The Let's Play Archive

Atelier Lulua

by Sylphid

Part 23: XIX: Pages of Following Footsteps

Chapter XIX: Pages of Following Footsteps

This time should take us all the way to Chapter 8, so pretty excited about knocking out another chapter relatively quickly. We begin at Sunrise Cafe.

Magma...durian...? No, can't say I have.
I see. Hehe! It's a super rare fruit that grows in volcanic areas. And it stinks worse than death! It can't really be helped because of all the sulfur, but it's pretty bad! It's also really hot! It's constantly radiating heat, so it's really hard to work with! But that just makes it even sweeter! It's pretty much the sweetest most delicious thing you'll ever taste!
Sweet and...delicious...! I-I want to try one...!
Heheh, right? Well, if you ever end up in any volcanic areas, could you keep an eye out for some?
Sure thing! Thanks for the tip!

Ah, but what are the odds of that?

I wonder if it was actually Cabbage Princess, as it says here, or Cabbage Girl in the original dialogue for Rorona... Well, either way, Lulua's got a legacy to live up to. I went to the Ar Hollow to fulfill a ton of requests that had luckily popped up and got the second rank-up scene with Lionela. She wants a Healing Incense of 50 Quality or greater. We're still a handful of Healing Bell usages away from getting that recipe, but otherwise, no sweat.

Upgraded weapon for Totori, since she's tagging in for this chapter. Lulua would probably find this book fascinating.

Ficus is also getting swapped in for this chapter. Arcana of the Reaper has a pretty cool effect: guarantees critical hits against all but two enemy types: Machines and Ghosts. We uh...we haven't met any Machines yet, for the record.

That's uh...a bit unsightly if you ask me. But, if it's your first time making it, it is good for a trophy, so that's something at least.

Knowing the great course of human events...not impossible. Interesting that Piana knows who he is, though. She certainly never met him during the course of Totori (though he does visit Alanya in one scene I don't think I covered. He and Piana weren't in the same scene, though, I think...), so she definitely must have walked at least a few steps in Totori's shoes in-between games. I think Ficus will get the pleasure of wearing this on his cards.

I had to test a few items, but eventually I decided to "fail" a Scale Cloth synthesis to get these Ashes. Remember, 100 Quality and above is fine. If you need to intentionally fail, play around with Boost Items until you mess up.

To be successful, it's important to know what failure looks like. Let's go with that explanation. Let's get that riddle deciphered. Next step alchemy

And by "get it", you mean... You know how to make a Philosopher's Stone?
Yep! That's right! To tell the truth, I'm a bit surprised myself... So, wait, this is THE Philosopher's Stone? If you know how to make that, then that means...
You've grown enormously as an alchemist.
Ahh, Mr. Sterk! You really think so?
Yes I do. You have changed quite a bit since we first met. All thanks to your constant effort. You've done very well, Lulua.
Hehe! Thank you! But I'm nowhere near where I need to be yet. The Philosopher's Stone is just one stop on my journey! Next stop: Philosopher's...Pie...
W-What's wrong?! Why are you so sad all of a sudden?

You'll never be Rorona's daughter with an attitude like that. You should have seen her back in the day. Making pies out of basically anything she could get her hands on. Whether they were edible or not was a negligible point. She made a *golden* pie. What have YOU done lately, young lady?

Hmm. I'm not entirely unsympathetic. But aren't bold moves the essence of alchemy? Besides, now you know how to make it. Can't you just make one any time?
...You're right! If I feel bad about it, I'll just make another one! Thank you, Mr. Sterk! I'm going to get to making that pie!

And thus was the goal sought after by centuries of alchemists across Eurasia in real life mocked by a young woman in a JRPG.

I bet you'll get it done in no time! I'm with you all the way!
Thanks! Right, it's synthesis time!

So now that we can make the Philosopher's Pie, time to decide where we're going next: Izuko Beach for the Guardian, Mt. Velus for Meruru's recipe, or making a Pie for Rorona. Let's start with...Meruru, again. I like her. Time to head for Arls. Next generation heroine

Ahh! Monsters?! Oh no!

Whoa, this is serious! This is the moment...
??? ...I've been waiting for!

Whether crawling monster or the world's ills! My alchemy will scour it all away!

OK, monsters, get ready for a butt kicking! Ha!

Wow, she took out that monster in one hit! Who is she?!
Bwahaha, the evil is defeated! And with that, I take my leave!
She's gone... Yeah, I'm really wondering who she is now...! Let's go!

I lost her... What? Ms. Meruru?!
What? Lu-Lu-Lu-Lu-Lulua?! Wh-Wh-Wh-Wh-Wh-What a coincidence? What's up?!

I hope you'll forgive me for using the Meruru portrait for Masked M and Meruru alike. Although very similar, they are entirely *not* the same person.

No... I was chasing after someone called Masked M, but... Oh no, don't tell me Masked you, Ms. Meruru?
*ba-thump?!* D-D-Don't be so silly!!
Ahaha, I guess that is a little far-fetched... But if it's not you, where did she run off to? Masked M... Truly a mystery woman.
Y-Yeah she is. A complete mystery! There are a lot of legends about Masked M!
Wow, really?!
Yes! She's an ally for those that kick monster butt! She inherited the title from the previous Mask, Masked G. You know she can solve any problem with a bang, right? She's also been called the hero of the new generation!

Legend has it that the Masks go all the way back to the Kingdom of Arland. The truth is known only to a privileged few.

Wow, the hero of the new generation! That's so cool!
Right? That's amazing, right? Hehe!
Huh? Why are you boasting so much? Is it... Could you really be... Masked M...?
No! That's not it! I-I'm just a fan of Masked M!
Oh, I see... Hehe, I just might become a fan myself.
OK. OK. Well, If I ever meet up with her... I'll tell her about you, Lulua.
Wait, really?! Thank yo uso much, Ms. Meruru! Ehehe, Masked M, huh...? If only I could be that cool!

Some legends never should die. On a less exciting note, like with Lionela and Lisa, I took on enough requests from Keina just now to get the second level up quest. This calls for a Super Mining Bomb Quality 50 or greater. Piece of cake. We can handle this pretty easily, but I'm putting it off for a bit. As long as you have every job board upgraded to max by the time Chapter 10 starts, you're golden. I mean, you won't miss out on anything if you don't have them upgraded by then, just that it's the most efficient.

Handel Farm hasn't changed much since Meruru's day. Like with all semi-late game locations, the materials here are all quite nice quality, but the materials themselves otherwise nothing that can't be found elsewhere in the game. Well, not quite true. From the fishing spot you can fish up Runestones with a DMG Block L effect, which reduces all damage received by 12%. In previous games, the Runestone was kind of a nullity. An early-game filler accessory. Not to say it isn't still kind of here, but definitely more viable on serious builds. In addition, you can find Nostalgic Spice wooden boxes scattered on the other side of the pond in better quality than you can get from Benon. It isn't good for much aside from making good-quality curry, which hasn't been a huge concern up to now, but for many reasons, including the aforementioned Curry Ending, it will be.

Well, guess Meruru didn't quite succeed in chasing out all the rabbits around Handel.

The only bad thing about the Harvest Gloves is your Basket, even one with the best possible Effect, will fill up very quickly. So you'll either have to be more judicious about what you gather, or more discerning about what stays in your basket.

Moving onto the main event, the entrance to Velus has quite a few natural materials that can't be found elsewhere in the volcano, so you might have to gather quite a bit from this screen in particular to get 100% gathering completion, if you care about that. The sunlight creeping in from outside like that is a nice effect.

These areas have lots of ores and breakable crystals to find all sorts of goodies. Of course, it goes without saying a Tonic made with a Dragon Eye will make quite a difference here, since that 30% boost and an extra trait will make these materials very valuable. The enemies around here are decently harmless, or at least they were with Sterk and Aurel on the frontlines and Lulua bombarding them with Omega Crafts. Nothing special.

This chest contains a Brave Sigil, which is basically the game's aggro accessory. Stick it on someone so they can take a punch and fight back. Great on tankier units like Sterk or Niko. It also provides a strong HP regeneration effect for tanky needs.

That riddle's in the bag. Good for us.

While the enemies around here aren't too dangerous, this Draconia is...not like that. It's quite an adversary, or at least it certainly was for me. These things are weak to Ice, so if you brought along some Rocket Ice Bombs, that'll be a big help against them.

This is our first time seeing Rorona on the frontline. She's actually really good. She has two powerful defensive skills, one of which she has now, and the other she learns at level 70. The former is Peaceful Light, which increases everyone's Physical resistance by one level. The latter is Perfect Light, which increases both Physical and Magical resistance by 1.

But that's not all of Rorona's bag of tricks. At level 60, she learns Angel Fullheart, which is Magic damage to all enemies, but also reduces all of their resistances by 1 level. Against enemies whose resistances can be lowered, that is. Nevertheless, you don't need me to tell you that it's a very valuable service, and synchronizes really well with an ability Sterk will get soon.

If you want to revive fallen backline members, just point the cursor in their direction. Nothing complicated about it.

I should note that Rorona's technically most valuable on the frontline with Piana and Lulua to get Ether Field, a Primal Art that increases all item power by 30%. But again, having everyone who can revive on the frontline, exposed to all manner of enemy attack, runs its own risks. In general, a completely optimal party has Lulua/Rorona/Piana on the frontline, and Niko and Aurel in reserve for their supporting abilities. But having that party around all the time gets boring, so that's why we're mixing things up.

Anyway, if Rorona's on the backline, her support is quite...vigorous, let's say. Enemy attacks will prompt her to respond with two different AOE time card attacks and this skill, which restores MP. Get used to her animations playing a lot in difficult battles.

The real difficulty with Rorona in the back is that her time cards will frequently knock enemies into and out of Faint without any tactical input from you. This tends to be more hazardous than helpful, though occasionally you'll get lucky and Rorona will knock enemies into Faint and not knock them out before you get a chance to put that state to better use.

Aurel was quite the trooper. Managed to absorb three of Draconia's hits all by himself and keep Eva and Rorona in reserve until Healing Bell could charge up again.

He even managed to Stun Draconia with Emperor of Yin and Yang, though obviously that won't be too helpful right now because Rorona stands ready to knock him right back into normal operation. Shortly after this screenshot, though, he managed to hold the field by himself for *another* two attacks. What can I say, the kid's got potential.

200% charge and I can't do anything with it because nobody has their Ultimate Attack. Great.

That was entirely too perilous. Aurel did have the honor of getting his Ultimate, Scorching Heavy Snow, after this fight. He earned it.

In lieu of getting his Ultimate Attack at level 50, Sterk gets a very powerful technique at level 50, Elemental Ride. You trigger this by having Sterk in reserve in your Formation, then either attacking the enemy's elemental weakness or using your staff swing to start a battle. Sterk will then follow-up with a support skill that does Physical damage flavored with all four elements against a single target. Obviously you can only do the latter once per fight, but you can do the former as many as you want, and this applies to weaknesses created artificially, like through Rorona's Angel Fullheart. Told you they synchronize well. His follow-up is triggered by item usages as well.

While you're in the third area, be sure to get a World Spirit for an Alchemyriddle entry this chapter from a gathering point with bones around it. While you can find World Spirits elsewhere, this is the earliest you can get them. You can find them on gathering points next to a pile of bones. Once you're done with your gathering, yellow diamond as always marks the spot. Volcano depths

A treasure chest? Could Meruru's recipe be in there?
...! Lulua, stop!

Just because Airshatter is long gone, doesn't mean this place is safe.

I don't think it's going to hand over the recipe without a fight! Let's show it what we're made of!
I'll tell you one thing-- It's going to regret tangling with us!

That it will. These parameters are nothing compared to *some* of the enemies we'll be fighting this chapter. Nothing at all notable about this guy. Except for what he drops.

The trait Dragon God's Protection, from the Dragon Piece. This is not a unique material and can be dropped from higher-tier dragons, but all Dragon Pieces will have this trait. What does Dragon God's Protection do and why is it important? Not to go into too much detail before it becomes super relevant but this is a special trait used to unlock the highest-tier of traits in this game. Make sure you don't touch materials that have these unique traits until you're ready to create endgame builds.

Ficus has some odd applications of his "Understand the monsters" philosophy, but presumably when Lulua's involved he's willing to compromise a bit more. Or perhaps he figures some monsters can be reasoned with and some cannot.

Yeah. Let's get that chest open before reinforcements show up.
Yes! *gulp*

*opens the chest*

Is this... Ms. Meruru's special item...?
Yes. It's an Ice Cascade Bomb.
Ms. Meruru?? Why are you here?
Ahahaha... I'm sorry. I got so worried about you I decided to follow you. That recipe represents the combined hopes and dreams of a great many people.
What do you mean?
Well, this was originally my aunt's recipe. We worked together to improve it.

"We" she never exactly specifies if you've just played this game, but you'll recall Totori and Rorona were both crucial in improving the recipe. Rorona doesn't bring it up but, again, presumably she doesn't remember much about what she did as a kid.

And now I entrust it to you. Heh. I hope you put it to good use.
I'm certainly going to try! Thank you, Ms. Meruru!
Haha, don't mention it. I'm going to head back now. I look forward to seeing what you accomplish in the future, Lulua.

Understood! ...The combined hopes and dreams of a great many people, huh...
Hahaha. That's quite the heavy gift.
Mm... But I don't have any choice. Ms. Merur entrusted this to me so I've got to give it my all! Right, back to the atelier! Time to make this Ice Cascade Bomb!

*Lulua and everyone leaves*

Hmm... Can people truly gain power from being entrusted with others' hopes and dreams?
Ficus, what are you doing? We'll leave without you!
Ah, sorry! Coming! ...Hehe... This is exactly why...

Goodness. Well, before we leave, if you saw that earlier scene with Wild where he gushes over the Magmadurian, here you go. This is right behind where we fought that dragon, so might as well pick up a special material while you're here. In addition, be very sure you don't forget to pick up a Missing Jewel from a rock with white bumps in it around here, because Alchemyriddle wants us to find one. That about wraps up our business in Velus for now, but certainly not permanently.

Back in town, we have another few scenes. This is a pretty popular town lately. Fortune's prayer

Ahaha, how interesting!
Hm? What's this crowd gathered here for? I wonder what's going on?!

Eh?! N-N-Niko? Is that you? What are you doing?
Oh, heavenly God of the Sun! Please, I ask that you guide us each and every day! Oh, God of the Sea! Please, I ask that you give us your divine protection! HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!! Heave-ho! Heave-ho!
Um, Niko?! Niko! What are you doing?!
Hm...? What is it, Lulua? Something the matter?
Is something the matter?! Are you kidding?! I should be asking you that!

That was what's known as a "Sea Prayer".
A "Sea Prayer"?
That's correct! It's a ritual performed on a ship to pray for safe passage. Ever since I've been stuck on land, nobody's been performing the ritual. So I had no other choice but to give it a try!
You call that giving it a try?! Besides, you're on land. There's no point in doing it!
No? The Sea Prayer is a prayer for safety, you see. Isn't that something people should do, whether on land or sea. You said it's for the sea. Although, if it's a prayer for safety, then I guess... Hah hah hah! Don't sweat the details! It's just something to do when you find yourself in trouble. OK?

Makes sense to me. I doubt the God of the Sea / Sun are picky enough to care that it's not exactly being done at sea. I mean, Niko had the flag and everything.

Uh...uh... I guess so...
I knew you'd see it my way. OK, I'll teach you how to do it, Lulua. First, you need to holler out in a loud voice...
(What did I get myself into... Oh well, it looks like fun...)
Heave-ho! Heave-ho!

Now try from your belly! Heave-ho! Heave-ho!
That's the spirit! Heave-ho! Heave-ho!

You're killing me, Keina. Back outside...

It's a photo of a man...? Oh no, this must be really important to somebody... All right. This looks like someone probably dropped it. So I'll have to take good care of it until I can find the owner.

That's another riddle down... By the way, that Echo Elemental? You can find one of those near the top of Modis Ruins, but you can also find one in the Runestone Nest, which we're about to unlock. I would uh, *very* highly advise terminating the one at Modis, unless you are a particular fan of very long, drawn-out fights in Runestone Nest. Personally, I am not.

Alright, only one to go. The next riddle can be solved at Izuko Beach, so it's nothing we've encountered yet.

Alright, now we're talking in terms of Scale Cloth traits. Gonna be my new standard. For now, let's make some armor with this cloth back in Arland. Those who lead

Thank you...! You saved us!
You're quite amazing for your age, you know. I owe you my life.
Hah, don't worry about it. I only did what anyone would. Just be careful on that path from now on. It seems like a lot of monsters dwell in that area.

*Aurel walks toward Lulua*

Aurel, who were those people thanking you? Clients?
No, that's not it. I saw them being attacked by monsters, so I helped.
Oh, really...? Wow! You're awesome, Aurel!
You think so? I only did what anyone would. Have you ever heard the phrase, "noblesse oblige"?
No bless who now?
Noblesse oblige. To put it simply... Important people have certain social responsibilities.
Important people? What do you mean?
I've told you before. I have royal blood in my veins. Which means... I'm important.
You actually said it!

It's the responsibility of royalty to protect and help the people.
Ohh...I can't say I get it, but I do understand that you're a stand-up guy!

Close enough. Probably.

I always took you for a sourpuss, but it looks like you're actually a very good-natured sourpuss after all!
Hey. That isn't a compliment.
Ahaha! Yes it is! Anyways, you're great, Aurel. I know you work hard. Heh-heh. You get a gold star from me! Good job.
Hmph. Even if someone like you compliments me... Well, anyway. Shall we go get something to eat?
Oh, great idea! I'm going to have curry!
You always eat that. I guess I'll have a hamburger then...


The text says he says "Whew...", but "Hmph..." is more appropriate, which I think you'll agree with if you watch the video.

Finally, a decent DEF stat. Back at the atelier... Training for a reason

Hm? What that Mimi just now?

Mimi! Whoa, you're soaked through with sweat...!
Oh, sorry. I was practicing with my lance.
Wow! You must be exhausted. So, yeah! Um, Mimi. What's the secret behind your strength?
Huh? The secret behind my strength?
Yes! I really want to get stronger than I am now...!
I see... Hmm, it's hard to say... It's just about practicing, isn't it?
So simple!
Yes, I mean, what did you think it'd be? It's not like you can get strong without doing anything, right? So you have to train and train, and polish your skills that way. That's the source of my strength.
Oh, I see... So I just have to frantically train, huh...
No, I wouldn't recommend doing it "frantically". You have to stop and think about why you're trying to get stronger.
Why I'm trying...?
That's right. Why you're trying to get stronger, the purpose of your training. Get it?
Hmmm... So, Mimi, what's your reason...?

She's always been so reckless. She'll do anything to reach her goal, no matter how crazy it is. I guess I do it so that she can do crazy things like that and be OK... I train to get stronger so that I can to protect her from all the monsters. I make sure to train everyday without fail.
Wow! For Ms. Totori's sake!
Yeah. I also want to be more well-known as an adventurer, but... Ah, Lulua. ...Don't you dare breathe a word of this to Totori! Got it?!
Ahaha! I'll try not to!
Try? I don't like the sound of "try". Oh well. That's the reason I'm trying to get stronger. For some reason, all this training is starting to pile up. Anyway, hang in there. We've got high hopes for you.
Mimi...! I will! Thank you so much!

Hear that, Totori? This woman's life pretty much revolves around you by this point. Respond to those feelings appropriately. And now we're jetting off Arklys. Really racking up those Warp Gate frequent flyer miles. Family matters

I'm sorry... Even so, I... I think I will have to refuse the foster family's offer.
I see...
(Hey, isn't that Eva and Father Benon? Foster family... For Eva?? But it looks like she's refusing... I wonder what happened... Oof, this is bad timing... Better just pretend I didn't hear anything...)


Mana?! Cripes! Gotta be quiet...
Uh-oh...! *falls over*

Lulua?? Lulua...!
Um... Well... Nothing! I heard nothing! Yup!
So transparent...
Shut it! It's your fault I got found out anyway... Um, sorry!
Oh, it's fine really. You heard about the foster family, right? Actually, this isn't the first time. But I always turn them down.
Oh...really? If you don't mind my asking... Why...?
Well... I already have my true family here.

I... I'm not even sure I could have a family anywhere else...
Well, I respect your decision, Eva... I will go and let them know.
Sorry... I don't mean to cause trouble.
Oh no, no. You've caused no trouble at all. This is your life after all. You must decide what is right for you.
Father... Thank you...

Family is definitely a touchy subject for her. Hopefully that's all there is to it. Now it's time to head for Izuko Beach. Make sure you've made the Pseudo-Sonne before you go there. The road to Izuko is through the far exit of Guiding Light Forest, which we've already been to when we went to gather the Forest Dew.

Well, Arls is nowhere near the sea, so I can see why she'd be so excited. Totori also has to be missing her hometown. Hopefully she can go back soon.

Aside from our plot business here, two important things should be gathered here. Sage Herb grows in small bush gathering spots, and there's a Barbed Fish swimming around in the waters around here, good for an Alchemyriddle entry this chapter. Do note, however, we can't fish for the latter until we finish our business with the Sea Guardian. Aside from those two important things, the materials around here are quite excellent quality and have great traits on them, so I'd advise not discriminating too much in your gathering here.

This cave has a Moonbeam Stone and Glittery Water. The Stone is another "increases an Elemental Point value, reduces Quality" item and the Glittery Water is required for an important Alchemyriddle entry, which unlocks the highest tier of armor and ingot syntheses. So, definitely pick it up.

And that's Elemental Ride in action. Thanks to this Blue Hands being weak to Earth, any time Lulua or Totori uses a Globe, he'll do that again. Great for piling on some good extra damage. Otherwise, not much to say about this guy other than he was very annoying in spamming AOE attacks, but I did get the chance to show off something special.

Huh...the Hagel Symbol actually has a pretty neat color to it. Color me surprised.

Music: Luminas Concerto

Now that's an Ultimate Attack. One of the more useful ones, since it drops enemy resistances and does it against a group of enemies.

By the way, this is where Izuko Beach is on the world map. Not exactly oceanfront property no matter what the in-game area looks like but eh, close enough I guess.

Alright, let's see what this "Sea Guardian" is... Ocean depths, revisited

I'm reading a large life form nearby. Throwing in the food may attract it.
Haha, time for the reckoning! This is so exciting!
Hmph. Whatever emerges, our mission is the same. Lulua, if you would?
Here I go! Come and get it! Hyah!


Nothing for it, I just think Stia's really cute in this particular shot. Lulua has good taste, if nothing else.


I was afraid this was coming. Damn thing is still lurking in the waters in this part of the world.

Huh? It's smaller than I remember... Is this a child?
Excuse me? SMALL? Th-This thing?!
Oh no, it grabbed Stia! Let her go you big--Ahh!

Even under adverse circumstances, no excuse not to keep modesty in mind.

Yeurgh, it's all slimy...! These tentacles are a serious pain!
Stop this! My...sword...hnng! Do something, Niko!
Hahaha! Shout all you like, but there's not much I can do!
Don't give up! *grunt* Aaah!
Yeurrrgh, it's so slimy! Gross! Somebody do somethiiiing!

*a merciful fade to black*

That was way too tough. Ugh, and it smells like a fish market sewer.
We'd never have made it out without your help, Aurel. Thank you.
You don't say. Anyway. I suppose this will do?
Oh, a Sea Guardian leg! You made sure to get it for me!
Of course I did. After all that, I couldn't just let it get away. Shall we head back? I need a bath...right now.
Hehe, yeah... Me too...
Yes, let us return and clean up. After that...
I've got to try and synthesize the Guardian Liquor! Let's gooo!

Yeah, that's on your own time, sea boy. Anyway, seeing that blast from the past means this area's fishing point opens up, so at the very least, make sure you get that Spike Tuna before you leave.

First try. Now time to check out those Advanced riddles.

Mmm, unfortunately, more than a little work to do. Lord of the Locks: Final Chapter is for talking to that master locksmith in Arland (which we...already did) and opening five locked chests. No problem. This makes the Researcher's Key, the key that can unlock every chest in the game.

Powerful Bomb of Light and Flames is for using Bombs enough (just to be clear, it doesn't matter who uses them) and making Tar Extract, which we have the recipe for but haven't made. Necklace of Wisdom is finished by making a Philosopher's Stone and gathering a Sage Herb. Perfect for Mining and Fishing is for destroying enough things with the Pickaxe and fighting and defeating something called the...True Guardian? Haven't run into one of those guys... Rounding out the list at Alchemic Clones is defeating a ?transparent Puni? and gathering a "multi-colored fragment" at the "demon's den". Hmm...none of that sounds familiar.

But those locations look vaguely familiar, like we saw them in a previous game. Well, I'm sure we'll figure something out.

I'm with Lulua's expression there. While we COULD make a Pollutant, that shouldn't be necessary. As it happens, our next adventure will take us far from Arland, in the direction of the Forgotten Village, so I'm sure we can pick up some alchemic detritus along the way.

Yes? What is it?
A bit of synthesizing. I would like you to make me a weight.
Weight? Like...a heavy thing? Are you pressing pickles or something?
No, not exactly. But the heavier the better. Can I count on you?
You bet! Extremely heavy...right? Heh heh. I'm going to make it so heavy, you'll be shocked!
Really? I'm looking forward to it. Well then, I'm counting on you.

Nothing's impossible for a genius.

I made this with Awakened (Clay) from a Sea Puddle to fit it into a White Haze Symbol for Sterk. Gotta get that bonus Alchemy experience.

Well, "Weaken Item" on Sterk is completely wasted, but the rest of it is fine. Oh, "Weaken Item" is translated poorly. It lowers WT times after using an item, doesn't lower their power. Big difference. After this screenshot, I went to Forgotten Village to grab some Pollutants and Dark Dew, pleasant stuff all around really, before proceeding onto our next new location.

Welcome back to Stein Hill, all the way back from Totori. This was a somewhat early game location that nevertheless had some good materials in it. Here, it's been relegated to about...65% of the way through this game. But as such, the materials around here are quite nice, and thankfully, the local fauna isn't too deadly.

Of course, jumping around on the ruins remains a constant.

Up near the altar, you can see some Puni. Hmm, translucent Puni, eh?

Hasn't changed a bit since Totori, this monument. At least there are no wolves around. As you might expect, you should examine this for a riddle entry. This particular entry, Silent Forest of the Sacred Tree, unlocks a location just west here. So we'll be back this way. If you're lucky enough to stop by while Jeltje is here, you can buy Dragon materials off of her.

Yeah...don't go fighting these guys with Magic or Lightning. Otherwise, they're still Puni.

Music: Million Midnights

Thanks to tons of AOE attacks from both our side and the enemy's, we charged up the Ultimate Gauge pretty fast and got Ficus to use Million Midnights. This attack inflicts a special status effect called Fragile (translated as "Confusion" if you examine the enemy). What it does is that, if your attack exceeds a certain Stun value, they get broken instantly. Pretty handy.

Like, watch this Puni Lulua's attacking. It's Fainted, gets knocked out of Faint by Rorona's latest help, then...

Gets knocked back in. All in all, a pretty fun status effect to get hit with. Rorona was knocking these things in and out of Faint constantly in this fight. It was pretty funny.

Wow, that's a pretty nice payday. With a Fate Talisman, of course, but still. And yeah, as you might expect, fighting profitable enemy groups is by far the best way to grind money in this game. Particularly on CHARISMA. By examining this monument and defeating one of these Puni, you finish another riddle. Annoying because you have to go back to town to decipher it, but hey, them's the rules. After this, I went and fought another enemy group to grind Bomb usages. Piece of cake.

In a couple of chests scattered around here, you can find a Green Glow Symbol and a Mercurius' Eye next to the altar. Less pleasantly, you can also find a Draconia hanging around in an area you couldn't get to in Totori. I believe we've had enough fun with those for one update. But now, we have a Runestone Nest to raid. Back to Arland. Pie Master

Ah, Lulua. Glad you made it. Make yourself comfortable.
Uhm... Did I come at a bad time?
Ahaha, well I have many requests, but... I was going to take a break, so it's fine!
I see. I see. Good! have so many requests! That's Mom for ya! The most wonderful, legendary alchemist in Arland!

Total mama's girl.

S-Stop! You know how embarrassed I get with compliments...! OK, end of conversation! Now then, better keep up with the requests!
Ahaha. Mom, you're bright red. ...Hey, Mom, what requests do you have left? Can I help?
Hmmm... Well, there's bombs? And a pie... Then medicine, a pie, another pie, one more pie...
Isn't that too many pies? Though I guess alchemy can handle anything.
Hehe, that's right! It's because my pies are delicious! I even opened up my own little pie shop! Well, it closed right away, but...

One would naturally be led to think this is referring to the pie shop you can build in Meruru, but Rorona otherwise doesn't seem to remember anything else from her time in Meruru, so could go either way. Also entirely possible she doesn't remember much, but she can remember some things from those years spent in Arls.

Oh, really...? I have to say, Mom, your devotion to pies is amazing. It's like me and curry....huh? A written request... "Rorona, the magnificent pie artisan. We request another delivery of pies." This...and this...and this one too! The pie requests...they all say "pie artisan"...
Oh, you're right... I didn't notice that...
Hey, Mom. Now that I think about it... A ton of people must actually think you're a pie artisan...
Hehe, it's just as I hoped! No one can beat me when it comes to pies! OK, let's make some delicious pies! Swirl, swirl...!

Yeah, serious. Calling Rorona a "pie artisan" is hardly an incorrect statement of fact. From what I remember of Rorona, Rorona's history of pie artistry goes back to the early days of when she lived with Astrid and frequently used the oven to bake pies. Even back then, her pies were apparently delicious. After the kingdom announced the workshop was to be closed down and Rorona was volunteered to fix that, Astrid refused to let her use the oven anymore and ordered her to use alchemy instead. And thus, a legend was born.

The title of pie artisan kind of suits her... Ahaha, that's my mom after all! RIght, in any case, I'm going to strive to be both alchemist and a curry artisan! Just kidding! Mom, let me help!
Th-Thanks. Then, add this...

For your first Philosopher's Stone, which will almost certainly be made in service of making Rorona's item, don't sweat what exactly it looks like *too* much. That said, if you can stick an TP enhancing traits on this, more the better.

As for the Stone itself form a gameplay perspective, Atelier's interpretation of this legendary item is that the Stone can be be fit into many item categories. On the bottom right box you can see all the item categories it falls in, but never forget with the Awakening effect, it can fit into a fifth. If you're making OP equipment, these things are going to absolutely mandatory to register with Chim Dragon and buy a lot of for maximizing valuable effect bars. But even with this one, they cost 2700 Cole a pop. That's gonna go up to like 15k with great Quality / traits.

When we actually get to that point in the game, we'll go over it again. By making this first one, however, we've completed Necklace of Wisdom. So now, we can get one of the best accessories in the game.

But now, it's time to upgrade our Omega Craft. Yeah our current one was alright, but definitely could have been better. Now it's time to make the one we'll be using for the next few chapters. You don't need me to tell you want to all the component parts to be as high quality as possible. To that end, I used a 292 Quality Craft, a 420 Quality Mysterious Spice with Awakened Fire +2, a 420 Quality Pure Oil with Fire +1 / Earth +2, a Witch's Salve in the Awakened slot for Temp DEF Debuff Lvl 5 (50% hit to the enemy's defense), and a 238 Quality Uni. So how did I get those items as high as that? Well, it mostly involved cycling the Medicine Base. The Medicine Base is among a handful of items that can be used to make itself in the (Poison) category. So, using the same traits in each synthesis, make higher Quality ones using the lower Quality ones until you get it as high as you please. With a cap of 500, of course. In most every Atelier game, there are items that can make themselves, it's just that it's easier in this game because of the whole Awakened Effects system.

As for how I got a Witch's Salve here, I used a Sage's Herb in the Awakened slot, to turn it into a (Plant) item. As for this Omega, since I don't need to use any Boost Items to get an Effect I want, I used an Alchemy Activator to get the Quality to a whopping 416 (current one is 135 Quality). The traits on this one are all the same as the one I've been using, just that it has a much better Awakened Effect and much higher Quality. There's no sense in upgrading this Omega until we break the Quality cap for the last time and get access to ultimate traits. Then we can make an Ultimate Omega Craft. Look forward to the power of that thing.

As for that great accessory I mentioned, it's this, the Philosopher's Necklace. Mostly for that first Effect, which is insane. Increases (Healing) and (Bomb) power by 30% and lowers WT times after using by 30%. Philosopher's Wisdom sounds cool, but it just switches a certain percentage of HP and MP. Basically useless, but that Fire effect way more than makes up for it. Piana, Rorona, and Lulua should all be using this by the endgame. With much better traits than these, of course. I added Sulfite to get that final Effect, as you might expect.

As for our business now, since we're in the Arklys Area, let's check out this "True Guardian" at the Eternal Spring. I certainly didn't see anything like that last time we were here, but can't hurt to check again.


Say hello the "true" guardian of the Spring, the Huge Isle Fish. This is a special enemy you can fish up from around here for this riddle. Aside from it being a special enemy, it's just a tanky Isle Fish, nothing really special. Ficus completely destroys this thing with his Lightning skill. After this fight, back to Arland yet again.

This riddle unlocks two new Exploration Tools. I think the last two of the game: the Super Helix Rod and the Shaky Pickaxe, which doubles the max Destruction Level of a Pickaxe. We'll still need a Super Mining Bomb to destroy Level 5 and 6 obstructions, but a Level 4 Pickaxe can destroy a hell of a lot.

For the Helix Rod, the trickiest part is having the recipe for the Styrom Board. I was lucky and was able to fill out both Effect bars, so every fish in this game is at my mercy.

Permanent Destruction Level 4. Gotta love it. I think that's up to small purple crystals? That sounds right.

Now time for a rather dangerous location. Quite dangerous.

As I alluded to, this place was a Big Location in Totori, that contained a landmark and a boss to fight. Glass Element, I believe. It unlocked in the first half of the game, and caution was definitely needed at that point in the game.

Yeah, the enemies around here are meaty as hell. Aside from Draconia, I think this is the first enemy in the game to break 10k on Very Hard? I think that's right. Well, Wind Stone doesn't count because, although we "fought" it, you got destroyed. Luckily, this isn't as much of a tooth pull as you might think. Remember, Dark Water. Dark Water. Even with that, the fight lasted nearly 10 minutes, so you'll forgive me if I skipped it. Honestly, I wouldn't even bother fighting it. Just too much HP for now, and not enough reward.

Our first rainbow crystals. You can swing that fancy new Pickaxe as much as you want at it, you'll never break it. Only a Super Mining Bomb with Destruction Level 6 will do it.

You'll definitely want to to get Rainbow Fragments, good for this riddle. I got those Alchemy Coal from a nearby chest, but that's not nearly the most valuable chest around here.

Hm, there was something hidden on a middle walkway here in Totori, wonder if we can get there from the next landing.

Well, that's not happening. Let's see if we can drop down on it.

There we go. At the end of the path is a locked chest with a Runestone in it, which has good traits on it, blocks 12% of damage, and resists 1-hit KO. Sounds good to me.

Hidden out of sight is this area boss, the Violet Fang.

Normally I'd talk more about the boss, but that would have required it to move a single time. It did not. For the highest tier wolf, not very impressive. Actually, I wanna talk about Sterk's Spirit Burner, which massively increases his ATK at the cost of a very high chance of Stunning himself. If Lulua can stand by and recover him, there's no big issue. The ATK increase is massive.

Now, I did say very high chance, and truth be told, I was super lucky here, because he didn't Stun himself. About the only notable thing to happen this fight. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to demonstrate that because the wolf went down so fast. I'm disappointed. The reason we fought this guy was to solve a hidden riddle we haven't exposed yet, but it most certainly exists.

Past the area where Glass Element was hanging out, there's a big gathering of crystals to smash. Mostly for Boost Items, but for some assorted stuff as well. It's worth your time.

Oy, this fight gives me nightmares from previous fights, since I, by this time in my prior playthroughs, had forgotten about the Echo Elemental in Modis Ruins. This fight takes *forever*, since these things are so tanky. They have one notch of Magic resistance and completely block Lightning, but that's about 36k HP to drain on three enemies, and they fight back hard. Insta-killing is not an option. You also can't lower their resistances with Rorona or with Lulua's Ultimate Attack, so yeah... This one's a grind. Took me about 10 minutes to win. I regret that.

Damn, I knew I should have made that Researcher's Key before I set out, but I totally forgot this chest was here. Actually, there's a really big reason I'm kicking myself for this in particular, but we'll get around to that. Well, nothing for it. The last relevant thing you can do around here is defeat one of the Eternal Darkness Demons lurking around. That solves another clue. They're pretty dangerous, as you'd expect of the highest-tier Demon enemy in the game, but you'll have to fight one eventually.

Once you finish your demon-hunting business here, let's head back. Gotta wrap this chapter up. Tales to frighten children

Hehe... Thank you all for coming here today. Now, I'd like to start the "Exciting Scary Story Competition!"
Man, that really came out of nowhere... "Lulua, I want to tell ghost stories so gather people around", she said.
So that's what this was about. I had no idea what was going on.
Ahaha, me neither...
Hahaha, same for me! Ghost stories sound fun though. I'm a bit of an entertainer, if I do say so myself! Then... How about I go first!
Oh, feeling confident, Ficus? Go for it then!
I will. Let me tell you about "The Cruel Demon"...
A cruel demon...?
Yes. Once upon a time, among tall, snowy mountains...stood a tall, tall tower.

Of course he did. The demon only knew two others, after all. One was a fickle little human girl. The other one was a monster, stronger even than he. One day, the monster tried to eat the little girl. The monster said, "I'm starving. If you don't let me eat this human, I'll destroy the world." The demon fought the monster, but alas, the demon fell. In the end, he offered the girl as a sacrifice. The girl died because of his weakness...and from then on he was called the Cruel Demon.

The end. Hah hah hah! How was it? Scary?

Hmm. Quite a tale.

Mm, not so much.
Hmm. I do think it was well done.
Rather than scary... It made me feel bad for the demon. He had to sacrifice that girl because he couldn't stop the monster.
Yeah. And besides...that demon isn't cruel at all, is he? If he really was cruel, he would have forgotten about the girl in a second.
Haha, now that you mention it, you're right. ...Ficus?
Eh? No, it's nothing. I see. He's not cruel, huh...
Yes. Heh... Then let me share with you all a true scary story! Open your hearts and ears...and prepare yourselves for true fright!
Hm? Ficus...?

Even more curious. But then again, a misunderstood demon has to be a pretty rough calling in life. You're still a *demon*, after all. Hard to get over that first impression. After that scene, I made a Tar Liquid to finally finish all of Chapter 8's riddles. Your reward is the Rainbow Supplement recipe and +90 Alchemy experience, putting me at Alchemy level 39. We're actually closing in on all the Alchemy experience needed to finish the game, so that's quite exciting.

Once again, Lulua freaking out over an item she can make. I got nothing.

Yeah, I wasn't making this seriously, but like I said, the Healing Bell is the best healing item in the game, so I'm not in the mood to change it. Now only Keina's level up request is standing between us and fully leveled job boards across the board. Speaking of Ms. Heinze, another batch of jobs, another scene. Since I got the following two right next to each, they're in the same video.

There is a new song playing over this scene, which is unfortunate since both this and the next one are fairly long, but it's...actually the credits theme, funnily enough. It's a really nice song, don't get me wrong. It's just not the time for it. Precious friends

Hehe. These two are Horoholo and Aranya. They're my precious friends.
Wow, Horoholo and Aranya...! Wait, Horoholo and Aranya? Is that where the name Ar Hollow comes from?
Yeah, that's right! They've been with me since I was a kid, and whenever I have them, I feel secure. I want to turn this tavern into somewhere people can feel safe and relax. So I created the tavern name from their names.
So that's it...! Horoholo and Aranya! I'm Lulua! Nice to meetcha! Oh no, Ms. Lionela! It looks like this bit's got a bit frayed.
Huh? Oh, you're right... I need to fix that right away... I think I had some cloth around here somewhere...
Oh. If you just need some cloth, I can bring you some! Seeing them all frayed like that makes me feel sorry for them! I'll get it for you in no time!
Really...? I wouldn't want to trouble you, Lulua.
Not at all! Just wait a bit, I'll be right back!

She wants two high quality Moffcot. Now that's an armor tier from like...5 chapters ago, I think, so it's likely you won't have any lying around. Not I, certainly, so I had go out and make some. 80 Quality, for the record, qualified, but I doubt the cut-off is that high.

Ahh, thanks so much! Isn't that nice, guys?
H & A: ...
Now, let's get down to business. Lulua, the cloth...
Here you go! I'll help you.
*chuckle* Thanks. Let me just close up shop real quick. *fixes them up*
That should do it! *chuckle*
Wow... Ms. Lionela, you're so good at needlework! Hehe. Isn't that nice, guys?
Hehe. It seems like you guys are really happy. Thank you, Lulua!
Not at all! I'm just glad I could be a bit of service.
Yeah. They're really, really precious to me, so...

Ahaha, yeah...! Hang in there!
A & H: ...
OK, I'm off! Later, Ms. Lionela! *leaves tavern*

Sorry, sorry. But I'm glad we got you all fixed up. *chuckle* Yeah, that's true. She's such a good, dedicated kid. What?! I-I wonder...
(I wonder who Ms. Lionela is talking with? Hm? It can't be... Horoholo and Aranya...?! Ahaha, yeah right.)

Right... Let's just say the kindly big city tavern owner is a bit more...unusual than she appears in this game, Lulua.

Anyway, like the gear we gave to Stia, this is a Plot Item and thus impossible to fail. Quality is also, of course, irrelevant.

*gulp* That's...quite a smell. It smells like month-old fish stew...
Lookin' at it now, I feel kinda bad. Not even my mortal enemy deserves to end up as booze.
Hahaha, I'm sorry! So this is what Ms. Totori said gave her motivation...
Well, you can stand around chatting all day, or you can take this to Totori and see what she says. By which I mean, PLEASE take that thing away. That stench is making my eyes water.
Yeah, yeah, I get it! Right. Time to get going. Before the smell gets into our clothes and we have to burn them...

Yes, that would be dire, wouldn't it, especially when it's the fault of a stinky mollusc. However, I think a better place could have been chosen to hand this over other than the country's parliament building. Her Answer, part 1

Hehe, nice work. Let's just take a--yeeuch! Hey, Mimi, drink some of this.
Why me?! You're the one who asked for it, YOU drink it!
Hmm, you're right, but... Uh... You can handle your liquor way better than me!
That is so not the issue here! She made it for you, so you should take responsibility.

Yeah, serious. Keep the flirting to after hours, please and thank you.

Ah, sorry! Mimi is a little too frank...
Yes, yes, I'm sorry. Now, would you tell the poor girl about your purpose in life?
Hehe, oh yes. Well, the thing is, Lulua. You know I started my journey looking for my mother?

But since I found her, I've discovered a new one. To spread alchemy throughout the whole world. That's where I'm at now.

I mean, not to take away from Totori's nice little speech there, but a gross simplification of what happened. You'll recall Totori didn't really accomplish anything with respect to finding her mom. Oh, she found the admitted in-name only grave, conquered the high seas, and defeated a demon, but Gisela was alive and well and, in the True End version of events, showed up regardless of Totori's input on the matter. But it is certainly true her world grew considerably over the course of her game. I will not gainsay that.

Hmm. I'm not quite sure I get it.
What I'm saying is, your purpose in life isn't always something static. It changes as you do. To put it another way... The goal you want to accomplish the most right now is probably your "purpose in life".
The goal I want to accomplish right now? I see...
I don't think you should dwell too hard on it. Whatever you want to do, go out and do it. That's what living is. Right?
...Thank you so much, Ms. Totori! You've given me loads to think about!
Hehe, I hope so. Good luck, Lulua!
Thanks! Hey, hang on... This might be a stupid question, but... What does your advice have to do with Guardian Liquor?
Once, long time ago, I had to work very hard just to create this Guardian Liquor. So you could say that there was a time when my purpose in life was to make Guardian Liquor.
Sorry, Lulua... Don't make the mistake of thinking that Totori has any idea what she's doing.
Hey, that's a bit mean! You're not nice, Mimi... Hey, don't forget to drink your delicious Guardian Liquor! Yum yum!
Gah, not this again! I don't want your gross octopus juice! You drink it!

Well, whatever you decide to do, do it quickly before it ruins the fine ornamentation of the parliament building. I doubt the Chancellor will much approve of that. Let us return to Arls for a few more scenes. Getting closer to finishing this chapter. An adventurer's purpose

Hm? Hmmm? That's weird... I can't find it... I couldn't have dropped it, could I?! Oh no, no no no!
Huh, Jeltje looks really worked up for... Oh! Maybe it's her! Jeltje! You wouldn't happen to have...dropped something?
Oh, Lulua... Yeah, actually... I dropped my locket... Oh no, where could I have left it... I know I had it when I left the inn...
Um, your locket, could it be this one?
What? Yes, that's it! Lulua, you found it?!

Haha, I'm glad you're happy! It must be pretty important to you!
Yeah... You've probably already seen, but... You know the picture in this locket? This... It's actually my missing older brother.
Oh... Missing...?
Yeah... He just left one day saying he was going to become the greatest adventurer ever, and since then... The truth is, the reason I started chasing after adventurers was because of my brother. I'm sure he's an amazing adventurer now. So I thought if I could find enough great adventurers...
You could find your brother?
Yeah... I still believe I'll find him someday. ...Though, at some point my goal really did become just meeting more great adventurers! Hahaha! I wonder if he's doing OK out there...
He's fine, I'm sure of it! Your brother said he was going to be the "greatest adventurer ever", right? Then that means he must be out there right now, trying to become the best!
Lulua... Yeah, you're right! Thanks, I feel better somehow! I'm ready to give it my all!
That's the spirit! I'm behind you all the way, Jeltje!
Ahaha! Now... Why don't I give you this, Lulua!
Huh... Is it OK for me to take this?
Of course! It's a thank you for finding my locket! See you around, Lulua!

*Jeltje leaves*

Not this, but it is important. Notice how it's gold-colored? Part of the recipe is for a Gold Puniball, which can be acquired from that Gold Puni in Golden Plains. Do that and you're...golden to make this final key and final piece of Exploration Equipment. Golden.

Good times. Too bad we can't use it as a weapon. This video contains the next scene and actually delivering it to Meruru. Why this first part? Stia is cute. Her Answer, part 2

I can feel the cold from here! It is amazing that you can create this without machinery.
Hehe, impressed? That's the power of alchemy...and hopes and dreams!
Alchemy...and hopes and dreams?
That's right! Now to take this to Ms. Meruru!

*Lulua leaves*

Off to Atelier Meruru...but an unrelated scene first. I'd link a video here, but hm. Seems I entirely forgot to make one. Ah well, it happens.

Lulua! What's up?
Hehe. There's something I wanted to ask you. Ms. Meruru, you spent time outside of Arls, right? Where did you go while you were gone?
Ah yes... Hehe. I went to a lot of places. I went to Arklys, I went to the edge of the Western Continent...
What, you went that far out...?! Did you find anything interesting?
Of course! I saw a lot of stuff that I'd never have seen if I stuck around in Arls. And that's thanks to my father.
Your father?
It was my father who suggested the idea of traveling to me. I'd spent my whole life thinking about how to help Arls, so he suggested I broaden my horizons. And Keina approved of it. So that's how I came to travel the world.
I see... Is that so...
Hehe, it was reeeally fun! And of course, I learned a lot. There are some things you only understand when you leave your home behind. ...Though I think you already know that, Lulua.
Ah, I think I understand. Something that seemed obvious may not be...
Accumulating experiences like that deepens your view of things, you know? I want to keep going to all kind of places. I think that'd be nice.
Oh, me too! I want to see more... And go to a lot of new places!

Ahh! In that case... I'll have to go to EVEN MORE places! Ahaha!
Ahahaha! At any rate, travel is good.
Yep! And I'm so grateful to the people in Arls who made me realize that.

Unfortunately, nothing special about these items. No traits or super high quality or anything. Maybe it's finally time to stop stealing her stuff. Actually, I learned this quite a bit later than when I recorded this, but the items in Meruru's chest are actually randomized to some extent. Still no traits, though.

Oooh, an Ice Cascade Bomb! This looks perfect, Lulua!
Ehehe, you really think so? That's a relief. I thought about all the people whose hard work led to that recipe. I knew I had to make it properly---I couldn't bear the thought of letting them down!

With how much this game's Meruru glosses over the history of this particular item, this is a bigger legacy than she probably realizes. Remember that her aunt was an alchemist of some renown herself, it ended up in the castle's storeroom, then was improved upon by Meruru herself, Rorona, and Totori. Probably Meruru doesn't feel the need to lay on all that history here.

Haha! You've done very well. I wouldn't expect any less from my apprentice.

Uh...this? The Ice Cascade Bomb?
No, "hopes and dreams". To try to fulfill hopes and dreams of people. To use alchemy to improve the lives of others. That's my purpose in life, I think.
To try to fulfill hopes and dreams of others... I see...
I'm sorry, that's very vague... I haven't given you much to go on, have I?
No, don't worry about it! It just makes me respect you even more!
R-Really? Wow, you're going to make me blush!

No need to panic. Just keep on pushing forward! Fearless and bold!
You got it! Thank you, Ms. Meruru! I'm going to think about this a lot!
Yeah, good idea! Farewell then, Lulua!
Yep! Byeee!

"Fearless and bold", huh. Good Meruru philosophy on life. But now, time for wrapping up the third piece...

So the Philosopher's Pie is kind of a strange deal, because check out those Elemental Point bars. In most every synthesis you can use this in, the net elemental effect will be 0. It makes this thing kinda niche, but one of the few helpful categories it falls under is (Puniballs), which is a typically hard category to work with since monster drop quality is usually not the greatest. Well, there will come a time when we'll worry about such things. Her Answer, part 3

All done! My mom's special item, the Philosopher's Pi--
Huh, Mom? What are you doing here?
Isn't it obvious?
Haven't you noticed, Lulua? Rorona's been watching you the whole time.
What?! Really? I... I didn't notice at all...
I didn't know you knew that, Sterk! I used my best hiding skills, too... But whatever! Lulua, you did it! You're absolutely amazing, my little genius!

Ahhh! Thanks, Mom! I bet I'm going all red...

Really like Lulua's relationship with Rorona. She's just so happy to have Rorona's attention and love. Total mama's girl.

I needed so much help from everyone...
That's not exactly right. Even I needed loads of help. So that doesn't diminish what an accomplishment this is, my little cutie-pie!
Hehehe. Thanks, mom. Oh, by the way. This item... You said it was what made you realize your reason for living... But what did you mean by that? Will you tell me?
Hehe. Now that... That is a secret.
Huh?! Are you joking?! C'mon, Mom, I need you to tell me!
Hmmm... I think... Someday, you'll understand for yourself.
Ughhhh... Mooom! Please! I've got to know!
Hmm... Alright, I'll give you a hint.

Uh, wh-what?! I don't really know what to make of that... Philosopher's Pie symbolizes your reason for living, which What??
Hehe, I'm hungry. Well, guys. Shall we make dinner?
Let's! I'll help you, Ms. Rorona!
I guess I'll set the table. ...Lulua seems a little preoccupied.

Wow, Lulua is completely gobsmacked. Nice work, Rorona. But now, since that was the third item... The path forward

Hehe. Hello there, Lulua. Did you ask everyone your question?
Yeah. Everyone has their different purposes in life... My mom wouldn't tell me what hers is, though.
Ahaha, is that so? So, what's the verdict? I mean, did you find it? Your own purpose in life?
Yeah. I think I did. More or less. Ready for it? My purpose in life is... To study alchemy really hard!

Certainly seems to have come a long way from complaining about studying while traveling from place to place.

Haha, it ended up being pretty simple. But maybe that's okay? Pure, simple, and straightforward. Sounds a lot like you, Lulua.
Huh? You make me sound like a simpleton...
No, that's not what I meant! Haha. Why would I insult you like that?
Not sure I believe you. But whatever. My mind is clear now. I can go back to trying to enter the depths of Fellsgal--huh?
Don't tell me... "Alchemyriddle"?
Yeah, I think so! Let's see, what does it say... Wow!

(But Ms. Totori, Ms. Meruru and my mother, in showing me their approaches, guided me towards my own answer. And the real answer is that there isn't just one. You give yourself a purpose every day, and strive towards it. Live your life every day to the best of your ability. But... For that moment, finding at least a preliminary answer gave me some peace of mind. And soon afterwards, "Alchemyriddle" showed me something that shook my whole world. And so marks the "Chapter of Answers". When, vague though it may be, I found my purpose.