Mon, 25 April 2016
Development History: Dirge of Cerberus was born during the development of Advent Children. It was part of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, along with Before Crisis, and Crisis Core. Yoshinori Kitase had decided that Dirge of Cerberus would be a shooter, based on his love for the series. They threw in some role-playing elements, due to the lack of appeal for a pure action game among developers.
Square chose Vincent due to the possibilities for expanding his backstory, which we all know was very limited in Final Fantasy VII. Before the team started working on Dirge of Cerberus, they considered using other gun toting characters from Final Fantasy, such as Barret Wallace, Irvine Kinneas or Yuna from X-2.. I feel like we all dodged a bullet there. They eventually settled on Vincent, once they solidified the expansion of the Final Fantasy VII universe.
Dirge of Cerberus was anounced in September of 2004, and was scheduled for release in Japan in 2005. The game originally had an online version, but they removed the multiplayer support due to the popularity of PLayOnline, and a lack of PS2 HDD support. The missions that were originally part of the multiplayer mode were turned into secret unlockable missions in our version of the game. There was also an EASY MODE available in Japan that was removed. The game was released on January 26th 2008 in Japan, and August 15th, 2006 in North America. It has sold around 1.5 million copies worldwide, and has a 57% on Metacritic.
Dirge starts out with Vincent and Yuffie helping to evacuate Midgar, just before it is destroyed by Meteor. We find Hojo unconscious over the controls, stuff blows up, and we move three years in the future where Vincent is chilling in Kalm. Kalm is attacked, and we meet up with Reeve, who is now part of the World Regenesis Organization, whose main goal is recovery after the events of FF VII. The unknown enemies capture and kill some citizens.
We later learn that the people who attacked Kalm are part of a covert Shinra organization called Deepground. These are, once again, genetically altered soldiers. Vincent finds out that he’s on their chopping block, due to the Protomateria that he carries within himself. He uses this materia to control the Chaos within. Deepground wants the materia to control Omega. Chaos is described as “Omega’s squire to the heavens.” The Chaos gene was injected into Vincent thirty years prior, by Lucrecia Crescent, a research assistant to Hojo. Vincent had the hots for this one.
Searching for more info, Vincent goes to Nibelheim, where Lucrecia studied Omega and Chaos. While checking out the manor, Vincent get’s jumped by Rosso, a super hot ruskie chick that rips the Protomateria out of Vincent’s chest. She is a member of Deepground, but is in an elite group called the Tsviets. Weiss is the leader, then Nero, Shelke, and Azul are also members. She would have given him a “happy ending”, but Yuffie came in and saved him last minute. The two return to the WRO headquarters and find that Deepthroat has launched an assault on the base. The WRO end up capturing Shelke, a member of Deepthroat that is synaptically connected to Lucrecia’s memories, which will allow the WRO to complete the research on Omega. Shelkes sister Shalua Rui, high ranking scientist and catastrophic money shot survivor, discovers that Omega is a WEAPON. Omega is supposed to absorb the Lifestream and move to another planet, leaving everyone and everything behind to die. Deepthroat’s endgame is to kill a bunch of people in order to trick the planet into activating Omega early.
Mon, 18 April 2016
Join us for episode 100 of Ultima Final Fantasy! This week, we go through and discuss our lists of the top ten most underrated moments in Final Fantasy. From the creeping oglop in Final Fantasy IX, to seeing Sephiroth find out about his past in the basement of the Shinra Building, we cover the moments that should be discussed more often in regular Final Fantasy chatter. We also discuss the 7-11 event for Final Fantasy XIV, where soft drinks contain codes that can be redeemed for in game items. We talk about Final Fantasy IX's release on Steam. The game features Steam achievements, no encounter mode, auto save functions, and cleaned up graphics. We then discuss the multi part release for the Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Enjoy the memories, and thank you for sticking with us these last hundred episodes!
Mon, 11 April 2016
Final Fantasy XV Predictions III
By Kaleb Schweiss
As we all know, Square Enix has sprayed a shoopuff sized load of Final Fantasy XV content onto our eagerly awaiting faces. From a hyper CG film directed by Takeshi Nozue, the man who brought us Advent Children, to a new Final Fantasy XV Demo titled “Final Fantasy XV: Platinum Demo”. But first, let’s start off with Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV.
Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV. As all of us who watched Final Fantasy XV: Uncovered know, Sean Bean, Lena Headey, and Aaron Paul are behind three of the biggest voices of the film. The film will feature King Regis and his Kingsglaive, or Kingsguard…., as they fight off the evil empire of Niflheim, who is advancing ever deeper into the kingdom of Lucis. They are, naturally, after the crystal that is housed here. Regis is essentially forced to secede his lands outside the capital, and send his son to wed the uber hot Lunafreya, a princess of Tenebrae, and captive of the Niflheim. It essentially looks like a little more back story for FF XV, centered around King Regis, rather than Noctis. It is set to take place just after Noctis leaves to wet his whick on ole Lunafreya. Kingsglaive doesn’t have an official release date, but it will be available sometime before September 30th.
Thoughts on episode 1 of brotherhood?
Platinum Demo: Final Fantasy XV
This demo is a free to download game that features a dream within child Noctis. The “storyline” explored will be unique to Platinum Demo, and players who complete the demo will receive the Carbuncle summon for the full game. The demo essentially showcases the battle system. It shows us young Noctis, with squeaky hammer in hand, as he figures out the important things in life, such as driving, and destroying his enemies… seeing them driven before him, and the lamentation of the women!!!!! Well, sort of. You also unlock magic in this demo, and get to play as adult Noctis to take on the formiddable Iron Giant at the end of the demo.
Thoughts on Platinum Demo: Final Fantasy XV?
Some final mentions
-Still considering PC release
-Airship car thing will be fully controllable, and obtained near end of 1game
-Square may produce more Ultimate….Editions of FFXV, for the 99 percent of us who couldn’t get one.
- FF XV will feature Justice Monsters Five, a pinball-style FF monster reference game. There will be various locations to play this game, so you shouldn’t have a hard time accessing the minigame.
-There are over 200 quests in the game so far, ranging from story missions to chocobo racing.
- Weapons can be improved by collecting materials from the world, and battles. Ability points will be obtained once you level up.
Mon, 4 April 2016
Crisis Core began development as a PSP port of the FInal Fantasy VII Mobile Phone Japan-only game “Before Crisis”. Hajime Tabata, event Director for Monster Rancher 2, and the creator of “Before Crisis” was chosen as director of the port. It would also be produced by Hideki Imaizumi, the score by Takeharu Ishimoto, written by Kazushige Nojima, and art designed by Yoshihiro Imaizumi.
Soon into production of the port, however, when it was decided that the port was going to center around the mythical character of Zack, they opted to create a brand-new game instead.
They titled this new project “Before Crisis Core” and eventually shortened it to “Crisis Core”, and drew upon the artwork and back story left over from the development of Final Fantasy VII. Despite having plenty of backstory for FF7 filled in with this game, they initially wanted to include more, but were restricted by the size of the PSP’s UMD’s. Much of Cloud’s involvement was cut in order to focus the game on Zack.
The game's antagonist, Genesis, was brought over from the development of Dirge of Cerberus, and made the main baddie, in an attempt to cohesively connect the games. That and the Rock Star voice actor, “Gackt”, wanted a bigger role, so Producer Hideki Imaizumi gave him one.
The team behind Crisis Core had some hurdles to get over in development. With Zack as the main protagonist, the regular “RPG” style of gameplay wasn’t going to work, and so they opted for a more fluid Action style of gameplay, with little exploration. There was some fear that such a departure from traditional gameplay and leveling would alienate fans, as well as concern over retconning certain elements of Final Fantasy 7. Square, at this time, was receiving a lot of backlash over the Animated short film, Last Order, and were trying to make up for it. Too late into development, the team realized that the player’s inability to skip cutscenes was a huge oversight that they couldn’t fix, and the luck-based leveling, meant to keep gameplay from growing stale, had its problems as well.
Despite all this, Crisis Core’s demo was released in 2006 at Jump festa, and in may of 2007 Tabata stated that the game was 90% complete (Tabata loves his percentages). In september of that year, Crisis Core was released to Japanese audiences, and in the spring of 2008 it made its way to western shores. Note that 2007 would have been the 10th anniversary for FF7, and a lot was made of Crisis Core and other projects of Square’s Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, the others being Before Crisis, the shooter Dirge of Cerberus (our next game), and the CGI movie Advent Children.
Crisis Core would be released with a bang, well reviewed by most (metacritic has it at 83/100), it ended up being the 6th biggest selling PSP game ever, selling 3.1 million copies worldwide. It’s definitely one of the more successful FInal Fantasy Sequels/Prequels, praised for its focus on the Final Fantasy VII backstory, although faulted sometimes for it’s DMW or “randomized as hell limit break system” RAHLBS, it remains a beloved addition to the FFVII universe, and has been called one of the most tear-inducing game of all time.
Crisis core takes place 7 years before the events of FFVII, and focuses the story around a Shinra Soldier named Zack Fair, as he explores the dark roots and experiments of Genetically modified Soldiers like himself.
It begins with Zack and his mentor Angeal being dispatched to support the Shinra war against the nation of Wutai, during which Angeal disappeared. Later it’s “revealed” that Angeal and another soldier named Genesis, have somehow betrayed shinra, and Zack and Sephiroth are sent to kill him.
At this point, Genesis and a dude named Dr. Hollander, throw a clone army Shinra’s way. Sephiroth attacks Genesis, and Zack goes off to find Hollander. Angeal, however, stops Zack from killing Hollander by knocking him into the abyss, as Hollander must be kept alive if they are to have any hope in finding a cure from being turned into a monster, something that happens when potential Soldiers are exposed to too much of Jenova’s genetic Material, an amount had by both Genesis and Angeal, as well as Sephiroth.
Zack wakes up, having fallen into Aerith’s church, and they spend some quality time together while Zack heals. When Zack returns to the ever-being-attacked Shinra building, he is convinced to side with his friend Angeal, who has become disillusioned with Genesis. But once again, Angeal disappears, and Zack is ordered somewhere new, Modeoheim, where Genesis was last seen. On route he meets a young Cloud Strife, and their brief friendship begins. Zack does end up fighting Genesis, but Genesis throws himself into a Mako Reactor in the end.
On that same trip, Zack finds Angeal is fusing with his own clones, being overtaken by the monster inside of him, and eventually Zack is forced to kill him, inheriting his mentor’s sword in the wake of his death.
After all of this, despite the fact that Genesis’s clones still fight Shinra, Angeal’s have become some sort of protector for Zack and Aerith. Still in search of answers ;regarding Genesis’s whereabouts, Zack, Sephiroth, and shinra troops that include Cloud, go to investigate the Nibelheim Reactor. And it’s here that Sephiroth finds out about the experiments that created him, and he goes absolutely fucking nuts, destroys a town, and attempts to take Jenova’s body. Zack fails to stop him, and in a crazy feat of strength, after being stabbed by a huge fucking sword, Cloud throws Sephiroth into the lifestream below the reactor.
Later, Zack finds himself and a very weakened Cloud in Hojo’s lab, as part of the Jenova experiments. So he freaks out, takes cloud, and gets the fuck out of there. This causes Shinra to pursue Zack and Cloud ruthlessly (Cloud, because he’s the last experiment to hold Sephiroth’s cells, who is the one who reacted with the most stability with Jenova’s cells).
Hollander tries to get Cloud, but Zack makes quick work of him, and aligns himself with Dr. Lazard, who is turning into an Angeal Clone, and sends Zack to go to Banora to defeat Genesis. After a super-monstrous Genesis is killed, Zack returns to Cloud and finds a note from Aerith that revealed a 4 year gap that took place between the incidents at Nibelheim, and him waking in Hojo’s lab.