Today Square Enix hosted an event to celebrate the beginning of the 30th anniversary year of the Final Fantasy series at the Toho Cinema Roppongi Hills venue in Tokyo, and DualShockers was in attendance.
Since the event was not livestreamed, besides the many news, we’re bringing you a full report. Hopefully this will let you partake, at least indirectly, in the celebrations.
The event started in the best of ways, with the classic Final Fantasy theme performed live on stage. I will admit that I teared up a little.
The brief performance was followed by a trailer showcasing the whole mainline series, from Final Fantasy to Final Fantasy XV.
The feels flowed with no restraint, and I definitely overheard a few sobs (and maybe, just maybe, I did a few of my own).
After the trailer, Producer Shinji Hashimoto, who will oversee the anniversary project for the whole year, declared the celebrations started.
The initial remarks were followed by Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda, who thanked the Final Fantasy fans for their support, promising to continue to deliver more fun in the future.
The announcer then called the the names of Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, Composer Nobuo Uematsu and Character Designer Yoshitaka Amano.
Uematsu-Sensei and Amano-sensei climbed on the stage, but Sakaguchi-san was nowhere to be seen.
Soon after, it was mentioned that Sakaguchi-san was absent because he was stuck at home due to a sudden case of influenza.
Yet, he delivered a video message, extending his congratulations to the series he created. A good sport as usual, he had “Omedetou!” (Congratulations) written on the cooling patch attached to his forehead.
After Sakaguchi-san’s message, Hashimoto-san, Matsuda-san, Uematsu-sensei and Amano-sensei placed their hands on the “crystal” in the middle of the stage, unveiling the official logo for the 30th Anniversary of Final Fantasy.
Actually, three different logos were showcased, with Amano-san explaining that he drew many variations, and the biggest one has 30th chocobos to honor the 30th anniversary of the series.
Amano-sensei also announced a collaboration with the Ground Y brand by the popular fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto, featuring clothes including visuals inspired by Final Fantasy. Amano-sensei was wearing one of the outfits himself, and you can see two of them below, alongside a few excerpts from the look book.
After that, it was Uematsu-sensei’s turn to make a few announcements, and he mentioned that over the next year over 100 Distant World concerts will be held in multiple countries all over the world. It will be a new performance with a new arrangement titled Jiritsu/Ichida.
Three dates were announced for Japan, on December 8th in Osaka and on December 9th and 10th in Tokyo.
Brass de Bravo concerts with the Siena Wind Orchestra will be also held in Japan and Taiwan.
Conductor Arnie Roth then delivered a video message, and the music-related announcements were wrapped up with the reveal of a new Final Fantasy XV Piano Collections release by Yoko Shimomura, accompanied by a related concert.
Hashimoto-san then moved on to announce the new Final Fantasy Boss Collection in collaboration with Nissin Cup Noodle.
We also got a mention of the previously announced Final Fantasy XIV real escape game, and a collaboration with the Minato Mirai 21 district of Yokohama.
Hashimoto-san then presented the Final Fantasy goodies for fans with a lot of disposable income, in the form of a series of premium wines and cakes.
More affordable merchandise items like bags and cups will also be available on the 30th anniversary store.
Interestingly, a manga was also announced. Titled Final Fantasy: Lost Stranger, it features an original story by Hazuki Minase and art by Itsuki Kameya.
It will be serialized starting in the spring by Square Enix’s own Gangan label.
Following, a “Miniature Calendar” in collaboration with popular photographer Tatsuya Tanaka will be created, with one photo released each month.
The first is “Castle Cornelia,” and you can see it below.
After all the swag, Final Fantasy VII Remaster Producer Yoshinori Kitase, Final Fantasy XIV Director and Producer Naoki Yoshida and Final Fantasy XV Director Hajime Tabata walked on stage to talk about their games.
Yoshida-san mentioned that he couldn’t give news about Final Fantasy XIV, as those will come at Fanfest in Frankfurt next month, but instead he introduced the live action drama Final Fantasy XIV: Daddy of Light, which will be broadcasted starting in April in Japan.
The drama comes with a star-spangled cast and will feature both parts in the real world and parts in Eorzea, focused on the relationship between a father and a son playing the game.
Final Fantasy XV Director Hajime Tabata followed up with the introduction of the Booster Pack DLCs and the release dates/window for the Episode Gladio and Episode Prompto DLCs.
We were asked not to film the trailer, that was very brief, and featured Prompto in winter clothes. Those who played the game most probably know what that means.
Kitase-san had no footage to show about the Final Fantasy VII Remaster, but showcased the snow statue that will be displayed at the Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido in February, before giving a small glimpse on the game with a new key visual image.
The Producers of Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia and Final Fantasy Brave Exvius also joined the party on stage, to announce respectively the release of Opera Omnia for iOS and Android in Japan tomorrow, and the 20 million download milestone for Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, that will also get Cloud from Final Fantasy VII from February 6th.
Kitase-san took the mic again, to introduce a new crossover event between Final Fantasy VII and Mobius Final Fantasy, that will start on February 6th.
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age Producer Hiroaki Kato then got on stage, to announce the long-awaited release dates of the upcoming PS4 remaster (July 11th on North America and Europe and July 13th in Japan and Asia). He also mentioned that, to celebrate, Balthier will be made available as a DLC champion in World of Final Fantasy.
We also got a guest appearance by Dragon Quest Producer Yu Miyake, who announced that Itadaki Street Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary will get Noctis and Kefka from Final Fantasy XV and Final Fantasy VI as playable characters.
As the event headed toward its closure, and developers, executives and guests assembled for a photo session, we got one last announcement.
In 2018, Square Enix plans to hold a “Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary Exhibition” (the name is still tentative) at the Mori Art Museum in the Roppongi Hills complex in Tokyo.
As a final bonus, I leave you with plenty of pictures of the merchandise mentioned above, and more, that was displayed at the exit of the venue.
Happy 30th birthday, Final Fantasy!