STAR OCEAN POWER UP GUIDE Version 0.3
BY: LBL
Copyright 02/17/2004.
Version 0.2: 01/16/2004
Version 0.1: 02/17/2000.

Version 0.3: Generally fixed most of the "characters chances for 
getting [X] talent" information.  Dispelled a couple of myths in the 
Miscellany section.  Working on getting a complete endings guide.

I.   INTRODUCTION
II.  CHARACTERS
III. POWERING UP
IV.  CHARACTER TALENTS
V.   MISCELLANY
VI.  THANKS


I. INTRODUCTION

Well, nearly four years after this FAQs first release, and over six 
years since I first started playing this game on my trusty SNES, it 
finally happened: Star Ocean 1 is available to play in English form at 
last.  In ROM form that is, with the help of DeJap's translation patch. 
RPG enthusiasts finally get a chance to play one of, if not the last, 
great RPG from the golden days of the SNES era.

A little history about Star Ocean: the same group of programmers who 
made Tales of Phantasia developed this game. They were called Wolf Team 
back when they made ToP, but afterwards they branched out on their own 
and called themselves Tri-Ace.  If you've played Tales of Phantasia, 
you will immediately recognize the numerous similarities between ToP 
and Star Ocean like spell names (Ray, Tractor Beam, Extinction, etc.), 
the sound test menu, and the inclusion of a challenging bonus dungeon. 
Weighing at a hefty 48-megs, Star Ocean was the biggest RPG made for 
the Super Famicom (other than ToP), featuring extensive voice acting 
and a special decompression graphics chip (which was why it took so 
long to emulate the game correctly).

As an RPG, Star Ocean is very fun, but hardly up there with the best of 
the best. The game is very short, with about a 15-20 hour run through 
max (even less if you know what you're doing). The story is hardly 
anything to write home about. The challenge in the game is definitely 
lacking. The endings, like it's sequel, are not rewarding. And in 
general, the game definitely feels like a rushed project, especially 
towards the end and the numerous amounts of bugs associated with the 
game. But despite all this, Star Ocean is extremely fun. The unique, 
fast-paced battle system is very enjoyable. The charismatic and truly 
interesting characters are quite memorable. The item creations are just 
a blast to experiment with on your own. And being such a short game, 
the replay value due to the need to try multiple character combinations 
and acquire the multiple character endings is very high. This is one 
RPG where a replay is actually frequently welcomed and done. But I'm 
sure you already know all about this, so onto the guide.

II. CHARACTERS

Star Ocean's cast is crammed with personality and charisma.  Here I'll 
give my assessment on each character's battle usefulness. Also included 
for each character is the likelihood each character has of starting off 
with a certain talent based on my experience. You can hold up to 8 
characters, but you must have Ratix, Milly, Iria, and Ronixis in your 
party in every game.

  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ RATIX FARRENCE _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

Well, as the main character in the game, it's not surprising that he's 
the strongest character in battle.  He moves extremely fast, has a 
powerful attack that has both range and speed, plus he has the best 
Killer Technique in the game: 7-Star Twin Slash. His Dragon Rage Ougis 
(especially the Blue Dragon Rage because no enemies can absorb ice 
elemental) are extremely useful for hitting all enemies on the screen 
instantly, stunning the enemies for the other characters rush in and to 
kill. Since Ratix can't be removed from the party, he'll most likely 
end up with the highest level of all your characters and become even 
more powerful than he already is naturally. So since you're always 
stuck with him, you might was well abuse his superior battle prowess. 
If during battle you switch manual control to a character other than 
Ratix, he will just stand there, as he has no AI being the main 
character.

TALENTS:

Originality: ALWAYS
Sense of Taste: AVERAGE
Manual Dexterity: AVERAGE
Design Sense: AVERAGE
Writing Ability: AVERAGE
Rhythmic Sense: AVERAGE
Pitch Sense: NEVER
Love of Animals: AVERAGE
Sixth Sense: AVERAGE
Blessing of Mana: NEVER

BEST TECHS:

1. Air Slash
2. Spirit Blast
3. 7-Star Twin Slash
4. Dragon Blast
5. Blue Dragon Rage


  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ MILLY KILIET _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

The game's only, and thus best, dedicated healing character.  In a 
normal play through, Milly is invaluable in boss fights because of her 
supreme healing and status curative spells. However, if you power up 
your characters to obscene levels, Milly quickly becomes obsolete 
because your strong characters are plowing through all enemies and 
bosses without the threat of getting damage in return. Thus Milly's 
healing is unnecessary at that point, and her presence takes up a spot 
that could go to a more offensive character that can help finish 
battles even more quickly. But in this guide, Milly's usefulness is 
still in tact because she can still do her job as a healer, status 
curer, and enemy-stunner in the Gabrielle fight.

TALENTS

Originality: DIFFICULT
Sense of Taste: AVERAGE
Manual Dexterity: AVERAGE
Design Sense: AVERAGE
Writing Ability: AVERAGE
Rhythmic Sense: AVERAGE
Pitch Sense: AVERAGE
Love of Animals: DIFFICULT
Sixth Sense: DIFFICULT
Blessing of Mana: ALWAYS


  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ IRIA SILVESTOLIE _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

A very good fighter if you rely on her Killer Techniques, a mediocre 
fighter if you rely on her normal attacks.  Iria's got average speed in 
battle, but she's got a painfully slow normal attack where she runs up 
to the enemy, pauses, then does a somersault kick. Not too much of a 
problem when fighting normal enemies, but when you're fighting the 
Gabrielle, such a slow attack is almost suicide unless Gabby was 
distracted by another fighter. Iria functions best with her projectile 
Killer Techniques done in rapid succession such as her Chi Fung Fist 
and/or her Dragon Fist Ougi, because her other Killer Techniques leave 
her too vulnerable when missed or blocked. Both those two projectile 
moves come out really fast and keep her at a safe distance from the 
enemy. Later, when she gets her Sakura-Zhang and Sakura Flash Ougi 
techs, she can afford to get closer to the enemy, as both those moves 
protect her entire front (Sakura-Zhang is the better one though, 
because the kick at the end of Sakura Flash can be blocked thus leaving 
her potentially vulnerable).

TALENTS

Originality: NEVER
Sense of Taste: AVERAGE
Manual Dexterity: AVERAGE
Design Sense: GOOD
Writing Ability: GOOD
Rhythmic Sense: AVERAGE
Pitch Sense: AVERAGE
Love of Animals: DIFFICULT
Sixth Sense: DIFFICULT
Blessing of Mana: ALWAYS

BEST TECHS:

1. Chi Kung Fist
2. Dragon Fist
3. Sakura-Zhang


  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ RONIXIS J. KENNY _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

One of the game's two attack mages, except unlike the stereotype of 
most RPG mages, Ronixis is pretty good at physical attacks too.  In 
fact, Ronixis' normal attack is very good and spam-worthy. Once you 
power up your characters to Level 100+, magic users generally tend to 
lose their usefulness, as fighting characters will do more damage, more 
quickly. But spamming on Ronixis' powerful bows allow him to continue 
to do very respectable damage from a distance, stunning enemies from 
long range so that other up-close fighters can go in for the kill. If 
Joshua is in your party, Ronixis can pick up the Elven Bow, which is 
very useful in the first early fights against the Gabrielle to fend off 
the Hound-Forms surrounding her.  He's not too useful in the later 
Gabrielle fights because at higher levels he'll tend to cast spells 
which heal her instead of harming her.  Pray that he starts off with 
the Originality talent; if you're the impatient-type, I'd doubt you'll 
be willing to sit through the whole long scenario on the Federation 
Space Ship after resetting to see what new talents he's gotten (frame-
skip or not).

TALENTS

Originality: AVERAGE
Sense of Taste: NEVER
Manual Dexterity: AVERAGE
Design Sense: AVERAGE
Writing Ability: AVERAGE
Rhythmic Sense: AVERAGE
Pitch Sense: AVERAGE
Love of Animals: NEVER
Sixth Sense: NEVER
Blessing of Mana: ALWAYS


  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ CIUS WARREN  _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

I guess Cius could be compared to Dias of Star Ocean 2; really powerful 
but slow in battle.  Cius' regular attack is indeed strong with 
excellent range, but unfortunately it's painfully slow.  Not as slow as 
Iria, but definitely not as fast as Ratix's either.  His running speed 
isn't good either, and it takes a while for him to run to an enemy when 
most other characters have already probably dispatched of the enemies 
already. His Killer Techniques are strong, but not incredibly useful.  
His best techniques are probably Flash Whirl or Dragon Whirl; though 
Spirit Blast is pretty darn useful as a ghetto Iria-like Chi Kung Fist.  
All his other techniques are quite slow coming out and leave him quite 
vulnerable when missed or blocked. Surprisingly one of the less useful 
fighter-type characters in the game, but he's still passable in battle 
if you like using him. Keep resetting the game right before getting him 
until he has the talent Originality, or else it'll be pretty hard to 
try to develop it later in the game.

TALENTS

Originality: DIFFICULT
Sense of Taste: DIFFICULT
Manual Dexterity: NEVER
Design Sense: AVERAGE
Writing Ability: AVERAGE
Rhythmic Sense: GOOD
Pitch Sense: AVERAGE
Love of Animals: AVERAGE
Sixth Sense: GOOD
Blessing of Mana: NEVER

BEST TECHS:

1. Spirit Blast
2. Flash Whirl
3. Dragon Whirl


  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ ASHLAY BARNBELT  _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

Ashlay cannot be in the same party as Cius and vice versa.  So if you 
want one, you gotta give up the other.  Ashlay isn't particularly 
useful in my eyes.  He starts off with significantly more HP than your 
other characters, but the tradeoff is he has the lowest MP in the game.  
Contrary to Ian Kelley's FAQ, I don't think he starts off light years 
ahead of the party, rather his HP boost makes him last just a little 
longer in battle. In battle, he's pretty good in the beginning, but 
unimpressive in the long run. He's got decent speed, and his normal 
attack is pretty well ranged and fast. He starts with 3 Ougis, but 
unfortunately doesn't ever gain a single useful Ougi Technique.  The 
best reason to recruit Ashlay in your party is for Ratix to gain his 
three Dragon Rage techs he otherwise wouldn't have learned if Ashlay 
weren't in the party to give Ratix the Dragon Ougi. Ashlay will only 
give Ratix the Dragon Ougi if his Approval Rating for him is high 
enough though, so keep that in mind. 

TALENTS

Originality: GOOD
Sense of Taste: DIFFICULT
Manual Dexterity: NEVER
Design Sense: NEVER
Writing Ability: GOOD
Rhythmic Sense: AVERAGE
Pitch Sense: AVERAGE
Love of Animals: GOOD
Sixth Sense: GOOD
Blessing of Mana: NEVER

BEST TECHS:

1. Blaze Sword
2. Dragon Blast
3. 7-Star Twin Slash

  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ FEAR MELL  _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

"Second best fighter in the game." That's the title usually given to 
her, but I beg to differ. Rather, I'd say she has the second best 
normal attack in the game, right behind Ratix's attack, but as for her 
overall battle effectiveness, she's good, not great. Her normal attack 
is what really makes Fear shine because she tosses 2 boomerang-like 
swords at her enemies that can cover a very big portion of the screen. 
But what keeps Fear from true greatness is that her Killer Techniques, 
for the most part suck. The more useful ones are very similar to her 
normal attack, but allow for the boomerang-swords to hit on their 
return path. However some weapons already have the innate ability to 
hit on their return path, making a lot of Fear's Killer Techniques 
unnecessary. Fear's best tech is a toss up between Aqua Spread and 
Galaxy God Breath. GGB is stronger, but seems to be blocked more often. 
Both are relatively slow on release compared to some of the other 
fighters. Her Ougi techs are even a worse lot, being very weak in 
attack power (Sylvan Shot) or leaving her very vulnerable (Unholy 
Terror and Victory Terror). And the ultimate reason she does not 
deserve all the praise she gets is that, strength-wise, she is pretty 
weak. A lot of the stronger enemies in the game will block or take no 
damage from her Killer Techniques or Ougis, leaving her only with her 
normal attacks to rely on. And towards the end of the game, a lot of 
the other characters already have very strong Killer Techniques or Ougi 
techs that are much more abusable than Fear's normal attack. Still, let 
me stress that Fear is still a good character, because her normal 
attack is very useful throughout most of the game.

TALENTS

Originality: GOOD
Sense of Taste: AVERAGE
Manual Dexterity: GOOD
Design Sense: AVERAGE
Writing Ability: AVERAGE
Rhythmic Sense: AVERAGE
Pitch Sense: AVERAGE
Love of Animals: DIFFICULT
Sixth Sense: GOOD
Blessing of Mana: NEVER

BEST TECHS:

1. Aqua Spread
2. Galaxy God Breath


  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ JOSHUA JERAND  _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

Joshua is the other attack mage of the game, who is also part healer.  
Joshua, like most RPG magic users, has terrible attack power and 
defense to make up for his magic wielding abilities.  You'd think with 
wings he'd be able to move a little faster on the battlefield, but 
unfortunately he kinda just floats leisurely towards where ever his 
destination is. This fact makes Joshua as good as dead if Gabrielle has 
her sights on him and is closing in towards his direction. For the 
Gabrielle fight, Joshua is good for 1) Allowing Ronixis access the 
Elven Bow, 2) Casting Earth Grave to stun Gabrielle, and 3) Casting 
Heal All when desperate healing is needed. After you power everyone up 
however, like the other two magic characters, Joshua can't do the big 
amount damage as quickly as the fighter-characters can, so in boss 
battles he pretty much is dead weight. But he's still useful in some 
normal battles if you level up his Motor Mouth skill so that he can 
semi-instantly (when Motor Mouth works) stun all enemies on the screen 
with a hit-all spell when necessary (usually at the beginning of 
battle).

TALENTS

Originality: NEVER
Sense of Taste: DIFFICULT
Manual Dexterity: AVERAGE
Design Sense: GOOD
Writing Ability: AVERAGE
Rhythmic Sense: AVERAGE
Pitch Sense: AVERAGE
Love of Animals: NEVER
Sixth Sense: DIFFICULT
Blessing of Mana: ALWAYS


  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ MARVEL FROZEN /
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

Probably the most underrated character in the game. Most people dismiss 
her as trash without ever knowing how really strong she is in battle. 
Her conditions on joining is a bit strange:
  1. If either Ashlay or Joshua is in your party, Marvel will
     automatically join
  2. If Cius is in your party, Marvel will not join
  3. If neither any other characters have joined your party (no Ashlay,
     no Joshua, no Cius, no Fear), Marvel will only join if Ratix
     chooses not to drink
If Joshua is in your party, you have the option to permanently remove 
Marvel from your party, should you desire you needed her spot for 
another character. Well, let me put it this way: If you are using 
Marvel to actually run up to the enemy and attack them with her regular 
attack; you are not using Marvel. Marvel has horrible running speed, 
her normal attack is pathetically slow and short-ranged, and her 
strength is not gonna rock your world either. But, Marvel is the best-
long range fighter in the game, and easily the most abuseable character 
you have. Two words solidify her supremacy in battle: Hail Orb. When 
you level up her Link Combo skill enough, (and use the Link Combo Range 
Restriction cheat), you can have Marvel doing four successive Hail Orbs 
from anywhere on the screen. What makes Hail Orbx4 so abuseable is the 
fact that she tosses them out extremely quickly and has basically no 
recovery time afterwards; and the fact that no enemy is immune or will 
absorb its ice-elemental damage. Which means if you want, you can 
constantly have a stream of Hail Orbs pelt an enemy and keep it from 
ever moving. Let me repeat: HAIL ORBx4 WILL KEEP AN ENEMY FROM EVER 
MOVING. Her Ougi Techs are very good too, but they cannot be thrown out 
in quick succession like Hail Orbs can because she pauses after doing 
each one. However, her Seven Star Ougi and Southern Cross Ougi are 
instant, so she can also instantly hit all enemies to stun them if 
needed (Her Galaxy Ougi tech is also instant, but the animation is too 
long for my tastes). So don't be in such a hurry to dismiss Marvel 
before seeing how truly over-powering she can be.

TALENTS

Originality: DIFFICULT
Sense of Taste: AVERAGE
Manual Dexterity: AVERAGE
Design Sense: AVERAGE
Writing Ability: AVERAGE
Rhythmic Sense: AVERAGE
Pitch Sense: AVERAGE
Love of Animals: GOOD
Sixth Sense: AVERAGE
Blessing of Mana: ALWAYS

BEST TECHS:

1. Hail Orb
2. Seven Star
3. Southern Cross


  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ TINEK ARUKENA  _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

Tinek is an interesting character. You don't hear much buzz about him, 
other than he's a nerdy, but cool-looking werewolf. In battle, he's 
really fast, probably tied with Perisie as the two fastest characters 
in the game. But what he has over her is that his normal attack has 
much longer reach than hers. Even better, it is a really fast normal 
attack too (moreso than I originally gave credit for). His normal 
attack is very spammable like Ratix's. As for Killer Techniques, they 
are all really fast, but they aren't really bringing down the house in 
terms of impressiveness and usefulness since the other characters can 
do what he does, earlier. Hurricane Staff is cheap, fast, and effective 
most of the time. Hailstorm is nice too for filling the screen with 
snowflake crap; but unfortunately it's blocked a little more than it 
should be. Tinek's Sakura-Zhang, although sharing the same name as 
Iria's, is actually nothing like hers and is a decent speed projectile. 
IMO Sakura-Zhangx4 is probably his best tech combo because he can spam 
on it and have a ghetto Iria-like Chi Kung Fistx4 attack (ghetto 
because it's slightly slower and not as MP friendly). 7-Star Rumble is 
good and fast too for distracting the enemy while a strong fighter like 
Ratix or Iria can run in for the kill, but it is blockable too.  The 
problem with Tinek is that most of his special attacks can be blocked 
and most of his moves leave him vulnerable to be hit when they are 
blocked.  Tinek definitely excels more spamming his normal attacks in 
battle and using his great speed to get around quickly.

TALENTS

Originality: GOOD
Sense of Taste: ALWAYS
Manual Dexterity: AVERAGE
Design Sense: AVERAGE
Writing Ability: NEVER
Rhythmic Sense: AVERAGE
Pitch Sense: AVERAGE
Love of Animals: DIFFICULT
Sixth Sense: GOOD
Blessing of Mana: NEVER

BEST TECHS:

1. Hurricane Staff
2. Hailstorm
3. Sakura-Zhang
4. 7-Star Rumble


  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ PERISIE  _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

Perisie is the epitome of cuteness, as she is sickeningly adorable. 
Although when you recruit her, she starts off at a measly level 5, with 
precious little equipment and a penchant for dying quickly in battle, 
with some quick leveling fighting the Gabrielle (the reason for this 
guide in the first place), Perisie quickly rises to one of the better 
fighters in the game. In battle, she is lightning fast; she and Tinek 
can RTSD (rush that shit down) in seconds because both have the fastest 
running speeds in the game. In contrast, while Tinek has the better 
normal attack (range + speed); Perisie has a more abuseable and 
damaging Killer Technique to be discussed shortly. To be honeset 
though, most of her Killer Techniques are laughably lame but 
irresistibly cute. However she does have one specific Killer Technique 
that redeems her completely in battle: Charming Pose. Charming Pose 
sends a semi-heat-seeking heart balloon to every enemy on the screen. 
These hearts do serious damage if they hit and the best part is they 
are unblockable. Even better, if the hearts don't touch anything, they 
linger around the screen for quite a while before finally disappearing. 
Maxing out Perisie's Link Combo skill and using the Link Combo Range 
Restriction cheat, Perisie can do Charming Posex4 from anywhere on the 
screen and fill the entire battlefield with multiple damaging cute 
crap. The only downside to Charming Pose is that there is noticeable 
start-up before she actually tosses the hearts out, so the best time to 
actually throw them out is when Perisie is far away at the beginning of 
battles. Perisie also has Prismic Dance, which heals all allies for 
about ~2500HP, not bad if Milly or Joshua is not around. However the 
healing is not instant since you have to wait for the "healing 
sparkles" to disappear before HP is actually restored, so don't rely on 
it in a pinch. As for her Ougi techs, they won't be much use for you 
because they are pretty much worthless. Perisie does have one more 
important fact about her: recruiting her allows you the opportunity to 
get the Bunny Whistle item, which allows you to travel on the 
"overworld" map without facing random enemy encounters.

TALENTS

Originality: AVERAGE
Sense of Taste: AVERAGE
Manual Dexterity: AVERAGE
Design Sense: AVERAGE
Writing Ability: NEVER
Rhythmic Sense: ALWAYS
Pitch Sense: ALWAYS
Love of Animals: GOOD
Sixth Sense: GOOD
Blessing of Mana: NEVER

BEST TECHS:

1. Charming Pose
2. Prismic Dance


III. POWERING UP

The basic concept of making your characters extremely powerful is 
continually fighting Gabrielles summoned by the Clarinet 2 song, since 
winning that battle will give you an incredible amount of experience 
points that will quickly raise your characters' levels to obscene 
heights. Then you can use the Skill Points gained through each level up 
to max out your character's Skill Menu (and all the stat boosts that 
come with it) and item creation powerful weapons.  You can start this 
process as soon as you reach Ionis (the town you meet Marvel). Of 
course, there are some preparations first. Also keep in mind that I am 
writing this guide with the assumption that you have just reached 
Ionis; so basically this guide is how to Power Up as soon as possible.

  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ PREPARARIONS _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

1. It's important that you not spend any Skill Points until you reach 
Ionis (except for the 1 SP necessary to for Dash).  Also try to 
purchase all the skills you come across. The Battle Skill set 3 from 
Astral are really expensive, so you can skip them, but try to purchase 
all others you come across.

2. Ratix must have won the C Rank in the Tatory Arena. The 7-Star Ougi, 
as well as the Trumpet you win from the arena prizes are very 
important.

3. It's really helpful if you've gotten the Dwarven Sword from the
secret cave on Mt. Metox and mined out some ores (Orihalcon and 
Mithril especially), but not absolutely necessary.

4. Make sure you've grabbed the Rainbow Diamond in the pirate hideout.

  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ 1. AUTHORING _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

Creating an author. Make sure someone in your party has the "Writing 
Ability" talent and at least 200 skill points to spare.  Now use 191 of 
those Skill Points to raise this character's Writing skill to level 10 
proficiency, so that you have level 10 Authoring proficiency. Then use 
the remaining 9 points to gain level 1 proficiency in the skills: 
Sketching, Musical Notation, and Performance.  If you have 6SP 
leftover, gain level 1 proficiency in the skills: Mineralogy, Forging, 
and Workmanship.

Purchase 20 Research Pens (400 V) at the Item Store in Ionis.  And try 
to write 7 Books on the Skill Sketching ("Soul of the Artist" books). 
After you've gotten 7 "Soul of the Artist" books, go on to the next 
section.

  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ 2. DUPLICATING _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

Creating an artist. Now you'll need to get money to fund all the item 
creations you're about to undergo. First you need someone in your party 
with the "Design Sense" talent, preferably someone who also has 270 
skill points to play with. Use all 7 "Soul of the Artist" books to on 
this character with Design Sense in order to raise his/her Art item 
creation proficiency to level 7. If this character has extra SP left 
over, use it to gain further levels of Sketching proficiency (it takes 
270SP to get to level 10 from level 7).

Now purchase as many Magic Colors (2000 V) you can.  If you can only 
afford small amount (less than 5), I'd suggest you save before you try 
to item creation in case all of the Magic Colors fail, you can reset.  
Now use the Item Creation "Art" and duplicate as many Trumpets you can 
(you won the Trumpet in the lower levels of the battle arena). Sell all 
Trumpet duplicates except one and repeat the process until you have 
enough money to purchase the Violin in Edcart (the previous town).  
Now you can repeat the duplication process with the Violin and gain as 
much money as you want. Use some of this money to purchase all the 
instruments you don't already have.  This Violin-duplication-reselling 
process will be THE method of gaining obscene amounts of money for the 
rest of the game.

  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ 3. MUSIC _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

Creating a musician. Now have your author character try to write 7 
books in both Musical Notation ("Music Encyclopedia") and Performance 
("Music for Beginners"); 14 books total.  These books are difficult to 
write successfully, so keep purchasing Research Pens and trying.

Ideally, use all 14 of them on a character with the both the talents 
"Rhythmic Sense" and "Pitch Sense". If none of your characters have 
both "Rhythmic Sense" and "Pitch Sense" talents, then use it on a 
character that at least has "Rhythmic Sense."  If none of your 
characters are rhythmically inclined (unlikely), you will have to wait 
until you get Perisie (who always starts with both musical talents) or 
another new character to join. The reason Rhythmic Sense is more 
important than Pitch Sense is that in order to successfully write songs 
for your instruments, you need to have the Rhythmic Sense talent.

Now, assuming you used the 14 books on someone who at least has the 
"Rhythmic Sense" talent (although ideally you should use it on someone 
with both Rhythmic Sense and Pitch Sense), have this character (your 
musician) try to write the songs Clarinet 1, Clarinet 2, and Violin 2.  
Keep purchasing Creator Pens until you have written all three of these 
musical pieces.  And be patient, as writing songs is one of the more 
difficult item creations.

Finally, if your musician character has only Rhythmic Sense, but not 
Pitch Sense, now is the time to try to get them to develop their Pitch 
Sense talent. Refer to the "Gaining Talents" part further in the FAQ. 
It's important that one character have both Rhythmic Sense and Pitch 
Sense because song effects only work when the character playing the 
instruments have both musical talents; and ultimately you will need to 
be able to successfully play the Clarinet 2 song to summon Gabrielle. 
Assuming you now do have a character with both Rhythmic Sense and Pitch 
Sense, continue on to the next section.

  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ 4. MAKING MARVEL POWERFUL  _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

This part is optional; you don't have to do it but it really helps. 
First step is to make sure Marvel has the talent "Originality."  She 
probably didn't start off with it, but that's okay. It's quite easy to 
develop it through the Customize item creation; refer to the "Gaining 
Talents" section further in the FAQ if you need detailed instructions 
on how to develop her Originality talent. Basically you will be 
duplicating 20 Rainbow Diamonds, and attempting to customize them with 
Marvel while the Violin 2 song is being played.

Assuming Marvel now has the Originality talent, have your author 
character to write 7 books on the skill Workmanship ("Dwarven 
Techniques") and use all 7 of those books on Marvel.  Then have Marvel 
use 50SP to raise the skills Esthetic Sense and Functionality to level 
1. This should give Marvel an overall Customize item creation 
proficiency of level 3.

Have your artist character duplicate 20 Rainbow Diamonds from the one 
you found in the Pirate Hideout event.  Save the game, and have Marvel 
continually use the Customize item creation on the Rainbow Diamonds 
until she can make a Holy Orb. Only customize 19 times (you don't want 
to use up the last one), and if she failed all 19 times, reset and try 
again.  Eventually Marvel should be able to successfully make the Holy 
Orb, which, with 900 ATK power, will make Marvel a powerhouse, this 
early in the game.  And no, it does not automatically keep her Stamina 
at zero forever, so don't worry.

  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ 5. CREATING POWERFUL WEAPONS _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

Creating a weapon-smith. This part is also completely optional. If 
you've gotten the Dwarven Sword in secret cave of Mt. Metox, then this 
part isn't necessary. However most likely you probably haven't even 
attempted the Mt. Metox caves yet. Basically, in this section you'll 
want to try to forge powerful weapons from the Smithing item creation.

Have your author character write 7 books on the skills: Mineralogy 
("Minerals Lexicon") and Forging ("All About Weapons"). Use all 14 
books on a character any character (previously I thought you need 
Originality to succeed at Smithing but you don't).  This character will 
now be your weapon-smith. Although unlikely, if your weapon-smith 
character has any SP left over, try to gain some more proficiency 
levels in Mineralogy to increase his/her Smithing item creation level.

Have your artist character, duplicate 20 Long Sword +1 you found from 
the Astral Cave boss (if you never beat the Astral Cave boss and thus 
don't have a Long Sword +1, you'll have to make a Long Sword +1 from a 
regular Long Sword + Damascus). Duplicate 20 Meteorites you've found in 
a treasure chest on the way to the town Tropp.

Purchase 20 Smith Hammers and save the game.  Have your weapon-smith 
character try to forge a "Duel Sword" from a Long Sword +1 and 
Meteorite. This particular item creation is very difficult to pull off 
successfully, but it will be very helpful if it works. Give the Duel 
Sword to Ratix. Ashlay can also use one, but I'd try to make a Mithril 
Sword (Long Sword +1 and Mithril) for him instead since he'll be able 
to customize the Mithril Sword later.

Similarly, if Cius is in you party, you can attempt to make a Silver 
Sword for him using a Claymore +1 and Mithril.  First make the 
Claymore +1 using a regular Claymore and Damascus, then attempt to 
forge the Claymore +1 and Mithril to make the Silver Sword. Cius can 
customize the Silver Sword later.

If you want to be really anal, you can attempt to make a Metal Fang for 
Iria by forging a Knuckle +1 and Rune Metal. First make the Knuckle +1 
by combining a regular Knuckle or Hard Knuckle with Damascus. Then 
forge the Knuckle +1 with Rune Metal to make the Metal Fang. Ronixis 
can customize the Metal Fang later to get Iria's best weapon.

Just remember NOT to use up your last mineral (especially the 
Meteorite), since you'll want to keep at least 1 copy around for easy 
duplication. All you really need is a strong weapon for Ratix.  I 
suggest after you've gotten 1 Duel Sword for Ratix to continue on.

  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ 6. GETTING RATIX'S OUGI TECH _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

First and foremost, you absolutely need the 7-Star Ougi for Ratix, 
found by having him win Rank C of the Tatory Battle Arena. Then raise 
Ratix's "Edarl Style" skill to at least level 5 (the higher, the better 
though).

Assign the Killer Technique "Twin Slash" in one of his technique slots 
and save the game.  Have your musician play the Clarinet 1 song to 
summon 4 Black Slimes.

In battle, have Ratix continually use the "Twin Slash" technique until 
he learns the Ougi tech "7-Star Twin Slash."  It might be helpful to 
put the other 3 characters on a "Protect Yourself" strategy. That way, 
Ratix can kill the Slimes himself for maximum Twin Slash use. The risk 
of doing this is that the 3 characters doing nothing have a far greater 
chance of being killed (the Black Slimes are usually much stronger than 
you characters at this point), but then again, this increases Ratix's 
chance of gaining the Ougi Tech through Anger Explosions. Hopefully 
Ratix will gain his Ougi Tech soon. Rest at the inn after the battle, 
save, and try again. 

  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ 7. FIGHTING THE GABRIELLE  _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

This is what all the preparation has been done for.  This *WILL* be the 
most difficult battle of the game, since you'll be fighting a very 
powerful boss that you aren't really supposed to be fighting this early 
in the game. You should be at around level 30 for Ratix to have a 
decent chance; fight Black Slimes from Clarinet 1 if you're not. 
Definitely bring Marvel into this fight if you've powered her up with 
the Holy Orb. Ronixis equipped with the Elven Bow is also useful. 
Duplicate 20 Resurrection Bottles (or buy 20 at Van I Il if you've been 
there), duplicate 20 Liqueur Bottles (or buy them at Van I Il), equip 
Ratix with the 7-Star Twin Slash Ougi Tech, buy 20 Blackberries, save 
the game, and pray for victory.  Have your musician character 
(remember, both Rhythmic Sense and Pitch Sense talents are necessary) 
play the Clarinet 2 song...

Gabrielle: 32000 HP
Hound-Form (x3): 3100 HP

I've found the "Lower Square" formation with Ratix at position #1 to be 
the most useful formation for this fight. Gabrielle is *VERY* strong 
and she basically will kill you with one hit from either: 1) the long-
range swing of her staff or 2) the force shield she puts around 
herself.  To compound this problem, her hits often petrify her targets; 
so often you have to cure BOTH death and petrifaction after she hits a 
character.  She comes with 3 Hound-Forms which, although are nowhere 
near as dangerous as Gabby, are still problematic since they too can do 
lots of damage to your characters at this stage in the game and can 
paralyze your characters as well. This battle relies heavily on your 
ability to quickly and efficiently switch manual control between all 
four of your characters at any given moment; and of course it relies on 
some much-needed luck.

The strategy for winning this battle is having Ratix continually use 
7-Star Twin Slash on Gabrielle non-stop, hoping that she becomes and 
stays dizzy from the first two swinging hits. Most likely, the only 
damage you'll inflict on Gabby is from the two fireballs that shoot out 
at the end of 7-Star Twin Slash. The problem is that since Ratix will 
probably be the only one who can damage Gabby, if she kills him, you're 
basically screwed... and there's MANY ways for her to kill Ratix.

7-Star Twin Slash eats up a LOT of MP, so you have to be constantly 
keeping an eye out for Ratix's MP total. You will need to be able to 
comfortable switch manual control over to one character (more likely 
two characters) that will have to be constantly supplying Ratix with 
Blackberries to keep his MP up.  Those Hound-Forms aren't going 
anywhere either, so another character will have to be dealing with them 
too. Listed below are the strategies I would use for the following 
characters:  (Keep in mind that I'm writing this from the perspective 
of just getting to Ionis, so Tinek and Perisie won't be included 
because they can't be acquired yet).

- Ratix: Basically run up to Gabrielle and do repeated 7-Star Twin 
Slash. Hope that the first two sword swings dizzies her and that you 
avoid her force shield/staff swings during the jumping portion of 7-
Star Twin Slash. Each fireball shot at the end of 7-Star Twin Slash 
should be doing around 1000-1500 damage; more if Ratix gets an Anger 
Explosion.

- Iria: Have her use Chi Kung Fist to get rid of the 3 Hound-Forms as 
quickly as possible. Then either manually have Iria run up to and use 
Chi Kung Fist on Gabrielle (it does only 100-200 damage, but more 
importantly it puts Gabrielle in hit-stun animation) or have her supply 
Blackberries or status recovery items when needed.

- Cius: If you have him with the Silver Sword, have him physically 
attack the Hound-Forms until they're gone. Then have him supply 
Blackberries or recovery items when needed.

- Ronixis: If you have him with the Elven Bow, have him physically 
attack the Hound-Forms until they're gone. Then have him constantly 
casting the spell "Earth Grave" at the Gabrielle (again, it causes only 
around 200-500 damage, but it puts her in hit-stun animation which 
allows Ratix's attacks to land). Use Blackberries or recovery items 
when needed.

- Ashlay: If you have him with the Mithril Sword, have him physically 
attack the Hound-Forms until they're gone.  Then have him supply 
Blackberries or recovery items when needed.

- Marvel: If you have her with the Holy Orb, have her physically attack 
the Hound-Forms until they're gone. Then have her supply Blackberries 
or recovery items when needed.

- Joshua: Have him constantly cast "Earth Grave" on Gabrielle. Use 
Blackberries or recovery items/spells when needed.

- Fear: Have her physically attack the Hound-Forms. Use Blackberries or 
recovery items when needed.

- Milly: Have her constantly cast "Press" on Gabrielle or use recovery 
items/cast recovery spells when needed.

PROBLEM #1: The most common problem.  Gabrielle kills/petrifies Ratix, 
while the other characters are trying to revive/cure him, Gabby runs 
over to them and kills them. Nothing much you can do about it.

PROBLEM #2: Also very common. The Hound-Forms kill off a character, 
Ratix (or another character) gets an Anger Explosion right next to 
Gabrielle, she hits and kills him/her as he's/she's getting angry. 
Nothing much you can do here either.

PROBLEM #3: Gabrielle undizzies and hits Ratix, leading to Problem 
#1/#2. You can actually do something to alleviate this problem. 
Basically have other characters that can do damage to Gabrielle 
constantly attack her. Attacks like Iria's Chi Kung Fist, Ronixis' and 
Joshua's "Earth Grave" spell, Milly's "Press" spell, and later Marvel's 
Hail Orb all do pitiful damage to Gabrielle, but they all cause her to 
go into that very important hit-stun animation. If you constantly 
barrage her with these attacks, she'll stay in this hit stun-animation 
indefinitely, and thus Ratix and hit her without threat of retaliation.

It will be quite hectic constantly switching between characters and 
controlling them characters at once, but you will just have to learn to 
deal with the constant pausing. You have to be making sure Ratix is 
constantly doing 7-Star Twin Slashes while making sure you're using 
every opportunity to have the other characters do damage to Gabrielle. 

PROBLEM #4: Ratix runs out of MP from doing too many 7-Star Twin 
Slashes. As Ratix is waiting to get his MP charged, Gabrielle kills the 
whole lot of them. This can be solved as well by having characters not 
participating in damaging Gabrielle continually supplying Ratix with 
Blackberries. Don't let Ratix's MP fall below 50 (75 to be safe). 
Remember, if Ratix runs out of MP, he'll just stand there in front of 
Gabby as good as dead.

If you do manage to beat Gabrielle, you'll gain a LOT of experience and 
gain several levels. Plus, Gabby sometimes drops Extravagant Swords 
(720 ATK for Ratix, Cius, Ashlay, or Fear) or Extravagant Armors (60 
DEF, 30 EVD for Ratix, Cius, Ashlay, or Fear). Rest at an inn, save the 
game, and repeat the process. Once you've gained a few more levels, 
this battle becomes much easier due to the following:

1. Equipping the Extravagant Swords on Ratix and the other characters 
allow them to finish the Hound-Forms with ease.
2. Equipping the Extravagant Armor greatly reduces damage from the 
Hound-Forms, but Gabrielle can still kill in one hit...
3. Link Combo (make sure you go back to Astral and buy it if you 
haven't already) allows you to do Ratix's 7-Star Twin Slash and other 
characters' important Killer Techniques (Iria's Chi Kung Fist and 
Marvel's Hail Orb) in succession without the pain of having to do each 
one manually.
4. Marvel's Hail Orb(x2/x3/x4) and Iria's Chi Kung Fist(x2/x3/x4) done 
constantly in Link Combo can keep Gabrielle in hit-stun animation 
forever.
5. After Ratix gains up to around level 40, the first two hits of 7-
Star Twin Slash will damage Gabrielle, making it easier to beat her. 
Plus he'll have enough MP to finish the battle without fear of running 
out of Blackberry supplements.

One more tip for the future fights: Do not level up the battle skill 
"Flip." This skill allows fighting-type characters to sometimes run 
behind an enemy and attack them in their backs so that the enemy can't 
block. In normal fights, this is mildly useful. However in the 
Gabrielle fight, it is dangerously annoying since at any moment Ratix 
might stop his 7-Star Twin Slash barrage to try to run behind 
Gabrielle, or Iria might stop her Chi Kung Fist barrage to do the same 
thing. However there is a very real threat that Gabby can put up a 
force shield while someone is trying to run behind her, basically 
killing or petrifying the character attempting the "Flip" Gabrielle. 
Later, in fights versus those Eye-type monsters that can petrify you, 
you can face a similar situation of being attacked while trying to run 
behind them. And since you cannot turn off skills like in Star Ocean 2, 
it's better just not to learn "Flip" at all.

Once you get into a nice, comfortable routine of killing Gabrielle 
quickly, you can use all the extra SP you gained in those numerous 
level ups to max out your skills, item create even stronger items and 
accessories (Dream Crowns from Crafting for instance), finish the 
battle arena with everyone to gain good armor (Mythril Mesh and Star 
Guards), and go on a Violin duplicating spree to purchase Tri-Emblems 
in Sylvant for all your party members.

IV. CHARACTER TALENTS

Each time a new character joins your party; he/she is randomly given 
certain talents. The number of talents can range anywhere from zero to 
a maximum of four. If that character didn't join with a particular 
talent you had in mind, you can reset the game, acquire that character 
again, and he/she will have a brand new set of talents. The only thing 
you have to be careful about a character joining as an NPC (non-
playable character). Milly during the beginning of the game, and 
Iria/Ronixis during the rest of the game's introduction will officially 
join the party (you can see them in character slots in the menu), but 
they join as NPCs. This means you cannot check their status screen to 
find out what talents they have. More importantly, this means that if 
you save the game during a time when an NPC is in your party, when you 
finally can check their status screen to see their talents, it won't 
change if you reset the game. This is because their talents have 
already been decided the moment they joined you. For these special 
cases (Milly, Iria, Ronixis), you have to save the game before those 
characters join your party as an NPC, in order for you to be able to 
reset their talents should you need to.

  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ 1. POINT TO SAVE BEFORE "RESET-TO-GAIN-NEW-TALENTS" WON'T WORK _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

This section just tells you where to save the game so that if you get a 
character and don't like his/her talents, you can reset the game and 
he/she'll have new talents. Since most of you are playing the game on 
emulator and thus can frame-skip, I have removed the time information 
which used to show approximately how long the processes of "reset to 
gain new talents" took if you skipped all dialogue as quickly as 
possible. Most of them are rather short now, but Milly's, Iria's, and 
Ronixis' are still quite lengthy, frame-skip or not.

1. RATIX
- Point: Start of a new game
- Notes: Always starts with "Originality." Never acquires "Pitch Sense" 
or "Blessing of Mana." If you plan to Power Up early following this 
guide, the best talents Ratix should start off with are "Rhythmic 
Sense," "Writing Ability" or "Design Sense," and optionally "Sixth 
Sense" (because it is such a bitch to learn).

2. MILLY
- Point: Start of a new game (NPC rule, can't check her talents until 
after she wakes up Ratix in the middle of the night) 
- Notes: Always starts with "Blessing of Mana."  One of two characters 
(the other being Marvel) that can learn all 10 talents with relative 
ease, but make sure she starts with Sixth Sense though because it is so 
hard to learn.

3. IRIA
- Point: On Mt. Metox, right before she beams down 
- Notes: Never acquires "Originality" or "Blessing of Mana." If you 
plan to Power Up early following this guide, it will be helpful if Iria 
starts off with "Writing Ability" or "Design Sense," whichever one 
Ratix lacks. Most likely Ratix and Iria will be your authoring and 
artist characters because they are practically your first two REAL 
characters, so it's helpful if they both start off with the correct 
talents.

4. RONIXIS
- Point: On Mt. Metox, right before he beams down (NPC rule, can't 
check his talents until after the party sneaks back onboard Ronixis' 
ship to time travel back into the past)
- Notes: Always starts with "Blessing of Mana." Never acquires "Sense 
of Taste," "Love of Animals," or "Sixth Sense." If you have the 
patience, you should keep resetting until he gets "Originality" 
(because you do not want to try to develop "Originality" through 
Customization with him... or anyone).

5. CIUS
- Point: Outside of Hot, right after you saw him push the weapons 
merchant against the wall
- Notes: Never acquires "Manual Dexterity" or "Blessing of Mana." You 
should keep resetting until he gets "Originality." Since "Sixth Sense" 
is almost impossible to learn, it wouldn't be a bad idea to keep 
resetting until you get both.

6. ASHLAY
- Point: Outside of Tatory, after you've talked to him and had Ratix 
participate once in the arena
- Notes: Usually starts with "Originality," "Writing Ability," "Love of 
Animals," and/or "Sixth Sense." Never acquires "Manual Dexterity," 
"Design Sense," or "Blessing of Mana."

7. FEAR
- Point: 1. Save before you visit Astral to gain the Astral Emblem
            [Cius or Ashlay is in your party]
         2. Save outside the southern entrance of Astral before you
            break Fear out of jail [neither Cius or Ashlay is in your
            party]
- Notes: Never acquires "Blessing of Mana." As seen above, you can 
acquire Fear two different ways depending on your party composition. 
Point 1 is the "normal" way of getting Fear and happens when you have 
either Cius or Ashlay in your party. Take extra note that even though 
Fear joins your party temporarily if you have Cius in your party and 
you can check her status screen at that time; Fear will actually get a 
brand new set of talents when you get her permanently later on. Point 2 
is if you decide to not to recruit Cius or Ashlay. You'll get to 
recruit Fear much earlier than most people this way, however the 
downside is Fear can never return back to Astral and thus can never get 
her War God Ougi from the King when the party returns to collect the 
Emblems. As always since "Originality" and "Sixth Sense" are so 
difficult to learn, you might want to keep resetting until she starts 
off with them. But unlike most characters, her Customize special weapon 
is not her strongest.

8. JOSHUA
- Point: 1. Right before you meet him at the entrance of Parj Temple
            [Cius/Fear/only Ratix&Iria is in your party]
         2. Right before you meet him again and save him inside Parj
            Temple [Ashlay in your party]          
- Notes: Always starts with "Blessing of Mana." Never acquires 
"Originality" or "Love of Animals." Joshua will only offer to 
permanently join your party at the end of Parj Temple if you have one 
of the Astral characters (Cius, Ashlay, Fear) in your party. If your 
party is lacking a musician, or lacking someone with "Rhythmic Sense," 
Joshua makes a good candidate to keep resetting until you get some 
musical talents.

9. MARVEL
- Point: Right before you enter Ionis for the first time
- Notes: Always starts with "Blessing of Mana."  One of two characters 
(the other being Milly) who can learn all 10 talents with relative 
ease, but make sure she starts with Sixth Sense though because it is so 
hard to learn. Marvel joins automatically if your party contains Ashlay 
or Joshua. If you have Cius (but no Joshua), she will not join. If you 
have none of the above, she will ask Ratix to join only if Ratix did 
not get drunk at the bar. You have the option of removing Marvel 
permanently from your party if you have Joshua in your party.


10. TINEK
- Point: Outside of Tatory right before you fight him in the arena
- Notes: Always starts with "Sense of Taste." Never acquires "Writing 
Ability" or "Blessing of Mana." Like most characters, it would be wise 
for him to start off with "Originality" and "Sixth Sense" because they 
are difficult to learn. You cannot lose the battle against him.

11. PERISIE
- Point: Right before you start a Private Action in Clatos Village
- Notes: Always starts with "Rhythmic Sense" and "Pitch Sense." Never 
acquires "Writing Ability" or "Blessing of Mana." Assuming you meet the 
requirements for Perisie to join (have the Ocarina and an empty 
character slot and Milly), you still can only initiate the Perisie's 
recruitment private action during the "dead times" of the story plot; 
meaning when your party has no specific mission. For instance, you 
cannot initiate the private action during the middle of your quest on 
collecting the continental Emblems. Therefore IMO, the best time to 
recruit Perisie (and Tinek) is as early as possible: after finishing 
the Trial Cave in Van I Il, but before talking with Sylvant's King 
(which means if your party combination made Milly rejoin at Sylvant, 
you gotta hike your butt all the way back to Clatos Village before you 
step foot in Sylvant Castle after getting her). Like most characters, 
it would be wise for her to start off with "Originality" and "Sixth 
Sense" because they are difficult to learn.

  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ 2. GAINING SPECIFIC TALENTS  _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

Here's how I would go about learning the talents. I am assuming that 
you're using the Violin 2 song to help you develop your talents where 
applicable (I'll note it for each one), because playing the Violin 
greatly enhances the chances of developing new talents. Be aware of the 
bug that's associated with the Violin in the "MISCELLANY" section of 
the FAQ.

1. ORIGINALITY
- VIOLIN USE: Yes
- Notes: With the exception of Milly and Marvel, it's usually in your 
best interest to keep resetting the game until your characters start 
with "Originality." If they don't start with it, they'll have to 
develop it through Customize, and you'll usually have to forge the 
(unduplicatable) customizable weapon through Smithing, which hardly 
ever works. All leading to the conclusion that it's better for a 
character to start off with "Originality," rather than develop it. Iria 
and Joshua will never learn this talent.
RATIX:   Starts with
MILLY:   After creating a Magic Persia from Crafting using a Rainbow 
         Diamond, duplicate 20 copies and start customizing while 
         Violin 2 is playing
IRIA:    Never learns
RONIXIS: Customize Metal Fangs while Violin 2 is playing
CIUS:    Customize Silver Swords while Violin 2 is playing
ASHLAY:  Customize Mithril Swords while the Violin 2 is playing
FEAR:    Customize Bloody Swords while Violin 2 is playing
JOSHUA:  Never learns
MARVEL:  Duplicate 20 copies of Rainbow Diamonds and start customizing
         while Violin 2 is playing
TINEK:   Customize Spinning Spears while Violin 2 is playing
PERISIE: Customize Neko Fangs while Violin 2 is playing

2. SENSE OF TASTE
- VIOLIN USE: Yes
- Notes: Ronixis will never learn this talent.
Use the Cooking item creation with any ingredient repeatedly while 
Violin 2 is playing.

3. DEXTERITY
- VIOLIN USE: Yes
- Notes: Cius and Ashlay will never learn this talent.
Use the Crafting item creation using any mineral (iron is the cheapest) 
repeatedly while Violin 2 is playing.

4. DESIGN SENSE
- VIOLIN USE: Yes
- Notes: Ashlay will never learn this talent.
Use the Art item creation with the Magic Canvas repeatedly while Violin 
2 is playing. You could also use Magic Paint and try to duplicate 
items, but Magic Canvas is cheaper and faster.

5. WRITING ABILITY
- VIOLIN USE: Yes
- Notes: Tinek and Perisie will never learn this talent.
Use the Writing item creation for any skill repeatedly while Violin 2 
is playing.

6-7. RHYTHMIC SENSE and/or PITCH SENSE 
- VIOLIN USE: No
- Notes: Ratix will never learn Pitch Sense.
Developing these talents is surprisingly easy. Go into the Music menu 
of a character, select the second option "Perform," and play any song.  
If he/she did not learn a talent, get out of the menu, SWITCH TO 
ANOTHER CHARACTER, go into this new character's music menu, and repeat 
the process until someone learns Rhythmic Sense/Pitch Sense. It's 
easier if the song being played is "Trumpet 1," since it's the very 
first song on the list at the top of the menu. You can do these all 
these steps pretty fast if you're quick at pressing the D-pad and 
buttons.  You'll never learn these talents through writing music, only 
through playing instruments. Remember, you can't just stay on one 
character's music menu and play songs. If you didn't learn a talent, 
you have to go to another character's menu, and have that new character 
play a song before you can go back to the original. Also, you do not 
have to wait until the song is done before switching. You will learn 
the talent immediately when you start playing a song if it happens, so 
feel free to switch quickly if you did not learn either talent.

8. LOVE OF ANIMALS
- VIOLIN USE: Yes
- Notes: Ronixis and Joshua will never learn this talent.
Use the Familiar ability and attempt to make a purchase while the 
Violin 2 is playing. The tricky thing is that you can only use the 
Familiar ability outside on the world map, and only failed attempt per 
screen. Furthermore, there's another restriction that you must move 
pass 2 more screens before you can use Familiar again after failing the 
first time. This makes learning "Love of Animals" more annoying that 
most of the other talents. However, there is an ideal location for 
learning this: Sage Rock Peninsula (or that's at least what I call it). 
It's the peninsula on your way to Sylvant with 2 treasure chests at the 
tip (one of which was a Sage Rock). From the town of Sylvant itself, 
the peninsula is just a couple of screens west of the town's entrance. 
The reason why this place is of particular interest is because the exit 
of the peninsula screen and the next two screens are very close to each 
other. Putting this information together with the restrictions on 
Familiar, you can see that you can play the Violin 2 song while on the 
peninsula screen, attempt using Familiar and making a purchase, let the 
bird fly off the screen, walk down from the peninsula screen to the 
next screen (1 screen passed), then quickly walk right to the following 
screen (2 screen passed), then try the Familiar ability again. If you 
do learn the talent, it will happen as soon as you confirm the "Call 
Pigeon" after attempting to make a purchase at the "Familiar Shop" 
menu.

9. SIXTH SENSE
- VIOLIN USE: ???
- Notes: This talent is almost impossible to learn. You have an 
incredibly slim chance of learning it when you change the enemy 
encounter setting in your character's Scout ability. I believe that 
once changed, you have to wait a while before you can attempt to do it 
again, but I'm not entirely certain about that. Since this talent is so 
difficult to develop, I suggest you keep resetting until your character 
starts off with it if you truly wanted this talent.

10. BLESSING OF MANA
- VIOLIN USE: No
- Notes: You can't learn this talent.  Milly, Ronixis, Joshua, and 
Marvel will automatically start off with it.

V. MISCELLANY

  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ 1. LINK COMBO RANGE RESTRICTION CHEAT  _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

This trick is extremely useful because it negates the annoying range 
restrictions placed on your fighting characters' Killer Techniques and 
Ougi techs. To bypass the restrictions though, you need to have leveled 
the Link Combo skill to at least level 2, so that you have more than 
one "page" of Killer Techniques available.

Equip any technique in the short and long slots on the "first page" of 
your character's Killer Techniques menu. Go over to the "second page" 
of your character's Killer Techniques menu and equip the desired 
technique on the slot it normally can't be equipped on (since techs 
done in combos do not have any range restrictions). For instance, 
Ratix's 7-Star Twin Slash is normally a short-ranged attack only 
(except in combos), so equip 7-Star Twin Slash in the LONG-range slot 
of Ratix's SECOND page. Now go back to the first page and remove the 
long-range killer technique that you initially put there before. Now 
leave Ratix's Killer Technique menu completely and then return to it. 
7-Star Twin Slash (which you had just put in the LONG-range slot of the 
SECOND page) will now be in the LONG-range slot of the FIRST page where 
it normally can't be placed!

  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ 2. BUGS  _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

1. THE VIOLIN
If you've read Ian Kelley's FAQ, you'd know that using the Violin to 
learn new talents will result in the game freezing if you pushed any 
button while the "gained-a-new-talent" music is playing.  And you 
probably also read that the way to avoid it is to wait for the music to 
end before you push the "A" button to continue on.  But what Ian forgot 
to mention was that you CANNOT BE STANDING INSIDE A TOWN, CAVE, OR 
DUNGEON. If you tried to acquire a new talent while inside any town, 
cave, or dungeon the game will still freeze even if you waited until 
the talent music was over.  To avoid the bug, stand in the "overworld" 
map screen (if you can call it that) if you want to use the violin to 
learn talents.

2. UNRELIABLE INN/HEALING SPRING
Resting at an inn or drinking from the healing fountain on Mt. Metox is 
usually supposed to cure you of all status ailments. But occasionally, 
if your character is inflicted with both the death and petrify status 
(such as after a Black Slime/Gabrielle fight), the inn/healing fountain 
won't cure that character to maximum health.  In such cases, you'll 
have to use an item or spell to cure the petrifaction first, and then 
rest at the inn/drink the water again.

3. DUNGEON MUSIC REPEATS
Sometimes the dungeon music will suddenly stop and repeat itself when 
it's not supposed to. Nothing special about this bug. This is different 
from the bugs associated with playing the game on an emulator, 
discussed later.

4. OFF THE SCREEN
This happened several times to me when fighting the Gabrielle. 
Gabrielle can move off into the top of the screen and not come back. 
None of my characters had any attacks that could reach her, but she 
could still cast Meteor Swarm on my party.

5. FIGHTER'S MAGIC
When a lot is happening in battle, especially when you're constantly 
bringing up other character's menus trying to manually control them. 
Sometimes when you try to pull up a character's combat menu, it'll be 
invisible.  Well, several times when this happen, I was able to go into 
what appeared to be Marvel and Iria's magic menu!  There were no spells 
listed of course, but it was an interesting bug nonetheless.

6. FILE ERASES
I'm not sure if this is a regular bug or if it's just a problem of my 
copy of Star Ocean, but my game files have erased several times, 
resulting in me having to start over again. Just a warning. Of course, 
this warning means nothing to the 99.9% of the people playing this 
game, but to the 0.1% of us who have the cart too, well, be careful.

7. EMULATOR MUSIC PROBLEMS
Sometimes the music will stop suddenly. When this happens, be very 
careful because the game might freeze. Reverting back to recent save 
states might still reproduce the bug. I hear you have to revert back to 
a normal game save to continue, or try to exit onto anther screen as 
quickly as you can.



  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ 3. THE VAN TRIAL CAVE PUZZLE _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

Everyone has trouble with this part because the way Ian Kelley words 
the solution to the puzzle is very difficult to understand. So here's a 
more straightforward solution:

Hit the switches in this order: 6, 4, 3 and the door in middle should 
open.

     1     2     3     Door     4     5     6


  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ 4. MILLY WHERE ARE YOU?  _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
A point of much confusion for people is, "Why isn't Milly appearing in 
Edcart like Ian Kelley's FAQ says she will?" The answer is: depending 
on your party composition by the time you first reach Edcart, Milly 
will either meet up with your party in Edcart (earlier) or Sylvant 
(later). Ian Kelley used 2 party combinations to write his walkthrough, 
but both of them resulted in Milly appearing in Edcart, therefore he 
never mentioned the possibility that Milly could appear elsewhere. Here 
are the possible party combinations by the time you reach Edcart and 
where Milly will rejoin the group as result of them (Ratix and Iria of 
course always included):

1. CIUS ONLY: Edcart
2. CIUS and JOSHUA: Edcart
3. ASHLAY ONLY: Edcart
4. ASHLAY and JOSHUA: Sylvant
5. FEAR and JOSHUA: Sylvant
6. NO ONE (just Ratix and Iria): Edcart

Note that "FEAR ONLY" is impossible, because you must agree to go to 
Parj Temple for her to stay with you (you can't skip Parj Temple), and 
if you refuse to let Fear join after finishing Parj, Joshua will leave 
as well. "JOSHUA ONLY" is also impossible because he will only offer to 
join if you have an Astral character (Cius, Ashlay, Fear) already in 
your party. Also keep in mind that if Milly rejoins the party in 
Sylvant, you can never do her special PA where she gives Ratix the 
"Charm" accessory. That will only occur if she rejoined in Edcart, and 
apparently only if she has a high Approval Rating with him too (so buy 
her that damn earring!).

  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ 5. KILLING NEO JIE REVORSE IN 2 SECONDS  _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

Is it really possible to kill the last boss in just 2 seconds? Of 
course it is. Power up your guys to at around level 90 or higher you'll 
know when they're gods). Bring Ratix, Marvel, Iria, and Perisie into 
the fight, all in Free Form formation. As soon at the battle starts, 
(using the Link Combo Range restriction cheat), make Ratix do 7-Star 
Twin Slashx4; Marvel do Hail Orbx4; Iria do Sakura-Zhangx4 (or Sakura 
Flashx4); Perisie do Charming Posex4. If all the attacks hit at the 
same time and Jie did not put up his shield, he'll go down in a mere 
couple of seconds.

  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/ 6. APPROVAL RATINGS  _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

There are really only two ways to change Approval Ratings between 
characters: 1) Private Actions and 2) in battle. IMO, Private Actions 
have a much greater effect on Approval Ratings than battles do. I think 
some Private Actions that lower AR between certain characters can do 
unrepairable damage between the two. For instance, I think viewing the 
Private Action in Tatory involving Joshua and Marvel's conversation 
will utterly ruin any chance of a specific paired ending between the 
two of them. And since the endings are based heavily on the final AR 
ratings between characters, be very careful about not only what 
decisions you take during Private Actions, but also which Private 
Actions you end up viewing.

In battle, you can raise AR between characters by using any type of 
curative spell or item on a character; whether necessary or not. 
However, I think the change is very small and won't have as much as an 
effect that Private Actions do. Occasionally, when you do use a 
curative spell or item on a character, the healed character will 
actually give some sort of voice clip to indicate a sort of "thank 
you," (be it actually saying "Arigato," "Thank You," or just a sigh of 
relief). Not all characters thank each other though. Here's my 
observations:

1.  RATIX: Thanks everybody
2.  DORN: Thanks Ratix and Milly
3.  MILLY: Thanks Ratix and Ronixis only
4.  IRIA: Thanks everybody but Milly
5.  RONIXIS: Thanks everybody but Milly
6.  CIUS: Thanks everybody but Milly
7.  ASHLAY: Thanks everybody but Milly
8.  FEAR: Thanks everybody but Milly
9.  JOSHUA: Thanks everybody but Milly
10. MARVEL: Thanks everybody but Milly
11. TINEK: Thanks everybody but Milly
12. PERISIE: Thanks everybody but Milly

This is mostly from memory, so I might have to update later with 
corrections, but I do know Milly seems to be the most disliked 
character, with Ratix being the only one who thanks her for any kind of 
healing. Maybe everyone just takes her healing for granted? But looking 
at it the other way, Milly's not giving her share of thank yous when 
she's getting healed back either. Maybe she's just spoiled?

  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/7. DISPELLING SOME MYTHS  _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

1. Required Talents for Successful Item Creation

Well one myth that has been dispelled is the need for Originality for 
the Smithing item creation. Simply, it is not needed and it makes sense 
why. All item creations/abilities that have a talent associated with 
it, you can learn the talent through repeated use of that item 
creation/ability. Repeated use of Smithing will learn you nothing. 
Also, just try it out, characters that don't have Originality can be 
just as successful creating powerful weapons as characters without it.  
Here is a list of all the talents and what item creation/ability they 
are associated with:

1.  Originality: CUSTOMIZE
2.  Sense of Taste: COOKING
3.  Manual Dexterity: CRAFTING
4.  Design Sense: ART
5.  Writing Ability: AUTHORING
6.  Rhythmic Sense: MUSIC
7.  Pitch Sense: MUSIC
8.  Love of Animals: FAMILIAR
9.  Sixth Sense: SCOUT
10. Blessing of Mana: ALCHEMY

Notice that each TALENT is only associated with only one item creation 
or ability.  Also take note when you back-to-back same item creations. 
The game automatically cycles through only characters with the highest 
proficiency and the correct talents.  All other item creations and 
abilities (Compounding, Identifying, Smithing, Oracle, Training) do not 
require any talents to be successful.

2. Marvel's Holy Orb

Another myth that has been circulating around is that equipping Marvel 
with her ultimate weapon, the Holy Orb, will cause her Stamina to drop 
to zero. This is false. What is really happening is that Holy Orb 
carries with it a -10 stamina penalty. And since Marvel starts off with 
only 10 STM, if you were to equip her with a Holy Orb right away, her 
stamina will indeed drop to zero.  But this does not mean that anytime 
you equip her with the Holy Orb her STM will fall to nothing. The -10 
STM penalty quickly becomes irrelevant when you begin to level her up.


VI. THANKS

  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/1. Ian Kelley _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

Obviously for writing (at the time) the only walkthroughs for the game. 
I used his FAQs to get a lot of the Japanese Technique and skill names 
with this guide's initial release. I also used his hiragana/katakana 
charts back when I first played Dragon Quest 6 and Star Ocean back in 
1997/1998. English patch or not, you still gotta give respect for the 
guy who wrote the most comprehensive Star Ocean guide to date out of 
the kindness of his own heart.

  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/2. Sherwin Tam  _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

I kinda borrowed the format he used for the talent portion of his Star 
Ocean 2 guide. I modified it a little, but I'll credit where I got the 
idea.


  _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
 _/3. GameFAQ message board  _/
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

For being a helpful source of new information and gameplay help; 
especially informing me about Fear and Joshua's recruiting conditions.

Email me at lelbx@hotmail.com for any comments, corrections, 
contributions, and all that kind of stuff.  Until Star Ocean 3 (comes 
out in the US)...