Tag Archives: RPG

Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk – Alchemy in a Fading World

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


Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk is, as we’ve already established, something of a step in a different direction for the series.

Over the course of the series, Gust has always drawn a hard line underneath each of the main “sets” of games before moving on to the next; the narrative of the setting isn’t necessarily wrapped up conclusively (which leaves things open for titles like Atelier Lulua to revisit past series) but there’s usually a significant reinvention of, at the very least, overall aesthetic and mechanical components.

One of the most obvious places where we see this is in the heart of the series: the alchemy component. So let’s take a closer look at exactly how Atelier Ayesha handles this side of things!

Continue reading Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk – Alchemy in a Fading World

Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk – Chromatic Shift

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


While in many respects the Arland games had brought the Atelier series back to its roots, they also very much had their own distinctive sense of identity. In order to move on to a new subseries, there would need to be some sort of noticeable “shift”.

That was the challenge Gust was faced with after the success of Ateliers Rorona, Totori and Meruruhow to follow that up with something that still felt like Atelier, but which also distinguished itself from the pastel-coloured, distinctly “comfy” games that had come before? And with the new generation of fans who might have joined the series in the HD era, how to ensure that no-one went away feeling like the series had dropped something important to its core identity?

We got our answer in 2012 with the release of Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk — which ended up being the first installment in one of the most fondly regarded Atelier subseries of all time. So I guess they did something right. Let’s take a first look!

Continue reading Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk – Chromatic Shift

Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland – Give Me A Reason to Live

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


The nice thing about the original Arland trilogy is that although there was definitely a sense of narrative progression over the course of the three games, each one was self-contained and left things open-ended for future development; there was no “grand finale”.

That’s where Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland comes in, of course. The fact that Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland concluded the story of Meruru’s growth into a talented young alchemist, but didn’t spell any sort of “finality” for the Arland region meant that there was still plenty of scope to tell more stories in these pastel-coloured lands. Perhaps some sort of story that answers a few unresolved questions from the original trilogy — and which lets us see how all our favourite characters are getting along?

Atelier Lulua still doesn’t necessarily feel like a “finale”; if anything it ushers in a bold new era for Arland. Whether or not we’ll see any more games in this setting remains to be seen at the time of writing, but for now, Atelier Lulua provides an interesting, substantial story to tie things together nicely. So let’s take a closer look — bearing in mind that, of course, there will be spoilers ahead.

Continue reading Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland – Give Me A Reason to Live

Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland – The Fight For What’s Important

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


In keeping with how Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland’s alchemy mechanics aren’t just a straight rehash of the other Arland games, the battle and exploration mechanics also feature a pleasing blend of old and new.

By taking the basic structure of battles from the earlier Arland games and then supplementing this with a variety of brand-new tactical considerations, Atelier Lulua provides us with an enjoyable combat system that keeps things consistently interesting for the game’s duration. And some really nice “quality of life” features mean that the whole game feels nicely streamlined and efficient to play without sacrificing any sort of mechanical depth.

That’s how you do a good follow-up — from the perspective of game design, anyway. Let’s take a closer look at these specific elements of Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland.

Continue reading Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland – The Fight For What’s Important

Atari ST A to Z: Legends of Valour

If you ever wanted to know who or what to blame for the endless rereleases of Skyrim on every platform under the sun… well, today I’ve got the game where it arguably all started.

Legend of Valour is a supremely ambitious first-person texture-mapped role-playing game that Todd Howard has specifically cited as being a key influence on the development of the Elder Scrolls series. Up until quite recently, I had thought it was an MS-DOS PC exclusive — but it turns out there’s an Atari ST version, too.

Well, there’s no way we’re not checking that out, is there? Let’s do just that in the video below. Don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z: Questron

When I was a kid, I was kind of scared of trying out RPGs because they looked too complicated. Returning to them today, however, makes me feel like I would probably have been fine!

Here’s Questron from Strategic Simulations Inc, who at the time were better known for their wargaming software. This was their first RPG release and proved to be a big success for them. The company would later go on to be extremely well-known for their excellent array of licensed Dungeons & Dragons computer RPGs, so this was the just the beginning of something wonderful for them!

Enjoy the game in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Atari A to Z

Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland – A Trilogy of Four

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


Up until this point in the Atelier MegaFeature as a whole, we’ve explored the games in release order.

They were released in clear “sets”, after all — we had the Atelier Iris trilogy, then the Mana Khemia duology and then the three Arland games. And while the stories don’t always follow on directly from one another — most notably in the Atelier Iris series — each game in each series, at the very least, feels like it has a number of stylistic and thematic elements in common with its contemporaries. But in 2018, something interesting happened; after three Dusk games and three Mysterious games, Gust issued the surprise announcement that the twentieth game in the mainline Atelier series would not kick off a new trilogy; instead, it would return to Arland for (probably) one last time.

So with that in mind, we’re skipping forward from 2011’s thirteenth Atelier game Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland to check out 2019’s twentieth installment Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland. Then we’ll go back and look at all the ones in between. Sound good? Good. Let’s get cracking — beginning with an overview of what this game is all about and how it fits in with its predecessors.

Continue reading Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland – A Trilogy of Four

Waifu Wednesday: Elmerulia Frixell

“It’ll all work out… somehow!” is a phrase that can be applied to a wide variety of RPG protagonists from over the years, but Elmerulia “Lulua” Frixell from Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland makes a distinctive effort to make it her catchphrase.

Well, technically speaking the catchphrase is 何とかなるなる (nantoka naru naru), which is a little catchier, but I’m sure everyone reading this is familiar with the challenges of localisation. And, as it happens, in this case, “it’ll all work out somehow” is a pretty accurate translation anyway.

Regardless of whether or not “it” worked out (somehow), Lulua is a delightful character to have around. So ahead of our first steps into the fourth adventure of the Atelier Arland trilogy (yes, I know) I thought it’d be nice to celebrate her a bit. So let’s do just that!

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Elmerulia Frixell

Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland – Meruru, Warrior Princess

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


As we’ve seen numerous times in the previous installments of the Atelier series, being a successful alchemist isn’t just about holing yourself up in your workshop for months at a time; sometimes you have to take to the field and get some practical experience.

In Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arlandthose excursions outside of the protagonist’s home base occupy something of a middle ground between the relatively short excursions of Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland, and the grand adventure which unfolded over the course of Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of ArlandMeruru never strays that far from home — but she does have important things to accomplish wherever she goes.

Let’s take a look at what life in the field is like for our tomboyish princess — and how she makes use of her alchemical talents to defend herself when things get rough.

Continue reading Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland – Meruru, Warrior Princess

Waifu Wednesday: Mitsuru Kirijo

With this week’s podcast celebrating the wonder that is the PlayStation 2, it’s only fitting that for Waifu Wednesday this week we look back on a classic character who made her first appearance in a PS2 game.

Yes, this week it’s the turn of Mitsuru Kirijo from Persona 3, the game that established the Shin Megami Tensei spinoff’s current format. She’s a consistently popular character from Persona 3’s core cast, and has put in appearances in several other games from the series over the years, too — including Persona 4, Persona Q, Persona 4 Arena and Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight.

Better get your grades up, though; Mitsuru doesn’t hang out with anyone who isn’t a Genius, remember…

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Mitsuru Kirijo