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Abilities are learned by leveling up in Skills. Each Ability requires 1-3 skills. The Ability level is determined by the average of the Skill levels, rounded up. (That means for a two-Skill Ability, you can reach level 10 by learning one skill to level 10 and the other to level 9.) Abilities are accessed from one of two places: the Item Creation menu (go to Items and press X) or the Special menu for each character.

Abilities also require Talents. Talents are given when a character joins your party; they can also be learned by using the correct Item Creation Abilities often enough. The Violin songs also raise the chance of this happening (see below). If you do not have the correct Talent for a Ability, the chances of it succeeding are almost nil.


Accessed from: Item Creation Menu
Skills Required: Mineralogy, Fairy Lore, Technology
Talent Required: Blessing of Mana
Consumable Item: Iron
Failure Item: Rock

This lets you turn Iron into a rare mineral. If this would work more often it'd be pretty good. Only spellcasters can use this with any amount of success. There are a few minerals you can't make with this, though. You can't make the better minerals until you level up as follows:

LV1+: Nothing
LV2+: Gold, Silver
LV3+: Ruby, Sapphire
LV4+: Green Beryl
LV5+: Crystal
LV6+: Diamond
LV7+: Damascus
LV8+: Rune Metal
LV9+: Rainbow Diamond
LV10+: Orihalcon, Sage's Stone


Accessed from: Item Creation Menu
Skills Required: Sketching
Talent Required: Design Sense
Consumable Items: Magic Card, Magic Color
Failure Items: Scribbles (two types)

There are two types of Art. One uses a Magic Card and allows you to create portraits and cards. Portraits have no known use other than selling (you can't create a portrait of someone who isn't in your party; you CAN create a portrait of yourself). Cards can be used to great effect in battle. Magic Colors, on the other hand, are incredibly useful in that they let you copy an item. There's no penalty (other than losing the 2000-Fol Magic Color) if you fail. You can copy a huge amount of items, including Violins, which sell for 100,000 Fol! This is the only way to get an unlimited supply of the rarer minerals, or to get more than one copy of some of the better hats and boots.

Items Created (via Magic Card):
Level 1+: Portrait A through Portrait L (depending who's in party) I think there's a higher chance of making a portrait for someone who you have a high Approval Rating for.
Level 3+: Critical, Victory
Level 7+: Upstart, Phoenix
Level 9+: Treasure


Accessed from: Item Creation Menu
Skills Required: Writing
Talents Required: Writing Ability
Consumable Items: Research Pen
Failure Items: Book of Prophecy (six types) or nothing

This is probably the most useful Ability in the game! You can write books with this; each book allows any character to gain one level in a particular skill. People can raise up to level 7 with books. You can't write for every single skill (only the ones listed below), and the writer must know the skill being written (at least to level 1). Still, it's an incredibly useful Ability!

Biology -> Biological Theory
Workmanship -> Dwarven Techniques
Fairy Lore -> The Mysterial Fairy
Good Eye -> The Master Chef
Herbal Medicine -> Herbal Tome
Performance -> Music for Beginners
Kitchen Knife -> Heart of the Artisan
Forging -> All About Weapons
Musical Notation -> Music Encyclopedia
Recipe -> Cooking Reference
Mineralogy -> Minerals Lexicon
Technology -> Hermes' Theory
Sketching -> Soul of the Artist
Psychology -> Psychology Omnibus
Item Lore -> Tool Compendium
Writing -> Book of Grammar


Accessed from: Item Creation Menu
Skills Required: Biology, Herbal Medicine, Psychology
Talent Required: None (?)
Consumable Items: Artemis Leaf, Lavender, Mandrake, Savory, Shadow Flower
Failure Items: Nothing

Combine two herbs to get one item. These items can usually be used in battle or for healing (in or out of battle). Two items can be made per pair of herbs. The combinations are as follows:

Artemis Leaf + Artemis Leaf = Fairy Potion, Fairy Mist
Artemis Leaf + Lavender = Resurrect Bottle, Resurrect Mist
Artemis Leaf + Mandrake = Fruit Pot, Fresh Bottle
Artemis Leaf + Savory = Holy Mist, Mixed Syrup
Artemis Leaf + Shadow Flower = Mind Bomb, Giga Mind Bomb
Lavender + Lavender = Cure Poison, Cure Paralysis
Lavender + Mandrake = Sweet Pot, Liqueur Bottle
Lavender + Savory = Sweet Syrup, Sour Syrup
Lavender + Shadow Flower = Poison Bomb, Killer Poison
Mandrake + Mandrake = Bubble Potion, Melt Potion
Mandrake + Savory = Stink Pot, Bitter Potion
Mandrake + Shadow Flower = Poison Bomb, Killer Poison
Savory + Savory = Sweet Syrup, Sour Syrup
Savory + Shadow Flower = Stink Bomb, Stun Bomb
Shadow Flower + Shadow Flower = Flare Bomb, Mega Flare Bomb


Accessed from: Item Creation Menu
Skills Required: Kitchen Knife, Recipe, Good Eye
Talent Required: Sense of Taste
Consumable Items: Grain, Fruit, Vegetables, Meat, Seafood
Failure Items: Botched Brew, Spicy Cake, Bad Dessert, Bad Stew, Tough Steak, Cheap Sashimi

Using this lets you turn ingredients into succulent dishes! You can sell some of these for decent (not awesome, but decent) cash, and you can use the food to recover HP in the field. Some characters have a favorite food that recovers all HP and MP in the field! Here's what you can make:

Grain: (Fail: Botched Brew) Bijoubu, Ichinokura, Kokuryuu (Cius's favorite), Rice Ball (Tinek's Favorite), Senchuu, Xi Feng Jiu, Tamanohikari (Iria's favorite), Yaegaki Mu
Fruit: (Fail: Spicy Cake/Bad Dessert) Apple Pie, Fruit Parfait (Milly's favorite), Fruitcake, Orange Shake, Sorbet, Wine (Marvel's favorite)
Vegetables: (Fail: Bad Stew) Cabbage Roll, Hoikoro (Ratix's favorite), Boiled Matsutake (Ronixis's favorite), Salad, Stew, Jell-O (Ashlay's favorite)
Meat: (Fail: Tough Steak) 5oz Steak (Dorn's favorite), 9oz Steak, Chicken Skewers, Escargot (Joshua's favorite), Hamburger, Chinese Rice
Seafood: (Fail: Cheap Sashimi) Seafood Spaghetti, Snapper Sashimi, Baked Turban Shell (Fear's favorite), Fried Shrimp, Great Tuna (Perisie's favorite), Tuna


Accessed from: Item Creation Menu
Skills Required: Mineralogy, Workmanship, Esthetic Sense
Talent Required: Manual Dexterity
Consumable Items: Various minerals
Failure Items: Embarrassing Jewelry, Amusing Lump, Tacky Ring, Botched Ring, Strange Lump

You can use this to create accessories (and a few misc. items) out of precious minerals. Each mineral can make exactly four items, except for Orihalcon (I still don't know what Levitate Ring does! >_< ) This usually fails, though, so be careful not to waste all your rare minerals, some of which can't be created by Alchemy and must be copied using Art. Note that some of the failure items are considered "success" items in some of the lists. You can tell by seeing if the character is mad (writhing scribbles in the speech bubble) or happy (musical note). Doesn't really make much difference except that it's harder to get the ones you really want for those minerals.

Orihalcon -> Levitate Ring
Moonite -> Lunatic Ring, Misty Symbol, Luna Talisman, Luna Crest
Sage's Stone -> Mental Ring, Heal Ring, Stun Half, Botched Ring
Ruby -> Flare Ring, Ruby Persia, Shield Ring, Berserk Ring
Star Ruby -> Star Ring, Star Emblem, Star Necklace, Protect Ring
Sapphire -> Feat Symbol, Necklace, Aqua Ring, Paralysis Charm
Green Beryl -> Crown, Talisman, Fairy Ring, Emerald Ring
Crystal -> Resist Ring, Frog, Paralysis Charm, Reflect Ring
Diamond -> Purple Mist, Pretty Idol, Brooch, Reverse Doll
Rainbow Diamond -> Magic Mist, Dream Crown, Magical Persia, Magical Drop
Silver -> Poison Charm, Silver Idol, Silver Ring, Silver Ankh
Gold -> Gold Brooch, Gold Idol, Stone Charm, Gold Ring
Iron -> Stone Charm, Poison Charm, Strange Figure, Botched Ring


Accessed from: Item Creation Menu
Skills Required: Workmanship, Esthetic Sense, Functionality
Talent Required: Originality
Consumable Items: Varies
Failure Items: Dull Sword, Junk

This is the ultimate Ability - it allows you to make the best weapons in the game. The catch? You have to use an existing weapon to create it. The weapon that you use is typically only obtainable through exhaustive Smithing, and cannot be copied. It might take you half an hour to get a single weapon to even try to Customize. This makes Customize an extremely time-consuming and difficult Ability. The payoff is worth it, though! Every character can only customize at most a single item, as follows:

Ashlay: Mithril Sword -> Murasame Blade
Cius: Silver Sword -> Cius Special
Fear: Bloody Sword -> Deathbringer
Marvel: Rainbow Diamond -> Holy Orb
Milly: Magical Persia -> Charm
Perisie: Cat Fang -> Q Power Punch
Ratix: Sylvance -> Aura Blade
Ronixis: Metal Fang -> Kaiser Knuckle
Tinek: Spinning Spear -> Offering


Skills Required: Gale
This is an easy enough Ability. If anyone in the party knows this at level 1, you can run on the field by holding down the B button. That's all there is to this.


Accessed from: Special menu
Skills Required: Animal Training, Whistling
Talent Required: Love of Animals
Consumable Item: Bird Feed
Failure Items: None

Calls a dove; you give it Fol, it brings you items. The higher your skill, the quicker the bird will return. If you don't have the Talent, it won't come back at all and you'll have wasted your Fol. This can be quite useful when you find yourself stuck in a dungeon and find yourself in need of items. Each level or two has a different item list to buy from the dove. Prices are the same as in any other store. It's always useful to have more than one character who knows Familiar at different levels.

LV1: Blueberry
LV2-3: Blueberry, Aquaberry
LV4: Blueberry, Aquaberry, Blackberry
LV5: Blueberry, Aquaberry, Blackberry, Savory
LV6: Savory, Lavender, Spectacles, Fruit
LV7-8: Savory, Spectacles, Fruit, Meat
LV9: Savory, Lavender, Spectacles, Grain
LV10: Sweet Syrup, Spectacles, Savory, Lavender


Accessed from: Item Creation Menu
Skills Required: Item Lore, Mineralogy, Herbal Medicine
Talent Required: None
Consumable Item: Spectacles
Failure Items: None

Pretty simple; this allows you to identify those ? items you find or create. One Identify will identify all items in a group (up to 20). Spectacles are cheap, so this is a pretty easy Ability to use.


Accessed from: Special menu
Skills Required: Musical Notation, Performance
Talents Required: Pitch Sense, Rhythmic Sense
Consumable Item: Composer's Pen
Failure Items: None

Quite a complicated Ability. First, you need to buy the instrument you want to play. Then you need to write songs for it. Each instrument can have two songs (no more or less) written for it. The songs' effects for the same instrument are identical except that the "2" songs are stronger than the "1" songs. It'll usually take you 20-40 tries to write a song using Composer's Pens. Once you have a song, choose PLAY from the menu (it doesn't cost anything at all, and you don't even have to have the instrument any more!) If you don't have the Talent or levels to guarantee success, you will play out of tune. If you do this and you have neither Pitch nor Rhythm, your HP and MP will slowly decrease (1 HP and MP per time slice, which is about half a second). If you have one of the Talents, no HP/MP effects will happen. If you succeed, the desired effect will take place. (If you have both Talents, you'll probably succeed even at low levels, and it won't cost you anything if you fail.) To change the music, just enter a battle or a door that leads to a place with a different normal background music than the place you're in. As for usefulness, some of the songs can be quite useful: Trombone, Clarinet, and Violin are the best.

Clarinet: The songs immediately start an enemy fight (you must be inside a "danger zone" for it to work - i.e. not inside a town). The Clarinet 2 battle is extremely difficult, but can net you over 60,000 EXP and Fol! If you only have one Talent, instead of the regular battles (4 Black Slimes for "1"; Gabrielle + 3 Hound-Forms for "2") you'll get battles against slimes or Grells instead.
Guitar: Cures HP (5 HP per time slice for "1", 20 for "2").
Harmonica: Increases the rate at which you encounter enemies.
Sax: Cures MP (5 MP per time slice for "1", 20 for "2").
Shamisen: Gives you free Fol (8 per time slice for "1", 32 for "2"). I haven't gotten this instrument except by hacking.
Trombone: Cures HP and MP (5 HP/MP per time slice for "1", 20 for "2").
Trumpet: Decreases the rate at which you encounter enemies.
Violin: Raises chances of learning Talents when you use Item Creation.


Accessed from: Special menu
Skills Required: Radar, Piety, Playfulness
Talents Required: None
Consumable Items: None

During the normal game this does... absolutely nothing. 8-) But once you beat the game, you'll have a little star next to your save game file. Load from there and use Oracle to enter a secret room! The lower left exit leads to Tataroy, the lower right leads to Revorse Tower, and the doors above you contain the programmers of Star Ocean. 8-) Every two levels you gain in Oracle lets you enter another one of the five doors. There isn't much strategically important in there, but it's neat. 8-) The only chest is hidden in the level 10 door; it's a Magical Jar accessory.


Accessed from: Special menu
Skills Required: Danger Sense
Talents Required: Sixth Sense
Consumable Items: None

If you have the right Talent, you can try to get your enemy encounters to happen faster (HIGH) or slower (LOW). (Note that changing the Scout settings for one character changes it for all characters.) It seems to be pretty unpredictable, though. I think the character with the Talent must be leading the party, as in SO2.


Accessed from: Item Creation menu
Skills Required: Forging, Mineralogy
Talents Required: None (?)
Consumable Items: Smith Hammer, various weapons and minerals

This is a necessary but extremely annoying Ability. It uses up a Smith Hammer, a weapon, and a mineral. The good weapons can only be made from other hard-to-get weapons and minerals that are generally quite difficult to make on their own. Unfortunately, Smithing also fails more than any other Ability (besides maybe Crafting). It's a bit too complicated for this page, so go check out the Smithing page!


Accessed from: Special menu
Skills Required: Effort, Perseverance, Patience
Talents Required: None
Consumable Items: None

Any character that turns this on (selecting "Train during battle") will have a chance of gaining more experience after battles. I think the character will be slower than usual if s/he uses it, though. Matt Bond says the equation is as follows: "Training adds 10 % experience per skill rank. If everybody in the party has training on, the experience displayed after battle equals the amount that the player with the lowest rank earns, so you need to have at least one player not training to calculate the formula."