Nelke and the Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World is a Spin-Off of Gust's Atelier series of Role Playing Games released on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Play Station Vita, and Steam on January 31, 2019 in Japan and March 29, 2019 in the rest of the world.
Nelke von Lestamm, daughter of a family of nobles, seeks the legendary Granzweit Tree, which is said to grant great power to whoever finds it. Hearing a rumor that the tree can be found near the frontier town of Westwald, she sets out to find it — but in order to do so, she must also become Westwald's governor and help develop the village. Unfortunately, she does not possess the gift of alchemy: in order to create the items and materials needed to expand Westwald, she will need to recruit the help of the legendary alchemists. These legendary alchemists also happen to be the protagonists of previous Atelier games.
Nelke and the Legendary Alchemists distinguishes itself from the rest of the series by adding a strong emphasis on town-building: players can choose which buildings to make and where to place them, allowing them to customize the town to their liking.
This game provides examples of the following tropes:
- An Entrepreneur Is You: In this game, money is earned by running stores. First, you gather materials, then you give them to the alchemists, who make them into items that are sold in their shop for profit. Each alchemist has certain types of store they're better at running than others.
- Endless Game: The game becomes this once the main ending is reached, allowing the player to max out relationships and earn achievements they may not have gained within the deadlines.
- Fission Mailed: The seventh task, develop into an alchemy town, is supposed to be failed.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: Although there are many characters from across the series, only the main protagonists of specific games (mostly from Arland on) can accompany Nelke in the exploration/battle segments. This is explained with both Mana-based synthesis not being available due to the wilting of the Granzweit Tree (which severely limits people like Klein), as well as Nelke needing the guidance of an Alchemist to actually harvest materials.
- Guest Fighter: In addition to characters from the Atelier series, characters from Story of King Ares, Welcome House, Noir Yeux Noire, and Surge Concerto: Ciel nosurge will appear as DLC.
- 100% Adoration Rating:
- Once the approval rating mechanic is introduced a little ways into the game, you start out with an approval rating for Nelke of about 60-70%, which is displayed most of the time in the top-center of the screen. There are a number of things that can improve it, including having a surplus of goods and completing requests. Furthermore, only certain very specific things such as having expenses greater than earning for two many turns or not balancing the amount of items you sell at shops can decrease it. Therefore, it is fairly easy for anyone with a basic understanding of the game to reach a 100% approval rating for Nelke fairly quickly.
- Outside of the gameplay mechanic, the story itself make it quite clear as the game progresses that all of the alchemists and villagers absolutely adore Nelke for what she's done for the city of Westwald.
- Last Lousy Point:
- Attempting to befriend every single character in the game can be a challenge, especially as some characters will not appear until after specific conversations with the protagonist(s) of their game of origin.
- The achievements for dispatching 3,000 expeditions and requesting 3,000 syntheses are also extremely tedious and won't be achieved in the course of normal gameplay.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: The game features over 100 characters from Gust's repertoire.
- Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Characters from all Atelier continuities show up, plus some guests from other Gust games.
- Multiple Endings: The game gives you ten tasks - if you fail at any of them save one, then you get a bad ending in which Nelke is forced to return to the capital and is forgotten to history. It's not possible to fail the first or last tasks and as for one of them, see Fission Mailed above, is required to be failed. Getting to turn 100 without doing any of the Main research results in a normal ending. Good ending results if some Main research is done, Golden Ending is achieved if the player completes all Main research.
- Mythology Gag: Plenty, since the game brings together characters from pretty much the entire Atelier franchise. One such one is that Logy originally appeared as an alchemist in Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky, but then appeared as a blacksmith in the Mysterious trilogy. One of the friendship events in this game involves Sophie from the Mysterious trilogy being puzzled over Logy because he has the same name, face and voice as the Logy that she knows.
- New Game+: Continuing from an ended game gives you bonus in sales, making achieving Golden Ending easier.
- Running Gag:
- Many things that were running gags in previous Atelier installments are something you can expect to see here. Suelle's fear of insects from Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings is a good example.
- Pepperoni appearing anytime someone requests the presence of a fairy, only to not be wanted because he's not small and cute like the fairies of Nelke's world, or to end up breaking something because of his incredible strength and size.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Although some characters are almost exactly identical to past Atelier protagonists, it's clear that they are not quite the same people; for example; the Mana Khemia characters are attending school at the same time as those from Mana Khemia 2, rather than a generation before.
- Tagline: "20 Years of Atelier history!"
- Trapped in Another World: The alchemist protagonists of past Atelier games are mysteriously finding themselves being teleported to Westwald by various incidents, such as a synthesis gone wrong or finding an artifact in ancient ruins. Turns out they are all summoned in light of the Sealed Evil in a Can reviving from the wiltering Granzweit Tree that kept it imprisoned.