Part 10: Update IX: An Alchemist and her Teddy BearNow that we've gotten a bunch of small events out of the way, we should probably get going on some adventures.
This next scene happens whenever you leave Arland to go anywhere except for The Catacombs. I got this scene in-between accepting and completing the Big Boss request last update, but I excluded it because I wanted last update and this one to be about something in particular (Hom for that one, and a couple new characters for this one). I don't believe this triggers if you have a party scene when you're leaving Arland, however. Video goes until Rorona says "I really need to get back to work..."
...Huh? A song...? It's coming from over there!
*fade to black*
Music: Arland's Dancer: Solo
La la la... Oh!?
Uh oh, where did my audience go?
Oh, umm, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to interrupt you.
Well, well...there's no need to worry. That song wasn't meant for them... It was for a cute, precious girl like yourself...
What? Cu-cute!? Are you really talking about me!?
Of course I am. Haven't you realized just how attractive you are...?
I'm not quite sure what Rorona means by "gnome-like". It's a cute way to describe yourself, I guess...
Don't look down. I can't see your beautiful face down there...
Um, uh... *sigh*
(What an interesting girl...)
I, uh...I have to get back to work now! Excuse me!
Wait! I have a question. A girl all alone in such a place... Is Arland nearby?
Oh, y-yes. If you go that way, eventually you'll...
Do you live in Arland?
Yes. I'm running the alchemy workshop there. So, um...
I hope we'll meet again. I'm looking forward to our dramatic reunion, my dear miss.
*the man leaves*
*sigh* That was embarrassing. Such a weird guy...said that I'm cute...
Well, I can't say I'd be as dramatic as this guy when it comes to complimenting a girl, but I do like getting a blushing or embarrassed reaction like that from a compliment I give. I like to mention something specific, like something they're wearing or their hair or something. In my experience, they pretty much never react like Rorona does here, but if girl is genuinely happy with a compliment or something you said to her, she'll let you know. It's all in the eyes.
Oops! I really need to get back to work...
Another Assignment, another Esty quest. As I learned from the wiki for this game, apparently in addition to a window they'll show up, you also need a certain amount of Trust Level to make these events show up. However, they're so low I never guessed there was a need for it. For this next scene, the new year has to have started and you need 20% or more Trust Level.
And yeah, also looking at the wiki, I'm pretty sure these events are designed to pop up at the start of several Assignments, with the last one being the second Assignment of year 3. Video goes until the screenshot Esty talking about the deadline.
Oh, can I ask you to do one more thing?
You have something else for me? Sure...
Huh? Oh! I'm sorry! I didn't mean it like that! So, what kind of job is it? I'll be happy to help, if I can!
Really? Great. I knew you would accept it.
That was a quick shift... You remind me of Master...
Hm, Astrid and Esty would be good friends, indeed. But I can hardly blame them. Rorona's face just makes you want to tease her.
Anyway, here's what I need you to do.
This is a pretty easy quest. The only thing you need to keep in mind is you need a Poisonhead from the Mines to attach Poison to a Witch's Salve. Anything else will not suffice.
I see... It's a strange request.
This next scene takes place when you return to Arland after meeting that bard for the first time. Video goes until the screenshot of the man saying "A workshop? I see... Okay, I'll hear you out.
I wonder if that guy is here somewhere?
*fade to black*
Hmph. Have you finally returned for good, my prodigal son?
This is our first real glimpse at Meredith's personal life. We'll learn bits and pieces over the game, but the game does a surprisingly good job of making Meredith at least somewhat sympathetic. He's still a jerk, of course, but he does have his problems.
You look like you're doing well. I expected to find you on your deathbed, since you called me back so suddenly.
As for you, I thought you'd be found dead by the roadside by now. You've been gone for nearly ten years without any contact...
Okay, okay, no more lectures. There's a reason you wanted me to come back, right?
...Yes. I thought I'd give you an important job.
A job, huh? I shouldn't have expected any good news from you...
Nope. So, what's this all about? I'm not up for anything boring, like a desk job, just so you know.
I don't need your help for that. It's the perfect job for someone like you, who doesn't know anyone in this town. Your job is to close down an annoying workshop...
A workshop? I see... Okay, I'll hear you out.
This next scene will happen sometime in late January. Throughout most of the scene, you can hear construction noises in the background.
Good morning, Master.
Oh, good morning... I mean, what's with all the noise!?
It looks like there is construction nearby.
We do not think so. Grand Master is on her way over here.
Oh, Master, huh? Yeah, I didn't think she would put up with this.
Huh? The noise stopped.
*fade to black*
Master, how did...?
...I'm going back to sleep. Don't wake me up under any circumstances.
Man, she looked angry...
I hope everything is okay...
*fade to black*
Damn, I didn't think she would interefere with this. I failed this time, but next time...!
This next scene takes place shortly after the Assignment begins in Tiffani's shop.
Yeah, there's this one customer that keeps coming in and buying all I have every morning.
Hmm...I really need some. I guess I'll have to go gather it myself.
Can you bring me some if you have any extra? I'll even buy it from you at a higher price than usual.
Are you sure?
Unfortunately, I won't be selling any Magic Grass to Tiffani this Assignment. The reason is that the Tonics needed for the Assignment require Magic Grass as an ingredient. I'd personally use Hom to gather a bunch of Magic Grass in Nearby Forest to avoid having to waste your time with a trip.
And yeah, it's Meredith doing that. This is about the most harmful thing he'll be doing.
I see... (I guess this is how business works...) Okay, I'll bring you some if I end up with any extra.
This next scene takes place in mid-February when you return from an adventure.
Welcome back, Master.
Hi, Homhom! What've you got there?
This is for you. We signed for it, since you were not here.
For me? I wonder what it is? A medicine bottle?
There is a note. It says, "Don't open the bottle!"
What, I can't open it?
Yep, we've got a choice here. If I didn't know what this choice affected, I might leave it up to the people to decide, but since I do know, and this is the only sensible option, I'll be opening it. I mean, it's Rorona. Trying to reverse psychology her would work perfectly.
Hmm...when someone tells me not to do something, it only make me want to do it even more...
Am I wrong here?
...Huh? Do you smell that?
It appears to be coming from the bottle.
Eww, it stinks! Ughhh, wh-what should I do!?
How about close the lid, and go outside?
*fade to black*
*huff* *huff* ...Ugh, I feel sick.
You should have obeyed the instructions.
But I was curious! What should I do now? We can't go back in there...
It would probably take a whole day to ventilate. We cannot do any work today.
*sigh* ...I wonder who sent that to me?
Heh heh heh. I didn't think it would work so well. But this isn't over yet. I'm gonna make you suffer even more...
If you choose not to open the bottle, Hom and Rorona will put it on a shelf and ignore it, and Meredith will basically say "Don't youngsters do the opposite of what they're told to do these days?" You also don't lose a day. However, I mean, I think my choice is for the best here.
This next scene happens when you try and buy something from Iksel after the Assignment begins.
What is it?
Why is this Forest Cabbage so expensive? Aren't they usually a lot cheaper than this?
Haven't you heard about the new Cabbage Tax?
Cabbage Tax? What's that?
Yeah, I understand that part...but why Cabbage?
Don't ask me. Who cares, anyway? You can pick Cabbage anywhere.
Yeah...that sounds pretty pointless.
Meredith, you wily knave, you. As if we needed more good reasons to join the Cabbage Festival.
This next scene takes place a few days after the event with Meredith and the bard. Video goes until Rorona talks about being tired.
It can't be communicated in text, but this screenshot was taken while the sound of a lute being played is heard.
Huh? I've heard this before...
Aghhhh!! My ear!
Music: Talking Wandering Poet
Hello again, my dear kitty.
What's going on!? My ear... I-I'm not a cat! I'm a human!
This part is strange to me. How did this guy manage to sneak up on Rorona and grab her ear?
You seemed pretty excited about it. Do you want me to try it on your other ear, too?
Ahhh! No! Don't! Wh-what are you doing here, anyway!?
You were in my dreams last night.
I tried to get your attention, but then I realized that I don't even know your name... Do you know how heart-breaking it is when all you want is for that one person to notice you, but it's impossible?
Stop with that embarrassing talk! It's Rorona, okay? My name is Rorona!
Rorona...how poetic. It rings in my heart, even though it only has three syllables...
I said enough!...Oh, but I don't think I've asked for your name, either.
My name? I'm Tris... Wait, I guess I should keep it a secret, huh? Um... Let's just say that my name is Tantris. Yeah, Tantris, the wandering bard-type person.
Yeah, this guy's weird about hiding his true name, but you don't need to look to hard to find it. That said, I'd love to be a "wandering bard-type person". He kinda reminds me of that weird elf kid in A Link to the Past who played the ocarina and got all the animals to gather around him. In this case, Rorona is the bumbling elf kid ruining everything.
Tantris... Tant...? Tris...? Hmm, they both sound awkward...
I didn't think you'd care so much about my name. Are you trying to send me some kind of signal?
What!? No! I just need to figure out what to call you!
Pictured: Astrid's character motivations.
Who gave you permission to create such a lovey-atmosphere with my pupil!?
You make me sick... Wait, have I seen you somewhere before?
Oohhh, straight to the point! Me likey. I heard you're suffering from an irrational order given by the kingdom. I just came to see if you need help.
You want to help me?
Sure. I might not be of much help, but I can at least act as your shield... Just let me know...any time. Well, that's all. See ya.
He ran away...
It looked like he was running away from you, Master.
Hmm...whatever. I'm sure there'll be plenty of time to interrogate him later.
So now we can hire good ol' Tantris. Offense-wise, he's alright right now, but his major thing is he's the closest thing to a White Mage this game has, surprisingly, given his personality. His major thing is focusing on stat boosting, which of course, can be pretty useful. For the record, his innate element is Earth, like Iksel. You can also start doing jobs for him, which I'd recommend, because he needs 80 Friendship Level for all his events. In addition, you do have to take him out once he gets to around 30 friendship. One of his required events is only triggered by bringing him out on an adventure.
But I think it's time to stop goofing off and start moving on to The Catacombs. Another party scene, this time between Cordelia and Tantris. Video goes until Rorona says "Why is she yelling at me?"
Why, hello there...
Who's this guy? Do you know him?
Mmhm. His name's Tant. We recently became good friends.
Hey! You said "Tant" sounded awkward!
A royal flower in this beaten-down world... I am truly blessed to have met someone like you.
...Uhh, no thanks. What's his problem anyway?
Hehehe... He's always like this.
...What are you doing with this flamboyantly suspicious guy?
Another pretty funny line, but this reminds me quite a bit of one of George's lines from Seinfeld, where he yelled he was caught in his own web of lies. Very oddly enough, this isn't the last time Seinfeld is going to be mildly relevant to these games.
...Can I punch him in the face?
Relax. Can't you try to get along?
I'm with Rorona on this. After all, I would love to get along with all the women in the world. That's right, I said it... Not just one; I want all of them...
Yeah, yeah. Let's just go.
*fade to black, Cordelia and Rorona leave*
I really can't stand those kinds of guys. He's so creepy.
He's not that bad...
Why do you keep covering for him? How did you guys meet in the first place?
Umm...he stopped me in the street and said, "Why, hello there, pretty lady." ...Hehehe.
Rorona's just making stuff up again. Silly girl.
You need to keep your guard up! Do you understand!?
Okay, fine... Why is she yelling at me?
This little scene happens the first time you enter The Catacombs.
See? Everything seems fine here... I knew Master was just joking around!
I better hurry up and get this over with so I can go home!
Music: Sleeping Underground Graveyard
These bandit enemies aren't too hard to defeat, but they frequently drop really crappy equipment (it's not unusual to have weapons and armor in the single digits in terms of quality). There's no point to using them, but you can pawn them off in town when you return. That's about the only thing they're good for. You can get some fairly good coin for a minimum of effort.
However, we're really not here to explore very much. What you want is to take the further exit to this first area and the second area with all the ghosts. This scene plays when you enter that third room. Video goes until the screenshot of Rorona running away.
Huh? It's a teddy bear... It looks brand new. I wonder if someone dropped it?
...Should I take it back to town with me?
Huh? Wh-what was that!?
...I don't see anyone. Maybe I'm just hearing things... I better keep going!
Very mysterious. Next scene takes place when you return to the atelier. Video goes until Astrid says "This will keep things interesting for a while".
Being scared made me more tired than usual. I better go to bed. Oh, the teddy bear... Oh well, I'll take care of it tomorrow. *yawn*
*fade to black*
Well, I should try using the ingredients that I gathered yesterday...
Huh? Is Master up already? I haven't even made breakfast yet...
No, that wasn't Master! Wh-who was it then!?
Ooh, a person. Hi there! Do you know where I am or what in the world I'm doing here?
Aghh! How rude! It's not nice to scream in someone's face.
Nooo! Get away! P-please don't eat me!
Well, well... I didn't think you'd bring a ghost back with you. You're always exceeding my expectations.
M-Master! H-help...! Waaahhh! I'm gonna get eaten!
That's not going to happen. I made up that story.
I don't care... Just help me...
...Wait, you made it all up?
Mmhm. It was just a little touch to scare you even more. And it worked like a charm!
I apologize. I didn't mean to insult you, beautiful, young ghost lady.
Oh please, I'm not that beautiful...
Wh-what are you doing, making small talk with her!? She's a ghost! A GHOST!
I don't get to talk to ghosts very often. I can't pass up this opportunity to actively engage her in conversation.
...Where are my manners? Here, have a seat. Rorona, can you prepare some tea for us?
Don't mind me. I can't sit or drink tea. I'm a ghost!
I love her voice actress. She has this really amusing breathless, airheadedness voice to her. It makes for a very amusing character.
Urgh, what is going...?
*fade to black*
Music: Ghost Girl: For Atelier Rorona
...So basically, you don't remember anything from when you were alive, Ms. Pamela?
Oh, just call me Pamela.
Ah, the ghost girl Pamela. You know how a lot of Final Fantasies have a character named Cid who has at least some relation to airships? Pamela is Gust's answer to Cid. Her first appearance in the series was in Atelier Judie: The Alchemist of Gramnad in 2002, and since then she's gone on to be a recurring character in several different Atelier games, as well as crossing over with the Mana Khemia series. With the exception of sequels, however, she's a different character in each game. Her first appearance in Judie looked like this, so you can imagine they stick to a theme when designing new iterations of Pamela. But she is a ghost in all her appearances.
(...She looks like a normal girl.)
Okay then...what are you thinking of doing from now on, Pamela?
I haven't really thought about it. I didn't really choose to come here.
(She's not that scary, even though she is a ghost... Wow, she doesn't have feet, either, just like a real ghost...)
Are you sure? Thanks. That'll help me a lot.
(Her hair is so fluffy... She's pretty cute, too... Huh?)
What!? Here!? No! Absolutely not!
Do you want to kick this poor, beautiful girl out onto the street? If so,then why did you bring her here in the first place?
I-it's not like I knew... Plus, she's a ghost... A-and also...it's really weird of you to be so nice!
Well, excuse me. So are you saying that what I really want is to watch you be afraid of a ghost?
See? I knew it!
You're Rorona, right? Nice to meet you!
Aghhh! St-stay away from me!
*Rorona and Pamela leave*
Excellent... This will keep things interesting for a while.
So after that scene with Pamela's introduction, she'll float around the atelier, either amazed at what an alchemy workshop looks like or saying that she's bored. Funnily enough, Pamela is a completely optional character to run into. You don't have to meet her at all in order to complete the game.
This next scene will happen sometime in late February. Likely sometime after the 20th.
La la laa... It's looking good. Now I just have to use the flask to... Huh? What is this? A thumbtack...?
...Why is this inside my flask?
*fade to black*
Heh heh heh... She looks confused. Excellent. This is just the beginning! Rorona, I'm gonna make you suffer!
This next scene happens when you fulfill Esty's third special request. Video goes until Rorona says "...Hmmm, something smells fishy."
Esty, here's that stuff you wanted...
Oh, great. Thanks... It's perfect.
This request is worth 1200 Cole, which is a nice chunk of change for me. Every bit helps.
Really? I'm so glad. So what are you using it for?
The hell if I know...
What? But you asked me for it...
Oops, you're right. Well... Then it's a secret.
Oh course! Anywho, do you remember that Ticket I gave you before?
You should take a look if you feel like it. Good job and see ya!
Esty? ...Hmmm, something smells fishy.
This next scene takes place if Cordeila's friendship level is 25 or greater, and it's been at least a week since Hom's introduction. Video goes until Rorona talks about being left all alone.
Oh...am I in the wrong place? Pardon me...
*Cordelia leaves, returns*
Wait, no, this is right place. This is Rorona's workshop, right?
Hehe! That's exactly what I said.
Rorona! Come on out here already! ...And who is that kid?
Homhom. One of Master's alchemy creations.
...Dont' be ridiculous.
My name is Hom. Nice to meet you.
Oh, hi. I'm Cordelia. Nice to meet you, too.
...Hey, how tall are you?
Four feet, eight inches.
You look a little upset, Lady Cordelia. Or should I call you, Cory?
Ahhh! Don't scare me like that! And don't call me, Cory!
I understand how you might be upset to hear that a newborn Homunculus is already over four foot, seven... Especially given that you're only four foot, six and three quarters...
I-I'm not upset...! *gasp* Did you actually...!?
Now, go ahead and cry all you want!
Astrid is the best. This is the kind of burn you have to take gracefully, because there's just no comeback for that.
Grh...y-you! This is so stupid...
Haha! You're only four, six and three quarters! Come on. Join in, Hom.
Haha. Cory is shorter than me.
Ughhhhhh! You won't get away with this! Not today!
Uh oh, Cory's pissed. Let's go, Hom.
Yes, Grand Master.
*Astrid and Hom leave*
Come back here! You're not getting away from me!
This next scene seems to take place a couple weeks after the last event with Tantris. If there's a concrete window for it when it does show up, I haven't found it. Video goes until Tantris talking about not seeing the future.
That's right. I told her to run away before an evil sorcerer comes for her.
You are the one who is more like the evil sorcerer.
Tantris' equivocation of Astrid to a sorcerer is interesting to me, because Astrid's Japanese voice, Atsuko Tanaka, also played Caster in Type-Moon's Fate/stay night. If you don't know who Caster is, she's basically an evil witch character, and guess what Astrid is also compared to later on. Tanaka has a really sultry, soothing voice that fits the part well. It's almost certainly a coincidence, but I find it something to note anyway.
On that subject, on the Japanese voice track, Rorona's voice actress is Mai Kadowaki, who also plays a Fate character. She is unfortunately the definition of "Typecasted", because she always plays the same character type, the bubbly, energetic girl. Usually young, too. Both Kadowaki and Tanaka also have surprisingly good singing voices.
You got me there. Okay then, you're an evil wolf...no. Maybe a dog is more suiting.
Man, that's harsh. Did I do something to make you hate me so much?
When I was a girl, full of angst and body image issues, there was a brat who used to call me Four-Eyes. Oh, how deeply that hurt my young psyche. Even with my big, generous heart, I'll never forget about that.
...You've got an impressive memory. However...can you play along and pretend that we've just met?
That's your problem, not mine. However, I'll consider it, depending on what you're up to. It is something interesting, I hope.
That's too bad... Fine, I'll play along for now. It'll be perfect if I can use you as bait to discover that man's dirty secret.
I'm glad that you feel comfortable enough to say that in front of the bait.
...Well, thanks anyway. In return, may I take you out to dinner tonight?
No thanks. I can't enjoy a good meal if I'm looking at a man's face. You'll only spoil it for me.
She turned me down. She's not gonna make this easy.
This next scene takes place when you synthesize a pie in early March.
Agh! M-Master, what are you...? Oh no, my pie!
Hmhmhm, always expect the unexpected, Rorona.
Please give it back to me! Don't worry, I made some for you, too.
Then it shouldn't matter if I eat this one instead, right? Hmmm...
You should at least sit down while you're eating.
Hmmm, hmm... Hmm? Gh...ugh...
What's wrong? Does it taste bad? I thought I did pretty well today.
What!? That can't be right... Can I try some? Hmmm...
...Ahh, you're right! Bleh!
Of course not. Oh! Remember how I've been telling you about all the strange things that are happening? This must be another one...
I think you just got the salt and sugar mixed up.
I would never make that kind of basic mistake...
Rorona's gotta be right here. The only thing she can do really well is pie.
You do that pretty often, don't you?
Well, this isn't edible. We should throw it away. I guess we won't have any dessert today...
After this scene ends, you lose that pie you just made. In a cruel twist of fate, the Snow Pie that I made was 79 quality. LIkely because I was only level 21 or so and it's a level 24 item, but the defeat was just too much. Ah well. Not like I had any particular plans for it.
This next event happens when you've seen the scene with Tiffani and the Magic Grass, the thumbtack in the flask, and when the pie gets ruined. I imagine the bottle scene with Hom, too, if only because it's probably impossible to miss. Video goes until the screenshot of Tantris walking away.
Don't worry. It's enough for me to just watch you work...
P-please, don't say stuff like that!
(Well, what should I do? I don't intend to interfere with her business here... But I if I don't do anything, he won't get off my back...)
May I ask you a question? You don't have to stop what you're doing.
Sure. What is it?
Have you been having any problems recently? Something related to work, perhaps?
Hmmm, problems related to work...? Oh, one time, I couldn't buy an item that I wanted because someone else bought the entire shop's supply.
(Hmm...sounds like he's not doing anything overtly ridiculous...)
So I went to gather it myself. The shop ended up buying the rest from me at a higher cost because it was so scarce. Wait, so I guess that was a good thing after all...
(...Hmph, you're not so clever, Old Man...) Anything else?
Well...weird things have been happening around here lately. Like, someone put a thumb tack inside a flask, and swapped the sugar with salt...
...Besides the thumb tack, the salt and sugar might have been your own mistake.
...Anyway, I should get going soon. Sorry to bother you at a busy time.
No problem. I'm sorry I couldn't do anything...
Let's plan a day to hang out, just you and me, alone...
Wahhh!? Please, don't whisper so close into my ear!
Ahaha. See ya.
Ugh...I wish he would stop fooling around like that...
Master, your face is a bright red. And, strange smoke is coming from the cauldron.
*fade to black*
I was gonna try to help her if he was doing anything ridiculous, but it sounds like he's no big deal. So, what should I do now?
Well, there were a few more scenes this Assignment, but nothing that can't wait. I think it's time we jumped right into the...
I didn't know how long you were gonna last at first, but...
Hahaha...I felt the exact same way...
I think you did a good job this past year. Make sure to keep it up. You're only a third of the way through. Don't put your guard down. Now, for the results of this year's first assignment...
...You barely passed. It looks like you're loosening up a little too much.
I'm sorry... I didn't realize that...
It's even worse when it's unintentional. I don't know if you remember, but if you fail once, your workshop will be closed down. Keep that in mind and make sure to do better next time.
Anyway, enough lecturing. Let's talk about your next assignment.
You followed the instructions, but...it lacks creativity.
The assignments are going to get harder and harder. Keeping that in mind, you need to start turning in more advanced results.
I'm sorry. I'll do better next time!
I'm counting on that. Now, let's talk about your next assignment.
Well, there's not much to say. It looks like you're improving by the day.
Do you really think so? That's good to hear...
No doubt. You used to get so nervous just coming here.
P-please don't bring that up! It's to embarrassing...
Sorry. That's enough joking around, anyway. Let's talk about your next assignment.
There's been an abnormal amount of them in the area lately, and we don't know what the reason is. Us knights can barely handle them, so we decided to ask you for help.
*sigh* I got a similar request from Esty, but I'm not really good at that kind of stuff.
I understand that, but I'm sure you can find a way to incorporate alchemy into battling.
Incorporate? Okay, I'll try to think of something.
Sleeping Underground Graveyard
This song is an ensemble of three instruments: The dulcimer, mandolin, and acoustic guitar. The rusty atmosphere that they create reminds me of an old ruin.
Talking Wandering Poet
Tantris is a musician, so his songs should be a little emotional. It was a little challenging for me to write a song based on that description, so I decided to make the songs for all the other characters first and work from there.
Arland's Dancer: Solo
In the illustrations, Tantris uses an instrument that looks like a mandolin (I was surprised to see how detailed it looked in the animation). The mandolin wasn't actually used in this song; I used multiple bigger instruments instead.
Ghost Girl: For Atelier Rorona
It's Pamela. I make a little change to this every time, just like her illustrations. She's nice, fashionable, and attractive... That's Pamela, in my mind.