It's been a while since we've done one of these games but after a break of six months I'm returning to take a look at another Octopath Traveler solo game. This time we'll be investigating Primrose who represents the Dancer class from past Final Fantasy titles. In gameplay terms, Primrose is a support mage with relatively low direct damage but lots of great utility abilities. She can buff the party's physical attack, elemental attack, and physical defense while also bringing some of the game's best passive support skills. Primrose is one of the very few characters in Octopath Traveler who can be built for both physical and elemental damage depending on the circumstances and I hoped to get a chance to experiment with this while running through her story. Primrose's tale itself is by far the "darkest" of the eight characters in Octopath Traveler and has some seriously problematic stuff in it that needs to be mentioned. I'll try to touch on some of the issues that it raises without deviating too far from her solo gameplay.
As a quick refresher for our rules in an Octopath Traveler solo game, the seven other characters will all be recuited (to allow playing through their respective storylines) but won't take any part in combat. The lesson that I learned from my initial Tressa solo game is that the Path Actions of the other characters also need to be included or else it locks out too much of the gameplay. So that's the rule for this game: Primrose can use the other characters to Steal/Purchase items, Challenge/Provoke NPCs in town, and Inquire/Scrutinize random townspeople for quests, but none of those other skills can be used for combat purposes.
Primrose as a character says relatively little; she wears a blandly friendly mask on the outside as a cover for her blood-soaked quest of revenge. This is a dark storyline that immediately begins with Primrose's father being murdered in front of the adolescent girl followed by a time jump that picks up with Primrose dancing for entertainment in a sleazy desert town. We see Primrose being beaten and abused while keeping her inner thoughts to herself behind a seductive exterior. Unfortunately we never really find out that much about Primrose as a character throughout her storyline; she's very good at taking revenge by killing her enemies but otherwise Primrose doesn't say or do a whole lot that would provide more characterization. I mean, we hear the line "faith is my shield" a bunch of times since that's her family's motto and "I will keep dancing" as a stock line indicating her inner resolve but that's not much to go on. The main thing that we know about Primrose is that she's beautiful and men are constantly hitting on her which Primrose often seems to encourage to gather more information. As I said, this is a problematic story that could have used more fine-tuning.
Primrose's Path Action is "Allure" which gives her a percentage-based change to bring along a townsperson to fulfill side quests or take part in combat as a summoned ally. This is the "dark" version of Ophilia's "Guide" ability which does exactly the same thing except having a chance to fail rather than automatically unlocking based on the level of the character. As with most of the other Path Actions, Primrose has the superior version of the ability for a solo game because the player can save-scum a success on the dice roll even at low odds by repeating it over and over again. This would allow Primrose to lean heavily on NPCs with high star levels to deal with tough bosses in the early and midgame. Ophilia had to have a high character level to unlock those 8 star and 9 star NPCs but Primrose could just reroll at 1% odds or whatever until they were following her into combat. Primrose's Talent is "Summon" which simply brings these townspeople into combat in the same fashion that we saw with Ophilia. It's a very useful talent even if it's a repeat of the same ability held by Ophilia.
Primrose doesn't have the best stats for a solo game. Her strengths include having the second-best elemental attack in the game behind Cyrus and the second-best evade behind Therion. These stats suggest that Primrose is intended to be a sneaky spellcaster, dodging incoming attacks while buffing the rest of the party and occasionally casting attack magic of her own. Her best stat is speed which is the highest in the game by a good margin, even better than Therion. Unfortunately I've found speed to be a nearly-useless stat in Octopath Traveler since it can't get around the turn-based nature of the combat system. It doesn't seem to have much of an effect on who goes first in each round and characters can never get more than one action in each of those rounds. Primrose has an excellent critical stat as well but that's another stat that doesn't seem to matter because every attack from everyone always seems to go critical by the end of the game. Primrose then suffers from low stats in several important categories: she has the second-worst HP growth, tied with Ophilia, and unlike Ophilia she can't overheal past the HP limit. Primrose has the worst physical defense in the whole game which means that she'd better be able to dodge attacks if she plans on surviving. You might thing that she would offset this with strong elemental defense but nope, Primrose is tied for the worst stat in that category as well. Basically the places where Primrose gets awesome stats mostly don't matter while the really key stats have serious deficiencies for her. Not great.
Primrose has two innate damage types: daggers and dark element. Daggers are amazing to have as a damage source because several of the game's worst bosses only have a weakness to daggers. (I'm looking at you Darius). The dumb luck nature of daggers being the best damage type offsets what would otherwise be a serious limitation. Dark element tends to be pretty rare as none of the other seven default classes have any access to it. Only the secret endgame classes unlock a few other abilities that make use of dark element; Primrose stands alone in her use of this type of damage. Of course Primrose gets limited use of every damage type in the game thanks to her Summons, which will run out over time in battle and can't be directly controlled but provide all sorts of opportunities for clever players. She should theoretically be able to break any opponent with proper planning ahead of time. I'll need to go back and look at Ophilia's report to see which NPCs were particularly useful for which boss fights.
The Dancer class starts the game with two innate skills:
Moonlight Waltz was highly useful for being a direct damage skill and it would prove to be the most consistent form of offense for Primrose throughout her journey. This skill deals dark element damage to a single target at the cost of 7 MP; the damage formula is idential to the other single target elemental spells of the other base classes, Ophilia's Holy Light and Tressa's Tradewinds and Alfyn's Icicle and Therion's Wildfire and H'aanit's Thunderbird. All of these skills function exactly the same aside from being attuned to different elements. Primrose's other skill Lion Dance was one of her support abilities, buffing the physical damage of the target for the next two turns. I didn't find this to be terribly useful since Primrose doesn't have much in the way of physical damage although perhaps I'd come across a situation where it was needed down the road. Here's the full list of the Dancer's abilities:
For a longer explanation of what all these numbers mean, I'll direct readers to this page in the solo Tressa game. As with all classes in Octopath Traveler, I had the opportunity to unlock Primrose's non-Divine skills in any order desired as she accumulated more job points. For the initial unlock at 30 JP, I wanted to pick up Night Ode so that Primrose could target more than one opponent at a time. Night Ode is also identical to a bunch of other spells that hit multiple targets at once, with the damage exactly the same as Tressa's Trade Tempest or any of Cyrus' Fireball/Icewind/Lightning Bolt skills. There's a tradeoff in damage when using Night Ode instead of Moonlight Waltz with the single target spell; I ran the damage comparison for Tressa's two wind-attuned abilities earlier and found that Night Ode would deal 246 damage in a situation where Moonlight Waltz would deal 394 damage. In other words, the single target spell would dish out approximately 50% more damage at the cost of only hitting a single enemy at a time. Obviously Moonlight Waltz would be better for most boss fights while Night Ode was superior for wiping out groups of random encounters.
Most of the other Dancer skills were support or utility abilities of some kind. Peacock Strut would grant the elemental attack up buff and result in Primrose's skills dealing 50% more damage, making it another obvious choice to boost the damage output of a solo run. Mole Dance would provide the physical defense up buff and that would similarly be a lifesaver against some of the endgame bosses. There are a bunch of Chapter 4 bosses that love to debuff your defense and having a tool to counter that could mean the difference between life and death. Panther Dance was far, far less useful since boosting the speed stat doesn't seem to do anything in Octopath Traveler. Bewildering Grace does a bunch of really random stuff and couldn't be relied on for boss fights; I'll have more to say about it later. Finally, Primrose unfortunately suffers from a largely useless Divine Skill (for solo game purposes anyway) as Sealticge's Seduction causes single target non-Divine skills to hit all targets instead. This is awesome when providing status-enhancing buffs to a full party... and fairly pointless for a solo game where Primrose was the only character. I guess she could hit all enemies on screen with Moonlight Waltz but that hardly seemed worth investing max boost points into a Divine skill to get that effect. This is a real weakness of the Dancer class for a solo game, which makes sense because this is supposed to be a support mage class.
As far as gameplay was concerned, I used Primrose's minimal starting money allowance to purchase the Round Shield, Feathered Hat, and Bronze Vest equipment in the starting town of Sunshade. This trio of gear was enough to raise Primrose's starting defensive stats from 63 physical / 72 elemental up to 103 physical / 118 elemental, and that mattered a great deal given her low HP. It was important to stay on top of Primrose's defensive equipment since she has such low base health, physical defense, and elemental defense. I also grabbed Night Ode as planned for her first skill unlock in the introductory dungeon. So with those gameplay notes out of the way, let's talk briefly about Primrose's story:
Primrose's Chapter 1 tale is a story of abuse. After watching the brutal murder of her father in a flashback scene, we cut forward in time to Primrose's current life as a Dancer in a rough desert town. Primrose is an exceptionally skilled entertainer but she lives a miserable life of poverty in a state of forced servitude that's essentially a form of slavery. We see that Primrose suffers from physical and emotional abuse under the odious Helgenish, the man who runs the dancing operation in Sunshade and keeps an exceptionally close eye on the dancing girls. Helgenish routinely beats the women if they fail to do exactly what he says and the story makes it clear that anyone who tries to escape this life will suffer death at the hands of his hired goons. It's an extraordinarily depressing story with a wildly divergent tone from what we get from characters like Tressa and Cyrus, and while I appreciate that Octopath Traveler was trying to do something more complicated with the plot of Primrose's story, the writers are not talented enough to pull this off without it coming across as edgy for the sake of being edgy. None of this really makes a lot of sense if the player stops to think about it. For example, Primrose was in Sunshade to try and gather information about the men who killed her father. Why did she need to be a Dancer for this; surely working at an inn would have served the same purpose? The real reason is that the plot wants to beat down Primrose as much as possible so that the player can extract "revenge" by killing Helgenish at the end of her Chapter 1 plot. But did we really need to see Primrose physically assaulted, emotionally manipulated, and heavily implied to have been raped by Helgenish to make this story work? This is not the way to treat your female characters and ESPECIALLY not the way to treat them when none of the male characters in this game face similar situations in their own respective storylines. It's a cheap and easy way to do your revenge plot that should have been handled more delicately.
Anyway, Primrose spots one of the men who killed her father and races off to follow the trail. Helgenish tries to prevent this and Primrose's only dancer friend, a woman named Yusufa, offers to "distract" Helgenish to provide an opportunity. (I really don't want to think about what that means.) This immediately ends badly as Yusufa is tortured for information by Helgenish and then viciously stabbed to death in front of Primrose. It's a shocking scene to watch, particularly if the player has been progressing through the light-hearted fare from the other characters prior to this one. And hey look, it's more violence directed against women, a recurring feature of Primrose's story. This is all designed to get the player to hate Helgenish and I have to admit that the story does an admirable job of that. (Helgenish's voice actor is also fantastic in this role, chewing the scenery with gusto.) So let's get on with the boss fight against this thoroughly despicable character:
Helgenish can be a bit of a tricky boss sometimes due to the presence of his two lackeys that he will resummon back to the battlefield if they are killed. However, since this was the first Chapter 1 boss, Helgenish had reduced stats and would prove to be an easier opponent. This is the one and only situation where you're supposed to be playing a solo character and the game turns down the difficulty level accordingly. I had brought along an Old Man from the entrance to Sunshade who had a 2 star rating, largely because his Thrash spear attack would hit everything on screen at once. This would also hit a spear weakness on Helgenish though that wasn't terribly needed with the boss also having a daggers weakness. The Old Man NPC helpfully tanked a good portion of the incoming attacks against Primrose and I was able to hit the boss for about 400 damage from a max boosted Moonlight Waltz when his shields were down. This was enough to win the battle in short order with a single Healing Grape consumed for health restoration.
Primrose's Chapter 1 story ends with her killing Helgenish and then stating that she'll dance to her own song from this point forward. Primrose heads off to the northern town of Stillsnow in search of further revenge against the man with the mark of the crow that killed her father. I suspect that the goal here is to portray Primrose as a "badass" for dishing out death to her enemies as part of this revenge plot. This is the classic shallow Hollywood conception of what makes a "strong woman" though, rather than providing any kind of deeper look at who Primrose is as a person. We learn almost nothing about Primrose's character in this opening chapter aside from the fact that she wants revenge and it's a real missed opportunity. The writers of Octopath Traveler have serious difficulties in writing the female characters as anything other than stock tropes and they apparently decided that Primrose would be the femme fatale. There's a lot more that could have been done here to treat this character with more respect while also writing a spicy revenge plot.
Meanwhile there was still the rest of the Chapter 1 stories to complete. I opted to head counterclockwise through the inner ring into the Highlands, the direction that had more useful characters to unlock for a solo venture. I had just enough money on hand to purchase a Silver Vest for Primrose in the Cobbleston shop and that would be significant since it was enough to get her physical defense up to 150 points. Recall that her starting value in physical defense was only 63 which would have left her easy meat for Olberic's Chapter 1 boss. I was planning on using Allure to pick up another helpful NPC in town only to discover that once Olberic had been recruited it was no longer possible to use Primrose's Path Action! For whatever reason it was grayed out as an option with all of the townspeople in Cobbleston. Primrose would therefore have to deal with Gaston herself and it was a relief to discover that his big Mighty Blow attack only did a little over 200 damage when it landed. This could have been a one-shot attack if Primrose hadn't upgraded her physical defense along the way. Fortunately Gaston was weak against daggers and that allowed me to wear him down through long rounds of combat while eating Healing Grapes to keep health up. Moonlight Waltz dealt 750 damage against Gaston when he was broken so it took some time to chew through his lifebar.
Defeating Gaston brought Primrose up to 100 job points and the chance to learn a fourth Dancer skill. I took Peacock Strut for the ability to buff up Primrose's elemental attack which seemed like it would be more useful than anything else. This was still early enough in the gameplay that I didn't have a pressing need for a defensive ability. This unlocked the first Dancer support skill; here's the full list for reference:
The initial support skill was The Show Goes On, granting an additional turn of application for friendly buffs. This was a pretty big deal for an entry-level support skill as it took the base duration of Primrose's buffing abilities from 2 turns up to 3 turns. That extra turn gave her enough time to buff herself with Peacock Strut, then break an opponent, then hit with a dark element skill before the buff wore off. This would not have been possible otherwise without boosting Peacock Strut. Later on, Primrose would unlock three additional support skills that each offered a sizable advantage. In fact these support skills were all great, very much unlike the duds that litter some of the other jobs. I'll discuss them individually in the report as they unlock since they were each significant in their own right.
I continued onwards into the Coastlands next with the goal of recruiting Tressa. Before initiating her story, I made sure to fast travel back to Cobbleston and Allure an NPC for the next dungeon sequence just to avoid running into the same problem again. I had Primrose bring along a 4 star Villager with a green shirt who had a spear attack with decent damage. The odds of a successful Allure were only 35% but that was easy to force with repeated dice rolls. Once in Rippletide, Tressa joined up with the group and Primrose proceeded through the Caves of Maya dungeon. The bosses at the end provided an opportunity to break out Peacock Strut for the first time and boost Primrose's elemental attack power. Night Ode dealt about 400 damage to both Mikk and Mikk with the buff in place which wasn't bad against two unbroken targets. Much of the offensive load against these two bosses was carried by the Villager that Primrose had brought along who repeatedly hit the spears weakness on Mikk. A successful strike from the townsperson could do as much as 400 damage and it helped to cut down on the time needed to defeat these opponents. Their attacks were pretty feeble and Primrose was easily able to consume items to keep her health up.
I made use of a similar tactic against Russell, the boss at the end of Cyrus' Chapter 1 story. This time Primrose used her Allure to bring a 6 star Villager from back in Cobbleston (at 12% odds) who had a bow attack named Slumber Arrow. Russell himself wasn't weak against bows but his two Water Wisp minions were vulnerable to arrows and they were blasted away almost immediately by the sharpshooting of this NPC. The Villager also had a secondary attack named Flurry which could hit multiple times in a row; it dealt 600 x 3 = 1800 damage to Russell which was far more than Primrose herself was doing at the moment. This was honestly a little bit too easy; I could force my way through all of the early bosses simply through the use of Allure by grabbing NPCs with high star levels. I didn't want to engage in too much of that since it would remove the opportunity to explore Primrose's own abilities over the course of this journey.
Shortly after finishing with the Cyrus story sequence, Primrose reached 500 job points and could pick her fifth Dancer skill. I opted to take Mole Dance which would buff her physical defense; this was essentially the last useful Dancer skill that she would learn. More importantly though, the fifth skill in the Dancer class unlocked another passive support skill in the form of the amazing Eye for an Eye ability. This is Octopath Traveler's version of the Counterattack skill held by the Monk class in many previous Final Fantasy games, granting 50% odds of launching a reprisal attack when targeted by a physical blow. Moving this ability over to the Dancer class feels a little odd from a gameplay perspective but it's a great thematic fit for Primrose's character, striking back against anyone who comes after her. Note as well the specific text of the ability: Eye for an Eye did not require Primrose to get hit by an incoming attack, only to be targeted by an attack. I noticed immediately that she could dodge an enemy strike and still counterattack which was really slick to watch in practice. It was like seeing a boxer employing a rope-a-dope strategy, weaving from side to side and then counterattacking. Eye for an Eye doesn't trigger on elemental attacks but most of the damage in Octopath Traveler is physical and this was incredibly useful for a solo game where Primrose would always be the target of attacks.
Eye for an Eye is the main reason why Primrose can be developed as either a physical or an elemental damage character. It opens up the possibility to do nothing but defend and heal on her on turns while relying on counterattacks to deal damage. The biggest issue mitigating against this is the lack of control from Eye for an Eye: the player can't tell Primrose *NOT* to counterattack and several of the lategame bosses need to be broken at very specific points in time. I expected that I would need to turn off Eye for an Eye (which is always possible to do) before some fights to avoid unwanted breaks of opponents. Nevertheless, in the vast majority of situations this simply represented free damage and it was awesome to have another ability kicking in extra attacks. Eye for an Eye could even trigger multiple times against multi-hit enemy abilites - each individual strike counted as a separate attack with 50% odds to counter. Nice!
Since I had completed the story sequence in Atlasdam, it was a short trip out to Noblecourt in the second ring where Primrose could access several superior forms of equipment. Noblecourt is the easiest town to reach in the second ring and it usually requires surviving a single random encounter. Rather than trying to run away from the monsters, Primrose broke out the 6 star Villager with a bow that she had used to defeat Russell and the NPC immediately slaughtered the hostile critters blocking the path forward. The two big items that Primrose was able to Purchase in Noblecourt (courtesy of Tressa) were the Imperial Vest for much better physical/elemental defense and then the Empowering Bracelet accessory for +500 HP. The latter was very helpful indeed given Primrose's low HP total, nearly doubling her overall health. It was certainly a lot better than the +10 speed garbage that the early game accessories provide.
The next notable incident along Primrose's journey was a fortunate encounter with a Cait on the plains outside Atlasdam. Caits are Octopath Traveler's version of metal slimes or cactuars, monsters that have high defense and try to flee from combat while paying out big rewards if they can be defeated. The early game trick to defeating them is expending a Medium soulstone and Primrose used that move to pick up several levels worth of experience. Then she ran into another Cait outside Flamesgrace and since I didn't have another Medium soulstone on hand she turned to her current Allured NPC for help. This was the Capable Culinarian from Atlasdam who had a fire-based attack and somewhat surprisingly he had enough damage to one-shot the Cait for another two levels of experience. The same townsperson also helped out against the Guardian of the First Flame in the next dungeon:
I'm always a little bit leery of this boss since it will summon Dark Wisp minions that explode for suicide damage and Primrose didn't have a lot of total health to survive that. Fortunately the Guardian had a weakness to daggers and that allowed Primrose to cut away at its defenses. Eye for an Eye was convenient for landing additional shield breaks although it did make the timing of taking down the final shield harder to predict. Primrose was still able to hit the boss for a max boosted Moonlight Waltz when it was broken for 1200 damage though I wasn't able to set up the Peacock Strut buff for extra damage. The second half of the battle was the more dangerous part since those Dark Wisps would show up and start their countdown. I'd prepared for this by hitting the minions with a max boosted Night Ode which took out a good chunk of their health bars. Then, with their suicide countdown still ongoing, the Capable Culinarian broke out his Flambe ability which double hit with fire element for excellent damage. The Dark Wisps have a weakness to fire element and combusted immediately to the blast of intense heat. The Guardian of the First Flame itself had been almost completely useless in this battle, hitting Primrose for double digit damage against her 1700 HP lifebar. That wasn't going to get it done.
I opted to continue heading counterclockwise around the inner ring with Primrose by entering the Woodlands next. This was the point at which she hit 1000 job points for the sixth Dancer skill and I chose Bewildering Grace for lack of better options. That skill does all sorts of weird random stuff and I'd have to come back to it later; for now the 25 SP cost was still a bit too expensive for regular use. This also meant that Primrose unlocked her third support skill and she was able to start using the excellent Second Wind passive ability: free recovery of spirit points at the end of each round of combat.
This is a really helpful utility skill that makes it easy to avoid ever running out of spirit points for casting spells. I remember running Cyrus as a Dancer in my original non-variant game largely so that he could pick up this passive ability and keep blasting away with his elemental skills. The regeneration is 5% of maximum SP per round and it functions identically to the Scholar's HP-restoring Vim and Vigor passive in the sense that the SP only gets restored at the end of the round. If the battle ends on that round of combat then there's no SP restoration. (By the way, the visual animation of this support skill was identical to Theriron's Steal SP ability with the same blue circle around Primrose.) This support skill would let Primrose toss out her skills with reckless abandon and it certainly made this solo venture a lot more fun to play. She could already use the various Dancer buffing skills at zero net SP cost and it wouldn't take long until Primrose had enough max SP to spam Moonlight Waltz and Night Ode every turn. If there was a downside here, it was the fact that Second Wind wasn't as good as it sounds for boss fights. The really tough bosses require heavy consumption of Refreshing Jams on a frequent enough basis that it's nearly impossible to run out of spirit points before using one of these items. Even with that caveat though, this was a suberb passive ability that made Primrose's life much easier and turned random encounters into a breeze.
The boss of H'aanit's Chapter 1 story is an unpleasant creature known as the Ghisarma and this fight took longer than most of the other opponents Primrose had seen to date. This was largely due to an oversight on my part where I forgot to prepare a suitable Summon ahead of time, only to realize once H'aanit's story had begun that Primrose was stuck with a bunch of 1 star NPCs in the tiny village of S'warkii. They weren't worth recruiting so this was another battle that Primrose would have to undertake on her own. The Ghisarma lacked a weakness to daggers or dark element which meant there was no chance to break its shields. I had Primrose spend most of the fight buffing her physical defense with Mole Dance and her elemental attack with Peacock Strut and then hitting with Moonlight Waltz whenever her boost meter was full. These casts did about 900 damage and the Ghisarma has 9700 HP so the combat dragged on for some time. This boss sets up its own counterattacks in one of those classic early Final Fantasy "Don't hit the Mist Dragon!" encounters and I had some concern about how that would interact with the physical attacks from Primrose's Eye for an Eye passive. I needn't have worried though: Eye for an Eye attacks will not trigger monster counterattacks. That was a relief and Primrose stayed completely safe as she wore down the boss over many rounds of combat.
I have less to say about Therion's Chapter 1 story since it was pretty straightforward. The last few Chapter 1 stories start to get rather easy to complete as my solo characters have accumulated enough levels and superior equipment to make them largely invulnerable to the threats that can appear in the inner ring. Heathcote had a weakness to daggers and I brought along a Guard NPC at the 5 star level to help out with additional damage against the boss. Moonlight Waltz was starting to hit for decent damage and this turned into an easy boss fight. I mostly included this image because I was able to get a better capture of what it looks like when Eye for an Eye triggers. There's a little spiral graphic on the screen and then Primrose leaps forward to stab with her dagger. It looks especially cool when Primrose dodges the incoming attack as she did here - try to hit *ME* with your attacks, will you? Take that!
Having Therion on hand opened up more equipment upgrades thanks to his thieving ways. I stole the Oasis Hat from the Impresario outside Noblecourt as always (made sure not to complete Kit's quest until after pilfering the pockets of the traveling group's leader) since it's far superior to any other helmets at this stage of the game. Then I save scummed with reloads until Therion was able to Steal the Soul Knife at 3% odds from an Elderly Woman in Noblecourt. (Using the Steal command makes you a pretty terrible person sometimes!) The Soul Knife has 98 physical / 188 elemental attack and it increased Primrose's elemental damage from 210 to 356 points. That was a pretty big increase! Her dark element spells would be hitting a lot harder and even the Eye for an Eye counterattacks would have more punch.
Alfyn had the only remaining Chapter 1 story and when I saw this NPC in the town of Clearbrook I had to bring her along:
There's an Elderly Woman hanging out in the town's cemetery with a 10 star rating. This is one of the NPCs who can be Challenged/Provoked for a 2% chance to drop one of the Battle-tested pieces of equipment, the Battle-tested Staff in this particular case. Primrose had 7% odds to Allure the Elderly Woman into following her around and I resolved to make this happen; I actually got the lucky dice roll on the fourth attempt and didn't even need to reload once. The Elderly Woman's special move in combat was a Mighty Blow with her staff that hit for 2600 damage against unbroken opponents. This was a hilarious amount of damage for this early point in the gameplay and the NPC immediately one-shot killed the Mottled Asp minions of Alfyn's boss on successive rounds of combat. That actually made the fight harder though, not easier, as the main Blotted Viper starts using a paralyzation ability once its minions are gone which can stunlock a solo character indefinitely. Primrose dodged the first attempt to stun her and then fell victim to the second such attack... only to see the Elderly Woman kill the boss on her next attack. So much for that opponent! The Elderly Woman probably made the battle more dangerous since her attacks were uncontrollable but it had been worth it to watch this frail old character smack the living daylights out of a bunch of snakes.
That brought the first sequence of Chapter 1 stories to a close. Primrose hadn't been seriously challenged by any of her opponents to date and I hadn't experienced a single game over moment yet. She had been relying on the strength of her Summons in a good number of these fights, and honestly she could continue doing exactly that for a long time yet to come. I was looking forward to testing Primrose against stronger opponents and getting to experiment more with her own skills. Chapter 2 would probably also be fairly easy but more difficult tests would arrive eventually.