Music: Dark Caverns
The Cave of Rhiyo is, well, a cave.
It's surprisingly linear, with the side paths to treasure pretty obvious. Many of the treasures are alchemical ingredients, as is fitting for Alfyn.
There are the usual baddies, of course...
But I smash 'em.
These enemies can inflict poison, and poison deals 1/6 Max HP damage, so it can be rather nasty if you don't take care of it quickly.
But that's what Concoct is for! Soothing Seed + Noxroot heals 200HP and cures Poison.
The enemies are high enough level that I get to Alfyn's second skill before I even reach his boss. I opt for Amputation since I can replicate his other skills for now.
The token vendor sells some components as well as some herbs to cure poison and unconsciousness. Consider that a hint.
Well, this looks important.
This must be the place!
(What an angel, coming all the way here to pick flowers for her brother.)
That...is a big snake.
Music: For Succor
Sorry to drop in unannounced. Say, don't suppose you could spare a nip of snakebite, could ya?
Oh, no, don't get up. I'll help myself.
Well shucks, if you insist.
Video: Boss - Blotted Viper
Music: Decisive Battle I
The Blotted Viper's in the middle difficulty-wise. He's easier than the bosses from Primrose and Olberic's chapters, but he's not the cakewalk the last couple were.
Business as usual. Take out the smaller foes first.
Poison Breath is scary. It deals alright damage, but it also inflicts poison on the entire party. Without Alfyn, it's impossible to heal poison party-wide, meaning you have to either waste turns curing it single-target, or wait for it to wear off as you take lots of damage. And that's if it doesn't use it again and add more turns.
But we do have Alfyn, and it just so happens that if we substitute the Seed for Dust, we can heal poison from the entire party with a small HP bonus on top of that.
Alfyn is really solid.
The Blotted Viper hits pretty hard with its party-wide attacks, too.
The fodder foes fall, leaving us with just the Viper.
The next step is chipping away at its weaknesses, until...
Since it had help, this guy doesn't have as high HP as the last two bosses.
Which is unfortunate for it.
And Leghold Trap, for good measure. Which it kinda seems to ignore a bit...
If you don't bother with Concoct and waited this long to recruit Alfyn (since the boss has much easier patterns early on), this guy can be very challenging. Poison is not a status to take lightly in this game. It's not the end of the world or anything, but the damage is significant enough to be a concern combined with all the other hard-hitting attacks.
And so the boss charges up its super attack...
And check that next turn. The Blotted Viper is now getting three attacks in one turn. This is how Octopath Traveler balances its bosses later on, by giving bosses more attacks each turn. Two attacks per turn becomes the norm later on.
Its first attack is Constrict, which inflicts Unconsciousness, which is a straight-up stun attack. The character is useless until it wears off or is healed.
This is where my knowledge of the game comes into play. Curious Bloom has wildly different effects depending on the primary ingredient, enough so that there's not even any consistency between a Seed and a Dust of the same type.
Soothing Dust + Curious Bloom heals a good amount of HP and heals all status effects while giving a turn of the status immunity buff.
Yeah, I could've just used an herb, but I like to show off.
After another Sweep, its third move is to do four powerful attacks on random targets.
If I had bad timing and didn't have two healers and Leghold Trap to give me a lot of breathing room, this could've been a scary situation.
But at this point, it's so low on health that I finish it soon after. Another job well done!
Music: Dark Caverns
What's that? Take all the venom I need?
It'll all be all right, Nina. Alf'll be back any moment now. He's never let us down.
Music: Bonds of Friendship
The truth is, I didn't think I'd be able to raise you and protect you on my own.
When he told me he wanted to study together and become an apothecary himself... He gave me the strength to carry on. He's always so humble, apologizing for being a burden on me... But the truth is, I'm the one who's been relying on him all this time.
Did you miss me? Heh, sorry it took so long...
Oh, Alfyn! Thank the gods you're safe...
I trust you can take it from here, eh?
I'll get started at once!
And so Alfyn saves the day thanks to the magic of having a really big axe.
Music: Clearbrook, by the Pristine Waters
The game helpfully zooms in to Alfyn's home.
Might as well check in on Zeph and Nina real quick before we do so.
And also take his axe I guess.
Alfyn invites his new friends to crash at his place. Alfyn seems the most likely of the bunch to let total strangers sleep in his home, so makes sense to me.
(I wonder how Zeph is doing... I shouldn't worry. He'll be fine, like always.)
(I've given it all to be the best apothecary I can be. To be more like you-know-who.)
(And yet, this is where I was born and raised. Where I learned my craft... It's got grouchy Gertas, who I ain't never seen smiling. Meryl's got her act together, but she still needs a shoulder to cry on now and then. Gotta keep an eye on old Alek's cough, too...)
(You invited me to study together with you under your father. Took care of the books after we went into business together...)
Alfyn's young and his lived in the same small village his whole life, so of course he has the yearning to go out, explore the world, and learn all he can to hone his craft. But he has responsibilities here, so it's not that simple.
Video: That Which Truly Matters
Music: Enveloped in Kindness
I knew it. With you on the job, was there ever any doubt?
You...you saved my sister's life. How can I ever repay you?
Don't even mention it.
Father could cure every disease known to man, but for the first time, he was at a loss.
But...why'd you save me? We ain't got no money, you know.
Listen, son...and listen well.
To help people out, just like he did.
Oh, um...is that how it went?
We've been together forever now. So I can tell...
Just like him...
I'm not daft, you know.
...But still, this is my home. I know you're a skilled apothecary, Zeph. At least as good as--no, probably even a little better than me.
Besides, who else'd cut your ego down to size? Who'll listen to Gertas's grumblings? And Meryl's tales of unrequited love?
Don't you worry about anything. I'll see that the villagers and happy and healthy. I swear it on my life.
Do it with your heart at ease and your head held high.
And of course, Alfyn will leave his home to see the world outside.
Video: Setting Out
Music: Alfyn, the Apothecary
Time to see just how far my talents will go. I'm gonna save folks the world over. Just like the man who saved me.
Come on, Zeph. I didn't ask for a going-away party.
Just a little present for the road. It's nothing special, but...
That way, no matter how far you travel, I'll be right there with you.
I... It was the only thing that came to me...
Now there's a plan! I'll put it to good use, Alf.
See ya around.
Be safe out there, friend.
Alfyn sets out to help everyone he can, including the very people in the traveling band he has joined.
Our merry group is up to seven, but that's not enough for a proper Octopath. For now, we'll explore Clearbrook and the surrounding areas and solve a few more problems, and then eventually go and recruit our eighth and final character. Until next time!