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ham

Finally beat Final Fantasy IX

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Hey all,

For those of you that don't know I have been on a quest to beat all the main titles of Final Fantasy. I started with the spin-off "Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core" but have steadily progressed through Final Fantasy titles I - IX now. I am finally into the PS2 era of Final Fantasy as I set out to play Final Fantasy X. In the past, I've done quasi-reviews but I feel like I don't really need to review them. Instead I'll just talk about what annoys me and what I thought was good in the games. These topics can span from game mechanics to themes used in each Final Fantasy titles. Another thing to note is also the recycling of themes or expanding on ideas seen from previous Final Fantasy titles. I think Final Fantasy IX is a good candidate to use to reflect this.

Overall, I thought the story was a bit confusing, and that might have been because I didn't thoroughly spend enough time unearthing Final Fantasy IX's lore. I feel I have a pretty good idea of what set events in motion and how our protagonists were given a call to action. Despite its light-hearted aesthetic, there were a lot of dark themes that involved the finality of death and reflecting on the meaning of death as seen through various characters such as Garland, Vivi and the black mages, Kuja, Eiko, Garnet/Dagger, and Zidane. I thought this aspect was particularly wonderful because it shows the consequences of what a war is.

I would say all the main characters had a defining moment whether it played a central role in the main plot or not. They all contended with their own existences and consequences of living. One of my favorite characters was Steiner because of his character development -- he starts off as a very duty-oriented soldier but slowly changes his perspective over time as he witnesses Queen Brahne's wanton destruction of neighboring kingdoms.

The battle mechanics were great I felt if you took the time to witness the boss AI, you could strategize a way to overcome most bosses without grinding levels. I felt the progression of levels might have been sufficient enough to beat the game. I think without grinding, my main squad was around 40+ but I ended up grinding them to LV 70 which I felt was more than enough to beat the end game dungeon and final boss. However, the one thing that annoyed me the most but its sort of understandable is how Trance or the limit break is activated in battle sequences. The way I think it activates is through how much damage is inflicted upon your characters and there is no way to save the trance/limit break for crucial battles. The trance system played a pivotal role in the story and it seems like it's the adrenaline rush one gets when they are in danger. Having access to Trance at crucial battles would have probably made the game way too easy because Zidane's trance moves were very strong.

Despite the story being a little convoluted to me I enjoyed it. It was a throw back to previous Final Fantasy titles IV & V, where there was an outside influence that affected the world the main cast lived on. I might have missed it but I would have liked to explore the lore a bit more in game. I might scour through the forums to see if anyone here has a more complete comprehension of Final Fantasy IX to satisfy my curiosity.

Well, that concludes my update in my Final Fantasy Quest.

See ya guys when I beat Final Fantasy X.

Regards,
Ham
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  1. Wolf Kanno's Avatar
    Congrats on taking down another entry! Only six more to go.