As a fan of turn based battles, I was a bit taken aback by the new battle mechanics of Atelier Ryza. It all seemed so hectic, so much going on on the screen. How on earth could I think about the moves I wanted to make and not be hopelessly behind the action?
So I decided to read up on it and try to get it working for myself. And as I’m sure I’m not alone in having trouble, I might as well put it in a guide for those of you who are looking for info too! This is our second Atelier guide, by the way. The first one, all about Atelier Ryza’s Synthesis you can find here.
Let’s get the battle started
Battle takes place in real time. You control one of the characters: and your allies will act automatically when their turn comes. You start off as being Ryza, but you can choose to control one of the others by pressing L or R. And, you can also shift freely during the battle to any character you want. The fact that I don’t have to control the actions of the entire party did give me some peace of mind!
This is the Battle Screen:
On the left-hand side, the turns scroll down automatically. (see the red circled 1 on the image )
The character you are controlling is highlighted on the bottom of the screen and you see all the little portraits of the party scroll by in the rectangular on the left. When the portait of the character you are controlling is up, you will see that portrait waits in the circle shape until you’ve made your choice. The allies and enemies keep going though, so you don’t have all the time in the world! A good thing that the other characters just keep on fighting then.
By the way, when an enemy’s portrait reaches the diamond shaped outline next to the round, he will deal his damage.😲
The formation and the roles
As the game progresses, you’ll unlock the option to go to Main Menu > Formation to choose which characters to add to your party. That might be a good moment to choose the back row and focus on healing your party while they do the fighting.
Where a character is in the party is indicated by these icons next to their avatar:
Each character will stand in either the front or back.
Plus, each of them gets a role assigned like an Attacker, Defender, Supporter or Novice.
In the example above ( red circled 2) you are missing the character role as there’s no front or back yet: the party fighting consists only of three members.
Notice that the allies have two gauges. The green bar is your HP, while the orange bar is your Stun Gauge. I had automatically assumed that it would deplete using my skills, but of course, that’s not how Ryza works. It uses AP for that! If your HP reaches 0, you’ll be knocked unconscious. If your Stun Gauge reaches 0, you’ll be stunned.
When stunned, you’ll take increased damage and your next turn will be delayed. If your Stun Gauge reaches 0 again while stunned, you’ll enter Break status, and your position on the timeline will be frozen.
Sorts of attacks and sorts of damage
Every attack you are going to execute (whether it’s a normal attack, a skill or an item) have either a physical or a magical element. Plus, they are always one of four types: fire, ice, lightning or wind.Some enemies will be more susceptible to some of the types or elements. Fighting with that means you’ll deal more damage.
Due to being attacked yourself you can suffer from status ailments. Or because of healing properties, you can also have positive effects. You can find the list on the KoeiTecmo website
- Regeneration: Continually heals HP over time.
- Accelerate: Reduces the time until your next turn.
- Ailment Block: Prevents Negative Effects for a set amount of time.
- Ailment Reduction: Reduces the duration of status ailments.
- Damage Reduction: Reduces damage taken for a set amount of time.
- AP Bonus: Doubles AP gain when taking action.
- Item Boost: Increases the power of items.
- Technique Boost: Increases the power of skills.
- Stun Resist: Halves Stun Gauge damage when attacked.
- Sleep: You’re unable to act, and you take double damage. Disappears if you are attacked.
- Poison: You take damage over time.
- Slow: Increases the time to your next turn.
- Curse: Healing HP will deal damage instead, and you take double magic damage.
- Blind: Your accuracy and evasion are reduced.
- Seal: You can’t use skills or items.
- Envenom: You take a large amount of damage over time.
- Burn: You take damage over time. Unlike “Poison” and “Envenom”, this effect will not heal by itself.
- Frostbite: Your speed is reduced, and you take double damage.
- Paralyze: You can’t issue Action Orders, you will take increased Stun Gauge damage when attacked.
- Thorn: You will take additional damage when attacked.
- Action Points are very important
On the right of the screen you see a counter for AP (the red circle 3 on the image below). These are Action Points. AP is generated by dealing normal attacks. If this reaches 10, you can take additional actions.
You can do a couple of things:
- use your skills, costing 10 AP
- use them to level up your tactical level
- enabling quick actions
- use your items (more on that in Core Charges)
Normally your AP starts at zero, and will fill up when your party deals normal attacks. But it’s very beneficial to start a fight by hitting the monsters with one of your gathering tools: that way the counter starts at 10 AP, allowing you to take the listed actions immediately.
Plus, which gathering tool you use to hit the monster is important. There are additional benefits:
- Scythe: Start with 10 AP + all enemies have reduced attack.
- Axe: Start with 10 AP + all enemies have reduced defense.
- Hammer: Start with 10 AP + all enemies take Stun Gauge damage.
- Bomb Rod: Start with 10 AP + all enemies have reduced HP.
- Bug Net: Start with 10 AP + all enemies have reduced speed.
By the way, you can’t carry over AP to the next battle!
Using your Skills
As I mentioned, you have to use your AP to be able to unleash your skills. They can be physical or magical abilities. Also they can be offensive, defensive or support abilities like healing. They are usually more powerful than normal attacks, and can be decisive in beating an enemy.
When you level up your tactical level, skills are stronger. And some can even only be used from tactical level 2 and up. (More on that in the next chapter)
This also brings us to Negative or Aggressive Mode (the red circle 4):
In Negative mode, the allies you are not controlling will only execute normal attacks. When you switch to Aggressive mode they will consume AP by using their skills. That might be a problem if you are building your AP to up your tactical level or such. But on the other hand, your party will deal a lot more damage.
Go from Negative to Aggressive by pushing the up button on the directional buttons on your left joycon. Go from Aggressive to Negative by pushing the down button in the directional buttons.
Upping your tactical level
So, let’s assume you’ve managed to get your AP to 10. One of the most beneficial things to do is to up your tactical level by pressing – . To up it from level 1 to level 2 you need 10 AP. To go from level 2 to level 3 you need 20 AP and so on. So for each level you need an additional 10 AP on top of the amount associated with the tactical level.
Still, a higher tactical level gives you additional boosts. It adds to the damage dealt in normal attacks, skills have additional effect, and some skills can even only be use from tactical level 2! Plus, with the attacks doing more damage, the Action Points are more easily earned too, which is a good thing as you need more of them to use them (remember, 20 AP at Tactical Level 2 etc.) Anyway, you can see why this can be very beneficial.
In short: a higher Tactical Level gives you
- Combo hits on normal attacks (up to 3)
- Increased maximum AP
- Increased Skill Level and extra abilities for some skills
- Increased EXP gain (if level 3 or above)
Enabling Quick Actions
Another thing you can do from tactical level 2 is to perform Quick Actions. Even if it’s not your turn, you can do a Quick Action which will cost you 10 AP. However, the only actions available for Quick Actions are Skill or Item. Effectively, you would need 20 AP at Tactical Level 1 before using the Quick Action, otherwise it won’t do you any good.
To execute a Quick Action you must press the ZR button.
The Order System
Atelier Ryza has an Order System in their battle, they appear on the top left of the screen as suggestions from other party members. If you do what they ask, you’ll unleash an Order Skill.
There are three kinds of orders:
Normal Order: they only appear when a party member is below a quarter health and they usually are to heal that party member.
Action Orders: they will deal a massive amount of damage to your enemy.
Extra Orders: they only appear when your enemy is stunned or gearing up for a massive attack. They can only be executed if you manage to do a Quick Action (as described above) and interrupt the enemies build up. Both party members act when the order is fulfilled.
Core Items and Core Charges
When Ryza is in her atelier, you can equip your party members. Not just with the best weapons you can craft, but also with Core Items. In other games it was usually the main character that could use items. In Ryza, all party members can.
What’s also new is that your Core items aren’t used up. This also means you need the best quality (with the best effects/traits) that you can.
To use a Core Item, you must have enough CC (Core Charge) required by each item.
You can see these (the red circle 5) You only have 10 CC for every battle, to be used by all party members. If it’s depleted, you can no longer use items.
You can replenish that during battle by converting one of your Core Items: choosing the item to convert and holding Y does the trick. It means you cannot use said item anymore but it does replenish the Core Charge to 10.
Eventually Ryza will gain the passive ability Core Cycler which will give her one extra Core Charge at the end of battle. But, going back to the atelier does the trick as well!
Party Quests are not to be overlooked
Atelier Ryza encourages you to put everything you learned into practise. But it’s not only about practising, but you can also gain passive abilities and increase certain stats for your characters.
Like how I mentioned about Ryza’s Core Cycler? That passive ability is gained by doing Party Quests! Just don’t forget to complete them in the Quest menu. Because that way you’ll claim the benefits!