Another new character has joined the ever-expanding cast of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, one of Enix's hotly anticipated upcoming projects. The character is a small boy named Roger S. Huxley, who is, if early indications can be believed, quite the little scaliwag. Roger has a way of innocuously chatting up older women, lending to the impression that he has grown up entirely too fast. Equipped with a fox tail, he is simultaneously the picture of innocence and a fiendish little enigma.
A little more information on SO3 has also been doled out by Enix. The game's characters will not only possess HP and Mp, but two additional statistics, Guts and Hit Up. Guts decreases as a battle progresses, affecting how efficient attacks made by a character will be. Whether this will be a negative or positive effect remains to be seen; however, Hit Up seems to build in reverse, suggesting that a lower Guts level is a Bad Thing. Hit Up acts somewhat like the Overdrives of Final Fantasy X; hitting an enemy results in the Hit Up gauge increasing. This does not lead to a special attack, however; rather, characters will gain more experience and items after a battle when their Hit Up values are higher. Attacks that deliver more hits per turn will be especially effective in building this stat.
Finally, Enix has followed the example of various other developers and dipped into the murky waters of J-Pop to snag a singer for SO3's theme song. MISIA, a songstress who will be releasing an album entitled Kiss the Sky on September 26, will produce an orchestrated version of the song Little bird forgot how to fly for Enix's game. In addition to this album release, the song will be played throughout Enix's exhibit at the TGS 2002 Fall show.
While the Star Ocean series has not gained the popularity of series such as Final Fantasy or Dragon Warrior, it has nonetheless garnered a rather devoted following, which is eagerly anticipating Star Ocean: Till the End of Time's release. Currently, that is slated for November 28 in Japan, while North America can expect the game in the later part of 2003, a delay which has just been announced.