2nd of November was a very special day for me. Not only was it the day of the Distant Worlds 25th Anniversary Concert but also Final Fantasy Special Event. The event was limited to 150 people from UK, Spain, Germany and France and tickets to be won in a random raffle. Both the event and the concert were held at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
The whole experience was amazing! We were able to meet the Legends of Final Fantasy – talk to them, take pictures and get their signatures on artworks/soundtracks/games.
It started with a cool reception with tea, coffee and sweets where I spent about 30-40 minutes talking to other Final Fantasy fans. Square Enix had their own display there, where you could purchase figure, soundtrack and other final fantasy merchandise in quite good pieces; there was not big selection though.
After that we were invited to another room where we watched the “Special Message” from the creators of series and listen to a private, much smaller session of Distant Worlds!
I recorded the message and you can find the link here but unfortunately the quality is not so great…
Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu and Arnie Roth entered the room and took their seats at the front. This was already exiting. We had the pleasure to listen to 5 amazing pieces: First up was the piano, solo version of “March of the Dreadnaughts” from Final Fantasy XIII, next string quartet – “Fight with Seymour” from Final Fantasy X this one was my favourite. Another piece was a string quartet including both Arnie Roth on violin and Nobuo Uematsu on keyboard – “Dark World” from Final Fantasy VI. Next up was the piano solo version of “Those Who Fight” from Final Fantasy VII and finally the new arrangements of “Chocobo Medley”. All of it was just fantastic and only prepared for this special event.
After that we moved to the “Gallery Room” where artworks from all of the Final Fantasy games were displayed. Most of the art was printed on canvas and some of the artworks were not published before. There were also PSX, PS2 and PS3 consoles with Final Fantasy games connected and ready to play.
The real cherry on top in that room was the Lighting Return oil painting made by Isamu Kamikokuryou and presented at the PAX 2012 and the rough sketch of Lightning made by Tetsuya Namura from the upcoming game – shown for the first time.
During that time the lunch and drinks were offered with big selection of sandwiches, salads and desserts.
In the next room Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu and Arnie Roth were doing the signing. At first they didn’t want to get their pictures taken but since everyone was asking they said it was fine and many people were lucky enough to get their photos with the Final fantasy legends – I was one of them: D They didn’t stay long, once everyone got their Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary poster other merchandise signed, they left.
We moved back to the Gallery Room where we were given the 25th anniversary “Goodie Bag” by the Square Enix London Community Manager – Ben Bateman
We each received the 25th anniversary t-shirt, set of 25th anniversary playing cards as well as super cute 25th anniversary plush Chocobo holding the cake. It was all nicely wrapped up in the special 25th anniversary bag with moogle printed on, KUPO!
Square Enix staff was very friendly and they put in a lot of time and effort in this event. I had a chat with most of them, some I have met before – they are genuinely nice and approachable people.
It was a great experience and I feel very lucky that I was there!
Big thanks to Square Enix Team, especially to Rui for making this event extra special!