The Elric Brothers Ed and Al are at it again in the second Fullmetal Alchemist title to come to the PS2, Fullmetal Alchemist 2: Curse of the Red Elixir. Square Enix has yet to officially announce a North American localization for the game, but this month's issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly has mentioned a May release date for it, and the ESRB has given it a "T" rating.
The game's story will revolve around an ancient civilization that once flourished under the rule of, and later fell at the hands of an alchemist-king.
Battle system basics will remain the same as they were in the precursor title,
The Fullmetal Alchemist and The Broken Angel, but graphics quality and
controls will see some major upgrades. Players still control only Ed, but
his younger brother Al is no longer his only support character. You can have
either Colonel Roy Mustang or First Lieutenant Liza Hawkeye, both prominent supporting characters from the anime, take Al's place at
Ed's side. The alchemy system will also undergo some simplification, with a
new and greater variety of resulting weapons and items.
Players can also expect to see many familiar faces from the anime series,
along with a quartet of new ones the series creator Arakawa Hiromu designed
specifically for this game. Characters announced include:
Arlen Gloster - An archaeologist and former adventuer, Arlen is an expert on
ancient cultures. Mischievous and energetic, he looks and acts far younger
than his true age of nearly 70. He's presently retired, but if something
sparks his interest he won't hesitate to dive back in to research.
Elma - One day, out of the blue, this teenage girl in strange clothing shows
up and hands a ring to Ed. In the few seconds of Ed's confusion, she
disappears, almost like she was just an illusion.
Jack Crowley - A former National Alchemist, Jack used to be known as the
Silver Bullet Alchemist. A highly intelligent man, he tried his hand at Human
Transmutation and managed to calculate a sort of answer to it. However, he is
not one to be picky about the means he uses to achieve his goals. That got
him in serious trouble, resulting in his status as a National Alchemist being
revoked and banishment.
Phantom - It's a strange, humanish creature who's whole body glows a sickly
pale blue. For some odd reason, it's taken to chasing after Ed and Al. Intellect-wise Phantom isn't much smarter than a caveman, but it's scarily proficient at fighting.
With both EGM and the ESRB unofficially "announcing" the North American Fullmetal Alchemist 2: Curse of the Red Elixir , the writing is on the wall, so we can hope to see an official press release from Square Enix sometime in the near future.