The long-running Atelier series oozes charm with its many likable characters and light-hearted stories. It also encourages players to collect objects in the game world primarily for alchemical, cooking, and item-crafting purposes. All these elements have proved popular with JRPG fans and have helped bolster the longevity of this series.
Atelier Marie: The Alchemist of Salburg came out in Japan on May 23, 1997, and was also the first title in the series to hit the PlayStation. And in total, 23 titles make part of the main line of the series released between 1997 to 2022.
But, who is the developer behind this renowned series? It’s Gust, a software house that started life by making doujin titles just like French Bread and TYPE-MOON. The company also developed the Ar Tonelico, Blue Reflection, and Nights of Azure line of games.
To commemorate Atelier’s long and illustrious history, Koei Tecmo dropped this trailer on September 5, 2022, which you can watch here:
The end part of the trailer shows beautifully rendered vistas and structures. These hint at the much-requested Ryza 3 or possibly an entirely new adventure. We expect to hear more at the upcoming Tokyo Game Show, which begins on September 15, 2022.
Hopefully, the upcoming reveal will impress and surpass our expectations, as 2022 was a big year for JRPGs. With titles such as Soul Hackers 2 and Xenoblade Chronicles 3 already out and The Legend of Heroes: Kuro no Kiseki II – CRIMSON SiN about to hit Japan on September 29, 2022 — Gust and Tecmo Koei will need to bring out the big guns!
Which are the titles that make up the series?
We’ve compiled a handy list of the 23 titles that make up the main line of the series and further broken them down into several sub-series. But we’ve left out ports, remakes, and side games.
Here’s the list of Atelier games and their respective systems (sub-series year periods indicate Japanese releases only):
Salburg series (1997-2001):
- Marie: The Alchemist of Salburg (PlayStation)
- Elie: The Alchemist of Salburg 2 (PlayStation)
- Lilie: The Alchemist of Salburg 3 (PlayStation)
Gramnad series (2002-2003):
- Judie: The Alchemist of Gramnad (PlayStation 2)
- Viorate: The Alchemist of Gramnad 2 (PlayStation 2)
Iris series (2004-2006):
- Iris: Eternal Mana (PlayStation 2)
- Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny (PlayStation 2)
- Iris 3: Grand Phantasm (PlayStation 2)
Mana series (2007-2008):
- Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis (PlayStation 2)
- Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy (PlayStation 2)
Arland series (2009-2011):
- Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland (PlayStation 3)
- Totori: The Adventurer of Arland (PlayStation 3)
- Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland (PlayStation 3)
Dusk series (2012-2014):
- Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk (PlayStation 3)
- Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky (PlayStation 3)
- Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea (PlayStation 3)
Mysterious series (2015-2017):
- Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book (PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows)
- Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey (PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows)
- Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows)
Arland series (2019):
- Lulua: The Scion of Arland (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows)
Secret series (2019-2020):
- Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows)
- Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows)
Mysterious series (2022):
- Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows)
But why are the Atelier JPRGs so expensive?
That’s a common question many gamers ask themselves when they see the price tag of the latest chapter of the Atelier series. Even the older titles are on the pricey side and seldom go on sale. And even when they do, the price reduction isn’t significant enough for bargain hunters.
However, Japanese game publishers don’t often run sales and loathe to give big discounts if they can avoid it. They’re also less likely to follow a regional pricing strategy, which many Western publishers do. And to a certain extent, that’s understandable, considering the massive amount of content and, generally, high quality of most JRPGs.
And in Atelier’s case, it’s somewhat of a niche series even though it has a rather sizable and vocal fanbase. Given that newer titles in the Atelier series take between 25-30 hours to complete their main quest and 50-60 hours to complete all side quests, they offer plenty of value. So, if you’re looking for your next JRPG fix, any of the latest Ateliers should keep you busy for hours on end!