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News from November 2003

New FFIV Fanfiction


Caves of Narshe Site News
I'm happy to announce that we have a new addition to our humble FFIV Fanfiction section. There is a new fanfic by SpacemanSpiff, his first for the CoN, called Beneath the Mask.

It is an in-game fanfiction, and I encourage you all to check it out if you have not done so yet.

Remember, we accept fanfiction submissions for FF4, FF5, FF6 and FFT, so if you have one you'd like to submit, make your way to the Site Submissions forums. If you're not a writer yourself, you can help out the authors by reading and commenting on fanfiction, as well as fanart.
Posted in: CoN Site News

Review CoN!


Caves of Narshe Site News
Alexa.com, one of the largest monitors of traffic and relational links online, has a really sorry set of data for CoN. I'd like for you all to help us out a bit by writing some reviews for the site. I know a lot of you like the site a lot, and a short review might help us garner some more new traffic.

If you're interested, it's easy. Just visit the review section for the site and submit! Your submissions will go up in a week or so.

Please post here to let us know you've done it, thanks!
Posted in: CoN Site News

Final Fantasy XII News that Makes R51 Less Sad?


General Final Fantasy
News is flying out of Squenix's doors about Final Fantasy XII today. They revealed more information on both the staff and the storyline behind the game.

As previously known, Yasumi Matsuno is working as Director/Producer while Akihiko Yoshida did the character designs and is the 3D Map Director. Both men were heavily involved in Final Fantasy Tactics. Isamu Kamikokuryuo of Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy X is involved with the background art with Hideo Minaba behind the "Art Direction" (Minaba has previously worked on Final Fantasy VI and Final Fantasy IX).
Nubuo Uematsu returns for FFXII, but only in a limited role. He will focus on the main theme of the game as Hitoshi Sakimoto will be composing most of the game's soundtrack.

The game is currently about 70 percent done. Interesting to note is that Squenix is lowering the number of polygons of the character models slightly. They are doing this in an attempt to increase both the quality of the backgrounds and lighting affects and to make the in game animation smoother.

As R51 posted earlier, the title is set in Ivalice. Arcadia has just conquered country of Dalmasca. Ashe, the main heroine of the title and princess/heir apparent in Dalmasca, forms a rebel outfit lead by Vann, the main hero, in order to regain their independence.

Source: Games Are Fun

/****/

I have never played FTT or FFTA (a crime I know, yes, but I will eventually), so the setting in Ivalice does not really bother me. It really isn't a surprise though with both Yasumi Matsuno and Akihiko Yoshida having ties to the game(s). The art in FFIX was both good and bad at the same time in my opinion. Hopefully Minaba will present more of the good this time around.
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Final Fantasy XII Makes Me Sad


General Final Fantasy
Games Are Fun have released some news that has the potential to annoy, if you are anything like me. Luckily, they wrapped it in some fairly interesting new screenshots and art from Final Fantasy XII. The highlights of the screenshots, to me anyway, are seeing the airship and chocobo shots, all of which are beautifully rendered (even though the chocobo has gotten a bit creepy-looking).

What's the bad news? Well, if you are a diehard Final Fantasy Tactics fan like I am, you may be saddened to learn that FFXII is set in Ivalice. Yes, Ivalice, as referenced in both FFT and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. According to the GAF article, the Ivalice is the one from FFTA, which based on my limited FFTA play seems to be very different than the one in which Ramza lived. However, if this turns out to be incorrect and Squenix plans to use FFT's Ivalice, it could be disasterous to the legend of FF Tactics. In this writer's humble opinion, of course.

Here's hoping for the best.
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Capcom: Back in Black


Capcom has announced that it has posted a profit of 919 million yen ($8.5 million US) for the first six months of its fiscal year.

As we reported last April, Capcom suffered a suffered a loss 19.5 billion yen ($163 million US) total last year. In spite of the profits, sales have continued to fall (in particular Megaman X7 has had sold under their expectations). Their arcade coin-op division made up for this, however.

Capcom expects sales to pick up in the second half of its fiscal year with the upcoming releases of Resident Evil Outbreak and Onimusha 3.

Source: Gamespot

/****/

Maybe the lackluster sales of Megaman X7 will encourage Capcom to branch out a little further, especially if Resident Evil Outbreak falters as well. That or release a Capcom Vs. Fighter with some higher resolution 2D sprites instead of the same old recycled ones from the mid-1990s (Look at the Sammy's Guilty Gear series for some good 2D sprites). I'll be sort of hypocritical now by saying that I am looking forward to the Megaman compilation, however.

Final Fantasy Radio


General Final Fantasy
Although not the first time something like this has been found, Squenix now has an official radio station where fans can listen to Final Fantasy music continuously online.

It's found on:

"America Online's Radio@ Network. It is available for listening on Radio@AOL, Radio@AOL for Broadband, and Radio@Netscape under the Soundtracks & More category, and features approximately 200 tracks from the 32-bit and onward Final Fantasy games." (Source: RPGamer)

***

I can't tell if this is AOL users only or what, but either way, it's nice to have an official Final Fantasy station. I've heard other stations where it's all video game music, or all RPG music, but I don't think I've seen all Final Fantasy before.
Posted in: Square-Enix News

FFVII: Advent Children Website


Final Fantasy VII
Although incomplete, there is a Japanese website for FFVII: Advent Children that features a picture of Cloud and Sephiroth, and no doubt will soon have more information (in Japanese, of course.)

RPGamer confirms that there is still no release date for this title, however.

* * *

It's still hard for me to believe that they're actually doing this. I've heard all sorts of rumours, from the movie being just a re-enactment of the final fight, to it being a continuation with Sephiroth not being the actual Sephiroth that Cloud killed at the end of the game. I'm anxious to see what the movie actually is.

Square Enix to Re-release Some 'Classics'


Square Enix
Square Enix has announced that it will re-release a few of its Playstation 1 titles under Sony's Greatest Hits this coming December.

The titles being re-released are all Square titles: Final Fantasy Anthology, Final Fantasy Chronicles, Vagrant Story, and Xenogears. Being under the Greatest Hit means that the titles will be reasonable priced, each costing around $20 US. For those who don't know, Final Fantasy Chronicles consists of FFIV and Chrono Trigger while Final Fantasy Anthology packages FFV and FFVI together.

Source: Games_Are_Fun

/****/

I might just have to pick up Chronicles and Anthology. I can't see myself buying either at the ridiculous price they go for on EBay and used game stores, but I can see myself plunking down 20 bucks. I think it is a good move by Square Enix. They might as well be making the profits off the games instead of the EBay-ers if there is still a big demand for them.

(Note from Phoenix: This news update is courtesy of SSJ_Cloud; he is currently unable to access the forums, and asked me to post for him.)
Posted in: Square-Enix News

FFXII Screens Debut


General Final Fantasy
Japanese gaming news site Quiter has some of the first Final Fantasy XII art and screenshots I've yet seen. We appear to have good renders of the male and female leads, some early screenshots, and a cluttered scan of the logo.

If you can't hack navigating through the pics in Japanese (it shouldn't be hard), an English-language mirror is available at RPGFan..

I'm filling in for the news staff at the moment, most of whom are having intermittent troubles getting to the site as described in my news post of a few days back. That said, here's my commentary: unless they stop using Tetsuya Nomura as the lead character designer, they're going to turn a lot of people off. Aren't we all getting just a bit sick of seeing the same character designs since FF7? Thank goodness Amano came in to do FF9 and 11.
Posted in: Square-Enix News

Nintendo Plans 2003 and 2004 Console Releases


Nintendo
According to Bloomberg.com, Nintendo has two new consoles lined up for market release during 2003 and 2004.

The first release, Nintendo's iQue system, a console designed specifically to facilitate Nintendo's introduction into the Chinese gaming market, will be released in Shanghai this month. The controller-size iQue is designed primarily with portability and minimal power consumption in mind; games for the system, which will include popular N64 releases like Zelda 64: Ocarina of Time, come in the form of 64MB Flash memory cards. Upon release, iQue will also come packaged with a library of games and demos.
Nintendo has discussed, but not officially announced, release of the iQue outside of China.

The second release will supposedly target Nintendo's current markets, starting with sales in Japan during 2004 and eventual release in America and Europe. However, specifics about the console have yet to be released. Nintendo hopes to make up for a reported $26.6 million loss during mid 2003, blamed on low GameCube sales and the rising strength of the Japanese Yen currency, and also hopes to increase market share against competitors Sony and Microsoft.

***

That iQue controller looks as large and as uncomfortable to use as the X-Box controller to me... However, since Nintendo essentially packed an entire N64 unit into that size, they're certainly more warranted. As for the second system, I can't say whether or not I'm excited yet, as nothing has been released about it.
However, Nintendo's attempt at establishing a Chinese gaming market and its push for increased revenue even while performing well against its competitors sound to me as if Nintendo is intent on establishing -- and dominating -- a global market.

IMPORTANT: Accessing the Site


Caves of Narshe Site News
In the past few days, we have had problems with some people accessing the site. When trying to use the site, the cavesofnarshe.com domain will load improperly or not at all.

If this happens to you between Tuesday and Thursday, please email me (rangers51 at cavesofnarshe.com) and describe exactly what happens when you try to access the site. Also include your ISP if you know it. FuitadNet staff and I are researching what is causing the problem and how we can work around it.

This is happening with all sites on our server, so don't worry that CoN is broken. Thanks for your help.
Posted in: CoN Site News

GameCube Increases US Market Share


Nintendo
Nintendo of America has announced that the US market share of the GameCube has almost doubled according to NPD TRST data since the price of the console was dropped from 149 dollars US to 99 dollars thirty five days ago.

This is remarkable in its own right, but even more so with the current state of the US economy. The system does have an 80 dollar price advantage against the Playstation 2 and X Box. Nintendo of America is banking the market share continuing to grow with the upcoming holiday season, the release Mario Kart: Double Dash and the upcoming Zelda compilation that will be bundled free with new GameCubes starting November 17th. (Those who already own the GameCube can also get it while supplies last by purchasing two of the following: Mario Kart: Double Dash, Mario Party 5, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, or 1080: Avalanche

Source: Games_Are_Fun

/****/

I figured Nintendo would move more units with the price cut, but it still is surprising. I'd love to pick one up once the Zelda compilation comes out. I'll just wait to play Hikaroo's though. happy.gif

PS3 Chipset Production Announced


Playstation 3
Shinichi Okamato, Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer of Sony Computer Entertainment, recently released a timetable for mass production of the Playstation 3 microprocessor in late 2005.
Assuming production remains on schedule, projected release dates for the Playstation 3 may be as early as Christmas 2005.

The PS3 microprocessor, nicknamed "Cell" (and also more recently nicknamed as "Grid"), will supposedly surpass speed of current console technology 200-fold, and is fabled to have some 1000 times the processing power of Sony's current console on the market, the Playstation 2, or some 125 times the processing power of Intel's new Itanium 2 processors.
Several companies are assisting Sony in Cell's design, including IBM and Toshiba, and an estimated $400 million will be collectively invested into its development.

To explain this intense research and development, Sony has stated that they intend for the Playstation 3 to reach far beyond use as merely a video gaming system: Mr. Okamoto announced in early March 2003 that the PS3 would be a "nexus of home entertainment."
Manufacture of Cell would not only blow away Sony's major gaming competitors, Microsoft and Nintendo, but could even place Sony as a direct competitor to Intel for cutting-edge processing technology.

More information may be obtained at:
BBC News
Playstation Reporter
Impact Sites 2000
GameBiz

***

As some of what I read online seems a little far-fetched, I tried to remain as conservative as possible, and to cross-reference with as many authoritative sources as I could find.
It all sounds simply astounding -- a potential leap forward in computing technology, assuming it can work as well in reality as it does in theory...

Site Moved


Caves of Narshe Site News
If you can see this post, congratulations! Your ISP has been clever enough to sort out its DNS records and point you to our new home on FuitadNET hosting.

We're now primarily using the cavesofnarshe.com URL rather than the OPGaming.com subdomain we used previously. We'd like to thank Rubicant and OPGaming for their gracious offer of hosting, which we have used largely without incident since early 2002, and HostRocket, who host that domain.
Posted in: CoN Site News

Final Fantasy XII Pushed Back


General Final Fantasy
In a recent news conference to discuss their projected earnings, Square Enix revealed that it will not ship the Japanese release of Final Fantasy XII in March 2004 as first announced.

Because of this news, Squenix has lowered its predicted earnings from ten billion Yen to eight billion Yen for this fiscal year (which ends in March). However, the company hopes to make up some of this through its recently announced Dragon Quest V remake. The company plans to have this title out the door by the end of the fiscal year.

Source: Games_Are_Fun

/****/

I'm almost glad this game is being delayed. Square Enix has been pumping out Final Fantasy titles much too quickly as of late. I actually have high expectations for this title because of the team that is putting this one together.
Posted in: Square-Enix News

I Promised Geeky Stats for You All:


Caves of Narshe Site News
As Neal mentioned yesterday, these forums have now hit 20,000 posts. I promised the possibility of more fun stats today, and I just thought I would oblige.

The stats program for our website categorizes traffic to the site on several categories. Briefly, here's a rundown of how that works:

Quote
Hits represent the total number of requests made to the server during the given time period (month, day, hour etc.). This is the total of all pages, images, etc. that the user gets - so, if the user visits a page that has four images, the hit total is five.

Files represent the total number of hits (requests) that actually resulted in something being sent back to the user. Not all hits will send data, such as 404-Not Found requests and requests for pages that are already in the browsers cache.

Sites is the number of unique IP addresses/hostnames that made requests to the server.

Visits occur when some remote site makes a request for a page on your server for the first time. As long as the same site keeps making requests within a given timeout period, they will all be considered part of the same Visit.

Pages are those URLs that would be considered the actual page being requested, and not all of the individual items that make it up (such as graphics and audio clips). Some people call this metric page views or page impressions, and defaults to any URL that has an extension of .htm, .html or .cgi.


Why is this important, you ask? Well, it will help you understand the following numbers:

Quote
October 2003 Stats
Sites: 32457
Visits: 27542
Pages: 129633
Files: 1664567
Hits: 2419459


Now, you might be wondering why that info is important. More likely, you've already figured it out. But for the sake of argument, I'll spell it out here: each one of those numbers is the highest the site has ever recorded. Ever. The basic upshot is that October of 2003 has been, yet again, the biggest month for traffic that the site has ever had. Several months this year have had high numbers in one category or another, but October is the first month that we have ever set records in every category across the board.

In other news, while October was a relatively quiet month in chat, chatstats will show you one fun little fact; since we first started tracking chat stats in January of 2002, we have logged over one million lines in channel #narshe.

Thanks to all the loyal visitors, yet again, who have made this possible!
Posted in: CoN Site News

Caves of Narshe Version 6
©1997–2017 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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