Main Walkthrough

An archaeologist who can't seem to sit still for two seconds, Ernest is a potential team member in Star Ocean The Second Story R. He's also the most difficult one to nail down by a fairly wide margin, and you need to complete a number of steps to get him into the party. We'll go over the process in this guide. It's a bit easier than in the original Star Ocean: The Second Story, but Ernest is still a bit of a pain.

Step 1: Meet Ernest

Considering how difficult it is to recruit Ernest, he sure is easy to meet in the first place. During your first trip to Krosse Castle you'll run into a three-eyed fellow who's in a hurry. This is Ernest, and he'll dash right past Claude and Rena. This event goes off automatically, so unlike in the older iterations of the game you don't need to catch Ernest at just the right time.

Step 2: Avoid Ashton

When you reach Harley as part of the storyline you'll overhear two men near the entrance, talking about a dragon in Salva. If you track this lead down you'll wind up recruiting Ashton, a warrior who pursues the dragon into the Salva Mines. Recruiting Ashton blocks off any possibility of recruiting Ernest, so stay away from Salva until you've done a few more things.

Step 3: Meet Opera

Proceed through the storyline until you complete the Lacuer Armory Contest. At this point you're supposed to head to Linga. Travel back to Hilton instead, and check out the Bar, in the north of town. You'll watch a scene with a woman named Opera, who is also looking for Ernest. After introducing herself Opera will take off, presumably to look for Ernest in Krosse City. Follow her.

Step 4: Speak to the King of Krosse

Fast Travel back to Krosse Castle and head up to the throne room. Claude will ask the king about a woman with three eyes, and the king will indeed recognize the description. He gave both Opera, and Ernest, permission to enter the Mountain Palace, a dungeon to the north of Krosse City. He'll likewise give the party permission, and provide you with 10,000 FOL. Very generous.

Step 5: Recruit Opera and Complete the Mountain Palace

Your next stop is the Mountain Palace. Fast Travel to what's left of Kurik, then head east a little ways, until you see a road leading into the mountains on your right. It will eventually take you up to a circular lake, beside which is the Mountain Palace. If you'd tried to come here without permission the guard at the door would've stopped you, but now you can head inside.

The Mountain Palace is divided into two wings, and everything important to you is in the east wing. (Ashton's side story takes you into the west wing. You can still head over here to collect items, but it's not mandatory.) Follow the eastern path north, until it forces you right. You'll run into Opera up here, and she wants help finding Ernest. Agree and she'll join the party. Opera's a front-line fighter with strong long-range Special Arts, and quite handy.

You're not done in here yet. Head east a ways further, then go north at your first opportunity. This path will bring you to a Save Point, and north of here you'll face two Fire Lizards. They're dangerous enemies, and you'll fare best if you use your lead character to guide them around a bit while your other party members pepper them with attacks. Avoid their fire breath attacks like the plague.

Head east after defeating the Fire Lizards. Eventually this path veers south, and beyond here you'll find Ernest's private laboratory. He's not here, so... time to look elsewhere. Opera will decide to stick around, and if you play your cards right she'll remain a permanent party member.

Step 6: Visit the Sacred Forest

Immediately after you find Ernest's lab in the Mountain Palace you'll unlock a limited-time event in the Sacred Forest, south of Arlia. Fast Travel there, then check the north end of the large, eastern clearing. You'll find what remains of Opera's ship, which crashed into the forest and stranded her on Expel. You must see this scene before traveling to the Hoffman Ruins, where this side quest concludes, so make a point to come here as soon as you're done in the Mountain Palace.

Step 7: Complete the Hoffman Ruins and Save Ernest

Assuming you've seen Opera's ship you'll have finished all the side-work needed to recruit Ernest. Now all you have to do is find the guy. Continue through the story until you need to travel to the Hoffman Ruins. Do so, complete the ruins, and make your way outside. If you've done all of the above, you'll find Ernest outside the ruins once you've located the energy stones on the lower level. He is... not normal.


HP: 65,000

Erm... this fight is very easy, despite Opera being taken from the party. The Ghost barely does anything. Mob the Ghost and demolish it.

Ernest will return to his senses after the battle, and Opera will wonder if it's time to part ways. If you decide you still want her in the party, she'll bring Ernest along as well. The pair will be on the team for the rest of the game. If you decide not to recruit Ernest, however, Opera will also leave. If you've come this far you probably wanted him on the team, so... invite them along.

Ernest fights with a whip, and of your melee fighters has the longest range with his normal attack. He's also a bit slow compared to everyone else, so you'll probably want Ernest to line up behind someone else before he attacks. His Special Arts tend to add more distance, making him a safer bet in combat.