Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends and the Secret Fairy is the twenty-second game in Gust Corporation's long-running Atelier Series of JRPGs, and a sequel to 2019's Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout. It was released on December 3, 2020 in Japan on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch. It was later released on January 26, 2021 in North America and on January 29 in Europe with a Windows version also made available on Steam. Notably, it is the first installment in the entire main Atelier series where the main protagonist of one game returns as the main protagonist of another, specifically Ryza herself.
Three years after the events of the previous game, Ryza feels like her alchemy skills have plateaued. A letter from Tao takes her to the royal capital, Ashra-am Baird, where she heads for new adventures. With the help of a mysterious, fairy-like creature named Fi, she explores the area around the capital in hopes of discovering the truth behind the legends surrounding the city's ancient ruins.
The game features more dynamic exploration: Ryza can now climb, swim, dive, and swing from a rope to reach new areas. The addition of a Skill Tree lets you unlock new recipes, upgrades, and gameplay mechanics at your own pace. The battle system keeps the semi-real-time elements introduced in the previous game, while changing up the mechanics to make it more satisfying. You can now chain skills together if you have enough AP, and chaining a skill into itself can result in upgraded variations. Skills also increase your Tactics Level and grant you Core Crystal charges, which can be spent to perform an Item Rush, using multiple items in one move. Linkage Alchemy, Recipe Morph, and the Gem system also return, with new mechanics such as Evolution Link and Essence.
Ryza's story concluded in Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key, which was released on March 24, 2023.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Hilariously subverted when Lent declares he'll cut a way forward through some fossilized dragon bones, only for his sword to do absolutely nothing to it.
- All Deserts Have Cacti: The Northern Lands, contrary to the usual frigid tundra, are instead a rocky desert highly reminiscent of the Southwestern United States, cacti and all.
- Bag of Spilling:
- Whilst other Atelier games avoid this issue, by virtue of focusing on a different protagonist in each game, Ryza starts off at level 5 and needs to re-learn all of her alchemy recipes. It's justified by explaining that she's getting used to a new cauldron and the different materials around the Capital (which is why she needs to figure out how to use them for alchemy), left her tools at home (which is why Item Duplication isn't available at first), and lost her old staff (explaining why her starter weapon is so weak), but it's kind of a stretch how she goes from "seasoned alchemist and adventurer" to "complete beginner" because of it. Somewhat downplayed, as you can re-make your tools and get back to making items of triple-digit Quality much faster than in the first game, and Ryza retains all the recipes she'd learnt. The effort to make those recipes usable again is a lot less than the Alchemy Level grinding in the first game, recipes can be unlocked before you have all the ingredients needed to synthesize them, and Ryza has some of the benefits of the Mirage Loupe (see ingredients available at gathering points) and the Compass (enemy and treasure radar on map) already active at the start of the game.
- Indirectly invoked by Empel at the end of the game, when he tells Ryza that all of her new abilities and alchemy skills, such as Essence Distillation, are due to her drawing on Fi's special mana, and will be lost when Fi returns to the Underworld.
- Bodyguard Crush: Tao is Patty's tutor and unofficial bodyguard when the party is out adventuring. Ryza quickly notices that Patty has feelings for him.
- Bonus Boss: The Last Sentinel, available only in post-game.
- Breaking Old Trends: All previous Atelier titles had a different main protagonist each game. This is the first installment to retain the same main protagonist of the previous game.
- But Now I Must Go: At the end of the game, Ryza decides to return home, having completed what she set out to do at the capital.
- Calling the Old Man Out: With a bit of prompting from Ryza and her fake medicine, Patty's character events conclude with her confronting her father over what she personally wants vs. the notion of her blindly obeying everything he decides for her. He relents after she presents a logical argument and he realizes that her happiness is more important than aristocratic rules.
- Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Lent had to deal with a variant of this during his journey in that we would help defend people and villages from monsters, only for them to complain to him and blame him for not arriving sooner and preventing any and all damage the monsters caused.
- Cutscene Power to the Max: At the end of the Ancient Mana Workshop, Ryza's party is attacked by the Colossus Soldier, the dungeon's boss, necessitating a Big Damn Heroes rescue from Lent, who staggers the huge monster with a powerful slash, letting Ryza escape. He then joins the party... except that since the Atelier series runs on Equipment-Based Progression, Lent will be the weakest member of your party at this point due to only having basic starter equipment with no traits. He's especially not capable of filling up a boss's Break Meter in one shot. Cutscene Power also applies to the Colossus Soldier itself, since once your party regroups and heads back to fight the boss, it's not particularly strong, and any decently-equipped party should have little trouble taking it down, despite the preceding cutscene showing it wiping the floor with the heroes.
- Deconstructed Trope: Clifford has a very romanticized view of being a treasure hunter. But in practice, the job is very difficult and dangerous, while he barely makes enough to get by. Turns out it's hard to make a living when most of the good treasure spots have already been looted by other treasure hunters.
- Demoted to Extra: Both Empel and Lila become non-playable, supporting characters in this entry.
- Grappling-Hook Pistol: The Emerald Band isn't exactly a pistol, but it shoots out a magical string that functions as a grappling hook, letting Ryza swing across pits like Tarzan.
- Grim Up North: Played With. The "Northern Lands" are a desolate, barren location, but they're not a frozen tundra like one would expect - Rather, it's actually a desert highly reminiscent of the Southwestern United States, complete with large rock formations and cacti.
- Heroic BSoD: Lent is in the middle of one when he reunites with the party due to a combination of his experiences and his reactions to said experiences. Both Ryza and Lila help him get over it during his character events.
- Hope Spot: When the party reaches the mana crystal at the end of the Mirage Forest ruins, the dragon they defeat has already drained most of the mana, leaving very little for Fi and keeping him in danger of dying.
- Horse of a Different Color: Eventually, Ryza obtains the Spirit Beast Whistle, which lets her summon a mount to ride on. Said mount looks like a giant fluffy weasel with long ears, and can dig in the dirt to find items.
- Interface Spoiler:
- Many materials, even ones you get earlier in the game, have the Scorpion, Hedgehog, and Beetle Slayer traits. Anyone who's played the first game knows this means that the Philuscha are going to make a reappearance.
- By the time you finish the first ruins, its research rate will only go up to 7%, even once you've gotten every fragment. This makes it easy to guess that there's more to that dungeon, and indeed, the depths of these ruins end up being the final dungeon of the game.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: The origin of Serri's people, the Oren, and of her current grudge against alchemists, were major twists in the previous game. Here, everyone casually brings up the Oren and the Klint Kingdom's desolation of the Underworld.
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": All of the returning characters from the first game have this reaction upon again encountering the Philuscha and learning they're even stronger than before.
- New Game Plus: Unlocked after defeating the final boss and allows the player to carry over equipped gear, shop development progress, and learned recipes, and unlocks the higher difficulty levels.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Ryza's team discovers large mana crystals at the end of each of the ruins they investigate. Fi absorbs the mana from said crystals, both to strengthen the party and to feed on it. Those same crystals are the locks on the seal preventing the Legendary Monarch, an enormous Philusha, from invading. Oops.
- Placebo Effect: In Patty's character events, Ryza is disheartened to see her submit to Volker when he fires Tao after catching them spending time together. She makes a "potion" which has no real effect, but says that it'll give her the courage to stand up to her father and tell her how she really feels. Patty seems to be suspicious, but it does help her tell Volker that she disagrees with Tao's dismissal.
- Redemption Quest: Part of the reason why Ryza wants to help Serri is to redeem the name of alchemists after they brought catastrophe upon the Underworld, where Serri and her people live.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: In Bos' final character event, he insists that while he respects Kilo as a person and wants to see her again, he isn't in love with her. Ryza doesn't sound 100% convinced.
- Sheltered Aristocrat: Patricia Abelheim (nicknamed 'Patty') is the daughter of a high-class resident who seeks to learn more about the world beyond her privileged lifestyle. The thought of experiencing the world outside of the city and exploring the nearby ruins triggers her curiosity, prompting her to follow Ryza and Tao into the adventure.
- Shown Their Work: Fossils of sea life can be gathered in the Northern Lands, which heavily resemble the deserts of the Southwestern United States. One can actually find fossils of sea life in the deserts of the Midwest and Southwest, as those regions were shallow seas during the Cretaceous period.
- Switch-Out Move: During combat, you can swap the currently-selected character with your reserve party member, who enters the fight by hitting your target.
- Take Your Time: Regardless of events that may trigger to instill a sense of urgency: Ryza getting in trouble with her landlord for not taking on enough quests, Ryza needing to synthesize an item right away, Fi's health declining due to running low on mana, etc., there is no actual time limit and the whole game can be done at the player's pace. This is especially noticeable with certain sidequests:
- Dennis' quest chain involves him entering a goldsmithing competition, and although you start it very early, and his events frequently emphasize that he's running out of time to submit his entry before the deadline, progressing to the final part of the story requires you to make a Crafter's Drill, which requires Grand Orgen to synthesize, which in turn requires an Underworld Crystal to make, an item which can only be obtained in the final dungeon.
- Rook's sidequests involve her being stranded in the wilderness with no food or water, and so weak from starvation that she can't even move. You can leave her alone for hours, or even days, while getting her something to eat or drink (especially the drink, since despite seemingly being on the brink of death by dehydration, she'll refuse to have anything but Ashra Milk).
- Tech Tree: Skill points are obtained through various means, such as synthesizing and completing sidequests, and can be spent to progress on the skill tree, which unlocks new recipes and other upgrades.
- Too Dumb to Live: In Rook's quests, she ends up on the verge of starvation or dehydration because she gives away all of her food or water.
- Where It All Began: The final dungeon, the Ethereal Dragon's Coffin, is located in the depths of the Mausoleum of Eternity, which is the first ruin you explore. There's a wall which blocks you from advancing past the first room until near the end of the game.
- Worthless Treasure Twist: Self-explained on Clifford's last character event when he realizes that the treasure he'd been seeking would have grave consequences for countless people if it fell into the wrong hands, so he asks Ryza to destroy it.