Saturday Night Fever... errr... News
New gameplay details on Dragon Quest VII are being revealed as the release date nears.
Talking - When in battle, you can talk to your various comrades, who will often give you advice for the battle, try to cheer up the other members of your party, or even acquire new attacks and abilities when certain things are said to them. Also talking to your friends at certain times will trigger events or side quests.
Listening to Monsters - Just like you talk to your party members during battle, monsters can do the same with each other. You can even listen in and find out the location of treasure or even their own weakness.
Capturing Monsters - After besting your enemy, they will sometimes ask if they may join your party. You can then choose to either take them into battle or keep them in the 'Monster Park.' Each type of monster, however, requires a different living environment, causing you to expand and build different facilities in the park.
Forbidden Land - This is a place that holds an important secret.
Battle - Several different settings are available for autobattle. You can have each character focus on defense, healing, magic, or switch it back to manual.
CG Movies - There will be CG movie sequences included in the opening and ending of DQ7, as well as important events.
Job System - Both humans and monsters can have jobs. Also, if you have an item called Heart of Monster, you can change your job title to monster.
Magic System - Each type of magic divides into three levels; the higher, the more powerful.
More on Final Fantasy IX! Mini games will be included, including a card game reminiscent of FFVIII's. Other mini games will be accessible once different events are completed. Now when you walk near hidden items, an exclamation mark will pop up on top of your character's head. The game's new system, the Ability System, will go somewhat like this: When you equip a certain weapon, armor or accessory onto a character, they can learn abilities. However, the same item equipped on a different character may given them totally different abilities. If you wish to permanently keep this ability, you must have gained enough experience to use them. Experimentation seems to be key this time around.
In other Final Fantasy IX news, MogNet will be available. Utilizing the fan favorite Mog, you can send letters and parcels to different places using this new system. One Mog takes the item to a Mog in another place. Also, the singer and song for Final Fantasy IX. Shiratori Emiko will sing The Melodies of Life in both Japanese and English. Story details have also been announced. Final Fantasy IX will take place in the world of Gaia, ruled by four different nations. Zidane, the main character, comes from the peaceful kingdom of Lindblum, ruled by Cid. After Queen Alexandriaof Alexandria ordered the attack on nearby villages, Cid hired bandits to kidnap her daughter, Princess Garnet to learn her Alexandria's plans. After meeting Cid, however, Garnet and her servant Steiner realize the awful things her mother has done and join up with Zidane. The Queen then sent out an army of black mages to hunt down Zidane and poor Vivi, who is affiliated with no one, is caught in the middle and forced to join Zidane.
Final Fantasy IX makes use of both a front and back row, making attack and defense higher depending on placement. The Trance Mode has replaced the Limit Breaks from FFVII and FFVIII. When you receive a certain amount of damage, you can access abilities not normally used. And finally an Active Time Event System as been added. Now you can split your party into groups to search through towns.
Reported in a much earlier news update, Square will release their Millenium Collection on June 29th in Japan for 3800 yen each. Titles will include both Saga Frontier games, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Brave Fencer Musashiden. The games will also come packaged with extra goods, like a T-shirt, cell phone strap, trading cards, post cards, etc.
Both Agetec and THQ should have RPGs ready at the release of the Playstation 2. Agetec will be offering both EverGrace and Eternal Ring, while THQ will have Summoner. The Playstation 2 is due to launch in the US on October 26th.
Yay Sakura Taisen! My favorite game series received scores of 8, 7, 7, and 6 from Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu. Not too shabby!
Dragon Quest VII commercials should have started airing Saturday in Japan, featuring a J-pop boy group called SMAP5, who are as popular there as the Backstreet Boys and N'Sync are here.
In a message board post made late last night, Working Design's president Victor Ireland reported that Vanguard Bandits should be sent to the manufacturer this upcoming Tuesday. Originally scheduled for release in February, the game was pushed back several times, a typical characteristic of Working Designs. Vanguard Bandits was originally called Epica Stella in Japan and was released in 1998. Working Designs' version should ship with a Lunar 2 demo. However, Working Designs has seen fit to make some changes. Video compression has been changed from 256x224 to 320x224, going from low res to medium res. Instead of movies being full screen now, they will have a border. Also, sound quality has been changed. In the Japanese version, the movies had 18Khz Stereo. This has now been recompressed into 38Khz Mono, which Mr. Ireland reports is only 14% less than CD quality. However, he claims, the Japanese version was 60% less.
May 27th, 2000