Part 12: X-2: Pages of Growing UpPart X-2: Pages of Growing Up
So what does it mean to grow as an alchemist? It means to perform 10 syntheses and win 10 battles. So obviously you can clear this next story objective, and the second half of Chapter 4, very quickly if you don't particularly want to dawdle on this part of the game, which I wouldn't blame you for. But you would miss the opportunity to clear an important chapter's riddles and get a very valuable recipe. So without further ado, let's move out.
For the alchemy part, if you're like me, you're probably a bit below level 20. That's fine, because we have plenty of recipes we haven't made, mostly because there's been no need to yet. As I've mentioned, you get bonus EXP if you make a new item, so because of that, I made an Alchemy Yeast, Wheat, a Danish with Forest Solace / Clever Heal, a Shellpiper Horn, a regular Cloth, and a Meister Tart with those two valuable traits.
I'd also advise taking on some requests from Lisa, because you know you're going to be battling at some point this chapter and hey, why not make a little profit, too?
Unfortunately, even after making almost every item I could at this point in the game, I still was pretty far shy of level 20. So time to grind.
Hey, this was an unexpected bonus from getting some more Water. I can finish another riddle. The other part is making Hay, which we did some time ago.
Luckily, the Basket is one of the very easiest items to get the max Effect out of, because Hay, which, again, you'd made already, fills up the Earth element bar so much.
Lulua, is that a basket?
Yup! Fresh from the cauldron! Hehe. See, with this basket, I'll be able to...
Y'see, with a bigger basket you can...you know what? Forget it. This explanation is waaaaay too technical for an LP. I'd suggest reaching out to your friendly neighborhood particle physicist or nuclear technician, or basket weaver, if you're really curious about the theory.
Wow. Sounds like quite a useful item. ...Hey, Lulua? Did you really make that in a cauldron? With alchemy?
Huh? Yeah, of course. Just mixing like always. You know, using biig, circular motions.
I-I see... I just can't get over how...WOVEN it looks...
I think that scene was meant to go on longer, but eh, recording problems I think. Well anyway...
Lisa's promotion test after a handful of more requests. Luckily, this one is very very simple to complete. We don't know no Stone Coliseum, but we do know...
...How to progress to the next chapter to get Refle to sell a Sunny Crystal. What did you think I was gonna say?
Once more, we're headed back to Arls to get some Mountain Pearls from the National Mine for making Gnardi Rings. That's the highest-level item we can make right now, and so far only Aurel has an accessory equipped, so why not?
Also, Lulua's throwing around her favorite food because I do remember yet another riddle related to using Nostalgic Curry, or at least a curry item, a certain number of times, and luckily Interrupt uses count.
And look at that, it's our first Jeltje sighting in the wild. She sells a variety of materials gathered from the area she's present in, so here she's selling things like Stim Stones, Fuel Dirt, Metal Ore, and Mountain Pearls, for a hefty 240 Cole a pop. Not really worth spending that much money on a single item when you can gather it for free if you have a Pickaxe with Destruction Level 2 but hey, it's there.[ Should also note that any materials needed for a riddle that you buy from someone else counts for completion. Game doesn't care how you acquired an item, just that you did.
After making a couple Rings and a handful of other items, finally we get to the big level 20.
What's up, Mr. Dragon? Something on your mind?
Oh, no... I wouldn't want to trouble you with it.
Oh shush! Now I have to hear it! You know you can talk to me.
...In that case... Since you asked for it. Recently, Paka and Teke have grown weary.
The horses for the Wagon Atelier, in case you don't remember.
They have? I didn't notice at all... Are they OK?
I wouldn't expect you to notice. As I am also a coachman, I could tell by their gait. It is not an emergency situation, but... They would benefit from extra nutrition.
Nutrition, hmm... OK! Leave it to me!
A-Are you sure that's OK? I'm sure you have other business, Nano Master...
Haha, of course it's OK! I owe you one, and I owe Paka and Teke as well. I'll bring something really good for them! Just sit tight. *runs off to get to work*
*smacks TV set* Not the scene I was hoping to get, but luckily, since we reached level 20, we finished Next Step Alchemy. Once you decode that scene, you get the *actual* scene I'm talking about.
Huh? What's wrong, Lulua? Is there something you're having trouble understanding?
Oh! Teacher! Yeah, that's actually exactly it. I'm trying to figure out what these "Boost Items" things do, but I'm totally lost.
Oh, Boost Items? The way they work is...
We haven't found any of these as gatherable items yet, and we can't have made any of them before this scene, but essentially this screenshot covers it. There's a handful of items in this game that have no purpose except to be used in alchemy to alter, in various ways, the Element Point and/or Quality values of the synthesis after all the materials have been selected. Thankfully, you only need to highlight the item to see what it affect it might have on the item; you don't need to go through the whole rigamarole of selecting an item and seeing what it does. Thankfully, much like every other aspect of synthesis, you're only committed to using a Boost Item once you complete the synthesis. Of course, you also have the option of not using any Boost Items and simply making an item like normal.
Are Boost Items necessary? That depends entirely on what you want to do with an item. In most syntheses, it shouldn't be strictly necessary, but just keep in mind what Effects you want the final item to have. Very few items you'll make in the late game have all their Effects as valuable things you'll want. Stuff like switching HP / MP values, getting some minor stat boosts, they're not worth using most Boost Items on. There are the occasional rare cases where you will *absolutely* want to use a Boost Item to unlock some new, powerful Effect at the expense of other Effect bars, and when those come up I will certainly make mention of them. In fact, when I mentioned saving up for something important in Part IX, a Boost Item is what I was referring to. Is it worth 10k Cole? Yep.
If you've played the Mysterious Trilogy, Boost Items are roughly equivalent to the Catalysts if you need a point of comparison.
Oh! That makes so much sense So they're like a super ingredient for use during synthesis?
Yeah, I guess you could put it that way. In any case, they expand your possibilities. If you learn to use them well, it'll be a big step on your way to becoming a magnificent alchemist!
Wow! A magnificent alchemist! I'll start practicing right away! Thanks so much! OK! There's no better teacher than experience! Time to give these Boost Items a try!
Strangely, seeing that scene unlocks your first Boost Item, the Alchemy Activator, rather than it being given through a recipe book or something. Two riddles cleared by reaching alchemy level 20, go figure. Now the only normal extra riddle left in Chapter 4 is blowing up a crystal, which, as I've mentioned, is seemingly impossible before finishing the main story riddles for Chapter 4. Luckily, we're only a handful of battles and syntheses away from that goal.
Not that useful right now, because the materials you have access to right now aren't that good, but the Activator is actually quite handy in the late game when you're not messing with any Elemental values and every point of Quality matters a lot to you.
Four Crystal Rabbits? No problem.
Once Lulua gets her Interrupt upgrade, I'd highly advise switching her to the damage-dealing items, with another alchemist handling healing / buffing items. You can't stack debuffs or stat decreases on an enemy, same as you can't stack buffs from the same source on an ally. But attack item uses over and over again? That adds up to a good time in any universe.
One quarry you may consider hunting is the blue bear in Nearby Forest. It's a pretty meaty enemy of 1671 HP, but hey, might as well, and gives you a break from fighting riffraff. It's the same enemy as we fought back when we first went to Orthogalaxen, so it's not too dangerous right now.
When I went back to Arls, it was November, so I got this scene. All that's required to see it is it being November, for reasons that will become apparent.
Oh! Hi, Aurel! What's going on?
I got this outside. I don't have any use for it, so it's yours.
Huh? What is it? Some kind of flyer? Let's see here... "Arland Royal Fair, Opening Soon. As per tradition, this December, the Arland Royal Fair will be held in the Town Square. Come join the festivities and enjoy a well-earned day of rest with the citizens of Arland!" Really?! I never knew there was a royal fair! It sounds like so much fun!
Hmph. Yeah, I figured you'd get excited. It's an annual thing in Arland. If you're interested, you should go see it. All right. See you later. *leaves*
Thanks, Aurel! Wow. A fair! Haha! I'm already feeling excited! ...All right. It's in December... Must make sure I don't forget!
I won't, Lulua. I won't. After I returned to town, the last riddle of Chapter 4's had been completed, so no sense in putting off decoding any longer.
Hmm, but... Unfortunately, I don't want to overflow into Chapter 5, which begins as soon as you decode this riddle, to keep the OP accurate as to game progress with respect to updates. So that's why this was called X-2, just a bit of an addendum to Chapter 4's main event, which was meeting Stia and getting her to tag along. I feel that having this as part of Part X would have killed some of that drama.