Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi has unearthed old design documents from early in the development of Final Fantasy IX, and posted them online for all to see.
Final Fantasy IX is a strange entry in the series. After the gritty, more futuristic FF7 and FF8, FF9 was a return to the series’ more light-hearted, fantastic roots in both form and function. For many of those who played it, though, it remains one of the most beloved installments in the long-running JRPG franchise.
Final Fantasy IX was also the last entry in the series where the original concept was created by the original Final Fantasy creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi – currently working on The Last Story over at Mistwalker. Sakaguchi unearthed some twelve-year-old design documents for Final Fantasy IX, and posted them on the Mistwalker blog for all to see.
It’s a very interesting read for fans of the game, being half extremely rough script – of the very beginning of the game – and half simple design notes, where black mage Vivi’s character is noted as being “introversive[sic], quiet, obedient, indecisive, pure in heart and kind.”
If you’re a FF9 fan, it’s rather charming to see how the game looked in this initial early form, and to see what changed – the initial fight with Steiner was supposed to be a cutscene, for example.
It’s also interesting to note that the first thing mentioned in the closeup introduction of Princess Garnet is her breasts. Come to think of it, that does make sense given the flirtatious personality of protagonist Zidane, so I’ll let it slide.
Now if only he could post design documents for Final Fantasy VI, too. We can only hope.