Part 114: Update CX: An Apprentice and the Curtain CallY'know, there were honestly times I thought I'd never make it to this point. There were many moments in this LP, in Rorona, Totori, and this game, when I thought the fatigue of having to do so much for a single update, combined with the fact I am extremely inexperienced and painfully unfunny, and this thread simply hasn't gotten very much notice despite how long it has run and how many updates I've done, that I thought my enthusiasm would completely wither away and I'd never get around to finishing it, simply because there was still so much in front of me.
I'll admit, there were many points where I considered abandoning things altogether and walking away, but I knew every time that I had what it took to finish this. One can probably sense my fatigue in a number of updates, especially in "An Apprentice and the Knights", I believe it was, but it doesn't matter now. I made it.
I suppose the end of every LP makes the author slightly sentimental at least, and I'll join the ranks of many newcomer LPers in saying I can hardly stand to look at my earliest updates. For about half of Rorona, I think, I really had no goddamn clue what form I wanted to take with the thread. The second half of Rorona, I think, showed a marked increase in quality, if I may say so myself, one that stuck for the rest of the game, all through Totori, and for the most part continued with Meruru. If you were to ask me, I'd say Totori I did the best LPing job of, but maybe that's just because of the nature of the game.
Well, lengthly musing aside, we still have one final non-ending update to do, don't we? Our first scene happens any time after 1/1 of the 5th year. You don't have to see this scene at all (you can just wander the world map until 4/1), but it's very thematically appropriate. Video goes until the second screenshot of Meruru thinking to herself.
Oh, isn't today supposed to be -?
*knock on door*
Hello, Princess. Have you finished preparing? I'm here to pick you up.
Thanks, Rufus...umm, pick me up for what again?
Please don't tell me you forgot... Today we have to discuss and rehearse the merger ceremony.
Oh, ah, um...sorry, not ringing any bells. Refresh my memory...what's the merger ceremony, exactly?
It's to commemorate the day Arls took another step into the future and merged with the Arland Republic.
As you are the Princess of Arls, I must ask you to attend no matter the circumstances.
I see...so Arls Kingdom is gonna be gone soon. Okay! I'll be there, no matter what.
*fade to black*
It's still kind of sad that the kingdom of Arls is going to disappear.
This next part of the scene, after Keina comes in, is unvoiced for unknown reasons. Let's just roll with it.
Rehearsal is going to begin soon. Mr. Rufus will be so upset if you're not ready.
I wonder if this is the last time Rufus will get to be mad at me before I'm not a princess anymore...
Will you stay with me even after Arls becomes part of Arland?
Of course. I'm surprised you would even ask.
I'll always be there by your side.
Always...? That's right. Keina and me, from now till the end of time. That's kinda...cool!
Come on then, let's get ready. Is this outfit okay?
Yup! ...I wonder if this is the last time you're ever gonna dress me.
Ehehe. That's not going to change, either! From now until forever...
Haha. I'm sure I'll keep causing you trouble, so please keep on putting up with me!
*fade to black*
Everyone was smiling and happy. It seems like they were really enjoying themselves. I thought this was gonna be the end, but maybe I was wrong.
Would that I could do more this update, but the ending chatting is for all the characters, and we've assembled quite a cast these past...goodness, has it really been about 6 months I've been on Meruru? I got through Totori in half the time. Yeesh.
The final bulletin. I really don't get that "Development" up in the top right corner. I've built every facility, but there's still a part unshaded. Oh well. Kinda anticlimactic final bulletin, I'd say. But more importantly...
Arls Kingdom at its height. We've done good here. Well, I think that's all for the game. There's a number of scenes that cap off the Potion of Youth and hot springs sidequests, but they can wait until the proper ending updates for those scene. There's still quite a bit of left here, as the ending awaits..
I'm here to pick you up. The day of the ceremony has finally arrived. Lord Dessier is waiting at the castle.
Okay, got it. But...I think I'd better go there by myself. I have some stops I want to make.
I understand. I'll let Lord Dessier know.
I'll go see Dad after thanking everyone who helped me out.
You can either jump straight to the Throne Room to end the game, or talk to all the named characters in town you want. Fun fact: their dialogue differes depending on what events you've seen regarding them. I don't think Homs', or any of the shopkeeps other than Astrid ever changes, but for everyone else it depends on if you've seen their ending flag event or not, which is why so many of them refer to their ending events when Meruru talks with them. Well, let's start with an old, trusty friend...
Yup, the cauldron.
But now, getting to the cast.
Yeah, I know. But I really wanted to come see you first.
I see. Well that's perfect, because I was hoping to see you, too.
Because you're my first apprentice, right? So I wanted to give you a biiig hug before you set off again!
Wh -? Miss Totori, y-you're making me blush...
You've worked so hard up until now. I guess it's time you graduated from my teaching.
B-But I have so much more to learn from you.
No! Miss Totori, you're not gonna leave, are you!? Am I ever gonna see you again!?
Of course you will. You can come and go as you please all across Arls and Arland now.
Well don't scare me like that! I thought I was gonna hafta say goodbye forever or something!
Ahaha, sorry! We've already been through something like that once before, huh?
Yeah...that time I jumped the gun and assumed you'd never be coming back again. Hehe...
It's way out in the middle of nowhere, but I'd still like to show you where I grew up.
I wanna see your hometown, too! I'll come and visit for sure. I promise!
Sorry, I'm kinda busy. I'll read to you after the ceremony's over.
Ooh...Rorona loves talking to Meruru!
I won't get to be a princess anymore, but we'll still get to see each other. Sorry, am I confusing you?
Huh? Meruru's gonna stop being a princess? But your crown is so preeetty...
Haha. You really like this crown, huh?
Yup! It's all twinkly and shiny.
Yup. It'll be my gift to you to show you how much I care about you. Take good care of it, okay?
OKAY! Wow...so Rorona's gonna be the princess from now on?
Hehe. Anyway, I'll come back once the ceremony's over.
Okay! I'll be a good girl and wait for you!
Mini Master, if there is anything we can do, please do not hesitate to ask.
No, no, nothing like that. I just wanted to talk to you two.
Certainly. Please feel free to speak your mind.
Hom and...Hom. Thank you for all your help up until now! If it weren't for you, I might have just given up on alchemy when it started getting too hard.
The chances of that happening were very low. Mini Master would have continued her alchemy even without Hom.
That's not really what I'm trying to say. I just wanted to say thanks for all the help you've given me.
Assisting Mini Master is simply a matter of course. There is no need to say thank you.
You're so difficult... Anyway, I really do appreciate all the help I got from you two.
"Thank you"...we do not hear that word very often.
It makes my chest tingle. What is this feeling...? Mini Master, is Home dysfunctional?
Huh? Oh..I think I get it. They're homunculi, so it must be tough for them to understand emotions.
Calm down, Mini Master.
Okay, so...see, my heart is deep within in my chest, and... It doesn't have a shape, but word can help explain how I feel. And those words come from my heart. Do you understand? Ugh, don't worry about it! Just know that I'm really thankful for you two.
Heart...that feels like a very pretty word to me.
Well I'm glad to hear it! Anyway, I'd better get going.
Good luck, Mini Master.
That's all for the atelier. Our next buddy is somewhat easy to miss, as he's right on Meruru's mailbox. Oh, and this scene and the one with the cauldron are the only two of this little scenes that are voiced.
And you're Mr. Sterk's white pigeon. Hello!
Ahh, did you two come here to meet up with each other? No, that couldn't be...
*both pigeons leave*
Ohh, I guess you did. Huh. I had no idea pigeons did stuff like that.
Nah, I'm not too worried. I've never really felt like a true princess or royalty or anything anyway. But it's sad to see the name "Arls" disappear, though.
Hehe...you're really remarkable. Most people would be more upset to lose their own status. But losing the kingdom's name will make things kind of lonely. I've created plenty of my own memories here. I got to meet you, and I was able to see Totori hard at work.
Wh-What are you talking about!? That's not something you can just go around speculating about!
Oh, you don't have to hide it. I think it's great that you two are basically the best friends ever.
Y-You think so? Well, I guess being around others isn't so bad. There's lots to gain from it, I guess. And meeting you too, of course. Thank you, Princess.
I know...I'll be a normal person just like you from now on.
Don't worry! The life of a commoner is pretty fun. You can just live free and easy. You can do whatever you want to do, go wherever you want to go, and...hold on. Isn't that exactly what you've already been doing?
I guess so. It sounds like the kind of life I've been living, even though I'm a princess.
No way! I still plan on stopping by here every chance I get!
No, that's not it. I've been ordered to return to the guild in Arland.
What? Back to Arland!? But we've gotten so close since you came here! I don't want you to go! You CAN'T go!
Huh...? Are you trying to stop me?
Of course! We're friends, aren't we?
Meruru... Okay, then. I'm not going back!
Really!? I'm glad to hear that...but are you really allowed to do that?
You're the first person to ever say something like that to me. I don't want us to get separated now... Let's keep on being friends. And if you could help try to convince Esty, that'd be a huge help...
Haha...that might be kinda tricky. But I'd be super happy if you could stay here, so let's convince her together!
I went on tons of adventures and fought some really strong opponents. Where should I head next...?
Mr. Gino, are you going somewhere!?
Huh? No way, I'm still planning on sticking around. There's still lots of ways to test my strength. It's not like me to keep on losing. I'm not going anywhere till I beat Masked G and my master!
Wow...so what happens when you do beat them?
Then that's that. I'll go looking for my next worthy opponent. My goal is to become a super strong adventurer. So I'll go looking for stronger weapons, unexplored lands, all that. Ahh, there's just so much I wanna do!
Don't count on it, if Extra Scene 2 is any indication. It's a good one, as is Extra Scene 4. I actually ran into the first Extra Scene by complete accident, as you can see from the dialogue box on it there's no "Skip" option, meaning I haven't seen it. It's pretty short, but also very nice.
Wh-What's wrong, Peter? You look like you're about ready to keel over.
How can you ask? The Spa Land is so busy I barely have a second to myself to relax. Things were so much easier when I was just driving the carriage around...
Then why don't you go in the hot spring yourself? I'm sure that'd help you relax.
I would if I could. But I don't have any spare time to just sit back and relax.
It really wasn't supposed to turn out like this.
Hahaha...well, you've only just begun, right? Keep on working hard for your dream!
Sure, laugh it up, Meruru. Actually, funnily enough, Peter's "non-ending flag" dialogue actually mentions, of all things...that's he married. Apparently he wants to keep his lechery a secret from his wife, but it's just totally out of left field, that little revelation is.
I know. But I wanted to come see you before it did.
Me? You say such funny things. Isn't there anyone else you'd rather talk to?
No. I wanted to find you and say thank you. This day only came because you've spent so much time looking after me. So...thank you, Ms. Esty.
So you rushed here before the ceremony started just to say thanks? Gosh, knock it off. Being so formal and everything...man, I get emotional so easily these days. But...thanks. I didn't see this coming at all, so...yeah.
I guess even a tough lady like you can still tear up...it's kind of surprising.
What are you trying to say? That even the hardest heart like mine can be moved to tears?
S-Sorry! I didn't meant it that way! I just...
Like me? Well...for your own good, don't. When you're like me, things can get...difficult.
Really? But you're my ideal woman. You handle all your duties, and you can hold your own in battle!
Being strong can be good or bad. Guys tend to be more attracted to girls with at least a little vulnerability.
A-Are you sure...?
Hehe. Well anyway, it's almost time. Get going to your ceremony. I'll talk to you later.
Okay. See ya!
Hello, Chim. Is Ms. Pamela here?
Oh, she's not? I was hoping to say hi to her...
KYAAAH! Wh-What the heck are you doing!? Don't scare me like that!
But I'm a ghost. And ghosts are supposed to scare people, right?
Well now's not a good time! ...I just wanted to stop by before the ceremony.
Ohh, the time's already come, huh?
Did you really forget about it, Ms. Pamela?
Not mixing, Ms. Pamela - merging. You're so funny!
Well, whatever. Anyway, hearing the name "Arland" really makes me reminisce. Maybe I should go pay it a visit.
Huh? What about your store?
Oh, the Chims can take care of everything while I'm gone. Isn't that right, Chims?
Yeah, I guess you're right. As long as they're here, things will be fine. But it's still a sad thought.
Oh? But now that I think about it, this is going to be Arland, too. So maybe I don't need to go anywhere? But I do wanna go on vacation somewhere. Why don't we go somewhere together, Meruru?
Here in Arland? I'd love to, but I won't be able to go anywhere for a while.
Then you'll have to close your store for sure! See, the Chims are worried already.
My word, I was just kidding. Why does everyone take me so seriously?
It's because your "jokes" usually don't sound like jokes...
Errg...even right now I can't tell! Fine, I can't do this right now. I have to head to the ceremony.
Hehe, sorry, sorry. I was just joking. I'm so happy everyone appreciates everything you've done. Come back to Pamela's Store anytime and pay the Chims a visit.
Man, these scenes are a lot longer than I remembered. Anyway...
Wooow...so many purchase orders! Where'd they all come from?
People across the land heard about my amazing skills, so the orders are coming non-stop. It's getting busy here! And it's all thanks to you taking the time to build this amazing workshop for me!
You look so happy...but if you're really that busy, shouldn't you think about turning down some of those requests?
Oh, it's a rule of mine that I have to accept any order that's placed. I don't like running away or avoiding work.
But sooner or later you're gonna get buried under all these weapons.
No it's not! Please don't do that!
Bwahaha! I'm just kidding, young miss. But I really am thankful. Keep up the good work!
Ms. Astrid...why are you packing up all your stuff?
Hmm? Oh, I was just planning on leaving soon. Do you have a problem with that?
Yes! You can't just leave without telling me!
What reason would I possibly have to inform you of all my comings and goings?
I mean, sure, you can be ridiculously villainous sometimes, but... I ended up becoming another apprentice of yours, too! *sniff sniff*
Yup. My potion is almost complete. Now I jsut have to put some finishing touches on it.
Potion? You mean that one...? Well that's a relief. I'm kind of embarrassed I jumped to conclusions, though...
You should be. As an alchemist, you should be more composed. Here, take this handkerchief and wipe those tears.
*sniff sniff* Ms. Astrid...you never cared this much before.
Mind your own business. Now if you're done blubbering, hurry up and head to the ceremony!
Y-Yes, ma'am! Ms. Astrid...thank you so much!
Hey Lias...so what are you going to do from tomorrow on?
Nothing too different. I'm being deployed to the Arls garrison of the Arland Republic. If anything, it just means I won't have as much time to go do stuff with you.
I see... Man, that really sucks...
Hey, come on. Why are you so quiet all of a sudden? It's not like you.
Well, because...you've been such a huge help up until now.
Exactly. So I just wanted to officially thank you, Lias...thank you so much for everything you've done.
Well...I should really be the one thanking you. I didn't really wanna go with you at first, even though Rufus asked me to. And you really did drag me around.
Erg...I'm really sorry about that. But you've changed a lot too, Lias. You were way more uptight in the beginning.
Don't remind me. I had a bunch of stuff going on with my brother and everything. But we got that all sorted out. Actually, you're the reason my brother finally acknowledged me. Thanks, Meruru. We'll have fun together again sometime.
Okay! I'll be counting on you, Lias!
Haha. Well, after the ceremony I won't be a princess anymore.
That's not true. When I say "princess" I do not mean it as a mere title. You possess the nobility of true royalty. I am honored to have spent time with you these past five years. Sadly, I could not create my knighthood, but I will cherish the memories you've given me for the rest of my life.
If you ever need an escort, please let me know. Whatever the job may be, I shall happily accompany you. Now then, it's nearly time. Please go and fulfill your final royal obligation.
For the alternate version of this chat, Sterk basically says he'll always consider himself a knight, even after Arls Kingdom is gone (shocking, I know), but Meruru suggests he get himself an actual job sometime. It may just be the way the game sets it up, but I found that line pretty amusing.
Me too. There's something I wanted to tell you before the ceremony.
Oh? What is it?
I wanted to give you a big thank you! I was only able to come this far because you were always there with me. Thank you for always supporting me, even with how selfish I always was.
It's not fair for you to say something like that out of nowhere!
Wh -? Keina, why are you crying!?
I'm sorry. But you're the one who's always supported me. I could never do anything on my own, so...
That's not true! Your cleaning, washing, cooking...it's all perfect!
No...I was only able to do my job because of you. Seeing you happy made me happy, so I could work even harder. Alchemist, princess, whatever you are doesn't matter. You're important to me no matter what, Meruru... Even after Arls Kingdom is gone, I'll always be with you. Wherever you want to go, I'll be by your side.
Keina...thank you. Then I'll be counting on you! Okay, I'd better get going.
Okay! ...He scolds me right up until the end. But it kinda makes me sad thinking this is the last day for that, too...
Huh? No, but today's my last day as a princess. So I just meant that today's my last day to get yelled at, too.
Unfortunately, if I fell I have to say something, I will say it. There will be no change in that regard.
Really? So you're gonna keep scolding me even after today?
Isn't that only natural? Princess, why are you grinning like that? Others would be disturbed if they saw you like that.
So it'll be the same as it's always been...I guess it can't be helped. So that's fine with me!
The things you've seen and the people you've met...these past five years have been truly fortunate.
That's true. I've met so many different people...
Indeed. The people who cheered you, the people who supported you...and all those people who came to depend on you. It's important to have enough heart to try to return all the kindness you've received from them all. ...And there I go lecturing you again.
It's okay, I'm really happy to hear what you have to say. Besides, you've always cared so much for me.
Is that so...? Perhaps those were all just coincidences.
What is it?
You're both really similar somehow. You've both been watching over me, and - wait...could it be -?
To say any more would be quite uncouth. Whatever you think, it would be best to keep it to yourself. I am me, that's all. No more, no less.
Hehe, I guess...I'll just leave it alone, then.
Folks, I'm gonna lay a truth bomb on you all. After exhaustive research of my LP, keeping in mind countless context clues and all that, I have come to the inescapable conclusion that Masked G's true identity is... Gio.
It all fits! Fighting style, outfit, same presence, the fact they've never been seen together, and Masked G disappeared in Arland just after Gio also left...it all makes sense. To those of you who have been speculating, this is your final update reward.
And the final population result. I was off by quite a bit, but it's probably the best population number I've ever had in this game. Also, Keina has a higher base HP than Gio? Okay... Anyway, this is the end, my friends. The ending
There you are, Meruru. Have you finished paying your respect to those who helped you along your path?
Yes, Father! Everything is well.
I see...then I suppose it's my turn to say thank you. As the king of Arls, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping guide our kingdom up until now.
Wh-What are you saying? You're gonna make me blush.
With you, Arls Kingdom would never have made it this far.
Noo no no...I couldn't have done anything on my own. It's only because so many people helped me through it.
Five years ago...the promise I made. I think I finally understand what it means to fulfill my royal duty.
I can see that - it's obvious just by looking at you. Meruru...you've grown so much. Now then, the ceremony is about to begin. Let's go carry out our final duty as the royal family of Arls.
Just as a note, imagine much of Dessier's speech here being interrupted by applause every few lines. It'd be kinda obnoxious to constantly mention that applause, so just keep in that in mind it comes across slightly differently in the video.
Today, I stand before you as the king of Arls one final time. When I wake tomorrow, I will stand among you as a citizen of Arland. But make no mistake - this does not sadden me. Nor should anyone here be sad or discouraged. Take a look around. Look at the person standing next to you. I see no one with a look of disappointment on their faces.
The faces I see are filled with smiles, with strong-willed eyes, with spirits overflowing with hope. Why? Because for the past five years, everyone has given everything in order to advance our kingdom. Because of your sacrifices, we - the people of Arls - can proudly become one with Arland. And today, I want to thank you all for recognizing, and reaching, your full potential.
This does not mean the end of our storied history of Arls. No, today marks yet another chapter in that history. We dream of a better tomorrow, and in that dream's name we take our first step today. We hold our fate in our hands. I'm sure you all recognize - this is not the end, but the beginning!
And now, of course, the credits. Atelier Meruru credits
See you on the other side...
Arls Kingdom artwork
Town concept art
Atelier Meruru artwork
Hart Outpost artwork
Promotional Meruru artwork
The song is by mao from the previous game, with Akihisa Tsuboy on violin and Dani on guitar and bass. Thank you so much to everyone for nailing this out-of-control music. During the recording, mao called me a pervert and I awakened so something new... Good times.
Extra Scene 1
Extra Scene 2
Extra Scene 3
Extra Scene 4