Life in Gaia

Life in Gaia

Sometimes a virtual world can make your own a little bit brighter.

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That was an interesting, heartfelt article. Good luck with the freelance business.

Joseph Leray:
In many ways, Final Fantasy IX is the perfect game for times of transition or insecurity: The entire game is an elaborate coming-of-age story. Every character in the player's party faces some social upheaval or existential crisis that tests their identity, and they all come out on top in the end.

To be fair, that is pretty standard for jRPGs... Even wRPGs, even if those tend to be more somber...

I know, I know, a large part of this was timing and personal experience, just wanted to pointed out.

Funny, I'm currently playing through Final Fantasy IX again. You're descrpition of the game is pretty spot on to me.

I love the story and characters and how they develop, and I love the world the game takes place in, it really knows how to tug at the heartstrings.

Good to see someone else appreciates this game as much as I do; your sincerity and good taste will take you far.

weirdly enough. i have encounterd alot of people who dont know this. but on the combat side of things. FFIX is infact multiplayer. you can assign other chars to controler two. meaning that a freind can infact sit down and play FFIX with you. sure only one of you can walk around the other player can really only do anything in combat but it is there.

I also love FF IX. It is my favorite of the series and still one of my favorite games ever. I also ended up playing it shortly after my parents all but disowned me and something about it just seemed to rais my spirits. Althrough to this day my sister and I still argue about what happened at the end.

This all sounds so familiar. I had a similar experience with FFIX. I remember the Burmecia sequence in particular; a ransacked city in an endless downpour, the haunting score in the background, glimpsing Kuja for the first time and the big cliffhanger after losing to Beatrix. I think Burmecian Kingdom is still my most-listened-to music track on Last.fm, it left that big of an impression.

When people rank their FFs, IX gets the top spot surprisingly often, yet it still somehow gets overlooked in terms of pop-culture influence compared to VII and VIII. Nice to see it get the recognition it deserves.

Your grandmother sounds like a real character.

Final Fantasy IX is one of the greatest RPGs, and games, of all time. Such an excellent mix of well-crafted characters, stirring music, gorgeous visuals, vast exploration, loads of towns and interesting mini-games and sidequests, wit, charm, humor, emotion... it's the best qualities of JRPGs manifested in one 4-disc collection of sheer awesomeness. I remember reading an interview with the creators and them stating that they had the whole story, and all the character designs, development, and important details, ready to go before they had created a single pixel or polygon.

...
...
...10 years later we get Final Fantasy 13, which had almost none of these (it had pretty visuals at least). I remember reading an interview with THAT team, and they admitted they had zero plan for anything, locked their art guys in separate rooms and told them to just make stuff up, and then they tried to piece that all together with a poorly written plot that had no concept of pacing, themes, appropriate character development and characterization, or emotional tone.

How the mighty have fallen. I would conduct blood rituals to get a Final Fantasy game as good as FFIX was ever again.

I've contented myself with non-Final Fantasy games, like The Last Story, Lost Odyssey, and Xenoblade, but there's still something about FFIX that was just... unique.

Your gran sounds like quite a character. At least she wasn't raising you just to eat you...

So thrilled to see an article about this game, seeing as it's my favourite, and I've gone on about it at length here before. I can certainly relate to getting lost in the stunning world of Gaia, all those picturesque towns, bustling steampunk cities, rolling mountains and plains, great forests.... aw dammit, now I'm turning misty eyed.

I disagree on the ending though. I don't think it's too saccharine or maudlin. I think it's pitch perfect, with the single greatest tear jerker in FF history:

Gizmo1990:
I also love FF IX. It is my favorite of the series and still one of my favorite games ever. I also ended up playing it shortly after my parents all but disowned me and something about it just seemed to rais my spirits. Althrough to this day my sister and I still argue about what happened at the end.

I say your theory is probably right.

starhaven:
weirdly enough. i have encounterd alot of people who dont know this. but on the combat side of things. FFIX is infact multiplayer. you can assign other chars to controler two. meaning that a freind can infact sit down and play FFIX with you. sure only one of you can walk around the other player can really only do anything in combat but it is there.

Darn, that I didn't know. I don't have a working PlayStation anymore to test that out.

Good article though =]

Zidane was a clone?

I think I forgot that...

That being said... I never did understand the final bosses role, and relevance to the story. He always seemed to just appear out of no where for no reason to me.

Nine is my second favorite FF.

Ok first. Where did you get the picture you used for that thumbnail. I love it.

Second. Final Fantasy IX is my favorite game of all time. Gaia and Terra is my home. I have memorized all the maps. All the songs. All of the bosses and how to deal with them. I can't count all the times I have beat the game. I always use it for examples for storytelling or character development. I love all the characters (Except one fat tongued lard ass) and find all of their stories great, my favorite being Vivi's.

Draconalis:
Zidane was a clone?

I think I forgot that...

That being said... I never did understand the final bosses role, and relevance to the story. He always seemed to just appear out of no where for no reason to me.

The way I always interpreted it was:

That's how I always interpreted it anyways. I think the official explanation from Squenix might be different, but I like my interpretation more, as I think it fits better with the themes, and requires less "WTF?"

Draconalis:
Zidane was a clone?

I think I forgot that...

That being said... I never did understand the final bosses role, and relevance to the story. He always seemed to just appear out of no where for no reason to me.

Nine is my second favorite FF.

It had little to no bearing. I think someone called it "The Giant Space Flea" based upon some trope?

Call me crazy, but I really didn't like FF9. Maybe this is because I skipped FF8 and the last two I played were FF6 (the best in my opinion) and FF7 (the second best). I didn't like the combat or the fact that I could no longer customize magic and it always felt like the enemy was cheating by not waiting his turn in combat. I never really got to like the characters or the character art style (the rest of the games art, especially the settings, was amazing though). I did really like the story, at least in the beginning. Unfortunately, the whole thing just seems to jump the plot rails sometime after you leave the Mist Continent, and I started disliking the story more and more as the game progressed. Somehow I did manage to make it to the end of the game, but the final boss comes out of nowhere with no explanation and the ending makes no bloody sense.

I suppose I can be happy that someone enjoyed the game though.

Phanixis:
Call me crazy, but I really didn't like FF9. Maybe this is because I skipped FF8 and the last two I played were FF6 (the best in my opinion) and FF7 (the second best). I didn't like the combat or the fact that I could no longer customize magic and it always felt like the enemy was cheating by not waiting his turn in combat. I never really got to like the characters or the character art style (the rest of the games art, especially the settings, was amazing though). I did really like the story, at least in the beginning. Unfortunately, the whole thing just seems to jump the plot rails sometime after you leave the Mist Continent, and I started disliking the story more and more as the game progressed. Somehow I did manage to make it to the end of the game, but the final boss comes out of nowhere with no explanation and the ending makes no bloody sense.

I suppose I can be happy that someone enjoyed the game though.

First of all, your crazy. Second, it isn't wrong to not like something, the fact that FFIX remains one of the least talked about FF titles means a good subsection of people didn't click with the game (either that or were so frustrated with FFVIII or missed the one or two ads state-side that they didn't pick it up). For a vocal minority however, FFIX not only encapsulates what the series and the JRPG genre means but also connects on an emotional level as the author of this article described. Only recently (in the last two weeks) has the discussion of FFIX taken flight on this site; this is due to a certain video series that I didn't see last week (sweet justice). For fans of the game, like myself, articles and videos describing (or not even mentioning) the game gives us an opportunity to trumpet the experience and love we have for this particular title, which it is perfectly fine not feel.

Another Escapist member that's a part of Gaia Online? I didn't think I'd meet one! What do you think of the current event? Me, I'm not a fan of the Easter events, and I don't particularly get thi- oh, we're not thinking the same thing here, are we?

Congrats on the first post/article though!

The only three points I can ever remember about this game are
Ozma.
The terrible card game.
The awesome chocobo side quest system.

I mean I do remember enjoying the game, but not much of it ever seems to stick out in my memory aside from those three points.

This was the one with the rat-like lady named Freya right?

Nine is actually my least favorite Final Fantasy. This has less to do with the game and more to do with context: I knew more people playing nine at the same time as me than any other Final Fantasy... so my biggest memory of the game is begging for them to stop yelling major plot points at each other with me in the room. I ended up having to blast through it so I could see events without them being spoiled. Soured the whole thing for me.

I tried replaying it a few years later, but I couldn't get into it. I should try again- it's been long enough for the game details to go fuzzy on me, so I bet I could see it again, for the first time (or something like that.)

Ah, Final Fantasy IX, it remains my favorite game of all time, I was recently replaying it and should get around to finished it again simply so I can start again!

No matter how much I play it, it just got better and better. I wish it has some more emphasis on other characters (Like Amarant) but still loved everything about the game.

Fantastic first article!

I couldn't resist clicking on this article when I saw it. I'm one of those kids who just loved FFIX to death. Saw my cousin play it when I visited my uncle once. I decided then and there: I must have this game. About a year later, I had it in my hands.

I really do have to play it again someday...

I stopped reading after the 4th paragraph. Why am I'm reading about someone's relationship with their grandmother. GET ON WITH IT!

Agree with the whole thing. FF9 came into my life during an upheaval too, and it helped me cope with 'moving forward'.

Tales of Symphonia did this again several years later in my life when something even worse happened.

Both of these games had protagonists who dealt with something heavy, and instead of letting it quash their spirit permanently. They got up after some encouragement and moved forward with their lives.

I can't tell you how much I needed that lesson in my life. It's strange to some to imagine that I had never been taught it well enough until I played those games, or it hadn't hit home, but I think I would have been a teenager in danger of being suicidal had these turning points not occurred.
I mean I was SEVERELY emotionally imbalanced at 13. And that was without being dragged all around the world. These kinds of games were my only constant. And it kept me above that dangerous depth.

Call it corny. Call it looking too deep into something.
Doesn't mean it didn't happen.

While I agree with the sentiment of the article, I find it a tad wordy for my liking. It's kind of overwritten for it's content. It almost feels like the author used a thesaurus while writing it.

I know this is going to seem like shameless self promotion right off the bat, so I won't leave any links or anything, but I recently started a new youtube series called "Epic RPG Quest," where we are collecting and playing every RPG for the original Playstation and we actually started with Final Fantasy IX for a lot of these reasons. I just found it a kinda funny coincidence that the two coincided so well and so close to one another, so I figured I would post.

Great article, I'm happy to see that these games (and this one in particular) had an equally strong impact on people's lives and I'm not just entirely crazy.

lostlevel:

starhaven:
weirdly enough. i have encounterd alot of people who dont know this. but on the combat side of things. FFIX is infact multiplayer. you can assign other chars to controler two. meaning that a freind can infact sit down and play FFIX with you. sure only one of you can walk around the other player can really only do anything in combat but it is there.

Darn, that I didn't know. I don't have a working PlayStation anymore to test that out.

Good article though =]

Lots of Final Fantasy worked that way...

Glad to see some Mississippi representation here. Though I don't think you have to go far in any direction to find yourself in plaid-short territory.

Also I'm so happy to see the FF9 love. I've been going through it again for the first time in a decade, and it's amazing how much that game has resonated with the people who love it. So much good in that game, even if Tetra Masters is pretty terrible in the early stages >.>

It's great to see so many people connected with FF9. Games really are a powerful medium. I wish I'd liked the game more, but I found it very disjointed. By the end I was mainly playing to try and get some kind of payoff for my time investment. I know now that that's stupid: you can always find an excuse to be hostile towards something that feels like a chore, and it's unfair to the storyteller. Far better to just quit and do something else.

Having said that...

Solo-Wing:
I always use it for examples for storytelling or character development.

This interests me. Because, even compensating for my personal experience with the game, I might STILL use FF9 as an example of how NOT to do these things. So I'd really love to know what you mean.

This isn't just because I found an internet opinion I disagree with! Among other things I'm a developmental editor, which means writers (and occasionally game designers) come to me with early story drafts and I give them advice on how to improve their plots, characters, themes, world building etc. etc. It's a great job, but there's a lot of responsibility. While the author always has the final decision, I do have quite a lot of influence. And there's always a background worry that I'm unduly influenced by my personal preferences, and I'm hammering stories into shapes that don't quite suit them. I don't think I ever give BAD advice, but it would be arrogant to think I couldn't give BETTER advice. I'm always learning, and it really helps me when I try to find out why people liked stories I didn't.

For me, FF9 just sort of spiraled off into the void. I didn't get any sense of how the end related to the beginning. While epic plots certainly need to escalate in order to get the proper dramatic sweep, the best of them usually find a way to make things come full circle. Transformation (internal and external) is the basis of all storytelling, but the audience needs some way to compare the end result with how things started out. So Frodo returns to the Shire but he's outgrown it. FF7 begins and ends (almost) with reactor explosions in Midgar. etc. etc. FF9 tries to jam everyone back into their old lives for the epilogue, but to me it felt forced.

But I haven't played it since I was 15. I'd love to have spectacularly missed the point!

I can see, deep in this article, the haunting southern landscape I grew up in. Bravo.

 

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