f e b r u a r y . 2 8 . w e d n e s d a y

Final Fantasy X Jewelry Unveiled
   Square will be offering a line of Final Fantasy X jewelry akin to the FF VIII Griever necklace. Three items, all silver, will be availble: Tidus' heirloom pendant (15,000 yen, or about $133 US) and ring emblazoned with the logo of his Blitzball team (9,800 yen, or $84 US), and Yuna's necklace (20,000 yen, or $180 US).

f e b r u a r y . 2 6 . m o n d a y

Site News: New Poll
   Thanks to Rune we now have a new site poll which will be updated on a regular basis. You can find the poll located to the left of this news section below Site News.

FFX and The Spirits Within Toys Revealed
   The annual Toy Fair earlier this month saw the unveiling of two Final Fantasy-inspired series of action figures from Bandai, and toy website Figures.com was on the scene for a full report.
   Unsurprisingly, toys based on the upcoming movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within were on prominent display. The array of 6" figures from the film will include characters Aki, Gray, Ryan, Dr. Sid, Neil, and the mysterious Phantom. Two vehicle playsets, the Black Boa and Copperhead, will complete the line with each of the tiny craft holding up to four 1" miniatures of the characters. The Spirits Within toys are set to release alongside the movie this July.
   Bandai's booth also offered an advance look at its upcoming series of Final Fantasy X toys. The two officially revealed characters, Tidus and Yuna, were both on display in miniaturized versions, but fans should expect the full cast of the game to get their due when series is released. It is currently unknown whether the Final Fantasy X figures will find their way to North America, but if the last two games are any indication, a stateside release seems likely.
   SOURCE: Figures.com
f e b r u a r y . 2 3 . f r i d a y

Final Fantasy II WonderSwan Color Details
   Though the second of Square's Final Fantasy remakes for WonderSwan Color has been pushed back to May in Japan, the company has announced some of the new features for the handheld port of Final Fantasy II.
   Final Fantasy II was the first in the series to feature a strong plot and well defined characters, and the WSC version will further develop these with the addition of new story scenes and new dialog. Beyond the graphical upgrade on the WSC, Square is also implementing the same interface and gameplay tweaks found in the port of the first game. The extremely useful run button and quick save features will make a return, and the menus and item screens will be redesigned in keeping with the later games of the series. Characters will also attack a new enemy when their currently targeted foe is defeated, a feature also found in the first port. In addition, Final Fantasy II WSC will offer a new "Original Mode," accessible only after finishing the game.
   Bandai has also announced they will be producing another limited edition WonderSwan Color package for the release of Final Fantasy II in May. No details on the special edition have been given, but it will likely be similar to the special boxed set offered for first Final Fantasy port.
f e b r u a r y . 2 1 . w e d n e s d a y

Final Fantasy II For WonderSwan Color Delayed
   Square confirmed today that it has delayed the release of the WonderSwan Color remake of Final Fantasy II. Originally due out alongside Nintendo's Game Boy Advance this March in Japan, the portable RPG will now ship sometime in May.
   The delay hasn't prevented Square from releasing the game's new Yoshitaka Amano-designed logo, however.
   No English localizations for the WonderSwan remakes have been announced, nor has the WonderSwan Color even been confirmed for a North American release. However, the WonderSwan's manufacturer, Bandai, has suggested that the system may still arrive in North America before the year's end.
   SOURCE: The GIA | Core Magazine
f e b r u a r y . 1 9 . m o n d a y

Square Polls Fans on FF Vocal Remake
   Square Japan recently unveiled a new Final Fantasy music promotion on its PlayOnline site. Between now and April 30th, Japanese-speaking browsers can vote on which Final Fantasy music piece should be remade as a vocal song. Voters can select any instrumental OSV track from the nine Final Fantasy soundtracks, including the FF IX Plus CD. (The two in-game vocals tracks -- Final Fantasy VIII's "Eyes On Me" and Final Fantasy IX's "Melodies of Life" -- are ineligible.)
   The winning song will be arranged with new lyrics for the CD single release of Final Fantasy X's theme song "Suteki da ne." Rikki, the singer of "Suteki da ne," will provide the vocals for the bonus track as well.
f e b r u a r y . 1 5 . t h u r s d a y

Square to Employ New Programming Language
   Square has posted a press release via their official Japanese site regarding a new programming language to be optimized for PlayOnline, the company's upcoming online service. The new language, PML, is shorthand for PlayOnline Markup Language.
   But what does this mean for the consumer? Speed. PML is said to have a much higher processing capability than HTML. Hypertext Markup Language, or HTML, is the most common programming language for the Internet, used even for the one you're reading right now. The new PML encoding will allow for faster downloads and transitions, such as "flipping through a comic", as the press release suggests.
   To support the new language, Square will be distributing the PlayOnline Browser and Viewer. The new programs based on PML will also support chat and e-mail. Again, PlayOnline is set to launch, in Japan, in Early 2002.
   SOURCE: MadMan's Cafe
f e b r u a r y . 1 4 . w e d n e s d a y

Nobuo Uematsu Talks Final Fantasy X
   After months of seclusion, Square music director Nobuo Uematsu emerged this week, in Japan, to shed some light on Final Fantasy X with FamitsuPS2. The premiere chapter in Square's trademark RPG series for the PlayStation2, Final Fantasy X will take the series in a new direction both visually and sonically. Specifically, the game will feature spoken dialogue and several new audio accentuation's.
   The full, translated interview can be found here.
   SOURCE: Core Magazine

Bounce to the Bouncer Soundtrack
   Tokyopop and Electro Source Inc have acquired the distribution rights to The Bouncer's soundtrack. The soundtrack will retail for $14.99 US when it's released on Thursday, March 1st.
f e b r u a r y . 1 1 . s u n d a y

Final Fantasy IX Figures Arrive in Stores
   The promised Final Fantasy IX merchandise still continues to trickle into retail. Along with the previously available soundtrack and art book, two assortments of Final Fantasy IX toy figures are now available in stores. Produced by Bandai, the figures retail for $9.99 and are available in sets of two. One features Zidane and Vivi while the other includes Garnet and Steiner, each with appropriate accessories. The toys should be available at the larger software retailers across the country.
f e b r u a r y . 1 0 . s a t u r d a y

Square to Restart Publishing FF Strategy Guides
   According to the The Japan Industrial Journal, Square has announced to restart its guidebook publishings, related to the Final Fantasy series.
   The guidebook to Square's Final Fantasy IX; "Online Ultimania", was released for free on the world wide web to strengthen the value and establishment of Square's online business.
   However, game guidebooks, selling a few million in copies for popular titles such as the Final Fantasy series, are a major source of income for game companies. Guidebooks also strengthen the sales of game titles themselves, acting as a source of advertisement and information. Square analyses that one of the reasons to Final Fantasy IX failing to sell over 3 million copies was due to the lack of information regarding the game.
   Beginning from Final Fantasy X, guidebooks will be released again in published form.
   SOURCE: MadMan's Cafe

Sega and Square to Work on Amusement Project
   In an interview conducted by Softbank publishing, Sega's Co-COO (Co- Chief Operating Officer) Tetsu Kayama has revealed that Sega is currently in progress to create an amusement/arcade game in partnership with Square.
   While details have not yet been mentioned, Kayama quotes;
   "It's still in its planning stage, but we're working with Square on an AM project. It'll be something incredible, that can only be played at the arcades."
   SOURCE: MadMan's Cafe
f e b r u a r y . 0 8 . t h u r s d a y

Square to Report First Ever Losses
   After losing money for the first time in company history, three Square executives have resigned to take lower positions within the company. Video Senki has translated a Bloomberg Japan report that 2001 will see Square announcing red ink after the first quarter ends in March. Development costs for both PlayOnline and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within are most likely to blame for the financial downturn.
   In a response traditional for Japanese businesses, three Square executives have submitted letters of resignation and taken lower positions as penance. President Tomoyuki Takechi will now be a contractual consultant, CEO Masahi Hiramatsu will drop to executive director, and Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi will change from the corporate vice president to a game-centered title of executive producer.
   The company will also be changing from a president, vice president, and CEO structure to having a president, CEO, and CFO. No one has been named as possible replacements.
   SOURCE: Video Senki
f e b r u a r y . 0 7 . w e d n e s d a y

Square Is Relaxin' With Final Fantasy
   Square announced that they will be releasing a new Final Fantasy Collection soundtrack called Potion: Relaxin' with Final Fantasy in Japan on February 21, for 2345 yen. The soundtrack will include 17 songs from Final Fantasy III to VIII:

   1. Tina (FFVI Piano Collection)
   2. Kids Run Through the City (FFVI Piano Collection)
   3. Water Maiden of the Eternity Shrine of Wind (Final Fantasy III)
   4. Melody of Lute (FFIV: Celtic Moon)
   5. Eyes on Me (FFVIII Piano Collection)
   6. Tenderness in the Air (FFV Piano Collection)
   7. Fragments of Memories (FFVIII: Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec)
   8. Main Theme (Final Fantasy IV Piano Collection)
   9. Balamb Garden Ami (Final Fantasy VIII: Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec)
   10. Lenna's Theme (FFV: Dear Friends)
   11. The Successor (FFVIII Piano Collection)
   12. Music Box (FFV: Dear Friends)
   13. Theme of Love (Final Fantasy IV Piano Collection)
   14. Air Squirrel Theme (FFVII: Reunion Tracks)
   15. Welcome to Our Town (FFIV Piano Collection)
   16. Rydia (FFIV: Celtic Moon)
   17. BONUS TRACK: To my Dear Friends (Affection)

   SOURCE: The Magicbox
f e b r u a r y . 0 6 . t u e s d a y

Site News - New Section: Origins
   The new section that will be added soon will pertain to the 'origins' of the element's we see in most all Squaresoft games, most typically the Final Fantasy series. Things like character names, towns, weapons, and items most likely have a history that most people are unaware of. Square also has a tendency to take these myth's, in some cases, and change them to fit the game.
   Expect to see this section added before the end of February.
f e b r u a r y . 0 1 . t h u r s d a y

Final Fantasy X Song Title Translated
   Square translates the name to English as "Isn't it Beautiful?". A more slang-oriented translation might yield something like "Isn't it Wonderful?". As previously reported, Okinawan folk singer Rikki will sing the theme.
: Madman's Cafe