Thanks to Scott Baird of ScreentRants.com for the inspiration!
10. DAGGER’S LOST VOICE
Princess Garnet Til Alexandros XVII is one of the main characters of Final Fantasy IX. She doesn’t spend too much time as a ruler, though. Instead, she spends most of the early parts of the story fleeing for her life, as there are people who wish to extract the ability to summon Eidolons from her body.
At one point in the story, the city of Alexandria is devastated by Garland’s ship, the Invincible. This causes Garnet to go mute from the shock, which takes her a while to recover from.
It was an interesting idea to show Garnet’s trauma from a physical standpoint, but it also affects her in combat. Garnet loses the ability to cast magic during this period of time and even randomly misses turns as she cannot focus.
The game forces you to use a character who can’t properly function in battle through one of the most difficult dungeons in the game.
This is that annoying part of the game where our White Mage cannot heal our characters due to fear. From a gameplay standpoint, it provides a “challenge” (see: “artificial difficulty”). It also frustrates the player who can’t use one of his teammates.
But from a narrative standpoint, it illustrates Garnet’s character (and I think Scott would agree):
She starts as self-deprecating and blames herself for events beyond her control, relying on others, but she wants the power to summon eidolons so she can better defend her kingdom and her companions.
Upon seeing a powerful airship destroy the kingdom she swore to protect, Garnet becomes traumatized. The stakes have been raise, and her plan of using Eidolons wasn’t enough.
Final Fantasy IX is full of very human scenes such as this one. It would be a shame to get rid of the aftermath simply due to gameplay. In due time, Garnet is able to overcome her trauma, we should be there for her as well.