Atelier Firis Review LadiesGamers

Atelier Firis: the Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey DX Review (Switch)

Game: Atelier Firis: the Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey
Genre: JRPG, Simulation, Crafting
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam & PS4 )
Developers | Publishers: Gust | Koei Tecmo
Age Rating: US Teen | EU 12+
Price: US $39.99 | UK £32.99 | EU € 39,99
As part of the Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack (released on Switch and PS4):
US $89.99 | UK £73.99 | EU € 89,99
Release Date: April 22nd, 2021

In the past, most Atelier games by Gust were released on Playstation consoles. Lucky for us Switch owners, the older games are being brought to the Switch after the huge success of Atelier Ryza. Re-released in trios, starting with the Arland trilogy and after the Dusk trilogy, it’s now the turn of the Mysterious Trilogy.

This trilogy consists of Atelier Sophie: the Alchemist of the Mysterious Book, Atelier Firis: the Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey and Atelier Lydie & Suelle: the Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings. All games come in the DX version, which means new content is added to the games and all DLC is included.

Let’s take a look at the second game. And if you are interested, there’s a detailed synthesis guide up on our site as well: Atelier Firis Guide to Synthesis


Firis is a teenager that hasn’t known anything about the world outside of the sealed underground village where she lives. Her family lives in the mining town of Ertona, where Firis has an important task. She can always sense where ore is located, which is a nice gift to have when town’s livelihood is in mining. Her sister Lia is allowed to travel outside of the cave to go hunting, and Firis dreams of one day going outside of the cave.

Atelier Firis Review LadiesGamers
The doors to the cave are reduced to rubble

Her life changes when Sophie and Plachta, known from the previous game, drop by to visit the village. She bombs down the stone huge doors that Firis had tried to open so many times, using alchemy.

Meeting Sophie and hearing about alchemy, Firis discovers she has a natural ability for it too. This is her ticket to travel to the outside world! The village elder allows her to travel in the outside world together with her sister, provided that she manages to pass her alchemy licensing exams within that year.

Atelier Firis Review LadiesGamers
The Elder of Ertona sets the bar high

Firis is a real teenager, fighting with her parents. On the other hand, the parents don’t seem very open-minded towards her either. Let’s just say it will all work out in the end, and follow Firis and Liane on their journey.

I must say that the prologue shows some nice interaction with Sophie and Plachta from the first Atelier game in the Mysterious Trilogy. On the other hand, I felt it was a bit too long, I couldn’t wait to get out of the cave, much like Firis herself.

Atelier Firis Review LadiesGamers
Firis makes her first-ever item

Exploring the Vast Open World

Leaving the cave behind, a huge new world opens up. It is kind of fun to see Firis experience a breeze for the first time, and see the sun.

Atelier Firis Review LadiesGamers
Getting the Portable Atelier as a present

Game-wise the first thing you notice though is that Atelier Firis: the Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey has an open world which was a first! No going from one dot on a map to the next dot, this RPG offers about 10x the area to explore without any directions of where you should go.

Atelier Firis Review LadiesGamers
The landmarks pop up on the map when Firis explores

The map of the area Firis is at is empty at first, filling up when she explores. Ultimately it’s filled with places where she can set up her portable Atelier (Sophie gave it to her), people who have requests and landmarks. The quick travel options are in place once you have visited a spot, and requesters are easy to return to. This is great, otherwise, the open-world concept would have been difficult to handle.

As you only have one year to get three letters of recommendation, this did make me feel pressured at the beginning of the game. But I can now assure you that it doesn’t present a problem at all. Ample time to get your recommendation letters.

Atelier Firis Review LadiesGamers
The World Map in Atelier Firis

Rushing through the game isn’t a good idea anyway, you might well miss a dungeon where there’s a material you need to make progress. In my case I wasn’t exactly rushing, but I didn’t do all side quests that I encountered, afraid that they would cost too much time. I wouldn’t recommend you do the same, as the quests you solve can lead to getting materials and maybe generating points to acquire recipe ideas. The main quests are a must of course to progress, but the sub-quests are related to character scenarios.

Grid-Based Alchemy and Turn-Based Fighting

The way alchemy is done is based on a grid, like it was in Sophie. Using different colours, covering the right areas to get different effects. This time we don’t use various cauldrons, but catalysts are added to give an item that little bit extra oomph, which is nice.

Atelier Firis Review LadiesGamers
Synthesising a Bomb

Recipe ideas come to Firis by doing all kinds of actions, like gathering ingredients in the wild, talking to people, fighting enemies and more. You also gather recipe idea points by doing quests, allowing your to unlock new recipes using those.

Atelier Firis Review LadiesGamers
The Recipe Book in Atelier Firis with idea points

Playing around with the grid, colours and traits can keep you nicely occupied, trying to get the best item possible. If you really want to dig deep in the best way to synthesise, be sure to check out our guide Atelier Firis Guide to Synthesis

The fighting in Atelier Firis: the Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey is turn-based like it was in the Atelier games before Firis. Unlike in Atelier Sophie, where you make all choices for moves, skills and items and then put the fighting sequence in action for all party member, you now choose the attack and the character immediately complies. A timeline on the side of the screen shows who is up next, enemy or party member.

Atelier Firis Review LadiesGamers
Turn-based battle in Atelier Firis

Eventually, you get several partners to add to your party, and you can fight with up to four characters. You can use items you’ve made in alchemy and every character has some special abilities.

The trick is to fill up the chain burst gauge to perform combo attacks that you might need for tougher enemies. Fighting and exploring costs LP, which you can replenish by sleeping, but a much better way is to synthesise healing items: they will replenish your LP too.

Atelier Firis Review LadiesGamers
Lianne in action with her special move

Extras in the DX Version

The DX version of the game comes with all the costumes that have been previously released as DLC. Not only do they make Firis look good, but it also adds some bonuses. For example, the Wonderland costume, the Resort Vacation costume and more. The Wonderland costume has the effect of causing less time to pass when moving and synthesising.

Atelier Firis Review LadiesGamers
Various new costumes included in the DX version

What’s very cool is that four new vehicles and exploration items added to improve efficiency and speed. New quests are added to defeat seven monsters and the DX game has a stronger version of boss Palmyra. Added to that you have 2 more playable characters (Shanon and Heintz), extra soundtracks in the game and 2 new areas to explore.

As with the other two titles, a photo mode and Digital Artbook are added too. A feast for the eye of any Atelier lover.

Atelier Firis Review LadiesGamers
New vehicles in the DX version

Any Complaints?

Firis surely isn’t my favourite protagonist in the series, I know she’s supposed to be only 15 years old, but her girly ways and chirpy voice get on my nerves. What’s great is that you can choose English voices too, like in Atelier Sophie.

I played the original game on my PS Vita and found back then that although presentation and loading times were good that the frame rates aren’t great. In the mining town of Ertona at the beginning of the game, it was most noticeable with parts looking like they were played in slow motion. None of that on the Nintendo Switch: the game plays great in handheld!

Atelier Firis Review LadiesGamers
Inside the surprisingly spacious portable Atelier

Comparison to Other Atelier Games

Despite the fact that Firis isn’t my favourite character, I do love open-world gaming. There are some significant changes to the gameplay, which can’t be easy to do in the 18th game in the series. Of course, all of it leads to the future that we know now of the Atelier Ryza games, and I can safely say that if you enjoy those, then do give Atelier Firis: the Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey a chance too.

The more you play, the more the game unlocks. Mass Production in synthesis where you make a very special item that unlocks a part of the game you haven’t been to before. New monsters, new ways to travel and exciting items to forage. New companions to fight with and varying landscapes. After the exam, after the end credits, the game is far from over. New features are unlocked, new methods of travel too. You can choose various paths (Alchemy, combat and character relationships) and every one of them gives you several different endings too. So even after you have your Alchemy Certificate, you can still put many, many hours in it.

Atelier Firis Review LadiesGamers
Firis sees the sun come up


No matter how I try, these reviews of Atelier games always end up being long….so if you read all the way through, then thank you for sticking with me.

Atelier Firis: the Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey ticks all the boxes of a great coming of age story with good synthesis and turn-based battles. This game has a great sense of exploration in this open-world and makes for interesting and extended gameplay.

The prologue is too long (3 hours!) and Firis is a bit of an airhead, but overall:

Final Verdict: I Like it a LotI like it a lot




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