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!
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Taking a Moment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Some Things the Developers of Star Ocean Got Wrong

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's only my opinion, of course.

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Ask the Star Ocean Character For January - Adray Lasbard

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

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

As per usual, the rules are as follows:

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

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

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

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

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Birthday Reminders

Birthday List - covering January to June

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

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

Upcoming Holidays:

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

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

When it comes to the holidays and the birthdays, I am looking for the following: art, stories (one-shots), and poetry. The highest rating I will accept for stories and artwork is R. No explicit material please, and proofread your work. All submissions can be emailed to me at luthersfayt@gmail.com or thestaroceanuniverse@gmail.com and must be submitted no later than midnight the previous day. All genres except for smut accepted.
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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)
Today's going to be a short entry since the next Ask the Star Ocean character segments won't be ready until November 2.

Explaining the Concept of Halloween

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

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

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

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

Ah, the joys of Halloween! :)

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

star_ocean_fan: (Immoral Feather)
I apologize for that. I've had a lot on my mind lately, most of it centering on writing original material, some health issues, and searching for work. I don't like being limited to talking about two games for Star Ocean when there are four major games and one side game (Blue Sphere for the Gameboy). Oddly enough, for me to be able to talk about the first two games (and possibly Blue Sphere), to start on the cosplay, ball-joined doll, and crafts I want to do, collect the merchandise and doujinshi . . .  all of this requires money, of which I have very little right now.

So some updates on me:

1 - I'm obviously still broke so that takes YoumaCon out of the picture for me this year and possibly Anime Apocalypse in December. Anime Apocalypse is going to be on a "maybe" list - it depends on what happens between now and the first of December in terms of a cash flow. I really do want to get back into the convention circuits so I can meet new people and catch up with friends. However, the lack of cash coming in is hindering that, and there are some other things taking priority over heading out to conventions. That could be changing soon. I received a phone call for a job interview today so I'm crossing my fingers!

2 - Health status: I'm still alive, still relatively healthy. I just now have to watch my caffeine intake and take a water pill due to my blood pressure running on the high side. I really should start taking my healthy living cues from Fayt. He's such a healthy, albeit fictional character. I think we could learn a thing or two from some of our favorite characters . . .

3 - There has been some tragedy in my family. I'm not going into details about it. Just know it was a sad time for one of my family members, and it's the kind of thing I don't ever wish on anyone.

4 - Writing progress is questionable. It depends on the story. That could change, depending on how the job interview for tomorrow goes. Yes. I am crossing my fingers that this pans out for me. The heavens above know I could use something to keep myself going. (Not working sucks. I realize I'm looking at a minimum wage job, but I don't care. Work is work.)

Beyond that, not much is new. I have no other reasons for not updating this journal regularly.

So onward with the entry! 

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Writing Conversation - What Would Everyone Dress Up as For Halloween? Part One

In the spirit of the upcoming holiday of Halloween, I'll be writing a four-part series on what I think the humans of the Star Ocean universe would dress up as to go trick-or-treating. Some of it will be guesswork, since I still haven't played First Departure and Second Story/Second Evolution, but I will pose the question to Kojika, who has played the games. If you have thoughts, please feel free to leave me a comment on what you think and why.

First of all, I'd like to say that, on the subject of Halloween, it is a holiday I think would survive in a post-apocalyptic world. It's something that, by this point in time, people will have celebrated for at least a century and more than a few decades. It would bring about a sense of normalcy after such a great deal of catastrophic destruction. Whether people would remember why the holiday is celebrated is another subject entirely.

To start, I'll be writing in the series' timeline chronological order, not in publishing chronological order. (This gives me something to actually start with since I'm familiar with the characters of The Last Hope.)

Halloween would be, in the future, like it is now - a fun time of the year that signifies change and is one of the few times where it's socially acceptable to dress up as something else. (Conventions are excluded because not all people believe it's okay to dress up for such a thing. I know a couple of people who are like that. Only the dedicated dress up year-round.) It would also be the one time of the year where people could forget about their troubles.

Since they grew up together, it isn't hard to imagine Crowe, Edge, and Reimi along with her brother trick-or-treating as a group. What would be interesting to see is if they would be coordinated in their costumes. Would Reimi insist upon a theme or would they be random? I can't see Crowe and Edge (mostly Edge) always agreeing to be what Reimi wants them to be for Halloween.

And just what do I think Reimi would want to dress up as for Halloween? A couple of costumes come to mind. If any of the Disney movies are still available, I can see Reimi wanting to be one of the many princesses, from Snow White to Ariel, from Aurora to Belle, and everyone else who she would see as beautiful, strong, independent, and pure. (Remember fellow fans, she thinks she's a monster because she knows what she is.) If not a Disney princess, then a fairy tale princess of some kind. Anything that would make her feel beautiful about herself, albeit if only temporarily.

Heading down the non-princess route, there are also the bride, bridesmaid, flower girl, housewife, chef, and maybe a delicate fairy or a ballerina. Reimi is quite the girl - feminine, pink, frilly, cute - and, as I said before, it would come down to her wanting to feel beautiful about herself. Costumes at Halloween would reflect that.

Between Edge and Crowe, I feel like Crowe would be the one more likely to accommodate Reimi in her requests for themed trick-or-treating. In my mind, it would depend on how soon he knows about being a Seed of Hope and if he knows. That's the one thing, for me, that remains up in the air, only because Crowe remained as an NPC throughout the whole game. I'm leaning towards "yes" because he's got such an excellent poker face, but it'll be unclear  and up to the player in that regard. However, I think he'd only accommodate Reimi so far based upon what he knows. Crowe is very much a leader-type character, and it would most definitely reflect in his Halloween costumes. With dreams of heading into space, that, too, would play a factor in the kinds of costumes Crowe (and Edge). Crowe definitely sees himself as some kind of a hero, but he's also quite modest about it.

Both Edge and Crowe would be Reimi's knights in the times they accommodate her for themed Halloween costumes. I can also imagine both of them dressing up as ninjas, samurai, archeologists, adventurers, pirates (what little boy doesn't want to be a pirate for Halloween? What little girl, for that matter, too?), and any kind of modern military soldier (including rank). There might be some of the cutesy stuff in there because of their parents - pumpkins, ghosts . . . typical Halloween fare - but, of the two, I think the only one who would want to dress up as something "evil", for the fun of it, would be Crowe. He's got vampire written all over him!

So what would our intrepid heroes and heroine receive as Halloween treats? Companies like Hershey's, Nestle', M&M/Mars, and Brach's are no longer in business. What would people hand out for the youngsters out and about on Halloween night? Well, if the building in Antarctica survives (it contains the seeds for all fruits and vegetables as well as herbs, grasses, and the like), I can see people giving out fruits like apples, oranges, bananas, pears, and plums. There would also be homemade caramel corn, popcorn, popcorn balls in a variety of flavors, cookies, cupcakes, and homemade candies.

As for the non-human characters, if they were to visit Earth, they wouldn't need to dress up for Halloween because everyone would think they were already in costume. The discussion for how Edge and Reimi would explain the concept of Halloween will be another entry.

Kinds of costumes and treats are definitely open to discussion. Feel free to leave me a comment on what you think.

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Writing Fanfiction Tip #7 - Write in a Logical Order And Use Logic

I recently wrote a review on a story where certain events didn't follow in a logical order. In the story, a new parent, a recently divorced dad, has moved, with his two-year-old son, to a new town. While the dad is trying to cook Ragu and pasta, the son goes outside to play, and he finds a kitten. Like a two-year-old, the boy takes the kitten back into the house, and the dad wonders where his son found the critter. This, naturally, leads to the dad asking the boy where the kitten was found and to the discovery of a dead mother cat with the rest of the litter still alive. Concerned over the kittens, the dad takes them to a local vet to find out what he needs to do in order to keep them alive. Cue the dad heading home, finishing dinner, giving his son a bath, putting the child to bed, and then heading to the pet store with the two-year-old left home alone.

This isn't a logical procession in events. Everything is okay until the dad returns home, finishes preparing dinner, and gives his child a bath so he can go to bed. It's after the child is in bed that he realizes he needs supplies for the cats in his care. Of course, my biggest problem with the procession of events is the fact a two-year-old is left unattended for at least twenty minutes as the parent rushes to the pet store with one of the kittens in tow. For someone who is a parent or who has helped to take care of young children, this is a major no-no and likely to offend and anger the person reading. It's also going to have the reader scratching his/her head, saying, "This doesn't make sense. No parent would leave a two-year-old, even sleeping, home alone. Too much can go wrong in a short amount of time". It doesn't matter if a person can be scatter-brained at times. People in real life have those moments, but I can speak with authority that a "new" parent or a single parent isn't going to leave any child under the age of 12 home alone.

And that's something a writer, any writer, must always be aware of whenever starting a story. What kind of a logical order will events take place? In the story I reviewed, for me, the logical order of events, after the trip to the vet, the dad should have gone to the pet store to get the necessary supplies, with his son in tow, after the trip to the vet or at least take his sleeping son with him when he left to get the supplies. What this tells me, as a reader and as someone who's lived with a two-year-old, that the writer of the story doesn't know what she's talking about when it comes to children and the various things that can go wrong if a parent takes his eyes off his son for a scant minute. (Note: a two-year-old can drown in a bucket of water only a quarter filled in under two minutes.)

Now, it might seem mundane and more than a little nitpicky on a logical procession of events, especially over something as simple as heading to the store. Sometimes authors will try to do something that will create a conflict or add to a conflict, but it comes at the wrong point in the story or it isn't exactly true to how a person in a similar, real life situation might behave.

Here are two examples.

Character A is an experienced bank robber and is planning his next heist. Like anyone who's attempting or has attempted the same thing, he doesn't want to get caught, and he takes the necessary precautions he's always taken before. The character in question isn't going to walk into the bank, guns ablazing and then remember to put the mask on his face to conceal his identity in the middle of the crime. Yes, doing such a thing would create a problem for him, but it would be more interesting if he happened to walk into the bank for some other reason than robbery and be caught in the middle of another robbery.

Character B is a firefighter and needs to check her equipment to be sure it's functioning properly. She isn't going to gear up, run into a place that's on fire, and then stop to ask herself if she's got enough oxygen in her tank onceshe's entered a burning building.

If you've never been in a particular situation before but want to write about it, start asking questions. If you're writing about a man who's married, a parent, but is going through a divorce, ask someone who's gone through a divorce what it was like. If you're curious about police procedures, ask your local cops or utilize a search engine. Fanfiction is something that's free for anyone who has internet access to read. If you're not getting it right, you're going to lose a reader and end up with the kind of review that I left for the author of the story with the dad and the son and the new acquisition of kittens - not a very nice one.

It's just something to think about when you start writing.

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Halloween

I'm looking for Halloween photos, artwork, fanfiction, and fan poetry for display. Photos can be of Star Ocean carved pumpkins, figures with Halloween decorations, and the like. Cosplay is definitely welcome. The only requirements are the works must be themed for Halloween and must be related to Star Ocean (obviously). Fanfiction should be limited to one-shots and vignettes, but I will accept multi-chaptered stories so long as they're complete. They can be submitted to me at luthersfayt@gmail.com and I'll accept submissions until October 30th.

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Doujinshi Call Out

Looking for doujinshi titles. Pairings doesn't matter. Rating doesn't matter. I'm trying to compile a list of all Star Ocean doujinshi. Any and all help is appreciated. You can PM me, leave me a comment, or email me what you've got.

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Convention Talk - Creating Your Cosplay

Finally! The long-awaited topic of how to create your cosplay is finally here! I know. It took me long enough, didn't it?

First of all and foremost, to start with, the most obvious thing to do if you're going to create your own cosplay is pick your character. The type of character you choose, from what I've been able to discern from others, will determine the the type and costs of materials you'll need in order to create the costume. Are you choosing Sophia? Albel? Nel? Reimi? Claude? Crowe? Arumat? Bacchus?

Once you've answered that question (and, chances are, you already know this in advance), then you can answer the question of what kinds of materials do I need to buy or will I need to buy? Will I need to find a sewing pattern? Naturally, if you're going to be sewing, you'll need fabric and thread to match the color. Other materials include vinyl (or leather, though it was recommended to me to avoid leather), plastic canvas, craft foam, paint, paint brushes, sewing needles, yarn, knitting needles or a knitting loom, embroidery thread, and maybe an empty two-liter bottle. This last item is completely dependent upon which character you intend to cosplay, and everything listed is just for the outfits of the characters. If you plan on creating the weapons to go with your cosplay, you'll definitely need additional materials, i.e. wood, sand paper, maybe cardboard, and additional paint, perhaps even craft foam and plastic canvas. (Wood and cardboard are tricky to work with because, once you screw up, you have to buy more and start from scratch.)

Please remember to take caution when you're buying the materials to craft your cosplay. The overall idea is to make something that you can wear more than once and maybe outside of conventions, too. When it comes to materials, you get what you pay for in terms of quality, and I'm not talking about the vinyl or the plastic canvas. I'm talking about the fabric and thread used to create the base of the outfit. Keep an eye out for sales at your local fabrics store. Yes, for many Americans, it's cheaper to go to Wal-Mart than to some place that actually sells a larger (and decidedly more expensive) selection of fabric, but your local fabric stores do have sales. They do also offer up coupons and additional percentages off. Be smart about buying your materials. Go for quality but get it as cheaply as you can, when you can. If you plan on creating more than just one cosplay, it isn't a bad idea to stock up on materials

Now there are some things you may not or just won't be able to make. For example, let's say you're creating Albel Nox (once again). You've bought the wig and the right kind of foot wear, have the materials to sew his outfit, it's done, but you don't have the materials for his gauntlet (nor the time, the money, or maybe even the know-how to fashion them before the convention). How do you come up with that one crucial element that separates Albel from the rest of the Star Ocean gang?

You can start by checking your local boutiques for arm-length gloves either white or violet. If you can find a white pair that covers as much of your arm as needed, you can find the right color dye so that it looks appropriate. And don't forget that, for Albel and Sophia, thigh-length stockings are in order, too. Kojika, for her Claude cosplay, found moon shoes to fit her for an appropriate look.

All of this, of course, is only necessary if you plan making your own cosplay for your next convention and is what I've learned in talking with the experienced cosplayers I know (whom I'm also very proud to call my friends). If you're buying the materials so someone else can create the costume for you, talk to that person and find out what they need and how much of it so they can do just that for you. If you plan on heading to one of the many cosplay costume sights on the web, then the best advice I can give to you is to do your research on customer satisfaction. How well did the company craft the cosplay for others? Would the customers recommend the site again? Remember, it's your money that you're spending, and I guarantee that you'll have a ball at your next convention.

Next convention talk . . . to be determined.

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Ask the Star Ocean Character Call Out, Triple the Fun: Deputy Director Shimada, Bacchus D-79, and Peppita Rosetti

Taking questions for the following characters: Deputy Director Shimada, Bacchus D-79, and Peppita Rosetti. Questions can be submitted via PM, comment or email. The only rules are a limit of three questions per character, keep it clean and "polite", and the questions must be submitted by PM, comment, or email. I'll be taking questions until midnight of October 31, 2012.

star_ocean_fan: (ocean view)
I know I keep saying this, but I really am looking forward to getting myself a PSP and an original copy of Star Ocean: Second Story so I can just play the games. I really do want to get a feel for the characters in those games and for the NPCs that give the games their unique "flavor", as it were. (Plus, it'll give me more to write about in terms of characters, plot, setting, game reviews, Game Talk, and Ask the Star Ocean Character!)

In the meantime, I'll continue to work with what I've got - Till the End of Time, The Last Hope, and a copy of the original Star Ocean game that I can't play due to incompatibility issues with the cartridge and the system. (Funny story . . .) And what I've got is an array of women characters to study and analyze in both The Last Hope and Till the End of Time.

The first woman that entered my mind when I started to write this entry on the women of Star Ocean was Lady Eleyna, from The Last Hope and how I've not encountered any NPC female like her in Till the End of Time. Eleyna is snarky, rude, blunt in her thoughts, and more than confident in her own abilities as both a woman and a fortune-teller. When Edge and the party first step into her home, the first thing I, as the player, noticed was that it wasn't an ostentatious place. Quite the opposite - it's a two-story home with modest furnishings for someone who looks like she'd be a modest person. Eleyna is anything but modest. She's kind and she's cruel. I can imagine the King sitting in his castle, speaking with Eleyna, and the sputtering outrage from his advisers from her blunt words on the matters the King might seek advice that only a fortune-teller like her could provide. (The King, of course, would be taking it in stride and not at all worried by her behavior - his interactions with Sarah tell me as much.)

What I really like about Eleyna is that she's very much real in terms of how a strong, independent woman can be. The term many people would apply to her would be "bitch", but it's her upfront, borderline brutal honesty that is the push Edge needs to pull himself out of his pity party. Eleyna has that balance of beauty, intuition, and intelligence. She's also got the attitude she needs to ensure people don't take advantage of her. After all, if she didn't have the attitude, she wouldn't have been able to help Edge and friends save Sarah from death most assured.

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Ask the Star Ocean Character - Deputy Director Shimada

Here it is! The call for Ask the Star Ocean Character! At long last!!

To resume Ask the Star Ocean Character, first up for September will be Deputy Director Shimada. I know I tried to get it done over the summer, but time just wasn't allowing for it (plus no questions were asked - kind of hard to write out the segment when I have no questions but my own to answer . . . and not as much fun, either). Here are the rules, for those of you who've forgotten or just joined me on this.

1 - Limit yourself to three questions. 

Why only three questions and not more? One, there is a space limit (believe it or not) for the host site. Two, three allows more than one person to get in a series of questions. (Original limit was one - depending on how popular this becomes, it could go back to a limit of one.)

2 - Questions must be submitted no later than Wednesday night at midnight.

By this, I mean, the questions must be submitted the Wednesday before the Ask the Star Ocean Character segment takes place. In this case, Ask the Star Ocean Character will resume next Friday (September 14, 2012) so questions must be submitted by midnight next Wednesday (September 12, 2012). Questions can be submitted via PM, comments or email - luthersfayt@gmail.com

3 - Keep the language clean!

I don't care if you dislike the character. In fact, that will make it more interesting if you don't . . . but keep your language clean. I don't like people using cuss words when leaving me messages (or reviews). Plus, this is a public forum where anyone who's played the games can read and discuss all things Star Ocean. I'm not going to have my journal shut down because some parent stumbles upon it and sees other people using foul language. It might just be me being paranoid, but I'd rather not take any chances.

4 - Have fun!

Seriously, have fun in creating your questions. I know I have fun trying to get into the character's head to figure out how he or she will respond to the questions, which is a learning process for me.

I will post reminders on Saturday and Monday for Ask the Star Ocean Character. Don't worry. I won't let anyone forget! :)

Until the next time!!

star_ocean_fan: (Default)
For the third planet on the underdeveloped planet list, we come to Roak. This planet has been mentioned in three of the four Star Ocean game - I'm not sure if it's mentioned in Second Story/Second Evolution. It was the first underdeveloped planet to appear, to be explored by players and fans of the game. Some of its history is mentioned in Till the End of Time, and, for four, we get to explore it all over again.

I did some research at gamefaqs.com for Roak for the original Star Ocean game re-released to the PSP as First Departure, which has really sparked that desire to somehow find a way to play the game. (I used my Last Hope strategy guide for Aeos and Lemuris, and I will be using it for Roak as well.) The kinds of foods that are appearing for First Departure are almost what you'd find in any bakery or restaurant on Earth - 10 oz. steak, 16 oz. steak, apple pie (which appears in Till the End of Time along with steamed buns), batter-fried shrimp, and boiled mushrooms, as a few examples - but I know that, as with Lemuris, there aren't any visible farms on Roak, at least in The Last Hope.  

To break it down, this is what you can buy/create for food in First Departure, in addition to the aforementioned foods: agar drink, amazing tenderloin, awful cider, banana frappe, bean rice cake, beautiful ice cream, beef and egg bowl, bitter cake, bitter juice, bloody driver, boiled king crab, cabbage roll, cactus cocktail, cheese salad, chicken shish kabob, chocolate banana, Christmas turkey*, coffee** milk, cola, cold soba, collagn jelly, corn on the cob, crazy cow, cream soda, custard of life, daikon salad, delectable cheese, deluxe fruit platter, deluxe sushi, demonic durian, devil's ramen, eel soup, egg fried rice, egg soup, escargot, fabulous flan, fiery cyclops cider, fine tuna sashimi, fire in the sky, fish ball soup, fresh juice, fresh orange juice, fresh spring roll, fried egg, fruit cake, fruit parfait, fruit punch, fruit sandwich, golden natto, golden stew, golden stir-fry, and granadillia juice, just to name a few. (To see the full list, follow this link: http://www.gamefaqs.com/psp/939439-star-ocean-first-departure/faqs/56728 )

Some of that list is item creation. Some of it is what you can buy in stores or what enemies may drop in battles, according to the list I found.

As for The Last Hope, food stuffs are, of course, found dropped by enemies, in the stores, or for harvesting. In the Tatroi area, one can harvest blackberries, blue seeds, dendrobium, ebony, red seed, seasonings, white rice, and wooden sticks. Rich cheese, natural water, vinegar, uncooked pasta***, raw animal meat, raw fish, common eggs, vegetables, seasonings, Special Warishita sauce, fresh cream, blueberries, bigberries, blackberries, aquaberries, basil, fresh sage, hot chocolate, and pickled plums are found in the stores. Astral City, which is connected to Tatroi via barge, has a harvesting point in the castle itself with aquaberries, bigberries, blackberries, blueberries, and lemons. One of the shops - Whole Heart Foods - offers pumpkin extract, sweet fruit, and natto in addition to natural water, uncooked pasta, raw animal meat, raw fish, common eggs, vegetables, seasonings, Special Warishita sauce, and fresh cream. Next to Whole Heart Foods is the Happy Skip Grocer with the basic restorative items of blueberries, bigberries, blackberries, aquaberries, basil, fresh sage, and hot chocolate.

Heading into the Astral Desert doesn't bring a very high yield for harvesting - bizarre fruit, poison hemlock, seasonings, and thornberries. Around Tropp, harvesting points offer ash, blue seeds, dendrobium, ebony, fresh sage, lemon, oak, and red seeds. The Cave to the Purgatorium hides caterpillar fungus, ebony, fresh sage, magic seeds, poison hemlock, and white rice. Around the Purgatorium itself, lemons, poison hemlock, ripe berries, seasonings, thornberries, and white rice can be found. There are only two shops in Tropp, but neither offer food stuffs for sale. (There is a Roakian, though, he does sell grape juice. To trigger that particular sale, talk to an old man in Tatroi who is crazy for grape juice.)

There is much that we don't see on Roak in The Last Hope. Since it is, at this point, the last game but taking place before the first game, the fact we only wander the Astralian continent is, perhaps, done by design.

Even so, I can't help but wonder why we don't see any kind of farms on Roak. The food does have to have from somewhere and not just the fighting of monsters and harvesting points. The harvesting points don't even exist in the previous games, which I won't say don't exist for the NPCs . . . they just don't exist for the players to find and utilize.

Also, I realize that, when it comes to farming on these underdeveloped planets, I sound like a broken record - we don't see it, we don't see it, we don't see it . . . but I truly am very curious as to the variety that could be found in fruits, vegetables, and animals when it comes to planet-hopping. Bunnies were changed in appearance. Why not mix up the food stuffs a little and see what we can come up with that can be similar to what we know but at the same time exotic and new?

Naturally, as Roak remains an underdeveloped planet for a little over three centuries, the farming of food stuffs and raising of livestock are how the people survive. I don't believe or even think for a moment, though, that Roak is a farming/gathering/hunting type civilization. The civilization on Lemuris, yes, it is. If the right private action is triggered on the alternate Earth, Lymle indicates as much. However, Lemuris doesn't have some of the same advancements as Roak. The climate from one planet to the other also makes a difference in how easy it is to till the soil (cold weather causes the water in the soil to freeze, etc . . .) in certain areas. There's a lot of open space on Roak, and it wouldn't necessarily be hard for farmers and livestock breeders to keep monsters from eating the food/breaking into the barns and livestock pens.

I think in terms of produce, one would definitely find fruits and vegetables similar to that of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, tomatoes, lettuce, corn, and potatoes on Roak. There might even been wild bovines, deer, and other animals for hunting, which I feel would be done until taming the animals could be accomplished. Bunnies are "hunted" and treated like they're horses or donkeys so . . .

Anything is really possible. I'm simply wishing we had more information about the underdeveloped planets themselves so we could get those ideas.

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* - I will only buy into the notion of a Christmas turkey in a video game with non-humans so long as it's coming from item creation and a human has been involved in the process. Christmas is an Earthen holiday. Life on other planets will not have the same holidays as we do.

** - Like with the Christmas turkey, I will only buy into the premise of coffee milk if the coffee beans are somehow imported from Earth. A friend of mine pointed out to me within the last week of this entry that coffee beans can only grow if certain soil conditions are met. She brought up Anne McCaffrey's research on coffee beans. If the right conditions aren't met - soil, weather, etc . . . - coffee can't grow anywhere other than where they're grown.

*** - I'm now having a hard time buying into the notion that players can buy uncooked pasta on underdeveloped planet. The issue is that of storage and the right combination of ingredients/chemicals to keep the pasta from spoiling . . . unless the uncooked pasta is made fresh daily and sold right away. Then I can believe that premise of buying uncooked pasta on an underdeveloped planet. Yes, uncooked pasta appears in one of the shops on Aeos, but we're talking about stores built by Eldarians so . . . . to buy uncooked pasta from people who know how to preserve it so it doesn't spoil is completely understandable to me.

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Note: I have an inquiry out to Laura Bailey, the voice actress for Reimi Saoinji, to interview her for this blog. Even if the interview is a no-go (or I don't hear back in time), I will be writing about Laura and the projects where we can see and hear her voice on June 22. I will post on whether or not the interview will happen.

star_ocean_fan: (Albel Nox)
I've decided something. If Albel Nox were to have a facebook page, Mondays would probably not be his most favorite day of the week. Not saying he's lazy - far from it - but, up until he has the first cup of coffee in the morning, beware. Albel Nox is not pretty first thing in the morning.

(Luther, on the other hand, is a Monday person, a morning person, a "give me that coffee now" person, and a control freak. :))

That's my totally random thought for the day. Perhaps even for the week.

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Where Earth Stands Politically After World War III

I'm not someone who normally delves into politics. For the most part, I believe most politicians to be lying idiots who like to treat the general populace as nothing more than mere tools. Some aren't as bad as others, but it's just an overall feeling that I get.

I bring this up partially because the U.S. (my country) is revving up for another presidential election. Four years ago, it was a very brutal election. I mean, to me, there wasn't any particular candidate that I was excited for and wanted to see in office, and I don't think very many people were all that excited about the candidates. For many, like myself, it was a choice between the lesser of two evils. Now that it's a major election yet again in this country, it has me to thinking about the political face of Earth (overall) in the Star Ocean universe.

Cut for spoilers for The Last Hope )

* * * *

Fanfic Writing Tip #6 - Input from Readers

As a writer who's posted fiction to a fanfiction website, I can tell you there's something a little exciting about receiving constructive or positive input from a reader. Part of it is validation for the work you've put into the story. It stokes your ego to hear that someone loves your story. The other part of it is the thought of someone read my story. Constructive reviews can point out your weaknesses and help you to improve upon your strength. Reviews from readers can be inspiring. I personally love the kind of reviews where someone tells me I crafted such a well-written, emotional story, that it's put the reviewer in tears. And that person isn't prone to tearing up so easily. As a writer, I feel it is my duty to evoke some kind of emotion in the reader so those kinds of reviews let me know I've done what I've set out to do.

There is, however, a pitfall to receiving input from readers. For the beginning fanfiction author, be ware of the exuberant reader who gushes about loving your story and also starts offering up ideas on how to make it better. While finding ideas to inspire writing is always good, the source of the ideas isn't always good. This is in part because the reader in question, unintentionally, wants to make the story you've crafted as his/her own instead of taking the time to sit down and write a story. Such readers don't often realize that they can create an insecurity in the beginning author, which then leads to the author making some poor decisions when it comes to writing. Second-guessing yourself on what you need to do next isn't any fun, and it can take the fun out of writing.

Also, be ware of the fans who insist and persist on pushing their ideas on you. Gushing reviews with thoughts in the reviews on what you could do next are, in my opinion, rather innocent in nature and should be taken as such - suggestions to do with as you please. If the idea can spark a writing spree, it's always a good thing. (Be sure to thank the reviewer for sparking the idea, too.) However, some people want to talk to you personally, to offer up their ideas, and they're the ones who can become quite persistent. The ones who become persistent are the ones intentionally trying to take over your story.

Don't let them do that. My encouragement to fellow fanfiction authors is to trust their instincts on their ideas and on whether or not the story should be longer or stay a certain length. If you do feel that a reader is correct in an assessment, go with it. Just don't let anyone mess with your head.

To conclude this, I'm going to recommend that fanfiction authors do the following.

1 - When offered up ideas in a review, check the reader's profile. If there aren't any stories listed under the name, consider that a red flag. While the gushing nature of the review might be nice, I personally find it a tad insulting to get ideas from a person who either hasn't written a story or has but is too scared to publish it. If it's a red flag for you, be polite and decline the use of the ideas. If there are stories, be it one or two hundred, it isn't so much of a red flag for me. I can at least respect the fact that the person has taken the risk of not only writing but publishing.

2 - This ties in with checking a reader's profile. If the reader has published stories as well, don't just rely on the reviews to the stories. The number of reviews, the glowing praise of the reviews aren't good indicators as to how well that person can write. Click on a story that interests you and see the kind of style that the person has developed. If it gives you headaches, then the ideas the reader is offering you aren't the kinds you're going to want for your stories. Or so I guess.

3 - Trust your own ideas. Polish and hone your skills as a writer the same way you would participating in a sport of some kind. The more you practice, the more you refine your techniques, the better of a writer you will become.

* * * *

Convention Talk

I'm going to move this week's convention talk to tomorrow.

Hope everyone had a good weekend!
 
star_ocean_fan: (Immoral Feather)
This is the final call for Ask the Star Ocean Character - Maria Traydor. You have until midnight Wednesday, April 11, 2012, to submit your inquiries. I'm now changing it to a limit of THREE questions per person. If you've already asked a question, you have two more you can ask. 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.

The next character lined up for Ask the Star Ocean Character is Meracle Chamlotte. Inquiries can be submitted as soon as the call for it is announced, which will be Thursday, April 12, 2012.

Also, an unrelated announcement: There will be a one-shot posted on Tuesday, April 24, 2012, specifically for Arumat P. Thanatos as it is his official birthday. :) I will accept one-shots and artwork to celebrate the fighting tank's birthday as well. For fanfiction, please use this format:
Title
Rating
Warnings (if applicable)
Summary
Disclaimer
Author's Notes (if applicable)

All artwork and fanfic can be emailed to me at luthersfayt@gmail.com

No, I will not be doing an impromptu segment of Ask the Star Ocean Character for Arumat that day nor will I be conducting his character study. That is reserved for a later date.

I have thought of doing this for some time, and I know I've missed the March birthdays for The Last Hope cast. I will make up for it. The next birthday coming up, I do believe, is Edge Maverick on July 30. (I'd like to be able to do this for all Star Ocean characters, but it appears as if The Last Hope cast members are the only ones available. Kind of a bummer. I'd love to know when Fayt's birthday is.) I have no idea what the strategy guides for First Departure and Second Evolution say for those characters so . . . As of right now, the only ones with birthdays, to my knowledge, are the ones from The Last Hope.

Yeah, that makes me sad.

* * * *

I really don't have much in mind for a writing/conversation topic today . . . I still am open to suggestions (please put Writing Topic in the reply subject so I know to write an entry for it, not just a reply back). I'm even open to suggestions for games 1 and 2, though I've yet to play them. Those I will save for a later date, like after I've played, but I am open to those suggestions! This blog isn't just about Till the End of Time and The Last Hope. It's for ALL Star Ocean games. I'm the one that's limited in what to talk about right now. That's all.

I am considering a bit of a short subject . . . namely the hair color for the heroes in each game and something that seems to be a bit of a pattern . . . Here's what I mean.

Now, I own all four of the major games. I'm still looking to get my paws on Blue Sphere, even though it'll only be in Japanese, unless Square Enix gets it translated and released for something like the DS or PSP (which they did with First Departure and Second Evolution). Here is what I'm noticing about hair color.

The hero for Game 1/First Departure, Roddick Farrence, has blue hair, albeit somewhat of a pale blue.
The hero for Second Story/Second Evolution, Claude C. Kenny, has blond hair.
The hero for Till the End of Time, Fayt Leingod (or Fate Linegod), has blue hair, which is a darker shade of blue.
The hero for The Last Hope, Edge Maverick, has blond hair.

See the pattern? ^_^

What I find interesting about these main characters is this: With the exception of Roddick, who is a lesser Fellpool/Feline Folk and a descendant of Elena Farrence and Crowe F. Almedio (whose human blood would be so miniscule, chances are it doesn't exist anymore), the rest of the heroes are human. Of those humans, Fayt is the only one who is a "blue-nette". This, naturally, comes from his mother, who is also a blue-nette. I am guessing that Ilia Silvestri is Claude's mom, hence his hair being blond, but no one knows about Edge or why his hair is blond. Perhaps both of his parents, who are deceased by the time the events of the game happen,were blonds. Anything is possible, right?

Even more interesting to me is this: With the exceptions of Fayt Leingod and Maria Traydor, any humans in the parties have natural hair colors. Ilia, Cliff, Peppita,and Mirage are blondes, Ronyx, Reimi, Ashton, and Sophia are brunettes, and Nel and Crowe are redheads. Albel, of course, is a little unusual with his two-tone hair, but even then it's a blond/brunette combination, not green or blue. Most of the alien races have different hair colors: Faize - light green, Arumat - silver, Meracle - blue, Myuria - pink, Celine - purple, Sarah - redhead . . . well, you get the idea. From pictures, I know Ashton is a brunette. Roger is as well . . . unfortunately, I don't know all of the cast members aside from what information is in my game manuals so if I've missed anyone, I do apologize.

Does this mean there is alien blood somewhere in the Leingod family line? Possibly. That bit of speculation I leave to my fellow fans.

But it still is interesting to see that pattern. Don't you think so?

* * * *

Title: Strong
World: Till the End of Time
Characters/Pairing: Luther Lansfeld, Fayt Leingod, Luther Lansfeld x Fayt Leingod
Rating: PG-ish
Warnings: Yaoi
Summary: He had always desired to be strong, but in his mind, he would always believe himself to be weak.
Disclaimer: I do not own Till the End of Time or the characters of Fayt Leingod and Luther Lanseld. They belong to Tri-Ace and Square Enix respectively.  I do not profit financially from writing this story (or this blog).

 

Read more... )

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