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Welcome to the Caves of Narshe, a site providing detailed guides, information, fanart and fanfiction related to Square's classic Final Fantasy games (and let's not forget, Chrono Trigger too!). We hope you enjoy your visit.

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A Big Week in Final Fantasy Explorers News

General Final Fantasy
We haven't talked about Final Fantasy Explorers since it was first introduced in June, and with a big batch of recently released interviews and clips we now know much more about what the game will be.

In case you've forgotten, Final Fantasy Explorers is an MMO monster hunting game (yes, think Monster Hunter) that features gameplay elements characteristic of the Final Fantasy series.

These include a recently-announced Trance system somewhat akin to that of Final Fantasy IX, a swath of famous weapons and armors from throughout the series (in fact, the game is reported to have over 500 pieces of equipment, which are created with raw materials obtained from battle), and major enemies and summons from the series who will serve as the marks players will hunt (Shiva and Ifrit have been featured in trailers, unsurprisingly, but less recent series mainstays have been confirmed as well, like Fenrir and Ramuh). Crystals are involved as well, as the things players are trying to obtain by defeating marks.

The most notable traditionally-FF element of the game is a combat system structured around jobs. Those announced so far include the Ranger, Paladin, Freelancer, Black Mage, Time Mage, Ninja, Knight, White Mage, and Monk. While developers have promised that the job structure and acquisition of abilities from other jobs won't be as rigid as in previous games, a recently announced aspect of combat, Resonance, will encourage players to use their job's abilities to work together in order to boost damage output, healing effectiveness, and other stats.

The biggest question right now is: will we see Final Fantasy Explorers in the west? A Japanese release date on the 3DS has been scheduled for December 18, but nothing has been said officially for other markets. While the name "Final Fantasy Explorers" has been trademarked in the US, Square Enix has been hesitant with exporting multiplayer titles designed for handheld devices, leaving it as yet uncertain whether European and North American audiences will get a chance to play it.

Source: Siliconera, Kotaku
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Square Enix Update: Prepare for Updation

Square Enix
First off, Square Enix is bringing the MMO Dragon Quest X to the 3DS in Japan in September, adding this incarnation to PC and Wii versions. As yet unreleased outside Japan, Nintendo has in the past said that the series is unmarketable to the West... sorry, DQ fans (if you're out there).

More relevantly, Square Enix has also recently announced partnering up with Dontnod Entertainment (who did Remember Me) on a new IP called Life is Strange, to be released digitally as episodic content. While set in the generally non-fantastic environment of an Oregon community, it involves a protagonist who has a new-found, distinctly fantastic ability to rewind time. Finding an old friend missing after her own period of absence, protagonist Max (female) teams up with Chloe (...also female) to get to the root of things. The official blog announcement says that one's actions in one episode will have far-reaching effects over those to follow, saying that sometimes-surprising consequences of actions will comprise a major part of the experience. It also promises that the title will be a completely new direction for the company.

In company news, Square Enix has announced a new press... system, Square Enix Presents Japan. I use 'system' instead of conference because it isn't exactly clear yet how it will function; with its first "episode" on August 25th, its second on August 28th, and additional episodes expected sometime after, it seems more like a semi-regular company update. Each program will involve staff from the title(s) in question and feature inside looks into their concept, development process, etc. According to the Square Enix blog announcement, the focus will be mostly on providing in-depth information rather than new announcements, but that both can be expected. The original post seems to suggest that coverage will also be made available to American audiences as well, though how is unclear.

The first of these will focus on Bravely Second, and is expected to reveal new information about that title as well as a sense of the Bravely series as a whole. The second will focus on Square Enix's Extreme Edges team, which publishes Western/violent games in Japan (like Kane & Lynch or Modern Warfare). Final Fantasy Explorers will be the subject of the third scheduled program - as well as our next newspost sometime tomorrow!
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Redefining Retro: The CoNcast Episode 25

I looked, once upon a time, and discovered that it had been weeks since we'd done a CoNcast. Then, I forgot about it. Later, I looked again to discover it had been three freaking months since we'd done a CoNcast, and that was just not acceptable.

So, here's episode twenty-five of the CoN podcast for you. This time around, our panel is reviewing the subjectivity of "retro" gaming, particularly as it relates to Final Fantasy. The idea of what makes a Final Fantasy game "retro" is something that can change based on your own experience or lack thereof with the series, and to address that, we talk not only about what makes particular games in the series retro to our minds, but also what we as gamers can do to communicate effectively about the series to those who have a different perspective.

Do you agree with our thoughts on what makes a Final Fantasy a retro game, or which games fall into that bucket? What other games give you the feel of a classic, retro FF? Draw your own conclusions by listening to the newest CoNcast now!

Source: The CoNcast Subscription Feed, The CoNcast on iTunes, This Episode
Posted in: CoNcasts

Dragon Quest IV Released for Mobile

Dragon Quest
Dragon Quest IV was the final game of the series to be released for the Famicom, back in 1990. Since then, it's been released in Japan on the Playstation, and in all territories again for the Nintendo DS, receiving the typical graphical and other enhancements along the way. The game's humble origins but number of remakes and ports would seem to make it a prime candidate for a new mobile release, and that's just what has just happened.

The game tracks closely to the most recent remake, and becomes the second Dragon Quest game released for mobile devices, after VIII. The game is listing in the States at $14.99 for both iOS and Android platforms.

Also, check out that website. So many images.

Source: Dragon Quest IV Official Site

Theatrythm Contest and FFXIV Free Trial

General Final Fantasy
As part of their larger Legacy of Music Campaign and as promotion for Theatrythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call, which will be available for the 3DS starting September 16th (September 19th in Europe), Square Enix will be hosting a Legacy of Music Contest. The object of this contest is to produce an arrangement / performance of the series Main Theme (yes, this 'main' theme) using whichever musical instruments or not-instruments you so choose. The winner will receive a trip for two to a Distant Worlds concert, "AND MORE!" Check out the submission guidelines if you're interested, and if you win, don't forget who wrote the newspost that inspired you :D

In addition, Square Enix has announced a free 14-day trial for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. There are some limitations involved of course (you cannot exceed level 20, for instance), but for anyone who has wanted the chance to poke around A Realm Reborn, here's your chance. The only eligibility requirement is that you have not purchased the game before (or participated in Beta), but you can transfer a character created during the free trial to the full version of the game, should you decide to upgrade.

Posted in: Square-Enix News

Final Fantasy Explorers Announced for 3DS

General Final Fantasy
This week's issue of Jump Magazine revealed a new Square Enix title for the Nintendo 3DS handheld, Final Fantasy Explorers.

Final Fantasy Explorers will be a multiplayer action-RPG. We don't know a whole lot about the game yet, and other than that, what we do know is fairly stereotypical for Square Enix: you search for crystals, select from various Jobs as the main strategy element, and fight familiar summons from throughout the series. Nobody pulled any muscles coming up with that concept!

The Black Mage, White Mage, Monk, and Knight were all revealed in the Jump article each occupying their accustomed combat roles, while other traditional Jobs from throughout the Final Fantasy series are promised to follow. Ifrit was the only summon revealed, but the article again assured that he would be accompanied by other well-known summons(/espers/eidolons, if you prefer) from throughout the Final Fantasy series.

Interestingly, I don't believe anything about Explorers has been shown yet in Square Enix's live-streaming E3 conference. Perhaps it's just too early on in development; or perhaps something will show up tomorrow?

Source: Siliconera
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Type-0: Pulled the Trigger too Fast!

E3 Expo
I posted earlier today about Type-0 being localized, and how Square Enix sneaked that news into the end of their announcement trailer for Final Fantasy Agito. None of us were aware, though, that the Type-0 news there was actually not the big one of the day: the company just announced that this game, AWOL for so long, will actually appear on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One.

The new version will be in HD, of course, but absolutely no other details have been released, including whether the original handheld version will be localized now, or not. Naturally, this is causing some distress among some who clamored for the original game to be released, as they seem to feel betrayed by the fact that the game they asked for will not be on a console they currently own.

This has been a whirlwind first day of E3, so don't be surprised if more details are yet to emerge!

Edited to add: OK, so I probably should have figured this out from the first post. I guess I was really too quick on the trigger, eh?

Source: Square Enix

Ain't Nothing But A G-Bike

E3 Expo
Turn everything off, pack everything up, the news for which we've been waiting all our lives is finally here: G-Bike, the mini-game from Final Fantasy VII, is going to be released for your mobile (both iOS and Android) devices. The game will be free to download with available in-app purchases, but no release date has been set.

The classic mini-game is completely re-imagined, however: in addition to a considerably spiffier appearance, the video posted on the Square Enix blog (source link below) shows a number of additional moves. Apparently you can customize your bike and/or weapon and/or character, level-up, and obtain items. We are also assured that, in addition to new enemies and old, there will be boss battles featuring familiar favorites.

We'll continue updating news as we hear it for the rest of E3, so keep checking in! Or as always, if you're already watching coverage yourself, drop by CoNchat to join in on the assorted heckling / joy-squealing!

Source: Square Enix
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Agito and Type-0 Confirmed for the West

E3 Expo
Quick E3 update for you all: the headline says most everything. Final Fantasy Agito has been confirmed for iOS and Android outside of Japan; both versions will be free-to-play with IAP - big surprise.

The real big surprise, though, is that Square have finally heard enough of petitions and tweets: Final Fantasy Type-0 is now confirmed to have a future Western release, with localization underway. As yet, there is no further information.

Just a quick one to move you on down the road today. Maybe we'll get more soon!

Source: Square Enix

Square Enix News Tidbits: More Good News, Bad News

Square Enix
Theatrhythm: Curtain Call is making a splash with its large tracklist and new game modes, so it's no surprise that this week's announcements are also building interest. The Western release date is now confirmed to be September 16th of this year, a shade over four months away. Possibly even bigger news for you guys waiting for it is the fact that apparently the Collector's Edition, including special packaging, a 3DS case, a lot of music and some collectible cards, will have a limited edition of only 5000. This edition is only available through Square Enix' online store, but it's not clear if that number is only for the United States or all of North America. If you want it, you better get your preorder in immediately.

We've mentioned a couple times already that E3 is on the way; Square is giving a mixed bag before it starts, though. Starting with the bright side, there's a new trailer for Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix. Sure, it's just a trailer, albeit with the official release date (December 2, 2014), but Kingdom Hearts fans will be most intrigued by the end: it's the most specific confirmation yet that Kingdom Hearts 3 is in development, and it talks a bit about what might be included. A couple comments at Kotaku imply that there are a couple frames of what appear to be HD versions of Dream Drop Distance, too.

OK, time for the downside of the E3 news, sorry. The next Famitsu has an interview with Shinji Hashimoto that explicitly states that there will be nothing for either Kingdom Hearts III or Final Fantasy XV at the show this year. In development, sure. Anything worth showing to fans? Apparently not!

Source: Square Enix, Kotaku

News Archive

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