Stroll on the beach turns into a real-life video game mystery.

Recently, Japanese Twitter user @shika_no_suke1 was walking along the beach near his home in the town of Suzuka, Mie Prefecture. As he strolled along, however, something in the sand caught his eye.

It wasn’t a skittering crab or washed up jellyfish, nor was it a seashell, seaweed, or any other sort of sea-debris. No, what the waves had brought to the coast of Suzuka could only be described one way…

the shield of a legendary hero.

“I was taking a walk on the local beach, and this hero’s shield-looking thing washed up. I wonder if he was able to finish his quest safely,” tweeted @shika_no_suke1 with the photos.

There’s definitely a sort of poetic finality to the weathered protector lying at the edge of the waves, and more than one commenter felt this looked like the final scene in an epic role-playing game.

But others wondered if this wasn’t the end of the hero’s journey, but actually its beginning, reacting to @shika_no_suke1’s discovery with:

“Are you, deep in your heart, longing for adventure? Perhaps fate brought this shield to you, and wants you to take it up.”
“If you were to grasp the shield and hold it high, there would be a flash of light, and you’d find that YOU are the hero of legend.”
“’Hero…can you hear my voice?…You have been chosen…Now, pick up this shield…”

Sadly, it seems that @shika_no_suke1 is not destined to rescue any kidnapped princesses, slay any dragons, nor defeat any dark lords. “After I took the photos, I reached out to pick up the shield,” he reports, “but then a wave came and swept the shield back out to sea. It seems I’m not worthy of becoming a hero.”

Of course, if @shika_no_suke1 isn’t the rightful bearer of the shield, that means that there must be another hero out there somewhere, right? That’s the conclusion these commenters came to.

“None of us knew it at the time, but there really was a hero fighting for us this whole time.”
“I seem to recall a story of a red-haired swordsman [in the Ys video game series] who always meets with disaster on his sea journeys, loses all of his equipment when he gets shipwrecked, and has to start his adventures empty-handed every time.”

But in a shocking development, multiple commenters chimed in with claims that they, or their offspring, have been in possession of this legendary shield.

“Before my child set out on his adventure, I recall that he went to the weapon and armor shops Daiso and Seria, where he purchased this shield, and a sword too, for 200 gold.”
“I believe this is the same legendary hero shield I obtained at the armor shop Seria in 2010.”

As you might be aware, Daiso is not, in fact, a blacksmith or armory. It’s Japan’s biggest 100 yen store chain, and Seria is another chain in that industry.

“That looks like my kid’s shield…I think maybe some monsters stole it from him.”

“We tell legends of this shield in my house too.”

So in the end, it looks like what @shika_no_suke1 spotted was a toy shield from a 100 yen shop, lost by a kid, which somehow ended up in the ocean where the saltwater discolored it, but the material itself remained intact.

However, that doesn’t mean there’s no grand, sweeping significance here. As mentioned above, @shika_no_suke1 wondered if the hero who used to carry this shield was able to successfully complete his quest, and assuming that the young adventurer has now grown into an adult, you could say that he or she has.

Source: Twitter/@shika_no_suke1 via Hachima Kiko
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s always happy to find out that someone else is thinking about Ys.