The Tales of series is growing in popularity worldwide, but there is always room for more! As a part of the German fan community, my brother and me have been working on contests and events from fans for other fans.
Starting with a mixed cosplay and quiz contest in 2013 we went from in-game coliseum time trials in the following two years combined with other minigames like Carta. This year, we set up a fan booth dedicated to Tales, accessible for two full convention days with a contest in form of a little scavenger hunt.
This is a report about our Tales of Fan booth at DoKomi 2016, held from 30.04.-01.05. in Düsseldorf, Germany. We shared some impressions of the booth on twitter, but let’s talk about it in some more detail.
The majority of our allocated space was used for showcasing several Tales of series related items like the Japanese Limited Edition of Tales of Zestiria and some scaled figurines of the game. You might spot some European exclusives as well 😉
We also brought over some printed books from our personal collection, like the Tales of Xillia guidebook and several issues of the Viva Tales of Magazine among others. Pictured in the lower left is a self-made photo album comprised of Tales of cosplay photos. Since it’s originally supposed to be my personal album, it only features friends of mine. While the majority may be German, I also asked friends from countries all over the world, like Finland and Singapore if I could include them. It’s thanks to the Tales of series that I got the chance to know or even meet them!
But there is more to the fan scene than cosplay, so on the opposite site of the tables a folder with fanart was ready to be peeked at. For this one I received support from a few German artists like Yuli, but also from the Portuguese artist Kairih, who previously wrote about her art on the blog, and the Asian artist Monicanico whose artwork you can see on the following picture.
I left some empty pages in the back to be used as some kind of guestbook, but most visitors tend to not have the time to spend a longer time at the booth. The same unfortunately went for the mini games I had prepared, which were only borrowed to play with once during the whole weekend: a physical version of Tales of Graces’ Magic Carta and a taboo game about all kinds of Tales specific terms. The latter has kindly been provided to me by Daidairo, but I intend to add some more cards to it in the future. You may have been wondering about the big message board in the first picture. It’s a simplified replica of the quest board of Tales of Xillia 2 and didn’t just serve the purpose of being some kind of landmark.
It was advertisemental space for the English and German speaking Tales of Communities Abyssal Chronicles and Tales of Pikohan and also had some fun stuff like the wanted and missing person poster. But its main purpose was to be an actual quest board for the aforementioned scavenger hunt which I will be explaining a bit later. First our true landmark, which was kindly lent to us by the German branch of Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe!
Our booth was located right next to the entrance of a sub stage and the Tales of Berseria scroll was easy to spot at the intersection of the paths. Many took the opportunity to sneak a picture with it.
Now, back to the quest board. Upon registering for the hunt, which was set to be cleared within a two hour timeframe on Saturday only, participants would receive a stamp card and an agent badge (I didn’t make it mandatory to actually wear it, but most people did anyway 😉 )
I put up several snippets across the board (in both English and German) that acted as hints for when and where you had to visit a certain place. Of course the texts were made to sound like real requests from Tales characters. I think most people’s favorite was this one Information about the mysterious item shop K.
While it’s supposed to be a regular store within the district of trade, unusual people are seen hanging around there at specified times. It is said that they secretly train alchemists, mages, witches and ninja. Recently even the Chosen of Mana seems to have been spotted nearby! I heard from a confidential source that the gates to the secret hour only open during 3:00PM and 5:00PM. The key color is supposedly orange, although I unfortunately don’t know what that is about. My face is too well known, that’s why I want you to investigate. Bring back some kind of proof that you were able to visit the shop at the given time and you will be rewarded greatly. Customer: Brother Tigerfestival.
This and another hint led to other booths at the event, which were marked by a small “Quest station” sign. For these we received support by the merchandise shop Figuya and the German publisher of the Tales of Symphonia anime KSM Anime. Many thanks to them!
Two more stamps could be collected by finding the requested characters (cosplayers) in a designated area at a certain time. The hints for these may have been quite difficult if one didn’t play Tales of Xillia with their full attention 😉
I myself and my friend PaperViolin who offered to help me while I was preparing for the contest, acted as “walking stamp stations”. Thanks again! (I’m Agria and she is Leia :3)
The fifth stamp could be received by taking a small pop quiz and the last one was basically just proof of completion of the quest. The initial amount of participants was around 18. Among them were only a few Tales of cosplayers (most interestingly a young Velvet (Reddish brown clothes)! Unfortunately I realized this too late and didn’t take a picture of her).
Out of those, eight were able to finish their stamp cards. The quiz scores decided the final placement of those who finished. If the scores were the same, I’d have my brother draw names. As in previous years, the prices for the contest were provided by Bandai Namco Entertainment, and they were gorgeous as usual!
Our three grand winners received a Tales of Zestiria Sorey 1/8 Scale figure by Kotobukiya!
The picture doesn’t do their overjoyed faces of that time justice, but I still remember them vividly.
The remaining winners could choose among some other goodies like Tales shirts, Zestiria brooches etc. I forgot to take a picture immediately, which is why one person who had to leave right away is not pictured… You’ll recognize one of the previous winners on the following picture again (or maybe even as the second Tales of Ambassador? ;3). She joined the others for a commemorative picture.
Soon after day one ended officially. For the second day, no elaborate activities had been planned, but the showcased items could still be looked at freely!
Due to personal circumstances, I left the booth up to my brother for the majority of the day. Thankfully, he received support by the current Tales of Ambassador Koyoyo and our friend Suyo who were cosplaying as Asbel and Pascal on this day.
Tales fans visiting the booth were as different as they could have been, from those who had played lots of titles or replayed their favorites repeatedly to those who had just started out but showed great interest in the series. More people took the time to just chat with the people tending to the booth and some would even return just to talk about their favorite series more.
As a closing word, I’d like to thank all the supporters and participants again for their help, enthusiasm and mutual enjoyment. I wanted to do something like a scavenger hunt for years but didn’t really get the chance to. It was supposed to be a bit bigger but some things were difficult to plan in advance, I hope to be able to improve this among some other faults pointed out to me in the future. I also received lots of positive feedback and this, as well as the happy smiles of people enjoying themselves, are what keeps us going to invest our private time and money into community events like this. In whatever form it may be, let us meet again next year at DoKomi!
PS: Germany tends to have lots of Tales of cosplayers at bigger cons but even considering that the amount of Tales of cosplayers at DoKomi this year was extraordinarily high. The following pictures only a few of the cosplaying fans present throughout the two days.