Part 46: Update XLIII: An Adventurer and the Homeward PathA new year is the time for new beginnings, new challenges, new opportunities, and most importantly, new updates. Let's get things rolling in style.
I don't know why, but I really like Totori's idle animation. She just crouches like that, and starts picking at the ground. There's so many little details, like her rocking back and forth and her eyes moving in concert.
What I'm saying is they spent a lot of time on something really small, and I like that.
Now, I said that this location was more important than any one of the others. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. A nice feature is that on the world map, while en route to a destination, you can press circle to cancel the move and stop at the nearest location, even if it's just a junction.
Oh, and I took along Cordelia for this journey. We actually don't have any normal party members in Arland, but that'll change by the end of this update. At this point, Cory is arguably better than Mel. I didn't do anything on the way to the Mountain except menace some Wolves in the Buried Ruins.
Anyway, our first scene of the year. Video goes until Totori says "I should probably leave it alone".
Why, hello there. Didn't think I'd see you again.
Um, hello... Wahhh! It's you again!
What's the matter? There shouldn't be many things in the world worth screaming over.
But the other day...! I was...! Monsters!
D-Deep breath? *inhale* *exhale*
Good. Tell me, why are you panicking?
I don't think I care anymore... Oh yeah! You're not being chased by monsters are you?
You make it sound like it's a normal activity for me. I assure you it's a rare occurrence.
Oh, that's a relief.
(It's tiring just listening to him...)
Oh yes, I haven't introduced myself.
I find it amusing despite the fact he calls himself a scientist, you never once actually see him in a laboratory. But you can be assured he's doing some complicated Science us laymen simply wouldn't understand.
No! The Exceedingly Exceptional Genius Super Scientist Professor McBrine!
I have to say it all?
One more time. Now go!
Doesn't just saying my name make you realize how exceptional I am?
Yes, it's so great I can't even say it. Oh, my name is...
That's all right. I know who you are, alchemist.
How did you know?
Who knows? We'll save it for later. For now, farewell.
I don't really understand him... Let's see. Exceedingly Expesh... I think I'll just call him Marc. He's kind of weird, but he knew me...
Wahh! You're back!
If you're going to explore this area, watch out for treasure chests. I placed... I mean, there are many traps placed on them.
Normally, after that above line the scene breaks and you return to gameplay. Again, I just stiched together two voiced scenes in the above video.
A treasure chest. It looks suspicious. Is this what Marc was talking about?
A small choice. As expected, opening the chest causes it to explode in Totori's face, inflicting quite a bit of damage on her. But, I elected to have Totori display a bit better judgment than her teacher would in the same situation.
I have a really bad feeling about it. I should probably leave it alone.
No matter what choice you make, you can't interact with that chest again after that scene. You don't have to examine it or anything, but I might as well throw it in.
Now, there's a lot of icky bugs and Audras hanging around here. In spite of their looks, the bugs are rather weak. They're also weak to Fire damage, so those Bombs are really going to do a number on them.
You get a pop-up indicating if the enemy was weak or strong against the elemental attack you used. That's sure nice of the game.
Cordelia has a really nice assist, which does more damage than Mel's and looks pretty cool regardless. A neat detail about her attacks is that if you're looking closely, you can see the casing eject from her gun and the slide moving back.
Along with the fact you get Marc's second scene here, you can also get an easy 10 points. We're well on our way.
I returned to Arland shortly thereafter, and turning in a bunch of requests to Filly reminded me of something weird about this game. I get the game giving you better rewards depending on the quality of turned in items, but for monster quests I just don't understand when you get a perfect request, or how the game judges the quality of a monster quest.
And what do you know, I have a another rank up ready. That was fast.
Upon returning to the workshop (I haven't ranked up yet), I got this scene.
Wah! Mimi! What're you doing here?
That's my line. How dare you open up a workshop in Arland without telling me?
I didn't open it up. I'm borrowing my teacher's workshop. Cordelia said it would okay. Besides...
What's so strange about that? I'm originally from here. It's better to be based in Arland if I'm to become a first-rate adventurer.
If you need my help, come and talk to me like you usually would. I'll see you later.
So Mimi's going back home. I guess I can see her when I work here.
Indeed. Mimi changes from hanging out on a bench in Alanya to hanging out in the Adventurer Guild in Arland, where she'll stay for the rest of the game. Whoo.
Anyway, speaking of the Adventurer Guild, we might as well go rank up. I got this when I went to talk to Cordelia, but you have to see Marc a second time for it to appear. Video goes until Totori says "But..."
Okay, I guess. I did meet some weird guy.
A weird guy?
His name is Marc. Do you know him?
Marc... Doesn't ring a bell.
I don't know, that looked like a backpack to me. I mean, he is carrying a machine on his back, but that just looked like a backpack to me.
He called himself professor something or the other, too.
White coat, machines, professor.
Wow, you said it in one breath! Yes, that's him. Does he really make everyone call him that?
I only do because I know some others who can't.
I'm one of them...
So what about him?
He seems to know who I am, and I was wondering why.
Can't you do anything about him?
Why? It's not like he did anything to you personally.
Well, no... But I get caught in a lot of trouble because of him.
Just brush him aside. If you can't even do that, you have no future as an adventurer.
Chat is one thing I have absolutely no idea why it was included. All that happens is that Cordelia will either tell you she's busy, or she tells you she's free and wishes you good luck. It is a mystery.
Anyway, we ranked up, so we get another scene. Video goes until Cordelia says "Keep it up".
Thank you very much!
I'll talk about the Aquanaut Memo when we get back to the atelier.
You're moving at a good pace. I assume you're getting used to this adventurer business.
I don't know about that. I think I still have a lot to learn.
I-I guess. I'm not a rookie... I'll try to pull myself together!
Something seems off when you say it. I guess it's not a bad start though. Keep it up.
Like always, let's talk about what's new. We've got a big location east of Arland, and a smaller location a bit south of it, in the Wastelands, but trust me, you are not equipped to be going there at the moment. Just ignore it. Other than that, we have a path south from the Golden Plains that has a new area in it, which loops back to Alanya, and three locations west of the village, as well.
If you can't tell, we'll be heading back to Alanya via the new path, before heading far to the west to get the last few Rank Points. Ideally, you can have your third rank up by late January or February.
The Parasol is an interesting item because it's only use is as a passive item that's only good for one area, the big area we unlocked this rank, actually. Like I said, don't worry about it at the moment. Once we've leveled up to 20 or so, we can begin making serious inroads there.
Let's now check up on some of the shopkeeps. It's been a while since we've heard from them. First on the chopping block is Hagel. Video goes until the screenshot of Totori saying she'll never forget.
Your timing is perfect, as usual. I just finished preparing things.
What? What do you mean, things?
Did you forget, kiddo? I said I was preparing to do a new kind of work for you.
Now that you mention it... I'm sorry. Sometimes I just forget stuff.
It makes me really depressed when I hear random people worrying about me...
Really? Anyway, back to the main topic. So about this new work. You order it, I'll make you some unique equipment.
That's right. You're at the age where I'm sure there are clothes you want to wear or weapons you want to swing.
I'm not sure about the weapon part...
Don't worry about it. It's a little hobby of mine. I originally started this with your teacher, kiddo. It's actually fun when I start getting into it. I was thinking of resuming it when I found the right customer.
Oh, if that's the case, I'll do it.
All right. Now let me explain in detail. Listen real careful, okay?
Totori adopts a different system than Rorona. Now, each ingot and cloth type is a separate item, and has a standard set of ingredients. Quake Crystals make one type of ingot, and Dragon Tusks make another. In addition to the standard ingredients, you have to add a [Fuel] ingredient, which can add additional traits. One final difference is that if the ingot / cloth is of sufficiently high quality, then you get bonuses on the final weapon / armor. That's nice of the game.
That's it. It got long-winded, but did you catch all that?
Y-Yes. I think... Somewhat...
Come on. You sure you're okay? The next time you come here, I don't want to hear you say you forgot it all. I don't want to be mean, but your fire isn't burning too bright to me, kiddo.
Hagel gives you your first recipe book, but to be honest, there's really not much point to upgrading weapons / armor at the moment. The traits you can get now aren't going to help you much, which means we have to rely on items to achieve victory in a difficult battle. I can work with this.
Next up is Iksy. Video goes until Totori says "I'll definitely tell her".
There you are. Why didn't you tell me last time?
Huh? What are you talking about?
About Rorona. You're Rorona's student. Then again, it's my fault for not noticing when you wear something as flashy as that.
Course I do. How wouldn't I? Can't you see how close my store is to her workshop?
Oh, right. Now that you mention it...
We're childhood friends and we're inseparable like that. But to me, she's more like a rival.
A rival? You're that amazing?! I'm so sorry! I was so rude to you!
What are you getting depressed about? I made a mistake. I knew her from when we were kids. That's why I said that. The country sees her as someone really great.
She's kind of a pain in the ass.
Wh-What was that?
Nothing. So what were we talking about? Well, anyway... If you see Rorona, tell her to visit. Knowing her, I'm sure she found some interesting ingredients.
Sure! I'll definitely tell her!
I might as well talk about Iksel as a playable character. He's pretty neat, but not that fancy at the moment. One thing he does have going for him is he a stone wall when it comes to defense. He has by far the most HP at the moment, a lot of defense anyway, and regains 30 HP a turn, no questions asked. He's nearly impossible to get KO'd this early in the game.
Anyway, had to make a Zettel for a quest, then got this scene. Video goes until Totori says "Why was she mad".
Oh, hi. What do you need today?
Nothing much. You know how you're still new here?
I'm okay, thanks. I walked around town and said hi to the shopkeepers already.
Oh, is that so? Huh.
Um, is there anything else you wanted?
N-Nothing. I just dropped by because I happened to be in the area! Good day!
Why was she mad?
Why, indeed. If there's an alternate version of this scene, where Totori says she hasn't met the shopkeepers, I haven't seen it.
It's a good idea to make some easy recipes to fulfill some pretty easy achievements, now that there's some downtime. A few days for five points (well, actually 15 points because of the items I made) is a good trade.
After inflicting some more good ol' Puni genocide in Uni Grove, I returned to the workshop and this scene came up. This scene really should be the last before you head back down south.
S-Sure. I'll bring it right away. Hold on. Why are you here?
You're not very bright, are you? Did you forget how to address me?
Oh, right. Umm, Exceedingly Expecial Super Genius Scienfa...
I'm sorry, can I just call you Marc?
That was too easy!
It's a very concise way to address me. I may have others call me that as well from now on.
I should have asked in the beginning. So did you want something from me?
Nothing, really. I just felt the urge to visit you once. I've heard rumors about you here and there around town.
You sure you should be happy about it?
Huh? Are they bad rumors?
No. It's not that. However...
Affirmative. From this moment forth, you and I are sworn enemies!
W-Wait! Why do we have to be enemies?
A strange question. Everyone knows scientists and wizards have always been on opposite sides of the spectrum.
Same difference. Don't try to tell me that's not what you are!
But I'm not! Alchemy is...
*fade to black*
Yes. That's what Teacher told me.
So why are there only three alchemists including yourself in this nation?
Th-That's because...Teacher isn't very good at teaching?
I see. A lack of good teachers is a common problem in many fields.
Really? But unlike alchemy, I see machines almost everywhere.
The machines of this nation have all been dug up and recycled. Most people don't know how they work. Rather, they don't care about the mechanics behind the machines. Yet so many pretend to be scientists. It's a truly pathetic state of affairs.
This was all just a misunderstanding. Would you please forgive me?
You don't have to aplogize. I don't really mind.
What? Comrades? What are you talking about?!
What do you mean? Science and alchemy. Our fields may differ, but our goals are one in the same.
Did I say that? I feel like you're just interpreting everything the way you want.
What...? He's so self-centered. But he's not really a bad person... Hmm, I'm still a little worried.
So after this scene, we can hire Marc. I'd highly recommend doing so, and heading south as soon as possible. That means turning in whatever requests will have their deadline in ~20 days. Other than that, you can ignore everything else going on up north and head south. We'll be largely staying until next June, which will mark the first anniversary of the game beginning.
Why June? You shall see...
Marc isn't nearly as good as Mel or Cory, but he's not half bad. He's certainly able to take care of himself, and he has plenty of MP for his rather powerful skill at the moment.
Not much happened on the way to the Herbal Plains, our last stop before returning to Alanya. This area has some surprisingly good materials for this early in the game, and there's another reason stopping by is highly recommended.
This. When you map all the areas of a specific region (in this example, the plains south of Arland), you get a bonus for it. In addition to this, you also get all the map information for all the Southern Plains locations. Very nice.
See what I mean by good materials? In particular, that Quality L is very, very nice, and well-worth picking up.
What's not such a good idea is fighting this group without some bombs. That's a lot of enemies to deal with, and I prepared poorly and didn't have any bomb items. We'll manage, but just barely. For the record, this battle took close to an eternity.
We're mostly done here, so let's return to Alanya. Upon our homecoming, we get this scene. Video goes until Totori says "How does this thing work?"
What? No way! Totori? You're back?
I'm home, Ceci. Sorry it took me such a long time to come back.
I, um, uh... Sorry doesn't cut it! Why don't you ever contact me? If you don't tell me you're coming, how can I cook up lots of food for you?
Aw, that's not very nice. Whatever you're checking on can wait, I think.
Hey, wait! What's her problem? Fine. I don't care, then!
*fade to black*
Where's my Container...? There!
There's less now... It matches the stuff I used over there. How does this thing work?
First stop when we get back is obviously Gerhard's. This came up as soon as I went there. Video goes until the screenshot of Totori telling herself she shouldn't bother Mel and Ceci.
*fade to black*
And guess what happened next! A huge bear came out of nowhere!
Really? Aren't you exaggerating again?
It's true! I really wish you could've seen it. It got away from me, but imagine how much bear stew we could've made with it...
Hey, you don't believe me.
I'll believe if you bring me back its hide.
Fine. I'll get it next time... And I'll leave it on your doorstep!
Yeah, yeah. Plan your prank after you actually get this giant bear.
Now, you might be thinking since we haven't been in Alanya for a while that we have a ton of backed up events. You wouldn't be wrong, and I got this scene by talking to Ceci in the tavern.
From me? What is it?
Have you ever heard of wholesaling?
I just heard about it from Pamela.
Oh. I didn't know that.
Each store can take different items. But there are even items that can't be recreated no matter what...
All I have to do is bring you what I want you to make?
Yeah. Don't give me anything too tough. If you bring me something good, I thought it might bring some more customers in.
Haha... Please don't put so much pressure on me.
Seeing that scene allows us to use wholesaling with any shopkeep in the game. There is one exception to this, but that's not for a long time. Anyway, wholesaling has been nerfed a little in this game, in that you can't just register anything and the shopkeeper will be able to reproduce it as is. That is, if the traits / quality are too high, they'll only be able to reproduce it up to a point (for example, a 120 quality item becomes a 100 quality item in the shop).
That said, you should still of course make heavy, heavy use of this. Ceci and Tiffani handle Sundry items, Pamela handles magical items, Iksel food items, and Hagel mostly bombs.
Upon returning to the workshop, another scene.
Peter? Why do you look so twitchy?
W-Well, you know. I was wondering if Ceci was here.
Ceci should be at work.
Oh, really? Gosh, I got all nervous over nothing.
Wait! No! It's not that! I wanted to talk to you!
Oh, thanks for telling me.
Don't mention it. Anyway, ask if you want to go to Arland. The carriage repair costs completely bankrupted me.
Oh, so the carriage is fixed. I should use it the next time I go to Arland.
Indeed we should. But not before it gets a little tweaking.
The Silent Path is a very valuable area to drop by. When we get there, all shall be known.
Very oddly, you can run into bugs and Mandragoras north of Hunter's Forest. It's in a wasteland environment too, which I also find rather strange, considering this area is supposed to be forest. Anyway, they're pretty easy, like I said.
I should note Marc has a rather amusing way of attacking. He fires a boxing glove out of whatever is in his backpack, and his Control AA skill just punches them a bunch of times with it.
This is the first good reason for going to the Silent Path. 15 more points is always welcome.
This is the second. Tar Fruits can be attached to bombs, and what it does is it gives the bomb in question the ability to lower the enemy's defense via Solvent. Very, very valuable, and I'd advise picking them up. They're only available here for a while.
And this is the third. Chainwebs are another good item to equip on bombs, because they lower speed with Binding. Fighting a weaker enemy always helps. Return back to town after harvesting, of course.
Along the way, I got ambushed again. The only thing here worth recalling is this...
If Totori scores a critical hit, Mimi has a special assist where she can inflict quite a bit of damage (and a possible status effect) by herself in a follow-up attack. It's only for Mimi, but it's still pretty powerful.
You know who else I haven't talked with in a while? Pamela.
I heard you had your own store in Arland, Pamela.
That's right. I almost went insane from boredom, and Astrid got it for me.
Rorona's master. Meaning, she's your teacher's teacher.
You better be careful. She can hear anybody talkign trash about her, no matter where they are in the world.
O-Oh... Then maybe we should change the topic, and fast. Well, if you already had a store there, why did you decide to come here?
That's because... Um, I forgot why... Um... Umm...
If there's no particular reason, then...
I felt like looking at the ocean because I've never seen it before. Now isn't that romantic?
Oh, really? It doesn't seem that special to me.
I'll never forget how moved I was when I first saw it.
But you forgot about it until right now.
What? You walked from Arland to here?
Yes. Is it that much of a surprise?
Of course it is! It's really far away! It took us a long time just to reach Arland by carriage.
Oh, really? It didn't bother me much. Maybe I did walk really far.
I don't think that's the point here... I knew you were carefree, but this is kind of silly...
Indeed it is. Our alchemy level is quite a bit higher than last time we stopped by, so I'd advise buying Me and My Bomb from Pamela. That gives you a bunch of recipes we're equipped to take on now, including the most valuable - the Cannon. The Cannon is an area attack now, and you can thankfully attach Solvent and Binding on it. Let's do so.
The only outstanding ingredient is an ingot, so let's take care of that, shall we?
Oh, and take notice of the icons to the left of each unmade items' name. An X indicates we can't make that item with the materials we have, and a triangle indicates we can make the item, but only after we do some intermediary syntheses first. How nice of the game, again.
Unfortunately, we can only attach one [Gunpowder] ingredient at a time, so we can't have Solvent and Binding on the same Cannon. The solution, just like with the Golden Pie last game, is just make two at a time.
That's the ticket. We have a spare Cannon that we can use for business in Alanya, but we definitely want to drop one of them off at Hagel's when we're back in Arland.
I applied the same tactics to making a really nice Healing Salve. That Quality L substantially increases this one's effectiveness. A worthy drop-off at Ceci's.
But after we made those Healing Salves, we get another scene. Video goes until Totori says "I think".
*knock on door*
Sterk's got some pretty spiffy new duds, but doesn't seem to a big fan of symmetry in clothing.
Excuse me. I heard you can perform alchemy syntheses here...
This is an alchemy workshop, but... Wahhhh!
Oh, um, ah... I'm sorry! I thought someone with a really scary face...
Ugh... I'm sorry. Oh, yeah! I forgot to thank you for saving me the other day.
Save you? Did I?
Back when I first went to Arland, a monster attacked my carriage.
I'm sorry, but I don't remember. Such things happen on a daily basis.
Ahh! Who is this scary person?!
C-Ceci, no! He's...
You must be an evil kidnapper! You're probably after Totori because she's so adorable! I won't let you!
Stop! He's my guest!
I don't care if he's a guest. You won't lay a finger on her as lo... Wait, a guest?
Yeah! Ceci, you're being a huge jerk!
Jerk? You're the one who screamed...
Oh, I'm so sorry.
I'm used to hearing those things, but it hurts even more when it comes in such constant waves.
Wahhh... A-Anyway, can you go, Ceci?!
S-Sure. Um, I'm so sorry!
I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm really sorry!
It's all right. Even your teacher is still afraid of my face at times.
My teacher? Oh, that's right. You know my teacher, Rorona. I heard that from Cordelia.
Oh? Is that who you heard it from?
Yes. She called you Ster-something.
Sterk... My name is Totori. Pleased to meet you.
I was thinking I could talk to you regarding that, but I'll leave for now.
What? Already? Are you mad at me for...
I'm not mad. I didn't have much time to begin with.
I'll come back at a later date. I would prefer you don't scream at the sight of my face then.
I-I'll be really careful...
Oh, well. He said he'll be back. I'll be fine next time! I think...
I hope so. Anyway, Sterk showing up for a second time indicates you've unlocked friend requests. This, too, has been changed to be more convenient. Instead of manually asking each and every person if they have a request, they'll come to you. These are limited to the towns they're in, with the exception of Sterk. So, Gino, Mel, and Sterk will come to you in Alanya, and Sterk, Mimi, and Marc in Arland.
One last thing is that requests *always* ask for stuff you already possess. They'll never ask for something you don't have, which is another nice thing the game does for us.
The Medicine Base is a really nice item to alchemy grind for a bit, since it only takes one day to make two (if you're successful), and it's a level 15 item. You'll probably screw up a lot early on, but ingredients for Bases are everywhere.
Look who we have here. Sterk also starts off at Friend Level 0, so do some requests for him until he becomes a party member eventually.
The character's reaction actually depends on the quality of the item, with higher quality items giving more points. Rorona has by far the cutest reaction to a high quality item, and it would seem impudent for Totori to turn down a request from her teacher. I never have, in my nearly 300 hours of playing this game.
I dropped off one of the recent Salves I made with Ceci, and look how cheap replacements are. Like I said, wholesaling is nerfed, but still very valuable.
Now then, off we go for another adventure. For this journey, we're going to focus on gathering a whole bunch of items, because Mimi's first real event has kind of an asinine requirement. Your basket has to be 80% full when you return to Alanya from the outside. We'll get to that later.
This comes up after a certain number of days walking on the world map. 25 points puts us very close to the next rank up.
It's not terribly powerful, but it does really help against groups like these. All of these targets have been debuffed, making for easier killing.
The Vanishing Point is a nice and quiet area, but we could stand to get down on the Pixie Dance Floor.
I do like deep woods-areas. Very small, but again, it's the aesthetic that's important.
If I may quote the immortal words of Lloyd Braun from Seinfeld for this, Serenity Now. Insanity Later.
"The Serenity Now" is one of the best episodes of that show, and I will tolerate no disagreement on this. Hey, it's entirely possible there was a Seinfeld fan who worked on localizing this game, since it's one of the better known catchphrases the show came up with. Oh, and by the way, "Serenity Now" doesn't work. It just bottles up the anger.
This is our next landmark, actually. Very easy to discover, but it's a good thing I knew it was there, eh? And that's the achievement that puts us past Bronze. Now we just have return to Arland to rank up again.
Well, after returning to Alanya with more than 80% of our Basket full, we get this scene. Mimi has long since passed the friendship level requirements for it. Video goes until Totori says "See you later, Mimi".
We didn't do enough to say that.
I might need your help again later. I better take all the items back to the workshop with me. Hrrrmph!
I-I'm fine... It's right there... Uh-oh... Wahhh!
Watch it! You're not fine! Just give me half.
I-It's okay. I'd feel bad.
You're going to give me a heart attack if you make me watch. Hand it over!
*fade to black*
You're really out of breath... But, thank you.
You don't need to thank me. I didn't do it for you...
Welcome home, Totori. Oh? Who's this?
Pleased to meet you. My name is...
F-Friend?! Wh-What are you talking about?!
Did I say something weird?
I-I-I'm not your friend or anything! We're coworkers. Rivals, to be more percise.
I didn't know you had such an adorable friend.
No, not at all. Um...
No, I couldn't...
You should. Ceci's cooking is great. C'mon.
H-Hey! Stop pulling!
*fade to black*
Ceci, I want to help.
It's okay. You have a friend over so just keep her company.
But then Mimi'll think I never help out around the house.
Wahhh! Don't say that out loud!
Hmm... Mimi should visit every day. That way you'll always help.
You're so mean!
I'm sorry about my noisy daughters.
Wh-ahhhhh! Wh-When did you come in?!
I've been here the whole time. I'm sorry I startled you.
I-It's all right. I should apologize for not noticing you.
Don't worry, I'm used to it. Even my own kids never notice me.
I might just think that way because I'm their father though.
No, I think you're right...
The pleasure will be all mine.
Mimi! We're done!
Careful, it's hot. I hope you'll like it.
She will. Anything you cook is awesome.
Wahh! Dad, you were there?
*fade to black*
I think I've overstayed my welcome. I'll get going now.
Are you really going? It's getting late, so why don't you sleep over?
Huh? What's that?
Nothing! Well... I'll come back soon.
That's great. See you later, Mimi!
And upon that note, another update ends. See you all next time.