Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk is the next entry in Gust’s Atelier series to make it to North America and while Tecmo Koei is stepping up this round to publish it, NIS America is still on hand for the localization effort. Everyone is working their hardest to ensure Atelier Ayesha meets her March 5, 2013 release date, but Steven Carlton, NIS America’s Script Editor, made some time to talk to GamerTell about his work preparing the game.
GamerTell: Atelier Ayesha‘s story seems like it would be more serious and emotional than Rorona, Totori and Meruru’s tales. Is this true and if so, did it make the localization process different for this game than the others?
Steven Carlton: I would say it’s similar to Totori, in that Totori also dealt with family members who went missing, and part of her motivation was to look for them. Ayesha’s main motivation is to find and rescue her sister, but most of the characters she meets brighten the mood of the game, and Ayesha has a pretty upbeat and positive personality.
GT: How would you say Ayesha is as a heroine compared to Rorona, Totori and Meruru, the other three PS3 alchemists we’ve met?
Carlton: As a heroine, she ranks right up there with all three of them. She considers herself an apothecary instead of an alchemist, but she’s possibly craftier than they are, since she has to teach herself alchemy, whereas the others all had teachers.
GT: A big part of the Atelier Ayesha plot is the relationship between Ayesha and Nio. What kind of tricks and writing methods did you use to help show what the relationship was like in the localization?
Carlton: I got a lot of help in establishing this from the original source material, because the first scene with Ayesha in it helps show her relationship with Nio as she’s talking to an old friend who comes to visit, given that this is the third anniversary of Nio’s disappearance. It’s revealed that Ayesha visits Nio’s “grave” every day. That goes a long way in telling you how much she loves and misses her sister.
Carlton: There are several different endings, but this time around, they scaled it back so that there is only one ending with each friend, as opposed to Rorona, where there were about three endings with each friend. As for the “true” ending, it may only take a few tries, depending on how well you adapt to the intricacies of the game systems.
GT: Atelier Ayesha is notable for being set in an entirely new world. Despite being separate from the Arland, Iris and Mana Khemia series, does it still have subtle ties to previous entries?
Carlton: Other than most of the same basic item names, there aren’t any ties to the previous series. They don’t even have Hagel this time.
GT: Of the four PS3 Atelier games so far, which would you say has been your favorite installment to work on?
Carlton: I think Rorona is still my favorite, mostly for the pie endings…
GT: Was Atelier Rorona also your favorite of the four to play?
Carlton: I actually like playing Atelier Ayesha the best, probably because the whole “time passing” element is a lot easier to deal with, in that you only have one real deadline to meet in the game.
If all that got you interested in Atelier Ayesha: Alchemist of Dusk, you won’t have long to wait. It will be in a store near you in North America early next month. Even better, it’ll be available at for $49.99. I’d recommend grabbing it early, as the Atelier games tend to get pretty rare and you wouldn’t want to miss out.