NIS America, the US arm of Japanese publisher Nippon Ichi Software, announced on Wednesday its plans to bring Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana (working title) to the United States. Scheduled for release on the PlayStation 2 in 2005, Atelier Iris is the latest in the series of strategy RPGs that has been released on various consoles in Japan since 1997.
Developed by Gust and well known in Japan, the Atelier series has long revolved around the game's item creation and customization systems; Iris boasts more than 300 creatable items. The gameplay blends action-oriented running, jumping, and attacking with strategic battles. But perhaps Atelier Iris' most striking feature is the game's high-res 2D graphics--a rarity today but well in line with NIS's internally developed products, which include the anime-styled PS2 role-playing games La Pucelle Tactics, Disgaea, and Phantom Brave.
NIS America has released a brief translation of Atelier Iris' storyline, which we have reproduced below.
"The world of Regallzine, the dwelling place of the Great Spirit, Mana, is comprised of three continents surrounded by a vast sea. Within the world of Regallzine, the Esviore region has been under the rule of King Slaith. However, King Slaiths ruling powers over South Esviore began to diminish about 100 years ago. Today South Esviore is no longer under the kings rule. Each city and town in South Esviore rules its own land. Kavoc is the largest of these cities. Players will take on the role of a young alchemist named Krein Kiesling. Krein will be traveling the world of Regallzine to unlock the hidden secrets of alchemy."