Square Enix’s upcoming role-playing game Octopath Traveler 2 was just one of the many announcements made during the Nintendo Direct livestream event on September 13. Octopath Traveler 2 is a sequel to the 2019 game Octopath Traveler, which told the story of eight characters, each embarking on a journey for different purposes. The original Octopath Traveler received praise for its classic pixel art style, compelling characters, and catchy music. Octopath Traveler 2 will feature eight new characters traveling across a brand-new land called Solistia.
The reveal trailer for Octopath Traveler 2 shows off a mix of new and returning elements. Octopath Traveler 2‘s eight new characters utilize the same eight classes as the original game: Apothecary, Cleric, Dancer, Hunter, Merchant, Scholar, Thief, and Warrior. The turn-based combat system also returns; each class wields different weapons and utilizes different elemental attacks to find and target enemies’ weaknesses. One of the biggest chances is the new realm of Solistia, which is significantly different from Orsterra. Orsterra was primarily a traditional “medieval high fantasy” setting, while Solistia brings in modern elements such as steam trains and large cities.
Orsterra Is a Medieval-Inspired Setting
The continent of Orsterra consists of eight allied kingdoms, each featuring a distinctive environment such as the scorching Sunlands or the frigid Frostlands. Kings and nobles are generally in charge, protected by orders of soldiers such as the pious Knights Ardante. Technology is limited, with magic and magical items playing a major role in daily life. However, a few signs of gradual modernization are present throughout the first Octopath Traveler: the Royal Academy and the Scholar job are open to both men and women, and shipbuilding has advanced far enough that faraway continents can be visited.
Religion plays a major role in Orsterra’s life and culture as well as the plot of Octopath Traveler. The people of Orsterra worship a pantheon of thirteen gods. Each god represents a different class, and their shrines must be visited to unlock the corresponding class for all characters. Ultimately, the eight travelers’ story is significantly tied to religion and the gods – the eight discover that the Fallen God, Galdera, is attempting to escape from his prison, and they must defeat him to once again seal him away.
Solistia Has Industrial Steampunk Flair
The world of Solistia was shown only briefly in the trailer for Octopath Traveler 2, but it already seems to differ significantly from Orsterra. Solistia seems much more modern, featuring steam trains, large cities with multi-story buildings, iron gates, and more innovations. Overall, Solistia has an Industrial Revolution or Steampunk feel to it, with electric lighting and steam-based transportation playing a larger role than magic. The game’s day/night cycle, a new feature added for Octopath Traveler 2, further emphasizes the prominence of electric lighting. Characters are also shown using more modern weapons, such as a catapult, in battle, although magical elemental attacks will likely still be present.
However, not all of the continent is filled with modern cities and advanced technology. Unlike Orsterra, where all eight regions were connected by land, Solistia consists of a series of islands and peninsulas that must be traversed by boat. The travelers are shown finding treasure in the ocean and battling enemies from the deck of a boat, another new feature added in Octopath Traveler 2. Some island regions are shown to be much less modern, such as the small villages Agnea the Dancer and Ochette the Hunter hail from. In addition, Hikari the Warrior leads a kingdom with clear Asian inspiration, while another town shown briefly in the trailer is reminiscent of the American Wild West.
Are Solistia and Orsterra Connected?
Initially, it seems that Octopath Traveler 2 will borrow only mechanics from the previous title, and tell a completely unconnected story with new characters in a brand-new land. This theory is supported by another series of Square Enix role-playing games, Bravely Default. Bravely Default 2 used the same job system and combat actions, but starred an entirely new cast and told a story that was not at all connected to the first game. While the original Bravely Default did receive a direct sequel, it was called Bravely Second and was a separate entity from Bravely Default 2.
However, there is a possibility that Solistia and Orsterra may be part of the same world, albeit geographically separated from each other by a significant distance. The mobile game Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent, which recently released in the West, includes a number of characters who travel to Orsterra from faraway lands. Notably, the travelers Kouren and Hasumi wear Asian-inspired clothing and are said to have come from an unnamed country “far to the East.” It is possible that they are from the same part of Solistia as Hikari, and were able to travel all the way to Orsterra because of Solistia’s more advanced ships. Additionally, Tatlock, one of the game’s antagonists, is an invading Empress from another country which possesses powerful ships that she uses to invade Orsterra.
It is likely that any connections between the stories and characters of Octopath Traveler and Octopath Traveler 2 will be minor so that the travelers from the new game will receive the necessary focus. However, there are definitely options Square Enix could take if Orsterra and Solistia do indeed turn out to be located in the same universe. Characters from the original Octopath Traveler could journey by boat to Solistia and encounter the eight new protagonists. In particular, Tressa the Merchant and Alfyn the Apothecary, both of whom continue their journeys after the end of the original game, could make an appearance. Alternately, DLC or postgame maps for Octopath Traveler 2 could allow the new characters to instead explore Orsterra. Fans will likely not know whetherthe two games and their respective worlds are connected until Octopath Traveler 2 officially releases in 2023.
Octopath Traveler 2 will release on February 24, 2023 for Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and PS5.
MORE: 10 Nintendo Games You Can Sink Hundreds of Hours Into