And with that, we have our protagonist, the Cleric Temenos! Now let's finally begin the game!
So naturally, we're going to begin with a battle that will determine the fate of the entire world.
Torrent of Evil
Rest well, my fellow gods... I shall put an end to Vide's wickedness.
So naturally we begin as the god Aelfric the Flamebringer, patron god of Clerics and the focal point of the Church of the Sacred Flame, and are tasked to destroy the dark god Vide the Wicked. You know, standard fare.
Fortunately it's a simple climb to reach the wicked god.
Video: The Wicked God, Vide
Do you truly mean to enshroud us in shadow!?
...devourer of all life in this world! Even you... Foolish gods.
You have made your choice, Vide.
And so the climatic battle between good and evil begins. Yeah, I guess we're just gonna jump right to it.
Aelfric is pretty formidable, as you'd expect from being the last god standing.
Vide has some powerful magic as well, however.
Aelfric has a couple of very powerful abilities to help.
...but Vide can simply hide behind The Shadow and render itself immortal.
Enough of this foolishness... I shall devour you as well!
You cannot possibly hope to best me. See how the light fades from this world.
The flame has been entrusted to me. From its humble light shall a fire be lit...
Aelfric unleashes seven elemental attacks with the combined powers of the gods.
Even Vide the Wicked is no match for such power.
I will...engulf this world... Through the malice of the people...
From our hearts...
Video: Temenos and the Children
Hm? What was the next line?
Everyone knows how that part goes, Temenos!
At least get your own performance right!
Ahem! Now then, with that foible behind me...
...and disaster was averted. The eight gods, their power drained, fell into a long slumber. They then became the Sacred Flame that keeps the darkness at bay. And thus the people continued to live in light and warmth.
The eight gods and the Sacred Flame are one of the few things carried over from OT1, though it's a bit different here. Namely, Vide the Wicked never comes up in OT1, and four of the gods from OT1 are missing in this story, namely the ones that give you the secret jobs. Otherwise, Aelfric and the other gods are the same ones from OT1, and still represent the eight main jobs. Likewise, the Sacred Flame remains the holy symbol of this religion.
Except for the lines you forgot--again!
Hah! You're quite a demanding audience...
Do get ahold of yourself, Inquisitor.
I shall, Mindt.
In case you're curious, this story was a paper play designed by Temenos himself. This does come up a few times later, though mostly through chatting with our future companions.
Oh, and yeah, Temenos is an Inquisitor. He's a good fit for the role, honestly.
Let their warm glow illuminate every corner of your souls.
Thanks, Sister Mindt! I like your hair ornament.
Why thank you.
Shadow manifests in our worst instincts: anger, hatred, resentment, and jealousy, to name a few. But the Sacred Flame drives these shadows away, leading us to the light.
Ah, Your Holiness. Please forgive the unruly scene.
Haha... I pray that is the case.
Might I have a word, Temenos?
Flamechurch, Sacred Light
This is the town of Flamechurch, nestled in the Crestlands in the middle of the Eastern Continent of Solistia.
It does, at a glance. But shadows lurk around every corner.
And that, my son, is why I've a job for you. We've had no major incidents since I appointed you to the Inquisition. However...
I know your position as Inquisitor keeps you plenty busy. But I beg you to aid me, Temenos. I know I can trust you.
You shower me with undue praise, Pontiff.
Hoho. Oh yes, Mindt. Grave secrets. Now then, I must take my leave. I've others waiting on me, you see.
Understood, Your Holiness.
It's not easy to be an organized religion in the world of Octopath Traveler. There's always some sinister force out there trying to overthrow the church and bring about an age of darkness. But hey, that's why good things come in bunches of eight.
As the Pontiff leaves for the cathedral, he stops to chat with someone in the rather hard-to-see southwest corner...
I believe that was Lucian, a theologian from the western shore. What brings him all the way to meet with the pontiff, I wonder.
At any rate, this is our next destination.
(Perhaps a stroll through the town is in order.)
Or will be a little later. For now, let's start playing a bit.
The radar is very convenient for many things when exploring.
For now, the main menu. Inventory shows items and gear, which we don't have much of. Misc. is settings stuff, and Journal recaps story stuff and other stuff. World Map is how we use fast travel.
Each character can equip one or two weapons, with secondary jobs allowing you to equip more based on the job. Otherwise, any character can equip anything.
As for stats, most of them are self-explanatory. I'll go into more detail later, but one thing worth mentioning now is that healing is not based on E.Atk, but Elemental Defense. This means Temenos's most important stat is E.Def to boost his healing and guard against magic, followed by E.Atk for his Light spells.
Status will give a stat summary and also summarize path actions and other things.
They have asked us to be on guard against the rising number of heretics these days.
Makes sense the Pontiff is rather concerned about external threats right now.
Considering this is something that Temenos seems to do in his spare time more than his actual job here, I think you could cut him some slack.
Though you'd think he'd have this stuff down by now, but hey.
Still, at least not everyone is a critic.
Just you wait.
The church uses the Sacred Flame to deceive us! But the truth shall be exposed! The purge begins here and now!
A Sanctum Knight, are you!?
Why do you rage against the Sacred Flame? I beg you, look inside yourself and repent.
You'll see that the Sacred Flame protects no one!
How dare you!
But while we're here, allow me to ask... You're a heretic, are you not?
Flamechurch, Sacred Light
Ah, you saved us, Temenos!
Thank him, not me.
I think it was a tag-team effort. At any rate, this fellow doesn't seem to represent the heretics' best and brightest.
Are...are you the inquisitor!?
That I am.
My word... It is an honor to meet you!
I...I hope to one day join your ranks!
Indeed. What is your name?
Well now. I can certainly vouch for your swordsmanship.
Indeed. The Sacred Guard increases its defenses as we speak.
Peacetime is no time to be lax in your duties.
The very gods you inquisitors are messengers for!?
There is such a thing as trusting too much, Crick. I daresay even our gods would be relieved at hearing such a frivolous comment from me.
P-please. I've only just been assigned.
Goodness. I must admit I fear for you.
Temenos and Crick have amazing chemistry together. Every scene with the both of them is delightful.
This is also a good excuse to bring up the first of Temenos's path actions, Guide.
When you are near a NPC, a prompt will show what path actions you can do with that character. For Guide, it's a matter of being at the right level.
And of course lots of NPCs have different lines for specific path actions.
You can also press a button to dismiss companions without having to replace them with another companion.
Naturally, the townspeople know Temenos well enough to understand just what he's capable of.
Just collecting your tithe ahead of schedule. Carry on.
It's a bit of a trek between Flamechurch and the Cathedral.
When the camera rotates, it's time for a battle!
Normal Battle I
Just a regular ol' Mountain Ape. Pretty common up in the Crestlands.
The meat of Octopath's battle system is breaking and boosting. There are six weapon types and six elements, and enemies will be weak to some variety of them.
Monsters start out with no weaknesses exposed, so you have to smack 'em with different stuff until you expose them. Hitting a monster with a weakness depletes their shields.
To start with, Temenos has a basic heal-all spell and a single-target light spell. We'll unlock more after we finish this chapter, because I forgot to grind to unlock skill access first.
Once you deplete the foe's shields, it's broken and loses its next turn (as well as its current turn if it hasn't acted yet, making turn order management very valuable).
Boosting gives you more attacks and powers up your skills. Boosting is a great way to shred through shields, as with regular physical attacks you can do up to four hits with one attack. Of course, that's generally wasteful.
The flow of combat encourages saving up your boost points until a foe is broken, then use them to deliver a powerful attack. Of course, this is a lot easier said than done, especially for boss fights, but then that's part of the fun of this system.
You get little bonuses based on how well you do in combat. EXP is for levels (and leveling up is a full heal for that character, handy early on), JP unlocks skills, and leaves is your money.
We can ill afford to dawdle. The beasts grow in number at night.
Then we must steel ourselves and proceed with caution.
Haha... You're a stalwart companion. The Sanctum Knights are handpicked from among the church's best.
Hm... Did my eyes deceive me? During that last fight, I was certain...
Wha--! Why, that's preposterous!
Then my eyes deceived me, and I meant no disrespect.
V-very good! You'll not catch me hiding, sir.
Haha... Now then, let us be off.
So Crick basically went from a NPC companion to a full-fledged party member. There's a few such party members that will show up for some Chapter 1 stories, though after those it'll just be the main eight.
These characters generally aren't exciting, having several skills and generic equipment. Crick serves as a physical tank and complements Temenos well in battle.
The devs really upped their game for OT2. The scenery is much more dynamic and willing to show large views and varied landscapes. OT1 looked great, but most of its environments were very samey, which was especially noticeable in dungeons. These screenshots can't really do it justice, though that's certainly not going to stop me from trying.
Nuts give permanent stat boosts. It's a percentage increase based on a character's base stats, so you'll get more bang for your buck if you give, say, a E.Def-boosting nut to Temenos than a P.Atk one. Of course I just forget to use them and I'll likely forget to use them again for this game.
Crick attacks with a sword, and his abilities include a powerful sword attack that gives a debuff to reduce Elemental Defense (which again, works great with Temenos), a skill to buff Crick's Physical Defense, and the ability to intercecpt a physical attack targeting Temenos.
They look pretty nice, too!
There's now little docks scattered around the world.
It just shows where you can move in water. Your characters have boats just pop out of thin air because, hey, why not.
A lot of accessories boost stats. "Ring" is the first tier of this type of accessory, and "Stimulating" boosts Max SP, in this case by 30. Very nice for Temenos to have.
I also run into a Rockadillo. Nothing exciting, though.
It's not that long a trek, and soon enough we reach the Cathedral.
I beg you, cease calling me a lamb of any sort! My name is Crick, and you would do well to remember it!
My apologies, Crick.
As I said, here we are. The Order of the Sacred Flame's cathedral.
Sure why not
Hm? This is certainly strange... It's locked.
Would you be so kind as to open the door? I fear I shall catch a sickness.
I must say, I'm beginning to doubt you're the inquisitor at all!
And yes, he himself told me to meet him here this evening. Perhaps something's gone wrong.
Oh dear... But so be it. We'll just have to think of another way to get inside.
Have you hit upon one?
...Hm? Can you hear me?
Is everything quite all right? You looked dead on your feet!
My apologies. I cannot help but concentrate quite deeply when I ponder a problem. A bad habit, I admit. Haha.
The cathedral underwent significant repairs two years ago. Surely those who assisted with the repairs still live here.
Interrogating!? What are you planning to do to them?
Yes, Temenos's night action is to beat the information out of people.
This man seems rather knowledgeable about the cathedral.
Let's beat him until he sings.
Unlike most battles with NPCs, our goal is not to defeat them. In fact, we can't. Instead, we have to break their shields.
Fortunately, this historian has a weakness to bludgeoning.
Alas, he's just an ordinary historian of religious studies. I guess we didn't need to beat that information out of him after all!
Soulstones deal damage of that element to the entire enemy party. There's bigger varieties that do solid damage as well. Handy for breaking a weakness in a pinch, or to take out certain enemies that may flee before you have time to really do some damage.
Looks like we've obtained the information we needed!
Oho, the smaller building east of the cathedral hides a subterranean passage no longer in use. Blessings of the Sacred Flame unto you, Vados, for this gift.
Truly a kindness Vados has paid us this fine evening.
The path is open, Crick!
I did as the scriptures bade, Crick. I used the flame vested in me to open the way forward.
The pontiff chooses us. It's quite simple, really.
I am overcome with unease...
Also I am glad I can properly back up my saves now. Granted I had no issues with OT1, but you never know when you'll want to revisit a previous update to check something or whatever.
At any rate, this seems like as good a place as any to end the update. We've certainly obtained enough information for one day!
...Alright just one more.
OK now we're done.
Next time, we infiltrate the cathedral and visit who I'm sure will be a safe and relaxed Pontiff.