The third and final game of the Mysterious trilogy is Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists DX. Besides the goodies that are included with each game of the trilogy (double speed battle mode, photo mode, and digital art book), this remake only adds a new painting that represents the world of Nelke & The Legendary Alchemist. You’ll be able to interact with Nelke and fight a new boss.
Set after the events of Atelier Sophie and Atelier Firis, this final entry to the Mysterious trilogy revolves around the twin sisters, Lydie and Suelle. With dreams of having the best atelier in the kingdom, they must set out and raise their atelier reputation by passing a series of tests. But that’s not all that lies ahead. The game has a deeper story that dwells inside mysterious paintings. It’s these mysterious paintings that make this game stand out from others in the Atelier series. It still combines the heartwarming everyday life of an Atelier game with an objective pertaining to the story. Unsurprisingly, you’ll encounter old faces from the previous two games in this one; therefore, it’s recommended to play those two games first.
Unlike the first two games of the Mysterious trilogy, Atelier Lydie & Suelle DX removes the stressful time limit to make the game something you can play at your own pace. It takes some of the best parts from them to form the final title of the trilogy. Backed up by a great tutorial, the game will take you on an adventure as the two protagonists: Lydie and Suelle.
Atelier Lydie & Suelle DX takes after Atelier Sophie DX when it comes to exploring the world. You lose the high level of freedom from Atelier Firis DX and instead have to travel through small maps with connecting areas. Unfortunately, it’s not difficult to lose your bearings when traversing these maps and the lack of a larger version doesn’t help. The large number of small maps and linear routes help combat this issue, but there will be a few that may have you heading back to the previous area rather than the next.
One of the good things about Atelier Lydie & Suelle DX is that its fast travel is actually efficient. Although it’s not perfect to fully satisfy a lazy soul, it makes getting around as swift as it can be. You’ll be able to jump directly to your Atelier or another location of your choosing. It does have its limitations, but it’s manageable enough to make getting around as smooth as possible. It’s essentially useful when you’re unable to gather new materials without displacing the old ones—and there will be scenarios like this common with the lack of bag upgrades in the game.
Unlike the previous two games, Atelier Lydie & Suelle DX has two main protagonists. The game gives you the ability to switch between these two characters and they both have their own respective actions in the overworld. It’s these little details that make appreciating the game ever so possible. It adds to the action scenes Atelier games have already been known for.
There’s a decent number of maps to explore in this game. What makes Atelier Lydie & Suelle DX special is the new painting worlds you’ll be able to explore. A deeper look when playing will reveal how ordinary these maps can be. They act similar to the maps known to Atelier games; however, they do have an artsy aesthetic that differentiates them. But that’s all there is to it. It’s just a mask slapped onto a face that operates the usual way it’s supposed to, yet looks slightly different.
The combat system in the game is undoubtedly the best from the Mysterious trilogy when used to the fullest. You play with a party of six characters split evenly into offensive and supportive rows. It retains the combat style from the trilogy’s previous two games and salvages their best battle mechanics. Although it benefits from this, it still suffers from repetitive combat scenes. More consumable items have slightly helped with this, but it still was not enough with the lack of skills.
One of the best, new parts of the battle system in Atelier Lydie & Suelle DX is the interactive battlefield. Certain actions and skills cause the surroundings to inflict damage on either your characters or the foes that stand before you. It does not get too advanced and loses its charm late game, but it was certainly a breath of fresh air to experience after Atelier Sophie and Atelier Firis. Additionally, some items now change the battlefield and allow for more strategic gameplay.
Similar to the previous games, Atelier Lydie & Suelle DX has a difficulty mode for everyone. Regardless of the difficulty mode chosen, it’s a game where you might not struggle with the majority of enemies the game throws at you. Only two of these foes are significantly notable for their strength. Battles may drag on for a decent amount of time and you may find the enemy’s HP not depleting as fast as you may want it to, but you certainly wouldn’t be heading back to your atelier often with your head hanging down in defeat. However, there is a major difficulty spike upon reaching the final chapter.
The synthesis system in Atelier Lydie & Suelle DX heavily relies on the materials you gather and how you use them to determine the best results. You’ll find yourself placing blocks in grid-based fields, trying to fit them in the proper color slots or special effect-inducing spaces. The system itself is the easiest to understand in the entire trilogy and Atelier fans who enjoy making the best items will surely get a kick out of this one. Although it takes some of the elements from Atelier Sophie and Atelier Firis, it’s presented differently in its own way. The lack of good quality items and gear can result in battles that drag on far longer than you may like, even on the easier difficulties.
A minor setback to the recipe listing is that most of the items are displayed from the start. That means you’ll see almost every item you can make that you technically can’t make because of the lack of materials or alchemy level. It’s a distraction that you have to cope with throughout the entire game. This makes scrolling through the list daunting at times. Filter and sorting options are back in this game and they make it easier to find materials you’re looking for. However, it lacks one of the most vital aspects you may be seeking: specific color components of materials.
While you won’t get the same level of costumes offered in Atelier Firis DX, you’ll still have some options to swap between without paying an extra penny. The main characters will, of course, have more costume options available when compared to other party members. Still, it’s more generous than other recent Atelier games that have hit the Nintendo eShop.
Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings DX can either be purchased individually for $39.99 US or through a bundled package for $89.99 US. The bundle includes all three of the games in the trilogy:
- Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book DX
- Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey DX
- Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings DX
Similar to the previous two games of the trilogy, you’ll get a neat little bonus with your purchase. This bonus is a Digital Art Book of the character and world designs. This is all accompanied by the game’s soothing tunes to enhance the browsing experience.
Graphics and Soundtrack
Considering it’s a remake, the game does look good on the Nintendo Switch. You won’t find modern graphics for a Switch game with this one, but it does look the best in the trilogy. There is a performance hiccup, though. You’ll encounter some slowdown issues throughout your playthrough on at least the Nintendo Switch version of this game.
Atelier Lydie & Suelle DX is the only game in the Mysterious trilogy that does not support English voice acting. It’s disheartening to learn after playing the first two games, but you can rest easy knowing that the Japanese voice acting is excellent on its own. Additionally, the game’s soundtrack is a close second and fitting for an Atelier game. It may not draw you in with its battle music, but the soothing tunes played while exploring and synthesizing are fantastic to listen to during the ride.
Atelier Lydie & Suelle DX concludes the Mysterious trilogy with a worthy addition to the series. It takes a step back with its exploration, but heavily improves upon its combat. With a delightful alchemy system that’s sure to please many Atelier fans and the best story of the three games, Atelier Lydie & Suelle DX is certainly a game you won’t want to skip out on.
Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings DX gets an 8/10.