Back when Gust first announced Atelier Sophie 2, Siliconera spoke with Producer Junzo Hosoi about its development. Now that its release date is drawing nearer, we again talked about what people can expect from the game. Since we know more about what to expect, this time we talked about some additional elements. For example, we talked about how Atelier Sophie 2 gameplay changed due to new additions and what people can expect from characters like Sophie, Plachta, and Ramizel.
Jenni Lada: Given the positioning of Atelier Sophie 2 in the series timeline, what kind of character development do you hope to show for both Sophie and Plachta in it?
Junzo Hosoi: Atelier Sophie 2 takes place between the stories of the Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book and Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey. Players will be able to see what kind of experiences Sophie had before meeting Firis and how she grew from those experiences, as well as see how Sophie and Plachta influence each other and how it benefits them both, so I hope everyone will look forward to seeing how these characters grow.
As usual, Sophie will have a number of allies on her side. Which one of the Atelier Sophie 2 characters do you feel is the most unique and why?
Hosoi: The most unique character in Atelier Sophie 2 is Ramizel. She is a leader-like presence in the town of Roytale, where the story takes place, and is like an older sister to Sophie and Plachta. I don’t want to spoil the story, but I will say that the game will be even more enjoyable if it is played while trying to imagine what kind of relationship Ramizel has to Sophie and her friends.
When developing a game for multiple platforms like Atelier Sophie 2, how do you ensure it is as enjoyable on the Switch as it is on the PS4?
Hosoi: Our concept for development is to aim for a higher level of quality of all graphics, including lighting and facial expressions, in addition to processing speed and loading times of course, and we developed the game aiming for the same level of high quality regardless of it being for the PS4 or the Switch.
One of the new gameplay elements in Atelier Sophie 2 is a Major Gathering Spot minigame. What led to its development and how does it affect the general quality of life and difficulty of the game?
Hosoi: The puzzle synthesis that is used in the Mysterious series has been well-received by many players, but in contrast we also received feedback that it was difficult. So we decided to add mini-game elements that, depending on how the game is played, make it possible to create materials required for synthesis. It’s a system that expands the degree of freedom in gameplay so that players can mull over puzzles using materials collected simply through gathering, or create materials they want by playing through Major Gathering Spot mini-games.
Depending on the Major Gathering Spot results, it is possible to create powerful equipment early on in the game, but it’s not always necessary in order to clear the game. They can be played as a break from synthesis or battles, or as an attempt to be able to do more synthesis; we hope players will enjoy them in a way that matches their play style.
In Atelier Sophie 2, one new gameplay feature allows people to control the weather. How did this concept come up and did past Atelier games lead to it?
Hosoi: I wanted something that could showcase to the fullest extent the dream-like taste of the Mysterious series, while having the ability to greatly change the field in order to enjoy exploring, so weather control is something that we considered since the start of development. Also, the game setting of the dream world Erde Wiege itself being another world is also a major factor. Because it’s a different world, we can incorporate many “mysterious” elements, so it is a system where the players can really feel like they’re in the world of Atelier Sophie 2.
Could we see Atelier Sophie 2 DLC similar to the sorts included in past Atelier games, like BGM, costumes, additional playable characters, and events?
Hosoi: Yes, we are planning on various DLC including BGM and costumes! Look forward to them!
Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream will come to the Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PC on February 25, 2022.