The last Final Fantasy for the Playstation.

Breaking the trend of increasing technological development in Final Fantasies, FF9 is set in a world of magic. Black mages, Moogles, and actually being able to fully equip your characters.

The characters that are known so far are:

  • Zidane Tribal, a thief with a tail
  • Vivi, a black mage with no memory
  • Garnet, a princess with white mage abilities
  • Steiner, Garnet's body guard
  • Quina, aka Gogo
  • Eiko, a summoner
  • Freija, a dragoon
  • Salamander, a brawler

Also of note is Cid, who is the ruler of a floating city opposed to Garnet's. Don't worry, he's a good guy.

Abilities come from the items equipped by the characters, much like they came from the Espers in FF6. Characters will be able to equip based on their class, meaning Vivi will not be wearing a full plate, etc. Equipment has different effects depending on who wears it. An item that gives Vivi a fire spell might give Garnet a resistance spell, or Steiner an increase in HP.

Also, the parties will have four characters in them.

More news as it develops.

Return the the Final Fantasy Metanode

Here is a neat trick for playing Final Fantasy IX:

If you want to enable the two player mode, (yes, FF9 come equipped with this!) do the following...

1. Go to your menu and choose CONFIG.
2. Go to Battle Control and select Custom.

This way, you will be able to choose who the second player controls during your battles. Remember, communication is key when you're in a battle. You don't want to duplicate certain actions like healing characters when they have already been healed by the other person.

I usually just watch my girlfriend play the game and I'd make suggestions along the way. (Backseat gaming.) Mostly, though, I would just watch and enjoy the storyline as it unfolds.

Also, remember to disable this feature when you're playing by yourself. She found out the hard way when the game seemed to have "frozen" during a battle.

Playable Characters and Commands

Zidane Tribal (Thief)

  • Steal: Takes items from foes

  • Skill:

  • -Flee: Party instantly escapes, may drop gil
    -Detect: See what items a foe is carrying
    -What's That!?: Cause foe to turn around (double damage is dealt if you hit it in the back)
    -Soul Blade: Inflicts the status effect of his current weapon
    -Annoy: Inflicts the Trouble status effect
    -Sacrifice: Sacrifices self to restore party HP & MP
    -Lucky Seven: Deals damage based on luck
    -Thievery: Deals damage based on the amount of items you have stolen
  • Trance: Skill changes to Dyne

  • -Free Energy: Deals damage to single foe
    -Tidal Flame: Deals damage to all foes
    -Scoop Art: Deals damage to single foe
    -Shift Break: Deals damage to all foes
    -Stellar Circle 5: Deals damage to single foe
    -Meo Twister: Deals damage to all foes
    -Solution 9: Deals damage to single foe
    -Grand Lethal: Deals damage to all foes

    Princess Garnet Til Alexandros 17th/'Dagger' (Summoner/White Mage)

  • Summon:

  • -Shiva: Deals Ice damage to all enemies based on the number of Opals in your inventory
    -Ifrit: Deals Fire damage to all enemies based on the number of Topaz's in your inventory
    -Ramuh: Deals Thunder damage to all enemies based on the number of Peridots in your inventory
    -Atomos: Reduces all enemies HP by a percentage based on the number of Amethysts in your inventory
    -Odin: Attempts to KO all enemies (If you have the Odin's Sword ability equipped, he will do wind damage to all foes in the event that he misses with his KO attack)
    -Leviathan: Deals Water damage to all enemies based on the number of Aquamarines in your inventory
    -Bahamut: Deals non-elemental damage to all enemies
    -Ark: Deals Shadow damage to all enemies
  • Wht Mag (White Magic):

  • -Cure/Cura/Curaga: Restores HP
    -Life: Recovers character from KO with some HP
    -Scan: Reveals HP, MP, and weakness of target
    -Panacea: Cures Poison and Venom status
    -Stona: Cures Petrify and Gradual Petrify status
    -Shell: Reduces damage from magical attacks
    -Protect: Reduces damage from physical attacks
    -Silence: Inflicts Silence status, rendering target unable to cast magic
    -Mini: Inflicts Mini status, reducing attack and defense
    -Reflect: Reflects magic based attacks back at attacker
    -Confuse: Inflicts Confusion on the target(s)
    -Berserk: Causes target to attack uncontrollably
    -Blind: Causes Darkness status, lowering the target's accuracy
    -Float: Causes leviation, protecting target from Earth based attacks
  • Trance: Summon becomes Eidolon, and using it will cause the Summon animation to always play in it's full form, which deals more damage than the shortened form.

  • Note: Equipping the ability 'Boost' causes Summon animations to always play the full version.
  • Captain Adelbert Steiner (Knight)

  • Swd Art (Sword Art):

  • -Darkside: Reduces HP to cause Shadow damage to target
    -Minus Strike: Deals damage equal to his Max HP minus his Current HP
    -Iai Strike: Attempts to KO the target
    -Power Strike: Reduces the target's Attack Power
    -Armor Break: Reduces the target's Defense
    -Mental Break: Reduces the target's Magic Defense
    -Magic Break: Reduces the target's Magic Power
    -Charge!: All 'Near Death' party members attack
    -Thunder Slash: Causes Thunder damage to the enemy
    -Stock Break: Damages all enemies
    -Climhazzard: Damages all enemies
    -Shock: Damages one enemy
  • Swd Mag (Sword Magic):

  • -Fire/Fira/Firaga: Strikes foe with a fire-enchanted sword
    -Blizzard/Blizzara/Blizzaga: Strikes foe with a ice-enchanted sword
    -Thunder/Thundara/Thundaga: Strikes foe with a thunder-enchanted sword
    -Bio: Strikes foe with a poison-enchanted sword
    -Water: Strikes foe with a water-enchanted sword
    -Flare: Strikes foe with a flare-enchanted sword
    -Doomsday: Strikes foe with a shadow-enchanted sword
  • Trance: Gains no new commands, just gets a bigger stat boost than other characters

  • Notes: Can only use Swd Mag when Vivi is in the party
  • Vivi Orunitia (Black Mage)

  • Focus: Increases the power of spells

  • Blk Mag (Black Magic):

  • -Fire/Fira/Firaga: Deals Fire damage to the enemy
    -Sleep: Attempts to put target to Sleep
    -Blizzard/Blizzara/Blizzaga: Deals Ice damage to the enemy
    -Slow: Decreases the speed of the targets ATB Guage
    -Thunder/Thundara/Thundaga: Deals Thunder damage to the enemy
    -Stop: Freezes target's ATB Guage
    -Poison: Attempts to inflict Poison status
    -Bio: Causes non-elemental damage and inflicts Poison status
    -Osmose: Absorb MP from the target
    -Drain: Absorb HP from the target
    -Demi: Attempts to reduce target's HP by a percentage
    -Comet: Deals non-elemental damage
    -Death: Attempts to KO the target
    -Break: Attempts to Petrify the target
    -Water: Causes Water damage to the target(s)
    -Meteor: Causes non-elemental damage to all enemies
    -Flare: Causes non-elemental damage
    -Doomsday: Causes Shadow damage to everyone, including party members
  • Trance: Blk Mag changes to Dbl Blk (Double Black Magic) and allows you to use two spells in a single turn
  • Freya Crescent (Dragon Knight)

  • Jump: Leaps high into the air, missing a round of fighting, before delivering the attack

  • Dragon:

  • -Lancer: Steals HP and MP from target
    -Reis's Wind: Cast Regen on all party members
    -Dragon Breath: Deals damage based on number of dragons your party has killed
    -White Draw: Steals MP from target and gives to all party members
    -Luna: Casts Berserk on all targets
    -Six Dragons: Draws HP & MP from two party members to restore other two
    -Cherry Blossom: Deals non-elemental damage to all enemies
    -Dragon Crest: Deals damage based on the target's Max HP minus the target's current HP
  • Trance: Gains no new commands, but if you select Jump, Freya will leap into the air, and throw down her spear to damage enemies every turn, but will not come down until her Trance Meter runs out
  • Quina Quen (Gourmand)

  • Eat: Consumes a weakened (1/8 HP) target to learn Blue Magic

  • Blu Mag (Blue Magic):

  • -Goblin Punch: Deals non-elemental damage
    -Lv5 Death: KOs target's whose level is a multiple of 5
    -Lv4 Holy: Deals Holy damage to target's whose level is a multiple of 4
    -Lv3 Def-less: Reduces defense of target's whose level is a multiple of 3
    -Doom: Target will KO after a 10 count
    -Roulette: Randomly KOs anything on the screen
    -Aqua Breath: Deals Water damage to all enemies
    -Mighty Guard: Casts Shell and Protect on all party members
    -Matra Magic: Reduces target's HP to 1
    -Bad Breath: Causes Confuse, Darkness, Poison, Slow, and Mini
    -Limit Glove: Causes a lot of damage when Quina's HP is 1
    -1,000 Needles: Deals 1000 damage
    -Pumpkin Head: Deals damage based on Quina's Max HP minus Quina's current HP
    -Night: Casts Sleep on everybody on the screen
    -Twister: Deals wind damage to all enemies
    -Earth Shake: Causes Earth damage to all enemies
    -Angel Snack: Uses Remedies from your inventory on all party members
    -Frog Drop: Deals damage based on Quina's level times the number of frogs he's caught
    -White Wind: Restores HP to all party members
    -Vanish: Causes target to become Invisible
    -Frost: Inflicts Freeze status
    -Mustard Bomb: Inflicts Heat status
    -Magic Hammer: Damages target's MP
    -Auto-Life: Automatically casts Life on self when KO'd
  • Trance: Eat becomes Cook and makes it possible for Quina to consume target's when they are at 1/4 their max HP, instead of 1/8
  • Eiko Carol (White Mage/Summoner)

  • Wht Mag (White Magic):

  • -Cure/Cura/Curaga: Restores HP
    -Regen: Gradually restores HP
    -Life: Recovers target from KO with some HP
    -Full-Life: Recovers target from KO with all HP
    -Panacea: Cures Poison and Venom status
    -Stona: Cures Petrify and Gradual Petrify status
    -Esuna: Cures target of all status effects
    -Shell: Reduces damage from magical attacks
    -Protect: Reduces damage from physical attacks
    -Haste: Speeds up target's ATB Guage
    -Silence: Inflicts Silence status, rendering target unable to cast magic
    -Mini: Inflicts Mini status, reducing attack and defense
    -Reflect: Reflects magic based attacks back at attacker
    -Float: Causes leviation, protecting target from Earth based attacks
    -Dispel: Removes abnormal status effects
    -Might: Raises attack power
    -Jewel: Turns target into a jewel
    -Holy: Deals Holy damage
  • Summon:

  • -Carbuncle: Casts various status effects on party based on what jewel is equipped (none=Reflect, Emerald=Haste, Moonstone=Protect, Diamond=Vanish)
    -Fenrir: Deals Earth damage to all enemies, unless Maiden Prayer is equipped, in which case he'll do Wind damage
    -Pheonix: Deals fire damage to all enemies, and recovers party members from KO
    -Madeen: Deals Holy damage to all enemies
  • Trance: Wht Mag because Dbl Wht (Double White Magic) and allows two spells to be cast in a single turn
  • Notes: After Pheonix has been summoned, there is a chance (based on the number of Pheonix Pinions in your inventory) that it will revive your entire party if they all die and Eiko is in the party
  • Amarant Coral (Brawler)

  • Throw: Toss an item from your inventory for high damage

  • Flair:

  • -Chakra: Restore HP and MP of a party member
    -Spare Change: Hurl gil at target
    -No Mercy: Deal non-elemental damage
    -Aura: Cast Auto-Life and Regen on a single party member
    -Curse: Makes target weak against random element
    -Revive: Recover from KO with some HP
    -Demishock: Reduces target's HP by a percentage
    -Countdown: Casts Doom on the target
  • Trance: Flair becomes Elan, and all the commands will effect all foes or all party members
  • Marcus, Blank, and Cinna (Thieves)

  • Steal-Attempts to steal items from foes

  • Notes:-Marcus, Blank, and Cinna are all temporary party members, and have no Trance Meters
  • General Beatrix (Mage Knight)

  • Wht Mag (White Magic):

  • -Cura: Restores HP
    -Full-Life: Recovers from KO with full HP
    -Esuna: Cures all status effects
    -Holy: Deals Holy damage
  • Seiken:

  • -Thunder Slash: Causes Thunder damage to the enemy
    -Stock Break: Damages all enemies
    -Climhazzard: Damages all enemies
    -Shock: Damages one enemy
  • Notes: Beatrix is a temporary character and has no Trance Meter
  • Shannon (Red Mage)

  • Red Mag (Red Magic):

  • -???
  • Notes: Shannon is a girl you meet in Cleyra. According to rumors, she can be placed in your party via GameShark and can cast Black and White magic spells. I have no Gameshark so do not know anything else about her.


  • Note: Anyone with the 'Steal' command (Zidane, Marcus, Blank, Cinna) gains the 'SFX' ability in place of it whenever they are on the Tantalus stage. SFX includes two commands, 'Pyro' and 'Meteo,' both of which do zero damage and are just for show.
    ! SPOILER WARNING !


    The plot of this game has some unusual features that I feel deserve comment. I've played VII and VIII as well, and found the plots for those games, while intricate, much less satisfying than this one.

    Zidane establishes a history of being an altruist--willing to help those around him for no particular reason (his tagline is, "Virtue / You don't need a reason to help people"). This is highlighted by his dialogue with Amarant, who expresses great difficulty understanding this position or the motivations for Zidane's actions, and also by the contrast with the major villain, Kuja, who goes so far as to attempt to destroy the world purely because he's learned of his own mortality. The interplay of self-centered with other-centered actions is pretty clearly highlighted, but in a fairly basic manner that subscribes to a cartoon morality for most of the game.

    Where it gets interesting is near the end--Zidane discovers that he is a created being--more specifically, one of many created to serve. Because of this, his altruism is a quality he can't claim to have to chosen--it was forced upon him. For a brief period, he begins to rebel against it, and treats his friends rather nastily. A short while later, though, he reverts to his previous ways. I would like for his motivation here to have been more clearly spelled out, because I think there's an interesting moral which many players will not be exposed to here. Essentially, Zidane decides to own up to who he is--it doesn't matter that he was created a certain way, or that he was influenced to act the way he does. He is able to think about the alternatives, and rationally choose the most appealing option. Furthermore, he is able to act on that regardless of his impulses--witness the period during which he acted selfishly.

    What I particularly like here is the idea that he owns his decision and his qualities. No longer treating them as something determined by another, he chooses to be the way he is, and he could have chosen another. In making this choice, though, he really didn't fall far from the intentions of his creators--his goals changed somewhat, but his basic disposition and the way he acts didn't. In taking responsibility for oneself, it ISN'T necessary to act radically differently from the ways handed down from the past, only to choose them for oneself.
    Spoilers ahead...

    For me, nothing about FF9 really stands out as being particularly well done. It wasn't a bad game by any stretch of the imagination, but it was basically all around mediocre. Unexciting. Given adequate prompting, I could probably recite from memory alarmingly large portions of the script from FF6 or 7, having played them both at least 3 times apiece (yes, I know that's pretty bad, you don't need to tell me).

    However, FF9 had some really glaring plot holes. For example, the most annoying one is that they never explain how Zidane ends up on Gaia. It would've easy enough to fit in some explanation - one of the Tantulus guys could've shed some light on the situation, or one of the terrans themselves. But no, they just basically just stipulate the fact that he somehow did end up on Gaia without any further explanation of how. While the Final Fantasy games are often criticized for being cliché and poorly characterized, one might think some subtly and assumption were in order. But, totally copping out on the story and leaving it half written doesn't really count. kelrin's suggestion that Zidane's (often annoying) altruistic behavior stems from his genetic coding to act as such is probably correct, but it's was never touched on in the plot. I doubt it really was much better in the Japanese version of the game, either. The dialogue did seem to be translated very well, for what that's worth, I think it was just genuinely Square slacking off on writing the story. It had potential, but the presentation was just kind of boring and lackluster. Given my obvious propensity for the series and for Square, to say I was disappointed by this would be quite an understatatement.

    In FF7, everything was eventually explained. You could even say it was OVER-explained. FF9 is just the opposite. They basically leave some of the most important and relevant facts out of the script entirely, which sort of leaves at a loss for having a motive to play the game since, after all, the actual gameplay has not really changed since 1990.

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