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Star Ocean The Second Story R: How to Recruit All 11 Optional Party Members

Here’s how to get all characters!




What follows is a guide on recruiting all eleven optional party members in Star Ocean: The Second Story R. Whether you’re a seasoned player or new to this classic JRPG, we’ll help you assemble the ultimate team while keeping the experience spoiler-free. Additionally, we’ve included a quick-reference card for your convenience.

How To Recruit All 11 Optional Party Members

To celebrate the announcement of Star Ocean: The Second Story R, the community created a concise reference card to navigate party recruitment. The card provides location, timing, and clues for recruitment, ensuring you don’t miss any characters. For a more detailed guide, follow the chronological instructions below.

Please note that in SO2R, some recruitment actions are more streamlined, with certain Private Actions triggering automatically. Recruitment steps remain consistent with the original PS1 game and the first PSP remake. Any necessary corrections will be updated as we progress further in SO2R and confirm differences.

Recruitment Conditions

Character recruitment generally depends on two conditions: personal actions and a window of opportunity. The windows may be slightly more flexible than stated, but it’s easier to align them with major story events for ease of understanding.

Reference Card

Here, you can access a reference card with a quick overview of character recruitment details for a spoiler-free experience.

Source: eirifu

Character Recruitment

Claude & Rena

Claude and Rena will eventually commit to traveling together after encountering each other several times and meeting Allen. No specific actions are required, as both characters are integral to the main story.


You’ll always encounter Celine in Cross/Krosse, as she appears in the main plaza on your way out. She joins as a guest when you accept her side-quest. After completing it, she’ll ask to join your party permanently.

Opera & Ashton

Opera and Ashton require some backtracking after arriving at Herlie/Harley and are mutually exclusive. If you recruit one, the other’s quest will automatically fail.

  • The opportunity to recruit Ashton is lost when you complete Lacour/Lacuer.
  • The opportunity to recruit Opera is lost when you complete Hoffman.


  • When walking up to the castle in Krosse, a strange man will run past you. In previous versions, this was a Private Action. Now, it occurs automatically.
  • In Hilton, meet her in the pub.
  • Backtrack to the castle in Krosse and ask the king about her.
  • Follow the king’s clues to find her in the mountains. After recruiting her, consider doing a Private Action in Arlia, as it’s nearby.


  • Upon entering Harley, look for someone at the entrance talking about Ashton.
  • Backtrack to the Salva Mines.


Welch is an addition in the first remake, Second Evolution. To recruit her, ensure you have at least four people in your party (i.e., recruit two characters). After completing the main story events of Lacour/Lacuer, re-enter the city as a Private Action and head toward the castle.

Precis & Bowman

Precis and Bowman are mutually exclusive, and recruiting one prevents the other from asking. The opportunity to recruit either is believed to end after completing their respective events.


  • Upon entering Linga, you’ll run into her in a short event.
  • IMMEDIATELY LEAVE TOWN and re-enter as a Private Action.
  • Go to Bowman’s House; she’ll ask to join.


  • Visit Bowman’s House. He is involved in the main quest and will eventually request to join your party permanently.


To recruit Ernest, you must have Opera in your party. After recruiting Opera, you’ll be conveniently near Arlia. Enter Arlia as a Private Action and journey into the forest to learn about Opera’s history. Proceed with the main story. As you leave Hoffman after completing the area, you’ll encounter Ernest. Rejecting Ernest during the offer will result in Opera leaving as well. You can prevent this by avoiding the Arlia event, ensuring he never appears.

Leon & Dias

Leon and Dias are mutually exclusive to your starting character. Leon is available only in Claude’s playthrough, while Dias is exclusive to Rena’s playthrough. The opportunity to recruit them ends if you ignore them and leave the area, as returning is not possible.


  • Leon joins as a guest member during the main story in Hoffman.
  • After completing the Hoffman area, Leon will leave as you move to the ‘Frontlines.’
  • Once you finish that area and watch the events, you’ll find Leon in the subsequent area. Locate and speak to him; he’ll ask to join your party.


  • Dias joins as a guest member during the main story in Marze.
  • After finishing the Hoffman area, Dias appears in the next main story area, the ‘Frontlines.’ Find and speak to him, and he’ll ask to join.

Noel & Chisato

Noel and Chisato are not mutually exclusive. However, it’s common to have a party of 7 at this point, leading to a misconception. With the addition of Welch, you can have a full party, blocking both characters.


  • Noel joins as a guest member during the main story in the Red Caves.
  • After completing the caves, Noel will ask to join your party.


  • While exploring the Red Caves, Chisato will run past you and drop something. Pick it up.
  • After completing the caves, return to her office in the city and return the item to her. She’ll ask to join.

Extra Note: Philia

Philia, a non-party member, has a series of event triggers that are as intricate as recruiting a party member. However, her involvement raises the power level of the final boss. As a general rule, your party should be around 100 levels higher than when facing the final boss under normal circumstances. The level cap is 255.

  • Initiate a Private Action in Clik/Kurik to meet Philia for the first time.
  • After saving at the final save point, backtrack to Central City. In SO2R, you may need to beat the game and reload the clear save at the final point. (This requires confirmation.)
  • Enter Central City as a Private Action to meet Philia again.

This comprehensive guide to recruiting all optional party members in Star Ocean: The Second Story R is made possible by the diligent efforts of its original creator, Eiri 婦 (eirifu).


Recruiting all optional party members in Star Ocean: The Second Story R is an exciting journey that enhances the game’s narrative and gameplay. Whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned player, these characters provide unique experiences and perspectives. Follow this guide to create the ultimate team and unlock the game’s full potential. Embark on your adventure with a diverse and powerful party!

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