One of the clever features about Grand Theft Auto franchise is seeing familiar landmarks. You enter Las Vegas, I mean Las Venturas in San Andreas and drive around in pseudo New York City in Grand Theft Auto III.
The World Ends With You pulls a similar feat except it doesn’t mask the setting. Neku’s story takes place in Shibuya, a ward of Tokyo and one of the “trendy” youth spots of Japan. I thought some of these references may be lost on North American gamers so I whipped together some screenshots of the World Ends With You and pictures of actual Shibuya.
In this picture Neku is meeting up with Shiki at the Hachiko statue. This metallic dog is actually a popular meeting place in Shibuya. It’s right outside of Shibuya station and as long as the trains are running you can see people clutching their cell phone while patiently waiting for friends. While there are other places to meet up, the Hachiko remains a popular rendezvous point despite the crowds.
This is a photo of the actual Hachiko…
… and here is a picture of the meeting spot at night.
Right past the Hachiko statue is Scramble Crossing, where thousands of people sprint past towards the stores. One of them in particular is the 109, a fashion center with floors of clothes. Women’s clothes! The 109-2 is the complex with a men’s section.
The 109 makes an appearance in The World Ends With You as the 104 department store. I’m pretty sure Square Enix chose to call the store the 104 in the game because 4 is the number for death because “shin” (death) sounds close to “shi” (four) and Neku has seven days left to live after he enters the shopping complex. The 109 is towards the left hand side if you’re exiting the train station from the Hachiko exit. Before you see it you should see a Starbucks sitting on top of Tsutaya. Instead of Starbucks the World Ends With You has Outback cafe.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this little tour of Shibuya via the World Ends With You through the limited screenshots I have at my disposal. Hopefully, understanding little details like these will make the game more enjoyable when it comes out on April 22 in North America.