star_ocean_fan: (ocean view)
Halloween Costumes, ,Part Three - Claude C. Kenny and Bowman Jeane

Okay, I admit. I only know about Bowman because of Star Ocean wikia. Still, he's human, and he's part of the Star Ocean 2 cast. I'd like to include him.

First up is Bowman. From what I've learned of him on the Star Ocean wikia, he's generally a nice guy, and he's intelligent. He runs the pharmacy that Claude and company can use so that gives me a fair idea of what, as a child, he'd dress up as for Halloween. I personally believe that most children, if they, at an early enough of age, show an interest in certain fields, it is what they grow up to be as adults. I can see Bowman trick-or-treating as a doctor or many variations of a doctor, i.e. vampire doctor, zombie doctor, dead doctor, etc . . . He's relatively easy for me since I'm running with what I've learned from one website and not from playing the game (yet).

Second is Claude. As the son of a well respected, heroic captain, Claude would either want to emulate that for trick-or-treating . . . or he' d want to steer clear of such an image entirely. Vampires, zombies, ninjas, samurai, cowboys . . . those are the kinds of costumes I can see Claude wanting to be for Halloween.

By the time Claude and Bowman are born, I can see candy companies making a return. Theoretically, as was mentioned in The Last Hope segment, we might not see a return to the Nestle, Hershey's, M&Ms/Mars, Brach's, Reese's, Russel Stover, and whatever major candy companies exist in Asia and Europe. However, I believe we definitely would see the return of manufactured candies and chocolates for mass consumption. I believe the characters would even see candies that don't even exist right now. (Chocolate covered mixed berry cremes? Citrus delights? Mocha chocolate mints? Sounds delicious to me! Yes. I invented those right off the top of my head.)

Tomorrow, when it comes to Halloween, I'll be discussing the kinds of treat bags people could be using in the Star Ocean universe as well as the conditions our chibi heroes and heroines would encounter in their neighborhoods. For the next Halloween Costumes segment, I'll break it into smaller sections and focus more on the individual characters.

Thus concludes today's entry on Halloween costumes.


Dream Houses, Part 4 - Meracle Chamlotte

Here is the final, solo installation of Dream Houses. The next three segments will coincide with the Ask the Star Ocean Character, Facts about the Character, and Character Study segments scheduled for Fridays.

Meracle is actually fairly easy for me to figure out when it comes to what she'd want in her own home. It wouldn't be an overly elaborate place to live, but it wouldn't be overly small, either. Meracle's home would be quite simple in design, perhaps in homage to her time living with Eleyna Farrence.

I also think Meracle would like for her home to either be a boat on the ocean with glass plating at the bottom of one section of the ship . . . or able to be under water. Meracle likes fish. I think she'd have fun just sitting there, watching the fish as they swam by her. If not on the water, then she'd definitely have several chicken coops in the yard. She likes chicken as much as she does fish. Her home would reflect her ability to fish/be a chicken farmer in that respect.

Meracle's home would also be rather standard . . . a few bedrooms, a kitchen, a place for her to groom herself like a shower or something with a sink, and a room for her to play around in with her guests and her family. The walls would have paintings of fish and chickens . . . and Lady Eleyna and Edge, whom Meracle just absolutely adores.

Yes. Meracle is quite the simple Fellpool when it comes to what kind of dream home she'd want . . .


Fanfic: Destinies Intertwined by Fate
Chapter Three of Twenty, Part 1
Chapter Title: Bittersweet Reunions
Pairings: Luther Lansfeld x Fayt Leingod, Maria Traydor x Lieber, Albel Nox x Mirage Kaos, Cliff Fittir x Nel Zelpher, one-sided Fayt Leingod x Maria Traydor
Summary: For Fayt Leingod and Luther Lansfeld, the end of the final battle is only the beginning. Worlds collide as the rebuilding begins.
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Ocean 3 or the characters from the game. They belong to Square Enix and Tri-Ace. I do not profit from the writing of this story. All OCs presented within belong to me, and I will protect them zealously from any and all unauthorized use. Please ask me first before writing them into your stories. Thank you.

Warnings: Some chapters will contain adult content and adult themes. Other warnings include yaoi, or, for the anime-lacking in their lives, at least one male/male relationship, some language (Fayt is no saint), implied torture and hints of sexual assault, science fiction and fantasy elements, momentary scenes of intense and graphic violence, and potential character deaths, be they of the original character or main game character variety. Also, Albel and Luther can both be dickheads when the mood strikes them.
Author's Note: I'm going to treat this like I'm at . . . there will be implied adult content as opposed to actual adult content. Not that there isn't any adult content in the story itself . . . I'm just covering my behind when it comes to potential minors finding this journal and reading something that perhaps their parents don't want them to read. :) That's all.


Read more... )



Birthday Wishes - Robert Leingod

Happy birthday to Robert Leingod!

I know, I know. I assigned today to him for the celebration. It could very well be wrong but I'll take my chances. Here are some ficlets for everyone's reading pleasure.

Read more... )

The Life of a Famous Symbological Geneticist

Read more... )

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Continuing on with more Star Ocean cosplays by Kojika. Today, we'll see Kojika dressed as both Rena and Claude from Second Story/Second Evolution from various photo shoots and conventions. I also have a photo of Kojika's Star Ocean 2 cosplay group, which was taken at Anime Expo 2003.

Right left to right - Kojika, himeko, Sakura85, and Urd-Chan. (User IDs for dA . . . that's all anyone's getting out of me. :))

Taken just the other night - Kojika decided to try on her Rena costume after many years and says the outfit fits her better now than it did in previous years. :) How about that?

There are more photos of Kojika as Rena. She's working on adding back a lot of the convention photos from before. So please bear with her on that. She's a busy gal in real life and one of the sweetest people I've ever met. :)

The following pictures are from NMACon (short for Northern Michigan Anime Convention) 2010.

Outdoor photos were taken outside near Great Wolf Lodge.

Did Claude do all of that? O_O ;)

I love the rock in the second photo. As I haven't had a chance to completely explore the grounds for Great Wolf Lodge, I don't know where it is . . . it's still very neat. :) And why does it look like Claude has an iPod? 0.o?

Sacred rock? Forest of Expel? Who can really say? :)

I've seen some of Kojika's cosplays as Faize (which appear over the weekend), and . . . I think Claude's taking after Faize . . . :) Are they somehow related?

This photo wasn't taken at NMACon . . . I don't remember where Kojika said, but it's still a nice shot. :)

I'm pretty sure Kojika has more Claude pictures. I'm actually glad I chose the ones from NMACon 2010 simply because of the scenery alone. While it's held in Traverse City, Michigan, there are still plenty of forest-like areas near the city so it makes for a very realistic-looking setting. :) I haven't played Second Story/Second Evolution just yet, but I know it's on an underdeveloped planet. The scenery works out beautifully.

No chapter to add to Destinies Intertwined by Fate just yet. Perhaps over the weekend. When I first started to write the outline for the story, I got as far as Chapter Three (the current chapter in progress) and with two PoVs - Fayt and then Albel. I'm still working with Fayt because of the internal struggles he's been facing thus far in the story.

Hope everyone's enjoying the Cosplay by Kojika! Albel will appear on Thursday. :) 

Edit 04/19/2012:
This is actually a post-dated entry . . . was waiting on the use of a certain computer after getting the Rena picture since Claude was not on the computer I was using when Kojika posted it to dA . . . Anyway, I have been informed by Kojika that the photos for both the Albel and Claude shoots were actually done at the Northwestern Michigan College campus and not Great Wolf Lodge (where last year's NMACon was held). The last photo of Claude was taken at Kolliscon at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL.

I feel so silly . . . I used to attend that college . . . :) But it's been so many years so . . . Still doesn't stop me from feeling so silly, though.
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: (manga Fayt Leingod)
I actually like the title of this entry enough for it to be a fanfiction title. :) I may just have to write that down. Hehehehehe.

Anyway, even though I've yet to play First Departure and Second Story/Evolution,  I do have a bit of a working knowledge about the final bosses.Cut for spoilers and prosterity )

Now for a list of the Star Ocean games and their available platforms:

Star Ocean                                                                  Super Nintendo; Japan only
Star Ocean: Second Story                                        PlayStation
Star Ocean: Blue Sphere                                         Nintendo Gameboy; Japan only
Star Ocean: Till the End of Time                             PlayStation 2
Star Ocean: First Departure - remake                   PSP
Star Ocean: Second Evolution - remake               PSP
Star Ocean: The Last Hope                                     XBox360; PlayStation 3

I am currently in the process of compiling a list of official Star Ocean merchandise, which does not include doujinshi. I currently have a link to a site of official merchandise, but it hasn't been updated since the person first started it. It does give me an idea of where to start. Right now, I'm starting with the games and where those who haven't played them but want to can find them.

eBay is always a good place to look for video games. Typing in Star Ocean will bring in all kinds of results, including fish food and ocean liner memorabilia. However, be very wary about purchasing any game from someone on eBay. I realize some editions of each game are becoming collector's items, like Star Ocean for the SNES, Star Ocean: Second Story, and Star Ocean: Blue Sphere for the Gameboy. In fact, eBay is the only place I can think of right now where people will be able to find those. However, for the games like Till the End of Time, the Last Hope, and the remakes/re-releases of First Departure and Second Evolution, I recommend heading to a local GameStop or heading directly to the websites for Square Enix or Sony. Instead of paying $30-$80 for Till the End of Time, as an example, either in Used or New conditions, you'll pay a lot less at GameStop (for used) or the companies' official websites (for new). (I'd personally recommend heading to the Square Enix or Sony sites . . . a new copy of Till the End of Time is $19.99, not including shipping. I can't say it'd be that low on a site like eBay.) It's important to be economical when it comes to buying video games. If you can get it cheaper through another site like Square Enix's website, that's what I'd recommend a person to do. (Also be wary if you're out to find the strategy guides as well . . . some people on eBay won't hesitate to charge a person $100 for a paperback book that was originally $30 in stores.)

Also, one other note, and this is in regards to The Last Hope: It was originally released on the XBox360 system in advance of the PS3 version. It may not seem like there'd be much of a difference between the two, but the truth is there is a difference. When it comes to Item Creation (it's in all Star Ocean games), some items will require an extra ingredient in the PS3 version. The PS3 version also has some additional treasure chests or has items in chests that are different from the XBox360 version. According to a friend of mine, Square Enix pushed for the XBox360 release before creators Tri-Ace were ready to release. There are a few kinks to that version, so player be warned.

As for which one I think is better . . . well, I've only played the PS3 version so I'll be going with that. It's just a pain when you need additional items to make the same things in the same game but you're playing on a different system. I know this because I did buy the strategy guide for The Last Hope when it was available in Wal-Mart. It gives the read-outs for both systems. Those who only own the XBox 360 version swear by that. It does depend on the system you own as to which one you'd consider to buy. If you own both systems, eh, give them both a whirl. The story's still the same, but it wouldn't hurt to have the same game twice. You know. Just in case. ;)


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