Video Game: Star Ocean: The Last Hope
aka: Star Ocean 4
The fourth game in the Star Ocean
series, Star Ocean: The Last Hope
, was released for the Xbox 360
in 2009 and got an updated re-release
for the PlayStation 3
in 2010. The Last Hope
is a prequel to all three previous games about how Earth first made contact with other worlds
.After a nuclear World War III devastates Earth
, mankind is forced to put aside their differences and unite for a common cause: to find a new planet to colonise and save the human race. Edge Maverick is an impulsive but determined young man who volunteers for this desperate mission alongside his childhood friend and foil
, Reimi Saionji. Together with a ragtag group of crewmen, aliens and cyborgs
, Edge explores the different alien cultures across the universe and tries to figure out exactly how mankind will live in this new galactic landscape.
This game provides example of:
- Accidental Pervert: Edge, on four separate occasions, although one of them wasn't completely accidental. Naturally, Reimi never reacts well. There is a PA where he calls her out on it because she walked into his room without knocking.
- Accidental Kiss: Lymle has one with Faize while trying to pull a prank on him.
- Action Girl: Myuria, Reimi, Meracle, Lymle. Even Serah, the White Magician Girl can advance through the Collesium with the right build and tactics.
- Alien Non-Interference Clause: Averted. There is nothing stopping Edge's crew from aiding an alien race however primitive they are. The Underdeveloped Planet Protection Pact was formed during the ending sequence at Edge's instistence because he witnessed numerous events where it went wrong.
- All In The Manual: The in-game encyclopaedia explains many important facts that aren't even hinted at in the main story, such as the reason why Lymle looks six when her profile says she's fifteen, and the reason for Faize's emotional suppression.
- Aside Glance: During one PA where Edge is trying to calm Reimi down, he glances at the player while commenting on what he has to do.
- Attack Its Weak Point: Many of the bosses battles require this. Each Grigori hides their core in a unique fashion.
- Awesome but Impractical: Symbology. Nice effects, big explosions, many colors and decent damage. However, without Fast Cast casting takes forever and the high-end spells can't be chain-combo'd which means you don't get bonus damage via the chain-combo damage multiplier.
- Awesome Mc Cool Name:
- "Edge Maverick"? Really?
- "Arumat P. Thanatos".
- Arumat fits this trope down to the letter. He is a massive and rather intimidating man while wearing just a vest, wields a scary energy scythe, and also has an obligatory scar from being a battle-hardened veteran that was part of an elite military group.
- Crowe should be under this section for the way he beat the crap out of those Phantoms.
- BFG: The Blessed Buster support mech.
- Big Damn Heroes
- Big "NO!": Edge has this moment when the Apostle of Creation is about to destroy Earth and recreate it.)
- Bonus Dungeon: The Cave of the Seven Stars and the Wandering Dungeon.
- Boss Rush: You can fight all the Grigori again before fighting Faize in his One-Winged Angel form. They can be avoided if one hugs the pathway out.
- Calling Your Attacks: It's no surprise that everyone in the game is an offender, given what this game is like. You can even unlock additional voice clips via battle trophies, so the characters will start saying different things when they use skills/symbology.
"You will be bound in eternal silence!".
- Sarah's extra voices add a bit of comedy to the battle.
"Lightning, uh, uh, something!"
- Chekhov's Gun:
- Near the beginning, Faize mentions his shuttlecraft Sol is connected to him, and he can summon it at any time. Guess what saves him and Edge at the end of the game.
- Lymle's "scribbles" on the Calnus save it during an important event late in the game because they are symbolic runes of power.
- Continuity Nod: The Last Hope serves as a prequel to the entire Star Ocean universe. About 336/36 years before Star Ocean 1.
- The entire planet of Roak is the home of the main characters from Star Ocean 1. The normal battles while exploring the planet have a nice remix of the battle theme from the first game as the battle BGM. The story even lampshades the fact that a local cult is trying to summon a being of Ultimate Evil. Your party is told that you will only prevent his summoning, but he will inevitably be unleashed, and only then will be destroyed as the Climax Boss of Star Ocean 1. Even the encyclopedia points out this fact.
- Crowe's secret ending reveals he's the direct ancestor to the main hero of Star Ocean 1.
- Stephen J. Kenny being the first human to travel faster than light and the first President of the Earth Federation neatly explains how Ronyx and Claude never, ever get punished for breaking the laws they mention breaking.
- Sarah Jerand has the same surname as two characters from the first game. Her dictionary entry spells out that she's their aunt through one of her unseen younger brothers.
- EN II has remixed themes from the second game, the physical similarities between the Morphus and the Nedians, and the presence of the four jewels in EN II's sactuary. The dictionary entry states that EN II was created after the Morphus destroyed their homeworld in a civil war 3.7 billion years ago, and we already know that Nall's description of Energy Nede's history was not accurate.
- Cursed with Awesome: The Seeds of Hope. Out of the 3, only Reimi views it as a curse due to a traumatic incident in her past. The others think it's awesome.
- Dare to Be Badass - Edge gets a zinger of one from Lady Elena on Roak, to snap him out of his Heroic BSOD after the destruction of Alternate Universe Earth.
- Disposable Woman: The cute shepherd girl that Faize talks to for five minutes on Roak; her death is responsible for his Start of Darkness.
- Damsel in Distress: Sarah is in the process of being captured when you first meet her and is later captured again as part of a plot to achieve The End of the World as We Know It.
- Doomed Homeworld:
- The Earth might qualify as one since it being "doomed" is the reason Earth gets into space exploration in the first place.
- It's mentioned that Eldar is running out of time, as it's sun is dying. It's is destroyed by the Phantom soldiers accelerating this process.)
- Lymle's hometown is struck by the stone sickness and then a plague of lizard men. The survivors leave.
- Encyclopedia Exposita: A menu option contains information pertaining to the Earth, to monsters, and the main cast.
- Expendable Alternate Universe: So long, Parallel Universe Earth! While the rest of the party play this trope straight, Edge is the only one to realize that billions of lives that have been destroyed, and suffers from a massive Heroic BSOD due to the fact that he was directly responsible for it.
- Experience Booster:
- Blue bonus board tiles boost your gained experience by 10% per tile.
- Green tiles, obtained whenever an enemy ambushes you. At the end of a battle, one party 'SP' point is added to your total for each green tile. By carefully manipulating the battle scenario, you can fill your entire bonus board with them.
- Fairy in a Bottle: Made with crafting, and used in synthesis. There's one fairy for every stat.
- First Contact: Humans had such with eldarians pre-series but it's still new. Humans are on the contacting side at Lemuris and they take pains to avoid it at Roak.
- Gainaxing: Everything Myuria does causes her boobs to jiggle.
- Glass Cannon:
- The best way to do any notable damage, especially post-game, is to turn a character(s) into one of these. A maxed out Berserk will double the character's attack but cut their defense in half. Add in the Spriggan monster jewel and you can double their attack again at the cost of cutting your max hp in half.
- Myuria and Lymle, as Squishy Wizards are this by default.
- Meracle when you first obtain her due to being many levels behind the party.
- Guns Are Worthless: At the very beginning of the game, when the alien wildlife appears, the SRF's railguns are promptly proven completely useless thanks to the electromagnetic energy shields that the giant alien insects possess. This doesn't come up again but Edge continues using a sword and Reimi a bow. This is par for course with Star Ocean, and the premise of the entire game series revolves around sci-fi heroes in a fantasy-esque setting.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Zigzagged Trope. Edge and Reimi start off using the same standard issue guns but after they discover that guns are worthless they play the trope straight. When Bacchus, the BigGuy, joins the group he is using an arm cannon and later addition Meracle, CatGirl, fights up close with her claws.
- Global Currency Exception: The colosseum, which requires the player to spend "Fight Tokens".
- Hello, Insert Name Here: You can change the first name of your party members, and the dialogue subtitles follow suit but the dialogue audio doesn't.
- Improvised Weapon: The "sword" that Edge grabs at the beginning to fight off the Bugs is actually a work tool designed for cutting through ship hauls and such. It's not meant to be used as a weapon, but he makes due with it until he can get his hands on a proper sword.
- Interface Spoiler: If you go around collecting all the spaceship data you can, you'll notice a couple odd gaps early on. The SRF-00X ships are listed in order, but the SRF-001 Calnus appears twice, in both its original version, and the version outfitted with Eldarian technology. There's a gap between its upgrade and the SRF-002 Aquila, hinting that the Calnus will receive another upgrade later in the game (which it eventually does, with the much-superior Morphus technology). There's also a gap after the SRF-002 Aquila, hinting that not only will it show up later, but it will be upgraded (or get upgraded). None of the other SRF-00X ships have gaps after them, so nothing interesting will happen with them.
- Jiggle Physics: Presumably present for all the women, but only slightly noticeable on Reimi and very obvious on Myuria.
- Lethal Joke Item: The Tri-Emblum. At first glance, it's like the Tri-Emblem, the best unmodified accessory in the game... except with 1/100 of the stats and none of the cool factors. However, it has a particular hidden stat whose worth doesn't become apparent until the post-game: A Synth limit of 8. This allows you to synthesize up to 8 other items onto it to beef up its power. The regular Tri-Emblem has a limit of only 3, but transfers 100% of its stats when synthing. If you synth some Tri-Emblems together, you can get one awesome one with 4x the stats. Or, you could synth 8 of them to a Tri-Emblum, getting an accessory with 8x the stats of a regular Tri-Emblem, three of the four awesome factors found on the Tri-Emblem, and best of all, able to be duplicated for the dirt cheap price of 1 Magical Clay, allowing you to outfit your whole party with them. What's not to love?
- Magic Knight: Edge, Faize, Arumat and Myuria in certain situations, all mix magic and armed marital arts.
- Male Gaze: The post-battle camera seems to really love Reimi's butt, and long pans all the way up Myuria.
- Marathon Boss:
- The final boss has around 2 million HP on Galaxy (Normal) difficulty.
- The bonus bosses take this up a notch. Gabriel Celeste, the first one, has about five million on Galaxy - in his weakest form. In his strongest one, he has three times that amount. And then? We have the Ethereal Queen, who has that amount of HP in her weakest form. In her strongest form, she has yet again three times that! And let's not get started on the higher difficulties. On Chaos, she has 64 MILLION HP in her strongest form!
- Sarah for the cuteness.
- Welch is aware of it.
- My God, What Have I Done?:
- The world leaders in the cinematic opening when they witness the untold destruction of nuclear war.
- Edge when his actions cause the destruction of an alternative Earth.
- Ms. Fanservice:
- Myuria is quite the busty lady. She even has Jiggle Physics. The camera specifically pans and rotates around her from the ground up, focusing on her butt and breasts before reaching her face during her victory poses.
- Reimi to a lesser extent. Her butt is huge, and shoved into the camera constantly. Those thigh-highs make it better or worse depending on how you feel about it.
- Multi-Mook Melee: The fight against the Phantom Soldiers on Aeos consists of one normal battle followed by seven ambushes.
- New Game+: After you beat the final boss, you can reload with a "clear" save file.
- You can also import battle trophy and monster data to a new game.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- Edge is indirectly responsible for the deaths of many people on Lemuris. including Lymle's grandfather. By destroying the source of the disease that had been plaguing the planet, everyone who was infected suddenly mutated and went on a rampage, before turning to stone. In Edge's defense, this would have happened to them eventually...his actions merely sped the process up and made it happen all at once. The only consolation is that, with the source gone, the disease would never afflict anyone again.
- Edge hands over technology to an alternate version of Earth that over a hundred years in the past, which results in its destruction.
- Non-Combat EXP: Finishing mini quests gives you exp and the skill points to acquire skills, as well as opening treasure chests. Also you get that by farming and or mining items at certain spots (the only way to finish some of said quests as well as getting certain crafting materials).
- Not What It Looks Like: Edge just can't get a break because the first time, it was what it looked like.
- A Nuclear Error: We see in the opening sequence that World War 3 started when an unmanned stealth drone was caught in the discharge of an EMP fired to inconvenience communications. Its nuclear payload inconvenienced a densely populated city (the ultimate in accidental friendly fire). This caused a worldwide thermonuclear war that left the surface of the Earth uninhabitable, making all eyes turn to space for a lasting solution.
- Plot Hole: Okay, so the Earth has become uninhabitable due to all of the nuclear fallout and polluted skies. Yet, at the end of the game, the earth is suddenly cleansed with no mention of what fixed it!
- Rain of Arrows: A lot of Reimi's higher level moves, in particular Savage Sparrows.
- Religion of Evil: The church of Sydonai is premised with reviving an archfiend so it will burn the entire world, kill everyone it (including themselves) for some kind of post-flame salvation.
- Rock Beats Laser: Only one character uses futuristic weaponry in battle. The rest use swords, bows, spears, and various other weapons.
- Roswell That Ends Well: The timing and the location of her recruitment heavily imply that Meracle was the Roswell alien. For that Earth, anyway.
- Running Gag: For one (innocent) reason or another, Edge always ends up in the female shower room while Reimi is taking a shower. Or he's caught with one of the other female characters in an awkward position.
- Sentai: The Mighty Multi-Colored Bald Eagle Rangers.
- Shipper on Deck: If you plod back to Aeos after clearing out Lemuris, you can talk to Commander Graffon and learn he's rooting for Edge/Reimi.
- Shout-Out: This game references previous games in the series with music: the entire planet of Roak has remixed themes from Star Ocean I, for instance.
- Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness: The game is all over the place. It mostly takes itself seriously, but in other places, it reverts completely and especially in the bonus dungeons. Between meeting the Mighty Multi-Coloured Bald Eagle Rangers (who ask Reimi to become the pink Eagle Ranger), greeting the Armaros Manifest II with "Trick or Treat!" (and the thing actually responding in kind) and meeting Santa of all people to sell you some of the game's most powerful items at pretty absurdly high prices.
- Something Only They Would Say: Or rather, something only they would wear. Lymle realizes the true identity of the Apostle of Creation from the fact that it's wearing Faize's scarf.
- Space Elves: The Morphus. Their name even means "Enlightened One". It's all but spelled out that they're a Nedian splinter group.
- Myuria wears little more than a top, bottom and gloves.
- Meracle is a mildly disturbing case, as she doesn't look much older than 12 or 13, even if her profile says she's 16. It's understandable if you consider how she had been treated at the lab, which may have affected her development.
- Survivor Guilt:
- Reimi's Dark and Troubled Past stems from this: the only child to survive radiation poisoning due to her Seed of Hope.
- Arumat also suffers this because on a number of occasions he was the only survivor in his squadron.
- Despite showing very little emotion, Lymle is this to Faize. Although she outwardly hates him and they argue often, they definitely share a connection. She cares very much about his wellbeing, especially late in the game when Faize disappears.
- Also, Reimi herself to Edge. She's a mild dere-dere type in that she's usually a Nice Girl to everyone, including him, but jealousy can get the better of her on occasion.
- Twenty Bear Asses: There is a subset of sidequests called "Shop Orders" which will ask the party to bring back 5 bee stingers, 1 ice crusher sword, 20 intensified gunpowers, etc.
- Verbal Tic:
- Wave Motion Gun: The beam fired by the defense system (in the form of a huge dragon) of Nox Obscurus most definitely qualifies as this. It destroys the Moonbase without even touching it; cooking with simply with the cast-off energy.
- Weapon of Choice: Each character has one.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist:
- The Apostle of Creation, who is actually Faize, is attempting to create a universe where no one will have to suffer and die like Faize's Eldarian brothers and sisters did. The only problem is that recreating the entire universe would kill everyone in it.
- Millia Bachtein, who truly had the best interests of Earth in mind. Unfortunately, her plans involved subjecting extraterrestrials (one of which was Meracle) to inhumane experiments in hopes of gaining their technology and enslaving them. And using said technology to crush all their enemies.
- Winged Humanoid: The Featherfolk race.
- Yes Men: Deputy Director Shimada's assistants do nothing but parrot what he says and agree with him.
- You Killed My Father: Myuria towards Crowe but replace "Father" with "Husband".
- Zettai Ryouiki: Reimi and Meracle wear thigh highs, although neither is wearing a skirt per se, just clothing that sort of resembles one from certain angles.