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Road to 200: #109 Final Fantasy IX

Road to 200: #109 Final Fantasy IX

By January 11, 2016 Tabletop & Video Games 3 Comments

Yes. I’ve finally beaten it. After three months of delay, I’ve finally beaten Final Fantasy IX. And it’s safe to call this game an instant classic. I loved every second of this game. I loved the story, the characters, the combat – everything.

But the question remains… why did it take me so long to beat it? Why did I put it off for so long? It’s not that Final Fantasy IX isn’t a great game. I sincerely loved it. It’s my 13th favorite game of all time, so that means something.

However, the three-month endeavor also means something. As amazing as this game is, there’s a reason it took me so long to complete.

As much as I love adventure and RPG games, I need a sense of direction. My least favorite thing is wandering. I hate playing a game for an hour without making progress. I want to know that the time I spent playing is actually worth something. I don’t want to waste an hour of my life just meandering around, so I play these immense RPG or adventure games with guides. That’s how I choose to enjoy these types of games. Now, I definitely have my own playstyle. During my Final Fantasy IX playthrough, I chose my own characters, my own equips, and my own strategies. I don’t want to be told how to play the game, but I like to be told where to go.

So after I found a handy guide, my love for FFIX bloomed into radiant affection. Even when the guide told me to use Steiner for this section, I implemented my own “Andy” strategies.

And FFIX is a truly amazing game. I fell in love with Vivi. I wanted nothing more than Zidane and Garnet to be together. I resented Kuja. The characters weren’t just images on a screen – they honestly were people to me, and that personal connection is hard to find in modern video games.

The story was a little cluttered for me, but after I got more comfortable with the characters, I really got into the story. I wanted to stop Kuja. I wanted to discover who Vivi and Zidane were. And I really wanted to summon Bahamut.

But the best part of FFIX was the customizable experience. There is no right way to play this game. You can go all-out offense. You can bring two summoners. You can rely on abilities rather than white magic. And when I finally figured out my own strategy, I felt like FFIX was made just for me. What was my strategy?

  • Vivi-
  • x2 Reflect
  • Auto-Reflect
  • Flare…on Vivi

It brought death and destruction upon anything and everything—final boss included. And the best part was that I thought of this strategy all on my own. The experience I had was made by ME. The fact that FFIX could create such depth is nothing short of astounding.

No spoilers, but I thought that the final dungeon was a little much. There was SO much build-up and such an exhausting boss gauntlet… I sat down thinking that I was near the end of the game- but I actually had four more hours left. Maybe that was just to emphasize how far Zidane and his crew had come… whatever. It wasn’t my favorite part, but I liked kicking the crap out of the bosses.

This game is polished, heart-wrenching, and unparalleled. I usually stick to Nintendo games, but I branched out. I knew that FFIX was going to be an incredible journey, and I was right. The characters will sneak into your heart. The music will get stuck in your head. And the experience will be with you forever.

I highly, HIGHLY recommend Final Fantasy IX to every gamer out there. You may need a guide (like me), but FFIX delivers on a grand scale. I needed to space out my play sessions so that I could adequately digest each chapter. That’s why it took me so long. I was trying to get the best experience it could offer. And it changed me.

I love you, Vivi.

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  • http://www.d20crit.com/ tristan

    VIVI! I’m positive Vivi is my favorite video game character of all time. His heartwrenching story, his heartwarming journey, and oh my god can I just put him in my pocket and love him forever?

    I’m so glad you played through this game – I know it’s been Brian’s favorite for a LONG time. I share that with him, and FFVII with Joe. It was amazing when it first came out and it remains a legend. I second the notion that EVERY gamer should play through this one. It’s long, but it’s so worth it.

  • http://www.d20crit.com/ tristan

    Also, the scene when Alexander is summoned to fight Bahamut…OH MY GOD. It still gets me all choked up.

  • Andy Briggs

    It was an exhausting journey. And I don’t say that as an insult. It tore me apart emotionally and physically. I loved it. The Alexander scene was incredible. And I loved it that much more when “I” got to summon Bahamut to flatten my enemies. It is video gaming at its finest.