Category Archives: Atelier

Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy – Life on the Light Side

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


It’s interesting how seeing the same events unfold from a different perspective can provide an alternative spin on things.

This is most certainly the case with Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy. Because although male protagonist Raze lives through the exact same bizarrely eventful school year as his counterpart Ulrika, the company he keeps and the context in which he experiences those events makes for a markedly different playthrough.

So, if you were wondering if you should indulge in the game’s excellent New Game Plus mode in order to experience the second protagonist’s story after clearing the first, the answer is a definitive “yes”. Let’s take a closer look at Raze’s route — and the “Extra” scenario that unlocks after you beat both playthroughs.

Continue reading Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy – Life on the Light Side

Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy – Doing New Game Plus Right

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


Once you beat Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy once, you could quite feasibly leave it behind and feel like you’ve had a good experience. You’ll have enjoyed a 40-50 hour RPG, and you’ll have seen the story wrap up in a satisfactory manner.

It doesn’t have to end there, though. There’s a second protagonist to play through as, and while that protagonist passes through the same dungeons as the first over the course of the game, their core narrative is completely different and they have a whole other supporting cast — and, this being an Atelier game, they have their own unique items to craft, too.

For some people, being asked to play through a whole RPG again is a hard sell, though — even if said replay offers mostly new experiences. How can you convince people to keep playing after the credits have rolled for the first time? Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy provides a great example of how a good New Game Plus mode can keep players engaged in the long term without feeling like you’re retreading old ground.

Continue reading Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy – Doing New Game Plus Right

Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy – Special Measures in the Darkness

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


Unlike the previous Atelier games that we’ve explored so far, Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy features two discrete narrative paths to follow, plus an “Extra” path once you’ve cleared them both that provides a “true” ending.

Your first playthrough of the game will likely take about 40 hours or so, but your second run with the other of the two protagonists will go by a little more quickly, since you can carry over almost everything from your first playthrough — including the recipes you’ve previously synthesised to unlock cards in the characters’ Grow Books. Expect to still spend another 20-30 hours though.

The two paths cover similar “macro” events and converge at the very end, but they are presented from very different perspectives, with a completely different set of characters at the forefront of the action and a unique series of events on the more “micro” scale. With that in mind, today we’re going to focus on the route fronted by female protagonist Ulrika, and follow up with male protagonist Raze’s narrative path — and the true ending — in a subsequent part. So grab your books and warm up your cauldron; it’s time to enrol in the Alchemy class.

Continue reading Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy – Special Measures in the Darkness

Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy – Making the Grade

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


For most people, a “good” RPG consists of some combination of a compelling story, solid combat mechanics and satisfying progression.

Many RPGs have stuck with the conventional “experience and levels” system over the years, simply because that is a proven progression mechanic that works well, offers continual rewards for continued play and tangible improvements in your characters over time.

Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis did something a little different, where character combat effectiveness was directly tied to your engagement with the game’s core alchemy system. And its sequel Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy follows suit — but rather than simply rehashing the previous game’s mechanics, it adds an interesting new twist. Let’s take a closer look!

Continue reading Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy – Making the Grade

Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy – One Must Fall

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


So far in our exploration of Atelier, we’ve seen a series that is keen not to be seen as stagnating.

Each new game has reinvented itself when compared to its predecessor in one way or another, with the alchemy, progression and combat mechanics all differing from one game to the next — with some games being more drastically different than others.

Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy continues the trend of its two predecessors so far as its combat mechanics are concerned, which is to refine the systems introduced in Atelier Iris 3: Grand PhantasmSo let’s take a closer look at how you fight in the latter years of the Al-Revis Academy!

Continue reading Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy – One Must Fall

Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy – Back to School

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


After the Atelier Iris subseries marked a period of dabbling with a more “traditional” RPG-style structure, Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis demonstrated a clearly defined shift back towards Atelier’s roots. And Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy continues that trend.

Indeed, while the three Atelier Iris games are largely unrelated to one another — aside from some long-term lore connections between Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana and Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny — Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy returns to the series’ original model of installments in the same subseries standing by themselves as self-contained narratives, but unfolding in the same world about 5-10 years later.

As the title suggests, time has not been especially kind to the world of Mana Khemia, but that’s part of what makes what’s going on here so interesting. Let’s take a first look!

Continue reading Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy – Back to School

The Music of Atelier, Vol. 4: Mana Khemia – Alchemists of Al-Revis

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


As has become MegaFeature tradition, now we’ve finished exploring Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis from mechanical and narrative perspectives, it’s time to celebrate the sterling work of Gust’s sound team with a look at its soundtrack.

Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis is the second game in the Atelier series to make use of pre-recorded streamed music rather than real-time synthesised, sequenced music. We were already starting to get a strong feel for the distinct audible aesthetic lead composers Ken Nakagawa and Daisuke Achiwa were aiming for with the series in Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm, but Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis and its sequel further codify many of the musical conventions of the series.

These conventions would remain in place as Atelier bid farewell to the PlayStation 2 and jumped to the next generation with the Arland trilogy. So let’s dive into some highlights from Mana Khemia’s score!

Continue reading The Music of Atelier, Vol. 4: Mana Khemia – Alchemists of Al-Revis

Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis – Narrative, Themes and Characterisation

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


The two Mana Khemia games are sometimes unofficially regarded as a continuation of the Atelier Iris trilogy.

It’s fairly easy to see why: the overall presentation is very similar to Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm in particular; the setting, in which human alchemists cooperate with elemental beings known as Mana to Do Alchemy, fits right in with its immediate predecessors; and thematically, there’s a lot in common, too.

Specifically, Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis follows the mould of its precursors by contemplating how alchemy, an inherently neutral power by itself, can be used for both good and ill depending on the individual. But this time around, the whole thing is on a rather more personal scale than the world-saving narratives of Atelier Iris. So let’s explore further!

Continue reading Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis – Narrative, Themes and Characterisation

Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis – A Learning Experience

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


Turn-based, menu-driven RPGs for computer and console — particularly the latter — are, for the most part, well past being simple adaptations of tabletop gaming rules.

The freedom afforded them by the digital medium means that they can get highly creative and abstract with all of their core mechanics without being limited by physical components, complexity of calculations or even any sort of rational plausibility. This not only applies to combat mechanics, as we saw in the previous part of this feature, but also to character progression.

While past Atelier games kept things relatively conventional in this regard, following the “experience points and levels” system, Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis features a very distinct way of powering up your characters that fits in very well with its core themes and other mechanics. So let’s take a closer look at that today.

Continue reading Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis – A Learning Experience

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

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


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