Many a tear was
shed last week, as it marked the end of the Final Fantasy XI Beta test. However,
fret not, as the final packaged game is just that much closer to being released.
In fact, the game is set to be released next week. We at GameZone took one final
tour of the magical land of Vana’diel before the end of the beta, and from the
looks of it, Final Fantasy fans are going to have much to rejoice about.
The tour started
us out in a small fishing village primarily resided in by mostly Mithra (who, if
you’ve been paying attention, are the cat-like species). The village was small
in comparison to the main cities like San d’Oria, but still had many shops and
other buildings as larger cities. We then moved on to a pirate village called
Norg, which is supposed to yield many items and weapons unavailable in other
regions. We met a character named Lion, and were treated to a flashback
associated with the Rise of Zilart expansion pack. Not to give too much away,
but an Archduke and his younger brother are trying to seek out special crystals
to restore a race of fallen gods to their former glory. You and a Galka friend
are tried to stop the Archduke, but he summoned a group of felled warriors to
fight you and they end up defeating your Galka buddy, and that brings you back
to the present.
cutscene, we warped to a desert region with some very bizarre enemies and a few
familiar faces (Cactuar, anyone?). We fought an extremely difficult giant
scorpion, and moved on to the final region which was an event based battle. In
order to participate in event battles, you must first collect forty beastmen
seals, turn them in to a NPC, and get an orb which will allow you access to the
burning circle. This particular battle had our group going up against a group of
tiny monsters with powerful magical abilities. As is the case with these special
battles, you are shown a few new story elements, given some new items, and
receive a ton of experience points.
Aside from new
storyline elements, you gain access to four new classes: Ninja, Summoner,
Samurai and Dragoon. You gain access to these classes by completing a particular
mission once you reach level 30.
When Final Fantasy
XI finally hits stores next week, the game will come packaged with the Rise of
Zilart expansion pack, Play Online software and a version of the Tetra Master
online card game.