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In Fairy Tail chapter 269 during the Grand Magic Games arc, there is an event called Hidden.

The participants are transported to different locations inside a giant city.

They have to find an attack each other using either a physical or magical attack.

The participant who successfully lands an attack earns a point, which gets deducted from the attacked participant.

Now comes the tricky part: The city gets filled with clones of the participants, and they will now have to hide between the clones and try to find the original ones. Because if a participant attacks a clone, he or she loses a point.

I find this very similar to multiplayer games such as Assassin's Creed where you have a target hiding between NPCs and you have to guess which one it is based on its behavior (e.g. if he acts in a strange suspicious way).

So is there some origin to this game concept?

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The origin is literally impossible to trace. At best, we'll see who implemented this idea first but it could have been thought of a long time ago or done in many things that we don't have knowledge of. Hiro Mashima (the manga-ka) might be able to say where he got this or why he decided on this but its not exactly a rare idea to do this. Its pretty much a simple twist on a "zero sum" kind of game. I'm almost certain that Assassin's Creed was not the first to do this.

Come to think of it, in earlier chapters of Fairy Tail, Mashima used to scribble "Mashima's ramblings" in the gaps or sides of the page. From these "ramblings", we know Hiro Mashima does play video games (and at the very least, owns a PS3). So even if Assasin's Creed multiplayer was not the first to implement this system, there is some offchance that Mashima got the idea from playing that game.

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As far as the origin of the concept is concerned, I think only Hiro Mashima can tell!

Not only Assassins Creed but many other games have this kind of concept. It's actually a very simple concept where you picture yourself as a wanted person and try to hide in the crowd around you.

Hiro Mashima just made it more exciting by cloning the contestants and making it way more difficult to find the right person.

So what I can answer is that he must have combined the concept of Hiding and the concept of Shadow Clones from Naruto!

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