AROUNDERS TERRA BATTLE by Earthbound Papas

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I was lucky to view the concert from the front row, besides the small bunch in the center. <3

 

To celebrate the 1,000,000th download milemarker of Terra Battle, the new smartphone created by Sakaguchi Hironobu and his team at Mistwalker, the special mini-concert performed by Uematsu Nobuo and his Earthbound Papas band was held last night at the Apple Store in Omotesando, Tokyo.

Attendance to this event was completely free through the Apple Store Omotesando Website. All you had to do was reserve a ticket in advance, although they quickly “sold out”. Strangely enough, reservations became available before the previously announced time, which could be why I was able to get a ticket. I was extremely nervous whether or not my reservation went through because of this.

I arrived on site around 6:00pm, an hour before the concert was said to begin. I think there may have been a little miscommunication about this, though. Typically for any given concert, you will be informed on the time when you can enter the facility (会場 kaijou) and the time when the actual concert will begin (開演 kaien). My memory could be failing me about this, but I don’t think we were ever informed on the entrance time. Then again, it’s taking place in an actual Apple store, so they have to be open for business all day, so… xD

Anyway, those who reserved a ticket were directed to get into a line that stretched to the very back of the store. We only waited there for a couple minutes until meeting with a staff member to check your name with the master list of RSVPs. It was all very high tech, using iPads to enter names and sign in each individual. Very cool and handy!

When I was allowed to enter the reserved area, there was still a lot of open space, and I easily made my way to the front of the area. There was exactly enough space for one person at the very front, stage left. :D

As I settled in a little bit and managed to take off my jacket without bumping into the people beside me, I could enjoy the pre-concert tuning the band members conducted for at least the first 30 minutes after I arrived to my viewing space. They played many tunes only halfway, but there were at least two tunes that were played all the way through, one of which was Aeris’ Theme from FFVII.

After the sound check had concluded, the boys left the stage via the door stage right, just below the stage. Since this particular Apple store had all but one perimeter wall made out of glass, I noticed a couple of the boys walk outside and down the road for a quick breather. ^^

Anyway, as far as concerts go, the show itself was quite enjoyable with a rather subdued crowd. That’s what’s very interesting about many concerts in Japan–the majority of the crowd will listen quietly to a performance with very minor reactions. The largest movement the people in the crowd ever made was possibly bobbing one’s head in tune to the music. This is very common in Japan. It felt very strained to even “whoooo” during their entrance. xD

Since this was just a mini-concert, they were only able to perform a total of 7 songs. Here’s a brief look at each of the tracks:

1: [テラバトル] Terra Battle / Main Theme
2: [地平線を超えて] Beyond the Horizon / The Maker’s Beckoning
3: [戦いの波形] The Waves of Battle / Braving the Battle
4: [エアリスのテーマ] Aeris’ Theme (FFVII)
5: [剣と槍と弓と] Swords, Spears, and Bows / A Battle of Teamwork
6: [全てを賭けて] Risk it All / The World’s Awakening
7: The Man with the Machine Gun (FFVIII, Laguna’s Battle Theme)

I’m going on memory regarding the YouTube links to the tracks above, so please excuse me if I made any mistakes matching themes to the titles.

Once the concert had officially ended, Sakaguchi Hironobu walked on stage to thank everyone and also announce a very special occurrence of the day–> it was Uematsu-san’s birthday!! Yay! Sakaguchi-san handed him a large bouquet of flowers and Narita-san began playing Happy Birthday on the keyboard… but the crowd wasn’t able to enter into the song very promptly… but I tried to sing as loudly as I could. xD

Then all the boys left the stage area, and the host from the Apple store concluded the concert by asking people to not loiter around the exit. He was very clear in stating that this was THE END of the concert, as sometimes people tend to expect an encore. xD

Many, many people still hung around thereafter, taking photos of the boys cleaning up after the event, but I left rather quickly thereafter.

All-in-all, it was a great concert, and boy, did it go by quickly!! Their next concert will be held in Mexico in April. Safe travels, boys! I look forward to seeing your show again in Japan sometime!! <3

 

External Links


Famitsu App
Game Watch
SocialGameInfo
Aplista


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* I took all the photos on this page except for the one on the very top, which was actually taken by Fujioka Chihiro, the percussionist of the band that night, who took the photo after the soundcheck.

The Interviews: Yoko Taro

This is a really cute interview with Yoko Taro at The Interviews Website. A lot of what he says here is really comforting. I’ve had similar worries for quite a while… :/

Here is my translation. <3

============================================================

Good afternoon, Yoko-san. I’m currently working as a planner for a social networking game. Biologically speaking, I am a woman, so do you think it might be possible to get a hug? (heehee)

I have a question for you. After working in the gaming industry for five, ten years, was there anything that troubled you? Because at this point, I’m really worried about this. Along the way, I wanted to join a consumer-based company, and therefore joined the company I belong to now. (It may be horrible to say, but I joined this company with the thought of gaining knowledge and experience before attempting to get a job at the company I really wanted to work for).

I also thought about what sort of games I wanted to make, but after working my first job for two years and only dealing with things day-by-day, I feel like I’ve fallen into a sort of desperation.

Although this is the industry I wanted to enter and work in, right now I feel like my future and goals are so unstable; everything seems so fuzzy that my future seems pitch black. It’s really rough. How do you cope with these kind of feelings when you think of the future? Please tell us.

============================================================

Hello, I’m Yoko. Since this seems like a question about worries, it will be a challenge for me to answer this quickly.

First of all, about the first point: “After five, ten years, was there anything that troubled you?” I don’t often think about the long-term, so I don’t really know. As I’ve grown older, I hear people around me talk about things like “I wonder how many more games I can make before I die,” but I don’t really have such a vision.

So, lazy as I am, I’d like to give you four points to think about.

* The first point is “You can do it… maybe.”

I first started out as a CG designer. I wanted to make some really awesome CG! …or so I thought, but technicality and ability-wise, I wasn’t all that great, just going with the flow until I ended up as a game director.

In this sense, when you become an adult there have been many people who thought “This is different than I originally planned”. But, well, it still seems like everyone is happily living their lives. Many choices might pop up that you couldn’t possibly have imagined when you were younger, which can be enjoyed simply as they are.

Even if your future is different from what you imagined it to be, I don’t think it’s “pitch black”.

* Secondly, “your job should be what you want to do”.

I’m the sort of person who cannot do something that I don’t want to do. I was also horrible at studying for exams and filling out the paperwork for tax returns. Even when I became an adult, when I worked “a job that I didn’t want to do”, it was crazy how much my performance fell, and there were many times that I didn’t work at all for a week. No, I should stop that story here.

If you don’t work, you’ll starve and die. Since we can’t have that, you’ll have to do some sort of work. But if it’s not a “job you want to do”, nothing interests you.

Of course, it’s quite obvious that the world is not full of jobs that you might want to do. That’s why I tried so hard to change the “job I didn’t want to do” into a “job I wanted to do”.

I don’t mean to say that you should frantically tell yourself, “This job is so cool cool cool cool cool!” For example, you could incorporate some of the things that you want to do. If you like robots, you should make robots. If you like dark stories, then you should write dark stories. Stuff like that.

Many things have happened, I both succeeded and failed in this effort. My superiors got angry, and I got fired, well, it’s like old-time banjo. Simply to say the least, the process of the challenge for me was an enjoyable time.

A single lifetime is quite long, so we cannot continue breathing with just goals alone. You shouldn’t continue a job that you don’t want to do for a long time. You can either try to change the contents of the job or quit and start something new-—but in any case, it’s probably a good thing to actively try to change something.

* Thirdly, ……We’re only on the third point. Um, let’s see…… Oh, right. The third point is: “You are the protagonist.”

When you’re young, it may seem like the right path in life includes “going to a good school” and “joining a good company”, but this is merely the well-beaten path that some old people told us about.

Of course, that path may be the safest route to choose, but there are countless other paths you could take. If you’re suffering from not being able to see your future, then you need to find the right place where you can. You could change jobs, maybe your current job could improve, you could start your own business, or maybe you could get married and start a family.

Which path you take or what goal you arrive at is not important. It’s not about finding the correct path in this world but rather to set forth along your own path. If you fail, you can always go back and choose a different path. We only live about 80 years anyway. If you think there’s time to worry, then don’t you think it would be efficient to try out various other things?

And if that doesn’t work, then maybe it’s better to go out to a bar late at night, have a drink, eat some rice and ramen, and then try to fix things the following day. Maybe.

* Oh, shoot. I guess you tend to get long-winded the older you get.

This is the last point.

The fourth point I’d like to tell you is: “If you are a woman, then it’s OK to have a hug anytime.”

Thanks.

Source: The Interviews

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call (3/18)

New song downloads for March 18, 2015:

FFX-2: real Emotion (BMS)
SaGa 2: The End of Battle (BMS)
Romancing SaGa 3: Devil Lord Confrontation II (BMS)
Chrono Trigger: Boss Battle 2 (BMS)
Chrono Trigger: Corridors of Time (FMS)
Secret of Mana 3: Meridian Child (FMS)
Nier: Shadowlord (BMS)
Live A Live: The Bird Flies in the Sky, The Fish Swims in the River (FMS)

Source: Square Enix | Square Enix YouTube | Dengeki Online

YoRHa DVD – Review

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At long last, we’ve got the YoRHa DVD! I was looking forward to it ever since I went to see the stage play in person back in October. I’ve talked about the details of what’s included in this release before, so I won’t repeat myself on that again.

Instead, I’d like to share just a few thoughts I had while watching the DVD.

First off… I’m very disappointed. The video quality is so subpar, I am shocked that such a recording even exists. I haven’t seen video quality this bad since watching ancient .rm videos in the early 2000s. The video quality was also different when I played it on my Blu-ray player as opposed to on my computer. The quality on the Blu-ray player was obviously pixelated. I took the following photos with my iPhone to show the level of pixelation.

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And this is an example of the “zebra” type pixelation that was rampant in almost every frame when I played it on my computer.

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The picture overall looked cleaner when I played it on my computer, but the level of zebra striping was so frequent, it made watching the video at all very difficult.

I don’t understand how such bad quality would have been okayed to go into production. I ended up paying a total of 8,468yen for this DVD set to receive such a subpar item; I am very upset. I don’t have cash to just throw away like this, but that’s pretty much how I feel.

Yes, it was great to be able to see the play again–and I still think the Earth production was the best. The story, characters, music, etc. were really great, anyway.

Thou Shalt Not Die, Chapter 3 – English

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Hi, everybody! Here’s the new, 3rd chapter for the month of February! Please click the image above to read the chapter!

I wanted to get this out a couple of days ago, but the cold that I’ve had for over a week suddenly went nuts over the weekend and slowed me down. Sorry about that.

There were a couple points that I wanted to address about Chapter 2.

Some people were interested in or confused by the reversed text in some of the pages. This was not my idea. The original Japanese is exactly the same. The reasoning behind this is to allow the reader to understand the foreign language those characters are speaking–in this case, it was meant to be Portuguese. It took me a little while to realize this myself, but since the original manga did not offer any help in figuring this out, I didn’t feel the need to do so. There is some fun in solving a puzzle on your own, right?

Secondly, I heard some people were curious about some of the dialogue bubble text, how some of the text was enlarged and arranged in weird ways. Again, this was not my idea. The original Japanese basically did the same thing. I probably couldn’t duplicate the technique exactly the same, but I think it retains the original design well enough.

Thirdly, I heard some concerns about all the violence in this manga. I do understand it may be too much for some audiences, but I wanted to remind everyone about the origins of this manga. It is published in Square Enix’s monthly “Big GanGan” comic anthology. Big GanGan is the monthly and slightly toned down version of “Young Gangan”, a bi-weekly magazine specifically geared toward young men. Both of these publications have a good deal of violent material as well as sexy images of young women. So, given where the series is published, you should have a pretty good idea of what to expect in terms of subject matter–plus, it is yet another story idea by Yoko Taro. If you know nothing about him, I’d suggest reading a little bit about his previous works in the “Drakengard” and “Nier” series (both video games).

And lastly, for anyone who has a problem with the quality, style, or whatever about this production, I gladly welcome constructive criticism. Unfortunately, my desired audience is not the typical manga enthusiast but rather the fans of Yoko Taro and his works. This does not mean that I do not care about other readers. I certainly do, but as one, single person, there is only so much that I can do. I do not work on a team. I do this for the sheer pleasure of doing it. I learn a lot throughout its production, and although it’s a lot of work, it’s also a lot of fun!

So please be kind in your comments. I am doing my best, and if that’s not enough for you, I’m very sorry.

Take care and enjoy!

YoRHa – DVD Release Update

Although the announcement in Vol.03 of ILCA P@pper stated that the stage play “YoRHa” would be released on DVD today, February 28, there had been no information about where or how to purchase it until this tweet from Haruna Arai, the young actress who played Term B in the Earth cast:

But, lucky us! The site is now up and you can order the DVD here: yorha.com/dvd.

2 DVD disc set of Earth and Heaven casts, priced at 6,800yen*. Comes in a tall DVD case with B5 insert booklet. Orders can only be made within Japan as far as I can tell since payment is only accepted upon arrival (about 1 week).

* Total Break-down of Cost:

  • DVD: 6,800yen
  • Tax: 544yen
  • Shipping: 800yen
  • C.O.D. Fee: 324yen
  • TOTAL COST: 8,468yen

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DVD-02

Final Fantasy XV: Square Enix Presents – Active Time Report

Here’s the newest Active Time Report broadcast featuring active gameplay of the TRIAL VERSION of the game. Of course, the video is all in Japanese, but please have a look below to read my various notes that I took while watching it. :3

FF Type-0 HD

—Download version 6,100 yen (plus tax)
—FFXV trial version comes paired with the Type-0 download version for two months only

FFXV: Episode Duscae Start Menu
=========================================
—New Game
—Load Game
—Config
—Debug Menu

Button Explanations
=========================================

Battle Menu:
—Use Item
—Equip Weapon
—Member Equip
—???

Common Actions:
—Screen Rotation: XBOX ONE—>Right Stick, PS4—>R Stick
—Walk: XBOX ONE—>Left Stick, L Stick
—Run: XBOX ONE—>Left Stick, L Stick
—Jump: XBOX ONE—>B Button, PS4—>X Button
—Dash (Free Run): XBOX ONE—>Left Stick Button, PS4—>L3 Button
You will automatically traverse obstacles while in this mode.

Battle Actions:
—Attack: XBOX ONE—>X Button, PS4—>Square Button
Weapons shown: Blood Sword (Long Sword), Wyvern Spear (Long Spear), Scandentia Hunter (Large Sword), Avenger (Long Sword), Partizan (Long Spear)
Combo Attack: XBOX ONE—>X Button Rapid Fire, PS4—>Square Button Rapid Fire
Shift (Warp): XBOX ONE—>B Button, PS4—>Circle Button
You can warp to specific areas shown with the curser. It will expend some MP, however.
Shift Break: XBOX ONE—>B Button, PS4—>Circle Button
You are able to warp toward locked-on enemies and attack. This will also expend some MP.
Guard: XBOX ONE—>LB Button, PS4—>L1 Button
You can dodge incoming attacks by enemies. This will also expend some MP.
Ability: XBOX ONE—>Y Button, PS4—>Triangle Button

  • You are able to use unique abilities for each individual weapon. Abilities are chosen with the D-pad.
  • Abilities shown: Drain Sword, Jump, Tempest, Heavy Thrust
  • Assault Abilities: Slash, Break, Rush, Raid, Counter
  • When your character uses MP, it will display a light blue effect on the screen.
  • You can recover MP during battle by taking cover behind an obstruction and allowing some time to regain lost MP and HP. You can regain almost the majority of your MP in just a few seconds. HP takes a little bit longer to recover, so it is recommended to use items to recover lost HP. You are also able to locate “safe” locations such as hanging on to part of a large tower to recover MP.
  • When a party member’s HP reaches 0, a first aid icon will appear above their avatar to let you know they need help. You or another party member can rejuvenate their HP a little to allow them to become active in the battle again; however, during this limbo period, should their secondary gauge be reduced to 0 again, they will be out for the count.
  • The same monster can have various sizes.
  • You are able to parry an incoming attack and initiate a counter attack quickly thereafter. This is a little different from a regular “counter” attack.
  • Characters actively talk to one another during battle.
  • Each weapon has a main ability and a support ability. Support Abilities may include things such as faster MP restoration, automatic HP restoration, and enemy defence penetration among others.
  • The battle system feels very much like Xenoblade: how you enter into battle, how characters speak, etc.
  • You are able to change weapons during battle.
  • Enemies you attack have various status effects, one of which is “Weak” when their HP is low.
  • You are able to obtain items from felled enemies, for example “Garula Meat” or a “Small Feather”. You obtain these items by pressing the Triangle Button (PS4). Some items can be used to make meals during the Camp sequence.
  • Goblins only come out at night. They will often cause status ailments and steal your items.
  • The longer you engage in battle, the more enemies may gather against you.
  • When your HP reaches 0, you are able to use a Potion on yourself to restore lost HP. There is a secondary red gauge that is visible under the main HP gauge. It’s game over when both gauges reach 0.
  • There are enemies that appear human but are not.
  • Battles are not exactly seamless: Short results including experience gained, time elapsed, damage inflicted upon enemies, the number of successful parries, and total percentage of bonuses achieved are listed after every battle. There is a brief “dusting of hands” after each battle, but you are able to move while the results are displayed.
  • First enemies: Garula, Queen Garula

Travel Menu:
[Choose Destination]
—Quest
——Quest Title
—Base
—Cancel Area
[Drive]
[View Items]
[Option]
[Return to Accommodations/Home]

Duscae Area Map

—Chocobo Post-with
—Chronicus Petroleum (Alsto Branch)

Other Various Info

  • When you choose a Quest, you are able to see how far away the target destination is.
  • There are Camp areas where you can pitch a tent to recover HP/MP.
    Rest Location: Mark of Osis
  • Notice that, should you rest, any Sub Quests you may have been engaged in will conclude.
  • During a camp sequence, a party member can use items that you’ve gathered to cook a meal for everyone. Ignis can prepare beef stew. Characters can gain temporary status improvements through different meals. Various improvements include a “Great” status condition (attack power up, longer dash), Concentration (higher critical rate), and Status Resistance.
  • You gain levels during the Camp sequence.
  • After a camp sequence, you will be shown the results of any status upgrades.
  • You are able to return to previously visited campsites but these locations will disappear following next day.
  • Line of sight is quite vast.
  • You cannot dash forever. There is a stamina limit. Once you reach the stamina limit, you simply need to restart the dash to continue.
  • You are informed of an incoming attack by enemies from the red bar that appears at the top of the screen. It eventually gets longer and longer until battle commences. Also, if you come within the range of an enemy and the red bar appears on the screen, you have a little bit of time to corse correct to avoid an undesired battle.
  • You come across items in the overworld field that you can pick up. If an item is nearby, an icon will appear and allow you to choose whether you want to pick it up or not. Many of these items can be sold for money.
  • Target points: During the main story and various quests, there will be an icon that will show you the target (where you need to go) and how far away it is (this is exactly the same as in Xenoblade).
  • Some locations will have a signpost designating its name (Ex. Alstor Slough).
  • You are able to save your progress at both the Camp and at designated Check Points.
  • Generally there is no BGM as you’re walking around, but once you enter a battle, some music will play.

Trial Version

  • You can only enter ankle-deep water, but you will be able to traverse deeper water in the full game (possibly gaining abilities or equipment).
  • You cannot gain status improvements through the Camp function.
  • The trial version will be presented in a lower frame rate than the actual game. This apparently is to give you something to look forward to in the actual release of the game.
  • They are unsure exactly how long the trail version is since the world is so vast and players can choose to follow the main story or go off on various quests. The director pretty much just wants you to play and find out how much of the game you can experience in the trial version for yourself. But the main story is about 3 hours worth of play.
  • Various weather conditions are not available in the trial version but will be in the final release.
  • At the moment, save files from the Trial version of the game ARE NOT compatible with the final version of the game. You cannot level up like crazy in the Trial version and expect to continue to the full version of the game with those stats.
  • The view on the title screen will change with time, from morning to night views. Every day is roughly 30 minutes.