An interview about Etrian Odyssey Origins Collection with character designer Himukai Yuji, sound composer Koshiro Yuzo, and an unnamed development staff member was published in issue 1799 of Weekly Famitsu.
Himukai says that the new character graphics added to Etrian Odyssey were made to be a fifth option for each class: He wanted new players to the series to not consider whether the graphics are old or new, and simply just have more options.
The new graphics also had the goal of reducing the slant in a certain direction each job might have had while being unique enough to feel new to existing players, and he struggled to meet these requirements while also trying to have them fit alongside the art from 16 years ago.
Himukai also notes that some of the new designs have nuances taken from Etrian Odyssey IV and V, which he thinks can let players roleplay thinking of the later games.
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Regarding the box art, Himukai says that the choice of characters began with him taking the Alchemist, War Magus and Sovereign from the Japanese box art of the first three games to represent those games, and then thinking of what other jobs would be needed to make it a balanced party.
Koshiro looks back at his involvement in the series for 16 years and says that he is thankful to have been able to work on it, and he sees it as an extremely important turning point for him: The series let him return to his roots in game music, and also had him do live band recordings for the first time, and he sees it as irreplaceable.
The interviewer brings up how the battle BGM for the sixth stratum in III was changed to a new one, and Koshiro says that he saw the change as not just something that Atlus requested, but also one that series fans wanted, that he also saw the need for himself. He says that he worked to make sure that it fit in with the other tracks, and made it an aggressive one to emphasize on how the player is going up against tough enemies.
Atlus development staff
The developer talks about what led to the development of Origins Collection. The Etrian Odyssey series was originally made as something specialized for the Nintendo DS, and with changes in hardware they had to shift to research on how to make a new game, but in the midst of that process they decided to make it so that fans could play the original first three games, which are not playable on current generation hardware.
While working on Origins Collection, they mostly considered how to make it so that players would be able to enjoy the games in the current year while also respecting the feels of the original versions, and so focused on quality of life by adding functions like the Dictionary while leaving the data the same so that players can feel the tension they did in the originals.
What gave them the most trouble was the mapping system, as the way the Nintendo DS and Nintendo Switch handle touch controls are completely different. The first thing they did was make a prototype for the touch controls, but found that it very often did not work right, and so it required a lot of adjustments. They had to delay the schedule multiple times until it reached a level of quality they were satisfied with, and feel that when using a touch pen, drawing maps should now feel similar to how it did in the originals.
While using a touch pen with the Nintendo Switch results in mapping that feels like the originals, they did also add options like being able to move the cursor to the side of the touch point for people who wish to use their fingers to draw maps. It is stated that mapping on TV mode is a bit harder due to the player having to use only the controllers, but that it is still fully possible once one gets used to it. That being said, it might be easier for such players to use the auto mapping options.
Regarding the PC version, they found that there was no need to do anything in particular for mouse controls, and so little was needed to adapt the DS mapping controls to mouse.
Of all the Atlus titles on the Nintendo DS, Etrian Odyssey was the hardest to port to current gen, but they feel that they have been able to find a resolution to the mapping problem, meaning that they are able to bring the three tenets of the series – Hand-drawn maps, free character customization, and tense adventures – to current gen. They plan to listen to feedback for the Origins Collection and apply it to the next game as well, and so they hope that both existing fans and new players will check it out.