|Game Name:||Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis|
|Publisher:||Gust, NIS America|
Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis is a RPG video game published by Gust, NIS America released on April 1, 2008 for the PlayStation 2.
Mana Khemia is the 9th game in the Atelier main series and the 1st game in the Mana duology.
Atelier Series Description – RPG Revision
You know what I said about the other Atelier games?
Wipe that out of your mind now.
Although these are part of the main series, these Atelier games are different from their alchemy focused counterparts.
The games here are actual traditional RPGs with an emphasis on story and battle system while the alchemy takes a backseat.
Although I say the alchemy system is there, it’s been diluted to its base and has hardly any of the complexity the actual alchemy focused ones have.
The RPG Ateliers are Iris 1-3 and Mana Khemia 1-2.
It’s from a weird era of Gust where they decided to stray from the normal formula to produce real traditional turn based RPGs.
Unfortunately, this series is pretty niche already in Japan and having male protagonists and different gameplay resulted in comparatively low sales so Gust will never make these again.
Still these games are still worth playing because
- Actual story. I mean a real overarching plot, not just character interactions. Whether it is rediscovering the secrets of a long lost civilization, saving the whole fucking world from dastardly villains, hunting gems to fill your book, or just living a peaceful school life. It’s there.
- Battle system. For these titles, Gust actually took the time to develop a decent battle system from the ground up and make alterations that evolved it over time between titles with the final games, Mana Khemia, having a fairly complex battle system compared to the first Iris game. It is somewhat accurate to say Iris’s battle systems is a prototype of Mana Khemia’s.
- No time limit. Some people like it, others don’t. This is a RPG, doesn’t make sense to have one.
Mana Khemia – Alchemists of Al-Revis Description
The first game of the Mana series. Unlike the Iris games, the two Mana games happen in the same era, only a decade or two apart.
The protagonist is some hermit orphan boy named Vayne Aurelius living in a dense forest alone accompanied by a black cat as his only companion when, one day, an unknown stranger arrives and offers him free admission into a famous alchemy institute for the gifted, Al-Revis Academy, due to your now missing/deceased father being a legendary alchemist.
When he arrives for the first day of classes, he is quickly recruited into an alchemy workshop and so his fun school days begins.
There is no urgent story of calamity or destruction. It’s all slice of life about the misadventures of Vayne and his friends in the alchemy workshop throughout their years in Al-Revis Academy although Vayne does have some hidden secrets that even he didn’t know about until later.
The game is segmented into weekly periods with a story event occurring at the end of the week.
At the start of each week, you must take classes, which are kinda like mini-tutorials for the mechanics of the game and you must earn the required units or be forced to do odd jobs to supplement your unfulfilled credits.It’s pretty simple, take note of any requirements and optional goals and you can get an easy A or B for a class.
For the latter half of the week, you have what is called Free Time. In this period, you can go do side quests for money, perform alchemy synthesis of new items and equipment, or go gathering.
The only actual way to use up a day of Free Time is to take part in one of your friend’s story routes by talking to them. Before you trigger your flags, you have unlimited time to do the above.
These character events affect the ending of the game. There are multiple endings to the game depending on who’s character story route you finish and then talk to before the final battle. (As in you can finish multiple story routes but of those you finish, whoever you trigger the final flag will push the story to their character ending) Of course, there is a normal ending to the game too but no True Ending.
The battle system improves off Iris 3’s battle system but, for some reason, MP is back. Unlike Iris 3 though, you have a variety of characters to use (8 playable characters) and each of their battle styles are pretty unique.
From gauntlet swords, interdimensional bags, mechanical swords to cards, katanas, and dolls. You have alot of variety in weaponry.
Each character has their own unique skills but there are also Common Skills endowed by accesories your characters can equip.
All I can say is you should abuse time-coordinated attacks.
You can have 6 characters in battle at once with 3 being in actual battle (front row) and 3 in the support group (backrow) and you can switch between then using either the Switch command or during attacks or defends against enemies.
After switching, the characters in the back row have a cooldown period until they can switch back to the front row.
With this, you have a system of support attacks and defends.
Later in the game, you will unlock Variable Strike and Burst Mode (and by extension, Finishing Burst).
Variable Strike is an extension of support attacks which requires Vayne to be in the support group and 2 other characters. To trigger it, you must attack with the first two characters and then have Vayne be the last one to do a 3rd support attack in the same chain. This triggers a special move by Vayne, which is the Variable Strike.
Burst Mode is a temporary battle environment triggered by scoring hits until the Burst gauge reaches 100%. During this mode, attacks do more damage in general. To trigger it faster, use attacks that perform more hits and exploits the enemies’ weakness. You have Vayne, let him Analyze the enemy to learn their weaknesses.
Once you have unlocked Finishing Burst, you will be given optional requirements to perform that will raise the Finishing Burst gauge on the bottom left. When it is full, you can choose one of your active characters to perform their strongest move that does enormous amounts of damage.
Character Development (aka Stats)
and Alchemy System
There is no leveling system in this game at all. Everything is in the GROW BOOK.
The Grow Book is a system that reward pure stats and skills for completing synthesis of the listed item in the growth tree and using AP gained from battle to obtain the grayed out stats.
It is a system that rewards those who strive to synthesize new items earlier.
Basically, you are required to do alchemical synthesis. No way to bypass it or you will consequently be given shit characters so be sure to at least make the stuff in the silhouettes.
The alchemy system is very simple. You see that rotating roulette? If the item gives a positive number, choose the same element as the item and it will raise the number. If it gives a negative number, choose the opposing element and it will raise the number.
Doing the opposite will lower the number and manipulating this can give different effects of the same item since each of the effect traits are grounded on a number range with synthesized items.
How to play with PCSX2 Emulator:Get the Latest version of PCSX2 (link below) and do: System -> Boot ISO. Then Select the .iso or .bin file.