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Video Game / Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey

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Firis with her older sister Lianne (European boxart)

Atelier Firis is the eighteenth game in the Atelier Series and the second game of the Mysterious sub-series. Firis Mistlud is a young girl who lives with her overprotective parents and doting sister Liane in the underground mining village of Ertona. Firis has never left her home village since birth and obsesses over seeing the world outside but her parents and the village elder forbid it. Firis instead earns her keep by aiding the miners using her unique power to sense priceless ores within ordinary rocks. Then one day a pair of alchemists, Sophie and Plachta, forcibly destroy the entrance gate to the village. Firis is eager to learn of the craft when Sophie demonstrates its power and shows her around her Bigger on the Inside atelier. Firis proves to have an innate talent for the alchemy and immediately latches onto it as a way to finally leave Ertona. After Firis proves her seriousness in learning alchemy to her family and the elder by using it to perform tasks to help the development of Ertona, they grant Firis her wish to journey outside... but under the condition that she has only one year to demonstrate her independence by taking the alchemy exam in Reisenberg and becoming a licensed alchemist. Firis promptly packs her bags and sets off on her mysterious journey with her sister in tow, eager to prove her capability so she can explore the outside world forever...

Atelier Firis was released in Japan for the Playstation 4 and PlayStation Vita in November 2016, before its global release on both platforms as well as Steam in March 2017. On April 22, 2021, the game was released as part of a Compilation Re-release of the Mysterious trilogy, which also brings the game to the Nintendo Switch for the first time.

Tropes in this game

  • Agony of the Feet:
    • During the exam portion, Edel decides to demonstrate the toughness of a particular puni... by kicking it.
    Edel: As you can see, this is a very tough puni... enough to make my foot hurt.
    Firis: (Wow... That sounded really painful...)
    • In the post-game, Firis decides to go journeying again and visits her parents to tell them, only for her father Lukas to incorrectly conclude that she's about to tell them she's getting married and try to forbid it because she's too young. After she explains what she's really about, both are fine with it, having honestly expected her to come to them with this a lot sooner. They say that they're fine with her doing whatever she wants...
    Lukas: That is, except for getting married... Owwww! Nicola! Don't step on my foot!
  • Bigger on the Inside: Sophie's portable atelier that she gives to Firis as a parting gift. She apparently made it by "bending space using alchemy." The quest to craft the atelier tent previously shown in a free DLC for Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book (though that DLC was inexplicably translated and released well after the English release of Atelier Firis.)
  • Bottle City: More like the Bottle Village of Ertona.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Ilmeria holds this opinion of Firis. It's mostly due to her seclusion.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: After Ilmeria decides to open an atelier of her own and sends a letter to her parents informing them of such, she receives a letter back stating that alchemy brings great power, so wielding it without purpose would be a foolish thing to do. However, by choosing her own path, she has become a respectable alchemist.
  • Die or Fly: Firis learns to hear materials when Sophie's dying of an infected injury and she needs to make medicine. She doesn't have access to the atelier, but she does hear a flower who wants to become medicine.
  • DLC: Adds more costumes and two new playable characters with their own corresponding events and endings.
  • Exposed to the Elements: In the snowy village of Flocke, Firis will complain about the cold, and a kindly old woman will offer to make her a warmer outfit after a sidequest. The Snow Bright suit you get from this does have a coat, mittens, and a wool hat... but it also has Zettai Ryouiki which leaves part of her thighs exposed. It still gives enough protection to slow down your stamina drain in snowy areas. And outside of the snowfield, Firis doesn't seem to have much of an issue wearing the lighter outfits in her wardrobe.
  • Expy:
    • Drossel is a gender flip expy of Fritz, except she uses an axe rather than two swords.
    • Firis shares a lot in common with Totori. Both want to explore the world, gain a license, and possess a relative that is initially against their leaving home. Both also have a protective Cool Big Sis and has their mentor accompanying them on their journey. Both also end up having to build their own boat to get past some kind of commotion at sea.
  • Extended Gameplay: The credits roll once Firis completes the licensing exam. But that's the beginning of her story, not the end. After working in Ertona for a while, she leaves on a second journey.
  • Face Palm: This is a fairly standard gesture for the elder Bernd whenever he's upset or troubled by something.
  • Fetch Quest: It's an Atelier game, so the whole game is basically one big fetch quest. Sidequests range from "bring me this item" to "go find my missing son."
  • Foreshadowing: In the Silent Labyrinth, there's an old mural depicting a flying ship. Not only do you get the option to build your own flying ship later in the game, but the remains of an earlier flying ship can be found on the floating island.
  • The Gift: Firis is able to detect where there are deposits of metal ore, similar to how Sophie eventually gained the ability to hear the wishes of materials or how Oskar can communicate with plants. She uses this skill to act as a sort of spotter for the Ertona's miners. She's also a much more naturally talented alchemist than Sophie, who was an Inept Mage before Plachta started teaching her. Firis can, in fact, defeat Sophie at the license exam.
  • Global Airship: Firis can build one, opening the entire world to air travel.
  • Great Big Library of Everything: The Institute is trying to become this - they offer rewards to encourage travelers to share what they know of the word from their adventures. Firis can earn some money and items by doing this.
  • Henpecked Husband: Bernd. So much so that he has to store a secret stash of money he's given.
  • I Lied: Aurelie, the village elder of Dona, is seemingly a frail old lady who, according to her, can't even walk. So it comes as a great surprised to Firis and Liane when she asks them to meet her at the Divine Tree, then gets up to head there.
    Aurelie: Oh, I lied. I'm not that decrepit yet. Hahahahaha!
  • Innocent Innuendo: When Firis stumbles on Sophie doing maintenance on Plachta's body, the dialogue is enough to make Firis think that they were having sex.
    Plachta: Nn...No, Sophie...not there...
    Sophie: Ah, sorry...I'll be more gentle...
    Plachta: Yes, please...
    Firis: H-huh?! W-what are you two doing?!
  • Insistent Terminology: At one point, when you make a Bomb, Revy appears and asks Firis if the names she uses for the items are one she comes up with on her own. She says that sometimes they are, but sometimes she just uses the old names. He suggests pepping them up a little - for example, the Bomb becoming the "Searing Orb of Crimson Flame." Firis immediately takes to the idea and the scene changes to Liane asking Firis for an Uni Bag and a Zettel, which Firis has now taken to calling the "Fury of the Earth" and the "Blessed Paper of God's Grace."
    Liane: Huh...? Fury of earth...? Blessed... What?
    Revy: Heh heh. Firis and I thought of new names for her items. Aren't they awe inspiring? Epic?
    Liane: Um, sorry. They're too hard to understand now. Could you change them back to their old names?
  • It's Up to You:
    • Typical of an Atelier heroine, Firis keeps meeting people who are too lazy, busy or incompetent to do things for themselves, and will ask Firis to do their work for them instead. Lampshaded by one of the other alchemists, who flatly states that for all their power, alchemists spend most of their time doing chores for other people.
    • Subverted in the quest to build the ship to go through the waterspout. Firis does a lot of it, but Ilmeria, Ren, and Sophie make the cauldron needed to make the furnace, and Kai actually builds the ship.
  • Jack of All Trades: What alchemists are explicitly said to be.
  • Lazy Artist: All of the returning characters barring Oskar and Sophie retain the same design and model.
  • Little Sister Heroine: It may simply be sisterly protectiveness, but Lia's infatuation with the "cuteness" of her little sister, Firis, can shade into this. She constantly gushes over how adorable Firis is, and much of the Encyclopedia text between the two sisters stresses her attachment (special mention to the Gunade Ring entry, where Lia mistakes the accessory for a wedding ring and accepts the proposal (although Firis is quick to protest). The later Not Blood Siblings reveal makes it difficult to imagine the the writers weren't at least acknowledging this trope.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Sophie and Plachta seem to have become this since the events of the previous game.
  • Magitek: More than most Atelier protagonists, including Sophie (herself no slouch in this department), Firis makes devices using alchemy that are far more advanced than anything either mundane mechanics or alchemists can make, such as a powered ship and later a flying ship. In the next game, humorously, Liane tells Lydie and Suelle tales of devices that Firis has made, and they think Liane is full of it.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: From Plachta, to Sophie, to Firis.
  • My Beloved Smother: Firis's mother is very opposed to letting her leave because the world is apparently full of monsters, despite her older daughter going out on hunting trips for several days at a time and still coming back unharmed. She relents after she sees Firis has learned enough alchemy to be able to protect herself. And when you learn about Liane's true origins, you understand why Firis' mother is so worried about her daughter's ability to survive outside.
  • Mythology Gag: Logy keeps a bust of Hagel in his workshop. In addition, busts of Hagel show up throughout the game as collectibles and obstacles. This appears to be Foreshadowing the appearance of this universe's Hagel in the following game.
  • Nerf: Certain game mechanics:
    • The alchemy leveling system. Unlike in most Atelier games, you don't gain the power to add traits simply by leveling up. Instead, you only earn the right to add traits on individual items by synthesizing them — forcing you to synthesize each item over and over again in order to get the best ones. Leveling up only gives you access to higher-level recipes. To compensate, creating certain items will level up related items (i.e creating a Yellow Neutralizer will add points to all other neutralizers).
    • The various forms of teleportation. In exchange for Firis' portable atelier (which negates the need to constantly return to a hub in order to rest and synthesize) and the open world design, items like the Divine Gate (usually accessible via recipe book) have vanished for most of the game. It's easy to fast-travel across individual zones, but this will still cost you the same time and LP as walking there. Backtracking to other areas is extremely clumsy and costs you a lot of precious time, so it's usually more efficient just to keep pressing forwards. You don't get an effective means of teleportation until much later in the game — and only if you do certain quests. Also unlike previous games, towns don't stop the clock - fast travelling around a town will still cause time to pass.
    • Recipe books. The game is very keen on having you get Firis thinking up recipes for herself by meeting certain targets, so the few recipe books you find will normally contain recipes you already know - they're really just there to provide a safety net if you miss key recipes.
  • No Sense of Direction: Drossel. When Firis is gathering materials in a dark forest Drossel repeatedly bumps into her trying to find a way out. It gets to the point where Firis escorts her out where she then joins the party. As a gag, when she's in your party, if entering a cave she may comment "It may be dark, but I know where we need to go. We need to go... this way."
  • Older Than They Look: Logy is 28, but looks like someone in their late teens to early twenties. Justified somewhat since his design wasn't updated.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: The village elder will only let Firis leave after she proves the usefulness of alchemy.
  • The Outside World: Firis has been living in an underground village all her life and yearns to leave and see the world. However, everyone in her village regards the outside world with vague horror. Only the chosen few, like Liane, are permitted to go outside — and only Firis seems to have any inclination to question this system. She gets her wish but with some conditions. She must pass the license exam within a year and her sister Lianne must go with her. Strangely enough, the reason for this seclusion is rather pragmatic: to preserve the town's Ertonite, which they fear outsiders would over-mine. Trapping their village's population inside is apparently just a side effect (or an attempt to keep the younger generation from leaving).
  • Palette Swap: Sophie's design is almost exactly the same, but with different colors and a few minor changes to her dress. She also wears makeup to show she's an adult.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: A version of Escha from Atelier Escha & Logy appears in this game, though here she is a very young girl while this version of Logy is almost 30. They do form a close mentoring relationship and following all of Escha's side quests eventually shows her learning how to use alchemy. Like Logy, she is voiced by the same voice actor as the Dusk series version of the character in both the Japanese and English language versions of the game.
  • Running Gag: B-Barrel?... Barrel! You can even decorate the atelier with some.
  • Secret Test of Character:
    • In Dona village. The town elder looks as if she's bullying you into doing her own work, but it's really a test to see if Firis has the temperament to be an alchemist before she hands over her letter of recommendation. Afterwards, she explains that alchemists are jacks-of-all-trades who get asked for all kinds of favors, and much of the work boils down to doing a bunch of chores.
    • And in Grau-Tal, Norbert tests whether you'll accept a "letter of recommendation" without working for it (or even reading it), then sets you to making a simple Bomb and (ostensibly) fighting a single Puni, to test whether you'll prepare properly for even the "easiest" tasks.
  • Ship Tease: Between Firis and Heinz. Completing his quest line includes a proposal of marriage and his ending seems to assume they're romantically paired. Like most of the character endings, however, this is non-canon and Firis is single in the next game with no mention of Heinz.
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: 4 or 5 during the game, 6 during the postgame. does have a time limit that makes you follow the main story, but it's a fairly generous one (a year) that gives you plenty of time to explore the world and you can go anywhere you can survive (with a couple of exceptions that require certain items) from the start. After the main quest, Firis' second journey is about Walking the Earth and deciding what she wants to do with her life, and with whom. Explore the world and do side quests at your leisure.
  • So What Do We Do Now?: This is what prompts the Playable Epilogue. After becoming a licensed alchemist, Firis could just stay in Ertona and run her atelier, but she misses the outside world and eventually goes on another mysterious journey. The ending to that journey is about what she wants to do with her life long-term.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: Sometimes when using the rest option in the Atelier, Firis will mutter stuff in her sleep such as that she wants to go outside, or saying to her parents that she did well.
  • Threesome Subtext: In the scene where Sophie is doing maintenance on Plachta, Firis asks Sophie to learn how to do it. Plachta nervously says that it's a little embarrassing, but she doesn't mind if it's Firis.
  • Timed Mission: After leaving Ertona you literally have 365 in-game days to get the three letters and take the exam. That's plenty of time to do side-quests, get five letters of recommendation instead of the required three, and synthesize a lot of items as well. After that, you have unlimited time and the massive post-game opens up.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: Much more open than previous games. You can now gather anywhere at anytime including inside town and villages and fast travel between campfires and landmarks in a given region however you still need to cross borders between regions on foot. Later you can build a flying ship which allows you to fast travel anywhere in the world.

Alternative Title(s): Atelier Firis The Alchemist Of The Mysterious Journey, Atelier Firis