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History Of A Final Fantasy Summon: Alexander

When it comes to the summoned beasts of the Final Fantasy series, Bahamut is probably the first that comes to mind. That's for a good reason: He's awesome. However, several other cool Eidolons have made multiple appearances throughout the course of the series. In this feature, we take a look at the video history of one of the most underrated recurring summons, and the only one that looks like a giant robotic cathedral: Alexander.

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Final Fantasy VI
It isn't a coincidence that Alexander looks like a church in his inaugural appearance; he's the only Esper that can teach your characters the spell Holy. This sequence establishes many of Alexander's hallmarks for later games, including rising from the ground and shooting a tiny laser that erupts into a field of flame.

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Final Fantasy VII
The move to 3D was good for Alexander, giving players a better idea of his enormous size. While Final Fantasy VII is infamous for dragging out its summoning animations, Alexander's is pretty short and to-the-point; he draws a weird glyph on the ground, but otherwise, it's pretty similar to his previous incarnation.

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Final Fantasy VIII
This version breaks from tradition a little, since Alexander trades his signature laser beam for a salvo of explosive energy missiles. He also rises out of the ocean this time, but he still comes across as some sort of ancient, subterranean machine.

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Final Fantasy IX
Though Alexander is a key part of a pivotal moment in Final Fantasy IX, you don't get to summon him in battle. That might have something to do with the fact that he's the size of an entire city. Anything that can defeat Bahamut with no more than a flash of its wings is definitely too overpowered to put in players' hands.

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Final Fantasy XI
In addition to being the final boss of the Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion, players can also summon this Celestial Avatar themselves. Instead of dealing his usual brand of fiery doom, this version of Alexander casts "Perfect Defense," increasing your resistance to damage and status effects.

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Final Fantasy XIII
Seeing one of Final Fantasy's coolest creatures saddled to one of its lamest characters is painful, but Alexander is a professional and doesn't complain (That won't stop me from complaining, though: Hope is terrible). 

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(Warning: Do not watch if you haven't finished Final Fantasy Type-0, but plan to) 
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
It may not be an official numbered entry, but Alexander's appearance in Type-0 is too cool not to mention. He's not just a robo-buddy who helps you out on the battlefield; he is a pure weapon of mass destruction this time around. 

What Final Fantasy summon would you like to see featured next? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

(Video credit to all of the original uploaders)

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See Square Enix’s DirectX 12-powered Final Fantasy graphics in a new video

It’s become a game industry tradition that the Final Fantasy developer shows off its latest and greatest realtime facial animation as tech demos, and this one’s a doozy. …


Gamasutra News

Square Enix Discusses Laundry List Of Final Fantasy VX Fan Complaints

Earlier this year Square Enix released Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, bundled together along with a Final Fantasy XV demo. The demo, titled Episode Duscae, is a standalone adventure that allows players to explore a lush, open area on the hunt for a deadly Behemoth in order to become familiar with the new characters and combat. Fans who played the demo responded to Square Enix with myriad criticisms, ranging from the camera lock-on to issues with the difficulty.

Square Enix plans to make good on all these complaints. Director Hajime Tabata and marketing manager Akio Ofuji ran down 15 of the biggest pieces of feedback in a translated video released yesterday. The video was originally recorded on April 10, the day Square Enix announced it moved over 1 million copies of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. Only fans who purchased FF Type-0 HD were able to complete a survey about FF XV, so only those bits of feedback from folks who've played the game were taken into account.

Some of the fan criticism and proposed fixes involve unintelligent A.I., frame-rate drops, the dashing system, and sluggish animations. Square Enix plans to integrate all the fixes into both the Episode Duscae demo and of course FF XV itself. For the whole list of fan complaints, read this article by Kotaku outlining the main points of the video.

You can watch the presentation in its entirety below.

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Final Fantasy XV is currently in development for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. A release date hasn't been confirmed yet, but you can keep up with beat-by-beat the development of the game here.

[Source: Kotaku]

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Exclusive: Metal Gear Composer Covers Final Fantasy VI Track On New Album

Last week, we detailed a new album called Prescription for Sleep: Game Music Lullabies Volume II, which features relaxing arrangements by Metal Gear and Bayonetta composer Norihiko Hibino. Now, we're exclusively revealing one of the tracks on the album.

The album has arrangements from Skyrim, Shovel Knight, Final Fantasy, and more, but Scarlet Moon Records has been slowly trickling out the track listing. Today, we're revealing that Final Fantasy VI's "Kids Run Through The City Corner" will be one of the songs covered on the album. Better yet, we also have a sample of it, so you can get a taste of what's in store. 

So far the following tracks have been revealed: 

  • Troian Beauty – Final Fantasy IV
  •  The Streets of Whiterun – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  •  The One Who Is Torn Apart – Xenogears
  •  Courage Under Fire –Shovel Knight
  •  The Moon – DuckTales
  •  Scattering Blossoms – Chrono Trigger
  • Snake Eater – Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

 

You can listen to part of the track below.

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For more information and to pre-order, visit Scarlet Moon Records' site

Also, if you purchase volumes I and II on Loudr together, you get the Gentle Love single from Monarch: Heroes of a New Age Arrangements & Variations ("GENTLE OBLIVION").

What do you think? Does the album have your interest? Let us know in the comments below!

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Creative Assembly Dives Into Fantasy In Total War: Warhammer

Earlier this year, rumors of a Total War: Warhammer circulated, thanks to a reference in a Total War art book. Today, Sega and Creative Assembly officially announced the game through an impressive-looking CG trailer. It doesn't feature any gameplay, but it does do a solid job of establishing the tone that the studio is working toward.

The trailer shows some of the factions, which are bound to be familiar to those who have played Games Workshop's tabletop Warhammer game. Orcs and the undead make appearances, as well as intimidating dragons and shows of magical force.

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“We’ve always loved the Warhammer universe, and couldn’t wait to approach it with the same colossal scale and authenticity that has characterized our titles for the last 15 years,” says Ian Roxburgh, Total War: Warhammer's project lead. “We’re bringing it to life in a way that nobody’s attempted before.”

The companies aren't providing a release window at this time, but it will be coming to PC and Mac.

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Professor Layton And Fantasy Life Sequels Heading To Mobile Devices In Japan

Sequels to two Level-5 franchises were revealed at a recent Level-5 focused event in Japan.

According to a report form Polygon, the new Layton game, titled Layton 7, plays less like a traditional Layton game filled with puzzles, and instead focuses on a single puzzle – figuring out who is a vampire amongst a group of seemingly normal people.

Both games are planned for release on iPhone and Android devices. No plans for a North American release have been announced.

Fantasy Life 2 will continue the gameplay mechanics established by the original 3DS game, letting players choose and level up an assortment of occupations.

For our review of Fantasy Life, head here. For our reviews of the last two Professor Layton games, head here for our review of Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and here for our review of Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy.

[Source: Level-5, (2), via Polygon]

 

Our Take
Hopefully these titles make it stateside. Both franchises have seen moderate success here, so I would be surprised if they didn't make it over. Fantasy Life in particular, seems well suited for the mobile platform. Check in, do some tasks, sign off, etc.

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Final Fantasy VI Opera Song Receives Music Video Tribute

Vocalist Jillian Aversa's new video has her teaming up with cellist Tina Guo to perform a beautiful rendition of Final Fantasy VI’s Aria di Mezzo Carattere, an iconic opera song originally composed by the famed Nobuo Uematsu.

Today marks Final Fantasy VI’s 21st anniversary, and Jillian’s new video is the perfect tribute. It began as a collaboration with her husband, Andrew Aversa, a game composer who has worked on titles such as Soulcalibur V and Super Street Fighter II. The cover was originally created for the Final Fantasy VI: Balance & Ruin project on OverClocked Remix, an online video game music community.

Most notably, Jillian has performed the song during the Video Games Live international tour, and the track is featured on the concert's newest album, Video Games Live: Level 4.

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To hear more of Jillian’s music, check out her recent music video dedicated to The Legend of Zelda, as well as her YouTube channel.

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This Week In Mobile – Final Fantasy And The First Apple Watch Game

This week in mobile, the Final Fantasy world is falling apart at the seams and Disney brings Star Wars Rebels to mobile platforms. 

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Final Fantasy Record Keeper
Developer: Square Enix
Platform(s): iOs, Android
Price: Free

At its core, Final Fantasy Record Keeper is fan-service layered in fan-service. In some cases that would be a bad thing, but not when the game in question is paying homage to one of the biggest series of all-time. It also helps that Final Fantasy Record Keeper is a good way to spend time. It might be a little boiled down, but the basic premise of wave-based, classically-styled Final Fantasy dungeons works well enough to support the premise of piece the universe back together. It’s not going to blow anyone away, but fans of the series should find plenty to enjoy.

Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions
Developer: Disney
Platform(s): iOS
Price: Free

One of the first things Disney did after acquiring the Star Wars property was canning the Star Wars: The Clones Wars animated series that had been airing on Cartoon Network. The replacement for the show came in the form of Star Wars Rebels, which jumped from the middle of the prequel trilogy to just a few years before the events of Episode IV. To go along with the series, Disney has released Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions. Recon Missions puts players in control of one of four characters and pits them against the forces of the evil Empire in a side-scrolling shooter. When players aren’t blasting away at bad guys, they’re building up their base to earn unlocks and rewards.

Rules!
Developer: TheCodingMonkeys
Platform(s): iOS
Price: $ 2.99

In Rules!, players are presented with a game board and 16 cards. As they play more rules for eliminating cards are presented, and players must eliminate as many sets of cards as possible before time runs out. It’s a simple premise, but not exactly what makes Rules! noteworthy right now. Rules! is actually the first game to be approved for the Apple Watch. While Apple’s latest product doesn’t hit shelves until late April, there are a few of the devices out and about in public already. The Apple Watch version of Rules! is slightly paired down, supporting just 4 cards instead of 16, but it maintains the same catchy formula of the original. Only this time it will be, quite literally, impossible (or at least a very bad idea) to put down.

Breath of Light
Developer: Many Monkeys
Platform(s): iOS
Price: $ 2.99

If you enjoy getting lost in a game, or peacefully puzzling your way through relaxing environments, then Breath of Light is a game you should be checking out. Breath of Light mixes particle physics-based puzzles with a relaxing soundtrack and simplistic visuals to create a game that’s easy to get lost in. Players are tasked with dropping objects to redirect the flow of life-force between white lotuses in a level. One of the big upsides to the game is that there is no need to unlock levels or race a clock, everything is open from the start. 

Silly Sausage in Meat Land
Developer: Nitrome
Platform(s): iOS
Price: Free

Silly Sausage in Meat Land is a surprising combination of a snake game and roguelike sensibilities. Players are set at a starting point, and tasked with collecting gems by swiping to control the direction Silly Sausage moves through the world. Any time they contact a wall, Silly Sausage stops and sits on it, allowing players to catch their metaphorical breath and also avoid being hit by spike traps. If the player is still stretching, they can be hit by moving spike balls, but sitting on a wall immediately makes them invincible. Players can pay gems to respawn at later checkpoints, but get knocked all the way back to the start if they die without doing so.

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Final Set Of Final Fantasy Theatrhythm: Curtain Call 2nd Performance DLC Is Now Available

Earlier in the week we learned some more tracks would
be coming to Final Fantasy Theatrhythm: Curtain Call, and now all eight tracks
are available to purchase and download in North America. This batch of DLC will
be the final set of the 2nd Performance DLC.

The following songs are available as Battle Music Sequences
(BMS) and the two songs marked with an asterisk, “Struggle to the Death” and “Devil
Lord Confrontation II” are free to download for a limited time.

  • “Real Emotion” (Final Fantasy X-2)
  • “Struggle to the Death” (Final Fantasy Legend II)*
  • “Devil Lord Confrontation II” (Romancing SaGa 3)*
  • “Boss Battle 2” (Chrono Trigger)
  • “Shadowlord” (Nier)

The following songs are available as Field Music Sequences
(FMS)

  • “Corridors of Time” (Chrono Trigger)
  • “Meridian Child” (Seiken Densetsu 3)
  • “Birds in the Sky, Fish in the River” (Live A Live)  

 

Our Take
It is disappointing to learn this is the final batch of
the 2nd Performance DLC for Final Fantasy Theatrhythm: Curtain Call, especially
since it was interesting to see the song selection branch out from Final
Fantasy music and into Square Enix’s back catalog of RPGs. Releasing over 80 songs
of DLC for the game was certainly an impressive amount of support though, and
really did extend the experience for many. It will be interesting to see in the
future if we get Dragon Quest Theatrhythm in North America and if the series will
continue beyond that.

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Test Chamber – Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

While a lot of people were attracted to the release of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD for the coupled demo of Final Fantasy XV, this port of the PSP game contains a lot of content and is one of the most experimental Final Fantasy games in years. Game Informer's Matt Miller reviewed the game and is joined by Andrew Reiner and intern Justin Mikos as he explains the basics of the game and shares his full impressions.

Watch the video below to learn all about the latest installment in the Final Fantasy series.

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For more Test Chambers, click the banner below or visit our hub.

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