My first was Iris Eternal Mana as well ~
I loved the game to death. Before it, I had no clue alchemy could be so much fun. And the cast was just really great. The battle system was also pretty fun. I could really go on and on about this. I ALSO wish that Viola was a possible ending. As do many others I'm sure.
From there, I just sorta got every GUST game that NISA let us have. And I just kept on growing to like them more and more. From their amazing soundtracks, to their beautiful art, and their characters. I just fell in love with GUST. No other game company was important to me for the longest time. I still played other games, but whenever a game had the GUST label, I was more excited than for anything else. And that still holds true today really.
Now, I knew I loved their games in the Iris and MK, and of course the At series, but I felt that Eternal Mana was the most enjoyable, because of its strong focus on alchemy and character releations. Which the later Iris games didn't do a very good job of, and Mana Khemia didn't make synthesis that interesting compared to Eternal Mana. So, when Rorona was first announced, I was sure I had found the game that would give me that which I only got a small taste of form eternal Mana.
It was a day one import for me (I wasn't really thinking, I should have known that NISA would snatch it up) and it seriously blew me away! And then NISA announced it, and I decided to stop playing the JP version, and to just use it as translation practice until the actual game came out. Then, the day came when NISA's version came, and I was blown away yet again! I loved the game sooo much! It had its faults to be sure, but I finally could enjoy a very alchemy centric game, with the whole character relationships aspect!
This got me to take a peek at Annie, and I liked what I saw, but never got around to making the purchase.
Then, Totori was announced, I wanted to import it like crazy, but this time I trusted in NISA, and waited patiently, only checking out a couple vids here and there. Then, the day FINALLY came. I had been waiting for SOOOo very long. And the game delivered in every possible way and then some! And, the DLC. I wasn't sure about it at first, but, I wanted to support GUST/NISA the best I could, so I bought it ALL. My first playthrough I stayed away from the DLC largely, to get the 'vanilla' experience.
Then, my second playthrough, I perused ALL the tracks, and fell in love with all the older tracks, and this made me really want to check out the older games. From that point on, both of my workshops never had a single tune from any of the Iris, MK, or Arland games. And that's stayed true still. the music's just soooo amazing!
Well, while the music had really entranced me, and Annie had tempted me, that still hadn't brought me to the realization that GUST had always been making masterpieces.
It all started with a comment on I think it was the Disgaea squad topic? Someone was daring Kotakoni to make a squad for the Atelier games. That lit something in me, and I KNEW I had to do it before anyone else could. I thought it would just be a quick journey of finding character portraits and posting them up. But, it turned into a perusing of some of the finest character designs I had ever seen. A long with details about the games themselves that just entranced me. After this project, is when I finally was truly able to appreciate how amazing GUST has always been. And it put a strong lingering in me to see the other unreleased games to make their way over here.
And that...was a REAAALLLLY long diatribe
I need to stop obsessing over GUST so mcuh....nah : P