*Star Ocean: The Last Hope Board FAQ 1.0 READ BEFORE POSTING*

#1RpgmonkeyPosted 2/23/2009 8:49:07 PMmessage detail
...even though I know no one will anyway. ;_;

(It's skimpy and weak now, give it time to build and get refined as more common questions pop up soon!)

Read this people. Some of it's basically all ripped from the guide I'm making, but it's fairly detailed and I added some junk to make it a proper FAQ. Plus you get a taste and I get free suggestions! No the goofy titles are not in the guide.

This is for Star Ocean: The Last Hope, also known as "Star Ocean 4", a Japanese Role-Playing RPG that's (at least currently) exclusive to the Xbox 360 game system.

Taking place a few years before the past era of Star Ocean 1 (thus making it a prequel to every Star Ocean game to date), you play the role of Edge Maverick as he journeys throughout space to find a new home for Earthlings after World War III turns the Earth to...well, crap. You meet various enemies and allies along the way, and it becomes a journey to save the universe!

Japanese release: February 19, 2009
North American release: February 24, 2009
European release: April 24, 2009

Websites:

Japanese site - www.eternalsphere.com/so4
North American site - na.square-enix.com/starocean/

1. GAMEPLAY
A. What's the Battle System like?
B. So...Combo linking and Instant Cast?
C. How 'bout that Rush Gauge?
D. Blindsides sound cool!
E. The Bonus System is back?
F. I hope Skills come back
G. Move to your own BEAT
I. I like making a Collection
J. Quests?
K. Private Actions and Relationships are back...right?
L. I know Item Creation is in
2. CHARACTERS
A. Edge Maverick
B. Reimi Saionji
C. Faize Sheifa Beleth
D. Lymle Lemuri Phi
E. Bacchus D-79
F. Meracle Chamlotte
G. Myuria Tionysus
H. Arumat P. Thanatos
I. Sarah Jerand
3. Are there Japanese voices?
4. I heard there are CG portraits in place of the Anime ones for the English version. Is this true, and can I switch?
5. How many discs are there? Do I really have to switch back to play other areas? Does the HDD install fix this?
6. Do I have to play other Star Ocean games to understand this?
7. Is installing the game to the hard drive needed?
8. Does this have anything to do with Star Ocean 3's plot twist?
9. Should I get this or Tales of Vesperia?
10. What are other tri-Ace/Star Ocean games?
11. Is there bonus content? *SUPAH SPOILERS*
12. About Faize/Crowe *SUPAH SPOILERS*


1. GAMEPLAY

A. What's the Battle System like?

Star Ocean: The Last Hope is an Action-RPG, like previous games in the Star Ocean series. This means that unlike say, Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, all actions occur in real time with no wait times or pauses between the action. As you fight spells can go off, your party members can fight, and enemies can fight all at the same time, there is no charge or wait time between all this.

Similar to Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (SO3), enemies are visible on the field and can be avoided. Like Star Ocean's cousin series, "Tales Of", battles occur on a separate area from where you were exploring. Returning from Star Ocean 1 and 2 is a four-character party within battle. During battle you control one character, and the rest are controlled by an AI system that you can customize somewhat so the AI prioritizes different things, like linking combos or healing.

Within battle you have basic things for the buttons like attacking, opening the menu, and jumping. There are buttons to switch control to another character on the fly and all that. Through the menu you can access items, change your party within battle (new feature to the series), change equipment or skills, etc.
#2Rpgmonkey(Topic Creator)Posted 2/23/2009 8:50:28 PMmessage detail
(Cont.)

Each party member has HP, MP, and a Rush Gauge. HP is your Health Points. It decreases from being hit by the enemy's attacks, and it can be recovered through items, skills, spells, or resting at various places. If it reaches 0, that character is unconscious and unless revived in or out of battle they won't be able to fight. MP is your Mental Points. It decreases as you use skills or spells, which consume MP (yes MP kill haters, there is no MP kill in SO4), and it's also recovered by items or resting at various places. The Rush gauge is a different mechanic and will be explained later.

B. So...Combo linking and Instant Cast?

A feature returning from Star Ocean 3 is combo linking and the combo bonus. You can set up to six skills or Symbology (spells) to the Left and Right triggers (three per trigger). Pressing these buttons uses the skills, and as you may have figured out pressing them in quick succession goes down the order you set them to (#1 goes off first, press it again and #2 goes off, press it gain and #3 goes off). You don't have to do a LT->RT->LT->RT order either, you're free to press RT three times to use all three skills/spells you set to the RT, or press LT twice for two of your three set skills/spells, then press RT for the first RT skill/spell, then press LT, then press RT twice for all six. The buttons go in order of when that button was pressed, not in order of the skills used.

After doing a basic attack you can link a skill to it by pressing one of the triggers with the skill on it after the attack(s), adding more hits and more damage. If you link combos together, you get an increase to the amount of damage done by the attack. So if you do a basic attack, then link a skill to it, you get a 150% bonus, which means the skill will do 1.5 times more damage. The more linking you do the more the bonus goes up (to a certain limit). This helps to encourage you to link skills so you can not only link more attacks, but so you can do more damage. The increased number of skills you can set can be used to your advantage to work in skills that link together best to get the highest damage and/or combo possible, so I recommend trying to play around with your skills.

Instant Cast is a new feature to SO4. Like in Star Ocean 3, Symbology can be set to skill buttons, so you can link them together, for the same combo bonuses that melee skills would give. Spells, like a couple of (J)RPG series out there, have a short or somewhat long casting time before the spell goes off. The difference here is that as you link skills, eventually you'll get zero casting time between them, allowing you to cast any spell without having to wait some time for the chant to finish. Like with skills, you can set up to six spells, so of course a good way to take advantage of this would be to set weaker Symbology with short chanting times first, and set the stronger ones (that will probably have longer chanting time) last so you can use them quickly and efficiently.
#3Rpgmonkey(Topic Creator)Posted 2/23/2009 8:51:23 PMmessage detail
C. How 'bout that Rush Gauge?

One of SO4's most notable features is the Rush Gauge. It's the third bar, and both party members and enemies have it. The bar increases for both you and enemy's as you attack and get attacked, and has certain bonuses when maxed out. It also plays a similar role to SO3's Fury Gauge, in that it prevents you from beating the enemy to a pulp without any consequences or the enemy being able to fight back.

Once it's maxed out, you can go into "Rush Mode", in which there are a few bonuses. One is that you can't get staggered (the little stun animation that occurs when you or the enemy gets hit) and take less damage. This allows you or the enemy to go nuts without being knocked out of their combo or attacks from another attack and getting destroyed by other attacks. The second bonus is that your movement and attack speed increases, effectively making you a really crazy fighter for a short time. As I've said earlier, enemies have the same bonuses you do, so once they go into Rush Mode they'll become a much bigger pain to deal with, making it something to watch for both you and the enemy you're fighting.

Another thing is the Rush Combo. Once you go into Rush Mode and have the Rush Gauge maxed, you're able to do a powerful and flashy little attack on your target. You're also able to work your party in to add to the damage done, and enemies will not go into Rush Mode during this, making it a very effective attack on any enemy. There are also various little button sequences spread throughout the attack that you have to press.

D. Blindsides sound cool!

Another new feature is the Blindside. There's not much to explain, but it's a quick dodge and strike attack, with the whole process shown in slow-mo, pretty flashy. It's useful for dodging attacks and/or getting in your own good whack or two at the enemy. By pressing/holding B the character you're controlling will charge up, and then you can use a Blindside attack. Hold B for too long and you'll screw up, making the character tired and leaving you vulnerable.

E. The Bonus System is back?

Another thing returning from SO3 somewhat is the ability to gain little things to get certain bonuses after battle. This time it's a board, and can be fitted with jewels acquired from doing certain things in battle. You can get more than one of each, so you can stack the bonuses. Like in SO3, the board can break and you can lose bonuses if certain things happen, like taking a critical hit or running away from battle.

Blue: Experience +10%. Finish with a critical hit.
Yellow: Fol +10%. Defeat multiple enemies at once.
Pink: HP/MP recovery after battles +1%. Defeat an enemy using only skills.
Green: +1 SP point to party. Gotten during Ambushes.

You have a maximum of 14 jewels on the board, with the ability to put as many of a particular jewel you want. So you can have a maximum of +140% bonus exp, +140% Fol, 14% HP/MP recovery, and +14 to Party SP.
#4Rpgmonkey(Topic Creator)Posted 2/23/2009 8:52:11 PMmessage detail
F. I hope Skills come back

Skills are back like every other SO game. There are skills for battle and some for the field or Item Creation. Because of their use in and out of battle, they'll have uses throughout the entirety of the game, so they'll be a major part of getting through some things in the game.

Besides skills as in attacks, there are other skills that can be used in battle. Some are used to help you, like decreasing chanting time when casting Symbology, others are there to help you analyze the enemy.

SP is also back, and you have both party SP and individual SP. Both can be used to level up each character's skills.

On the field are certain other command skills. For example, Edge has a dash skill which lets you run faster, and Bacchus can mine in some areas for items.

Then you have Item Creation skills, which are used for, of course, item creation to allow you to make certain items or get better at making other ones.

G. Move to your own BEAT

Another new feature to the SO series added to this game, BEAT. BEAT (or Battle Enhancement Attribute Type) is a new system created for you to customize characters to your style. By participating in battles with your BEAT type, your rank in that BEAT will go up. This will allow you to get new actions and increase your abilities.

For example, one BEAT type is BEAT S, which specializes in the Blindside system. It's a style that focuses on the enemy's blind spots with Blindside and stats like Evasion and Attack. You also gain new actions like an upgrade of Blindside from using it enough.

H. Cool Spaceships!

For the first time in the Star Ocean series, you can finally use your space ship to travel to numerous planets or areas throughout the universe!

Within your spaceship, named the "Calnus" (SO reference time!), you can do numerous things. You can make roomates for you party to increase their relationship with you or other characters, you can create items, listen to a jukebox with various songs from the game (aka the soundtest), and engage in Private Actions with your party.
#5Rpgmonkey(Topic Creator)Posted 2/23/2009 8:52:50 PMmessage detail
I. I like making a Collection

Like Star Ocean 3, you have various things to get data on. From an encyclopedia, to spaceship stuff, to monsters, all of this can be archived in various books you'll have within the game.

First are Battle Trophies. That's right fans of the concept, they're back. This time they apply to each character, so instead of being general ones, there is one like "Do over 1000 points of damage" for Edge, and Reimi may get "Do exactly 55 points of damage". Sometimes they're shared between characters (like my two examples). There are 100 per character, making even more to collect than Star Ocean 3.

Second is the Spaceship data. There is lots of data on various spaceships in the game to collect. Through examining everything from books to computer terminals, you can collect and archive this data.

Third is the Weapon Collection. Here you archive all the weapons you've gotten throughout the game. As you get a weapon, it'll be added to your collection and you'll get all the info on it archived. As anyone who's played tri-Ace/Star Ocean games knows, there are absolutely tons of weapons to find in chests, buy from stores, and make through item creation, so expect it to be a while before you get 100% on this.

Last is the Monster Collection. By defeating a monster, it will be added your monster collection. Using this, you can get various pieces of info on a monster, even a little bit of history or other data. As you defeat more of that monster, you'll increase the percentage analyzed, and as you increase that percentage the amount of information given on the monster will increase with it. Once you get it to 100%, you'll be able to make a "Monster Jewel", cool little accessories that can add different attributes or stat boosts. You can even use them in Item Creation.

J. Quests?

Not much to explain here. They're little tasks you can take up from people. They can range from finding something or someone, to killing a certain monster, depends on the person. Of course you get rewards for doing them. The game also logs your quests.

K. Private Actions and Relationships are back...right?

Another SO staple is the Private Action. At various times that may pop up, where there will be little sequences where you can engage in little scenes with the party. Through these relationships between Edge and a party member or between two other party members can be made stronger. Through making stronger relationships, the ending of the game will change somewhat.
#6Rpgmonkey(Topic Creator)Posted 2/23/2009 8:53:39 PMmessage detail
L. I know Item Creation is in

Item Creation, also known as IC by many Star Ocean or tri-Ace fans, is another very significant series staple. Through IC you can make numerous items, equipment, and other things. Some of the things you make can range from downright game-breaking, to completely useless and a waste of space. Welch, who first appeared in SO3, is back to help you through the process again, and you do IC on your ship, the Calnus. There are no recruitment systems like SO3, but there are some new things added, like recipes.

The first thing is the recipe system. Before you can make an item, you need to have the correct recipe to make it first. This is where this part of IC comes in. Using this, you can make several groups based on your party members, who, as always, have their own share of proficiencies in certain skills like cooking. There are four groups, with a maximum of three party members per group. After you've made your group, you can start creating recipes, which will consume you Party SP (it's separate from each character's individual SP, so don't worry too much) as you do it.

After you've made the recipe, which can be all kinds of stuff, both useful and complete junk, you need to collect the materials through various methods (fighting, treasure chests, etc.) so you can make the item, provided you have the right recipe for it. You can't have one or the other of course.

There are several different types of IC skills: Metallurgy, Cooking, Alchemy, Art, Mechanics, Crafting, Synthesize, and Sense. As I said, each character is better in some of them than others, and each skill is used to make certain items.

2. CHARACTERS

A. Edge Maverick
Earthling, 20 years old
"An honest young man with a strong sense of responsibility. He volunteers for the maiden voyage of the SRF (Space Reconnaissance Force) to save humanity from the brink of destruction, electing to journey outside his solar system to the vast universe beyond. While he possess superior circumstantial judgement, he tends to come off as reckless, and his jump-the-gun nature probably doesn't help matters. His childhood friend Reimi gives him an earful over it regularly."

B. Reimi Saionji
Earthling, 19 years old
"A young lady born into the illustrious Saionji household, Reimi has studied archery since childhood and now stands toe to toe with other masters of the bow. For all her kindness and consideration for others, Reimi is extremely hard on herself, and sometimes the pressure gets to her. Like Edge, she was elected at a young age for the maiden voyage of the SRF, and takes part int he journey to deep space. There, she serves the team as a level-headed navigator and a source of support for Edge."

C. Faize Sheifa Beleth
Eldarian, 18 years old
"A young man from the planet Eldar who belongs to a planetary exploration team. He considers etiquette very important, and treats those with qualities he lacks with due reverence. He is a man of talent, able to wield symbols that other Eldarians would need high levels of study to master; he even designed on his own a small shuttlecraft for use in exploration. Faize is an extremely logical thinker, and takes on a harsh tone and hard stance toward irrational people, but at heart he's an affable, genuine kind of guy."

D. Lymle Lemuri Phi
Lemurisian, 15 years old
"A girl who lives int he village Triom on the planet Lemuris. he lost both her parents at a young age and lives with her grandfather, the village elder. She was born with a talent for symbology, and often summons a creature called us, who she considers a friend. She's basically a pampered child who's fond of mischief; ever since a certain incident, she's closed the world out and continues to speak like someone younger than her age. Still, she's tough at heart, and her energy keeps her standing tall even in trying circumstances."
#7Rpgmonkey(Topic Creator)Posted 2/23/2009 8:54:25 PMmessage detail
(cont.)

E. Bacchus D-79
Morphus, 32 years old
"A scientist from a planet that boasts the latest in cutting-edge technology, Bacchus has transformed himself into a cyborg-a decision made of his own volition. He has a strong sense of justice, but does not allow it to affect his emotions, taking a more ethics-oriented approach to integrated reasoning. His brain is original but supported by a logic co-processor, often leading him to unemotional conclusions. Since the full mechanization of his body, he has labored to master all fields of mechanical engineering. He has the ability to use optical camouflage to conceal himself"

F. Meracle Chamlotte
Lesser Fellpool, 16 years old
"A dynamic young Lesser Fellpool. Her birthplace is unknown but likely to be Road, judging by her race. Always brimming with energy, Meracle is bright and amiable, though she hates being left alone. She apparently crash-landed on Earth after inadvertently stowing away on a spaceship; attracted by the smell of food, she boarded the ship, which then took off with her in tow."

G. Myuria Tionysus
Morphus female, 22 years old
"On a honeymoon voyage with her newly wedded husband Lucien, Myuria's ship is accidentally caught up in a battle between Crowe's Aquilia and an enemy aircraft. The ship takes critical damage, and Lucien ejects Myuria in an escape pod just before the ship explodes. She confronts Crowe with a frigid, suspicious demeanor, but behind her face lies a heart filled with sadness and fear. Although she was born on En II, she had never met Bacchus before."

H. Arumat P. Thanatos
Eldarian, 26 years old
"A born soldier, Arumat was 17 when his troop was decimated in a battle with the Phantoms, leaving him as the only survivor. A breakdown int he structure of his muscle cells has presented him with an ultimatum: give up his current body, or die an early death. Unsurprisingly, he has chosen to live out what time he has left as a fighter, partly as redemption for the men he has lost along the way."

I. Sarah Jerand
Featherfolk, 19 years old
"One of the winged Featherfolk on the planet Roak, Sarah grew up in virtual isolation, never even setting foot outside her village until she was assigned as an envoy to the kingdom of Astral. The Featherfolk are revered as sacred, but Sarah's isolation has left her so ignorant of the outside world that even her own people constantly worry about her. Her simple, almost naive kindness is completely guileless."

3. Are there Japanese voices?

Within the English version of the game there is no option for Japanese voices.

4. I heard there are CG portraits in place of the Anime ones for the English version. Is this true, and can I switch?

Yes this is true, no, there is no option to switch back to anime portraits within the game.
#8Rpgmonkey(Topic Creator)Posted 2/23/2009 8:54:49 PMmessage detail
5. How many discs are there? Do I really have to switch back to play other areas? Does the HDD install fix this?

There are three discs for the game. Yes, once you get to disc 3 you will have to switch to disc 1 or 2 to go back to certain areas. No, even with an install you will need to switch.

6. Do I have to play other Star Ocean games to understand this?

This game is a prequel, but there is no need to play the others to understand this one. The point of some references may be lost, but it is still not a requirement.

7. Is installing the game to the hard drive needed?

No it is not. The game plays perfectly fine off the disc, but it is your choice what to do. It doesn't matter either way.

8. Does this have anything to do with Star Ocean 3's plot twist?

It's been confirmed that the game has little to no influence by SO3's plot twist.

9. Should I get this or Tales of Vesperia?

This isn't a tri-Ace versus Tales Studio debate topic, so just choose yourself. Look at both games, and really try to compare them. Only you know yourself best, don't ask some random Joe on the internet for everything.

10. What are other tri-Ace/Star Ocean games?

Star Ocean 1- SNES, PSP (remake, also known as "First Departure")
Star Ocean 2- PS1, PSP (port, also known as "Second Evolution")
Star Ocean: Blue Sphere- GBC (Japan only)
Star Ocean 3- PS2

Other tri-Ace games:

Valkyrie Profile 1- PS1, PSP (port, also known as "Lenneth")
Valkyrie Profile 2- PS2
Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume- DS
Radiata Stories- PS2
Infinite Undiscovery- Xbox 360

11. Is there bonus content? *SUPAH SPOILERS*

IF YOU HATE SPOILERS DON'T READ THIS UNTIL YOU GET HERE

Anyway, yes, there are several things to do. Even two popular tri-Ace bosses pop up as always.

12. About Faize/Crowe *SUPAH SPOILERS*

IF YOU HATE SPOILERS DON'T READ THIS UNTIL YOU GET HERE

Faize leaves the party. You can't get him back within that playthrough, and Arumat takes his place. On a second or more playthroug though, you can "recruit" Faize for the entirety of the game. I say it like that as this is shown within battle only, cutscenes still use Arumat.

Crowe does not join the party. No, I know of no way for him to join.





Have fun!
#9Andy RichterPosted 2/23/2009 8:55:32 PMmessage detail
Sticky requested.
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#10supdawg222Posted 2/23/2009 8:55:43 PMmessage detail
Stick ee!
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