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.