Atlus of Japan have been busy getting the word out about their upcoming, in-house-developed DS RPG Yggdrasil Labyrinth. Known as “Sekaiju no Meikyuu” in Japan but already announced for US release at E3 ’06, YL is a 3D, dungeon-focused RPG that’s set in a lush forest, yet seems to take heavy influence from the gameplay model that the first Wizardry games set forth (which still has a fanbase in Japan). It’ll allow the player to fill a party of five slots with characters of either gender and any of nine classes.
Atlus are giving the game’s creative staff extra lip service, and with good reason. Directing the game is Kazuya Niinou, who directed the well-received Trauma Center: Under the Knife. Shigeo Kobayashi, responsible for the story here, wrote the scenario for Devil Summoner: Kuzunoha Raidou and the cult 2D classic Princess Crown, and monster designer Shin Nagawawa worked on Bahamut Lagoon and Final Fantasy IX. The character designer, Yuji Himukai, is a professional manga author and has done oodles of 4-panel comic strips based on MMORPGs and Nippon Ichi games. And, finally, Yuzo Koshiro himself is composing the game’s score.
The game’s website is live, but it doesn’t seem to be quite ready yet. Shake the letters off the tree, then click the hole they make when they hit the ground for a preview. The game’s scheduled for a fall release in Japan, but Atlus USA haven’t given the game a date yet (outside of a vague “2007”). Also, don’t confuse this with Yggdra Union, which is also being published by Atlus USA, but was developed by Sting.