star_ocean_fan: (Default)
I will blame Kojika for this.


The Creator Complex

Last year, when I first started this journal, I wrote an entry about how I didn't think or believe it to be possible for Luther to be behind the Grigori in The Last Hope. In fact, I will still maintain that he wasn't behind the Grigori, that one of his competitors managed to infect the Eternal Sphere with them (a discussion for later). It's entirely possible, too, for someone to try and sabotage Luther, Sphere 211, and the Eternal Sphere. However, for this entry, I will entertain the possibility that perhaps he was behind the Grigori and the potential reason for it.

You see, this actually is inspired by a request I've made to Kojika. As I'm currently short on time in the mornings and in the evenings before and after work, I don't want to spend a lot of time searching for wigs for cosplays. My request to her was to help me find one that I could use interchangeably between Edge and Luther or at least the one her Edge cosplayer used at YoumaCon. My logic is that it would work well for either Luther or Edge, and I really would like it if I didn't have to purchase two wigs for two different characters.

There, of course, is more to the conversation, but, for the sake of brevity, I won't get into it. Suffice it to say, Kojika did send me a link for a wig that would suit my Edge Maverick cosplay very well. Sadly, I'm not so sure if it will work for Luther. My comments were one would think it would work well for Luther as well since he does have a Creator complex.

A Creator complex.

Now, as most players for Till the End of Time are aware, Luther is a megalomaniac. He's a control freak who wants everything to perform in a certain way, and when it isn't, well, he isn't a happy camper. The only way, in my mind, that Luther would ever send the Grigori into the Eternal Sphere is if he knew that a part of him, someone he created in his physical image, could destroy them. He isn't just a game designer. He's a gamer. What better way for him to play than creating an AI or two (or three) in his image, setting up the right personality parameters, and going from there? Some gamers do like to be heroes.

I know. It sounds strange that Luther would create Edge in his image. It's not as farfetched as one might, though, considering the similarities between Luther and Fayt. Luther and Fayt are polar opposites (Creator/Destruction).

Of course, I really don't believe Luther created the Grigori. They are responsible for abnormal evolution - anomalies, if you will. Luther wasn't all that fond of anomalies.

Then again, this is just my take on a potential reason for Luther being the cause of the Grigori and not one of his competitors. It's my interpretation of the character and mine alone. If others agree, that's fine. If they don't, that's fine, too. It's all about how we interpret things as individuals anyway.


Cosplay/Merchandise Update

I finally settled on what Star Ocean merchandise I was going to buy first. I'll be ramping up for cosplaying, too. Wigs are first. I'll post pictures as soon as I have them.


That's it for today and perhaps this week. Still not managing my time as well as I should be, but things will fall into place. Have a great weekend, everyone!
star_ocean_fan: (Default)

Fanfic Writing Tip #9 - Leaving Reviews and Letting Your Work Stand on Its Own

At some point, fanfiction writers read fanfiction. In fact, reading fanfiction inspires other fanfiction writers to actually write instead of dream/daydream the scenarios in our heads. I know that's how I finally got my start as a fanfiction author.

Now, there are many things I see when browsing sites like, things I don't necessarily like or think an author should be doing when writing summaries and author's notes. Things in summaries like "plz read and review" are not appealing to me, and they don't draw me in to read the story. Reading in an author's note "I'll update after I receive X number of reviews for this chapter" or "What's your excuse for not reviewing?! Review, gosh darn it!" are the kinds of things that inspire me to either not pick the story up again or leave a very harsh criticism of the work and the writer's attitude. (What one may think of as being cute and funny doesn't necessarily come across that way in black and white.)

Yes. I will admit right here, right now that reviews are gravy. They're awesome, and they go a long way in boosting a writer's confidence and inspiration. Those seeking professional publication will ask established author's for a quote to garner more sales. Book reviews either boost sales or decimate them. However, in the online world of fanfiction publishing, writers aren't paid, except in reviews, and the only things reviews are good for are pointing out where we've made mistakes and ego-boosting. To me, it's in bad form to require a reader to review your work and to require reviews in order to update. That says, in my mind, "I'm a review whore. That's the only thing I care about so that's why I'm writing this story", when that may not even be true. (These are also the kinds of writers who annoy me because I will leave a review and it isn't what they want in a review. They're also the ones that tell me "it's just for fun. Don't like it, don't read it." To that, I say, "Don't want people leaving you their honest thoughts, don't ask for reviews". Yes. I have a slight mean streak.) Readers are in no way obligated to read a person's works. They're in no way obligated to leave a review.

Let your work stand on its own. Write the story. Let your skills at summarizing and writing a compelling tale lure the reader in. Pack it with emotion. Give the reader a reason to write that review to you based on the emotions you've drawn out of that person, not because you need your ego-stoked.

Addendum to last week's writing tip.

Last week I wrote about writing in a logical order and using logic to write your story. That is something that will only go so far, and I was reminded of that when I read last week's Daily Kick by David Farland. There are times when logic will need to be thrown out the window, and it's often based on the kinds of situations the protagonists and antagonists find themselves facing . . . Unexpected reactions to conflict are good. Writing a single parent leaving his two-year-old child sleeping at home alone is still bad, though, because then the reader is expecting something bad to happen while he's gone and then nothing happens and there's a feeling of being cheated out of something really good.

Also, please note, I'm coming across as harsh, and my intentions are to actually help people with their fanfiction writing. I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds the behavior I've encountered in the last decade of fanfiction writing and reading to be annoying . . . I just happen to be quite outspoken on a lot of issues. So while I may sound harsh (it's the disadvantages of text-based forums and formats), it isn't my intention. Writing fanfiction may be for fun . . . but the reasons for reading don't ever change.

Next week's writing tip . . . Writing Songfic


Halloween In the Four-Dimensional Realm

Given that the world of Star Ocean is nothing more than a fabrication, a multi-player game, the brilliant child of the brain trust at Sphere 211, it isn't too far of a stretch to think that Halloween exists in the four-dimensional realm. It isn't too hard to believe that the creators of the game implemented many holidays and traditions into the game they themselves celebrate. To do so gives the game a sense of familiarity for the players.

How do I see Halloween in the four-dimensional realm? Well, I don't see the likeliness of a real pumpkin being carved into a jack-o-lantern. Maybe there would be what we see in stores like Wal-Mart and KMart . . . ceramic, glass, plastic, plastic covered in glitter . . . If it's a "real" pumpkin, chances are it was fabricated from a replicator.

Ghosts would probably be no different than what we see . . . white sheets or ephemeral wisps depicted in paint . . . something fleeting.

Zombies, ghouls, and demons wouldn't change from what the players see in their gaming experiences. Witches would have gone from ugly old crone to cute and sexy little caster.

All of this would translate into what the worlds and cultures in the Eternal Sphere would see for their Halloween traditions.

Now, if you ask me who would celebrate Halloween out of the four-dimensional beings we encounter in Till the End of Time, I'll address that in the Halloween costumes sections.


Halloween Costumes, Part Four, Segment One

By now, we're seven hundred plus years into the future of the Star Ocean series. Customs have been traded and upgraded, new holidays added into schedules, and more than one culture celebrates All Hallow's Eve. For this part of the Halloween Costumes segment, I'll be focusing on the following characters: Maria Traydor, Peppita Rosetti, Sophia Esteed, Lieber, and Marietta. I'm also going to toss in Belzeber and Flad, from the 4-D realm.

First up is Maria.

Of this particular group for today, I actually find her the hardest to determine the kinds of costumes she'd wear to go trick-or-treating. Her personality is far different when we first encounter her than what it was as a child. Was she the princess/ballerina type? Personally, I think her parents might have raised to be a little of both the girly type and the boyish type. Her mother is a scientist, her father a soldier . . . heck, she could have dressed up as a soldier-scientist hybrid as an homage to her parents. I do think princess and ballerina, too . . . maybe even a Featherfolk or Lesser Fellpool, too. This would, of course, continue until the destruction of her home and the deaths of her parents. I do feel that Cliff and Mirage would try their best to get Maria to go trick-or-treating once she's in their care, because it would offer up a sense of normalcy after everything she's endured. I'm just not sure Maria would go for it because of everything she's endure. Losing your parents at a young age and in a violent manner like that tends to force a child to mature emotionally in many ways than it would others who haven't lived through such trauma.

Peppita is a little easier for me to decipher. She wants to be famous, and she's learned to dance. Princess or ballerina or even dressing up as a famous dancer/singer/actress would be her style.

Sophia is also very easy for me, and I can see her insisting upon themed costumes with Fayt, much in the same way Reimi would with Edge and Crowe. Fayt would have an easier time drawing the line on what he wouldn't want to hear for costumes with Sophia. It would simply depend on what she'd want to dress up as for Halloween, and I can see her wanting to be a princess. Almost every single year. It is a fascination with her, princesses. (This is based on the kinds of responses Fayt can give her when she's joined the party and in places like Aquios and Airyglyph.) And the dress would be pink or maybe pale blue or lavender . . . but mostly pink. I'm pretty sure that's her favorite color. (She wears a lot of it.)

Lieber . . . Oh, Lieber . . . yes . . . I believe Klausians, after years of dealing with Earthlings, would celebrate Halloween. Lieber, before meeting Cliff and Mirage and falling in love with Maria, would want to be something . . . dynamic . . . heroic . . . noteworthy. He's very  much a romantic at heart. Knights, poets . . . elves . . . those would be what he'd want to dress up as for Halloween.

Marietta is another one I'm finding a little difficulty in determining. In truth, interactions with her (and Lieber) are on the limited side. Still, I think Marietta is tough, despite some of her cringing in a crisis (but then who doesn't?) . . . a pixie or a fairy from Klausian folklore would be cool. She has the features for something so delicate (at least in modern day Disney portrayals) . . . I could also see her (or even Sophia) wanting to dress up as Raggedy Ann, if that somehow is revived after World War III . . . and I think a fighter pilot. She becomes a member of Quark and is the communications officer on The Diplo. A fighter pilot isn't too far-fetched.

Flad is still a kid so I'm sure he'd head out trick-or-treating to his neighbors' homes. He'd be dressed as either his character persona from the Eternal Sphere or some other kind of character, i.e. elf, menodix, etc . . .

Finally, the second add-in for this, Belzeber.

Out of the enemies I've encountered in Till the End of Time, Belzeber has to be one of two of the power-hungriest characters (the other being Duke Vox). I don't lump Luther, Azazer, or Berial in that category for other reasons, which will be discussed at a later date. As the child of a powerful information technology magnate, Belzeber would be the child of entitlement, and his costumes for Halloween would reflect that - corporate businessman every year. He might switch it up every now and then, depending on who his friends are (which I do see him having Blair, Luther, Azazer, and Berial for a group of friends . . . for a while) . . . he might dress up as the hero to Luther's villain . . . but I don't see him deviating away too much from what he truly wants to be in his life - a powerful businessman controlling the 4-D realm.

And thus concludes today's segment of Halloween Costumes, Part 4. Tomorrow will see Cliff, Mirage, Robert Leingod, Ryoko Leingod, Blair, Azazer, Nel Zelpher, Roger S. Huxley, Adray Lasbard, and Clair Lasbard.


Halloween Fanfic Entries

This was written as a surprise giftfic for missnox!

Title: Halloween Culture Shock
Characters: Albel Nox, Fayt Leingod, Maria Traydor, Sophia Esteed
Pairing: Albel Nox x Fayt Leingod
World: Till the End of Time
Rating: PG13
Warnings: male/male relationship, language, violent urges (It has Albel in it!)
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Ocean - Till the End of Time. The game and the characters from the game belong to tri-Ace and Square Enix respectively. I don't profit financially from writing this.
Summary: Albel receives a culture shock when Fayt invites him to celebrate Halloween on Earth.

Read more... )


This was written as a surprise giftfic for Rachel Snowden on deviantart.

Title: A Trick For a Treat
World: Till the End of Time
Characters: Albel Nox, Fayt Leingod, Sophia Esteed, Maria Traydor, Lieber, Luther Lansfeld
Pairing: Albel Nox x Fayt Leingod, Maria Traydor x Lieber
Rating: PG13
Warnings: Language, male/male relationship, violent tendencies
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Ocean - Till the End of Time. The game and the characters from the game belong to tri-Ace and Square Enix respectively. I don't profit financially from writing this.
Summary:  Albel decides what he wants the most for the Hallowed Night’s festivities.
Author’s Note: The Hallowed Night is what I’m calling Elicoor II’s Halloween-type holiday.


Read more... )



This was written as a surprise giftfic for Charryblossom over at

Title: Lonely Hallow’s Night
World: Till the End of Time
Characters: Albel Nox, Nel Zelpher, Clair Lasbard, Adray Lasbard, Tynave, Farleen, Fayt Leingod
Pairing: Albel Nox x Nel Zelpher
Warnings: mild language, implied sexual situations
Rating: PG13
Disclaimer: I don’t own Till the End of Time or the characters of Fayt Leingod, Tynave, Farleen, Nel Zelpher, Clair Lasbard, Adray Lasbard, or Albel Nox. They belong to tri-Ace and Square Enix. I don’t profit financially from writing this story. I do profit from surprising people with these stories. XD
Author’s Note: Canon pairing. Not much else to say about it except I could have used Charry’s character, Charry, but I never asked her for permission to do so . . . plus I know from her cosplay photos, she’s an Albel x Nel fan.
Summary:  Nel and Albel stare at the moon on the Hallowed Night.


Read more... )


This was written as a surprise giftfic for Kojika on deviantart.


Title: Carving the Pumpkin (Part Two)
World: The Last Hope
Characters: Edge Maverick, Faize Sheifa Beleth
Pairing: Edge Maverick x Faize Sheifa Beleth
Warnings: Male/male relationship, implied sexual situations

Rating: PG13
Disclaimer: I don’t own the characters of Edge Maverick and Faize Sheifa Beleth or Star Ocean: The Last Hope. They belong to tri-Ace and Square Enix respectively. I don’t profit financially from writing this story.
Summary: Faize and Edge share some time alone on The Calnus and discuss the ways to carve a pumpkin.
Author’s Notes: Yes, I know I have a story up called Carving the Pumpkin, featuring Luther Lansfeld and Fayt Leingod from Till the End of Time. The idea of carving a pumpkin with Faize was just as appealing to me, and I’m not above rehashing story titles where appropriate.

Read more... )



(more fanfic in another entry)


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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: (Fayt Leingod)
Before I forget, the next birthday for the Star Ocean cast is Lymle. It's June 29. Artwork, poetry, and one-shot submissions will be welcome.

 * * * *

The Educational System of the Future - A Look at Till the End of Time and the Last Hope

This particular topic kind of goes to item creation and the one difference I've noticed between the two Star Ocean games I've played in the last few years. Some things about item creation haven't changed between Till the End of Time and The Last Hope. For starters, the common areas of item creation for both games are engineering, crafting, compounding, alchemy, cooking, and smithery. Their differences are artistry and writing.

Now the artistry for item creation in The Last Hope comes more from an underdeveloped planet - Lemuris - than it does from Earth, Eldar, and En II, but I don't think it's all that different in reality. I can't say Roak because it, too, falls under the underdeveloped planet category so artistry would be as commonplace in the form that Lymle uses on Lemuris. It helps my theory that artistry doesn't change all of that much for the Morphus is the ability to buy all painting supplies at one of the stores in the En II mall.

Where does that leave writing? We know that it's a learned skill. It's how we, as a race, can convey our thoughts, emotions, and to educate others. But I wonder how it's being taught. If I go by item creation and some of the imagery from , people are still learning to read from actual books and writing with pen and paper. It's about the only reason why I can think of for Fayt to be sitting at a desk, writing by hand.

I find it interesting that the game designers would show that for Fayt, Sophia, Maria, Peppita, Cliff, and Mirage, when in the writing inventing mode, they're sitting at a table, writing by hand. While many schools nowadays still teach children to read and write the old-fashioned way, it's fast becoming a lost art, if you will, even by the time Till the End of Time was released in Japan then in the U.S. It makes me wonder why they'd demonstrate the high techno people using some old-fashioned techniques. Is it because computers were useless for a time in a post World War III world?

Anything is possible.

* * * *

Game Talk, Part Three - The Descendants of Edge Maverick and Reimi Saionji

So now I come to an interesting discussion for a potential Star Ocean game, something that's been done already in the Star Ocean universe - the utilization of offspring set twenty years or more after the events of The Last Hope.

In the ways that would count, this idea follows the premise of First Departure and Second Story/Second Evolution except that it wouldn't be just about one child (as is the case in Second Story/Second Evolution), but at least two children, a boy and a girl. If I were to write it myself, the girl would be Edge Maverick's daughter and the boy the son of Reimi Saionji. I wouldn't have the two marry each other, which is what I'm surmising has happened for the First Departure cast. The reason for this I'll keep simple: it'd make the game more interesting if Edge and Reimi were to never marry. It'd be the plot twist only those who wouldn't ever root for the Edge/Reimi pairing would anticipate and break from that particular cycle set in First Departure.

With that said, what would I see these particular characters do or endure? Aside from a great, life-changing adventure, that is? There are a couple of different scenarios that could take place, based on some of the various natural disaster movies I've watched. But I think a hostile alien threat would be the better way to go. The threat could be chased from about three different planets . . . or perhaps toss Aeos into the mix since there are no civilizations on that planet. It'd be interesting to see what happens to those huge bugs some time after the Grigori's effect on them. After all, Star Ocean wouldn't be Star Ocean if there weren't some kind of planet-hopping going on . . . or so that's my guess. I still don't have that PSP yet or a copy of Second Story so I don't know with any definitiveness . . . it makes me sad.

This particular game idea, I feel, should include someone with the last name of Leingod. While the last name shouldn't propel the individual into fame, it would help to tie Till the End of Time to the rest of the series a bit stronger than what's already been done. It's been pointed out to me that Till the End of Time has the weakest ties to the series than the other games, and I'm inclined to agree, even though I absolutely adore that game. To have something to tie the games together completely would be very nice.

So who would be the hero/heroine of this particular story? Edge Maverick's daughter, of course. It wouldn't be the first time a woman was written as the lead character in a storyline (think to Final Fantasy XIII), but it would be for the Star Ocean series. Her personal conflict could be that of living up to what her dad has already done. While the rest of the universe may not know what he's done, she would because he'd tell stories of his youth. I would also love to see her be a swordswoman. It isn't something we see very often in video games, unless we're able to create the characters ourselves (but I've only seen that done in the Dragon Quest series).

Where would that leave Reimi's son? Personally, I'd like to see him try and distance himself from the Saionji last name. For as much pressure as Edge's daughter would be under due to her last name, it'd be worse for anyone with the last name of Saionji or related to the Saionjis. He could be out to prove himself as well. The last name of Saionji gets him almost whatever he wants or needs, but, rather than exploit the issue, it disgusts him. There's a number of possibilities with this one. As for his weapon of choice, I'm going to say either whips or a bo/staff. Someone else can be the archer. With him being Reimi's child, to use a bow and arrow would be too obvious. I won't say he won't know, because I'm thinking Reimi would teach her children everything she knows about bow techniques, but it wouldn't be his weapon of choice.

Add in for the rest of the playable party descendants of Bacchus, Myuria, and Arumat with some additional alien race, and the questing party will be complete with those who are strong as fighters alone and in symbology.
star_ocean_fan: (lutherxfayt)
Thanks to a series of storms traveling across Michigan and grocery shopping, I wasn't able to log onto the internet yesterday. The power outage was the biggest impediment to posting, but that's quite all right. :) I can play catch up for today.

* * * *

Luther - Was He Projected Into the Eternal Sphere During the Final Battle or Was He Really There?

Ah, yes. Luther. He's one of a few Star Ocean men who is the object of my affection and my obsession. He's a controversy all to himself, and he can be the subject of many a Till the End of Time conversation.

One controversy that I've seen Luther be at the center at is that of the final battle and whether or not he actually survived. This comes about because there is, I believe, some confusion as to whether or not Luther was physically inside the Eternal Sphere during those final moments. Blair comments that his attempt to delete the Eternal Sphere while he's still projected within it suggests that his likeness was there but he wasn't physically. Yet, when the player reaches the top floor of Sphere 211, Luther's nowhere to be found. I'm a little fuzzy as to how this works with the 4-D beings entering the Eternal Sphere. (If anyone has any thoughts - do they sit at terminals? Are they projected in? Do the terminals allow them to "manifest" inside? - please say what you think.)

There are no questions, in my mind, that Luther not only won that final battle - he did, to an extent, succeed in deleting the Eternal Sphere - but he also lost - Fayt managed to keep the Eternal Sphere alive by simply believing. What I find perplexing is what happens to him once the final blow is delivered. Blair says nothing about Luther as everything is "erased" from existence. Heck, quite honestly, I'm not sure if she's even able to be there as the connections between the 4-D realm and the Eternal Sphere are abruptly and violently severed.

Of course, the form of Luther's presence in his WorkSpace is one subject to the opinion of fans and how they want to see the game's ending. If he was physically inside the Eternal Sphere, then it's possible he's dead. If he's projected, it's possible his mind is trapped within the Eternal Sphere or he's dead.

Personally, I don't think Luther's dead from that final encounter. Seriously, if Fayt and his friends couldn't kill Azazer, Berial, and Belzeber in the 4-D realm - they were only hospitalized - I doubt they could kill Luther while projected into the Eternal Sphere. If you've fought any of them, you know that they're strong, but they're not capable of wresting control away from Luther. The Creator is King when it comes to bosses. (No, I'm not tossing in the post-game bosses. For this conversation, the post-game bosses are irrelevant and not applicable.)

That's just my opinion, though. It'd be interesting to find out, if a sequel to Till the End of Time is ever conceived of by Square Enix, if Luther's alive and well. I'm just not willing for him to be the constant bad guy. That's all.

* * * *

Game Talk, Part Two - Crossover Between Till the End of Time and The Last Hope

This is more for me to toss out and bandy ideas from others on this. However, there is a plausible way to cross Till the End of Time and The Last Hope together and still have a great game to play. The idea stems from what I know about the Eternal Sphere itself and is something I'm exploring in a fanfiction piece titled "Changing the Tides of Fate and Time", with the name being a partial play off of Fayt's name.

First of all, the idea of crossing the two games (and, indeed, tossing in First Departure and Second Story/Second Evolution) wouldn't be difficult to pull off. In looking over Till the End of Time's in-game dictionary, the Eternal Sphere itself is a multi-timeline RPG system, or what we would now call an MMORPG. As the events of The Last Hope are playing out, so are the events of First Departure, Second Story/Second Evolution, and Till the End of Time. Luther was genius for setting up an MMORPG like that. If some of the code ends up deleted and needs to be replaced, it's more than entirely possible to screw up the timelines. Edge and Fayt could end up living in the same time, working aboard the same ship . . . anything is possible. 

In my story, that's precisely what happens. During the final battle, while no one's watching, Blair manages to get the backup files for the Eternal Sphere. With Luther "missing", she tries to restore the Eternal Sphere back to what it was, but, for as genius as she is, she doesn't possess the same finesse that her brother does and inadvertently does damage to the Eternal Sphere's timeline. Because of her attempts to restore the Eternal Sphere back to what it was before the release of the Executioners, Fayt and Edge end up living in the same era. Most around them aren't aware that something is wrong, that Fayt shouldn't be aboard the same vessel as Edge. It takes a few events for Edge and Fayt to truly discover the truth, but, when they do, they set out to rectify the situation. The answer lies within finding Luther, as it's obvious that he's not in the 4-D realm. Finding him is an adventure unto itself. When they do find him, the question will be: Will he help them to restore their world to the way it should be or is the Eternal Sphere forever doomed to an altered timeline?

The idea itself would make for a very interesting crossover game. With the accidental altering of the timeline, different planets could open up for exploration. The search for Luther could introduce new monsters, new bosses, and new dungeons for exploration. It'd be far better than the rumored combat fighter style I'd heard about a potential Till the End of Time/The Last Hope crossover game.

Next Game Talk, I want to deal with ideas for descendants for Edge and Reimi for sure. I think it would be interesting to see if they actually marry each other or go their separate ways. I kind of know what I'd like to see for a Till the End of Time sequel, but I'd like to flesh my ideas out a little more on paper before I post them to my journal. Beyond that, well, there are seven hundred years worth of stories to delve into for potential games.

Also, for Game Talk, I'd like to showcase what others would like to see. Email the ideas to me at As with the game reviews, fanfiction, and fan poetry, please be sure that you've followed proper writing techniques. If you'd like for me to proofread before posting, let me know, and I'll gladly do so. Just please don't assume that I will, 'kay?

* * * *

Ask the Star Ocean Character - Deputy Director Shimada

Ask the Star Ocean Character is back! I'm now taking questions for Deputy Director Shimada. Each person is allowed three questions. I'll be taking questions until midnight Wednesday, May 17, 2012. Leave a comment for me, a PM, with your questions. If you wish to remain "anonymous" or have a specific name for this, please let me know, and I'll accommodate you.

Again, Ask the Star Ocean Character is back, and the next person in the list is Deputy Director Shimada. Questions will be accepted until midnight Wednesday, May 17, 2012.

* * * *

Tomorrow is Bacchus's and Mrs. Nox's birthdays. Pictures and birthday stories to ensue.
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
I'm nixing the Birthday determination for this week. I'd like to do some more research than what I have, since I didn't have a lot of access to a computer for a couple of days this week. While it wouldn't necessarily be accurate, it's something that I think will be fun for people to weigh their thoughts on as soon as the research is complete.

Also, this weekend is ACen (or Anime Central). The convention starts today. If you're going to be in attendance and you look at this before heading out, look out for Kojika in her cosplays and in the Artist Alley where she'll be selling prints, bookmarks, and hard copies of her own manga. She'll be dressed as Ilia on Sunday (those are her tentative plans, anyway).

Convention reports will be awesome.

For the weekend, I will have some photos ready of my Fayt PVC - we've had some mini adventures since Easter weekend. :) Photos will be posted tomorrow.  I hope to be able to do more photo shoots with all of my PVCs (once I repair Edge - poor guy fell apart on me) as well as future cosplay events and when I can finally bring home Luther and Fayt as ball-jointed dolls. That would be so much fun.

* * * *


I finally navigated the Square Enix - North America website to get an email sent inquiring about The Last Hope's status as the final Star Ocean game. I don't expect an immediate response from the company, and I also don't expect an answer as to what's next in the Star Ocean series, if there are plans to continue. The best that I can hope for is confirmation on The Last Hope's status in the series and to find out if it's possible for fans to petition for more games.

The email has finally been sent, though, and that's something. 

At this point, I'm going to start browsing through guests lists for some of the major and local upcoming conventions and finding out which of my friends will be in attendance for those conventions (and whether or not I can swing going myself). I'd like to find out if any of Square's representatives will be there so I can attend those panels. I had a 2000 character limit to send my inquiry on the website, and I'm just now thinking I should have asked that when I fired off my email. Ah well. Perhaps if and when I hear back, I'll remember to ask them.

I'm crossing my fingers on that, when I do hear back (which I feel confident that I will . . . sometime next week, perhaps, but I will hear back), it'll be with the news on whether or not The Last Hope is the last Star Ocean game. I'm hoping that it isn't, but the only way to know for sure is to wait and see.

* * * *

Before I start to revise parts of my review for The Last Hope, I'd like to take this opportunity to discuss a song that, in the last couple of days, has come across as a perfect song for a Star Ocean character to dedicate to another. I'm someone who loves to listen to music, be it the 80s pop music of my youth (I'm 34, will be 35 in a little over five months), the oldies goldies and country music my mother subjected me to in my teens (and I liked so . . .), or the musical meanderings into the JPop, JRock, current rock trends of now.

One song that's currently on iTunes (not able to upload more from my thumb drive to my sister's computer) is "It's My Life" by Bon Jovi. Call me crazy, but it's something that I could see Fayt, if he knew what the song sounded like, would dedicate to Luther if they were in a bar, and it was listed in the jukebox.

What songs do you think Star Ocean characters would dedicate to each other?

* * * *
Game Review -- Star Ocean: The Last Hope International. Addendum

Name: The Last Hope

My Rating for the game: hasn't changed. 4 /12 Stars out of 5
Plot: Hasn't changed.
Time to beat: Hasn't changed


Despite my thoughts on why releasing this game was a bad idea, thoughts which were based more on my desire for more of Till the End of Time than for something new, I really do enjoy this game. The graphics are more than decent. The characters, with the exception of Arumat, move with a fluidity, a sign that games have come a very long way in the last twenty years alone. Arumat reminds me of a ball-jointed doll in both his appearance and his movements. There's a certain kind of jerkiness to him that's hard to explain beyond ball-jointed doll. I don't know if it's because of his armor or the fact he carries a wicked-looking scythe, but he doesn't have the fluidity about him that someone like Edge or Faize does. I'd think Bacchus would be more clunky in his movements due to being more robot than humanoid, but he's pretty fluid, too, when it comes to movement.

One thing I like about the game is how easy it is to level up a character that isn't in the battle party. Mining, harvesting, opening treasure chests, completing the side quests, delivering stuff to the stores, it all adds up in terms of experience and leveling up. It's a very nice addition, but I'm also glad it isn't in Till the End of Time, not with a battle trophy for earning up to level 20 in one battle.

I also like the fact I can turn off the voices of the characters that annoy me, at least when it comes to the battle. I can't for the animated scenes or out of battle leveling up, but it's certainly nice when I rotate characters in and out of battle for leveling up.

Item Creation:
I love the overall simplicity of item creation. Just head to The Calnus, launch the Interface, and pair everyone in as many combinations as possible to get every recipe in the book. Of course, using individual skill points to level up their respective areas of expertise ONLY increases the chances of creating an item. It doesn't improve the base stats each person starts out with, so the negative numbers never improve. The chances of not discovering a particular recipe has been eliminated. It's either done through Welch or by finding/earning recipe memos.

Other Likes:
Item duplication. While the skill manual is found in the Cave of the Seven Stars after defeating Satanail, it's a very, very, very hand skill to have, especially when you're getting the rare item drops, like moonstone and the dragon god scale at sparse intervals. This helps if some of the better weapons all require a certain number of items that are rare drops but are needed when heading into battle with some particularly troublesome fights.

Magic Points
It makes the game a little less challenging in that no one dies when their magic points hit zero, but it certainly does save on using items and spells for reviving incapacitated party members.

Party Member Rotation
The battle isn't over until all eight members are dead! Way to go Square for that!

Larger Battle Party
Granted, it's only one extra person in the battle, but having a fourth person helps when three people are dead and there's still the chance to revive them before needing to rotate someone else in to do the job.


I don't like the fact it's a relatively easy game to play. It's a challenging game BUT it isn't at the same time, a lot of which is more dependent on level than anything else. Seriously, it can be defeated in about thirty hours of play, and this includes the side-quests, store deliveries, and heading into the first post-game dungeon, the Cave of the Seven Stars. The game itself could stand be to longer, and more challenging in terms of enemy rotation.

Rings of Disintegration
I like having a single ring of destruction, one that will work without needing to be charged.

Post-game Dungeons
There are only two, and the worst of them is the second, the Wandering Dungeon, which you can only get to after you've defeated Gabriel Celesta in the Cave of the Seven Stars. I've managed to get to the Ethereal Queen, but I don't have enough restorative items for that particular battle . . . and that's because there are no save points in the Wandering Dungeon. The push to get to her has to be done in a single go. To leave to save puts the player back at the first level and to go through all twenty levels over again. If you're not able to game 24/7, this is quite a deterrent and is frustrating when you lose to the Ethereal Queen, losing any and all ground you gained before reaching her.

Battle trophies.
I don't mind earning battle trophies for particular things - fight X number of enemies, survive Y number of battles, etc . . . However, for The Last Hope, they went crazy with the battle trophy system. I mean, it's absolutely CRAZY. There a grand total of nine playable characters - while you lose Faize on the first play-through, if you start a second, you can keep him at the point he and Arumat switch places . . . it doesn't change the story or its outcome, but it does make it easier for earning his list of battle of trophies. Each playable character has one hundred battle trophies to earn. That's nine hundred battle trophies, which doesn't include the trophies for item creation, spaceship, monster and weapon data collection, defeating bosses, and triggering certain events and earning endings. That's insane, even for someone like me who wants to get the battle trophies because they unlock all sorts of extras, including game difficulty levels. This can be annoying if you don't like a particular character either due to personality or how swiftly the person can run around the battle field.

I actually don't hate Bacchus. I love him. He provides a serious figure in all of the chaos, especially when one of the better fighters becomes more comedy relief than anything else. This particular complaint has more to do with what he can do that no one else can seem to do, and that's fire a laser-based weapon at the insects on Aeos and cause damage. It was determined by the initial group of humans and Eldarians that the insects picked up on the frequencies of the weapons and altered their shields to keep the weapons from damaging them. While he is Morphus, humanoid in nature and can adapt his weapons to counter the bugs, the bugs should be able to do the same with him, especially with the yet to be discovered influence of the Grigori on the planet.

I pointed out in her character study that, at some point, she becomes more comedy relief than anything else. That, to me, is an injustice after everything she's endured. Yes, she's a bright and energetic sort, but as soon as you meet Sarah, her sadness goes out the window and doesn't really exist until you trigger certain private actions. I feel that's very unfair to Meracle and everything she's endured.

Private Actions
There are more than what can be seen in just one or two play-throughs. I've seen a couple of clips on youtube, one that's a follow-up to Meracle sleeping in the same bed as Edge and one where Reimi gives Edge a birthday gift, both of which I never knew about because I didn't know that I could trigger them. I'm out to get certain endings, and there's just a lot to do in a short amount of time. You also can't even trigger private actions at times.

Not getting Crowe as a playable character is also a big dislike for me. He's such a lovely character to look at and possesses some sweet moves in battle, if his arrival to Aeos is any indication. We don't get to learn much about him, except through Edge and Reimi, and even then I feel it's very little.

As a woman, the end battle shots of Reimi's butt and boobs and Myuria's boobs are extremely  . . . bleh. I get that the game is geared for a dominant male audience, but guys aren't the only ones playing the games. If you're going to give the guys some eye candy, give us women some eye candy, too. A nice shot of Edge's posterior end would be more than delightful. I'd like to know as well what's up with Edge's changing eye colors. Sometimes it's blue. Sometimes it's green. Does he really have blue-green eyes? Make up my mind when I see it!

Finally, the fact that some parts are just . . . kiddy. Nothing against kids but the game is aimed at,  not only a particular age group (13 and older), but at a particular genre as well. Science fiction and fantasy has plenty of serious overtones with hints of comedy, but, when a serious situation happens, there isn't someone running around with a bib around her neck and knife and fork in both of her hands. The comedy tends to come at inappropriate moments for me, which adds to my irritation with certain characters. I'm not looking for a game to be exactly like the books, TV shows, and movies that I adore and grew up adoring, but I really don't care to see an inspection of Sarah's room after she's been kidnapped and Meracle in the room with a knife and fork in her hands saying, "It wasn't me". I do get the humor in it . . . I just don't appreciate it. Of course, I may be among the select few who don't so . . .

* * * *

After this week, I'm going to solidify the weekly schedule just a little bit more than what it already is. Please note that, come the end of May, beginning of June, everything will be up in the air until I can get my own computer. I'm not overly thrilled about the prospect, but it could also turn out to be a good thing. I know when I start working again, the schedule for posting will be at the mercy of the hours I'm working. Currently, everything will run accordingly until otherwise noted.

If you're heading out this weekend, either to ACen, some other convention, or just to get out of the house, have a lovely weekend! Posts will be waiting for you.

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
The Laziness of the 4D People - Bred Into Them or a Simple Acceptance of How Life Has Become For Them?

The Four-Dimensional Realm. A place of idyllic peace. The world is always white and bright, and entertainment is abundant. In order to work, the young take career placement exams, and, if they score high enough, they'll head to the Lost City to begin work. The most work someone can find in Arkives is security and the Spacetime Station. Work is found in places like Gemity and in the companies who call the Lost City home.

Work is for the privileged, like Luther Lansfeld, his sister Blair, Belzeber, Berial, and Azazer. The rest of the population, however large it may be, doesn't work. Most of the people you talk to don't necessarily want to work. They'd rather hang out at Gemity, dressed in costume, watching the bunny races, playing runic chess, competing in the arena, adventuring in the Eternal  Sphere or at their personal terminals in their homes. With the lack of work it makes me wonder a few different things.

1 - How do they pay for their homes, food, rental costumes, and gaming terminals if they're not working? It's obvious that the 4D beings don't live in shelters. Are the homes built by previous generations? Are they on a government stipend? It's always possible. Money is earned in the four-dimensional realm. (You pay for weapon upgrades, restorative items, the hotel in Arkives, etc . . .)

2 - Exactly how deeply is the laziness routed in their culture? Mind you, those who aren't working sit at their terminals all day, are in Gemity all day, having a ball in the Eternal Sphere.

It's this particular question that has me writing this entry. It's obvious that time does pass in the 4D realm. In talking with the NPCs there, you find children, adults, elderly, parents, grandparents, etc. . . In talking with Maria, she'll not only mention how she's noticed that only the privileged work but also voice her thoughts in how the 4D beings are being controlled by people like Luther and his company of Sphere 211. They're not aware that they're being controlled and perhaps don't even want anything to change. Their lives are peaceful, idyllic, and a revolution would disrupt everything.

There are no doubts in my mind that the vast majority of the 4D beings are lazy. The ones who want to work are out finding ways to do so, whether it's the career placement exams mentioned after defeating Belzeber and Berial, and returning to the Eternal Sphere, or imitating the people who are working. The rest, however, aren't interested. The Eternal Sphere has consumed.

Is this laziness bred into them? Or is it simply acceptance on their part that work isn't meant for everyone? I personally feel it's a combination of both. If the government (which one is implied as existing) is handing out some kind of a monetary stipend to keep the masses from revolting against it, it's possible that most in the realm are simply content to stay at home, go to school, and generally have fun. I think it's something that's been going on for some time, too, otherwise there'd be more discontent people to talk to in Arkives than what there really are.

I now ask a couple of questions for my fellow Star Ocean fans. What do you think is the cause of the apparent laziness in the 4D beings and do you think Maria would attempt to start a revolution there? 

* * * *

Game Talk, Part One

In the last few weeks, I've written my thoughts on how I'd like more Star Ocean games and I've asked others what their thoughts, including in private conversations elsewhere. I've even suggested a few things I'd like to see, mentioned finding out how to petition Square Enix for more (still haven't found the right email address yet; website for North America is such a pain sometimes).  I'd like to expand on that with Game Talk, starting with ideas for The Last Hope.

Please note - This isn't anything official. These are my thoughts, an in-depth look, on what I'd like to see for a Last Hope sequel. Nothing more. Nothing less.

First of all, there must be a slight reinvention of the characters' costumes. If such a sequel were to come about, to see Edge and Reimi in their original SRF uniforms without some kind of color variation would only make it look like a re-release of The Last Hope. That isn't the goal.
It might have worked with Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, but there were still some changes made for Tifa. (If you've not seen it, I highly recommend it. Yes, I do. Love that movie!) In FFXIII-2, Lightning isn't wearing the same outfit as in the first game. Snow, from what I've seen of him when my stepdad has played, doesn't look quite the same, either. To have a variant or a complete costume overhaul would help to distinguish between The Last Hope and a sequel.

In addition to the change of costume, I feel that there should be some sort of growth in Edge and Reimi. Reimi is by far my least favorite character in the game. For a woman who acts like a mature sister-type character, she behaves the most irresponsibly at the most inopportune of times. Case in point: Because she couldn't remain calm under pressure after Lymle got away from her on the Alternate Earth, Milla Bachtein knew how to manipulate Edge into giving her what she wanted. A little more maturity on her part would be very nice instead of her acting like a stereotypical whiny, needy female.

Second, a time lapse of some kind is in order. If it's too short of a time lapse (like six months later, after the fall of Nox Obscuris), and people will wonder about the endings already given to them after earning the affinity points that they have for the playable characters (though why Edge wasn't given his own ending is a mystery to me). Too long of a time lapse, and it might as well be a different game. (I'm thinking of the twenty-year gap between Star Ocean: First Departure and Star Ocean: Second Evolution.) If the same characters are to appear, a two to three year gap would be most acceptable. A year set after Reimi's ending would be acceptable, too.

Third, a few questions would have to be answered, like does Crowe ever come back to Earth after siring at least one child with Eleyna, what happens to Bacchus and is Faize still alive? Crowe (though he isn't a playable character) and Faize are very much loved characters. We know Bacchus returns to his body to live out the rest of his days, but does he die due to the severe mutation of the stone sickness virus, the reason for which he built a mechanical body in the first place? It's nice to know that Crowe doesn't actually die, but it's still disappointing he didn't become a playable character. Yes, he's a Captain, just like Edge, but, in Till the End of Time, Fayt is the pen ultimate leader for the group. Maria's the leader of Quark, but she and Fayt aren't interchangeable as leaders when it comes to basic wilderness and dungeon wandering (which can be done on some PS2 games - play Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King to see it in action). She becomes a follower in that sense. Of course, Crowe had a different part to play in the story than playable character, which is still cool. For a sequel, though, I'd love to have him as a playable character. I'd also like to know for certain what really becomes of Faize. Is he appearing as a ghost to Lymle in his ending? Or is he stuck in some kind of dimensional rift? Maybe a rescue would be in order. It'd make for an interesting plot twist to the story.

One other thing that I'd like to see is a more in-depth explanation of/chance to learn how the Muah ultimately connect Earth and Roak. Yes, the ancient alien race lived on Earth. It lived on Roak, but what happened to the ancient race? Did they leave both planets for another world? And why don't we hear of the Muah after First Departure? (Remember, there's a continent on Roak named after the Muah, and that's where the story of First Departure is set or at least begins.) Maybe it's uncovering that secret that could be key to saving a planet (or, if you want to follow the current trend of Star Ocean cliche', the universe). These are all fascinating questions, to me, and I do believe it'd be fun to explore those reasons.

Of course, no Star Ocean game is ever complete with some kind of overall major threat to the hero, heroine, and their questing party. To see a return of the Grigori would be quite lame. The only way I'd accept it is if somehow the 4D realm is tied into this as well as someone from Sphere 211 trying to find the root cause because I still stand by the notion the Grigori are not Luther's creations. (His entire goal was to delete the anomalies creating havoc in the Eternal Sphere, not to create them.) Otherwise, some alien race (not the Vendeeni, since they need to be around for Till the End of Time) bent on conquering planets like Earth would be nice.

I don't know if I'd want to necessarily see all of the playable characters from The Last Hope to return, not unless I could see more character development from the ones already established. I could understand Meracle and Sarah being added into the mix, especially if the adventure brings Edge and Reimi back to Roak to figure out the mystery of the Muah, maybe Myuria and Bacchus, depending on whether or not the Morphus will keep on intervening on behalf of the universe. As for Lymle . . .  I think she should be left alone, since the Muah were never on Lemuris (to our knowledge). I'm sure another fire Symbologist could be created for the purposes of the game. I don't know if Arumat could even factor into the story set-up. About the only way I could think of to integrate the two into the particular storyline is if, thanks to Faize's ending where he appears to Lymle on Lemuris, Faize tells Lymle he's stuck somewhere and she needs to send out word to Edge. That, of course, would lead her to the Eldarians living on Lemuris, telling them, and someone getting a message out to Arumat to get her and take her to Edge. I think some new characters would be more interesting, or expand the number of playable characters from eight to ten or twelve. (And it'd only be a pain if they do the battle trophy system the same way - 100 trophies per character instead of a generalized list, like in Till the End of Time.) New characters are always nice. :)

Naturally, this is what I'd like to see in terms of story and characters for a sequel to The Last Hope. In terms of graphics, I'd like to see something a little smoother, a better flow to movement  . . . While I love the graphics for The Last Hope, Arumat looks more like a ball-jointed doll than a well-created CGI character. A little more time on the graphics would be nice. The game could also be longer, more areas to explore, and more challenges. The sub-quests and store deliveries were cool. I wouldn't mind a revisit to that.

I hope this inspires others to think about what they'd like to see in any potential Star Ocean games, be it sequels to The Last Hope and Till the End of Time. For the next Game Talk, I'll outline ideas on a crossover game between Till the End of Time and The Last Hope. There is actually a way to cross all four games together, but I'd rather not get too many things going on at once. The first two are connected anyway.

* * * *

I forgot to announce it Tuesday but the next Star Ocean birthday is Bacchus, on May 5. I'm accepting submissions for art, one-shots, and poetry for the Morphus scientist.
star_ocean_fan: (Immoral Feather)
Before I start with my comparison of Item Creation between Till the End of Time and The Last Hope, I want to start out with the following.

1 - The photo shoot with my Fayt Leingod figures is still on . . . I just need to find my cord to upload the pictures from my camera. In the meantime, posting the pictures from it will be postponed. Taking more pictures isn't out of the question. It might become a two-part posting. We'll see.

2 - Regarding the upcoming weekly schedule: I'm not going to keep saying I'll be posting the next chapter for Destinies Intertwined by Fate when I'm still on the first PoV, which is Fayt. Originally, when I started to write the outline in a notebook, I got as far as chapter three with two of the five PoVs - Fayt and Albel. I am working on the story. The next chapter is forthcoming. I just don't feel right saying it's going to be this week or this week when Fayt is dragging his feet on what he wants me to say. Even Albel doesn't give me this much trouble.

3 - I'm still on the look-out for writing conversations. I'd like to know what other people's theories are. For example, missnox replied to something yesterday and told me about her theory regarding Welch Vineyard and why she's in all four games. It's quite an interesting theory, and one that, while I questioned certain aspects of it, I find to be quite plausible. If there's something you think of, feel free to let me know via PM or comment. Please be sure to write Writing Topic so I know what it's for. If I get to everything before I've finished my first cup  of coffee, I might just answer without that reminder.

4 - Arumat's birthday is this coming Tuesday. I have some official artwork of him pilfered from a Google search, a one-shot planned out to honor his day, but if anyone has any artwork, poems, drabbles/one-shots/vignettes they'd like to submit for me to post, I'm still accepting such submissions until Monday, April 23, 2012, at midnight. All submissions should be emailed to me at or linked in either a private message or comment to any entry.

5 - Finally, I'm going to take about a week or two off from the Ask the Star Ocean Character segment, facts about said character, and the character studies. I had a tentative list started in a notebook, and I'm starting to think that maybe I tore it out of said notebook. If that's the case, it's now lost in the ether. I'm not holding out much hope of finding it ever again. Because of that, I'm going to take the time to regroup, reconsider, and plot out which characters will come after Meracle. Be assured, though, it will return, and it will still be as fun as ever (if only for me to write).

Onto the topic at hand.

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A Comparison Over Item Creation Between Till The End of Time and The Last Hope

I'd include First Departure and Second Story/Second Evolution in this . . . but I know next to nothing about Item Creation in these games, other than the only thing all four games have in common is Welch Vineyard. According to my younger brother, Puffy appears as a compounder in Second Story, but that's about all I know. If Item Creation has gone the way that I think it has in First Departure and Second Story/Second Evolution, there may not be much difference between them and Till The End of Time. The Last Hope seems to have the biggest change. As of right now, though, I'll be relying on what those who've played the first two games say about Item Creation. They know more than I do at this point, and that I respect.

So item creation . . .  it's perhaps one of the most fun and most aggravating things to do in The Last Hope and Till the End of Time. For The Last Hope, the creators simplified the process. All inventors are the playable characters from the questing party, and each has a specific skill that s/he is good at compared to others. Not all items are created through the Invent a Recipe process, either. They're found as memos in treasure chests or for completing side quests. Pairing the right people together is the key to all of this, and it's recommended to pair everyone in a various group of combinations to get the items desired. But pay attention to those overall stats (you can check them when you launch Item Creation on The Calnus and get the numbers by moving the hand over each individual). Some characters are not compatible when it comes to item creation.

For example, Reimi Saionji's item creation skill that can be leveled up with skill points is cooking. Therefore, if one wants to invent a recipe for a food dish, Reimi would be required to create the dish. However, pay attention to the Item Creation Skill stats. They're base stats that don't change, even though the skill level goes as high as ten, and the game creators decided to be cute when it came to Item Creation. Here's what I mean.

Reimi is the resident cook on The Calnus. She's a ten when it comes to cooking, the highest number available for Item Creation. By herself, she can create a certain number of recipes. When she's paired with others, her perfect ten either increases or decreases. This is what I mean.

Reimi (10 cooking, 5 crafting) + Meracle (7 cooking, 10 crafting) to create items equals a 17 for cooking and a 15 for crafting.

The above is an example of a win for Item Creation. A positive increase in the numbers gives way for better chances to create useful items, such as armor and food that cures status ailments.

However, this is one that I feel you don't want to see.

Myuria (10 compounding) + Meracle (-10 compounding) equals zero for compounding. I'm not remembering if I've gotten anything out of this particular combination overall, but, if I did, I'm pretty sure I didn't get anything for compounding. Meracle's compounding abilities negate Myuria's. Even worse for compounding would be Myuria + Meracle + Reimi, for a combination of -2, which might mean the Super Aphrodisiac or something as equally as useless. If I knew Myuria's overall item creation stats, I'd be able to point out where it would be gains for Meracle and Reimi for their respective item creation abilities, but I haven't written them down just yet.

Please note: Using skill points to level up Item Creation skills, such as cooking, crafting, compounding, etc . . . doesn't change the base stats. Any negative numbers in the stats will still be there. Leveling up those areas only increases the chances for creating specific items. The numbers don't have to be as close to 100 as possible for getting the better items, and there are no special items that can increase the chances of creating something if the numbers aren't close to 100. Item creation for The Last Hope has been simplified, and it doesn't use coin. It uses party skill points so building those up is a must.

This is very unlike Till the End of Time, where you're recruiting inventors in addition to using the characters in your party. The recruited inventors have a specific skill set. They will have only one number, and that is for their respective trade, as it were. The playable characters have numbers in each area, and while they can be quite low, there are no negative numbers. There also is no leveling up of skill sets like cooking, compounding or crafting, and one has to guess which money amount is going to get which item when you're creating something. Chances increase for item creation when certain items are found - Cherubic Bust, Enchanted Pen, Keen Kitchen Knife (need 2; one for inventing, one to recruit the Killer Chef), etc . . .- which helps when the inventors don't want money to be recruited. They require items made from item creation or that can be found in locations such as Moonbase, the Kirlsa mines, or Sphere 211. Item creation isn't quite as simple as it's become for The Last Hope, but I personally find it to be more interesting and a little more fun. I never know what I'm going to get when I finally settle on a number for Fol to use when I set up my inventing teams.

There's also a wider variety of items in Till the End of Time, I think, than what there is in The Last Hope, and I think it's because there's the whole recruiting inventors thing going on. If you're lucky enough to get your hands on the strategy guides for both games, you can see how long the list is in Till the End of Time when compared to the list in The Last Hope.

Of course, I'm going to admit right now, I'm biased when it comes to Till the End of Time. It's the first Star Ocean game I've ever played, I love the majority of the characters, and Item Creation for the game simply has a larger variety of people to use. I get that it had to be simplified since they were jumping back in time, and I like the simplicity of it, too. I like the larger variety better, though. That's all.

* * * *

Cosplay by Kojika, Part Four

And here we have it today, kids. The last part of Kojika's cosplay, her Faize Sheifa Beleth outfit (whom I think she might adore more than Albel). The pictures are from two different conventions - YoumaCon and Otakon.

Before I post the pictures, I want to say a great big THANK YOU to Kojika for allowing me to post her photos and for sharing it on her facebook page. It has been so much looking at the photos and sharing them with everyone. Her cosplay photos of Faize are what got us to talking, and, when I've asked questions about creating my own cosplays, she's been more than helpful. It is all very much appreciated, more than what words can truly saw. I feel honored that she's allowed me to share her photos. Thank you again so much, Kojika. May we be able to cosplay together in the near future!

On with the pictures. As mentioned before, this is the fourth and final part of Cosplay by Kojika, Faize Sheifa Beleth

Edge and Faize taking a break. Is that goody baked by Reimi, Faize?

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This concludes Cosplay by Kojika . . . for now. As I've expressed an interest to Kojika about creating my own Fayt Leingod cosplay, the idea is that at some point, once I've completed what I need for Fayt, that we get together, either at a convention or some other time (seriously - we live maybe about five to six hours away from each other, eight tops) with her as Albel. So more photos may appear. We'll see what the future holds. :)

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Character Reinvention

Recently, I thought that, in addition to a regular cosplay for Fayt, I'd like to a reinvention of him. It'd be more in the type of clothes he wears rather than anything physical. Of course, getting the symbols for his powers of Destruction to paint on his arms would be awesome, too, but, aside from perhaps a slight facial scar, that would be the only physical alteration I'd make on Fayt. As for the clothing, I'm not entirely sure just yet as to what I'd do. It'd be bit more rugged - no white; he's endured too much to not finally snap under the pressure of everything he's lost - but as to what the clothes would look like, it's something I'm going to ponder more on.

I bring this up because I've expressed an interest, in conversations with a few fellow Star Ocean fans and in this blog, for sequels to Till the End of Time and The Last Hope. It isn't necessarily in the nature of Square Enix and Tri-Ace to release sequels, but it's been done before with games in the Final Fantasy series. I'm sure if enough interest is expressed, it could happen again for the Star Ocean fandom. The thing is, the outfits for the characters in question wouldn't be able to remain the same. That would be boring and signify that not much has changed when the world is constantly changing. We don't always see it, but it's there. And I think Square was onto something when they decided to do a sequel for Final Fantasy XIII. In the sequel, Lightning isn't wearing the same outfit as before. She's a bit more warrior than before, a warrior to a Goddess, and it shows.

So if you were to reinvent one of the Star Ocean characters, which character would you choose and how would you go about it? I ask, not for ideas on how to reinvent Fayt - that's something I'm going to determine on my own by searching for sewing patterns and retro fashion websites - but because I'm curious as to what others would do for their favorite characters. So which character would you choose (why isn't necessarily relevant, but if you want to say why, I won't mind) and what would you do for the reinvention?

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And thus concludes today's entry. The original Item Creation - Showdown Between Reimi Saionji and Sophia Esteed short story/one-shot has been renamed to The Great Star Ocean Cookout. Yes. It's going to be a cooking competition of perhaps the silliest proportions. Everyone, please have a good weekend. Tomorrow, for sure, is the upcoming weekly schedule.
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
This is the final call for Ask the Star Ocean Character - Meracle Chamlotte. You have until midnight Wednesday, April 18, 2012, to submit your inquiries. There's a limit of THREE questions per person. You can submit questions via reply or PM. As I've said before, if you wish to remain "anonymous" or have a specific name you'd like for me to use, please let me know, and I will accommodate you.

Again, final call for Ask the Star Ocean Character - Meracle Chamlotte. After this, Ask the Star Ocean Character is postponed so I can sort out the order and get a few more games played. I'd like to be able to cover all of the games, saving my favorite characters for the absolute last.

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Cosplay by Kojika, Part One

If you've ever attended a convention, one of the things you'll see is people dressing up as favorite, beloved characters. The less specific the convention is - like Otakon or Comic-Con - the larger in variety of cosplay (short for costume play) will be. For example, you will see the Joker, Inuyasha, Cloud Strife, and a Storm Trooper in the same room or at least in a 12-hour span, depending on the convention. (Last year, for Otakon, two of my friends dressed up as Dark Helmet and Col. Sanders from Spaceballs.) The more specific the convention, such as BotCon, the more you'll see people dressed as characters from that particular show. (One of the Cybercon and BotCon shows I attended, two people were dressed up as Optimus Prime and Megatron - full metal costumes!)

The Star Ocean fandom is no stranger to seeing cosplay. Just typing "Star Ocean" into deviantArt's search engine will bring up many different pictures of people in their cosplay. Some are good. Some are not so good. A lot of that, as my friend Kojika would tell anyone interested in cosplaying, is dependent upon the materials used. The right kind of wig can make all of the difference for a handmade costume.

Kojika and I haven't known each other for very long. In fact, we started talking last summer after I found some of her Faize cosplays on dA, browsed through her gallery, and saw that she'd been to a previous NMACon, which is a local anime convention for people in Northern Michigan (where I live).

I believe Kojika is a very amazing, talented woman. She draws, she writes, and she can sew her own cosplay together (with the exception of wigs). She's also graciously (and excitedly) given me permission to display her Star Ocean cosplay for this journal. If you wish to see more of her cosplays you can find her at and

And if you have a question about creating cosplay, she is one person I recommend asking. She's been at this for five years at least, perhaps even longer.

Here is a sampling of pictures of her Star Ocean cosplay. Today, it's Ilia of First Departure. I was only going to do this in three parts, but there are many pictures of her dressed as Claude, Albel, and Faize, and my intention is to give of her costumes its own display. So tomorrow, instead of it being Albel, it will be Claude and (hopefully) Rena.

Ilia at this year's ShutoCon. Debut for Ilia. Kojika plans for her to appear at ACen as well.

More Ilia.

I don't know if there are pictures of Kojika creating her Ilia costume. I know from browsing her dA cosplay gallery, she takes pictures of the accessories she makes but the actual sewing, if applicable (because, let's face it, sometimes cosplay is as easy as shopping for the right shirt) is one thing as of this moment I'm unsure of if she snags pictures.

And thus is the end for Ilia . . . at least for display purposes. :) If you wish to see more of Ilia, please head to Kojika's website, find the convention photos button, click on it, and then click on ShutoCon 2012.

Photos belong to Kojika. Used with permission.

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Merchandise Update

A big thank you to [info]missnox who's PMed her list of Official Merchandise for all four Star Ocean games. I do have an older picture of hers that shows everything she owns, including doujinshi, but I'm quite sure she's added onto this list since she took the photo. :) I know I PMed her back, thanking her, but I wanted to take this moment (as it just hit me) to thank her again, this time publicly.

Your efforts, [info]missnox, are apprciated. :)

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A Thought

A few years ago, I posted to a community, the [info]lutherxfayt community, a few things that I'd like to do with Till the End of Time. (In fact, as I work on this, I'm at the community right now to find the entire list of everything I wanted to do that's Till the End of Time related.) I do remember that I wanted to create an Elicoorian calendar. Here's the original post:

What is this something new and unusual, you might ask?  It's simple, really.

The community, as a whole, is going to create a calendar for Elicoor II.  More specifically, the Aquarian/Glyphian calendar.  I'm figuring since they're such close neighbours, they will ultimately have similar, if not the same, days of the week and months.

This is what the calendar project needs to determine:

the number of months in one year and the names of those months
number of hours in a day
number of days in a week and the names of the days
number of moons that surround Elicoor II, the names of those moons, and how many phases are there*

While Elicoor II is close to that of medieval Earth, we must remember it is NOT Earth.  I'd have to get the information off of one of my games I have going for SO3, but Elicoor II has a different axis and rotation as compared to Earth.  The number of hours in a day may be more, it may be less.  Please do not worry about holidays as of this moment.  Those will come once we have established a calendar everyone is satisfied with.

So?  Who's game for this?

Only one person bit on that particular subject but then the [info]lutherxfayt community is relatively small and quiet. The pairing itself is rather obscure (almost like the Luther x Maria and Luther x Sophia stories . . . I've seen at least one LuRia . . . /shudders/) so creating something like an Elicoorian calendar would actually require a much larger group.

If anyone is game on this, please let me know. I'd be interested in thinking outside of what our current calendar is.

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What the Future Might Hold

In the years that I've been writing Star Ocean fanfiction, specifically for the unusual Luther x Fayt pairing, I've taken to writing holiday-themed stories as well as alternate universe, general continuity, and some crossovers between Till the End of Time. I've written a couple of one-shots for Valentine's Day, Christmas (which will be posted in December of this year), and for Halloween (also will be posted in October of this year) with plans to write chaptered pieces for the holidays in the future. It isn't unusual for a fanfic writer such as myself to do that, but I'd also not be surprised if no one considered such a thing, either.
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What do my fellow Star Ocean fans think? Again, I will reiterate that this is a FICTIONAL scenario. While the possibility of a World War III exists and it potentially possessing severe, holocaustic capabilities, the chances of the outbreak are slim. Too many people do fear that possibility, and I believe that our current governments want to avoid it as well. I will also ask that, while you don't have to like what I'm saying about a fictional futuristic life, you at least keep an open mind about the possibilities for the truth is: we don't know what the future will hold.

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Fanfic: A Blessing of Spring
World: Till the End of Time
Characters: Albel Nox, Luther Lansfeld with mentions of Fayt Leingod, Ryoko Leingod, Nel Zelpher, and Sophia Esteed
Rating: PG13-ish
Warnings: Well, it is from Albel's point of view . . . everyone seems to be in agreement he doesn't like Sophia . . . so be warned. Albel doesn't like Sophia.
Disclaimer: I do not own Till the End of Time or the characters of Luther Lansfeld, Fayt Leingod, Ryoko Leingod, Albel Nox, Sophia Esteed, and Nel Zelpher. Those rights belong to Square Enix and Tri-Ace respectively. This was written for fun. I do not profit financially from writing this story.
Summary: It's almost time for her arrival yet again, and Albel is not happy. Until a brief encounter changes his mind otherwise.


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star_ocean_fan: (Star Ocean 3 game cover)
The Language of Elicoor II - Is it the same as the English language of Earth?

As mentioned in yesterday's post, throughout most of last week, I returned to the very first game that hooked me into the Star Ocean fandom - Till the End of Time - and played for hours at a time, progressing the story and creating items (always fun). In playing the game (and visualizing potential story ideas), I got to thinking about language.

Now, in all of the Star Ocean games (as I am surmising, since I've only played Till the End of Time and The Last Hope), communications between the hero and his party is . . . shall we say, simple, even when the party members aren't human and don't speak the Terran language. This is accomplished because translators are built into the communicators carried by the hero and his party, and it also holds true for those they encounter on the planets they're exploring (like Roak, Expel, Vanguard III, and Elicoor II).

It is my understanding that the translator also works when it comes to reading the foreign language of the planet. In The Last Hope, Faize, Bacchus, Myuria, and Arumat (for sure) have no problems reading the computer monitors in their respective stations or the readouts from The Calnus, which is in (for most of us) the English language. This also holds true for Fayt and his party when they're on Styx and in the four-dimensional realm.

There is one thing, however, that would possibly indicate otherwise, and that's the moment when Fayt is talking with Dion about Aquaria's Thunder Arrow. In those scenes, before he, Cliff, and Nel dash off for the Bequerel Copper Mines, he's examined the blueprints, written down a few suggestions to improve the Thunder Arrow and handed them back to Dion. Fayt then tells Dion he's written down some suggestions to improve the Thunder Arrow, and the other man reads over them, seeing exactly everything working the way Fayt has suggested. This has me wondering just how different the Aquarian/Glyphian languages are from the English language of Earth, unless, of course, Fayt wrote his suggestions somehow in the Aquarian language thanks to the translating device in his communicator. I realize that this, too, is equally possible, but the only time anyone mentions the translator in the communicator is on Vanguard III, after Fayt's destroyed  his to free Niklas.

In wondering about the language of Elicoor II, or at least the one spoken by Glyphians and Aquarians, I wonder how it is they look so human. Are they the descendants of settlers from Earth? Seven hundred, sixty years have passed since the UP3 was drafted and enacted upon. It's possible, especially if they're believers that technology could bring ruin to the human race. It isn't too far of a stretch. The Eldarians gave up their technology when they emigrated to Lemuris.

Truthfully, I don't believe humans emigrated to underdeveloped planets, but I also won't rule out that possibility. The games are spaced so far apart in terms of time, anything really is possible. There are so many areas to write into the timeline for fanfiction, it's anyone's guess. Since there's nothing official, it is up to the fans.

I now present the questions to my fellow Star Ocean fans - What do you think?

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Fanfiction Writing Tip #1 - Writing Powerful, Believable Original Characters

As with any fandom, Star Ocean has become inspiring to many people. Depending on the talent of the person, the love comes out in the form of art, cosplay, fiction, and creations such as plushies, t-shirts, and coffee mugs, to name a few of the ways that love shows.

When it comes to writing fiction, one thing I've noticed that people like to do is inject him/herself into the story s/he is writing. Personally, I feel that there's nothing wrong with that. It's a way to live an adventure, to relieve the stress of every day life, and just to have fun. I've written original characters into many of my stories as a way of character development for original stories.

What bothers me about original characters, in any fandom, is how said original character becomes stronger, faster, smarter, and more devious than the established powerhouse character, be it the villain, the hero, or both. In the case of Star Ocean, the resident, overall powerhouse character is Luther Lansfeld, whose creations rise against him in an effort to save their world. (Which, they are both victorious yet defeated.) Naturally, his counterpart, Fayt Leingod would be equal to him in both strength and intelligence. Still, even though they are the resident powerhouse characters, both Luther and Fayt have flaws. Luther's biggest flaw is his inability to comprehend that he actually has created life, much like the title of Creator he possesses. Fayt, well, depending on the view you want to take, his biggest flaw is the ability to pile as much guilt onto his shoulders for the actions of others onto his shoulders.

Those flaws, when writing fanfiction, are fun for someone like me to exploit. The one thing I never do, though, is write any original characters as being more powerful than either Fayt Leingod or Luther Lansfeld. I may write Luther agreeing to something my OCs want (like in The Power of Fayt), but they can't outstrip him when it comes to intelligence and power. I don't allow them to do that. It's easy to ruin a story when a Mary Sue/Gary Stu is written in and can outdo the hero/villain without repercussions. Nothing brings the Mary Sue/Gary Stu down. The character is always happy, always perfect.

Characters are not meant to be perfect. I realize that, because we as humans aren't perfect, we want our original creations to be perfect in every way, to be what we can't be in our real lives, but, as a reader, I don't want to read how Susannah Jane of the Kenny bloodline can be the perfect soldier, perfect Symbologist, and perfect scientist so she  therefore knows everything about everything, including Professor Leingod's top secret research. I don't buy it. I wouldn't ever buy into that premise.

Now, that isn't to say I won't buy into powerful characters. After all, I love the likes of Luther Lansfeld and Fayt Leingod, and they are considerably powerful characters. They're also flawed characters. They've endured events that have changed their lives. They can either grow from those experiences or regress backwards, and that's what I love about them.

So write your OCs. In truth, no one can really stop a fanfic writer from adding them into the story. Just remember believability is more palpable than the super character who doesn't have a weakness.

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Title: The Dark Sorcerer
World: Till the End of Time
Rating: PG
Characters: Luther Lansfeld, Fayt Leingod
Warnings: N/A
Summary: All he had time to do was think.
Disclaimer: I do not own Till the End of Time and I do not profit from writing this story.


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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.

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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.


star_ocean_fan: (Default)
While I won't say that this is true for First Departure, it is a trope used in the Star Ocean storyline, and, in two games, it's fast become overused.

For example, the first time we hear about genetic altering to enhance a hero/heroine's abilities is in Till the End of Time. The three test subjects are, of course (and obviously) Fayt Leingod, Maria Traydor, and Sophia Esteed. The ones who performed this genetic research/altering? Their own parents - Robert and Ryoko Leingod, Clive Esteed, and Jessie Traydor. The powers doled out? Destruction (Fayt), Alteration (Maria), and Connection (Sophia). The purpose of each is to be able to cross over into the four-dimensional realm, where the Creator of the Universe lives, and to fight the Creator for the right to continue existing. Given that the 4-D realm is basically on a higher plane of existence, Altering the matter of the human body is required in order to survive the passage to that realm. Getting to that realm also requires some kind of connecting link, and imposing the laws of physics will aid in teaching "God" a lesson.

Here's the unleashing of Fayt's powers:

Since Till the End of Time chronologically takes place after The Last Hope, one could say that the Leingods stole the idea from the Saionjis and Arnold Maverick. However, in terms of game release, Till the End of Time comes before The Last Hope so the idea actually is stolen from Till the End of Time.

So who are the test subjects in the Last Hope? Why, our hero, heroine, and the one person you can't get as a playable character - Edge Maverick, Reimi Saionji, and Crowe F. Almedio - of course! And what are their powers? Guess what? We don't know! All we know for sure is that Crowe, Edge, and Reimi are so-called super humans. They're able to withstand and survive situations that would kill those without such genetic enhancements. The only indications that Edge and Reimi are even remotely different are when they're faced with intense situations and a crest appears somewhere on their bodies. For Edge, it's on his right hand and Reimi, it's the back of her neck. The only reason why even know that Crowe has such an ability is because Reimi tells us after she's recovered from the stone sickness.

And this was done in order to help the human race adapt to harsh environmental conditions. Mind you, in the Last Hope, Earth isn't like how we know it now or how we see it in Till the End of Time. The atmosphere is corroding, the air, land and water are filled with pollutants and severe radiation. It's bad enough to the point where humans can't even live on the surface any longer, but in underground cities. It's becoming an adapt or die situation, and mankind isn't adapting fast enough.

Overall, I get why the genetic experimenting was done in both games. Dire situations call for drastic measures. But, really, Tri-Ace and Square Enix. Genetically modifying characters is becoming a cliche. Get out of the genetic modification rut and find us a new way for our super heroes to be super.

* * * *

Today is the last call for Ask the Star Ocean Character - Sophia Esteed. Any questions asked after today at midnight will be filed away for later potential use.

Next week's character will be Maria Traydor. Questions for her can be submitted once the official call for them goes out.

I don't have any one-shot fanfic for today. I wanted to write something yesterday, but I kind of ran out of time. Perhaps tomorrow. :)

Up for Tomorrow: Symbological Genetics - Why Is It a New Field of Study for Till the End of Time/Call Out for Ask the Star Ocean Character - Maria Traydor
Friday: Character Study - Sophia Esteed/Ask the Star Ocean Character segment - Sophia Esteed, perhaps another one-shot fanfic
Weekend: Up in the air. Could see at least one part to Chapter Three of Destinies Intertwined by Fate and an inquiry about a scene from Till the End of Time. But mostly up in the air.

star_ocean_fan: (Fayt Leingod)
Every fan of the Star Ocean series has quite possibly played every game in the series. It's a bit of a blanket statement, but I'm going to hold it as being true for the most part even though I'm not in the category just yet. Chances are, it's also quite true and not just me as holding it true.

Every Star Ocean game has played out in a sequence. The first to be released, naturally, was Star Ocean 1, which was re-released to the PSP as First Departure. The hero of that game is Roddick Farrence with the backing characters of Ilia Silvestri, Ronyx J. Kenny, Millie, and Dorn (as well as others not listed in my gaming manual).

In reading a small portion of the manga, which is called And to The Far Side of Time by Kajiba Ataru, I already have a feel for the premise of the game. Stone sickness appears in the game, and the duly appointed heroes by the game's creators must find the source and the cure. The game ends, if I'm not mistaken, with the final battle being against Asmodeus. (First Departure and Second Story/Second Evolution players, if anything is incorrect, LET ME KNOW. Please! And a full cast of playable characters and major NPCs would be nice, too!)

Next in the series is Second Story/Second Evolution, with the hero of the story coming from the Kenny line introduced in the first game. I don't know the name of the planet Claude winds up on, but I know it isn't Roak. I know that the enemy is referred to as the Twelve Wise Men, and they wish to destroy the universe. Blue Sphere is a follow-up of some kind to that game.

Third official in the series is Till the End of Time. In it, our hero, Fayt Leingod, is on vacation with his family - perhaps while he's on spring break, though the manga puts it as a summer vacation to explain Sophia's being there better. I personally will lean towards spring break due to Sophia asking Fayt "Didn't you say you had a ton of homework to do?" and either his mom or his dad (leaning towards mom)  telling him to not ignore Sophia so much since she didn't have to take time out of her schedule to vacation with them . . . a new start to the game will help me to clarify that, if only for me. It is on this vacay with his family where his life is turned upside and he's chased halfway across the galaxy/universe by the Vendeeni. He, along with Cliff Fittir and Mirage Kaos, crash-land on Elicoor II, where most of his adventures take place. Ultimately, he learns of his powers, of what his parents intended for him to do with those powers, and final culmination of the series itself ends with the final battle between "God" (Luther Lansfeld/Lucifer) and his creations.

Which brings us to the Last Hope and why it was set before all three games combined. Till the End of Time pretty much ends everything since the final battle severed the ties between the Eternal Sphere and its database. Luther attempting to wipe the entire server clean didn't help. The Last Hope was one more chance at a Star Ocean game (is supposed to be the last Star Ocean game), and to tie the all of the games together. It explains why the UP3 itself is important and how it came into existence. As the players of the Last Hope know, the premise behind it is to save mankind from imminent destruction. The Earth has fallen into decay, thanks to the carelessness of war, and humans need a new home. Enter space exploration and Edge Maverick, our intrepid hero. It is because of the lessons he must learn that builds the premise of the story and ends with the final battle between he and the Apostle of Creation/Satanail/Faize.

The Last Hope is a game that a fan either loves or hates. I know of at least one person who won't play because of the graphics. I've had another tell me it didn't quite grab her the way Till the End of Time did. When I found out the timeline for the Last Hope, I was disappointed. I truly did (and still do) want another game with one of my favorite heroes, Fayt Leingod. I love the graphics for the game (the CG better than the anime), I love the characters, and I love the story, but I feel that many fans were like me upon learning of a new Star Ocean game. More of the same characters from Till the End of Time. While it does bring the other stories together by the drafting and publishing of the UP3, some things, in my mind, just create more questions than answers.

In The Last Hope, we see stone sickness appear. It's something endemic to Roak only so naturally we will see it. In reading the first chapter to the very first Star Ocean manga, no one knows what stone sickness is. Yes, the story is taking place on the continent called Muah, and it's also possible that, after three hundred some years, people have forgotten about it because it's "died" out in some way. Unless there's a war of some kind that has broken out to destroy history records, though, I'm finding it hard to believe that the healers in First Departure don't know what the disease is. It feels like a minor slip on the writers' parts for The Last Hope, but it's a major one when it comes to tying everything together. Of course, I'll know for sure when playing First Departure on how this works out.

The other thing that just seems odd is the lack of mention for the Muah in Till the End of Time. I know in First Departure the Muah will be mentioned. It's in the game's manual. But the Muah are supposedly an ancient alien race that came to Earth. Their remains and D.N.A. were discovered by Arnold Maverick, Edge's dad. The D.N.A. of the Muah are what separate Edge and Reimi apart from normal humans. The D.N.A. of the Muah is why Edge can cast spells in and out of battle and possibly why humans later on can cast offensive, healing, and support spells.

The lack of symbological genetic research in seven hundred plus years also bothers me. It feels like it's started with Arnold Maverick but then is promptly forgotten until Robert and Ryoko Leingod start their research. Robert and Ryoko are the ones who become pioneers in that field, and it's that driving force that triggers the Vendeen attacks on Hyda IV and Elicoor II. The Vendeeni are after Robert and Fayt. Why wait so long to study and learn about that particular field?

Third, supposedly, according to either the game manual, the game summary, or the strategy guide, Roak and Earth are somehow tied together, and the players are supposed to figure it out. It's because of the Muah that Earth and Roak are connected, but we never learn anything about the Muah aside from the fact that they've inhabited both Earth and Roak at one point. Beyond that, yeah, we know nothing, and it's a tease. We don't get to learn anything more because we're now too busy trying to save the universe from the Phantoms, the Grigori, and Nox Obscuris.

I also feel that, by jumping back in time by 762 after the events of Till the End of Time, it might have turned many fans off from the game. It isn't unusual for Tri-Ace and Square Enix to jump around with timelines - in a conversation about Final Fantasy with my best friend yesterday, she said as much; I've not played very many of the Final Fantasy games so the only other person I know of who could possibly disprove that is my younger brother. I'm taking her word for it, though, because I know she has no reason to lie to me about it - and the Star Ocean series seems to be no exception. The Last Hope, while giving fans another game in the series, hasn't given the fans what they truly wanted. In some emails with yet another fan, I've learned that, in Japan, the two most popular Star Ocean games are, in fact, Second Story and Till the End of Time. If I were to guess on what it is everyone really wanted to see, they wanted more of either of those two games and not another set of heroes to learn about and invest our time and emotions in through game play. We've already done that with characters like Fayt Leingod and Claude C. Kenny. We want to see more of them. I can't blame the game writers and designers for going in the direction that they did, and I do love that game very much . . . but Till the End of Time rules in my heart.

Will there be more Star Ocean games? I really don't know. I've expressed a desire to see more. However, given the lack of enthusiasm by the fans over The Last Hope, I wouldn't be surprised if Tri-Ace and Square Enix don't release any more in that series. I realize that the amount of official merchandise isn't really anything to go by . . . but there isn't much for The Last Hope in terms of it. Yes, it seems that perhaps the market for gaming merchandise is going away, but I've browsed over the North American site for Square Enix. While there isn't much for The Last Hope, Final Fantasy VII still sees a lot. :) One can only hope that we will see more games, and a re-release of Till the End of Time in the near future.

Up for tomorrow: The Cliche' of the Star Ocean Universe/Final Call for Ask the Star Ocean Character - Sophia Esteed, perhaps even a one-shot fanfic.
For Thursday: Symbological Genetics - Why Is It a New Field of Study for Till the End of Time/Call Out for Ask the Star Ocean Character - Maria Traydor
Friday: Character Study - Sophia Esteed/Ask the Star Ocean Character segment - Sophia Esteed, perhaps another one-shot fanfic
Weekend: Up in the air. Could see at least one part to Chapter Three of Destinies Intertwined by Fate. But mostly up in the air.

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
If there's one thing that's ever a constant in a fandom, it's the use of certain names. It's this use of common names that not only brings in new fans but tries to snag the older fans as well. In glancing over the manuals for First Departure and Second Evolution and playing The Last Hope, one last name comes up quite a bit. That is the last name of Kenny.

It's understandable that the last name of Kenny carries some weight. In the Last Hope, which chronologically is first in the storyline for it starts everything to be seen in the previous games, Stephen D. Kenny is a war hero. Stephen is introduced to us at the start, thought not as a playable character. By the way everyone reacts to his presence - from Deputy Director Shimada's mild disdain and whatever else he is towards Kenny to the hero worship on Edge's part - Stephen D. Kenny has already made a name for himself from the last war on Earth. In fact, with the appearance of Stephen D. Kenny, the legacy of the Kenny family has started. While he isn't the hero of the story, Ronyx J. Kenny of the very first Star Ocean game does play a major role for being a minor character. In Second Story/Second Evolution, his son, Claude Kenny, takes center stage, thus proving just how noble and heroic the Kenny line and last name truly is.

However, in Till the End of Time, there are no characters, not even NPCs, with the last name of Kenny. The famous name you hear most is Leingod, because the Leingods - Robert and Ryoko - have established themselves not only as brilliant scientists, but brilliant scientists in a relatively "new" field of study: Symbological Genetics and Genemorphism. Their son, Fayt, is the hero of that particular story (as all Star Ocean fans know).

Does this mean that the legacy started by Stephen D. Kenny has died out? I personally don't think that it has. I think that, in the hands of the right fanfiction authors, the last name of Kenny is still alive and living up to the reputation of previous predecessors. I also think that girls were born with the last name of Kenny, and those who married took on the last names of the men they fell in love with, depending on how far away they want to get away from the last name of Kenny. (Traditional mindsets will see the women taking on their husbands' last names. And some people, if it's a very famous last name, do their best to put as much distance between them and the family name as possible, especially if expectations are exceptionally high due to the last name alone.)

For myself, I believe that Fayt Leingod has ties to the Kenny family as a direct descendant. It may seem unlikely, since he is the son of two scientists, but, if I'm guessing correctly as to who Claude's mother is (Ilia Silvestri), it doesn't seem too far-fetched as she is not only a soldier but a woman with an education. (According to the game manual for First Departure, she has a Ph.D.) Just because his parents don't have seeming military ties doesn't mean he isn't of the Kenny bloodline.

With that, I ask, who in Till the End of Time do you think has ties to the Kenny family? Or even to the Maverick or Saionji families?

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: (artist unknown)
Recently, I was asked about my take on the scene between Edge and Airi, the Eldarian Physician, that happens early in the game of The Last Hope (shortly after the first boss battle and before the Calnus becomes Edge's to command). I was asked if I thought the doctor had planted a smooch on Edge after he retrieved the wayward SRF member, Rich from the Balena.

To that question, I had to reply I'd need to see it again. I wasn't sure, and I wasn't recalling the moment that well, either. So today, I started what is now my fifth play-through for The Last Hope, just to answer a few questions, not only for the person who asked me that question but for  myself as well.

In the aforementioned scene, I think something did happen between Edge and Airi, but since they blacked that scene out, I can't be sure of what happened. It could have been a kiss, a hug, a combination of both, or a combination of both with a butt squeeze. In fact, given how Edge reacts after a few seconds, I'd say the latter, just because it's fun to contemplate and all that. Such a scene was cut to black intentionally for the player's imagination. Whatever it was that had happened, Edge didn't exactly fight it right away, perhaps too stunned to react right away.

For those of you who've done that side quest with Airi, what do you think happened?


Title: What He Looks Like
World: Till the End of Time
Crossed with: Dragonlance
Rating: PG13
Summary: Raistlin Majere is cursed. Or so he believes until a mysterious new visitor arrives and says something very unusual . . .
Disclaimer: I do not own Dragonlance, Star Ocean, or the characters from the game and books, and I do not profit financially from writing this story.

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: (Default)

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