Some of you may remember that one episode of the comedy/samurai action anime Gintama in which protagonist Gintoki and his pals turned into 8-bit video game characters and have to fight to turn back into their human forms. The J-World Tokyo theme park takes that one step further, as Gintoki, his alien friend Kagura, and his bespectacled comrade Shinpachi have turned into pixel art for a minigame called Gorilla Quest (an obvious jab at the famous Dragon Quest) series.
The story of the event is simple: the evil Gorilla King has kidnapped Princess Otae and is being an overall ass. So, you, the player, have to go out and collect the tools necessary to defeat him.
While the characters admit they changed into pixel art in order to save money on the costs of the event, the game itself is quite high-tech. Each player receives a smart tablet with a cardboard shell around it to make it look like some kind of mirror you’d see in an RPG. Your guide during this journey is Shinpachi, who has possessed the mirror; in fact, his glasses are always on the mirror’s screen. Using this “mirror,” the player must go around the theme park and find Gintama’s various characters to scan in QR codes and talk with them to get advice. For example, you can scan the “Inn” icon on top of Kagura’s head (seen above) to access the inn. She doesn’t help much, though, and tries to get you to pay 6,000 gold for a room. The giant alien dog Sadaharu is also around, but he just barks. Nothing to see here.
During your journey, you can talk to various residents of Kabukicho to get information, or just hear them complain.
The ones who are really going to help you out on your journey are those with items to use on your journey. The ninja Sacchan gives you the badge of a masochist, Shinsengumi members Okita and Hijikata give you the Sword in the Stone (literally), and the Shogun gives you… his underpants.
What’s really amazing about this event is that every single encounter has a proper conversation between the characters, which sounds like it was ripped directly from the anime. The only difference is that every cutscene has an RPG flare to it. For example, freedom fighter Katsura and weird duck… thing Elizabeth show up in the game as random encounters, and you have a choice: attack or run. Attack Katsura, and he’ll run. Try running yourself, and he’ll surround you, but then run away anyway. The game never betrays the crazy antics of the source material.
In the end, you defeat Kamui, the evil king’s servant, with the shogun’s underpants, save Princess Tae, and then defeat the Gorilla King with her horrid cooking. As your prize, you get a magazine that looks like an issue of the gaming magazine Famitsu, with Gintama parodies of Monster Hunter, Tokimeki Memorial, and more.
Of course, that wasn’t all there was to this limited-time event. Here’s some of the food they’re serving:
Salad made to look like android maid Tama’s barf.
A salty churro made to look like Shinsengumi member Hijikata’s sword.
Crazy acid-looking tea and puffed wheat with a Kagura cookie served with the character’s favorite food: pickled seaweed.
Adorable Gintoki and Hijikata cakes, with Gintoki’s meant to look like an RPG stat screen.
Freedom-fighter Katsura’s very own plate to celebrate his birthday.
At the game corner area, fans have the chance to win goods from a treasure chest lottery:
The game area also has a dress-up area:
Of course, I just had to try one on…
Fans left tons of artwork for Katsura’s birthday, which happened during the event:
This one was probably the best, though, with the artist leaving the caption “Happy Birthday to me”:
A giant Gintoki made out of blocks was also left in the theme park:
The decorations around the park even got into the spirit of Gintama, with the “Staff Only” signs being themed:
“Due to adult circumstances, trespassing is forbidden.”
Finally, the J-World gift shop had plenty of goods for the event, including pin badges of “Princess Otae” and the perverted ninja Ayame.
The “Gintama Dot Town in J-World Tokyo” will be held until July 18 at the J-World Tokyo indoor theme park in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district.