After a first day of business in which we were wildly successful at realizing just how unprepared we were and the only thing we sold was the one thing I had in this world to make me happy, Recette attempted to salve my pain by telling me a story. Normally, I like my stories to involve at least four or five explosions, some well-writtne drama, or to mention how good I look several times. This isn’t that type of story, but it’s important nonetheless. This is the tale of how Recette started her business. Now, people start businesses for a lot of reasons. Some do it seeking great fortunes. Others do it out of a drive to gain more control over their lives and lifestyles. Still others start businesses in order to attempt to create something of greater impact and permanence within their communities. Recette doesn’t have any of those reasons. Instead, hers is a cause of desperation.
Our tale opens with Recette, left alone and in squalor as her father, well…
As everyone knows, the first step towards becoming a hero is to abandon your family and let them starve alone. The man had joined in on Pensee’s adventuring craze and took off to go ‘be a hero’ as he put it. He hasn’t been heard from since.
It’s been three months, which I’m sure is long enough that we could legally consider Pa Lemongrass dead, but Recette has a child’s optimism and believes he’s still out there. Well, we may not be able to do much about her missing her father but maybe Recette’s loneliness will end soon! There’s a knock at the door!
Turns out, Recette was visited by trouble. Tiny, easily flustered, wordy trouble.
Yep, it’s Tear, working for a lending company. And, of course, it’s never good news when a finance representative pays you a personal visit.
Pa Lemongrass, when he left for his big heroic adventure, took out a loan with his house up as collateral. Since nobody knows where he is, collection agent Tear is trying to shake down any leads they can, going so far as to threaten Recette with eviction.
I don’t think I like the sounds of this.
Of course, some of you in the audience might recognize this as wildly illegal. That’s because you live in civilized countries where a person’s debt can’t be transferred to family members. Whatever country Pensee is in is not quite so civilized apparently, because this thing seems to fly here. In spite of the fact that Recette’s still a minor. The house would be up for collections in any case, since the elder Lemongrass already signed it away, but at least they wouldn’t be able to harass Recette about it.
Tear! For shame! What are you doing to that poor girl!
Okay, okay, so Tear’s less creepy collection agent and more… well, what exactly?
Ah, slaver. That’s much better.
Well, at least Tear’s giving Recette this chance. See, that’s how you know this is a fantasy setting. The collection agents actually give you a chance.
And Recette decides to take on her father’s debt in order to to avoid eviction and the hobo’s life. However, Recette is young, inexperienced, and unskilled. What exactly could Recette do to earn that money?
Oh, do tell.
That’s the worst idea ever. I’ve had a lot of clients in the past who’ve tried to start a business to get out of whatever economic crisis they’re in. I’ve never known it to work out. For one thing, it’s hard to get the necessary financing when you’re already broke and in debt, and you really can’t lowball your start up resources. For another starting a business is a horrible way to get short term cash. You can get huge profits out of them in the long term, of course, but it’s almost always a long time coming. In my experience, it usually takes six months to a year for the average business to make enough to cover their start up costs, and it’s rare that a business will ever be so weak as they are upon start-up. Recette has a short term need for money to make her payments, and starting a business is unlikely to fit those needs.
But I guess that’s why I’m here. They wouldn’t have retained the services of the great Aether, small business mastermind, if things were simple, would they?
Anyways, Tear steps out for a while, then returns to find Recette missing.
Because fleeing wouldn’t stop you from taking her house? Because if she fled she’d be in exactly the same situation as if you evicted her anyway?
As Tear is reminiscing such truths as what horrible things she does and how bad her item shop idea was, a pounding can be heard from outside.
Recette was working on a shop sign! D’aww, isn’t she adorable?!
Yes, Recette can make preparations for her business. Now, if only this skill could have been shown at pretty much any point between then and their first day of business.
Yes! The store name! When you’re coming up with the name for your business, you want to follow the same philosophies as you do most other bits of marketing. As I advise my clients, when you’re coming up with your name, you want to pick something that’s unique, memorable, and evocative. And that’s how Recette came up with the name of… um…
It’s certainly unique…
You… good job, Recette. You did good.
And that’s how the item shop ‘Recettear’ was born. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but if it keeps one poor little girl off the street, it’ll be worth it. And who knows? Maybe we’ll be able to do some good for the town itself while we’re at it.
Considering Tear didn’t speak this aloud, how Recette knew this part for her story, I don’t know. Tear has some… logical concerns about the name, but we’ll deal with that when it comes up.
Back to the present day, as you can see, Tear is as understanding and cheerful as ever.
And time for our second day of operations! I’m sure this will be wildly successful, the day that we’re finally able to prove our greatness to the community, the day that we oh who am I kidding this is going to be painful.
Come on Recette, you’re an entrepreneur! Your kind is prized for their ability to come up with new, unique ideas on how to meet their needs! I know this career was thrust upon you, but you can at least give it a try!
And… for once, Tear decides not to railroad us. We’ve actually got some choice to how we’re going to spend the day! We could spend the day in the shop, selling our remaining inventory, we could go out and see what the business climate in town is like, or we could go and pursue some new inventory. Since
I’ve played at least this far before and know the next step in the plot our inventory is still fairly limited and we’d have leave to restock in the middle of the day anyways, let’s go see what more we can add to our stock.
Of course, our last minute shopping spree yesterday has left us more or less broke, so we’re going to have to find some way of getting new items without spending money. Things aren’t quite desperate enough for us to start robbing other, better stores yet, so… Adventurer’s Guild? It’d be good to get more familiar with our target market and besides, I bet I’d be pretty good at dungeon crawling!
As always, Tear has words to say as soon as we encounter something new. Basically, as lucrative as it could be, the guild doesn’t let just anyone enter incredibly dangerous dungeons in search of undefined riches.
Recette shares my idea, and my disappointment at the fact that it doesn’t seem that it will work.
There are ways around it, though, as Tear illustrates here. We can just get ourselves some contractors, right? We can give out quests! You know those guys in those games who are always like “Bring me 7 bear butts”? We could be those guys! Won’t this be great, Recette?! We can just pick the most fearsome-looking adventurer, and…
Tear, why do you always have an explanation for why life is not as fun as I hope?
Of course. Now that they’re all NPCs, the average adventurer has a lot more sense than they do in any game the player is controlling them. Basically, we’ll need to meet adventurers, make friends with them, then they’ll need to give us a guild card before we’ll be able to contract them to trade blood for loot on our behalf.
Also, while that’s going on, there’s this guy.
Basically, what we have here is a novice adventurer who needs to take the guild test so he can do whatever adventurers do in the big boy dungeons. However, someone offscreen is keeping him from entering the test and thus making money because he’s even more broke than Recette and doesn’t have any items. Hmm… so he needs items, and we’re an item shop that needs an adventurer. Recette, Tear, are you thinking what I’m thinking?
Tear’s as much of a people person as always.
Yes, in spite of popular belief and the existence of the diet industry, insulting people is not the best way to sell things to them.
If by ‘equipment or items’ you mean ‘old broken down swords’ you’ve got that about right.
Well, that about covers the deal. Also, we’ll take any loot you pick up under our employ. So, Mr. Swordsman, what do you say?
Excellent! Under our sponsorship, you will see wonders and achieve great things! With our support, tales of your victories will be told throughout the land, with everyone speaking with awe the name… uh… the name…
the… the name Louie the Swordsman. R…right. Great things.
Well, to start with, we have to hold up our end of the bargain. That means a trip down to the farmer’s market to pick up some of that special food that closes wounds and staunches bleeding.
Of course, we’re pretty broke ourselves. Which means, according to our agreement, Louie is ending up giving us his card and selling us his share of found treasures for two pieces of delicious walnut bread. That he’s only borrowing. That he’ll give back to us if he doesn’t use. I know that this is the only way that he’ll get to take his admission test, which is the only way he’ll get to eat tonight, but still, it just feels like we’re taking advantage of the poor guy.
Back at the Adventurer’s Guild, here’s what we’re looking at with Louie. He’s not even using our equipment, he brought his own crappy sword. I’d at least offer him one to spare, but it seems he uses a shield rather than dual wielding. Aside from food and healing items, he’s already got all the equipment he needs.
And with savory walnut bread filling our pockets, we enter the Adventurer Guild’s testing ground. Now, Louie, I know that these two pieces of bread are our entire contribution to this project, but I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t have to eat the both of them. Just saying. I don’t know if I could deal with the heartbreak of having my lovely walnut bread torn away from me a second time.
At this point, Tear and Recette have a lot of words that I think I’ll spare you from here. Basically, upon entering a dungeon, a special field is extended that makes everyone except Louie virtually intangible. We’ll get to follow along, but we won’t attract monsters and won’t be in any real danger. On the other side of that, the only person we can really interact with is Louie. We’ll serve as his pockets, holding the items he passes us and handing them back to him when he needs them, but otherwise, everything’s on our favorite swordsman. He’ll have to be the one slaying the monsters, hunting down the treasure, and navigating these dungeons.
As Tear readily pointed out, Louie doesn’t exactly look like much. He does seem to be a competent swordsman, however, just… really bad at managing his money. He’s got two main moves; his straight slash as seen here, and a spinning slash that hits everyone around him, does extra damage, and takes up a bit of MP.
Also seen here are the most basic enemies, the Mountain Dews. They’re weak, slow, and easily dispatched. They attack by hurtling themselves at Louie, but he has no problem handling them.
Attacks can do extra damage in various circumstances. Counterattacking, attacking from the side or back, and getting critical hits will all tack a few bonus damage points on.
The Hall of Trials looks to be randomly generated. It just seems to have that structure to it. There are no stairs, but these teleporters here will move us all up to the next floor.
Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a dungeon without lovely lovely treasure. You can find them in chests here, although your enemies will also drop plenty. Possibly taken from other adventurers who had fallen before we got here. Probably best to try not to think about it.
You have to be careful with these chests, though. The Blue Shocks often lay in wait for an ambush. They’ll hide in chests or lurk invisibly, then attack in groups as you draw near. They both deal and take significantly more damage than the Mountain Dews.
As you go up in floors, the enemies likewise go up in levels. On the 1st floor, enemies are level 1, on the 2nd, level 2, etc.
On the second floor, we meet the Code Reds. They have the same behavior as the average Mountain Dew, but they’re just harder. More HP, more damage, more of everything. They immediately make the Mountain Dews obsolete.
We find a fair bit of equipment in the Hall of Trials. Of course, the stuff they just throw away for trainees is miles ahead of anything we’ve got in store.
Moving up to the third floor, we start to run into some Viking Kobolds. They’re fairly swift and can attack from a distance by throwing rocks, but take a hit about as well as a professional wrestling referee.
A Blue Shock ambush take’s Louie’s health to critical levels, and he scarfs down one of our scrumptious walnut breads to heal. I’ll let you have this one, kid, but I won’t be happy if I have to go a second day without my marvelous walnut bread.
Rock traps. The Adventurer’s Guild test requires you to either have lightning reflexes or a hard head to pass.
We find a bit of an upgrade to Louie’s equipment. Of course, he’s just borrowing all this stuff from us, so when he goes for the undoubtedly more dangerous dungeons after his test, he’ll be stuck with the same barely functional sword he started with.
On the 4th floor, we find a couple of Japanese Tentacle Monsters. They don’t hit very hard, but they heal themselves with every hit they connect with. Luckily, they’re slow, so Louie makes short work of them.
Louie can block the Viking Kobolds’ thrown rocks Zelda-style. If he’s facing his attacker and not otherwise preoccupied with his sword, he’ll deflect it harmlessly. Louie can be seen here utterly failing to do so.
The fifth floor, rather than the standard dungeon layout, is just a room with a chest in it. We seem to have reached the end of our trial.
Louie’s got his priorities straight. He moves to open it.
Yes, the Adventurer’s Guild cards, those that you give out to signify your willingness to work for someone else. I think this makes you a full-fledged Adventurer’s Guild member, Louie. Congratulations!
And the man immediately fills his end of the extremely lopsided bargain. I may not think much about his money-handling abilities, but I do have to respect his commitment to his word.
Apparently you’re supposed to treat giving your first guild card with the same reverence you’re supposed to treat your first kiss.
And you have to beg for it just as much too.
It’s impossible for Tear to be happy with anything.
Our pockets full, we split with Louie and head home. True to his word, he leaves us with all the loot we found. This includes a new set of swords and knives, a bunch of leftover slime fluid, some armor, miscellaneous adventuring items, and best of all, walnut bread! Finally! That tasty, delicious, lightly sugared goodness is finally all mine!
And with that, I’m off to go have my lovely treat. Until next time, everyone…