The Let's Play Archive

Atelier Lulua

by Sylphid

Part 11: X: Pages of an Important Person

Chapter X: Pages of an Important Person

We begin an important update with a Lionela scene, which shows up after you take a handful of requests from her. I'll just go ahead and mention this now because typically any scene that takes place at a request-holder's place of business has to do with number of requests from them completed, to cut down on repeating myself. Life on the road

Lionela!!! You're amazing!!
Yeah... I might be repeating myself here, but seeing you dance brings meaning to my life. Hey, li'l missy, you agree with me, right?
Oh no, I totally get it! When I see Ms. Lionela, it gives me energy!
Huh? Lulua?! Y-You were watching?!
Yes, of course! And I love the wey you dance, Ms. Lionela!
U-Ugh... When you're smiling that brightly... It's embarrassing.
Oh, here we go. Lionela's the easily embarrassed type.
But... Haha. She's gotten so much better since she started this place.
Hehe, you may be right... When I compare how I am now to how I used to be, it's like night and day...if I do say so myself!
Huh? Have you changed that much?
Yeah, well... When I was a kid, it felt sooo embarrassing to be dancing in front of people... But if I didn't dance, there would be no money. There were definitely days where I was living off roots and leaves.

And I needed to be able to dance in front of people. I had to put food on the table somehow! So I got used to dancing in front of people. Even though I do still get very embarrassed every now and then...
Haha. But because you had those experiences, today you're the Arland's Queen of the Stage!
That's so touching, I think I'm going to cry...! Lionela, you really hung in there, didn't you...
I see... Ms. Lionela, you became Arland's favorite dancer because of all the effort and hard work you put in!
Ugh, don't praise me so much... I'm going to get all embarrassed... *cough*! Even though I just finished one dance. I'll do anothe rone, specially for you guys! So don't you dare try to get me all embarrassed again! Got it?
Yeah! Getting to hear about your past, and to watch you dance one more time... Today's a special day for sure! Ehehe! Go Ms. Lionela!!

Lionela's gotten crafty lately. Quite a development for her. But now, moving on to our business, make sure to register the Barrel Bomb, if it has good Effects / Traits, to Dragon. Also call that a hunch. Blastpowder Barrel inflicts Fire-attribute Magic Damage, which is a little strange in that a single attack can be two different elements at once, but it's not the only one. It's still strange, though. But, it's still a decent amount of damage, so let's keep. Blowback knocks back an enemy's turn, as you might expect, and Engulfing Flames lowers SPD by 20% for three turns and has a chance to cause Burns. Definitely a big upgrade over the normal Bomb.

Our first adventure takes us to the Golden Plains. Why? We have a Puni to hunt. Golden-haired girl

Hm? Is that you, Mana?!

Oh, you didn't know she makes trips across the continent? Well, now you do.

Huh? Ohh, hey there! Haha, I hope your travels are going well.
Don't you "hope your travels are going well" me! What in the world are you doing here?! You're incredibly far from Arklys! You certainly didn't come here alone, did you?!
Ahaha! I most certainly did! I have a lot of things I need to look into!
Ahaha... You sure do seem to appear in unexpected places and at unexpected moments, like a ghost or something...
But even ghosts have their limits... What would happen if you got attacked while you're out here?

Sure, it is a little girl saying this, but there's no doubt she made it all the way here from Arklys. Maybe there is something to her.

However... I'm sorry for making you worry. I didn't mean to. Anyway, I'm done here. I'll probably head back now...
Oh, really...? Will you be OK? We could take you back to Arklys.
Oh, no-no. I already told you I'm fine. You should just continue your journey, Lulua. Oh, by the way, I picked this up earlier. You can probably use it in your alchemy.
Th-thanks... Oh, wow! This is pretty useful. You know your stuff, huh, Mana?
Sure do! What kind of person do you think I am? Hehe, anyway! See you later! *runs off to lands unknown*
There she goes... Hmm... Mana...
I guess it's best not to think too hard about it, huh? I mean, I was all over the place as a kid. Kids belong outside! It's definitely best for her to be out here enjoying herself! Ahaha!
Hmm... But I don't think being outdoors is the problem... I can't help but worry... *sigh*...

On the one hand, it's colored gold. On the other, it's a Puni in an early game location. I'm sure we'll manage.

Yet another enemy with annoying Physical resistance. But this time, we have lots more firepower, especially with Ficus in tow. Realistically, you could have probably beat this even before Ficus joined, it just would have been a lot harder and not particularly necessary at the time either.

Remember that Eva's Flare Bastard hits enemies with two element types at once, so she's a bit more useful than Aurel would be here.

That's what I'm talking about.

Why am I using Tribloom when, as I've already mentioned, it's not a very good skill? I do remember that there's a riddle entry related to using it, that's why.

Nice arm.

The real prize for killing the Gold Puni, aside from defeating such a silly creature, is getting more Gold Puniballs. After this fight, I went around and beat up rabbits, because I took that job when we were still in Chapter 2 and I still haven't finished it yet. Keina's probably worried about the status of that one. Luckily, even though they still have that annoying Corner Missile attack, they're a lot less dangerous now.

Might be hard to explain to the kids how they got that new annex to the orphanage...

It's like Lulua's talking to a child here.

Not dragons, but Draco. There is a big difference, apparently. After returning to town, we have a scene. As one might suspect. Try try again

Hey, Lulua!
Oh, Ficus. Come on in!
Heh, sorry to disturb you. Were in the middle of work...?
Ah, yes, I was. Working on some items for a client.
I see... Hmm... Say, Lulua... Could you show me some alchemy? I was thinking that magic and alchemy had some things in common. Especially the way you create items...
Ah, well now that you mention... But magic and alchemy aren't the same. Here, I'll give you a really good example. Hehehe!
Oh yeah? OK, show me then.

Hahaha! That was a nice little effect!
Ugh, I failed... It would be the one tiem I have to work in front of Ficus...
Hah, you don't have to worry. You know what they say? "Failure is the mother of success". Basically... Even when you fail at something, you've still taken a step in the right direction. You know you have a lot of potential, Lulua. Don't worry about it and fail as much as you like.
A step in the right direction... When you say it that way, I do feel btter! Thanks, Ficus! That really did make me feel better!
Hahaha! That's good! A step in the right direction is all very good, but your reaction to a failure is much more interesting as well.
That strange voice, plus the face you made afterwards...

Don't give him any ammunition next time, Lulua. Nobody needs that kind of commentary.

FICUS!! I can't believe I gave you a compliment! I won't be falling anymore! You just watch!
Haha, oh really? I'll be watching and waiting! Hahaha!

Hopefully we can class things up a bit with Mimi at the Parliament building. A noble presence

Yes, of course. What's up?
Mimi... Um... Mimi How... Mimi Hyoo...
It's "Mimi Houller Von Schwarlank".
Yes, that. Mimi Julio von Shortspank. Whatever. Correct me if I'm wrong, but... You're a noble, aren't you?

Something very strange going on with the spelling of Mimi's full name in this scene. It's obviously wrong (Schwarzlank should be Schwarzlang), but she also gets the "Houller" wrong (should be "Houllier"), so it's not just a single letter being off. Even more mystifying is that the text got Mimi's name exactly correct in the prior update for her first scene. My own thinking is that whoever translated this scene got mixed up between Lulua butchering her name, which is the gag, and Mimi attempting to correct her.

Oh, busted, hmm? Sussed me out, eh? Well yes, I am a noble. I am from the glorious Schwazlank [sic] family!
Ah, I thought so! The way you speak and carry yourself... I knew you were some kind of noble or something!
*pops out from behind a sign* Hehe. I mean, it's not like you're a snob or anything...

Noble or not, it doesn't change anything. Regardless of my family's name, I'm still me. I mean, unless you feel like I really am a noble, Lulua... Hehe. That comportment is splendid and graceful!
Oh, you're just oozing confidence...! You really are amazing, Mimi!
Right? Hehe, you can praise me more, you know?
Ehehe. Mimi you're pretty cool! Wonderful! Keep it coming! So if I imitate you, Mimi, I wonder if I can become all refined like a noble...?
Hm, I don't know about that? I think if you hang in there and really do your best, you'll be OK... What do you think? You want to put yourself to the test?
Oh, sure!
Hehe. Well, then. We'll start with the way you stand...

Mimi seems to be having a lot more fun lately. That's nice.

I think it's high time Lulua finally got an upgrade, don't you? And yup, Awakened Effects can also be applied to weapons, though the applicable ones are different, so keep that in mind and choose wisely. Beginner's Luck raises both critical hit rate and overall damage by a small percentage. Here is 3% and...3%.

Haha, indeed, indeed. A friend of mine used a staff as well. So I guess... Alchemists can't use anything but a staff?
No no, it's not like that! It's just... Staffs are useful for stirring the cauldron. And they're good for fighting as well!

Indeed it's true that alchemists use a variety of weapons in this series. Of course, every female Atelier protagonist (so, all but one of them) can use a staff, but they've also been known to use guns, bows and arrows, mechanized limbs, books, swords, ship bells, brooms, magical rings, and probably more I'm forgetting. And that's just from Rorona on.

Oh, so it's just that you're used to them? I get that. Alchemists aren't like warriors, charging forward. You mostly stay on the back lines, right? So the staffs we make are as light and easy to use as possible.
Ooh, that sounds good! Thank you, Cole!
Sure. That kind of thing is the mark of a real blacksmith. I feel like you could say this to any alchemist, but... Be careful getting ahead of yourself. I've never met an alchemist who wasn't a bit of a foolhardy, hasty kind of person!
Oof...not much I can say to that! I'll definitely try to be careful!

And now it's time to make a set of tarot cards for a man who is definitely on the level, Ficus Finis. Arcana of Luck increases max HP and restores a certain percentage of HP on a hit. For Arcana M, it's 5%. Video of this scene because I find it amusing. Card games

Huh? Didn't you make this, Cole? It's a card. A card.
Oh, you're right. Yup, I see now. I definitely made this. But...isn't it just a normal card? It's just a little sturdier than usual. Can you really fight monsters with this? What kind of superhero uses cards?
Um, well I wouldn't call him a superhero. More like a superweirdo.
Hah, well that I certainly believe! Nobody but a weirdo would use cards in a battle!

The protagonists of numerous card game battling series would like to have a word.

Haha! He's a magician. He uses the cards for tricks or something.
Wow, magicians sure are something else. I best keep my mouth shut. I reckon! This has been an education. Takes all sorts to make a world, doesn't it?

Hahaha! I guess I am, Lulua! *sigh* Maybe I should do something more interesting than smithing...

Hey, steady employment's gotta count for something.

Back on the road, we headed back to Arls so we can get closer to the ACTUAL plot business this chapter, and while there, I completed a few more requests from Keina and got this short scene. No transcript because it is so short, but it's basically telling us that the "Job board level up" quest is now available.

Hey, no spoiling future locations, Keina. I won't take this for now, just so I can pretend I don't know when the Modis Ruins will be available for exploration. We can't get Ghost Houses anywhere else we can currently explore. But thankfully, that was the only business we had in Arls. I want to get back to the main plot, too. We do have a nice scene upon arrival in Arklys, however. Confession

Here are your vegetables! That'll be 120 Cole.
[ Thank you, Eva. Ahh, these veggies look good.
Hahaha! I'm next! Hmm... What should I get...
Hehe! Take your time.
Ah, I will, I will. Though I must be really lucky, you know? The day I stop by is the day you're working!
Oh, that's lucky...?
Yes. To be able to talk with the most beautiful, talented, and smart girl in all of Arklys!
[ It's true. You're certainly going to have a lot of marriage proposals coming in soon. Speaking of, I heard that the heir of Brauglass has decided on a bride. Could it be...?
Ohh, our Eva marrying a duke? Well wouldn't that be something!
Ahh... I'm sure that would be something, but I'm not really interested... Besides, I really want to focus on what's important in my life now. And I already have someone I like...
[ Oh, is that so?! Please forgive what I said earlier.
You're right, Eva. It's best to follow your own path. Sorry for what I said too...
Oh, it's fine! Anyway, I must be off.

Lulua! Were you listening?!
Ahaha, I was just passing by, actually, but I was really surprised... I can't believe there's someone you like...! Who is it? You gotta tell me?

Oh my. So forward of her.

Come on... You already knew that...
Ahaha, you're so funny, Eva. You know that's not what I mean...! That's so like you, though. Anyway... Good luck with your work!

What...? But I was serious...

Come on, Lulua. You'll have to recognize her feelings sometime.

Haven't seen this place in a while. As always, the yellow diamond is your way forward. Door to the future

Eh? Mana?!

Man. She just seems to be everywhere when the action's happening these days.

Oh, it's really her! Mana! Get away from there! This is where all of the monsters come from!
Oh, it's fine. Those monsters are no match for me. More importantly, Lulua... Are you really planning to destroy the door to Fellsgalaxen?
Um, well, yeah, but... Why do you know about that?
Hahaha! Of course I know! There isn't much I don't know!

Boy, this girl... She's had quite an update already.

Ahaha... I see...
Anyway, let me ask you something, Lulua. Once you travel beyond these doors, your fate will be forever changed. Your journey will be hard and dangerous. Probably.

...Yes, of course I will! There's no way I can turn back now! I will destroy this door and go inside...! And protect my mother's atelier! I will do whatever I must, no matter what fate awaits! I will never give up!
Hehehe... Ahahaha!! Well, that sounds like you, Lulua! If so, the best of luck on your journey. Oh, and one more thing. Take good care of the other one you'll find there. Farewell! *leaves Lulua to her own devices*
"The other one"...?
Ugh... I'll be only wasting time trying to think about it. Some things Mana says just never make sense. Well, everyone. Let's blow that door up!

Now that's a plan I can understand. The Thing in the Ruins

This should do it...! Go!!!

Wow. That's some serious firepower...! Wow, Lulua! You're amazing!
Heh-heh, right? Now we can go inside!
Hmmm... I wonder, what waits us beyond?

Funnily enough, the characters are all looking through the hole in the door and can see what's inside that room right now, yet still talking like there's a large cavernous passage ahead. Let's just roll with it.

Will a dragon pop out? Or maybe snakes? Or will it be something else altogether...
Looks like we're going to have go through to find out. OK, everyone! Keep your wits about you!

*everyone walks inside*

Music: She's a Latchkey Kid


A girl...?!
...It's really been quite a while since I've had any guests. Well, this way, if you please.
Wh-What...? *sits down to drink with the girl*
Here you go. It's not an expensive tea, but...
Oh, that's so courteous of you... Um...
You just smashed down the door... You're quite violent people, aren't you? ...But it has helped me out some.
Helped out...? You mean to say, you've been locked up in here all this time...?!
Yes, that's right... For several hundred years or so. Though it was my own blunder that landed me here, so I had to suffer the consequences.
Se-Several hundred years?! Wh-What are...

I'm with her. This story is only getting weirder.

...Stia. Please call me Stia.

Sure is cute sounds like she has some explaining to do.

...St-Stia...? Um, my name is Lulua...
*stomach growls* Oh, pardon me. I haven't had anything solid to eat in quite some time, so my stomach is mighty noisy.
Um... So that means you're hungry, right? Why don't you come to my place? It's dangerous to stay around here, and... I've got so much to ask you, Stia!

Nice to know Lulua is more or less nonplussed by all this. So far, at least.

Alright. If I can get some food, certainly.
Great! Then...

This seems to be acting up more often lately.

Good to meet you, Stia!
You too, Lulua.

Finally someone talking sense around here.

Oh, whoops, how embarrassing. I haven't made the Artisan's Key yet. We will soon, though, as what's in this chest is quite important. But we'll get back to this. This poor girl needs some calories in her. Stia

*finishes eating* Heh... Thank you for the meal. This food you call "curry"... It is quite delicious.
Hehe, right?! Because curry's the best food in the world!
The best food... Hmmm... I need to make sure I input this.
Input...? Hey, um, Stia... You said you were locked up in Fellsgalaxen... For several hundred years. Is that true?
Yes, it is true. I found myself entirely without power, and so I lost the authority to open the door.
Authority...? Power...? What do you mean?
Oh, I hadn't explained it yet? Forgive me. I'm the Operator of Fellsgalaxen. My proper title is GX-III, Stia Fellsgalaxia. Does this help?
No, not at all.
Hahaha! Well, while I don't really understand what's going on... I understand well enough that you're one strange girl!
Uh, when even Ficus thinks something is strange... My condolences, Stia.
Hm... I don't believe I said anything that can be considered strange. ...Well then. This must have been a fated meeting. I do have a bit of a favor to ask of you, is that all right?
A favor? Of course! What kind of favor?
Thank you. You see... I must travel deeper into Fellsgalaxen. For a long time now I wasn't able to continue with my duties. I believe it must be in quite a...dire state.
Dire?! Th-That doesn't sound good...

Uhhh... Let's...just ignore that.

Just like when you came into my room.
I see, I see. If that's all it is, leave it to me! It's fine, totally fine! I'm sure I can take care of it for you! It'll all work out! Let's destroy that door as quick as we can!
Hehe, great. I'll leave it to you, Lulua.

So there's definitely stuff to say about Stia and her role in this game's plot, but I'll save it for the end of this update where it'll make a bit more sense.

Yeah, sure seems that way. Mana, too...


Gotta love an item where you have the only Effect it offers as long as you don't fail the synthesis itself.

Huh? You made a...key?

Precisely! With this key, I'll be able to open any locked treasure chest!

Lulua's kind of exaggerating here. Those rusted-looking chests? This key can open those, sure, but the fancy chests like what we saw in Settler's Road? It can't do anything about those. We've only seen one of those so far but I assure you, there are more.

Wow. Sounds like quite a useful item. But, um, Lulua... Have you ever thought about who left them there and why? And locked them, besides that?
... M-maybe we should just avoid thinking about it! It doesn't really look like they belong to anyone anyway!
O-okay! You must be right! It's no big deal!

One needn't feel any hesitation about opening them and making use of their contents.
Uh... Chim Dragon? Who are you talking to?
To myself, apparently. Hehehe...

I'm sure...

But moving on, remember when my hunch told you to register that Barrel Bomb? Amazing how those work out so well. I'd advise buying two of those, one for use as an Interrupt item and another to blow up the other door in Stia's room.

But of course, I couldn't leave this hanging. Although this is a normal alchemy item, it's pretty obviously intended to be used for one purpose, and that's what we're gonna use it for. Don't even think of touching this until then. It does show up as a Rare drop from an enemy in the future, and also as a material you can gather from a late game location, but both of those aren't for a bit and also a bit inconvenient. I can explain more later, once we've finished all of this chapter's riddles.

Time to blow the house down again. Roadblock

Lack of safety precautions notwithstanding, that...wasn't supposed to happen.

Well, it went kaboom, but... You didn't destroy the door.
Wha-Whaaat?! Huh?! Why?! Again!! *places three Barrel Bombs against the door*

Not even a scratch.

Hmm... It's no good. See? This door... It's not the same as the other door. I think the bomb you used isn't powerful enough. We're going to have to figure out another way to break it down...
N-no way...! Uhh, uhh... I'm sorry, Stia...
Oh, no, it's all right. It was my fault to begin with... Still, this is quite a pickle. If we don't go to the control room soon, I can't really predict what might...
Hmm... Another way, we got to find another way...! I'll figure it out, I swear... *Alchemyriddle glows* Oh! The Riddle is glowing...! Could this mean...?
Yep! Hehehe. This book is called "Alchemyriddle". It unleashes all kinds of alchemy-related secrets! Whenever I'm having a hard time, it always saves me! Probably... As I thought! A new chapter just appeared!
Hahaha! Such a kind book, isn't it, Lulua? So, what's written in it this time?
Um... What?!
W-What's wrong?! There's nothing terrible written there...?!
It's so different from the usual... I can't understand it at all... Hm.. Hmmmm...
Oh my... Nothing like this has happened before, has it?
No... Ugh, wonder what's wrong.
...Hey, Lulua. Think it might be time for a tactical retreat? Monsters are bound to pop up, no time for solving riddles!
Good idea. Let's see... Alright, let's go back to the atelier. I'm sorry, Stia... I'm not good enough...
No, don't worry about that. It's probably fine for now.

For now...

Seems like Stia's holding something to herself, but doesn't seem like we're going to get it out of her today. An Important Person

Lulua, I'm hungry. I want to eat some curry.
Yeah... I want to eat some tooooo... But I still need to decipher the-- Huh? There's something written in the corner. Uh... "To the future's most promising alchemist. In order to make that flower bloom, you must travel the world to hone your alchemy skills.
Huh...? Meaning... "You lack experience, so go see the world and improve your skills"?
The way you said that! Well, that's what it means, so...
Hmm. Which means... Deciphering "Alchemyriddle" still requires a certain amount of skill. And you need to study first before you'll be able to do it. This "Alchemyriddle" is actually rather reliable, isn't it? Ahaha, you may not even need your teacher anymore!
That's not true at all! My teacher isn't some old book, it's you, Ms. Piana!
Ahaha, you sure know how to say something someone would like to hear. Anyway, what are you going to do?
Hmm... It's true that I don't have enough strength to do this yet... I thought just destroying the door would increase the atelier's reputation, but there's a lot to do afterwards as well... Even though this may take some time... For the atelier, and for Arklys... And for me, and for Stia, too! I need to travel the world and improve my skills!
...Is that so? Well... In that case, I think there is nothing left to say. And as your teacher, I shall go with you!
Me too! I'll go anywhere with you, Lulua!
I can lend you a hand. It's not like it's ever going to be boring when you're around.
Ahaha! Of course, I'll help, too! Lulua... I must see your improvement with my own eyes!
Thanks, everyone! Then, we should get going. Stia, sorry, but do you mind waiting a bit?

Why, I'm pretty tired of sitting around in that room. It's been ages since I saw the world outside, and I want to see it all!
Ah, that's a good point. Hehe, well then, let's do it! It's decided, then! A trip with everyone! To polish my alchemy skills! ...Yes. and if you're all with me, it'll all work out! I'm going to become a great alchemist like my mom! Yeah!

Everyone: Yeah!

Classic Stia.

Everyone: Hahahaha...!

(But, looking back, I understand that this was one of the most important events of my life. One that entirely changed the path of my future. After this, we talked and talked... And grew closer and closer.I think this is what people mean when they say "destiny". Stia and I were always meant to meet. And so marks the "Chapter of Destiny". A knot of fate tying us together...)

So, Stia. Obviously the Lulua who does these end-of-chapter narrations (even though this isn't the end of Chapter 4) knows more than we do about Stia's relation to the plot, but it's from this point on that Lulua becomes incredibly emotionally invested in the future of a person she's known for a very small amount of time, mostly because the plot kind of has to revolve around her, but that will certainly become more evident as to why that's the case.

It's mostly because of Stia that I think Lulua was a bit cut down from the original vision? Maybe that's too harsh a way of phrasing it than what actually happened, but even though Lulua and Stia's relationship is a huge element of the plot, you actually don't see them interact very much in extra scenes. Stia only really shows up in the main story and all of her development is there. I kind of get the feeling there was meant to be more scenes developing her character and her relation to Lulua, but for whatever reason those scenes never really made it to the finished product.

My personal feeling? There's a lot of times you just kind of have to accept things in fiction that it works because it could not be any other way, or explaining it in painstaking detail isn't necessary or helpful. Like, take the alchemy system in all these games. Throw a bunch of vaguely related items into a pot of Mystery Liquid and out pops a new item is how it basically works in all of these titles. How it does that? Answer is, who cares. It does. That's basically where I am with the Lulua-Stia thing: you'll just have to accept that it exists or the rest of this game's story will not make sense.

Do I wish there would have just been a lot of small scenes between these two to flesh out their relationship? Of course. Anyone would want that. Sophie did what I'm talking about nicely; there are a number of scenes in the atelier where Plachta and Sophie just talk about things that have nothing to do with the story, but are nonetheless valuable for fleshing our their relationship and their characters. But I still feel that, even regardless of those scenes not really being there in this game, it's not something to get hung up on. Lulua just really really likes Stia and would do practically anything for her.

In addition, there is a benefit to the plot now that Stia is here. If you haven't noticed, there doesn't really seem to be any overarching conflict or dilemma that needs resolving in this game. Rorona had saving her workshop, Totori had finding her mother, Ayesha had finding her sister, etc. All of these games had in common an objective your character was focused on from the start that drove the story. Before Stia joined the plot this update, the story more or less ground to a halt between story beats, like when we returned from Arland after getting permission to open up Atelier Lulua. With Stia, it's definitely not initially clear what the problem that needs resolving is, other than opening the door to the depths of Fellsgalaxen, so this game has a bit more intrigue as to what this hundred+ year old girl's problem is than a typical Atelier plot has. It's an interesting case study in storytelling in the opposite direction than previous games went with. How well it works, well, that is up to you when it's all said and done.