February 27, 2016

I like Atelier alchemists for the most part but…

Posted in video games tagged , , at 12:02 am by riulyn

I think it’s obvious enough for anyone who follows this blog that I really like playing as a female protagonist in Japanese RPGs. If not as the playable character, I like having female characters that are important and powerful in the plot. I would also prefer female characters in a game to not all be the same, for them to have both physical and mental prowess, and then I pretty much find myself in Suikoden or Fire Emblem land… Also Rachel in Wild ARMs 4 is the only reason to play that game.

Anyway, I’ve recently been playing a lot of Gust games. Maybe I’ve overloaded on the Atelier games. While it is totally awesome that most of the Atelier games are led by female protagonists, I’m finding more and more that I’d wish there was a bit more variation in the female protagonist’s character. I think the similarity between Rorona and Escha was too much for me. Especially considering that Escha & Logy has two alchemists who come to alchemy via two different means. Of course Logy has to be the bookish one, the one who actually went to school and can do things because he studied a lot and is book smart! Sure, it’s the male alchemist who uses weapons that aren’t staves (Logy obviously, as well as Keithgriff from the Dusk series and Felt from Iris 2)! I’m not an Atelier expert, but where’s the female alchemist with the awesome sword or gun? Maybe it’s not cute enough for Atelier?

The other trend I noticed is that almost all the Atelier games I’ve played in the series (except for the Iris games) the main alchemist starts off as new to alchemy and needs help nurturing her alchemy talent. Sure, nothing wrong with a person starting fresh and learning, like she can go to school (Eilie) or she gets a mentor/teacher… Ayesha is a bit different at least in the sense that she had a driving force and kind of just fell into becoming an alchemist, so I don’t blame her for not really gunning for alchemy or being initially competent. It’s just I’d like a bit more self-taught and able to self-improve alchemists? And maybe a bit less reliance on an outside source for all the thinking that comes with alchemy? I might have posted about this already somewhere, but despite how much I do enjoy cute girls like Rorona and Escha, I do miss having the Iris trilogy alchemists who seemed much more competent and were doings things on their own from the beginning of the game and felt like proper alchemists. Iris is still my favorite Atelier alchemist so far since she even comes up with a lot of alchemy recipes on her own!

Of course I’ve yet to play Totori, Meruru, Shallie, Sophie, and a bunch of stuck in Japan indefinitely Atelier games, so maybe an Iris-like main character has appeared again. It’s really too bad I didn’t enjoy the unnecessary padding of Iris 3, because I did like the cast of characters in that game.

(Once again I have to save my thoughts on the Ar tonelico girls for another day… One day I will rant about them, I’m sure.)



  1. Everyone seems to hate Escha and like Ayesha the best.

    I’m a little over halfway through Iris 1, so I have no opinion haha…

    • Oh, also I read Japan hated Iris 1 especially, so I dunno if you’ll find another like it…

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