Why Metaphor: ReFantazio Doesn’t Have Romance Options

Highlights

  • Metaphor: ReFantazio focuses on building relationships with supporters, not romantic options, due to its ruler-centric storyline.
  • This is contrast to the Atlus' own Persona series.

The director of Atlus' upcoming Metaphor: ReFantazio action JRPG, Katsura Hashino, has spoken up about the decision to omit romance options in the game. The upcoming Metaphor: ReFantazio is going to launch this October, and it features mechanics similar to the Persona series. These include building social stats, summoning guardian spirits similar to Personas, called Archetypes, and even building bonds with the available party members, similar to the Persona series' social links system.

However, Metaphor: ReFantazio will not feature any romantic relationship options, a detail that was confirmed in April. In the Persona games, players have the option to romance some characters, including party members and NPCs. Unlike Persona, Metaphor: ReFantazio's social system is based on building and deepening their friendship with their followers, allowing them to unlock new archetypes. Director Katsura Hashino explains why the system is absent in Metaphor: ReFantazio.

In an interview with GamesRadar, Hashino says that the team is well aware of how popular Persona's romance options were. He notes that the reason why the Persona games had potential romantic relationships was because of the setting, as the player character is usually a high-school student, and romance was "part of the realism of the setting." In contrast, Metaphor: ReFantazio's premise revolves around someone trying to become a ruler of a country. "We know people really like [Persona's romance] system and it's really popular, but for [Metaphor] specifically, it's not about teenagers. It's about a person trying to become the ruler of the land. They are more focused on the relationships between a ruler and the people who support them," said Hashino.

Metaphor: ReFantazio Is Focused On Supporters, Not Romance Options

Hashino elaborated on this further, stating that the player character of Metaphor: ReFantazio will travel from place to place in order to meet new characters and gain their support, which in turn unlocks more Archetypes for them to use. As such, it's more focused on those types of relationships rather than the "back-and-forth" of a romantic option.

We know people really like [ Persona 's romance] system and it's really popular, but for [ Metaphor ] specifically, it's not about teenagers. It's about a person trying to become the ruler of the land. They are more focused on the relationships between a ruler and the people who support them.

Hashino also explains that when the team is developing a game, they start by thinking of what goals they want to achieve and what sort of game it should be. In short, anything that works can stay, and anything that doesn't should be discarded. As such, romance likely wasn't considered a system that would work within the context of Metaphor: ReFantazio's setting.

While romance options aren't included in the game, that doesn't necessarily discard the possibility of a story-based romance. In addition, while some fans may lament the lack of Persona's romance options in Metaphor, it appears that the developers took careful consideration into what was necessary for the game.

Platform(s) PS4 , PS5 , PC , Xbox Series X , Xbox Series S Released October 11, 2024 Developer(s) Studio Zero Publisher(s) Atlus Genre(s) RPG

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