Ryza Was Always Supposed to Be The Protagonist of Two Atelier Games

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Atelier Series Producer Junzo Hosoi explained why Ryza is still the protagonist in Atelier Ryza 2, instead of moving over to a supportive role as usual.

Atelier Ryza 2 features Reisalin Stout, the same protagonist as its predecessor, a first in the Atelier series. In a new interview with our Japanese peers at 4Gamer, Atelier Series Producer Junzo Hosoi explained why this is happening: He revealed Gust planned to keep Ryza as the protagonist since when planning the first game.

Producer Junzo Hosoi first explained how Atelier games so far tended to sell the most whenever the series came to a new platform for the first time. However, Atelier Ryza‘s sales are unprecedented and the best of the series. Producer Hosoi explained it’s partly thanks to the chara design by Toridamono and how Ryza went viral, There were many illustrators and cosplayers who took over Ryza, drawing attention to the game from an early stage, bringing in many new players to the series.

However, Hosoi added that Gust also provided huge efforts to rework the battle system, the alchemy system and multiple elements in Atelier Ryza. Which in result made these new players realize that the Atelier series isn’t solely about the beautiful artwork. Many praised other aspects of the game besides the charadesign, which contributed to ongoing sales after release.

As a producer, Junzo Hosoi was pretty scared before the release of the first Atelier Ryza. The reason is, there are many fantasy games, but few which focus on the idea and atmosphere of a Japanese-styled summer. It’s not a theme that often gets portrayed, and he was scared whether it’d be accepted or not. Atelier Ryza being themed around summer memories is also why the sequel doesn’t go with the usual protagonist change:

Junzo Hosoi: “One of the charms of the Atelier Series is how you get to see the characters grow older and change. So we did consider changing protagonists as usual. But we wanted to keep the same protagonist to better depict the games’ theme of summer memories. Keeping Ryza as the protagonist for a sequel was something we thought about since the beginning of the first game’s planning. However, everyone has been asking me “Did you keep Ryza because the first game’s sales were really good?”, and there’s also some truth to that. Because even if we wanted to do something, we couldn’t do it if not for the players’ support.”

Hosoi also stressed out assuming there’s a third game, Ryza won’t necessarily be the protagonist for a third time, and it won’t necessarily be a new sequel time-wise, again taking place three years later. They’re not sure yet what they’ll do, and that’ll depend of the players’ opinion.

Junzo Hosoi previously hid that fact that Ryza would be the protagonist again, only mentioning she’ll appear again in the sequel.He did that to keep the surprise intact when Atelier Ryza 2 would get announced.

I personally expected as much seeing ideas behind games tend to be thought up much before what us non-developers tend to think. I definitely agree with what Producer Hosoi said about the game’s sales too. Zettai Ryouiki or sexual fanservice alone isn’t enough to sell a game in Japan. The rest of the game in itself is good too. It’s not like Ryza invented Zettai Ryouiki too and it’s more like a stroke of luck with everyone picking up the design, actually buying the game, and Koei Tecmo not missing the occasion to capitalize on that.

The original Atelier Ryza recently added a Very Easy difficulty for those who simply want to enjoy the story without worrying about the battle system. Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy will be launching worldwide next winter on PS4, Switch, and PC via Steam. You can read more on the game here.

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