If you’ve ever been to Japan before, especially the Tokyo area, you’ve almost 100% ridden on a JR-East train. Be it the Yamanote Line, the Chuo Line, the Saikyo line, etc. Inside the trains, above the doors, there are video screen which shows a variety of different information such as; what the next stop is, how far until a certain station, and a number of ads which companies use to promote their products. But another thing they’re used for is little quizzes that help you pass the time that you’re riding the train. Japan Rail is no stranger to doing collaborations with various IPs with their trains either. About once every 10 minutes or so, a quiz will play as part of a rotation, and these quizzes are usually put on by Nintendo and their various characters such as the characters from Animal Crossing or other properties that the company owns. To celebrate the 35th anniversary of Mario, Nintendo is teaming up with JR to put a “Rescue Luigi” quiz game on select JR lines which will help riders pass the time but also celebrate Mario’s anniversary.
The quiz is officially called “60 Second Challenge! Rescue Luigi!!” and positions a quiz question on the screen while Luigi is held captive by Bowser in a cage suspended over treacherous lava. There is no sound and you really can’t interact with the quiz aside from answering it in your head, but you will have 60 seconds to read the question and make your choice from 3 answers which will be corresponded by 3 “?” blocks.
Once the quiz time is up, Mario will pick the correct answer and Luigi will be freed from Bowser’s captivity leaving him in a depressing sulk. Each Monday, the quiz will be updated to display a new question and likely a new animation from Mario, Bowser, and Luigi. I took a ride on a JR line today and much to my amazement, the quiz is already live on the trains. It’ll be interesting to see how long this will continue for and what kind of trivia Nintendo has in store for JR train riders.