Every character you can play as in Octopath Traveler 2 is great in their own way. We had to rank them, of course.
The fact that there are no weak links in Octopath Traveler 2’s main cast is one of our favorite things about it. Even in the large cast of secondary characters, there are a lot of good people, but the eight travelers are all winners. Of course, everyone has their own opinion, but we think this is a big change from the first game, where none of the playable characters were terrible but only a few really stood out.
That being said, ranking things is a “thing” around here. The main characters of a story-driven role-playing game make a great list, so we’ll do our best to do all eight of them justice.
If you didn’t read the intro, let us say again that we like all of the main characters in Octopath Traveler 2. Agnea stands for hope and having faith in yourself no matter what. Agnea is a country girl who dreams of living in the big city. She wants to be a star like her late mother and make people smile all over the world. We like how selfless her goal is and how, through song and dance, she wants to be with her mom again in some way.
The way Agnea doesn’t understand how the rest of the world works is done with a lot of charm. She never seems stupid, just out of place, and she can give people who are used to being unhappy a new point of view and a happy attitude. The only thing we don’t like about Agnea’s story is that it’s almost too sweet. Even though her first two chapters are good, it could be said that they have too much sweetness.
Castti is more than meets the trope-eye, just like Agnea. She, in particular, might start off on the wrong foot for many veterans of Japanese role-playing games. Amnesia as a plot point has been done to death in the genre, and it’s rarely done well.
Thankfully, the writers of Octopath Traveler 2 are able to go against the grain. As the apothecary gets her memories back, she does so to the tune of interesting chapter stories. Her unwavering commitment to the way of the healer is a theme that shows a lot about her personality, even though she has lost her memories. In Castti’s chapters, other characters often call her a “mother hen,” and they tease her about it. Even Ochette, who is also a main character, joins in the teasing.
Castti is a healer who cares about everyone around her. She works hard at what she does. One thing we would have liked to see more of was the woman outside of her role. Castti’s writing is rigidly plot-driven, if you will, so we never learn more about her than that she is a doctor.
Hikari’s story about the war hits all of the right notes. His process for growing as a person works just as well. The kind-hearted prince who loses everything and has to look all over the world for inner strength and new friends is a story that you can pretty much figure out how it will end. Hikari’s story is pretty straightforward, but there is one interesting twist that has to do with, let’s just say, some inner demons he has to fight.
It’s told well, though. Even better, a late-game revelation changes the way it all fits together. But Hikari isn’t as good as it could be because it uses the same refrain too often and has a plot that has been done before. You see, Hikari “fights for his friends.” People who have played a lot of JRPGs may be groaning again. The phrase is just so overused in this medium, and it’s a shame that many of the best parts of this warrior’s story are broken up by similar bits of dialogue.
We are, without a doubt, being picky. Hikari is a nice guy with a mission that makes it easy to support him. But his script would have been much better if it had been a little more interesting.
The thing about Osvald is that his best storytelling skill might also be his biggest flaw. The story of Osvald is a sad one. It is about a clever, middle-aged scientist who lost his family because of the whims of a megalomaniac. We start many years into his time in prison, in a prison that looks like hell and is full of corruption. The dark tone of Osvald’s chapters never goes away. In fact, by the end, they are even darker than they were at the beginning.
With Osvald being so distant around other people but brilliantly scientific and precise in his own mind, everything comes together to make a compelling travelog about a man who will do anything to get his own justice. Here’s the problem: everything about Osvald is so dark that it’s almost all the same. For most of the story’s length, there aren’t many scenes where Osvald can talk to someone who isn’t a murderer with a mental illness or (at best) so self-centered that it’s disgusting.
It makes sense. Our smart guy isn’t going to waste time at a comedy club when he could be getting revenge. But can you imagine?
We’re running out of good reasons to give ranks to great characters at this point. Temenos’s sarcasm is funny on its own, but the way the story is written gives it a lot of chances to work well with his new friend, Crick. Their relationship is one of the best in a game full of great relationships, but Temenos’s tendency toward shaky wit never gets old, even when Crick isn’t around.
The story of Temenos is also one of the best in Slope Game. Sure, “The religion in this story might be evil!” is a tired line, but the Church of the Sacred Flame is full of people whose morals are all over the place, just like the many hundreds of NPCs whose profiles can be read. There are bad people in the Sanctum, but the sect as a whole doesn’t get a bad rap, which is nice.
Ochette plays the role of the outsider, which is common in sci-fi but still quite common in fantasy. She looks into the lives of the rest of the cast (or, since this is an Octopath Traveler game, mostly a bunch of NPCs and sometimes the main cast) and makes value judgments and puzzled reactions that only a cultural outsider can. Ochette is a beastling. She was born and raised on an island where people are often dangerous. Still, Ochette is happy to meet a lot of us, bless her, and she gets along well with the best of us.
One of Octopath Traveler 2’s best tricks is Ochette’s emotional chord, which plays over and over again. Beastlings only hunt for food and never for fun. Their whole society is based on the idea that you should only take what you need, while humans do the opposite. She always gives us a look into the mind of someone who doesn’t understand why people do bad things. Ochette’s confusion and happy personality bounce off whatever pet you choose for her in a way that is pretty accurate.
No other path is like Throné’s, no matter how bad Osvald’s can be. With each chapter, it feels like you’re getting a little closer to hell. Maybe that doesn’t sound very good. It is possible to have too much darkness. But that’s a relative statement, right? The bitterness of Throné’s plot and of Throné herself is just right for telling the story of a woman whose life has been so hard.
It’s easy to get caught up in Throné, to worry about what bad thing she’ll run into next on her way to freedom, and to wonder if she’ll ever reach that freedom. Her own choices seem to be tied to a bigger plan in an uncomfortable way. Because of how evil this plan is and how full it is, poor Throné comes across as a very sympathetic character who steals her scenes as easily as a wallet. This thief is very interesting.
The best character in Octopath Traveler 2 is like the sun, while the second-best character is like the rain. Partitio is a really nice guy who wants to do right by everyone around him. He also has a strong desire to help get a world with a lot of problems, like ours, out of the boring trenches of mass poverty. Partitio is a master merchant who knows how to make a good deal. However, he is much more interested in proving that a person’s true worth cannot be measured in money.
Partitio has all the natural sales skills and forceful cunning he needs to take all the money from two continents and rule over the people like a king. But he never loses sight of his beliefs. Because of this, his whole story is about showing a cruel businessman that there’s more to life than money. Wherever he goes, Partitio makes friends with both the rich and the poor. His story may feel the most disconnected from Octopath Traveler 2’s main plot, but that just shows that he could have been the main character in a game all on his own.
All of that, and he’s pretty much the opposite of Hikari. Not a single line his voice actor says sounds like a cliche. Partner, Partitio might even teach you a few painfully funny metaphors that you can use for the rest of your life.