Players can use cardboard boxes, Snake’s patented hold-up move to outwit armed human guards.

In recent years, “real escape games” have had a surge in popularity, with franchises as varied as Pokémon and Attack on Titan serving as themes. But here’s something that’s always struck me as kind of odd: If those settings are so attractive to fans, isn’t it kind of odd to design a game where the objective is to figure out how to leave those fantasy worlds?

Apparently I’m not the only one who feels this way, either, because starting this month video game series Metal Gear Solid is getting not a real escape game, but a “real infiltration game,” in which you try to sneak past actual armed human guards to complete your mission in a hostile base.

Serving as venue for the game is Tokyo Mystery Circus, an entertainment center in the downtown Shinjuku neighborhood. Either individually or in teams of up to three, players step into the first Metal Gear Solid game, which was released exactly 20 years ago as of today, and have to raid the Shadow Moses military complex and destroy the warmech Metal Gear.

Just like series star Solid Snake, before the mission starts you get equipped with a sneaking suit and codec (as the specialized vest and tablet are called).

While the codec provides you with information to help you on your mission, the vest seems to actually work as a target. In addition to automated defenses, the recreated Shadow Moses is patrolled by guards. If you’re spotted, they’ll open fire, and if you’re hit (likely determined by light or radio frequency sensors in the vest), you’ll take damage, in the form of having your playtime reduced. Once you’re out of time, you’ve failed the mission, though you have the option of continuing for an additional fee.

This being Metal Gear, you’ll want to rely on stealth whenever possible. However, should you manage to get your hands on a weapon, you can use it to hold up the guards, just like Snake has been doing for decades. The real infiltration game’s designers even promise that the franchise’s iconic exclamation point is somehow incorporated into the gameplay.

And it just wouldn’t be a Metal Gear sneaking mission without cardboard boxes, so rest assured that yes, you can find and use Snake’s favorite form of camouflage.

The game takes between 15 and 45 minutes, depending on how quickly you complete your objectives or how frequently you get shot. While tickets can be purchased at the door, the site’s per session capacity is limited, so thankfully reservations can be made online here. Pre-purchased solo tickets are priced at 3,800 yen (US$34), while pair tickets are 4,800 yen and trio tickets are 6,300 yen (all 300 yen more per person if purchased for the same day as use). Continues are 800 yen for 10 minutes per person (each player’s remaining time is counted individually, so even if you get shot full of holes, it won’t mean your teammates have to go home early).

The Metal Gear Real Infiltration Game starts September 12, and is scheduled to run until at least December 31.

Venue information
Tokyo Mystery Circus / 東京ミステリーサーカス
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 1-27-5, APM Building
東京都新宿区歌舞伎町1-27-5 APMビル

Source: Tokyo Mystery Circus via Anime News Network/Lynzee Loveridge
Top image: YouTube/TOKYO MYSTERY CIRCUS / 東京ミステリーサーカス
Insert images: YouTube/TOKYO MYSTERY CIRCUS / 東京ミステリーサーカス, Tokyo Mystery Circus

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