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Video Game / Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea

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The main heroines: Shallotte (left) and Shallistera (right)

Atelier Shallie is the last entry in the Dusk Trilogy of the Atelier games on the PS3 and the 16th major game. It released in July 17, 2014 in Japan, March 10, 2015 in America, and March 13, 2015 in Europe. An Updated Re-release, Atelier Shallie Plus for Play Station Vita, adds new characters, story content, and Superbosses was released on March 3, 2016 in JP, January 17, 2017 in the US, and January 20, 2017 in Europe. Atelier Shallie DX, a re-release of the Plus version, was released December 25, 2019 in Japan for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, with the international and Steam versions following on January 14th, 2020.

As in the previous entry, there are two playable alchemists, however, they both share the same nickname hence the title being "Shallie" to represent both of them. As with the other Atelier games, it's best described as one-part JRPG, one-part Time Management Game life simulator, three-parts Item Crafting, and a dash of Moe for flavor.

The story takes place 6 years after the beginning of Atelier Escha & Logy centered around an oasis city of Stellard on the edges of the Dusk Sea. Shallistera is an alchemist from a far away village, come to Stellard looking to find answers on the village's water supply running out. Shallotte, a native to Stellard, is going about her daily life in the town by taking menial jobs. From Shallistera's point of view, her path uncovers the mysteries that has taken place throughout the Dusk Trilogy, while Shallotte's point of view revolves around the experiences of daily life in the setting. Both eventually cross paths to work together.

The game adds a few things mechanics-wise to the series. The player chooses to play as either Shallistera or Shallotte (both who are the titular Shallie) and plays the storyline from their perspective. Both girls also have different skill sets. For instance, Shallistera can dowse for hidden items while Shallotte scrubs floors for items. The combat system has been updated as well, with the key change being the return of the Burst Mode from the Mana Khemia games. Quests and tasks are now allotted automatically in the new Life Tasks system which tailors to the player's play style.

Tropes that appear in Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea:

  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Shallistera becomes her village's chiefs in one of her endings.
  • Acquired Error at the Printer: Some physical copies of the game have the Surge Concerto logo on it despite the only thing both series have in common being that they're both made by Gust.
  • Ascended Extra: Solle plays a much bigger role here compared to the previous game and is even Promoted to Playable in the Plus remake (through DLC in the original PS3 game).
  • Affectionate Nickname: "Shallie" is this for both protagonists.
    • Shallotte calls Albert "Al" and Homura "Homhom". Escha tries to give Homura the cutesy nickname "Homuran", but Homura doesn't let her address him as such.
  • Almighty Janitor: Shallotte is a street sweeper for the Co-operative that can become an alchemy expert and try to save the world.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parent: Shallotte's mother dotes on her daughter just a little too the point where she'll tell complete strangers about embarrassing moments in her childhood.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The ones from the previous games return. With a few new ones
    • If you're on a fetch quest or a quest to slay monsters, the overworld map will mark which areas have the specific item/monsters you're looking for.
    • In addition to keeping the field inventory system of the previous game, it expands upon it by allowing the item panels to be rotated, though now this includes more puzzle-shaped panels (like an L-shaped panel) with the max size being a 3x3 cube.
    • The game has an Easy Mode where the enemies are weaker than normal.
    • One of the biggest Anti Frustration Features added is the removal of the time limit from the previous games. Instead, it's replaced with the Life Task system and the Motivation gauge, (which changes depending on what you like to do better. (AKA: if you prefer synthesizing you'll get more synthesizing life tasks). The main life tasks usually have several ways of completing them or you only need to clear a few of them in order to move in. The Motivation gauge increases as you complete Life Tasks, better motivation results in faster speed, maintaining your current Burst Meter, and better Alchemy results. Not doing any Life Tasks results in Motivation dropping, although it's impossible to fail the game if it's empty. Though sometimes you can't complete any of the extra Life Tasks until you do the main one first.
      • Can be a bit of a Guide Dang It! for new players. The Life Task is titled with what has been done, but you have to look at the Life Task to see what the actual goal is.
  • Background Music Override: As in previous games, if a character's Ultimate wins the battle, an extended version of the Ultimate will play with a unique music track depending on who's finisher it is.
  • Blackmail: More in the sense of "exploiting labour" than a threat, but Raoul uses this on both Shallies. He does eventually hold up his side of the deal though.
    • When Shallotte asks for some more skilled, higher paid work, he threatens to take her trash-collecting job away from her instead, if she's not appropriately grateful for the work.
    • He coerces the visiting Shallistera into running odd jobs this way too, by withholding any assistance until she completes tasks for the city.
    • Gerard does a more sinister version, telling Shallistera that the people will turn on her if she doesn't risk her life to protect them — and strongly implying he will do nothing to set them straight.
  • Break Meter: Filling up an star-shaped gauge gives it the Break effect, which causes it to skip its turn. An attack against an enemy under the effect of Break will be a critical hit, but will remove the Break. This can also happen to party members as well.
  • The Bus Came Back: After being absent for the past two games, Ayesha finally returns in the Plus remake. Logy also makes a return as well, bringing all of the protagonists together for the finale.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Kortes acts as this to Shallistera. She even calls him Kortes-niisama in the Japanese dub.
  • Call-Back: Quite a bit since this is the last game of the Dusk Trilogy.
    • Homhom, the nickname Shallotte gives Homura, is the same as the nickname Rorona gives to Hom, a homunculus.
  • Childhood Friends: Bothe Shallies have at least one. Shallistera has Kortes and Shallotte has Miruca and Albert.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Very, very mild example, but Escha starts to fret whenever Logy chooses to spend time at Miruca's atelier rather than her shop. When she learns that it's only because he wants to clean Miruca's atelier, Escha starts to purposefully mess up her shop so that he can spend more time with her.
  • Combat Medic: Every single playable character has at least one healing ability.
  • Combo Breaker: Both Shallies are the first heroines to not wield a staff.
  • Cooldown Hug: From Shallotte to Wilbell. Wilbell gets intimidated by the Lord of Water's power and starts to doubt herself until Shallotte gives her a hug and a pep-talk.
  • Country Mouse: Shallistera - and it is ruthlessly exploited by the Stellard natives. Kortes used to be one, until experience taught him to be less trusting.
  • Crash-Into Hello: With Shallistera's entire ship crashing into Shallotte's hometown.
  • Demoted to Extra: Reyfer plays a much more minor role here than in the previous game. He isn't playable and barely has any events centered around him. In his bonus track, his JP voice actor even wonders if there was any point in including him.
  • Deuteragonist: Whichever Shallie you play will be the protagonist. The other one will be the deuteragonist.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Defeating the sand dragon is a major plot point in the middle of the storyline
  • Dream-Crushing Handicap: After Shallotte gets rescued by a flying Wilbell, she makes it her dream to fly like her, and throughout the game, she becomes Wilbell's apprentice. Unfortunately, she lacks the magical talent to do so and fails. Repeatedly. In a bunch of humorous ways. Late in the game, she builds a flying board through alchemy and one of the endings has her fly around with her new master.
  • Easter Egg: It wouldn't be an Atelier game without a barrel gag. Check the barrels by the crane at the docks
  • Expy: The Shallies have shades of the previous Dusk trilogy characters, with Shallistera being Ayesha and Shallote being Escha.
    • Miruca also shares similarities to Logy, having a similar background and taking on his role as the game's blacksmith.
  • Extreme Doormat: Kortes worries that Shallistera's innocence and politeness will lead to her becoming this. Given how quick she is to accept blame for the Sand Dragon's rampage and how she can be easily manipulated into feeling guilty, he has a point.
  • Fanservice Pack: A lot of the returning characters, most notably Wilbell and Escha.
  • Foreshadowing: Some of the characters make requests through the Union before you meet them.
  • Hime Cut: Shallistera sports this. Fitting, as she's the chief's daughter and considered to be possess a similar status to a princess.
  • Hypocrite: Both the Co-operative and the Corporation constantly nag both Shallies about having to prove their worth and gain respect before they can expect help from anyone - yet both organizations avoid keeping their own word for as long as possible, and are shown to exploit people in order to take advantage of their skills and labor.
  • Friendship At First Sight: The two Shallies. One conversation is enough to make them instant soulmates. Unlike the other characters, who build up a relationship over time, or are introduced by a mutual friend, the Shallies bump into each other, chat for a few minutes, then one invites the other (who is still basically a stranger) over to her house. This is enough to make Shallotte work extra hard on Shallie's request and suggest working as a team...and it's enough to make Shallistera decide to risk her crew's lives rather than let Shallotte down.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The English release had one involving the Growth System, not only was the Growth menu not translated, it caused the PS3 to crash upon accessing it. Thankfully a patch was released a week later.
  • Happily Adopted: After she escaped the facility she was created in, Linca was adopted by Gerard.
  • Hero Insurance: Completely averted. Shallistera's ship crashes into Stellard while fleeing a Sand Dragon. Not only does the wreckage take time to clear, Stellard officials have no qualms about holding it over the Lugion team's collective heads to coerce them into working for the city.
  • Hero of Another Story: The two Shallies will pass each other several times before stopping to talk to each other, and you can see hints of the unplayed Shallie's story unfolding in the background. For example, Shallotte has met up with Wilbell and started her training long before she meets Shallistera. You have to play both protagonists to get the full picture.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The King of Beasts, who was the final boss of the DLC dungeon in the last game but is a late-game boss here, is supposed to be this as it will wipe the floor with your party even if you have above-average items and gear. But if you create super high quality end-game items, or play on Story Teller mode, you can beat it. However, depending on the outcome, you'll get a different cutscene after the battle. The Dialogue even changes depending on if you brought the "Beast Talisman" (one of Shallistera's ultimate attack items which can only be created in her route) with you.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Albert is this to Odelia.
  • Hour of Power: Burst mode. In battle you can increase a gauge in the upper right corner by attacking and using items, with the max being 150%. Burst mode activates when the Gauge hits 100%. Once in Burst mode, your attacks deal more damage, and can be chained together to increase the damage output. Burst mode ends when the Gauge hit's zero
    • In addition, follow up attacks can be chained from up to all 3 of your back row characters at once if the support gauge for all 3 of them are full. The 2nd person will have unique stronger follow up attack (like Shallistera's "Either Light"). The 3rd person will be using a "Variable Strike" where 2 of the front row party members each perform a basic attack, while the 3rd uses their strongest support attack (For example, Jurie's Variable Strike is called "Killing Sword).
    • Later in the game if Burst mode is triggered with the Burst Gauge is higher than 100%, you can activate a Field Burst at the beginning of it. Depending on how high the Burst Gauge is , up to all 3 of the back Row party members can activate their unique passive Burst skill that lasts until the end of Burst Mode. However, triggering a Field Burst deplete's that character's Support Gauge. An example of a Field Burst is Wilbell's "Life Glow" which increases the recovery rate of the rear line party members, and automatically revive anyone in the rear line that's KO'ed.
    • The Shallies have an additional Burst skill they can use, but you can only use the skill of the Shallie your playing as. Shallistera's "Copy" can use an item without decreasing it's use count, and Shallotte's "Mix" allows her to use 2 attack items at once.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: The game uses Story Teller (Easy), Game Fan (Normal), Despair (Hard), and NO HOPE (Very hard) as its difficulty names. The differences is mostly enemy stat adjustment and drop rates.
  • Immortal Life Is Cheap: Since Homunculi have Resurrective Immortality, Solle Grumman has absolutely no qualms about throwing them en masse at enemies during combat, even though they're his close friends. Some of his attacks (including his Limit Break) even involve using them as suicide bombers, though thankfully they look mostly unharmed by the explosions.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Unlike their predecessors, the two Shallies don't use a staff. Shallistera uses a chime and Shallote uses a broom.
  • Informed Flaw: The citizens of Stellard — and even her friends — are constantly complaining about Shallotte's easygoing, unreliable attitude...but from the start of the game, we are told she has to work hard just to survive.
  • Informed Poverty: Shallotte and her mother are poor...but their home seems quite spacious, with room for an in-built atelier.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Linca maintains that Gerard is this. He might send an innocent girl to her death, but he's not pleased about it, and only does it because he would rather risk her than his own citizens.
    • Miruca as well. Despite her unsociable attitude, she's the only person in Stellard other than Nady who believes in Shallotte's abilities, and offers her support at every opportunity.
  • Land, Sea, Sky: The third in the Dusk trilogy is the Sea, after Ayesha's Land and Escha and Logy's Sky.
  • Lazy Artist: Reyfer and Harry look exactly the same despite six years having passed by.
    • In the original game, Ayesha, Nio, and Logy all make cameos...but retain the same model save for sporting a different color palette. The Plus remake rectifies this for Ayesha. Not so much for Logy.
    • Ayesha's portrait for field events is the same as the one from the first game.
  • Leonine Contract: At the start of the game, Shallistera makes a deal with city officials that she will work for them in return for their assistance regarding the water crisis in their village. However, with the future of her village at stake, and no other source of help available, she doesn't have any choice but to meet their demands...which is why they can get away with demanding more and more from her without giving any sign of fulfilling their end of the bargain, up to and including putting her life on the line to deal with a problem that is ultimately the result of Stellard failing to deal with its own problems (the Sand Dragon). Coupled with their constant guilt-tripping over the damage Shallistera's boat did when fleeing said dragon, and the threat of Gerard turning the city against her, Raoul and Gerard know that they hold all the cards in this deal.
  • Moving the Goalposts: Shallistera's arc is all about trying to gain acceptance in the city of Stellard so that they will be more inclined to help her village. No matter how hard she works, though, the city always has another set of demands waiting before they will even consider her request.
  • Multiple Endings: Shallistera and Shallotte both have 2 endings each, a standard one and an extra one that needs additional requirements to be filled. Both share the game's "True Ending" that can only be viewed on a New Game+ and meeting a few additional requirements, such as beating the game as both Shallies and meeting the requirements for the extra ending of the Shallie your playing as. However, unlike previous games, this one has no bad ending, just a regular Game Over.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: A very mild variation with Shallotte, whose way of dress doesn't match previous Atelier heroines and appears more modern.
  • Oblivious to Love: Even after six years, it would seem that Katla still hasn't picked up on poor Micie's crush on her.
    • Linca doesn't pick up on Raoul's obvious crush on her either.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Three sets this time: The Co-operative (Raoul), the Corporation (Gerard) and Central (Solle). As in Escha and Logy, they aren't entirely unsympathetic, but still make some morally dubious decisions and make the two Shallies' lives difficult.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted, since both main characters are nicknamed Shallie. Eventually they start referring to each other by the last part of their name, with Shallistera being called "Stera" and Shallotte being called "Lotte". Names which players have started using as well.
    • Same for Linca, this one is "Linca Seven", another one of the eight Linca's in the world, and not the same Linca that was a party member in the previous two games. Though it should be apparent to those who played the other two games that this isn't the same Linca, given that Marion, who she's closely tied with, isn't in this game at all. This Linca is also said to be great at paperwork but horrible at combat, something that's the reverse for the more familiar Linca.
  • Optional Party Member: Solle and Escha become party members through DLC.
  • Plucky Girl: Shallotte. She lives in the poor section of town, litter-collecting for a living and getting no respect and even less money from those who employ her. She soldiers on regardless.
  • Robo Sexual: Albert, who falls in Love at First Sight with Odelia. Unfortunately for him, All Love Is Unrequited and Odelia has no interest in him.
  • The Scapegoat: The Lugion delegation, as outsiders, make a handy one for the city officials. When there's a crisis, they decide that as Shallistera's ship was the most obvious casualty of the Sand Dragon, they must have caused the problem in the first place...and in order to "atone", they must act as a shield for the hunting team. Gerard outright states that if the worst comes to the worst, at least it won't be Stellard citizens to be slaughtered first.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Several returning characters evoke this, but this is most noticeable with Ayesha, who hasn't made any appearances since the first game, and Katla, who was only 12 in the previous game.
  • Ship Tease: In the Plus and DX version, there's an event scene where Logy and Escha wander around town together and it looks an awful lot like a date. This seems to be building off of their own Plus/DX version where optional romantic events were added to the game.
  • Solar and Lunar: Shallotte (solar) and Shallistera (lunar). Their chapter titles reflect this.
    • The setting where the two meet up also reinforces the motif: it's a city called Stellard (star): the sun is a star (solar), but stars are more closely associated with night (lunar).
  • Skill Scores and Perks: The Growth System, which unlocks at level 40. Every time a character levels up, they gain a point to spend on additional perks, such as gaining passive skills that improve resistances, decrease Support Gauge recovery time, or improve healing in the back row, or they can be spent to improve their stats. They can also be used to upgrade moves (such as removing the chance of failing that Homura's first skills have in addition to powering them up), or upgrading Assist Guard to have unique effects depending on the character. (an example being Shallotte's Assist Guard becoming "Broom Counter" which has her counterattacking after guarding an enemy attack.)
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land:
    • Kortes became jaded about his small village after staying in Stellard, and the ideas he acquired while there don't exactly gain the approval of the clan.
    • Miruca becomes jaded about Stellard after her stay in Central - Jurie believes that she desperately wants to go back to the big city.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Even the nice characters have shades of this.
    • Miruca scorns and spurns her older sister, even though Jurie is trying desperately to give her the kind of life Miruca wants.
    • Shallotte is a hard worker, who gets paid a pittance and is held in contempt by Gerard at the start of the story.
    • Shallotte herself can be obnoxious to her mother, who makes huge sacrifices for the wellbeing of her daughter.
    • Shallistera is also working hard, fulfilling requests and doing everything that's asked of her...but the instant there's a problem, the city instantly makes a scapegoat of the outsider.
  • Token Good Teammate: Among the trio of obstructive bureaucrats, Solle is the one who is most actively trying to make things easier for the Shallies.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Solle is much nicer here compared to the previous game. He hands out praise more often and is generally easier to talk to compared to before. He even smiles more!
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Shallotte and Shallistera respectively.
  • Welcome to the Big City: A mild version. Shallistera isn't attacked, but coming from a close-knit, mutually supportive community, she soon falls foul of the more self-serving, mercenary city attitudes.

Alternative Title(s): Atelier Shallie