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Final Fantasy IX
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Final Fantasy IX is the ninth installment of the Final Fantasy series. It was originally released for the PlayStation in 2000. The game in part serves as a retrospective, and has several allusions to earlier Final Fantasy games. As such, it departs from the futuristic settings of Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy VII, and Final Fantasy VIII, although the setting was added back into Final Fantasy X.
The story takes place during a war on the planet Gaia. The main protagonist is a thief named Zidane Tribal, who joins with several others to defeat Queen Brahne. The plot shifts, however, when the characters realize that the Queen is a puppet for another antagonist named Kuja.
The game starts with Zidane and the Tantalus Theater Troupe kidnapping Princess Garnet during her 16th birthday celebration. However, the group learns that the Princess, who was concerned about her mother Queen Brahne's increasingly erratic behavior, actually wanted to escape to Lindblum to meet with its ruler, Regent Cid Fabool, and had planned to stow away on the theater ship. The Troupe's airship, Prima Vista, is damaged during the escape; it crashes in the Evil Forest, prompting Zidane to continue their trek to Lindblum without the rest of the Troupe. Zidane and Garnet are accompanied by Vivi, a young Black Mage who is confused about his identity, and Steiner, who comes along because of his sworn duty to protect the Princess at all costs. During their journey, Garnet adopts the alias "Dagger" and struggles to mingle with the locals. The group learns of a plant manufacturing soulless Black Mage warriors for Alexandria's use, of which three powerful ones called Black Waltzes are sent by Queen Brahne to retrieve Garnet by force. The party manages to defeat all three of them, and Garnet remains free.
In Lindblum, the party separates temporarily, as Zidane meets an old Burmecian friend, Freya, and joins in Lindblum's Festival of the Hunt. Regent Cid, who was turned into a oglop by his wife Hilda for his womanizing behavior, has noticed Brahne's newfound aggression. He wanted to bring Garnet to safety, so he ordered Tantalus to kidnap her. When the group learns that Alexandria has invaded Burmecia, Freya travels to Burmecia with Zidane and Vivi to investigate the situation, while Dagger and Steiner head to Alexandria to ask Brahne to stop the war. Both parties are powerless to stop her, and Dagger has her eidolons (magical creatures of destructive power) forcibly extracted from her body. Queen Brahne, drunk with power, uses Dagger's eidolons Odin and Atomos to destroy Cleyra, after which she attacks Lindblum, and forces Regent Cid to surrender. Zidane, Freya, and Vivi, after witnessing the assault on Cleyra, rescue Dagger and return to Lindblum.
As Dagger becomes aware of her Summoner origins, the party learns of Kuja, who is acting as arms dealer to Queen Brahne. The party travels to the Outer Continent, the supposed place of Kuja's origin, using a forgotten tunnel called Fossil Roo. They find a village named Conde Petie which is populated by Dwarves with thick Scottish accents, who tell them of the "pyntie hets" who live nearby" The party goes exploring, and discovers a well hidden village of aware Black Mages. Some of Vivi's questions about his identity are answered here, but new ones arise, as the Black Mages themselves are unsure of their real identity.
The party returns to Conde Petie where they meet Eiko, a young summoner from Madain Sari who is assumed to be the last survivor of the village, and who is well-versed on the eidolons. Their pursuit of Kuja leads them to the nearby Iifa Tree, an entity that dissipates fighting-stimulant Mist, and learned that Kuja uses Mist to create the Black Mages. After defeating the tree's boss, Soulcage, the Mist is no longer propagated. This has long reaching effects, as airships can no longer fly, and people are no longer driven to the insanity that leads to war.
After returning to Madain Sari and confronting the bounty hunters Lani and Amarant (hired by Brahne to apprehend Garnet), Garnet slowly begins to realize that this is her lost home, and that she is herself a Summoner of Madain Sari. Soon the party spots and pursues Kuja heading to the Iifa Tree. Queen Brahne has turned against Kuja, intent to kill him with Bahamut. The plan backfires as Kuja uses an airship, the Invincible to gain control of Bahamut, killing the Queen and wiping out her army instead.
The party returns to Alexandria, and Garnet is crowned the new queen. Shortly thereafter, Kuja assaults Alexandria with Bahamut, drawing out the legendary eidolon Alexander (long forgotten protector of Alexandria Castle) who overpowers the former. Kuja attempts to control Alexander using the Invincible, but is foiled by an old man named Garland, who destroys Alexander and parts of Alexandria as well. The event renders Garnet speechless, and the party escapes to Lindblum. Returning to the Outer Continent, they learn of Kuja's secret base, the Desert Palace, and attempt an assault. Kuja takes them prisoner, and forces Zidane to go to Oeilvert on the Lost Continent to retrieve a needed item for him. On return, the party manages to defeat the Desert Palace. Kuja, intent on mastering a powerful eidolon, now sets his sights on Eiko, and escapes, taking her prisoner in the process. However, while Zorn and Thorn were trying to extract her eidolons, Eiko's guardian moogle, named Mog, uses Trance to transform into her true eidolon form, Madeen, and defeats them. Learning of the powers of Trance, Kuja escapes to further his aim of defeating Garland. The party rescues Eiko and also finds Hilda, who lifts the curse from Cid, turning him back into a human. He is now able to design an airship for the party that does not need Mist for power.
With Hilda's aid, the party continues pursuit of Kuja, opening a portal to another world named Terra and landing in Bran Bal. It is revealed in Bran Bal that Garland was created by the people of Terra to orchestrate the process of assimilating Terra into the planet Gaia, as Terra was a dying world. Garland created Genomes, intelligent, sentient beings who lack souls, to become future vessels for the souls of the Terrans. The Iifa Tree's existence, the phenomenon of Mist, the eidolon's destruction, and even Kuja and Zidane's true purpose of existence, were part of the process. Angered by Garland's motives, the party confronts him, not noticing that Kuja had managed to obtain the souls needed to achieve Trance. Trance Kuja ends Garland's life, but not before Garland warns him of his limited lifespan. Kuja is a defect who will soon die, and Zidane is a more perfect Genome who was created to replace him. Enraged by the revelation, Kuja destroys Terra while the party rescues the Genomes and escapes with the Invincible to return to Gaia.
The party leaves the Genomes at the Black Mage Village. They soon discover that Mist has returned and enveloped all of Gaia. They travel to the Iifa Tree, the source of Mist, where a portal teleports them to a mysterious location called Memoria. The spirit of Garland guides the party to Kuja; however, when Kuja is defeated, he uses his Trance abilities to destroy the Crystal, the source of all life, prompting the appearance of Necron, the "Eternal Darkness" bent on destroying life. After Necron is defeated, Memoria and the Iifa Tree collapse. Although the party escapes, Zidane remains to save Kuja, and is later assumed to have died along with Kuja in the destruction of the Iifa Tree.
Three years later, the cities of Alexandria and Lindblum have been rebuilt, and Tantalus arrives in Alexandria to perform a play for Queen Garnet. During the performance, one of the robed figures casts off his robe and reveals himself to be Zidane. The credits roll as Garnet and Zidane embrace. Other scenes reveal that Vivi somehow had children, even though he himself has apparently "stopped" (the term the Black Mages use for death.) Steiner and Beatrix have returned to their old posts as royal bodyguards, Eiko has been adopted by Regent Cid and his wife, Freya is attempting to start over with her old boyfriend Sir Fratley, and Quina has apparently become the Master Chef for Alexandria Castle.
The game has a similar formula to most RPGs; players navigate the party members who navigate the world and fight enemies to advance the plot. Final Fantasy IX is presented in third person perspective — the playable character is fully visible as it is navigated throughout the game world. Most of the game occurs in towns, dungeons, caves, and similar areas, collectively referred to as the "field screen." To aid exploration on the field screen, Final Fantasy IX introduces the "field icon," an exclamation mark appearing over their lead character's head, signaling that an item or sign is nearby. Players speak with moogles to record their progress, restore life energy with a tent, or purchase items — a deviation from previous installments, which used a save point to perform these functions.
Players journey between field screen locations via the World Map which, like earlier titles, is presented in a top-down perspective. Players can freely navigate around the world map screen unless restricted by terrain, such as bodies of water or mountains. To overcome geographical limitations, players can ride Chocobos, sail on a boat, or pilot airships. Travel across the world map screen and hostile field screen locations is interrupted by random encounters.
Final Fantasy IX offers a new approach to town exploration with Active Time Events (ATE). At specific points, the player is given the option of viewing events that are occurring simultaneously in different locations. While most ATEs are for plot enrichment, some ATEs provide items or prompt key story-altering decisions. ATE is occasionally used to simultaneously control two teams when the party is divided to solve puzzles and navigate mazes — a concept based on events in previous series installments.
The game features a postal system named Mognet, which is used by the Moogles. When the player talks to a Moogle, they allow the player to save their game, restore life energy, or purchase items. The Moogle may also request that the player character act as a courier by delivering a letter to another Moogle via Mognet. It is also possible (albeit less frequently) that the player may receive a letter from another character in the game.
When a random encounter begins, the environment shifts to the battle screen, where the player's characters and computer-controlled enemies line up on opposite sides of the playing screen to attack each other. A character's action is limited by the Active Time Battle (ATB) gauge positioned along the bottom of the battle screen; only a character with a full gauge can be issued commands. The character's command list is presented in a window opposite the ATB gauge list; while all characters can physically attack the enemy or use an item from the player's inventory, they also possess unique abilities. For instance, the thief Zidane can steal items from the enemy, Eiko and Garnet can summon eidolons to aid the party in battle, and Vivi can use Black Magic to damage the opposition.
The battle system in Final Fantasy IX is different in several ways from those of its PlayStation predecessors, Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII. One difference is that up to four members can participate in a battle whereas the previous two games only allowed up to three. Most magic spells can be targeted at multiple enemies or characters simply by pressing or without the need of an additional item. Some spells can only target one enemy or character, while others will always multi-target. This system was first integrated into the battle system in Final Fantasy IV.
Additionally, eidolons are treated like traditional white and black magic, and can only be used by the summoner characters (Dagger and Eiko). Each eidolon has two attack animations, the longer animation attacks with the full power of the eidolon, while the shorter animation is at reduced power. The first time an eidolon is called, it will attack at full power; after that the eidolon will randomly use either animation—usually the shorter one, with the longer being a "critical" attack. The eidolon can be forced to always use the full power attack by equipping the Boost ability on the summoner. Another returning feature is the quasi-multiplayer feature. In the 'Config' menu, a player can set the controls to allow a friend control any number of characters in battle. For example: Player one can control Zidane and Vivi while Player two can control Amarant and Dagger. However, this co-op ability only works when in a battle. This system was first seen in Final Fantasy IV.
The game introduces Trance, which occurs for a short duration when an uncontrollable gauge fills as character sustains damage in a style similar to Limit Breaks in Final Fantasy VII. When the gauge is full, the character's strength is amplified and the player can choose from special attack commands. Zidane's Skill command list, for example, changes to Dyne, allowing him to execute extremely powerful attacks, and Vivi's Black Magic command evolves into "Double Black," allowing him to cast two magic spells in a single turn.
A character's performance in battle is determined by stats, which consists of categories such as speed, strength, and magical power. Character statistics, in turn, are driven by experience; when players win battles, they are awarded "experience points," which accumulate until characters gain "experience levels." When characters "level up," the statistics for their attributes permanently increase. Winning battles also awards Gil to the party, Tetra Master playing cards, and Ability Points (AP).
Equipment and abilities
The game deviates from the style of customizable characters featured in the last two games by reviving the character class concept, which designates a character to a certain role in battle. For example, Vivi is designated as a black mage and is the only character who can use black magic, and Steiner is a knight and is the only character who can use sword skills.
The basic function of equipment in Final Fantasy games is to increase character attributes; arming Zidane with a Mythril Vest, for example, increases his base defense statistic. In Final Fantasy IX, weapons and armor include special character abilities, which the character may use when the item is equipped (permitting the ability matches their class). Once the character accumulates enough ability points in battle, the ability becomes usable without having to keep the item equipped. The equipment also determines the statistical growth of the characters at the time of level up. Armor not only raises base defense or evasion statistics but raises defense and/or other statistics at level up.
Abilities are classified into action and support categories. Action abilities consume Magic Points (MP) and include magic spells and special moves that are used in battle. Support abilities provide functions that remain in effect indefinitely and must be equipped with magic stones to be functional. The maximum number of these stones increases as the characters level up.
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Main party members
|Zidane Tribal||The main protagonist and a member of Tantalus, a group of thieves. Originally, he plotted to abduct the Princess of Alexandria, but his plan was foiled when she revealed to him that she wanted to be kidnapped. He now serves as her protector. His only clues to his true origins are his inexplicable tail and the memory of a strange, blue light.|
|Vivi Orunitia||A young Black Mage who met Zidane through an accident in a play in Alexandria. His past is something of a mystery, even to himself.|
|Garnet Til Alexandros||Garnet is the princess of Alexandria. She is concerned about her mother's erratic behavior, she escapes from the castle and meets with Zidane. Whilst travelling, she assumes the name "Dagger" to disguise her identity. She has a strange connection to Eidolons.|
|Adelbert Steiner||The Captain of the Knights of Pluto. His sworn duty is to protect the Princess, and he is intensely loyal and concerned about her safety, but he rarely realizes how capable Garnet is on her own. Although he does not get along with Zidane, he assists him in protecting Garnet. Although Steiner comes across as stubborn, he is actually easily quieted by Garnet. Steiner also has fallen in love with his ex-rival General Beatrix as a result of Eiko's failed love letter.|
|Freya Crescent||A Dragon Knight from the destroyed city of Burmecia. She left home in search of Sir Fratley, her long-lost love. An old friend of Zidane, she meets him again in Lindblum and participates with him in the Festival of the Hunt. When she hears of the destruction of Burmecia, she hurries home to aid her fellow Burmecians in their escape and defend her country once again as a Dragon Knight. She is also a member of the mouse clan who was raised and trained by a Dragon Knight, Freya is a courageous female knight who is unwilling to compromise her beliefs.|
|Quina Quen||A genderless Qu whose master wants them to travel the world to learn about other foods around the world, and that there is more to life than food. In battles, Qu can perform Blue Magic, in which he eats certain enemies to absorb their magic spells.|
|Eiko Carol||A six-year-old girl who lives in Madain Sari, the lost village of the summoners. She develops a crush on Zidane when they meet each other. She lives with the Moogles ever since her parents and grandparents died when she was very little. Boisterous and precocious, she sees Dagger as her biggest rival for Zidane's affection (though no one else seems to notice).|
|Amarant Coral||One of the most wanted bandits in Treno. He's actually innocent, but he doesn't tell anyone because he hates revealing his personal life. The person who actually committed the crime was Zidane, and Amarant was merely the guard who tried to stop him and was instead framed for it. Works as a bounty hunter with Lani until Zidane beats him, and he follows the thief around to understand his philosophies on fighting and friendship.|
Other major characters
|Nero Brothers||These are Zidane's friends and fellow members of Tantalus. They pose as actors to steal various items. Although Ruby is a member, she prefers to overlook the group's less-than-honorable dealings as long she gets a chance to pursue her dream of being an actress. Three of its members — Blank, Cinna and Marcus — join the party intermittently throughout Disc 1.|
|Kuja||He is the main antagonist. Kuja is obsessed with power and will do anything to get what he wants. He is first introduced as the provider of Queen Brahne's magical weapons, the Black Mages. Kuja has a connection to the eidolons, Madain Sari, the Iifa Tree and the mysterious world of Terra.|
|Zorn and Thorn||They are Queen Brahne's court jesters, always seen together. They perform all her dirtiest work and have the odd habit of speaking in constant antimetabole: repeating what the other says, but in reverse syntactical order. Zorn and Thorn have the ability to extract eidolons from summoners, which they do to Garnet.|
|Queen Brahne||The queen of Alexandria and mother of Garnet. She is associated with Kuja and, like him, is obsessed with power. Queen Brahne stops at nothing for the expansion of Alexandria, even if it means killing her daughter.|
|Beatrix||Beatrix is an Alexandrian knight with a blind devotion to Queen Brahne. She performs various destructive duties on the Queen's behalf. Beatrix is fought at a boss three times, and she wields a deadly sword named Save the Queen. When Beatrix is given orders to kill Garnet, she is eventually reminded by Steiner of her sworn loyalty to defend the princess. From this point, Beatrix no longer serves Queen Brahne. Beatrix is a temporary party member, and she can use the Seiken command, which consists of Holy Knight moves such as Thunder Blade, Stock Break, Climhazzard, and Shock.|
|Regent Cid Fabool||He is the Cid character of Final Fantasy IX. Cid is the present ruler of Lindblum. He was turned into an oglop by his wife, Hilda, because of his womanizing. Technology expert who is fond of creating new airships. He was best friends with Dagger's father. He also ordered Tantalus to kidnap Dagger because he was concerned for her safety, based on the erratic and abnormal tendencies of her mother as of late.|
|Stiltzkin||A world-traveling Moogle who frequently asks Zidane and the party for some gil to continue his journey. In return, Stiltzkin provides them with a few rare and useful items. Stiltzkin sends letters to other moogles to inform them of ongoing events around the world.|
|Puck||Puck is the prince of Burmecia, although he prefers to keep a low profile by disguising himself as a street urchin. He was Vivi's first friend, and they met in Alexandria while trying to get into see a play.|
|Sir Fratley||The long-lost love of Freya. He went out on a journey to improve his combat skills and never returned. He appears later in Cleyra with no memory of his past or the woman he left behind. Sir Fratley is a reference to Michael Flatley, which is made more obvious by the look of the Burmecian ceremonial dance, which bears more than a passing resemblance to Riverdance.|
|Doctor Tot||A scholar from Alexandria who moved to Treno once Queen Brahne began acting strangely. He was Garnet's tutor when she was a little girl. The group often consults him on important matters because of his extensive knowledge on a variety of subjects.|
|Hilda Garde||Cid's wife who turned him into an oglop for his womanizing. After transforming him, she escaped Lindblum on Cid's latest airship, which he had named Hilda Garde. She is later captured by Kuja. Once the group rescues Hilda, she is reunited with Cid.|
|Lani||A bounty hunter hired by Queen Brahne to retrieve Garnet's pendant and to kill the Black Mage traveling with her. She works with Amarant, whom she calls "Red". During the battle in Fossil Roo, she wields a large axe. Lani eventually sees the error in her ways and, at the end of the game, she starts living in Madain Sari with Eiko's moogles.|
|Mikoto||A female Genome who was rescued from Terra and brought back to Gaia. She is the interest of the Black Mage Village by the end of the game. Besides Kuja and Zidane, Mikoto is the only other Genome with a soul.|
|Black Mage||Small, humanoid beings whose faces are concealed within dark hoods. They were created by Kuja of Terra as soldiers to conquer Gaia, and most of them resemble Genomes in their naive and puppetlike behavior. The main exception is Vivi, a Black Mage prototype who "woke up" to his individuality and who joins the party to help fight Kuja.|
|Burmecian||Anthropomorphic rodents who live in Burmecia and Cleyra. Freya Crescent is a Burmecian. The Cleyran, who are related to Burmecians, live in a giant tree in the desert, which is protected by a sandstorm that has raged for a millennium; the Cleyrans split from the Burmecians when the latter started to appreciate "the art of war" and have had no contact with Burmecia in over a century. One notable facet about their culture is their value of dance. In Japan, they are known as Nezumi (Japanese for "rat").|
|Chocobo||Large, yellow birds and a recurring species in the Final Fantasy games. They are often used as beasts of burden, either to power factory machinery (as in Dali) or for transport. Zidane can befriend a chocobo and teach it to traverse mountains, cross open water and even fly, as an optional treasure-hunting sidequest.|
|Dwarf||A race of short humanoid creatures originating from Norse mythology, that appear frequently in high fantasy (most notably the works of J. R. R. Tolkien), and role-playing games. Dwarves are much like humans, but generally living underground or in mountainous areas. They appear in the game as inhabitants of the village of Conde Petie on the Outer Continent. Dwarves are often heard calling out "Rally-Ho" as a form of greeting.|
|Genome||Bodies created by the Terrans. They do have minds, but their souls are not their own and are only weakly bound to them. They exist to wait for when Terra takes over Gaia, and then the Terran souls will enter the Genome bodies. Garland, the caretaker of Terra, gave souls to three Genomes to speed up the takeover process: Kuja, Zidane, and Mikoto.|
|Moogle||Small, furry, sociable creatures seen throughout the Final Fantasy series. In Final Fantasy IX they are found all over the world, as save points and sources of information. Some of them even manage their own shop. World-traveler Stiltskin and mailman Artemicion are the most notable Moogles.|
|Qu||A race of large, clownish, seemingly androgynous humanoids, the race to which the playable character Quina Quen belongs. They have a long tongue and are recognized as fine gourmands. They tend to have a simpler intellect compared to the common people, often speaking without verbs or true syntax and often thinking only about food. They inhabit marshlands throughout the world where they catch their main source of nutrition, frogs. Throughout Final Fantasy IX, the Qu are used mainly as comic relief, and never actually have much to do with the main storyline. In Final Fantasy VII, a monster similar to the Qu (called Hungry in the North American release) appears in the City of the Ancients. Its main attack is to shrink enemies and then eat them.|
|Summoner||They have the appearance of humans, but with an additional horn on their forehead. In the story, only two summoners remain as the others have been exterminated due to the Terran warship Invincible's destruction of their homeland of Madain Sari.|
- Disc 1
- Prison Cage
- Plant Brain
- Black Waltz No. 1
- Black Waltz No. 2
- Black Waltz No. 3
- Disc 2
- Black Waltz No. 3
- Zorn & Thorn
- Soul Cage
- Scarlet Hair
- Disc 3
- Disc 4
Gaia is divided into four continents: Mist Continent, which takes up most of the map, Forgotten Continent, a large land in the west where the sun sets, Lost Continent, to the northwest, almost entirely covered in ice, and Outer Continent, an arid desert wasteland to the North.
- Alexandria — A pristine city-state ruled by Queen Brahne, whose armies proceed to conquer every other nation on the Mist Continent to establish the Alexandrian Empire.
- Burmecia — "The Land of Eternal Rain," it was once a great country known for its strength and righteousness, but the player only knows it as rain-drenched ruins. Home to the Burmecians, a rat-like people known for their great nobility and sense of honor. Sir Fratley, Freya, and Puck are originally from here.
- Cleyra — A country located on a large tree surrounded by a protective sandstorm in the middle of a desert west of Burmecia. Founded by pacifistic Burmecians 1,000 years ago.
- Dali — A small rural town in the heart of the Alexandrian Empire. The citizens of Dali profit by manufacturing black mages, which are sold to Alexandria as weapons.
- Evil Forest — A forest south of Alexandria that seems to be alive and infested with plant monsters. Later it becomes petrified after the Plant Brain is killed.
- Fossil Roo — An tunnel that runs beneath the Qu's Marsh and leads to the Outer Continent. Inhabited by Gargants, which can serve as methods of transportation within the underground area.
- Gargan Roo — The Gargan Roo is another underground passage. It leads from Treno to Alexandria, and from Treno to pinnacle rocks in Lindblum.
- Gizamaluke's Grotto — A cavern connecting Burmecia and Lindblum, it is attacked by Brahne and her black mages, and collapses easily. It is home to the sea creature Master Gizamaluke, who is driven mad by black mage control.
- Lindblum — The single most powerful and advanced city-state on the planet, it is ruled by Regent Cid Fabool IX, and is home to the largest airship armada in the world. The base of Tantalus is also located there.
- North Gate — The gate connecting Alexandria and Burmecia. Traversable by foot or by the airship passage.
- Qu's Marsh — A marsh in Lindblum country where the party first meets Quina and his/her teacher, Quale. It is also the entrance to Fossil Roo. Three similar Marshes exist on the Outer and Forgotten Continents as well as on an island near Daguerro.
- South Gate — The gate connecting Alexandria and Lindblum. There are two ways of passing through South Gate: one is by the massive airship passage, and the second is by trolley cars.
- Treno — A cosmopolitan city of the Alexandrian Empire, Treno's social hierarchy is highly stratified: the wealthier nobles live in the upscale western district, while the poorer classes are confined to the eastern slums.
- Black Mage Village — Hidden deep in a large forest near Conde Petie, the village is home to several self-aware black mages, living their lives in hiding.
- Conde Petie — A village of dwarves, it is the team's first port of call on the Outer Continent. In order to pass through here to what is called the Sanctuary, couples must undergo a ceremony not unlike marriage. Known as Condya Pata in the original Japanese version of the game.
- Condie Petie Mountain Path — A path used by newly-wed dwarves to journey between Condie Petie and the Iifa Tree. Thanks to one of the Iifa Tree's roots, it can also be used to traverse a thin straight between the island where Madain Sari is located and the mainland Outer Continent.
- Desert Palace — The base of operations for the primary antagonist in the game, Kuja. Located underneath a swirling whirlpool of quicksand.
- Iifa Tree — An enormous tree on the Outer Continent, much too frequently and incorrectly thought of by players as the "Lifa Tree". Planted by Garland many years ago, the Iifa Tree is a filtering system for the souls of Gaia. The souls are directed towards the tree, whereupon they are intercepted by the Soul Cage. Mist is a by-product of the filtering process and is pumped through the roots of the tree to the Mist Continent.
- Madain Sari — Eiko and Dagger's hometown. It was destroyed ten years ago by the airship called the Invincible. This was about four years before Eiko was born. Dagger and her real mother fled to Alexandria, but Dagger's mother was dead by the time they floated into Alexandria's harbor.
- Mognet Central — Located on an island just slightly offshore, Mogenet Central is essentially a Moogle post office. Throughout the game it is hinted that Mognet's effeciency has decreased drastically; following an optional side-quest, the player can restore Mognet Central to full capacity.
- Daguerro Library — Daguerro is a massive library located on an island to the west of the Forgotten Continent. It contains symposiums on many topics, from the arcane to the scientific (Eidolons, the Mist, the Underworld, and more). Daguerro is also constantly flooded with water of unknown origin, perhaps tied to the statue of the water-based Eidolon, Leviathan, which is located in its main hall.
- Oeilvert — Nestled deep in a winding canyon, Oeilvert houses advanced holographic technology which appear to tell a story about a long-dead civilization as well as a mysterious airship-like guardian known as "Ark." It also houses the Gulug Stone, a magic-controlling device which is eventually used by Kuja to unseal Mount Gulug.
- Ipsen's Castle — An ancient structure of unknown origin bearing resemblance to an upside-down castle.
- Esto Gaza — Situated at the base of Mount Gulug, Esto Gaza serves as a holy gathering place for those interested in the Shimmering Isle.
- Mount Gulug — A volcano sealed by magic, it once was home to a race of great moles.
References to other games
Final Fantasy IX was intended, in many ways, to be a salute to previous entries of the main Final Fantasy series. As such, it is filled with allusions and references to previous games, especially the first game. The English version, unlike the Japanese version, does not reuse every English name from earlier Final Fantasy games. In some cases, Final Fantasy IX introduces English names that would be reused for later Final Fantasy titles, namely remakes of older titles.
- Garland is named after the main antagonist of the first Final Fantasy.
- Mount Gulug is named after Mount Gulg from the original Final Fantasy. In Japanese, their names are the exact same.
- Princess Cornelia, a character in the play I Want to be Your Canary, is named after the town of Cornelia in Final Fantasy.
- The Pumice item, which is used to summon Ark, has ふゆう石 (Fuyūishi, lit. "floating stone") as its Japanese name. This is the same Japanese name used for the Levistone from Final Fantasy, indicating that they are the same item. In Final Fantasy, the Levistone is similarly used to raise the airship from the Ryukahn Desert.
- In Memoria the Four Fiends — Marilith, Tiamat, Kraken, and Lich — appear as bosses. In the original Final Fantasy, Marilith is named "Kary," although her Final Fantasy IX name would later be reused for all Final Fantasy remakes starting with Final Fantasy Origins.
- There is a NPC named "Female Red Mage", named after the Red Mage class from Final Fantasy.
- The story of Josef, the monk from Final Fantasy II, is told by Ramuh before he is obtained as an Eidolon.
- Hildagarde Fabool is named after Princess Hilda from Final Fantasy II.
- Garland's Castle, Pandemonium, shares a name and musical theme as the Emperor's underworld castle from Final Fantasy II.
- After the world of Terra has been destroyed, at the beginning of disc four and onwards, the player can return to Black Mage Village and examine the gramophone at the Black Mage Village inn. If the player possesses the Doga's Artifact and Une's Mirror, the background music will change to an arrangement to the "Dorga and Unne" melody from Final Fantasy III soundtrack. The melody continues on until the party leaves the Black Mage Village.
- The dwarves of Conde Petie use the same greeting as the dwarves of Final Fantasy IV (ラリホ, or "rariho"). However, "Lali-ho" was changed to "Rally-ho" in Final Fantasy IX, which is because Japanese has a consonant which can be tranliterated as either "l" or "r" in English, often leading to confusion in translation.
- In Cleyra, there is an Antlion boss, who is similar to its Final Fantasy IV counterpart. According to the locals in Cleyra, it was originally a peaceful beast, but it was driven to aggression by unknown forces. Prior to the boss fight in each, the Antlion also attacks a prince: Prince Edward in Final Fantasy IV, and Burmecia's Prince Puck in Final Fantasy IX.
- The melody of Kuja's theme is taken from "Slumber of Ancient Earth" from Final Fantasy V. A longer arrangement of the theme is featured on the Original Soundtrack PLUS as "Kuja V", the numeral being an allusion to the game.
- The Madeen eidolon is a misromanization of Maduin (which, in the original Japanese versions of both games, was written as マディーン, or "madīn") from Final Fantasy VI. Incidentally, the slightly-nonsensical name of its attack, Terra Homing, was also intended to be named Terraforming.
- During an Active Time Event in the Evil Forest, the band in the Prima Vista is seen playing a "Millennium Version" of the "Rufus's Welcoming Ceremony" song from Final Fantasy VII.
- In Lindblum's Weapon Shop, Cloud's Buster Sword can be seen on display. If examined, Zidane comments that he knew a guy with spiky hair who carried a sword like that.
- Final Fantasy series
- The theme that plays in the Crystal World is the Prelude theme but with a sinister tone.
- In the ending, it shows text saying, "No cloud or squall shall hinder us," referring to the main protagonists of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII respectively.
- The battle theme begins with the same distinctive opening as those from the first six games.
- Like nearly every Final Fantasy game, there is a character named Cid.
- The victory fanfare also reverted to that used in earlier titles, but the fanfare played during the acquisition of key items and various other events in the first few games can also be heard.
- Around the start of the game, Zidane is chasing Garnet through Alexandria Castle. The cutscene shows her wearing a white cloak with red pointed edges, the same one traditionally worn by White Mages.
- Many weapons are named for characters of previous games. One example is Kain's Lance, a spear weapon found in Memoria, which is named after Kain from Final Fantasy IV.
- The game's title as seen on the title screen, with the metal globe containing a crystal, is reminiscent of the title for the Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals OVA.
- Other video games
- The blacksmith in Lindblum, Torres, and his son, Wayne, have the same names of the armory officers in the fictional NYPD 17th Precinct featured in another Square game, Parasite Eve.
- Main article: List of Final Fantasy IX staff
- In a tribute to Final Fantasy IX, during the FMV when Tidus enters Luca in Final Fantasy X, "Brahne and the Performers" can be heard playing when the camera pans down Luca's main street.
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