Questions And Answers

Please note, this section will have spoilers for all the games in the Star Ocean trilogy, including Star Ocean 2 (The Second Story) and Star Ocean 3 (Till The End of Time: Director's Cut). Do not read any further if you do not wish to be spoiled!

Thank you to the members of the EternalSphere LiveJournal community for their contributions to this segment of the shrine.

Changes from previous Star Ocean titles:

Q: What has been changed about the basic gameplay from previous Star Ocean titles in Star Ocean 3 (Till The End of Time: Director's Cut)?
A: Several things have been renamed or changed. For starters, you can only play from one point of view: Fayt's. There is no option to play from another main character's perspective, the way there was with Claude or Rena in SO2.

Also, there were 12 possible characters in SO2; there are only 10 in SO3. The original Japanese version of SO3 only had 8 playable characters, as Mirage and Adray were only added as playable in the Director's Cut edition (which became the English edition). Further, there is no World Map in SO3. Of course, this is largely due to the fact that you move worlds in SO3, which was done far less often in SO2. However, there are individual maps of towns, dungeons, and the areas surrounding them. However, only certain maps, such as towns, come completed. Otherwise, you have to wander around to complete the map. Once you attain 100% map completion, you will be rewarded with a prize. Some maps are larger than others, but that doesn't mean the prize is better.

Finally, there are no random battles in SO3 as there were in SO2. Instead, all enemies appear on the screen, allowing you significant time to try and dodge or run away. The enemies can also show up on the "local map" if you have certain items in your inventory. Furthermore, the distance between you and the enemy before it appears on the map is pretty small, but again, if you have a certain item in your inventory, you can spot pretty much any enemy from relatively far away. Note, however, that some enemies WILL chase you if you try and run away!
Q: What has been changed about battle/combat?
A: Killer Moves are now called Coups de Grace, and rather than being initiated by either of the upper shoulder buttons (L1 or R1), they are initiated by the X or O buttons and change based on your character's distance (range) from the enemy. Also, all characters can make use of these moves, not just "Fighter-class" characters. However, there are certain Battle Skills that are specific to certain characters or character classes.

Also, Heraldry (Magic, Spells) is now called Symbology or Runology in the English Director's Cut release of the game. The Japanese version of the game retained the term "Heraldry."

Finally, you can only have 3 active party members in your combat party in SO3, as opposed to the four you could use in SO2.
Q: What has been changed about the Skill System?
A: The Skill System has been greatly reduced. There are now only four "skills" which can be leveled up; these are HP, MP, Attack, and Defense. There are no "Skill Guilds" where you buy more skills. Furthermore, rather than using "Skill Points" to level up and improve your character's stats (or expertise in a certain field of IC), you use Capacity Points (CP), though you still obtain them in battle. The CP are only relevant in battle, and have no effect whatsoever on Item Creation.

Because of the revised "Skill System," you don't increase a character's stats through it. A character's HP, MP, ATK, and DEF can all be manipulated at the player's whim, using CP. Other stats, such as INT (for Magic-users) can increase or decrease based on Armor, Accessories, or the use of certain Spells (Battle Skills).
Q: What has been changed about Specialties and the Item Creation process?
A: Some Specialties don't exist anymore. These are: Familiar, Identify, Musical Talent, Metalwork, Oracle, Pickpocket, Practice, Reproduction, Scout, and Survival. Also, some Specialties have been renamed or merged with other Specialties. These are: Art → Crafting, Authoring → Writing, Customize → Synthesis, and Machinery → Engineering. Alchemy, Compounding, and Cooking retain their names in SO3.

Super-Specialties, which allowed you to create Items (among other things) in Star Ocean 2 (The Second Story), required multiple party members. Because Item Creation in SO3 is done selectively with one or more Inventors in the same place that normal Item Creation is done, there is no separate "Super-Specialty" segment to this game. Super-Specialties that didn't involve Item Creation (Orchestra, Come On Bunny, Comprehension, Identify All!) don't exist at all in SO3; Reverse Side doesn't have an IC-equivalent, though Items do exist with "bad" factors. One former Super-Specialty has a different name as an IC: Blacksmithing → Smithery.

Your player characters (party members) can't "discover" new talents as they could in SO2. In SO2, talents referred to something such as "Dexterity" or the "Originality,"but in SO3, player characters simply have "talent areas," which have the same names as the possible lines of Item Creation they can take part in, e.g. Crafting, Writing, Alchemy, etc. Every player character has access to every type of IC, but their talent level cannot change. Non-Player Characters (NPCs) have only one IC area which they are talented in; they will never be talented in more than one, and their talent levels will not change. Finally, only player characters have access to the Synthesis IC.

Item Creation must be done in Workshops in SO3. In addition to having at least one inventor on hand, you must also possess the necessary materials (e.g. for Cooking, you need Cooking Ingredients), as well as Fol. You can somewhat determine what you want to make based on the cost displayed in the Invent screen when you try to create an item in a workshop.

In SO2, you could tell what item you were about to make based on the transformations it went through on-screen. In SO3, you see your chosen inventors working (in a setting based on the IC you have selected), and the only things you can use to track the success or failure of your item creation are the expressions on your inventor's faces.  Each character has four expressions during the IC process that you might see: working (plain face), success (happy face), failure (sad or angry face) and sleeping. Obviously, if a character is sleeping, they're not helping (or hindering) your IC line in any way.

You couldn't "refine" or "improve" items in SO2; you could only add more items to them in the hopes that they would change factors (factors in SO2 would include the ATK/DEF of the item in question, any elemental alignments, etc.). In SO3, you can use an IC's "Specify Plan" mode to take an alredy-made item and make it better, or use the "Synthesis" IC to add other items to your weapon (Synthesis does not work for Armor or Accessories) and add additional factors.

In SO3, there are some items which can only be created by a limited number or even only one inventor! You will need to either wait for this inventor to become active and start inventing on their own, or recruit (sign) them, which usually requires a large amount of Fol or some special item. In SO2, there were usually no such limitations, except regarding liquor; only "adult characters" could make "tea" and "cider" (again, liquor). There were no NPC item-creators in SO2, and therefore no Craftsmen's Guild or system by which to rank them.
Q: What has changed about Private Actions, Emotional Levels, and the game endings?
A: Private Actions now occur randomly: that is, there is no indicator when you're outside of a town that you can do a Private Action. They begin if you meet all the basic requirements and are in the right place at the right time. Private Actions will affect your party composition and Emotional levels, among other things. Like SO2, if you miss the requirements or timing for a PA, you can't repeat it.

There are no separate "Romantic" and "Friendship" Points within the Emotional Level; there is only the one "Emotional Level." There is also no way to make Emotional Levels rise outside of Private Actions and battle; Items like Endorphin Boost can only cause the Emotional Level to fall.

There are only 10 or so endings in SO3, versus the 86 endings possible in SO2. This is because Emotional Points are not divided up into categories (Friendship and Romance), and because the PAs you do all involve Fayt, and Emotional Points only deal with him. Thus, the varying endings are simply "Fayt's" endings, paired off with various characters or alone. Also, there is no special "everyone" ending. You can only view one "pairing" ending (e.g. Fayt with someone else), and then everyone else's solo endings. If Fayt ends up solo, you will see everyone else's solo endings as well.
Q: What has changed about bonus features, such as extra dungeons?
A: Instead of just one final dungeon (e.g. the Cave of Trials) there are now four. The closest one to the original Cave of Trials is the new Maze of Tribulatons, in Kirlsa. There are also the Aquatic Gardens of Surferio, the upper floors of Sphere 211, and Urssa Cave Temple, which can only be unlocked after defeating the Maze of Tribulations. All except the Aquatic Gardens of Surferio can only be accessed after a Game Clear.
Q: Has anything else changed?
A: The planet Stream, which featured in large part in the first Star Ocean game, seems to have been renamed to Styx in this game.

Changes from the original Japanese release to the English release:

Q: What's changed from the original Star Ocean 3 release in Japan to the Star Ocean: Till The End of Time release in English?
A: Star Ocean 3 was originally released in Japan as a single-disc game for the Playstation 2. It featured 8 playable characters, two Game Clear dungeons (Maze of Tribulations and the upper floors of Sphere 211), and not nearly as many "special features" such as Versus Mode, new "color edits" (costumes), and so forth. The 2-disc Director's Cut that was released in Japan, featuring two new playable characters and more special features was what got translated and turned into Star Ocean: Till The End of Time. Specifically, the new additions or changes are:
Name Changes
Japanese English
Fate Linegod Fayt Leingod
Maria Traitor Maria Traydor
Souffle Rossetti Peppita Rossetti
Mirage Coast Mirage Koas
Adlai Lasbird Adray Lasbard
Cliff Fitter Cliff Fittir