Part 1: Part I: Hear the Beginning of a PromisePart I: Hear the Beginning of a Promise
Welcome to part one of a long journey. As always, we have an anime introduction.
Music: Flower Marks
Music: Flower Offering
This game loves flowers and flower-related imagery, don't you know. Regardless, the intro should be a good indication Ayesha is a gorgeous game in many ways, and one thing I hope this LP does is convince you of that.
Now then, I, of course, have a save game lying around from when I last played the game, but for a change of pace, I'm not doing a New Game+. With all the benefits of a New Game+ (equipment, money, and certain items that only Ayesha can equip), things become trivally easy, and you'll end up with a lot of downtime simply because you've already done everything.
A strange man...
The song playing here, Guidance, is reserved for important story moments. It's also a really nice song. Really gives you that mystical feeling, that feeling of standing in a field at sunset while a calm breeze blows.
If it's not too obvious, in my opinion one of Ayesha's strengths is an excellent soundtrack. Daisuke Achiwa, Kazuki Yanagawa (who in-between Meruru and Ayesha left Gust and now works as a freelance game composer), and the new guy, Yu Shimoda, come together to work magic. There are a number of really great songs on the soundtrack, and I'd advise if anything listening to them.
You'll notice the skip option is there, even though this is a new game. Nothing I can do about that, as it seems to be tied to game's master memory than a save file.
I thought that perhaps this place...but the decay is the same. Hmph, it could still be possible...
Yes. So, you can tell?
I knew it! There are some Western peculiarities about the way you talk.
The blonde guy here is referencing an in-game location, where Mr. Glasses here comes from, not making a meta-comment about the real life West.
I see. So you're familiar with it, then?
A little... I go there to trade, too. Welcome to this barren frontier land.
Barren frontier land? That's not true. This place is plentiful.
True... For the last few years, the weather's been calm and gentle.
Hmm, sorry to bother you when you're so busy with your own business.
Oh, no. It's boring to travel alone, so I'm actually glad to have you. It's quite a way to the next ruin, so please enjoy the ride.
I really can't praise the outdoors-y areas in this game enough, for how they look. The sky, the land, the horizon, and even better the swaying of trees, grass, and flower spores, all combine to give you a real sense of nature.
Hm? A workshop in a place like this? So it still does exist in this land. ...Oh, you can drop me off right here.
Huh? But we're still pretty far from the ruin.
That's fine. I'd prefer to walk there on my own two feet.
Scholar? Is that what I look like?
Oh, I'm sorry if I was wrong. Since you're investigating the ruins...
A girl's quiet workshop
Music: Recollection Hill
Music: Even Today is Still Today
Yup, looks good! When the liquid turns a golden color, then...
Oops, sorry, Pana. I forgot to give you your breakfast.
Here! Sorry for making you wait! Chew your food and eat slowly. It's not healthy to eat so fast.
But before that...I'm hungry, too. I've been so busy, I forgot to eat. Hmm, this isn't good. I need to take better care of myself.
What should I eat? It's too late for breakfast, so maybe I better combine it with lunch... Do I have an egg that I can have with the leftover soup from yesterday?
What's wrong, Pana? I'm thinking about what to eat, so quiet down...
Oh, I'm sorry! I haven't introduced myself. My name is Ayesha Altugle. I'm an apocathery. I live here at my workshop with my cow, Pana. My grandfather and sister used to live here, until my grandfather passed away and me and my sister were left alone. But, um...I haven't seen my sister in a long time...
The days are quiet, but it's so pretty out here. When I'm not working, I like to go to my family's herb garden and look for ingredients.
Oh, it's open! Come in!
This is Ernie. He's a traveling merchant who likes to buy medicinal ointment from me. I'm glad I can use the plants around here to help people all over. Ernie takes such good care of me, he's always welcome in my home.
Music: Journey to the New World
Oph, horro Fernie! (Oh, hello Ernie!)
Ah, it's as smoky and smelly as always, I see, but eating while synthesizing just isn't proper.
Thorry! I wath juth tho ungry... (Sorry! I was just so hungry...) *gulp* ...Ahh, delicious. The medicine you ordered will be ready in a minute... So, please wait just a little longer.
Uh, thank you. But, it looks like something serious is happening inside the cauldron... Are you sure you should be so calm about it?
Oh, I'm not. It may not look like it, but I'm seriously about to freak out. If I don't hurry, it'll be too late.
I'm so clumsy without my sister around. She always made me focus on synthesizing, so stuff like this wouldn't happen. Now Ernie has to do that, and I feel bad for him...he has his own duties as a merchant, and has to look after me. But he's such a nice guy, he never gets stressed out about it. I hope I'm not too much of a burden on him...
H-How did you let it come to this...?
Well, while I was synthesizing, Pana reminded me to feed her. And as I was preparing straw for her, I noticed how great the weather has been... Then I started wondering if I should do the laundry or eat something first... And then before I knew it, a lot of smoke was coming out of the cauldron.
You're right. Umm, what was I doing before I gave Pana her food? I dropped in all the necessary ingredients... That's right, the medicine was starting to turn gold. Now, to neutralize it for the next step, I need... Oh, where did I put it?
Ayesha, hurry! I don't think it's supposed to smell like this.
It's still okay. This is perfectly normal. Hehe, I'm just gonna eat one more.
Well...I know I should focus on the synthesis, but I'm so hungry today, and I'm a growing girl. I need the food! Ernie's here, so he wouldn't let anything bad happen to me.
Hey, that's ill-mannered! I mean, no food can taste very good with this odor in the air, am I right?
Mo, thaph'snothrue! (No, that's not true!) *gulp* *gulp* Just a bit more... one more stir should do it. Swirl, swirl, there! *cough* *cough* It's done!
Hehe, Ernie's like a mother to me. He takes such good care of me, and I know he couldn't stand it if anything happened to me. I never really knew my own mother and father, so my sister's all I really have in the world. That is, until that day...
Hehe, thank you.
Being covered with soot will spoil your cuteness.
Oh! Um, here's the medicine you ordered.
One, two, three... Yup, it's all here. Thank you, Ayesha. Oh, actually, I also have a favor to ask you...
Really? What is it?
Well, after I put in this order, I got an additional order. Can I ask you for one more bottle?
Sure! If it's just one bottle, it won't take that long, either. Oh, but I might need more ingredients... Okay, I'm gonna go gather some outside real quick!
After that scene, a bunch of important tutorials, but when the time comes I'll be able to cover the important bits in more detail.
This is my workshop. I know it's really messy, but it's home to me. My grandfather I think was the first person in my family to use this workshop. I've lived here my whole life, so I've made sure to take extra good care of it. When I'm not making medicine or gathering ingredients, I like to read these books. They taught me a lot about being a good apothecary, but I've still got a lot to learn.
I always make sure to gather water every now and then. It's an important part of making medicine, and it's good for you! Pana likes drinking water from this well, too.
What kind of Atelier protagonist is Ayesha? Not commenting when next to a barrel? Weak...
Oh, this always brings back memories. When me and my sister were younger, we liked to sit here together and talk all the time. I love my little sister, and it's my job as a big sister to always look out for her. And...she's family. I may be a few years older than her, but a big sister's always got to be there for her little sister.
Unlike the Arland games, you don't gather materials one at a time. When you get near a gathering point, hold down X and Ayesha will be begin picking from it. The game will let you know what you acquired from the spot, and also unlike the Arland games, each material has a specific set of traits and properties, instead of each individual material being different.
Sorry. I'd like to help you, but I'm not familiar with medicinal herbs or synthesis...
Hehe, don't worry. I'm used to this. Now that I have all the necessary ingredients, I'll hurry back and start synthesizing!
This little prompt in the upper left indicates when you've completed an in-game task. For tasks that require several steps, each flower petal indicates 10% of progress toward the completion of the goal. Memory Points are why you want to complete tasks, but what those are I'll explain toward the end of this update.
A big sister's talent
I'll start making it right away.
Whenever I synthesize, I have to consult my recipe books to make sure I don't mess it up. I've done it before in the past, but as long as I'm careful and read it usually goes okay. I'm pretty good at reading what each item can do, so I'll write down what each item does so I make sure I can always make the right medicine.
Of course, I have to make sure I always pick the appropriate ingredients. There's um...four elements that make up each item, according to what I've been taught. I think they were...Salamander, Undine, Sylph, and Gnome. Yeah! That sounds right.
As I put in each material, I'm careful to note how each material will affect the quality of the final item. It would be a big problem if I made bad medicine, but I've been doing this long enough I know how it goes.
When I'm all done selecting materials, I also remind myself how long it'll take to finish. I can't keep Ernie waiting long, so I'll only make three for now. If he needs more, I can always go to the herb garden to pick more ingredients.
There's so much to making medicine! I'm not that great an apothecary, so I can't do much with ingredients right now. But, if I ever did find a really good plant, I'd note how each material changes the final item, or makes it easier to perform synthesis. This is the final step, so I have to make sure I'm happy with what the final product looks like.
This is the typical medicine I make, so it should be easy!
Umm, to be honest, I'm not sure if what I said made sense, but an important part of being an apothecary is having a good idea what you want to make, and what materials you need. My grandfather taught me a lot, but what he didn't teach me I had to learn on my own.
I confirm the delivery. Thank you, you really saved me. Your medicine is very popular in town. Orders just keep coming in.
Oh, really? Hehe...I'm so happy to hear that.
Before I forget, let me give you the money, along with this.
I didn't press X too fast here. For whatever reason, this line is unvoiced in the middle of voiced dialogue.
Today is the day, right? I think Nio liked this candy. Well, I've gotta get going now. Say hi to Nio for me.
Oh, Nio's my sister's name. Sorry I didn't tell you. She's the best little sister ever! She's cute, like a little fairy, she's helpful, and I've known her my whole life. Did you see the flower ornaments in my hair? Nio picked those out for me, so I make sure to always wear them. But, I haven't seen her in three years. Ever since then, Ernie's been helping me out when I needed it.
He's not from around here. He said something about investigating the ruin.
Oh, a visitor? It's rare for someone to come to a remote place like this...
A visitor at the herb garden? It's been abandoned for as long as I've known, but I guess it's a pretty distinctive ruin. I should go see who it is and show them around.
Music: Let's Try It!
Music: Invitation Flower -Spring-
The herb garden is just north of the workshop. It's really close by, so I can make it there in just a few hours. Although some monsters do live here, they don't seem to like the herb garden much, so I'll be safe.
Altugle Herb Garden intro
Music: Sleeping Earth
Yeah, it's a really big ruin. One of the biggest ever found, I think. What plants I can't find in front of the workshop, I can find here. It's an important place for me and my family, and I come here every day.
It's pretty easy to get lost in here, but this is the quickest path to the biggest room in the ruins.
A chance encounter
Music: Cheeks Stained by the Color of the Setting Sun
Pana follows me everywhere I go. She's so helpful, and so strong, too! Who knows what she'd get into when I'm not around, but she's a really nice cow, honest.
This is my sister's grave. I've come here every day since she disappeared, since this is the last place I know she was at. People from the village nearby came and built it in her honor, so I'm really grateful.
I came close to messing up the medicine I was synthesizing, so I had to clean up. It looks like I can't do anything without you, Nio...
Since you disappeared, it's been two...um, three years, as of today. I've been working hard to keep the workshop going. Hehe, aren't you proud of me? Oh, right! I brought a souvenir for you today! It's from Ernie. You liked this candy, right? Oh, and Ernie told me to tell you that he says hi. We need to thank him next time.
Nio, you came out to this ruin to gather medicinal herbs, but you never came back. I had everyone in town out looking for you, but all we found was your herb basket... Everyone said you were spirited away, but I'm still not convinced... I've heard that these ruins sometimes swallow people up whole... But why'd it have to happen to you?
I know I put on a strong face to others, but I'm still really weak. Nio is my little sister, and I couldn't protect her. I still hope I'll see her again someday, but I just don't know. To be honest, after Nio disappeared I got really sad for a long time until Ernie showed up. It's thanks to him that I can keep going today. Someday, I know I'll find you, but I just don't know what to do.
Well, Pana, let's go home. I have laundry to do!
I'll be back, Nio.
Nio!? This...isn't a dream, is it? Nio! Wh-Where've you been this whole time!? I've been worried sick about you!
She...disappeared... Nio? Where are you?
It was only for a moment, but I know that was her! I don't know if it was a ghost or not, but I haven't seen her face in so long!
Huh!? Who-Who are you?
There's no trace of it left... If it lasted a little longer, I could've analyzed it more. Oh well, I guess it would spoil all the fun if this was too easy. But then again, with a glowing flower and a glowing body...it's easy to make an educated guess.
U-Umm, excuse me...
What is it? As you can, I'm very busy, so please don't talk to me.
Umm, but...that's actually a grave... It's my little sister's. ...So please be gentle with it.
Your little sister, was the girl from moments before?
Y-Yes! So, you could see her, too?
So...I just followed your voice. I didn't mean to intrude. Your sister seems to be in quite a predicament. To be living in such a state... This is the first time I've seen anything like that.
Living...? Does that mean Nio is...safe? Is there any way to help her? Oh, and who are you?
Who knows? I am not obligated to tell you anything. Besides, I assume that you're the owner of that workshop, am I right? In that case, shouldn't you be able to come up with at least one solution?
Um...I've never met this man before...why is he so interested in my workshop and me?
How do you know about the workshop...? And I don't have any solutions...
Hm? That's odd. Then you are not an alchemist?
Well, I'm an apothecary. I make medicine at my workshop. I'm sorry for asking so many questions all at once! Please...please tell me more about Nio!
Listen, this is my fundamental philosophy...
If you want to know the truth, then you must study and think on your own. From what I can see, you are capable of that.
Yes. However...it's not something you can blindly jump into. I shall give you two pieces of advice, thought I have no obligation to do so. Take it as my apology for intruding. First, as a means to finding your sister, you must study alchemy.
So, what is alchemy? How do I-
And second, this glowing flower - you must understand it. That is all. Your sister is somewhere you can't reach with your hands. With alchemy, there are a number of different ways to bring her back.
This glowing flower...it does look like a medicinal herb. What is it, exactly?
Oh...! Please wait! I have a few more questions!
He's such a mysterious man...but if Nio is alive, I have to do everything I can to find her. But I don't even know what alchemy is...
The journey begins
I wonder if I can really trust him... This all happened so suddenly... I know...I should write it all down in a diary and organize everything. But first, I need to compose myself. Umm, what should I write first?
As you accomplish various tasks in game, you gain Memory Points, which lets you write down important events in Ayesha's life and hear her take on them. Of course, you have to experience the scene first, but off the top of my head there's around 50 memory events throughout the game, and there's quite a few points to be had. You shouldn't have any trouble having enough points to write down all the memories you run across by the end of the game.
The point of writing down each memory as you get them is the game gives you bonuses for doing so. Here it's a fairly vanilla increase to Ayesha's HP and MP, but the bonuses for some memories are very helpful in making the game easier / funner.
Music: A Flower Blooming Nearby -on orgel-
Nio was There! posted:
I went to the herb garden, as usual, when Nio suddenly appeared. She was exactly the same as back then... However, she soon disappeared.
It seemed like she wanted to say something. Was it a spirit? Or an illusion? No, that was definitely the real Nio. I know it. I mean, I am her big sister after all!
And one more thing... I met a spectacled man in front of Nio's grave. He seemed to know why Nio disappeared, but he wouldn't tell me any details.
However, he told me to look into "alchemy" and glowing flowers and other things that I don't really understand before he left.
But if those things are related to why Nio disappeared, then... No, if Nio is alive and out there in the world somewhere, then there's only only one thing I can do.
I wonder if this is note is okay... I'm sure Ernie won't worry about reading this.
Nio is somewhere I can't reach with my hands, but she's still alive. I don't know how much of what that spectacled man told me was true... But I should believe it all for now. First things first, Maybe I'll go visit the neighboring village. Someone there might know about glowing flowers. But...what should I do after that? I've never traveled before...
Huh? What is it?
Oink moo! Moooooo!
Yeah, you're right. I'll figure out the later things later.
Okay, Pana, let's go!
The journey of a million miles begins...
Music: Mystic Pendulum