Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / Atelier

Go To

  • Accidental Innuendo: The Dusk series has a type of artificial monster known as Slags. Whoever came up with that name apparently didn't know that in British English, "slag" is a synonym of "slut" or "whore".
  • Awesome Music: Good lord, this series has had a lot of good music. Gust Sound Team is only slightly less well-known than Falcom's JDK Band in this regard in Japan.
  • Broken Base:
    • The Arland games have a tendency cause this. Certain fandom sections often describe the Arland games (and thus the wider franchise) as "eroge without the actual ero bits" and are mostly in it for the girls and, uh, what they can do with them. This makes many older Atelier fans bristle with rage, as the games have never been intended to be erotic; Marie's odd chest... thing aside, the hottest any pre-Iris game got was having Lilie in a nightgown for one scene. note  The actual Arland games don't help at all, either; on the one hand, there's the occasional scene with, uh, what can only be called "overtones" (possibly NSFW), but on the other hand, Arland games are nowhere near close to actual eroges, and the actual occurrence of "fanservice" is less than contemporary JRPGs, to boot. At this point many people aren't quite sure what to think, but the debate rages on even today.
    • Advertisement:
    • Are time limits a good or bad thing? One part of the fan base feels that the timer adds to the challenge, discourages grinding in favor of encouraging making better items, adds a sense of consequence to each of the player's actions, and just paces the game better in general. The other part finds the time limit overly stressful (to the point where some players are scared off from trying the games where time is limited), claim it takes away from the player's freedom, or that it forces them to replay the game multiple times.
    • Koei Tecmo's decision to stop dubbing the games altogether has also split the fanbase. Some fans who were found the English voices are heavily disappointed of Koei Tecmo decided to stop dubbing a popular jRPG series, while other fans noted that the Atelier series is very niche and much of the fanbase prefer the Japanese voices over the English voices anyways (which the later statement is confirmed by a PR manager on why they stopped dubbing the games altogether).
  • Advertisement:
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: Some games don't immediately make it clear that Pamela is actually a Cute Ghost Girl, and treat it as if it was a surprise once it gets revealed. But if you've already seen her in another game, you'll probably see it coming from a mile away.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: In a franchise as big as this one, you'd expect this to happen a few times, and it certainly has.
    • The one most English-speakers will be familiar with is Veola from Atelier Iris 1; there are suspicions that said game might have started life as "Atelier Veola" and then gotten development shifted partway through into what it is now. The result, though, is that this one shopkeeper, who doesn't seem all that important initially, has as much story content tied to her as the main plot, and many find it more engaging than the actual plot of AI 1. A lot of people don't play the game for Klein or Lita, they play it for Veola, and she's far and away the most popular AI 1 character both in Japan and overseas.
    • Advertisement:
    • As popular as Veola is, though, the absolute queen of Atelier Darkhorses is, without a doubt, Helmina of the original series. Introduced as a kind of pseudo-villain in Atelier Elie, she was so well-written, so engaging, so interesting and so casually evil (she even comes close to killing Elie with a narcotic potion that could stop her heart, and she applies the antidote just in time for Elie to not die; she does this out of curiosity) that the Japanese fanbase fell in love with her immediately. Her portrayal in supplementary materials, such as various spinoff manga, only cemented her popularity further. She became so popular that she (and Ingrid, from Atelier Marie) were put into Atelier Lilie as the Kid Sidekicks to the heroine of that game, and the popularity of the more innocent Helmina portrayed here compelled Gust to release Helmina & Culus, a product that is essentially an expansion to Lilie and finally features Helmina in a starring role (and portrays what would become Helmina's Start of Darkness).
      • She then shows up as a wandering alchemist party member in Atelier Judie, which still takes place some time before she becomes a teacher in Atelier Elie. This would be her last appearance, however, as after Atelier Viorate Gust began to create continuities separate from the original "Salburg" one. Helmina still holds the record for consecutive product appearances, however, all due to fan demand.
    • While not nearly as popular as the above two, Poe of Atelier Iris 2 also has quite a following, due to his bravery, charm, and insane courage involving his absurdly massive firearm.
    • Flay Gunnar (AKA "Gunnar Damm") of Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis certainly qualifies as well. People identified with him quite a bit more than with the main heroes of the first game, and the response to him in both Japan and America was so overwhelmingly positive that he got a spot in Mana Khemia 2 almost by force.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: It is a sniff, a hair's breadth, from 100% universally-accepted Fanon that Totori and Mimi are in a long-term, monogamous romantic relationship. Atelier Totori itself gives Totori several fairly-equally-weighted "romantic" options, but all others are virtually nonexistent in fandom, on both sides of the Pacific. In Atelier Meruru, Gust gave these fans some additional canon to arm themselves with, while still not outright saying the two are a couple (partially to ensure the Gino option from Totori wasn't totally invalidated).
  • Game-Breaker: Since in some of the games you can craft your own weapons and armor or items with certain properties, knowing the right combination of ingredients and synthesis steps will allow you to craft equipment and items that just do absurd things. Like how about having a healing item that restores all HP, MP, status, and does it again f after everyone else has had a turn?
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In Japan, the two Mana Khemia games received a fairly lukewarm reception from the established fanbase, and Mana Khemia 2 received a lot of flak from reviewers. In the West, on the other hand... well, just take a gander at how long the Mana Khemia page is, and take a guess at which game in the series was among the first to get a dedicated character page on TVT (and reportedly sold better in the West than it did in Japan). MK 2 also got a much warmer reception from the Western press than it did in Japan, scoring slightly higher on average than MK 1 did. (This may have something to do with those Game Breaking Bugs getting fixed for us, though.)
  • I Am Not Shazam: Unlike the other games in the series, "Atelier Elkrone" does not refer to the protagonist. Elkrone is the name of the town. The protagonist's name is Meriela.
  • Memetic Mutation: HIGH IMPACT SEXUAL VIOLENCE (shocked-character-reaction.gif). This began as a Totori-exclusive meme but has become something of a general meme for the franchise among the English-speaking fanbase. It usually takes the form of the line, and then a character, often one of the leads, making a shocked or scared expression taken from a game or promotional art.Explanation 
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Or, as one might say, "Alchemy Is Unoriginal". Quite a few prospective fans and consumers have pooh-poohed the games that have made the trip over the Pacific over the years for being unoriginal in story and for crafting and alchemy being "nothing really special". While the story criticisms for the Iris games are probably not unwarranted, the early games were the games which introduced robust crafting systems into JRPGs in the first place and were also the first ones to use alchemy as a world-framing concept in Japanese pop culture. Thanks to the sluggishness of the series in crossing the Pacific, however, everything influenced by the series got here first and made Atelier look like the unoriginal one.
  • Sequelitis: Even the most die-hard Gust fanboy has to admit that, with no less than one release every year, the franchise has ached at times due to all of its sequels; even attempts to legitimately mix up the franchise such as Mana Khemia or Atelier Annie (which added a little Simulation Game to the mix, with its focus on helping to develop an island) sometimes came off as a bit stale, and quality assurance took a precipitous dip in the late Noughts, as evidenced by Atelier Liese and Mana Khemia 2 and their evisceration in the Japanese gaming press (to say nothing of the titanic voluntary recall that Atelier Liese saw at one point). The series was on a roll again up to Shallie, which ended the Dusk trilogy in a disappointing manner, with Sophie selling mostly because of the promises that Atelier is going back to its roots. People then found out that Sophie was anything but that, which led to the low sales of the other two of the Mysterious trilogy. It doesn't help that Firis launched in, once again, a horribly buggy state. Lydie & Suelle was more well-received, but it was too late for the trilogy.
  • Squick: Due to the nature of the alchemy system in some games (especially the Arland set), it's possible to put some very strange things into your food items. Rorona is capable of turning nearly anything into a pie... including stuff like fertilizer. Ayesha can put actual cow droppings into some of her stuff, too.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Given how long the series has run it can be expected that the series has had some ups and downs, but there have been a few real leaps in quality.
    • The first was between the first two games, Marie and Elie. Marie was a very simple game produced on a tiny budget, and it showed in how relatively simple and light the content was. Elie was produced after the money from Marie rolled in, and not only features a ton of engine improvements but features approximately three to four times the story content of the previous game, making it, for a good long while, the fan favorite of the series in Japan (and still a favorite of very old-school fans even today).
    • Another was Judie to Viorate: Judie was a fairly disappointing game that took away some of the elements of previous games in an apparent attempt to broaden franchise appeal (and failed badly); Viorate took the few good things from Judie, wedded them to the systems of the older games, and is generally seen as being in a dead heat for "Best PS2 Atelier Game" alongside Mana Khemia.
    • Liese to Annie. Liese was infamously buggy, had a somewhat annoying combat system and didn't really have enough story content, leading to it getting ripped to shreds in Japan. Annie, on the other hand, not only launched bug-free but addressed every single gameplay issue in Liese and features a lot more story content, to the point where it's even receiving positive press in the West.
    • Finally, many fans claim that the Arland series, Atelier Meruru in particular, is this to most of the franchise. As PS3 games which went nearly full-on 3D while still bringing the old alchemy-centric gameplay back to consoles after half a decade out in the cold, a lot of gamers on both sides of the Pacific took a shine to what the games did. The fact that the Arland games were first time since the PS1 era that the franchise sold six-figures consistently has not hurt this perception.
  • Surprise Difficulty: These games are full of Moe, cute girls, and Slice of Life plots (except for the PS2 games, which are closer to traditional JRPGs). So you'd expect a laid-back, relaxing experience, right? Wrong. If you don't take the time to master the complex alchemy mechanics and craft good equipment, you won't stand a chance against most enemies. This is compounded by the fact that in many of these games, you're on a Timed Mission, so you absolutely need to find the correct balance between gathering materials, completing requests, and synthesizing new items. This alone is enough to scare off many potential fans from the earlier instalments. And once you've beaten the game, don't think the challenge is over, because the Bonus Bosses are Nintendo Hard, and will absolutely annihilate you if your equipment isn't optimal.
  • Tear Jerker: Friggin' everything in Helmina & Culus. It chronicles how Helmina became friends with the first homunculus she ever made, and how it's doomed to live a short life, and how this traumatic experience turns her into the bitter, jaded, sarcastic, and frankly evil woman we see in Atelier Elie and Atelier Judie. And then they do all sorts of cute things together, oh god. How could it not have content that constantly rips at your heartstrings?
    • He survives in one of the endings though. And since we don't know which ending is the canon one, it might just be the bad one where Helmina never cared about Culus and she just kept making other homunculus after Culus died. That is pretty in line with her attitude in Elie with how she made and advertised the creations of homunculus to be servants to Eisel and Elie. That makes it even more scary as that means Helmina is already that twisted even as a child.
    • The earlier "free-form alchemy" games, as well as their most recent successors, can hit you with this out of nowhere, too, given their non-linear nature. A good example is Gillian in Atelier Annie; for most of the game she's a lazy, happy-go-lucky Lethal Chef who is easy to get along with... and then you find out just why she's so obsessed with herbal health drinks.
  • That One Boss: Beginning with Prism, almost everyone in the latter half of Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana and the Slaith Reincarnation in Atelier Iris 2. Averted in the third Iris game where Shadow Stalker, the One Boss, is completely optional (although you'll miss out on the Luplus Blades.)
  • Woolseyism: There have been a few in the games that have crossed the sea so far; the aforementioned ESRB Joke is practically the Clinton Joke of the Noughties at this point.
    • Gillian Clout of Atelier Annie is another good one; her name was initially given in Japanese sources as "Jalia Kraut. Thankfully NISA had the good sense to put that to bed quick-smart.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: