Atelier Ryza 3 Producer on Creating the Endgame and Moving Away from Fanservice

Ahead of the game’s release this Friday, we sat down in a workshop with Koei Tecmo’s Gust department head and Secret trilogy lead producer Junzo Hose to say goodbye to him, including how the Atelier series has changed with Riza, what’s next for the franchise. and we found out that Hosoi-san is a bit of a Xenoblade fan…

Nintendo Life: With the main characters in the Atelier series traditionally changing with each new entry, what is it about Ryza that she ended up with a full trilogy under her own name? Is it popularity with the public or was it the plan from the beginning to build three games around it?

Junzo Hosoi, Head of Gust at Koei Tecmo and Producer of Atelier Ryza 3. — Image: Koei Tekmo

Junzo Hosoi: From the very beginning of the Secret series, we wanted to create a story where the same main character continues to grow and develop, so the fact that Riza remains the main character is in line with our original intent. From the very beginning of the project, I always wanted to complete the Secret series with a trilogy, but whether it would be a two-game series or a trilogy, we had to make a decision based on the feedback of our players. . Thanks to the positive response to Atelier Ryza and Atelier Ryza 2, we were able to create Atelier Ryza 3 with the return of Ryza as the main character.

Creating multiple items and working in your workshop has always been the focus of this series. We’ve already seen a lot of new mechanics and streamlined features added to the last two games. Can you tell us what new things we can expect this time around that are especially exciting for you?

Hoseoi-san: These will be the two main systems “open field” and “keys”. Within the same region, we have stopped downloading between maps so that you can explore the map smoothly. This will clearly change your attitude towards the gameplay.

“Keys” are also new to the Atelier series as they cover both systems and scenarios, so they will be new even to those who have played previous games in the series.

Atelier Ryza 3 Party
Image: Koei Tekmo

In terms of the game world, is this time we’re looking at a completely open environment from the start, or is it still divided into segments that are separated by narrative events or separated by loading screens?

Hoseoi-san: Raiza and her friends will go on a journey through four different regions. Each region is an open field where multiple maps are seamlessly linked and they can move between them with no load times. The game is designed in such a way that players can enjoy the open field from the very beginning. However, when traveling between regions or using fast travel, loading will occur.

Having analyzed all the installments of the Switch series over the past few years, we have noticed a shift from what could be called a more “fan-service” style to role-playing games that seem to be trying to appeal to a much wider audience. . Was it a conscious decision to change the style of the franchise in this way?

Hoseoi-san: Yes it. We want as many players as possible to pick up and play our games. For this reason, we are constantly listening to the opinions of various players, looking for and inventing content that they will like again. We would be happy if many people thought of Gust games when they thought of JRPGs.

Atelier Ryza 3 World
Image: Koei Tekmo

Alchemist of the End certainly sounds a little risqué, is the tone of this new game darker than we’re used to? Does it touch on bigger issues than Raiza’s previous two outings?

Hoseoi-san: The themes of the game are the roots of alchemy, the mysteries of the world, and the ultimate goal and destination of Ryza and each of her friends. The impression you might get may be bleak, but Raiza and the other characters have grown up while retaining the same energy and spontaneity they always have. So compared to previous games, it is not darker than before.

We feel like combat in the series has really improved over the past few years – it seems to be almost on par with the creation mechanic now. How did the action of this last adventure develop?

Hoseoi-san: Combat is similar to past games, so there are no major changes. However, by using the new “key” system, you can enjoy faster and more exciting battles, such as being able to hit repeatedly using a normal attack and constantly using skills.

We already know that this will be Raiza’s last adventure, at least in the role she plays now. Looking ahead, could you tell us something about your plans for the world of Atelier? Can we expect a similar style of play with the new protagonist or are there any plans to shake something up?

Hoseoi-san: As for the future, we are not thinking about anything right now. First of all, I would like everyone to enjoy Atelier Ryza 3, which will be Ryza’s last adventure. I believe that the Atelier series is about games that are created together with the players, so I would be glad to hear all the thoughts and opinions after the game.

We know you’ve probably been asked this numerous times, but given Ryza’s growing success, are there any plans to do an English dub of the game this time, even if it’s after the initial release?

Hoseoi-san: If there are many requests, then there is a possibility. We look forward to hearing from you!

Finally, Atelier games have become hugely popular RPGs on the Nintendo Switch for good reason. Aside from your own games, can you tell us what RPGs you’ve played or admired most on the console?

Hoseoi-san: I always look forward to the Xenoblade series!

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

We would like to thank Junzo Hosoi of the Koei Tecmo team and Gust for taking the time to talk to us about Atelier Ryza 3. The game will be released on Switch on March 24, 2023. Share your excitement about returning to your atelier in the comments.

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Atelier Ryza 3: The Alchemist of the End and the Secret Key

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