Atelier Meruru ~The Apprentice of Arland~

ateliermeruruMerurulince Rede Arls (CV: Satomi Akesaka) or Meruru is the not-so-princessy princess of the small kingdom of Arls. She is clumsy but wants to get out more and often runs off instead of taking her lessons at the castle. One day Totooria “Totori” Helmold (CV: Kaori Nazuka) arrives to Arls as their alchemist, as it’s decided Arls will be merged into Arland. Meruru bugs the poor alchemist until Totori agrees to make Meruru her apprentice. Determined to become one to travel the world, Meruru turns to her father who forbids the princess at first, but eventually changes his mind in a three-year long trial. If Meruru can get the country to progress in its development with alchemy to a satisfactory degree, she can continue alchemistry, but if she fails… She is never to have anything with it anymore. Meruru’s only choice is to get Arls on the same level of development as Arland, but will her three years be enough?

This game is a stat raiser. I HATE STAT RAISERS. But this was pretty good. I’m a pretty organized person so I had about 70 sheets of paper of hand-written notes, to do-lists, synthesize-lists, gathering-lists, lists of material categories… All because I wanted to be as effective in the development as possible and manage my time well. Except for the keeping the Development going, having high popularity and manage time, you also need to keep an eye on Friend Levels. There are 10 endings to this game which have different requirements, and Castle Life is the “normal ending” which you get if you don’t get all the requirements for any of the other endings.

castlelifeCastle Life (Normal Ending)
Meruru managed to reach her goal within three years and now that Arls has merged with Arland and she’s back to her life before, she feels… somewhat unfulfilled and like she has no goal anymore. Keina tries to talk her into being more energetic and somehow it ends up with Meruru considering being a magician.

I will – maybe – add the other endings eventually if I get them all, but I just don’t manage to get any other endings with my terrible time management skills right now and after playing it over and over again I got sick of the game. Besides, I didn’t get my question about why Arls is merging with Arland answered, nor why Arls has to be developed before the merging. Meruru is incredibly stupid and the only character I actually liked was Totori – she was adorable. While not in battle, the weapons magically disappear. I can’t imagine where Keina’s basket goes, and she could really carry it at all times. I went with the explanation that Meruru keeps her staff up her butt at all times outside battle, and hence can’t think enough to not be extremely stupid. I did however love he crafting, questing and country development, even with my lousy time management skills. I’m definitely going the play more of the Atelier series. Just not Meruru. In a while, anyway.


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