Part 95: Update XCI: An Apprentice and the AccomplishmentLet us begin a new update posthaste. First off, we'll be having a brief chat with Filly.
Not close exactly, but I guess Lias has been asking Mr. Sterk about training and stuff a lot.
Ah, I see...that's not bad, but they kind of have a steel curtain...hmm...
Ms. Filly...are you imagining something weird again?
What!? What are you talking about?
It's true that youth only comes around once. But you can't discount the value of maturity...
I do hope Filly knows Sterk is almost 30 years older than Meruru. More than a little odd, I think.
Umm...I've never really thought about it! Can you even hear me right now, Ms. Filly?
I really don't care. This is way too complicated for me to follow. Goodbye!
Well...I guess when you're standing behind a desk all day, with (apparently) not that much work, your mind starts to wander.
More importantly, Rank VII brings us up to a Duke's Metropolis. I like the sound of that. The recipe book you get from this has a number of valuable recipes, and we're rapidly approaching the time when we can make use of them. However, we have a whole mess of assignments to handle before then.
No new facilities have been added, to use those built up points to make yourself something nice. I got this scene after chatting with Rufus. Video goes until Meruru says "Ms. Mimi, wait up!"
You see, Rufus? I can handle this kind of stuff.
Don't get carried away. Remember, many people are helping you through this. In another matter... As the land develops, people will begin to explore unfamiliar areas. It's important to ensure their safety.
Rufus! We have a problem!
What is it? You're so excitable. I was in the middle of an important conversation with the princess.
This is important, too! A group of monsters has appeared near town!
I'm gonna go check it out! Rufus, you can lecture me all you want later!
Ah, Princess-! ...Reckless as usual. Lias, we can't allow her to rush into danger alone. Take the guards and go after her. And notify the populace not to leave town. Hurry!
*fade to black*
Oh, Princess Meruru. You're too late.
Ms. Mimi! L-Late? You mean...
Yup. I already finished them all off.
I was afraid of that! We need to start treating the injured and - wait, what? Finished...them off?
...Ah, you're right. But Ms. Mimi, I guess you are really strong!
What? That's rather rude, isn't it? Did you not have faith in my abilities?
No, it's not that. It's just...you don't LOOK strong - you know, like Mr. Sterk. You're so skinny and fragile-looking. Like a normal girl...
You're trying to compliment me, right? Well, they say the smartest snake hides its fangs. No matter how many times they come and try to invade, I'll drive them all back. However!
It's the duty of the ones who sit above the people to make sure they can live in peace.
R-Right. Someone back at the castle told me the same thing.
Someday, you'll understand...how the one who represents the people has to act and think.
I sure hope so. 'Cause right now I don't have a clue.
Why not treat me to lunch for taking out all those monsters? ...Orrr we could just go eat at the workshop. Totori...she IS here today, right? I-I can just make her cook some food for me! Come on! You have to come, too!
Ah! Ms. Mimi, wait up!
Our one and only task for the Cape is to make a couple Living Saws at good quality. Thanks to my Ent detour earlier, we have the first part already done. Living Saws are a trivial matter, so it's only a matter of time until I complete this. Another synth got me this next scene.
Oh, hi Rufus. So what is it? What's the "unusual incident"?
Chariot Milk? Why would it do that? Oh, but...isn't that kind of awesome?
Now is no time to be awed. I've put out a notice that we're investigating, but this needs to be fixed right away.
That's true. You can't wash your face with milk, that's for sure. This could be bad!
One possible cause is the alchemy facility we constructed recently. Which is why I'm here. I'm trying to gather as much information as possible. Do you know anything about it?
*fade to black*
Hmph. Yeah, I get what's going on. This is most certainly my fault.
I knew it! Why would you do something like that!?
Hey, don't look at me like I'm some teenage boy out pulling pranks. I didn't do it on purpose. It seems the design for that new facility had a few...flaws.
How in the world does that lead to well water turning into milk!?
Although...don't you think water turning into milk could be a kind of, you know...national treasure?
What!? Right now, we can't was our faces, we'd have to take milk baths... Actually, that doesn't sound half bad.
Meruru, focus! ...Anyway, we need your help, Ms. Astrid. Please, do something!
I've fixed the flaws already. But it'll take some time for the well water to purify itself. Maybe up to one week.
Erg...so we have to go a whole week with this all-you-can-drink milk buffet? ...Hmm. Again, that sounds pretty good! I mean, no! You can't trick me anymore! You have to put it back to normal!
Just leave it to me. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll get to fixing it right after I have some freshly drawn milk.
Actually, she's not too bad about doing what she says, it's just she takes a while to get around to things / doesn't do things if they don't interest her, but anyway. Chariot Milk in the wells for the next week, but oh well. I spent all my time synthing, so I never took what limited advantage I can from it.
We've got another Rorona scene coming up.
Haha, don't be silly. Ms. Astrid's not here - oh jeez!
Mmhm. Well done, my favorite pupil. You have amazing skill to be able to sense where I'd appear.
I should have known...so what's your reason for showing up this time?
And today I'll be focusing my full attention on my first pupil, Rorona.
Wh-What are you going to do...? Are you gonna torture her the same way you did to me and Miss Totori!?
Hey, when did Astrid ever bug Totori specifically? All I can think of is drawing on her face while she was sleeping, and let's not forget you were less than obstructive in that plan.
Don't worry. I can't be too mean to a little kid. Hey, Rorona.
What is it, Asty?
Nooo, that's weird!
What do you mean, weird? I'm very definitely much older than you. So it's only proper that you address me as "Miss".
Grr...and here I thought I'd have no problem provoking the childish Rorona.
Asty, Asty! Read me a story! Read read read! Do it for Rorona, pleeeaase!
Wh-! You rebuke my demands, and proceed to make demands of your own...and with such authority! No, it's no use...she has no common sense. I'm sorry, but I have to go. Ugh...I'm getting a headache.
Rorona is clearly still the best at handling Astrid. Anyway, after that scene, though I'm sure it's not related, I got a ton of letters for development in Handel, Hart, the Mines, and Modis. We've still got plenty of tasks anyway, so it's something to work on. Finishing up the second Living Saw gets me yet another scene.
*fade to black*
Okay, and...huh? The milk looks all clear! ...Oh, it's just normal water. I wonder how come...
Oh, there you are, Pupil #3. I've been looking for you.
Ah, Ms. Astrid! The well milk turned back into well water! What does it mean?
What are you talking about? You're th one who told me to turn it back to normal. I just finished purifying it.
HUh? Oh yeah...that sounds like something I might have said.
Um...but I really wanted some milk. Couldn't you have waited just a little bit longer?
You know...speaking of milk, I can't recall a single cow that appears in any of these three games. All the milk in these games' universe seems to comes from goats. Guess they were all reserved for world Atelier Ayesha is in. There's even a DLC dungeon made up primarily of bovine enemies, which are actually quite vicious. I have had to terminate them with extreme prejudice, but in my defense
You sound as if you wanted to leave it as milk. Do you know how much time I spent trying to fix it?
Oh, umm...th-that's not what I meant.
...So the wells are all back to normal. That's good.
See, I told you not to worry about it. Now you have no excuse not to trust me with every fiber of your being.
I'm glad you understand. I expect you'll be eager to repay me for this deed. Okay, I'll be going for now.
Why did I have to apologize...? And I really wanted to have one more taste of that fresh well milk...
Tough. We've got work to do. But before that, a scene at the castle. Video goes until Meruru says "Cheer up!"
Keina, do you know where Lias is?
Mr. Lias? Oh, he left town early this morning. He's been taking off around this every day a lot recently. It seems like he has something on his mind.
I see...I wonder what's going on. Do you know where he went, exactly?
*fade to black*
Huh...? Meruru? Are you out here looking for me?
I was just wondering what you might be up to at this time of day. Are you training or something?
I'm doing exactly what it looks like. So just leave me alone, would you? I can use my free time however I want.
Yeah, I know, but... a little birdie told me you seemed like you had something on your mind, so I was worried.
If you say so. But I think you're super strong. You're way more experienced than Keina or me, so we always rely on you.
Well, sure, compared to you guys. But my goal is way higher than that.
Mr. Sterk! That's the kind of thing somebody's grandpa would say.
Grandpa...? Oh, Princess Meruru, you can be very hurtful when you want to. I've been called Pops, sure, but that's it.
Well, that doesn't surprise me. Anyway, so you knew that Lias was training here?
Yes. I ran into him here when I was looking for a place to do my own routine training. But I'm surprised a kid like you can keep up with such a tough training regimen. That takes some amazing willpower.
Pops...I'm used to women and children yelling at me to go away, but now I'm getting it from uppity punks, too?
Guy just can't catch a break. Sterk's about as old as Gio was when Rorona started, so he's starting to feel the effects of getting older.
Well sorrrry if I'm too noisy! But anyway, why are you pushing yourself so hard?
If you put too much strain on your body, it could lead to serious injury. You need to take a break every now and then.
Just leave me alone. I don't have time to waste talking like this.
I see...you're working this hard for your brother. You really do care about him.
It's not that simple. It's about the entire meaning of my existence.
Hmph. Eagerness is fine, but you can't let it push you too far. Nothing good will come from recklessness.
Then what am I supposed to do!? I have to stand next to a perfect brother I can never beat!
A sword in your... What do you mean by that?
I means, don't let yourself be influenced by outside factors. It means, develop an inner faith.
Sword...in my heart. But I don't have that kind of faith in myself.
It's good to work with others in mind. But you can't that limit you. You must always maintain that inner faith.
Inner faith... So you mean...to feel with my heart, and not think with my head? That kind of thing? Okay, Pops. I'll take what you said into consideration.
Mr. Sterk! You saw right through him and spotted what was eating at him. Thank you for your help.
To become obsessed with one subject at his age...it's the kind of problem you cannot solve by yourself.
Waaah, listen to all those smart words! Mr. Sterk, you really ARE like someone's grandpa!
I'm sorry, but could you please stop saying that? I haven't built up an immunity to it quite yet...
Aww man, now YOU'RE all sad! I didn't think you'd get that way. Come on, Mr. Sterk. Cheer up!
Now then, here's a random little scene. It didn't show up when I ranked up, just after I went to report to Rufus about the latest tasks.
We've reached this point at long last - Arls has finally grown into a medium-sized nation. I expet you to work even harder. I ask that you devote yourself to fully ensure positive results.
See that number there? Yeah. We've already completed the 30,000 goal, more than a year before it's due. Although we've *technically* beaten the game, again, there is just too much work left to do. It'll just a be a month until we officially begin the final year.
Hey, remember the Chim Doll? Meruru came up with it to get Rorona interested in doing alchemy again, and I've finally got around to making it. Let's see what Totori thinks...
Ooh, it's so cute! You made a Chim Doll, huh? Ahh, I want one, too...
With your skills, I'm sure you could make one no problem. I told you the recipe, right?
And the more I focus on making it cute, the more awkward it comes out. You wanna see the ones I've tried to make?
N-No, that's okay...I'm kinda scared to see how they came out...
Aww, it's so cute! I want one just like this, but I can't make it myself...
Why is this a choice? I guess I can understand why, but still. She's Totori. It's the least we can do.
Umm...if you want, I could give you this one.
I can just make another one later. And you've been taking such good care of me.
I really did want this, but I thought it'd be rude of me to actually ask for it.
(Miss Totori looks so happy. I'm glad I gave it to her.)
Music: What I See With My Eyes (2)
Music: What I See With My Eyes (3)
Now that we've reached VII, the final world map theme starts playing. I must have missed when the second one did, because the first and second sound pretty similar. Anyway, the two remaining ones. For the record, that was just an ingredient gathering trip, and when we return, another scene.
Heh. If that's all you need, feel free to ask me anytime. But man...a princess doing development stuff all on her own.
Is it really that strange?
Well...yeah. 'Cause for princesses in other kingdoms, they all wear fancy dresses and throw big parties, right?
I mean, I do like parties...but right now I like alchemy even more. I feel in love with it the minute I saw it.
I never would have imagined someone being happy to be Totori's apprentice... But I know how you feel. I've always wanted to become an adventurer, ever since I was little.
So you've fulfilled your dream and became a fulltime adventurer. You're really amazing, Mr. Gino!
Maybe...but still, it was really hard when I first got started. Nobody ever listened to what I had to say, and when they finally did...it was just helpless little Totori.
Hahaha...an ideal teacher, huh? Sorry, I shouldn't laugh. I can't help but see her as anything but my childhood friend.
Oh, that's right. You and her went adventuring together. An alchemist and an adventurer...so amazing.
So I guess I'll help you out from now on, too.
Mr. Gino...thank you so much!
I'm still nowhere near my master, but I've got quite the reputation as an adventurer already. You can count on me!
Hehehe...good! I'll be expecting big things from you!
I, on the other hand, expect Gino to be in a couple more big battles this playthrough, but little more. We shall see, though. Anyway, new paper.
Well, at least Hanna is all caught up on my latest exploits. Anyway, another scene with our pal Sterk in Artisan's Way. Video goes until the screenshot of Meruru thinking about not asking Sterk something.
Oh, it's Mr. Sterk. It sounds like he's talking to someone, but...there's nobody around. He's not...talking to his pigeon... Right?
Princess Meruru. Yes, he's my most beloved ally. He always knows how to cheer me up.
Just looking at him makes me feel better, 'cause of how cute he is.
Of course. Even when Arland became a republic, I was able to get by thanks to him.
And then...he asked me if I would continue on as a self-proclaimed knight.
The...the pigeon did?
"Isn't it the way of the knight to follow the path you believe in, even if your kingdom changes form?
That's a very passionate opinion for a pigeon...
Hey, no need to blush. Haha, he says he's honored to receive such praise from Princess Meruru.
Ah...ahaha. I...see. (Does this mean Mr. Sterk can speak a pidgin language? Like, "Coo, coo! Coo coo cooooo! Cuckoo!")
Next up, even more Rorona.
Oh, playing house with your Chim Doll? How cute!
But before that, you need to practice your pie making! No dinner if you fail! Now, work had to become the world's best pie artist!
Huh? She IS playing house...right?
Oh, Meruru! Wanna play with us?
Yup. Rorona made it. His name is Chimroy! He's cute, right?
Yeah. And it's so well-made. But I guess that's no surprise from you, Rorona.
But Chimroy's real sad, 'cause he's so lonely. I wish he had a friend...
Oh, Miss Totori. You made a Chim Doll, too?
Yeah. I made some using the one I got from you as a model. Then... I thought I'd never be able to make something so cute, but then I did! However... I made them able to walk and talk on their own...and as soon as I was done, they ran away!
So...you made a moving Chim Doll?
Yup. But I see now I shouldn't have added the part that let them move on their own.
...Wait, then wouldn't that make them basically the same as an actual Chim?
No, they weren't as complete. The Chims' cores are manufactured from a special material.
I see...so it's much more complex than my Chim Doll. So what is the Chim core made of? I want to try making a homunculus, too.
Hmm...do you? Well...I don't think I can tell you until you're a little bit older.
Huh? How come? I want to make one now!
Nope. I have a certain responsibility as your teacher. So I can't teach you that yet! Okay, that's enough discussion for now. Let's get back to work.
What IS your fascination with my forbidden closet of mystery?
Ponder that mystery as my make my Healing Ankh. Great as always, of course, as its diversity in what it can do makes it an ever-valuable healing item.
Fun fact: this was Rorona's best weapon in her game, as well as her best weapon in Totori, I believe. Now it's downgraded to her second-best, but still. Next adventure she'll be coming along with me and Sterk, so she'll need an upgrade. I'm giving her Gino's Solar Cloak, just so she can fight semi-well.
But, let's finish up our second year officially. Video goes until the screenshot of Meruru thinking about the final year.
So, Princess. I'm here to remind you that you are now entering your third and final year.
You're right. We've already reached the last year. Just one more year, and we'll have an answer...
Correct. Whether or not development can continue hinges on this final year's outcome. The total population of Arls Kingdom is as follows...
Indeed. It seems your progress has been running smoothly thus far.
But don't let it go to your head. There's still a long road ahead before you reach your goal.
Yeah, about that, Rufus...
It would be have been cool if they made the appropriate dialogue changes if you've already gone past 30,000 for this scene, but when we report to Dessier about our progress officially, which is in October of this year, I believe, he will say he didn't expect so much progress out of you in so little time.
I have nothing more for you. You've come to the final push. Now, if you'll excuse me...
He's always so severe...but he must be really concerned if he came all the way down here to see how I was doing.
40,000, when our ultimate goal is 30,000. A fine outcome, I think, but there's still a lot of time left. Thing is, 30,000 isn't our real goal. You know how in Rorona there was an ending for beating the game, but not really accomplishing anything? Yeah, there's something like that here.
If you reach 30,000, and otherwise don't trigger any ending flags or what not, you get what the game considers a bad ending. If you're just focusing on population, then 100,000 is what you're really reaching for. I just had a more syntheses to do before I head out again. After one of them, a scene.
Let's see...yup, looks good! With this quality, you can keep it for yourself or give it to someone else to use.
Woohoo! I'm really happy to hear you say that!
You've really improved a lot, Meruru. I think you've almost reached full alchemist status.
I dunno...I feel like I still have a lot I need to work on.
Oh, Rufus. You're here to see me?
*fade for explanation*
Yes. Arland has requested that she return. It seems that they need you immidiately to address an urgent matter. Sadly, I cannot prevent you from going.
I see...I almost forgot I was sent here as Miss Rorona's replacement... I suppose I should head back right away. Miss Rorona is still a child, but Meruru can handle things here now.
NO! Miss Totori, you can't leave!
I still need you! I'm still learning, and there's like a billion things I still don't understand! if you leave now, this workshop is gonna...blow up or something!
I don't think you have to worry about anything like that anymore...
What is your wish? Arland sent a request for you to return, not an order.
Of course. The details are in this letter. Now then, if you'll excuse me...
Miss Totori...you're not gonna leave, right? You're gonna stay here...
Well...maybe an adventure will take Meruru's mind off of things. The scene with Sterk and Rorona.
...Sterk? You're still younger than me, you know.
Uwaaah! Meruru...he's super scary!
Come on, Mr. Sterk. You shouldn't give Rorona those scary looks. You two have known each other for a long time, right? You should try to be more friendly.
I-I wasn't trying to give her a scary look. Ugh...I apologize, Princess. I'll be more careful in the future.
See? Mr. Sterk isn't mad at you or anything. It's okay, Rorona.
Huh? Rorona, do you remember Mr. Sterk from before?
And he was real mad! He said, "Where is Asty!?"
Oh, he was looking for Ms. Astrid?
And then I had to go to the castle to say sorry for something...and he was there, with that scary face.
But...why does she remember that so vividly?
Mr. Sterk, I'm sure you're telling the truth about the events as they happened, but...
Erg...Rorona, don't just stand there. Tell her what happened!
Waaah...Meruru, he's so scary!
This is one aspect of her turning into a kid I hadn't anticipated. I-It's too hard to deal with... Princess Meruru...what should I do?
I'll look after he, so why don't you just...follow us from a few steps behind?
A-As you wish...
Before we head to Hart Outpost, we have to stop by here in the desert. The T-Bomb Squirrel is hiding here, and we need to ruin his day.
These guys...they lasted 25 seconds. They weren't even trying.
First one dead, let's see what his buddy does.
Absolutely nothing. That makes things simple.
Yeah. Now we've got a bug hunt.
Yep, this place is overrun with giant bugs. Part of the job here is to kill the bugs, but the other is to drop off some development items to keep them away in the future. The latter is already accomplished, now we just have to take care of the ones that are here now. They're actually pretty dangerous, but are as unremarkable as you'd expect giant bugs to be.
Music: Fort Fanfare II
Much better. We've saved Hart from the insect menace, and upped item quality and effects around here. That all said, next stop is Quelei Forest, where I got a scene with Hanna. Video goes until Meruru says "Seeing her like that was really different."
Or maybe it's a monster!
Wha - Hanna!? What are you doing here!?
Gathering! Or more like...seeing what's out here. I came looking for items to sell, and got attacked by a monster. And then I fell over and got my cloak all dirty. So I decided to take a quick bath while I wash it.
Gosh, you really started me. I didn't expect to find you out here. I mean...
Th-That doesn't make it okay!
You're turning red - that's so cute! You wanna join me, May? The water's nice and cool.
Yup. It's not every day you get a chance to take a dip in a big, beautiful body of water like this.
Hmm...I'll have to pass. I don't have a change of clothes. Besides, I'm in the middle of gathering...
Hehe, okay, okay. Well, I'm feeling good as new, so I'd better get going myself. See ya.
...But Ms. Hanna was really pretty. She always looks so tough. Seeing her like that was really different.
Fascinating. Anyway, Quelei Forest is all rainy, and my dropoff fixed everything right up. We're going on a rather abridged adventure, sure, but there's really not much worth talking about. But, now onto Ichijo again.
I'm not sure about the ghostly residents, but a bridge is mighty handy. This particular bridge led me to the Blue Sky Path, a place I haven't been before, but there's not much worth talking about there, either. We'll be back with a development task fairly soon, so I'll cover it then.
No, our final target this update is this ominous fellow, the Irish name for the Headless Horseman, Gan Ceann. Hopefully he lasts longer than a minute.
This guy...all I got for him really is normal logic says you take out as many guns as possible before moving on to the big guys, right? You don't want to do that here. If you take out any of his buddies before him, he'll power himself up with the spirit of his dead comrades or something. You don't want that, so bite the bullet and focus on him first. You'll be more successful that way.
I also find the detail on Rorona's eyes when she has low health kinda cute, I dunno.
Potentialized Bomb does quite a number on this crowd, and with the main event dead, we're nearly done here.
For a name like "Death Blitz", I expected something a little better. That's not the only attack in this game that has an ominous name and doesn't actually do much.
Who knew Unis could pierce spiritual armor?
He was courteous enough to drop high level armor. How nice.
Well, that'll do it for this time. Hopefully we won't have to say goodbye to Totori next time...
What I See With My Eyes (2)
For World Map #2. A bit more lively. We recorded a lot of live instrumentation this time around. This song uses a lot of actual flute sounds. I plan on using live recordings from now on...as long as I have the time to do it.
What I See With My Eyes (3)
For World Map #3. Reaching this one is pretty magnificent. It uses quite a number of instruments. As the kingdom develops and population increases, the number of performers also increases. I wonder how many there are...
Fort Fanfare II
The "Magnificent Fort Version". You can jump off from the dungeons and from the fort's second floor. Try it if you haven't already! Not that anything special happens if you do. Don't do it in real life, though!