The story in Atelier Ryza is drawing to a close, even though an anime is about to offer a new take on the tale. People spent four years watching Ryza and her friends grow up since the original game’s 2019 debut. Now, we’re seeing where the characters’ journeys will bring them with Atelier Ryza 3 acting as an ending. To help understand what to expect, Siliconera caught up with Gust Executive Officer Junzo Hosoi to talk about the game.
Jenni Lada: When did Atelier Ryza 3 development begin and did you always knew it would become a trilogy?
Junzo Hosoi: The planning of Atelier Ryza 3 began right after the release of Atelier Ryza 2. When we began drafting the idea of Atelier Ryza, I always had the thought of wanting the Secret series to conclude as a trilogy.
However, whether it actually became a two-part series or would continue as a trilogy was something we thought to decide upon only after seeing the players reactions to the game.
Given we’ve followed many of the characters in Atelier Ryza 3 for years now and seen them grown, how did that affect development for each one’s personal story arcs?
Hosoi: Each of the characters have grown physically and emotionally throughout the games (Atelier Ryza, Atelier Ryza 2, and Atelier Ryza 3). For example, Ryza encounters something known as alchemy, and by deepening her knowledge about it she is able to face the problems facing her island, and also Klaudia, Lent and Tao begin to decide on each of their own futures.
In a way, “the future of the friends” illustrates the conclusion of the trilogy, so I hope everyone will play the game and watch what choices they make.
Hosoi: Bos become a playable character from fan’s reactions and the feelings of the development team came into alignment. He is a popular character so there were talks internally to see if we could make him a
playable character, but when considering the production progress of new characters and where he would fit in, there were very difficult aspects to it.
In terms of the story, we thought that the story would need to
have Bos included for a reason, but since we wanted Atelier Ryza 2 to carry on from Atelier Ryza, we thought that having the members who deepened their bonds in the first adventure, the four characters of Ryza, Lent, Tao and Klaudia, would be the ones to head to the capital, and then have an adventure with the friends they meet there.
So because of that, we decided to show Bos in Atelier Ryza 3.
Which character’s story in Atelier Ryza 3 did you think offered the best progression and why?
Hosoi: It’s hard to choose just one character as the best progression. Beginning with Ryza, I think that the stories of all of her and all of her friends on the island have taken a shape that we are very satisfied with.
They are characters that I have been together with for many years, so I have a very strong emotions towards them.
Will we see paired endings in Atelier Ryza 3 or different endings based on players’ choices?
Hosoi: There is a single ending for the major story. Having said that, there are world quests that unfold and unique to each region, episodes for each character and many other elements that can be enjoyed in addition to the main story.
Atelier Ryza 3 experienced a delay just ahead of launch. What did the last few weeks of development look like in a situation like this?
Hosoi: The game consists of the largest volume of material in the Atelier series, such as the number of party members and size of the field, so we focused on bushing up the stability and optimization of the game.
Also, we made some improvements to the usability, so there are adjustments that make it a better game for everyone to get their hands on. We deeply apologize for having everyone wait longer for the game’s release.
Hosoi: Atelier Ryza 3 is the finale for Ryza’s story.
With the original Atelier Ryza, we saw character-focused add-ons. The sequel involved extra areas. What kinds of DLC are you hoping to create for Atelier Ryza 3?
Hosoi: We’ve announced that there will be costumes including swimsuits, additional areas, recipe expansion packs, BGM packs and more, so we are planning to have content that will let everyone enjoy the game for a lot longer.
What would you like to do next in the Atelier series? Is there any kind of new mechanic or element you’d like to pursue in the future?
Hosoi: I think it might be good to introduce a major system outside of synthesis.
Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key will come to the PS4, PS5, Switch, and PC on March 23, 2023 in Japan and March 24, 2023 worldwide.