The latest (December 2018, vol. 669) issue of Dengeki Playstation includes new details on upcoming Koei-Tecmo/Gust RPG, Atelier Lulua: The Alchemist of Arland 4, straight from producer Hosoi Junzou.
Official website: https://www.gamecity.ne.jp/atelier/lulua/
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Hosoi is stated as saying that Atelier Lulua is, while a sequel, also a game that is being made for players new to the series as well. New players will be able to treat all of the appearing characters as new, while Arland series fans will be able to enjoy being reunited with old characters, with a few surprises in store as well.
Hosoi says that he had previously spoken to series artist Kishida Mel about his desire to make a sequel, but this desure did not start to take fruit until he saw the reception at the 2017 Atelier series 20th anniversary event. He also talks about the character designs; Lulua’s childhood friend Eva had her design finalised quickly as Hosoi and Kishida both had similar ideas on what she should look like, but they had to spent more time on Lulua, due to how they had used up most of their ideas for protagonist designs up to this point. The key factor was how to balance how close her design would be to Rorona’s, and they were split over Lulua’s hair ornament; Hosoi says that when he asked Kishida to fix it, Kishida was stubborn over it to an extent that Hosoi had never seen before, being extremely intent on keeping it. Lulua’s lack of a hat, an icon of the series’ alchemists, is part of Kishida’s new interpretation of the Arland series.
Hosoi also speaks about protagonist Lulua, saying that she always puts her all into things that she does, to the point that she may be called reckless, but also puts thought into considering others’ feelings, and is the sort of girl that everyone likes. As the protagonist of the fourth game, she is a character that older characters from the series love as a grandchild. Hosoi also mentions Lulua’s relationship to her childhood friend Eva, with whom she has a deep trusting relationship, different from that of her relationship with Rorona. He also mentions that their clothes looking similar is due to Eva being influenced by Lulua, and notes that there is a big hint to the game’s story hidden in the information currently released on Eva.
Hosoi notes that recent Atelier games have had linear stories, which is different from the Arland series’ level of freedom which gave players a more parallel experience. He says that Atelier Lulua will be keeping the narrative level of games up to this point, while also mixing in a breadth of choice. As a result, different players will have different paths to clearing the game. While he is aware that some players liked the time limits in the previous Arland games, however, the expansion of the game’s field size combined with the time limit resulted in players finding stress in many parts of the game, and so Atelier Lulua will not have a time limit.
Hosoi says that the main theme of the game is “inheritance”, with Rorona being Lulua’s mother being representative of that. He does, however, also say that while many fans may be surprised at Rorona being a mother, they are doing their best to not betray fans’ expectations, and will absolutely not ruin the experiences of old fans, and says that they need not be worried.
Profiles of main character Lulua and her childhood friend Eva were also released:
- Lulua (Full name: Elmerulia Fryxell): An alchemist who has a tendency to act before she thinks. She calls Rorona her mother, but they are currently living apart.
- Eva Armster: A helper at a childcare center, and childhood friend of Lulua’s. She is usually reliable and mature, but shows her need for company when with Lulua.
Atelier Lulua: The Alchemist of Arland 4 will be released on the PS4, Switch and PC in spring 2019. Koei Tecmo America has confirmed that it will be released in English as “Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland”.