4.5 out of 5


  • Short and sweet
  • Multiple endings
  • Simple alchemy mechanics


  • Constant mini game battles

Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC
Koei Tecmo
Koei Tecmo
File Size (Minimum)
3.2 GB
Release Date (NA)
Jul 12, 2023
Purchase From

A remake of the original 1997 PlayStation game, Atelier Marie: The Alchemist of Salburg gets a modern upgrade to celebrate the Atelier series’s 25th anniversary. In Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg, not just the visuals and the soundtrack, but also the gameplay options, receive a makeover. It’s a welcoming release as the game originally never left Japan and now fans can experience the game that started the alchemy series.

Those who purchase the Digital Deluxe can play the original PlayStation game and also receive extra costumes for their game characters. Not a bad deal to experience both versions of the game.

Atelier Marie - Original vs Remake Comparison

Fall From Grace

You play as Marie, a student at Salburg’s academy for alchemists but you’re also on record as having one of the worst scores in school’s history. To help her, Ingrid, Marie’s professor, gives her a special exam. Ingrid provides Marie with a small atelier shop and her task is to create an impressive tool using alchemy within five years. It won’t be an easy task for Marie as she’s failing every turn but with the player’s help and the basic understanding of the game’s alchemy mechanics, you’ll come out swinging like an alchemy champ.

Getting to Know the Area

Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg - Screenshot

In Atelier Marie, you’ll not only create items using alchemy but also explore for ingredients and have relationships with the townsfolk. With relationships, there is no romantic involvement as the game’s relationships are based on friendship. These relationship levels will help determine what dialogue and in-game events get triggered. Additionally, when you hire your friends for exploring, their cost goes down too. Visiting your local tavern not only lands you jobs to earn money but also helps you discover new locations and trigger events by asking about rumors. It’ll cost you 100 coins but it’s needed if you want to produce good alchemy. The tavern is also a hotspot to find most of your available-for-hire comrades. Unlike many role-playing games (RPGs), in Atelier Marie, paying party members is required. If you have a strong relationship with them, their prices will drop. Equipment is your responsibility too so be sure to have enough funds to upgrade when possible for easier exploration as you progress in the story.

There’s no dramatic storyline such as the fate of human life. It’s a straightforward plot about graduating your alchemy course, making friends, exploring, and more alchemy. There are options to tackle tough bosses but these aren’t necessary for the game’s main quest. Overall, if Animal Crossing was a RPG, Atelier Marie would be it. 

Time is Money

Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg - Screenshot

In Atelier Marie Remake, the game is based on accomplishing goals by the game’s calendar. You’re required to complete your school’s assignments, which are straightforward and easily accomplishable as the timeframe given is more than enough. It’s the goals assigned by random party requests and at the local tavern that make it more difficult to complete. If you miss out on the due date, the reward amount decreases. If you wait even longer afterwards, the task is canceled and your reputation and friendship decreases too.

Typically you have about a month’s worth of time to finish the task. However, it’s the steps to get to a task that can make it difficult. Some items require traveling to specific locations outside of the town if you don’t have any in your inventory. Typically it can take three to eight days to travel one-way to start. Add another few days to find items as days will expire while retrieving ingredients, then another set of days to return. You don’t stop there, you need to do your alchemy too which can take another set of days to accomplish. 

Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg - Screenshot

If you have multiple errands, your agenda may work itself out but don’t forget you have to keep on top of the communication in the city to unlock characters, trigger events, and sometimes unique items. For example, talk with the weapon shop owner to create a hair tonic and he’ll reward you with a staff that’s powerful for Marie. You’ll want it if you want to be an adventurer.

It’s a lot to juggle, but at the same time, it makes the experience fun. Don’t expect to complete every request and unlock every event, especially if you set the game’s play mode at “Normal Mode” before starting Marie’s journey. Normal Mode is how the original Atelier Marie is played. You are limited to five years to finish your school’s exam. After those five years, the game is over and your assignment is turned in.

In Atelier Marie Remake, a new option is given to those who want to explore and pass the five year mark, the “Unlimited Mode”. This gives players the option to enjoy the game without a cap and end the game at any time, which is a great option for casual players, especially when you have one ingredient that’s only available one day of the year.

Getting Your Hands Dirty

Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg - Screenshot

Alchemy in Atelier Marie is much simpler and straightforward compared to its previous releases of Atelier Sophie 2 and Atelier Ryza 3. There are no extra layers of alchemy building aside from crafting enough items to make a more complex alchemy item. Building items are blueprinted and labeled at ease for players to understand. Now you just need to find the time to explore and search for those items. Hopefully you’re not under a time crunch!

The game offers another alternative way to help gather items and craft items. Earlier in the game, you’ll have the option to hire fairies to do your dirty work. Some fairies work faster than others but the better they are, the more money they cost. Paying fairies is reasonable if they get the work done and you’ll pay them monthly for their tribute to the alchemy family.

Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg - Screenshot

Each area isn’t too large to explore. You could say it can take about fifteen minutes just to walk around the area. When the season changes in the game’s calendar, it also adjusts the exploration too. Different alchemy ingredients will appear and mini games too. Mini games were re-created in this remake and while they are somewhat amusing, they often feel like more of a chore than a reward. For instance, if you spot a golden apple, an event is triggered during exploration where you must pass to earn this items. In this example, you have to get to the end of the screen against the blowing wind as slime-like monsters roll towards you to try and knock you out. Get to the goal before time runs out to be rewarded. There are various other mini games too that resemble a Tetris-like gameplay and a game like “cat and mouse” where you run from bears in a maze. Controlling Marie feels a bit off when trying to cut around corners and avoid being captured. Each mini game can be played in the game’s main menu if you do enjoy these at your leisure.

Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg - Screenshot

Battles are engaged when an enemy attacks you or vice versa while exploring. The game’s battle mechanics are turn-based and the commands are simple. Players can choose to use an inventory item (e.g., heal), guard, attack or use a special skill that requires magic points (MP). The skill selection is small, making it easy for the user to plan. In this alchemy game, you won’t spend much time fighting and will instead spend more time exploring. You do have the option to tackle the dark lord’s battle tower but that’s only if you want that and if you want a specific ending.

The game offers various ending scenes and it’s based on what you do. For example, if Marie defeats the game’s dark lord, she’ll choose the path of an adventurer. If you don’t and choose to do the basic requirements to pass, you’ll have a different ending experience. It adds that extra layer of replay value if you enjoy unlocking multiple endings.

A Whole New Look

Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg - Screenshot

Atelier Marie Remake’s visuals are completely redone in 3D models of both characters and stages. Character models still have the super deformed, chibi look but compared to the original, it makes sense why KOEI TECMO utilized this rather than making it more like their previous Atelier games such as Atelier Ryza 3. The remake is visually improved and with much more details compared to the 1997 PlayStation version. Additionally, the 2D illustrations have been cleaned up too and still give it that ‘90s anime style. 

The game’s soundtrack has a more orchestrated sound and it certainly adds to the remake feel. With Atelier Marie being the first Atelier game, players will recognize some pieces used that make it feel like you’re walking down a familiar road.

The Final Exam

Atelier Marie Remake is a superb update of the original that old and new players of the Atelier series will gladly jump into. The time with Marie may feel short but its replay value makes up for it with so much to do before you turn in your final exam. Start your alchemy studies and jump in!

A PlayStation 5 review code provided for this review. Fans can visit the video game’s official website for more information.

Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg - 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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