Astrid Zexis

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Astrid Zexis (referred to as Asty by Rorona in Meruru) is a character in Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland and Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland. She serves as Rorona's teacher and mentor and is known as the greatest alchemist in all of Arland, but her penchant for laziness and shady personality give her a bad reputation with others.

Personality

Although known as a genius alchemist, she is not liked by many people, and she takes delight in provoking others and pushing their buttons as much as possible. She is often referred to as a "witch" or a "sorceress" due to her mysterious and suspicious nature, and it is rumored she can hear somebody talking about her anywhere in the world. Because she has a tendency to toy with people, it can often be difficult to tell how much of what she says is the truth at any given time.

Astrid also has a perverted side and openly claims to have taken Rorona on as an apprentice out of her "cuteness", doting on her, acting possessive of her, and complaining that she won't call her "Big Sister". She is responsible for Rorona's outfit, declaring it to be the type of clothing an alchemist ought to be wearing, and she uses an outing to retrieve Foamy Water as an opportunity to get all of the girls around her into swimsuits at Nabel Lake. In Meruru, she considers 14 years old to be the "best age" for the alchemists to be at and expresses distaste at the idea of seeing Rorona in her thirties.

However, in many cases, she has altruistic motives that she hides behind a villainous act, and many of her claims of immoral actions are simply exaggerated jokes on her part. According to her, she believes that she can't simply start acting like a good person after all this time with how much of a bad reputation she has gotten from others. Much of her "laziness" in mentoring Rorona comes from wanting her to independently find the answer herself, and she will occasionally intervene in oblique ways to help her. With few exceptions, she does not force anything on unwilling subjects, and Rorona vouches for her that she will always keep her promises.

She was in a relationship with Sterk during their younger days, but since their fallout, relations between them have been stilted. While she does not seem to completely despise him, she also dislikes his role as a messenger from the castle, which she holds a grudge against due to their way of treating her mentor and Rorona. However, while she is initially wary of him being around Rorona, she eventually decides to trust him with her request to take care of Rorona in her stead.

Role

Astrid grew up in Arland studying as an alchemy apprentice under an unnamed master, whom Astrid described as "sensitive, clumsy, and frail, but...always nice." Astrid's master was unable to meet the expectations set by her predecessors in industrializing the kingdom, and despite Astrid's best attempts to help her at the workshop, her master never managed to become well-liked by the townspeople. Astrid was one of only a few people who went to visit her at her deathbed, and as a result, Astrid became cynical and jaded, feeling guilt that intervening on her master's behalf had made the problem worse[note 1] and becoming unmotivated to do any more work for the people's sake any longer.

Astrid was also a childhood friend of Sterk and was in a relationship with him during their teenage years, which at one point involved Astrid getting to "enjoy his body" after she used him to test a potion. The two eventually had a falling out but continued to remain professionally in contact, with Astrid retaining a letter he had sent her to use as blackmail.

Atelier Astrid

When Rorona approaches Astrid asking for help in curing Rorona's parents from a terminal illness, Astrid happens to have been working on trying to put together the Water of Life and takes the job on a whim. Using the letter she had gotten from Sterk, Astrid blackmails him into helping her gather the necessary materials, annoying him but also giving him an appreciation of the potential of alchemy. Despite his protests, she continues to hold onto the letter for future use and cures Rorona's parents, along with keeping the Water of Life in the hopes of eventually making a Hom. She then takes Rorona on as an apprentice in order to pay off her debt incurred for curing her parents, although according to Astrid, it would require "three thousand years" for Rorona to work long enough to pay it off.

Atelier Rorona

Following an order from the king that her atelier is to be closed down if it cannot prove its economic worth, Astrid is ostensibly too lazy to be bothered with the burden and forces Rorona to assume it, even changing the name to the shop to "Atelier Rorona". However, in actuality, Astrid's plan is to use the ordeal to train Rorona up into a "clumsy, yet outstanding alchemist" and fully pass the atelier on to Rorona so she herself can move on.

Astrid spends most of her days sleeping in the atelier and slacking off, but she occasionally does things to help Rorona from time to time. At one point, she asks Rorona if she would like a younger brother or a younger sister and makes a Hom of the corresponding gender to help her (while also deliberately making it slightly taller than Cordelia specifically to provoke her). She also keeps an eye out for anything threatening, such as Meredith's sabotage plans, and she eventually starts filing "requests" with Esty as challenges for Rorona to practice her alchemy skills on. In Rorona Plus, Astrid can be hired as a party member starting with Assignment 9, but will charge a "discounted" rate of 9980 cole per outing.

After Rorona finishes all of the assignments over three years, Astrid tells Rorona that seeing her work so hard for the people has inspired her to do the same again, and she leaves town in order to not ruin the image Rorona had made for herself. Promising to return once she gets herself together and telling Sterk to "take care of Rorona", she bids Rorona farewell and leaves. Opening an atelier in another town, she finds it to be more popular than expected and returns to Arland to expand her business, reuniting with Rorona as a rival rather than as a mentor.

Atelier Totori

Astrid eventually leaves town again, this time taking Hom with her on the grounds of getting Rorona to be more independent. Three years prior to the start of the game, she finds Gisela Helmold and saves her life but tells her it would take fifty years for her to recover. Gisela manages to return after only eight years, and Totori is able to figure out the identity of Gisela's savior from the description "an ill-tempered woman with long hair and glasses".

Atelier Meruru

When Astrid gets Rorona to assist her in creating a Potion of Youth, Astrid successfully uses it on herself to keep herself younger than her actual age but accidentally goes overboard with Rorona, resulting in Rorona reverting to an 8-year-old with scattered memories. Astrid takes Rorona with her to Arls so that Totori and Meruru can take care of her, acting as if taking care of Rorona is a burden.

Astrid sets up a shop in Arls and gets Meruru (whom she names "Pupil #3", with "Pupil #2" being Totori) to assist her in setting up alchemy research facilities. She has a more antagonistic relationship with Totori and Meruru than she did with Rorona, often showing up specifically to provoke them, but while both of them find her to be intimidating, they also catch on that she might not be as bad as she seems. Eventually, Astrid manages to get Meruru to help her recreate an incomplete Potion of Youth, and if Meruru allows her to use it, she will either turn Rorona back to 14 years old (still with damaged memories) or will turn herself, Rorona, Totori, and Meruru all into 14-year-olds together. However, if Meruru insists on creating a completed version, Astrid will promise to fully restore Rorona to her proper age if Meruru can do so.

In the latter chain of events, Meruru creates a concentrate with the Merulixir, but while Meruru eventually suspects that Astrid's actual motive in bringing Rorona there is to have the others help restore her to normal, she and Totori remain suspicious about whether Astrid can be trusted. However, Rorona vouches for her, revealing that Astrid had been reading to her every day out of a promise they'd made and insisting that "the only thing Astrid keeps are her promises." With that, Astrid indeed keeps her word and returns Rorona to her proper 33-year-old age with properly restored memories, leaving Astrid to remark on having three amazing successors.

Atelier Rorona Plus

When Astrid creates a Dragon Hourglass, an accident leads to Totori and Meruru getting sent back in time to between the events of Rorona and Totori. The Astrid of Meruru's time starts working on a True Dragon Hourglass to get them back but also sends over a time capsule with a recipe to make their own hourglass, effectively challenging them to beat her to it within a year. When Rorona, Totori, and Meruru put cloth scraps in the time capsule, Astrid sends back a heavily revealing outfit for Rorona to wear.

Meanwhile, the Astrid of Rorona's time senses something is amiss and returns to check on the situation, giving Rorona some pointers about where to find materials but otherwise not interfering. If they manage to create a True Dragon Hourglass within the year, she will borrow the hourglass to do some research but will return it before the year is up. One way or another (either via the hourglass they made or via the future Astrid's help), Totori and Meruru make it back to their time, while the Astrid of Rorona's time goes back on her journey.

Atelier Lulua

While Astrid herself does not appear in Lulua, Rorona's statement in the Dressing Room says that her current outfit was mysteriously found on her pillow one day, suggesting that Astrid was the one who made it and left it for her. When Lulua starts trying to figure out her "purpose in life", Sterk dissuades Lulua from seeking out "that person" on the grounds that she would likely just confuse Lulua further, but he later mentions Astrid as one of the hardworking alchemists whose legacy Lulua is following.

Other appearances

Atelier Questboard

Although she schemes to create a "Rorona Harem" by collecting different versions of Rorona throughout time, she ends up being stopped by the intervention of a time-traveling Totori and another version of herself.

Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists

When Rorona goes off to search for the Granzweit Tree's legendary fruit, she neglects to inform anyone about it but Astrid, resulting in a concerned Sterk getting Astrid to send him there in order to find her. After successfully locating Rorona, he expresses frustration at owing Astrid a favor for this and tells Rorona to at least leave notice with someone besides Astrid[note 2] when she plans to do something like this.

Battle (Atelier Rorona Plus)

Astrid is available as a playable character only in Atelier Rorona Plus. She becomes available at the start of the third year. She joins at level 50 (the maximum before Overtime) and starts with a Friendship level of 100 and a payment requirement of 9980 cole per trip. Her initial equipment is a Dharma Ring and Normal Threads.

Skills

Astrid is an offensive character with skills that both deal damage and reduce the enemies' stats.

Active skills

Skill Learning Condition MP cost Description Target Attribute
Genius Call Default 38 MP Physical damage and chance of slow on entire enemy. Single enemy Physical
Genius Draw Default 44 MP Physical damage and lower attack, defense and speed. Single enemy Physical
Genius Mark Default 62 MP Fire damage and lower level on multiple enemies. Fire
Master's Gift Default 0 MP *Deadly* Applies damage to all enemies. All enemies Phyisical

Passive skills

Skill Learning Condition Description
Genius Skills Default Reduce damage and auto revive.
Ultimate Alchemy Default Accuracy, evasion, critical up 75% in Danger.

Assist skills

Skill Learning Condition Assist Gauge consumption Description Target
Assist Attack Default 1 point Perform an additional attack to deal damage after Rorona attacks with items or skills. Rorona's target
Assist Guard Default 1 point Guard Rorona when she is targeted, taking damage in her place. Rorona
Genius Attack Default 1 point (second attack) Physical damage and reduce WT on an enemy. Single enemy
Genius Drive Default 1 point (third attack) Damage each turn on entire enemy. Single enemy

Gallery

Notes

  1. In the English version of Rorona, Astrid says that her master was "exiled" from town because her attempt at helping her wasn't good enough, but the line is a mistranslation of her saying in the Japanese version that her master had become "distant" from the townspeople as a result of Astrid trying to do all of her work for her. (既に当時、街の人からの仕事の大半は私がこなしていた…だが、それもよくなかったんだろうな。城の人間たちだけでなく、街の人の人間からも遠い存在になってしまったんだ。師匠は "I was already taking care of most of the jobs from the townspeople back then...but I guess that wasn't a good thing, either. My master ended up becoming isolated from not only the people at the castle, but also the people of this town, too.")
  2. While the English version of Sterk's line has him say that he wants Rorona to leave notice "just not with that woman," it is a likely contextual misreading of the original Japanese line suggesting his frustration that Rorona had bothered to tell Astrid about it but nobody else. (だが、誰かに伝えるか書き置きでも残しておいてくれ……あの女以外に "But you should at least have told someone or left a note with them... Someone other than that woman.")
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