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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 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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Final Fantasy XIV-Themed Room Escape Coming to US


Final Fantasy XIV
Part of the Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary in Japan is an "Escape the Room" game with a Final Fantasy XIV theme. I never commented on it in a news post, I don't think, because I didn't expect such a niche part of the experience to ever make it over here... turns out I was wrong, and a game called "Trials of Bahamut" will be made available in at least eight American cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix, Houston, Orlando, Chicago, and New York. Specific locations and dates are not yet available, nor any information about other cities possibly being added to the mix.

I'm not sure if this is the same game as set up in Japan and just localized, or if it's a brand new experience, but it's really of no consequence unless you're planning to travel to do both, right? If you're not familiar with the rapidly-growing escape-game genre, it's pretty simple. The game in this case will be set up for six players to solve puzzles against a sixty-minute timer. Players will need to solve all the puzzles to "escape" within that window, or they lose the game; escapees then compete with other teams for the fastest escape time. This particular game is built around Bahamut's escape from a dungeon; teams that complete all the puzzles will defeat the King of Dragons before he is fully revived, and teams that fail will be, presumably, destroyed by the creature.

The game will be put on by Scrap Entertainment, known for standard Escape the Room games in the US as well as a new Legend of Zelda-themed game that has just opened in San Francisco and is planned for expansion.

Source: Polygon, Real Escape Game: Trials of Bahamut
(1 Comments – Last by Kame)
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Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary Event Details Key Games


Final Fantasy 30th Anniv.
The Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary opening ceremony wrapped up a few hours ago, with a number of games receiving notice. A large number of the reveals are release dates and/or patch content for upcoming games:
  • Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, the remake of XII for PlayStation 4, will be out July 11 in the West and July 13 in Japan.
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia will be out in Japan on February 1 for iOS and Android. There will be a further livestream about this game later today.
  • World of Final Fantasy will get Balthier as free summon DLC at the same time as Patch 1.03, which is not yet confirmed for release.
  • A series of Final Fantasy XV DLCs have been scheduled. First, on February 21, the "Booster Pack" will be released, containing a Magitek Exosuit to give you a once-a-day window of invincibility for 30 minutes (and also make you a better fisherman). On March 28, there will be a story where Gladiolus is the playable character, not Noctis. Same for Prompto, though his DLC is sometime in June.
There have also been two new marketing screenshots released as part of the meetings today, and they're pretty cool. One is from Final Fantasy VII Remake, and shows Cloud in Midgar with a giant, looming Seraph Sephiroth in the background; the second is from Kingdom Hearts III, made to emulate the famous Final Fantasy VII artwork where Cloud looks up at the Shin-Ra Building. The VII Remake image would make a fantastic desktop wallpaper, too, click through to see it full-size.



Source: Gematsu

Rumor Mill: Final Fantasy VII Remake Delay?


Final Fantasy VII
As mentioned in CoN news earlier, Square-Enix's new partnership with Marvel is confirmed and will clearly be this huge, big-budgeted Juggernaut™ with multiple collaborative releases expected over the next several years. Marvel's stories and characters in a Square-Enix graphics engine? The possibilities are endless! What's not to love?

Well for one, this could potentially be responsible for a possible setback in the schedules of one or several big titles Square-Enix slated to release over the coming years. FF7 is already rumored to be pushed back, possibly into 2018. According to express.co.uk (source below), game director Tetsuya Nomura indicated that they have a full schedule for the year including a priority on Kingdom Hearts 3 over all else, and that the FF7 Remake delay is highly likely. While they did not explicitly state that the Marvel collaboration had any connection, more details (and hopefully the release date!) should be coming when the director attends the Monaco Anime Game International Conference (MAGIC) on February 18th.

If true, does this make you feel any less thrilled about the FF7 Remake? We know what happens when this company begins to delay games...!

Source: express.co.uk

Mobius Final Fantasy Releasing on Steam


Steam
And soon! On February 6, the game released in 2015 in Japan and 2016 elsewhere will be released on Steam. Mobius is a Final Fantasy game that, unlike most mobile titles from Square Enix, was developed for higher-end systems using Unity, which should make it a more interesting visual experience on desktops; this version of the game was released in Japan late last year, so one would assume that it will be a relatively trouble-free version for gamers to play. The game's director, Naoki Hamaguchi, told the English Square Enix blog that the game will support resolutions up to 4K and that many players will be able to expect framerates of 60 to 120 FPS, which would certainly be a departure from some PC games the company has released in the past.

Though the release over here is only a week away, the game does not appear available for pre-order in the Steam store currently, so it's not possible to confirm pricing at this time.

The release is timed for a global event in-game. Starting the next day, February 7, a tie-in to the Final Fantasy VII Remake will begin that will feature Cloud arriving in Mobius' world, Palamecia, to fight alongside the game's protagonist Wol in a yet-unannounced scenario. Hamaguchi explained that the assets used to build Cloud and any other Final Fantasy VII-related assets used in Mobius were drawn straight from the assets built for Final Fantasy VII Remake, so Mobius will be the first opportunity for most players to see any live glimpse of what could be coming in Final Fantasy VII's future.

Source: Siliconera, Square Enix Blog

Square Enix' Big Reveal Is "The Avengers"


Square Enix
Square Enix, through Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal (the folks you might know from, say, Tomb Raider and Deus Ex), just showed up in the world of Marvel. Yesterday, the company teased a reveal for today; right in line with the company's profile, that reveal showed up on Marvel's Twitter account this morning in the form of a fifty-one-second trailer. In it, Hulk, Thor, Iron Man and Cap all appear as wrecked versions of their accouterments, with a broken pair of Banner's glasses, Thor's hammer, a discarded arm from Stark's suit, and Rogers' vibranium shield, all in rubble.

The theme of the video is "#reassemble," which implies to me that the plot of whatever game this might be could slot in to the Marvel Cinematic Universe somewhere between last year's Captain America: Civil War and next year's Avengers: Infinity War, but to be honest, I'm a little behind on the MCU movies and given the fact that we have no idea where the game is in development, it could well take place after Infinity War but before the fourth scheduled Avengers movie, or even later. I mean, I'm no insider - maybe it's not MCU at all, but frankly they'd be crazy not to figure it in there somehow.

That's all we know right now, but that's one heck of a teaser - one of the largest game developers in the world working (in theory) with what is probably the hottest global IP in entertainment right now. Pretty wild stuff, speculate away.

Source: Marvel Entertainment Twitter

A New World Rolls out New Shows for 2017


The last time I had an update on the A New World concert series was ten whole months ago, but today Square Enix announced five new dates for the new year. Three of the shows are new to the series this year.
  • Kansas City, Kansas: March 11
  • Seattle, Washington: March 25
  • Rosemont (Chicago), Illinois: May 21
  • Atlanta, Georgia: May 28
  • Portland, Oregon: June 3
The new dates will be in Seattle, Atlanta, and Portland, and the concerts will take place in conjunction with local conventions in Kansas City, Rosemont, and Atlanta. Benyamin Nuss is listed as the featured pianist for all but the KCK show, and Eric Roth (Arnie Roth's son) will conduct all five.

Apologies for being so far behind on news again - I've been swallowed up with other projects for most of January so far. I hear that Square Enix have a big announcement planned for tomorrow, though, so I'll be on the lookout for that!

Source: A New World

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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.