Star Ocean: The Last Hope is the fourth installment of the Star Ocean main series for the Xbox 360 and PS3. The battle system features four party members, which can be switched around, and is more team-oriented than past games. The hero's name is Edge Maverick, and the heroine is named Reimi Saionji. The game features more of a sci-fi emphasis than past titles and includes the ability to control your own ship. This ship is quite large, and can land on a number of planets and other space-based destinations. The game takes place a few centuries before the original Star Ocean (around SD 10, or approximately 2097 AD).
An international version of the game has been announced by Square Enix for a worldwide PlayStation 3-exclusive release on February 9, 2010. Officially known as Star Ocean: The Last Hope International, the PS3 version will contain exclusive new content. Set to be included are different menus and character portraits and access to both Japanese and English voices.
The Last Hope takes place on Earth in the year S.D. 0010 where the world is on the brink of destruction. In A.D. 2064 World War III broke out after several clashes between the World Republic Federation, the ruling government body on Earth, and its enemies around the world. Weapons of Mass Destruction were utilized by both factions of the war without hesitation, razing the lands on Earth. The declining situation lead the people to believe that the end of the world was nearing, but the critical situation forced both factions to declare a ceasefire. In the aftermath of the war, most of the Earth's population has been killed and the natural environment was deteriorating at an alarming rate.
The surviving population of mankind were forced to live in the confinement of underground cities and the countries banded together to form an organization known as the Greater United Nations. The Universal Science and Technology Administration or USTA was established by the Greater United Nations, its mission was to locate a new home planet for mankind in the far reaches of outer space. A.D. 2087, Professor Trillas Bachtein succeeded in his warp drive experiments which was a breakthrough in space travel. In S.D. 0001, the first year of the newly established Spacedate calendar, the USTA secretly put in motion its Space Reconnaissance Force or SRF project which would then in S.D. 0010 send the first human expedition into outer space to locate a suitable planet for the relocation of mankind.
There are 9 playable characters in Star Ocean: The Last Hope.
Edge is a young member of the SRF originally assigned as a member of the crew of the SRF-003 Calnus, later becoming its captain after the events on Aeos. He was born on Earth and grew up alongside Reimi and his best friend Crowe.
Reimi is the second in command of the Calnus. Skilled with a bow she grew up with Edge and Crowe, although she knows more of their shared history than she lets on.
Faize is the first extraterrestrial Edge and Reimi come in contact with. A brilliant Eldarian, he is inexperienced in battle. He is also the first character to show an ability to use Symbology.
Lymle, or Lym as she likes to go by, is a talented Lemursian symbologist. She originally travelled with the group in order to save her grandfather from a terrible disease but later continued on with them. She gives nearly everyone she meets an affectionate nickname but chooses not to give one to Faize. Instead the two have a somewhat strained relationship although it is obvious that she cares deeply about him.
A Morphus Scientist, Bacchus lost his body during a terrible accident. Now almost entirely mechanical he works with the crew of the Calnus to finish his mission to save the universe.
Meracle is a Lesser Fellpool from the planet Roak in an alternate dimension. After the alien ship she had snuck aboard crash landed on an alternate Earth in the 1950s Meracle was captured and held in a government facility. After being rescued by the crew of the Calnus she joins them on their journey.
Myuria is a Morphus researcher and adept Symbologist. She is angry with Crowe and is tracking him down through the galaxy to get revenge upon him. Although the party encounters her fairly early on she does not join them until somewhat later in the game.
Sarah is a peculiar Featherfolk from Roak. Unlike other featherfolk she is unable to fly. She claims it is due to her inability to run, as she is able to fly if there is something giving her speed already such as jumping off a cliff or being thrown from the treadmill on the Calnus. She talks in a strange childlike manner, something that Bacchus claims he hopes is just for show.
A member of the elite Eldarian Thirteenth Armoured Division, Arumat is first encountered early on Aeos but does not join the party until much later in the game. He has a brash attitude, although he does develop feelings of friendship with the entire crew of the Calnus.
Star Ocean: The Last Hope
- A ceremony marking the first SRF mission is carried out by the USTA Deputy Director Shimada at the Moonbase on Luna.
- Edge Maverick, a crewman aboard the SRF-003 Calnus, is blowing off the ceremony by remaining onboard. Reimi Saionji meets up with him shortly after the ceremony.
- While Reimi takes her post on the ship, Edge tries out the Battle Simulator and meets up with her shortly thereafter.
- Meanwhile, Stephen "Lightspeed" Kenny arrives on the Moonbase to meet Deputy Director Shimada.
- Edge and Reimi take their positions. Edge meets Welch Vineyard, their support liason on Earth. After briefly speaking with Crowe F. Almedio, Captain Grafton comes aboard, and the ships SRF-001 to SRF-005 launch toward the planet Aeos.
- Along the way, a mysterious, meteor-like object passes through the Calnus' warp field, and promptly disappears. It disrupts it enough to cause the Captain to order an Emergency Warp Out.
- The Calnus warps out above Aeos. It is out of control, however, and crash-lands on the surface.
- Sensors on the Calnus indicate the Balena, the Dentdelion and the Eremia (SRF-002, 004, and 005, respectively) have also crashed-landed on the planet. The Calnus rendezvouses with the crews of the nearby Dentdelion and Balena.
- Edge and crew disembarck to inspect the damage to the ship. They are attacked by a pair of native bug-like creatures. The crew tries to protect themselves with railguns, however, they have no effect. As a last resort, Edge draws a sword, which he uses to defeat them.
- Onboard, attempts at contacting the further away Eremia have failed. The Captain orders Edge to travel on foot to the Eremia to see if they are alright.
- Captain Grafton contacts SRF Headquarters to report that the exploration indicated no advanced lifeforms and his crew is dying. Shimada seems rather unsympathetic, but eventually promises to send "them" to assist. Grafton realizes he is referring to the Eldar that the USTA secretly made contact with in 2074 A.D.. Edge and Reimi overhear the conversation, but like the rest of the Earthlings, do not know who "they" are.
- Reimi insists on coming along with Edge. Edge initially refuses, but eventually relents and has her come along.
- Traveling across the planet, they eventually arrive at the ruined 005. A half-dead crewman warns them of a meteor they found on the coast. They brought it aboard for research, and a monster attacks the crew. The crewman says he intentionally destroyed the ship to try and kill it. He then dies.
- Edge and Reimi see a ship land. Out hops an Eldarian, Faize Sheifa Beleth. He says he was sent by Captain Grafton. Before he can finish explaining, however, the monster, Armaros, attacks the three of them.
- Edge, Reimi, and Faize defeat Armaros.
- Edge collects a stone left behind from Armaros. Faize then introduces himself and officially joins the party. Faize offers a ride back in his Sol, but Edge decides he wants to scout the area a bit more, so they walk back to the Calnus.
- The three return to the Calnus to give their report, where they find an Eldar field base. Faize explains these are modular bases that can be set up very rapidly on planets. In the base, they meet the Eldar Commander, Gaghan. Captain Grafton tells Edge to get some rest after his ordeal.
- After resting, the three meet back up with Gaghan and Grafton. They both agree the three party members should form a team and continue the SRF's mission. Grafton shows Edge to the newly repaired and upgraded Calnus. Grafton needs to remain on Aeos to oversee the exploration there and appoints Edge the new Captain of the new Calnus.
- Using the Calnus' sensors, Faize finds a nearby habitable planet - Lemuris.
- Upon landing on Lemuris, they stop in the nearby town of Triom. They are recognized as gods, which they deny. They meet the elder of the town, Ghimdo. Ghimdo tells them he has a disease called Bacculus, which turns the body to stone. A young symbologist, Lymle Lemuri Phi, shows up. Faize is very surprised to see symbology on another planet, let alone from such a young girl. Lymle wants to go north to the Alanaire Citadel to visit a symbologist known as The Oracle and retrieve a symbol she believes can heal everyone. Edge agrees to go with Lymle to the north, as part of the SRF's mission to eliminate threats to colonization.
- They travel into the snowy mountains and find the Alanaire Citadel. They fight to the top and defeat a Dragon Newt, which causes the roof to collapse, killing The Oracle. Lymle points out, however, there may still be hope - another symbologist from Woodley Village named Lutea has come here in the past and obtained it. She signed her name, as customary. The four depart to Woodley.
- Upon arriving there, they meet the symbologist, Lutea. She says it is true she obtained the symbol, however, it had no effect on the disease because she did not know the source. Out of ideas, the party decid to go back to Ghimdo for information. Lutea gives them a symbol stone to hold the knowledge of the disease when they find it. Luta also instructs that the patch back to Triom is blocked by a magical illusion, and tells them to retrieve a Faerie Orchid.
- The crew retrieves a Faerie Orchid to allow them to see past the illusion, and returns to Triom.
- Ghimdo says he does not know what the source of the disease might be. He does say, however, that the disease began a few months ago when another Celestial Ship landed in the Rinoa Valley. It was about that same time the monsters began to appear. Edge and Reimi decide to check it out. Ghimdo gives them the Fire Ring to help.
- Stepping outside, Edge wonders if the other ship could be the Aquile. Reimi says that it is impossible, since it landed a couple of months ago. Faize corrects them - due to space and time being related, it is possible it is Crowe's ship. Edge wonders if the Eremia arrived a significant amount of time before the Calnus did on Aeos.
- Finding the ship, they see it is certainly not the Aquile. The party boards the ship to try and stop the source of the disease.
- Onboard, they find a console that shows them the bridge was overrun by mutated members of their own crew. The crew being killed, the ship crashed onto the planet. Faize identifies them as the Cardianon.
- The four reach the heart of the ship and see a large floating diamond. They realize its made out of the same material as the meteor on Aeos. The Symbol stone reacts and breaks. A wave of energy emanates from the diamond and transforms the dead commander into a Grigory, Barachiel.
- Edge and the others defeat Barachiel. The object shatters and the Cardianon across the planet turn to stone. Faize believes that they have failed.
- Upon returning to Triom, they find Ghimdo has succumbed to the disease and is now turned into stone. Lutea arrives and tells the party that a mysterious light appeared around the patients, and with a loud howl, they all turned completely to stone. Edge laments his failure, but Lutea comforts him by saying at the very least, no more will be infected. Faize suggests their new mission should be to track down the source of these strange objects. Knowing their time has come to leave the planet, they ask Lymle if she wants to join - she accepts.
- Back on board, Faize uses the date retreived from the Cardianon ship to see that they were planning an invasion of the planet. Among the data, an image of the Aquila is found. They set a course for the Cardianon homeworld, Arcturus VIII.
March 28th, S.D. 10
- Reimi celebrates her 20th birthday during the flight to Arcturus VIII.
After March 28th, S.D. 10
- Arriving at Cardianon, they find a giant spaceship in their path. A tractor beam pulls the ship into the hangar deck.
- The crew disembarks with their hands raised, hoping for a peaceful resolution. As the door opens, they are immediately fired upon and are forced to defend themselves.
- Meanwhile, a mysterious woman looks on from the catwalks.
- Faize accesses a terminal along the way. The terminal indicates the Cardianon have been invading underdeveloped planets for some time. They also find the mysterious diamond shaped object listed in the databank, but can only read the filename - "Epiphanies of Guidance." More information might be located in the Central Isolation Chamber, so our heroes head there.
- Suddenly, the crew is transported into a holding cell. The Cardianon Leader tells them that Crowe was there and tore their ship a new one. He also identifies Edge and Reimi as having Muan blood, which confuses the hell out of everyone except Reimi, who says nothing. All seems lost when Bacchus D-79 busts through the wall.
- Navigating through the ship, Bacchus tells the gang about how he is a Morphus - a race of people who have taken it upon themselves to protect the galaxy. By pure chance, he received Crowe's distress signal. Bacchus was on his way to the Cardianon mothership to destroy the Grigori there, or as they call it, "The Epiphanies of Guidance." These Grigoris, he explains, rapidly accelerated the Cardianon evolution to the enraged form they are then. In fact, 200 some-years before, they had just developed speech. Once Crowe learned of his mission, he wanted to help. The duo attacked the ship, but were eventually captured. Bacchus caused a diversion to allow Crowe to escape, who promised to return to En II, the home of the Morphus, to report on the situation. That is when Bacchus came across Edge.
- Edge pledges to join Bacchus in his cause. They reach the Central Isolation Chamber, and with a single shot from a warhead, Bacchus destroys the Grigori.
- The Cardianon Leader from earlier shows up. Edge pleads with him to stand down, but he counters by saying the Epiphanies have made them gods. Edge corrects him, but he is beyond help. The remains of the Final Epiphany swarm around him and turn him into Sahariel.
- Edge and the others kill Sahariel, which depresses Edge. As they are walking toward the reactor to shut it down, the Cardianon Leader throws a grenade - Bacchus dives on it to save everyone. He survives, but is injured and has trouble walking. Faize and Edge help the incapacitated Bacchus out of the room.
- In the next area, they access a console and deactiate the reactor of the ship. Unfortunately, the backup system comes online - and what's worse, a countdown to warp is initiated as an emergency procedure. Bacchus says the destination is to uncharted space, which makes the probability of returning almost nil. Bacchus volunteers to stay since he will only slow the group down before getting back to the ship. Edge vehemently refuses to allow Baccus to sacrifice himself. He and the rest of the group begin to drag Bacchus behind him.
- Everyone makes double time through the Emergency Bypass as the bulkheads are closing. Again, they run into the mysterious woman from earlier, who stops the final door from closing with a lightning symbol. She comments that Edge is not the red-headed man and walks away.
- The Calnus escapes as the Cardianon Mothership enters warp. Everyone is relieved the final Grigori is gone and will no longer infect anyone else.
- The Calnus then heads toward En II. Along the way, they are sucked into a black hole, emerging near a planet amazingly similar to Earth.
October 7th, 1957 A.D. (Mirror Earth)
- Edge and crew arrive from the year S.D. 10 to an Earth in an alternate dimension.
- Edge and Reimi are confused as to why the Earth is not desolate and bathed in radiation. Scans show the air is safe to breathe, so all but Lymle and Reimi exit.
- The crew enters an old gas station. They see a copy of TIME Magazine (named "Chime Magazine"), and Bacchus intercepts radio transmissions referring to Sputnik I being launched by the "Reds" a few days ago. Edge deduces they are in 1957. Baccus and Faize have theories of Time Regression as to how they arrived, but neither has an answer on how they got there or how to return.
- Exiting the gas station, they see the Calnus surrounded by soldiers. A man approaches them named Klaus Bachtein. Klaus claims he is a friend, and will explain everything at his home a short distance away.
- Edge, Faize, and Bacchus decide to trust Klaus and follow him to his home, where they find Lymle.
- Everyone learns that Reimi has been captured. Klaus offers his services to save Reimi from the base by pretending he is bringing everyone else into the base as prisoners. Klaus then tells the crew about how he used to be a scientist at a facility nearby, built underneath the Barringer Crater. There, they conduct experiments on various lifeforms and have in their posession an extraterretsrial. Klaus quit out of spite, as he does not like the idea of a "breakthrough handed to him on a plate" - that the Earth is too immature for the technology. He says the extraterrestrial is a young girl named Meracle, who looks like a cat. Klaus begs for the party to take her back home and Edge agrees.
- Klaus leads the crew to the secret base entrance and gains access by saying he has changed his mind and wants to work again. Bacchus activates his stealth mode to hold the party's weapons as they enter the facility.
- While being escorted by the guards to a holding cell, Klaus says he will deactivat the door locks so they can escape and find Reimi. Edge, Faize, and Lymle are put into a cell. Bacchus secretly enters of his own accord, invisible.
- Making good on his word, the door locks are opened. This opens the doors throughout the entire facility, however, and all test subjects break free. Bacchus decloaks and gives everyone their weapons.
- Meanwhile, the soldiers find Klaus and beat him for opening the doors. He pulls out Meracle's Ocarina as they leave to recapture the test subjects.
- The party slices and dices their way through the facility until they run into Meracle Chamlotte, about to be attacked by the Genomic Beast. They defeat the beast and save Meracle who joins them.
- Edge, Meracle, and the rest locate the Calnus. Before they can board, they are stopped by Milla Bachtein, Klaus' ex-wife. SHe says that she has been studying their ship, and is interested in its energy source, the exhilithium crystal. She goes on to explain that they are rapidly running out of energy and need a solution. Edge speculates that she is referring to nuclear energy, which she confirms. However, both know that this source of energy would far surpass nuclear, and will be 100% clean. Edge believes he is still in his timeline and wishes to create a future where nuclear weapons never existed, where World War III did not leave his planet a wasteland. He agrees to give up the exilithium crystal if Milla promises to stop her experiments and to keep the Earth clean.
- As Edge offers up the crystal, Milla offers to lead them to where Reimi is staying.
- The group enters a room and does indeed find Reimi. Milla, however, betrays them and seals the door behind, trapping them inside. From their vantage point, they see Milla load the crystal into their anti-matter reactor named "Kevin" after their deceased son. Bacchus says if it activates, it will almost certainly destroy the planet.
- All seems lost until Klaus opens the door. Everyone escapes as the reactor is brought online. It is now beyond stopping, so everyone agrees they have to immediately escape. Meracle begs Klaus to come with them, but he refuses.
- Klaus embraces an insane Milla standing in front of the reactor as the anti-matter reaction begins to spread. They both are enveloped and killed.
- Everyone arrives back at the Calnus, but Meracle stops on the umbilical bridge. Unaware of what is happening, she wants to stay as Klaus is her only friend in the world. Edge disagrees and says they are all friends now. A convinced Meracle runs toward the Calnus as the bridge gives way. She leaps and does not quite make it bu Edge leaps out of the ship to catch her. Edge, in turn, is caught by everyone else.
- The ship is brought online and they try to escape. Unfortunately, the anti-matter reaction is producing a strong, artificial gravity. The Calnus does not have enough power without its exilithium crystal to escape. When all seems lost, Meracle ignorantly offers her pendant as a replacement. A bewildered Faize recognizes it is an exilithium crystal. It is loaded into the ship and they escape, unharmed.
- The mirror Earth collapses in on itself and is destroyed.
- Sensors on the Calnus indicate they are back to their original universe and timeline.
- Returning from the mirror Earth, the Calnus is attacked by a Phantom Ship. Arumat P. Thanatos of the Eldarian 13th Division conveniently arrives and fights them off.
- Bacchus suggests they land somewhere to calibrate the energy matrix for the new crystal, as well as to inspect the ship for damage. They choose a nearby planet named Roak.
- The crew waits for the order from Edge to proceed, but he has an emotional breakdown from the destruction of the mirror Earth. Reimi assumes command as Captain and orders the ship to Roak.
- Bacchus adapts his cloaking technology to the Calnus to conceal it. They land on Roak, on the Astral continent.
- Departing the ship, Bacchus, once again, cloaks himself to avoid suspicion.
- Passing through the mountains on their way to Tatroi, they are passed by a Roakian riding on a giant bunny. Meracle sees it as dinner, while Lymle sees it as a new playmate. Everyone else is puzzled. Meanwhile, Reimi appears to have trouble walking.
- Edge and the others arrive at Tatroi. Upon entering, they pass some mysterious figure covered in robes but think little of it. Reimi again has some difficulties walking.
- Traveling down the main street, they hear a rather subdued scream from a side alley. Running over, they find a Featherfolk woman who has been captured by bandits. Edge promptly defeats them all. He feels horrible, as his conscious forces him to help someone in need, but is upset with himself for interfering in the affairs of another planet.
- The woman introduces herself as Sarah Jerand, a Featherfolk. She seems to recognize Edge and Reimi from the statues at the Purgatorium - the statues of the Muah. Faize remembers the Cardianon referring to Edge and Reimi as Muah. Reimi, again, seems uncomfortable talking about it. They decide to reluctantly investigate the Purgatorium. Sarah volunteers her help as thanks for rescuring her, however, Edge tells her to leave. Sarah points out that you need a bunny to cross the desert to the Purgatorium, and suggests you speak to the nomads outside. She then leaves.
- The group travels outside to meet the group of nomads, "The Openers," or "Black Tribe." They speak to the Elder who they cannot understand. One of the nomads offers assistance - the same girl that passed them earlier. Unfortunately, she has no spare bunnies. She suggests they catch a field bunny, and shows the group hers by using a symbol. Faize is impressed by the symbol, which he identifies as transferrence. She gives the party bunny reins to assist. Faize asks if he can be taught the symbol, but she says that is for tribe members only. She extends to him an invitation to join. Faize says he will give it some thougth. Finally, she gives a cape to Faize. The cape, she says, will make them less noticeable to the bunnies, however, Lymle thinks it looks terrible on him.
- After they go capture a bunny, Reimi falls victim to the stone sickness. They carry her back to the inn in Tatroi.
- Meanwhile, Sarah is having a reoccurring dream one room over of Tatroi ablaze and overrun with monsters. She wakes up to Reimi's cries. Edge fears the disease is Bacculus, however, Bachus corrects him as it is actually stone sickness, a disease endemic to Roak. He says there is a remedy, which Sarah confirms they can get from the King of Astral.
- The party travels with Sarah up the canal to Astral Castle Town. She introduces her race as Featherfolk, but comments she cannot fly like everyone else. She also recommends that Edge and the others visit her friend in Tropp, Eleyna Farrence. Meracle seems to know of her as the Holy Mother Eleyna, but no one else has heard that term before.
- Sarah and the others arrive. Reimi is put in an inn and Sarah comments on how the stone sickness on Reimi had an extremely short incubation period, and also has extremely slowly developing symptoms. Regardless, they go and request the remedy from the king.
- The king complies but says it will take some time to prepare. Sarah asks if anything strange has been happening lately in the Kingdom. The king says that a new group called the Church of Sydonai has arisen, wearing robes from head to toe. They worship the Archfiend, Asmodeus, but none of their actions are illegal. Coincidental, many more people this year are catching the stone sickness, and rough seas have led to a shortage of raw materials. He recommends everyone rest in the guest quarters until the remedy is prepared.
- Standing on the balcony, Edge sees a man with a large tattoo on his back run through the courtyard. He dismisses it as nothing important.
- They meet with the king to check on the status of the remedy. The king tells them a bandit with a large tattoo of an eagle stole the remedy, along with all of the raw ingredients the kingdom had. Supplies have been scarce as of late, so he fears many of his people will now succumb to it.
- Edge realizes it was the bandit he saw running and did not act to stop, which causes him to beat himself up. Edge vows to capture the bandit.
- The party eventually tracks the bandit down to the arena in Tatroi. As part of a law in the Kingdom, gladiators who defeat ten opponents will be pardoned for any crimes. Desperate to not let that happen, Edge enters as the tenth opponent and defeats the Black Eagle.
- The Black Eagle returns the remedy and the ingredients and reveals he was hired by someone to steal it.
- The Captain of the Astral Knights, Lias Warren arrives. Edge tells Lias of The Black Eagle working for someone. Lias is impressed Edge got that much out of him. He praises Edge as a hero and the coliseum roars in approval.
- The group administers the antidote to Reimi. A crest on the back of her neck activates and the remedy takes effect almost immediately, which surprises Sarah.
- Reimi then tells everyone the explanation. When the Earth was irradiated, scientists looked for a way to allow humans to survive the harsh environment. They began "Project Hope." Project Hope took the DNA from an advanced race that used to live on Earth, the Muah. The scientists used this DNA to engineer super humans called "The Seeds of Hope." Reimi says she is one of those Seeds of Hope, along with Crowe and Edge. When their bodies are under stress or emotion, their crests activate and grant them supernatural abilities. Reimi's disease was so unusual because her body was adapting to the disease, ensuring her survival.
- Edge and Reimi have one of their moments, where she encourages Edge to feel better about himself.
- Outside, Edge is approached by three bandits. They saw Edge fight in the Coliseum and believe his sword to be the key to his power. Before they all attack, they are zapped by electrical symbology. The mysterious girl from the Cardianon ship appears and introduces herself as Myuria Tionysus. She is looking for Crowe and vows to kill him when she finds him. Myuria accuses Crowe of killing her beloved, which Edge says is impossible.
- Back in the inn, they find Sarah has disappeared - abducted in the middle of the night by the marauders from earlier. Edge says they must go save her.
- Outside Tatroi, The Openers appear to be missing. Faize suggests coming back at a later time.
- Edge catches a bunny.
- Using the bunny, Edge and the others cross the desert and enter the Purgatorium. Just inside, they see one of Sarah's feathers. They cannot find any way to enter the heart of the temple, so Meracle suggests they go to Tropp to ask Lady Eleyna.
- The group arrives at Tropp to overhear a man named Tamiel from the Church of Sydonai speaking of the resurrection of Asmodeus, the Archfiend. He says that people should devote their life to him, and upon resurrection, the world and everyone on it will be consumed in fire. Then, and only then, will people be granted eternal salvation. People suddenly don't seem all that interested and Tamiel leaves. Edge wonders if they were responsible for the bandit who stole the stone sickness cure.
- Everyone enters Eleyna's house, but she is nowhere to be found. Suddenly they look outside and see the house is on fire.
- Just before a huge rafter falls on top of everyone, a symbol appears and the group is transported out of the house.
- Our heroes appear alone in a cave. They are greeted by a woman identifying herself as Eleyna Farrence. She says that she knew the house was going to be set on fire and our heroes would be there - so she prepared the symbol in advance.
- Eleyna tells Bacchus to decloak himself, saying she knew he was there all along. She takes everyone except Bacchus inside her room.
- Just outside the cave, three bandits from the Church of Sydonai are milling about. Myuria calls down some lightning and fries them, complaining that Giotto always gives her the hard jobs.
- Eleyna seems to know everything about Edge and the rest through her Auguries; visions of the future that she has. For example, she knows they are not from this world. She tells Edge and the rest that eventually the Archfiend will be resurrected, but it is too soon. When that time comes, another group of warriors will rise to defeat him. To resurrect Asmodeus, however, requires a sacrifice of holy blood. Sarah's blood, being a Featherfolk, will fulfill that demand.
- Edge wonders what will happen if they fail. Eleyna channels an Augury, which is physically demanding of her. She does say that if they do fail, the world will be destroyed. Edge is again upset he will be involved with the fate of another planet. Eleyna passes out and is put to bed.
- Edge is still reluctant to help, especially because they don't know how to get inside. Faize is demanding faster action, even if they have to blast the place to rubble. He eventually relents and they wait until morning for Eleyna to wake up. Eleyna gives them a keycard to get inside. Faize comments that such high technology is impossible on this planet. Eleyna says she was given this card by a Muah.
- Eleyna gives the group one more piece of advice before leaving. She tells Edge to buck up because he is just one person. If he destroys a world, that world was already marching the path to destruction.
- Finally leaving the cave, Edge once again runs into Myuria. She introduces herself as Morphus and recognizes Bacchus' name. She reminds everyone she wants to kill Crowe for killing her beloved Lucien. Edge invites her to join, as their goal is to find Crowe also. Reimi objects but Edge says he will convince her that Crowe is not at fault. Myuria agrees.
- Our heroes travel to the Purgatorium to rescue Sarah. Along the way, they learn that the Church of Sydonai had killed the Openers as a sacrifice to Asmodeus. In addition, Sarah's sacrifice is close at hand. An infuriated Faize attacks and kills the cultists.
- The party reaches the end of the Purgatorium. Tamiel admits to having hired The Black Eagle to interrupt the distribution of the remedy. Edge is angered by his insane ramblings and his Muan powers activate.
- Everyone attacks and defeats Tamiel and his minions.
- While Sarah is being rescued, Faize notices a pendant that fell off of the platform - the same pendant the girl from The Openers was wearing. His eyes turn red, indicating he is suppressing strong emotions at the sight of it. He tells everyone there was nothing down there while Edge notices Tamiel died very similar to a Grigori.
- Outside, Sarah runs off to tell Eleyna the resurrection of Asmodeus was averted. Edge gets a message from Welch telling them to return to the Calnus immediately.
- Back on the Calnus, Welch tells Edge he has new orders from Earth - to return to Aeos. USTA and Eldar Comms are down between Aeos, so the USTA wants to know what's going on.
- The Calnus launches only to find Sarah has snuck on board. Lymle and Meracle are thrilled while the other three freak out. Sarah tells everyone about her dream of Asmodeus destroying Roak and that Eleyna said she is destined to meet the team and travel with them. She asks if she can come along. Edge doesn't really have a choice, now, and accepts.
- Arriving on Aeos, the group sees that the Eldarian base has been destroyed.
- Overhead, a black ship similar in appearance to the Calnus soars through the sky. Myuria says that it looks like a Phantom Ship. Not even Bacchus knows anything about these Phantoms, so she explains - the Phantoms are a group that appear from out of nowhere and spread destruction wherever they go. They are part of an ongoing investigation by the Morphus. Everyone ventures off toward the direction the ship flew, to the southern coast.
- Approcahing a clearing on the coast, Edge and the others are ambushed by Phantom Soldiers - looking like SRF members. Wave after wave of soldiers attack, when suddently the main cannon of the Phantom ship begins powering up.
- When all hope is lost, an energy blast rains from the sky and disables the cannon. The same energy blast cuts the majority of the remaining soldiers to ribbons and lands pinpoint shots on the phantom ship, cause it to retreat.
- Up above, the party sees Crowe holding an energy cannon while riding on an Eldarian Sol. Out of ammo, he drops the energy cannon and leaps to the ground.
- He is joined, shortly, By Arumat P. Thanatos, an Eldarian warrior. The two brandish their weapons and effortlessly defeat the remaining Phantoms.
- Just as Crowe starts to catch up with Edge and Reimi, Myuria threatens Crowe for taking Lucien's life. Crowe produces an audio recording of Lucien's last message, received via the Aquile. Lucian's ship was attacked by Cardianons. The Aquile tried to help but was too late. Lucien placed an unconscious Myuria in the final escape pod. She then woke up to see the ship explode, mistakingly believing the Aquile had destroyed it. With Crowe's innocence established, Myuria backs down.
- Everyone is then filled in on the fate of Eldar. Phantoms had caused their star to become a Red Giant much earlier than expected. They were forced to flee the planet on large refugee ships. They were then attacked by the Phantoms imitating SRF ships. Only a small fraction of the Eldar population escaped. This information causes Faize to become visibly shaken.
- Crowe receives a transmission from orbit that the Aquile and Refugee Fleet is under attack. Crowe runs back to the Sol to help. Edge promises to defeat the Grigori on Aeos. Faize, however, asks Crowe if he can come along to help protect his brethren, to which Crowe agrees. Finally, Arumat joins Edge and the others to stop the Grigori.
- Edge, Arumat, and the others fight to the bottom of the Miga Insect Warren and defeat Armaros Manifest.
- Meanwhile, back in orbit, the Eldarian fleet is once again sustaining heavy losses. The Aquile is horribly outmatched and badly damaged. Faize is overcome by seeing his people slaughtered and hops into his Sol to try and help. A giant energy beam heads toward the cockpit. Faize's eyes turn the same red color they did at the Purgatorium - his and Crowe's fates are unknown.
- Back on Aoes, Edge and the others finally make their way toward En II.
- Along the way, the Calnus is attacked by Phantom Ships. It's looking bad when Commander Stephen D. Kenny shows up in a new Earth ship and fights them off. Commander Kenny fills the party in that relations between Earth and Eldar are not going well. The ships that destroyed most of the fleet, and the race of Eldarians, appeared to be SRF ships. Seeing as how the Earth is so dependent on Eldarian technology and not wanting to lose their support, the USTA lied by denying that the SRF ever existed. Commander Kenny is here to transport the crew of the Calnus back to his ship and destroy it, thus maing the lie become true to win back their trust. Edge tells Kenny how the Grigori are going to destroy the Universe and they have to stop them. Kenny realizes what Edge is doing and quietly lets them go on their way. Kenny wonders howhe will report this and his First Officers reminds him their orders were to destroy the remain SRF ships. Since the SRF is no more, they didn't see any SRF ships on this mission.
July 30th, S.D. 10
- During the flight to En II, Edge celebrates his 21st birthday.
After July 30th, S.D. 10
- Upon arriving at En II, Edge is concerned that Crowe has not made it yet. Bacchus asks En II to upgrade the Calnus' capabilities as they did the Aquile, to which Edge agrees. Bacchus suggest that they met "Ex," the leader of En II.
- Arriving at Ex's chamber, they meet Giotto. Giotto explains that he is Ex's representative. Ex, in turn, is simply a conscious - or the will of Morphus. Ex warns the party that the universe is headed for destruction.
- Ex warns of a force called the Unknown Will. The Unknown Will is from outside the universe and hopes to change it. It is referred to as the Missing Procedure. The Missing Procedure lives off the life energy it absorbs from the life forms of the universe. It, in turn, has given birth to the Grigori, which it uses to accelerate the evolutionary process of species, and thus obtain more life energy. As we have seen, this rapid evolution has adverse consequences. The Grigori themselves are from sector Upsilon, the home of the Missing Procedure. They have the power to alter the molecular structures of life.
- Edge says he wishes to help stop the Missing Procedure. Before Ex can explain the plan for stopping it, the meeting is interrupted. A messenger informs Giotto that a Grigori has infiltrated En II's Sacred Sanctuary. Edge volunteers to defeat it. If it succeeds in overtaking the sanctuary, En II would be disabled.
- Our heroes travel through the road to the sanctuary and encounter Kokabiel. It lets out a wave of energy that disables everyone but Reimi in response to her Muan crest activating. She shoots Kokabiel in the face, stunning him for a moment, allowing everyone to stand up and fight.
- Back at Ceontropolis, Edge and Reimi discuss all they've been through and Reimi promises to stay by his side.
- Returning to Giotto, they are filled in on the plan. The Calnus and the forces from En II will launch a daring assault on Nox Obscurus. Upon reaching one of his poles, a transporter will be installed. This will allow a constant flow of reinforcements from En II.
The Calnus and the En II navy depart toward Nox Obscurus. They face a never-ending assault of Phantom Ships. It's looking pretty bad until Stephen Kenny arrives, along with the Eldarians. They noticed Nox Obscurus approaching Earth and have put aside their differences to help. They clear the way for the Calnus to proceed toward the planet.
- Suddenly, a giant dragon emerges from Nox Obscurus, called Jormungandr. It fires an energy beam that destroys nearly half of the coalition fleet. A second shot flies past the Moonbase, destroying it and killing Director Shimada.
- Once again, things are looking pretty bad before Crowe and a badly damaged Aquile show up. Crowe says he will fly near Jormungandr and reverse his warp engines, creating a black hole. Edge begs him to stop but he does so anyway.
- With Crowe's apparent death, the Calnus flies on. It is under extremely heavy fire and its shields give out. Suddenly, symbols Lymle has been drawing on the ship over the course of the adventure activate to a form a symbological barrier around the ship. They finally make a rough landing on the surface, however, are safe and sound.
- The transporter link with En II is established and the crew sets off toward the core.
- Our heroes find the core of Nox Obscurus but it is protected by a strong energy field manifested in a fierce whirlwind. Meracle notices a unique smell coming from nearby. Without any options, they pursue the smell. They find a wing of the Aquile planted on the ground, shielding the path from the whirlwind. Bacchus says Meracle must have smelled the core.
- After lying blue roses at the crash sight of the Aquile, in memory of Crowe, our heroes find the Palace of Creation. After passing through it, the group reaches the Grigori providing the energy source of the Missing Procedure and Nox Obscurus, The Apostle of Creation. Lymle seems shocked by the appearance of the Apostle.
- The Apostle explains that this universe is flawed and beyond salvation. Only then will all life be able to thrive and be given equal chance. The Missing Procedure is a means to carry that out.
- Edge and the others attack and defeat The Apostle of Creation.
- The Apostle, however, reveals himself to be Faize. Lymle recognized him because he was wearing the cloak he received from the Black Tribe nomads on Roak.
- Faize reminisces back to the time when the energy blast was about to consume his Sol. This light showed him the power of the Missing Procedure - a universe where all alive evolved equally, free from pain and sorrow.
- The Apostle tells Edge to never use the name "Faize" again. Showing a picture of Earth, he threatens to wipe out all life on it so it will remain beautiful. He then banishes everyone to an alternate dimension with no apparent means of escape.
- All seems lost when Edge's Muan seal activates and he notices a bright light up ahead. None of the others can see it but they march on, anyway.
- Our heroes travel toward the light, encountering and defeating Grigori they have faced in the past.
- On the brink of death, Edge makes it to the now very faint light. It extinguishes itself in front of them. The Apostle tells Edge their universe is already destroyed and he should give up. Edge refuses to believe that and the idea of a forced evolution universe.
- Suddenly the light comes back, which Edge recognizes as the physical manifestation of life. It brings everyone back to Nox Obscurus.
- Edge tells Faize about the light. He, once again, becomes angry that he used the name "Faize," which causes everyone to repeat the name once more.
- Pushed over the edge, Faize draws power from Nox Obscurus and transforms into Satanail.
- Edge, Reimi, Lymle, Bacchus, Meracle, Myuria, Sarah, and Arumat attack and defeat Satanail.
- After defeating Satanail, Faize transforms back to his old self. The ground begins to shake and crumble underneath them as the Palace of Creation breaks apart. A fissure divides Edge from the others. Giotto arrives using a transfer symbol, which is now possible because the tie between Nox Obscurus and the Missing Procedure is severed. Edge is too far away to be saved. Reimi jumps off the platform to go after him but Sarah grabs her in mid-air, finding the ability to fly. Taking Reimi back to the group, they all hold her back inside of the symbol and are all warped out.
- Edge, meanwhile, is laying on the edge of one of the pieces, holding onto Faize. Realizing Faize is just holding Edge back, he lets go and falls into the darkness. Moments later, the platform Edge is on crumbles and he, too, falls in.
- Somehow Edge survives the fall and finds Faize's Sol. He flies back to Stephen Kenny's ship for a reunion with Reimi and the others.
- Now that things have been forgiven between the Eldarians and the Earthlings, Earth is cooperating in the Eldarian's emmigration efforts.
- Giotto, Stephen, and Commander Gaghan talk about starting a technological exchange between themselves and other planets. Edge is against the idea, however, saying it would force evolution - and they would be no different than the Missing Procedure.
- Edge convinces everyone to evolve at their own pace. Giotto says he will return to En II and continue its mission to remain a hidden force in protecting the galaxy. The Eldar say they will abandon all technology and move to Lemuris as to not influence their civilzation.
- Welch Vineyard traverses the timeline, leaving S.D. 10.
- The Terran Alliance is established on the 3rd planet of the Sol System (Earth) in order to unite all newfound planets and species. This organization rapidly grows as more planets are discovered and the Terran Alliance eventually changes its name to the Pangalactic Federation. In order not to interfere with still developing planets, the Underdeveloped Planet Protection Act (UP3) is passed.
- Commander Steven "Lightspeed" Kenny is promoted to president of the USTA.
- Lymle returns to Lemuris to see Lutea. Later, she is seen teaching a new generation of symbologists the craft. She then goes back to Triom to visit Ghimdo's statue, only to see Faize there.
- Bacchus meets his wife, Freesia, back on En II, and the two head to their home. Bacchus apologizes for being disloyal all this time, which his wife accepts.
- Meracle goes back to Roak to live with Lady Eleyna. Later, she storms off after having a spat with Eleyna in response to Eleyna calling her an alley cat. Eleyna tempts her with fish and she immediately relents. On the ledge we see an artist painting a picture of the two, entitling it "Eleyna and the Feline Gourmand," which just so happens to be a story from the Mirror Universe's version of Roak that Meracle grew up on.
- Sarah also returns to Roak, to the Featherfolk Enclave, trying to learn how to fly. Later, she is pursued by two, hungry Lesser Fellpools, shouting cries of "Chicken!" She jumps off a river bank to escape her pursuers and takes flight, finally getting the hang of it.
- Myuria places flowers at Lucien's grave on En II and seems to finally come to peace with his death. She thanks Edge and Crowe for allowing her to get over her despair.
- Arumat joins his fellow Eldarian refugees to live on Lemuris. He is having difficulty adjusting to a life of peace and gets in a Sol to leave. Later, he is seen on a desert planet, protecting a crew of Earthlings.
- Edge and Reimi are appointed to Interplanetary Transport Captain and First Officer, respectively. They are then introduced to Trillas Bachtein of this Universe, who Stephen Kenny reveals built their warp technology with the help of Eldar, as well as the ship Edge and Reimi will be assigned to; the new Calnus. They then depart on their next mission.
- Receiving an augury, Eleyna walks along the beach to find Crowe. She comments that he is quite handsome and that their offspring will be grateful for that.
The game uses the same real-time battle system as previous games in the series with. There is a new Rush gauge: a feature that allows the player to either have a preemptive strike against the enemy or use a certain ability or special attack. Each character has their own unique Rush gauge status. Another new feature is the Blindside system in which the player can leave an enemy targeting them open to a counter by leaving their line of sight. This latest installment returns to having a four player fighting party. The game also includes real-time character switching allowing active party members to be switch for reserves during battle.
Skills are back like every other SO game. There are skills for battle and some for the field or Item Creation. Because of their use in and out of battle, they'll have uses throughout the entirety of the game, so they'll be a major part of getting through some things in the game.
Besides skills as in attacks, there are other skills that can be used in battle. Some are used to help you, like decreasing chanting time when casting Symbology, others are there to help you analyze the enemy.
SP is also back, and you have both party SP and individual SP. Both can be used to level up each character's skills.
On the field are certain other command skills. For example, Edge has a dash skill which lets you run faster, and Bacchus can mine in some areas for items.
Then you have Item Creation skills, which are used for, of course, item creation to allow you to make certain items or get better at making other ones.
A first in the series, the player takes the role of captain of the spacecraft, the SRF-003 Calnus. The ship is one of five assigned to scout new frontiers under the First Expeditionary Batch and authorized by the USTA. Numbered 003, the Calnus contains a flight deck where the player can pilot the ship to various planets throughout the game. Also on the main deck is the spacious recreation room where the player may place certain items, and the conference room, where the player can gather the crew to come up with new ideas for Item Creation. The crews quarters are located on the upper deck of the ship along with the battle simulator. The ship is one of the main sources of Private Actions that can occur in the game.
Commonly known as IC, Item Creation is a tradition throughout the Star Ocean series. The player can create weapons, healing items and accessories for use in the game. Raw items used in IC can commonly be found in shops, while rarer and uncommon types can be found in combat fields. In Star Ocean 4, a new feature called "Recipe Creation Conference" has been added. The player will be able to gather his team members in discussion of creating an item, but the abilities and stats of the final product will vary due to the team members' different personalities and characteristics, specifically their IC skills. This allows the player to experiment, creating the same items with different members each time for desired results. Creation of weapons and accessories can yield added effects using raw items, for example, the player can create an HP+30% healing item or a weapon with ATK+10% effect. This, in turn, leads to an enormous amount of variations for the same item. However, item creation has a failure rate and ingredients and supplies will be destroyed in the process. Welch Vineyard returns in this game, in charge of fulfilling IC requests from the player. Besides the usual items the player can build during IC, ship decoration items are also available for creation. These optional items spruce up the Calnus, adding more features such as new furniture, vending machines, a jukebox that plays unlocked tracks of Star Ocean 4 in the game, a biorhythm machine that analyzes the player's and team members' health status, and many others.
Commonly known as PA, Private Actions once again return in Star Ocean 4, where the protagonist Edge Maverick can interact with his team members. By conversing with them during rest after exploration or battle, the player can form a rapport with him/her which increases the member's affection or respect for the main character. Choosing the right choices and fulfilling certain conditions can unlock special events or cutscenes between Edge and the team member. The player can also select a team member to have as a roommate, which also builds up a rapport and further unlocks more PA events. In battle, a special "Rage" mode can be unlocked if a party member is seriously injured or near death, which angers other members close to them into attacking enemies with much stronger attacks. Finally, PAs pave the way for different cutscenes shown during the ending of the game. A total of about 100 PAs can be achieved in the game.
The main new feature in battle is the Rush system. Each team member can unleash special or preemptive attacks by building up their Rush gauges during normal attacks. Besides returning to 4 party members in battle, new features in Star Ocean 4 such as Jump add different varieties and styles during combat. Blind Sides can let the player evade enemy attacks and dash behind them, inflicting counterattacks from their blind sides. Another new mode is the Real Time Member Change, which allows the player to switch out active members for reserve members during battle.
The Battle Enhancement Attribute Type (BEAT) System allows the player to choose Edge's and active team members' preferred fighting styles, such as offense, defense, sneak attacks, etc. As combat experience increases, the team can achieve higher combat rank statuses, which unlock advanced styles, known as Action Upgrades. BEAT.S is a type of offense fighting style, which is actually a special Blind Sides technique. In effect, the team member forgoes defense and initiates multiple Blind Sides to confuse the enemy, then unleashes a flurry of highly damaging attacks. BEAT.B is a type of defense fighting style, a special Rush mode power play style. The team member fights the enemy directly in front with special attacks. During this time, the member is almost invulnerable to enemy attacks. BEAT.N is a neutral style of fighting as it doesn't upgrade any particular ability, but combines the stat enhancements from the other BEAT styles. This is often used as the default BEAT for a character and the player can change it at will.
Special Attacks and Symbology
As the player's and team members' levels increases, special attacks for each of them can be unlocked. A variety of long-range, short-range or area attacks can be performed. As level increases, these attacks will get much stronger and damaging. Link Combos can be created by chaining special attacks together, which makes it highly effective during boss battles. All these require MP to perform in battle. Symbology, or also known as Heraldry, allows the usage of magic by inscribing symbols or crests on the body. MP usage differs from each character; a combat-oriented fighter who isn't used to casting magic may lose more MP than an adept Symbology user does. Various symbols have different casting times, depending on the user's stats. Link Combos can also be used when casting Symbology for creating multiple chains of magic attacks.
When players encounter enemies out in the field, three types of encounters will occur:
- Preemptive Attack - Player runs into an enemy from the back. This allows the party to get a free hit before the enemy begins combat.
- Surprise Attack - Enemy runs into a player from behind. Enemies begin combat with partially filled Rush Gauges and there are commonly more enemies present.
- Ambush Attack - After seemingly defeating all enemies in the encounter, the party immediately runs into another set of enemies in the field. Instead, when the current battle ends, another battle begins, so the party will have to keep defeating enemies until there are no more encounters in the surrounding area. After-battle results are postponed until the last encounter ends. EXP gained and item drop rates increase with each battle in the ambush.
Battle Bonus Board
- Main article: Battle Bonus Board
Another feature is the Battle Bonus Board. Whenever the party battles, a bar on the right-hand side of the screen will start accumulating colored jewels. These jewels are rewards for accomplishing various skills, magic, Blindside moves, critical hits, etc, by the player-controlled character in the party.
Star Ocean: The Last Hope was originally announced at the "Star Ocean Special Stage" at the 2007 Square Enix Party as the tentatively titled Star Ocean 4 with no platform. An Xbox 360 release was revealed during the 2008 Xbox 360 RPG Premiere. In a special interview with Xbox Japan, weeks before the game's release, game producer Yoshinori Yamagishi revealed that the team began planning out Star Ocean: The Last Hope immediately after they finished developing Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, so actual development time took about 5 years. The game uses an improved version of the game engine used in Infinite Undiscovery, where it is able to generate much better graphics, and the stunning expression of light in real time. He also mentioned that the biggest problem the team encountered while creating the game is capacity, as making an RPG on the latest generation console requires vast amounts of data and coding thanks to the complexity of graphics and animations. The game will also be running at a constant 60 fps. Pre-rendered movies are done by a collaboration between tri-Ace and Visual Works, while character design and illustration (only in the Japanese version) is handled by Katsumi Enami, best known for his illustration work in the light novel and anime series Baccano!.
When asked whether the title would release on the PlayStation 3, Square Enix producer Yoshinori Yamagishi replied "We can say that it will be released first [on the Xbox 360]. Whether we'll release it on the PS3 is undecided. We may release it, we may not." Square Enix and The Last Hope's development team later stated that there were no plans for a PS3 version. In an interview, Yamagishi said that Xbox 360 was the first seventh-generation console to come out, and its "extremely well-made hardware", from a developer's standpoint, as the reasons why he chose it to develop Star Ocean: The Last Hope on. In a test play session held for Microsoft Japan employees and some prominent bloggers, when asked if Star Ocean: The Last Hope follows after Star Ocean: Till the End of Time's plot twist, Yamagishi stated in a Q&A session that the world of SO4 exists in a parallel universe from the one in the first three Star Ocean games. When asked if tri-Ace will remake the first three games on a new generation console, Yamagishi stated that he would rather work on a new sequel to Star Ocean than develop remakes, as the development time for them, would be very consuming. Since then Yoshinori Yamagishi has stated that he finished with Star Ocean after achieving all he set out to do with the series.
On September 14, 2009, Star Ocean: The Last Hope International was announced in Japanese gaming magazine, Famitsu, exclusively for the PlayStation 3 including new content that was not included in the original Xbox 360 version. This put an end to the many rumors that The Last Hope would receive a PlayStation 3 port.