Liz Maas
Atlus Announces Nora And The Carving Studio For DS
Or rather, Team Etrian Odyssey Meets Team Atelier.
04.27.11 - 7:40 PM

This wouldn't be the first time Atlus announced a Nintendo DS title after the 3DS' February release in Japan. The first title was Devil Survivor 2, even though the original Devil Survivor is getting a 3DS remake (Devil Survivor: Overclocked) this summer. And they have another DS title in the works: Nora to Koku no Koubou: Kiri no Mori no Majo, which translates to Nora and the Carving Studio: The Witch of the Misty Forest.

The fantasy RPG features staff from both the Etrian Odyssey and Atelier series: It is being produced by Shigeo Komori (Etrian Odyssey, Devil Summoner), the scenario is being written by Shinichi Yoshiike (Atelier series), the character designer is Yuji Himukai (also Etrian Odyssey), and Michiko Naruke (Wild ARMs) is the composer.

The focus of Nora and the Carving Studio is a legend passed down in the countryside, a legend known as Tenperina. The witch Vierra, the same witch mentioned in the game's title, is said to live in the nearby lake. The titular character Nora comes to the same forest to perfect her skill of, well, carving. The problem? She's accused of being a witch. In order to prove her innocence, she helps out the nearby townspeople by taking on some quests.

Nora Brandoll herself is a 16-year old whose trade is something like 'animated carving' - or living statues. Much like alchemy, she can use this skill to create new items out of old ones. However, her skill also differs from alchemy in that she can also control time. Is it any wonder that the residents think she's a witch? Another 16-year old, Lutz Anelius, hopes to make a fortune by bounty hunting the witch - presumably, Nora. Lutz is described as hot-blooded and at times, foolish. Keke is a member of the Tik race, which seems to be part beast, part human, and he arrives in town with Nora.

Alchemy (or non-alchemy) aside, the quests, which are both item creation and battles, have already been compared to the Atelier series, especially the battle system layout. Nora will earn items from completing quests, ones that she can turn into even better, more valuable items.

Nora and the Carving Studio, described as a 'simple life' (or 'slow life') RPG, is currently 85% complete and already has a July 21st release date in Japan. The game will cost 6279 yen ($76.48 US). Famitsu has a first look at the game (screens and art) here.