Service Timeline & Version History

Welcome to this extensive presentation about when the Multiplayer was active and the updates it received during its lifetime!

May 19



Timeline Summary

2004

September 21

Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- is announced.


2005

July 27

The online component of Dirge of Cerberus is revealed in an article from Weekly Shonen Jump. On July 30 it is revealed that a beta testing phase will take place. From August 1-22 people can apply to become β testers. Initially slated for September 1, beta testing is ultimately postponed to September 22.

  


September 22 – October 31

Over a thousand selected beta testers are allowed into the world of Deepground. Many bugs are fixed and features get fine-tuned during the beta phase.


2006

January 26

Dirge of Cerberus -FFVII- is released in Japan and its Multiplayer service officially starts. Up until the end of the service eight months later, the online mode receives multiple upgrades in the form of new maps, quests, competitive modes, exams to advance your Deepground rank, gameplay fixes and so on. The player base initially ranges in the thousands but gradually decreases to only a few hundred active players.

March 25

PlayOnline Festa 2006” is held at Necca Akihabara store. Players of Front Mission Online, Fantasy Earth: The Ring of Dominion and the DCFFVII Multiplayer get together to experience these games.

June 5 – June 26

The event “Turk of Turks – Record Left Behind –” takes place. This event was the sole opportunity for players to battle the Turk iteration of Vincent Valentine.


June 29

The termination of Dirge’s online service is announced and slated for September 29. An official explanation is never given for the termination of the service.

August 15

The American version of Dirge of Cerberus is released without Multiplayer, same as all later releases. Maps and missions from the online mode has been worked into the 46 Extra Missions that can be played after you’ve first cleared the main game, formerly known as the Single Player campaign.

August 17

The storyline of the Multiplayer is completed. By clearing the newly added Tsviet promotion exam, the player can unlock the endgame scenarios.

September 7

For the remaining days of the online mode, players can now battle Vincent Valentine’s transformations: Galian Beast and Chaos respectively. Advancing through the ranks to Tsviet is made considerably easier, allowing players to experience the game’s quests and cutscenes at a faster pace.

September 9

The event “Deepground Assault” is held, where teams of up to six members each compete in a tournament to determine who is the strongest team in Deepground.


September 29

The event “The Last Shooting“, where normal players and Square staff played together for the last time, was held. At midnight the servers for the online mode of Dirge of Cerberus are shut down. While during the final months of the Multiplayer it had become increasingly rare for more than a hundred people to log in to a server at a given time, around three hundred players signed in for the game’s final hours.

November 17

The European version of DCFFVII is released with the same features as the American counterpart.


2008

September 4

DCFFVII:International is released in Japan. The thirteen cutscenes from the Multiplayer can now be unlocked for the Event Viewer.





Version History

If the timeline summary leaves you wanting more then here is where you can read in detail about the evolution of the Multiplayer durings its short lifespan. To provide deeper context we will compare the Multiplayer to the Single Player and the Extra Missions that were included in the post-JORG (post-Japanese-Original) releases.

Thanks to the Internet Archive: Wayback Machine, many of the official PlayOnline reports have been saved despite PlayOnline’s Dirge of Cerberus section having been taken down by 2007. These news reports and guides have been compiled in the spreadsheet link you see below.

DCFFVII Multiplayer – PlayOnline 2006 Reports – Translations

This resource is shared so that anyone can confirm the original sources and not have to rely solely on the translated material presented in this article. Due to the massive amount of Japanese text we’re dealing with, coupled with our limited translation resources, Google Translate has been heavily used. Passages placed inside these type of tables have undergone Google Translation:

Placeholder Translation

Fortunately, Google Translate works well for formal Japanese and our translators will continuously proof-check and improve the page so that these placeholder tables can be replaced with proper translations.

In the future a detailed version history for the beta phase of the online mode may be added, but for now we’ll limit this presentation to the 2006 era.

January 26: Launch of Dirge of Cerberus Multiplayer

The doors to Deepground are opened. The director of Dirge of Cerberus, Takayoshi Nakazato, explains the game in a note published on PlayOnline’s website.

♦ Official Start of Multiplayer Mode Service (2006/01/26)

Last year, we gained much valuable data thanks to the cooperation of many individuals during our beta test.
Collectively, our staff have continued toward developing “DIRGE of CERBERUS -FINAL FANTASY VII-” into an even more appealing game by using that information to increase quality.

And now, with the Multiplayer Mode Service starting, you will be able to enjoy the world of “Deepground”, where “DIRGE of CERBERUS -FINAL FANTASY VII-” takes place, online as well.

Although this work is a single player game, connecting to the network will start multiplayer mode, allowing you to experience brand new, dramatic stories of battle alongside other users as fellow DG Soldiers, an ambitious feature that has never before been a part of the Final Fantasy series.

Whilst players experience the exciting shooting action that defines competitive gameplay, the stories we were unable to finish telling in single player mode will be gradually revealed in this multiplayer mode.

Come, for the dark gates to “Deepground” are to be opened.

DIRGE of CERBERUS – FINAL FANTASY VII – Director Takayoshi Nakazato

At the time of writing this archive, Takayoshi Nakazato’s contributions to the Final Fantasy series can be listed as follows:

FFVII Battle Planner
FFVIII Card Game & Battle Planner
FFIX Special Thanks
FFX Map Director
FFX-2 Director of “International + Last Mission” release
Dirge of Cerberus: FFVII Director
DCFFVII – Lost Episode Director
FFXIII Map/Field Planning Director
FFXV Project Manager



The online mode can be played for free from January 26 – January 31 so long as you don’t create more than two player characters.

  

The type of screenshot seen here, with the distinct grey framing, were used for the official PlayOnline pages. When convenient, banners and screenshots from the official website are used for this article.



February 2: Version Update

This first version update, like all that came after it, is implemented during the afternoon. The Multiplayer is thus offline for this maintenance, usually during an hour or more between 14:00 to 16:00 (2pm to 4pm).



Players could create- or sign up for a squad known as a “Unit”. With the February 2 update came battle modes designed for Units to battle each other.

■ “Battle against opponent” can be selected when entering a battle.

The following battle mode was added to “Unit Battle”.

· Unit Battle (GBT)
· Unit Survival Game (GDM)
· Unit Base Battle (GBS)
· Unit Capsule Battle (GCP)

If you were not battling in Units, the group battle mode would be Team Battle (TBT), Team Base Battle (TBS) and so on. Thus it is easy to track when a battle mode abbreviation refers to random Teams, “T”, or preset Units where the “G” presumably stands for “group”.


Even in environments where some peer-to-peer communication fails
We introduced a mechanism that makes it possible.

This part of the report has not yet been properly translated. It deals with the issue that co-players often fail to communicate with each other online, so a feature is added where an exclamation point will appear next to a character’s name, presumably to make message notifications more clear.



Three bugs are listed to have been fixed.
– Limit Break state not triggering under certain circumstances.
– Item acquisition not working during Team Base Battle (TBT).
The third item is quoted in the table below and awaits a proper translation.

There is a case that the fighting attack can not be done in some table settings
It was fixed.

Every version update report ends with the note “Other minor defects were fixed.” but without listing in detail what these were. Ergo, these standard “Miscellaneous bugs were fixed” notes will not be quoted from here on out.



The PlayOnline site adds an “Additional Manual“, which is a complementary manual to the physical one that came with the copy of Dirge of Cerberus. This manual is continuously updated as more features are added and changed.


February 16: Version Update

Initially the Multiplayer had only seven maps for Team/Unit battles: Jungle, Kalm Streets, Wastelands, Sewer, (Kalm) Church, Train Graveyard and Battlefield Ruins.

With the exception of Jungle and Battlefield Ruins, these maps had equivalents in the Single Player chapters.

To perhaps reignite the memory of those who played the Extra Missions in the post-JORG releases of Dirge of Cerberus, here are the missions where the aforementioend seven maps are used.

Jungle Kalm Church Wasteland
Lord of the Jungle Contra Kalm
Cait Versus the Bull
Collector’s Mind
Vincent the Grappler
Wastelings
Gatling in the Wastes
Two-Handed
Sewer Train Graveyard Battlefield Ruins
Stygian Sewers
One-Handed
Cait Versus the World
Gatling Shower
Vincent the Destroyer
Rampart Rumble

The Multiplayer maps are designed with the mode in mind, with more traversable platforms, spawning spots and places to take cover. Anyone who has played the Extra Missions will have observed that there are considerably fewer invisible walls there compared to the main game.

It is unknown when the Shinra Manor map first became available, though it is typically only attributed to missions and not battles. Further translations will help clarify if this map was ever available for battles.



New map: “Bridge“. Officially localized as “Causeway” in the English game.

Its equivalent in the Single Player is the Chapter 6 bridge that leads to the WRO HQ. The PlayOnline report higlights that the map has, or can have, box crates and exploding drum cans distributed about. A manual translation is required to help clarify this detail.

With each new map, a “Map Exercise” mission was introduced to the Drone class mission menu. This allowed the player to freely explore and familiarize themselves with a map, without the pressure from a battle or a mission.

There are two Extra Missions where you get to roam the Bridge map as Vincent Valentine: Cyclopean Causeway and Shieldbreaker.

In both cases, there are big patches on the actual bridge that you are never allowed to roam as Vincent, as the missions mostly limit you to the underground corridors.

Using cheat devices, we can explore parts of the bridge that were previously limited to players of the online mode.


The accessory “Flash Materia” was added and could now be purchased from the shop. With this the Multiplayer now had two materia that never make an appearance in the Single Player: Cure and Flash. The former appeared green, as expected, in the upper left corner of the screen and the latter appeared grey.

Albeit in a non-functional form, both the Cure and Flash materia can be found in the unused data of Dirge of Cerberus. The Flash Materia’s model shines pink here, but we have no footage that confirms the materia model’s color in the Multiplayer.

While recordings have revealed that the Flash Materia required less MP than the Cure Materia to use, we are yet to see video footage where the Flash Materia is actually employed. When used, the screen would turn bright white for a few seconds, making it hard to see anything. The primary use of the Flash Materia is thusly to blind your foe and make targetting difficult. The exact mechanical details are unknown, like for example how blinded the caster would become and how effective the Flash Materia actually was.



Five suits existed for the player to equip. Each would change the player’s attributes such as max HP, MP consumption, attack strength and running speed. We possess reports and footage of the HP values these suits set when equipped, both during beta testing and in the retail version.

Suit β HP Value Final HP Value
Soldier Suit
Sniper Suit
Speed Suit
Magic Suit
Armored Suit
280
200
250
250
360
270
210
240
250
360

While we don’t have screenshots showing the Armored Suit’s HP before February 16, one blog entry from early 2006 writes that equipping the suit assigned 340 as the max HP. Thusly it looks like the Armored Suit had its HP value changed from 340 back to its beta value, 360, with this version update.

Along with HP, the attack power of the Armored Suit was also increased.

The Magic Suit had its MP consumption decreased. In recordings from the final months of the Multiplayer, it has been observed that the Magic Suit consumed half the MP compared to what the Soldier Suit consumed.

The report states that gradual MP recovery was introduced to all suits but that the efficiency of the recovery depends on the suit. It is unknown which suits did- and did not possess this MP recovery before the update.

The equivalent feature of slow, incremental MP replenishment was introduced to the post-JORG Single Player with the accessory “Manaheart”, which could be upgraded to “Manamind” and finally “Manasoul”. This accessory was only available via the Ex Hard mode and the Extra Mission “Two-Handed”.

♦ The table rule has been changed as follows.
· The notation in the battle prohibition item was changed from “Yes / No” to “Permitted / Prohibited”.
· The battle prohibition item was added. The battle prohibited items added are as follows.
“Explosive drum can”
“Ether”
* Even if “Restore Item” is set to Prohibited, if Ether is permitted, Ether only appears.
· In capsule capsule warfare (GCP) and team capsule warfare (TCP), even if it was knocked down with multiple capsules, capsule was changed to drop only one.

♦ Detailed results can now be viewed. · Individual battle record details and medal list of other players can now be viewed.

♦ The information display method in the briefing room has been changed.
· “Information” has been deleted from the briefing room menu.
· In the briefing room after the end of the battle, the result indication that was displayed automatically disappeared.
· You can check the rule of the table, the member list, the result after the battle is finished in the information machine installed in the briefing room.

♦ The display condition of [!] Displayed when peer-to-peer communication has failed has been changed.
· When failing in peer-to-peer communication, [!] Was always displayed regardless of the enemy or ally, but due to this change, members of your team are always displayed, members of the opponent team aim together It is now displayed only when it is.


February 27: Version Update


New maps: “Huge Facility” and “Major Fault”. The former was officially localized as “Stronghold”.

These are used in the following Extra Missions in the post-JORG game.

Huge Facility Major Fault
Widow Missileer
Messenger from Hell
Black Widow Tetra
Go with the Flow
Stronghold Impervious
Vincent the Mage
Boxemon
Rains of Gehenna



White box crates and explosive drum cans, like those first seen in the Bridge map, can now appear in the following maps:
· Jungle
· Kalm (Streets)
· Sewer
· Church
· Train Graveyard
· Battlefield Ruins
Naturally, the battle mode and mission dictates whether these destructable objects will appear.

With the update, both the white wooden boxes and the explosive drum cans require less damage before they are destroyed.

– New Missions –

Drone Class Scout Class Trooper Class Commander Class
Beginner Course Part 3
Major Fault map exercise
Huge Facility map exercise
Silent Killing
Panic Matador DG Commander 3rd Promotion Exam Fifth Ring Battle

Depending on the mission, they may not be available unless certain conditions are met like having cleared a quest or reached a high enough class. This fact is to be taken into account every time a version update includes new missions.



– Events –

Voices were added to the opening events and cutscenes in places where previously the speaker was silent.

It is unknown how many voice clips were added. What is known is that Argento initially lacked a voice, so the February 27 update is likely when her lines became voice acted.

Another aspect of Argento’s earlier design is that she wore a helmet. It is uncertain if the helmet was removed at the same time that she gained a voice.


The Event Viewer now receives a menu titled “Past Chapter 《Deepground》” dedicated to the online mode cutscenes. You need to first have unlocked the Event Viewer by clearing the Single Player campaign if you want to access this new menu.

In order to unlock the Multiplayer cutscenes in the Event Viewer you must destroy the memory capsules found in a given Multiplayer mission.

As the story of the online mode unfolds with each version update, memory capsules are added and the list of unlockable cutscenes in the Event Viewer increases.


– Battles –

♦ Team Flag Battle (TFL) & Unit Flag Battle (GFL) was added to the new rule of battle entry. For more information on “Flag Battle” click here >>

♦ Battle Rate High Limit Setting and “Defeat Rate Low Limit Setting” have been added to entry conditions of battle entry.

New medals: “Flag Carrier Medal” & “First Flag Medal”.

♦ The problem that the graphic of the item “broken barrel” was in the lobby / briefing room / battlefield the graphic of “short barrel” was corrected.

♦ The page of ‘Flag Carrier Medal’ has been added to the medal possession number of the ranking.


– System –

♦ We discontinued icon chat and added macro chat.
String / voice / motion can be registered in “Macro chat” of “CONFIG”.

♦ Emote commands have been added.
/forward    I will issue a forward order.
/help     We will issue a support request.
/charge    I will issue an assault charge.
/ok      Agree.
/warcry    Raise the stamina.
/refuse    I disagree.
/locate    I will report an enemy.
/halt     We issue stop instructions.
/retreat    I will issue a backward instruction.
/emote Made ***    ”[Character name] *** you did” is displayed.

♦ The following functions were added to the emote command.
· Perform only operation
· Display text only in the chat log
· Perform actions and display arbitrary sentences in the chat log

Detailed information on “emote command” click here >>

♦ Even when config ‘Using keyboard’ is ‘Chat only’, only keys F1 to F12 can be operated.

By assigning macro chat to F1 to F9, you can use the controller for character operation, the keyboard for chat, and the keys F1 to F9 for macro chat.
Keyboard assignment can be changed by “Keyboard assignment” of “CONFIG”.

♦ Fixed a problem where belonging troops were not displayed when browsing the individual achievements of other players.

♦ Some character voices have been changed.

♦ “Thank you” “Praise” “Charity Voice” “Apology” was added.



March 9: Version Update

New map: “Desert“.

Post-JORG it was used for the Extra Missions “Badlands” and “100,000 Needles“.


– New Missions –

Drone Class Scout Class
Desert map exercise Rains of Gehenna
Big Birds Crying for Death

The mission “Rains of Gehenna” is re-used as one of Vincent’s Extra Missions in the post-JORG game. Learning to snipe your foes is essential to surviving this tough challenge.


■ The color of some NPC appearing during the mission has been changed.
NPCs that are the mission objectives and NPCs with high abilities are displayed in the same way as in the past as blue, while other NPCs are displayed in red.

■ A memory capsule has been added to a specific mission.

■ “Auto balance” was added to the battle entry of the battle entry. “Auto Balance” automatically performs team sorting based on the individual shooting rate.

■ The rigid time at the time of activation of “Limit Break / Phoenix Down” has been shortened.

■ When your character is knocked down, you will now be able to display the opponent character you defeat with zoom.

■ The number of defeated battles, the number of consecutive battles, the number of battle impossible times, the number of possible recoveries (in case of restoration count restriction) are now displayed.

■ Currently the first character name is now displayed in BT mode. If you are number one, the second character name is displayed.

■ Part of BGM in battle was changed.


In the West Lobby (in-game known as “Area 3”) of Deepground, there was a jukebox called the “Beginner’s Machine” which had a golden cactuar on top. With this machine you could check player stats and get some beginner advice. The March 9 update added the feature to use the Beginner’s Machine to change the background music that played in the lobby and during battles.

In other words, the Beginner’s Machine is the only jukebox in Dirge of Cerberus to function like an actual jukebox! In the Single Player, these stations have a slightly different design and are used as shops.


March 24: Version Update

New maps: “Plateau” and “Warehouse“.

Neither of these maps have equivalents in the Single Player campaign. Extra Missions in the post-JORG game where these maps were used are as follows.

Plateau Warehouse
Zephyr Heathlands
Drumline
Deepground Soldiers

In the generically named “Deepground Soldiers” Extra Mission you are only allowed to roam a small portion of the Warehouse map. Without cheat devices, you will not be able to reach the roof of the Warehouse or roam its interior.


– New Missions –

Drone Class Scout Class Trooper Class Commander Class
Plateau map exercise
Warehouse map exercise
Monster Box Broken Feast Labyrinth Mansion
Break Into the Fortified Facility
DG Commander 2nd Promotion Exam

Monster Box was localized as “Boxemon” when it appeared among the Extra Missions.

♦ A memory capsule has been added to a specific mission.


– Battles –

♦ “Battle for team medals (TMD)”, “Battle for beginner team medals (TMD)”, “Team Base Battle (TBR)” and “Martial Base Battle (GBR)” were added to the new rule of battle entry.
Detailed information on the new rule is here >>

New medals: “Base Saver Medal” & “Medal Collector Medal”.

The “medals” you are rewarded here for collecting are the coin-like objects you collect during missions and battles, not the medals that you are awarded.

♦ A page of ‘Medal of Base Saver’ and ‘Medal Collector’s Medal’ has been added to the medal possession number of the ranking.

♦ Items of “cumulative medal income”, “team battle base battle” and “unit battle base battle” were added to the results.

♦ It became possible to keep it as a tentative reservation during battle entry. More information on keeping is here >>

♦ Bullets are now replenished when the player respawns.

If the number of bullets possessed at the time of respawn is less than the number of bullets assigned at the beginning of the battle, it will now recover to the number of bullets that were initially assigned in the battle.


– System –

♦ It is now possible to retry when a mission other than the trial format fails.

♦ “Tracking camera” has been added to the configuration item.
You can select the camera motion when your character is knocked down from “Zoom / Direction only / Off”.
However, if you are defeated by a weapon equipped with a “Silencer”, the zoom function will be invalid regardless of the setting of the configuration, and the accuracy of the direction sensing function will be greatly reduced.


When selecting music via the Beginner’s Machine, you can now also select “None” or “Random”.

The update report mentions that the BGM track “Fragment of Memory” has been added, but it isn’t made clear if the track was added to the Beginner’s Machine or to the online mode in general.


The equippable “Gasmask” can now be sold and/or thrown away. It is not mentioned why the option to throw away this particular mask was added.

Since a portion of the masks are on the Dirge of Cerberus game disc, they can be unlocked by using a cheat device. If you are hacking the original Japanese game, none of the masks can be sold or thrown away. In all later releases, the Gasmask can be thrown away. Thusly we see the March 24 update reflected in this version difference.

♦ Fixed a problem that a soldier mask could not be acquired when the number of item possession was full. After reducing the number of item holdings, you will be able to get it.


March 25: “PlayOnline Festa 2006”

The event “PlayOnline Festa 2006” is held at Necca Akihabara store. Players of Front Mission Online, Fantasy Earth: The Ring of Dominion and the DCFFVII Multiplayer get together to experience these games.

At least for the players of Dirge of Cerberus, this was not a LAN event. Players would not control their own character, but characters created by the holders of the event. Ergo while this could have been a place for players to congregate in real life, the purpose seems rather to have been to advertise the game to potential new players.

Summary
PlayOnline Festa 2006
“Dirge of Cerberus – FFVII -” Multiplayer mode experience
* Manipulate characters already prepared and challenge missions.

■ Date and time: Saturday, March 25, 2006 11: 00-19: 00
■ Venue: Necca Akihabara store
■ Participation Fee: Free
※ When the venue becomes crowded, we may refuse admission.
※ When you participate in the event please follow the instructions of the staff in the venue.
If you do not have it, there is a possibility that the event itself will be canceled.

About Necca Akihabara store, please click here.


April 7: Version Update

New map: “In Front of Mako Reactor“. Yes, that is the literal map name.

This map, placed in the outer ring of Deepground, was only used for one Extra Mission in the post-JORG game: “Unlimited DG“.

The area’s likeness in the Single Player is the first section of Chapter 10, when Vincent has finally reached Deepground.


– New Missions –

Drone Class Scout Class Trooper Class Commander Class
In Front of Mako Reactor map exercise The Stolen Secret
The Gravekeepers’ Mako
Miraculous Servant
Light Bullet Oratorio
Treasure Retrieval Order!
The Blue Roar Cerulean Awakening

“The Blue Roar” is a battle against Azul while “Cerulean Awakening” is a battle against his beast form ‘Arch Azul’. Defeating Arch Azul awarded you with the “Emblem of the Blue Beast” medal.

♦ A memory capsule has been added to a specific mission.

– Battles –

♦ “Team Offensive Flag Game (TFR)” and “Unit Attack Flag Game (GFR)” were added to the new rule of battle entry.
Detailed information on the offensive flag game is here >>

♦ In “Flag Battle / Offensive Flag Battle”, “Whether there is a flag on your side stand or not” is now displayed.

New medal: “Flag Saver Medal”

♦ The page of “Flag Saver Medal” has been added to the medal possession number of the ranking.


– System –

The bug that the item “S-Mine” would not appear in the map “Plateau” was fixed with this upgrade. It is unknown if this means that no S-Mines appeared for the player to pick up, or if no S-Mine appeared when the player tried to plant one.


April 20: Version Update

New maps: “Ruins” & “Laboratory“.

Ruins has no template in the Single Player campaign. The second map is simply the interior of the WRO HQ. The WRO logo on the supporting pillars read “LAB”, so this base of operations is simultaneously a laboratory.

Here are the Extra Missions where said maps are used in the post-JORG game.

Ruins Laboratory
Trick Arc
Missilebreaker Melee
Missilebreaker Deathmatch
Deep Tower


– New Missions –

Drone Class Trooper Class Commander Class
Ruins map exercise
Laboratory map exercise
Sahagin Dance?
Cactus Dance?
Lightning Illusion
Dark · Mass · Destruction · Gathering
Commander 1st Promotion Exam
Black · Wing · Mock · Battle

“Black · Wing · Mock · Battle” is a battle against Nero the Sable. Defeating him awarded you with the medal “Emblem of the Black Wings”.



The NPC “TSV Pullum” is added to the Deepground East Lobby (known in-game as Area 1). She sits near the basement door to the northwest, wearing a Moogle Cap. If you talk to Pullum under certain conditions, the “Mission Offer” window is shown. Pullum will clear a mission on your behalf…if you have the gil to pay for it.

However, the list of missions that are displayed is only the ones that can receive missions.


– Battles –

♦ “Extra match” was added to the new rule of battle entry.
In “Extra Battle”, the number of defeated battles and the number of wins and losses are not counted, and you can enjoy playing matches under special circumstances easily.
For more information on the extra competition, click here >>

– System –

♦ In Area 3 of Deepground, the “Restart Me” option was added to the Beginner’s Machine.

When this option is selected, the following stats will return to the initial state.
· Current rank of ranks
· Events experienced
· Recording mission clear
· Items that were acquired
※ However, only the mask and armor that were equipped remain.
Also, the following items are handed over as they are.
· Ranking points
· KOs
· Gil possessed

♦ The progress status of the promotion examination is now displayed by the class display on the status screen.
When the classification test is cleared with the first challenge, “+” will be added next to the class name.
“-” will be added next to the class name if you have Pullum clear the promotion exam.

In the class menu, you will find that sometimes there is a “+” or a “-” sign adjacent to a class rank.

If you clear the promotion exam for a given class on the first try, a “+” is placed next to that class in the menu. If you pay Pullum to clear the promotion exam for you, a “-” pops up next to the class rank.


Although not mentioned in the version update reports, screenshots taken using the game’s snapshot feature were improved. After the April 20 update, screenshots stop including the timer as well as the graphical artefacts on the upper right part of the screen.

  


May 19: Version Update

New maps: “Shinra Building“, “Roof” and “Processing Plant“. The third map could also be translated as “Processing Plant”.

Here are the Extra Missions where the “Shinra Building” and “Processing Plant” maps are employed in the post-JORG game.

Shinra Building Processing Plant
Vincent the Beast
Spiral
Deep Labyrinth

The “Roof” map has never appeared outside of the Multiplayer and the research so far seem to indicate that the map hasn’t been left on the game disc.


– New Missions –

Drone Class Commander Class General Class
Shinra Building map exercise
Roof map exercise
Processing Plant map exercise
THE ☆ Heavy Powders
Scrap ☆ Blues
Metal ☆ Sentry
Empty ☆ Doll
Iron ☆ Soul
Perverted Feast
New Weapon Field Test
A Bridge too Far
Overture Blade

Observe how the very first “General Class” missions appear in the list, but no promotion exam for transitioning from Commander to General has been written down. It makes sense to think that the “DG General 3rd Promotion Exam” came with the May 19 update however, since the previous update gave us the mission to reach “Commander 1st” and the next update implemented the exam to reach “General 2nd”.


♦ A memory capsule has been added to a specific mission.


– Battles –

♦ A new battle format has been added to the “Extra Battle” of the Battle Entry.
In “Extra Battle”, the number of defeated battles and the number of wins and losses are not counted, and you can enjoy playing matches under special circumstances easily.
· Shinra Manor: Personal Killing Battle
· Wasteland: Capsule Dash Battle
· Laboratory: Break attack and flag game
· Desert: Survival warfare
· Roof: Autolock game
For more information on the extra competition, click here >>


– System –

The sound gallery of the Beginner’s Machine receives 18 new songs that can be selected as the background music for the lobby and for battles.


June 5: Event “Turk of Turks – Record Left Behind –”

The event is typically referred to simply as “Turk of Turks“. The initial end date was June 22, but on June 20 it was announced that the event would be extended to last until June 26 14:00 (2pm).

On the PlayOnline website, an e-mail from the Turks can be read.

Notice from the Investigation Division of the General Affairs Department
There is concern that some confidential case data from the Department of Administrative Research has leaked.
Stakeholders should identify management data.
* If you find the relevant data, please discard it promptly.

In the North Lobby (known in-game as Area 4) the NPC DGSC-Jingi has been replaced with a Moogle doll. Talking to the other soldiers eventually hint you to a basement in the North Lobby. Inside the basement is a Black Widow-type robot by the name of Black-J. Half of Jingi’s brain has been placed inside this robot and now it acts like Jingi!

Black-J informs you that the data of “GAI012” has been dispersed across various missions and that you need to collect them. Those who played the Tutorial Mode for the Single Player will recognize the name “GAI012″…

By repeatedly completing different missions the player is able to accumulate multiple copies of various data fragments. When enough data has been collected and passed over to Black-J, the player receives a passcode that grants them access to the battle against a simulation of Turk Vincent…the Turk of Turks!


The reward for clearing this tough boss fight is a Chocobo Cap. By handing over enough “Garbage Data” to Black-J you could also acquire a Tonberry Cap.


June 26: Version Update

New maps: “Fort“, “City” and “Temple“.

None of these maps were featured in the post-JORG releases in any way. So far, the research seems to indicate that they don’t even exist as unused data on the game disc.

For a map called “Fort”, the area oddly feels more like a peaceful forest meadow than a fortress.



Drone Class Scout Class Commander Class General
Fort map exercise
City map exercise
Temple map exercise
Green Mission Mine Mind
Bunker Bombing Strategy
At the Verge of Death
Machine Fortress
Bombomb Group!
The End of the Riot
DG General 2nd Promotion Exam
Short Short Operation
Malevolent Crimson God

“Malevolent Crimson God” is a battle against Rosso the Crimson. Defeating her awarded you with the medal “Emblem of the Red Blade”.



– Battles –

♦ A new battle format has been added to the “Extra Battle” of the Battle Entry.
In “Extra Battle”, the number of defeated battles and the number of wins and losses are not counted, and you can enjoy playing matches under special circumstances easily.
· Ruins: Running up climb medals
· City: Autolock Game
· Shinra Manor: Team Defeat
· Processing Plant: Limit Break Fight
· Plateau: Facility Strategy Game
For more information on the extra competition, click here >>



June 29: Announcement of Service Termination

Here is the announcement as it reads on the official PlayOnline web sites.

About Termination of Service of Multiplayer Mode

Thank you very much for using “Dirge of Cerberus – Final Fantasy VII -” multiplayer mode. Important notice to everyone using this service.

Dirge of Cerberus – FFVII – In addition to the elements of conventional gun action games, Multiplayer mode continues to operate from Thursday, January 26, 2006, as an online game that strongly emphasized the narrative nature that seems to be the Final Fantasy series I have come. Meanwhile, the single-player mode storyteller story that we made publicly public about twice a month is coming soon and it will be completed shortly afterwards. Along with this, “Dirge of Cerberus – FFVII -” multiplayer mode will be closed on Friday, September 29, 2006.

Through the service from the beta test in the autumn of last year to the present, we received various opinions and requests from our players. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone concerned for being able to pursue the pleasure of the genre called Gun action that we were able to walk with everyone.

Although it will be a short period of time, we are planning to add more stories and maps from now on. We will continue to strive for development and adjustment until the moment of service termination so we hope that you enjoy the Deepground drama to the end.

Whether this announcement came as a surprise or not to the small but devoted player base, it meant that the remaining three months became a countdown to the end. The players now knew that in just three months all their progress in the game would be erased.


July 18: Version Update

From this point and onward, we lack the complete version update reports because these pages from the PlayOnline sites have not been archived. Because of this we can expect more holes in the data for the final months of the Multiplayer. Fortunately, some official preview reports of upcoming version updates have been archived and we also have player blogs to aid us.


New maps: “Snowy Mountain“, “Valley” and “DG“.

Data mining has so far not solidly confirmed if Snowy Mountain exists on the Dirge of Cerberus game discs, however we are certain that Valley exist.

We know Valley is in the game data because it is briefly visited in Scene 7 of the Multiplayer cutscenes. Additionally, the menu map for Valley has been unearthed with the help of Cheat Engine.

DG is simply the Deepground Lobby turned into a battlefield. While you do get to this visit this map in the Extra Missions “Cait Versus the Empowered” and “Deepground“, you are always restricted to the East Lobby.


– New Missions –

Drone Class General
Snowy Mountain map exercise
Valley map exercise
DG map exercise
DG General 1st Promotion Exam
MIA
D-1
The End of the Underdogs
Beyond the Noise
Active Jamming
Bird Cage Battle Royale
Way of Justice
Form Is Transparent

Via the mission “Form Is Transparent”, the player could at last engage in battle against Shelke. Defeating her granted you the “Shelke Personal Mako Ampoule” medal.

The Multiplayer version of Shelke is able to use a copy-strike limit break which is never seen in the Single Player campaign.



– Battles –

In the next version upgrade planned for Tuesday, July 18, 2006, many new battle formats will be added to “Extra Battle”.

Fort: Intrusion Flag Battle is an offensive flag game that takes a flag in a building protected by a barricade. There is only one entry route into the building. Cooperation of all teams is essential to break into enemy attacks and break into buildings and rob the flags.

Jungle: ruins control game is a team battle where the bases of both teams are placed inside the ruins of the jungle. Because the bases of both teams are arranged side by side, the inside of the ruins will be a fierce battlefield where bullets and grenades fly. To run through the ruins where severe firefighting games are spreading and to occupy the base it is necessary to have quick judgment and action power not to take risks.

In addition to these two, several battle formats are added.

Extra matchup added

· Snowy Mountain: Takadai Battle Fight
· Jungle: Ruins control
· Fort: Intrusion Flag Battle
· Shinra Building: Supply Place Raid Battle
· Temple: Auto Rock Individual Battle
· Major Fault: Capsule descent fight


– System –

New mask: “SOLDIER Mask”.

This is a mask with the standard visor of the familiar members of SOLDIER on the surface world.


August 17: Version Update

New maps: “Old Administrative Building” and “Proving Grounds

These five screenshots are all we have left of the “Old Administrative Building” map.

The “Proving Grounds” is a combination of eight maps: “Valley”, “Battlefield Ruins”, “Huge Facility”, “Roof”, “Major Fault”, “Desert”, “Plateau” and “Ruins”. It is unknown exactly how these eight different terrains were stitched together to form one coherent battle map. No screenshots exist that clearly identify as belonging to the Proving Grounds.

– New Missions –

Drone Class General Tsviet
Old Administrative Building map exercise Tsviet Promotion Exam Fist and Sword
Crash the Bull
Silent Invasion
Top Secret Training Ground
Ghost Room
Green Carnival
Hopping Junkie
Bombtina
Stolen Rare Gun
Maximum Reloaded
Dual Horned Cage
Lightning Trick
The Price of Control
Miracle Paint Minagilion Z
Last Banban-G
The King Unleashed

A Tsviet mission not listed in the official reports is the “Quick to Achieve Eager Rewards” mission, though it was almost certainly added on August 17.

With the ability to become a Tsviet the final cutscenes of the Multiplayer’s story mode are now available.

“The King Unleashed” is a battle against Weiss. Defeating him rewarded you with the medal “Emblem of the White Emperor”.

Completing “Miracle Paint Minagilion Z” rewarded you with the medal “Minagilion Z Seal”.

Clearing “The Price of Control” awarded you the “Ragnarok Unit Patch” medal.

The missions “Lightning Trick” and “The Price of Control” allowed you to roam the Multiplayer version of the throne room. In the Single Player, this map is in considerable disrepair and you have a way smaller area to move about in. Using cheat devices, you can unlock the menu map for the online version of this area.



– Battles –

Add a new battle format to the extra battle
In the next version upgrade scheduled for August 17th (Thursday), 2006, many new battle formats will be added to “Extra Battle”.

Church: No replenishment warfare is a team killing game where you can not get any items at battlefield. Also, custom changes can not be made in the battlefield, so in the briefing room it is necessary to devise such as distributing supplemented bullets in advance. Team work under harsh conditions and techniques to shoot enemies accurately are questioned.

Bridge: Underpass Flag Battle is a team flag match using only the underpass of the bridge. Each other’s flag is in close range, but the electromagnetic barricade hinders the other. Therefore, in order to deprive the enemy’s flag, you have no choice but to pass through a narrow passage, but you can enjoy the exquisite balance of defense as you can shoot at enemy teams through barricades.

In addition to the above two, many battle formats will be added.

Extra matchup added
· In Front of Mako Reactor: Auto Rock Fight
· Old Administrative Building: Scarlet Ex war
· Valley: Fight against blow machine gun
· DG: Area capsule battle
· Church: Unsupplied Battle
· Huge Facility: long range auto locking game
· Bridge: Underpass road flag



September 7: Version Update

– SPECIAL Missions –

Under the Drone Class menu, two special missions are added and they remain available until the very end of the Multiplayer service.

Anger of the Phantom Beast 《SPECIAL》
– King of Chaos 《SPECIAL》

Both the Phantom Beast and the King of Chaos are named “???” on the battlefield, but the player already knows who they are: Galian Beast and Chaos!



– System –

The path to Tsviet is made considerably easier. For these last few weeks, the Ranking Points necessary to play the Promotion Exams are greatly reduced. With this change a player can now speed through the game’s story at lightning speed.



September 9: “Deepground Assault” Event

The tournament event “Deepground Assault” was announced on August 16. Players could apply for this event until August 24. By September 1, the eight teams (or “Units”) to be allowed participation had been decided.

These Units were…
– CURIBO
– TEAM JUDGEMENT
– Bonsmiseth
– JPCNRJ
– Rabid
– Team2ch
– †風神† [Translation: †Wind God†]
– SoulCandy

From 21:00 to 23:00 (9pm – 11pm) on Saturday, September 9, the tournament to decide the strongest in Deepground was held. Eight teams of up to six members each competed.

It is not clear who the winning team ended up being and what their rewards were. Translations of blog entries might clear this up.

What is already apparent even from Google Translations is that perhaps the longest running Unit of the online mode, Team_2ch, was one of the greatest competitors.


September 29: “The Last Shooting” Event


Event “The Last Shooting”

During the final months, players reported that it was rare to see even 100 people online at the same time on any given server. For the final hours and the “Last Shooting” event however, roughly 300 people attended to reminisce, engage in battles, take some group photos and say goodbye to Deepground. Square staff who had player accounts joined in on the fun with the normal players.

“The Last Shooting” lasted from 21:00-23:00 and was held on the JP-01 Vincent server. There were no participation conditions and the only rule was that each battle should have a time limit of 10 minutes or shorter.

The event reached its end. At midnight the servers were taken down. The doors to Deepground…had been closed.



On the eve of when the servers went down, the official PlayOnline news index for DCFFVII was replaced by only the one message from Yoshinori Kitase.

DIRGE of CERBERUS – FINAL FANTASY VII – Thank you for participating in multiplayer mode.

Since “DIRGE of CERBERUS -FINAL FANTASY VII-“, set in the world of “FINAL FANTASY VII”, went on sale on January 26, 2006 as the first FINAL FANTASY hybrid title combining online and offline, we have endeavored to introduce content and rebalance within the multiplayer mode whilst collecting a variety of suggestions from our userbase.

As of midnight on September 29, 2006, we have terminated this service, but we have thoroughly enjoyed coming this far alongside everyone following the start of this service, and we also hope you continue to expect great things from SQUARE ENIX titles in the future.

In particular, there is another title in the “COMPILATION of FINAL FANTASY VII” series, which continues from “AC” “BC” and “DC”, known as “CRISIS CORE -FINAL FANTASY VII-” that is well into its development. Please also look forward to this.

We would now like to once again thank you very much for your participation in the “DIRGE of CERBERUS -FINAL FANTASY VII-” multiplayer mode. We hope to see you again someday.

DIRGE of CERBERUS – FINAL FANTASY VII –
Producer Yoshinori Kitase

A few months later, the entire DCFFVII section of the PlayOnline site was taken down, leaving behind only what was saved via the Internet Archive.


Changes with Unknown Dates

– Map Compass Letters –

The map compass originally had a letter representing each cardinal direction. At an unknown point, the W, S and E were removed.

 → 

We only have map footage to compare the map compasses between February 2006 and the final few months of the Multiplayer. The possible window for when this change happened is thusly quite long.

The change to the map compass also happened between releases of Dirge of Cerberus. The Japanese Original and the US release both had their map compass show all four letters, but the European and second Japanese release had the compass joined only by the letter N.


– NPCs –

When comparing screenshots from the early months of the Multiplayer and its later periods, multiple NPCs have changed appearance. The researchers were given lab coats and the hovering NPCs were given a mage-type redesign.

Not all NPCs were available from the start. Tsviet Pullum who was added with the April 20 update is a clear example of that. The quest givers “Waldo”, “Emily” and “Masso” start being mentioned in blogs around the summer months, but the exact time of their introduction is unknown. Detailed NPC guides from around April do not mention these three characters at all.


– Equipment –

At an unknown point, the Power Booster Revo’s description was changed to show a negative impact on your SPD (firing rate) stat. Originally there was no listed SPD stat, but this was then changed to “-15”.


– Servers –

The online mode of 2006 had a total of seven servers the players could choose from:
JP-01 Vincent
JP-02 Cait Sith
JP-03 Cloud
JP-04 Barret
JP-05 Tifa
JP-06 Aerith
JP-07 Red XIII

During beta testing, the game started out with two servers and then eventually a third server was added. The hole here in our data is that we don’t know if the Multiplayer started out with seven servers in 2006 or if servers were gradually added during the first few months. We know that at least by 2006-05-05, all seven servers were available.





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