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Treasure Hunting in Aht Urhgan
01.26.2006

MATT SLODERBECK
NEWS REPORTER


Final Fantasy XI

The official website for Final Fantasy XI has been updated, revealing more information about its upcoming expansion pack, Treasures of Aht Urhgan. Included in the update are details about new areas to explore, new enemies that players will engage in battle, and a new job class.

Momook is the capital of Mamool Ja, in a forested region west of the Aht Urhgan Empire. The construction of the city appears rather crude at first glance, as the wooden buildings spread around the city are burned down and rebuilt every few years, to better control parasite infestations. Sacred stones spread around the capital house the spirits of fallen Mamool Ja heroes, protecting Mamook from evil. Arrapago Reef is a treacherous area, where many ships run aground. The Reef became a refuge for a fallen kingdom that was destroyed by Aht Urhgan, and colossal riches can be found deep in its caverns. Players should beware before adventuring inside, as the Lamiae use the reef as their stronghold, and the walking dead guard the many tunnels.

The Empire of Aht Urhgan itself is a massive nation led by the Divine Empress, who rules with absolute religious and governmental authority. The Empire has been steadfastly isolated up until now, leading to diplomatic distance between it and the other nations of Vana’diel. The mighty fortress of Al Zahbi serves as the capital of the Western portion of the Empire. The city itself is laid out like a labyrinth, as the roofs of the buildings join to form paths around structures built on higher levels. The city itself is divided into three areas: the Commoner’s Ward, the Merchant’s Ward, and the Imperial Ward.

New enemies that players can expect to confront include the Chigoe, small parasitic insects that spread a disease known as Chigoe Fever. Resembling sand fleas, they crawl beneath the sand until leaping to attack. The Marid is a giant, elephantine animal found in the forests of the Near East. Many of the Marid have been trained for use in battle by the Aht Urhgan army. The last monster revealed, the Qutrub, are corpse-eating ghouls that wrap themselves in bandages in order to slow the decomposition of their own bodies. But they are not undead, but rather living beings warped and twisted by dark rituals to serve the Lamiae.

The new job class shown for Treasures of Aht Urhgan is called the Corsair. The Corsair are descendants of pirates that roamed the seas of the Near East. In battle, they use weapons called “Hexaguns,” multi-barreled revolvers to attack from long range. While they also use luck-based abilities or magic during combat, details of how this works are currently unknown.

For those interested in the Xbox 360 version, that game will ship exclusively in Japan as an “all in one” package, which includes the main game of Final Fantasy XI, in addition with Treasures of Aht Urhgan, and is currently set to be priced at 8,190 yen. This package will also be available to Japanese PS2 and Windows users for the same price. Japanese gamers will also be able to purchase the individual expansion for 4,179 yen. Official North American and European pricing information has not yet been announced.

Final Fantasy XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan is scheduled for a worldwide simultaneous release in Europe and Japan on April 20, and will be released in North America on April 18. Keep checking with RPGamer as more details are unearthed.



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