View Full Version : How The Characters of Final Fantasy IX Inspire Me (Part1)

01-20-2014, 04:44 PM

As many of you may already know, my favorite game is Final Fantasy IX. Growing up in unhealthy environments, I used to use video games and books as an escape mechanism. I would lose myself in the stories and the characters, forgetting my troubles, if only for a little while. Final Fantasy IX really spoke to me, and it still does, in my difficult times, and inspired me to keep pushing forward, no matter how difficult the situation may be. In this article, I will be listing some of the ways the characters from Final Fantasy IX have given me strength, courage, and hope. If you haven't played Final Fantasy IX then this will contain spoilers.



The leading man of Final Fantasy IX is of course Zidane. A thief without a home. That is certainly one of the areas I could identify with him. I moved around a lot as a child, often living with strangers. I didn’t feel like I had a home. Sometimes, I still feel that way. It’s a sad feeling. You see others with their family’s, homes, friends, and you start to question where you fit in. Those are feelings that I saw in Zidane.

He didn’t have a home. He woke up somewhere, he didn’t know anybody, he didn’t know where he came from. But he pressed forward. He made himself a home. That’s how Zidane inspired me. When you think of the Tantalus, who do you think of? Maybe the Boss, maybe Blank, almost certainly Zidane. He became one of the most prominent members. He went from having no home, to being a part of something. So much so that he is greatly missed when he is gone. He joins the Tantalus and Baku becomes his father figure. He has a special bond with so many of the members. He finds a home. Even more admirable, he seems to build a home wherever he is with. When he begins to travel with the heroes of Final Fantasy IX, he is in a lot of ways the glue that holds everyone together. They follow him. He makes a home with all of them.

Another way Zidane inspired me is with his positive, supportive attitude. When times get tough for his friends, he is the first one there to pick them back up. To push them forward. To give them a shoulder to lean on. When Vivi questions his existence, Zidane is there to perk him up. When Garnet is lost and confused, Zidane is there to support her. He always looks forward in such a positive, headstrong manner. He finds humor when the situation is grim. Later on, when he learns of his origins once in Terra, about how he was created as Garland's "Angel of Death", and he lets himself be sad, his friends are there for him, just as he was for them. Had I been in his situation, I would have been down and out for much longer. But he taught me to look ahead, positive and strong.



Garnet starts off her journey being na´ve. She doesn’t fully understand the world around her, and the more she learns, the less sure of herself she becomes, until she finally regains confidence. She goes through many hardships, but she keeps trying, learning, exploring. She was an inspiration to me in that regard.

At the start of her journey, she leaves Alexandria, concerned for her mother. She doesn't fully realize the complexities of the situation yet, and assumes that her Uncle Cid can take care of everything. As she continues through her journey, she realizes there is much more at work. But she doesn't give up. She takes matters in to her own hands, sneaking away from Lindblum to go speak to her mother on her own. After her mothers passing, she is thrown in to being the Queen of a country, and she doesn't know what to do. But she tries so hard. She steps up to try and be the queen she knows her people deserve. Sadly, Alexandria ends up under attack shortly after that. She holds out the best she can until the ordeal is over. Afterwards, the poor dear loses her voice. it almost seems like she's given up. But she comes back, stronger than ever. She cuts her hair, throwing away her Princess role in order to grow in to a woman. A strong woman who does what she needs to. I’ve often felt scared and hopeless in situations where I don’t know as much as I think I should, like Garnet did at the beginning of her journey. But that’s no reason to give up. I have to learn and grow, just as she did through the course of the game.

She was also an inspiration in her forgiveness. Her mother wronged her in so many ways, but when it came down to it, Garnet didn’t hesitate for a moment to forgive her. Her mother took advantage of her and tried to steal her Eidolons, so she could use them to take over the world. She had her minions put Granet to sleep, having her Eidolons forcibly extracted from her. I can only imagine how invasive this would feel. Her summons are a part of her. Later in the game, Lani comes to claim the Falcon's Claw from Garnet, and we learn that her mother doesn't care if Garnet is killed in the process. What it would feel like, to know your mother doesn't care if you live or die. To know that all she wants is something you have, and she couldn't care less what happens to you in the process of retraining it. It's horrible. But when her mother is laying on the beach, dying, Garnet and Brahne put aside their issues and become mother and daughter once again. Brahne realizes she was wrong, and corrupt by power, and she apologizes to her daughter, who deep down inside she really loves. Zidane doesn't understand how Garnet can be concerned about Brahne, after all of the horrible things she did, but Garnet says it all "She's still my mother".

I’ve had my share of issues with my mother. She has led to a lot of bad things in my life. But I hope to one day be able to truly forgive her, as Garnet did with her mother. To put aside the past and say “She’s my mother,” and be able to wash away the wrongs of our life and accept her apologies and forgive her. It takes a strong person to do what Garnet did, and for that she is an inspiration.



Eiko was left alone from a very young age. That is something I’ve also had to experience, although not to the same degree. I admire how strong she is about it. She lost her family but she stays positive and strong. She doesn’t let it hold her back. In some cases, she uses it as her strength and her inspiration.

Eiko is from the village of Madain Sari, a village of summoners. Madain Sari was mostly wiped out from an attack by the Invincible, leaving few survivors. She was raised by her Grandfather, who died before te start of the game. She is alone with the Moogles in Madain Sari, trying to make due. She steals food from a neighbouring town, a situation I've also been in. Hungry. Having to do what you can to get food when you need it. Zidane and the others come along, and Eiko makes a bi decision for a little girl; to travel with the others. To leave her village even though her grandfather told her not to leave until she turned 16. She did it because she knew it was the right thing to do.

She can be annoying at times, but for a girl of six, she is incredibly self-reliant. She makes do the best she can and she keeps her head up. More so, she stays true to who she is, whether others like it or not. Coming from a situation of abandonment, it is easy for me to lose my sense of self in order to fit in with others, so they don’t leave me. Eiko wasn’t exactly abandoned, but it would be easy to see her giving up her self to become who others want her to be, to fit in, to not be alone anymore. But she doesn’t. She is herself. Open, honest, and curious.

What did you think of these three? Did they inspire you as well? Are there other characters who inspired you? Share your thoughts and stay tuned for part 2!

01-20-2014, 06:22 PM
Wow, this is all so personal. It really sounds like you had a tough life, shion :( I hope everything ultimately turns out for the best and I'm glad these characters have you comfort.

While I've never really had a bad life, and I first played IX when I was almost in uni, there are two characters in FFIX whose stories I find inspiring.

Freya: she loses practically everything. Her hometown is ruined, and the reward she later receives is horribly ironic - she gets back the love of her life, but he remembers nothing. I'm so disappointed that the writers did not delve deeper into her story, but it was really inspiring to see her near the end, working, against all odds, to get back the most precious thing she had and rebuild her relationship with Fratley step by step. Even though she knew it would not be the same, as his memories would probably never return, trying to build a new future for the two of them seemed really uplifting for them. It made me think that even if everything seems hopeless, everything you know is in shambles, there is always a ray of Hope and that little ray of Hope is enough to make a difference. To make it possible for you to be happy again.

Vivi: he represents all the fears I think everyone experience at one point. Do I really exist? Does it really matter? Vivi shows us that regardless of the purpose we were created for, if there even is one, we can be happy by living our lives to the fullest. Vivi's life was extremely short, but it was enough to learn to be happy, even though he knew his fate was sealed. And there's also the fact that he was forever remembered by his friends and somehow managed to leave some kids behind ;)

01-20-2014, 07:05 PM
(I get to see the finished copies at the same time as everyone else, just for the record.)

The positive here is that at least your past and personal feelings that made you empathize with FF9's cast also helped you write your best article yet. (IMO)

You usually write very entertaining pieces with your own unique perspective, so this time it worked doubly well as the really interesting parts come from the comparisons of characters to your own perspective of life. Thanks for opening up for us!

01-21-2014, 06:50 PM
This is lovely, thank you for sharing it with us. Looking forward to part two!

I'm particularly looking forward to if/when Vivi gets a write-up. I related to him very strongly as a child, and still do today.