.:. j u n e . 2 8 . f r i d a y .:.

   Square to Release 2nd Final Fantasy XI Upgrade ... news | stealthriot

   Dengeki Online reports today that Final Fantasy XI will undergo another version upgrade on July 2. The game will undergo server maintenance for two hours (9AM to 11AM) on that day, and users will have to download a new patch for the client software on July 9. The new patch includes several changes to the game:

   • Treasure probabilities for certain monsters are adjusted.
   • New spells and job abilities are added.
   • More emote-command animations are added.
   • New items, quests, and synthesis recipes are added.
   • New options for interface styles (window patterns and the like) are added.

   source | IGN PS2

.:. j u n e . 2 6 . w e d n e s d a y .:.

   Square Sets FFXI Level Limit ... news | stealthriot

   Square has reportedly set new gameplay limits in their online RPG Final Fantasy XI to ensure successful cooperation and provide an adequate challenge for experienced players. Specifically, players are unable to buildup their characters beyond level 50 in a designated job category. Thereby, players are encouraged to change jobs and essentially start over in order to continue their adventure. According to company representatives, the cap on level building has been instituted in order to encourage cooperation and provide a challenging gameplay experience for seasoned players. Square hopes to increase the level limit to 100 in the coming months by releasing downloadable scenarios with harder boss characters

   source | XenGamers

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   Final Fantasy Complete Works: Revised Edition ... news | stealthriot

   Square has announced that they will be releasing a revised edition of Final Fantasy Complete Works, the two-book set detailing the first six Final Fantasy games. The original set was published in 1997 and the second book included a PlayStation disc with an encyclopedia of FF enemies, items, parts of the games that didn't make it and more. The new editions sport new cover art, but no word if the encyclopedia disc will make a return. Also interesting of note is that both books are deemed "Volume 1", suggesting that Square will be producing a second set on the next six FFs.

   Book 1 will be 256 pages long and the second will be 160 pages. The set will be released on June 27 and is already listed on DigiCube and Amazon Japan.

   source | Gameforms

.:. j u n e . 1 9 . w e d n e s d a y .:.

   Square Completes Acquisition of Quest ... news | stealthriot

   Japanese developer Quest announced today that it has sold all of its development resources of the Ogre Battle series to Square. Quest had already sold the exclusive rights to the strategy-RPG series to Square earlier this year.

   Square's acquisition of Quest could potentially reunite the development team with its former colleagues. While Square is mum on the prospects of future Ogre Battle titles, expect the series to continue on Square's current target platform, PlayStation 2, with handheld and other console conversions to follow.

   source | IGN PS2

.:. j u n e . 1 7 . m o n d a y .:.

   Square Reveals FFXI PC System Requirements ... news | stealthriot

   In preparation to begin beta testing the PC version of Final Fantasy XI, Square has released a preliminary list of hardware requirements for the game. Albeit scheduled for release this fall in Japan, the game's specifications will undoubtedly restrict its audience to high-end PC owners. Beta testing for the PC version is expected to begin later this month in Japan and will continue throughout the summer. PC testers will utilize the same online servers as the PlayStation 2 version, which is already available on Japanese shelves. Pricing and definitive dates for the American and European markets for Final Fantasy XI (PS2/PC) remain undisclosed.

   Final Fantasy XI: PC System Requirements
   • Operating System: Windows 98, 98SE, ME, 2000, XP
   • CPU: Intel Pentium III 800Mhz or Higher (Pentium 4 Recommended)
   • Memory: 128MB RAM (256MB Recommended)
   • Graphics: DirectX8.1 AGP Compatible (Nvidia GeForce 3 w/64MB VRAM Recommended)
   • Sound: DirectX8.1 Compatible
   • Harddisk: 4.56GB Free Space
   • CD-ROM: 4X or Higher (32X Recommended)
   • Modem: 56k

   source | XenGamers, RPGFan

.:. j u n e . 1 6 . s u n d a y .:.

   Front Mission WSC Release Info and New Features ... news | stealthriot

   Square will release the classic Super Famicom war simulation RPG Front Mission for WonderSwan Color in Japan on July 12, for 5200 yen.
   The story is about the battles between USN and OCU, the WonderSwan Color port will have 6 new features not found in the original: enhanced graphics; switchable view points when customizing your Vantour (robot machines); battle animation skip function; additional save slots and auto-save feature during the battle; versus battle with your friend over the link cable

   source | The Magic Box

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   Final Fantasy XI PC Beta Date Announced ... news | stealthriot

   Square has announced that the PC version of its recently released PlayStation 2 RPG, Final Fantasy XI, will enter the beta testing phase on August 18th. The company will start accepting applications for the beta from June 17th and onwards.

   PC players will share the same online servers as the previously released PlayStation 2 version. Moreover, beta testers only need one player ID account with Square's PlayOnline service to play either the Windows or PlayStation 2 versions of the game. It's currently unknown whether any special features will be added to the PC version of the game. Square plans to release the PC version of Final Fantasy XI this fall in Japan.

   source | RPGFan, XenGamers

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   First Patch Released for Final Fantasy XI ... news | stealthriot

   Square completed a version upgrade of Final Fantasy XI today, the company announced on its official site. Thus, the company records an unusual milestone in history, releasing what we believe is the first patch ever made for a console game. The modifications to the client software, which players can download from the game's main title interface, fix several bugs, add new features, and tweak existing features. The patch is required to access the game after 9AM today (Japanese time), and registration of new users to the PlayOnline service, as well as cancellation of existing accounts, is suspended for 24 hours after that point in order to prevent difficulties resulting from the additional server load. According to Impress Game Watch, the changes to the game include the following:

   • Limitations on auctions have been lifted, so they can take place anywhere in the game.
   • "Notorious monsters" are now generated in various places around the game.
   • It's now possible to subscribe to the Vana D'iel Tribune (the regularly-updated source of news on the game) and receive it when checking into the Mog House.
   • The distribution of experience among parties according to the level of members has been adjusted.
   • The Thief job's Surprise Attack ability now receives a damage bonus according to the player's Dexterity statistic.
   • The Thief job's Treasure Hunter ability is more effective.
   • The effect time of the Bind black magic spell is shorter.
   • An experience level of 18 is now required to receive a quest to acquire a support job.
   • Monsters which drop quest items now drop different items besides that quest item.
   • Some message colors in the combat interface have changed.
   • An error related to the message filter and the Raise spell has been corrected.
   • Tapping the triangle button now converts character strings in the software keyboard (this is presumably something to do with the Japanese language input system).
   • The probability of acquiring crystals while participating in the Conquest system has increased.
   • Guards providing signets to characters involved in Conquest have now been placed in consulates in each country, as well as borders. Thus, it's possible to affect the Conquest system even in other countries' territory.
   • As a consequence of the aforementioned, certain borders have been redrawn beween Gustaberg and some provinces in Bastok (we apologize for the vagueness here, but the translation is difficult and essentially meaningless to Western players).
   • Sale prices on certain expensive items have changed.
   • Priced on fishing equipment have also been adjusted.
   • Guild shop hours have changed to reflect certain holidays.
   • The lists of items for sale at guild shops has changed, as have certain prices.
   • Item synthesis occasionally leads to the accidental acquisition of new recipes for high-quality items.
   • Item synthesis now produces two items on rare occasions.
   • Some quests have new rewards.
   • The system of deliverying rare items to homes and the Mog Safe has been corrected -- delivering a second specimen of one item no longer destroys the first.
   • The format of resistance values and other equipment attributes has changed.

   Meanwhile, Dengeki Online reports that some users may not be able to effectively install the patch to their client program. Users with such difficulties are advised to try again a short time after the release of the patch.

   source | IGN PS2

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   More Final Fantasy XI Problems in Japan ... news | stealthriot

   According to Sony, certain PlayStation 2 models are incompatible with Final Fantasy XI. The online title, which had massive problems during its Japanese launch, refuses to play on certain unmentioned versions of the system. Instead of booting, the system simply registers an error message and quits loading completely. Any players having this problem should notify Sony, though it has not been said if this is to rectify the problem or simply help research the cause.

   This announcement of the incompatible PS2 systems comes right after Square took down the PlayOnline servers over the weekend for more repairs and upgrades. In addition, only recently did the required PS2 hard drive become available in stores again after being sold out completely following the launch of the game. This meant consumers could both buy and play the game for the first time since the week after launch.

   source | Gameforms, Gamefront

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   Yamauchi Talks FF on GameCube ... news | stealthriot

   At a recent analyst meeting, Nintendo of Japan's resigning CEO Hiroshi Yamauchi spoke about Square's first GameCube project, a Final Fantasy game. Apparently his expectations are high; as he stated, the game, whose development time might be as short as one year, could become a milestone for the Japanese gaming industry. However, no concrete details were mentioned and with Final Fantasy XII being in development exclusively for PlayStation 2, it is unknown what kind of Final Fantasy game Square will deliver for the GC

   source | RPGFan, Bloomberg News

   Square Sets FFXI PC Release Date ... news | stealthriot

   In a press release, Square has announced that the PC version of its PlayStation 2 online RPG, Final Fantasy XI, will be released late in the current fiscal year. The problems with the PlayOnline servers after the official launch of the service and FFXI at May 16th have cost the company between 80 and 100 million Yen (between $643,000 and $804,000 USD). Currently there are 50,000 users registered
   Furthermore, the company shed some more light on its development plans for the current fiscal year: Two RPGs as well as one action game will be released for PlayStation 2, two GameBoy Advance games (one of them being the previously announced Final Fantasy Tactics port), as well as Front Mission for WonderSwan Color. Overall Square hopes to sell 3.6 million copies of software in Japan during the next fiscal year.

   source | RPGFan

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   Final Fantasy: The Adventure Bible DVD ... news | stealthriot

   Square announced a new DVD video in Japan called Final Fantasy: The Adventure Bible in Japan on July 25, for 13,000 yen. The DVD video will be published by Enterbrain, which will include 3 DVDs in the box, cover the comprehensive background stories and details for the entire Final Fantasy series.

   The first disc will cover the three NES Final Fantasy titles, as well as including an interactive guide to Vana'diel, the world of Final Fantasy XI. The second disc takes a look at Final Fantasy IV through VI with an extra overview of the series as a whole. Finally, the third disc will be devoted to FF VII through X.

   source | Gameforms, The Magic Box

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   FFX Shipments Reach 5 Million Worldwide ... news | stealthriot

   Square has announced that shipments of Final Fantasy X have reached 5 million copies in the world, making the total worldwide shipments for the series reach 40 million copies since 1987. FFX has sold 2.48 million copies in Japan and about 1.47 million copies in North America since its release last December. The game has just been released in Europe late last month resulting in a total of 840,000 copies so far. Also, the game will be released in South Korea on June 4th.

   source | RPGFan