Final Fantasy IX [28] – Final Impressions

I get it. I finally get why so many people consider Final Fantasy IX to be the best of the era. This is a game that did an insane amount of things right.  It looks and sounds great, plays amazingly well and it actually fixed a lot of things people complained about in Final Fantasy VII and VIII.

A lot of the story and talking is optional, so those who don’t feel like going through it on their second play through, or even on their first, can easily skip it. As for myself, I enjoyed every moment of the story, and probably would do so again.

The part I did make use of are the optionally long summoning animations. Apparently, there was a lot of understandable complaining about the long summoning animations in Final Fantasy VII and especially VIII, so Square did what was probably the best solution. The first summoning of an eidolon shows the full length sequence. Future summoning only show the short version, unless the Boost ability is enabled on Dagger/Eiko. In that case, the full sequence is played, but the summon also does more damage. This way, people who are willing to wait through it get rewarded a bit, but most of the time, the extra damage is not needed.

Final Fantasy IX, Ending

It’s a classic happy ending, but it’s a classic game, so it works.

In one of my earlier posts about this play through, I complained about the frequency of random encounters, but over the course of the game, I’ve noticed it really isn’t a huge issue. Most of the time, the encounters are frequent only in areas where your characters could probably use some training. Other than that, I only rarely had trouble with to many encounters.

As I said, the game looks and sounds great. It’s probably one of the best looking games of the era and the soundtrack is something I often listen to as part of my regular playlists. It’ not just about the quality of the graphics, though. It’s design that makes it timeless and provides the atmosphere and charm. Everything just blends and works together perfectly.

Yes, Final Fantasy VII still is my favorite, simply because the story and the setting are probably the most developed (or the most familiar to me personally), but would have to agree that overall, Final Fantasy IX is probably the better game. Any fan of what JRPGs used to be should play this one.

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  • I’m glad you finished it! I just played through FFIX for the first time last year, and I totally agree that it’s one of the best of it’s generation. Looking forward to seeing what comes next.

  • Jason

    FF9 for me storyline wise is the worst game in the series, the love story is horrible written and the game pretends that the love story is one of the main focuses when it isn’t, the story is FULL of plotholes, some of the characters are obnoxious, and some of them make really stupid decision (especially garnet) and has a really unsympathetic character that the game acts like is sympathetic (kuja). In a top 10 list that lists everything wrong with 9:

    10: the trance mode
    9: necron
    8: the eidolons and Brahne
    7:Freya and fratley
    5: terra, Garland and zidane’s angel of death powers
    4: beatrix
    3: kuja
    2: garnet’s disk 1 and 2 actions (returning to Alexandria)
    1: zidane and garnet’s love story

    I won’t get into too much detail because I’m better at explaining this when I’m talking on a video I plan to make, but I’ll say some things. The only reason for Necron’s existence was for him to serve as a cheap excuse for kuja to try to redeem himself, because kuja completly deserves to redeem himself (being sarcastic), kuja was an unsympathetic monster the whole game and then during terra the game pretty much pulls out of nowhere And forces to make kuja out to be a “tragic and sympathetic” character despite there being no build up before, and the game pretty much started treating kuja like a draco in leather pants (term for character who has his negative traits down played), and NECRON was just something the writers pulled out of their rears as a forced attemped to make kuja atone.

    Beatrix is an annoying God-mode Sue who never looses a fight, which is especially annoying because the guy who fights her each time was zidane the guy who was created to be the most powerful person in 9: the shadow the hedgehog/mewtwo of 9. In the final fight with Beatrix; Zidane should have transformed into a more powerful incomplete angel of death trance mode and curb stomp Beatrix and actually have Beatrix loose a fight, there’s a bunch of other problems I have with Beatrix but I won’t state that here.

    And Zidane and Garnet I consider the love story to be the worst done in the final fantasy series, people act like it’s so great but I don’t understand why, it’s supposed to be a spin on the classic peasant princess love story but it’s not very well written, there’s barely any chemistry between them, Garnet spends more time wangsting about her mother and kingdom than she does focusing on Zidane, let’s not even get started on the mute segment (and people think Cloud and Squall are emo). and Zidane barely ever gets upset over what happens to Garnet, personality wise Zidane is a mary-sue, Zidane is WAY too optimistic, Garnet has TOO MUCH angst and zidane has too little, and then there’s Garnet’s stupid decision during disk 1 and 2, she completely betrays Zidane’s trust, stabs him in the back, and abandons him, and end up making the intire beginning of the game (the kidnapping and trip to lindblum) and first several levels of gameplay completely pointless, what kind of thing is that to start off a love story or even put into it? The player is pretty much forced to play through her section of stupidity with an extremely obvious conclusion, you pretty much Hand over the eidolons to the antagonists, and Garnet is responsible for all the city’s getting blow up due to her ridiculous behaviour, not to mention leaving a scar on Zidane and Garnet’s love story, I consider that to one of the worst moments in the final fantasy series. The game acts like the love story is one of the main focuses, the main musical theme is a love song (melodies of life) that plays consteadly throughout the game and even serves as the world map theme! Yet there’s barely ANY focus due to Garnet barely focusing or having chemistry with Zidane aside from random scenes that come out of nowhere and then are immediately made irrelevant and pointless afterwards and never mentioned again.

    And honestly Garland should have been the main antagonist he was really interesting and unique with his moral ambiguity and instead he has to play second Fidel to Kuja and Brahne, two really 2d and cliche characters who are overhyped, and personally I think Beatrix should have garnet’s adoptive mother, it wouldn’t have sent out the unfortinate implication that ugly people are bad. And Kuja shouldn’t have been a straight up antagonist but a complex character that was basically a darker version of Zuko, from avater the last air bender.

    Both halves of ff9 were pretty badly witten. I think 9 would have been better told as an anime, in fact most of the ff games should be retold as animes. FF9 in my opinion should have been a deconstruction of the nes and snes FF games. You should also check socksmakepeoplesexy’s review of the game. And Final Fantasy Whatever’s review.

    I apologize for the ranting and clunky-ness, I typed this when I was under a lot of stress, but it somewhat shows my main points.