Part 6: Update VI: An Alchemist and her Strange New Friends
There's really not a whole lot to say about this Assignment. You can focus on anything you want for these three months, but I'd personally use it to raise reputation and friendship levels with the shopkeepers (especially Hagel, since he requires 80 friendship level for all his events), just to get that out of the way so we don't have to worry about it later on. This is the part of the game where you start to get major diminishing returns for making items for jobs, so don't be afraid to buy synthesis items and turn them over instead of making them yourself, not to mention it's faster and 90% of the time you'll make a profit, anyway. I'd also recommend focusing on forging some good attack items, as we'll need them for the next major area we explore, which won't be available this Assignment, but early in the next one.
This scene happens whenever you talk to Esty after the third Assignment starts. Sorry about not including any screenshots for these next two scenes. Technical difficulties messed up my original recording for both. Video goes until Rorona says "She was smiling, yet scary at the same time..."
Um, Esty? I've been wondering...
Huh? What is it?
You know how Sterk calls you, Senior Esty? Well, isn't he older than you?
My, you're flattering. Unfortunately, I'm a bit older and have been here longer than he has.
Oh? Come to think of it...I don't even know how old Sterk is. How old are you, Esty?
Rorona, here's a little advice from your elder. Don't ask how old someone is if that person seems older than you. Never. Under any circumstances.
Yes, ma'am... I'm...sorry...
You don't have to apologize. Just be more careful next time.
What just happened? She was smiling, yet scary at the same time...
A good lesson for us all. Still, with a little math we can answer Rorona's question. Sterk is 28 at the beginning of this game, and this game ends in the third year. So he's 31 at the end, and in the second year of Totori, he claims he'll be 35 soon (sometime in the Summer of year 2). Totori happens over the course of five years, so we can guess that there's about a three year gap between the end of Rorona and the start of Totori. Sterk is 39 at the end of Totori.
The manual for Meruru states that Sterk and Esty are both in their early 40s in Meruru, and there's a one year gap between the end of Totori and the start of Meruru. So, everything adds up to Esty being just a bit older than Sterk, so either she's a little older than him, but still 28, or she's 29 or 30. Anything older than that and she'll be in her mid-40s in Meruru, which the manual contradicts.
The following scene also takes place just after the third Assignment begins. Video goes until Rorona says "Oh well, I'll just do the job first."
Seems like you're getting used to this whole thing.
Not really... I'm still learning a lot.
You're doing a great job, though. I can vouch for that. Just throwing out the idea...why don't you try accepting more challenging jobs?
More challenging? I don't know if I can handle that...
I'm sure you can. Nothing can be much different from what you're already doing. The jobs you've accepted actually had more specific requests to them.
Say that the deadline for one of your jobs is in two weeks... The client might add an extra request saying that it would actually be better if it's done in one week. Or if someone asks for an item, he or she might want that item with a higher quality. It's okay if those specific requests aren't met, but you would get more rewards if they are.
The good thing about this system is that, like Esty mentioned, you don't have to fulfill the extra condition. I'm sure the bonus money is just a percentage of the original reward for doing the request, and right now when we're getting so little money from jobs, it's not going to make much of a difference. However, once the rewards start increasing, that percentage starts adding on quite a bit more money.
I'll have to do a little more research, but the game has a specific way it generates requests. A lot of it seems to do with what items you currently have either in your basket or Container, which is how you can game the system later in the game. Basically, you trick the game into giving you a whole bunch of requests for the same item, so you can keep turning in really expensive items for oodles of cash in a short period of time. That's basically the jist of it, but I'll try and find exactly how the game decides what requests you'll get.
Oh...I never knew about those.
It's probably faster for you to just do it and see for yourself. Here's a job request from me.
Got it? There's no deadline, but it would be helpful if you could bring it to me sooner than later. I won't accept the item if you don't meet my specific request this time, so be careful.
Okay, I'll do my best. ...Anyway, what are you using this for?
Hmhmhm, I can't tell you that. I'm looking forward to it!
...Now I'm curious. Oh well, I'll just do the job first.
It's definitely advisable you handle this quickly. 60 quality isn't difficult at all to reach, especially since we can buy 80 quality Water from Tiffani. Add the multiplier for alchemy level in there, and we can make 100 quality Supplements this early, albeit they'd end up traitless, but that's not really the point.
But since we might as well finish all these Esty events at the same time, this scene starts when you hand over three 60 quality Supplements to Esty for her request. Video goes until the screenshot of Rorona saying "Okay, thank you."
You're gonna get more of these jobs from people from now on, so good luck! Anyway, enough of that... It's time for your special reward!
Huh? My special reward?
I get to choose?
That's right. And you're gonna have to use this!
Get it now? Okay! Start the roulette!
If you watch the video, you'll notice I got quite unlucky, getting a lousy reward of only 20 Cole. Not a huge deal, but still. Anyway, my particular strategy for getting the best reward is to watch for when the spinner is on the grey slice in the top right corner, then stop just a moment later. This isn't a foolproof plan, but it gets me at least the second-best reward more often than not.
Congratulations! Here's your reward, and this one is from me.
Mmhm. You can trade a certain number of these tickets in for various items. Just ask me what kind of items are available.
I see. Why are you being so generous?
Your job seems really hard...
Besides, it's not like I'm paying for these rewards. The more tickets you collect, the better item you'll get. So, good luck with collecting them!
What Esty says isn't strictly true. Basically, she'll give us a number of her special requests over the course of the game, and if we complete them, we'll get both more valuable items that we can redeem tickets for, as well as the lottery increasing the number of tickets and Cole you can get. Most of what she's offering now isn't that great, so take this time to start stockpiling tickets for when actually good stuff starts showing up later on.
This next scene happens sometime around 7/16 in Tiffani's store. Video goes until the screenshot of Tiffani saying "Hmmm, have I seen that customer before?"
` I can't! I won't accept this ring!
A ring...? Is he proposing to her!? Whoa... No! I can't just watch! Ms. Tiffani is in trouble. I have to go help her!
I think we can all tell this is going to end badly. This is Rorona, after all.
*Rorona runs over*
Ummm, please stop!
There's classy, and then there's this guy. Every pore in his model just exudes style and class. A big reason why I like him, but there's a few others.
Rorona! Good timing!
Um...uhh...you shouldn't force her! She doesn't want the ring!
That's true, but... I don't have a choice... It's my fault for forgetting my wallet. Don't worry about it.
But I can't take such a valuable ring! You can pay me back later when you have the money...
See? A ring would be too... What? A wallet?
I appreciate your concern, but I must pay for what I'm taking. That's how business works. So, please!
So, I was completely mistaken... How embarrassing... Why don't you just return the item for now, and come back later?
I wish I could, but I already took a bite into it. I can't return what's already inside my stomach.
Well then...how about this? I'll pay for the item now.
But what about...?
It's fine. I brought extra money today. Here you go.
You actually do lose 200 Cole here. Naturally it means nothing to me right now, but I do have to wonder if there's an alternate version of this scene if you don't have 200 Cole. I'll probably never find out...
Oh, okay...thank you. But this didn't solve anything...
Hmm...then I shall lend this ring to you.
...What? Oh no. Why would you do that!?
Well, I owed the shop money, but now I owe you that money instead, right?
That's right...but, no!
This is one of my favorite lines in the game. This guy seems to take this whole situation quite seriously, but the line itself and the way he delivers it is quite amusing to me.
Now, just take it!
No, wait, um... Goodbye!
Huh!? Wait! You won't get away with this!
*The man leaves*
Oops. Now I feel bad for Rorona...
Scene happens sometime after the third Assignment begins in the Sunrise Cafe. Video goes until Iksel says "If it's good enough, I'd love to put it on the menu right away."
Oh, I was just thinking... I can't come up with any good ideas for our new dessert menu.
New desserts...? I saw a few in a book I just read.
I didn't really read it that carefully...
Okay, then...can you make one and bring it to me next time? It'll be a job request for your workshop.
Alright. I should learn how to make it, then...
If it's good enough, I'd love to put it on the menu right away.
This scene is very, very odd. The biggest reason is because not only do you not get a job request from Iksel or anything after you see this scene, you also don't learn any new recipes when you return to the workshop. I am entirely unclear what the point of this scene is supposed to be.
This scene happens a couple weeks after the event in the shop between that classy old guy and Tiffani. Video goes until Rorona says " ...I wonder if he knows Master?"
This guy's theme music starts playing throughout this scene, but I'm not going to link it right now, because just the title of it, not to mention the composer commentary on it, is one of this game's few non-ending spoilers. There will come a more appropriate time for it.
Do I have a customer? Hello? Ahhh! You're...!
No, no! I can't take the ring! Absolutely not!
Hahaha, not to worry. I brought my wallet today. I was so worked up the last time we saw each other. I apologize for what happened.
Keeping in line with the dialogue, we get 200 Cole back here. This guy's class is such that he is not beholden toward the principle of gameplay and plot being separate entities. It would not be becoming of a gentleman to pretend otherwise.
This is another in a series of lines that likely weren't intended to be particularly funny, but are very funny to me. Rorona has a very, very strange definition of normal, as I hope this update will prove.
So is this your workshop?
Yes. Master forced it onto me...
(Why did he stop talking? Did I do something to make him mad?)
Oops, I haven't introduced myself yet. My name is Gio. I'm retired, so I hang around town a lot.
Gio's English voice doesn't ring a bell to me, although it's certainly not bad, but the real news here is that his Japanese voice is Akio Ohtsuka. If that name doesn't sound familiar, it's probably because you don't know many Japanese voice actors. Simply put, this guy is a legend. Gust scored big when they got him to sign on to these games. Here are just some of his roles.
And my personal favorite video game character ever, a man who exemplifies unstoppable willpower, legendary courage, and pure testosterone.
And that's just from one franchise. Basically, if you need a big, powerful, occasionally boisterous male character who has a lot of personality, Akio Ohtsuka's your man. All three of those examples are hardcore badasses in their own right, and Gio will not fail to live up to their legacy, even though he hasn't got the chance to do anything awesome yet. He will, trust me. Getting back to the topic at hand...
My name is Rorona. Ummm...Mr. Gio... Mr. Gio?
Is there something wrong with my name?
I can't shorten it... Hmm...
Anyway, that's all from me. I'm sure I'll be back as a customer. See you around.
Sure. It was nice meeting you again...
...Wait, did he know about this workshop? ...I wonder if he knows Master?
Hm, Rorona's catching on a bit. Good to see she's paying attention at least some of the time. Anyway, something important to know is that after this scene, you can start doing jobs for Gio (he's on Main Street near the carriage). Frequently he'll ask for stuff we can't make for a while (such as a Lightning Bomb), in which case you should ignore him. As a general rule, if you don't know it after scoping out the shops at the start of an Assignment, don't accept jobs you can't make the item for.
This is annoying enough, but it's not terrible when it comes to Gio, since he'll also ask for items we can make about the same amount of the time. What is very important to keep in mind is that you want to raise his friendship as fast as possible. This is very important for a series of pretty great events at the end of year 2, as well as making sure Gio doesn't lag significantly behind when he becomes a playable character, which won't happen for more than a year.
I'm honestly not sure when this scene is supposed to show up. It obviously has something to do with not taking Iksel out at all, but it might be that if you take him anywhere, you're locked out of seeing this scene. Not sure, but the time frame for it seems to be in the Summer of year 1.
...No, I don't.
But...you look like you're in a bad mood.
Oops, I forgot...Hahaha...
Hahaha!? It's not fair that you get to go out there and find rare items!
I didn't mean to...I'm sorry.
Anyway, you better come get me the next time you go!
Scene happens when Hagel's friendship level is equal to or greater than 40 in the Square. Video goes until the screenshot of Rorona saying "I bet he cares a lot about his hair."
Hey! Who are you calling bald!?
Whoa, I-I'm sorry!
...Oh, it's just you. Did I scare you?
Y-yes, you did...
I'm sorry. I totally forgot... Does it...really bother you?
What!? Y-you, fool! Who cares about the hair!? I'm not a woman!
(I didn't say anything about hair...)
Oops! Now everyone is wondering what I'm yelling about... I better go now.
Although Hagel takes the most work of the shopkeeps to see all of his events, his final events are well worth it. Some of the best scenes in the game, easy.
Following scene takes place shortly after 9/1 assuming you've seen the other two pigeon scenes. Video goes until the screenshot of the pigeon saying "Koo koo?"
Welcome, Sterk... Heeey! It's the birdy! You really did bring it!
Music: Something Good Might Happen
Well, I did make a promise. So about your assignment...
Koo koo! Aww, it's so cute. I wish I had one, too...
But first things first...
Oh, I know! Can a bird eat cookies? I made some yesterday.
Sure. It likes sweet stuff.
Would a pigeon really eat a cookie? I can't say, but I suppose it's not impossible. They are called gutter rats for a reason. I do like adding that detail of an ankle collar on the pigeon, to mark that this pigeon is actually someone's property.
I can't even talk to her... I shouldn't have brought you with me...
You should probably just keep that to yourself, Astrid...
This scene happens in the Sunrise Cafe when Tiffani's friendship level is 40 or greater. Video goes until the screenshot of Tiffani saying "Awww, Roronaaa..."
Hi, Esty...and Ms. Tiffani?
Hehe, good evening.
What are you two up to?
Remember when we first talked to Tiffani and she mentioned that her friend told her about Rorona's situation? Now we finally learn who that is. Like I said, I didn't actually figure out what she meant by that line before I put together that update.
Hey now, we don't allow under-aged kids to drink!
Oh, who cares? I wanna share a drink with a young little girl.
Pretty obvious that Esty is sensetive about her age, but the Arland universe has a weird thing with aging. Apparently in this world, the older you get, the more attractive you are. This rule holds true for Gio, who is in his mid-60s by the end.
Umm, a-anyway...you look so different today, Ms. Tiffani.
She gets this way every time she drinks. And she never remembers a single thing the next morning. She's so lucky that way.
Oh...well, you two seem to get along. I didn't know you were friends.
Friends, drinking buddies... Whatever. It kinda makes me sad, thinking about the two of us drinking all alone like this...
Esty, this isn't fair! I wanna talk to Rorona, too!
Ugh, geez! Get off of me!
Tiffani is...an affectionate drunk, to say the least. She certainly seems to like latching on to anyone nearby, certainly.
Uh, okay... Uh, excuse me then...
This scene happens around 9/8. You don't have to go anywhere specific for it, because the developers REALLY do not want you missing this scene, evidently. Not without good reason, of course. Video goes until Rorona says "What should I do with it...?"
Music: Lionela's Performance
That girl doesn't look any older than me...she's so good. Hmm, I wish I could get a little closer. Whoa, excuse me... N-no pushing, please... Ugh, whoa, aaah... Aghhhh!
Yeahhh! That was great!
I wanna see more! Please!
Huh, um, ughh... I-I'm so sorry!
She ran away...
Aww, that's it?
Ughhh...I got stepped on all over...
Honestly, how did Rorona manage to get herself in this situation? She's only getting clumsier and clumsier.
H-huh? Is the show over? Aww, I wish I could've seen the whole thing... Huh, is that...?
A wallet...? Is it hers? What should I do with it...?
This next scene occurs a few days after the last one. Also happens whenever you leave the atelier, before you even get a chance to choose a location. Video goes until Horoholo says "Yeah, but I wouldn't count on it."
*huff* *huff* I can't...
Get up. No one is gonna come and save you if you're just sitting there.
I know, but...we don't have anywhere else to go. And we haven't eaten in days...
It's all your fault. You ran away and dropped your wallet. You even forgot to take the tips...
You better not have! Why would anyone do that anyway?
You know you messed up when your own magical puppets are berating you...
Hey, don't be so mean to her! Lionela, don't listen to him.
Ah ha! There you are!
Music: Performing Girl
Um, you're the girl who was performing here the other day, right?
I've been looking all over for you. Is this yours?
Hey, that's Lionela's wallet.
You came here just to give it back? That's nice of you.
Oops, my bad.
Hey, don't mistake us for normal puppets. You might not be able to tell, but we're...
Shhh! We're not supposed to talk in front of strangers!
Oh yeah. Well, I think it's a little late for that now.
Um, this is... Um, these dolls weren't actually... Um...!
That's amazing! I've never seen talking puppets before!
Seems like Rorona has finally found a kindred soul in the world. We've finally found someone as strange as her. That said, I do really like Lionela. It certainly doesn't hurt she's voiced in the English version by a very notable voice actress, but I'll address that soon.
Oh, my name is Rorona. What are your names?
Well, if you insist... My name is Aranya. Nice to meet you.
I'm Horoholo. Isn't that a great name?
I'm not sure who voices Horoholo, but Aranya is no doubt Carrie Savage. A lot of people really don't like her voice, but I do. It's very, very distinctive. She works with Funimation on their dubs a lot, so that's where I know her mostly from, but she does video game roles every now and then.
Okay...so I'll call you two, Horo and Ranya! It's nice to meet you, too!
Hey, don't just stand there. Introduce yourself.
Oh, yeah! I'm...Lionela...
Lionela is voiced by the eminent voice actress Laura Bailey. She has a great voice, and deservedly gets a lot of video game and anime roles, especially in Funimation dubs, like Ms. Savage. The number of her roles between anime and video games could fill a graduate thesis, but some of her roles in video game these days are Chun-Li from Street Fighter IV to now, Serah Farron in Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2, Catherine in Catherine, and Helena Harper in the soon to be released Resident Evil 6.
I wouldn't say she has a great range of voices, but she is very good at what she does. If only for the fact that Laura Bailey does her voice, I wish Lionela was in the sequels.
We travel around the world, performing in each kingdom we pass through.
And that's why Lionela is so dressed the way she is. It makes sense for a traveling performer like her to not wear much because she lives off the tips she gets. I've always thought the best character designs were always the ones that make sense in the context of that character. There are limits, of course, but as long as I can reasonably imagine a character wearing what they're wearing in the context of the story, I'm okay with whatever they might wear.
We're the traveling performers. We don't know how long we'll stay, but I'm sure we'll see each other often, for a while!
Oops, I better go finish my errands for Master... Um, I'll be back to see your show again!
What a weirdo.
She seems nice. What's wrong with you, Lionela? You're so quiet.
Let's save the lecture for later. We should go find a place to stay, now that we have money.
You're right. We can finally eat, Lionela.
*fade to black*
She didn't seem like she was afraid of us at all...
Yeah, she's got a lotta nerve. Or she might just be clueless...
This could mean...
Yeah, but I wouldn't count on it.
Again, something you really should probably keep to yourself. Maybe she wasn't joking that time when she talked about what she did while Rorona was sleeping...
This next scene happens just a few days after the last, whenever it happens. Video goes until Rorona says "I hope she's not planning to do something weird to her..."
Hmm...is it just me, or is somebody watching me?
*fade to outside the atelier*
Whew...that was close...
...What are you doing? Didn't you come to see her? Why are you hiding from her now?
B-but...I got scared.
Then you shouldn't have come in the first place.
You can't hide here forever. Come on, you can do it!
As sappy as it is, I really do like how quickly Rorona takes a liking to Lionela and her puppets. Rorona seems to attract strange people anyway, but this scene strikes me as Lionela going a bit out of her comfort zone to talk to someone, something she clearly doesn't do a lot of.
What do you think you're doing?
Excuse us. We're not bad people. We just came to visit the workshop.
You don't have to tell us that we look super suspicious, because we already know that.
Oh...b-but...I'm not ready...!
*fade to inside the atelier*
Rorona, you have a visitor.
Who is it? Oh, Ms. Lionela... And Ranya and Horo, too?
Oops, I'm sorry. Mr. Horo...holo?
No, I mean, Ms. Lionela sounds like too much...
Yeah, you can be more friendly with her.
Friendly...? Okay, then...Liona!
I love how Rorona's first instinct upon meeting someone she'd like to be friends with is coming up with a nickname for them, if she didn't know them already.
You don't like it? I can try to think of a different nickname...
No, I-I like it! I'm just not used to people calling me nicknames...
I'm 'glad you like it. So Liona, do you need something from me?
Oh, uh yeah...um...I-I wanted to thank you for...finding my wallet the other day.
You didn't have to come all the way here just to thank me.
Well, we were also interested in learning what exactly alchemists do.
You accept requests from the townspeople to earn money, right? If it's alright with you, we'd like to bring you some requests, too.
You will? Thank you! I'll do whatever I can to help!
Umm...we...should be going soon...
Huh? We just got here. Why can't we stay a little longer?
Sorry about this. She gets extremely nervous around new poeple.
Don't worry. Come visit me anytime, Liona.
Okay... See ya...
*Lionela and puppets leave*
Do you think so? She seems pretty normal to me.
Well, it's nice that she didn't lose her marbles when she first met Lionela, given Lionela's pretty jumpy already, but Rorona certainly seems to have a strange definition of "Normal"
I don't understand how you can think that's normal. But at least she's interesting, so I like her. Get her to come back here soon.
Master likes her... I hope she's not planning to do something weird to her...
So now we can start taking jobs for Lionela. It's important you do at least 2-3 jobs for her, as well as bringing her out on an adventure a few times. The most important reason is that Lionela will leave Arland if her friendship level isn't high enough by a certain point, the only party member who can become permanently unavailable. This locks you out of the Lionela Ending and the ??? Ending, so obviously I won't be doing this on my full playthrough, but I will document that scene.
Well, that's about all the interesting stuff that happened this Assignment. Let's jump right into the evaluations, shall we? Oh, and many apologies, but I was mistaken about star rankings. It turns out 3-5 is one big star, and 6-7 is two big stars. I've gone back to the previous updates where I talked about the stars and have corrected the information.
I don't know how fine it went, though...
You're right. Well, let's find out.
This may be harsh on you, but I'm sure you know why.
I don't want to keep reminding you, but don't forget about the risk you're causing for your workshop. Anyway, let's move on to the next assignment.
Umm...it wasn't that bad, right?
Well, it says, "We don't know much about alchemy, but we feel that you could've done a little better."
I'm sorry...but I tried my best.
I'm sure this only goes to show that we have high expectations of you. I hope you can meet them. Now, let's talk about the next assignment.
Really...? I did that well?
Well, it does say, "We don't know much about alchemy, but we think it was satisfactory."
Umm...so should I be proud of that?
I know the comment sounds vague, so I apologize. But if you keep this up, you'll be able to prove that this comment is true.
I hope so...
I'm counting on you. Now, let's talk about the next assignment.
Preparing for the Annual Festival...?
Watch out for the deadline. This one is shorter than usual.
I didn't realize it's that season already. I guess I've been too caught up with my work.
I'm sorry. I don't like seeing a girl your age getting caught up in something like this...
Oh sorry, I didn't mean it that way... Please don't worry. I actually enjoy doing the work, somewhat.
That's good to hear... We'll all work hard to prepare for the festival. I hope you'll get to enjoy it after you finish your assignment.
I really hope so, too!
Next time we'll be tackling a lot of stuff, including a new location, the Annual Festival, and the end of the year.
Cauldron Synthesis 1
Cauldron Synthesis 2
Puppet Show Intro
Lionela, Aranya, Horoholo render
Lionela, or Liona, dances a lot. When I heard that, I wanted to make a song with a Brazilian carnival theme, but I guess that was wrong.
Something Good Might Happen
The songs for the events scenes are all sorta girly. It's nice to have just one main character; it makes it easier for me to create music around one concept.
I combined the Festival with Lionela and added some Latin flavor, and this is what I came up with. Why Latin? The Director had Gypsies in mind.