Why Everyone Needs to Play Final Fantasy IX in Their Lifetime!

Justice Herrick, Staff Writer

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   Final Fantasy IX is an RPG for the PlayStation One and was rereleased for the PlayStation 3. It was developed and released by Square, who merged with Enix to form Square Enix in 2003. This game is the sequel to Final Fantasy VIII that was released a year before hand. The director was Hiroyuki Ito. Hiroyuki previously directed the 6th game in the series and would go on to direct the 12th game in the series. This game was voted the 24th best video game of all time by readers of the Japanese magazine Famitsu. Metacritic, an online review site, it has the best rating for a Final Fantasy game in history. The game scored a 94% on the site. On GameRankings, an online review site, gave the game a 93% for the second best Final Fantasy game on the site. It was only behind Final Fantasy VI. Metacritic says that Critics pointed out the strength of the game within its gameplay, character development, and visual representation. GameSpot noted that the learning curve is easily grasped, and that the ability system is not as complex as in Final Fantasy VII or Final Fantasy VIII.” It also won many awards including Console RPG of the Year, Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction, and Outstanding Achievement in Animation at the Interactive Achievement Awards. It won Best Interactive Product/Video Game at the Golden Satellite Awards. This game was released in the U.S. almost 17 years ago. This game was released on July 7, 2000. This is definitely an old game but due to the excellence of quality this game produces and that it is relatively available, still holds relevance in our society today. I believe everyone should play this game even if you don’t normally play RPG’s or games in general. This is one of my favorite games of all time and after reading this review, it should encourage you to go play this game.

   Final Fantasy IX is a story about a war between nations in a medieval world. The main characters are Zidane Tribal, Garnet Til Alexandros XVII, Vivi Ornitier, and Adelbert Steiner. The antagonists are Kuja, an enemy of Gaia and arms dealer, and Garnet’s mother and queen, Queen Brahne. A main enemy throughout the game is General Beatrix, who eventually joins the good side. She eventually confesses her love for one of the main characters, but who that was would be spoilers. The story begins with Zidane and his bandit group, Tantalus, attempting to kidnap Princess Garnet on her 16th birthday celebration. They eventually find out she is scared of her mother’s erratic behavior and wishes to be kidnapped. Steiner joins the group to protect the princess during this adventure and Vivi tags along too. Queen Brahne sends troops to take Garnet back to the kingdom. They flee the troops and try to stop Queen Brahne from starting a war. They find out the Burmecia is under attack with help from Kuja. While defending the city, Garnet is captured and taken back to the kingdom. They take the eidolons, which are powerful magical weapons, from her body and use her and the weapons to begin to destroy the world. Throughout the game, there are many plot points and twists that keep you on the edge of your seat. Once you start playing, you’ll not want to quit. The ending is a surprise; none will expect it coming. This is one game you don’t want to miss playing.

Everything has good and bad parts in them and this game is no exception. Even though this game’s good parts vastly outweigh the bad, every game has flaws. There is not much bad, so I will get it out of the way first. My least liked feature of the game was how you had to raise chocobos to get the ultimate weapons. The chocobo raising takes forever and you’ll have to get maps to level up your bird. There is a place on the map that allows you to dig for treasure. The only problem with this is that it takes forever to dig up the required maps to find the treasure all of the in game world. Even worse about this minigame, is that it costs in game money to dig. So you better be rich or you won’t be able to get all of the maps. You might be thinking “I don’t need the maps to find the treasure, I can just find the exact locations from the internet.” Wrong. The game requires you to receive the maps before the treasure is located. Also, there aren’t like 10 maps to find. There are a total of 30 of them and all are required for the ultimate weapons. Even if you painstakingly get all thirty chocographs and level up your chocobo all the way, you still can’t get Steiner’s ultimate weapon. To get his, you have to beat the whole game in 10 hours. I skipped the chocobo quests and still beat the game in 20+ hours. So, unless you are a speedster at these chocographs, you can’t get all of the ultimate weapons. I personally just used the best weapons that weren’t ultimate due to my refusal at doing these long quests. The graphics and cutscenes were amazing for 2000, but extremely old compared to today.

Luckily though, I forgave all of this due to the excellent story. The story flowed together nicely and never left me asking myself “What just happened” at any point. The game clearly explains the story and the world its taking you in. There are too many good things to talk about this game so I will just summarize the best parts of this amazing game. One of my favorite features of this game is the ability to change everyone’s name. Don’t want the main character named Zidane. Easily changed. This made the game more realistic, due to being able to name the character your real life name. You can change all of your partner’s names, not just the main character. The combat system was geared more towards first timers, which I was. This was my first Final Fantasy games and due to the combat system being easy to learn, made me want to recommend this game most to first timers of the Final Fantasy subgenre. You’ll definitely want to keep the volume on your T.V. due to the excellent music quality. The music in the game is fantastic and the album is on Spotify, if you love the music from the game. My two favorite songs from the game are the Boss Battle theme which, in my opinion, is the best boss battle theme in any video game. My second favorite song is the final boss theme, which is amazing and will not leave you, even after finishing the boss and the game. My favorite part of the game, and why I reviewed it was the story. The story is amazing and equal to Final Fantasy VII’s story. There is a major death in the game, just like Aerith’s death in FF7. I won’t reveal who dies though to save suspense. My favorite part of the story was the final boss fight which I will not reveal who it is against. It sums the game up nicely. My least liked part of the story though was the first fight against General Beatrix. This battle takes place at the beginning of the game. There was absolutely no point in this battle. Basically you have to survive for 10 turns against her and when you do she knocks you out anyways. What’s the point in that!

My overall recommendation for this game is that this is an awesome game for a someone looking to see what all the hype is about Final Fantasy. It is a great entry point into the RPG subgenre and Final Fantasy games in general. This was personally an amazing experience to play and you won’t find an experience like this anywhere else. I am going to give this game a 96% percent out of 100 due to that the game is a masterpiece and rivals Final Fantasy VII, which most fans consider one of the best video games of all time.

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