Seems like a great excuse to visit Osaka in 2018.
In 2015 Universal Studios Japan (USJ) started their wildly successful Universal Cool Japan initiative as a way to promote some of Japan’s biggest entertainment properties and help drum up business for the Osaka based theme park. This ongoing program has resulted in a number of interesting attractions based on some of the most popular anime (Attack on Titan, Neon Genesis Evangelion) and video game (Monster Hunter, Resident Evil) franchises around.
January 2018 will mark the start of the fourth edition of the Universal Cool Japan program and just last week, the park announced that they will be unveiling an attraction based on one of the most influential and beloved video game franchises of all time, Final Fantasy.
The new attraction will be a mixed VR-roller coaster called Final Fantasy XR Ride. As evident in the name, the ride will employ the same “XR” technology that was used for the Neon Genesis Evangelio ride.
Commercial for the Evangelion XR ride.
Final Fantasy XR Ride will take riders on an exciting journey through the video game’s 30 years of history. Riders will warp between many of the worlds that have appeared in the franchise’s 15 mainline games.
Although exact details about the ride’s story have yet to be released the promotional material makes it clear that riders that go on this VR Final Fantasy adventure will encounter many of the series’ most popular characters, including (but not limited to) Cloud Strife from the fan favorite Final Fantasy VII, Squall from Final Fantasy VIII, Cecil from Final Fantasy IV, Terra from Final Fantasy XI, Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII, Tidus from Final Fantasy X, and Zidane from Final Fantasy IX,
The ride is being developed jointly by USJ and Square Enix, whose talented graphics department, Visual Works, will be providing the beautiful and fully immersive Final Fantasy based visuals for the ride.
Additionally, famed artist Yoshitaka Amano, who is known in part for his extensive work on the Final Fantasy series, has created an original logo for the ride and Final Fantasy XR Ride goods featuring his original artwork will also be available for purchase at the park.
Final Fantasy XR Ride logo by Yoshitaka Amano
Final Fantasy XR Ride is set to open on January 19, 2018.
USJ will also be opening a limited time attraction based on the popular anime series Sailor Moon as part of Universal Cool Japan 2018. However, that attraction is not set to open until spring of next year.