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The Goods From Square
   Square released a list of 23 titles in development for the coming fiscal year. This list was first revealed at Square's business strategy conference last week, but the full list of titles was made public recently on Square's web site.


New Games

Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy XI
Final Fantasy XII
Disney RPG
Untitled Online Strategy
Untitled Online RPG
Untitled Sports 1
Untitled Sports 2
Untitled Sports 3

Remakes (PS2/DVD)
Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy IX


New Games
Wild Card
Final Fantasy (Untitled)
Untitled RPG

Final Fantasy II, III
Final Fantasy IV, V, VI
Three Other Titles
   SOURCE: Gamers.com
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Final Fantasy XII Goes Retro?
   Today preliminary details regarding Final Fantasy XII, tentatively scheduled for release in late 2002 on the PlayStation 2, were revealed. Currently in the early stages of development, the game reportedly won't feature any networking capabilities. More intriguing however, Hiroyuki Itou (FFIX) and Yasumi Matsuno (Vagrant Story) are both said to be working on the project.
   For reference, Final Fantasy X is being directed by Yoshinori Kitase and will feature the character designs of Tetsuya Nomura, both of Final Fantasy VIII fame. FFX is scheduled for release this July in Japan.

: Core Magazine
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More Details on Final Fantasy X Emerge
   Square's PlayOnline site announced that the title of the theme song for Final Fantasy X will be 'Suteki Dane' for the Japanese version, sung by a Japanese folk singer named Rikki. A U.S. version of the song has not been announced. More details of the game were revealed in an interview of the development team by Dengeki magazine.
: Gamers.com

Two Versions of Final Fantasy X
   Square's official company site reveals that two separate versions of Final Fantasy X will be produced. The standard game will ship on one DVD-ROM, but a special high-end version will occupy 2 DVD's. This version, described as a "high visual and high audio" product will likely support anamorphic HDTV and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.
   The same internal report also reveals that FFX will likely ship in Europe and the U.S. around Thanksgiving 2001.

: Gamers.com
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Megabuck Final Fantasy Movie
   Square announced that its upcoming film, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, cost $137 million to make. This does not include any promotional and advertising costs, as Columbia Pictures will shoulder the cost of marketing the movie. The movie is approximately 90 minutes in length, which means it cost Square roughly $1.5 million per minute/$25,370 per second.
: Gamers.com
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Final Fantasy IX Piano Collections
   Square Sounds today announced plans for a launch party to celebrate the release of Final Fantasy IX Piano Collections. On January 28th, visitors to Yamaha's Ginza branch in Tokyo will be treated to a live performance of several of the CD's tracks by Louis Leerink, the Dutch pianist who recorded all the disc's piano arrangements. Copies of the CD and its sheet music will also be on sale at the event.
   Final Fantasy IX Piano Collections will include fourteen piano renditions, arranged by Shiro Hamaguchi, of the game's music. The tracks have all been chosen by composer Nobuo Uematsu, though there's no word yet on which specific ones were selected.
   Due out January 24th, FF IX Piano Collections will be published by Square's DigiCube division and retail for 2,854 yen ($24 US). Game music fans can look for catalog item SSCX-10048 at their favorite importer.
   SOURCE: Famitsu International

'Final Fantasy Movie' Opening Date Disclosed
   According to the information released at the conference, on January 22, the Final Fantasy movie will hit US screens on July 13 and arrive in Japan some time later in autumn. "It'd be great if 2001 turned out to be the year of Final Fantasy, with the release of movie in America and FFX in Japan both landing in July," commented Mr. Suzuki.
   SOURCE: Famitsu International

Tentative Domestic Release Date For FFX Revealed

   At Square's highly talked about strategy conference, they took a brief break from its barrage of project announcements to discuss the speculated future sales of Final Fantasy X. While commenting on the effects that the recent delay the game saw in Japan would have in relationship to sales in the east, Square mentioned that it still planned to release Final Fantasy X in America this same year. With a tentative release date of late November, Final Fantasy X would arrive in America a mere four months after its July Japanese release. While four months may seem rather short, Final Fantasy IX had the same turn-around time, including the same release months. Square also shared some optimistic sales figures: the company is expecting sales of Final Fantasy X in the United States to fall into a lofty range of 1.4 to 1.8 million copies. Projected European figures weren't far behind, with Square predicting 1.2 to 1.5 million copies sold there.
: The GIA
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2001 ... The Year of Final Fantasy
   After months of silence and sports games, Square has finally revealed further details on its RPG plans for the years to come. At a management press conference, the company confirmed that it has 23 games in active development, 11 of which are remakes, including the entire Final Fantasy series to date.
   The president of Square, Hisashi Suzuki, said that the company would focus on the Final Fantasy series by "actively using the strength of the FF brand name." Part of his plans includes 12 new titles and the 11 remakes mentioned above.
   All three PlayStation installments of the series - Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX - are currently being remade for the PlayStation 2. All three Super Nintendo installments - IV, V, and VI - are coming to handhelds, but Sakaguchi said they would be impossible to do on the Wonderswan and he wanted to see them on the Game Boy Advance. Rumors and innuendo aside, this is the first official mention of any definitive interest in Nintendo development to come out of Square since the launch of the PlayStation.
   For those worried about Final Fantasy XI's online focus, Final Fantasy XII will return the series to traditional, "packaged" games. More shocking, however, is the fact that Sakaguchi is sharing directorial duty on Final Fantasy XII with Yasumi Matsuno, the acclaimed director of Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story, and Hiroyuki Ito, director of Final Fantasy IX. It is also yet to be determined what system FFXII will be released on.
   Meanwhile, Final Fantasy XI is being headed up by Hiromichi Tanaka, who last served as the producer of Chrono Cross, and Koichi Ishii from the Saga Frontier and Seiken Densetsu series. The PC and PlayStation 2 versions of Final Fantasy XI are scheduled to ship simultaneously.

: The GIA | Gamers.com
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Sakaguchi Discusses Final Fantasy's Future
   In an interview with Sweden's Super Play magazine, Final Fantasy creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi, discussed the future of the long-running RPG series. Final Fantasy XI will certainly be an online-only title, but "that does not mean the series will change for good," Sakaguchi said. He explained that Final Fantasy XII could revert to an offline experience, just as Final Fantasy IX reversed VII and VIII's trend towards more realistic character designs.
   Sakaguchi also discussed his role in the development of Final Fantasy XI. While other teams have developed FF IX and X, Sakaguchi has been working to create an original online experience that will be handle thousands of players while still including traditional RPG elements. "Most PC online games today do not have a set story but leaves most up to the players themselves. FFXI will be different in that respect," he stated.

: The GIA

Full Interview With FF10 Development Team
   A recent interview with the Final Fantasy X project leaders, conducted by Enterbrain and translated by The Madman's Cafe, reveals even more information on the game's characters and game systems.
   The full interview can be found here.

   SOURCE: The Madman's Cafe
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You Asked ... Square Listened
   Although Square has yet to make an official announcement, sources close to the company -- like, really close -- have revealed to Gamers.com that Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy IV will be coming to the U.S. PlayStation sometime during the first half of 2001. The PSX port of Chrono Trigger features anime sequences throughout the game, an "omake" mode with tons of extras, and even some new endings. The PSX version will likely use Ted Woolsey's original SNES translation. The Japanese version of Final Fantasy IV differs significantly from the U.S. Final Fantasy II; the Japanese version has more mature language, a few cut subplots, additional items and abilities, and more. It remains to be seen if Square will simply add on to the original (awkward) translation or relocalize the game from scratch.
: The GIA
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Final Fantasy X Delayed in Japan
   Square officially announced that they have pushed back the Japanese release of Final Fantasy X to some time in July 2001. "We decided to delay FFX's release to elevate the title's quality to an even higher level and fully realize some great features that will push the envelope on PlayStation 2 is capable of. We are currently making every available effort to get FFX into the hands of gamers by July this year," stated Square's public relations department.
: Famitsu International
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New SquareAMP Forums!
   SquareAMP now has a new and improved forums section thanks to Runic Designs, a site dedicated towards the creation of role playing games. They are currently working on a Strategy/RPG and need many more staff members to help out. For more information visit the Runic Designs forums (a web site will be coming soon).
   The forums are there for you to post comments and suggestions regarding this site and are appreciated for delivering what you want to see at SquareAMP in the future.

Square Confirmed To Be At Spring TGS

New Final Fantasy X Details and Interview

   The lead development staff of Final Fantasy X has been revealed, and despite most of the staffers being holdovers from Final Fantasy VIII, one major surprise marks the list:

   Director: Yoshinori Kitase
   Scenario: Kazushige Nojima
   Art Director: Yusuke Naora
   Character Design: Tetsuya Nomura
   Battle Director: Toshiro Tsuchida (Director of the Front Mission series)

   Tshuchida-san's selection as battle director apparently marks an end to active time battles in the series, as FFX is said to feature more strategic battles, possibly taking factors such as positioning into account. Due to this fact, the virtually-completed FFX is undergoing considerably more tuning to ensure a balanced combat engine, but remains on schedule for a spring release in Japan.
   The hero, Tidus, will be voiced by Seiichi Morita, while Yuna will be voiced by Mayuko Aoki. Both are new to voice acting and instead served as motion capture actors in FFVIII, with Morita acting as Zell and Aoki acting as both Rinoa and Edea. Square explained the choices as a desire to use voice actors that did not remind gamers of previous characters.
   Square also claims that there is no longer a clear distinction between towns/dungeons and the world map, though it remains to be seen whether that is meant graphically or in terms of actual world design. The game's camera, instead of following the character as in most 3D games, will follow series tradition and remain floating in place while now being player-movable.
   The interview can be found here, thanks to Gamers.com.

: The GIA
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Higher Quality Final Fantasy X Media
   Square reveals the first official look at Final Fantasy X. Check out higher-quality versions of the previously shown 5 screenshots, 2 character designs, and an awesome rendered scene.
: The GIA | IGNPS2

Final Fantasy X Official Character Names
   Square today announced the official English names of Final Fantasy X's lead characters. As expected, the heroine will go by the name of Yuna, but the hero's name, Tidus, may be a bit of a surprise. Tidus' name was previously unofficially romanized as Tida, Teedah, or Tide. His Japanese name includes no S sound, leaving the pronouncation of "Tidus" quite a bit different from its written appearance.

Final Fantasy X To Have "Okinawan Feel"
   Less than a week after the first screenshots and character art for Final Fantasy X hit the web, Final Fantasy X's overarching theme has already begun to emerge. Series composer Nobuo Uematsu described the game as having "an Okinawan feel" in his Weekly Famitsu column, and the game looks to reflect the unique culture of the island group located off the southwest coast of Japan.
   Described by a Japanese friend of the GIA as "hot, Tarzan hot," Okinawa's tropical setting is reflected in the oceans and palm trees seen in the first released screens. The heroine, Yuna, is dressed in clothing reminiscent of Okinawan garb. In the native Okinawan dialect, her name means a type of hibiscus flower. Tida's clothes are a little harder to describe, but most noteworthy is the segmented nature of his lower sleeve, upper sleeve, and vest, calling to mind Japanese male formal wear. His name translates from the Okinawan dialect as "sun."
   All this comes on the heels of the announcement earlier this month that Okinawan folk singer Rikki would sing the theme song for Final Fantasy X. The Final Fantasy series has regularly appropriated parts of more well-known Norse and Hindu mythologies, but Okinawa has its own history, culture, gods, and traditions. It will be interesting to see just how the world's most renown RPG series incorporates all these themes.
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Must See Final Fantasy 10 Media!
   Square finally breaks its silence: the first official screenshots and character renders from the Final Fantasy series' tenth chapter.
   Also revealed is FF X's new logo, which appears to depict one of the game's key story elements: a battle between the water goddess and fire god.

: The GIA

New Final Fantasy X Character Details
   In addition to the first screenshots and character renders, Square has announced a few new details on Final Fantasy X's protagonists. The hero, whose name is tentatively translated as Tida (not Tide, as previously reported), is a sword-wielding 17-year-old. Tida is described as "cheerful" and a star player at Blitzball, an underwater fighting ball game. Speculation suggests Blitzball could be a mini-game, though nothing has been confirmed.
   Tida's staff-wielding love interest, Yuna, is also 17. She's the daughter of a master summoner and is unhappy living in the shadow of her famous family. Yuna is a summoner herself, though she rarely makes use of her powers.

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New Final Fantasy X Footage
   The GIA has received exclusive video footage of FF10 from the recent Jump Festa in Japan. Althougth the footage recorded is not the greatest quality it is still definitely worth checking out. You can find the movie here.
: The GIA
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The Bouncer Goes Dolby
   Square announced today that The Bouncer, its Final Fight-inspired game for the PlayStation 2, is the first PS2 game to feature Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. The Bouncer has already been released in Japan and will be released in the US in March.
   "Our commitment to giving gamers the best and most realistic gaming experience led us to use Dolby Digital 5.1 sound for The Bouncer," said Takashi Tokita, director of The Bouncer for Square Co. Ltd. "Dolby Digital draws the player right into the action with the sounds of the colossal aircraft engine, gigantic explosions, and ambient street life."

: GameSpot

More Final Fantasy X Characters Revealed
   Two more Final Fantasy X character names have trickled out from the recent Jump Festival; Kitt and Hayate are their unofficial romanized names. No details have been revealed concerning either character, but it can be assumed that Kitt is a female and Hayate a psuedo-Japanese male. From the Jump Festival footage, it appears that both will be playable characters, though no official announcement has been made.
   Kitt and Hayate join the existing cast of Tide, Yuna, and Ryugo.
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Final Fantasy Movie Interview - Part 3
   Part 3 of the Gamers.com interview can be found here.
   SOURCE: Gamers.com

Final Fantasy X Main Theme
   With Final Fantasy X's Japanese release a mere three months away, details continue to trickle out about Square's first Playstation 2 RPG. The latest revelation concerns the newest signature series element, Nobuo Uematsu's vocal theme songs. Though the song itself hasn't been announced, the artist who will sing it has - Okinawan folk singer Rikki.
   Readers curious about the singer's previous work are encouraged to listen to real audio samples at her homepage. Also posted is the cover for Rikki's latest album, "Miss You Amami," and a picture of her and Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu.
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Final Fantasy Movie Interview - Part 2
   Part 2 of the Gamers.com interview can be found here.
   SOURCE: Gamers.com

Melody of Legend Announced
   King Records has announced a two CD release compiling some of the best music RPGs have to offer. The two albums, entitled Melody of Legend: Chapter of Love and Chapter of Dream, will each feature 10 arranged songs from a variety of games. What makes these albums unquie, however, is that several prominent composers will be lending talents for new arrangements of the work of their peers. On board at this point are Hitoshi Sakimoto, the composer for Vagrant Story, and Yasunori Mitsuda, whose works should be familiar to fans of Chrono Cross and Xenogears.
   While the full track listing has yet to be disclosed, the partial list includes:

   Chapter of Love:
   -Eyes on Me - Final Fantasy VIII (Sakimoto arrangement)
   -Passion Moment - Tactics Ogre
   -Chiisana Hana - Popolocrois II

   Chapter of Dream:
   -Melodies of Life - Final Fantasy IX (Mitsuda arrangement)
   -Yume mito no Saikai - Tengai Makyo IV

   Melody of Legend: Chapter of Love and Chapter of Dream will be available in Japan on January 11, each for a suggested retail price of about $22.00 US. As with most game soundtracks, it is unlikely these albums will see a release stateside, but they should be available through online retailers.

Final Fantasy Movie Interview - Part 1
   In a recent press interview, Square Pictures' Jun Aida revealed the company's plans for a special PlayStation 2 release of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. The PlayStation 2-only disc will be released in addition to the standard DVD home video release and will feature special interactive segments.
   What little Aida did explain of the PS2 disc indicated that it would expand on the alternate camera angles already offered on some DVDs. On PS2, users will be able to render and edit certain scenes of the movie in real-time, though presumably without the full graphic detail of the original film.
   The full text of the interview can be found on Gamers.com.
   SOURCE: Gamers.com
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Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within Screensaver
   You can find this exclusive screensaver at Square's official Final Fantasy Movie site.  It is available on both PC and Mac.
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Happy New Year! ... It's 2001 And We Are Back!
   Was it worth the wait?  I hope everyone likes the new look that SquareAMP now has and the fact that there is actually content on the sections ;)  One section that is going to take some extra time is the Games section.  We have a lot planned for it but we don't want to rush it; hopefully the other sections will tide you over until it is finished.
   Please send us your comments and suggestions of what you think of the new look...you can email them to StealthRiot.