First Look At Ar No Surge’s Grown Up Ion And Cas, Battle System Details

By Sato . November 5, 2013 . 3:49am

Atelier makers Gust recently revealed that Ion and Cas from Ciel NoSurge will be part of their upcoming game, Ar NoSurge, an RPG with unique two-man battles. Earleir today, Gust shared a first look at the game, as well as battle system details and character designs.


Felion was formerly a labor camp for the Cold Sleep Pod, but it is now a proper city bustling with people. After the heaven ruler princess had awakened after her thousand year sleep, it had come to her knowledge that there were others living outside the partition wall that blocks the entrance of Felion.


Since then, she had freed the city, and it had become what we see in the above images.


The PLASMA are an organization that serves under the heaven ruler princess, consisting of an ancient race who’ve awakened from a cold-sleep. Their main duty is to protect the people living outside the wall from Sharl assaults.


As previously reported, the battle system will revolve around a two-man team, where the hero will have to protect the heroine, who can perform powerful song magic. Utilizing skills and attacking enemies will increase your Harmonics level, used to activate the heroine’s song magic.


An important part of Ar NoSurge’s action-based combat, will be timing your defense in order to reduce your overall damage taken. This is done by pressing the guard button just before the heroine is about to get hit.


The higher your burst value is from your attacks, the more your Harmonics Gauge will increase. The hero, who is in the frontlines, will have access to various skills which further increases the gauge than basic attacks. Increasing your Harmonics level will also make it possible for the heroine to assist with song magic.


Song magic comes in various forms. In addition to offensive use in combat, it can be used to start fires, or heal he injured; however, it is said that those who can use song magic in the world of Ar NoSurge are very scarce.


Here’s a look at some creatures who are part of song magic:


It has yet to be revealed on how they’ll be a part of song magic, but 4Gamer mentions that characters will have their own song magic.


Finally, we have a look at Ar NoSurge’s two heroines from Ciel NoSurge, including their 3D models and artwork:




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Ar NoSurge is slated for release on January 30, 2014, for PlayStation 3.

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  • Dark Zerato

    Gust, please bring this game to the west. Cas and Ion are so adorable.

    • Ric Vazquez

      Agreed, this looks promising.

  • David_c

    NA release please

  • Yeah, that’s pretty much Ar Tonelico with the serials filed off so that Gust/Koei can lay full ownership claim to the IP.

    God*damn*, though, that Atelier money and the extra support from Koei is really starting to show in their 3D modeling.

    One thing really caught my interest, though: the parties are going to be two-man? Just a frontliner and a songstress? That’s a bit of a change. So that’ll be, what, the hero and two possible songstresses, tops? I’d be curious to see what comes of THAT small a core cast. Very, very few JRPGs in particular have that small a number of principals.

    • Andar

      I could see it working just fine in battle though. It’s really not that different from Ar Tonelico 2, since rather than controlling four different characters, you really only controlled the front line as a single unit, and had the rear line charge up a spell of your choice.

      • Oh sure, gameplay-wise it’s just fine. I meant more from a story perspective – even the AT games all had over half a dozen *playable* principal characters, and still more who weren’t party members.

        So either there are going to be a *bunch* of non-playable central characters, or the story is going to unfold rather differently from most JRPGs.

        • Kai2591

          I see what you mean. JRPGs usually have a number of playable cast. This one seems more focused on just a pair at least. But we’ll see the full light of it once more news comes in I guess.

        • Andar

          In that sense, I completely agree with you. At the very least, Ar Tonelico games have always prominently featured the hero and three reyvateils. That said, there are usually two revealed early on, and one that comes much later; this could be the same case where the third option isn’t initially shown for various reasons (think AT2).

          As for other character interactions, while AT3 had all the playable characters develop fairly strong personalities, I think that was due in part to having a smaller cast overall. The non-hero, non-reyvateil characters generally don’t get as much attention, and for story purposes, could have their parts played by recurring NPCs, such as the shopkeepers throughout the games (Spica, and Sasha not only got a large number of lines comparable to the ‘main’ characters, but they also both featured in two of the three games).

          All things considered, I believe that even if the team does go with a much smaller cast of playable characters, it will only help in terms of achieving their vision for the game. One of my favorite things about the Ar Tonelico series was that it involved a great deal more interaction between characters than most games would, and fewer characters means there’s (potentially) more time to devote to developing each of them, and letting them have more meaningful interactions.

    • fyi1191

      If they will show us all those kind of scenes between man and lady, I rather have only 2 party members. Cause … there will be no sudden interruption from other members.

    • Radiosity

      It’s not just Delta, there’s Earthes as well (the bigass robot who will probably pair off with Ion and -speculating- could well represent the ‘you’ from Ciel no Surge in some way).

      • Kai2591

        gasp! that’s a very possible speculation actually!

        • Radiosity

          Seems entirely possible yeah, the robot is named the same as what they know our world as, you spend the entire game in Ciel communicating with Ion through essentially a subspace terminal, so it’s not a stretch to think that you could manipulate a giant robot in the same manner :)

          • Kai2591

            However, personally I would actually prefer a proper fixed character rather than a character who is supposed to be ‘us’ (if you know what I mean…)

            btw did they ever explain why/how Ion was even able to communicate with ‘us’ through that ‘terminal’? (what does that terminal even look like?)

          • Radiosity

            I dunno, I like the idea myself, bit different to the usual RPG protagonists.

            And possibly in a later chapter, I only played up to chapter 4 though. The terminal itself is never shown (obviously since you’re viewing her world through it). It seems to work like telepathy with Ion ‘hearing’ you and understanding you in her mind but she doesn’t hear you in the literal sense.

            How the touch stuff is supposed to work in-universe though… I have no idea lol. Possibly the same principal, something like telekinesis where you prod and she ‘feels’ it but doesn’t physically have the sensation of being prodded.

          • Kai2591

            I see…thanks for the info :)

          • aquagon

            Although we do know that the terminal uses a series of addresses similar to IP ones and uses a wave converter in order to not go over the physical laws of both universes. For example, this error message for when the terminal suddenly gets disconnected due to certain developments in the story:

            And considering they are even able of capturing the consciousness of life forms from other worlds in Ra Ciela, it makes it pretty easy to see it as possible.

          • Kai2591

            wow….. Man I just LOVE Akira Tsuchiya’s kind of worlds….their sci-fi style is so cool and unique :)

      • IvanAzure

        That robot seems to be a summon though, so even if it is supposed to represent “the player” from Ciel noSurge, it seems more like the “Mind Guardian Spirit” kind of character rather than a party member. ^^

        • Radiosity

          It was in the first scans along with Delta and didn’t seem to be taking any sort of secondary ‘summon creature’ type role. Who knows though, maybe they were just showing it off before the others were revealed.

          • IvanAzure


            Oh, so you mean the one there rather than the dragon robot here. Oh, yes, it does seem likely that he’s not a “summon creature”. I was confusing the two of them when I heard “bigass robot who will probably pair off with Ion” (since the dragon is shown here with her). xD

          • Radiosity

            Ah yeah, I probably should’ve been a little clearer there, sorry :) And yes, that gold robot that was revealed in the first scans. It has a similar look and feel to it as the terminal you use to interact with Ion (you see it enclose you and her when you dive into her Dream World, it’s got the same gold sort of look to it).

          • Radiosity


            Opening video. Judging from that it seems my theory actually has credence, it’s clearly someone Ion holds dear and the only inanimate object like that is your terminal in Ciel, so it seems pretty likely Earthes could in fact be you.

          • IvanAzure

            Thank you very much for sharing that. :D

  • Endy Operin

    Very nice! As much I can see, it’s a good “sequel” to Ar Tonelico series which I like a lot, especially the second one. So I got one more thing to look forward to ^^. And, of course, I’ll be praying for localization.

  • Crazy_O

    We get the Ar Tonelico 2 fighting system back? YES!
    I loved that and praised it in one of my reviews I did back than. I’m already sold on that alone.

  • Sentsuizan_93

    Battle system reminds me of Ar Tonelico 2. I like it!
    Hopefully this is released outside Japan.

  • fyi1191

    Ion’s dragon is smokin’ hot!
    I pray for a 3rd heroine.

    • Kai2591

      yeah, knowing the director, there’s definitely gonna be a third heroine :)

  • Arrngrim

    Praying for a NA localization…still, gonna import it regardless…

  • Aldorr

    Half a kingdom for a translation

  • Super looking forward to this– shocked though that it’s /not/ coming to the Vita! Maybe later down the line? If this game has DLC we’ll probably see it, but color me surprised given Ciel noSurge.

    I am super digging the visuals of this, though. Especially Cas’ look. I hope this game has the same kind of audio quality that the Ar Tonelico games have had, given it’s battle system.

    • Arrngrim

      Glad you mentioned that, I speed-read and missed the part about it being for PS3. I’m psyched about that though since it means it’ll be prettier and able to play on my big TV instead of the small screen. ;) Unless the PS Vita TV comes over here and works for all the games I love…then I guess it wouldn’t matter.

      • Really wanting that PS Vita TV, too, but hey, PS3 is good too. Gust has been seriously improving their PS3 models– Ayesha’s look alone really shows just how far they’ve come from Rorona, when it comes to the PS3.

  • TheExile285

    I’m liking the art-style for this. Nice and colorful, great for a Sci-Fi(ish) game IMO.

  • Arrngrim

    I’m not seeing this available for pre-order on play-asia yet, nor Amagami Ebikore+ for PS Vita? How early do they allow ordering for these games?

    • Zeonsilt

      When they will have a release date,p.s.this may means Ar no Surge is still in early-mid development.

      • Endy Operin

        Actually it does have a release date, January 30

        • Arrngrim

          Yeah, see, that’s why I wondered. Both of those titles are “slated for January 30th 2014”, hence I thought they’d be available for pre-order somewhere.

    • AmiAmi actually does have a pre-order available for this game:

      Personally I’m waiting to see if they announce a limited edition though.

  • Mir Teiwaz

    Changing up the battle system was pretty much expected. The AT series has changed that with every single installment.

    I’m really digging those enemy designs. Some of them are giving me Persona vibes and that is NOT a bad thing.

    • Kai2591

      I hope the enemy designs have a lot of variety this time around.

  • OFF-TOPIC: Cas is definitely going to be cosplayed by someone!

    Back on topic,I’m definitely interested in this and I hope it makes way over sometime in the future. A two-man battle system is very interesting, too.

    Also the artwork looks a-mazing!

    • Kai2591

      who is this…someone?

      btw, here be more epic dragons with cannons:
      (I don’t know if the artist is the same or not, but you have to admit they look wayyy too similar)

      • That “someone” is whoever that cosplays, that’s all.

        Haha. Too similar. It has to be the same guy… It just has to be. Right?

        • Kai2591

          lol ok.

          Yep. That’s what I thought :)

      • fyi1191

        After some searching, it is the same guy.
        Toshiaki Takayama did both the design for Ion and the dragon.

        • fyi1191

          The magazine scan.

        • Kai2591

          (looks at magazine scan)
          wow you’re right about the dragon being designed by Toshiaki Takayama; that’s his name alright (I can read Katakana). Thanks :)

          But are you sure he also illustrated Ion? I believe Ntny designed Ion. I know the scan shows both Ion and the dragon and below that ‘Illustration: Toshiaki Takayama’ but I think its just referring to the dragon; Ion’s face is there to show that the dragon is Ion’s…something (summon? I can’t read kanji haha)

  • Kornelious

    Another good looking JRPG. I’ll add this to my list of “Daily localization caomplaints” Seriously though this game looks sweet.

  • XiaomuArisu

    Cas looks amazing!
    I want!

    • Kitestwinblades

      Dat dot hack orange and bluish-green.
      I think i’m in love 〜( ̄▽ ̄〜)

  • Kai2591

    yay! more Ar Nosurge news~ :)

  • Kai2591

    Dat Green Dragon.
    ….is it drawn by Toshiaki Takayama?
    The designs look way too similar

    and battles will only be a two-man operation huh? guess its a more focused experience now. Will have to try it myself to see how good it is :)

    Two heroines….there must be a hidden third one haha~ (no spoilers pls ;)

    • Weroth

      From the scan above, yes it is.

  • This looks great. Glad to see the Ar Tonelico combat system back. Now this looks more import worthy. I do hope they localize it. The Vita seriously needs more games on the west. There are already plenty on the east.

    Update: Oh wait. Its PS3? Why no Vita? o_o.

  • Aristides

    My god 0-0 the asset quality is amazing. This looks like a pretty big budget RPG. I’ve always been a big fan of Ar, can’t wait for this to come out!

  • So is this a crossover game or a direct sequel to one of the series? I hope it is easy to follow, I haven’t played Ar Tonelico since the original and the Ciel is Japan only.

    • aquagon

      Neither. Is a new entry on a series that shares basic setting information with Ar tonelico, but that has no direct connection with it due to taking place in other planet. And I’d advise playing at least AT2 and 3 before jumping into this. Ciel Nosurge would be advised too due to being a direct prequel to this, but given it didn’t get released over here, that’s asking for too much.

  • fyi1191

    I’m not sure if someone saw this but there’s a gameplay of this posted at Gfaq by Kazkari.

    • Nitraion

      Hmm kinda confused where is the HP gauge for attacker…
      its great but if there is no other playable character besides MC..
      i dunno it might be kinda boring fast…
      maybe we can use 2 magic song user now?

      • Slayven19

        I seriously doubt that he’s the only frontline attack character.

        • Nitraion

          Well “IF” he really only attacker maybe we can make him like action game MC with changing weapon and stuff….

      • MrTyrant

        I dunno. Maybe it’s the tutorial or first hours where you play solo like other rpgs. You don’t begin with a full party.

    • Göran Isacson

      I don’t know what that last part was… but I know I want to play this game for that summon alone.

    • Kazkari

      Thank you for the mention. =]

  • I think I’ll cry if this doesn’t get localized. Only Cas and Ion’s songs can cheer me up lol

  • Nitraion

    I hope there is more playable chara just for variety sake…
    other things its great back to AR2 batte system roots

  • Ugh, “action-based combat”… Why does everything have to be an action game now? If I want an action game, I’ll play God of War or some other western booby button-mash sweary nonsense.

    • Azzrem

      its turn-based..with more action packed :D

    • Arcana Wiz

      now? it’s returning to the roots of the ps2 games….

      • Ar Tonelico 1 and 2 had turn-based combat. :(

        • Nitraion

          maybe you need see some video down here…
          AR2 much like semi-action to me…
          also don’t call other action game like that its disrespectful really

          • I played AR2 and certainly don’t remember it as being action or semi-action, but it’s been a while. I’m deeply sorry I’ve offended your sensibilities.

          • Arcana Wiz

            what he is trying to say is to check the video below, this game have pratically the same battle system, which have turns/phases too. But only with one protag.

          • Ah! So in other words, if I liked Ar Tonelico 2 (which I quite did), I may be in luck with this one! Sorry for misunderstanding, and thanks for the clarification. That’s really exciting!

          • I understand now. I’m sorry! I watched the video below now and have gone from being sad and skeptical to being happy and excited!! You’re right; it looks just like Ar 2!

  • Azzrem

    weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! next year should be awesome!! better feed my wallet first..

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    Reaaaaaaaaally happy that they went back to AR Tonelico 2 battle system here. I can’t stand playing Ar Tonelico 3 battle system anymore.T_T If something is not broken, they should not need to fix them there.

    • Slayven19

      But Ar 2 battle system isn’t the same as Ar1 battle system. They changed their battle system every game lol so the its not broke don’t fix it is kinda weird to be used here since none of the battle systems were bad.

      • I really preferred the first game’s battle system.

      • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

        As long as it is not 3D.T_T At least on the second one, it still give some similiar vibe towards the first battle system there.

  • Slayven19

    Game looks great :), will be looking out for this whenever it hits western shores.

  • Anime10121

    I think this may be my most anticipated current gen jrpg (well tied with Drakengard 3)!!! I mean, DAT ART! DAT MUSIC! If Koei Tecmo doesnt localized this, I’ma start killing kittens >:(

  • FFmax

    This looks pretty damn good, and the girls look really cool.

  • pekikuubik

    Really digging Cas’s design. Looks rather fresh for a fantasy JRPG. Probably because there’s absolutely nothing special about it, i.e. she has a completely normal hairstyle, her clothes aren’t overdesigned, her hat doesn’t have any useless bells and whistles on it etc.

    Ion, on ther other hand…

    • aquagon

      Although it’s pretty much the same appearance Ion had in Ciel Nosurge, with just a few minor changes.

  • artemisthemp

    Sound like Ar Tonelico to me

    • Arcana Wiz

      it’s At spiritual sucessor.

  • Darkrise

    Those designs are pretty cool.

  • tubers

    Just a bit more geometry and shaders, we’re getting much closer to high quality “2D” presentation :D

  • MrTyrant

    This game need to come here!! my wallet is asking for it!!

  • Altin

    Holy Shit, that artwork looks amazing!

  • Arcana Wiz

    Woah, now seeing better (i was at my phone before) these models are awesome! i really am proud of gust now, the began to use 3d models in atelier rorona and now they can make this level of works….
    cant wait to see if the next gen atelier saga will have this kind of models… they really are gorgeous!

  • Yan Zhao

    So….Cas and Ion will be the characters you Dive into for their….date sim levels I pressume.

    • Arcana Wiz

      if it follows AT, it will be some VN part where you will see the heroine mind… in other words a twisted word that many crazy things happen, like a level the girl jealousy grows so much that she tries to kill other characters… in the end you “cure” her mind… there wasnt a dates im in AT…but dunno here.

  • Damarius Wingfield


  • s07195

    Um… so this game looks great, but I never had a PS2 or a Vita, so I haven’t played any of the games before. (Ar Tonelico and Ciel no Surge)

    Granted, I could ask my friend to lend me his Vita (he got Ciel no Surge), but I probably won’t be able to play the AT series and even borrowing the Vita is unlikely…

    In short, this game looks great, but I don’t know ANY backstory, compared to 80% of the people who seem to know the series well. (?)

  • Romancer Ecclesia

    I look forward to a day where globalization reaches the extent where people won’t need to beg for localization anymore.

  • Göran Isacson

    Those summon designs. I am especially fond of scythe-horse and Bombardieragon, they look like they’re right in my wheelhouse.

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