Tag Archives: PlayStation 2

Waifu Wednesday: Nicole Mimi Tithel

With the Atelier MegaFeature continuing apace, the next game on the list is Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis — a title which, despite not actually having “Atelier” in the title, is officially the ninth mainline installment in the series.

Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis is full of wonderful characters, and you get plenty of time to hang out with them thanks to the game’s school-based setting. And for those who enjoy either New Game Plus replays or save-scumming, there’s a different ending for each one of them, too.

Today I thought we’d look at the rather charming Nicole Mimi Tithel, or Nikki for short. She is, to put it mildly, a rather striking character who will almost certainly leave quite the impression!

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Nicole Mimi Tithel

Waifu Wednesday: Iris Fortner

Fun fact: in contrast to the rest of the Atelier series, Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm is the only game in the Iris trilogy in which the title character is playable.

In Atelier Iris: Eternal ManaIris is a mysterious figure from the past. In Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of DestinyIris is a mysterious small child who may or may not be the same Iris who was a mysterious figure from the past in Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana. But in Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm, Iris is not only right there from the outset, but she’s actually the one who runs the atelier itself.

Okay, she’s not the lead protagonist in terms of who you control on the game’s field screens, but she is the most important person in the narrative. She’s also thoroughly lovely, so let’s explore her character further!

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Iris Fortner

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

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


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

Waifu Wednesday: Nell Ellis

Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm has an unusually small playable cast compared to other installments in the series. This is primarily down to the fact that two of the three playable leads are able to switch “Blades” any time they return to town, effectively giving them the functionality of multiple party members.

One of those privileged two is Nell Ellis, an energetic young woman who joins main protagonists Edge Vahnheit and Iris Fortner after getting into a fight with her sister Yula over the pair’s reasons for coming to the town of Zey Meruze. Yula appears to believe that the former prosperity of the Ellis family must be restored, regardless of cost, while Nell takes the rather more down to earth — and, it has to be said, friendly — viewpoint that they should make the best of the situation they’re in rather than moping over the glory days or doing something they might regret.

She’s a thoroughly likeable character, infused with a huge amount of personality over the course of Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm, so let’s take some time to appreciate her!

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Nell Ellis

Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm – Bursting Into Battle

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


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!
< Prev. | Contents | Next >


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

The Music of Atelier, Vol. 2: Atelier Iris 2 – The Azoth of Destiny

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


It’s time once again to spend some time in the company of Gust’s wonderful sound team and their sterling work on the Atelier series.

This time around, we’re looking at the soundtrack for Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny. The music is once again the work of Gust regulars Daisuke Achiwa and Ken Nakagawa, the latter of whom in particular has become heavily associated with the Atelier series over the years.

Conveniently, copies of Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny came with a bonus soundtrack CD, so we’ll be focusing on a selection of the tracks from this disc today. Let’s jump in — pump up the volume!

Continue reading The Music of Atelier, Vol. 2: Atelier Iris 2 – The Azoth of Destiny

Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny – Narrative, Themes and Characterisation

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


Although technically a “sequel” to Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana — it was even known as Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana 2 in Japan — Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny unfolds quite differently from its predecessor.

It’s set long before the events of Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana, for starters, so the world in which the action unfolds is very different. There’s a stark divide between the peaceful land of Eden, where alchemy is widespread and Mana spirits walk (or walk-equivalent) the streets alongside humans, and the “surface world” of Belkhyde, which left the practice of alchemy behind long ago.

Before we delve into all that, though, there’s an important question to address: what the fuck is an “azoth”, anyway?

Continue reading Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny – Narrative, Themes and Characterisation

Waifu Wednesday: Noin

Gust has always been good at beautiful girls — one might argue the Atelier series has made it its primary selling point over the years. And, of course, Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny is full of them.

A personal highlight for me on my journey through the game was Noin, one of the first characters that male protagonist Felt encounters upon his arrival in the strange “other world” of Belkhyde, and pretty much a fixture in the party for the entire game’s duration.

There’s a shocking lack of fanart of her on the Internet — even Rule 34 let me down — so I feel obliged to show her some love right here, right now. Let’s do it!

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Noin

Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny – The Fight for Eden

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


The Atelier Iris subseries is, as we’ve already seen with Eternal Mana, something of an outlier in the Atelier series as a whole.

While all of the Atelier games involve RPG-style combat to varying degrees, the Iris subseries places a particular emphasis on what many would think of as a more “conventional” RPG-style structure: the protagonist goes on a journey, explores dungeons, acquires allies, seeks out wondrous treasures… there just happens to be some alchemy involved on the side.

Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny has a particularly strong emphasis on its combat and progression mechanics, making it a satisfying game for those who like making numbers get bigger. Let’s take a closer look at this aspect today.

Continue reading Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny – The Fight for Eden