Square Enix announced Final Fantasy YL, but unfortunately, it isn’t a video game. Yet, it’s still something you can “play” if you’re in Tokyo between November 15th and December 27th.
Final Fantasy YL is another of the initiatives launched to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Final Fantasy series, in collaboration with JR East, the major railway company operating in Tokyo. It’s basically a stamp rally, but it does away with paper albums and messy traditional stamps.
Basically, all you have to do is to locate posters in 29 JR East stations on the Yamanote Line and at the Suica Penguin Park in Shinjuku Station, scan their QR codes, and collect thirty different characters on your smartphone. If you catch them all, you get an exclusive wallpaper.
On top of that, we also get the Final Fantasy YL Tweet Boss Battle. In fifteen locations including Square Enix facilities, atré locations, and JR East stations, you can find more posters representing Final Fantasy villains. By scanning their QR codes, you can fight them with the characters you have collected in the mobile stamp rally. The more people take part in this sort of “raid,” the faster those bosses will go down. This will also net an original wallpaper to anyone who took part in the fights. The “tweet” part is about the ability to spam Twitter to keep everyone informed of the state of each battle.
Since it’s the Christmas season, and Tokyo is all about fancy illumination, Square Enix also sponsored a special anniversary illumination at the Suica Penguin Park (which you’ll have to visit for both the mobile stamp rally and the boss battles, so you catch three birds with one stone). You can see a picture of that in the gallery, alongside a trailer, and samples of the characters you can acquire and of the bosses.
If you’re wondering “why a stamp rally?” it’s not too surprising. They’re all the rage nowadays in Tokyo, dedicated to all kinds of media. For instance, the last two times I was in the Japanese capital, I saw one dedicated to Dragon Ball and one to Sailor Moon. I ignored both because I’m lazy, but I’m told they’re super-fun to do with friends. This is rooted in a rather old tradition among Japanese railways stations, each of which has its own unique stamp, that visitors collect in dedicated albums.
If you want to know more about Final Fantasy’s 30th-anniversary celebrations, you can enjoy my report on the opening ceremony.