One of the greatest pieces of advice ever imparted by a space-faring amphibian comes directly from the Rebel Alliance's lovable but frequently surprised Admiral Ackbar. Whenever questioned about what exactly Japan's official Square Enix store is and what it represents, we feel compelled to swivel dramatically in our chairs, face the camera and blurt out, "It's a trap!"

And it's a sneaky one too. Don't march into the modest Shinjuku building expecting alarms to sound and a metal trellis to drop behind you, as the incredibly polite and professional cashiers aren't the least bit interested in capturing your body (that happens in another part of Tokyo, we hear). No, these people are silently clawing at the contents of your wallet -- and you'll find that very often the "people" are nothing more than androgynous CG citizens. If the life-sized Sephiroth trapped beneath the glass floor is pondering anything, it's the unusual business of selling real things from a fake place.

Here you'll find merchandise mined from a plethora of planets in the Square Enix universe, with every cellphone strap, shirt, figurine, lighter and necklace accounted for. If your favorite Squalls and Clouds and Soras have worn or wielded it, it's probably in a display case here with an exorbitant price tag to keep it company. Oh, and there are spoons -- yet another item meant to stir up your strange emotional attachment to places and characters that are, in reality, nothing more than reams of code and purveyors of profit.

You'll never catch us falling for it.




Well... dammit. And this was before we bought the Chocobo mugs.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.