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Final Fantasy IX (PS)

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    62 Reviews
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      23.11.2012 12:25

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      A great game, well worth a play for any FF fan

      Final Fantasy IX is the last game of the PSX era. You play as Zidane Tribal, a chirpy, charming character with a tail like a monkey. Along the way, you meet allies including Princess Garnet Til Alexandros 17th, heir to the throne of Alexandria with a renowned singing voice, Vivi Orunitia, a little Black Mage who seems very unsure of himself, Adelbert Steiner, the captain of the Knights of Pluto, and protector of Princess Garnet, Freya Crescent, a Dragon Fighter who is complex and troubled, Quina Quen, a strange character who lives for food, Eiko Carol, a six-year-old girl with a pet moogle and a strange power, and Armarant Coral, a loner who fights for a living.

      The story is compelling with enough twists to keep you interested, and battles that are challenging enough to make it worth playing, yet not so challenging that you give up. The world is beautifully designed, with many interesting places to explore.

      Unlike some of the earlier Final Fantasy games, FFIX has very little in the way of mistranslations, which is good. The game itself is fantastic, but if you are planning to play this, don't bother with the Piggyback guide- the guide was great when the game first came out, because it was designed to be used in tandem with a website supported by Square- however, this website is no longer available because when you go to the website provided in the guide, you find that it is now the website for the online game Final Fantasy XI

      So, overall, the game is worth at least one playthrough, and is often overlooked by FF fans, preferring to go for the popularity of FFVII, or the use of vocal actors in FFX. But it is a fantastic game and I advise all FF fans to try it, at least once

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      10.02.2012 17:48
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      Still top

      So ends the trend in the series of renowned dialogue and compelling story telling..
      The last of the single digits, predecessor to 10 which finally took on voice acting, remains somewhat hidden away from many fans who should know better. Final Fantasy IX must have had heaps of pressure on it considering it followed the flagship of the PS1, the massive success that is VII and an unfortunately lesser loved VIII. IX is clearly a final send of to the classic games on the Nintendo systems, what with its old school ability learning (from weapons, armour, accessories) system and subtle classes featuring black & white mages, thieves and fighters. However these are minor throwbacks compared to the overall story and setting in a world of medieval castles, ancient caverns and generally dark locations. It even pays homage to the old contraptions used in past games that are used to navigate around the world map, giant zeppelins, mist powered flying machines and of course chocobos.

      I personally played this game about 5 years after its release, after a long stint with 8, and during my adolescence, shamefully cast it aside disliking the cartoonish characters and slow battle system. Another 5 years on and I pick it up again, and as with all final fantasy's, it needed a chance and surely enough, towards the end of disc 1, I was hooked. Characters made an impact and each had their own ways of keeping you interested with the likes of a pushy, stuck up Steiner, often the butt of jokes from the main character Zidane, a rambunctious young man who's origins remain unknown until the later of the game. The cliche' beautiful princess Garnet longing for an adventure, breaks the mould by learning how to be a commoner whilst possessing the almighty Eidolons, along with Eiko also a young summoner. The classic Dragoon class in Freya, a spear wielding rat women with a tragic lost love plot, the much loved little black mage, Vivi discovering his origins and a stubborn, giant, red headed man beast thing..

      Unfortunately, not much fear or respect is conjured up for the initial bad guy, Kuja, a thong adorning pretty boy with a tongue for poetry. Yeah, my thoughts exactly *flick of the wrist* But in traditional FF style, Nobuo Uematsu does the trick with some brilliant musical scores. Another great positive is the FMV's, even with the unreal appearances of some characters, the videos are just incredible, its what you want Disney to be capable of. It may be harsh to say though, that this game feels a little rushed.. empty. Minimal side-quests and stories, almost no getting side tracked, pointless limit break system in 'Trance' and unusually poor and unrewarding mini game in tetra master. That and it is generally quite easy and simple, even without levelling characters often.

      Perhaps its the nostalgia from the older, better games from a simpler time, and the growing discontent for the direction in which Square-Enix is taking its newest releases (There is no need or demand for a XIII-2) or maybe its just that these games truly are better and that we all know we won't see anything half as good in the near future..?

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      16.06.2011 15:22
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      A great game of many emotions and worthy of a Final Fantasy title.

      Games have played a very big part throughout my childhood and teenage years. Final fantasy series, especially, has shaped my gaming experience and I grew up with the series. Final fantasy 9 is in fact the first every final fantasy I have played on playstation 1 console. Before that I had been playing mash-the-x kiddie fighter games and so imagine my surprise when I was introduced into the wonderful and magical world that is final fantasy. Final fantasy 9 is very special to me, in a sense, that I have finished this whole game without any guide/pdf/walkthrough. So you can imagine how proud I would be as a 11 year old when I kicked the final boss' butt. Those were the times with no internet or IGN. So what is final fantasy 9?

      The plot:
      What a final fantasy game would be without a magical and thought-aspiring plot set in a fantasy world. The gist of the plot is very similar to those cliche fairy tales: a lowly thief met a beautiful princess by the hands of fate and they went on zealous adventure together and then they fall in love. However, final fantasy 9 is much more than this; the back set of the story is about war between different nations and how a group of courageous youths plus a 30-something knight came together to fight for freedom, peace and the good of others.

      One of the themes running inside a plot is that of bonds; bonds between the characters, bonds between the good and the evil (mainly between zidane and kuja; you'll will what I mean if you've seen the final cutscene) and bonds between unlikely friends. The ardor of the story is told through friendship, forgiveness, courage and romance. Oh the romance; it is too fluffy and sweet and yet at the same time it's so touching that you can feel your heart beat fast. In fact, I went 'awwww.....' when I viewed the romantic reunion during the final cutscene. Overall this is a fantasy fairy tale that I can get lost in and let my imagination run wild.

      The characters:
      The development of final fantasy 9 has veered towards to the old roots of the series meaning the character design has returned to the anime-style designs with big heads, big hands, big eyes well you get the idea. I love this design for it gives me a very nostalgic feeling of when I spent all my time in front of a TV watching anime. As for the character themselves, they are a bunch of loveable personalities with a few mysteriously weird ones mixed in.

      * Zidane is the main character with a 'tail' who has a eternally upbeat and positive attitude that will make you laugh with him; this is probably the only time I'd find someone with a tail to be really cool
      * Garnet is a beautiful princess with a sense of adventure but she can surprised you with some of her mature-than-her-years dialogue
      *Eiko is a 6 year old summoner who is somewhat of a comic relief but she can be reliable in battles due to her strong summons and cure magic
      *Freya is the cool female dragoon knight also with a 'tail' might I add; personally I believe she is the epitome of feminism in this game and one of my favourite characters
      * Steiner is a 36 year old knight of Alexandria who looks after Garnet; he screams loyalty and strong tank
      * Vivi is a young black mage who developed greatly from a shy, insecure persona to a confident member of the group throughout the game; he's so endearing the way he talks and walks (another one of my favourite character)
      * Quina; this genderless one is what weirdness is all about from the appearance to eating habits (eats frogs and sand....so...). This is one character I have no clue why Square has thought would be a good idea to include in the game.
      * Amarant is deadly looking one with a detached persona; a bit mysterious but useful in battles
      Overall, I think final fantasy 9 has colourful casts whom you can fall in love with as a jrpg gamer.

      Battle System:
      Final fantasy 9 utilises the ATB (active time battle) system which means each character has an action gauge which acts as a timer for action execution. The battles encounter is random meaning you would be leisurely strolling along the continent when suddenly a Malboro would ambush you and sometimes annihilate the whole party (oh the fun times). When encountering a monster, cue the battle music and there is a transition from the normal screen to the battle area.

      Four characters make up a team in a battle and each character has a fixed job/class; i.e. Zidane is a thief, Vivi is a black mage, Garnet is a white mage and so on. Therefore this limits in the area of character development but makes it easier for the battles as each character would excel in their jobs over time. Each character can equip up to 5 weapon/armors which also comes with special abilities; if you gains enough AP points, the abilities become permanent without having to wear the equipment.

      Another thing is this annoyingly useless speciality attack called 'Trance'. Each character has their own trance bar which fills up every time they suffer a damage. Then when the bar is full, the character transits into a Trance state and you can't control it. This means you might be fighting this weak monster and then when it's about to be snuffed, it poked you and you'll suddenly go into Trance. Then you team mate would attack and kill the weakling and all you've got left is this shiny pink make-over. All throughout my playthroughs, the Trance ability is a forgotten attack with only me going 'ohhh shiny cool and the battle is over' for this limit break. Nevertheless, the battle system is enjoyable enough for all the strategic gamers out there.

      Extras:
      As I have played this game without the help of a walkthrough, I didn't really spend much time on the extras. One of the main reason is because they are not that fun and reap little and useless rewards (well the ones I tried anyway). Also the head-scratching card game gave me a headache so I stayed away from it. However I do remember the rope skipping and the frog catching: note that they require a bucket full of patience and endurance. Personally, I think extras are less defining elements of the game and only there to pass the time if you have some to spare.

      Voice/Music:
      Since it's developed for playstation 1 console, the voice acting is unavailable. Nevertheless, the soulful rendering of CGI cutscenes and characters fill up all the emotions of the game. The music is one of the best aspects of the game and, personally, that's what makes this game very memorable to me. It is composed by the wonderful Nobuo Uematsu and I think it's one of his best compositions with a nostalgic feel to it.

      The main theme 'Melodies of Life' is one of my favourite piece of game music and I can't count the number of times I have re-played the final boss just to listen to that song in its entirety with the beautiful cinematics. Note that it was in the era with no internet and no youtube so that was my only option if I want to listen to the song as they don't sell game music where I used to live. The lyrics are soul-wrenching yet woefully romantic at the same time and takes you through the story of final fantasy 9 all over again when you think it's over. Overall music scored 10/10 from me; it's the best from the best.

      Verdict:
      Final fantasy 9 is a beautiful and fantastical fairy tale with many different layers of emotion weaved into it. Nine was my first final fantasy ever and Nine was the one that made me fell in love with series. I have played this game from start to finish at least 3 times and the enjoyment factor didn't lessen with the number of plays. As nerdy as it sounds, final fantasy 9 is one of the defining moments of my childhood gaming experience and it is very special to me because of the memories it delivers to me.

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      06.10.2010 23:01
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      One of the best in the Final Fantasy series

      Final Fantasy IX is the ninth instalment of the Final Fantasy series made by Square Enix (Squaresoft when the game was released). The game was released on Playstation 1 and had new features, such as the Active Time Event (players could watch clips of what was happening with the other characters in the story), and Mognet (i'll explain later).

      Final Fantasy IX returned briefly to the more 'stylised' look of earlier games in the series and with non human characters, after Final Fantasy VIII had a more photo realistic look, with the characters all being human. This was a very brief return however, as Final Fantasy X was released on Playstation 2 and had reverted back to the photo realistic look.

      I'm a big fan of the Final Fantasy series, and i have to say this is my favourite of the whole series. The game has, in my opinion, an excellent storyline. The plot revolves around a war taking place between several nations and the main character, Zidane Tribal, along with friends, set out to defeat Queen Brahne, who they believe to be behind the war. However it turns out that she is just a puppet for an evil arms dealer, Kuja, and the story soon takes a major twist, which results in Zidane finding out where he comes from.

      Most of the game is played in Towns, villages, caves and similar settings, which are known as field screens. The player navigates a character through these screens and can interact with other computer controlled characters. Within these screens are Moogles, small pink creatures with a red bobble on their head. These creatures let the player save their game and restore their life/HP. This is also where the term 'Mognet' comes from, as sometimes they ask the player to deliver letters for them. It's a sort of postal service between Moogles, they like to talk about the weather mostly!

      Moogles can also be summoned on the world map to save your game, but if you call them too often for no reason they will get angry! The world map is a downsized version of the Final Fantasy IX world from a top down view. The player travels between field screens using the world map, almost always running into monsters which they have to fight.

      This is a great game for anyone that loves fantasy and role playing games, i've got an xbox 360, but you'll still catch me playing this on my old Playstation!

      I thought i'd add a brief overview of the main characters:

      Zidane Tribal - 16 Years Old, Party Leader, A ladies man who never misses a chance to flirt! He has a certain soft spot for the Princess though.

      Garnet/Dagger - Full name is Garnet Til Alexandros XVII. Also 16 years old. She is the heroine of FFIX and princess of Alexandria. She is a White Mage, casting healing spells and summoning powerful creatures in battle.

      Vivi Orunitia - 9 years old. He is a poweful Black Mage, and has won me a good few battles. During the game, he discovers some horrible truths about his kind.

      Adelbert Steiner - Captain of the Knights of Pluto. 33 years old. Really doesn't like Zidane. Constantly wearing a frown and very grouchy. Likes to throw tantrums. He has sworn an oath to protect the Princess.

      Freya Cresent - Half human, half rat. She's 21 years old and possesses special skills in the battle field. Her role is a Dragon Knight.

      Amarant Coral - 26 years old. Possesses very useful fighting skills. He's the last character to join the party, and previously worked as a mercenary for Queen Brahne, hunting down the Princess.

      Eiko Carol - At only 6 years old, she possesses powerful White Mage skills. She is one of two survivors of the summoners village of Maiden Sari, and has had to learn to look after herself quickly, with the help of her Moogle friends.

      *I COPIED THIS REVIEW FROM MY CIAO ACCOUNT WHICH IS UNDER THE SAME NAME*

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        17.07.2010 18:30
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        It might be 10 years old but FF9 is still worth spending 50 hours of your life playing it

        I regard Final Fantasy 9 as one of my all time favorite games. I played it for the first time when I was 11. Now I'm almost 21 and I recently started up a new game to experience the World of Gaia one more time. It's nearly 10 years since it came out so the question is; does it still create that magical wonderful experience? In short; I think I love this game more than ever.


        The Plot


        Being a Final Fantasy the plot is long and detailed covering a traditional Good vs Evil story with an evil villain trying to dominate the world. FF9 focuses on the story of Zidane, a young thief from Lindblum, and his friends and companions as they travel the world trying to stop the impending doom that awaits. The plot starts off slow and steady on a small scale before erupting into a dramatic climax where the fate of the world rests in their hands. The characters start off relatively insignificant but become the hero's and savior's of the world of Gaia.

        Accompanying Zidane are a bunch of diverse characters. There's Garnet; the Princess of Alexandria, Vivi; a small black mage, Steiner; Captain of the Pluto Knights whose role is to protect Garnet at any costs; Freya; A dragon knight from Burmecia, Quina; a complicated and random character whose main interest is eating; Eiko; a small girl with the powerful ability to summon eidolons and Amarant; a mysterious red headed character whose motives and interests are unclear.


        The Setting


        The story is full of sub stories, extra characters, twists, turns and more. You can't sum up the games plot in a review. In short it's a wonderful journey from start to end with plenty of extra stories accompanying the main quest. The 8 characters you control bring their own unique flavor to the game. FF9 features some of the most bizarre characters in the series. Where as FF8 and the following ones took a more serious approach to the role playing genre FF9 took a quirky, cartoony and weird approach to it. This is perfectly summed up by Quina; a fat round blue 'thing' with a giant floppy nose who only cares about food; even in the face of great danger.

        This quirky world is full of random and peculiar races. Oglops, dragons, dwarves and black mages are some of the most recognizable. Even the regular humans are all different from each other. For example Zidane has a tail, some are tall and thin whilst others are fat and round. One man even has 4 arms! This weird world is rather odd but gives it's own personal charm. It makes the game more light hearted and is much easier to hop in and enjoy. It doesn't take itself too seriously so it's very funny in places but manages to portray serious emotion and feelings between characters. You might look at some of the characters and giggle a little but will always understand the difficult situations they are in and feel for them when they are down and upset.


        The Graphics


        It's a Playstation 1 game so let's face it, they are not up to scratch in 2010! At the time FF9 was one of the most beautiful games to grace the PS1 and funnily enough the cut scenes still look stunning and are a joy to watch. The regular in game graphics are nothing special but the world of Gaia is still beautiful to roam around and has been brilliantly drawn. You still feel the grandness of the castles in the game whilst Treno, the city of the Nobles, still feels as posh as ever.


        The Sound/Music


        Being on the PS1 the characters don't speak but this doesn't hold the game back. One of the joys of the earlier Final Fantasies was that the voices would be up to your imagination. What Quina and Vivi sound like we will never know but everyone will have their own version for it.

        The music that accompanies the game is perfect. In times of peace it is relaxing, calm and soothing where as in the heat of battle it is typically quirky and very Japanese influenced. It might be 10 years old but the music is still some of the best in a game. Certain tracks may be a little repetitive for certain areas but these are few and far between. I still love the funny music that accompanies a Chocobo whilst the music that plays when you fly in an airship genuinely puts a smile on your face


        The Gameplay


        I've waffled far enough now so time to get down to the bare bones of the game. FF9 is a typical turn based RPG game. You control 4 characters at once in a battle. Battles are random in areas where combat can happen. Each character has 4 commands to choose from in a fight. Attack and Item are available for every character whilst the other 2 are dependant on the character. Unlike other Final Fantasies there is no room for change on this front. For example only Vivi can cast Black Magic, Dagger and Eiko only White Magic and so on. Each character has unique abilities which can't be learnt by other characters. At first this seems like a bad thing because it reduces customization however this means each character is unique and offers something different to a battle. Often where you can chose what people learn every character ends up being the same which is a bit boring.

        Where you have control over your characters come in the form of abilities which you can equip to take into battle. Each character can equip up to 5 different pieces of armor/weapons which alters their features (Strength, Defense, Spirit, Magic, Speed, Evade etc). Each piece of armor/weapon enables a character to learn different abilities. There are loads and loads of abilities to learn. To give an example some include Auto-Haste (Automatically casts haste at the beginning of a battle), Bug Killer (Deal stronger damage to bug type enemies) and Antibody (Makes you immune to Poison and Venom). Different characters will learn different abilities from the same item meaning a certain item is of more use to certain characters.

        What abilities you equip depend on your characters max ability points. As you level up your characters max ability points increase enabling you to equip more abilities. The customization in FF9 comes from what armor you chose and what abilities you equip. It's a fairly simple system but also a very effective one. It's easy to get to grips with but very enjoyable to progress with throughout the game. You can make some very tactical decisions later on the game with your abilities and it's vital you equip the right ones.

        Combat is fun but not too challenging. Unless you are seriously under leveled or accidentally hit a high level area you shouldn't die too often (Or at all) throughout the game. This means it's accessible for all but it still has hidden bosses for the people who enjoy a tougher challenge.

        So the core aspects, combat and character development, are spot on. But what about the rest? There's a lot to cover here so I won't try to talk about everything. The balance between combat and cut scenes is fair. You won't have to sit there for hours on end listening to drab dialogue before getting back into the thick of it. You're regularly involved so you will never get bored. The story is deep and enjoyable and will keep on your toes. Character interaction is fantastic and is often very entertaining. The world of Gaia is wonderful to explore. The open world game is huge and has plenty of places to explore and plenty of things to do


        Mini Games/Extras


        The extras (Things not associated with the main story) is one of the highlights and low points of the game. The 2 main mini games are Card games and Chocobos. The card game is probably the only disappointing aspect of the game. In FF8 the card game was fantastic. Easy to pick up and play and had a long life span as well as being very rewarding. Sadly in FF9 it is the complete opposite. It's complicated and confusing; even 10 years later I still don't understand it properly. There is also little to no reward to progressing with it. It's a shame as there was a lot of potential there

        On the other hand the use of Chocobos here is brilliant. Chocobos regularly feature in the FF series however here their role is spot on. Riding a chocobo is no longer just a handy transport method but now a clever treasure hunting game. There are now 3 areas where you can play a hot and cold digging game as well as hunting for treasurer across the whole world map. At first it sounds too hard but once you get into it is very rewarding and entertaining. It is one of the best mini games to have ever graced a FF game.

        Aside these two there's plenty more to do. Stellazio coin collecting, frog catching, ultimate weapons, coffee bean hunting, Quina's Blue Magic, Moogle's Mail. This is all on top of living and enjoying the game world; talking to people, treasure chest hunting and learning about the history of the world of Gaia. People you meet early on the game will make appearances later on in the game and it's an absolute joy to see how non playable characters who have no impact on the main story develop. It makes the game a very believable world and fun to just be part of


        Lifespan


        Being a Final Fantasy this is no quick game, believe you me. Following just the primary story line ignoring the extras (Which is very difficult as they are very tempting and addictive) will you take you at least 24 hours of solid playing. My first time play through 10 years ago was well into the 60-70 hour region. It's so easy to get lost in the game. If you're a completionist it's very easy to play over 100 hours. There is a challenge in the game to reach an area on the 4th disc in under 12 hours however you have to take a few nifty short cuts to do this. By doing this you also ruin the point of the game. Basically, it's a very very long game and is well worth the money


        Overall


        A truly magical game. I'm currently playing it at the moment and despite being 10 years old I still love it. It's so much fun and such an enjoyable experience to play through. It's a little bit quirky but that's what separate it from the bunch of very unoriginal RPG's out there. It's probably a bit easier than most RPG's but that doesn't stop it from being a lot of fun. Apart from the card game any time you pour into this game is well rewarded. I can not recommend it any higher. The last review for this game was written in 2001 but the fact I'm still playing it now should indicate it's a must play game

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          04.04.2010 03:39
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          Thumbs up for Final Fantasy IX

          Final Fantasy IX is the last of the PS1 installments of this well-known and adored series, and it continued to raise the bar for Final Fantasy titles in almost every category.
          This installment continues with the ATB battle formula present in past games, and a new concept for ability-learning: you learn your special attacks and in-battle abilities by equipping a certain weapon which has the ability infused within it. After battle, you gain a small amount of AP (or Ability Points), and that goes towards the total you have for the equipped weapon. Once you max out the AP needed for the ability, you can use it at any time without equipping the weapon, and it goes on from there. The system is somewhat annoying though, because if you have an ability you want to learn, but also a new, more powerful weapon, you have to wait until you've gotten enough AP to use the ability without it's weapon. Instead of Overdrives or the like, this time Square opted for a thing called a "Trance". Over the course of many battles, a gauge will fill up, and once it's full the character will go into a Trance. They take on a shiny/gold appearance and either have access to new powerful abilities, or gain much more attack. The only downfall of the Trance system is that it is basically random, as the bar fills far too slowly for you to accurately judge how many battles it will be before you enter it. You could have your Trance go off in the middle of a random battle, one fight before you face a boss, where you would really need it, and then it's another God knows how many battles until it will go off again. So essentially the Trance system is useless. Out of battle you will traverse very nice pre-rendered maps. When an object on the map can be interacted with, a speech bubble with a "!" or a "?" will pop up and you can press X to activate that event. Usually there are treasure chests hidden out of view so that you basically have to cling along the walls and wait for a bubble to pop up in order to find them. Throughout the game there are many minigames that must be completed to advance the game, as well as a Card Game that feels very tacked on and in the end are completely pointless and annoying. [Story] The story centres around a thief named Zidane, who along with his band of fellow thieves plot to capture the princess Garnet of Alexandria. It turns out that the princess wants to be kidnapped, and so together they try to escape the grasp of Garnet's mother, Queen Brahne, who has plans for taking over the continent that require Garnet. Final Fantasy IX has some of the most unforgettable characters of any RPG to date. Vivi with his constant tripping, Quina with his/her inability to compose a proper sentence, Steiner with his perpetual clinking of the armor, Garnet with her tight rubber sui- I mean emotional turmoil... they all brought great personality to the table that anyone could fall in love with. [Graphics/Sound] I may be starting to sound like a broken record here, but once again it continues with the style set by the last few games, with pre-rendered environments out of battle. These allow for cities and dungeons that look far better than what could be accomplished with plain polygons. The characters themselves, along with anything that moves, are polygonal which in some cases causes them to look out of place with the surroundings. The most breath-taking part of FFIX graphically has to be the cutscenes. When a significant event takes place, the game cuts to a beautiful scene with rich colors, detailed characters and the smoothest animation you could possibly expect from the PS1. Sound-wise, it will blow you away with it's brilliantly composed battle theme, among others. Almost the only song I didn't enjoy thoroughly was the world map theme, which was uninspiring and lackluster. [Replayability] This is the kind of game that you could definitely play more than once. The story doesn't get boring, and the battle system is kept interesting. FFIX's characters are amazing, vibrant and completely unforgettable.

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          09.09.2009 00:37
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          Fantastic!

          Final Fantasy 9 is the ninth installment in the excellent role playing series from the Japanese RPG king that is Squaresoft, now known as Square-Enix. Unlike the sci-fi themed style of the series previous two titles, Final Fantasy 7 and 8, Final Fantasy 9 represents a return to the medieval, traditional fantasy setting of the series' earliest titles.

          The world in which FF9 takes place, Gaia, is separated in to four main continents, Mist, Outer, Lost and Forgotten. The Mist continent being home to most of the population of Gaia. The game begins on the dangerous and beautiful Mist continent. As the game progresses you will visit the mysterious three other continents of Gaia.

          The player has the ability to traverse beautiful pre-rendered 3 dimensional town screens and also a less detailed, but still cool world map, which separates the different towns and locations. As with other FF games, there is much to discover just by exploring the world map so don't get lazy.

          The gameplay will be familiar to fans of the FF series. FF9 sees the return of the character class system, meaning each of the 8 playable characters each has a specific role to play in battle. For instance, Zidane is a fighter and thief, Vivi is a black mage and Princess Garnet is a healing magic user and summoner. Your characters each have their own unique battle abilities, which are learned form equipping various different weapons and equipment. Each character can equip a weapon, a bracelet, a pair of shoes and armor. Each individual character may learn something different from the same piece of equipment.
          Characters also have non-battle skills, which they can learn, ranging from stone-proof to HP+10%. These abilities can be very helpful during the course of the game.

          The battle system is a turn based affair. At the start of each battle you give your characters commands, such as attack, magic, summon or item. After you have given a command to each of your characters in the battle they will do as commanded, deploying a range of dazzling and devastating moves to pummel the enemy until they're sorry they ever messed with you. After battle characters gain experience and ability points. Experience points level the character up with a level cap of 100 and ability points level up whatever ability each specific character has set to learn via their equipment at the time.

          Summons or Eidolons as they're known in this game make an appearance. Only two characters in the game have the ability to summon
          Eidolons and each of the characters has their own unique summons to deploy. Unfortounately I thought that the summons in this game where not very well designed. The Eidolons and the animations in which you see them summoned where a rather bland affair compared to the GF of Final Fantasy 7 and 8.

          The Characters of FF9, are a mix of colorful and unusual weirdos. The main character you play as, Zidane Tribal is a seemingly half man, half monkey fellow,with an eye for the ladies and a passion for thievery. Zidane is a member of the theater group, Tartarus. Princess Garnet, or Garnet til Alexandros the XVIII to state her proper title is the main female protagonist and love interest of Zidane. Vivi Ornitier, an unusual, doll-like in appearance fellow, is a black mage and the main magic user of the playable characters. Fans of the older FF titles will recognize Vivi as he is modelled from the original black mages of the earlier games. Freya Crescent, a rat-like female warrior from the kingdom of Burmecia, on a quest to find her lost love, Sir Fratley.
          Adelbert Steiner, the leader of Alexandrias, knights of pluto and a fiercely loyal servent to the kingdom and Princess Garnet. He disapproves greatly of the choices made by the princess, early in the story. Eiko Coral, a feisty young orphan, with a connection to eidolons and the lost tribe of summoners. Eiko is never without her childhood friend, Mog, a cowardly moogle who often hides in Eiko's dress. Quina Quen, an always hungry oddity from the swamps of the Mist continent with a passion for cooking and eating frogs. Amarant, a bounty hunter with no heart and a score to settle with Zidane. All of the characters in this game are very well designed and beautifully rendered. I also think that they're all very well written so you find yourself empathising with them and cheering them on, something which was lacking in Square-enix's recent outing, Final Fantasy 12.

          As the game begins you find yourself in the city of Alexandria, home to the repulsive Queen Brahne and the beautiful Princess Garnet til Alexandros the XVIII. The city is abuzz with the arrival of the famous theatre troupe, Tartarus. Later that night as the royalty of Alexandria, take their seats to watch the troupe's performance, a plot begins. Tartarus' true intentions for being in Alexandria are to kidanp the princess. As a member of Tartarus, Zidane is the man tasked with whisking the princess away from her palace and in to the already prepared hiding place aboard the Tartarus groups huge airship. Unfourtounately things don't exactly go according to plan. What Zidane and the rest of Tartarus weren't expecting was to find the princess hatching a plot of her own. Garnet is trying to escape the palace and Alexandria, due to her growing concern over her mothers recent odd behaviour. Lately the queen has been raising and army and producing strange magical weaponry. A new face around the palace, the mysterious Kuja seems to be the source of the queens weapon supply. Garnet is desperate to leave Alexandria as she is worried about her mother, she seems like a different person of late and Garnet aims to discover why her mother has changed. With so much happening at once, the Palace is alerted of Princess Garnets disappearance midway through the play, causing the Queen to launch an attack against the theatre troups ship, in the form of a fire monster shooting cannon. Somehow the ship manages to escape Alexandria, with the princess on board, but not without sustaining heavy damage which causes the ship to crash in the middle of a forest. After many battles and hardships the group along with the princess arrive in Lindbulm, the home of King Cid. After this the group comprised of Zidane, Vivi, Garnet, Freya and Steiner begin a journey around the world of Gaia, in a bid to discover the reason behind the Queen of Alexandrias recent bloodthirsty, war mongering, world conquering lust for power. After many travels and meeting many new enemies and friends the group discovers the true reason behind the queens change in personality and the true reason behind the mist surrounding the Mist continent.

          I wont give away spoilers, but I will say this, the plot is awesome. Its a brilliant fantasy, which you can really find yourself invested in. Square have managed to craft a world, that's rich in history and full of interesting facts. I was intrigued with what was happening in the world of Gaia very early on. The characters are well written and have great depth. You really root for them all the way through the game. There are parts to this game which I found truly moving. I think I might be going a bit FF fan boy so I'll stop now.

          So in summary Final Fantasy 9 is a brilliant game, with excellent and simple to get the hang of gameplay and an engaging plot centred around many well written characters. The one negative I could give this game is that the summons weren't as well rendered or designed as they were with previous titles.

          Buy this if you love RPG gamed and aren't afraid of neglecting your life for 100 plus hours. Near perfection

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            17.02.2009 20:40
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            A let down from Final Fantasy

            Compared to the other Final Fantasy games, like 7 and 8 this was a disappointment. Final Fantasy IX (9) is a bit childish and naive. It follows a thief who falls for a princess who runs away from home. As time progresses she must return home as she has to save her kingdom.

            The graphics are better than the previous games but are some what cartoon-ish with the main character having a monkey's tale. It contains an exotic attribute to its surroudings and environments but from all the other games in the series much was a let down.

            Though the fighting system is great but the ability learning system is the let down. The way the charcters gain skills is by using their weapons long enough, ie.. a dagger may hold the flee skill and you'll have to fight using it for a certain amount of time or a certain amount of points against enemy difficulties.

            This was the easiest to complete from all the games in the series that I had played.

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            21.01.2009 17:28
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            The best game there ever will be.

            I will start off by saying that this is not only the best final fantasy game but it is the best video game of all time in my honest opinion.
            I can understand that most final fantasy fans will disagree with me but I have a theory that the first final fanatsy game you play is your favourite, because the majority of people first played final fantasy VII as it was the first on the playstation and that game is usually most popular.
            Final Fantasy IX was the first final fantasy I played and it simply amazed me and it still does today. This game simply gives me the best memories of gaming I have. The plot, characters, graphics and soundtrack combined make for an incredible gaming experience, although this statement isnt as appropriate now as it was when the game was first released.
            Final Fantasy IX has a story that simply engrosses you from start to finish. It is very well thought out and is very deep especially when you start researching different themes from the game in the real world.
            The soundtrack creates the most atmospheric of sounds that suits each location in the game I even bought the soundtrack which I use for meditation.
            The graphics for the time were the best without a doubt.
            Each character has a backing story that makes you connect to them.
            The gameplay is also the most simple out of the final fantasy games. And there are so many enjoyable minigames.
            Overall I would recommend this game to anyone and everyone, It should be experienced by all, its like an amazing book, movie and game rolled into one. Amazing.

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              20.01.2009 20:05
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              Monkey men, knights and a princess

              Final Fantasy IX definitely takes a huge step away from the serious, dystopian tones of previous games and reinvents itself once again. If you are looking for a serious game then stop reading this review- Final Fantasy IX has moments of it but generally is far more upbeat and idealistic than it's predecessors.

              Okay, so I'll begin talking about characters. Don't expect the angst ridden attitude of Squall or even the confused behaviour of Cloud. Zidane is in a completely new league and you will see he is upbeat, eternally optimistic and loves women. And have I mentioned he also has a tail? The female lead is Garnet (or Dagger, as she calls herself later on. And a runaway princess). There is also Steiner- a knight and protector of Dagger, Vivi- a black mage who is unsure of his identity and meaning in life, Freya- a Burmecian (rat lady for you and me) who is a Dragoon and on a quest to find her lost lover, Eiko- a child summoner who grew up surrounded by Moogles in Madian Sari, Amarant- a mercenary and generally bad-tempered man and then Quina- a frog obsessed thing (man? woman?) who thinks with its stomach. So they all sound a little far-fetched? This game incorporates a cute anime style and it is hard to dislike at least one of the characters.

              The basic plot is thief (Zidane) is working with undercover group of other thieves (Tantalus) to kidnap Princess Garnet. Their reasons are not made clear about why, as of yet. However, it turns out she is in the process of running away from home as her mother (Queen Brahne) has become eccentric and unpredictable due to the influence of a strange man. Ultimately though, during the escape from the city, Brahne shoots down the airship and the plot really starts to develop. Despite the cutesy approach to the character design and even the surroundings, the plot is not always positive. There are destruction of entire cities, the attempt to cull a race and existential crisises within the story. It isn't all doom and gloom though- as with all Final Fantasy games, there is comedy and a love story that plays a pivotal role.

              Final Fantasy IX plays some homage to Final Fantasy VII in it's equipment setup. Knights can only be knights, summoners can only be summoners...there is some aspect of job classification going on here but without the titles. However, all the accessories and armour can be given to each party member, and most of them contain an abililty to be learnt. Once the abililty is learnt as well, you can unequip the item and it remains.

              When discussing transportation, it must be noted about the huge role steampunk has played on this game. Everything is powered by 'Mist', including the various airships you see flying around the map. As with every other Final Fantasy game, there are chocobos to be captured (and to use to play Chocobo Hot n' Cold) or you can just walk by foot as far as possible.

              There are various minigames you can take part in including a card game, Chocobo Hot n' Cold and capturing frogs in a marsh (oh yes, I did just say that). They are cute games, childish games and are extremely enjoyable.

              Finally, the music. Once again, it has been composed by Nobuo Uematsu but it definitely takes a more old-fashioned step (as opposed to the previous two games). The reoccuring theme you will hear is Melodies of Life, and this comes in many forms. It is a nice tune but not the best. I do like this soundtrack a lot but the tracks aren't as memorable as with previous games.

              Overall I do love this game. It is easily one of my favourites because of it's old-world feel, loveable characters and engaging plot. If you were a die-hard Final Fantasy VIII fan then you might not enjoy this game as much as you should. It is not futuristic or particularly serious but give it a try and you will develop a loving relationship with it as well ;)

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                11.01.2009 00:50
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                Dont miss this

                Squaresoft (Now Square Enix) have revisited the original Final Fantasys to create Final Fantasy IX. This game brings back such characters like the Black Mage, the Summoner and other characters like that from the originals like Final Fantasy I and II.

                The storyline is based around a party of different characters - Zidane, Garnet (or Dagger in some parts), Vivi, Steiner, Freya, Amarant, Quina and Eiko. Its starts off with a kidnap attempt on Princess Garnet but eventually turns in to stopping a crazy queen from destroying the world who has waged war on neighbouring kingdoms...using possesed Eidolons. Other parts to the storyline involve Vivi finding how he was created, Garnet learning how to become a great summoner with Eiko and Zidane finding his origins in an out of this world place.

                The ATB system is back again. In battle you get a bar and when the bar is full, that character has the turn in the battle. This can be sped up with the Haste spell.

                The card game is back but there are additions to it. Such as only being able to carry 100 cards.

                The Eidolons are great and you collect them by equiping the relevant stone and learning to summon them.

                The Ability system is great, you can learn different abilities to help aid you in battle. Such as not being effected by Sleep status or even increasing you HP by a certain percentage of the original.

                Overall I recommend not missing this game.

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                  25.08.2008 19:20
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                  antastic ps2 game

                  Final fantasy nine is fantastic and also something different from the final fantasy team. In this installment the makers of final fantasy decided to make there worlds and charecters more cartoony than realistic as in ff8 although it doesnt sound great it works very well with the invention of super charecters like viv.The story is about a rougue who has a lion like tail,he kidnaps a more than willing princess which starts him on a adventure to save the world of gaea and find out where he is from.
                  The battle system id fun each charecter has its own special skills similar to a level break with some of the best from zidane and quina,to enhance these skills you must use magic stones which you get by leveling up.
                  This time i have found leveling a little easier than in other final fantasys, you kill monsters you get magic stones and are more powerful much easier than final fantasy 8s junction system,as usual there are much tougher bosses than the final boss and you will need to grind away to get those levels but it comes a little more in tune with the game this time.
                  My favorite bits of final fantasy are the secret parts and sadly these wernt as good as the others but the stunning cut scenes music and animations all make up for than, this is a brilliant game i recomend to all and should you reach the end you will be rewarded with the most marvelous cut scene,happy gaming

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                  12.10.2005 20:53
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                  wow... just... wow

                  wow... just... wow. FFIX is THE BEST game ive ever played. on any console. There's not much point writing a review. i really cant explain it. play it. now. alright ill make an attempt at a serious review. The scene is set with the prima vista airship soaring high above the clouds, dipping into a surreal world of this epic. The conflict in the storyline throughout this game really play on the emotions. This is a very thinky game. You must take into consideration the quality of the graphics for the time of production are brilliant. The FMV's are amazing, though can be a bit pixelly at times but not around the edges of characters and locations which is good.

                  Graphics: 10/10 (for the console there amazin)
                  Gameplay: 10/10 (BEST. GAME. EVER)
                  Sound: 10/10 (so good i bought the soundtrack)
                  Lifespan: 10/10 (4 discs. 4 DISCS!!!!)

                  emo tom

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                    16.12.2004 09:49
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                    Ok it was the last ever FF game to be released by Square on the Playstation, and by far the best one they did, FF9 is my favourite FF game ever. I own nearly every single FF game out and i am an experienced gamer playing them over again, i have to say playing through this game made me laugh because of the comedy genious behind Zidane (the main character) and Steiner (another character). the game feature a new type of summon, Ideloins which where great but were not as good as the summons in the previous FF games, on the whole for it's storyline and great gameplay i give this game a 10/10. i would definetly reccomend it to any gamer out there. The game itself i could play over and over and the soundtracks for it are brilliant. if your thinking of buying the game i would definetly consider it

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                      21.03.2003 22:12
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                      Final Fantasy 1X is a great role playing game for the playstation one. I have all the final fantasy games and play them again and again, as every time you get better and better or use the different characters to kill the bad guy. The game starts off with a theatrical play being staged at the palace of Queen Brahne of Alexandra, after being sold a counterfit ticket your first character has to sneak in so as to watch the play. Before you get into the castle you will be introduced to the Moogles, these are little creatures which you will encounter throughout the game or you can call them after they have given you a whistle. These little creatures are there to sell you things or to save your game and you can also carry letters to them from other moogles. The queens daughter runs away after the play and you have to help her. Here you will meet other characters and fight soldiers untill you have safey escaped with the princess. However the queen has the vessel you are travelling on shot down and you land in a magical forest, where you are under attack from monsters. You are now on your way to getting to the world map where you can go to villages, at each village you can buy things or you may get yourself into trouble where you have to fight your way out to escape and carry on in the game. You will steal ships or be transported by other means to reach other places, but through out the game you will have fun. The graphics are very good and you can speed the game up via the menu if you want. There are other games within this game and you can play frog catching with one of the characters, cards with others go to an auction and you can meet chocobos and play treasure hunting to find things which help you along the way. The controls are pretty simple to operate and to save a game you have to find a moogle or call one with the square button, they will ask you what you want and you can save your game At the end of each disc y
                      ou will be told to save tyour game before putting in the next disc. Each character has a name already given to them by the game, but you can change it if you want as a screen will be shown to you when you meet a character for the first time. You can press confirm to keep their name or press delete and add your own name for them. The characters are-: Zidane Tribal Who is a sort of mouse boy with a sence of humour. Adelbert Steiner A guard to the princess who is regimental and stuffy, but lightens up later on in the game. Amarant Coral. A mercanary who you meet later in the game fight then become friends. Garnet Til Alexandros 17th The princess soon to become queen. Her powers are great as she carries powerful allies which you have to find through out the game. Vivi Ornitier. A magician who is just learning about the world and people Freya Cresent A surviving member of a race who gets distroyed by the enemy. Eiko Carol She is a cheeky little girl who comes from the same place as princess garnet, she also has simular powers as the princess so as to fight monsters. Quina Quen. A funny creature who is obsessed with eating, during a battle when the eneny is weak she can eat then and steal their magic powers. You can play the frog catching game with her/him. The menu of this game can be found by pressing the diamond button, this will show you the Abilities, Equipment, Magic, you need to play the game. Equipment can be bought from the shops or they will exchange your weapons and other things to upgrade your equipment in the synth shops. Sometimes you may have to pay too but the better equipment you have the stronger you become. Magic, can be found in the strangest of places so it's always good to look around a place or it can be stolen from monsters Abilities, these build up during the game after each fight you get AP points which colle
                      ct to give you another ability to fight with once you have the desired amount of points. This game may take you a couple of weeks to finish so it's good to have a memory card to store your place in the game. It has four discs to get through but will let you save your game at the end of each disc. The game cost me five pounds second hand at the bootsale, but I think you can get it second hand from Game for around ten pounds. It's easy to navigate and the best way to learn about it is to play. I love playing this when I?m bored and hope you enjoyed this op.

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