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

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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.

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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.

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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)
Ask the Star Ocean Character Reminder - Roger S. Huxley

Just a friendly reminder that I am taking questions for the next Ask the Star Ocean Character segment featuring Roger S. Huxley from Till the End of Time. Limit three questions per person, no cussing or vulgar language, and questions must be submitted to me no later than midnight of December 11, 2012. They can be submitted to me via PM, comment, or email (luthersfayt@gmail.com or thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.com), and, when submitting, please let me know if you wish to remain "anonymous" for the inquiries or if there is a specific user name you'd like for me to use. Otherwise, I will use whatever name you post the questions as when submitting them.

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Christmas Reminder - Seeking Star Ocean themed Celebrations!

This is another friendly reminder that I am seeking out holiday themed Star Ocean cosplay, photography (with the toys, naturally), art work, and fan fiction. This isn't a contest of any kind, there are no prizes for best piece, this is just Star Ocean fans celebrating the holidays with their favorite (or one of their favorite) game. Please keep all photography and artwork clean and tasteful (no nudity) and fan fiction to one-shots with mild language and implied situations (no smut). I will accept chaptered fiction ONLY if the story is complete.

When submitting fan fiction (of any kind), please include the following in front of the story:

Title
World
Pairing: (if applicable)
Characters:
Rating:
Warnings: (if applicable)
Disclaimer: (a MUST)
Claimer on OCs: (a must and where applicable)
Summary:
Author's Notes: (if applicable)

Note: The only time World does not need to be included is for birthday stories

Also, please note: While I have a very good grasp of the English language and the mechanics for writing, I am not a beta-reader. This is by choice so I can work on my own material for myself and the people who enjoy reading my works. I will not accept any stories with severe spelling and grammatical errors. This is a fan journal, not a fan fiction and fan art posting website like deviantArt and fanfiction.net. I read over everything that is submitted to me. I do not accept the excuse of "it's just fanfiction" for poorly written material. I also will not hesitate to ask a person to fix the errors and resubmit a story. I know that none of us gets paid for our fan fiction, but this is as much your fandom as it is mine. Take pride in your work and do your absolute best. Don't just say you love Star Ocean. Shout it.

All submissions for the holiday season (not restricted to just Christmas - all holidays in December are welcome) can be emailed to me at luthersfayt@gmail.com or thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.com

Thanks in advance!

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Announcement - The Star Ocean Universe Facebook Page

A few months ago, when I first had the idea for a Star Ocean fan event, I started a facebook page called The Star Ocean Universe. It can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Star-Ocean-Universe/274275612679796 . The journal entries are posted to the maintainer account, which can be found by typing thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.com into facebook's search engine (name is under Autumn Ronk). All Star Ocean fans are welcome to join me there.

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Conversation Topic - Education in the Four Dimensional Realm

By now, most players of Till the End of Time have reached the four dimensional realm. They have also defeated the game, no doubt numerous times. Players of Till the End of Time are quite familiar with the four dimensional realm, its inhabitants, and their apparent laziness.

The fact that over ninety percent of the four dimensional realm's population is unemployed is really no big secret to Star Ocean fans. Talking to the people in Arkives and Gemity as well as certain playable characters while exploring brings all of this to light. However, just because so many are unemployed in the 4-D realm doesn't mean the inhabitants are uneducated. If the player finds the right people to talk to, s/he finds out that a young boy has been accepted to work at Sphere 211 after passing some kind of placement exam.

Knowing this about the game, it does make me wonder just how the four dimensional realm's educational system works. At what age do the people start attending school and for how long does their education last? I surmise that they do start out very young, and that it is a very intense educational system. The person I've spoken to that gets accepted to work at Sphere 211 is a boy who appears to be no older than Flad, who I'm also surmising to be around the age of twelve. (He could be fifteen, too. The game's creators have a tendency, when coming up with the characters and their ages, of designing very young looking  characters who are actually older than they appear - Peppita, Roger, Lymle, Precis, and Meracle, for example.) Taking that into consideration, the educational system of the four dimensional realm has got to be an intense one but, at the same token, a nearly useless one if more people than not are unemployed.

What are my fellow fans' thoughts on the 4-D realm's educational system?

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Fan fiction entries

Title: Sugar Cookies
World: Till the End of Time
Pairing: Luther x Fayt
Characters: Luther Lansfeld, Fayt Leingod with mentions of Ryoko Leingod and Robert Leingod
Warnings: male/male relationship, a bit of sentimental, sappy fluff
Rating: PG13
Disclaimer: I do not own Till the End of Time or the characters of Fayt Leingod and Luther Lansfeld. They belong to tr-Ace and Square Enix respectively, and I don't profit financially from writing this story.
Summary: He knew Fayt had a surprise for him. He would soon understand its implications.
 

 

Read more... )

 


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Title: A Tangle of Christmas Lights
World: Till the End of Time
Pairing: Luther x Fayt
Characters: Luther Lansfeld, Blair Lansfeld, Fayt Leingod
Warnings: male/male relationship, implied situations, and a bit of sentimental, sappy fluff
Rating: PG13
Disclaimer: I do not own Till the End of Time or the characters of Luther and Blair Lansfeld and Fayt Leingod. They belong to tri-Ace and Square Enix respectively, and I don't profit financially from writing this story.
Summary: It's Christmas time in the Eternal Sphere. Two lovers prepare to celebrate.
 

 

Read more... )

 

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And that's all for today, my friends! Happy Tuesday to you!
star_ocean_fan: (Default)
Fanfic Writing Tip #10 - Writing Effective Songfic and Using Lyrics in Your Stories

I want to start by saying that I am not against someone writing a songfic, a story with the same name and with the lyrics throughout the story, or using song lyrics in a story. One of my first stories is a songfic, and it's one that I consider to be among my best stories. I still like to write songfic and to use lyrics in my stories, all because it's an added effect to the story I'm writing. Get the right song for the right mood and the right theme for the story you're writing, and you will have a very powerful piece that will move the reader on levels they didn't even realize existed.

There is some etiquette involved with writing songfics and using song lyrics in a story, some dos and don'ts that can either make or break your story for the reader. Some can also get your account deleted.

In order to keep your account from being deleted on a particular website, read the site's Terms of Service very carefully. Some fanfiction sites do not allow song lyrics in stories, unless they are your own. Period. It doesn't stop people from posting their stories, however, so, if you choose to violate the site's ToS on song lyrics, do so at your own risk.

Some sites don't follow the "No Song Lyrics" allowed rule. They do, however, restrict the amount of lyrics used. There has to be a certain amount of story for each line of lyric in it. Because of this, I advise that the writer read the Terms of Service for each site s/he uses for posting fanfiction.

Now with the site restrictions out of the way, there are a few other things authors should keep in mind when using song lyrics in a story.

1 - Disclaimer and Credit!!! Not all songs are in the public domain, i.e., they can be posted anywhere at any given time (think of the many Christmas songs you used to sing in elementary school for Christmas programs). Most of the songs I've seen used (and have used myself) are copyrighted. If you've ever looked in a CD liner with lyrics, you might see "reprinted with permission" somewhere. Because of this, make sure your readers know that you don't own the song lyrics you're using and credit the band or singer, along with the album it can be found on, performed the song.

2 - There are a few different ways to utilize a song for a story, especially if the story is based around it. Watch how you use the song in question. Beginning authors might not realize it, but there is a correct and incorrect way to use a song.

For example, I love this song called "Invisible Boyfriend" by a band out of New Orleans called the Continental Drifters. It's a very sad and haunting song. To utilize the lyrics for the story, to title the story after the song itself, I would do this:

Line 1 of a verse
Line 2 of the same verse
Line 3 of the same verse
Line 4 of the same verse
--- Invisible Boyfriend, Continental Drifters, Continental Drifters (1995)

(Story section based on the verse)

That gets the song out there, gives the reader an idea of what the segment is about before I repeat the process for the next segment (or what would be a PoV change if you're using more than one PoV)

Now, if the character is listening to a song, and there's a current mood about that character in that tender, happy, or sad moment, a snippet of lyrics isn't a bad way to go. A line here, a line there are more than sufficient to add to the mood, to create the effect. To make sure people know who sang what, I write in an author's note, often at the end of the story (or at the beginning - depends on where I'm trying to convey mood or indicate what I'm listening to when I write a segment or a chapter) so the reader can then find the song. (When I started writing fanfiction in 2000, I uploaded CDs to my computer. This was before iTunes and youtube.)

The biggest mistake I've seen when people try to use song lyrics is that they overload the story with an entire song. This is a big no-no. One, it takes up more space than it needs to and that can be dedicated to story. Two, it overwhelms the reader who isn't reading the piece for the song but for the story itself. It's cool to share a song that you love. After all, there are plenty of good songs out there that deserve more love than what they may or may not receive. It isn't cool to overwhelm your readers with your favorite songs. As an author, your ultimate goal should be to tell a story effectively without taking up space for song lyrics. If someone points that out to you, it is for good reason. If you've ever felt cheated on a story because an author has done that, then please keep that in mind when writing songfic and using song lyrics yourself. Readers don't like to be cheated out of story.

Next week's writing tip: Asking for Critiques Before Posting - Writer to Writer Etiquette

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Conversation Topic - Power Hungry Characters of Till the End of Time

As with any game, there is always one or two characters that want more than what they already have. They're always grasping, reaching, and doing whatever they can to have more - more land, more money, more weapons, more power - and it's often without regard for who gets trampled along the way.

In Till the End of Time, there are three characters that I would classify as power hungry. No. Luther Lansfeld is not on this list. He probably should be on it, but he has his reasons for doing what he's done. I don't see him so much as power hungry as I do extreme OCD and control freak. He's already at the highest level of power in the game. He's the Creator. He's God.

First on this list, naturally, is Norton. Yes. Norton. Remember him? He was the first boss players fought on Vanguard III, the one who if you were leveled up high enough, didn't last five minutes. He didn't get much air time and you don't see him again until after you've defeated Luther and start wandering through the locked levels of Sphere 211.

Norton is definitely a power hungry character. He wants to turn his little area of Vanguard III into a kingdom. Anyone who stands up to him, who doesn't do as he wishes, dies. His mistreatment of the villages of Whipple leads them to mistrust Fayt when he first arrives.

Second on this list is Duke Vox, Captain of the Dragon Brigade. He, too, is a power hungry character who might not have stopped at his current rank if he had not died an untimely death. There isn't much of a backstory for his ascent to power unless the player recruits Albel before the fight with Crosell instead of the default of Nel. Upon recruiting Albel over Nel, taking him to the four dimensional realm opens up the ability to obtain a legendary sword called the Crimson Scourge.

Vox tried to wield the sword after he set up Albel for the Flame of Ascension when he was too young. Albel fans know that it was his father, Glou Nox, who saved him from certain death, but the right of passage left Albel physically and emotionally scarred. Vox himself is driven to the point of madness because he tried to claim the Crimson Scourge for himself.

He knew no bounds in his quest for power, either. Vox helped to start the war between Aquaria and Airyglyph by spreading the lie that the followers of Apris wanted to assassinate the king. Innocent people were tortured and killed because of that lie.

Finally, I come to the third person on this list, and that honor goes to Belzeber, of the four dimensional realm. Born into a powerful family and the son of the original owner of Sphere 211, Belzeber has a very strong sense of entitlement. He is not happy that, upon his father's retirement/handing over power of the company to Luther. While he doesn't care about the company itself or the gaming world of the Eternal Sphere, Belzeber thinks and feels that all of it should be his and his alone.

Belzeber is also the kind who doesn't care who he hurts along the way in order to get what he wants. He's willing to kill Blair, someone he's known for a very long time, because the Owner has decreed it. If he's willing to go that far on someone else's order, just how far would he go to try and usurp Luther from his position of power?

I'm sure that there are other characters in Till the End of Time that others think are power hungry. I encourage everyone to give me their thoughts on them. (For this entry, please keep the power hungry character comments to Till the End of Time. I will write on the other games for power hungry characters so comments for them.)

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Convention/Cosplay Talk - To Go Alone or Join a Group?

When it comes to convention and cosplay, some people may find themselves asking whether or not if they should go alone, fly solo as it were, or if they should meet up with others for a cosplay group. This isn't exactly an easy question to answer when it comes to conventions and cosplay. Traveling in a group to the convention site is actually quite economical - the people in the car, truck, or van help pay for gas and thus save on gas - but it isn't always possible. If you can arrange a travel group, by all means, do it.

As for cosplay, this is where I say do both. Gather a group for one day, fly solo for another . . . have fun with it. If none of your friends are going to the conventions, find other people to hook up with for cosplay groups. There are many clubs on this site, deviantart, and, of course, one can always use facebook.

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 fanfiction.net, 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

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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.

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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.

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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... )

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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... )

 

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This was written as a surprise giftfic for Charryblossom over at deviantart.com

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... )


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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: (Default)
Halloween Reminder

I'm still  seeking Halloween themed Star Ocean artwork, photography, and fanfiction to celebrate the holiday. Figures next to Halloween decorations, characters in costumes, and people dressed in cosplay with Halloween decorations in the mix are definitely welcome. Fanfiction should be kept to drabbles, short stories, and vignettes. Chaptered fiction will be accepted ONLY if the story is completed. Everything should be kept at the PG-13 level. No nudity at all, and sexual situations MUST BE IMPLIED. I will not accept anything with explicit material. All games are welcome!

All submissions can be emailed to me at luthersfayt@gmail.com, and your help is greatly appreciated!!

Please, when submitting any Star Ocean fiction of any kind, include the following:
Story Title
World (for everything but birthdays)
Rating
Pairing, ONLY if applicable
Warnings, if any
A Disclaimer
A Claimer on OCs
Author's Notes, if any

Thanks!

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Halloween Costumes, Part Two - Ronyx J. Kenny and Illia Silvestri

Here's where I'll be having a bit of fun since I don't know the characters all that well.

It has returned, the Halloween costumes discussion. Yay! 

By the time the events of First Departure roll around, I'm going to guess that, where Halloween is concerned, either nothing has changed in how the day is celebrated or traditions have evolved based on the number of alien races encountered over three hundred years. Either way, I can imagine that the custom of dressing up for Halloween remains intact.

However, with the introduction of alien cultures and customs, the kinds of costumes available to Ronyx and Illia as children would be far greater in variety. Not only would there be the options of wearing alien costumes but the kinds of creatures from ancient folklore as well. I'm given to understand that both Ronyx and Illia are quite intelligent (my First Departure manual says Illia has a Ph.D) so experimenting with costumes seems like, to me, something they'd do. However, for this entry, I'll stick with traditional Earth costumes.

Ronyx, in my researching, seems like a very straight-forward, honorable, noble guy, and is an archer/long-distance fighter. Because of my researching into his character, I can see him dressing up as a samurai or medieval bowman. He might actually deviate away from something noble because it would be predictable. I'm thinking zombie captain for Ronyx or perhaps vampire - something that would let him be bad for the times he can't be bad: a shake-up to his routine, if you will.

As an adult, he might just pay homage to Roddick (Ratyx) by dressing up as a Fellpool or something themed with Illia.

Illia, on the other hand, is presenting more of a challenge for me in terms of costumes. She's an intelligent woman, was probably quite intelligent as a child. She'd want to dress up as something fun, in my mind's eye, like something out of a beloved book or perhaps something to reflect her intellect. Of course, I haven't had the chance to play First Departure so I just don't know how "girly" she is in terms of personality. Dressing up as a classical witch might be her style, too. One can never tell.

As an adult, I can see her dressing up as a sexy nerd or a seductress. Whatever happens to tickle her fancy at the time.

** This was written based off what I learned about the characters at Star Ocean wikia . . . probably not the best I can come up with, all things considered, but I wanted to write about First Departure for a change over The Last Hope and Till the End of Time (despite how much I love both games). Feel free to offer up thoughts on how you think Ronyx and Illia would dress for Halloween.

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Fanfic: Carving the Pumpkin
Status: One-shot
World: Till the End of Time
Pairing: Luther Lansfeld x Fayt Leingod
Rating: PG-ish.
Warnings: pointless story, some fluff, male/male situations. Nothing sexual, no language
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Ocean - Till the End of Time nor the characters of Fayt Leingod and Luther Lansfeld. They belong to tri-Ace and Square Enix. I do not profit financially from writing this story.
Summary: Luther faces one of his greatest challenges yet - carving a pumpkin for Halloween.

 

Read more... )
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And that kind of does it for today. I hoped to have more, but it just didn't pan out so . . . Have a good Tuesday!
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 luthersfayt@gmail.com. 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?

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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.

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Tomorrow is Bacchus's and Mrs. Nox's birthdays. Pictures and birthday stories to ensue.
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? 

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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.

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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: (manga Fayt Leingod)
What's There But Isn't There? - Why Luther and Fayt Never Stood a Chance of Winning Against Each Other (SPOILER ALERT!!)

This is a fairly recent theory on my part - try like in the evening hours of last night while playing Till the End of Time. I did something that I hadn't done in previous play-throughs. I got the message from "B" that I had access to Sphere 211, and I could go there anytime I wished. This, of course, after taking my time on Elicoor II, going to Styx, playing in the arena, and then going back to Styx. I finally decided to progress this particular play-through, but, instead of heading to Sphere 211 right away, I returned to Arkives. I wanted that Smithy Hammer for Item Creation.

Upon my return to Arkives and reaching the second "level" of the city, I spoke with a guard who was, oddly enough, spooked, for lack of a better term. He started to ask questions about how to analyze something that was there - that he could see and touch (and perhaps even smell) - but wasn't there at the same time - his scanner read it as air, basically. The piece of fabric he held in his hand, something he could see and touch, wasn't registering for analysis.

This has me thinking about a couple of different things. One is that this guard's words are proof that, without Maria there initially, the group wouldn't exist. It's something that we already knew as well, but I don't ever remember speaking to him before so it's like . . . wow. I didn't know that! Two, it would make proving their existence is viable to someone like Luther, who's certain of himself and his place in his world, almost impossible. Because of his job, not only as the Owner of Sphere 211 but also because he's one of the lead programmers. Luther therefore is stuck in his Workspace however many hours a day (giving his control-freakishness, I'd say he's at Sphere at least sixteen hours a day), as many days in a row as possible (which, if it's like our seven days a week thing, it'd be seven . . . yes, I do envision Luther as a workaholic). Because of this, Luther has begun to rely more on a computer screen to tell him what is and isn't real over his senses. He could stand there, look at Fayt and his friends all he wants, fight them in battle and feel the sting of their weapons, but his mind would still refuse to register it as real. He said it himself - the Eternal Sphere is a fabrication. It's how he's meant for it to be, and for it to adapt and become more isn't unacceptable. It's simply unthinkable.

Likewise, Fayt wouldn't be able to convince Luther that he and his friends are real and not just mindless AI programs. Not just be standing in front of him, slapping him on the arm, or anything else like that and definitely not while Luther's allegedly projected into the Eternal Sphere, as Blair thinks. I think that if there had been some sort of a confrontation between Fayt and Luther alone in Sphere 211, before the final battle, it might have made a slight difference, but that isn't the case we see in the game. Luther escaped to the Eternal Sphere. He used Belzeber and Berial as distractions. So long as Luther relies on a computer to tell him what's real when it comes to the Eternal Sphere and not his senses, it will always be an uphill (and potentially losing) battle for Fayt.

Still, the existence of 3D beings in 4D space is baffling for someone like Luther. He would want answers. Whether his computers could give him those answers, since they're unable to actually analyze something as simple as cloth. What would they say about something like tissue and blood? Would they even be able to scan Fayt and his friends from head to toe and have the computers tell them anything?

It's interesting to consider.

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Fanfiction Writing Tip #3 - Proper Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling

Not to be a grammar Nazi - and, yes, they do exist - but if there's one thing that could turn me off from a fanfiction quicker than a person turning a light switch on or off is it's poor spelling, sloppy grammar, and little to no punctuation in a sentence. I realize that a lot of people write fanfiction for fun. It's meant to be fun, but even something written for fun should follow the rules that have been applied to writing since the inception, writing, and translation of the scriptures found in the Bible. Even cavemen followed some form of logic when leaving behind cave paintings, same as the ancient Egyptians. All professional authors follow these rules, be it on their own as they write or in the form of their editors.
 
So why is this important? Why would misspelled words, sloppy grammar, and lack of punctuation drive someone away from reading a story? In a word: readability.

And readability isn't subject to personal preferences or opinions. If you're someone who wants to go with the "only 2% of the population reads everything word for word", understand that's a good chunk of the population. I wrote once, in another journal, that, if the world's population was somewhere in the ballpark of 2 trillion people, that's 40 billion people who read everything word for word. Those numbers include authors, editors, and agents. And please don't be fooled into thinking that because authors, editors, and agents fall into the realm of paid professionals they don't read fanfiction. I can guarantee that there are some out there who do. J.K. Rowling reads fanfiction based off of her Harry Potter series. If she reads, you can be sure she isn't the only one. I've also had a friend tell me that one of her other friends was discovered through her DragonBall Z fanfiction. This woman now writes professionally. (If asked, I will provide the author's  name and her titles.) Utilizing proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation matters almost as much as coming up great story ideas. If you don't care that your story is riddled with misspelled words, sloppy punctuation and sentence structure, I can tell you right now that no one who is of worth in the writing world will care to read your story.

Here's another way that I can put it: Fanfiction is a form of creative expression. In fact, all writing is a form of expression, be it to relay facts or to invent new worlds. The clearer you can convey your ideas, the better others will understand what you're trying to say, why you're trying to say it, and the more they will enjoy your works. If you're coming across as a five-year-old on a perpetual sugar high, the only ones who will enjoy your works are your friends that you beg to read your stories and leave glowing praise on something that could otherwise be construed as a piece of garbage.

Here are some examples:

(not from any particular works - just something I came up with for demonstration purposes)

"Die, data!" Luther yelled as he ran towards Fayt with his spear pointed at the other mans heart "You won't ruin my pefect pardise!" Before Fayt could react Jalayla his girlfriend and best lover in the world jumped in front of him and deflected the Creator's spear with effortless ease and smiled smugly as the blondhaired sputtered and howled in rage and tried again but kept deflecting him because like FAyt she'd grown stronger thruout her journey to this point.

Bad, yeah?

(from Chapter Two of Wizards, Warriors, and Rogues)

This time, Luther did spit the blood from out of his mouth. The watery red substance landed just below the strange angel’s feet, but he seemed to either not notice or not care about such an action. Instead, the man backed away a few feet, a smirk on his face. Luther’s hand wrapped around the hilt of his sword. Once their battle began, his spear had proven useless, heavy, and unwieldy so, as quickly as he could, he created a sword for himself. Oddly enough, it looked very much the Divine Avenger blade the data known as Fayt Leingod had wielded in their battle. He rose so that he could face his opponent one final time, his footing unsteady, but Luther fought his weariness. He leveled his gaze at the stranger and pointed his blade at the man.


Much better. :)

Writing for fun can be fun, but remember, when posting in a public domain,  writers are subject to the opinions and thoughts of others. Following the rules to convey their ideas clearly will garner more positive reaction than something that looks like a five-year-old wrote. Write properly so that the only complaints a reader has are the subject matter, not your intelligence.

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Convention Talk, Part One - The Fun of Conventions and a Short List of Upcoming Events

Last week, I displayed pictures of Star Ocean cosplays created and worn by my friend Kojika. For the most part, the cosplays were created and worn for conventions. Cosplays aren't just worn for conventions but for other reasons as well, but today, I'm talking about conventions.

My first convention was BotCon 2000, which took place in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It was a very fandom-specific convention, a bit on the boring side, but it was also fun. My friends and I, while I don't remember seeing much in terms of cosplay, still had fun. We missed a couple of the panels, lived off of fast food, and wandered the Dealer Room and Artist Alley for a while, and simply hung out with each other. We didn't know very many people there, either, though one friend and I would later learn a couple of people we would meet in the months following BotCon were at the convention itself. Still, we invented some of our own fun and enjoyed ourselves. It was in the following years, 2002-2004 as well as a few Cybercons tossed in for good measure, that I saw anyone dressing up as favorite characters from the show. Cosplay, though, was still at a minimum, quite possibly due to the fact creating a Transformers cosplay (unless it's for a human) is going to be quite extensive, expensive, and time-consuming. The two guys I saw dressed as Rumble and Frenzy at BotCon 2004 were talking, at the time, of having to do a little bit more in order for them to be complete for the next convention they were heading to after that event. If I remember correctly, it was their feet that needed to be finished. I digress.

However, this isn't likely to be the case for a generalized convention like Comic Con, Anime Expo, and Otakon. When it comes to cosplay for a more generalized convention, the attendee is going to see a great variety, especially at the more popular of said conventions. When it comes to cosplay for such events, you'll find everything from comic books and movies to video games, manga, and anime. Heck, you'll even find cosplayers dressed up as their favorite JPop and JRock artists. There will also be a larger variety events scheduled - voice actors, gaming rooms, writers' panels as well as events for cosplayers, just to name a few. When my sister and I attended NMACon last fall, they played Anime Truth or Dare, which was quite interesting.

Also, when it comes to the larger conventions, the dealer rooms will be larger, filled with a variety of merchandise from the insanely popular to the obscure and rare. The Artists' Alleys will be larger, too. You could spend two hours alone just wandering from table to table. As I've not yet been to events like Anime Expo, Comic Con, or Otakon, it's my guess that it could take two hours to cover just the dealer room. I would dearly love to go to these events at least once or twice and also hit up some of the smaller conventions (when compared to the likes of Comic Con and Otakon) like OhayoCon, ShutoCon, and YoumaCon or any of the smaller Comic Cons, like the Emerald City Comic Con held in Seattle, Washington, or the Motor City Comic Con, held in Detroit.

I feel that the fun in these conventions not only comes from being able to travel - because, well, I love to travel and I'd love to be able to travel more than what I currently can right now - to different places or the same places, whichever may be the case, but also in the people we meet at such conventions. It could be meeting new people, it could be the people we've known for years and years, or the ones we just met a few months prior and just wish to gather. It's the people who make the conventions, and it's the fan events, like Anime Truth or Dare and Human Anime Chess, that also make the times memorable. I feel fortunate that I've been to the slightly major convention of BotCon and the smaller Cybercons and NMACon, but each convention is a new experience. If you've never been to a convention but would like to, I definitely recommend that you find the one that will best suit you in what you want to see and experience.

To conclude this, I'm including a list of upcoming conventions from the end of this month to the end of July. Some of these will be local conventions for specific areas as well as some of the major players. I'll be writing at least one more Convention Talk segment with a conventions list from the beginning of August until the end of the year. I'm also going to provide a link to a website dedicated to listing conventions worldwide.

For that, go to animecons.com . You can search by region and country.

Here are some upcoming anime conventions, their dates and locations. Remember, you don't always have to be pre-registered to attend these conventions, and you don't have to attend every day, especially if they're in your local area. Pre-registration simply gets you in the door faster and is cheaper if you plan to be there for every day of the event.

Conventions, Schedules, and Locations )


 These are the conventions listed on animecons.com, with the exception of the Motor City Comic-Con (which I learned about through a friend). If there's a convention in the U.S. between now and the end of July that should be on the list, please leave me a comment or send me a PM to let me know. If you're interested in conventions worldwide, please let me know, and I'll get that list up as well.

Convention Talk, Part Two will discuss the costs of attending a convention - not including what it would take to find a cosplay outfit, either by commission or by creating it yourself.

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Fanfic: Goodbye
World: Till the End of Time
Characters/Pairings: Luther Lansfeld, mentioned Fayt Leingod, implied eventual Luther Lansfeld x Fayt Leingod
Rating: PG
Warnings: implied m/m situations
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to Till the End of Time or the characters of Fayt Leingod and Luther Lansfeld. They belong to Square Enix and Tri-Ace respectively. I don't profit financially from writing or posting this story.

 

Read more... )

 

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Next Monday: Convention Talk, Part Two - The Costs of Attending Conventions

Tomorrow: All About Arumat - Happy Birthday to the Captain of the 13th Armored Division
 
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 luthersfayt@gmail.com 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?

Read more... )



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: (Albel Nox)
Today's a bit of a happy day. :) Today, I feature a select number of Kojika's Albel cosplay from Ohayocon 2008, NMACon 2010 (same con as Claude's but different days), and one from ShutoCon 2012. Thus, they will be in no particular order. :)


Never thought I'd ever see Albel play mini golf. I wonder what Fayt's reaction would be to this? :)

Taken in Chicago for a Square Enix photo shoot. Kojika as Albel, Urd-chan as Ashton.

I always knew there was an artistic side to Albel . . .


Signing autographs for the fangirls, Albel? Or is that you're more ready to strike? ;)

Like with the Claude photos from NMACon, I feel that these are some of the best settings for Albel. I'm very glad Kojika did this. I can see the setting around Great Wolf Lodge being both Expel (wherever Claude landed there) and Duggus Forest, to the west of Peterny. Going after the bandits, Albel? They're such cowards anyway! (** Correction - Not Great Wolf Lodge but the NMC campus on Front Street. Still perfect, though. :))

Hiding from Fayt? I think he'd recognize your hand, Albel. :)

Poised for attack!

Beware when the Wicked One smiles! :)
Rawr!!

Albel is one that Kojika has many, many pictures of, both with her dressed up as him and a couple of others dressed as him as well at the conventions she's attended. This is just a small sampling because Albel is one she keeps in rotation. He is quite the popular SO3 character, even to this day. :) (And I did have more photos to post, but LJ is being a pain about it so I'm not going to worry abou it . . . Kojika has websites with her photos so it isn't like finding the pictures in question will be too extremely difficult.)

On Saturday, due to my having to tweak the Cosplay sections some - okay, okay, I thought it would be cool and weird for me to go in game order - Faize will appear. And Faize will be the conclusion to Cosplay by Kojika. As I've mentioned before, you can see more of Kojika's cosplays at her website, http://s-kojika.com/DSOD/index.html and her deviantArt account, http://kojika.deviantart.com/

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The Vendeeni: Why Were They Truly After Fayt Leingod and his family?

This is a fairly recent idea to me . . . try like Tuesday night as I'm trying to sleep and then again Wednesday as I'm trying to sleep. I feel like I'm running out of writing/conversation topics so I'm very glad this came to me. :) It helps with today's entry.

Anyway, today's topic is about the Vendeeni and why they were after the Leingods and Esteeds in the first place. One thing that's established is that the Vendeeni are after the Leingods and the Esteeds. There are no questions about that whatsoever. And I include the Esteeds in this because why else would they capture Sophia? The first-time player has no knowledge that she has the power of Connection. She's written as a potential love interest for Fayt (along with Cliff, Mirage, Maria, Nel, Albel, Peppita (gross), and Roger (triple gross) . . . Thank goodness Adray is more interested in trying to get Fayt to marry Claire!), but, beyond that, the first-time player has no inkling of what's about to happen. The first indication we even have that something's amiss is that the Vendeeni keep appearing and causing trouble - with the exception of Vanguard III, but even there, we know something else is going to happen. A person's forehead doesn't glow for no reason. And then the headache before reaching Kirlsa . . . All of these little indications tease us along the way until they reach a boiling point and Fayt unleashes his devastating powers of Destruction. Now we have an idea as to why they're chasing Fayt from Hyda IV all the way to Elicoor II. They're chasing after him because of his powers of Destruction.

But why are they really chasing him? The manga glances on the notion that, because it's forbidden research, Robert Leingod has become a threat to the universe. In fact, the Vendeeni in the game mention as much as well, calling the professor the enemy to the universe. While there are no doubts that the research done on Styx and with the Time Gate led Luther/the Creator to decree death upon the inhabitants of the universe - it's proven to us - what isn't quite clear, to me, are why the Vendeeni want the Leingods and Esteeds.

You see, in the game, it's alluded to the notion that Vendeeni want Fayt for themselves to fight the Creator's Executioners. Given Biwig's unwillingness to allow Fayt to live after his plans to keep Dr. Leingod, Sophia, and take Fayt for himself, it gives credit to the notion. However, if one reads the in-game dictionary . . . you know the one . . . that big list of names for places, people, races, and technology . . . the Vendeeni are actually trying to keep out of sight of the Creator's ever watchful eye, and they want Fayt to take him to Styx and execute him in front of the Time Gate in an effort to appease the Creator and spare at least their race. They are a race technologically superior to anything the Pangalactic Federation, Quark, and the only-ever mentioned Aldian forces. They have every reason to want to avoid bringing the Creator's wrath upon them. To take Fayt and use him against the Creator would go against the very survival of their race as a whole.

So which do you think is true? The Vendeeni wanting Fayt for his powers? Or the Vendeeni wanting Fayt, his family, and the Esteeds to execute them in order to ensure their survival?

No fanfic for today, either. Though I didn't post every picture of Kojika as Albel that I could find on her website, I still feel that there's plenty to keep people scrolling through plus the writing topic . . . I don't want to overload anyone too much so . . . This is it for today!

Tomorrow: Ask the Star Ocean Character - Meracle Chamlotte; Facts about Meracle, Character Study - Meracle Chamlotte
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 s-kojika.com/DSOD/index.html and kojika.deviantart.com/

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.

* * * *

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. :)

* * * *

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.

* * * *

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.

* * * *

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: (Default)
Writing Tip #2 - Writing For Video Games: Why the Rules That Apply There Should Never Apply to Fanfiction Writing

As something of an avid reader of the science fiction and fantasy genre - my favorite books are The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien, and I've recently finished Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn by Tad Williams - one thing I've come to appreciate is the epic journey in such tales. The journey from village to village to the castle-cities of kings and other nobility takes days and weeks, not a hop, skip, and a jump away. Food along the way becomes an issue - Will we find more along the way? How long will we need to keep rationing out our current stores? Ghastly creatures and bandits create a sense of danger along the way. In the epic adventure, something needs to either be gained or destroyed, some item of magic or great power. An evil will arise, creating havoc and destruction, and, from the wreckage, a hero/heroine will arise.

Those are some of the many elements that make a science fiction/fantasy novel hard to resist. Many of these elements exist in video games. They certainly exist in the Star Ocean series, and it's that draw bringing people to play the games. The only difference between video games and books is the amount of time that passes when the party of heroes travel from city to city. The villages and cities are close together so it only takes scant minutes to travel from, oh, say, the royal city of Airyglyph to the mining town of Kirlsa to the riverfront village of Arias, and so on. Grand total, I think it takes less than ten minutes if one avoids the fights set up along the way or is high enough of levels to make the fights appear . . . pathetic, to say the very least. Wounds are healed with items like blueberries, and magic restored with blackberries. Major events happen at a very quick pace.

The thing is, events happening in the course of two weeks, including the battle with the final Big Bad (be it Asmodeus, Luther, or the Apostle of Creation) need to happen that way in a video game for a reason. If a game takes too long to achieve its final culmination, if the journey takes the days and weeks required in the epic fantasy adventure, people do become bored with the game and will stop playing. The gaming company (in this case, Square Enix) will receive complaints about the game, and money will be lost. Rest at an inn or free bed restores all of the damage because to stay days at said inn or free rest spot for wounds and magic to heal and recover would be dull and tedious. (It's dull and tedious in a book, too, for the character having to endure the long stay, but it's a necessity due to the realism of the situation. Also, if not much changes, the writer can take some liberties and say how many days pass, giving brief descriptions of the tedium.) Video games can get away with the constant use of restorative items and with one hundred percent healing when staying at an inn because of aforementioned players who, though they will put in copious hours of play into the game, don't want to spend most of that time in convalescence. It's just the way that it works. (In table-top role-playing, there is realism in how the quests play out. That, of course, is left up to the game/dungeon master. But realism is often applied to the table-top role-playing versus a console RPG.)

So what does this have to do with fanfiction writing? Plenty, if a person is going to write a story inspired off of RPGs like Star Ocean. The rules that apply to the video games - short distances between towns and villages so traveling takes less than a day, the quickness of healing and restoration, removing of status ailments such as petrification and paralysis - don't apply to writing. If you stop and think about it, would stories like The Lord of the Rings, the Wheel of Time series or Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn have been as truly as epic as they ended in a three months' time span? The answer to that is 'no'. They wouldn't have, Readers would be disappointed, and those authors would lose readership. They wouldn't be the current successes that they are. When it's in print that an entire kingdom is only two days of traveling at most from one end to the other, that full healing has been accomplished by eating some blueberries, it's very . . . boring. There's little action, there's little to get the blood boiling, the heart racing, and to hook the reader, immersing him or her into a world of wonders. I don't want to read how quickly the epic journey ends. No . . . I want to be sucked into it, I want to live it. I read to escape the pressures of my life, to relieve my stress, and to see something fantastic. When a fanfiction writer has the characters of a game clearing everything so quickly, I, as the reader, feel cheated. I've learned from bitter experience in the fanfiction world it isn't good to cheat your readers. Keep that in mind when you write and publish a story that promises a journey of sorts, be it an external or internal journey, and there's more than one chapter. Traveling in a game takes less time than it would in real life, and stories, the written word, have a sense of realism to them.

* * * *

No conversation topic. My apologies. I'll come up with something for the rest of the week.
 
* * * *

Fanfic: Release
World: Till the End of Time
Characters: Luther Lansfeld, Fayt Leingod, Maria Traydor
Rating: PG13
Warnings: N/A
Disclaimer: I do not own Till the End of Time. The rights belong to Square Enix and Tri-Ace respectively. I do not profit financially from writing this story.
Author's Note: Follow-up to Strong.
Summary: Fayt no longer feels weak, but he isn't himself.

 

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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?

* * * *

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)
The other day I was browsing through many of the Star Ocean videos on youtube (thank goodness for youtube), and one of the video entries caught my attention. It was titled Earth's Collapse.  This particular video capture of Till the End of Time was in Japanese, but that didn't bother me so much as it was more about watching the events play out.

In the scene, as most players of Till the End of Time already know, the Enforcers are flying by all of the Pangalactic Federation's outposts and destroying them until one of them reaches Earth. The shields surrounding the planet have already taken some serious damage as the Enforcer winds up its powers of Destruction. When the powers are unleashed, Earth is glowing in red and showing signs of collapse.

Yet, after Luther's defeat and viewing the solo endings for everyone (two games where Luther's been defeated by my party and I still get the solo endings), in Fayt's ending, he comments that his college is closed indefinitely, which makes me think that Earth hasn't been destroyed after all. Sophia is shown as returning to Earth as well. While there has been a great deal of damage done, it's like Earth's destruction never happened. And since, in the clip I watched, I saw only massive explosions taking place, I can't help but wonder if Earth really collapsed in itself after the Enforcer's attack.

What do my fellow Star Ocean fans think?
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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpziRCtcQgM

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: (Default)
Title: Destinies Intertwined by Fate
World: Till the End of Time
Chapter: Two out of Twenty, Part Two
Chapter Title: Discussions and The Guilt of Surviving
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 fanfiction.net . . . 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.

 

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