Through the latest Dengeki PlayStation (via Ryokutya2089), developer Gust announced the new game entitled Atelier Raiza: The Queen of Everlasting Darkness and the Secret Hideaway. And it’s coming to PlayStation 4 sometime this fall in Japan.
While the announcement was made via Dengeki PlayStation, our guess is there’s a Nintendo Switch version as well.
The story is written by developer Gust and Shakugan no Shana creator Yashichiro Takahashi. Character designs are being handled by artist Toridamono. Additionally, Dengeki PlayStation has revealed the character profile for the main character and other details.
Laizarin Staud (CV: Yuri Noguchi)
A normal girl who is uneasy about how plain her life is. She’s always looking around with her friends for interesting things that keep her excited. Free-spirited and carrying a strong sense of justice, she’s not the type to easily change her mind when she thinks she’s right. A chance meeting and her discovery of alchemy sets her off on a journey of finding something important to her that she has yet to know about.
The official illustration also shows off three other yet-unnamed characters.
In Atelier Laiza, in order to enhance the feeling of everyday life and adventure, Gust has focused on the height of the sky, and the vibrant flowers and grass, so that it’s more immersive.
The battle system has been completely renewed so that battles are more aggressive and will make players feel tense. There is also a new system in place which will let players feel the bonds between the characters.
The keyword for the game’s synthesis system is “Create”. It has been revamped to be more visually easy to understand and responsive. Rather than a tile-based grid like in recent games, it uses something like a skill tree instead.
Different ingredients can be collected from the same spot if you use different tools.
Here are some comments via an interview with Atelier series producer Junzo Hosoi:
- “Development is headed by me as the sole producer, and the game is being developed by Gust’s Nagano studio.”
- “The concept of the game was created around the same time as Lulua. The game went into full production around July 2018, around the same time as Lulua.”
- The concept of the game was the hopes of writing a story that showed the growth of young boys and girls, as well as “memories of summer”.
- (On the subject of the revamped graphics, the reason for the more life-like graphics is because) “While the PS4 Atelier series have continued with Atelier Sophie‘s graphical look, this time it has been reconceptualized. We wanted to challenge ourselves on the visual front to be able to depict the concept of “summer memories”.
- “We challenged ourselves with making character graphics with a nice balance between photorealistic and toon rendering, in a graphical quality we can create.”
- “There are no romantic elements, but there are some bittersweet moments, though they won’t develop into romance. (laughs)”
- “There are character episodes and side stories, but no individual endings.”
- “Development of the game, to put it simply, is difficult! (laughs) The process of refining the fun aspects of the game going forward is going to be even worse.”
- “We chose Toridamono as the character designer as we were looking for an illustrator who could draw appealing art, but also had their own flair and charm.”
- “Laiza is overflowing with liveliness! She’s a cheery girl, though not as brash as Lulua, and doesn’t know much about the outside world.”
- “Her charm comes from how she is able to simply be excited at finding out new things.”
- “The other three characters apart from Laiza are her best friends, who have spent most of their time together. The story is about the growth of these friends.”
- “Toridamono really focused on getting Laiza’s thighs just right. There were also some Gust staff who followed his lead. (laughs)”
- “The catch copy for the game, “Bye bye, Atelier” refers to the Atelier Laiza and the others will spend their time in, not the Atelier series.”
- “The story production process was done similarly to Blue Reflection, with Gust coming up with the concept, and having Takahashi-san write it.”
- “In order to express the freshness of the game, we added a subtitle with keywords for the plot.”
- “The music is being done by both old and new people, and is of very high quality.”
- “The three main pillars that are synthesis, gathering, and battles have not changed.”
- “Gathering has become a more active procedure.”
- “It’s around the period where the fans are beginning to feel the games are rote and uninspired, instead of familiarity and relief, so the main core of the game is to refresh everything.”
- “We don’t want to change what we’ve built up, but we do want to change the feel of the gameplay. In terms of programming, you could say that the ultimate result of our experience ended with Atelier Lulua.”
- “For Atelier Laiza, we are looking to challenge ourselves in terms of the game systems, while keeping the experiences up this point, and the fun aspects that are found in the Atelier series. Various aspects of the game have evolved, so I believe this will be a game with clear differences.”
- “As the story and systems have changed, some people may be dissatisfied, but we are ready to accept this. However, this is the first step towards a new Atelier experience, so I hope you try the game out.”
- “I’m hoping to release the game before the weather turns cold. Current development progress is at 45%.”
Atelier Raiza: The Queen of Everlasting Darkness and the Secret Hideaway will be available for PlayStation 4 sometime this June in Japan.