4.5 out of 5


  • Character designs
  • Alchemy
  • Key enhancements
  • Soundtrack


  • Random quests
  • Still no English dubbed

Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC
Koei Tecmo
Koei Tecmo
File Size (Minimum)
6.6 GB
Release Date (NA)
Mar 24, 2023
Release Date (JP)
Mar 23, 2023

Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key is the final trilogy in the Atelier Ryza series and its the best one. With returning characters and locations from previous games, it’s a proper send-off for the cute alchemist.

A Farewell Tour

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

The series returns to give Ryza a proper farewell on its trilogy run. You’ll revisit locations from the past Atelier Ryza games. You’ll encounter flashbacks for fans of the series to reminisce. Players will also get a chance to play their favorite returning characters, such as Lila Decyrus and Patricia Abelheim. It’s one grand adventure that’ll finally close the book to Ryza’s, yet again, wild adventure. It would be interesting if Koei Tecmo were to revisit Ryza and the team years later in a new title, perhaps with a game about Ryza’s offspring?

Alchemy Power!

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

The Atelier series is well-known for its alchemy mechanics. Each type of series has a unique style of mechanics to craft items. For example, Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream’s alchemy setup is more simplified with depth added by using a single grid. In the Ryza series, it’s branched off and requires certain items added to unlock new areas to increase the item’s quality and effects. 

At first it’s overwhelming with how many pieces are spread out to create your specialized item. After testing out the game’s automatic setup to create items by using high or low quality materials and flipping through the item’s stat menus, you’ll find yourself sucked into crafting top-notch items with specialized traits that can benefit your party in battle.

The Key to Success

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

The biggest feature in the game’s mechanics are the keys. They are used in multiple ways and make the game’s mechanics go far. At first you start off with a single key, but as you progress through the game’s story, you’ll be able to use alchemy to create “prism” keys. This way you are not limited to using a single key five times per day (based on the game’s clock). Additionally you can use your alchemy skills to add enhancements and quality to them.

However, these new sets of keys are blank and need to be used. The game offers many ways to make them. You can visit hotspots across the game’s world map to generate types of keys or gain keys during battles from enemies. Doing so can carry traits such as stat enhancements from enemies if successful. Another boosted trait.

Now you have these keys, how do you use them? Many ways. For example, you can boost your party’s stats during battle. Another way, which is quite a useful tool, is in alchemy. Using keys while you are in the middle of cooking can increase the item’s quality, element traits, and increase the quantity. It’s a welcoming feature and makes the gameplay more entertaining.

To Battle!

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

Atelier Ryza 3’s battle layout has made some interface modifications, but the basics are still there, carried over from the 2021 game, Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy, a role-playing game (RPG) game players should experience. Player stats and Tactic Level charts received a new location with an updated look, making it more convenient for the player with its upgraded designs. The animation used between choosing to use an equipped item or the new key feature is smoothly animated with a slow-motion in-progress. It’s as if you’ve stopped time as you make the right choices. This slick animation isn’t used during inputting commands to your team’s offense, since the game is based on action commands in real time and not turned-based like the item and key menu scene.

Like its previous entry, you’ll still be able to build up your tactics level to initiate “Fatal Drive” attacks. Think of these special moves like Final Fantasy VII’s limit breaks. These long-animated attacks are great to witness first-hand but need a skip button to speed up the progress. Otherwise, go grab yourself a beverage as you wait for the animation to finish. The Atelier series should take note from Disgaea series, providing an option to skip their over-the-top, long-winded animation attacks. Once you’ve used your Fatal Drive, the tactics level resets. Increasing them is just a matter of time during battle and becomes quite useful in boss battles and specific quests.

Players can freely swap between characters to continue attacks while the other awaits till their timed gauge fills back up, just like any RPG. You can give simple commands such as support and aggressive modes to the characters you aren’t controlling, but there doesn’t seem to be much difference in what they do as the AI (artificial intelligence) has trouble blocking enemy attacks. It feels like your best bet is to swap between characters constantly.

When enemies attack, the camera focuses on enemies in front of the character you’re controlling. It can be challenging to determine characters outside the viewpoint that are about to attack. However, the game initiates a pulsing red arrow pointing out an enemy is about to attack you. This gives you a prompt time to initiate your block by a simple press of a button on your controller, though once you use it, you have to wait a few seconds before initiating a block again. This can cause challenges if you’re fighting multiple enemies.

A Fascinating World

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

Players will explore various worlds, and fast traveling between already visited locations is very welcoming at the start of the game. You’ll need this when doing quests and some ingredient hunting. The game offers various types of quests, most of them are from the game’s non-playable characters (NPC) and majority of them can be done at your leisure. There are random quests that automatically notify the player when near an NPC. You don’t have to accept it, but the game’s highlighted green arrows on the middle of the screen become an annoyance.

If you do decide to talk to the nearby NPC, you are automatically on the quest and there’s typically a time window to complete within hours of the game’s timeframe. If you do take one on, you can lose the request if you take a rest, pushing the game’s clock past the expiration time. The majority of them are battling monsters but they can be quite far away and the rewards aren’t that worth it.

While traveling, you can call upon your spirit monster friend to hitch a ride. Though the monster doesn’t feel like it runs fast enough, it does drive enemies away from trying to engage you in battle. Additionally, your furry friend can dig up treasures, though most of the time it’s low amounts of money. Money in the game doesn’t feel as if it’s worth much since many of the things you need you can create. It’s more useful when you need to buy specific ingredients from certain shops.

A Thorny Rose

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

Much like the other Atelier Ryza games, Atelier Ryza 3 continues to carry well-designed characters with a vibrant color scale. Koei Tecmo continues to add over-the-top bounce effects to the female character’s chest and close-up shots of the front and back view of Ryza when crawling between rooms. The game’s downloadable content (DLC) adds swimsuit outfits to dress-up your characters and extra game content, but the price is pretty steep. Animations and designs haven’t changed much since its 2021 predecessor, but since you’ll be busy trying to gather ingredients and battling, it’s not that noticeable. You’ll be happy that a new Ryza game is available.

The game’s soundtrack is harmonic and a delight, with orchestra instruments such as the strings of the violins and the wind instruments that make exploring fun. It feels like you’re listening to top-tier scores of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. With 70 tracks for the game, it’s a great tracklist for Ryza’s final adventure.

Those who are looking for a change in the series with adding dubbed voices, that’s still nowhere to be found here. The Atelier series continues its single-language voices in Japanese with various subtitle languages.

The Final Key

Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key is the best of the Ryza series and a proper send-off to Ryza and her friends. Its alchemy mechanics are deep, and so is the adventure you’ll spend hours sinking into.

A PlayStation 5 review code provided for this review. Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key available on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC (Steam).

Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key - Gameplay Footage (PS5)

About Seth Hay - Editor-in-chief / Webmaster

When Seth is not designing or developing, he spends time with his family and his occasional dose of anime, sports and video games.

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