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News from May 2006

Eleven New Fanarts Added to Gallery

Caves of Narshe Site News
In another one of our fun, intermittent fanart updates, we've got eleven new pieces available to vote today. They're all from Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy VI, and Final Fantasy VII this time around, and Kappa, Mimic and I have them all put together for you on the new fanart page.

Here are your artists this time around:

Some of these artists you'll recognize right away if you're a CoN regular, but we'd really like to thank Terra_tME, Skangl, and InkTank for sharing with us for the first time!
Posted in: CoN Site News

Price ceiling announced for Wii

Not ending price debates, but merely modifying them, Nintendo confirmed today that the price for the Wii upon release will not be any higher than $250 US. In addition, Nintendo also predicts that they will ship more than 6 million units worldwide. Wii's price comes as a big relief to gamers looking to buy a next-generation system without emptying their entire savings account to do so - especially with the recent pricing news of Sony's PS3.


For me, this only solidifies the decision I had already made to buy a Wii over any other system. A release price of at most $250 is a huge advantage for the system over the PS3 and even the XBox360, though a price drop is expected for the latter upon the release of the Wii.

Source: Pocket Lint

Reggie becomes president of Nintendo of America

The Charismatic, Energetic, Takes-No-Prisoners Executive Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, Reggie Fils-Aime, has become the new President of Nintendo of America. The current president will become the chairman of the board. Reggie will maintain his work as the overseers of the Sales and Marketing department as well as "lead the day-to-day operations of Nintendo of America." Mentioning the name "Reggie" to a hardcore Nintendo fan will generally elicit a big smile - this move will surely draw the fanbase closer to Nintendo as well as draw attention to the company as the Wii's release date draws nearer.

Source: Games Are Fun

Famitsu Sheds New Light on Final Fantasy XIII

Final Fantasy XIII
While very little is thus far known about Square-Enix's upcoming Final Fantasy romp (the thirteenth one, that is), Japan's Famitsu magazine earlier this week revealed a few previously masked details apparent in the screenshots featured within the article: Next to the protagonist's Hit Point meter below the screen, an ATB (Active Time Battle) Cost stat can be seen. This would not only indicate the return of the Active Time Battle system (and possibly an accompanying ATB gauge), but more importantly suggests a required "price" in points for every move each player executes. Another new feature, visible in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, is a gauge in the shape of a circle. Famitsu speculates that a number inside the circle must, through some unconfirmed means, be met and, along with varying accomplished conditions, will allow characters in battle to enter an "Overclock" status - perhaps Final Fantasy XIII's version of previous games' hyper-powered attacks attained in similar fashions. This alleged Overclock status forces all but the active character into a sort of slow-motion state, but at the same time can reportedly be quite precarious business to carry out.

Lastly, the article has informed that the words next to the ATB Cost stat read "Lighting" (although it's unclear whether or not this is a misspelling of "Lightning" by the writer) and has been judged to be the protagonist's first name. Additionally, the weapons used by the female protagonist - a gun and a sword - are in reality two weapons in one; as dictated by the predicament or the enemies involved, this changable weapon can be toggled from one to the other.

As to be expected, the subject of a Japanese release date for Final Fantasy XIII has not yet been openly negotiated.

Source: RPGFan

Long-Awaited (?) Fanfic Update

Caves of Narshe Site News
Today, we have a small update in the fanfiction side of things for your reading pleasure so long as you don't read the ones by Del. smile.gif

The first fic to be placed into the Final Fantasy 1 section, from Del S, and hopefully not going to be too lonely for very long.

Second and third up, in the Final Fantasy 6 section are two more from Del, Mog Soldiers, a slightly nutty and violent dark comedy with... weremoogles?! Also, an updated version of one of his eariler fics, Unavanged Dead. That particular fic won the 2004 fanfic competition, and this updated version expands the story.

In Final Fantasy Tactics is an offering from Kilakandra DiMenia, an in-game fiction from the point of view of Ramza as he battles not only the enemy, but his own inner thoughts.

Finally, in the Final Fantasy 7 is another from Del, this time, an alternate chain of events detailing a completely different kind of attack on Sector 7 from the one that occurred in-game.

Please enjoy these, and feel free to comment upon them here.
Posted in: CoN Site News
(1 Comments – Last by Quad)
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Nintendo's E3 News - Twilight Princess

E3 Expo
After dropping the new-name bombshell, Nintendo must have realized that they had to come up with something good for E3 or risk being laughed out of the console market. (At least they seemed to realize that no one liked the new name.) But if you're looking for anything as concrete as, oh, a launch date, maybe, or a price, quit reading now. They don't have their act together that much.

What they did have was largely an amalgum of concept videos designed to show off the new--not next--generation of gaming. Mostly, they demonstrated how their new controller can function as a gun, a sword, a fishing rod, a tennis racket...and possibly a back scratcher, if they make it a little longer.

The real gem of the presentation was evidence that The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess will actually be released someday. In fact, it's planned in two versions, for both the GameCube and the new system. There has been little detail about what the differences will be, but they will have to be substantial if the new controller is to play a significant roll. Weapons and items are mapped to the D pad, and fighting is done by swinging the remote and the nunchaku attachment. Also, you'll get to hear sound effects from your hand thanks to the built-in speaker.

Source: GameSpot

In case you can't tell from the tone of the above, I'm feeling a wee bit (pun intended) disillusioned with the console formerly known as the Revolution. It seems like Nintendo is giving up producing things that gamers actually want and just trying to figure out something new. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I haven't heard much lately to suggest that Nintendo is in any way interested in making their supporters happy.

Personally, waving my arms around while playing a video game sounds like a pain in the butt.

Sony Announces Price, Controller for the PS3

Playstation 3
At their recent presentation at E3, Sony dropped several PS3-related bombs, including several key pieces of info about the PS3.

The PS3's new controller is indeed a Dualshock 3. It looks extremely similar to the Dualshock 2, but now features a USB port and a built-in motion senseor with "six degrees of freedom". Here's a picture

The Sony PS3 will be available in two models - a standard version with 20 GB of hard drive space, and a deluxe version with 60 GB of hard drive space. The lighter version will cost $499 and the deluxe will cost $599. This is not a terribly surprising price, considering the PS3's specs and production cost, but it is also significantly more expensive than the prices of its competitors.

So yes, if you do the math, it is quite probable that you can buy both a Wii and an XBox 360 for the price of a single PS3 - I say "probable" because we aren't positive of the Wii's price yet, but we'll probably find that out at Nintendo's presentation tomorrow afternoon. Start saving up, people.

Source: Gamespot

EDIT: I edited in the controller bit. Here's the pic again: Dualshock 3

Square-Enix at E3 - DQ on Wii, FF XIII on PS3

E3 Expo
OK, Square-Enix concluded their E3 presentation a few minutes ago, and here's the jist of what they brought to the floor:

Their presentation opened up with several trailers, including Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth, an FF XI expansion, and a full English trailer for FF XII, which is indeed coming out this October in the US. There were also trailers for FF V Advance, FF VI Advance, and several mobile phone titles.

The two new Seiken Densetsu games, Dawn of Mana and Children of Mana, for the PS2 and DS respectively, are still in the works, with Dawn of Mana taking place ten years before Children of Mana. Dawn of Mana is allegedly the "real" Seiken Densetsu IV.

Also, FF: Crystal Chronicle will come to life on both the DS and the Wii, with the DS version featuring wifi connectivity and the Wii version implementing the Wii's controller in some way. We don't have any release date mentioned, just a premise and a promise.

Speaking of handhelds, there was little new information in the initial presentation regarding the two Advance titles or FF III DS, but Square-Enix showed some trailers and promised "to have new surprises" for the two GBA titles. FF III DS is being billed as "the only Final Fantasy to have never reached Western shores" and urges fans to "complete the fantasy" by playing it, but precious little concrete info was revealed, other than a trailer. It is possible that the Square-Enix booth could have more information on the other show days, but right now we only have more trailers, which will probably be all over the interent within days. We didn't receive specific information about FF IV Advance's new features until less than a month before its release; it's looking increasingly likely that that's the case here, too.

The two Valkyrie Profile games have now been dated with the PSP port of the original (Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth) coming this July and the new PS2 sequel (Valkyrie Profile: Silmeria) coming this September.

After a brief appearance by Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime, the presentation goes into FF VII Compilation material. The PS2's Dirge of Cerberus has been given a US release date (August 22nd of this year), and the PSP's Crisis Core (starring Zack) put up some cutscenes, but no in-game footage.

And now for major announcement #1 - Dragon Quest is going to the Wii. We have no footage and next to zero details on the game, but we do know that it's going to be a launch title and that it's called Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors. It's unclear if this is truly Dragon Quest IX or if it's a spinoff like Rocket Slime or Dragon Quest Yangus.

And now, for the hugest piece of news - Final Fantasy XIII is in the works, and it's going to be on the Playstation 3. The trailer showed a woman fighting dozens of robots using a gun and a sword; evidentally FF XIII is set in the most technologically advanced world in FF history. It's going to be directed by Motomu Toriyama, who was an associate director for Final Fantasy X and X-2, and we know little about the game other than its logo (which is linked to below). Along with the PS3 game Square-Enix is bringing on two more games that appear to be set in the FF XIII universe: FF XIII Versus and FF XIII Agito, which are for the PS3 and mobile phones, respectively. The entire FF XIII project is being called "Fabula Nova Crystalis".

While the Toriyama and the FF X team are working on the "real" FF XIII, it seems that that Tetsuya Nomura and the Kingdom Hearts team are working on Versus, which is a game that possesses "extreme action elements" and a focus on "bonding". The latin words in the new game evidently mean "to change direction".

So yeah, that's Square-Enix's big news: The Wii gets Dragon Quest, the PS3 gets FF XIII, and the XBox 360 gets... FF XI. Let the hype begin.


FF XIII trailer pic
Another FF XIII trailer pic
Yet another FF XIII trailer pic
Fabula Nova Crystalis logo
Agito logo

EDIT: the three logo links got cut for some reason but here's a good picture of FF XIII's logo for now: FF XIII logo

DS Lite Available in North America on June 11th

Nintendo DS
The DS Lite, the first (but possibly not the last) upgrade to the Nintendo DS portable system, will hit North American shores on the 11th of June, priced at $130 US. Earlier rumors of the DS Lite being packaged with a specific game at launch (most guesses involved New Super Mario Brothers) have proven to be false, while there are in fact no high-profile DS games coming out in the US that entire week. Japan has the Lite available in three colors (Crystal White, Enamel Navy, and Ice Blue), but right now we only know that the Crystal White color scheme will be available for the US release.

The DS Lite boasts four brightness settings, all of which are brighter than the normal DS's one brightness setting. It's significantly slimmer and 40% lighter than the original, but is still capable of playing all DS games and GBA games, albeit with GBA games noticeably portruding from their slot more so than on the DS. The screen size is the same as the original and the power, start, and select buttons were repositioned from the original. The DS Lite has seen immense popularity in Japan, with initial shipments selling out in its first day on the shelves.

EDIT: GS was wrong originally, but they fixed their post some hours ago; It's $129.99

Source: Gamespot

The Elder Scrolls IV - Too Mature for Teen Rating

Upon the Entertainment Software Rating Board's further inspection of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, it was discovered that both a half nude female skin (a possible third party modification only within the PC version's art files) as well as excessive blood and gore were initially overlooked in developer Bethesda's ratings application for the RPG. As a result, the ESRB has raised the game's former rating of Teen (13+) to Mature (17+).

A Parental Advisory has also been issued by the ESRB in order to alert parents of the steeper rating.

An unexpected move reminiscent of the fiasco involving the infamous "hot coffee" scene unearthed in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (coincidentally published by Take-Two Interactive, the co-publisher of Oblivion), Bethesda has responded by insisting that the game contains no nudity on its own and points out that the company has no control over what amendments are made to its content once those copies have left store shelves. However, they are currently in the process of devising a way in which to prevent modders from manipulating the game's art archives. Additionally, a patch halting entry to those files will soon be released for the PC version of the game.

In regards to explicit violence, Bethesda stands behind their original ratings submission: "Bethesda advised the ESRB during the ratings process that violence and blood effects were 'frequent' in the game - checking the box on the form that is the maximum warning. We further advised that the game contained occasional torture, vulgar acts, and gore." Despite any conflicting statements from the two, Bethesda has chosen not to contest the ESRB's assessment and plans to work fully in response to the Board's decision. As such, both Bethesda and Take-Two Interactive will shortly begin working on replacing the rating representation with "M" stickers on Oblivion packaging within warehouses and retail stores.

Along with the rating itself, the content information located on Oblivion boxes/cases - Violence, Blood and Gore, Sexual Themes, Language, and Use of Alcohol - will be altered in that an extra "Nudity" warning shall be added to the PC version. Until then, a few retailers including Circuit City have pulled the RPG entirely while awaiting fully converted copies.

Sources: Gamasutra
RPGFan - Bethesda's Reaction
Posted in: RPG News

Caves of Narshe Version 6
©1997–2019 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.