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New Ar Tonelico Information Released
09.14.05 - 1:39 PM

The official website for Gust and Banpresto's jointly developed RPG title Ar Tonelico: Sekai no Owari de Utaitsuzukeru Shoujo has gone live. The game's field map will be in 2D, while the world map will feature 3D visuals. Players will have to create items by themselves using a system comparable to the famous synthesis system of the Atelier series.

As previously reported, in the game's world of Sol Sierre only a massive tower and a small floating continent exist. Beneath the continent is a deadly sea of clouds and above it a sea of plasma. The massive tower is in fact an ancient ruin known as Ar Tonelico whose construction dates back to a time when there still was a sky and continents. In these ancient times, people were worshipping El Milemia and created an advanced civilization. However, in the game's present, a religious organization known as El Milemia Church is trying to resurrect the ancient cult, while an large corporation known as Tenha is trying to rebuild the world through the means of science.

In this world, girls known as Levatail exist. They can use magic, but in order to display their full potential, a harmful substance known as Glasno needs to be injected into their bodies. Since this procedure causes them tremendous pain, the girls only allow a person they fully trust to inject it. Only when they will meet a partner whom they fully trust, will they show their true power to the world.

The game's protagonist is Rainer Barcelt, a unruly boy who was born in Platina, a town located on the upper level of the tower. His father is the town's administrator, but his son prefers to be a sword-wielding adventurer. Hence, he joins the Platina Knights. He is quickly promoted and eventually becomes a member of the Elmia Knights, whose job is guarding the tower's administrator. In addition to Orika Nestmir, the site update introduced a second heroine by the name of Misha. Despite being childish, Misha is very intelligent, knowledgable, and capable of using very sophisticated vocabulary. While she was born in Platina just like the protagonist, she currently lives in the lower levels of the tower. She also seems to be acquainted with Rainer.

System-wise, Ar Tonelico will allow players to customize their heroines. So-called Dive Rooms grant the player access to the spiritual world of the Levatail. In this spiritual world a second Ar Tonelico exists, where players can take a closer look at the girls' psyche and what they are really feeling and thinking. Depending on the level of trust the girls have in the protagonist, he can inject various Glasno into them. However, the player has to think carefully which Glasno to inject, given the pain and harm these substances tend to inflict.

The key aspect of Ar Tonelico's battle system are the girls' magic spells. Since casting those spells takes a considerable amount of time, it is up to the protagonist to defend the girls against their foes in the meantime. Should an enemy succeed in attacking a girl while she is casting a spell, the casting is automatically cancelled.

Ar Tonelico: Sekai no Owari de Utaitsuzukeru Shoujo will be available in Japan sometime this winter for 6,800 yen ($61.47 USD).


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Chris Winkler





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