Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness and The Secret Hideout
The story takes place on the island of Kurken, which needs to be saved from the invasion of monsters called Philuscha. Right at the beginning of the game, we are introduced to three main characters:
Riesalin (Ryza) Stout, Lent Marslink and Tao Mongarten. These three have been very restless and hyperactive since childhood. They would like to leave the island and experience a great adventure. Those wishes will soon be fulfilled when Ryza finds a secret port behind her house. So they sit on a small fishing boat anchored on it and set out to land. It is therefore a classic RPG, which does not lack elements such as collecting and extracting ingredients and alchemy. You will get the first alchemical guide containing basic recipes for making instruments after rescuing one of the supporting characters – Klaudia Valentz from another supporting character, the alchemist Empel Vollmer. Unfortunately, Empel lost fine motor skills after the injury due to damaged nerves in one hand, so he is unable to actively perform delicate alchemical processes. After this accident, he found out that his colleagues were involved in various conspiracies and abused alchemy, so he decided to leave and never use alchemy for bad purposes. On one of his journeys, he also met the Oren warrior, Lila Decyrus, when the wounded man fell out of the portal that led from her world – Underworld, which was attacked and destroyed by Philuscha monsters, as this world was robbed of its source of water these monsters were not very popular. However, it should be noted that while some recipes can be learned on their own along with the main storyline, others can be obtained by shopping in stores, some recipes can only be obtained by completing side quests from NPCs. In addition to the classic performance of the tasks of the main story and side tasks, there is also an optional search for fragments of maps for treasures, which will be available after building your secret base on the mainland. Of course, there is also the option to fast-travel to various places marked on the map, so it is not necessary to constantly travel by the little fishing boat and run around on the map. Each playable character also has its tasks, the fulfillment of which unlocks their specific spells and skills, or even a combination of attacks with another character. During battles with enemies, it is possible to switch between three characters, but you can only attack with one, not all at once. Each character has class-specific equipment and a set of skills to learn, so it’s up to the player to pick the ones that would work the best for each battle and keep in mind to change the party members before any enemy fight takes place.
There are various instruction manuals online that can teach you how to make the highest quality(999) equipment and ingredients – yes you can even upgrade the quality of ingredients in this game. Sadly the game lacks any multiplayer option, so you won’t be able to play with any of your friends, but if you are more of a solo player I can recommend this game as an introduction to the Atelier series, as this is the more new player friendly variant.