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Star Ocean: The Second Story is the second game in the Star Ocean series. It was first released for the PlayStation, and unlike the first game, did get a Western release. An Updated Re-release 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 prophesied 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 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 in 2009.

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 version.


This game provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Long Stairway: The game ends its final dungeon with a needlessly long (straight) staircase leading up to the Final Boss. Especially egregious in that the staircase conclude a long climb up a tower.
  • Action Girl: All of the female cast.
  • Aerith and Bob: Precis, Dias, Bowman... Celine and Ashton.
  • Affably Evil: Ruprecht/Zadkiel, Jibril/Raphael, and Camael/Nicolus take a minute to introduce themselves before they attack the party.
  • Always Someone Better: Dias, to Claude. Of course, Claude being The Hero...
  • Anachronic Order: Second game in the series but the middle game in the series' internal chronology.
  • An Economy Is You: There are a wide variety of shops, including ones selling cooking ingredients, musical instruments, and crafting supplies, in addition to the more usual ones selling weapons and armor.
  • 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...
  • Arbitrary Gun Power: Precis's normal attacks use a mechanical hand that appears out of her backpack, but the damage is still based on her strength stat. Strangely, most of Opera’s killer moves do the same, even though her weapons are all guns.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Four active, four on the sidelines. Twelve recruitable characters - with one more added in the Second Evolution version.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: More than just chemistry, but the abandoned Heraldic Weapons Facility is somehow still standing after 700 million years, looking less damaged than a Chernobyl building given the explosions that caused its abandonment. It somehow survived oxidation (being in an atmosphere), the effects of solar radiation, and weathering...not to mention overgrowth, wildlife interactions, and countless treasure hunters. Even its computers still function. In that time scale, Technology Marches On can't explain this one.
  • 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.
  • Beauty Is Bad: Gabriel and Lucifer are the most beautiful of the Ten Wise Men. They are also the most evil/crazy.
    • Well, Zadkiel is alright too, but he just has stuff in his hair.
  • Betting Mini Game: One can be found in Fun City.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The very first battle of the game is this. Claude saving Rena from an attacking moster.
  • 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.
    • Chisato and Noel's endings are, no matter what, sad. Sure, if they hooked up with anyone they'll be able to find love, but they still have to live with the fact that they're the only ones who survived...
    • Yeah. The Nedeians brought back Expel. ... But... They didn't bring back anything else though. So... The Calnus, it's crew, and Claude's father are now very dead. Why the Nedeians didn't bring back the Calnus I don't know. They brought back Expel. If they had the power to do that, they could have brought back the Calnus as well. Maybe Claude pissed them off somehow, and they let his family die?
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The Second Story translates a monster supposed to be named "Scylla" as "Sukula."
  • Boring, but Practical: It's probable that by the end of the game, you may be using some Killer Moves 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.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: After a private action wherein Rena wipes a computer hard drive, the game brings up a message directly to the player. (See Don't Try This at Home)
    • If you initiate the PA to recruit Welch with Claude, at first you are not given a chance to reject her and have to say no three times before she leaves. Claude even complains about it.
    Claude: There's something odd about this menu...none of the choices let me say no! I've never been asked to make a decision that didn't have two real choices before...
  • Breakout Character: Rena. It might feel strange to call the female lead a breakout character, but in the wider franchise and for any crossover material outside the franchise, she is the undisputed most-loved character out of any of her franchise-mates. Any time the franchise has a crossover of some sort, she's there at the forefront and for things like games, is always a valuable gameplay addition and prize. And in Anamnesis, she was the first person to get multiple seasonal variants, and in under a year. All of this is simply fed by fan demand - whenever it happens, the Rena fans show up in a big way.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The Cave of Trials, a seriously challenging dungeon. As a matter of fact, it's just about the only way late game Level Grinding isn't a complete pain.
  • Call-Forward: Welch in Second Evolution. Among other things, she introduces herself as "a creator", then mentions that she's from Elicoor II, and in one Private Action, she tells a fairy tale about two warring kingdoms (clearly Airyglyph and Aquaria, which are on Elicoor II).
  • 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.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: After arriving on Energy Nede, Claude can't bring himself to tell Rena and the rest that Expel was destroyed (If they're in the party, Ernest,Opera and Welch will also show the same reluctance). The Elders of Nede break the news for him and reveal, in the same sentence, that there's a way to bring it back.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Notably averted. You can go about 3/4 of the game without even using both Rena and/or Claude.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': If you pickpocket people while the party is assembled, (ie. you aren't in Private Action mode) your relationship values with everyone will decrease. In Second Evolution, this happens even if you are in Private Action mode.
  • Captain Ersatz: Hey, when did Cless join Starfleet?
  • Challenge Run: There's an option to turn the final boss into a God-like being with insane amounts of HP and spells capable of killing your entire party in a single hit. The game also provides a dungeon specifically designed to help train your party to a high enough level so that this battle won't be completely impossible. But, even at level 255, the highest possible level one can achieve, this battle is ridiculously hard.
  • Character Level: Notable for the series in that the level cap is 255, instead of the usual 99.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Rena's pendant.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: A subversion, actually. You actually can finish the game without ever knowing anything about Philia and Dr. Lantis, but the story gets richer if you pursue this subplot.
  • 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 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.
  • Colony Drop: The collision of Expel and Energy Nede.
  • Combat Medic: Rena and Bowman both qualify for this to varying degrees. Bowman's a melee fighter with some healing skills, but Rena's a white mage who traded in her staff for a pair of duster knuckles. A highly effective strategy for early bosses is to trap them between her and Claude and administer a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, but she falls behind and sees better use as a white mage once Ashton and other combat specialists become available.
  • Cooking Duel: In the Style of... Iron Chef.
  • Cool Sword: During the Armory Tournament, Dias remarks that Lacuer's weapons only look nice, but are actually of lower quality than before, and that the city is living on name alone nowadays.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Never stated outright, but Claude's mother is strongly implied to be Ilia Silvestri. The first game's Relationship Values be damned. Also, Blue Sphere and Till The End of Time's manual confirm that every party member, except possibly Welch, was recruited.
  • 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 period 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.
  • Death from Above: Several AoE spells work this way.
  • Demonic Possession: While exploring the ruins of a Heraldic civilization, Ernest becomes possessed by a malevolent ghost. When Claude, Rena and Opera finally find him, he tries to take Opera hostage so that Leon will give the ghost the Energy Stone. Once the heroes destroy the ghost, Rena will heal Ernest and he can join the group.
  • Deuteragonist: An interesting twist here: depending on who you choose as your main protagonist (Claude or Rena), the other becomes the deuteragonist.
  • Developers' Foresight: If you have recruited both Chisato and Noel, the ending scene of the PSP version will indeed have a voiced line saying that they knew all along, kept it to themselves, and Nall will say the three of them, including Rena, are the last of their kind.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: Elluria's tower.
  • Disc-One Nuke: The Eternal Sphere can be obtained soon after the Inevitable Tournament in The Second Story.
    • 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 three Disc 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."
  • Dream Sequence: Both Rena and Claude get four sequences during the Nede power fields dungeons.
  • Encounter Repellant / Encounter Bait:
    • The scouting ability can be used as either, depending on whether "look for enemies" or "run from enemies" is chosen.
    • There are items which can fulfill either function.
  • Escape Pod: Of the Time-Space Travel variety. Rena's mother put her on one and sends her to another planet 700 million years in the future.
  • Everyone Can See It: About Claude and Rena. Take one event during the Inevitable Tournament as an example. Heck, even Dias can see it.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Phynal/Fienal and Elluria.
  • Evolving Attack: The killer moves.
  • Filler: For the most part, Star Ocean EX used plot points or private actions from the original game with some distillation, except one episode which used a storyline which is never used in any form of private actions or subquest within the game. If you are curious what kind of event is this 
  • Final Boss Preview: The Disc-One Final Boss is a Hold the Line boss battle against Berle/Metatron and serves to introduce the true big bads of the game, as well as present them as a very potent threat.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: A PA involves Leon making Ashton a guinea pig in an experiment. The result? Ashton is sound asleep, but his body is being controlled by his dragons Creepy and Weepy.
  • Funny Background Event: When the party is preparing to board the ship to El, Precis can be seen bouncing up and down while looking at the dock equipment.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • That whole business with the Sword of Light gets dropped after the first two towns or so, but Claude might wind up saving Expel with a more literal Sword of Light if you get your hands on the Eternal Sphere.
    • 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.
    • Ashton describes himself as unlucky, and in fact he has pretty terrible luck throughout the game...literally, his luck stat is abysmal and doesn't get better. This also applies to his hobby of collecting good luck charms-his best weapons, as well as certain other equipment, give him huge bonuses to his Luck, so that it can potentially be highest in the game.
    • Ernest's status as a Chick Magnet is alluded to by the other party members' starting relationship values with him. Opera and Celine both begin with high Romance ratings for him.
    • Dias's starting relationship values reflect his cold, antisocial personality. His starting values are low for everyone except Rena, who he grew up with, and Claude, who's earned his respect by the time he joins the party.
    • Chisato always starts with the Writing talent, which reflects her skills as a journalist.
  • 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.
  • Generic Cuteness: The PSP version dispensed with the more detailed anime art style, giving everyone generic cuteness instead. A particular offender was Rena, who went from this to this.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Claude does this to Leon, but it's slightly subverted in that Leon doesn't snap out of it right away.
  • Global Airship: Subverted. The Opening the Sandbox moment happens when you get the Psynard, who isn't a ship, but a living giant bird. The last adult wild one of its species, no less.
  • Good Luck Charm: Ashton likes to collect lucky charms, especially after having been possessed by the two dragons on his back.
  • 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. 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 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 port 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.
    • Did you recruit Ashton, which for all intents and purposes seems like a very reasonable and good idea? Say goodbye to ever being able to recruit one of the most powerful characters in the game.
    • 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.
  • 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 game has a fair amount of battles where you have to either lose or last a certain time. A notable example is the Duel Boss between Claude and Dias in the Tournament of Arms, where Claude has to lose.
  • Hope Spot: Somewhat literally, with the introduction of the Lacuer Hope.
  • Human Shield: In the Field of Love, one of the Ten Wise Men henchmen uses one of your characters as a hostage to get your Rune Codes
  • Identical Stranger: Claude and Chris, the prince of Krosse. Lampshaded by Ashton if he's in the party during a certain event.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Earth, Galaxy, and Universe.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: All the time. You can even pickpocket one from a old man or make them using Item Crafting.
    • Though in the Second Evolution, they are called Goodie Box, instead of Treasure Chest.
  • Info Dump: Mayor Narl is quite fond of these.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: In Fun City, there's a little fence circling the Gift Shop, that you can't get past it. Lacuer Castle City and Krosse Castle City also have a little circular fence on the entrance that you can't jump it.
  • Interface Spoiler: During the mission wherein Ashton wants to get rid of the dragons on his back, certain fights can have him talk affectionately to both of them, which all but spoil the fact that he's not going to get rid of them any time soon.
  • Karl Marx Hates Your Guts:
    • Generally played straight. You sell items for a quarter of their retail price, but a certain skill can increase this by 30%.
    • A noteworthy inversion occurs in the Bonus Dungeon via the infamous "Ripping Off Santa" trick. You can buy Sage's Stones from Santa for 50,000 FOL, then immediately sell them back to him for the same price, and if you have the above skill, you can sell them back for up to 65,000 FOL each.note 
  • Kiai: See the subversion to Calling Your Attacks above.
  • Killer Bunny: One random encounter you can find is a Teddy Bear. A ridiculously fast Teddy Bear.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: One of the only games that actually punishes you for stealing, in the form of relantionship decreases with everyone in the group.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: Party members can survive otherwise lethal attacks with one HP remaining. This chance is proportional to the character's Guts stat, and there's no limit to the number of times a character can survive this way, willing their way out of a barrage of otherwise lethal attacks.
  • Last of His Kind: Rena, Noel, and Chisato are the last Nedians alive. Made even worse if you don't recruit Noel so their race will go extinct. The third game's dictionary reveals that Noel and Chisato's descendants at least were absorbed by the Expellians.
  • Law of Cartographical Elegance: Played straight and subverted. When you get to Virtual Expel on Disc 2, it is played straight. Energy Nede on the other hand is subverted because the world is actually just an asteroid amidst an energy mass floating in a corner of the universe.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Averted as it's mages who become less effective as the party as whole levels up; at least healers are still crucial. Part of that may be because the best spells have a really long cutscene (that can't be turned off) and will at best do 9999 damage, and they only hit once. Fighters can do loads more in the same time span, as most of their endgame attacks will do multiple hits. Combining Leon's Gremlin Lair (which hits multiple times) with Celine's Thunderstorm lets it hit for more than 3 times as much. Even this is Awesome, but Impractical.
    • That said, mages aren't there for damage output, but to prevent enemy mages from casting. The 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 Dodecahedron: The first puzzle in the Cave of Trials revolves around the story of one.
  • Love Potion: One of Celine's Private Actions involves her accidentally brewing one up in Fun City. It causes everyone to become instantly attracted to her, male and female.
  • Luck Stat: Note that Ashton's is extraordinarily low and stuck that way; it's because he's canonically incredibly unlucky. His Infinity +1 Sword gives a massive boost to his Luck Stat for some reason...
  • 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).
  • Merging the Branches
    • The game only allows the player to recruit six optional characters, but Blue Sphere and the manual of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time explicitly state that all ten optional party members, sans Welch, were canonically recruited.
    • Two of Claude and Rena's three endings are subject to this, with the third falling to Cutting Off the Branches. Blue Sphere works off the Equal Affection ending, where Claude and Rena explore space together on behalf of the Federation. Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness includes a character that is heavily implied to be descended from both Claude and Rena; this implies that the Rena's Affection Greater ending, where Rena tells Claude that she is pregnant occurred some time after Blue Sphere.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Played with the Bittersweet Ending below example below. One billion people died with the destruction of Expel, according to the reading on the Calnus. The population on Energy Nede is the same as the one when it was created with the destruction of Nede, after the population was decimated by the war with the Ten Wise Men, meaning it was cut down to about 5 to 10 millions. The Nedians put it on the balance this too when they decided to do their Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Minigame Zone: Fun City in Disc 2.
  • 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.
  • Multiple Endings: 87 possible endings, depending on characters' relationship values with each other. See "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
  • My Greatest Failure: Dias blames himself for not being strong enough to save his parents and sister from being murdered by bandits.
  • 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.
    • Limitless Gabriel.
      • 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.
  • No Hero Discount: Unless you use an ability or item specifically for this.
  • Nominal Importance: Only plot relevant characters have names.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: In the game, Funny Thiefs are mostly generic level 1 enemies. Dias' flashback, however, shows them killing his parents and sister. Also, they return in more stronger forms in Cave of Trials 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.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Gabriel/Dr. Lantis.
  • One-Winged Angel: Alen, the first boss fight in the game and the Symbologist from the Marz village rescue mission. Both transform into monsters during the battle, though Alen got better after the battle.
  • Orwellian Editor / Orwellian Retcon: An in-universe example. When the party first arrives on Energy Nede, Mayor Narl of Central City explains who the Ten Wise Men are, how they came to be, and what their objective is. He also mentions that the Nede of 3.7 billion years ago was a "nearly ideal form of government" in symbiotic harmony with other planets, and that Nede was sealed off to allow other planets a chance to grow and develop. This is all a lie fabricated by the Nedian Government of that time period, and a certain sidequest can be undertaken to expose what really happened.The truth 
  • Pamphlet Shelf: Being an RPG, is par for the course.
  • Parrot Exposition: Claude does this pretty often, sometimes to the point of just repeating a part of the previous sentence.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: The Ten Wise Men who also border on physical gods since it requires the special material to damage them.
  • Poor Communication Kills: There were moments when Claude and Rena argued with each other. Claude jumped into the wrong conclusion that Dias is Rena's boyfriend and is jealous of him which he did not confess of him feeling irritated until later whereas Rena did not bother to or did not know how to explain to Claude that she merely sees Dias as an older adoptive brother as well as explaining his backstory and also explaining the meaning behind Rena helping Dias in locating his sword for the tournament.
  • Port Town:
    • Harley and Hilton. And Kurik, though it's usually forgotten because it gets destroyed before you can use it to go anywhere.
    • In Nede, there's L'Aqua, though it's more a military base.
  • Power Copying: In Star Ocean EX, Claude doesn't so much learn techniques as rip off all of Dias' moves.
  • Recurring Boss:
    • You will fight Shin three times. The first battle is a Hold the Line fight where you must survive one minute in-battle. The second is a Hopeless Boss Fight where one must lose to advance the plot; in both of these fights, Shin has infinite defense and his attack power is greatly increased. In the third fight, he can be damaged, and his strength is reduced to manageable levels, allowing the party to finally defeat him.
    • The Disc-One Final Boss is a (not-quite) Final Boss Preview with Berle/Metatron of the Ten Wise Men. Like the first Shin fight, the objective is to survive for one minute.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Most of The Ten Wise Men are named after apostles or angels. Examples include Gabriel, Lucifer, and Metatron. Bowdlerised in the North American PS1 version.note 
  • 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.
    • Linga as a whole seems to be centuries ahead of other towns in terms of medical and technological advancement. It has a relatively modern pharmacy (run by Bowman and his wife) and a supply store that sells things like materials for making high-grade explosives or cameras capable of copying three-dimensional objects.
  • 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.
  • Shared Family Quirks: A few of Claude's specials (such as Meteor Palm) were used by Illia back in the first game, and he also shares her habit of rating the party's performance on a scale of one to ten after a battle. Both traits further support the theory that she is his mother.
  • 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!"
  • Spam Attack: Claude's "Shooting Stars" special.
    • Also Dias' "Air Slash." Just spam this move at the start of almost any regular battle and it'll be over within 10 seconds.
  • Star Power: Among its overload of elements, there's "Star" as distinct from both "Light" and "Vacuum" (which itself is distinct from "Void"). Most of the Star-elemental spells get cast by Celine. In Second Evolution, Star elemental spells were lumped in with the Light element.
  • Stepford Smiler: As shown in one flashback, Claude was this in his Academy days.
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: While the Ten Wise Men from seek to rule the Universe as their primary goal, Gabriel/Indalecio figures that if he cannot rule, he will destroy everything. The Crest/Symbol of Annihilation is set to activate with the expiration of his life force, which is designed to bring about the end of everything by generating sufficient mass-energy to collapse the universe into a Big Crunch.note 
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: The Godslayer and the Knuckles of Hope, weapons designed to defeat the Ten Wise Men.
  • Tempting Fate: Rena walks into the Sacred/Shingo Forest alone and quips: "In a day like this, nothing could go wrong." Cue a monster appearing behind her.
  • Title Drop: Three times in Second Evolution. Two from Item Creation book titles and one Bilingual Bonus in the Attract Mode Theme Tune - "hoshi no umi" = "ocean of stars" = Star Ocean.
  • Time-Limit Boss: Some Hopeless Boss Fights are like this. In a subversion, you don't have to kill it in the time limit, you have to survive long enough.
  • Trapped in Another World: This is essentially what Claude is or at least, what he could've been; the script doesn't play up that detail much, with the sole exception of him having to obey the Alien Non-Interference Clause.
  • Trauma Inn: Resting fully recovers the party.
  • Tsundere: Rena's a Type B. Just see Welch's introduction in Second Evolution, and Anger Born of Worry mentioned above.
  • Updated Re-release: Second Evolution, for the PSP, features general gameplay improvements over the original PS1 version, introduced a new playable character, new anime cutscenes and added Character Portraits. This version also received a HD remaster for PS3, PS4 and PSVita.
  • Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Phynal/Fienal.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Choosing to recruit Chisato and Noel, as they are the only party members stay dead in the ending if not recruited.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: The Ten Wise Men at the end of the first disc.
  • Visible Silence: With Emoticon to boot.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Hard to take seriously when you go back to the first town and everyone is still saying the same things.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Player characters that you encounter in the game just disappear if you did not recruit them.
    • Averted with a rather large (if technically optional) aspect of the first part of the game which 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 later 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. In the Updated Re-release, this happens even in private actions.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Depending on how your characters' relationship values align with each other, any of up to 87 possible endings will play, showing little snippets of their lives after the game has concluded. There are solo endings for each character, between one and three endings for each pair of characters, and a secret ending where the whole party gets back together if all the characters each like each other enough.
  • You All Look Familiar: Even some plot relevant characters have the same sprite as common folks, like Marianna.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Gabriel says this almost verbatim relating to Expel.

Alternative Title(s): Star Ocean Second Evolution


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