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Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Remastered Edition composers wanted to make sure they didn't upset fans with changes

Walking a fine line

The soundtrack of the original Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles is highly regarded by fans of the game, and Final Fantasy fans in general. It might be one of the most praised soundtracks in the entire franchise. How do you go about reworking that soundtrack for a game remaster? Very carefully, according to composers Kumi Tanioka and Hidenori Iwasaki. They shared their thoughts on not wanting to upset fans in an interview with NintendoEverything.

KT: That’s definitely something I wanted to absolutely avoid, so any changes were made with the utmost consideration in that regard. On the other hand, both the game and the soundtrack also include tracks that haven’t been changed at all.

HI: It’s a great honor to know that this is one of the soundtracks that has been supported by so many fans. We felt strongly about not disappointing our fans as well, so “how can we change things while making it feel as though nothing at all changed” is something we kept in mind while working on the soundtrack with utmost care.

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory on Switch includes exclusive "Free-for-All" mode

8-player local multiplayer madness

Those who plan on picking up Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory on Switch are getting a little bonus. The Switch version of the game is getting a mode you won't find on any other platform.

The special mode, dubbed Free-for-All, lets you compete with 7 other players via local wireless in a Field Battle. If you have too many MISS actions while playing, you'll drop out of the running. The player who pulls in the highest score during the challenge is declared the winner.

The World Ends with You: The Animation '90 second preview' video shared

Square Enix has uploaded the 90 second long preview video for The World Ends with You: The Animation that aired on TV yesterday in Japan. The full episode will be released sometime in 2021, and funimation will be in charge of the western localization.

Balan Wonderworld's "Isle of Tims" feature detailed

I don't think so, Tim

Check out more screens here

The official website for Balan Wonderworld has been updated with details on a new feature. The game is going to include an 'Isle of Tims' mechanic, which is detailed in full below.

Isle of Tims

A mysterious area that is influenced by the psychological state of the people in the real world.

This is where Leo and Emma first arrive, after being guided by the enigmatic maestro, Balan…

Using this area as a hub, they’ll explore the worlds born from the hearts of the inhabitants, freeing their hearts from torment and worry.

Tims

Mysterious creatures that live on the Isle of Tims. They are born from happiness felt by inhabitants of the real world.

There are Tims of all colors and personalities, and they’ll help you on your adventure by using their unique quirks.

What is Happiness Time?

When the hearts of the inhabitants of the real world lean towards positivity, more and more Tims are born. If people’s hearts lean towards negativity, there will be fewer Tims and Happiness Time will stop.

Raising Tims

The Tims will grow, changing color and attributes as you give them different drops collected from the worlds inside the hearts of the inhabitants.

Different color Tims are good at different things – for example, the red Tims will attack for you, and the pink Tims will find items. It’s important to raise lots of different Tims.

When there are more and more Tims…?

The Tim population increases as you give them more drops, or as you find Tim eggs in the worlds inside hearts.

As the number of Tims increases, the Tim Tower on the Isle of Tims grows larger. It seems like something might happen…?

Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent launches Oct. 28th, 2020 in Japan, new trailer released

Free-to-play with microtransactions

Square-Enix has announced that Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent, the mobile spin-off of Octopath Traveler, is launching in Japan on Oct. 28th, 2020. To celebrate the announcement, a new trailer has been shared. Unfortunately, there's still no word on a release outside of Japan.

Square-Enix reveals TGS 2020 Online merch

Around for a limited time

Square-Enix has a slew of merch on the way for TGS 2020 Online. The items go up for grabs on Sept. 24th, and will only be available until Sept. 27th, 2020. Anyone who buys music products or other goods at the Square Enix e-store for 5,000 yen or more will get a special gift while supplies last. These include items like a special Square Enix bag and music sampler.

As for some of the merch available, fans can snag items such as autographed copies of original soundtracks and concerts for games such as Trails of Mana and Kingdom Hearts. There's also a Final Fantasy souvenir set, and a Dragon Quest souvenir set.

Final Fantasy VII/VIII Twin Pack looks to be releasing outside of Asia

Can't go wrong with this one

Back in 2019, Square-Enix released a Final Fantasy VII/VIII Twin Pack for the Switch, but it was only available in Asia. Now it looks like the pack is going to get a release in other regions.

European retailers have started to add listings for the Final Fantasy VII/VIII Twin Pack to their websites, and they're listing the game with a Nov. 6th, 2020 release. The price appears to be somewhere around $45. Expect this to be officially announced by Square-Enix in the near future.

Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent Japanese release date info coming Sept. 18th, 2020, song preview released

Octopath to release

Square-Enix has confirmed that they'll be sharing Japanese release date info for Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent on Sept. 18th, 2020. For those who don't remember, Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent is the mobile spin-off to Octopath Traveler for Switch.

Along with the news of release date info coming, Square-Enix also released a new song for Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent. This song was composed by Yasunori Nishiki, and has been shared in honor of the mobile game getting 500k pre-registrations.

Sneak preview of The World Ends With You: The Animation Ep.1 airing in Japan on September 18th

Full episode releasing sometime in twewy-twewy-one!

The anime adaptation of the hit Square Enix game series "The World Ends With You" will be getting a special preview on Japanese television next week! The World Ends With You: The Animation will be fully released in 2021, with Funimation confirmed to be in charge of localization for the west.

Announced via the official Twitter account, a portion of episode 1 will be airing on MBS (Mainichi Broadcasting System) / TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System) on Friday, September 18th.

Following the airing, a week long (7 day) commemorative campaign will begin on Twitter. Details will be revealed on the same day as the broadcast.

Square-Enix discusses how hardware limitations impacted the soundtrack of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles

Working within limitations

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles has one of the most memorable soundtracks in all of the Final Fantasy franchise. It's a soundtrack that's still praised today, but putting it together proved to be quite a challenge for the dev team. In an interview with NWR, composer Hidenori Iwasaki discussed the hurdles that needed to be overcome when creating the original soundtrack for the GameCube.

It would be correct to say that there were unused performance phrases rather that lost/unused songs to be precise. Speaking of gaming hardware from the early 2000s, it was common to have 256 KB or 512 KB of memory available for music. When you attempt to sound music within that size, the only approach available is sampling an instrument’s waveform for each music interval (for example, the C and E sounds) and using MIDI for playback. The main programmer on FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES was very capable though, and they were able to allocate 2 MB of memory for music (even though that may still be a small amount (laughs)).

That’s when we really thought things through. If we have this much memory to work with, we thought we’d be able to use half (1 MB) in the traditional way, sampling intervals (i.e. C and E) and playing back those sounds using MIDI, and use the other half for sampling the Roba Music Theatre’s performance data by breaking them down and playing them back in phrases. The strategy ended up working, and we were able to achieve music that sounded as though you’re listening to something streamed (like mp3s and wavs). That said, in actuality, the task of putting all live performance data into 1 MB was quite a challenge, and an immense amount of trial and error awaited me; it was as though I was trying to solve a large jigsaw puzzle. Even after other team members went home, I worked into the late hours, chopping up the performance phrases, reusing the same parts, and dropping the sample rate among other things. Somehow, I fit everything within the available memory, but there were some phrases that couldn’t be kept, leaving us no choice but to cut them out. This time, we were able to revive the performance phrases that were originally supposed to be incorporated but ended up going unused.

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