Passport to Iron City: The world of 'Alita: Battle Angel' comes to life
600 years from now, the world has become a very different place. Three centuries gone are the Great Wars. That was when the Sky Cities all fell, taking technology with them. All, that is, but the great Sky City of Zalem. It hangs far above the Earth, inaccessible to all but the very most fortunate. It’s an impossible dream, but it’s one that nevertheless inspires the Hunter Warriors with the hope that they can win enough credits to buy them a better life.
Welcome to Iron City.
You’d certainly be forgiven if you weren’t already familiar with the world of 20th Century Fox‘s “Alita: Battle Angel”. In fact, that’s exactly how the title character enters the story. Rosa Salazar’s cyborg lead is discovered in the Iron City junkyard with total amnesia in the new film, based on Yukito Kishiro‘s manga series. The story unfolded throughout the first half of the 1990s and an “Alita” film has been gestating in the mind of James Cameron for nearly as long.
Opening this month in Los Angeles, New York and Austin, “Passport to Iron City” is a fully immersive experience that lets players enter the world of “Alita: Battle Angel”. It’s equal parts escape room and movie set, duplicating exact props and set pieces straight from Troublemaker Studios. Designed by iam8bit and The Seelig Group, the futuristic adventure unfolds over about two hours, offering physical and mental challenges that require diverse skillsets.
Whether attending alone or as a group, players are divided into teams of six. You might want to join a group of people you know, but there are also advantages to being randomly assigned. Part of what makes “Passport to Iron City” such a fun experience is that, even though you’re playing on a team, certain puzzles have the potential to bring you in contact players from any other team, increasing the scope of the imaginary world to an impressive degree.
Players begin in the Kansas Bar where the assemble over the 45 minutes leading up to the main event. You’ll want to arrive early, though, as the bar holds a lot of clues that can pay off later in the game. What’s more, the bar is fully functional and each of the three national locations boasts a different exclusive craft beer from Three Weavers Brewing. Sit down with your team and strategize or speak with the locals. They’re full of interesting tips!
When the gameplay begins, teams are led to the Iron City marketplace, 12,000 square foot living, breathing realization of the Iron City marketplace in the film. The in-world characters will guide your team to your first game, but the experience becomes very free-flowing from there on out. There are challenges designed to stimulate every sense and to accommodate a variety of different skillsets. There is a ticking clock and a massive scoreboard that stays up to date with whatever team is earning the most credits, but “Passport to Iron City” makes sure everyone is having a good time and receiving some really cool in-world treasures along the way.
You can click here to visit Passport to Iron City yourself by reserving tickets for Los Angeles (beginning January 23), New York (beginning January 26) or Austin (beginning January 29). The “Alita” movie, meanwhile, is set to hit theaters on February 14th with a cast that includes, in addition to Rosa Salazar in the title role, Christoph Waltz as Ido, Jennifer Connelly as Chiren, Mahershala Ali as Vector, Ed Skrein as Zapan and Keean Johnson as Hugo.