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New Metaphor: ReFantazio Exclusive Livestream Details Archetype System, Which Is The Game’s Stylish Take On Class-Switching

[Update 9/6/2024: Added new Metaphor: ReFantazio gameplay footage from Atlus’ weekend event of 8-9 June 2024]

The ever-flexible class/Job system (where you can change up your role-playing game profession anytime on the fly) has been popularized by the Final Fantasy series since the 90s, so it’s only fitting that successors like Atlus adopt the time-old tradition albeit with a twist.

The latest Atlus livestream focused on its upcoming JRPG Metaphor: ReFantazio talks about the game’s Job system, dubbed Archetypes. Here, the main characters of the fantasy RPG can switch up their professions that come with their own sweet medieval-themed sentai/tokusatsu hero-like transformations and forms.

“The protagonist faces their own fears, and by building a relationship of trust forming bonds with their supportive followers, characters awaken the power of heroic images, called Archetypes.

By awakening to Archetypes, the protagonists can transform into them during turn-based battles if they have them equipped.

Archetypes are diverse, each with different abilities and personalities. There are a variety of archetypes, from the basic Seeker, who is an all-rounder in battle, the Mage, who strikes weaknesses with offensive magic, to the Thief, who can plunder resources. Players will have to decide which Archetypes to awaken and how to configure their members to create a stronger party.”

Starting from the default Seeker base Archetype, the Archetypes range from the close-ranged focused Warrior to the long-ranged Gunner, to even the row-shifting Commander and the fast-hitting Brawler. Base Archetypes can also evolve into “sub-classes”, each with their own specific set of skills based on the Archetype. For example, the Gunner can either evolve into the all-targeting-focused Sniper, or the Dragoon who can trigger attacks with various magical attributes. Moreover, the type of Archetype you equip in the game’s real-time battle system will dictate your field action.

For example, while the Seeker has a basic sword slash to ambush foes into turn-based fights, the Warrior lets you pull off a powerful swing that damages enemies heavily before a Squad encounter. While in the wind-up animation, you cannot be ambushed by pre-emptive enemy attacks. The Faker archetype lets you throw knives from a mid-ranged distance, while the Mage lets you use AoE attacks to clear weaker enemies before even initiating turn-based combat (or just flat-out avoid it). Be warned: if you initiate turn-based combat in your current Archetype, you cannot switch out of it until the combat segment is resolved.

You can evolve these Archetypes by deepening the bond with the supporter who controls a specific Archetype lineage. This means you have to make friends with the many, many party members and specific NPCs to join your righteous cause to get those sweet extra classes.

Just like the Job system of old, you can transfer skills from old Archetypes into new ones you’re mastering, so long as you meet the prerequisites needed. And if you’re wondering why these Archetypes look slick and cool, you can thank artists Shigenori Soejima (main art guy for Metaphor), and other guests like Yuji Himukai of Etrian Odyssey fame. There are over 40 Archetype designs, and we are looking forward to unlocking them all!

Check out the in-depth video below on how the game’s Archetype system works.

Metaphor: ReFantazio will be out on 11 October for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series.

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