5 min read

Astrolabe Digest: 013124

A Final Fantasy VI remake would take how long? Spec Ops: The Line suddenly removed from Steam and other digital storefronts. Persona 3 Reload ditches the original game's transphobia for conspiracy theories.
Astrolabe Digest: 013124
Photo by Sigmund / Unsplash

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A Final Fantasy VI remake would take how long?

  • For years, fans have clamoured for a remake of Square Enix's classic Super Nintendo RPG, Final Fantasy VI. That reached a fever pitch with the hugely successful remake of 1997's Final Fantasy VII, and Square Enix's multiple HD-2D releases, like Octopath Traveller and Live A Live, that blend Final Fantasy VI-esque spritework and environments with 3D worlds.
  • Even Final Fantasy creators are on board, according to a YouTube roundtable about the series featuring series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, original pixel artist Kazuko Shibuya, and game director Yoshinori Kitasae. "There are many FF6 fans inside the company and they often ask me 'when are we making 6?'" admitted Kitase in a translation of the roundtable provided by Twitter user Genki_JPN.
  • More recently, Kitasae revealed to YouTuber Julien Chièze that a Final Fantasy VI remake on the scale of Final Fantasy VII Remake and Rebirth would "take around 20 years to make." (Translation also provided by Genki_JPN.) Kitasae said there is too much content and too many characters to realistically pursue a full-scale remake of the game.
  • Perhaps we can get an HD-2D-style remake, instead? Or, just settle on the terrific Pixel Remaster version, which just got a major update on Steam.

Spec Ops: The Line suddenly removed from Steam and other digital storefronts

  • Spec Ops: The Line, a 2012 third-person shooter video game from Yager Development and 2K, was suddenly removed from Steam and many other digital storefronts. Spec Ops: The Line is considered a serviceable shooter, but it's more generally lauded for its unique storytelling. "For the first time, a game with guns doesn't want you to be the hero," wrote Mitch Dyer for IGN, "it's [sic] wants you to feel terrible about trying to be one."
  • In an email to The Verge, 2K communications director Joe DiMiero explained the game was delisted due to the expiration of partnership licenses. "Players who have purchased the game can still download and play the game uninterrupted."
  • The Verge's Ash Parrish speculates the licenses are related to the game's music. "During the The Line’s menu screen, Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of 'The Star Spangled Banner' can be heard while the game’s soundtrack includes Martha and The Vandellas’ 'Nowhere to Run.'"
  • "Devastating personally, but also for those who poured their souls into its creation alongside me as developers, and for the gaming community at large," tweeted game director Cory Davis. "This is not the end for Spec Ops: The Line."
  • "Honestly haven't played Spec Ops: The Line since it came out, but I think what makes this particular delisting hit so much is that it was so sudden," wrote io9 and Game Developer's Justin Carter. "I've covered a lotta delistings since 2022, and pubs have generally been good about giving a heads up."
  • Spec Ops: The Line writer Walt Williams has a terrific book called Significant Zero that chronicles his time working on the game and also serves as a thoughtful and eloquent personal memoir. It's terrific.

Persona 3 Reload ditches the original game's transphobia for conspiracy theories

Screenshot via Kotaku and Atlus
  • While lauded for its storytelling, memorable characters, and immersive relationship sim elements, the Persona series has long been criticized for transphobic and homophobic content.
  • In a 2012 piece for Nightmare Mode called "The Transphobia At Atlus Needs To Stop," Skyler Moss wrote:
Persona 3, in addition to adding more focus on character drama, inflicted another example of anti-trans humor on the audience. Partway into the game, the cast makes a trip to the beach. Here the boys of the group go on “Operation Babe Hunt.” There are already issues with such a thing, forcing heterosexuality down the throat of any non-hetero player who opted to play it, but it gets much worse when the three boys run into an adult woman who actually responds with interest to their flirting. She’s a sexual predator, taking advantage of teenage hormones run wild.

The insulting punchline to this scene is that she’s a trans woman, outed to the cast by the fact that she missed just a bit of stubble when shaving. The trio are shocked by this revelation and promptly lose all interest in here. The player character is now canonically transphobic, as are his friends. The scene even reinforces the all too common belief that trans women are sexual predators eager to take advantage of clueless straight men.
  • However, Kenneth Shepard reports for Kotaku that the scene has been altered in the February, 2024 remake, Persona 3 Reload. In this new version, the woman is portrayed as a conspiracy theorist, according to Shepard. "She makes claims about the sun being replaced in the 1980s and tells the boys they’ll need to fork over 300,000 yen for her special sunscreen if they want to shield themselves from its harmful rays. The boys are immediately skeeved and run away." Shepard also confirmed via independent translation that the scene was changed in the Japanese release of Persona 3 Reload, and was not simply adjusted for Western audiences.
  • "Persona 3 Reload feels like it’s learned all the right lessons in taking a double dip," Shepard wrote in his Kotaku review. "After over a decade of fighting, dancing, and dungeon-crawling spin-offs, I feel like I’ve met the ultimate version of Persona’s best cast."


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