Star Ocean: The Second Story

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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. It was remade for the PSP, with the subtitle Second Evolution, and got a Western release 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 other-main-character Rena Lanford from a rampaging monster, is hailed as a prophezied savior, and 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, then 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.

Tropes used in Star Ocean: The Second Story include:
  • Action Girl: All of the female cast.
  • Aerith and Bob: Precis, Dias, Bowman... Celine and Ashton.
  • Always Someone Better: Dias, to Claude. Of course, Claude being The Hero...
  • 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-Gravity Clothing: Celine.
  • 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.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Four active, four on the sidelines. Twelve recruitable characters - with one more added to the Enhanced Remake.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Many of the higher-level Killer Moves have an overly long startup time, making them easily interrupted or dodged.
  • 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.
  • Badass
    • Badass Abnormal: Ashton is badass even before he gets two dragons grafted to his back.
    • Badass Bookworm: Leon is a pretty powerful mage, plus his weapon is a book.
    • Badass Labcoat: Bowman wears and IS one of these. Leon, being a scientist, is also this.
    • Badass Long Hair: Dias has very long hair and is a badass so naturally he fits this.
    • Badass Normal: Claude and Dias are pretty ordinary, but prove to be deadly with a sword on skill alone.
    • Little Miss Badass: Precis combines this with Gadgeteer Genius. Welch in Second Evolution certainly qualifies as well.
    • Lady of War: Both Celine and Opera are pretty refined, but they can kick some ass.
  • 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 Minigame: One can be found in Fun City.
  • BFG: Opera's weapon - though, aside from Killer Moves, all she does is hit people with it.
  • 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.
  • Bonus Dungeon: You can go via Lotus Eater Machine back to Expel and tackle 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 in the rear.
  • 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.
    • For that matter, the best way to defeat the later bosses? Stunlock them and spam these abilities until they die.
  • Bottle Fairy: Opera sure loves her wines.
  • 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.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Subverted when Claude uses Helmetbreak in Second Evolution: he just screams while using it. In the first game, he also shouts "Teeaaar into pieces!!" instead of "Ripper Burst." But basically every other attack in the whole freaking 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.
    • Hey, when did Cless join Starfleet?
  • Chekhov's Gun: Rena's pendant.
  • The Chew Toy: Ashton. So unlucky he is forced to share bodies with a twin-headed dragon, and in a rare instance of averting Story and Gameplay Segregation, he has the worst LUK stat in the game.
  • 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.
  • Colony Drop: The collision of Expel and Energy Nede.
  • Combat Medic: Rena and Bowman both qualify for this trope 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.
  • Crash Into Hello: Welch Vineyard in Second Evolution. Notable in that she falls from the sky and on top of Claude/Rena...
  • Crutch Character: Dias in Rena's scenario. Mega powerful when he's just with Rena, but Claude will surpass him once he joins for good.
    • Depending on your party makeup, Lv.30 Welch can be recruited in Second Evolution while your main team is only half that level. Sure, they catch up to her, but...
  • Cursed with Awesome: Ashton has a pair of dragons grafted to his back. You can undertake a sidequest to remove them...but in the end, he doesn't go through with it because the exorcism would kill the dragons.
    • That, and Dragon Breath is actually pretty good.
  • Cute Little Fangs: In Second Evolution, Precis's new 'excited' artwork has these.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Never stated outright, but Claude's mother is strongly hinted to be Illia Silvestri, the first game's Relationship Values be damned.
  • 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.
  • Dead Little Sister: Dias has a literal one.
  • Deuteragonist: An interesting twist here : depending on which of Claude or Rena you choose as your main protagonist, the other becomes the Deuteragonist.
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: The flying fortress where you fight one of the Wise Men, but an Earthshattering Kaboom happens and this is really only the first major climax.
  • Disc One Nuke: The Eternal Sphere can be obtained soon after the Inevitable Tournament.
    • 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 event, Rena accidentally wipes 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."
  • Dual-Wielding: Ashton with both swords and dragons
  • Everyone Can See It: about Claude and Rena. Take one event during the Inevitable Tournament as an example. Heck, even Dias can see it.
  • Evolving Attack: The killer moves.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Noel.
  • Flavor Text
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Precis.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Fused with Fridge Brilliance. 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...
    • 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.
  • Genki Girl: Precis again.
  • 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.
  • Guide Dang It: Oh, you accidentally talked to a crazy lady twice? Hope you wanted to fight Gabriel 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 to discover Gabriel Limiter-off, 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.
  • 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.
  • Hope Spot: Somewhat literally, with the introduction of the Lacuer Hope.
  • Hot Amazon: In the anime at least, Ashton's dragons like a woman who can fight (I.E. Obera with a rocket launcher.)
  • Hot Dad: Bowman in the manga based off Blue Sphere.
  • 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.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Celine. The costume is standard fare as far as RPG Black Magician Girls go, but what the heck is up with the floating shower curtains?
    • Said outfit is a bit less impractical in the Manga, but still...
  • Ineffectual Loner: Dias.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Chisato.
  • Knife Nut: In Blue Sphere, Rena trades in her knuckles for knives.
  • Lady of Black Magic: Celine is the textbook example.
  • 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...
  • Light Is Not Good: Gabriel's primary power involves Light. He is about as "good" as a cobra.
  • 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 to 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.
  • Luck Stat: Note that Ashton's is extraordinarily low and stuck that way; it's because he's canonically incredibly unlucky.
  • 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)...
  • The Medic: Rena. Bowman is more of a Combat Medic, heavy on the combat.
  • Minigame Zone: Fun City in Disc 2.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Opera and Celine bring some of this to the table.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: Let's see: Ashton or Opera (and Ernest). Dias or Leon. Precis or Bowman.
  • My Greatest Failure: Dias blames himself for not being strong enough to save his parents and sister from being murdered by bandits.
  • Mysterious Waif: Rena Lanford.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: You know Rena's pendant? It's totally 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...
  • Not So Harmless: 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.
  • 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/Lantis.
  • Otaku: Ashton is an avid follower of...barrels.
  • Our Elves Are Better: Deconstructed Trope by the Nedians.
  • Parrot Exposition: Claude does this pretty often, sometimes to the point of just repeating a part of the previous sentence.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Lucifer - or at least in his new anime mugshot in Second Evolution.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: The ten wise men who also border on Physical Gods since it requires the special material to damage them.
  • Port Town: Harley and Hilton
  • Power Copying: In Star Ocean EX, Claude doesn't so much learn techniques as rip off all of Dias' moves.
  • Power Fist: Precis.
  • Rocket Punch: One of Precis's Killer Moves.
  • 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.
  • 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!"

  • Spam Attack: Claude's "Shooting Stars" special.
  • 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.
  • Stepford Smiler: As shown in one flashback, Claude was this in his Academy days.
  • The Stoic: Dias.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: The Godslayer and the Knuckles of Hope, weapons designed to defeat the Ten Wise Men.
  • Teen Genius: Leon and Precis, though Leon is actually a preteen example, being just 12 years old.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • True Companions: The party
  • Tsundere: Rena's a Type B. Just see Welch's introduction in Second Evolution, and Anger Born of Worry mentioned above.
  • Video Game Remake: Second Evolution for the PSP.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Claude struggles to prove himself to get out of his father's shadow.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Player characters that you encounter in the game just...disappear if you did not recruit them.
    • 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. You never find out what was actually in it, making several long-winded events and dungeons seem annoyingly pointless.
      • It's revealed in Bowman's solo ending that the text is a myth about an 'ancient paradise' called Nede.
  • Whip It Good: Ernest.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Again, Rena. Also, Celine, Dias and Leon.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Rena started the trend of doing this with Star Ocean's female leads.