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Story

 
*SPOILER ALERT*
 
The game starts off with Viese leaving her apprentice title behind and becoming a full-fledged alchemist. She rushes home to tell Felt the good news, but she can't seem to find him. She starts looking around for him, and later finds him at the Belkhyde Gate, a locked passageway to another world. They later wander into a forest to find Dour, a Mana spirit, with whom Viese can make a pact with. An essential task in becoming an alchemist. Along the way, they come across an ancient and mysterious sword called the Azure Azoth; a sword Felt is pretty familiar with, as he daily tries to pull it from its resting place, to no avail. No one has ever managed to pull it out, but Felt is determined to do it sometime. After Viese makes the pact with the spirit, an earthquake strikes Eden. All over the island, holy grounds of the Mana spirits vanish. They decide to head to the Mana Temple and report the damage and what they've seen. However, before they set off, Felt is interrupted by a strange voice calling him from the Azure Azoth. He then tries to pull the sword out once more and finally succeeds. The voice speaks again, telling him that he must go to Belkhyde because Eden is in great turmoil and risk.

About a week later, after the investigation surrounding the earthquake has been completed, Felt sets out for the Belkhyde gate again, which now has been unsealed by the Azure Azoth. After a good-bye moment with Viese, he sets out through the gate and into the world of Belkhyde. After fighting and stumbling his way through the Tatalian desert, barely alive, he collapses and is found by Noin. She claims to be part of the Simsilt, which later is revealed to be a resistance army fighting to liberate the land of Belkhyde from the oppression of the Empire. Felt and Noin becomes friends, and later goes to rescue Max, the leader of the Simsilt, from the Riesevelt lighthouse in the capital city. After the rescue they're chased out by the Empire and runs into a female assassin with a pair of crimson scythes. A battle breaks out, but the party leaves victorious. They later move on to Simsilt's base, Agito Cove. At around this point Felt and Viese find out about the Share Ring, a ring that allows the users to send items to one another. After recruiting Hagel, the blacksmith, and being rescued yet again in the Tatalian desert, this time by a dragon man named Gray, Felt travels back to Agito. He sets out on a journey by boat to the eastern continent during which Felt takes in a, for him, totally new sight: the Sea. During the journey to Altena Church, Felt finds the assassin girl that tried to kill him earlier, poisoned in the middle of a forest. He brings her back to Max's Camp, and Viese (still left back in Eden) manages to make a cure for the poison and sends it to Feld via the Share Ring. It is revealed that the girls name is Fee. Felt, Fee and Gray then head for Altena Church, but are stopped by Chaos, who easily defeats everyone but Gray, who chases him off. When they finally reach Altena Church, the purpose of the Azoths, Eden and the Gardo Continental Drive are revealed. Viese, back in Eden, finds a map of workshops scattered all over Belkhyde. After repairing the workshops one by one, portions of Eden's holy grounds reappear, allowing Viese to make pacts with new Mana spirits. They lend their hands when Viese is performing certain tasks. 
 
This ends with a final battle against Theodore, the consul of Riesevelt, and his Empire subordinates in Riese Palace. 
 
After some celebrations, Felt goes out searching for Chaos, who was not present in the earlier battle. He finds one of the Altena nuns on the bridge leading to the western continent. She tells him Chaos has gone to Altena Church. When Felt arrives at the church, he finds Mother Eizlen frozen by the Crimson Azoth's spell Exzanosis, which earlier also was used on Max. Felt fights Chaos in the lower levels of the church, where the Gardo Continental Drive is stored, but is also frozen with the Exzanosis spell, and the Azure Azoth breaks. Viese, anxious about not hearing anything from Felt in three weeks (via the diaries they shared amongst each other through the Share Ring) travels to Belkhyde through the Belkhyde Gate, and goes through partly the same journey as he did, but since she almost know where to go, she traverse the world a lot faster. She finds Fee trying to escape from the maids in the palace, as they pestered her with new clothes all the time, making her somewhat of a dress-up doll. They gang up with Gray and the party set off to Agito, since the western bridge was damaged. After meeting Noin, they de-freeze Max with the Mell Orb. He is pleased with their progress of liberating Belkhyde and defeating Theodore. They set off to Altena Church and finds Eizlen, whom they de-freeze, and goes down into the lower levels of the church to find Felt, also frozen. However, the Mell Orb won't work on Felt. They decide to hunt down a special ore from the nearby caves. There they meet Poe, banging his head against a wall while regretting his accidental marriage to Mitsue, a catgirl they met earlier on. After using the new-found ore to unfreeze Felt, Eden suddenly appears in the middle of Lake Midgard, a lake created by the rage of the Crimson Azoth in earlier times. The party does everything in their power to fix the Azure Azoth back to full power so that they can fight Palaxius (unleashed from inside the Crimson Azoth) who possessed Chaos. They traverse the world, repairing the sword.
 
After the Azure Azoth is fully restored, Felt is able to break the cursed mist that Palaxius spread all over Eden. After chasing him to the Temple of Creation, Felt and his friends find out about Iris, the reincarnation of Lilith. Felt and friends engage Palaxius in a fierce battle, and manages to defeat him. Iris is freed and peace strikes the world. All the characters goes back from whence they came, or find new purposes in life that they aim for. Poe is seen trying to impress Mitsue but still failing, Gray oversees the next generation of Simsilt, Galahad fells a tree, while Noin works on her cooking skills (which are still terrible), and Fee, surrounded by paperwork, looks disdainfully at Max. Felt, Iris and Viese return to Noir, Eden's main city, and back to their workshop.

They all end up saying: "I'm home".
 

Gameplay

The gameplay is typical for a j-rpg, and almost the same as in Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana with turn-based battles, random encounters, towns and dungeons. The random encounters is limited for each map, and a gauge in the corner of the screen drains for each fight. When the gauge is empty, no more encounters is met with on that map.
 
The battles are fought with a Final Fantasy X-esque Conditional Turn-based system in which 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. After battle the characters gain EXP, skill points (if they have an Alchemy Item equipped), gold and possibly items.
 
There are two basic forms of physical attacks: Charge and Break attacks. A Charge attack will increase the level/points of the party's skill gauge. This allows the party members to access their individual skills which all has different costs in points. Many skills are more powerful attacks, a few are healing techniques, some are status attacks, and others affect various other battle elements. A Break attack, on the other hand, does not affect the skill gauge but will knock an enemy backward along the turn bar - possibly far enough to enter a special thick section of the bar. Once there, the enemy will be stunned. Stunned enemies move more slowly along the turn bar and receive additional damage from attacks. Additional Break attacks will knock the enemy back progressively shorter distance, meaning the player will have to strategically switch between Charge and Break attacks to both stun enemies and unleash skills on them in the same battle. Each attack on any opponent while an enemy is stunned will increase the combo counter by one and add to the total combo damage. At the end of battle, the combo counter and total combo damage amount will result in additional EXP, up to double the usual amount per foe. Therefore, it is to the player's advantage to use the combo system as much as possible.

Each character is automatically equipped with a weapon but can further equip two accessories and two alchemy items. Weapons provide mostly offensive power, accessories boost various stats, and alchemy items provide skills. While an alchemy item is equipped, its particular skill will be in effect. However, by gaining enough skill points after battles it is possible to learn the alchemy item's skill permanently. In this way, each character has the potential to learn a wide range of skills varying from stat-increasing skills to others that can dodge or block attacks.
 
Instead of having the normal free-roaming world map from Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana, Atelier Iris 2 has a world map with specific places of interest that the player can move between. The player chooses a spot, but the characters move automatically between them. You walk around freely in dungeons and towns though, and the field-only actions from the previous game (like using Mana as a footstool and flying) has been stripped down and now only include jumping and absorbing elements.

Outside of battle you control two separate characters, Felt and Viese, which can be selected and switched between whenever at save points. Both characters can eventually come together, thus eliminating the need to switch between them. Felt focuses on exploration and battle, in the beginning, and Viese focuses more on synthesis and support. She is the only one who can use alchemy, and as it's one of the main sources for getting items in the game, the player should explore the world for recipes and ingredients. Felt has the ability to synthesis weapons which increases the power of weapons and can also add special properties to them. This requires the right items and the right Mana spirit. Most of the time, Felt collects recipes for synthesis, and Viese tries to create them via alchemy synthesis, home in Eden, using the necessary ingredients and elements. Elements which can be found around the world, and are absorbed from existing items in the world, like for example barrels (wood elements) and stones (stone and fire elements). The items you can create include equipment items, usable items and story-related items. There are three types of alchemy synthesis; Mana Items, Accessories, and Alchemy Items. Mana Items are items that can be recreated by Felt using Mana power once Viese has made them initially. Accessories are equipment, increasing stats and giving the characters special abilities. Alchemy Items are miscellaneous items that cover a wide range of uses. Alchemy requires not only the right amount of ingredients, but also the right Mana Spirit. 

Mana Spirits

As in Atelier Iris, the main driving forces behind the alchemy of the game are the Mana Spirits. The transformation element from the previous game has been eliminated; instead, Atelier Iris 2 offers a larger number of Mana Spirits. Below is a list of each Mana and his or her respective element:

  • Dour: The Mana Spirit of Wood. Dour is the first Mana with whom Viese makes a pact during the opening chapter of the game.
  • Zuvelk: The Mana Spirit of Metal. It is only after Viese makes a pact with him that she and Felt can use the Share Ring, an essential item in the game.
  • Uru: The Mana Spirit of Fire. Humorously admires Viese's "command" over Poe.
  • Aroma: The Mana of Aroma. She joins after Viese finds and grows a particularly rare species of flower, the Hal Flower, for Meila. Her reason for making a pact with Viese is rather peculiar: she seems to like Viese's scent.
  • Plua: The Mana Spirit of Darkness. Plua does not have the confidence to make a pact initially, but she will change her mind once Viese returns after speaking to her fellow dark Mana and friend, Lutanus.
  • Diemia: The Mana Spirit of Stone. Diemia wants a Glow Lamp in order to be able to read in the darkness of his cavern before he will make a pact. A running gag from the previous game is that Diemia is often used as a living stepladder for party members.
  • Nymph: The Mana Spirit of Water. She makes a pact with Viese after the new alchemist saves her life in Marmel Forest.
  • Silwest: The Mana Spirit of Air. She makes a pact automatically and actually *gives* an item instead of asking for one. The item she gives is Hexi Glass, which helps out in making the Viese Charm alchemy item. This item gives a character-specific skill to Felt.
  • Jiptus: The Mana Spirit of Poison, she tells Viese to read the lithograph in her sanctuary before she will make a pact. Thus, a Rainbow Cloth is required to make a pact with her.
  • Faustus: The Mana Spirit of Illusion. He always ends his sentences with "poyo." Faustus makes a pact in exchange for being freed from a treasure chest abandoned in the library - a misadventure stemming from an ill-fated game of hide and seek.
  • Siren: The Mana Spirit of Sound. A close friend of Klavia, she joins automatically after Klavia gains her singing confidence.
  • 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. Aion also proves to be very difficult to work with, as her knowledge of her abilities has given her a very high opinion of herself. She tells Viese to make pacts with Eital (light Mana) and Plua (dark Mana) before she will herself make a pact herself.
  • Eital: The Mana Spirit of Light. Eital requests a Comet Gem in exchange for making a pact with Viese.
  • Lilith: The Mana Spirit of Creation, from whom all other Mana are descended. To become an alchemist, a person must "pledge to uphold the sacred tenets of Lilith." No one has seen her in centuries.

Music

The soundtrack for Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny was composed by Ken Nakagawa & Daisuke Achiwa and was released May 18, 2005 in Japan by Team Entertainment.It was recorded at Space Veilo.
 
Tracklist (Translated):

Disc One: Disc Blue
01 - Eternal Story (Full Version)
02 - Bonds
03 - Engraved History
04 - At the Murmuring Brook
05 - Go Novice Alchemist
06 - Continent That Rides the Wind
07 - Gentle Breeze and the Earth
08 - Tumbling Tree Spirit
09 - That Kid's Shop Is Successful?
10 - The Journey Continues
11 - Blazing Earth
12 - Shining Sword
13 - Victory Is in Our Hands
14 - Under a Small Roof
15 - Oasis Town
16 - Hidden Treasure
17 - Revealing the Secret Arts
18 - Crest
19 - Shadow of the Imperial Capital
20 - Big Bridge
21 - DANGER!
22 - Terrestrial
23 - The Wise and Happy Footmen
24 - Exciting Cave Exploration
25 - Hometown of the Spirit for EM2
26 - Emotions Sent Yonder
27 - Resounding Heartbeat
28 - Mountain Road
29 - It's the Sea!
30 - Exploration at the Beach
31 - Flag of Freedom
32 - Boys On The Plains
33 - Charge
34 - Ambitions in the Heart
35 - Sleeping Girl
36 - Carmine
37 - Demise
38 - Change!
 
Total Time: 65 minutes and 01 second.

Disc Two: Disc Red
01 - Spring Breeze
02 - Carefree Shopping
03 - WATER ROAD
04 - Mandible of the Abyss
05 - Emperor Fangs
06 - Circle of Friends
07 - Dumb Request at an Embarrassing Time
08 - Deep Green Earth
09 - Mysterious Friend
10 - Foliage
11 - Footsteps of Darkness
12 - Lost Poem
13 - Truth
14 - Let's Do Our Best Again Tomorrow
15 - Nice Weather Today
16 - Dancing Kodama
17 - To the Underground Tunnel
18 - Grit
19 - Marduk
20 - Time of Overflowing Sadness
21 - Memories In Sepia
22 - Revolutionary Time
23 - Holy Power
24 - Crimson Omen
25 - Seething Fighting Spirit
26 - The Mystery Deepens
27 - Folklore
28 - Epitaph
29 - The Legacy
30 - Flying Bird
31 - Sky Corridor
32 - Danger Zone
33 - Slasher Blue
34 - Decision Time
35 - Decisive Battle in the Blue Sky
36 - Red Lucifer Rising
37 - Promised Place
38 - The Door to the Journey
 
Total Time: 70 minutes and 13 seconds.
 
 
Opening Song: ETERNAL STORY by Haruka Shimotsuki
 
Ending Song: 旅立ちの扉 (Tachidachi no Tobira / Door of Departure) by Mami Horie 

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