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Video Game / Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm

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Starting upwards clockwise: Ash, Yula, Edge, Iris, Alvero, Nell.

Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm is the third in the series of the "Iris" video role playing games, itself a subseries of the Atelier Series, produced by the GUST company in 2006. The game may or may not be a direct sequel to the previous games, all of whom feature a female alchemist named Iris in an important role. However, Grand Phantasm is the first that actually has Iris as a playable character.

The story takes place around a city called Zey Meruze, that resembles Venice in that it is crisscrossed by water channels (with Fairies offering a gondolier service.) However, Meruze also has portals to other dimensions, called "Alterworlds" where, for some reason, humans can't stay for more than a short time (they eventually are magically transported out.) Iris (who in this game is still an amateur alchemist) and her friends Edge and Nell work as "raiders" for the Raiders Guild, an organization that performs tasks for people for a price. Usually these involve missions into the Alterworlds, but can also be as mundane as finding missing pets.

The game basically follows Iris's team as they rise through the Guild's ranks. The real story however, involves a sealed book that Iris owns: and which contains an enormous power that can only be released by finding eight "gem-like fragments", so she looks for them. And you can probably guess that it isn't going to be quite that simple...

Tropes featured in this game:

  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: Distorted Dimension, the last dungeon, is a combination of Zey Meruze and the five other Alterworlds.
  • Another Dimension: The Alterworlds are separated realms populated by other sentient species and monsters, where humans can only stay for a limited period before being ejected back to their homeworld.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The opening song Schwarzweiss uses this along with Gratuitous German and Word Salad Lyrics. The German chanting in the beginning and end of the song is just a mash up of German and German sounding words with no grammar connecting any of it.
  • Beast Man: Some of the tribes are based on animals, like bears and penguins.
  • BFS: Edge, Alvero and Meyna wields big swords.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Edge does this in "Your Love" quest, regarding whether they should ask Anna if she is romantically involved with Phenyl or not.
    Edge: I guess it's possible. What's this game rated?
  • The Cavalry: In the final dungeon, Yula, Ash, Pamela and the other Zey Meruze inhabitants come to help the heroes when they got overwhelmed by enemies.
  • City of Canals: Zey Meruze, the main city, is full of water canals.
  • Class and Level System: Edge and Nell can switch between several character classes at will.
  • Cool, Clear Water:
    • The canal waters of Meruze are good enough to cook with!
    • In a Subversion, Dakasus's crystal-sparkling Melty Spring Water is a powerful acid.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Repre the catgirl, Pamela the Ghost and Rufina the angel girl.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The in-battle quotes, so much.
    "Heal All! Everyone's heal!!"
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Uroborus.
  • Fantastic Racism: Between humans, Beastmen and Fairies.
  • Fetch Quest: Some quests involve using alchemy to make items for the clients. Said quests don't give Rank Points, but can reward you with money and other rare items.
  • Item Crafting: In an unusual twist you must look for inspiration for several items before inventing them.
  • Get on the Boat: Subverted in that the gondolas are a taxi service around the main town only.
  • Golden Ending: To understand the full story (and avoid the Bittersweet Ending) you have to complete the "Truth and Darkness" quest and repair the broken Shadow Gem. The quest does not show up until the portal to the final dungeon (which you cannot return from) opens.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The main plot involves finding the fragments of the Escalario. There is also the Mana Blades, who are mostly optional.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Ash the first time you encounter him. You can reduce his HP to zero and the battle still continues, you're literally not allowed to win at all.
  • Impoverished Patrician: The sisters Yula and Nell. They're working to restore their family fortunes, turning them into The Rival over paying jobs until Yula blames their failures on Nell and abandons her sister, leaving Edge and Iris to take Nell in.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Winna, a scientist, falls in love with Pamela and has a hard time understanding the feeling. Interestingly, it actually makes him a better person, as at the end of his quest chain he becomes more sociable.
  • Mass Monster-Slaughter Sidequest: Phenyl quests are usually about killing x type of monsters. In one of these, you have to kill 200 Punis, supposedly for research purposes. Doing this allows access to the Superboss, who is understandably out for revenge. The game even calls it genocide.
  • The Medic: One of Nell's Blades focuses on recovery and support. Certain accessories also grant healing and ailment-curing spells, allowing you to temporarily turn anyone into a medic as well.
  • Mood Whiplash: Most prominent in Pamela's quest. Upon learning how Pamela died you find her diary apparently full of tears written by her mother... Then you discover how Pamela actually died and the music changes from dramatic to a very goofy one describing her death: she fell off a stool when she was trying to get something out of an upper cupboard shelf and landed on her head. Not even the heroes managed to keep a straight face after that.
  • Ms. Fanservice: There are a lot of attractive female characters in the game, most notably Eva, the Barkeeper.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The game's opening FMV, both the opening theme (Schwarzweiss/ Black And White) and the video itself, focus almost entirely on the antagonism between Edge and Ash, promoting as some epic rivalry and a major part of the plot. Epic rivalry my arse, the whole thing's just a mere jealous grudge Edge has, which is all only a very minor and barely noticeable part of the plot.
    • Also, the opening itself. Schwarzweiss is a far more intense and dramatic opening theme than the two others in the series, the actual game is easily the most laidback and non-epic installment of the trilogy.
  • Mythology Gag: Upon closer look, the "Alchemist Robe" item for Iris looks like the robe worn by the titular heroine of Atelier Marie...
  • Non-Linear Sequel: The game is not directly related to the previous two games, as the Iris from this game is different character, and the Stone Mana (Diemia) has a different character design.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: The Fairies look like human children.
  • Power Trio: Iris, Edge and Nell (ego, superego and id). They are the only playable characters.
  • Point of No Return: Once you enter the distorted dimension, there's not coming back.
  • Recurring Boss: Alvero, Yula, and the Stone Emperor.
  • Recurring Character: Several characters from the earlier games or lookalikes: turn up here: Pamela the Ghost, Yach the Shopkeeper and Hagel the Smith. Subverted with Iris, as she is not the same character from the previous games.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Uroborus
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Nell delivers one to her Evil Twin (which is a monster trapping the Faustus Mana) in a quest.
  • Spell Book: Edge's weapon when equipped with Luplus Blades, with one exception (which falls into Throw the Book at Them).
  • Stripperific:
    • Many female characters in the game dress like Malibu Barbies, including both female player characters! (Others are more conservative, however.)
    • Some of the armors the girls can equip are actually pieces of underwear!
  • Summon Magic: Both Iris and Nell can summon creatures to aid them.
  • Timed Mission: Any mission that takes place in an Alterworld, as humans can only remain in them for a short period of time.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Several characters, but especially Alvero.
  • Visual Initiative Queue: Represented as a line of spread-out cards. Empty spots in the queue are face-down cards, while characters and enemies are face-up. Anyone who's defeated goes face-down, and some skills put cards in the queue to trigger (or repeat) the skill when they come up.
  • War Has Never Been So Much Fun: The war between the Fairies and the Kuma (bear) Tribe doesn't look as serious as the game claims it is...
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Uroborus, who wishes to remake the world (or outright destroy it in the Good Ending, apparently), the Shadow Gem controlling Crowley, who wants to destroy the world to eliminate greed and sin and Ash, who just wanted to stop the awakening of Uroborus.

Alternative Title(s): Atelier Iris 3