5 ways to be a jerk in Octopath Traveler, just because you can


Here are five ways — outside of sidequests and plots — where you can create mischief and act like a jerk in Octopath Traveler.

Octopath’s retro-style art brings me back in time to my childhood, when my imagination was so strong, no amount of ambiguity in graphics could distract me from the epic story at hand. This imagination also made small details in games, like speaking to villagers, that much more fun. I could imagine much better was really going on than the game programmers probably intended. I remember speaking to and naming all characters, giving them backstories, and piecing together history.

Octopath has done a lot of work for you in this regard. Every inconsequential character has a title and a story. It’s not a sandbox style game, so as open and inviting to exploration as it is, it’s not a playground to experiment too much on. But if you are creative enough you can still find amusing little stories to create.

My husband and I always split one player campaigns between the two of us, meaning, that if he isn’t available, I cannot continue on with anything plot related. So this gives me time to mess around with the in-game characters, and in the end, play with fun ways to just be a jerk.

In Octopath, the eight characters share four special skills that can be used on any villager with a thought bubble over their head. You can challenge them to a duel, lead them on your journey and into battle, get their personal items, or get more of their backstory for information.

You can argue that two of these skills alone makes you a jerk, (stealing and fighting). But if you interplay these skills carefully, you make up your own narratives that really mess with the characters, such as…

1. Luring bored housewives away from their children

There are various mothers hanging around their children in the game. In Sunshade, one mother accompanies her sickly young daughter, who dreams of being a scantily clad tavern dancer. They have a very brief cutscene, and then you can use the inquire skills on them to learn more. After that, it’s up to you to pursue what I imagine to be this scene:

It’s another hot, sunny day in Sunshade. Her sickly daughter stumbles along on their walk, coughing meekly. Her babyish, brown eyes look to the pretty dancer standing there, with her entourage. “Mommy,” she says, “I can’t wait to grow up and be a dancer!”

The mother cringes in sorrow. Oh, if only she could see her daughter so full of vigor! Of course, maybe as something more proper and modest than a tavern dancer, but even so…

“Admit it,” the dancer Primrose approaches the mother, “Wouldn’t you like to spend some time with me?”

“You know what,” the mother says, “Yeah! Why wait for this kid to get better when you can dance right now? Let’s go!”

And so the sickly child is abandoned to fend for herself, forever resenting the dream she once had, vowing to end their lecherous temptations and ban dancing from Sunshade.

2. Putting merchants out of business

Ah yes, much less elaborate than the rest, and even part of a main quest, but it can be done over and over again. Stealing a Merchant’s livelihood right out from under their noses, that is. Don’t let Tressa look!

“Ah!” the cloaked merchant thought to himself. “I have finally made it to Noblecourt from the desert town of Sunshade! What fine weather, much cooler than the desert heat. It’s a miracle my ultra-filtered Fiji water — I mean Sunshade water — didn’t evaporate on the trip over here! In fact, transporting it this far is a tremendous amount of work, which is why I can only do the trip so many times and I must charge enough to cover my yearly living expenses.”

The man sets up a stall, calling out to customers, “Come and get it! So pure!” he advertises. Several people line up to inspect his merchandise.

“Where is it?” one asks.

The merchant looks at his table. Then he checks his pockets, his satchel, everything.

Yup, it’s gone. You took it for free. The Merchant thinks he can see a caped, white-haired thief skipping away, giggling with glee.

Octopath Traveler screenshot. Image via Nintendo/Square Enix.

3. Foil their plans

In every town, some doorways are guarded by their homeowners. But this cannot stop you! You will double-rob these people, with Therion pickpocketing, then dueling them into submission so you can trespass and open their precious treasure chests! But always use Inquire or Scrutinize to get the extra satisfaction from doing so.

It’s a bitter cold day in Flamesgrace. The object of her obsession, the foreign merchant, hates this bitter cold. He never stops planning to escape it. He wonders how he is still here after a year. She guards the doorway so that he cannot leave. This is why she cannot sleep. She just knows he’ll leave her once her guard is down!

Desperate to get some rest, she collects some sleepweed and sleepweed powder to slip into the handsome Merchant’s drink. It’s the perfect plan. Now he’ll be hers forever!

Until one day, a handsome scholar named Cyrus comes to speak to her. She doesn’t notice his scrutiny, or that he has found out her terrible secret.

“Hey!” She shouts at his friends, just noticing her pockets feel lighter, “You stole all my roofies!” She accuses Therion, who, of course, is laughing with guilty pleasure.

A tall, strong man named Olberic stands up to her. “This is my traveling companion’s honor! Let’s duel!”

“Wait, I’m really no match for — AUGH!”

Stars swirl all around, as she watches the squad run into her home. On their way out she glimpses at her treasure chest belongings, and her handsome merchant following that saintly Ophelia on her pilgrimage, lost to her forever.

Looks like in this case, being a jerk actually saved the day.

4. Just totally ruin Sundays

Any of these interactions are instantly inappropriate in a church, especially during a service, wouldn’t you say? Try challenging the Priest attempting to give a sermon by inquiring personal questions, or challenge one of the nun-like acolytes to a duel. Lure churchgoers away with your seductive wiles.

“Hey, like this church?” Sister Ophelia walks up to the alter of Flamesgrace cathedral and addresses the minister.

“Um, yes? Clearly!” he responds, his eyes darting between her and the congregation, staring blankly at him and the sacred flame.

“Well, I’ve got a better religion! Come follow me!”

“But, I’m in the middle of –“

“Mine is better!” she assures him.

“Well, okay! So long, suckers! Mass has ended!”

As the lost sheep watch the man run off, a peppy voice chirps: “I should do business in the Temple!”

Tressa, committing even more sacrilege, offers money to the congregants for their items.
However, all their stuff has gone, and no one passed around the collection plate yet. Therion, that scoundrel, laughs and slips away. Then H’aanit knocks all of them out for good measure.

Octopath Traveler screenshot. Image via Nintendo/Square Enix.

5. Beat up villagers with their own sentimentality

Often with Inquire or Scrutinize, you gain some insight into the items you are buying or stealing from villagers. It adds another layer of narrative to the characters and to your actions should you choose to proceed with obtaining their items.

It’s another beautiful day in Rippletide, the kind her departed husband would have loved. Young Tressa, a promising merchant approaches her to buy his spear. “Oh no dear, I’m just not ready to part with it yet,” the old woman tells her.

Sympathetic and interested, her traveling companion inquires about the spear and her husband. Being lonely, she opens up to the kindly apothecary who listens well to her tale. She just can’t bear to part with the spear her husband carried. It’s all she has left of him.

She thanks the young Alfyn and Tressa and goes about her day telling passersby there’s a cave outside of town. Then she hears a mischievous chuckle.

What’s this? “The spear!” she wails, noticing it is gone. She looks around and sees that jerk, Therion, laughing!

“Looking for this?” Olberic confronts her, brandishing the spear, “I’ll be using this, to fight you!”

Challenged to a duel with her own dead husband’s weapon! How cruel can they be? Well, she isn’t going to take this lying down.

“Sonny, respect your elders!” She shouts at Olberic, laying a solid punch on him. He’s sent to the ground.

“A regrettable outcome,” he grumbles.

She shakes her fist in the sky as the shopaholic Tressa, klepto Therion, brutes Olberic and H’aanit, seductive Primrose, nosey Cyrus and Alfyn, and pious Ophelia along with a zealous merchant and unfit mother run away to continue their adventures.

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You can play Octopath now, available here.