Atelier Totori

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Totori is a sequel to Atelier Rorona, and is followed by Ateliers Meruru and Lulua. Gust really liked their ablaut reduplication in the naming scheme for Arland, didn’t they? It follows the adventure of Totori, the apprentice to Rorona from the previous game, and is a bit more free-form in structure than Rorona. While the former game was broken down into 3-month long blocks with clear goals, this one has a few-year long main goal and is formless in the middle, much like Atelier Ayesha a few games later.

A lot of little details changed from Rorona to Totori, and if I have to be honest, most of them were not good, I feel like Gust dropped the ball with unforced errors and poor balance throughout. It’s still a cute game that’s “very Arland” like it’s sisters, but, while it might be the case that those coming from OG Rorona before the DX remaster won’t find the changes that shocking, if you are coming from DX, or from other modern-console Ateliers, this game is going to be rough.

I’m going to run counter to the prevailing wisdom that declares Totori to be the “n00b-killer”. It’s not deadly to new Atelier fans, it’s just plain unbalanced in general. If anything, it’s a VET-killer, because veterans of the series that will want to customize things and use the power of the synthesis system are going to be horribly annoyed when they run into how restricted and deliberately frustrating the crafting was made in this one. And I’ve never more acutely felt the extreme lack of “quest marker” warnings telling you that some random character that you never need to talk to is now a critical bottleneck for the entire main plotline.

I hope I’m not discouraging anyone from playing Totori, it’s not a bad game, but please set your expectations accordingly. Played casually and blind, you have so much time in the game (6 years) to do the minimum for a Normal Ending, that unless you dink around aimlessly and do not strive for license points or talk to any NPCs, you should achieve that at a minimum. I had done enough for the Normal Ending with over a year and a half to spare; if there weren’t a plot-locked date involved, that would have been 2 years early, and if I had not gone overboard preparing items for postgame early, I’d have been 2.5-3 years early. As Drache the Dork said in his walkthrough, you have time, so do not panic, the infamy of this game as being horrendously tight on time is not accurate, at least for a casual playthrough to a non-True ending. Just keep getting license points, travel between the towns every couple months, and talk to all named characters once a week, and you’ll keep the main questline going.

For those that want the True End, please use an FAQ. I’m honestly not sure whether to recommend the “just get a decent end and then NG+ it with good gear” rule for this one like I did for Rorona. It would certainly help a lot on the second playthrough, but you can’t carry gathering tools over, nor does money help that much except for the Rich Ending, since you need to do a ton of quests anyways for license points, and the Rich Ending comes along for the ride if you use the Spring Cup trick that you basically require for True End endgame anyways. I did everything except 2-3 of the superbosses that are beyond the platinum, and had 6 months left of 6 years. Though I had been following a guide the whole time.