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Octopath Traveler 2: Decaying Temple's Reward Isn't Worth The Fight To Get It

In "Octopath Traveler 2," not all Side Stories are created equal. Some grant fantastic rewards in the form of potent equipment and large caches of leaves. Others require a major investment of time and resources for little payoff. "Sword Hunter in the Decaying Temple," one of two side quests available in the town of Sai, falls into the latter category.

Players pick up this Side Story by speaking to the Young Warrior at the hospital tent. He reveals that a thief made off with his father's sword, and asks the player to retrieve the heirloom from the Decaying Temple where the fiend has hidden out. While this seems like a straightforward task, the quest comes with a restriction that ratchets up the difficulty level: face the boss with a single party member. And this particular figure, one of the hardest bosses in "Octopath Traveler 2," has a few tricks up his sleeve.

Before setting out for the Decaying Temple, players should first pay a visit to a tavern and remove everyone but the leader from their party. If the player has not completed the fourth chapter of their original character's story, they will have to solo the temple as this protagonist. Otherwise, they can swap any of the other seven characters into this role, giving them more flexibility when creating a strategy to defeat the thief. They should also bear in mind that the Decaying Temple comes with a level 40 danger level.

Facing the thief at the Decaying Temple

After exploring the temple and potentially picking up some leaves and items along the way, players will encounter Karma, the Sword Hunter. The boss cycles through four stances with different weaknesses and shields based on his health percentage. He also follows a specific sequence of abilities that culminates in Killer Karma, which basically functions as a one-shot kill. Players can avoid this fate by breaking his shield before his hostility level peaks. Otherwise, they'll die and have to restart the process. This combat loop is incredibly punishing and demands careful planning and thoughtful skill allocation to overcome.

Upon defeat, the Sword Hunter will relinquish the Keepsake Sword. Back in Sai, the Young Warrior will hand over 12,000 leaves and a Refreshing Jam for returning the heirloom. While a complete SP and HP restore is nice, a consumable and some money hardly seem worth the effort required to make it through the brutal fight with Karma. To sweeten the pot, players can choose to Steal or Mug Path Action the Keepsake Sword away from the Young Warrior after returning it. With its +312 Physical Attack and +86 Critical, it makes for a rather attractive weapon depending on how far a player has progressed into "Octopath Traveler 2."