The second game in the Star Ocean series, Star Ocean: The Second Story, was first released for the PlayStation, and unlike the first game, did get a Western release. A remade for the PlayStation Portable, titled Star Ocean: Second Evolution, was released in early 2009. Claude C. Kenny, son of Ronyx from the first game, is a new ensign in the Pangalactic Federation struggling to remove himself from his famous father's shadow. His first mission, exploring Milokeenia, is directly under Admiral Ronyx's command. He activates a precursor teleporter and ends up stranded on the primitive planet of Expel, where he saves the other main character Rena Lanford from a rampaging monster. Hailed as a prophezied savior, Claude sets off on a quest to find out why things have gotten so bad on Expel recently. But there's more at stake here than just one primitive planet....There was a Game Boy Color sequel to The Second Story entitled Star Ocean: Blue Sphere, that was not released outside of Japan. This was remade for cell phones following the success of the other two remakes.There was also an anime, called Star Ocean EX, which documented the adventures of the cast up until the end of the first half of the game. It was cancelled before it could go any further; the story was later completed with the second half released as a series of five drama CDs. There were quite a few changes to the plot, but the characters and overall structure remained the same. Most of the art direction changes were retained for the PSP remake.
Amazon Chaser: In the anime at least, Ashton's dragons like a woman who can fight (ie. Opera with a rocket launcher).
Anger Born of Worry: Happens halfway through the Disc One Final Dungeon. Not that Claude was actually in any danger; he was just returned to the Calnus. But, when he came back, Rena was certainly steamed...
Anti-Villain: Apparently Ruprecht/Zadkiel of the Ten Wise Men despite being programmed to destroy the universe. Well, at least he, Jibril/Raphael, and Camael/Nicolus introduce themselves before they attack the party.
Awesome, but Impractical: Many of the higher-level Killer Moves have an overly long startup time, making them easily interrupted or dodged. Probably the worst is Chisato's Missile Strike move, which can take about 6 seconds from activation to damage. Six seconds in which everyone else is still acting, meaning her target is probably dead by the time it hits.
Babies Ever After: Sort of; one of the endings Claude has with Rena state that he's going to be a father in 6 months.
Bittersweet Ending: You saved the entire universe from destruction, and brought Expel back from destruction. Congratulations! Unfortunately, Energy Nede is destroyed completely. This would have been a good thing if not for the fact that they are all very nice people...and the fact that hundreds of millions of innocent people are dead.
Boring, but Practical: It's probable that by the end of the game, you may be using some KMs that you learned well over 20 gameplay hours ago (eg Opera's Alpha-on-One or Bowman's Exploding Pills). Slightly subverted in that, once you use a skill X amount of times, they get upgraded, which is partially why they remain viable. Dias' "Chaos Sword" will single-handedly get you through everything but the final boss, due to the fact that it's incredibly quick at close range, hits several times, and deals heavy damage with on each of those hits. Also it only burns 1 tech point per use.
For that matter, the best way to defeat the later bosses? Stunlock them and spam these abilities until they die.
Bowdlerized: The PlayStation version of the game came with a fair amount of censorship. All alcoholic beverages that could be brewed and consumed became tea drinks, and any scenes that (intentionally) invoked Ho Yay were clumsily altered.
Calling Your Attacks: Subverted when Claude uses Helmetbreak in Second Evolution: he just lets out a "Haaaaah!" kiai while using it. In the original version, he also shouts "Teeaaar into pieces!!" instead of "Ripper Burst." But basically every other attack in the whole game plays this straight.
Captain Ersatz: Metatron of the Ten Wise Men. His head portrait in Second Evolution makes him look like if the Ten Wise Men reprogrammed RoboCop.
The Chosen One: Subverted. Rena mistakes Claude to be the destined Hero of Light, but he makes it clear that he's not. Played painfully straight in the anime, complete with Evolving Weapon.
The game goes back and forth between this trope and The Unchosen One since while Claude makes it clear that he's not the destined hero of light, he and his party are chosen by Energy Nede to defeat the Ten Wise Men.
Dead Character Walking: Easily doable, just use a Mandrake on each member of your active party, which kills anyone it's used on. The game also has another, far more annoying inversion of this: often later in the game when facing powerful enemies that can easily kill, paralyze or petrify you, you'll end up getting a Game Over right after you use a healing item or spell to cure one of said statuses due to the game not bothering to check if someone's currently in process of being cured from them before declaring the battle lost due to all 4 characters being considered dead at the same time for a brief perioid of time (ie. a mage casts a status recovery spell and gets killed while it's going off). This means you'll often end up with a freshly-healed character standing there while the battle fades out and you're forced to reload your save.
Plus, one can get the Marvel Sword with 1100 attack so early in the game that most weapons are in the 100-200 range.
There's an item that can be stolen from a character in Mars early in the first disk that spawns three random items. These items can be anything from blueberries and herbs to weapons and armor from late in the second disk, and the contents of the box are selected at random when the box is used, not when it's acquired. A player who's patient enough to get the items necessary for pickpocketing at this point in the game and who's patient enough to reload their save game a lot can potentially get threeDisc One Nukes out of this one item.
This is only the tip of the iceberg for the pickpocketing skill, it can "borrow" not only incredible weapons, but also up to three copies of the 3rd best armor, before the end of Disc 1.
Don't Try This at Home: In one private action, Rena accidentally wipes out a computer database in the library in Nede, after saying "Reformat hard drive", and is frustrated when she can't get anything else. The game says, "Gamers -do not try what Claude and Rena just did."
Precis and her father reverse-engineered a piece of alien technology (implied to be Nedian that arrived with the Sorcery Globe) and figured out how to reproduce electricity, robots, and all kinds of other things. As a result, Precis starts with the skills necessary for the Machinist specialty before the game lets anyone else learn them.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Fighting Dias in the tournament of arms as Claude, he is completely invulnerable and wipes the floor with your character no matter what, but the characters all comment on what a close match it was.
Guide Dang It: Oh, you accidentally talked to a crazy lady twice? Hope you wanted to fight Gabriel with his limiter off for a final boss then. Sorry, no take backs! Guess you better get to grinding! To be fair, it's actually quite easy to miss talking to her either time. It's actually more of a Guide Dang It since you have to catch the girl once in an easily missable scene that's Lost Forever if you don't, and the second time by backtracking out of the final dungeon from the last save point and tracking her down in a town.
Party member recruitment is like this too. You can turn anyone down, recruiting one person may make you unable to recruit someone else (eg Ashton vs. Opera), and two characters simply do not make themselves available if you are playing with the wrong main character (when the PSP remake added anime cutscenes, they simply chose not to depict anyone but Claude and Rena).
Did you forget to pick up that one sword after the Inevitable Tournament? Or did it suck so much compared with what you have that you sold it? Oh well, I guess you don't get the Disc One Nuke listed above...
Good luck in figuring out how the Relationship Values actually work in-game, and by extension, how to get certain endings. This is especially bad for characters that have painfully few Private Actions and Dias in particular who has none.
Heavy Sleeper: Most of the time in Private Actions, you see Dias sleeping. And that's his hobby, too.
Heroic Sacrifice: Nall, the mayor of Nede's Centropolis, planned for the Symbol of Divinity/Crest of Enhancement to direct the power of the Symbol/Crest of Annihilation onto Energy Nede, knowing fully well that the planet's Energy Field is the only force strong enough to stop the Symbol/Crest of Annihilation, although at the cost of Energy Nede itself being destroyed in the process. He believes that it's a way for the Nedians to atone for the sins that they have committed so long ago. Nall even made sure that Claude and co. would never find out until the last moment, and made Noel and/or Chisato (if they are in the party) swear that they keep their mouths shut about the whole plan.
Hopeless Boss Fight: The most infuriating of these is easily when Claude has to fight Dias in the Tournament of Arms. The game plays Dias up as being an amazing swordsman and forces Claude to lose, but when you actually get him (which you can't if you're playing as Claude), you find out that he has only a few good special moves and a slow-as-hell melee attack, making him one of the least useful fighters in the game.
ERNEST! However, some will get him anyway because you can steal a Disc One Nuke from him at two points.
Lethal Joke Character: While Ernest is considered a Joke Character due to most of his Killer Moves sucking ass, a few of them (most notably Broken Heart) are actually pretty good, turning him from a waste of space into a viable fighter. Broken Heart is, well, quite broken if you level it up as it traps the enemy in place enabling the others to use attacks with longer setup times and such, all while doing good damage. YMMV indeed.
Noel could be a joke character too, considering he comes with spells that do less damage than those of Celine and Leon by that point, and heal less HP than Rena. The game actually lampshades his uselessness if you can get a character to randomly paint his portrait, whose flavour text describes him as having "puny muscles... hope that's okay". Add to that the fact he considers "I don't like fighting, you know!" to be a taunt...
The real joke character, though, is Precis. Most of her special attacks - all of which are based around either a pair of robotic arms she wears or a remote-controlled toy robot ball thing - take far too long to set up and she'll usually get hit before she can execute them. The faster-executed ones seldom hit because of their weird hitboxes or just plain poor accuracy and the ones that do hit simply don't measure up in terms of damage anyway, plus her basic weapon attack is entirely too slow so you'll struggle to combo them. Learning her ultimate attack is a serious case of Guide Dang It as Ashton must be in the party, he must have learned his own ultimate attack, and those two characters must have high enough affection values for each other before getting the necessary event to trigger by going into a private action at a certain point in the game. Many of her other attacks have to be learned at random by sitting around executing the machinery skill in item creation for about four hours as the odds are obscenely low. By the time you've put all this effort in, every other party member will already be superior in combat. Finally, if you're playing the PSX version, every battle becomes a Most Annoying Sound fest because she sounds like a Hamtaro on helium. At the very least she's useful for annoying everyone in the house by playing with your bedroom door open.
Unless that is, you're controlling her - Precis can be quite capable in the hands of a player. Thing is, not everyone does this as most prefer to stick with Claude, Ashton, or Bowman. (Occasionally Opera.)
That said, mages aren't there for damage output, but to prevent enemy mages from casting - damage cap may be 9999, but so is your hit point cap. That means enemy mages can take off a very large chunk of your health if not wipe you entirely before you can close with them (especially if enemy fighters are in the way). Your mages are there to prevent that by cutting them off with weaker but quicker spells.
Love Potion: One Private Action with Celine involves her accidentally brewing one up in Fun City. It causes everyone to become instantly attracted to her, male and female.
Master of None: Noel. He can heal, but can't even come close to matching Rena. He can use attack magic, but Celine and Leon have him beat there. He equips knuckles as his Weapon of Choice, but all of the fighters beat him in physical combat, as does Rena.
Meaningful Name: Nede backwards is Eden which is totally appropriate considering how backwards Energy Nede is anyway. Then there's the ocean base L'Aqua, the place where you fight the final boss, Fienal/Phynal, the theme-park-esque Fun City, the university city Linga, the armed-to-the-teeth weapon-factory city of Armlock, the +-shaped Krosse Continent, second university town Princebridge (Princeton meets Cambridge)...
Modern Stasis: Nede, flying far past absurdity into transcendent realms of impossibility. Its history stretches back longer than the existence of any kind of life on Earth. An annual fighting tournament had been going on for 35 million years already when the dinosaurs went extinct. The cultural stagnation and genetic manipulation to achieve this kind of recognizable continuity from ancient Nede to modern is both staggering and terrifying. Even Rena was born before anything recognizably hominid appeared on Earth, and Nedians from her time and Nedians in the present day look exactly the same. If this was about distance in space rather than in time, then Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale wouldn't even begin to cover it. It's not entirely unintentional either. Not being able to evolve any further is why Nall and Mirage are willing to wipe out their own species.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: You know Rena's pendant? It's actually the key to destroying the world, and your team brings it straight to where it needs to go. Although to be fair, just having it on the planet already sped things up by centuries.
Actually subverted. When encountering Philia the second time, she asks the party to kill her before Gabriel finds her. Gabriel did get to her before Claude/Rena could fulfill her request. Activating the Private Action removed the limiter, but it's only because of the main characters' hesitation, and not of any direct action.
On a more hilarious note, this is why Ashton got the two dragons grafted on his back in the first place...
Not-So-Harmless Villain: Funny Thiefs are mostly generic level 1 threat early in the game, but Dias' flashback shows them killing his family and kicking his little sister to death. Also, they return in more stronger forms in Cave of Ordeals as Thief lvl. 99 and Metal Thief.
They can even be a threat in regular gameplay. If you choose Rena as your main character on one of the higher difficulties, they can VERY easily one-shot her, making it pretty much impossible to level up before fighting the first boss since she's alone and they usually come in large groups.
Now, Where Was I Going Again?: A random party member tells you where you are supposed to be headed whenever you leave a town after a Private Action.
In the PSP version, you can go to a "fanfic" (doujinshi) sale in Fun City - and in one Private Action, Welch will drag Claude there forcibly. And she is very... ahem... familiar with the various genres.
Schizo Tech: Precis has a completely autonomous robot. And big punchy robot arm things. On a medieval world which doesn't even have electricity anywhere else. Semi-justified in narrative as she and her father found a strange object that fell from the sky which they reverse-engineered, figuring out the basics of a lot of technology as a result.
Schrödinger's Player Character: Averted. Whichever character you don't pick in the beginning winds up in your party, is still a main character, and is an available love interest.
Show Some Leg: Pick Opera in the Fun City Arena for Bullying Battle, and she'd try to show her legs to prove she's a woman, when the announcer says "Battle between men and men".
Opera: "Can't you see these shapely legs!? I'm a woman!"
The whole "Claude is the Hero of Light" thing is pretty much dropped within two hours of the game. Literally two towns make a big deal about it, and its only ever brought up again as a rather rare post battle taunt. And after the phaser burns out, you never hear about that again, either.
Not so in the anime where Leon is inexplicably able to repair it. Claude only fires it one time after that, but one has to wonder how Leon figured out technology centuries beyond his own and how such a huge laser could only do about 700 damage in the game.
A rather large (if technically optional) aspect of the first part of the game involves you finding an ancient text in Cross Cave and showing it to a linguist named Keith. Keith finally takes it and begins studying it, but before you learn anything about it, the world explodes. It's revealed in Bowman's solo ending that the text is a myth about an "ancient paradise" called Nede.
What the Hell, Hero?: A silent example happens in the gameplay mechanics. Any character who makes use of the Pickpocketing ability with the party assembled will have their Relationship Values trashed.