Who wouldn’t want to go on a romantic Midgar Mako Reactor night view tour?

Major Japanese train stations often have travel offices attached to them, with splashy advertisements for discount plans and package tours to destinations both domestic and international. So when our reporter Mr. Sato was walking through the Metro Prominade underground passageway of the Shinjuku subway station in downtown Tokyo, he wasn’t surprised to see a rack of travel pamphlets, with pictures of exotic architecture and scenic vistas on their covers.

What was strange, though, was that there was a long line for them.

Figuring that the travel agency behind them must have uncovered some previously unknown gems, Mr. Sato hopped in line, eager to get the inside scoop on the newest trendy travel spots. His expectations were confirmed when he got to the front of the line and saw a pamphlet for a place he’d never even heard of before: some town called “Cornelia.”

Mr. Sato wasn’t even sure what country Cornelia was in, but the castle had him guessing it was somewhere in Western Europe. It sure looked picturesque, with the ad promising flowers and forest walks, and all for the incredibly low price, for overseas travel, of just 7,800 yen (US$70) with something called the “FF Travel”plan.

Our reporter wasn’t quite ready to pack his bags yet, though. That’s because the next brochure he grabbed was for Midgar, another town he’d been completely unaware of the existence of.

In contrast to Cornelia’s bucolic beauty, Midgar is all modern marvel. The ad assured him that the Mako Reactor Tour would stir the hearts of science-lovers, and that he wouldn’t want to miss the nighttime skyline view that shines with “the life of the planet.” The catch copy even called it the equal of Hong Kong’s famous “million-dollar night view,” trumpeting Midgar’s “million-Gil night view,” which once again had Mr. Sato thinking this must be an overseas destination, although he couldn’t ever recall hearing about a country that uses “Gil” as its currency.

Not wanting to hold up the line any longer, Mr. Sato decided to just grab one of each pamphlet, then take them back to the office, where he laid them out on the floor.

From left to right, starting on the top row, the travel packages are for:

● Cornelia: Sophisticated travel
● Pandemonium: Palace of Hell
● Airship Cruises: A once-in-a-lifetime experience
● Lunar Canyon Power Spot Tour
● Dimenson Castle Last Floor
● Narshe Snowy Mountain Hiking Tour
● Midgar Mako Reactor Tour
● Promised Land: Forging the heats and bonds of lovers
● Alexandria Castle Town walking tour
● Besaid Island Whirlwind Weekend Tour: Because you’ve earned a tropical getaway
● Angel Ring Bath Bathing Tour: Experience the ancient power
● Royal Capital Rabanastre Architecture Appreciation Tour
● Visit Eden, the school that flies in the sky
● Porta Decumana: Full of thrilling attractions

That’s 14 intriguing travel options, but also 14 Mr. Sato wouldn’t be able to find on a map. But a closer look at the pamphlets revealed a logo in the corner…

…and the truth that these are all locations from the Square-Enix Final Fantasy video game franchise.

As for the 7,800 yen price listed for each tour? That’s actually a reference to the suggested retail price of Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, the newest installment of the spinoff series that just came out on January 11 in Japan for the PlayStation 4.

Sadly, this means we won’t actually be able to take an airship tour (well, not unless we head to Universal Studios Japan to ride its new Final Fantasy VR roller coaster). But on the bright side, this means that we can visit all of the pamphlets’ destinations for one price in Dissidia, though we have to say we’re glad that none of them promised Chocobo-riding tours, because we don’t think we would have been able to deal with the sorrow of finding out it wasn’t a legitimate offer.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where this is just another example of when you’ve got noting else to do, going to Shinjuku is always a good plan.

[ Read in Japanese ]