Part 88: Update LXXXIV: An Apprentice and the Four AlchemistsBoy, that past year in-game just flew by, huh? Well, it was a little slow, but we are at the start of the game. We're just getting started. We start off the update with an appropriate scene for this update. Video goes until Meruru says "I'll do my best!"
Oh, it looks like you're stuck. What seems to be the problem?
I don't understand this part of the recipe!
Let me take a look.
...Oh, you just made a small mistake here. This goes here, and that one goes like this.
Ohh, you're right! I didn't even notice that. You're an amazing alchemist, Miss Totori. And you're a great teacher, too.
Miss Rorona used to have to give me the same kind of help with my synthesis...
*flash to white*
O-Okay...swirly swirly. Umm...swirly swirly...
Okay! Now, hold your breath, push your entire soul out into your arms, and give it another swirly swirly!
Got it! Uhh, swirly swirrrly...
Yeeaah, good job! Totori, I'm very impressed how you could spot the subtle difference there.
W-With my smile?
Yup! Smiling at this stage is very important. Just imagine the amazing item you're creating and find that energy.
Okay! Swirrrly swirly!
Wow, perfect! Totori, you're a natural!
Oh! I totally forgot! Your face is changing color! Are you okay!?
*return to present*
When I first started out, I was so happy any time Miss Rorona gave me a compliment.
She must have been really great at explaining stuff. She was your teacher, after all, and you're amazing!
Huh? Well...I had to rely a lot on instinct. Otherwise I never would have understood her teaching method.
Wooow...I want Miss Rorona to teach me someday, too!
Sure, Meruru. You just might get a chance to become Miss Rorona's second apprentice.
Hm? Why do you have that distant look in your eye all of a sudden?
Yeah yeah! I'll do my best!
Well, Meruru is easy to impress, if nothing else.
Well, with a party of Keina and Esty, it's time we headed off to exploring the lands south of Hart Outpost. Before we leave, though, I had more than 100 points, so I stopped in with Rufus before leaving.
The Request Box is nothing too amazing, but it does give you more requests with Filly for additional money-making. We won't be able to construct our major revenue sources until later, but for the moment this is a pretty good idea to build.
I also got another scene where Rufus gave us another recipe book, but to be honest there's not much point in recapping it, and it isn't voiced.
Lot of development items, but keep the Sky Flame in mind. Very handy bit of development equipment for moving traits from ingredients to ingots. Remember that although you can't register development items with Pamela, they're still synthesis items, so they can still be used for other syntheses. Good thing, too, as the Cost levels on some of the best traits in the game are ridiculously high.
Now it is time to go. Another scene.
Ready as I'll ever be. I'm used to this kind of thing.
Are you all set, Princess? You didn't forget anything? Do you need to go to the bathroom? What about-
I asked you guys because I'm already ready! Don't worry so much. Ms. Esty is staring at you...
So then, with your permission... Have you cleaned all your weapons and gathering tools, Princess Merurulince?
Come on, stop being so mean! I'm perfectly capable of getting ready to go by myself!
I just thought you two were having so much fun playing around, I wanted to join in, too.
We're not playing around! I'm really worried about the princess, and-
Oopsie, I guess I shouldn't have said anything.
Okay, okay, I surrender. I'm sorry I made fun of you. So please forgive me...okay?
No, don't apologize. I'm really sorry I got so upset.
Okay, good, then everyone's ready. For real this time...let's gooo! Come on, Keina!
Princess, stop! You can't just take off running like that! It's too dangerous!
Whoops, I need to concentrate. That's my job as their guardian.
Hey! Look, Keina! That cloud is shaped like a puppy!
It looks more like...a bunny, to me. Don't you think that other one looks more like a puppy?
You think so? Mmm...nah, it looks more like a grown-up dog.
But first, let's check out what's in this little out of the way location.
A somewhat strangely placed desert. Alright, nothing too fancy here, either in the way of monsters or materials, but let's see what Esty can do.
Her basic attack, strangely enough given she uses swords, is a group attack. She does a couple sweeps to do damage, but every time she attacks, she has a small-ish chance of activating...
Quick. What it basically does is drastically reduce her WT until the next turn. As you can see from this screenshot, Keina's turn is next, but Esty goes right afterward.
She also has the best win pose in the game, juggling her swords until she grabs both of them and poses. It's mezmerizing. Upon finishing the first battle with her...
Meruru? Are you hurt? Let me see!
Oh, no! I'm totally fine!
Are you sure? You had me worried, being all quiet like that.
Sorry. I was just so amazed.
I'm not! It's just that...you're so strong. I thought you were like Rufus, and doing administration stuff was your speciality.
You don't need to be so surprised. This is normal for an Arland knight. Not that there are any knights anymore... My basic job is as you described, but I've also been trained in all the standard combat drills.
A receptionist that's stronger than some soldiers and adventurers...that's unimaginable here in Arls!
Hmhm. Well, I hope you see me in a different light now. I even outrank Sterk, you know. Not to mention, my boss - or the person I serve, rather - is...you know...
You mean Uncle Gio, right?
Yup. Gio doesn't fear any danger. He just dives straight in.
You say that like you just ate a big lunch or something. So is everyone in Arland as strong as you?
Well...I guess you could say that. But it's not like Sterk and I just got strong overnight, you know? I'm sure you'll get stronger as you go out on more adventures like this.
I hope so...I'm trying my best not to be a burden on anyone.
I don't feel like I am...but if that's what you think, I'll do my best to live up to it.
There you go. Everyone's like a little baby bird at first. You just have to work your way up.
...But it's not my nature to lecture people like this. Let's just keep going.
Indeed. In a different world, I'd bore you with the details of my journey in the desert, but this is not a different world.
First stop south of Hart is this mine. There's some moderately dangerous foes in here, but nothing you need to worry about with Esty around.
Even further south, though, is actually some moderately dangerous foes. At this point in the game, these guys have a ton of defense and HP, so they're not going to go down very easily, even with Esty around. Bombs are, of course, highly recommended.
On the flip side, though, they drop some super nice materials.
This is what the group attack looks like. Depending on your allies, they can inflict different status effects, or wreak some other mischief on your foes. Unfortunately, I messed up this time and used a Craft with only 2 uses left, so I didn't get to see the full power version. Maybe next time.
Finally. Let's move on.
It's a sad day when the Berserkers are already being bumped down to somewhat common foes. Anyway, just make sure you prepare a lot, because by this time you're probably running low on LP with a character like Keina, and even Esty can't fight a Berserker by herself. Attack items, and Nectars assuming the worst happens, are advisable. The materials here are alright, but do take a least one Gravistone from here for later.
Here we are. Again, attempting to enter...
I didn't know a place like this existed here! I should go ask Rufus for some more information.
Hello there. So this is your workshop, huh?
I've been wanting to see how you work. Hmm...it seems to be very organized.
Keina cleans up after me. It's a disaster zone every time I mess up a synthesis, though...
I'm still way far away from being like Miss Totori. Anyway, are you here on business?
To that end, I will likely have more and more job requests. It would really help me out if you could handle them for me.
Huh? Jobs? Can I really do them?
That's why I came to you. I know how useful alchemy is. Of course, this is assuming you'll become a full alchemist.
I'll do it! I'll work really hard to make sure you're satisfied.
I knew you would say that. When you decide you're ready, go visit the Tavern. That's all I wanted to say. I'm in a bit of a hurry, so I have to be going. I'll see you again.
But before I was able to visit Filly about the request, another scene.
Oh, I just...found some money on the ground.
Money...? That's a gold coin! That's not something you just find on the ground every day.
Yeah, probably...I wonder who dropped it.
You're always so lucky! We could buy so many yummy foods with that.
N-No! You can't say things like that, Princess! We should turn it in to a soldier.
I keep hearing that from people, but I can't say I've ever felt that way myself.
What's so great about you is that you bring good luck to everyone around you. I'm always happy to have you around!
Even right now, if Keina gives it to a soldier, that will make whoever dropped it and gets it back really happy!
It's perfectly normal to return lost property.
Not everyone thinks that way. And you picked it up before anyone like that could!
Haha...you mean like how you were just a second ago?
Huh? Nooo...I told you, I was just joking! Whatever, let's just go deliever it.
No, it's nothing. I was just thinking how happy I am to be around you, too.
R-Really? Well it's fun spending every day with you, for sure.
...Maybe I am lucky, after all.
Oh? So now you say that? You really didn't realize it until just now?
Okay, I'll go turn it in to him. Keina, you wait right here.
See what I mean about Keina couldn't be more a Childhood Friend? Now let's see what's up. Video goes until the screenshot of Filly talking about the request.
From Lord Gio? Hold on, let me just... Hmm...ah, yes. Here it is. Now, before you accept, let me explain how personal requests work...
Don't strain yourself, Filly. I got it. Basically, personal requests are instead accepted at the Tavern, not by talking to the individual characters like in Rorona or them coming to you like in Totori. The major difference is that personal requests give out a lot more Cole on average than normal requests, so they'll be a major source of income for a while.
Of course, they also give out friendship points for the character who had the request, assuming you complete it. I'll go ahead and spoil it now, but there are no character endings in Meruru. Since Ayesha does have character endings, seems this game is a bit of black sheep. The closest thing to them is that there are two endings focused around Rorona, but it's not quite the same thing. Anyway, there is an ending for completing all characters events.
As for Gio, you need his friendship level to be 50 before he'll join. That won't happen for a while, unfortunately.
Okay, I think I got it. Thanks, Ms. Filly! See you later!
Ah, Meruru, hold on! Don't you want to know what Lord Gio's request is?
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Hehe, sorry.
Here's what they look like in the request menu. Gio's first request is always for a Royal Aroma, which I happened to already have. Imagine that. It's as if I anticipated that exact item being asked for. Thing with requests is that each character tends to ask for a specific type of item. For example, Gio asks for these kinds of things a lot, Rufus asks for stuff like pies and other baked goods, Mimi for food items, etc.
Well, believe it or not, after I made some Ingots for the Quelei Forest request, the big scene of the update popped up. I thought it happened only after the first anniversary had passed, but evidently not. Anyway, the video goes for the rest of the update.
Music: Oh! Nap Time!
Hmph. Who the hell are you?
Wh-? Um, I could ask you the same question.
I heard this was Totooria Helmold's workshop.
Totooria...? Oh, Miss Totori, yes! Please wait here! Teeeacher! You have a visitooor!
Ah, yes - I'm Merurulince Rede Arls, apprentice to Miss Totori.
Merurulince? Isn't that the name of this kingdom's princess?
Oh, yeah, that's me. It's probably hard to believe when you see me in clothes like these, though.
Wow, this place sure is amusing. An alchemist princess...even a genius like me never could have imagined that.
I'm Astrid, the amazing alchemist who happens to be your master's master's master.
Well, it sure is Astrid, but...isn't she looking quite a bit younger than last time? She would have been in her early 40s when Totori ended, I believe, and she's here looking like she's in her 20s...
Yep, that's Rorona, but uh...something seems off here.
Rorona - what a cute name! I feel like I've heard it somewhere before...
I have always loved how Rorona delievered that line. She seems so breathless and excited.
Wha-? Wh-Who is this child?
It's Rorona, and my teacher's teacher's teacher, Miss...umm, Astrid?
M-Ms. Astrid!? What are you doing here? And-
Did you say "Rorona"? Oh my - it can't be...
Whether or not it can't be, it is. This is Rorona, without a doubt. Of course, she's a kid now.
Yup! Rorona's here!
Ah! Wha-? How? I-! What happened to you!?
Hey, Miss Totori, calm down. Just take a deep breath. Deeeep...breaaath.
Huh? Okay...hoooo...haaaa... Hoooo...haaaa...
Potion of...? Now that you mention it - Ms. Astrid, you look younger, too.
The plan was for Rorona to return to her ideal age, much like myself. All right, I suppose I should explain what happened from the beginning.
*fade to black*
Master, this hurts. Hom's cheeks were not designed to stretch this way.
It is the will of the Grand Master. Please bear with it.
I guess it follows Astrid got to making a matching Hom between the end of Rorona and now.
If I had to guess, I'd say...around 8 years old. She was supposed to be 14. Also, the potion's effect is permanent.
Why would you make something like that? And what's so special about being 14?
You see this line here? Good. That's basically the In Real Life reason why the developers went and made the 20 something Rorona 8 between games. Evidently the developers realized Rorona was getting on in the years, and thought putting her in her 30s would kill some of her appeal.
As for how I feel about all this? I dunno, there's ups and downs. On the one hand, Rorona otherwise wouldn't serve much purpose to the plot. We already have a teacher character in Totori, so I have to wonder what a normal Rorona could add the narrative. But on the downside, I'd be more curious what Rorona would look like in 30s, and evidently so did Mel, because he did an illustration of what Rorona would probably look like if she were normal.
So, it's much like a lot of things: some people hate it, some people are okay with that, and others, like me, are terminally ambivalent. But at least I can say that this reasoning goes along with Astrid's personality toward Rorona.
So I came up with a potion to roll her back to 14 years old, my personal favorite age, forever. I drank it myself to test the results, and it worked fine. But with Rorona, I guess I got a little carried away with the idea of making her 14 again.
So that's why Miss Rorona got so much younger, huh?
That's the gist of it, yeah. The worst part isn't how she looks, but what's going on inside that head of hers.
Oh...so it's not just her body that got younger?
So the final result is that Rorona turned into exactly what she looks like - A dumb little girl.
As if she didn't already?
Umm, Miss Totori? Is it just me, or is this lady talking crazy talk?
Hehe. I don't really know what to say, except that it's just how Ms. Astrid is.
Nothing is "crazy". How can a student of alchemy not understand the utter splendor of an experiment like this? Oh, by the way...so you're Totori's apprentice, right? And also this kingdom's princess?
I see. Hmm...okay. I can work with this. You'll be a pretty good resource, I think.
Huh? What are you talking about?
Oh, no. I was just thinking out loud. Don't worry about it.
So I'm assuming you had a reason for coming here?
So now I'm depending on you.
Well, the potion itself was a success, and I thought things might be okay. But she's just too much for me to handle. I've been too busy babysitting to come up with an antidote. I need to dump her on - oh, I mean, bless someone with her. And then I remembered that you existed! It occured to me that you'd gone off to some distant country.
Miss Rorona was supposed to come here, but you said she was involved in a bit experiment. Wait...don't tell me-!
Hmhmhm, correct! And I must say, that experiment ended with results far beyond my expectations. But no need to fear! I have a way to fix her. Although, the ingredients are pretty rare and synthesis is a pain. Even if we start now, it'll take some time.
Back to normal, huh...?
That's good, right? I'll look after her with you! Right, Rorona?
Huh? What is it, Rorona?
You're wearing a crown... Are you a princess?
Oh, yup! Sure am!
Wooow! It's so cute!
Hmm...she's a child now, but I'm not sure she's changed all that much. You can really turn her back, right?
Of course! I wouldn't be here asking for your help if I couldn't.
Understod. As long as you promise you can fix her, I'll look after Miss Rorona.
I'm glad you're so understanding. I'll leave you with the two Homs to make things easier with Rorona. They're excellent helpers - they can do your chores and even assist with alchemy. Ask them for more details. Okay, Homs - you'll be staying here from now on to help take care of Rorona. Do your best, okay?
Great, now I can finally relax - I mean, focus on my research. Well, see ya!
Ah, she's gone. I wonder if she can really turn Miss Rorona back to normal. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Totoriii! Rorona's hungryyy!
I am running low on energy, as well. Could you please provide us with something to eat?
Hm? You came to Arland by carriage, right? The food you brought with you wasn't?
Nope, didn't make a typo there. She does say Arland, even though it should be Arls.
Correct. The amount of food loaded on the carriage for all occupants. However... The Grand Master wound up eating all of our food, so we ran out a day early. We have not eaten since last night.
I guess that's one way of looking at things. Anyway, as for next time...I don't know! I haven't recorded it yet. We'll see.
Oh! Nap Time!
Again, the master. She's a troublemaker by nature anyway, but this time she returns with trouble at the megaton level. Rorona's true ending is pretty touching.