With Square's Japanese Final Fantasy XI section
going live at PlayOnline, there has been
an influx of information regarding the highly anticipated title. In addition to the previously
announced Hume and Elven races, the Taltal race has been named. Child-like in appearance,
the Taltals are actually just insusceptible to the effects of aging.
Also made available were details involving some of the locales that will be featured in the
FFXI game world. The Windasu Federation, home to the various united Taltal tribes, has
been described as a scientifically and magically advanced landscape, particularly its capital,
Metropolitan Windasu, which also serves as a magic research facility. Despite being more
dispersed around the world than the other races, the Hume have created a social centre out of
the Tuku Republic, a modest technology-based city. The Elf race has found a home in
Sand Rear Kingdom, founded after a long, treacherous civil war in the land. Heavily fortified,
the land's capital, Sandoria, is a known place of healing. Fantasy purists need not fear the use
of the words "science" and "technology;" the imagery of the world is still very organic, and the
technological aspects unobtrusive.
As testimony to just how far FFXI's development process has come, Square has
announced it will begin beta testing in December. The desired amount of testers exceeds 10,000.
For those interested, information is available at PlayOnline, although only in Japanese.
Also on the information platter was the announcement of a Final Fantasy XI demo event
at the Tokyo International Forum Exhibition Hall, from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. JST on
December 22nd. The attendance process is invite-only, where out of the applications received
through the registration form available on-site, a lottery will determine who the 5000 lucky
attendants will be. Expected out in Japan sometime in March 2002,
Final Fantasy XI has no confirmed
North American release date as of yet.