Among the Final Fantasy installments I’ve played (FF7, FF8, FF9, FF10, Crisis Core, Dirge of Cerberus), Final Fantasy IX got the best and moving ending so far. Hey, I’m not being subjective or anything, this is just my opinion since I really like RPG games with romantic stories involved. Of course I did fall in love with Squall and Rinoa’s love story in Final Fantasy VIII and with Tidus and Yuna in FFX, especially that part where they kissed at Malacania Lake but I was really moved with this one as it approaches the ending part. For me FFIX beats the rest of the Final
Fantasy series I’ve mentioned only on the ending part. It’s a feel good ending and I like stories that ends in happily ever after (and the stereotypical me strikes again).
After finishing the game for a month or two, I’m still wondering what happened to Sir Fratley, as to why he had lost his memories, what did really happened to Vivi’s grandfather, I mean why did he died ( I think I’m missing something here…hmn..). If Vivi Orunitiais one of those black mages which were made out of the mist, he should look like them since they all appeared the same to me (Oh, I get it, he was created just like Zidane was, a
special one…ohh, wait… no?). Somehow Vivi looks like that black mage named Orko in a cartoon classic called ‘He-Man and the Masters of the Universe’ (also an old favorite)… just a thought here. Well, to be honest, I didn’t find time to do the side quests; the answers to my query might have something to do with the results of the side quests (I’m just too lazy to read walkthroughs).
Graphics wise; not that bad, actually it’s better than the previous FF installments. I’m just distracted on how the characters were designed though. Sure thing that Princess Garnet is undoubtedly pretty, but what’s up with the big head and small body structure? It has become a cartoon-ish type, nevertheless it’s still likable. FF9 signifies the real meaning of a fantasy game since FF8 and FF7 are more of sci-fi sorts. Although Zidane, the main hero of the game does not possess the charisma, qualities and characteristics of Cloud, Squall and even Tidus, he still has this captivating personality to be loved by many, especially by the prettiest girl in Gaia, none other than Princess Garnet is. Quina and Steiner on the other hand never cease to make me laugh as the game progresses. I so love these two. That part where Quina and Vivi got married is one pretty joke. I really cracked up on that particular portion of the game; it’s hilarious. Final Fantasy people are kinda crazy…. Tehehe! Of course, the Moogle that which played as the save point of the game are really cute. I have to say that on the world map, I sometimes called them unintentionally, after which they appear, ready to save my game; here I am, dismissing them right away… they somehow make me feel stupid. I don’t know if I’m the only one who ever felt that way whenever that happens.
Regarding the background music, well, Nobou Uematsu sensei is as splendid as ever in creating the musical scores used in the game. I personally was enthralled with Princess Garnet’s song; magical and enchanting.
I also like how the game play works in Final Fantasy IX. Each character were given different abilities, unlike in 7 and 8 where the characters can almost be in god mode since all the character carries the same superficial abilities that sometimes you just have to choose your favorite characters to fight with you and neglect the others until the game finishes; FF9 is different, you will be needing all the characters to fight certain enemy so no one will be left out until the game ends, akin to FF10. One thing that bothers me is the trance mode, I don’t know if it’s a game error or something because sometimes when I hit the bar limit for trance, I’m automatically transformed, even after the enemy is killed and then it’ll be gone on the next fighting round. If I may remember in 7 and 10, when you reach your limit break or overdrive and have not used it even after the enemy is killed, you can eventually used that on the next fighting round. Anyhow, it doesn’t trouble me, but why is that? Taken as a whole, Final Fantasy IX still has those Final Fantasy elements we all love and enjoy over the past years.
Final Fantasy 9 | The Story
The Tantalus Theatre Troupe went to the kingdom of Alexandria to present a popular play called “I Want to Be Your Canary”. They were also sent there to kidnap Princess Garnet Til Alexandros XVII of Alexandria whom is having her 16th birthday celebration that time. Zidane Tribal, the main hero of the story was asked to do the task. While he went to look for the lovely princess, he bumped into a hooded young girl, he suddenly learns that the maiden was Princess Garnet herself and so he went to chase after her. He then later learns that Princess Garnet wishes to be kidnap and be taken away from her kingdom because she was worried about her mother’s wrong actions. She is actually planning to seek help from Regent Cid in Lindblum. They were chased by the kingdom’s soldiers under the command of Queen Brahne and were lead by Adelbert Steiner, the Captain of the Knights of Pluto. The troupe managed to escape using their airship called Prima Vista, but Steiner was able to come after them and the young black mage named Vivi Orunitia was also dragged during the whole upheaval.
The ship was badly damaged during the escape so it crashes in the Evil Forest. The ship is in total wreckage, some were wounded and the Princess is nowhere to find. Zidane then decided to leave the troupe together with Steiner and Vivi to look for the princess since the Evil Forest live up to what it’s called. They managed to find the princess, though along the way Steiner and Zidane were like cat and dog due to Steiner’s obstinacy. He just won’t listen, he wants to bring the princess back to Alexandria and there’s Vivi whom at that time is clueless for what had just transpired.
While on their journey, Princess Garnet decided to change her name to “Dagger” (instead of Dagger I named her after my name… tehehe) and tries her best to blend in with ordinary folks, and as usual, to Steiner, this is most absurd but he couldn’t do anything. They passed by the Ice Cavern and they found out about the Black Waltzes that were chasing after them to retrieve the princess by force but Zidane won’t allow that to happen. They later found out that the Queen were the one who sent them. After reaching the town called Dali, they found out about the factory that creates black mages out of the mist. This has made Vivi curious and at the same time confused. From Dali they traveled to Lindblum through another airship and finally Princess Garnet meets her Uncle Cid whom at that moment was in a form of an oglop. They later found out that it was because he cheated on Lady Hilda, his wife; she turns him to a bug-like oglop. Additionally, he told Princess Garnet that he was the one who ordered the Tantalus to kidnap her in hope to save and protect the princess from her mother’s hostile behavior.
In Lindblum, Zidane met his old friend Freya; they both joined the Lindblum’s Festival of the Hunt with Vivi and some other hunters. They later learned that Queen Brahne and her minions attacked Freya’s home, Burmercia. Zidane together with Vivi and Freya hurriedly went there and along the way they bumped into a frog-eating creature named Quina from Qu race. Quina’s grandpa look a lot like Vivis (Qu clan almost look the same to me). Quina travels with them in order to learn about food and so much more. Meanwhile, Princess Garnet went back to Alexandria with Steiner in order to ask her mother to stop what she’s been doing, only to find out that there’s no hope for Brahne at all. Brahne locked up Steiner as prisoner and she forcibly extracted Garnet’s special powers, the eidolons (GF in FF8, Aeon in FF10 and Summon materia in FF7) to use them as her ultimate weapon to conquer Gaia.
Zidane with his party reached Burmecia, but it’s already been destroyed by Brahne, so they went to Cleyra with high hopes to find Burmecia’s king and people. Not long enough, Brahne and her men destroyed Cleyra as well with the aid of Garnet’s eidolon, Odin. Zidane and his party found out what had happened to Garnet, they were worried, especially Zidane so they went to Alexandria to rescue her. There Steiner finally realized how evil his queen is by trying to kill her daughter, and so Steiner remained loyal to Garnet and pledge to protect her at all cost. They also gained another new ally, Brahne’s right hand, General Beatrix. Zidane, together with Garnet and Vivi, hurriedly escaped to Lindblum but Alexandria is already taking over the kingdom with the help of the black mages that were made in Dali’s factory and another of Garnet’s stolen eidolons, Atomos.
The party later then learns about Kuja from Cid whom is believed to be the dealer of Brahne’s weapon, so the group hurriedly travels to the Outer Continent to find the whereabouts of this Kuja guy. There they met a young summoner named “Eiko” from Madain Sari. Garnet now discovered her roots; she too was from Madain Sari as well as her biological parents. A supposedly villain named “Amarant” became their ally after which Zidane defeated and refuse to finish him off. Later, they journeyed to the Lifa Tree where they met Kuja and his silver dragon, and the perfect timing is Brahne also went there to finally kill Kuja, but he was too powerful, not even Garnet’s most powerful eidolon, Bahamut can defeat him. And so, Brahne died.
By chasing Kuja, they met Regent Cid’s wife whom were taken by Kuja just to get a hold of Hilda Garde airship. Lady Hilda told them about Kuja’s plans. The group was lead into the ultimate mission of their life…. to save planet Gaia from total destruction.
Zidane and his party were able to find Terra through a hidden portal in the North. Terra is a world similar to Gaia that which controlled by Garland, he was created by the people of Terra before they vanished to setup the course of incorporating Terra into Gaia. As a result Garland created these beings called ‘Genomes’ to become the future vessels for the souls of the people of Terra and surprisingly, Zidane and Kuja are one of them. Kuja hopes to take over Garland’s position and rule over Terra and Gaia, thus he killed Garland and was told that his life won’t last that long and Zidane whom is believed to be the most powerful and special genome was created to replace him. This caused Kuja to get furious and destroyed Terra.
Zidane managed to rescue all the genomes and brought them safe to Gaia. He and his party went to the Lifa Tree to settle the score with Kuja. The epic battle started and Kuja was finally defeated. Being a genome, Zidane knew he has to save Kuja. The Lifa Tree is about to be destroyed, hence Garnet and the others was forced to leave Zidane behind.
As the ending approaches, Princess Garnet now Queen Garnet of Alexandria still can’t get over Zidane, she was saddened by the thought that Zidane died sometime ago and he’ll never come back. Time flies fast, Beatrix and Steiner was restored on their respective post as royal bodyguards of Queen Garnet and became romantically involved. Lady Freya and Sir Fratley rekindle their love affair, Quina works in Alexandria Castle’s kitchen, Eiko was adopted by Lady Hilda and Regent Cid, Vivi became a father of the little black mages that exactly look like him but he died not long enough after that final incident in Lifa Tree due to a limited lifespan of the black mages, and Amarant was reunited with Lina on his way to Alexandria to watch the Tantalus Troupe perform the “I want to be Your Canary” for the queen.
As the Tantalus was performing the play, one of the performers faces the balcony where Garnet was sitting, he removes his cloak to reveal himself and to everyone’s surprised, it was Zidane; he’s alive. Queen Garnet went down rushing to his arms with tears and it was the most moving Final Fantasy ending I’ve seen so far. I couldn’t really elaborate more but you have got to play the game to see what I mean.
If you had played the game then I’m looking forward to read about how you feel while playing the game on the comment section below, especially the ending part. And that’s it, I think already wrote a novel here, so I might as well end this now.
Final Fantasy IX was published and developed by Square Enix for PlayStation and was released in the year 2000. Okay, enough said. Thanks for reading!