The game revolves around the protagonist, Annie Eilenberg
, who lived in a town on the mainland. Annie lived a lazy life, doing little more than sleeping and fantasizing about marrying someone who would make her rich and famous. Looking to rid Annie of her laziness, her parents asked the advice of her grandfather, a highly skilled alchemist, who decided the best thing for Annie would be for her to be sent to Sera Island, where she could overcome her laziness by assisting in the resort construction project there.
Unbeknown to Annie she was taken from her home to Sera Island in the middle of the night, as she slept. She was awoken by a fairly called Pepe
who showed her a note from her grandfather explaining what had happened and told Annie that he would be her tutor in alchemy, a skill which was used in the construction of the resort. Initially Annie refused Pepe's help and the opportunity to participate in the construction of the resort, however when she was unexpectedly dragged to a celebration of the resort construction by the resort supervisor, Hans Ahrens
, she learned that a competition over who on the island could contribute the most to the resort construction offered the title of Meister and the chance to marry the Prince of Orde as the prize.
Looking to fulfill her dream Annie took part in the competition and put in a great effort to earn the prize she desired. There are seven possible endings to the game and which ending is shown is dependent on how the player performed during the game.
Alchemists of Sera Island attempts to incorporate less of a focus on RPG elements than other games in the Atelier series
and features narration, item creation and resource management more prominently.
Annie can venture outside of the towns in the game to places where she can collect materials for her later use and during these times she may randomly encounter battles. Combat in the game is relatively simple with each character in the player's party being able to take a front and back position on the battlefield, affecting their attack, defense and what special ability they will have available.
A large part of the gameplay revolves around the 'synthesis' mechanic which involves mixing various items together to create new items. Although it is common for Annie to occasionally fail at synthesizing items at first, synthesizing increases her alchemy level and the higher her alchemy level, the lower the chance of her botching a synthesis. As the game progresses Annie gains the ability to use synthesis to imbue certain items with traits such as giving them certain elemental powers to make them more effective in battling enemies of a certain element. Materials collected outside of towns later in the game also tend to carry certain traits.
Annie is able to build one of ten types of resort facilities on Sera Island in one of the five available areas. The player can assign a character which would otherwise be an available party member to run any of the resort facilities, however certain characters are more suitable for running certain types of facilities than others. Annie will receive certain requests from the head caretaker of each facility which will increase that facility's popularity when fulfilled and slowly decrease it over time if it is left unfulfilled. Annie also has her own shop, the Atelier Annie, for which she is given quests by the adventurer's guild. Quests in the game typically involve collecting materials, synthesizing items and returning them to the quest giver, however later on in the game there is more of a focus on creating items with specific traits.
Every half-month (in game time) Annie receives a quest from Hans which ends in her obtaining first, second or third prize or nothing at all based on how well she performs. The prize is always money which can only be spent on the resort and the general sum of money each prize offers increases as the game progresses. Every month (in game time) how much money each resort facility on the island has earned is totaled up and that money can be spent on adding new resort facilities or expanding existing facilities, providing they have a high enough popularity.