A new Atelier installment is on the way! This time, the series is returning to a past era. See, with recent Atelier releases, there tend to be trilogies that all take place in the same world. Once they are over, Gust moves onto a new area and storyline. With Atelier Lulua, people are heading back to Arland. But, this might worry some people. Are there things they should know?
After all, Atelier Lulua stars Elmerulia Frixell, the daughter of Rorolina Frixell. The game’s theme, as many of Gust’s Atelier games have a "theme," is inheritance. How do people get into a good place for this entry? It may seem daunting, since it could end up feeling like the fourth installment in a series, even though there is a whole new heroine and storyline. Fortunately, it shouldn’t be too difficult for people to wade in and start feeling more comfortable when heading into the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PC game. Especially if they decide to do a little extra research.
A great way to get into Atelier Lulua would be to get to know her mother, Rorona. This would mean going through only one game prior to this latest one: Atelier Rorona. This installment is helpful for many reasons. We learn about Rorona, her mother, as well as get a feel for Arland, a city that is adopting modern technologies, but could be moving away from alchemy.
Rorona is just a teenager and novice alchemist in Atelier Rorona. She primarily works for Astrid, Arland’s alchemist, because her parents owe the woman money. However, she becomes invested in the practice once faced with the challenge of keeping the shop alive. As Arland is moving forward, there is a push to show alchemy is still relevant. She is given three years to prove Astrid’s shop still serves a purpose. Players who perform well achieve that goal, while also seeing how Rorona connects to people in her community and grows as an individual.
Fortunately, it is easy to meet Rorona. Atelier Rorona is available on five different platforms outside of Japan. You can get it on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and PC. If you can understand Japanese, you could also pick up a Nintendo 3DS version of it.
Be aware of Arland’s history.
If you are willing to make a major commitment, then going through all of the Atelier Arland games ahead of Atelier Lulua will very likely help you get your head in the right place. Part of this is because it will give you a familiarity with how the series works and meeting deadlines that will help you on Lulua’s journey. But also, it is the perfect way to see how far Rorona and Arland have come.
With Rorona, it gives us a chance to see how she has established herself throughout the years. She is only an apprentice in Atelier Rorona. In Atelier Totori, she becomes a teacher. She fills the same shoes Astrid did in the original game and aids Totori in becoming an alchemist and achieving her dream of finding her mother. By the time Atelier Meruru rolls around, Rorona is considered something of a master. However, she’s also, um, a child due to an accident. But still, she is considered a respected authority that aids in Meruru’s development.
As for the world itself, each of these three games shows the development of the world. Arland is just starting to become an industrialized city in Atelier Rorona. When Atelier Totori comes around Totori is exploring the whole republic in her search. In Atelier Meruru, we see the influence of Arland has grown so much that Arls, a smaller kingdom, could end up becoming a part of it. It’ll help prepare us for the latest game.
Like Atelier Rorona, both of these games are easily available on multiple platforms. Both are available on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and PC.