Atelier Meruru Screens: A Maid and a Butler Walk Into a Bar...

By Chad Awkerman

April 18, 2011

Gust release a gigantic, enormous, momentous pile of Atelier Meruru screens today, which focuses heavily on two newly-revealed characters. We also see a good portion of alchemy and overworld screens and one hammer the size of Cliffy B’s ego. Yes, I did just reference Cliffy B in a post about a niche Japanese RPG, don’t judge me.

The cute little maid’s name is Kaena Swaya, and the butler that looks like a girl is Rufes Falken. What is it with Japanese male characters’ names being Rufus or some variation thereof? Don’t they know that the only Rufus anyone ever thinks about is the bad dude from Final Fantasy VII? What’s interesting about Kaena, aside from the fact that she’s described as Meruru’s “lady in waiting”, is that she has songs she uses in combat, such as the “Song of Happiness”. This song has a rather interesting mechanic of allowing everyone in the party a temporary level up. What are the benefits of that? Possibly, when fighting a boss that’s slightly above your party level, a temporary boost to stats and health would be just enough to defeat it? She also wields the aforementioned hammer, so she is certainly not one to mess with.

Rufus, on the other hand, seems to be a non-playable character, but functions much like Meruru’s assistant, handling just about everything for her throughout the game – whether it is dealing with the government, sending her on quests or helping her to manage her time and money. A few details about the world development system also came out of Gust today, so keep reading after the break if you want to delve into that info.

Apparently this world development system is a key component that the entire game revolves around, which actually makes this title quite different from the previous two Atelier titles this generation. Your job, if you choose to accept it, is to build up the Arls kingdom to be as great as Arland (the kingdom both Atelier Rorona and Atelier Totori takes place in).

To do this, you will gain development points as you progress through the game. These points come in many different ways, but one of the primary means to acquire them is through the completion of quests. The vast majority of these quests, naturally, will require you to use your arsenal of alchemy skills to create items to turn in for the quests. This works much the same way as questing does in the previous titles, except with a different focus this time around.

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These quests can be straight up collection quests, kill quests, alchemy-based quests or what have you. However, many of the quests also involve helping the citizens of Arls to overcome their problems. Yes, another RPG where you perform random miniscule tasks because the NPCs in the game are just straight up lazy. You know how it goes. So, all this gains you development points which you can use to build up and improve the kingdom, and this you can see in a few of the screens below.

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Chad Awkerman

Chad joined the DualShockers staff in mid 2009 and since then has put much of his time into covering RPGs, with a focus on the Japanese side of the genre, from the obscure to the mainstream. He's a huge fan of iconic games like Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy VI and Persona 4 yet enjoys the smaller niche titles, as well. In his spare time he enjoys experiencing new beer, new foods and keeping up with just about every sci-fi show on television. He's married to an intelligent, beautiful Southern Belle who keeps his life interesting with witty banter and spicy Cajun cooking.

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