After announcing the new Atelier JRPG, Atelier Firis: Alchemist of the Mysterious Journey, Gust released today a large batch of screenshots and information on the new game.
The new game is set in a world where the player can “draw the story on his own” with the theme of a “journey.” The protagonist is an innocent girl who has never set foot outside of her village, and yearns to see the wider world.
The world is indeed vast, from prairies to snowy peaks, and it’s full of surprises and obstacles waiting for that girl.
Firis will be able to tackle those obstacles using alchemy, by there isn’t a single solution to each problem, and her choices will gradually change the story, led by the player.
In a frontier region of the world, at the edge of the wasteland, there is a village, partly built within the hollowed part of a mountain by miners. The enclosed environment means that the change between seasons and the cycle between night and day are not visible from inside, and from that village hails a girl who is used to live among rocks and ores. Her modest dream is to venture outside.
Unfortunately, the first obstacle to that dream is a heavy iron door blocking the exit, and only those chosen can pass it. Every day Firis watches the door, but things suddenly changes when she discovers alchemy.
Firis Mistroot is the protagonist. She lives in the underground town locked by the iron door. She has the special ability to find out where ore is buried, and to work with that ore taking advantage of its its powers.
Since she never set foot outside the town, she longed to visit the external world for a long time. Her knowledge of alchemy is the trigger that will start her journey in the vast world. She has a calm and collected personality, but she’s strong at the core.
Riane Mistroot is Firis’ older sister, who also lives in the underground town, though she is one of the few allowed to leave, since she is an excellent hunter. She deeply loves her sister, and that fondness is well known among the villagers.
Since she understand her sister’s feelings, she is secretly pained by the fact that she isn’t allowed to leave.
In order to leave the village, Firis begins her study of alchemy, and soon she is finally allowed to go outside, with the condition of becoming a full-fledged alchemist within one year. Worried about her safety, Riane accompanies her in her journey.
As mentioned before, the world is very vast, and a single area connects different elements like mountains, rivers, fields and a city harbor. The original warm view of the world of the Atelier series is the same, but it’s depicted in a grand new scale.
Since Firis will visit many different places, she will have to wear appropriate outfits for the changes in climate. For instance, she will wear warm clothes in the mountains. Her changes in appearance are designed to make the journey even more entertaining.
Her choices will also impact the world. For instance, she might encounter a broken bridge. She could have it fixed by the carpenters in the local village after collecting the stone and materials, in which case the area will change, or she can try to find a detour, discovering a mysterious cave.
Alchemy will be performed on the road, using a traveler’s campfires that can be found at various locations, or by building a tent.
Synthesis will as usual be done with a puzzle, allowing players to create their own items. At times rare materials can even be found by fighting demons and monsters, and used to create interesting items. There’s even a special kind of alchemy named “suprcharged formulas,” that is much more powerful than normal alchemy. It allows to create amazing concoctions by ignoring the size of the cauldron.
Materials can be gathered in the fields or dropped from monsters. Some might even drop some unexpected ingredients.
Last, but not least, we learn that the first print bonus for the series includes two costumes for Firis, and there will be two special editions in Japan.
The Premium Box includes an artbook, a soundtrack CD, a tapestry, a series of three artwork cards and a download code for a limited edition costume and theme.
The Special Collector’s Box comes with the same contents plus a series of nine crystal paperweight cubes, an additional tapestry and an additional theme.
You can see all the screenshots and mock-ups for the special editions below.