Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy will soon bring back the popular cast of the original and beloved Atelier Ryza.
To know more about the game and what led to the first Atelier title to keep the protagonist of its predecessor, Twinfinite interviewed producer Junzo Hosoi about a variety of topics.
You can check out what he told us below, alongside four exclusive screenshots kindly provided by Koei Tecmo.
Giuseppe: Atelier Ryza 2 is the first sequel of the Atelier series to continue the story with the same protagonist. What determined this decision?
Junzo Hosoi: We have been thinking about a direct sequel with the same protagonist since the planning stages of the first Atelier Ryza game. However, if this was my own personal thought, and was not something that the users wanted, it would have only been self-indulgent.
It turned out that users also wanted a sequel for Ryza, so we were able to develop this sequel with the same protagonist.
The reason why we wanted to continue with the same protagonist is that I think the appeal of the Atelier series is the growth of the characters. We wanted to continue to tell her story, so we had it in mind from the planning phase of Atelier Ryza, and made the decision.
Giuseppe: The original Atelier Ryza is the most successful of the series in terms of sales. What do you think contributed to this success?
Junzo Hosoi: I think that the attractive character designs by Toridamono-san have contributed enormously. We are very happy that many users have been positive towards them.
Another major factor may be that we redesigned the system, which originally targeted core fans, and introduced a theme that was relatable to anyone.
In addition, many of the features were well received and unit sales continue to increase.
Giuseppe: Toridamono’s character design can certainly be defined as one of the successful elements of the first game. What instructions did you give him to age the characters?
Junzo Hosoi: I told him, “we want something totally different from past titles!” After that, we continued to have detailed discussions and decided on details such as age.
Giuseppe: Are you developing Atelier Ryza 2 to be part of a traditional trilogy like most of the series?
Junzo Hosoi: This is part of the Secret trilogy! I can only say that I also love Ryza and want to see more Atelier games with her as the protagonist. But, only if the fans want it.
Giuseppe: Are there any specific learnings from the original Atelier Ryza that you’re applying to the sequel? Is there anything you’d like to specifically improve?
Junzo Hosoi: Many users have played Atelier Ryza and we received both positive and negative feedback. Among the feedback of the previous game, a lot of it was about movement restrictions on the field, so we are putting our best effort into refining this in Atelier Ryza 2.
Giuseppe: I imagine Ryza and her friends haven’t just matured physically. What were your thoughts about growing them up as people, besides their looks? Was it a challenge?
Junzo Hosoi: In Japan, becoming 20 is considered as a turning point since it is the age of majority.
Becoming 20 allows you to drink alcohol and the responsibilities as an adult emerge. However, there are people who have started working, some are still students and some get married, so there are different ways of life.
We wanted to show their stories while being conscious that it is an age where everyone grows up in different ways.
Giuseppe: The new game includes new ways to explore the environment. Is there more you’d like to say about that kind of innovation compared to the first title?
Junzo Hosoi: In this game, different actions for Ryza will be included, such as riding on an animal, swimming in water, and using a rope to move to distant points. There are many locations where these features can be used, so please look forward to it.
Giuseppe: When I interviewed you last year at Tokyo Game Show about the first Atelier Ryza, you told me you’d like to expand on community-focused online interaction. Is that something you’re doing with Atelier Ryza 2?
Junzo Hosoi: A new system, Evolution Link, will be introduced to Atelier Ryza 2. Performing an Evolution Link on a certain combination of items, like Bombs or Ice Bombs, will not only upgrade the items but can unexpectedly result in a completely different item.
We hope fans will exchange information and find out combinations that will result in different items. However, it is not an easy task…
Giuseppe: When Atelier Ryza 2 will be released, the PS5 will likely be either already on the shelves or coming very soon. Are you considering a native PS5 version, or you’d rather count on backward compatibility? [Editor’s Note: The questions were sent before the announcement of the release date of the PS5 and before the PS5 version was announced at Tokyo Game Show]
Junzo Hosoi: As we announced recently, we will be releasing the game on the PS5, so please look forward to it.
Giuseppe: Is there anything else that you’d like to tell Ryza’s fans in the west?
Junzo Hosoi: Thank you for always playing the Atelier series. We hope you will enjoy the adventure of an older Ryza and her friends, her new encounters, and the many evolved systems.
If you can continue being the great fans you are in supporting Atelier titles and the Gust brand, the entire dev team will be delighted.
The Gust brand will continue to produce many kinds of titles in the future, so please look forward to them!
At the moment, the western release is simply slated for this winter.
In case you missed it, you can enjoy the original announcement and a trailer with the first gallery of screenshots, the second gallery of images, more character art, and the latest trailer with the PS5 announcement.