Final Fantasy IFinal Fantasy IVFinal Fantasy VFinal Fantasy VIFinal Fantasy VIIFinal Fantasy IXFinal Fantasy TacticsChrono Trigger
 
 
Guides and InfoNewsFanworksForumsChat Poll StoreOptionsAbout

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.

>> More about the site

Latest News

Square Enix Publish Financials for 2016-17 Fiscal Year


Square Enix
Maybe this is why Squenix are willing to part with their Hitman developer at significant cost. With the fiscal year just ended on March 31, today Square Enix published their numbers for the year that was, and it was a good one.

On the backs of some big releases you might have heard of, like Rise of the Tomb Raider, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and I guess Final Fantasy XV, the company did pretty well last year. The company's top-line revenue was up over $360 million from the year before, while the bottom line was up by $45 million from the year before.

Revenue was up year-over-year again for mobile titles, continuing a trend going back to 2013. Arcade performance (in Japan, of course!) was fairly steady, and merchandise sales have now steadily risen to double what they were in 2013.

Source: Siliconera
Posted in: News from Japan

Square Enix Divests from Hitman Developer


Square Enix
Square Enix announced today that they are "withdrawing" from IO Interactive, the gaming studio most recently working on the Hitman franchise, at the end of the conglomerate's current fiscal year on March 31, 2018. This withdrawal appears to be taking the place of a divestment from the developer, and not a winding down and closing of their studios in Denmark; however, should Square Enix and IO not find a new investor in that time, it seems more than possible that the studio would in fact need to close.

IO Interactive have been the sole developers of main-series Hitman games since the origin of the franchise. However, due to Eidos' purchase of IO and Square Enix' subsequent purchase of Eidos, the Hitman IP appears to belong to Square Enix at this time. It's not yet known what would occur with this IP in the case of a transfer of investment; my suspicions would be that it would be allowed to stay with IO if a new investor is found, or kept by Square Enix if one is not. Neither Square Enix nor IO Interactive have put forth any further details at this time.

Square Enix is expecting to take a single-time loss of roughly $43 million to divest from IO Interactive, which is obviously a very large number even for a company of their size. This appears to be an acceptable loss for the company, who commented that they are using the opportunity to "[focus] our resources and energies on key franchises and studios," which likely means reinvestment in Japanese studios and possibly Eidos Montreal? It's hard to tell where all they have active things ramping up these days.

Source: Polygon

CoN Adds Social Network Signon


Caves of Narshe Site News
A few days ago, we quietly released a new feature that we hope will help you stay connected with CoN going forward into the future. It's something that you've surely seen at many other sites, and we're just a little bit behind the times; it's the ability to register a new CoN account or connect an old CoN account to your social media presence. This news post is a brief FAQ about what we're doing here to help you get started, until I can get it re-written for a permanent place on CoN.

What it is: We've implemented a new system to allow you to log in and register for CoN much more quickly if you're already logged in to Twitter, Facebook, or Google in your same browser. New users can click the button on the registration page to have most of the signup information autofilled for you. Existing users can log in and then use their control panel to connect a social account to their CoN account. Both sets of users, after doing their part, can then log in with one click forever.

How it works for new users: When you click one of these buttons for the first time, you'll be redirected to the social media site you chose. You can review the permissions that we ask for, and, if acceptable to you, you can then proceed and you'll be sent back to CoN with as much information as possible created for you - we'll even suggest a username for you (that, of course, you can change before finishing your registration if you choose). Once you've registered, you can log in any time by clicking the correct social media button on the login page.

How it works for existing users: If you want to connect a social account to your existing CoN account, all you need do it visit the User Control Panel after logging in normally. You will see buttons for all of our supported social networks, and upon choosing one, you'll go through the same process of approving CoN, and then be returned to the site. After that, you'll be able to log in either using your CoN name and password, or simply by clicking the correct social network button on the login page.

What if I want to connect my existing account but can't remember how to log in? Just email me at rangers51@cavesofnarshe.com with as much information as you remember about your account. To be sure it's you, I'll definitely need to know what your old username was and the last email you remember using with it. If you already know that info, you can recover your password without waiting for me to help. We don't normally allow duplicate accounts for users, but if you just don't remember any of your old info and don't care about your old account, we're not going to yell at you for creating a new one!

But, what are you idiots doing with my information? Very, very little! You can see when you first attempt to connect with us exactly what info we're asking for, and it's not much. It's the same info we already ask for when you register a new account, by and large - email address, birthdate, etc. Once you connect, we do not attempt to post things on your behalf on social media or CoN, or share any of your social media information with CoN users beyond the things you approve during signup. And, if you don't like it after you've connected, you can always disconnect later.

But, I hate social networks! Well, that's okay. Sometimes we all do. I can't imagine we would ever make connecting to social networks a requirement to use CoN, but in our opinion, it's far easier to use CoN if you don't have to remember your login information, and that's what this makes possible - so, that's why we're offering it now, finally.

But, I hate the social networks you chose! Also okay! However, among our audience, they are by far the most used, so this is the best way to get started. If there's a social network that you really love but we don't yet support, ask us about it. I've got one or two more I'd like to add, but they're less frequently used for social signon so they're lower priority. But if you want more choices, just ask.

OK, but which one is best to use? Any of them will confer the same basic benefits to you - faster registration for new users and one-click login for all users. Personally, I think Facebook is the best way to go because they've been doing this the longest, and not only that, we have some tentative plans to do some neat features with our Facebook fan page that will be much easier to use if you've already connected your FB and CoN accounts.
Posted in: CoN Site News
(1 Comments – Last by Kame)
Share on Facebook Share

Zodiac Age Livestream on April 26


Square Enix
With the upcoming release of the Final Fantasy XII remake, subtitled "The Zodiac Age," coming this summer, it's not too much of a surprise that Square Enix are planning livestreams in the run-up to release. The first (and only scheduled, so far) of these streams is coming up on April 26, at 8pm local, which translates to 7am on the 26th for the American Eastern time zone.

The stream will be used to "introduce" the game, but will also include some of the Japanese voice cast for discussions, and some conversation about the development of the original game - as well as, surely, some of the development for the remake. The stream will be played live on Square Enix' YouTube and NicoNico Live channels. As it is a livestream, I doubt that there will be English subtitling done for us here, but if you're a big XII fan you might at least get to enjoy some new visuals from the game.

As an aside, the PlayStation demo kiosk at my local GameStop was running Zodiac Age as a demo when I was there last week. I didn't get to see much of what was going on with it, because my five-year-old decided that she needed to run the demo and not me, but at least it's out there for you folks to check out as you wish too!

Source: Siliconera

Dragon Quest XI Launch Event Provides a Square Enix First


Dragon Quest
Earlier today, Square Enix put on a launch event for Dragon Quest XI's release in Japan. The main point of the event was to announce the release date in Japan as July 29th of this year, but as normal for these kinds of events, Squenix also detailed the release packages available for preorder, including bonuses.

A couple pre-order bonuses are pieces of gear; one vest increases post-battle XP and the other increases post-battle Gold earnings. It's not clear from Siliconera's reporting if these are going to be both available to a single purchase, or a single version of the game, or anything like that. The more interesting bundle, though, is the cross-platform bundle. In a first for Square Enix, and possibly for any game I can think of on any platform, the company will offer a bundle that includes both the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo 3DS versions of the games in a single package. Gamers who pick that set up for roughly $136 will get both games in the classic "hollowed-out-book-hiding-place" boxes, and a (faux) sword in a display case. For anyone who wants both platforms, this is actually a great deal, as the two separately will cost nearly the same. None of this includes anything for the Switch version, which will not be release-ready for the same release window.

Now, I'm burying the lede here, as I often do, but my favorite news around this event is that third-party hardware maker Hori is making a Dragon Quest-themed controller for PlayStation 4, too. It's a slime. And it looks completely uncomfortable to use, and generally ridiculous. And it has to have its own stand to sit in when you're not using it, because all of the controls are on the slime's butt. Do slimes have butts? Anyway, apparently they made a similar one (in both regular and metal variants) for the PlayStation 2, and they sold well enough for them to want to do it again, at the price of over $90. Wow.

Source: Siliconera

Final Fantasy XIV Goes (Somewhat) Free to Play


Final Fantasy XIV
Square Enix announced today that MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV will, as of now, be free for all trial accounts up until level 35. This lifting of restriction will apply to any trial account, whether it's created now or dates back to day one; even expired trials will be unlocked for players. This means, Gematsu reports, that characters left on expired accounts can be picked up right where left off, and all accounts can do all of the gameplay available to any other account at or below level 35, including various jobs, the first 10 levels of Deep Dungeon, Golden Saucer, and other unique features.

The trial can be downloaded from PlayStation stores in North America and Europe as before, or from the XIV website for PC gamers. The restriction has been lifted serverside, it would appear, so users who already have the game client should need only to start it up and download any lingering updates to pick the game up again.

Source: Gematsu

Secret of Mana Collection Official Trailer


Square Enix
Square Enix has announced Seiken Densetsu Collection, releasing a trailer video. The game is expected to retail for 4,800 yen and will contain three games: the original Seiken Densetsu, known in the west as Final Fantasy Adventure or Adventures of Mana, Seiken Densetsu 2, released here as Secret of Mana, and Seiken Densetsu 3, never released in the west. The trailer indicates that the three games will be ports of their original releases.

The game's Japan release date is set for June 1. It is unclear if there will be a boxed retail version at this time, or just a digital download. Additionally, it is unknown whether Switch owners in the west will ever have access to the collection; Seiken Densetsu 3 has no official English localization, which may hurt its chances.

Source: Gamespot, Polygon
Posted in: News from Japan

Highlights from the Zodiac Age PAX East Presentation


I'm in my second year of not being in Boston, so I'm missing another PAX East. But my friends on the ground attended the Final Fantasy XII panel earlier today, so if you missed it on the livestream, here's what you missed. As we already knew, the game will be remastered for PlayStation 4 and will be based on the "International Zodiac Job System," which is a fancy way of saying that it has the job-based license board never before released in the West. Today we learned further that the game will not have just a remastered musical selection, but instead a completely new recording with a live orchestra. Additionally, a "Trial Mode" has been added, which appears to be a 100-stage set of set pieces, special challenge battles to tackle. This mode promises, according to the presentation, "unexpected characters [joining] the fight as an opponent!"

Special editions were announced as well, with the collector's edition containing a few trading cards, mini-busts of the Judge Magisters, and a steelbook with the game and soundtrack. A separate steelbook edition, with just the game, will also be available for the July 11 launch.

And, as a special surprise at the end, World of Final Fantasy popped up to show off Balthier as a new DLC character coming soon!

Hat tip for these snapshots and the video to our man on the ground in Boston. Hopefully we can see more later this weekend!

Square Enix Reveals PAX East 2017 Panels & Playable Games


Square Enix
Are you itching for more Final Fantasy-related news coming straight from the company's head honchos? Or better yet, will you happen to be in Boston from March 10th-12th for PAX East? Then you are in luck! Square Enix has revealed their lineup and panel discussion details to whet your appetite and maybe answer a few questions you've wondered about.

No convention is complete without a showcase of playable games, and they are certainly bringing a handful for players to get their mitts on. Here is what they plan to show at their booth:
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided A Criminal Past DLC (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  • Dragon Quest Heroes II (PS4, PC)
  • Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius (iOS, Android)
  • Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (PS4)
  • Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward (PS4, PC, Mac)
  • Final Fantasy XV Episode Gladiolus DLC (PS4, XBO)
  • Flame x Blaze (iOS, Android)
  • I Am Setsuna (Switch)
  • Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix (PS4)
  • Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue (PS4)
  • Kingdom Hearts: Unchained Chi (iOS, Android)
  • NieR: Automata (PS4, PC)
  • Ride 2 (PS4, XBO, PC)
Well, look at that, they will be showing a Switch title... even though it's one already released!

If that's not enough, Square Enix will also hold one panel during each of the three days during PAX East to discuss their current & near-future launches. Here is what they have:

Friday, March 10th, 1:30-2:30pm

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age Panel - Discussion on the upcoming game release on July 11th, 2017. Game director Takashi Katano and producer Hiroaki Kato to attend.

Saturday, March 11th, 12:00pm-1:00pm
Final Fantasy XIV Community Q&A Panel - Interested in following the latest content and possible changes? Director Naoki Yoshida is present to hear player questions & feedback.

Sunday, March 12th, 10:30am-11:30am
NieR: Automata x Final Fantasy XV Panel - The first half focuses on NieR: Automata and a discussion with director Yoko Taro, with the second half featuring a first look at FFXV's brand spanking new DLC, Episode Gladiolus, for fans who are looking for even more character development.

And with any good convention setup, there will be plenty of prizes, posters and fun game-related trinkets to entice you to stop by!

Source: Gematsu
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Final Fantasy XV: Was Everything Really On the Line?


Final Fantasy XV
As the sales keep rolling in and everyone breathes a sigh of relief that Final Fantasy XV is overall a fairly good game, director Hajime Tabata took some time at the Game Developer's Conference (GDC) to reflect on the famous decade-long development cycle that culminated in its November 2016 release.

During the conference, Tabata was noted as saying the bar was set high even before he took on the project in 2012. "If it didn't succeed, it would all be over. It meant approaching the project believing this was our last chance. If we don't do it this time, there won't be a next time."

Is this more of the typical motivational talk to set high standards and achieve them, no matter the cost? Possibly, but let's consider a few events, and what was going on in the Final Fantasy franchise in 2012 when Tabata came aboard:
  1. Square Enix doubled (and after 2012, tripled) down on Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels, which was met with mixed reviews and much criticism, cooling enthusiasm after the main title's release. It would seem the Fabula Nova Crystallis universe was not the overwhelming hit they expected.
  2. Final Fantasy XIV's original release was so troubled and unpopular that they killed it with spectacular fire, built a new game from the ground up, and maybe asked everyone to forget the original existed. It is worth noting that the new game is hugely successful and still doing well today, but it was certainly a monumental effort to scrap the original game and make a better one in its place.
  3. Well known by now, Final Fantasy XV is the final form of a game started in 2006 which was then Final Fantasy Versus XIII, also requiring an overhaul and recruitment of top talent for Tabata to meet expectations.
Interesting to note as well, the following remark Tabata made when discussing the game at the GDC: "My story about Final Fantasy XV is not a success story," he said. "I don't have any magical expertise from this undertaking, but I know now the greatest goals can only be reached by taking big chances."

He sure seems more relieved than excited about its success. The franchise seems better positioned for its future than it was in 2012, with FFXIII in the books, the FFXIV remake successful, and FFXV having currently sold over 6 million copies worldwide.

Do you think the Final Fantasy franchise was ever in any danger? Or is it laughable to even think so, considering the worldwide brand recognition it has attained, and Square Enix' deep pockets to finance the huge cost of each game? After all, things like this exist.

Source: The Verge, Polygon

News Archive

You can view all of our news stories and add comments at the news section.

Caves of Narshe Version 6
©1997–2017 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.