m a r c h . 3 1 . s a t u r d a y

TGS: Non-Square: More Details on Xenosaga
   The game's proper name is "Tetsuya Takahashi's Xenosaga" (Takahashi was the producer of Xenogears, episode 5 of the 6, and is the head of Monolith Soft). The production design is led by Junya Ishigaki (also a Xenogears veteran), character designs are by Kunihiko Tanaka (ditto), and the music is composed by Yasunori Mitsuda (of Xenogears and Chrono Cross fame). Here's the complete list given:

   Music Composer: Yasunori Mitsuda
   Character Designer: Kunihiko Tanaka
   Production Designer: Junya Ishigaki, Kouichi Mugitani and Takumi Sakura
   Art Director: Yasuyuki Honne
   Screenplay: Sei Sato
   Programming Director: Toshiaki Yajima
   Producer: Hirohide Sugiura
   Executive Producer: Masaya Nakamura
   Story and Director: Tetsuya Takahashi

   Xenosaga will be officially debuted later this year -- Namco advertised an exhibition at Ebisu Garden Hall in Tokyo on July 8. Release information is not firm, but indications seem to be that the game will be released in 2001. In the meantime, keep an eye on the as-yet-unopened xenosaga.com (as well as monolithsoft.co.jp) for updates.

m a r c h . 3 0 . f r i d a y

TGS: 8 New Must See Final Fantasy X Videos!
   Click here for 8 additional FFX mpg video's from the Tokyo Game Show.

TGS: Must See Final Fantasy X Video!
   Thanks to IGN PS2, there is new video footage of the game being played at the Tokyo Game Show. Keep in mind that this video is captured and compressed from a DV camera and doesn't completely do the game justice. Regardless, it still looks quite tasty and this video is only the first of several that we'll post over the course of the rest of the game show. So, download it (MPG Format, 4.19MB) and revel in the beauty of Final Fantasy X.

TGS: Final Fantasy X Impressions & Screens!

   Click here for 39 new screeenshots of Square's upcoming epic. Also check out the first impressions and new details on the battle system.

TGS: Non-Square: Namco Unveils 'Xenosaga'
   Namco's much hyped 'Project-X' for the PlayStation 2 was formally announced today at Spring Tokyo Game Show. According to company representatives, the game is an RPG dubbed 'Xenosaga.' Unfortunately, no media was shown openly. Rather, Namco is planning a major unveiling for July 8th, wherein the game will be formally unveiled before 600 lucky attendees. Nevertheless, we've been told Xenosaga will feature music by Yasunori Mitsuda of Chrono Trigger fame. It seems likely that Xenosaga will attempt to carry on the six-episode Xenogears story in some form.
   The title also now has an official winter 2001 release date in Japan.
   SOURCE: Core Magazine | Gamespot

"Aerith's Theme" Stakes Out Clear Lead
   Square has posted another update to the "Suteki da ne" bonus track voting on its PlayOnline site. The campaign, which continues until the end of April, allows Japanese-speaking fans to vote on their favorite Final Fantasy music piece. The winning track will be remixed into a Rikki-sung vocal track for inclusion on the CD single release of Final Fantasy X's theme "Suteki da ne."
   "Aerith's Theme" from Final Fantasy VII has increased its lead; the track now has 1,194 votes. That gives "Aerith's Theme" nearly four times as many votes as the second-place song, "You're Not Alone" from Final Fantasy IX, which has a mere 285 votes. Final Fantasy V's ever-popular "Battle With Gilgamesh" has dropped to third place with 234 votes.
   Voting continues until April 30th.
m a r c h . 2 9 . t h u r s d a y

Pre-TGS: Bring on the Playable FFX!
   Final Fantasy X will be playable on numerous kiosks at both Square's and Sony's booths at the Tokyo Game Show.
m a r c h . 2 6 . m o n d a y

Site News: NEW FORUMS!
   The new site forums are now online. Take a few seconds and sign up so you have the chance to say what's on your mind regarding Square and to discuss the latest news.
Also in the forums: the Final Fantasy Survivor trailor. Go check it out and leave feedback.
   The link for the forums can be found on the top menu navigation bar.

Final Fantasy IX Sells Millions
   Square announced that their hit PlayStation RPG Final Fantasy IX has sold over 1.1 million copies in North America since its release in November 2000, the sales in Japan has also passed 2.82 million copies. As a result, he worldwide shipment of the Final Fantasy series has reached 31 millions.
   SOURCE: The Magicbox

m a r c h . 2 5 . s u n d a y

Final Fantasy IX Awarded
   Square's latest PlayStation RPG 'Final Fantasy IX' was named "Console Role Playing Game of the Year" by the interactive entertainment industry at a ceremony held last night. Square also was honored with additional awards in multiple categories including: "Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction" and "Outstanding Achievement in Animation," both for Final Fantasy IX.
   SOURCE: Core Magazine
m a r c h . 2 4 . s a t u r d a y

Square Announces Tokyo Game Show Line-up
   Square today official announced its roster of games for the Spring 2001 Tokyo Game Show. Headlining the line-up is Final Fantasy X, which will debut in playable form at the show. The showing will be the first official look at FF X since the initial screenshots.
   While FF X is sure to be the biggest attraction at Square booth, a trio of WonderSwan Color games will also be on display: the military strategy RPG Blue Wing Blitz; the Final Fantasy II remake; and the SaGa series' latest chapter, WildCard.
   The Tokyo Game Show runs from March 30th to April 1st.
m a r c h . 2 2 . t h u r s d a y

Will Fantasy Be a Wake-up Call to Actors?
   Sony/Columbia's Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is likely to send a chilling message to actors that they, too, can be replaced by computers, the London Daily Mirror indicated today (Thursday). The $65-million movie, it noted, is the first to completely replace human actors with computer-generated ones. Japanese producer Jun Aida told the Mirror: "Recreating the natural human facial expressions was the most difficult aspect. ... No one has done this before, so we couldn't hire anyone to show us how. We had to put an extensive amount of effort into developing it." In its report about the film, which is scheduled to open in the U.S. on July 13, the Mirror quoted an unnamed Hollywood insider as saying that the advent of computer-generated actors has been "a worry for all those second-division stars who behave like spoilt brats and piss everyone off. A lot of directors are going to fall in love with these computer actors because they're cheap and reliable."

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within Site Redesign

   Click here to check out the new look.
m a r c h . 2 0 . t u e s d a y

Blue Wing Blitz Update
   Blue Wing Blitz is being developed by the creators of Front Mission, the story takes place in a fantasy world, where air floating islands exist in the world. The floating islands are owned and ruled by an evil airship corporation, you play as a leader of the air force, your mission is to lead a team of airships to battle against the evil corporation. The battles are mission based like in Front Mission, all the airships and aircrafts can be upgraded by adding different engines, weapons and armor. Blue Wing Blitz is scheduled for release on July 5, for 4700 yen.
   SOURCE: The Magicbox
m a r c h . 1 9 . m o n d a y

Despite Negative Reviews, The Bouncer is #1
   According to NPD Weekly Report, week ending March 10, 2001, The Bouncer (which released March 6) was the number 1 selling title across all platforms (PS2, PS one, N64, DC. Against PlayStation 2 titles, The Bouncer sold more units than the number 2 and number three games combined (37,511 units for the week) which is close to 20% market share. In comparison to The Bouncer, Conker's Bad Fur Day, which hit retail stands in the same day for the Nintendo 64, only sold through 24,000 units. NPD tracking numbers accounts for 72% of the all videogames sold in the US.
   "We are excited to see that The Bouncer has topped the sales charts across all platforms in its first week of release." Said Jun Iwasaki, President, Square EA. "Thanks to the fans and everyone's support for this successful launch."
m a r c h . 1 8 . s u n d a y

Square Says No to Xbox
   In recent rumblings, IGN has learned that Square has decided NOT to develop for Microsoft's Xbox, after all. Square had originally said that it was interested in Xbox development, and has apparently been in discussions with Microsoft, but recently IGN heard that Square has decided to pull away from any Xbox development, although it's still listed as a developer. As everybody knows, it's quite easy to become a listed developer, which is different than actually developing for a system.
m a r c h . 1 4 . w e d n e s d a y

Site News: Added Final Fantasy Tactics to Games
   We just recently got access to a good friends old Tactics page that hasn't been updated or viewed for over a year. We decided that we should add it to our Games section, seeing as that section is currently lacking for content. It's a very indepth guide but it is missing a walkthrough. I hope you enjoy it and email me with anything you think should be added to it, or to help with a good walkthrough.
   SOURCE: Rune
m a r c h . 1 3 . t u e s d a y

Square Holds CG Seminar
   Square participated in a Cultural Affairs Media Festival today in Ebisu Garden by holding a computer graphics seminar. The event was highlighted by a speech from Square CG director Satoshi Tsukamoto whose list of credits include the Final Fantasy series. Tsukamoto-san spoke about the production methods employed in tradition CG production for films and demonstrated advanced motion capturing techniques before the crowd. Before leaving the podium Tsukamoto-san said; 'CG development has been greatly improved through game development. We're adapting all the knowledge we've garnered through CG production in games and movies to our upcoming PlayStation2 title; Final Fantasy X. Expect some of the most impressive CG yet.'
   Unfortunately, no real footage of the game was shown at the seminar. Rather, Square is gearing up for a formal showing at Spring TGS later this month.
   SOURCE: Core Magazine
m a r c h . 1 2 . m o n d a y

Site News: Radio Server System Upgrade
   Live365 will be temporarily halting their services from 9pm to 11pm PT on March 12th for a system upgrade. As a result, this means our SquareAMP radio will not be available to listen to during this time.

Square Plans Bouncer Soundtrack
   Square is planning to release a two-disc music soundtrack for their PlayStation2 action title 'The Bouncer' on March 23rd in Japan. The compilation will reportedly feature 29 tracks from the game, and will retail for 2854 Yen ($22). All associated music tracks were composed by Noriko Matsueda, whose list of credits including Square's PlayStation title 'Racing Lagoon.'
   No word on whether Square plans to release the soundtrack outside Japan.
   SOURCE: Core Magazine
m a r c h . 0 9 . f r i d a y

New Details on Square's WSC Strategy RPG's
   Famitsu today revealed a few additionial details concering Square's WonderSwan Color title Blue Wing Blitz. The strategy RPG will focus on air combat; players will pilot various types of planes in combat instead of fighting on foot or in mecha. The game will also feature fully 3-D graphics. A release date has not yet been announced.
   Famitsu also reconfirmed Square's forthcoming WSC port of the Super Famicom strategy RPG Front Mission. Despite rumors that the title had been canceled, it is obviously alive and well, as evidenced by the first screenshot of the game. Front Mission WSC is currently on track for release next winter in Japan.
   SOURCE: Famitsu International

Site News: Two Updates In One Day?!

   If you feel there are any additions to SquareAMP you would like to see, and they include scripting or any kind please e-mail Rune, Topic SquareAMP. Please include what you want to see added and if possible a link to the script that you would like to see implemented. SquareAMP is for you the fans so any and all input is appreciated.
   SOURCE: Rune

Site News: SquareAMP Radio Gets An Update
   After being down for most of yesterday and the day before, SquareAMP Radio is back up and with more songs. You can also e-mail santino, with your requests for songs you feel should be included in the radio program.
   SOURCE: santino
m a r c h . 0 8 . t h u r s d a y

Square's "Unnamed Portable RPG" Revealed
   In a spate of announcements last month that included multiple remakes and new titles from Square, an "unnamed portable RPG" was also listed. That game has now been revealed to be Blue Wing Blitz, a simulation/RPG set to join the rest of the company's portable titles on the WonderSwan Color.
   Blue Wing Blitz will be Square's second original production for the WSC, coming after card battle RPG WildCard and a half-dozen Famicom remakes. No other details have been released.
m a r c h . 0 6 . t u e s d a y

Interview: Final Fantasy X
   Following the initial media blitz concerning Final Fantasy X, Square's camp has grown unusually quiet regarding their premiere PlayStation 2 RPG. Last week several development team members including Yusuke Naora (art director), Tsuchida Toshiro (battle director), Kazunari Nojima (scenario writer), Tetsuya Nomura (character designer), and Yoshinori Kitase (chief director) broke their silence in an interview conducted by DengekiPS to reveal a wealth of new Final Fantasy X info.
   The full interview can be found here.
   SOURCE: Core Magazine
m a r c h . 0 4 . s u n d a y

"Suteki da ne" Bonus Track Voting Update
   The first round of results from Square's music survey are in. The survey, which began February 16th, gives Japanese-speaking fans a chance to vote on which Final Fantasy track they'd like to see redone as a vocal piece. The winning track will be remixed with lyrics by Nobuo Uematsu, sung by Rikki, and included on the CD single of Final Fantasy X's theme song, "Suteki da ne."
   In just a few weeks, "Aerith's Theme" (Final Fantasy VII - Disc 3, Track 19) has emerged as the clear favorite. With over 600 nominations, it has more than four times the votes of the second-place track, perennial fan favorite "Battle With Gilgamesh" (FF V - Disc 2, Track 3). Holding third-, fourth-, and fifth-place positions are "Aria di Mezzo Carattere" (FF VI - Disc 2, Track 8 -- the opera song), "You're Not Alone" (FF IX - Disc 4, Track 9 -- Zidane's march through Pandemonium), and "Searching for Friends" (FF VI - Disc 3, Track 7 -- the World of Ruin airship theme), respectively.
   The results are far from final, however. Voting continues through April 30th, so it's still possible for "Battle With Gilgamesh" or another track to pull a come-from-behind victory.
m a r c h . 0 1 . t h u r s d a y

Site News: Forums & Fanimation
   The forums will be moving onto a new server sometime next week, make sure that once this happens to go in and register.
   Also there will be a new addition to the FanAmp section which will be called Fanimation. Those of you who have seen the site before it was called SquareAMP will remember this as Toons.