Reviews for Atelier Totori: The Alchemist of Gallia
Kyuubi gear chapter 1 . 2/7/2014
Not bad, hmmm I think this has made mr want to write my own vc story. Well after I finish my stories series that is. But this alright never less, really hope to see you update it. I saw that you said that you were obsessed with the vs series and I must say so am I. The game is very well done and it's really a shame that we didn't get vc3 in north america. But I pray that we do one day.

Anyway hope to see more of the story.

"always walk with your head held high and never give up for what you believe in". -my quote
Krylancelo chapter 1 . 3/12/2013
Ohh a crossover with two of my fav games!
I hope you update! I want her to meet more VC characters!
DC20 chapter 1 . 5/25/2012
I think Gundam covered this story very well. It was a very quick and fun read, which is great. I don't read a lot of crossovers, but AR was a good pick for this - I can see the two games crossing without having to stretch a whole lot. I'll start with my suggestions before I go into things you're doing awesome at. As said, GP covered a lot of that, but I'll throw my own comments in and give other reasons to follow that advice, along with a few new pointers.

GP's first suggestion was to watch your identifiers - how you refer to your character. I agree 100% with this point. You should be referring to you character by either their name or a pronoun (Totori/she/her, Stark/he/him, them/they, etc.). As Gundam said, it's very impersonal. Do you call your friend, "The Boy" or "The Girl?" You want your readers to build an emotional attachment to the character. It's more difficult to do that if the identifiers distance you from the character. There are other reasons not mentioned as to why you shouldn't do it, though. First, it's confusing. Take your second paragraph. How many potential characters are there? Totori is referred to by three titles (four, if you want to include Tootoria as being different than Totori). That could potentially be four different characters, all without being linked to being the same person. If somebody isn't familiar with AR, it could cause a lot of trouble as to who is being described.

A lot of that goes to my second point about identifiers, and one which brings a lot of people to use a bunch of different ones for the same character. Don't use identifiers to convey information. They're for telling us what character is being talked about, not for telling us about that character. Take, for example, "The Alchemist." The identifier is used to tell us she's an alchemist. Instead, try conveying that information outside of the identifier. Here's an example of how the same information could be given outside of the identifier the first time "The Alchemist" is used in paragraph 2: "Totori stood and walked to the bow. She was an alchemist - alchemists weren't supposed to get lost." From that point on, we know she's an alchemist. We'll remember. No need to tell us again.

As a note, don't worry about the character's name/pronouns being overused. Names/pronouns aren't really content - they're simply used to identify. They're a tool, and they're largely invisible to readers. Rule of thumb: Use pronouns unless the subject is unclear. If there's any question as to who is being talked about when you put in a pronoun, simply replace it with the character's name. Don't worry about overusing them - they're like the word "the". You hardly notice.

GP's next point is trimming sentences and cutting adverbs. Also agree 110%, though I'll especially emphasize cutting adverbs. I'll also take that one a step further. 99% of the time, if you need an adverb to modify or clarify the action, you need to find a better verb. You don't, as GP said, have to cut all of the adverbs. But when you use them, it should be a conscious decision to put it there. Adverbs tend to be lazy writing - it's a lot easier to put an -ly to describe the action than it is to think about a stronger word or way to say it. Your sentences will be stronger for finding the better phrase, however.

They aren't always bad, though. For example, they're better than using an obscure, obsolete, or uncommon verb to describe the action. If Totori is mixing things, and the only word you can find to really describe the action without an adverb is "coalesced," you're probably better off with the adverb. Another way around it would be to rework the sentence so that you can use a more common word without and adverb.

As for trimming sentences, cut any words you don't need:

Totori gave a smile as she put down her soup. Totori smiled and put down her soup.

She didn't take the time to really register the words immediately, but the young Alchemist knew she'd never heard one of them before in her life. The words didn't register at first, but she knew she'd never heard of a "Valkyrur."

The Alchemist was able to tell that was health food. And it would stay that way. But… She was in the mood for something... A little warmer. It was health food, but she was in the mood for something warmer.

Watch out for overusing elipses. In most cases it doesn't add anything, and even when used to show how the person is speaking, it can often be inferred anyway, or could better be described outside of the dialogue. Using ellipses in dialogue makes the character sound very stilted, but it doesn't tell how, and more importantly it doesn't tell why.


"…East?" The man said the word as if disbelieving. "You were heading East as in… From the West?"

The elipses at the start of the quotation signify he paused before speaking. Describe that instead. The elipses in the second half of his quote also signify a pause, but after a repetition of information we've already been conveyed. Cut that, and simply start with the new info:

The man's eyes widened, and he leaned forward. "East?" he asked. "As in from the West?"

Pretty much the same info, no choppiness. Also note that the part about "as if disbelieving" was cut and replaced. As if disbelieving tells us the info. It's better to show it through a thought or an action than it is to tell it. Eyes widening and leaning forward signify surprise and interest. They're simple, stock descriptions, but they do work to show instead of tell. You can probably come up with something even better if you thought about it.

GP has the comments about section 2 covered. I will note though that the bold portion says "six weeks later:... 3 weeks later". Which is it?

End quotations in commas, not periods, if the sentence continues past the quote: "Be careful not to overexert yourself," said a voice she didn't recognize.

As said, I really enjoyed reading. It's a really cool idea for a story, and I can't wait to see where the characters end up. I will note I would rather have seen the mystery about her mother last a little longer - there may be more to it than what the doctor said, but I feel that subplot jumped ahead real quick. Otherwise a very solid start to what looks to be an awesome story. Mimi is the greatest. I also liked a lot of the thought and description in the first sentence, especially when the boat starts getting rocked. Sentences like "Her father's craft should have been able to hold up against it, shouldn't it? After all, it stood up against the Flauschtraut!" show her worry and give us some insight into her mind and character. Keep that kind of writing! Great work, and I look forward to reading more soon!
Gundam Pharmacist chapter 1 . 5/24/2012
Alright, were we go (and sorry if I'm gonna come off a bit harsh).

The story moves along at a pretty fast pace, which is good, and generally kept my interest. You may want to make the disclaimer of having people take a dose of MS3TK mantra as far as sea dragons are concerned, not entirely sure if they're in the VC-verse.

You have a little work to do grammatically, mind. I've picked these tips up in my writing class, and they might be able to help you:

-Don't refer to the PoV character as 'the girl' or 'the [insert title here]'. By using third person PoV, you've already established that Totori is the main character, and we're seeing things from her point of view (3rd person limited) Writing like that takes the reader out of the story, or at the very least prevents them from immersing faster (would you think of yourself as 'the boy' or 'the girl'?). As much as I don't like overusing pronouns and proper names, it's just one of those things you need to use discretion with.

-Find ways to restructure sentences for more strength. By this I mean that though the story still conveys good feelings, it's watered down by the use of 1) passive verbs and 2) adverbs. There's quite a few sentences where you can scratch out a word or two, reducing redundancy and giving more impact to the line. Adverbs tend to do the same thing; saying, for example, 'she walked slowly over...' is redundant since walking insinuates slow movement. Instead of the above, there's multiple other verbs, more complex, that can add more spice and flavor to the story 'sauntered, strutted, meandered', just to list a few.

(Note: A good way to use adverbs is to use a contradicting one to grab attention, i.e. 'she walked briskly...', which conveys something else entirely).

Now, onto the story itself: I'm curious as to why the rest of the cast didn't tag along with Totori (okay, so Ceci, Iksel, Cory, and to some extent Rorona have their jobs, though you'd think the latter would go anyway). What happened to Gino, or Mel? Just a question more than a criticism, though doing a bit more explaining could easily clear this up.

The second part of the story, where the gang's found all washed up... It could either be expanded upon, switched to Totori's point of view to make it have synergy with the story, or just plain cut. The shift to a random grunt for four paragraphs and then back to Totori is somewhat unnerving. (Also, minor gripe: the 'When suddenly, she began to cough. She was alive!' got a little on my nerves; couldn't the guy finding her have used another way to ensure she was alive and it wasn't just a death reflex?)

The third part had to be my favorite: poor Totori got hit hard and fast with the news. I was both a bit upset and intrigued by this - this does mean a bad end for Totori's part as far as the game (or not depending on that tease at the bottom), but it opens up a whole realm of new possibilities: Will she follow in Gisela's footsteps? Will she try to be an Alchemist here, spreading the knowledge to Gallia? Will she try to return home as soon as she can?

What about Sterk, Mimi, and Marc? They've been helping for their own reasons I presume, and especially Sterk, now that Gisela's 'dead', he has no reason to follow Totori anymore. How will all of them react to the situation in Gallia, and the state of the world as a whole? This part made this chapter, setting up a lot of events to come, and a lot of questions to be answered. I'm interested to see what these will be, so keep on writing!