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.
It's been over two years since Square Enix announced the setup of Studio Istolia, headed by Hideo Baba, and Project Prelude Rune. It's been three-quarters of a year since we last heard anything significant in terms of news from the studio, too. Since then, Hideo Baba left Square Enix entirely, as it appears that I missed last month. That's usually not a good sign for a studio that has yet to produce a game, and it appears that is true here, too.
As of yesterday, all social media accounts for Studio Istolia were closed down, and as much evidence of the original trailers as Squenix could was purged from the internet. Apparently the Studio Istolia website had been redirecting users back to the main Square Enix site since around the time Baba left the studio and the company. Square Enix have yet to comment officially on this change, but the logical conclusion is that the studio and game are both now dead.
Update: Square Enix have confirmed that the studio has been shuttered.
Source: Siliconera, GamesIndustry
The next round of dates for Distant Worlds and A New World were announced late last week, carrying us largely through the fall for the former and into early 2020 for the latter. It's been since January and November respectively since we got new show information, so some of these new dates might be up your alley. For Distant Worlds:
- Seattle, September 11 and 12
- Austin, October 4
- Oklahoma City, October 5
- Quebec City, November 23
- Kansas City, January 17, 2020
I'd also missed that ANW released a second album of recordings at the start of the year. I saw a tweet the other day mentioning that the album would also be appearing on streaming services soon, but I don't yet see it on my Spotify. Keep your eyes out if you've read this far.
Source: Distant Worlds, A New World
I mentioned in a thread at the forums yesterday that Square Enix staff seemed pretty excited about today's State of Play presentation by Sony. Turns out they had good reason to be, as part of that presentation was a debut trailer with cutscenes and battle gameplay from the FF7 remake that has long been in the works!
It's just a minute long, and it mainly focuses upon the very early stages of the game that introduce us to AVALANCHE in the Reactor raid. We also get a glimpse of Aerith and Cloud's first interaction, though, and at the very end a little tiny bit of Sephiroth himself. It's still hard to tell whether the battles are going to go into an all-action mode, or whether they are just a very, very fancy variant of ATB, but what you can see already looks very pretty indeed.Source: Siliconera
Square Enix announced last week that for the first time ever, an official symphonic concert dedicated to the soundtrack of Final Fantasy VII will premiere in Los Angeles. The date will be June 9, a couple days before this year's E3 kicks off, and it will play at the Dolby Theatre at 6pm for one show.
The concert will include over a hundred live musicians conducted by Arnie Roth, with new arrangements and a new HD video presentation to be played as the concert goes. Tickets are on sale now and range from $77.77 (ha!) to $139.
The timing of doing an all-FF7 concert just before E3 is interesting, with the remake in the works. One might take this to mean that there will be some real information on the remake at E3 this year, in which case we've got just a month or so left to wait.
Source: Gematsu, WildFaery
Still speculative, but it was reported today that the body responsible for age-rating games in South Korea (known as the Game Rating and Administration Committee of Korea) has given a rating for PCs for Octopath Traveler, the Square Enix Switch RPG. The publisher of record is Bandai Namco, who according to Gematsu regularly act as the Korean-locale publisher for Square Enix games.
There is always the chance that this could be an erroneous listing, but typically news such as this from a game ratings board is always followed by an official announcement or an actual release of a game. Given further that the game was originally developed in Unreal Engine, a PC port seems like an obvious next step as well. Keep your eyes out for more news soon.
We haven't heard much about the Seiken Densetsu games since the recent remake of Seiken Densetsu 2, known in the west as Secret of Mana, was released a little over a year ago. Before that, it was nearly two years ago that the collection of the first three games in the series was released for Switch, only in Japan. However, it seems like there might be life in the series again as Square Enix Japan have now filed for trademarks in Japan for "Collection of Mana" and "Secret of Mana," which is a little bit odd given that the "Mana" names were never actually used in Japan until now.
"Collection of Mana" specifically seems to echo the Japanese name for the Switch release, "Seiken Densetsu Collection." Could that mean that an official release in English of Seiken Densetsu 3 might finally be on the cards? Or are Square Enix merely looking to protect their IP more globally? We don't yet know, of course, and Square Enix are certainly not yet saying. Given that other Mana-series trademarks have recently been filed in North America and Europe, it could go either way.
Posted in: News from Japan
Kingdom Hearts 3 is finally released, and as a followup Square Enix has announced a new Kingdom Hearts Orchestra tour in a number of worldwide locations starting in May. We've talked about the orchestra on the forums before during their previous tour last year, but now there are a lot of new dates for 2019:
- Singapore, May 18
- Chicago, June 1
- Orlando, June 22
- New York, June 28 and 29
- Atlanta, September 14
- Paris, September 28
- Sydney, October 19
- Dallas, October 26
- London, November 17
On the subject of Square Enix music, though, while we're here - A New World announced recently one new date in Seattle on April 27th.
Source: Kingdom Hearts Orchestra Tickets, A New World
This is unexpected and kind of neat; Square Enix announced today a new CG-animated feature-length movie from the Dragon Quest universe, title "Dragon Quest: Your Story." The movie will be based upon Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride, a game first released on the Super Famicom over 25 years ago. Yuji Horii, creator of the Dragon Quest franchise, will be a consulting supervisor on the movie's production. It will be released on August 2 in Japan, but no indications yet of subtitled or dubbed releases outside of Japan.
The last update we had for Distant Worlds shows centered around a lot of dates outside the United States, mostly in Europe. Many of those shows are still to come, so if you are one of our European readers don't forget to look back.
Now, though, a big chunk of 2019 is being filled with dates in the States. The show in Nashville is still coming up next week, but in addition the concert series is coming to:
- Minneapolis, March 1
- Boston, April 5
- Denver, May 2 and 3
- Columbus, Ohio, May 31
- Phoenix, September 7
- Chicago, September 14
Tickets for all of these shows are already on sale! There were no new dates for A New World announced in this round, but I'm certain some will show up in the near future.
Source: Distant Worlds
We reported yesterday that Square Enix had registered trademarks for a Final Fantasy digital card game, and we thought that maybe it would be an online version of the physical card game that was released a couple years back. It appears now that it's not - but don't blame EvilEye, as much as you might like to.
Announced today in Japan, the actual product appears to be a different card game entirely with more RPG elements but still a reliance upon the thirty years of Final Fantasy IP. The announcement website is only in Japanese, and Google Translate does not have a good time with it, but upon comparing the field of play in screenshots with my own physical cards, it definitely seems like a different game.
The game must be releasing very soon, at least in Japan, as applications are being accepted now for a closed beta to be run between the 18th and 25th of this month. It will be available for Windows, iOS, and Android.