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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.
So, yes, we buried the lede by posting the mobile games first. This is a free service, suck it up. Today's biggest Final Fantasy VII news is big but probably pretty predictable in some ways: Final Fantasy VII Remake is itself being remade. Okay, not really, but that line was too good to pass up. What we’re actually getting is a new release on Playstation 5 called "Intergrade," which will allow users to either bump their graphics up to 4K with HDR or to lock the frame rate at a constant 60fps. It will also add in a dedicated photo mode, which my daughter will eventually love since she seems to spend most of her FF7 time trying to get good screenshots of Wedge’s cats and Aerith on the way to Corneo’s mansion. Check out this introductory trailer to see the upgrades and the other big surprise.Intergrade will be available as a standalone game for PS5, but PS4 users who bought the PS4 version will get a free upgrade (with some minor stipulations). The other big news about the PS5 release will also come free for new purchasers, and will be available as purchased DLC for PS4 upgraders - an entirely new scenario with Yuffie. It’s entirely new because it will cover her time before Cloud meets her as she mounts a raid on Midgar with thievery on her mind. The timeline of the DLC will overlap with the events of FF7R, so it should be nicely spoiler-free. IGN’s post of the trailer video says that the DLC will be available also for PS4, though the video itself does not mention this. Gematsu is instead reporting that Squenix have explicitly said that the Yuffie DLC won't be released for PS4, so that is unfortunately likely the case.
Also in news today for Final Fantasy VII Remake, Famitsu reports this week that Tetsuya Nomura will not serve as co-director for part two, handing the reigns fully over to Naoki Hamaguchi. Nomura will stay on board as the creative director for the title for all upcoming Final Fantasy VII titles, with the handoff being possible due to the robust framework laid down for the main game via part one.
Source: Gematsu, IGN
Posted in: Final Fantasy VII
Maybe not the news you expected to see tonight (that's still coming momentarily to your trusty CoN), but Square Enix also announced two Final Fantasy VII mobile titles today, "The First Soldier" and "Ever Crisis." We mentioned the trademarks for these games last month; now we know that the former is, surprisingly, a battle royale-style game set at the dawn of the SOLDIER era 30 years before Final Fantasy VII. It looks to be exactly as described, a third-person battle royale shooter with all the trappings of FF7 including firearms, swords, magic, summons, and big mechs. It will be out this year.Ever Crisis is a bit of a stranger thing to describe. It looks a little bit like Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition, though not as overtly chibi; the overworld art style looks like a high-res version of the original PSX game but combat looks like a scaled-down version of Remake. It will be an episodically-released game that will cover the entirety of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, even including Advent Children. It will start releasing in 2022.
Posted in: Final Fantasy VII
Today’s Nintendo Direct described a number of games coming in the next year or two to their platforms, and while there were no new Square Enix characters coming to Smash, the company did appear with a few announcements. First, a remastered version of Legend of Mana will be coming in June to Switch, as well as Playstation 4 and Steam. The illustrated backdrops look pretty, and the sprites look nice and sharp.Also announced for Switch, Playstation 4 and Steam, plus iOS and Android, is a remaster of SaGa Frontier. Also originally for Playstation, this remaster re-adds some content that was previously cut from the original game. It will be out earlier, in April.
The third game announced in the Nintendo Direct is a brand-new title that should excite both fans of Final Fantasy Tactics and Octopath Traveler. Currently called by a working title of “Project Triangle Strategy,” the new game is an isometric tactical RPG set in the Octopath universe. Based on the announcement trailer, the game expands on the combat formula developed in FFT by adding in chained attacks among units, and multistage attacks shown in the trailer by creating watery tiles that can then enhance lightning damage. It also appears that the battle environments can be more destructively changed in battle, as a farm building on a battle map is shown being set ablaze more than once in the trailer video. On top of that, it appears that the game will offer meaningful choices that will change the course of the plot, which should create significant replay opportunity. This game is scheduled for release in 2022.
Source: Gematsu, Gematsu, Kotaku
And strangely enough, not on Steam! Square Enix announced yesterday that the Kingdom Hearts series would make its debut on Windows PCs via the Epic Games store. The games will be released on March 30 of this year, with eleven games to be released across four packages.
The four packages mirror the most recent versions released of each; HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX contains the first game, Re:Chain of Memories, the cinematics from 358/2 Days, Kingdom Hearts II, Birth By Sleep, and the cinematics from Re:Coded. HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue includes Dream Drop Distance, 0.2 Birth By Sleep ~a fragmentary passage~, and the cinematics for Kingdom Hearts Ï‡ Back Cover. The Kingdom Hearts III release contains the Re Mind DLC, and then the final release is of the rhythm game Melody of Memory.
First, I hope you enjoy this news because it was a lot of effort to type out those wild game subtitles. Second, I hope that if you're interested you have deep enough pockets, because the preorder price is $50 for the first game compilations and $60 for each of the remaining three releases. Preorders are open now.
Source: Square Enix
The newest mobile, turn-based strategy game from Square Enix is releasing in under two weeks now, and as of yesterday pre-downloads were made available on both Apple and Google app stores. Released last year in Japan, Dragon Quest Tact is a monster-collecting, monster-training, grid-based strategy game developed by Aiming. It looks to be pretty standard mobile tactical RPG fare, but the Dragon Quest IP is really cute in context and the design and animation look pretty impressive too.
Anyone who pre-downloads the app before the release on January 27 will get a free King Slime monster for their party, too. Who could say no to that?
Source: Dragon Quest Tact
Just before Christmas, Square Enix applied for three new trademarks in Japan, all related to Final Fantasy VII; the filings were made public on Monday of this week.
Two were for text use: "Ever Crisis" and "The First Soldier." It seems reasonable to believe that these two are both related to the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, given the use of the terms "Crisis" and "Soldier" in other ways related to FF7. The third is more explicit - it's a trademark application for the logo used by Shinra Electric Power Company. The two text trademarks were filed on December 17, and the visual on December 22.
There's no other information about how these marks might be used, as only the Shinra logo has been used in the past in its current form. The other marks could refer to remakes, remasters, or new games in the FF7 universe for any platform. They could even refer to upcoming books based in the same. They could even be for projects that never actually happen. We will just have to see what happens with them in the future.
Sony put on their video presser for the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show yesterday, which I semi-watched for my own reasons at the time, but here's one thing that Kotaku caught that I definitely missed: as part of a sizzle roll of upcoming PlayStation 5 games, Square Enix' biggest mystery title got a release window. That window is currently "January 2022."
Of course, this was tossed out in fine print at the end of the visuals, and it's definitely a target more so than a locked-in date, but it's good to see it nonetheless to see Squenix getting some games ready to go for the new generation of consoles. Now, in this case, it's really just one of the new gen, because Athia has a two-year exclusivity contract; this release date puts the game on Xbox no sooner than 2024.
The original The World Ends With You is one of the cult-ier games made by Square Enix in its recent history; released originally in 2007, the game has mainly been published for mobile devices only with the exception of the 2018 release on Nintendo Switch. That said, it did get its cult status largely by being a well-recieved and quality game (full disclosure, the game never really grabbed me on Nintendo DS so I might not be the best person to speak to that).
After a week or so of leadup, the announcement came today that after these many years, a sequel to the game is now in the works, and it's been announced for both PlayStation 4 and Switch with a Summer 2021 release date. Entitled "NEO: The World Ends With You," the announcement trailer reveals several new characters as well as some returns. The new game keeps the comic book art aesthetic from the original, but puts the gameplay into a 3D space that evokes to me a bit of Kingdom Hearts feel.
Expect more news in the near future, with the release date coming relatively soon.
I'm a bit late to the post here, sorry - Hurricane Zeta decided to take out CoN headquarters for about eighteen hours right as this news broke. Yesterday, Square Enix published the official Final Fantasy XVI website in eight languages - multiple variants of English notwithstanding - which really reinforces the scope of a modern flagship Final Fantasy release.
The site exposes a lot of backstory to fill in some obvious gaps from the original trailer. We learn that the setting of the new game is a land called Valisthea, and as we could predict from the trailer, the Eikons exist around the largest settlements in the land near their "Mothercrystals," huge mountains of crystal from which magical aether spawns. Those who can command the Eikons are called "Dominants," like young Joshua, and each nation treats their Dominant in their own traditional style. There are six major kingdoms outlined on the website which explain a bit more, and interestingly there are redactions in the text for a couple of them to hide either Eikon or Dominant names.
In terms of characters, we now know that the protagonist's name is Clive Rosfield, the older brother to Joshua. As one can tell from the trailer, Clive is a noble soldier of the nation of Rosaria; it is further explained that the attack by Ifrit shown in the trailer must take place fairly early in the game, as it appears to be the catalyst for a mission of revenge. We also learn that the girl from the trailer is named Jill, and she hails from another region of Valisthea and is an emissary helping to keep the peace between her people and Rosaria. Apparently, she is also 12 years old, which seems like maybe she has way too stressful of a role for her age.
Reading between the lines a bit, it would seem that the Ifrit that attacks Joshua and Clive could be either a wild Eikon or possibly one from another nation; the site explains that the tenuous peace among the countries of Valisthea might be at risk due to "the Blight," which opens up a number of opportunities for storytelling. Hopefully, the level of worldbuilding already evident in this website means that the game is far enough along that more info will be coming soon.
Source: Final Fantasy XVI | Square Enix
I think we all knew that Final Fantasy XVI would appear on the next generation of consoles, sure, but was it really expected to debut today at Sony's PlayStation event? Well, it did, in the form of a four-minute trailer with what appears to be a pretty significant amount of footage. What we know so far is that the game will be a console exclusive for PlayStation 5, but will also have a Windows release, and that it will be a single-player game with action combat that immediately seems to be an extension of the Final Fantasy XV combat system. We also know that the footage shown was all in-engine for both combat and cutscenes, but it is very clearly in an early stage. We also know that Naoki Yoshida will be on the masthead as producer and that Hiroshi Takai will assume the mantle of Director; both have extensive experience within the company, particularly recently in Final Fantasy XIV. The game is being developed by Squenix' fantastically-named "Creative Business Unit III" group, which is... something else we know, I guess. Finally, we know that the trailer is footage captured from a PC, attempting to emulate the new PS5 experience.
The trailer, subtitled "Awakening," focuses on three main characters. The first we see is an unruly-haired warrior with a tattoo or brand on his cheek; he appears to be a soldier off to war in which both sides wield summoned monsters, here called "Icons." It seems that he is on the side who summon Titan, as he is told that his target is Shiva, who we see fighting against the "bloody mountain" early on. The second is a younger man who serves as a squire toward the third, a boy named Joshua (which, hey, good choice, guys). The younger squire appears to be the main character, as he is the only one shown in the combat sequences, and his role is to guard the child, who is the son of nobility. The "Awakening" takes place as young Joshua experiences a shock and apparently transforms into something highly unexpected. Another battle of icons takes shape, and also forms the basis for the game's logo - a Phoenix and Ifrit in conflict.
That's a quick and as spoiler-free as I can make it recap, written up after watching just a couple times. So, here, have some more general ideas and speculation. First, the two warriors, older and younger, look pretty similar. I could see them being somehow related and on separate sides of a growing conflict, or, if Squenix want to get really twisty, possibly even the same man in some sort of time loop situation. I could also give credence to a theory that in this universe, the summoned Icons are superpowers that can be bestowed upon warriors by their factions' crystals, or are even inborn powers that are unlocked over time. I also think that Square has probably elected to not play a number of cards yet with this unveiling, as the combat scenes show only one character and no battle UI at all; after the combat systems of XV and FF7R, it seems very unlikely to me that there would be only one playable character in battle on this new platform.
And finally, that puppy needs to be a companion for the whole game or I may not buy it.
Watch the video below, and click through to learn more. Square Enix have said that this will be the only information we get on the game until 2021, so enjoy it.