The Let's Play Archive

Atelier Lulua

by Sylphid

Part 1: I. Pages of First Steps

Chapter I: Pages of First Steps

Atelier Lulua OP

Music: Presea (Short ver.)

Music: (Redacted)

Music: (Redacted 2)

Welcome to Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland. Or, going by the translated title as the seiyuus themselves say it on the title screen, "Atelier Lulua: The Alchemist of Arland 4". Outside of NA, the Arland games are numbered, but NISA saw it wise to make the subtitles a bit more unique, and Koei-Tecmo agreed, so here we are.

As for why the title theme names are redacted, well, let's just say I consider the names of both songs a spoiler. There are two title themes: one for when you're just starting to play the game and another once you have Clear Game data. This practice actually started with Atelier Sophie, meaning this is the fourth Atelier in a row to do such a thing. It's nice.

One final note about the title screen is that the time of day on the title screen reflects the time of day it was in the last save you loaded. I purposely changed the time of day to reflect it being daytime, but there are sunset / night versions of this screen. I'll post the other two when the time is right.

Well, with enough introduction, select either New Game or Load Game (and select Clear Game Data and choose "From beginning") to begin the game anew. For the purposes of this thread, I'll be doing a NG+, which in practical gameplay terms for now, just means starting with all the money I had at the end of my last playthrough.

The great work

??? Everything I've done, everything I've learned, and everything I've experienced... I'm passing it all to you. So please! I'm counting on you, Lulua!

Music: Frixell in the Fields

All right, I've got it! ...I think. Now I just need to try it out in practice! But... That is Mom's cauldron... I really shouldn't... But still... All right, no, here's what I'll do! First, I'll go for a walk! And then I'll figure this out afterward! *walks out*

Frontier everyday

Music: Running Down a Familiar Road

Music: Turn the Page

Music: A Kitten's Catnip

Aah, it's so nice outside today! Ah!

It didn't quite record right, for whatever reason, but what happened is that after that previous line, a shadow passed across Lulua, causing her to look up at the sky at...this. You can see the shadow of the bird further down the street from where Lulua is.

It's that same bird again! ...Not that I know what it's called.
Oh, it's Eva! Heeey!

Music: Cradling a Cannon Under the Arm

Say hello to Eva, the childhood friend party member of this game. All the Arland protagonists have had a childhood friend as the first party member, and this game will be no different. Cordelia for Rorona (well, technically, you could not recruit her the entire game. Don't know why you would, though), Gino for Totori, and Keina for Meruru. Outside of those three, though, in the games I'm familiar with, not many childhood friends have made the party member cut. Lotte has one, Sophie has two, Firis didn't have one, and Lydie / Suelle borderline had one. But, definitely a consistent theme for this subseries.

Hey! Hehe, I'm glad I caught you here.
Caught? Did something happen at the orphanage? Did Alf break the plates again?
No, nothing like that. I just wanted to ask you to make a bomb, so...
A bomb?! Isn't it a little early in the morning for that? And why me anyway? You can ask Teacher if you need one.
Mmm, you see... I just want to see you grow?

I just really want to see you grow?
Okay, fine. I'm sure I can manage one little bomb for you! It'll all work out! ...Except I don't have any materials... Hey, Eva... Want to help me gather the materials?

In case it doesn't become clear quickly, Lulua saying "It'll all work out!" or some close permutation thereof is kinda her catchprase. If you're feeling lucky, you can make a count of all the times someone says it, because Lulua isn't the only one who will.

Of course! Shall we get going then?
Let's go! Heh. There's nothing for me to worry about with you here!

Music: Counting on you, Lulua

See? That didn't take long. But we have a little housekeeping to do first...

Changing the difficulty to a reasonable level. In this game, there are five difficulties: Easy, Normal, Hard, Very Hard, and CHARISMA. Difficulty doesn't affect anything aside from enemy stats and money / EXP earned after a successful battle. That said, enemies on CHARISMA have 5x the health than they do on Easy, so it's not a difficulty really meant for starting fresh. Luckily, Very Hard is *just* balanced enough that without carrying over OP equipment on NG+, it's still very much doable. That's what we'll be playing on for most of the thread, bumping it up to CHARISMA depending on the course of events.

Just as small additional note, CHARISMA is unlocked by beating the game once, but since it's saved to the System Data, you don't have to play a NG+ to play the game on it.

As for our status screen, the usual suspects. Container contains all the items you have, with an option for rapidly sorting to find the exact things you want, thankfully. Schedule lists your current main tasks as well as side quests. Equipment shows and allows you to change what equipment everyone is using, including what items Lulua can use from her Basket. Exploration Tools are items that are meant to aid exploration in a number of ways and are equipped / deequipped from this screen. Status shows all character details after you select them, such as their stats or what skills they can use. Guide is the encyclopedia, listing all the materials / monsters / areas in the game you encounter, and Settings is, as you might guess, the options menu. Obviously, not much we can do here now.

...As a side note about the money, I'm keenly aware 999984 is quite a bit, but I'll try to be as honest as possible and not go on shopping sprees whenever I feel like it. I'm not going to audit things or anything, but I'm committed to as closely replicating the experience of a New Game as possible. As to why I didn't just play on New Game? I wanted that nice little timer to be as accurate as possible with regard to how long I've spent with the game. This time reflects two playthroughs worth of work, so a normal playthrough of this game is roughly 40-60 hours, or maybe that's me, the fellow who probably spent more than 800 hours on Atelier games in 2020. Whatever the case, it's a pretty full-length RPG.

But that's it for Arklys just now. In usual Atelier fashion, we have a tutorial trip to a nearby forest-y area. Firis is the only Atelier I've played that *didn't* have a forest-y area for a tutorial area.

Music: Lulua Chasing Stars
Music: Lulua Chasing Stars (Chorus ver.)

And now for the world map. Well, we can only scroll around the southwest portion of it, but more will become available in due time. Like with the title screen, a different theme plays depending on if the System Data has saved at least one finished playthrough.

Forest trip

Music: Lulua Chasing Stars: Forest

Nice-looking area, huh? This game has quite a lovely art style.

Hehe, yeah.
Hey, what's so funny, Eva? Did I say something weird?
Oh no. I just thought that it's been a while since the two of us went somewhere together.
Oh... I guess I've been really wrapped up in my alchemy studies lately... But this just means we need to have enough fun today to make up for--hm?

Music: Something Looming
A puni?! That's not the fun I was looking for! Eva, good to go?!
Of course!

Music: Let's Memorize!

Music: Cross Wind

Gotta have your first battle against a Puni, right? As you might expect, this enemy is as harmless as can be, so let's talk a little bit about battles. In typical Atelier fashion, it's a fairly simple turn-based affair where the first team to 0 loses. There will obviously be more gimmicks as we get further in the game, but these are basics. The bar in the upper left is the turn order, with starting positions in the queue determined by the ally or enemy's SPD stat. Whenever an ally or enemy takes an action, they incur a Wait penalty (or WT as I'm more liable to refer to it as) which affects how soon their next turn can happen. Their resulting position is also influenced by their SPD stat. Generally speaking, the more powerful the action taken, the more WT is incurred. Before you take an action, you can see where the actor's next turn will be as a preview before you decide to make a move.

By pressing triangle when a character is up to bat, you can see their basic stats, as well as a red number in parentheses if that stat has a positive boost or a blue number in parentheses for a negative effect. The right-hand box contains status changes, including buffs and debuffs.

Here, we can see that Eva is currently moving, and you can see where she'll end up in the turn order if I actually end up using Break, her only skill for now.

By highlighting an enemy and pressing triangle, you can see their current statuses, including elemental resistances / weaknesses. Do you see that orange bar filling up next to the Puni's icon? That's the Faint meter. Once you fill up that bar, or an enemy does it to you, that combatant is put into Faint, which is a special status effect. If an enemy gets Fainted, the next attack against that target, as long as they don't recover beforehand, is a guaranteed critical hit and does 2x the damage on top of that than it would normally do.

If one of your allies gets Fainted, they'll be unable to act until a set number of turns goes by, they get attacked by an enemy, or they're recovered via a skill Lulua gets in the future or a healing item with a special trait. The same rules about damage to a Fainted target against an enemy also applies to a Fainted ally.

Actually, since we're seeing this, let's talk a bit about elemental weaknesses / resistances. There are six elements in this game: Physical, Magic, Fire, Ice, Lightning, and Earth. Since they're mostly relevant when it comes to enemies, let's just talk about them. Each notch in a resistance / weakness bar represents the strength of it. One notch of resistance means they'll mitigate some damage, two notches means a lot of resistance, and three notches of resistance means damage of that element type is nullified completely. Of course, for weaknesses, the opposite is true.

Here we see Lulua's Little Vice skill, which is a Physical / Magic attack and hits both elements at once. For attacks / items that hit more than one type of damage at once, resistance / weakness effects still apply. So, because the Blue Puni has no resistance to Physical / Magic, 100% of that damage is coming through from both sources of damage. It also means that, even if an enemy nullifies one type of damage, it does not mean the other can't get through. Very important to keep in mind.

When an enemy is KO'd, if they have a Rare Drop to give you (Plain Water in this case), and you get that drop, you'll know about it.

Strike the Pose!

And the results screen. EXP / money obtained is at the top, and all party members who were available in the fight are displayed here when more join. However, for the time we do get other party members past the fifth, which is the maximum number of allies that can be in a single fight, there's 100% leaked experience in this game, so no need to fuss about that at least.

Music: Toward the Blossoming Flowers

I know! Hm, maybe the gods sent them to make our outing together more exciting?
Eh? That's the explanation you're going for?
Okay... I guess that's fine, then. Er, right, materials.

Music: An Arklys Smile
Oh, Mana, right on time! You also came to help us to... Eh, Mana?!
There's no need to shout. I'll still be Mana even if you keep your voice down, Lulua.

I'm sure...

Mana, what are you doing here?! Haven't we told you many times that it's dangerous to leave the town with all the monsters out here?!
That's right! You should be in the orphanage playing with the other kids!
Hmph. Why should I listen to anyone who panics over a little Puni?
Ngh... So... You were watching the whole time...?
But of course! I see everything! Hahaha! And now, farewell!

*Mana excitedly runs off*

[ There she goes...
Hehe. She's such a free-spirited girl.
I think her spirit could stand to be a little less free! Let's do a bit more gathering, shall we? And hope we find something good!

Notice the similarity between the world map theme and this area's theme? It's on purpose. Like with Totori and Meruru, less unique areas get remixes of the overworld theme based on that area's setting, so here we are with this particular remix.

So let's talk a bit more about the Encyclopedia before we get to gathering. Starting from Sophie, again, Gust has made a real effort to make the Encyclopedia entries more entertaining, so each one features dialogue between the characters about that entry. The Mysterious Trilogy had a strong emphasis on a main character and their co-star (Plachta in Sophie, Liane in Firis, and the twins in Lydie & Suelle) the vast majority of entries had dialogue between them (the latter two titles particularly). Since this game kiiiinda has a co-star, but not until much later in the plot, the encyclopedia dialogues are much more diverse than the aforementioned titles.

As far as this LP is concerned, I'll screenshot entries I find particularly amusing / entertaining in some way, since screenshotting *everything* or transcribing everything would be a looot of work on top of the full-length RPG I find myself dealing with, so we'll have to compromise on that. Another thing I should mention is that monster stats are based on Easy mode.

Like this one. The game handily tells you where a monster / material can be found by putting a red dot on the world map where you can find it, so that helps if you don't exactly remember where you can find a thing. As far as the four boxes in the bottom left? Don't worry about it, for now, but this is very useful information for when it becomes relevant.

Sheesh. It's like Eva doesn't know what she's talking about.

Getting back to work, let's talk Gathering a bit. There's really nothing to it. See those white sparkles on the bush? That indicates a place you can gather from. What materials you get from gathering depends on the thing you're gathering from (such as a rock, a bush, a yellow fruit, etc.) and the location. This bush gave me a Clear Grass. Fascinating, I know. In typical Atelier fashion, once you gather from a spot, you get every item from that spot.

In addition to white sparkles, look for trees with thick trunks and fruit hanging in the branches. That indicates a tree you can smack with Lulua's staff to dislodge the things hiding in the tree. But just be wary not everything that calls a tree its home is a material...

Once you gather enough stuff, you'll get this following cutscene.

Hmm... You're sure this will be enough?
Positive! Now all we need to do is get back to the atelier and synthesize!
Great! Oh, wait... You mean your teacher's workshop, right?
Oh... Yeah. Mom's atelier is, well, Mom's after all! Let's go, Eva! No dawdling!

*Lulua sprints off*

Yes, yes, I know! Wait for me, Lulua!

Let's take the scenic route back, however. Notice the yellow diamonds? Those mark the places you need to go to continue the plot.

Nice bridge. Sadly, we can't jump off.

See you back in town.

By pressing Square while highlighting a non-town location, you can see the Area Guide. Which includes, as you can see, both most or all of the monsters that appear there as well as the materials. I'm not exactly sure why the game decides to ? some entries, but it usually indicates when an enemy / material is unavailable for discovery for whatever reason.

Back home
Ah, you guys look great as usual! Hi Paka! Hi Teke!
Hehe. It is pretty amazing, though, having a horse-drawn atelier.
I guess, yeah! I was pretty surprised at first too! But my teacher has traveled in it all over the world. Now come on in, Eva! I'll show you my awesome synthesis skills!
Coming! *enters the atelier*

Teacher! Synthesis! I'm here to synthesize please!

Oh, it's Mr. Dragon! Hello!

Oh hey, it's one of Totori's Chims. Still..."Dragon"?

...Where's Teacher?
My Master is not here at present. She has gone out to collect some materials.
Oh, okay... I'm a little worried about doing this alone, but it'll all work out! ...Probably! All right Eva, sit back and watch! You're about to witness the incredible synthesis techniques of Elmerulia Frixell, daughter of Rorolina Frixell herself!

Music: Attention, Please
Music: Wagon Atelier

And what would an alchemist in this series be without an atelier? Points of interest here are where Dragon is hanging out, just off-screen, as indicated by that green diamond (which also indicates people you can talk to, generally), the desk there, the cauldron, where all your synthesis is done, the message board, which allows you to save, load, change costumes if you have DLC, or return to the title screen. Further to the right is the couch, where you can sleep up to 10 days at a time. Sleeping has no actual practical effect in this game aside from passing time quickly, which is very rarely relevant. But for now, let's check out the Dressing Room option. Again, this option only unlocks if you have at least one DLC costume. As a preorder bonus for this game, you could get an Atelier Rorona Rorona outfit for Lulua, an Atelier Rorona Cordelia outfit for Eva, and an Atelier Rorona Sterk outfit for a character we'll meet next update. But all costumes have some fun flavor text. Let's check out Lulua and Eva, since they're the only two options right now.

Before that, though, should also note that if you have any DLC the game lets you know right after the above scene ends. Just as well, since this is the first time you could access the atelier and all.

Mom made this just for me! It's the only outfit like it in the whole world! And if it does rip, Eva can always fix it for me!
I made this outfit myself. Actually, I made a matching version for Lulua, too, but I don't think she wears her much recently...

So that's the reason you might have thought before now that Lulua and Eva have somewhat similar fashion sensibilities. Getting back to the atelier, along the left-hand wall near Dragon is where a large treasure chest that represents the Container is, and also just off-camera...

That feels right. Now that that vital business has been settled, let's get to work. Examine the cauldron for the following scene.

Nano Master. Please hurry up, your mixture is going to burn.
I-I know, okay!

So the alchemy screen. If you've played previous games, you should be familiar with the nomenclature here. Lulua's alchemy level determines what she can synthesize. She can't synthesize any recipes that have a higher alchemy level than her current level. A circle next to an item means you can make it right now. An X means you are missing a material and don't have it in your Container. And finally, a triangle means you can make the item, but you need to perform an intermediate synthesis before then.

The five tabs indicate all the items you can make. The first tab lists every item, the second represents Favorites (press triangle on an item to highlight it and make it appear in this menu), the third is all consumable items, fourth is equipment you can make (Exploration Tools and accessories), and the final is Synthesis items, which are vital but nonetheless don't do anything on their own aside from making other syntheses possible or advancing the plot. For now, no need to fuss over things with just three recipes available. Select the Craft to begin.

And here's the main alchemy screen. Even if you've played prior games, you can never count on the system being the same from game to game. Here, it's more or less about balancing elements. First, I'll direct your attention to the boxes in the bottom right. These represent all the Effects a resulting item can have. More complicated items will fill out all four boxes, but just focus on this for now. Purple = Lightning, Red = Fire, Yellow = Earth, Blue = Ice. When you select an item from the menu, you'll get what we'll call Element Points that go into those boxes. Every item in the game has a certain combination of Element Points that go into the boxes.

Do you see the Nuse we're selecting now? Do you see how it has one notch for Fire and another for Ice? When you select that Nuse, a single point of Fire and Ice will go toward filling out those respective gauges. Now, remember I said this was about balancing. Well, do you see how Lightning is opposite Fire and Earth is opposite Ice? That means that if elements conflict, they'll both be added even if they conflict. So, hypothetically, if the Nuse had one notch of Fire and one of Lightning, the net effect is 0 and the left box won't move any closer to filling out either side of the bar. But if the net effect is in one direction or another, it'll go in that direction. So, continuing this example, if the Nuse had +2 Fire and +1 Lightning, it'll get one notch of Fire because 2-1 = 1. Now, if this hypothetical Nuse, used in this Craft synthesis, had +2 Fire and +1 Ice, there would be no conflict, since Ice and Fire are in different boxes. You'd get +2 to Fire and +1 to Ice.

Now, these elements that you see in conflict are not universal. What elements conflict depends entirely on the item you're making, so it may very well be that the actual Nuse in the game will conflict and produce a net elemental effect of 0 for a different item.

Speaking of Lightning, do you notice something strange about that bar, and how it takes little to fill out? Well, in a mechanic that hasn't been around in this series since...Meruru I think, you can fail syntheses in this game, but only in an indirect way. If the final result of this Craft synthesis were to fill out the Lightning gauge, you'll fail this synthesis and produce a junk item as a result. The alchemy process in this game is entirely manual, so you can only fail a synthesis because you caused it to happen. Luckily, if your particular synthesis will create a junk item, the icon in the box will change to that particular junk item, white smoke will briefly obscure the screen, and Lulua will yell, so you have no excuse not to notice it before you pull the metaphorical trigger.

The game is accurate here. Because this more or less entirely scripted synthesis has +4 Fire, we get a stronger Fire Effect.

Before you make almost any item, you'll get this final screen to review everything to determine if everything looks good. And gives me the chance to talk about Quality for a bit. The Quality of an item at this screen is the average Quality of the materials chosen, with a highest possible Quality of 999. Do you see that padlock on the Quality menu? That means the game is barring us from making items above 50 Quality for now, even if all the component parts are >50 Quality, but obviously that will change in the future.

Finally, you can also see how many uses the resulting item will have if it is a consumable item as well as how many of them will be made. Aside from usage increasing traits, there is some method the game uses to determine how many uses a consumable has, but damned if I know how all that works. I say, don't sweat that extremely obscure detail.

Once everything looks good, press X twice to do the actual synthesis and consume all the items in the materials screen to produce another item. The foundation of alchemy, after all.

And finally, the traits menu. For this final step, select the traits you want on the final item. What traits you can carry over depends on what traits were on the ingredients as well what item you just made. So, for example, you can put Destruction Plus on bombs, but you can't put it on Healing Salves. If an item cannot carry over a trait, the synthesis process will helpfully let you know by making the trait name white instead of black, so you know it can't be carried over into the final product.

Since we had a Destruction Plus on the Fest, we can apply it here. What traits you can apply to each item is further limited by the absolute number of traits an item can have (3 is the max and will never change) as well as the TP (Transfer Points). Each trait in the game has an associated TP number, and you can select up to three traits as long as they don't go over the number of TP for that synthesis. For this synthesis, the TP depended entirely on Lulua's alchemy level, but there are TP enhancing traits that, if they're present in the synthesis, increase that number. They otherwise don't do anything.

For the record, the costliest traits in the game take 50 TP to transfer over.

The bombmaker Lulua

And we're done! Not too bad, am I?
Wow, that's so cool! Can I ask you to make a few more, then?
But of course! If I can do it once, I'm sure I can pull it off again! It'll all work out!
Just pop in these materials and stir the cauldron just right, and...! Waaaah?! No way, I failed?! Wait, one more time...
Music: Trickery
Gaaaaah?! Okay, this time I've got it, I'm sure I've got it!

Wow! That's amazing! You really are a great alchemist Lulua!
...After three attempts that caused explosions, and eight more that didn't explode but still failed... Would "great" really be the right word? I am less than certain...
Oh, hush you! I did it in the end, and that's what counts!
Yeah! A round of applause for Lulua, everyone!
...Ahem. ANYway. I've made your bombs for you, Eva!
Thank you! You really saved me, Lulua.
No worries, any time! ...By the way, Eva... What do you need these bombs for?
What?! Oh, um that's...uh, cleaning?
You can't clean with bombs, Eva! Are you hiding something from me...?
O-O-Of course not! Definitely not!
Eva, no one in the world has ever lied as bad as you're doing right now! Now come clean!

And Father Benon took on a request to get rid of it... But, you know. It's Father Benon, so...
...I think I get it. So he's in trouble if he can't beat it. I guess that explains it. Alright! The two of us can defeat that monster instead! But first, to the orphanage! Someone needs to remind Father Benon not to take on requests he can't handle, after all!
Ahaha... Sorry about this, Lulua...
If you're going out to fight monsters, make sure you're fully prepared first. All right, Nano Master?
Yeah, yeah, I know. We'll be back later, Mr. Dragon!

By which he means, equip that Craft you just made. You can do that from anywhere in town, not just in the atelier, but if you're going monster hunting you need to be prepared.

Arklys is a really chill town with great music, so I enjoy running through it every time. But wait, what's that white box on the minimap? Oh yeah, that old couple in front of Lulua compliments the medicine Rorona evidently made for them, so nice to know her skills haven't waned.

Damn. RPG Protagonist privilege has been thwarted...for now.

Lulua's mother

The same as usual, I think. Although, things at the orphanage do seem a little busy.
Ah... Yeah, I bet. But he must do what he must do to take care of the kids...
That's right. I'm doing what I can to help out, you know, but there's just so much going on.
Ahaha. You're doing a lot more than just helping out. Without you, the whole place would fall apart. I want to help, too. Let me know what I can do. Or if I can whip something up, just put in a request!
Ahaha. Thanks, Lulua. What would I do without you? Hey, speaking of which... Is Ms. Rorona still not back?
Mom? Not yet. She's been really busy, too...
I imagine... Your mother is such an incredible person.

Wow, Rorona becoming a mom in-between games. Well, as I said, the exact resolution of Atelier Meruru is not specified in this game, but whatever the canon series of events was, it certainly involved Rorona going back to normal at some point. Because of how "final" the extra ending added to Meruru+ seemed, that one seems the most thematically appropriate, especially since it concluded with a really nice CG of Adult Rorona, Totori, and Meruru hugging.

Umm... I think that might be stretching the truth. Wait. On second though, maybe it's not. Anyway, I'll take care of things until she's back. She's probably going to waltz right into town one day.

Yeah, don't question what alchemists in this series are apparently capable of. That's a loooooong list.

Ahaha. Sounds about right. ...Oops. We let ourselves get a little sidetracked.
Hey! Yeah! We were going to give Father Benon a piece of our minds! Let's go, Eva!
You got it!

Interestingly, if you watch the video, you can watch Lulua strangely wave her hand, apparently gesturing toward Eva. This is a hand movement that only really makes sense in a specific cultural context. In the context of this game, a game made by a Japanese company, this kind of waving is like beckoning toward someone to approach the waver. For more information, look up "Maneki-neko" on Wikipedia.

Gentle home
Wow, these vegetables are huge! I bet they'll be ready to eat soon!
Yes. Thanks to the fertilizer your mother made for us! The vegetables are growing extra fast, and get very large indeed. Alchemy is amazing.
Right? Alchemy and Mom are both amazing! ...But never mind that! We came to tell off Father Benon!

Hello? This is the Armster Orphanage, how may I--
Look, it's Lulua!
Lulua, Lulua!
Lulua! It's been a while since you visited! How have you been?

Don't you "how have you been" me, Father Benon! I heard from Eva that you've taken on some crazy, dangerous quest!
Em... Oh, well, I don't know about that..
You're not fooling anyone! ...First Eva, now you, why won't anyone talk to me about things like this!
Use your head, Lulua! They just don't want you to worry about them!
Well, I figured it was something like that, Father Benon, Eva and I are going to go take care of that request for you!
What?! No, you can't possibly! They say it's an incredibly powerful monster...
You're the one who took it on in the first place! But we'll be fine, don't worry! It'll all work out! Come on, Eva! Let's go show that monster the power of alchemy! *peaces out*
Ahaha, I can't use alchemy though... Well, we're going to head out then, Father Benon.
Uh, right... Be careful out there, girls. I don't want you getting hurt...

Yes. But Lulua? Father Benon's right, we should really be careful.
I know! But you're here, so we'll be fine! And anyway, I'm an alchemist! Onward we go!

You get a funny micro scene if you try to go back into town. Apparently Lulua can sometimes lose track of her whereabouts every now and then. Probably not important. Anyway, the road to Fellsgalxen is right through a stone archway right in front of you as the above scene ends, can't miss it. It's the only location in the game that can be accessed without having to go to the world map first to travel between areas.

The ancient ruins

Music Shu Shu Waltz: For Lulua 1

Whoa...this place looks pretty neat. Also the music sounds pretty familiar.

So there you go, that's the lore behind Arklys. Apparently word got out a lot faster about interesting, unexplored ruins than the fact there actually wasn't much to explore. At least, no ability to explore beyond that big, apparently impenetrable door. Though, it's implied Fellsgalaxen is a *lot* bigger than what we see, so maybe there was more interesting places to see elsewhere.

Let's see... This is where the monster is supposed to appear, right?
Yes. That's what I've heard. It could show up at any time, so stay on guard!
You too, Eva! Now let's go in!

While there are crates and little crystals you can smash to get some new materials around here, but there is certainly not much to see yet. Go after the bat at the far end of this walkway to begin the next scene.

Reckless quest

That's the monster we're looking for...right? It...looks a lot stronger than I was expecting...
Yeah... What do you think? Should we just run now?
...No, we'll be fine! With my skills and the power of alchemy, I'm sure we'll make it! So bring it on monster, it's time to fight!

Hmm...considerably more powerful than that Puni. Hopefully we'll be fine, though.


That certainly ended poorly for us. This update has not gone well.

Yeah... Um... It'll all work out!
This is not the time for imitations!

Music: Axis
T-t-t-teacher! M-m-miss P-pianaaa!

Piana? Can't be the same...nah, we'll worry about that later.

Or it could be. Totori and Rorona's student has grown up quite a bit since Totori first visited the Eastern Continent, but as I said, we can save the introductions for later.

Yes, yes, I'm here. You're all right? You haven't been injured?
Y-Yes! Nothing but scratches here!
Good, I'm glad to hear it. Now then, Lulua. Want to help me give this thing a taste of its own medicine?
Yes! Please let's, Ms. Piana!
All right then! Lulua, Eva, let's go!


Let's uh...just say Piana's a lot stronger here than she should be and leave it at that. Nevertheless, Piana and her two rescuees will make short work of this thing, no matter the circumstances.

I am your savior indeed. Just what do you think would have happened if I hadn't been here, hm?

Music: Primula: For Lulua

I think we can safely say that you and Eva would have been terribly injured, at least. Do you understand, Lulua? You are still only on the first steps of your study of alchemy. I understand being excited to try out your skills... But you must know your limits. Do you hear me?
Yes, Teacher... I'm sorry...
If you understand that, then it's fine. You did it to help someone, and I can't fault you for that. But you should thank Father Benon. He's the one who came to find me and tell me about this monster situation, after all.
Oh, really? We really made Father Benon worry then...
But this happened because he accepted the request in the first place, so I don't think you need to feel too bad, Lulua.
Yes, very true. Just take this as a lesson for next time, and learn from your mistakes. All right?
Well then. Now that the monster has been removed, I'll be going home! What about you, Lulua?
Oh, I'll stop by the orphanage first. I really should thank Father Benon...
I see. Take care, then! I'll see you later.

*Piana leaves*

Ahaha, don't worry! You're just starting out, I'm sure you'll get much stronger! You want to go by the orphanage, right? Why don't we go quickly before more monsters show up?

*Eva leaves*

Awwwww. You can do it, Lulua.

As for that door, well, there's nothing to do with it for now, but you can guess from the minimap there are things beyond it. Let's see if we can get a sneak peek...

Nope. You can kinda see an opening, but we already saw that on the minimap. Guess that's a mystery for another day.

The first step

Music: For the Long Night Ahead

Oh, but today isn't over yet! There's still time for something great to happen!

That was...odd. I thought that screenshot came out okay when I took it.



*Cuckoo-clock noises*

There's something written here, but... I can't really understand what it's saying. Eva, can you read this?

Music: Water, Please

Let's see... Huh? Come on Lulua, are you making fun of me? This book is blank! What would I be reading?
Huh? That's not true... Yeah, the later part is blank, but look here! It's covered in writing!
...? It's still blank, Lulua...
Huh, that's really weird... I can definitely see words here...
*walks away a bit* Are you...sure you're feeling alright? Oh, yes, you did just get hit on the head! How about we forget about the book for now? Want to have dinner at the orphanage tonight? We're having curry!
What, really? Of course I will! All right, curry night! Wohoo!
Ah, wait, Lulua! We haven't made the curry yet!

Music: Kindred Spirits

(It was in that exact moment that my life had changed... Or, I should say, was changed... By the book that appeared before me. When I look back on things, I think... Probably that was the exact moment when my life as an alchemist really began. And so marks the "Chapter of Beginnings". The very first time words were woven over those blank pages...)