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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.
A job posting appeared on Friday from Square Enix, looking for "core members" of the Final Fantasy VII Remake project. It appears that this specific listing is for a level planner, laying out areas in the Remake world using Unreal Engine 4. The listing also mentions potential roles for battle planners, designers, and engineers (in this context, likely game developers), with some of those roles coming from inside Square Enix and others being outside hires.
Part of this news was new to me in the case that the development of the game was previously being done outside of Square Enix, by a company called CyberConnect. Now it appears that headquarters has fully assimilated the project, hence the need for some hiring and organizational shifting to accommodate the work.
This news is also a bit illuminating as a look inside the company's practices that I personally haven't seen before. At least for this role, they are not looking for a minimum level of experience, implying that the hiring will be done based mainly on prior portfolio. The salary starts at about USD $34,000 a year, with no upper bound mentioned; that would seem to me like they're willing to bring in a very junior person for this specific role if necessary. I don't know what game devs typically make in Japan, but I do know that you wouldn't get much of a developer here in the States for that money. They also promise a forty-hour work week, which I would find a little difficult to believe in this industry and on a game of this importance.
The other big conclusion you can draw from this is probably a bit more sad - if they're just now bringing the work in house and are hiring for roles like these currently, that would probably indicate that there hasn't been much progress in development yet. I wouldn't hold my breath to see much new this year, though the late-year Tokyo Game Show might be an option.
Source: Siliconera, Kotaku
The most RPG-related news from yesterday's Nintendo Direct came via Square Enix, who announced that SaGa: Scarlet Grace would be ported from its original PlayStation Vita release to Switch later this year. Scarlet Grace is the latest game in the series, released in late 2016 for Vita; as of yet, there has never been a release of the game outside of Japan. As of its release, it was also the first new main-line SaGa game in over a decade.
When this news first broke yesterday at Nintendo Direct, the announcement was specific for Switch, leading Western SaGa fans to worry that there would be no port this time around either. However, since that time, Squenix have confirmed that the game is also coming for PS4, iOS, Android, and Windows, all for release this year. While there's no specific confirmation of a release outside of Japan yet, it is incredibly unlikely that the company will release for smartphones and Windows and not release an English translation simultaneously. This official confirmation is sure to come soon.
Wait, is this a thing? Did Square Enix really drop this on us out of nowhere, or have I been so oblivious that I just missed it? Either way, on Steam it is. There's a $14.99 "Limited Edition" Chrono Trigger for sale on Steam for Windows as we speak.
It's based on the iOS/Android versions of the Nintendo DS release, following suit from other SNES-era Square games that have made it to Steam. This means that it has the additional dungeon content and ending from that NDS version, so it's another opportunity to try that out and use the CoN walkthrough if you never have. Based on the screenshots, it looks like the art has been softened a little bit in this release, with the sprites not quite as sharp as one would remember from the older versions, but fairly similar to the mobile versions.
The system specs here are predictably low, and the price isn't bad for folks who haven't played CT before or have never had a chance to do the later-added content. Of course, it will likely show up in a nice big Steam sale pretty soon, too, so enjoy!
Posted in: Chrono Trigger
We've got some new concert news coming up for 2018, and it's been a while since we've done a major update. So, buckle up and hope for some new concerts coming your way soon!
The newest announcement for Distant Worlds is Cleveland, in what I believe is a first for the series. Ohio fans, be on the lookout with tickets already on sale for the June show. The rest of the 2018 scheduled shows lay out like this:
- Paris, April 21 (Matinee and Evening Shows)
- Vancouver, June 1
- Cleveland, June 16
- San Francisco, August 4
- Durham, North Carolina, October 13
For A New World, we just got an announcement for a new show in Boston this week. Tickets are already on sale for the April 20th show, and VIP tickets are available. The rest of the year for the smaller chamber music series looks this way:
- Honolulu, March 4 at Kawaii Kon
- Quebec City, April 7
- Boston, April 20
- Prague, May 5
- Vienna, May 6
While one might have predicted that Final Fantasy XV would have run its course after almost eighteen months, it's clear that Square Enix want to be able to operate the game much like an MMO, with new revisions coming frequently for the foreseeable future. We've covered in the past that the game has plans going out through all of 2018, but a number of new announcements were made today with specifics for the first quarter of this year.
While we've known since last August that XV was being ported for Windows on Steam, today we got a launch trailer and system specs for the release, as well as a date: March 6. As one might suspect, if you want this game in 4K, you're going to need a serious Windows rig, including a GTX 1080 Ti. Also worth noting for some folks is that the game isn't Steam-only now; the launch trailer also confirms that the game will be available via Origin - the first Final Fantasy game to show up on that network.
For those who don't already have the game on console, March 6 will also debut the Royal Edition of the game on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The Royal Edition will actually be the same game released for Windows, as it will contain the standard game, all current DLC, and a number of new options:
- Expanded Crown City Map with a new challenge dungeon and boss fights
- Control over the party's boat, allowing for shoreline exploration and new fishing spots
- A new accessory unlocking a new Armiger ability
- First-person mode
- New cosmetic items
- New quest for Regalia upgrades
- More worldbuilding content in findable items and conversations
In the meantime, console gamers will get a free DLC update next week. The big news there is that Aranea will be available as a sparring partner at camp, which could be fun for a time. There will also be a "standby" option at camp, though it's not clear what that means exactly, and new shop items at the trading post in Altissia. There will also be the usual bug fixes and minor updates.
In short, it sounds to me like March 6 is going to be the time to try out XV if you've been waiting; or, if you have been resisting buying anything but the base game, it might just be time to dust it off and pick back up. If that $20 price tag is essentially the "GOTY" version that rolls up everything released so far, that's a pretty great deal.
Source: Siliconera, Gematsu
In what should be a predictable theme nowadays, Square Enix today announced that Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age will be released for Steam on Windows on February 1. The HD remake of the original Final Fantasy XII, released on PlayStation 2, first added new gameplay modes and a fast-forward feature, as well as reconciling some other updates between the original and the International Versions of the game. The PC version will take it a bit further, adding in some cheat options to make the game easier, as well as support for 60fps and ultra-wide 21:9 monitors.
Once the game is released, the game's producer and director will be taking to a YouTube livestream to walk through the PC version's new features and respond to players' comments pre-organized from Twitter. That will happen in the wee hours of February 2 for us in the Western Hemisphere.
I personally had waited a while to pick up this game, intending to grab it used at some point. Now that I know it will eventually end up on Steam sale, well, I might just wait a bit longer.
For all you readers out there still using TWEWY pin avatars, this one's for you. At today's Nintendo Direct Mini, a release for the 2007 Nintendo DS game The World Ends with You was announced for Switch. Entitled "Final Remix," the game will provide higher-resolution graphics and controls via both the touchscreen and the Joy-Cons. Additionally, new story content will be added in what Gematsu calls an "epilogue scenario" and the Nintendo Direct video describes as "getting right to the heart of the story."
TWEWY never really did it for me on DS; I found the art style interesting but overly complicated and in the way of the gameplay, and the constant switching between the two screens to be a chore. The graphics still look pretty busy in the announcement video, but perhaps moving it to the larger screen will make it more playable. In any event, the game should find a new audience when released for the first time on console, and it will be coming sometime this year.
Source: Gematsu, Nintendo on YouTube
Happy new year, CoN friends and Final Fantasy music fans; with 2018 upon us, we now know how the 2017 Regalia Music Playlist Championship ended up! In a pretty big blowout for the final, Balance is Restored, the Final Fantasy VI ending theme, took honors over Liberi Fatali from Final Fantasy VIII. Here's how the top five songs sorted out at the end of it all:
- Balance is Restored, Final Fantasy VI
- Liberi Fatali, Final Fantasy VIII
- Trisection, Final Fantasy Tactics
- Corridors of Time, Chrono Trigger
- Chrono Trigger (Crono's Theme), Chrono Trigger
Obviously, this was a very different tournament from the last one many years ago; we nominated songs differently, we included many more games and songs in the final bracket, and of course we had the neato Regalia website to help manage it all. For all that, we definitely ended up with a very different set of tracks fighting to the end, but we still ended up with one thing the same as last time around: an epic Final Fantasy VI song at the top of the heap.
Because of how differently things played out in the songs, we had a very tight race for our prizes. Only seven people even managed to get any of the songs that ended up in the top five, and of those, only one person got two songs, and that same person was the only person to get one of the songs exactly right (it was Liberi Fatali in second, for the curious). That person, our winner, is AltheaValara! Congratulations to her! Second and third place could not be separated at all, as they each got the second-best predictions for each most closely predicting the final position of Corridors of Time, so they will each get the second-place prize should they so choose. Those two people are Glenn Magus Harvey and Sherick.
Thanks to everyone who nominated, predicted, and voted along the way. I hope you all had a good time, and all the best to you and everyone at CoN for 2018!
Posted in: CoN Site News
Jump Festa '18 starts up on December 16, and as always, Square Enix will be on hand for the anime/manga/gaming exposition in Chiba Prefecture. It doesn't appear that there will be any big new announcements there, befitting the expo's slightly lower stature in the industry, but several known properties will appear:
- Dissidia Final Fantasy NT
- Dragon Quest Builders
- Dragon Quest Rivals
- Dragon Quest X Online
- Dragon Quest of the Stars
- Secret of Mana
- Dragon Quest: Scan Battlers
That's right, 2018 plans. In the newest, and reportedly last, Active Time Report scheduled for the one-year anniversary of the game yesterday, Square Enix outlined some new content coming over the course of the game's second year. Unfortunately, the ATR was not subtitled this time around, so there are big parts of it I can't yet report on, such as the survey results from the questionnaire the game served up for a while a couple months back. One takeaway is that anything not explicitly laid out here is still meant to be locked in for plans and timing by the end of this calendar year.
The crux of that survey, though, was asking what other characters in the Final Fantasy XV world needed an "episode" DLC, in the manner that Noctis' party has gotten, concluding with Episode Ignis arriving on December 13. More on that in a bit, but in terms of the survey, it's worth noting that the next episode, centering around Ardyn, will be the first released of the "at least three" scheduled for next year. Ardyn's episode appears as if it might be more of a look back in history than previous episodes, with a focus being put upon worldbuilding in Eos. The dates and other content for other episodes are unclear, but Hajime Tabata expressed in the ATR that 2018 was not a hard-and-fast window, and that episodes would be released only when they were "satisfactory." Tabata also acknowledged that players really want to get more story content for Lunafreya, so I think it's a safe bet that one of the episodes will also center on her. I'm still kind of hoping for an Aranea one, for what it's worth.
The big free December update, though, will be out just before Ignis and will add the ability to switch active party members during battle. For those who haven't played, up until now every battle required you to operate as Noctis, only able to set equipment for the rest of the party and allowing that to influence their battle decisions, as well as giving them orders for special techniques when available. The new update will give a new in-battle option to switch to another member of the four, and use some of the battle mechanics that have been given to those characters in their episodic DLC.
Now, back to Ignis. His episode, as mentioned, will be out in just a couple weeks, and appears to take place canonically in the time immediately after the major plot events of Altissia. It's meant to have a couple hours of plot, but will have two routes of completion, one unlocking only for players who have finished the main game. This secondary route is implied to have some impact on the way that the polarizing ending of the main game has been received; I'll go no further so as to avoid spoilers, but I think anyone who has finished the game can probably guess what that might mean. The secondary route will also have a challenge boss fight, which differs from the other battle available to players who complete the episode via either route - a one-on-one Ignis v. Noctis battle all around Hammerhead.
Stay tuned as more information should lock in over the next few weeks!
Source: Siliconera, Gematsu