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My Year of Gust - February: Atelier Elie!

GaijinMonogatariGaijinMonogatari RPGamer StaffRPGamer Staff
edited March 2014 in Staff Review Blogs
For the second month of the year, we have Gust's first real sequel: Atelier Elie. As near as I can tell, no other Gust title aside from Atelier Marie had made enough of a profit to even consider a second installment before this, and no other non-Atelier title would manage it until Ar tonelico, of all things.

While this is actually the first time I've ever played Atelier Elie, I'm not aiming for the best ending. A while back, I came across a mention on the Atelier TV Tropes page that went on and about the ending with Romauge the dancer, and the fact that it was the only "romantic" ending to the game. Color me curious, I want to see what that's all about.



I put a few hours into Atelier Elie this evening, and the improvements over Marie are immediately obvious. The jobs list is both friendlier to starting players in terms of difficulty and is also easier to navigate. The bodyguards aren't quite so expensive to hire, and best of all the rate of items gathered in the field has increased enormously. There's also a new type of job available that requests items of a certain type, but not a specific material.

The game has a different character artist from its predecessor, but it meshes the old and the new together well enough. I've so far met six characters who were in Marie as well, and with one exception their character art in the new style stays very true to the originals. The exception, Schia, is still recognizable, but more mature and less china doll.

Comments

  • NyxNyx Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2014
    Is there actually more of a story in Elie compared to Marie? I'd be curious to know!
  • GaijinMonogatariGaijinMonogatari RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2014
    Yes there is. Elie has quite a bit of backstory to help fill in her character, compared to Marie. Unfortunately, a lot of it seems to be packed into the audio drama CD that came with the game, and not within the game itself.
  • GaijinMonogatariGaijinMonogatari RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2014
    OK, I'm into the second year now, courtesy of some afternoon gaming time. (My wife insisted, since it got me out of the way while she cleaned the bedroom to her satisfaction.)
    The big events so far have been Schia's wedding in June of Year 1 (with a brief appearance by Marlone) and the big exam in August. Elie's friend Nordis got the top score, her rival got the second spot, and Elie got.... seventeenth place. Better luck next year, Elie.

    On the plus side, I got fairies! My rival was so jealous, she cobbled together a homunculus to do errands for her. Unfortunately, it started raiding the Academy stock for supplies... Have yet to see how this all plays out.
  • GaijinMonogatariGaijinMonogatari RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2014
    Pretty far into Year 3 now. Elie manage to get 7th place in the second exam, partly thanks to me cheating and looking up the best ingredients blend for the test item. I hadn't realized that the blend alchemy mechanic was introduced so early in the series, to be honest. I thought it was one of Lilie's quirks.

    I also unlocked Castanier as a location. It's the second town in the game, and it has a few new expedition points as well as a meddlesome sea serpent that I know I'm going to have to get rid of at some point. Unfortunately, I mismanaged my finances and lost four of my fairy helpers due to lack of salary. Time to work my way back up in the world!
  • GaijinMonogatariGaijinMonogatari RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2014
    Almost to the end of Year 4 now. I've unlocked the original alchemy mechanic that lets me try and create my own recipes. I am again reminded why I hated this mechanic so much in Atelier Lilie. There's usually little clue as to what can be made this way, and the results often aren't worth the time spent experimenting. Thankfully it's easy to abuse the Save/Load function.
  • GaijinMonogatariGaijinMonogatari RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2014
    Apparently there's a possible ending that triggers at the end of Year 4 which I was not aware of. Unfortunately, I was missing one item needed to trigger the Romauge ending, so after the credits rolled I went back to my last save and found out that the make-it-up alchemy mechanic CAN produce items normally acquired from book sources so long as the ingredient list doesn't too closely resemble a different, known item.

    Whatever I did in that last month of frantic item-making, it removed the Year 4 ending flag, so I'm actually into Year 5 now. Whew, now I have time to make all those new items I learned, once I realized I could access the secret reading room in the library (maybe six months too late).
  • NyxNyx Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2014
    Keep it up! This one sounds a bit more all over the place than Marie, but I could be wrong.
  • GaijinMonogatariGaijinMonogatari RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2014
    A little late, but I finished Year 6 and got the "Going Home" ending where Elie decides to return to Robson Village upon graduation so that her people can have a real doctor. I have no idea how I screwed up the Romauge character ending, but I did somehow. I might try it again in a year or three.
    Keep it up! This one sounds a bit more all over the place than Marie, but I could be wrong.

    It's actually not quite as all over the place as Marie. Marie had a very vague goal and almost no direction, but Elie has regular tests to prepare for (every August), a stated goal (locate the alchemist who saved her life), three towns to visit and explore from, and about six years to do it in. This game was also the first Atelier to have multiple character-specific endings and event flags, though they're not as well implemented as in many later Atelier games.

    I'll be getting a review together this week :)
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