Part 84: Update LXXX: An Apprentice and the Great WorkNow things are finally getting underway for real. Your first real assignments are mostly just getting you used to how to operate in the future, but it's valuable experience nonetheless.
First off, I'd advise you to make a few Crafts for some general attacking purposes. They're nothing essential, certainly, but it'll help for this early part of the game in more ways than one.
You get a short voiced scene upon returning here, but it's so short that there's no point in making it a video.
You're basically railroaded into taking care of the second task in Moyori Forest, so no sense in putting that off. All you have to do for it is to go to various points in the Forest and take a bunch of Plain Grass. That's all. After you have 10 stars, you get this scene, and 40 development points.
Oh, a black pigeon! That means it must be Rufus'. What are you doing here, little pigeon?
Huh? He has a letter for me. Let's see here...
What could it be? I haven't done anything to make him mad...I guess I'll have to just go and see. Thank you, Mr. Pigeon. As soon as you get back, please tell Rufus I'll be there right away!
Music: Construction Complete!
After I left the Forest, the Academy was completed. It reduces MP usage in alchemy, and gives you slightly more experience from syntheses. Arls is still really small at the moment, but when everything develops, it'll be a veritable metropolis.
But before that, a voiced scene in the Study. Video goes until Meruru says "I should head back to the workshop and plan this out"
Did something happen? You sent for me with your carrier pigeon, so I thought it might be an emergency.
Actually...due to your deft handling of the project, Arls has increased its influence as a kingdom.
Baron's Rural Village, huh? I wouldn't be proud of that if I were you. We'll have to do better than that.
Also, our first Kingdom Rank was Pluto, and this one is Merker. Most of the kingdom ranks are named after the planets of the solar system (aside from Rank I, Pluto and Rank X, Sonne) in German. A nice little throwback to Atelier's roots in a Renaissance Germany setting, I suppose. In addition to ranking up this time, you get +500 population and a new recipe book.
Whoa, really? So that means the project must be having a huge positive effect.
Continue to stop by my study and I will give you updates on our growth, as well as new development opportunities.
So with that in mind, do you have something new for me to start on?
There is one project crucial to advancing Arls Kingdom's development process. Do you know what that is?
What's going on in your head that you would think that's an acceptable response?
Grr...don't stare at me like that. I was just kidding!
As we welcome more settlers, we will need to provide more food. But our land currently lacks such resources. So, I would like you to prepare some farmland to produce more food.
Yeah, I guess we only have a few fields, huh? That was enough up until now.
As such, I have come up with a plan to develop some farmland. Please take a look...
Clear out a forest to make way for crops...you've really thought this out.
The future develpment of Arls depends on the success of this project.
So it's a pretty serious responsibility, huh? I'll do my best!
This is gonna be my first big adventure! I have to go get ready. I'll need plenty of medicine and bombs. I should head back to the workshop and plan this out.
Let's have another scene with Keina after leaving via the door. If you skip straight back to the workshop, you won't get this scene, which incidentally happens a lot, since there's a ton of events over the game that take place at the castle.
Oh, I hear the cleaning song. It's been a while since I heard Keina sing that.
Kyaah! Meruru! How logn have you been standing there!?
Right from when you started singing. I love listening to you sing that song.
Ahh, how embarrasssing! I just start singing without thinking about it whenever I clean...
I do have to wonder if Keina's Japanese voice actress is a J-Pop artist. From what I've heard, apparently a lot of Japanese voice actors double as singers, so I have to wonder if Keina's singing talent is some kind of play on that.
Oh no! I'm turning beet-red just thinking about being in front of all those people... Besides, I just sing when I feel like it. It's not something I could do on demand.
But you have such a wonderful voice. It's a real waste...
It's been kind of sad, actually...the person who used to make all those messes has left...
Hrm...when you put it that way, it makes me feel kinda bad. I'm sorry for how I used to be!
Huh? What was that last part? I didn't catch it.
Oh, nothing. Since your'e here, maybe you shuld pay Lord Dessier a visit.
True. I should probably go say hi to Dad. Okay, I'm off!
Poor Dessier. You don't actually have to ever visit him in-game. He just sits there in the throne room, doing nothing the entire game.
Shortly after the kingdom ranks up, you get a letter from the Palace Teacher. Let's take it to Rufus to see what that's all about.
Any letters from the Palace Teacher are basically a mishmash of various tasks. For example, in this batch, there's points for getting to adventurer level 10, making 10 different items, getting into fights, using Crafts, using three Healing Salves, etc.
A lot of these aren't worth very much, but every point helps. Oh, and the game keeps track of these achievements before you open the letters, so don't worry about that.
Another scene that pops up after the kingdom ranks up. Video goes until Meruru says "She might have some good alchemy ingredients"
Music: Everyday Workshop
Oh, someone's coming...
Jeez, that was close! I got myself surrounded by wolves up in the mountains. Attacking a defenseless girl like me... Wolves these days have no manners! Well, I taught them what they needed to know. But I'm beat - could I get some water?
Music: MokoMoko MonMon
Oh, hiya May. You're even cuter than last time I saw you.
Th-Thanks, Hanna. It looks like you've been working as hard as ever...
Aww, thanks. But I can feel myself getting older. My skin's all dry and cracked from my last adventure. But why didn't you tell me? I had no idea you'd left the castle to become an alchemist.
Ahh, yeah, true enough. How thoughtless of me. Oh, I know! Here, have some souvenirs.
Wow, thanks! But this is an awful lot. Are you sure...?
It's fine, it's fine. Use them however you want. I get that stuff for free, anyway. Okay, I'd better get going. I've got some other stops to make before I head home.
So Hanna's back from tracking down new goods. She's just as energetic as I remember... I should go see her later. She might have some good alchemy ingredients.
Unfortunately, Hanna doesn't. She doesn't sell anything particularly valuable, at any point in the game, but if you need some cheap ingredients, and can't afford to waste time for some reason, I guess she can come in handy every now and then.
A lot of these materials will be used for development requests shortly, but we'll definitely want to make a Bomb before we head north to Handel Forest.
But I had to make a few Supplements first, and after I made five of them (remember, you can make five Supplements in a day no matter what), another scene. This also happens after the first rank up. Video goes until Meruru says "I dunno what I'm looking out for, but I'll do my best"
Ah, thanks Keina. I wonder what it's about. Let's see here...
Ooh, an Arland weapon shop owner? I should go check it out!
*fade to black*
...So that's the basic outline. Do you have any questions, Mr. Hagel?
If you need anything else, feel free to come see me again. Now, if you'll excuse me...
Whew! That was one long trip. My shoulders are tense as heck.
Well then, I'll be going now...
Yes yes, my boy. You said your name was Peter? Thanks for bringing me out here. Have a safe trip back.
Well, it'd be a waste to just head straight back to Arland. I should take in the sights first.
*fade to black*
Music: Smithing from 30 Years Old
Once again, music replacement takes place in a cutscene (like it happened a few times in Atelier Totori / Rorona last game). With Meruru, though, there's multiple places you can change the music, not just in battles or in the atelier.
Wah! You scared me! Grrr...
Huh? What? Come on, don't look at me like that. You're making me blush.
Huh? Oh, s-sorry. Umm, so this is a Weapon Shop, right?
Correct! I'm Hagel Boldness, the fella in charge here. Nice to meetcha!
Music: Weapon Smith
Hey, hey, that's not how it's pronounced. Just - call me Hagel.
Mr.Hagel...how should I say this? You look...like your name.
Wait...that staff, and those clothes. I've seen them before. Miss, might you be...an alchemist?
Oh, yeah! My name is Meruru.
So you're the princess I've heard so much about. They say you built this very shop. Thank you, young miss!
Ah, well, all I did was request it. But...young miss?
Butler with a dry face...? You mean Rufus?
Yeah, yeah, that's the rascal! He told me all about you.
Who's..."the kiddo"? Are you talking about Miss Totori?
Yeah, that's the one. If you're the kiddo's student, then you and I are connected, too!
Gosh, we're-? I don't understand what you're talking about, Mr. Hagel?
I just love how confused Meruru comes off in this scene. She also has that pretty cute "confused" portrait.
Waahaha! Don't worry about it. You're trying to expand this kingdom, right? Let me lend you a hand with that. Of course, I only know one way to help. And to do that, I'll need a more powerful forge...
Umm...I'm not sure I get it. What's the one way you can help?
Hm? Oh, I could tell you, that would ruin the surprise.
O-Okay...I dunno what I'm looking out for, but I'll do my best.
So Hagel isn't selling anything very valuable at the moment, and of course, we'll be doing weapon / armor syntheses with him, but that's not until we stop by and he asks us to upgrade the forge. But it's not that big a loss. Like in Totori, there's not much point in upgrading equipment until we get some alchemy levels and good materials / traits.
Also after this scene, you can return to Artisan's Way for a scene with Peter. He leaves after only a day, so you only get one chance to speak with him before he's headed back to Arland. You don't have to talk to him now, but I went ahead anyway. Video goes until Meruru says "He seems like a real free spirit"
Oh. Is that...?
Hm? What is it, Keina? Do you know that guy?
Oh, no...he's the coach driver from Arland. I noticed him when Ms. Totori arrived.
Ooh...maybe I should go say hi. I bet he has all kinds of stories from all his traveling. Keina, you wait here!
Ah - Meruru, wait!
*fade to black*
Hello, Mr. Coachman! I thought traveling by carriage was nice and pleasant.
Hmph. You obviously don't understand. Who are you, anyway? You from around here?
Oh, y-yeah, I guess I am. So what don't I understand? Carriages always look like so much fun.
And on the return trip, I don't have anyone to talk to. And I'm always in danger of being attacked by monsters.
I see...that sounds a lot tougher than I thought.
Exactly. The burden on us coach drivers is great, indeed.
So I'm sure it's okay if I take two or three days to just walk around, right?
Huh? Oh, uh...yeah, I dunno.
Sightseeing? But...this place doesn't have aaanything worth seeing. It's in the middle of nowhere.
I'll have to get to work as soon as I get back, so I should relax here for a while first. See ya around.
...There he goes. He seems like a real free spirit.
With Peter, he's got to be up to something, but it will take a while for his plan to come to fruition. Anyway, time to prepare for the trip.
Alright, when a request calls for you to bring something, you have two options. You can either fulfill the option condition (in this case, having a Dense Wood with at least a C-rank) if you want to use less time to fulfill the condition, or you can make 6 Dense Woods at D-rank and end up with the same result. Because of massive diminishing returns, though, I'd go with the 3 Woods at C-rank this time.
As April came to a close, I finished up making the synthesis items. We can only do two of the tasks for Handel Forest on-site, so it's high time we headed off. But before then, like I recommended, we'll want a Bomb.
Look at those odds. 95%. I'm sure you can guess what's going to happen next, given I've drawn attention to it...
For shame, Meruru. For shame. For failing, a scene.
At the very least, though, you do get experience for failures, unlike Totori.
Uwawawa! Is this gonna...explode!?
Ahh, Keina! What am I gonna do?
You've made a pretty big mess. Give me a few minutes, I'll have it cleaned up right away.
*fade to black*
That's my speciality. Just leave the cleaning to me!
Next attempt was a little more successful. You shouldn't need anything else aside from some Crafts, a Bomb, and a Healing Salve, so it's time we headed off.
Something very nice, and more than welcome after the past two games, is that with certain facilities, starting with the Academy, this game has leaked battle experience. Sure, characters outside of a fight only get 1/2 for a while, they'll be able to get 100% of battle experience with something else down the line. Brilliant.
The first stop on the road to Handel Forest is this quiet clearing. When you're assigned the task of clearing a path to a location, you have to defeat all enemy groups in the location before the next one will unlock. Enemy groups here are only bunnies and Punis. Nothing major.
Further north, at Harmony Creek, there dwells Mandragoras and Green Punis. Minor step up from our previous nemeses. I'd advise sticking around here until you get at least three Mandra Roots, because those will be needed shortly.
But here we are.
Music: Dance With Me?
Wooow...it's trees as far as the eye can see! It's not gonna be easy to turn this into farmland. But if I don't take care of this, we're gonna be in deep trouble once more people start arriving. I gotta just do it. I'll never learn anything if I don't start somewhere!
Another voiced, way too short to include, scene. Your first task is...
Gather a whole bunch of low-quality Eiches around here. After...I think like 20-25 of them, you can move on.
There we go. A bit further to the right is out next stop.
The guy wanting the Dense Wood. After giving it to him...
That was fast. Only one more task to go, and it's just across that bridge. It's that black bunny rabbit. Clearly evil. Obviously, the Prickly Bunny must die.
Wait, no no no! Rufus keeps telling me how I'll be sorry if I go on judging things by their appearance. Hmm...I might not have enough items. I'm not sure. I can give it a shot, but it might be tough.
Quite dramatic music to be fighting a whole group of pissed off rabbits to. Anyway, he started off by being pretty mean.
It could not be helped...
The good thing about so many enemies is they'll all be caught up in group attacks, which makes this easier than it might appear.
Fire in the hole!
Very nice. The Prickly Bunny itself can only survive one Bomb, so his time is nearly up.
But Lias also has a somewhat powerful single-target attack. Might as well.
Another bunny goes down to an Uni. That's that.
Now that we're done with the bunnies, we've done all we can in Handel for a bit. When you leave, Meruru says it's going to take a while for results to show up, so we shall return another time.
After the area is secured, a couple more areas open up. There's no particular need to go to either right now, but I decided to head north simply because I might as well get one "tough" battle in this game.
Music: What I See With My Eyes: Prairie
Green Punis do not qualify as "tough", let's see how tough this battle really is.
The answer is "Not very". One Bomb and the most powerful group goes down.
One change in the Assist system is that if you use an item, and both allies have at least one Assist available, they can double up on attacks, instead of just one ally going. I should also mention that you lose LP for anything you do except guarding, which is why both Keina and Lias are very low on LP at the moment.
But, like I said there's not much good in coming here right now. There is a good reason quite a bit later, but quite a bit later is not now.
After returning to town, a couple more scenes with our compatriots. First up, Keina at the castle. Video goes until Keina says "Everything might turn out okay..."
Oh, Keina. What are you doing here?
Hi, Meruru. I was just reminiscing about the past.
Yeah, of course I remember. It was so hard for us to spot that shooting star.
Music: Cadena - On Music Box
No, not yet.
That's so weird. With all those stars up there, why can't we find even one shooting star?
Maybe the stars just don't want to listen to our wishes...
What? No, that's no good! I need a shooting star to hear my wish!
Is it really that important?
Yup! If it doesn't come true, I'll...
What kind of wish do you want to make?
If yours is secret, then so is mine! Besides, Rufus told me that wishes don't come true if you say them out loud.
Really? Man, I'll be so sad if it doesn't come true. So let's do our best to keep them secret. We can wish with our hearts and not our mouths. Okay?
Mm, sounds good.
I saw! I saw! I wonder if it really heard our wishes...
I'm sure it did. All right, we did it!
*fade to black*
So...what did you wish for back then?
Hmhmhm. It's still a secret. I'm still waiting for it to come true.
I see. I'd better keep my secret too, then. But...I'm still really curious.
Okay, I'll give you a hint. I wished for something not to change.
Not to change...?
Our kingdom is developing and lots of things are changing, right?
I'm sure we'll be fine. Even if the land changes, the important things will stay the same. Some things shouldn't change.
...You're right. It makes me feel better knowing you feel that way. Everything might turn out okay...
Next up, a scene on Artisan's Way with Lias. Video goes until the screenshot of Meruru walking away.
Hey, Lias. What are you looking for?
Nothing! Nothing you need to know about, anyway.
Oh, did you lose something important?
Oh, don't be like that. I'd love to help you look for it.
Hey, I said no! Dammit...now I need to find it before you do.
Agh, I can't find it. There's no reason anyone would keep it if they found it. Where'd it go!?
Hey, why not just tell me what it is? It'll be way easier if I actually know what I'm looking for.
I told you, it's none of your business.
Good, thank you. That makes my life a lot easier.
What-!? Hey, gimme that! Whatever you think you found, give it to me!
Oh, so this is what you were looking for?
Hey, c'mon! Stop it! It's mine, give it back!
It's...special to me. You wouldn't understand.
Oh, he ran off. What is it I wouldn't understand? Oh well! He found what he was looking for. All is well.
The next request which I got shortly after I returned was making three Herbicides for Moyori Forest. Turns out they got a little carrot infestation after planting a bunch of them to replace the Grass. Here's what you get when you turn that in.
The 15 points for the request itself, and five more for Arls Area Dev. What this means is that the quality of the materials in the area takes a rather nice jump in quality, which also applies to every location near Arls, except for Handel Forest. For areas with specific requests, there's usually a group of four. After you complete the second and fourth request, you get that jump again.
It's in your best interest to do this, as when the materials are fully leveled, the quality is not only fantastic, but also the traits on the materials. In addition, you can frequently find materials at an area at level three that you can't find on previous levels. Gotta love it.
I used my reserve of points to construct the Library, which gives us a nice Cost bonus on items made. A nice bonus that will come in handy. Also will come in handy because there's a big whole series of events down the line that requires the Library to be constructed, so we might as well get it out of the way.
A smallish update, sure, but next time we'll be welcoming back another old character. I just wonder who.
Stars in the Sky
Smithing from 30 Years Old
One employee told me, "You don't have it yet! This...this Atelier isn't complete! No, Chief! No Atelier!!!" (Just a little exaggeration.) So I squeezed this one in. It's for the Weapon Shop, but I totally forgot...about this voice. The hammer SFX makes it pretty sweltering, so please enjoy.
What I See With My Eyes: Prairie
For small prairie map. The others were arranged with a 6/8 rhythm, but htis one goes with a 2/2. Kind of like the ginger served with sushi.
What I See With My Eyes: Waterside
For small waterside map. "I'm sure he'll notice this time" sounds like something a lovestruck girl would say. Hahaha.
Dance With Me?
A bit away from town there's a forest with a lake(?). Composed with a piano quintet plus a clarinet. When I hear the phrase "piano quintet" I imagine five pianos, but it's really just a string quartet and a piano. It'd be interesting with some five-piano chaos, though.
Star is for normal battle, and this one is the Moon. Star and Moon, pretty nostalgic for long-time Atelier fans. The guitar and bass for normal and big battles are, of course, by Dani. The sound of that gut guitar is so fancy!
Just an everyday song. Image - early afternoon, a dim room, soft sunlight streaming in. The latter half, when it comes to solo strings, I imagine Rorona falling asleep on the floor of the workshop.
Cadena - On Music Box
The opening song, with a music box arrangement. When my other staff arranges a song, it's transcribed just by listening. This song was no exception. Huh, I wonder how well that works...
What's up with this title? Anyway, Hanna's so cute! What's with her freedom-ness? Her "my world"-ness? Her self-contained-ness? Her boorishness!? I love that kind of character...maybe because I'm like that?
Whoa, so bright! Also known as Hagel. With his beefy appearance and beefier voice, I'm all beefed out. I've arranged in a more enka style than the original.
For facility construction. I'm really bad at enunciating. For fa-cil-i-ty con-struc-tion. I still feel like I'm slurring. If you think it's easy, try saying "malicious monsters in Moyori, man!" ...Can you do it? Haha
Goal set -> clear -> banzai! This process is the same whether it's for school, part-time work, or a career. YOU! If you struggle with setting goals, just aim for the platinum trophy!