mentally i'm here
oh, they're "three knights of Pluto" which is in the time of the game an all-male order, but maybe they were dames back then. Delta attack, go!
i love this fishman
Ahhhhhh I love this game so much. Every time Final Fantasy games have a stage show that goes wrong I'm a big fan. The idea of useless special-effect spells is a lot of fun.
one thing i never appreciated on my old and busted CRT was how wacky all the NPCs were in this game. Like, I had the artbook and there were all these bizarre townspeople and I was like, "these must not have made it into the game"
As a lifelong Anime Leotard Defender I always adored the Alexandrian guard uniforms but this walking animation is terrifying
I wish this game, and all games, spent more time on goofy costume changes. I think occupied South Figaro in FFVI was when I fell in love with the concept, although I guess the job system games made much better use of it. Also SaGa Frontier, if Emilia's story counts.
I don't even remember these guys but I love the violin player
I do wish the airship you get later was just a repaired Tantalus theatre ship, that would be so rad
Steiner has so many little animations that come and go become I can make a gif of them. At one point he has a bottle of medicine, says to himself, "Clearly they're lying to me. This is obviously poison!" then he very quickly shrugs and downs it all. The first millennial RPG hero
One weird thing I only now noticed: The game lets you set row formations for each character. I can get it in games where characters can have radically different builds, but FFIX's cast is pretty set as far as I remember. How often does formation come up?
I just learned the Sealion (VERY fun monster design) changes the color on its little crystal as its HP goes down
Also @wusstoons has pointed out this is a The Aquabats! reference.
VERY impressed with how the Moguri Mod's AI upscaled the bed textures in this shot. I have no idea what's going on with those blankets but they look so cozy.
if i ran my FFIX party with just characters i liked it'd just be zidane, quina, and freya, so i'm glad this mod i'm playing adds beatrix to round us out a little
I really like that Zidane and Freya know each other because they "used to be next-door neighbors." It feels so mundane and grounds them both
The oglops are very big, in that Lindblum...
I was thinking to myself, "commuter transit by airship is such a cool idea, I want to live in Lindblum" and immediately talked to this fancy lady, who is complaining about how dull and un-stylish airship transit is
Before these accursed high-res character models, I never realized Cinna wore a collar with a chain leash.
so the HD mod I'm using adds Beatrix as a playable character, but for some reason resting in a tent....... doesn't...... do...... anything
I think the fact that you never get to see it pre-invasion has always made me love Burmecia and wonder what it looked like. The architecture in this game is always so cute.
This screen always made me think of Citan's house in Xenogears, because I am the worst kind of nerd.
i like the ghosts' death animation
i want to go to there
I forgot Kuja is in league with the King family auctioneer in Treno. Why? Does the auctioneer do anything? Kuja even confides in him that he's going to betray Queen Brahne. That's trust, man. That's dedication.
This is such a classic Playstation 1 shot. Look at that parallax scrolling. PSX and Saturn and then we abandoned this kind of graphics
Q. What is a rat person's favorite kind of dance?
A. The Rat-tusi
A. The Rat-tusi
they got a cool harp
I never really appreciated how funny it is that for Cleyra, the tree city protected by a magical raging sandstorm, sunny blue skies are actually an ominous sign of imminent disaster
every time i see this i think of those bad j k rowling movies where americans who don't have superior wizard genes are just called "no maj"
i am perennially just milliseconds too late to get a good looping gif of up-ressed Beatrix
dang it, i don't like that blink repeating this often, i want at least 2 cycles
I spent this whole playthrough excited to get to playable Beatrix, but, uh. Yeah, I forgot she helped kill, like, everyone Freya ever knew.
And then they put aside their differences immediately.... somehow
after another rewarding day of pwning n00bs
ughhhhh. monday morning. another miserable commute on the upside down bug cave train
I remember the last time I hung out with @CaptainJenno he spent the whole time yelling "Lali-ho!" at everyone on the street
This is a superb shot. It must have been so much fun designing the scenery in this game. I never caught that the mages live in little huts shaped like their heads.
I love the sets in this game. I wanna build a diorama of every dang screen. The carved brown rock aesthetic usually does nothing for me but even Madain Sari is delightful
As a youngling I never appreciated the lengths Final Fantasy IX goes to to give you weird imbalanced parties like the all-DPS power hour of Zidane, Vivi, Freya, and Quina in disc 1, or squishy Zidane and 3 squishy mages on disc 2. Gives each story arc a unique feel.
The big difference between 1990s Square and 2020s Square-Enix games is, when 90s Square paired up a hot babe with a weird blue gorilla man, the blue gorilla is the one who ended up joining the main cast.
I love love LOVE the Type B and C Black Mages. Gold ornamentation over dark colors is so rad and those little metal kneepads are pure flash.
I was bored with FFVIII's Propagators and FFX's Sinspawn but IX's Mistodons hit just the right balance between sparking xenophobia in me and having cute lil animations to draw me back in. IIRC I will still grow bored with them soon.
(skipping to a different game for a second, looking up the name of the Propagators reminded me how indefatigably rad the Ragnarok was. i want to live in a dragon spaceship)
The big confrontation at the Iifa Tree makes very little sense but it's as rad as I remember. Even this little moment of the aftermath is handled very well.
It is EXTREMELY funny that the entire plot of Final Fantasy IX is about Kuja trying to gain power so he can get revenge on his hated enemy Zidane, and Zidane has absolutely no idea who he is. Which, now I think about it, is Amarant's story arc as well. Zidane is just chillin
I do wish we got a little more about Queen Brahne's deal. Steiner and Beatrix both served her to a fault and even saluted her grave after she tried to have them both killed, and all we get is some throwaway lines that she was only possessed by greed recently. So many questions!!
Someone said this game does comedy better than the rest of the series, which I tend to agree with. The way people keep entering this silly love letter plot is fun. The whole game is full of grand theatrical moments and people talk about and quote plays constantly. A neat motif.
I am in LOVE with the way Quina vanishes from the party for no reason on disc 2 and hours later someone mentions dinner, on ANOTHER CONTINENT, and Quina just APPEARS like magic
It brings me great joy to inform you all that the bit with Steiner and Beatrix protecting Alexandria while Protecting My Devotion plays is just as rad as I remember it being when I was 5
Though I don't know what to make of the subtle insinuation that the only reason Beatrix was a legendary knight was because she grinds more
I don't know why I hated Steiner when I was little, he's this big stupid ox with a heart of ferric oxide
they modeled little eyebrows on Cid that wiggle and wave in the breeze! Is that new to the later ports? I'm realizing from everything I missed that my family's TV growing up might have been unusually blurry or something
they barely show up in this res!
I really admire how the game holds off for so long before tipping its hand about Zidane's mysterious past. I think it works because they don't even allude to him HAVING a mysterious past for over a quarter of the game so it's not like "We get it, another amnesia plot."
I also like how alien the aliens get to be. I remembered them being just crystal people like the Lunarians in FFIV but their technology is like halfway between Ghibli and Geiger
As a wee bairn I never would have appreciated how Zidane and Vivi both have these stories about discovering they're artificial beings and rebelling and determining their own reasons to live. Vivi definitely got the short end of the stick, though ;o;
Also, I know comparing the monkey-men Zidane and Goku is old hat, but I also completely forgot they're both sent to a planet to kill everyone and take over, with evil brothers and emotional power-ups and everything. Zidane definitely knows what kissing is, though.
I've made fun of the idea of gunblades in the past but I will not allow a word against Zidane's Angel Bless, the most normal and sensible weapon ever designed
omg this minigame is ridiculous. this game has so much personality!!
I like the touch of letting you explore the room again ad a human to rub in how tiny Cid is. Also the faintly macabre choice to have you controlling Eiko the small child running around a gruesome torture chamber
I remember hating disc 3 messing with party mechanics so much when I was a kid but it's diabolical. They encourage you to take strong melee characters to no-magic-allowed Oelivert, meaning the jailbreak sequence will probably include 2 children and a traumatized, powerless Garnet
The game favors making Eiko the character you control on the map, and then Vivi if you took her to Oeilvert for some strange reason, to make it very likely you'll be dwarfed by all of Kuja's grandiose architecture. But where do angels and demons fit into FFIX's cosmology?
Was this just like... here, or did Kuja do a Doctor Manhattan thing and summon the stained glass out of the sand of the desert? Or was it his first task for the Black Mages?
The game tracks the treasure you collect and awards you a treasure hunter (NOT thief) rank that affects some things, so it makes sense that this boss encourages you to collect all the dungeon's treasure by getting weaker for each item you found, but it feels like cheating
Intriguingly, while Quina's magic comes from wildlife and healing magic is unique to the main planet's summoners whose power was feared by the alien invaders, black magic is only ever a result of technology from the alien invaders, technology which often talks like robots.
Am I saying this means the Terminator would count as a Black Mage in Final Fantasy IX's universe? No, that would be ridiculous. It's much more likely that Vivi is an early model Terminator, perhaps a T-200 or 400.
It is VERY jarring once you can pick who is in your party and they have to write little nothing lines for each potential party member who might be in the scene. You can't develop a character who might not be there, so instead they regress.
They made a unique battle background for Kuja's bedroom, which afaik you never have to hang out in long enough to get a random battle!
hey! it's the year 2000 and i'm rick james!
i just think they're neat
I love this guy's name. He's two guys melted together so his name is Meltigemini
i like this set that only shows up for one scene but i'm very confused why hilda has been living at the bottom of a dormant volcano. kuja's base was somewhere else, he only came to the volcano for some magic thing
I like how excited this Cid (like most Cids) gets about building machines, and I love that he has a whole team of mecha nerd engineers with (I think) unique designs. That's the weapon shop owner with the nosering, who was last seen lying about his prices to cheat an invading army
I am so confused by the Hilda thing - Kuja abducts her and steals her ship and tells her all his plans and then just kind of forgets about her - but I love the idea of a lonely Kuja so desperate for social contact that he's constantly babbling about all his evil alien plans
I like how all the airships since FFVI have an engine room you can go inside. It's just kind of neat seeing people hang out in them. I guess without a ship kitchen this is as close as Quina can get to an oven.
You never get to see Alexandria on the world map until you get the airship, after it's been destroyed. I wonder if they modeled a proper Alexandria or if they had it planned this way all along.
I was wrong! https://twitter.com/jmcchrist/status/1311439065594564608?s=19
Apparently I edited the wrong .ini file and haven't been playing with the Alternate Fantasy rebalance mod, but I got it working and here, folks, HERE IT IS
I was gonna reload after seeing what happened, you can just talk to her again and recruit her anyway :3
I was all set to make a character-walking-inside-of-the-party-leader gif but the screen just went to black and now she's on the Invincible!!! Which, incidentally, has great music that wasn't on the soundtrack CD I had as a kid so it's still new and awesome to me :3
She doesn't have a unique convo, but Steiner does! She dumbfounds him with her pride and then all he'll say if you talk to him again is, "We are lucky to have her by our side." Guys, they're so in love and I bet they're gonna hold hands someday
The rebalance mod changes a bunch of skills (Quina can learn some blue magic by using Freya's tridents?!) and I have to go back and re-grind some skills where they raised the AP cost. Interestingly, Freya still can't learn Protect Girls, but Beatrix can!
There's a lot of neat touches in the game to make the world feel populated, like wandering pedestrians and people sitting on unreachable perches, but my favorite is this completely pointless changing-of-the-guard animation between 2 identical NPCs. They seem nice
I like this shot a whole lot. Gives me early 90s Lucasarts vibes for some reason
Man, I remember thinking Amarant was cool when I was little but he's so obnoxious! I enjoy the idea that, like, he wants to be Zidane's cool rival and Zidane just doesn't notice him, but they never do much with it. The idea of competing in a dungeon is fun though.
She doesn't even do anything in this scene, I just like that she's there :3
Beatrix's only sword (so far?) God Save the Queen is so strong that in Ipsen's Castle, where everyone's attack power is inverted, she's completely useless - which is fine in a mod like this, but very funny to imagine in the real game, as it's the first dungeon after she joins
I do really like the monsters in Ipsen's Castle. They all do weird stuff, like this gargoyle, that starts as an unmoving statue with high DEF unless you or another enemy de-petrify it, upon which it starts petrifying you and rocking out. I like that statues are hard to damage.
All my gameplay analysis after this point should be considered suspect, as I just activated a rebalance mod to get Beatrix, but it does feel like early game in FFIX is very basic and simple and they hold off on giving you any interesting enemies until the mid/lategame.
I guess it's because until a certain point you don't have a lot of interesting options like countering, status immunity, weird spells, etc, but they could have played what they already did with some skills, where some are available early for one character and not for others
I'll grant I'm a huge RPG nerd so I'm coming at it differently from someone new to RPGs who might need the more basic stuff, and I know it's good to give new people a way in. But it does feel like everything up until you get the Blue Narcissus - Discs 1 and 2 of 4 - is a tutorial
I think I just got nostalgic from the music in Esto Gaza. It's kind of funny that a game that was conceptualized as an homage to early Final Fantasy games, a farewell to the single digits, ends up so much more approachable and friendly than the first 3 (and 4 hardtype) ever were.
The (model of Castle Alexandria in) one piece does exist!!! https://twitter.com/jmcchrist/status/1311711112564404224
I love the big ol' Exor sword sticking through Castle Alexandria. If they did another game set in IX's world I'd love tons and tons of pointlessly detailed lore about Alexandria's history and magic living angel castle
The mod doesn't give Beatrix a Trance redesign (understandably) but her Seiken becomes Shiroken (which I believe translates to Holy Sword -> Light Sword), and adds casts of Holy spells with her considerable magic stats.
I remember adoring Ipsen's wacky upside-down Castle as a bairn and it still rules. Bonus points for the gag of having wimpy early-game weapons in treasure chests, because they are the strongest weapons in Ipsen's wacky upside-down game mechanic gimmick
Such as the bwowdswowd.
i do enjoy this "puzzle" that's just acting out a Looney Tunes gag
i like the idea of Garnet cutting her hair but it does make it harder not to think about how much detail was put into drawing her bottom
I can buy Zidane going back into the castle to look for Amarant, a jerk who has been nothing but rude to him and who tried to kill a child. Sure, he also helped the child. Fine. Worth saving. But why does Zidane go back alone? He was just telling Amarant teamwork is important.
I can't make fun of Garnet's butt too much. Quina flashes the world like constantly
Beatrix points out that she's spoiled the math of the 4 mirror shrines, and offers to go with Garnet. Eiko does not like her one bit.
This guy on the bridge of the airship gives a little blurb about what you're meant to be doing (with the option of a more complete synopsis that Zidane explains to him, because the sailor is shy and afraid he'll get it wrong). It's handy to have once the world opens up!
I never bothered with this minigame as a kid, which, looking at the amazing equipment you get, might be why i could never finish the 4 mirror shrines (that i'm still putting off due to how badly they wrecked kid-me). Cool to see it through at last.
Oh wow, Garnet's Trance is Garnet's Butt II: The Buttening. The fact that I never saw it until now should tell you how rarely I use any of the summoners in this game
I like the Four Elemental Shrines and the idea of taking them on with smaller parties, though I guess it doesn't really make any sense to have a magical shrine protected by a gigantic permanent tornado that no one ever noticed before now.
I wish I'd been quick enough to get a gif of Vivi getting pushed back by the wind without even reacting, and then using Steiner as a windbreak. They don't really do much and I don't like how Steiner is only half a fighter without Vivi, but I do like their relationship a lot
The inevitable punchline when Zidane describes Quina as "leftovers." I really like Quina and Zidane together, I think they'd have a good dynamic going even if they were the only PCs in the game. Zidane has a lot of patience and I think he enjoys Quina's enthusiasm.
In the mod, when rocks start falling on Garnet and Eiko, Beatrix cuts one in half before telling them to run. She's so cool!!
I've been reading Quina with a sort of caveman/babe voice in my head but the more s/he talks the more s/he turns into Cousin Balki
And yeah of course I'm going to use the no-longer-especially-popular pronouns Quina uses in game, because that's the respectful thing to do for a fictional character
So she's either wearing fancy snake scale-print stockings and suspenders or she;s got a very intricate pattern of purple scales on her body that LOOK like suspenders and I'm not sure which is radder
Amarant's whole character is such a damp squib. It keeps making me think of on Community when the Dean makes a cartoon about Jeff Winger and he goes, "I used to think I was too cool to care, but now I care!"
I haven't posted too much about Trance because, despite being the centerpiece of the end of the game, it's just kind of video game nonsense, but I WILL say I LOVE Quina's Trance, s/he almost becomes a grownup version of Vivi. I wonder if there's a Qunnection there...
update: these bosses are still kicking my butt, which might be the rebalance's fault. i like to use auto-regen but that usually just means one character will be felled in one hit, the other character will keep reviving them and then the boss will re-kill them for like an hour
on the bright side, dying so much means i can get a gif of this for @Jayalay
freya is cool. how bout it
Wait, you don't... there isn't... All this time I thought everyone fought a boss but I guess they didn't have time to put the Kraken in. Kind of disappointed, I was curious what a boss designed for fighting a team of 2 healers would look like.
You only fight Lich?! What?! I gave up when I was little because I thought I'd have to grind the whole party to fight 4 bosses in a row with 2 characters at a time with no saves between them and I just had to beat ONE BOSS?!
I get why you'd want to give players a break and the wiki tells me you do still fight the bosses later, but you could just have a little micro-dungeon to grind. Have a moogle we haven't seen in a while accompany everyone. Something. Boooooooooo!
I will say, the FF Wiki posted the art Yoshitaka Amano made for the Four Fiends in the original Final Fantasy way back, and they are radiating so much 1980s Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual energy, I LOVE them. Kraken looks like the champ
The whole party getting captured off-camera, the incomprehensibility of Kuja's plan or the party's bizarre assumptions about how to deal with it, the cool themed dungeons that you never get to go into... Disc 3 of Final Fantasy IX radiates Big Xenogears energy
I just looked up the math on Quina's attack damage, which is always wonky, and it turns out Quina's forks and Cinna's hammer when he's around in the first bit of the game both have no minimum damage at all; with most characters the minimum is a multiple of their Strength stat
While I looked that up I saw so many threads about how it made Quina suck and TBH I am underwhelmed by Quina as a magician but auto-life is handy and his/her maximum attack damage is so beastly I've never minded how unpredictable it is - it feels in character for Quina.
this disgusting creature broke my gif program. it suits him
please join my party, green giant