Tag Archives: Atelier

Waifu Wednesday: Esty

There’s a lot of hoo-hah about “representation” in games right now from various sources, tending to lead to arguments between people who don’t think it matters and people who think it is more important than absolutely anything in the whole wide world.

For the most part, I tend to stay out of these discussions because I have no particularly strong feelings one way or the other and I’m not going to just sit here and hollowly say “the right thing” for Internet brownie points. For me, it’s always cool to see characters who are a bit “different from the norm” in various ways, yes, but it’s not something I specifically find myself seeking out. Unless you count generally favouring Japanese games with female protagonists or at least leading cast members, in which case… uh… well, look at the stuff I’ve covered on this site over the course of the last few years. Hmm, maybe I care about it more than I think.

Anyway, all that said, it’s nice when you feel some sort of connection to a character depicted in a piece of media. Even if it’s just in one small way…

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Atelier Arland: Introduction and History

Atelier is one of the more long-running, prolific series in the canon of Japanese gaming.

First launching in 1997, the franchise has seen 19 mainline releases since its inception (with a 20th on the way at the time of writing), plus a variety of spin-offs, side stories, ports, expanded adaptations and guest appearances from its characters in various other games over the years. Although we didn’t see our first Western localisation of the series until its sixth mainline game (Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana for PlayStation 2) in 2005, it is, by this point, firmly established as a mainstay of Japanese role-playing games — and, in the nicest possible way, developer Gust’s cash cow.

With that in mind, before we delve into the Arland trilogy in detail, let’s take a look at the history of the series as a whole up until Atelier Rorona’s initial release in 2009. Join me on a trip into totally-not-Renaissance-Germany, and let’s get crafting!

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Nights of Azure: Introduction and History

2015’s Nights of Azure — or Yoru no Nai Kuni to its Japanese audience — was something of a departure for veteran developer Gust.

Primarily known for unconventional turn-based role-playing games with heavy crafting components, a style of game best exemplified by the developer’s flagship Atelier series, Gust opted to step out of their comfort zone with Nights of Azure by making it an action RPG with elements of monster raising.

It turned out to be a highly successful experiment for the developer, and what appears to be the beginning of a new series for the company, since a sequel is on the way at the time of writing. Yet despite Nights of Azure’s relative freshness compared to Gust’s other output, the game never forgets its heritage, and is recognisably “Gust” in both style and tone.

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