Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children - Promotion and Release

Promotion and Release

Advent Children was the first title announced in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series, having been unveiled at the 2003 Tokyo Game Show. Its first trailer was featured in an updated version of the video game Final Fantasy X-2. However, the trailer used a motion capture that was altered in the final film. Originally scheduled for a September 13, 2005 release in North America and a September 14, 2005 release in Japan, Square Enix changed the US release date to a tentative November 2005 date, a move many felt was an attempt on the part of the company to capitalise on the lucrative holiday market, although the website The Digital Bits stated that the delays were due to the extra time required to complete the bonus supplements on the special edition DVD. The North American release date was again changed in early November, this time to January 2006. When fans noted that the 2005 E3 trailer had confirmed the simultaneous September releases, Square Enix stated that the trailer was not the real E3 trailer and was possibly a fake.

An IGN article on February 13, 2006, revealed that April 25, 2006 was the new official North American release date. Later the same day, an article on 1UP.com confirmed this date and the entire English voice cast. Square Enix then confirmed the information on their US website.

Prior to the film's release in Japan, Panasonic produced a cell phone identical to the one Cloud uses in the film; the phone contained several features related to Advent Children such as wallpapers and ringtones. On the same date the film was released, Shueisha published a 118-page guidebook titled Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Prologue Book. In 2006, SoftBank Creative published a guidebook entitled Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Reunion Files, which contains interviews with the film's staff and information regarding development of the film.

A limited edition of the film entitled Final Fantasy VII Advent Pieces was released in Japan at the same time as Advent Children; only 77,777 sets were produced. The edition contains various pieces of merchandising, a copy of the script, the original Final Fantasy VII game, and a strategy guidebook for the game. Another disc was included in Advent Pieces containing the original video animation Last Order: Final Fantasy VII. Nomura stated that the reason for the name Advent Pieces was because "advent" means "the recognition and commemoration of something," while "pieces" was added in order to bring special meaning to the release.

A special one-time-only theatrical screening of the English version of the film took place on April 3, 2006, at the Arclight Theatre in Los Angeles. The event was promoted via email to those who subscribed to the Square Enix mailing list. The screening included trailers of Kingdom Hearts II and Dirge of Cerberus, and featured appearances from the English language cast and the Japanese developers.

The European, Australian, and North American DVD release of the film is a 2-disc set that contains several bonus features, including Last Order. Sony later announced Final Fantasy VII Advent Children (Limited Edition Collector's Set) for release in North America on February 20, 2007. The set included more bonus material than the previous DVD releases, including a copy of the script, several postcards with imagery from the film, and the first three stories from the On the Way to a Smile series.

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