With every new Atelier trilogy developer Gust mixes things up and introduces a new synthesis system. Atelier games are, of course, famous for their alchemy. A very important part of the game, so one you will have to master. Elena in our writers team asked for advice recently on how much of the gameplay in an Atelier game is tied to synthesis. Well, I say you will spend a third of your time in the game behind the cauldron. Maybe even more if you are going for the ultimate level of attack item to use in battle! So it’s a good idea to know what you are doing.
For the Mysterious trilogy, Gust went a whole new route when you synthesize. And in every game of the trilogy, doing alchemy is just a little bit different. . I’ve already made you a guide for Atelier Sophie (here) and Atelier Firis (here). Now it’s time for Atelier Lydie & Suelle and The Mysterious Paintings. Because though the game tries to explain it all, but I feel it doesn’t do a very good job at it.
So, I made it my mission to explain synthesis for each game. Here’s my synthesis guide for Atelier Lydie & Suelle: the Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings.
The Info on the Screen
I assume this isn’t the first Atelier game you’ve played, so you know your basics. Making items with Alchemy is easy enough when standing at the cauldron, but to get the maximum out of what you make there’s more you need to know.
I use an Ice Bomb as an example. Below you see the bomb in Lidy’s recipe list.
The level shown next to the Ice Bombs drawing is the alchemy level Lidy needs to have to synthesize it. If her level is lower, you can’t make the item at all, and it’s indicated by a – in front of the recipe in the list. To make it complete, this is what you see in the recipe list:
- o Lidy or Sue can make the item and has all the needed ingredients
- x Means you don’t have the needed materials
- ^ Means you have to make one of the base ingredient first
- – Means the twins’ alchemy level is too low
Press the Y button and you will see a new page of info on the recipe. It shows what bonuses can give an added effect to the Ice Bomb. More on that later.
Pressing ‘-‘ on the left joycon when you’re pointer is on the Ice Bomb will show the specifics of the item you want to make. Like what the base price is, should you wish to sell it, what the category is to which it belongs (Bombs). What materials are needed to make it and, when it’s an item you can use in battle, it shows who can use the item.
All materials you have to use for synthesis are categorised. If a material that you need to add is between brackets, then you can add any material from that category. For example, if you need to add an ingredient from the water category, there are various to choose from. Same goes in this case for (neutralizer). If a material is not between brackets you need to use that specific material, not one from the category to which it belongs, like the Hakurei Stone.
Choosing a Catalyst
Choosing the Ice Bombs first brings up a screen to choose your Catalyst. A catalyst can be many different items, that each bring special bonuses to the synthesis. Before deciding which one to use, look at the left side of your screen.
In this case there’s:
- The male symbol (blue, level 14): -1 effect level – Mercury
- Saturn symbol (purple (level 9) and red (level 8)): -1 effect level – Saturn
- Jupiter symbol (blue (level 18): +2 effect level – Jupiter
The catalyst influences the size of the panel, which colors are presented on the panel and how many of the symbols on it mirror the ones you need in making your item. I’m going to choose the Triple Taun catalyst. It has the Jupiter, Saturn and the male symbol in it, and it’s nice and big. It includes other bonus effects as well:
- the female symbol: +2 effect level – Mars
- the sun symbol: -1 effect level – Sun
- the moon symbol: -1 effect level – Moon
- three little leaves: +1 Quantity
- leaf with wood symbol: +2 Uses
Every catalyst, and there will be plenty of different one when you progress in the game, has different symbols and connected bonuses. Choosing the ones that fit best with what you are wanting to make is fun to do.
Choosing the Materials
After choosing the Triple Taun, we choose our materials to use. When choosing your materials to use to synthesise an item, then don’t forget that by clicking on the submenu you can filter or sort the materials to use. You can sort for Quality, Value, Components, Components Cells and more. You can also filter for a certain trait, a special item or category.
I’ve a little trouble to decide what to sort for. If I sort component cells I get the materials that can cover the most squares in a certain color. But if I choose a higher quality, my Ice Bomb will have a higher quality as well. I’m gonna try for high quality.
I chose the Hakurei Stone that is a quality 75 and has two red squares. It fills in two bars in the red effect. Going for Distilled Water, quality 82 and has one blue square. It fills in one bar in both blue effects. For the Neutralizer I best go for blue, as the top effect (the male symbol) give Ice Damage and that is blue. It has a quality of 54 and two blue squares which fills in two blue bars in both blue effects.
So without the effects of placing the materials just the right way, the Ice bomb has one trait transferable, 6 uses for every 1 (quantity) bomb you make. I’ve already got a basic quality of 70. In the blue effects 3 bars are filled, in the red one 2 bars are filled and in the purple one none.
Placing the Materials on the Panel
In truth, the Triple Taun panel is a bit big for the measly squares I have to place, but let’s see what happens. I first place the Hakurei Stone over the Saturn symbol and the three little leaves symbol. It fills 2 bars, and the effect is caused by:
- 2 red squares = +2 bar
- the Saturn symbol= -1 bar
- the three little leaves symbol= the quantity goes up from 1 to 2
- there’s a red outline around the little leaves symbol = + 1 bar
So as the Saturn symbol takes away one bar, I’m gonna place my two red squares on the three little leaves and an adjacent other square.
Now I place the Distilled Water, one blue square. It’s no use to place it over the male symbol as it takes away one bar. Instead I place it on a blue outlined square, giving me one extra bar, so I’ve now got 2 on both blue effects.
Last one to place is the blue neutralizer. Two squares, and I can only place it over one blue outlined square in the panel, where it would give me 3 bars. What I could also do is place it over the Jupiter symbol. You see, that will give me +2 effect level even though the square is purple outlined. Placing it there gives 2 (for 2 blue squares)+2 (effect for Jupiter)=4 bars.
Another choice you could make is to place it over the symbol with the leaf and wood. Doing so gives me only 2 bars, but it ups to Uses from 6 to 8, which might be a good idea too.
So by making these choices, I can make an Ice Bomb with 8 uses, quality of 70, a quantity of 2 that has Ice Damage S (the top blue bar). The other bars aren’t filled out enough to give an effect.
Using an Enhancing Agent
Making items often feels like you are solving the puzzle of how to get the highest quality, highest effect or most traits incorporated in an item you make. Eventually, you will stumble on having colored squares in your materials that don’t add anything to your synthesis. Such a pity! That’s what Enhancing Agents are for.
So, this time, as an example, I’m making Healing Pads and have chosen Red Flower as a catalyst. Chose the materials, Princess Grass, (Magic Grass) and (Medical Materials). As you can see below, the green and blue squares are okay to use, but I can’t really do anything with the yellow ones.
Having placed the blue and green squares as best as I can I am now left with the yellow squares. They won’t add any bars to the blue or green effects this way. Pressing X I can Use Enhancing Agent.
A menu pops up with a list of possibilities. They depend on the materials you have that can be used, which I’ll add between brackets for this example:
- Change: color of all coloured squares will be changed (Activator)
- Color Adjacent (in various colors): place it in a colored square and it and any adjacent squares of the same color will be turned into the color mentioned (Marble Salt for red, Water Crystal for blue, Wahrheit for purple)
- Color All: selected a colored square will cause all squares of the same color to be turned into the color mentioned (Purple Needles)
- Color Components: (in various colors): all of the component pieces for one of your materials will be turned into the color mentioned (Lava Ore for red, Ancient Water for blue)
- Fill Gaps: fill in the open spaces on the panel (Blue Sky Tear)
In this case, I want to change the yellow component pieces to green or blue, so I’m choosing Color Components – Blue. Clicking on the material with the yellow component pieces changes them to blue ones, which I can then place on the grid and get more bars for them.
Synthesis in Lydie & Suelle feels a lot like solving a puzzle, every time you make an item.
Every item you make has traits to enhance its abilities. This is the next step in the synthesis. The materials you use bring their own traits to the table. If you are wanting to get an item with a specific trait, be sure to filter your materials and search for one with the specific trait.
The number of traits you can add is influenced, as we’ve seen above, by the bonus squares in the panel. The standard is one trait, but you can try to aim for more. If you want to know more about the trait you can go to the details screen by pressing ‘-‘ for Details.
Where to Get Your Recipes?
Both Lydie and Suelle can come up with ideas for recipes through different actions. Exploration, where the storyline is, synthesising other recipes and other things you do and witness in the game. Aside from that, they can also get ideas from the books they buy.
These are gathered in the Recipe Book, with a tab of Lydie’s recipes, Sue’s recipes, Lydie/Sue recipes, Book recipes and recipes brought on by events. It’s not like Sue can’t use Lydie’s recipes, mind you, but to get the most possible it’s a good idea to switch between characters from time to time.
In recipes that you haven’t quite unlocked yet, the terms for entirely unlocking them are mentioned, like in the one below. The term is: doing some gathering. Memo: Suspicious Liquid.
That’s it for this synthesis guide! Have fun with Lydie & Suelle!