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Album Of The Year #15: Joji - Nectar

Artist: Joji
Album: Nectar
Label: 88Rising
Release Date: September 25, 2020
Listen:
Spotify
Apple Music
YouTube Music
Deezer
Soundcloud
Background
Not many artists have had a come-up as interesting and eccentric as George Kusunoki Miller, a former YouTube comedian/edgelord turned moody R&B singer. George first got his taste of internet fame as FilthyFrank, a character he described as everything a person should not be, he played the notorious persona on YouTube for over 6 years and eventually had to retire it due to him losing passion for it and suffering from stress induced seizures, which playing the character often caused.
Throughout his time as FilthyFrank however he began experimenting with music, mostly of the satirical kind at the start, his first tracks were under the FilthyFrank persona, the first one being Who's The Sucker, a dumb track where he somehow manages to rhyme "nicer" with "vagina", go figure.
A few years later, alongside the satirical rap, Joji began to make what he would consider as serious music, and this is where the timeline gets a bit messy, as he put out multiple tracks under multiple different aliases and the lines got blurred pretty fast, so I won't focus on aliases too much, but rather on the music he put out, around this era he released the therapeutical Medicine, the slow and melancholy We Fall Again, and Dumplings, which was Joji's best attempt at a trap banger.
In 2015, he birthed the Joji alias, released two singles on Soundcloud under that name, and announced a project called Chloe Burbank Vol. 1, the project was later scrapped and is probably sitting on Joji's hard drive, unfinished, however, the two singles he put out, thom and you suck charlie, were the tracks that put him in the spotlight, not to mention that to this day, there are some of his fans that believe these 2 tracks are his best and will not be topped, but that's a discussion for another day.
Following the overwhelmingly positive reception, Joji began to put out more tracks and singles, both under the aforementioned alias and Pink Guy, which was a character that blossomed into a satirical rap project, but I won't be covering that too much, and will focus on what he did as Joji instead, most tracks Joji put out were met with positive reception, some of the tracks, such as worldstar money, ended up on his debut EP as well.
Sometime around early 2016, Joji ended up signing with 88rising, a label focused on building the bridge between east and west, he explained in an interview that he was initially a consultant for the duo behind the record label, however, once the duo noticed his music and how well it was received, they asked him to jump on board and he instantly took the chance, getting signed alongside the likes of Rich Brian and Higher Brothers.
The label immediately undertook Joji and began distributing his catalog on their YouTube channel and helped him release more music, which was a couple of singles in the earlier half of 2017, and his debut EP in the latter half, the EP, known as "In Tongues", was met with mixed reception from fans and critics alike, with some describing it as his most concise body of work so far that is oozing potential, and others describing it as a bleak project that fails to set Joji apart from the sea of artists on the same wavelength as himself.
Following the release of the EP, Joji began working on his debut album, known as BALLADS 1, the album's first single, YEAH RIGHT, was released on the 8th of May, the track was first believed to be a standalone loosie as it was released 5 months before the album itself, however it ended up being on the album and was confirmed as the one of the singles alongside SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK, CAN'T GET OVER YOU, which features a production credit from non other than Clams Casino, and TEST DRIVE.
The album was well received, and was praised for containing a wider variety of sounds than its predecessor, it felt like a natural progression for Joji's sound and was a step forward towards a more mainstream approach whilst not sacrificing any of the rawness that Joji's older stuff had, which seemed to be what most fans were expecting from him.
Moving forward Joji stayed mostly silent throughout 2019, appearing on the second 88Rising collaboration album, which was negatively received due to it's lack of creativity and sub-par performances from most label signees, he also appeared on Rich Brian's sophomore album, The Sailor, and released which is now known to be as the first single from Nectar, Sanctuary, a synth based poppy track that previewed a vocally improved and more confident version of Joji.
What was assumed to be a loosie turned out to be the beginning of an album rollout, as half a year later Joji released Run, setting a new standard for himself both instrumentally and vocally, and a couple of months later he released Gimme Love, a double sided track with a fun, catchy beginning and a melancholy ballad driven ending, the last single, Daylight, was released on the 8th of August, the instrumental was produced by Diplo and the track itself sounded like Joji's attempt to break into the mainstream.
Without warning, he also released two tracks that he classified as "NOT SONG", the first being Pretty Boy, which actually ended up on the album with a Lil Yachty feature, and the second being FTC, which sadly did not end up on the album, both tracks had videos and it seemed to me at first that the purpose of both tracks was to serve the lore that Joji has built around the album, which I will be touching up on in this write-up.
A day before the album's release, he put out Gimme Cum, an enigmatic track with a mysterious message.
Nectar itself was pushed back from it's original July release date due to the pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests, the album however was released on the 25th of September.
Album Lore
If there's one thing George is no stranger to, it would definitely be worldbuilding, as he has proven time and time again that he has a knack for it, especially with his FilthyFrank YouTube channel, where he managed to create characters, locations, and an entire universe out of a few satirical characters, his lore was adored by many and even though visually he never wrapped up the story he did release a book that served as closure for the FilthyFrank lore.
This album's lore is not as straight forward however, and there are multiple theories doing the rounds on the internet, personally I will go by what sounded most convincing to me in terms of timeline and storyline, however do feel free to expand on what I've said or correct me, George has left multiple things left open to interpretation therefore I would not be surprised if there were multiple different meanings to the same thing.
Our story begins in the music video for Gimme Love, where we see a young Joji who appears to be a small time engineer that is eager to climb through the ranks of the company he is working for, as he rises however he appears to become more stressed out and agitated at all times, lashing out at his coworkers and breaking down consistently, throughout the music video we can see that the more he progresses, the more roadblocks he runs into, which causes his behavior to become more psychotic and manic, as the shots move forward we see him accept awards, lead his very own research team, run failed experiments on his coworkers that causes them to bleed, and eventually receive military covert status, which did not come without sacrifices, as we see him smile less and less throughout the video.
In the second half of the video, we see Joji steal the rocket he helped build by locking out his crew members, and launch himself into space, disappointing everyone he worked with and stabbing them in the back he appears to be quite happy however, eventually his mood flips as he is faced with two choices, engage or eject, the following shot does not allow us to see which one he picked as we are facing his back, all we see is Joji making the choice and gearing up for what's to come.
The lines get blurred around this spot and many people have different theories as to which video is the right one chronologically, personally I believe Daylight comes next, and my theory is Joji is having some sort of fever dream featuring his previous coworkers, most notably the older people who went through layers of plastic surgery, who appear in the music video for FTC, where they are seen wearing badges that features the same organization Joji worked for, throughout the video they are seen rummaging through the wreckage caused by Joji, clearly looking for something specific, which ends up being the award Joji won.
Back to Daylight, Joji appears to be some sort of intern working for the director and the actors, towards the end of the music video we can see Joji waking up from the aforementioned fever dream, clearly in a daze, as the shot widens we see that he is alone, in a barren wasteland, with nothing around him except for a tent and what appears to be a device used for communication, he plants a few seeds in the soil and sits by the device, hoping for a sign of life.
Next comes Run, where we are once again met with Joji having a nightmare, the entire video symbolizes being trapped in a place you don't want to be in, as Joji appears to be in a never ending limousine with people he has no interest in whatsoever, towards the end of the nightmare we actually see Joji running across a massive wasteland, the same wasteland we saw him in at the end of the Daylight music video, throughout the video, we see Joji become consumed by the soil itself, which I would assume is a representation of his fears back then, seeing as he was alone and had little to no hope of being saved whatsoever.
Joji wakes up from this nightmare and appears to be in some kind of spaceship, if the videos were released chronologically, we would be completely lost at this point, lucky for us, we already know what the spaceship is, as we see a picture of the Sanctuary crew in the final shots of the Run music video, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that the crew is the ones that saved him from death and picked him up from the mess that he placed himself in, hence the name Sanctuary, which means refuge or safety from pursuit, persecution, or other danger
The crew itself is seen in action in the music video for Sanctuary, where Joji appears to be fighting and defeating some sort of one-eyed alien supervillain at the start, however, once he is defeated, both Joji and the crew themselves become aimless, as they are living monotonously without a goal, thankfully(???), one of the crew members sees this and decides to take matters into his own hands, by surgically removing his own eye, which portrays his transformation into the new supervillain, and following this up by killing a crewmember and escaping on his own, once again giving the spaceship it's own purpose.
Unfortunately the music videos that were put out after the release of the album appear to be too subtle for me to think they are connected in any way, shape or form, there are many theories of course but I can't help but feel like that most of them are a reach.
The most plausible explanation for this lore that I can think of is that the whole escaping from earth on his own, landing in a barren wasteland, trying to plant seeds in it, and eventually being picked up by a group(88Rising, wink wink) is a metaphor for his transition from FilthyFrank to Joji, the barren wasteland stands for how hopeless he felt at the time and the seeds symbolize the loosies he was slowly dropping before ditching his channel to become an R&B superstar, which if true, solidifies the idea that George was done with FilthyFrank long before he actually left the channel itself.
Regardless, I thought the lore was very enjoyable and it was nice to see Joji back in one of his elements at least, most fans would have been disappointed in me if I had not touched up on it a bit seeing as it was a huge part of the albums release and they are intertwined in some sort of way.
Review
When it's lovely I believe in anything What does love mean When the end is rolling in
  • Ew
It is important for me to preface this review with the fact that this Joji album is not like anything we've ever heard from him before, this is not the one man army, garageband using, sample meshing Joji that we knew in the past, this is Joji with an entire team behind his artistic vision, a whole group of people working with him to help him push his sound to the next level, and unfortunately, while the quality of the music has clearly went up, when so many people have their own input on something eventually the lines get blurred and the album loses its artistic direction and cohesion, which is one of my only complaints with this album, and I'm glad I got it out of the way first.
Artistic direction and cohesion aside, this album contains some of Joji's highest highs to date, especially the singles, that's not to say that there aren't some deep cuts on here that shine as well, but once you listen to the album in it's entirety you quickly understand why the singles were chosen as singles, especially when you consider how sonically different they are from the non-singles.
Sanctuary, the album's first single, is a sweet, poppy and synthy track that features a high pitched and melodic Joji, some of the track's lyrics are somewhat abstract but they are quite visually descriptive and that's always a plus in my book, the instrumental itself is quite spacey and has a nice retro vibe to it, already a huge step forward from what we've already heard from George, the track's climax reaches towards the end and gives us a beautiful bridge,with Joji crooning about wanting to be held by a significant other.
I fell for your magic, I tasted your skin And though this is tragic, at least I found the end I witnessed your madness, you shed light on my sins And if we share in this sadness, then where have you been?
  • Run
Run is one of the more cinematic cuts on this album, the track is truly a double edged sword because although it's one of Joji's best, it has set an extremely high standard for both Joji and the album, leaving fans such as myself worried about whether or not he will ever reach a similar high, the production is clean, Joji's vocal lines are as dynamic as ever, the guitar melody is infectious, the lyrics are better than anything Joji has ever written and he is putting his heart and soul into every word, the electric guitar solo at the end is also something worth mentioning, which sits perfectly right in front of Joji's distant and wide vocals, ending the track on a strong note.
Look into your heart and let me know Do things turn black and gray as they go? When I'm far too gone, can you show me love? Give me love
  • Gimme Love
The lyrics above come from the album's third single, a 2 sided track that starts as a bouncy, percussive, fast paced, and catchy song, with Joji chanting and pleading to be given love, softly singing about being surrounded by apathetic people, after the second chorus the entire song comes to a halt in order to make room for a mellow guitar and Joji's harmonies, which are absolutely stunning if I may add, the track, much like many other tracks on here, ends on a cinematic strong note with a string section and a grandiose piano.
The final single, Daylight, is no doubt unexplored territory for Joji, the instrumental, which was produced by Diplo, starts off slow and minimalistic, with a simple yet groovy bassline, and reaches its apex on the chorus, when it suddenly becomes extremely lush, heavy, and thick, the track is most definitely a solid attempt at modern day and mainstream pop music, clearly made with the intention of receiving radio play.
All of the singles show up in the first leg of the album, which is absolutely phenomenal, the opener track, Ew, starts off light and easy, with a somber and distant arpeggiated piano backed with Joji's soft vocals, who's singing about heartbreak and the loss of many relationships, sounding as bitter as ever lyrically, the chorus includes a grand string section and a chord progression that is fully panned to the right and sitting all the way behind the mix, and surprise surprise, the track itself ends on a cinematic strong note, much like many of the other tracks on here.
I've got no aim, a million rounds, is nothing real? A hundred pounds of heavy steel, it feels so loud Tied to my chest, it feels so loud I'll take a peek to across the peaks This grass is neat and I'm quite unique But I'd like to be, but I'd like to be
  • MODUS
Up next comes MODUS, a moody track that has an intro similar to the opener track but later on has Joji melodic rapping to a murky trap instrumental, with Joji of course sounding better than ever, lyrically speaking, many of the themes on this album are similar, Joji is mostly singing about relationships, heartbreak, and the need for a significant other, the lyrics themselves give the album a nocturnal, bitter, hopeless vibe, which is what we've come to expect from Joji's music nowadays.
The third track, Tick Tock, is a plucky banger of an instrumental that has Joji rapping over it with pitched up vocals on the chorus which is something that's a little bit reminiscent of his older, more amateur work, the vocal layering on the verse is also something worth mentioning, really showcases Joji's dynamic range and how much he improved as a whole, the track is nothing groundbreaking in terms of what we've heard so far and remains lowkey for the most part but is without a doubt one of my favorites on this project.
On Nectar, one of the yet-to-be-announced tracks was produced when the artist was only sixteen years old. “I’m excited to see if it sticks out or not to the listeners.” he reveals.
  • Joji Interview with Schön! Magazine.
While not officially announced by Joji himself, it is safe to say that Upgrade is the aforementioned track, a small interlude that seats itself in the earlier part of the album, the track starts with a grandiose piano, which is quite unnecessary if you ask me, because once we have it out of the way all we get is a very obviously barebones instrumental made from a different time, the telltale sign being non other than the ukulele that we have seen in George's earlier work.
It upsets me that Joji has not made this fact much more known because this track has been consistently the subject of criticism by critics and fans alike, but at the same time I understand, because at the end of the day George left that track in there for the die hard fans, not the critics.
Up until this point there is no doubt that Joji has played it safe, sure the album is much more grand and cinematic than its predecessor, but there's no denying that the signature sound is still there, we still get the hazy and moody slow bangers, if Nectar was only the first half then Joji might have had a strong album in his catalog, maybe even a classic, but I understand him wanting to expand and experiment with other sounds in order to grow as an artist.
The midsection gets a little bit tricky, as Joji begins to get out of his comfort zone and the album features start appearing, to me it sounds like Joji did not know how he could keep the listener interested in the second half of this album and decided to opt in for a bunch of features as a quick fix, some work out fine, some better than others.
Handsome young man, never pull up on time Lookin' in the mirror, lookin' good should be a crime, crime All this pain I'll never let show (No) My real thoughts, you'll never know (No)
  • Lil Yachty on Pretty Boy
I never really listened to Lil Yachty that much aside from the obvious hits he had over the course of his career, but he clearly shined on this track as the feature, for starters, the track is very light-hearted, definitely one of the more lofi tracks on this album, the highlight for me without a doubt is the bridge, which sounds like something straight out of Pink Season, George was clearly having genuine fun with it, some even speculate that most of the bridge was made using samples from his earlier work as Pink Guy.
High Hopes, which features Omar Apollo, is one of the more lowkey cuts in here as well, the percussion on the instrumental and the detuned guitar on here remind me of some of Joji's stuff from BALLADS 1, unfortunately however the track doesn't stand out much, at least not as much as Afterthought with BENEE, another track where Joji's melodies and vocals shine through once again, and BENEE's feature definitely adds some character to the track, at least enough to the point where the feature made some sense
On Normal People, Joji recruits childhood friend rei brown, in an attempt to capture lightning again after their first collaboration, Once In A While. Unfortunately lightning didn't strike twice here for me and the track felt quite lackluster and uninteresting, especially for such an anticipated track and when compared to their first song, many of the tracks and collaborations on the second part of the album really felt like Joji just trying to recapture the magic of his earlier work, and while some of those attempts did work at the end of the day it does feel like a cheap cop out.
Oh, understand, girl, I'm out of sight To the other side, I don't want no stripes Got my insides loud like motorcycles Girl, don't notice it, I don't notice it
  • NITROUS
Another example of Joji attempting to recapture magic is NITROUS, which marks Joji's second time collaborating with Clams Casino, the track is very reminiscent of their first track together, both Joji and Clams Casino however killed it, the track's instrumental is very murky and nocturnal, much alike most of the album, but that doesn't stop Joji's delivery, which is very fun-loving and upbeat.
By the way you move, I know you want me to Tell you all the rules, I know I'm searching too Give me all your clues and things to guide me through The end of the world, the end of the world
  • Mr. Hollywood
Produced by the one and only Kenneth Instrumentals, Mr. Hollywood is one of the more heartfelt and personal tracks on this album, Joji is singing about his evergrowing popularity and how it will never affect what is important for him, which in this case is the girl he's singing about, like many other tracks on this album, you will often hear something that will remind you of Joji's older work, in this case it is the ad-libs on the chorus, which are very reminiscent of his ad-libs on BESIDJU, regardless the song has at least a bit of substance which makes it one of the more commendable tracks.
The final run of this album is where Joji flips the script here, there are a few tracks that have questionable artistic decisions, such as Reanimator, with non other than Yves Tumor, the track serves as an instrumental interlude before the final two tracks, however with a feature such as Yves Tumor I honestly expected much more than what we got, and what we got is basically a 3 minute track, with the first minute and a half being nothing than a drone-y, synthy instrumental, and the second half being quite a lackluster performance by Joji and his guest, much like some of the other tracks on the album, it seems like it received a similar treatment, where the track was initially unfinished and still half-baked, and rather than attempting to finish the track they opted for an easy way out, which in this case was making more than half of the track an instrumental and then calling it an interlude just to be safe.
"that weeknd synthpop track sure is doing huge numbers, maybe i should also make a synthpop track as well"
  • Joji, probably.
I would be down to argue that if Blinding Lights by The Weeknd had not existed, 777 wouldn't have existed either, Joji's constant attempts at breaking into the mainstream and commercializing his sound have always left a bad taste in my mouth as it felt like it came from a place where authenticity is lacking, nevertheless I find it bizarre to make a track that is very similar to one of the most successful tracks of the year and not attempt to push it at all, that's not to say that 777 on it's own is not a good track, however there's no denying that the sound selection on the instrumental, some of the flows, and the chorus itself hold blaring similarities to The Weeknd's track, I understand why he would make such a track however and find it admirable at the very least.
Thankfully, the album ends on a strong note, the final two tracks are both beautiful even though they're worlds apart, Like You Do, is a quintessential love ballad from Joji, a stripped down instrumental with beautiful piano chords and a laid back vibe, Joji is singing about his current partner and how what they have might not work out, even though he feels like they're perfect for one another, the closing track, Your Man is a massive change in tempo, with an upbeat, electronic, deep house-esque instrumental, we hear a Joji that is optimistic, which is a nice change of pace, especially considering how bitter most of his albums and projects have been up to date.
Since I met you All the gloomy days just seem to shine a little more brightly Consider what we've got 'Cause I can never take you for granted
  • Like You Do
Conclusion
There's no denying that some tracks on here sound like a bastardized version of Joji's signature sound. Joji is trying his best to commercialize his sound without sacrificing the rawer elements of it, which unfortunately results in a jumble of sounds. This album is not free of criticisms as there are many issues in here that need to be worked on, it's much less cohesive than its predecessor and at times sounds like a bunch of rough ideas put together in order to create the world's most average musical equivalent of a photo collage, but if we were to just set all of that aside and just look at this album for what it is, then there's definitely something in here for everyone. George might have not made a classic, and he certainly hasn't found his sound yet, but this album is an indicator that he's on to something, and once again I am already anxious to hear what he has in store next.
Talking Points
  • What did you think of this album? Is it a good follow-up to BALLADS 1?
  • Do you think Joji works better alone or when he has a team behind him?
  • Do you think Joji will yet again set another high standard for himself next project?
  • What are your predictions for Joji's sound in the future?
  • Now that he's more keen on having features, who do you think would compliment Joji's sound the most?
  • Favorite tracks?
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[#55 Score:2 Comments:0] - BitcoinDice 1.0 - Free Open Source Dice Script - Run Your Own Casino

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If you were a Script Doctor for Star Wars, what would you change?

One of my best memories of Star Wars when I was a kid was getting together with other Star Wars fans and envisioning what we would do to help fix our personal issues with the most recent Star Wars movie we saw (it was the prequels). I remember great discussions about it and to be honest it's one of the things I miss most. I have tried to have conversations about it on other Star Wars forums only to be shot down, and belittled. However, I would like to try again here and have a great discussion with you guys.
A few years ago I came across "What if "Star Wars" was Good?" on youtube and it really hit me to what I was missing. Even though I didn't always agree with what he was saying I really missed that sort of energy and enthusism in fandom.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgICnbC2-_Y
The only rules are:
1) No calling out creatives, they don't matter to the discussion.
2) No complete rewrites, just altering what is needed to improve the story/get the point of the story across.
3) Keep everything Star Wars
I will start it off with what I would do with The Last Jedi, I would love to hear your thoughts on my chances but also your lists for any Star Wars movie.
So here it is:
Star Wars The Last Jedi Script Notes (by me) (Sorry for the long list)
(NOTE: this change is a last minute change that should have been called for after the untimely death of Carrie Fisher)
(CREDIT to a reddit thread who proposed this)
(No matter what state Luke or even Lando is in, they wouldn't ignore a call for help from friends)
Would these changes make a difference to the quality of the story? Give a direction for the characters? Or would it still have been a great/bad movie with or without any changes?
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Reading Percy Jackson for the first time part 1

PSA the only other books I’ve read that I actually care about are Harry Potter so I’m probably gonna be mentioning those a lot lmao 1. So I’ve already seen the movies so not gonna be too many surprises for the first 2 parts but I know it’s drastically different 2. Literally first chapter is already a completely different story 3. Hmm a pre teen boy with Black Hair and green eyes, abandoned by his parent, forced to live with an abusive relative, gets bullied at school, turns out he’s magic and has to go to a place where he learns how to use this magic and protect himself from bad guys, and he also has a friend who is a boy who is kinda the comic relief (but not really) and a girl who is really smart. Sound familiar? 4. HAHAHA I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH 5. I like the way he found out he was Poseidon son way better in the books 6. Okay I like the way this book is written like it’s not as serious as Harry Potter (it’s just much more light hearted which I love so much more) 7. I mean seriously the chapter names are hilarious 8. I like Annabeth more in the book there is just something about the movie actress that I don’t like 9. LMAOO NOT THE COUNTRY THINKING THIS 12 YEAR OLD BOY IS A FUGITIVE I CANT 10. Wow this is like not even the same story as the movie 11. I mean seriously did the directors even read the script 12. I hate Ares but I also love him 13. Yes free the animals!! 14. Idk why but I just love the casino thing so much 15. Also wtf they aren’t even on a quest to find pearls what kinda crack was the movie director smoking 16. I have a feeling Kronos is gonna be like the Voldemort of the series where they think he’s dead but he’s not really he just doesn’t have a body and Percys final battle is prob gonna be against him (if I’m right or wrong plz don’t tell me cause I do not wanna be spoiled) 17. Rip Ares 18. But seriously why would you fight the son of the sea god in the sea ??? Are you asking to lose?? 19. YES SHE BETTER KILL GABE 20. LMAO REST IN STONE
Okay this book was so awesome I don’t even wanna read the next cause I mean how can you top this??? (I’m gonna read the next one anyways tho so PLEASE don’t spoil it I’m begging you) literally where has Percy Jackson been all my life
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Class Trial 66: The Murder of Sonia Nevermind - Summary Sheet: Skill Attack

Ta-daaaaaaa! It's the Official Prima Holographic Ultra-Rare Rofl Trial Summary Thread!
This is just for reference. None of the little bastards are roleplaying here, so we can be as meta as we want!
Daddy said if we do a good job with the Summary Thread, he might let us host the next trial... So let's all try our best!
This is boring. Where's all the killin'? Where's everybody playin' the blame game?!
Father gave us our own thread, but we're missin' out on all the good stuff!
Yeah! Enough with this boring evidence crap!
SCREW ALIBI SPREADSHEETS, I WANNA SEE SOME CARNAGE!!!
H-hey, you guys are off-script! Did you forget your lines again?!
I thought we rehearsed this! Father told us no matter what, we can't forget our...
...
Uh... What were we talking about?
N-not you too, Monotaro! Are you okay? Did the amnesia come back?!
Who, me? I'm fine. I just have one question...
Who's Monotaro?
Waaaah! This is a total train-wreck! Daddy will never let us host a trial at this rate!
...

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A Guide to the Differences Between JRPGs Ports and Enhanced Versions (Part 1).

A new day, a new guide.
This is the hardest one of the guides I wanted to make, because the information is never easy to get, which is weird. So please forgive me if I missed some changes, and by all means tell me if I missed any of them or if any of them are incorrect.
Since this list is really long, this guide is going to come in parts, this part covers:

Important Notes:

  • This is made for Ports and Enhanced versions, so No Remakes. So this is about differences between the different versions of Chrono Trigger, and not about the differences between FF7 ps1 and FF7 Remake.
  • The differences are taken from all over the internet, either from official sources, wikis, youtube, and even forums.
  • I cover all the changes for a game, unless there is too many, in which case I will highlight the ones worth mentioning.

~ Valkyrie profile (PSX US.ver): vs Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth PSP vs iOS & Andriod. ~

Valkyrie profile PSX:

Nearly identical to the Japan version but with minor fixes in the menu screen. In the Japanese version, Characters not in the party were unable to change or learn skills nor were they able change or remove equipment. The US version allowed out of party members to change and learn skills as well as change or remove equipment without being added to the party. Also in the Japanese version, Lenneth would unequip all her skills and equipment when switching between sword and bow. The US version 'remembers' the previous setting when switching weaponry and is automatically equipped with the skills and equip. Another improvement over the Japanese version is an improved item sorting option.
There are a few instances of censoring such as Badrach's smoking.

Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth PSP:

Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth lacks the improvement made in US version. Rather than re-rendering the textures of the dungeon maps, TOSE cropped and upscaled the pre-rendered images to fit the portable console's screen, resulting in severe blurring in some areas. This version also removes the anime opening movie in favor of 3D CGI, animated movie. Certain key story-sequences were animated in the same style as the opening movie and can be viewed at anytime in the Gallery option in the title screen once unlocked in the story. The animated scenes include:
  • Opening Movie
  • Lenneth's Awakening
  • Jelanda's Transformation
  • Alicia witnesses Barbarossa's execution
  • Lenneth's encounter with the Lord of the Undead
  • Lenneth and the Homunculi
  • A chance encounter between "Meril" and Lucian
  • Lenneth in Weeping Lily Meadow
  • Lucian's departure to Valhalla
  • Hrist's Awakening
  • The Sovereign's Rite
  • A Ending
Other big changes are:
  • An enhanced version of the original game's localization
  • Square Enix cleaned up the original game's English script and additional voice over dialogue for the CG movies was recorded by New Generation Pictures, rather than the original company, TAJ Productions.

Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth iOS & Andriod:

This is the PSP version being ported to iOS & Andriod, with the following changes:
  • Enhanced graphics such as character portraits. >* Enhanced Text.
  • Enhanced UI.
  • The option to skip cut-scenes.
  • In-app purchases to unlock collectibles
  • Ability to turn on auto-battle.

~ Chrono Trigger (SNES): PSX vs NDS vs iOS & Andriod vs PC. ~

Chrono Trigger PSX:

Anime cut scenes created by original character designer Akira Toriyama's Bird Studio and animated by Toei Animation.
A new Extra Mode Option was added that is divided into different categories of viewable extras, that are unlocked as you finish the game, and just as shown in the picture, they are:
  • Theater.
  • Art Gallery.
  • Music Box.
  • Tech Showcase.
  • Monster Data.
  • Boss Data.
  • Endings.
  • Treasure Map.

Chrono Trigger NDS:

This version includes everything new in the PSX version, and also has big and a long list of changes and additions, which I will try to condense them as much as possible:
  • Ability to play using the two screens and the touch screen, or in classic mode through a single screen.
  • Added the Arena of Ages: A monster arena where You pick basic monsters and raise them to fight computer and wireless opponents.
  • Added the Lost Sanctum: A sidequest during the main game. It consists of two dungeons in two different eras.
  • Added the Dimensional Vortex: A extra Dungeon, available after beating the game once and appears in three different eras. Each dungeon is different.
  • A lot of New Items.
  • New Enemies in the new dungeons, in the form of palette swaps of old enemies.
  • One New Ending after finishing the Dimensional Vortex completely.
  • New Translation that changes a lot of names form the original version to something more faithful to the Japanese version.

Chrono Trigger iOS & Android:

Both versions initially were based on the NDS version, but later on got an update to make them similar to the PC version.

Chrono Trigger PC:

Everything on the NDS version is present here except there is No Arena of Ages. What they did add however is:
  • Auto-Save feature.
  • Higher Resolution Graphics and update UI.
  • Support for mouse and keyboard controls.
  • Remastered sound and music.

~ Star Ocean: The Second Story (PSX): vs Star Ocean: Second Evolution (PSP) vs PS4 (JP.ver). ~

Star Ocean: Second Evolution:

  • A New Translation that changes almost everything in the game.
  • New voice actors. >* New voiced acted scenes; All major story events now have voice acting.
  • New recruitable character: Welch Vineyard.
  • New Private Actions and 13 new Endings.
  • Unlocking the Galaxy and Universe modes now require defeating a specific number of enemies in a single playthrough rather than unlocking voices in the Voice Collection. >>>* Practically all Combat Skills have been refined, some being removed (such as Cancel, which is now automatically implemented).
  • The combat system has been slightly refined, now allowing all melee fighters to perform a 3-hit combo as their normal attack.
  • The Super Specialty "Bunny Call" no longer allows the player to "climb" on towns and some terrains. The player now will enter a town upon approaching while in Bunny Form, and can even activate private actions.
  • All items in the inventory screen are now depicted as 2D icons instead of the original 3D models.
  • Many bugs and glitches have been fixed (most notably the infamous random Cave of Trials screen freeze).
  • Ring of Lightspeed (called Slayer Ring in Second Story) now works on Dias Flac.
  • New character designs and portraits.
  • No magic combo mechanic.
  • Crafting animations are now replaced by a still 2D image.

Star Ocean: Second Evolution PS4 JP.ver:

This enhanced version was released only in Japan on the PS4, with enhanced graphics and BGM, and a DLC that helps you with the gameplay.

~ The Last Remnant (Xbox360): vs PC vs PS4 & Switch Remastered. ~

The Last Remnant PC:

This version is only available to purchase in the EU SquareEnix online store as of right now:
Battles:
  • Turbo Mode is now available, and can be toggled on or off while giving orders to unions in battle. When on, battles play out at double the speed.
  • Crimson Flare, a new Arcana, is now available.
  • New formations, such as Eremurus Rain, are now available.
  • Enemies hit considerably harder.
  • Rare Monsters can have significantly higher HP than their XBOX 360 counterparts.
  • Arcana require substantially more AP.
  • Unique Arts now require AP.
  • Remnant Arts can only be performed by union leader, Weapon Arts now require high union morale.
  • Offensive Weapon Arts now increase morale when used.
  • Additionally, Arcana and offensive Special Arts now raise morale by a fixed amount.
  • Likewise, certain Enemy Arts now lower morale by a fixed amount.
  • Wards now affect the entire union.
  • Attributes required for formation upgrades are vastly different.
  • Healing no longer raises morale, and morale increased by Critical Hits has been dramatically reduced.
  • Union morale now fluctuates based on more conditions (IE: taking an action, successfully landing a hit, receiving damage, etc.). In the X360 version, union morale stayed somewhat static, usually changing when being healed, being KO'd/terminated, executing a successful Critical Trigger. It also did not drop to 0 whenever an offensive Special Art was executed, whereas it will do so on the PC.
  • Linking additional enemies together does not increase your Battle Rank further than having fought them separately.
  • Special commands, such as the use of David's Gae Bolg, are no longer interrupted by being raidlocked by a different union or having targeted enemy union defeated by an ally.
  • Allies now have the option to cure a friendly union's Curse status ailment via "Cure them even if it kills them!" command. This command is in the XBOX 360 version as well, but is only available when the union is Enthralled; it will not be available when the union is cursed.
Items:
  • Items are color-coded in the PC version, and a new preview feature lets you see what the item looks like in battle.
  • You can now toggle between viewing the stats of a weapon or shield and viewing a preview of what it looks like in battle.
  • Components and consumables are now categorized.
  • Items are now color-coded based on their rarity.
  • Creation or customization of some items require fewer components.
  • New items available via Blueprint 4.
  • Various weapon stats have changed.
  • Some very rare monster-specific drops can now be split from monsters (e.g., Godwood Timber, Spiritwood Timber).
Units:
  • The leader limit is no longer imposed. Unions can be composed entirely of leader units if the player desires.
  • Likewise, soldiers can now be set as union leaders.
  • The stat cap has been lifted for all characters to allow a maximum of 255 for each stat.
  • The Seven are now recruitable after completing Union of the Golden Chalice Task #70: For Our Lord.
  • Rush can now be removed from the active party.
  • Khrynia can learn the new Unique Art Dual Snowpetal.
  • Arts can be disabled, filtering which skills a unit may use in combat.
  • Leaders' requested components are displayed when viewing their stats.
  • Leaders' wield style can be changed depending on their equipped weapon.
  • Shields now prevent style changes mid-battle.
  • The following classes now prevent style changes: Guardian, Scout, Hunter, Wanderer, Thief, Alchemist, all Mystic classes, Vagrant, Mercenary, Aristocrat, Djin, Fortuneteller, Sage and General.
  • The experience required to advance Wield Style skills has been reduced, and the experience required to advance Weapon Type skills has been increased.
  • Three new classes are now available: Ataraxian, Cleric, and Ninja.
  • The Guardian, Fencer, and Warrior classes now require non-sovani wield styles, and are thus not available to Sovani.
  • The Gladiator class now requires Power Grip and Wards.
  • Hybrid classes (Item+Combat and Mystic+Combat) can now be achieved by units who do not start in one.
  • Some leaders now have a different weapon upgrade path, which caused some units to learn new Weapon Arts while others lost theirs.
  • Leaders can request weapons that do not coincide with their weapon upgrade path as long as they match their equipped weapon type and size.
  • Soldiers can now request weapon drops.
  • Some units have had their starting Unit BR level, stats, class, equipment, arts, and hiring wage changed.
Sidequests:
  • The completion of At Hatred's End is no longer required in order to activate Things Unchangeable.
  • Duke of Ghor now has a … icon when you speak with him between the first, third, and fifth base battles.
  • The component requirements in The Assistant have lowered.
  • The DLC content is now unlocked differently; the majority of the extra content now requires the completion of certain guild tasks.
  • The Leader Extraordinaire guild tasks which required three units of a single class now only require one.
  • The Monsterslayer guild tasks require different enemies to be defeated.
New Game Plus and Hard Mode: After the epilogue and credits, you can now save your game. When you're taken back to the main menu, you can load this save to begin a new playthrough that carries over certain elements from your previous playthrough. You will also be given the option to start the new game in Hard Mode.
Miscellaneous:
  • The PC version will warn you if you cannot leave an area without a fight.
  • Auto Save is now available, which automatically saves after having changed zones or having won a battle.
  • Battle Rank is now viewable outside of combat, in the party menu.
  • Battle Rank progression has been slowed considerably; it takes more encounters/enemy unions terminated to increase in rank.
  • Characters with … icons are now identified with markers on the map.
  • Enemies can no longer be respawned by saving and reloading an adjacent area.
  • New saving opportunities are now available, such as before the base's boss.
  • A warning message is now displayed if you attempt to save your game in an area which you cannot leave until you defeat a boss.
  • Mr Diggs's digging animations are now much quicker.
  • The loading screens that explained some of the game's mechanics have been disabled.
  • Many areas of the game have had their spawn tables altered or repopulated.
  • Starting battle music now coincides with starting morale in most battles.
  • "Turn the Tide" and "Beat the Odds" now play during the second half instead of after entering Elysion.
  • Union highlighting during the selection phase has been toned down (ie: ally unions don't look quite as blue).
  • Leaders in reserve no longer gain skills via the Rush only skill grind trick.
  • Soldiers now slowly improve their stats in reserves.
  • Camera in battle doesn't swing around as wildly anymore.
  • Mitra soldiers' idle stances now come in 2 varieties: the one shared by both male and female units and the one exclusive to larger male units, rather than just the "large male mitra" stance.

The Last Remnant Remastered PS4 & Switch:

Based on the PC version, also added:
  • Graphics now are in Unreal Engine 4
  • A new function to run faster on the overworld.
  • Extra save slots.
Yes I am salty about this if you can't tell, since they removed the PC version from steam.

~ Tales of Vesperia (Xbox360): vs PS3 vs Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition vs PS4/PC/Switch/Xbox One. ~

Tales of Vesperia PS3:

  • Features full voice acting, nearly twice as much voice work as the original.
  • New Characters, including 2 new playable characters: Flynn (permanantly playable now), and Patty Fleur.
  • New subplots, skits, and main game quests, and sidequests.
  • New mini-games
  • New songs
  • Remodeled towns and new towns and dungeons.
  • New bosses.
  • The ability to replay boss fights.
  • New 8 Mystic Arts.
  • New artes, skills, and equipment.
  • New item: the "Artes Ball", which allows an additional eight artes shortcuts to be assigned to the previous eight slots combined with the L1 button, which allows for a maximum of 16 artes
  • New character costumes

Tales of Vesperia: Definitive editionvs PS4/PC/Switch/Xbox One:

Based on the PS3 version, it has everything from it and all the DLC included for free, with higher resolution graphics depending on the system.

~ Tales of Symphonia (GC): vs PS2 (JP.ver only) vs PS3/PC. ~

Tales of Symphonia PS2 JP.ver only:

  • New animated sequences.
  • New Mystic Arts.
  • New Unison Arts.
  • New Arts for playable characters and enemies.
  • New Techniques.
  • The frame rate was lowered from 60 frames per second to 30 frames per second.
  • New customs.
  • The "Synopsis" option in the menu displays newer entries at the top
  • The Casino in the game is now actually fully playable with it's own mini-games, and chips to collecet and exchange for items.
  • The skits are graphically more dynamic. Portraits get larger or smaller quickly, swing from side to side, shake, and so on.
  • New Titles
  • More post-battle animations.
  • Niflheim dungeon extended and 6 new boss characters, fought in 2 new boss battles.
  • Bug Fixes
  • New events to help raise affection.
  • Includes new side quests, new camera angles on some cutscenes, new animated cutscenes not featured in the GameCube version

Tales of Symphonia PS3/PC:

  • More customs.
  • Improved character textures and improved some environments.
  • Dual-audio support: Japanese and English voiceovers, which neither the PS2 or GameCube versions had
  • Cutscenes support voice acting in both languages, but skits only have voice acting in Japanese. If you select English, you will just see the subtitles during skits. This is not a porting issue, as this is just how the GameCube version was.
  • While the original GameCube version ran at 60fps, the Japanese PS2 port which the PS3 Chronicles HD version is based off of ran at 30fps. The Steam version can run at 40FPS.
  • HD graphics

~ Skies of Arcadia (DC): vs Skies of Arcadia: Legends GC. ~

Skies of Arcadia: Legends GC:

  • New Ranks for the Swashbuckler Rating system.
  • Random encounters occur less frequently and load considerably faster than the Dreamcast version, and EXP offered per battle is adjusted to compensate.
  • Graphically, the game sports mild improvements to character models, most noticeably adding individual fingers to the designs. The modifier volume shadows and (weirdly enough) point-mipmapping from the original release are still present.
  • One of the new sidequests available is Bounty Hunting. Sailor's Guilds offer information about each person on the bounty list as they are unlocked through story progression. After reading about them, they can be found in a constant location.
  • There are a number of new discoveries to be found.
  • Two linked sidequests
  • "Pinta Quest" minigame was removed
  • DLC comes with the game.

~ Persona 3 (PS2): vs Persona 3 FES PS2 (English.ver) vs P3P PSP. ~

FES PS2 (English.ver):

  • A whole additional epilogue has been added, The Answer. This chapter is only available in one difficulty setting, which is supposed to be on par with Persona 3's Hard mode.
  • New Personas have been added
  • Secret videos of the protagonist's dorm mates have been added to flesh them out.
  • Koromaru can now be taken on walks.
  • Several of the Social Links have been modified slightly, such as Tanaka being available at a different time
  • Several new Quests have been added.
  • New costumes can be worn in battle.
  • A new event involving Chidori Yoshino was added.
  • Naganaki Shrine was completely overhauled.
  • A hard mode was added.
  • Save data from Persona 3 can be transferred into the game,

P3P PSP:

  • The Answer is not included in this verion.
  • Added a Female Main Character, so now you can choose between the Male and Female MCs.
  • The game lacks 3D environments and character models (outside of Tartarus), all anime cutscenes are gone, the graphics and audio quality were compressed,
  • The storyline of the female protagonist features many differences from that of the male protagonist, such as new social interactions as well as Social Links.
  • New voiced dialogue.
  • Players have the choice of selecting Elizabeth or a male-equivalent named Theodore to be Igor's assistant in the Velvet Room.
  • The ability to pick who the protagonist spends the last moments of the game with. This feature is only accessible on a New Cycle
  • The Desert of Doors from the Abyss of Time seen in The Answer will still appear, however, in an extra feature known as the Vision Quest. In this mode, the party can fight stronger incarnations of the Full Moon shadow bosses — save for Arcana Magician — and partake in special battles that test the party's abilities. When all of the battles have been successfully met, a second optional boss can be fought: Margaret, Igor's assistant in Persona 4 and guardian of the Desert of Doors in P3P.
  • There are now two overworld save points; Aside from the log book in the Iwatodai Dormitory, there is also one on the main character's desk at school.
  • In Paulownia Mall, the police station is now the only place where the protagonist can buy equipment and sell items. Aohige Pharmacy is now a buy-only store, and Be Blue V is just a part-time work site and hangout to improve the main character's condition
  • From previous versions, two difficulty modes have been added: Beginner and Maniac alongside Easy and Normal in Persona 3 and Hard in Persona 3 FES:
  • A new tactic, "Direct," has been added to the game, allowing control of the party members, unlike Persona 3 and Persona 3 FES.
  • The "Wait" command is replaced with the "Defense" command, and will decrease the damage and any knockdown effects of the next attack the user suffers.
  • The game grants "1 More" to a combatant who attacks multiple enemies not knocking all of them down; the original Persona 3 required all hit enemies to be knocked down for a 1 more.
  • Party members who have been knocked down no longer spend the turn by getting up and can act as soon as they stand.
  • Upon landing a critical hit or striking an enemy's weakness, party members can follow up with a co-op attack.
  • Fusion Spells from the original Persona 3 are now activated from items instead of equipping a persona and selecting it like other spells.
  • Allies can now take a fatal blow to the protagonist for them if they are able.
  • "Dizzy" has been added as a status effect.
  • Returning to the main lobby in Tartarus no longer automatically restores the party, and must now be done for a fee via the save point (this cost varies based on the date in-game and status effects currently inflicted on the party)
  • Floors can be directly returned to from the entrance of Tartarus instead of being restricted to the restore point like previous versions.
  • "Tired" status no longer is inflicted during Tartarus exploration, and is inflicted to all used party members after leaving (this will only drop to "Good" if the character used was at "Great" during exploration).
  • Unlike previous versions, money found by party members when split up will now be given to the protagonist.
  • Party members' equipment and status can now be accessed at any time from the pause menu, unlike in previous versions, which required the protagonist to speak to them while exploring Tartarus in order to change their equipment or view their status.
  • You can now control Party members directly.
  • The protagonists only have access to one weapon type (instead of having access to all weapon types like in P3 and FES); the male protagonist wields one-handed swords, and the female protagonist wields naginatas. As a result, the Skills "Fist Master," "Bow Master," "1hdSwdMaster" and similar skills have all been combined into a single skill called "Weapons Master." Its skill card is called "Phys Boost," and all Personas which had learned a "master" ability (like Cybele with Bow Master) now learn "Weapons Master."
  • Personas now have the ability to produce a Skill Card when raised to a specific level. Each card can be used on any Persona to teach them a skill.
  • The Inari Sushi in Naganaki Shrine no longer grants random bonuses for item gaining and Tartarus explorations. Instead, it offers to duplicate Skill Cards, which will take 5 days to complete

~ Persona 4 (PS2): vs Persona 4 Golden Vita vs Persona 4 Golden PC. ~

Persona 4 Golden Vita:

  • Two new Social Links.
  • A New Dungeon.
  • A New bad ending.
  • New Difficulty levels have been added: Safety/Easy/Normal/Hard/Risky.
  • Several new music tracks.
  • Additional voice-over dialogue.
  • Chie and Teddie have new voice actors in the English version.
  • New animated cutscenes.
  • More Personas, including new Ultimate Personas for the Investigation Team.
  • New areas can be visited.
  • New events.
  • The protagonist can now explore Inaba in the evening when Dojima is not home.
  • The protagonist and his friends now have motorized scooters to explore various areas.
  • Costumes are now available to buy at Croco Fur, in Okina City.
  • New Garden and Bug Catching features.
  • The ability to choose which skills can be inherited by the Persona the protagonist is fusing.
  • New scene skipping function
  • If the necessary criteria for at least the good ending are fulfilled, daily activities are expanded to February 14, 2012, giving more time for events and social links.
  • New epilogue has been added for the True Ending.
  • The list of Requests and the Fox' emas have been modified.
  • Rise can now assist the Investigation Team in All-Out-Attacks.
  • Added Tag Team attacks: two members can team up to perform a united attack.
  • Added Cavalry Attacks: Attacks from members of the Investigation Team that are not currently in the party.
  • Spell buffs and debuffs can now be used on the same character to prolong the effect
  • A new gallery menu has been added: "TV Listings." It displays bonus content unlocked through the main game at any time.
  • Floors and chests in dungeons can now reset by changing floors instead of leaving the dungeon and TV world, or visiting another dungeon.

Persona 4 Golden PC:

  • Bug fixes
  • The game will run at up to 4K resolution with 60FPS+ as opposed to the Vita's 476p resolution and 30FPS target
  • Includes dual audio language and multiple text language. The anime cutscenes now also include subtitles
  • In the Steam version, the player may customize their difficulty setting at any time, in contrast to the Vita version only letting you do so on New Game Plus.The player may select a preset difficulty setting, or individually alter the following parameters
  • The player may select a preset difficulty setting, or individually alter the following parameters.

~ .hack//G.U (PS2): vs .hack//G.U. Last Recode PS4/PC. ~

.hack//G.U. Last Recode PS4/PC:

  • A brand new episode titled Vol.4//Reconnection, which takes place a year and three months after the events of Redemption
  • HD graphical update for the whole game.
  • Ability to restart the battle from the beginning if Haseo dies.
  • Movement speed on foot has somewhat increased.
  • The item stack size has increased from 50 to 99. The maximum number of item stacks in the inventory has increased from 30 to 90
  • Item menu shortcuts and sort features
  • When using an item in the field, pressing the X button repeatedly will cause the item to be used again without navigating the menu a second time.
  • The maximum number of Chim Spheres and Virus Cores the player can possess has increased from 99 to 999
  • Platforms now include the Platform Recovery feature, recovering a large portion of the party's HP and SP. It can only be used once per visit to a field.
  • Saku and Bo no longer switch the active player based on their level being even or odd. They can instead be selected as separate options in the Party screen.
  • Decreased the probability of allies selling the items the player give them.
  • Voice clips for returning characters and NPCs between games have been updated to use the Volume 3 clips from the beginning, except where said clips are unavailable.
  • Attack power has been increased and hit stops during attacks have been reduced to speed up the battle tempo.
  • Learning weapons proficiency increased and acquired experience points increased.
  • Awakening scenes can be skipped using the Option/Start button.
  • Some of the really tough enemies have been made a bit easier
  • Skeith’s general shot bullet speed has increased during Avatar Battles.
  • Enhanced battle balance and game pacing to provide an optimal experience.
  • Avatar battles now show a stun gauge over the enemy's head. Red diamonds have been added around attacks meant to be deflected using scythe slashes that are in range.
  • Added suspend feature during Avatar battle gameplay.
  • In Volume 3, the player is given 22 "Promise" greeting cards, meaning it is possible to do the "Forever in Love" / "Best Wishes" events with all party members in a single playthrough.
  • A new Cheat Mode allowing players who want to just enjoy the story to start the game with a large amount of items, best equipment, maximum money and chim spheres, and maximum level and affection for the respective volume.
  • Save files from Cheat Mode plays can be converted to the next volumes.
  • The videos from “The End of the World” Terminal Disc included with the limited edition PS2 release of Volume 1 are included in the collection
  • A New Job Form for Haseo with a new weapon.
  • A New Form for Skeith.
  • Ovan joins the party.

~ Final Fantasy 12 (PS2): vs FF 12: International Zodiac Job System PS2 (JP.ver only) vs FF12 Zodiac Age PS4/PC/Switch/Xbox One. ~

Final Fantasy 12: International Zodiac Job System PS2 (JP.ver only):

  • Addition of a "Zodiac Job System" featuring twelve jobs with individual License Boards corresponding to twelve zodiac signs
  • Addition of a 16:9 widescreen mode with menus and HUD at 4:3.
  • Addition of three new game modes: Trial Mode/New Game+ Strong Mode/New Game+ Weak Mode.
  • Pressing L1 will speed up gameplay. Conversations and events continue to play at normal speed.
  • Quickening doesn't consume MP. Now they use their own Mist gauge similarly to Limit Breaks from previous Final Fantasy titles.
  • UI Changes.
  • Playable characters' starting LP, consumables, gil, gambits, equipment, licenses, and base stats have been modified.
  • You have more control over Guests now, they also gain EXP/Item/Gold.
  • Many magick spells and technicks have been tweaked, renamed and recategorized.
  • Obtaining Quickenings no longer affects max MP and Mist charges do not diminish when MP is consumed (unless the player is affected by a reversed Elixir or Megalixir). The player's MP is also unaffected by the depletion of Mist charges. However, effects that recover the player's MP will also restore Mist charges. One Mist charge is granted each time the amount recovered totals the player's maximum MP. Effects that fully restore a player's MP recover all Mist charges.
  • You can now fully control Espers, they also require MP to cast magicks
  • Almost all attacks now break the 9999 damage limit from the original by default.
  • New items have been added, such as Cura Mote, Bubble Mote, Domaine Calvados, Baltoro Seed, Dark Energy and various Meteorites.
  • Bacchus's Wine now has 100% chance of inflicting Berserk (previously it was 50%).
  • Several equipment pieces were added, while some available in the original release were removed or tweaked.
  • New Weapons added.
  • Most shops had their assortments changed. Many weapons are now available from shops earlier because of the job system, and were thus made weaker.
  • Treasures respawn by moving just one area away as opposed to two. Treasures were moved around, changed the items they can give, or were removed altogether. The "forbidden chest" concept was removed, that in the original prevented the player from obtaining the Zodiac Spear in Necrohol of Nabudis if they opened a wrong treasure.
  • Dark Matter can no longer be acquired from the bazaar, and selling the ingredients needed to make it in the original will result in making the Dark Energy instead. The Dark Energy is an item that does not charge up with Knot of Rust or Devour Soul and always deals 50,000 damage to each enemy in range.
  • Treasure chests are now in different locations and contain different items.
  • There are more traps throughout the map.

Final Fantasy 12: Zodiac Age PS4/PC/Switch/Xbox One:

  • Remastered HD graphical upgrade.
  • English and Japanese voices (switch between them in the game configuration).
  • Original and newly re-recorded background music (switch between them in the game configuration).
  • Auto-save functionality added (game saves automatically when moving to each new screen, excepting boss arenas)
  • Improved high-speed mode and improved play time operability during high-speed mode
  • Ability to invert both the X and Y camera axes
  • The game balance has been overhauled to make it easier.
  • Each playable character can have two jobs at once.
  • Job Reset function added; talk to Montblanc in the Clan Hall to use.
  • The Effect Capacity system that limited spell-casting in the PlayStation 2 versions has been removed.
  • Fire, Thunder, Blizzard, and Cure only affect a single target again.
  • Espers' HP values have been doubled, but other stats kept the same as in Zodiac Job System.
  • The animation for summoning Espers is removed.
  • A glitch concerning Dyce's character model has been fixed.
  • New Game Plus and New Game Minus are now accessible from the beginning of the game.

~ Rune Factory 4 (3DS): vs Rune Factory 4 Special Switch. ~

Rune Factory 4 Special Switch:

  • HD Graphics.
  • Newlywed Mode.
  • Hell Difficulty.
  • Additional Movies.
  • Another Episode DLC.
  • Swimsuit Day DLC.
  • Many Town Events are now prioritized if requirements have been met. This includes Memories, which unlocks the last story arc and the events required for marriage.
  • The map has been moved to the main screen and can be removed and resized with the press of a button (the Switch has only one screen) or by using the touch screen icon.
  • The teleport spell has been mapped to a dedicated button. It can still be used from the touch screen.
  • You can now change the voice acting language between English and Japanese.
  • Many bug fixes.

This is just part 1, if you have any suggestions for titles to be in part 2, please post them here.

submitted by VashxShanks to JRPG [link] [comments]

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submitted by SBS-Havoc to spaceengineers [link] [comments]

[For hire] Full stack developer available for hire. I build startups, online poker rooms, casino's & more.

Hey Reddit!
I'm available for projects for the time being and looking to take on design and development responsibilities.
Areas i specialise in include websites, UX/UI, mobile apps, e-commerce and Blockchain/Cryptocurrency. I build a variety of projects such as online casino's, forex/crypto exchanges, poker platforms and more.

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submitted by ce7897 to forhire [link] [comments]

**SERVER ADVERTISEMENT** Xbox One

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-Game information
If you want to create an Empire, Be a Merchant or Miner and focus your lively hood around that this is the server for you, Or even a Pirate to take what ever you want.
Trading personal interactions and PvP are the main focus.
Brand new discord out for the server, not mandatory but if interested feel free to join. Your able to earn credits on the discord server, either by working or committing crimes, can even rob other players. Casino to bet your credits away. Your even able to cash in your credits you've made on server to you in game account
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submitted by SBS-Havoc to spaceengineers [link] [comments]

FAQ Crossposted from FB Group

Attention all cousins and new citizens of Gotham, please read before posting a question. Thank you!
Frequently Asked Questions #FAQ
🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇
‣ WHAT IS THE STRIKE PRICE FORMULA?
  1. Identify 52 week high to determine if there is room to run
  2. Identify current price of stock or ETF
  3. Look at performance based on length of contract you are assessing. (For example, 2 yr performance on Barchart.com)
  4. Take performance (in dollar amount not percentage) divide it by the following: 2yr contract then divide by 1.5, 6 month contract divide by 2, 3 month contract divide by 2 (basically divide by half)
  5. Take performance divided by 1.5 and add that to the current stock price
  6. This number will be your high end strike price
  7. Next take your high end strike price and multiple by .10 (10% correction)
  8. Take your high end strike price and minus the result of the 10% correction
  9. This number will be your low end strike price
  10. Now you have a range between your high end strike price and lower end strike price.
  11. Select a strike between that range or add your high end and low end strike prices together and divide by 2 to get the average.
Excel sheet for convenience not ignorance: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Aibe1lJ-w1qL20vOXqJPkKra_t4LMGWq8rFEMbbWcPM/edit
‣ WHAT TIME DOES THE SHOW COME ON?
Trade Talk Tuesdays 6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern Hot Take Thursdays 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern YouTube.com/c/TheComeUpSeries
‣ “I WANT TO LEARN OPTIONS, WHERE SHOULD I START?”
Reddit.com/thecomeupseries Welcome to Gotham, cousin! Please visit the Reddit page, there is a stickied post with relevant time stamps for every episode that has been uploaded to YouTube. Start there and cross-reference it with this FAQ.
‣ HOW DO I PLACE AN OPTION?
It depends on the brokerage site you are using. Mark walks through how to place an option trade on E*TRADE at the 58:00 minute mark on the “Blood on the Market Streets? Buy or Run”
‣ WHY CAN’T I DO OPTIONS ON MY BROKERAGE ACCOUNT?
You’re account is probably on Level 1 which is restricted to buying/selling shares. Simple options trading usually starts at Level 2. Reach out to your broker and ask to gain access to options.
‣ WHATS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BUYING A CALL AND SELLING A CALL?
The Come Up Series only teaches buying calls, selling calls has unlimited risk and is much more complicated. Buying a call is when you are paying a premium (contract price) in exchange for the ‘right’ to buy shares at a fixed price (strike price) on a certain date. The strategy in buying calls is to buy at a low premium and sell at a higher premium before the contracts expire. When exiting your position after buying a call, you are selling your contracts but you are not ‘selling a call’. I would refer to Google if you really want to learn what selling a call is.
‣ WHAT HAPPENS IF MY OPTION EXPIRES?
Depends on the brokerage company. Some companies will attempt to sell your position at any available bidding price an hour prior to the market closing on the date of your expiration (even if it causes you to lose money), some will let it expire worthless (meaning you lose the entire premium that you paid for the position) and if you have enough capital, some brokerages will exercise the contract (congratulations you now own how ever many contracts you bought x 100 shares of the stock)
‣ WHATS WRONG WITH ROBINHOOD?
Robinhood is a very simplistic platform. For options trading specifically, simplicity is not your friend. You want to be able to perform research and utilize as many tools as possible when doing options. Also Robinhood is known for delays in their bid/asking prices among other things. If you are comfortable with them feel free to continue to use them. Mark uses ETRADE. This is not to bash Robinhood or an endorsement for ETRADE, just facts.
‣ WHATS QUADRUPLE WITCHING?
Quadruple witching is a day in which 4 different areas of the market (stock options, stock futures, index futures, index options) contracts expire on the same day, resulting in increased volatility. Occurs on the third Friday of March, June, September and December.
‣ WHEN DO NEW CONTRACTS COME OUT?
The Monday before Quadruple Witching.
‣ WHAT ARE BOLLINGER BANDS AND HOW DO YOU USE THEM?
Bollinger bands are an indicator that show the standard deviation level directly above and below the simple moving average of a stock price. As Mark puts it, if a stock price travels outside of the bands, it will snap back to the band. You can use these on barchart.com by searching for the stock - clicking on on interactive chart - click “+Study” directly above the chart, then click “Bollinger Bands”. Mark recommends using them on a 6 month up to 2 year chart and a 20 day setting. *Refer to 46:40 minute mark on “Aug 4th Walk Away Money”
‣ WHAT IS THE VIX?
Volatility Index (.VIX) - measures the predictability of the market. Typically when the VIX is up, a vast majority of the market is down and trading unpredictably versus when the VIX is down, the market is more predictable.
‣ WHAT IS RSI?
Relative Strength Index - a way to measure the rate of change and speed in a stock, ranges from 0 - 100%. Anything 30% or less is oversold. Anything 75% or higher is overbought. To look at RSI visit Barchart.com, search stock symbol, click “Traders Cheat Sheet” on the left *Refer to 57:30 minute mark “Aug 4th Walk Away Money”
‣ WHAT’S HEDGING?
Hedging is a technique used to curtail losses on long-term investments. For example, placing a short-term put that coincides with a long-term call option.
‣ HOW DO I PLACE A PUT TO PROTECT MY LONG-TERM CALL?
When noticing a downward trend in a stock that you have a long term call on, you can place a put to protect your long-term call. In order to do so, you must first find the first level of support (most recent high point on the one month chart). You would then use that price as the price to buy your put with an expiration date of about 3 months away. Another instance you could place a put is if you notice that your stock’s price has traveled out of the Bollinger Bands, you can set up a put at the price where the stock will have to travel back inside the bands. This is not required but if you are wanting to maximize profits, Mark recommends to do 1 put for every 5 contracts. *Refer to the 31:00 minute mark on “Aug 6th For the Win”
‣ “I’M IN THE RED ON MY OPTION THAT EXPIRES 2 YEAR FROM NOW, SHOULD I SELL TO TRY TO GET A BETTER POSITION?”
Did you use the Strike Price Formula? If so STICK TO THE SCRIPT!
‣ WHAT IS MARGIN? SHOULD I USE IT?
Margin is essentially a line of credit extended to traders who qualify. NO! You should not use somebody else’s money to trade. Why? Because there’s a term called ‘margin call’ where essentially at any time the broker chooses they can close out your positions to cover your margin balance and if you don’t have the equity to cover, congratulations you are now in debt to a brokerage company.
‣ SHOULD I DO SHORT TERM OPTIONS TO GROW MY CAPITAL?
NO!
‣ HOW DO I DO SHORT TERM OPTIONS AROUND EARNINGS TIME?
DONT!!! Just go to the casino if you like to gamble.
‣ WHERE IS MARK’S COURSE/HOW DO I PAY FOR IT?
1) Get your notebook 2) Watch the videos YouTube.com/s/TheComeUpSeries 3) Scroll thru the Reddit Reddit.com/TheComeUpSeries 4) Scroll the FB group you’re already in 5) Don’t ever ask that question again in your life
🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇
If you have any other questions or if you see a common question that’s not listed, feel free to comment and I will continue to add to this post. If you see any posts that ask a question that is listed here just hashtag #FAQ and it will direct them here.
submitted by kaleandcognac to TheComeUpSeries [link] [comments]

Freemode heists

The mission design for the Ms. Baker missions and the nightclub setup missions really has me thinking that the original heists could work well in freemode if they were to be updated. I’m not here to convince rockstar because no matter what I say they will or won’t implement it
I’m just here to explain why and how they should work.

Why

How

submitted by TheCoochieSnatcher69 to gtaonline [link] [comments]

The Benefits of Blindness: The Contract...Ch.4

CHAPTER 4: The Contract
“Hello, Master Faruthian,” the balding, middle-aged scribe greets Stokley with a pleasing smile.
Schunk, schuunkk, schuuuuunk!
The heavy press slams, sending a shudder through Stokley’s ears.
“My name is Sclerian Eupator. It’s an honor to make your acquaintance, sire. I have the pleasure of serving as your officiator.” Sparkling silver thread shimmers in swirling patterns beneath the surface of his yellow toga.
Sclerian stands and motions toward a stool under the table’s edge. “Please, have a seat, sire. As this may take a while.”
“No, thanks, I’ve been sitting all afternoon. I’d rather stand, for now, if it’s all the same to you, sir,” Stokley replies, folding his arms behind his back.
“Suit yourself, sire.” Sclerian pushes a long, vermillion quill pen, a matching marble inkpot, and three papyrus scrolls, pinning the top and bottom ends of each scroll to the table using a set of black-ivory figurines. Seven replicas of the island’s most notorious residents stare back in defiance: rattler scorpion, trigger spider, damocles fly, palpalyne plant, myrmr queen, god mantis, zombie wasp.
Schunk, schuunkk, schuuuuunk!
“I’m here to help you complete the petition for membership in the Community of Heirs. As regrettably tedious as this may seem, it is necessary, rest assured. If you only knew the trouble still caused by the inadequacy of our early clerical policies, you’d be amazed we lasted the first few decades, let alone to this day, but I digress.” Sclerian looks around briefly on the table behind him, flinching again suddenly.
Schunk, schuunkk, schuuuuunk!
“Now, where was I? Oh, yes, these first few documents.” Sclerian runs two ink-stained forefingers along the oversized text at the head of each scroll. “These officially record, in triplicate, that you are Stokley Faruthian, born in the city of Tien-Tay, in the Duchy of Han-Zen, in the Sacred Sargosian Empire, on the Fourth day of the Third month after the Winter Solstice, in the Three Hundred and Twenty-Third year after the establishment of the International Trade Consortium, or the first year of the reign of the Emperor Shadislaw II, also commonly known as, ‘Year One of the Second Fox.’”
“That’s my name and where I live, and my birthday’s the fourth of First Market month, which is the third month of the year. That’s the same thing, right?” Eyes squint as he bends over, inspecting the scrolls.
“Yes, it is.”
“Good, and I was born in the first year of the Second Fox, that’s also right. What else does it say here at the bottom?”
“Can you not read the Sargosian script?” Sclerian’s purple eyes narrow down to the size of pin holes in his pink face.
“Course I can read Sargosian!” he retorts. “The text, it’s just so small. I can barely make out the words.” Stokley refocuses as he steps away from the table.
“That’s right, how could I forget the Faruthian propensity for farsightedness? My apologies, sire. Here, use this.” Sclerian places a thick glass lens on the flattened scroll. “Is that better?”
“Yes, thank you.” He moves the palm-sized lens along the papyrus, instantly magnifying the writing, allowing his eyes to decipher its contents.
“When you have read the scrolls to your satisfaction, sign your name along that line.”
“What did you mean, ‘Faruthian propensity for far-sightedness’?” Stokley asks after reading the documents.
“I’ve found, out of the five Faruthians whose inheritance I have had the honor of administering, all have been far--.”
“I’m your sixth Faruthian? The first five, were they my brothers or cousins? I never knew I had any family. The way Matron Maggotte at the state home always spat it out, I figured she made the name up and gave it to me out of spite.”
“Oh, I suppose, they may have been distant relations. You see, Faruthian is your clan name, taken from the old Tangril tongue meaning ‘sons of Faruth’ in honor of the first of your progenitors to step foot on Perelandreia. If we might continue, this is yours.” Sclerian presents a polished brass seal attached to a necklace of silver chain.
“It’s your personal seal, also known as a ‘kartush.’ You’ll need it to finish authenticating the documents.” Presenting as if handing over a sacred relic, he waits with patience for the youth to pluck the seal from his palms. Fingers free once more, Sclerian grabs the next set of scrolls and opens a slide in the golden press.
“Here, we have to make these in triplicate. But first, if you would carefully place your kartush inside the press, please.”
“Right here?” Stokley points at the small sliding tray in the side of the complex device.
“Yes, that’s it, right there.”
Compelled from his fingers, the kartush falls into the tray as if pulled by an invisible force the moment he places it within a few inches of the opening, closing inward with a click. Sclerian maneuvers all three scrolls horizontally and adjusts several knobs while looking through a lens attached to the opposite side of the press. Satisfied, he pushes another lever into place and glances up at Stokley.
“If you would do the honors, sire.” Sclerian motions toward the fist-sized, ivory-handled lever.
“This one?”
Schunk, schuunkk, schuuuuunk!
Squeezing his eyes shut, he pauses for a moment before instructing Stokley again, “Yes, if you would pull it down firmly. You need not slam it, as some of your colleagues seem to find necessary.” Sclerian raises his voice and stares down the table at the other officiators, none of whom take any notice.
“You want me to pull it down?”
“Yes, hold it there momentarily until I indicate to reverse the lever. I will then adjust the press and we’ll complete the process for the final two copies.”
Schunk, schuunkk, schuuuuunk!
Sclerian lays out three new scrolls after completing the first set. Identical to the first in form and organization, but they’re written in the distinct, pictorial characters of SisterScript rather than the more elegant, if abstract, lines and slashes composing the ancient Sargosian writing system.
SisterScript, but what do they say?” Stokley asks, knowing the answer but preferring to appear ignorant, a technique he favors for deducing the honesty of strangers.
“You were not educated in SisterScript at Han-Zen State Home Nine? We were informed that your skills in the language were considerable, is that not so?”
“Maybe I’m just rusty. It’s been almost a year since I left. To tell you the truth I haven’t really had any practice. Let me look a little closer,” he lies, palming the lens over the papyrus and performing the translation with ease. He spends the next several minutes conspicuously struggling, continuing the deception. “They’re duplicates of the first scroll.”
“Hmm,” Sclerian mumbles. “More confirmations of your birth-date, location of birth and identity. These are for the official records housed in the Palace of Perpetuity in the Great City of Praeto.”
Schunk, schuunkk, schuuuuunk!
“This is an indemnification against damages and identification of the Community of Heirs as next of kin.” Sclerian places another set of documents on the table. “We just need your signature and kartush here, here, here, here, there, this spot, over here, that place there, there, there, and here.”
How does he keep his toga so spotless with those hands? Wow! Stokley marvels as Sclerian’s ink-filthy fingers flitter above the scrolls. An eye-ball sized ruby glimmers from his purple pinky. How could he wear that ring on that hand? It’s sacrilege.
“Indemnification against damages?” Stokley asks, distracted by the hypnotic effect of the blinking jewel, the largest ruby he’s ever seen, and so close!
“Yes, well, in the course of your preparation, training, or career in the service, if anything should happen to your physical person, your inheritance and possessions would revert back to the Oroboro Exchange Cartel via the Community of Heirs. This clause also prevents any right to legally recognizable marriage by the heir without authorization of the Community and forbids inheritance by any future children the heir may produce, unless that child is made a ward of the Community, which applies to all members without exception. Even the Commodore cannot bequeath so much as a single share of stock when he dies.”
“I’ve never been concerned about making a family. But what about this ‘indemnification against damages?’ What kind of damages are we talking about here?”
“As a legally binding contract applicable in international jurisdiction, potentially entitling the candidate to the greatest fortune in the known or unknown world, I’m sure you can understand every circumstance must be accounted for. And, since death is common to us all, the recourse in its event must be accounted for as well. That being said, the training and evaluation process can be challenging, and not everyone survives.”
“What is this, ‘training and evaluation process?’” Stokley asks, pausing over the next scroll. “And what do you mean, ‘not everyone survives’?” Stokley asks, trying desperately not to stare at the ruby glaring at him from the end of Sclerian’s hand.
“To ascertain your usefulness, we must evaluate each heir prior to placement. This involves various activities where you will travel extensively throughout the interior with your own bonded team of Kyte-Sen-Koo, whom you will receive shortly. Even with the protection of your body men we must say the process is, like all activities taking place on Perelandraia, not without certain risks which I’m sure you can envision.”
“Um, why don’t you help me out with that, what are we talking about here?”
“Unfortunately for assuaging your understandable concern, there are certain elements of the evaluation to which even we officiators are not privy. Thus, even if they didn’t forbid me from revealing proprietary information, I would still find myself unable to answer your question.”
“Huh?”
“If you prefer not to continue, you have the option of formally renouncing your inheritance. A fair warning, heirs choosing to do so forgo all rights of claim on membership in the Community of Heirs of the Grande and Noble Oroboro Exchange Cartel, the decision being permanent and irrevocable,” Sclerian rattles off rapidly.
“Wait a second,” Stokley interjects out of instinct.
Sclerian continues the ‘take away’ clause, “We will then grant you safe passage to any port in the known world and an official O.E.C. note of tender worth fifteen thousand sisterpieces, at current rates of exchange, and refundable at any Imperial Bank or Bourse House within the network of the International Trade Consortium. Or, virtually anywhere else in the Seven Semi-Continents you may desire to go.”
“Fifteen thousand pieces of seven? And all I have to do is sign and sail away, I don’t have to do anything else?”
With fifteen thousand in cartel currency and free passage to Praeto, who knows what could happen! Stokley has little difficulty imagining himself parlaying this newfound wealth into an eventual stake in one of the many high-class casinos lining the great city of Praeto’s legendary Lilac Lagoons. Delusions of densely packed gambling halls with velvet roped V.I.P. sections waft through his head, the rich aroma of his own wishful thinking.
“Yes, that’s correct. Fifteen thousand in pieces of seven is certainly a considerable amount of capital for many men. But it would seem a paltry sum next to the regular stipend drawn by any member of the Community, to say nothing of its high-ranking members, not to mention the Board.”
A ray of sunlight refracts through the scribe’s ring, pulling Stokley from his reverie. He recalls the dozens of black pearls falling through the cracks of the Courtyard without a soul sent to collect them. And he considers all of those boxes in transit throughout the Mother’s Myrth. This inspires speculation as to the thousands of containers already resting in the holds of Bottany Bay and the tens of thousands sailing to every port in the Seven. Measured against such unfathomable wealth, fifteen thousand sisterpieces reverts from a windfall into an insult. And, as it has for so many others, the siren’s song of limitless fortune bends Stokley to her will.
“How dangerous is this process?”
“I shan’t lie to you. Not all survive. I’ve never had a Faruthian fail though!” Sclerian replies, pride glinting in his purple eyes.
submitted by cottonwisper to HFY [link] [comments]

CasinoLuck 20 gratis spins + 100 free spins + €500 bonus

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The Sequels, Reviewed


The Force Awakens
Not all that horrible as far as the sequels go, at least in the first half, but still severely lacking and bad. It was meant to look and feel at least sort of like Star Wars, but it was the façade, not the substance. A desert planet that's basically Tatooine with fewer buildings and more space junk, two-seated TIE fighters, slightly different stormtroopers, an obtuse reference to the trash compactor in Episode IV, and much more. Even in the midst of this movie's boatloads of manufactured hype, I could tell that Kylo was a weak character, maybe Poe, Finn, and Rey too, not to mention that Starkiller Base was an obvious piece of lazy writing, and Captain Phasma and Maz Kanata turned out to be disappointingly underused characters. I'll admit that it felt a little fun and inspiring how easily Finn and Rey beat Kylo Ren at the end, until we realized that Rey was going to be overpowered like that for the entire series.
Leia was also barely recognizable. The quick-thinking, spunky personality that made her such a great character is gone and she's reduced to nodding and saying "yep" to everything Rey says and sighing about how difficult Poe is. Speaking of the original Skywalkers, I was disappointed that this movie didn't have a lot more Luke, and maybe some of you are, too.
Perhaps the only fair-quality moment is Han Solo's death, but it had been rumored for months, maybe close to a year before the movie came out, so a good %60, arguably more, of that scene's potential effect was out the window. We've seen how powerful unleaked twists can be- just look at Baby Yoda, for example! The creators of The Mandalorian were careful not to leak his existence, even latening merchandising opportunities for it- and, for the next few months, the Internet went crazy for him. They missed a big opportunity to make the film substantially better by simply guarding their secrets better. George Lucas understood this concept. Heck, the biggest spoilers of the Original Trilogy- Luke losing a hand, Darth Vader being Luke's father, and Leia being Luke's sister don't even appear in the original script for The Empire Strikes Back. The then-secret of Luke's father didn't even come out when the scene was filmed! Specifically to keep it from seeping out, Lucasfilm had James Earl Jones instead say "No, Obi-Wan killed your father!" And dubbed over it later. Darth Maul's second blade was similarly concealed in the advertising for The Phantom Menace.
Finally, it irritates me that the scene in which General Hux picks up Kylo Ren and takes him to Snoke wasn't in the theater version, or that it was an after-credits scene, which you can't easily catch in theaters. You shouldn't have had to buy the DVD version to see extra content that you didn't know existed. It was a cheap move both in writing and storytelling, as it deprived a huge portion of the viewers some information that would be vital to the next movie: that Kylo Ren survives, and that Snoke is important.
We were all excited for this movie. Kylo Ren looked so cool and we were finally getting new Star Wars movies! But when you strip away all the idle hype over it existing, there was little in this movie. It was a virtual A New Hope remake with better visuals and some story tweaks, nearly all of them for the worse.
In regards to the ending, putting a main character into a coma was an unbelievably clichéd idea.
As I walked out of the theater where I saw it the first time, I overheard people discussing it, a little confused, and already finding inconsistencies.
The Last Jedi
The snail bombers needed much better defenses to make them make sense, but they were a metaphor for the entire movie; constant, nonsensical run-around action that's not very satisfying nor leads anywhere. It distracts from the barely-existent plot, and it's bad writing in general. Instead of tactically pausing the action when it showed the Resistance fleet in space to give the movie some pacing relief, the directors had something explode every 10 minutes.
And, though this doesn't bother me as much as it does some people, Luke's state of being in this movie was too severe in ways. I'm all for tragic character arcs, but him completely shutting himself off from the Force was a step too much. The rest doesn't seem too irrational to me, (sure, he thought about killing Kylo, but he was a major threat to his small, fragile Jedi school.) But I cannot easily see him having such bad luck that he throws away the superpowerful set of abilities that he had chosen to define him and his life for the past 30 years. He had seen firsthand how powerful a force of good it can be. This was especially interesting considering how acting on emotion is against the Jedi way. But, in all fairness, he had failed a substantial number of important people to him and, though the sequels shouldn't intrude on the originals like this, possibly many high, old hopes of bringing the Force back to the Light Side that had seemed achievable since defeating the Emperor. But instead of trying again and learning from his mistakes, by shutting himself off, he buried the Jedi's last hope.
Returning to the subject of this movie's use of action, the Praetorian guards fight scene was cool to watch the first time, but it seems very rushed and easy looking back, especially weighing that there are piles of weak, frequent action scattered around this movie, in the form of things like the First Order destroying the Resistance's medical frigate and Rose, Finn, and BB-8 dodging Kanto-Bight police. When there are action-packed moments spread all around a movie like this, it loses its effect. You stop caring about the action because you've seen so much of it, and so it gets less exciting, and lots of effect that should have been saved for the really combat-heavy scenes is lost to them.
Speaking of the "casino planet", I have some issues with those scenes, too, though not as much as many people. The first couple shots were actually a preciously rare bit of world-building for the sequels, but the effect drained out quickly. Apparently, everyone being a rich gambler was the whole theme of that town. Rose also apparently put unsaddling a space horse above freeing child slaves, not to mention that they somehow had Earth-design cakes in an extragalactic tea room.
Rey's "conga line" Force vision was bad, and a blatant, obvious attempted remake of the Cave of Evil, but at least this movie did SOMETHING with the Force. I wouldn't be surprised if Disney made the Force non-canon.
The Holdo Maneuver was interesting, but very bad for the villain presence at the end of the film. After Snoke's Super Star Destroyer is run through, (along with several others, but it's unknowable how many because of the darkness in that shot) Kylo orders to gather "all our forces", which turn out to be just a few gorilla walkers, Ren's shuttle, and one big gun. The end of the movie had me thinking less in terms of "oh, the Resistance did some damage to the First Order, but the First Order crippled them back!" And a lot more "Both sides may have decimated each other. Now neither side is very strong."
Majorly, the Matrix reference during Luke and Kylo's 'duel' should never have been in there. Star Wars movies shouldn't follow references. If anything, they should be the movies that are referenced later!
Finally, it was as true in this movie as the last one: the scene aboard the Millennium Falcon should NOT have been DVD (or, in today's case, Disney+), exclusive! Fans deserved to know that Rey had the pieces of Luke's lightsaber and that the Jedi texts survived. Their survival made no sense all the same, but better to get it then and there than to be surprised by yet another plot hole in TROS.
The Rise of Skywalker
In addition to being a weak ending in general, TROS, in my opinion, has the most plot holes of any Star Wars movie, which is saying a lot, and missed a lot of opportunities TLJ tried to give it.
As most of us can attest, the writing in this movie was horribly inconsistent, a result of JJ Abrams, Rian Johnson, and some Disney-imposed fan service (and deadlines) fighting to write the script, I suppose. We see Rey struggle a little bit, but not enough to break her out of her status.
The visuals are amazing in the first eighth or so- the Blood Net, that space glacier thing, Exegol- but it was still ruined by the trademark Rian Johnson cheese and JJ Abrams nonsensical banter that was mixed in. Let's see what was written into those few scenes: a gaping hyperspace retcon, TIE fighters that can somehow track through lightspeed, that insufferable line "Win the war!", and a quote repeat by Palpatine that all but ruined the beloved Revenge of The Sith version.
And Kylo Ren's helmet gets fixed. I became disappointed as soon as I saw this in the trailer. Everyone complains about the porgs being a blunt merchandise-grab, but I'd say this is substantially worse. Yes, the red looks cool, but it outright undid one of the most meaningful moments in the entire trilogy. In addition to looking intense, that moment in which Kylo smashes his helmet on the elevator wall showed that the money-hungry makers of this trilogy might have been willing to give up a little iconography for the sake of a richer story. But they proved eager to take that back. Not only did they just reintroduce one of the most overused images of the late 2010s, but they tried to shallowly make it look cooler. Especially pointless given how the helmet was heavily shown in the advertising, but barely seen in the actual movie. And, according to the novelization, the remains of the Supremacy where combed through for the helmet's pieces. That had seemed like promising scavenging ground for one of my own trilogies, but enough about that.
The world building in TROS was okay, but the characters were awful. Exegol and the aforementioned space formations looked epic, Kijimi (the snowy mountain world), was an interesting planet, but, like Anch-To, suffered from a lack of one solid theme. That desert planet had the opposite problem: it was a near-complete clone of Tatooine, Jakuu, and Nevarro (the desert planet from The Mandalorian). And the culture of the festival held on it didn't go as deep as I hoped. The Death Star ruins should have caused apocalyptic damage to the moon they landed on, but at least we finally got to see the plains of Endor... sort of.
Now onto the characters. Rey got a few tiny, tiny tinges of development (when she accepted that girl's necklace at the desert festival and oiled D-0's wheel), but for the most part just remained too powerful. Palpatine is defeated YET AGAIN because he can't wrap his head around the thought that when someone is blasting your own Force lightning back at you and using it to kill or severely weaken you, MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T KEEP BLASTING!! Rey just holds up two lightsabers to him and becomes invincible and unchallenged. Kylo Ren is probably at his worst in terms of development. (Last word: "Ow.") Nearly all the new-this-movie characters: Babu Frick, Jannah, and the D-0 droid, were either placeholder characters or merch-generators. Or both. The Knights of Ren and the Sith Troopers were both grievously underused; again, largely merch-bait, and from Rey we got a healing-a-troubled,-dangerous-creature-with-the-Force scene that we've seen at least four times in Star Wars by now. It was supposed to be impactful, but other, better writers had gotten there first.
Finally, I felt that there was something wrong with the final battle. Every ragtag fighter in the galaxy suddenly just decides to come and blow up some ships, and then much the same thing happens again 20 minutes later. (Though we do see the Ghost, captain Rex's starfighter, and a Mandalorian starfighter, which I find very exciting.) And the Final Order had been working on those ships for the past twenty years. I think they'd find something as obvious as a weak spot in the cannon. Sith hubris can't make you that stupid, especially considering that finding weak spots is very much on the lines of how Sith think.
_______________________________________________________________
Although bad on several levels, the sequels can teach us something. They don't show us what good Star Wars is, but at least they show us what bad Star Wars is. They've fallen into pits that it is now up to future Star Wars writers to find and avoid. That's one of the reasons why intelligently criticizing Star Wars is so important.
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