Square At TGS
Square's main presentations were Final Fantasy VIII and Ehrgeiz. In their corner, two huge sets of movie screens were simultaneously showing promotions of Ehrgeiz, Final Fantasy VIII, Saga Frontier, Chocobo's Dungeon 2, Chocobo racing and Square's first attempt at a realistic looking graphic novel- Another Mind.

Final Fantasy VIII & Other Promos

 A row of Final Fantasy VIII demos were playable at the showing, in which a large number of audience were constantly crowded around.
Square also released their FFVIII background story as follows:

At a glance, this world is peaceful.
But in the closet it hides many small problems, carrying a situation where war can break through at any time.
The Garden was created in such a world.
A private school of soldiers created to quiet down the disputes.
Located all around the world, but not working under any country.
By sending the soldiers of the Garden around the world, the seeds of world war were being destroyed and the military powers, balanced.
At first glance, this world was peaceful.
Until the legendary witch awoke from the long silence.
(Translated By The Madman, H.Moriarty)

Final  Fantasy VIII is scheduled for release in this winter.


Ehrgeiz was playable with all the characters available including the hidden- Kouji Masuda, Clair Andrews, Cloud Stryfe, Tifa Lockhart, Vincent Valentine, Yuffie Kisaragi and Sephiroth. While the game apparently was not finished (no victory music, missing stages), the characters seemed very much complete.
Ehrgeiz is scheduled for release in December 17.

Chocobo Racing
Chocobo Racing was shown for the first time.  

The mascot characters of Final Fantasy such as Moogle, White Magitian and Goblin, battle their way through the races using their unique cars, special abilities and Magi stones.  

The Mode Select screen.
There is a Grand Prix mode, Story Mode, VS mode, Relay mode, Time attack mode, an option screen and data loading.
 The story mode where the main character Chocobo fights against others in races and gain their abilities. 
Also, the player can customize the character/car's abilities.
  The Grand Prix Mode. A maximum of 6 characters (1P, 2P, COM) can participate in the dead heat. The total score from all the courses reflects on the victory.
The Character select and ability select screen.  Dash, grip, force field, steal, float and Magic Up are some of the available abilities.
Madman's Editorial on Square

The Final Fantasy VIII Movie

The Final Fantasy VIII movie was purely breathtaking- the frames were very smooth and detailed to the hair, and not only the quality but the direction and coordination of the movie was also very intricate. This is not the same old movie of Squall checking the map and running away from the machine-- this is a new movie, the Squall Vs Seifer duel, except it was actually moving and not still shot images from magazines. What is amazing tough, is that the duel shot previously seen from magazines were not rendered Still CG images but real shots from the actual movie or so I found out during the TGS, as the two Garden soldiers were going at each other in the same very high quality graphics.

The movie was coordinated as follows:
Shots of the FFVIII world, characters including Edea comes out, then the Edea parade with Seifer on the side is shown-- all under 15 seconds up to this point. Then the Squall vs Seifer battle comes up, fairly much like a recollection of the past.

(Squall goes charging at Seifer like a mad bull, Seifer clashes him away, Squall goes at him again, gets hit back with grinning Seifer's magic, still doesn't give up and charges at Seifer again, this time gets slashed on face, slashes back at Seifer...
NOTE: Blood actually realistically splashes across to the floor and also leaks on Squall's face. Must be second time Square animated blood, first time being Sephiroth's death)
Just as Squall slashes Seifer's face, the screen turns white, slashes into two and breaks into pieces, and the pieces turn into feathers (or so I think) and floats away, revealing Rinoa who comes zooming in. Then a shot of (present) Squall comes up and the two are seen from the side, dashing at each other to hug.
Just as they are about to hug, the screen turns black and the words "FIN"   (as in Finish, and also as in FINal Fantasy) appears...

The quality of Square's movie has been getting much better through every game, and FF7 cannot compare to the Quality of FFVIII-- I hope that the promotional movie of Squall VS Seifer becomes public very soon since a picture is worth a thousand words, but a movie is worth a million.

(Sorry, no pics!)

I was playing with all the new characters except for Yoyo-Yoko's Father: Masuda.
While the game did not seem "Arcade perfect" at the moment, it was playable enough and even if ti does not result arcade perfect in the finished product, I think that the extra additions will more than make up for it. The Quest mode was interesting-- seeing Tifa with a Sword and Shield was very.. funny. However since it is hard to die away in the Quest mode, I am sure that people were waiting a hellish amount of time on the waiting line for others to finish.

A totally new original character. She seems to be very skinny, definitely a speed & combo type as opposed to slow & power type.
Clair can do mad rushes, and has many kick combos going up and down reminding me of Baek from Tekken 2.
In her normal special, she goes flying head first with into the opponent like Vega/Bison's Psycho crusher attack from Capcom's Street Fighter2 series.
In her super special, she spins around with daggers in both hands like Zangief from Capcom's Street Fighter2 Series, and is also controllable in direction.

Same good cloud as the arcade, he has his nice big sword and his special sword slash combo DM.
We can re-dramatize Sephiroth's death with the move once again on a fighting game.

Madman(Henry Moriarty)'s top Fav' character.
Again, same nice Tifa from the arcade. Her skirt seems to look more natural now when doing moves thanks to Playstation transparencies.
... .. ... . ...No "wobble" effect like the arcades, yet so far.

I know of one definite fan who is dying to use her... ol E*su, the maintainer of the Yuffie Shrine.
Very nicely created. Her face looks a bit more grown up than the FFVII original, but otherwise she looks very identical except more detailed.
Yuffie attacks with her fists, legs and most of all her Ninja star, which is very well rendered and leaves nice colorful shadows when she flings it around- and it isn't even a special move. She goes out of balance after winning matches, very cute and FFVII- like.
Yuffie throws around her ninja star instead of flinging it when she does her special move. It seems like the difference between her normal and super special is the size of the star and damage.

Looks very cool.. and tall.
Vincent's main weapon is not in fact his gun- he only uses it in his special. His usual weapon is-- remember that he has a claw attached on his hand? Well he punches and slashes with it very often. Vincent seems to have many combos consisting of punches and kicks. He seems to be somewhere in-between a power and speed fighter, but pretty strong overall. He does not seem to be able to morph, however.
Vincent's normal special is his gun, which shoots at a very fast speed. His super special is multiple shots of his gun simultaneously, which not only is fast but homes into the opponent.

The character most FFVII fan has been waiting for... and yes, he looks nice and plays strong.
Sephiroth normally attacks with his bare fists and legs and still has good power and reach. He can do a number of tricky combos, but Sephiroth is just his FFVII self without using his sword. And yes it can be used by pressing the special attack button. Very much like Cloud, by pressing the special attack button Sephiroth take out his sword- press it again, and he puts it back. While Sephiroth has his sword out, his normal attacks all use swords and he can do different combos and advanced moves from the usual. And even more particularly, his attacks cannot be guarded. However Sephiroth seems to go into a Samurai Showdown Ukyo-like pose when he take out his sword, meaning he has it slanted to his back and he walks very, very slow.



Square Goods
Expensive but nice looking Square Final Fantasy VIII goods were available at the TGS.
Some of the interesting items were Squall's silver Necklace going at 18,000 yen (approx 150$ US), the limited edition FFVII Zippo lighter with a stand and Gunblade at 15,000 yen (approx 120$ US), and the FFVIII backlight panel at 20,000 yen (approx 180 US$).

One of my favorites was the Sabo-tender Tee-shirt, which was going at 3000 yen/approx. 27$ US.
Is it Square's new mascot now?

Misc 3rd Party Goods
Apparently Hori Corp Teamed up with Square to create a joystick controller specially designed for Ehrgeiz, which will be sold on the same date as the software.
The Controller will come with Yoyo Yoko's Yo-yo as a gift.


The background image was drawn by Tetsuya Nomura for FFVIII.
Copyright Square Co.