Since 2019, people have had a chance to watch Reisalin “Ryza” Stout grow up in Atelier Ryza and Atelier Ryza 2. The original installment went on to pass 500,000 in sales and set a record for the series, and the sequel had a strong start too. Now that everyone, everywhere can play, Siliconera got in touch with Producer Junzo Hosoi to talk about the first two games and if we could see an Atelier Ryza 3.
Jenni Lada, Siliconera: While Atelier Ryza was about setting goals, Atelier Ryza 2 feels about taking steps to achieve them. How did you go about preparing to convey that for each character, especially ones who are only just introduced?
Junzo Hosoi, Gust: In this game, Ryza experiences city life for the first time. And obviously, with the change in environment Ryza has many new experiences, so the new characters appearing in this game are there to symbolize this. By adding characters that live in a city where many people come and go, instead of remaining in the isolated environment of an island, Ryza learns about new cultures and values, and through that we wanted to convey how Ryza herself is able to move forward.
What sorts of special effort did you undertake to ensure newcomers like Patty and Serri fit in with the existing cast in Atelier Ryza 2?
Hosoi: Ryza is a very outgoing character, so it wasn’t difficult for the new characters to fit in. But we did make adjustments so that the cast of the previous game would be involved by giving them some kind of connection with the new cast. (For example, Tao is Patty’s tutor.)
Which of the new Atelier Ryza 2 characters is your favorite and why?
Hosoi: All of the characters are my favorites, but when Patty is in battle, I think that she is very cool and also very cute!
The recipe acquisition system really offers a way to play with the original Atelier Ryza alchemy formula while tying it to discoveries. What led to pursuing this progression in-game? And how could you see Gust building on it in future Atelier games?
Hosoi: Until the previous game, recipe acquisition was tied to the story progress, and it was structured in a way where everyone would be able to obtain the same recipe at the same point in the game. However, in the "Secret" series, we wanted to make adjustments to expand the degree of freedom in the Atelier series, so we implemented the skill tree system in this game. Including this system in future games is still under consideration at this point, so we’ll think about it while taking player reactions into account.
Now that there’s no fear of spoilers, what did you most want to do with Atelier Ryza 2, but weren’t able to add to the game?
Hosoi: I wish we could’ve enhanced the characters’ expressions a lot more.
Like Atelier Ryza, Atelier Ryza 2 leaves a lot of threads for an additional story. Will we see an Atelier Ryza 3?
Hosoi: It all depends on everyone’s support! Personally, I would like to make a third game, and if we are fortunate and get the opportunity to make it, I want to be successful in evolving it even further.
Should a third game happen, will we finally see more of Bos?
Hosoi: Bos is a character who stood out one way or another in both games, so I’d like to give him an active part somewhere. I hope to do it in a way that will meet players’ expectations.
How do you think Atelier Ryza 2 will influence future Atelier games?
Hosoi: I consider the "Secret" series to be the series in the Atelier series that challenges new things. And those challenges are being received positively. But on the other hand, challenging new things doesn’t necessarily result in everything being great, and we have received comments from players who liked how things were done before. I think that negative comments are also very important. And so it will influence me to think of ways to best incorporate both opinions in the Atelier series.
How do you feel about the PlayStation 5 and its special features? Could you see a future Atelier game using the DualSense’s haptic feedback, for example?
Hosoi: When I tried the PS5 controller, I was really surprised at all the various features it includes. It would be great if we can come up with ways to use them in our future games. For example, we could use it to show how the alchemy cauldron responds during synthesis, or to control the strength when mixing in the cauldron. We plan on looking for ways to best use it.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout is available for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC. Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy is available for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC. There is no word yet regarding whether or not Atelier Ryza 3 is in development.