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YMMV / Star Ocean: The Second Story

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  • Awesome Art: Chibi as they are, the sprites are appealing and expressive, and the environments are full of color.
  • Cargo Ship: Ashton. Barrel barrel barrel BARREL barrel BARREL barrel BARREL barrel.
  • Demonic Spiders: The game has a handful of these:
    • The Wizard series of enemies can cast powerful magic from afar, but approaching them at close range will cause them to phase out as they teleport to another location. Not only are they invincible to everything except for spells as they do so, they can quickly regain form and blast you with a fireball, stunning you long enough to turn invisible again. An entire group of them can be a problem if you don't have a mage to dish out spells to break up their chanting and teleporting.
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    • The goofy-looking hourglass enemies can completely freeze the entire party, and the attack that causes this only takes a full second to start up and doesn't use any MP. If you're fighting a group of them, they can repeatedly chain these attacks together, leaving you utterly helpless as they decimate your party. Thankfully, at least in the PlayStation version, the freeze timer keeps going even if you open the menu, letting you recover from their attack much quicker.
    • The Salamanders and their palette-swap relatives. They have fearsome strength, HP to burn and their breath attacks are capable of inflicting poison, paralyze AND stone in one fell swoop. They're bad enough with a full party, let alone solo runs or coliseum fights.
    • Gulper type enemies. These slime-ish enemy you first encountered at Linga Sanctuary as optional bosses has the ability to devour anyone attacked by it with high chance of success. That's treated like stone status or dying, therefore, close ranged fighters risk on getting killed instantly. This wouldn't raise a stinker, except for the fact that they can ambush and instantly eat you. Like the Salamanders, these type of enemies are nightmares for solo or coliseum runs.
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  • Disappointing Last Level: The end game feels very rushed, with the player blowing through the Ten Wise Men in groups at a time. This is sadly a bit similar to what happened to the first game.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Leon. When the manga adaptation conducted its first popularity poll, Leon took fourth place (behind Ashton, Claude, and Rena), despite the fact that he hadn't even been introduced to the story yet.
    • Ashton is so popular that many forget that he's an optional character.
    • Zadkiel/Ruprecht has some fans despite being very insignificant to the game other than being one of three bosses and one of the Ten Wise Men to discover Philia's death.
  • Even Better Sequel: The Second Story improves over its predecessor in every possible way and is considered to be one of the best RPGs for the PS1.
  • Game-Breaker: Has its own page.
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  • Genius Bonus: It isn't that hard to tell, original English version aside, that the Ten Wise Men are named for angels; more specifically, the ethnarchs of the nine angelic choirs (Lucifer is the obvious outlier). Not so easy to notice: Their ranking is in the reverse order of their namesakes. Metatron, ethnarch of the seraphim, is the highest ranking in Jewish lore; in the Ten Wise Men, he's one of the three least of them, along with Jophiel and Zaphkiel (themselves named for the cherubim ethnarch and thrones ethnarch, the second highest and third highest). Meanwhile, Gabriel is the leader of the Ten Wise Men, not to mention the vessel of their creators' soul. But according to angelology, he's the lowest-ranking of the ethnarchs, heading (contrast to archangels, principalities, etc.). This is important because the lower-ranking ethnarchs are considered to be the ones closer to humanity, the higher-ranking ones closer to the divine. In other words, Nede was implicitly appropriating divinity, and all the impunity typically associated with it, themselves with the creation of the Ten Wise Men as galactic enforcers.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • At one point, Claude mentions having a dog at home named Roddick. What makes it even funnier is that you realize who named it, making Ho Yay in the previous game.
    • One of Opera's weapons is called X-Box.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Ashton in both a Private Action with Claude and his ending with Noel. Ironically, that Private Action also unlocks one of the bigger Ship Tease scenes between Claude and Rena.
    • Noel is a victim of this, especially in some of the Private Actions in Lotus-Eater Machine Expel.
  • Moe: Rena's very likable and cute.
  • Mondegreen: A surprising number of fans believe that Claude's PS1 battle cry for Ripper Blast is "pear into peaches" rather than "tear into pieces."
  • Narm: Nall briefing the heroes on the Ten Wise Men. We see the Ten Wise Men brutally massacre people in monochrome shots. These scenes would be actually gruesome if it weren't for the deformity of the figures while the Ten Wise Men are realistically proportioned.
  • Narm Charm:
    • The characters' dialogue during battle sequences (such as Chisato's exaggerated "Oh no!" upon seeing a group of enemies) can come off as this, due to their (to modern audiences) weak audio quality. Some fans even complained because the voice acting was fixed for the Second Evolution remake.
    • The voice acting in the remake isn't perfect. There's just something incredibly hilarious about Claude shouting an overblown, "Dammit!" if he fails at item creation.
  • Player Punch:
    • The death of Ronyx. Not only does this send the protagonist into a rage at Indalecio, but Ronyx was a pivotal and well-liked player character from the first game.
    • Expel getting destroyed. Sure, it gets better, but holy crap...
    • Nede sacrificing themselves to save Expel. Consider that Nede's a little closer to home.
  • Sequel Displacement: The Second Story is considered to be the cornerstone experience of the entire franchise and considered to be the best game of the lot. It did help that this was the first Star Ocean game to be released overseas.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The voice acting in the PS1 version of the game is bad at times, namely Claude. The PSP remake has completely redone voice acting.
  • That One Boss:
    • There is a boss battle where you fight this pair of Egyptian apes called "Harfainx" ("Halfynx" in the PSP remake) who have 50% parry rates, know exactly when to counterattack to push your characters back, and - in the half-second gap while you're running back towards them - can drop a spell that takes off half your hit points. Later in the game, when you're searching for the local Unobtanium, they show up as random encounters. ...As 90% of the random encounters. ...In packs of three.
    • Haniel and Michael. They're able to chain spells to the point where you can't do a thing. They also love firing multi-hit attacks when you're trying to deny the other one from casting.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Some fans prefer the original voice acting over the remake's, similar to how Castlevania fans who liked Symphony of the Night's Narm Charm laden dialogue.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Only two of the Ten Wise Men get any notable characterization, and most of them are taken out all at once. Considering they're the Big-Bad Ensemble of the game, it's rather disappointing that we learn next to nothing about them.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Ernest and Noel are considered the worst party members:
    • While Ernest does have a few good Killer Moves (notably Broken Heart), his normal attacks have a long animation time, and he lacks both the raw offence of Claude or Ashton and the powerful multi-hit killer moves of Opera or Chisato. In fact, when someone recruits him, it's either because he is necessary to recruit Opera, or because the Battle Armornote  can be stolen from him in PA mode.
    • Noel is considered a Master of None, as he joins with spells that do less damage than those of Celine and Leon by that point, and is a worse healer than Rena. The only good thing about him is that he can equip Bloody Armor, and thus heal with no chance of getting damaged.
  • Ugly Cute: Rena certainly has this opinion of Creepy and Weepy once they shrink down and graft themselves to Ashton's back.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Likely Jibril/Raphael since the robes heavily darken their face.
  • The Woobie:
    • Rena. Seriously, how would you feel knowing you were adopted, and that your real parents died hundreds of millions of years ago?
    • Claude after seeing his father's ship getting blown to pieces by the Ten Wise Men while his father was on said ship. Even worse is that Ronyx believed that his own son was dead, and never lived to find out that Claude was alive. If you're playing from Claude's POV, the flashbacks in the Fields detailing their relationship don't help at all, as you realize they can never resolve their issues.
    • Philia as her dad is the Big Bad.
    • Noel and Chisato will die if you don't recruit them. You can rest easily knowing that the people from Expel you didn't recruit (including Welch) are revived at the end of the game...but not either of them.
  • Woolseyism: In the original PS1 version, the names of the Ten Wise Men were changed from the archangel references and given much more original sounding names like Indalecio.


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