The Let's Play Archive

Atelier: Arland Trilogy

by Sylphid

Part 85: Update LXXXI: An Apprentice and the Unexpected Visit

We'll be saying hello to a familiar face this update, as well as taking on our first real boss. No, bunny rabbits do not count as formidable foes.

But to start this update off, let's go talk to Filly.

Nope. I'm the princess' caretaker, Keina.

Ahh. A caretaker for a princess, huh? That's really cool!

Childhood, that's amazing! I always wanted something like that.

That's a very specific desire...

So do you guys always take a bath together? Or sleep together?

Not so much these days...wait, I mean - that's none of your business!

Of course it is! I need to hear about it so I can fantasize and improve my imagination...

Looks like Filly never changes. That's reassuring, I suppose.

As expected, since I'm synthesizing so much right now, I'm running pretty low on MP. A couple days rest will do me good.

Music: Rooster 3

For the next request in Handel Forest, you need a large amount of Hay. About eight Hay will do it, and it's fairly good experience, anyway.

You'll also need a few Living Ropes. This game becomes so much simpler when you remember what's coming up.

At level 10, you get a whole bunch of recipes, including recipes for our first attack items. We can't make the Lightning Bomb because we have no source of Quake Crystals, but we can make the Salute.

Unfortunately, it's a bit of a hairy prospect to make. I'd rather not waste ingredients and time, so we can wait for a couple more levels before we make it. It is a very good idea to make Salutes as soon as possible, though. Not only for a couple battles this update, but it's part of a request that will be popping up as soon as the kingdom's rank goes up again.

What's a better idea for a little grinding is Medicine Bases. It's another level 15 item, but the ingredients for it are plentiful enough that you should have tons, and making two only takes a day.

There it is.

Another person we should check in on is Hanna. She has a few events over the course of the game, and I always seem to forget to talk to her.

Hey there, May. No, no, no. I guess I have to call you "Princess Meruru", huh? I was surprised to hear you're right at the center, leading the development project.

Oh, stop it. I'm still me. Nothing's changed, so just treat me the way you always have.

So that was another big surprise. It's so different from how Arls used to be, you know?

Yup. But it's gonna be getting even more lively from now on!

I look forward to it. The more you develop, the more customers I'll get!

That's true. If you get yourself set up now, you'll be a super rich business owner in no time!

"Heh're such a rogue, Hanna!" "Right back at ya, Queenie. Here, to say thank you - my speciality, Golden Rolls!"

Hey! Why do we both sound like bad guys?

Aww, come on. You gotta keep up with me here, May. You're no fun at all!

I see you haven't changed at all, Hanna. I know you know better, but don't get in any trouble, okay?

That's the spirit! Besides, if you ever made any money from doing something bad, Rufus would...

I don't even wanna think about it. Okay...I guess I'd better start bribing him!

Hannaaa! ...I hope she doesn't get herself into trouble.

I have two Living Ropes already, so I only have a few more syntheses and we can head out again. But one final shopkeep to check in on is good ol' Hagel.

Hello, Mr. Hagel. How are you? How's work coming along?'s actually been pretty relaxed lately. not many customers? Well, this is a pretty small country, after all. And definitely rural...

Hey, it's nothing to get worked up over. You're making me feel bad.

I-I just thought maybe you were forced to come here against your will...

I never thought I'd be able to help a kingdom develop at my age. As the owner of the Weapon Shop, it's the biggest goal in my life righ tnow. Nothing could get me more excited!

Mr. Hagel...thank you so much. I'm relieved to know you feel that way!

Plus, weapon requests might be slow, but it's not like I'm starving because of it, right?

And just yesterday I made a set of pots and pans for the Tavern.

Wow! I had no idea you could make all that stuff.

The Weapon Shop isn't actually all about weapons. I also supply tools for daily life. I'm having fun with my time here, so no need for you to worry. Besides...

Got it! Then I'll make sure to work extra hard. So you just sit back and relax!


Well, he's peppy, I'll give him that.

This is what he's selling at the moment. The only really valuable thing here is the Settler's Cape, which gives it a nice +30 HP to anyone wearing it. Pretty pricy, though, so I bought just one and equipped it on Meruru.

Let's have another scene with Hanna. Video goes until Meruru says "All right, let's do this!"

Oh, Hanna. What is it?

Heh heh heh. Don't freak out too much when you see it. Come on, follow me.

*fade to black*

Whaaat!? Is this...a newspaper!? It talks about all the different stuff I've done.

Well, I know how hard you've been working lately. So I made this to let the whole kingdom know, too!

I see...but how did you get so much detailed information?

I want to publish this quarterly, so keep your eyes peeled for the next issue! Anyway, busy busy busy!

*Hanna leaves*

I'm getting super pumped just thinking about it. All right, let's do this!

So Hanna will start publishing the newspaper in the Tavern four times a year. It's actually surprisingly detailed, and the game will try to keep track of anything notable you've done. In one of my favorite examples of the game keeping track of what you've been doing, if you've been pulling up water and selling it off a ton for cheap money, the newspaper will mention that. But let's see what the first issue has for us...

Pinko commie rag!

I mean...yeah, the game keeps track of a bunch of stuff.

Late June and we're done with the Handel Forest tasks, round 2. Time to head back north. Let's get a scene with Lias before we return to Handel, shall we?

If you wander into one, you could get seriously hurt.

Really? I'm scared to walk now...

Just don't wander off and pay attention to your path. It's got a clear shpe, so you'll know if you see - whoa!

*trap noise*

N-Now you understand, right? Just watch your step. As long as you pay attention you'll be - huh!?

*bear trap noise*

Lias! There's some spikey-toothed thingy biting your leg!

I-I just dropped my guard for a second. This is nothing. Let's just get going!

It seems like all the traps are focused on you...

*rock throw noise*


Kyaah! Now it's a rock!? Lias, are you okay?

*Lias leaves*

Lias...I hope he can stay safe till we reach the end...

*another bear trap noise*


He's stuck on something again... Don't worry, Lias! I'll take the lead!

Things just are not working out for the poor guy.

Hopefully Handel will be a little safer. Video goes until Meruru says "All right, I'm feeling good!"

Music: Cultivate With Me?

Whoooa! Holy cow! Look at this! I can't believe this all used to be a forest. Look at what I was able to accomplish. It's like a dream come true...and all thanks to the power of alchemy! We'll be able to provide way more food now thanks to this. All right, I'm feeling good!

Few areas in the game change as dramatically as Handel Forest does between levels, but this is a good example of what you can look forward to as you develop more. It's always nice seeing the fruits of your labor in such dramatic form.

Sure, it's just a farm, but this is still a really nice looking area.

Dropping off they Hay and Living Rope drops a goat in here, who gives you nice quality Milk if you milk it right.

Took care of a few more errands afterwards, but nothing that really deserves mention. Library finished building shortly before I returned, but I also got a scene when I returned. Video goes until Keina says " I should get going, then"

Thank you, please come again! that all for today, Miss Totori?

Yup. Good work, Meruru. Today was pretty busy. I'm glad you came to help out, Keina. Thank you.

Oh no, I just came to check and make sure Meruru wasn't causing any trouble. And I saw how busy you both were...

Yeesh, you're such a worrywart! I've been getting better, you know. Not that I don't still make mistakes sometimes... But-but we're so busy because everyone in the kingdom ses how good we are, all thanks to Miss Totori.

Ehehe, I hope you're right about that.

*Meruru's stomach growls*

Urg...I've been so busy, I forgot to eat lunch. Too hungry...getting dizzy...

Oh, that's right. Why don't we make something now? Hmm...what ingredients do we have?

It's okay. You must be exhausted too, Miss Totori. I can make something myself...with Keina's help.

I was planning on fixing something anyway. I'll use what we have to whip up something simple.

Oh...sorry, I'm all out of food. What should we do? We can make something with alchemy, but it'll take a while.

Noooo...thinking about food has just me even hungrier. I figured we'd be eating by now.

This is a pretty big problem. Even I can't cook without ingredients. What now...?

*knock on door*

Huh? Who can it be at this hour? ...Coming!

*fade to black*

Hello hello! Good evening, May. I made a little too much mushroom stew, so I thought I'd come share with you.

Wow, Hanna. Just in time! And with some delicious-smelling stew.

Well, I'm glad to see you so excited. I hope you're happy with it. I can bring some more if there's not enough.

Okay. Thanks a bunch!

*Hanna leaves*

*fade to black*

Yep, Meruru also loves mushrooms. Unlike Rorona, who only took pity on the lowly fungus, Meruru genuinely likes them. If you remember the screenshot of the title screen, the little icon was a mushroom.

Be careful not to eat too much, or your stomach might explode.

We really lucked out having Hanna show up like that.

She's done stuff like that in the past, but never with such perfect timing.

I'm sure it was just a coincidence. Although, I WAS wishing for some way to take care of Meruru's appetite.

Anywho, now we can go to bed with full stomachs. Such a great feeling...

I'm jsut happy that you're happy. I should get going, then.

While I was out, I got another letter from some settlers who need a unicorn killed at Harmony Creek. Can't say I'm wild about it, but we have to do a little preparation before we tame it. But time for another scene when I took the letter to Rufus.

(Oh, it's Kiena and Rufus. I wonder what they're talking about...)

...I see. So if I understood correctly, it is currently proceeding without issue.

That's right. So you don't have anything to worry about.

She never thinks about consequences. She just shoots straight ahead, like a bullet.

Hey...are you guys talking about me?

Ah, Princess. Who else would we be talking about?

Acting without considering the consequencs is your one major flaw. Of course, the list of weaknesses continues. For example-

Gah! That's okay! I don't need to hear it!

*fade to black*

Hehe. Mr. Rufus is just worried about you, that's all.

I don't think that IS all. I think he just wants to tell me everything that's wrong with me!

His word choice can be severe at times, but he's right. If you don't want to be lectured, don't give him a reason.

While we're in the Study, I started work on the Marketplace. Again, nothing essential, but everything else I can afford right now only upps popularity / population or makes the decline slower, so nothing too great.

The final task I got at the moment was a request to clear a path across the Western Plateau, which ends southwest of Arls. After the Unicorn, that's the next goal.

With this, we're ready to take on the Unicorn. Solvent is a property of the Tar Fruit, like last time, which actually is a good reason to go to that place with the Green Punis and Barrel Squirrels from last update. Lowers defense, and Burning Vapor from the Fuel Dirt basically just makes it stronger. Let's roll.

Maaaaan...this guy is just chilling out. Can't say I'm crazy about beating the Unicorn up, but maybe we can shoo him off.

One of these days she'll survive more than one turn into a boss fight.

Lias' second skill does alright damage, but also lowers the enemy's health a fair bit for a couple turns. Let's just punch through.

Or not.

Poor guy. Anyway, that's why you can tackle this fight early, since when he gets low on HP, he'll constantly be trying to heal himself while you're dealing more damage than he can repair.

Another rank-up. I did nothing between then and returning to town, so let's stop by the Study. Video goes until Meruru says "Okay, I'm gonna get it done!"

That's...better, I think? At least we're up to the Red Planet.

As our kingdom continues to grow, Lord Dessier has expressed his concern that the eastern plains are too vulnerable.

Vulnerable? I thought we didn't have to worry about stuff like that, since we're so far away from other places.

It's true that we are in no danger from surrounding nations, and we have lived in peace.

Ohh, I see. So what can I do?

Here's a plan I have devised.

I want you to build an outpost on the eastern plains to guard against attack. We want our settlers to feel safe.

Plains, huh? Sounds boring, but if we gotta build it, we gotta build it. Okay, I'm gonna get it done!

Hart Outpost is about 5 days away from Arls, but we're going to wrap up things in the immidiate area around Arls first.

When the kingdom rank goes up, you can construct new facilities. That is, if you have enough points. Don't have enough, but I will soon enough.

If you want an easy place to grind Material Class requests, you can use the well. Don't even have to actually gather Water. Just access it, then press Square to back out, and it counts.

And hey, let's check in with Hagel again.

What kind of song is that? I can't even tell what he's singing about.

Heya, young miss. Just in time! Can you spare a second?

Of course. Anything for my favorite blacksmith!

Umm...I'm not really sure. I don't know all that much about weapon shops.

Well, I'll give you a hint. The more I have, the better my weapon shop gets.

Hey, hey, hey...that stings. That's a very sensitive subject, ya know. What I'm really lacking is nothing other than...a furnace!

Furnace? Whaddya do with that? Bake bread?

If I had a furnace, I could make you some really cool stuff. So...will you think about it?

You need a furnace... Okay! I'll figure something out!

Meruru's idea is only three Ingots, so it's something that can be accomplished very quickly. But again, something we'll put off for a bit.

For now, our attention is focused on clearing a path. When I arrived in Mushroom Forest, a scene.

Huh? What are you doing, Hanna?

Oh, hey May. What do you mean, what am I doing? I'm stocking up! So much stuff is in season right now. So I need to gather lots and sell lots. See? Look! Look how much I got!

Th-That IS a lot. How big is that basket, anyway? It's at least twice as big as mine... And it's packed to the gills...

I have three more baskets with me, and I can't go home until they're all overflowing.

Three more!? Can you really carry them all by yourself...?

Of course! These are my most precious products. I can't entrust them to anyone else.

But that's bigger than you are! Just carrying one looks hard enough...

I mean, I've been gathering way longer than you, right? So naturally I have a lot more experience.'re amazing! I never really thought about how you restock all your products. I had no idea it was so much work. I need to stop taking it for granted when I buy stuff from you.

Ahaha. Stop, you're making me blush. It's no big deal. I just do it because I like to. Well, anyway, I need to get back to work. Take it easy, May!

*Hanna leaves*

There's not much in the Mushroom Forest. Just a lot of bunny rabbits.

Next area, the Old Plateau, just has some squirrels and rabbits in it. We're sure doing a number on the local ecosystem, eh?

Music: What I See With My Eyes: Cave

The final area has Fire Pixies and Ghosts. They're both kinda resiliant foes, actually, so having Bombs or Crafts would be advisable.

At level 15, Meruru learns a rather important skill: Power Item. What does this do? Later this update, I can demonstrate it during a battle.

After clearing out the final area, this place pops up. If you try going there, you get this short little scene.

There's a sign. It's so dirty, I can hardly read it. "...Mine - danger area...prohibited..." Huh, I had no idea we had a mine here. I wonder why it's sealed off... I should ask Rufus about it when I get back.

And since you can't go there, the only place to go is back. After returning...

*sigh* I'm finally here. Hey, I need to ask you something.

Ahh! What happened? Why are you all torn up!?

A group of monsters was reported near town, so I went out hunting with the other soldiers.

No, they were the kind of monsters you'd find lurking anywhere. But... I know it was just coincidence, but I was the only one they went after. It had to be coincidence, right?

What!? I need to treat you right now!

Oh, my injuries are fine. They've already been treated. But the hunt is still on. I need to go back out. Do you have any field medicine I could borrow?

Don't worry, this kind of thing that always happens.

Always!? ...You know, I've been wondering...why are you so ill-fated, Lias?

Sh-Shut up! I'm not ill-fated! You'd better not be pitying me!

*Lias leaves*

That can't be right...I just hope he comes back safety.

Perhaps a birth date of Friday the 13th might explain it. Still, he'd be in good company with Eugene.

Oh yeah, forgot to "Barrel!" Strangely, even though it was voiced in Totori, it's not voiced here, for unknown reasons. And you know what's worse? Ayesha doesn't "Barrel!" at all!

After going right back in...

Yes, what is it?

Well...I can start accompanying you on your adventures now.

Huh? Are you for real!?

Wow! Having you out there with me will be really reassuring. I'm super pumped!

Me, too. I'm happy I get to go out into the field with you. There are so many places here in Arls I haven't had the chance to see yet. So please show me around.

There's actually another way to trigger this scene. After the opening events where Dessier challenges you to meet the 30,000 goal, if you sleep a whole bunch, eventually Totori will get upset you're being so lazy, and I guess she'll assume you just need some help, so she'll join prematurely. Anyway, Totori is a valuable ally, indeed.

NOW let's go talk to Rufus. Video goes until Meruru says "Nice to meet you, too!"

*fade for explanation*

It was probably the mine that was abandoned long ago. I can't believe you wandered that far off.

Pish posh, don't worry about that. But why was that place sealed off?

It used to provide us with quality ore, but the vein was depleted and Lord Dessier called a halt to production. It has become a breeding ground for monsters, so we've sealed it off. We do, however, have plans to redevelop it.

Yep, only one task to start the redevelopment of the mine.

Maybe if we dig deeper into it, we can find new veins, right? So can we try opening it back up?

If this mine can begin producing ore again, it would greatly contribute to our kingdom's growth. However-

Just leave it to me! I'll go investigate!

One of them should be arriving soon, and is apparently an acquaintance of Ms. Totori.

Miss Totori!? Wow, I wonder what they're like...

We are taking comprehensive measures to explore the mine, so please don't go and do something reckless.

I know, I know. I'm gonna go meet this amazing adventurer of yours, then. Be back later!

*Meruru leaves*

Princess! ...I wasn't finished. Well, at least now I don't have to find someone to go greet the adventurer.

*fade to black*

I heard they know Miss Totori, but... Huh? A that-!?

Yep, our old pal, Mimi. Actually, Gino can also show up here. Mimi shows up if Meruru's adventurer level is higher than her alchemy level, and Gino, obviously, the opposite. It's easy to control who shows up by just not talking to Rufus after discovering the mine.

All right, well...good luck! I'll be here for a couple days, so let me know if you need anything else.

Sure thing, thanks for your help. Go enjoy your sightseeing, you lucky man.

H-Hello there. Are you from Arland?

Yep. I'm Mimi Houllier von Schwarzlang, from the Adventurer Guild.

Music: For the Clumsy

Well, Mimi definitely has taken a turn for the more mature since the last time we saw her. She's grown up quite a bit since then, but she spends a large amount of this game crushing pretty hard on Totori. It's adorable.

I have a question - where do I go to see Princess Merurulince? I have to find her and report for princess escort duty.

Oh, that's me. I'm Meruru.

Huh? You? Nobody told me the princess would be coming to greet me herself.

Well, that's not exactly...I was just on my way back to the workshop.

*fade for explanation*

I apologize for my casual attitude earlier. In the name of the Schwarlang family, I will assist you from now on.

O-Oh my, how formal. Um, well...I will...I'll b - ouch! I bit my tongue...

There's something...different about you. Are you sure you're a princess?

Hrmm...if you say so. I guess the apprentice takes after the master. Anyway, it's nice to meet you.

Nice to meet you, too!

For our next adventure, we're taking Totori and Mimi out. Those two deserve some time together.

Shortly after you get the job to head to the mine, you get this assignment, which calls for you to bring five Dense Woods to the area just west of Arls. Doing so builds a bridge from the marsh west of Arls to the mine, completing the circle and making a nice shortcut.

Also decided to expand the Academy for even more alchemy experience.

But for one final errand, dropping off the ingots for the furnace. Video goes until Hagel says "I'll always be right here, so stop by whenever you find some useful materials"

Oh ho, this is pretty nice. With this, I can handle any job you throw at me!

Really? Yaaay! So do I get an A?

Of course - A+! Now then, let me tell you about weapon synthesis...

Tutorial here, but I'll talk about the changes later.

Hmhm, now I understand. If I keep buying recipes and gathering materials, I can get stronger weapons made for me!

Oh, and one other thing. This forge is really great, but it's still not quite hot enough. So if you have more complicated materials to process, I won't be able to handle them. Please remember that.

So you still need a bigger fire...then I'll just come up with a way to make it even hotter!

Besides, I need to break this puppy in properly so it doesn't break down in the future.

Really? Hrm, that sounds like a lot of work.

Well, the tougher the struggle, the sweeter the reward, right? I'm sure the same is true for alchemy. You went out of your way to set up my furnace. So I'll take good care of it and provide top-notch service!

Mr. Hagel... Okay, I'm looking forward to it.

Please do. Just like the furnace, you have to slowly get used to creating weapons. I'll always be right here, so stop by whenever you find some useful materials.

Next up, making some actual KO recovery items just for some insurance. I shouldn't need them, but they'll make me feel safer to have them around. Plus, you need to use them for some points.

Heading out, at the marsh, there's goats wandering around. Nothing special to them.

And there's our bridge. Now we have a circle around the Arls area for easy access.

And here we go.

Music: Mine!

Ahhh...seeing this place again is really creepy. It's so gloomy...I bet it's haunted. And there's probably monsters all over the place, so I'd better be careful...

*spooky noise*

Hyaaaaah! Wh-Wh-Wh-What was that sound?'s really scary, but I can do this. I HAVE to do this! C'mon Meruru, you're not afraid of anything. Let's go!

That's the spirit

Although there's a few enemies in the way, it would be better if you didn't waste your resources fighting them.

That landing there is what we're after. Let's fold Ghost Box up.

Music: Acyclone

This guy isn't too hard, but we're a little underleveled. Luckily, an average quality Salute and Totori's Duplicate ability will more than even the odds against him. Mimi is just insurance, but valuable insurance indeed.

This move is the reason Mimi is better than Gino. SPD is a very important stat in this game, and anything to hamper the enemy helps.

Mimi still has a really high evasion stat.

Totori takes after her teacher in basic attacks. Where Rorona's basic attack last time was fire elemental, this time it's just a regular, non-elemental attack.

Power Item can only be initiated when the item being used has at least two uses. First, use the item, then do an assist attack. Then, let the other ally do an assist attack...

Then Meruru will yell "Now's our chance!", then all you have to do is press X to activate Power Item.

Doing so will activate a more powerful version of the item in question. Excellent.

Unfortunately, he's still an annoying debuffing boss.

The difference between Duplicate and Quick Dupe is that Quick Dupe allows Totori to move again sooner, but also makes the item even weaker and takes more MP to activate. Go with Duplicate only if you must.

But let it never be said Totori doesn't have a few more tricks up her un-attached sleeve.

But Mimi takes the gold.

He drops some nice stuff. Actually, that Silver Dress is what Totori is currently using as armor.

Now we can develop this area again! I should go tell Rufus. Oh, but before that...there might be some stuff around here I can use for alchemy. I should go take a look around.

It's not too important to gather stuff before you leave, but you might as well, I suppose. Anyway, one final scene for a long update.

Yeah, way to go. You did pretty good in there.

It's all thanks to you. I'm really glad you were here with me.

Yeah, you were great. Every adventurer must be pretty tough, huh? It's really astonishing. Up until now, I've only had Lias as an escort, and we only went to places right near town. This was my first big battle, so I wasn't really sure what to do. But with you and everyone else, it went well.

So make sure you let me know when you get another interesting job like this. Okay, Princess?

Okay, Ms. Mimi! I'm looking forward to it!

Whew, that was a doozy. Well, we're going to be doing plenty more next time.

Mimi artwork
Promotional artwork

What I See With My Eyes: Cave
For small cave map. I created this with a nostalgic image in mind. The bass leads to the melody, and the kalimba echoes it. I feel like this type of music is really endearing nowadays.

Cultivate With Me?
The wild forest got a touch-up. It's just the way of things that humans get involved and have an impact on the local ecosystem. But Meruru can't just ignore it! She's an alchemist! I'm sure she gets involved with wildlife protection when we're not looking...right?

Dark, dank, and a little ghostly. Well, ghosts really do appear. This is for the abandoned mine, so there are lots of sudden random sounds in the song. A common way to scare people.

A long, long time ago, I feel like there was a really flat car by this name. You don't see those kinds of cars anymore. And you don't see stuff like "4WD" or "DOHC Turbo" stuck on the back or sides of cars that much, either. I wondered what the point of putting those things on cars was...

For the Clumsy
That black ponytail! That flash of skin! Those booty shorts! Mimi is just so cute! She's grown into a really fine lady.

Rooster 3
Plays whenever a new day starts. Rorona and Totori both had the rooster, so I decided to keep it for this one, too. I couldn't really think of a better title.