It's Wednesday November 19th - the day Square Enix unveils Final Fantasy XII to the world - and whether you're an avid fan or just a casual sympathiser, you can't help but feel a little green about anybody standing in a particular room in Tokyo right about now. This guy, for example, commands much of our jealousy.
Although we've yet to stumble across any particularly authoritative accounts of Square's plans, we already know that producer Yasumi Matsuno is planning something more akin to his own Vagrant Story than Final Fantasy X - despite many fans drawing comparisons between last year's adventures of Tidus and Yuna when faced with leaked Shonen Jump scans last week. In a recent interview, Matsuno-san said that we can expect to see a huge world map, tighter controls, a two-DVD release and less of a love angle than previous recent Fantasies.
Which is interesting, because early reports from Japan this morning - like this one at The Magic Box - seem to be doing nothing but setting up the potential relationship between male and female leads Vaan and Ashe.
According to early reports (and bear in mind this could turn out to be bollocks by the time someone converts their Nov.19th Squenix press pack into copy), the game takes place in the same world as Final Fantasy Tactics Advance - Ivalice - and stars Vaan and Ashe, both residents of the Dalmaska Kingdom, which is located midway between the warring continents of Valentia (the Arcadia Empire) and Ordalia (the Rozaria Imperium).
Vaan is said to be a thief who dreams of freedom and life as a sky pirate (here be airships), while Ashe is the only daughter of the King, and is determined to be Queen. And of course when the Arcadia Empire suddenly turns its attention to the quiet Kingdom of Dalmaska, Vaan and Ashe are thrown together in pursuit of the Arcadian invaders.
Unfortunately there's no word yet on gameplay specifics, but we'd expect that to change later on today. In the meantime though, you can feast your eyes upon a selection of screenshots mistakenly uploaded and then quickly pulled from the FF12.com website earlier today. We'll update you on Final Fantasy XII when we hear more.