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Atelier: Arland Trilogy

by Sylphid

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Original Thread: Alchemy and Adventure! Let's Play the Atelier: Arland Trilogy!

If you liked this LP, you might also like Riviera: The Promised Land by Didja Redo, Alice in Wonderland by FredMSloniker and Earthbound by Travis343

Introduction

Welcome to Let's Play the Atelier: Arland Trilogy!



Atelier? Never heard of it.

If you're a gamer outside of Japan, this isn't too surprising. The first game in the series, Atelier Marie: The Alchemist of Salburg, was first released in 1997, only for Japan and on the PSX. The title, developed by Gust inc. and published by Nippon Ichi Software, was revolutionary for abandoning typical JRPG tropes such as a grand, sprawling adventure or a big bad villain(s) that serve as typical fare for RPGs. Instead, the title pioneered the idea of basing an entire game around item synthesis, gathering different materials in various areas of the game in order to progress through more challenging areas. Marie also started the tradition of nearly every main character in the series being female, as well as wearing an elaborate hat of some kind.

The first title to make it to North America was Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana, also the first title to star a male protagonist. Iris was followed up by two sequels (the direct sequel, The Azoth of Destiny, you can read in the LP Archive here. These games, however, tended to move away from the concepts Marie started into more traditional JRPG conventions, and for a new system, the PS3, Gust decided to take the series back to its roots with Atelier Rorona in 2009, one of the most non-epic games you'll ever play.

So, no elaborate story or imposing antagonists? What's the appeal, then?

A good question. For now, I'll just limit myself to talking about the Arland trilogy as I am most familiar with that and can respond to this general query most effectively. To use an extreme case, think about everything you know about the God of War series. Brutal action, stunning, unreal vistas, and dramatic cinematography. A series like God of War tries to to leave a powerful impression on a player almost every moment the game is played.

The Arland Trilogy is the exact opposite. It concerns itself with the mundane. These games are concerned with the day-by-day of a young girl's life. She learns new recipes, goes on little adventures to pass the time, meets new people, helps people with things they want, and just generally tries to live her life normally while proceeding to her goal. This hardly seems game-worthy, but you'll rarely find an RPG out there that tries anything similar. Rather than concerning itself with exceptional moments and events, these games basically allow you to live the life an adventurous, outgoing, young person might live. I'll get to more specifics about the appeal of these games when we get to them in the LP.

So how is this thread going to work?

I'll be playing through 2009 / 2010's (JPN / NA and PAL) Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland, followed by 2010 / 2011's Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland, and finishing with 2011 / 2012's Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland.

The heart of each game revolves around various scenes between the characters. I'll type out the content of each and every scene I find in the game, and if the scene is voiced*, I'll include a video of the scene as well. As far as battles go,I will be skipping most, with the exception of the majority of boss battles or a regular battle if I feel the need to demonstrate something in particular. However, I will show all in-battle character skills in videos peppered throughout the LP. I will also do my best to explain all the gameplay mechanics and how to play these games effectively. Although I know a significant amount about each game, it's certainly possible I don't know everything noteworthy. If anyone knows of a scene or something interesting that I missed, please feel free to let me know. Additionally, if anyone has any specific requests for videos or whatever, I can certainly arrange for that. I'll be editing the OP to include links to every update as soon as they are posted.

*I'll be using the English dub throughout this thread. A number of scenes and minor lines aren't voiced in the dub, so including them in a video would be redundant.

Another important thing to note about how I will play these games is a significant amount of the actual gameplay will not be shown. Frequently, quite a lot of time will pass between in-game events, and covering absolutely everything that happens would be uninteresting to read or write. It will likely come to pass that an event may happen one day, and another a couple days later. If so, I'll add a brief transition between the first and second events in the same update. However, if a while passes before anything noteworthy happens, I'll start a separate update that indicates the day the previous update left off, and the day the current update is happening.

A Note about Spoilers

Because of the nature of these games in regards to plot, you can't really spoil a whole lot. Party rosters and the identity of virtually every major character is listed in the manual for each game, so I don't mind if you talk about future recruits or which characters are your favorite or what have you. However, I will request that talking about the content of scenes, or character backstories not reached in the LP should only be carried out in spoiler tags. As for endings, I'd prefer no discussion of those even in spoiler tags until we reach them, as a big part of these games is planning for the ending(s) you want.

With all that said, I hope you'll have fun as we do some alchemy and adventures in Let's Play the Atelier: Arland Trilogy!

Table of Contents

Rorona Updates

Rorona Endings

Totori Updates

Totori Endings

Meruru Updates

Meruru Endings

Archive Index