The recent Jump Festival in Japan revealed numerous details about the eagerly anticipated tenth game in the Final Fantasy series, a game about which little was known prior to the event. It appears that Final Fantasy X will star a young character named Tide, an adventure-loving hero who will eventually have to confront his enemy, Ryugo, a man who shrouds himself in secrecy. On the way to this confrontation, he will meet the female lead of the game, Yuna, who is a water goddess. Perhaps Tide will be able to help her confront her own enemy, the dangerous Fire God. Tide and Yuna look very similar to Squall and Rinoa, respectively, which is no real surprise considering that Tetsuya Nomura, the character designer for Final Fantasy VIII returns for Final Fantasy X. The game world, too, will have a Final Fantasy VIII-ish look.
Despite the similarities to Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy X will contain some key steps forward for the Final Fantasy franchise. Voice acting will appear in the game, with well-known voice actor Akira Ishida providing the voice of Tide for the Japanese release. Ishida is known for his work as Alex in the first Lunar game for the Sega CD and has done work on Neon Genesis Evangelion and Sailor Moon. The music will take on a more orchestral quality as well, for composer Nobuo Uematsu has been striving to depart from the "midi-like" sound of his earlier work. All of this will help to immerse the player even deeper in the game world.
In yet another departure for the Final Fantasy series, the player will have full freedom of movement, as the world will be a completely three-dimensional world, a vast difference from the pre-rendered backgrounds of the PlayStation games. After a "great terror rose from the deep," the world was covered in a vast ocean (hence the name, "Tide"). To restore balance to this ruined world, Tide and company must travel to the "kingdom of the sun."
Returning from the earlier Final Fantasy games are the magic points used to cast spells and the infamous full-motion-video sequences. The online features originally planned for the game have been removed due to difficulties with PlayOnline. The game is scheduled for a March 2001 release in Japan.