So the New Year has arrived and I thought to myself, why not start it off with a nice review on a classic game that I still enjoy to this day.
It has been well over a Decade since Final Fantasy 9 was launched in 2000 and the game was a great hit then and it’s still a great hit now.
The game was produced and developed by Squaresoft (before they went belly up after producing the most epically failed Movie Spirits within)
This was Squaresoft and when they produced a Final Fantasy movie, you would have thought they would carry on their great development and production that they put into their Final Fantasy games. (they failed to do this and the movie sucked)
so they flopped big time with this movie and lost a lot of money in the process and had to merge with Enix creating Square Enix which saved them from certain doom.
So that’s a quick recap on how Squaresoft got rebranded.
The story for Final Fantasy 9 was great as you follow the lives of not one person but multiple players; you get the privilege of using different players as you progress through the game.
“Virtue – You don’t need a reason to help people.”
Garnet Til Alexandros XVII also known as Dagger
“Devotion – Someday I will be Queen, but I will always be myself.”
“Sorrow – How do you prove that you exist…? Maybe we don’t exist…”
“Dilemma – Having sworn fealty, must I spend my life in servitude?”
“Despair – To be forgotten is worse than death.”
“Indulgence – I do what I want! You have problem!?”
“Solitude – I don’t wanna be alone anymore…”
“Arrogance – The only dependable thing about the future is uncertainty.”
Story of Final Fantasy 9
The Main player is Zidane Tribal who has been sent to kidnap the Princess (Princess Garnet) of the Kingdom of Alexandria by regent CID.
Simple task get into the kingdom and kidnap the princess under the rogue of a play being performed by Tantalus.
But things aren’t as simple as one would think in the world of Final Fantasy as the story slowly unravels it’s self
you find yourself in the middle of a growing conspiracy and deception, your goal to get to the bottom of it all.
Now you find yourself protecting the Princess and on a mission to save the world from imminent destruction.
As you progress through the game you learn more and more about the individual players and their origins.
The one great thing about Final Fantasy games are the story lines as they always contain depth full stories which you can immerse yourself into.
Final Fantasy games are very simple and basic and doesn’t take long to master
The battle engine is basically a turn based system. You control the actions of four players on the battlefield.
Each player has different abilities,
for example would be Dagger and Zidane
Dagger is a summoner
Her Abilities are being able to summon Eidolons and cast Magic (healing and so on)
Zidane is a Thief
Zidane can steal items off the opponents
While in battle mode you select what moves your player makes, this is done every turn until the opponent is killed.
in the previous Final Fantasy Games where if you used a summon the gauge would freeze until the Eidolon had come in and attacked the opponent, in Final Fantasy 9 you can carry on issuing commands instead of having to wait for the previous commands to take effect.
Unlike the previous Final Fantasy Games where ever member of the party could summon, in Final Fantasy 9 only summoner’s can summon, this is the same with Magic, Vivi the black mage can only use Magic along with Steiner when in the party along with Vivi.
So the battle engine is very easy to master.
Abilities are contained in equipped weapons and items which give your player extra boost in fights, this can be the following for example
Auto-Regen which when caste regenerates the players health periodically during the battle,
This is gained through an item equipped by the player, with abilities they can also be mastered, (this allows you to continue to use the ability and learn new abilities from equipping new Items)
Each player has different equipment but do get the same abilities as each other, some abilities are only available for certain players to increase their skills in their field, for example Zidane would be Thievery which does physical damage when he steals from the target.
The world Map hasn’t changed that much and is very basic and simple, you control your player and move them to the desired destination.
With Final Fantasy 9 like other Final Fantasy games you can’t access the whole map until you have passed a certain point in the game and obtain the transport required to be able to move freely.
there are three types of Transport in Final Fantasy 9
The Blue Norris (Escape pod used by the Queen which was salvaged)
this is used to cross the oceans but limited to only being able to access beaches
The Hilda Guard
The Airship is used to access almost all parts of the map but can only land on green fields.
The Invincible can land anywhere on the map apart from forests.
The last of transports is the humble Chocobo which can be trained to fly the skies of world.
Map from http://www.uffsite.net
At the end of the day it’s been well over a decade since I picked up my copy of Final Fantasy 9 and even after all these years I still enjoy playing the game.
The story is still great to see
even so I have seen it about 40+ times now, I know it’s a lot but hey what can I say its addictive game.
The cut scenes are still great and even for a game that was developed in 1999, the graphics is still up to par with most games sold these days, the game was developed to Push the Sony PlayStation to the Limit and that’s what made Squaresoft great, they kept pushing the boundaries of the console to get the most out of it.
I have spoken to many people who have said they have heard of Final Fantasy but never really played it, I would have been one of them if I had never played Final Fantasy 7, and thankfully I gave it a go and got hooked to the series.
Until you have played a Final Fantasy Game you will not understand the quality of the game and what it brought to the generation of gaming.
I would tell anyone that hasn’t played Final Fantasy 9 to get it and try it out and in can promise you will not regret it.