Flashback Feature / Final Fantasy IX

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Originally released in the year 2000, Final Fantasy IX was the last hurrah for the series on the original PlayStation and represented something of a look back by the developers. Eschewing the more modern worlds of VII and VIII, IX took the series back to its original medieval style fantasy setting.

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For a change, FF9 features a hero who is actually happy to be a hero! Zidane enjoys looking after his motley crew of followers, made up of the usual cast of social misfits you’d expect to find. What he enjoys more than being a hero, however, is his reputation as a ladies man. Poor Garnet must face some of the most unsubtle romantic lines in the history of the world!

 
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We also have our token bad guys: In this case played by the freaky Queen Brahne and the overly girly (in appearance) Kuja. It all starts as the Regent Cid of Lindblum hires the mercenary group Tantalus to to kidnap Princess Garnet to further investigate Brahne’s evil doings in the neighboring kingdom of Alexandria. Making life a little easier, the Princess actually wants to be kidnapped – she is just as eager to find out why her mother has taken to evil.

   
 

From humble beginnings, this game (of course) sets out on an epic quest across the known world, and more besides, that each character may learn more about themselves while saving the world (what, again?).

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The battle engine resembles that of FF5, albeit with a slightly cut-down Job System. We also see the return of the traditional MP, which makes a refreshing change from FF8’s draw system.

 

 

 
 

Graphics

B+

Sound

B+

Gameplay

A-

Pros

A return to a fantasy-land setting, a first for the series since moving to PlayStation.

Cons

For those expecting a continuation of the themes from VII and VIII, this may come as something of a shock.

Overall

A-

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