Part 23: Update XX: An Alchemist and her Life
Here we are, the last call for this game. This Assignment is kinda interesting because we only have to turn in a single item, but there's a number of things that influence the outcome: quality, traits, effects, and item level being the big ones. If you have an Elixir or something lying around, you can easily pass this Assignment on the first day, and unlike the previous year-end Assignments, we don't lose 10 days on the end. In a single sentence, I'd say this Assignment is easy to pass, but kinda difficult to get a good rating on.
Now, I mentioned in the first update you can lose stars on a single Assignment. This is the one. If I turned in, say, a Golden Pie, which is the hardest item to make (being the only level 50 item in the game), you'll probably get no less than 8 stars. If, after that, I turned in a Supplement, I would lose a whole bunch of stars. Like the notice said, you can switch the item you want to present at any time before the deadline, so don't sweat it. Take this time to wrap up any ending requirements you need, and enjoy the fruits of your labor at the end. Let's finish this.
First up, you get this scene as soon as the Assignment begins.
Hmm...innermost secrets... What is an innermost secret anyway?
What's the matter? I can hear you mumbling from outside.
Huh!? Was I really that loud!?
N-no, don't! I'd be so mad at you if you did that! Oh yeah! Master...what's the innermost secret of alchemy?
That's a random question... Explain what you want to know first.
My last assignment from the castle calls for alchemy's innermost secret. But I don't know what kind of item I should make...
However, it shouldn't be all that challenging to decieve those alchemy amateurs. Just make something that looks like alchemy and has an alchemy effect.
I don't like the word deceive...
How else do you wanna phrase it? Trick? Cheat? Fool?
...Anyway, why are you coming to me about alchemy?
Well, you're my master. Remember?
You master, huh...?
I haven't heard you complain about that for a while now.
Rorona really should. Astrid deserves it by this point.
Hmm...she really has been acting weird lately... Oops, I should think about my assignment first. Hmmm...
Now, October of this Assignment is the definition of missing time. I recorded what I did on my previous hard drive, but now that it's a moot point in itself, whatever I did then, aside from getting Iksel's ending flag, is a mystery to me. Oh well. Let's start off with this scene you get from taking Gio and Cordelia out three times, then taking Gio out with Cordelia not being in the party. Video goes until Rorona says "Why am I getting yelled at?"
Whoa! You scared me... So, what did you hear?
I heard you went out with Sir Gio without me! Was it a date!?
N-no! I just asked him to help me as usual...
Then why didn't you ask me!?
Is that the only reason?
...Fine. I know you're not like that anyway.
Ughh...why am I getting yelled at?
Unfortunately, no more Cory / Gio scenes. We're in the home stretch, people.
Speaking of home stretching, we need more pie scenes. Scene happens whenever you make the Dark Pie. Video goes until Rorona says "Grh!"
Master, what is this? It looks and smells horrible.
Um, well...I mixed some Dark Water into it.
It is not nice to play with food.
Making inedible food is the same thing as playing with food.
You wouldn't be saying that, Hom, if you knew what other pies Rorona is planning on making next. Making pies "edible" is the least of her priorities.
Hey, it's edible! Fine! Now you're not allowed to eat it...
Please, calm down. You are being irrational.
No, I'm not! Hrmm!
How effective. This could be a very useful poison.
*twitch* *twitch* ...Homhom? H-help...
I...shouldn't have made it... Grh!
Well, that didn't end well. Now, the Dark Pie is unique among the pies and the items in general in that it actually DOES do something, unlike the majority of pies (and no, I checked, the Piemeteor does nothing). Thing is, what it does is poison your own allies, or Rorona herself. Why Rorona doesn't throw it at the enemy is a mystery.
Now then, for the Ruby Pie, we need the Emerald Plate recipe from Orthogalaxen. But, first we've got another Lionela scene to take care of. It happens in the Square a month after the last big scene in Traveler's Way with her. Video goes until Aranya says "She'll be okay, right?"
Hmm...I wish I could watch it, but I need to finish my errands first...
*fade to black*
Good job, Lionela. The audience seems to have enjoyed the show.
I can't believe those people like our shows. Well, I mean, thanks to them, I'm not starving...
Remember this line for later, because it's a little foreshadowy. Or, it could just be the writers being clumsy. I like the first option better, though.
Don't talk bad about our audience! Anyway, what are you we gonna do now?
What do you mean?
Oh...you're right. But...
We won't force you to do anything, as long as you're happy here.
Is it because of what she said?
S-say something! This is so embarrassing...
All I have to say is, "Great." I'll let you decide if it's sarcasm or not.
...So what do you think?
Yeah...I think it's about time...
...She'll be okay, right?
Hm, very mysterious. We'll find out what they mean soon enough. First of all, we need the Emerald Plate.
Like I mentioned, we need to return to Floor 13 of Ortho for the other choice.
I do like how half the stuff in Orthogalaxen, you have no idea how it works or what it does. It's just perpetual motion machines, doing something for some reason.
Now then, Floor 14 is pretty large, but there's only one thing interesting around here. Going up this path, we find...
Finally. This is the last time I have to leave Arland, but obviously for many of the bonus videos, I'll have to leave several times. But that's in the future. Let's head back.
Ah, the Ruby Prism. In the Japanese version, I do believe, this is known as the Philosopher's Stone, but it seems NISA has a tradition of changing that to the Ruby Prism, for some reason. A couple scenes are going to make clear what it really is.
Oy, I have some bad memories of Gold. There was one time, when I wanted to get the Pie Ending, that I didn't fight the Iron Giant (mainly because my Adventurer level was very low), so I wanted to make the Gold instead. What happened was that between making the Gold, and making the Golden Pie, I would have nearly ran out of time on this Assignment. I needed to start on a specific day to make the Pie Ending in time, and I couldn't do it.
The reason? I didn't have enough Pebbles! I kept throwing them out of the Container because I didn't need like 50 Pebbles in the Container, but I was a bit overzealous. It was a sucker punch that completely invalidated an entire playthrough. But since we have a source of 80 quality Gold from Esty, and plenty of remaining time, that's not going to be a problem.
We're at a point when the Dragon Tusk and Elixir are not valuable items, so that leaves the Dunkelheit. This is why you should save two Dunkelheit from harvesting them in the Dark Woods in Year 2. One for the Dunkelpeit, and one for the Ruby Prism on the Pie Ending. Otherwise, the Dunkelheit aren't very special.
My God...Rorona, the clumsiest alchemist in fiction, has been able to create the Philosopher's Stone. What could she possibly have in mind for this? What more is there to learn? Well...Video goes until Rorona is asking herself if the Prism is important.
You seem excited. Did you come up with a new kind of pie?
Nope. Look at this.
Yep. The book said that it's really hard to make, but I didn't have much trouble with it!
"Really hard," huh? Do you even know what you made?
Yep. I didn't know which ingredient to use, but then I thought this would be perfect!
Well, of course. It's a nice item, but not worth putting into anything aside from the Ruby Pie. Why would we put the Stone into anything OTHER than a pie? Hom and Astrid just aren't getting it, seriously.
...Are you okay, Master?
I'm just excited to discover that my pupil is a lot better than I thought. Man, I haven't laughed this hard in a while.
Huh? What do you mean?
Well, I guess. This pie will be Rorona's greatest achievement yet. But first, this scene came up after I made the Prism. It happens a week after the Square scene with Lionela and the puppets. See if you can spot a classic television show reference in this scene. Video goes until Rorona sighs.
Whoa! Wh-what was that!? What's going on?
H-help...help! Aranya and Horoholo are... They were fine last night but...!
What's going on? It's so noisy in here.
*fade to black*
Do you feel better now?
Ugh... *sniff* Wahhh...
Oh, don't cry. Master will help you. Okay?
I'll need to hold the actual objects in order to fix them, okay?
I understand... Please, take good care of them...
Now, go home and get some rest. I'll let you know once I've figured it out.
Don't look so sad... Everything will be alright, okay?
Liona... I hope she's okay...
Well, she better be okay... Otherwise, these puppets are...
Huh? What do you mean?
I'm just talking to myself. Don't worry about it. Anyway, how should I...?
Um...you can fix them, right?
And dammit, game, I need a Star Trek joke I can work into this game somehow...
Besides, it's impossible to fix something that isn't broken.
What...? But the puppets obviously aren't talking anymore. Didn't you see Liona crying? I thought you'd be able to...
Argh, just shut up. You're making me lose my train of thought. Alright, I have an idea.
Huh? What's this all about? Why can't you explain it to me first!?
...I guess she won't tell me anything until I make this... *sigh*
Okay, so after this scene, Lionela is removed from the party and you can't hire her again until the potion is made, since she needs her puppets to fight, obviously. Like with Tantris, you can control when you get her ending flag by postponing making the potion however long you want.
Basically, if you want to do a controlled burn when it comes to endings, you should make a save sometime in early Year 3 (I made mine after the scene where Sterk talks about Suni back in January), with everyone's friendship level being high, but no ending flags tripped. After that, you can just handle whatever endings you want at your leisure. But, Lionela's going to have to wait a bit. We've got pies to make. Ruby Pie time.
Even though the Ruby Pie has an alchemy level a bit higher than our own, that Judgment +3 really helped. The quality of the ingredients, combined with the Quality boost, also helps a lot. Video goes until Rorona says "Waaaaaaaahhh!"
Yep...you sure did. So, you used the ultimate goal of every alchemist, a Ruby Prism, to make a pie, huh?
Told you this game makes it really obvious that's supposed to be the Philosopher's Stone, even with a completely different name.
You're gonna piss off every pie maker in the world... So, is it edible?
I'm not sure. I was so preoccupied with whether or not I could, I never stopped to think if I should...
No, don't lose heart, Rorona! Of course you should have!
This was supposed to be your ultimate goal...so why are you so cocky when it comes to making pies?
I'm sure it's edible. It is a pie after all.
But it's got a stone on top of it.
Um, well, that's...
Ughhh... A lady must be courageous!
You ate it all at once!
...Uh, are you alright?
Well, Rorona will probably go down as the only character ever to eat the Philosopher's Stone. There's one thing she can always be proud of.
What did you expect after biting a stone.
Wahhhh! It hurs! It wearry hurs!
Oh, stop crying. I'll make you a fake tooth.
Unsurprisingly, the Ruby Pie is completely useless. But before we get back to pie, this scene seems to happen around 11/15. It's possible to miss it, but nuts to that.
For some reason, Pamela's teddy bear is on the table there. Maybe she spent the night?
Oh? You're up late.
What...? Oops, is it really this late? I didn't even realize...
Whoa, wait! Stop! Master, you smell like alcohol!
Oh, do I? Oops, I must have had too much.
That's unusual. You never drink.
Did something bad happen?
It's about my master.
Master's master...? You've never talked about her. Was she a bad person?
No. She was snesitive, clumsy, and frail, but she was always nice.
...Speaking of which, she was kind of like you.
Umm...I don't know if that was a compliment or not...
On top of that, her skills at alchemy were...not so good.
But my master wasn't able to do that... So the townspeople turned around and...
...Sorry. Looks like I'm a little more drunk than I thought. I better go to bed.
W-wait! What about...?
You don't have to wake me up tomorrow. And I don't need breakfast, either.
But you didn't finish your story!
I wonder if it has something to do with how Master's been acting lately...?
Maybe. Sounds like something we're going to be hearing about again. Anyway...let's make the Dragon Pie. Video goes until Hom says "I do not know if Master is one or the other..."
Dragon Pie...? It sounds hard to eat.
Well, it sure won't be easy to eat. It is a Dragon Pie after all.
Could also have something to do with the fact Rorona made it out of Dragon Scales. As an aside, I do like how the games emphasize the fact Dragons have many scales, and you'd think they'd be nice enough to give you one if you asked nicely. But evidently, this is not the case.
...Hmm. Homhom, you don't look very excited.
What is there in a Dragon Pie that I should be excited about?
What does a dragon's strength have to do with a pie?
W-well...if there was a competition between pies, this one would beat up all the others!
I have never heard of a competition like that.
Ughh...fine! You're not allowed to eat it, then!
Rorona's getting really indignant at Hom lately. But it's perfectly reasonable. How would you like it if someone constantly was skeptical of your advancements in pie-making?
Why does Master turn into a crazy person whenever it comes to pies?
You missed out, Hom.
Grand Master? What have I missed out on?
It seems that that pie has the concentrated life force of a Dragon.
Physical abilities...? Is that why Master made that pie?
I do not know if Master is one or the other...
So the thing with the Dragon Pie is that it can give you, through its effects, pretty fantastic buffs to HP, Attack, Defense, or whatever. I prefer the Ankhs, though, simply because they're easier to make / have more uses. On the minus side, though, it's not a pie.
Alright, only one remains. Thing is, we're in a bad spot to making this, because we're like nine alchemy levels lower than it. If I used even my best ingredients, including an 80 quality Gold from Esty, and gave myself the best odds of success (with a lucky Judgment +3 and a Simple +2 on the Flour and Water, respectively), I'd end up with this result.
With an extra sucker punch by the game claiming we're "Almost There". Not good enough! So what do we do here?
Well, we can start by spamming Elixirs for a bit. Elixirs are easy to make at this point, and we've otherwise got nothing to do. I decided to spam those until I got to alchemy level 42, but we're still not quite there. But, I've got an easy fix.
Now, I want to give myself the best odds possible, so I want to combine Judgment and Simple to give myself a +40% chance of making the pie, but I also need to boost the quality. But I can only use one Water on one pie. The solution? Make TWO Golden Pies, both at once!
It is done. We still need an extra day to actually trigger the final pie scene, but we're done with the hard work. As an added bonus, I finished making both Golden Pie on my birthday, December 14th. It must be fate. Anyway, the final pie making scene. Video goes until the screenshot of Rorona wondering why she made this.
Of course it is. You used Gold to make it.
Isn't it pretty? It's healthy for you, too. I heard gold is really good for you.
That is only a myth. There is no scientific proof of that.
Hey now, it's mind over matters... Wait, did I get that right...? Anyway, let's try it. Here's your piece.
With the amount of Gold you used to make this, you could have fed a family for ten days.
What!? Is Gold really that valuable?
Yes. Did you not know that?
I don't wanna waste is by eating it now.
it has lost most of its value, now that it is in a pie. You will not be wasting it by eating it.
Oh...so it's not valuable anymore?
Hrmm...it is really good. Are you going to have some, Master?
Who cares? We're done with the pies! Like I said, you actually need to see another scene that triggers the day after you make the final pie at 80 or more quality, so you can't make the last pie any later than 12/28. My take on the Pie Ending is going to be something special, don't you worry about that.
But let's see how well our Golden Pie is received by the castle...
But hey, why not take care of Tantris and Lionela? First up is Tant. This triggers after you make the Homemade Instrument from the recipe he gave us earlier. Video goes until Rorona says "This might be our last time".
So I heard you finished my instrument.
You didn't look too confident, but it looks great.
Tantris starts playing his usual number for a bit here.
...And it sounds good, too. Thanks. I'm glad I asked you.
Don't look so down. You look most beautiful when you're smiling.
I wish I could smile, but you're...
If you would like, we could choose to live beside one another for the rest of our lives.
Please don't joke around now!
Nothing. Anyway, cheer up. It's not like this is gonna be the last time we'll see each other.
Hmmm...oh, didn't you say that you wanted to hear me play again? I'll play something for you right now. Will that cheer up you up?
I know I said that, but...
You don't want to hear me play?
It's not like that! I wanna hear it!
Okay, good. Then here.
It's my old instrument. You can play along with me.
But, I can't do that! I've never played an instrument before...
Don't worry. Just play whatever comes to mind, and I'll play along.
B-but...I didn't think...
*fade to black*
Music: Arland's Dancer: Duet
Now we get to listen to their duet for a while here. Nice and relaxing, I think.
(Is it because he's playing along with me?)
(...He looks sad... I'm gonna play seriously... This might be our last time...)
And upon that strumming, we've triggered Tantris' ending flag. Only two to go. But, we had to spend a few days actually making the instrument, so this popped up just after that Tantris scene. Video goes until Rorona says "I'm gonna keep trying!"
Hrrrm... *yawn* What is it now? I was having the best dream...
That's not important right now! Look at this!
...What is that dirty notebook?
...I didn't know you made something like this. What are the stars for?
Why would you grade your own pies? And what's the big deal, anyway?
It's a huge deal! All my effort over these past nineteen years has finally paid off! Don't you agree!?
Um, well... Oh, right. Great job. I'm so impressed.
You should praise me even more!
Well, Astrid did want us to start making pies with alchemy in order to become a better alchemist. If she has any complaints about what Rorona has done with that order since, she only has herself to blame.
Hehehe. Oh, it was nothing...
...Are you happy now? I'm going back to sleep. No pie for dinner!
*Astrid leaves, fade to black*
*fade back in*
I'm all done with making pies, and Master praised me for it... I might actually be able to make my dream come true... Yay! I'm gonna keep trying!
Well, I'm not getting the Pie Ending this playthrough. I screwed that up by getting Sterk's ending flag, and it's only gotten worse since. Well, that's a story for another time. The last obstacle between us and the canon ending is Lionela's ending flag, so let's make that potion.
As an aside, this scene is LONG. If none of the endings are longer, which I'm pretty sure is the case, I do believe this is the longest scene in the game. Oh well. Obviously, you only need to make the potion for it to show up. Video goes until the screenshot of Rorona by herself wanting Astrid to explain things to her.
Hmph. So you made it already, huh? That was fast.
Whoa! You should've said that you were there!
I didn't want to distract you. Let me take a look.
Okay... Um, Master? This is a sleeping potion, right?
Hehe, thank you.
...I mean! How are you gonna use this to fix the puppets?
Like I said before, it's not the puppets that are broken, so it's impossible to fix them.
Anyway, get that girl for me. I'll take care of the rest from here.
But...grrhh! She never tells me anything!
*fade to black*
You do have to run over and get her, but that takes just a few seconds, so there was no point in splitting the previous and next voiced scene up. Getting back to the scene...
Master, Liona is here.
Ummm...Rorona told me that you're gonna fix them. So...?
There, there, calm down. Just sniff a little of this for a second.
Hey, that's the potion I just made! Why are you putting her to sleep with it!?
You're being too loud. Do you wanna look like that, too?
Humans actually have more than five senses I guess it's not too much of a shocker that research into senses has progressed far beyond what Aristotle proposed.
Now, you puppets.
To me, it seems like you two are just trying to escape from your reality, instead of facing it. You're three separate personalities, but you're all derived from one, right?
What is this, Xenogears? I just finished reading that LP a few days ago.
Master, what are you saying? Plus, they're broken. They can't hear you.
If you two are gonna keep ignoring me, I have a plan for that, as well.
...I'm gonna do naughty things to this puppeteer while she's paralyzed.
Wait! Whoa, Master! No! I forbid you from doing that!
...Ah, fine... We give up...
Boy...you are unbelievable...
What...!? They can talk now! Did you fix them!?
That wasn't legal at all! But, how did you fix them? You didn't do anything.
You really don't listen, do you? How many times do I have to tell you? They weren't broken!
These puppets never talked to begin with. It's all coming from this girl, Lionela.
Aghh! Y-you're right... Your voice is coming from Liona...
I'm actually surprised you didn't notice it until now. There were so many times...
S-so...it was Liona who was talking this entire time? B-but...we had many conversations...
Lionela unconsciously projected her other two personalities onto these puppets. The puppets knew about it, but Lionela herself wasn't aware at all.
The Xenogears connections only grow stronger. Well, except for the cat puppets stuff. I don't *think* that was in the game.
Oh, and that's why I like to think the Horoholo "I'm starving" line is foreshadowing. How would a puppet eat? It's Lionela telling herself she's hungry.
Oh...um, I'm sorry. Can you explain it in a way that I can understand?
That's tricky. Remember when we talked about Lionela and her special power?
If only her puppets could be her friends...
Then, that wish eventually came true, and we were born.
I-I see... But that's pretty unbelievable!
Well, you've got living proof right in front of you. Anyway, I'm glad this is all over. My job is done.
Huh...? Hey, wait! We haven't resolved anything yet!
That's right! This isn't fair!
Huh? Are you really leaving us? Master!
Dammit. She messed everything up... Um, so...Lionela?
L-listen, we had only good intentions about this. We wanted what's best for you...
We wanted you to be happy, so we...
No way! I'm never letting you guys go!
Lionela, you see it, too, don't you? It's not good for you to depend on us forever.
No, I don't see that at all! I don't want you guys to ever disappear!
Stop being so difficult. Hey, can't you talk some sense into her?
What? Me? Umm, uhh...
You're not supposed to take her side, stupid!
Don't call me stupid!
...Aww, fine. You're gonna be a kid forever.
I don't care...
Just stop crying! You're gonna get us wet and mushy.
*fade to black*
Are you okay now?
Yeah... I'm so sorry about all of this.
Don't worry about us. We'll talk about this ourselves.
And we'll talk to Lionela about it next time.
Yeah. I think that's a great idea.
Well, see you all later... Liona, Ranya, and Horo...
*the three leave*
I hope everything'll be okay... The problem is still there...
Well, that was a doozy. But just to finish Lionela's events up, this event happens the next day. Video goes until the screenshot of Rorona yelling for Astrid.
And just what does "that" pertain to? You've asked a very vague question.
About Ranya and Horo. I'm starting to see where they're coming from.
So you think she'd be better off if those two had disappeared?
But those two disagree about that. I thought they're supposed to be a part of Liona...
That means that there's a part in her that knows something's wrong. Honestly, I wouldn't care what others say about me, as long as I'm happy with myself.
Is that speaking from your personal experience?
Are you saying that people think I'm weird?
Oh, no, I'm not...!
...I see. I guess I should mind my own business this time.
What? Why me?
...I'm not gonna tell you why.
Why not!? I wanna know!
So, only Iksel's ending flag is outstanding. Thing is, I only have 10 days left in-game, and that's not enough to go to Night's Domain (need at least 16, 8 days to and from). So, we're gonna take another trip into an alternate universe. Last time, hopefully. Video goes until Iksel says "We're talking about mushrooms here."
This is a strange place.
Yeah...but there might be better mushrooms than the kind we found before!
Do you think so? They look the same to me.
Iksel is racist against mushrooms. Not cool.
I bet they'll taste good if you cook them right. Besides, mushrooms are healthy and girls really love them!
Why are you being so pushy? I didn't know you liked mushrooms so much.
It's not that. I just feel sorry for the mushrooms...
You should. Lousy things.
You will? Yay, I can't wait to see it.
Just don't expect anything great. We're talking about mushrooms here.
But now, we've finally got the last food scene. Nine in total. When you reach that number, head to the Sunrise Cafe for this scene. Not voiced because Iksel already got his big voiced scene.
Iksy, do you have a minute? Whoa! Wh-What the...!?
Is that you, Rorona!?
Isky? I can hear you, but I can't tell where you are...
I'm on the other side of the counter! Can you come over here somehow?
Somehow? Like, how?
Just find a way! Hurry!
*fade to black*
Just a little further... Hurrmph!
Ahhh! I finally made it...
Oh, and make sure you wear an apron. You're serving food here.
Wait. I wanted to...
Hurry! Don't just stand around!
*fade to black*
Hey, can we get more of this!?
Sure, coming right up! Iksy!
I heard! I'm getting right on it!
Hey kid, when did you marry such a cute girl?
Argh! It's not like that!
Unghhh! Shut up! Don't talk to me. I'm busy!
Yo, where's our food!?
Ahhh, I'm so sorry! It's coming!
*fade to black*
*sigh* I'm so tired...
I'm so glad you came to help...
Is it that busy all the time now?
No, today was unusual... Though, we've been getting busier everyday. Oh, did you come here for something?
I'm sorry... I'll come with you next time.
Are you sure? You won't have time if your restaurant keeps getting busier.
Don't hesitate to ask me. Besides, I like hanging out with you outside of town.
Well...unless I'm missing something, that's the last normal scene. Tune in next time for the finale of this game.
Puppets and a Girl
Iksel concept art
Lionela concept art
Tantris concept art
Arland's Dancer: Duet
In the duet with Rorona, I was able to add more strings, which gives it more movements.