Main Walkthrough

The final challenge of Star Ocean The Second Story R's storyline is defeating Gabriel, leader of the Ten Wise Men. He's a powerful opponent, and you're unlikely to come out on top unless your characters average around level 80 or so. This is far from Gabriel's best possible performance, however, and you'll need to remove his limiter to see what Gabriel can really do.

This guide will help you activate one of the most difficult boss battles in Star Ocean The Second Story R. There aren't many steps to it, but there's one you absolutely must do before getting too far into the game.

Step 1: Speak to Philia

Very early on - just after completing Krosse Cave, the second dungeon - you'll need to travel to Kurik, a port town in the north of the Krosse Continent. While here you can trigger a Private Action and meet a woman named Philia. She's adamant that the town is about to be destroyed, and pleads for everyone to leave Kurik.

It is absolutely essential that you watch this Private Action before Kurik is destroyed. It's as simple as activating Private Action mode and walking to Kurik's central square. You won't get another chance after the team decides to leave Kurik, as the town... well, things go poorly for Kurik. Note that if you have the Pickpocketing Specialty you can steal a Sprite's Bracelet off of Philia, which randomly gives you items when it is equipped, though the chances of success are low.

Step 2: Beat the Game

You don't need to worry about this quest again for a looooong time. Continue the storyline through Expel and Energy Nede, then climb Phynal, fight Gabriel, win, and watch the credits roll. After this you'll receive the option to create a 'completed' save file, with a gold star appended to the file. This is the sign that you're ready to move on to the next step.

(In older versions of the game you only needed to reach Phynal's last Save Point. This is no longer the case. You must beat the game first.)

Step 3: Meet Philia Again

Return to the Centropolis after beating Gabriel and watching the credits. Assuming you met Philia in Kurik, you'll run into her again if you trigger a Private Action in the Centropolis. Head to City Hall and she'll be waiting in the lobby on the first floor. Something unfortunate happens to Philia, and Gabriel's limiter disappears. You'll receive the Tear of Israfel once Philia vanishes.

There! You're now ready to fight one of Star Ocean The Second Story R's superbosses. If you're doing this immediately after beating Gabriel, though, you will in no way be ready for the fight. Hence, there's another step you need to undertake in preparation.

Step 4: Travel to the Maze of Tribulations

Head to Fun City. If you check at the rear of the Fun City Arena, up in the viewing area, you'll find an old man. Previously he joked about sending you back in time, though after beating the game he'll reveal this as a genuine proposal... to a degree, anyway. Agree to the idea and the old man will send the party to VR Expel, a virtual recreation of the world that was destroyed.

Leave Arlia, your starting point, and you'll find a Psynard waiting. Use the Psynard to fly to the southwestern island on the world map. This is the home of the Maze of Tribulations, a post-game dungeon that is more difficult than anything you've encountered up to this point. You'll gain levels like crazy while exploring the dungeon.

The Maze of Tribulations is a lengthy area. Check this guide for more details.

Once you've trounced the Maze of Tribulations you should be ready to at least take a crack at Gabriel's new form. He's right where you left him, on the top floor of Phynal. Shall we?


HP: 2,950,000
Resists: Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, Dark

Receiving a huge power boost, Gabriel moves from a major stumbling block to one of your greatest foes. He can use the following attacks in this battle:
  • A quick hand wave that can inflict instant death or Petrification
  • Divine Wave, a spreading shockwave the damages anyone it touches
  • Southern Cross, a Light Spell that hits the whole party
  • Stone Rain, a rock-falling AOE Spell
  • Explode, an AOE Fire Spell
  • Noah, a Water Spell that hits the whole party
  • Earthquake, an Earth Spell that hits the whole party
  • Star Flare, a Light Spell that hits the whole party
  • Song of the Gods, a heavy AOE Spell
Aside from the massive power boost, the big difference with Gabriel this time around is that he starts off using all of his attacks from the very beginning. He's also a bit quicker (though not nearly as quick as he was in the earlier versions of Star Ocean: The Second Story), and will catch up with characters who don't have their movement speed increased by their equipment. Gabriel's worst attack by far is his most innocuous one, as he simply waves his hand, and... kills a character.

To a degree you aren't going to win this fight without high levels. Reaching level 200 or more is recommended, as Gabriel's Spells simply do too much damage when you're lower than that. The closer you can get to the cap of level 255, the easier the whole fight will be. Otherwise, here are some tips for defeating Gabriel without his limiter:
  • Use equipment that halves, outright negates, or absorbs Light, Earth, or Water Spells. All three come up a lot. (Fire does, too, but not nearly as often, and Explode is much easier to avoid.)
  • Use equipment that raises your AVD (Avoid) stat. At this level Gabriel will be KOing your characters in a single hit, almost regardless of your defenses, and you'll get more out of AVD than DEF.
  • Find ways to block Petrification and instant death, especially on your healer. The latter can be accomplished by equipping the Tear of Israfel.
  • Rely on ranged attacks more than close-range. Most of the characters have ranged options, but one of the best choices is Dias's Air Slash, if you have him in the party. (Controlling Dias and spamming Air Slash is what ultimately won the fight for me.)
  • Stay away from Gabriel when possible. Spreading out your party will prevent Divine Wave from slaughtering your ranks en masse.
  • Watch Gabriel's movements when he locks onto your character. If he's zipping in close he's trying to use his hand-wave attack. If you have Bunny Shoes or another speed-increasing item equipped you can lead Gabriel around, which gives your other characters a moment to heal or unleash their own attacks.
  • Spam your summons. As soon as one comes back online, use it. Don't hold back. Attacks that go after single targets and hit multiple times are best.
  • Watch your characters closely, and use items to bring people back into the fight as soon as they go down. Your team is going to be Petrified and / or KOed all the time in this battle.
  • Turn off the Train option, in case you use it for leveling. (I, uh, may have accidentally left it on. Managed to beat Gabriel with a handicap, which felt good!)
  • And, when in doubt, lower the difficult level. There's no shame in it.
If you really can't get past Gabriel, you have one other option: Bloody Armor. Dropped by Dark Crusaders in the Fields of Might and Courage, Bloody Armor renders its wearers completely invincible. Even Gabriel can't hurt someone with Bloody Armor equipped, and status ailments won't work either. The tradeoff is that the wearer's HP is constantly being drained by the armor. Keep a healer on duty at all times (Noel can wear the armor, but not Rena) and the HP drain shouldn't be a problem.

You'll receive The Destroyer's Truth Achievement for defeating Gabriel without his limiter. The ending will play out as before - albeit with a few tweaks to the dialogue - and you will have, again, beaten Star Ocean The Second Story R. Well done!