Part 170: For Freedom
Here's my party. Ophilia and Tressa are among my lowest-level characters, and Alfyn because, well, come on, of course Alfyn would be here.
Music: Beneath the Surface
This abandoned church certainly feels lived-in, which makes sense as a hideout for thieves.
Most of the enemies are ones we've seen before, though these bats will inflict Sleep.
The Enchanted Sword is only a bit weaker than the Dragon Saber, but also gives a decent chunk of ElemAtk and even a slight Crit bonus. It pales to other ElemAtk weapons, but it's the best you're gonna get from a sword, so it's still useful.
Brigand Leaders love boosting their speed, but otherwise their only thing of note is being a handy source of Refreshing Jam. I got eight or so of these thanks to Therion's support doubling stolen items.
There's a cute puzzle here, where obviously you might feel you should check for hidden passages, which of course there's one that leads to another treasure. However, you can do this again for a third treasure.
None of which are really important, but I like that sorta curveball there.
Otherwise, there's little else of note, so let's jump right to the main event.
Video: A Reason for Fighting
I still don't get why Darius is after the dragonstones, though...
Music: Pure Evil
I didn't think you had it in you to come this far. You must really want that bangle gone.
But I'm not here for me anymore.
Well then, who are you here for?
What happened to those minces I saw in Wellspring? They were broken, hopeless, defeated!
Don't make me laugh! You'll just be betrayed again!
You're right. I might.
Do you know what happens when you trust others!?
That's how I got to where I am today. I used you to get what I wanted, and now I own this whole town!
...Right, "Lord Darius."
Music: For Freedom
...Maybe I am a fool. But trust is a sentiment I want to believe in.
Video: Boss - Darius
Music: Battle at Journeys End
As you may expect, the final boss of Therion's tale is none other than Darius, the man who betrayed him so many years ago.
What you may not expect, however...
Trust is the first step toward betrayal. We're shadows in the night, you and I. We have nothing to gain from trust.
We're parasites--stealing from others to keep ourselves going. But Darius...
This is one of only two fights in the game to have actual dialogue. Appropriately enough, the second one is the one we've yet to see, though oddly that one is voiced while this one is just text...
On to the actual fight. The first goal, as usual, is to find weaknesses.
Darius is a thief, and has many of the same skills as Therion, such as Steal HP and Steal SP. However, he's got a few more tricks up his sleeve, including the ability to "steal" our items.
Naturally, we can't use items (including Concoct!) until we break Darius.
Fortunately, I put Alfyn in as a Scholar with Analyze, so finding his weaknesses is easier than usual for these Cyrus-less Chapter 4 fights.
He's got a weakness to Wind, and that's something I intend to exploit.
As I usually do with Therion, I go with an Evasion build, which works wonderfully here. Darius's attacks aren't entirely physical, but he only has two elemental attacks so he may as well be your standard physical powerhouse.
I break Darius and get my items back. That said, I hold back for this fight, partly because we're not quite done with dialogue.
But for all your skills, there was always someone making more. I suppose that's the price of having a soft heart.
I guess the rich and hard-hearted made better company than I did.
You know I can't hold a candle to your skills as a tea leaf. So I had to do whatever it took to survive.
While Therion trusted in his own skills, Darius exploited every possible avenue he could and was willing to burn bridges to survive. And look how far it's got him! Though that's about to all come tumbling down...
Post-break, Darius gains shields and locks random weaknesses, though at least his weaknesses don't change like other bosses.
Otherwise, it's mediocre physicals and annoying attacks and debuffs like Nighthawk, which reduces both physical stats.
I have no qualms collecting from a thief. Then again, I have no qualms collecting from anything I fight.
Darius really is a thief, as a lot of his moves (Steal HP/SP and Will o' Wisp) mimick Therion's skillset (with Will o' Wisp being Darius's version of Wildfire). I didn't see them trigger, but Darius also can steal BP and use Hellfire to inflict fire damage to the entire party.
I'm pretty sure this is vendor fodder, but this is more iconic than useful considering pretty much all of Therion's artwork involves him stealing or carrying apples. It all comes full circle, I guess.
On to a more annoying locking of weaknesses...
You lived in fear of being betrayed, so you were always the betrayer.
I'm not afraid! I used you and disposed of you because I knew I could do it Jack Jones!
I believe this is the last of the dialogue, but I'm not sure since I can't find sources that show all such dialogue.
Once he gets low enough in HP, Darius gains a third turn each round.
And this signals his ultimate attack, and it's certainly a unique and appropriate one...
That's right, Darius has stolen your allies. If Therion dies here, it's game over. It's up to Therion, and Therion alone, to break Darius so he can bring his allies back.
Which...isn't that difficult since he was down to one shield and was vulnerable to daggers.
At this point, I find out one more hit will kill him, so...
...naturally, Therion gets the honors.
Video: Farewell, Partner
What was it that you wanted? Did you get it...after you betrayed me?
Hah... You're so predictable, Therion...
It was fine if nobody believed in me... As long as I could keep climbing, I didn't need anybody else!
And while he may not have gotten the answers he wanted, Therion finally has his closure with Darius. He can move on and live his new life with people who believe in him.
And as for Darius...
This, and this, and this! All of it...it's all mine!
Traitors? Hah! Tha' requires loyalty firs'. We're only 'ere for yer money.
Exactly. Gareth was probably th' only one who gave a damn about yer.
Look a' all this money! And it's all ours now! Ahahaha!
So, the problem with betraying everyone you meet? Eventually others will betray you when you're most vulnerable. Darius was leading these men through fear, but now that he's wounded and vulnerable, they're all too happy to take advantage of the situation.
And so Darius dies in the depths of the church, unknown and unloved. In the end, he has nothing, and nobody to save him.
It's a cold way to kill anyone, even the chapter's big villain, and I appreciate how bold they go in Darius's death here.
Video: The Dragonstones
Music: Enveloped in Kindness
I'm getting too old for adventures like this. Perhaps it's time I started acting my age...
I'm so happy to see you back safely.
I apologize if I made you worry.
I can't thank you enough.
Heathcote, the key, please.
A key won't be necessary, m'lady.
What do you mean?
I discreetly unlocked it when you first suggested it.
That was ages ago!
Would it matter at this point?
It wasn't just about the band, of course. This whole journey was about recovering his pride after being humiliated. Even if he knew he could get the band off, he wouldn't have until he fulfilled his end of the bargain. He may be a thief, but there's some semblence of honor within him.
Darius said they could grant him some great power...
Allow me to answer in your stead, Miss Ravus.
And that is...?
It may sound like a mere fairy tale, and yet--
Darius believed it.
I cannot say for sure. But whether or not its power or the gate exists...
The dragonstones giving Darius power would make sense. They certainly had driven some madness into Orlick, and those thieves seemed oddly loyal to Darius right until Therion recovered those Dragonstones, at which point they were all-too-happy to immediately betray him. Of course, again, that could simply be a coincidence as that also happened to be the first time they probably saw Darius as vulnerable enough to overtake.
Once again we come back to this Gate of Finis... A power to change the world, but for good or bad...? What's the connection with all of this?
Of course it doesn't. Your promise to the Ravus family has been fulfilled.
No, of course not.
She simply came to see you off.
You don't need to do that.
You left before I could properly thank you.
But you risked your life to see them restored, and for that you have my eternal gratitude.
I don't need thanks. Like I said, I was just fulfilling my half of a deal.
Even still, the fact that you helped me is undeniable.
Music: Therion, the Thief
Where will you go?
So it's a wanderer's life for you, then?
More or less.
(Click here for larger version)
And so ends Therion's tale, and with that we are nearly finished with the main stories of Octopath Traveler. Only one character remains, as we follow Ophilia to Wispermill to recover Aelfric's Flame and save her sister from the darkness that seems to have consumed her.
But before that, of course, we have another town to explore and more side stories to take care of, which we will do next time!