Final Fantasy IV: The After could be making it's way to Western Shores according to several sources close to Square-Enix.
For some time now there has been a buzz surrounding The After, a direct sequel to the SNES classic Final Fantasy IV. The game follows the offspring of FF4 leads Cecil and Rosa as he embarks on an epic adventure of his very own. Since the title’s announcement, rumours and speculation regarding a potential English-language release have been frequent.
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In Japan, The After is a mobile phone game released via the internet in episodes and sees most of the cast of the original Final Fantasy IV return to assist several new characters. The game takes place over a decade after the original title and makes use of a tweaked version of the game engine from Final Fantasy IV Advance.
Aside from just being a direct sequel to FF4, the game also features all new gameplay elements including a 'band' ability which allows characters to join together for more powerful attacks.
The excitement surrounding The After has been reignited thanks to comments made by Producer Takashi Tokita, the man also responsible for most FF4 games - FF4, FF4 Advance, FF4 DS and now The After. When participating in a fan Q&A on the Square Enix website, he was asked if they would ever remake FF4 again – this time for next gen consoles. Tokita replied:
"We just remade it, so it's a bit of a stretch... [Laughs] Currently the sequel, FINAL FANTASY IV the After: Tsuki no Kikan is available for mobile phones in Japan. We'll do our best to make this game available for our overseas audiences as well!"
These comments made us at RPGSite sit up and take notice, as it’s rare a developer ever talks so candidly and obviously about potential localization plans. We’ve since been in contact with several of our most tried-and-true sources at Square Enix.
Fan consensus was that due to the difference between the Western and Japanese mobile phone markets, The After would not launch on mobiles here. Instead, many believed the game would be perfect for the Nintendo DS. Our sources confirmed a Western release of the sequel was on the way, but would in fact be launching for the Nintendo Wii.
It's evident from Tokita's comments that Square Enix has something related to The After for the West in the pipeline. Based on the word of our insiders, there’s a chance that the mobile phone game could be coming to Wii, retaining its episodic format by releasing online via the Wii’s online Shop Channel. We'll bring more as we get it.