However, Ronyx J. Kenny and his son Claude would have troubles explaining it to alien races, depending on how advanced the civilization is compared to the likes of Roak and Expel. The only one who might not have any troubles at all would be Fayt, from Till the End of Time, and that's because I feel he could ask Blair the same questions Bacchus, Myuria, and Faize would ask Edge and Reimi.

Ah, the joys of Halloween! :)

That's all for today. I'll be back on Saturday with more! Thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend!

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.

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