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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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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
(1 Comments – Last by Neal)
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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

A King's Tale, Free for All


Final Fantasy XV
A King's Tale, a Final Fantasy XV sidestory previously available only with certain preorders of the main game, is now available to everyone on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4. And it's free! The game is a sort of prequel to Final Fantasy XV, and takes place as a bedtime story told by King Regis to a young Prince Noctis. Unlike the action RPG of the main title, this side game is a 2.5D, sprite-based sidescrolling beat-em-up with a Final Fantasy flair.

The game features King Regis as the main character, with access to battle assistance from his friends - like father, like son. He's got access to a variety of weapons, magic, and summons to fight against monsters from the Final Fantasy XV universe, expressed also as sprites.

Again, the game is available worldwide for download today, for free, with no purchase of the original game required. Enjoy!

Source: EuroGamer

Till the End of Time Coming, Remastered, to PlayStation 4


Star Ocean
If you missed Star Ocean: Till the End of Time when it was first released on PlayStation 2, you missed one of the better games in the series, in fact the one often cited as best. While the newest edition was not reviewed as kindly, Till the End of Time stands up, and now PlayStation 4 gamers are going to have a chance to try it out.

The new release will be digital download only, and if you're expecting something akin to what Square Enix has done with recent Final Fantasy remakes, you might be a little disappointed. While Final Fantasy X and XII were heavily tuned for their newer releases, the Director's Cut of TtEoT will instead be upscaled through software, and the cutscenes have not been re-rendered into HD. The game clearly does look better in comparisons, but those expecting a sea change or increases in playable content will likely be disappointed.

As of now, there is no release date or purchase price available.

Source: Siliconera
(1 Comments – Last by Cefca)
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Square Enix Set up New Japanese Studio


Square Enix
Announced yesterday, Square Enix has created a new games studio in Tokyo called "Studio Istolia." This new studio, interestingly named with an English word and a Greek one, will be run by Hideo Baba, recently known as a producer in the long-running "Tales" series of RPGs. The new studio was announced as a bit of a footnote to the announcement of a new project called "Project Prelude Rune," which will be the first project produced by Baba in the new studio.

Prelude Rune is described as being a new IP for Square Enix, and will be an RPG "unfolding across a vast land teeming with life." This will not be the final title for the game or games produced under this banner. Obviously, as a brand-new studio, not many details about the long-term timeline of the project are available, and many are not likely to be forthcoming soon as the studio has listed staff openings numbering at least fifteen.

A final note, their logo looks like a cross between the Final Fantasy XV Carbuncle and a moogle. So perhaps this new apple is falling not so far from the tree.

Source: Gematsu, Studio Istolia

Square-Enix Wants Your Opinion with a Final Fantasy XV Survey


Final Fantasy XV
Good news, everyone! Square-Enix wants to hear from you, following their launch of Final Fantasy XV! They have launched a survey on surveymonkey to gather and compile player feedback: you can take it here.

It starts off with some pretty basic questions to help them with marketing tools and see what systems you play on and where you get your news from (Why the hell isn't Caves of Narshe on there, right?!), with 30 questions in all. But it gets interesting at the end, where they ask questions like:
  • Please tell us what you think of Final Fantasy XV.
  • In one or two brief sentences, please tell us how you feel about Season Passes & DLC.
  • If you ask one thing to the developers of FINAL FANTASY XV, what would it be?

So now is your chance to make your voice heard, in a place Square Enix may actually read! Now, if the comments were made public, I guarantee there would be some entertaining reads in there. While we're at it, feel free to add any additional comments here!

Source: GameSpot
Posted in: Square-Enix News

CoN Goes Fully Secure with HTTPS


Caves of Narshe Site News
Just a couple weeks ago, Wired reported a Mozilla announcement that half of all web traffic is served over secure HTTP, for the first time. As a user of the web yourself, you should be excited about this - obviously, sites that want your financial or very personal information have been secured for a very long time, but adding HTTPS to other sites is also a great thing. As Wired explains, a secured site makes it harder for people to intercept the things you're reading or posting out to the internet, and it helps you be sure that no malicious groups are intercepting your traffic and leveraging it for their own means.

Today, CoN has thrown in its lot with this half-and-growing chunk of the web by switching all traffic to secure protocols. All images, scripts and text you see in your browser will now be secured, including all forum traffic, news, and fanart submissions and posts. This improves the quality of the content that we're able to provide to you, and also unlocks the ability for us to extend our reach further into social media in the future.

You should now be seeing the pretty green padlock on all of the pages you visit on CoN, at least in browsers that make it easy for you to see such things (I can personally vouch for Firefox, Chrome, and Chrome for iOS!). It's possible that there are still some pages that might not be fully secure due to me missing an image or two, so please feel free to let me know if you encounter one, or if you have any questions about this update. This is the kind of nerdy stuff I like talking about, so don't be shy!
Posted in: CoN Site News

More Distant Worlds Shows Added for Final Fantasy's 30th Anniversary


Distant Worlds
Many new shows were announced for the Distant Worlds concert tour back in December, but many more have joined the tour for the celebration of Final Fantasy's 30th anniversary. The expanded tour dates span 8 total days across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
  • Sydney, Australia: July 1
  • Chicago, Illinois: September 16
  • London, England: November 4
  • Lyon, France: November 18
  • Toronto, Canada: December 2
  • Osaka, Japan: December 8
  • Tokyo, Japan: December 9-10

The larger list of tour dates intrigues me as a citizen of Chicago, so I'll be getting my tickets as soon as they go on sale tomorrow, 14 February. It was well worth my time the last time I attended and I can't wait to go back, especially since I now know that there should be abundant 3DS StreetPass opportunities. Anybody else going to get tickets for one of these shows, or one of the earlier-announced dates?

Source: Distant Worlds
(4 Comments – Last by Neal)
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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.