Having made an appearance at the TGS 2001 Fall show, Final Fantasy XI has taken its first step towards the frenzied glare of the media scrutiny bound to befall it over the coming months. Now, in the week following the show, the first details on the game have become available. While little is currently known about the gameplay, likely the most pressing concern on the minds of the series' fans, a number of story details have emerged, and they seem eerily familiar.
FFXI will take place on the world of Vana Dir. This mystical planet is a place where swords, sorcery and high technology all reign supreme. Hironobu Sakaguchi, acclaimed director of the series, hopes to create a general history set against this backdrop, which will then pave the way for the story, whatever that ends up being. At this point, details are sparse; all that has been revealed is that players will battle against a resurrected evil entity, while searching for crystals.
Whether Sakaguchi and the rest of FFXI's staff will be able to bring about the director's vision of a more cohesive storyline than those generally found in online RPGs remains to be seen, given the general lack of a plot inherent to most MMORPGs. Even so, it seems development has begun in earnest, so expect more details to arise before too long.