Many consider Final Fantasy a bit of an odd sheep of the FF world.
Some praise it for its whimsical characters and story, while others consider it a weaker FF title.
Final Fantasy 9 is one of the other FF’s that I have played a bit of, but never did beat.
I honestly don’t remember that much from FF9, since it has been so long since I played it.
But I do remember a few things, such as the way that you learn spells and abilities.
Instead of merely leveling up and learning abilities, FF9 took a different approach, wherein characters equip weapons, armor and accessories to slowly learn their abilities.
Anyone who has played Final Fantasy Tactics Advance will be quite familiar with this mechanic.
Instead of Limit Breaks, characters are instead given something called “Trance,” which basically lets them turn super sayian for a short time.
As characters get beat up and take actions during battle, they fill a meter. Once the meter is full, they Trance.
Each character has unique traits when they Trance, such as being able to cast two magic spells in one turn.
The battle system is fairly familiar at this point, which is a standard ATB system.
The graphics, however, were given an unique spin. They replaced the more realistic look for a more… Exaggerated appearance for the characters. But that will become evident once we see our heroes and villains in action.
I will once again be playing the Steam version of Final Fantasy 9, which I am excited to see how it fares.
I have fairly fond memories of the other FF’s I have bought and played through Steam, so
I have high hopes that FF9 will be wonderful on the PC.
Without further ado, let us begin our next leg of our adventure, into Final Fantasy 9!
We see a small ship, getting tossed around the sea like a toy, before a girl suddenly wakes up from what I suppose was a dream.
We also see a beautiful kingdom.
Then we get a scene with this plucky boy… Who has a tail!?
We gain control, so time to change some settings and check out the menus!
Pretty standard stuff, but it looks like our hero is a thief, who comes equipped with typical thief skills.
Abilities are another unique facet of FF9. Every character can equip different abilities that will offer bonuses, such as Auto-Life, Auto-Haste, resistance or immunity to certain status ailments, or even unique ones like our hero’s Protect Girls ability.
As you can see, however, there is a limit to how many abilities a character can equip.
Every ability costs varying amounts of Ability Points, so choose wisely.
Thankfully, they can be swapped in the menu whenever you have access to said menu as you please.
By pressing Select on something, an always helpful moogle will give us some insight on what we have our cursor on.
Moving on, ??? explores the ship!
??? lights a candle, when he hears a voice!
So, our hero, Zidane, announces himself to his apparent buddies, when a monster attacks!
Combat is pretty standard and straight-forward at this point. It looks like Zidane is a part of some kind of Thieve’s Guild, since everyone in the party right now can Steal.
Be prepared to read this text A LOT.
After a bit of fruitless stealing, we finally get lucky and steal a Potion and a Mage Masher!
After that, the “monster” quickly goes down, revealing their leader in disguise.
So, they plan on kidnapping a princess by doing a stage play.
After they come up with a plan, we switch scenes to everyone’s favorite mage!
He is still ??? to us right now, but you know who this is!
He doesn’t sport the black mage look for nothing, this little guy can bring the magical pain.
We gain control and explore the new locale.
Exploring around, we pick up quite a few Potions and some gil.
??? presents his ticket to the upcoming show, “I want to be your canary,” but it’s a fake!
We get some cards for our troubles, however. Unlike in FF8, Triple Triad doesn’t offer fantastic rewards for playing.
It also plays much differently than FF8’s version.
Moving on, we find a little rat boy, who offers us a way to see the play, but we have to be his slave.
With no other option, ??? takes it.
The two stumble upon Kupo, our resident moogle and save point!
We also get access to Mognet, which lets us deliver letters to people.
We also learn ???’s name, Vivi!
Moving on, Vivi and Puck (the rat boy), make it just in time for the festivities to start.
It looks like Princess Garnet isn’t very enthused.
The show starts, where we are forced into a “fight.”
Zidane and Blank beat up some guards for some disguises and we make our way to Princess Garnet inside the castle to kidnap her.
As Zidane makes his way upstairs, he runs into an odd girl, but she doesn’t really want to talk. She pushes past us, but Zidane spots her as the Princess!
They rush after her, while the Queen is told that Garnet is missing and has taken some sort of Royal Amulet.
We are given control of the captain of the Pluto Knights, Steiner.
Steiner is very much a physical attacker, but he also has access to some new abilities, namely, the “- Killer” abilities. These, despite the name, when equipped, let you deal extra damage to creatures of that type.
Why they chose the wording, “lethal” damage, I don’t know, but all it does is let you deal extra damage to a particular type of enemy.
After running around with Steiner to no avail, he spots Zidane chasing after the Princess.
She leaps off of the side, Indiana Jones style, while the others follow!
When she makes it onto Zidane’s ship, she actually ASKS to be kidnapped!?
Steiner shows up, so they run away further into the ship with Cinna, another thief from the guild.
They escape from Steiner for a brief time, but he ends up cutting them off and fighting us!
Zidane steals some goodies from him, but before long, he uses a powerful attack on Blank, destroying his armor…
But letting loose the oglops! Oglops are… Actually, I have no idea, some type of bug?
Seizing their chance, Zidane and Garnet make a break for it.
Eventually, with no where else to go, they have to go onstage, where the play is still going on!
Thankfully, they all play it off well, especially Garnet, who says she took drama classes.
In the crowd, Vivi and Puck get spotted, so they make a run for it from the guards.
Puck leaves Vivi behind, who runs up on stage and sets Garnet’s disguise on fire!
She then releases a cannon shot, which bursts out a bomb monster!
This fight is a race against time, as the bomb slowly grows bigger and bigger.
Despite everyone telling Steiner about the bomb, he refuses to look behind him before it’s too late, and it explodes!
The ship is literally falling apart at this point, but they manage to escape.
Everyone gathers the wounded and escapes from the now on-fire ship, but Garnet and Vivi are nowhere to be seen.
Mog tells us about a little something called Active Time Event, where-in we can see what is happening somewhere else via a cutscene by pressing Select when the prompt appears.
We see Garnet and Vivi very briefly being chased by some kind of creature.
With that, Zidane heads off to explore around for Garnet and Vivi in the forest.
There are random encounters here, but nothing dangerous just yet.
We come across Vivi and Steiner, who appear to be fighting off some kind of plant monster that has Garnet!
Zidane quickly jumps into the fray, and Trances for the first time!
This fight is simple, attack, but use a Potion on Garnet every few turns so the monster doesn’t kill her.
We slap it around, but it escapes before we can beat it.
Zidane mentions that Garnet is probably still alive, since it will it bring it to its master.
Just then, Vivi gets taken next!
We kill it, but it sends out spores that knock out Steiner and Vivi!
Zidane talks with Blank, who tells him he might as well tell Baku before he leaves.
Zidane tells him his plan, so the captain tells him he is going to bust him up for breaking the rules.
He was an easy fight, we only needed to use one potion, and that was because I had Zidane steal for a few turns.
Vivi takes some convincing, but everyone talks him into joining them to rescue Garnet.
Blank stops Zidane on the way out and gives him the same spore-removing medicine he gave Steiner and Vivi.
With the party now gathered, they head out to find Princess Garnet.
So far, the game is fun, but there are few things that bug me about this Steam port.
For one thing, to quit the game, you have to go to Config, then scroll all way to the bottom, click quit and then accept.
Then, the speed booster, unlike FF8’s version, is way too fast. It’s like going at light speed, which makes it impossible to actually get around easily.
Only problem, you are essentially forced to use it during battles, which are pretty slow. I am talking snails pace, even at max battle speed settings!
Couple that with the very long battle intros, and fights just drag on and on, especially this early in the game, since we don’t have that many spells and skills to play around with.
Maybe it won’t be so bad when we have a full party?
If all else fails, there is a no-encounters mode, so I may use that if random battles start to
drag on to much.
The group runs around a bit, until they come across an unconscious Garnet and this plant creature!
This thing can actually hit very hard at this stage of the game, especially with its Thunder spell.
Here is what happens when you try and Steal over and over, with no success.
If you noticed, Blank comes along and helps the group, but even with him stealing, I never managed to snag one item.
There is a reason why a lot of people hate Stealing in Final Fantasy titles!
The next round, things were a little better. I also equipped Steiner with a Rubber Helm that I picked up, which halves Thunder damage, so that helped.
We managed to steal some Eye Drops and an Iron Helm. It actually went down really quick, but the damage it could deal was fairly impressive.
After the fight, Zidane gives Garnet the spore-removing medicine, but they don’t have time to celebrate just yet, as they are attacked by some mantis-like monsters!
The group fights them off and runs when Zidane notices something is up with the forest.
They all run for their lives when the entire forest comes barring down on them.
Zidane is almost caught, but Blank shoves him aside and gets grabbed!
Garnet recovers, albeit slowly, while Steiner has objections to staying in the valley.
Zidane mentions that they don’t have any other choice and rest for a bit.
He also mentions that there is a cavern to the south they can go through to get out of the valley.
Monty the moogle comes up and gives us a quick tutorial, which we don’t need, but he also gives us a flute, which will allow us to call a moogle on the overworld map anytime to save and use a tent if need be.
Let’s take a look at Garnet, shall we?
Garnet is a summoner/white mage, much like Yuna from FF10. All of those juicy summons, but she can’t actually cast them yet! Oh well, every budding summoner has to start somewhere!
Next time, the group heads south to the cavern that Zidane spoke out.
Join me then!