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Star Ocean Review, Tips, Story (spoilers!)

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Title: Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (PS2) 3.5/5.0 stars

Synopsis: Star Ocean had a refreshing fighting system, some interesting plot twists and an annoying invention system.

Article:

Star Ocean had a refreshing fighting system, some interesting plot twists and an annoying invention system. The storyline dropped the ball around three fourths the way through the game and was pretty lame from there on. I wish they would have ended the game before the climatic twist. The lame ending was an interesting concept, but poorly timed.

What's it about?

Fayt was on vacation on Hydra IV in the high tech Milky Way where transport between planets takes days and replicators can make anything you want. His vacation didn't last long until the Vendeeni, a race of fish men currently at war with the Galactic Federation, come for him and his entire family.

The high tech story line is a bit deceiving as the game takes place more or less on a medieval planet with sword and sorcery, I'm sorry, Runology, no wait Symbology. I think the concept was confusing enough that they should have called it the same thing.

Controls

The fighting consisted of only eight options. Pressing X hard and soft and from a distance or up close. The same options were for the O button. Each option could be further enhanced with battle skills, but you are severely limited by the skills you can use at one time, making most obsolete very quickly or overlooked completely.

Here's a fairly minor spoiler.

If you wait until the end of the credits, you’ll see more scenes based upon the characters on your team sometime later, showing that they were continuing on. Very little of the scenes were pertinent, though, and left cliffhangers or questions for a sequel that may never come.

In the end, the ending was left kind of hanging and never fully realized. They were no longer in threat of the Creator, and the executioners were no longer around, yeah, but they didn’t explain the ending well enough.

Replayability, nah

The saved game will be updated with the clear option, so you can replay the game and have a couple more dungeons, the rest of Sphere corporation to explore and another inventor. No thanks. I'm done and shelving the game while the rating is this high. If the invention options were more user friendly and a lot less time consuming, then it may have reached a rating of 4.0. Sorry, you can't make up for the plot in the last quarter after such a strong first half.

In conclusion

Overall, the story was decent for the most part with an uplifting message that we are the ones who control our universe and only through looking at it with a positive outlook will we make our dreams come true. That is if you are willing to reach the end of the game.


Understand this lad, fate is a fickle lady. Work with the hand you're dealt and you may just be able to run your flag up the pole. Don't, and well, you may just find your mast cut down.

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Title: Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (PS2) Invention Tips (Spoilers)

Synopsis: Here are some invention tips for those not wanting to spend much time on it.

Some might consider this a spoiler, so ...

Article:

Quick Rant About Gemity

I spent about 40 hours or more out of the 130 hours Mandy and I put into the game, upgrading our weapons and playing the battle arena in the Gemity amusement park. The bunny races sucked and wasted at least a couple hours of my life for very little benefit. The runic chess was all right, but since you couldn't control the pieces you couldn't make the obvious solutions. I’ll talk briefly about the invention system now.

Inventing Until Your Blue in the Face

First, I'm not going to go into details about how to get the inventors. There are plenty of guides out there that you can do that little bit of research. I'll just tell you the quickest way to get the items I needed.

Ok, I invented tons of stuff and most of it was useless by the time I could create them. You can pick up the best weapons from Romina the Tomboy in Aquios after you have retrieved the Sacred Orb to go after the Creator.

I used synthesis to combine the +500 attack of one orichulum to the weapon and then used smithery to carry that bonus all 8 times. You could also just use Ansala to improve the material to have 7 +500 attacks and a 50% save on incap just as well and then use Synthesis to combine it to a weapon. Even if you don’t have the best weapon you synthesis the old weapon to the better weapon.

I synthesized the rainbow diamonds +100 defense to Sophia’s weapon and used smithery to improve it. This gave her a high defense that negated most of the damage done to her. Synthesis materials are rare, but can be done by the characters you have by the time you can invent, so use them up to start the weapons above, or you’ll just be throwing them away.

Inventing is Random, Great

The invention system was time consuming, boring and fairly random. If you knew what you wanted to make, you had to wait for the proper fol amount to appear. This didn’t make things easier when the items you wanted to make, like the battle and tactical skill books, were designated at the same price range.

Easy Money

Get Ansala, Misty Lear and Sophia to invent at 10,000 fol to make Celestial Pixies that you can sell for twice that. Make ten at a time, so you don’t waste money when quality is low. This was the simplest way to make about 100,000 fol in less than ten minutes.

Eventually, once your weapons are maxed out and your levels are up, then you can wipe the floor with the Dragoon fighters at number one in the ranking system in Gemity’s arena and make about 240,000 fol in five minutes. Needless to say, money wasn’t a problem for me three fourths the way through the game, but was easily 10 hours of the game.

Battle and Tactical Skills

I’d recommend getting all of the writers if possible and make at least three of each type of book that gives new battle techniques and tactical skills. Max fury, HP/MP damage and the MP casting time cut battle skill were the most useful. Convert damage MP to HP tactical skill may seem drastic, but I can’t tell you how much trouble this saved me when all I had to worry about was healing HP and not MP. Cure Condition was also useful to get over status conditions quicker, but it dropped my defense.

Invention System Useful? Yes, but Very Annoying.

With my pumped up weapons and abilities, I killed most enemies with three hits of Air Raid or less. I had only a few troubles with the missile launching tanks, but No Guard took care of that for the most part, or let the Guard stun them or heal you with regeneration. By the end, Mandy started fighting for the first time since the beginning and had no troubles at all. In fact, she defeated the Creator in six hits with Air Raid and the second Creator form in ten.

I’d recommend not spending a whole lot of time on the invention system other than the few recommendations I have above and enjoy the game. If I didn’t have the impression that I needed to do it and max everything out, then the game may have not been so easy in the last quarter of the game reducing it to boredom and had been ranked a half point higher.


Understand this lad, fate is a fickle lady. Work with the hand you're dealt and you may just be able to run your flag up the pole. Don't, and well, you may just find your mast cut down.

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Title: Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (PS2) Summary (Spoilers)

Synopsis: Fayt was enjoying some nice rest and relaxation on Hydra IV in the high tech Milky Way where transport between planets takes days and replicators can make anything you want. His vacation didn't last long until the Vendeeni, a race of fish men currently at war with the Galactic Federation, come for him and his entire family.

Article:

The Entire Story from Start to Finish (Spoilers)

The storyline starts out fine, with a mysterious secret surrounding Fayt, a young teenager bored with life and parents who don’t give him enough attention. Sophia, his best friend, was reserved, but usually uplifting. Their vacation was interrupted, when the galactic war with the Vendeeni came to the resort planet of Hydra IV. The Vendeeni were discovered to be after his father while killing everyone else.

They escaped to a shuttle and were on their way to safety, when another Vendeeni ship appears and tears apart the ship. They leave in escape pods, but were separated. Fayt lands on an underdeveloped planet and survived while saving a small village from an off-worlder bandit without corrupting their culture too much.

Cliff, a Klausian from the rebellion group Quark rescues him, because he was who everyone was looking for. What was so important about Fayt? Soon after leaving the planet, the Vendeeni find them and escape only to crash into Airyglyph castle on yet another underdeveloped planet, Elicoor II. Just his luck, or was it fate? I had to do it, so shut up and continue reading.

Medieval Life Was Great, Except For That Plague, Famine and Death Stuff

The fairly fast paced nature of the game takes a drastic turn on Elicoor II. After escaping from Airyglyph, Fayt and Cliff got caught up in the war between Airyglyph and Aquaria. The war was presented as a religious war with Aquaria trying to assassinate the King of Airyglyph, but the truth was hinted in the heart of Airyglyph. Airglyph has no resources and their people were starving. It was war with their more fertile neighbors, minor pun since Airyglyph was run by all men and Aquaria by all women, ahem, or the death of their people.

Anyway, the war plot carries on through half of the game, with the sides turning more and more on the side of Aquaria, whom Fayt and Cliff ally with after Nel, an Aquarian spy, sprung them from the cells in Airyglyph’s dungeons. The war comes to a head after Fayt tosses the Federations laws to the wind after much soul searching and helps improve a magical weapon (runology, symbology? same thing) and kills or takes out of power the leaders of Airyglyphs armies.

Oh Glorious Vacuum of Space, Here We Come

The Vendeeni, yes them again, come back after a long hiatus to destroy much of both armies at the final battleground. Fayt learned about his special ability, when he single handedly sent a beam of light into the sky to destroy the Vendeeni ship. The two nations join forces to face the new threat. Too little, too late. Airyglyph should have tried talking and making trade agreements earlier. Maybe, but none of it matters now.

Quarks leader, Maria, comes down and saves them and tells Fayt the truth about them. They were experiments of Fayts father, implanted with a symbol for some unknown reason. The Vendeeni offer to trade Fayt’s father and Sophia for Fayt, because he was the weapon they needed to fight the Executioners that have just appeared and were destroying every space traveling empire on the part of the Creator. The trade fails, who would have guessed, and they defeat the Vendeeni. Fayt’s dad died in the process, but told them he left something back at his lab on the moonbase orbitting Earth.

They travel to the moonbase and find the information they needed. The Time Gate on Styx was a portal to 4D space where the Creator lived. The Creator actually designed and created their universe and their developments in the arts of symbology were so sacrilegious that the Creator had decided to destroy everyone and everything that has knowledge of it.

Fayt was implanted with the symbol of Destruction, so he could kill the Creator. Maria was given the symbol of Transmutation, so they could exist in 4D space. Sophia was given the symbol of Connection, so she could get them through the Time Gate on Styx and into 4D space. Sophia had a symbol too? That came as a not too unexpected twist by this time.

The Executioners came and they destroyed Earth. That definitely made my heart pump, as it was a very exciting scene. Fayt and company make a run for the Styx, but the Executioners have figured out their plans and block their way. After a few gut wrenching scenes and a long path to the Time Gate, they were finally ready to defeat the Creator and end his destructive ways.

4D Space? Why Didn’t They Just End the Game Here and I Would Have Been Happy

They entered 4D space. Heaven, hell, a vacuum? No, it’s a far advanced city with no jobs for the people, so they play games all day in the Eternal Sphere. Sounds like paradise? Not for Fayt and company. It turns out that they were part of the game come to life. Anti-climatic? None to say the least, but let’s continue anyway.

The Creator was actually the owner of a company named Sphere and was also the original programmer who designed their universe. Symbology was actually letters and words in their alphabet. By implementing symbology, they were actually accessing low-level functions in their program and misunderstood it for something like magic. So why did symbology work for them in 4D space? No one ever understood or explained that. Maybe it was a Sophia’s connection ability that kept them connected to their universe and Maria’s transmutation ability to make it work. Who knows, take an Advil. Better? Good, let’s go on.

We’re Off to Kill the Creator, the Destroyer of the Eternal Sphere

Fayt fought through the Sphere corporation to find that the creator wasn’t home. He was in the Eternal Sphere in a private lab. To access the lab they went back to Elicoor II, again, to borrow the Sacred Orb with magical powers. The Sacred Orb was actually an internal debugging tool used by the programmers of the Eternal Sphere to make sure the game runs smoothly. Uh-huh, ok.

The Sacred Orb was used to enter a special gate similar to the Time Gate on Styx that just happened to also be on Elicoor II. How convenient. They finally made it to the top of the spiral tower to enter the Creator’s lab. They fought, and defeated the Creator. Not happy with his loss, the Creator decided to delete the entire program and not just the defects. They fought the Creator one last time, but what was the point? He was in the Eternal Sphere too, so his consciousness would be deleted as well, right? Oh well, he died and so did everything else in the Eternal Sphere.

The End? Of Course Not, We Want a Happy Ending

It turns out that the program that the Creator created had evolved beyond space and time. Their minds had developed a level of consciousness well beyond the confines of the servers and were now living entities. The minds of everyone in their universe reformed the universe as they remembered it. Did the programmers reload a backup on the server? Did they rewrite the data lost on the server, or were they in a real universe now?


Understand this lad, fate is a fickle lady. Work with the hand you're dealt and you may just be able to run your flag up the pole. Don't, and well, you may just find your mast cut down.

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