New Etrian Odyssey: Millennium Maiden Has A Stronger Story Focus [Update]

By Ishaan . March 26, 2013 . 8:40am

Earlier in the week, Etrian Odyssey series director Shigeo Komori teased that his next game would bring significant changes to the series, and now we know what they are, thanks to leaked details from this week’s issue of Famitsu magazine.

 

For starters, the new game, New Etrian Odyssey: Millennium Maiden is a remake of the first Etrian Odyssey game, will have a stronger focus on story and characters. Millennium Maiden is set in Etria and the protagonist is from the Highlands. He uses a spear for a weapon and is asked by the Etria administration to explore mysterious ruins following recent earthquakes in Etria.

 

During the course of the game’s story, the protagonist will meet multiple companions along the way, including Frederica Irving, an amnesiac Gunner. Frederica is described as a kind girl who tends to be wary of others, perhaps owing to her amnesia.

 

Joining them is Simon York, a Medic. York is the leader of an investigation team and is well-versed in knowledge of ancient civilizations and labyrinthine monsters. Simon is described as being calm and capable.

 

Another character is Arthur Charles, an Alchemist, who is on Simon’s investigation team. Arthur has a great deal of faith in Simon, and is described as a character that tends to mouth off from time to time. Finally, Lakuna Sheldon, a Paladin, is one of the supporting cast, too. Lakuna is from a family of nobles but is humble in her personality. She’s sensible has a strong sense of justice, but tosses common sense aside when it comes to matters of food.

 

Even though your characters are now fixed, you’ll be able to change their class to teach them different skills. Skill points are limited, so you’ll need to prioritize which skills you want your party to learn. When you do decide to change class, the character undergoing the change will retain his or her appearance and stats, but they’ll be able to learn the skills of their new class now. The one change Famitsu points out is that the Novice and Veteran skill tiers aren’t present.

 

New Etrian Odyssey: Millennium Maiden is being directed by Shigeo Komori, who resumes his director’s duties following Etrian Odyssey III. Yuzo Koshiro is returning once again to provide the music. Monster design is being handled by Shin Nagasawa. Finally, Yuji Himukai returns to provide character designs.

 

Komori explains that Atlus decided to focus on the production side for New Etrian Odyssey: Millennium Maiden. By fleshing out the story and characterization aspects, the game will make it easier for players to enjoy its RPG essence, which has been left intact.

 

New Etrian Odyssey: Millennium Maiden will be released on June 27th for the Nintendo 3DS. The game will cost 6,279 yen.

 

Update: Game title changed to “New Etrian Odyssey: Millennium Maiden”. It has also come to light that this is a remake of the first game.


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  • Foryth

    So… they’re removing one of my favorite features from the game? (party creation) Lame. :/ Not that this means it will be bad, but I’m still rather disappointed.

    • Zeik56

      Actually it seems like all that is still there, since even with stock characters you still get to change classes and you still get to customize them. It seems like the only thing they’re technically removing is custom portraits and names.

      While I like creating my own party, the best part of EO is actually the customization of the party, not so much the actual creation.

      • Foryth

        True, which is why I think it’ll still be a decent game, but I still feel like it’ll remove some of the individuality from my party and one of the elements I’ve come to love from starting up such games.

        Creating my own party from scratch, thinking up their names and such really helped stimulate my imagination for this type of game.(which I’ve been having fun doing since the days of Might and Magic.) Though I guess the provided storyline and characters should somehow fill this spot in a different manner.

        After learning that this is a “remake”, I suppose it could be interesting to get a different view on the first game.

  • tubers

    3DS BF deals can’t come soon enuf :P

  • puchinri

    Hmmm. I don’t know how I feel about this. I guess I want/need to see more of the game now.

  • Ethan_Twain

    Well after Etrian Odyssey IV updated the production values on the raw dungeon crawling experience, I suppose it’s logical that Etrian Odyssey V add to the actual content to be produced. Graphics and voices and storylines, wow. I’m not completely sold on the matter though… I’ve really appreciated in past games how minimalist the narrative was. These games all happen in your head, really. Now it’s possible that this game is gonna blow us away with nuanced writing and well drawn character arcs… but I’m not sure I would expect that. I guess there’s nothing to do but cross our fingers and hope though.

  • anarchy_panty

    Well, this is kind of disappointing. For lack of a better phrase, EO was one of the few series left that seemed to prioritize gameplay over all else. Guess nothing good can last forever.

    • MikeTxn

      But we only know small details about this. Sure, now we have a storyline and non-generic characters, but that doesn’t mean we’ll be watching an interactive movie the whole time.

      One thing for sure, I hope Immunize is as broken as ever.

    • AuraGuyChris

      You say it as if the gameplay is getting destroyed over characters with personalities.

      • http://steamcommunity.com/id/noumi_kud Kudryavka

        I think most people reading the article are assuming that it -will- ruin the game.
        Feels like we’re the minority in thinking that it would be nice if they can balance out a good story and still be appealing to its current fanbase.

        Edit-
        And I meant in no way that we should make a tradeoff with gameplay and storyline. If anything, I’d prefer it stick to its original formula if they’re going to do a sloppy job on the story front. They could just focus on improving gameplay instead otherwise.

        • AkuLord3

          And what’s with you guys who keep asking for “MORE” story as if every rpg needs one. Noone says having a story was a bad thing but there’s lot of things they could do rather than having story moments everytime. You want rpgs with lots of story, pick another rpg..
          Once again, not saying its bad and i’ll probably like the game but if you were asking for bunch of story in EO series then you missed the point of the games

          • http://steamcommunity.com/id/noumi_kud Kudryavka

            I think anarchy_panty has said pretty much what I wanted to say: “They can still (and most likely will) maintain this gameplay design, but it will most likely come with the cost of GTA IV style disconnect between what the player does and what the narrative says the characters do”

            Yes, I’m somewhat skeptical of it too… but I can hope and dream they do a good job of it. What’s the point in outright denying and ripping it apart at this introductory stage?

          • Swaggermuffin

            You’re talking about the rest of the EO series. This is a new game, in a different direction, and it’s not even a numbered title. And besides, who says you can’t have an involved story and player-made characters?

        • Guest

          I don’t really agree, but it isn’t going to stop me from enjoying the game. Still, I just don’t see any benefit a narrative will bring to a dungeon crawler and they already seem to have jettisoned character creation for it.

          That said, the first character they lead with is an amnesiac teenaged girl, good luck with that whole hoping for a good story thing.

          • http://steamcommunity.com/id/noumi_kud Kudryavka

            Mm, I say we give it more time for now. I mean, to my understanding, it’s generally hard to “see any benefits” of anything when we talk about leaked announcements of a new game that’s in development :)

            Yes, I’m sceptical too. However, if anything, EO has shown me that it’s able to grasp my attention whenever it wanted to convey something to me. Its (limited) descriptions of a detailed, vivid environment gives me that vibe.

            I also want to point out that the article is now updated to confirm it is definitely a remake of the first game. To me, that’s better than if it were EO5 taking a completely new direction, since it’s basically just a spin-off now. Not that the update has -or will- stop people from complaining about it.

            Oh well, like you said: we’ll both enjoy the game when it’s out anyway!

      • anarchy_panty

        One of the main reasons I enjoy the EO series is because of the focus on player created characters coupled with an incredibly minimalist narrative. It was thanks to this non-obtrusive story that you were always able to take everything in the game completely at your own pace. They can still (and most likely will) maintain this gameplay design, but it will most likely come with the cost of GTA IV style disconnect between what the player does and what the narrative says the characters do.

        In short, I think a minimal narrative is pretty essential to a lot of what EO does right.

  • http://steamcommunity.com/id/noumi_kud Kudryavka

    Excellent. I like me some story in RPGs.
    It feels odd though, hearing this immediately makes me think that they’re implying we are not allowed to make new guild members since the core 5 will probably need to be present for the story to advance, at least.

    I think what we want to know is: Will it still have the feel of an Etrian Odyssey game despite this change?

  • Altritter

    Considering that the game isn’t numbered, I honestly wouldn’t be too worried about this being a new, permanent direction for the series. EO V could very well still have the party creation that we’ve come to know and love while this remake simply offers something a little different.

    • ronin4life

      And all the while maybe they will remake the other games in this fasion too.

      Hmm…. interesting…

  • Flandre Scarlet

    Hoping this isn’t a permanent change and just a spin-off of some sort. The character creation and focus on exploring the ruins with a custom party was pretty much the entire draw of EO for me. I can go play any other JRPG if I wanted plot and characters to take any kind of focus.

  • AkuLord3

    Ehhh mixed, Dumb running joke, i didn’t mind there being not alot of story in the EO games. Just your party of new adventurers being sweep into the events while exploration, Was hoping it would increase the characters you choiced in Customization. I’m disappointed that i’m not going have freedom for that but gameplay wise i’ll be fine, just wait and see more

    • http://steamcommunity.com/id/noumi_kud Kudryavka

      I enjoyed EO for what little story it had too and I agree that I don’t particularly like the idea of having to go around with 5 pre-made characters.

      But they never said they weren’t also going to increase the customization or let you make your own characters (skeptical).
      That’s the problem: we need more information on this.

      As I said already, if they flop it due to having to split attention on storyline, then I’d rather have them focus on improving the original gameplay style.

      • Zeik56

        That’s what they’ve been doing with every EO sequel since. If they’re going to experiment around with a game like this I’d much rather see them try to do something original than just make this into basically “EO 4.5″. I don’t want this to be the new direction for the series, but this sounds better than just an enhanced port. Or at least more worth their time.

  • Istillduno

    Sounds cool, can’t see anywhere that it says you won’t be able to make your own party as well as having the fixed characters around, pleanty of RPGs in the past have allowed you to basically ignore the fixed characters and just run with your customs.

    The one thing that always made me hesitant to get into the Etrian Odyssey series was the lack of story so I’m looking forward to seeing how this one turns out.

  • Tylor Boreas Makimoto

    I’d rather this be a spin-off series with a larger focus on story, rather than making it part of the main series. Creating my own characters and developing their personalities through the little quests to fit into a quirky group is probably the biggest reason I love EO IV. Taking it out and giving us a premade character adds nothing for me, other than dislike.
    I’ll still buy the game, should it come out over here, but I do hope they don’t continue the direction for the numbered titles.

    • Zeik56

      It sounds like they’re intentionally trying to separate this one from the main series, so I don’t think this is meant to be a new direction for the main series. If they really wanted this to be a new direction for the series they would have just done it with EO4, since they were clearly in development at the same time.

  • XypherCode

    June release date is a bit early if you ask me. Or maybe the game was already in development for quite a while.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      It’s been in development for a while. Komori was supposed to produce and direct EOIV, but he stated in an Iwata Asks interview that he was already busy with another project that was in development alongside that game. This is probably that project, which means it’s been in the works for quite some time now.

      Komori’s involvement with this title is why Daisuke Kanada (Trauma Team) directed EOIV. Kanada volunteered himself for the position.

      • XypherCode

        Oh ok thanks for the info! :))

        Yeah I forgot they made an Iwata Asks interview with Shigeo Komori. Didn’t bother reading it ’cause I thought they’ll eventually post a translated one on their site before or after the game launched in the west, and of course saving me the effort again of reading it in Japanese. xD This made me a bit curious hehe I think I’ll read it later. :D

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    one of the great things about this game was making your own party….and now its gone… should make the game with 3D models now

    • Tylor Boreas Makimoto

      For monsters, I say yes. However, when it comes to the characters, I’m perfectly happy with the portraits. They looks so cool, as well as complement the style.

      • ShawnOtakuSomething

        Nothing wrong in a little change

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000266568295 Riko Ersted

          No, sometimes there is something wrong with a little change. I LOVE EO’s art style, and I’d be really disappointed if they ever switched to 3d models for the characters.

  • powerlessbump

    The biggest question is, “Will the orange balls return or not?”

  • Zeik56

    I’m actually very interested in this, as EO1 is the only EO game I do not own and I’ve been hesitant to pick it up now because of unrefined mechanics.

    I don’t necessarily want this to be the approach to the main games from now on, but I don’t think that’s their intention, otherwise they would have done it with EO4 instead. But I do think this is a better idea for a EO1 remake than just updating it with EO4′s mechanics.

    • Guest

      Even though I do not approve of additional narrative, I gotta say… WHY remake EO1?

      Why not just try for EO5 with a slightly different formula? This is not a traditional RPG series, it’s a purely mechanical dungeon hack, no one has nostalgia for EO1 because every entry has been progressively better and has essentially replaced it.

      • Zeik56

        I’d be much less happy with this if it was supposed to be EO5. I like the idea that they’re experimenting with different ideas like this in an offshoot game. Taking out party creation in an actual sequel would be a much bigger slap in the face to the fanbase than doing something like this. Anyone who doesn’t like this can still just wait for EO5.

        Why its a remake instead of an original game I don’t know, but there definitely is some nostalgia out there for EO1. I’ve seen a surprising number of people place it as their favorite game in the franchise, even after EO4. Granted, I’m not so sure the direction they’re taking this is going to appeal to those people, but…

  • MrSirFeatherFang

    I’m still buying that reprinted EO1 and this one too! I’m really enjoying EO4 right now!

  • Silver Citizen

    Maybe I’ll actually enjoy this one! I’ve wanted to enjoy an Etrian Odyssey game since the beginning and now they’re actually doing something I can get in to.

    • Guest

      Maybe you could just… I dunno, read a manga or comic book? Might be a better idea than camping a very difficult, incredibly mechanical dungeon crawler and hoping they add in ANIME GURLZ, tee hee, one has amnesia and one likes to eat a lot XD XD XD

  • daylightdies

    I’m not sure why they had to remake EO1. I mean, it’s not that old of a game. Just seems like a lazy move. This bothers me a lot more than the fact they have added fixed characters.

    • Zeik56

      It does seem like it might have made more sense to just do an EO side-story from scratch, but whatever, its all the same to me.

  • Zharkiel

    No gusta

    There needs to be more info, but if there’s one thing I learned from Unchained Blades is that Story focused Dungeon Crawlers with premade characters complete with their own personalities aren’t my thing.

  • kool_cid414

    I’m actually looking forward to this as I might enjoy game more with characters with actual personality rather than blank slates with nothing there besides a portrait I don’t mind custom made characters but only if I can actually see them and have more options in their appearance something I find incredibly lacking in the EO games I’ve played (mind you I’ve only played 1 and the demo of 4 and find 4 portraits to be incredibly lacking for a custom made character.)

  • http://alboreo.tumblr.com Alboreo

    Not really interested in this at all due to the lack of party creation, but I agree with many others that I don’t expect this to be a direction the entire series will move in. Hopefully V will bring the feature back. :)

  • LynxAmali

    Awesome.

    I was always more so interested in the lore and what not of EO than the dungeon crawler aspect.

    That’s kind of funny now, that I read that aloud.

  • http://thespellcraftcolumn.wordpress.com Rudolph Consuegra

    Can’t the characters at least change appearance when the change class?

    • Zeik56

      That would actually be pretty cool. Give each character a unique portrait for whatever class is currently assigned to them. I’d have to assume they’d do something along those lines, since having your stock Defender or whatever change class to an Alchemist still look like a Defender would be pretty lame.

  • riceisnice

    I was hoping it would be Etrian Odyssey 5.

    • Zeik56

      If this was actually EO5 so soon after EO4 I think I’d be disappointed. I would hope they would take some more time to flesh out ideas and make EO5 a notable improvement, rather than just another EO game. They’ve done a good job so far making notable improvements to each sequel. I don’t want another EO just for the sake of another EO.

  • http://www.cubiz.tk/ Auragar

    Remake of the first game hmm… wonder how that will play out. Sounds interesting to me in any case. Will buy when it comes stateside.

  • http://www.facebook.com/damian.zanella.7 Damian Zanella

    Not buying if it gets localized. Not even a real Etrian Odyssey game.

    • Shane Guidaboni

      So what determines what a “real Etrian Odyssey game” is? Just because the series has essentially stayed the same this entire time doesn’t make this game not a real game in the series. Even EOIV had more story elements in it than past games in the series and even introduced unique portrait characters to add to your party.

  • Shane Guidaboni

    Funny, because I was just talking recently about how the very first EO was so difficult to play now with battles being ridiculously slow and how distributing skills was difficult with cryptic descriptions and no defined skill tree. The lack of being able to create my own party is a little disappointing, but I’ll happily play this game. I loved the atmosphere of the first game.

  • Guest

    Meh, a dungeon crawler does not need to focus on a narrative. Injecting what sound like incredibly generic anime tropes into EO isn’t going to improve anything, it’s just going to interrupt things.

    • Locklear93

      I don’t know that I agree. I enjoy Unchained Blades a fair bit because there’s more narrative and dialogue to it. EO IV’s demo didn’t even rate a purchase from me, because it was so obvious plot wasn’t a fairly minor element. By all rights, Unchained Blades is the worse game, but having a narrative to follow made it much more interesting to me.

  • Mabel Pines

    neo EO
    how horrifying

  • http://amc9988.deviantart.com/ amc99

    Well I don’t know whether to be happy or not about this, since I have most fun in EO when making my own character and using my own imagination to create the character’s relationship with each other and their own story/past while trying to relate it with the main story in the game…

    But at the same timeEO3 is my most FAV Eo, and the guy that is making this game is the same as EO3, So I’ll wait and see where this is going

  • sakusakusakura_nyo

    I made an all female guild in each of the 4 Etrian Odyssey games. It sucks that you can’t do that in this one.

  • Stephane Seraphin

    Fixed party members? Voice acting? Color me not interested. I play EO so I can get away from common JRPG noise like that

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    Hmm….. Hope that this setting is not going to be a norm for EO series here.T_T
    I really like the fact that i am able to make my own guild, explore the world and face unknown danger.
    If this is just kinda spin-off type of game, i would be okay though.^_^ Hell, maybe they can actually open more story on what is happening to the universe there.^_^

  • Insigma

    It’d be cool to hear the updated versions of the original themes.

  • Insigma

    My only concern is that they might make this too easy for an Etrian Odyssey game.

  • TheBlackKnight3

    A story-based Etrian Odyssey…. one I can finally get into. I hate map-making enough, and without a story, there’s nothing to keep me playing. I think I will actually buy this one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000266568295 Riko Ersted

    I’m a LITTLE sad to see the loss of the totally personalized party creation, but then again, I’m very excited to see a more story-based remake of EO1, since it really had an awesome story (what little there was), and I thought it was a shame that we never got to see the full potential of that story. Maybe now we will. And this BETTER come out in America!

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