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Square Enix Releases New Details for Fantasy Earth
01.26.2005

JENNIFER BRADLEY
STAFF REPORTER
ADRIENNE BECK
TRANSLATOR



Fantasy Earth

Square Enix has released some new details pertaining to its upcoming MMORPG, Fantasy Earth: The Ring of Dominion. They're here in short order.

Part of Fantasy Earth's setting takes place on the northwestern continent of Pictorion, known as the "Land of Witches," in a kingdom called Netsawal. Humans and numerous barbarian tribes live alongside each other in this land, but relations between them have not always been pleasant. In the past, tensions erupted into several continent-wide wars that threatened to kill all, until a great king by the name of Hyunkel united the different groups and started Netsawal on a path towards peace.

Hyunkel took his throne by force, however, leaving behind many displaced nobles who wished revenge. But even before this insurrectionist rise to power, Hyunkel was a king in his own right. Ironically, though, he lost his title to a revolution that forced both him and his entire family into exile.

The violence that Hyunkel used to try and regain his throne after being exiled prompted a witch to curse him with a bestial form so monstrous he could not stand to be seen in public. Time passed with him spending his days in a shamed solitude, until his beloved daughter, who was also cursed by the witch, told him that even though he looked like a beast on the outside on the inside he was really a caring and loyal human being. Hyunkel reformed himself soon afterwards, and then roused the support of the masses, reclaimed his throne, and brought calm and order to the kingdom of Netsawal.

There are six different continents in Fantasy Earth, and on each of these continents there are 15 "fields" on which a battle can take place. The overworld maps are color coded, to show at a glance which nation is in control of where.

Starting a battle in any one of those areas is a simple three-step process. First, come from an opposing nation. Second, build a type of fort called a "keep." Third, declare war. Once these steps are completed, a short "countdown" period commences, and as soon as it’s over players are free to go about either destroying or capturing the opponent's forts and keeps. The battle is won when attackers from one nation defeat the other(s) and take control of the region. Players can come and go from battle as they please, so ally/opponent numbers are constantly subject to change.

There are also several types of forts in the game. The ones that have been revealed thus far are as follows:

  • Obelisk – These towers expand the amount of land you have to build on away from your established power base.
  • Watch Tower - A fort that keeps watch for approaching enemies. It automatically shoots arrows at them if they get too close.

  • Dragon Altar - Dragons are summoned creatures in Fantasy Earth, and these altars are necessary to call them up. At the moment, it's unknown how much control players will have over the summoned dragons.

  • Hades' Gate – These can only be built by necromancers, and their purpose is to summon Wraiths from the underworld. Like dragons, what wraiths can do and how well they're controlled is not yet known.

  • Vokluftshoppe - This building lets players summon Giants, and as with the dragons and wraiths, details on what they can do and how they are controlled have not been disclosed.

Additionally, two new character types have been described. Sorcerers specialize in attack magic, much of which can be used at long range. The power needed to cast their spells can be exhausted, however, and only certain items can replenish it. Meanwhile, Shadow-Walkers are described as a cross between ninjas and rangers. These warriors specialize in stealth and backstabbing. They are the only class allowed to fight with weapons in both hands (i.e., think “twin-blade” or “double-sword” capability); and besides an enhanced speed in their movement, they possess an ability called "stealth" that hides them from the eyes of everyone else except for another shadow-walker using the "detect hidden" ability.

Fantasy Earth: The Ring of Dominion still has no North American or European release dates, but check back for future announcements.

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