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As WP's managing editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games.


'Final Fantasy XI: Chains of Promathia' (PS2/PC) Available in Stores

by Judy on Sept. 21, 2004 @ 10:12 a.m. PDT

Square Enix today announced that "Chains of Promathia," the expansion to the award-winning massively MMORPG FINAL FANTASY XI, ships to retailers today.

With a combined community in Japan and North America of more than 500,000 players, and the recent September 17 launch for regions in Europe, FINAL FANTASY XI brings gamers together from around the world in this ever-expanding adventure.

The first cross-platform, cross-continent MMORPG, FINAL FANTASY XI allows gamers to connect to the same exact world regardless of whether they are playing on a personal computer (PC) or PlayStation2 and whether they are playing in North America, Europe, Oceania, or Japan.

Chains of Promathia boasts a plethora of new areas to explore, along with a sweeping new storyline that expands the world of Vana'diel to unseen heights. With more story content than the original release of FINAL FANTASY XI and the "Rise of the Zilart" expansion, Chains of Promathia builds upon what the developers at Square Enix are best known for: storytelling and pushing the technological envelope. Enhancements have been made in every area, including subtle nuances in music and character motion.

An inexplicable phenomenon called the "Emptiness" has begun to tear away at the land of Vana'diel. A once distant threat is now fully upon the world, revealing macabre lands filled with unusual and powerful creatures. Could this "Emptiness" be a tear in the fabric of Vana'diel -- or is it the birth of a whole new world?

A blend of sorcery and technology, the once peaceful world of Vana'diel stands at the brink of war as a power struggle slowly emerges between three nations. The struggle focuses on the control of crystals, the essential source of all creation. An unknown force rises in Vana'diel with a hunger for the energy within the crystals...

In FINAL FANTASY XI, players undertake multiple adventures through Vana'diel, a complex gaming world with more than 100 areas to explore. The gaming universe contains the award-winning visual content, innovative gameplay, and deep storyline that the FINAL FANTASY series is famous for. The inclusion of the Rise of the Zilart expansion pack expands the storyline and opens up a variety of higher-level skills and abilities.

Availability and Updated Pricing

The Chains of Promathia expansion pack will be available in North America for $29.99 (USD). With the popularity of the title and the desire to expand the PlayOnline user base even further, FINAL FANTASY XI for Windows is now available for a suggested retail price of $29.99 (USD). The successful sales and subscription base in Japan and North America have allowed for a lower MSRP, which was reduced from an original MSRP of $49.99 (USD). FINAL FANTASY XI for the PlayStation 2, published by Sony Computer Entertainment America, is pre-installed on the internal Hard Disk Drive and available for a suggested retail price of $99 (USD).

Subscribers will receive their first 30 days of service without charge. Aside from Internet service provider access charges, the free trial period will begin on the date players create their first Content ID (or character). Any additional Content IDs purchased are also available without charge until the end of the free trial period. After 30 days, players can continue to play FINAL FANTASY XI by paying a monthly fee of $12.95 (USD) for one FINAL FANTASY XI character, and can create up to 15 additional characters for an additional charge of $1.00 (USD) per character, per month. Tetra Master, the online version of the popular and addictive mini-game from FINAL FANTASY IX, also included in the package, is available for $1.00 (USD) per month. Payment for monthly access charges must be made by credit card only (restrictions apply).

FINAL FANTASY XI for Windows System Requirements

The minimum system requirements for FINAL FANTASY XI for Windows are as follows: Windows 98/98 SE/Me/2000/XP, Intel® Pentium® III 800Mhz or higher, 128MB RAM, 6GB of hard drive space, DirectX® 8.1-compatible sound card, CD-ROM drive, keyboard, 56K or faster Internet connection, and either an ATI® Radeon(TM) 9000 series or NVIDIA® GeForce(TM) series video card with 32MB of RAM. The Logitech® Cordless Rumblepad(TM) 2" and Logitech® Rumblepad(TM) 2 Vibration Feedback Gamepad, are now compatible for play with FINAL FANTASY XI for Windows®.

Hard Disk Drive (40GB) (for PlayStation®2) Specifications

The internal Hard Disk Drive (HDD) attaches to the Network Adaptor (Ethernet/modem) (for PlayStation 2), which connects to both broadband and dial-up networks, and rests in the expansion bay of the PlayStation 2 console. The launch of the internal Hard Disk Drive in March 2004 opened a new world for gamers by enabling the possibility of new entertainment experiences with the PlayStation 2, such as downloadable content. The HDD is the next phase of Sony Computer Entertainment's vision to use PlayStation 2 as an entertainment vehicle to distribute all forms of entertainment content. Product features include 40GB of storage, faster caching times, and the ability to download content for online games such as new tracks, stadiums and characters. The Logitech® NetPlay(TM) Controller is now compatible with FINAL FANTASY XI for the PlayStation 2.

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