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From Persona 5 to Project Re Fantasy - What do you want to see?

BRSxIgnition

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Sep 12, 2014
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Now that the proverbial dust has mostly settled around the launch of Atlus' largest project to date - Persona 5 - it's time to turn eyes towards the future, or back to Zero, depending which way you'd like to think about it. I realize that it may feel like it's too soon to really dissect & analyze what Atlus is creating with Studio Zero & its first project: Re Fantasy, but I felt it would be interesting to look at the possibilities for the title, as well as what the general populace of GAF want to see from the project.

Artwork Gallery

What we know about the game:


  • No Announced Release Date, or Price.
  • Full-scale Production began in 2017. Recruitment drive underway. Project in Early Stages.
  • Platform is "undecided" but game is being made for "those who like home console games and love Atlus games."
  • Though a Platform remains unannounced, a 4 page interview was published in Dengeki Playstation on January 12th.
  • Not meant to be a "AAA" title, but of "5-Star Interest all the same, similar to what we've done before."
  • Produced & Directed by Katsura Hashino. (Previous Work includes: Persona 3, 4, 5, Catherine, and more)
  • Character Design & Art by Shigenori Soejima - now part of Atlus' "Artwork Team." (Previous Work includes: Persona 3, 4, 5, Catherine, and more)
  • Sound Composition & Music by Shoji Meguro. (Previous Work includes: Persona 3, 4, 5, Catherine, and more)
  • List of other current staff members involved with Project Re Fantasy can be found here.
  • A focus of the game is to build "new ideas based on things from the past."
  • The Fantasy genre was chosen so that Atlus could challenge the traditional, rather continue delivering on the once atypical, while delivering "a title uniquely Atlus."
  • Hashino feels that Persona is no longer niche, as it once was - and that challenging the Fantasy genre with "Warm Innovation" will be different from current norms.
  • The Elf Knight in the primary illustrations is meant to share Studio Zero's "frame of mind" and "isn't necessarily the protagonist either."
  • A 'High Concept' Teaser has been released - communicating the goals of Project Re Fantasy.
  • Likewise, Shoji Meguro has already composed music for the title, available for listening here.
  • An official website is available at rpg.jp.
  • In addition to regular development work (PC), Hashino has begun playing Tabletop RPGs, taking inspiration from the role of a Game Master and how it differs from a video game RPG. (A GM system will not be implemented in Re Fantasy, but Hashino is developing the game while thinking of himself as a Game Master.)
Shigenori Soejima (Art & Design) comments:


  • First time working on a Fantasy Game, but was introduced to the genre with D&D.
  • No subversive flourishes this time - dragons will be dragons, knights will be knights, etc.
  • Soejima wants to focus on fine details, such as the texture of armor plating, details of sword scabbards, and so on.
  • Soejima keeps different things in mind depending on the title. For Project Re Fantasy, this thought is "The feeling of a foreign country."
  • Soejima aims to give the game "the inherent appearance of an RPG, with elements that give it a tangible sense of being a TRPG."
What we know about the story:


  • Set in a Fantasy World (Obviously) "without machines as a rule."
  • Story Focuses include "Bonds" & a "Journey." (Likely founded in the initial concept for Persona 5, which was a backpacking trip around the world.)
  • Hashino wants to explore the conflicts between different races that stem from a journey, and the growth that they bring. Hashino also wants to embody the sense of freedom that fantasy worlds have.
  • There will be races outside of humans & elves.
  • Rather than a main character that is in a stage before adulthood, Hashino aims to create the image of a "different kind of protagonist (player)."
  • While the Persona series was set in the limited timeframe of High school, the Bonds present in Project Re Fantasy are "Once-in-a-lifetime encounters" - and while they will come in a completely different shape, Hashino believes that the encounters in Project Re Fantasy will be familiar compared to those in the Persona series.
  • Instead of focusing on Internal/External conflicts of Idea & position like Persona & Shin Megami Tensei, Project Re Fantasy's theme instead focuses on the concepts of going on "a Journey - the concept of taking yourself away from the place you are used to now" and "travel - returning there after a long period of time."
  • "Thinking about what it really means to cherish & travel are reasons behind this theme."
  • Bonds in the game will be "comparable to the bonds represented in the Persona series" but because the game is Fantasy, there will be elements that change. (Though "the style itself will not change at all")
  • Hashino is playing through the original Wizardry and reading through the entire Lord of the Rings series to prepare for development.
  • Hashino also hopes to explore the concept of "Anxiety" in a setting that is more relatable globally.
What we know about the studio:

"Different from the studio that continue to work on series such as Persona and Megaten, Studio Zero is where we reconfirm the meaning of our existence from the starting point and once again begin a new challenge. Returning to our creative roots, we decided to establish this new studio as a starting point to create for all platforms as the big counter the current era requires. The participating staff that gather at this studio have, over the course of Atlus RPGs so far, are volunteers that have worked hard together and produced gameplay of value. What kinds of things will happen in the future? Please look forward to it."


  • Studio Zero's logo is a boy on a journey with his dog. The 0 represents "Fool" in a tarot deck.
  • The purpose of Studio Zero is to tackle creating new IPs for Atlus, while Studio One (1st Production) focuses on SMT and Eterian Odyssey, and P-Studio focuses on Persona & Shin Megami Tensei.
  • Hashino has left P-Studio in order to helm Studio Zero.
  • Currently the staff of Studio Zero are listening to the soundtrack of Legend of Zelda.
  • Studio Zero recently held a study group to analyze (and play) D&D in order to learn more about Tabletop RPGs.
This turned out to be far more involved than I had originally planned, but I'm interested in hearing what GAF expect to see - and wants to see - from Project Re Fantasy.

Sources (Massive thanks to Persona Central for all the translations & coverage)
 

Mediking

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Aug 22, 2015
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Regarding platforms... almost 100% guaranteed PS4.

Switch is already getting its own SMT game from Atlus. But hey. It might catch PreF since Switch is doing so well.
 

Risette

A Good Citizen
Aug 27, 2007
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hoping for a quick development and release so Atlus can return to interesting contemporary stuff

fantasy jrpgs are the most played out thing ever. really not looking forward to this.
 

wapplew

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Mar 1, 2012
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Talking animal.

For real, move away from teenage hero save the world trope. Most importantly, don't do 5 years delay.
 

JayEH

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Dec 3, 2013
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Regarding platforms... almost 100% guaranteed PS4.

Switch is already getting its own SMT game from Atlus. But hey. It might catch PreF since Switch is doing so well.

It will be on PS4 but the PS5 will be out by then in typical atlus fashion.
 
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Better combat and skill animations absolutely.
P5 masked a lot of poor animations with its overstylized look but that won't work here.

If they do put in some demon summoning mechanic, i dont want them give us every monster under the sun. Instead give us one or 3 per team mate and give them all unique moves
 

FluxWaveZ

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Jul 24, 2012
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Nice summary of the info we got so far. I'm personally much more into other RPG settings than standard fantasy. Its modern urban setting is a big point of appeal for the Persona series, to me. Not to say I can't enjoy fantasy; Golden Sun and Radiant Historia (though this one is more technologically inclined than Re Fantasy will apparently be) are great.

I think this will be a PS4 game. I don't know what to expect of its scope, but it's probably going to be significant. It's aiming to be ambitious in a number of ways. This will probably come out in 2019, at the earliest.

What I want to see from the game is it being inspired, despite its fantasy setting. I don't want it to be generic and predictable. A lot of what they've been saying sounds like they want it to stay true to what people know of fantasy, but I don't want that to mean they play it safe.

I also would like to see a combat system that is completely different than previous games the staff have worked on. For it to have its own identity, its mechanics need to be its own, too. I wouldn't want to see a Megaten battle system here.

Kaneko's reappearance.

For Re Fantasy, I don't think this would be appropriate. He's Megaten, through and through.
 

FluxWaveZ

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Jul 24, 2012
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A lot of comparisons to Persona will naturally be brought up, with most of the current Studio Zero staff having come from P Studio, and since it seems they're intentionally bringing up Persona when it comes to certain points they want to execute in Re Fantasy, such as the importance of bonds.

But this can't just be "Persona in a fantasy setting," either. Although, that would be interesting, but I don't expect daily progression, school (obviously), or the collective unconscious being elements here. I think Social Links/Confidants will be implemented, in some form, to emphasize connections with other party members. I expect large time skips of several years in this game, following a cast of characters who grow up accordingly.

One thing P Studio's know for is their sense of style. With Catherine and Persona, the identities of those games show themselves with relentless confidence in all areas. I wonder how that will translate to something as seemingly traditional and explored as Re Fantasy's genre.
 

Mediking

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A lot of comparisons to Persona will naturally be brought up, with most of the current Studio Zero staff having come from P Studio, and since it seems they're intentionally bringing up Persona when it comes to certain points they want to execute in Re Fantasy, such as the importance of bonds.

But this can't just be "Persona in a fantasy setting," either. Although, that would be interesting, but I don't expect daily progression, school (obviously), or the collective unconscious being elements here. I think Social Links/Confidants will be implemented, in some form, to emphasize connections with other party members. I expect large time skips of several years in this game, following a cast of characters who grow up accordingly.

Medieval setting X Persona = PreF.

But to a certain extent like you said....

That school stuff won't be there. That daily progression stat stuff won't be there.

But wannabe social links and confidants will be there.
 

JayEH

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Dec 3, 2013
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A lot of comparisons to Persona will naturally be brought up, with most of the current Studio Zero staff having come from P Studio, and since it seems they're intentionally bringing up Persona when it comes to certain points they want to execute in Re Fantasy, such as the importance of bonds.

But this can't just be "Persona in a fantasy setting," either. Although, that would be interesting, but I don't expect daily progression, school (obviously), or the collective unconscious being elements here. I think Social Links/Confidants will be implemented, in some form, to emphasize connections with other party members. I expect large time skips of several years in this game, following a cast of characters who grow up accordingly.

I agree.

I'm a bit disappointed this will be a RPG though since I would have liked another wacky experimental game like Catherine instead. I'm sure the game will take chances but a genre shift would have been nice.
 

jj984jj

He's a pretty swell guy in my books anyway.
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I'm curious to see what type of look they'll go for with the game it-self. If they'll go for an existing engine like UE4 or keep it proprietary. If there will be open environments or if it'll be linear. I hope they got a decent budget for it as well, although I know to keep my expectations reasonable.
 

Mediking

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I agree.

I'm a bit disappointed this will be a RPG though since I would have liked another wacky experimental game like Catherine instead. I'm sure the game will take chances but a genre shift would have been nice.

That's the thing. In Atlus' eyes... they already see P5 doing Catherine justice because of the various subject matter in P5.
 

HeatBoost

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I think Catherine proves these guys can do games with subtle SMT flavor that are clearly not "Shin Megami Tensei" games. So I don't want demon summoning, or Chaos VS Order. At least, not in the "alignment" sense of the words.

I want a customizable main character. If the main character is barely going to be a character (i.e. not have a strong, distinct personality) then they may as well let us dictate what they look like.

If they keep anything from Persona, I want it to be the sense of progress. I'm sick of all these fantasy RPGs where you have all the time in the world to do any goddamn thing you want, no matter how pointless and stupid it might be. The schedule management aspect of Persona is something I love because it makes moment to moment decision making important. I don't necessarily want some hardcore "People will die because you chose A instead of B this morning" deal but I also don't want Elderscrolls/Zelda/Witcher-y "Save the world... eventually. No rush. Wanna collect a buncha goofy baubles first?"

Tying into the progress of time, it'd be nice if we got a character that aged. That way you could have the cliche Japanese RPG teen who saves the world and also not have them.
 

EMT0

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Dec 7, 2012
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Honestly? I'm expecting to be disappointed in the setting to some degree no matter how good the game is. Another high fantasy RPG is just....not what I go and look for from the Persona team. I'm expecting a game I'll enjoy, but it's most likely going to be in spite of the setting, not because of it.
 

Holundrian

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Nov 1, 2014
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I hope it's almost nothing like Persona(system wise) cause if it is why bother an making a new IP.
Watching that toco toco interview with him I just hope he manages to succeed what he sets out to do. I'm very eager to see what it is that he felt like it was necessary to express through a fantasy setting that needed that distance from a more reality based setting.
 

aadiboy

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Oct 29, 2014
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This makes me wonder what they're going to do about monsters. Are they going to use the same demons used throughout the SMT/Persona series or design entirely new monsters?
 
Jun 29, 2014
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jk answer —Realtime combat, pure for the salt it would cause.

Serious answer — protagonist voice acting. As much as I loved P5, I don't think we need self-insert blank slate protags — its ok for them to have an identity of their own that the player influences.
 

brickarts295

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Mar 10, 2013
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Dat music is on point!

Meguro's tunes are addicting as hell.
 

Dark_castle

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I want to see release date so that I can throw all my money and my grandmother's savings at Atlus.
 
Aug 10, 2013
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I don't get those bond comments.

Is he saying that the bonds won't be a group of people meeting for the first time and growing closer, but folks who already knew each other growing closer?

I hope the implication is that these are all adults though.
 

Mediking

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I don't get those bond comments.

Is he saying that the bonds won't be a group of people meeting for the first time and growing closer, but folks who already knew each other growing closer?

I hope the implication is that these are all adults though.

They aren't all adults. There's a blonde haired kid who might be the main guy. We all want the gorgeous red haired woman to be the lead but it might be that blonde haired kid.
 

Mailbox

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Honestly since its a completely different studio from P5 idk.
I guess my expectation is that it will be 39+ hours long, have some weird god like weird designed character at the end to fight, and some weirdo characters we end up loving somehow.

What i'd like to see? Well, oddly enough, nothing megaten related. No standard demons, having no position in the timeline, no weird summoning, nothing like that.

I'm honestly super interested in what atlus can do with a blank slate. Considering the staggering amount they did just w/ megaten all these years, and how their last original project (Catherine) went, i'm super excited and expect great things.

But if it ends up a stinker, no biggy

Be an action rpg.
:]

Turn based combat please.

thisisneogaf.gif
 

Dantis

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I want the red haired elf to have, at the very least, a very significant present. Absolutely love her design.

I guess the big thing for me would be for them to write a better story. Hashino's team haven't done a good story since DDS, and the writer of that is long gone.
 

eyeball_kid

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The only thing I don't want is a group of teenagers in armor with big swords, on a journey to save the world.
 

Opa-Pa

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Great summary OP, I pretty much stopped paying attention to this game the moment I learned it hadn't even started full production.

I was kinda confident they'd try to make it something completely different from modern Persona, but that bonds comment made me worried... It'd be so disappointing if this is just modern Persona without school and with a fantasy setting lol, also I was going to say I didn't want it to be anime in the slightest.

I think the thing that has me the most excited is that Hashino and company will leave Persona alone for a while. Go make some sequels quick, P Studio!

Anyway, make it turn based and I'm game. Probably.
 
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I would love to see it come out in my lifetime, past that I don't really have many want's because I don't know what to expect. Atlus has made amazing work, I really hope they bring that talent to good use.
 

Yui

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Jun 7, 2013
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Honestly, seeing the people involved in this, I hope it's as much Persona as possible, to a point where it's just them switching the setting.
Simply because otherwise I might not see Persona 6 in this lifetime.
:p

Unless of course P Studio just keeps going without those key members, in that case I don't care what this project becomes, but since I love Persona I would still like some influences.