Part 14: Update XIII: An Alchemist and her Greatest Challenge Part 1
This is a fun Assignment indeed. The most important part of this one is not only do you lose 10 days on the end like Sterk said, you also lose quite a lot of October because of an event with Gio you can't avoid. That means you're fairly constricted on the Assignment itself, but passing it is a joke. Barrels and Cannons are Assignment Two items. Just Wholesale a good quality Barrel at Tiffani's and leave it at that. There's no need to put in the effort for Cannons, especially since you can't Wholesale them. As for the Annual Festival, you better come prepared, but we'll get to that next time. I may have to make a separate update just for the entirety of the Festival. We'll see.
We tread quite a bit of ground in the Ster Highlands and Nabel Lake last update, so we don't need to worry about them a whole lot. What we do want is to hit the Dark Woods by early to mid-November, and the new location whenever you get some free time. We'll need the Air Drop recipe from Pamela, so make sure you pick that up. I'll explain why in the update. Luckily, you can Wholesale Air Drops at Tiffani's, so there should be no shortage of those. This new location has an extremely valuable recipe book with an item that will allow us to significantly reduce our travel downtime, so that's something else you should look into.
First, we've got this little scene. Happens a month after the first scene with Hom and the kitten.
I don't have the ingredient again...? Homhom, could you please...huh?
You're talking to yourself awfully loud. Are you trying to tell me that you want my attention?
No. Have you seen Homhom?
I wonder where Homhom is? I don't like disappearing acts... Anyway, I have to hurry and buy the ingredient...
*fade to black*
Not kitty. Little Meow.
You're right. Hi, Little Meow.
...I am sorry, Master.
I did not obey Grand Master's order. I could not leave Little Meow somewhere.
...So were you secretly raising it here ever since then?
Don't worry. She's not gonna notice. She's pretty oblivious to her surroundings.
I am a useless Homunculus that cannot follow orders... I was out here playing with Little Meow all day long, instead of helping Master.
Oh no, Homhom looks upset... I know! How about this?
Now if Master finds out, you won't get in trouble.
But you would be instead...
I'm always in trouble one way or another, so don't worry!
...You let me worry about myself.
Is something wrong?
Who's oblivious of her surroundings? You're the one who didn't notice until today... Anyway, this is a revolutionary discovery. Give a kitten to a Homunculus to evoke its emotions...
This next scene takes place sometime after the above scene with Hom and the kitten. Cordelia's friendship level doesn't matter. Video goes until Little Meow says "Meow..."
Do you like Little Meow, too?
I mean, it's not like I don't like it, either.
Would you like to pet it?
Can I!? I mean... Fine, if you really want me to!
Wendee Lee is the voice for Cordelia in this game. "Little girl / boy" is the role she plays in most of her roles, but I definitely can't say she does a bad job. She just puts a lot of "Oomph" in her performance as Cordelia, and she definitely sells the whole character of Cordelia with lines like that. It's a nice mix of exhuberance, Cordelia's usual stuck-up attitude, and the fact she is a young girl.
Please. Little Meow likes being petted.
No. Little Meow does not like violence.
Agh! What the hell are you doing here!?
Huh? Well... This is my workshop... Wh-what are you doing? Why don't you come inside?
Ugh, um, I... Nothing! I'm going home now!
You should pay more attention to what is happening around you, Master.
But now we've got the major event that happens on 10/13 or 14. As I said, I'm pretty sure this event is completely impossible to miss. Even if you spent all of this Assignment somewhere outside of Arland, you'll have to return eventually. This is actually one of the longest scenes in the game, clocking in at more than six minutes. Video goes until the screenshot of Gio saying "There's that smile. Well, I'm looking forward to hearing from you."
Excuse me... Oh?
Welcome. Do you have a request?
That was what I had in mind, but it looks like you're in the middle of something here.
Is there a problem?
Um...it's actually about a request from the castle. The Minister wants a certain item, but I've never even heard of it.
It must be something rare if an alchemist doesn't know what it is.
Well, there are more ingredients that I don't know about than ones I do. Have you ever heard of it? It's called a Raptorstein.
Sounds like our friend Gio knows Meredith a little better than he probably should...
Oh, no, it's nothing. Hmm... Sorry to change the subject, but about my request...
Sure. I'm ready to take a break from this anyway.
Then, shall we go?
Go where? I thought I was going to make you something...
But...I'm not good at fighting.
We don't have much time. Now, hurry.
Wh-whoa! You don't have to pull!
*fade to black*
Oh, stop complaining. We're almost there.
*huff* *huff* ...This is horrible. You haven't even told me what's going on.
Enough. Just think of this as a part of the job.
...I don't think this is part of being a bodyguard.
Then do you wanna head back alone?
Gio's English voice actor talks very quietly for some reason. Maybe it was something with how it was recorded, but especially during this scene I can't hear him very well. Some of the voice actors talk pretty quietly, but Esty, Sterk, and Gio are the most guilty for me not being able to hear them very well. But Gio has it the worst.
Then please explain what we're doing here now. What am I supposed to...?
Shhh! No more talking. Try not to make any sounds. I don't want to aggravate it...
...What are you gonna make me do?
*fade to black*
There it is.
What!? Where!? Whoa! Wh-what is that!?
Music: Nose Dive
Hm, this Chimera Hawk is a little far from home. Based on the surroundings, we're probably in one of the later areas of Traveler's Way, where the Hawks only show up in the Ster Highlands.
The head of all the monsters around here, or something like that. It's all up to you now.
That's right. Now, go!
I can't! It's impossible... Aghhh! D-don't push me!
Aww, why do you have to undermine all my new confidence in you, Rorona? It's a pretty tough enemy in a one on one fight, but it's nothing impossible to defeat.
The Hawk here does have some pretty nice roaring sound effects for it. Sounds pretty ferocious.
*fade to black*
You didn't stand a chance. I'm impressed by how badly you were beaten.
Gio with the requisite ice burn. Even a gentleman can't avoid the occasional snark.
You're not making me feel any better.
Looks like it's ready for another round. Can you stand up?
I'm sorry...I don't think so.
Then I don't have a choice. Allow me to take care of this... Hmph!
Gio's badass status is confirmed. Since it's the first time he pulled it out, Gio's weapon is a sword cane / swordstick. These were actually a thing during the 18th and 19th centuries in France and the UK apparently as a fashion accessory popular among the upper classes, which is a good fit with the Arland universe.
I just find the mental image of an old guy walking around with his cane, and all of the sudden he can turn into a swordsman by pulling the blade out of his cane awesome. Even better if it's with multiple old folks.
It's nothing personal. Forgive me.
Huh? What just...? I couldn't see a thing...
*fade to black*
What's wrong? You look shocked.
Oh, I'm sorry... I'm just trying to figure out what just happened.
You went, "Zoom!" And then the monster when "Aghh!" And then...
I love how Rorona's voice actress delivers the "Aghh!"
Right. Something like that.
B-but, that monster was really strong!
...Or maybe I'm just really weak.
What is that?
This is a Raptorstein. It's prized among fighters as being the symbol of defeating that monster. Although, it seems to hold no value to alchemists...
But...are you sure I can have it?
Don't worry. It's your reward for completing my request.
Gio seems to forget he's been traveling with Rorona alone for about four days or so now.
*fade to black*
We actually receive the Raptorstein as an item after this scene. There's no follow-up scene with Meredith or anything, actually. It's just there.
...Are you still upset? I apologized for forcing you to come with me.
No! I'm not mad! It's just...I didn't really help you at all, but you gave me a reward...
I asked you to come out with me and you did. Isn't it normal to recieve a reward for doing your job?
But I didn't help out with anything.
Hmm...maybe I should've taken a different approach. Just think of it like this...
Well, that's one thing Rorona does have going for her. No one can accuse of her not trying hard. Although, you could play this game with Rorona as a total slacker, but it's not how the story's supposed to go.
...I'm still not convinced.
You're more stubborn than you look. Well, what should I...? Oh, I have an idea. Why don't you hire me next time?
Of course you are! It would be great if you could come with me, but...
Okay then, it's a deal. No more owing each other. That's not the way to build good friendships.
...I agree. Thank you.
And so the final member of the Atelier Rorona playable team is assembled.
He starts out as easily the strongest member of the team, even moreso than Sterk. However, assuming you've been leveling up diligently as I have, Sterk was far more powerful when he first became a party member than Gio is now. He's still pretty great, don't get me wrong. His battle animations are the best, too. Oh, and after that event you lose eight days, further confirming my suspicion that that's supposed to be Traveler's Way.
We're going to be at our next major destination in mid-November, so we've got a quiet week before we should start on a new adventure. I used this time to give Rorona some much-needed upgrades to her equipment.
The Gnardi Ring is a pretty consistently useful accessory. It can attach a lot of traits, and best of all...
For some reason, you can register it with Tiffani. An endless supply of quality Gnardi Rings that anyone can use sounds good to me. And it only costs about 650 a Ring. Definitely a valuable use of Wholsale.
Rorona also needs an armor upgrade. Scale Cloth this time, as the second-highest tier of armor. We can't make the highest tier of cloth / ingot items quite yet, but we're very close to being able. I'll have Rorona wearing the Sun Cloak, as it's a pretty great bit of armor that won't be surpassed until the final tier.
And finally, a weapon upgrade. Between these three items, Rorona is a powerhouse all herself. Cordelia also can output a surprising amount of damage with the right upgrades, due to her Striking Girl ability that raises her critical hit chance.
But after a week, we've got the fabled Dark Woods to hit up. The reason we want the Dark Woods open by November is that there is a very, very valuable ingredient that can only be found in a special area of the Woods, and it only shows up from November 8th-25th. Of course, we're bringing Iksel, since he wanted to come anyway.
Anyway, new location, new food scene. You know the drill. Video goes until Rorona says "Wait, should I be happy about this?"
I can't do that! I'm not a pig!
I love how Rorona delivers this line. She sounds so indignant.
As an aside, since I recognized JYB's voice as one of the generic sheep, I've been playing Catherine a lot in the past few days. It's pretty jarring hearing Lionela and Sterk delivering the kind of lines that their characters do in Catherine. I'd actually like to take that comment back about Laura Bailey not having that much of a range, because if I didn't know otherwise, I probably wouldn't guess she voiced Catherine.
Can't you at least try? You might actually find something.
No way! I'm not gonna... Huh? *sniff* *sniff* Something smells really good.
Really? Where is it coming from?
*sniff* *sniff* ...Down there?
Over there, right!?
I'm serious! I'm glad i brought you! I knew you could do it!
Oh, please... Hehehe...
Can you try to find another one? Please!
Sure thing! ...Wait, should I be happy about this?
Music: Ancient Tree's Pulse
Alright, time to get started on our little forest expedition. The two real big reasons I like the Dark Woods is that the music is great, and I like that aesthetic of a dark, uexplored forest. There's a lot of visually interesting stuff and varied locations, so it's a joy to explore. Unfortunately, this Assignment does not allow us much freedom to explore.
First area has a new monster, the Gold Puni. Not much different from their cousins, but they sure are aggressive on the overworld. A note about materials in the Dark Woods is that you'll find a lot of the same materials you'd find in Nearby Forest, but about twice as good quality. Minimum you'll find stuff around 60 quality.
Even though it's a very minor detail, I do like a well in the middle of the woods. Makes me feel a hermit would be using it or something. Aside from that, it dispenses a limitless supply of 80 quality Water, the same quality Water Tiffani sells. Definitely not worth a trip to the Woods to get it, but it's nice to have while in the area.
These Alarunes are everywhere in this map. There's like a group of eight of them wandering around, and they love to surround you.
Next area has a bunch of Forest Wolves. They're a downgrade from their brothers in the Highlands, but they still get two turns in a row.
This whole area is just very relaxing to be in. That well was really the only sign of civilization in the area. This is the first real place we've been in that I feel is really off the map. We're doing some genuine exploring in a place very few people have ever been in. Plus, I like all the shafts of light everywhere, since it really gives you that feeling very little light is actually getting into this place.
This region of the Woods is very linear, but there's a couple different exits. We want the one that's not being guarded by a wolf. When you reach an intersection, head south.
This is the major hub area of the Woods (most locations have a location that branches off into 3 or more exits, or leads to two significantly different paths through the location. It's easy if you're not paying attention to end up in a location that doesn't have the material we want, but if you look closely at the the exits, the choice is obvious.
Said exit is this one. The big shafts of light in the background are a dead giveaway. By the way, these Salamandra have a very unique property to them.
The Salamandra are one of the few enemies in the game that restore some HP at the start of each of their turns. Still, 46 HP isn't much when each member of our team is hitting for more than 150 HP each time.
This next area of the Woods is very unremarkable for all but a couple weeks of the year, But during that period...
Hmm...oh well. I should probably gather them while I'm here.
Now, these flowers are rare, certainly, but there is an enemy that drops them as a very rare drop, actually. However, during this year and next, you'll find three of these flowers in this location.
While these flowers are of average quality, do not fail to pick them up. They're not only needed for a pie recipe, but you can make the highest tier of cloth with them. However, don't waste them like this. There's a much better thing to do with them. However, we'll worry about that when we get back to town, which you should be doing, since Dunkelheits are a once-a-year harvest, and there's not much point to sticking around.
Jiminy Christmas that's a pretty penny. This is the reason why you shouldn't make armor from the Dunkelheits. They go for a boatload of money with Esty. These are some of the highest paying jobs in the game, so we could get 30000 Cole from that gathering spot. However, don't turn them all over, as we'll need one for a pie recipe.
I got this next scene after having brought Iksel to six different locations.
Hello...? Whoa, it looks super busy.
Hey, Rorona. Sorry, but as you can see...
Yeah, don't worry. Umm, do you want me to help?
Are you sure? That'd be great! We'll pay you, too.
Sure. What do you want me to start with?
ISK01 Then how about waiting tables? No, you might trip and drop the food... Can you cook? Oh, no, I shouldn't let you hold a knife...
I-I'm not that clumsy!
I'm just joking. Can you peel the vegetables and prep the ingredients?
You don't have to joke around like that... I'm gonna get it all done. You'll be surprised by what I can handle.
You do lose a day following that scene, but you get 1000 Cole in return. Sounds good to me.
For the next location of the game, we'll need the Air Drop recipe from Pamela. She won't sell this recipe book before the 8th Assignment, so we couldn't have gone to this next location any sooner. You get this rather amusing scene when you forge your first Air Drop (remember to drop one off at Tiffani's. The quality of the Air Drop is completely irrelevant). Video goes until the screenshot of Rorona saying she won't wear the next bathing suit Astrid wants to design for her.
Oh, is that an Air Drop? You don't see those around here.
I get a very sneaking suspicion this line is supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek reference to Mana Khemia 2, which also had Air Drops. They had an important function in that game, and we'll learn what that is during this scene.
This is called an Air Drop? What's it for?
You should see it for yourself. Try putting it in your mouth.
Okay! Mmm, it's sweet. Huh...?
Hoah! Aff, hoh-hah!? (There's air in my mouth!)
If there's one scene you watch this LP, make it this one. This scene is hilarious, entirely because of what's happening to Rorona. Her voice actress pulls this off quite well.
Tha's what it's used for. You can breathe underwater if you keep that in your mouth.
That's what it was used for in Mana Khemia 2. Gust is nothing if not fond of referencing their own titles.
Mm hah wah-hah... Huff aheh-hin! (Underwater...? That's amazing!)
Remember that time we went to the lake together?
You know, I'll have to check if this scene is different if you didn't see the lake scene with everyone. I'm pretty sure it is, because even though it could work as a trip Rorona and Astrid took to the lake at some point, the gamer wouldn't have any idea what she's talking about otherwise.
Yef, ah weh-wemmer... (Yes, I remember...)
The center of that lake is pretty deep. You can find a lot of interesting stuff down there. Why don't you go? You can test out the Air Drop.
Hoh... Unher wah-hah, huh? (Oh...underwater, huh?)
Huh hounf wof-heh! (That sounds lovely!)
No hanf-hoo! Ah-hon heh a wehin hoo! (No, thank you! I don't need a new bathing suit!)
I can't understand what you're saying with all that air in your mouth. Anyway, I better get started!
Hyou hoah haff hohin hoo hee! (You were just talking to me!)
Before we take Astrid up on her suggestion, it would be a good idea to make and register these two items.
Just for some insurance. You never know.
So now we can officially head to the depths of Nabel Lake. I wonder what we're going to find there... Oh, and word to the wise: bring a good quality Bomb.
Why don't we bring Gio to find out? This scene plays the first time you bring Gio out on an adventure. Video goes until the screenshot of Rorona by herself asking about why Gio gets chased.
Huh...oh! There you are!
Shhh! Be quiet!
Ahh! What's going on...!? Ahhhhh!
*fade to black*
*huff* *huff* *cough* *cough* Urmgh... *huff* *huff*
Gio sure seems awfully found of forcing Rorona to do what he wants. Strange guy.
What's the matter? You look awfully tired.
Th-that's because you... You kept pulling me...
Oh, I'm sorry. But we were being chased.
Yeah, don't worry. It happens to me all the time. I'm sure they'll give up soon.
First stop, if you haven't used the Ice Bomb in the Igunaus Habitat, is the water next to the gathering point with the Swirly Shell and Foamy Water. If you have an Air Drop in your inventory, Rorona will say this.
You can't use the Bomb Ice until you use an Air Drop, so let's do it.
Wow, so this what underwater looks like... I'm gonna look around.
There's some alright materials underwater. Nothing too special, aside from this treasure chest. But this is Dullsville, so let's head back to shore and use that Bomb Ice.
Regardless of what quality Ice Bomb you have, you'll get yourself an ice bridge to the far shore. Aside from another gathering point, we want the exit toward the southeast.
There's a few gathering points on the far shore, but that's small fries compared to what's down there. Use an Air Drop, and we get...
Well, this is something, indeed. There's a few Isle Fish in our way, but they're nothing. Oh, and the meter on the right is basically your time limit when you're in an underwater area. If that runs out while you're in an area (which means you're going exceptionally slowly for unknown reasons), you'll have to use another Air Drop to stay in the area. If you don't have any, you're forced out.
In addition, at the start of each underwater area, you have to pop in a new Air Drop.
Underwater ruins, eh? Sounds like we're really on to something here. There's a bombable rock just before the exit to this area, so you need a good quality Bomb to break it. Talk about a sucker punch if you didn't know beforehand.
Ooh, what is that? It looks like a shrine... Why is it under the water? Should I go inside? Hopefully, there aren't any ghosts...
I don't know, Rorona. Last time you said that, we wound up meeting a pretty great character.
Anyway, this is the Lost City, the first sub-location of the game. This area is both rather small and completely linear. The main objective is to reach the final area of the location, which has a recipe book for some pretty great items. In addition, there's some really nice materials lying around, including Marinelite, which makes the second-to-last tier of ingots.
Music: Quiet Undersea Ruins
One of Gio's base skills, Flashing Wind, gives him a small chance of nullifying an enemy attack. Regardless of that , he's got some pretty flashy skills, including the classic anime "swordsman moves so fast that it doesn't look like the enemy got hit before the swordsman sheathes their blade" thing. He's still pretty cool.
It's from a gold star gathering spot. but holy cow those are some amazing traits on a single material.
Just some nice scene-setting. It's a good location, but I like the Woods a bit better.
Unfortunately, I didn't have near enough time to head deeper than a couple areas into the Lost City. The good part, however, is that the first time you return to Arland from the Lost City, it show up on the world map on top of Nabel Lake, so you can head there directly without having to go through Nabel Lake again. Pretty convenient.
Flask C Synth
Ancient Tree's Pulse
It's a repeat of a round of song. I usually do that for any kind of forest themed song... I'm not sure why I started doing that...
Quiet Undersea Ruins
Personally, I wanted to have at least one lengthy song, just to feel like I actually composed music. I guess I'm still an amateur when it comes to composing...
Generally, music is composed of 8 tremolos, but the bridge of this song is created with 10 tremolos + 8 tremolos. The difference between the 2 gives it a really nice touch. I really enjoyed making this song.