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Video Game / Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny

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Being a hero makes you go gray early

Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny is the second in the Atelier Iris series of Role Playing video games which itself is a subseries of the Atelier Series alchemy-based RPGs. (Note: "Azoth" is an old alchemical term for mercury, once believed to be a wondrous substance.)

Despite being a sequel, the game actually takes place several centuries before the first Atelier Iris. It stars a pair of teenage alchemists, Felt and Viese, who, having grown up together, have the old Anime problem of denying their obvious feelings for each other.

When their homeland, Eden (where humans and Mana, the spirits of the Alchemical elements, coexist peacefully) literally starts to vanish, Felt finds himself chosen by the titular Azoth to go to another world to investigate the cause. While separated, the two friends keep in contact thanks to a magical device that allows them to share items (and letters.) Felt discovers that on the other world, Belkhyde, alchemy is a near-forgotten art (and is considered an art used for evil), and an Evil Empire rules. Viese helps mostly by making alchemical items for Felt, though she does have her own adventures on Eden concurrent with Felt's, including investigating a mysterious little girl...

The playable characters include:

  • Felt, who, besides wielding the Azoth, learns how to upgrade weapons on Belkhyde;
  • Viese, who adventures alone for most of the game on Eden (pronounced vee-say);
  • Noin, a sexy warrior girl who saves Felt and gets him involved in the rebellion against the Empire;
  • Gray, a humanoid dragon;
  • Fee, a female warrior sent to destroy the Azoth by a religious order.
  • Poe, a fairy who looks like a little boy but is actually an incorrigible womanizer (and fights with a gun!)

This game provides examples of:

  • Accidental Marriage: Poe ends up marrying a Cat Girl when she overhears him reciting his love letter for Viese and believes it to be directed at her.
  • Actionized Sequel: The new battle-system is more dynamic and fast-paced, the plot is focused in defeating an evil empire and salving Eden, rather than learning alchemy and exploring a lost city, dungeons are bigger and you no longer use tools to solve puzzles or reach hidden items.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: This is actually a core mechanic of the game and one of its selling points: you can flip between Felt in Belkhyde and Viese in Eden as you wish and progress the two stories as you see fit. The story is still linear to an extent, with episodes usually favoring one side over the other. And the tales eventually merge, to boot.
  • Artificial Human: Yuveria is really just a machine/computer program.
  • Bag of Sharing: The Share Rings, which let Felt and Viese share items (including stuff Viese makes with all the things Felt finds in the lower world) despite their great distance from one another.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: The Sound Manas, which appear as rather well-endowed young women with pointed ears and skin coloration that looks like a risque blue swimsuit, gloves, and long socks... but no nipples (and legs always conveniently crossed to cover anything else). It's not too obvious until you talk to one as part of the plot and get a full-body portrait of her.
  • Become Your Weapon: Palaxius pulls this trope when he merges with the Azoth for the final boss fight.
  • Breath Weapon: Gray can use his draconic powers to breathe fire on a wide area of enemies. With weapon synthesis, he can master the ability to breathe ice or thunder.
  • Broken Pedestal: In a conversation with the Azure Azoth, he reveals that Palaxius, one of the greatest alchemists of all time, was once a kind man and the mentor of Elusmus (the original person behind the Azure Azoth), the creator of the Azure Azoth. But Palaxius went mad once the prospect of controlling all creation and destruction came to him, resulting in the Great Alchemy War.
  • Combat Medic: Noin is a capable brawler and also gets several group healing skills, reserving healing items for when you need the Skill Gauge for attacks or when Noin's not around (in contrast to the previous game, where items made up almost all your healing power).
  • Combos: Using a Break Attack on an enemy knocks them back in the initiative count, and if it puts them in the "break" part of the Visual Initiative Queue, you get bonus damage and build up a chain for further break attacks keeping them there. The chain ends if the enemy gets out of the break part of the initiative, and so fast enemies are hard to keep broken. Dealing more damage grants bonus experience and landing more hits grants bonus skill points.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The workshops, called the Paradies auf Eden, which are the engines in the real world by which the artificial world of Eden is maintained.
  • Crapsack World: The world below Eden is initially portrayed as this, in contrast to Eden's Utopia. (The truth is, naturally, a little more complicated.) This version of Regallzine is still quite easily the grimmest setting the franchise has ever explored, though.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to Eternal Mana, where the main antagonist only appears briefly before the final confrontation and the Alkavana Knights were more of a Gold Fish Poop Gang than a threat, the war against the Evil Empire and Eden's crisis on Eden is taken much more serious.
  • Doomed by Canon: Being that 2 is a prequel to 1, and that Iris and the people that protected her were killed...
  • Duel Boss:
    • Felt encounters a mysterious girl on his way out of Riesevelt with the order to destroy the Azoth.
    • The third and final fight against Chaos involves Felt going after him by himself after declaring his wishes to not interfere the lives of his allies in doing so.
  • Duel to the Death: The final encounter with Chaos is fought with Felt alone. The two fight in front of the Gardo Continental Drive containing Eden, Chaos using his Crimson Azoth against Felt's Azure Azoth. It also counts as a prelude to the true final fight for Elusmus, the soul imprisoned in the Azure Azoth, against Palaxius, his former master imprisoned in the Crimson Azoth. Though Felt bests and critically injures Chaos, Chaos still has the last laugh by using Exanosis on Felt, turning him to stone.
  • Dump Stat: Magic, for any character but Viese and arguably Poe. It generally increases the power of elemental or healing skills (which tend to scale poorly for their skill cost) or the potency of Status Effects (themselves Useless Useful Spells because of how unreliable they are), both of which are done better with consumable items. And for some reason, most attacks and skills, even when they're stated to do Magic damage, scale with the user's Attack stat.
  • Elemental Tiers: Compared to the original game, there are much fewer elemental items, with Ice being fairly weak and Lightning and Dark appearing very late in the game. Notably, there are a lot of Fire-based items, and most of the strongest elemental items (the Tera Flame and Flute of Cerberus) are Fire-based. The strongest item, however, deals all four types of elemental damage at once.
  • Empty Levels: As this is still an Atelier game, stat boosts from leveling up are relatively minor, and while the gains eventually add up, the most significant improvements come from mastering passive skills and upgrading equipment.
  • Encounter Bait: The Aroma Pot completely refills the Encounter Gauge of an area. In addition, the party immediately fights a random enemy encounter.
  • Encounter Repellant: One of the earliest available Mana Items, the Fear Bottle, completely drains the Encounter Gauge of an area, regardless of how many encounters can happen. With a few exceptions (notably The Very Definitely Final Dungeon), all areas are susceptible to this item.
  • Everyone Can See It: Pretty much everyone assumes Viese and Felt are already an item, and refuses to believe any protests to the contrary.
  • Evil Counterpart: Chaos, to Felt. Both are alchemists who, in a turn of events, are forced to call upon the forbidden power of the Azoth to resolve a major conflict. Felt himself recollects the past events after blessing Chaos' dead sister with an Elixir and notes how similar his and Chaos' motivations were.
    Felt: (to Viese) While I was here, Chaos and I fought many times over Eden. [...] He was just as driven as me. He was fighting for someone he loved more than himself, and in the end, he was just a pawn of the Crimson Azoth, Palaxius.
  • Experience Booster: The one who deals the final blow in a fight gains a +10% experience bonus.
  • Expy: Yach and Hagel are reproduced, sprite and all, from the first game. This time, Yach is a merchant in Eden rather than a precocious child who wants to study alchemy, while Hagel is a blacksmith hiding out in a mountain instead of a weapon shop merchant. Then there is Tolena who look lot a like Pamela.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The desert people in Tatalia look a lot like Native Americans.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Very oddly used here. Poe, obviously, avoids this completely... but at the same time he has a "magic" gun which isn't a standard weapon at all. The Imperials don't seem to use personal firearms at all, and even cannons don't show up that much, despite the culture of Regallzine being fairly advanced otherwise. Granted, this might have to do with people's perceptions of alchemy before Felt arrives on the scene, but still.
  • Floating Continent: Eden appears to be a large island floating in empty sky with nothing beneath. This is because it's in a pocket universe created by the Gardo Continental Drive. In reality, Eden is an artificial continent situated within Lake Midgard.
  • Forced Transformation: The Item Wish transforms enemies into special harvested items with potent equipment reviews. It is more likely to work when the enemies have been sufficiently weakened.
  • Fragile Speedster: Fee has fantastic speed and decent damage, but low max LIFE and Defense. Noin was in the running, especially when there was only Felt and Gray to compare her to, before Fee showed up and stole the title.
  • Global Currency: Cole is the currency in both Eden and Belkhyde, even after 400 years of their separation.
  • Good Republic, Evil Empire: The group Simsilt seeks to restore the prosperity of the Slaith Dynasty, amidst the corruption of the Silvaresta Empire, primarily that of the Imperial Consul.
  • Healing Checkpoint: Camps, marked by glowing purple circles. Once you set camp, the party is fully healed and you can chat with other party members, craft items, save, and switch between Felt and Viese.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Noin blatantly flirts her way past a border checkpoint.
  • Interface Spoiler: The very fact that Viese has stats (level, LIFE values, etc.) should make it clear that she will end up joining the party somewhere down the line.
  • Item Amplifier: Similar to Klein from the last game, your last party member Viese has both Wide Item to increase the item's range, and Power Item to make those items stronger. Unlike Klein, though, she has item-unrelated healing skills as well.
  • Item Crafting: Three main types:
    • Item Synthesis in Viese's workshop, where you combine harvested materials or other items to create new ones. The materials themselves have various properties such as improved damage or increasing various stats, which they confer to the newly crafted item (and the rest of the stack retroactively). In the case of Mana Items, Viese can initialize them so they can be crafted using Mana Synthesis.
    • Mana Synthesis, which uses elements extracted from enemies or bits of scenery to reproduce Mana Items. Both Felt and Viese can perform this, and they can also do this in battle to use items which are out of stock.
    • Weapon Synthesis, which combines a weapon with a specific item to change the weapon's properties. In addition to modifying its stats, it is the main source of new skills. Only Felt can do it, at an anvil in camping spots.
  • The Klutz: Coco the Wind Mana, who helps out in a shop in Eden. She regularly trips and drops everything, despite flying - because she often loses control of the tiny whirlwind that every Wind Mana uses to fly.
  • La Résistance: Simsilt, the revolutionary group headed by the last member of the royal family overthrown by The Empire.
  • Lazy Backup: You can only have three party members at a time; however, standby party members will immediately jump in to replace downed party members.
  • Leaked Experience: All party members receive the same share of experience and skill points, regardless of whether they were in the active party or not.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Noin is Galahad's daughter and Fee turns out to be Max's long lost sister. Noin already knew, though, and she just acts annoyed when it comes up.
  • Magic Is Evil: Alchemy is described as one of The Dark Arts due to the shaded past it has, to the point where Noin states using it dooms you.
  • Magikarp Power: Poe. He is very weak stats-wise when he first joins, and to make thing worse, he gains stat points erratically (most of his level-ups don't actually change his stats at all). Later on, however, he gains increasingly impressive growths to all his stats and becomes one of your party's best damage dealers.
  • Magitek: Quite a lot of it hidden in the background of the world, though almost nobody knows about it anymore or how to maintain it.
  • Nominal Importance: Noin manages to lampshade this trope a couple times, such as when she insults an Imperial soldier by calling him a "random encounter."
  • Non-Standard Skill Learning:
    • Gray learns the "Dragon Slayer" passive skill by completing the Dragon Test in the Dragon's Den as part of the main plot.
    • Fee learns the secret technique "Ein Zecksclaw" after performing a special ritual involving defeating the Slaith Reincarnation.
  • Now, Where Was I Going Again?: The save screen shows an icon of Felt or Viese to indicate which one the main plot is currently following, and you can get hints about where to go next from party members in the camp.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: Speed. A character with high Speed gets to move more often, and in turn can charge the Skill Gauge faster and deal more damage compared to a character with low Speed. The two fastest characters Noin and Fee combine this with the "Quick" skill, which adds a chance to cut the wait time after using an attack or skill by half, making them extremely fast and dangerous.
  • Panacea: The Cure Jar can cure Poison, Paralysis and Sleep (but not Curse). Later on, you can craft the Uroborus Pill, which cures all status effects, including stat-lowering debuffs.
  • Random Encounters: Random encounters exist in this game, and there is an Encounter Gauge which indicates how close you are to meeting a random encounter, as well as how many encounters remain within. Once the Gauge empties, there will be no more random encounters until you leave the area entirely or set camp. Each section in the area has a separate meter.
  • Rare Candy: Certain Mana Items called "Cores" raise one stat permanently (for example, the Uru Core raises fire resistance). There is one core for each stat except Defense and Speed, but these require either rare Mana crystals (which cannot be bought until later in the game and are expensive nonetheless) or Life elements (which can only be extracted from nonrenewable clusters and very specific enemies).
  • Revealing Skill: Ein Zecksclaw. The royals are apparently born knowing how to do it, as Fee can do it on reflex when under stress, which is later used as proof that she's Max's little sister Audrey, who was lost when the Empire conquered Slaith back when she was in diapers.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: You'll be stealing from a lot of barrels, and extracting elements from a lot of other things across the game.
  • Royalty Super Power: Ein Zecksclaw, a skill known only by members of the Slaith royal family.
  • Running Gag:
    • Played for Laughs with Felt and Max, where Max consistently says Felt's name wrong.
    • In some areas, there is a recurring lady complaining about her maid's poor service, prompting an awkward apology.
      Lady: I ordered tea! Not this mysterious black liquid!
      Maid: I'm terribly sorry, ma'am.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The powers of Mana and alchemy were sealed off in the floating continent of Eden to prevent alchemy from ever being used for war in the wider world of Belkhyde. In addition, Lilith, the Creation Mana, was doubly sealed within the Temple of Creation.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spell My Name With An S: When she was debuted in Japan Viese's name caused a lot of linguistic contortion in trying to spell her name in English; Japanese lacks both a true V sound and a construct used like the English "ie", so what most people ended up with was some variation of "Wisey". This still occasionally trips people up when they encounter early promotional material.
  • Stealth Pun: Eden is an artificial world maintained by an alchemic machine called the Gardo Continental Drive. In other words, the Gardo of Eden.
  • Storming the Castle: Chapter 19 involves storming the Riese Palace.
  • Stripperiffic: Viese is one of the Atelier Series heroines who very much avoids this trap; if anything she's the franchise's most conservatively-dressed heroine, almost to the point of absurdity for her native climate (two or more layers of clothing for a paradise island that's apparently warm-temperate year-round?) Noin on the other hand...
  • Sword Beam: Some of Felt's skills send a blast of energy from the Azoth to strike multiple enemies.
  • Take Your Time: Handwaved in the case of Fee's poisoning. The healer in Max's camp can keep her stable indefinitely, they just can't fully cure her.
  • Talking Weapon: The Azure Azoth and its evil counterpart, the Crimson Azoth, have been imbued with the intellect of their original creators, Elusmus and Palaxius, respectively.
  • Tech Points: Some items have "Secret Factors," or skills you can use while equipped. You learn the skills permanently once you earn enough skill points from battle. Different characters may have different skill point costs to learn the same skill (such as the Damask Ring's "Defense Up" passive boost, which takes 350 SP for Felt but 550 for Noin). Generally, weapons teach you new active skills while alchemy items teach new passives.
  • Thirsty Desert: Tatalia Desert, where Felt lands upon arriving from Eden and nearly dies.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Felt. Thou Shalt Not Let Die, too, evidently. He goes out of his way to help a poisoned Fee, even though she tried to kill him earlier. Only applies in cutscenes, though.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: The village of Alha is a village meant to pass on the knowledge of Belkhyde Alchemy. Chaos was born there.
  • Trick Bullet: Poe can shoot special bullets to deal damage and inflict either Poison, Sleep, or Paralysis on the target.
  • Turned to Stone: Chaos likes doing this. Palaxius does it to all of Eden upon awakening.
  • Underrated and Overleveled:
    • Downplayed with Poe, a fairy from Eden with a magic gun, but no monsters to fight. While he does join the party at level 15, which is to be expected at this point in the game, his actual stats are notably poor compared to the others.
    • Viese averts this, though for the same reasons as Poe. As when she is suddenly thrust into combat at the third to last episode with no previous training, she is understandably revealed to still be level ONE.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable:
    • The Flay Hammer is an optional Mana Item used to break rocks and harvest ore, and it is possible out of insanity to miss the recipe for crafting it. It becomes impossible to obtain this recipe when Viese leaves for Belkhyde and later on, she has to use Flay Hammers to harvest a special ore, which she cannot do unless she has the recipe and can craft it.
    • The Damask Ring is a required ingredient in crafting the Flay Hammer, and its recipe is just as missable, if not more so: it is purchased from Melona's shop in Eden, which Viese cannot do should she leave for Belkhyde.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Chaos, who is actually being manipulated by his Azoth, Palaxius, with his hope of resurrecting his sister.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Most items and skills which inflict or grant Status Effects are usually inferior to ones which inflict damage or recover LIFE, mainly due to a low success rate or expensive cost.
  • Utopia: Eden approximates this, if you couldn't tell from the name.
  • Visual Initiative Queue: The turn meter is displayed in the top left of the screen.
  • Warp Whistle: The Return Gem, a mana item that teleports you to the beginning of a dungeon.
  • Weapon-Based Characterization: Characters stick with one weapon throughout the game, though Felt learns how to upgrade them.
    • Felt has his Cool Sword, the Azure Azoth and Chaos has the Crimson Azoth, the Azure's evil counterpart.
    • Noin has her Power Fist, the Eizen Knuckle gauntlet.
    • Gray prefers Dual Wielding his Dragon Killer blade.
    • Fee also goes for Dual Wielding her one-handed Assassin Scythes or sickles.
    • Poe uses a gun that can change into several sizes ranging from his Hand Cannon into and actual Cannon.

Alternative Title(s): Atelier Iris 2