Anime seems to be all over my online world right now. Maybe I’m just a massive weaboo, but with our recent coverage of Closers, Soulworker, and Peria Chronicles on the way, Japan seems to be creeping closer to home these days. Nexon, the team behind MapleStory haven’t been slow to jump on board as they unveil the MaplStory x Evangelion event.
Kicking off on February 28, the popular pixel art MMO is teaming up with the classic Japanese anime in a rather random, but cool crossover event. This includes tons of Evangelion themed rewards, quests, and battles to keep players entertained. Anybody logging in for the first time, after Feb 28, should receive a call from Dr. Kim to explain the specifics of the event. The Eva pilots and their titular mechanoids have been sucked through an inter-dimensional rift and are now trapped in the MapleStory universe. This includes Shinji Ikari, Rei Ayanami, and my own favorite Asuka Langley Sohryu. There’s no sign of Mari in her purple outfit or Kaworu Nagisa, as you find the teens tending to their Eva units in Dr. Kim’s laboratory.
It’s a plot line that easily fits any turn of the millennium anime, it makes absolutely no sense, but I’m a long-suffering Evangelion fan and that is par for the course. Rei, Shinji, and Asuka are quite accurately translated into the MapleStory universe, with on a cute Chibi facade that is especially adorable when applied to their Eva units. Characterization is surprisingly believable. Shinji is annoying, Asuka is still my personal pick of the three, and Rei is just as ambiguous and lost as fans of the series might remember. It’s a small sprinkling of flavor but giving these pixelated people some believable dialogue is a particularly endearing touch for those of us waiting for the next impact.
Players should also find a whole host of new quests and daily activities to help get these stranded Eva pilots acquainted with their new surroundings. These range from generic Eva unit repairs to tasks more suited to each pilot, and did I mention the Angel attacks?
Angels are humanities enigmatic enemies in the Evangelion universe. Massive black monsters, these seemingly indestructible entities stride across the horizon obliterating everything that stands against them, and some have slipped through with the Eva team. Every hour, Angel attacks take place in the center of town. These iconic advisories must be repelled by MapleStory’s citizens while the Eva units are being repaired.
Active players will be able to repeat these quests multiple times, earning a sizeable cache of Eva coins. These coins can be traded for a host of shiny rewards. Most notably a range of Rei, Shinji, and Asuka skins are available for your avatar. Chairs based on the Eva units and an iconic Evangelion scene between Shinji and Kaworu are also available, alongside hairstyles and Eva androids.
In the end, many of these quests are quite pointedly used to increase player engagement and keep you playing existing content. Whether it is used to incentivize players to stay logged in by holding a battery for thirty minutes, farm mobs for metal shards, or step into Monster Park to train, these do reward players active in the world. It introduces little in the way of insight or narrative, but that isn’t really the intention here. For players are regularly logging into the world, these quests act as a suitably fresh taste to regular content, and honestly, it is very cool to see an Angel stomp into town and pick a fight.
I have to be honest, I don’t play MapleStory as much as I’d like, but I am a massive Evangelion fan and that is clearly what hooked me. While MapleStory doesn’t have the same deep technical capabilities of massive open world MMORPGs, there are moments that are crafted with a clear reverence for the source material. If you want to battle Angels, the Maplestory X Evangelion event is on now.