Ryza games have toned down fan service and refocused to give the series a much-needed boost. Combat was once an afterthought, but has become an integral part of modern Atelier adventures, providing players with deep and engaging battles that combine beautifully with the alchemical side of things. It’s a much-improved experience that’s seen us dishing out big scores for Ryza, with the most recent entry, Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key earning a very impressive 9/10 in our review.
Building on the success of recent releases, today Gust looks back on the genesis of his 26-year-old series to bring us a remake of the original Atelier adventure, which sees Atelier Marie getting an official English release for the first time. time ever.
Ahead of its July 12 release, we spoke with Gust lead Junzo Hosoi to find out a bit more about the upcoming Atelier Marie remake: The Alchemist Of Salburg.
Nintendo Life: With this remake, you return to the beginning of the Atelier franchise, to the original adventure of Atelier Marie in 1997. Is there a particular reason why you chose to revisit this particular story, what now?
Junzo Hosoi, Head of Gust: Well, thanks to the Secret (Ryza) series and other titles released between 2019 and 2023, the number of people interested in the Atelier series itself has increased significantly. We chose to remake Atelier Marie to convey the origin of the series to those who don’t really know Atelier Marie.
Does this remake signal an intention to return to more crucial points in the series’ history beyond Marie workshop? VSCould we see redesigns of some of the franchise’s most popular entries in the near future?
Well, there is always the possibility. It is one of our goals to have the entire Atelier series, starting with Atelier Marie to the latest title, available in digital stores. We believe that the next “Workshop” will be created based on some of the feedback we receive from those who play both past and recent titles.
The visual style of the original has been given a pretty drastic overhaul judging by the game’s trailers. Can you detail what exactly has been changed and how the graphical elements differ from the 1997 version?
Characters and scenes have been recently redesigned from 2D to 3D. Battle scenes are now also in 3D, allowing a dynamic presentation with many effects.
On the other hand, 2D character artwork is used in dialogue events to maintain the atmosphere of the original game. The key things that have evolved from the original are that the character artwork is now animated, allowing the characters to be portrayed even more vividly.
Beyond the graphical improvements, has the narrative seen any additions or deletions to what fans will know from the original experience?
In addition to the original storyline, an amount roughly equivalent to 30-40% of the original story is additional storylines. Content includes the opportunity to learn new aspects of the characters and teacher commentary on Marie’s work. The purpose of the additions is to increase character representations and increase immersion in the world.
There are no deleted scenarios, but we have adjusted some of the expressions that do not match modern values.
Can you tell us a bit about how the tutorial and navigation systems in Atelier Marie Remake have been expanded and improved to modernize them for new audiences? What are the biggest changes in this regard?
“Professor Ingrid’s Task” is a major departure from the original. In the original version, players had to pass graduation exams with almost no hints, however, this game is designed so players can get hints of what to do as they go. progress in the game by completing the tasks given by Professor Ingrid. regularly.
We already know that a new “unlimited mode” has been added to the adventure, but what other new elements, if any, have you brought to this reworked version of the game?
I think being able to walk around the staging area is the most game-changing element. Players weren’t able to walk through the staging area in the original game, instead they weren’t only had to choose whether or not to gather materials, so in this version players can wander around gathering areas like in recent games in the Atelier series, and can pick up items by accessing materials on the ground .
Battles now take place as symbols, and players can choose to avoid encounters with enemies. The balance has therefore been adjusted accordingly. Additionally, for those who wish to enjoy the game in the same way as the original, we have also prepared a “simple collection” feature that allows collection by selecting from certain choices.
Several other fun elements have also been added, such as the ability to redecorate the workshop and the addition of a photo mode, which has been popular in recent Workshop games.
Are there any notable differences between the Switch version of the game and versions on other platforms? How does performance on Switch hold up or compare to other versions?
We have optimized the game for each platform, including the visual appearance, so the game can be played comfortably on any platform.
For new fans who may have just started their adventure in the Workshop with the awesome Ryza trilogy, what are the main differences they will notice stylistically, thematically or in terms of core gameplay loops compared to this game ?
Compared to Atelier Marie, the Secret series, where Ryza is the main protagonist, is a more RPG-oriented title. The game progresses through a storyline, and the player naturally proceeds along the storyline to completion.
On the other hand, Atelier Marie is more like a simulation game. The game is played in a way that allows players to manage their schedules and coins to succeed and aim for a good ending. However, the game design may be less familiar to those familiar with recent Atelier games, so we’ve added additional features such as “Ultimate Mode” and “Professor Ingrid’s Task” for them.
At the same time, some things remain the same. For example, the three major components of the game, “synthesis”, “combat”, and “gathering”, remained unchanged from Marie to Ryza.
How do you think Marie differs from Ryza as a protagonist?
I believe Marie and Ryza are realistic protagonists that a lot of people can relate to, as both characters start out in an inexperienced state and grow while struggling with their preoccupations.
The only difference is that Marie can seem a little passive compared to Ryza, who is always active and leads everyone. The reason for this is due to the difference in how each title is played. In Ryza, the main protagonist acts independently to advance the story, while in Marie, the player must choose the actions of the main protagonist.
There is no physical release of Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg announced in the West. Is this something that is subject to change or will fans here have to settle for the digital releases that have been announced?
There are no plans for a physical release.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
Our thanks to Hosoi-san for telling us about this lovely remake.
Can’t wait to discover the origins of the Atelier franchise when Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg releases on July 12? Be sure to let us know in the comments.