Part 3: III: Pages of Underwater FriendsChapter 3: Pages of Underwater Friends
Our new friend seems a little tense. Ignoring him, we'll proceed onward. The Eternal Spring is your first three-part location, which you'll notice as you get further in the game is a hallmark of areas with unique music. As far as this place goes, there are valuable materials everywhere (well, at least for this part of the game), so you'd be well-advised to gather a lot.
As far as enemies go, you'll have birds, Blue Puni, and Isle Fish, which are pretty meaty for this early in the game (again, on Very Hard). Unfortunately these things love AoE attacks, so they can quickly melt through an unprepared party. This includes mine because I forgot to equip Healing Salves before I left. Highly embarrassing.
Luckily, Aurel is quite strong and these things are weak to Physical attacks, so they don't have as much HP in practice as you may think.
Unfortunately, even with a Rare Drop, they still won't give us Fish Whiskers. Looks like we really need to find these alleged Guardians.
That chest in the distance contains Adventurer's Clothing, which is an upgrade to either Lulua or Eva's starting armor. It's up to you as to whom to give it to, but I suggest Lulua, since she'll always have a fairly poor DEF stat compared to most other characters.
More of the same in the second area. Just make sure you don't fight a lot of Isle Fish, since even if Aurel is quite powerful compared to the girls, he isn't invincible and too much fighting is bad for your health. Oh, since I mentioned too much fighting, I'd just like to note that every party member joins the party at a certain level, and don't receive EXP that was awarded when they weren't in the party. There never should be any particular need to grind EXP in this game, so for the sake of party members to come, don't fight too much and get EXP only your existing party members will benefit from.
Or, you might prefer to for whatever reason. That's the beauty of a game with no time limits. As for me, since I'm on the second-highest difficulty and getting that sweet multiplier, that means I'm going to be a bit more highly leveled than the game probably thinks I should be. Finally, when you cross into the third area, you get this scene.
Yeah... I didn't see any monsters that looked like they could be Guardians...
I'm not really sure what's going on here, but what makes you think that "Ancient Text" can be trusted? It's just a book that suddenly fell on you out of the sky, right? That's got to be some kind of fake...
*sigh*... You'll never get anywhere thinking like that, Aurel! Nothing good comes from doubting everything! Those who believe will be saved! And if you believe, things will work out in the end! Somehow! You have to stay positive! And it'll all work out!
That's my Lulua! Hehe, go Lulua!
*sigh*... It looks like I made my request to a real character here... Well, whatever. So, these Guardians, wouldn't they be lurking underwater somewhere? They've got to be some kind of fish monsters to be the Guardians of this place. Which means it would make sense...
Yes, that would make sense... What do we do, then? Do we go fishing for them?
Yeah, fishing is a great idea! But we'd need a pretty strong rod if we're going to catch a monster, so...eh?
Something the matter? What are you making noise about?
The "Ancient Text" is glowing... Ah! Yes, yes! Here it is! Look, here!
...It's a blank page?
What, you can't read it either?! Uh, well, a whole new section of text just appeared! And it looks like it's about how to make a fishing rod and bait! Though I haven't figured all of it out just yet...
Wow... That books really does come to the rescue whenever you're in trouble.
Well, this may be true so far, but it certainly can't be helping poor Aurel's opinion of Lulua's sanity.
Yeah! Now we just need to go decipher this page, and then I'm sure we'll be able to find a Guardian!
Let's hope it's that simple..
I said, we're going! Do your best, everybody!
Well, "gather at the waterside" sounds easy enough, but Alumi Rabbits? Haven't run across any of those, but I guess we can keep looking.
Well, we already knew we were looking for Guardians, but the reference book seems to be in reference to something at Refle's shop. Well, sounds simple enough to make Aurel's item once we've made that fishing rod / bait.
See? Easy enough to find the Green Bamboo, especially considering this log is right in front of where you enter this area. Now, once you get at least one of this material you're fine, but there is something else we should gather before we leave.
Ointment Water, which can be found in tree stumps full of water. These things have a super valuable pair of traits on them, Clever Heal and Forest Solace. Clever Heal restores MP / Faint (making it one of the very few traits to do so), and Forest Solace bestows an automatic HP / MP recovery that triggers upon an affected party's turn. The effect isn't amazing this early in the game, but this is pretty much the best healing trait you can get for some time. Make sure you get at least some of these before leaving and returning to town, since we have no further business at the Eternal Spring before returning to town.
One final note about this area, but I should mention going forward, is that once you reach 50% of an area's travel information, enemies get marked on the mini-map, but most importantly, treasure chests are also marked by an icon on the mini-map. 100% doesn't add anything more, so there you go.
Nghhh... I haven't seen or even HEARD of a monster like the one the Ancient Text is describing. Maybe there's someone I can ask... Oh, wait! Lisa hears all kinds of stories. I bet she knows!
One second... Here. Take this note. That's where I've heard it lives.
Thank you, Lisa! I knew I could count on you! You're the best!
Hehe. Well, they don't put me in charge of all the requests in Arklys for nothing! Speaking of which... Lulua, have you ever considered taking care of some requests?
That's right. The way they work is... *tutorializes* And that about sums it up.
Very nice... So if I complete lots of requests, I'll have all kinds of good things to look forward to!
Precisely! We'll get you started with some easy ones. Take care fo them whenever you have time. Thanks, Lulua!
Performing the Task!
So, requests. They've been in every Atelier since Rorona and this one is no different. It's a pretty simple process. You take a request from Lisa, you fulfill it, then turn it in for financial compensation / occasionally some materials. Battle requests you fulfill by defeating a certain number of the target monster, material requests by handing over items straight from your Container, and synthesis requests you have to make something, but be wary that occasionally synthesis requests will require the item to have a certain trait or Effect, so keep that in mind if you want to finish the job. A few details about requests in this game.
First, you can only have five jobs open at a time and unfortunately that number will never change. No request has an expiration date or failure condition other than simply canceling a job once you've taken it on. There are no penalties for canceling jobs.
Second, suffice to say but there are other towns in this game with request-keepers that you can take jobs from. For the vast majority of requests, you can take on a job from one town and turn it in to another, but some jobs are special and require fulfilling the job the same place you got it from. Those are quite rare, though.
Third, materials and synthesis jobs have quality gauges next to them. If you hand over higher quality items, you'll fill the gauge all the way and get more rewards depending on the collective quality of the materials handed over. For example, this highlighted job requires three Snow Stones to complete. If the total quality of all those Snow Stones is 60 or greater, you'll get an additional 100 Cole. Simple concept.
Finally, as you can see she's not handling much and the jobs she does have are quite simple. After taking and completing a set number of jobs, you'll be offered the chance to increase the rank of requests you can take. Do those as soon as possible to get more difficult jobs and bigger rewards. There is quite the benefit to increasing a job board's request level the whole way, but that's for many moons from now.
By the way, the game advises the wise strategy of taking on jobs you know can't be completed overnight simply because
you'll encounter that monster / material in your travels and otherwise need to complete it before progressing the game. This is certainly correct. The one request I've accepted here is for defeating Alumi Rabbits, which, as you've noticed, we need to continue the game and don't otherwise show up until talking to Lisa just now.
And while she wants Healing Salves for this job, keep in mind it says nothing about *use counts*. So feel free to handle over items with 1-use left and suffer no penalty. If the client wants items with multiple uses remaining, it's their problem to specify that, is how I see it. For this part of the game, you'll want to fulfill requests to earn enough money to buy the recipe book from Refle needed to make Aurel's item. She may be an old friend but she is running a business, after all.
After you see the above Lisa scene, Alumi Rabbits begin appearing in the Empty Neighborhood. Because they're weak to Physical damage, they're about as harmless as can be, but make sure you get some Rabbit Fur from them. In addition, if you're on an actual New Game instead of trying to run a pretend one like I'm doing, the Alumi Rabbit request from Lisa is good for 200 Cole, which is a nice chunk of change for Chapter 1. The riddle portion only requires the death of one rabbit, but stick around to complete that request while you're here. May just come in handy. Once you defeat an Alumi Rabbit and gather at least one Green Bamboo, return to the atelier for this coming scene.
I've got a feeling that right now I'm ready to solve this riddle! To the desk, Lulua! I can do this! And it'll all work out!
Again, just remember you have to examine the riddle entry via the book on the desk to technically solve a riddle. We did just that.
Huh...I must have completely forgotten where Hard Potatoes grow to make the bait (it's a necessary item for the Fishing Rod). Well, it does grow in the Empty Neighborhood, but if you don't feel like going out...
One of the merchants in the Town Square (marked by a white house icon) sells them for a very meager 10 Cole. I think we can swing that.
Focus, Lulua. Focus.
Anyway, nothing special about making the bait, then making the Fishing Rod. Getting Item Quality Up XS is basically irrelevant; the increase in Quality is very minor. As you'd expect, really.
Though, I guess now that I have them, it doesn't have to be just a Guardian that I catch... There is plenty of fish in the sea, as they say!
Well...they do say that, yes.
Casting your fishing line out into the water, seeing what will bite... It's so exciting! I really look forward to this! Now we've got ourselves a date for some Guardian-fishing at the "Eternal Spring"!
I'm not sure if it's strictly a requirement for the Guardian scene coming up shortly to actually have the rod you just made equipped, but the Fishing Rod is the first Exploration Tool you'll make, and you get a tutorial after that above short scene. Exploration Tools are basically items you make that aid your searching out in the field, although there are others that don't strictly do that. It includes some bombs for blowing up hard rocks or fishing rods to get fish. I'll demonstrate fishing after our business with the Guardian is done, but just remember to equip Exploration Tools or they won't do anything. There's a separate menu for Exploration Tools as opposed to normal items like Crafts or Healing Salves, and for whatever reason, you can't carry over Tools between playthroughs. Go figure. Maybe just because you'd be able to sequence break this early game sequence if you could carry over a fishing rod between playthroughs.
Once your preparations are finished, go back to the third area of the Eternal Spring.
All right! Let's try this out! *begins fishing*
Alchemists are an eccentric lot, aren't they. I never thought she'd just make her own fishing rod... I suppose this is the power behind Arland's progress... Hehe, maybe asking her to do this job wasn't such a bad thing after all...
...There, a bite! I've got something! Rrrrrrhh...gotcha!
It sure seems to be, but...it looks really strong! And really angry, too!
Wouldn't you be angry if you were caught on a fish hook? No need to worry, though. An enemy like this won't cause any trouble for me. I'll show you the skill of the one who one day will be named the greatest of swordsmen...!
So this poor creature has all the same techniques and general fighting ability of regular fish, which is to say one single target and one AoE attack. Aurel is right, however, that he'd more or less be able to completely solo this thing if necessary, which, unless you're on CHARISMA, really should not be happening. This is just a fish with a bit more HP. Nothing more than that, really.
Eva's Land Crush, which she gets at level 10, gives a nice chance of inflicting Slow, and Aurel's Edge of Light can inflict Seal status, which prevents usage of some of the enemy's skills. Obviously not all of them, because that would really embarrass any boss that could be Sealed later on. But, again, there's really nothing to this fight, so feel free to use this opportunity to play with Interrupts a bit while you whittle down this guy's health.
Aurel is recoving MP because of Lulua's Tribloom skill, which is her level 10 skill. I don't think this is a skill that scales with any of Lulua's stats or her level, so even at the early game it's only *kinda* useful but later on is entirely useless.
Yay, we finally have our Fish's Whiskers.
Ya... Ahem. Yes, of course we won.
Heh, look at you trying to act cool. Now then...
Awww, poor thing. But don't worry.
Ah, don't worry! We're just going to take one of your whiskers, OK? *plucks a whisker*
Bye-bye! Sorry for dragging you up here!
...Hehe. Well, it looks like we found the "Fish's Whiskers". So now...?
Yeah! Now I can decipher more of the book, and find out how to make that item! We did it--er.
No, it's nothing! Nothing at all! Time to get back to the workshop, chop chop!
Ah, Lulua. Wait for me!
This girl never stops, does she? Hey, I won't be responsible if you get attacked by monsters when you run off alone!
Now that we're here, it wouldn't be amiss to do some actual gathering here, which of course includes trees. We STILL don't know what animal laid the Some Egg, however, and we probably never will.
So, fishing. Really quite simple. In Lydie & Suelle, this was a timing based thing, where you had to hit the right button when a ! appeared over your alchemist's head to catch a fish. It's simplified in this game such that all you have to do is cast the line, then you'll fish up what you will. What you get depends on the rod you're using and the area you're in. The rarest fish you can get here is the Butterfly Fish, but it's something at least. You can only fish a certain number of times until the spot is exhausted, though, so keep that in mind. It respawns whenever you leave the area and return.
Oh, and if you somehow canceled getting the Fish's Whiskers from the previous fight, you can fish more of them up from this spot. In addition, 4/1 is a pretty important date in the Atelier series, since many of the games actually start on this date. Not this one, though, but it does mark the 1-month "anniversary" of Lulua's adventure beginning.
So the birds around here are resistant to Seal, and whenever you get a Resist pop-up when you try to inflict a status effect, it means the enemy is 100% resistant to what you tried to inflict. Miss means it was a chance-based thing that missed, so just keep that in mind.
So the nice thing about Faint is that you can easily cause an enemy to lose its turn if you stun it in time, and as long as you don't attack it, it won't recover. At least for a small bit. It's also important to remember that just because you activated an Interrupt, doesn't mean you have to use it. While it doesn't matter much this early in the game, remember to use those Interrupts wisely, especially in a situation like this where you can cause the enemy to lose its turn before you attack it.
Hits that reduce an enemy stats, such as what Aurel is doing here, are different, though. They're not status effects so the enemy can't resist them in the same way they can resist actual status effects. Not even the most powerful enemies in the game can resist parameter or level debuffs, so use that appropriately. But it should be noted you can't stack debuffs, or that'd make this game way too easy.
But, that's all our business today. Keep in mind that there are two materials that won't spawn here until later in the game, but that won't be for a bit, so don't worry about it as our world expands. Defeat the Guardian and return to town for this coming scene.
It wouldn't hurt to ask, right? *runs off*
Well... I was wondering if maybe you have any recipe books for sale?
Sure do! They're not easy to come by, though. You might find them a little expensive.
Expensive? Like how much? ...Wh-Whoa. You weren't kidding...
Sorry. Recipe books are quite valuable items. Of course, they're valuable because of what they teach! I'm sure you'd get a lot out of them, Lulua!
Wow, when you put it like that, I feel like I should buy the whole lot. ...OK. Let me have a talk with my wallet, and we'll get back to you.
I'll be waiting right here. Stop by anytime, Lulua.
Let's Master It!
Well, 300 isn't much, actually. As I mentioned, Alumi Rabbit requests go for 200 Cole, and as long as you haven't gone on any big spending sprees, buying it should be no issue. When I went to check on Lisa's requests, she had another Alumi Rabbit requests, and the thing with requests is that a new batch of them comes up every 10 days, but since the initial selection of jobs here is so limited, Lisa will always have the same three jobs at this point in the game. Once you're ready to buy, do so to continue the game.
This music plays whenever you go back to the Atelier with a recipe book.
And after nearly two updates, we can finally make Aurel's item.
Now I can make the item for Aurel's request for sure! Hehehe. All thanks to my "Ancient Text"! Who'd have thought it would keep getting new sections... It may be even more of an amazing find than I thought! That's my reward for keeping up the good work everyday, I guess! All right, I've kept him waiting for a while, but now I can finish Aurel's request and hand it over right away!
Another reason why making multiples of an item is almost always a complete waste is that for a lot of synthesis items, you make multiples of them anyway. For more advanced stuff, though, or normal items, you do only make one at a time, though. Still not worth sacrificing traits for, however.
So in addition to an item's normal categories, you can add new ones to some items, including the Resin here, by maxing out an Effect bar. Obviously this doesn't apply to every item, but it's always nice to have more synthesis categories to put things into.
Well, we've kept him waiting for nearly a month on this thing. Let's hope Lulua's poker face can keep him from finding out she had no clue what to do with this thing when she accepted the job. Or it got shoved in her face. Whichever.
The talent of an amateur
Huh, nice work. It looks even better than I expected. Not bad for an amateur.
Who are you calling an amateur?! And I'll have you know that job was a cinch for me! After all, I am Rorolina Frixell's daughter, an incredibly talented...
You don't have to hide it, you know. I can tell anyway.
What?! Urgh... Why...
I mean, you were so desperately trying to figure things out from that "Ancient Text" of yours... And you don't actually know what this item is used for in the first place, do you?
Hmph! Of course I... Of course I...don't...*sniff*...
Hah! Well, maybe I'll tell you someday. Anyway, you helped me out in the end. Here's your reward. *hands over, let's say, 500 Cole*
Wait, isn't this a little much?! Is it really all right for me to take this?!
Think of it as compensation for asking so much of an amateur.
I'm going to be around this town for a little longer. So let me know if you're venturing out somewhere. I'll lend you a hand. Heh, if I just leave an amateur to fend for herself, who knows what might happen.
Ngh, stop calling me an "amateur"! Just you watch, I'll be a pro before you know it!
Haha, big words! I'm looking forward to it, Lulua. See you around, then.
Yeah, until next time, Aurel!
I was really worried there for a while... I never expected a request like that to turn up out of the blue... But I did it in the end! And it's all thanks to this "Ancient Text", I guess... Hm? It's glowing again?! Maybe another new section showed up! ...! There's something written on the inside cover...? Uh... "To the future's most promising alchemist, I entrust this "Alchemyriddle""...!
And it called me "the future's most promising alchemist," too! Heh, hehehe...! Maybe this book is a present from someone! And since only I can read it, it must be a present for me! Hehehe! If I just keep studying and figure out all these riddles... *puts Alchemyriddle away* I might really become as great an alchemist as Mom someday! YEAH, I know I can do it! All right, I can do this! I can do it! Be a great alchemist like Mom! Yeah!
I'm back! What's going on here, Lulua? I thought I heard you shouting about something...
Ms. Piana! You've got to hear this! So, right, the other day...!
(My heart's been enriched by so many new encounters and discoveries. If I had never met Eva, or Piana, or Aurel... Or if I had never found "Alchemyriddle"...I'm sure I wouldn't be here today. And so marks the "Chapter of Encounters". A happy time made up of many new meetings--)