Square has announced that Final Fantasy IX, scheduled for release this summer in Japan, will cover for CD-ROM discs. Rumor has it that Square cancelled plans for a larger game after preliminary market research indicated that the required six-inch-thick jewel cases would hinder sales. VIVI, Zidane, and company are currently slated to hit American shelves this fall, sporting a bargain-basement price tag of approximately $70.
Square will hold beta testing for its new Play Online multiplayer network in Japan this fall. The testing will focus on Final Fantasy X, the first game to use the network. Square will release beta testing kits for the PS2 and PC at the same time.
Square has also reported that both PC and PS2 players will be able to inhabit the same world. For those who prefer to play single-player, hints and tips will be available for download over the network.
Square has announced the release dates of many of their upcoming games. The dates are as follows:
Vagrant Story - May 16
Legend of Mana - June 13
Threads of Fate - July 18
Chrono Cross - August
Parasite Eve 2 - September
Final Fantasy IX - 4th quarter 2000
All of the previous games will be shown in playable form at E3, with the exception of Final Fantasy IX, which will be video only.
Atlus has updated its website with the addition of a mystery PSX RPG. The company plans on announcing the title at E3, but we can already speculate as to what to expect.
"Can anyone guess what it is?", is the teaser which Atlus asks us. It is almost definitely a continuation of a series, and since Growlanser will never see American shores, the last strong candidate is Persona 2. Everyone will find out for certain come May 11. Stay tuned.
Square will be releasing "Final Fantasy Art Museum", a collection of character art and designs by the series' creators, such as Amano, on April 14th in Japan. The Japanese gaming magazine Weekly Famitsu will be giving away 10,000 copies of this grand work through some sort off raffle contest. Unfortunately, since Famitsu doesn't allow overseas subscriptions, all of us outside of Japan are going to have to buy ours online.
There are currently plans to release three editions of the art book:
1st Edition: 144 art works from FF1, FF4, and FF7.
2nd Edition: Art from FF2, FF5, and FF8
3rd Edition: More art from FF8, FF6, and... FF9!
All books will retail for around 5250 yen, (about $40 US).
After a few weeks with very little new solid information, a smorgasbord of new FF IX information has hit the internet! It comes it the form of unofficial names and FMV renderings for the 5 remaining characters. Along with this comes information on the characters' personalities and their roles in the story. Finally, the FF IX entourage is complete!
Garnet Tail Alexandoros - She is the princess of the Royal Family. She is also the Princess that Steiner is assigned to protect. Previously believed to be Eiko, this turns out to be untrue.
Kuina Quen - Not much is known about this character still. What we do know is that he loves to eat... A LOT!
Flyer Crescent - A very powerful knight and warrior. Flyer is also very sensitive to the world around her. Hounded by a troubled past, she will evidentely have to face her demons at some point during the story.
Salamander Coral - A Warrior obsessed with his own strength and power. He seems to be very egotistical, a trait which will factor into his relations with the other characters.
Eiko Callor - Only 6 years old, Eiko is a brilliant young girl. Much like Leon in Star Ocean 2, her intelligence commands the respect of those around her.
Square and Disney dumbfounded the world as they announced their parternership which both companies promise will deliver a noteworthy gaming experience. The co-venture was announced while Square President Tomoyuki Takechi, VP Shinji Hashimoto, and character designer Tetsuya Nomura stood side by side with Disney Interactive President Jan Smith, Senior VP Steve Finney, and International VP Dave Lowrie all stood side by side. The title is slated for a worldwide mass-market release beginning in the 4th Quarter 2001 and then moving on to a 2002 North American and European release for the PlayStation 2.
Disney, long known for having a wide influence via their media outlets and movie blockbusters, deliberated before joining with Square but eventually felt that the gaming giant could help them in the creation of what will be considered unique and labeled as an "unsurpassed gaming experience." A few key factors in Disney's decision to join with Square was the reputation of the character and art designs of Square's games by character designer Tetsuya Nomura and the dominance they own on the Japanese market.
Both Disney and Square kept mum about the actual game its self in terms of storyline and characters, however, they did speculate as to the style of the game play we will be seeing. They described it as an Action/Adventure/RPG hybrid. Disney then reassured the crowd that we would all see our old Disney favorites in action. Square and Disney are also planning on making a completely original character to share the screen with Mickey and Goofy. Disney Interactive President Jan Smith went on to make a few comments in regards to the gaming market and the possible target audience. "The Japanese market is very critical on the video game industry, and its players are extremely advanced and sophisticated. Disney will share Square's expertise in this area to grow a market and expand our demographics, to appeal to an older and more demanding gamer." The executives also mentioned a few possible online capabilities as well. Though not a completely online game they mentioned things similar to what the capabilities are for Final Fantasy 10; for example the usage of an online strategy guide and other functions. Whether or not the game will use play online is still unclear at this time.
This game will however mark the fist time that any Disney character has be portrayed in full 3D style. To emphasize this a demonstration was then viewed. In accordance to this the press was then asked to shut off all recording equipment of any kind. The press was then treated to a rather sad CG display of Goofy running, and walking about on a gray background. With this less then meeting expectations of this display brought on some of the press's doubts into the SquareSoft and Disney merger. Only time will tell with this title.
Square today made it apparent that they are not going to be stopping the Final Fantasy series after number 11 hits stores next year. They have purchased 12 domain names pertaining to Final Fantasy titles 12-15. They are as follows:
ff12.com, ff13.com, ff14.com, ff15.com, finalfantasyxii.com, finalfantasyxiii.com, finalfantasyxiv.com, finalfantasyxv.com, finalfantasy-xii.com, finalfantasy-xiii.com, finalfantasy-xiv.com, and finalfantasy-xv.com
There are multiple reasons why Square has done this now before the games have even been formally announced. The most obvious reason for this timing choice would be because they just witnessed Microsoft wrestle the domain name xbox.com away from an avid fan. One would assume that in Square's mind it would be much better to spend $75 for each name now, and save the pain of prying the names away from a greedy Square fan later for thousands of dollars a peice.
The other and more exciting reason for this decision could be that the games in question, FF12-FF15, are going either in planning or already being made. This would be a huge surprise, but not a total shock. After 3 new FF games in the works for later this year and next year, it is not difficult to see how Square could already be laying groundwork for the 12th installment of the Final Fantasy series, or beyond...
What matters now is that Square has given us a sign. Perhaps it is a sign of things to come. Maybe they are just toying with their loyal fans, dangling gleaming hints at future Final Fantasy games down for all to see. Either way, Square has shown us that they have no plans to quit FF games soon. In the words of the great "Weird Al" Yankovic: "This means something, this is important..."
It has been a very interesting trip for the team, crew, and actors from Final Fantasy: The Movie. Since it was announced as a major Square undertaking in November of 1998, there has been no end to rumors and the basic request for knowlegde regarding the project. Finally, this week, A huge piece of information on the movie has been broken off. It may not be everything you want to know, but at least it should provide you with some 100% true information on the movie itself, and you can stop listening to all the rumors.
First off, The Official Movie Website has opened (at finalfantasy.com). There you will be able to find limited information on the project, 2 short trailers, and information on a mailing list for any news released on the project. To those of you that have seen the trailers, YES, that is Computer Animation. According to many sources, the animation has been so realistic that the site has recieved hundreds of emails regarding the medium for the movie. Now onto the good stuff. The complete 411, (so far), on the movie itself.
Our friends over at the GIA have been keeping an eye on this promising title for ages, and according to them, the title’s been announced for release more than once, after which it was pulled again. They speculate that the mild succes of the similar Fighter Maker has been reason for Agetec to change their minds once again and release RPG Maker at long last. It seems RPG fans with RPG creating ambitions will be able to make their dreams come true quite soon. It's going to be a stunning, fabulous and wonderful game.
Chrono Cross will get an American release in 2000. Frankly, we can't wait. Various web publications had already reported on the game’s American release, but it wasn’t until now that SNK confirmed it for release and set a date for that to happen.
According to the rumor, Square is working on yet another Final Fantasy Collection. And this time it's for real; it's set to be released for PlayStation2 and it'll contain all 8 Final Fantasy games. It'll come on a 2-DVD set sometime next year and will be announced on Square's Millennium event in January.