For all of you who are fans of Final Fantasy IX, you may already know this. But Final Fantasy IX is important because it provides a bridge from the old and the new.
The first five games were about traditional job classes and crystals. Slowly, starting with Final Fantasy VI, the series slowly moved away from what had previously defined Final Fantasy. It’s understandable that Final Fantasy wanted to create their own foundation, rather than simply building off the ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ model. But if this trend continued, Final Fantasy would have lost its special charm and magic. I’m sure of it.
This is why the crystals and job classes make a return in Final Fantasy IX. The story feels like an adventure, rather than a mission.
I started thinking about this as I listened to the Final Fantasy IV soundtrack. It’s beautiful, but I kept having nostalgia images of both Final Fantasy IV AND IX. When I play Final Fantasy IX, I get a nostalgic blast of Final Fantasy I – V. Much less Final Fantasy VI for some reason. Strange too, considering Itou had a hand in both. But that’s just me. Maybe you’ve thought about it differently?
But if it weren’t for Final Fantasy IX, I don’t know if I would have ever touched the older games…
I started with Final Fantasy VII, then moved onto Final Fantasy VIII.
They were great!
I loved both games for what they brought to the series.
But I was very much into the next great thing. I wasn’t thinking about the past.
When I picked up Final Fantasy IX, the characters shocked me. I saw the diversity of the characters in both character and job class on the box. I knew it was going to be something special, something magical. I’ve heard of Final Fantasy job classes before. It took a while before I could come around to playing the foundation of the series. Once I did, it “clicked”. I knew what Final Fantasy IX was trying to do. It was bringing the past to a brand new crowd of potential fans.
I think a lot of people are coming to the series through Final Fantasy VII. Final Fantasy IX brought them to the past, so they could experience the other games. It let them experience the magic from the past. They got to understand the tropes and traditions. And from here, they became more than fans, they became devoted.
I was like Zidane, going back for Amarant (the older games). At least, for me. If only I were old enough to have kept up with the series from the start…
What about you?