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Square Enix 1st Production Dept. Premier Live Blog

Final Fantasy Versus XIII and more to get their proper debuts later today.

Versus XIII will finally get its proper reveal today!

The full veil is finally set to come off the remainder of the Fabula Nova Crystallis series today as Square Enix hosts its much hyped 1st Production Department Premier event at the Toho Cinemas in Tokyo's posh Roppongi Hills business and entertainment hub.

As its primary attractions, the event promises real details and actual game scenes from Final Fantasy XIII sister projects Final Fantasy Versus XIII and Agito XIII. We'll also be getting the latest on Dissidia Duodecim Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix, and Kingdom Hearts 3D. There may even be some surprises.

Square Enix has split the event into two showings. The first part kicks off at 18:00 and runs through 19:30. The second starts at 20:00 and runs through 21:30. For those who were selected in advance through the Square Enix Members site, the second showing will be live broadcast at Nico Nico Video (those with a serial code from Square Enix Members can access the appropriate channel here).

I'm not attending the event myself, but similar to the Nintendo Conference event from September, I'll be live blogging second hand based off the live blogs from Japanese sites.

Check back around 18:00 for the start of coverage. And while you wait for full coverage to begin, check out these resources:

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[live_blog_ended /]

19:32 -- Since the event has come to an end, I'm closing off the live blog! Check back later in the day for further details.

[lb_major]19:31 -- Trailers from this event will be released shortly at the Square Enix homepage. The FFXIII-2 trailer will lead the way on the 20th. Other trailers will follow on the 27th.[/lb_major]

[lb_major]19:30 -- Square Enix closed the event with a new trailer for Final Fantasy Versus XIII.[/lb_major]

19:28 -- They're having a photo session now with the speakers.

19:28 -- Yes, that does seem to be the case!

19:28 -- Wait... I think the event has come to an end.

19:27 -- That last statement is according to 4Gamer's live blog from the event. Hopefully the "other trailers" also includes the Versus footage.

19:26 -- The Final Fantasy XIII-2 trailer will be available for viewing at the official site on the 20th. The other trailers will be available on the 27th. They will all be in HD.

19:25 -- But there's good news!

19:25 -- The Versus component comes to an end with just the trailer.

19:25 -- The trailer appears to have a whole lot of gameplay footage, including combat scenes with swords and guns, a scene where you control a tank-like vehicle, a scene where you climb aboard a bipedal robot, a battle with a massive creature (this may be the combat scene from the TGS trailer), and a battle where Noctis wields his sword against a group of soldiers.

19:22 -- 4Gamer reports that the game's name remains the same -- Final Fantasy Versus XIII. It also says that the game appears to be PlayStation 3 only (I'm going to assume this means PS3 only was written in the trailer).

19:21 -- Man... people must really be interested in Versus. Famitsu's site died when this part of the press conference started.

19:18 -- Versus is confirmed as PS3 only, according to FF-Reunion.

19:18 -- Also shown in the trailer is a party scene with Noctis and Stella speaking about how they can both see light (I believe this may be a previously seen sequence) and some dude saying something like "Sorry, you can't become King. I will not give my crown to anyone. I will go down in history as the final king."

19:16 -- Only part of the trailer is voiced, it seems.

19:16 -- The footage shows Prince Noctis in conversation with someone while riding in a car along what looks like a Japanese freeway. As promised, the trailer allows viewers to hear Noctis's voice!

19:14 -- The trailer begins with that phrase we've seen over and over again: "This is a fantasy based on reality."

19:13 -- And boy do I wish I could see it myself!!!

19:13 -- They're showing a Versus trailer.

19:13 -- Err... actually, maybe I got that wrong.

19:12 -- Tetsuya Nomura takes the stage for the Versus XIII showing.

[lb_major]19:12 -- Square Enix has renamed Final Fantasy Agito XIII as Final Fantasy Type 0. The game will be released this Summer as a two disc UMD. Recording is currently taking place with a cast that includes over 30 speaking roles.[/lb_major]

19:11 -- BTW, Type-0 will have over 30 speaking characters. They're currently in the middle of recording.

19:11 -- It looks like everyone has been writing the new Agito name as "Final Fantasy Type-0," so I'll use that!

19:09 -- Next up, Versus time!

19:09 -- The game's story promises to draw players in.

19:09 -- The two MCs from today's event will be taking part in the game.

19:09 -- 0-Shiki will be released this summer.

19:08 -- Tabata says that he liked the Agito title, but the game didn't have much to do with Final Fantasy XIII. With the name change, they want to develop Agito/0-Shiki into a series.

19:06 -- The name is not meant to imply "the starting point" (for the story), but to imply that this is a new FF.

19:06 -- Director Hajime Tabata takes the stage hopefully to explain the name change.

19:04 -- Final Fantasy 0 Shiki (I'm not sure what to translate this into in English -- maybe just 0) is going to come out in 2011 as a two disk title.

19:04 -- Yes, that's the official name!

19:03 -- It looks like the game's name has been changed to Final Fantasy 0-Shiki!

19:02 -- The Agito trailer, according to 4Gamer, has a film-like visual effect that makes it look like a war movie. The trailer tells of a hellish war in a world of crystals. Play sequences shown in the trailer have an action feel to them.

[lb_major]19:00 -- Final Fantasy XIII is getting a direct sequel in Final Fantasy XIII-2. The sequel is in development simultaneously on both Xbox 360 and PS3 for release in 2011. Motomu Toriyama is directing. A brief trailer showed Lightning in combat with a new purple-haired male character.[/lb_major]

18:59 -- Here's the FFXIII-2 logo, from 4Gamer's Twitter feed.

18:58 -- Next up, it's trailer time for Agito XIII!

18:57 -- The FFXIII-2 trailer showed Lightning in armor. She was engaged in a sword fight with a purple haired man.

18:55 -- Toriyama leaves the stage and Kitase takes over.

18:55 -- They were only able to show a short trailer at the event, but development is progressing well, says Toriyama. They are working so that the game serves as the answer to the opinions they received about FFXIII.

18:54 -- It will be released in 2011.

18:53 -- The game is being developed simultaneously on PS3 and Xbox 3560.

18:53 -- Toriyama says that fans have been asking for a sequel. The FFXIII development staff also wanted to show players another dramatic story and game with Lightning.

18:52 -- Here's a pic of the logo, courtesy of 4gamer: clickly click!

18:51 -- Toriyama takes the stage.

18:50 -- Motomu Toriyama is directing again.

18:50 -- The game is coming to PS3 and Xbox 360.

18:50 -- It's Final Fantasy XIII-2!

18:50 -- The real announcement comes next!

18:50 -- So that last trailer was just a prelude into this discussion about the mythology.

18:49 -- Fabula Nova Crystallis is a series where the various creators are allowed to freely interpret the base mythology.

18:48 -- Kitase says that the mythology behind the Fabula Nova Crystallis series was set in place four of five year ago. Even post FFXIII, they will be telling stories that use this mythology as a background.

18:43 -- The name wasn't shown in the trailer, but it looks like Yoshinori Kitase is on hand to share more details!

18:43 -- The trailer appears to be for a new entry in the series. It shows animation that looks like a picture book (according to FF-Reunion) and has a kid's voice narrating the mythology of the Fal'cie.

18:42 -- It seems to be for a Fabula Nova Crystallis game!

18:42 -- They're showing the next trailer!

[lb_major]18:41 -- Prior to the 3/3 release of Dissidia Duodecim Final Fantasy, Square Enix has released Dissidia Duodecim Prologus Final Fantasy, a paid demo. This is available today on PSN at ¥300. Those who buy the paid demo will be able to use FFVII's Aerith as an assist character in the retail version of Duodecim. Square Enix also showed the latest trailer for Duodecim, confirming FFXI's Prishe as a character and giving some hints at other characters.[/lb_major]

18:38 -- FF-Reunion's Aibo says that the Duodecim trailer showed some hints at Gilgamesh, although the character didn't actually appear.

18:38 -- Prologus will also include an original short scenario, and arcade mode. There won't be any customization, though.

18:37 -- Just a note... Aerith does not appear in the demo. However, those who buy the demo will get her as an assist character in the final version.

18:36 -- The official name for the paid demo is Dissidia Duodecim Prologus Final Fantasy.

18:35 -- Those who buy this paid demo will get Final Fantasy VII's Aerith as an assist character in the final retail version of the game.

18:34 -- Dissidia Duodecim Final Fantasy Prologus is a paid demo. It's available today for ¥300.

18:33 -- FFXI's Prishe is also in Duodecim!

18:32 -- She's also the voice actress for Yuna in all the other games where Yuna appears, in case you were worried about another Vaan happening.

18:31 -- Yuna's voice actress is Mayuko Aoki.

18:30 -- (Back on the Kingdom Hearts trailer, FF-Reunion's Aibo says that the footage showed a battle scene in Travis Town, Sora swinging around on street light poles, and Riku kicking off walls to advance. "The action is amazing," writes Aibo.)

18:28 -- Takahashi says that this time, they're going to be adding all the characters they can possibly add.

18:28 -- (They just showed a PV for DDFF, by the way.)

18:27 -- DDFF director Mitsunori Takahashi takes the stage.

[lb_major]18:27 -- Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix co-director Yasushi Yasue revealed the official name of 3DS's Kingdom Hearts 3D to be Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.[/lb_major]

18:26 -- Next up, it's time for Dissidia Duodecim Final Fantasy!

18:26 -- Yasue leaves the stage.

18:25 -- You'll trade off between Sora and Riku. The game's tempo and strategic feel will all be fresh.

18:25 -- Yasue also promises a game that makes use of the various functionalities of the 3DS.

18:24 -- They're placing a lot of work on the action part of the game, offering a major sense of speed.

18:23 -- Yasue says the game will make use of 3D, having such elements as "falling from high places" and "flying far distances."

18:22 -- In Japanese, the subtitle is: ドリームドロップディスタンス

18:21 -- They're showing a trailer.

18:21 -- Pat yourself on the back if you guessed the "3D" would mean a subtitle with three words starting with D.

18:20 -- It's now officially: Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.

18:20 -- Next up, it's time for Kingdom Hearts 3DS!

18:19 -- BTW, about that whole formation of the 1st Production Division part, it took place in the Fall of last year. The difference from the previously existing 1st Production Division is that it combined the Tokyo and Osaka studios.

18:17 -- I think he's just talking about some of the features of Final Mix.

18:16 -- Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix director Yasushi Yasue takes the stage.

18:15 -- Hashimoto reveals that PSP's Final Fantasy IV will have a product code for Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy.

18:14 -- Hashimoto says the Tokyo and Osaka production studios merged to form the 1st Production Division, the focus of this event. The formation took place last year. There are no 2nd or 3rd Production Divisions, though.

18:11 -- Shinji Hashimito of Square Enix Members Twitter fame takes the stage for a greeting.

18:10 -- The event is being MCed by Kenichi Suzumura and Takahiro Sakurai.

18:09 -- For those who don't know, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix is just a Japanese release for the overseas version of Birth by Sleep. Square Enix has added quite a bit of new content, though. Will there be any major surprises today aside from the latest trailer?

[lb_major]18:08 -- The Square Enix 1st Production Department Premier event has kicked off at Roppongi Hills. The event promises new details on games like Final Fantasy Versus XIII and Agito XIII and Kingdom Hearts 3DS, and some surprises as well.[/lb_major]

18:07 -- (As you read this live blog, please keep in mind that I'm just summarizing the reports from 4gamer and Famitsu. Japanese readers will find links to the two sites' live blogs below)

18:06 -- The event has started! Things kick off with a trailer for Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix.

18:02 -- From the Square Enix Members Twitter -- all the new footage will be shown on that screen!

17:53 -- 4Gamer is also live blogging: clicky click. They tend to be super duper fast.

17:52 -- Unlike last week's Resident Evil 3DS stage, I'm covering this one from home so my battery won't die midway through.

17:52 -- The event will start at 18:00... stay tuned!

17:45 -- It looks like Square Enix has let the press in to the first showing! Famitsu.com will be live blogging. I'll probably be basing my reports off them. If you can read Japanese, access the site here.

17:07 -- The Square Enix Members Twitter writes that the reception desk has opened for the event. Here's our first look inside:

15:44 -- From producer Shinji Hashimoto at the Square Enix Members Twitter: Hajime Tabata (back) and Yoshinori Kitase (front) waiting for the event to start:

14:16 -- Just a tiny update. Aibo, who runs FF-Reunion, has said that the question marks he put in his list of titles to be shown are just speculation.

09:16 -- A Tweet from Tetsuya Nomura posted at 5:00 in the morning. Apparently, Nomura had just returned from a test and rehearsal session for the event's video component. Adjusting the sound for the event is apparently very difficult, and when Nomura left, the staff was continuing their work. Nomura is also presumably going to attend the event, as Square Enix's 1st Production Department might as well be called Square Enix's Tetsuya Nomura Production Department.

09:10 -- A Tweet from Hajime Tabata telling fans that he believes they'll have fun at today's event regardless of whether they attend in person or watch the live stream (I'm in the latter category, but unfortunately the live stream is only for the event's second showing). Tabata is the director of Final Fantasy Agito XIII, so he will presumably be attending the event.

09:05 -- I'm not sure if Square Enix has invited press to the first showing or the second showing of today's event (for the DKS something something event a couple of years back, they were jerks and invited the local media to the first showing and the overseas media to the second showing). Regardless, the guy who runs Square Enix super fansite FF-Reunion did get into the first showing and will be posting live updates via his Twitter (although I imagine he'll have to be sneaky about making live posts unless he's press).

09:02 -- Just in case you chose to ignore the introduction paragraph, I'm posting this story so early because information is slowly beginning to trickle in. Until 18:00 or so, there probably won't be too many updates, so refresh the page every now and then to see if anything has happened. Post 18:00, this article will become a proper live blog, with streaming text updates.

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