Final Fantasy 15 / XV by Square Enix is currently in development for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but the game was originally unveiled for Ps3 at E3 2006 under the name Final Fantasy Versus 13 / XIII, because it was at the time part of Fabula Nova Crystallis, a series of unrelated RPGs that, however, shared the same underlying mythology. Yes, Final Fantasy 15 has been in development for almost 10 years! What’s changed in the game in this time frame ? What’s different between the old PS3 beta and the PS4 / Xbox One current builds? Continue below to see how the game evolved during the last years with the official trailers and leaked images that show its long development cycle.
Bandai‘s Wonderswan was an handheld system released exclusively in Japan in 1999. This console was especially sought after because around December 1999 Bandai struck a deal with Squaresoft to bring their games to the console. The first projects announced were the remake of the first three Final Fantasy, a chocobo game, Romancing SaGa and a port of Seiken Densetsu 2 (known as Secret of Mana in the west).
However not all of these games would seen a release at retail as Seiken Densetsu 2 was never seen again. Final Fantasy III shared the same destiny although it was shown on the official Squaresoft site: Final Fantasy III Wonderswan archieved site
This cancellation was especially notable because the Final Fantasy remakes , which were bundled with the system, were the biggest sellers on Wonderswan Color. Later, after a brief rumor on a possible remake on PlayStation 2, Final Fantasy 3 was unveiled as new 3D remake for Nintendo DS that eventually sold around 2 million units worldwide. This 3D remake, very different from the 2D remake proposed for Wonderswan, would be made available on PSP, iOS and Android years after the original DS release.
In 2007 Hiromichi Tanaka explained why the Wonderswan remake was canned:
When we developed FF3, the volume of content in the game was so huge that the cartridge was completely full, and when new platforms emerged, there simply wasn’t enough storage space available for an update of FF3, because that would have required new graphics, music and other content. There was also a difficulty with how much manpower it would take to remake all of that content.
The strange thing is that Final Fantasy I and II remakes and Final Fantasy IV were all deployed on a 4MB cartridge and Wonderswan theoretical biggest cartridge size was 16MB in fact a few games (even Squaresoft own Front Mission) were stored on 8MB cartridge, with Konami’s Beatmania being the only game weighting 16MB so storage space limitation is unlikely to be the main culprit.
It’s very likely that the shaking Wonderswan market in 2001/2002 (the system was discontinued by Bandai in 2003) along with the costs in developing a 2D remake sealed the fate of this project.
Scan from Playmag issue 52.
Dice de Chocobo (ダイスdeチョコボ) is a video game originally released in 1999 for the PlayStation in the Chocobo Collection. A new remake for WonderSwan Color was announced in September 2001, but it was later cancelled. The project was finally remade for the Game Boy Advance in 2002 and given the title Chocobo Land: A Game of Dice. Squaresoft even released a brief trailer at TGS 2001 and had a page on their official site: Dice DE Chocobo for Wonderswan archived page
Grand Champion’s Rally is a cancelled racing game that was in development by Aques. In mid nineties Squaresoft, known for its mastodontic RPGs, created Aques (Advanced QUality of Entertainment and Sports ), a label under which release game based on thoughts and sports. At the japanese PS Expo in late 1996 they announced the first three titles for the Aques brand: a baseball game named Super Live Stadium, a mahjong simulation and a racing game known as Grand Champions Rally, the latter of which would never been released for unknown reasons.
At the time a single screenshot (below) of the rally game was shown in various western magazines like for example Edge 40 and Player One 70. Article about Aques from EGM issue 90.
Thanks to Celine for the contribution!
Squaresoft Mode 7 Demo is a “tech demo” made by Sunsoft for testing the system hardware of the Super Nintendo…
Squaresoft Mode 7 starts with Squaresoft logo and appears a exclusive “panda” on the screen:
The name of this character has been discovered with the ROM IMAGE, Panda Squaresoft Mode 7 Demo (PD) showed up on an SuperNintendo Emulator. You can read more about this cartridge at SNES Central!
Back in the mid 90s, Square set up a studio in Redmond, Washington, and produced the game Secret of Evermore. Keith and another person named Craig Bergman got to tour Squaresoft’s office as part of a high school job shadowing activity. While there, Squaresoft scanned and put two drawings made by Keith happened to have into a Mode 7 demo (the other had a caricature of Craig).
In July 2010, this cartridge has appeared on Ebay, the curious about it, this demo have an similar controls to the airship parts of FFIV. This tech demo has been dumped years ago, and posted at the Internet
About the controls, you can flip the camera, zoom in, and stop the animation with start button… That’s all
Also, the scanned “panda” character made by Keith: