The guide was made to help avoid traps while trying to get specific character endings and also to act as a sanity check.
Prologue to the Guide
Traps to avoid and sanity checks for True Ending. This can make sure that you don't ask yourself "did I really screw it up?" Assuming New Game+.
I'm making a light guide to make it easier and still allow the player a lot of flexibility to explore the game naturally. As you may have guessed, spoilers inside. I would recommend a proper guide to complement this one (my favorite is linked in the sources page). This one is targeting the True Ending gotchas, where I found myself screwed from not doing something. There might be ones I missed and I actually would appreciate them being mentioned. You can use it for character endings as well.
If you manage to get the travel shoes and warp gate, consider not using one of those at the start. It makes part of the game tedious and makes friendship leveling up slower. I got it using save hacking.
I'm going to try to avoid spoilers, but assume that you beat the game with a normal ending or better (character/chim/wealth/etc). Easy-to-happen events aren't considered spoilers. I have mentioned easy-to-happen events because I personally missed them on another loop, which caused me to write this guide. Sometimes it's as simple as "I didn't visit one of the Ateliers for a very long time"
General Notes and 500,000 Cole
- Cordelia and Iksel are "DLC/plus characters". Their relationships do not affect the endings
- There's a "10 quest at (insert rank here)" series. Not really needed to get to Cobalt, but it makes a huge difference trying get the Galaxy rank
- Make sure to walk in and out of the Ateliers to trigger events once you arrive in town (or don't if you want to avoid Pet... I mean triggering events). This is one I especially forget
- If you plan on synthing really good items at a specific time, remember to do enough synthesis so your level is high enough for especially the travel shoes at Platinum. I keep forgetting because exploration is so much faster for me than alchemy at the beginning
- Consider a target of 25 quests with Filly at the Adventurer's Guild to make the Mimi path easier. Not going to be a problem if you are doing the 10 quest bonuses that are worth a lot
- Hanging around one Atelier will get those town residents to ask you for stuff, but not residents from the other town. Sterk might be the exception
- Try to visit the other Atelier occasionally. There's probably even more stuff that I missed
- 500,000 Cole is required for the wealth end... I ended up writing a cheat tool for this because it's so ridiculous. I did it in 2-3 loops without the tool using Chims to mass-produce Mystery Ankhs and Nectars (Nectars with Usable+ and price up was better). Others use a Spring Cup trick. If I didn't get enough on that loop, I would have used the tool (link at bottom of this article)
- Look ahead if you are wondering if you missed a trigger
Moving around the map increases friendship by 1 point per every 3 days traveled. 60 friendship is a good indicator to switch characters (status screen). This drove me crazy on a loop because the friendship wasn't going up because I was efficient at using overworld traveling. There was a point where every location was scouted, so I spent months on alchemy. Also, some events (especially with Marc) require the character to be out of the party.
I like semi-focusing on Mimi first, Sterk/Gino/Rorona on the second tier. Marc and Melvia are much easier to trigger flags for, and once you get through the gotchas, Rorona is very easy. Rorona is a medium priority due to being able to get Chims.
- Around the start, get Mimi in party, fill up the basket to near full (you can gather instead as well), go out of town, gather until it's (near?-)full, and walk to the starting town. This starts her chain. After this, a good chunk of her chain should come easily. I personally got caught with this trap because on one loop, I played her more later in the game where I warped in and generally almost always had around a half-empty basket. So, make sure to Walk and not warp/arrive by carriage
- Melvia has an event that makes it easier to harvest Eiche. I got into a trap where "I'll just harvest 5 Eiches near Arland... um... where's the Eiches?" She just needs to be in the party while adventuring. Not a big deal because there's better wood later, plus you can buy Eiche at R&T Sundries.
- Raising Gino's friendship to the 30-60 range can help year 2
Bronze/Year 2, first half (many of these are still good as long as you get it before maybe months 8-10)
- After you get Bronze, wholesaling is enabled (Ceci)
- Around the beginning of the year, I got the event that's needed to start the Rorona chain after synthesizing at Atelier Totori. I was bronze at the time. I'm not sure if Bronze is required for this or not
- Don't forget about Marc and the wagon. Also, if you never figured it out, the upgrade items needs to be in the basket. I sometimes didn't notice since I somewhat ignored Peter, and remembered because Marc wasn't by Atelier Rorona
Year 2, Sterk. These should be done ASAP, otherwise you can miss certain events in the game.
Sterk apparently becomes recruitable on Year 3, Month 1, Day 1. Apparently Sterk also doesn't join until 1 month after a Chim is born (major thanks to the Gamfaqs guide by Krystal109). It's kind-of weird since it's like Chim's birth is almost messiah-like. Anyways, this also means that you might be able to gain some time if you delay Chim's birth
- At year 2, Month 1, Day 1, Go to Atelier Totori to start off the Sterk chain
- After meeting Sterk's pidgeon, make sure to go to Sandy Wind Plains or the Calamatous Mountain. This one is a very easy one to miss
Year 2, Gino. Huge spoiler alerts.
You must do certain things before Day 1, Month 1 of Year 3. There's a chance that this is related to when Sterk can join the party.
- Gino at 40 friendship will want to get a secret move. Adventure with him to trigger this event. This event will still happen after the due date, but some of the events that follow won't happen if you do it too late
- After giving him the weights, go adventuring again with him. This wasn't mentioned in one of the guides
- Hang around Alanya for 1-2 months. After a week or so, an event should happen. The final event you need that needs to happen before the due date should happen at the wharf. Go between the square, the wharf, and the Atelier every week
If you are ranking up quickly before the first expiration, pay attention to Mimi ending guides. If you rank up REALLY fast and it might be 5+ months before the license expires when you hit Diamond, you may be waiting a while for Mimi's chain to continue. This isn't time critical, but if you can take care of this now, Mimi is out of the way until Year 4 and you can concentrate on the others
Year 2, second half
- After Year 2, Month 6, Day 1 (New Game+ Days, so this would be 1 year after Totori gets her license), go to Atelier Totori and synth there a bit to get Rorona
- Head to Atelier Rorona. Rorona is literally there that instant. I warped there, and before the day is over, her shop is upgraded with a gigantic cauldron with the proper ventilation.
- After Rorona gives you the pie recipes, go to Atelier Totori and make pie. This makes sure Rorona recipes keep coming
- It took around 2.5 months before Rorona asked me about if I preferred a boy or a girl. I used sleeping to figure out when it happens (around Year 2, 9/5 in my game)
- It takes about 1 month from when Rorona asks you about a gender for you to get a Chim. You need to leave Arland and to come back for the Chim to be born
Here's how I know: I kept Totori going to sleep for nearly a year without the Chim getting born. I had no clue what was going on, and I wanted to try to get a good estimate on how long it takes. It turns out that you need to leave Arland and come back. Most of us wouldn't have this issue, but there's always that one guy, plus some people want to get a Chim ASAP due to the benefits
Platinum (maybe Gold)
- The forgotten village (north of Alanya and west of Arland) should be your highest priority if you want travel shoes
Years 3-4. Not as many gotchas
- The mentions of the Flauschtraut are on Year 3, Month 1, Day 1 at the Alanya town square
- See note about Year 2 about Sterk. Basically Year 3, Month 1, Day 1 is the earliest he can be recruited, but he won't arrive until it's been at least a month after Chim is born (thanks to the many guides especially for this one). The event is triggered at Atelier Rorona
- Giselda's event chain (and the boat) starts around Year 4, Month 1, Day 1
- If you haven't started Marc's chain, now is a good time
- After you make it to Frontier Village, do Marc's quest in the Wharf. If you never go back to the Wharf in the game (or ignore Marc), you can easily miss this. Marc also can't be in your party if you want the event triggered
- Mimi (60+ relationship) should depart with you onto the boat
- Make sure that you get the events relating to the sea monster
- Of course you want the warp gate after your license renews.
- One of Rorona's events happens 6 months later after a certain part of her event chain. Getting her event chains started now would be a good idea if it hasn't started
- Are the major characters at 60+ friendship? (Gino, Melvia, Mimi, Marc, Rorona, Sterk) For most characters, it's still not too late
- If aren't likely to get what you want, now might be a good time to invest in equipment for the next loop. You can also use Chims to duplicate any accessory after the next loop starts. You can disassemble equipment to get the ingot or cloth, and then use Chims to duplicate the ingredient
- Mimi reaching Level 50 is needed for her ending (and the True Ending). There's a "dual event" bug, so avoid hitting level 50 as part of a major quest. Thanks again to Krystal109 for the warning
Year 6, beginning:
- Melvia's event chain should be started if it's not already
- Several of Marc's events happen 3 days apart, but no more than 3 months worth. It might not be too late for him
Galaxy Rank (not required). Outside Orthogalaxian, I don't know any other benefits. I did like grinding here to get Mimi to level 50 with Totori wearing the XP accessory. Fights were 800-2000 XP per battle
Getting Adventurer Points
- Every 5 levels
- Lots of quests
- If the level pans the camera at the beginning, it's usually a sign that if you go to all gather points, you'll get a bonus. Make sure you hit done instead of cancel if you go to a gather point and want the point tagged, but not gather any items. On another note, the cancel button lets the point stay there, and if you use a tonic, the point's contents gets replaced
- If the level is annoying to explore, this is another indicator that it's a gather point bonus stage. This is especially in case you missed that camera pan the first time
- Synthesizing like crazy
- Synthesizing a variety of items
- There's book series bonuses
- Synthesis quests from the Adventurer's Guild can be a way to kill many birds with one stone
- Do 10 quests per rank for a good point bonus. Glass gives 20, Iron-Gold 25 each, Platinum 30
- Exploring combined with boss fighting combined with gather point screens: massive amount of points
- Crafting weapons and armor items can be a quick boost if you at the 200 point or below level to get Galaxy. This is especially handy if you have money to throw around. You can disassemble and craft different weapons (no points for disassembling)
10 Quests per Rank, More Info
- You can do hunt/gather quests when you explore
- They get locked after you rank up, so delaying your ranking up can give you 20-40 easy points for the next rank
- This is maybe worth 200 total for the entire series. A decent help if you just want to get to Cobalt rank, but they are very helpful to get to Galaxy
- If you can do 1-3 easy hunt quests in field that's close to a town to get this, it counts, including repeat quests!
- Quests involving already gathered ingredients counts!
I've been in the situation where my license just got renewed, and I was immediately ready to rank up. I never got it straight to Galaxy though.