Yay for everyone's favorite skimpy princess!

Name: Merurulince Rede Arls (Meruru)
Traits: Use items, Offensive item bonus
Rating: 7/10

Meruru is like every other protagonist in the "Atelier Arland" series, she gains access to items and is able to use them in battle, that alone is a wonderful feat in a game such as this where most other characters aren't able to use items at all. You can't ever remove her from your party no matter what, but it doesn't matter since using items is pretty much a must at all times. However, she is a step behind Totori, whom is the best item user in the game IMO.

Meruru's item forte comes from using offensive oriented items. Bombs, meteors, salvages, you name it, these items get power boosts when she is the one using them. In many situations, this isn't TOO useful, as you'll be relying on your party members for damage, but in the situation where you have to depend on items for damage, Meruru does that well.  However though, such a situation will never come, as item users are mostly resorted to being support characters.

Every rich girl needs a maid.

Name: Keina Swaya
Traits: Support, Healer
Rating: 6/10

Keina is probably one of the only characters that isn't amazing in this game. She's fragile as all hell, she doesn't do a lot of damage, and well, she might not seem to be good for anything early on in the game. She CAN heal, but you won't be needing her for that pretty soon. However, if you actually let her gain some levels (even when not in battle), she becomes the ideal support character in the game which might fit your party if you do so need someone like that.

If you intend on using Keina, having her with the best weapon that you can afford is what you'll want. Her heal scales on ATK, and having the best possible basket means powerful heals. She can even revive downed party members (yes, multiple members at once), and you'll be finding this to be her most useful skill, until at least you get a good elixir. She can buff the party's ATK, and raise their crit chance, which is decent for late game, but eats up her mana. Her spot will be better used for a true DPS character, but if you need the extra support (as I mentioned earlier, the item users, Meruru included, can do fine supporting the team alone), she works.

Say hello to bjinn childhood friend #294.

Name: Lias Falken
Traits: Physical damage, AOE damage, WT manipulation
Rating: 9/10

Lias is pretty damn awesome, despite having a pretty shitty personality (until later, at least). He has decent damage, his normal attacks do AOE damage, and he's pretty much a party steroid for the early game, since he joins you pretty much instantly when the game really starts. You might think he falls off later on, but in the late game, his usefulness pretty much skyrockets, especially during bosses and if you have Mimi on the team. Mimi, Lias plus Meruru is probably the most broken combination in the game.

Late in the game, Lias's damage is pretty much only decent (we're talking about best weapons here when compared to everyone else), but with WT manipulation on so many of his moves...he'll pretty much make sure bosses don't get to move much, AT ALL. Without taking Mimi into account, he can pretty much duke out most bosses so that they only move once to your two turns. Throw in speed belts and suddenly you're rolling through even the toughest assholes in the game.

19 years old, still flat. By the end of the game, 24 years old, STILL flat.

Name: Totooria Helmond (Totori)
Traits: Use items, Duplicate, Magic damage
Rating: 8/10

Totori is Totori from her game, she's not much different. She joins you fairly early on, though she's not the damage you're looking for, she's more utility than anything else. And mind you, its good utility. She's my favorite item user in the game, and if you want to run double item users, Totori is your second go to choice. Also, since she can recover from KO through her OP passive, you'll pretty much her as a last resort character anyway, to save your team's ass in a pinch.

Totori retains what she's good for: Duplicate, a skill that makes you have pretty much infinite uses of every item, and if that item is good, you'll be rocking through long battles with your powerful items still available for use. Quick dupe is even better, as the item comes out much quicker, though the quality takes a bigger dip than usual. She can also do damage with her Chim N/A skill, though you won't really be relying on her too much for damage, its just icing on top of the cake.


Name: Mimi Houllier Von Schwarzlang
Traits: Physical damage, Speed, High evasion, Speed manipulation
Rating: 9/10

Like Totori, Mimi pretty much remains mostly the same as she was in the 2nd game...but better. Mimi is now one of the strongest characters in the game, from start to finish, she will never fail to impress. She deserves a spot on your team most of the time, as her damage and utility is just too good. In more ways than one, she's similar to Lias, but has better damage, though she does lack Lias's convenient AOE normal attack. And as I mentioned in Lias's description, Mimi plus Lias is pretty much an unstoppable boss killing duo.

Mimi excels in single target damage, though she isn't exactly the best of the best (still a step behind Sterk and Gio), but her utility in boss fights is just amazing. Having the ability to reduce the speed on bosses is great, as they get less moves and you get more. To top it off, the ability stacks, so you can continue to reduce the boss's speed as you like (while still doing damage), and when you need to deal damage, Spare Bolen is ridiculously strong and disregards enemy defense. Speed reduction plus WT manipulation = the OP Mimi Lias combo.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: Puberty.

Name: Gino Knab
Traits: Physical damage, Magic damage, Tanky
Rating: 8/10

Gino is probably the character that changed the most from his transition to "Atelier Meruru". He is no longer the useless chap that he once was, and becomes one of the game's most prolific fighters. He is up there on par with everyone else in terms of damage, maybe even higher than some. He has gained some really powerful single target moves, and most of the time, he is probably one of the better characters to use for a long, drawn out engagement.

Gino has a boatload of single target damage, Hail Storm and This Parade are excellent sources of damage. Also, early on in the game when you do not have convenient healing, Gino can cover for that by being a damage sponge. He heals himself for some of his HP every turn, and takes less damage from elemental attacks. This will help you remain somewhat healthy as you explore some of the more difficult areas early on. Because of his natural bonus damage against bosses, it goes without saying that he will work pretty well against those long boss fights, though his mana is abysmal. If you want to use Gino, make sure to keep his mana tipped up at all times.


Name: Rorolina Frixell (Rorona)
Traits: Use items, Support, Healer, Magic damage
Rating: 7/10

People might say that Rorona is terrible in this game, but it all depends actually. She's definitely slightly worse off than she was in the second game, but she's far from terrible. As I always mention, item users are more for supportive purposes, and if you want Rorona in you're probably looking for another support character. Since she can use items, I put her ahead of Keina in score, because whatever Keina can do, Rorona can do it as well (except for the team buffing).

Rorona's damage is pitiful, but her utility works well for her as a support type character. Hom M recovers ailments, and Hom F heals HP. Oh yes, Hom F heals HP...it even revives dead characters. Her evasion is high because of Small, and she uses items faster than anyone else, though the item effectiveness goes down whenever Rorona is the one using it. She fits in some situations, and if you need a sure fire way to spam items, you might want Rorona in (I find that she works well with Gino).

A 40 year old goddess.

Name: Esty Dee
Traits: Physical damage, AOE damage, Speed, Magic damage, Defense down
Rating: 9/10

Esty is the queen in this game. Not only is she stupidly good looking for her age (she's 40), she probably fights better than most of the guys in the game. Her normal attacks do AOE damage, similar to Lias, and she is probably the fastest character in the game, yes, even faster than Mimi. She gets reduced WT on her moves almost all the time thanks to one of her passive abilities, and being able to constantly do damage is probably one of the best things possible for a DPS character such as herself.

Esty is one of the top candidates to take along for a boss fight. Need single target damage? She does a boatload of damage, and often too, thanks to her innate speed along with her passive. Boss debuffs? She's got that going for her as well. Being able to reduce the defense of a boss is HUGE, just like Lias's WT down and Mimi's speed down. Combine her with a character with higher DPS for even better results. And need I mention this? She's pretty sexy.

How the f**k is he 41?

Name: Sterkenberg Cranach
Traits: Physical damage, Magic damage, AOE damage, Defense buff, Tanky
Rating: 8/10

Sadly for the believers of Sterk, he has long lost the title of king in the "Atelier Arland" series when it comes to the 3rd and final game. Everyone else has matured, and he is no longer the beast that he once was when everyone else is dishing out that much damage as well. Sterk, without a doubt, can deal very high single target damage, one of the highest in the game as well! However, the others aren't too far behind, and because he doesn't bring much utility other than a meager defense buff, he isn't the top of the list anymore.

If you need damage, Sterk is your man. There isn't really anyone else that fits the description for "raw damage" as much as Sterk does. He hits hard, and can do both physical AND magical damage, but that's pretty much it. Falken Wind destroys enemy mobs, but is rarely used against bosses (except for Wyverns when they call in their minion dudes). He's a pretty good damage sponge as well, when the need calls for it. Having him and someone like Esty together can really make bosses quiver (Esty reduces defense, Sterk crushes them with his massive damage).

Well, all hail the king.

Name: Ludwig Giovanni Arland (Gio)
Traits: Physical damage, Shadow, Multiple attacks in a single turn
Rating: 10/10

Enter Gio, the manliest man of all men in the "Atelier Arland" series. If you thought Sterk was manly, you never seen Gio in action. You can never get this guy on your 1st play through, but on your 2nd one you can. Trust me, when you finally get him, you will drool over his power. He has, without a doubt the highest damage dealing potential in the game, and when you have a passive that might have you surviving a blow when it would have killed you, you know you've hit jackpot. This sick dude helped me beat Airshatter.

First of all, his damage is on par with Sterk, or maybe Esty. That might not be the most impressive thing ever, but his first ability, Strike, allows him to go again after connecting. That means you have a chance to act multiple times in the same turn. It goes without saying that his damage dealing ability is beyond broken. He can deal so much more damage than anyone else in a single turn. His shadow ability allows it to replicate an attack he just did...you guessed it, that means more damage. SO MUCH DAMAGE, DIS OLD MAN.

My Party (I swap around these guys)

Mimi -|
Lias  --> I usually take them together
Gio   -|

Esty   -|
Sterk---->These 2 are usually together

The rest