Koei Tecmo is bringing the mysterious and marvelous magic of alchemy to Switch players with the Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack. This new deluxe collection consists of three titles: Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book DX, Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey DX, and Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings DX. In all three of these titles, players will step into the “Mysterious” era, which Koei-Tecmo describes as “a time full of miracles beyond human comprehension and incomparable happiness.” Additionally, you’ll meet four alchemists, all of whom are growing into their own through very mysterious circumstances and events.
Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book DX focuses on the titular novice alchemist Sophie, a girl living in the town of Kirchen Bell. When I say novice, I mean it because Sophie has a reputation for being a really bad alchemist, by no fault of her own. However, when she finally synthesizes some medicine, she’s able to put pen to paper by writing it down in a book, only for that book—Plachta—to magically come to life.
Next is Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey DX. This title follows Firis Mistlud, a girl who’s spent her entire life living in the underground mining town of Ertona. She’s only glimpsed the outside world through an opening in the city’s “sky,” which reveals the true blue sky outside. Naturally, Firis wants to see the outside world. And, of course, she’s barred from doing so. However, one day, an alchemist named Sophie destroys the gate to their village, and Firis’s world opens up a whole lot more.
Finally, we have Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings DX. They wrap up players’ time with the Mysterious trilogy and bookend the events of the previous games. This title follows twins Lydie and Suelle Malen, who live in the grand capital of Adalet Kingdom. However, life isn’t so grand for them; they’re helping to make ends meet at their father’s tiny atelier. However, one day, the twins hear a strange voice calling to them from the basement, only to find out that the painting stored down there acts as a portal. By using this portal, the girls can finally discover a way to help prop up their father’s business through, you guessed it, alchemy.
The Atelier Mysterious Trilogy games also employ a week system versus hard time limits. For instance, Atelier Sophie uses a five-day week with three weekdays and two weekends, and a day/night cycle. That bit of freedom is really, really nice, as there’s never any in-game pressure to hit deadlines or remember dates. It also opens up all three titles to players who have been curious about the game but have been hesitant to jump into this very storied franchise.
Now, you might be wondering how alchemy works in these titles. Well, let me tell you! Alchemy plays out in a Puyo Puyo or Tetris-like mini-game. There’s a lot of trial and error here as you try to configure the best layout. You probably won’t get it immediately. It doesn’t help that the system can be a bit much to learn at first, especially if puzzle games just aren’t your thing. Still, with time, you’ll find yourself becoming a masterful alchemist in your own right, especially if you’re patient.
So, what makes this package deal deluxe? Well, in the case of this new release, it’s the plethora of DLC you’ll get. Players who pick up the Atelier Mysterious Trilogy will also get costumes, vehicles, quests, and various scenarios to play out in-game. There’s also the neat photo mode, which is always a nice touch, as well as some quality-of-life touches that feel good on the Switch.
My favorite thing included in the Atelier Mysterious Trilogy is the digital artbooks, which are so, so pretty. All of the girls from each title look so beautiful in the art, which looks even better when blown up on a docked Switch. Still, even on the Switch Lite, the art is stunning enough that I looked through all three art collections at least once.
So far, I’ve had a lot of good to say about the Atelier Mysterious Trilogy because, at the end of the day, there’s a lot of good here. However, I do have some pretty major problems with this title. The first is that there’s just a lot of information at times, which is a double-edged sword because all of that information is critical to learning the alchemy system. Additionally, while it’s neat that you can go into battle, there’s a bit of frustration in figuring out how to balance alchemy, material collecting, and battles.
I’m also not too into some of the girl’s outfits. They’re all a bit fanservice in one way or another. I think that outfits like Firis’s and a certain book might be quite off-putting for fans which are relatively new to RPGs and/or don’t regularly consume anime. While I wouldn’t say I liked a lot of them, I could gloss over them mentally. I’m not sure the same can be said for fans who are coming into this game with fresh eyes.
Additionally, only Atelier Sophie and Atelier Firis include the ability to play with English voice acting, which is honestly a really nice treat. While I never mind playing in Japanese, I’m always excited to have a dub. So it was a major letdown to know that Atelier Lydie & Suelle was Japanese-only. It would have been nice to have the option to have English audio in the entire Atelier Mysterious Trilogy.
In the end, Atelier Mysterious Trilogy offers up a lot of fun, though it might be frustrating at times. I think it’s a nice game to play a bit of at a time, each day, rather than all in one sitting. Not having a hard and fast time limit is definitely a perk. But there are still many little things that frustrated me at times while I immersed myself in the mysterious world of Atelier Mysterious Trilogy.
Ultimately, I recommend picking this collection, especially if you like games like Story of Seasons or Summer in Mara, and especially if you want a pleasant twist to the RPG genre. And, of course, fans who liked Atelier Ryza will find even more heartwarming, enjoyable characters in this new collection.
The Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack releases on the Nintendo Switch on April 22, 2021.
Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack
Atelier Mysterious Trilogy offers up a lot of fun, though it might be frustrating at times. I think it’s a nice game to play a bit of at a time, each day, rather than all in one sitting. Not having a hard and fast time limit is definitely a perk. But there are still many little things that frustrated me at times while I immersed myself in the mysterious world of Atelier Mysterious Trilogy.