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Video Game / Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk

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Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk is the first entry in the Dusk Trilogy of Atelier games on the PlayStation 3, released in June 2012 in Japan and American/European territories in March 2013. An Updated Re-release, Atelier Ayesha Plus for Play Station Vita, adds new costumes, Bonus Bosses, and other features. Atelier Ayesha DX, a second rerelease, has been announced for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Steam. Though it shares many similarities with the Arland Trilogy, Atelier Ayesha starts a brand new storyline with a new set of characters. Like most Atelier games, it can be described as one-part JRPG, one-part Time Management Game and three-parts Item Crafting with a dollop of Moe for flavour.

The world has entered a period known as the Age of Dusk, named for the slow decline of the earth's vitality. On the edge of this world lives a young apothecary called Ayesha Altugle, who lives a lonely life selling herbal medicine with only her pet cow for company.

One day, when Ayesha goes to visit the grave of her missing sister Nio, she suddenly encounters a ghostly vision of her departed sibling. A passing alchemist seems to hold the answers to the phenomenon, but tells Ayesha to Figure It Out Herself. With only a single clue (a mysterious glowing flower) and an ominous time limit of two years, Ayesha must learn all there is to know about alchemy to figure out the secret behind her sister's vanishing, and possibly a way to save her too.

A direct sequel taking place four years after Atelier Ayesha, Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky, was released in Japan in June 2013, and in North America and Europe in March 2014. Another sequel, Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea, was released in Japan in July 2014, and in North America and Europe in March 2015.

Tropes that appear in Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk:

  • Absurdly Low Level Cap: It's not that hard to hit the game's caps, which is 50 for normal levels (about 20K EXP), 100 for friendship, and 50 for alchemy.
  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: The world is filled with ruins from a highly-advanced past. The world of Ayesha is actually set centuries After the End, and the ruins are from a time when alchemy was at its height. Both Yggdrasil and the Zweiteturm were created as "arks" to preserve the old world in the face of whatever disaster destroyed it.
  • Aerith and Bob: One the one hand, we have the likes of Ayesha, Regina, Ernie, Kyle and Marion. On the other, we have Nio, Linca, Juris and Wilbell.
  • Alchemy Is Magic: Magic and alchemy are derived from the same natural talent. The difference is that witch magic comes from extracting effects directly from catalyst, but Alchemy extracts elements from catalysts and breaks down part of the materials for resynthesis. Even so, when you consider the fact you can make things like bombs, magic mirrors, and bread in a cauldron, it's close enough to magic to count.
  • Anti-Climax: If you fail to rescue Nio within the time limit. Instead of a tragic scene of loss and separation, Keithgriff just turns up with Nio and says "Here's your sister. I rescued her in passing."
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: The game retains the anti-frustration features of Meruru and also greatly simplifies the Multiple Endings process by allowing you to choose your ending by answering a question or questions, rather than having to make a whole of savefiles. Additionally, getting broken items in synthesis is a thing of the past. If you know the recipe, meet the alchemy level requirement and have the needed ingredients then you can synthesize the item, otherwise you can't. (No more percentage chance to successfully synthesize the item.)
  • Anti-Hero: Keithgriff runs right up the scale on this one. He's a chain-smoking Jerk with a Heart of Gold Badass Bookworm, wears a moustache (commented on by several other characters, mostly to either decry their own inability to grow a moustache, or compare it in awe to far-less badass specimens) and a Badass Longcoat (in black, of course), fights with a combination of alchemical tools and punching, and once destroyed an entire industry because it didn't live up to his high standards. And his ultimate Finishing Move involves him setting off an epic explosion with a thrown cigarette and then walking away from it in slow-motion.
  • Artificial Human: Odelia is a human-shaped homunculus. Linca is also implied to be some kind of Artificial Human, mass-produced by a criminal organisation.
  • Ash Face: Non-explosive example. Ayesha apparently gets her face covered in soot in an early scene, but it was just from the smoke pouring off her cauldron, not an actual blast.
  • BFS: Linca uses one.
  • Bonus Boss: Several "Alt." monsters appear in the final year of the game, which count as the hardest fights available to you. Special mention is given to the Grand Dragon, a "secret" boss which is by far the greatest challenge in the game. It can be found by going to fight the Compact Dragon, weakening it and then waiting a few turns. It will use Time Travel to age itself to its elder form.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": The Cows. They're all over the place - starting with your faithful Pana, who'll be carrying your alchemical gear all over the gameworld without complaining - and they're SORTA like the cattle we know. Only crossed with a pig, a bison, and possibly a mouse. But they're still just called cows. Oh, and they say "oink moo."
  • Cash Gate: If you want to visit Steinfeder, then you have to buy your own balloon, which costs 20,000 Cole. The game marks this as "important for progressing through the story," but it can be safely left until the Playable Epilogue.
  • Chirping Crickets: A bouncy, goofy theme with the sound of a kitten mewing and a "cuckoo, cuckoo" plays in situations that call for this.
  • Cute Bruiser: Regina, oh yes... she's a cute, short redhead Ladette, working in the extremely male-centric business of Prospecting (basically mining crossed with a dash of Adventurer Archaeologist, due to all the ancient ruins they're digging into) - and apparently beating every last of her hulking, muscular colleagues at it. She'll happily take on any man in a drinking contest or a contest of strength, despite looking like a svelte teenage girl . Either way, when she swings her trusty pickaxe, you'd best get out of the way.
  • Darker and Edgier: Well, bleaker and more melancholy anyway, compared to its Arland series predecessor. While Arland is a colourful, vibrant world during its boom time, the Land of Dusk (which seems to lack even a proper name) is a washed out, tired world on its last legs, with most areas starved of resources, plant life and water. Unlike Arland, where Alchemists were life-bringing forces of good, the alchemists in this world were at least instrumental in bringing about the Dusk, by consuming much more than they put back. That said, this is still an Atelier game, so it's not a post-apocalyptic nightmare: The people are mostly nice and content and rarely act like they're in a dying world.
  • Disappointed in You: If you fail to complete the game's main goal by the end of the third year, then Keith arrives with Nio in tow and tells Ayesha to consider what it is that she lacks that she wasn't able to save Nio on her own.
  • Downloadable Content: Adds Marion and Odelia as playable characters.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: Downplayed example, but completing the requirements for every ending unlocks a special ending where Ayesha's status as The Ace from all her achievements has resulted in her being basically worshipped as a goddess, with massive crowds forming to praise her everywhere she goes. It's played for laughs and Ayesha doesn't seem particularly happy with these circumstances.
  • Easter Egg: The famous Atelier series "barrel" gag is present... however, in order to obtain it you must first have rescued Nio and then you can examine the barrels surrounding Ayesha's workshop to get the gag.
  • Evil Twin: Linca has one... and it's implied she has seven in total.
  • Fetch Quest: Many of sidequests involve giving doing these NPCs in exchange for money and/or goods.
  • Finishing Move: "Special" moves, which are unlocked at Lv.30. If it deals the killing blow, there is an extended animation and a Theme Song Power Up.
  • Forced Transformation: Wilbell says she would do this to Ayesha if she told anyone that Wilbell was a "real witch".
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: With Marion as a playable character thanks to DLC, it's entirely possible to take her to the ruin she keeps trying to investigate, only to be turned away time and again. You can also form a party with her or Linca and Keithgriff, despite their mission to capture him, with no one raising an issue. It's also entirely possible to pass Keithgriff's test by giving him a store-bought alchemy item instead of synthesizing one yourself.
  • Ghost Town: Hallos village.
  • Gold Fever: Regina explains this is the basis of prospecting.
  • Grave-Marking Scene: Near the introduction of the game, you have Ayesha visiting the place where her sister vanished for the third year in a row. The appearance of her "ghost" serves as the reason for the game's plot.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Keithgriff, at Hallos Village. It is possible to defeat him, but you're not supposed to, and aside from a brief bonus scene you gain nothing for it.
  • Hot Springs Episode: There is a hot spring in the Salt Desert, and after sharing it with Tanya, Ayesha gets an idea about how Tanya can sell more salt. The scene is a still picture with dialogue.
  • Intertwined Fingers: Ayesha and Nio do this in one of the CG scenes.
  • In the Back: Back attacks do critical damage.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Wilbell (a broom), Keithgriff (a ring) and Nio (cooking implements).... and a cow.
  • It's Up to You: Subverted. If Ayesha can't rescue Nio, Keithgriff will do it by complete accident.
  • I Want Grandkids: One of the reasons why Regina's parents pressure her to give up her job as a prospector and settle down.
  • Jerkass: Keithgriff. Good luck trying to find any dialogue of his that isn't belittling Ayesha, or otherwise dangling his knowledge of how to save her sister above her head to test her alchemist abilities instead of, you know, helping.
  • Literal-Minded: Linca, when she's told to "make 100 friends" tries to do just that.
  • Marilyn Maneuver: Happens to Ayesha offscreen in an optional cutscene with Tanya, who comments afterwards how cute her clothing underneath is.
  • Mass Monster-Slaughter Sidequest: Almost every non-town area has one of these in order to gain Memory Points.
  • Meteor-Summoning Attack: Meteor Storm is Wilbell's Limit Break. It calls down multiple meteors from a portal, and if the attack is used as a Finishing Move (dealing enough damage to kill the last remaining enemy), it ends with one much bigger meteor crushing the foe.
  • New Game Plus: Which allows the player the keep equipped items, money, and Ayesha's synthesis skills.
  • One-Hit Kill: Ayesha's Staff Strike eventually kills weak enemies in one hit, allowing you to move directly to gathering the loot.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Several time-specific events, though the game is usually pretty upfront about exactly when they will happen. This includes the Treasure Trove Contests: fail to win all six and you lock out the Golden Ending. You can also miss out on Keithgriff's ending if you do not complete the "History of Alchemy" sidequests before you rescue Nio.
  • Powerful Pick: Regina's weapon of choice - she's a prospector by profession, and apparently easily made the leap to using her main tool in a fight, too.
  • Playable Epilogue: You have two in-game years to complete the game. Beat the Final Boss before then, and you can continue to play right up until your original deadline. You can use this time to complete any sidequests, work on the pre-requisites for the various endings, battle Bonus Bosses and trigger Nio's character events.
  • Right Behind Me: At one point, Nanaca mimics her brother Juris's harsh tone, only for him to approach right behind her.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Marion and Linca are under specific orders to try to arrest Keithgriff, but when it comes time for Ayesha to go rescue Nio, they decide to ignore those orders to help Ayesha.
  • Secret Test of Character: Keithgriff presents one to Ayesha when he visits her workshop and asks her to craft a Magic Tool for his inspection. The tool itself was irrelevant; instead, Keithgriff's probing questions into Ayesha's methodology and inspection of her workspace prove to him that she has natural alchemical talent, which is what he was testing in the first place.
  • Sequel Hook: Frankly, they're all over the place, never even minding the fact that we know Escha & Logy exists. Let's review:
    • Wait, Yggdrasil might not be the only guardian left behind?
    • SEVEN LINCAS?! And we don't even deal with them all!
    • Marion and Linca's home, which is extraordinarily far away from the Vierzeberg area. Just getting there sounds like an adventure.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: Played for laughs, but after promising and emotional buildups, Marion and Harry's endings both result in her stranded and miserable in some remote location, with Harry's taking it one step further by suddenly ending on him triggering a booby trap.
    • Wilbell's quest to become a witch. This one will be followed up in Escha & Logy.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: If you start gathering materials, enemies will stop what they're doing, even if they were pursuing you. They might even not see you for a second after gathering.
  • Unflinching Walk: Performed by Keithgriff during his ultimate Special Skill (if it kills the target) - possibly THE single-most badass super-move seen this side of a Super Robot Wars game. It's worth burning a few healing-items during the Hopeless Boss Fight against him just to force him to use this...
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Yggdrasil, who was merely following the orders it had been given centuries ago.

Alternative Title(s): Atelier Ayesha