Metaphor: ReFantazio Imagines Persona in a Fantastical Medieval Setting

At Anime Expo 2024 in Los Angeles Friday, the creators of the highly regarded roleplaying game Persona 5 revealed new details on their upcoming game, Metaphor: ReFantazio. 

Watch this: Metaphor: ReFantazio Imagines Persona in a Fantastical Medieval Setting

The oddly titled game brings the mechanics and anime style of the Persona games to a medieval setting. It’s not without its anime quirks, such as colored hair, a fairy protagonist, a serious nonhuman companion and fashion that doesn’t fit the period. Regardless, it’s looking to be a high-quality experience, which is to be expected from the team that made one of the best games of 2016.

The game’s premise puts the protagonist in a dire political situation. The king of the United Kingdom of Euchronia is assassinated early into the game and the prince has been cursed. To lift the curse, the hero and his crew must find and kill the person who cast the curse. Like in the Persona games, Metaphor will focus heavily on its cast of companions, having you forge bonds with them.

“The story of this game can probably be summed up as a tale of forging bonds and aspiring to become a king,” said game director Katsura Hashino, who also directed Personas 3, 4 and 5. He went onto say the game’s art style is reminiscent of medieval paintings. 

And, for whatever reason, the protagonist can ride a sword like a skateboard.

Picture of Metaphor: ReFantazio presentation at Anime Expo Picture of Metaphor: ReFantazio presentation at Anime Expo

Choose your party.


The character designs prompted the most excitement during the panel. Its mix of 1960s London fashion with glimmering anime eyes and buoyant hairstyles led to applause with every character reveal. The anachronism of the style, in a game with castles and kings, did little to deter fan adulation. 

Junah Junah

Junah with her Twiggy vibe.


“Junah’s costume is actually a good example of how we blended fantasy and modern aesthetics in this game. In this one, specifically, her outfit is inspired by the swinging London style of the ’60s in England,” said character designer Shigenori Soejima. The game’s art team includes artists who worked on the NieR and Evangelion series.

The monster designs take inspiration from Hieronymus Bosch, the 15th century Dutch painter known for fantastical and nightmarish art. In Metaphor, the monsters have giant faces, disproportionate limbs and bizarre bodies. The metaphors are also a bit heavy-handed; the scariest monsters in the game are called humans. 

Metaphor: ReFantazio UI Metaphor: ReFantazio UI

Metaphor: ReFantazio’s menus are reminiscent of Persona, too.


User interface is also a focus in Metaphor. Persona 5 was praised for its award-winning UI design, an aspect of game development that usually doesn’t get that much fanfare. It seems that with Metaphor, the team at Studio Zero want to bring colorful flourishes to each screen so that changing even a minor setting feels awesome. 

Metaphor: ReFantazio is set to launch on Oct. 11 on PC, PS5, PS4 and Xbox Series X and S.

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