Part 87: Update LXXXIII: An Apprentice and the KingI sure hope you liked the cast of Atelier Rorona, because we're going to be seeing a whole lot of characters from that game back in this update.
Now then, I ended the last update in late December, and I honestly didn't do too much between then and 1/1, when this next scene takes place in Atelier Meruru. Video goes until Meruru says "Okay...ehehe..."
Hmm, now what should I do for this synthesis? I feel like I could skip some steps, but it might turn out...poorly. I sure wish I could get Miss Rorona's advice at times like this.
Your teacher, Miss Rorona... What was she like?
*flash to white*
Music: Sunbathing ~for Meruru~
She would randomly leave without saying anything and just...not come back.
How the heck did that happen!?
She got lost and fell into a raging river, and just happned to get caught on his hook.
Huh! It's like part of me wants to meet her, but part of me...doesn't.
Still...I can't imagine being friends with my teacher's teacher.
She's older than me, but it really doesn't feel that way. If anything, she's much more childish.
So much for respect. Guess those years of freedom made Totori a little impudent.
*return to present*
That's right - Miss Rorona was supposed to come here instead of me, but she had something to take care of, so here I am! Maybe she'll pop up here whenever she settles whatever the issue was.
She sounds like a lot of fun. Okay, I'm gonna work hard to become a great alchemist like Miss Rorona!
That's the spirit, Meruru! Now then, can you help me think of a way to modify this synthesis?
Well no, nobody can at first. But you need to at least start thinking about it. So...think think think!
Another request from the Mines. This one calls for you to make a couple Alchemy Lamps, but that synthesis is a little above what we're capable of, again. We're going to be getting a whole lot of requests in the next few months, which means getting alchemy experience is going to be more and more important.
While I was out gathering ingredients, I got this scene by going to Moyori Forest with Keina. I usually miss this scene, so I'm glad I didn't this time.
Nothing...I just got the feeling that someone was watching us. Must have been my imagination...
You, too? I got the same feeling...
I-It must just be our imagination. Let's leave it at that.
But I really wanna know! I'm gonna go look around.
No, it's too dangerous! What if someone pops out?
Okay, now you're really starting to creep me out. You always worry too much...
Who could it be...?
That's the last item for Hart Outpost's second task. Remember that all the Central Road locations will get an upgrade in gatherable materials after we drop these (among other items) off, but before that there's an important scene that will take place there.
But before I went, decided to see if the Tavern had any requests I could. This scene came up then.
Keina and Lias. Strange meeting you here. What are you up to?
Oh, princess...I'm here to deliever a message for Mr. Rufus.
As you can see, I'm here for work. Us soldiers are working together with Arland's Guild to finish some missions.
I see...way to go, you two. Oh, I'm here for work, too. Ms. Filly, can you fill me in?
Wh-What!? What are you talking about!?
Hehehe...because with the three of you, there's bound to be a love triangle.
Oh no no, it's not like that. We're all just childhood friends!
There's still always the chance that things will get complicated. For example...
And then, Keina answers, "Oh, nothing special. He's just a childhood friend".
"Lies! I've seen how you look at him! It's way more than that, I can tell!"
"Why are you getting so mad? Are you maybe...?"
"Shut up, Lias! I only have eyes for Keina!"
Why are you getting yourself all worked up, stupid?
Yeah, I don't get it. I'm not sure we'll ever understand Ms. Filly's little hobby. Maybe it's best left alone...
Okay...let's just take a step back until she cools down.
Oh, you too, huh? I mean - what!? Keina, why?
Ah, no..I'm just curious to see where the story goes...
O-Oh! Gotcha...well, okay then...
...This is serious. I'll just come back once she settles down.
Indeed it is. Filly's always going to be like this, you three.
But here we go. Rather important scene coming up. Video goes until Meruru says "Promise me!"
Music: Fort Fanfare I
Well, look at this place. Looking much better already.
Pheeew...this outpost is huge! It took a ton of work to complete it. It looks pretty solid on every side. We won't have to worry about any monster invasion as long as this stands! I hope this will make it easier to explore the eastern lands. I should talk to Rufus about it when I report in.
Is that who I think it is?
Uncle Gio! What are you doing here?
Music: King of Arland ~for Meruru~
Everyone's favorite vagabond king is back, and better than ever. Gio is a monstrous badass in this game, as evidenced by him being so powerful he's not available on a new game (and being voiced by Akio Ohtsuka in Japan, of course). And now that he has no reason to hide his royal origin, he's looking quite regal in this game. You wish a guy in his late 50s could always look this good.
Oh, and Meruru only calls him "Uncle" because he and Dessier are old friends. They're not actually related.
I came to see how your work has been going, and your training. You've come a long way.
You should have told me you were coming to visit. Is it really okay for a king like you just go wandering around?
Hmph. A valid point, but my kingship is in the past now. Arland has become a republic, you know. I have many skilled subordinates, so even in my absence the government will always run smoothly. But how about you? I heard you've taken the lead on the plan to develop your kingdom.
It's just like you said - I was able to come this far because I have lots of great people supporting me.
Yeah, maybe... But who is this with you? I feel like we've met before, but...
Music: Talk to Me When You Need Help
And another old friend comes back, the meek but troublesome receptionist. Esty has grown up quite nicely, and as evidenced by those swords on her back has become an adventurer in her own right, but we'll be seeing plenty of Esty this update. Still, that is a *really* nice suit.
I will be directing all general business related to the development and settlement of Arls Kingdom. But really, my main job is simply to look after our wandering lord here.
Hey, come on, that's not very nice. I'm just fulfilling my duties the only way I know how.
Well, let's leave it at that. If you two will excuse me. I'll talk with you again, Princess Merurulince.
Ms. Esty, please - call me Meruru. Like my Uncle Gio here, I really don't like formality.
Mhm. Thank you. Okay then, Meruru - we'll speak again when we both have a little more free time.
So how long will you be in Arls, Uncle?
You never change. Anyway, Father's been concerned about you, too.
Haha, I know, I know. I'll pay him a visit once I get to town. It'll be nice to reminisce about the good old times.
I can imagine! Oh, and come visit my workshop when you arrive, too. Promise me!
Since these fortifications have been constructed, you can actually go up on the second floor of each building that has a door on it. On top of it, next to a barrel, we find...
Yeah, actual items we can use. All of these are free of charge, so you'd be foolish not to pick them up. There's three of these item gathering points in Hart Outpost, and the quality increases every other improvement in the same way regular materials do.
Here's a trick I learned from Kazuki Yanagawa. Get up on the rampart here, and just jump off.
Yeah, you can jump off just like that. Before I read the composer commentary for the third version of Hart Outpost, I really didn't know you could do that, and just always took the stairs like a chump. Never again!
Strangely enough, this door is always locked. I'm guessing it's a dungeon, but I find it strange it might as well not be there.
You may wonder why there's monster wandering around inside the fortress, when you'd think they'd want to keep them out. The answer is is that these monsters are weak enough for the soldiers nearby to use as fighting practice, and that they pose no serious threat.
And of course, with Gio around, there is nothing to fear. He also uses this place for training, but he of course heads to town every now and then.
But for now, let's head north. We've got to clear a path to the next big location.
Generic reptiles around here. Nothing special, but collect a lot of Glow Sand here. 20 Glow Sand should do it, as we'll be needing it shortly.
Next area has Prickly Bunnies, last seen as the first "boss" of this game. You should be killing them easily, especially with the Bombs from Hart.
And here we go, at level 25 Meruru learns Potentialize, which is an upgrade to Power Item. How this works is fairly simple. After you use the level 2 version of an attack item, your teammates have to have at least one more notch on the support meter. After you Power Item, press L1 and R1 to make your allies do a combination attack, then press X again to activate an attack item's true power.
It won't come up much against trash mobs, but this will be a great asset in real boss battles.
These are the full requirements, just for reference.
Anyway, our next area has some Tropical Penguins and ornery Rocs hanging around. Both are kinda powerful, but shouldn't be able to stop you.
There's the target. Upon trying to enter there...
I didn't know a place like this existed here! I should go ask Rufus for some more information.
As you might expect, there's another big location on the southern edge of the map, but let's go back to town first to restock and switch the part around. After getting back...
What's wrong, Miss Totori? You don't seem your usual self.
Oh, Meruru. I can't seem to figure out this synthesis. I've tried all different ways, but the end result keeps coming back a failure.
I see...I guess some syntheses are hard even for you.
Oh, hi Keina. What's up? You're here to see Miss Totori?
A letter from Arland arrived at the castle. Mr. Rufus told me to bring it to you.
Thank you, Keina. I wonder who the letter's from...my sister, maybe?
The synthesis I was stuck on. Looking at Keina's face gave me a new idea! Thanks, Keina! You've been a huge help!
Sure...but I"m not sure how I did anything...
But I wonder why... It's like the solution to the problem is written right there on her face.
It's almost like she's the goddess of fortune or something.
Interesting...it could be coincidence, but it feels like more. There must be something special about her.
That's fine. As long as you're here, you bring good fortune to everyone around you.
Errg...I wish Keina didn't have to go back to the castle and could just stay here with us!
I-I really can't. I have lots of work to do back at the castle. Not that I wouldn't love to stay here...
Well then, maybe you could stay here a little while longer and help me with my synthesis?
Of course! So...what should I do?
I think that's all you have to do to make sure the synthesis goes well, no matter how hard it may be!
I don't know about that...but if that's what you want me to do, that's what I'll do.
Thanks! Now let's make up for lost time!
Go, Miss Totori! You can do it, especially now that you have Keina here!
Umm...I don't mean to interrupt, but...how long do you want me to keep doing this?
O-Okay. I feel like I got here at a most...interesting time.
I got this while I was out. Isle Fish at the first area we went to after Hart. He's actually kinda hard at the moment, so I wouldn't advise fighting him with a party that includes Keina.
Let's check in with Hanna.
M-M-Meruru...d-d-d-don't s-s-scream like th-th-th-thaaat...
You know how Yanagawa said he made a double tempo version of that one song in the first update when Meruru bumped into Rufus, and wondered if they put it into the game? They're playing that version over the first part of this scene.
What wrong!? What's going on!?
We-e-ell...oh, th-thank goodness...it's g-getting better. Ahh-hh..whew.
It tastes so goo-o-ood. So I figured I could co-ook it and s-sell it... But the-e-e-en...I started going all n-n-nu-numb. Ahh, what a dis-di-disaster!
That mushroom is totally poisonous! Why'd you do that!?
That's not the point. Sure, there's lot of yummy mushrooms out there. But you cant' take them for granted!
Ooh, it's been a while since I've heard Meruru's Mushroom Moralization. You really are an expert.
This is no laughing matter! Don't you have any medicines at your shop?
I'm really worried about you!
Okay, sorry...I'll make sure to bring you along with me next time.
Jeez, Hanna... Okay, so? How much did you gather? Where'd you store them all?
I dunno, like a basket-full? Why do you ask?
Throw them out! No no no no no! They're a valuable commodity!
Commodity? But they're poisonous mushrooms! Nobody can even eat them!
You just dont' get it, May. Eating isn't the only way you can use these puppies. For example, you can scatter them around a barn to keep monsters away from the livestock. Try to think outside the box! Changing your viewpoint creates another chance for business! Good merchants never miss a trick!
Man, you're one tough cookie. But can you move now? Are you okay?
I can still feel the pins and needles, but I'm fine. I'll pull myself together and get back to work!
...I'm still worried. I should ask Rufus to warn everyone in town not to eat her mushrooms...
Sabotaging business? That's not how you develop a kingdom, Meruru.
She's actually selling quite a bit of stuff now that the Marketplace has been expanded twice, but I didn't buy anything. Got another scene after leaving.
...Oh, hey, are you really okay with that basket of yours? Does everything fit in there?
Yeah, well...with all the gathering and shopping, I guess it does get full pretty fast.
I see...maybe it's time to switch it out. It looks like it's about ready to overflow.
If you take a spill with that, everything in the basket's gonna get busted. Oh, I know! Wait right here!
Yup yup! You're one of my best customers, and I've already got a big one for myself. Besides, that means you can stop by and buy even more stuff, so I'm perfectly happy with that!
Thanks, Hanna. I'll synthesize it as soon as I get back!
Yeah, I'll get around to that never, since I have the best Basket possible already. Anyway, a scene in Artisan's Way. Video goes until Meruru says "Okay, I gotta try even harder with my synthesis!"
Oh, sorry. I was lost in thought. Are you okay?
Owww...I'm fine. But what were you thinking so hard about, Mr. Gino?
Really? I would think it'd be something like tracking down treasure or discovering new lands.
Well, that too. But to get to any of that other stuff, you need strength. But that's easier said than done. No matter how hard I train, I don't know how to get any stronger.
Oh, I know that feeling. I keep wondering how I can synthesize even better than I am now.
Master...you mean Miss Totori? N-No, never! I'm not even close...
Well that's no good. You need the fighting spirit to surpass your master, or teacher, or whatever. It's obvious when they're higher than you. If you don't have that spirit, you'll never reach their level.
I see...this is very educational! So your master is someone really strong that you can't win against?
You got it. I've been training really hard, but no matter how many times I try, I can't beat him. Oops-! Speaking of training, I still haven't reached today's quota. Okay, see ya later!
But I don't think I'll ever be able to surpass Miss Totori. It seems like that's just how teachers are... No! I'll never become a real alchemist if I keep thinking like that. Okay, I gotta try even harder with my synthesis!
Let's upgrade Meruru's weapon, too. Another resulting scene.
Settler's Staff...? That's kind of a weird name. Doesn't sound all that powerful...
Really? You're here as a representative of everyone involved in the development project, right? I thought it was a perfect name.
Hahaha. So...I know this is a weird time to ask but...why did a princess take charge of the development herself?
To be honest, I just wanted to practice alchemy. But circumstances just sorta...worked out this way.
It just worked out, huh? Well, thanks to that, you've had the chance to experience all kinds of stuff. Anyway, I'm irrefutably confident that this is a fine staff for a fine alchemist. Besides, I made your kiddo masster's staff, and that kiddo's kiddo master's staff, too!
Oh, that's right. You made Miss Totori's staff, huh? Now I understand...
Alright, before we finally get to talking to Rufus, one more scene in the way. Video goes until Meruru says "What's that about?"
Oh, Princess. I trust everything is going well?
Of course! Here's my latest set of reports. No problems this time around!
That's good, thank you. Let me take a look.
...Hm, yes. I see nothing out of the ordinary.
Oh, Lias. Did you come to give a report, too?
I called him here. I wanted to talk to him about an unrelated matter. Now then, Princess. There are no problems with your reports, so you are free to go for today.
Huh? Really? No lecture or anything? That's...surprising.
I do really like how this line was read. I always find it amusing.
Huh!? N-no, that's perfectly okay. I don't want to distract you from your work! Okay, see ya!
Ha. Same as ever, huh? So, what did you want to talk to me about?
It's about our princess. Lias - would you say you've been fulfilling your duty as her guardian?
...I should have known it was about Meruru. That's the only reason you ever want to talk to me.
Your real duty is to take precautions before the princess faces any sort of danger. You still have room to improve.
...So you don't care what happens to me, as long as Meruru's okay.
I - gh... O-Of course. I should have known that already...
Then think before you speak next time, and concentrate on your duties. Don't waste your time, or mine.
I won't. I'm gonna go now, unless there's anything else?
*fade to black*
Oh, Lias! What did Rufus want to talk to you about?
...Why should I tell you?
Huh? No reason, I was just curious. If he yelled at you again, I was gonna try to cheer you up.
Well it's none of your business! I'm going back to my post. Bye.
Aww, he's gone. Lias seemed really mad...but kind of happy at the same time. What's that about?
NOW let's go report to Rufus about that forest. This is a rather long scene, if only for the fact another big one is added onto it, like the Mine scene where Mimi joined. Video goes until Meruru says "Well, I hope everything turns out okay"
However, there is a major issue with flood damage that occurs every time a storm comes through. We'd like to deal with that problem and use the river as a source of drinking water, but we don't have the funds.
Then I'm gonna make that my next goal! Maybe I can use alchemy to stop the flooding and make the river usable!
Excellent. I've already prepared a detailed plan for development. Please take a look...
Quite a few tasks. The second one is the one that can be done on-site, but the other two will require quite a bit of synthing time. Incidentally, it's a good idea to get a move on this request in particular, because there's a way to get some super nice materials really early in the game after you complete this task. Of course, I can elaborate more when the time comes.
This is our official waterworks project. Please be careful not to do anything to pollute the water supply.
I would feel much better having him around. I think eventually you would even come to feel the same way yourself.
Huh? So what, do you know this guy or something?
Indeed. And it won't be your first time meeting him, either. He should be arriving soon.
I find this line confusing. It's perfectly believable Rufus would know about this person (I won't spoil it, but you can probably guess), but Meruru has never met "him" before.
Okay, Rufus. Thanks! I'll go take a look.
*fade to black*
Huh? I see a carriage coming. Maybe the new person is in there?
Once again, Peter's name is unknown for all of five seconds. Don't ask me.
Okay, Sterk. I'd better get going.
Sure. Thanks for your help. Be careful on your way back.
And even though Peter just called him by name...ergh, the dialogue boxes confuse me sometimes.
You're late, Sterk. You've messed up my entire schedule.
Sorry, Esty. It was such short notice, I wasn't even able to get everything ready before I left.
I'll listen to your excuses later. Right now I need you to investigate a ddragon that showed up recently.
Of course, as soon as possible. Also, I was...hoping I could introduce myself to the Arls royal family.
Aha. Old knight habits die hard, huh Sterk? Don't worry about the princess. I'll be escorting her myself.
Wow, so you've done your homework. But sorry. Your job is to look into the dragon stalking the eastern frontier. But I do plan on assigning you as Princess Meruru's escort once that's finished.
Ah, Meruru...what are you doing here?
I saw a carriage come in from Arland, so I wanted to see if someone new had arrived. Is this him?
That's right. His skill with the sword is unparalleled. His only character flaw is that frightful face of his.
No worries, I'm used to it. But your name's Meruru? What a coincidence, to share the princess' name.
Sterk, you dolt! You're speaking to Arls'...*whisper* *whisper*
Music: Unsociable Knight
Hm, Sterk's got a brand new look. I do like that subtle detail of since Sterk doesn't actually have a job anymore, that he's let his hair grow long. He's lightened up a bit since Totori, but he still takes his former job pretty seriously.
And of course, his archenemy remains Gio. Some folks will never get along, and Gio and Sterk are at the top of the list.
Oh, um, yes, Mister, umm...Strudel... Mr. Storker-bargen - Agh!
It's difficult to pronounce, I know. You can call me Sterk.
O-Okay, Mr. Sterk, my name is Meruru.
Please, there's no need to call me "Mister"! Just "Sterk" will do.
Ah, w-well...but you're older than me, right? So I'd feel better calling you "Mister".
Then it would be my honor... I, Sterkenburg, will vouchsafe my duties with my life.
O-Of course. Just...don't push yourself too hard.
Further, Sterkenburg has a pressing matter to attend to, and will assume escort duties once that is settled.
Oh yeah? Okay, well...thank you, I guess? But why are you guys being so formal right now?
Hahaha. Well, it just seemed like the proper time to be formal.
You got it. Gio has personally requested that you resolve your assigned duties and then help protect her.
Ah hah, so Sterk's motives in Rorona weren't entirely altruistic. Still, it's nice to know Gio was rooting for us the whole time during the game.
And now he's got the guild helping with Arls' development, dispatching adventurers and ordering investigations.
Hiding? I have no idea what you're talking about. Regardless, after you're finished, you WILL be her escort.
Um, sorry my kingdom is causing you so much trouble. But I'm doing my best, and I'd love to have your support!
Ahh...those are the words I've longed to hear. You can count on me, Princess! I swear to protect you with my life.
Hm, maybe I was wrong about Sterk lightening up...
Hrmm...I get so tense when you start talking all serious like that.
I'd better go finish my assignment! But is he really dwelling in this kingdom right now...?
Who, Uncle Gio? Yeah, he spends a lot of time at Hart Outpost.
Hart Outpost? I see...I'd better pay him a visit right away.
Gosh, your eyes are so scary right now. Do you even know where Hart Outpost is?
I also like that Sterk has apparently a 6th sense to discover where his enemy is.
He's gone... Is Mr. Sterk always like that?
Whenever Gio's involved, yup. But part of it is because you're a princess, so there's nothing we can do about that.
I see. Well, I hope everything turns out okay.
And another party member joins. I'd highly suggest bringing Esty out, as she's pretty awesome on the battlefield, and is a lot of fun. She's been practicing.
And if you've guessed another Peter scene is coming up, you've been paying attention.
You're in a good mood. Did something happen?
Of course it's you. You always show up right when I'm about to head to my secret spot.
Yup. I finally found a place where I can completely restore my body after every carriage trip.
Really!? I wanna know where it is!
...You're good. Yeah, I'm creating an outdoor hot spring. I found a natural spring while I was out walking around. Since then, I've been searching for the orogin of that water every time I've come back to Arls.
That's awesome! Come on, tell me where it is!
Sorry, can't do it. I won't let anyone ruin my paradise.
Hey, don't talk like that. I'm just saying, it's not ready for public use yet. I just found one tiny wellspring. Even if people knew about it, only one or two could go in at a time.
So with that, I'm off to relax my body. Alone. See ya!
That's...much less ominous than I would have thought, given Peter. Even a guy like him deserves a break, and I can personally vouch for hot springs. For one final scene in a chatty update, just bring Esty to the Tavern while she's in the party. Video goes until Meruru says "Please, stop this insanity!".
Oh, welcome, Meruru. Let's see...what should I have you do...?
Hey, Filly. You're looking much more chipper than last time I saw you.
I still have that, but I also have my assignment to act as the personal escort for Princess Merurulince Rede Arls.
Why are you trying to sound so fancy? Just talk normal.
I-I see...Meruru, tell me right away if my sister treats you poorly in any way whatsoever!
Hey! Standing right here, you know! Don't forget, you can still be fired if you don't do your job. Got it?
Sometimes she just disappears all of a sudden, getting herself involved in who knows what behind closed doors. So you're better off not relying on her too much. If you need someone, put your money on Mr. Sterk-
Knock it off, already! Don't go filling her innocent mind with your nonsense. You make it sound like I'm into all these back-door dealings. Don't believe anything she says, okay Meruru?
Hmhm. You two are so funny together. I don't have any sisters, so I'm kinda jealous.
Filly...you're my sister, but there are some things you just don't say!
Why not? It's the truth, isn't it? I'm a way better fit for Meruru's older sister.
You're reaching that age where you can't make fun of other women. Your standards are too high. It's almost too late...
I-I still have plenty of time! I'm only twenty...something! You're already in your fou-
*sword unsheathing noise*
Waaah! Ms. Esty, put your sword away! That's not the proper response to this situation! I-I think of you both as my older sisters! Honestly! Please, stop this insanity!
And upon that contentious note, another sy update ends. Next time will also have plenty of talking, but it uh...you'll see.
Fort Fanfare I
For the fort. I used trial and error to create an ethnic fanfare, and finished it with a sloppy ambiance. I pulled out my old trombone from when I was in brass band for the recording. It took me back to those youthful years when I practiced it. Pretty nostalgic.
King of Arland ~for Meruru~
It has a nice middle. I'm sure young ladies will like this. But some old fogey trying to talk to young ladies is no good. So theoretically, a "young girl and middle-aged guy" couple shouldn't exist. It just means he's some old pervert.
Sunbathing ~for Meruru~
Rorona appears really tiny-looking. Maybe she got shocked that way from being called a grandma in the last game. Oh wait, that was me. The cute chorus in the middle is by Marie.
Talk to Me When You Need Help
The receptionist once again. And a surprising addition to the party! Her appearance has changed, but she's still just as beautiful. I liked the "Heey!" part from "Heey! What are you doing here!?" that Rorona said.
("Continued from "Reliable Butler") I'm just a mere sound staff member, but as a member of the development team for the first Atelier Marie and the composer for each character's theme, I'd like to show my appreciation to everyone who has supported the Atelier series up till now. Thank you so much! Bravo!