If there's one thing you can be sure of with your typical fantasy JRPG, it's that an alluring female character will be thrown into the mix somewhere along the line. You know the kind: wide-eyed, bubbly, large-chested and with a penchant for skimpy combat gear; that kind of thing.
This kind of character is commonplace in most Japanese role-playing releases, so you'd expect the people making these titles to be keenly aware of the effect their creations have on hot-headed players, but according to Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout producer Junzo Hosoi, sexiness is actually the furthest thing from his mind when it came to his latest venture.
Speaking to Nintendo Everything, Hosoi admits that he and his team have been 'surprised' by the reaction to the game's protagonist, Ryza:
In this case, the setting is that she’s a farmer’s daughter, but then we thought, “Well a skirt and farming – that doesn’t go well together.” We don’t really want their underwear showing as well. So we decided to go with the short-shorts. The other aspect is that because it’s summer – that’s the theme – so that’s how we came up with the design.
So surprisingly a lot of people are paying attention to her thighs. We didn’t create her with the intention of her thighs being the key point, but a lot of people seem to be really… (Laughs)
Our approach was to make a cute character without any sexual innuendo whatsoever. Everyone sort of looks at her as sort of being sexy, and that’s completely not how we look at her, so that really caught us by surprise. (Laughs)
On the topic of Switch, Hosoi spoke about how the Atelier series is finding more fans with each subsequent release on Nintendo's console – and he also thanks the players that have supported the franchise so far:
The first title that we released on Switch was Atelier Lydie, and after that Nelke and also Lulua. We’ve been finding that with each successive title it’s been increasing, so we do find that this is a good platform for us to have expanded onto. And the fact that you get to just lay around and play is great.
We think that with Atelier Ryza on the Switch, we’ve really improved the graphics and we were able to create a brand new game experience that everyone will enjoy. So Switch users can rest assured that this is a high-quality effort. We think it’s a great game. And we also want to thank the Switch users for their continuous support of the Atelier series.