Part 17: Update XIV: An Alchemist and her Cook-Off
Here we are, the beginning of the final year. This Assignment is a bit of an oddball, actually, in terms of what you should focus on. Since we're on the final year, character events are going to be pouring in, which makes sense. There's not a single character ending flag you can trigger before the third year, so that would follow. However, that does leave the player with the quesiton of what you should prioritize. The generic endings (I include the Pie, Rich, and Adventurer endings in this category), are different in how much effort they take to get, but the character endings can actually be gotten in pretty rapid succession.
The reason for this is that 3 / 4 Assignments this year can be passed on the first day of them. It's bananas. I could probably get through the entire year in about 20-30 minutes, tops. If you're going for the actual canon ending of this game, however, this year is going to be nuts with how much you have to keep track of, but that's why I'm here. Oh, and as for passing this Assignment. It depends on what you value more: time or money. I'm picking money, and if you tread this path, you have two options: buying Arland Crystals from Hagel or Komets from Pamela. The Komets are the better option, actually, and cheaper, too. There's too much to do to waste too much time making either Komets or Crystals. Well, let's start things off.
First off, like last year, we start this year off with a scene between Rorona and Astrid.
...Okay, now I just have to mix this in and...good! This is turning out great.
*yawn* ...You look like you're working hard.
*fade to black*
All that noise woke me up. What are you doing, working so early in the morning?
You're having fun...?
Huh? Did I say that?
Yes, you just said it!
I see...hmmm...is this a contradiction? No...it's a dilemma.
Oh, don't worry. I'm just talking to myself.
Huh? Don't you remember? You forced me into doing it.
I see...is that the only reason?
Well, no, umm...because if I don't do it, the workshop will be taken away, and I'll have to leave town...
Let me change the question. Do you like alchemy?
What!? Well, um... I'm not sure...
...You're not sure? Isn't this all about you?
But...I've never looked at it like that.
Umm, Master? Why are you...?
Master... She didn't look that out of it...
Some more nice character development between these two. This year is going to have a lot of these Rorona and Astrid scenes.
This video came up immediately after that scene. It triggers any time in the third year if Cordelia's friendship level is over 70 and Rorona's alchemy level is more than 25. Video goes until Cordelia says "Ugh! I told you to forget it!"
It looks like you've gotten a lot better.
Hehe. It's been over two years since I started.
Yeah, I guess so... Can you make different kinds of potions and medicine?
Mmhm. Most of them, anyway. Why?
What!? I said, "For example!"
Don't give me that look of pity!
Aww, poor Cordelia. She puts on a brave face, but her height bugs her to no end. Good thing she has Rorona around.
Why are you crying!? Besides, I am taller!
Really...? By how much?
*sob* I'm so sorry. And I'm sorry for even asking...
Okay, fine... I don't know how to make it right now, but I promise I'll figure it out eventually...
Ugh! I told you to forget it!
Another event that popped up when I left the atelier just after this Assignment began. This is one of Tantris' big scenes, and he needs to have 60+ friendship at the start of Assignment 9 for it show up. If you don't see this scene, you're not getting his ending flag. Video goes until the screenshot Tantris from the back.
*Rorona runs up*
What's with all the yelling?
Rorona, good timing! I'll let you handle him!
What!? But I have work, too... Hey!
*Iksel runs off*
Share a bottle...? I can't! I'm not old enough...
I believe this is the only time Meredith Happy shows up. That makes me pretty happy, honestly. Just creepy.
Um, thank you...?
My stupid son left home for almost ten years, and now that he's back, he can't even finish one lousy job...!
You have a son, old man?
Who're you calling old!? I'm still in my forties!
Oh! I'm sorry...
Well, he's right in that someone in their forties probably shouldn't be called "old", but it's that age where you can start making fun of someone for being old. Anything earlier than that just doesn't work.
So...what do you want me to do?
I went through hell! I had to care of my son all by myself after my wife passed away... I was always too busy to actually be there for him, but...
Yeah... It must've been hard.
I would like for him to take over my job, so that I can retire soon, but he's not cooperating at all... If I'm gonna pass my work on to him, I have to do it right... What do you think I should do?
Ummm... Well, so your son... I don't know what kind of person he is, but maybe you should...have a talk with him?
He's asleep!? You shouldn't fall asleep here! Sirrr!
You shouldn't take a drunk person seriously.
Oh boy... Let's go. Can you stand up?
I guess I'll have to carry him... But why would I want to carry a man?
Oh, sure. I'll see you later...
*fade to black*
*fade to black*
Look at you, looking all comfortable... I wish you would've talked to me instead of Rorona, you drunk bastard.
Good on his word, Tantris can't be hired or even spoken to for a week. Not a big deal, though. It's going to be a fairly quiet intro to a busy Assignment, much like the previous one.
I've had this scene on the backburner for a while, so I might as well post it now. This event occurs at least a week after Cole helps out Pamela's shopVideo goes until the screenshot of Rorona and everyone looking at her.
Whoa, it looks so busy! So Cole was right...
Hey man! Can you go any faster!?
Well, I wanna talk to her, too!
Poor Tiffani. She's old hat compared to a ghost, apparently.
Hey, no cuts!
Uh-oh, hey, no fighting! Awww, I didn't think I was gonna be this busy!
Should I help her...? Pamela!
You look like you could use some help.
Yeah, thanks! Good luck!
*fade to black*
Whoa! She disappeared!
What!? Are you serious! I've been in line for two hours here!
Was it because of you? You made her disappear!
Music: Shop's Jig: Bagpipes
It's nice and busy in here now. A nice change of pace from when her place had basically nothing in it, I think.
I also took this week to get Hagel's friendship level to 80, which should have happened a while ago. Video goes until the screenshot of Rorona sighing by herself.[/i]
Pops, what do you need? I don't usually see you around here.
Um...I...I want you to make something for me...
Oh, what is it? I'll make you anything I can!
That's good to hear. What I want is, um... You know, that... *mumble*
What? I'm sorry. I couldn't hear you.
I couldn't hear you again. Can you please speak louder...?
How could I say it any louder!? Are you becoming a witch, like your master?
N-no! I really couldn't hear you...
Ghr...fine. I'll say it again, so clean out your ears and listen carefully. You ready? I want a w-wi-...
So he finally comes out with it. I don't know, Hagel looks good bald. I just really can't envision him having some hair.
Ahh! You scared me... So you want a wig...?
...Oh, and don't ask me why!
Well, I already know why... But why are you asking me? I've never made a wig before.
It can't be any normal wig. That's why I'm asking you. It's embarrassing to admit this, but I've had some wigs made up for me a few times before. But they were all useless. They would all just slip off of my head...
Slip off, huh?
Us two...but there are actually three of us...
Really? That's too bad.
...Master, it's not nice to eavesdrop.
I wasn't trying to listen in, but I couldn't help it, since he was talking so loudly.
So, do you have any ideas?
It's just a thought... And it'll take a while. Hmhmhmhmhm...
Astrid is too lazy and light-hearted to be a witch, but she's not helping her reputation. As we've already seen, when Astrid gets motivated to do something, it can only lead to trouble. We'll just have to wait and see what she comes up with.
But, let's check in with Esty. First up, when I first talked to her, I got this short scene. You get it for beating Mask de G and Sterk, obviously.
H-hey, don't yell so loud! You're embarrassing me...
I just got lucky... Oh yeah! So, who was that masked man?
Oops, I guess I shouldn't have brought it up... Rorona, you shouldn't be wasting your time here. Go back to work, now!
W-wait, Esty! Why won't you tell me who he was!?
Esty knows something, but what, I have no idea. That man's identity is simply an enigma. I remember a Batman episode where Batman claimed a fighting style was like a signature to those trained to look. Unfortunately, I'm not, but even untrained I can tell he's some massive Gio fanboy. Do you think...? Na. Anyway, Esty takes pity on you if you take to her after losing to Sterk, but he doesn't say anything about it.
Anyhow, I ended up taking on the Yakuto Wolf again, mostly because I don't have much else to do at the moment and it's some easy cash. But first, another Esty request scene. Video goes until the screenshot of Esty getting mad.
Yes? Is it...?
Yeah...I have something else to ask you for...
No problem! You can tell me anything!
This request is quite a bit trickier. When it says "Something else", it's not talking about any level of Simple, in addition to any other trait. No, what it means is that in order to get the effect Amateur's Fave, you have to combine either Simple +1, 2, or 3 with the trait Judgment to get that effect. Hardest part after you know that is getting the recipe book, but we've got our bases covered on that I think.
Uh huh...okay. I'll try to get it done as soon as possible.
Well, "soon as possible" is right. Because we've got more than enough on our plate this Assignment, I'll be getting around to this towards the end.
Thanks... So Rorona, remember what Ms. Zexis said the other day?
Oh, it's fine! You don't have to say anything! I won't judge you!
...What do you mean?
Wait! This is getting worse... It's all Ms. Zexis' fault...
I got this by taking Sterk out on an adventure to get rid of Yakuto Wolf, but you need to beat him in the Martial Contest for it to show up.
Where should I go today...? Huh? Sterk?
Hey, you're early.
You're here already... Am I late?
Didn't I just say that you're early? There's still plenty of time.
Then...why are you here so early?
I want to catch up to you as soon as possible.
To me.? ...Oh! I just got really lucky last time...
Well, he doesn't even have the excuse I beat him with items. Too bad he can't just buff himself with tons of traits on his equipment. Still, I hope next update will show he's outclassed Rorona pretty badly already.
Shall we go? I'd rather train with real battles than just swinging at thin air.
After returning to Arland after a very quick battle with Yakuto Wolf, I got this scene with Lionela. It happens when her friendship is more than 50. Video goes until the screenshot of Cordelia by herself getting mad.
...Hmph. They look like they're having fun.
What's the matter, Cory?
Nothing. And don't call me, Cory.
Those two have gotten so close lately. They must have a lot in common.
I just love that endlessly patronizing tone Astrid has whenever she's talking to Cordelia. She knows how to push her buttons.
...Are you saying that I'm the one who's immature here?
So you noticed? Though, I knew you would, Cory.
How could you...!? And don't...! You're doing this on purpose!
What do you mean by that?
I'm not quite sure which way it'll happen, but...
After a few more days of dicking around, it turned 1/8, so this scene showed up in the atelier. Video goes until Tantris says "...But I can't keep ignoring my work, either".
Oh, hi! Welcome.
Sorry for making you take care of some old man the other day...
You don't have to apologize... So, do you know him?
He's also the Minister of this kingdom.
Oh, the Minister... Wait, what!?
You didn't notice at all, did you?
Not often you see a cutesy Japanese RPG saying "Shit". Then again, it's completely appropriate in this situation. Did you see Meredith Happy? Terrifying. An expression only a man drunk off his ass could make.
(It's more because I didn't know what the Minister looked like in the first place...)
...So, what do you think?
He's the Minister and I'm his son. Don't you have anything to say to me?
Umm...you should tell your dad not to drink so much.
Look, he's the guy who's trying to close down your workshop, understand?
Oh yeah...but as long as I do all the work, that won't happen...
...Okay, then what if I told you that he hired me to ruin all of your work?
What!? Is that true?
You can't hate Rorona. She's just dumb enough that saying stupid stuff like that is endearingly naive, not stupid.
...No, that's just the way I feel. I wasn't trying to distract you. And I was serious about everything I said.
Really? So...have you done anything else that I wouldn't like?
I didn't think so...
Uh, what's wrong with you...?
Oh, sorry about that. So, we're okay then? We're staying the same?
Great... I'm sorry to have bothered you.
*fade to black*
...I was expecting her to scream at my face.
...But I can't keep ignoring my work, either.
A couple days later, on 1/10, this event came up because Sterk's friendship level was more than 60. Video goes until the screenshot of Rorona by herself.
Good, you're still here...
Good? What's going on...?
Suni...Sterm? Is that a name of a monster?
I didn't think you'd know about it. It's been in hiding for a few years now. It's a type of dragon.
Are you serious!?
Suni Sterm, huh? Now that's a name I've not heard in a long time.
Oh, good morning, Master.
...Though it's actually past noon.
Astrid has such a chill life. Get Rorona to do everything for her, and she's willing to do it, while Astrid gets to sleep all the time, and generally goof off. Gotta be nice.
You get to sleep in while your pupil works her butt off? That's just great.
Oh, don't be so harsh. I only came out here because I heard the voice of my darling Sterkenburg...
Don't joke around like that!
I'm only trying to have fun. So Rorona...
Isn't that a very valuable item?
It is, and it's the only other item besides Dunkleheit that makes Velvestis cloths, but there's an easy way to get an absurd number of them by the end of the game. It's pretty silly.
Astrid! What are you trying to do here!? I came here to tell her not to go there!
I'm not telling her to do anything. But if she ever wants to become a top-class alchemist...
No, please don't fight over me!
You're just gonna sit back and watch where this is going, huh!?
You make it sound like you were obligated to do that. I thought you always did it of your own free will... Wait...is this more of an issue of affection?
...Well, I've warned you, so do whatever you want!
He's so short-tempered. I bet he's stressed out from his line of work.
Why would he be jealous of seeing us so close?
...Do I have to spell it out for you? Geez, you just don't get it. Wake me up before dinner. I'm going back to sleep.
So...uh, what were we talking about? I can't remember...
Again, Rorona, don't strain yourself thinking about it. That said, this scene is important for a few reasons. One is because this is a necessary event for Sterk's ending flag, as well as a summoning call for dragons all across Arland. Off the top of my head, this scene causes four dragons to show up where they wouldn't otherwise be.
Now, to proceed with Sterk's events, you have to go to the Ster Highlands with him within a certain window. Not sure what it is, but if you wait too long after this scene to take him there, his final necessary events will not show up. It's a pretty generous window, however. That said, I'd advise you wait for a bit before you take Sterk there. Just call it a hunch...Of course, following my own advice would be nice every now and then.
But for now, I'd like to take you all back a month (in-game) when I got this scene. You get this any time after you forge a food item and Iksel's friendship level is 50 or greater. Oh, and the quality has to be 80 or greater on the item itself. Video goes until the screenshot of Rorona tearing up.
What's up? Oh, were you cooking?
Hey, Iksy. Good timing. Do you wanna try some?
Hmph. You've got a lotta nerve to ask a professional chef to taste your food.
You're making me nervous... I think it turned out pretty good...
Well, how good can it be if you made it just by stirring it in a cauldron? Lemme see...
Well, how is it?
Is it really terrible? You don't have to eat it if you don't like it...
...H-how did you make this?
Huh? Well... I just stirred it in the cauldron.
I didn't use anything great. I can only use the stuff that I find lying on the ground...
That's impossible... How can this be...?
For the record, the item I made that triggered this scene was a pie. Iksel was duly impressed, as this scene attests.
Umm, you look really angry... Iksy?
Ah! Wh-what's wrong!?
So you think you're better than me!? Well, you better apologize when I make something that's much tastier!
What, indeed. Next Iksel event takes place a week later. Although I'm not 100% sure, it's likely this whole chain of events is needed for Iksel's ending. Video goes until Rorona says "Wait, so...what did he come here for?"
Hehehe... I brought it for you, as promised...
Did we make a promise to each other?
Don't tell me you forgot! You remember what happened, right? Do you have any idea what I went through to make this!?
Sorry... Whoa, that smells really good. And it looks really tasty.
See? Food should taste great, but it should also be a work of art...
Can I eat it?
Yay! Okay, here I go!
...Hurm. Mmm, this is so good! How did you make it!?
Well, that's a secret... Basically, I concocted a combination of spices for the base, then...
Hey, whoa, slow down!
Ungh, gah... W-Water...
Hold on! Geez...
*fade to black*
I'm glad you liked it. All my work was worth it. Anyway, I'm going now.
Already? Oh no! I have to clean the plate.
Don't worry about it. I'll just wash it whwen I get back to the restaurant. See ya.
Okay. Thanks again!
Wait, so...what did he come here for?
Sounds like Iksel's getting pretty worked up about this whole thing. But, just to add fuel to this ever increasing fire of events (metaphor breakdown incoming), this next event takes another week to show up in the atelier. I got this one in this Assignment proper. Video goes until the screenshot of the cooking contest "job".
Whoa! What's the matter?
The battle! I made that food so that we could have a cooking battle!
What are you talking about?
Oh, I see how it is. You think you've already won, huh!?
No! I don't know anything about it...
Shut up! Now, let's start!
I'm putting this challenge on hold!
What!? You can't do that! I just need to...
Calm down. All I'm saying is that you need to set an official date first. You can't just surprise Rorona like this. Otherwise, she won't be able to prepare it like you did.
Maybe it's just me, but I like to think Astrid is going along with for the opportunity at some good, free food.
Hmm... That is true...
We will hold this cooking battle two weeks from now. Same place, same time! You must gather the best ingredients out there and meet up here.
Fine, I don't have a problem with that. By the way, what do you know about judging good food?
Woman makes a good point.
Haha, very well! Rorona, get ready to be dragged down from your lofty throne!
Hey, wait! Master, why don't I get a say in this...?
I knew it... *sigh*
So, two weeks to prepare. When I say "Prepare", you don't actually have to make the food item before the duel. This is just to gather ingredients, but at this point you should be hemmoraging spare food item ingredients. Pies count as a food item. Now, unlike Assignment deadlines, you don't actually have to participate in the cook-off.
However, if you do pass it up, Iksel will get royally pissed, and you lose 50 points from his friendship level. You might also screw yourself out of Iksel's ending flag, but again, I'm not sure about that.
But if you think you're getting away with buying stuff from Iksel while the contest deadline comes up...
Um, I'm here to buy some stuff.
Are you an idiot?
What!? Why do you ask?
B-but...I can't do my work without...
Hmph. Why should I care? I have to be a monster to win this battle. If you really need an item, I'd suggest you go and gather it yourself.
For some reason, you get this scene of Rorona talking the day before the cook-off. It's such a short scene that there's not much point in making a spare video of it, even though it is voiced.
But, two weeks later (trust me, didn't do much between them), it's time for the big day. This is another really long scene, though not quite as long as the Gio one where he became available for hire. Let's teach that punk Iksel a thing or two about cooking.
Both contestants are here now. We will now begin the cookign battle between Iksel and Rorona!
Yay. *clap* *clap* *clap*
Heh, things are starting to heat up around here.
Go Rorona and Iksel. Go, go, go.
Do both of you have all of your ingredients in order?
Yup! I've got 'em all!
Yep. Me, too...
Alright, now it's time to proceed. Bring me your dish when you're done.
Told you Astrid was in this only for a free meal.
Hehe, there's no way I can lose!
Meh, I don't really care...
The battle has begun.
I'll be in the kitchen! Have fun stirring your cauldron!
*sigh* I guess I better start, too. What should I make...?
So, here's how this works. We get a choice of food items to make, and to win the contest, your final product needs to be of 80 quality of greater. You don't actually lose a day making the item, because that would be silly.
I'll be going with the highest-tier pie we can make, if only because pie has not failed us yet.
...Hmm, just waiting around until the food is ready is not very fun.
I want to work, Grand Master.
Okay, then let's do that. Hom, you go be the battlefield correspondent for each camp.
...Understood. I will do my best.
*fade to black*
This is Hom, reporting from Fort Iksel. Chef Iksel has shut all the windows and doors leading to the kitchen.
Hmm... Then what about the Emperor, Chef Rorona?
Yes. Chef Rorona is calmly stirring the cauldron as we speak.
Huh? What do you want, Homhom? I'm too busy to talk to you right now...
It looks like I am getting in her way. What should I do, Grand Master?
Uhh...just come back over here.
...Is that because I failed to meet your expectations?
No, you did pretty well, Hom. There's just not much that we can do. Let's wait till they're done.
*fade to black*
Alright, are both of you done?
Pretty sure she always says that, regardless of the quality of the product. We've got this.
Let's taste what we've got here! Hom, you're up.
Yes, Grand Master.
Hey, I thought you were gonna be the judge!
Rorona would obviously win, if I were the judge. Are you okay with that?
That's not fair! Does that kid even know anything about food?
I can tell the difference between two grains of salt.
I didn't know that. I better be more careful the next time I cook...
Start with Iksel's dish.
Yes, Grand Master.
What do you think? Say something... It's good, right?
I think that was meant as a compliment.
Oh yeah? Well, you know. Sounds like you know a lot about what you're talking about!
Of course... Now it's Rorona's turn.
Yes, let me start. Hmm...mmmm...
How is it? I put a lot of effort into it...
...I am done now.
Um...do you have any comments about my dish?
The winner of this battle is... *drum roll*
...What? I won? Are you sure?
...That's impossible! That must be a biased decision! This isn't fair!
I found Master's dish to be far more tasty.
If you don't agree, why don't you taste it for yourself?
Fine, I will! Hmmm! It's...good, but it's not that different from mine... No! Actually, mine's so much better!
And just what is that?
Well, naturally. An anime-ish cooking showdown needs an anime-ish ending. Iksel never stood a chance.
...Master's just making fun of him now. But I better not interfere... I'll just be quiet over here. So, Homhom...
Or Astrid could be mocking him. Either works.
Did you really like my food better?
Yes. Your food was very tasty.
I get it now... I had it all wrong...! Dammit!
You know what you did wrong. All you have to do now is correct that. You're still very young.
Looks like they're almost done over there.
Rorona! You're still my archenemy! Let's see who will master the art of cooking first! Whaddaya say!?
Um, I'm not interested in that...
...Master, what did you do to him?
Nothing really... I think he's just hot-headed. Anyway, will you start making dinner now?
What? I have to cook some more!? Can't you just have what I already made?
Well, at least my theory of Astrid's motivations turned out to be true.
I'm sorry, Master. I ate it all already.
But since any proper anime storyline needs a proper resolution, you get this scene the next time you visit the Sunrise Cafe after the cooking battle. Video goes until the screenshot of Rorona and Iksel happy.
Haha, sorry! I get really excited when it comes to cooking. You have fun, though, didn't you?
Hmmm... I guess. But why do you get so hot-headed about cooking?
Don't you remember? You started this whole mess in the first place.
Huh? I did?
Yeah... I think I was about five...
So I made you something to eat... That's when I got to experience the joy of making other people happy.
I don't remember that at all...
You really don't remember? It's an important memory for me...
I'm sorry... Oh, wait.
Welll, of cour... Huh? Now that you point that out, I'm not too sure...
See? You're forgetting it, too.
Oh who cares now? Whatever the reason was, all that matters now is that I like to cook.
Anyway, it's getting late. Do you wanna stay for a meal?
I'm still not convinced... Oh well... Sure. Whatever dish you recommend.
Rorona and Cordelia artwork
Girls bathing artwork
Shop's Jig: Bagpipes
And last but not least, the bagpipes. To play the song, I inserted fillings at all of the staccato phrases.