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The Atelier series: fashion progression or lack thereof [and Barrel!]

cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm RegentBears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
edited July 2023 in Games and Technology
I only recently got into this series on the PS3, with the Atelier Rorona series, and it's been fascinating to observe how the series has evolved over the years in terms of fashion... and devolved, recently.

For the unfamiliar, these are mostly cozy slice-of-life-ish games in which the titular alchemist spends most of her(and sometimes his) time in a lab making potions and then wandering out to gather items, farm stuff, and make more potions.

Recent releases, as with most GUST RPGs, seem to be going after a certain demographic though...

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To best illustrate the point, I'll start with the very first games in the series(most of which have never been localized):

Atelier Marie (PS1/Saturn/etc., 1997)
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Atelier Elie (PS1, 1998)
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Atelier Lilie (PS2, 2001)
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And so on.

As far as I can tell, the first localized games were the Atelier Iris series on the PS2, which(in a rare turn), featured a male lead.
Atelier_Iris.jpg

Then the PS3 era began, bringing us Rorona:
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And Totori, and so on:
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But I digress, the crux of the discussion comes to the modern era.

Some of the more recent games still kept subdued, low key feel of the originals, like Escha & Logy:
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And Ayesha:
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But Ryza kicked the doors in, and... well, it feels like the demographic pointedly shifted with her design.

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The modern era isn't all bad, since Sophie looks classyish:
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It's Ryza's design that primarily feels problematic to me:
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So yeah, is the Atelier series going for the lowest common denominator with the pandering designs, or should it be accepted as just wider variety in fashion?

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cj iwakura on
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    ArcTangentArcTangent Registered User regular
    edited September 2022
    I loved the PS2 Atelier series, and consider a number of things that Mana Khemia did completely brilliant. After getting over the hump of switching to 3D, the PS3 ones are pretty playable too, and have some solid mechanics and neat things they did.

    Everything from Sophia on though? Ugh. They pain me so much. Partly for the writing going to absolute pot, but also because they keep fucking up the most basic things that they did correctly in previous games. Sophia 2, for example, has massively excessively complex maps and material distribution because of weather system, and absolutely totally 100% fucks up the entire encyclopedia system on how to find literally fucking anything in game. Or like how the PS2/PS3 games just kept adding more and more monster models as they went. Okay, massive resource reuse is kind of corny, but at least they're adding as they go, and it's something all RPGs do. And then you get to the Ryza onward and it's... you get twelve enemies total, each with eight pallet swaps, seven of which are recycled from past games. This includes all bosses. There are almost more slags types alone in Dusk than there are different models of enemies in all of Ryza 1/2.

    ArcTangent on
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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    I have not played these games but I think it’s leading up to a plot twist about a villain that turns up the heat on people’s tumbler driers. The Clothes Shrinker, they call him.

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    AistanAistan Tiny Bat Registered User regular
    Her game features a best friend who is a jacked redhead wearing a half shirt to show off his midriff, and with a plate mail gauntlet and pauldron on one arm. This is what he is wearing before he decides to go on adventures with her.

    Soon they meet a busty rabbit woman wearing cloth bondage gear, along with her companion middle aged man with fancy monocle in an off-shoulder jacket over his fancy vest.


    On a spectrum with them on the ridiculous side and "kid with glasses and a bowl cut wearing shorts and suspenders" and "girl in maid outfit" on the boring side, Ryza is pretty comfortably in the middle. She's just wearing shorts a tank top and a loose jacket, nbd really.

    Then the internet went turbo horny for her, which unfortunately seems to have been leaned into for 2 and 3.

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    DonnictonDonnicton Registered User regular
    What's weird is that they define a (pretty dark) reason for why that character is as jacked as he is, but everyone else is "just go with it". (incidentally, Ryza 2/3 drop the undersized shirt from his design)

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    LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    I snagged Atelier Ryza 1 on PSN because it's on sale for 50% off right now. Started it and played for about an hour or so. Seems pretty decent so far. It's my first one in the series so I didn't really have any expectations. It has a good amount of charm to it. I like Ryza as a character. Her friends are pretty one-dimensional. Buff guy just seems to go along with everything she says and Glasses guy is always timid and reluctant. Hopefully they get a bit more fleshed out over time.

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    -Loki--Loki- Don't pee in my mouth and tell me it's raining. Registered User regular
    As said, Buff Guys story turns pretty dark.

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    SonelanSonelan Registered User regular
    I enjoy this game series since i have played all of em since the dusk series i believe. Pretty fun and chill games.

    In regards to the topic of clothes and such, in the offical artwork i have seen Ryza doesnt seem to show off more skin really than any of the others? Like most of the lady leads seem to wear short skirts that show off about as much.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    -Loki--Loki- Don't pee in my mouth and tell me it's raining. Registered User regular
    It's all in the thighs.

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    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    -Loki- wrote: »
    It's all in the thighs.

    Her shorts are like a spelunking tutorial.

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    SonelanSonelan Registered User regular
    I agree she could use some bigger? Looser? shorts cause especially in the promo stuff for 3 they look like theyd cut off circulation.

    If its something else I will probally need it spelled out cause they dont seem that bad otherwise. I see a lot of people around here wearing shorts about that size, especially in the summer.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    AistanAistan Tiny Bat Registered User regular
    edited September 2022
    It's something where in real life where people wear a variety of things from day to day and season to season she looks absolutely reasonable for a young woman who just wants to be comfortable in a warm climate.

    But it's anime so this is what she wears every minute of every day in all situations regardless of context.

    Aistan on
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    SonelanSonelan Registered User regular
    Oh yeah i get what ya mean. Im also just now remembering her shirt going see through when in rains in one of the games which annoyed the heck outta me.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    CalicaCalica Registered User regular
    edited September 2022
    Ryza's shorts are literally painful to look at, as in they trigger sense memories of having the tendons in my groin area painfully pinched because I sat down wrong in too-tight pants.

    ETA: can you imagine the chafing :s

    There's a couple of free DLCs that replace her outfit with a cute sundress, at least!

    Calica on
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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    Well, so much for the OG being unlocalized. :lol:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAfHby0zw74

    No wonder the PS1 version's logo was framed that way.

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    DragkoniasDragkonias That Guy Who Does Stuff You Know, There. Registered User regular
    edited February 2023
    I dunno I think a big part of Atelier games has always been waifu pandering (one thing that has always irritated me is that pigeon toe stance they give all the girls cause it's "cute" when most women don't stand like that) so I don't get too caught up in it. They just started pandering with someone who has hips I guess.

    That said I'm mostly here for the alchemy and stats anyway.

    Dragkonias on
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    Stabbity StyleStabbity Style He/Him | Warning: Mothership Reporting Kennewick, WARegistered User regular
    Dang, that outfit's rad. Also, woo, hopefully the other Salburg games get an update like this, too.

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    NosfNosf Registered User regular
    edited February 2023
    Dem thighs save lives!

    I enjoy the series, Ryza was a change of pace but also a lot of fun. There has always been some racier outfits usually as DLC later.

    The art in these games is always pretty gorgeous.

    Nosf on
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    Brainiac 8Brainiac 8 Don't call me Shirley... Registered User regular
    I actually just recently got into the Atelier series with Ryza. I beat the first game a few weeks ago and now I'm getting close to finishing the second game. They are quite charming and chill little RPGs. I kind of love that the entire story of the games are just that these friends are just having a little adventure helping people. Not much more than that and no world saving so far. The first game was all about finding a way to keep the machine that keeps water flowing in their town running.

    The second game is all about finding a way to get this cute little creature back to it's own dimension so it doesn't get sick and die.

    I've been loving them so far.

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    DonnictonDonnicton Registered User regular
    Atelier has for many installments been a pretty simple slice of life story, though there are times they really really should have deviated from that at least a little bit. (Ayesha games being the biggest offender - excuse me what is happening? And you're just going to move on from that?)

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    ArcTangentArcTangent Registered User regular
    Donnicton wrote: »
    Atelier has for many installments been a pretty simple slice of life story, though there are times they really really should have deviated from that at least a little bit. (Ayesha games being the biggest offender - excuse me what is happening? And you're just going to move on from that?)

    I assume all the decent writers ended up doing Ar Tonelico/Surge stuff which spun off into its own convoluted nightmare. I don't think they're getting back to the high high heights of the PS2 era bog standard JRPGs any time soon. And they have way more technical and design issues to deal with before then anyway.

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    DonnictonDonnicton Registered User regular
    Please don't remind me that Ar games have died for factory line Atelier releases. We're almost ten years since Nosurge.

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    DragkoniasDragkonias That Guy Who Does Stuff You Know, There. Registered User regular
    I've pretty much given up on a new Mana Khemia.

    I felt the time limits actually made sense there.

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    ArcTangentArcTangent Registered User regular
    .
    Dragkonias wrote: »
    I've pretty much given up on a new Mana Khemia.

    I felt the time limits actually made sense there.

    Khemia had a ton of great mechanics that they then binned and no other games ever really picked up. I would've loved to see them better iterated on, but alas. I'm pretty sure Gust just stumbled into them accidentally though.

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    jothkijothki Registered User regular
    Something that bugged me about Atelier Ryza 2's DLC:
    One of your party members is searching for healing flowers from another dimension. In the DLC, you visit a place that turns out to be filled with healing flowers from that dimension. There is no comment whatsoever about this, not even to say that they're not the right ones.

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    jothkijothki Registered User regular
    Also, one more thing, Atelier Ryza series (and maybe some of the others? I've only played those particular games).

    Alchemy is:
    1. A lost art from an ancient civilization that's known to few in the modern era.
    2. Absurdly, brokenly overpowered.
    3. Possible to figure out with like 10 minutes of actual instruction.
    PICK ANY TWO.

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    ArcTangentArcTangent Registered User regular
    Any two?

    Basically every Atelier is all three.

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    NosfNosf Registered User regular
    Ryza 3 is gone gold.

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    jothkijothki Registered User regular
    I also feel kind of sorry for Bos in Ryza 2. He thinks that Ryza's friends are so much more awesome than him when it's actually just Ryza's alchemy carrying their asses.

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    DonnictonDonnicton Registered User regular
    I appreciate the trilogy giving Bos a real character arc from shitbag to decent human being.

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    Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    big atelier sale on Steam right now.

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    LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    Sale: Good.
    Timing: Bad.

    What an awful week for a big sale on a franchise. I'd actually consider picking some of those up if wasn't for the fact that this week I am getting PSVR2, Octopath 2, The Pale Beyond, Venom DLC for Midnight Suns, and I'm still working on the mountain of content that is Hogwarts Legacy.

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    NosfNosf Registered User regular
    Grabbed 2 on Steam and was playing it tonight. Almost bought this past weekend, glad I put it off!

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    Brainiac 8Brainiac 8 Don't call me Shirley... Registered User regular
    Just finished Ryza 2 this morning.

    Ryza 1 & 2 have to be some of the most chill and laid back RPGs I've ever played. Loved them both.

    I'm very much looking forward to Ryza 3. I've become attached to the cast of this series. I'm hoping we finally get to complete Bos' arc and he finally gets to adventure with you in the next game.

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    jothkijothki Registered User regular
    Fun thought about Ryza 2:
    Many of the corpses you find in the final dungeon were probably of people who were still alive at the point the temple was sealed, and who were actively being killed as you made preparations and headed over. If you were more on the ball about things in general rather than just blindly breaking the pillars, it might even have been possible to save some of them.

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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    Marie Remake(Mariemake? I got nothing) comes out today:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbRcAtw7bw4

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    ArcTangentArcTangent Registered User regular
    Reviews have been pretty lukewarm. It sounds like they just copy and pasted all the old systems without making any changes or updates at all. A recurring theme seems to be that 99.999% of the combat is just "press auto battle" and the alchemy system back then was literally nothing but "combine items, pay three different gauges, get different item."

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    PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    edited August 2023
    Consolevania reviewed Marie Remake:
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    I spent so much time adventuring with this lassie that she baked me a wee pie!
    The purest version of an Atelier that you can buy.

    It's all low stakes. The baddies aren't trying to destroy your town, just sitting in a fuckin' cave waitin' to see if you can beat them.

    cj iwakura on
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    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    Consolevania reviewed Marie Remake:
    jwjjwdongo36.png
    I spent so much time adventuring with this lassie that she baked me a wee pie!
    The purest version of an Atelier that you can buy.

    It's all low stakes. The baddies aren't trying to destroy your town, just sitting in a fuckin' cave waitin' to see if you can beat them.

    Where are their shirts?

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    Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    in the pie

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