Before Release
    Jan
  • January 29, 2000

    Events in Vana'diel
    FFXI Announced at Square Millenium Event

    January 29, 2000 - FINAL FANTASY XI is announced for the first time at the Square Millenium Event in Yokohama, Japan, under the production title "FINAL FANTASY XI online another world." An online infrastructure for the game, PlayOnline, is simultaneously announced. FFIX and FFX are announced during this event as well.

    Mar
  • March 4, 2000

    Adventurers' History
    PlayStation®2 Launch

    March 4, 2000 - The PlayStation®2, successor to the PlayStation® console, is released in Japan.

    Jul
  • July 19, 2001

    Events in Vana'diel
    FFX Released with FFXI Trailer

    July 19, 2001 - FINAL FANTASY X is released with the DVD-Video "OTHER SIDE OF THE FINAL FANTASY," which contains trailer footage of FINAL FANTASY XI.

    Dec
  • December 17, 2001

    Events in Vana'diel
    Closed Beta Test

    December 17, 2001 - The FINAL FANTASY XI closed beta test begins. The test is held across four Worlds: Chaos, Zande, Golbez, and Xdeath. The six standard jobs are available to play with a level cap of 30. Only a few areas are implemented; cities are limited to parts of the starting nations, while the overworld consists only of the starting nations and areas bordering Jeuno. The first abilties feature automatic phrases, such as "Hey <t>, come out from behind your mama's dress and fight me!" when using Provoke. A quest to unlock support jobs is available upon reaching JobMaster, and involves turning in a fragment of an ancient tome.

  • December 17, 2001

    Behind-the-scenes Commentary
    Memories of the Beta Test

    As the Battle Director at the time, I felt that it was too early for the beta test, since the skillchain system had just been decided for implementation, and weapon skills hadn't been fully implemented yet. The start of the beta test also meant bug fixes for the beta server, which was more workload for the main development team. However, the whole team was able to unify their vision of the final product, and the beta test also served as motivation for us to work quickly, so I think it was a good thing overall. Since then, more people came to me for battle balancing-related matters, and I had to switch to working the night shift for a while to make progress on my own tasks, so it was a valuable experience for me. (Akihiko Matsui, Producer)

  • December 17, 2001

    Adventurers' History
    Aluminum Binder Beta Manual

    The FINAL FANTASY XI software is sent to those selected for the beta test beginning on December 17, 2000, along with a hefty user manual enclosed in an aluminum binder weighing 2 kg (approx. 4.4 lbs).

  • December 22, 2001

    Events in Vana'diel
    Playable Demo at Square Online Party 2002

    December 22, 2001 - The Square Enix Online Party 2002 event is held at the Tokyo International Forum, marking the first event to feature FINAL FANTASY XI as its primary focus. The event has a demo booth where attendees can try the game for 15 minutes, while the beta test kit and related merchandise are sold at the venue. The Windows version of FINAL FANTASY XI is also shown for the first time.

    Jan
  • January 16, 2002

    Events in Vana'diel
    Beta Version Update NMs and More Added

    January 16, 2002 - A version update introduces NMs (originally short for "Named Monster") to the closed beta test. Since NMs take a long time to respawn, linkshells discuss whose turn it is to defeat them next. Additionally, a monster that drops the Hermes' Shoes (+25% Movement Speed) is implemented in Ranguemont Pass. As a note, a live feed of the beta test was being broadcast at all times on the Libra live camera.

    Mar
  • March 1, 2002

    Events in Vana'diel
    First Official Event: Connor's Communique

    March 1, 2002 - This beta test event involves following hints provided in a linkshell conversation to form a specific party composition and reach a designated location where a GM would be waiting. Characters participating in the linkshell conversations are all played by GMs.

  • March 29, 2002

    Events in Vana'diel
    Official Event: Demons in the Rye

    March 29, 2002 - In this beta test event, players are tasked with defeating a special monster hiding among other monsters around the world. Since the special monster is visually identical to all the others, the only way to tell them apart is to fight them and find out if they are abnormally powerful.

    Apr
  • April 26, 2002

    Events in Vana'diel
    Closed Beta Concludes

    April 26, 2002 - The closed beta test concludes at 12:00 midnight. GMs appear in certain areas and socialize with players. The shut down process takes about 30 minutes as each area is shut down one by one. Characters from the beta test have their name, race, and face type carried over to the official version. Players are also able to choose their resident World in the official version based on the last two digits of the amount of gil on their character on the final day of the beta test.

Onward to May 16,2002...