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.
Mistwalker, the RPG company founded by Hironobu Sakaguchi after his departure from Square, has announced a livestream event to debut a new title. The event will be next Thursday, June 22, on NicoNico. It's set to be part of a previously-scheduled Famitsu stream, and it will include Sakaguchi and Nobuo Uematsu; beyond that, there have been no details leaked about the new game whatsoever.
The stream will go live at 8pm JST next Thursday, which means 7am that morning for American Eastern time.
The stream will go live at 8pm JST next Thursday, which means 7am that morning for American Eastern time.
While we're still on the eve of E3 itself, as is the norm these days the news starts far earlier. For our favorite multinational conglomerate tasked with making video games (yes, that's intentionally bad writing), that means trailers atop trailers.
First up was one of the more eagerly-awaited by many Square Enix fans, for Kingdom Hearts III. While the game still has no release date, there's plenty of new content in this trailer, shown for the first time as part of the first Kingdom Hearts orchestral show, which took place adjacent to E3 in Los Angeles. In it, there are a number of previously-unseen battle sequences, as well as cutscenes with Sora, Goofy, Donald, Maleficient, Hades, Pete, and Xehanort, voiced in Japanese. For this game, a new trailer will be released again next month.
The newly-announced Dissidia Final Fantasy NT also got some video before the conference even begins, with PlayStation 4 gameplay at the fore. While everyone in battle is listed as "Nameless," there is a lot of Cloud, Lightning, Terra, Zidane, Dark Knight Cecil, Squall, and several others shown in battle, and even more shown in cutscene.
For Final Fantasy XV, there's actually no video - yet - but Squenix did announce that when Episode Prompto debuts later this month, additional DLC will be on offer to turn the Regalia into an off-road monster car. I'm pretty attached to the Regalia, to the point where I didn't even do any cosmetic mods to it in my playthrough, so seeing the promotional image actually makes me a little angry.
Finally, though it wasn't unexpected, at the Microsoft press conference Sunday night, Squenix announced the prequel to Life is Strange, subtitled "Before the Storm." Like the first game, this will be an episodic release, comprised of three episodes. The first will be released on August 31 of this year.
Stay tuned for more Squenix news as the week goes on!
E3 starts in just a few days, and in the leadup, Square Enix have announced their schedule for live-streamed content via YouTube and Twitch. It's just a schedule with titles, so it's not really groundbreaking content on its own, but it will definitely give folks an idea of when they might most want to tune in. Here are some of the highlights, at least according to my eye:
- On day one, June 13, the stream will start at 2:45pm Eastern with a brief opening presentation, and will go straight into a half-hour stream of the last thirty years of Final Fantasy. Following that will be a block covering Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, and then a "trailer line up" which I assume will group all the con's new trailers together in one place.
- At 7:30pm Eastern that day, the E3 "Letter from the Producer" for Final Fantasy XIV will begin.
- On day two, starting at 1pm Eastern, the new Lost Sphear will take the spotlight, followed by announcements regarding the mobile games Brave Exvius and Mobius.
- At 6pm, they'll take us into the trading card game, a NieR concert and Automata-related stream, and conclude with a stream of Brave Exvius.
In the not-too-distant past, if you wanted to play the Dissidia Final Fantasy fighting game series, you'd be stuck on your PSP's small screen or saddled with a flight to Japan for the 2015 arcade version. In the not-too-distant future, though, your options are going to open up, as a port of the arcade version to PlayStation 4 was announced yesterday. Slated for the first half of 2018, the new release will be titled Dissidia Final Fantasy NT.
This version will contain over twenty playable characters, including Final Fantasy XV's Noctis; at current count, that would bring the playable characters to 23 with seven summons, though it's likely that both arcade and console version will get more between now and launch. Unlike previous iterations, there won't be a specific "story mode" to the game; however, Square Enix promise that the game does contain a story that will unfold in a fixed path through "event scenes" among the battles. The core game will use the same 3v3 battle system as the arcade version, but will also add in some new battle modes specific to the console release. It will also have the ongoing character and other updates that the arcade version has been known for, but the arcade version (again, in Japan only) will get any new updates first.
And it's going to be playable next week at E3!
Source: Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Official Site, Gematsu
It's one of those times of year where we get new information about some Final Fantasy orchestral music, both in the Distant Worlds and New Worlds concert series. There's just one announcement for the former, but it's a pretty fancy one: Los Angeles is getting a performance of the new Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary setlist on January 20 of 2018, at the Microsoft Theater. Tickets are on sale today - in fact, sales started just as I was writing this.
For A New World, there are a boatload of new dates.
- Vancouver, July 30 (at Anime Evolution)
- Montreal, August 6 (at Otakuthon)
- Houston, August 11
- Phoenix, August 12
- San Antonio, September 2 (at San Japan, with composer Naoshi Mizuta attending)
- Denver, October 20
Source: Distant Worlds, A New World
For those itching for a new franchise made by one of the newest developers in Square Enix, the company has announced a brand new game called Lost Sphear!
Like the 2016 release of I am Setsuna and made by the same developers, Tokyo RPG Factory, Lost Sphear will feature the active-time battle system. Not too many other details are known yet, but the plot involves "setting out to rebuild the world with the power of Memory by manifesting thoughts into matter" and features interesting settings that show a world disappearing when memories fade.
You can view the announcement trailer right here.
Lost Sphear is slated to release in early 2018 and will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, and the Nintendo Switch.
Posted in: Square-Enix News
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.
Posted in: News from Japan
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.
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 email@example.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
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!