FFIX official page (Japanese only): http://www.playonline.com/ff/index-j.html
More Final Fantasy IX resources
Back to basics
Despite the hype and warm reception of a number of Square RPGs this summer (Vagrant Story
and Chrono Cross
, among others), what's ultimately most important to Square is its original franchise, "Final Fantasy". We fondly remember playing the original Final Fantasy on the 8-bit Nintendo and following the franchise's long history on up to the awe inspring graphics of Final Fantasy VII and VIII. It comes as no surprise that millions of gamers waited (and for those outside Japan, continue to wait) in dire anticipation of Final Fantasy IX, the PlayStation 1's FINAL Final Fantasy. The game's recent release to the Japanese market was met with record-breaking sales.
Zidane in a plaza
What may come as a surprise to faithful followers of Final Fantasy is the slight twist the series has taken… again. When originally presented on the PlayStation, both Final Fantasy VII and VIII raised the proverbial bar in terms of cinematic quality and presentation. However, the departure from the medieval, fantasy setting of the first six Final Fantasies to a modern/futuristic setting was a controversial issue that many fans debated. Those who favored the original feel don't have to fret any longer. Final Fantasy IX returns the series back to its original, fantasy-like environment while retaining the high standard of visual quality set by its immediate predecessors. While some may negatively react to Final Fantasy's "de-evolution", many fans are sure to welcome that "old-school" feel that Final Fantasy IX will bring. The return of crystals, classic character job systems, and other elements are almost guaranteed to overwhelm nostalgic fans with warm fuzzy feelings, and maybe cause a few tears to be shed.
And the band played on
Like all Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy IX's story is unique unto itself. Brahne, the evil queen of Alexandria, is attempting to dominate the whole world through the use of advanced magical weapons, and a neighboring country orders a small group of bandits to prevent her from reaching this evil aspiration. Led by the charismatic Zidane, the bandits discover that the queen is only a ploy for a more foreboding threat. Fortunately, Zidane and his friends are not alone in their endeavor as other characters, such as the Princess Garnet and the black mage Vivi, join up with Zidane in his quest.
In keeping up with Final Fantasy tradition, moogles, chocobos, and Cid will be making their respective appearances. Also returning to the Final Fantasy world are composer extraordinaire, Nobuo Uematsu (who also composed all the previous Final Fantasy music), and the venerable Yoshitaka Amano, character designer for the first six Final Fantasies (Tetsuya Nomura was the character designer for the seventh and eighth installment). With its impressive history, Final Fantasy is almost guaranteed to be a hit with each title - and Final Fantasy IX doesn't seem to be an exception. Our only disappointment is that we have to wait until this game comes out here in America while two million plus Japanese gamers are getting their gaming highs. *sigh*…
In the meantime, we can all enjoy the teaser shots that Square passed along. The last couple of pages feature FMV stills and concept art as well.