The Maze of Tribulations, also known as the Cave of Trials is a secret dungeon in Star Ocean: The Second Story and its remake, Star Ocean: Second Evolution, which can only be accessed after the player saves at the final save point in Phynal and then talking to a man in the Fun City Battle Arena in order to be teleported to Virtual Expel.
Every floor is named and has a different puzzle that the player must solve to proceed to the next floor.
1F - Heraldic Ruins/Ruins of Symbols
A straightforward floor. The player must find the stairs to the next floor and then fight a Dark Enchantress to proceed to floor 2.
A shortcut to 9F can be found in this floor.
2F - Love Alley/Lover's End
This puzzle is solved by making the stone statues face a direction (normally towards another person, showing "love"). At the start of the floor, there is a stone tablet which gives a riddle to guide the player in which way to face the statues.
The Statues are faced in the following order:
- Milena - South
- Luke - North
- Yuffie - South
- Lloyd - East
- Cistina - South
- Felia - East
- Sharon - West
After all statues are facing the correct direction, the door to the next floor opens, where the player must fight a Blood Gerel.
3F - Single Path Cave/One-Way Cave
This puzzle involves the player entering 16 rooms which are positioned in a 4x4 square. The player must enter each room only once and make it back to the starting room.
The solution is as followed
- Up x2
- Left x1
- Down x3
- Right x3
- Up x3
- Left x1
- Down x2
- Left x1
After the player has completed the puzzle, the door to the next floor will open, where the player will have to fight 3 Dreamcasters.
4F - Dancing God Altar/Altar of the Dancer
This floor contains fake walls and a musical god who must to played to by a character with the Listening and Rhythm Sense talents, as well as Level 10 Music Specialty.
To get to the next floor, the player must go to the top left most room and walk through the right wall near the top to find a Mirre 32 and the entrance to the next floor.
5F - Lady's Revenge/Woman's Revenge
This floor introduces Puffy. To complete the puzzle, the player must run into Puffy and state her name correctly. After that, the player should choose Beasts, and then the player will go against a Phantom Salamander, which the battle must be escaped from.
Then, the player must find Puffy again and save her, to obtain the Phantom Slayer. After the Phantom Slayer is obtained, go to a room right of the first room to find the Phantom Salamander. Make sure the weapon is equipped on a fighter in the party and the Phantom Salamander will be killed in one hit.
Then the player must find the door to the next floor to proceed.
6F - Burglar's Nest/Nest of Thieves
This floor's puzzle involves strange Metal Scum enemies, which take 1 damage from anything and escape after a while. Note that metal scum, if killed, give 35000 experience each, so giving one or more of your fighters scumbag slayers and hunting them down can be a safe, easy way to level up, provided experience cards are used. Also, Santa, the mysterious seller, can be found on this floor.
Santa sells all minerals and tri-Emblems, Santa's Boots and Jewels of the Frog.
To proceed past this floor, the player must examine the bottom right most statue and then press the button to unlock the door to the left. The player will then proceed to fight a Thieving Scum LV99. After the battle, the player can go back to floor 1 or proceed further.
7F - Goddess's Altar/Altar of the Goddess
This floor's puzzle requires the player to Craft an item called the Orb of Fire from an item called the Flawed Orb. After the Flawed Orb is found, craft it into an Orb of Fire and then place it on a pedestal to open the room above.
8F - Food God/God of Food
This floor requires the player to have possession of food. If the player does not have food, the player must search in chests for food.
After alot of food has been acquired, go to a gold painting and feed the "god" some food until he comments about that's all you eat. Then, give the god something that isn't food to make the door to the next floor open, revealing the "God of Food" was actually Puffy.
Here, the player will fight an Elysian Slug.
9F - Sealed Coffin/The Sealed Casket
This floor is not a puzzle in general. The player must find the stairs to floor 10 to proceed. After floor 11 is completed, the player must return here to fight a boss in the Casket an obtain the legendary Demon Sword Levantine. In the remake, if the Holy Sword Farewell is obtained early (through Santa's Boots) you can unlock the coffin, fight the sorceror, and obtain Levantine without having to go to floor 11. This saves a lot of time in the long run, and nets you the game's best weapon much faster.
10F - Decision Point/Moment of Courage
This floor has a 4x4 grid, which the player must step on, to open rooms in the floor. The safest route is:
(from the bottom left)
Other rooms may be opened, which will have a yellow colour (HP Poison) or red colour (HP and MP Poison with increased enemy encounter rate). These yellow and red rooms have items in them, whereas the green ones do not.
After the player reaches the end of the floor, the player must fight a Geo Guardian.
11F - Dragon's Nest/Dragon's Den
This floor is not a puzzle of such, just a boss battle.
The player must fight a Dragon Tyrant, a very tough boss. After the boss is defeated, the player must leave the Maze of Tribulations and enter as a party of two. (you will be asked to enter as a party of two when you enter the Maze)
12F - Hall of Warriors/Warrior's Temple
To access this floor for the first time, the player must have a party of two. This floor only contains 4 chests and a boss.
13F - Hall of the Angel/Cave of the Archangel
The final floor of the Maze of Tribulations. The player must have the Demon Sword Levantine and the Holy Sword Farewell to access this floor. After the conditions have been met, the player must find 2 switches to open the door to Gabriella Celesta's room.