Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary Event Part I: Prelude to More Fantasy

When Square Enix scheduled a Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary event late last year, most fans naturally expected a show with a slew of announcements regarding upcoming previously-announced games, and new projects celebrating its legacy. But if you were among the audience that came in with high expectations, I’m sorry for how disappointed you might feel, as no new projects were announced at the event. It was actually apparent this showcase wouldn’t be anything special after the company did little to promote its existence in the days leading up to it. Sometimes, having low expectations pays off.

That said, there were some nice announcements related to previously-unveiled titles, enough to make some happy.

Since January 31st was Final Fantasy VII’s 20th Anniversary, you might have thought Square Enix was saving a new trailer for this event; after all, that would have explained why it skipped PlayStation Experience in December. Alas, that wasn’t to be, as all they provided was a special visual showing Cloud and a one-winged Sephiroth with a wide shot of Midgar, as posted above. Director Tetsuya Nomura wasn’t kidding when he said it wasn’t coming anytime soon. And anyone who thought the decision to split the remake into three episodes would enable faster development times was a little too optimistic.

Producer Yoshinori Kitase also commented on its status in the newest issue of Japan’s Famitsu magazine, and his comments weren’t encouraging either. He mentioned how they’re amidst polishing the scenes shown in the PlayStation Experience 2015 trailer, and are currently refining the battle system. His answers were vague enough that he perhaps indirectly implied that development is still in its earliest stages. Don’t expect to play the first part until at least 2019, just to be safe. It sounds like this will become the new Final Fantasy Versus XIII, especially if they don’t show anything significant later this year.

Additionally, since the FFVII event with Cloud was popular for Mobius Final Fantasy, Sephiroth will receive his own soon. This one could be even more popular.

A home port of Dissidia: Final Fantasy’s arcade iteration still hasn’t been announced, but Dissidia: Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia launched for mobile platforms in Japan. It’s a turn-based RPG with super-deformed versions of characters from a variety of FF games, including the Warrior of Light, Cloud, Yuna, Terra, and the newly-introduced Aeris/Aerith. The character models look similar to those from 3DS Monster Hunter-style spinoff Final Fantasy Explorers. Whether it will receive an English version is unknown.

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age for PS4 finally has a release date: July 11th in western territories, and on July 13th in Japan. We received a hint that Square Enix would be dating it eventually, after trophies surfaced a week ago. A new piece of artwork from main artist Akihiko Yoshida was posted on the official Japanese website, which would make for some good cover artwork. They wouldn’t pass up that opportunity, right? Right.

The World of Final Fantasy development team has been adding more characters as DLC in the last few months, like the aforementioned Sephiroth and Sora from Kingdom Hearts. The newest will be FFXII’s Balthier. It speaks to his popularity that he’ll be the first FFXII character to make it into this game, even over the supposed protagonist Vaan.

The release timeframes for some Final Fantasy XV DLC was unveiled. A free Booster Pack and the Booster Pack+ will arrive on February 10th, one of which will include outfits inspired by Super Sentai (aka Power Rangers) works. It will also contain items that will make the player more powerful in battle, to the point of being invincible for 30 minutes. They might be fun in extremely difficult fights, assuming the game has those.

The team also didn’t forget about the character quests, the DLC players really want. Episode: Gladiolus will be the first to arrive on March 28th, which will give players the chance to control the character for the first time. Cor Leonis can be seen in one of the screenshots, but it was also confirmed that Gilgamesh will appear. Episode: Prompto will follow sometime in June, and though no details were shared, it will at least have Prompto in a spiffy parka. We’ll also see if they’re saving the best for last with Episode: Ignis in the second half of the year. The development team previously listed a bunch of additions and fixes they want to implement later in the year but didn’t state when those will precisely arrive.

This event was unremarkable for a 30th anniversary celebration, but that’s because they have more such events planned for later this year. FF brand manager Shinji Hashimoto mentioned to Famitsu that this was more of an opening ceremony. One of those will have to include another peek at FFVII Remake, unless they’re saving it for the American anniversary in September. Given how early Square Enix likes to announce games, perhaps we should also expect an announcement of Final Fantasy XVI at one of the later events.

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