Thanks to Scott Baird of ScreentRants.com for the inspiration!
13. FOSSIL ROO
Final Fantasy IX has some of the best dungeons in the series. However, Fossil Roo isn’t one of them.
Fossil Roo is tied with the battle system for being the biggest piece of proof that Squaresoft had no respect for the time of the player. This is a dungeon that consists of the party being ferried around by giant monsters, which requires you to watch the same cutscenes over and over again.
It is also a dungeon that has a lot of back-tracking, especially if you are playing the game for the first time.
It’s possible to complete Fossil Roo relatively quickly if you know exactly what you are doing, but most players will be stuck watching the same cutscenes over and over again in an attempt to solve the puzzles.
Fossil Roo is actually integral to the lore, as it’s “a network of roots from the huge Iifa Tree, which flows through underground tunnels”. The Iifa Tree itself plays a big part in the story, On this merit alone it should stay.
Scott’s main issue with Fossil Roo is the tediousness. The giant monsters ferrying our characters around are Gargants, who run on certain routes. To change their routes, you have to figure out the switches. Not bad, of course. But you have to watch the same unskippable cutscenes, each time. This doesn’t help the player keep place either. The game shows Gargant movement, not the route itself.
Unfortunately, many Final Fantasy games have these unskippable cutscenes either by programming or preference. Yet it’s not enough to get rid of this dungeon in the game. The best part of all Final Fantasy games is figuring out how to solve the puzzles. Figuring this out is all a part of the fun. The random encounters can be a chore. Giving the players the option to skip cutscenes would improve this part of the game.