Alchemy Story promises to be a beautiful story about a magic-bound realm where people have been transformed into cute little animals by a mysterious witch, and it’s up to you to restore the balance. Whether you gather from the wild or tend to your garden/animals, fish or mine… all the good harvest-moon-ish stuff, it is through alchemy that you’ll accomplish your goals. This guide will take you through the main concepts of the game.
There are however three villagers impervious to witchcraft: Edward, professor of magical arts, Charlotte, a charming gardener, and Aiden, a fisherman living remotely in the northern part of the village; they are key to jump-starting your magical affair. You are also aided by Ellie, a groundhog who can plant seeds for you in exchange for snacks, and Nico, the post-owl who can ship up to three potion orders daily.
Building up your income
The items you collect can be crafted into potions or sold as such at the market stalls. Check with Nico for the three daily potions; fulfilling them all will grant you a 50-coin bonus. For the time being they’ll be your main income, so try to stock up on ingredients.
You can also sell ingredients (but not potions!) at the market in the centre of the village. You start with one market stall, but as your wealth increases, you can purchases up to eight stalls. Do not ignore this aspect of the game as it will prove quite useful down the road.
You’ll also get in the mail a daily special request from one of the villagers. These requests do not expire the next day; you can only get a new delivery request after completing the current one. Such orders have to be delivered in person by talking with that particular villager.
To recap: 3 potion shipments, 1 daily special request, and market stalls are your only source of income. Yet, as you (im)patiently wait to save up for the next upgrade or a new fashion look, there are important things to be done!
Lifting the veil: six new villagers
These new adventures will be triggered once Edward will mail you specific directions as to who, where and how to proceed. The mechanics will follow the same pattern: you are to find three pieces of memorabilia (always on the specified premises, with one exception) and talk to the animal. It may take a few days of interaction, but sooner or later, he/she will remember their name at which point you rush to Edward’s basement and activate the transmutation circle. The new villager can now be found at his/her house.
Starting with Noah (rancher), moving on to Jasmine (honeybee keeper and insect lover), William (lumberjack), Penelope (miner), Madelaine (tailor), and ending with Nathaniel (hairdresser), the magical village will be busting with life in no time.
This is currently the main story of the game. And I find it to be a nice variation from building or purchasing stores in similar games. I only wish Arabella would get to act as the alchemist she’s aspiring to be, rather than simply talk the villagers out of their spellbound form.
For now, Arabella is left to graduate her apprenticeship with more secular goals in life: forage so as to craft, craft so as to sell, sell so as to upgrade and forage more and/or more varied stuff… rinse and repeat. To be fair, Stardew Valley, My Time at Portia, and many other games can be forced into a similar straitjacket. The reward is in the journey and, even in early access, Alchemy Story promises many hours of joy and plenty of cuteness.
Foraging in the wild
Chamomile, Lavender, Poppy can be found among the grass in the wild, or in garden plots. Check Edward’s and Charlotte’s house, the Apiary, and the vacant house South-West of the town square.
Pumpkin is a rarer find in garden plots and Sunflower rarer still (the latter may sprout only at Charlotte’s), while Bellflower can only be grown in your own backyard. See also Gardening below.
Maple Leaf, Acorn, and Cherry will spawn in the trees. When the forest is unlocked, you can get these items as by-products from cutting maple, birch, and cherry trees.
Shiny Water and Dark Water are obtained from the four fountains spread around the village: your own backyard next to the garden plots, at Edward’s, at Charlotte’s, and the last one at the vacant house SW of the town square. You can collect Shiny Water from morning till 6 PM; after that, you can collect Dark Water. These items can also be occasionally fished at any of the fishing spots.
Butterfly, Ladybug, Dark Moth will spawn on the trunk of the trees. They can also appear on particular flowers you can grow in the garden. More on that in the Gardening section below. They may also be collected as by-products from cutting trees in the forest.
Titan Beetle will very rarely spawn in Edward’s garden, on one of the haystacks. [In my two-year game-play, that’s the only place I encountered it in the wild.] It will also appear along with the sunflowers and bellflowers you plant in your garden and it may be found, at times, when you break rocks in the mine.
Queen Bee may be gathered quite infrequently from any of the beehives found at the Apiary or in Charlotte’s garden. After Jasmine ‘joins the band,’ you can purchase beehives for your own garden. See also Beekeeping below.
Of all the animal products, Egg is easily obtainable before you have the income to start animal husbandry proper. You may find it among the broad-leaf bushes and, occasionally, at the Ranch, Noah’s residence after his transmutation. Noah will gift you a chicken, but more on that in the Animal Husbandry section below. If you’re lucky, the Ranch may also reward you with Milk or Wool. Sometimes, Edward will forget a bottle of Milk on the table outside his door.
In Alchemy Story you don’t get to do any planting yourself. Instead, you feed Ellie various snacks and she will plant a particular crop for each snack. A few days later, you’ll be able to harvest the fruits of Ellie’s labour, along with some bonus insects. When harvesting, stand in the middle of the plot to gather everything at once.
There are 6 possible crops, corresponding to the 6 snacks Ellie craves for:
After you’ve unlocked all nine plots and have accumulated enough stock of both snacks and crops (say, around 15 of each), you might consider gradually bringing all plots to the same culture. This will make it easier for you in the long run, as you’ll gather everything at once, and plan ahead what to plant depending on the stock in your inventory.
To do this, you can check how many days are left for each plot by pressing LMB. Then you calculate what crops you can plant for each, so as to harvest on the same day as the longest of all. Growing time in the table above does not include the day of planting. Ex: if you feed Ellie cherry on day 1, you’ll harvest pumpkin on day 5.
Say you work with the following scenario, on day 1.
2 plots of chamomile: 1 day remaining
1 plot of pumpkin: 2 days remaining
2 plots of pumpkin: 3 days remaining
2 plots of sunflower: 3 days remaining
1 plot of sunflower: 4 days remaining
1 plot of bellflower: 4 days remaining
Since there are no crops to grow in 1 day so as to make up the difference between those growing in 3 days (pumpkin and sunflower in our case) relative to the longest 4 days (sunflower and bellflower in our case), the solution is:
2 plots of chamomile → harvest on day 2; plant sunflower/bellflower → harvest on day 7
1 plot of pumpkin → harvest on day 3; plant pumpkin/poppy → harvest on day 7
2 plots of pumpkin → harvest on day 4; plant lavender → harvest on day 7
2 plots of sunflower → harvest on day 4; plant lavender → harvest on day 7
1 plot of sunflower → harvest on day 5; plant chamomile → harvest on day 7
1 plot of bellflower → harvest on day 5; plant chamomile → harvest on day 7
And there you have it: on day 7 all plots are ready for monoculture.
Beehives are located next to your garden and they’ll produce honey and occasionally a queen bee every day. (Currently there is a bug that sometimes there is no produce after loading the game. It will be addressed most probably in the next update.)
To get any produce though, the bees have to be fed every day. Just stand close in front of them and press ‘E’ or LMB and you’ll automatically plant a flower in front of the beehive, provided you have the required flower in your inventory. To start with, bees will randomly ‘request’ one flower, which will then rotate in the following days. Though I haven’t worked out exactly the rotation sequence, I know they only feed on 4 types of flower: chamomile, lavender, poppy, and sunflower.
From this moment, petting and feeding your animals will have to be integrated in your daily routine. A few days later, you’ll have a fully grown chicken who will give you either 1 egg or 1 feather every day. Later on, you’ll be able to add bunnies who will give you either Fur or Rabbit Foot.
In the barn, you can raise cows (give you Milk or Fur) and sheep (give you Milk or Wool).
Here are the prices for each animal in Noah’s store. Animals come in three different colours, but they all cost the same and give you the same produce. Noah’s store (same as everybody else’s) rotates everyday; it can take quite a good few days to purchase that yellow bunny or black sheep you’ve been waiting for…
Initially, your coop can only accommodate 3 chickens, and your barn 1 cow and 1 sheep. Once you un-spellbind William, the gnomes will be happy to upgrade them. When you have the funds, interact with the sign in front of the coop/barn for an almost immediate upgrade.
I find it funny that no matter the number of animals you raise (be it you first chicken or a maximum of 15 animals after all the upgrades), you still fill that same trough with only 3 forage every day.
As a side note, I know that other players have tried to figure out a combination of forage to feed the animals so as to predict the produce they’ll get the next day. But in my experience, the animal drops are RNG dependent. I almost always fed them the same chamomile-maple leaf-acorn trio (because I always had an abundance of them) and have gathered, in time, enough of each item.
You should dedicate some time for fishing (maybe in the remaining hours of the day) as often as you can. The fishing mini-game is very simple and you can obtain items which otherwise you can only unlock later in the game.
There are different types of fish that can be caught in different locations. Along with fish per se, you can also catch any of the following: shiny water, dark water, maple log, stone or coal. What you fish is RNG dependent and does not vary with the time of day or the season. Yet, if you consume a Fishy Drink, you’re guaranteed to only catch the local fish (depending on the fishing spot) and nothing else.
Fishing (same as mining and cutting trees) stands apart from all other activities in two respects: you need a tool for it and it consumes stamina. Every cast will cost 5 Stamina points (SP), whether you catch a fish or give up on trying. You can replenish full stamina by drinking an Energy Elixir, or partial stamina by petting various animals you’ll find in the village (try Noah’s, Edward’s, the sheep around the Boutique or the chickens near the vacant house SW of the town square).
You can only fish when standing on the bridge and not in or from the side of the water.
Position yourself in a straight line with a fish and cast with ‘E’ or LMB. You can control how far you cast depending on how long you press ‘E’ or LMB; as you cast, an arrow will appear on the screen: a short click will barely colour the bottom of the arrow and it is suitable for the fish very close to the bridge. A longer single click will colour the arrow to middle or straight to the top. This will work for the fish further away from the bridge.
After you cast, the arrow sign is replaced with three suspension points. Keep your eye on them rather than the fish and press ‘E’ or LMB the moment the suspension points are replaced by the picture of a fish. Press ‘E’ or LMB once more to draw the catch in your inventory. I find it works better to follow the picture on the screen rather than follow the fish, which most of the time is blocked from view, if you positioned yourself correctly and cast the right distance. But if you prefer following the fish, than you should catch it the moment a red exclamation sign appears above their heads.
That’s all there is to it. It takes a bit of practice to gauge the distance right, but nothing fancier than this. In my experience, it’s more important to position yourself in a straight line with the fish (try to choose a fish which is not moving), than gauge precisely the distance. I tend to classify the fish in three categories: very close to the bridge (short click), somewhat far (fill the blue arrow midway), very far (fill the blue arrow all the way to the top).
There are four types of fish that can be caught at specific locations.
As I mentioned above, you can maximize the fish you catch by consuming Fishy Drink. It is worth doing it, especially if you plan on a fishing trip for sunfish or moonfish in the forest and, respectively, the mine. You might also want to have an Energy Elixir on you to replenish your energy (starting with a full stamina of 100 and provided that each cast is successful you could catch 20 fish).
But you might not be so lucky, and sometimes it pays off to waste some stamina points and cast again rather than wait too long for some fish to finally see your bait and come rushing. Hence the Energy Elixir.
Bear in mind the following! If you go to the forest/mine just to fish, and choose only the adequate levels, you can only fish out two lakes worth. After you’ve completely depleted the fish at two levels, all other fishing levels will be depleted for the remaining of the day. [I don’t know if it’s a bug or by design.]
Without any upgrades, any swing of the axe in the forest will cost 5 Stamina points (SP). You spend 4 SP with a silver axe, 3 SP with a gold axe, 2 SP with a sapphire axe and only 1 SP with a ruby axe.
You can chop three different types of trees in the forest: maple (dark green foliage), birch (yellow foliage), and cherry (red foliage). They will drop anywhere between 1 to 4 logs (maple, birch and cherry respectively) with a possible bonus (maple leaf, acorn, cherry, or various insects). Consuming a Forester Potion will guarantee maximum 4-log drops for the day.
You can also gather from the forest floor two types of mushrooms: shiitake and, more rarely, chanterelle.
To advance to the next level of the forest, you need to obtain a key hidden in any of the trees at the current level. Most of the time, you’ll get the key from the first couple of trees you cut down. As you advance deeper into the forest, it may take more attempts. While I was playing, it seemed to me that some of the trees had a few sparkles in their trunk, and those trees always gave me a key. But it may have been just a graphical glitch.
On some levels, you may encounter a bench; sitting on it will give you back some stamina points which is very useful.
When you first attempt a deep dive into the forest, trying to reach that elusive Level 10 where you can fish for sunfish, it’s a good idea to come prepared, especially if you haven’t yet unlocked the Hot Air Balloon. Start early in the day with the following aids: a silver maybe even gold axe upgrade; a Dash Elixir (consume at the very beginning of the day so you’ll move faster completing the daily chores and running in the forest); a couple of Energy Elixirs (for when you’re out of stamina and cannot find any benches); maybe even a Fishy Drink (so as to maximize your catch of sunfish when you do reach Lvl 10).
There is a lake with sunfish at every other 10 level in the forest.
Outside the entrance to the forest there is a platform for upgrading the Hot Air Balloon. Though the cost is not forbidding, you may not easily find the funds for it when there are so many other things to buy around the farm.
- Hot Air Balloon = 2,500 coin + 50 maple log
The Hot Air Balloon functions as an elevator, keeping track of your progress in the forest for every other 5 levels, up to level 45. The progress you made in the forest before unlocking the elevator will be saved when the upgrade is done: ex, if the deepest you ventured in the forest was Lvl 13, when the elevator is unlocked it would have already saved direct access to Lvl 5 and Lvl 10.
It goes without saying that the deeper you delve in the forest, the cherry trees become more frequent. I couldn’t say the same though about the chanterelle mushrooms. Wish I could grow them somewhere in my alchemy lab.
In addition, you can also purchase various upgrades for the mine carts. Their effect is an increase in the maximum amount you can hold in your inventory for any of the mined items. Normally, you can only hold 99 of any item in your inventory. The mine cart upgrades allow you to increase this number for the following items: stone, coal, silver, gold, sapphire and ruby. I’m not sure what the new maximum limit is, just that I carry with me 350+ stones and counting. Arabella is putting on some muscles!
There are six different types of rocks you can mine here: plain stone, coal (dark bits), silver (light grey bits), gold (yellow bits), sapphire (blue bits), and ruby (red bits). Most of the rocks will give you a combination of the main drop (coal, silver etc.) and stones, with an occasional drop of Titan Beetle. You can also gather mushrooms from the mine floor: shiitake and, quite infrequently, amanita.
To advance to the next level, there is no need for a hidden key; you need only shovel some coal in the furnace as you enter. As you go deeper in the mines, the amount of coal to feed the furnace increases too. This means that if you have accumulated a big stockpile of coal, you can simply feed the furnace and dash to the next level ignoring everything else, if progress is your main concern. Ok, maybe you can stop to pick an amanita or two.
There are no relaxation spots in the mines, something similar to the benches from the forest. Instead, you may find various coloured pools of water (make sure to turn and check each side of the door just as you enter a new level) whose only purpose is to change the colour of Arabella’s hair. Now, you may find that a bright pink hair will do wonders for your disposition, but it surely ain’t gonna help breaking that tasty ruby stone over there, so be sure to pack some Energy Elixirs for treats.
Again, if you plan on fishing for moonfish, come well prepared if you want to reach Lvl 20, the first level with a lake in it. Besides the suggestions I made for the sunfish trip in the forest, it helps to have already gathered 20+ coal in your inventory. You’ll be able to catch moonfish on any of these levels: 20, 40, 60, 80, etc.
Near the entrance to the mine, you have the possibility to unlock the Mine Elevator. When you do so, the elevator keeps track of every 10-level mark up to level 90.
- Mine Elevator = 2,500 coin + 25 maple log + 40 stone
As you might have guessed, the deeper you go in the mines, the more frequent the ores and precious stones. And, once more, this doesn’t seem to affect the frequency of the amanita mushrooms. Seriously, what kind of an alchemist doesn’t have a pungent dark corner in their lab for tasty mushrooms?!
Gifting and Friendship
So, you’ve shipped three potions with Nico, took notice of the daily request (say, pumpkins for Edward, maybe the same pumpkins you sneakily gathered from his plot the day before), petted and fed the cuties, got your honey and shiny water, checked the crops… now what?
Well, you go search for sparkles, but you can do it in an orderly fashion. I like to cover the entire village, in a serpentine itinerary, gathering everything I find along my path and gifting everyone their loved gift. By the time I said goodbye to Aiden, last of my socializing stops, it’s around 7 PM. I may even stop to fish for a bit, maybe gather some dark water I abstained from collecting earlier, before I run back home just in time to miss an encounter with Lutin.
You may design whatever itinerary works best for you, but it’s good to form a daily routine. Not only that it will help you learn the surroundings and stop asking the map for guidance every other 5 minutes but, as they say: good habits die hard, right?
So, here’s mine: start with Jasmine (Apiary), then west to Edward (Study), north to Penelope (Mine), east to Charlotte (Field) and further to Noah (Ranch) and William (Lumberyard), north again to Madelaine (Boutique) and Nathaniel (Salon), a short stop at the market stall to take my coins and refresh the selling stock, before reaching Aiden (River). By the way: I hope you remembered to deliver those pumpkins to Edward. You didn’t? See, that’s why you should always talk-and-gift!
It’s easy, and fun, and the villagers deserve it. After all, they’re not even that hard to please… with a few exceptions. But what’s more important is that once you become friends, they’ll share new alchemy recipes and you cannot say no to that! Here is a list with Loved Gifts for every villager. It’s not exhaustive, but it comprises all I could put together from my own game-play and other players’ findings.
You’ll know you hit the mark with your gift, when you get a big happy ear-to-ear smile.
Be warned though, it takes quite a few attempts to build up a whole friendship heart. For example, it required 5 loved gifts plus 2 special requests from Noah to advance one heart with him.
There is also a calendar registering the birthdates of the villagers. Presumably, gifting them on their birthday rewards you more friendship points but, for the time being, their dialogue is not developed enough for them to remark on the special event. You may also consume Amity Potion which is supposed to make you more likeable for the day but, again, I couldn’t tell exactly if it’s worth or not spending your resources that way.
Upon first meeting a villager, you’ll automatically gain one heart with them. From 1 to 3 hearts, they regard you as a newcomer. You become friends between 4 and 6 hearts, and confidant at 7 to 9 hearts.
In the early game, you’ll only craft recipes to fulfil the three daily shipments since your inventory is quite low. But as you collect more resources, you may find some recipes to be quite useful for personal use. I would even suggest that you might refrain from shipping an Energy Elixir in order to complete the trio and get the 50 coin bonus (not so valuable after all), and save the dearly-needed cherry for when you adventure in the forest/mines. Of course, there will come a time when you’ve reached level 40 in the forest and you swim in cherries, but until then…
Below is a list with all the alchemy potions you can craft and their effects.
* I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong, but having consumed this brew did not reward me with twice the harvest from my garden that I was hoping for.
By way of conclusion: a few tips
- Try to make it to bed by midnight; at the 23 hours mark you’ll get a warning anyway. If you don’t, next morning you wake up to find that a mysterious Lutin has stolen some of your money. The amount you may lose this way may vary; I couldn’t work it out whether it’s simply RNG dependent or, say, it is a certain percentage of your available funds. But I was unlucky enough to find out that I lost almost 1,000 coins this way with 10,000+ coins in my wallet.
Here are some pointers to help you abide by the midnight curfew, from various locations:
→ if you went logging, leave the forest at 23:00
→ if you went mining, leave the mine at 22:30
→ if you’re fishing in the river, around Aiden’s house, leave at 22:00
Don’t forget to use the ‘Guide me’ feature in the map to get home by the quickest route.
- You start with 100 stamina points but you can replenish or even stack more stamina points if you either drink an Energy Elixir, relax on benches in the forest, or pet animals in the village. (I don’t think your animals give you energy too.) Fishing, logging, and mining are the only activities that deplete your energy bar.
- At different stages in the game, you’ll find you’re running low on one ingredient or other. Though different players will have different experiences in this respect, it’s almost certain that until you can advance far enough in the forest, you’ll always run low on cherries.
You might want to save them by not feeding them to your animals, nor shipping them as Energy Elixir just to fulfil the trio for the day and get the 50 coin bonus. It’s too small of a bonus and you can find better uses for the cherries.
- You can collect shiny water from the wells until 6 PM. After that you will collect dark water. Organize your water-collection time according to what you’re missing from your inventory.
There are four wells in the entire village (your backyard, Edward’s house, Charlotte’s house, a vacant house in the SW corner of the town square) and you can only collect water once a day.
- There is no storage in Alchemy Story other than your backpack and there are no upgrades to the backpack. There will come a day when you try to pick a chamomile or lavender or a maple log in the forest and you find you cannot.
Oh, no! It’s a bug, my game crashed! No, it’s just you are already carrying 99 of said uncollectable item and you hit the limit for it. Luckily, you can surpass the limit for stone, coal, ores and gems if you purchase all the upgrades from Penelope’s store.
As for the rest of the items, there are a few ways around it:
→ My preferred strategy is to make use of the market stalls. Try to unlock all of them and when you’re getting close to the limit simply put 20-30 of that item up for sale. I don’t think there is any smart strategy in selling some items rather than others. You sell what you have in excess and you welcome any extra coins you may get this way. I suppose the rarer items sell for more coins and when you’ll have enough of those that you can spare, you can sell rubies and amanitas and what not.
→ Another way is to store them as potions. The problem for the moment is that some of the potions get lost overnight; this is a bug the developer is aware of and will address in the next update. For the time being you can at least deal with the overflow of chamomile, hazelnut and maple leaf and craft them into Triple Brew. Consume them on the spot and see what you get.
- Each villager has a store selling items related to his/her profession. The stock changes daily so it might take you a few trips if you’re trying to get hold of a certain potion, fashion item or animal. Any fashion item you purchase from Madelaine can be accessed from the drawer in your house. But there is no similar storage for the hairstyles you buy from Nathaniel. You may purchase his entire daily stock and find out that you only have access to the last bought hairstyle and everything else was a waste of money.
- Use a combo of Dash Elixir and Energy Elixir (you might also throw in a Sleepy Drink for good measure) when you want to progress deep in the forest/mine. You will need around 2-3 Energy Elixirs if you have not upgraded your tools and want to spend the entire day there. With fully upgraded tools there isn’t enough time in the day to go through more than 1 Energy Elixir.
Written by thorthonesch