The Let's Play Archive

Atelier Lulua

by Sylphid

Part 18: XV: Pages of Pure Water

Part XV: Pages of Pure Water

I didn't want to break the flow of the end of Chapter 6 with a gameplay note, but thanks to clearing Chapter 6's storyline, we now have Rorona on-call as our penultimate party member. Like Lulua and Piana, Rorona is an Interrupt user and can use items, so she's extremely useful. She has a number of other tricks up her sleeve. I wouldn't normally make a video of this scene but Stia is extra cute in it. Something different

Woo! I think I made some progress. Fellsgalaxen's secrets are getting closer...
Lulua? Could I ask a favor?
Oh, sure. What's up, Stia?
Would you come with me to my room in Fellsgalaxen? I've run out of my special tea, you see. The leaves that were oil-smoked for centuries...
Oh, er, I see. Sure... But Stia, I'm pretty sure I've seen you drink normal tea...
Ah, that's such a small matter. Like the difference between Puni and Puni Puni.
Huh? Are you OK? You're being a bit...strange. Well, anyway. I guess we should just head for Fellsgalaxen?
Yes, indeed. Lulua, you are wonderfully wise.

OK! OK! Give me a moment! Something is definitely weird...

Well, something definitely wrong with Stia, but it is pretty cute, so I'll let it slide for now.

And here, already, is the namesake of this update: the Quelei Forest. This was another location in Meruru, and was the major location representing the northern route from Hart Outpost where Trombe Plateau represented the south. In this game, it is a very valuable location to unlock pronto.

Like with the previous chapter (well, Chapter 5, but it doesn't feel like we've started Chapter 7 if you ask me), most of the riddles are oriented around a big location (the Ancient Monastery, already explored) and an unlocked location, in this case, the Quelei Forest. The one kinda-exception to that is Object Imbued With Divine Power, which requires reaching the Monastery and defeating a certain number of ghost-type enemies. Obviously, it wasn't worth doing this one until we finished with our plot business at the Monastery.

Rounding out the list is Wild Meat Dish, which requires acquiring Fresh Meat and defeating an ice bat, which we haven't encountered yet. But, do you remember that location we unlocked via that note in the Old Blocked Tunnel? The location that riddle unlocked, the Rolling Winds Cavern, has the bats good for this riddle. Sounds like it's time to get to work.
But before even that, let's do another costume run-down. We haven't done one since update 1, have we?

Clothes I had made to order for a long journey. Sturdy yet light, they breathe well, and are easy to move in. Hehe, the perfect attire for one such as myself.
These clothes are an arrangement of the traditional garments worn in my homeland. While respecting our culture, they also incorporate elements of cutting-edge fashion. Pretty remarkable, I think you'll agree.
The honest, straightforward clothing of the traveling magician, Ficus Finis. The lining is replete with a myriad of hidden pockets! Not that I have any time for trickery or duplicity, mind you!
It is an honor to only the greatest pirates to be permitted to wear these clothes! Admittedly, they are a little short on coverage, and it can get kinda chilly, but still...!

I get it Niko, I get it. Pretty much nobody but Aurel and Ficus here are even remotely dressed for winter weather. Let us start at Sunrise Cafe. A chef's weakness

EH?! I-is that you, Wild?! *runs in*
Ngh... I...
Wild?! What happened, Wild??
*drinks in a fade to black*
Well, I'm glad it was nothing serious... You scared me half to death, you know? It was such a fierce cry... And all because of a few chili peppers...
You really saved my skin there, Lulua. I was caught completely off guard. I didn't think this thing I got for the new menu would be this spicy. I thought I was going to burn and die...
W-was it that bad? Oddly enough, this only makes me more interested...
Oh, really? Well then, here. Have a taste.
OK! ...Hm? Wild, I don't think this could even be called spicy.
Really now... Hmm... I guess I just have no tolerance for chili peppers...
Wha... Really?! I thought you chefs weren't that picky about your food...
Well, I can't fight you on that. Chili peppers are the only thing I can't handle though... Back when I was a chef in training, I tried this really, really spicy chili pepper. Ever since... Ugh... But now I need chili peppers for the new dish. Because the new dish is, wait for it... Curry!

Hehehe... You're in luck, Wild. I'm a master when it comes to curry!
Wow, Lulua. I've never seen this side of you before.

Ohhh... In that case... Care to put your curry where your mouth is? A contest against my new dish?

I think Lulua puts her curry where her mouth is all the time. It's one of her things.

I would love! I'll be right back with the best curry you've ever had! Hehe, just you wait!
Yup! I'll be waiting with an empty stomach! Haha!

Surprisingly enough, this isn't a quality item quest. I'm pretty sure any Nostalgic Curry will suffice for this quest, but I didn't know that when I got this scene. But it's hard to forget a cooking contest, so we'll get back to this eventually. The Truffle Queen

Wow! You have a good eye, my lady! Take one bite, and you'll be hooked! This mushroom is super pure! Lately this item has seen a rather steep jump in prices at the city markets, but... For you, I'll give it to you for the special price of 1000 Cole!
What, a Pure Truffle for only 1000 Cole...?! That's so cheap! Um, I'll take--
Oh, it's Mimi!
That Pure Truffle... I'll take it for 10,000 Cole.

Wow, Mimi throwing that dough around. Guess that's Arland royalty for you. She must love these things.

10,000 Cole?! C-Certainly! Sorry young lady, but it's a deal.
Hehe, thank you. Yes, this will do nicely.
Ah, wait a second, Mimi! I was just about to buy that Pure Truffle!
Sorry, Lulua. I know that was pretty underhanded of me. But guess what. You're never getting your hands on this truffle.
N-Now just wait a second! What are you going to do with that truffle?

Y-You burned it?! W-What a waste! What are you doing?!
It's fine! That mushroom deserves to be erased from this world! It brought me much shame many years ago... Auuughhh!!!
Th-That woman...those eyes... O-Oh! Don't tell me! You're the legendary person... Who goes from place to place buying up all the Pure Truffles...! The Truffle Destroyer...?!
Hehe, who can say? But if you get your hands on any more Pure Truffles, let me know. I'll take them off your hands. Until all of the Pure Truffles are gone from this world...

*marches off with pride*
Th-That was pretty intense. I'm in a cold sweat just from that transaction...
Yes... But I refuse to back down! One day, I'll get a Pure Truffle of my own...!
Is that right? Hehe. Well then, I'll help you out. If I do get any Pure Truffles, you'll be the first person I'll talk to! And with that, the Truffle Alliance is born...!
The Truffle Alliance... Thank you so much! We have to make sure we don't lose to the Truffle Destroyer. Let's give it our all, OK?

Well, whatever. If I start caring about it, I've already lost, yeah...

In fairness, this was a pretty curious tale. So if you're wondering what the normally so calm and collected Mimi was doing in this scene, this too dates back to Atelier Meruru. There's a series of scenes where Mimi dropped by the atelier to indulge in Meruru's hospitality. Of course, Meruru, being Meruru, had mushroom dishes prepared for her.

One of those scenes involved Meruru cooking with a Pure Truffle. This particular mushroom causes the eater to abandon all pretense and deception and be perfectly honest about their feelings. As Meruru pointed out, it had no effect on her because she's always so straightforward about her feelings. But for Mimi, an entirely different story. Because she was eating with Totori, she started to get very emotional and longing for more intimate moments with Totori, including sleeping in the same bed as her and bathing with her. After Mimi discovered what she had been saying, she went absolutely to pieces about it, and made Meruru swear she'd never cook with Pure Truffles again or reveal what she said. Apparently, that promise simply will not be sufficient, so Mimi has to be more proactive in eliminating these mushrooms from this world.

That's quite a lot to take in, so let's head back to the trusty Wagon Atelier. Teacher in training

Yes, of course. What is it?
Um, about hwo to tell the difference between these ingredients...
Ah, about that... *explains*
Oh, I get it! Now I understand!
I'm glad to hear it. Just let me know if there's anything else you want to know.
You know, you really are something... I'm not really that great at studying... But I always understand perfectly everything you say. It just proves that you're an excellent teacher! Ahaha! You never cease to amaze me!
Hmm... I suppose I'm not a bad teacher, but... I still have much to learn about teaching. I know somebody who knows even more than I do. You know her quite well, actually.
Are you talking about Ms. Totori?
That's right. She's really something. She was my alchemy teacher.

She is quite impressive! She's good at making even difficult subjects easy to understand. That's why I model my teaching style after her. She is what I aspire to be!
Oh, I can see you're quite passionate about this! Hmm... Teaching style, eh? I might have apprentices of my own in the future. I suppose I'd better start studying now.
Ahaha. Yeah, that's probably a good idea. Besides, teaching others helps you review things for yourself. Also, if you ever a learn a great teaching technique, be sure to share it with me.
Ahahaha! Sneaky! OK, I'll be sure to let you know. Oh, that reminds me. There's something else I wanted to ask you.
Sure, what is it? OK, for this, you're going to want to...

Don't insult your mother like that, Lulua.

Lulua seems awfully big for an Atelier protagonist in general, Guess all that curry got her to her growth spurt ahead of schedule. But now, it's time to hit up the other towns for other scenes that spawned because of the change in chapters. The armor

Haha, it's no problem. I'm happy to help you. Plus...

Eva's been kind of scary since the whole diary incident...
Haha... I don't really mind it myself though, really. Thanks again for the help!
No problem!

*Benon leaves*

What's this box? I've never seen it before... Well, it's probably some old junk anyway... Whoa! Wow that's heavy! *opens chest* What on earth is in here? Huh? It'
Is something wrong, Lulua? We're not infested with bugs or anything, right?!
No, nothing like that. I just found this black armor... Is this...yours?
Ah, no, it's not! Haha, it must have just gotten mixed in with our stuff somehow. I'll deal with the armor, so could you take a different room, Lulua?
...? Oh, sure...

*Benon takes off again*

Hmm. He's definitely acting weird. And then there's what I read in the diary... *flashes back*
"Honestly, I don't want to fight. I'm more suited to taking care of the orphanage than I was to adventuring. When I'm with the kids, all the pain in my heart is healed. I hope I never have to put on armor again..."
So if Father Benon used to be an adventurer, and wore armor... That armor must be his... Hrmm... I wonder if there's something in his past he wants to hide from us...

Waah, Eva?! I-I'm not, I swear! Aha, Ahaha... *gets back to work*
Oh, Lulua... Doesn't she know that everyone has one or two things in their past they don't want anyone to know...

The plot thickens... But that's all for Arklys for now. Excepting, of course, continuing the story in Fellsgalaxen. Arls has a bit more going on. Meruru and mushrooms

Huh, a mushroom?! By mushroom, you mean...mushroom, right?
That's right. Like the kind you find growing from the ground.
I...see... Of course...
Yay! See if you can get a big, cool one. Mushroom, mushroom ♪ I'm excited!
(Hmmm, a mushroom...? Well, whatever. Sounds like she's really lookingi forward to it... I have to fetch her the best mushroom I can find.)

And luckily, I had more than a few Eicheloa on-hand. So Meruru's obsession does not need to wait.

Oh, wonderful! This is a really nice mushroom!
You can tell from a glance how strongly and proudly it was rooted into the ground. The cap reaching up to the splendid sky. Striving to envelop as much as it can beneath its spread... Yes, this is a really great mushroom! You did an awesome job to find a mushroom as good as this one, Lulua!
Uh...huh? I humbly accept your compliments... Um, Ms. Meruru. Why did you want me to bring you a mushroom?
Why? Because I love mushrooms!

Oh, heh. Cat's kinda been out of the bag about Meruru's love of mushrooms in this thread, though.

So, Lulua... If you see any interesting mushrooms out there, bring them to me! Please, please, please?!
O-okay. Understood... (I didn't realize Ms. Meruru had this side to her... She loves mushrooms, huh... Hehe. They make her eyes shine... But I guess people are popular for reasons like this too.)

But now we have another Meruru alumni to check in with. How to make money

Oh, really?? Hehe! All right, let's hear it!
Well, let's see now. In order to make money, I must sell a lot of my products, yes? And to do that...! I have to gather more products that people want to buy!
... Huh? That's not quite the reaction I was expecting.
Ah, sorry, it's fine. I mean, you're not wrong. You're on the right track. Actually, I was thinking something similar. Arls has a lot of monsters in the area, right?
Yes, this is true. Everyone seems quite troubled by it.
Exactly. That's exactly what I mean. What if you start selling items that can be used against monsters?
Ohh, that makes sense! If I were to sell those items, I could certainly make money...! Hehehe! You're absolutely amazing, Lulua! Brilliantly clever...!
Ahaha, thank you. Anyway, the fastest way to get rid of monsters is...

Hmm... Bombs... I've not heard much about bombs in Arls...
Hmm... In that case, I'll make you some! I'm actually pretty good at making bombs!
Oh my, is that so?? In that case... If you don't mind, dear...?
Sure! Just give me a moment, Ms. Pamela! *runs off to make more WMDs*
Certainly! Do take care, dear...!

Luckily, it's not a huge order. She just wants a single Barrel Bomb, quality irrelevant. Well, the monsters near Arls aren't too dangerous by this point in the game, so I could see those being pretty valuable.

Oh, Lulua! I was hoping you could take this request for me.

Man, everyone wants a piece of Lulua lately.

Oh, sure I can! What kind of request is it?
I'll need you to do a little hunting. A monster has appeared in the nearby forest.
I see... Sure thing! We'll just...

Oh, Ficus?!
This monster might have its reasons, too. I think we need to find out more before we exterminate it.
But... We can't sit back and do nothing.
Do not worry. We can just drive it away for good. No need to kill it! And the person who's going to prepare it all is...Lulua here!
...Yes, of course I will. I knew you'd palm this off on me. Umm, something that will drive away monsters... OK, I think I got the recipe. I'm pretty sure I can make this. Once it's done, I just need to give it to you, right Ficus?
Yes, that's right! If you can do that for me, I'll take care of the rest.
That would be a great help! Thank you! Thank you so much, the both of you!

Ficus wants a special item: the Exorcism Incense. Luckily, I don't think this either is a particularly pressing issue. As long as we don't go hunt the monster (you can't, so this point is moot), I'm sure he'll have nothing to complain about. I think Pamela's request should come first.

Oh me, oh my...! Thank you, Lulua...! Hm... So this is a bomb you made... I wonder what its blast strength is...
WHOA, wait a sec! What're you doing, Ms. Pamela?!
You were about to use it! You do that and I can't guarantee our survival!

Says the girl who exploded three Barrel Bombs while standing like 5 feet away.

Oh my, yes you're right. Apologies, my dear. I can't believe I was so careless...
Isn't that just a little too careless...?
Hehe! Well, don't you worry, dear...! In any case, with these bombs...
People shoudl be able to get rid of the monsters in the area. Which means...
I'll be able to make money...! Hehe. Thank you, Lulua!

Uh... Well... I don't know about all that...
Oh my, really? That's no good, my dear! You must keep your dreams big...! Well, in any case. Let's get these settled into the shop, shall we...! *begins to stock the shelves*
*sigh* Now Ms. Pamela's shop should be able to at least make some money... I better keep an eye on her, though...
That should do it...! And now, I Just need to gather more items that can be used against monsters...! Hehehe! I do hope that more customers show up soon...! I'm absolutely thrilled...!

This plan can't miss. Absolutely.

Welcome to Quelei. So why is this location so important, why we needed to unlock it, pronto?

First off, as I mentioned, this place is very good for riddles. One is for beating up one of the rabbits around. Like almost all of their ilk, they're weak to Physical and Fire, the two easiest elements to hit at this point in the game.

In addition to the rabbits, that dragon in the back there is good for another down the line. Draco, excuse me. Apparently the difference is very important, or so I have been told.

Unfortunately, it's immune to insta-death, so we can't rely on the Dark Water very much. Such a shame. Meruru actually demonstrates a gameplay gimmick unique to her in this fight, but I will discuss that later, actually. As far this one goes, it's the same enemy we fought at Orthogalaxen way back in Chapter 3, just with improved stats. Ho-hum.

Don't move so fast that you forget to catch some bugs, though. Well, mostly bugs. Once you catch an Undying Wind and a Lunar Locust, you're golden.

This dam was an addition to this forest spearheaded by Meruru, actually. A marvel, I think you'll agree. A chest at the far end of this dam near a hut has a couple of Black Runestones in it, and if you haven't gotten one of those as a drop, very important pick these up.

And, don't move so fast you miss out on these purple flowers. So, what is so special about the materials around here?

This is the first location of the game where you can access the highest tier of normal, unupgraded traits, the Mega Charges. Having these allows you access to every normal stat boosting trait by combining as you see fit, so having access to this place vastly increases the power of builds you can set up. Obviously, these kind of traits will become more common as you hit more and more locations in the second half of the game, but we're getting ahead of the curve.

This place is also why we made that Dragon Eye Tonic when we did, by the way. With a Tonic, just about everything gathered here will hit the Quality cap, and, unfortunately, an item's quality will remain the same even when the Quality cap is lifted, so all of these materials, even though they're actually probably in the 120-150 Quality range, just won't reflect that.

By the way, that Steel Protection? Another advantage of the trait pool around here is you'll see lots of compound traits just like that, so it's easier than ever to make good builds. Just make sure the TP needed to carry over those traits doesn't get out of hand.

Ah, love to see all those riddles waiting to be cleared. Shoes Treasured by Travelers is indirectly solved by coming here. You can only solve it once you have access to the Living Rope recipe, which we got by taking care of business here.

This place looks nice at sunset, too.

Once you're back in town, if you want a good item to start transferring the traits you got to ingots, the Zettel is really good. It's a (Fuel) item normally, in addition to any potential Awakened Effects that turn it into different kinds of items.

Ah, good ol' Max TP Maximization. This is going to be one of your more ubiquitous traits you'll be working with. A Pure Oil can also be used in a Ster Metal syntheses, which is why I made this.

This is what I ended up making. Everyone but Eva and Rorona can move up to Ster Metal-tier weapons, so this should serve us well for now. Breaking that Quality cap is going to be pretty crucial. You and me are both better than max 100 Quality items. I know we are.

Before you ask, I'm not exactly sure how Quality affects equipment in this game. In some games, Quality effects the stats of weapons a lot, but I dunno about this one. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say it *doesn't* affect anything, but you still want Quality as high as possible on non-Exploration Item equipment.

The Living Rope recipe is unlocked by beating up a Shadow Arch in Quelei Forest and synthesizing Hay. This also means we can finally give Jeltje the trap she was asking for. Sure hope she didn't need one of these soon.

Ultra Quality is another of those traits you'll want to work with a bunch, no matter where you are in the game, honestly. With having a 100 Quality cap, though, you'll frequently be hitting your head on that ceiling with it though. While you're at it, making this Tanning Liquid, go on to make a Tanned Leather so we can unlock the Traveler's Shoes recipe.

Now, the only basic riddles left to be solved is defeat a certain type of bat we haven't encountered yet and defeat enough Ghost enemies, both of which can be found in the same corner of the map. Now that's efficiency.

See that Lightning bar? Yep, it's another Dragon Eye item to unlock the highest tier of Effect. I'm going to guess Movement Speed Up L is not going to blow my mind in terms of what it does, though.

"Traveler Shoes"? What are those?
Hehe. Well, you see...

You know how you can move around the field? Now you can move around faster. Amazing stuff. Unlike the other Arland games, this doesn't lower the amount of time spent moving around the world map in terms of days, but obviously that kind of effect is wasted in this game. Still, lowering the time spent running around in the field is valuable enough. I say that, but the videos I record are already moving lightning fast on my computer because I'm watching them 100% faster than the game's speed when I recorded things. That's mostly to write scenes quickly, though.

In other words, these shoes let you run reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally fast!

There was actually a bug or something on this line, because Miyuki clearly does not say the whole thing. Wonder what happened there.

Wow! That's really impressive! Hey, wouldn't it be fun to have a race with those?
I dunno... You're already really fast, Eva. I don't think I could win even with these on.
Come on! What are you acting all modest for? It's just a little race! It'll be fun! Right?!
Umm...I guess...maybe I'd be able to keep up. I hope I'd be able to, that is. Ahaha...

A veritable speed demon, if I do say so myself.

Now we're really upgrading our item quality. The Healing Bell is pretty unambiguously the best healing item in the game, mainly because, although there are technically more powerful healing items, they have a longer WT time when equipped as an Interrupt item than this. In addition to AoE healing, it also can contain AoE debuff cleansing, which, as we've seen with the ghosts, is a valuable service. Cleanses Impurity M, by the way, removes two status effects at a time. The highest effect cleanses three effects, so it's not a huge difference. These debuffs don't include, however, Faint status, elemental resistance lowering, or stat debuffs.

Now, there are a few problems with this Bell I just made: no KO recovery, MP recovery, or Faint meter recovery. We won't use this for very long, but it's nice to have when the entire team is hurting. For now, but we'll get KO recovery traits before too long. The other nice thing about Healing Bells is that it's easy to get powerful Awakened Effects on them. In this case, Damage Reducer helps to lower damage to any affected target for a few hits. Damage Reducer Lvl 3 cuts damage by 8% for three times only, but remember, that effect is reapplied every time this bell is used. Always a good thing to cut incoming damage as much as possible. This particular effect comes from a Dragon Scale, and you might think such an item is too valuable to be used on a Healing Bell we'll be replacing fairly soon, but the big location we unlock this chapter will have lots of Dragon materials.

And finally, the Fire Effect of a Bell is Recovery Up M basically provides an additional buff to the HP healing, but being able to get rid of really annoying debuffs more than beats healing too much HP.

Phew, that was a long explanation. Let's have some events in Arland now that we've made all those items just now.

Good afternoon, Ms. Lionela... Hm? Is something wrong?
Oh, Lulua... Yeah, you could say that. Actually, I haven't been able to get my hands on any flour... I want to bake a pie for a friend, but... Hmm... What should I do...
Oh, I see, I see! In that case, just leave it to me...! Ehehe. As an alchemist I'll synthesize some flour for you right away!
Wow! In that case, I might take you up on your offer...
OK, great! I'll make sure to get you some great flour!

By "great" she means 50 Quality Flour or greater. If you need some good quality Wheat, you can find that in crates in the Ancient Monastery. This next scene triggered after I made a couple new weapons (for Aurel and Niko), but like with most Cole scenes, I'll bet it's just a matter of making enough weapons and armor. Cole is also selling a new recipe book, for the next tier of weapons and armor, for 3200 Cole. Part with that coin as you see fit. Next two scenes are the same video. Something more important than money

Oof. You look totally worn out, Cole.
Yeah... I got a really hefty request in. A very nice reward but a killer deadline. I've been losing sleep to get it done.
Oh really?! That's not good. You have to sleep properly! It doesn't matter how much money you earn, if you ruin your health it's all for nothing!
Haha, OK, Mom! But the fun part of business is making money. Even if I have to sweat a little to do it, I'm going to get it done.
Grr, Cole... Fine! In that case, let me bring you something healthy to eat. Is that OK?

I guess Lulua doesn't trust her ability to punch this guy out. He does look a lot tankier than Benon.

You don't really have to--
It's happening! I don't care if you think I'm interfering. I'm bringing you something healthy! *storms off*
Oh my...

So for some reason, Lulua got the idea into her head that what Cole needs to chow down on is...a Healing Bell. Hey, I just report the news. I made sure to register at Dragon's before giving this copy to him, for the record.

Hmm? Is this the healthy food you mentioned before?
Sure! This is going to supercharge you!
Heh, is that so? Come on, down the hatch! Wh-Wha--?! Whoa, I already feel energized! Thanks, Lulua! You've really helped me out. *goes back to work*
Ahaha, that's good to hear! Still, don't push yourself too hard now... Hey! Right back to work, just like that? I literally JUST told you not to--
Haha, sorry Lulua! Need to keep going just a little longer.
*sigh* Cole...! Is money that important to you?
Yes, it is. A blacksmith I may be, but I have the soul of a merchant.

Well, to be honest... This job is a little different.
OK, all done! Phew, that was a toughie.
Hey, Cole. About that item I ordered...
Juuust finished! Sorry for cutting it so fine.
Don't worry about it! I know you'd normally refuse such a tight deadline. I have no idea what I'd have done if you hadn't agreed to take this on...
Haha! You don't get successful by turning down big jobs when they land in your lap! I owe you one for always stocking me up. This was the least I could do.
That's real nice of you to say. Thanks, Cole! See you around! *leaves*
As I said before, money is my job. But... There's something more important to a merchant. And that's...your word. Sometimes, to keep your word, you gotta push yourself a little harder.
Oh! I'm sorry, Cole, for what I said before... I didn't know the circumstances, so I--
Haha, don't worry about it! But... If you want to make it up to me... Why not buy a buncha stuff from my store? Deal?
...OK, got it! Hehe! I'll buy and buy until your stock runs out!
Now that's what I'm talking about! See you next time, Lulua! Hagel & Cole Ironworks will be eagerly awaiting your next visit!

And now, back to Arls, now that we've wrapped up that clutch moment for Cole.

NO WAY! No matter how many times you say it, I won't approve. It's true that I'm busy, but I'm not going to ask you to--Hm?
Lulua! Hello!
Hey, hello! Um, is something going on?
I'll say. Keina's being mean. Listen to this! The moment I tried to take that request, she said, "Meruru, no way I'm going to let you take that!"
Yes. Because you're on vacation. New requests are not allowed! Haven't you got better things to be doing?
Hmm... In that case, I'll take this request! Hehe, because I'm an alchemist too! Everything will be fine! Leave it to me!
Really...? If you could, that would be great! That's fine, right, Keina?
Well...yes. OK, here are the request details.
Sorry if it seemed like I was forcing it on you! Well, I'm counting on you, Lulua!

Keina wants high-quality Nylonfeather (as in Quality 60+), which you'd think Meruru could bang out in her sleep, but maybe there are some details we're not being filled in on. We'll get around to this one.

Good afternoon, Ms. Pamela! Wow, look at all the customers... This is amazing!
Yes, absolutely! It's all thansk to you and your idea to sell items to use against monsters...! I've also been able to sell a ton of other items, too...! Hehehe! Business is booming, dear!
Ahaha, that's good to hear! Now you just have to keep it up!
Yes! I certainly won't have to worry about the rent, now!
Ah, Ms. Pamela? A moment?
Oh, Ms. Keina?! You're doing business here, too?
Oh, hello Lulua. And yes, I am. I heard about Pamela's Shop, so I came here to make a request.
To make a request...? That must mean... There's something you want, dear...?
Exactly. I want to ask if you could get some metal. There's a shortage of metal in Arls, and Ha-- The blacksmith is not in town anymore...
Oh my... In that case, just leave it to me...! I know of a very capable supplier of metal...!
Really?! Oh, thank you so much...! I'll leave the rest to you, then! *leaves*
Ohh, you're already got a supplier...! You really are a businesswoman...!
Of course, my dear...! Hehe, that should be absolutely obvious to you...! Well then, Lulua! I'll be waiting for that metal, dear...!
Excuse me...?
Oh come now, why the surprise? You're an alchemist, after all! You can make a little metal.
I sure can, but...

Personally, I'll just bet Lulua's getting exhausted from everyone and their sister asking her for things lately.

Thanks, Lulua! Luluaa!
*staggers out*
I'm so sorry for the inconvenience... But I'll be waiting, Lulua!

But at least we can wrap up one request for now. One way of fighting

Ohh, hey Lulua! Wow, that looks really good. Just as good as what's on the market! Better, even! You alchemists sure are something...
Ahaha, I'm glad you like it. But, I was a bit surprised.
Surprised? How so?
Yes. You carry around this big sword, right? So you probably just go up to monsters and chop them up!
Ahahahaha! You think I'm the type to just swing my sword around? Sorry, I'm afraid what you saw before was an exception. Actually, I'm pretty easily frightened.
Easily frightened?! Huh... You don't look lilke that at all...
It doesn't matter what I look like. I hate scary things and I try to be very cautious. That's why I always have plenty of traps and medicine. And I never fight anything head on.

Hmmmm... You do make a good point. There really is no need to fight everything head on.
Exactly! Though, to become the best adventurer, I suppose I do need a better service record... But that's different. And that's not why I became an adventurer. And that's also why, hehe... I fight with the utmost caution!
Ahaha, I understand! The utmost caution!
Yeah... Anyway... I better go take care of my request. Hopefully I'll see you around! Later, Lulua! *gets back to adventure*
Hehehe... Jeltje is pretty interesting...! I hope I get to meet her again someday...

Oh, she might be closer than you think...

When you're ready on your end, time to go ghost hunting. The ghosts in Hart Outpost are the weakest ones in the game, but the ones in the Old Blocked Mining Tunnel are on our way to our next destination, so take care of them.

Maybe, Totori. Welcome to the Rolling Winds Cavern. A pretty large area, as you can see, with lots of crystals and rocks to destroy and enemies to fight. The bats around here, the Frozen Chiroptera, are your final riddle target for this chapter. They're pretty dangerous, as you might expect, but they are weak to Fire, so Ficus and Eva with Range Shift should be able to pour on the damage from your end. If you have a Barrel Bomb in your Equipment, that'll also work wonders.

On the opposite side of the field from where you enter this area, you'll find this chest with a Glacier Symbol in it. Might as well get some free equipment while you're in the neighborhood, right? Speaking of chests, you can also find ones containing three Super Cooling Agents and another one with three Sulfites in it. Those have a way of coming in handy. Before we leave, I should mention there's another Explorer's Note for examination around here.

Right behind Lulua in that above screenshot, funnily enough. The "great bear monster" is suitably dangerous, but luckily we won't be going to this "great forest" for some time yet. Might as well bank this one while we can.

Back in town, we've made very good progress to finishing Chapter 6's Advanced riddles. Not too shabby. This batch also includes Powered-Up Spike Bomb, which you absolutely, 100% want to get the recipe for as soon as possible. On balance, the best attack item in the game.

As for the other riddles, For Greater Strength (3) is for leveling up enough and defeating a Pulse Wind, which we did back in the Monastery.

Secrets of Battle is for defeating the Lesser Draco in Quelei Forest and using items a lot. Easy money. Enshrouded in Light (Blue/Ice) is accomplished by synthesizing a Red Ray Symbol and Green Glow Symbol of your own. Black and White Supplements is for making a good quality Red Supplement and making a Distilled Water, which is from a recipe book Wild is selling. And finally, the oh-so-important Spike Bomb is for using enough Crafts, which I guess is a pretty low amount because I haven't used one since Chapter 2. The other part is to make a good Quality Craft. Usually in this game that means 100+ Quality, so aim to gather good quality Nuses and make good Alchemy Coal for that one.

That'll do. In addition to this, we have tons of requests to be done: Exorcism Incense for Ficus, Flour for Lionela, Ster Metal for Pamela, Nylonfeather for Keina, and...

Not this, but the nice thing is we can use this in syntheses for Symbol items, which we haven't made any of yet. But, that will soon change.

The traits attached are much more important than the Effects, just to be clear. So make sure the (Metal) item you use has good traits on it. After you make your first Symbol, you get a short scene with Lulua and Aurel where Aurel basically has to explain the very simple concept of equipping Symbols for another slot for buffing your dudes. It's just as simple as equipping any other equipment, so I feel no need to cover it.

When it comes to Awakened Effects for these things, again, just go with whatever you please for now. I like to throw on Ailment Resistance buffs, since the actually valuable ones we still don't have the recipe, materials, and/or Alchemy level for yet.

In fact, as far as maximizing your power at the moment, the greater part of the game is just surviving to get to the later portions of the game when you can access powerful traits. The highest tier of traits in this game are unlocked via using special traits as a final level of combination. There's quite a family of these traits, but we won't have ready access to a lot of them until Chapter 10. Chapter 9 at the very earliest. As for now, let's start by clearing the Nylonfeather request. Old friends

...Yes, looks like it. Thank you so much! You've really helped us out.
Oh, Lulua! You finished that request for me! I should say thank you as well! Here's a token of my gratitude.

Whenever you receive something from a character in a cutscene like this, the game hardly ever tells you what exactly you got. But, to make sure, they were just added to your Container so just search for the most recently-added things and there you go. In this case, Meruru gave us two Parallel Mushrooms, a Boost Item. Keep in mind these ARE mushrooms. Those mean a lot to her.

Wow! Hehe, I'm just glad I could help.
If I'd done the request, Lulua wouldn't have had to spend her valuable time on it, right?
Ugh... Doesn't matter how many times I say it... No means no.
*tch* I understand. Right, I'll be off then. Bye Lulua! *takes off*
*sigh* Sorry, Lulua. Meruru is not wrong. But she has this habit of trying too hard... And if I don't stop her, she'll just keep taking on jobs...
Oh, that's true... Ms. Meruru is a really kind person...
Yeah, that's obvious! She's very reliable. And she's indispensable to the people of Arls!
Ahaha! Ms. Keina, you really have a lot of faith in Ms. Meruru, don't you?

Anyway, thank you for this. If you're up to it, I might have other requests for you.
Sure, sure. Well then, Ms. Keina. See you later!

And now it's Pamela's turn. She just needs 1 sample of good quality Ster Metal. Guessing that's 50+.

Oh my, thank you! Hehe! What absolutely wondrous metal you've brought! This should certainly satisfy Keina. Hehe. And I'll certainly be able to make money from it too!
Ahaha, that's true! I'm glad!
One more thing, Lulua. I've thought of one more way to make some money, you see...
Oh, really? Hehe, let me hear it!
OK, well... First, I'll collect items that people don't need anymore... Then, I will sell those items in my shop. And since I won't need money to get those items I can make more...!
Hmm... OK, I get it...! I think it's a good plan!

Well, this seems alright. Definitely more in good taste than going around a sandy sea and collecting trinkets off the dead.

Oh, lovely! You actually like my plan! There's no way I can fail now.
I...never said the plan was flawless. But I think you'll do well!
Hehehe! In that case, I'll give it a go! Lulua, dear, thank you for all your help.
Oh, it's no problem. I'm the one that can't seem to leave well enough alone... Anyway, I'm going to head back now. See you later!
OK, well... Until next time!

Now that we've fulfilled Jeltje's request, time for a nice scene with her. A great collection

What are you looking at, Jeltje? You sure sound pleased with it...
Gah! L-Lulua?! Hey now, you can't just read over people's shoulders!
I wasn't! It's just kind of hard to ignore you when you're snickering to yourself in the middle of the street!
Ugh... Well, I can't really help it! And I'm sure you'd feel the same if you had a look at this notebook!
This, um, what is it? "Amazing Adventurer Notes"?
Precisely! My carefully recorded Amazing Adventurer Notes! The truth is, I'm a HUGE fan of Adventurers! I wanted to chase the greats so much, I became an adventurer myself! And this notebook is where I collect information on all the great Adventurers, young and old, near and far, and their autographs too! Look! It's amazing, isn't it? This is the autograph of the legendarily undefeated Adventurer Gisela! And this one is from the super genius scientist Professor Marc McBrine! And this! This is the very first autograph I ever got. It's from Melvia, and I'll treasure it always! Ahhh, it all comes back when I look at these! It's such an incredible collection! Ah, I can't take it...!

With the exception of Gisela, Totori MADE their careers. We did hear in Meruru, though, that Gisela and Melvia ended up making quite the dynamic duo. Makes sense.

...Oh! Sorry, Lulua. I sort of...forgot myself a bit there.
Haha, it's OK. I can tell it's something you're really passionate about.

Getting to meet and talk to lots of Adventurers and getting them to sign this notebook... It's basically the goal of my life, Lulua!
Ohh, in that case! Then...hey, Jeltje! How would you like MY autograph? I'm traveling around and all, so aren't I an adventurer?
Hm... No, I'm good.
You're going to reject me that fast?!
Haha, you're just not there yet Lulua. Maybe someday when you're a really amazing adventurer, OK? Well, see you! *goes off to more adventuring*

It seems harsh, but to be fair, Lulua isn't really charting new lands like Totori was back in her day. Maybe that day will come, but that day is not today.

Ngh... Why do I feel so defeated... Grr, one day I'll be the biggest Adventurer out there, and then you'll see!

Again, applying yourself. We also qualify for another scene... Mushroom party

Oh, my! What a collection! It must have taken ages to gather this many mushrooms.
Hello, everyone! What are you all doing?
Oh! Hello, Lulua. Meruru has put together a mushroom show. All of a sudden, she decided she wanted us to have a chance to see all kinds of mushrooms...
What comes to mind when you think of Arls? Mushrooms! So I want you all to take a good look.
Huh. This really is quite the show. Only Ms. Meruru could manage to locate this many different types. This one looks especially yummy. Let's give it a little taste-test...
No! Wait! That one's--!

Ms. Jeltje?! Hey! Can you hear me?!!
You can't just go around eating strange mushrooms! There are too many types that aren't safe to eat! THat was one of the points I wanted to educate everyone on with this mushroom show!
T-Teaching everyone about poisonous mushrooms? Guess there's more to this show than it seems.
But with one participant down already, I don't think we can call this much of a success...
Uwehehe! I'm surrounded by adventurers! So many adventurers!

You know, Meruru, you should have seen this coming. Remember the mushroom mishaps with Mimi back in the day? She still has nightmares about it.

Jeltje! Hang in there, Jeltje!
And they're all giving me their autographs! Oh, what a happy day! Hehe!

But the fun times in Arls only continue with our privateering friend. A pirate's life

Niko! What are you doing?
Oh, I was just taking a little break. I'm working on a new job. I was charged with driving off a group of monsters. I really miss working at sea though.
Working at sea? Oh, um... I take it you mean something different to what pirates usually do.
Obviously! Tch. What do you take me for? I guess I can't shake the image most poeple have of pirates. OK, I got it! I'll take this opportunity to teach you how proper pirates work!
Oh! I'd love to learn about that! Please tell me! Pretty please!
Excellent! Hehe. I knew you'd understand, Lulua. Ya see, the job of a true pirate varies widely. First of all, we don't plunder, pillage, or search for treasure! That's just not a realistic way to live, it has no solid footing!

Hey! Don't interrupt me! *ahem* Our main job is to guide other ships. We introduce them to safe passages and even lead the way if need be. That's the main job of a pirate.

Sounds to me like he didn't want to dwell on Lulua having his number there.

Hmm... Guiding other ships...
That's right! We also fish, keep the waters clean, and do all kinds of other things!
Hmm... You're right. It's completely different from what I thought of pirates.
Yeah, we get that a lot. But remember...we're the real pirates, not those other guys. We've worn the label of pirates for generations, handed down from our ancestors. In fact, you could say we created the whole thing! That's why we don't want those impostors to sully our good name!
Ahahaha! OK, I got it. True pirates are serious about their work! They don't plunder, pillage, or search for treasure! I won't forget it.
Ah, that's great to hear! Hehe. We've got to keep convincing you all, one at a time! That way, we'll teach the world about what a proper pirate is! Just you wait and see! *runs off to educate the world*
Um, Niko? Oh, it looks like he ran off... Niko the Pirate... I must say he's quite different from what I pictured. Seems to be a pretty nice guy. And definitely serious about his work! Ahaha...

Seems like a self-serving explanation, but he seems like a good guy. I wouldn't ask too many questions about his work, but it doesn't seem to be going well lately. Let's not dwell on that and instead give Ficus his thing. Keeping others in mind

I knew you could do it, Lulua. You're a quick worker, aren't you? I'll take that, if you don't mind. Now don't you worry. I'll drive away that monster no problem.
Thank you. But you know... You're amazing, Ficus.
Amazing? I am? No one's ever told me that before.
But you are. You think about monsters as well as other people. Even after the whole Puni Rangers thing, I still can't think like you do.
Hmm... Well, there's nothing wrong with that. It's kind of survival of the fittest, you know? Nature takes care of itself. Humans, monsters... We're all living things. I mean... Everyone has their own way of thinking. That's why instead of just killing... I want to find out what is going on in their minds.
Huh... Their own way of thinking?
Yes, that's right. Some monsters actually like humans, you know?

Well, that's just a theory, nothing more.
Hmm... That's deep... You think so deeply, Ficus.
Heh, I'm glad you think so. Well then. Allow me to go speak with this monster. I'll be sure to put that item of yours to good use. See you around, then. *takes off*
O-OK! Be careful! Sometimes Ficus talks like he understands monsters. I wonder... Maybe he is a monster himself?! Ahaha! Like that would be possible...

Well, at the very least, he admits he can talk to Puni, so anything's possible, if you ask me.

True. Well, it's time to jet off to Arland to give Lionela her thing.

Thank you so much! Oh, it smells so good... This'll help me make a really delicious pie. Surely this will make them really happy.
Them...? You mean, your friend?
Yeah... They helped me a lot when I was a kid. I told you a little about this, but I used to be a really shy, embarrassed introvert.

Hehe. They're like a patron of sorts to me. Always very friendly and kind... So... I wanted to bake the most delicious pie possible. Thank you, Lulua.
Don't mention it! I can tell that this person is really special to you. I'm just glad I could help. Which reminds me... Ms. Lionela.
I'm actually pretty good at making pies myself. My mom used to make them when I was a kid. So...ehehe. You're always welcome to taste test them!

I simply cannot wait until this comedy of errors comes crashing down.

Ooh. Well, maybe I'll do that next time. Thanks again, Lulua. Come over anytime you like!
Yeah! I will! OK, Ms. Lionela. See you later!

So normally, I wouldn't have to bother with making this Nostalgic Curry even better, since I do believe any quality will suffice. But, I'm gonna let you in on a little secret: making good quality curry is a prerequisite for one ending. There's a lot to this ending storyline, and it starts with making a good quality Nostalgic Curry. So, we're finally gonna break that quality cap. The only thing left for me to do for this chapter is to make Distilled Water, which is obtained via a recipe book from Wild.

And there we go. Now the maximum Quality is 500. The final Quality Limit Release isn't until Chapter 9, and that's a really long chapter, so that's how long you have to wait to begin making ultimate items. It's unfortunate but that's just how it is.

And there we go. If you need Nostalgic Spice, Benon's shop sells them at a pretty good Quality and you can synthesize Fish Sauce at a high Quality to cover another slot. The latter two ingredients will drag the average down but we'll revisit that later when item quality of 150+ is the norm rather than the exception.

If you follow my route, make sure to drop this off at Dragon's and buy as appropriate. We won't need to concern ourselves with the Curry Ending for quite some time, but always helps to have these when needed. But now let's finally school Wild in the ways of curry.

Oh, so this is your famous curry! I guess I better give it a taste. Heh heh... Let's see if this curry really is as good as you say! *munch* *munch* *munch* *munch* *munch* *munch* *munch* OHHH MYYYY GOOOOOD!! THIS IS AWESOOOOME!!

And the way the common chili spiciness is drawn to a clean and elegant finish as it goes down...! The flavors of the vegetables are drawn out by the sauce, but the slices are large and easy to eat! A delight in my mouth...! And we can't forget this fragrance...! Each exquisite note beckons hungry stomachs for a taste...! This is most skillfully constructed curry I've ever had...! It is, quite simple...DELICIOUS!!!
Oh... Well... Haha... When you put it that way... I guess it was worth all the work I put into it...
AHH! This curry...! It's so many levels beyond anything I can make!
Awesome! In that case... Why don't you add it to your menu...? Hehehe...!
Nope, that's not happening!
Ahaha, I thought you might say that...
Of course I would! I can't have a rival adding their items to my menu!
Huh? Rival?
Of course! I had no idea you were such a master of the curry craft, Lulua! And I WON'T LOSE!! HYAAAAAAH!!!! Who cares how good these spices are! I... I... I WON'T LOSE!!! HYAAAAAH!!! *runs off in hot-blooded fury*
Huh...? I think he might have lost it...?! Uh-oh... Oh no... Ah, it's probably fine...

The Frixells seem to have a real problem with making enemies of the chef down the block. Just saying.

So the Omega Craft. On balance, this is the best attack item in the game, and given so relatively early in the story, before we start hitting the actually dangerous bosses and not quivering piles of black slime. This is when you should start taking attack item traits and Quality seriously, which is what I was doing for several minutes before this shot was taken. There's no need to sweat exactly WHAT traits, though. Basically anything to increase firepower is fine, but make sure you get Unbalancing Impact L and Demon Strike for the most bang for your buck. Of course, as much Quality as you can squeeze out is good. You'll definitely want 100+ Quality, and if you can get an Alchemy Activator in instead of a Sulfite to get Demon Strike, all the better. Pure Oil and Alchemy Coal are the best items to get the Fire value as high as possible. Watch the Awakened Effects on those two items and choose your (Plant) items carefully, especially since the (Plant) category contains the only Awakened Effect an Omega Craft can handle.

The final product on my end. Half Critical is as you might think, gives the item a 50% to critical hit, which further increases the destructive power if that does hit. Tremendous and Ample Destruction are a collective +50% to power. For the record, Destruction++ has the same effect as Ample, a 20% boost in power. As far as Awakened Effect, that will be important on Ultimate Omega Crafts but not so much here. I went with Faint Value Up Lv 2 to give it a bit more potency in knocking enemies into Faint. It wasn't super important, but you can also use a Balloon Fruit to add a little Fire damage on top of the ample Physical damage. Lulua will be using this religiously.

But... I think we've done quite a bit this update, personally. See you next time.