Final Fantasy IX Walkthrough and Strategy Guide 2023
Final Fantasy IX
Final Fantasy IX was developed along with Final Fantasy VIII and both were sequels to the hugely popular previous game, Final Fantasy VII. While eight shifted towards a far more futuristic and natural style, Final Fantasy IX brought the series back to its origins. This is a true fantasy RPG, as evident in the story and the setting.
Final Fantasy IX received huge reviews when it first came out and remains one of the best games of the series. However, I have other choices (as described below). The gameplay is good, as is the story, and the characters are a true homage to earlier Final Fantasy games.
Let’s start by getting this out of the way from the beginning… Final Fantasy IX is my favorite miniature game from the Final Fantasy series. While I don’t mean to suggest that it’s an unfavorable game, it has more problems and flaws than its predecessors. These issues and flaws were more difficult to deal with. FF9 is undoubtedly worthwhile to play, and it’s still a great game in general however, it doesn’t perform as well as some of the other games. This review will concentrate on the game’s negatives, which reflect the excellent standards I have become accustomed to from the series.
Final Fantasy IX was developed simultaneously with Final Fantasy VIII, and both games are very different. The graphics are comparable (due to them being developed on the same platform); however, the visual differences in style are evident when you begin the game. The setting and plot featured in FF9 are a throwback to the classic style of previous titles from the Final Fantasy series.
The game takes some elements from earlier games, like Chocobos, Moogles, and even some of the characters’ names and locations. The inclusion that up to 4 characters appear on the screen (which may seem new to certain players) is a nod to earlier games within the franchise (Final Fantasy 1 to 6 inclusive).
My main concerns in Final Fantasy IX have to be related to a few key issues that slow down the overall pace of gameplay. The first is the battle scenes, and the number of battles in the game could be better. Its transition from the map of the world or the dungeon to the battle screen appears 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 dread the idea of having to participate in yet another battle.
A new feature in this title is the addition of Active Time Events (ATEs). When you play your storyline, a tiny warning window will appear, allowing you to view other characters in real-time that aren’t as close to Zidane as the main protagonist using the select button. It initially is a fascinating and innovative way of telling the story initially. It’s not time before ATEs become more than a distraction when one moves throughout the play. They often divert attention to different characters, whose activities are unrelated to the story’s development, unless there is an argument that it aids in “character development” (hint: it’s not).
The minigames and many side missions feel somewhat tacked-on and dull, particularly in comparison to the original Final Fantasy VII (but Final Fantasy VIII needs to be more balanced). There have been cool minigames that involve a bicycle chase across the streets of Midgar as well as Chocobo Races in Gold Saucer as well as side quests like the “Catching Frogs” side quest and the “Racing Hippaul” side quest (which are both boring).
One of the more extensive smaller minigames, Tetra Master that, which has a lot in common with the Triple Triad game from Final Fantasy VIII, is entirely different regarding its importance in the game’s progress. It is possible to claim the argument that Triple Triad had too much of an impact on the flow of the game, as it allowed those who were able to master it and frequently practiced to improve the characters they played and build them stat-wise quickly in the game. Tetra Master is quite the opposite. Aside from that “satisfaction” associated with being in a position to claim that you have found all the cards, it offers little to reward players. It’s among the most frustrating side quests of the Final Fantasy series.
The music is excellent. Some songs have been ripped from the Final Fantasy VII soundtrack, but the rest contribute the same story as the previous titles. The plot is fantastic, with well-written and developed characters, at least from a development viewpoint. It left some things to be desired in the way of character customization. Every character is designed to be pigeonholed to a specific class. Vivi is a good example. She cannot be anything other than Black Mage. Furthermore, Final Fantasy IX suffers from the same issue as Final Fantasy VIII – the principal antagonist/villain has a small backstory (albeit not quite as terrible).
My last complaint relates to Trance, or the Trance (Limit Break) system. Limit Breaks are now one of the most popular features of the games. They’re often used in different ways in each game. However, the Trance system could be better. The gauge for Trance fills up each time a character is hit with the hit, but the character will automatically enter Trance after the gauge has reached it is full (rather than choosing their Limit Break as in the previous games). In the end, characters are most likely to enter into a Trance after the close of a fight or the course of a random opponent on the world map. This makes it nearly impossible to use the Trance of a character to gain any advantage.
A few Final Fantasy fans still rank Final Fantasy IX as one of their top titles in the series. However, this is a trend I cannot join. I’d still suggest playing it because it is a distinct new addition to the series. However, there’s no doubt that it’s not my preferred game. Unfortunately, the game’s slowness could make me hesitate to play it again.
Overall score 8/10(which isn’t bad at all; however, it’s not quite as good as the quality I’d expect from the Final Fantasy game!)