Adventure Quest 3D is an MMORPG that I didn’t know about until last week when I found out that that the 90s metal band Korn was going to perform a digital concert in the game. Naturally, I downloaded the game, created an account, raced through the tutorial, and got ready to headbang to some beatboxing.
Korn was set to play concerts in both Adventure Quest 3D and its related 2D MMORPG, Adventure Quest Worlds, starting on August 20. I went with AQ3D because 3D seemed like the best way to truly experience Korn. Prior to the show, I could only access the lobby area outside of the concert venue by using a magical ticket, a consumable item that all players received for free to access the special event.
In the lobby I found a large crowd of players waiting for the doors to the concert to open. A clock ticked down on the large gates that kept us, the gamers, from Korn. I found Ze Mays, an NPC with a title claiming she was a “Child of the Korn,” whatever that means. She gave me a quest to destroy Thrash, the large boss enemy of the event. (He’s the big guy with a skull face and long hair behind the stage.)
Mays wasn’t just a quest giver: She was also selling backstage and VIP passes. These could be purchased for $10 and $20 real-world dollars, respectively. These would let you visit with Korn after the event. According to a press release, these passes give players access to the backstage lounge, featuring new Korn-inspired items and the band’s avatars.
Once the timer hit zero, the gates opened up and everyone rushed through and into a loading screen. A few moments later we were all in an arena filled with fireworks and wooden platforms. Just like a real concert, the main act wasn’t ready right away. Instead, we waited another few minutes for Korn to arrive.
Finally, Korn appeared, opening with one of their biggest hits, “Freak On A Leash.” I should clarify that I am not a Korn fan at all, but I do like rock music, so I enjoy “Freak On A Leash.” Before the song started, lead singer Johnathan Davis spoke via a recorded message. He hyped up the crowd and referenced the fictional world of Adventure Quest 3D. It was strange to see a band from the real world play in a fictional one, but the crowd seemed to dig it, cheering in chat and emoting constantly.
During “Freak On A Leash,” big ugly monsters on leashes—perhaps the titular freaks—attacked the mob of players watching the concert. Towards the end of the song the crowd was tasked with fighting a very large freak, which the game told us was “off the leash.” The large crowd of players was very powerful, and we quickly dispatched every freak, whether they were on a leash or not.
Korn played two more songs after “Freak On A Leash.” The second song was “You’ll Never Find Me,” which is new. During the song, the large enemy boss Thrash, who had been lurking behind the band, filled the arena with smog and enemies. We then got “Ragno Rocked,” according to text that popped up. I don’t know what that means or if I feel comfortable with it, but it happened. Just as I got used to the idea of being Rango Rocked, Thrash and Korn decided to take things up a notch and more text told us we were being “Mega Ragno Rocked.” This meant that a big enemy appeared in the mosh pit, like the mega freak, and we all worked together and defeated it. Video games truly are the next great art form.
Surprisingly, Korn’s avatars had a large number of animations. Guitarists jumped and leaned; the lead singer grabbed the mic, leaned back, and shook his head. When the songs slowed down or changed, the animations would too, with the lead guitarist not playing when no guitar was playing. It was a nice touch that many players probably missed because the arena was filled with monsters and giant loot chests.
Eventually, we reached the last song, “Rotting In Vain.” It was at this point that Thrash had finally had enough of our shenanigans and decided to directly attack us using large blasts of energy. Everyone rushed the stage and started hitting him and the raised platform Korn was performing on.
Korn were true professionals: Even though dozens of players were shooting fireballs and arrows at them, they just kept playing. After a few minutes of spamming attacks from my hotbar, the evil Thrash was defeated and Korn ended the show, though they promised to return to the world of AQ3D.
After the concert, we were all transported to a small lobby filled with vendors selling merch and goodies like armor cosmetics and gear, mostly related to Korn. Those who bought a VIP or backstage pass could go meet up with the band, in some capacity, after the show.
While a lot of the event felt absurd, the people playing with me were pumped. Many left messages in chat sharing their excitement and joy. One player said this was the happiest they had ever felt while playing any game. Which seems wild to me, but hey, if you love Adventure Quest 3D and/or Korn, this was probably amazing.
I will admit I had a great time. Mindlessly killing large enemies while Korn played nearby was silly and pretty fun. Will I keep playing AQ3D? Probably not. But if another band shows up, I might swing by and jump in the mosh pit.