Tag Archives: Atelier Totori

The Music of Atelier, Vol. 7: Atelier Totori – The Adventurer of Arland

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Despite being a direct sequel to Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland, Atelier Totori has a markedly different atmosphere to it.

This is put across in a variety of different ways. The main protagonist is a much quieter, gentler sort of person than the rather noisy Rorona; the overall narrative is melancholy in contrast to the relative “franticness” of Rorona’s tale; and this change in mood is very much reflected by the soundtrack.

Once again primarily composed by Ken Nakagawa, with additional contributions from Kazuki Yanagawa, the score to Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland brings back some classic themes as well as introducing a variety of new ones. We’ve already heard several variations on “Following the Footsteps” when we looked at the game’s worldbuilding… so let’s pick out a few more favourites and have a listen!

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Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland – A Journey to Adulthood

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Most of the Atelier games that unfold over a clearly defined time period are “coming of age” stories, where the protagonist comes to understand the sort of person they really are, and the place they have in the world.

This is especially apparent in Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland, a game whose broader scale and scope than its immediate predecessor makes it ripe for exploring its lead character’s growing sense of maturity, responsibility and self-confidence.

Totori grows up a great deal over the course of her journey — so let’s take a look at some of the trials and tribulations she has to face along her path. Spoilers ahead!

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Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland – Beyond the City Walls

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One interesting thing about the way the Arland subseries of Atelier develops over time is how its scale gradually increases.

In Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arlandthe action is primarily confined to the city of Arland and its surrounding environs. In Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arlandwe get the opportunity to explore the Arland region in much greater detail, coming to understand a lot more about the context of various locations. And, as we’ll see when we come to Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland, the series then actually moves on to a whole other setting with connections to Arland, rather than unfolding in Arland itself..

Atelier Totori in particular brought about a very strong sense of worldbuilding and narrative context, and of the protagonist being just one tiny little part of a wide variety of events that would continue to unfold with or without her involvement. Let’s take a closer look at how the game achieves that feel.

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Waifu Wednesday: Melvia Siebel

Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland has some wonderful female characters in its cast — each of whom supports the titular heroine in various ways.

One of the most comforting presences early in Totori’s new life as an adventurer on the roads of the Arland region is Melvia Siebel, a character whom we’re led to believe has been a presence in the Helmold family’s life pretty much forever.

Everyone loves a good onee-chan, don’t they? So let’s take some time to celebrate one of the strongest, most badass onee-chans you’ll ever encounter.

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Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland – Following the Footsteps

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So we’ve talked about one of the main reasons Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland became somewhat notorious around the world — now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of what the game itself is all about.

Mechanically and structurally, it’s a very interesting game to contemplate, because while it’s still recognisably an Atelier game — and recognisable as a follow-up to Atelier Rorona, even — it feels like it draws influences from a much broader field to create an experience that is noticeably different from its predecessor, while remaining comfortably familiar as part of the Arland subseries.

Pack a lunch and don’t forget to bring your Adventurer’s License, then; it’s time to take to the road with Totori.

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Waifu Wednesday: Totooria Helmold

The Arland series, as we’ve already discussed, saw Atelier returning to a lot of conventions from its past.

One of the most notable of these was each new mainline installment being named after and focused on the life of a single main character who was inevitably attempting to make use of alchemy under somewhat challenging and time-sensitive circumstances.

The second Arland game, Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland, gave us a widely beloved protagonist who, in many ways, encapsulates what modern Atelier is all about. Bring on our charming Totori!

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Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland – High Impact Sexual Violence?

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We’ve already talked about how Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland marked something of a return to the “traditional” Atelier format in terms of its concept and structure. But its follow-up Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland shows that this return to Atelier’s roots was more than just a one-off.

Specifically, Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland re-establishes the early series’ formula of having several games unfold in the same (or at least a similar) geographical area and showing how that area changes over time — along with how the people who live there change, too. Atelier has, after all, always been a series about people at its heart.

Before we dive too deep into specific talk of mechanics and narrative, though, let’s take a first look at where this game came from — and one particularly interesting story surrounding one of its various releases over the years.

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Waifu Wednesday: Mimi Houllier von Schwarzlang

Continuing Atelier’s proud tradition of having a number of characters with delightfully flamboyant, somewhat Germanic names, I give to you Mimi Houllier von Schwarzlang.

First introduced in Atelier Totori and subsequently explored further in Atelier Meruru, Mimi is a delightful character to be around. She’s also a great example of how the Arland trilogy as a whole makes good use of established character tropes as a basis, and develops those characters over time in various ways.

Let’s take a closer look at this little firecracker, then.

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Waifu Wednesday: Pamela Ibis

One of the earliest “non-human” character types I feel like I developed a bit of a “thing” for was the humble ghost.

Aside from occasional arguments with my wife over whether or not they are technically “undead” (they absolutely are), I’ve always found the concept of life beyond death fascinating for a variety of reasons. The feeling of freedom that being an incorporeal spirit doubtless affords you — but simultaneously a feeling of being trapped and lonely; these are things I found fascinating, and often wanted to explore in my own creative writing as well as the media I consumed.

So of course a super-cute ghost girl with a fine line in traditional European dress (including a rather daring and formidable neckline) is going to be My Type. Yes indeed. Here’s Pamela from the Atelier series.

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Atelier Totori: Arland’s Middle Child

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Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland, the second installment in Atelier’s Arland trilogy, is in that unenviable position that all “middle children” end up in — perhaps more so than most.

Originally offering considerable improvements over Atelier Rorona’s first incarnation — particularly in the graphical and mechanical departments — Gust’s tendency to put out “Plus” versions for its Atelier games means that Totori has ended up, in some respects, now being the most dated of the Arland trilogy even once it, in turn, got its own “Plus” and “DX” rereleases, the most recent of which is on PlayStation 4, Switch and PC.

This isn’t to say Totori is a bad game, mind you — far from it. Just… don’t take anything for granted! Let’s have a closer look.

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