Yeah, I know I made a post a while back calling Lina no Atelier terrible, but that was long ago when I hadn’t played very far into it. Having played it some more and, in fact finished it 4 times for 4 different endings, I must say it’s far and away the best DS Atelier so far.
Let’s take my complaints again one at a time. First off, the money requirement isn’t as high this time as it was in Lise. Somehow I misread “hyakuman” as 100 million instead of 1 million, which is why I flew off the handle. And in fact I was more than halfway there when I realized my error.
More than halfway, you ask? You mean it’s that easy to earn 50 million cole in this game? Yup! Remember my second complaint that buying and selling is more important that alchemy in this game? Well it’s completely true if you want to make money, though you won’t need that much. The fastest way is to buy and sell weapons between Hengst and Felsen and Pesca, buying what isn’t sold in one town and selling it in another, back and forth. Weapons sell for most in summer, but you can spend spring, fall and winter buying and then sell in one swoop. Once you unlock the higher level weapons you can apparently make 500,000 in one trip! So yeah, you probably still need to spend one playthrough getting enough money and enough synthesis raw materials, and then you can spend the following runs getting a proper ending.
I also complained about the talking, didn’t I? Well it’s not half as bad in this one as in Atelier Annie. I think I was still traumatized by all the babbling there and ended up overreacting. There’s still a bit of talk, but apart from Ryuon your party members don’t waylay you inside your atelier – in fact they never show up there. Even when your friendship with them is at maximum they don’t talk too much, and they don’t bug you endlessly with requests like they did in Annie. Plus they’re really likeable too, each and every one of them. Even the storekeepers!
What else did I say? Oh yeah, I said something about alchemy taking forever to produce even simple items. Unfortunately that’s true, but only in the beginning when the level of your alchemy tools is low. Once you have the right tool for the job and have leveled it up enough, you can make massive quantities of items in very little time, some of which sell like crazy (but not as much as the right weapons). Also almost all drops are fairly easy to come by, which means you can make just about every item you have a recipe for instead of grinding for hours for an item with a 1 in 2000 chance of dropping. Cool, right?
Oh, oh, and they brought back the fairy hiring system from early Atelier games, though you’ll need to fix the forest a bit more before that option becomes available. In the beginning you can only hire incompetent black fairies (come on Gust, why is black still the worst?) but by the end of the game you’ll get fairies that are even better than you at alchemy. Sweet! They cost a pretty penny, but what’s a little money to a multimillionaire like me?
And even better, all six endings are quite easy to get, including the best one. I’ll do a post about how to get each ending if you’d like. But that’ll have to be later because right now I’ve got some SMT: Strange Journey (oh lawd it’s boring, but I just learned not to judge a game by the first 2 hours) to play. Yay!