Video Game: Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island
aka: Atelier Annie
Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island
is the second Nintendo DS
entry in Gust Corporation's Atelier
series, and is both the first DS Atelier title and the first Atelier with "traditional gameplay" to be released in North America.
A lazy young girl
named Annie Eilenberg is unknowingly shipped off to Sera Island by her parents in order to force her to make something of herself. Left only with a note from her grandfather and a fairy sidekick
named Pepe, she is pushed by her family to take up the trade of alchemy
. Shortly after she wakes up on the island for the first time, she is informed by a young man named Hans Arlens of a contest being held on the island. She and several other alchemists are to compete to build Sera Island into a resort paradise within three years. The person whose alchemy most impresses the judges will earn themself the title of "Meister", granting them a boatload of money and the opportunity to win the hand in marriage of one of the King's children.
Hearing those magic words ("money" and "marrying up"), Annie gets right to work...
Tropes in Atelier Annie:
- Affectionate Parody: A lot of the characters are built like this; Annie is a "Determinator" who is only working hard in order to marry up so she'll never have to work again, Kilbert is an Idiot "Hero" whose incompetence actually prevents him from using his full potential, Kyle is a Bungling Inventor who ends up really annoying people when his inventions don't work, etc.
- Alchemy Is Magic
- Awesome but Impractical: Kilbert's sword is an in-universe example. (see BFS below)
- Bad Liar: Kilbert.
- Bag of Spilling: Strictly speaking, Liese. Depending on how one plays Atelier Liese, she could be upward of level fifty (e.g., the game's level cap) with powerful stats and some of the game's best equipment. Even without going for an ending involving killing all the bosses, you'd typically finish with Liese in her mid-to-upper thirties, at least. In Annie, she starts out at level ten, and while she's pretty decently equipped and with a unique weapon to boot, she's nowhere near the murderous killdozer she could be at the end of her own game.
- Berserk Button: Pepe's one of the tallest faeries and is not a "Shorty," thank you very much.
- BFS: Kilbert's "Fragarach" has a handle that easily stretches from shoulder-to-shoulder. Note that Kilbert also has very broad shoulders.
- He also ends up subverting the trope, in that it's eventually revealed that he cannot actually use his overly-massive sword in a practical sense; he only keeps it around for the intimidation value.
- And he de-subverts it if you raise his friendship to the max and do his final sidequest, where he wields it to save Annie from a dragon and reveals that his klutzy attitude was just Obfuscating Stupidity.
- Bifauxnen: Annie. Poor, poor Annie. She gets mistaken for a boy constantly. That she doesn't really have much of a fashion sense (or care to have one) doesn't help her much, either.
- Mueller is also this, but much more deliberately.
- Break the Haughty: Happens to Annie in the "good" ending.
- Bishōnen: God, practically every single playable male character is this, and they're the traditional type of Bishonen, too. Tall, willowy (although Kilbert is pretty well-built), handsome to the point of being pretty; the only one who doesn't fit this trope exactly is Beaux, as he's a cuter little boy, really, which just means he's a bishie-in-training. This game doesn't leave the female fans hurting, that's for sure.
- Bishoujo Series: And on the other side of the coin? Oh yeah. Practically every unique-portrait female character is one (even Mueller, who really is too pretty to be a man). The actual appearances run the gamut, but without fail Sera Island is evidently packed with eye-poppingly gorgeous girls. The male demographic hasn't been ignored, either.
- Bittersweet Ending: The 'normal' ending, where Annie is packing up to leave for the mainland because the project ran out of money. Only the 'bad' ending has a more depressing feel to it.
- Blade on a Stick: Gillian's weapon of choice.
- Boss Battle: Mostly averted, since your main goal is helping improve the island and not killing mobs. The few "boss battles" you do get into are against enemies who become regular opponents as you search the scavenging sites (with at least one exception in the Rock Puni.)
- Camp Straight: Kenner.
- Chick Magnet: There are several scenes that involve Hans having to fight off mobs of admirers, including on one occasion a group of men who'd mistaken him for a girl.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Fitz.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Melody, Claus, Kilbert, Gillian, Kyle.
- The Comically Serious: Hans.
- Cool Big Sis: Liese can count. Also, this is how Fitz sees Annie.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: The Rock Puni.
- The Dandy: Kenner, manager of the "recreational" resorts.
- Determinator: Annie herself is a parody of the concept. She arrives on the island listless and annoyed at having basically been kidnapped and forced to work, but then she learns of something that fills her with a determination to win no matter what! Her goal? To marry Prince Joel and thus fulfill her lifelong dream of getting into a life of ceaseless luxury. That's not usually the kind of goal a "determinator" has, Annie...
- Everyone Can See It: Everyone in-universe knew that Hans has a crush on Annie.
- Exposition Fairy: Pepe. Applies doubly since he's actually a fairy.
- Expy: Pepe looks a lot like Atelier Iris' Popo, and performs most of the same functions.
- Fiery Redhead: Liese, for sure. She's a bit tame most of the time, but don't get in the way of something she wants...especially if it's money.
- Frying Pan of Doom: The default weapon for Fitz.
- Glass Cannon: Gillian, whose HP is even lower than Annie's.
- Goggles Do Nothing: Beaux.
- Gold Digger: Annie's goal in life is to "marry up" and never work again.
- Good Morning, Crono: This is pretty much exactly how the game opens. The two minor subversions are that Annie is of course female rather than the typical guy who gets this trope, and she doesn't wake up at first, necessitating some mild violence from Pepe to get her to actually wake up.
- And that she's being woken up after being hauled across half a nation and an ocean by her grandfather's homunculi...during which she never woke up at all.
- He has to do this to her once or twice more during the course of the game. Annie is apparently capable of entering a voluntary comatose state at will.
- Guide Dang It: Good luck getting the best ending. Or any specialized ending, really.
- Handsome Lech: Kyle likes to think he's this. Annie is usually just annoyed by his antics, however.
- Hidden Depths: Gillian and Kilbert.
- High-Class Glass: Albrecht, the manager for the "high class" resorts, wears a monocle over his right eye.
- Hypocritical Humor: Literally the first words out of Pepe's mouth upon meeting Fitz are an insult about her height. This sets off an instant feud between them.
- Idiot "Hero": Kilbert. Obviously he isn't the actual "hero" of the story, but he's clearly meant to be a send-up of this type of character.
- Insufferable Genius: Julian is seen as this by Annie.
- Item Crafting: Naturally, the cornerstone of gameplay.
- Just Add Water: The "Pure Water" item is used as a beginning ingredient for many recipes.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: Inverted. Most of your allies visit Annie's workshop by breaking in while she's not around and often rummaging through her pantry for tea and snacks. No one is deterred at all by her anger about it. Kyle, Kilbert, and Beaux are the most brazen about it.
- Lazy Bum: Annie is this before she decides to "go for the gold", as it were; she still retains a lot of her slacker tendencies afterward.
- Lethal Chef: Gillian and her "herbal health drinks". They aren't lethal to her, but they're indigestible to anyone else. It's pretty much the only thing she's able to make with consistency.
- Apparently, they also smell so horrible to the point driving everyone out of the city library at one point. And later, she even makes health stew and health cake...
- Low Fantasy: A notable and welcome return to this after some of the craziness in Mana Khemia, and was the first time Americans got to see the franchise act this way. Although, as always, the game isn't gritty or cynical in the slightest, humanity still dominates the island and the wider world (in fact, other "sentient" beings generally try to keep out of human business; Pepe insinuates that even the fairies don't always like involving themselves in wider affairs, and he's only training Annie as a favor to Bentner), all the "magic" involved has some basis in science, and the most epic thing Annie can do is fight some large monsters who are in the way of the island's development. And, of course, you never actually leave the island.
- Luck-Based Mission:
- The 5th assignment requires you to go hunt for a Rare Random Drop (Skull Crystal) to proceed. You can easily waste far too much time hunting for this item to meet other goals necessary for the True Ending or waste the entire 6 months failing to get it. Best part? If you have an extra by the end of the game, it doesn't carry over to New Game+.
- Hans also gives you a mission that requires a different Rare Random Drop (Lizard Tail). You also need 6 of these items to complete the final jobs for the Market location.
- Maybe Ever After: Hans and Annie in the Golden Ending.
- Mini-Game: You can play these after you've opened up some buildings on the island.
- Multiple Endings
- Nerd Glasses: Daniel
- New Game+: Your items from previous runs will be carried over.
- Nice Hat: Annie's, though she's of the opinion that it's incredibly unfashionable.
- Non-Lethal K.O.: At least applies for regular battles. If everyone in your party are knocked out, you will immediately return to the workshop.
- No Sense of Direction: Beaux. He somehow crossed an ocean without understanding how he did so.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Pepe.
- Not-So-Innocent Whistle: Kilbert.
- Odango Hair: Fitz's hair buns.
- One-Man Army: Annie, in the Adventurer ending.
- Optional Party Member: Liese. She's not exactly hard to unlock, but at the same time, if you're distrustful it's possible to lose her hook. She's also only available starting from the game's second third onward.
- Overused Running Gag: Some (or probably most) players view Pepe's Berserk Button triggering by several characters throughout the game as this.
- Others might say this about at least one aspect of most major members of the cast.
- Polar Opposite Twins: Jasmine and Mueller. Jasmine loves to flaunt her femininity and sex appeal, while her sister Mueller...erm, doesn't.
- Public Domain Artifact: Fragarach (Kilbert's sword) is the sword of Manannan mac Lir in Irish mythology.
- Relationship Values: Prominently displayed on the status screens of party members. Getting these higher unlocks the full story-arc for each. The "best" endings require that several of these be maxed out.
- While the dialogue texts when Annie talks to other party members don't change, the voice clips used will eventually change. In the beginning, the party members will greet Annie with formal greetings (in Japanese, of course). As their relationship values increase, their greetings eventually become friendlier.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Arguably, the mascots of your resorts.
- The Rival: Julian.
- Running Gag: The traditional Atelier Series's barrel gag, which is lampshaded by a customer in your shop who comments about the barrels in your shop throughout the game. Beaux's lack of sense of direction -which causes him to get lost in town and nearly dies from starvation, often needs someone else to bring him to Annie's workshop- can qualify.
- Schizo Tech: This occasionally crops up, such as Hans being described as doing business on a phone - even though phones never show up on the walkabout maps, there's no sprite for him holding a phone, and there doesn't really seem to be electricity on Sera Island (or gunpowder weapons aside from grenade-like bombs, for that matter).
- Ship Tease: LOADS between Hans and Annie.
- Shout-Out: (Ending spoilers) The outfit Annie wears as a "lady adventurer" may be a shoutout to the Red Mage outfit from Final Fantasy, especially with the hat.
- Annie seems to take philosophy lessons from Yoh Asakura.
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Bentner.
- The Slacker:
- Gillian. Even though she's one of the Orde Knights, she's always finding excuses to skip her assignments.
- Annie too. She may be training hard towards her goal, but she definitely looks for chances to slack when available.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Mostly on the "idealistic" side.
- Throw the Book at Them: Annie's default weapon.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Gillian and her health juice, of course. Also, Melody the Librarian really likes squid jerky.
- Trailers Always Spoil: The back of the box and a few pages in the manual show Liese in the party. It doesn't highlight her name or anything so a total newbie won't know who the character is, but once you see her in-game you'll realize she's recruitable.
- Tsundere: Fitz is a Type A who adores Annie but who acts kind of bratty towards everyone else.
- Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Happens when a few people try to hit on, of all people, Hans, who immediately freaks out. Oddly enough, his fellows in the committee see him as a guy just fine.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Several characters, most notably Melody and Gillian.
- Zipperiffic: Check out Kyle's coat, and the mondo full-length zipper which keeps it closed.