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The Future of Final Fantasy
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posted by: GF! Back Catalogue 10/2004 => 1995
date posted: 04:59 PM Sat Jan 1st, 2000
last revision: 04:59 PM Sat Jan 1st, 2000

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By Matt Baldwin

It only took a span of minutes before www.finalfantasy.com ˜s servers experienced an increase in traffic (no, not a DDoS attack, though it might have felt like it) that ground them to a crawl earlier this week with the release of the first Final Fantasy movie trailers, information on the storyline, et cetera. One of the downfalls of the site is that it doesn't go into greater detail of what exactly we can expect from the storyline. What we do know: This will not be a retelling of any of the previous games; It's set on Earth in the year 2065 (<smartass> when Square will be releasing Final Fantasy XXXXI </smartass>) where "cities are deserted, the population is decimated, and the precious few humans who remain must find a way to survive"; the voice actors: Ming-Na, Alec Baldwin (no relation), James Wood, Donald Sutherland (we all loved him in Invasion of the Body-Snatchers), Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi (Mr. Pink) and Peri Gilpin.

Now that we've all tasted Square's excellence in CG animation we are left with some questions, which I'm sure will be answered over the course of this year up to the movie's release and after. One: will the story be better than the games and the attempted live action movie (released in Japan)? Two: what type of audience is out there for this type of movie? Pixar's Toy Story movies have done quite well on the screen, but others like Antz have not done too hot. Note: my basis of comparison is that these are the few fully CG movies that have appeared on the silver screen. Is the common U.S. household ready for an adult oriented CG fantasy movie, even though adult fantasy has never been very successful in the theatre? Don't get me wrong here. I'm eager to see the movie like the rest of you guys, but can a small faction of the populace, which we fall within, keep this type of franchise going? In the end FF the movie is going to run up a high bill for Square and Sony and if we hope to see a sequel or other movies from Square (or other CG houses) done in photorealistic CG and geared toward adult audiences, then they'll need to be able to make a little money off of this sucker. Right?

On other Final Fantasy fronts, Square has registered the domain names finalfantasyIX.com to finalfantasyXVI.com, which gives us an idea of what Square might be planning or just indicate they're securing those names in case they decide to go that high with the series; Yoshitaka Amano, famed character design artists for FF I-VI, is going to return to help do IX and possibly future titles in the Square series; rumor has it that we'll see FFIX on the PSX and that the first FF for the PS2 will be X. FF X is supposed to have online aspects, although details aren't available, and FFXI is planned to be the first "only online" installment in the series.

Just remember: Fantasy becomes reality in 2001 as does the X-box and what I imagine will be the year of the console wars between Sony, Nintendo, Sega and Microsoft.