The animated series will be free to watch on YouTube, and the movie will see release later this year.

Making a blockbuster video game in the modern era takes time, but even by those standards, you could say that developer Square Enix is running the risk of trying gamers’ patience with Final Fantasy XV. It’s been years since the game was first announced, and even though there’s been a steady trickle of previews since then, that doesn’t change the fact that fans have been kept waiting long enough to eat their way through the menus at both of Tokyo’s Final Fantasy themed restaurants.

12 months ago the company released a playable demo of the game, but for its Uncovered Final Fantasy XV fan and press event, held in Los Angeles, it was going to have to throw gamers an even bigger bone. The nicest news about the game itself is that it finally has an official release date: September 30 of this year. Given that the event was held in the U.S., one would assume that this is the date when gamers not just in Japan, but in North America as well will be able to finally play the finished product.

But that wasn’t the only surprise Square Enix had up its sleeve. At one point, the screen’s image of the game’s four male leads quietly switched from CG to anime art.

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This probably had some people in the audience confused, as the drawings were too detailed and polished to be just concept art. So why would Square Enix go to the trouble of producing such polished hand-drawn designs?

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Because there’s also going to be a Final Fantasy XV anime series, titled Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV.

▼ And here’s the entire first episode.

▼ That this cast has the potential to result in an avalanche of fujoshi fan art? Why yes, I am thinking that.

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Part of the anime preview’s on-screen text reads “From childhood to adulthood,” but since that transition is also a major theme of the Final Fantasy XV game, it’s unclear how much of the anime’s and game’s storylines will.

▼ Will Noctis also hate lettuce in the playable Final Fantasy XV? We’ll find out in September!

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At the very least, though, it seems to share the game’s penchant for camping and teleporting around to better hit dudes in the face with a sword.

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The preview featured Japanese voices with English subtitles, which suggested that it won’t be exclusive to Japan. Of course, the even surer sign was Square Enix’s announcement that you’ll be able to watch all five episodes of Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV for free on YouTube.

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And yet, even this isn’t the most ambitious side-project for Final Fantasy XV’s narrative. That honor goes to Kingsglaive Final Fantasy XV, a CG movie set in the game’s world.

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In contrast to Brotherhood, none of the game’s four male leads are shown in the Kingsglaive trailer. Instead, the focus seems to be on the power struggle that sets the game’s events in motion, with game protagonist Noctis’ father King Regis and fiancée Luna playing prominent roles.

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While the presentation refered to Kingsglaive as a “movie,” it also give a release date of 2016, which would give the producers a very small window of time to work with drumming up publicity for a full-fledged theatrical release. As such, it seems more likely that Kingsglaive will be handled in a style along the lines of 2005’s Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, a direct-to-video release with film festival and limited theatrical screenings, as opposed to the general-release commercial and critical flop that was 2001’s Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. the trailer’s flashy action sequences and character designs also seem more tailored to fans of anime and video games than the mainstream movie-going public at large.

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As for the game itself, it’s on track to have the most detailed visuals and expansive environments of any Final Fantasy game to date, with a particular amount of care put into lovingly rendering the great outdoors. And while the tone for Kingsglaive may be dead-serious, the playable Final Fantasy XV won’t be completely devoid of lighter, cuter moments. As part of the presentation, Square Enix finally let us see the game’s versions of Chocobos, Final Fantasy’s flightless avian mounts.

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They look as adorable as ever, and since the presentation also showed that they can now perform high-speed drifts, September 30 can’t come soon enough.

Follow Casey on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss the next Chocobo sighting.

Source: YouTube/スクウェア・エニックス via Jin
Insert images: YouTube/スクウェア・エニックス