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Sylphid
Aug 3, 2012


You and Me - Let's Play Atelier Lulua



And who might this be?

This is Lulua, protagonist of the fourth Arland game, released back in 2019 on multiple platforms, making it the first Atelier game released after the designated anniversary game, Nelke and the Legendary Alchemists. For the first time, Gust returns to a trilogy and adds a fourth outing in the same storyline, with Lulua serving as a distant sequel to Atelier Meruru, which I covered so so many years ago as part of the Atelier Arland Trilogy thread. As far as being a sequel, Lulua doesn't directly follow on from any of Meruru's endings, but the added ending to the expanded edition of Meruru (which I didn't cover myself, as I only had the original versions of each game at the time that thread was made, but it was in the LP) where Rorona returns to normal age after drinking the True Potion of Youth seems right to me. So far as I am concerned, that was the canon ending.

It does not particularly matter, as Lulua takes place quite some time in the future compared to the last time I visited the Arland series. But it will feature many references and returning faces, not to mention a new cast, helping Lulua along the journey as a story of discovery unfolds before her eyes.

And what kind of journey would that be?

I'll start off by saying that this is almost certainly not the game Gust would have made if they made all the Arland games in a row, instead of having a Dusk and Mysterious Trilogy, as well as a handful of spin-offs, in-between. You know how most Atelier games don't really have a plot and mostly just have a setting? Lulua is not like that at all, featuring a much longer storyline than the other games, and most certainly the Arland Trilogy. Lulua takes place over the course of 12 chapters, from a prologue chapter up to the final one, Chapter 11. After Chapter 11 is cleared, the player is allowed a plot-free free roam to accomplish whatever their heart desires before choosing an unlocked ending. Like with every mainline Atelier since Shallie, there is no time limit (small exception with Firis, but that's another story) and players are free to progress the game at their leisure. It does feature a Bad Ending at one point that ends the game prematurely but it's very obvious when that ending is available, has nothing to do with what you did or did not do earlier in the game (so you can't get locked into the Bad End), and it's intentionally easy to avoid. Each chapter of this game features a specific set of story goals that must be accomplished before the plot continues.

As far as this thread in particular, all storyline and extra content not related to the main story will be covered to my satisfaction, which includes all this game's challenging content in the form of endgame boss fights. If you're familiar with how dense my Arland thread was, or any and all of the Dusk threads on their own, expect more of that. I aim to please.

As a small technical note, every scene in this game is voiced on account of my being forced to use the original JP dub (no other language options for voiced content), but I have no intention of making videos out of every scene in the game, because otherwise there'd probably be dozens of videos per update, some only 20 seconds long or so. My presumption will be to make videos for all plot stuff. For additional content, as I feel appropriate depending on the particulars of any given scene. My criteria? Basically if the scene is too short will a video not be made for it.

Spoiler policy

Since there actually is a plot one can spoil this time, I would ask that anything not covered yet be in spoiler tags if you want to discuss it. If I mention anything in the progress of an update, feel free to assume that I don't consider it a spoiler. Usual spoiler stuff, to be sure.

As far as previous games go, I'll talk about previous Arland games as much as I please because this is the same universe, but Dusk and Mysterious I'll occasionally refer to but not spoil anything that can be spoiled in those games. Not only because it would almost certainly be off-topic but also because those are different worlds. No sense in spoiling games with no story relation to this one.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Prologue: Chapter of Beginnings

I. Pages of First Steps

Chapter I: Chapter of Encounters

II: Pages of New Challenges
III: Pages of Underwater Friends

Chapter II: Chapter of Impetus

IV: Pages of a Big Adventure
V: Pages of Old Trails
VI: Pages of Mutual Understandings

Chapter III: Chapter of Succession

VII: Pages of the Big City

Addendum

Bonus Update 1

Sylphid fucked around with this message at 11:47 on May 14, 2021

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Sylphid
Aug 3, 2012


Chapter I: Pages of First Steps

Sylphid
Aug 3, 2012


I was going to make the first update in-thread, just as first update privilege, but unfortunately it was just a bit too long. It'll have to do. All the updates will be posted in the Test Poster for usual ease-of-browsing's sake.

On another note, I'll just go ahead and say this LP is a bit unusual in that about...70% of it has already been recorded, as I've been busy preparing for this for about two and a half months now, which started about halfway through my second playthrough of this game. That's about when I decided I wanted to do an LP of this as my return to LP work after years of law school. After a certain point in this thread, it'll be fairly obvious when the third playthrough, which will cover roughly the first half of this thread, "ends", and what I recorded during my second playthrough, which was a 100% run, begins. I'll try and maintain the illusion of one playthrough as much as possible, but there are some things I can't fake, like the icon in the lower right, which indicates a scene you've seen on a previous playthrough, not being there for many scenes in the second half of this thread.

Polsy
Mar 23, 2007



Why's the second vulnerability notch red in the field but yellow in the monster book, is that related to the difficulty level?


Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




How is this game compared to Ryza? I played Ryza and I certainly likes it well enough, but it felt like Gust put all their assets into the scenery and nothing into the story or the battles.

Sylphid
Aug 3, 2012


Polsy posted:

Why's the second vulnerability notch red in the field but yellow in the monster book, is that related to the difficulty level?




Oh, huh, never noticed that. I personally wouldn't read too much into it. If it is related to gameplay I have no clue in what way.

As far as this game versus Ryza, I have no clue. Never played it, but it's certainly in my future.

Sylphid
Aug 3, 2012


Chapter II: Pages of New Challenges

Sylphosaurus
Sep 6, 2007


Welcome back, Sylphid. Consider this thread bookmarked for me.

Omobono
Feb 19, 2013

That's it! No more hiding in tomato crates! It's time to show that idiota Germany how a real nation fights!

For pasta~! CHARGE!



Now I'm wondering if Pamela will come back in this game too, and if Arland let Gio retire eventually.

Probably not, since Aurel just got somehow drafted into the party against his will, so it's unlikely his dad finally decided to stand for himself in this issue instead of passive aggressive dressing up as the phantom thief G (it's been a while, I forgot what he was called).


(I'm not wondering about Mimi though, her epitaph will be "It's not like I asked to be buried with Totori because I like her")

Omobono fucked around with this message at 09:02 on Apr 22, 2021

Sylphid
Aug 3, 2012


Omobono posted:

Now I'm wondering if Pamela will come back in this game too, and if Arland let Gio retire eventually.

Probably not, since Aurel just got somehow drafted into the party against his will, so it's unlikely his dad finally decided to stand for himself in this issue instead of passive aggressive dressing up as the phantom thief G (it's been a while, I forgot what he was called).


(I'm not wondering about Mimi though, her epitaph will be "It's not like I asked to be buried with Totori because I like her")

Can't believe you forgot the legend of Masked G. (He was called Mask de G in Rorona I think but that's silly)

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




Man Aurel sure is a nice patriot, takes the name of his country, beats up monsters, helps the girls in the area! He must be a travelling hero!

Junpei
Oct 4, 2015

REAL TOP DOG SHIT
We Have Unlocked Woke Junpei Mode
Fuck Up Cops 2020
Beloved Forums Poster
Evolved Heightened Level Junpei
Junpei Is Not Ironic And That Is Why He Is Good

Heh, that "Einzelkampf" attack they do is a reference to Vayne's Finish Burst from the first Mana Khemia game, lol.

cokerpilot
Apr 23, 2010

Battle Brothers! Stop coming to meetings drunk and trying to adopt Tevery Best!

Lord General! Stop standing on the table and making up stupid operation names!

Emperor, why do I put up with these people?


Is Astrid in this game? I personally never hated her that much I but I could clearly see where people who did hate her come from especially after her shenanigans in Meruru. Also Nice to see Piana is doing well.

Edit: What on earth is Eva wilding as a weapon?

cokerpilot fucked around with this message at 23:10 on Apr 23, 2021

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




cokerpilot posted:

Is Astrid in this game? I personally never hated her that much I but I could clearly see where people who did come from especially after her shenagins in Meruru.

I hope not. I actually reread Sylphid's LPs of the Arland games a while back and I was surprised at what an awful person she was.

Sylphid
Aug 3, 2012


cokerpilot posted:

Is Astrid in this game? I personally never hated her that much I but I could clearly see where people who did hate her come from especially after her shenanigans in Meruru. Also Nice to see Piana is doing well.

Edit: What on earth is Eva wilding as a weapon?

No but she is referred to a few times without explicitly saying her name. . Also, she's using a cannon. Sometimes they call it a bazooka, sometimes a cannon, but the difference is academic to her.

Sylphosaurus
Sep 6, 2007


Seraphic Neoman posted:

I hope not. I actually reread Sylphid's LPs of the Arland games a while back and I was surprised at what an awful person she was.
Yeah, she is goddamn terrible and itīs a drat shame that you never get to call out on her crap.

Sylphid
Aug 3, 2012


Chapter III: Pages of Underwater Friends

Slaan
Mar 16, 2009

I GAIN POWER FROM EATING PEOPLE, JUST ASSUME I'M ALWAYS VOTING TO EAT PEOPLE





Very nice of Lulua to say sorry to the fish after stealing part of its body after beating it up. There was certainly no better way to do that which didn't involve cruelty to monsters

Omobono
Feb 19, 2013

That's it! No more hiding in tomato crates! It's time to show that idiota Germany how a real nation fights!

For pasta~! CHARGE!



It's Atelier, the fish should be thankful we didn't fillet them

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




Yesterday's enemies are today's ingredients.

mastersord
Feb 15, 2001

Gold Card Putty Fan Club
Member Since 2017!


Soiled Meat

I still have my head-canon that people in Atelier games aren't friendly to you because you're a little girl, but because your power over nature and in battle is utterly terrifying.

Sylphid
Aug 3, 2012


Chapter IV: Pages of a Big Adventure

Sylphid fucked around with this message at 04:52 on Apr 30, 2021

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




Goddamnit Rorona.

cokerpilot
Apr 23, 2010

Battle Brothers! Stop coming to meetings drunk and trying to adopt Tevery Best!

Lord General! Stop standing on the table and making up stupid operation names!

Emperor, why do I put up with these people?


Seraphic Neoman posted:

Goddamnit Rorona.

Four games later and Rorona is still very much Rorona. I wonder if she is still the goddess of pies though?

Omobono
Feb 19, 2013

That's it! No more hiding in tomato crates! It's time to show that idiota Germany how a real nation fights!

For pasta~! CHARGE!



Seraphic Neoman posted:

Goddamnit Rorona.

Signed: Cordelia

Will the grandparents appear in this game? Or did Rorona tell them to get stuffed after years of being completely absent save the five minutes every now and then between trips?

E:

cokerpilot posted:

Four games later and Rorona is still very much Rorona. I wonder if she is still the goddess of pies though?
Well, Lulua just got a curry alchemy, so I'm going to go with yes.

Easy prediction: Ruby curry.

Sylphid
Aug 3, 2012


Omobono posted:

Signed: Cordelia

Will the grandparents appear in this game? Or did Rorona tell them to get stuffed after years of being completely absent save the five minutes every now and then between trips?

E:


Parents, but no. They are still stuffed in the broom closet. Maybe they moved out of town after the game ended.

Sylphid
Aug 3, 2012


Chapter V: Pages of Old Trails

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




Pamela does indeed appear in Ryza, in fact her sidequest chain is pretty important. Hagel does not though as far as I could see

OddObserver
Apr 3, 2009


Seraphic Neoman posted:

Pamela does indeed appear in Ryza, in fact her sidequest chain is pretty important. Hagel does not though as far as I could see

...As "Pamila", IIRC?

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




OddObserver posted:

...As "Pamila", IIRC?

Well...mostly.

Sylphid
Aug 3, 2012


Bonus Update 1

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




I actually agree with Lulua's voice actress, her voice makes Lulua sound older than the rest of the cast which kinda throws me off.

Sylphid
Aug 3, 2012


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYWhqlt9F5o

Here's something interesting I discovered by accident, a 6 1/2 hour speedrun of this game on NG CHARISMA, which is pretty impressive. At first I was pretty surprised how quickly this was done, but I'm starting to get to the point of the game where I wrote nearly every scene a couple months ago so I'm skipping the cutscenes since there's no need to record them twice. When you can skip almost every scene, these games actually go by really fast. One of the related videos was Totori DX in 90 minutes, for another example, although the two games can't really be compared since you can skip so much of the earlier Ateliers just by running around on the world map, which is the fastest way to pass time since you won't be interrupted by cutscenes. Lulua also has a fair amount of required fighting, so you can't really do a super minimalistic run. Totori only really has the Flauchtraut as a required fight, since you don't need to fight Evil Face to get an actual ending and not a glorified Game Over.

These actually make me hanker for an Atelier TAS, manipulating it so the absolute best traits and quality to show up as early as possible so you can play the games to maximum efficiency. I"d watch that.

Sylphid fucked around with this message at 20:03 on May 9, 2021

Sylphid
Aug 3, 2012


Chapter VI: Pages of Mutual Understandings

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




They should have called it Battle Cohesion or something instead of affection. And yeah I'm surprised how much of a fight enemies are putting up in this game, you usually roll over most fights in Atelier games unless you do like no synthing.

Eva's prim-and-proper dress combo'd with her bazooka never fails to make me laugh.

OddObserver
Apr 3, 2009


Seraphic Neoman posted:

They should have called it Battle Cohesion or something instead of affection. And yeah I'm surprised how much of a fight enemies are putting up in this game, you usually roll over most fights in Atelier games unless you do like no synthing.

Eva's prim-and-proper dress combo'd with her bazooka never fails to make me laugh.

It's always weird when the "friendship" score with the childhood friend starts at 0...

Sylphid
Aug 3, 2012


Chapter VII: Pages of the Big City

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Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




I appreciate all of the returning characters but I do wish the games themselves would show how they came about their circumstances. I can't really imagine Adventurer Totori suddenly deciding a government position was what she needed.

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