Star Ocean: Anamnesis is a mobile phone game in the Star Ocean series developed by tri-Ace. It was created in celebration of the series 20th anniversary, featuring various characters from all the previous titles in the franchise, including music from series composer Motoi Sakuraba.
The game was released on Android and iOS platforms on Japan on December 7, 2016 and in North America on July 10, 2018. Sadly, after the 1 Year Anniversary of the game's localization, Square Enix announced that they're shutting down the Global server in November 5, 2019.
Taking place two years after Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, you take control of an battleship captain of the Pangalactic Federation under attack by a group of space pirates. Overwhelmed, you decided to evacuate your crews, leaving only you and your robotic operator Coro as the ones to make the last evacuation via a jump through a self-created warp gate powered by a hyperspace drive that technically should bring you instantly to Earth. Except something goes really wrong and you found yourself adrift in a faraway space outside the Federation's jurisdiction and made it your mission to get back to Earth ASAP.
Along the way, you encounter Evelysse, Eve for short, a mysterious woman with a mysterious Symbology power to summon heroes through time and space (read: Star Ocean characters, and then some) being accosted with monsters. You rescue her and continued your way to Earth, although Eve's tendency to try and help those in need will probably make you stop to nearby planets to help people, and accidentally unraveling Eve's past, one by one...
During the Star Ocean Fes 2018, the game's season 2 was revealed for the Japanese version of the game, titled Star Ocean: Anamnesis -Twin Eclipse-, which includes brand new tracks, new character, 3D homescreen characters, fully voiced main story along with other features. Season 3, titled Star Ocean: Anamnesis -Leash Code-, was teased at the end of Star Ocean Fes 2019, which looked like the story would get darker than the previous two seasons...
A light novel adaption of the first story arc was published online titled, STAR OCEAN anamnesis -The Beacon of Hope-, writen by Satoshi Wagahara. It was serialized at Dengeki Online from December 7, 2017 to March 19, 2018. It was later revised and modified, and was published in book form by Dengeki Bunko. It was illustrated by Mai Okuma (online edition) and Enami Katsumi (book edition).
There's also a few online gag mangas, Arekore, Oracle, Dame and the Daily Life of Anamnesis Captain, with all of them teaching the players how the game works, comedy with the various characters including event featured characters, recap on story chapters and other topics. You can read them by clicking on the respective one above, but all of them are in Japanese. The English version has started with the Arekore comics in English on the official Twitter page for the English version.
Star Ocean: Anamnesis takes Star Ocean's real time Action RPG battle system into the mobile port, where you can move your character with the touch pad and tapping on your enemies to attack them, in which your attack can differ depending on the distance with your enemy. Each characters have three skills, and can gain another one as they are augmented, and if the skills are being linked together, they will have increased damage. Fighting will build up a character's Rush gauge that when completed, can unleash a special attack, which other other characters (players in multiplayer), can follow up to increase the damage dealt on the enemy.
The characters are divided between these classes:
- Attacker: Front-line fighters that closes in to the enemy and specializes in taking out one target as quick as possible.
- Defender: Front-line fighters meant to soak up damage and protecting their allies, they have self-sustain skills and area-of-effect skills to draw out the enemies.
- Sharpshooter: Long range fighters that shoots an enemy from a distance, usually specializing in single-target elimination.
- Invoker: Long range fighters that uses offensive Symbology to bring devastating area elemental attacks from afar.
- Healer: Support fighters that specializes in healing Symbology to sustain the whole party, and occasionally equipped with minor offensive spells for self defense.
Despite the title being based on Star Ocean, it's actually a bit more closer to a tri-Ace gacha game, as eventually, the characters Evelysse can summon will also include Valkyrie Profile characters (it is the non-Star Ocean game that has the most characters aside of Star Ocean characters), and several Guest Characters, mainly from Square Enix, including NieR: Automata, Resonance of Fate, Infinite Undiscovery and Final Fantasy Brave Exvius.
Star Ocean: Anamnesis provides examples of:
- Adaptational Early Appearance: The Global version gave the Summer event (Planet of Deep Blue Sea) earlier than the Japanese version, therefore Summer Sophia (Healer) appears there first before the original Sophia (Invoker).
- Already Met Everyone: It is presumed that in the SO2 timeline, everyone is recruited. Thus, Ashton already recognized Opera, despite them being Mutually Exclusive Party Members in the past.
- Alternate Universe: The Luther event establishes that the events of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time takes place in an alternate universe. Presumably, in the main universe, the world is as real as it is, instead of being a game; and the events of Till the End of Time might happen similarly except with a bit tweaking to ensure that no aggressive 4D (which would lead to universe's deletion) were involved.
- Butt-Monkey: Coro is the butt end of jokes too many times, especially with his fear of ghosts. Also, in the Deep Blue Sea second arc, the Captain gets this treatment when they tried to play with Sophia (gets smacked several times with Sophia's godlike volleyball skills) and Reimi (she starts trying to smack him instead of the watermelon)
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: As a gacha style mobile game where you randomly draw for characters and weapons using gems, the game will naturally allow you to pay for more gems. Drawing more times will naturally increase your chances of getting high-tier weapons and characters.
- This is somewhat Downplayed by the fact that gems are pretty easy to come across for free players, and with a bit of patience (and getting all the daily and weekly achievements which often have gems as a reward) even a free player can get a few hundred to a few thousand gems in a week, depending on how dedicated they are.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Some of the choices available for the Captain to respond to situations tends to be REALLY out there that you can think that the Captain is a Bunny-Ears Lawyer.
- Combination Attack: There's Rush Mode, which allows all members to use a special move in succession if their rush gauge is filled. The more characters use it the more damage it does (known as Rush Gauge Bonus) with a cap of +300% damage from the last player to use it. The first to rush is standard 100%, 2nd is 150%, 3rd is 200%, last is 300%. You can also do this when combining normal skills.
- Continuity Cameo: The summoning system allows you to gain characters from all the main star ocean games, and seeing all of the old characters come back together is a big part of the appeal.
- Creator Cameo: Yuuichi Nakamura, Japanese voice actor of Victor Oakville, appears as a limited edition character as a chibi version of himself drawn almost similarly to the style of Pop Team Epic, and his moveset is a downgraded version of Victor himself. There's also a similar character based on and named after the Japanese media persona Mafia Kajita.
- Crutch Character: The three- and four-star characters. They are easy to get, easy to level up, and cheap to Limit Break, but will quickly pale in all skills and stats compared to the five-star or Ace characters.
- Early-Bird Cameo: In a similar case of the Adaptational Early Appearance case, events in the Global version are not in sync with the Japanese version, so sometimes, a character appear in the story/event segment long before they would even be playable:
- The Ghost: During the SO2 event, Rena mentioned Bowman Jeane evacuating the people of Fun City. However, he has not been put into the roster ever since, even in the Japanese version.
- HeelFace Turn: Amongst the Ten Wise Men in Star Ocean: The Second Story, you can have Michael and Lucifer in your team. Outside that, there's also Lezard Valeth.
- Heroic Mime: Subverted. The player character/Captain doesn't visibly speak, their speeches are rendered in "..." or "...!" or any other kind of Visible Silence. However, the other characters imply that they actually spoke something based on the situation, the players just weren't allowed to read what they're actually saying. Additionally, sometimes the player is given choices in how to respond to certain dialogues, and the choices tend to boil down to certain personalities, such as being supportive, being contrarian or being wacky, how the Captain responds are still up to the player and has no bearing to the plot.
- Mythology Gag: There is an irony about Celine's kit specializing in inflicting Silence on her enemies, when in her game's Animated Adaptation, she was literally silenced more than onceNamely .
- Limit Break: Rush Mode functions like this, where activities were put on halt for one big attack against a single enemy. This is actually quite similar with Tales Series' Mystic Arte, something that the Star Ocean franchise never had.
- Promoted to Playable: Several Star Ocean NPC or even bosses like Michael, Lucifer, Clair, Tynave, Farleen, Crowe, Stephen, Shimada, Daril and many more are playable as Earth Rare characters (4 Star), except Clair who's instead a Galaxy Rare (5 Star). Likewise, while Evelysse starts out as an NPC, she will become playable as a Healer.
- Saved for the Sequel: The SO2 event is divided in two parts. For the first part, you just get into Fun City on Energy Nede, and fought in the coliseum; and you don't even find any SO2 characters. Only in the second part you encounter Claude and Rena and help them fight Michael.
- Self-Deprecation: To promote the game, Coro held a session of explaining the chronological timeline of Star Ocean series, from 4 -> 1 -> 2 -> 5 -> Anamnesis. Then he's given a message that SO3 takes place years after Anamnesis. After reading the message, Coro proceeded to blabber on "What the hell is this!?" and insisting that he didn't see anything due to the infamous plot twist of SO3 about the universe being actually an MMORPG by the 4D beings.
- Ship Tease: Mainly between the Official Couple of the various Star Ocean games. There's also some between the Captain and Evelysse. There's even an event where he gets to choose between Evelysse, Rena, Maria, and Nel for a bride (as part of the storyline featuring bridal versions of them). Nothing romantic actually comes out of it.
- Surprisingly enough, there's also some between Arngrim and Aria/Hrist's human incarnation.
- Shout-Out: Upon leveling up, Welch will occasionally say "We must move forward, and upward, and always be twirling!", referencing The Simpsons Halloween episode Treehouse of Horror VII and the infamous "Twirling towards freedom" speech given by an alien impersonating Bill Clinton.
- Spam Attack: Most (if not all) characters rush mode and few regular skills.
- Visual Pun: The Christmas-based events have Evelysse don a Christmas-based outfit. What does she call herself? Christmas Eve.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Despite being a robot, Coro has an irrational fear towards ghosts which will lead to his screws going off. Happens a lot of times to the point of Running Gag.