Estimated trophy difficulty: 5/10
Offline: 59 (50 , 7, 1, 1)
Approximate Time to Platinum: 100-120 hours
Minimum Playthroughs Needed: Theoretically 1, but 3+ is recommended
Missable Trophies: 15 (Saki Normal Ending, Finnel Normal Ending, Saki's Groom, Finnel's True Master, Saki True Ending, Finnel True Ending, Tyria Normal Ending, Bad Ending, Saki Romantic Scene 1, Good Mood With Finnel 1, Saki Romantic Scene 2, Good Mood With Finnel 2, Lovey Dovey With Tyria, Tyria True Ending, Cocona Ending)
Glitched trophies: 0
Difficulty Affects Trophies: No
Cheats Disable Trophies: No cheats (they existed in the Japanese version, but they were taken out of the North American release)
This is the finale of the Ar tonelico series. This RPG series, developed by Gust, started on the PS2 with the releases of Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia and Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica. This game ditches the turn based battle system the previous games had and this time opts for an action style battle system, similar to the Tales series and Star Ocean series. While it is not crucial to play the prequels before playing this one, if you have played them, you will have a better understanding of the story and a few of the recurring characters. The in-game encyclopedia does clear things up for those unfamiliar with the previous games.
This is a rather time consuming platinum, although it is not necessary difficult. This game has many missable trophies, including eight different endings. It can be done in one playthrough if you know where to save, but I recommend three playthroughs for the best results. This game features New Game+, which allows you to pick three different starting spots. You can start at the beginning, Phase 2, or before the Battle of Destiny in Phase 3. Levels, DP, money, and Play Time always carry over. Equipment and Cosmosphere completion does not carry over, but if you choose to start from later in the game, you will have the equipment and Cosmosphere completion you had when you originally reached that point of the game.
Step 1: Play through the game. Get the Bad Ending and (Any) Normal Ending.
Before you start, I recommend that you read the trophy guide for Finnel's True Master and *especially* Saki's Groom. These contain easily missable events that can ruin your chance of completing each Reyvateil's Cosmosphere. As part of the story early on, you have to complete at least level 1 of each girl's Cosmosphere, and Saki has some easily missed events in level 1. This should avoid having to do New Game+ from the very beginning and instead you can always start from Phase 2.
Play though the game normally. Once you reach Phase 2, there will be events, and you have to choose who do you want to protect. Whoever you choose (Saki or Finnel), she will earn a heart. There will be two more choices. Be sure to pick the same Reyvateil for all the choices so she can have three hearts. I personally recommend to do Finnel's route first, since Saki's Cosmosphere is so easy to mess up, but it does not matter. In Phase 3, at Tower Block A, there will be a fight called "Battle of Destiny" where you fight the MYU. Fail to defeat the MYU (simply survive for about 7 minutes, see the MYU guide after the trophy guide). Continue the story and at the save point in Moocheriel, be sure to make a NEW save. Continue, and you will be given a choice. Choose to "Stop her from singing" and you will have a boss battle.
Defeat the boss and you will earn the Bad Ending. You can save the clear data after the ending (this also unlocks the Extras menu from the title screen), but do not overwrite any data. Reload the save at Moocheriel and this time choose "Just watch". Instead of a boss battle at Moocheriel, you will have to climb Tower Block A. Here, there will be a boss battle. Win, and you unlock either Saki Normal Ending or Finnel Normal Ending, depending on who has more hearts. After the ending, save the clear data.
Step 2: True Ending.
From the title screen, load the clear data you have just saved. This triggers New Game+, and you can choose between three starting points. Choose "Battle of Destiny" and you will start on Tower Block A just before the MYU fight. Defeat the MYU (see the MYU guide, located after the trophy guide, for tips, this is a good time to get Purge Carnival), and continue.
In Moocheriel, when you are given a choice, choose "Stop her from singing" and win the boss battle. If done correctly, you will go to Phase 4. Now would be a good time to focus on getting the trophies The Alchemist, The Fighting Machine, The Master of Unlocking, Free of the Rat Race, Mrs. Reyvinson, The Ravager, Save Obsession Syndrome, and either Saki's Groom or Finnel's True Master. See their respective trophy guides for more information. After you complete Phase 4 and defeat the final boss, you will either earn Saki True Ending or Finnel Normal Ending, depending on the Reyvateil you chose. Do not forget to save the clear data.
Step 3: Normal and True Ending with the other Reyvateil.
Load the clear data you just saved after getting the true ending. This time, choose to start from Phase 2. Proceed through the game and when you are give a choice pick a Reyvateil, pick the other one. If you sided with Finnel on your first playthrough, side with Saki this time and vice versa. Be sure to give all your hearts to the same Reyvateil. In Tower Block A, before you make your third heart decision, make a NEW save here and do NOT overwrite it (thanks superpj). In Phase 3, be sure to defeat the MYU within the time limit, although it should be easier this time since you are at a higher level. Continue the story until Moocheriel, and make a NEW save at the save point. When given a choice, choose "Just Watch" and proceed to climb Tower Block A. Defeat the boss there and you will unlock either Saki Normal Ending or Finnel Normal Ending. Reload the Moocheriel save, and this time choose "Stop her from singing" and win the battle. You will reach Phase 4. Be sure to complete the Reyvateil's Cosmosphere to earn either Saki's Groom or Finnel's True Master before you finished the game. After you complete the game, you will unlock either Saki True Ending or Finnel True Ending. Do not forget to save the clear data.
Step 4: Tyria's Normal and True Ending.
Load the save data you had in Tower Block A, before you made your third heart decision. This time give the final heart to the other Reyvateil (thanks again to superpj). If you do not have this file, you can load the clear data you just saved and start again from Phase 2 and do NOT give all the hearts to the same Reyvateil. One Reyvateil should have two hearts and the other just one. Defeat MYU in Phase 3 and choose to "Stop her singing" in Moocheriel. You will proceed to Phase 4, and do not accept any of the Reyvateils in their level 8 Cosmosphere (better yet, do not touch their level 8 at all). Continue the game (do NOT touch Tyria's level 3 Cosmosphere yet) until you reach the point where you have to synthesize the Glasteria Plate. Create a NEW save before you complete Tyria's Cosmosphere and then make the item. Be sure to keep a save before completing Tyria's Cosmosphere as you will need it for Cocona's Ending. Complete Tyria's level 3 Cosmosphere and get all three of her Cosmosphere endings (this unlocks Tyria's Darling).
Rest at an inn and choose to accept Tyria (this unlocks Lovey Dovey with Tyria). Make a different NEW save here, and proceed to make the Glasteria Plate. After some events, you will be given a choice. Choose "I want to save Tyria" and the game will end. You should earn Tyria Normal Ending. Reload the save just before you made the Glasteria Plate and make the required item. When given a choice, this time choose "I'll actually save the world!". Continue to finish Phase 4 as normal and defeat the final boss. After all the events, you will earn Tyria True Ending.
Step 5: Cocona's Ending.
Reload the save before you completed Tyria's level 3 Cosmosphere. Continue the game and do not touch Tyria's level 3 Cosmosphere, and do not touch Saki's or Finnel's level 8 Cosmosphere. Create the Glasteria Plate and proceed to complete the game. You will unlock Cocona Ending after the credits and some following events.
Step 6: Cleanup
If you have followed my road map and trophy guide correctly, you should have unlocked most of the trophies, except for maybe Our Valued Customer (play for 100 hours). If there is anything that you missed, you can use New Game+ and start from the beginning to clean up. Some trophy related Cosmosphere events can be gotten through Cosmosphere Replay in the Extras menu from the title screen (but you cannot get any Cosmosphere completion trophies with this method). If you are done, and need the 100 hour trophy, you can load the save data with the highest play time and leave the game running overnight. I am not responsible for any overheated PS3s though.