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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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Sony's State of Play Gives Final Look at Rebirth


Final Fantasy VII
Naturally, I had important family engagements last night just in time for the Final Fantasy VII Rebirth State of Play showcase from Sony, so after catching only the trailer last night I had to get up a little early to catch up. So, here's a quick recap for all of you as well, if you missed it or only saw the "short" trailer so far. Spoilers abound if you're looking to go into the game completely tabula rasa, so this post will simply end with the State of Play video and the rest will follow in thread.


(1 Comments – Last by Rangers51)
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The Game Awards: A Few Wins, More Good News


Square Enix
Geoff Keighley's "The Game Awards" took place again last evening, and ran probably an hour too long. I know I was certainly tired of it by the end. Square Enix, should they put much stock in these awards, would have likely left disappointed; the company won only for "Most Anticipated Game" and "Best Score and Music," leaving several other awards on the table. This is not necessarily a surprise, given that in most categories, Squenix games were up against some juggernauts of the year.

On the bright side for Squenix fans, though, there were some big announcements. We'll go in chronological order from last night's event: first, the announcement of the first all-new Mana game in a decade and a half, Visions of Mana. It's immediately gorgeous despite clearly being early in development, with a rich color palette and wide scope. The Mana Tree looks amazing as well. There aren't many details yet, but some of the battles show combat with a single character, the lead named Val, and other battles show classic Mana action with a multi-character party. The release date was not pegged beyond "2024," and the game will release for Playstation 4 and 5, Xbox Series X and S, and Steam.



The second reveal for the night was a new trailer for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, with the debut of the game's theme song. There's a lot to unpack here, and I mean a lot. And if you're looking to avoid spoilers entirely, well, you're probably best served not being on the internet right now, but I'll try not to go into too much detail. Right away, though, we get a clip with Zack and Biggs that reinforces the timeline schisms that have been predicted since the ending sequences of both Remake and Intermission. Rapid-fire after that, we get to hear Bugenhagen, Vincent, and Cid all speak, as well as some Cait Sith brogue. There are new summons, and even our first ever look at Dyne. Marlene crops up in Zack's timeline, with ComaCloud in the background, making predictions about Aerith's fate! And then, we cut to Aerith on stage, in a dress reminiscent of Celes' opera dress, singing the new theme song, with a lot more clips that show just about the entire cast as well as some pretty surprising implications.

The song is called "No Promises to Keep," and it was composed by Nobuo Uematsu and is performed in-game by Loren Allred. It's a lovely tune and feels more upbeat than the theme from Remake; it kind of gives me the feel of the classic theme songs from the PSX era.



The trailer above only shows a bit of the song; live at the show, they performed more with the live orchestra and Loren Allred. The official Game Awards channel published the performance, so you can now watch it here too:

The final reveal for the evening in terms of Square Enix games was pretty widely predicted; the company announced two DLC packages for Final Fantasy XVI. The first, "Echoes of the Fallen," is a side story that appears to take place canonically just before the events of the endgame. It looks to be set mostly in a giant Fallen ruin and will add quite a bit to the lore of Valisthea from before the fall. The second one appears to be completely separate and might not take place in Valisthea at all, so it's interesting to think how that might get set up. Called "The Rising Tide," It will include at the very least two classic Final Fantasy elements not in the original game - Tonberries and Leviathan. "Echoes" was released just after the awards completed last night at a standalone cost of $9.99 US, and "Rising Tide" will be released next Spring. Both can be purchased now for $24.99 US, and I will probably be doing exactly that later today. Since these DLCs are for an M-rated game, there's no point in me embedding it here, so you can watch that one on YouTube.

(3 Comments – Last by Rangers51)
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CoN Account Password Security Upgrades


Caves of Narshe Site News
We here at CoN were notified over this past weekend about a potential past intrusion into the CoN database, which may have affected user information, including email addresses and passwords.

Please note that our passwords have never been stored in plaintext, and while there's evidence suggesting that we may have been susceptible to brute force attempts to unmask user passwords, we want to assure you that we are going to do everything we can to safeguard your accounts.

Let us first give our apologies for this happening; it's our belief that any information that was stolen was out of date, though we know that doesn't make this news much better. Nevertheless, we're taking additional steps to further enhance our security measures; yesterday, we rolled out changes in how we securely store passwords, effective immediately for all new users and set to update for older users upon their next login. The new storage method tracks to current best methods and reduces the chances of any passwords being reversible to nearly zero.

If you're already logged in, or once you log in next, we kindly ask you to update your password. For those who haven't logged in within the last two months, we've already reset your password, and you can regain access to your account through our 'forgot password' process. By doing this, you'll be utilizing our new, more robust security and also separating your CoN login information from anywhere else you might have used it online.

If you encounter any issues, have concerns, or questions, please reach out to R51 on Discord, via the forums, or via email for assistance. As we always say, there are web professionals behind the running of this site, and we'll always answer questions about how things work here and even what you can do to keep your accounts secure elsewhere.

It's nearly 2024 and we probably don't need to tell you this, but now's the time to make sure you're not reusing passwords. If your password was unique to CoN, then we still suggest you change it but you don't have much else to worry about. If you have used your CoN password elsewhere, this is still a good time to make a change for the better. We will continue to look out for your account as best we can, and if you meet us halfway, we'll all be in good shape for the future.
Posted in: CoN Site News
(2 Comments – Last by Galsic)
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Square Enix Release Piano Collections to Streaming Platforms


Square Enix
I've missed a lot of news recently, I get that, but it's far too late to catch up now. So instead, let's have a nice easy one to get back into things: today, Square Enix Music announced that they've released a baker's dozen of their Piano Collections albums from the Final Fantasy series to streaming platforms. It's not just a few services, either; while many of the big expected ones are there, like Spotify, Apple, Amazon, and YouTube, there are five other streaming services included as well as three storefronts where the albums can be purchased and downloaded instead.

The Piano Collections albums started with Final Fantasy IV, and so too does the list of released albums. It then moves to each mainline game in the series all the way up to Final Fantasy XV; the final album included is from the original Crystal Chronicles from the GameCube.



Source: Square Enix Music
Posted in: Square-Enix News
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Final Fantasy Rebirth Dated with New State of Play Trailer


Final Fantasy VII
Sony's recently-announced State of Play just wrapped up a few minutes ago, with Square Enix serving as the penultimate spectacle. After a brief bit of Foamstars (open beta coming in two weeks, release early 2024 if you're here for that news), the stream jumped straight into Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. Before I break down the trailer, though, you can get the release date: Leap Day 2024. That's a bit later than I'd hoped, but at least it gives me more time to catch up on games before it releases.

Based on these three minutes, there is going to be a lot packed into this game, and this is going to be completely spoilery if you haven't gotten around to playing Remake and Intermission. The trailer starts with Zack carrying Cloud through a wrecked Midgar, showing yet again that there are some sort of timeline or universe shenanigans at play. It then cuts straight to Rufus ordering the Junon cannon to fire, and some brief snippets of combat, including some with Red XIII in the primary battle party. Cait Sith returns from his brief cameo in the prior game, complete with accent and giant Moogle, and the first confirmation that he will indeed be available for combat too.


The buggy appears, as well as some of our favorite colors of chocobo; REUNION gets some focus, as well as Midgardsormr and the Bottomswell boss under Junon. Yuffie shows off a partner technique with Barret, and Aerith does one with Cait Sith, and then we get a little bit of Cloud and Sephiroth fighting... as teammates. A couple quick cuts show us new summons, namely Alexander and Odin, and then we get a longer sequence of Gold Saucer, with everyone's favorite minigames.

We then get another brief shot of Zack, this time dropping off the still-unconscious Cloud with, of all people, apparently Kyrie? The strange shenanigans continue anon. Finally, a couple more big reveals - Emerald Weapon, Vincent, and at last, Sephiroth speaking of REUNION... "When worlds merge."

Sorry if this sounds a little breathless, but frankly, it is a bit. There was a lot packed into three short minutes, a lot more than I expected to see today. And preorders are open now.
(1 Comments – Last by AltheaValara)
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Final Fantasy Concerts Remaining in 2023


Distant Worlds
I've been remiss for quite a while at keeping everyone up on Distant Worlds (and A New World) dates. However, for the former, the Final Fantasy 35th Anniversary Program has continued apace, and there are eleven future dates coming up across the US, Canada, and Brazil:
  • Los Angeles, August 13, 2023
  • Cleveland, Ohio, September 9
  • S�o Paulo, September 28
  • Rio de Janeiro, October 1

  • Austin, Texas, November 10
  • Montreal, December 3
  • Seattle, January 20, 2024
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, February 3
  • Washington, DC, March 2
  • Hartford, Connecticut, March 23
  • San Francisco, May 31 and June 1
The smaller chamber orchestra for A New World currently has only three shows through the rest of 2023:
  • Boston, September 29
  • Cincinnati, October 1
  • San Diego, December 8
All shows for both series are available for ticket purchase or preorder right now.

Source: Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds, A New World: Intimate Music from Final Fantasy
(1 Comments – Last by St Khael)
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Square-Enix Announces Next Expansion for Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail


A Realm Reborn
The North American Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest began today, and as expected, producer and director Naoki Yoshida's keynote featured the announcement of the next expansion planned for the game:Dawntrail.

The theme of the expansion is "Summer Vacation", as the Warrior of Light and friends travel to what's been known previously as "The New World":Tural, an area located in the Far West. The premise for the Warrior of Light traveling there is an invitation to a contest that will help decide the next ruler of its hub city, Tuliyollal. The Scions will be pitted against each other during the contest--just who will be on the Warrior of Light's side?

Other revelations included:
  • Urqopacha, a mountainous region home to "peoples both exceedingly large and unusually small in nature."
  • Yak Tel, a forest region accessible by dirigible.
  • The Pelupelu, an allied tribe.
  • A level cap increase to 100.
  • Two new jobs, both DPS: one melee and one magical ranged caster.
  • A "whiteboard" feature which will let players plan raid strategies.
  • More details on the previously announced graphical update.
  • A cross-over event withFall Guys, including new content to the Gold Saucer in Final Fantasy XIV.
  • The expansion of the free trial to now include the entirety ofStormblood.

There was one other huge announcement: the game is making its way to the Xbox Series X|S. Open beta will be in spring of 2024, before Dawntrail is released.

Here's the teaser trailer for your enjoyment:

Source:Final Fantasy XIV Official YouTube Channel,USA Today,Game Informer
Posted in: Square-Enix News
(1 Comments – Last by AltheaValara)
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Super Mario RPG Remake Announced for Switch


Nintendo
Rumors had been bouncing around for the last couple days that a remaster or remake of the classic Squaresoft/Nintendo collaboration for SNES would appear at today's Direct, and so it was.
The original game released in 1996 and the original was packaged up for Virtual Console on Wii and Wii U, but never for Switch, and perhaps now we know why. The game's been redone with a very nice new engine, even with the slightly-squished look of the original isometric visuals intact.

The new version of the game will release on November 17, 2023. Digital preorders are available now; I assume there will be a physical release of the game as well, but those details are not yet available.

Source: Nintendo of America YouTube
(2 Comments – Last by NinjaViet86)
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Summer Game Fest Brings Us Rebirth


Final Fantasy VII
After the mild disappointment of the Sony Showcase, in which we got no Final Fantasy VII, the Summer Game Fest stream that just ended gave us a little bit more of what we're looking for: a brand-new trailer for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.

This had been expected for the last week or so, when the official Twitter accounts in both Japanese and English started posting semi-cryptic updates about the progress of the game, and users noticed that they started exactly seven days before Keighley's SGF. Bad news out of the way, first - the trailer locks in a mostly-assumed bit of news, that the game is delayed now until "Early 2024."
That same title card has some surprising news, too - the game is shipping on two discs. This obviously means that it's going to be a larger game than the first one, which shipped on a single disc for Playstation 5 even including Yuffie's Intermission. I'm going to do something odd for CoN news here and put my impressions of the trailer in a separate thread so they can be more easily avoided for users who want no chance of spoilers. For this post, I'll just suffice to say that my kid got very excited very quickly.

The other Final Fantasy VII game that's on the way, Ever Crisis, also got a new trailer and updated release information. In this case, the new information is that players can pre-register for the game now; additionally, players on Android devices can sign up to get into a closed beta starting today and running until just about the end of June. It seems like this game should make it to Switch, eventually, but unfortunately that was not part of today's announcment.
The way I see it, if you're not completely sold on Final Fantasy XVI yet, there is at least a lot of good Final Fantasy VII coming... but probably not soon enough.
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Not Much Rebirthed in the Playstation Showcase


Square Enix
Sony's Playstation Showcase ended a little bit ago, and while there were a lot of very grabby games involved (go do some Googling for Sword of the Sea, Neva, and the Metal Gear Solid and Spider-Man news if you've got a Playstation 5), the only thing that got rebirthed was the Marathon IP from Bungie.

If you were looking for Square Enix in the hour-long presentation, your options were a bit limited; we can start with the announcement of a new team-based 4v4 shooter called "Foamstars," which appears to be made up primarily of OG Fortnite and Splatoon vibes. It's a third-person shooter where the core mechanic is shooting foam everywhere, whether to build, transport, or hunt. The world and characters look fun and shiny, but my gut call is that this might struggle to find an audience.
The only other presence for Squenix in this event was for Final Fantasy XVI. It was an interesting change of pace from other recent info from the game (that I've failed to cover here), as it seemed to have a lot of focus on the world around the main characters and the motivations for the plot, versus the very combat-heavy videos we've seen over the last few months. In my opinion, it gives some much-needed texture to the world that they've shown us so far and is pretty helpful with the game coming in a month.
But yes, not a thing about the Final Fantasy VII world. I guess nothing more to see for that game until later - hopefully not all the way until Tokyo Games Show, which is at the end of September?

Source: Square Enix NA YouTube
Posted in: Square-Enix News
(2 Comments – Last by Rangers51)
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