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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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Square Enix' Glorious PC Future: The CoNcast Episode 28


Podcast
We've covered it in CoN news for quite some time, but Square Enix has been making inroads for quite a while in the Windows space both as a developer and as a massive company who own lots of smaller fish also publishing for PC gamers.

For a long time, the company treated the PC as a bit of a wasteland, at least in terms of the flagship Final Fantasy franchise, with no games released for Windows for many years; now, though, the company is experiencing a renaissance on the platform with the two rereleases of Final Fantasy VII followed closely on by iOS 3D ports and the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy.

So, in this installment, the CoNcast team hits the highs and the lows of Square Enix gaming on the Windows platform as well as what might be coming in the near future. Get your Steam wishlists ready for the Final Fantasy games we'll talk about today!

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

More Time with Tabata and Type-0


General Final Fantasy
It seems like only the day before the day before yesterday we remarked at Hajime Tabata making the media rounds to promote Final Fantasy Type-0 (and, ever-so-slightly, Final Fantasy XV), and already there's more to report.

Square Enix has released a video comparing the graphics of the original Type-0, released in Japan in 2011, with the HD version we all will see in just a couple months. You can watch the video here: it's quite an impressive upgrade across the board, from character models to environments and from menus to battle movement.

You'll notice in the video that the audio playing is the famous Final Fantasy theme. This observation leads to the next news of the hour, an interview with Siliconera in which Tabata discussed the difference between a Final Fantasy game and a Final Fantasy Type game. As we've already reported, Type-0 is currently set to be the first game in a new series of Final Fantasy Type games, owing to the huge popularity of Type-0 in Japan and the company's increasing confidence in the game's director. In speaking of Type-0, Tabata emphasized the different atmosphere and implications of teenage protagonists, as opposed to Final Fantasy XV's adult cast.

Tabata says it is hard to pin down exactly what makes a Final Fantasy game, but that despite the vagueness of the concept fans and developers who have spent a lot of time with the series are able to sense whether someone has the "Final Fantasy DNA" to lead a project. Tabata has certainly proved himself to the latter group; we will see if he can convince the former as well.

Tabata also stressed the need to do new things in both series while still maintaining a continuity of spirit between titles. He understands the Type series as being to some degree defined by its ability to try out more new things and push boundries than the main series. With FFXV, Tabata says, the balance between old and new hovers around 50-50; he continues to say that "a Type series game is 80-20. Final Fantasy Type-0 is actually 70-30." The confidence of these comments indicates that long-run plans for the Type series not only exist but are being carried out. It has yet to be determined how Tabata himself will be allocated in the future, given his present investment in both series.

Type-0 HD is set for mid-March release dates world-wide.

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

Theatrhythm Tracklist, Kingdom Hearts 3 Talk


Monster Octopus Terra
A new Theatrhythm DLC tracklist has dropped today in North America. It includes:
-- Liberi Fatali, Final Fantasy VIII (BMS)
-- Final Confrontation, Romancing SaGa 3 (BMS)
-- World Revolution, Chrono Trigger (BMS)
-- Wind Scene, Chrono Trigger (FMS)
-- Twister, The World Ends With You (BMS)
-- Calling, The World Ends With You (FMS)
Those who were upset at the lack of Chrono Trigger tracks should take heart at these additional offerings; the popularity of which would no doubt lead to more. As usual, each track will cost $.99. The next DLC is expected about a month from now, on February 19.

Kotaku spoke with Tai Yasue about Kingdom Hearts 3, which he is co-directing. Yasue said that much of the team that worked on Kingdom Hearts 2.5 - the HD remaster/"remix" released to western audiences this past December - have been also working on Kingdom Hearts 3, and that the former served as a "learning experience" for making the third installment in the series. Yasue also touched on the constraints of working with well-known and well-regulated Disney properties, saying that these posed difficulties but that nonetheless forced the team to think in creative new ways. These comments constitute some of the few hints on KH3's development since its initial announcement (our most recent news on the title can be found here and here), so hopefully they will turn out to be the prologue to more substantial information.

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

Square Enix Trots Out the New Guy


General Final Fantasy
The new king (aka director) of the core Final Fantasy franchise, Hajime Tabata, is showing up everywhere right now. As the face of the series going forward, including being the director of the next two big releases, Tabata is now the man as far as such things are concerned, and as such he's making some media rounds.

Last week, Tabata spoke to Kotaku's Jason Schreier about Type-0 HD; among the tidbits of information uncovered is the implication that the game is progressing well towards release, with the bulk of the current work being dedicated towards refining parts of the original game to be more playable and in refining the content seen previously. Even more interesting, it appears that with the help of automatic and human translators, Tabata might actually be reading what the English-language gamers are saying about is games on the internet. Does that mean he's found us? No. Probably not. Just in case, though: hi!

Schreier also pushed to get a little bit of Final Fantasy XV information on the table; while cagey, Tabata was willing to speak to trying to maintain the March date of the XV demo, and also the timeline of the switch from the Versus to the XV name. There's even a little more detail that is new - the demo for XV, when it lands, is not likely to be part of the actual game's storyline, or might be a remix of a couple disconnected sections of the final game.

That's a lot of information, of course, and it's only a snippet of the full interview. But, if it's still not enough, and you're a Redditor, you're in luck; Tabata also has planned for Friday an "Ask Me Anything" about Type-0 HD on the IamA subreddit. It kicks off at 1pm Eastern time on Friday, but Tabata's people have warned that there will be no questions about Final Fantasy XV involved.

Let us know if you're going to participate in the AMA so we can keep an eye out, otherwise watch this space for future Type-0 and XV news coming up very soon in what is certain to be a busy few months for those two properties!

Source: GameInformer, Kotaku

Nintendo Leaves Brazil


Nintendo
Nintendo announced yesterday that it will no longer distribute games or consoles in Brazil. The company cited the massive tariffs that other companies, including Sony, have previously complained of. The cost of a Wii U in Brazil is the equivalent of some 700 US dollars. This made it the least expensive of the three home consoles, but it has been vastly out-sold by the Xbox One.

CoN is posting this as news, of course, because of its relation to the company near (if not dear) to our hearts. A number of Square Enix titles are available exclusively on Nintendo, particularly for the DS - including some of the company's most well received titles of late, like Bravely Default. These, along with the Marios and Links of the world, will be unavailable to Brazilian fans at least for the immediate future.

Source: Polygon, Kotaku

New Details for Bravely Second and D's Report


Bravely Default
Japanese videogame website 4Gamer got its hands on a series of press images for Bravely Archive: D's Report. D's Report is mobile game announced at the end of December, while your humble newsposters were making rather merry. The game puts you in charge of a Librarian of the Anastasis Library, whose task is to hunt down knowledge in the form of memories stored in crystals, which are naturally guarded in dungeons and other scary places with monsters. You can see the images here, which include the main characters, some locations, and some combat. The game is supposed to release already this month in Japan for iOS and Android; no word yet on western release.

There are also a few new details on Bravely Second out this morning via a livestream event run by Dengeki. It was confirmed that Edea, one of the primary characters from the original, will show up in Bravely Second. We're not yet sure how, but this means that three of the four primary characters from Bravely Default will be making appearances.

A new job class was also announced, the Exorcist, who will have the ability to turn back the clock in battle. We haven't heard yet what else it'll be able to do (there is definitely more), but the Exorcist certainly continues the trend of Bravely games introducing unorthodox new jobs, like this here Cat Master.

There still isn't any confirmation of a western release for Bravely Second, but Tomoya Asano - the game's producer and one of its writers - joked about the game's use of accents being a future test for localization translators. If there was much doubt about whether the game would see western shores, this should help allay them. Also, it appears some characters in the game will speak fluent English. Don't worry it makes perfect sense, because they're from the moon, and everyone on the moon speaks English. Duh.

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

Kingdom Hearts 3, Or Not, Or Maybe


Square Enix
Late yesterday, the voice actor for Goofy tweeted that Kingdom Hearts 3 would be released later this year. This spawned happy squeals across the globe, but Square Enix has since responded with a tweet of their own, denying any set release date and saying "There was a Goof!"

It's hard to tell which tweet to trust. The game was announced at E3 2013, but is believed by many (as also suggested in the Goofy tweet) to have been in development for quite some time before then. This isn't a huge time window for a game like KH3, but it's certainly a possible one. Additionally, with Tetsuya Nomura relieved of his other main project (then-named Final Fantasy Versus XIII) in order to concentrate fully on KH3, it is reasonable to suggest that development has stepped up over the last year (this has certainly been the case for the now-named Final Fantasy XV). But on the other hand, we've heard just about nothing from the game's development team in last year, which would make a release within the next year seem rather unlikely.

Source: Gamespot
Posted in: Square-Enix News

New Dragon Quest Titles Hinted


Dragon Quest
The man who created Dragon Quest, Yuji Horii, has said that Square Enix is working on a number of projects leading into the series' 30th anniversary next year. This is, he says, on top of the two titles we already know plenty about: Theatrhythm Dragon Quest, akin to its Final Fantasy counterparts, and Dragon Quest Heroes, a game in the vein of Hyrule Warriors.

These comments could be a gesture towards Dragon Quest XI; while we don't know much about the next main entry in the series, it was announced this past summer (for home consoles), and Horii has mentioned on previous occasions that it is being developed simultaneously with Dragon Quest Heroes. All this makes it fairly reasonable to assume that we'll be getting news on DQXI in the near future, with a possible release in 2016. Because we all know how much Square Enix loves a good anniversary!

Another possible reference is to another Dragon Quest Monsters game, which was mentioned as being in development last summer but about which we still know nothing. In any case, this should be an active year for the Dragon Quest folks.

Source: Siliconera
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Crystal of Time Trailer, Theatrythm Tracklist, Cat


General Final Fantasy
Jump Festa (and more important, Square Enix's Japanese youtube channel) gave us our first trailer for the upcoming mobile game Final Fantasy Legends: the Space-Time Crystal, which we announced last month under the different translation "Crystal of Time." There are a few glimpses of combat which, as we already knew, will take its inspiration from the company's classic SNES RPGs - hey, that's our department! Actual footage of the game - which as its title suggests will focus on time travel - is very sparse, but includes a Behemoth and Atomos.

Additionally, we finally have the full track list for the "Second Performance" expansion for Final Fantasy Theatrhythm. These are:
"He of the Name" (Bravely Default)
"Evil Wings" (Bravely Default)
"The Serpent That Devours the Horizon" (Bravely Default)
"Horizon of Light and Shadow" (Bravely Default)
"Chrono Trigger" (Chrono Trigger)
"Ultima" (Final Fantasy 15)
"Hard to Miss" (Final Fantasy 15)
"Zero" (Final Fantasy Type-0)
"Ardent Rhythm" (Romancing Saga: Minstrel Song)
"Title Screen" (Romancing Saga 2)
"Battle #4" (Saga Frontier)
"Meridian Dance" (Secret of Mana)
This comes just after the announcement of a March 2015 Japanese release date for Theatrythm Dragon Quest. Perhaps the sad lack of Chrono tunes might be ameliorated in a similar matter sometime down the line?

Finally, there's another new job for Bravely Second, and it's a Cat Master. Yes, it involves cats. No, I don't know why.

Source: Square Enix Youtube, Polygon, Siliconera
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Big Final Fantasy XV Jump Fiesta Trailer, Details


Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV got a lot of big updates out of Jump Fiesta this weekend. A new trailer was aired at the event, featuring a new female character, a new town, a new summon, and assorted other new things: you can see the trailer in English (French subs) here. What’s even more exciting, however, is the series of comments on the trailer provided by its (still fairly new) director, Hajime Tabata.

The trailer features a new character, Cindy, who had been revealed in some screenshots earlier this week. Don't get too excited though, as she (sadly) won't have much of a role in the game's story.

The massive, uh, thing towards the end of the trailer is Titan - taking up his accustomed role as summoned monster in a truly titanic proportions. Tabata clarified that this is indeed the same size Titan will take when you summon him. Apparently, Titan will also play a big part in the story.

There is a new town featured in the trailer, a semi-tropical locale called Lestarg. This video shows a bit exploring around the new town, which is evidently quite big - but not the biggest that will be accessible within the game. There's also a "Dog Cam." I'm not really sure what's going on there, but it's cute so I'll approve for now.

Speaking to technical matters, Tabata pointed out that the clips in the trailer are seamless. Tabata said that the aim is to make the entire game transition seamlessly, but that loading time will likely be required in some places, particularly leading up to big plot cinematics.

Tabata also shared some interesting details on the game's use of time. One day is equal to an hour of gameplay, with daytime lasting some 40-45 minutes. Tabata pointed out that this means some battles will last multiple days. Eating and sleeping will be important in the game, providing stat bonuses and maintaining those bonuses, respectively. If you neglect sleep for three days, you'll start to see negative effects, and you won't be able to level up unless you take time to rest. The team appears quite excited about these elements of the game: Tabata said they hope it'll not only make the world more realistic but make the characters feel more human.

If you were unimpressed with the range of battle moves, the FFXV agrees with you: they're working to add more variety to physical battle, and look to make some big improvements to what they consider a currently-lackluster magic system (for this reason it was not shown in the trailer). Tabata stressed that while the trailer is indeed meant for advertisement (and not merely 'this is where we're at'), the team is hoping to continue improving just about everything featured in it.

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

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Caves of Narshe Version 6
©1997–2015 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

All fanfiction and fanart (including original artwork in forum avatars) is property of the original authors. Some graphics property of Square Enix.