Some new information concerning Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana 2 recently surfaced on the game's official site. In this update, both the game's battle and alchemy systems were explained in detail.
As was previously reported by RPGamer, Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana 2 features a "Dual-Scenario" story scheme in which players are able to freely switch between the tales of Feld and Wisey, an action made possible by the existence of an item called the "Share-ring." When playing as Wisey, one can concentrate on developing new and better items, whereas playing as Feld will allow a player to advance the story.
The second Atelier Iris will use a sort of revamped version of Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana's battle system, which has been dubbed the Active Cost Time Battle, or ACTB. An ACTB acts as such: In the upper left corner of the screen, face icons for both the player's characters and the enemies will scroll towards the end of a bar. Once an icon reaches the end of the bar, its respective character can attack, an action of which there are two types, "Charge" and "Break." "Charge" attacks are the title's standard attacks, but "Break" attacks have the ability to knock an enemy's icon backwards along the bar, thusly slowing their turn, or even preventing them from attacking altogether. If done correctly, "Break" attacks will render an enemy completely incompetent and allow the player to score massive amounts of bonus damage from chained attacks. "Charge" attacks are not without their own perks, however; every "Charge" attack executed, as well as each hit recieved, raises the "skill bar," located on the top right corner of the screen. Once the gauge has been filled to a certain level a character may perform any number of special attacks or healing spells. Also, there is only one "skill bar" for the entire party, so any character may use it once it has been filled.
Unique to the Atelier Iris series, the alchemic creation of weapons and items can be performed at any time; the player simply needs to switch to Wisey's end of the story. Obviously, before she can create anything Wisey must acquire the recipe, which she can obtain either from Feld or from a store. When the recipe has been found, the next step on the list is to locate the ingredients. Sometimes simply finding the ingredients won't be enough, as each one can possess different qualities and elemental persuasions that will alter the final product. When an item has been made, Wisey may "initialize" it, which enables her to easily recreate it in the future, as opposed to going through the lengthy process all over again. This can be quite handy with such frequently used items as healing potions.
The alchemic process isn't limited to Wisey's jurisdiction, either; Feld is capable of utilizing a process called "Mana Alchemy," whereby he can use "initialized" items to replenish depleted ones or create enhanced versions of them. As an added bonus, Feld may also upgrade his weapons with the use of specific items from Wisey.
As of yet there has been no North American release date schedualed, but RPGamer will be sure to post this or any other future news that may appear.