[PS5] Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg Review

by EdEN, Owner

Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg from KOEI TECMO AMERICA and GUST is a revamped take on the cozy and charming first entry in the beloved RPG series. Check our Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg review!

Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg from KOEI TECMO AMERICA and Gust is a revamped take on the cozy and charming first entry in the beloved RPG series. Atelier Marie: The Alchemist of Salburg launched in Japan on the original PlayStation console way back in 1997, marking the start of Gust’s beloved franchise. The game was later ported to the Sega Saturn, the Sega Dreamcast, and the PlayStation 2, but all of those additional versions – with the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 versions also including the sequel Atelier Ellie: The Alchemist of Salburg 2 – also remained as Japan exclusives. It’s now 2023, and we’re finally getting to enjoy this one in the West.

Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg takes place in the titular Salburg, which happens to be the capital of the Schigsal Kingdom. Marlone – a.k.a. Marie – is enrolled in the prestigious Royal Academy of Magic. Unfortunately, it turns out that Marie has the lowest scores in the Royal Academy of Magic’s entire history! She was this close to being expelled from the program, but Professor Ingrid gave her one last chance. The final special test she needs to complete to graduate? Use alchemy to create an impressive tool within five years. Sounds easy enough, right? Except that Marie has a really hard time making any of her alchemy work! It’s up to you to use your expertise to help Marie turns things around.

Marie is given some coin and a shop to run, which is certainly going to be a handful for her to manage! Marie will need to take on many requests during the aforementioned five-year period to be able to improve her abilities while earning enough money to procure the rarer ingredients needed to craft an item good enough to pass the exam. Working on many requests and completing quests will also allow her to gain more experience so that she can eventually have a chance to use the power of alchemy to create a worthy item.

Not just any item will do the trick. In order to truly wow Professor Ingrid, you’ll need to craft a high-rank item! But to be able to get there, you’ll first have to create a ton of lower-rank objects that will still prove to be useful not only for your potential clients but also for your own endeavors. Why is that? Because to obtain all of the resources needed to complete your task, you’ll need to explore a variety of areas as you gather ingredients and battle against foes of all shapes and sizes!

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The game can be played in one of two different options: Normal Mode and Unlimited Mode. Normal Mode allows you to enjoy Atelier Marie as it was originally designed to be played. That means you’ll have a hard limit of five years to make it and graduate before the ending plays and credits roll! If you don’t want to feel all of that pressure, then Unlimited Mode is the one for you. For Unlimited Mode, you’ll be able to play a special take on Atelier Marie in which there’s technically still a five-year time limit… except there isn’t. Once the five-year time limit comes around, you’ll be able to continue playing into years six, seven, eight, and so on, enjoying this one for as long as you want to! Do know that some events will not take place if you’re playing in Unlimited Mode.

Why is this time limit so important in Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg? Because most of your actions will consume some time! For example, leaving and returning to the atelier will make a day pass in-game. Days will also pass when you move between locations. This is why it’s important that when you open the door and leave the atelier, you know what your next objective will be so that you can, for example, complete all of your shopping, or chat with the people of Salburg to boost your friendship level, take on new quests or be able to complete those you’ve already taken on. As the days pass, HP and MP will recover, and fatigue will decrease.

You’ll have to make the most of gathering areas to be able to obtain enough ingredients for completing recipes. There are many different gathering spots in each area that will offer a variety of ingredients. Just approach a gathering spot and press the X button to get some ingredients. With each gathering attempt, a day will pass, so be sure to keep an eye out for quest-related gathering spots so that you can make every single day count!

The season will change every three months. The change from one season to another will be experienced on the field by how things look. On top of that, a change in the season will also mean that the ingredients that you can collect will also change, so you might not have enough ingredients to complete some of the recipes required to complete a quest! This is why it’s crucial that you gather as many resources as possible so that you can be ready for the variety of requests that will pop up.

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You’ll be taking on quests from Salburg’s citizens by visiting the Sky Tavern. While there, you can decide to complete some of the available quests either to improve your reputation, obtain new items, move the story along, or obtain some extra coins. Coins can also be spent at the Sky Tavern to listen to juicy rumors, so always remember to check if there are any new rumors available for you to purchase! Once you take on a quest, it will be added to your agenda, which you can check by pressing the L1 button. If you miss the due date for a quest, then the reward will be decreased.

To craft items, you’ll need to synthesize them by using the cauldron at the atelier so that you can use the ingredients at hand to complete this or that recipe as needed. Any recipes you’ve acquired will be listed when you interact with the cauldron at the atelier. Recipes are split into one of four elements, so you’ll need to press the L1 and R1 buttons to change between the recipes for each element. The ingredients you need for the synthesis will be shown at the bottom left, along with the amount needed.

Pressing the Square button will allow you to review the recipe details on the bottom-left part of the screen. You’ll need to review the recommended level for performing a synthesis to be able to improve the chance of it working. While you can try to synthesize an item if your level is lower than the recommended level, doing so will decrease the success rate. You can also check the MP cost and the days required to synthesize an item.

This game is an RPG, which means that you’ll need to battle against foes that will try to stop you from completing your main goal. While Marie starts on her own, she’ll soon be joined by companions that will help improve her odds of success. But for you to have more party members, you’ll need to hire them! This does mean that you’ll need to pay them wages, but it’s certainly worth it. Do know that the higher your friendship level with someone, the lower the cost of their wages, so be sure to forge some great relationships.

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You’ll need to keep an eye on each character’s HP to make sure they’re not KOed in battle as you aim to deplete the HP of the opponents you’ll fight against. A party member can also defend to lower any incoming damage. Along with being able to attack enemies and defend against them, you’ll also get a chance to spend some of your MP to use either items or special commands. These special commands include things such as Schea’s Clean Sweep, which costs 15 MP and will deal physical damage to a single enemy. You could also use Ruven’s Power Charge to boost his physical attack, which can be useful during boss fights. Oh, and items need to be equipped beforehand for you to be able to use them in combat, so don’t forget it!

To be able to keep up with the increasingly more powerful enemies you’ll run into, you’ll need to make a visit to the weapon shop. Visiting the weapon shop every now and then will allow you to buy and sell new weapons and armor for your party members. Marie starts with a regular wooden staff, but you could quickly fix this and get her the Mighty Staff of Legend… if you had 15,000 coins on you.

As characters obtain more and more experience points, they’ll eventually obtain enough to level up. Leveling up is important since it will make that character’s stats increase in value while also boosting the power of special attacks. The stats that will increase by leveling up include physical attack, which is tied to the damage dealt by physical-based attacks, special attacks, and items. There’s also physical defense, which will lower the damage received by a character from physical attacks. Magic attack will boost the damage dealt by magic-based attacks, special attacks, and items. Magic defense will lower incoming damage by magic-based attacks from enemies. Speed is the other one to consider since it affects the time delay between turns.

But these are not all the stats that you will need to consider during your time with Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg! There are three more stats that are just as important: knowledge, reputation, and fatigue. Knowledge is required for reading references in the library. You can increase it by listening to rumors in the city and obtaining new items. Reputation is required for reading the references in the library and for triggering some events. It will increase by completing quests. The last one is fatigue, which will accumulate as you synthesize items. As fatigue accumulates, it will decrease the success rate of synthesis, which is certainly bad!

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If you have the money for it, you’ll eventually get the chance to hire fairies at a special forest. Does that mean that fairies will join you in battle? Not at all! Fairies can be hired to gather and synthesize items for you in exchange for a proper wage. Just visit the Fairy Forest after being gifted a special bracelet so that you can put their services to the test. A fairy’s color will determine its working speed, item rank, and wage cost. Wages are paid when hiring a fairy and then again every 30 days. The higher a fairy’s wage, the more efficient it will be.

Along with crafting the best items possible, there are many other things for you to work on during your time with Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg. If you want to 100% the game and add a new Platinum trophy to your collection – more on trophies below – then you’ll have to complete the many entries in the Guide. This means you’ll need to battle against every single enemy and boss in the game, complete all Reference entries, hear all the rumors, and, well, obtain every single item in the game. You know, the usual.

As mentioned above, Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg has a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy waiting for you. And since Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg is a Cross-Buy release, that means that if you own a PlayStation 5, you could add two separate trophy lists to your collection since the PS4 and PS5 versions will have their own trophy lists. Each list includes 34 Bronze trophies, 12 Silver trophies, and 2 Gold trophies for you to work on.

It’s a long list with many objectives to complete. Your first step on this journey will be to travel outside of Salburg. After that, you’ll need to complete objectives such as achieving 50 victories in battle, synthesizing an item for the first time, synthesizing 30 items, gathering ingredients 100 times, traveling to 10 different destinations, listening to every rumor, and amassing 99,999 coins. Reach knowledge over 3,000, achieve a reputation of over 800, reach level 50, rest for 3 or more days in a row, and inspect a barrel, and you’ll make good progress toward unlocking a new Platinum trophy. You’ll also need to work on completing the different additional assignments that Professor Ingrid will periodically give you, so be ready!

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To customize your experience, the game can be played either while enjoying the soundtrack for the remake or by listening to the original soundtrack from the PlayStation version. There’s also the option of listening to additional songs from other games in the Atelier series by downloading the Atelier Marie Remake: Atelier Series Legacy BGM Pack which adds over 1,000 tracks from the entire franchise! And no, that number is most certainly not a typo. Want to change the atelier background music to that for Atelier Elie? Sure! Feel like changing the town song for autumn to that for Atelier Rorona? Go for it! Do you want to switch things around for spring with the Atelier Viorate soundtrack? That’s certainly also a possibility.

Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg brings us a revamped take on the first entry in the long-running and beloved RPG series. The original version was released for the first PlayStation console way back in 1997, and for this 2023 release, we’re getting a whole new look, a remastered soundtrack, and some quality-of-life improvements that make for a more enjoyable and chill experience for those that don’t want to have to go through playing with a hard five-year limit on the whole experience.

Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg is available as a Cross-Buy title, so your $49.99 purchase will allow you to download both the PS4 and PS5 versions of the game. There’s also the Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg Deluxe Edition available for download for $69.99. This one will give you both versions of the main game, as well as the Gust Extra BGM Pack, the “Another Look” Costume Set with 33 costumes to choose from, as well as Atelier Marie Plus, which is a localized version of the original PlayStation version of the game!

This Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by KOEI TECMO AMERICA.

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