Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Star Ocean

Go To

Star Ocean is the first game in the Star Ocean series. It was originally released for the Super Famicom; that version was never ported to the West, though Fan Translations exist. Square Enix first remade this game for the PlayStation Portable; this remake, titled Star Ocean: First Departure (FD for short), was released in North America and Europe in October 2008.

11 years later, FD gained a major High Definition Remaster for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4, titled as Star Ocean: First Departure R, and was released on December 5, 2019 with the feature of switching between the original Japanese voice cast of the 1996 SFC version and the voice cast of the FD version. note 

The game tells the tale of a young boy named Roddick Farrence from the planet Roak (most of whose inhabitants have tails and pointed ears, though there are other races) whose world is under threat from a horrible disease that makes those who catch it turn to stone. Seems like standard fantasy fare, until Captain Ronyx J. Kenny and his Number One Ilia Silvestri from the Terran Alliance beam down to the planet to investigate. The stone disease is much more than what it seems, not just for Roak but other planets as well....

The game is followed up by Star Ocean: The Second Story, which takes place several years.

This game provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Mine: An optional area hidden in Mt. Metox is an abandoned mine filled with super-tough enemies and high value loot.
  • Aborted Arc: It's found out very soon in the game that Roakians have the ability to see invisible beings and objects due to their copper-based blood, with said blood capable of hiding anything and anyone by turning invisible unless a living Roakian is around to spot them, and thousands of the petrified ones have been quietly removed from the planet. Neither of these facts ever come up for the rest of the game.
  • Aerith and Bob: There are characters like Millie and Ioshua, which is near enough a common earth name, but also T'nique and Ronyx. What makes it funnier is that Ronyx is one of the few characters who is actually from earth.
  • Alien Blood: A major plot point in Star Ocean is that Fellpool blood is copper-based. You'd think this would make them have blueish skin, but all they show for it are their tails. How copper-based blood is supposed to make things invisible is anyone's guess. Though Fellpool blood, like Vulcan copper-based blood, is actually green anyway.
  • Anachronic Order: This game started the series, but it's actually the second game in the series' internal chronology, happening a fair amount of time after The Last Hope.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Teaching a character the Familiar skill lets them call on a carrier bird to go buy items at a shop and return back with the purchased items at any time during a dungeon.
    • If you're trying to recruit Erys but you also wish to recruit Phia or T'nique, you need at least 6 party members in a group after the Emblem Quest starts. If you recruit both Ashlay and Ioshua, Millie will not join your team in Eckdart but will join you at Silvalant Castle, at which point your team should have the needed characters to recruit Erys and be able to squeeze in Phia or T'nique before you get Millie to rejoin, though the window is rather small.
  • Artificial Stupidity: When a healer is trying to heal a party member who then gets knocked out, they won't stop the spell and waste it on a dead body.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Millie and Pericci try to invoke this on Ioshua, but he runs away before they can give him a makeover. They mention their disappointment, as they believe he would look gorgeous in women's clothing.
  • Backtracking: Multiple times:
    • After visiting about half of Past Roak, a meteorite falls next to the First Town and you have to go back to check it out.
    • Any reason you have to go back to Van Castle, you need to traverse the really long field either between the port town of the nation or Silvalant Castle, because there is no port to access the castle unlike the rest of the castles (though Astral Castle lacks a port, the way back to it is alleviated somewhat by Tropp's port being close by).
    • Getting Pericci means you have to go all the way back to the first town.
      • And if you want to get her Bunny Whistle, you have to go to Astral, through a Private Action with her agree to infiltrate the castle's treasury, and then go all the way back to the second town to get the bunny. What makes this slightly less bad is that the bunny is one of the few ways in which travel becomes less tedious.
  • Badass Normal: Notably, Ronyx starts the story as a normal human with no special skills whatsoever. However, once reuniting with him, it turns out Millie taught him about Symbology, and he was able to develop the skill to use it despite not being from Roak at all, which is rather impressive in itself.
  • Bishōnen: Some of the male cast, but especially Ioshua, even ingame characters said he is pretty.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Not just attacks, heals and special abilities are called too.
  • Cat Folk:
    • Fellpool, Lesser Fellpool, and Highlanders; more so with the Lesser Fellpool with their cat ears and ability to shapeshift into a cat, while the former look like pointy-eared tailed humanoids. Highlanders are based on big cats (tigers in particular) rather than the usual housecats. (Note that in Star Ocean: The Second Story, regular Fellpool, at least the ones on Expel, are portrayed as cat people, with the party member Leon in that game being a cat boy in everything but name.)
    • The third game's encyclopedia reveals Expel's amount of genes being mixed up results in occasional cases of Cat people.
  • Character Select Forcing: Getting Erys means that the party will absolutely be comprised of at least Roddick, Ilia, Millie, Ronyx, Ashlay, Ioshua, and Mavelle who gets replaced by Erys's real body.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Early in the game, Roddick, Ilia, and Cyuss are tasked with delivering a giant, bunny statue to a store owner. If one recruits Pericci later in the game, it turns out that the bunny is her friend and its "statue" status means its sleeping. After Pericci wakes it up, the bunny can be used as a faster means of travel throughout the overworld and to avoid overworld encounters all together.
  • Clothesline Stealing: Roddick is tasked with bringing clothes for Ilia so she can blend into Roakian civilization. One option is to steal them from an elderly woman's clothesline, but that is not recommended unless you want Ilia's affection towards Roddick to drop.
  • Cosmic Deadline: The Fargett arc. While the presence of a third party who was behind the firing of a bioweapon on Roak was actually foreshadowed within the first couple of hours, it feels a little like it came out of left field. On the other hand, a lot of the events in the game are directly connected to Fargett going beyond just the stone sickness.
  • Debating Names: There's a short debate on what the cat's name should be, before Pericci is recruited into the party. Of the four, one name choice a dog's name, and one is an insult.
  • Depending on the Artist: The original game's art style depicted Roddick with a short ponytail. His hair has no accessories at all in the remake's art style, so no ponytail.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: The Space-Time Laboratory within the Demon World.
  • Escaped from the Lab: Asmodeus was originally a superhuman creation from Fargett who went crazy and fled through a vortex - alongside the Space-Time Laboratory - to the Demon World in Roak, where he started to use the monsters from the realm as his own experiments and unleashed them to the planet so that he'd conquer it.
  • First Contact: Inverted. Roddick, Millie and Dorne, three fellpools from the primitive planet Roak, meet the humans Ronyx and Illia for the first time and learn that they are not alone in the universe.
  • Foreshadowing: As the story progress, the party ends up finding a lot of advanced technology sprinkled around Roak, even if it's 300 years in the past. Even the Celestial Ship makes Ilia comment that it somehow resembles the ships from Earth. It later turns out that all the advanced technology either came directly from the "Old Race" or Asmodeus, who once hailed from Fargett before fleeing to Roak's Demon World. Both of these sources once originated from the Muan Kingdom that used to be from Earth itself.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Mavelle is really Erys.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Jie Revorse's creation was an attempt by Fargett scientists to create superhumans who could be able to live on the deserted planet and take the right choices for the rest of the normal humans. When the normal humans were convinced that the superhumans had little room for error when having a position of power, they elected them to lead the inhabitants to a better future. What followed after was Jie going Mad With Power and having the rest of the superhumans killed to establish a dictatorship.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The average player may waltz right through the game and miss many characters simply because they choose to accept others. The real title goes to Erys however - an addition to the PSP remake, who requires three other characters recruited while two of them make sense (if you know what their stories are), the third is easily missable and has no connection to these two.
      • To boot, to try to get Erys, you have to wander to the ends of the Silvalant Kingdom and just find a cave that's not revealed on the overworld map.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted when it comes to Ronyx and Ilia. Ilia is the martial artist, while Ronyx is both the archer and offensive mage.
  • Healer Signs On Early: Subverted. Although Millie is in the party for the prologue, she is separated afterwards. The first character with healing spells (Ioshua) isn't available until the last dungeon on the second continent; both he and (at that point in the game) the dungeon are optional. Millie, the non-optional healer, doesn't rejoin until you get to the last continent on Roak.
  • Interface Spoiler: Of the three characters you start with, two of them gain new spells/abilities as they level up, while the third doesn't. Guess which one of them spends the game Taken for Granite.
  • Killer Rabbit: One enemy is what appears to be a cartoon rabbit in nightwear carrying an oversized pillow. It is among one of the game's tougher enemies.
  • Laser Blade: The Force Swords, a double Shout-Out to Star Wars. The fourth game explains their origins.
  • Lost Forever:
    • Generally, a lot of the optional party members are lost when you turn them down the first chance you get.
    • Recruit Cyuss and you're immediately locked out from getting Erys.
    • Not recruiting Ashlay, Ioshua, and Mavelle will lock you out from recruiting Erys.
    • At Portmith, after learning about the Velkend pirates, sleeping at the inn 20 times will cause you to lose the chance to recruit Pericci later.
    • Recruit Phia early and you'll lose the chance for her to learn her SFT skill, which she can only learn when she's recruited later in the game.
    • After the Point of No Return, you can't ever go back to Roak and will lose all the unique items, Private Actions, and missing party members needed to fill out empty slots.
  • Mage Species: While all three varieties of Felpool require special tattoos to use symbology, Featherfolk have the necessary symbols etched into their very DNA, so most, if not all, are naturally capable of using symbology.
  • Medieval Stasis: Roddick and Millie travel back 300 years in time, but there is no indication whatsoever that anything is less developed than where they started. It is also never commented upon.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members:
    • Cyuss and Ashlay. If you recruit one of them, you cannot recruit the other. If you choose not to recruit either of them, however, then Phia will join instead (though recruiting her this way does lock her out of her Gods of War SFT).
    • Phia and T'nique. Both of them share the same party requirement (need to have 6 or less party members). Phia, however, has an alternative recruitment method as mentioned above.
    • Subverted for Pericci and Welch, as both also share the same party requirements of needing 7 or less party members in order to join. However, you still can recruit both of them as long as you are at or under 7 party members when you encounter them.
    • And of course, Mavelle and Erys. You cannot have both of them at the same time, since Mavelle is Erys. And since Erys requires Ashlay, that means Erys is also exclusive with Cyuss.
  • Mordor: The planet Fargett, which is run by the previously mentioned Jie Revorse.
  • "No Peeking!" Request: After Roddick and Ilia go through the timegate and arrive on Roak, Ilia tasks him with finder her some clothes so she can blend in. When he brings her the clothes she'll go to change in the bushes, and asks him not to peek, causing Roddick to Sweat Drop.
  • Optional Party Member: Everyone else other than Roddick, Dorne, Millie, Ronyx, and Ilia.
  • Overworld Not to Scale: Remake-only. In the overworld, Roddick is taller than any town. The SFC version averts this, as it instead uses Pokémon-style routes in between key areas.
  • Panthera Awesome: Highlanders are the evolutionary descendants of big cats, unlike their Felpool cousins who evolved from little cats. They are correspondingly larger and more robust.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: The Abandoned Mine in Mt. Metorx, but only for a short while. The first time you can access it any enemy will kill you in one hit. When you are able to handle the enemies there, though, it's only a short time until you move on to more lucrative ones in terms of experience.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • Want to get Erys? Hope you have the three required characters for it. Otherwise, halfway through the quest, you lose her self as Mavelle, and Ioshua is resigned to live without her.
    • Pretty much all of Roak after getting to Fargett becomes barred off from ever being visited, meaning all the missing party slots, unique items, and such can't be accessed anymore.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: As seen in the image, Roddick has blue hair, while Millie's is pink.
  • Point of No Return: If you decide to fight Asmodeus, you will no longer be able to explore Past Roak. Luckily, the game will notify you when the cutoff will happen to avoid saving over a file before the lock occurs.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Mavelle is, though in this case, it is just the body since she is actually Erys inside. Welch show up in several Star Ocean games, which are all years apart in the timeline, yet looks all the same anywhere.
  • Retraux: Sort of for First Departure R. It has a feature that changes the character portraits to ones based on their designs and art style from the original Super Famicom version of Star Ocean (which is to say, less anime-ish), including the new additions like Erys and Welch. In addition, the game features an additional Japanese voice-over track recorded by the original voice actors from the SFC version (The original voice actors were tasked to voice the new voice scripts provided in First Departure as in the original, only battle scenes and the opening cutscene were fully voiced).
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Bunny who serves as land transport.
  • Rock Beats Laser: The reason that Ronyx and Ilia recruited the Roakians for the final mission is because Jie Revorse has made himself immune to modern weaponry.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: In the prologue, a planet is destroyed by an explosion measured at 40.3 quadrillion joules. That's the equivalent of a 10-megaton nuclear blast, big, but nowhere near enough to destroy — or even devastate — an entire planet.
  • Secret Character: You probably need a guide in order to get Welch, T'nique, Pericci, and Erys. You might be able to run into Welch by yourself as she is the easiest of the characters to recruit.note 
  • Shipper on Deck: Everyone for Ronyx/Ilia. Even Millie, who makes a joke about the "this and that" Sexual Euphemism regarding her training of Ronyx in Symbology seemingly to irritate Ilia. She tries to persuade Ilia to reveal her feelings for Ronyx, but Ilia doesn't go through with it. Finally, though, when Ronyx does make his move, everyone's peeping in the jewelry shop until they scatter in a Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone moment. Talking to each of your party members shows how long they waited for the two of them to finally end up together.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: The game makes sure the party has a full-time healer by the time the player reaches Eckdart (either Millie or Ioshua), as the regular battles there become much more difficult; often requiring healing multiple times per battle instead of once every few battles.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Expect the party members to say variations of this at the start of each battle the further you get in the game, even though they are capable of coming out victorious.
  • Time Travel: The team heads to the past in order to retrieve the same blood sample used to engineer the disease, but must leave behind weapons and communicators. It's not shown how the team returns to the present. At the Final Dungeon, the characters from the past are brought to the future to fight against the big bad. Also, some of the companions may leave something in the past for their future friends.
  • Updated Re-release: Star Ocean: First Departure R, based on the PSP remake, for the Switch and PS4.
  • Video Game Remake: First Departure for the PSP, which was based on Star Ocean: The Second Story.
  • Winged Humanoid: The Featherfolk race has angel-like wings.

Alternative Title(s): Star Ocean First Departure, Star Ocean Fantastic Space Odyssey