- Oct 25, 2017
Here's a random smattering of not-too-spoiler-y things you only see post-exam:And then some. 90% of the game you could walk around any fight and it never hinted at much involving character interactions and possible side stories to play out except "oh hey the twins are here again" and thats about all.
By all means lemme know what I missed. It was a complete nothing of a game for me and if it turns out 95% of character stuff is post game stuff and all the real adventures start once she's passed the exam and can finally just be an alchemist then yeah I'd love to see my experience flip on this game.
- fast travel options (TWO of them!)
- the ability to refill your bomb uses
- every party member's sidequests, plus more sidequests from the licensed alchemists and other side characters
- several dungeons and optional boss fights, some of which have stories attached to them, many of which require specific items to access
- YOU CAN'T EVEN MAKE A PHILOSOPHER'S STONE UNTIL WELL AFTER THE EXAM like c'mon that's an Atelier staple, in hindsight I should've seen that as an obvious clue that the exam isn't even close to the end of the game
In general, your characterization of Firis's post-exam section is correct: 95% of the character stuff is after the exam, when Firis doesn't have to rush to meet any deadlines and can just go on normal alchemy adventures with her pals like in most other Atelier games. My opinion of Firis was a lot more negative before I hit all the post-exam stuff, tbh.
I don't remember how you start working on all that stuff, but I would start by going back and talking to some of the key NPCs in the game, like your parents, the alchemists you got letters of recommendation from, people in Riesenberg, etc. And if all else fails, just start trying to find better ingredients so you can make better equipment and weapons so you can think about taking on optional bosses. That should naturally start levelling up your friendships and triggering events with your party members.