Main Walkthrough

Think you've completed Star Ocean The Second Story R once you've beaten the final boss? You are incorrect. There's another trial for you to undertake, and it is more difficult by far than what you've seen up to this point. It will also take you back to a place that you thought was long gone...

This guide will lead you through the Maze of Tribulations in Star Ocean The Second Story R. First, though, we need to find the thing.

Accessing the Maze of Tribulations

To reach the maze you first need to return to Expel... or a version of Expel, anyway. In order to do this you must first beat the final boss, in Phynal, at least once. This will allow you to create a completed save, denoted by a golden star on your save file, which you can then reload and carry on as normal.

Head to Fun City on your completed save. If you check in the rear of the Fun City Arena's seating area and you'll find an old man, standing by himself in the northwest. Speak to him and he'll offer to send the team 'back in time', via the wonders of virtual reality. Agree to the man's proposition and he'll send you to VR Expel, an exact replica of Expel from before its destruction. You can return to Energy Nede by speaking to Dumdum, the purple penguin in the northeast of Arlia, and calling him an idiot.

Leave Arlia, your starting point, and you'll find a Psynard waiting. Hop aboard and you can fly all over Expel, exploring areas that were previously inaccessible. This includes the sandy continent in the southwest of the world map, which you probably spotted earlier in the game but couldn't reach. The Maze of Tribulations, a sizable pyramid, is located on the south end of this continent.

Check the Pyramid Amidst the Sands Unique Spot out front of the maze for 100 SP and 100 BP, then head inside. As the game notes when you enter, the Maze of Tribulations is an exceptionally-difficult, thirteen-floor dungeon, and you'll need high-quality weapons and equipment, as well as levels in the 90 to 100 range, to make a dent in the place. Let's get started.

B1 - Ruin of Symbols - Enemies

  • Enchantress - 83,500 HP - Resists Fire, Water, Wind, Earth
  • Grim Wing - 128,000 HP
  • Living Armor - 95,400 HP - Immune to all elements
  • Phantom Knight - 149,000 HP - Resists Dark, immune to Fire

To the north of the entrance you'll find the maze's only Save Point. The maze also has no Autosave feature, so if you die at any point you'll be sent back here. Once you've figured out a floor you may want to return to this spot so you don't lose any levels you've accrued. (And trust me, you're going to pick them up fast.) Note that there is no Fast Travel allowed, so you'll need to walk back.

There are no enemies near the entrance, but they will start appearing as you head east or west of the entrance. The enemies change with each floor of the Maze of Tribulations. A few notes about the enemies on B1:

  • The Enchantresses tend to show up with lots of other enemies, and will blast you with powerful Spells. Do your best to slip between the other enemies and get at these ladies before they can cast anything.
  • Phantom Knights are very good at ganging up on your characters, and if you get caught between two you're probably dead. If two of them approach you either bust out some powerful Special Arts, or... start running.
  • Living Armor occasionally stop dead. During this time you can't hurt them, and trying to strike them is a waste of effort. Move on to another enemy until the Living Armor starts moving again.

Look north of the Save Point for Nectar. You can then choose your direction:

  • To the east is a wider room with a side room. The side room has a chest containing 200,000 FOL. Head south of here and look in the southeast for another side room, this with a chest containing a Nuclear Bomb. Once you reach the southern passages you'll find rooms in the north and south that contain three total chests. The northern chests contain a Wonder Drug and a Sirlion, while the southern chest contains a tri-Emblum.
  • To the west is a quicker, narrower path leading south. Look on the west side of the first cluster of rooms after leaving the Save Point to find a chest containing five Blueberries. (During subsquent trips down, this is the path you'll want to take. It's much shorter.)

Whether you took the eastern or western path you'll find a door in the south. Pull the lever next to the door to open it up, then head inside to confront the boss that's waiting on the other side.

Dark Enchantress

HP: 300,000

This is a brutal fight if you only have Rena as a caster. Accompanied by two Phantom Knights, the Dark Enchantress follows in the line of 'slinky women who avoid all physical attacks'. The problem here is that she hits incredibly hard, so while you're lining up a useless sword strike she'll likely be KOing your character in one or two hits.

You'll want to enter this battle with lots of items that can revive defeated characters. Focus on taking out the two Phantom Knights to start, then revive any defeated characters and do your best to lead the Dark Enchantress away from your spellcasters. Have them use relatively quick Spells on the Dark Enchantress, then use your (likely two) frontline fighters to absolutely obliterate her while she's stunned. Some of this fight comes down to luck, so you may need to retry a few times.

You'll receive Bunny Shoes for defeating the Dark Enchantress. Beyond her are the stairs to the next level.

B2 - Lover's End - Enemies

  • Cave Stingray - 164,000 HP
  • Giant - 177,000 HP
  • Hunter Slime - 160,000 HP
  • Phantom Axman - 170,500 HP - 

The enemies on the second floor of the Maze of Tribulations change things up a bit from the first floor. On average you'll probably find this place a bit easier to survive, if you're inclined to fight. Some notes:

  • The Hunter Slimes are nothing special individually, but they can replicate themselves. This makes them quite dangerous in groups - but only if they surround you. Catch a bunch right in front of you and you can juggle them with Special Arts for quite a while.

The second floor of the Maze of Tribulations starts off with a riddle that provides the means of getting to the third floor. We'll ignore that for just a moment and focus on grabbing the chests off of this floor:

  • Head east from the entrance and you'll find a hallway with passages leading to the north and south. The northbound passage leads to a chest containing Resurrection Mist, while the first southbound passage leads to a chest containing Organic Vegetables.
  • Head west from the entrance and you'll almost immediately wind up on a southbound path. Take your first left to find a room containing a chest. Inside the chest is a Reflecting Plate.
Now for the puzzle. If you check the mural by the entrance you'll hear a story where various characters seem to be yearning for each other. This story is reflected in a series of statues, spread throughout this floor of the dungeon, which can be rotated. Each statue symbolizes one of the characters in the story, and you need to rotate them so they're true to the events of the story. Set the statues to the following orientations:
  • Lloyd (first statue in the east) - West
  • Cistina (second statue in the east, next to Lloyd) - North
  • Yuffie (first statue in southeast) - North
  • Felia (second statue in southeast) - West
  • Milena (southern statue) - North
  • Luke (north of Milena, in the south) - South
  • Sharon (western statue, down a long corridor that extends east) - East
You'll hear a chime once you've set the statues to the proper orientation. Return to the entrance and you'll find the door to the north open, with a boss waiting on the other side. (And yes, if you want to go upstairs and save, the puzzle will still be solved when you get back.)

Blood Gerel

HP: 760,000

That's a lotta goo. Accompanied by four Hunter Slimes, the Blood Gerel is an Enemy Leader that prevents you from using your Special Arts, which really hurts in a fight with so many enemies. The Blood Gerel can also split into smaller Blood Gerels, and when you throw in the fact that the Hunter Slimes also replicate... yeah. Ouch.

Bring three melee fighters into this battle, give them accessories that add more attacks, and weave around the room, slicing enemies up as best you can. Your objective is to avoid being surrounded at all costs. If this starts to happen, run. None of your foes have a ton of HP, so even if you only get in occasional potshots you'll still wear them down quickly. Either focus on Breaking the Blood Gerel so you can use Special Arts again, or wipe out the Hunter Slimes.

One more note: Your AI-controlled characters are going to get knocked out. A lot. Bring items to restore them to life, as Rena / Noel on their own can't keep up while avoiding all the enemies.

You'll receive Seraphic Garb for defeating the Blood Gerel. The stairs to the next floor are waiting.

B3 - One-Way Cave - Enemies

  • Blood Gerel - 380,000 HP
  • Enchantress - 83,500 HP - Resists Fire, Water, Wind, Earth
  • Phantom Goathead - 143,000 HP

The enemies change a bit again on the third floor, though you'll recognize half of them. Some notes:

  • The Blood Gerels replicate very quickly here, moreso than in the boss battle. You'll need to fight hard to keep them under control. Spells that hit every enemy work well.
  • The Phantom Goatheads and Enchantresses come in large groups, and it can be quite difficult to prevent them from using their Spells. One way to keep them under control is to set up Assault Formations that attack the entire field, rather than just nearby enemies.
This floor has another puzzle, and it wants you to travel through the area in a particular order. Before we do that we'll collect the floor's treasures, which are pretty easy to grab right from the start:
  • You'll find two chests to the southeast. They contain a Wonder Drug and a Dream Crown.
  • Far to the northeast is a chest containing a Sirloin.
  • One room northwest of the entrance is a chest containing Sylvan Mail. It's a little out of sight, in the middle of the room, but it is there.
  • Walk north along the western wall and you'll find a side chamber with two chests. They contain a Ring of Lightspeed and Nectar.
  • In the southwest corner of the room is a chest containing Nectar.

Now for the puzzle. If you return to the entry room you'll see a large floor motif consisting of sixteen panels. Each panel represents a room on this floor, and when you go through that room the panel on the motif will turn from yellow to red. Backtracing will change the rooms to the original color, so you need to run through the rooms in a particular path. Take this route through the rooms, with each direction representing one room:
  • South from the entrance
  • East
  • North
  • North
  • North
  • West
  • South
  • West
  • North
  • West
  • South
  • South
  • South
  • East
  • North
  • East
Do all that correctly and you'll wind up back at the entrance, with the door leading to the next floor open. Naturally, a boss is waiting for you.


HP: 205,000

Although they're normal enemies, the three Dreamcasters are a pain. In addition to their normal attack, which will often interrupt your flurries of sword strikes, they have a special 'time' attack where they turn into clocks. This will freeze nearby characters in place for a short time. The Dreamcaster will usually use this opportunity to annihilate your frozen characters.

This isn't an overly complex battle, you just need to be careful. Lead the Dreamcasters away from your spellcasters, hit them with ranged attacks over anything close up, and try not to go too crazy with the button mashing. The second a Dreamcaster uses their clock attack you want to disengage and get away so you're frozen in a relatively safe spot. Defeat even one of them - which really doesn't take long - and the battle gets much easier.

You'll receive a Magic Gumdrop for defeating the Dreamcasters. Best get used to these stupid enemies, as they keep showing up in this dungeon. Ugh. On to the next floor!

B4 - Altar of the Dancer - Enemies

  • Jabberwabbit - 151,000 HP
This is a strange floor. The battles consist entirely of Jabberwabbits, a hopping enemy that inflicts damage upon landing, alongside its normal attacks. Tough, but you'll get by with Spells and anti-air Special Arts. The area also has a lot of treasures, most of which are inside rooms that appear to be inaccessible.

The trick, of course, is that this floor has invisible walls. You need to locate and walk through the walls to collect the treasures. We'll go through the stuff you can find first:
  • As you head north from the entrance you'll see empty rooms on your right and left. Both have hidden passages in their north walls that lead to chests. The eastern room contains an Experience Card, while the western room contains Nectar. If Leon is in the party there will be another chest in the eastern room, and opening it will teach Leon the Extinction Spell.
  • There are side rooms flanking the locked, central chamber in this area. The eastern room's chest contains a Mallet Charm, while the western room's chest contains an Onyx Earring.
  • Head east and you'll find rooms to the north and south of the main passage. Their chests contain a Resurrection Mist and Organic Vegetables. The southern room leads to another room in the east, where you'll find a bevy of chests. They all contain ?WEAPONS, aside from two chests, which contain... ?MACHINES. Yay. Here's what you'll get after an Appraisal, and yes, most of it is garbage:
    • Spark Stunner
    • Brass Knuckles x 2
    • Hard Knuckles
    • Limp Whip
    • Gutsy Handy Stick (the only thing worth your time, if you have Welch)
    • Stun Gun
    • Steel Puncher
    • Pulse Clip
    • Stringy Sword
    • Rickety Knuckles
    • Dull Blade
    • Rod
    • Swords of Deflection
    • 10V Stun Gun
    • Twin Swords
Take a right from the eastern treasure room and head north. You'll hit a dead end with an illusory wall. Beyond is a chest containing Seraphic Garb... and another dead end.

If you check the northeastern wall of the first northern room in the eastern hallway you'll find a passage to a lever. If you pull the lever you'll open the central room on this floor. Inside this room is the Lady of the Dance, a divine spirit who yearns for some good music. You can choose one of your characters to play for the Lady of the Dance, and if the performer has Music at Level 10 - as well as the Rhythm Sense and Acoustic Sense Talents - you'll receive the Mystical Shamisen. (Appropriately, I found Opera the best choice for doing this.)

Now to leave. In the west you'll find a long hallway that seems to lead to a dead-end room. If you check the northeastern wall in the dead-end room you'll find a hidden path to the stairs - and a boss fight.

Mirre 32

HP: 305,000
Resists: All elements

This is a weirdly easy fight. Mirre 32 hits very hard, but it is slow and pretty easy to disrupt. Get your characters on either side of the scuttling robot and smash it with Special Arts and summons. As long as you keep the Mirre 32 away from your healer you should have plenty of room to revive characters that get knocked out.

Another one down. Use the stairs to keep going.

B5 - A Girl's Revenge - Enemies

  • Dragon Axman - 179,650 HP
  • Dreamcaster - 205,000 HP
  • Grim Stingray - 196,000 HP
  • Lady Chimera - 122,500 HP
  • Mighty Ape - 180,000 HP
This floor tells a bit of a short story, which we'll get to in a minute. First, a few notes on the enemies:
  • The Dragon Axmen are your usual overcrowded bunch, and dangerous enough on their own. The situation becomes much worse when one is an Enemy Leader, as they slow everyone's walking speed to a crawl, even if you have Bunny Shoes equipped. Prioritize Breaking the Enemy Leader if this happens.
Head north of the entrance. On your right is a room with chests containing a Ring of Lightspeed and Refreshing Syrup. Continue north from here - the second right is a dead end - and you'll run into Puffy, a Star Ocean mainstay. (Sorta.) Puffy will force you to battle a Phantom Salamander, a monster that you cannot beat the way you are now. Flee immediately once the fight begins or it will trash you.

Puffy and the Salamander will leave after the fight. Head east from their chamber until you see a path to the south. Dip south just briefly and you'll find a room on your right, inside which is a chest containing a Sirlion. Head back to the northern passage after grabbing it and continue east. You'll see two northern chambers along the way, each with a chest. The first contains a Wonder Drug, while the second contains Seraphic Garb.

Head south of the room with the Seraphic Garb. You'll find Puffy under attack by some Dreamcasters, and you'll need to save her. The same strategies from the end of B3 apply. Puffy will flee after the battle, leaving a Phantom Slayer behind. You'll need this shortly, but don't equip it just yet.

Head west out of Puffy's chamber and you'll link up with a path you could have reached earlier, via a door that will only open from this side. Go west and you'll find a room, hidden behind an illusory wall on the south side, with two chests. They contain Nectar and a Faerie Ring.

Head back east, the way you came, but swing south when the path diverges. Go east through this corridor and you'll find Puffy waiting outside the room with the stairs.  She'll admit that the Phantom Salamander stole the key that will open the door to the stairs.

Head back towards the entrance of this floor, in the west. Equip the Phantom Slayer on your lead character (I believe it changes type depending on whether you're controlling Claude or Rena), then head to the dead-end room that's northeast of the entrance stairs. The Phantom Salamander is waiting...

Phantom Salamander

HP: 2,533,600
Immune: All elements

... aaaaaand a single normal attack from the character with the Phantom Slayer equipped will kill it. That was easy.

You'll receive an Orb of Fire for defeating the Phantom Salamander. Take this back to the locked room in the southeast. Puffy is gone, but if you inspect the door standing in your way the group will use the Orb of Fire to open it up. The stairs are waiting.

B6 - Den of Thieves - Enemies

  • Dragon Axman - 179,650 HP
  • Dreamcaster - 205,000 HP
  • Metal Scum - 900 HP - Immune to all elements
  • Thieving Scum - 100 HP

This floor is a little weird, but very useful. Aside from the Dreamcasters and Dragon Axmen, which are always dangerous, the area is populated by 'scum' type enemies. The Thieving Scum are the smallest of small fry, but the Metal Scum are fast, strong, and largely immune to your attacks. 

The one exception is if you have the Scumbag Slayer equipped, in which case Metal Scum crumple in a single hit. Up to this point there's only one quest where you can get a Scumbag Slayer. Metal Scumbags are worth quite a nice amount of experience - around 100,000 per kill - and given how easy they are to defeat with the right weapon, this is a good floor to quickly build up your level. Experience Cards and the Train Specialty will further expedite your progress. 

One warning, however! The character wearing the Scumbag Slayer will do much less damage to every other monster than normal, and although you largely run into the scum enemies down here, the Dragon Axmen and the Dreamcasters are still pretty painful. Make sure the rest of your party is still good to fight, and make ample use of summons. (And if you don't have a Scumbag Slayer, you might want to avoid the monsters down here for a bit. You'll get one soon.)

There's a large, central hall full of Metal Scum statues on this floor. Living here is Santa the Traveling Salesman, a merchant with some frankly ridiculous items on sale. In addition to basically every mineral you could hope to purchase, Santa sells three valuable items:

  • Santa's Boots, which gives you random items whenever you sleep at an Inn
  • tri-Emblems, a powerful accessory that boosts every stat by a significant amount, as well as nullifies Fire, Wind, and Dark attacks
  • Jewels of the Frog, which can be used to instantly escape from the Maze of Tribulations (very handy when you want to save)
You likely have a lot of excess FOL sitting around, so you should at the very least buy one or two Jewels of the Frog. Of next-greatest importance is the tri-Emblem, which makes its bearer way stronger. Santa's Boots are more of a novelty item, and given their very steep price you may want to try winning a pair at the Bunny Race in Fun City. (This is easier to accomplish than you might think, and much cheaper.)

Check along the northern hallways once you're done with Santa. In the northeast is a side room with a chest containing a Dream Crown, while in the northwest is a similar room with a chest containing five Antidotes. That done, head back to Santa's room and inspect the bottom-right statue. There's a switch on the statue that will open a door that's down the southwestern corridor in Santa's hall. And inside...

Thieving Scum LV99

HP: 320,000

A fairly basic melee enemy, the Thieving Scum LV99 is nevertheless dangerous thanks to his high speed and strong attacks. He's also accompanied by a Dreamcaster and two Thieving Scum. If you have a Scumbag Slayer equipped the Thieving Scum LV99 dies in a single hit; otherwise, you'll have to put up with his speedy nature. Try to wipe out the Dreamcaster first, so it won't halt your party in the process.

You'll receive a Scumbag Slayer for defeating the Thieving Scum LV99. North of here you'll find the stairs to the next floor, yes, but you'll also find a portal. Step onto the portal and it will return you to the first floor of the Maze of Tribulations. This portal remains active, so you can use it to zip back down to B6 any time you like. You're about halfway done! Congratulations!

B7 - Altar of the Goddess - Enemies

  • Crimson Beast - 359,000 HP - Resists Light, Dark
  • Magus - 132,530 HP - Resists Light, Dark
  • Robinette - 168,200 HP
  • Thieving Scum LV99 - 320,000 HP
  • Ultimate Avenger - 209,500 HP

A fairly straightforward exploratory section of the Maze of Tribulations, the Altar of the Goddess has some similarly straightforward enemies. You'll know what they can do based on how they look. It's important to note that Thieving Scum show up down here, as well, and you'll make an easy time of them by keeping a Scumbag Slayer equipped on one character. Put it on Rena / Noel, rush in to quickly dispatch any Thieving Scum LV99s that show up, then continue with the battle as normal.

There are locked doors to your left and east the passage when you enter this area, forcing you through a central room and to the north. Here you'll find an altar that was clearly made to hold an orb. You need to find the orb to exit this area. The path branches in two directions from here.

Start by going west from the altar. Doors will open as you walk, and if you go all the way west you'll find a chamber with a chest. The chest contains Organic Vegetables. Head through the rooms to the south of here and you'll find a chest in the side room on your left. It contains a Mallet Charm. South of here is a room on your right, with an illusory wall on the left side, that also leads to a chest. It contains a Phantom Slayer.

The doors in the north close behind you, so use the door in the south to return to the entrance stairs, then return to the orb altar in the northeast. Go east this time, dipping into a room on the south side of the passage to find a chest containing Refreshing Syrup. Keep following the passage until it sends you north, into a reverse L-shaped room, then check the small, contained chamber in the northwest. There's an illusory wall on the south side of the chamber which will get you inside. Here you'll find a chest containing a Flawed Orb.

Keep going south and follow the remaining path back west. One side room will bring you to a chest containing Resurrection Mist, while a properly L-shaped room has a side chamber with a chest containing a tri-Emblum. (Note the U. These are not nearly as useful as tri-Emblems.) As you approach the entry hall again the path will veer south, and if you go all the way south in this hall you'll find a chest containing Marenne Oysters.

At the end of this trip you'll again be locked out in the entry hall. Travel back to the orb altar, however, and you'll find that the Flawed Orb you picked up doesn't work. Use the Crafting IC (the difficulty is Level 1, so you'll manage just fine) to turn the Flawed Orb into another Orb of Fire. Use this on the altar to open the door to the north. And beyond the door...

Mithril Eater

HP: 700,000

Remember the Barchian from earlier in the game? This is the exact same thing, but ramped up. Get behind it and smash it to bits with your other fighters. It still uses Pain Release after taking hits, but the Mithril Eater's attack doesn't seem to land on everyone now that you've reached such a high level. Break the thing and victory is yours in no time.

You'll receive a Mindhealer for Celine / Noel when you defeat the Mithril Eater. North of here is a treasure room, with chests containing a Sunset Island, a Crazy Cow, and some Bunny Shoes. Also up here are the stairs to the next floor.

B8 - God of Food - Enemies

  • Dreamcaster - 205,000 HP
  • Killer Ape - 205,000 HP
  • Phantom Devil - 273,400 HP
  • Star Protector - 135,950 HP - Immune to all elements
  • Vile Hound - 174,600 HP

Another themed floor, B8 presents a rather unique challenge. First, though, some notes about the enemies:

  • Despite appearing rather basic, the Vile Hounds are quite dangerous. If they successfully leap onto a character they can rapidly deplete health with their grappling bites. Use ranged Special Arts to keep the Vile Hounds at a bit of a distance.
  • Phantom Devils look... a little familiar. They fight the same as their predecessor from earlier in the game, more or less, though they have one big flaw: You can defeat them in one hit with the Phantom Slayer. If you don't have one equipped, well, don't worry too much. They're not a big deal.

Head north from the entrance. If you take a right you'll find a side chamber with a chest containing 500,000 FOL. North of here the path splits in three directions. Your objective is to the north. Let's start by checking out the two wings of this floor for chests:

  • If you head east you'll find the following chests:
    • In the central room is a chest containing a Wonder Drug
    • In the southern room is a chest containing a Scumbag Slayer
    • In the eastern room, blocked by an illusory wall, are chests containing Seraphic Garb and Amoeba Soup
  • If you head west you'll find the following chests:
    • South along the main path is a chest containing Slimy Gelatin
    • In a northwestern chamber, accessible by two connected passages, are chests containing a Mallet Charm and a Legendary Otoro
    • In the southwest chamber, blocked by an illusory wall, are chests containing Refreshing Syrup and Marenne Oysters
    • As you head northwest you'll see a chest inside a contained room that's accessible by an illusory wall in the south - chest contains an Ooze Cocktail
    • In the northwest (the 'end' of the wing, if you're walking through the rooms) is a chest containing another Mindhealer for Celine / Noel

That's all for the side wings. Head to the chamber to the north of the locked exit stairs. Here you'll find the 'God of Food', a huge, demonic head that demands the 'finest dish you can think of'. You picked up a lot of food on this floor - and can make more, if you have the ingredients - so just stuff the face full of food. What you give it doesn't really matter, so long as the item is food. Eventually you can give the face something that isn't food, revealing the culprit behind the scam.

Head to the exit door back south. As usual, a boss is waiting.

Elysian Slug

HP: 900,000
Resists: Fire, Water, Wind, Earth

Yep, another of these sluggards. As you can imagine, the Elysian Slug's true power is its ability to temporarily eat your characters (though it can also Paralyze and Poison targets with its bites). If everyone gets eaten you'll recieve a Game Over. Bring three melee fighters along and punish the slug with Special Arts and summons. Pretty easy.

You'll receive a Gelatin Steak for defeating the Elysian Slug. The stairs await.

B9 - The Sealed Casket - Enemies

  • Brigand Ogre - 278,600 HP
  • Cockatrice King - 261,400 HP
  • Phantom Mollusk - 184,000 HP
  • Robinette Captain - 206,000 HP

The journey continues. You're getting there! A few notes about the enemies on this level:

  • The normal Cockatrice Kings are no big deal. The Enemy Leader Cockatrice Kings will slowly leech your HP. Make a point to Break the leaders.
  • Brigand Ogres are pretty easy to juggle around, but get caught between two of them and your character is probably dead in a few seconds. Be careful around these guys.
  • The Enemy Leader versions of the Phantom Mollusks will increase their whole team's speed. This can lead to a quick consumption of your whole party. Spam summons and Special Arts like there's no tomorrow. (Or use the Phantom Slayers you've picked up for quick kills.)
For the most part this level is a spiralling progression toward the room in the center. If you head west of the entrance you'll find another portal that leads back to the Save Point on the first floor. Otherwise, you'll find these chests as you make your way around the floor:
  • Go east from the entrance before heading deep into the floor and you'll find a chest at a dead end. The chest contains an Artemis Leaf. If you check the northern wall next to this chest you'll discover an illusion, allowing you to get at another chest. It contains a much more useful set of Valiant Boots.
  • As the western path starts heading north you'll see a side room on your left. It leads to a chest containing Resurrection Mist.
  • Go south once you reach the large room in the northwest of the floor, then east as far as you can. There's a room over here with a chest, adjacent to two treasure rooms you visited earlier. The chest contains a Wonder Drug.
Make your way to the central room by going back west, down the corridor you took to reach the Wonder Drug. (There's nothing in the northeast, so only go this way if you want to fill out the map.) The central room contains a huge, ominous casket, and... that's all. Hrm. Well, no boss fight is a nice change, at least. Head north to find the stairs.

B10 - Moment of Courage - Enemies

  • Life Flayer - 185,500
  • Manic Gunner - 195,500
  • Mind Flayer - 169,500
  • Mirre 128 - 227,000 HP - Weak to Fire
This floor is dominated entirely by mechanical enemies with guns. These enemies are not a big deal on their own, but absolutely lethal in packs. Aside from smacking them around with summons, your best bet for dealing with these groups is to always approach them from the front. Your characters will usually block their attacks from the front. Get one behind you, though, and you're probably dead. (Truth be told, you'll just want to avoid most battles on this floor. They're universally awful.)

This is another area governed by a floor motif near the entrance. This time you're warned that 'red shall symbolize death, and green shall symbolize peace'. If you step on the motif you'll notice that the tiles light up, and will vary in color. The meanings are simple enough: You'll take constant HP and MP damage walking through red rooms, while green rooms will leave you alone.

You can light up to five floor tiles, which means you can make a path from the southwestern tile (your current room) to the northeastern tile (your destination). To create the 'safest' path - ie, all green rooms - you should step on the southwestern tile, then go north, east, north, north, east, and east. This path will save you a lot of health. Alas, it will also force you to miss out on all of this floor's treasure. You'll need to tread the red rooms to get the treasure. You can find the following items on this floor:

  • Central room, bottom-right - Valkyrie's Boots
  • Central room, top-right - Ring of Might
  • Southern room, left - Refreshing Syrup
  • Southern room, right - Valiant Boots
  • Southeastern room - Valkyrie's Boots
  • Eastern room, bottom - Organic Vegetables
  • Eastern room, top - Rainbow Diamond, Philosopher's Stone
  • Western room, top - Scumbag Slayer
  • Northwestern room, through illusory wall on the left - Meteor Swarm Spell (Celine), Bunny Shoes, Mindhealer (Celine / Noel)
You can reset the floor tiles by leaving the floor. This will allow you to get at the items you missed by taking other routes. If you take a route that includes three red rooms - in this case, east from the southwestern tile, east, north, north, north, and east - you'll also unlock a special treasure room at the end. The chests inside contain the tri-Ace Special Art for Ashton, a Battle Suit, and a whopping 3,000,000 FOL. So... yeah. You should do that.

Regardless of the route you take to the northeastern room, you'll find trouble waiting when you try to go down the stairs.

Geo Guardian

HP: 1,200,000

A straight ripoff of the Guardians you fought in the Fields, the Geo Guardian acts the same way - punching attacks, electric zaps, a deadly, unmoving AOE laser, two transformations - but has way higher stats. You should nevertheless treat it the same as the other Guardians, surrounding the thing and pummelling it with attacks. You'll be strong enough that it'll Break before it reaches its third form, and you can shred through its remaining HP. Not too bad, though the Geo Guardian will probably drop a few of your characters in the process.

You'll receive a Valiant Shield for defeating the Geo Guardian. You're getting close to the end...

B11 - Dragon's Den - Enemies

  • Aulbear - 700,000 HP
  • Dreamcaster - 205,000 HP
  • Hellmaster - 350,000 HP
  • Mind Flayer - 169,500 HP
  • Phantom Mage - 285,000 HP
This area is pretty shrimpy, compared to other sections of the Maze of Tribulations, but its tight quarters force you into more battles. Some notes about the enemies:
  • Phantom Mages buff other enemies, and wait for moments to use Explode. Having Summons that hit the whole field can keep them from casting their Spells. You can also use Phantom Slayers to wipe them out in one hit. Their Enemy Leader forms suppress Spells, but not summoned Spells, so leave spellcasters out of your party (aside from Rena / Noel as healer).
  • You probably didn't notice it much on the previous level, but the Mind Flayers damage your MP rather than your HP. Annoying, for sure, but this makes them less dangerous than some other enemies.
  • Hellmasters can use Word of Death to instantly KO a character. Make tracks as soon as you see a mouth appear in the air.
Head straight north from the entrance. Your opponent is waiting.

Dragon Tyrant

HP: 1,305,000

A beefed-up Psynard, the Dragon Tyrant fights the same as well: Fly slowly around, bite people, and shoot jets of flame. The flame does a ton of damage, and will quickly wipe out anyone caught in the stream for too long. Even protection against Fire doesn't really do anything.

Fortunately, you can manage this battle just by drawing the Dragon Tyrant's attention and moving up and down the battlefield. It will follow - slowly - and give your healer a chance to revive any downed characters. Surround and pummel it once you have two fighters back up, then just keep working on its HP.

You'll receive a Valiant Shield for defeating the Dragon Tyrant. You'll gain access to the northern corridor once it is gone, and you can look to the east and west for chests. They contain 1,000,000 FOL and an Ooze Cocktail, respectively.

When you attempt to enter the door to the stairs you'll be stopped by a message: Only couples can go through. You need to go aaaaaall the way back to B1, choose your lucky couple (one of whom must be Claude or Rena), and then travel aaaaall the way back to B11. Only then can you go through this door. There's nothing special to it, just... redo all that with two characters. (And there's no cheating, either. A notice on the first floor will let you choose your second character.)

Some tips for surviving this trek:
  • If your main character is Claude, choose a healer (Rena or Noel). If you're playing as Rena, choose your strongest fighter. You'll likely need both.
  • Turn the Bodyguard Super Specialty on, if you haven't already. This will save you a bunch of time.
  • Activate Scouting, and set it to Avoid Enemies. This will give you more time to sneak around foes.
  • Avoid as many enemies as possible. If you do get into a fight, try to get away. These battles are much tougher with only two characters.
  • Use the portal down to the ninth floor. You don't need to redo everything, just the last couple of floors. (Though the door will kinda razz you when you arrive.)
  • Take the most direct routes. If you've been gathering treasure your maps should be nice and filled in. Plan your way through the floors so you're avoiding unnecessary rooms.
Make it to the door and it will open for you.

B12 - Warrior's Temple

There's not much to this floor. Head north, and check the chests on either side of the central hallway for a Valkyrie's Bracelet, Nectar, a Battle Suit, and Bunny Shoes. These are all great pieces of equipment, and you may need them for what's waiting in the north of this corridor.


HP: 500,000
Resists: Wind
Immune: Fire

Sporting surprisingly little HP - the game is being nice, for once - the Phoenix is still a bit of a nasty opponent, though far from impossible. It uses the following attacks:
  • Claw swipes
  • Blood Scylla, which sucks HP from one character
  • Crushing Chare, a charging attack
Use your melee character and summons to keep the Phoenix busy while your spellcaster peppers it with Spells from the sidelines. If you have Bunny Shoes equipped your melee character can run circles around the Phoenix, keeping it busy so it won't harry your healer. This will also prevent it from casting Bloody Scylla, which rather hurts.

The Phoenix will give you the Holy Blade Farewell, a great weapon for Claude, with instructions to use it to 'open the coffin with the blade'. Alrighty. The door to the north of here is still firmly locked, so you'll need to heed the Phoenix's instructions. 

Return to B1 of the Maze of Tribulation to collect your party. (A Jewel of the Frog will help with this, if you bought one from Santa.) Use the portal to 9B - it's the portal to the east of the Save Point - then make your way to the central room with the casket on this floor. Be ready for the fight you missed the first time you came through here as you check the casket.


HP: 1,100,000
Resists: Fire, Earth

Ugh, more of those Dreamcaster things. This battle isn't too surprising: The Dreamcasters use their time-freezing ability to stop you from hitting the Sorcerer, who will then power up to Shadow Flare and smack your whole party down. Immediately go after the Dreamcasters when the fight begins, annihilating them as quickly as you can with Special Arts and summons. Once they're gone the Sorcerer doesn't stand a chance.

You'll receive Valiant Mail and the Demon Sword Levantine, an even better sword for Claude, for defeating the Sorcerer. (You can give the Holy Sword Farewell to Dias instead, if he's in the party... or vice versa.) Make your way back down to B12 - yes, you need to walk - and inspect the door in the room where you defeated the Pheonix. With the Farewell and the Levantine in your inventory, the door will open.

B13 - Cave of the Archangel - Enemies

  • Dreamcaster - 205,000 HP
  • Hell Savant - 850,000 HP - Resists Fire, Water
  • Rock Demon - 1,000,000 HP
  • Soulmaster - 300,000 HP

This is it. You've reached the end of the road. North of the stairs you'll find a portal back to the entrance, so you can save your progress and not have to redo everything you just did. The enemies here are all former bosses, so you should have a pretty good idea by now of how to deal with them. (You might want to run from the Rock Demons if your luck is poor. Bad fight.)

There are two chests to collect in this area, before you face the boss:

  • If you head to the southwest and enter the lower passage as you go west you'll find a chest containing Valiant Mail. While you're here, check the upper passage to find a lever. Pull it. An illusory wall next to the chest will let you move over to the lever and save some time.
  • If you head to the southeast you'll find the same setup, with a chest, illusory wall, and lever. The chest contains a Valiant Shield.

Raising both levers will open the door leading into the north of B13. Head back to B1 to save your game, so you don't have to use the levers again, then return to B13 and see what's waiting to demolish your party.

Gabriella Celesta

HP: 1,800,000
Absorbs: Light

A god incarnate, Gabriella Celesta is one of the most difficult bosses you'll face in Star Ocean The Second Story R. Not the most difficult, but... pretty close. She uses a slew of dangerous attacks that can annihilate your characters in the blink of an eye:

  • An AOE whirl
  • Releases a spinning disc that moves towards a target
  • Fires a shockwave along the ground
  • Unleashes a swift, whirlwind attack that zips Gabriella all over the battlefield, inflicting heavy damage to whatever she touches
  • Star Flare, a Light Spell that damages the whole party
  • Noah, a Water Spell that damages the whole party
  • Fohn Wind, a Wind Spell that damages the whole party

What makes Gabriella truly dangerous is her ability to cast Spells more or less on the spot. You can't stop her, because there's virtually no time to react. 

Aside from just raising your level as much as humanly possible (the limit is Level 255), your best bet here is to equip your team with armor and accessories that negate Light, Water, and / or Wind damage. This will prevent Gabriella's Spells from doing anything to you. Beyond that, all you can really do is keep up with her, use summons constantly, and batter her with Special Arts that do not employ the Light element. This fight is very long if you aren't overpowered, and you'll need to revive your characters a lot.

If you are struggling hard with this fight - and refuse to move to a lower difficulty level - there's an easy answer: Get four suits of Bloody Armor. You can find Bloody Armor on the Dark Crusaders in the Fields of Might and Courage. It constantly drains HP from its wearer, but Bloody Armor also renders your characters otherwise invincible. With a healer on hand to restore HP before it dips to zero, your three fighters can batter Gabriella Celesta without her being able to do a thing in return. Note that Rena cannot wear Bloody Armor, so if you plan to use her as the healer you'll need to keep her well away from the fighting.

You'll receive another Holy Sword Farewell for defeating Gabriella Celesta. She'll also give you a Silver Trumpet, and you'll earn the Angel beneath the Earth Achievement. Well done! You've completed the Maze of Tribulations! The music will become triumphal, and you can enjoy it for a bit by looking to the northeast, where you'll find one final chest. It contains an Archangel's Bracelet. You can even fish in the water next to this chest.

That's all for the Maze of Tribulations, but you aren't yet done with Star Ocean The Second Story R. There are a few more things you can do with all those levels you've acquired:

Main Walkthrough