Everything Final Fantasy XI
Final Fantasy XI: Online

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.

by Michael Harnest    
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