Miitopia, Nintendo’s lite RPG that can feel like a fusion of the StreetPass Plaza’s Find Mii and Tomodachi Life, focuses a great deal on relationships. After all, you’re traveling together with facsimiles of your family, friends, and famous people. There are stopovers at inns, where you get to see little scenes play out between the people. Silly banter frequently pops up along the way. The thing is, you don’t realize exactly how important, and even uncontrollable, these relationships can be until you start to play.
Throughout Miitopia, players will be tasked with bringing Miis into the game to fill starring and supporting roles. While the ones you set as NPCs only have a few moments in the spotlight, those you assign places in your party have an opportunity to grow. No one has a clearly defined personality. They can have traits like kind or stubborn that influence their actions in battle, causing them to do something like show mercy to a monster or perform a second attack in a row. This happens independently. So when characters are engaging in little conversations in rooms at the inn, when running through an area, or during a small event while on the road, it could really be anyone in any roll. You will absolutely see repeats of events that may or may not have slightly different outcomes based on the personality you have set for a character.
There are many ways to boost relationships between Miis. Sometimes, it happens on its own. Having two people in a party may cause them to interact. While you only control the actions of your Mii and the others act independently, they may occasionally share items or perform skills on one another to help each other out. This then boosts the relationship, though typically never enough to reach a whole new rank. The easiest way to guarantee a boost is by making characters room together in the inn. It always boosts the relationship. Sometimes, after waking up in the morning, characters will have speech bubbles or one of the other party members’ faces over their head. Pairing them up in a room when this happens causes a skit to occur, which again boosts the relationship.
Since there are periods in Miitopia where you are forced to form a whole new party and take a new job, you may want to get certain people to rank up relationships faster. The best way is to pair people in a room, go to the inn’s lottery sections, and attempt to spin for a vacation ticket. If you get one, the Mii you give the ticket to will go on a vacation with the person they are rooming with, perhaps reaching a new rank if the trip is fancy enough. This is an especially helpful tactic when you know you are approaching a boss for an area. (It will be rather evident when you are, as you’ll be recovering some major VIP NPC faces.) Going for a quick relationship boost then can really help you for the next fight.
You want this to happen. Not just so you can create your own OTPs or make people who are close in real life also close in the game. Ranking up gives a pair new skills. Early on, they may cheer one another one. They could eventually warn one another when an attack is coming, so they can dodge it. More power could be lended to an ally’s attacks. You could team up with an ally for a pincer attack. They could share healing items, like HP Bananas. There are all these beneficial, in-battle effects that come from making people like one another. The highest rank I have seen so far between characters is 20, but that’s only because I am trying to make everyone’s relationships build equally. It can absolutely go higher. Knowing that there are always more positive buffs, assault assists, and healing options waiting makes you want to grind and make sure people are getting along.
The frustrating thing is, sometimes Miitopia’s Miis get into fights with one another. This will happen randomly. You will have no idea when they will suddenly decide to start hating each other, or what even set them off. All positive bonuses disappear. Characters may bicker in battle, making them less productive. It’s frustrating, because suddenly you have to stop what you’re doing, start grinding in areas so you can repeatedly head to inns and force them to room with one another and interact until the fight ends and they’re willing to work with one another again. It doesn’t take too long to get people speaking again, but this is the kind of game where, after a while, you don’t want to grind anymore. After you’ve seen some of the same events over and over, only with slightly different characters, you might want to just turn on the autopilot for battles, check in for interesting and humorous moments, and coast through until something more major happens.
But even when Miitopia is being frustrating, it is entertaining. Seeing them gradually work together over time is satisfying. Even if it means grinding to make sure you have some good skills that can automatically use in battle. Perhaps it even makes it more interesting that they can get frustrated with one another. At the very least, it is entertaining to see what how people’s virtual counterparts will act.
Miitopia is available for the Nintendo 3DS.