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News from February 2003

Tuesday Tidbits


None of these really warrent an update in themselves, but some may be of interest to a few of you CoN-ers.

Starting off with some non-Final Fantasy or RPG news,  Konami has announced that Silent Hill 3 will be released in Europe first.  The tentative date is May 23.  Gamers in Japan and North America are the ones that will have to be waiting this time around.  European gamers usually have to wait months for PAL versions of their games.  Speaking of the North American version, though, its release is planned sometime in August.

For those that don't know,  Silent Hill 3 is popular action/horror series that is similar to the Resident Evil series (correct me if I'm wrong on this one guys.).
***
Tidbit numero dos:  Final Fantasy Tatics Advance has already moved over 250,000 copies in Japan.  And it was only released on Valentine's Day.  One copy of FFTA was sold for every single GameBoy Advance SP (also released on that day) that was sold.  

Considering the popularity of the original FFT among North American gamers, it should be a hit here as well.
***
Tidbit number three:  A new Zelda game is on the works for the GameBoy Advance.  Shigeru Miyamoto talked about in a recent interview.  The game will be developed for Nintendo by Capcom.  Besides being a developer of generally high regard, they have developed the three most recent Zelda GameBoy games (The two Oracale games for GB Color and the port of Link To Past for the GBA).  

The game has been actually development since 2001.

---

Links to Tidbit source articles:
Tidbit 1: http://gamespot.com/gamespot/stories/news/0,10870,2911343,00.html
Tidbit 2: http://www.ffinsider.net/news/news.php?id=324
Tidbit 3: http://www.gamesarefun.com/cgi-bin....,29872,

Posted in: RPG News

Metric Ton of New Layouts


Caves of Narshe Site News
Lamest headline ever.

Anyway, three new art packages make their debut on the site today. We have two from Narratorway, both featuring Palom and Porom from FF4, and a layout from current queen of the Fanart Hall of Fame, A-Chan, featuring Faris from FFV. I will be adding all of these pieces to the main fanart section just as soon as I can. About half are already up.

Posted in: CoN Site News

WonderSwan to Be Phased Out


Bandai, the manufacturer of the SwanCyrstal, WonderSwan Color and WonderSwan, announced that they will stop mass production of the SwanCrystal (their latest version of the handheld device).  Furthermore, they have no future hardware plans as of now.

http://www.gamesarefun.com/cgi-bin....,30952,

While it was never brought over to the North American market, the WonderSwan was able to establish a nice little niche market over in Japan.  Sales have really sagged in recent weeks though.  Bandai is to the point where they are only moving 800 to 1,000 units weekly.  

The WonderSwan Color garnered much of its attention through ports of popular game made to the system, particularly those by Square and Capcom.  Square ported Final Fantasy I, II and IV, and Romancing SaGa to the system while Capcom brought its Ghouls 'n Ghosts, Pocket Fighter, and Mega Man and Bass.

Bandai handheld plans are now to develop software for the GameBoy Advance, hoping to release a game this coming fall in Japan.  

Source: GamesAreFun
~-~-~-~

This is just one less competitor to Nintendo's dominance in the handheld market.  As already stated up above, it was never released in the North American market and only established a niche in Japan.  Every bit of competition against Nintendo helps it though.  On the positive side, this will result in the GameBoy Advance getting another quality developer in the form of Bandai.  

Next up for Nintendo (about a year or so away though): Nokia's N-Gage.

New Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles Info


General Final Fantasy
In a recent issue of VJump, There are two pages dedicated to FF: Crystal Chronicles. They show new artwork of the main characters and a moogle carrying a letter.

Here are the Scans :

Scan 1
Scan 2
Source: Square Insider

Apparently Mog Central has returned to the Final Fantasy world, with Moogles in Multi-Colored trousers and no arms.

Also, the skills / magic system seems to be based on the FF7 Materia System. You will be able to add various crystals to gain new magic and skills, and also to increase your stats.
Source 2: Square Insider

/*--*/

The moogles in these scans scare me. They look like some kinda pieced together genetic creature or something.

The Materia-esque gameplay will make this game really interesting, IMO. Giving it a depth to the character customization and allowing everyone to have a differnt type of character if they wanted. I wonder if they will have to have a Phoenix-Final Attack combo. heh.

Posted in: Square-Enix News

Forum/Chat Rules


Caves of Narshe Site News
People have asked for a more clear-cut definition of the rules here at CoN for quite a while. We finally have them fully outlined at http://www.cavesofnarshe.com/forums/rules.php for your review.

These rules are really just a written form of the common-sense regulations the moderators of the CoN forums and the ops of CoNChat have been using for a very long time.

If for some reason we find you in violation of one of these rules in the forums, we will do our best to educate rather than simply prosecute. If there is anything we can do to make your stay better, please let us know.
Posted in: CoN Site News

CoN expands with Final Fantasy V


Caves of Narshe Site News
The CoN has expanded to fit a third game to its gallery!

After months of hard work, the Final Fantasy 5 section of the CoN has finally been opened.  All members and visitors are now welcome to learn more about the game that was only recently released in the United States in the Final Fantasy Anthology collection.  Enjoy new layouts by Kame and Hikaroo, hopefully with more to come.

We at the CoN hope everyone enjoys the new section after putting so much work and time into getting all the info down and right -- and there's even more coming.  Stay tuned for a walkthrough of the game, and visit the brand new FFV forum, just opened today.

The first FF5 CoNQuiz will be available on 1 March.
Posted in: CoN Site News

Square and Enix Merger Official


Square Enix
Shareholders of Square and Enix met in Tokyo yesterday to vote on the merger agreement between the two companies. As expected, it was approved.

http://www.rpgamer.com/news/Q1-2003/021303a.html

The companies will each publish one more game under their separate titles (Final Fantasy X-2 from Square and Dragon Quest Monsters III: Caravan Heart from Enix)  Their companies will officially start their operations together on April 1st under the title of the Square Enix Corporation.  The first title published under their new name will be Vision of Ziraat, the Final Fantasy XI expansion set.  

The merger will help reduce costs by allowing Square to no longer be force to publish games through Sony Computer Entertainment. Instead, they can just do it through means already in existence at Enix.

Source: RPGamer


While this merger should be good because saves the two companies money, I think it will be even more important because of the creative infusion it should provide to each company.  In many's opinion, the Final Fantasy series has become stagnant in its recent releases.  Final Fantasy IX was a good game [especially after FFVIII (keep in mind that this is entirely my opinion ^_^)], but it was not great by any means.  It was just not all that memorable of a game especially after many of the previous incarnations of the series.  FFX had a very good plot, but it lacked in the area of gameplay.  There was not much you could not get by without just pressing the X button.  Hopefully, the best of both companies will shine in Final Fantasy XII when it is released.

On Enix's end, hopefully with the "Square" part added to their name, their games (which are usually of high quality) will be a bit more successful in the North American market.

Posted in: Square-Enix News

Sony and Square Go Australian


Square Enix
From http://www.rpgamer.com/...

http://www.rpgamer.com/news/Q1-2003/021203b.html

Hey, I know for a fact that we have at least one forumgoer from Australia, so this is valid.  :)  Australians will now have the opportunity to pick up a Playstation 2 unless they previously imported one, and there's a specific little package available that will give them a free game upon purchase.  The most notable of the five available games is Square's recent release, Kingdom Hearts.

I think that a package like this is going to attract many Australians to the deal and will just help to broaden Square and Sony's hold on the video game market.  Though Gamecube and XBox are putting up a fight, Sony is still the leader in the market and hey, getting another continent will only add to the mix.  When their first taste is of a certain company, in this case possibly Square, they may just follow that company and its games for quite awhile.  I know the first RPGs I played were all from Square and I followed the company for quite awhile before discovering some third party companies, so this is a good, smart move by the companies.
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Final Fantasy XII Teaser Poster / Information


General Final Fantasy
Source : The Magic Box

A little while ago, Square released a teaser poster and a little information about Final Fantasy XII.

http://www.the-magicbox.com/game122502g.htm

The poster looks alot like a Final Fantasy IX city would if it were set modern day, not suprising because the art director ,Hideo Minaba, also worked on FFIX.

Also, the character designs are by Akihiko Yoshida, who worked on Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy Tactics, so there should be some interesting character designs coming out of this.

It looks like it will be an interesting game, just from that poster  and the people working on the project. We'll see how everything unfolds.
Posted in: Square-Enix News

New Lufia heads to Game Boy Advance


From http://www.rpgamer.com/

http://www.rpgamer.com/news/Q1-2003/021103a.html

The Lufia series from the Super Nintendo and Game Boy Color is going to release another edition, this time on the Game Boy Advance.  It's called Lufia: The Ruins of Lore, and it actually brings back some aspects of Lufia 2.  In Lufia 2, there was a military nation, Gratze, that played a minor role in the game -- the biggest thing to note was that they were completely cut off from all other nations and were actually secretly plotting world domination (because, y'know, it's just something you can plot very easily).  

The Ruins of Lore picks up with a character inside Gratze that is rising the ranks, somewhat like Golbez did in FF4 to control the city of Baron.  In fact, the more I look at this story, the more it looks like FF4.  Ragule, the character from Gratze, is trying to awaken a very powerful beast, just as Golbez was trying to awaken the path to the moon.  A group tries to stop Ragule by locating magical stones (crystals, anyone?) that tell the location of the beast.

So if you're interested in playing an FF4 clone on the GBA, check out Lufia: The Ruins of Lore.  If you're not, you still might want to pick it up, because Lufia has yet to disappoint.
Posted in: RPG News

Kingdom Hearts: The Movie


General Final Fantasy
It appears that Square and Disney's relationship will last beyond their game for the Playstation 2.

http://www.ffinsider.net/news/news.php?id=308

Square and Disney have plans to release a Kingdom Hearts movie.  There is no script for this movie as of right now, but it is in the works. Since there isn't even a script yet, it most likely will be quite sometime before this movie would be released to theaters. Not much information is known otherwise as of yet either.

Other plans for the Kingdom Hearts line include a possible television series and a sequel to the PS2 game.

Source:

Final Fantasy Insider

This brings up a popular discussion topic. Do video games translate well into movies?  Tomb Raider? I haven't seen it myself, but I heard it wasn't all that spectacular.  Mortal Kombat? Eh, it was alright. One of the few video game movies that I've watched more than once.  Super Mario Bros. the Movie? It was a tad bit different.  It also had bad luck in the timing of its release though.  Street Figher the Movie? I can't remember much about it so it couldn't have been all that great. It does have the redeeming fact of Ming Na playing Chun Li (*waves to Beth* She has nothing on you, Honey) Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within wasn't so bad  if you ignored the "Final Fantasy" in the title. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. Video games do not cross over well into Hollywood.

That said,however, if there ever was any video game turned movie that had a chance of doing well, it would be this one. Especially with Disney working on it.  There are those who love and those loathe the company.  Personally, I'm indifferent. But whether one likes Disney or not, it has to be recognized that they have been quite successful.  I'm not sure how  big a role Square would play in its production. I can't see it being too large though after the hit the company took after FF:TSW didn't meet their expectations (That's probably a gross understatement, I know).  Their role will probably more conceptual than anything else.  I don't know if I'd go see or not, but can this movie possibly hurt Square Enix at all?
Let me know your feelings about it.

Posted in: Square-Enix News

Final Fantasy Origins Release Date Announced


Final Fantasy I
From: Gamespot

Square has announced that the North American release of Final Fantasy Origins will be on April 8th.

The retail price will be $30 for two games on one disc.

----

Maybe a bit overpriced, but still 2 good games for the price of 1 is a plus in my book. ^_^

http://gamespot.com/gamespot/stories/news/0,10870,2910606,00.html

Posted in: Final Fantasy I
(3 Comments – Last by Del S)
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Nokia Unveils Portable Gaming Unit


Nokia, a company usually noted for its cell phones, unveiled a portable gaming device in London yesterday.  

http://gamespot.com/gamespot/stories/news/0,10870,2910373,00.html/

Dubbed the N-Gage, it appears to have few influential companies lined up to publish games for the system. Representatives from Sega, Activision, Eidos, Taito, and THQ all were present to show their support for the system (and to display some of their demos).

The N-Gage works as a cell phone, but is meant to be used for games.  It is powerful.  Eidos had a playable demo of Tomb Raider running on it already that looked to be a port of the original Playstation version. The unit also features multiplayer support via Bluetooth.

Here is list of publishers the games that each has planned thus far (as taken from Gamespot:)
Eidos
Pandemonium
Tomb Raider
Nokia
Bounce
Kart Racing
Virtually Board Snowboarding II
Sega
Puyo Puyo
Sega Rally
Sonic N
Super Monkey Ball
Virtua Tennis
Taito
Puzzle Bobble
Space Invaders
THQ
Major League Baseball
Moto-GP
Red Faction  


Nokia currently plans on the N-Gage being released sometime next year. Pricing for the system and games is not yet known.



Will the N-Gage challenge Nintendo’s dominance in the portable gaming?
-No, I don’t think it will.
Is it a good idea?
-Maybe.  
Is it good for gaming?
-Most definitely.  

Competition, in my opinion, is a good thing. I honestly know next to nothing about Bluetooth, but if this system has a chance to be successful, it will probably be through it.  If the N-Gage can make a niche in multiplayer games, it just may survive. And I think its survival would be good for gaming.

Hopefully, there will be a good deal of competition between Nokia and Nintendo.  Many have criticized Nintendo recently ignoring customers’ requests for a backlit GameBoy Advance and then announcing the GameBoy Advance SP (which boast the feature of being backlit) after the market has already been saturated with the regular unit.  One can only hope that business practices like this will fall by the wayside because of each companies struggle for dominance. With any luck prices will fall with them.

This is just a dream though probably. Nintendo holds such dominance over the market already for it to seem unrealistic for the N-Gage to be anything but a minor success. Here’s hoping the N-Gage doesn’t go the way of the Game Gear though (not that the Game Gear was a good portable system ^_^ ).




Source: Gamespot

(2 Comments – Last by Gerad)
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Final Fantasy Tactics Advance Screen Shots


RPGamer has some new screen shots of the much anticipated Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

Check them out here: http://www.rpgamer.com/games/ff/ffta/fftass.html

The images look fairly nice for the GameBoy Advance. Is it just me or does it look like they are using cel-shading?

FFTA is scheduled for a Valentine's Day release in Japan. We'll have to wait a little longer before it come out in North American or PAL versions.

It was originally thought that Square was going to simply port FFT from the Playstation, but it is an entirely new game.

Sources: RPGamer
              GameForms

Posted in: Square-Enix News

Final Fantasy XII on the Gamecube?


According to rumors, There will be an interview with the Director of Squaresoft, Yasumi Matsuno, and the Nintendo Representive, Shigeru Miyamoto, in the newest issue of Famitsu Magazine. In it, the two men discuss future projects.

Here's "leaked" snippet from the interview:
---
Journalist: Is the development of Final Fantasy XII in progress?

Matsuno: Collaboration with Nintendo is positive. I should perhaps not have said that now (Laughter)?

Journalist: Final Fantasy XII will not be a play PlayStation 2 game?

Miyamoto: (Laughter)

Matsuno: We will give the details at the proper time.
----

*note this is a rumor, and this interview is not confirmed as exsiting. The issue hits today, February 7th. More information will more than likely be available next week sometime. So stay tuned.

Source: Final Fantasy Insider

Posted in: Square-Enix News

Enix of America Shuts Down


Square Enix
A couple of days old, yes, but this is my first day as a News Editor so...

http://www.gamesarefun.com/cgi-bin....,81144,

According to Gamesarefun.com's sources, Enix of America closed their doors for the final time last Friday. Enix of Japan, their parent company, is recognized for helping to start the console RPG genre with their landmark Dragon Quest title (released in the US under the title of Dragon Warrior) for the NES.

Don't worry about about the status of series such Dragon Warrior and Star Ocean over in the United States though.  With the recent Square-Enix merger, it appears the Square will handle the localization of software for their North American audiences.

For more information on the Square Enix merger, see Rubicant's update here: http://www.cavesofnarshe.com/forums/ipb/index.php?act=ST;f=2;t=637

Source: Gamesarefun.com

Posted in: Square-Enix News

New Final Fantasy X-2 Screens


RPGamer has posted 30 new screenies of FFX-2 Including a couple of lovely
ones showing Yuna as... you guessed it : A Pop Idol singer.

Screen Shots... HO!!

Oh Right... Completely forgot to introduce myself.
News Poster CypherEX! Hi All ^_^ Great to be here,
and I should be posting LOTS of news. ^_^

Posted in: Square-Enix News

New Staff Additions


Caves of Narshe Site News
To fill out the news staff, we're adding two new members to the CoN staff as of right... now. No... wait for it... now.

Coming into the site as new news editors are Super Saiya-Jin Cloud and CypherEX. SSJC is a forum regular and a chat constant, and inextricably linked to our own CoNArtist, Hikaroo. CypherEX has extensive experience with web sites and is the lucky bastard engaged to be married to our Elena99.

In any event, both of these gents will be available to start posting gaming news as of this moment, and we'll all look for good things to come from them. Thanks, guys!
Posted in: CoN Site News

Caves of Narshe Version 6
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All fanfiction and fanart (including original artwork in forum avatars) is property of the original authors. Some graphics property of Square Enix.