Ar Tonelico Qoga Is NIS America’s First M-Rated Game

By Ishaan . January 17, 2011 . 10:56am

Worried that Ar Tonelico Qoga was going to abandon the series’ longstanding staples of suggestive jokes and tantalizing teases? Don’t be. If anything, Qoga takes it even farther than the first two games — far enough, in fact, to score a “Mature” rating from the U.S. games rating board, the ESRB.


What drove the ESRB to slap the game with NIS America’s first ever “M” rating? Stripteases and pulling magical crystals out of suggestive female genitals, amongst other things. Here’s the rating:


This is a role-playing game in which players control a character named Aoto, an apprentice who becomes entangled in a three-way war on the fantastical planet of Ar Ciel. Players roam through towns and use swords and magical attacks to engage monsters and human-like enemies in hand-to-hand combat. Battles are accompanied by punches, kicks, colorful light effects, and loud cries of pain; enemies collapse or disappear in brief flashes of light when defeated. Some power moves cause female characters’ clothes to vanish in layers; the characters are often depicted holding (covering) their breasts, wearing only underwear, or standing behind strips of light that obscure their genitals.


In one cutscene, male characters encourage a woman to strip (e.g., "Uh . . . do I have to take off even more clothes…?" and "Quit teasing us and do it already!"); another sequence depicts a male character "removing" a magical crystal from a female character—this scene is accompanied by suggestive moans and comments (e.g., "Aoto’s putting his hand inside Soma" and "Fumble around every inch inside of her . . . you will find what you’re looking for . . . !"). One brief cutscene depicts a female character’s exposed buttocks. The words "sh*t," "a*shole," and "b*tch," appear in the dialogue.


Ar Tonelico Qoga doesn’t have a finalized release date yet, but Gamefly have it listed for a March release. Meanwhile, Europe are getting Ar Tonelico Qoga on March 25th. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more of the game in the weeks to come.

  • OH wow that is a pretty vivid description, my eyes !!!!

    Day 1 Baby! Day 1!!! My PS3 needs some RPG love

    • Guest

      You say day 1 for everything. How deep are your pockets?

      • So deep that Ive gotta Dig A Little Deeper! ( ) ROFL!!!!

        • Zero_Destiny

          lol Cheetah girls? But I hear you, I probably wast WAY too much money on this stuff too but hey I can’t help it if game companies make great games and localization companies provided us with great translations of said games lol

        • fallen

          hahaha are you still pretending to be over 20?

        • Croix

          I’d expect no less of a mafia boss.

      • Testsubject909

        Deep enough that I think we should start digging in his pockets too.

      • I don’t know about him, but I have several day one purchases lined up, myself, at least up until May. Luckily, the only month that it’s more than two games is in April.

        In February, it’s Neptunia and Marvel vs. Capcom 3. In March, it’s Ar Tonelico and Yakuza 4. In April, it’s the Ico/Shadow of the Colossus Collection, Mortal Kombat, and Portal 2.

        This year still isn’t anywhere near as bad as last year, at the same time, where there were four games in March alone that I picked up: Final Fantasy XIII, Yakuza 3, Resonance of Fate, and God of War 3 (luckily, my birthday was in March, so I was able to weasel some of them as gifts).

        I work full time and have rent, food, and bills to pay, besides my portion of rehearsal space, but if I only have two or three games to buy a month, I still have enough left over for an emergency.

      • alundra311

        As deep as Doraemon’s pockets.

  • Guest

    Sounds like good times


    These ratings are always so funny to read. The “adult” stuff is said in such pure ways~

  • Aha! Now this is the one I’m really looking forward to. We recently had Atelier Rorona, which I really wasn’t expecting to like, having seen it as Gust’s first PS3, hence some slightly boring character models and drab scenary, but I ended up really enjoying it (I still think it would’ve worked better if the emphasised shopkeeping or fighting better, but it was okay).

    As a result, my expectations for this are accidentally through the roof. Which isn’t to say I think it’ll be the best game in the world, it’s just me realising that I -really- enjoy Gust RPGs.

    • badmoogle

      The timed missions is what kept me from buying Rorona.I like to take my time when i am exploring a game world especially in RPGs.
      Are all the missions timed and does it get frustrating?

      I’m looking forward to play this and i know that the soundtrack at least will be top notch.

      • Zero_Destiny

        The time limit has been something that scares me every time I play it, but that’s just me being paranoid. lol If you’re an Atelier game fan, get it because it’s really fun. To better explain the time limit the game is pretty much the Atelier version of Harvest Moon you have like three years to save your farm ops mean shop lol. Time always counts down, it takes time to travel to place, to make things, etc. In the three years you have to do certain request by a certain date. But really you have more than enough time and I often found myself doing other things like making friends and finding recipes instead of just focusing on the current assignment. You get plenty of time trust me.

        • badmoogle

          I see thanks Charles and Zero.
          I think i’ll pass on Rorona,the time limit really bugs me (even if it’s a long one).:/

      • Personally, I think the timed missions takes away a lot of my enjoyment of Rorona. I can’t take my time and level grind or explore as much as I’d like to. I would absolutely love the game if there was no time limit on things, but, as it stands, it’s an “okay’ game. Not a bad one. Not a great one (even though it could’ve been).

      • mirumu

        I get where you’re coming from. I’m not really a fan of timed missions either, but the time limits in Rorona don’t seem to be too much of a problem. I find they’re always completed long before the deadline. Gives me plenty of time to do other things.

        • runesong

          And just to further support what everyone is saying, I managed to get the true ending (Astrid FTW!) on my first play-through and I literally used the rest option to sleep for the last 30 days, as I had nothing left to do with the remaining time!

          If anything, I’d say Rorona gives you too much time.

          Fantastic game though. It’s easily my favorite Atelier game.

          • badmoogle

            But if the time limit doesn’t matter at all then why did they put in the game in the first place?

          • Zero_Destiny

            I’d imagine to make sure you don’t do everything in one playthru that and to make the game more challenging. Haven’t beat it yet and it’s not a Cake Walk (got my butt kicked a lot in the beginning you start off way too weak) but the time limit makes it more fun and challenging. And I have yet to miss a deadline but if I remember correctly if you do the game just restarts back to the time you got the assignment with little to no real punishment for it. Kind of like gettin’ KO’d in Pokemon.

          • badmoogle

            @Zero Ok then,maybe i’ll get it when it gets quite cheap.:)

          • Zero_Destiny

            Cool, It is quite fun if you like Atelier games. Admittedly I’ve been busy with much older games in my Backlog (and the new semester starts tomorrow T_T) so I’m only like 20 hrs in but it’s a blast. If you can find it on the cheap go for it.

          • runesong

            That’s easy: gameplay. :)

            Rorona is a time management game. It’s simply not an overly restricting one once you understand the game’s particulars.

          • See, that’s the thing, though. I’m the type of person who does play everything in one go. I put 100 hours into my first playthrough of Resonance of Fate, doing every side mission and all of the arena. That’s how I like to play an RPG, if I’m really into it.

            I had no problem having time for all the major assignments in Rorona, but often, the side quests suffered because of it. I would’ve liked to have spent hours in the various dungeons around the game’s world, but I’d often find myself limited by how long I had before I had to return for my evaluation. I didn’t like that and I constantly felt rushed by the game.

            As I said, I didn’t hate it. I liked the story, I liked the music. I liked the characters. I liked how simple and old-school the battle system was. But I did not like the time system, at all.

            That said, I’d still recommend you pick it up. Just be aware of what you’re getting.

          • Zero_Destiny

            YAY!!! Astrid lol. I’ve yet to beat it (been busy with other games) but I’m aiming for the Pie ending lol

  • ragnarok989

    exposed buttocks and suggestive moaning…now i’m even more curious to play this game…it HAS to be more suggestive than 1 or 2 if it’s getting an M rating

    • Ren

      Type ‘purge festival’ on youtube, it isn’t even close to the worst(or better), but will give you a good look at the game ecchi level. I like the fact they gave a fundoshi for Hikari and bikini-like underwear for Cocona, the other girls underwear are too lacy and look more annyoing than teasing or pleasing, and Aoto’s undewear is just as expected too, but that’s just my opinion.

    • Darkrise

      Check out the gameplay on youtube. I’d say it’s kind of the most ecchiest games we’ve ever gotten in NA. Agarest… That’s close but the ecchi was only your choice. =P

  • I can’t wipe this smile off my face. HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE

  • HarryHodd

    Cool, so nothing will be cut then. Absolutely can’t wait for this game.

  • SolidusSnake

    I love this series. Don’t ever change, Gust (or NISA) <3

  • GOTY 2011, NIS i love u!!!
    Please, more echii :D

    • Excuse Me?! Maybe you mean Disgaea 4, as GOTY 2011, NIS premiere series

      • Darkrise

        Need I remind you what we should also be thankful for in 2011? Hyperdimension Neptunia.

        • Zero_Destiny

          And FINALLY getting Dragon Quest VI. Heheheh

  • Zero_Destiny

    Oh wow at first I was like “Oh this description isn’t so bad” then I got to the six or seventh line and was blown away lol I’m excited for the game and it’ll honestly be the second M game I’ve ever bought lol. The first being PERSONA 3 FES.

  • vrakanox

    This is the big one for me in the coming months as well. So many games coming out in the next coming months. It’s actually nice to get to pick and choose what I want. If anything this will get the pre-order. Ar Tonelico has never let me down.

  • Maaaan, I had a few thoughts that what ATQ has isn’t enough to merit a Teen rating. I think giving this an M-rating is a safer option.

  • I think Freud would have a field day with players and creators of this title haha!
    Hopefully it’s good. Battle system wise at least.

    • mirumu

      You’re probably right about Freud, but as even he himself said “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”.

      • Zero_Destiny

        And sometimes ecchi is ecchi XD Not that I’m complaining thou. Can’t wait to get the game.

    • Ren

      I heard the battles aren’t as good as the second game but better than the first. The main problem must be that they are repetitive, at least to look at.

      • Darkrise

        The battle system looks way different than 1&2. From the looks of it, it’s like playing an ecchi version of Tales. =P Only it’s not a Tales game… >=(

        • Zero_Destiny

          Because if it was WE wouldn’t get it XD Sorry had to take a stab, Anyways an Ecchi Tales sounds like just what the doctor ordered. lol

          • Ren

            As long as the ecchi part extends for both sexes. And it’ll need a lot of innuendo, far more than your average Ar Tonelico. And well done implied Yuri and Yaoi bait(Vesperia was the only game with decent Yuri bait, and no, that’s not supposed to be a pun).

        • Ren

          The only difference being you don’t have even half of the comboing variety. And the soundtrack is better. Not that Sakuraba is bad, just stale.

          And have I ever said I just love your avatar?

  • So happy this is uncensored. Have I told you, NISA, that I love you?

    And have I done it today yet?

  • shion16

    “Some power moves cause female characters’ clothes to vanish in layers; the characters are often depicted holding (covering) their breasts, wearing only underwear, or standing behind strips of light that obscure their genitals.”


    • badmoogle

      Sounds like Otaku heaven!:p

      • Zero_Destiny

        I was thinkin’ the same thing, you bad bad dirty moogle lol XD

        • badmoogle

          Hey i wasn’t the one who gave the game’s description.:p

          • Zero_Destiny

            lol But I know you liked it. XD

      • shion16

        perverts heaven

        • badmoogle

          Which is the same more or less.

          • I tried to find something to counter your claim, but I failed miserably

          • Zero_Destiny

            Don’t worry better men than you have tried. lol

  • PersonaBull

    Man, I love these ESRB rating descriptions. These must be so fun to write.

    Personally, I’m a little afraid of ATQ. I absolutely loved the first game in its entirety, from cosmospheres to easy-but-enjoyable battle, so I didn’t make it very far in the second one (the minor-yet-major differences got to me). I want to stay as unbiased as possible, so maybe I’ll rent ATQ first without watching gameplay videos just to make sure I can go with my gut and just enjoy the hell outta this game <3.

  • Barrit

    HAHAHA I’ve been waiting to see the ESRB description for this game. I knew it’d be hilarious and it didn’t disappoint! Can’t wait to play this game! 3/15 hurry up!

  • Phoenix_Apollo

    Finally! I’m so happy for NISA to finally enter the RPG realm that Atlus has dominated for years.

    I understand that Persona and Ar Tonelico are not too alike and all in terms of content, but this is still good news to me. They’re not afraid to go M rated.

  • karasuKumo

    Well alright! That was pretty weird to read haha. I’ll definitely get this though :)

  • PrinceHeir

    This and Hyperdimension Neptunia. will be buying both at the same time ^^

    • Why waiting the extra month on Neptunia?

      • Darkrise

        The thrill and enjoyment of buying two NISA jrpg’s in one day.

        • Zero_Destiny

          Been there before … it’s EPIC. lol Sadly you’ll find yourself scrambling between the two games tryin’ to figure out which on to focus on first XD

          • Reminds me of when I foolishly started playing Eternal Sonata before Valkyria Chronicles. God, I just wanted Eternal Sonata to be OVER! lol

          • Eternal Sonata and foolishly should never me in the same sentence, as the thus far 3rd best RPG this generation doesnt deserve such criticism.

          • Eternal Sonata is probably the worst RPG of this generation. It’s nowhere near, say, Beyond the Beyond or Final Fantasy V in my all-time worst list, but I absolutely hated that game. It had a very neat concept but it was executed horribly. The character dialogue was laughable. I mean, at one point, there’s a character who actually does the old Bugs Bunny thing of making a ten minute speech after supposedly getting stabbed, and then she lays down, looks like she’s dead and then…continues the speech for another five minutes. I liked a total of one character in the entire game (I can’t remember her name, but she had a bow and arrow).

            The only positive I can give Eternal Sonata is that the battle system is fun, for the most part.

            And I say this as someone who actually really, really liked Star Ocean: The Last Hope International, which I believe is probably one of the two most unfairly maligned RPG’s of this gen (the other being Enchanted Arms, which is not exactly great, but isn’t awful, either).

          • Zero_Destiny

            I happened to REALLY like Final Fantasy V, so much to do with all the jobs the customization seemed endless. And Beyond the Beyond while admittedly awful I did play through it close to the end. I just like the light-hearted stories I guess (though in the case of Beyond the Beyond I was younger and found it real cheap at a Flea Market and marathoned it for the most part) lol I’d a probably played any RPG back then I didn’t really have standards. *shame* It’s cool if you don’t like those game though I get it (especially in the case of BtB lol). It does look like I definitely have to pick to pick up Star Ocean 4 now thou. The only why I haven’t yet is pretty much because I just didn’t have the money when it came out. As for Eternal Sontia I might still check it out sorry (especially since it’s in the bargain bin at my Best Buy for like $15 or $20). But if what you’ve said about the gameplay is true then I think I’ll like it since I value gameplay over story anyways (unless the story is TOO stupid, full of plot holes and when you beat the game it blatantly spits in your face and tells you everything you did was for nothing Hahaha you’re my tool, case-in-point Final Fantasy VIII :U)

          • Yeah, when I play an RPG, story is my main concern (otherwise, I would’ve never been able to finish Xenosaga II, as they RUINED all the gameplay aspects of that game, compared to part one, which I absolutely loved in both aspects). If you don’t really play for story, I can see why you’d like V, as the job system was pretty neat, but that story…oh my god…that story…the horror…

            But if you can look past the short bus that is V’s story, then you’d probably find a lot to enjoy about Eternal Sonata. I mean, if it’s only $20 now, go for it.

          • Zero_Destiny

            @Sawada Tsuna Was Eternal Sonata really good? I’ve never got around to it. Also what were the other two better RPGs and please don’t say Final Fantasy XIII. lol

          • The other two RPGS are Star Ocean The Last Hope and Enchanted Arms….jk

            Disgaea 3 and possibly Resonance of Fate, I like what I see thus far. Eternal Sonata was great, the little references to musical stuff, characters named Allegretto, Beat, Falsetto, Claves, Jazz, cites and countries like Baroque, and Forte, Ritardando; the fast paced time based turn based battle system, light and dark, it was just an ingenious and fun game with great characters and story; making it highly memorable.

          • Zero_Destiny

            @Sawada Tsuna Sounds cool glad you’ve got it all thought out. But if it was me I’d have to put Dragon Quest IX at the top of list. Also why the dis to Star Ocean? Haven’t played 4 yet but the first three where very good, and other than a cliche story I haven’t heart TOO many complaints about it.

          • I loved Star Ocean The Last Hope International to death; really the only flaw comes up in the character known as Lymle, kay? and a few balancing isshus in the last dungeon, definitely, like Persona 3 Portable, the only other game where I was running through the ending dungeon in a mad effort to avoid running into fights. In Star Ocean the annoying clown enemies can turn you into a pumpkin…it is rather annoying, especially when three of the character become pumpkins (oh and battle trophys…lets just say, prepare to waste 200 hours getting them all!), fun game but steep requirements for stuff and difficult yet fun. Definitely get it when you see it!

          • Zero_Destiny

            @Sawada Tsuna, good glad you’re not hating on Star Ocean, and wow Pumpkins WTF? Reminds me of the older Final Fantasy when you’d get turned into Pigs or shrunk lol

          • Eternal Sonata was awful, in my opinion.

            Personally, the best RPG of this generation is, without a doubt, Valkyria Chronicles.

            The best one of last year, though, would be Resonance of Fate, although I did enjoy Final Fantasy XIII, Star Ocean: The Last Hope International, and White Knight Chronicles (even if it did have a bland story until the end).

  • ThunderGod_Cid

    Where can I preorder this again?

  • Code

    I initially read the title of this article as “Ar Tonelico Qoga Is NIS America’s Fist M-Rated Game” Guess I still wasn’t too far off opo;;

  • IceRomancer

    This sounds awesome! It’s a must buy for me!

  • IceRomancer

    This sounds awesome! It’s a must buy for me!

  • I have to give props to ESRB for really upping their standards of conduct, honestly– their descriptions for their justifications for ratings really help to understand where they’re coming from, and shows that they have, indeed, analyzed the game.

    There have been NISAmerica games that deserved an M-rating before, but never got it. I’m looking at you, Soul Nomad. No way that game would have gotten a T-rating at the current ESRB standards– even if it doesn’t exactly have to do with sexual themes.

    I plan on getting the first Ar Tonelico game to familiarize myself with the series– and probably the second one, too. Amazon actually has them available for once– a shock for the ages to me. I’m looking forward to this one though! It seems neat.

    • Neckbear

      I’d disagree with your point, in all honesty.

      I think Soul Nomad was well-fit for a T rating- yes, the graphical violence was there, in the words at least, however, the game itself wasn’t really overboard.

      Hell, games with simulated murder and some swearin’ get a “T” (Uncharted comes to mind), so, at least in Soul Nomad’s case, I believe it got the right rating.

      Not only that, but it seems like we’re forgetting about how our lives were when we were teenagers. Hell, I think games like Persona and Ar Tonelico Qoga don’t deserve a M rating for the simple fact that, when we’re teenagers at least, we see, hear and do far worse things than seeing a buncha fictional underaged characters simulating suicide or stripping.

      Well, that’s at least how I look at it, based on my personal experiences.

      • Persona should, people killing themselves, going through all this emotional stuff, violently bleeding from the eyes and other parts of the body, evokers…etc.

        • Zero_Destiny

          For the most part I have to agree. I’ve only play PERSONA 3 (the only game with shooting yourself) but I think that game earned it’s rating. It’s a hard choice and I’d hate for it to ruin a sale because of how an M rating can potentially limit a game’s market but I think PERSONA earned it. And on that note I’m just glad the media doesn’t really pay attention to niche games like these because I bet they’ll have a heyday with PERSONA, you think Mass Effect was bad Ho boy you haven’t seen nothing yet. Then again the media is idiotic and usually only seems mad at sex in video games, so maybe PERSONA could escape unscathed.

    • M’iau M’iaut

      There’s no doubt ratings were far looser in previous generations. Soul Nomad certainly has serious mature themes. The differences are even starker if you go back to the PS1 gen. Grandia, Wild Arms and Star Ocean 2 all were E rated in their original forms. Albert Odyssey was K/A, and no way in hell would a Vagrant Story or Panzer Dragoon Saga be released today with only a T rating.

      When later ported, both SO2 and Wild Arms received Ts, with multiple descriptors.

      • Zero_Destiny

        Oh the good days when children fought monsters in a life and death struggle, People become mad because of a meteor and kidnap girls and force them to marry them, and three brave warriors decide to fight valiantly to save a dieing planet after witnessing a whole village be slaughtered by demons and it could only be described as a for EVERYONE experience. lol I don’t think the ESRB is more strict, I think they’re just finally getting there act together and are a little more serious in how they judge things. It’s not all bad FFIV-FFVI were originally TEEN but now there E10+. And honestly back in the day if you even referenced alcohol your game would automatically be T (or at least it seemed that way if you ask me) but now you can get away for E10+. I glad they made that new rating.

        • M’iau M’iaut

          Harvest Moon’s E rating never stopped Karen from getting drunk off her ass.

          I’m actually quite a strong supporter of the ESRB ratings in general and like that they are more serious. Proper use of the ratings is the only way we will ever make clear the range of audiences that play games and that they are acceptable adult entertainment.

          The success of taking K/A and breaking it into E, E+ and even low Ts makes me think there may be a place for another rating slot at the other end. It’s hard for the Persona’s, Heavy Rain’s or Catherine’s to get traction as serious adult titles when M has been allowed to represented by GTA and COD. There is a spot for the 18+ equivalent, perhaps by bringing back the original MA (Mature AUDIENCES).

          • Zero_Destiny

            lol Harvest Moon!!! How’d I miss that!!! ;) I like the ERSB too. I’m glad we got them. I’ll take a self-regulatory system that’s part of the business over government intervention any day of the week. A new MATURE rating huh? I can see that like maybe for ages 15/16 and maybe even boost up the other mature? My only concern with that is if the media misinterprets the new more “MATURE” ratings as a sign that video games are more violent now or something.

  • Darkrise

    ESRB never fails to amuse. =) The year barely started and already rpg gaming looks beautiful! Neptunia, Ar Tonelico 3, Agarest Zero, Disgaea 4, Tactics Ogre, and I can go on and on!

    Btw, wasn’t Qoga’s NA announcement suppose to be March 17th?


  • cmurph666


  • Tatsuya1221

    Looking forward to this, but i’d be lying if i said that i’m not worried that AT3 is going to be “too ecchi” for me to enjoy it, i loved 1 and 2 but i’m not exactly a fan of ecchi, if it’s not too ecchi over AT2 then i won’t have a problem(most of the ecchi in AT2 was pure innuendo, which doesn’t bother me).

    No matter what this is a day 1 buy for me as i’m a fan of the series, and i still hope it does well.

  • Croix

    If this is indeed the last piece of Ar Tonelico we get, I’m happy with this. Not that I would mind any effort to continue it either…

  • JustaGenericUser


    Game of the Year, all years.

  • JustaGenericUser

    (ignore, I thought my post didn’t go through)

  • SupaPhly

    is it recommended if I play the previous ar tonelico games before I play this one?

  • Well this is going to lead to tons of doujin based of this game being created.

  • Kai2591

    Awesomely amusing lol.

    Sad that this’ll be the final Ar Tonelico game…(right?)….

    But I wonder if Gust will make a new game after this one….I hope they will make something totally new, refreshing, and gives me the same exciting feeling as Ar Tonelico games, or even better!

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