Final Fantasy VII
Image: Square Enix

Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII and 18 other Square Enix feature phone games that were previously thought to be lost have just been recovered, as reported by the feature phone preservationist/researcher RockmanCosmo.

The incredible haul of games, which also includes various Kingdom Hearts titles, was retrieved by the Twitter user @NaoyaShinota from a single phone — a DoCoMo P-04B — and was recovered by using a debug cable method (devised by the Kahvibreak Discord member XYZ) that involves shorting specific pins on the FOMA side of a cable to dump internal memory contents of compatible DoCoMo phones using Linux scripts (you can find out more about that here).

According to RockmanCosmo's thread, some of these games are currently playable on the DoJa emulator, but others will involve further research and in some cases reverse engineering to get them up and running. This includes Before Crisis, which needs a local server connection to function. As RockmanCosmo told us over direct message, they have already located someone to help them with this, which has provided hope it may soon be emulateable. They are, however, asking more people to join the Kahvibreak server on Discord if they think they can help out with the ongoing preservation efforts.

Here is the list of games that can currently run on the DoJa SDK emulator, taken from RockmanCosmo:

  • Final Fantasy 4 After Years (first chapter only)
  • Final Fantasy 4 and its demo (full FF4 is stuck on the postgame bonus dungeon, it asks for connection when trying to exit it)
  • Final Fantasy Legends (also stuck in postgame bonus dungeon)
  • Crystal Guardians W1 demo (The first episode of the full Crystal Guardians game. This had three parts and was later released on other platforms under the name Crystal Defenders)
  • Seiken Densetsu (this is the first paid i-mode game that doesn't have DRM. It appears it's an updated version of its original 2006 i-mode release for DoJa 5.0)
  • Final Fantasy 7 Snowboarding (three stages)
  • Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Mobile demo (runs on DoJa)
  • Kingdom Hearts Card Struggle 大富豪
  • Kingdom Hearts Card Struggle スパイダーソリティア
  • Kingdom Hearts Pair Card Battle
  • Kingdom Hearts Reverse
  • Kingdom Hearts Magical Canvas
  • Kingdom Hearts GummiShip Studio (ガラケー版)
  • Kingdom Hearts Balloon Glider
  • Kingdom Hearts Rhythm Parade

Here are the games that RockmanCosmo claims need to be studied further, even if they can launch on the DoJa SDK emulator:

  • Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Mobile full game (runs on Star, but many features need network connection to function)
  • Dirge of Cerberus Lost Episode (requires missing SD card data to start a game)
  • Kingdom Hearts Coded (network check and possible reliance on missing SD data)
  • AVATAR KINGDOM (network-reliant, so very limited functionality so far)

And then there's Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII, which as we mentioned above needs some more work.

It's clearly an exciting time for feature game preservation, and we're thankful to RockmanCosmo for bringing this latest set of discoveries to our attention, and to @NaoyaShinota and others within the Kahvibreak server for making sure these titles don't become lost media.