Image source: TYPE-MOON MOVIE
Fandom is always a good reason to get out and get some fresh air.
The Fate series—which has always had a very strong and devoted fan base—has been enjoying a surge recently mostly thanks to the popularity in the smartphone game, Fate/Grand Order, which has had over eight million downloads worldwide. Celebrating that success, the creators recently held events at various locations in Japan. As part of those events, the creators released an AR (Augmented Reality) app that allows people to summon servants around the various event locations for a limited time and use the summoned servants in AR photos.
I’m a Fate fan and an avid player of Fate/Grand Order—as probably anyone in the Anime Now! offices can attest—so I was interested in checking out the events and AR app. Unfortunately, the event locations were all a little hard to get to without ample free time and money for a Tokyo resident, so I sadly could not join in on the festivities directly.
With the release of the latest Fate/Grand Order story chapter, however, the creators have made the AR app usable in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo—the location where the new chapter takes place—for a limited time, giving me a reason to brave the ultraviolet rays of the dreaded Day Star and venture outside.
The AR app, Fate/Grand Order AR, is downloaded from the Google play or iOS App Store, and after updated—to a screen that Fate/Grand Order players are all too familiar with—you’re good to go.
The app works like your Pokémon Go or your Ingress in that it basically utilizes the device GPS. You walk/wander around and when you get in range of one of your targets, you can access it. In the case of Fate/Grand Order AR, you can summon various servants. 23 servants are placed at various location in the event area with a 24th that is unlocked after the other 23 have all been summoned.
The event area in Shinjuku was roughly 400 to 500 square meters and it took little over half an hour to navigate and gather all the various servants—nothing anyone would probably call “difficult.” Still, it was fun to see which servants were located where and to explore the city for a little bit. Shinjuku station is famously a rather difficult to navigate area in Tokyo—a fact that is also noted in the latest chapter of Fate/Grand Order, so it did bring a smile to my face knowing that I was making my way through the real area that ties into the game story that I’m currently enjoying.
As an added bonus, servants that have been successfully summoned can be used with your device’s camera to place them in pictures for some AR photography. The summoned servants can still be used for photos even after the event has ended.
Sadly, the various locations in the Fate/Grand Order AR app where servants can be summoned are available for very limited times. At the time of writing this article, the Shinjuku area will only be available until the end of tomorrow. Still, it seems likely that the developers of Fate/Grand Order will be utilizing it for future events.
Fate/Grand Order AR can be downloaded from the iOS App Store or the Google Play store (Japanese only). The Shinjuku event area is available from February 24 to March 2. Fate/Grand Order can be downloaded from the iOS App Store or the Google Play store (Japanese only).