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Earlier this year, we stopped by Artnia, the café run by video game publisher Square Enix, to munch on buster sword chocolates and drink material cocktails. Just as you’d expect from the company behind some of Japan’s biggest RPG franchises, though, there’s now an upgraded sequel, the Eorzea Café, with an even larger menu of Final Fantasy themed foods.

Led by our sense of adventure and gnawing appetite, we journeyed to the strange and wonderful land of Tokyo’s Akihabara to check it out.

Sort of like how Final Fantasy’s original developer, Square, eventually merged with software house Enix, the Eorzea Café is a joint project between Square Enix and Pasela, operator of Tokyo’s classiest karaoke chain. The restaurant is located on the second floor of one of Pasela’s complexes in Akihabara.

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Artnia’s simple, understated design doesn’t exactly scream “fantasy adventure,” but the Eorzea Café’s source material is immediately apparent. With weaponry and maps adorning the walls, it feels like a tavern or guild house that valiant warriors would gather in before setting out to slay mighty monsters and search for mythic artifacts.

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▼ There’s even a quintet of friendly Moogles.

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▼ There’s no rule that says this one can’t be friendly and drunk at the same time.

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Getting into the Eorzea Café can be a bit of a quest in itself, though. It’s not the biggest restaurant, and on top of that, there’re only four seatings a day, at 11:30 a.m., and 2, 4:30, and 7 p.m. Pasela starts handing out passes daily at 10 a.m., and they tend to all be gone before 11:30.

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If you’re not in a position to go early and snag a pass, there’s a second option, which is to make a reservation through the ticketing service at Lawson convenience stores. There’s a charge of 1,000 yen (US $9.10) per person, which includes one drink. Since the drinks on the menu are mostly around 750 yen, that means you’re essentially paying a 250-yen ($2.27) service fee, but this is the surest method to make sure you get a seat, and currently the only way you can make a reservation days in advance.

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Speaking of the menu, it’s filled with illustrations from, and tie-ins to, the Final Fantasy franchise, such as the swordsman’s sausage plate and onion shield, served with a long sword-shaped dagger, or the Malboro pasta, which is loaded with garlic to ensure your breath ends up not far from the toxic Final Fantasy plant monster’s.

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▼ Relax, the Chocobo dish isn’t fried chicken, it’s just vegetable quiche.

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Sharp-eyed fans will also notice that all prices are listed in gil, the customary currency of Final Fantasy games. A helpful note at the bottom of each page explains that the house exchange rate is one yen to one gil.

To start off, we ordered a round of drinks. According to the menu, the 600-yen ($5.46), sorry, 600-gil Potion will restore 32 percent of your life force. We’re not sure how exact that math is, but the mix of blue curacao, soda water, and lemon and orange juice was tasty and refreshing.

▼ And also incredibly blue

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Just as the Potion has been restoring Final Fantasy charaters’ hit point for years, Ether has been keeping their magic points topped off. The Eorzea Café’s 730-gil ($6.65) version is made from white wine sangria mixed with banana, grapefruit, and lemon juice.

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As a cool little bonus, each item you order comes with a coaster featuring awesome Final Fantasy artwork. Obviously, we didn’t see anyone actually putting their glass down on one, for fear of water damaging it.

▼ Dragoon and Black Mage? Sweet!

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The names of the menu’s most substantial items are reserved for the series’ most powerful entities. Since we’d enjoyed our Potion so much, we decided to double down on blue with chilled Leviathan ramen for 980 gil ($8.92).

▼ It can’t really be that blue, can it?

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▼ Oh yes, it can.

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We’re not sure what gives it it’s vibrant azure color, but the broth tastes amazing, with a salty citrus flavor that goes perfectly with the generous portions of shrimp, clams, scallops, and squid. The ramen is served with ice cubes to keep it extra cold, and the noodles themselves are firm and flavorful.

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We wish we had as many nice things to say about the 880-gil ($8) Gilgamesh pork cutlet, though.

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With as many blades as the series’ recurring multi-armed swordsman carries, we were hoping for some meaty decadence. With weak breading, dry pilaf, and a demi-glace sauce that’s a bit on the bland side, this ended up a little closer to the sort of comic relief Gilgamesh himself provides in some Final Fantasy titles.

▼ But hey, cool sword cracker

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To wash the bad taste of Gilgamesh away, it was time for more drinks, like the mysterious, multi-colored Ultima Weapon, a 700-gil ($6.37) extra fizzy mix of Parfait d’Amour, Bols Blue, grenadine, and soda water.

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We also decided to try the 700-gil ($6.37) Petrification Drink, named after the hog-like Final Fantasy creature that can turn its foes to stone.

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But this simple mix of yuzu citrus liquor and soda water won’t transform you into a statue, no matter how many you knock back. So why “Petrification Drink?” Because at the bottom of the uniquely shaped glass, you’ll find a stone ice cube.

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Finally, it was time for dessert. You might remember the last time we gave in to our tweet tooth, ordering a jumbo version of Pasela’s signature dish, honey toast. Eorzea Café goes the other way, with a mini-sized Moogle honey toast for 580 gil ($5.28).

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Topped with ice cream, whipped cream, and, of course, honey, it’s a great way to enjoy some honey toast even if you’re not in the mood to eat a whole loaf of bread. Also, unlike some other character-based confectionaries, it still manages to look pretty cute after you’ve eaten half of it.

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For the finale, we couldn’t think of a better choice than the Meteo cream puff.

▼ Technically, it’s the “Limit Break! Meteo Cream Puff.”

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Inspired by Final Fantasy’s forbidden, world-smashing black magic, the rubble surrounding the dessert isn’t the remains of a destroyed civilization, but crumbled brownie, berries, and strawberry chocolate cubes.

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Despite posing no real threat to our planet, you’ll still want to destroy the Meteo cream puff as soon as possible, so that you can get at its rich cream filling.

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Like we mentioned above, the Eorzea Café seats customers in four blocks per day, with the first three being two hours long and the last tacking on an extra 60 minutes. Since no one else is coming in during that time, customers are free to get up, move about, and snap pictures. Not only that, as groups around us finished their meals, we noticed a pretty unusual phenomenon for ordinarily shy Japan. Since everyone in the room had at least some interest in games, people starting mingling with complete strangers, exchanging tips and screen names for online RPG Final Fantasy XIV. Even customers who aren’t currently playing the game milled about, trading their duplicate coasters in an effort to make a complete set.

▼ Almost…

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So while the reservation system may be inconvenient, with good food, a cool atmosphere, and the chance to make new friends, we’d say the Eorzea Café’s definitely worth the hassle.

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Restaurant information
Final Fantasy Eorzea Café / ファイナルファンタジー エオルゼアカフェ
Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Soto Kanda 1-1-10, Pasela Resorts Akiba Multi Entertainment 2nd floor
東京都千代田区外神田1-1-10, パセラリゾーツAKIBAマルチエンターテインメント 2F
Reservations (Lawson)

Photos: RocketNews24