Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis

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Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis
Mana Khemia Cover.jpg
Developer(s) Gust
Publisher(s)
Series Atelier
Platform(s) PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable
Release date(s) PlayStation 2
  • JP June 21, 2007
  • NA April 1, 2008
  • EU March 27, 2009
PlayStation Portable
  • JP September 25, 2008
  • NA March 10, 2009
  • EU March 27, 2009
Genre(s) Role-playing
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution DVD-ROM, UMD

Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis (マナケミア ~学園の錬金術士たち~ Mana Khemia ~Gakuen no Renkinjutsushi-tachi~) is a role-playing video game developed by Gust Corporation for the PlayStation 2 in 2007. The game is another iteration of Gust's Atelier series, and incorporates elements of standard turn-based combat and alchemy. A PlayStation Portable version was released, with additional features included.

Gameplay[edit]

Mana Khemia is console role-playing video game and is a spiritual successor to the Atelier Iris series, also created by Gust. As a result, the game shares many common elements with games in that series.

At the core of the game is alchemy through which the player can create weapons, armor, usable items, and complex ingredients for these recipes. The player is required to gather core materials through field exploration, spoils of combat, or buying them in the shops. Each item carries fundamental properties that include elemental and special abilities and character stat improvements that can be infused into equipment. Though the creation of new items, these properties can transfer over into the new item. A new "alchemy wheel" allows the player to adjust the quality of each ingredient as it is added to the mix, for better or worse, in order to alter the final item's properties as well. Recipes for items are learned over the course of the game by finding or buying recipe books, conversing with characters, or can be extrapolated from existing recipes by altering the ingredients list.

When in the field, the player can opt to avoid encounters with monsters by running and jumping over them, but also may attempt to strike first to go into battle. Mana Khemia uses a turn-based system similar to previous Atelier Iris games. Once the player has more than three characters in the party, he or she can then have up to three characters in reserve; these characters can switch in during a normal turn, or be called in at the end of one character's attack to provide an additional blow, or be called in to replace a character about to be attacked. The swapped out characters require a number of turns to recover before being called in again. As the player becomes able to inflict more damage, they can activate "Burst Mode" that temporarily increases the damage from each attacks and rewards the player with a large number of hits in this mode. Additionally, about mid-game, Burst Mode can lead to a "Finishing Burst" that requires the player to meet a certain condition while Burst Mode is activated, such as striking with each team member or healing a certain amount of damage; this allows for a special powerful finishing move to be unleashed by one of the characters.

Both alchemy and combat are necessary to grow the characters. Unlike typical role-playing games, there are no experience points or characters levels. Instead, through combat, the characters earn "action points" which are used in the character-specific "grow book" to unlock new skills and character bonuses such as additional health or mana points. However, these bonuses are tied to completing the recipes for specific items in that book. The grow book is presented as a graph of synthesizable items. The bonuses for an item cannot be acquired using action points until an adjacent item on the graph and the item itself has been made.

The game is presented as a series of terms at a school. Each term is made up of several weeks, typically starting and ending with an event, ultimately leading to a key battle to be won. In between, the player is generally required to complete two or three courses, earning a grade for how well the course was completed. This is then followed by two or three days of free time. If the player should fail to make a decent cumulative grade by the end of courses, they will need to spend one day of free time in detention, doing required tasks. Once in free time, the player is free to take odd jobs, talk with characters, and perform side quests related to the other members of the party.

Plot[edit]

The game's main focus on is the lead protagonist, Vayne Aurelius, son of a legendary alchemist named Theofratus who had disappeared sometime after Vayne's birth. Vayne, since then, had led the life of a hermit, his only companion being a Mana in cat form named Sulpher. Vayne is invited to the Al-Revis Academy for alchemy training by Zeppel, one of the professors there. He is quickly indoctrinated into the school by become part of an atelier led by Flay Gunnar (an older student who is known as The Defender of Justice) along with two other students, Jess (a clumsy girl who is nevertheless adept at alchemy) and Nikki (an impulsive beastgirl). They are soon joined by Pamela (the school's resident ghost), Anna (an 11-year-old master swordsman), Roxis (the son of a famous family of alchemists who is quickly forced to join the workshop by Flay) and Muppy (an alien the group discovers on an assignment). The eight of them are able to succeed at completing assignments and allow the workshop to prosper and learn the skills of alchemy.

Characters[edit]

Playable characters[edit]

Vayne Aurelius (ヴェイン・アウレオルス Vain Aureorusu?)
Voiced by: Akira Ishida (Japanese), Liam O'Brien (English)
The protagonist main character. He lived alone with Sulpher, a black cat, deep in the forest. But one day, he was suddenly invited to come to Al-Revis Academy, due to supposedly being the son of a famous alchemist. He is shy and has a weak personality, and his friends talk him into trouble. He performs several miraculous acts as the game progresses, and it is eventually revealed that he is an artificial Mana that is able to grant wishes, created by the aforementioned famous alchemist. Depending on his relationship with others, he will either continue to live on knowing that he is the Mana of wishes or choose to disappear from the world. In all the good endings, Vayne eventually saves his friends and the school by wishing his power away.
Jessica Philomele (フィロメール・アルトゥング Firomēru Arutungu?)
Voiced by: Sakura Nogawa (Japanese), Kate Higgins (English)
Vayne's classmate. She fears no one, and has a very friendly and outgoing personality, but is slightly klutzy. She loves alchemy, and will test out her strangely unique syntheses whenever she has the time. And every time, she causes something to explode. And she actually had a strange illness that no doctors could fix it since she was little. The legendary alchemist Theofratus managed to cure her but made a mistake in the process - as a result her life expectancy has been greatly reduced. In her ending, Vayne becomes her doctor, working to cure her along with the other members of her workshop. Her bag appears to be some kind of magical device akin to a bag of holding, however she is also able to pull out items that were never placed inside.
Flay Gunnar (グンナル・ダム Gunnaru Damu?)
Voiced by: Kenyuu Horiuchi (Japanese), Richard Epcar (English)
Vayne's schoolmate who is one year his senior. He is known throughout the school for being a troublemaker. On Orientation Day, he forced Vayne to join his workshop, along with Jess and Nikki. As long as he's having fun, he does not care about anyone else's troubles. He also loves an adventurous non-boring world. He always wanted to be a 'King of Justice' aka a Superhero, dragging Vain with him as his partner hero. In his ending, Flay has become a villain (though most likely out of a playful matter) named the "Flayvor of Evil" in the U.S. version, and Vayne is the hero who continually battles with him.
Nicole Mimi Tithel (ティティルミミニケメレ Titiru Mimi Nike Mere?)
Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro (Japanese), Jennifer Sekiguchi (English)
An energetic beastman girl. She talks and acts before she thinks. She hates sitting still inside a room, so she does not concentrate on her syntheses. She is lazy to be in the academy, because she hates doing assignments. She grew up in a small village, which may be why she sometimes seems to lack common social ideas. However, out of all the members of the workshop, she has the most common sense. Nikki has a beautiful singing voice and came to Al-Revis to find a husband so she can save her vanishing race. In her ending, she and Vayne get married and take care of their children.
Roxis Rosenkrantz (ロクシス・ローゼンクライツ Rokushisu Rōzenkuraitsu?)
Voiced by: Daisuke Kishio (Japanese), Patrick Seitz (English)
A cool, sarcastic transfer student who comes from a famous alchemist family. A very diligent, hard worker. His words are very polite, even though he's an annoying student. His hobbies are studying and reading. He likes being alone, and has an air about him that distances himself from others. He sees Vayne as a rival, and he dislikes him. In his ending, Vayne and Roxis are sparring partners, the loser of each round forced to be the other's test subject for all sorts of experiments.
Pamela Ibis (パメラ・イービス Pamera Ībisu?)
Voiced by: Asuka Tanii (Japanese), Brianne Siddall (English)
A ghost girl who lives in Al-Revis. She's very soft and likes all cute things. She is a recurring character in the Atelier series having previously appeared in Atelier Judie, Atelier Viorate, Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana and Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm. Pamela decides to join Vayne's workshop, but as soon as she sees how bleak it looks, she begins to complain about being in such a plain environment. With no other choice, Vayne gathers the cute items that Pamela wants, and decorates the workshop with them. In her ending, Pamela leaves Al-Revis with Vayne (now a doctor) to travel with him from town to town... though her habit of scaring people does not die out. Later on she appears in Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland.
Anna Lemouri (アンナ・レムリ Anna Remuri?)
Voiced by: Ui Miyazaki (Japanese), Danielle Judovits (English)
A very young girl who has already mastered swordsmanship at her young age. She is an underclassman of Vayne, but is more mature than she looks. She is strict, fastidious and takes most things far too seriously, even jokes and results of her occasional wild speculations. Once she is set in her path, she's unstoppable. In her ending, Vayne meets up with her for a duel only to find that she now uses both alchemy and swords as part of her fighting style so she will happily use bombs and poisons on him.
Muppy Oktavia Wonderchak VIII (ムーペ・オクタヴィア・ヴォンドラチェク8世 Mupe Okutavia Wondoracheku Hachi-sei?)
Voiced by: Yūichi Nagashima (Japanese), ? (English)
A foreign exchange student from a faraway world. By a strange turn of events, he ended up learning alchemy with Vayne and his workshop friends. He wanders the school in a pot-like machine, so everyone thinks he's slightly strange. His true plan is world domination as he tends to have delusions of grandeur. In his ending, Vayne travels with him to his home planet... and makes an offer to Vayne to become his queen.

Non-playable characters[edit]

Sulpher (サルファ Sarufa?)
Voiced by: Akio Ōtsuka (Japanese), ? (English)
Vayne's companion and Mana who transforms into Vayne's weapon in combat. Sulpher normally takes on the form of an arm-mounted blade with a red eye, but can change his shape to perform other attacks. Sulpher is apathetic, rude and unimpressed by seemingly everything. He traveled alongside Theofratus until the day he died, and then became friends with Vayne (he could talk with Vayne, but he can't anymore since Vayne lost his powers). In truth, Sulpher is not a mana, he is a normal cat. Vayne is the mana while Sulpher himself is the contractor, being able to take the forms he does simply because Vayne wished it.
Isolde Schelling (イソルテ・シェリング Isorude Sheringu?)
Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi (Japanese), Wendee Lee (English)
Female teacher at the academy, and Theofratus's lover. She's less pleasant than the other teachers, often giving out more difficult assignments. She is a graduate from Al-Revis and was classmates with Zeppel. While Zeppel is the laid back teacher, Isolde is much more serious. She cares for Vayne while on the other hand hate him for killing Theofratus.
Zeppel Kriever (ゼップル・クライパー Zeppuru Kuraibā?)
Voiced by: Kazuhiko Inoue (Japanese), Richard Epcar (English)
Vayne's homeroom teacher. He is friendly to students and is a popular teacher. He found Vayne from the mountains and invited him to the academy. In Mana Khemia 2 he has become the principal of Al-Revis Academy
Tony Eisler (トニ・アイスラー Toni Aisurā?)
Voiced by: Mitsuaki Madono (Japanese), Derek Stephen Prince (English)
An older student at the academy who is exclusively seen with Renee, and he seems to be the less powerful out of the two. He hates Gunnar with a passion and considers him his rival, however his attempts to defeat him and the main party are usually met by exasperation. ("Who are these people?" "We don't have time to play with you!") Gunnar tends to just ignore/make fun of him, and as the game passes it becomes obvious that he is much less evil than he originally appeared. He gets angry easily, which makes his speech deteriorate and causes him to him make rash decisions. He is ordered by Isolde to watch over Vayne. He returns to the academy in Mana Khemia 2 to become a full-time teacher, if only to continue his grudge against Gunnar.
Renee Kearse (レーネ・キア Rēne Kia?)
Voiced by: Ai Nonaka (Japanese), Danielle Judovits (English)
An older student at the academy. Is exclusively seen with Tony. Goes along with Tony's bothering of Vayne, but it seems her heart isn't really in it. Whenever Tony makes up 'schemes' to defeat Vayne's company, she don't stop or encourage him. She barely has any interests in anything, and tends to get bored fast by all kinds of activity. She's also seems to be very powerful in combat, as Tony asks her help to beat up Flay in the beginning of the game (though she prefers to back off to avoid breaking her new nails, and Tony decides against fighting Flay alone). The fact that she is capable of summoning the Mana who hates humans, Azure Flame Mana, may prove that she's more formidable battler than she looks. Still, she'll only fight seriously occasionally, thus making her not much of a threat to Vayne and the others.
Bernard Tieck (ベルンハルト・ティーク Berunharuto Tīku?)
Voiced by: Naomi Kusumi (Japanese), Derek Stephen Prince (English)
The academy's principal. He is a jovial man who is nice to all students. He is also a great cook.
Ernentraud Karnap (エルメントラウト・カルナップ Erumentorauto Karunappu?)
Voiced by: Yukari Hishizu (Japanese), ? (English)
The academy's vice-principal. She is very strict, and bullies the principal. She is also hopeless at baking.
Melanie Ruthers (メルヒス・ロイティエール Meruhisu Roidiēru?)
Voiced by: Rina Sato (Japanese), Wendee Lee (English)
The academy's nurse. She runs the infirmary and sells a variety of healing products. She enjoys teasing Vayne and his friends.
Cardinand Lorryale (Lorr) (カルダディイロルアレ (ロル) Karudadī Roruare (Roru)?)
Voiced by: Ryuuta Iguchi (Japanese), ? (English)
The academy's combat and tactics trainer. He's a beastman like Nikki.

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack was composed by Ken Nakagawa and Daisuke Achiwa and includes opening song "Run For Your Lif"' by Haruka Shimotsuki and ending song "TOGGLE" by Yuuki Mizusawa.. It was released May 30, 2007 in Japan by Team Entertainment.

Insert songs:

  • "夢の未来へ~合唱版~ (Yume no Mirai e ~Gasshouban~ / To the Future of Dreams ~Chorus Version~)" by Gust Staff
  • "シリウス (Sirius)" by Marie
  • "ねぇ (Nee / Hey)" by Marie
  • "STIGMATA" by Noriko Mitose

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 71.18%[1]
Metacritic 69/100[2]
Review scores
Publication Score
GamesRadar 3/5 stars[5]
GameSpot 7.5/10[3]
IGN 5.7/10[4]
Console Obsession 7/10[6]
Honest Gamers 7/10[7]
PSXextreme 6.7/10[8]
RPGFan 90%[9]
Total PlayStation 7.5/10[10]
ZTGD 6.5/10[11]

Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis received mixed reviews. It received an aggregated score of 71.18% on GameRankings based on 22 reviews[1] and 69/100 on Metacritic based on 20 reviews.[2]

Re-release[edit]

A port for the PSP system that was released in Japan on September 25, 2008 under the title Mana-Khemia Gakuen no Renkinjutsushi-tachi Plus, and in North America on March 10, 2009, branded under the name Mana Khemia: Student Alliance. There are added features like multiplayer battles, Jump Start function to allow the game to load faster, and more items that can be synthesized. In multiplayer battles, enemies may drop rare items that cannot be found in the main game. Student Alliance was generally given lower reviews than its PS2 counterpart due to its additional loading times, but this can be remedied by playing the download rather than the UMD or using the install function.

Sequel[edit]

A sequel was released on May 29, 2008 in Japan and in North America on August 25, 2009, the sequel's story is set 15 years later after the original game, and the only returning characters are Flay, Tony, and Zeppel.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis for PlayStation 2". GameRankings. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ VanOrd, Kevin (May 12, 2008). "Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis Review". GameSpot. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  4. ^ Haynes, Jeff (April 1, 2008). "Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis Review". IGN. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  5. ^ Elston, Brett (April 1, 2008). "Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis review". GamesRadar. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  6. ^ Wigham, Simon (May 30, 2010). "Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis PS2 Review". Console Obsession. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  7. ^ Sacranie, John (April 1, 2008). "Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis (PlayStation 2) review". Honest Gamers. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  8. ^ Dukta, Ben (July 5, 2008). "Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis Review". PSXextreme. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  9. ^ Gann, Patrick (March 28, 2008). "Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis". RPGFan. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  10. ^ Bishop, Sam (March 20, 2008). "Almost the Right Recipe - Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis". Total PlayStation. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  11. ^ McKown, Ken (January 27, 2011). "Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis". ZTGD. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 

External links[edit]