Final Fantasy IX Walkthrough and Strategy Guide
Final Fantasy IX
Final Fantasy IX was developed in conjunction with Final Fantasy VIII and both were sequels to the hugely successful predecessor, Final Fantasy VII. While 8 shifted towards the far more futuristic and real style, Final Fantasy IX brought the series back to its origins. This is a truly fantasy RPG as evident in the story as well as the setting.
Final Fantasy IX received huge reviews when it first came out and remains one of the best games of the series, however, it’s definitely not my favourite (as described below). The gameplay is good as is the story, and characters are a true homage to the previous Final Fantasy games.
Let’s begin by getting this out of beginning… Final Fantasy IX is by far my least preferred game of the Final Fantasy series. While I say that I don’t mean to say that it’s an unfavorable game but it does have many more issues and flaws than its predecessors. These issues and flaws were more difficult to overlook. FF9 is certainly still worthwhile to play, and it’s still a great game however it doesn’t perform as well as some of the other games. This review will concentrate more on the negatives of the game, which reflect the excellent standards I have been accustomed to from the series.
Final Fantasy IX was developed simultaneously with Final Fantasy VIII and both games are very different. Although the graphics is similar (as because they are being made on the same platform) however, the aesthetic differences become apparent when you begin the game. The setting and the plot in FF9 are a return to the more retro look of the earlier games from the Final Fantasy series.
The game takes some of its elements from earlier games, like Chocobos, Moogles, and even a lot of the character names and locations. The expansion that up to 4 characters appear on the screen (which might seem unfamiliar to certain players) is in fact a throwback to earlier games within the franchise (Final Fantasy 1 to 6 inclusive) in addition.
My main issues regarding Final Fantasy IX have to be related to a few key issues which really slow down the general pace of gameplay. First, there are the battle sequences as well as the amount of battles that occur in the game. Its transition to the map of the world or the dungeon to the battle screen seems to be slower, as does the number of random encounters significantly higher. Once you’ve made it close to the point where you’ve reached the end of the game you start to dread the idea of having to participate in yet another battle.
A new feature in the game are addition to Active Time Events (ATEs). When you are playing this story, you will notice that a tiny warning window will pop up that allows you to view other characters live that aren’t as close to Zidane as the main protagonist using the select button. At firstglance, it appears like an interesting and innovative way of telling the story in an original method. It doesn’t take time before ATEs start to become more than a distraction as you progress in the story. They frequently divert the attention of different characters, whose activities are totally insignificant to the progress of the storyline or even the argument that it aids in “character development” (hint: it’s not).
The mini-games and a lot of the side missions feel somewhat tacked-on and dull particularly in comparison with Final Fantasy VII (but Final Fantasy VIII is pretty in need of improvement as well). The mini-games range from fun which involve a bike race across the streets Midgar as well as Chocobo Races in Gold Saucer and then to The “Catching Frogs” side quest as well as the “Racing Hippaul” side quest (which are both boring).
One of the more extensive smaller minigames Tetra Master that is similar to The Triple Triad found in Final Fantasy VIII, is in the opposite direction in relation to its importance in the progress of the game. It is possible to say the argument that Triple Triad had too much of an influence on the flow of the game, and allowed players who had mastered it and practiced often to increase the level of the characters they played and build them up stat-wise quickly in game. Tetra Master is quite the opposite It offers little to reward players aside from that “satisfaction” associated with being in a position to claim that you’ve found all the cards. It’s one of the worst side quests from the Final Fantasy series.
The music is very powerful. Some of the songs clearly draw inspiration from the Final Fantasy VII soundtrack, but the rest of the songs contribute exactly the same story as previous games. The plot is equally impressive with well-written and developed characters, at the very least from a development standpoint. There was some things to be desired in the way of character customization. each character are specifically designed for and is pigeon-holed to a specific class. Vivi is a good example. She isn’t able to be anything other than Black Mage. Furthermore, Final Fantasy IX suffers from similar issues like Final Fantasy VIII – the principal antagonist/villain has a brief history (albeit not quite as poor).
My last issue has to relate to my experience with the Trance (Limit Break) system. Limit Breaks are now one of the mainstays for the games. They’re usually implemented in a variety of ways within each game However, the Trance system is one of the most sloppy. The gauge for Trance fills up each time a character is hit with hit, but the character is automatically put into Trance after the gauge has reached its full (rather than choosing their Limit Break as in the previous games). This means that characters are most likely to enter a Trance after the close of a fight or the course of a random battle on the map of the world. This made it virtually impossible to utilize the Trance effect of a character for any strategic advantage.
There are some Final Fantasy fans still rank Final Fantasy IX as one of their most favored games in the series, however it’s a bandwagon I am not able to join. I’d still suggest playing it because it is a distinctive new addition to the series however, there’s no doubt that it’s not my preferred game. Unfortunately, the slow pace of the game makes me hesitant to play it over and over again.
Overall score 8/10(which isn’t terrible, but still not great however it’s not quite enough to meet the standards I’d expect from an Final Fantasy game!)