Which animal should Ochette start with in Octopath Traveler 2?

Malamaowl or Lajackal?

Typically, protagonists in Octopath Traveler 2 feature prologues that gently ease you into the game’s mechanics. This is technically true of Ochette, except her tale begins with a significant choice.

Right off the bat, you’ll be introduced to her Befriend Path Action by picking one of two animals to become your companion. Either animal will become a fixture of Ochette’s Provoke command in battle, and each provides a unique advantage. Lajackal can strike any physical weakness on an enemy, while Malamaowl attacks any relevant magical weakness. This choice can be jarring if you’ve just started, especially if you’re still getting a handle on the game’s core mechanics. That said, we can break this choice down for you.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Most players should pick Malamaowl

As a Hunter, Ochette is already one of the better physical attackers in the game. She can naturally equip Bows and Axes, and her equipment options will expand as you unlock more secondary jobs. Meanwhile, Ochette has access to exactly one lightning elemental skill. Breaking shields by hitting enemy weaknesses is a key staple of the Octopath Traveler series, so Malamaowl fills a valuable niche in Ochette’s kit.

Additionally, Ochette will be able to capture and use more beasts as the game progresses. While you can find monsters that deal elemental damage, many veer towards physical attacks. This gives Malamaowl further usefulness in expanding Ochette’s damage coverage. That said, Lajackal isn’t useless if you picked it.

Screenshot by Destructoid

The case for Lajackal

While Malamaowl is the most appealing pick, Lajackal may have some value depending on your party composition. See, Ochette synergizes especially well with Osvald, Temenos, and Throné. Osvald and Temenos are both casters, and Throné can deal dark elemental damage as well. Lajackal arguably fits better in a party like this that doesn’t necessarily cover every physical damage type. I’d still say Ochette covers physical damage well enough already, but if you don’t necessarily want to build her into secondary jobs that specifically expand her weapon types, Lajackal can be a valuable asset.

Additionally, Lajackal is pretty cute. Malamaowl is too, so pick the animal you’d like to see following Ochette the most. Even if you make the “wrong” decision, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to cover your elemental bases with the other monsters you’ll capture throughout your adventure. In other words, while Malamaowl is generally preferred, this decision isn’t worth restarting your file over. As long as you love your starter, you made the right call.

Timothy Monbleau
Guide Editor - Timothy started writing community blogs for Destructoid in 2012. He liked it so much he decided to write articles for the site professionally. His love for RPGs and the Ys series will endure forever.