Adventures in Japan 2013 Part 15: Fuji-Q Highland & Gundam Crisis
After leaving Evangelion World (which was, honestly, the main reason we came,) Shannon and I walked around the rest of the park for the few remaining hours it was open. There are a number of really interesting attractions, but the lines for all the main ones – roller coasters – were insanely long. Thus we did a lot of random wandering around a things that were walk ups and easy to access. For example, an arcade featuring this game:
I simply LOVE the way Japanese games see Americans… Lucky AND Wild, you know? (Thank you 1980s action films.)
Eventually, we did find an attraction without a ridiculous wait time: Gundam Crisis.
The attraction seemed pretty cool. While I’m not a major Gundam fan, Joey Snackpants is and (so) we decided we should ride it to wow him with stories of how good – or awful – it was. We walked into the first pre show area (there are two) where a video was running featuring scenes from various Gundam series with a bunch of exciting messages written on the wall… none of which we could read/understand.
After about ten minutes, we were let in with about ten other folks waiting in line for pre show number two. There, we were given hand held PDAs that we were allegedly going to use in some sort of game in the attraction. Like most everything else we had done in Japan, I figured we’d wing it and just see what everyone else was doing. Then the pre show video started – and something AMAZING happened.
The pre show video had English subtitles.
It was like watching anime at home! I’m not sure if it’s always there of if one of the ride staffers noticed us (the ONLY caucasians in the park that day,) but it didn’t matter to us. We we could READ what we were supposed to do in the attraction. It was so cool!
The gist of Gundam Crisis is this: you are on a ship in space and an attack is imminent. The only way to save yourself and the Earth is to download important code information for unlocking the magnetic locks (I think) on the various parts of a prototype Gundam that will save the day. You do this by finding green data ports in the ship (which is the interior of the attraction) and attempt to download the correct data. You have to be careful, though, because sometimes the data won’t take correctly and sometimes (even worse!) you could accidently download corrupt data and delete all the information on your PDA.
The doors opened and we were off! The interior of the attraction looks like a very sci-fi-esque anime spaceship. It was really well done. Shannon and I kept trying to download the correct data while the clock counted down. (There was a eight minute time limit to collect the info.) Each time you got a correct file, it corresponded with a part of the Gundam’s anatomy. Here’s what my screen looked like:
(You can click the pic above for higher res version.)
Data ports are hidden all over the place and the ship’s rooms are really done in detail. At one point, you go into the engine room and it is hot. REALLY hot. I started sweating the moment I walked in and only stayed long enough to download the data I needed. To make matters worse, to get to that particular room you have to climb a series of stairs to reach it. (No such thing as ADA compliance in Japan, folks!) From there, though, you can look down at the final room. The main room. The hanger.
So there we were: in a theme park replica of a starship hanger look at a life size Gundam lying on its back. Life size. The real deal, folks. It was huge.
As we climbed back down into the room, we saw the places to exchange the data from your PDA to the Gundam around various parts of the body. Shannon and I had each found a couple, and messed around with it. One guy – ONE GUY – appeared to have found all of them and got to unlock the “final gate.”
You see, the pre show mentioned that if you find four out of the five correct files, you get to open a gate that allows you access to download the last file. This is something that, I assume, only hard core otaku solve and do at the attraction since the final room is the chest access to the HEAD OF THE GUNDAM.
Like I said – ONE GUY did it. The rest of us went to the final room where you watch the Gundam activate on the screen. When it does, the floor you’re standing on drops and rumbles from the weight of the giant mech next door standing up. Again: it was pretty cool.
We left the attraction which (shocker!) went directly into a Gundam gift shop. Half of the store was Gundam merchandise and the other half was nothing but Gundam models. Hundreds of them.
Shannon and I bought some Char Aznable related merch for Mr. Snackpants (a business card holder and a bag) that seemed exclusive to the ride and ventured back into the park to watch people almost die on some of the world’s most dangerous roller coasters.