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Final Fantasy IX

Role-Playing video game by Square Electronics Arts for the PlayStation 1

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No Fantasy too Final

  • Dec 9, 2001
Pros: Characters, story, graphics, blah blah blah. In short, everything.

Cons: Having to shut it off and return to stupid reality.

The Bottom Line: Everything a really great rpg should be and more. Find a way to aquire it. But it, steal it, it doesn't matter how. Just aquire it!

Do you remember the Dark Ages? Times of a "Junction" system? Of weapon upgrades? Of magic drawing? Of a sci-fi setting? And of a stoic prick named after a weather phenomenon? Those were such primitive times. Well, you can now forget about the travesty called Final Fantasy 8, because Final Fantasy 9 is here, and for longtime fans it's like returning home-home to a world of actual fantasy, of theaters and airships and not of gunblades and five minute summon spells.

Things start off with a bang in the new FF world. The opening scene revolves around a group of actor/bandits lead by a big guy named Baku. But while Baku may be the leader, it is ladies' man Zidane who is the heart and soul of the group (and also the game's main character). He is the one who stands up for the little people, the one who raises the spirits of everyone around him. A nice change from the last two games. Anyway, the group is hired by (oops, can't tell you that) to kidnap Princess Garnet of Alexandria. While the rest of the group puts on a play for cover, Zidane makes a break for Garnet, who begs him to kidnap her! Despite this coincedence, the kidnapping goes awry due to interference from Stiener, the leader of the knights, and in the commotion a black mage named Vivi also gets involved. The airship goes down, and the adventure begins. The story, from there, continues into the old save the world scenario that FF is known for, but the twists and turns it takes to get there are great. The characters are also wonderful, developing and changing as the game goes on. There are only eight main characters, but at least they aren't hollow like in the last game. It's exciting to watch Zidane's advances on the princess grow into love, and Vivi learn about his past.

As if the story wasn't enough to draw you in, the graphics are the most amazing graphics in the entire series. They bring back the use of something that was sorely lacking in the last two games-color. The world map is brightly colored and detailed with nice, subtle little touches, like the enless twilight at Treno and sunset on the Lost Continent. It is a 3d water color painting come to life. The graphics in the dungeons are equally as amazing, with the schemes perfectly setting the mood for each dungeon, from the eerily beautiful gloom of the evil forest to the winter wonderland that is the ice cave. The highlight of the dungeons is in Memoria, the final dungeon, which starts out in an ancient castle and takes us on a spectacular journey that takes us through an interdimensional portal and lands us in a world of crystal. All this is hogwash, however, compared to the incredible CG cinemas, which are splattered with color and move very realisticlly, unlike the CG's of the last two games, which act like the characters float in the air.

The beautiful music compliments the graphics perfectly. It sets the mood for every dungeon and always goes with the pace of the game. From the quick paced battle music to the music that sets the mood for new scenes, it is easy to listen to, always appropriate and never annoying. You can appreciate it at the end as much as you did at the beginning.

Hardcore FF vets will be glad to know that FF9 returns to the old system of pretty much everything. Square went back to giving money for defeating enemies and using up magic points, so no more getting paid or drawing magic. No more junctioning either, and, best of all, no more of those God-forsaken weapon upgrades that take you to the ends of the earth in search of rare items held by powerful enemies that can wipe out your party in one fell swoop. Just walk into a shop, and if you see weapons or armor that you like, but it. Actually, the people who will feel most at home in this world are FF6 vets, because the customization system in FF9 replicates the customization system from FF6 almost exactly. You get the weapons and armor for the torso, head and arms, as well as a relic. Each one comes with a diferent set of abilities that you learn by collecting "Ability Points" in battle. When you reach the set number of AP, you learn the ability. Sound vaguely familiar? It's the Esper system reworked, so FF6 vets will have no trouble learning it.

Are there any mini-games? Of course! If you like, you can jump rope or catch frogs, but the real joy is the card game, Tetra Master. It's kind of like Triple Triad, but without the confusing number combo strings and regional rules. There is also Chocobo Hot and Cold, in which you use a Chocobo to search for items. There are a lot of different side quests, too, like the one involving Mognet, the Moogle postal service. When you meet a Moogle, he may ask you to carry a letter to another Moogle. You don't have to do it, but it adds something to the game.

With the incredible storyline and the side quests, you're not likely to get bored of FF9 anytime soon. Hell, the graphics alone are enough to keep you playing to the end at least once. FF9 is far and away the best FF available for the Playstation. And with the trusty old Ps1's time almost up, you might as well try to suck up every last drop of life it has to offer. So this one is a definite buyer. Just remember to say goodbye to your family and friends and make sure your will is in order before you begin playing it, because they're not likely to ever see you again after you turn it on.


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More Final Fantasy IX reviews
Quick Tip by . February 23, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
I tip my hat to the hours of wall hugging for [?].      I thought it was a great game. They said they were going back to the roots, and I felt like they really did - but in a different way. I felt that FFVII and FFVIII were much more modern and more serious. The tone of FFIX was nice and lighthearted. They definitely pulled off the fantasy setting.      Lovable cast. Except Quina, but that was only because she was scary. Honestly, Blank would have been so cool.
Quick Tip by . February 21, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
Everything I want out of a Final Fantasy and should go down as one of the best games Square has ever made for PlayStation one (right next to Chrono Cross).
Quick Tip by . February 21, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
One my favorite RPGs. Great story, music, and sidequests. The battle system is a step backward for the series and the difficulty is pretty easy. Despite this, the game makes up for with a lot of character and the best art direction of the PSOne Final Fantasy titles. Fantastic ending to boot despite interesting final boss.
Quick Tip by . February 22, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
Underappreciated in its own time, but I liked it for what it was, a colorful 16-bit throwback. To me it had the most likable cast since VI. Unfortunately, at that point I had largely moved on to the Dreamcast, and was busy falling in love with Skies of Arcadia, so this game wasn't as loved in heart as it could have been. Sorry.
review by . July 27, 2009
The Final Fantasy series, in particular, has a huge staple in gaming.  It is the world's most successful Japanese RPG outside of Japan (inside it is still beaten out by Dragon Quest).  Often the games have unique stories filled with lovable characters.  Final Fantasy IX is perhaps one of the most unique games of the series, but not because of the game's own merits.  But mainly because it has some interesting history behind it.       Development began before …
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Ranked #17
Hi! I'm here in part to plug my writing and let everyone know that I'm trying to take my work commercial.      Now, what about me? Well, obviously I like to write. I'm … more
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About this video game


FINAL FANTASY IX centers around an evil queen's desire to dominate the world, while players follow a group of bandits, knights, and magicians as they try to stop her. Brahne, the Queen of Alexandria, has begun using highly-advanced magical weapons to terrorize neighboring kingdoms. Zidane, a skilled thief, teams with a young mage, a royal knight, and a beautiful princess to save the world from the queen's evil doings. Soon after embarking on their quest, they discover that the queen's threats merely cover a far more sinister plot. A powerful sorcerer named Kuja has been supplying Brahne with her magical weapons. For the sake of mankind, Zidane and company must uncover Kuja's motives before he carries out his deadly plan. As in all Square games, FINAL FANTASY IX allows players to unlock the rich storyline and subplots as they play with eight uniqe characters who use a variety of weapons, magic and monsters in a quest for good over evil.
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ESRB: T - (Teen)
Number of Players: 1
Publisher: Square Electronics Arts
Release Date: 14 November, 2000

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