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News / 2007 / May / 14

Square Enix Party: behind the swag

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Behind the swag presented to visitors of yesterday's Square Enix Party in Chiba, Japan there was more swag to be had by standing in line and playing the games. Here is a brief selection from the veritable cornucopia of Square Enix souvenirs available at the event.
The Square Enix Party offered an abundance of collectors items to guests of the special event, much of which surpassed in quality the kind of items one might expect a game company would be willing to give out freely to thousands of fans. The richness of detail on the printed materials and the impressive music CDs attempted to compensate for the fact that some of the videogame demos required waiting in line for over two hours. Playing several related games increased one's chances of taking home mementos worthy of putting in the CD player or tacking to the wall.

Laminated folders depicting image art were made available to fans who tried out the various mobile games on display. Monotone is a Tetsuya Nomura title billed as an RPG with puzzle game elements. It plays similar to 16-bit oldies like Eartbound, with visible enemies who chase your character around the overhead map. Casual game elements appear during battle (imagine Final Fantasy IV battles interrupted by Dr. Mario) and you can deliver extra damage by performing well on them. Other mobile titles included Dirge of Cerberus, Friends of Mana, and a simplified Sword of Mana remake.

Folders for Monotone, Seiken Densetsu, and Friends of Mana

Fans of game soundtracks were capable of receiving pre-signed sheet music if they managed to arrive early to the event. Autographs were limited to the first one hundred guests who bought items from the CD store on the show floor. Yoko Shimomura met fans on the Saturday show, while Masashi Hamauzu arrived for the second day of the event.

Sheet music signed by Masashi Hamauzu encased in a Square Enix Music folder

Various previously unpublished game tracks were unveiled at the Square Enix Party, by way of sampler CDs. Music for Crisis Core and Subarashiki Kono Sekai was offered to those who braved the two-hour lines to play demos of the games, while a Dissidia Final Fantasy CD was given to viewers of the upcoming game trailers upon exiting the closed theater. Those who managed to achieve all three objectives were given a paper jacket to package the three samplers as a box set. Online samples are currently available for the previously unreleased Takeharu Ishimoto songs and Masashi Hamauzu piano arrangement.

The Square Enix sampler CDs

The CD jacket

Available for purchase for 1000 yen was the Official Pamphlet. The item contained previews modeled after gaming magazine articles of upcoming Square games. For several newly announced titles, such as Final Fantasy IV DS and Star Ocean First Departure, their presence at the Square Enix Party was restricted to these full-page articles. The following scans reveal some new information, though most of the material has been thoroughly covered by Famitsu and Shonen Jump.

Official pamphlet cover
Parasite Eve director Takashi Tokita will be acting as executive producer of Final Fantasy IV DS, while FFIII's Tomaya Asano produces the remake. In this scan the two game designers discuss, interview style, the thinking behind converting the title to 3D. Tokita, who was the scenario writer for the original game, says the prospect of a full remake would allow for expanded cutscenes. Image art depicts summons Shiva and Ramuh, the airship's voyage under the the earth, and the surface of the moon.

Final Fantasy IV DS
The Star Ocean advertisement reveals little information on the new games, apart from the fact that Radiata Stories' Yoshinori Yamagishi will be producing the new triad. The playable demos and trailers at the Party's Star Ocean Museum were of Till the End of Time, the Valkyrie Profile titles and Radiata Stories, so the following logos are about all there is on the rebooted series at the moment.

Star Ocean remakes First Departure and Second Evolution

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates

Final Fantasy XIII

Subarashiki Kono Sekai - It's A Wonderful World

Final Fantasy Tactics A2

Final Fantasy Tactics: The Lion War

Dragon Quest IX

Dragon Quest Swords

Final Fantasy XI

Twentieth Anniversary of Final Fantasy historical overview

A page of Final Fantasy decals

Square Haven will continue its coverage of yesterday's Square Enix Party with an overview of the show floor, including maps of the Makuhari Messe convention center and pics of the various booths. Gameplay write-ups are also in the works, along with two Square-related Q and A sessions.

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Wonderful. I'm very excited to see how the week turns out.
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