With Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack, you can now get every main-series Atelier game since the PS2 days on Nintendo Switch (and PS4 and PC). Having a few generations’ worth of games all in one place, readily available to dive into, is wonderful—especially when you think about how many new fans the runaway success of Atelier Ryza must have pulled in. But for longtime fans, too, these are the sort of feel-good, comfort food games that are always worth revisiting, and now it’s easier to do so than ever.
Related: Atelier Ryza 2 may just be the best Atelier yet, taking everything that made its predecessor such a delightful game to new heights.
The “all in one place” aspect is particularly welcome for the Mysterious Trilogy, and especially on Switch. With Nintendo’s newest console coming out long after Atelier Sophie and Atelier Firis, the third game in the trilogy—Atelier Lydie & Suelle—has, until now, been the only one you could get on Switch. Now Sophie and Firis are here to join the party, and all three games are here in deluxe form, with plenty of new things to enjoy.
There’s a wealth of new content across the whole package, varying in the specifics from game to game, but always adding meaningfully to the unique characteristics of each one. There are new story episodes for each game, new cauldrons for Sophie, and new vehicles for Firis. In a particular highlight of the whole package, Atelier Lydie & Suelle gets a new painting to visit, letting the cheerful twins visit the world of Nelke and the Legendary Alchemists.
Across the board, things like a new photo mode and fast-forward function for battles help to both speed things up and preserve those precious moments. A swathe of DLC means you get plenty of costume choices and extra music options right out the gate, as well as extra characters for Atelier Firis and Atelier Lydie & Suelle, bonus items, and the like. And last but certainly not least, each game comes with a gorgeous digital art book, letting you browse the games’ beautiful illustrations and concept art to your heart’s content.
For anyone who likes Atelier and wants more of it, Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack has you covered.
Nice as those new additions are, it’s the games themselves that shine. Every new Atelier game always finds a way to carve out its own identity, but they all find common ground in their feel-good nature. Atelier games are pure joy: the stories of delightful young heroines finding their place in the world, touching on the complexities and struggles that come with growing up, but without ever losing that sense of cheerful bliss.
Atelier Sophie is the most “classic Atelier” of three. Sophie follows in her late grandmother’s footsteps on a journey to become a great alchemist, albeit without a teacher—until she awakens a mysterious old living book, with a wealth of alchemy secrets tucked away in its forgotten memories. It’s that real slice-of-life soul food, with Sophie’s growth and the story that unfolds with it being driven mostly by her efforts to help the townspeople and the bonds she forms with them through that process. But there’s a light touch of mystery, too, that comes through the book’s gradually-returning memories.
Atelier Sophie is also the game that introduced some of this trilogy’s defining aspects, namely in how you learn new recipes and in a new puzzle-like element to item synthesis. Where earlier Atelier games had you learning new recipes from books, the alchemists of the Mysterious trilogy are all self-starters who get new ideas from finding new items, seeing new places, fighting new monsters, and the like—creating a much more organic and varied process of developing your recipe book. When it comes to synthesis, the addition of a sort of puzzle board that you can arrange ingredients on to unlock bonuses adds a whole new layer to ingredient selection, beyond just quality and attributes. It’s a nice touch, with a lot of depth to explore when you’re ready, but also something that you can safely ignore until you’re ready to dip your toes in.
Atelier Firis took those ideas and built on them by taking the show on the road. As “Mysterious Journey” in the title suggests, it’s the story of an adventure across the world, as Firis travels around in search of other alchemists to learn from and to get approval to take the esteemed alchemist exam. It’s got that same cheerful energy that every Atelier game has, but this time in the form of a road trip, adding a welcome sense of adventure.
With that comes a more traditional JRPG format, as you journey from town to town, fighting monsters along the way and helping with whatever local troubles you find people struggling with. Gone are the overworld maps that you pick destinations from, with exploration instead taking place across an expansive series of interconnected zones. Exploration is a big factor, too, with vehicles and gear to craft that helps you get around and discover new things. Atelier Firis is second only to Atelier Ryza in being a perfect bridge between a “traditional” JRPG and Atelier‘s more laid-back focus.
And finally, there’s Atelier Lydie & Suelle, the real highlight of the trilogy. The dynamic between its twin protagonists, the energetic, carefree Suelle and her quieter (but still plenty playful) sister Lydie is an utter delight. Joy is at the heart of every Atelier game, but with the antics and mischief that these two get up to, that’s particularly true of Lydie & Suelle.
It also has the fun of the titular mysterious paintings. Lydie and Suelle have the handy ability to dive into paintings, letting them explore these serene, dreamy worlds and gather materials that they can’t find anywhere in the real world—think Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, only far less sinister. Again, it’s that classic Atelier slice-of-life approach, as the twins work to improve their alchemist rank by helping the townsfolk, but with a little adventurous twist.
All three games in the Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack are a joy to dive into, whether you’re exploring them for the first time or revisiting some not-to-old friends. The new additions bring a lot to what were already delightful games to begin with, and to finally have all three games on Switch makes for a nice, convenient way to visit (or revisit) some real gems. And hey—now that Mysterious Trilogy is done, maybe Koei Tecmo will turn its eyes to the PS2 games? I sure could go for some Atelier Iris on my Switch…
Title: Atelier Mysterious Deluxe Trilogy Pack
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Platforms: Nintendo Switch (reviewed), PlayStation 4, PC (Steam)
Release date: 22 April 2021
A review copy was provided to Shindig by the publisher.