It makes more sense in Japanese.

Back in the early days when Final Fantasy was steadily growing in popularity, it gradually began to focus more on story-driven game experiences and less on the exploration and character building aspects of role playing.

However, there to pick up the slack of all that hardcore role-playing discarded from Final Fantasy was its cousin series SaGa. With a huge roster of characters in a branching story and vast open world, it was a demanding series but highly acclaimed by critics and gamers alike in Japan. In fact, one of its most popular titles, SaGa Frontier, was recently remastered and re-released on PlayStation4, Switch, Steam, iOS, and Android.

▼ The trailer alone takes about seven minutes to explain everything

Here to celebrate that honor is SaGa Frontier’s longstanding ally, Saga Prefecture. Thanks to their homonymous bond, the prefecture and RPG series have undergone a number of collaborations dating back to 2014, when they released a range of exquisite but occasionally exorbitant Aritayaki dishes. These frequent projects are all collectively named Romancing Saga, sharing pronunciation, but not capitalization, with the Romancing SaGa sub-series within the broader SaGa franchise.

▼ Romancing Saga includes special versions of the local Black Mont Blanc ice cream bars

Now they are teaming up for the SaGa Bath campaign, which makes more sense when you know that SaGa Frontier is often abbreviated as “SaGa Furo” in Japanese and “furo” is also the Japanese word for “bath.”

Ten new SaGa-themed manhole covers and three Aritayaki panel monuments will be installed in three of Saga’s hot spring areas: Ureshino, Takeo, and Furuyu. The ceramic panels will measure about 60 centimeters by 90 centimeters (23 inches by 35 inches) and feature artwork by SaGa Frontier artist Tomomi Kobayashi.

There will also be a very simple digital stamp rally, which only requires people to walk 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) from Saga Station to the Saga Castle History Museum. After recording the journey on Saga’s official walking app Sagatoco, and showing it to the staff at the Saga Balloon Museum, you can receive a set of stickers based on the manhole lid designs.

▼ The manholes themselves can be seen along the route

Granted, it’s not a huge incentive to head down to Saga Prefecture, but that’s partly by design with COVID-19 still a major problem in Japan.

▼ Saga recommends listening to the “Sewer” theme from Romancing SaGa and equipping a Mont Blanc ice cream for the trek

▼ “Sewer” from Romancing SaGa

“I look forward to this collaboration every time,” said SaGa creator Akitoshi Kawazu, “It’s a pity that this event has to be small due to the pandemic, but I hope people can enjoy it as much as possible.”

▼ Akitoshi Kawazu

More SaGa Bath events are also planned for later this year, when the situation hopefully improves. It’s a rather long wait for fans of the series, but on the bright side, if you start right away and work really hard at it, there’s still a slim chance of getting through SaGa Frontier by the autumn.

Source: Sports Hochi, PR Times
Images: PR Times
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