The most underappreciated Final Fantasy in the entire series is Final Fantasy IX. Final Fantasy IX also happens to be one of my all-time personal favorites. Final Fantasy IX was released at a bad time. Just three months after the release of the Playstation 2 in Japan, Final Fantasy IX was ignored by many due to Sony’s newest game console and the release of Final Fantasy X. All I have to say about that is that those people were huge idiots. I am also an idiot because it took me a year to play this game, just because I didn’t really like the front cover. I think it’s a really cool cover now, but something just really bothered me about it when I was little… probably the fact that Garnet is wearing an orange jumpsuit… or something like that.
Final Fantasy IX is the personal favorite of Hironobu Sakaguchi, the founder of the Final Fantasy series. For awhile it was my favorite too. But my favorite Final Fantasy is constantly changing. (It’s hard to pick one.) The story to Final Fantasy IX closely resembles the story to the original Final Fantasy, only Final Fantasy IX is way better than the original Final Fantasy… just saying.
The story is about a boy named Zidane… I really don’t know where they get these names. Zidane is a rather unique character in the Final Fantasy series. The first thing you’re probably going to notice about him is that he has a tail. Yeah, and he’s a real big ladies man even though he’s like four feet tall. I like to imagine that he’s about seventeen or eighteen, but the game never tells you. I actually like Zidane a lot. He’s a good protagonist, and he reminds me of myself… not really.
Anyways, Zidane is part of a circus troupe known as Tantalus, the goal of Tantalus is to entertain, and kidnap the “babe-alicious” princess Garnet. The purpose of this crime is to prevent the princess from being murdered by her own mother. I know that this is all hard to take in, but the Queen, who looks like a cow, is literally insane, and wants to harvest out of her “daughter” these magical tools that allow you to summon “Eidolons,” also known as sacred spirits; kind of similar to the Aeons in Final Fantasy X.
Anyways, the story to Final Fantasy IX is pretty much about Zidane trying to find out who he really is, while he is trying to get Garnet to fall in love with him, while he is trying to save the world from a cross-dresser. It’s too bad that Garnet is a little stubborn when it comes to loving. (If you know what I mean.) Zidane tries everything to make Princess Garnet fall in love with him. He tries poetry, athletic skills, pick-up lines, even grabbing her butt. Yeah, he’s a bit of a moron, but in the end… oh wait-- I can’t spoil the ending.
The plot to Final Fantasy IX is a little different than the other Final Fantasy’s in the fact that it resembles the original games from the 1980’s and the early 1990’s. It’s almost like the game is a recap of the six original games; and for that reason a lot of new comers to the series didn’t, and still don’t appreciate Final Fantasy IX for what it really is. It’s a heart-felt game that gives out a lot of laughs and is surprisingly moving. People don’t seem to understand that video games can be just as emotionally moving as movies. Sometimes, in my opinion, they can be even more moving than movies since you actually interact with them. They are called VIDEO GAMES, so why do people have trouble believing that they’re like movies and videos?
I think I just got way off topic, but I’m trying to make a point. A lot of people have this sick and perverted idea that video games are just for little kids, and that every game is like the old Mario Bros. Well, that would be fun, but it’s not true. The focus of the Final Fantasy series has been from the very beginning to create a good story. That’s the reason I play these games. It’s not for the killing, or for whatever reason people like to play games like Halo; I play Final Fantasy for the stories and the unique characters that each game contains. They are mature, cinematic stories that aren’t appreciated by people because they are video games instead of movies.
Final Fantasy IX has one of the best casts of characters, and one of the most moving and sad plots that I have ever come across. Although the game does offer a lot of comic relief, it gives off strong messages of humanity and how we treat each other. The game gives a powerful message on life and death and nature. I respect that Sakaguchi used a video game to give a message to the world on how he feels. I just find it sad that hardly anyone has heard it.
Before we end this post I just want to talk about the villain really quick. Take a look at him. (Pictured left.) What the crap? Why does he dress that way? Is he gay? Was it really necessary to put him into a man thong? What’s up with his hair? More importantly, what were they thinking while designing him? They’ve got to be on drugs to come up with this stuff. To make him even weirder, he can turn into a dragon… and his name is Kuja. (Koo-jah. Not Kuh-jaw.) Yeah, isn’t that weird? Anyways, I think I’ve said enough. I feel like I hardly talked enough about Final Fantasy IX, since it is the most underappreciated game in the series, but who reads this anyways?
Only nine more days (counting today) until the release of Final Fantasy XIII, and we’re starting to get close to our half way point in our countdown to Final Fantasy XIII. Now that it’s become so close, I’m not really sure on how I feel. Last night as I was having trouble sleeping, I thought about what it would be like if the game sucked. What would I do with myself?
Anyways, tomorrow we’ll talk about the only Final Fantasy, where the entire purpose was to create a full length love story… meaning, this is the longest Final Fantasy by far… it’s also the corniest one too. But we love corny, right?
To advertise Final Fantasy IX, Square Enix (At the time Square Soft) made a deal with Coca-Cola to make Final Fantasy/Coca-Cola commercials. These are extremely rare and hard to find, but thanks to Youtube, I can show you people one of them, enjoy.