CoN 20th Anniversary: 1997-2017
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The Remaining Final Fantasy XV Gamescom News


Final Fantasy XV
More Final Fantasy XV stuff from Gamescom, not just the announcement of a Windows/Steam version! First off, it must be noted that Hajime Tabata confirmed, with no ambiguity, that he would not be working on a Final Fantasy XV sequel. As we've already seen, the XV universe has been set up to expand using smaller pieces rather than a standalone game. The episodic DLC for the non-Noctics members of the party reflect that perspective, with the Ignis episode coming at the end of the year. The new multiplayer mode that is coming soon, called "Comrades," does the same thing by filling in a storyline gap without needing to use the main players. I'm not sure that this tack will appease fans whose main complaint seems to be the way the final third of the game played out vis-a-vis the storyline, but I think it's more likely to work than a standalone sequel would.

The other two pieces of XV news from Gamescom don't actually expand the universe in large ways, though they are standalone titles in-universe. The first is the already-announced VR fishing game; titled Monsters of the Deep; while there's no new information about the game as yet, pre-orders have begun and Tabata did bring it up at Gamescom, so it's clear that the game is in fact on the way. Additionally, a new Pocket Edition of the game was announced for release on mobile devices and as a Windows 10 app; it's coming this fall and will be a sort of episodic "de-make" of the core game. From the trailer and screenshots released, it does appear to be a weird little chibi retelling of the game's plot, and the game's mechanics seem to be intact but quite simplified. The first episode will be a free download, with the remaining nine available to purchase on an as-yet-unnanounced schedule. I suspect that the overall purchase price will be too high to justify not simply waiting to get it on Steam, but who knows?

Finally, in the main game, we're getting a bestiary and chapter select option in the near future as a free update, which will be handy for new players and people looking to re-play alike (of course, both of those should have been available from launch, but such is life).

Source: Siliconera, Polygon

Final Fantasy XV on the Way to Steam


Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV is, predictably, now on the way to Windows PCs worldwide early in 2018. The release was announced today at Gamescom in Germany, and without a specific release date; however, the game is looking to be an upgrade in various visual and aural ways, leveraging NVIDIA GameWorks technology:
  • 4K textures, scalable up to 8K in config
  • Enhanced fluid, fire, and smoke effects
  • Enhanced hair and fur effects
  • Dynamic shadows on models
  • Better grass and foliage animation
  • HDR lighting and improved environmental lighting
The PC version will also have the capability to put Noctis into first-person mode, as well, both in and out of battle.

For some reason, it will have the subtitle "Windows Edition" applied when released on Steam next year. It's going to take a serious, serious rig to max this game out, so start your building plans now.

Source: Siliconera

Dissidia NT Release Dates Announced


Dissida: Final Fantasy
The worldwide port of the Japanese arcade Dissidia has been officially announced for release in Square Enix' three main territories as of today. Japan, Europe, and North America will all see the game in January of 2018, with the former seeing the game on January 11 and the latter two getting it on January 30. As is typical for major Squenix releases these days, there will be several bundle tiers available for purchase.

While they vary somewhat from region to region, they fall into pretty standard categories. The Ultimate edition will be available only from Square Enix directly, and will include a Steelbook, an art book, a figurine, soundtrack, the Season Pass, et cetera. There will also be versions that have a randomzied Steelbook case, featuring one of three designs each with a different set of Dissidia fighters. The digital copies available will offer up a free alternate skin for Warrior of Light, a mini-soundtrack in digital format, and the Season Pass (in the higher tier of digital purchase). In Europe, the digital packages appear to contain a code to get Cloud's Nail Bat and a PS4 dashboard theme.

I'm still not in the closed beta. Anyone else get word that they got in?

Source: Gematsu

Dissidia NT Closed Beta August 26 - September 4


Dissida: Final Fantasy
Gematsu reports this morning that a closed beta for Dissidia NT, the home console version of the Japanese arcade entry to the fighting game series, will get a closed beta on PlayStation 4 for both North American and European users later this month. Specifically, noon Eastern on August 26 through noon again on September 4.

Featuring a limited lineup of fourteen characters - the lead characters of each game, generally - the beta will feature three-on-three battles in some selection of the game's battle arenas, and will also contain at least some of the final game's summon lineup.

This is going to be a closed beta, of course. Some folks should be receiving a code to get in already, it appears, though the criteria for getting one of the instant-in codes is naturally not public. There is a lottery to try to get a code, though, if you don't have one - all you need is a Square Enix account. I entered the lottery myself just a few minutes ago, and you can do the same at the links below.

In other news, it was also announced that Jecht, coming soon to the arcade version, will be part of the console release package on day one of next year's release.

Source: Gematsu, NA Beta Signup, EU Beta Signup

New Dragon Quest, Old Dragon Quest from the Summer Festival


Dragon Quest
In Tokyo this weekend, Square Enix held a Dragon Quest Summer Festival. Sounds like a pretty good time, I suppose, but there were some new releases announced for the DQ series that are the focus of this particular post.

First, the new: a sequel to Dragon Quest Builders is already in development. There's no release window yet, but there is some gameplay footage early on. Some of the big enhancements over the first game already announced include the ability to build three times higher and deeper than in the original, swimming ability, a hang-glider feature to safely descend from high spots, and four-person multiplayer. The storyline appears to include the big bad from Dragon Quest II in some way, which makes sense as the original game takes place in the world of the first Dragon Quest, albeit on an alternate timeline from canon.

Speaking of Dragon Quest II, though, it's one of three games (including the first and third) now scheduled for release on digital distribution for the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation 4 in Japan. I and II will be released on August 10, and III will follow before the end of August. No idea which versions of the games will be released, as in Japan they were released for Famicom, Super Famicom, and Game Boy Color in quick succession, and also no idea whether we'll get them in the US either.

Source: Gematsu

Caves of Narshe Turns Twenty (Plus One Day)


Caves of Narshe Site News
I'm late by a day! I'm traveling, sorry. Yesterday's scheduled post continues as if nothing every happened...

As of 2015, I'd known life with CoN longer than I'd known life without it. That's also true of my wife, but this post isn't about her (sorry, dear!). There are still a handful of members active around the site for which this is also true, of course, but this post isn't about them either. Or me, come to think of it, so I'm a bit off the rails already.

What it is about is that, today, Caves of Narshe turns twenty years old. I long ago stopped making posts about CoNniversary every year, just as one tends to stop treating each new birthday as a huge event as they get older. Obviously, though, this is one of those big round numbers, and that makes it special. CoN, the little website that (sometimes) could, has made it through two entire decades of life, and you're here for it - whether you've been a visitor of the site since 1997, or just signed up today, I want to express my gratitude that you're here reading this now.

There's only so much I can reiterate about who we are as CoN, and what we did on the way to this milestone, and honestly most of you who have been around for a while have already read up on CoNHistory. But, since I don't write these messages as often any more, please indulge me just a brief recap! I never would have imagined CoN being what it is today when I first made the site public on a little personal AOL webspace twenty summers ago. I never would have imagined the site still existing now, never would have considered that it would cover eight games - and many more versions of those games - with walkthroughs and data, no concept of sharing Final Fantasy with my daughter via couch time together or taking the family to Distant Worlds shows. And, as I've said before many times, all of those fun, positive outcomes and my ongoing affection for the Final Fantasy series isn't really down to me; it's down to the Caves of Narshe and all of you reading this. I keep the site going for you all, and in return I've gotten a career and continued enjoyment of one of the most successful game franchises of all time.

It's astonishing to me that the site has lasted this long. It costs me money, it costs me time, and it makes me an annoyance to my family and friends - hopefully only sometimes - and all of those things are pretty decent reasons for cutting bait. For all that, though, it still thrills me to know that we do something that is beneficial in its own way to the gaming community at large. I love it on the rare occasions I can go to a con and get recognition in peoples' eyes when I mention that I represent this site. I love it when I see on another site, this time of year, people discussing how CoN is a great resource for Four Job Fiesta, or when I sit in on a Final Fantasy marathon and get plaudits from the audience for creating and maintaining the site. I love looking at our site traffic numbers and seeing that, even after twenty years and the general gulf developing between small communities like ours and the juggernaut social media hubs out there, that we still get lots of people enjoying what we have to offer. And that's why I'm still here, and I hope that the fact that I still enjoy being here and keeping the gears moving is a part of why you're reading this right now and will continue to visit CoN in the future.

The last five years might have seemed very slow for CoN in terms of the community and the growth of the site, but it's worth noting that we released coverage for Final Fantasy V on GBA (and mobile devices and Windows, though we didn't know it at the time) right before the site turned fifteen, and the same for Final Fantasy VI not long after. Last year, we rolled out our coverage for Final Fantasy IX, supporting the original release, mobile, and Windows, to boot. And we're still working, same as it ever was - we've got more content upgrades in the works, some new community contests and games, and hopefully even more to come. I'll be updating some plans for those things in the very near future, so watch this space - for now, come back to the forums and post to pick up a limited edition badge for your CoN account, just as we did five years back.

Today we're specifically rolling out some updates to the way things display for you, as we tend to do every five years or so. We've refreshed all the themes a little bit with some optimizations, and you'll likely notice that we've refreshed also the logo that we've had for a decade. For those who still use or miss the old themes, Tiddles has gutted many of them and redone them to be faster and more attractive in today's modern browsers, and we've implemented smaller changes throughout as well.  This may not be the most exciting news for those of you among us who are not web developers, sure, but these updates look fantastic and more to the point prove that we're still here and we're still making things better. Further, in an effort to better engage our users on Facebook, I've included the forums directly on our Facebook page. Also, I've redone all of our CoN wallpaper section to match our new logo, and we now have a large number of new wallpaper sizes that are perfect for use on your lock screen of your phone or tablet, as well as some new stuff for today's most popular desktop and laptop screens. As has become custom for these big anniversaries, I've gone into more detail on this with new CoNHistory entries.

So, come celebrate with us at the forums or on social media. We're always here and ready to talk CoN, Final Fantasy, or anything else, and who knows? Maybe we will be for another twenty years months you know what let's just not commit to anything just yet. In the meantime, please, share our content with your social networks with likes, shares, retweets, whatever. We love our community, and we will love new folks that you teach about CoN just as much. So please, have your friends join you, and us, as we continue to rep classic Square Enix into the future. Let's all find out together what's next.
Posted in: CoN Site News

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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.