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Welcome to the Caves of Narshe

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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Latest News

Square Enix to Sell Western Studios; Files Several Trademarks


Square Enix
Square Enix is due to sell studios Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montreal, and Square Enix Montreal to Embracer Group for an estimated $300 million USD. The deal still needs regulatory approval, but once given, should be finalized sometime between July and September of this year.

This sale will mean Square Enix will no longer own the properties of Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, and Legacy of Kain, along with a back-catalogue of more than 50 games. Crystal Dynamics is already working on a new Tomb Raider game.

Square Enix has said that this deal was made so they could invest in fields including blockchain, AI, and the cloud.

In unrelated news, Square Enix registered several new trademarks recently. These trademarks include Fear Effect and Relic Strike. The former was a game released by Eidos in 2000 for the original PlayStation, so there is speculation the series is about to be revived.

Other recent trademarks filed include Valkyrie Profile and Lenneth, which might indicate those games are to make their way to PS Plus Premium subscription.

Source: The Verge, PCMag, MP1ST

Distant Worlds Announces Final Fantasy 35th Anniversary Concert Series


Distant Worlds
Distant Worlds has just announced a new concert series for the 35th Anniversary of Final Fantasy. Entitled FINAL FANTASY 35th Anniversary Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY Coral, this series will feature a track list specially curated by Nobuo Uematsu. Little else is known at this stage, including what "Coral" represents, and so far no special guests have been announced. The dates for the series are as follows:
  • Tokyo, Japan: 06 Aug 2022
  • Tokyo, Japan: 07 Aug 2022
  • Hyogo, Japan: 13 Aug 2022
  • Hyogo, Japan: 14 Aug 2022
  • Chicago, IL: 10 Sep 2022
  • Pittsburgh, PA: 20 Sep 2022
  • Los Angeles, CA: 24 Sep 2022
  • London, UK: 01 Oct 2022
  • London, UK: 02 Oct 2022
  • Fort Worth, TX: 12 Nov 2022
  • Boston, MA: 19 Nov 2022
  • Bangkok, Thailand: 17 Dec 2022
  • Bangkok, Thailand: 18 Dec 2022
  • New York, NY: 07 Jan 2023
  • New York, NY: 08 Jan 2023
  • Nashville, TN: 25 Jan 2023
  • Barcelona, Spain: 03 Feb 2023
  • Paris, France: 25 Feb 2023
  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands: 03 Mar 2023
  • Orlando, FL: 10 Mar 2023
  • Orlando, FL: 11 Mar 2023


Source: Distant Worlds Official Site

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwaker Wins More Awards at SXSW


A Realm Reborn
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker continues to rack up the awards, taking three awards at SXSW this weekend.

The first award was for Excellence in Narrative: awarded to the game with the best storyline and dialogue. The other nominees in that category were:
  • Deathloop — Arkane Lyon / Bethesda Softworks
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits — Ember Lab
  • Lost in Random — Zoink Games / Electronic Arts
  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy — Eidos-Montréal / Square Enix

The second award was for Excellence in Original Score. It was Masayoshi Soken's celebratory tweet that alerted this reporter the awards were happening this weekend! Other nominees in this category were:
  • The Artful Escape — Beethoven & Dinosaur / Annapurna Interactive
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits — Ember Lab
  • The Medium — Bloober Team
  • Wytchwood — Alientrap Games / Whitethorn Games

The final award was for Video Game of the Year. SXSW's description for this award states: awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a distinct gaming experience across all platforms and genres. Other nominees in this category were:
  • It Takes Two — Hazelight / Electronic Arts
  • Psychonauts 2 — Double Fine Productions / Xbox Game Studios
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart — Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Resident Evil Village — Capcom

Congratulations to the Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker team for the well-deserved awards! For those readers who may be interested in starting their own journeys in Eorzea: the Final Fantasy XIV Free Trial is now active again and lets you play through all of A Realm Reborn and its first expansion, Heavensward.

Source: SXSW Official Site

Square Enix Launches Music Channel on YouTube


Square Enix
We're a few days late with this news: Square Enix has launched a music channel on YouTube, featuring over 5,500 songs from its video game collection.

The channel has reached 66.7k subscribers in the past few days. All fifteen main games in the Final Fantasy series are covered, along with other of the company's franchises. You'll find soundtracks for the SaGa, MANA, Chrono, and NieR series as well as other titles.

The channel includes an introductory video, which you can view here:
Source: GameRant
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Two New Square Enix Titles Revealed During Sony's State of Play


Square Enix
Sony's State of Play stream just ended, and we saw some updates and new reveals from Square Enix.

First up was a very brief look at Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. The game is set to release on March 18th, 2022, and a new playable demo drops today.

The next look we saw was for Forspoken, which recently had its release date pushed back to October 11th, 2022. They showed off a lengthy gameplay trailer, which you can see here:
Finally, the half-hour long presentation ended with reveals for two new Square Enix games.

The first shown was The Diofield Chronicle, which is described on PlayStation's official YouTube channel as "An all new Tactical RPG [..] introducing the new "Real-Time Tactical Battle". It's due to come out this year. Here's the trailer:
The final reveal was Valkyrie Elysium, another new game releasing this year. Take a look at it here:
Source: PlayStation YouTube Channel
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Square Enix Launch 35th Anniversary Final Fantasy Site


Square Enix
Square Enix have just launched a new microsite in the run-up to the 35th anniversary of the original Final Fantasy's launch in Japan, which will be on December 18th of this year. It's quite limited in content so far, though they did publish the site for both English-speaking and Japanese audiences. So far, it mainly has a message from Yoshinori Kitase and links to a couple Final Fantasy-adjacent games coming soon, Chocobo GP and Stranger of Paradise.

With nine months left until the actual anniversary date, the site promises more to come so there's a wide variety of things that could show up. Possibly even more Final Fantasy XVI news?

Source: Final Fantasy 35th Anniversary Special Site (English)
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker Wins D.I.C.E. Role-Playing Game of the Year


A Realm Reborn
The D.I.C.E. award winners have been announced, and Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker has won the award for Role-Playing Game of the Year. Other nominees in the category were Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, Shin Megami Tensei V, Tales of Arise, and Wildermyth.

Endwalker was also nominated in the Online Game of the Year category, but lost out to Halo Infinite.

The D.I.C.E. awards are voted on by industry members -- those who develop the games themselves -- and the Academy boasts a membership of over 30,000 members.


Source: Game Reactor, Interactive.org

Michael-Christopher Koji Fox working on the localization of Final Fantasy XVI


Final Fantasy XVI
A bit of Final Fantasy XVI news leaked out during last night's "Letter from the Producer LIVE" for Final Fantasy XIV: Michael-Christopher Koji Fox, who has been translating Final Fantasy XIV for quite some time now, is also now working on the translation for Final Fantasy XVI.

Along with being one of the translators at last year's Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest, Koji Fox has also written the lyrics to the some of the most beloved songs from XIV, including To the Edge.

More news about Final Fantasy XVI is due to be released this spring.

Source: Final Weapon
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Square Enix Show Big at First 2022 Nintendo Direct


Nintendo
Nintendo did their first Direct presentation of the year on Thursday evening, and Square Enix were a big part of it, with no fewer than six games/series being shown, starting with two that are coming in just a few weeks. Triangle Strategy is first up, with the game's release coming in just a few weeks on March 4. There's now a new demo that includes the first three chapters, and will allow savedata to carry over to the full release for those who try it out.

Chocobo GP is releasing just after Triangle Strategy, on March 10, and Nintendo opened preorders as part of Nintendo Direct. Nintendo talked a little bit about the first "season" of the game, describing the multiplayer rewards that players can earn by competing in the game's featured 64-player bracketed tournaments. The description is a little hard for me to follow, but it looks like you can start with the Lite version of the game and still collect rewards, and also can pay real money for additional rewards opportunities. That part doesn't sound as great.

There were rumors of a Chrono Cross remaster pretty recently, and this Direct made it official, with a release of Chrono Cross coming to Switch on April 7. It looks to track somewhat to some other remasters, with Final Fantasy IX coming immediately to mind for me, as the new version will have some enhanced graphics (but not all) and enhanced music, and some built-in trainers for users who would like a boost through the game. The "Radical Dreamers" text-based adventure will also be included, in its first official release outside of Japan.

Additionally, the first two Front Mission games are coming to Switch in the near future; the first will release sometime this summer, while the second has no release window as yet. The first game wasn't released in the United States until a Nintendo DS version, and the second has never come to the West officially until now. And speaking of, now for the first time, LIVE A LIVE will also be exiting Japan, releasing worldwide for Switch on July 22. And, finally, if you haven't ended up with Kingdom Hearts yet, the online-required Cloud version of Kingdom Hearts: Integrum Masterpiece also released during Nintendo Direct, offering all the games in a single purchase streamed online.

And as one final aside, the delayed release of Final Fantasy VI Pixel Remaster got its new release date: it will now be out on February 23. Thanks to Folklore for that reminder!

Source: Gematsu, IGN

CoN Performance Improvements


Caves of Narshe Site News
It's been quite a long time since I've had anything good to talk about with CoN progress. I'm still trying! I promise! So, with that in mind, I do have a little bit to talk about today that probably isn't the most exciting for most of you reading this but hopefully will still help you enjoy your CoN experience just a bit more.

Starting this past weekend, I've shifted a big chunk of the CoN website into an Amazon Cloudfront CDN. This should mean pretty much nothing to you readers out there - if I did my job correctly - but it does have some potential benefits. For one, the site should load faster now, particularly in the case of the images we use in our guides and website (and forums!). Additionally, it did give me the opportunity to fix another couple minor bugs that I found while doing the conversion; and, down the road further, this is the first step to making the rest of the site faster and more useful for you people out there using it to complete your games or generally enjoy Final Fantasy.

Of course, this also means that if you see something that's looking weird, I'd appreciate you letting me know. I went hard into the move-fast-and-break-things approach for this, and while I'm pretty sure I didn't do the "break things" part, well, you never know. And, if for some reason you have some curiosity about how exactly I did this and why now, you can always visit my personal blog where I go into a deeper dive.

Thanks for sticking around CoN - we're happy to have you visiting, using our resources, and in fact reading this!
Posted in: CoN Site News

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Caves of Narshe Version 6
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All fanfiction and fanart (including original artwork in forum avatars) is property of the original authors. Some graphics property of Square Enix.