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.Set after a nuclear World War III, mankind is looking for a new home and take to the stars. Edge Maverick is an idealistic but impulsive young man who volunteers for the mission- alongside childhood friend Reimi Saionji- and quickly ends up as the captain of his own ship following a terrible disaster. From there, Edge and Reimi explore different worlds to search for not only a new homeworld, but for the direction that mankind will take as it embarks on a new age of universal exploration.
This game provides example of:
Accidental Pervert: Edge, on at least 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 though.
Accidental Kiss: Lymle has one with Faize while trying to pull a prank on him.
Alien Non-Interference Clause: The Underdeveloped Planet Protection Pact was formed during the ending sequence for very good reason due to Edge's well intentioned actions, though he was not punished for them, and was the driving force behind it.
All In The Manual: A particularly bad use of this, as 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.
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 almost uninhabitable, making all eyes turn to space for a lasting solution.
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.
Arumat fits this trope down to the letter. He is a massive and rather intimidating man while wearing just a vest, wields a 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 as well for the way he beat the crap out of those Phantoms.
Bonus Dungeon: The Cave of the Seven Stars and the Wandering Dungeon.
Boss Rush: You fight all the Grigori again before fighting Faize in his One-Winged Angel form. They can be avoided if one is careful though.
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 ends up saving him and Edge at the end of the game. Also Lymle's "scribbles" on the Calnus end up saving it during an important event late in the game.
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. Not to mention that the normal battles while exploring the planet have a rather 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.
Furthermore, 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 does neatly explain 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 makes a point of mentioning that she has two 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.
Expendable Alternate Universe: So long, Parallel Universe Earth! Though it also carries a heavy subversion: 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.
An alternate boost can be obtained with 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.
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 are this by default.
Also Meracle, especially when you first obtain her.
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 weapon.
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?
The final boss has around 2 million HP on Galaxy (Normal) difficulty.
That is nothing compared to the bonus bosses. 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!
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.
Edge hands over future technology to an alternate version of Earth that over a hundred years in the past, which results in its destruction.
He was also indirectly responsible for the deaths of many people, including Lymle's grandfather, on Lemuris. 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. To 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.
Non-Combat EXP: Finishing mini quests gives you exp and the skill points to acquire skills. 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).
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.
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.
Shout-Out: This game references previous games in the series with music: basically the entire planet of Roak has remixed themes from Star Ocean I, for instance.
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.
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.
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 sort of kill everyone in it.
There was also 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.