It can't be far now...
Time to find the lost girl.
And build our monster collection along the way. Sadly, this thing's HP recovery is horrible, significantly less than a cheap grape, so it's only worth it for the consumable.
Time to check out Ochette's skills!
Precise Shot - Select 2+BP foes to attack with a bow. Each hit seems a bit stronger than a regular bow attack, but the main draw is the extra hit and that you can spread these hits out to any enemies you choose. Great against bow weaknesses, and even beyond that it's a good damage dealing skill that lets you manage groups however you want. Solid skill.
Thunderbird - Deal lightning damage to a single foe. Your bog-standard elemental attack, though the Hunter doesn't have the best E.Atk.
Cleaving Blow - Axe attack on a single enemy, and grants the user buffs based on the foe's type for 3 turns. I believe BP only affects damage, not buff duration. The buff is situationally useful, as you may expect, but the main draw is the damage, as it's the Hunter's most powerful non-Divine attack, so it's usually worth using anyway.
Mercy Strike - Unleash a bow attack on a single foe. Otherwise lethal attacks will instead leave the target with 1HP. Obviously, this is mainly useful for capturing monsters (it technically helps with Steal/Collect chances too, but you would never use this skill for those), and even then it's probably a waste of a skill.
Take Aim - Raise the critical rate and accuracy of all allies for 2+(2*BP) turns. The nice thing is this affects the entire party, which is good because crit and accuracy are the two least-essential stats to buff. Might be nice for physical attackers punching above their level, but not really useful enough to be great besides to fill a turn or so.
Leghold Trap - Cause a single foe to act at the end of the turn for 2+(2*BP) turns. This does not apply to a foe going first post-Break. In OT1 this was one of the best debuffs around and arguably the sole reason to use Hunter besides shredding bow weaknesses, and in OT2 it's still the defining Hunter skill. The power of making boss fights significantly more predictable is massive, letting you more effectively execute strategies instead of adapting to what the foe is doing. Fantastic skill.
Abating Orb - Nullify 1+BP of a single foe's buffs. Situationally useful, but considering how very effective certain buffs can be foe enemies, this can be a lifesaver and is one of those "change the course of battles" type of abilities.
Divine Skill: Draefendi's Bow - Unleash a powerful bow attack on all foes three times. Fantastic for groups of foes, and still powerful enough to be worth using on single-target bosses. It's a really powerful AoE attack, hard to go wrong with that!
Heighten Senses - Gain a 10% increased chance of attack first in battle. Multiple instances of this ability add nothing. A filler ability for randoms so you can hopefully clear them out faster, though it might be useful for grinding, particularly if you're hunting for annoying foes like Caits. Otherwise, meh.
Eagle Eye - Increases the critical of the equipped character by 50. Crit isn't really that useful a stat to stack, so this is arguably the worst of the "buff stat" passives, which in themselves are filler to begin with.
More Rare Monsters - Raises the chance of encountering rare monsters. Multiple instances of this ability add nothing. Not sure how much of an effect this has, but if you're hunting rare monsters to farm monster captures and item steals, this can't hurt with that.
Salt the Wound - The equipping character has a 50% chance of acting twice when breaking a foe. This will not trigger in succession. Again, breaking foes is usually more a matter of who has the best opportunity to break a foe rather than planning for a certain character to break said foe, and having it be a coin flip hurts as well. Might arguably be useful for tough fights if you have nothing better to use, but chances are you will.
Considering I don't really need Leghold Trap or Abating Orb yet, that leaves Cleaving Blow as the only good choice for now.
Considering how Ochette favors the bow, this is a nice get.
Also sometimes we'll just find random monster materials scattered about, because why not.
I cull my duplicate monsters and venture forth.
No need to cry anymore. I'm here to rescue you.
I wouldn't worry about the details.
But everyone says not to make friends with beastlings.
Ochette has found the lost girl, but she's reluctant to follow home. What to do?
The answer is to bribe her with food, of course.
...Maybe this part of the story could've used another pass, just for the sake of optics.
Right!? A hunk of jerky makes everything better.
Hee hee... You think?
Nothing better to bond over than food!
Some gusts of wind catches Ochette's attention.
(What can that be? It doesn't feel friendly...)
In a nice twist, there's no boss in these ruins. Ochette and company just...leave.
Wh-what is it? I'm scared...
The night is here.
"Flee this place. Get far away."
You can tell what the birds are saying?
The forest is calling...
What exactly is coming?
It's eerie out. Silent, the forest full of fear...
Once we reach here, we have a random encounter. Except...
Is that what the islebirds were anxious about? This monster?
This isn't like any creature we've seen to this point, in any of our adventures.
It's so mysterious, we can't even capture it.
Fortunately, odd or not, it's still of little threat to Ochette.
Nothing to do but go forward...
What happened here!?
Fighting monster. Still fighting...
No time to waste.
Unless you want to spend actual money on stuff real quick, that's totally fine.
What...is that monster?
So, the change in the island was your doing...
Could it be a harbinger of...the coming night? No... Surely not...
Ochette... Flee... It's too strong.
In Pursuit of Legends
And whatever this is, it hurt the villagers.
Video: Boss - Dark Entity
Critical Clash I
Now to fight whatever this abomination is.
Of course, this isn't going to be easy.
So it turns out using Cleaving Blow on this foe buffs our P.Atk, which is best-case scenario. It's worth using even unboosted just for that buff.
This foe naturally prefers physical attacks mixed with dark magic.
We manage to put some hurt on it early on.
Of course, it's not alone. Those weird creatures from before join in.
Jerky heals 300HP and 20SP. Pretty nice for a half-grape/half-plum consumable, and it's more than enough for this fight.
These creatures don't hit hard, but they're still distractions better off eliminated.
Right now, our only crowd control is Precise Shot, which is enough to break all of them, but not enough to do much else. If I had bothered to recruit a companion or capture a monster that does AoE damage, I could take better advantage of this.
Especially since this entity will not hesitate to eat its own to strengthen itself.
The entity's powerful attack is a nasty dark attack that deals over half of Ochette's Max HP. Honestly I'm lucky I didn't wipe after this.
It brings in more adds, but this time I've got the BP to eliminate them outright, using two shots on two of them for kills and the last shot to break the third.
Oof...That thing's...tougher than I thought...
What's that? You're just getting started? Good to hear.
This thing won't stop bringing in more adds.
Fortunately, this lets Ochette get right into Latent range.
Animal Instincts is Ochette's Latent Ability, and it's three special skills she can use with no extra cost. Beastly Fangs does huge physical damage on a foe, Beastly Claws does huge physical damage to all foes, and Beastly Howl both debuffs all foes' P.Def and E.Def, and also reduces their shield points.
Beastly Claws comes in at the perfect time to handle these adds.
And, it turns out, the dark entity itself.
Whatever shadow of consciousness that creature may have had fades away with the wind.
For now, the crisis is over.
A greater calamity approaches our island, even as we speak...
The Scarlet Moon...?
This night brings disaster and destruction for the island. So the legends say.
Follow me, Ochette... I must show you something.
But before we can do so...
And you, the Warden's chosen hunter.
Did you come all this way to offer mere flattery?
No. To offer thanks.
I am in your debt, O Warden. Consider our quarrel over territory settled.
Uh...alright then, I guess.
It is their greed talking, Ochette. There is no point in engaging them.
North from where we found the little girl from earlier is the room where Ochette first befriended her companion. But this time, something else stands out...
The three creatures
watched over the island for many years
before departing to become guardians of other lands.
It is an old, old legend. But it appears to be on the verge of coming true.
And yet...it cannot be borne by any other than you.
The island must be prepared...to face this peril...by gathering...
What!? But, Master Juvah! If I leave the island, where will everyone get their food?
We will manage somehow.
The moment I saw you, as a newborn babe...I heard the voice of my heart.
I trusted that voice...and raised you to be a hunter.
I'll do it. I'll find those Creatures of Legend and bring them back.
Spoken like...a true apprentice of mine...
I grow weary... I must rest now...
Alas, Juvah has succumbed to his wounds...
...but mostly just exhaustion. He just had a fierce fight and then had to walk all the way over here, I think he earned a nap.
Video: In Search of Legends
I guess my only clue is that frieze.
Ochette, the Hunter
I'm starting to look forward to this...
I'm getting excited myself!
Heh heh heh! Right!?
Be well. Come back.
Thank you, everybody.
I'll be back, don't worry. And I'll bring all three of the Creatures of Legend.
And so we've begun another of our journeys.
We're seven strong, with just one more to go. After we clear up a couple more side stories, we will recruit our last member and finally become proper Octopath Travelers. Until next time!