You have 60 minutes until the end of the world.
This past weekend, myself and two friends (Rue and Rubi) set out to tackle the Real Escape Game x FFXIV event. When it had been announced during one of the live letters, I was super interested. I had just found out I’d be moving to Japan at the end of the year, so I’d be in country for it for sure. I invited Rue and Rubi to go with me, and we made light plans to go.
Eventually, I finally landed in Japan, and had my work schedule. We figured out the best time for the three of us, which ended up being the ¾ at 7:30pm slot at Zepp Tokyo. We were all pretty nervous about actually being able to understand the puzzles, let alone solve them, but we were excited none-the-less (Rue and Rubi have been studying here for at least a year, and for myself I’ve been studying Japanese for almost 10 years now). So, with our tickets in hand, we entered “IRL” Bahamut’s Coils.
While the event has general Final Fantasy nods involved (as it is also a 30th Anniversary of FF event), the story of the event is heavily FFXIV focused, involving the three city-state leaders (Kan-E Senna, Merlwyb, and Raubahn), and a scaredy-moogle known as Mog.
Bahamut is threatening to rain hell down upon Eorzea, and in her time of need, the Mother Crystal calls out to you, the Warrior of Light. You suddenly appear before the three leaders, currently in the Lotus Stand in Gridania. Kan-E asks who you are, and you reveal to them that Hydaelyn has spoken to you and asked you to save Eorzea from Bahamut’s wrath.
They, of course, accept your assistance, and also introduce you to Mog, an easily spooked moogle who’s even afraid of the wind blowing. He will accompany you through your journey, and assist you along the way. The Warriors of Light are first tasked with obtaining a Monster Guide before they can begin their journey through the coils of Bahamut to confront the beast.
Some really cool things with the story is it is presented with regular cutscenes featuring the characters, and the three leaders as well as Hydaelyn are fully voiced (by their JP VAs in this version). Throughout the event, you can hear various leaders coming over the speakers reminding you that time is of the essence and the like. If my memory serves, Bahamut even came over the speakers towards the end of the time limit as well to threaten us.
The beginning of the story was just awesome. I immediately got attached to the little baby Mog and was super happy to carry him around through the whole event. They give you one of the Kuplo Kopp official plush with a lanyard strung around his pom and before setting you free to solve the puzzles, they tell you to keep him with you as he is your 7th party member (groups were up to 6 members, though we only did 3).
I won’t, of course, spoil the ending, but the cutscenes were awesome as well and there was even a special song composed for the event that was used in the credit roll (hopefully they will be able to bring this over in some way for the English version!)
My goodness gracious was this one hell of an experience! And I mean that in the best way possible. I won’t spoil any of the puzzles, as that would most certainly be bad form, but there were some serious surprises in the puzzles that I would have never ever guessed on my own. Thankfully, not only were there staff members walking around nudging players in the right direction, but surprisingly there were even some members of the American SCRAP team at the event that night! While we solved some early puzzles all by ourselves, and some Japanese staffers gave a few hints, after a little while, one of the American SCRAP team came by and gave us hints in English as well! To be honest, he was like a fourth member of our group in a way with how much he helped us ;w; He did just the right amount of hinting, enough to nudge us to the answer without outright giving it to us. Seriously, if you’re reading this, I can’t say thank you enough. From Team 90, 本当にありがとうございました! m(_ _)m
Despite our disadvantages of not being a full team of 6 (Like I mentioned, it was just the three of us) as well as the fact for all three of us this was dealing with puzzles in a non-mother language, we all came out really proud of how far we made it. We still had a few more puzzles to solve before we would have even been able to face Bahamut himself, but what we did solve felt amazing to have done. I had so many moments of jumping around when a puzzle finally clicked for me and tons of swearing when I realized how insane some of the puzzles were at times. It was insanely fun and I would so do it all again (especially in English too, I’d really love to see how some things are handled for the American tour! I really love localization/translation stuff okay).
For the record, our time slot had a total of 94 groups (ranging from 3~6 members), and only 14 were able to clear. The current clear rate is set around 7.5% last I saw, meaning over 90% of groups fail to defeat Bahamut. I can definitely agree that the puzzles were difficult so I’m not surprised!
Also, Mog is a precious baby and must be protected ♥
For anyone on the fence about going to the US tour…
GO. DO IT. BUY YOUR TICKET RIGHT NOW IF YOU CAN.
Even if you suck at puzzles, even if you think you’ll fail, do it. It was so worth it and so much fun and just amazingly well put together it’d be insane not to go if you can.
I will leave those going with some words of advice.
Remember every single thing you have. Everything is a puzzle, a solution, a hint, or maybe all three together. Always remember everything.
And, most importantly…
May you forever walk in the light of the crystal.
[This is a cross-post from my tumblr]