The kingdom of Alexandria begins to rise, and a shadow of a threat looms in the castle. The princess seeks
the aid of a thief, black mage, her guard, and others to find the truth behind the strange behavior of her mother, the queen.
Why she is seeking so much power? When did she turn to hate over love?
As hidden plots are revealed, and sinister schemes unfold, the world begins to prepare for an epic battle. Each person will
have to fight there own demons, and come to find their own truths, if they are to save the world they love so much.
Final Fantasy IX was actually supposed to be a spin-off title. Square struggled with the release of it
as a main part of the series throughout the entire production. It was, however released as Final Fantasy IX.
Final Fantasy IX was indeed a top seller at the time, but it sold no where near the totals of VII, and VIII. There were many
contributing factors that might have caused this.
1-The PS2 was released just two weeks prior to the release of FFIX. And even though it could be played on the PS2, people
were more apt to spend money on PS2 games.
2-Most people began the Final Fantasy series with the futuristic approach of VII, and VIII. The step back into the old school
upset a few newer fans to the series.
3-The strategy guide released for the game was a completely stripped down version of a normal guide. Instead of getting all
the information from there, you were directed to square's new playonline.com. Here, if you typed in the keyword in the book,
you were given greater coverage of that section. This was not well accepted, and actually no longer exists for Final Fantasy
IX. Basically the guide has been rendered useless for the most part.
There were more positive things to be said about IX, than not though. The graphics were pushed to the very limits of the playstation.
This was thought impossible that that could happen, considering the advancements made in VIII, but it was. The backgrounds
were rendered beautifully, and with such exquisite detail. There was moving objects in the background, such as air traffic,
and people walking throughout towns. The landscapes were above that of even VIII. Battle sequences were also something to
look at as well.
The FMV sequences were indeed something to see, and were integrated into the plotline beautifully. None of them were too stale,
or too long. Rather than keeping you from the game, they made your anticipation higher.
Characters were so rich and detailed, that it was almost overdone. Each characters plight and point in the story was unfolded
perfectly throughout the storyline. And perhaps the greatest of all square's character development was seen in the form of
Vivi. His innocents, and naivety made us easily relate to him, and engage into his emotions throughout the game.
This is also the first title, where the drama/humor ratio changed slightly. There is far more points that bring a smile to
your face, than in previous titles. Lines such as zidane's "Let's ditch sir rust-a-lot, and get out of here.", brought more
than enough laughter from the players. This was both a relief, and a bit of a let down. It was nice to see a lighter side,
but at the same time, Final Fantasy has become well known for epic, dramatic stories.
The old school systems, such as abilities, individual character skills, more armor types, and others were redone and done
well for Final Fantasy IX. Nothing in the game was too complicated to get a hold of, or took too long to learn. The addition
of the fourth active character (not seen since FFVI) made many fights easier to strategize than before.
The music was not to standard of the previous title, though it was good in its own rights. Some songs did not seem to fit
the game very well, and were still done in the fashion of the older titles.
The mini-game Tetra Master, a revamp of FFVIII's Triple Triad was also deemed too complicated to get the full hang of, and
not as fun. Though there were a great many other mini-games, and side quests to be had.
The story was one of the most in depth stories seen in a FF title. Though, it was sluggish at times. Mainly in the first two
½ disks. You find more than not wanting to get past the endless dialog, and get on with the game.
All in all, Final Fantasy IX was not a bad game. It is loved by a great many people, and most critics gave it a great score.
It also became the top selling PS1 game at the time.
That said, not everyone liked it, mostly because of the above mentioned issues surrounding it.
But any veteran of the series, and anyone who has never played it, should give it a chance. They will definitely not be disappointed.