Warning: the following story is a rumor and has yet to be confirmed! There is purportedly a bonus game hidden in the ending of Final Fantasy IX. Supposedly, when the words "The end" are displayed on the screen after the ending, if you press the following sequence of buttons -- R2, L1, R2, R2, Up, Cross, Right, Round, Down, Triangle, L2, R1, R2, L1, Square, Square, Start -- a mini-game will start up. This game is a Blackjack-like card game featuring Final Fantasy cards! You can check out a screen shot here (from Techside).
The fourth Sakura Taisen musical has just started being performed in Japan; it'll run from July 28th to August 4th, twice a day at 1pm and 6pm. These musicals are plays usually adaptated from famous books, performed by the characters' voice actors just like the game's characters perform them in the Imperial theater. Arabia no Bara (The Rose of Arabia), which is the title of this musical, focuses on the characters Maria and Leni; you can check out the official poster here. The good news is, Arabia no Bara will broadcast online! E-sekai has opened a special page for the occasion: you will be able to stream Arabia no Bara from there, on July 30th, 6 PM (Tokyo time), which is about 5 AM EST. On the same page, you can view a short trailer of the play by clicking on the link that says "Real Player 7".
Speaking of Sakura Taisen, a second CD-ROM will be released for the game next August 31st. Sakura Taisen Denmaku Club 2 will contain a "typing soft", a task launcher, and the usual wallpapers and screen savers, along with the voice samples of Leni, Orihime, Kaede and Kayama, all this for a price of 6,800 yen. Preorders will be accompanied by a postcard set and a wallet.
Grandia II is being released next Thursday, yay! FamiTsuu's last issue gave the game a score of 9, 9, 8 and 9, making a total of 35 out of 40.
As previously mentioned, Japanese search engine Goo is making a Dragon Quest VII reservation campaign through their online store. If you preorder the game from them, you will get this DQ7 memory card case :
Atlus has officially confirmed their intention of making the next Shin Megami Tensei game a Playstation 2 game. This game will probably be Shin Megami Tensei 3, which, as we reported earlier, is rumored to be in development.
Lastly, here are the game sales figures for the week of July 17th to July 23th!