Original 5/25/19 at 12:15 a.m.: The latest issue of Dengeki PlayStation reveals Atelier Ryza: The Queen of Eternal Darkness and the Secret Hideout for PlayStation 4. It will launch this fall in Japan for 7,800 yen. 10,800 yen and 19,540 yen limited editions will also be available.
It is worth noting that this was revealed through Dengeki PlayStation, so while there is likely also a Switch version, this information has yet to be confirmed. We will update this post when that information is available.
Atelier Ryza is a coming of age story The world is constructed through a new method of expression, the scenario is written by Gust and Shakugan no Shana manga creator Yashichiro Takahashi, and character design is by Toridamono.
The protagonist is Ryzalin Staud (voiced by Yuri Noguchi), a normal girl who feels uneasy in her tranquil everyday life. Seeking excitement, she is always on the lookout for something interesting with her friends. She is a freewheeling girl with a strong sense of justice. When she thinks she is right, it is not easy to tell her otherwise. This is her story about finding something she never thought was so dear to herself after discovering alchemy and meeting a certain someone.
Three other characters are introduced by illustration only: a male soldier, a female priest, and a child scholar.
As for the field, in order to depict daily life and adventuring even deeper than previous Atelier titles, the height of the sky, flower thickets, and the like are being made more realistically in order for players to get a greater sense of the land than before.
Battles utilize an all-new turn-based command system, and are more tense and aggressive than before. There is also a new system in which players get a sense of their bonds with other characters.
Synthesis utilizes a new system in which “creation” is the keyword. It uses an easier to understand and more responsive format. Rather than the tile-based systems of recent Atelier titles, it is now more of a a skill tree-like tree system.
For gathering, items change depending on the tool used, even at the same gathering points.
Here are some tidbits from the magazine’s interview with producer Junzo Hosoi:
- “Development is led by Gust’s Nagano studio, with myself as the sole producer.”
- “The concept itself was developed alongside Atelier Lulua. Full-blown development began around July 2018 at about the same time as Atelier Lulua.”
- “For the concept, I wanted to depict a coming of age story of boys and girls. So the concept of this game is something like, ‘summer memories.'”
- “The graphics are more realistic and have life-like proportions, which is a significant change from our visual expression on PlayStation 4 thus far starting with Atelier Sophie, but this time we are doing a complete overhaul.”
- “We’re working hard on the visual side to depict summer memories and the new expressions we want to see.”
- “We’re also trying to find a balance between photo-realism and ‘toon rendering’ using graphics we are capable of making.”
- “There won’t be any romance, but there are some more or less bittersweet moments. They won’t develop into love though (laughs).”
- “There are character episode and side story-like elements, but there won’t be any individual endings.”
- “Development is simply difficult all around! (Laughs.) From here on it will be even more rigorous as we continue to polish the game to ensure it’s fun.”
- “We chose Toridamono as character designer because he is able to draw appealing illustrations, but also because his art has a certain charm that’s unique to himself.”
- “Ryza is a lively one! She is similar to Lulua in a way, but not as impulsive as her. She’s a lively child who really doesn’t know much about the world.”
- “The three others aside from Ryza are her friends who she spends her time with. This is a story of these children growing up.”
- “Toridamono really fixated on getting Ryza’s thighs right. There were even staff on the Gust side that followed his lead (laughs).”
- “The catch copy (Bye-bye, Atelier. I will never forget this adventure.) is a reference to the Atelier in which Ryza and her friends spend their days, not a goodbye to the Atelier series.”
- “The scenario is being produced in the way that we did Blue Reflection. The plot feels like it was written by Takahashi while coming up with it at Gust.”
- “For the subtitle, we wanted to sound fresh and new, so our subtitle is made up of the game’s keywords.”
- “For the music, we’ve asked for those charge of previous Atelier games, as well as new folks to create high-quality music befitting of the game.”
- “Synthesis, gathering, and battle being the core three elements of the game has not changed.”
- “For players, the feelings of familiarity and relief [in games staying the same] have gradually become a groove that haven’t been able to get out of, so this time there is big change at the core of the game.”
- “Our goal is for Atelier Ryza to utilize all of our experience thus far, what makes our games interesting, and what we do best, while also challenging the game systems. Since we are evolving and revising various parts, I think it will be a game of considerable change.”
- “Since both the story and systems are changing, some players might be dissatisfied, but we’re prepared for that. But this is the first step towards a new Atelier, so we want people to experience it.”
- “We want to release it before it gets cold out. Development is currently 45 percent complete.”
Update 5/27/19 at 11:07 a.m.: Famitsu has gone up with its online preview of this week’s issue of Weekly Famitsu, which features Atelier Ryza and confirms plans for release on Switch and PC in addition to PlayStation 4. While the PlayStation 4 and Switch versions are due out this fall in Japan, a release date for the PC version has yet to be announced.