You'll love it if:
- You are a fan of the Atelier series
- You have a soft spot for foraging
- You love exploring every inch of an open-world game
Not for you if:
- You are looking for an easier combat style
- You don’t want to devote too much time to a single game
A few things set Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & The Secret Key apart from the previous Atelier Ryza games, and all contribute to a much more fun and enjoyable gaming experience. Not only can you play as one of 11 characters that join Ryza’s party, but you can also explore the big, open-world map by land, air, and sea and unlock many new features.
While certain aspects of the game might seem a little complicated for first-time players, everything is well explained and made to create comfortable gameplay. If you devote some time to it, Atelier Ryza 3 is bound to offer you a great gaming experience full of challenges, beautiful scenery, and magical secrets.
Atelier Ryza 3 is a fun and refreshing open-world JRPG with cute characters, a large and beautiful map to explore, and many different items to craft. While it introduces characters from the previous games, it can be easy to jump into as a first-time player and will charm you with all the fun things you can do within it.
The story begins at Kurnken Island
The newest and last game of the popular Atelier Ryza trilogy takes place in Ryza’s home, Kurken Island. While everyone is living their lives peacefully, the sudden appearance of a previously unknown set of islands comes to shake the peace on the island. Nobody knows much about them, but they are somehow connected to the recent earthquakes plaguing the village.
Ryza and her group of friends she gathered from her previous adventures, decide to embark on a quest and find out more about these mysterious islands, called the Kark Isles. Little do they know, their actions could very well be what will end up saving their home.
During their quest in Atelier Ryza 3, the group of friends ends up discovering an area full of ruins, within which they locate a very large gate. There, Ryza hears a strange voice, which lets her know it wants to lead her to the “Code of the Universe”. This leads her to learn how to create new and important items which will aid her and her team’s journey.
Exploring the Map of Atelier Ryza 3
Atelier Ryza 3 is an open-world game with a vast map that you can slowly explore. While you have to follow the main quest of the game, you can still visit and explore all the different areas that surround the main Kurken Island.
Every area you visit has a different look and enemies you can fight in order to collect different resources. You can find hidden chests, battle groups of enemies, and level up and of course, forage different items from every area of Kurken Island.
One of the handiest features of Atelier Ryza 3 is fast travel. When exploring new areas on the map, you come across different landmarks on the map, which allow you to easily travel to those areas through the map. For the beginning of the game, before you unlock different transport methods, the fast-travel option is truly helpful, especially when you are trying to level up your characters or collect certain items.
Alternative Methods of Traveling you will Enjoy
Probably one of my personal favourite features of Atelier Ryza 3 is a travel method that I did not expect, and that is travelling by dolphins! Not only are they fast and can easily get you from one island to the next in certain areas of the map, but they are also super cute and will still follow you around, even if you decide not to ride them.
In addition to this, another fun way to travel across the map is through ziplines. While you will have to activate the portals which connect the zipline platforms before you are able to use them, they are definitely a fun and different way to zip through the map without having to use the fast travel option Atelier Ryza 3 offers.
Putting Together Your Group
As you move along the game, more people will be joining your party. Going on adventures with more members in your group can ensure you survive the most difficult challenges. The characters who join you in the earlier stages of Atelier Ryza 3 are all old friends of Ryza, who you might remember from the previous games of the trilogy.
While adding people to your group is not optional, you can choose your group leader and also battle with all the different characters. Each character comes with different skills and special attacks, and learning how to use them in battle can be all the more fun and exciting.
All About the Quests
As mentioned previously, the main quest of the game revolves around finding out where the mysterious Kark Isles have emerged from and what their purpose is. Along the way, especially if you enjoy exploring every area of the map, you will come across side quests that will help you gain new items and experience.
These can sometimes feel random and can be tied to defeating groups of enemies or collecting certain items in a certain amount of time. More often than that, you will come across NPCs who will ask you to find certain items for them around the map in Atelier Ryza 3. These are optional but will give you rewards you can use for Alchemy, so they can definitely prove useful in your adventure.
Alchemy and Item Creation
When it comes to Atelier Ryza 3, Alchemy is a very important part of the story. Ryza herself is an alchemist and this is how she creates new weapons, charms, potions, and many other useful items for the duration of the game. The item creation process is full of branches which, when unlocked, allow you to upgrade your items and let them be of better quality.
Truth be told, it can be a little challenging to understand the alchemy system, especially if this game is your first contact with this series. The good thing is that the game will provide you with detailed guides on how to get the hang of creating new items with your cauldron, so you can simply read as you play and learn as you go.
And of course, you will always have Ryza cheering you on as you try all the new recipes!
Unlocking New Skills and Items
The Skill Tree is the way through which you get to unlock new things for your main character. As you craft new items with your cauldron, Ryza collects SP points. These can then be used to unlock new skills in the Skill Tree which allow you to do a plethora of new things within Atelier Ryza 3.
For example, they can help you improve your performance in battle, unlock new weapons and items, and increase the number of items you gather when foraging. These are just some examples but can simply show you how much thought was put into making the game as friendly for every type of player as possible.
Handy Items for all your Foraging Needs
Apart from all the weapons, armour, and charms you can create for your battling needs, there are also plenty of items you can create to aid your foraging in Atelier Ryza 3. All of these can be created from your Cauldron at the Hideout, and you have to equip them.
Not only can you cut wood, and collect fruit and flowers but you can even forage crystals and even some bugs. These make the game all that more interesting and fun, especially if you are someone who loves the foraging aspect in similar JRPGs. And the best part is that you can repurpose everything you gather and create new and improved items for your adventures. All in all, it is a win-win situation!
Understanding the Battle System
The system that the Battles follow in Atelier Ryza 3 can get a little complicated in the beginning. There are quite a few rules and settings you should understand early on in order to become good in combat, and it can get a bit confusing. This was probably the most challenging part of the game for me, as I had not played the previous games.
Thankfully, once again the game is full of guides and advice when it comes to doing anything new. This is a perfect opportunity for new players to slowly understand how to do different things and level up easily and steadily.
One of the best things is that you can level up relatively easily within the game, especially after you get to put together your group and have more people fight alongside you. You might have to grind a little bit in order to level up and fight certain bosses, but all in all, it is not a boring process by any means.
The animations within the battles and the different skills and items you use make it much more interesting. The battles in Atelier Ryza 3 are turn-based and you have to collect points in order to use certain skills. This gives battles a fun element that can help you enjoy them even further.
The Power of Secret Keys
Secret Keys are another category of items that can help you improve your skills in Battle and in Alchemy alike. Each key you create can have up to four different effects and can come in handy in many different situations. The secret keys can either be created at certain landmarks around the map or can spawn from enemies during battles.
Another way to use the Secret Keys is at treasure chests which have a specific Adventure Effect. These chests can give you different items depending on the keys you use to open them and many of them can be rare and cool items. Make sure to keep an eye out for Supply Points that have a golden glow around the map of Atelier Ryza 3, as these are the rare ones and can give you the best items.
Petting Animals Around the Island & Fishing
If you are an animal lover, this little surprise in Atelier Ryza 3 will definitely make your day, as it surely made mine. Throughout the game, there are many different cats and dogs you can approach and pet whenever you wish. While some will run away from you if you come running towards them, most will patiently wait for pets and will even give you a random item as a thank you for the pets!
At this point, it would also be a good point to mention that fishing is also available in Atelier Ryza 3. Like many JRPGs, fishing is always an essential part of gathering supplies and thankfully this game makes it very simple.
After you craft your own fishing rod from the Cauldron, you simply have to wander around the map until you find fishing spots. There, you can get many different sea creatures like crabs and plenty of fish, and use them to create potions and other items.
Enjoy the View & Try the Camera Mode
Last but not least, something that I always love about open-world style games is enjoying the beautiful scenery as I travel the world. Atelier Ryza 3 is definitely one of the games that provide you with unique and beautiful views all over the map. Ranging from seaside resorts to mountains and old ruins, you will never get bored exploring a new area in the game.
Moreover, Ryza is simply such a cute character and there are plenty of fun scenes you can enjoy during your gameplay. The Camera Mode of the game gives you the option to have Ryza take different poses and do all sorts of fun photo shoots around the map. If this is something you enjoy doing, you will find this mode super fun!
Conclusion: Should you Play Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & The Secret Key?
Despite so many different Atelier games that have come out over the years, Atelier Ryza 3 offers new elements which will make your playthrough exciting and fun. Ryza is a lovable character and the adventure she is on with her friends will make the time you spend on the game all the more special.
From the quests, to simply exploring the map and foraging different items, Atelier Ryza 3 is definitely a game you will enjoy. Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & The Secret Key is now available on PC, PlayStation consoles, and the Nintendo Switch.
Big thanks to CD Media for providing us with a copy of the game for review!