Gust Announces Iris no Atelier - Eternal Mana
01.17.04 - 3:42 PM

Gust has unveiled the newest Atelier title, Iris no Atelier - Eternal Mana for PlayStation 2 today. The source of all things in the game's world Legalsein, humans, animals, plants and stones is a special force, administered by spirits (called Mana in the game). The game's protagonist, 17-year old Klein Kiesiling, borrows this power from the Mana to go after his business, alchemy.

Each Mana has a unique purpose, such as generating fire or water magic. To get the desired results out of your fusion, you have to take great care not to work with Manas, who do not like the protagonist or one of their kind. Depending on those relationships the outcome of the compounding can differ dramatically. Also, a water Mana is best equipped to create healing items, but not exactly a great choice when trying to get your hands on fire spells. As the Mana tribe is scattered around the world, the chance to pull off an alchemic fusion will depend on whether the player can track them down and come to terms with them. Some Mana will be hiding in troublesome places, while others may refuse to join Klein. Also, the skills Klein can obtain from the 14 different kinds of Mana are not limited to magic spells, but also include abilities such as a high jump or flying.

To create items, an alchemist obviously needs raw materials. Apart from extracting his alchemic ingredients from trees or plants, the protagonist can also get them by crushing monsters and even humans. Battles will be fought in real-time and employ a so-called Cost Turn system. Under this system, a weak attack will take a shorter execution time than a more powerful move. The system also allows you to delay or even cancel your enemies' attacks.

Klein Kiesling is the grandson of the famous alchemist Daphne. At the age of 17, he loses his grandmother, who also served as his teacher and embarks on a journey to become a great alchemist just like her, together with his Mana friend Popo. While staying in a forest located in the Espiol area, he is being ambushed by a monster, only to be saved by the game's female lead, Rita. While Klein's pride at first prevents him from honoring Rita's request to join him on his journey, the two eventually end up travelling together, heading for the sacred Capital of Heaven, Avanberry.

Iris no Atelier - Eternal Mana will be available in Japan sometime in May, carrying a retail price of 6,800 yen ($63.88 US).

Chris Winkler