Please see my review and photos of the night here. I have made this a separate post to show the swag I picked up at the concert.
First off I was extremely impressed with Square Enix and the Distant Worlds team for bringing a good set of merch at reasonable prices. I am not going to say they were cheap – far from it. But they were significantly nicer and better value than the rip-off merch I brought at the Zelda Symphony show also in London a month earlier. For the record, I am not anti-Zelda, I love the series dearly but Distant Worlds really outshined Nintendo’s shabby efforts.
To begin I will talk about some items on sale. There were CDs from many of the most popular main series games, ie. FFVII, VIII, X, XIII and Advent Children Reunion Tracks. Also there were programmes, a glossy artbook, a live DVD/album combo of the Japanese concert as well as the CD on its own. Both Distant Worlds albums, a Distant Worlds tshirt which sadly didn’t have dates on the back. I couldn’t see any posters or plushies. It’s a shame they didn’t have a stock of moogles and cactuars because I am sure they would have sold extremely well. I don’t know what sort of commission the Royal Albert Hall take on this merch but I would love to see Square Enix Products have a stall open next time. There is a captive audience of 5000 Final Fantasy fanatics – I am sure they’d make pots of cash.
The items I purchased were the programme (£5), DVD/CD combo of the Japanese show (£20), the artbook (£15) and tshirt (£20). In the end I didn’t actually need to buy the programme because I was given one after the show at the meet and greet but I wasn’t sure this was going to happen and for £5 it was worth it to pick up a spare just in case.
As I said before, the Distant Worlds tshirt had no tour dates on the back but it is a nice charcoal-grey colour and I like the logo on the front a lot. The programme was nice, not as fancy as the Zelda Symphony one but this one was more detailed, despite it being printed on fairly thin paper.
The artbook I brought impulsively because I love those sorts of things… and more importantly I spotted some Amano work in it! The book is printed on glossy paper and is a very odd shape (see the photos below). Each page shows a FF game, a short description and some screens/art and release dates of the game in each territory (EU, US and Jap). Sadly the Amano art was only used for the earlier games and the older ones had their CGI graphics. At the end it lists all the venues they have played at and the Royal Albert Hall has been added to the bottom! I have taken photographs of each page below. I apologise for the glare but the paper is so glossy that it was so difficult to take nice photos.