On that fateful day, Mankind knew despair…
If you’ve been living under a bolder or completely missed my cosplay showcase post, Attack on Titan fever swept the world like wildfire. And for good reason! The series does a fantastic job of putting viewers in the moment.
What if you really can live that moment? That’s exactly what I did with my friend Eviefire in March.
Mankind has been ravaged by large humanoid creatures known as Titans in this series. The remainder of humanity thus retreated inside cities protected by three massive walls that extend up to 50 meters (164 feet) high. Unfortunately, the Titans still got in and started eating people. Residents were forced to flee deeper into territories beyond the inner walls.
Their only hope against flesh-eating Titans is the military:
Eren Yeager (furthest front) is the main protagonist and (SPOILERS!) he has the power to transform into a Titan and fight other Titans!
Okay. What does this all of this have to do with my own adventure?
It is the setup of Real Escape Game‘s Escape From the Walled City! This room escape game has made its way across Asia and currently has finished up its US tour through San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City.
You can guess which one I went to.
This game is an experience that takes place inside a stadium (in our case, Weingart Stadium at ELAC) . Participants are given puzzles to solve using both important items and clues to decode them. One must solve all the puzzles in order to escape and win the game.
Essentially, we – as the citizens of the walled city – must find our way through all the steps to the very end within a one hour time limit to escape the fate of becoming Titan food.
There is one more thing: Eren Yeager has been injured in his Titan form and only through solving all the puzzles can he be awakened again to seal up the wall and secure your escape.
We all lined up in rows to salute and dedicate our hearts. With over six hundred people in attendance, it was really cool to salute in unison. When the timer started, we were off!
There were no team size limits though the organizers suggested groups of 3-6. Eviefire and I decided to just tough it out ourselves. Unfortunately that was a bad idea.
We had decided to attempt the game during the hottest time of the day out of the three time slots and that day happened to be a scorcher! I feared we would die of thirst before any Titans even got to us.
The clues that hung around the entire stadium might as well have been blurred out already because we lost serious time with the first step. The larger groups were doing just fine because they could cover more area on foot.
We finally figured out the first part and ran to the ‘supply storehouse’ for the clue for the next step. We kept getting close with this one but it took us forever to get the right answer that satisfied the staff.
They all did a great job keeping the energy of the game up on such a hot day!
One really cool thing is that they actually brought over the Titan!Eren bust from the original game in Japan. Wonder what that’s like to ship that across the Pacific.
Solving Step 1 and Step 2 took up forty minutes out of sixty and a few cosplayers had already solved the whole game! Luckily, Step 3 took us only two minutes. Unfortunately, that was when the sound of approaching Titans was heard, signaling time was nearly up.
Just imagine trying to use all your braincells on an important life-or-death quiz with the steady beat of cannon fire all around you. Each sound was the sound of certain death approaching. Or at least that’s what it would be if the setting was real. And was easy to get lost in that.
The fourth step was the most difficult one since it involved using another decoder in a completely different way. We fiddled with that uselessly until time ran out.
We LOST. D:
But a lot of people ended up being on Team Eaten so we had plenty of company. In fact, under a quarter of the participants made it all the way through. Most of them were cosplayers so I suppose they dedicated their hearts the best to solving the puzzles.
But at least we got to take pictures with Eren!
And hang out with lifesize cutouts of the main characters!
I’m exactly Captain Levi’s height (5’3″ lol). Which makes me only chest-high with the dashing Captain Erwin Smith.
All in all, the game was really fun and super challenging! Other friends who attended at different times all enjoyed it as well (though they were smarter and did the other time slots). It got us moving and strategizing in ways that we normally don’t and who doesn’t love adventure?
We did kind of feel like these two afterwards though. Seriously. Hydrate before you go and take on Titans. Okay? Okay.
Would YOU be able to escape the Walled City? You can take the final exam here to get a sense of the sorts of puzzles that we had to decode
You can find out if there is an escape game near you if you found this sort of game intriguing. The genre is quickly growing in popularity and there’s no shortage of scenarios and themes. Find one that tickles your fancy, grab a few friends and make a day out of it.