Following the new information from the Metaphor: ReFantazio end-of-year broadcast that aired last week, publisher ATLUS and developer Studio Zero have released further details and screenshots on the game’s concept, world, tribes, story, and characters.
Get the details below.
■ What is Metaphor? (Proved Creators Come Together)
The creative team behind Persona 5, with over 6.4 million copies sold worldwide. An all-new fantasy RPG from a team of creators with an award-winning track record.
- Director: Katsura Hashino (Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, Persona 3, 4, and 5)
- Character Designer: Shigenori Soejima (Persona 3, 4, and 5)
- Composer: Shoji Meguro (Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, Persona 3, 4, and 5)
The Persona series, an RPG set in modern-day Japan, takes players through a school-life experience, where life, friendship, and love intersect with confronting occult incidents, mysterious rumors, and urban legends. The playable cast awakens to their “persona” (the “other self” hidden in their hearts) and must grow together to overcome their many hardships. This series has sold a total of 16.8 million copies worldwide with Katsura Hashino acting as director, Shigenori Soejima the character designer, and Shoji Meguro as composer for Persona 3, Persona 4, and Persona 5. The latest mainline title, Persona 5, became the series’ biggest hit, rising to worldwide acclaim and over 6.4 million global units sold.
World-Renowned Artist Collaboration
—Concept Artwork: The Capital
- Mechanical Designer: Ikuto Yamashita (Notable work: Neon Genesis Evangelion)
—The Gauntlet Runner
■ A Unique Work of Story, Art, Sound, and Game Mechanics
A mysterious and exciting story unfolds in a world where people must fight their own anxiety. Join Atlus on an immersive journey that promises hours of captivating exploration and discovery.
—The Protagonist and Gallica
Art and Sound
Unique character design populates a vast, beautiful world against a fantastical backdrop. The stylish UI, inspired by Western paintings, creates unique and fun interactions.
The sound design, based on an interpretation of various religious music, combines orchestra, folk music, chorus and sutra in a style players have never experienced.
A unique battle system that seamlessly combines real time action and turn based commands, players will find exhilaration and strategy at every turn. Party customization through “Archetypes” provides players the freedom to personalize their adventure.
In an evolution of the Persona series’ calendar system, you’ll embark on a journey to change the world in your party’s gauntlet runner, bringing the sensation of travel to life.
—Carnage at the Fort
—Transition to Squad Battle
■ A World Where Fear and Anxiety is Visualized
Where Fantasy Meets Reality
The story takes place in a nation consisting of three countries populated by eight tribes called the United Kingdom of Euchronia. For the player, it is a world of fantasy, but those living in this fantasy world naturally have their own “fantasies.”
“In this world, there is only one tribe. All people accept each other, and no soul is born into discrimination. In such a world, there is no need for sorcery. A megapolis is built through learning and labour. Towers of glass that reach the heavens. Safe nights with no dark shadows. Busy streets well travelled. And in the laws of these emotionally satisfied people, it reads: All lives are equal.”
A fantasy envisioned by people living in a fantasy world, dreaming of a world not so unlike your own. Both the player and the world’s inhabitants think of each other’s worlds as impossible—mere stories.
But is it truly impossible? What is it that makes us think we can’t change that?
“Anxiety:” A simple concept and yet a complex emotion that the game will explore.
—This is a Fantasy
Only Those Who Face Their Fear and Anxiety Have the Power to Awaken
“Magic” is a general term for a phenomenon that consumes “magical power” and causes effects that defy the laws of nature. However, the inhabitants of Euchronia are unable to use magic on their own. Magic requires a special tool called an “igniter,” the possession and use of which requires a license.
The protagonist and his friends awaken and begin to master magical powers that defy this convention and need for “igniters.” An “Archetype” is a primordial secret power that awakens by facing your fear and anxiety. Put another way, it is the awakening of the nature of a hero that lies dormant in people’s hearts.
—The Protagonist Awakens
■ The Eight Tribes
With humanity transcending borders in real life, the game refers to those of distinct personalities and cultures as “tribes” rather than races of a nation or ethnicity.
The people who live in the United Kingdom of Euchronia, where this game is set, are divided by the concept of “tribe.” While they all have different physical characteristics, it is their cultural differences that come into focus within our story. The divisions that separate the tribes are primarily caused by their respective ideologies and beliefs rather than physical differences and appearances. Such beliefs are things where people should be able to find common ground, and yet they live in a reality where their future is influenced by their birth.
The clemar tribe composes the largest population across the allied kingdoms. Their most distinctive features are the horns which grow on both sides of their head.
Clemars have a broad diversity of facial and body types, which has essentially made them average and common.
The Euchronian royal family are clemar, and members of this tribe hold a majority of important positions within the government. As a result, many clemars internalise the belief they are the most preeminent tribe.
Clemars value freedom and dislike illogical restraint. They enjoy cultivating discussion, but do not always consider the situation or appropriateness of doing so, which occasionally leads to conflict.
—Batlin, Sanctist Church Crier
One of the most populous tribes of the united kingdom, second only to the clemar.
Long, pointed ears are their most distinguishing feature. They often boast excellent physiques, which has given them superior martial prowess. Roussainte women are stronger than most men of other tribes.
Many inevitably work in the military and often hold key offices. They are considered as influential as the clemar, and the two tribes are sometimes called the “prevailing tribes.”
Many roussainte pride themselves on outperforming others in strength. While this can be perceived as a self-disciplined competitiveness, on the flip side, there are many with a belligerent temperament, obsessed with proving superiority in any situation.
—Glodell, Candidate for the Throne
A tribe whose members have longer lifespans, some living more than twice as long the average of other tribes. They age at the same pace until adolescence, spending the remainder of their lives in middle and old age. Perhaps as a result, the rhoag tribe conjures images of the elderly in many minds.
In a seniority-based society, rhoags often hold high positions due to their longevity. They place great value in eventually passing down their knowledge and purpose, so much so that they’re known to remember favours as well as hold grudges for three generations.
Though many rhoag have unique markings on their face, they are not born with them—they are a form of traditional make-up.
A tribe recognizable by their avian wings, as well as their almond eyes and long eyelashes.
Though the fewest in number of the eight tribes, they have a reputation for their intelligence, giving them a strong presence in bigger cities.
Many find higher status in intellectual labor, such as scholars and sanctors and the like, making it not uncommon for ishkia to be wealthy.
Due in part to their regal stature, the ishkia are commonly admired. However, the act of speaking down on others has been ingrained in their nature for some, making it just as common for them to be resented.
Characterized by their iridescent eyes and hair, members of the nidia tribe lack the conspicuously notable features of other tribes. They are known to be gregarious and talented at flattery. However, this temperament often leads to a reputation of being good with words yet untrustworthy or eccentric.
A tribe recognizable by bestial ears and a tail. There are many variations in their hair and skin colors, including cold-colored skin not seen in other tribes. They are physically adept and often honest with their emotions, giving them a reputation for hedonism, for better or for worse. They are drawn to parties and festivities, and while this happy-go-lucky charm is often to their credit, it can also be seen as recklessness.
Due to this stereotype, they are looked down upon by other tribes which prevents them from securing a foothold in politics despite despite being nearly as populous as the roussainte and clemar tribes. The discrimination against them is especially obvious in large cities.
—Loveless, Candidate for the Throne
A tribe characterized by their bat-like wings and ears. Due to their difference in appearance and abilities compared to the humanoid tribes, they are often seen as creepy and discriminated against. For that reason, the majority live life without wealth and are lower in rank among the other tribes. They are generally mild-mannered and cooperative. However, they are not good at making big decisions and tend to hesitate due to their constant concern for others.
—Lina, Candidate for the Throne
A tribe recognizable by a third eye. They don masks and wear culturally-significant attire, which many among the other tribes find unsettling. Though their population isn’t necessarily low in number, the mustari are hard to come by, as most live in an archipelago in the inland sea.
As they believe in a unique faith, they are often targets of persecution outside of the island, denounced as “pagans.”
■ The Humans
The humans are designed based on the work of Hieronymus Bosch, a fantasy artist from the Renaissance era who is said to be the first artist that drew monsters on a world stage.
Bosch was a mysterious artist with a fantastical and eerie style—players can expect to be surprised (and perhaps horrified) by these foes.
Humans are unknown monsters with bizarre forms who rampage through their surroundings indiscriminately unlike any natural beast . Despite their berserk nature marking little sign of intelligence, they can wield advanced magic beyond the grasp of all sentient beings. Many aspects of their biology and ecology remain a mystery. Given their unnatural physical resilience, large specimens can wipe out entire armies.
A human that attacked a fortress located in the wastelands north of Royal Capital Grand Trad. This fearsome monster singlehandedly drove the fort’s troops to total annihilation.
A human with an indescribable eggshell-like body.
Even among larger humans, this one is both enormous and extremely dangerous, capable of leveling a city.
The only thing that the strange and irregular appearances of humans have in common is the presence of what appear to be elements resembling body parts in their biology.
■ Story Setting
A world unlike our own, where eight different tribes live in discord.
This is the United Kingdom of Euchronia.
Founded by a hero king and eventually annexing its neighboring countries, Euchronia has been long-governed by a strong royal family that inherited powerful magic. However, over the years, the kingdom has gradually fallen into corruption and is today torn apart by inequality and discrimination, its virtue in tatters.
The kingdom’s vast land is now infested with dangerous beasts and mysterious monsters called “humans.” To venture outside the city is to risk one’s very life.
With both the prince and the current king of Euchronia assassinated, the throne sits empty, and the kingdom reaches a tipping point of chaos and unrest.
—Blade Riding in Sunshade Row
—Paripus Facing Execution
The protagonist embarks on a journey alongside a fairy to break the curse…
The protagonist is a boy of the elda tribe, a minority detested and not recognized by others. Alongside his partner, Gallica, he sets out to break the curse that has been placed on the kingdom’s prince whom many believe to be dead.
There is but one way to break the curse draining the life from the prince—to take the life of the person who cast it.
On a journey across the vast land, the protagonist will encounter numerous individuals. Through the bonds he forms with them, he will eventually come to realize the true nature of the kingdom.
It all begins with an incident that shakes the kingdom to its core—.
—The Cursed Prince
—Fighting Desert Wolves
—Blade Riding on Sunlumeo Street
—World Map: Imp’s Den
—On the Gauntlet Runner
—Gauntlet Runner Deck
Royal Magic that ignites a tournament for the throne…
More than ten years have passed since the assassination of the prince, heir to the throne of the United Kingdom of Euchronia.
And now with the king having succumbed to a fatal attack, the kingdom is in turmoil with no heir to set its course. Who will be the next king? Will it be the head of the state religion, the Sanctist Church? A lord of a neighboring principality, or perhaps the leader of the military?
As expectations rise among influential figures with their eyes on the throne, a “spell” is cast during the king’s funeral that no one could have predicted.
Time is finite before my soul departs this benighted world…
There shall come a reckoning—a Day of the Hero. Upon that October day, whosoever hath truly earned the greatest faith of the citizenry… shall ascend to throne and crown by right of kings.
The voice of the king, who all know to be dead, suddenly echoes in the sky. Upon the event of his death, he had arranged for a grand magic to allow all citizens to compete for the throne through his final, royal tournament.
The people are cast into turmoil over this unprecedented event, unable to fathom a world where the people decide the next king. Amidst this chaos, the protagonist decides that in order to fulfill his mission, he must participate in the race.
Thus begins the grand tournament for the throne that takes the entire kingdom by storm. Along his journey, the protagonist will find himself surrounded by a diverse group of allies, and a grand adventure that will shape the future of the kingdom begins.
—Strohl, Gallica, and the Protagonist
—Batlin Proclaims the King’s Message
—Giving a Speech
—Protagonist and Maria
—Victory in Battle
■ Main Character
Protagonist (voiced by Natsuki Hanae in Japanese)
Together with the fairy, Gallica, he embarks on a journey to lift the deadly curse placed on his childhood friend, the prince of Euchronia.
He is a boy of the elda tribe, branded a “tainted” people by the state religion who believe the elda have inherited dangerous and heretical magic. Being so rare among the populous, they are detested and discriminated against throughout the kingdom.
—Arriving in the Royal Capital, Grand Trad
Gallica (voiced by Sumire Morohoshi in Japanese)
Not only a traveling companion, Gallica is the guide who helps the protagonist carry out his mission to save the prince. Although she is too small to participate in battles, her knowledge of magic and ability to sense magla is superior to the protagonist due to her fairy nature. She doesn’t mince words, but she is a reassuring ally on his journey.
—Reading on the Gauntlet Runner
In a discriminatory society, the protagonist joins forces with allies from across the tribes. Each has their own reasons for desiring a better world. Influenced by the “heroic embodiment” that awakens in the protagonist, and they too awaken the same powers: An Archetype.
Strohl (voiced by Kensho Ono in Japanese)
He is a young man of the clemar tribe who meets the protagonist in the recruitment centre for the State Army.
A smart young man with a strong sense of justice, he hails from a noble family. And yet, it seems his circumstances are complicated, as it is rare for a noble to enlist in the army alongside commoners.
—Cooking with Strohl
Hulkenberg (voiced by Saori Hayami in Japanese)
A knight of the roussainte tribe and former member of the royal family’s Kingsguard who served by the prince’s side.
Despite her young age, she excelled in the use of various weaponry, and was assigned to the personal guard of the prince. But when the prince was attacked, she failed to protect him and set out to wander, carrying the stigma of this failure in her heart.
—Training with Hulkenberg
Heismay (voiced by Akio Otsuka in Japanese)
A former knight of the eugief tribe. He has acute perception compared to most others, due in part to the eugief trait of being sensitive to sound. With an appearance that differs greatly from other tribes, it’s not uncommon for eugiefs to be discriminated against—and it seems Heismay is no exception, his past his own burden to bear.
—Cooking with Heismay
■ Japanese Main Voice Cast
Natsuki Hanae, Sumire Morohoshi, Kensho Ono, Saori Hayami, Kazuhiko Inoue, Akio Otsuka, Yoshino Nanjo, Misato Fukuen, Yoshimasa Hosoya, Tetsu Inada, Mamiko Noto, Ginga Banjo, Yuichi Nakamura, Mitsuru Miyamoto, Noriko Hidaka, Megumi Ogata, Satoshi Mikami, Tomokazu Sugita, Toru Furuya, Yui Ishikawa, Atsushi Tamaru, Yoko Hikasa, Ai Fairouz, and Kenji Hamada.
■ Director’s Visionary Statement
“This work was created with the simple message that ‘only by facing our anxieties can we take the first step forward.’
“As long as society continues to be composed of individuals, I want to believe in the dynamism of ‘creation’ that has the power to change someone. While tackling this genre for the first time, I came to realize that perhaps this is the original meaning of ‘fantasy’—and the reason why so many people have always been intuitively attracted to it.
“But I’ll dispense with the philosophical talk for now by pointing out that unifying goal for the entire development team was for the player to have ‘fun, above all else.’ Thank you for your continued support.”
—Katsura Hashino, ATLUS Studio Zero Creative Director