The summoning
The summoning
Review of the game FF9 logo
   The player enters the game as Zidane, a sixteen-year old who belongs to the Tantalus theatre troupe. Their activities often go beyond acting into a little bit of thieving. As they are set to perform in the village of Alexandria, they intend to kidnap the princess Garnet. However, things quickly go out of control as the princess herself, worried about her mother's sudden estrangement, has decided to run away secretly the very same night to get help. Zidane's kidnapping mission soon turns into an unexpected quest, on which success the very source of life may depend. So he has to give up his careless ways to protect Garnet as she asks for his help. They are aided by a little black mage, Vivi, who seeks above all to discover his origins and find his people. Unwillingly following them in order to ensure the princess's safety is Captain Steiner. Soon after their departure, Garnet's mother, Brahne, declares war and attacks the neighbouring towns, coldly massacring most of their inhabitants. Kuja, a mysterious young man riding a silver dragon helps her by supplying her with "weapons", which are in fact, to Vivi's horror, powerful destructive black mages...
   Brilliant, wonderful, great, unforgettable, profoundly humane, more beautiful visually and thematically than words can tell, Final Fantasy IX is the second best game in the world (the first being FFVII). Though at times dark, existentialist, and tortured, there is something ultimately spiritual and positive about Final Fantasy. Though mature and dealing with horrifying events, it always retains an irresistible purity and innocence; never trivialising death and always claiming respect for every living entity. Even the most despicable and cruel beings, though their actions are strongly condemned, are granted understanding and empathy when they fall. Through the heroes' journey, through their pains and hardships, FFIX explores the essence of humanity, of life, death and fear.
   Again, an entire fantasy world has been created for the game, though the backgrounds are even more numerous and beautiful in this episode. They are SO extraorinarily detailed and finely designed that it is absolutely impossible to even conceive how many hours of work they represent! There seem to be hundreds of them, all beautiful beyond reality, carefully painted and illuminated. It seems the work of one's lifetime! The surroundings are medieval and more otherwordly. The use of light and colours is especially fantastic and attractive. The animation sequences are absolutely amazing! The most beautiful video sequence has to be the summoning of Alexander by Garnet and Eiko, but they are all simply breathtaking and infused with great sensitivity, expressiveness, and, depending on the scene they depict, either grace or tragedy. There is nothing sadder than visiting a quiet town full of life and charm, to finally afterwards come back to find only occupied ruins and the inhabitants' sorrow. Final Fantasy is not simply pure escapism, it offers much to reflect on, to reconsider, as well as much wisdom and beauty to bring back to the real world. Not to mention it is also fun and exciting of course!
   The characters' design is quite adorable and reminiscent of FFVII, in so far as they have manga cartooney features (big heads and huge expressive eyes though rounder, less angular). Kuja is both the most attractive and detestable fictitious male ever created. His almost unbearable extreme beauty and charisma only match his boundless cruelty. The clothes he wears and his often amused or vain gestures betray his self-centered superficial nature, though he is much less shallow and heartless than he seems. Yet at the same time, his lonely megalomania, his desire to be more than he is, to transcend his nature, his refusal and contempt for mortality, the ultimately tragic irony about him, make him a fascinating and tragic character. He certainly wins some empathy, for as Zidane accurately says, maybe anyone in his position would act no better. Vivi on the other hand is plain cute: the most adorable (and clumsy) little being that ever walked the world of fantasy, though burdened with huge existentialist questions! Other great moving character are Freya, searching for the one she loved who left long ago only to finally discover the unthinkable, and Beate, so strong and yet so fragile inside, forever concealing her feelings.
   Another wonderful huge score by Final Fantasy's usual composer Nobuo Uematsu. Kuja has one of the best themes he ever wrote: "The Dark Messenger". The song of the Qu's marshes and the one for the fools are quite good too. Freya and Beatrix's themes are brilliant. But the most hauntingly beautiful (though very short) pieces are when Eiko answers the summoning call, and when Garnet remembers the ghost ship. From jazzy, slightly metal, classical, Nobuo Uematsu adapts various musical styles to fit the large rainbow of the game's different moods, from serious to silly, tragic to humorous, desesperate to hopeful...
Games Reviews
The film
Welcome Page
Drawing Gallery
Film Reviews
Literature Reviews
Music Reviews
Site map
Plan site

Please read the FAQ before taking materials from my site!
Consultez la faq avant de prendre des éléments de mon site svp!