The Let's Play Archive

Atelier Lulua

by Sylphid

Part 35: XXVIII: Pages of an Otherworldly Visit

Chapter XXVIII: Pages of an Otherworldly Visit

So...huh. All the plot threads have been wrapped up, we've saved Stia... There doesn't seem to be anything else that NEEDS doing, does there? Well, that sure wouldn't make for a very interesting way to end the game, would it? Let's dive right in. A new resolve

Hehe... I bet. I'm hungry, too.
That's right, now I remember! We were going to have a curry party with everyone today... But there was something I needed to do...
Something you need to do?

I haven't told you yet, Stia, but... You see, this book was entrusted to me... By myself from another time.
From another time...?
Yeah... Another dimension... In which I couldn't save you...
So that's how it was...
Uh-huh. It's thanks to "Alchemyriddle" that now I can be with you forever, Stia. So I need to... Convey how grateful I am...

Well, I'm certainly with you so far, but it's quite a thing to convey your gratefulness across dimensions...

(Alt) (Stia... Stia...!)

This is wrong, I still haven't...
Uh, Lulua? Wh-What's wrong?
I still haven't...saved you! I couldn't protect you!
Huh! Wait, what?! No, I'm right here?!
Oh, sorry... Um, what I mean is... The you in the other time. The version of me from that time, she's still separated from her Stia. That... That makes me so sad! That's why... I have to do something!
Hehe, ahaha, ahahahaha!
Wh-Why are you laughing?!
Anybody would laugh. You're trying to save me from a different timeline, really...

Lulua's got it bad for Stia, man. Forms attachments very quickly, apparently, but let's just call it fate that in every universe, Lulua completely falls for the robo girl Stia.

T-there's no reason for you to thank me... I already decided this on my own, so it's OK!
*sigh* You laughed again!! Stop it already! Hmph! I'm going to talk about this with Mom now! So, you make the curry, Stia! Hmph!
All right. Hehehe. See you later, Lulua.

Already at the newlyweds stage. Good for them, and I think this is as big an endorsement as any for what we're about to do. But first, we need to go talk to Mom. Crowning glory

Huh? Lulua? You aren't staying in the wagon today?
Well, I was planning to, but...! There's something I want to do!
And what might that be?

*Lulua explains quite the ambitious scheme to her Mom*

Wow, I see...
You get it, right? I have to save the Stia from the other dimension! Isn't there anything we can do, Mom?
You see, Lulua... Sorry to say this, but...I don't think you can. Do you understand why? Even if it is another dimension...a "Parallel Universe"... The fact that Stia couldn't be saved, that means, it's already happened... Basically, it's already in the past.
It's in the past... "You can't undo what's been done"...?
Yes. When you try to change the past, you simply create another parallel universe. And perhaps... I think, there are many dimensions in which Stia wasn't saved... Trying to save her in each one...
I'm sorry, Lulua... That's why, this time...
Sorry, Mom! I know it won't be easy! But...I just can't give up on this! Alchemyriddle... It contained soooo many thoughts and feelings.

That's why... I want to repay the favor! I want to rescue Stias from another dimensions! So... So...
Lulua... Hehe. Heh... I see. What happened to me? I must have gotten too complacent lately! How could I forget there's nothing alchemy can't do?! If my teacher was here, she'd probably come up with something in no time! That's why...

Yeah, believe it or not Astrid's got this heavy stuff down "pat". Well, maybe not "pat", but this would not be her first time dealing with the flow of time and alternate dimensions. What exactly am I referring to? Maybe in another thread.

Mom! Are you sure...?!
Yeah, of course I am! If you're sure you want to do it, Lulua, I'll help with all I have. So... Let's figure it out together?

Um, we're going to synthesize two tools... One is, the "True Dragon Hourglass". An item that transcends time and space. This'll let us jump into the past of a parallel universe. And the first thing we'll do there, is rescue Stia!

Ah, the True Dragon Hourglass. Believe it or not, this is not the first appearance of this item in Atelier canon. It actually dates back as far back as Atelier Judie, the fourth game in this series and the first of the Gramnad games. In that game, Judie making it accidentally sent her several hundred years in the far future, where her trouble ensued. It showed up in at least one other game, but again, a subject for another thread.

Yes, you're right. But doing that will only create another parallel universe. Which is when we use the second item. Our secret weapon. Passing through multiple parallel universes, we'll forcefully lock past events using the "Time Brooch"...
Using this, we'll be able to lock in the reality of "Stia is saved" across all timelines. To put it simply, change the past!

Absolutely no universe where these two don't get together. Rorona's kid learned to dream.

Yeah! This plan is bound to work!
Ahaha, that's right! But...
Hm? What's bothering you?
Well... Even for me... This sounds like an outrageous thing to do!
Ahaha, that's all? You don't need to worry...probably! Because... You just want to save Stia, right? If it's for someone you want to protect... Hehe... You have to be a little reckless, right?
Hehe! You're right! Everything about this has been crazy from the start! So it might as well be until the end! I'll push through the craziness! Yeah, we'll find a way...somehow!
That's the spirit, Lulua! Well then... What about the recipe?
Ah! I'll brainstorm! It was my idea, after all!
All right! If you don't understand something, make sure to ask, OK?

Boy, the journey from Point A to Point B has been quite a thing these past few events, but that's our Lulua. Going from "I have to, in some way, thank Parallel Lulua for Alchemyriddle" to "It is unacceptable that we don't get together in any reality, and I'm going to do something about that". Suffice to say Parallel Lulua has quite the shock in store for her.

I'll piece this idea together!! Woo! Let's go!

As far as decoding this last story riddle, just make a good quality Sands of Time and enough alchemy experience. Definitely not the best expert on what exactly it is but alchemy level 40-44 or should suffice.

OK, it looks like there are no problems with the recipes! All I need to do now is synthesize...
The True Dragon Hourglass and the Time Brooch... You really came up with some outrageous items. Hehe. I expect nothing less from the Frixells!
No, no, this is all thanks to you! Because you taught me alchemy! Thank you! Thank you for everything, always!

Well, let's not forget Parallel Lulua, too. Remember, she had to come up with all these recipes on her own. Our Lulua was given this cheat sheet right at the start of her adventure so another version of her would follow her path as closely as possible but reach a different conclusion. But Lulua's paying her back in her own way.

Oh my, so formal! That's what teachers are for! Careful, make sure to focus while synthesizing. ...You're really planning to save Stias from another dimensions?
Yes! It's a really complicated synthesis, but...

(I have to succeed for Stia...!)

Well, no reason to hold back now, is there? You only have three required syntheses now between you and the end of the game, and also the final two Alchemyriddles you can't have completed before the start of the Final Chapter. That said, we certainly have a lot of stuff to do around Arland still, including getting the Rorona/Sterk ending flag, so that's much of what we'll be doing today.

I think a good place to start is taking out the two remaining request bosses, taken from Arland and Arklys' job boards. Good excuse to revisit Stalhang, too, which you don't really have occasion to revisit after all the business with the Puni Rangers is done.

Well, where would you have an appropriate showdown in the Spire part of the Castle? Why, on top of the spire, of course.

So remember that Wild scene about eggs? It turns out he wasn't referring to SOME Egg, he was referring to THAT Egg, which can be found on top of the spire in a nest. That was uh...quite the discovery for me. Anyway, the dragon is just off-screen, facing Lulua's back. Sky Ruler Edra

Pfft, is that all? You don't know who you're messing with.

Well...maybe it has *some* idea. Overall this guy seems a *lot* harder than Celestial Emperor, though that's probably because I fought Emperor on V. Hard and this guy on CHARISMA, so maybe there's an appreciable difference in danger there and nowhere else.

But, as always, this Craft is so jacked all I need to do is keep Lulua healthy and the game is pretty much over.

I didn't want to completely trivialize this guy by just completely annihilating him with the Craft, but bored now.

So let's see if Old Dragon Emperor can put on a more entertaining show. Something makes me doubt it, but we'll soon see.

This is where we got the special Ore the first time we came here, and the platform the Dragon Emperor is guarding is on the platform with a lot of rainbow crystals. Can we go 4 for 4? Let's see. Old Dragon Emperor

Yeah...this is not gonna end well for him.

Yeah, simple matter. Lotta powerful AoE attacks, blah blah. The Craft completely destroys him, so I mostly used this is an opportunity for Meruru and Sterk to fight normally. Back to Arls.

Ah, Ms. Meruru! What's the matter?
Um, I heard from Master Totori that you're very good at making Tonic. Is that right?
Well, I don't know how good I am, but I can make Tonic, yes.
I see. Hehehe... That is useful information! May I ask you a favor, Lulua? Would you make me the best Tonic you can manage?
The best Tonic I can manage...? What are you planning to use it for?
That's something you'll find out later! Thanks so much! Hehehe... *runs off*
Ah, she's gone. The best Tonic I can manage... I've got a vague idea of what she might need it for. I guess I'd better make it for her then...

Well, she does like mushrooms. Coming up a Meruru brand line of mushrooms? Seems pretty wholesome if you ask me. Don't know what the Tonic Quality cut-off for her is, if there is one, but anything you can make right now will almost certainly be fine.

Wow! Thank you, Lulua! Hmm, this is truly excellent quality. Hehehe, as long as I have this, my plan will work for sure!
Your plan?
Yes. My plan is...

I think Meruru might have taken the entirely wrong lesson from Ent.

I figured it was to do with mushrooms, but a giant walking mushroom?! Um, Ms. Meruru? Can I ask a few questions? Does the mushroom need to be that big? And it doesn't really need to be able to walk, right?
Ahaha, absolutely it does. The bigger it is, the more it stands out, and the more satisfying it is to eat, right? As for the walking element... That will allow it to disperse its spores in a wider variety of locations, creating more and more mushrooms! In other words... It will enable the swift propagation of Arls mushrooms all across the land!

That's the least it'll do, I think...

Ahaha, that's a plan for total environmental destruction... Which is why I'm taking this Tonic back.
Ah! That's my Tonic! Oh, I thought it was such a good idea...
I respect your love for mushrooms, Ms. Meruru, but a self-multiplying giant mushroom is simply too much...
I see. Alright then, what about if we forget about the walking part, and make it bigger instead? About the size of Mt. Velus...
I'm afraid not.
(Ms. Meruru's normally so sensible, but when it comes to mushrooms she just loses her head completely... Just like Mom and her pies... Is there some rule that says alchemists have to each have their own special obsession...? Whew. I have to make sure that I never end up like that, obsessed with one thing!)

She doesn't seem to catch it herself, but we know how this girl rolls. Now to Arland. The fight

Hmph. The name Sterk is dead to me!
(Uh... Looks like they are in the middle of a fight...)
As I've said countless times, we don't know what lies in the Eastern Continent. It's likely dangerous monsters live there. That's why I didn't want you to get involved.
And I too have told you countless times... It's because you don't trust me, isn't it? Ugh, I'm not a child anymore. I'm an adult, you know! You don't need to worry about me!

I mean, the guy did almost get killed by a dragon thanks to Rorona not really paying attention, but she does have a point. Rorona's seen quite a bit of the world since and it hasn't slowed her down a bit.

(Uhh, there's...nothing I can there? I better head back home quietly. Yeah...)

Wow, Lulua backing off this time. Guess it's awkward when your mom is involved.

Woah... That's a lot more than I expected...
Yes! I ended up really getting into it!
Hehe, is that right? So how about it? Making this many should have improved your speed... Do you think you're ready to try using Duplicate?
Yes, I'm ready! I'm sure it'll all work out, somehow!

Synthesize at super high speed, synthesize at super high speed... Aaaaaaarrrgghhhh! *stirs rapidly*
Th-This is remarkable...! She's so fast, it looks like there are two of her...!
Faster, faster!
Now there are three Luluas...! I-Incredible! I've never seen such speed...!
Wooaaahhh! Go, go! *pant* *pant* ... I've done it... I've done it, Ms. Totori...! I've managed to use...Duplicate...too...

Lulua?! Hey, Lulua!
She certainly managed to synthesize at super high speed, but it seems to have taken a real toll on her body. Hmm... Perhaps I shouldn't try teaching Duplicate to anyone else... Besides, I don't end up duplicating myself when I do it, and come to think of it, I was always able to do it without ever practicing. ...So what exactly was it that Lulua did? Well... To be honest, it scared me a little, and I'm concerned for her health, so we probably shouldn't do that again, haha...
Heh... Yes, I can do it too... I can make more curry now... Hehe!

Let's just chalk this up to a bad dream... Now back to Arls for Meruru again. Trust me, not a huge amount of interesting content elapsed in-between these scenes, especially since you've met all the qualifications for seeing these scenes just by seeing the first one. Just follow the breadcrumbs after that.

Ms. Meruru, hello! What's the matter? Why are you staring at that medicine like that?
Ah, Lulua... Oh, you might be just the person I need! I know this is kind of sudden, but could you do me a favor? Could you make me the best medicine you can?
Th-The best medicine I can...? Is someone you know ill?
Oh, no, no, please don't worry! It's nothing like that! I'm actually in the middle of developing a new medicine myself, and I'm gathering different types of medicine as reference materials.
Uh-huh, I see. In that case, I'd be happy to help! I'll bring you what I make as soon as possible! I'll be back!

Well, I'd love to help, but lemme just stop by a certain small homunculus first... A captain once more

Ah, Niko! You look rather happy.
I do? OK then. I've got something I want to show you!
Is this...a letter? What does it say? "I hereby appoint the person named below as the Captain of the New Maritime Routes Exploration Brigade. Nikodemus David Dieter" Do you mean...
Yep, it's the job you told me about, Lulua! And not only that, but they made me captain!
That's wonderful! Congratulations, Niko!
Haha! Thank you. It seems Mr. Sterk put in a good word for me. Well, in any case, I can finally return to the sea!
That's great! Hehe! I'm so happy for you!
It's all because I met you. You truly are my goddess of good fortune!
S-Stop that... You're embarrassing me.
Haha! I'm really not kidding! When I set out to develop this new sea route, I'll be sure to put your goddess statue on my ship. So basically, I'm guaranteed to succeed! I'll have to take you for a ride on my ship sometime, Lulua!
Really? That would be great! I've never ridden on a ship before!
Haha! It's settled then! I'll show you how amazing it is!

Lulua, I look forward to our next encounter!
As do I! Congratulations, Niko!
Thanks! I won't let you down!

And that's all Niko wrote. Now we only have one normal ending to unlock.

Wow, thank you! Hmm, let's see, what does this contain...? Oh, yes... Each individual makes medicine in a subtly different way. I can learn a lot from your medicine, Lulua!
Hehe, really? I'm glad it was worth the work I put into it! So... Ms. Meruru. What's your best medicine like?
Oh, you're interested? Well, the answre to this!

Yup. It's an original creation, a modified version of the Elixir! I'm actually in the process of developing an even better medicine, but right now this is my finest creation.
Wow, an original medicine...! I'm kind of jealous...!
There's nothing like developing your own recipes. You can adjust the effects just how you want them, too... Hehe, why not try and come up with an original medicine of your own, Lulua?
Hmm, that sounds good! If I had a medicine I developed to my own tastes, it might be very useful! But Ms. Meruru, there is one problem...
Don't you think "Lululixir" is just a little too hard to say?

On the contrary, I think it's pretty catchy. Slightly catchier than Merulixir if you ask me.

Well...I think you're free to name your medicine whatever you like.

Just bouncing back and forth here...

Huh, is that right? Well, you've convinced me! Hah hah hah!
Oh, it's Ms. Totori and Niko. You two look like you're getting along well.
Oh, Lulua! Listen to this! Ms. Totori's father is a ship builder!
Huh, really? You mean...who makes boats?
Ahaha, yes. I can't think of what else a ship builder would do... So, like I mentioned before, I grew up in a fishing village, so I have a real fondness for boats. And that's what we were talking about!
Boats, huh? That's so cool! I've never ridden on a boat...
We'll have to do something about that! Boats are great! They're so big, and they roll on the waves so delightfully! Ugh, if only my ship weren't wrecked, I'd take you out on the waves right now!
...Hm. Then how about you make your own ship, Lulua?
What are you talking about, Ms. Totori? It's not as easy as making dinner, you know.
Ahaha, that's right! Even with alchemy, a ship seems a bridge too far...

And another Atelier protagonist. This is elementary stuff, Lulua.

Wh-What?! A ship?! Or parts of a ship?! Using alchemy?!
Yes. we are. This is the recipe I used.
Wow, it's true. This is for ship parts...
You're serious? You can do that? ...Hey, Lulua!
Ahaha, I know what you're going to say, Niko. You want me to make a part, right?
Exactly! You always know just what I want, Lulua!
Ahaha, well, it ought to be good alchemy practice for you. But...
Good luck gathering the materials...

This is actually pretty close to the recipe in Atelier Totori. Well, Lulua has it easy; she just has to make one part. Totori had to make five. As a fun fact, the ship-building part of Totori was the major in-game roadblock from proceeding with the plot, because there was one material locked behind a location that only opens up once you renew your license. Atelier games have generally gotten more open, starting with Ayesha, when the story proceeded exactly as fast as you made it proceed. Escha & Logy was the last one with traditional time limits, and even then you could technically fail to complete the game but still could get an ending. Very strange.

The only non-weapon DLC item. So there you go. After we made the wheel, we're back to the castle. Dangerous lands

Mr. Sterk...
Oh, Lulua?
Mr. Sterk! Ah, and Lulua! Perfect timing! There's rumor of an incredibly powerful monster at large in the Ster Highlands.
What? You don't mean Suni Sterm? Not again!
I don't know. But...I can't just sit by.
Yeah. Mimi, please notify all adventurers not to venture near the Ster Highlands.
Understood! What's the plan, Mr. Sterk?
To slay the monster, of course.
Right... Don't push yourself too hard!

*Mimi runs off*

Mr. Sterk, does that mean--

Now I know what's going on... I can't let you go alone!
No, but... We know nothing of the monster that awaits us. And that makes it very dangerous.
That's even more reason for all of us to join you!
H-Hmm... Then everyone apart from Rorona.
No, there's no way. You know Mom will say she's going no matter what.
Well, let's head out once we're ready. Right, Mr. Sterk!
U-Uhh... Understood. Just make sure you're careful. Absolutely do NOT do anything stupid. OK?

I think we can manage that much. Well, possibly. Lulua's probably up to half a dozen instances of running off and getting attacked by something so far. But for now, we have other business here.

Hehe, well done, Lulua. I'm sure it wasn't easy.
Not at all. I never knew so many materials were needed to make a ship.
Of course they are! Mind you, I never knew a ship could be made with alchemy. I mean, I knew you could make cannons, and stuff like that. But the actual body of the ship itself...
I told you, didn't I, that I made a ship myself once? You can't make the whole ship in one go, though. It wouldn't fit in the cauldron for a start.
Is that the real issue?
...Hehe, hahahahaha! Wow! Alchemy is even more amazing than I realized! And this looks even more solidly made than most ship builders could manage. I'd like to put together a whole ship made entirely using alchemy!
Wow, that sounds great! What a wonderful dream!
I'm on board, too! But...

Yeah, she'd done quite enough of that for one lifetime. Though, you do have to wonder where that ship went. It was sailing merrily along at the end of Totori, no sign of it since...

Ahaha, that's true. Hahaha...

Rorona's Primal Art for her protagonist acolytes is pretty great, but unfortunately we won't be exercising it in this coming fight. We'll have Lulua / Rorona / Sterk as the frontline, appropriately enough.

Once more up the mountain. Should be the last time. Should...

The Falling Star Symbol covers the weapon in glittery rainbow mist and stars, but definitely not the easiest to see against a bright background. Anyway, as you might expect, the target is at the summit. Standing Together

We've made it to Ster Highlands...
Hmm... I don't see the monster we're looking for...

It actually flew down from above, but this shot looked nicer. Dragons in this game have impeccable timing, if nothing else.


That monster's...! H-Huge and terrifying...!

For this flashback, this dialogue definitely isn't the same as it was in Rorona, but the essentials are all here. How do I know? Checked the old LP for this scene. I don't recall much at all being rewritten in Rorona+, so again, don't think the dialogue here is the same as it actually was.



Please wait!

Rorona...? But--
Didn't I tell you? I'm not a child anymore. You were always protecting me back then... But I'm a fully fledged alchemist now. That's have to trust me. I'll stand by your side and fight, Sterk.
Rorona... I see...
Yes! Hehe. Even after we defeat it, I won't let my guard down.

See? That little summary Sterk gave to Lulua was the incomplete story, and the person herself confirms it. I reiterate, however, that very like Sterk not to blame her for it.

Of course you won't. In that case...let's go, Rorona!
Yeah, Sterk!

As for the fight itself, it's another normal dragon, just with enhanced parameters. Unlike the previous boss fights, however, I won't turn this thing into contact vapor in just a few uses of The Craft. In fact, I won't be using it at all. Only item I will be using is the Healing Bell, but it does give me a chance to demonstrate a gameplay mechanic with Meruru, so let's just have fun, shall we?

So the mechanic I'm talking about is this, a special one with Meruru. It doesn't obviously do anything, but you'll see just what it does soon enough.

So in addition to removing status effects, it also increases critical rate and power. Gotta love Awakened Effects.

So here's what's going on with Meruru. The Set-up effect goes toward buffing her Ultimate Attack. Self Enhance trades the +5 AP effect for a 25% boost to the Set-up effect, but either way, it's definitely worth it to improve the Set-up effect as much as possible with Meruru in the backline.

And here you go. Obviously we'll save it for the Ultimate Attack.

Gotta love it. Definitely a fun mechanic to play around with.

The more things change...

It's over...
Rorona. apologies.
The letter. Somewhere, deep inside, I still considered you to be too young. But...seeing you fight just now...I finally understand. How...much you've grown.
Haha. Come to think of it...we've come through a lot together. I fully trust you to guard my back in battle.
Hehe, and I trust you too! always make it look so easy, no matter the monster.

Finally, we got this man to smile.

Rorona. Once again...I'm counting on you.
That's my line! Sorry for being so stubborn!
(Hehe. Seems like they made up.)

Yep. This is how it should be. Unless you have any further business in the Highlands, time to head back to any town.

Oh, Ficus. What's the matter? Have you been up to some mischief again?
That's what you naturally assume? You're so cruel!
Ahaha, I was just kidding, of course. So what's up? You seem to be muttering to yourself. Are you struggling to come up with a new trick or something?
Well, that's true, but right now I actually have a more specific concern.
A more specific concern?
Yes. That.

That? You mean Ms. Totori?
Exactly. I'm not sure why, but she's been following me around for a while now.
Hmm. Are you sure you didn't do something to provoke her?
...There is one thing, but I can't imagine she knows about it.
Oh, ignore that. I was just thinking aloud. Whatever the reason, it's making me uncomfortable. So, Lulua, can I ask you to speak to her, and find out what the problem is?

Oh boy, this is awkward... Even if Lulua knows Ficus is a demon, she doesn't know what Ficus did to Totori. And for Totori's part, she knows what Ficus did to her but she doesn't know he's a demon. All very uncomfortable for all parties, even if two of them don't quite know the whole story.

...Well, I suppose this state of affairs isn't helping anyone. OK, I'll do it.
Thanks! I'm counting on you.

...Um, Ms. Totori. Can I ask you why you're following Ficus around?
Argh! Lulua! Wh-Why?! How did you know?!
I was just talking to him now... You mean you didn't see me with him?
Hmm, I thought I was well hidden, but it looks like my cover's been blown... Well, the thing is, I'm not sure why myself, but there's just something about Ficus that gnaws at my mind... He reminds me of someone from my past, maybe, or something about him just affects me... Hmm.

Aw jeez. She's getting way too close to the mark.

Someone from your past...? Is that...?
Hahahaha! I heard the whole thing, and I know what your problem is! It's stress! It's a build-up of stress that's causing you to turn inconsequential matters into bigger issues than they are.
Hmm, you think so?
Absolutely! I'm sure of it! You may not think it to look at me, but I'm something of an expert on stress!
Ahaha... I won't ask why that might be.

It just so happens there are some monsters lurking nearby. They're wild and uncomfortable, and won't listen to reason! Let's all go and get rid of them! It'll clear the area of monsters, and relieve our stress! Hah hah hah!
Hmm. While Ficus is acting as suspiciously as ever... It may also be true that you may be suffering from stress, Ms. Totori. Shall we go and fight these monsters?
Yes, I suppose so... We may as well... Still, there is something about Ficus that I just can't shake...

As well you shouldn't, but that's another matter... Ficus advises a leisurely visit to the Ancient Monastery to kill some ghosts. Personally I would have recommended Izuko Beach as a place to melt your stress away, but you heard the man.

See? Told you it looked better against a darker background.

I'll take that as a no. Ms. Totori, Lulua, this should be the perfect valve for relieving your stress.
Ahaha, that's true. Come on, Ms. Totori, let's do this!
Huh? Oh, uh, yes...!

Just three regular ghost enemies, but these ones annoyingly resist all Physical damage. Luckily, they are not a boss, so I feel absolutely no compunction against nuking them.

I told you. Appropriate exercise is absolutely essential for the maintenance of a healthy mind and body! You too, Ms. Totori. Now you can stop with this nonsense about me reminding you of someone...
Ah, I remember now!
What? You remember...? You mean, you remember who it is that Ficus reminds you of?
Yes! Ficus reminds me...

Uh...huh. Not my first guess.

A coachman...?
Yes. His name was Peter, and he was the sort whose mouth would always move before his hands. He used to try to trick and confuse people with his mastery of language and logic, just like Ficus... Oh! I-I'm sorry! That sounds awfully rude, doesn't it? I didn't mean to imply that you're a bad person! I don't mean to suggest that about either you or Peter...
Oh, haha... Don't worry, you don't have to placate me... Actually, that wasn't what I was worried about, so it's fine, really. Hahaha... It's not like you thinking I'm a bad person is a shock, really, not at all...

Wow, Acid-Tongue Totori strikes again. And the harshest it's ever been.

*Totori runs after him*

Ahaha... Ficus seemed pretty depressed... Still... I wonder what it was that Ficus was worried about, after all... Well, I don't suppose it matters. It's Ficus, so I'm sure it's nothing too serious!

This line does make me think you're meant to see this scene before Ficus reveals his true identity, since you'd think even Lulua could understand a person you know is actually a demon would make another uncomfortable, but it technically works either way, since she doesn't know the demon's connection to Totori at all. Mom's next adventure

*knock on door*

Huh? Yesss!
Lulua, mind if I come in?
Oh, Mom! Yeah, yeah, what's going on?
Um. There's something I wanted to talk to you about, Lulua.
Talk to me about...?
Well. Um. Remember the research team?
Oh, yeah. It was in the letter... The Eastern Continent researchers...right?
Yeah. Well... Sterk and I are thinking of joining them.
The fact alone that it came means they're counting on me... And, I want to use my power as an alchemist to help. Also...hehe. There's no way I can let Sterk go alone. You know as well as I do. Sterk's pretty reckless, right? So...yeah.
Hehe, you're right... Mom, you and Sterk are a good team!
...Yeah. And, um... Exploring the Eastern Continent is going to take some time. So... We'll be separated again, Lulua...
Um, if you don't want me to go, then I'll just refuse the request...
No, it's OK.
You don't need to worry about me. Mom, you need to follow your heart. see. You've done so much for me. We've eaten tasty food, and we've talked about so many things. You've also taught me about alchemy, and...

Awwww. What do you even say to a face like that?

So, please. Don't worry about me. Go...and investigate the Eastern Continent. Of course I'll miss you...hehe. But, like you, I'm an alchemist! If I can't take it anymore, I'll make something to come to see you, Mom!
I see. You're right! Hehe. Lulua?

Hey, Mom! Aren't you hungry?
Oh, now that you mention it... Ehehe, let's make something together!
OK! Oh, I've got it! If we combine my curry and your pie...
Y-You can't mean a curry pie! Hmmm...maybe that's not actually that far-fetched.
Right? Hehe, never know until you try! Let's do it!
Yeah, let's! Well, then...!
Here goes nothing, yeah!

Another parting, but it's best to do it with a smile. For the record, that's the last of Rorona/Sterk's events. No Curry Pie to make, unfortunately.

Ah, Lulua. You're looking a little gaunt and tired. What's happened?
Curry! I want to eat curry! I have to have some curry, Ms. Totori!
Curry...? Is that why you're looking so down?
Yes... I haven't eaten a single bowlful all day... Ohh, curry... Curry, curry, curry...!
Ahaha... Your love for curry really is strange... I mean, unique, Lulua-- But hearing you say the word "curry" over and over again like that has actually made me want to eat it too.
Wah? ...! Um, yes...

Totori, warning you now. If you eat curry with this girl, she'll never leave!

Then let's make some! I'll make you some! I'll do it! I'll make some! Some curry! For you! That's OK, right? That's OK, isn't it, Ms. Totori?!

What an absolute shame this scene is voiced for me. Lulua's seiyuu would have had a field day with that line.

Ah, y-yes, sure...
Alright, I'm feeling inspired! This is the perfect time to make "that" curry! Hehe, hehehe, hehehehehe...! *the nut leaves*
...She's gone. Lulua's very devoted to her craft... But somehow she does remind me of Master Rorona... Ahaha...

Dangerous talk, Lulua...

Ahaha, you seem to be in a real hurry there.
Yes! I want you to taste this magnificent curry as soon as possible!
*sniff* *sniff* ... Yes, it smells wonderful! So what kind of curry have you brought me?
Hehehe. Try not to be too shocked. This is Guardian Curry!

Thankfully as an ingredient it uses the Guardian you can fish up and use as a material, rather than *the* Guardian. Even Totori probably couldn't stomach that, curry or not.

Guardian Curry...?!
Yes! Hehe. I can't wait any longer! Let's eat it now, OK?
Sure... Let's eat up!

*sigh* ... That was delicious!
Hehe, so you're fully satisfied?
Absolutely! The curry sauce was delicious... But above all, Guardian meat was just sublime! I really loved it!
Really?! I'm so glad! I'm pretty proud of it myself!
...Hey, Lulua. I have a request.
A request...? What might that be?
Do you think you could use Guardian meat to bake a pie?
Huh?! A Guardian Pie?!
Yes. I do like curry, certainly...but my real favorite is fish pie. If you use Guardian meat, I bet you could make a really delicious fish pie! What do you think, Lulua? You'll do it for me, won't you? Right, Lulua?

Thank goodness Meruru can usually be found on the other side of the continent. We'd be adding mushrooms into this recipe in seconds.

Woah, woah... Alright, Ms. Totori, I'll do it, I'll do it! I promise I'll make it for you, just please, step back...!

A dangerous face... Thank goodness we don't have to make it and deliver such a thing to her. I would fear for Lulua's safety.

Whew... Ms. Totori was so passionate about that pie. Perhaps her love for pies is even... A match for my mother's, or even more! Surely not...

Let's not take this arms race any further than this kind of speculation... Let's also be sure not to mention anything to Meruru about this when we see

Hello there, Ms. Meruru! ...Hm? What are you rummaging in your container for? Are you tidying up?
No, I'm looking for some materials for synthesis, but it looks like I've used up the last of them...
Oh... If you'd like, I can give you some of mine.
Oh, really?! That would be wonderful! What I need is some Olgenrium...
Olgenrium... Got it! Just wait a moment, please!

A high-quality one, however. All of the ones in this screenshot were over 300 Quality, so that might be the cut-off for Meruru.

Ahaha, I don't think that's quite it, but thank you! Yes, this is exactly the Olren-- Olgenrium, I mean, that I wanted. Excellent. As long as I have this, I should be able to fix my crown.
Crown...? You mean the one you're wearing?
The very same! I banged it into something recently, and damaged it. I call it a crown, but it's really nothing more than a fashion accessory now.
A fashion accessory?

Well, she did *kinda* promise it to Rorona in the ending walk of Meruru, but presumably Rorona as an adult didn't want it and hey, she has her own hat.

Yes. Now that Arls and Arland have merged, I'm no longer a princess, you see. Still, my love for Arls will never change. I still want to make this into an even better place to live. Which is why I still wear the crown, to remind me of that spirit I never want to forget.
I see! So that's why you do it... Hehe, I think the crown suits you very well, Ms. Meruru! Your regal posture, and your love for Arls... I think all of that makes you very princess-like!
Thank you. It makes me very happy to hear you say that. And quite proud. And now that I have such splendid materials, I should hurry up and fix this crown!
I'll help you! Let's make it shine like new!
Yes! Let's get started!

But hey, now we know why she needed such high Quality Olgenrium.

And just as many Luluas. A dangerous revelation.

And that's two. Everything's set for quite the plan. Through the paths of time

With these, we should be able to rescue Stias in parallel universes!
Hehe, to think you'd really synthesize something like this... You're amazing, Lulua. Things others would think impossible, you accomplish through conviction and drive alone... That's what I really respect about you.
Hehehe, you do? Oh, but there's no time for that! We have to use this "True Dragon Hourglass" at once, and go to a parallel universe!
Hey now, no need to rush. We must make sure we're ready. We have no idea what will happen in the other dimension, right? There's no guarantee it's anything like our universe.
Uhh, yeah... You're right...
Uh-huh. Prepare wisely... And THEN we can leave.

I think we're making the common mistake of time travel, when there's no technically no hurry at all. Even outside the fact there's no time limit in this game, the plan with the Dragon Hourglass is to jump back in time to shortly after Parallel Stia left to go fix Parallel Fellsgalaxen, save her, then use the Time Brooch to lock that result into all universes. So yeah, prepare to your heart's content, even in-story.

Yes! I've got to do my best! Failure is not an option!

Don't I know it. When you're ready to go, talk to Piana in Arklys. Funnily enough, you just need to *make* these items. You don't have to actually hand them over to Piana.

Very well! Get everyone... It's finally time to go to the parallel universe!
OK! *gulp*

Again, they don't exactly explain why, but presumably when Parallel Lulua sent the Alchemyriddle, she kinda opened up the lane between dimensions, so Our Lulua can follow the same path, just in reverse. The Other Side

A plan this crazy's gotta work. At least, I think that's how this goes.

Well then, time to go, Lulua?
Yeah! It's save Stias in parallel universes!

(Alt) Well, it's too late for me now... But it'll be a better version of the world, I'm sure. Everything I've done, everything I've learned, and everything I've experienced... I'm passing it all to you. Please... I'm counting on you, Lulua...hmm?

Just wait... Also, yeah, the film grain effect is always over scenes that take place in the Parallel Universe.

(Alt) Eeeeeehh?!

Oh, it's the atelier? Huh, it doesn't really look any different in a parallel universe.
That's true... A bit disappointing...
(Alt) Eh? ...Stia?! Why are you here, Stia?! Or, I should say, how?! Someone explain what is going on!!
Ah, sorry! So... To explain it slowly... We're here to rescue "your Stia".
(Alt) What?

So in the fade to black, Our Lulua explains everything, but the basic gist of it, I think, is that Our Lulua's adventure and Parallel Lulua's were more or less symmetrical, although with some differences (like Our Lulua taking on that ghostbusting quest that ended poorly), the most important one being that Parallel Lulua either created the Alchemyriddle or had one that *she* improved on (she does say "a new Alchemyriddle"). So you really have to think Alchemyriddle is something special indeed, daisy-chained across multiple dimensions all so Our Lulua could reach the right conclusion. But the Alchemyriddle we've been using the whole game? That one is most certainly from this Lulua.

But I think in any dimension, the journey of Lulua beginning to learn -> meeting Stia -> Stia reaching her conclusion are all more or less things that always happened. See what I mean about fate?

(Alt) I...see... Hmm? I don't really get it, but I do get how amazing this is... You... You are me? Hmm... I'm a little jealous.
No-no, it's not like that! It's all because you sent me "Alchemyriddle"!
(Alt) Ah, you're right... Hehe. You... You liked "Alchemyriddle"? I tried to fill it with mechanisms that would excite me, so that you'd like it too...

Awww, she was thinking of us the whole time.

Ahaha, totally! I loved deciphering it and I got much better at alchemy. It's thanks to the Riddle that we could save Stia. That's why... Now it's my turn to help you! This world's Stia... I'll save her too! Leave it to me!
(Alt) Ahaha! You're so full of confidence aren't you?
Hehe, that's right. Leave it to my Lulua, and you'll have nothing to worry about.
(Alt) ...I see. All right then... Please, as a more mature me...

Of course I will! So... Can you tell me, what has happened here?
(Alt) We used the self-repairment function, to prevent the collapse of Fellsgalaxen. But, Stia completely merged with the control unit...
I see... Which means, she has likely lost her memories...
Right... Hmm what should we... Oh, right? It's simple. What if we make an item to restore the memories?
(Alt) What? There's no way... We wouldn't be in this trouble if something like that was possible...
No, we'll make it possible! You can do anything if you don't give up hope! Hehe. Isn't me being here the best proof?

Personally I'd say Stia being there and normal is more proof, but fair enough. Could be she was counting herself and Stia in that declaration.

(Alt) Yeah... You might be right, but...
Alright, let's try to put it all together... Maybe we should return to our world. See you later...the other me! We'll be right back, once we make the item! Just wait for a little while!

(Alt) I wonder... Can they really do it? If they can... It all wasn't for nothing after all...

The journey we've been on is proof that it wasn't for nothing, Alt Lulua. We'll make this right.

Once you get back to the atelier, you'll get a short message saying that you can now travel to and fro the parallel universe, which is how we'll hand over the final plot item to Alt Lulua. I'll just go ahead and say there's not very much to see of the parallel universe, but this is for the best, as Our Lulua will note. Think about it. This world, and Alt Lulua, have their own history and experiences that just wouldn't be right to interfere or interact with in any way. Prudence is wise in dealing with such matters.

The final Alchemyriddle entry...or is it?

Hey there, Lulua. How's your recipe?
It's mostly done, somehow! Just have to synthesize it...
Wow, that's Lulua for you! Restoring lost memories, and whipping up an amazing item, like it's nothing!
Mmm, it's based on the same idea as the Memory Core... Improving upon it wasn't that difficult. Besides... The materials...

Remember Eva's "there are two" comment? Yeah, this is what she's referring to. The confusing part is that when you made the Memory Core earlier, you needed to use a Wind Stone Feather, but only the one was pictured, so it's easy to forget she said that. But, Wind Stone did indeed give us two the last time we talked to him.

Yes! In fact, it's essential to this synthesis...
I see... Wind Stone knew it all from the start, huh?
Yeah. Nnngh, it's kind of frustrating! But... I should really just say thank you to Wind Stone! Right now, to restore Stia's memories in the parallel universe! I'm going to synthesize the Restore Core right away! It'll all work out...somehow!

Well, time to get to work. But first...

And now we have our God Speed Boots, so now it's time to finish our builds. Very exciting.

Buuuut yeah, as you can guess, this isn't ACTUALLY the end of Alchemyriddle, but the last few riddles are...different. You'll see.

So, the God Speed Boots. As usual, I'll have a little cheat sheet of how I made it, but there's a difference between this one and the three others one I made prior to this screenshot. That Sacred Bird Wing? It's the one we got from the fight with Wind Stone. With an Alchemy Activator, this gets up to 999 Quality. which feels appropriate. All the others are 921-922 Quality, mostly let down by sub-100 Quality Sacred Bird Wings dropped from the Garudas in Scorched Wasteland. It feels right, giving this to Lulua.

As far as Effects, as I mentioned the only one that matters is Lightens the Body, since the highest effect lowers all WT times by 20% and increases Evasion rate by 5%. I do wonder if Evasion values stack, but either way, not really a worthwhile build. This isn't Ayesha where Evasion builds are actually viable because you can stack the same trait up to three times on the same item, nothing any Atelier I'm familiar with did before or since. Still, 5 is better than none.

Sylphid's God Speed Boots chart posted:

Rainbow Supp (Ancient Power + Awaken Mystery) -> Himmel Linen (Earth +2) -> God Speed
Himmel Linen (Awaken Gemstone, Dragon God / Universe) -> Long Sword (Awaken Cloth) -> God Speed
Sylph Breath (Awaken Gemstone) -> Long Sword (Awaken Vapor) -> God Speed

Eva is also unique because of her armor. She can't wear the Alchemy Coat, and even if she could it would be completely wasted on her. She also can't wear the Divine Auric Heavy Armor, which is reserved only to the guys. So the Valkyrie Mail is actually the highest-tier armor she can use. Obviously you want the highest Ice value, but the Fire/Earth one you can get either, or neither. The highest Earth effect is Block Curse, and you see the Fire one before you. Really, really don't sweat it if you can't get those Effect values to do something.

And now, the final act begins. The final piece

Yes! We should be able to restore Stia's memories in the parallel universe now.
It's time.
Yes! All right, let's go back to the parallel universe! Give this item to the other Lulua! And save Stia!

But one fiiiinal step, the Drachen Elixir. This is a really powerful buffing item with all the best effects. Just keep in mind it does not heal at all, except in a very particular sense (increasing max HP technically counts as a heal) but that's not really what you use it for. As far as ingredients, I used a Medicine Base with Awakened Earth +2 x 2, a Philosopher's Pie, Dragon Horn, Ghostly Long Sword (for Damage Reducer Lv5 Awakened Effect) and an Ancient Scale. Normally I don't use those "mess with elemental values for a decrease in Quality effect, but it simply didn't matter enough to me that difference in 500 Quality, since obviously your bread and butter is going to be the Healing Bell.

Even at sub-500 Quality, this thing is really powerful. Physical Reinforcement XL is a 50% increase to all stats for 3 turns, Temp Stamina Buff L is a 75% increase to max HP, and Level Up L increases level by 8 for 3 turns, which basically gives the target the stats of a level 108 character, I think. Do note that this conflicts with any Level Increase traits (like Spirit Dwelling), so they don't stack, unfortunately. I definitely could have made this better, both in terms of the traits and Quality, but again, not really necessary.

But, whatever your final preparations are, jump back over to the parallel universe via the warp in the atelier to give the Restore Core to Alt Lulua. Just as a small note, you can't leave her atelier via the door until you give her the Core. Tune in next time for the final act of the story.