Hi everyone, and welcome again to my column, Gaming With God. If you missed my first post, please be sure to check it out. Also, if you have any games that came out of Japan that you would like me to highlight, be sure to mention it in the comments below! I reply and read to every single message I get, and I enjoy interacting with my readers.
This week’s post is all about Star Ocean 3: Till The End Of Time. If you’ve never heard of the Star Ocean series, it’s an obscure series that never really picked up popularity in the USA, but was very popular overseas. Yes, there are many fans, but even the first game never made it to the states and was originally released on Super Famicom in 1996 (PSP remake in 2007). The whole series was developed by Tri-Ace, and there are four entries and international versions which is like a DLC (Downloadable Content) or expansion that has extra goodies.
Let me give you some background on the game before I delve into the spiritual details. If you enjoy space opera games (games that have to do with space, aliens, sci-fi action) then this your game! There’s a federation that is monitoring the galaxy, alien races throughout (though they look mostly human), different planets you can visit and magic too. Magic in this game though, is Symbology. It’s a manner of crests appearing on your body and then you perform magic attacks or healing.
The plot is all about Fayt Leingod and Sophia Esteed journeying through space, trying to figure out their purpose and meaning in the world. I don’t want to go deep into the story but I will have to spoil a main point of the story.
*Spoilers be ahead, proceed with caution!*
So as you progress through the game, you find out that the universe you are a part of isn’t actually the real universe, but a created one. The “creator” of the universe is named Luther Lansfeld and owner of the Sphere company, who lives in what is called 4D space. This world is the real one, with people just like us. The “Eternal Sphere” is basically an MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer RPG) that the people of 4D Space use to play. Think Sword Art Online, and suddenly the characters from SAO came to life in our world!
Fayt and his party fight against Luther who has decided to “delete” the entire world they came from. Fayt argues that they are intelligent enough and capable of living on their own without the need of being managed by Luther. The heroes win, but somehow their world isn’t deleted and they live on. It isn’t very clear what happens, but that’s not the point that I want to highlight here.
I want to talk about our Creator, and His name isn’t Luther.
Battling Against The Creator
I see this often in Japanese anime, and especially in Japanese video games. You will have a group of characters who are going the plot of the game, then around the end they discover that the one pulling the strings was “god”. This god, or ultra powerful character, is the one that controls the world against the characters will. Their journey has only been an engineered plan and everything is meaningless, unless they give into this “god” and his rule.
Of course, the character’s are not for this and they decide to get rid of this god and live their own life, free from subjugation. This is actually interesting, because it shows how the Japanese actually see the true and living God, someone who is out to control their lives and keep them from doing what they chose to.
I am not speaking for Japan, but at least in game development, this theme has come up more than once. I have seen it in Breath of Fire 2, 3 and 4, Final Fantasy VI and X, Tales of Symphonia, Metal Gear Solid 2 and many others (list the ones I missed below, thanks!).
How we see God is vital, because a twisted view of who our Creator is makes our faith in Him twisted as well. God isn’t shaped by our belief, He is God and ruling on His throne in Heaven whether we believe it or not. Our faith does not change who He is, but if we see Him as someone who is out to get us or ruin our lives then we will never trust Him.
Having a relationship, not a religion, is what sets apart Christ from every other false god in the world today. People worship many things, statues, religions and deities but in the end it doesn’t lead them to having fellowship with their Heavenly Father. In Star Ocean, we see our characters fighting against their creator, just like many people today who are always “fighting” God, yet it’s a pointless struggle. God only has compassion for those who fight against Him, because His heart isn’t to fight back, but to bring them to salvation through Jesus Christ:
11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.
I don’t want to only share some great games and their highlights, but also to remind you of how much God loves you. His heart breaks for those that reject Him, because He knows that they will not enter into eternity with Him. He wants to work with us in our lives, and He has a purpose and a plan for every single one of our days if we trust in Him.
Don’t fight His will, but give into it.
Quit battling against your Creator.
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23 thoughts on “Gaming With God: Battling Against The Creator”
Fighting God (?)
You just defeated God (!?)
He was weaker than the boss two levels before (???)
Exactly….in fact he was a weak boss to be honest, the optional bosses were muchhhh harder.
In fact, to this day I NEVER beat Freya…
I’m curious as to where you see this in Final Fantasy VI. Aside from Kefka’s angelic appearance during the final battle, I don’t recall much in the way of God/religion in that game.
Theres an entire video I have to find to share with you that goes into way more detail, but just look at his last battle form, plus he basically considers himself god because he rules the world….
Sorry you already mentioned the appearance, but its way more than angelic, it actually shows many religious symbols. I will reply later with the video, but yes, you are fighting the “god” of FF 6 which is Kefka
Well, in my own personal opinion, Kefka is actually Satan there. Note that the entire godlike final boss form is basically one long mockery of God and the Trinity, and floating over it is a six-winged Kefka. This added to he himself being depicted as liminal, like a jester, and what you get is probably not God.
As for whether God’s good or evil…That seems like kind of a moot point when the person being talked about literally created everything. If I wrote a book, there’s no way the characters can beat me in a fight. I could literally write them out of existence. There’s also no way I don’t know what I’m doing, and they can’t see my grander Plan for their futures. Fighting him ultimately makes no sense unless you have a very good reason for wanting to suffer.
But the truth is…did God really want the best for those He knowingly offered a future in which they were condemned? Particularly for the angels, who can never go back. ….That’s the question I’m wrestling with, most of the time.
Hi Lumines, thanks for reading my post. I have seen you all over Beneath so happy to know you commented.
Ok, yes, I agree about Kefka, here’s the video that will give you more details on the craziness and blasphemy honestly, of that battle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLhiWw3pzQk&feature=youtu.be&safe=active
Check around the middle of the video, though I learned a lot from it and it’s full of great info.
God is good. Period. God is love, and we can go all day about that, but the bible is clear about that. I can supply you with verses if you need them.
I agree too, I would never allow some creation that I made jump at me and beat me up, but the point of the article was to highlight how the Japanese seem to have that battle with their Creator, always wanting to fight for free will.
Angels going back….well, the bible states that a third of the angels in Heaven betrayed God and were banished, but they never WANTED to come back, it’s not like they are pleading to God to go back, they wanted to leave.
“Angels going back….well, the bible states that a third of the angels in Heaven betrayed God and were banished, but they never WANTED to come back, it’s not like they are pleading to God to go back, they wanted to leave.”
I disagree (It seems to have been a great deal more complicated than that), but that is an entirely religious point.
“I agree too, I would never allow some creation that I made jump at me and beat me up, but the point of the article was to highlight how the Japanese seem to have that battle with their Creator, always wanting to fight for free will.”
I think that’s true of their culture even when they’re not speaking of a foreign religion. In Penguindrum, several of the characters weigh in on the nature of Fate. Some choose to follow Fate, believing in the justice of God. Some choose to defy Fate, feeling that circumstances beyond their control led them astray and doomed them to an empty life.
What’s seen in the show is that the disheartened characters are “right” in an objective sense: Their lives really do suck that much, and it’s really not their fault. But it’s also seen that in order to defy Fate, they must “sell their souls” to “the Devil.” That’s the power that Satan is offering. But it is a toxic power, and one with ruinous consequences.
Their opinions seem mixed. I once heard a statement that described it: “Those who accept Fate find happiness. Those who defy Fate find glory.”
In regards to angels, I look at only these verses. Personally, I only guide myself through God’s word, the bible, and that’s it. I’ve read books on angels and they are very interesting though!
Check out Revelation 12:3–9 for details on the whole third of the angels etc. Thanks for commenting, and hope you check out my next post 🙂
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My newest post is up on Beneath The Tangles! Please comment and let me know what you think, I love to know what my readers think of what I write. God bless.
Wow….I actually read the wiki on Star Ocean and I saw how they depict Jesus Christ and even have an character called “Nephilim” (Really? Star Ocean named an character after whats in Genesis 6?). While there is an very clear presence of religion, it is really not too accurate in Star Ocean’s case….
Which Star Ocean were you talking about? How did they depict Christ? I don’t remember that in part 3…I did not play part 1, and played part 2 years and years ago when it first came out on PlayStation. I do remembered the Nephilim though, that’s in so many games, I should write a post on hell and how it’s depicted….
Oh, man. My bad. I was actually Xenogears who depicted Jesus Christ (not Star Ocean….not sure how i got that mixed up. Then again, it has been awhile since I kept up with Star Ocean and Xenogears). Thats where the not-so-accurate depiction of Jesus was seen.
As for the Nephilim, it is everywhere. Darksiders, DMC: Devil May Cry just to name an few.
“Xenogears” aka “Xenosaga”
Hey JD, thanks for the comments 🙂 Yeah, I honestly never played Xenogears when I was younger but I need to play it. I have several RPG’s I have on my PS3 I have to catch up from the PS1 days…
Yup, DMC has some good information that I can write about, I did write something on DMC 3 though. Darksiders I never played, but yeah, they do use angels like the Nephilim all over the place.
Dragon Quest 7 has God as an optional boss. Several Megami Tensei games allow you to place yourself in a neutral alignment and fight God.
Also it seems TVTropes has this listed as a trope http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RageAgainstTheHeavens
Wow really? Never played DQ7, and neither the Megami games. Never interested me and yes, they are pretty….out there in regards to God.
From what I’ve been playing for years, it seems like there are actually two camps of how the depict gods in JRPGs. Discerning between the two would be beneficial in making a case study.
The first camp merely show *godlike* entity – someone or something who has or has gained power beyond mere mortals – and stamp them as “God”. Kefka & Shadow Hearts Last Boss are from this camp.
The second camp make actual referral to who we usually call as the Almighty God. DQ7’s God, Shin Megami Tensei’s YHWH, and even Devil Survivor 2’s Polaris are from this camp.
There was an old article that elaborates on why developer like to choose “God” as the final boss in RPGs, it’s because in RPGs you, the player, keep growing stronger & stronger so in order to have an epic final battle, the final enemy should be the strongest of all. And who could be more powerful than The Almighty Himself? 🙂
Great points! I would like to read that article if you can find it for me…
Also, I never got to play Shadow Hearts, though I do remember it. All great games you mentioned.
That would nake sense though, even in DBZ with Goku fighting the god Anubis, I mean, who else are they going to fight….but, I personally see this even in anime too, so I thought it was an interesting way to look at it. Thanks a lot for your comments, I am enjoying all the great and intelligent people that have commented thus far 🙂
I think you should try Xenogears
Ignore my first comment, please, I didn’t read what’s before me.
Just to clarify things, Xenogears is not the same as Xenosaga. They’re completely different games that only shares the terms of the universe (Xenosaga from Xenogears).
Xenogears doesn’t have any depiction of Christ. Xenosaga depicted Christ in Gnosticism belief that there’s aeon and human Christ. Jesus DID appear in Xenosaga Episode III and then you realize you actually got Jesus himself as one of your party members, chaos (that’s his name not a word).
I really love Xenogears and Xenosaga because the characters were never actually going against God, but rather a false god (Satan? as the ruler of this world), which is the view in Gnosticism. Really, the writer, Tetsuya Takahashi, doesn’t share the same view like most Japanese (writers) out there because through his writings, he does acknowledge that God is there, He’s not evil and He rules the universe, however humans are on their own in making the decision for their future. God, I really love these games, I strongly recommend you to play these games (Xenosaga is a bit fanservicey but it’s still has great spiritual and philosophical values).
Love this post 😉
Thanks for that reply! Yes, Xenogears and saga are amazing games. I played a little of Xenosaga back when it first came out but never got the games. I have been wanting to play Xenogears forever, your not the first person to point out the biblical similarities from it. Even on the Beneath The Tangles podcast they talked about it I believe…
Anyways, once I download it on PSN, I will be sure to review that bad boy. God bless, and thanks for reading 🙂