WorldThe game is set in the world of Regallzine, the home of alchemy and Mana, but more specifically; The Kingdom of Esviore. Wars and disputes has divided the kingdom, and the southern parts are no longer under the influence of King Slaith. Instead, each separate city-state of South Esviore runs their own affairs, trading with one another and conducting own businesses.
There exists a legend regarding Avenberry, a city of alchemists that existed many hundreds of years prior to the game's beginning. No one knows exactly what happened, but it is said that Avenberry fell because of the misuse of alchemy. Many alchemists and treasure hunters have tried to enter Avenberry and unlock its secrets ever since that time, and the city of Kavoc was built for that purpose. However, none have been able to get past the gate that guards the citadel, and Avenberry's secrets have so far been preserved.
Alchemists today are scarce, most basing their research on the studies of Iris, an alchemist who lived before the fall of Avenberry, and her theories/books about alchemy called Iris' Theories. They travel the world in search of new alchemaic artifacts, ruins of the past, information and Mana Spirits. The Mana are a race of beings that allow alchemists to use their power. They augment the power of elements which alchemists extract from objects in the world and can use them to create magical items. Mana have feelings, emotions, and personalities just as people do, and many become good friends with their alchemist, though a few people only sees them as tools.
PlotThe young alchemist Klein Kiesling and his Wood Mana friend Popo is trying to crack the mysteries surrounding an old notebook about alchemy which belonged to Klein's grandma, Daphne. They traverse the world in search of special items and more information about alchemy. In the start of the game Klein is attacked by a monster in a forest, and rescued by a girl named Lita Blanchimont whom invites Klein to become a Galgazit, a monster hunter. She appears just like any normal girl at first sight, but it is soon revealed that she is the bearer of a mysterious disease and a pair of wings. An important part in the master plan by the games antagonist, Mull, who wants to resurrect an old abomination called Amalgam. Created by forcibly fusing a lot of different Mana into one being. Something which already occurred hundreds of years ago and brought with it the destruction of Avenberry. Klein and his party has to stop this resurrection at all costs.
GameplayThe gameplay in Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana is very typical for a j-rpg, with turn-based battles, random encounters and experience points for leveling up. The battle system is very similar to Final Fantasy X's Conditional Turn-Based system (CTB) as it is not a real time battle system, but not a total turn-based system either where characters (and enemies) does one action per turn. It means that the game pauses when you select prompts for your characters, so you can act without time pressure, but fast characters and enemies can still act several times before others can act even once. A display in the top of the screen shows the order of turns for every character and enemy so that you can use strategic thinking when selecting actions. Klein is the only character who can use mana items and mana synthesis (which duplicates the mana item's effect, at the expense of MP) in battle, as he is the only alchemist. Once the enemies are defeated the party gains experience, gold and possibly items. Players can select skills to level up for each character, and when that character levels up an ordinary level, he/she gains 3 points to that skill. Characters equipped with Mana spirits can get bonus skill points. The player can switch between characters both in battle and out of battle.
The game also features several forms of item synthesis. Mana items can be created by Klein using elements extracted from objects and enemies. To create lasting Mana items, Klein requires the help of the Mana spirits, whose health is used in the process. Normal items can be created by shop owners if the player brings them the right items. This often includes food (health) and equipment. Weapon Synthesis involves creating "mana crystals" by combining Mana stones that you find throughout the game. Each crystal can have up to three abilities or effects, and can be inserted or removed on certain pieces of equipment.
The game lets you explore the world via j-rpg-typical world maps, towns and dungeons. You also have a few abilities available to you throughout the exploration part of the game. A few examples are flying, changing into a rabbit, using a Mana as a footstool, or healing the whole party. These actions are gained each time a specific Mana joins the party.
Mana SpiritsMana spirits are the key part of the games alchemy system and is used for item synthesis, exploration tools and leveling up skills on characters by "equipping" a Mana spirit to that character. Some Mana have the power to transform into new, even more powerful Mana forms.
Below is a list of each Mana, and their element.
- Dour: The Mana Spirit of Wood. He is with Klein, who named him Popo, at the start of the game. He also provides the player with tutorials on certain aspects of the game.
- Uru: The Mana Spirit of Fire. His special ability, Destruction Blast, allows the player to destroy certain objects on the screen.
- Plua: The Mana Spirit of Darkness. Her special ability gathers nearby monsters for the player to battle, though it does not always work.
- Diemia: The Mana Spirit of Stone. His special ability allows him to act as a stepladder so the player can reach places otherwise inaccessible.
- Nymph: The Mana Spirit of Water. Her special ability, Barrier, creates a barrier that allows the player to travel over hazards that would otherwise prove a hindrance, such as lightning and lava.
- Silwest: The Mana Spirit of Air. She also has the Barrier action, but some rumors point to her granting flight later in the game.
- Aion: The Mana Spirit of Life. She is one of the oldest of the Mana Spirits, second only to the Mana Spirit of Creation, Lilith. She has the ability to heal the entire party at will, when the player calls on her.
- Eital: The Mana Spirit of Light. Her special ability drives away monsters for a limited time.
- Luplus: The Mana Spirit of Time. He is often seen with Arlin.
- Grupt: The Mana Spirit of Power, and final form of Uru.
- Fanatos: The Mana Spirit of Evil, and final form of Plua.
- Flay: The Mana Spirit of Spirit, and final form of Nymph.
- Zeilia: The Mana Spirit of Lightning, and final form of Silwest.
- Paltia: The Holy Mana Spirit, and final form of Eital.
MusicThe games soundtrack was composed by Akira Tsuchiya, Ken Nakagawa & Daisuke Achiwa. It was released in May 19, 2004 in Japan by TEAM Entertainment.
- White Night Illusion
- Mana, Noisy Time
- The Forest of Meeting
- Town Where the Bells Chime
- Revelation ~introduction~
- Flask Boy
- Fun Shopping in Kavoc
- To the Unseen World
- Wind Over Time
- Alchemic Blast
- Winning Shot!
- Waterdrop Waltz
- Refreshing Power
- Popo's Pleasant Money Lecture
- The Name Is Beggur!
- The Story is Over
- Sleeping Reality
- Lost Technology
- Traveling Companion
- The Forest Where the Witch Lives
- Cute Witch
- Klein and His Pleasant Friends
- Spending the Night Together
- Miraculous Little Universe
- Anchor and Pickaxe
- Fun Shopping in Arcose
- Hager's Song
- Two Funny People
- Hot or Cool?
- Popcorn Strategy
- Looming Crisis
- Ferocious Drive
- The Path You Walk
- White Night Imagination (with SE)
Total Time: 63 minutes and 24 seconds.
- Distant Hometown
- Beat of Illusion
- Crack in the Earth
- Konkon Fountain
- Village of Snow and Glass
- Fun Shopping in Duran
- Huge Game Table
- And Fate Was Changed
- The Way to the Spirit King
- Spirit's Hometown
- Tree Spirit in the Mist
- Eternal Ground
- Small Workshop
- DO · TA!
- Horned Enigma
- Succeed on Earth
- Animal Village
- Phantom Wings
- What Was Left Behind
- Eternal Eyes
- The Tower of No Return
- Duke of Stratosphere
- Frozen Lithograph
- Undeveloped Region
- Voiceless Poem
- A Girl's Memories
- Sadness Is Whisked Away by the Wind
- Drive into the Dark
- Beat of the Rumbling Earth
- Deceitful Wings
- To Each Their Own Way
- Silent Rhyme
- IRIS (without Vocals)
Total Time: 71 minutes and 38 seconds.
白夜幻想譚 (Byakuya Gensoutan / White Night Illusion) by Haruka Shimotsuki.
Ending Songs:歩む道 (Ayumu Michi / Walking Path) by Mami Horie (Normal Ending).
Silent Rhyme by Mami Horie (True Ending).
Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana is a spiritual sequel to the first few Atelier games; Atelier Marie, Atelier Elie, Atelier Lilie, Atelier Judie and Atelier Violet, released on Playstation and Playstation 2 between 1997 and 2003 only in Japan. The Iris series is not connected to the first games other than being the same franchise, though.
There are two more games in the Iris' series of the Atelier franchise and sequels to Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana; Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny and Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm. Released on Playstation 2 in 2005 and 2006 (Japanese release date). They are not direct sequels, but is set in the same world and a few characters have cross-game mentions. Atelier Iris 2 is actually a prequel to Atelier Iris, chronologically.