The best part of a Star Ocean game is assembling your perfect team through many sidequests and special events, and that’s fortunately left untouched in Star Ocean The Second Story R. Here are all the possible characters you can recruit in the game in order of appearance.
All Recruitable Characters in Star Ocean Second Story R
There’s a total of 11 recruitable characters in the game. Claude and Rena are mandatory, so we can play with up to 13 characters throughout the campaign. Most of them are naturally unlocked as you play through the story, but some will make you go out of your way to bring them to your side. They also have strange restrictions occasionally, so be careful with that.
A symbologist from Marze met during your first visit to Krosse. She’ll take you on a quick journey to Krosse Cave, after which you’ll have the chance to recruit her to your team permanently. She uses offensive magic in battle alongside various buffs and debuffs.
|How to Recruit||After completing Krosse Cave, ask her to keep traveling with you.|
|Notes||She joins Claude again during the Forest of Symbols portion, even if you haven’t recruited her. She’ll be gone once the boss is defeated.|
A swordsman who somehow got himself fused with a two-headed dragon when Claude and Rena surprised him. The heads are attached to his back, and he guilt trips the duo into helping him find a cure for his condition.
|How to Recruit||Side quest in Harley after completing the Forest of Symbols. Speak with the old man and then head to Salva before grabbing the boat on Harley. Enter the mines and look for the dragon to be slain until you find Ashton. After the dragons fuse with him, take responsibility for the occurings.|
|Notes||Having Ashton locks you out of getting Opera and, consequently, Ernest. If you first refuse him but return to where he is, he forces himself into the party.|
A young inventor girl who her friends often shun for being “too weird.” She wishes to travel with Claude and Rena as they are the only ones who treat her well.
|How to Recruit||PA in Linga as soon as you arrive in Lacuer, but before completing Bowman’s request. She’ll ask you to join, so just let her be a part of the team.|
|Notes||Precis locks you out from recruiting Bowman later.|
A staple presence in the series, Welch is chaos incarnate. She doesn’t have a huge presence in the story, but her interactions are some of the best ones. She uses a poke stick in battle.
|How to Recruit||PA in Lacuer after completing the Lacuer Armory Contest but before completing Bowman’s request. You must have four or more party members (your options so far will be Celine, Ashton, Precis, and Opera). Complete her PA, and she’ll ask you to join in a completely non-forced way.|
|Notes||If you don’t want her, you’ll have to deny multiple times, as she hardly takes no for an answer.|
A three-eyed woman who came from outer space with her beloved Ernest, who doesn’t reciprocate her feelings. Both were separated, and she chooses to travel with Claude and Rena to have a chance at finding him.
|How to Recruit||Complete the brief PA in Krosse City involving the three-eyed man when you first arrive in it. Later after completing Lacuer Armory Contest, return to Hilton and enter the bar to meet Opera. Return to Krosse Castle and have another audience with the king. He’ll grant you access to the Mountain Palace. Finally, visit the Palace and accept Opera’s offer to join her when you meet her.|
|Notes||You cannot get her if you recruit Ashton. Required for recruiting Ernest later.|
A pharmacist from Linga who’s a renamed scientist from the Lacuer Academy. He’s also interested in the Sorcery Globe, and this mutual interest leads him to travel with Claude and Rena’s group.
|How to Recruit||After completing his request in the Sanctuary of Linga and deciphering the Ancient Text, Claude will stay a night at Bowman’s house. He’ll ask you to join the party, so accept him.|
|Notes||He won’t join you if Precis had been recruited in Linga earlier.|
Opera’s companion, who was separated from her when they crashed in Expel. After living and surviving alone for a long time, the two finally meet again and start walking with Claude.
|How to Recruit||Recruit Opera and visit the Sacred Forest to interact with the crashed spaceship there. Now continue through the main story until you reach the Hoffman Ruins, when Ernest will finally be found. When the two start to leave, ask them to keep traveling with you.|
|Notes||If you don’t ask them to stay, you’ll also lose Opera. Ernest will not be found if you don’t visit the Sacred Forest before entering the ruins.|
Considered to be the world’s strongest swordsman, he’s an old acquaintance from Rena. Cold and calm, he sees a huge potential in Claude despite the boy being uncomfortable with his presence.
|How to Recruit||During the Lacuer Front Line Base events, Rena and Dias will have a private conversation in which you can recruit him to your party.|
|Notes||Exclusive to a Rena protagonist run.|
An incredibly talented young boy who’s one of the most potent symbologists in the game. He greatly admires Claude, especially after certain events in the later portions of the game.
|How to Recruit||Later in the game when you finally reach Ell, Leon will give you the chance of permanently traveling with you.|
|Notes||Exclusive to a Claude protagonist run. He’ll temporarily join the party prior to Ell, but not as a permanent addition.|
The game’s second dedicated healer is found in the later portions of the adventure. He’s dedicated to protecting the animals, and traveling with Claude ends up being a great way to do so.
|How to Recruit||After completing the Cavern of Crimson Crystals, you can ask him to join you.|
|Notes||One of the last available characters to recruit.|
A skillful physical fighter who’s worth waiting a while to recruit. She’s a news reporter who takes a liking to Claude and his group and decides to travel with them to write an article about their adventures.
|How to Recruit||She starts stalking the party during various scenarios once you arrive in Nede. Make sure you see her special events (marked with an “!”) in Centropolis and North City before heading to the Caven of Crimson Crystals. Once you’re there, she’ll drop her ID. Grab it and return it to her later in Centropolis of Nede to have her join you.|
|Notes||You must still have a free slot to accommodate her. Unavailable after completing the Cavern of Crimson Crystals.|
All Missable Characters in Star Ocean Second Story R
All characters can be missed if you always choose not to recruit them. But you might lose the recruiting window altogether in some cases if you don’t follow some specific steps for certain characters. These characters are:
- Ashton – If you take the boat to Hilton, you miss your chance to do his sidequest.
- Precis – If you complete the Sanctuary of Linga before triggering her PA, she immediately becomes unavailable.
- Welch – Also must be recruited before the Sanctuary of Linga.
- Bowman – If you have Precis, he won’t ask you to join the team.
- Opera – Must have seen the Krosse PA with Ernest early in the game and complete her sidequest later. Cannot be recruited if you have Ashton.
- Ernest – Cannot be recruited without Opera. Also, need to see the special event in the Sacred Forest before completing Hoffman’s Ruins.
- Chisato – Cannot be recruited if you already have eight members. Also, you can’t miss her various special events around the city, or you can’t recruit her later.
Grabbing some of them is gimmicky, and maybe you recruited someone else who you shouldn’t have, and this will eventually lock you out of certain options. You can always go for another playthrough with a different protagonist to see how the story turns out, but if you don’t feel like committing that much time, just pick the ones you like the best and have some fun with your very unlikely party.