j u n e . 2 9 . f r i d a y

Final Fantasy XI To Go Multiplatform
   The constant rumors regarding the fate of SquareSoft's first online RPG, Final Fantasy XI, particularly about its cross-console release, can now be put to rest. Hironobu Sakaguchi, creator of the Final Fantasy series, confirmed with GameSpot that Final Fantasy XI, although initially in development for the Sony PlayStation 2 and the PC, will indeed be released on multiple consoles. Although he refrained from naming the specific platforms, the game's release will include the Microsoft Xbox and likely the Nintendo GameCube. "Initially, of course, the game will be released for the Sony PlayStation 2 and the PC platform, but in order to gain as broad an audience as possible, we will release it across other consoles in the future." Sakaguchi told GameSpot.
   In Sakaguchi's vision, the game will be playable across multiple platforms and concurrently by users worldwide. Final Fantasy XI has been in development for some time and will be released sometime next year.
   SOURCE: GameSpot VG

PS2-Specific DVD of Final Fantasy Film Planned
   During a recent roundtable discussion, Jun Aida, producer of the upcoming Square Pictures' film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, revealed that the company currently plans to release two DVD versions of the movie. One will be released as a regular DVD product, while the second will be released specifically for the Sony PlayStation 2. The company currently plans to add specific elements of interactivity to the PS2 DVD of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, like the ability to manipulate the camera in certain scenes.
   "There will be two different sets of products," Aida explained. "For the PS2 DVD release, we will do some scenes using real-time rendering, where you will have the interactive ability to change the camera angles. So, you can sort of have your own version of the film, with your own camera positions."
   Both products, the regular DVD and the PS2-specific DVD release, are currently slated for release in the spring of 2002.
   SOURCE: GameSpot VG
j u n e . 2 8 . t h u r s d a y

Final Fantasy X Complete
   At the PlayStation 2 Party last night in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, Square corporate director Shinji Hashimoto delivered the news that players have longed to hear, Final Fantasy X is ready. Quieting rumors of another delay, Hashimoto-san said a master version used for mass production has been ready for sometime. The news, which was met with thunderous applause from the assembled crowd, was followed by a new trailer for Final Fantasy X. Thereafter, series producer Hironobu Sakaguchi appeared in a taped segment. He began by recounting his early days in the industry, and his desperation to release a popular game. What would have been his swan song, a game befittingly entitled 'Final Fantasy,' sparked one of the most popular seires ever. Success comes with a price however, he continued, lamenting over the struggle to keep the series fresh.
   Moving on, Sakaguchi-san briefly discussed Final Fantasy X. He admitted that the staff, which totaled over 300 people throughout development, was unsettled by working on the PlayStation 2. Aside from the technical hurdle associated with working on a new platform, Square was faced with the dilemma of adding a completely new element to their series, spoken dialogue. He concluded by saying future installments in the Final Fantasy series will defy prediction.
   SOURCE: Core Magazine
j u n e . 2 7 . w e d n e s d a y

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within Soundtrack
   Sony Classical has launched the official website for the Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within Original Motion Picture Soundtrack at finalfantasysoundtrack.com. The main score is by two-time Oscar-nominated composer Elliot Goldenthal (Alien 3, Sphere). The movie also features two vocal pop themes: "The Dream Within" (Love Theme from Final Fantasy), performed vocalist Lara Fabian; and "Spirit Dreams Inside," by Japanese pop sensations L'Arc-en-Ciel. The soundtrack disc will also contain a video preview of Final Fantasy X.
   The Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within soundtrack will be available in music stores nationwide on July 3rd, 2001.
   SOURCE: The GIA
j u n e . 2 3 . s a t u r d a y

SITE NEWS Fanart Update At Last!
   After a month of minimal site updates everyone will be happy to see that there is now new images in the fanart section ... and there are many more to come. Be sure to check back for many other new things at the site in the near future.
j u n e . 2 2 . f r i d a y

Final Fantasy Movie Soundtrack Listing
   The Sugoi has posted the track listing and cover art for the soundtrack of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. The movie soundtrack will feature sixteen orchestrated tracks composed by Elliot Goldenthal and two vocal tracks: One by French-Canadian singer Lara Fabian and one by Japanese band L'arc en Ciel. (L'arc en Ciel's track will be in English on the soundtrack and movie, though a Japanese-language version will be released as a single in Japan.)

   1. The Spirit Within
   2. Race to Old New York
   3. Phantom Plains
   4. Code Red
   5. The Kiss
   6. Entrada
   7. Toccata and Dreamscapes
   8. Music for Dialogue
   9. Winged Serpent
   10. Zeus Cannon
   11. Flight to the Wasteland
   12. A Child Recalled
   13. The Eighth Spirit
   14. Dead Rain
   15. Blue Light
   16. Adagio and Transfiguration
   17. The Dream Within (Lara Fabian)
   18. Spirit Dreams Inside (L'arc en Ciel)

   Conflicting reports have pegged both "The Dream Within" and "Spirits Dreams Inside" as the movie's closing credits theme. It will be revealed July 11th when the movie is opened in the US.
   SOURCE: The GIA | The Sugoi

Final Fantasy Fan Day at Sony's Metreon
   For those fans of the Final Fantasy series, Square is going to give you one of the coolest summer treats you've ever seen in quite some time. Not only is Square giving the PlayStation one last hurrah in 2001 with a combination of two all-time favorite games from the Super NES days, Final Fantasy IV and Chrono Trigger with Final Fantasy Chronicles, it's offering gamers the chance to play Final Fantasy X and to potentially see the movie, Final Fantasy: The Spririts Within.
   The event, which runs from 5 pm to 10 pm on Tuesday, July 10, 2001, at the Sony Metreon, features several opportunities for fans and gamers to show off some of their costume-making skills and to ham it up in a costume contest, and to play the Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy Chronicles at dozens of kiosks. For those who love collectibles, rare FF artifacts, autographed art, and other Final Fantasy goodies will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to The Academy of Art College in San Francisco. Also, a raffle will be held to give away 125 free tickets to see Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within at 11 pm that same night. Other raffle prizes include T-shirts, lunchboxes, skateboards and posters.
   SOURCE: IGN PS2
j u n e . 2 1 . t h u r s d a y

New Final Fantasy Movie Details
   Square has revealed that the popular Japanese band, L'Arc-en-Ciel, will provide the theme song for their upcoming Final Fantasy movie. The song entitled 'Spirit Dreams Inside' will reportedly serve as the backdrop for the film's closing sequence.
   In associated news, the Japanese production company, GAGA-Humax, will handle the distribution of the film overseas this fall.
   SOURCE: Video Senki
j u n e . 2 0 . w e d n e s d a y

SITE NEWS Site Updates Are on the Way...
   I realize it has been over a month since many of the sections have been updated but hopefully once I get used to my time consuming work schedule things will be updated on a regular basis again.
   Also, for all of you that have sent in new fanart submissions, I am working at having that section updated very soon.

Nobuo Uematsu Sharing FFX Composing Duties

   It has been confirmed that Nobuo Uematsu will be joined by two composers on the Final Fantasy X soundtrack for the first time in the FF series' history. In a Digicube listing for the soundtrack translated by the site, Uematsu is revealed has having worked with fellow Square Sounds composers Junya Nakano (Dewprism) and Masashi Hamauzu (SaGa Frontier II). The three composers reportedly "equally contributed to the music as composers," though Uematsu remains the sole producer of the soundtrack.
   Final Fantasy X itself is due out July 17th in Japan; the four-disc soundtrack release will follow on August 1st.
   SOURCE: The GIA | Rocketbaby

Seiko Announces Final Fantasy Watch
   Seiko has announced that it will sell a watch based upon the wrist holo seen in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. The wrist holo is worn by the movie's heroine, Dr. Aki, and it detects life-forms. The watch that will be sold by Seiko will mirror the wrist holo only in appearance, but it will feature four timing modes and a calendar. The watch is rated to be water resistant at 100m and will retail for $200 beginning this month in Japan.
   SOURCE: Videogames.com
j u n e . 1 9 . t u e s d a y

New Final Fantasy X Details
   Over the weekend Square revealed some intriguing new details regarding their upcoming PlayStation 2 RPG, Final Fantasy X. Shown in playable form at Game Kingdom 2001, development team representatives on-hand revealed that they've been experimenting with hard-drive compatibility. Thereby, 3-5 second loading times associated with FMV and battles were nearly eliminated by incorporating the hard-drive. Due to Sony's delay in releasing the hard-drive / Ethernet bundle however, plans to offer compatibility with the device were seemingly shelved.
   In associated news, Square revealed new in-game screens and footage from Final Fantasy X. As previously reported, the game's protagonist 'Tidus' will be a blitzball player, which has previous been described as an aquatic version of soccer. In Final Fantasy X, blitzball will actually be available as a mini-game. In the new footage released, the game resembles a cross between soccer, lacrosse, and water-polo. A small radar screen is used to track the movement of your opponents while you defend a triangular goal.
   SOURCE: Core Magazine

Square Plans Movie Merchandise
   Square announced today that they've licensed the rights to their upcoming Final Fantasy movie to several different companies, all of whom plan to create lines of merchandise based on the film. Scheduled to hit American theaters on July 11th, Final Fantasy is expected to break sales records in regard to feature films based on videogames. The following list is a complete breakdown of licensed goods from the film.

   Company / Product:
   Bandai - Action Figures
   Brady Games - Book
   Changes - T-Shirts
   Comic Images - Trading Cards
   Disguise - Halloween Costumes
   Entertainment Calendars - Calendar
   Fossil - Watches
   Great Eastern - Wall Scrolls
   Palisades Marketing - Figures, vinyl statues, lunch boxes
   Seiko - Watches
   Sport Fun - Skateboards

   SOURCE: Core Magazine
j u n e . 1 8 . m o n d a y

Square, Namco, Enix Joint Plans Revealed
   The main thrust of the three companies' cooperation will be in online gaming. A separate company, owned by all three, will spin off to handle PlayOnline and further plans in that area. Furthermore, any future online games from any of the three companies will now take advantage of PlayOnline, which should help Square defray the costs a bit.
   Other online-related aspects of the plans include an online RPG co-developed by Square and Enix, and possible networked arcade machines from the three companies. Finally, though it may not have much bearing on U.S. audiences, the three will also create development tools for cell phone games.
   SOURCE: Video Senki
j u n e . 1 5 . f r i d a y

Amplify Your Final Fantasy X
   While Square canceled plans to release a two-disc limited edition set for Final Fantasy X earlier this year, a new package has seemingly taken its place. More aptly, Square plans to bundle Final Fantasy X with an amplifier and a sound booklet. The entire package will retail for 16800 Yen ($137), and will be formally dubbed 'Final Fantasy X: Beat Shock Edition.' According to Square representatives, the amplifier has been optimized to handle the audio sampling rate in Final Fantasy X. Preorders for the package will begin this weekend through Digicube stores across Japan.
   SOURCE: Core Magazine
j u n e . 1 3 . w e d n e s d a y

Final Fantasy Tactics Confirmed as Greatest Hit
   Squaresoft confirmed today that the hard-to-find classic, Final Fantasy Tactics, would be joining Sony's budget-priced Greatest Hits line this July. Final Fantasy Tactics was published in the U.S. before the advent of Square Electronic Arts, and Sony Computer Entertainment America maintains the U.S. publication rights. Therefore, SCEA will be publishing the game as a first-party title.
   Sony's Greatest Hits line carry a suggested MSRP of $24.99 and are regularly available for $19.99 or less.
   SOURCE: The GIA
j u n e . 0 8 . f r i d a y

New Final Fantasy X Trailer, Screens
   With the release of Final Fantasy X just over a month away, Square has released a brand new trailer on Sony's official Japanese PlayStation site. The 4.5 MB movie is in RealVideo format and runs approximately three minutes. Although the bulk of the trailer is previously seen footage, about one third is new and the entirety is accompanied by new music. Among the highlights of the new scenes are detailed FMV close-ups of all the main characters, including our first good look at Auron and Rikku.
   You can find 23 stills from the trailer here.
   SOURCE: The GIA

"Suteki da ne" Sample MP3 Released
   Square has released a sample of the game's theme song, "Suteki da ne." The sample can be downloaded from the Square Sounds website as either a 64 kbps or 128 kbps MP3 file.
   Sung by Okinawan folk singer Rikki, "Suteki da ne" will be released on a CD single on July 18th in Japan. The disc will also include an instrumental version of the song, an original Rikki song, and a vocal remix of Aerith's Theme titled "Pure Heart".
   SOURCE: The GIA
j u n e . 0 7 . t h u r s d a y

Final Fantasy X Valfor Figures
   The Valfor Aeon figure is available to Japanese gamers who reserve Final Fantasy X at a 7-11. Three different versions of the figure are available: a "true color" version, a metallic version, and a crystal version. The Valfor figure is the first entry in the Final Fantasy Creatures lines; future figures in these series will be issued as independent retail releases.
   SOURCE: The GIA
j u n e . 0 5 . t u e s d a y

Seiko Plans Final Fantasy Watch
   Seiko representatives revealed today that they're planning to release a limited edition 'Final Fantasy' wristwatch this fall in Japan. The commemorative timepiece will be released in coordination with the Final Fantasy movie. The watch itself is said to resemble the one worn by Aki, the movie's heroine. Only one thousand of the watches will be made, with each scheduled to retail for 21,000 yen ($175).
   For reference, the Final Fantasy movie will be released in American theaters this July, and later this fall throughout Asia.
   SOURCE: Core Magazine
j u n e . 0 3 . s u n d a y

Square's Vocal Collections Track Listing
   Square is planning a third volume in the Final Fantasy Vocal Collection series. The soundtrack will contain songs from various Square titles. Digicube has released the track list for Square's third Vocal Collection. The disc will contain twelve vocal songs that feature eleven previously or soon to be released songs, with the inclusion of one completely new track. The complete ordered list includes:

   1. Forevermore / Reiko Nota (The Bouncer)
   2. Small Two of Pieces / Joanne Hogg (Xenogears)
   3. Treasure Box of the Heart / Hiromi Ohta (Chocobo Racing)
   4. 9 Times / Sobut (Professional Baseball [OST not yet released])
   5. Lovely Strains / Kotomi Kyouno (Soukaigi)
   6. Eyes on Me (Orchestra Version) / Faye Wong (Final Fantasy VIII)
   7. Somnia Memorias / Shani Rigsbee (Parasite Eve)
   8. Stars of Tears / Joanne Hogg (Xenogears)
   9. Radical Dreamers / Noriko Mitose (Chrono Chross)
   10. Melodies of Life / Emiko Shiratori (Final Fantasy IX)
   11. Song of Mana / Annika (Legend of Mana)
   12. Bonus Track: Tiny Wings / Mari Izukawa (Dice de Chocobo)

   Square Vocal Collection is slated to ship on June 20 and bears the catalog number SSCX-10052.
   SOURCE: The GIA
j u n e . 0 1 . f r i d a y

NON-SQUARE Xenosaga Story Details and More...
   Xenosaga takes place 1,000 years in the future. Humanity has abanoned the Earth, which happened in TC 16 (AD 2526) according to the timeline in the Xenogears Perfect Works art book. Human civilization is currently formed into the Star Cluster Federation, which comprises 50,000 planets. Interstellar travel is accomplished by a "reality distortion system" known as U.M.N.
   Xenogears' Gears have been replaced with similar mechanical weapons known as Anti-Gnosis Weapons Systems, or AGWSes. The AGWSes were built to battle the Gnosis, a nimble, android-like alien race rebelling against humanity. An experimental new model of AGWS, the VX, has recently been developed by the government.
   As previously reported, Xenosaga's heroine is Shion Uzuki (previously spelled Cion). The 22-year-old engineer lost her parents in the war and her lover in an accident. Her research team has recently developed KOS-MOS, the blue-haired female android. KOS-MOS will be another playable character; a white-haired male character named Chaos seems to be a third.
   Xenosaga will ship on 2 DVD-ROMs. What necessitates such a large media size? Xenosaga will incorporate full voice acting and animated facial expressions, making it the second console RPG after Final Fantasy X to do so.
   Xenosaga will also be the first RPG to feature fully animated hair. As with Final Fantasy VII, two different character polygon models will be used. However, Xenosaga's models will be used in reverse: the detailed models appear in the story scenes, and the simplified ones in battle.
   14 hi-rez screenshots can be found here.
   SOURCE: The GIA