From time to time I dabble in the occasional mobile game, but over the last few years few games have made a strong enough impression to keep my attention. There hasn’t been anything “new and shiny” out lately either. At least that was the case until I stumbled upon Atelier Resleriana: Forgotten Alchemy and the Polar Night Liberator. Now, if that name sounds familiar that is because this game is apart of the Atelier series of JRPG (Japanese role playing games) console games that have been around for over 25 years. The latest iteration of the series, Atelier Ryza even received an anime adaptation of its story in the Summer 2023 season.

Although I had heard of the Atelier series, I knew next to nothing about it other than the fandom’s obsession for Ryza, the titular character from Atelier Ryza, and her thighs… That, and the series is beloved by its fans. It also has some absolutely gorgeous and detailed splash art and animations, so I decided it was worth it to give it a shot.

I downloaded and played this mobile game from the Google Play store on my Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, so I was playing it from the best phone you could possibly play it on, spec-wise. It wasn’t until after I started playing it that I discovered this game also has a PC version, which can be downloaded through Steam. Even if you don’t have the latest mobile phone, you should be able to enjoy the game’s beautiful animation and VFX on almost any PC.

Title screen for Atelier Resleriana showing the two titular characters; Valeria and Resna
Title screen for Atelier Resleriana showing the two titular characters; Valeria and Resna

The Story of Atelier Resleriana

In Atelier Resleriana, we follow the adventures of Resna, a young alchemist as she works her way toward becoming a full-fledged alchemist. She embarks on a quest to discover the World’s End, a place where a large mass of mana remains, hoping to return alchemy to the world. Resna is a pretty endearing character. She’s motivated, very bubbly and friendly, but also has a naivety to her that you’d expect from a rookie alchemist growing up in a small town. The second main character is Valeria, a mysterious adventurer who doesn’t really know where she is or have any memories of her past. The one thing Valeria does know is she has these random dreams of a girl unknown to her, but who we know to be Resna. 

So far, I’m roughly half way through the third of the four currently available chapters, but there is heavily implied to be a strong connection that will bring Resna and Valeria’s destinies together. This is probably obvious, given that “Resleriana” is a combination of Resna and Valeria’s names. The way both girls are depicted in the promos and in-game moments during the gacha animations show them very close together, which seems to imply some potential romance or feelings between the two. Who knows? Maybe it is just the yuri/GL fan in me reading too much into things.

Portion of the gacha animation of Atelier Resleriana showing the two titular characters; Valeria and Resna and their growing bond.
Valeria and Resna during the gacha animation showing their growing bond.

As for the story itself, the initial chapters revolve around Resna growing as an alchemist, meeting new friends (which fans of the series will recognize as important characters from previous Atelier games), and hunting for materials that every alchemist needs. This material-gathering is more than just as secondary gameplay, as these items are important for crafting items. Players are given missions to find these materials to help Resna’s growth as an alchemist, and as the materials become harder and more difficult to find, the more Resna will need to rely on new and old friends to help her out.

The creative team behind this game are also a big part of its appeal to gamers. Takahiro was tasked with the story writing and world building of this game. Fans might know them as the writer behind popular series like Akame ga Kill, Chained Soldier, Yuki Yuna is a Hero, and many more.

The cast is filled with well-known voice actors, including Daisuke Ono (Jotaro Kujo from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Erwin Smith from Attack on Titan), Marina Inoue (Denji from Chainsaw Man, Armin Arlert from Attack on Titan), and Kaito Ishikawa (Tobio Kageyama from Haikyuu!, Genos from One-Punch Man).

The Gameplay and Gacha Systems

At the core of any game is how it plays, and Atelier Resleriana does an admirable job of paying homage to its predecessors while also adding new elements to the game to spice things up, to make it unique. The combat is pretty straight-forward as it follows a traditional turn-based RPG format, with every character having different roles and elements that have their own strengths and weaknesses.

The turn-based combat screen (auto-mode turned on)

One thing that did impress me with this game is how important it was that your team includes characters with a variety of strengths and abilities. Too often, players can power through the majority of the game just by loading up their team with the most powerful characters, and neglecting supporting characters. In Atelier Resleriana, you need to actually put thought into how you put together your team, based around what kind of enemies you will be facing, and take the proper items along to help you. Otherwise, the game can actually be quite challenging. At this stage of my gameplay, it doesn’t seem like players are at a severe disadvantage if they don’t have the rarest or strongest characters drawn from the gacha system.

That brings me to the one thing that Atelier Resleriana does with its gacha that I particularly love. When playing gacha games, there is nothing that grinds my gears more than the game developers intentionally creating unusable, commonplace characters that serve no purpose other than being “fodder” to level up characters or to water down the character pool to make rare, high-powered characters harder to obtain. In this game, there is none of that, as even the easily obtainable characters can be useful in certain circumstances due to their role or element. The gacha system in this game is very similar to games like Blue Archive. The game also doesn’t force it down your throats that you need to constantly spend money just to have the strength to progress through the game.

Given the series is about alchemists and the study of alchemy, crafting is another key aspect to the game. This gives you the items you need to make your characters stronger. Depending on which characters you use the secondary attributes for, the items can change, which is a nice departure from many gacha games that tie important items to a secondary currency or paid gacha system. This allows for a nice degree of customizability to your team, which is very much necessary as the game progresses into harder difficulties.

Resna and a couple characters from various Atelier series synthesizing a new alchemical item.
Resna and a couple characters from past Atelier series synthesizing a new alchemical item.

So far, I’ve been really enjoying this game and discovering what it has to offer. From the first time I played until now it’s been an entertaining experience. I’ll definitely continue to play, and I hope I’ve persuaded you to give it a shot too!


TITLE: Atelier Resleriana: Forgotten Alchemy and the Polar Night Liberator
GENRE: Turn-based, Adventure, JRPG, Crafting, Female Protagonist(s)

 24 Jan, 2024

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