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Video Game / Star Ocean: The Last Hope

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Star Ocean: The Last Hope is the fourth console installment in the Star Ocean series. It was released for the Xbox 360 in 2009 and got an updated re-release for the PlayStation 3 in 2010. It received another updated re-release on November 28, 2017 on PlayStation 4 and on Steam as a 4K HD Remastered version of the game. 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 colonize 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 Sarah, the White Magician Girl can advance through the Colosseum with the right build and tactics.
  • Aerith and Bob: Myuria, Reimi, Meracle, Lymle, Edge Maverick, Arumat P Thanatos … and Sarah. Sarah isn't even human.
  • 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 insistence because he witnessed numerous events where it went wrong.
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  • All There 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.
  • Anachronic Order: Fourth game in the series but takes place before any other game in the series' internal chronology.
  • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: As usual for Star Ocean. In the beginning, it's justified because the monsters apparently detect electromagnetic fields that old weapons don't generate. Edge himself uses a sword because his reflexes from being a Seed Of Hope make him aim ahead of anybody instead of where they actually are, causing his shots to miss, a problem a sword apparently doesn't have.
  • Artistic License – Physics: The planet Lemuris is noted to be about the size of Mars, explaining why its residents are shorter than other Human Aliens. The problem is that a Mars-sized planet should have seen its interior near-completely solidify long ago, losing the magnetic field that would protect lifeforms on the surface from solar radiation and keep its atmosphere from being blown away by the solar wind. At most Lemuris should have developed simple single-celled lifeforms before that happened, not a society equivalent to medieval Europe.
  • 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 its 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 McCoolname:
    • "Edge Maverick"? Really?
    • "Arumat P. Thanatos".
  • Bedmate Reveal: In one event, Edge wakes up to find Meracle sleeping right next to him. Then Reimi decides to come in without knocking. Cue Not What It Looks Like.
  • 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.
  • Bishōnen:
  • Bonus Dungeon: The Cave of the Seven Stars and the Wandering Dungeon unlock after the main scenario is cleared.
  • 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 D. 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.
    • When the Morphus set up camp on Nox Obscurus, the transporters they use are identical to the ones used on Energy Nede.
  • 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 Home Town:
    • 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 its sun is dying. It's 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.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: The Ethereal Queen is completely barefoot.
  • 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 have been destroyed, and suffers from a massive Heroic BSoD because he was indirectly 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.
  • Facepalm: Edge can't help but do this after a strange conversation between Sarah and the King of Astral in which she gives him the "gist" of an official letter that she's apparently had for more than three years and had forgotten to give him up until then. (She says she was fifteen when she got the letter. The game's dictionary gives her age as 19.)
  • Fairy in a Bottle: Made with crafting, and used in synthesis. There's one fairy for every stat.
  • Fetch Quest: The majority of the game's plot irrelevant sidequests are these. Many require to fetch multiple items over various points in the game, or craft them, which requires you to fetch multiple items needed to craft them. Occasionally you can just buy the items, but you can't count on that.
  • First Contact: Humans had such with the 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.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The International re-release of Last Hope has a bug that may cause the game to crash while you’re fighting the bonus boss in the Bonus Dungeon. This bug was never fixed. It does not help that dungeon itself can take up to five hours to traverse, and there’s no save point inside.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In one of the most unusual and perhaps bizarre examples ever, after beating the game at least once it is possible to choose to keep Faize in your battle party at the point in which Arumat would normally join. The thing is, he joins your battle party only, everything else about the game's plot and all of the cutscenes proceed as if Arumat was with you, up to and including the fact that a form of Faize is the final boss. This means that it is actually possible to have Faize fighting himself in the final battles.
  • 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 meet her, will strong but fragile due to being many levels behind the party.
  • Guide Dang It!: The game is loaded with sidequests and extras, including many things that are permanently missable, short of starting a New Game+. Missing even one can screw you up when trying to complete a particular quest. A number of others aren't technically missable, but can be near impossible to figure out without a guide. Additionally, the game provides no record of items you've created, or quests that you've completed, only ones that you haven't yet finished. The PlayStation 3 version, The Last Hope International, is notorious for being one of the most difficult PlayStation 3 titles ever to achieve a Platinum Trophy for, with a rating of 5704 Difficult Points "Extreme" on the site PSN Trophy Leaders and a completion rate of only 631 out of 68,736 players (0.92%). As this number doesn't count players not registered on the site, the true percentage value is likely much, much lower.
  • 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. It helps that they prefer swords and bows over guns and that they're genetically engineered humans This is also 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 Big Guy, joins the group he is using an arm cannon and later addition Meracle, Cat Girl, 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.
  • Heroic BSoD: Edge suffers a pretty extensive one after sharing technology from his ship with a world less technologically advanced. It ends up causing an accident that destroys the planet, killing the entire population. It takes quite some time before he comes out of it.
  • 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.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Obstructive Bureaucrat Shimada gets this when his cowardice results in him being in exactly the wrong place when it gets vaporized.
  • 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?
  • Loophole Abuse: Following the destruction of the Eldarian homeworld, the USTA declares that the SRF is to be disbanded. In fact, it never existed, and therefore couldn't have caused the destruction like the Eldarians claim. Commander "Lightspeed" Kenny is ordered to carry this out by destroying all remaining SRF vessels, but when he encounters Edge and his crew and explains the situation to them, Edge refuses to stand down, even knowing that he'll be branded a pariah, and the rest of the crew stands with them. Kenny decides to let them go. Afterwards, in explaining how they'll justify this to one of his comrades, they never encountered any SRF vessels. After all, there is no SRF and never was, so how could it have any vessels?
  • Magic Knight: Edge, Faize, Arumat and Myuria in certain situations, all mix magic and armed martial 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!
  • Meganekko:
    • Sarah wears glasses and they amplify her cuteness.
    • Welch is aware of the appeal of glasses.
  • Modesty Towel: In one scene, Edge is watching Reimi's Sexy Silhouette while she's showering. When she hears him make a noise, when leaves the shower stall wrapped in a towel to investigate, apparently having the towel inside the stall with her the entire time.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • The world leaders express regret in the cinematic opening when they witness the untold destruction of nuclear war.
    • Edge has a big bag of grief after 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. This is also the case for the "Defeat the assassins" trials in the Wandering Dungeon. That said, these are generally considered the easiest trials compared with those that require you to "clear abhorrent crystals" or find numerous Geostones.
  • 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 is 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, 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.
  • Reality Ensues: As polarizing as the quality of the aftermath is, Edge surprisingly reacts as realistic as possible when he learns that the Alternate Universe Earth is destroyed. He directly feels responsible for it, and begins to suffer depression as a result. Even if it wasn't intentional, Edge's actions have consequences, and the weight of it sends him into a Heroic BSoD for much of the following arc. The emotional impact remains for the rest of the game.
  • Religion of Evil: The church of Sydonai is premised with reviving an archfiend so it will burn the entire world, and 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. Magic is also used by those characters.
  • 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.
  • Santa Claus: Santa is a wandering merchant who sells stuff at insanely high prices in the Wandering Dungeon and can be encountered randomly. When Edge first sees him, he suggests that he might be some cosplayer, but he is actually Santa. Despite the high prices, a lot of his stuff is really good, or at the very least unique. That doesn't stop Edge, once you exit the shop menu, from complaining that he'd have to take out a mortgage to afford the stuff.
  • Sentai: The Mighty Multi-Colored Bald Eagle Rangers. Yes, they're really called that.
  • Shipper on Deck
    • If you return to Aeos after clearing out Lemuris, you can talk to Commander Grafton and learn he's rooting for Edge/Reimi.
    • After the SRF is disbanded and Edge and the others decide to go it on their own, Edge and Reimi have an unusually serious conversation with Welch in which she tells them that she'll be with them all the way. Unusually serious, that is... right up to the point where she says "I'm doing this for you two lovers, you know." and then claims that they're "eloping to the end of the universe," to find secret love beyond the stars.
      Reimi: That was just another one of her jokes, right? She knows the truth, doesn't she?
  • 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 vs. 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.
  • Stripperiffic:
    • 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.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In the beginning of the game, Edge encounters the giant bugs native to Aeos. Repeated hits from multiple guns do absolutely nothing to the bugs. At a key moment, a powerful high-tech blade introduced shortly before lands near him. This is obviously the moment in the story when, looking for anything that can hurt his foe, he grabs the blade and discovers it works like a charm. Instead, he keeps trying with his completely useless gun while people die around him. He's Too Dumb for Anyone Around Him to Live.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Edge became much more... irritable after the alternate Earth part of the game due to his Heroic BSoD. Thankfully, he managed to return to his old self after Roak.
  • Tsundere:
    • 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.
  • 20 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 it with the cast-off energy.
  • Weapon of Choice: Each character has one. Edge uses swords, Reimi uses a bow, Lymle uses a Magic Wand, Sarah use spears, Myuria use staves, Faize uses a rapier, Meracle uses claws, Bacchus uses an Arm Cannon and Arumat uses a scythe.
  • 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 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. Then using said technology to crush all their enemies.
  • Winged Humanoid: The Featherfolk race.
  • Yes-Man: Deputy Director Shimada's assistants do nothing but parrot what he says and agree with him.
  • You Killed My Father: Myuria wants to kill Crowe in revenge but replace "Father" with "Husband".


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