This definitely looks like something to us: visitors at this year’s New York Comic Con can take a temporary leave of the Big Apple and enter Westworld courtesy of Westworld: The Experience, an interactive exhibit based on HBO’s hit series. Yahoo Entertainment visited the instillation during a press preview, and we were treated to the same first-class amenities that the theme park seeks to lavish upon all its guests.
Lasting about 30 minutes, our Westworld visit included the opportunity to preview the wardrobe (and weapons) parkgoers have access to, an intensive one-on-one psychological profile conducted by an experienced Delos therapist, and an intimate drinking session at the Mariposa Saloon, complete with three specially brewed beverages. (Our personal favorite: the Blue Blazer, which combines whiskey and bitters, with a dash of sugar.)
Every step in our journey was guided by a small army of “hosts” who were as dedicated to their jobs, and eager to please, as the ones who appear on the series. Questions about and references to the world outside Westworld were quickly swatted away in favor of emphasizing the various pleasures we could look forward to once we were on the Delos-created frontier. And when we asked about our desire to experience other time periods beyond the Old West, a host smiled and suggested that Delos has something for everyone. That sentiment echoes the Samurai World revelation in the first season finale as well as hints dropped by Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy that viewers might travel to Roman and Medieval times in Season 2.
Speaking of hints, a video that played early on in our Westworld tour featured short, but potent glimpses of what may happen in the show’s sophomore year, set to premiere sometime in 2018. Mixed in amidst a swirl of imagery from Season 1 was a shot of rebellious hosts plunging the face of a scientist into the white goo that these artificial humans are bathed in by their makers. And the clip ended with a scene of Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright) — last seen discovering his true identity as the second coming of Arnold Weber, and then appearing to put a bullet in his head on the orders of Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) — waking up in the Westworld desert and rising to his feet, an expression of abject confusion on his face. You and us, both Bernie.
Be forewarned: not every NYCC attendee will have a chance to experience Westworld: The Experience. It’s an appointment-only affair, and the appointment desk won’t be open around the clock. Westworld‘s official Twitter and Facebook feeds will tease the desk’s location at the convention every morning between Thursday, Oct. 5 and Sunday, Oct. 8; sign-ups will begin promptly at 9 a.m. until all available slots are filled. You’ll be glad to know that this particular delight doesn’t have a violent end: instead, you get to go home with a one-of-a-kind souvenir — your very own Westworld-branded hat personally selected for you by your aforementioned Delos psychological profiler. Based on their analysis, you’ll either be handed the white hat worn by young William (Jimmi Simpson) upon his first visit to the park, or the black one he sports later on as an aged Westworld veteran (Ed Harris). Which hat will you receive? Just like Westworld itself, the answer may surprise you.
Season 1 of Westworld is currently streaming on HBO Now. Season 2 will premiere in 2018.
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