HomeReviewsAtelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key Review

Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key Review

Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key

Developer: Gust
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 (Reviewed), PC, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: Available Now
Price: $59.99 USD – Available Here $89.95 AUD – Available Here


Gust’s Atelier series has almost always swapped out the main protagonist between games, often bringing back familiar faces for later games in the same trilogy. That changed back in 2019 when the developer struck gold with a character that would turn out to not only be one of, if not their most, popular lead characters in the franchise’s history but also the only one to headline her entire trilogy in the form of Reisalin Stout. This continuous journey over the past few years has seen Ryza grow from a naive girl dreaming for adventure that had never left her home island to a highly skilled alchemist respected by anyone who knows her name. All journey’s must have a conclusion however and with Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key set to close out the Secret trilogy as well as Ryza’s story, has Koei Tecmo managed to deliver a satisfying conclusion to this long arc and fan favorite character?


A year has passed since the events of the previous game and a disheartened Ryza has spent this time learning how to be the best alchemist she can be for her home on the Kurken Island even if it means butting heads with the elders at times. The sudden appearance of a number of mysterious islands deemed the Kark Isles has thrown the land into chaos and when a little investigation reveal powerful monsters residing on the island as well as a threat that will doom her hometown, Ryza quickly seeks the aid of her friends in order to investigate just where these islands came from and what they could mean. To make things even stranger, a mysterious voice has appeared within Ryza’s head along with the knowledge to craft a strange key. With no knowledge of what this voice could be or what purpose this key might have, it is up to Ryza and her friends, both new and old, to set out on one last summer adventure.

Although Atelier Ryza 3 does offer the ability to watch a fairly detailed video that recaps what happened over the course of the first two games to try and get newcomers up to speed with the world, it must be said that it is rather difficult to recommend jumping into the games at this point if someone has yet to experience any of the Ryza trilogy so far. While the main storyline is still mostly self-contained outside of a number of surprises and an on-going threat that has persisted through the series, there is a good reason that longtime fans will truly get the most out of this game and a lot of it comes from the fact that players have followed this cast of characters across three games and the title makes numerous references to this. This means that Atelier Ryza 3 benefits from not only offering a number of twists with great payoff, but also a cast of great returning characters and guest appearances that fans will truly be delighted to see. Along with these various developments players will also be treated to numerous callbacks and even a few flashbacks to their previous journeys as they travel through the world once again with the whole cast, both longtime friends and even new allies, in tow.

While we can’t go into detail about what exactly happens throughout Atelier Ryza 3, especially some of the bigger revelations, it must be said that the writing team has managed to deliver an extremely satisfying experience here. One of the key elements of the Atelier series has always been about the journey and seeing the characters develop and interact with one another over the course of their adventure, giving the series something of a unique feeling compared to many other RPGs and thanks to the Ryza series following the same characters for three games, fans have been able to see these characters grow over the course of multiple titles and watching this growth pay off and be talked about during this final journey, either during exploration or the lovely camping sequences, is a real treat.

Of course the longtime cast gets the most love but even Patricia from the second game is given plenty of room for development here as well as the newcomers that join the players party this time around with no character really feeling like they are left out. In fact, the game even provides an active glossary that can be pulled up in conversations to help refresh players about terminology, events, and characters they may not remember. As such, it can easily be said that Atelier Ryza 3‘s storyline is easily one of the best and biggest that the series has produced and manages to deliver numerous emotional moments and a satisfying conclusion that longtime fans of the franchise will easily get the most out of.


As usual with the Atelier series, the main aspects of the game revolve around gathering materials, fighting monsters, and synthesizing items using alchemy to make both of the former elements easier and every element has been enhanced in some way in Atelier Ryza 3 including the addition of a brand new mechanic in the form of the titular keys. Once players gain the ability to create keys they can use them in a variety of ways to make combat far easier and even help exploration. Players will be able to absorb the essence of enemies in battle and use them to craft keys that can be used to provide various buffs to the team, boost AP gain, ignore AP, and much more and using these keys in the field can often open up areas that are previously locked off and give players access to treasure or higher quality ingredients that were previously locked off and even used in synthesis to trigger unusual effects. This new element to gameplay not only gives players even more reason to explore and experiment with key combinations but also happens to be quite rewarding when combined with the mechanics that players are already familiar with.

Along those lines, things such as exploration and item gathering remain as fluid as ever. Players will find that the world of Atelier Ryza 3 is massive and while it isn’t open world, instead split into four separate regions, these locations are massive in scale and feature a variety of fast travel points in the form of monuments scattered across every area. This means that players can freely travel through a large map, gathering and collecting numerous ingredients until Ryza’s storage is filled and then take a quick trip back to the Atelier to store everything with ease. Ryza can once again synthesize various harvesting tools such as hammers, nets, axes, etc. to obtain better and different ingredients from resource points with higher quality tools offering better results. The sprawling nature of most of the world players explore makes for some great exploration, especially once players gain access to mounts. Mounts come in a variety of different shapes and help Ryza move around locations far faster and even help her navigate previously inaccessible areas giving this game’s world a level of scope yet to be seen in the series so far. If there was any negative to how vast Atelier Ryza 3 can be at times is that a few of the game’s quests can be a bit vague on how to properly continue them which means players may find themselves stuck for small periods of time until they can figure out the goal. 

While exploring the world players will encounter plenty of enemies in the fields and Atelier Ryza 3‘s battle mechanics have once again been fine tuned to make combat fast-paced but still strategic through improvements to the order systems, the aforementioned usage of keys, and the returning AP system. As players chain together basic attacks to build AP they can spend AP to trigger skills that offer additional types of damage or buffs while the tactics level increases the more players battle. As the tactics level rises players will be able to chain combos together longer and even offer extra bonuses to skills. Players can make use of items in combat through the use of CC with all crafted items once again not being expended upon use in a fight and, should players have enough CC, up to four different items can be used at a time meaning players can heal their team while also blowing up an enemy with a bomb at the same time and AP can even be expended to immediately use items in a pinch.

Throughout the fight, players will have three main fighters and two backup party members that can be swapped in at any time with a combo attack. Players can only directly control one character at a time but can freely swap between them on the fly as well as tell the team to either be supportive, meaning they will focus on building AP, or aggressive which sees them actively using skills and items in fights. As players battle enemies, their party members will call out for certain attack orders such as dealing physical or magical damage to an enemy allowing them to follow-up with a powerful skill once triggered. Alongside attack orders players can also set up an Order Drive system that let’s players fill up a gauge and trigger one of four chosen special abilities that offer a variety of boons in combat, giving players a massive amount of tools in combat, especially thanks to the amount of party members players can choose to mess around with in Atelier Ryza 3.

As players gather resources from the world and defeating monsters turning all of these into usable items and equipment using alchemy remains the core element like any Atelier game. Players start with a large list of recipes that grows as players use SP to unlock more and every recipe has a base list of ingredients that it requires to craft. As players place these required items into their respective nodes they will unlock additional nodes that can provide even more enhanced qualities to the finished product should players desire. This means that players can choose to craft an item with the bare minimum or, if they have the ingredients and quality to do so, make it as amazingly powerful as possible by using multiple ingredients and tapping into every possible node. This once again gives item synthesis in Atelier Ryza 3 as much depth and complexity that players want to dive into while also still making things accessible. This accessibility is handled by either crafting the basic item yourself or using the auto-fill option that automatically fills every possible node with a choice of either high or low quality materials with players still being able to choose the various special traits and effects to carry over to the final product.

Visuals & Audio

With Atelier Ryza 3 being the second title to launch on the PlayStation 5 Gust has managed to make better use of the system’s capabilities to make sure that title not only runs completely smooth, whether it be transitioning back and forth between battle or exploring some of the more detailed worlds, but is impressively colorful to look at as well with many vistas featuring impressive designs. Character models have a great level of detail to them, with Ryza and her friends receiving fitting upgrades to their outfits as well as the option to wear older costumes, and watching characters battle and use their skills is impressive. It is a bit of a shame that the enemy variety is a bit on the slimmer side with players often facing off against similar looking or recolored enemies.

As they have in the past few releases, Koei Tecmo has chosen to not provide an English dub for the release of Atelier Ryza 3 in the West and has only offered the original Japanese voice track. This works quite well most of the time as all of the voice actors have reprised their roles here but unfortunately the game’s subtitles can be a bit on the small side. Combine this with the fact that the game is often quite colorful, reading subtitles in cutscenes, combat, and even exploring the field can occasionally be difficult. The game’s soundtrack features a great collection of background music that ranges from heartfelt emotional tracks that play throughout cutscenes as well as more upbeat music during exploration or lighthearted events. The songs really shine when it comes to combat as some of the background music for battles, especially boss battles, are a real treat.


Gust took a chance when they either planned, or through sheer popularity chose, Ryza as the main character across a trilogy of games as a first for the series but not only has this allowed the company to tell an impressively impactful tale that has allowed fans to see Ryza but also most of her friends grow across three games but also wrap  up their storyline in a fantastic manner, delivering a storyline that is a fitting conclusion to Ryza’s story. Combine this with the level of polish that the company has been able to put into the game’s combat and synthesis as well as the sheer expanded scope of exploration and Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key becomes one of the best Atelier games that Gust has ever produced and serves as quite a challenge for whoever’s tale they set their sights on next.

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Atelier Ryza 3 serves as an emotional and satisfying conclusion to Ryza’s journey while also delivering some of the most expansive gameplay the series has ever had.
Travis Bruno
Travis Bruno
After playing games since a young age and getting into anime a bit later on its been time to write about a little bit of everything.
<i>Atelier Ryza 3</i> serves as an emotional and satisfying conclusion to Ryza’s journey while also delivering some of the most expansive gameplay the series has ever had. Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key Review