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   More PlayOnline Problems Discovered ... news |

   Square has announced that its online service, PlayOnline, apparently causes connection problems for users whose ISP addresses start with 43. The company has yet to find the cause of this problem and said it was currently investigating the issue

   source | RPGFan

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   Kingdom Hearts Update ... news | joshua

   Square has updated the Kingdom Hearts website to show off many more worlds, characters and summons in their upcoming Disney RPG.
   Details are as follows:

   • World: Ghosts and frights abound in the dark world of Halloween Town. Get lost in the belly of a whale in Monstro. Enter a whole new world with Aladdin and friends in Agrabah. Fly alongside Peter Pan to his Never Land home. Go under the sea and explore the watery world of Atlantica.
   • Characters: Jack Skellington, Pinocchio, Aladdin, Captain Hook and Cloud are just a few of the most unexpected cast of characters to ever appear in a video game.
   • Battle System: Find out how Simba, Tinker Bell, and Genie will add some bite, pixie dust, and pizzazz to your summon magic skills.

   Kingdom Hearts is set to be released this upcoming October, please swing by to KingdomHearts.com for all the details.

   source | KingdomHearts.com

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   Various Final Fantasy XI News ... news | stealthriot

   After performing the version upgrade yesterday, Square has re-opened the auction feature in the PS2 MMORPG Final Fantasy XI. The glitches which enabled people to earn a large amount of money from auctions has been fixed in the upgrade, along with a number of other improvements.
   Square has also announced they will be holding a Summer Festival inside the Final Fantasy XI world, the festival will include dramas, fireworks and tournaments. Specific details will be announced on July 19 at 8PM.

   source | The Magic Box

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   Final Fantasy I & II Confirmed for PSone ... news | stealthriot

   Square has officially announced Final Fantasy I and Final Fantasy II for PSone, remakes of the two classic Famicom Final Fantasy titles.

   The PSone remakes will have several enhancements over the original:

   • Enhanced graphic, animation and sound.
   • Additional scenes and events.
   • 3D field map when riding on the airship (mode 7 graphics like in Final Fantasy V).
   • Quick save (save to the system memory).
   • Dashing (a function missing in the early installments of Final Fantasy).
   • New CG intros and ending movies.
   • Easy mode for beginners.

   Final Fantasy I and Final Fantasy II are scheduled for release in Japan in Autumn, for 3800 yen each. Square is also planning to release a Final Fantasy I & II Premium Pack, for 8800 yen. The package will include the two games, action figures, picture labels, monster picture book and Amano Galleries.

   source | The Magic Box

   Final Fantasy III WonderSwan Color Cancelled... news | joshua

   Square has removed the WonderSwan Color Final Fantasy III page in its PlayOnline website, it seems like the game has been removed from its remaining WonderSwan Color lineup. A number of sources reported that Square intends to release a compilation of Final Fantasy I & II, the game will be officially announced next week. GameBoy Advance or PSone seem to be the most likely candidate for the game

   source | The Magic Box

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   Square's New SaGa Unveiled ... news | stealthriot

   Square has officially announced a new sequel to the Saga series for PlayStation 2, entitled Unlimited Saga. The game's development team will be led by Akitoshi Kawazu (best known for his work in the Final Fantasy and SaGa series), and Final Fantasy X artist Yusuke Naora will serve as the character design artist and SaGa series artist Tomomi Kobayashi will return as the concept artist. The music composition will be handled by Masashi Hamauzu, who previously worked on Final Fantasy X and SaGa Frontier 2.

   The game's story focuses on the search for the mystical seven wonders. When the wonders are unleashed, the gods will appear once again, bringing about a golden age for humankind. Players will be able to select from several different playable characters. So far, only a widowed ex-pirate named Laura has been revealed as one of the selectable characters.
   Unlike in other RPGs, where each character has his or her own command options during battles, in Unlimited Saga, there will be five command options for the entire party. For example, all five command options can be used on one party member in one turn, or they can be divided among all the characters in the party. After players select a command, a slot-machine-style reel will appear that provides different properties to the character's attack. Characters can execute double slashes or quadruple slashes if players hit the right slot in the reel, or the attack can be saved and then unleashed later in a combination attack with other characters in the party. Instead of using individual points for special attacks and spells, the characters' HP will be consumed when using these powers. Characters can also learn new ones when a light bulb lights up on top of a character's head--just like in previous SaGa titles.
   The field map is quite different from those of other RPGs, since it only shows a simple drawing of a map of the location you are currently in. On the other hand, the battles will feature an animation technology developed with the help of Adobe Systems that Naora describes as "neither dot-pixilated 2D graphics nor cel-shaded 3D polygon graphics." The sound will feature Dolby Pro Logic II support. For the first time in the series, the game will feature CG movies.
   Unlimited SaGa for the PlayStation 2 is scheduled for a December release in Japan.

   source | GameSpot VG , The Magic Box

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   Square Stocks on the Move to Europe ... news | stealthriot

   Square's number 1 stockholder Masashi Miyamoto, who currently holds 39.95% of the company's shares, has decided to sell five million of his 23.68 million shares to overseas investors, in particular from Europe. Nikko Salomon Smith Barney has taken over the stocks and will begin selling them as early as this week. The price for one share has yet to be fixed. While Square's public relations department didn't go into details, the company said the move was aimed to improve the flow of Square stocks.

   Even after the sale, Miyamoto holds a 31% stake in Square, compared to Sony Computer Entertainment's 19.4% stake in the company.
   After Square's announcement earlier this year to develop games for Nintendo's GameCube and GameBoy Advance, Square shares in Tokyo rose by almost 90% compared to its lows in September and December 2001 by topping the 2900 ($24.16USD) yen mark in early May. Since then, however, the share price has been declining again. Despite today's news, Square stocks fell by 3.90%, closing Monday's trading session at the Tokyo Stock Exchange at 2,095 yen ($17.46USD).

   source | RPGFan, Madman's Cafe

   Final Fantasy XI Cheat Exposed ... news | stealthriot

   Square has temporarily suspended the item auction functions in Final Fantasy XI as part of its first announced effort to deal with player cheating in its new PlayStation 2 MMORPG. According to the company's announcement, a player or players somehow managed to fraudulently obtain large quantities of cash through an exploit in the auction system. That system will thus remain unavailable for an unspecified period of time, presumably until Square manages to issue a correction for the flaw in another patch

   source | IGN PS2

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   Grand Re-opening of the Forums!!! ... update | joshua

   We have a grand re-opening in our forums yet again. Please visit, register and feel free to post and belong in one of the coolest Square communities on the web :)