By Spencer . October 16, 2009 . 3:39pm
Does Annie have a heart of gold or just want gold? Nao Zook, Marketing Coordinator, fields the question and runs through the story and battle system.
Can you set up Atelier Annie’s story for us? Why is Annie trying to restore a resort?
Nao Zook, Marketing Coordinator: Annie’s grandfather is a famous alchemist. To his chagrin, Annie is not interested in alchemy as much as he would like her to be. Knowing this, her grandfather grew concerned about her future as an alchemist and decided to send her off to Sera Island.
The island’s holding an alchemy contest, and her grandfather’s hope is that it will motivate her to become a famous alchemist. Annie’s not into this contest at all…until she discovers the prize for winning the contest is the right to marry the Prince of Sera Island. “Marrying the Prince means I’ll be rich and won’t have to do anything!” well, so Annie thought. Though her motivation is questionable, she is fully ready to win the contest nonetheless.
So, what’s this contest about? The participating alchemists will have to build attractions and services on Sera Island to raise tourism and revenue…making Sera Island prosper, basically. The Development Committee gives you 5 assignments throughout the contest, and the better you perform, the greater the monetary reward. This, in turn, helps to build better attractions.
Atelier Annie is all about making the world (well, Sera Island) a better place. Annie’s only motivation is to marry-up, and you will have to help her achieve her dream of having a life without worry, without work or worrying about money. Her grandfather might be disappointed in her motivation to win the contest, though…I guess there is no imminent crisis, so to speak. It is all about winning the alchemy contest and becoming a great alchemist (or marrying the Prince)!
Annie is an unusual protagonist too. She’s a lazy girl instead of a go get ’em do-gooder. Can you tell us more about Annie and her fairy friend?
Annie might be lazy and a so-called gold-digger, but her heart is in the right place. As she learns more about alchemy and gets better at it, she starts to enjoy the craft. Throughout the time on Sera Island (3 years), Annie meets many people and overcomes many challenges, all of which help Annie grow up. Annie’s fairy friend is called Pepe. He was sent to Sera Island by Annie’s grandfather to watch her and assist her in becoming a good alchemist. Pepe seems to be far more mature than Annie, but if you call him “shorty”, “short”, or even something remotely close to “short” he will flip and throw a tantrum like a 5-year-old boy. Everything has a weak point, even fairies, right? Anyhow, his knowledge of alchemy helps Annie greatly throughout the contest.
Is it difficult to have a game with an apathetic lead?
Annie is so different from typical goody-goody main characters. In a way, she is more down to earth, so surprisingly, Annie might be much easier to relate to than the norm. I mean, everybody wants to sleep in, take a nap, and do only fun stuff if that’s a viable option, right? Annie is just like us!
How much freedom do players have when building their resort?
You will be able to build 5 attractions in 5 areas throughout the game. You’ll have 2 choices for each area. Once you build an attraction, you will have to maintain the popularity of the attraction by taking up jobs and completing them. As you earn money from completing the jobs or assignments from the Development Committee, you can upgrade your attractions.
The battle system in Atelier Annie is turn-based. You can have a total of three characters in your battle team. Because Atelier Annie’s focus is more on alchemy, its battle system is more traditional, but that doesn’t mean you can underestimate some enemies! You’ll definitely want to gear up your characters with good weapons and armor.
I hear Atelier Annie has multiple endings, but how open ended is the game while you’re playing it. Are there branching paths to discover?
There are 7 different endings. Those endings will be determined based on the objectives you have completed at the end of the game. You might not be really aware of the branching paths while you are playing the game, though. It’d be fun to play through Atelier Annie several times to see how Atelier Annie ends differently with different conditions. You might see some touching endings, too!
Atelier Annie only has Japanese voice acting. Why didn’t NIS America record English voiceovers?
If we were to put English voice acting in the game, we would have to take out the Japanese voices in order to stay within the DS cart’s memory capacity. We believe this game is mostly for the Atelier series fans, who largely prefer the original Japanese voices, so we really wanted to keep the Japanese voice acting. We understand that not having an option for Japanese/ English is a bummer, but we really hope that you all understand why we kept the original Japanese voices.
Do you think we’ll see Atelier Lise or Atelier Lina in the future?
At this moment, we don’t have any plans for either Atelier Lise or Lina.
Thank you very much for the opportunity for this interview about Atelier Annie. Until the game comes out, I hope you will enjoy downloading wallpapers from the official website for Atelier Annie. Atelier Annie will be released on October 27th! Thank you!