In the event you've found yourself here somehow... none of the links work, this page will not be finished for a while yet.
This roadmap is loosely based on order of appearance and convenient availability. Items are described so that you might judge which you want to grind for, and which to skip.
The time limit is quite generous, and following this roadmap you should have around 100 days to spare. This includes a sweep of several areas.
Money + Idea Points
Between a handful of quests and turning in data at the research institute, you should have enough to buy books, furniture, and any other necessities. Quests also reward idea points, which can spare you some grinding.
Gathering vs Acquiring
The game technically keeps track of gathering vs acquisition separately, and this does have an effect on getting new recipes. Gathering is based on the number of times you harvest -- even if you get 3 (Wood) in a single harvest, the counter only goes up once. Acquisition, by that same example, would add 3 to the counter.
Being low on LP can affect gathering. Rather than sleeping to restore it, it's best to synth items. Sleeping is 10 LP per hour vs 1 for synth. When you can make beds, those affect LP recovery during synth as well.
A few recipes require jumping 200x, mostly furniture. The key is to keep jumping until you unlock the Barrel (furniture), Refreshing Bed, Verdant Bed, and Maiden's Bed (bed replacements -- increased LP recovery). You'll need to exit the Atelier to trigger these after you've jumped enough.
Later tiers of bombs can be unlocked via uses and winning battles.
- There's a way to get free tier 1 bombs, noted below when you encounter it in WFF, so you can use those.
- Tier 2 Blau Bomb/Vio Ice Bomb/Blitz Stone unlocks after ~20 uses of Tier 1 and ~40 battles
- Tier 3 Ori Bomb/Stahl Ice Bomb/Lightning Crystal unlocks after 40/30/25 uses of Tier 1 and 100 battles
- Tier 4 Peta Bomb/Einsof Ice Bomb/Blitz Crystal can supposedly be unlocked by using tier 2 100x and tier 3 50x, that's a lot of counts without auto-refills and I haven't tried it. The faster way is to get the book at the end of the research lady's quest chain post-exam.
You have a time limit to complete the prologue. If you finish with several days to spare, you do not get to carry over these days to the main game's time limit. Thus, it's better squeeze in as much as you can during the prologue's time limit.
A lot of the materials can help lessen the grind later on. Thus, you should aim for
- 100 Water, from the well. The game can crash if you gather too much at once.
- 70 Black Sand (Recommended to toss this stuff out later -- it's garbage and clogs your storage)
- 40 Paper
- 70 (Ore) -- southern end of the map
- 50 (Plant) -- mushrooms, upstairs near Firis' house
You should receive the following recipes
- Automatic: No-Doc, Ertona Salve and Tanning Fluid, Bomb
- Neutralizer B -- after making the above and doing some more synths
- You can grind your alchemy level up using Neutralizer B and Bombs.
If you did enough gathering in Ertona, these can unlock right away:
- Zettel (Paper/Fuel): gather (Plant) or Paper Scraps
- Pickaxe (search item -- fewer hits for boulders/trees): break boulders
Destructible rocks will be called boulders/crystals, and lootable rocks will be rocks/small crystals.
- Cloth (armor tier 1 mat): gather Wild Cotton from bushes
- Mofcott (armor tier 2 mat): gather Wild Cotton x10, synth Cloth x5. You need to kill animals to get the necessary materials.
- R. White Abyss Key (key item): After Revy drops by
- Mirage Sword (tier 1 sword): after Revy joins
- Explorer's Lantern (search item - prevents weather/time based minimap effects): stay out at night
- Neutralizer R: synth Neutralizer B x1
In the northeast are crystals that give Spirit Stones and Shards. You'll want to farm something like 70 of these for Flussheim. Notably, Spirit Stones can be both gathered and synthed.
- Spirit Stone: Gather Spirit Stone Shard 3 times, Spirit Stone once.
- Bottled Misfortune (debuff - ailments, change damage/resists): acquire Spirit Stone x1, gather (Water) 15 times
- Mining Bomb (better bomb, useful for breaking boulders): use Bomb x5, destroy 10 boulders
- Uni Bag (attack item - pierce): gather Uni x1
- Metal Slasher (tier 1 dagger): Upon getting Heintz (DLC). Otherwise defeat Plant x40 (flowers and mandrakes, not mushrooms)
- Spark Mallet (support, break, ailment recovery): destroy 8 boulders, hit trees 8 times
If you do a lot of gathering, you can unlock the following before leaving:
- Neutralizer G: gather (Plant) x30
- General Catalyst (trait transfer +1 during synthesis): synth Neutralizer G x1, synthesis x20
- Dancing Plant (furniture, gives Cobalt Grass): Gather (Plant) x50, and acquire Puniball Blue+Green+Red x1
- Spare Backpack (+40 backpack capacity): gather x150
- Rock Cookie (sweets, healing): gather Zwei Nuts x1
- Red Wheat Bread (food, healing): gather Mechen Wheat (the wheat), [also jumping 10x and hitting monsters with your staff 10x]
- Wheat Flour (synth mat): gather Mechen Wheat x3
- Honey & Amber Sugar (synth mats): gather Beehives x5 from the bushes with the small purple flowers
- Puni Jelly (food, healing): synth Honey x1, defeat Puni x30
- Hay (synth mat): quest from first NPC, turn in Red Wheat Bread x3
- Craft (attack item - impact), Riveted Leather Armor (light armor tier 1): book from NPC in town, 550 Cole
- Craft Bag (attack item - impact, dot, fixed): use Craft x20, win 40 battles
- Planetary Gear (key item): story quest
- Multicolor Dye (synth mat) part 1: Gather Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green flowers x8 each. You can grab red/blue/yellow around the south camp.
East from Faave Hills.
- Special Nutrients (adv item - improves gathered items): spend a couple days in the area
- Pure Oil (synth mat): gather x15 from blue flowers for Plant Oil
North from Traveler's Grove.
- Ripple Stone (blue/green/yellow Ore): gather the crystal patches or rocks for Ripple Stones and Shards, doing a counterclockwise loop south/southwest of the central camp will give you a few. You will need to gather Ripple Stone x5 for a later recipe.
-Polish (synth mat, red/blue Clay/Sand): gathered Ripple Stone Shard 1x
Golden Tree Leaf: you'll need 8+ of these later, which you can gather from the tall pink flowers by the pond near the center of the map and the bush just south of that.
Beast Aroma (accessory - attention, chain chance, strong enemy bonus) part 1, Strength Meat (food, buffs), Eisenflut (axe tier 2): defeat Humanoids x50 (those Beast guys), acquire Beast Meat x20 for Beast Aroma. For Eisenflut, you need to have synthesized the tier 1 axe, which you don't have yet. It's okay to come back for these later.
** Ripple Stone gives Number Made +1 as a catalyst, which lets you make extra copies of bombs and things. ** If you're really squeezing time, Spinach (small blue flowers) gives -3 hours as a catalyst for some things.
East from Traveler's Grove.
- Distilled Water (useful synth mat): quest from NPC, turn in Cloth
- Ice Bomb (attack item - ice tier 1): gather Hakurei Stones from the rocks. There's a chance you may have unlocked this, but you need Hakurei Stones to make it regardless.
- Multicolor Dye (synth mat) part 2: the yellow flowers at the eastern edge give Green Flowers, you'll need to gather x8. The blue flowers in town will also give flowers of any color if you prefer to get them there.