Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice Of Arland
Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland (known in Japan as Atelier Meruru: The Alchemist of Arland 3) is a Japanese role-playing video game developed by Gust. It was released for PlayStation 3 on June 23, 2011 in Japan. Atelier Meruru is the thirteenth installment in the Atelier series, and it continues the series' emphasis on item creation and synthesis. It is the third and final game in the Arland series and a direct sequel to Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland, and Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland. It went out of print after a month due to being mis-rated, only being re-released after CERO applied a B rating days later. It is notably the last title that Gust self-published before merging with Tecmo Koei. A PlayStation Vita version titled Atelier Meruru Plus: The Alchemist of Arland 3 was released on March 20, 2013 in Japan. Tecmo Koei announced that the Playstation Vita version will be released in North America on Seprember 3, 2013.
Meruru is the princess of Arls, a little kingdom situated in the far north of the Arland republic. After her father and Gio, the leader of Arland, discussed the merging of the two lands, she met Totori, the now-graduated alchemist. Dazzled by the power of alchemy, and with a desire to help her country prosper, she forced herself on Totori as her first student. Her father initially disapproves of this decision, but agrees following a suggestion from Rufus. He gives Meruru a directive to use her alchemy to improve the kingdom, with several intermediate goals which must be met within specific time periods in order to be allowed to continue her alchemy work. Later, Rorona joins the two, but she has been turned into a child by Astrid after drinking an experimental potion of youth.
The game features a turn-based battle system. Battles are based on the idea that the princess, Meruru, is the leader and those accompanying her are considered "escorts." Meruru can use items in battle and depending on the conditions in battle, her escorts can chain attacks and the power of the items can be increased. The escorts have access to a range of special attacks that consume MP and later in the game gain access to powerful finishing moves. Totori and Rorona, as alchemists, are also able to use items, but cannot make use of the bonuses like Meruru. Opponents drop items that can be used for alchemy synthesis and the defeat of certain opponents is required to advance development in most areas.