Homunculus (plural: Homunculi) is a species of artificial living beings created through alchemy. Different kinds of representation of homunculi can be found throughout the Atelier series.
The word "homunculus" is a latin word that literally means "little person". It is a term generally used within various fields of study to refer to any representation of a human being. The term has historically referred to the creation of a miniature human.
Homunculus was popular within alchemy of the 16th century. The first mention of the term Homunculus known are from alchemical writings.
Homs are artifical humanoids created through alchemy. They are highly intelligent and capable of speech. As human as they may seem to be, Homs speak in a flat, monotonous tone and lack complex emotions. They live only to please their masters, and follow any instruction given to them. They are capable of gathering and synthesizing items.
Astrid Zexis is the only living person known to be able to create them. During the course of the game, Astrid asks Rorona if she'd prefer a brother or a sister. Depending on the player's reply, a Hom of the selected gender will be introduced and will stay in the workshop helping Rorona for the entire game.
The ingredients to create them, however, are kept as a mystery.
Chims are tiny versions of the Homs. Unlike them, Chims are not capable of human speech, and communicate using variations of the word 'chim'. They do seem to understand people despite their lack of vocabulary, and assist alchemists with their gathering and synthesizing. However, unlike their big counterpart, they require an incentive to work: pies.
During the game, Rorona will create a Chim as a present to Totori, much like Astrid did to her in the previous game. Totori will be able to create more Chims (up to 5 in total) using a machine called "Chim Motel", only if a Water of Life is in the basket.
The Homs and Chims return in Atelier Meruru.
Homs are handed over to Meruru to assist her with synthesis and gathering and taking care of Rorona.
The Chims and Homs can be seen during some events talking together, meaning that they are capable of understanding each other.
In the world of Dusk, homunculi are small and furry creatures, looking more like a species of animals rather than humans. They were created with alchemy long ago and when they die, they only remain dead for a few days and then revive. They can speak and understand human language and they love shining things, like the stars and candy.
The homunculi in Atelier Ayesha live in Homunculus Town. People are advised not to scare them, touch them too much or get too close to them. A travelling homunculus can also be seen selling items in Homunculus Town and Riesengang.
Ayesha is able to visit Homunculus Town and take part in the homunculus funeral ritual to get a sample of glowing flowers. After the deceased homunculus is reborn again, Ayesha will be able to take one of the glowing flower samples that appears.
There are many homunculi living and working in Colseit and its surroundings, and several also work for the Colseit branch of the Unentered Area Special Investigation Bureau, where they are rewarded with sweets for their work.
It is learnt from Solle that they understand humans better if they are talked with short and concise sentences.
Atelier Shallie introduces a playable homunculus, Homura. Homura is a veteran treasure hunter that collaborates with the Stellard Union.
Also, if Solle Grumman joins the party (if the DLC that unlocks him is installed in the PS3 version or if playing the Plus version), he will fight by commanding homunculi, being all of his attacks and skills performed by them.
- Vayne Aurelius from Mana Khemia Alchemists of Al-Revis could technically be called a homunculus, since he is an alchemically created humaniod. Though he is predominately an artificial mana, until the end of the game where he is only an artificial life with no power.