TGS: Squaresoft Propaganda
The Tokyo Game Show is a time for companies to sell their products ... and themselves. With the world's gaming press (and much of Japan's gaming public) closely scrutinizing your games, stunning presentation is a must. Since most of our readers were unable to attend the show, the GIA has decided to give them a closer look at the propaganda machine of one of the industry's largest publishers: Square. Known for its sheer marketing muscle as much as its game titles, Square is one company who always makes a splashy showing; the most recent TGS was no exception. So enjoy our painstaking digital recreation of their press materials and extras!
The sleek and stylish cover of the press materials. Minimalist and to the point. Makes a statement: "You know who we are."
A two-page spread for Dewprism, on sale October 14th in Japan. The focus is on the two main characters, Rue and Mint, and how the game differs according to the player character choice.
Vagrant Story gets a distinctively darker and more brooding two-page spread. Hero Ashley Riot and nemesis Sydney Mellencamp stand back to back, surrounded by tattered images from the game.
The forthcoming Chrono Trigger rerelease will have over 20 minutes of new animation sequences; needless to say, this animation was Square's primary push. The sequences look fantastic and the game still plays great, too.
Chrono Cross is in the house with two large stills of the excellent CG (done by the teams behind Final Fantasy VIII). Apparently, Square is expecting this one to sell on name recognition alone. Reports hold that the game has been significantly improved since the merely above-average Legend of Mana demo. Hopefully, this game will live up to its predecessor's heritage.
Chocobo Derby! Race Chocobos! It's fun! Bah. Square is trying to build Chocobo brand awareness in the U.S.; hopefully they'll have the good sense to leave this one in Japan.
One page each goes to the still far-off Parasite Eve II, the already released Front Mission 3 and Legend of Mana, and the forthcoming Windows 98 theme disc, Final Fantasy Desktop Accessories.
Merchandising, merchandising! Where the real money of the games are made! Chrono Cross and Final Fantasy were the flavors du jour, with a pinch of Vagrant Story tossed in for flavor. We will return to these pages later.
As previously mentioned, Square is planning a large conference on November 23rd to reveal its future lineup -- and perhaps even Final Fantasy IX. The world holds its breath...
The pamphlet ends with two extras; a map of the booth, so you don't get lost, and a sheet of memory card stickers, so you can always remember who your favorite game company is. (Square.)
Buy Serge's bandana, behold the Frozen Flame, send postcards to your friends, wear the t-shirt -- even smoke Chrono Cross brand tabacco products. Or light them, at least. CONSUME.
And no desk is complete without a pewter figurine of your favorite Final Fantasy cult supporting-character. Tonberry rules!
And there you have it; Square's entire TGS presence in scanned and digital form. Bask in their glory.
Feature by Andrew Vestal and J.T. Kaufmann, GIA