Table of Contents
Before You Begin
Without spoiling anything, just make sure that you get a perfect on every exam throughout the game other than the first one. You should get a flower shaped stamp rather than a double-circle. Save before you turn each one in. You can technically miss one or two and still qualify, but the exact number is unknown, don’t risk it. Also, the “Roger’s Crazy Idea” exam-like quests count, make sure to max those out as well. These all feed into the requirements for the True Ending.
Other than the Exam B questline that has a one-month time limit on it, there are no hard time limits in the game. Feel free to sleep for a week at any time to refill vendors or advance quest timelines. Each 10-day period adds a friendship point to everyone in your party, not as good as using them in battle, but easy to get for everyone. So feel free to sleep for a couple months in a row here and there. Many questlines are tied to friendship points, which you can see on the Status menu. Do note that friendship can be locked by chapter, and quests that otherwise might trigger on friendship can be locked to chapter or to other events, so you can’t necessarily max out questlines early in the game. Also, don’t forget to periodically check all three maps (town, outdoors, paintings) and look for the green “!” event markers, as events sometimes pop up even outdoors or in paintings.
There are 4 hidden merchants, and they’re only open for half a day each, otherwise the merchant either isn’t there or is a white dot instead of a blue one and won’t sell anything.
- Royal Castle – Entrance Hall – left of entrance near gallery hallway
- Church – across from Pamela
- Atelier Borthayre – green haired girl farthest from Lucia
- Smithy – across from Hagel
Check all merchants constantly throughout the game. These, plus Corneria, Hagel, Pamela, and Liane. Different things unlock constantly, and always buy every book, as many recipes are found only in purchasable books.
You want to grow this as much as you can, as at 10, 30, and 50 you get one free trait transfer without needing a catalyst, as well as a few other benefits along the way. The easiest way to increase this regularly is to make one of everything. Unlock everything you can as early as you can on the recipe book, and make every recipe at least once. It can be made with junk and not be used, but the very first time you make a recipe, it’s worth a lot of alchemy level points, so it adds up quickly over the course of the game.
Generally collect every collection point once and beat a couple of every enemy, in every new area. You want to see what collection points can have and what drops each enemy has, as some are unique and needed for recipe unlocks. Once you can create Special Nutrients and Special Elixir Nutrients, make one with the best effects and use it while running around collecting (once per load area), to improve the quality and traits you get from everything. Don’t worry about running out of space in storage, unlike other Ateliers; you start with a decent amount and will get a quest soon enough to max it to 5000 items, which will last thru postgame.
Try to do the usual Atelier meta-gaming with combining traits like Critical and Critical+ and so on (see the various Trait spreadsheets for more info) to make better ones. Annoyingly, Lydie&Suelle is quite tight with giving away the ++ traits that let you make the max tier combinable traits, until at least as late as the story halfway point midboss, which is a bit stingy. So, always check all vendors. Many of them cycle through selling items with most of the ++ traits on them!
That being said, if you make just minimal decent items and accessories, you can do every quest and unlock every item all the way up to the final endboss, on Normal difficulty, with maybe a tiny bit of luck on a couple encounters. The final endboss will require grinding good items, though, it’s definitely not a pushover.
The quality looping meta is not as necessary in this game, other than the final exam in Chapter 12. It matters for item ability strength and for battle mixes, but not for weapons or armor in this game, so there isn’t any need for quality 999 items in the Lydie&Suelle main game on Normal difficulty unless you are doing all the post-game stuff, or trying to beat everything on the highest difficulty. For that, there’s a million specialized FAQs out there, check the link list on the main page for plenty.
DLC and DX
If you’re playing the original non-DX, then if you plan to do post-game things, I’d say it’s worth getting the extra areas, it’s up to you if you really want the outfits. Even for someone that has occasionally gotten a DLC outfit, they’re not particularly good in Lydie&Suelle, in my opinion. The DLC areas literally cannot be unlocked until Chapter 12.
Buying the extra characters is also a decent idea, as Lucia and Ilmeria are pretty decent, though not completely necessary. The DLC recipes are also probably worth buying – they will be unlocked from the very beginning of the game, though most will not be possible to synthesize for a long time due to alchemy level and ingredient requirements.
The DLC areas are hands-down the best way to trait farm, though by that point it’s too late for farming prior to the endboss of the game, which is fairly challenging. That being said, there’s a lot of DLC boss challenges to contend with, as well as boss refights on higher difficulties, depending on your interests.
If you have the DX version of the game, you get all of the above, as well as one additional extra secret area. In each painting, there’s a fragment of another painting, and when you find them all, they unlock the town from Atelier Nelke, with a very short few minutes of plotline, and a boss fight. The painting fragments are not available until you complete each painting, and they’re in glowing blue chests that are either (1) at the end of the painting, or (2) wherever the Hagel statue is in that level; really, you’ll find them, they’re glaringly obvious and glow brightly. (Click here for a text description of each.)
Invisible Prairie Fish
There are plenty of ways to grind traits in the DLC areas, honestly you can just use a good nutrient and run around and collect stuff, and you’ll get almost all the postgame traits pretty quickly. However, there’s one I have never seen documented elsewhere that’s some kind of interesting easter egg. The Invisible Prairie Fish. Go to the Claudel Prairie DLC area, walk along the path until just before the NPC who’s leaning against the fence on the left. Walk off the path to the left about 10 feet and in the middle of the dirt there is a collection point with no visible indication anywhere, but a “!” will pop up when you’re over it. Pick it up. Voila! Fish. O.o In the middle of a prairie. It always has high level traits on it, and you can get every single trait, including Ultimates and Divines, other than Resonance All: Truth or the three Truth traits (those you need to either kill super-bosses or do the Red Sand / Malmore Comet quest trick for). But everything else you can get from the flop-flop-flop fishy in the middle of the dirt.
|Off the beaten path near the NPC, an invisible collection point||Really, seriously?!||A DAMN PRAIRIE FISH|
While there’s plenty of ending guides like here and here, one thing seems to be missed in explaining them… when you get to the final chapter and you’ve done enough ambitions to unlock the S-rank exam, you do actually need to receive the exam in order to trigger any of the various ending events. However do not turn the item in. As soon as you do, you are locked into whatever endings you unlocked up to that point and cannot go back.
Save the game before you turn in the item. And make sure not to save over your most recent save with the clear-save you get at the end of the credits. Do save the clear-save in another slot, as doing so unlocks some extras in the main title menu permanently, but you can’t continue from a clear-save, that will just start up a NG+.
You can unlock every ending at the same time and then choose which one (even the normal or good endings that aren’t specialized endings) after you turn in the S-rank exam item… other than the True Ending – once you create that item, turning in the exam item will be locked into the True Ending… though you can throw away that item to undo access to the True Ending. In any case, always save before you turn in the S-rank exam item and don’t save over that with the clear-save.
Also note that some ending guides state that you must complete every single ambition in order to unlock the True Ending, and this isn’t accurate. A few of the Battle Mix ones on the A-rank tab are horrendously annoying because they’re based on sub-quests that might take forever to appear on the notice board. You do not need to complete every ambition. Just every character quest, all but one exam perfect (including Roger’s challenges but not including the first exam), and 100 friendship for everyone (including Lucia and Ilmeria, whether you can see their Friendship or not, which you can only miss out on seeing if you play the non-DX version and don’t purchase their DLC characters).