RPGamer Feature - Atelier Annie Interview
Atelier Annie
Developer: Gust
Publisher: NIS America
ESRB: E10+
Release Date: 10.27.09

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Atelier Annie is the first true Atelier title to make it to North America. NIS America has now confirmed that Atelier Rorona will be on its way as well. Get ready for action! Suspense! Romance! And marrying-up Atelier style. While Rorona is a tad shy, Nao Zook from NIS America gives us the scoop with what we can be expecting from their upcoming title, Atelier Annie. Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the "best" alchemist in the world - Annie! While you're waiting for the game to arrive, check out Annie's official website.

Atelier Annie is one of the first true Atelier titles to be released in North America. What made you decide to localize this title? And why pick this one over Lise?
Nao Zook: We received lots of emails and requests from our fans for this title since Gust announced Atelier Annie in Japan. This title has a very unique story (where else do you see a story about a main female character trying to marry-up?!) and lots of alchemy, so we felt this is right up in our ally!

Why did we decide to pick this one over Atelier Lise? Hmmm, it was not like we had to pick either one of them. But with our localization schedules with other NISA titles we were working on at the time of getting Atelier Annie, this title was more doable than Atelier Lise.

Annie is a riot and half as a main character. Do you think RPGamers will be able to connect with her as a main character? How important is it for Annie to forge relationships with the folks of Sera Island?
Nao Zook: Will RPGamers be able to connect with Annie as a main character? That is a good question. Well, we certainly hope so! Even if she is lazy, and her only motivation is to marry-up, she is funny and lovable. She might not be a traditional "main" character type, but in other words, she could be a girl next-door type. (No offence to any girls out there!).

As for the question about forging relationships with the folks of Sera Island, you do want to talk to them as you move forward through the game. There will be character events, and you'll get some cool items when you complete them. So don't ignore the residents of Sera Island!

Tell us a bit about how the gameplay works in Atelier Annie. We've heard Annie can take on a lot of odd jobs and side tasks while building the resort. How many tasks in total can we expect to discover?
Nao Zook: Well, the main goal of the game is to marry-up... I mean, to win the resort contest. In order to do so, you must complete the assignments given by the Development Committee, which are given every half year, and you want to complete them with good grades to receive greater monetary rewards. Then, you can use the reward money to build and flourish your area with various attractions. There are five areas, and you can only have one attraction in each area. There are two buildings you can choose from for each area. One is easy to build, and other is not. For example, you can either build a "Park" or a "Spa" in the first are, Quarry. The park is considered easy, and the spa is hard. Depending on the building you choose to construct, the cost of construction and the reward will vary.

There are five attractions you can construct, mini-games, six contest quests, character events, and other side quests. So there will be plenty of work to do in this one little DS game!

I recognize that in-game popularity is critical to success in Annie, but considering all the attractions and services that can be built in Atelier Annie, is it possible to build everything in one playthrough?
Nao Zook: Well, there are a total of ten attractions to choose from, but you can only pick five of them in one playthrough. So if you want to construct every attraction, you will definitely have to play at least two times.

What is it about Atelier Annie that you think would appeal to RPGamers? Now we know you've recently announced that you are bringing over Atelier Rorona, is there any hope that North Americans will see some of the other Atelier titles?
Nao Zook: I think RPGamers will enjoy Atelier Annie, well I hope they will! It has funny dialogue, unique settings, and lots of alchemy! It is not a big RPG title like the Ar tonelico series or other Atelier series. Also, it is on the Nintendo DS, so you can take Atelier Annie with you anywhere you go! :)

We are ecstatic about Atelier Rorona! At the moment, we don't have any other Atelier series games other than Rorona on our plate, but that doesn't mean we won't release any more of the Atelier series in the future. So all I can say right now is that we don't have plans for another Atelier series game just yet.

NIS America has a strong relationship with Gust, so what is it about their titles that your company finds so appealing? Should we expect to see more from Gust such as Mana Khemia 2 PSP as well?
Nao Zook: We have been working with Gust since the release of Atelier Iris in 2005. So it has already been four years! We are sure that our attraction to Gust is the same as how RPG fans are attracted to their titles. They make such in-depth alchemy systems, relatable and adorable characters, awesome music, and intriguing stories. Also they are a very good company, as a whole. So we have been blessed to be able to work with them.

Mana Khemia 2 PSP? Hmmm... Do you guys want it?

We only ask that because of your strong support for the PSP. Including upcoming Japanese titles Princess Antiphona's Hymn: Angel's Score Op.A, Disgaea Infinite, and Absolute Hero Makeover (or whatever that translates to), when might we expect news on whether or not these titles will hit North America?
Nao Zook: These games do look great. We do want to release these titles in North America as much as you guys want us to bring them over. We don't know if we can bring them over, but hopefully some good news will come out here soon.

Finally, we have to know. Who would win in an alchemy contest: Annie or Rorona?
Nao Zook: Well, I guess it all depends on what the prize for the contest is!

RPGamer would like to thank Nao Zook at NIS America for taking the time to answer our questions. Get ready for some alchemy fun when Annie makes her debut on October 27, 2009.

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