Hoffman Island Guide

   Star Ocean: The Second Story starts off easy enough, but the challenge quickly ramps up as you progress through the game. By the time you arrive in the Hoffman Island ruins, you may quickly find yourself in over your head. Don't worry; the GIA is here to help -- with this guide to the terrain and denizens of Hoffman Island.

Getting In

   You'll only visit Hoffman Island at a certain point in the story; both Rena and Claude will need to make this journey. Before leaving on your ship, be sure to make sure your characters are properly outfitted with the best weapons and armor you've got. Plenty of Cure Paralysis items, as well as some HP and MP restoratives, are a boon as well. Rena's Dispel spell is a must-have; it'll save you from the paralysis-happy monsters you face on the island.

   When you're ready to leave, return to Hilton and tell the yellow-suited soldier outside the ship that you're ready to leave. After a brief boat trip, you'll arrive on the island in the northeast corner of the Expel map. Whenever you need to sail back to Hilton, just return to the beach where you landed and talk to the soldier again.

 Hoffman Ruins
Outside the ruins

   Once you arrive at the ruins, head up the ramp in the middle of the scene (if you continue around the side of the temple, you'll see a close-up shot with a broken pillar, but it doesn't seem there's anything here). As you continue up the ramp, you'll see the door of the temple; head on in.

Goodies and tidbits

   The first few rooms of the temple don't have any enemies in them. After Leon and your hero open the first door, proceed through into the main hall. Enter the three doors along the northwest and northeast walls, and collect the chests within (one of them holds a weapon upgrade for Opera). Then take the passageway in the southeast corner of the main hall. Use the save point, then hop in the elevator. The elevator takes you down to the mines underneath the real dungeon. This is the real dungeon, and the place where you'll be seeing all the fighting.


Doomaxe. The grunts of Hoffman, the Doomaxes' most defining characteristic is that they don't have one. Though they have an above-average amount of HP, they don't have any nasty special attacks, so you can just use physical attacks against them. Occasionally, they'll achieve a Raided Attack and drop down into the middle of your party, but even then you can beat them without too much trouble.
Salamander. These are the big kahunas. Not only do the Salamanders possess a lot of HP, they have long-range fire breath and a tail whip that leaves characters permanently paralyzed. This is why you need Rena's Dispel magic; once paralyzed, a character remains so until cured by Dispel or the Cure Paralysis item (even a rest at the inn can't cure you). Protect Rena at all costs, and try to attack the Salamander from both sides to prevent it from fighting back. One is no problem, but two can be a challenge. If you end up with only one non-paralyzed characters, try running around as a last resort and trying to lure the Salamanders into the mine carts, while keeping your distance -- remember, if your whole team ends up paralyzed, you lose. Range attacks, not to mention Ashton's teleporting Leaf Slash, are also useful.
Guarder. The Guarders' large shields block any head-on attacks, which, when combined with their affinity for large groups, can make them somewhat of a pain to deal with. Sneaking up behind them is the obvious solution, but that's somewhat easier said than done -- try ganging up on one Guarder by having one character attack from each side. Magic, of course, can penetrate their defenses from any side.
Giant Bow
Giant Bow. These bow-wielding enemies don't show up too often, but when they do, they're usually accompanied by Guarders. Go after the Giant Bows first; their bows give them a long striking range, as well as the capability to poison or stun you. Fortunately, they have very little HP, so catching up to them is all you really need to do.
Blackslime. Blackslimes appear even less frequently than Great Bows. Despite their ability to replicate themselves (an ability an RPG slime worth is weight in FOL possesses), they're quite easy to defeat. Just use physical attacks to take them out, and don't let their ability to temporarily stun you bother you.
Kitty. Don't expect much of a fight from these mole-like critters; one hit will put them out of comission, and they won't fight back. On the other hand, they'll almost always drop Reverse Dolls (or occasionally Pretty Idols), Star Ocean 2's equivalent of a Goat Doll or Soul Gem.
Mine Cart
Mine Cart. Sure, this isn't an actual enemy, but you've still got to watch out for it. Mine carts roll down the track in the center of the battlefield, and any fighters unfortunate to stand in its way will suffer massive damage, sometimes enough to kill off a completely healthy character. Just stay out of the center when a mine cart appears in the distance, and use Circle to switch to and move any stragglers. Of course, you can also use the mine carts to your advantage by luring the enemies into their path...


   The Hoffman mines are fairly non-linear; your goal is to simply get from the elevator to the chamber where the boss lurks, defeat it, and leave. Getting there can be tricky, though, since the mines are fairly mazelike -- unless, of course, you use the handy map we've provided for you.

Getting the Paralysis Check

   There's plenty of chests strewn about the mines, but not all of them are really worth collecting. The only essential ones are the paralysis-preventing Paralysis Check (collect this right away and give it to Rena), the Sturm Ring, and the Dictionary (a better weapon for Leon).

Don't touch!

   You'll also encounter various levers embedded in the wall (denoted by red dots on the map) at various spots around the mines. Pulling these will trigger an explosion that demolishes some of the terrain, and also damages the party. There doesn't seem to be anything to be gained from doing this, so just leave the dynamite alone.

The Boss

   When you see a Save Point, you know you're just outside the boss's chamber. Be careful about saving, however -- if you overwrite your main save, you might end up stuck in the ruins without enough supplies to get out. Saving in a separate slot is much safer.

 Boss room
As a result, we were able to excavate it!

   Before continuing, heal your characters (and restore their MP, if needed). Equip Rena with a Reverse Doll to protect her from the bosses' thunder spells -- you'll need her to stay alive so she can heal the others. If you've got more than one Reverse Doll, it wouldn't hurt to outfit the rest of your party with them too. Place Rena, Claude, and two other fighters (i.e., anybody besides Celine or Leon) in your party.

   Inside the boss's chamber, you'll find the mineral you need -- but before Leon can grab it, a boss randomly appears. It's actually two bosses -- a pair of Harfainxes. They both possess identical traits, including the ability to cast a Thunderstorm spell that does about 700 damage to all four of your characters.

Boss room
It's two, two, two bosses in one!

   The best defense here is a good defense -- as long as you keep hitting the Harfainxes, they can't charge up their spell. In other words, just rush the monsters, and let Rena (under her first AI setting) take care of healing. You don't need to conserve MP, so go ahead and set your allies to "Attack with all MP." Long-range attacks, such as Precis's Parabola Beam, are helpful.

   Once you've beaten the boss, you'll finally get the mineral, and you'll also receive free healing. Save the game at your save point, then hurry back out of the ruins. Talk to the soldier waiting on the beach and you'll set sail back for Lacour, ready for the next chapter of the game. And so the adventure continues...

Feature by Fritz Fraundorf, GIA
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