Final Fantasy XII Presentation Report
11.19.03 - 8:14 AM

At 18:00 JST the presentation of Final Fantasy XII in a cinema in Tokyo's newly built Roppongi Hills complex finally began. Considering the high expectations of fans, Square Enix president Youichi Wada mentioned that the series will always remain a challenge for the company, calling the newest addition a creative experiment. Following Wada's introduction was a video message by Sony Computer Entertainment president Ken Kutaragi.

Looking back over the past years, Kutaragi said, the history of Final Fantasy on PlayStation has been one of innovation. As a user he himself was looking forward to the newest Final Fantasy title as well. The new guest that appeared was a well-known face, which has been strangely absent from the spot light for almost two years. Series mastermind Hironobu Sakaguchi greeted fans, saying he was looking forward to the newest addition to the series, he created 16 years ago and expressing his love for the "air-borne" style of producer Yasumi Matsuno.

The trailer shown at the event, featured the appearances of an unknown male character as well as moogles and Cid. While the Judge was unpartial in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, it seems like he will be the villain in this game. Hence the threatening figure towering above the game's logo. Producer Yasumi Matsuno confirmed that Final Fantasy XII, just like the two Final Fantasy Tactics titles will indeed take place in the world of Ivalice, but with the exception of Bangaa and Viera, the newest Final Fantasy title will have no connection to Matsuno's previous title,Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.

Considering that the game's release is still several months away, it was not so surprising, that few details were released regarding the game's battle system. The map will be in 3D and players will be able to freely change the camera perspective. Furthermore, Matsuno reiterated earlier comments by emphasizing, the current game will be a major step forward in comparison to the image of previous installments.

Just like previous installments of the series, Final Fantasy XII will feature a theme song, this time however it looks like it won't serve as the game's ending theme. According to series composer Nobuo Uematsu (who - due to his heavy workload - was not present at the event) not only this main theme, but music in general will be a very important element of the game. The voice actor of Vaan will be Kouhei Takeda, who is also in charge of motion capturing for the game's protagonist.

Final Fantasy XII will be available in Japan sometime in summer 2004.

Chris Winkler

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