Atelier Marie: The Alchemist of Salburg (マリーのアトリエ ～ザールブルグの錬金術士 ～ Marī no Atorie ~Zāruburugu no Renkinjutsushi~) is the first game to be officially released in the Atelier series, and the first in the Salburg trilogy.
Atelier Marie is a Japanese exclusive game, but has been ported to many other systems since its original release in 1997. With each new release, a new "version" was completed with its own set of updates. The Sega Saturn version, for example included an internal clock while other versions did not. Atelier Marie Plus was released on June 4, 1998, and is the last version (Version 1.3) of the original game, with upgrades and additional content added.
Atelier Marie has collaborated with many other titles, and this has created a variety of side games. Atelier Marie and Atelier Elie: The Alchemist of Salburg 2 were paired as a game titled "Atelier Marie & Elie: The Alchemists of Salburg 1・2" in 2001 for the Sega Dreamcast. "Atelier Marie, Elie & Anis: Message on the Gentle Breeze" was released in 2003 for the Gameboy Advance. The final game pairing was released in 2005 for the PlayStation 2 titled "Atelier Marie + Elie: The Alchemists of Salburg 1+2". These versions are all Japanese exclusive releases.
- Japan: 23 May, 1997 for Sony PlayStation
- Japan: 11 December, 1997 for Sega Saturn (Ver. 1.3)
- Japan: 4 June, 1998 for Sony PlayStation(PLUS)
- Japan: 16 December, 1999 for Sony PlayStation(PLUS ~The Best~)
- Japan: 28 April, 2000 for Microsoft Windows (Same release date for Atelier Ellie)
- Japan: 15 November, 2001 for Sega Dreamcast (Atelier Marie & Elie: The Alchemists of Salburg 1・2)
- Japan: 27 October, 2005 for Sony PlayStation 2 (Atelier Marie + Elie)
- Japan: 26 December, 2007 for PlayStation Store
Atelier Marie has been released on many different systems, but most of those ports have received various small updates. When the game was ported to the Sega Saturn (known as Version 1.3), a 7th ending was added to the game as well as numerous unique events and minigames. Another Version 1.3 feature was support for the Saturn's internal clock. This allowed Marlone to make comments when you stayed up late to play, or if you played on holidays or her birthday. The PLUS version of the game, which was released on PlayStation, contains all the features of Version 1.3, except the internal clock feature, since the PlayStation lacks that capability. The only addition to the PLUS version was DualShock support.
Salburg is home to the famous Salburg Academy, which specializes in the studies of alchemy. The school is revered as producing some of the best alchemists on the entire continent.
The game's main protagonist Marie is getting the worst grades in Salburg Academy's history. Despite her embarrassment, Marie consantly tries to improve herself, but also constantly fails. Miserably failing at alchemy, her instructor Ingrid decides that Marie needs to be taught with unconventional methods.
Ingrid allows Marie to open her own workshop to practice her alchemy outside of class while still continuing her studies. Marie will have five years to create an item using the skills she has learned through alchemy. If Marie is able to create an item that is to Ingrid's satisfaction, Marie will graduate in five years' time.
The game features 7 unique endings (6 in the original version), and the player's final ending will be determined based on the player's actions throughout the course of the game.
Marie can synthesize items at the workshop. The method of making items is very simple, as items do not have qualities or traits like they do in newer Atelier releases. Marie will or will not be able to make an item based on her level, and each item requires certain ingredients.
There are four categories of items that you can create, and you can create more items through recipe books that can be purchased from the academy. A complete list of items can be found here.
Gathering is based on a menu that is presented when Marie visits a place outside of town. The player will be given three options:
- "Search for 1 Day" - This will automatically pass one day in game. The player may get materials for synthesize, or they may be attacked by enemies.
- "Camp Menu" - This option will bring up your status menu. Although items can be used in this menu, equipment cannot be changed.
- "Go Home" - If the player chooses this option, it will bring Marie straight back to her workshop.
Marie is able to take tasks from the Tavern to earn popularity and money. The more popular she becomes, the more likely that high leveled adventurers will want to accompany her outside of town.
Battle is turn based, and the active party can consist of three members. Marie can hire adventurers to accompany her to areas outside of town. Each character will have a basic set of commands: Attack, Defend, Change Position, Special Ability, Use Item, and Run. Marie has a maximum level of 50. She gains experience by synthesizing items and by fighting enemies.
The original game featured six different endings. A seventh ending was added in Atelier Marie Plus.
- "Legendary Person"
- "Savior of the City"
- "Philosopher's Stone"
- "Normal Ending"
- "Bad Ending"
- "Two Legendary People" (not available in the original Atelier Marie version)
Story, Plot and Battle Information: