Octopath Traveler: All Characters RANKED! (by Story)

Octopath Traveler: All Characters RANKED! (by Story)

Octopath Traveler is one of the most fun and unique RPGs when it comes to how the stories are told, and each story is unique and profound in its own way. From a vengeance story to a light-hearted story about money, there is a vast array of tales in this game. Now without further ado, RPG Ranked presents... Octopath Traveler: All Characters RANKED! (By Story).

8. H'aanit - C Tier

H'aanit the Hunter starts her journey in a small forest town, with the first chapter introducing the player to H'aanit's deep connection with her master. The atmosphere is great, with the music and location setting the tone for what could have been a phenomenal story.  She meets awesome people along the way like Susanna and Aliac and she soon unravels the horrifying tale of what happened to her master. However, it soon becomes evident that this story is nothing but a four chapter long fetch quest to save the master that H'aanit holds so near and dear to her heart. The first chapter? Go to a forest, fight a beast, retrieve an item. The second chapter? Go to a different forest, fight a different beast, retrieve a different item. The third chapter? Rinse and repeat. The fourth chapter? Oh. We get to go to a cave instead of a forest. What a novel idea. I literally was feeling déjà vu playing these stories, and that is not a good sign. Her first three chapters were just so formulaic, and while they were made slightly better by their NPCs, those encounters weren't enough for me to truly enjoy H'aanit's story. The only thing saving H'aanit's storyline from the D or F tiers? Her pretty solid Chapter 4, which somehow ended up being one of my favorite final chapters in the game! This fourth chapter is able to elevate the emotional weight and the personal stakes for H'aanit, as well as adding an element of suspense with Redeye, who isn't just another generic beast this time around! In fact, Redeye is my favorite boss in Octopath Traveler, so that is truly saying a lot! Her emotional reunion with her master is also one of the best moments in the whole game, even if the journey to get to that reunion was incredibly mundane. While I still like fifteen chapters better than H'aanit's Chapter 4, I still really like it, and this phenomenal chapter is enough to save H'aanit from having a D or F Tier story in my eyes. Overall, even though H'aanit is my second favorite character in Octopath Traveler, her story was easily my least favorite in the game.

7. Therion - C Tier

I think Therion's story is definitely better than H'aanit's, but not by all that much. First of all, Therion is a very mixed bag in terms of his character. People either love him or hate him, and I am definitely in the hate him category—he is my least favorite protagonist in the Octopath Traveler series. He just pisses me off with his smug and untrustworthy world view... which I guess is kind of what they were going for in a way, so they definitely wrote him him well. Therion just wasn't for me, I guess. Outside of his personality, his story definitely had its twists and highlights that set it apart from a generic thief story, but as a whole, it was a rather mediocre story. His second chapter stood out as one of the weakest chapters in the game, feeling like a lackluster rehash of his initial chapter. It sported uninteresting characters and an overly extended fetch quest that brought the chapter down as a whole. His first chapter effectively introduced his character and his motivations in a meaningful way, but the premise of robbing a mansion with goody-two-shoes characters like Tressa or Ophilia just made absolutely no sense and was the biggest plot hole in the series. Whereas the characters in Octopath II might go down a murderous path to save Throné from her horrible life, there is absolutely no justification for why kind-hearted characters would just spontaneously decide to break into a mansion. Luckily, his third and fourth chapters were marginally better. His third chapter includes an engaging stealth portion, an adequately themed black market, and some insights into his backstory, which is nice. However, it lacks the emotional depth I expected for his backstory because, quite frankly, he wasn't a character I really think deserved to survive. His fourth chapter definitely was the standout, with some cool moments like Heathcote's rescue and Darius being betrayed by his own men. However, it still feels entirely unremarkable compared to the game's other final chapters, despite its moments of intrigue and karma-driven twists. Overall, Therion definitely had more consistent quality than H'aanit did, but I still didn't find enough here to call it an above average story.

6. Cyrus - B Tier

Cyrus's story has a lot of great highlights for me, but also some of the game's biggest lows. Chapter 1 starts with an immersive story that really gives us a deep look into Cyrus as a character. It establishes a very compelling idea of this missing book, From The Far Reaches of Hell, and gives us a very intriguing mystery that really captivates the player. However? Like you'll soon discover with all of Cyrus's chapters, I had some problems with this one. Therese was a terrible character. As much as she may have resonated with some for her sense of "realism," I found her to be a contrived and unnecessary character that basically just made Cyrus into a more dorky and oblivious character. While that would've been perfect as a very small plot point, an otherwise great chapter plot became needlessly convoluted when Cyrus was forced out because of his behavior surrounding her. Either 1) this should have just been cut out or 2) he should've found the Far Reaches of Hell book in the next chapter, as it felt weird that he was already going to leave by his own will anyway. I just thought Therese was either not developed enough or just completely unnecessary, and it kind of ruined an otherwise phenomenal chapter for me. His second chapter? It builds a lot of mystery with a missing person's case, and while it has cool ideas, it ultimately boils down to vague dark vampire magic, like something out of Twilight or something. This could've been one of my favorite chapters in the game, but it just missed the mark for me. Chapter 3? I know this chapter is beloved by many, but it was one of my least favorite chapters in the game. It fell very short for me, with a very predictable plot twist, revealing the headmaster to be the villain all along... until he wasn't. It was so odd to have two weak villain plot twists in one chapter, and it just kind of bogged this chapter down. I loved the idea of going out to find who made the spine for this book, it felt quite novel (no pun intended), but it just didn't work much for me in the end. And Chapter 4? This was an awesome chapter. Chapter 4 shined as a fitting conclusion, highlighting a cerebral struggle over knowledge and presenting a unique perspective on the concept of light versus dark—that dark magic is only made dark by the intentions of the person casting it. Despite the very lackluster protagonist, this chapter quite masterfully closed Cyrus's solid (albeit flawed) narrative arc. This dungeon was perhaps my favorite in the game, and the twist of using Scrutinize in the environment was pretty awesome. Really, my only flaws with this chapter were the very poor antagonist and the fact that all that was needed to access the final dungeon was to push a pretty obvious button... like, come on, the developers didn't think this obvious button would pique the curiosity of the surrounding villagers? Jokes aside, Cyrus's story had some huge highs and some lackluster lows, so for me, I unfortunately have to say his story was no higher than B Tier in my eyes.

5. Tressa - B Tier

I feel like everyone can agree that this is the most mediocre of the Octopath Traveler stories. It doesn't do anything phenomenal, but it doesn't do anything offensive. It literally just consistently, well, exists. Her first chapter does a great job of introducing her as a character, showing that her values of being a merchant are not simply making money, but are of exploration and human interaction. It introduces us to my second favorite side character in the series, Captain Leon, who really adds a glimmer of finesse to an otherwise mediocre story (in case you were wondering, Crick is my favorite). While an 18-year-old taking on a band of pirates is iffy at best, it isn't as offensive as Therion's plot hole because, well, Tressa's story never takes itself seriously. After embarking on her journey, Tressa makes it to the mining town of Quarrycrest, where she meets another one of my favorite side characters in the series, Ali. She forms a quick and endearing rivalry with Ali and explores the concept of a monopolized economy. While I would've loved to see a more iron-fisted villain for this chapter that wasn't quite as cartoony, again, it fits with the fun lightheartedness of this story, and Roque does that job phenomenally in Octopath Traveler II. In Chapter 3, we get to delve into the intriguing story of Captain Leon and have one of the most heartfelt stories in the series. Again, there's a small flaw—the boss here sucks. But again, this isn't even a big deal, as it was better than not having a boss, and this chapter really didn't need a boss since that was not a focal point of the chapter. And Chapter 4? Although it has a bad boss with the worst antagonist in the game by far, that was not the focus here. The focus was the fantastic conclusion to Tressa's story with themes of friendship and the true worth of life experience over monetary gain. I thought this was an amazing final chapter, and I can't imagine a better end to her story. I mean, I think it'd be funny if the final boss was Ali and it was like a friendly duel... but it's okay that we didn't get that. Overall, while Tressa's story isn't all that special, it isn't all that bad either. I genuinely enjoyed this story, and I liked it much better than the last three stories on this list. But we aren't even close to talking about the stories that make Octopath Traveler such a special game yet...

4. Ophilia - S Tier

There's a huge gap between Ophilia's story and Tressa's story for me... truly, Octopath Traveler stories are some of my favorites in any RPG I've played, and these next four characters are a testament to why I feel that way. I'll start with the worst Ophilia chapters and move up to my favorite! My least favorite has to be Chapter 2, but I mean, I still enjoyed it. It tells a self-contained story of two young best friends having a youthful falling out and coming back together through the kindness of Ophilia. While this wasn't groundbreaking, it was relatable, and I actually felt quite emotionally connected to this chapter. Sure, it was boring gameplay-wise, but it was pretty powerful as a 16-year-old who isn't all that far removed from this type of falling out. Next is Chapter 3, where Ophilia becomes embroiled in a hostage situation in which Ophilia needs to tackle the weight of having to read a ransom note and save a child from danger. This takes all of what I love of Ophilia and harnesses it to make a simple story into a powerful one. This chapter explores Ophilia's character traits of sacrifice, selflessness, and rational (yet difficult) thinking. And at the end of the chapter comes a banger conclusion in which Ophilia is incapacitated by her loving sister, Lianna, who steals the blue flame of the pilgrimage in an attempt to revive their father. This was a powerful chapter in two different ways, and I really loved it. This was my eleventh favorite chapter in the game... and if a character is in fourth place and their second worst chapter is still hitting the eleventh mark? That's insane. Anyway, I digress. My second favorite chapter of hers is her fourth chapter, a poignant and pay-off-heavy conclusion to Ophilia's awesome story. This chapter displays Ophilia's unwavering commitment to her faith and family, which was incredibly special. I also adored how the game came full circle from Ophilia's first chapter... that was quite simply incredibly executed. And of course, one of my most controversial opinions? Ophilia's first chapter is not only her best chapter, but my second favorite chapter in the whole game. I adored her deep development with her sister and father, and the amount of breathing time we got to see her characterization—something not displayed nearly as well for the majority of the other characters. It begins her pilgrimage and shows her dedication to both her family and religion. This chapter was so emotionally moving for me, and it really put into perspective how much I care for my own sibling. Overall, I loved the familial emotions evoked in Ophilia's chapters, but other stories have more emotional weight and more intriguing stories, so I sadly have to say that Ophilia is only in fourth place.

3. Olberic - S Tier

Olberic's chapters have an amazing mix of action, intrigue, and character. While his Chapter 1 is my least favorite chapter in the game, that doesn't sour my experience with Olberic's story at all. His first chapter is rather mediocre because, quite frankly, I don't give two craps about Phillip. However, the revenge plot against Werner still does a great job of setting the tone for the rest of Olberic's chapters, so I am not really complaining all that much here. His Chapter 2 is full of excitement and by far the most bosses of any chapter in the game! It has an awesome focal point on action and combat prowess, as well as some fun side characters! While his second story is incredible, his third is on a whole new level. This story delves into Olberic's past, exploring his relationship with Erhardt—Olberic's best friend that betrayed him. This chapter adds a huge amount of depth to Olberic's character and grounds his story, adding a more personal motivation for his journey. This is awesome, as the best stories have both grand stakes and personal stakes, and Olberic's story does a phenomenal job of balancing the two. Chapter 4 brings Olberic's story to a thrilling and interesting conclusion, involving a town suffering under Werner's totalitarian regime, an amazing rebellion plot, and high-stakes battles. The presence of Warner adds a huge amount of tension, even if he is a pretty subpar villain in practice. Overall, Olberic's story is phenomenal and his first chapter is really what's holding him back from being any higher on this list. Well, and the fact that the next two characters have some of my favorite RPG storytelling of all time, of course!

2. Primrose - S+ Tier

How could a story centered around a bada** dancer with a quest for vengeance for her father's murder not be awesome? Primrose's story starts with my personal favorite chapter in the game: it introduces Primrose in a very enigmatic way, showing Primrose as first and foremost an entertainer before showing us what's really behind all the glitz and glamour—a deep-seated determination to seek vengeance for her father's death. She spots one of the three men she is hoping to track down and kill, and hence, her journey begins to unfold. This chapter truly sets the tone of her story, showcasing her unwavering resolve and ferocious passion towards what she believes will make everything right again, which is of course, killing the three men who killed her father. And no, this isn't just the Princess Bride all over again, I swear. Players witness her internal turmoil, as well as the sacrifice it takes to kill Helgenish. The sacrifice of her coworker, her good friend. The story continues to stay fantastic in Chapter 2, which explores Primrose using her seductive charm as a means to an end. It highlights her intriguing yet disheartening willingness to make sacrifices that truly dip into a zone of moral ambiguity, as well as displaying the first hints of the hidden agendas of the three that bear the mark of the Crow. After delving deeper into the agendas of these three men, we reach Chapter 3, the turning point of Primrose's arc. This chapter reveals Primrose's true backstory as the princess of House Azelhart, as well as revealing the true main antagonist of Primrose's story. This chapter is full of heart-shattering moments and well-executed twists that captivate the player into instantly playing her final chapter, my third favorite chapter in the game. This chapter displays a rollercoaster of emotions and drama all while taking a very unique approach to video game storytelling through theater. Simeon is an incredible villain because of this unique approach to unraveling Primrose's backstory, as well as stupid motives that somehow work in the context of the narrative. The end of her story is bittersweet yet captivating, as it shows that killing these three men changed absolutely nothing—that no matter what, her father could not come back. Overall, Primrose's four-chapter arc was a masterfully told story—a multifaceted narrative that seamlessly blended revenge, personal growth, and a quest for truth together into one masterful plot amalgamation. I will not deny that her story is objectively the best story in the game, but there's still one story that touched me even more than this one...

1. Alfyn - S+ Tier

The first half of Alfyn's story is full of heart and charm... and the second half is full of deep moral dilemmas and insane plot twists. These two combine together to be, in my eyes, the best story in Octopath Traveler. It starts introducing Alfyn as a person who truly cares about his village, his friends, his hero (who I'll talk about later), et cetera. This sets the stage for his character's unrelenting commitment to help others in need. While this would make him seem like a needlessly perfect character (something Ophilia kind of suffered from), this overabundance of kindness actually is rooted in the foundation of Alfyn's story and is used to twist the story into something much more intriguing than it deserved any right to be. In his second chapter, Alfyn continues to be inspired by his hero. He decides that his best course of action is to become a traveling apothecary, and in doing so, he comes to a town where people are all incredibly sick. Luckily, there's already an apothecary here, so Alfyn has a support system... or does he? It turns out that this apothecary is an evil villain, which is a plot twist I loved (I mean, my favorite book series is The Blackthorn Key, what else could be expected)! But this isn't what makes this an amazing chapter... it is the incredibly well-written friendship between Alfyn and a little girl. This relationship was so sweet and continued to show who Alfyn is, building him up to be a characterized in a way we would question his whole demeanor in the next two chapters of his! The girl saying she would give Alfyn seashells so he could sell them and provide for himself as he traveled the world? One of my favorite character exchanges in Octopath Traveler, and quite frankly, one of my favorite character exchanges in an RPG. Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 tell the story of Alfyn and Ogen, asking the question "is everyone worth saving?" And this is where Alfyn's story goes from great to something truly special. It is hard to even describe how cool this story is. Alfyn wrestling with who he really is versus who he should be? That was a very compelling idea. Where him saving somebody almost led to the death of someone else? Brilliant. And the whole backstory of Ogen and how he should've died for his sins, but Alfyn still decides that he is going to stay true to himself? That was phenomenal. Overall, while Primrose may have the objective best story from a writing and atmospheric perspective, Alfyn has easily my favorite story in Octopath Traveler II.

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