The Final Fantasy VII Remake is one of the most highly anticipated video games that is still in development. Fans have waited a long time to see the adventures of Cloud Strife in a world that isn't made of blocky polygons and static backgrounds.
Final Fantasy VII wasn't the only game in the series to grace the original PlayStation, as both Final Fantasy VIII and IX also saw a release on the 32-bit system. Those games also have large fanbases that want to see them remade on modern systems.
Takashi Katano has said in an interview that Square Enix would also like to create remakes of the other PlayStation Final Fantasy titles in the future. This means that there is a good chance that Final Fantasy IX will see a remake on modern systems in the future.
A remake offers the developer a chance to go back and fix the mistakes of the past. Final Fantasy IX is an amazing game, but it is riddled with problems on both a narrative and technical level.
We are here today to discuss the elements of Final Fantasy IX that need to be cut in the inevitable remake of the game-- from the character who adds nothing to the story, to the villain who unjustly stole the show at the eleventh hour.
Here are the 15 Things That NEED To Be Cut From The Final Fantasy IX Remake!
There are some Final Fantasy characters who aren't as important to the story as others. This could be due to the fact that they are optional (like Gogo in VI or Vincent in VII) or that they join at a late point in the game (like FuSoYa in IV.)
Amarant Coral is one of the main characters of Final Fantasy IX yet he barely adds anything to the story.
He was originally a bounty hunter who ends up joining the party out of a desire to become stronger than Zidane.
Amarant is actually a useful character in terms of his abilities, but he has almost no impact on the story. There are several more interesting characters who could take his place (such as Sir Fratley or Beatrix) and who would have a better dynamic with the party than the person with no personality and who has no effect on the outcome of the story.
14 The Friendly Enemies Quest
Ozma is one of the superbosses hidden within Final Fantasy IX. It is one of the creepiest creatures in the entire series, as it is a swirling ball of unstoppable energy that just destroys whatever comes into contact with it.
In order to be able to strike Ozma with physical attacks and to make it weak to the shadow-element; the player needs to complete the "Friendly enemies" quest. This involves traveling the world and encountering several nice monsters that request items from you or ask you questions in exchange for rewards.
The problem with the Friendly enemies quest is that there's no clue given in the game as to the relevance of its completion.
There's also no clue that you will even get anything for seeking all of these creatures out.
This is a holdover from the era when Square Enix used to put secrets in their games in order to sell strategy guides. We have the Internet now, so quests like these just come off as obnoxious.
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.
12 The Lengthy Introduction Before The Evil Forest
One of the biggest problems that a lot of newcomers to Final Fantasy IX complain about is just how long it takes for the game to get started.
The beginning of the game keeps skipping between Zidane and Tantalus' mission to kidnap Princess Garnet, Vivi's attempt to see the play, and Steiner trying to get his soldiers in line before discovering the kidnapping plot.
These take the form of long, non-interactive cutscenes and set pieces.
You don't really start the game until the airship crashes into the Evil Forest.
The best thing the Final Fantasy IX Remake can do is to trim these scenes or at least add a bit more gameplay to them. As it stands, you spend the first hour or so of gameplay doing nothing but hitting the confirm button over and over again.
11 The Delay
It's telling that the most popular feature of the remastered version of Final Fantasy IX is the ability to fast-forward the game. There are plenty of dungeons in Final Fantasy IX that have no respect for the player's time, but they pale in comparison to the slog that is the battle system.
The battles in Final Fantasy IX move at a snail's pace on even the fastest settings.
This is exacerbated by the noticeable delay between selecting a command and the character actually performing the action. God help you if try to use the "Auto-Potion" command during battle, as you will have to wait for the slow animation to play out every time your character gets hit.
The Final Fantasy IX Remake needs to make fights fast & fluid, instead of boring & plodding.
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.
9 Zidane's Overly Dark Backstory
Zidane Tribal was created to be a contrast to the moody protagonists who preceded him. Cloud Strife and Squall Leonhart earned hatedoms over their perceived "emo-ness" which Squaresoft wanted to avoid with a new protagonist who was happy and outgoing.
The game tries to add some unnecessary layers of grimness to Zidane's backstory, by revealing that he is an artificial life form that was designed to wipe out all life on the planet.
The problem with giving Zidane this backstory is that it overlaps with Vivi's story.
Vivi's story focuses on being an artificial being who is trying to find his own place in the world, which is thus overshadowed by Zidane's story.
Vivi's story of accepting death and living his short life to its fullest is far better told than Zidane's, which comes out of nowhere and doesn't really add anything to the story.
8 The Sprinting/Skipping Games
Final Fantasy IX has a quest that seems to be a nod to the outrageous urban legends that had built up around the earlier games in the series. If you reach the final dungeon in under twelve hours, then you can find the Excalibur II sword, which is Steiner's most powerful weapon.
This was even more difficult to accomplish in the PAL version of Final Fantasy IX, as that was slower than the other versions of the game, to the point where you had to reach the final dungeon in under ten hours.
The Excalibur II doesn't make this list, as it least encouraged interesting speedruns of the game.
The sprinting and rope jumping games in Alexandria are another matter entirely. These exist just to screw with the one-hundred percent completionists. They don't even give you decent rewards for getting the maximum score. These minigames exist only to make you suffer and hurt your fingers.
7 The Trance Mechanics
The Limit Break system is one of the most popular aspects of the later Final Fantasy titles. These are super attacks that usually require the character to have taken a lot of damage or be in a desperate situation before they can be activated.
The Final Fantasy IX equivalent of the Limit Break was called "Trance." When a character activated their Trance form, they would receive a boost to their stats and sometimes gain access to unique battle commands.
The problem with the Trance mechanic is that they couldn't be saved. They activated when the character took enough damage and quickly ran out. This meant that most of your uses of Trance were against random encounters, which didn't really require the extra power to beat.
6 The Black Waltz & Sealion Battle
One of the benefits of having a party of adventurers in an RPG is that you don't have to worry so much about everyone being defeated at once. A lone adventurer might be felled by a single critical hit or bout of bad luck, which can be frustrating for the player.
Final Fantasy IX usually lets you keep a party of four characters throughout the game. One of the exceptions to this happens during the boss fight against Black Waltz 1 and Sealion.
Zidane is forced to fight two powerful bosses on his own.
This can end in disaster if the enemy manages to get a few hits off in succession before Zidane can heal.
What makes this battle even more annoying is the fact that they both have great gear for Zidane to steal, but you could be waiting a long time before he actually grabs the items, while the enemy is free to keep hitting you.
5 The Ramuh Story Puzzle
Josef from Final Fantasy II holds the unusual distinction of being the first playable character to die in a Final Fantasy game. In Josef's case: he was crushed by a boulder that was threatening to squash the rest of the party.
Josef's fate is given a shoutout in one of the dullest segments in Final Fantasy IX.
You encounter Ramuh when you arrive at the Pinnacle Rocks. He promises to give Garnet the ability to summon Eidolons if she can complete a story that he tells in segments.
You have to run around a boring dungeon and read segments of a story from the least-popular Final Fantasy game. The puzzle (if you can even call it that) involves putting the story segments in the right order. The whole dungeon and its puzzle are a complete waste of time.
4 The Waste Of The Four Fiends
The Four Fiends were some of the most difficult bosses you fought in the original Final Fantasy. They were responsible for stealing the power of the Orbs, which affected how the elements worked across the world. The player had to fight Lich, Maralith, Kraken, and Tiamat, in order to restore peace to the world.
Final Fantasy IX teases the player with a segment of the game where the party needs to be split into groups of two, in order to fight all of the Fiends. You only get to participate in the fight against Lich, while the other three happen off-camera. You do fight them all again later when they are revived in different forms, but the initial battle is skipped over.
There are gaps in the monster files of Final Fantasy IX, which suggest that these battles were once planned but never finished. The remake should finally give the Four Fiends their due.
3 The Desert Palace
The number one rule in Dungeons & Dragons is "don't split the party." This is usually true of video games as well, though there are times when the developer forces the party to be split up, in order to create some artificial difficulty.
Final Fantasy IX forces this on you, as you have to send half of your party to Oeilvert, while the remainder of the group has to escape from the Desert Palace. Oeilvert is shrouded with an anti-magic barrier, which means that it is smarter to leave your mages behind to deal with the Desert Palace.
The Desert Palace is teeming with random encounters with monsters that love to one-hit kill squishy wizards.
It is also a dungeon with some annoying puzzles that require a lot of backtracking, especially if you don't know what you are doing. The Desert Palace is an unnecessarily annoying endurance round that has a difficulty level that is enforced by the developer.
2 The Emphasis On Stealing
As the main character of Final Fantasy IX is meant to be the thief of the group, the stealing mechanic was made more important than in previous games. This means that there are a lot of amazing items that can be acquired earlier than normal through stealing them from enemies.
The problem with this focus on stealing is the low-chance that Zidane has of stealing good items throughout most of the game. The player is often forced to play totally defensively and wait, while Zidane keeps fruitlessly trying to steal an item.
If this mechanic is kept, then they need to bump up Zidane's chances of actually finding an item.
They could also possibly add in some interactive element to the part of the player in order to make it more interesting.
The villain of Final Fantasy IX is a powerful sorcerer, named Kuja. He was so powerful that his Trance gave him the ability to destroy the planet Terra, which puts him above most of the other villains in the series. What Kuja lacks in fashion sense, he makes up for in cruelty and power.
Kuja is built up as being the final villain that you face in the game. However, he isn't. Instead, you fight a big bald blue dude, named Necron, who shows up out of nowhere, claims he is some kind of representation of the void and fights you for no other reason than he is a bad guy.
Necron has no reason to be the end boss of Final Fantasy IX, as there is no build-up to his arrival and he is quickly forgotten when he is defeated. Kuja is the true enemy of the game and the final battle belonged to him and Zidane.
It's fine if Necron shows up in the Final Fantasy IX Remake, so long as it's just long enough for Kuja to job him out and take his place as the true end boss of the game.
Can you think of any other things that need to be cut from the Final Fantasy IX Remake? Sound off in the comments!