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Final Fantasy IX

Developer: Squaresoft | Publisher: Square EA
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 11/13/00 | Genre: RPG

RPG's have been around as long as the video gaming industry. And after all that Time Square Soft has come to be the most respected and most recognized Software Company in the world. But the most famous achievement of there company is the Final Fantasy series. The Final Fantasy series has made it up to eight installments-- until now! Introducing Final Fantasy IX! This most recent installment has taken the series back to its roots with the time frame, great characters, and a killer story. But the latest FF is not totally old school; it has the killer graphics, the great sound track, and the stellar game play that the series has been showing on the PSX!

FFIX takes place in the ancient times in a land called Gaia. Gaia is broken up into 4 different continents: the Mist continent, the Forgotten continent, the outer continent, and the Frozen continent. The only two continents that are inhabited and have towns are Mist and Outer. All the others have areas but not many people. The mist continent has many towns including Lindbloom and Alexandria. As I said, FFIX has many great places to visit!

The Characters in FFIX are the greatest I have seen in a FF game since FFII for SNES, and I am glad they went back to there hard core roots! The main character is Zidane. Zidane is a fun loving, happy-go-lucky guy. This is a welcome change from the jack asses that Squall and Cloud made themselves out to be. The heroine is a young princess named Garnet. She is a nice well kept person who runs away from her palace. The knight in FFIX is Albert Stiner (a.k.a. Stiner). Stiner is the kind of person who would take a bullet (or an arrow in this case) for you, but he is a pain in the ass. He follows Garnet around and takes his duty way too seriously. The Black mage in FFIX is Vivi. Vivi is a nine-year-old mage who is trying to figure out his life and why he exists. There are way to many characters to put in this review so play the game to find out the rest!

The story in FFIX is the tried and true save the princess story that has been in so many RPGs in the past. But none the less it has returned in all its glory in FFIX. You start out as Zidane (see second paragraph) a member of the Theatre/thief group named Tantalus. Tantalus makes a stop in the town of Alexandria to kidnap the Princess. The princess however wants to run away from the castle so you, being the gentleman you are take her with you. The jerk Stiner and the Black mage Vivi tag along. To see the rest go and play the game because I don't want to spoil the ending for you!

The stellar visuals in FFIX are amazing! The sprite characters are like the ones in FFVII but they have one major difference-- characters don't look like they are made of sausages in FFIX. The characters are shrunken version of the FFVIII characters. I mean, if they are taking the game back to the olden days then they should bring the graphics back, to an extent! The lush 2D pre-rendered backgrounds are beautiful, as to be expected of a huge company like Square. The characters don't fit in to the background, but hey, they look good anyway! The CG cut-scenes are beautifully done. I can think of some pretty nice ones but I don't want to ruin it for you!

The masters at Square sounds compose the Sound in FFIX. Ever time you walk into a different area the sound washes over you like a title wave. The sound is much happier then the music in FFVII & VIII, it takes us back to a happier time. A time with no heavy machinery or guns to speak of, yay!

The Game play in Final Fantasy IX is great, but it is still same old same old FF game play. The old, Hit X and attack have been used here as well as the menu driven battles. The way to get special abilities is to equip a weapon that has the magic attack that you want. Items in the game contain Summons and other powerful things. You need to build up your ability points to gain the ability and not have to keep the weapon equipped. You can gain the AP you need after every battle. It is very easy to control the characters with the analog button or the D-Pad. This is a great game with awesome game play.

FFIX is the greatest installment of the series. If you are an RPG lover, and even if you are not this game has it all, great old school story, great characters and a killer story. It also has great graphics, sound and game play. This is a must have!

By Adam Westenberger - 08/15/01
ESRB Details: Animated Violence, Mild Language

Screenshots for Final Fantasy IX

Gallop Racer 2001

Bloody Roar 3