Caves of Narshe
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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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Latest News

Dissidia NT Closed Beta August 26 - September 4


Dissida: Final Fantasy
Gematsu reports this morning that a closed beta for Dissidia NT, the home console version of the Japanese arcade entry to the fighting game series, will get a closed beta on PlayStation 4 for both North American and European users later this month. Specifically, noon Eastern on August 26 through noon again on September 4.

Featuring a limited lineup of fourteen characters - the lead characters of each game, generally - the beta will feature three-on-three battles in some selection of the game's battle arenas, and will also contain at least some of the final game's summon lineup.

This is going to be a closed beta, of course. Some folks should be receiving a code to get in already, it appears, though the criteria for getting one of the instant-in codes is naturally not public. There is a lottery to try to get a code, though, if you don't have one - all you need is a Square Enix account. I entered the lottery myself just a few minutes ago, and you can do the same at the links below.

In other news, it was also announced that Jecht, coming soon to the arcade version, will be part of the console release package on day one of next year's release.

Source: Gematsu, NA Beta Signup, EU Beta Signup
Posted in: Square-Enix News, News from Europe, North America
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New Dragon Quest, Old Dragon Quest from the Summer Festival


Dragon Quest
In Tokyo this weekend, Square Enix held a Dragon Quest Summer Festival. Sounds like a pretty good time, I suppose, but there were some new releases announced for the DQ series that are the focus of this particular post.

First, the new: a sequel to Dragon Quest Builders is already in development. There's no release window yet, but there is some gameplay footage early on. Some of the big enhancements over the first game already announced include the ability to build three times higher and deeper than in the original, swimming ability, a hang-glider feature to safely descend from high spots, and four-person multiplayer. The storyline appears to include the big bad from Dragon Quest II in some way, which makes sense as the original game takes place in the world of the first Dragon Quest, albeit on an alternate timeline from canon.

Speaking of Dragon Quest II, though, it's one of three games (including the first and third) now scheduled for release on digital distribution for the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation 4 in Japan. I and II will be released on August 10, and III will follow before the end of August. No idea which versions of the games will be released, as in Japan they were released for Famicom, Super Famicom, and Game Boy Color in quick succession, and also no idea whether we'll get them in the US either.

Source: Gematsu
Posted in: Square-Enix News, News from Japan
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Caves of Narshe Turns Twenty (Plus One Day)


Caves of Narshe Site News
I'm late by a day! I'm traveling, sorry. Yesterday's scheduled post continues as if nothing every happened...

As of 2015, I'd known life with CoN longer than I'd known life without it. That's also true of my wife, but this post isn't about her (sorry, dear!). There are still a handful of members active around the site for which this is also true, of course, but this post isn't about them either. Or me, come to think of it, so I'm a bit off the rails already.

What it is about is that, today, Caves of Narshe turns twenty years old. I long ago stopped making posts about CoNniversary every year, just as one tends to stop treating each new birthday as a huge event as they get older. Obviously, though, this is one of those big round numbers, and that makes it special. CoN, the little website that (sometimes) could, has made it through two entire decades of life, and you're here for it - whether you've been a visitor of the site since 1997, or just signed up today, I want to express my gratitude that you're here reading this now.

There's only so much I can reiterate about who we are as CoN, and what we did on the way to this milestone, and honestly most of you who have been around for a while have already read up on CoNHistory. But, since I don't write these messages as often any more, please indulge me just a brief recap! I never would have imagined CoN being what it is today when I first made the site public on a little personal AOL webspace twenty summers ago. I never would have imagined the site still existing now, never would have considered that it would cover eight games - and many more versions of those games - with walkthroughs and data, no concept of sharing Final Fantasy with my daughter via couch time together or taking the family to Distant Worlds shows. And, as I've said before many times, all of those fun, positive outcomes and my ongoing affection for the Final Fantasy series isn't really down to me; it's down to the Caves of Narshe and all of you reading this. I keep the site going for you all, and in return I've gotten a career and continued enjoyment of one of the most successful game franchises of all time.

It's astonishing to me that the site has lasted this long. It costs me money, it costs me time, and it makes me an annoyance to my family and friends - hopefully only sometimes - and all of those things are pretty decent reasons for cutting bait. For all that, though, it still thrills me to know that we do something that is beneficial in its own way to the gaming community at large. I love it on the rare occasions I can go to a con and get recognition in peoples' eyes when I mention that I represent this site. I love it when I see on another site, this time of year, people discussing how CoN is a great resource for Four Job Fiesta, or when I sit in on a Final Fantasy marathon and get plaudits from the audience for creating and maintaining the site. I love looking at our site traffic numbers and seeing that, even after twenty years and the general gulf developing between small communities like ours and the juggernaut social media hubs out there, that we still get lots of people enjoying what we have to offer. And that's why I'm still here, and I hope that the fact that I still enjoy being here and keeping the gears moving is a part of why you're reading this right now and will continue to visit CoN in the future.

The last five years might have seemed very slow for CoN in terms of the community and the growth of the site, but it's worth noting that we released coverage for Final Fantasy V on GBA (and mobile devices and Windows, though we didn't know it at the time) right before the site turned fifteen, and the same for Final Fantasy VI not long after. Last year, we rolled out our coverage for Final Fantasy IX, supporting the original release, mobile, and Windows, to boot. And we're still working, same as it ever was - we've got more content upgrades in the works, some new community contests and games, and hopefully even more to come. I'll be updating some plans for those things in the very near future, so watch this space - for now, come back to the forums and post to pick up a limited edition badge for your CoN account, just as we did five years back.

Today we're specifically rolling out some updates to the way things display for you, as we tend to do every five years or so. We've refreshed all the themes a little bit with some optimizations, and you'll likely notice that we've refreshed also the logo that we've had for a decade. For those who still use or miss the old themes, Tiddles has gutted many of them and redone them to be faster and more attractive in today's modern browsers, and we've implemented smaller changes throughout as well.  This may not be the most exciting news for those of you among us who are not web developers, sure, but these updates look fantastic and more to the point prove that we're still here and we're still making things better. Further, in an effort to better engage our users on Facebook, I've included the forums directly on our Facebook page. Also, I've redone all of our CoN wallpaper section to match our new logo, and we now have a large number of new wallpaper sizes that are perfect for use on your lock screen of your phone or tablet, as well as some new stuff for today's most popular desktop and laptop screens. As has become custom for these big anniversaries, I've gone into more detail on this with new CoNHistory entries.

So, come celebrate with us at the forums or on social media. We're always here and ready to talk CoN, Final Fantasy, or anything else, and who knows? Maybe we will be for another twenty years months you know what let's just not commit to anything just yet. In the meantime, please, share our content with your social networks with likes, shares, retweets, whatever. We love our community, and we will love new folks that you teach about CoN just as much. So please, have your friends join you, and us, as we continue to rep classic Square Enix into the future. Let's all find out together what's next.
Posted in: CoN Site News
(18 Comments – Last by Spooniest)
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Kingdom Hearts 3 Release Narrowed to All of 2018


Kingdom Hearts
That must be a relief, right? You're not getting it this year, but there's only a twelve-month window for them to target in 2018! In seriousness, though, that's the news out of the Disney D23 expo today, and it's not bad news for a game that's been in development for over a decade. The big news, though, was another new trailer, debuting a new Disney world within the Kingdom Hearts Universe. For the first time, it's Pixar entering with the world of Toy Story, and it looks fantastic; the new trailer features Sora, Goofy and Donald finding themselves in new toy garb, transported somehow into Andy's room. After beating up a group of Heartless, the team makes friends with Woody, Buzz, and more to make an adventure in miniature to Galaxy Toys.

The new trailer is very gameplay-heavy, and shows Sora taking control of a toy mech for some FPS action. Check out the five-minute-plus dump of new content below!
Posted in: Square-Enix News, North America
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2017 Charity Final Fantasy Marathon by The Speed Gamers - Now!


Several years back, The Speed Gamers did a fun Final Fantasy marathon for charity, a goal with which CoN was happy to help. It's 2017 now, and it's time to start up again! At 6pm Eastern tonight, TSG will kick off a new marathon for the benefit of St. Jude's Children Research Hospital, with TSG players running through all of the main-series games over the course of a week. I'm posting this a bit before the start, of course, but look right below for a good place to watch if you want to tune in. I know I'll be watching a fair bit and will be doing so in CoN chat as often as I can, so come join me, won't you? They'll be doing the games in order, starting with Final Fantasy I tonight and targeting the next CoN game, Final Fantasy IV, tomorrow night.

This time around, we've provided a bit more support with promotion on social media, and our old friend Gabe provided a number of awesome fuse bead sprites for TSG to give away as donation prizes. We're not sure when they'll be given away, but keep an eye out if you're a Final Fantasy IV fan!

St. Jude has been a recipient of my own donation dollars for quite a while, so I personally think this is a great time to support people playing your favorite games for a fantastic cause. You can donate directly from here, even if you're not watching. Make sure you mention that you found out about their good cause from your friends at CoN! Don't forget that donations at particular times might also enter you for prizes like Gabe's, so pay attention, or, if you want to guarantee that you get something cool, check out these charity t-shirts on Fangamer, with $10 going to St. Jude on every shirt purchased.

Join us in wishing TSG luck over the next week, and have some fun coming up by checking out your favorite Final Fantasy games played at pace!

Source: The Speed Gamers
Posted in: Final Fantasy I, Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy VII, Gaming Industry News, CoN Site News
(2 Comments – Last by Rangers51)
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North American Final Fantasy TCG Championships Announced


General Final Fantasy
You may recall a almost a year ago when the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game was released outside of Japan, or, you might not. It would be easy because there hasn't been much hoopla around it, at least that I've seen, and I've been looking from time to time. I even have my Lightning starter deck, which is pretty neat but I don't think I'll ever be using it, as I've never been much of a player of games like TCGs.

But, if you are, or know someone who is, it might be the time to start practicing, because today Square Enix announced the first-ever wide-scale competition for North American players, the "Opus Series North American Championship 2017." The tournament will be in Los Angeles, September 16 and 17, at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport.

Registration started about two hours ago at the time I post this, and if you're serious about wanting to give it a try, you should jump on the opportunity - registration is limited to only 200 for all of North America. The entrance fee to the event is $40, and gets you in the door and gets you a little bit of rare FFTCG swag. No spectator seats are available, though the second day of the tournament will be livestreamed on Twitch and YouTube.

The prizes are significant, with trips to Japan for five days on the docket for the top four players, including entry to the world championships. The overall winner will also get a PS4 Pro, second place a PS4 Slim, Apple TVs for the semifinalists, and trophies for all of the top eight. Not a bad potential payoff if you can register to get in and get yourself to LA!

Source: Final Fantasy Trading Card Game Official Site
Posted in: Square-Enix News, North America
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Mistwalker to Announce New Game


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.
Posted in: RPG News, News from Japan
(1 Comments – Last by AltheaValara)
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E3 is Here: Have Some Trailers


E3 Expo
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!
Posted in: Square-Enix News, North America
(2 Comments – Last by laszlow)
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Square Enix Promote Live E3 Streams


E3 Expo
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:For more details and the full schedule, visit the Square Enix Members Blog, and follow along here for all the E3 news we can manage.
Posted in: Square-Enix News, North America
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Dissidia Comes to Consoles with NT


Dissida: Final Fantasy
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
Posted in: Square-Enix News, News from Japan, North America
(1 Comments – Last by Spooniest)
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Caves of Narshe Version 6
©1997–2017 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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