Feature: The Summer of IX (Disc 1)

This June, Lusipurr.com is pleased to present The Summer of IX!

Final Fantasy IX (US Box Art)
Final Fantasy IX (US Box Art)

Throughout the month of June, all of the Lusipurr.com staff will be playing through the classic PlayStation RPG Final Fantasy IX. One disc will be covered each week, and each Sunday will be occasioned by a post (like this one) with a different FF9-related topic for discussion. The podcast will then discuss the results of the the previous week’s discussion post!

This is your chance to join in a complete playthrough of a game with our staff members. Your ideas, discussion, and suggestions will be included in the Megaphones Ahoy! Podcast. Moreover, all those who participate each week will be entered into our drawing at the end of the month to set harrowing and unpleasant challenges for Oliver and Ethan! Should they bathe in pudding? Perhaps they should be forced to eat some of Lusipurr’s tuna paste? Our winner will get to choose what manner of dastardly deeds Oliver and Ethan will be forced to participate in for YOUR amusement! It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of the sort which can only be found at Lusipurr.com.

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This week’s discussion focuses on the initial development of the plot in Disc 1. Do you feel that Final Fantasy IX begins satisfactorily? Is it too slow? Is it rushed? Are the characters presented in an interesting and engaging way? As villains are revealed, are their motives sufficiently understandable?

Of course, any sort of discussion about Disc 1 is acceptable. Is the dialogue well-written? Is the music up-to-snuff? Are there any issues with the battle system, the controls, or the overall presentation?

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Ragtime Mouse Trivia
Finally, some trivia questions! You’re on your honour not to cheat. See if you can find the answers within the game! All of these questions are answered on Disc 1.

1. What is the proper name for North Gate?
2. During the 9th Lindblum War in 1389, one of Alexandria’s famous generals was only thirteen years old, and had only nine soldiers under her command. What was her name?
3. What fake theatre production did Vivi actually have a ticket for?
4. According to Breirecht (Pluto Knight VI), which other Knight knows the name of all the girls in town?
5. Characters in Final Fantasy IX frequently mention a great playwright who is a reference to the real-life playwright William Shakespeare. What is his name?


  1. You and Oliver have a TERRIBLE memory.

    Happily, I remember it perfectly.

    Hope you two are enjoying yourselves at E3!

  2. Whether or not the game beging satisfactorily really depends on your priorities as a gamer, i.e gameplay over narrative or narrative over gameplay.

    From the perspective of narrative this game has a suitably bombastic opening replete with piracy, deception, airship crashes and the comedic stylings of Steiner. I particularly liked the way the game started off at a narrative climax before slowing down a little after a few hours of play.

    If you come into FFIX with a preference for gameplay however the opening may be a little slow, as I didn’t feel that I had complete control of the game until after the airship crash.

    Hapily I’m the former rather than the latter, and so the begining is one of my favourite sequences in the entire game.

  3. I generally like a good mix of gameplay and narrative, but when in doubt I lean toward the position of gameplay over narrative. Nevertheless, I love the opening. I feel it sets the stage adequately whilst involving the character–I’m never expected simply to press X for thirty minutes whilst cutscenes and text are crammed down my throat; instead, I participate. I control Zidane and give answers in the meeting. I search for the Princess as Zidane and Garnet. I put on the play, perform the sword fight, and fight off Steiner’s meddling. As Vivi I explore Alexandria, learn about the world and the situation, and meet key characters right away. This ‘learning’ phase lasts thirty minutes and then the Prima Vista goes down and I am given complete control.

    Ladies and gentlemen, that’s how you do an introduction.

  4. Yeah, whenever a replay a game a lot, I usually get most tired of the beginning. This happens even with games I really love like Majora’s Mask and Final Fantasy XII. But I never get tired of FF9’s beginning. Lusipurr summed it up perfectly with his description, so I won’t play the parrot, but I’ll add that I’m always surprised by how much music is crammed into the opening hours. Nobou really outdid himself.
    I also love how much exploring is rewarded even in the beginning as there are a plethora of items and even a small mini game and tiny side-quest in Alexandria. I also like how the game introduces its multi-perspective form right from the start as it continues to be one of the game’s strongest points.
    I obviously have a lot more gushing to do, but I’m exhausted from my flight and I don’t know how long this sketchy internet will last. Looking forward to the conferences!

  5. Yeah this was supposed to be one of Uematsu’s favorite OSTs to work on, and I also dug the FFVII Rufus cameo tune.

    When I criticised it from a gameplay perspective, I wasn’t trying to call it one big interactive cutscene, but rather I was pointing out that you don’t really get your hands on the rpg aspects until a couple of hours in.

  6. FFIX is chock-a-block with amazing compositions of every imaginable form.

    If any work speaks to Uematsu’s art as a composer, it is the score to FF9.

  7. I still prefer the FFVII OST, though the FFIX OST is of a higher quality.

  8. When you first told me that I was going to have to play though FFIX again, I wasn’t entirely pleased. The last time I played this game I was in middle school and was not particularly fond of it. Having played through the first few hours, however, I am prepared to whole-heartedly embark on this journey.

    Personally, I’ve really enjoyed the beginning so far. It’s refreshing to be rewarded for diligent area searching with hidden items — something that seems to have mostly disappeared in more recent games. I also particularly liked the little sword-fight in the play, even if I sucked terribly at it. For me, the beginning had the perfect mix of narrative and gameplay, as it allowed me to control characters, find items, participate in the little pirate’s play, and so on.

  9. @SN – It is enthusiastically Nobuo’s favourite soundtrack (and FF game, actually). He was only told to write a few battle themes, a character theme for each, and a few additional tracks, but he went on to score the most thorough and well-rounded Final Fantasy soundtrack.
    I agree that the FFVII OST has some real gems and captures the mood very well, but I can’t help but claim the FFIX OST as my favourite, and that’s reiterated each time I revisit the game.

  10. I would just like to say that the first disk is amazing in my eyes. I enjoyed the theater scene in the beginning along with the CGI with the forest going to stone. I believe it is very well written and I really hope that some day they have a remake of that game which will probably be in about 15-20 years.

  11. @Ethos- The sound quality is better, as to my recollection the only MP3 on the FFVII was one winged angel, with the rest of the OST comprised of Midis. Also the FFIX OST in much livlier with some nice folk music elements, something that makes you feel more like dancing than saveing the world XD. The FFVII OST on the other hand has much more emotional ressonance to it, and as such is much more memorable for me, with the character themes for Aeris and Tifa being some of the prettiest tunes I’ve ever heard. Listening to the FFIX OST is just like playing FFIX for me, it’s all great fun but it doesn’t really stay with me.

  12. Just a quick correction: the FFVII soundtrack is all MIDI, just like FFIX. The vocals in One-Winged Angel are MIDI samples. If you listen to them carefully, this will be readily apparent.

  13. @Reetin – you and me both.
    @SN – FF7’s OST has some incredibly emotional tracks. I agree. I find the same with FF9, but this is obviously subjective
    @Lusipurr – Excepting the FFIX OST+ you mean. Unless I’m incorrect there too.

  14. @Ethos: Correct. The orchestrated tracks (mostly if not exclusively used in cutscenes) are not MIDI.

  15. I was certain that SE were using mp3s exclusively by the time FFIX rolled around.

  16. Yup. As a guy who has worked with more than his fair share of orchestration samples, I confirm that!
    I have a lot of detailed notes about Disc One, but I’m too ragged from this week so far to detail them yet. Hopefully soon.

  17. The sword fight in the beginning is still one of my favorite parts of the game. Although difficult to master, I usually play it through a couple times because I have so much fun during it. The music during that part is awesome, and I remember The Black Mages doing an amazing version of it.

  18. @Bup – Yup! I’m obsessive about it. I played through it only 3 times this time before I got 95/100 people and the Queen to like it.
    It’s a good tune, and it plays again during Chocobo’s Hot and Cold.

  19. It is possible to get 100/100. I managed it wayyy back in the day when I was hanging out in #fret — took me about 2 hours to do though.

  20. Started playing FF IX on my old style playstation, but it died on me. I’ve had to switch to ps2 now. The graphics are a little better.

  21. I’m playing it on my PSP, and it looks so good on that screen.
    I was never that obsessive over getting 100/100 on the sword fight, I just really enjoyed the song. I need to find that Black Mages cover sometime….

  22. @Bup – I’d really like to play it on the PSP, I expect to pick one of those systems up soon. I didn’t really follow the PSP Go! and I, to be honest, forget that portion of the press conference, so I’ll have to look into that to see if I’d prefer to wait for it, but either way, I’m finally jumping into the Sony console world very soon.

    @Tumblecheck – I’ve always played my PSX games on my PS2, it’s very convenient for that, and I forgot that it smoothed things out a bit!

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