Digital Gaming

Tokyo Olympics Google Doodle is a 2-hour JRPG and it is awesome

The opening ceremony of Tokyo Olympics is at 7pm tonight! Regardless of how you feel about the Games being held at this particular time, you can’t deny that it’s still a historical landmark moment. And the epic Google Doodle to commemorate it is definitely worth the wait.

The Doodle Champion Island Games is a series of minigames representing seven of the sports at this year’s Summer Olympics. These include skateboarding and sport climbing (both of which are making their Summer Olympics debuts). The other five games are rugby, marathon, artistic swimming, table tennis and archery.

You play Lucky the Cat, who has come to Champion Island to challenge seven champions in their various sports in a bid to… what else?… bring balance to the Island.

Defeat the Oni, grand champions of rugby, by avoiding obstacles and enemies to get the ball 100m across the field:

Face off with Tengu, grand champion of table tennis, by outplaying his multiple serves:

Outscore the champion Yoichi in archery by hitting multiple targets in the same shot:

Win the marathon by outrunning the Kijimuna while also avoiding the crabs and sunbathing octopi:

Join Princess Otohime in artistic swimming. Yes, Lucky is wearing a bathing suit!

Try to reach Fukuro in sports climbing. Reach the top as fast as you can using the different handholds while avoiding the snowballs!

Find the hidden champion Tanooki in the skateboarding arena. Do tricks, get a high score and feel like you’re playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater all over again:

Before you start playing any of these games, however, you’ll be asked to choose a global team to join: Red, Blue, Green or Yellow. These are represented respectively by the Karasu (crow), the Ushi (ox), the Kappa (turtle-like demon) and the inari (fox spirit).

When you earn points, they contribute to the global team’s score. The leaderboard currently looks like this:

(As at 6pm, 23 July)

Surrounding these seven awesome minigames is a fully-developed JRPG world filled with NPCs! In addition to classic NPC dialogue, you can also get up to 22 side quests (almost all of which are variants of fetch quests) which give you more reason to explore this amazing island.

Thankfully, the fetch quests are much easier because you can fast travel using the map! Some of these quests are really fascinating and clearly a lot of thought went into them, so I won’t spoil anything. You can keep track of how many side quests you’ve completed (as well as hints to find the others) at the Trophy Room near the Champions Square.

This was heaven for a completionist like me. (Yes, this entire article is just my way of showing off my completed Trophy Room, how did you guess)

All in all, playing the game and completing all the side quests took me about 2 hours. I thought it was a really cool and fun way to get to know a little bit more about the diversity of Japanese culture, legends and mythology!

Here’s a little look behind the scenes of how this Google Doodle was made over the past two years, especially the good work of Japanese animation veteran Studio 4°C.

Peter Lin

His teenage years spent nursing a giant man-crush on Steve Rogers, the first Captain America, Peter naturally found himself drawn to many other heroes who depicted strong, manly qualities, including the honour-bound warrior Worf, first Klingon in Starfleet, and the muscular rock hard abs of The Thing.

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