Theatrhythm: Final Bar Line dives deeper into Series Quests, Endless World, Multi Battle, and more
Square Enix has shared more details on Theatrhythm: Final Bar Line, the next entry in the rhythm game series that primarily celebrates a plethora of iconic Final Fantasy music throughout the series' entire lifespan.
In its initial announcement a month ago, it showed off several staple mechanics that build the foundation of the Theatrhythm series' gameplay - Battle Music Stages (BMS), Field Music Stages (FMS), and Event Music Stages (EMS).
One of the new modes coming to Theatrhythm: Final Bar Line is Series Quests. Players can dive into 29 Final Fantasy titles to unlock songs and characters. When a new title is unlocked, associated characters pertaining to it will also unlock too, though clearing all of a title's stages will let people obtain enemy characters.
Endless World in Theatrhythm: Final Bar Line functions similarly to a survival mode in a game. Once this mode is unlocked and chosen, players will be playing randomly chosen songs that up the difficulty gradually as they progress. They can only afford to fail a quest twice; three failed quests in Endless World and it's over for that run.
Online multiplayer will be coming to Theatrhythm: Final Bar Line and will support up to 4 players. Options for public and private rooms are available. In multiplayer stages, each player can fill up a Burst Gauge to unleash an ability that will affect the other players or help them further. At first, only one ability can be actived at a time but the second half of a stage, that limitation is doubled among all players.
Some of these abilities include fat chocobos obscuring incoming notes to other players and a point freeze that will halt players from gaining points unless they hit notes with a Critical or Rainbow Critical. CollectaCards are obtained through Multi Battles; each player can acquire them, though first place gets dibs on selecting the set that's chosen for that instance, followed by second, third, and last place.
Theatrhythm:: Final Bar Line launches on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch on February 16, 2023. If you're curious what songs will be including in the title, check out our comprehensive song list, which also includes all the songs exclusive to the Digital Deluxe Edition and the upcoming DLC coming to it after launch.
What is THEATRHYTHM FINAL BAR LINE?
This new rhythm action game aims to revive your fondest memories of FINAL FANTASY through one of the series most powerful elements: the music.
It’s packed with musical gems, carefully selected from across the entire FINAL FANTASY series, from mainline numbered titles and remakes to side-stories, spin-offs and even soundtrack CDs!
As with the previous games in the series, you’ll press buttons to match moving triggers across multiple stage types, all of which test your reflexes, rhythm and understanding of each song’s structure. As you’d expect, these inputs are simple to perform, but with multiple difficulty levels and some truly devilish beats, you’ll find your skills tested in ways that make it very difficult to stop playing.
It also features a massive cast of 104 super-adorable stylized FINAL FANTASY characters, from iconic heroes like Cloud, Squall and Lightning to deeper dives that will make the most dedicated FINAL FANTASY fans ‘ooh’ in delight.
It's also the biggest collection of songs ever included in a THEATRHYTHM game, with a staggering 385 tracks included in the standard edition alone. Plus there is extensive add-on content coming that features music from beyond the FINAL FANTASY series.
So, that’s the broad overview - let’s take a closer look at the different elements of the game, starting with perhaps your biggest question…
…how does the game actually play?
The basics of gameplay
As you play, different circles will move across the screen. The red, yellow, and green circles are called “Triggers”.
When Triggers overlap with the white circles to the right of the screen - called “Trigger Marks” - you must make a well-timed move with a button or stick!
Each Trigger requires a different input:
- Touch Trigger (red circle): Press a button.
- Slide Trigger (yellow circle with arrow): Move the analogue stick in the direction of the arrow. If there are two arrows, you’ll have to use two sticks!
- Hold Trigger (green circle and green line): Hold a button for the duration of the trigger and let go at the end.
- Hold-Slide Trigger (green circle and line with arrow at the end): Hold a button for the duration of the trigger, and move the stick in the direction of the arrow at the end.
THEATRHYTHM FINAL BAR LINE has multiple difficulty levels - all songs can be played at Basic, Expert or Ultimate difficulty. That means that the game can be played by all kinds of players.
If (like me), you’re a bit of klutz when it comes to keeping a beat, Basic is a great way to learn the ins and outs of each song - you can always go up to Expert when you have more confidence.
If you’re an experienced hand at music games, you should try the Ultimate difficulty level - this will give your digits and your sense of rhythm a real work-out.
Approximately a third of songs also have access to a fourth difficulty level: Supreme. This one’s for the real rhythm-action savants - good luck!
Different songs will play in different ways, with three Music Stages:
BMS: Battle Music Stage
With BMS stages, you’ll defeat waves of enemies in time with up-tempo battle music! The track being played in the shot above is Veiled in Black from FINAL FANTASY XV, composed by the incomparable Yoko Shimomura!
FMS: Field Music Stage
In these stages, you’ll journey forth with your party with relaxing field music. The track shown above is The Dalmasca Estersand, from Hitoshi Sakimoto’s brilliant FINAL FANTASY XII soundtrack.
EMS: Event Music Stages
In these stages, you’ll play to the beat against a backdrop of unforgettable scenes from each title! Here we can see the stage for FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE’s original song Hollow, composed by the legendary Nobuo Uematsu and performed by YOSH.
There are lots of different modes in THEATRHYTHM FINAL BAR LINE that do a great job of shaking things up.
- Series Quests: Advance through a total of 29 titles, clearing quests and unlocking characters and playable songs.
- Music Stages: Play the music you've acquired to your heart's content and attempt to get a high score! You can also play with Simple Style controls, which use only a single button, or Pair Style, which lets you play with two players on one screen.
- Multi Battle: Up to four players can face off in online multiplayer matches.
- Museum: Peruse and enjoy the music, videos, and various collections you've acquired. You can also check detailed play records.
This mode is all-new for THEATRHYTHM BAR LINE - start here to collect songs and characters.
Series Quests let you relive a total of 29 past titles and unlock their songs as you go. Choose from your favorite titles!
When you unlock a new title, you’ll also unlock its associated characters. You can also obtain enemy characters by clearing all the stages.
You’ll advance through a map by clearing each song’s stage. But there’s more to it than that. Each song has its own quest, such as “Defeat 10 Bombs,” to test your party formation skills.
Songs cleared in this mode are unlocked to play in Music Stages!
Once you complete a special title, Endless World will be unlocked!
In this stage, a random song is chosen each time, and quest difficulty increases gradually as you progress. Fail three quests and it’s over!
Your ingenuity and technique will be tested to see how far you can advance in a single attempt.
Want to test your rhythm action skills against other players online? Head to Multi Battle and get ready to compete!
You can join another player's room or create your own and wait for opponents to come to you. If you want to play with just your friends, you can set a password to enter the room.
Once everyone is ready, select which song you want to play. The track will be selected at random from among the songs chosen by the players.
Let the battles begin!
Those who fight further know that you can force your way to victory with Bursts! Fill the Burst Gauge to unleash special moves that can hinder other players or turn the tables to your advantage.
The battle heats up in the second half, where two burst techniques are activated at the same time! Stand your ground or risk careening into danger!
Some of the Bursts you can use are:
- Fat Chocobo Time: A Fat Chocobo will appear on the lanes, hiding them from view and getting in your way.
- Moogle Dance: A Moogle will appear near the Trigger Marks and hide the Triggers from view.
- Point Freeze: Points will be frozen for a period of time and your score will not increase unless you get a RAINBOW CRITICAL or CRITICAL.
After Multi Battles, you can obtain a CollectaCard to add to your collection. Players take turns choosing one CollectaCard from a random set, starting with the first place winner. At the end, the players also exchange ProfiCards.
What songs are in the game?
With a massive 385 songs, pretty much every aspect of the FINAL FANTASY series is represented in THEATRHYTHM FINAL BAR LINE.
Opening Theme (FINAL FANTASY)
SUTEKI DA NE (Isn’t It Wonderful?) (FINAL FANTASY X)
Battle On the Big Bridge (FINAL FANTASY V)
J-E-N-O-V-A - Quickening (FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE)
We Have Come from FINAL FANTASY Type-0
Of course that’s barely scratching the surface of what’s in the game. From FINAL FANTASY VIII’s Liberi Fatali to FINAL FANTASY XVI Online’s Torn from the Heavens, there’s so much incredible music that we couldn’t dream of listing it all here.
Digital Deluxe Edition exclusive songs
What we can say is the Digital Deluxe Edition of the game comes with 27 additional, exclusive songs, including:
Eyes On Me (FINAL FANTASY VIII)
Melodies Of Life ~Final Fantasy (FINAL FANTASY IX)
Zanarkand (FINAL FANTASY X)
Other tracks include Kiss Me Good-Bye -featured in FINAL FANTASY XII-, Distant Worlds from FINAL FANTASY XI and more!
A huge selection of music from some of the greatest Square Enix games will be available as downloadable content.
You’ll be able to play stages with music from:
- SaGa series
- LIVE A LIVE
- The World Ends with You series
- NieR Series
- CHRONO TRIGGER and CHRONO CROSS
- Mana Series
- OCTOPATH TRAVELER
Some specific tracks coming include:
Song of the Ancients / Fate (NieR Gestalt / Replicant)
OCTOPATH TRAVELER - Main Theme (OCTOPATH TRAVELER)
Ardent Rhythm (Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song-)
There will be three Season Passes, each featuring different titles’ music tracks. Every Season Pass will contain 5 song packs for a total of 30 songs each. In total, 90 additional songs will be made available, bringing the total number of tracks in THEATRHYTHM FINAL BAR LINE up to a gargantuan 502!
How do I get THEATRHYTHM FINAL BAR LINE?
Three editions of THEATRHYTHM FINAL BAR LINE will be available at launch:
- Standard Edition: Available physically and digitally, this contains 385 sounds from across the FINAL FANTASY series
- Digital Deluxe Edition: Contains all songs from the standard edition, plus 27 additional tracks, and Season Pass 1.
- Premium Digital Deluxe Edition: Contains all songs from the standard edition, plus 27 additional tracks, and Season Passes 1-3.
* Editor's Note: People who buy Theatrhythm: Final Bar Line physically can still purchase the additional 27 tracks from the Digital Deluxe Edition separately as an upgrade.