Square Enix has announced a promotional campaign with Amazon for North American Final Fantasy XIV players bringing some familiar-looking “Eastern Journey” items to the game. Players will be able to acquire an “Eastern Journey Battle Staff” (lancer/dragoon weapon), a “Flying Cumulus Mount” to ride atop, as well as general “Eastern Journey Attire” to wear. These items were originally exclusive to Chinese players, and are finally making their way out to more international players.
The items obviously draw inspiration from Journey to the West, the 16th century Chinese novel detailing Xuanzang’s pilgrimage to India for sacred scrolls. Along the way, the priest meets and befriends various monsters, including the self-proclaimed Monkey King himself (Sun Wukong, read in Japanese as “Son Goku”). The novel’s “Compliant Golden-Hooped Rod” served as the inspiration for Son Goku’s Nyoi-bō, while the character’s “somersault cloud” technique served as the inspiration for Kinto-un.
We currently maintain a small “Kanzenshuu” free company (guild) on the game’s Midgardsormr server for those interested in playing along. The game now features a free trial up to level 35.
Various other video games have included Journey to the West homages, from Sleeping Dogs‘ Monkey King pack, to multiple MOBAs’ Wukong-esque characters, up through Enslaved: Odyssey to the West‘s total re-imagination of the story in a post-apocalyptic setting.
Check out Episode #0249 of our podcast for a crash-course in Dragon Ball‘s various connections to Journey to the West. For a brief overview of other Journey to the West adaptations in anime and manga, check out the “Journey West!” article in our 30th anniversary magazine.