I've been playing this game obsessively so I thought I could probably try writing as much as I have on it for others who aren't able to find all the information they want yet in one place. This will go through on all the combinations for daughters, on how to obtain all of the endings, and other tips about the game such as letter collecting, game flow, gifts, special items, etc.
The Daughters, The Combinations List and More
You can make a total of 29 homunculi in this game, with the emotional affinities of Joy, Sadness, Anger and Fear. You craft them with Wood, Clay, Meat, Iron and Water. Iron unlocks sometime after the tutorial, and Water after you've made a little more progress. You can think of them as composed by a main ingredient and a secondary one, because if you use three different ingredients you always get a daughter that is a "failure". They will always have the same design but can have different affinities depending on ingredients, but the journal will not keep track of what they're made of.
Something you should also make note of is that each affinity has an opposite, and are neutral to the rest. Anger and Fear are opposites, and so are Joy and Sadness. This is useful in other parts of the game.
- Wood+Wood + Wood = Tree (SADNESS)
- Wood+Wood + Clay = Spiky (FEAR)
- Wood+Wood + Meat = Animal (SADNESS)
- Wood+Wood + Iron = Doll (SADNESS)
- Wood+Wood + Water = Insect (JOY)
- Clay+Clay + Clay = Mud (ANGER)
- Clay+Clay + Wood = Rag (FEAR)
- Clay+Clay + Meat = Zombie (ANGER)
- Clay+Clay + Iron = Sand (SADNESS)
- Clay+Clay + Water = Jiangshi (JOY)
- Meat+Meat + Meat = Meat (FEAR)
- Meat+Meat + Wood = Rodent (SADNESS)
- Meat+Meat + Clay = Mummy (ANGER)
- Meat+Meat + Iron = Flame (ANGER)
- Meat+Meat + Water = Carapace (FEAR)
- Iron+Iron + Iron = Metal (ANGER)
- Iron+Iron + Wood = Scissor (FEAR)
- Iron+Iron + Clay = Stone (SADNESS)
- Iron+Iron + Meat = Titanium (JOY)
- Iron+Iron + Water = Ataran (SADNESS)
- Water+Water + Water = Ice (ANGER)
- Water+Water + Wood = Flower (JOY)
- Water+Water + Clay = Veggies (JOY)
- Water+Water + Meat = Tentacle (FEAR)
- Water+Water + Iron = Mermaid (JOY)
Wood + Clay + Iron
Wood + Meat + Iron
Wood + Clay + Meat
Meat + Iron + Water
Wood + Meat + Water
Wood + Iron + Water
Clay + Meat + Water
Wood + Clay + Water
Clay + Meat + Iron
Clay + Iron + Water
Which daughter you make can vary on taste, on getting to know them, on which affinity or materials you want... You probably won't get immediately familiar with them the first time you've made one. Which leads to the letters. It's not clear at first how many letters you can obtain, but they're both dependent on level, affection, and are different for individuals of the same type of homunculus, and they're marked with the roman numerals I, II and III in the journal. Each individual daughter will give at most 3 letters as their affinity level goes up, and the latter in the game you are, it's easier to just buy them as many gifts as possible and max that out immediately, so by levels 2-4 you'll receive all of the letters at once. The letters have a small story progression in them and will reveal more about the that specific daughter, or the villagers. I honestly find reading them the most emotionally significant and worthwhile thing in the whole game, way more than the memories.
In total, each type of daughter will give out at most 9 letters (3 letters marked I, 3 letters marked II and 3 letters marked III). Each individual of that type will give 3 letters while they're in alive, so you'll need to make at least 3 daughters of the same type to get all the letters. I say at least because it seems that the progression of letters you get (whether it's letters I, II or III) is completely random. So maybe you'll make 3 Tentacles in a row and get all the letters, or keep making the same type of daughter and getting the same 3 letters over and over again. They are worth reading, and the most unique thing about the game, and some even have personalities that contrast their emotional affinity.
But the game isn't really about getting to know alchemy daughters. It's about what you give and taken from them, play wise. So we're going to look over that for a moment.
Giving and Taking (Gifts and Materials)
A simple overview: In order to raise their affection, as well as boost their status which leads to them being more productive at work, you can give your daughters gifts. You can also kill your daughters brutally and the sacrifice will result in higher quality ingredients than the ones you used at first provided you don't kill them immediately after bringing them to life like in the tutorial.
There is one neutral gift and two gifts for each affinity: a cheaper, more common one, and an expensive one. These gifts will show up according to what daughters you have, usually. If you don't have any daughters with the JOY affinity, there might not be any candy in the shop, and more expensive gifts usually show up when they are at a higher level. There's also special gifts, which aren't affinity-based but are unique to each individual homunculus (not their type). You find out which one they want by talking to them. The dialogue won't show up immediately but it is there amongst the stock replies for that affinity type.
The more money you have I reccomend stocking on gifts, specially expensive ones, because they fill the affection bar really quickly. Two expensive gifts and one cheaper one of the right affinity is enough to max the whole bar out. Special gifts are useful for daughters you are keeping until they reach a higher level, usually above 6. It helps them grow, but it's not inherently necessary, it's just something nice you can do for them.
Upon sacrifice, daughters also give materials as well as emotional affinity to Arhea's soul. Like the book says, mid-quality ingredients will result from sacrificing level 4 and above homunculi, while high-quality ingredients need level 7 or above. The level cap is 10. What is good to keep in mind is that while high level homunculi do generate mid-quality ingredients, it's on a probability, and depends on what percentage are they made of that material. When deciding who to make or who to sacrifice, think about the dominant percentage of the material they're made of, or just sacrifice a mid-level daughter if you're pressed with time. There isn't a strong financial pressure in this game so while you could play it that way, the cost isn't worthwhile, so I don't recommend taking in requests for items you don't yet have or aren't really sure you're bound to get anyways.
You want higher quality materials for requests, and requests help raise the villagers' trust in you.. so let's talk about Salach.
The Villagers (and the Things Done in Salach)
Each villager has a total of 3 interactions with the exception of the Occult Leader, who has two. I might be wrong on this and this discrepancy deeply bothers me but I have an achievement saying I unlocked all of it so ♥♥♥ it. There is a basic one you get from clicking on their character, or their building if they're not offering a job or a request at that moment, and extra ones will be unlocked in the beginning of a week after requests are processed, usually one at a time. The more the villagers trust you, the more likely they are to happen. Trust is gained by doing jobs for them and fullfilling requests.
Job And Request Offers
There are a couple of villagers who have fixed job offers, will never change and are always available. And they never make requests. Their jobs offer less money and experience but are useful so your daughters can always be working (by the by child labour is illegal and morally wrong, this guide was hard to write). Those are:
- The Knife Seller's Wife (FEAR)
- The Smelter (ANGER)
- The Pet Keeper (SADNESS)
- The Gardener (JOY)
The rest are available at different times in the week, as well as make requests for mid and high-quality materials. Their jobs offer more experience and money than the fixed ones and are always good opportunities. The following people offer a secondary job that has a different requirement than their usual one and way more experience, which is vital for the growth of your daughters:
- The Guard (SADNESS)
- The Materials Seller (ANGER)
- The Restaurant Chef (FEAR)
- The Occult Leader (JOY)
The secondary job the Toy Maker gives you requires Joy but doesn't give you extra experience.
The requests are a really useful way to make a lot of money fast. It's best to accept them with ingredients you already have so you can commit as soon as you come home, and as soon as the next week starts you get all the money at once. Requests can go up all the way to 1050 gold, and as you do more you unlock more slots, being able to take up to 3 at once. Requests have a week count until you need to commit, and if you don't, you lose a percentage of that villager's trust. If you accept a job that has a 3 weeks duration, when you come home at the end of the week it'll be at 3, and it'll go down one week next time you go home, until you have 0/3 weeks. That's the last day you have to turn the ingredients in, so you can plan accordingly with the growth of your daughters, how many levels they're progressing per week and how long it'll take for them to be high enough to produce what you need.
Taking in requests you can't commit, or aren't entirely sure you can, or maybe feel you'd need to make a whole new homunculus just for that aren't worth the trouble. There will always be more and in this game you are not pressed for earning money fast. This game is endless and you can pace yourself in whatever way is most comfortable to you.
What will really help you in this part and in the whole game are the special items sold by the old lady at the shop, so let's talk about that part of the village segment for a second.
When you first start the game after the tutorial, only the first room purchase will be available, and after that, the second room and the first special item will be displayed, the Mirror of Mimicry.
One thing to have in mind for all of these special items is that they don't give you a permanent effect, you need to buy offerings to maintain them and charge them, and each offering for every one of those is 300 gold. I'd say expand the rooms first so you have more girls to work with, and then go for those. Each week the artifacts discharge a little, so if you want to keep them active you'll always have to buy items for them, so it's more of an advantage if you're really deep in and it'll really help make the pace of your game flow and the grinding less obnoxious if you're going for a complete record. The Mask of Prosperity helps with the money you make in town, and the Totem of Maturity makes the daughters level up faster. With all of the artifacts fully activated, in one week I can get a homunculus to level 4 or even 5, depending on what jobs you pick. The pace of growth slows down a little the later you get but it makes it so within less than 4 weeks you can get them to a high level. I got at most around 30,000 gold at one point and burned it a bit by stocking up on gifts and offerings.
The shop also sells preservation balm for Arhea. One balm is enough to fully recover her from 2 weeks of decay starting from a state of full preservation, so it's good to always have it in hand and watch the her meter and care for her every 2 weeks and it should be very sustainable from very early in game. The materials are also available for purchase in low quality: Wood, Clay and Meat from the very start, Iron after you're done with the tutorial, and Water once you've gone a little bit further in the game (but you'll start getting requests for mid and high-quality water before it's available on the shop most of the time). The gifts are also there and mostly rotate: You can always buy a gift box which has no affinity points, and the more you progress you'll start seeing expensive versions of affinity gifts and the special gifts, which I have gone into in the previous section. The special gifts spawn randomly, so it can be annoying waiting for the exact gift you want to spawn sometimes, and they're really quite expensive so consider them for when you have enough money for it to not be a big expense and reasonable to stock, so it's in your inventory regardless of the selection she has this week.
Once you've grasped shopping regularly for what you need and the job rotation and taking requests and the cycle of sacrifices you'll probably be ready to try and infuse your daughter's soul over and over. Which brings us to the 'Stories' or 'Endings' of this game.
The Endings (Your Fate and Your Daughter's)
Most of the "endings" won't actually end your game, and it's mostly a shorthand since it's what we usually call these goalposts in games like these. They will result in a slideshow that can be reviewed from the starting menu in the gallery. Most of them are the results of infusing the soul with your blood daughter's corpse, but some of them are genuine Endings, resulting in a game over and deleting your save file.
This one you will get automatically from playing the tutorial, the result from infusing your daughter's soul for the first time but being unable to revive her.
To the Afterlife
This is a game over ending, and WILL erase your save file when you get it. The result of not taking care of Arhea's body and letting her rot over the course of many many weeks. The screen will fade in red as she gets close to rotting completely and you'll have plenty of time to undo this, and you need to let her completely waste away to get it.
Infuse the soul with way too much Joy.
Infuse the soul with way too much Fear.
Infuse the soul with way too much Sadness.
Infuse the soul with way too much Anger.
Important Note: The different single emotion endings are likely to occur naturally, you have to get them in order to figure out what's Arhea's correct affinity level. After each of them is done, there will be notes on your journal of the exact number window of the acceptable amount of that emotion.
Infuse the soul with 1000 on everything.
Infuse the soul with middling levels in all affinities without any one that is way too dominant over the others.
Infuse the soul with the correct affinities. This varies from save to save, but with each attempt you will get a number range for each emotion where Faust believes he has to balance to make it work. They all start at 0-1000. My recommendation is that each one you max to 1000, you immediately find out the correct range for them. In order to get it right, consider at what level do you sacrifice your other daughters (lesser levels have less affinity, which can be better for you depending on what number do you need. usually the amount you get per level is consistent, so you can plan around it) and if you get over it, you can burn gifts. Cheaper gifts burn 100 affinity, and expensive ones burn 200. So it's good to focus on getting the the lower units right from sacrifice alone.
This one is tied to the story progression which I believe will probably happen naturally to every player, so this ending should play right after the 'THE END?', so I don't know why they're separated... It might not play if you haven't unlocked all the memoirs before getting infusing the soul with the correct affinities, but they unlock naturally over the game, and it takes a few tries to find out what exactly her range is. I'll hold my tongue on my thoughts on this ending but it doesn't erase your save. If you reload it, the soul will be empty again but it'll be just like another failed attempt.
This one gives you a game over and erases your file, and it happens during the tutorial. When Faust makes the Tree, the first homunculus daughter in the tutorial and you open up her room and he says he has to kill her, don't, and leave the window untouched. After some minutes it should trigger it. I might've ♥♥♥♥ed it while trying it so I backed out and went into her room again, getting the tutorial prompt once more and this time I didn't wait all that much. So I think the wait time is nothing ridiculous, just do something off the computer for a moment until it triggers to be safe.
Also another one that ends your game and erases your save file. After the tutorial (because it obligates you to gift Mud), never gift or interact your daughters, and make them work jobs that aren't aligned to their affinity. Jobs that they hate will probably work best, but I didn't find it a substantial difference, but angry daughters hate fear jobs, joy daughters hate sad jobs and vice versa. This will lower their affection and make them run away during the work week, so stock up on items to make new homunculi after they're gone. After enough have ran away this ending will trigger, but it'll be quite a while. You can guess this isn't a profitable way to play the game, most daughters ran away around level 4, sometimes even lower, so I had times during the week with less girls working, but I still got far enough to unlock the 2 rooms, without taking any requests or making sacrifices. It happens so suddenly I accidentally skipped the first screen.
Now if you got all the endings I guess that's it! The bulk of the story or at least the explanation is in the Truth ending and to get there you found out what happened, but if you want to shoot for the bloody stars we can look over the Steam achievements.
The Achievements List, with Tips
Heres all the Steam achievements and how to unlock them. They're not very hard, some happen in the progression of the game, a bulk of them are the endings, and others are completionism.
- All Knowing - Unlock all transcripts (happens by the end of the tutorial)
- It's Alive - Summon a homunculus (in the tutorial)
- Hazy Memory - Unlock 50% memoir
- Clear Memory - Unlock all memoir
- Complete Ingredients - Obtain all types of ingredients
- Mid Quality - Obtain a mid-quality ingredient
- High Quality - Obtain a high-quality ingredient
- All Doors Open - Unlock all rooms
- A Hope - Unlock "A Hope" story
- The Farmer - Summon 10 homunculi
- The Harvester - Summon 50 homunculi
- Mandatory Service - Sacrifice 5 homunculi
- Necessary Sacrifice - Sacrifice 40 homunculus
- Beginner Infuser - Infuse soul 5 times
- Experienced Infuser - Infuse soul 20 times
- One Way Communication - Obtain 5 homunculus letters
- Unjust Communication - Obtain 50 homunculus letters
- Splendid Work - Assign a daughter to a job with the correct affinity
- Labor of Love - Assign a daughter to a job with the correct affinity 15 times
- Terrible Job - Assign a daughter to a job that they hate (Oposite affinity)
- The Office Troll - Assign a daughter to a job that they hate 15 times
- Typical Errand - Assign a daughter to a job they are neutral to
- Business As Usual - Assign a daughter to a job they are neutral to 15 times
- Beautiful Gift - Give a daughter a gift they like (Same affinity)
- Thoughtful Present - Give a daughter a gift they like 15 times
- Horrible Gift - Give a daughter a gift they hate (Oposite affinity)
- Better Than Nothing - Give a daughter a gift they hate 15 times
- Adequate Gift - Give a daughter a gift they are neutral to (For this and the mediocre present achievement a gift box will do, so you don't have to align the affinities properly, but of course any affinity that isn't their own and their opposite should work). You can also keep giving these gifts many at a time with no consequence)
- Mediocre Present - Give a daughter a gift they are neutral to 15 times.
- Euphoric Daughter - Unlock "Euphoric Daughter" story
- Terrified Daughter - Unlock "Terrified Daughter" story
- Gloomy Daughter - Unlock "Gloomy Daughter" story
- Raging Daughter - Unlock "Raging Daughter" story
- Perfect Daughter - Unlock "Perfect Daughter" story
- Conflicting Soul - Unlock "Conflicting Soul" story
- To The After Life - Unlock "To The After Life" story
- The End? - Unlock "The End?" story
- The Truth - Unlock "The Truth" story
- The Pacifist - Unlock "The Pacifist" story
- Persecution - Unlock "Persecution" story
- The Hobbyist - Summon 50% of all homunculi type
- The Collector - Summon 100% of all homunculi type (see combinations list)
- Reciprocal Action - Unlock all villagers interaction (get max trust with all villagers)
- Stories Unveiled - Unlock all gallery content (get all of the endings)
There's no achievement for unlocking all of the letters, but they are all unique, and the unsuccessful homunculi also have their own! It's in the end a short simple game that's just kinda fun to play if it's your thing. There are some nice details to it but it's not extremely intricate so it's nothing to pull any hairs over.