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View Full Version : A Sea of Constellations: Let's Play Star Ocean 2


fanboymaster
08-04-2008, 01:57 AM
It's times like these I wish my old computer hadn't taken with it all that I had prepared, I can still stall though. First, a little background I guess.

Star Ocean: The Second Story was an RPG for the PS1 released by Enix on (if Wikipedia is to be believed) May 19, 1999. It received moderate critical acclaim but was not particularly successful.

The game stars two characters, Claude and Rena (or whatever you'd rather name them). I'm looking for a character select screen picture but drawing a blank, I'll add it later. The main difference between the two is the characters they can recruit, Rena gets a standoffish swordsman named Dias and Claude gets a bratty mage named Leon. There are other differences but they primarily consist of different viewpoints of the same events.

As most everyone has no doubt noticed, this leaves us with our initial choice, this has to be done before the LP can even start. Claude, or Rena?

I'll leave that up to you tyrants.

I'll probably stop the voting at 10-15 votes or 48 hours, whichever comes first.

ADDENDUM: I'll apologize right now for the rather short first post, I had a lot prepared, but as previously stated, my old computer bit the dust at a poor time. It'll get more interesting as it goes on, I promise.

Lucas
08-04-2008, 02:06 AM
I vote for Rena. Swordspeople > mages, and standoffish > bratty (even if just barely).

Unless we can rename minor characters too, in which case get Leon and rename him Negi.

Ample Vigour
08-04-2008, 02:11 AM
Claude, mos def. Rena is as boring as virginal moe supergirls come and I love beating up on Dias (if only for brief seconds.)

spineshark
08-04-2008, 02:12 AM
http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SCUS_94421_04082008_020156_0687.png
Title


http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SCUS_94421_04082008_020206_0984.png
Crawd


http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll136/spine_shark/SCUS_94421_04082008_020208_0171.png
Lena

I vote for the blue-haired girl, because I'm replaying as the blonde kid right now.

fanboymaster
08-04-2008, 02:15 AM
Every character can be renamed, at any point, if I wanted to rename Claude in the middle of a dungeon, I can just go into his status screen and change his name. The same applies for every character. Go nuts, name the characters anything you want as they come up

Thank you very much spineshark, I'd have just screengrabbed but I have to get everything in order.

EDIT: One more thing for you guys to decide right now, should this be a gamebreaker play through or should it be a normal, as if I didn't know how to break it run? There's a lot of ways to exploit game mechanics in a perfectly legit way that can make it incredibly easy so I'd like to know if that's something people want.

Mightyblue
08-04-2008, 02:21 AM
Man, I need to play through this again, but Spectral Force 3 comes in the mail tomorrow. sigh.

spineshark
08-04-2008, 02:59 AM
Unless you're going to be posting a lot of battle screens, it'll barely be any different for the viewers whether or not Claude is wearing the Eternal Sphere or whatever. I personally find most of the gamebreaking stuff to be a big pain in the ass and not really worth the effort, but I can't say that I *care* a whole lot either.

Also I'm just going to say this now, you have (http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/top10/1282.html) to recruit Bowman.

Dhroo
08-04-2008, 03:03 AM
Rena looks like your typical anime magical girl, so let's go with Claude. I mean, granted, he looks like your typical determined and optimistic anime protagonist, but I figure that's at least a little bit better.

spineshark
08-04-2008, 03:10 AM
For those who haven't played this game, both characters are in the party essentially the entire game, and pretty much the only differences are in some scenes, which character appears on the map screens, and who joins for the last dungeon on Disc 1.

"Fun" Factoid: Rena seems to have been at least at one point a sword-wielding heroine, until tri-Ace decided to put off the gender role reversal until VP. Evidence for this comes primarily from the in-game drawing of her that you can make with the Art specialty, which shows her holding a sword. But I think the most incontrovertible evidence of all is that she has blue hair.

tungwene
08-04-2008, 03:35 AM
Rena because I never finished my playthrough with her.

fanboymaster
08-04-2008, 04:32 AM
Unless you're going to be posting a lot of battle screens, it'll barely be any different for the viewers whether or not Claude is wearing the Eternal Sphere or whatever. I personally find most of the gamebreaking stuff to be a big pain in the ass and not really worth the effort, but I can't say that I *care* a whole lot either.

Also I'm just going to say this now, you have (http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/top10/1282.html) to recruit Bowman.

I was thinking more in the sense of doing something like the mechanic explaining posts in some other LP's, put it there for those who want it, make it skippable for those who don't.

it would also affect whether I decide to try unlimited Indalecio and the bonus bosses, which might interest some people

Also, I'll bring up the recruitment issues as they come along, don't start getting too far ahead, Bowman's going to be a while yet. Rest assured that as long as you people don't hate me too much, I'll take him over Precis, I intend to never for the rest of my life here "HERE'S MISTER ENEMY!" ever again

kaisel
08-04-2008, 05:07 AM
I'll vote for Rena since I uh... actually like the standoffish swordsman. Yeah.

While Precis's "HERE'S MR. ENEMY" was bad, I always found her para-BOLA beam worse. How can you mispronounce that?

DrSenbei
08-04-2008, 05:48 AM
Do whatever you want so long as you recruit Ashton.

If there's a way you can provide voice samples it would be a real treat.

"Theeeere's MR ENEMY!"

Elfir
08-04-2008, 07:20 AM
I never played Claude so I'd kinda prefer that but Dias is HAWT so I won't be sad if we use Rena.

And I shall be campaigning for Precis. Because I'm evil and BANG BANG ATTACK!!! she's awesome.

Octopus Prime
08-04-2008, 07:38 AM
I liked using Precis, but I had to mute the TV whenever she was in my party. As for mains, I guess Rena, since I like Dias marginally more then Leon.

Which is not to say I like either of them.

Ample Vigour
08-04-2008, 07:42 AM
I liked using Precis, but I had to mute the TV whenever she was in my party. As for mains, I guess Rena, since I like Dias marginally more then Leon.

You wha

Which is not to say I like either of them.

Oh. Carry on!

Elfir
08-04-2008, 08:03 AM
Trouble is they're both awesome. By which I mean Dias and Leon, not Claude and Rena. Dias stars in dozens of anime shows with different haircuts (mmm Kenshin...) and Leon fights with the Popup Book of Eternal Damnation! I'd rather we got both of them and neither of those two from the second disk.

There's also the awful choice of Opera vs Ashton.

kaisel
08-04-2008, 08:09 AM
There's also the awful choice of Opera vs Ashton.

Oh god, I forgot about Opera. Every time I used her she would screech like a banshee whenever she got hit by an enemy, and would sorta whimper when she died, and it would only be after a minute or two of relative silence that I'd ask myself why wasn't she screaming. And then realize she had died.

Brickroad
08-04-2008, 08:42 AM
The whole Claude vs. Rena debate doesn't even matter past the first hour or so, so just flip a coin.

Also as I recall you don't have to trade anyone to get my favorite character, but she is the last person you get so please don't already have all your characters before getting to Nede and recruiting Chisato.

Are you going to break the game and get Claude's best weapon super-early?

spineshark
08-04-2008, 08:44 AM
I think getting Chisato blocks Noel, who is, in short, not a big loss.

Also, I like Opera >_> She even happens to be pretty damn good against flying enemies.

PapillonReel
08-04-2008, 08:51 AM
I've never played this game, so this is all new to me! I'm so confused. :s

Which is the better choice, Talking Time?

Brickroad
08-04-2008, 08:53 AM
I think getting Chisato blocks Noel, who is, in short, not a big loss.

I am 99% sure it doesn't.

I think it breaks down like this: there are twelve characters and you can recruit eight in any given game. You get both heroes and Celine for free (3), have to pick between Ashton/Opera and Bowman/Precis (5), the Leon/Dias choice is made for you (6), Ernest joins if you have Opera (7), and you get Noel on Nede (8). So, if you get Opera and Ernest you miss Chisato since there's no room for her.

God damn I loved the crap out of this game. I regret being a penniless bum back at the turn of the century and selling off most of my PSX collection to buy whatever Gamecube game came out that I had to have.

Zithuan
08-04-2008, 08:58 AM
I am 99% sure it doesn't.

I think it breaks down like this: there are twelve characters and you can recruit eight in any given game. You get both heroes and Celine for free (3), have to pick between Ashton/Opera and Bowman/Precis (5), the Leon/Dias choice is made for you (6), Ernest joins if you have Opera (7), and you get Noel on Nede (8). So, if you get Opera and Ernest you miss Chisato since there's no room for her.

I told Celine to go to hell when she tried to join. Thus, I had Claude, Rena, Opera, Ernest, Bowman, Leon, Noel, and Chisato.

I don't particularly care between Claude and Rena as the main character, but I have to vote for Opera since she's awesome. I vote for Precis over Bowman, too.

estragon
08-04-2008, 09:00 AM
I want you to break the hell out of the game if you know how.

(I've never played this, so I have no idea what that entails.)

Brickroad
08-04-2008, 09:01 AM
I told Celine to go to hell when she tried to join. Thus, I had Claude, Rena, Opera, Ernest, Bowman, Leon, Noel, and Chisato.

Makes perfect sense to me, especially if you're playing as Claude, because Leon is pretty much the superior caster anyway.

I don't particularly care between Claude and Rena as the main character, but I have to vote for Opera since she's awesome. I vote for Precis over Bowman, too.

I vote the exact opposite; Ashton and Precis for life, yo. I only care about the Claude/Rena choice inasmuch as it affects Leon/Dias, I guess, and Leon is so much better so... Claude as hero. (I guess that's around... 50 points?)

I want you to break the hell out of the game if you know how.

(I've never played this, so I have no idea what that entails.)

It's possible, and it's AWESOME. I want to see it broken all to hell, too.

Elfir
08-04-2008, 09:01 AM
I've never played this game, so this is all new to me! I'm so confused. :s

Which is the better choice, Talking Time?

In battle: Rena is the white mage so she will probably be in the party regardless. Claude is a physical attacker and can be swapped out for another physical attacker fairly easily.

Storywise: Rena is a anime maiden wuss in general but comes off as slightly less of one if she's the main character. Claude as the main lets us see a few more sci-fi scenes.

Recruitment-wise: Rena gets an angsty bishounen swordsmaster, Claude gets a child genius mage who wields popup books. All other recruits are identical.

PapillonReel
08-04-2008, 09:03 AM
Recruitment-wise: Rena gets an angsty bishounen swordsmaster, Claude gets a child genius mage who wields popup books. All other recruits are identical.

Since the former archetype's been played to death and the latter sounds more interesting, we're going with Claude then. The extra sci-fi on the side wouldn't hurt either. Thanks!

Zithuan
08-04-2008, 09:09 AM
Claude is a physical attacker and can be swapped out for another physical attacker fairly easily.

Mirror Slice > all other melee attacks

Elfir
08-04-2008, 09:10 AM
Mirror Slice > all other melee attacks

Yes, well I didn't want to bias the vote too much on the fact that when I took Claude out of my party I could not beat the last boss. -_-

Brickroad
08-04-2008, 09:12 AM
I remember Claude and Ashton having a very specific set of specials that could juggle enemies in mid-air indefinitely if you could keep up with it. I remember this technique being crucial in some of the uberdungeon fights.

To give newbies an idea of just how batshit crazy this game gets: Chisato gets an attack called Tear Gas which can deal upwards of 20+ hits at 2000 damage per hit. With her best weapon equipped, she absorbs all that damage as health. This is not even close to the best attack in the game.

estragon
08-04-2008, 09:21 AM
Chisato gets an attack called Tear Gas which can deal upwards of 20+ hits at 2000 damage per hit. With her best weapon equipped, she absorbs all that damage as health. This is not even close to the best attack in the game.

BREAK IT.

kaisel
08-04-2008, 10:39 AM
I actually found Dias way more useful at the end than most of my other characters, due to the fact that his best weapon doubles his attack, so in my game he was doing max damage (well, 9999, which I think was the cap) with any attack. And his version of air slash is seriously one of the best moves in the game just because it has practically no recovery time.

And uh, I really hated Claude so as soon as I got enough fighters, I kicked him out of my party, and let him languish at level like 29, while the rest of my team went through the cave of trials.

Ample Vigour
08-04-2008, 10:43 AM
To give newbies an idea of just how batshit crazy this game gets: Chisato gets an attack called Tear Gas which can deal upwards of 20+ hits at 2000 damage per hit. With her best weapon equipped, she absorbs all that damage as health. This is not even close to the best attack in the game.

To be fair, the newbies should also be warned that the NPC AI was coded by tinfoil with eyes glued to it, and your NPC party members spend most of every combat charging into the teeth of the enemy and dying.

Without Claude's ubersword, I would have made it maybe ten hours into this beast.

Mightyblue
08-04-2008, 10:51 AM
Yeah, the Eternal Sphere+ a number of maxed combat skills = Death for pretty much anythiing.

Are you gonna do Normal, Hard, or Universal difficulty? For those who don't know, it'll affect enemies stats enormously including HP, and playing on Universal virtually requires breaking the game in at least a few ways.

Brickroad
08-04-2008, 10:54 AM
Man, I'm having a brainfart. Does Chisato actually carry a clipboard in her official artwork? I forget.

Last time I played the game (and this would have been about 2000 or so) I meticulously paired Chisato with Ashton. I remember his cry of "Chisatooooo!" whenever she died in combat to be lovably dorky.

I'm considering changing my user title to "bang BANG attack" but it would require me to change my avatar too and that's a lot of damn work so I probably won't do it I guess.

spineshark
08-04-2008, 10:59 AM
Yes (http://www.rpgclassics.com/shrines/psx/so2/chisato.shtml).

Leon (http://www.rpgclassics.com/shrines/psx/so2/leon.shtml) has the best clothes though. Hoooooly crap.

Elfir
08-04-2008, 11:19 AM
Last time I played the game (and this would have been about 2000 or so) I meticulously paired Chisato with Ashton. I remember his cry of "Chisatooooo!" whenever she died in combat to be lovably dorky.

When I finally beat it, I happily got a Rena/Dias ending. Also got Claude/Precis.

For newcomers: This game has an affection system that gives extra little scenes in the ending depending on who gets paired up with whom. Private Actions effect it a lot but also curing in battle and certain special items.

kaisel
08-04-2008, 11:54 AM
When I finally beat it, I happily got a Rena/Dias ending. Also got Claude/Precis.

For newcomers: This game has an affection system that gives extra little scenes in the ending depending on who gets paired up with whom. Private Actions effect it a lot but also curing in battle and certain special items.

The last time I played I spent my time trying to get Dias/Precis because the thought of the badass swordsman and annoying girl amused me. Didn't work though, and I ended up getting Dias/Rena, despite actively trying to screw that up. Looking back the Dias/Precis thing, it sounds like a stereotypical anime idea.

Brickroad
08-04-2008, 11:56 AM
If you know what you're doing, it's possible to game the system in such a way that you can have an endgame save capable of producing whatever pairings you want.

I remember Opera/Leon being both really cute and really creepy.

Zithuan
08-04-2008, 12:16 PM
I got Opera/Rena and Claude/Leon. NOT WHAT I WANTED!! I should have left Ernest behind...

Alixsar
08-04-2008, 12:51 PM
We're taking Ashton right? Guys. We should take Ashton.

Elfir
08-04-2008, 12:52 PM
We're taking Opera right? Guys. We should take Opera.

Torgo
08-04-2008, 01:07 PM
Claude or Rena: Your discretion. Leon's a great caster, with good speed and very mp efficient spells. On the other hand, I really enjoy using Dias as my main character after getting him. So it's up to you.

Bowman vs. Percis: Bowman's worthless. I know this because the first time I played the game he was the only other fighter I got. It was very, very sad. Get Percis.

Ashton vs. Opera: I've never used Opera, but I'm just going to say Ashton because if you play as Claude it wouldn't hurt to get another fighter early on. Plus he's pretty awesome (whiny).

The Party
Claude
Rena
Leon/Dias
Percis
Ashton
Chisato
Celine

That leaves one spot for... Earnest or Noel? I've never used either of them, so I leave that in Talking Time's most capable hands.

Brickroad
08-04-2008, 01:10 PM
Bowman vs. Percis: Bowman's worthless. I know this because the first time I played the game he was the only other fighter I got. It was very, very sad. Get Percis.

As I recall, Bowman has the most capacity for being game-breakingly powerful. So he might be the man to pick if we're going to go for broke making this game cry.

As for Noel, general consensus is that he sucks, but I honestly ended up liking him more than Rena since he gets attack AND healing spells. The big problem is that SO2 doesn't have any AI options for hybrid casters, so anything useful you get him to do, you have to do manually.

spineshark
08-04-2008, 01:12 PM
I concur on Bowman. Poison Pills is nuts at high proficiency. Plus his voice is hilarious.

You can't recruit Ernest without Opera. And having Opera is no guarantee of getting him, either >_<

Which sucks, because you can steal Battle Suits from him. That alone makes him better in my estimation than certain other characters.

I used Opera for my late/postgame healing and ran Bowman, Claude, and Dias on my first play. It was awesome. Mostly because I didn't have to put up with any damn casters.

Torgo
08-04-2008, 01:13 PM
As I recall, Bowman has the most capacity for being game-breakingly powerful. So he might be the man to pick if we're going to go for broke making this game cry.
I've heard something like this before, but for me he was so profoundly awful I have trouble imagining it.

Elfir
08-04-2008, 01:17 PM
As for Noel, general consensus is that he sucks, but I honestly ended up liking him more than Rena since he gets attack AND healing spells. The big problem is that SO2 doesn't have any AI options for hybrid casters, so anything useful you get him to do, you have to do manually.

I hated Noel's voice too much and just used them as an out of battle healer.

I kinda feel like Claude has an obligation to form a harem. Thus Precis, Opera, Celine, and Chisato should be picked up if possible. Ernest should probably not be picked up because he's a rival male.

Pajaro Pete
08-04-2008, 01:17 PM
Precis is annoying, we don't need WAI WAI GENKI GENIUS GIRL on the team. Take Bowman. He's a street fighter.

Claude looks like a retard when he runs. Choose Rena. She also looks like a retard when she runs, but at least her hair isn't as goofy.

Opera is an alcoholic alien woman with a giant gun. Ashton is what can only be described as "Nancyboy McLeatherEnthusiast." I think your choice is clear. Plus, Opera can recruit Indiana Jones. Don't you want Indiana Jones on your team?

Zithuan
08-04-2008, 01:22 PM
Noel is worth getting just to have another out of battle healer, imho.

Opera is awesome for her Alpha on One homing, multi-hitting killer move. It is a shame that Ashton and Opera are both awesome yet you can't have both. Opera has pretty funny private actions, as I recall (I think she makes Leon cry one time). Plus, boobs (especially if you kick Celine to the curb like I did).

Brickroad
08-04-2008, 01:24 PM
Man just sitting here thinking about this game makes me want to respond to this topic every ten minutes. I think I'm going to quit doing that, because otherwise our esteemed host isn't going to have anything left to talk about when he actually plays the game.

Elfir
08-04-2008, 01:27 PM
Man just sitting here thinking about this game makes me want to respond to this topic every ten minutes. I think I'm going to quit doing that, because otherwise our esteemed host isn't going to have anything left to talk about when he actually plays the game.

It kinda makes me want to play it, unfortunately I don't have a copy. :p

spineshark
08-04-2008, 01:27 PM
Opera is an alcoholic alien woman with a giant gun. Ashton is what can only be described as "Nancyboy McLeatherEnthusiast."
Not to mention the barrel fetish. It's not healthy for a boy of his age.

Zithuan
08-04-2008, 01:30 PM
Man just sitting here thinking about this game makes me want to respond to this topic every ten minutes. I think I'm going to quit doing that, because otherwise our esteemed host isn't going to have anything left to talk about when he actually plays the game.

It kinda makes me want to play it, unfortunately I don't have a copy. :p

I do have a copy sitting here, and I just checked and I don't have my endgame save-file anymore... but... I shouldn't... *twitch*

Elfir
08-04-2008, 01:36 PM
I do have a copy sitting here, and I just checked and I don't have my endgame save-file anymore... but... I shouldn't... *twitch*

You know you want to...

Coinspinner
08-04-2008, 01:41 PM
Choose Claude. Then play as Rena, ditching Claude as soon as possible.

And get Noel. Why? I demand Acid Lair. Combo Acid Rain with Gremlin Lair with the portal opening right in the enemy's face and watch the nines fill the screen.

Claude, Rena, lolBowman (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7YyKUeJCbY&feature=related), Leon, Opera, Ernest, Chisato, Noel

Mirror Slice > all other melee attacks

Ya, but...

Regular Attack > Mirror Slice

poetfox
08-04-2008, 01:59 PM
DEFINITELY break the game. Precis is really annoying and I don't even remember who Bowman is, so him, I guess? I also like Leon, but not going to be sad if you go the other way. But seriously, how shitty is the Ashton/Opera choice, though? They're both awesome in their own way... though Opera's voice is so... painful you may want to leave her behind. I'm also behind Brickroad's love of Chisato.

So that's where I stand. But mostly take away from this that I want to see you break the shit out of the game, cause that's really interesting to read, I'm finding, cause I'm way too lazy and casual to do such things for myself. So you do them for me. Yeah.

fanboymaster
08-04-2008, 02:16 PM
I want you to break the hell out of the game if you know how.

(I've never played this, so I have no idea what that entails.)

Quick level gains, some of the best weapons by halfway through the first disc, etc.

fanboymaster
08-04-2008, 02:18 PM
You can get Opera without Ernest, it's possible (and perhaps preferrable because Ernest is pretty shitty in battle). It even opens up some rare Private Actions because Opera has to deal with the fact that Ernest died when Expel expeloded (I'm sorry for that joke)

I'm pleased at the positive response this has gotten so far, I'll try not to let you guys down. I'll be breaking the game, but those will be separate posts showing how it's done, screenshots will be provided even though they'll mostly be of a screen with lots of words and numbers.

fanboymaster
08-04-2008, 05:41 PM
It would seem that I should have done my prep run as Rena because that's who the majority have sided with (Including my vote, it seems to be 5 to 7 in favor of Rena). I hope I didn't miss anyone, there should be a proper update by the end of the day. Also, I almost executive vetoed because I don't like Dias, but a ruler must bend to the wishes of the ruled in cases such as this.

Elfir
08-04-2008, 06:10 PM
It would seem that I should have done my prep run as Rena because that's who the majority have sided with (Including my vote, it seems to be 5 to 7 in favor of Rena). I hope I didn't miss anyone, there should be a proper update by the end of the day. Also, I almost executive vetoed because I don't like Dias, but a ruler must bend to the wishes of the ruled in cases such as this.

I'm kinda happy about that... All the character talk made me so nostalgic and, well, I played through as Rena...

Hargrada
08-04-2008, 08:45 PM
Seeing this thread made me go back and watch the opening movie again. I love the music in the intro cinema, very sci-fi in a star treky way (pan around the spaceship as it takes off from a stardock). I imagine you'll link to the cinema during your let's play, which is good as I can watch it again!

Though I prefer Claude, the Rena choice ends up being better in that i've already played through the game with Claude. I'm also definitely interested in seeing the game being broken as well as any bonus content (I missed most of that stuff myself).

Edit: Oh, and I vote for Opera (three eyes are always better then two).

fanboymaster
08-05-2008, 03:51 AM
I underestimated the time it would take, combined with having guests over eating up my time, and we have the first (and hopefully only) missed update. Fitting that it should be the first. I won't commit to a time but I will feel ashamed if it isn't done by the end of the day.

Also, I may have taken a few too many screenshots, I have about 200 to choose from from the first half hour of the game, any experienced LPers have an opinion on this?

Elfir
08-05-2008, 06:54 AM
Also, I may have taken a few too many screenshots, I have about 200 to choose from from the first half hour of the game, any experienced LPers have an opinion on this?

Only? :p I usually have upwards of 400 every time I venture into the screenshot folder to work on them and that might not even be halfway through an update. (Granted a good chunk of mine are too blurry to use and some have half a sentence on the screen...) The more choices the better. Just cut it down to what's relevant for what you want to do, pretty much.

Zithuan
08-05-2008, 07:40 AM
Also, I may have taken a few too many screenshots, I have about 200 to choose from from the first half hour of the game, any experienced LPers have an opinion on this?

I found myself thinking about that this morning, before seeing this thread. As I recall, the intro to Star Ocean is pretty long and dialogue-heavy before you really get into the action. You might not want to transcribe all that, but at least summarize it. It's been a while since I played (and I did resist the urge to start last night) so I can't quite remember too much of the specifics.

And I typically filtered through several thousand screenshots per update due to the nature of the game and program I was using.

spineshark
08-05-2008, 10:01 AM
Seeing this thread made me go back and watch the opening movie again. I love the music in the intro cinema, very sci-fi in a star treky way (pan around the spaceship as it takes off from a stardock).
Yeah, I like it too. For the most part I only like pointless FMVs like that, that just try and look cool (though there's definitely a distinction between "cool" and "'cool' (stupid)") rather than pretending they're really important.

And then they went and did new anime intros for the PSP ports of 1 and 2. WTF. I guess somebody thought they'd do better if they pretended to be Tales ripoffs, and that somebody may even be on to something, but it makes me sad inside.

Also, I may have taken a few too many screenshots, I have about 200 to choose from from the first half hour of the game, any experienced LPers have an opinion on this?
I'm not really experienced or anything, but I'm doing a game that happens to be a lot like yours in some ways. It's good that you took a lot of pictures, because it means you have all the ones you need. My method is to pick the first picture of a post, then write around it, then keep going, adding new pictures as they become appropriate, in the hopes that I don't Wall o'Text it too hard or anything. The best pictures are either inherently funny or leave themselves extremely open to jokes. Other than that, you can use them to point out specific dialogues, scene changes, gameplay elements and mechanics, stuff like that. (Overall, I used substantially less than half the pictures I took for Innocent Sin, and so far EP is looking similar, if not an even lower ratio)

I can't think of any game where the dialogue is worth transcribing wholesale. And you're playing a tri-Ace game, which, VP2 aside, all have horrible, wordy prologues. So cut out as much as you think you can, by all means. It's amazing how many text boxes you can sum up into one or two sentences.

Brickroad
08-05-2008, 10:05 AM
It's interesting because I'm running into this problem with Suikoden. You have to show enough dialogue to convey the basic plot, but not so many that people aren't just reading the dialogue along with you. Hit the high notes and fill in the rest.

The other direction you could take this (and Elfir is doing a great job of it) is to show us bits and pieces but leave enough out that you can make up your own stuff as you go. It's not like SO2's plot is very deep or well-written to begin with, adding your own details could be an amusing way to spice everything up. If people can't tell what's from the game and what's from your crazy head, you've done it right.

Elfir
08-05-2008, 10:10 AM
My method is to pick the first picture of a post, then write around it, then keep going, adding new pictures as they become appropriate, in the hopes that I don't Wall o'Text it too hard or anything.

Wall o'Pictures can be just as bad. It's a balancing act. I just hate the ones that constantly have "Screenshot, Humorous Comment, Screenshot" alternating for hours.

Brickroad
08-05-2008, 10:12 AM
Wall o'Pictures can be just as bad. It's a balancing act. I just hate the ones that constantly have "Screenshot, Humorous Comment, Screenshot" alternating for hours.

See, those are some of my favorites, so long as they offer the ocassional anecdote or explanation or break down some game mechanics.

Oh man we're ruining someone else's LP thread with general LP discussion. Okay I'll stop now.

Tanto
08-05-2008, 11:18 AM
I usually have between 500 and 800 for each chapter of mine, but I take pictures of every line of dialogue in case I want to point it out for some reason. My rule of thumb is to just show the first shot of a scene, transcribing the rest, unless a new character appears mid-scene.

fanboymaster
08-07-2008, 09:55 PM
A little bad news tempered by a fair amount of good news. I've got a schedule decided upon, so whoever cares to follow this can count on consistent monday updates, the bad news is that that means is that this first week has been a complete bust. My sincerest apologies. By the time Monday rolls around I should have enough updates prepared and a solid enough schedule that they can be consistent while allowing for the unforeseen.

In the meantime, so I can get a fair amount ahead.

Celine: Yes or No? There aren't a ton of reasons not to take her along but there are party setups that don't work with her so, a little breakdown for those who don't know the game.

Celine is the first main character that can be recruited besides the obvious Claude and Rena. She's a fairly useful spellcaster and in most cases is probably someone worth taking along. However, this is your game so feel free to make whatever decisions you want. It might also be a good time to start thinking about Ashton versus Opera and Ernest, if you feel like voting on that already.

Please, for those who choose to vote, keep a tally so I don't have to go digging through posts to check everyone's votes, even if there doesn't end up being very many it would be a great help.

Torgo
08-07-2008, 10:11 PM
I already threw in my vote for Celine, especially if you're using Rena (and thus not getting Leon.)

Elfir
08-08-2008, 02:12 AM
My votes:

Celine Yes
Opera Yes

Octopus Prime
08-08-2008, 03:54 AM
I'm all for Celine. And Ashton, while we're on the subject.

Elfir
08-08-2008, 04:05 AM
Celine 3
No-Celine 0
Ashton 1
Opera 1

Edit: Note I started the tally from FBM's last post. Not going to try tallying the previous ones because a lot of that was arguing/discussion and minds may have been changed.

fanboymaster
08-11-2008, 07:11 AM
At long last, and without further ado, FBM productions is proud to present. The first part in a way-too-many part epic,

STAR OCEAN: THE SECOND STORY LETS PLAY!

So, in all seriousness, this first part is going to be doing the condensed version of the first (around) two hours of gameplay, this game has a rather long, mostly boring, opening. You'll thank me for the fairly brisk nature of the overview if you've played SO2.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Star%20Ocean%202/SCUS_94421_11082008_051103_0673.jpg

As has been decided by you, the people, we're going to play as Rena, keep in mind that I usually played Claude's story so it was kind of weird having to remember what event flags to trigger in order to get the ball rolling on the actual story, to put it simply, this took longer then it should have.

(whoops, should have payed more attention in editing, that comment was there as a reminder but I couldn't find Rena's opening in video form)

After a little bit of ominous foreshadowing in Rena's opening cutscene (some giant energy orb appears over a forest and just as suddenly disappears), we close in on a house. Since I'm assuming you all have functioning brains, I'll take it you guessed this is Rena's house, you were correct. After some stilted sounding dialogue with her mother Westa deemed too boring to be shown by an LP creator who isn't creative enough to riff like it's Mystery Science Theater 3000 we gain control of our protagonist. For the sake of story, I'll mention that this was Rena talking about going to the Shingo Forest as she seemingly does every day. Claiming that she feels peaceful there.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Star%20Ocean%202/SCUS_94421_11082008_051322_0402.jpg

I don't intend to do many of these "make fun of a screenshot I took" sections (sorry Brickroad) merely because, I'm not funny. This deserved pointing out though because it goes beyond the normal cliche of chests in unlikely places because this town has chests everywhere. Most bizarrely, right in front of the shop which sells items not dissimilar to the ones that can be taken from those chests. I can see putting commonly used consumable items in there but one of the items is Sandals, how often are people going to need Sandals that putting them out for free is going to get customers to show up.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/SCUS_94421_04082008_223927_0530.png

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/SCUS_94421_04082008_224114_0929.png

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/SCUS_94421_04082008_224228_0080.png

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/SCUS_94421_04082008_224241_0780.png

Arlia village, a simple village, like all RPG main character hometowns. Not much to say really, just wanted to give an idea of the area I'll be traipsing through.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Star%20Ocean%202/SCUS_94421_11082008_051431_0139.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Star%20Ocean%202/SCUS_94421_11082008_051431_0439.jpg

Claude's first daring act, as you saw, was to shoot an Ape with a laser, most would consider this overkill, many would question why not take the girl and run to safety. One can only assume that Claude is not-so-secretly violent by nature, at least, that's what I'd say if this was reality, but he's an RPG co-protagonist so it probably means he's just stupid. Seemingly showing unusual common sense, Rena proceeds to run away from the crazy man vaporizing the wildlife. I wish I could say she had the common sense to stay away from him but after around 3 seconds of running she stops. Now struck by the idea that he is, in fact, the Warrior of Light (no, I won't be making a Final Fantasy joke, thank you very much). No RPG is complete without a prophecy of a savior, so she escorts Claude back to her house, some more boring stuff about Claude eating a mountain of food and Rena goes to get the Mayor.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/SCUS_94421_05082008_023229_0747.png

fanboymaster
08-11-2008, 07:16 AM
http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/SCUS_94421_05082008_153603_0919.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/SCUS_94421_11082008_022803_0339.jpg

The Mayor, showing some semblance of intelligence, immediately pokes holes in Claude's claims of being a traveler from a faraway land. This is satisfying to all those who find this old excuse to be grating. A little slow on the draw, Claude questions what the Mayor is insinuating, The Mayor tells Claude thinks he's lying, Then the Mayor draws the partly right but mostly wrong assumption that Claude is an alien warrior from another world sent to help them. Citing as proof the legends of a warrior who dresses in "alien raiments" and uses a "Sword of Light" To get out of this, Claude lies pretty blatantly, claiming to have nothing of the sort. Rena points out that he has a weapon that seemingly shoots light. He cops to it but says that he's no warrior, in stark contrast to his killing of a supposedly powerful monster. Rena (having seemingly pinned all her hopes on the idea of Claude being this Warrior) is shocked and asks whether he knows of the Sorcery MacGlobin. Claude responds by thinking about elipses. As Rena proceeds to explain about the fact that the Sorcery Globe is seemingly to blame for a smattering of horrific natural disasters. The mayor proceeds to explain about how an unusual meteor landed on the continent of El and that demons have been swarming since it hit, as well as a sharp increase in natural disasters. Naturally the conclusion was that the Meteor and their misfortunes were connected.

The Mayor lays it bare, they think that, regardless of his lack of knowledge of the legend, he is the warrior of light. Claude elaborates a little on how he came to Expel, but in such a vague manner as to confuse everyone. For whatever reason, despite already having interfered, he seems intent on not telling anyone anything about himself. The logic behind this being reasonable only to him.

At this point, the mayor relents, resigned to the belief that Claude is not the warrior of light. Rena is less accepting of this notion and proceeds to run out of the house. Questioning how she could have been wrong. He had the only two things outlined by the legend!

The next morning, Rena goes for a walk! I can't make this exciting people. Off to the Shingo Forest, where she questions what she came there for and goes into flashback mode, appropriately in sepiatone. Seemingly remembering the night after the death of her father.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Star%20Ocean%202/SCUS_94421_11082008_025014_0544.jpg

Learning that she's not biologically related to her parents is the end of this flashback.

As Rena ponders who she is, Claude takes this opportunity to make an appearance. Conversation even more awkward then some of the commentary in this Lets Play follows. Claude leaves the scene in a manner inconsistent with the layout of the forest, one can only assume he's off to fulfill his bloodlust by killing the local wildlife.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Star%20Ocean%202/SCUS_94421_11082008_025822_0726.jpg

Look at this picture and tell me you wouldn't guess the gray haired guy in the red cape looks evil, surprising fewer then 0 people, he is. He cackles like a madman and does the usual crazy guy cliche of kidnapping our intrepid heroine for a "marriage ceremony". He talks about how the stone said he would be irresistible to her or some such.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Star%20Ocean%202/SCUS_94421_11082008_030947_0518.jpg

The townspeople put up a token resistance but are no match for the might of 3 soldiers and a fop. Showing the debate skills of a 5 year old, when told to release Rena, Alen just yells "MAKE ME!". Strangely, he doesn't react to the aspersions cast upon his sanity by his bride to be.

After returning to Alen's house, we see a short scene that might as well have been condensed to the dialogue that ends it, don't even think about escaping. This would be a more effective threat if it weren't for the fact that the only precaution against escaping is a lock on the front door. Instead of attempting to break the lock, Rena decides to open up a secret passage and go down into a cave of uncertain origin and even less certain exit. I'm sure it must have made sense to someone.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Star%20Ocean%202/SCUS_94421_11082008_031540_0279.jpg

This has to be commented upon, it's truly the most inspired name in the game, Bossman. He tells us that he was forced to build an altar in this cave (the Salva Drift) for Alen, he says if Rena looks hard she might be able to find a way out.

Battles finally start occurring here and (for those curious) Rena proves herself a competent fighter, her need to be closer to enemies to hit them then Claude is offset by a faster followup attack speed. It's not hard to get through the battles without taking damage at all at this point.
We also aquire the first item used for metal working, one of the many skills that will need to be used by someone. This iron is the first item on a road to brokenly powerful weapons and items.

Back to the story, Rena accidentally wanders right into the wedding room while looking for a way out. Rena runs but is dragged back and tied to the alter. Alen calls this a wedding but it really looks more like he's making a sacrifice to Cthulhu. Some conversation about how Alen changed, he talks about his preciousss stone.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Star%20Ocean%202/SCUS_94421_11082008_032650_0279.jpg

Claude leisurely strolls halfway into the room before acting surprised at all by this scene. Claude (trying and failing to sound impressive) proclaims that there can be no such thing as a wedding desired by only one party. Alen creepily says that he and Rena love each other "are... in love... in love". He then proceeds to do nothing as Claude unties Rena. Once Claude's done untying Rena though, Alen unleashes a red ring of energy and threatens to break Claude's Xbox 360.

A battle breaks out, being early in the game, it's a very easy battle, doesn't explain why Alen transformed into a hideous monster though. I didn't get a screenshot before it disappeared but Claude gained two levels which the game amusingly rendered as "Claude has 2 increased".

Standing over Alen's body, Claude and Rena question why he turned into an evil monster. Both seem surprised that he isn't dead and Rena proceeds to heal his wounds despite having no indication that he is reformed or has been changed in any way by having the crap beaten out of him. Let's chalk it up to the usual JRPG optimism, or, even more fourth wall breaking, perhaps she too noticed that his name box had changed from Alen to Alen - Tax.

He wakes up good as new and Claude remarks that it was probably the stone that changed him, where the stone went isn't entirely clear. However, alls well that ends well.

You'd think that Claude would be a bit more rational, being from a more scientific society but he's the one pushing the "stone mind control" theory, it's a tad odd. Apparently Alen has been out of it for two weeks as the stone controlled him. He apologizes and I'm running out of semi-interesting things to say about this conversation.

Back at Arlia, a joyous reunion is had by all. That night, a meeting happens at the Mayor's house discussing what Claude is going to do. Rena points out the similarities between the Stone Alen had and the Sorcery Globe, apparently exhibiting exceptional thickness of the head, neither Claude nor the Mayor noticed this. The Mayor asks Claude to investigate the Sorcery Globe. Claude agrees without much hesitation. He then takes time to outline why he's only thinking of himself and is in actuality not an altruistic hero, but a selfish bastard. Rena (unsurprisingly) requests that she be allowed to accompany Claude on his investigation. She asks Claude if he thinks her healing powers (as she demonstrated on Alen) will be useful to which he re replies with a rather blunt no. He defers to the Mayor who disagrees, saying that Rena will be useful in his travels. Obviously, he relents. Although under the condition that she get permission from her mother.

More scenes deemed to dull for the LP, needless to say, Rena has a chat with her mother about leaving. Her mother is shocked, the Mayor talks to her as Rena runs off to go for a walk. Claude appears on a bridge, though what he's doing isn't clear yet in Rena's game. Strangely, some of the dialogue spoken here is inconsistent with what has happened. Rena says the Mayor will be coming over soon but when she left he had already been at her house. I'm not sure why this is.

Rena tells Claude about her mother not being her real mother. She talks about how she thinks the pendant she was left with is proof that her biological mother loves her. An orphan found with a pendant with a mysterious past?! Truly they're plumbing the depths of unique backstories.

Now, just as the game gets interesting, it's time to shut the book on the first entry in this Lets Play.

Next time: Will King (Kriss) Kross make us Jump Jump through any hoops before lending us his support? Will we start along the path that leads to Opera and Ernest or will we be getting Ashton instead? Will the jokes get any better? Find out next time!

I'd like to apologize for the late update, what goaded me to make a schedule was how disturbingly similar to a webcomic author I felt. I hope that you guys like this first part. As my final word on this first update, I'm really sorry about some of the lame jokes, especially the Kriss Kross joke. Also, my punctuation use is probably lacking, I was tired when I wrote this.

Elfir
08-11-2008, 08:56 AM
Needs more examples of the bad dialog. I was gonna comment on the lack of a video where you left yourself a note about that but I see you changed that already. ^_^

fanboymaster
08-11-2008, 09:08 AM
I'll take that into account and make sure to do a bit more specific dialogue commentary in later updates. In this case though, I really wanted to get these first few hours out of the way, now that they are, I can start the more interesting parts. I can go to places out of order and start to lay the foundation for later game breaking.

Overall, any constructive criticism is good though. What did you like and what didn't you (this is an open question to everyone).

Sorry for the note I accidentally left in their. I was up a while sorting through photobucket trying to find where the relevant pictures had disappeared to. I didn't check the rest of it as thoroughly as intended.

In the meantime, I'm going to fix some of the more glaring spelling errors.

Pombar
08-11-2008, 10:02 AM
Ashton might be a mope, but Ashton's dragons are the best characters in the game.

fanboymaster
08-11-2008, 10:09 AM
If you guys decide on Ashton I'm renaming him Brian May simply because of the line "Got a dragon on my back" from Dragon Attack, I don't feel I need further justification.

Elfir
08-11-2008, 10:22 AM
If you guys decide on Ashton I'm renaming him Brian May simply because of the line "Got a dragon on my back" from Dragon Attack, I don't feel I need further justification.

Oh, I was thinking he should be named "Pete".

But I still prefer Opera ^_^

Torgo
08-11-2008, 11:08 AM
Much as I love SO2, it takes way too long to get going.

(Believe it or not folks, all that really does take a good two hours or so to do.)

Elfir
08-11-2008, 11:43 AM
Much as I love SO2, it takes way too long to get going.

(Believe it or not folks, all that really does take a good two hours or so to do.)

Yeah, as much fun as it might be to pick over the story bit by bit, this is one time I'm kinda glad the LP skimmed... I was already getting flashbacks of that shit.

I forget - is Rena bound to the "wedding" altar in both versions of the opening or just Claude's? I know she comes off as a total wuss in Claude's version but I can't recall how extensive the wussdom is...

fanboymaster
08-11-2008, 11:52 AM
She gets tied up in both versions.

Its been a while since I played Rena's story so I don't remember how many scenes actually change, guess I'll be as surprised as you guys are.

So, has anybody else got an intention to pick up the remakes now that they've got U.S. release dates? October and January can't come soon enough.

Elfir
08-11-2008, 11:55 AM
So, has anybody else got an intention to pick up the remakes now that they've got U.S. release dates? October and January can't come soon enough.

I don't recall hearing about the remake... what system is it on and YES MUST HAVE YES. What's changing?

fanboymaster
08-11-2008, 12:00 PM
All the sprites have been redrawn and the first one is being translated for the first time (I think 2 gets a re-translation which will hopefully make its dialogue less stilted) and both have new characters, they are both for PSP.

EDIT: Another alteration, apparently Star Ocean: First Departure is now using the same engine as Second Evolution, having never played SO1 I can't say for sure how it impacts gameplay, but it is worth pointing out.

Elfir
08-11-2008, 12:14 PM
All the sprites have been redrawn and the first one is being translated for the first time (I think 2 gets a re-translation which will hopefully make its dialogue less stilted) and both have new characters, they are both for PSP.

And they're coming out when the boyfriend will be obsessively playing new console and computer games, leaving the PSP undefended. Excellent... *plots*

Torgo
08-11-2008, 01:07 PM
They can keep the awkward translation just so long as they spruce up the janky battle system.

Unrelated side note: 'Field of Expel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUAfLDPhsSI)' is just about the greatest overworld theme ever. It's no 'Searching for Friends (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-ClGdaICGI)', but it comes closer then pretty much any other rpg out there.

Zithuan
08-11-2008, 02:06 PM
Unrelated side note: 'Field of Expel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUAfLDPhsSI)' is just about the greatest overworld theme ever. It's no 'Main Theme of FFIV (http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=jQ0q_iYmqmk)', but it comes closer then pretty much any other rpg out there.

Fixed.

Final Fantasy VI's music always sounded slightly bittersweet and depressing to me. That was probably intentional, but it's was never to my taste. FFIV's came up on my mp3 player earlier today and I found myself thinking, "this is the best damn overworld music."

Star Ocean has a lot of music that I like, but Feeling of Oppression (http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=cz2NX1QkJSA) is my pick for best music of the first couple hours.

fanboymaster
08-11-2008, 09:22 PM
The next 24 hours is the final deadline to cast a vote on Ashton or Opera, I'm going to have to either do the Private Action where I meet the 3-eyed man or the private action where I learn of dangerous dragons in the Salva drift.

My personal vote is for Opera, so if I don't get votes on Ashton's side that's who I'll pick. Opera also gives access to Ernest, although he's not actually very useful and taking them both means we have to choose between Noel and Chisato when they arrive because by then 7 of the party 8 slots will be filled. Just a heads up.

spineshark
08-11-2008, 09:25 PM
Opera! Opera! She will turn you into a beehive! Then recruit Battle Suits, err, Ernest, and skip Noel.

Also if you haven't already chosen Celine I guess I vote for THUNDER BOOOOOLT! too.

Kirin
08-12-2008, 08:44 AM
I'm gonna have to vote for Opera as well, knowing nothing about the game other than glancing at the character art...

fanboymaster
08-12-2008, 04:37 PM
I'm going to go ahead and declare Opera the winner, sorry Ashton fans. This is probably more interesting to read anyway because Opera holds the distinction of being what the game generally bills as a hidden character. She's the only character in the game that the instruction manual doesn't make any reference to (along with her boyfriend, for obvious reasons). However, getting her can be a pain simply because it means following a chain of obscure private actions. I honestly don't understand how you're supposed to have known how to get her without a guide because by the time I get her, we'll probably have gone through half a dozen updates without much inkling of why I'm doing some of the things I'm doing.

The obvious follow-up question is whether or not to bother with Ernest, I usually don't, he's not really worth the trouble of fighting the optional bosses, but if you guys decide we need two three-eyed aliens, I'll bend to your will.

Ample Vigour
08-12-2008, 04:46 PM
we need two three-eyed aliens

poetfox
08-12-2008, 05:07 PM
Chisato is not optional, by the way.

fanboymaster
08-12-2008, 05:50 PM
Chisato was never optional, if it comes down to that, Noel is getting left behind, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

poetfox
08-12-2008, 05:52 PM
Chisato was never optional, if it comes down to that, Noel is getting left behind, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Good. Just making it clear. Heh.

Pajaro Pete
08-12-2008, 06:13 PM
The obvious follow-up question is whether or not to bother with Ernest, I usually don't, he's not really worth the trouble of fighting the optional bosses, but if you guys decide we need two three-eyed aliens, I'll bend to your will.

Ernest is a stand in for mother fucking Indiana Jones. He's coming with the team and he's going to be AWESOME.

fanboymaster
08-12-2008, 06:17 PM
Ernest is a stand in for mother fucking Indiana Jones. He's coming with the team and he's going to be AWESOME.

Ernest isn't a poor man's Indiana Jones, he's a drunken, homeless, penniless man's half-regretted last resort stand-in for Indiana Jones. Do not confuse the two good sir.

With that out of the way, given the tide of general opinion, he'll probably be coming along.

Elfir
08-12-2008, 06:30 PM
Ernest isn't a poor man's Indiana Jones, he's a drunken, homeless, penniless man's half-regretted last resort stand-in for Indiana Jones. Do not confuse the two good sir.

With that out of the way, given the tide of general opinion, he'll probably be coming along.

Ernest sucks, feel free to ditch him. :p

kaisel
08-12-2008, 06:35 PM
While Ernest is pretty bad, the only character I will be happy to NOT see used is Noel. I hated him so much, especially his battle quotes. "Shouldn't we run away?". No Noel, we are going to slaughter the cute little animals in front of your face, and you will like it dammit.

Elfir
08-12-2008, 06:38 PM
While Ernest is pretty bad, the only character I will be happy to NOT see used is Noel. I hated him so much, especially his battle quotes. "Shouldn't we run away?". No Noel, we are going to slaughter the cute little animals in front of your face, and you will like it dammit.

Yeah, Noel is also incredibly lame and is not allowed in the battle party ever if he is picked up. Wish he could be traded in for one of the more limited characters.

fanboymaster
08-12-2008, 06:42 PM
This is just making me hope that the possibility will exist in Second Evolution to ditch both Ernest and Noel and still have an 8 person party thanks to whatever characters they added.

Since the choice is coming down to: Ernest, Noel or, Incomplete party. We're probably going to see some of Ernest before the LP is done.

SpoonyGundam
08-12-2008, 06:48 PM
Honestly, I think I'd rather have an incomplete party than take along either of those chumps.

kaisel
08-12-2008, 06:50 PM
I just wish you could get Ashton and Opera at the same time, that's really the choice I have the hardest time with, as I like both of them a lot. I think the first time I played I got Opera, and the second time I got Ashton. Ended up liking Ashton a little better because of Opera's banshee scream, which I hope isn't in the remake. Damn, I might have to pick both remakes up...

fanboymaster
08-12-2008, 06:54 PM
Okay people, start tallying the votes, you've got a while yet to decide but still.

Incomplete Party: 1 (my vote)
Ernest: 0
Noel (shudder): 0

SpoonyGundam
08-12-2008, 06:55 PM
I just wish you could get Precis and Bowman at the same time

Though, come to think of it, an Action Replay or something might be the answer here. Ditch Ernest and add in one of the unavailable characters later on instead.

I won't complain!

Elfir
08-12-2008, 06:58 PM
Incomplete is my vote.

Brickroad
08-12-2008, 06:59 PM
Take both Ernest AND Noel, then orchestrate it so they end up together forever in the epilogue.

They deserve each other.

fanboymaster
08-12-2008, 07:02 PM
Incomplete Party: 2
Ernest: 0
Noel: 0

Going forward, if you guys would just copy that and make the alteration to reflect your vote, that would be much easier for me. I hate to harp on the issue, but it's just easier this way.

fanboymaster
08-12-2008, 07:04 PM
Take both Ernest AND Noel, then orchestrate it so they end up together forever in the epilogue.

They deserve each other.

Weren't you the one who first told me we had to bring Chisato, at this juncture, we can't fulfill both of these. Also, I'm no good at pairing characters for ending outside of the character I'm playing. I am good at gaming the system in such a way as to make it easy to get new endings though. It's all in writing books before doing second disc private actions

DeeMer
08-12-2008, 08:59 PM
Get Earnest, and take his Battle Suits. If we're going to break the game let's go all out here.

Elfir
08-13-2008, 05:47 PM
You know... just because it's possible, I suggest changing Rena's name back and forth between Rena and Lena periodically to give the feel the game is really badly translated. ^_^

Pajaro Pete
08-13-2008, 11:54 PM
The amount of misinformation, slander and outright LIES amongst you all is absolutely staggering. If you don't like Ernest you deserve Noel. I hope he treats you to a Furry Convention.

fanboymaster
08-14-2008, 12:19 PM
Since regular updates are only once a week (I feel at this point that I should emphasize that this is because I want them to be consistent). I'll be trying to bring you an update every Thursday that, while not a story advancing update, will at least be interesting. This week, I'll be talking about the general path that all characters must take when gamebreaking in order to make them the best they can be as fast as possible. Expect that update, later today.

I'll note right now that some of these filler updates will have absolutely nothing to do with the gameplay, some of them will be bits of history, retrospectives on other Tri-Ace games, the series as a whole and individual games within (such as the obscure direct sequel to this game exclusive to the Game Boy Color, Star Ocean: Blue Sphere). Expect a tangential tie at best for some of these. I hope you guys will like them though because they'll be receiving a fair bit of my time and effort.

Mightyblue
08-14-2008, 12:28 PM
Just ducking in to signal my approval as one of the resident Tri-Ace fanboys. Keep going!

Also: Screw Ernest, and Noel can be used as your out of party heal bitch.

Zithuan
08-14-2008, 12:47 PM
Also: Screw Ernest, and Noel can be used as your out of party heal bitch.

fanboymaster
08-14-2008, 01:02 PM
The Tri-Ace Related Mid-Week Extravaganza Episode 1:
Breaking A Character: The Beginnings

There aren't going to be screenshots in this because all of them would be of the same screen and you'll be seeing it in proper updates anyway.

As I mentioned in my previous post, every character has a certain path they need to take before proper breaking can occur. In order to follow down this path the player must purchase a couple of skill sets from various towns, these are primarily Sensibility 1, 2, and 3. The skills of most interest in these are, Patience, Perseverance, and Effort. Perseverance lowers the number of skill points required to raise skill levels. Effort lowers the amount of eperience required to gain levels. Patience isn't particularly useful for its innate increases (it increases a specific stat by 2x the level of the skill) but it is useful when paired with Effort and Perseverance because when put together they allow the specialty skill called practice.

A brief explanation, specialty skills are abilities gained from investing skill points in two or more related skills. Most of the time they are for item crafting. Things like writing, metal crafting, composing etc.

Practice is a specialty skill where the player willfully lowers the combat abilities of thier character but also receives massive boosts to the amount of experience obtained from battle. This makes level grinding infinitely easier and less time consuming. What this all adds up to, is that characters can gain more experience per battle, need less experience per level, and need to level up less to master other skills. This is particularly important for Super Specialty skills that are, essentially, specialty skills that the entire party has invested in. These allow for even more ludicrous breaking but won't be discussed in this update.

I hope this has helped give you guys an idea of what I'll be doing, it will also explain why I go to some places out of order, as I need to purchase the sensibility skill sets.

Pajaro Pete
08-14-2008, 01:23 PM
Just ducking in to signal my approval as one of the resident Tri-Ace fanboys. Keep going!

Also: Screw Ernest, and Noel can be used as your out of party heal bitch.

If you need more healing out of battle than Rena can provide, well then, as a wise man once said, "You're doing it wrong."

Elfir
08-14-2008, 02:01 PM
If you need more healing out of battle than Rena can provide, well then, as a wise man once said, "You're doing it wrong."

As another wise man once said, "Stop hording items."

Mightyblue
08-14-2008, 02:03 PM
That's true on normal difficulty. I usually play through on Galactic, though I should really try to go through on Universal once.

spineshark
08-14-2008, 02:15 PM
The Pet skill makes up for most possible item needs. It's embarrassing how much I had to use the carrier pigeons to save my ass.

Mightyblue
08-14-2008, 02:28 PM
Yeah, Normal difficulty is mostly a cakewalk even if you don't abuse the skills and Item Creation. Galactic not so much, and Universe is basically Nightmare mode from Doom, sans the random spawning of monsters.

spineshark
08-14-2008, 02:34 PM
the random spawning of monsters.
No, this game definitely has this. Like most older RPGs, it's just too obvious to be notable

Mightyblue
08-14-2008, 02:46 PM
Yeah, I suppose in a sense. I tend to associate games of Doom on Nightmare with me running out of ammo and being chased by hordes of Hell Knights that keep spawning as I run through levels.

I'm pretty sure they explained away the monsters on Expel as the Energy Stone and Sorcery Globe/[Quadratic Sphere] causing genetic mutations. The actual Expellian demons are from the demon world (name escapes me ATM), [and the Energy Nede monsters are a combo of horrifically powerful animals and creatures modified by the Ten Wise Men.]

fanboymaster
08-14-2008, 02:58 PM
Reasons I'm playing on regular difficulty

1. I don't hate myself

2. I'm already planning to fight the optional bosses (e.g. Iselia Queen etc.) and the unlimited form of the final boss, what more do you people want from me.

3. My save game with other difficulties unlocked was destroyed with my old computer (take from that what you will, bear in mind that I own a legal copy of the game though).

Mightyblue
08-14-2008, 03:00 PM
Oh, I'm not giving you crap. I'm just explaining why I usually take Noel along, which is to conserve Rena's TP and my recovery items when playing on Galactic or higher.

Kishi
08-14-2008, 03:49 PM
Not to mention the barrel fetish. It's not healthy for a boy of his age.

http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e200/grokyou/companions.jpg

fanboymaster
08-18-2008, 07:22 AM
Chapter 2: Do Renadroids Dream of Electric Bishonen?


When we left off we were just about to leave Arlia village. Thus marking where the game starts being worthwhile. Rena continues to show remarkable optimism when it comes to Claude's capacity to fight, saying that she'll "Be OK, Mr. Claude here will be with me". (No, I'm not likely to present screencaps for individual dialogue, it's a pain in the ass to root through a couple hundred screenshots to find the one I'm looking for). After some more vaguely coherent dialoge to Rena's mother about how she has to say Goodbye before she can say "I'm back".

The Mayor explains that a letter of introduction from him will get us an audience with the King without any trouble. For some reason that never gets elaborated upon, Rena already knows the King leading me to believe that this king really doesn't do anything related to governing. Oh well, I'm sure meeting random subjects seemed important at some point.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%202/SCUS_94421_18082008_041442_0390.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%202/SCUS_94421_18082008_041559_0903.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%202/SCUS_94421_18082008_041622_0211.jpg

A quick run through Salva shows little of interest, it does need to be mentioned though, I guess. People are all gossiping about Alen's case of the crazies and Rena's mysterious rescuer.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%202/SCUS_94421_18082008_041747_0839.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%202/SCUS_94421_18082008_041754_0204.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%202/SCUS_94421_18082008_041808_0337.jpg

As we approach Cross it slowly turns to night, this is perhaps the only time in the game where this happens and it's really just a contrived excuse to get the player to use the inn. I've never been the sort to question a game's time changes but this is several different kinds of ridiculous given how many times I'll be travelling the continent in the space of a day.

Rena points out the exceedingly obvious fact that it's night, Claude attempts to beat her in this competition of who can unnecessarily verbalize the most thoughts with "No one's here...". Luckily, Rena happens to know an inn in this town that they can stay at until they "try the castle again tomorrow". Spare no mind to the fact that this would seem to imply that we had already tried going to the castle.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%202/SCUS_94421_18082008_042536_0603.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%202/SCUS_94421_18082008_042542_0781.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%202/SCUS_94421_18082008_042547_0477.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%202/SCUS_94421_18082008_042602_0640.jpg

(those shots are just to give an idea of the lay of the land)

fanboymaster
08-18-2008, 07:23 AM
http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%202/SCUS_94421_18082008_042618_0021.jpg

Showing that Rena knows way more people then she reasonably ought to, the woman working the inn recognizes Rena on sight. Immediately slipping into the terms "little Rena" and "Auntie Rachel" (as a side note, Westa and Rachel don't look a thing alike but it would seem that they may actually be sisters given later dialogue referring to Rena being her niece). Rachel asks if Claude is Rena's boyfriend which is met with unreasonable and unnecessary amounts of blushing, this blushing serves to make Rena look like she has some sort of horrific unnamed disease. Claude seems mildly offended at how emphatically she denies this assertion which makes Rena stop blushing for no real reason as (according to the dialogue) she evidently didn't here what he said.

Disturbing levels of convenience rear their ugly heads as it turns out that one of their best rooms is available and will be given to Claude and Rena, free of charge, Rachel claiming that she would do "anything for [her] favorite niece and her beau..." which leads to Rena screaming that Claude is "ABSOLUTELY NOT my boyfriend!!". This level of unwarranted anger towards such an innocuous comment would, considering that this game's story loves the JRPG cliches, lead one to one of two conclusions. A. Rena is covering up a not-so-hidden attraction to Claude or B. Claude killed her dog off-screen. Given that I'm basing these assumptions off of JRPG tropes, the only real option is A. but B. makes a lot more sense to me.

Rachel mentions that Dias was here a few weeks ago as she walks Claude and Rena to their room. This prompts little comment other then the fact that it isn't clear where he was going.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%202/SCUS_94421_18082008_044141_0597.jpg

Nudge, Nudge, Say no more.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%202/SCUS_94421_18082008_044439_0438.jpg

Claude asks who this "man named Flac" is. Rena says he used to live in Arlia but left because "something sad happened". I'm sure that we can all see the "TRAGIC BACKSTORY" just waiting in the wings. There will be death.

Claude ends this line of questioning and awkwardly tells Rena he's "enjoying traveling with her". Why he thinks she would mind hearing this is a mystery to me but he says it with much trepidation. I'm not even going to bother chronicling the stilted dialogue that follows, suffice it to say it's some of the most awkward stuff I've ever seen. It is worth noting that when they say good night Claude moves as thought to walk out of the room, which begs the question of where he's going. A mystery that will, sadly, remain unsolved. Rena's last thought as she goes to sleep is "Dias..." (So, clearly, the answer to the title question is, yes).

fanboymaster
08-18-2008, 07:24 AM
I can't help but think that Rachel expected something to happen, her first words to Rena upon her and Claude's return to the frond desk is asking how their "special night" at the hotel was. I'm not sure whether to be amused, or mildly creeped out. Rachel confirms my suspicions when she responds to Rena saying that she slept well with a pause, followed by "Ah... that's not what I was asking about..."

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%202/SCUS_94421_18082008_050533_0020.jpg

At the castle, Claude and Rena are penciled in for an audience without incident, leaving me to explore, this was awkward and dull. Nothing happened of true interest. Items were stolen, armory treasure chests were raided.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%202/SCUS_94421_18082008_050728_0959.jpg

As we head into the audience chamber, we are greeted by another Man and Woman duo, I wish I could say these people showed up later as evil doppelgangers, but sadly, this is not the case, leaving this game disturbingly doppelganger free.

Claude manages to make an astounding breach of etiquette for which he has no excuse, failing to immediately bow for the king. The King is somehow immediately able to recognize Rena, there could be many explanations for this, but I'm going for the fact that everyone else is one of a handful of sprites that get repeated ad nauseum.

There is much exchanging of pleasentries in this scene, so I'll cut it down to the bare essentials.
Basically, Rena and Claude ask about the information King Cross has on the Sorcery Globe.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%202/SCUS_94421_18082008_051332_0783.jpg

The king proves quick to volunteer information as Celine barges onto the screen. Sadly, the information he volunteers is basically "We don't know more then the basics". There's so little actually being conveyed by this scene other then the fact that the Kingdom of El is at war with an army of demons that this scene seems wholly unnecessary.

The king offers only two things of actual use, a passport and 600 fol. This is still better then nothing and will prove useful later. We are told to leave for El via a ship in the City of Clik.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%202/SCUS_94421_18082008_052046_0275.jpg

As we head to leave town, we run into a fight between Heraldic Wizard and ????. This is a dispute over a... brown thing on the ground, specifically, over who's keeping it. Heraldic Wizard acuses ???? of trickery. Heraldic Wizard gets pissed and resorts to death threats... in a crowded public area... with lots of people watching them specifically... Heraldic Wizard would appear to be in over his head


Rena rushes in asking "Is that any way to behave?" seemingly ignoring the fact that a lesson on manners is unlikely to help Heraldic Wizard at this juncture. Seriously, she just said "where are your manners?". Heraldic Wizard's comeback seems like it might have lost something in translation as he shouts back "Get out of my way, you rodent!". He then threatens Rena, this causes ???? to respond by using magic to light him on fire. One can only question if being a wizard means never having to say you're sorry. Overall though, Heraldic Wizard just gets angry about his previous immolation and storms off.

As Rena and ???? talk, Claude gets annoyed at his lack of attention and fires off the non-sequitor "No place for me in this scenario". He's out of the spotlight for a few seconds and already he complains, he's almost as bad as Sally.

???? cops to her previous spying which weirdly leads to no questions about how lax castle security is. ???? Says she has some interesting information regarding their mission. Seemingly unable to differentiate the mission of "Sorcery Globe investigation" and "Treasure hunting that has nothing to do with anything". ???? proceeds to latch on to the tangential possibility of them finding something that maybe possibly has something to do with the Sorcery Globe. Claude objects, Rena agrees to it anyway. ???? finally gives her name as Celine Jules, but, since that name isn't as funny, she'll be renamed ???? as soon as possible.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%202/SCUS_94421_18082008_053930_0989.jpg

TREASURE MAP AQUIRED! and with that, we put a close on this chapter.

fanboymaster
08-18-2008, 07:26 AM
NEXT TIME:

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%202/SCUS_94421_18082008_054138_0519.jpg

"Wait a minute, Three Eyes?"

And: Claude, Rena, and ???? explore Cross Cave.

So, a few notes, I went for a more establishing shot, followed by narration style. It's easier to manage for me. I apologize if this bugs anyone. My spelling and grammar probably haven't improved. I must emphasize that these are being made in my free time but usually that free time is cutting into what would normally be sleep time.

If anyone wants to suggest new names for characters, go right ahead, if not, I'll just end up using the names of TTers or whatever strikes my fancy when I feel like it.

Elfir
08-18-2008, 07:57 AM
Opera = Triclops?

fanboymaster
08-18-2008, 08:13 AM
Yeah, didn't you know?

Elfir
08-18-2008, 08:18 AM
Yeah, didn't you know?

No, I meant as a name. :p

fanboymaster
08-18-2008, 08:21 AM
I feel like a fool, perhaps.

fanboymaster
08-21-2008, 08:17 PM
Curses, beaten by my own indecisiveness. I was intending to do something involving Star Ocean: Blue Sphere for the mid-week update today, but I spent so much time debating how to go about it that by the time I decided, there wasn't enough time to put the plan into action. I'll give an overview of what the few internet sources (a.k.a. Wikipedia) I found could tell me.

Star Ocean: Blue Sphere is a sequel taking place 2 years after Star Ocean 2. It follows the Resident Evil 1 school of "yeah, the cannon ending doesn't actually exist" wherein, what actually happened is an optimal, but unachievable in game, outcome. Essentially, I'll explain more later but basically, it relies on all 12 recruitable characters being in the same party. Everyone gets trapped on a new planet and are forced to help the locals while finding a way out. Ironically, Claude and Rena are the last 2 characters to show up. Supposedly, the battle system is closer to a Tales game then anything else, which is fitting considering where Tri-Ace split off from.

My master plan for this is to do a few mini-LP style segments where I play the first few hours. This will be a pain though because the game was only released in Japan and thus, obviously, will be in Japanese. My Japanese isn't particularly good, so this'll be an interesting experience for all involved.

As a side note, was there something wrong with the last update or did people just not find anything to comment on (or perhaps both)? I realize that this seems to be endemic with LPs so I won't leave ya twistin' in the wind by not updating, but would you kindly just tell me if there was something wrong or if I'm just being paranoid?

Jeanie
08-21-2008, 08:30 PM
Don't Panic.

I find this LP interesting but I don't really have anything to say.

fanboymaster
08-21-2008, 08:41 PM
I hope you aren't alone in that sentiment, I was paranoid that I had done something wrong.

Torgo
08-21-2008, 09:22 PM
I am a huge fan of SO2 and am definitely reading. Also, your mid-week update about the first steps to game-breaking was enlightening.

spineshark
08-21-2008, 09:29 PM
would you kindly just tell me if there was something wrong
The beginning of this game is really boring, unfortunately. I just hope VP2 is a sign that tri-Ace has turned this corner, but I guess I get to find out in a couple weeks. Anyway, once you have a couple more characters and things actually feel like they're starting to move I imagine there'll be more to talk about.

Malefor
08-21-2008, 09:43 PM
I hope you aren't alone in that sentiment, I was paranoid that I had done something wrong.

You're doing fine. Sometimes people just won't respond. Keep track of the Views counter to keep yourself from freaking out over that sort of thing.

Seriously, though, I read (literally) all of the LP threads, and the volume of responses that your Let's Play got before it really got started is not a good gauge for how many replies you can expect once things get rolling.

fanboymaster
08-21-2008, 10:22 PM
I realized that, I just didn't expect a near complete stop. I was tracking the views counter though, probably should have kept it to myself, whatever.

Gredlen
08-22-2008, 12:29 PM
This part of the game is pretty boring and I must've played through it three or four times before stopping shortly after. I'll probably catch up on what I missed in bigger chunks instead of following each update.
I'll definitely be paying closer attention when you get a little farther, though.

Brickroad
08-22-2008, 12:32 PM
This is one of those frustrating LPs because it's a game I actually know and love and care about but (and I would like to emphasize through no fault of fanboymaster's) I can't see the images at work. Which means invariably I will only get to the thread once a week or so when I remember to check Gamespite on the weekends.

But I'm watching. Invariably!

fanboymaster
08-25-2008, 05:43 AM
CHAPTER 3: Cross Cave and Skill Sets

So, ????, Rena, and Claude are all headed off to Cross Cave, or so the plot says. Screw that, we need some character breaking, stat. We'll be heading pretty far out of the way. Don't worry, I swear, some of you might not fall asleep before its over, those that don't shall have their brains so filled with esoteric references that they'll immediately start petitioning for my execustion on the grounds of having commited crimes against humor. I plead guilty in advance.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%203/SCUS_94421_25082008_030713_0141.jpg

AHA! After running halfway across the continent in the wrong direction (it was a very dumb and dumber moment, I felt like a moron, I don't want to talk about it, GET OFF MY BACK!) I finally reached the port of Herlie, this town isn't necessarily supposed to come into play until a few plot points later but let it never be thought that that was the point at all. I got the prize! Senibility 2! Containing the skill that must be invested in before all others for optimal skill point use. Perserverence. Aside from that, the trek yielded nothing of interest except the knowledge that bandits on Expel are even more pathetic than you could ever think possible.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%203/SCUS_94421_25082008_031157_0748.jpg

As a side note, I am also on the road to being able to pickpocket. This is the key to some fun that will be had later, but first, I'll need a fair amount of the green stuff. Feel free to ponder the irony of needing money to steal.

One boring trip later

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%203/SCUS_94421_25082008_031613_0598.jpg

The entry into Cross Cave prompts little in the way of actual cut-scenes. This dungeon is something that I probably should hate, except that it finally separates us from the interminable slog of opening story sequences. For this reason, I have learned to see it as something marvelous, rather then something to pad out the length of the game and introduce ????.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%203/SCUS_94421_25082008_031746_0298.jpg

Cross cave is home to many a treasure chest of modern looking construction. Either some game designer got lazy and decided he'd make his job easier by putting treasure chests in a cave instead of finding some more natural way of hiding items or we have staggering archealogical conclusions to come to grips with. I'd like to think it's the latter because then we might get Indiana Jones to somehow appear instead of Ernest, but this might also just be me sleep deprived mind making up crazy theories while my remaining brainpower is reserved for correcting the grievous typos that it's making (seriously, if this went unedited, it'd be illegible).

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%203/SCUS_94421_25082008_033454_0238.jpg

This is a strange image, mildly horrific in all its lo-res glory, we appear to be looking at a skeleton twice the size of every other character in the game next to a teddy bear. I'm really not sure what to make of this truly mortifying image. This entire dungeon is dotted with giant skeletons. Since they are all 2 to 3 times the size of every other character in the game, one can only assume that the skeletons represent a giant race that was either an evolutionary dead-end in a time where being tall was highly disadvantageous or, more morbidly still, the current people of Expel brutally wiped them out hundreds of years ago and nobody talks about it. As always, the implications are staggering either way.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%203/SCUS_94421_25082008_034100_0276.jpg

We come to a room with a giant rock, its glowing in such a way as to indicate that anyone who touches it will become the Incredible Hulk, none of the characters take advantage of this, nor do they seem to see anything unusual about this giant glowing rock. Commenting on it as though this "boulder" deserves no special mention despite its luminescent qualities.

???? shows that she still believes the map, which states the treasure room is just beyond here. Claude questions whether it could be a fake, several anime-esque emotes are exchanged until ???? changes the subject by asking how Rena can cast healing magic. Rena says that she has no idea how or why, she just can. ???? claims that in the "heraldic" arts there is no healing magic. Claude acts as though he understands this and agrees, this confused me as much as I'm sure it does you, dear readers.

???? grows annoyed, she payed a seemingly large sum of money to get this map. Rena suggests looking for another path, Claude asks for a look at the map. he notices that there's something faint written in the corner! Perhaps a spell! Excitement!

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%203/SCUS_94421_25082008_035739_0337.jpg

This spell seems designed to make green rocks less remarkable. The rock loses its luster and a hole is blown in the wall. One can only question how the heraldic arts have such a specific spell but no way of healing wounds.

Noticing the path, Our heroes are now happy to continue into the unexplored depths of Cross Cave.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%203/SCUS_94421_25082008_040252_0385.jpg

PLOT MCGUFFIN ACQUIRED! ???? comments that she can't read it and suggests taking it back to the village where she was born. An intriguing idea, however, in my quest to open chests, I stumble on an empty chest, immediately calling along some green gargoyle's. Luckily, these are hardly a challenge and they go down without much effort.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%203/SCUS_94421_25082008_041513_0411.jpg

Upon returning to the entrance to the cave, ???? shows her amazing powers of observation, having never clued in on the fact that Claude and Rena were investigating the Sorcery Globe. Rena extends the invitation for ???? to come along with them, shocking both ???? and Claude. ???? decides to stay on because it wouldn't be a JRPG if she seemed to have any will of her own. With that, we can get off of this quest and back to the game.

NEXT CHAPTER: ONWARD, TO CLIK!

Sorry about the lackluster chapter, I've been a tad depressed lately and staying up to write this wasn't helping matters. I hope you'll forgive it's overall lack of polish. I'll try to make a second update ready for friday because this didn't really cover much.

spineshark
08-25-2008, 06:18 AM
The random and avoidable booby-trapped chest in Cross Cave is pretty much the only amusing thing about the place.

fanboymaster
08-25-2008, 06:20 AM
Even at that, Cross Cave is like an oasis of gameplay in the desert of crappy opening story segments.

fanboymaster
09-01-2008, 03:47 PM
I'm so so sorry. I really wanted to get the update done, but I've had a lot more on my plate lately. Most of my time has been taken up with thorough house cleaning and getting ready for my senior year of high school. I would have just said "screw it" and taken time out of my sleep schedule like I was before, but I have to be getting back into a school schedule and schooling doesn't go well when I'm in the habit of going to sleep at 3 a.m and waking up at 5:30.

TL:DR I'm really sorry, I didn't intend to miss an update, especially after last week's lackluster one. Please forgive me, I'll try to make up for it next week.

Gamgee
09-03-2008, 09:14 AM
I used to own this game, but traded it in during the stupid period of my youth. Ironically enough, I never got farther than the Cross Cave section and so I'm dying to see what happens next.

I do remember the game being fun for a time, but I think I just enjoyed the fact that every inn and restaurant and shop had its own unique name.

But no worries, if housework and school is tying you down. I can wait for the update!

Falselogic
09-08-2008, 02:08 PM
I'm confused, this game has a guy with two dragons or serpents on his back right? I thought that was the Star Ocean I played... The one where I got half way through it and then the story wouldnt progress no matter what I did... I stopped playing convinced that the game had a bug that made it unbeatable after a certain point... If it hadn't happened so many years ago I might be able to better describe the point in the game I got to...

If this isn'tthat game, I'll shut up and go back to enjoying this game sans comments...

Falselogic
09-08-2008, 02:10 PM
schooling doesn't go well when I'm in the habit of going to sleep at 3 a.m and waking up at 5:30.

Where are you going to school where you have to get up at 5:30AM?!

So glad I'm done with school, though I miss all the freetime...

No worries we're a patient bunch, I mean most of us are still waiting for Duke Nukem Forever... :P

Coinspinner
09-08-2008, 02:12 PM
That's not normal? I got up that early for high school since class started at 7:00 AM. I got up earlier than that for college since I usually had classes at 6:00 AM.

I'm confused, this game has a guy with two dragons or serpents on his back right? I thought that was the Star Ocean I played... The one where I got half way through it and then the story wouldnt progress no matter what I did... I stopped playing convinced that the game had a bug that made it unbeatable after a certain point... If it hadn't happened so many years ago I might be able to better describe the point in the game I got to...

If this isn'tthat game, I'll shut up and go back to enjoying this game sans comments...

That would be Ashton. Yes, this is the one. I've never heard of a bug making it unbeatable though.

Falselogic
09-08-2008, 02:20 PM
ok lets not hi-jack the thread but school started at 7:30 am and I never needed to get up earlier than 30 min before it started sometimes only 20.. to ctach the bus and be there on time... and college? I didnt take classes that started earlier than 9am

fanboymaster
09-08-2008, 02:50 PM
I'll answer both your questions, feel free to threadjack away, the update may be delayed until tomorrow but I promise you all that it will be done by the end of tomorrow.

As for your question, the second disc opens up the game structure considerably, with the game telling you to go to 4 different locations and making a recommendation on where to go first but not forcing you in any way. You probably missed one of the 4 dungeons at some point. I've never heard of the game breaking like that.

As for the 5:30 A.M. thing, it's an early morning religious class (more specifically, study of the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants over the course of 4 years, moving from Old Testament to New Testament to Book of Mormon to Doctrine and Covenants). It starts at 6 so as not to interrupt people's normal classes. This is even more off-topic, but oh well.

fanboymaster
09-30-2008, 01:32 PM
Man... I fucking suck.

Good news though, I've finally stopped being a lazy bastard and am starting into an actual schedule again, expect some hot fresh SO2 LP this Monday.

Falselogic
09-30-2008, 03:20 PM
Looking forward to seeing this thread move forward! Will it finish just in time for all of us to go out and buy the remake of this game for the PSP

fanboymaster
09-30-2008, 05:40 PM
Count yourselves lucky if I manage to finish before January 9th.

fanboymaster
10-06-2008, 08:20 PM
Okay, dumbest ass excuse ever, I sat down to write the last part of the update and compile the pictures and found myself asleep. I know, it's annoying and stupid, I'll do my best to make sure it doesn't happen again, but I'm getting more and more tired these days.

fanboymaster
10-07-2008, 10:10 PM
So, my worst joke ever aside (I considered changing the title to Chinese Democracy), this is where we head to the next plot point, a seaside city called Clik. This is in spite of the fact that we just mucked around in a cave to find writings in a language we don't understand but happen to know a place that can translate them in the direction opposite of that which we are heading in, no, it doesn't make sense to me either. Not much to remark about on the trip, I made this same trek last time, it wasn't worth talking about then, and it hasn't gotten more interesting, it's just something that should be mentioned.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%204/SCUS_94421_08092008_015459_0865.jpg

Before we do anything else though, I have to set myself up for indescribable torture, since the consequences of this won't show up for many updates, I'll just spell it out.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%204/SCUS_94421_08092008_020120_0471.jpg

I split the party up, PAs can't happen otherwise. Given that they are Private Actions this should have been obvious, but I like insulting your intelligence.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%204/SCUS_94421_08092008_020335_0809.jpg

Fillia is yelling at random passersby that this town is headed for destruction, she says nothing about God's vengeance though se we can probably write off the idea that she's a crazy street preacher. Despite having been in the vicinity, Rena asks Claude and ???? what's going on, they respond that someone has been shouting about the town's destruction. She screams a bit more about death and destruction while people walk away saying it'll never happen and that she might be mentally ill.

As I said though, I'll spell it out since it will be near the end of the game before this matters again, I've just opened up the path to making the final boss (let's call him John Doe) infinitely harder, ya see, there's a second PA that opens up in a city we haven't seen yet after you save at the last save point before the final boss. You have to know about this or be the sort ot irrationally leave the final dungeon just before the game ends. When you do this PA, John Doe becomes infinitely stronger, raising from around level 90 to around level 250, commonly nicknamed "Infinite John Doe". He is a pain in the ass. Just keep in mind that I did it all for you. You sweet, beautiful reader.

With that accomplished, we leave Clik and return because, for whatever reason, the party can't be regrouped without leaving town.

After entering town, Rena's group makes a beeline for the ship in port. The captain demands a passport, though oddly no money. Also, this boat doesn't look like a boat normally used for passengers. I assume that he actually makes his money smuggling human beings to other continents and then selling their passports to people that look like them. More likely, I've gone crazy and am desperate for a joke.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%204/SCUS_94421_07102008_193801_0162.jpg

fanboymaster
10-07-2008, 10:11 PM
The captain shows shock and awe at the fact that we actually have a passport, I guess he was all ready to send us on a fetch quest, I think he's crying inside at his missed opportunity. He expresses shock that the passport came from the king directly, obviously having never met him or seen him enough to realize that he doesn't seem to have anything better to do.

The rest of the conversation unfolds in a dull fashion, maybe it's the malaise I've been feeling, but I'm having trouble making jokes when all I'm given to work with is "go see the sights while we get our shit together" (oh how I wish that was actual dialogue). My bitching aside, the group takes Captain's advice and heads out for a day on the town.

Making sure to make the most of her time, Rena elects to sit on a bench rather then do anything involving something unique to the town, this girl sure knows how to spend an adventure. Just as this exciting plan is being put into action though, a brat with blue hair knocks her over, as Claude begins to fune and prove himself and old man at heart lo and behold it is shown that the little twit is a pickpocket. Thus facilitating another fetch quest!

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%204/SCUS_94421_07102008_195154_0349.jpg

(The scene just after the pickpocketing)

As a side note, I didn't get a screen before it stopped, but Claude had the most ridiculous reaction I've ever seen in a game when he finds out Rena's purse was stolen, he does this odd sort of mid-air dance like he's some sort of marionette, it was hysterical.

Let the fetch quest begin, COMMENCE WANDERING!

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%204/SCUS_94421_07102008_195821_0176.jpg

It's wonderful that such intriguing information can be offered.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%204/SCUS_94421_07102008_200015_0392.jpg

So, he doesn't have friends. I feel like there's a reference I want to make.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%204/SCUS_94421_07102008_200405_0126.jpg

He's a loser baby, so why don't we kill him (I feel like I should apologize for every bad joke, this LP will age as well as a Dreamworks film or episode of Family Guy)

fanboymaster
10-07-2008, 10:14 PM
Now that we know where he is, he appears, perhaps he has some sort of Predator-like cloaking device that only works if people don't already know where he is. Makes about as much sense as any explanation.

Claude, eager to get this done with, grabs the child and demands the purse back (strangely, Rena referred to it as a purse in the previous exchange, but Claude refers to it as a wallet in this scene, feel free to be confused as to whether I misread or if the game's just reusing a scene word for word between characters).

What follows is a truly idiotic display of emotion icons, nervous sweat flies from the child and Claude works up a storm of anger clouds as he fails miserably to intimidate a child.

After Rena uses a softer approach the kid becomes more willing to respond, he immediately shows himself to be a pampered rich child as he is surprised that people could trave on such a small amount of money. I'll say right here that, for whatever reason, this kid pisses me off more then a bit character in an RPG ought to. Feel free to ignore the nearly continuous vitriol.

Claude's anger clouds frighten the kid and he starts to stutter, Rena tells him to knock it off and questions why he took it, the child responds with the patently idiotic "I wanted to surprise everyone". Theft, for the money, or an idiot's cry for attention? He then outlines the reasoning that, apparently, if he could pickpocket a stranger, it proves that he's not just "some rich kid, [he] can do anything". My rage continues to burn.

The kid continues that people call him "rich kid" and other kids won't play with him, this seems unrealistic, but hell if the designers let that keep them from tackling bullying as a topic. Claude has the idea that, as "punishment", he has to give them a tour of Clik, because that's exactly what I want to do, spend time with this twit.

The kid finally gets introduced as Ketil, feel free to berate me for failing to have the foresight to rename someone Pot. I'm quite ashamed really.

As I eagerly head to take Ketil to the other kids so I can get rid of him, the rumblings of an earthquake begin, this town being (seemingly) full of complete idiots, not an eyebrow is raised.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%204/SCUS_94421_07102008_202413_0029.jpg

In an effort to improve Ketil's life, the party talks to some of the other kids playing near the ships. Ketil run's off, warding off being actively ostracized, by passively allowing himself to be ostracized. I can't be the only one that sees a flaw in this plan. Rena attempt to convince the kids in a manner not dissimilar to an advertisement, she'll likely never have the success of the Micro Machines Man though.

The kids claim they don't play with rich kids, going so far as to claim they are parentally mandated to not play with rich kids. After a couple seconds of deliberaion, the children decide to throw out their idiocy and we get Ketil off our hands.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%204/SCUS_94421_07102008_204414_0488.jpg

fanboymaster
10-07-2008, 10:16 PM
Finally, the earthquake threat comes to fruition. Our party heroically loses its collective shit and runs without helping the people obviously in need. I can't tell whether I find this amusing or horrible.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%204/SCUS_94421_07102008_204538_0324.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%204/SCUS_94421_07102008_204542_0490.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%204/SCUS_94421_07102008_204547_0602.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%204/SCUS_94421_07102008_204555_0205.jpg

Wow, how destructive.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%204/SCUS_94421_07102008_204621_0521.jpg

Yes, that's the tragedy here, your crepe stand, forget about human life.

A quick chat with the captain reveals that we can still get to El, it'll just take a great deal longer and be a painful ordeal for all involved. He gives us back the passport and instructs us to go to a completely different continent and cross to El from there. A long side trek in Lacour isn't inconvenient at all!

fanboymaster
10-07-2008, 10:18 PM
http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%204/SCUS_94421_07102008_205108_0183.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%204/SCUS_94421_07102008_205113_0447.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%204/SCUS_94421_07102008_205118_0844.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%204/SCUS_94421_07102008_205123_0972.jpg

Wow, that's pretty rough, a quick survey shows 15 survivors, at least one of Ketil's new friends appears to be dead. We have no time to survey the losses in full though, we need to get to El. With that, we close the book on this lackluster LP update and look forward to Greener pastures as we stop off in the home city of ????, Mars.

Coinspinner
10-08-2008, 10:59 AM
Man, I just can't not pick the lunatic woman's pockets. Or rather, I can't not pick every pocket in sight.

I love pickpocketing; I always start over until the main character has Dexterity. Every NPC is a treasure chest, hooray!

Elfir
10-08-2008, 11:03 AM
Man, I just can't not pick the lunatic woman's pockets. Or rather, I can't not pick every pocket in sight.

I love pickpocketing; I always start over until the main character has Dexterity. Every NPC is a treasure chest, hooray!

I know! And her item is awesome. Free crap every two seconds for the REST OF THE GAME!

spineshark
10-08-2008, 12:05 PM
He's a loser baby, so why don't we kill him (I feel like I should apologize for every bad joke, this LP will age as well as a Dreamworks film or episode of Family Guy)
This one is so old though, I'm not sure it can actually get any worse. The best thing about LP's anyway is that someone can always do it again, and it'll be way different.
As I said though, I'll spell it out since it will be near the end of the game before this matters again, I've just opened up the path to making the final boss (let's call him John Doe) infinitely harder, ya see, there's a second PA that opens up in a city we haven't seen yet after you save at the last save point before the final boss. You have to know about this or be the sort ot irrationally leave the final dungeon just before the game ends. When you do this PA, John Doe becomes infinitely stronger, raising from around level 90 to around level 250, commonly nicknamed "Infinite John Doe". He is a pain in the ass. Just keep in mind that I did it all for you. You sweet, beautiful reader.
I opened this up on my file a long time ago, but haven't managed to divine how to last even a couple of seconds. I need more work is all, since I also get owned in about 10 seconds by the Evil Melody.

fanboymaster
10-13-2008, 10:01 PM
Okay, truth time. I was on a trip for most of the weekend and sick as a dog today. Hopefully I'll be feeling better tomorrow. Even if I'm not, I'll hammer out an update. I must stress again, it's all for you, you sweet beautiful reader.

Pajaro Pete
10-19-2008, 03:23 PM
Everything about the Mars Village sequence sucks, it should have been optional.

fanboymaster
10-23-2008, 04:23 PM
Sorry, got distracted, been playing Innocent Sin. As a consolation prize. Here's your

Tri-Ace Related Mid-Week Update! First Departure Spectacular!

So, Star Ocean: First Departure came out a few days ago, and I thought I'd list some impressions. I've only played the first 7-8 hours, but I'm liking it a lot more then Till the End of Time, which always felt too dissimilar to SO2 for my tastes. If you read the review for this game in EGM, you should know that my sentiments echo his, it feels like what I wanted from a sequel to SO2 in prequel form. I can't compare it to the original version, but I can say that it looks like it fell out of an alternate history where it was released either just before or just after SO2. A word of warning, if you dislike missing things, pick up a guide. I've already permanently missed out on 3 characters by my various choices.

In essence, the game looks and plays very similarly to SO2. The translation and VA are a lot better (an odd quirk, the game flagrantly says the main character's name in the voice acting, regardless of what you name him). The combat system is pretty near identical. The game's only major character connection to SO2 is Ronixis Kenni (possibly renamed, or perhaps just nicknamed, as Ronyx) who's one of four required characters, similar to SO2 you have 8 character slots, since 4 of those are filled automatically, you have to pick between the remaining 8 optional characters. The recruitment methods can be similarly esoteric though, and there is at least one character who will permanently leave your party if you choose to take another later on.

Overall, the game is excellent, and this bodes very well for Star Ocean: Second Evolution, which comes to NA on January 9th if memory serves. My recommendation, if you have a PSP, pick it up, it really is a gem of a JRPG.

spineshark
10-24-2008, 12:24 AM
The visual makeover disgusts me, but the improvements sound ace; I know when I get my own PSP I'll definitely be all over this one.

The original character designs were vastly better than this Tales-lite stuff, and the screenshots I've seen of FD make it look a lot brighter. The SNES version was less colorful, with a lot of blue especially as I recall, and I felt it fit the tone of the game really well. Graphics and plot are something that can make a game better for me but not really worse though, so I'll be able to overlook it.

fanboymaster
01-05-2009, 04:07 PM
Pseudo-attention whoring AWAY! So... yeah, this is utterly unacceptable, I can't let this go on, it's big on my list of things "to-do" to get this back up and running because every time I come to TT I feel like I've done something horrible by abandoning it. That being said, my time has gotten even more limited, however, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. All 1 and 1/2 of you that are somehow still interested despite my dreadful time-management will be getting updates starting January 26th. The only significance that day holds is that it's the first Monday after the release of "Star Ocean: Second Evolution". Seems as good a time as any, especially since my workload is supposed to start clearing up again, I can hammer out a few upadates in the intervening weeks and then not have to worry so much about scheduling my time. Hopefully someone still cares, as much as I'm worthy of doubts for my continuous complete mismanagement of this entire endeavor, I'll try to live up to it for once.

Indalecio
01-05-2009, 06:49 PM
Surprised I didn't notice this thread sooner. I'd like to see more updates, and is it too late to vote for Opera?

Walla-wallas all the wicked people

fanboymaster
01-23-2009, 01:53 PM
So, updates are on track, you'll be seeing one this Monday.

This post is really more to point out that Second Evolution is out now and point out some of the more salient aspects.

It hasn't been as heavily remade as First Departure, they put in character portraits for certain characters speeches and there's voice acting for important scenes now. Luckily, this might mean the end of suffering through some of the worst noises ever to be considered "battle cries". The retranslation also reads a lot better, with characters now sounding like their talking rather then reading dialogue. Overall, those two things are enough to make it a significant improvement. There's one new character (if the internet is to be believed) and sadly, all existing character lockouts remain, no Ashton and Opera dream team :Sad Face:. Overall, definitely not as extensive a remake as First Departure, but not really worse off for it since First Departure's remade aspects seem to have been designed to put it closer to SO2.

fanboymaster
01-26-2009, 03:30 AM
Well, that was... too long to go without an update. I'll try not to let it happen again, but sadly, I'm an unreliable dullard by nature. Now, when last we left off Rena & co. had decided to make a pit stop in the city of Mars. Before that though, a brief explanation on something some people mentioned. Yes, I didn't pickpocket the Mischief and I'll say why right now. It feels like cheating. The other exploits I'll employ involve gaming the system in a way that, to me, feels less like cheating. Whatever, my key problem isn't just the item giving, but what I would be expected to do with the items it gives. It occasionally gives an item called the "Forged Medal" (if you wait long enough, the chances of getting it would obviously approach 1). The "Forged Medal" has the effect of lowering the experience required to gain the next level to 1 for whoever uses it. While its effect is one time, the duplication skill set makes it easy to gain levels rapidly, capping out at 100. I won't say I'd never utilize it. I intend to during my run on Second Evolution simply so I can get through quickly. However, this run won't be using it. There, I've made my peace. Perhaps I should have left this up to you, dear readers, but this is unchangeable now, once Clik is destroyed, it's irretrievable.

So, again. Sorry for the over-long hiatus. I'd call it a series break if I were British, but I'm not, and I don't think I can justify Sam & Max length seasons either. Whatever, I fucked up royally, it's out there, done.

Sorry, lost track again, so back to Mars.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%205/SCUS_94421_26012009_005045_0519.jpg

Weird, doesn't seem that red. Half-hearted jokes aside, we'll get our first glimpse at Dias fighting prowess. So you shall see dear reader.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%205/SCUS_94421_26012009_005357_0536.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%205/SCUS_94421_26012009_005555_0097.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%205/SCUS_94421_26012009_005610_0903.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%205/SCUS_94421_26012009_005622_0613.jpg

Pretty small, there's a forest around as well, but that's for later dear reader. Little to be said here.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%205/SCUS_94421_26012009_012325_0319.jpg

So, ???? seems to have never told her companions where she came from as Rena is surprised to here ????'s mother and father are here. Claude remarks, without a trace of a joke "So, ????, you're from Mars". The party is invited to sit down as the Village Elder proclaims this to be the worst situation in the history of Mars! ???? reminds him that exclamations like that don't mean anything to us because "we don't know everything" I personally would replace the "everything" in that sentence with anything, but whatever.

????'s father Eglas says that two nights ago, all the children in the village disappeared, before a search party could be formed, the Elder of the village returned from the Heraldry forest having been given a list of demands from the group of bandits apparently behind the kidnapping. Given that nobody heard or saw them, I would assume that they were less bandits then Ninjas, but this is unlikely to be adressed. The ransom they desire is as follows: 500,000 Fol and a book of sacred Heraldic Arts. The villagers proceed to remark that it's troubling that they were able to get into the Heraldry Forest as there are supposed to be spells to keep evil people from entering. The conclusion that the leader of the bandits must be a powerful heraldic wizard. Sadly, nobody clues in to the fact that the only person who actually saw the bandits is a heraldic wizard of considerable power.

Further elaboration explains that the heraldic forest contains a place for wizards-in-training to stay. This wouldn't be a problem, if it weren't for the fact that it apparently is also a ready made fortress. Because of course it is.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%205/SCUS_94421_26012009_012325_0319.jpg

JRPGs being the land of contrived coincidences, we find that a master swordsman happened to be wandering this part of the world. Perfect. it happens to be Dias "Jon Everybishonen" Flac. He accepted this mercenary work as a chance to prepare for the "Lacour Tournament of Arms" (A tournament, could it be that someone in the party will be entering?)

This is one of the few places that which character we're playing as has had any effect. Playing as Claude means fighting through with ????, playing as Rena means breezing through with Dias.

Before it's decided that Dias will be leading this expedition, the elder points out that he'd rather that someone they know and trust fought, thus, ???? suggests that she Claude and Rena do it. Dias says he doesn't care but that they shouldn't blame him if ???? gets somebody killed.

After a few more insults Dias leaves for the inn.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%205/SCUS_94421_26012009_013211_0230.jpg

After ???? advises them not to hire Dias, the scene fades to black.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%205/SCUS_94421_26012009_013602_0830.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%205/SCUS_94421_26012009_013609_0029.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%205/SCUS_94421_26012009_013618_0234.jpg

Rena's conversation makes it clear that it was ultimately decided that Dias should be hired. She then proceeds to ask Dias to join our party, no such luck, obviously. He proceeds to take the opportunity to insult the current party again. He's kind of a dick in case the long white hair and nickname of "Jon Everybishonen" didn't clue you in to what stereotype he was following. Fade to black again.

Crap, my screen capture habit leaves me for a minute and I fail to get a single shot of this next scene, suffice it to say that it's just some pleasentries between ????, Claude and, Rena. ???? asks if the only reason Rena wants to be with Dias is to talk to an old friend etc. Again, a freaking fade to black, why the devs suddenly became so fond of this is beyond me.

Cue another conversation with Dias where Rena proceeds to ask Dias why he's so rude, then, when Dias doesn't answer, launch into the traditional JRPG/Anime lecture about how friendship is real strength, not the ability to cut monsters up real nice.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%205/SCUS_94421_26012009_014442_0786.jpg

Dias just tells her to stop preaching and that she's become a smart alleck. (Such a kind man, truly a hero for the ages). Rena says she's grown from the little girl he used to know, to which he responds by saying that it was only two years ago. Responding with "Oh... yeah" Rena acts embarrassed (or diseased, skin that red isn't healthy, even for blushing). Dias decides to stop being a dick and says that since "it's a request from [his] other 'little sister'" he should honer it. However, if Claude and ???? act like millstones, he's leaving. Rena leaves the inn with a musical note in her thoughts.

Back at the Elder's house though, Rena's compatriots let their jerkass sides show and make a veto on the "Dias comes with us" idea.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%205/SCUS_94421_26012009_015340_0097.jpg

Rena is understandably upset and runs back to the inn proclaiming that Claude may not need Dias, but she does and that she'll go with him.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll186/fanboymaster/Chapter%205/SCUS_94421_26012009_015534_0462.jpg

Dias is able to tell without looking that things didn't go as planned. Dias, sensing that Rena won't be taking no for an answer, decides it best to give up now. So our heroes have separated and we prepare for the assault on the Heraldry forest bandits. What horrors await them? We'll soon see, if by soon you mean a week.

Would have liked to have done more, but... I was a bit lazy and decided to split it up here. See ya next monday for another installment. I'll try to make them a bit more meaty.

EDIT: I went back and corrected some grievous factual errors about the forged medal (Second Evolution calls it the "Counterfeit Medal"). I never used the trick more then once years back, so chalk up the memory failure to a generally poor memory and tiredness. Also, for those interested in using this trick in Second Evolution, realize that the "Mischief" is now the "Sprite's Bracelet".

fanboymaster
01-26-2009, 03:35 AM
Sorry for the low quality (I seem to be making a habit of that phrase, don't I). I really think it suffered for being a "back in the saddle" update. Nevertheless, it's only up from here, I'd like to think.

Anybody else pick up Second Evolution? Spike Spencer (best known as the VA for Shinji Ikari) does a much better job then the guy for this version.

kaisel
01-26-2009, 10:14 AM
Sorry for the low quality (I seem to be making a habit of that phrase, don't I). I really think it suffered for being a "back in the saddle" update. Nevertheless, it's only up from here, I'd like to think.

Anybody else pick up Second Evolution? Spike Spencer (best known as the VA for Shinji Ikari) does a much better job then the guy for this version.

I've thought about picking it up, but if it's not massively changed from the PS1 version, voice acting aside, though playing a non-buggy Cave of Trials or whatever it was called might be worth it when I have a little more money... I did pick up First Departure and was pleasantly surprised, aside from all the character locking.

rockintomordor
01-26-2009, 05:26 PM
Man, I totally could've sworn Dias had hair that was much more blue than that. Or at least he did in the crappily drawn art in the manual (why was it sooo bad?)

Oathbreaker
01-26-2009, 05:41 PM
I've thought about picking it up, but if it's not massively changed from the PS1 version, voice acting aside, though playing a non-buggy Cave of Trials or whatever it was called might be worth it when I have a little more money... I did pick up First Departure and was pleasantly surprised, aside from all the character locking.

Eh, was the CoT buggy? I don't remember it like that, and the last time I played the game I spent a good 10 hours or so in there. I love me my Star Ocean 2

Man, I totally could've sworn Dias had hair that was much more blue than that. Or at least he did in the crappily drawn art in the manual (why was it sooo bad?)

It's no worse than P3's anime cutscenes. And yes, Dias' hair was much much more blue in the manual... I prefer the color in-game though. It's prettier.

fanboymaster, I salute you for not letting this LP die. /salute

Indalecio
01-26-2009, 06:29 PM
Eh, was the CoT buggy? I don't remember it like that, and the last time I played the game I spent a good 10 hours or so in there. I love me my Star Ocean 2


It was a little bit, if I recall. It would rarely freeze when fighting some bosses, I think.

kaisel
01-26-2009, 06:51 PM
Eh, was the CoT buggy? I don't remember it like that, and the last time I played the game I spent a good 10 hours or so in there.

I had it freeze in there a few times, not enough to make me give up, but enough times (after getting good treasure and all) to piss me off. I think it happened once in battle, and a couple of times just running around the dungeon.

rockintomordor
01-27-2009, 08:28 AM
fanboymaster, I salute you for not letting this LP die. /salute

I second this salute.

fanboymaster
01-27-2009, 08:56 AM
A quick update because it's a skill that's been mentioned but never explained to my satisfaction. No pictures again, my apologies.

Pickpocketing is a rather unique aspect in Star Ocean. A useful skill set to be sure, but if the player isn't planning for it early, a perhaps prohibitively expensive one. I remembered too late myself some of the keys to this grand art, and had to replay the first 6 hours of Second Evolution (2-3 of those hours were level grinding). The keys to this art are: The Dexterity/Nimble Fingers talent, the Poker Face skill, the Courage Skill and, the Thieve's Gloves. I'll elaborate in that order.

The talent system is simultaneously a great and annoying aspect of SO2. Talents are either innate or learned. To earn new talents, the player simply needs to use their associated skills. This confers the talent after a while and gives the player an extra 100 skill points, a nice deal. The problem is that, without the associated talent, the odds of success at any given specialty are (depending on the skill) 1 in 10 to (for pickpocketing) 1 in 100. If you don't start with the Dexterity/Nimble Fingers talent, it's nearly impossible to steal the Mischief/Sprite's Bracelet because the skill sets that can actually give you the talent are on the other continent, inaccessible until after Clik/Kurick is destroyed.

The Poker Face and Courage skills are pretty simple, IIRC they come with the Sensiblility/Sense skills you should already have purchased immediately and are relatively cheap to get to higher levels.

The real pain here (aside from restarting the game until you have the Dexterity/Nimble Fingers talent) and where my 3 hours of grinding came from is getting the scratch to buy a Thieve's Glove, they cost 40,000 Fol, a frankly ridiculous sum of money early in the game. I don't really know of any "fast" solutions, but relative to most, grinding in a specific spot I'll show later in the LP is probably your best bet, it's a mountain path west of Cross/Krosse.

After all that, there are 2 places in particular that you should never forget to pickpocket and these are ones that must be successful. The first is the Mischief/Sprite's Bracelet, as previously mentioned. The other is in Mars village, an item called the Treasure Chest/Goodie Box. One of a kind, this item will give 3 random items for free, why does this matter if you already have the Mischief, you ask? Simply because the Goodie Box draws from a much larger, much better pool of items. If you can wait on getting Claude a far-too-powerful sword until after the Lacour/Lacuer tournament of arms, there's only one or two different items you must save and reload until you get. The Sorcerer's Knuckles (+1000 attack, +200 magic, - 1/3 spell costs) for Rena are one of (if not the) best weapons for her and can be acquired via the Goodie Box. the other thing you may want to worry about getting is the Tri-Emblem, which is more useful in the original version because of the nice elemental defenses it offers which are largely stripped in Second Evolution.

Sorry for the wall of text, I didn't mean to turn this into a FAQ, but I can't help but want to explain these aspects, if further explanation is required and for whatever reason you'd rather here my scatterbrained attempts at explanation, feel free to ask.

Oathbreaker
01-27-2009, 01:35 PM
In the PS1 version, the desert past the mountain path have monsters that drop Orichulum and Damascus. That stuff sells insanely high, so saving goes a lot faster if you get a bunch and sell them. The monsters aren't that hard to beat once you've been grinding in the mountain path for about 20-30 minutes (to my memory anyway, I might be wrong- but Claude alone can take out all of the fat worm-looking things without ever getting hit because they're so slow). Did they take that little tidbit out of Second Evolution? Or maybe I'm just too willing to spend hours and hours doing things that no sane person would do in a video game... like get Claude's Killer Moves or whatever to 999 uses as I get them. And restarting until my main character literally has a blank talent page, except Rena who always has the Mana thing.

Hm, is it too late to request demand something for later in the game like having one of Dias' Killer Moves permanently being Air Slash? Assuming you use him, that is.

Rosencrantz
01-27-2009, 01:42 PM
There's a Skill you can buy early on that gives you money (and nothing else) every time you upgrade it. If you max it out, you will have earned a total of 100,000. I've only done this on the PSP version, but I discovered it in a FAQ for the PS1 version, so it should work the same way. Just have a character who you're not going to use later in the game max it out.

fanboymaster
01-27-2009, 02:09 PM
Bit late on that, process is done for both versions. I guess I should have explored beyond the mountain path but I was getting decent money there and didn't feel like putting effort into it when I could just grind without thinking while doing something marginally more interesting, good advice though. I personally prefer not to put so much in the way of skill points into it either. You have to monitor what that skill gives you anyway Rosencrantz, if its the skill I'm thinking of, you need to make sure it gives you at least to Mithrils before it maxes out or you have to wait a lot longer to get the Eternal Sphere.

Dias is likely to be a member of the fighting team more often then not. Air Slash for him is one of his best killer moves though, so the odds of just not using it are slim.

fanboymaster
01-29-2009, 08:27 AM
Apologies to Rosencrantz. He was right and I wrong. I had put together two skills in my mind. There is a skill that just drops items from a pool into your inventory, but it isn't the same as the skill that just gives a bunch of money.

Rosencrantz
01-29-2009, 09:30 AM
Don't worry about it.

I've got a question: is Effort worth it? The skill itself just seems to give you experience points, but I heard that the ability it unlocks (forget the name) lets you get an EXP boost in battle. Is that worthwhile? How big of a boost can you get?

fanboymaster
01-29-2009, 10:23 AM
As I've outlined before, train and effort are worth it. I'll post it again here if you'd like. Also of note, the super specialty enlightenment is well worth it, it's associated with train and vastly increases the amount of skill points gained per level.

Coinspinner
01-29-2009, 05:07 PM
Comprehension can also lower the amount of SP earned per level. Unless the super specialty is high level (or I want to savescum) I leave it off.