The Star Ocean Universe

The Star Ocean Universe

[sticky post]31 Days of Halloween Prompt List
Luther Lansfeld
star_ocean_fan
01. orange blinking lights
02. skittles and starburst
03. chocolate
04. apple cider
05. bobbing for apples
06. mask
07. costumes/dress up
08. invitation
09. the party
10. trick-or-treat
11. the veil between the living and the dead
12. fall colours
13. ghostly excursions
14. witch's brew
15. black cats and paper mache' bats
16. haunted
17. pumpkin carving 101
18. "That's scary!"
19. Friday the 13th
20. moonlight madness
21. popcorn balls
22. night of the werewolf
23. "I vant to suck your blood."
24. not suitable for young children
25. in the forest at midnight
26. paint (can be anything)
27. "the best kind of lawyer is . . ."
28. scream; zombie's fright
29. the magic behind it
30. Day of the Dead
31. Halloween

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Luther Lansfeld
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I Need to Get My Game ON
Luther Lansfeld
star_ocean_fan
I currently have Star Ocean: Till the End of Time sitting in my PS2 when Star Ocean: Second Story deserves at least one play-through from me, if not two or three, based on the different ways to recruit characters. As I chose Claude for my first play-through, I cannot Dias Flac, and he's turning out to be one of my favorite characters from the game (based on the interactions I've had with him). I'm also loving Ashton, but I will have to not allow my pity for him to guide me so I can at least get to know other characters.

Part of my problem with the second Star Ocean game is that I feel like I've played it before . . . in Final Fantasy VII. Final Fantasy VII was released in 1997, and I didn't get to play it for many years after the fact until like . . . 2009 or thereabouts. (My brother loaned me his copy of FF7 so I could play, and, man, was I ever excited over it!)

I haven't gotten very far in Second Story right this moment, but, based on everything I've learned so far in the game, a lot of the elements are extremely similar to Final Fantasy VII. Extremely. An object falling from the sky, causing trouble. The angst-filled hero . . . Comparing Second Story with Till the End of Time, story-wise, Till the End of Time, story-wise, can actually stand by itself because it isn't relying on copying FF7's success or storyline.

Of course, Star Ocean does cash in on some of the success of the Final Fantasy franchise. The stories of each game are actually very independent of each other so playing Game 5 is not reliant on playing Games 3 and 4. So that particular aspect is quite refreshing (especially since, until Sony released the games on the PSP, no one in the U.S. had ever played the first game, and I played Till the End of Time first over Second Story and The Last Hope went in another direction entirely).

And, in speaking of The Last Hope, I want to bring this up as a conversation topic, to get everyone's input on this.

A while back, on facebook, I shared a link to a story that crossed both games. The story has long since vanished from Archive of Our Own (which is a bummer - I did want to read how that was going to play out), but, in their author's notes, the writers mentioned that The Last Hope actually took place outside of the Eternal Sphere and thus had no connections whatsoever to any of the previous Star Ocean games. They said it because that's what the Perfect Guide for The Last Hope had mentioned.

Now, I do want to get my hands on the Perfect Guide (simply because it is Star Ocean and every bit of information helps in maintaining these blogs and pages), but, at the same time, I have a hard time believing this, if only because of how the game plays out. Everything that happens in The Last Hope has an effect on what happens in the games that follow. In fact, because OF The Last Hope, I put forth the theory that the entire gaming platform of the Eternal Sphere was that of one massive MMORPG where 4-D beings could play at any given point in history and place in the Eternal Sphere.

So how would this be possible, the events of The Last Hope being outside the events of the entire Eternal Sphere? While maintaining that the Eternal Sphere is this massive, multi-timeline, multi-planet MMORPG, The Last Hope could fall outside of the Eternal Sphere for this particular reason: It's a reboot of the gaming system. A pilot program, if you will. 

Mind you, there is nothing in the game itself that suggests it's outside the events of Games 1-3 and 5. The UP3 is there, or at least its conception. The beginnings of the Pangalactic Federation are there. The last name of Kenny is there (which, if everyone remembers, Kenny is the prominent name throughout the whole series and at least gets honorable mention in Game 3's dictionary).

That is my theory on how The Last Hope can exist outside the Eternal Sphere. It doesn't necessarily explain Welch's appearance in every. Single. Game. But it is something.

By the way, guys, those of you who are claiming that Welch is a 4-D being and that's how come she's in every. Single. Game. I BELIEVE YOU. I really do. That particular theory lends to my theory of the Eternal Sphere being the MMORPG on that massive scale.

Lend me your thoughts on the MMORPG theory and where The Last Hope stands in the comments, guys. I would love to hear from you on that.

Some cosplay notes: My green coat for the Fayt Leingod cosplay variant needs some repair. One of the buttons came off, no biggie, really, and I need to find some braiding that won't fall off. I now have some styrofoam balls and paints to try and recreate Fiore's weapons from Integrity and Faithlessness for the Fayt cosplay. Fayt can use symbology some so why not, plus they're going to be easier "weapons" to carry at cons and in public than, say, swords (though I plan on creating a sword for the cosplay, too).

I'll get pictures up as soon as I have things completed.

Finally, well, I want to attempt yet again to revive the Ask the Star Ocean Character segments to this blog. I actually had fun doing those. I'll post tomorrow the rules I've set forth. Know that I will start over again, and I'll be starting with Reimi Saionji.

That's all for now! I have a book to write!

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Luther Lansfeld
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Star Ocean: Till the End of Time - Oh, how we love thee!
Luther Lansfeld
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So wonderful, wonderful news out there, my fellow Star Ocean fans! Till the End of Time is now available for purchase in the Sony store. You can then download it for the Playstation 4.

The news heard round the world earlier this year is true.

Some of you already know this. In fact, because you've already purchased the game, and I follow you on social media. it's how I know the game is available for the PS4.

In terms of story, I realize this game is not the greatest. When compared to the likes of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, the story is a bit weak, but then that's also the game's charm. It holds the potential for so much to be filled in by the player, and the wide array of playable characters gives a little bit of something for everyone. Mind you, I'm still not overly fond of characters like Maria and Sophia - they do experience the least amount of growth and development, in my opinion - but they hold a great deal of potential in the hands of the right writers.

This game is one of my biggest inspirations, not just for my Arc of Fantasy series but for another novel I started for NaNoWriMo many years back. I'm still writing Star Ocean fanfiction. I own a copy of nearly every game (sans Blue Sphere for the Gameboy and The Last Hope for the XBox 360; yes, I own the original SNES Star Ocean: A Space Odyssey in the original Japanese; no, I haven't played it yet. I don't know how to read the kanji) for this series. I've had my fair share of disappointments in the ones I've played. I mean, if you get onto youtube and find all of the cutscenes, the longest ones are for Till the End of Time (at nearly ten hours), followed by The Last Hope (which I've found done in segments). Integrity and Faithlessness is a mere four and a half hours. While the game play is updated, it could have been so much more than what it was.

That's just me, though, and I do plan on addressing what I'd like to see in future games, you know, if I could become a gaming story writer for the series. Yes, I would revisit Till the End of Time and The Last Hope, for sure. I'd even revisit Integrity and Faithlessness, and I'd come up with a few new things as well.

I will be at Tokyo in Tulsa in a couple of weeks. I have exhibition space for my original works, and I do plan on trying to generate more interest in the Star Ocean community. So wish me luck!

<3 to you guys for being so awesome!

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Luther Lansfeld
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Star Ocean: The Second Story - Beginning Overview
Luther Lansfeld
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I finally found me a (now) reasonably priced copy of Star Ocean: The Second Story for the PS1. Right now, I chose Claude.
I'm not thrilled with him, which is weird, considering how much I do love Fayt and Edge. Then again, I don't feel much of anything for Fidel at this point.
I'm going to get me a PSP so I can play my two PSP Star Ocean games. For Second Evolution, I might just choose Rena instead of Claude. I might just do it on the original version, too, simply to change things up.
But, as of right this moment (and really, only 2 1/2 hours in), I'm not impressed with our heroes.
I'll be pacing myself. I have a lot of writing to do, a lot of work to do for ShutoCon. Man, that's creeping up on me!

New Star Ocean game for Japanese mobile phone
Luther Lansfeld
star_ocean_fan
And overall gaming updates! Woohoo! What a time to be alive!

I just now found out that, in Japan, there is a mobile phone app for Star Ocean called Star Ocean: Anemesis, which follows along the same Star Ocean storyline of space travel and landing/crashlanding on underdeveloped planets. According to Kojika (from Kojika Cosplay), the girl you meet can summon heroes, and she's managed to unlock an SO2 event where she has the character Rena available. Go, Kojika!

Kojika has also shared this link from dualshockers.com, and I'm reading it right now!

http://www.dualshockers.com/2017/02/22/ps2-classic-star-ocean-till-end-time-announced-ps4-first-screenshots-released/

I am so stoked over the news of Star Ocean 3 heading for the PS4 in Japan. I hope it does make its way to the U.S. I already planned on getting my own PS4 so I can work on redoing Star Ocean 5 (and for DQ Builders, I love that game, too), but, man, I'm just so stoked over this! Everything looks the same, which is fine by me. Considering the game's popularity, there will be a North American and European relaunch as well. Digital only, at this point, but I'm stoked enough to not care. From what I understand about how this works with buying digital versions, once you buy it, it's yours, even if something happens with your PS4. It's in your account with Sony/Playstation. (It, for me, also doesn't matter since I already own a hard copy for the PS2.)

With all of that said and out of the way, it makes me super glad I will get to finally debut my Fayt Leingod cosplay variant, Captain of the Dragon Brigade, this year at my first convention of the year, ShutoCon.

ShutoCon is next month, guys, and I'm stoked. I'm also going to be attending Anime St. Louis, Tokyo in Tulsa, Otakon, and YoumaCon, with a tentative plan for Comic Con Oklahoma City.

2017 is a Star Ocean year!

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Luther Lansfeld
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Conversation Topic - Fayt and the People He's Taken Note Of
Luther Lansfeld
star_ocean_fan
Yeah, it's been a few days, give or take one or two.

A reminder I will be at the Tulsa Comic Con this weekend. I'm aiming to attend Friday and Saturday. Of course, as of today, finances are a wee bit iffy, I won't have any copies of my books on hand thanks to Amazon only having one printing press in South Carolina . . . and it's hurricane season . . . HOWEVER, I will do what I can to be in attendance at Comic Con this weekend!

And! Well, it won't be 100% complete - could not find the right size interfacing for the shirt and pants nor do I have the material for the pants - but I will be in cosplay! It's a personalized costumed-variant of Fayt Leingod from a fanfiction idea I have where he ultimately becomes the captain of the Dragon Brigade.

I am so looking forward to that!

The idea for today's conversation topic comes from when I watched all of the cutscenes on youtube for Till the End of Time. It's something I happened to notice about Fayt.

Certain people manage to attract and hold his attention.

Of course, this isn't to say he doesn't notice people. He most certainly does, but there were some who were just like an awed "whoa" with him.

Let's go through our list, shall we?

First up, natually, is Sophia. The two have known each other since childhood. If you head to Airglyph after gaining Sophia as a party member, you find out that the two of them met when they were children, and it was on a vacation to a place where it snowed. If I recall the conversation correctly, Sophia was either three or five years old at the time. It's been a while for me since I've played and got the two to talk so I'm not 100% certain who was five, but I do remember she was old enough to remember snow. She'd remarked on the difference between the temperatures of Earth and Elicoor II.  Due to this long-term relationship, Fayt does wonder about her and worry for her safety. Ameena's likeness to Sophia makes her a contender for memorable people for Fayt.

Peppita Rousetti is the second person Fayt encounters.

Third is Cliff Fittir. Fayt's first encounter with the Klausian is nothing short of memorable. It was the fight with Norton, after all, and Cliff was the first Klausian Fayt had ever met.

The fourth person Fayt takes notice of is Mirage. In fact, in his recollection while onboard The Eagle is how he thinks she's beautiful.

Nel Zelpher comes to Fayt and Cliff's aid when they're in the dungeons of Airyglyph, thus making her the fifth person Fayt encounters. Her abandoning her duties to save Farleen and Tynave bothers him because she's also admitted responsibility and duty towards Fayt and Cliff. Add in he's an only child with his parents hardly ever being around, and he's going to take note. However, he isn't the one to remark on Nel's appearance. (That would be Cliff.)

Albel Nox is the actual sixth person Fayt meets and that's after the rescue of Tynave and Farleen.

Roger S. Huxley is the one that's hit or miss. If you don't find him at the right point, Fayt will never encounter him.

Adray hears wind of Fayt and Cliff and rushes back to Aquaria to join them. Depending on the conversations the player has upon first arriving to the Sacred Kingdom of Aquaria, Adray joins either before heading to the Bequerel Mines or after. But either way you're getting him!

Finally, there's Maria, the leader of Quark.

Everyone here has the ability of becoming a traveling companion of Fayt. Roger, Peppita, Albel, and Nel are the ones players can choose from to make up the final party.

Out of everyone here, only THREE get very major notice from Fayt. Naturally Sophia is the top of this list due to how much time he spends worrying about her through the game, up until she becomes a permanent team member.

Second is Mirage. After crashlanding on Elicoor and escaping from the dungeons, he asks Cliff a bit frequently about whether or not Mirage got out of the city okay. Even after arriving in Aquaria for the first time, Fayt asks Cliff about Mirage. It's after they've been assigned a room in the castle, and Fayt manages to play Cliff a little bit.

Nel gets some notice due to the fact she's been assigned a mission, and she forsakes it to help some comrades. Fayt finds it admirable, but, I think he's got some Kenny bloodline in him because he's really all about duty and responsibility. (Just my musings on Ryoko's side of the family.)

Finally, there's Albel. The first time the two meet, it's after Shelby's been defeated, and Albel's like, his mess, not mine, not taking any responsibility for this crap. Of course, we know that Fayt argues against that with the "he's your subordinate, you HAVE to take responsibilty for what he's done".  The second time, they actually fight, Fayt wins, and then walks away with Albel still breathing.

Here's where things with Albel get interesting.

When it's clear that they will not be able to finish the Thunder Arrow in time and they rush to Arias to defend, it's noted that Albel is not in attendance, and Fayt wonders about that. Now some of Fayt's wonderings about Albel could be considered more of a "what the" type moment. Albel is the captain of the Black Brigade, and, to him, it would make sense that Albel would be on the front lines, seeking revenge. Duke Vox is there, Woltar is undoubtedly around somewhere, all three brigades are taking to the field, but not Albel? To Fayt's mind, that probably isn't logical.

I do think it runs a wee bit deeper, though, with Albel. All because of the meeting with the King of Airyglyph and his terms of Albel joining the team to tame the Marquis (Crosell). Why wonder about an enemy's safety if Fayt never really saw Albel as an enemy in the first place?

In going through the number of playable characters and members of the party, it becomes . . . weird for me to really consider the number of pairings Fayt can be involved in when, really, there were few he took note of.

You see, for Sophia, I can explain her as being seen as the kid sister, and he's failed to keep her at his side and to protect her. After all, during the escape at the Hyda IV evacuation facility, Ryoko tasks Fayt with protecting Sophia. The only time it even seems like he might be interested in Sophia beyond a sibling-style relationship is at the end of the game, after everything's been deleted, and he has a montage of thoughts to bring him back, most of which are about Sophia. Why? Well, she has been a steady influence in his life for at least twelve years. Why he not think of her?

But Mirage and Albel are the trickier ones. All I can think is that there is something about their appearances and personalities that strikes a resonance within Fayt. Why those two, I don't know, but, when it comes to pairings, I personally can only see three that would make perfect sense.

But that's just me. ^_^

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