The Western Final Fantasy That Wasn’t


Square Enix’s openness to allowing a non-Japanese studio to develop a Final Fantasy title seems to have been an allusion to a mysterious “Final Fantasy” title provisionally dubbed “Fortress,” cancelled but visible in incomplete form in the technical demo visible below.

Square Enix apparently selected a third-rate developer from Sweden, the now defunct Grin, and canceled their involvement after being unimpressed with what was delivered; however, it is said to still be in development elsewhere:

FORTRESS is the codename of an official, but currently unannounced sequel to FINAL FANTASY XII.

It is an action game set some time after the events of FINAL FANTASY XII: REVENANT WINGS, and is intended for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows platforms.

The project was originally developed by GRIN and supervised by Square Enix, but issues between the two companies led to GRIN going bankrupt and Square Enix reclaiming the project from them.

The project has not been officially announced yet, but its existence is known due to information leaked by former members of the development team and sources in the video game industry.

The Fortress project is still supported by Square Enix and in development at a currently undisclosed studio — possibly Eidos Montreal, Square Enix’s main Western branch.

The tech demo video is reminiscent of a certain popular western RPG:

Supposedly the title was/is based directly on Final Fantasy XII, as this concept art featuring Princess Ashe demonstrates:


Free roaming and non-linear gameplay? No wonder Square Enix was unhappy with the title…

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    Comment by Anonymous
    14:18 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    that rare, I did not see the eye of sauron in the demo ;<

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:53 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Looks and feels shitty.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:12 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    i'm really starting to hate the editorial of this site. this game wasn't cancelled cuz square was unimpressed, it was cancelled cuz grin shut down. grin wasn't a 3rd rate developers. they've made good stuff before. their downfall came from having too many projects.. more importantly too many licensed projects going on at once. therefor the end result of quality of those titles (terminator, wanted, and bionic commando) were affected. they put alot on the line for BC and that would do them in. its sad cuz there are alot of talented people there at grin that i've met personally a couple of times before. frankly they deserved better but i'm glad that alot of them have found good gigs at other studios.

    but this site is really killing it for me. theres nothing worth reading here. just look at anime or japanese tities and move on.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    They produced bad games so they were a bad developer.

    The sources contradict you - it was allegedly canceled due to SE not liking it, and that caused issues with the company due to Swedish business law insanity, or so it is said.

    Knowing Grin people is hardly a good reason to delude yourself or start insulting the messenger.

    Avatar of destructorv2
    Comment by destructorv2
    13:15 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Am i able to play as the Heavy and Pyro?

    Avatar of Tateha
    Comment by Tateha
    12:55 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    other than the chocobo, i would have never known that this was square enix backed, let alone related to final fantasy. looks like a generic mmo rpg so it's not surprising that the studio making it went bust.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:48 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    why spend too much money on these?! square-enix should just revive their final fantasy online ant make into today's standards.

    Avatar of funkybovinator
    Comment by funkybovinator
    23:08 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    End of vid felt very Act 2-ish.

    If you know what I mean.

    Thumbs up.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:03 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It is hard to make a fun and exciting ARPG. This is an example of what is not fun and exciting.

    I'll also gladly accept linear gameplay and lack of free roam. When you take what matters in games like Oblivion, Borderlands, or any free roam you get significantly less actual "map" as opposed to a linear RPG. I do not know about you guys but I'd much rather have extensive, lush environments with minimal exploration as opposed to miles and miles of gren plains or trees with nothing to explore other than more green/trees.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:09 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    SE u swindled GRIN damn you! u should swindle western studios to bankruptcy to be fair!

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:59 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Freeform? Set in the Star Wars-esque setting of Final Fantasy XII? Awesome!

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:50 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    And SE felt that Revenant Wings wasn't a good enough sequel story-wise? What happened to SE's tradition of not having sequels? That was one of the major highlights for the FF series that I kept coming back for. Knowing that things would be different in alot of ways made me want to play it just to see what new story they cooked up and what they changed in gameplay. But more sequels? Its not just the fans who beat old popularities like FF4, 6 or 7 to death. It seems SE has been doing it alot itself. If they're so intent on making sequels they could actually make sequels to games that need it. For example Legend of Dragoon could use one and I agree to an extent that Chrono Cross needs one. There's plenty of others that need em. Better yet SE go back to "square one" and make something NEW that is not a sequel and is its own story. The traditional roots that SE based FF on for each game has slowly withered away. I don't mind change but when you use tradition, its common practice to keep these traditions going, not dropping them like a bad habit (unless they were bad traditions).

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:42 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    For some reason, this reminds me of something like God of War...?

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:44 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Looks interesting. I just wonder how much creative freedom they'll give a team that does produce excellent graphics.

    Like I said earlier, in case anyone working there is listening:


    1. Experienced Indie game creator, like BitBlot team.
    2. A professional "Storyteller"
    3. A philosopher.

    Adventure video games are in a rut, because from the game play they get repetitive and from the storytelling they weakly imitate "the Hero's Journey", or rather imitate imitations of imitations.

    Frankly, even something that looked like this vid would do good if it was made into a cheap/easy easy to install game where characters were made quickly and just walked around hacking things with a few 'missions' when they got bored with that. But "FF" has an "Excellence" they do shoot for and try with all their might. You want both a masterpiece and something many, many people will want to play. So therefore, work on the game's mechanics but then also find a way to make a good story but one that doesn't drag people through a, to use the words others use, "Tunnel".

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:02 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    This tech demo looks better than the XIV gameplay videos from Gamescom!

    I like that GRIN kept the camera system from FFXI. That camera was awesome. A little floaty, and off-sets your character from the middle when you lock onto a target. I can't count how many times I've been annoyed at other MMOs that place your character dead center of the screen the whole goddamn time.

    Too bad it looks like this is all we'll get.

    Avatar of Icy-nee-san
    Comment by Icy-nee-san
    11:03 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Urge to play Oblivion now :P

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:45 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It really is sad that linear gameplay is decried so much anymore. When did linear become bad?

    For many years, linear and non-linear games have co-existed in a peaceful world. All of the sudden FFXIII comes and people start shitting bricks over how linear it is. Since when was linearity a crime worthy of the most vile punishment and criticism? With a linear game, the game tells us its story in a controlled fashion and has a strong grasp over its characters and their development. A non-linear game invites you to create your "own" story in the game and explore your surroundings.

    I don't understand why this peaceful co-existence has to end. Why the hate for what is linear? When did it become so bad?

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:03 19/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I find it funny no one responds to this. It seems hating "linear" games is just a meme and becomes justification in itself. Explaining things over the internet is not the gamer's strong point.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:55 19/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not everyone wants to play a game that's really nothing more than an interactive theme park ride.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:14 20/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    There are a great deal of people who don't want to play a game that is nothing more than a poorly slapped together "run-of-the-mill" sandbox game, either. The rest of us enjoy well thought out stories and interesting characters.

    Avatar of tyciol
    Comment by tyciol
    19:24 07/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    If they were going to let a NA studio do a FF it should be something tactical. We do okay with stuff like Warcraft/Starcraft even if the Koreans end up beating us once it's on the market in gameplay.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:58 07/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "third-rate developer"
    Oh that's right, I'm on sankaku, that explains it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:29 27/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    How about instead of Japanese versus western 'visual style', why not HYBRID? How about a little bit of both?

    I mean, God forbid that a game studio try something DIFFERENT. You all complain that Final Fantasy games are too predictable and static and linear, and then you have the nerve to complain that this game is too different from your pre-conceived expectations and that the change in visuals is unacceptable. You are all close-minded and xenophobic hypocrites.

    Avatar of man1
    Comment by man1
    00:52 22/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm late. Seems that SE pulled the vid out for copyright claim.

    Any alternative links?

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:15 19/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    i remember long time ago when square gives the development of rpg to Square of america (Secret of evermore) to replace the failure of bring to America Seiken Densetsu 3 (secret of mana 2)...and the result was a shit game ..

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:27 19/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Looks boooooooooooooring.

    Avatar of Ukonkivi
    Comment by Ukonkivi
    23:54 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's too bad most American animation doesn't look this awesome.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:59 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    the fuck was that?

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:05 21/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    absolute failure of a FF sequal

    Comment by Tovansky
    03:09 19/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    it indeed looks like a less-charming demon's souls. lol. but yeah, I thought demon's souls is actually considered as japanese rpg. maybe the author is referring to some other game?

    Avatar of comorbid
    Comment by comorbid
    03:31 19/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    So then this fantasy hasn't actually been… finalized?


    Comment by Anonymous
    14:10 19/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Princess Ashe looks like Queen Amidala. lol

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:48 19/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    izzat a compound bow?

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:25 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Reminds me of Demon Souls a bit...

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:25 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    What's up with the faceless character??? It remind me of the generic hero in a lot of the western RPGs, which have no style & personality.

    Western character designer definitely can do better than that... And I hope FF series won't end up become another brainless button smashing ARPG.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:45 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hey what is it now? Mob grinding RPG? Diablo is superb in its button bashing, which cannat be said about Final fantasy random mob battling.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:21 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    it's a tech demo... it shows only environment and basic gameplay

    Avatar of Jimmykitty
    Comment by Jimmykitty
    04:30 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Looks okay to me.

    I'm not a purist with high demands. I don't need the perfect Final Fantasy.
    It doesn't have to be made in Japan. I just like things done well, not fetish.
    I'd rather have more RPGS than be stuck with a franchise stuck in a rut.
    They may not all be winners, but I can judge that myself.

    But I can't do shit if nobody makes them.
    Develop the thing already and don't make it linear as a fuckin' piece of string.
    Put the *role playing* back into RPG.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:41 20/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why do we have to assume that every Final Fantasy is an RPG? Everyone always takes that to be the case, but, in reality, with the series becoming something new each generation, you are going to come to the point where it is not recognizable as an RPG anymore.

    Just because preceding games in the series are "considered" RPGs does not mean that the entire franchise must be also. It can be a linear level-grinding game for all I care, as long as it is enjoyable. Remember how linear the plots were in the games before? This is the next logical step in the evolution: make the entire game a directed, yet enjoyable, experience.

    Is it really a problem if it is linear, as long as the game/story is good? Get your head out of your Dungeons and Dragons guidebook. This (FFXIII) ain't a typical RPG, or perhaps it ain't even an RPG at all, and that's just fine and dandy with me.

    Avatar of Riiku
    Comment by Riiku
    04:20 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Gee, stop making all those sequels already!! FFX-2, Revenant Wings, Crisis Core, Dirge of Cerberus, Advent Children (yeah and that too)

    Just with some of all those money spent, you could already remade FFVII, and that would be WAAAAY MORE AWESOME than all those titles above combined!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:17 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Really, if they didn't gave us a fuckin' chrono trigger remake or third sequel, they won't make a FFVII remake anytime sson.

    Get over it fanboy, anyway, FFVII is overrated.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:28 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Uh, we just got a CT remake on DS.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:01 20/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    As Anon said, that was a port, not a remake. Remake would be if they did for the FFIII and FFIV release for DS, complete graphical overhaul, revised game mechanics, narrative and etc.

    Tweaking the game to dual screens and and slaping a new poor made ending doesn't make it a remake, makes it a port re-release with some bonus content for fanboys.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:23 19/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    You call THAT a remake? It was pretty much a port with a VERY slight amount of revisions. It was under no circumstances a proper remake.

    Avatar of Sarissofoi
    Comment by Sarissofoi
    04:58 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I like Crisis Core and even Dirge of cerberus. They were good games.
    But I also want see FFVII remake.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:33 20/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes! I thought I was the only guy who liked Dirge!
    It's the only 3rd-Person shooter I can play well!

    Oddly enough, though, I'm not a fan of the ACTUAL FFVII, just the spin-offs.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:19 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It was probably the Chocobo scene that got them canned. Those birds were never that cooperative when riding, the birds did look pretty good though in it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:15 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    its time for them to use the chrono series again. im sick and tired of waiting for the sequel to chrono crosses cliffhanger ending.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:37 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hopefully this still gets made.

    Avatar of mehve
    Comment by mehve
    04:38 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    On a total side note, I like how the main character ran around and got wtfpwned by a chop to the head twice. XD

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:53 18/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Princess Ashe's costume design look so much like some character in Star Wars universe. lol

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