Category Archives: Atelier

Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis – School of Hard Knocks

cropped-atelier-megafeature-header-1.pngThis post is one chapter of a MegaFeature!
<< First< Prev. | Next > | Last >>


At first glance, Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis might appear to be very mechanically similar to its immediate predecessor in the Atelier series, Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm.

But it doesn’t take long for it to distinguish itself in a variety of different ways. We’ve already seen how the alchemy mechanics are quite a bit different from anything we’ve seen in the series before — and we’ll subsequently see how they form the foundation of the Arland series’ alchemy systems — so today we’ll be taking a closer look at combat.

Although Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis arguably places a stronger emphasis on the alchemy side of things than its predecessors in the Atelier Iris series, it has an immensely satisfying and enjoyable combat system that is a ton of fun to engage with. So let’s explore it further!

Continue reading Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis – School of Hard Knocks

Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis – The Ninth Atelier

cropped-atelier-megafeature-header-1.pngThis post is one chapter of a MegaFeature!
<< First< Prev. | Next > | Last >>


With the ninth installment in the mainline Atelier series, Gust took the curious decision to temporarily drop the “Atelier [x]” naming convention and instead start a new subseries.

Except it’s not quite that simple; the two Mana Khemia games actually have a fair bit in common with the Atelier Iris subseries in terms of presentation, mechanics, tone and themes, leading some people to consider them an unofficial part of the Atelier Iris “trilogy”.

Ultimately it doesn’t really matter too much; Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis certainly stands by itself as a solid title in the franchise as a whole, so let’s begin with a general overview of what it’s all about.

Continue reading Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis – The Ninth Atelier

The Music of Atelier, Vol. 3: Atelier Iris 3 – Grand Phantasm

cropped-atelier-megafeature-header-1.pngThis post is one chapter of a MegaFeature!
<< First< Prev. | Next > | Last >>


It’s time to once again return to the wonderful world of Atelier music, this time with a look at Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm’s soundtrack.

Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm was a noteworthy installment in the series from a musical perspective, because it marked the point where Gust’s sound team switched from using synthesised, sequenced music to streamed prerecorded music. This allowed them considerably more flexibility to put together more elaborate compositions and make use of more realistic sounds.

So turn up the volume and let’s have a good listen to find out exactly what that means!

Continue reading The Music of Atelier, Vol. 3: Atelier Iris 3 – Grand Phantasm

Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm – Narrative, Themes and Characterisation

cropped-atelier-megafeature-header-1.pngThis post is one chapter of a MegaFeature!
<< First< Prev. | Next > | Last >>


Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm initially doesn’t appear to have many direct connections to its two predecessors — aside from the presence of the Mana spirits, that is.

There doesn’t seem to be a widely accepted “official word” on exactly why this is, so it’s largely up to interpretation. Some commentators online believe that the game was originally intended to show Iris Blanchimont’s alchemy training, placing the game in between Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny and Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana in chronological terms — but either that was never a thing, or it was changed at the last minute. Because, as the game makes clear, the Iris in Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm is not Iris Blanchimont — she’s Iris Fortner.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter all that much; Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm very much has its own story to tell, and has a well-realised narrative setting in which to explore that story. So let’s do just that!

Continue reading Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm – Narrative, Themes and Characterisation

Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm – A Dazzling Place I Never Knew

cropped-atelier-megafeature-header-1.pngThis post is one chapter of a MegaFeature!
<< First< Prev. | Next > | Last >>


While Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana and Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny are both structured around a protagonist’s ongoing journey, Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm has a structure somewhat more akin to “traditional” Atelier games.

In other words, that means that the game is primarily based around a single “hub” location that plays host to the alchemist protagonist’s workshop, and pretty much everything you do involves heading out from that hub location to go and do specific things for one reason or another.

In the case of Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm, those “things” will be quests and missions in the various Alterworlds that surround the city of Zey Meruze. So let’s take a look at the game’s overall structure, and how exploration works in general.

Continue reading Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm – A Dazzling Place I Never Knew

Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm – Bursting Into Battle

cropped-atelier-megafeature-header-1.pngThis post is one chapter of a MegaFeature!
<< First< Prev. | Next > | Last >>


As we’ve seen so far, each game in the Atelier Iris series reinvents its core mechanics quite significantly from its predecessor; this was a rather experimental period for Gust.

In this article, we’re going to take a specific look at the combat and progression mechanics in Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm, including the elements carried across from prior installments and some all-new considerations for this specific title.

Strap on your Mushroom Armour, rev up your Pyre Blade and get ready to fight — we’re going in. Watch out for the Punis!

Continue reading Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm – Bursting Into Battle

Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm – A Step Forward

cropped-atelier-megafeature-header-1.pngThis post is one chapter of a MegaFeature!
<< First< Prev. | Next > | Last >>


In 2006, a year after Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny, Gust released Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm in Japan; it would be another year after that before Western players would get their hands on it.

Atelier games are a fixture in developer Gust’s calendar; each of the duologies and trilogies that make up the complete franchise have enjoyed annual installments, and indeed the first Atelier Iris’ release in Japan in 2004 marked the beginning of a streak of yearly releases for the series as a whole that lasted until 2017. The company, of course, made up for the lack of an Atelier game in 2018 by releasing three in 2019, but, well, that’s a story for another day.

What’s kind of remarkable is that despite this non-stop release schedule, each Atelier game, even within the same subseries, feels noticeably distinct from the last. And this is particularly apparent when it comes to Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm. So let’s look at how this moves the series forwards.

Continue reading Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm – A Step Forward