Sophie Neuenmuller has been such a magical character to me since we first introduced her six years ago in Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book, and I know that many fans reading this feel the same way. When I was thinking about what we could do for the 25th anniversary of the Atelier series, I thought about a game that retains the Atelier-like feel of the series but is also an evolution of the series, and came up with the idea of Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream – having Sophie return as the protagonist. This game throws Sophie into a mysterious, dreamlike world as she sets out on a heart-warming adventure to find a lost friend, and I think it’s a great storyline and adventure that our passionate fans have been waiting for.
Along her journey, Sophie meets a collection of characters who join her quest, both in the storyline and battle. We’ve changed things up a bit with battles this time — for the first time in the Atelier series, combat begins seamlessly without any load times or separate screens. In Atelier Sophie 2, battles consist of up to six party members that are split into two teams: the assault team which consists of the three members in the front, and the back-up team which features the three members at the back. While there are times characters can be moved between the teams during battle, each character has their own strengths and weaknesses to consider for battle placement.
Before the game hits PlayStation 4 on February 25, I wanted to give everyone a quick look into the six key characters, showcasing how each of them complement each other in combat
The leading lady of the title, Sophie, is an alchemist. Her playstyle is suited to using items and assisting allies in battle. Her passive skills increase her resistance to status effects and allow her to recharge the power of any item she uses – so using crafted alchemy items is best. Most of her skills consist of magical attacks, with a few allowing her to strengthen her allies. Her health and defense stats are rather low, but her MP and speed stats are higher to account for this.
Also an alchemist, Plachta is skilled at using items – particularly with debuff effects which can enhance. Her skills mainly focus on inflicting status effects on enemies, making her great at hindering foes. Her health and speed stats are low, but she is a rather unique character because she has a mix of high MP and defense. You’ll want to ensure Plachta is on-hand to lower the abilities of very tough enemies.
The final alchemist on the team, Ramizel is a versatile character with high attack and well-balanced stats. She not only uses skills that make her physical attacks stronger, but can also restore allies’ health and reverse their status effects. Like our other alchemists, she’s well suited at using items, with a support specialization. She’s an invaluable character to have on your team to ensure that the party is kept at full health.
Alette might possess low attack skills, but she makes up for it in speed. Her skills allow her to make an effect last over several turns and allow her to play both the attack and support roles. I suggest trying her as both an attacker and supporter to find how she works best for you.
Of all the party members, Olias has the highest attack stats. As an attacker, his passive skill increases his attack stats every time he defeats an enemy. Like Plachta, he is good at dealing debuffs to enemies, though with reduced potency. I recommend assigning Olias as a damage-dealer, with other characters healing and buffing him.
Last, but not least, is Diebold. This tank has superior health and defensive stats compared to other characters, but his MP and speed are lower. His high defense helps him withstand attacks that would crush other characters. He can even lure enemies and lower their attack strength when in his proximity. Diebold acts as a great, damage-absorbing shield in battle, but make sure to keep other characters healing him up.
To me, experimenting with the various battle formations and character setups is one of the most fun new aspects of the game. I’d love to hear from fans about their favorite setups when Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream launches next month. I can’t wait to see everyone’s reaction to Sophie’s big return.
You can pre-order Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream on PS4 from today!