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File:Star Ocean Till The End Of Time Dvd ntsc-front.jpg

The third game in the Star Ocean series, Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, is set hundreds of years after the previous installments. Fayt Leingod, an Ordinary College Student, is vacationing on a resort planet which suddenly gets attacked by aliens. A few escapes later, his escape pod crash lands on an undeveloped planet, he gets rescued by a member of La Résistance, they crash on another undeveloped planet, and they get caught up in local politics. The repercussions of the alien attack - and the reasons for it - are going to catch up with Fayt again....

It's possibly most famous (or infamous, depending on your viewpoint) for the huge plot twist that comes about halfway through the story that completely changes the scope of not just the game, but the entire series itself.

Tropes used in Star Ocean Till the End of Time include:

  • Action Girl: Maria Traydor, Nel Zelpher, Peppita Rossetti, and Mirage Koas.
  • Aerith and Bob: Fayt, Souffle, Albel....Roger.
    • It's even more hilarious when you realize Roger is the one who would be most out-of-place on modern Earth.
  • A God Am I: Luther's gotten a little too obsessed with running the Eternal Sphere.
  • AI Is a Crapshoot: In a truly bizarre inversion, you and your entire party. You and the entire universe are just data from the perspective of the Fourth Dimensional beings that created you.
  • All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game": Just about everyone are actually unknowing NPCs Inside An MMORPG.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Belzeber, based on his appearance and voice. However, being a minor boss character, this is actually never said straight out.
  • Apocalypse How: Class X-3. Earth and Vendeen both go silent, Aldian is destroyed, and varying levels of destruction/attacks by Executioners hit all the other planets in the Milky Way as well. Luther eventually pulls a Class X-4 on the whole Eternal Sphere.
  • Apocalypse Wow: Executioners versus the Earth's defense grid.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: The respected scientists researching a device that travels through time, study magic for a living and have the event recorded on video, think people won't believe them the device warned them of extra-dimensional beings coming to destroy them.
  • An Axe to Grind: Roger.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Earning battle trophies unlocks new costumes and color schemes for your characters.
    • And music, higher difficulty levels, and other simple little rewards.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Many of the most damaging Battle Skills have an overly long startup time, and said moves also tend to have high Capacity Point costs that limit what other moves can be used alongside them.
    • It really depends though. For instance, Max Shockwave is one of the key skills of Cliff, as well as Maria's Energy Burst. Also, Fayt's "Dimension Door" attack was so overpowered in the original Japanese release that the designers nerfed it for the US-release/Directors-cut; and it's still one of his more useful attacks.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Fayt Leingod. Imagine people calling him that with a straight face when he was just an Ordinary College Student.
    • It's even worse in the Japanese version, where his name is actually spelled Fate Linegod.
  • Badass Grandpa: Adray. Technically, he's a dad, but he sure looks more like a grandpa; plus, if his interactions with his daughter are any indication, he's trying to become one.
  • Baleful Polymorph : Masques and Masque Kings turn their enemies into vegetables or pastries temporarily.
  • BFG: Subverted by Maria, who despite using a small pistol, can fire one heck of a laser beam.
  • Butt Monkey: Cliff, in the manga.
  • Bonus Boss: Lenneth and Freya from Valkyrie Profile, along with the usual Gabriel Celeste and the Ethereal Queen. Also, optional Nintendo Hard palette swaps of the main party and Luther.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Quite a few.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: The two bonus characters in the Director's Cut may count. Adray is really just a less capable wizard (a spot already filled by Sophia) with a weapon set nearly identical to Albel's, while Mirage uses effectively the same attack set and play-style as Cliff (with a couple of Maria's moves thrown in) but is 40-50 levels lower. The player has the option to gain Adray early into the game when he would be at a similar level to the party, but if you opt to gain him at the next opportunity (much later near the end of the game), he'll still be at that level (Level 19 when the party is roughly 55-70).
    • Magikarp Power: Mirage can be a pretty strong character if the player has enough patience to work with her. She gets Maria's Triple Kick attack, among other things, and she has higher MP than Cliff, making her somewhat less prone to MP-deaths.
      • Peppita/Souffle can also become almost as strong as (and perhaps even surpass in strength) some of the physical fighters like Fayt and Cliff, if leveled up sufficiently.
  • Boring but Practical: Fayt's "Side Kick" skill. It's one of the first abilities he learns, and is pretty much exactly as it sounds like. However, it's cheap to cast in terms of both Guts and HP, has low Capacity Point requirements, grants invincibilty during its animation, and chains into itself easily for a sustained 200% damage boost. Chances are that this is going to go into both of Fayt's close-range killer move slots as soon as you get it, and will stay there through the Bonus Dungeons.
  • Boyfriend Bluff: Interestingly inverted when Fayt, in order to get away from an unwanted admirer, claims that Sophia is actually his girlfriend. She immediately begins to babble in embarrassment, but Fayt begs her to play along with it, which she does. Afterward she reassures him that she didn't exactly mind since she doesn't totally despise him.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Roger.
  • Brilliant but Lazy: Fayt, arguably, since the guy does know a fair bit about machinery, as shown when he fixes a child's music box because of knowing the exact parts needed and knowing that the cannon needed a copper wire in order to properly work. However, he is shown at the beginning to be a bit of a slacker, playing video games instead of doing homework.
    • It's possible that, as a college student, machinery was his specialty. Also, it's common knowledge that that iron is terrible to use as wire.
  • Camp Gay: Belzeber. The fact that he uses a whip as a weapon doesn't really seem to help things.
  • Can't Catch Up: If a character is out of the party for any length of time and suddenly comes back, they return at the level they were when they left. The most blatant example of this is Sophia, who returns to the party around the middle of the game after being playable for only a couple of tutorial battles at the very beginning. Everyone else in your party is perhaps level 40-70 by this point, while she's still at level 1, and by now you're facing enemies that can insta-kill your properly levelled characters.
    • You can level her up (along with Peppita) easily by grinding in a different location, and, since they're at level 1, they can make the bonus battle gauge fill up faster, thus making you earn EXP easier. There's even a battle trophy for gaining 20 levels in a single battle!
  • Cartography Sidequest: One of the more painful examples.
  • Catgirl: Felinefolk and Ur-Felinefolk.
  • Counter Attack: Both Peppita and Albel can do this.
  • Crapsack World: Believe it or not, the "real" world that Fayt and co. venture into fits this trope. Let's face facts: a world that's all play and no work is not as pleasant as it sounds. Especially when you consider that, as Maria points out, it's mostly a very effective ploy for Lucifer and his cohorts to essentially be the overlords of the 4D cities.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Fayt and Maria.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Vendeeni disrupter rifles are either instantly lethal or heavily damaging; in an actual battle, not so much.
    • The Enforcers can delete entire battleships, yet never use that ability in battle. Fayt's and Maria's powers, in turn, are this trope subverted. The actual attacks can be found for battle in a bonus dungeon... after beating the main story.
  • Dance Battler: Peppita.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Peppita Rossetti.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Fayt, mostly at the beginning to Cliff.

 Cliff: Look, my mission is to bring you to our leader. Until then, I’ll watch out for you—trust me! You’re safe as…as a turtle in its shell!

Fayt: A turtle dropping out of orbit...


Cliff: These restraints are pretty solid. Damn… They’re too tight, I can’t move at all...

'Fayt: Um... that's why they're called 'restraints.


Cliff: True enough. But I bet you that Mr. Super-Square, champion of the UP3 would disagree with you.

Fayt: Hah hah, very funny.

  • Demoted to Extra: Albel and Nel, once they become Optional Party Members.
  • Diabolus Ex Machina: Everything in Ameena's subplot.
  • Disc One Nuke: A minor one, but if you sell the 1/144 Scale Bunny you get from completing the maps for Pesotto Forest and Traum Mountains at the earliest possible opportunity, you can buy the Holy Sword for Fayt from Airyglyph much earlier than you should be able to. The sword has an ATK of 200, allowing you to cut through many early enemies with ease. The only downside is that you might have to deal with Dragon Brigade Soldiers, which you aren't meant to be able to defeat at that point in the game. However, with clever usage of the Anti-Attack Aura, it's quite possible to beat them, which nets you a great deal of EXP.
    • A major one is using Alchemy to make Orichalcum and Synthesis to augment your weapons with it. It's a huge Guide Dang It, but with enough money and perhaps an hour of effort, you can end up with a character doing dozens of times as much damage and turning otherwise hard bosses into Curb Stomp Battles that end so quickly that the death animation takes longer than the fight itself.
  • Dub Name Change: Symbology is called Heraldry in the Japanese version. Also, Peppita Rossetti or Souffle Rossetti?
  • Encyclopedia Exposita: The in-game dictionary is seen by some fans as better written/more interesting than the game script itself.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Cliff, Fayt, and Albel.
  • Expy: Ameena, a young, pretty flower girl whose parents are dead and later in possibly one of the saddest moments of the game, dies as a result of overexertion and her illness. Sound familiar? Incidentally, while the game was published by Square Enix, it was published in Japan by Enix prior to the merger.
  • Explosive Overclocking: Early on, Fayt turns his communicator into an improvised explosive by overloading it's power supply.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Albel, though justified as the gauntlet is either a prosthetic, or something that covers a severely disfigured arm.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In the story, Fayt agonizes for a long time over whether to break the Alien Non-Interference Clause by sharing his advanced technology with the Aquarians. Long before he does so, however, all the stores are likely to be selling bombs and other gadgets he and his party cheerfully designed and distributed via the invention system.
    • Note that bombs and such have already existed, but only to the continent of Greeton.
    • Cliff claim's Norton's gun won't do much damage to a member of his species, but it does exactly as much damage to him in battle as it does to Fayt. Giving he dodges the weapon that won't effect him, there is always the option he is bluffing or referring to his ability to dodge it.
  • God Is Evil: Subverted. Luther is not a deity, but he sure as hell thinks he's one. In the original Japanese version, he's called Lucifer, making him more like Yaldabaoth in Gnosticism.
  • Genki Girl: Peppita.
  • Genius Bruiser: Cliff Fittir, probably. When he's not busy pulverizing Mooks with Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs and Sphere of Destruction, he's also the very capable (former) leader of Quark. In fact, he stepped down when he witnessed Maria's capacity for destruction surpassing his own...
  • Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: Up until the end of disc one, the Vendeeni were the oft-mentioned horrible threat to all existence which the main characters have spent the whole game either running or hiding from. When they finally show up for a proper fight, they get their asses handed to them and are never even mentioned again after the Executioners and their masters, the Sphere Corporation up in 4D space hit the stage, literally coming out of nowhere.
  • Global Currency: For some reason, Fol are accepted on every world, even ones that ostensibly have no contact with the galactic economy. Justified by the MMORPG nature of things, although that justification seems shaky when you leave the game and find your money is just as good. It still holds up when you realize the only area you buy things in is in a live, cosplay version of the game.
    • They may have modeled the MMORPG currency after their own, or the theme park uses that currency specifically to make it more authentic, or for players to get rewards for their cash grinding in game.
  • Gratuitous English: All over the place in the Japanese version, particularly in the menu and in battles. All battle skills are in English (mostly unchanged, and even displayed in English letters), and if you try to use an item before the cooldown runs out, you get "An item can't be used!!" (whereas nothing shows up in the English release).
  • Guide Dang It: The item creation system. There are so many items and equipment that you need a guide and a couple hours to get just a handful of items you want. It's also partially Randomly Drops.
    • Also, making two of the following characters permanent members of the party: Nel, Peppita, Albel, and Roger.
    • Despite being a Play Station 2 release, walking (required for one very early puzzle) is not linked to small movements of the analog like every other game for a system with a joystick based controller, but to holding the circle button. At least it's in the manual if you look for it.
  • Heel Face Turn: Albel; starts out as more of an Enemy Mine, but if you recruit him as one of your Optional Party Members, he definitely becomes this.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Fayt. Expressly to fit in on the underdeveloped planets he lands on. And he plays a warrior archetype in the video game simulation he plays with.
  • Human Aliens: Loads and loads, most prominently Elicoorians. Once the plot twist hits, though, it actually makes sense...
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Earth, Galaxy, Universe, 4D.
  • Ill Girl: Ameena.
  • Inane Blabbering
  • Ineffectual Loner: Albel.
  • Interface Spoiler: The workshop map on the invention screen shows that Aquios is the final town on that planet.
  • Interspecies Romance: Though almost any of the intelligent species in the Star Ocean universe could be considered to be sub-species of the same species (especially since they can interbreed), the game considers each to be different. As such, examples of Interspecies Romance can potentially include (depending on the paired endings): Fayt x Nel (Human x Elicoorian), Fayt x Mirage (Human x Klausian), and Maria x Lieber (Human x Klausian, this is the default pairing for Maria if you do not get the Fayt x Maria ending).
  • Innocent Flower Girl: Ameena.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: Crosell, complete with makeshift magical Wave Motion Gun strapped to his back.
  • Jerkass Facade: Albel is arguably putting up one of these, due to a Freudian Excuse.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Roger, although it only really shows if he is the one to destroy the transporter jammer.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: Cliff's Battle Skill Max Shockwave, as well as Albel's Fist of Destruction.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Albel and Adray, for starters. Adray in particular is strange because he never unsheathes his weapon.
  • La Résistance: Quark.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The Bunny Races.
  • Magic Genetics: What Symbological Genetics entails.
  • Meaningful Name: Fayt Leingod and Maria Traydor. It should be noted, though, that Maria's surname (literally spelt "Traitor" on the Japanese official site) is actually a misnomer, since she never behaves traitorously in any way at all. Sophia gets in on the act too, if you know anything about Gnosticism (or played Xenogears or Xenosaga).
    • Maria could be considered a traitor; she was originally a human from the Federation, but later joins Quark, an anti-Federation group.
  • Mind Screw: Just try to understand how the ending works. Go ahead, just try.
    • The characters themselves even lampshade it, saying "look, we don't know how we won, but we won, right? Let's just go home."
  • Multicolored Hair: Albel.
  • Naive Everygirl: Sophia.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero You piss off Luther enough for him to start deleting the universe. Good thing it doesn't actually work, or something.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Nel Zelpher's a medieval ninja wizard special forces government agent.
  • Odd Job Gods: Deconstructed silly if you don't let the infamous plot twist make you forget how ES views 4D, namely as the abode of the gods. 4D culture considers it chimeric for anyone to do anything they don't have the equivalent of a degree for, save for playing Sphere's games. This even extends to giving directions--looser restrictions would trample on the jobs and pay of those who do have the proper degrees, after all. This has the unpleasant effect of making 4D a practical World of Silence. Being an Odd Job God/4D citizen is not fun or fulfilling, not even with ES to distract them when not on the job. Then you remember that Odd Job Gods is how they're seen by ES's residents. They can't even figure out how to do anything meaningful that isn't directly related to their job in their escapism! In other words, the reason gods so often play around with mortals is that, even in the ultimate escape fantasy, that's how bored they are, and 4D's idea of proper employment and behavior makes the pursuit of happiness IMPOSSIBLE. In this universe, the Buddha's point that the gods should be pitied is very much on the mark...
  • Optional Party Member:
    • This game has a particularly ridiculous example; Nel, whom you have in your party for almost the whole first disc, is an optional character... whereas Adray, who barely even shows up in any cutscenes and doesn't even show up in the original version, is not optional.
    • If the player skips a certain forest area until beating the resident boss, it becomes possible to miss running into Roger entirely. This leaves players going through the entire game wondering who this entire set of Axe weapons sold at every shop belongs to.
    • The other two optional members are Peppita and Albel. Peppita reappears for the first time since the beginning of the game after being completely useless and annoying the whole 20 minutes she was on screen before that and takes a lot of grinding to get her up to a half-way useful level. Albel, on the other hand has to be sought out via a sidequest. If you complete this quest before leaving Elicoor, then Albel goes with you instead of Nel and you actually have to come back for her after you escape 4D space. The game suddenly gets a lot more interesting when the half-naked skirt-wearing Crazy Awesome Heroic Sociopath Medieval Samurai with the 17th Century worldview is suddenly thrust into the high-technology Star Trekey world of Star Ocean's Pangalactic Federation. It's not so much a Fish Out of Water situation as it is a Land Shark one.
  • Panty Shot: Nel and Sophia, constantly. Maria gets some with her third and fourth alternate costumes, too. And for the ladies, Albel gets some of these, most obviously if you use him to create items through smithery. (They're purple.)
  • Parrot Exposition: Fayt. All the time.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Fayt and Maria have the ability to annihilate a battleship without any real help (Fayt is actually engineered with the "Destruction" gene, in fact) and Sophia's power allows the other two to bring that precise destructive power outside. Where it shouldn't even be able to exist.
  • Post End Game Content: The Maze of Tribulations, the Ursa Cave Bonus Dungeon and the rest of Sphere 211.
  • Pride Before a Fall: Albel comes off as having a MASSIVE ego when it comes to fighting both times you meet him before you actually get to fight him. And when you beat him, Fayt invokes this trope as he knows it will hurt him more by letting him go then just finishing him off.
  • Prophetic Name: It's obvious someone with a name like "Fayt Leingod" was destined for greatness. Subverted with Maria, who, despite her last name sounding suspiciously like "traitor" {Traydor} she doesn't turn out to be one.
  • Redheaded Hero: Nel.
  • Rock of Limitless Water: The Sacred Orb; a prized treasure of the Kingdom of Aquaria. As an exceedingly powerful artifact, it is desired by each of the warring factions in the galactic war. Later, it is revealed to be a debugging tool for use by the denizens of 4D Space.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Nel's.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Completely averted when Fayt, when getting a mature and unwanted woman to leave him alone, claims that Sophia is his girlfriend when she asks if she's his sister. Sophia practically plays this straight until Fayt begs her to play along with him. Not like she minds.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Fayt and Cliff. "Engineers from Greeton", indeed.
  • Shout-Out: You meet two brothers named Lucien and Lezard in Lost City of Surferio. For those who don't know, Lucian is also the name of Lenneth's love interest in Valkyrie Profile and Lezard is the name of her insane Stalker with a Crush. Also, the kid Lezard seems to be just as conniving as his counterpart, who knows what he'll grow up to be.
    • Lenneth and Freya also make appearances as super bosses. Interestingly, like Lucian and Lezard, Lenneth was also turned into a little kid and has small animal-like ears.
    • There's also the Lezard flask, also a reference to Lezard.
    • Given the name and description of the Sunrise Dictionary, it may be a reference to the Sunrise company, well known for the Gundam mecha series.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness: In a particularly odd example, Cliff's futuristic muscle-enhancing "Mighty Gauntlet" weapon is his weakest weapon in the game, not counting crafting failures, because it's his starting weapon. Even run of the mill iron gauntlets are stronger.
  • Spam Attack: Cliff's "Fists of Fury" and Albel's "Air Slash of Fury" and "Double Slash of Fury".
    • Fayt's "Side Kick." Well, Spammed Attack, anyway. Once he gets it, he spends an awful lot of the game flying foot-first at one enemy or another.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Spellings (and names) change between the English and Japanese versions. Fate Linegod/Fayt Leingod, Souffle Rossetti/Peppita Rossetti, Cliff Fitter/Cliff Fittir, Mirage Coast/Mirage Koas.
  • Taking The Laser Blast This is how Fayt's father dies, trying to protect him from being killed by Biwig.
  • Take That: A very subtle upwardly-aimed one. Till the End of Time was one of the first games Square Enix published after their merger back in 2003. The game's Big Bad and his Goldfish Poop Gang of flunkies are all part of a videogame company, a company known by the shorthand "Sphere". What's that remind you of?
  • Teaser Equipment: When you first arrive in Airyglyph City, several powerful weapons and items are sold for 20,000 FOL or more when you'll have barely a tenth of that. Purchasing this gear early is a godsend on the higher difficulties.
  • Unexpected Successor: Airyglyph the Unlikely.
  • Universal Poison: Averted with the Antidote Symbology, which an in-game book mentions is actually one of many abilities depending on the exact kind of poison.
  • Unlucky/Victorious Childhood Friend: Sophia, depending on what ending you get and, in general, your opinions of what happens in the future.
    • If you do not get the Fayt/Maria ending, Maria will hook up with Lieber, making Marietta Lieber's unlucky childhood friend.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The Executioner's method of attack, as well as the Creation Cannon on the Federation Battleships.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The motivation of the antagonists. Since the whole universe is an MMORPG, the Big Bad doesn't see a problem with eliminating the protagonists, since to him, they're just examples of AI Is a Crapshoot.
  • When Trees Attack: There's a number of treant-like monsters you'll come across. While most of them can be killed using MP damaging attacks easily, you can also Kill It with Fire, a la the Blazing Sword ability.
  • Whip It Good: Belzeber. Roger has one as well, but only uses it in a single move.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Fayt and Maria.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Nel and Sophia. Albel may count as an odd male variant, as he wears a sarong with thigh-high stockings.