Developer Gust's next entry in its RPG franchise, Atelier Firis: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Journey, has received its first official character and combat announcement. Firis, the game's main protagonist, is a young girl who decides to learn alchemy as a means of escape from her hometown. Having persuaded her parents to let her leave, Firis is granted one year to pursue the study of alchemy, by which time she has to pass the next alchemist certification exam, or return back home.
Four characters have been revealed to join Firis on her journey so far. First is Sophie Neuenmuller, Firis' alchemy teacher, who, like Firis, hopes to pass the next certification exam. Then there is Plachta, who in turn is Sophie's alchemy teacher. As Sophie's mentor, she watches over both Sophie and Firis and provides good counsel. Next is Oskar Behlmer, a traveler who once adventured by Sophie's side, having grown up in the same village. Oskar has the unique ability to talk to plants. Players may know Sophie, Plachta, and Oskar as returning characters from the previous instalment, Atelier Sophie. A fourth, all-new character, Drossel Weissberrg, has also been unveiled. Drossel is a curious and impulsive playwright, skilled in combat due to her father's tutelage, but lacking in any sense of direction.
A few gameplay concepts have so far been teased. One is a system called Superdreadnought Synthesis, which works like normal item synthesis, but with ingredients and results on a much larger scale. Combat will be turn-based, following a rotating turn order. Weather and time of day will have an impact on many battle systems, like item effects, monster behavior, and magic. An on-screen gauge will allow for a party co-op attack, a Chain Burst, to be performed once it's filled. Characters will also be able to equip a sub-weapon alongside their main weapon, including gun, spear, and bow, opening up new skills and special moves, and letting characters attack from a distance as well as close-up.
The Japanese version of Atelier Firis: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Journey will be available on PlayStation 4 and PS Vita September 29, 2016, with no word of an international release. Early supporters will be able to secure special costumes for Firis: first-print copies will include the "Resort Vacation" costume, and limited edition copies will come with the "Wonderland" costume. Finally, a slew of images have been released, and can be viewed in the gallery below.
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