Thanks to Scott Baird of ScreentRants.com for the inspiration!
6. THE BLACK WALTZ & SEALION BATTLE
One of the benefits of having a party of adventurers in an RPG is that you don’t have to worry so much about everyone being defeated at once. A lone adventurer might be felled by a single critical hit or bout of bad luck, which can be frustrating for the player.
Final Fantasy IX usually lets you keep a party of four characters throughout the game. One of the exceptions to this happens during the boss fight against Black Waltz 1 and Sealion.
Zidane is forced to fight two powerful bosses on his own.
This can end in disaster if the enemy manages to get a few hits off in succession before Zidane can heal.
What makes this battle even more annoying is the fact that they both have great gear for Zidane to steal, but you could be waiting a long time before he actually grabs the items, while the enemy is free to keep hitting you.
Without a boss ending the Ice Cavern dungeon, Final Fantasy IX might feel like something’s missing.
From a narrative standpoint, it’s to establish that Zidane is much more powerful than your ordinary thief. But from a gameplay standpoint, I’m sure this boss battle can be daunting, and even nerve-wracking. Thankfully, it’s early on in the game and doesn’t pose too much of a problem. But if Zidane can get through this battle, players can handle anything that comes their way.
But Scott’s concern does have merit. You don’t have to steal, but if you do it leaves you vulnerable to multiple attacks. That and the fact that stealing can take the time can make this a very precarious battle.
Final Fantasy IX is giving you a choice to test what type of gamer you are. Do you want to survive and end the battle as quickly as possible? Or do you want to preserve and hold out for steals that can help you in the long term? How much patience do you have, and for how long can you tolerate the pain?