Final Fantasy IX Coming To PC

Younger readers may find this hard to believe but, back in the year 2000 or so, when Square Enix announced a new Final Fantasy, everyone believed it was truly the last one. Each game sparked petitions and letter-writing campaigns from fans, begging Squeenix to reconsider and renew the series – especially after entries as nice as Final Fantasy IX [official site]. Well, not that I ever had a PlayStation to play it myself, but a fair few folks I follow on Twitter seem to have wet themselves over news that FFIX is finally coming to PC.

Unlike the recent uglified port of Final Fantasy VI, the IX coming our way looks a touch prettier, but it’s definitely a tarting-up rather than a flash remake. That’s fine! Have a look in this trailer, which has snippets of gameplay and its pre-rendered cinematics:

So far Squeenix have only confirmed a Japanese release for this new port (also coming to pocket telephones), but I’d be jolly surprised if it doesn’t come our way too. “Coming soon” is what they say about that Japanese release, and about what I’d expect for us too – a few months, tops, maybe even weeks.

Reader dear, did you participate in the ‘Please Don’t Cancel Final Fantasy’ letter-writing campaign after playing FFIX? Might you care to share your letter (I’m sure you can remember what it said) with the rest of us? I imagine it contained a concise summary of what you liked about FFIX, along with a wee bit of embarrassing teenage oversharing? I imagine. Not that I’m suggesting a template for commenters to make up stories.

62 Comments

  1. maicus says:

    I’d love to have a crack at this one again. From memory it had a surprisingly deep frog-breeding minigame and some lovely cities. Local 2-player co-op battles as well, which sounds like a great way to revisit it.

  2. Darlizzle says:

    I have been waiting for this for 10 years…ABOUT DAMN TIME SQUENIX.

  3. jrodman says:

    Well, this one I’ll probably buy, even if they, again, introduce stupid DRM schemes like 7 and 8.

  4. Da5e says:

    Fourteen-year-old goth girls everywhere, rejoice!

    • wcq says:

      …You haven’t actually played FFIX, have you?

      It’s more of a fairy tale kind of thing, this one. If you’re looking for angsty nonsense, that would be in the two previous games in the series.

      Anyway, I might actually finish this game now. I’ve always lost my save before beating it before.

      • Da5e says:

        Yup. All the way through. I called the little wizard-looking guy Ihsahn, because I was listening to a lot of Emperor at the time.

        All the goths I know bloody loved this game when they were fourteen. It’s just the right mix of twee and dark.

    • Spuzzell says:

      Hugely unfair to the bewitchingly charming IX, I can only assume you haven’t played it.

      It reminds me very strongly of the best Pixar films, adult themes and emotional depth disguised in a beautiful story book cover.

    • Premium User Badge

      Don Reba says:

      What other games would you recommend to a fourteen-year-old goth girl? Um, asking for a friend.

        • HERP DERP NANOMACHINES says:

          The first part of that game has some badass mercenary action scenes and the second half has some crazy anime romance parts (literally losing the love interest in space), it’s too bad the plot becomes so slow and boring.

  5. Livebythesword says:

    I have fond memories of playing this back in the day, though FFVII made a bigger impression. The battles felt much slower than FFVII though and that bothered me (especially since there’s so many of them). Maybe a technical issue with the PAL version? If not for that I’d have enjoyed it more.

  6. GameCat says:

    Whoa. Finally, bring back the glorious Final Fantasy IX, which is of course the best of them all.
    I’m much more excited about this port than FFVII remake.
    Hell, someone even started chopping onions nearby when I was watching this trailer.

  7. Abndn says:

    I love this, especially because of the vast hordes of idiots claiming with supreme arrogance that this would certainly never happen because it was not on PC originally like 7 and 8 was. It would just be “too difficult” because the “notoriously difficult playstation architecture” and the game wasn’t “as popular as 7 or 8”, not to mention how it would be “way more profitable to milk it on consoles”. So much for the convictions of “Final Fantasy experts” around the world.

    As for the game, it’s good. Not my favorite Final Fantasy, but it does have my favorite art direction and music, which are strong points of the series that even non-fans will converge on.

    • Gus the Crocodile says:

      The one I’ve been hearing most recently is that Square lost their internal copies of the game so it’s literally impossible for them to do anything with it. I don’t understand people.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      “I love this, especially because of the vast hordes of idiots claiming with supreme arrogance that this would certainly never happen because it was not on PC originally like 7 and 8 was. “

      Well don’t you sound like a massive arsehole. I’m a big FFIX fan and I’m ecstatic this is coming to PC, but there was no reason to ever expect it to happen. As a previously console-exclusive game this coming to PC is quite the outlier.

      I’d love Ni No Kuni to come to PC, but when people say to me ‘won’t happen, Level 5 don’t make PC games’, I concede to the logic of the argument. I certainly don’t think ‘can’t wait for this idiot to be wrong’. You’ve made some odd life choices.

      • Abndn says:

        You only reinforce my point when you share the perspective I criticize and add onto it a number of really incredibly stupid arguments and wild claims about me as a person.

        After seeing 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 13, 13-2 and Type-0 all arrive on Steam, hearing an FF7 remake announced, observing Square-Enix’ general trend of porting their old games to all sorts of platform, you’d have many very good reasons to suspect it might come sooner or later. When you also realize that FF9 is extremely similar to 7 and 8, was probably developed with the same tools and approach (which allowed for PC versions over 15 years ago) and that 9 already runs perfectly on PC through emulators, you would *have* to be an absolute cretin to think FF9 on PC was impossible. You might think to yourself that as a less popular and celebrated Final Fantasy game it is less likely to appear, but to write it off completely like so many did was always ridiculous.

        Now as for your Ni No Kuni analogy, it is just terrible for all the reasons you yourself bring up. We have every reason not to expect it to arrive on PC. That is not at all the case with Final Fantasy games, where we have a number of reasons to think 9 would come to PC, and a couple of potential problems that may make it less likely. Now if they were to release the four most popular Ni No Kuni games on Steam you would have to be pretty daft to claim that the fifth most popular one could not possibly appear.

        Finally, I certainly didn’t afford this much thought at all until the announcement. I thought the peculiar, misplaced certainty displayed by people who share your view was very odd when I learned about it, but that was pretty much it. I didn’t wait eagerly for this day to come, as you seem to suggest.

        • MisterFurious says:

          You still sound like a massive arsehole.

          • Abndn says:

            “Daaaaad, a bad man on the internet called me stupid for writing incredibly stupid things!”

            “Don’t worry son, insults invalidate all points and arguments made. Just call him an arse and move on.”

            “Okay dad, you’re the best. Now I don’t even have to address anything he said! I can dismiss him completely so I win, yay!”

          • machstem says:

            He doesn’t just sound like one, he obviously is one.

          • noodlecake says:

            Definitely an arsehole.

          • ffordesoon says:

            @abndn:

            Fair point, I guess, but you still sound like a dick.

          • ChipDipson says:

            okay i’ve turned around on this guy now.

        • machstem says:

          If you’d like to make an opinion or validate a point, you can do so with respect and not come off as such a douchebag.

          I have literally no idea what any of this means, but I thought it was interesting the article had “52 comments” listed. Most of what I’ve had the misfortune of reading is you, you know, being a douche.

          Seems like you forgot to get your fill of asshole this morning. Are you good? Can you think straight yet?

    • Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

      Vast hordes of supreme arrogance? Sounds like they’re rubbing off on you buddy. That being said, I can’t say I’ve ever heard anyone say that final fantasy ix wouldn’t be ported at any point.

  8. Gus the Crocodile says:

    Probably my favourite of the (“main”) series.

    I mean it has its weakpoints, sure. I’m really glad that it didn’t take many more games after this for Square to finally rethink the way they’d been approaching “battle systems” (the phrase still makes my eye twitch a little), because random battles are as awful as ever, and once you’re in a fight, FF9’s battles can be tediously slow for some time (I played the PAL version, which may not have helped the speed) and often pretty tactics-free outside bosses. The final boss comes out of nowhere in a blob of typical JRPG handwavy nonsense as the story disappears up its own arse, kupo. Square is at this point still a bit too in love with their cutscenes of big magic monsters. Probably a bunch of forgotten complaints I’ll rediscover if it actually arrives on PC outside Japan.

    But the stars here shone really bright for me. There’s a certain undercurrent of earnest weirdness running through the whole game, which creates some really lovely characters (Vivi, Quina <3) and settings and enough self-awareness to not get bogged down telling you how important and serious everything is even when it's doing…that. Which is not to say there's no weight to anything, just that the whole thing is just sort of comfortable being what it is (except for the final act, more or less). I really appreciated that.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      I think the existence of a PC version in itself is a guarantee that it will come to the west, i doubt they would even bother otherwise.

      Yeah, i know, clichès and over-generalizing are a bad thing, but the PC is still incredibly weak in Japan. Hell, even couch-consoles are losing ground compared to handheld.

    • SMGreer says:

      I do agree that the final boss does come a bit out of nowhere BUT it does keep in with the games overarching theme of mortality.

  9. Wowbagger says:

    Yay! Another version for me to buy and not complete.

  10. amateurviking says:

    This is probably the one FF I remember most fondly – the skill system was great, the crafting was fun, the characters were lovely, the art and graphics were probably the best on the PS1. Great music. Phenomenal localisation. Overall story was a bit bobbins but the individual character arcs were actually pretty good. Combat is sloooooooooow though. Hopefully they add in the frameskip they did for FFXII International and the recent ports of ports of ports release of FFVII.

  11. internisus says:

    I can’t wait for these PC ports to work their way up to XII. X and X-2 seem like an easy bet since their recent HD remake, so it can’t be far off, right? Maybe by the end of the year I’ll be playing an English copy of Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System on Steam.

  12. The Velour Fog says:

    A Final Fantasy Tactics game on PC would make me a happy chappy. Get on it, someone

    • Jalan says:

      I’d settle for just a PC release of Final Fantasy Tactics. Doesn’t have to be new or a port of Tactics Advance or anything, just the original PS release playable on PC.

      • Bugamn says:

        I know it’s not PC, but it has been ported to Android. The only problem with the port is that they added online DRM, which is very annoying for me since I can’t play on the move (I have a tablet)

  13. DrChaos says:

    I’ve been recently replaying many of the Final Fantasies, and IX is, purely objectively of course, the best. The first 20 or so hours are perfectly-paced, with no lull in the narrative, then it slows down a bit to let you explore, which is also good. The strengths are brilliant visual design, memorable characters, and a surprisingly comprehensible storyline.

  14. Askis says:

    *sigh* Anyone who wanted to play this on PC was already able to for years.
    Playstation Emulators exist and work fine, with fully rebind-able keys, Gamepad support, resolution scaling and filters to make it look a tad prettier.
    You could even do it with the original disc in the drive, if you owned that.

    So considering the PC version is likely going to be a port of the mobile version, like FFVI, I don’t really see any reason to rejoice…

    • Premium User Badge

      ComicSansMS says:

      From the trailer it looks like they re-rendered the FMV-cutscenes in HD, which would be a reason for me to buy.

      Overall I’m quite happy with what the trailer shows. It’s exactly the kind of modernizations I’d ask for in a re-release and fortunately none of the over-eager reskinning that ruined FF6 for me.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      *sigh* there’s always one.

      Fans of the game are happy for this for three reasons a) official support, b) a quantifiable way of saying to the developer ‘more of this please’ and c) convenience.

      • Premium User Badge

        gritz says:

        But that’s the thing, we don’t want to tell Squeenix “More of this, please” because “this” means the laziest possible ports that are massively inferior to simple emulation.

        • Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

          To say this is inferior to simple emulation is patently false.

          Unless you think that crappy upscaling and super sal is superior to re rendered cutscenes, properly re rendered backgrounds and touched up models with greater texture resolution.

          • ludde says:

            The backgrounds don’t look re-rendered at all in that trailer. And if they are, they’re still jarringly low resolution.

            All in all I thought it looked pretty much as terrible as it does on emulator.

          • ChipDipson says:

            The backgrounds look like utter garbage.. Not that they ever didn’t, but with new character models slapped on top the net change is negative. And the cutscenes in this game, and 8 for that matter, have always looked fantastic. I see no noticeable change in that regard. I am, however all for convenience, having re-bought a dozen or more GOG games on steam just because, Steam. That alone would win me over if these fools had a reputation any greater than reprehensible when it comes to these ports. Final Fantasy has been my favorite franchise for a quarter century and this one is in my top 5. I shan’t be party to these here goings-on. *turns up nose*

    • Urthman says:

      This is the only Final Fantasy game I ever played (on an emulator with a legit set of game disks in my drive). I enjoyed it, but would never have finished without the emulator’s ability to quicksave anywhere.

    • sandineyes says:

      I know what you mean, and a PS1 or SNES emulator are probably the best way to play these games at this point, but it isn’t exactly convenient if you want to acquire the games legally.

      If only Sony could make some sort of software that would let publishers sell old PS1 games bundled with emulation software, in the way that many old games are bundled with DOSBox.

  15. Jalan says:

    I never could bring myself to finish this one. I really didn’t care for it enough to move past the first disk and I found myself not really invested in it like I had been with the other titles I’d played in the series.

    Assuming it isn’t a complete pile of dreck, I’ll probably buy it to try and re-evaluate whether my opinion has changed on it but for now I remain cautious.

  16. Talahar says:

    Never finished it back in the day, but I’d love to give this another whirl. Here’s hoping it’ll actually be a decent port.

  17. Peksisarvinen says:

    Quite possibly my favorite game of all time. Top 3 in any case, and most definitely the best Final Fantasy. I’ve finished this game something like seven or eight times since it came out, last time being about half a year ago on an emulator, so I really don’t know if this new release can offer much for me, but I’ll buy it in any case.

    Buy it, and finish it again, and this time I’ll get a 1000 in the rope jump. And a 100 in the sword fighting. And the Excalibur 2, and finish the card collection.

  18. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    I don’t know if I would rate it higher than the ones on SNES, but after those this is my favorite Final Fantasy.

    The plot gets a bit weak at the very end, if I remember correctly, but until then it’s lovely. It also has a nice system to customize characters with different abilities, and there is even one of those minigames with collectible cards that are so popular right now.

    This is also one of the two FFs which I liked playing so much, that I defeated the secret boss that is harder to beat than the actual final boss of the game (in FF9 it’s called Ozma and it looks like a floating sphere with a glitched out texture).

  19. Synesthesia says:

    Ozma, here I come!

  20. tomimt says:

    FF IX was the last PS1 game I bought. Sadly I’ve never finished it, as my old PS1 decided to take its final spin when I was playing it and I’ve been too lazy to play it through emulation.

    It’s a solid game, but if there ever was a FF game where the main villain looks like a cross dressing dominatrix, it’s this.

  21. SMGreer says:

    SO glad to see others regarding FFIX as highly as I do. Truly the most wondrous in the entire series and frankly, the last great game Square Enix ever did.

    Memorable characters in a good story, gorgeous art direction and an absolutely incredible, humongous original score from Nobou Uematsu. Both he and Sakaguchi claim it their favourite in the series and that love shines through.

    Whenever it finally releases over here, I’ll gladly drop whatever I’m doing and play through it all.

    • Urthman says:

      Yes. This is easily my favorite game soundtrack that isn’t a Nintendo game. So many great tunes.

  22. rexx.sabotage says:

    this is the defining point where I meh’d off the franchise for good. It’s Final Fantasy aping Final Fantasy.

    If there is such a thing as vanilla white bread, this is it. I think a game that was nothing but one perpetual loading screen would have more color and flavor.

  23. Veles says:

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

    This is the best one! I was so hoping this would happen :D

  24. bishmanrock says:

    Played it through a good few times on the PS1 and loved it, but the last time I tried to do a run through I found myself in an area with no way to grind, and forced into battles immediately after a save, and with no healing items and had to abandon the game, leaving me a bit gutted.

    Will be a bit more cautious with my next run, but it still strikes me as where most FF games avoid moments like that and usually give you a way to grind, this game seems to have possibly a few.

    Also you know what else annoyed me? That earthquake that took out several locations near the end of the game, meaning you can’t complete certain side quests past a certain point. Hmph.

  25. trollomat says:

    I’d really like to watch a Final Fantasy trailer to see what that’s all about, but I am really really not able to put up with that kind of music for more than 5 seconds.

    • hemmer says:

      Didn’t watch the trailer before I read your comment and wow, yeah, music doesn’t fit the trailer at all. You could mute it though, the images are pretty and I don’t think the song is ever sung in-game. It’s hummed once, but also a good song when not layed over action scenes. oO

  26. hemmer says:

    The pacing was quite off at times, but the game was quite literally wonderful. The characters were amazingly odd, everything was really pretty and the music is just wonderful (as usual). Very atmospheric, great world to be in, actually fun minigames.
    Also liked the progression mechanics, which is a thing I’m quite particular about.

    I’ve replayed it on my psx-emulator (xebra) a few times to see how it holds up, but I often get stuck at a tedious part somewhere on CD2, it gets better again afterwards though. In general I think the game is a lot better than people give it credit for.

  27. Premium User Badge

    Edski says:

    The jesters in this were pretty cool.

  28. racccoon says:

    This should be good final fantasy fun :)

  29. Silluete says:

    yes please! back in the days i spend like 200 hours digging in chocobo garden (or heaven?) i actually forgot where i last leave my main story. This time i gonna find the Gold chocobo!