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: (Default)
Taking a Moment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Some Things the Developers of Star Ocean Got Wrong

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's only my opinion, of course.

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Ask the Star Ocean Character For January - Adray Lasbard

There is a slight change for Ask the Star Ocean Character segments. Instead of weekly, the segments will appear once a month on the final day of the month. This will give people time to submit their questions, either here or at fanfiction.net.

The next character in the que is Adray Lasbard from Till the End of Time.

As per usual, the rules are as follows:

Limit three questions per person
No profanity.
Keep it clean (no sex talk)
Be nice
Have fun

Questions need to be submitted by midnight, January 28, 2013, and they can be submitted via comments, private message, or email (luthersfayt@gmail.com or thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.com).

One final thing - please let me know if you wish to remain anonymous or have a specific user handle you'd like for me to use. I will gladly keep the question asker anonymous or use the handle s/he has specified. Otherwise, I will use the name I know you by. This is something that I will be very flexible with because this is based on fan interaction as much as it is what I come up with for it.

For those of you wondering about the Roger segment, I have a few things I want to tweak on it, add to it, and I will post it as soon as possible.

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Birthday Reminders

Birthday List - covering January to June

January 1 (Late; assigned by me) - Crowe F. Almedio
January 23 (official) - Claude C. Kenny
January 25 (assigned by me) - Ilia Silvestri
January 31 (assigned by me) - Ryoko Leingod
February 3 (official) - Faize Sheifa Beleth
February 15 (assigned by me) - Peppita Rosetti
February 16 (official) - Noel Chandler
February 29 (official - can swing to either February 28 or March 1) - Precis F. Neumann
March 2 (assigned by me) - Roger S. Huxley
March 16 (official) - Meracle Chamlotte
March 28 (official) - Reimi Saionji
April 10 (assigned by me) - Adray Lasbard
April 24 (official) - Arumat P. Thanatos
May 5 (official) - Bacchus D-79
May 7 (assigned by me) - Blair Lansfeld
May 13 (official) - Rena Lanford
June 1 (assigned by me) - Cliff Fittir
June 29 (assigned by me) - Maria Traydor
June 30 (official) - Lymle Lemuri Phi

More birthdays will be added in, and reminders will be posted.

Upcoming Holidays:

Valentine's Day - February 14
St. Patrick's Day - March 17
Easter - March 31
Earth Day - April 22
Mother's Day - May 12
Father's Day - June 16

I've added in Earth Day to the list of holidays because of the message that lies behind The Last Hope. I think it's the kind of holiday that Star Ocean fans could have a field day with so I've included it for that purpose alone.

When it comes to the holidays and the birthdays, I am looking for the following: art, stories (one-shots), and poetry. The highest rating I will accept for stories and artwork is R. No explicit material please, and proofread your work. All submissions can be emailed to me at luthersfayt@gmail.com or thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.com and must be submitted no later than midnight the previous day. All genres except for smut accepted.
star_ocean_fan: (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.

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Sadly, at this point, I've still not heard back from Laura Bailey herself or anyone representing Laura about an interview for this blog.  I'm not giving up hope, however. I'll simply hold on to the idea until a later time.

There isn't much that I can glean from Laura Bailey's website, lizardbee.com, as the site is mostly about Laura's career as an actress, but I can tell you from looking at her website, her career has been quite prolific. In addition to giving voice to Reimi Saionji and Welch Vineyard in The Last Hope, Laura can be heard in other games such as Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2 (the voice of Serah Farron), Final Fantasy Crystal Bearers (Bella), Mass Effect 3, Streetfighter x Tekken, Tales of Graces F, Kingdoms of Amular (some of her more recent roles) as well as lent her talents to animes like Bleach, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Dragonball, Dragonball Z, Fruits Baskets, Lupin the 3rd: Dragon of Doom and Lupin the 3rd: Farewell to Nostradamus, One Piece, Naruto, and Yu Yu Hakusho. She's also appeared in a few television shows (Walker, Texas Ranger) and some made for TV movies (The Staircase Murders on Lifetime where she has the lead role).

By all accounts, Laura started her acting career at a very early age. Born on May 28, 1981, in an undisclosed location in MIssissippi, if I were to guess which show got her into the business, I'd say it was Dragonball and Dragonball Z, both of which appeared in the mid to late 1980s. To know what prompted Laura into this career at such an early age is very intriguing to me. I'd also like to know what draws her to the roles that she takes and why she's pre-dominately a voice actress. Check out her gallery at her website . . . she's a very beautiful young woman who could be a model and movie actress. There's just not much personal information to be found on her, and it could very well be by design on her part.

Here's what I've been able to find about Laura through her website, her facebook page, and imdb.com

She married her longtime boyfriend, actor Travis Willingham, on September 25 of last year. She her collegiate studies at the acclaimed Quad C Theatre program at Collin County Community College in Plano, Texas (good luck and congratulations to her on that).

Laura is a gamer. She recently appeared at E3 and hung out at the Halo 4 party (June 6), and she claimed she wanted to get the game because it looked so cool.

Recently, Laura posted about LegoBatman2, which was released in the last week . . . she voices Harley, Poison Ivy, and Wonder Woman. She's thinking of getting the game so she can make her fight herself. (That's humorous.)

I wish I did have more to post about Laura. In finding her facebook page, she's coming across as a very warm, friendly person who isn't afraid to let her inner geek show.

star_ocean_fan: (Star Ocean 3 game cover)
As we come close to celebrating Mother's Day in the U.S.A., I thought I'd spend the weekend commemorating the day by taking a look at the women from The Last Hope and Till the End of Time and trying to determine who would embrace motherhood, who would be wary of it, and who would overall make the best mother. I'll start with Reimi Saionji but will follow in no particular order.

Reimi is definitely one who would embrace motherhood after getting over her dislike over her own body and with the skewed vision that raising children will be easy. She likes to play at mother, but she's not completely mentally prepared for the changes motherhood would bring her. I feel she'd have a fear of passing on her ability of resisting diseases and other physical ailments to her children. I don't know if she'd ever see it as a good thing right away, but eventually she might. Children do get sick a lot, which helps to bolster their immune systems.

At some point, though, Reimi will question her desires about having children. Children are messy, and if the mess is something she can't get a handle on, it shortens her temper. She can't stand Lymle drawing symbols on the floor of The Calnus, and complains that, with the addition of Meracle, it's becoming harder and harder to keep The Calnus clean. But then, after a couple of "short-circuiting", she'd get a handle on what she'd deem a rampant mess.

I won't say she'd be a bad parent. I do think that she'd rule her household with iron fist and have expectations for her children. The thought of how she'd raise her children is something akin to a militaristic view.

Next on my list is Lymle. Given that she's so young in appearance in the game makes it difficult to gauge whether or not she'd embrace motherhood in the same way as Reimi. I do think that Lymle would embrace motherhood, partly because it would be expected of her. There would be some amount of pressure on her to marry and bear children due to her strength as a symbologist, one adept at fire spells. That's something her society wouldn't overlook.

Between Reimi and Lymle, I'd say Lymle would be the one more mentally prepared for children. She's held onto that particular area of her youth for a number of years. She'd know what to expect and how to treat them. Given the kind of lifestyle she lives, it wouldn't be too difficult for her to adjust to motherhood and to be able to teach. (She's shown teaching some local children how to call forth blooming wildflowers in her ending.) Her expectations of her children  . . . I teeter on whether they'd be or low. I don't know if there's testing among her people to find out who can or can't be a symbologist. But I do feel that, if any of her children didn't inherit her symbological abilities, she wouldn't be disappointed in them. It would be something that's, "Okay, so you can't do that. We'll find something that you can, and I'll love you anyway".

Third is Sarah. Oh, wow. Yeah. Sarah. I don't know how it works with Featherfolk, if the men take on the last names of the women they marry or if the women take the last names of their husbands.

I think Sarah would be in about the same position as Lymle when it comes to children. She'd embrace it, but in part because it's expected of her to do so. Like Lymle, she possesses strong symbological skills, and it'd be something her clan would want to see passed on for generations to come. Also, the same as Lymle, while there'd be disappointment if any of her children didn't inherit her abilities, it would be, "Okay, so you didn't inherit that ability. What else are you good at?" and the children would find a different purpose.

Between Reimi and Sarah, I think Sarah would be a better parent. Sarah has this personality that just allows for her to accept the strangest of nuances. I've heard that becoming a mother changes a woman, but I don't feel it's that severe of a change, where the woman goes from sweet, slightly clueless, and accepting to a 180 of mean, spiteful hag.

I now come to Meracle, who I think would be the surprisingly good mother. While I do believe that every woman I'm profiling for this would be loving and fiercely protective, I think it would be amplified in Meracle. I say that because of her feline nature. Not all queens (what female cats are called, in case you didn't know) are capable of being good momma kitties, but I feel that Meracle would be among those that would. Her instincts as a feline wouldn't allow for her to be otherwise. While it may not be something she'd consider, she'd embrace it with her entire being and woe to anyone who messes with her babies.

Eleyna Farrence is one who would be a reluctant mother. Knowing that she'll become one doesn't necessarily mean she'd embrace the concept the way that Reimi (or anyone else like Reimi) would embrace it nor would it mean she's mentally prepared for the changes it'll bring her. In talking with my own mother, my aunts, cousins, and friends who've become mothers, one thing they agree on is this: Just because you know what you're getting into and you're prepared for the changes that are about to come doesn't mean you truly know or that you're truly prepared until the big event has happened.

Eleyna would be an interesting mother. Her brusqueness wouldn't vanish completely. I believe it'd be softened some, but she'd still be the strong, independent, and slightly rude woman that she is.

Myuria would just be a mom. Plain and simple. I think she'd want to become one after she found someone who could make her happy the same way her deceased husband made her happy, and, for some people, having a child or children with the one that s/he loves is an extension of that happiness. Myuria wouldn't be one to fantasize about becoming a mother, like how I think Reimi would fantasize about it, but it's something she'd consider and discuss at length with her partner. She'd do her research, too, and at least find a way to mentally prepare herself as much as possible for the changes that will come to her life as a result of having a child.

Sophia Esteed would be like Reimi Saionji when it comes to embracing motherhood. She'd not be completely mentally prepared for the changes in her life a child will bring, but she'd be a little more prepared for the clean-up that comes with very young children.

I don't know if she'd be as strict with her children as what Reimi would be. And, yes, I can see Reimi as a loving but very strict mother. Sophia would be a bit more relaxed. Her kids would be able to be kids, but they'd still have certain expectations on them.


Maria is the only one who I don't see as embracing motherhood. At all, or at least not with anyone other than Fayt, and even then I'm not sure she'd want to be a mother. The first child would be one of those "I didn't want you so I wasn't planning for you in my life" kind of pregnancies.

Maria is quite the hard one to gauge. She isn't as hard as Eleyna, but at least Eleyna has the gift of foresight and so she'd know what she'd need to do and when. The problem with Maria is she's emotionally stunted and socially inept. I feel that motherhood would be something Maria would avoid because she does, on some level, know her limitations when it comes to socializing and emotional attachments. I believe she's smart enough to realize that, while it might be expected for her to become a mother, it wouldn't be the smartest thing in the world for her to become. For anyone to say otherwise, that it would be "good" for her, would be not true to Maria's character. Ultimately, given my interpretation of Maria's personality, she'd come to hate the child for bringing about such drastic and unwanted changes in her life.


Nel is another one who might not consider motherhood. She's a warrior first, caregiver maybe third or fourth. Unlike Maria, she'd be able to care for a child the way a child needs, but her becoming pregnant would be the result of an unexpected tryst with someone. Nel is married to her work. Her duty comes first in her life.

Of course, if Nel thought she'd be unable to care for a child, she might be the one to consider giving her child away to someone else who could. Nel is the type of person who would want to do right by any child to which she could give birth.


Clair Lasbard is one who I'd guess would have mixed feelings. Part of her would marry and bear children in order to please her father. (Adray is quite intent on finding a suitable man for his daughter to marry.) Part of her would want to marry and have a child simply because it would be hard-wired into her system. She, like Nel, would do what she'd need to do in order to provide for any children of hers.

By the same token as Sarah, Lymle. and Eleyna, I feel that for both Clair and Nel, because of their abilities in symbology and their skills as warriors, there would be some pressure for them to bear children. It is because of their societal construct. Granted, they live in a kingdom where women are the main authority, but even other women understand that there are some physical and symbological traits that they want to keep alive in their society.  While symbological abilities are also inherently rare among them, they would still want to see what could be produced from a woman with such skills, and still find something else for the child to become in the case where symbology isn't inherited.

Peppita Rosetti probably, until meeting Fayt (and becoming insanely smitten with him), never thought of having children. She's fourteen years old and preparing to become an intergalactic star. As I don't get to really knew her all that well in the game - I prefer to try and recruit Nel and Albel - but she does have a crush on Fayt. A crush, however, doesn't mean she's thought about having children or will ever think about having children. I think she would, though, because having children would give her the family that was denied to her. While she shares some similarities with Maria - orphaned, raised by others - Peppita isn't as emotionally stunted or socially inept as the leader of Quark. Nothing against Cliff or Mirage in how they took care of Maria but an organization that can see battles isn't the same as growing up in a performance troupe. They were treated differently so, even if Peppita ended up pregnant from a tryst, she'd be able to adjust to motherhood better than what Maria could.

Second to last on this list is Blair Lansfeld. I don't see her becoming a mother, either, or even entertaining the notion. She wouldn't be opposed to the idea, in my mind, but it wouldn't be something she'd actively seek. She and her brother are very similar. They both dedicate themselves to their work and probably put in some very long hours. Because of that, any children she would have would be cared for by a nanny.

Finally, I come to Mirage. Strong, beautiful, intelligent, quiet . . . every redeeming quality in a woman that a man could and should love.

I think she'd make an awesome mom.


Really, the only one who I think would make a terrible mother out of this particular cast of women characters is Maria. It wouldn't be because she wouldn't love her children. It would be because she doesn't have the patience required to deal with them.

Of course, one can never tell what kind of a mother a woman will make until she becomes one.

Tomorrow will be celebration for one of the established mothers in the Star Ocean universe, Ryoko Leingod and the weekly schedule.

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: (Default)
I recently started a story inspired a Last Hope doujinshi I'm interested in buying. The name of the doujinshi is called Another World, and it deals with a potential what if where Reimi and the alternate Earth is concerned (since we really don't know what happened from the time she was captured until she's reunited with Edge). In my story, I write out what I think has happened in the doujinshi and the consequences thereafter, all from Reimi's point of view. (Don't worry, Reimi fans, I'm being nice to her. Mostly.)

One thing that came out in writing the first chapter was the secret Reimi has kept since her childhood - how her D.N.A. was enhanced with the D.N.A. of the Muah to help the human race adapt to adverse environmental conditions. You see, in my story, the encounter Reimi has with the military men on the alternate Earth results in her becoming pregnant. She doesn't know it right away, and she's chosen to not speak of it. In reflecting about the secrets she'd kept from Edge, she figures keeping the secret about her childhood and the Seeds of Hope would have been easier than what happened to her on the alternate Earth since it'd resulted in her becoming pregnant.

This has me wondering. If Sarah hadn't pressed her on why she recovered so quickly from the stone sickness, would Reimi have ever told Edge the truth about the Seeds of Hope project? It's a very painful secret to bear, one that would ultimately eat away at even the kindest person's soul. I wrote once that a relationship between Edge and Reimi would ultimately fail because Edge wouldn't be able to trust her since she'd kept such a major secret from him. Now I ask about Reimi. Why didn't she trust Edge with her darkest secret sooner and would she have ever told the truth if Sarah and Bacchus hadn't known so much about stone sickness or if Faize hadn't seen the crest on the back of her neck? Lymle gave the simplest explanations of all for how quickly Reimi recovered with Meracle backing Lymle. "The medicine made her better,'kay?"

I, personally, am leaning towards the answer of 'no', simply because of Reimi's personal trust issues. The events that have kept her mouth shut have scarred her psychologically, so much so, it took her years and the curious naivete of Sarah Jerand to confess the truth, even to someone she's known for a very long time, like Edge. (It does make me wonder how much Crowe knows, but that will always be an unanswered question simply because we get never get Crowe as an playable character.) As I don't know how old she was when it happened, though I'm quite certain it happened before Arnold Maverick's death, one thing is certainly known - Edge had no clue. And it can't be blamed on the fact that he's "a guy, and guys can be clueless like that at times" or however else you want to see it. I don't think he was living with the Saionji family at the time so it was truly a surprise to him when he learned about what Reimi suffered through and about his own powers.

* * * *

SECOND CALL FOR ASK THE STAR OCEAN CHARACTER - MARIA TRAYDOR

Still accepting questions for Maria Traydor, leader of Quark and Captain of The Diplo. Please reply to the appropriate entries or send me a PM with your question. Also, let me know if you wish to remain anonymous (since I've set it up like an interview segment) or if what kind of a name you'd like. I will accommodate everyone when it comes to names. If you don't specify, I will assign you a name based on your user ID. Please limit one question per person unless I indicate otherwise.

Thanks!
 

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Hello, everyone and welcome to the inaugural segment of Ask the Star Ocean Character! Today's special guest is none other than Miss Reimi Saionji of the Space Reconnaissance Force and First Officer of the 003-Calnus. Welcome to my little corner of cyberspace, Miss Saionji, and thank you for joining us.

Reimi: Thank you, and please, call me Reimi. /smiles/

Read more... )

* * * *

Some facts about Reimi Saionji:

Her Japanese voice actress is Misato Fukuen.
Her English/American voice actress is Laura Bailey.

She's a surviving member of the Seeds of Hope Project orchestrated by Arnold Maverick, Edge's father, and her own parents. She's given the ability to overcome any and all diseases she might encounter, including radiation poisoning.

Reimi is perhaps one of the least liked characters in Star Ocean: The Last Hope. However, I won't say that with any definitive certainty . . . I have found that some fanfic authors do like her.

There are a PVC and pose-able action figure for her.

She has a hard time trusting people with very important secrets. See Seeds of Hope comment from above and below from the character study.

Astrological sign: Aries

Item Creation Skills
Smithery 1
Cooking 10
Alchemy -6
Artistry 6
Engineering -1
Crafting 5
Compounding -2
Sense 3

These do not change as a person levels up a person's given trade. I don't know why I thought it would so I checked. As I double-checked the numbers from the higher levels to the beginning levels, my sister asked me, "How can someone have a negative number on a skill?" I said I didn't know . . .  but one thing is for sure. Reimi really stinks at alchemy, engineering, and compounding. ^_^
 
* * * *

Reimi Character Study - Revised

Name: Reimi Saionji
Age: 19
Hair color: brown
Eye color: brown
Height: 5' 5/8" - updated thanks to Star Ocean wiki
Weight: 117 lbs - updated thanks to Star Ocean wiki
Rank: First Officer
Birthdate: March 28, 2077
Weapon: Bow
Favorite food: sweet things - added thanks to Star Ocean wiki
Quote: I believe in you, Edge.

Read more... )

From me: I agree and disagree with Reimi being level-headed. She definitely has her moments where she is the calm, cool and collected one, but her age gets the better of her in other situations. It isn't a win-win for  her, but it also isn't lose-lose.

For example:Read more... )

That's just one of a few examples that I can think of where Reimi isn't very level-headed. Yes, she's nineteen years old, turns twenty when the right private action is triggered,  but, if she's as intelligent as the game's strategy guide claims, she wouldn't need to ask "What happened here?" when it was quite obvious as to what happened. :) I do understand shock settling in and her mind not wanting to process what she saw, but, really. Intelligent people look at it, understand it, accept it, and find a way to keep the tragedies from happening all over again.

From the strategy guide:
Read more... )

From me: Reimi is the mother hen of the group but without the experience of raising children herself. The player first gets a brief glimpse of this in the opening scenes with Edge in how she conducts herself and chastises him for not attending the departure ceremony, but it becomes very apparent after Lymle joins the party. I won't necessarily say it's a bad thing, but it's something that can become annoying after a while. I understand that when a person is dealing with someone who's about five years of age or at least looks like she's five years of age, s/he is going to modify the way s/he talks to that child. I'm sure Reimi doesn't realize that, in some ways, she's talking down to Lymle, but hen again, she probably doesn't realize that Lymle is fifteen and not five.

One thing I've noticed about Reimi is how she likes to declare Edge as being a pervert, and I'm not talking about in the private actions. (For private actions, I go out of my way to PO Reimi, but that's because I don't like her. In order to get her ending, though, I'm going to have to play nice with her on the next play-through, which I hope to start soon as there's another topic I'd like to address.) The first instance is after the dragon newt is defeated in Alanaire Citadel, and the original way they reached the top is no longer accessible to them. On the outside of the citadel are some hanging materials. I want to call it canvas, but I don't believe that's the accurate term . . . it is strong enough to hold weight so . . . Anyway, Reimi points out the hanging material, no one can see another way down, and Edge volunteers to go down first.

Immediately, Reimi is objecting. She says no repeatedly, calls him a pervert (which is leaving him confused as well as Faize and Lymle), and declares she's going down first. (Which one could argue is an act of insubordination on the First Officer's part.)

The other in-game moment is on the alternate Earth when they're locked in the same room as an unconscious Reimi by Milla Bachtein. Reimi, for some reason, is naked. Why she's naked, it's never said, but she is and she's unconscious. When she comes to, she sits up, the blankets falling, and then she realizes she's nude and Edge is staring, dumbfounded. Okay, that moment isn't exactly good for Edge, but I don't blame him, either, for looking at a woman's bared boobs.

That particular scene truly bothers me. I know Reimi is intelligent. I know she's kind. I won't dispute those facts because they are evident throughout the game. What I don't understand (aside from it being a ploy on the game designers' parts) is how come she didn't realize upon waking that she was naked? There is a world of difference in the feel of the textiles used in her uniform and cotton-blend sheets. Plus, she's only covered from underneath her arms to about her ankles.

Now, it could be argued "Well, she was drugged. Milla even admitted as much." Yes. Milla drugged Reimi. She did admit as much so it's a given. However, I only buy that argument so far. Speaking as a woman, I know the difference between how my clothes feel on me and when I'm naked under a sheet and some blankets. Drugged or not, I'm going to realize whether or not I have my clothes on upon waking, and, if I'm naked, I'm certainly not going to sit up so the blankets fall off me with people in the room.

The rest of the "pervert" remarks are found in the private actions, where Reimi's jealousy over the other women on the Calnus becomes apparent. Of course, triggering those private actions are up to the player.

There is one other flaw I've found in Reimi's character, and it seems to be a bit of a popular theme in anime in general. Girl has crush on guy. Guy is somewhat clueless to girl's crush so either doesn't reciprocate or doesn't know how to reciprocate. Guy is attractive and has other girls talking to him, increasing the jealousy of the girl (who also is supposed to be the heroine of the story, the hero's counterpart), and so said girl throws fit and storms off or calls guy a pervert and smacks him for being googly-eyed over the other women. If guy and girl are dating, I can understand the jealousy to a certain extent, but if guy and girl aren't dating, I don't understand it at all.

In essence, though, Reimi is not an evil character. She does treat the others in the team with kindness and respect, reserving the smacking for Edge (probably because Sarah is just too innocent in how she sees things, it'd be cruel for her to smack someone as unsuspecting of things like Meracle, and Myuria would smack her back). In terms of personality, she's a little like the pink fluff of Sophia Esteed mixed with emo-ness of Maria. The internal angst seems so unnecessary to me, but it's how the game designers wrote her so . . . I just find her annoying. When I get the chance, I remove her from my fighting party, keeping her levels up because she does come quite handy in certain boss battles. I don't necessarily see where she's hard on herself, other than when it comes to food, but maybe others see it.

Overall, Reimi is a character that a person will either like or dislike. That is entirely up to the player. For this player, she's just one that, if I didn't have to keep her leveled up for certain battles, I wouldn't bother with her at all. Her ability to fight disease is both a bane and a boon. You realize this later in the game. It's also because of this ability that the truth comes out about her, Edge, and Crowe.

From the in-game dictionary: Read more... )
From me: I do agree, for the most part, that Reimi looks out for those around her. Unfortunately, there's one scene that takes place where her emotions overwhelm, and she behaves more than a bit selfishly . . . It's the return to Aeos and, upon seeing the destruction of the base, she (and Edge) initially doesn't think of Faize and what he's lost. When she does finally realize it, Faize brushes it off, and she accepts it without question. She isn't the only one guilty of this, though, but she's being written as caring and considerate of others above herself, and it doesn't always hold true.

Continued from the in-game dictionary: Read more... )
From me: Upon learning about the Seeds of Hope project on Roak, I really had to say, "You're kidding me, right? Again with the genetic enhancement of children? It's the same thing that they did in Till the End of Time!" And it does feel like a trite, overused plot tool when it comes to games.

Having this secret come out in the game and at a critical point in the game, it leaves me wondering just how well Reimi trusts those she calls friends and colleagues. I understand her silence is yet another plot device, or else Edge wouldn't have worried so much after she contracted the stone sickness nor would he have fought as hard as he did just to get the cure. Plot device aside, it's too much of a critical secret to be kept to herself. Edge is supposed to be her childhood friend, best friend, sibling-like friend, and someone she's falling in love with hard, fast, and strong. This secret she's resolved to keep is something that, if Sarah hadn't asked why Reimi recovered as quickly as she did and with Bacchus backing Sarah up on the issue, Reimi would have taken to her grave. She'd have never trusted anyone, Edge included, with that kind of a secret. Yes, I do understand the events that uncovered this secret, when Reimi learns the truth from her parents about her abilities, is emotionally and mentally scarring. I won't ever deny that, but to resolve to never tell anyone, not even the person you care about most in the world (and galaxy) isn't only foolish but selfish. It's the kind of thing that will eat away at your soul until your ability to love becomes eroded, and you start hating those around you for being normal, hating them as much as you hate yourself for not being normal.

And thus ends the revision of Reimi's character study. Next week's character study will feature Sophia Esteed from Till the End of Time.

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Taking questions for the Ask the Star Ocean characters segment of my Star Ocean blog!

The first character up is Reimi Saionji from The Last Hope.

Please send me a note or reply to this entry with your questions for Reimi. I'll be taking the questions until Wednesday, March 21, at which point I'll post the next character's name.

I am starting with my least favorite characters and the ones I deem to be the least popular amongst Star Ocean fans. So for those of you who have a burning question for Albel . . . write them down for when I do get to him. :)

Limit: ONE QUESTION PER PERSON.

Thanks!
star_ocean_fan: (lufay trading card)
The Sibling Factor

Read more... )
 

* * * *

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

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

* * * *

Cosplay For Sale

Read more... )
star_ocean_fan: (Edge Maverick)
Character Study: Reimi Saionji

It might seem strange for me to start with one of my least favorite characters as opposed to starting with one of my most favorite characters . . . there is a method to my madness.

I'll be starting with the basics with each character study. The basics are what most people will find in the game manuals and strategy guides as well as some of the basic information from the games. It'll then be followed up with my take on the character in question.

Name: Reimi Saionji
Age: 19
Hair color: brown
Eye color: brown
Height: N/A
Weight: N/A
Rank: First Officer
Birthdate: March 28
Weapon: Bow
Quote: I believe in you, Edge.

From the Game Manual )
From me: I agree and disagree with Reimie being level-headed. She definitely has her moments where she is the calm, cool and collected one, but her age gets the better of her in other situations.

For example:Cut for spoilers )
That's just one of a few examples that I can think of where Reimi isn't very level-headed. Yes, she's nineteen years old, but, if she's as intelligent as the game's strategy guide claims, she wouldn't need to ask "What happened here?" when it was quite obvious as to what happened. :)

From the strategy guide )

From me: Reimi is the mother hen of the group but without the experience of raising children herself. The player first gets a brief glimpse of this in the opening scenes with Edge in how she conducts herself and chastises him for not attending the departure ceremony, but it becomes very apparent after Lymle joins the party. I won't necessarily say it's a bad thing, but it's something that can become annoying after a while. I understand that when a person is dealing with someone who's about five years of age or at least looks like she's five years of age, s/he is going to modify the way s/he talks to that child. I'm sure Reimi doesn't realize that, in some ways, she's talking down to Lymle, but hen again, she probably doesn't realize that Lymle is fifteen and not five.

One thing I've noticed about Reimi is how she likes to declare Edge as being a pervert, and I'm not talking about in the private actions. (For private actions, I go out of my way to PO Reimi, but that's because I don't like her. In order to get her ending, though, I'm going to have to play nice with her on the next play-through, which I hope to start soon as there's another topic I'd like to address.) The first instance is after the dragon newt is defeated in Alanaire Citadel, and the original way they reached the top is no longer accessible to them. On the outside of the citadel are some hanging materials. I want to call it canvas, but I don't believe that's the accurate term . . . it is strong enough to hold weight so . . . Anyway, Reimi points out the hanging material, no one can see another way down, and Edge volunteers to go down first.

Immediately, Reimi is objecting. She says no repeatedly, calls him a pervert (which is leaving him confused as well as Faize and Lymle), and declares she's going down first. (Which one could argue is an act of insubordination on the First Officer's part.)

The other in-game moment is on the alternate Earth when they're locked in the same room as an unconscious Reimi by Milla Bachtein. Reimi, for some reason, is naked. Why she's naked, it's never said, but she is and she's unconscious. When she comes to, she sits up, the blankets falling, and then she realizes she's nude and Edge is staring, dumbfounded. Okay, that moment isn't exactly good for Edge, but I don't blame him, either, for looking at a woman's bared boobs.

That particular scene truly bothers me. I know Reimi is intelligent. I know she's kind. I won't dispute those facts because they are evident throughout the game. What I don't understand (aside from it being a ploy on the game designers' parts) is how come she didn't realize upon waking that she was naked? There is a world of difference in the feel of the textiles used in her uniform and cotton-blend sheets. Plus, she's only covered from underneath her arms to about her ankles.

Now, it could be argued "Well, she was drugged. Milla even admitted as much." Yes. Milla drugged Reimi. She did admit as much so it's a given. However, I only buy that argument so far. Speaking as a woman, I know the difference between how my clothes feel on me and when I'm naked under a sheet and some blankets. Drugged or not, I'm going to realize whether or not I have my clothes on upon waking, and, if I'm naked, I'm certainly not going to sit up so the blankets fall off me with people in the room.

The rest of the "pervert" remarks are found in the private actions, where Reimi's jealousy over the other women on the Calnus becomes apparent. Of course, triggering those private actions are up to the player.

There is one other flaw I've found in Reimi's character, and it seems to be a bit of a popular theme in anime in general. Girl has crush on guy. Guy is somewhat clueless to girl's crush so either doesn't reciprocate or doesn't know how to reciprocate. Guy is attractive and has other girls talking to him, increasing the jealousy of the girl (who also is supposed to be the heroine of the story, the hero's counterpart), and so said girl throws fit and storms off or calls guy a pervert and smacks him for being googly-eyed over the other women. If guy and girl are dating, I can understand the jealousy to a certain extent, but if guy and girl aren't dating, I don't understand it at all.

In essence, though, Reimi is not an evil character. She does treat the others in the team with kindness, reserving the smacking for Edge (probably because Sarah is just too innocent in how she sees things and Myuria would smack her back). In terms of personality, she's a little like the pink fluff of Sophia Esteed mixed with emo-ness of Maria. The internal angst seems so unnecessary to me, but it's how the game designers wrote her so . . . I just find her annoying. When I get the chance, I remove her from my fighting party, keeping her levels up because she does come quite handy in certain boss battles. I don't necessarily see where she's hard on herself, other than when it comes to food, but maybe others see it.

Overall, Reimi is a character that a person will either like or dislike. That is entirely up to the player. For this player, she's just one that, if I didn't have to keep her leveled up for certain battles, I wouldn't bother with her at all. Her ability to fight disease is both a bane and a boon. You realize this later in the game. It's also because of this ability that the truth comes out about her, Edge, and Crowe.

************************************

Game Review:

Star Ocean game: The Last Hope

Rating: Four and a half stars out of Five

I'm just going to keep my review of this game rather brief. It's actually the kind of game a person can beat in about thirty hours of play, including the side quests and store deliveries.

The Story: The Last Hope takes place in the year 10 S.D., a time in the series history when the Earth is in great danger. The environment is deteriorating at a rapid rate, so much so, the human population has taken to living in underground cities. Mankind's only hope for survival is to head into space.

Enter the Space Reconnaissance Force, or SRF. This history is narrated by none other than the hero of the game as he waits for the right time to make his entrance at the departure ceremony.

Among the members of the SRF are our hero, Edge Maverick, and his childhood friend, Reimi Saionji. Despite being the hero of the game, at the inaugural launch of five exploration craft into space, Edge isn't in a leadership position. His best friend and greatest rival, Crowe F. Almedio, is a Captain, which frustrates our hero to no end.

From this point, the game starts. All five ships launch, the destination being an uninhabited planet called Aeos. After a few more events taking place  (such as meeting Faize and learning of the Eldarian race), Edge receives a battlefield promotion, and thus is given command of the ship, the Calnus.

With the Calnus, players are able to embark on an intergalactic journey, which eventually becomes a mission to save not only Earth, but the entire universe.

Plot: To save the universe is a rather ho-hum device in order to drive a story. Yet it wouldn't be a Star Ocean game if the entire universe wasn't in peril. I could be wrong on First Departure, since that seems to be focused mostly on Roak (which you get to see in The Last Hope as well), but I'll know more once I've played the game. Still, saving the universe, while ho-hum, can be quite spectacular if in the hands of the right people, and it doesn't feel like quite a cliche for The Last Hope. With two new planets to explore that may or may not appear in First Departure or Second Evolution, it's kind of hard to be bored with the saving the universe them.

There is one other plot device utilized in The Last Hope that I find to be a bit boring and rather cliched for the Star Ocean universe, and that's the genetic altering of select characters in order to enhance the game. It feels like, "Serioulsy? You couldn't come up with some other plot device?" Mind you, Edge, Reimi and Crowe (who remains unattainable) are the ones given these special properties, but, when compared to the likes of Fayt, Maria, and Sophia, the powers for those belonging to the Seeds of Hope don't seem all that spectacular. It's just an ability to overcome an adverse situation of some kind or another. It'd be interesting to see these six characters in a face-off of sorts.

Graphics: I love what was done in terms of creating these new worlds of Aeos and Lemuris and Roak. Everything looks similar yet foreign and beautiful at the same time.

Characters: Very few characters in this game truly annoy me. Most of the characters reach some semblance of growth throughout the game, which is something I like. Characters that don't grow are generally boring and annoying.

Battle: Battles aren't all that different from Till the End of Time, neither of which are turn-based RPGs. You fight the battles as you would in a real life situation, which can make it difficult in keeping certain characters alive sometimes. However, unlike Till the End of Time, should the entire battle party die, you can pull out another member to revive the dead. It's only when all eight party members are dead that you hit Game Over. Tis nice, especially when you're up against a really difficult boss.

Overall: I give this game four and a half stars out of five, and it will remain as one of my top RPGs to play over and over again.

******************************************************

Title: Letting Go When the Desire to Hold On is Strong
World: Till the End of Time
Rating: PG13
Warnings: Character death
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Ocean or the characters contained within this story. The rights belong respectively to Square Enix and Tri-Ace. I do not profit financially from writing this story.
Summary: A Leingod says goodbye.
 


Next up: A potential inconsistency in the game of The Last Hope.


star_ocean_fan: (manga Fayt Leingod)


First of all, I will admit that the following character isn't someone I'm extremely fond of, and I wish I didn't need to rely on her in certain battles. That being said, this really isn't an attempt at character bashing on my part. It's actually a long look at the events that led up to Edge's decision (mentioned in yesterday's entry) and how Milla Bachtein was able to manipulate him so easily.

The SRF doesn't train its people properly, it would seem . . . spoilers )

It might sound like I don't love the game of The Last Hope. That's actually not true. I do love TLH very much, so much so, I've started four play-throughs and have defeated it twice. The second time I defeated Satanail wasn't quite as awesome as the first time - first time Edge was the only one left standing. Arumat, Reimi, and Sarah had just died when Edge delivered the final blow so I didn't get a chance to revive anyone or pull someone else from the reserves. That was so awesome - but a second game with another defeat won't be as awesome or thrilling as the first time a game is beaten (or as spectacular as the hero getting in the final blow unexpectedly).

Next entry looks to be solely fanfic-related. As I said before, the first chaptered piece will be Destinies Intertwined by Fate, which is still in progress in terms of writing. When it comes to posting that story, that will be all for the day. Destinies Intertwined by Fate was something I'd started a few years ago for National Novel Writing Month, and the first chapter is quite long. My goal with it is to have at least five different PoVs for each chapter with about twenty chapters as well as a prologue and epilogue. So if you see just that, don't panic. I'll be coming up with conversation topics, scouring dA for cosplay and merchandise photos as well as getting my currently puny merchandise gathered up for photos, and going over the finer points of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time and Star Ocean: The Last Hope International for the PS3 for review. Also, don't be surprised if something ends up age restricted . . . there are certain things I like to write or that call out to me to be written and I do it. Some of what I write isn't suitable for those under the age of 18. At least, by law, they're not suitable.

Also, I'm planning something for Valentine's Day. :) Just got to get a few things together and cleaned up.

Fanfic: Emerald Eyes
World: Till the End of Time
Characters: Fayt Leingod, Luther Lansfeld
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Ocean: Till the End of Time nor the characters of Fayt Leingod and Luther Lansfeld. They are property to Square Enix and Tri-Ace. I do not profit financially from writing this story.
Summary: The fight begins.

 

Emerald Eyes )

 

With tomorrow being Valentine's Day, it will all be dedicated to pairings, relationships, and all of that gushy-gushy and mushy-mushy romance stuff. :)



star_ocean_fan: (Edge Maverick)
I thank Kojika for discussing Star Ocean thoughts with me over at deviantArt. It's definitely nice to have someone to talk to about Star Ocean and have that same love of fandom, if not always for the same pairings. :)

Anyway, this came about when we were talking about the whole childhood friends turned romantic relationship ideal that the Star Ocean creators like to sell to the fans.

The Issue of Trust )
Mind you, these are pairings I'm not overly fond of and won't read in terms of fanfiction. I skip over the art. Those are just my personal preferences for pairings, but I also believe there's just too much emphasis on pairing. Here's what I mean.

For Star Ocean 3, my favorite pairing, my OTP, is that of Luther Lansfeld with Fayt Leingod. An unlikely duo as seen by many, about as implausible to them as Fayt/Sophia or Fayt/Maria is to me, and therefore they won't read the stories I write because of that. Okay, fine. That's something I can deal with and appreciate because, hey, I do it myself. If the person doesn't like it, but likes the story premise and reads it for that, that's cool by me, too. I'm sure if I were to find a Fayt/Maria or Fayt/Sophia story where the plot premise sounded intriguing, I might be inspired to read it. What I don't like are the people who will read it, minds made up they don't like the story based on the pairing alone, and leave a stiff and haughty-sounding review with the plot premise as the disguise for their disdain. (Yes, I've had that happen before.)

Now, I will read Fayt paired with other people so long as it isn't some sappy written drivel where the characters act like morons from a chidren's anime episode and filled with grammar and spelling errors galore. I have a very high set of standards when it comes to reading.

That being said, I do say to each his or her own when it comes to pairing and what you want to see and read. These are just my thoughts, and if it inspires those who love such canon pairings to take a different look at them, so be it. :)

On a final note, the other part of this entry's subject, I hope to see more Star Ocean games. I'd love to see Blue Sphere translated and adapted for another system like the PSP or something less portable, like the Wii or PS3. I'd also love to see follow-ups for The Last Hope and Till the End of Time and even a crossover game between those two . . . perhaps Luther has returned, or someone just as insidious as he has appeared as a threat (it is possible - he was defeated only, not killed . . . it seems like it's impossible to kill someone from the 4-D realm), and the space time continuum is threatened and only by combining forces with Edge and a select number of his crew will Fayt and a select number of his friends. Of course, if one runs with that theory, then the non-optional characters would definitely be Edge, Reimi, Fayt, Maria, and Sophia . . . I'd toss in Crowe as well simply because you don't get to have fun with him in battles. The guy can wield both a gun or a set of laser blades. That is just so cool! There's six right there so that leaves two spaces fill . . . for which I'd say leave that up to the players to choose who fills them. (I can see having Albel and Arumat in that group . . . may not be a wise idea, but I could see some people doing that!)

Actually, what would be better with that scenario is gaining everyone that you had before, including Faize, in reserves and just rotate out the ones that you need. I know I'm getting ahead of myself on this, but I really do love this series. I'm very much looking forward to playing First Departure and Second Evolution once I get a PSP, so that will take care of some of my Star Ocean game craving, but not completely. I know I may never get my wish of more Star Ocean games. The series hasn't quite reached the popularity levels of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, but there is still a large enough fanbase for more games to be made. I shall keep my fingers crossed. :)

Next entry will be more Star Ocean: The Last Hope centered . . . In fact, the next three entries at least will be TLH-centered because I'll be writing two different character studies on Edge Maverick. One will deal with how the game ended while the other will deal with Edge's actions on the alternate Earth. The third one will also deal with the alternate Earth situation, but it'll take a closer look at the influences that led to Edge's decision and the end results. Also, I'm going to start posting fanfiction snippets and chapters. The first chaptered story up will be Destinies Intertwined by Fate, a Star Ocean: Till the End of Time end-game story.

star_ocean_fan: (Fayt Leingod Experiment)
Hello again! Another day with another entry with another thought from me. Yeah. It may seem like I need a life, that I should stop obsessing over something that's fictional, but, well, what's science fiction today is science fact of tomorrow. Isaac Asimov proved that with his novel, I, Robot. :)

Anyway, after I wrote about Luther Lansfeld yesterday, I went and played some more Star Ocean: The Last Hope International. Discovered that there's an ending for Reimi, and I'm not sure if it's something I'm going to go for . . . despite being a trophy completionist. I'm getting off-track here. One thing I've noticed that seems to be a bit of a recurring theme with the Star Ocean games, or at least with Till the End of Time and The Last Hope, is that of genetic experimentation. As most Star Ocean players know, in Till the End of Time, the "science" experiments were Fayt Leingod, Maria Traydor, and Sophia Esteed, with each given the powers of Destruction, Alteration, and Connection respectively. In The Last Hope, it's Edge Maverick, Crowe F. Almedio (who you don't get as an AI for your team - bummer), and Reimi Saionji. These three were gifted with the genetic capabilities of an ancient alien race known as the Muah, but they're not specific powers, per se. Rather, it's the ability to adapt to a given situation and survive. You know it's going on when you see crests light up on the back of Edge's right hand and the back of Reimi's neck. Sadly, because Crowe doesn't become a playable member of your AI team, it's unclear just what exactly his adaptation skills are, but we do know he's powerful in his own right, Captain of the Aquila at a very young age and capable of using not only a gun, but twin blades as well. :) (What's not to love about that?)

Into the details we go )
I have all sorts of interesting ideas about the Star Ocean universe that I'd like to present to my fellow fans and players. My goal with these entries isn't necessarily to influence others to my way of thinking about the fandom, but to help spread the love and to discuss all things related to the games. These games are still popular, but they're not necessarily as popular as the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series. This journal is also for the people who wonder what the appeal is to the games from a fan's point of view. The fans of Star Ocean know why they love the games. That's a given.

So if you're just finding this journal or if you're a die-hard Star Ocean fan, discussions on entries like this are welcome, so long as they maintain a certain social decorum and respect. Remember, each person is entitled to his or her opinions. Name-calling, pushing your thoughts on others, and blatant disrespect for your fellow fans and me will get you banned from this journal quicker than what it would take Luther to hit his almighty delete key of doom. I know I should have said this on this first entry, but it's here now. The idea is to spread the love, not turn other people away from the fandom. I also have anonymous commenting on, but if people abuse that, it will be turned off, and said person will either have to create an ID in order to post comments or leave me alone. It sounds harsh, I know, but I will not tolerate disrespect towards me or to others who may have a differing view point on these games and these characters. It's the disrespect that drives people who love the games away and keeps others who might enjoy the games from ever touching them. There is no one correct theory to any of this. :) It's all for fun, and I hope fun for all.

What's next? In terms of idea discussion and thoughts, I think I'm going to run with an idea called An Issue of Trust. There are events that have taken place in the Star Ocean games that most people who love a few of the canon pairings don't take into consideration when creating artwork or writing stories for those pairings. These are pairings that, for me, just don't work even though they are canon to some extent or another. People who like the canon pairings may want to avoid reading the next entry simply because it won't be what they want to hear. I feel that everyone has the right to choose the OTP that appeals to him (or her . . . mostly her, it seems like). I just don't feel like arguing over why, oh, say, Edge Maverick should be with Reimi Saionji over someone else, like Myuria or even heading into yaoi territory with Faize or Crowe or Arumat. The canon pairings don't always appeal to me. I understand that they appeal to others, and that's fine. We will like what we will like, and that's fine.

Until tomorrow, kiddos!!

Icon artwork done by: Blackdragon

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