By “finished” I mean I successfully completed all of the king’s assignments in Shin Atelier Rorona, not that I’ve done everything the game has to offer. After the credits and the ending rolled I was offered an extra year to do some forging and foraging and stuff. I’ll save it for next time I need an alchemy kick, I’m pretty satisfied right now.
The nice thing about this game is that you can see several different endings in one playthrough as long as you meet the requirements. I got the following three endings after finishing with a 100% approval rating from the townspeople and an unspecified number of yellow stars from the assignments:
- An ending where Rorona is a super busy and super popular alchemist. So busy she doesn’t have time to cook, so Iksel comes over to make her lunch. There are hints that he may have romantic feelings for her, but she doesn’t seem to reciprocate or even notice.
- An ending where people gather outside Rorona’s atelier to watch her blow stuff up. Cordelia comes over and gets caught up in an explosion. Rorona is well-liked but doesn’t get a lot of alchemy requests and is always in the red.
- Rorona and Hom decide to leave town and go on a journey to learn more about alchemy. They leave Sterk to take care of the atelier in their absence.
All decent endings, though the explosion one felt a bit hollow. I don’t know what the “True Ending” is like, but I’m not really motivated to find out. I suppose it will explain why the minister wants the atelier gone so badly, but seeing as he just gave up halfway through the game and was never seen again, I suppose it doesn’t matter.
Final thoughts on Shin Atelier Rorona. I will be brief. I WILL be brief!
- The number of recipes available did increase, but not as much as I would have liked. For the last assignment I handed in a really good elixir in the first few days and spent the rest of the time making the same items over and over again.
- Money was a bit tight. If I’d known how easy it would be to increase popularity once you can register items, I would have taken a few more of the trap requests.
- I had no idea Hagel sold alchemy books till the final year >___< Long years of playing Atelier games have conditioned me to never buy weapons and armor from the blacksmith so I never bothered to check his inventory. Boy did I kick myself then.
- I like the “decorations” gimmick. Especially since they carry over to subsequent playthroughs. I wish some of them had been available earlier but that’s the point of the future replays.
- I still don’t like the side characters. What I hate most is the way they leave Rorona out of the loop all the time. Rorona will have a scene with someone and walk off, then Astrid will show up or Esty will show up and they’ll talk about stuff that happened in the past blah blah blah I don’t care blah blah blah. If I play a game about Rorona I want it to be about Rorona, not about whatever Sterk and Astrid and Esty had going on 10 years ago. Get your own game, guys.
- Monsters were hard to avoid. I don’t like allegedly avoidable encounters.
- Bright happy colors! Cute character designs!
- I’m happy I got to do a lot of alchemy and fight a lot of bosses and explore a lot of dungeons. The boss fights were the best part, especially since I barely scraped through some of them by the skin of my teeth. It’s punishment for all the years I spent cheesing Atelier fights with tablets of time.
I’m glad I played Rorona just to get it off my chest. I’ve been wondering for years what it and the other Arland games were like and now I know. I had fun, I guess, but it’s more a feeling of “Okay I scratched that off my bucket list” than anything else. As a plus I can also skip over the other two games (Totori and Meruru) since they feature much the same cast and the same items. But I’ll play them anway because I just can’t help myself when it comes to Atelier games.
Enough about that. It’s an okay game you can play it if you want. I’m a bit tired of Fire Emblem Echoes because of the stupid cantors that keep summoning more and more and more terrors all the time. I might well shelve it for a bit and start something new once I finish Act 4, depends on how things play out and how much dumber Celica can get. We’ll see how it goes.