Final Fantasy IX Arrives On PC After 16 Years

Final Fantasy IX [official site] is a name you’re likely to hear a fair bit if you ask folks about their favourite Final Fantasy game. You thought you were being all clever and snide, preparing some comeback about Square Enix releasing over fifty of the devils, but someone has disarmed you with earnesty about a video game. What are you going to do now? Will you say “Oh, FFIX or FFIX-2 Final Flash or FFIX-9 – Zidane Doubles Down?” Scoff and stammer something about Chocobos? Give it up, mate.

I only came here to say a PC version of the JRPG launched today, 16 years after its PlayStation debut, and you’re tossing out that crap banter. Sort yourself out.

Final Fantasy IX is a Final Fantasy game, in that it’s a JRPG with crystals and adventure and saving-the-world and friendship and… I’ll plead ignorance here. Tell me: what do you like about FFIX, gang?

The PC port isn’t massively overhauled, unsurprisingly, but does bring fancier character models and higher-resolution cinematics. It’s from the same roots as the recent pocket telephone release, boasting new features like autosaves and optional “boosters” like a high-speed mode, loads of cash, and the ability to turn off random encounters. Some folks say they’re having trouble with the game not recognising their Xbox controller, but apparently this can be solved for now by only plugging that in after launching the game.

It’s on Steam for £12.79/16,79€/$16.79 right now, thanks to a 20% launch discount available until next Thursday. Look, Square Enix somehow made pictures move:

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  1. Hilloh says:

    I like Final Fantasy IX because it’s a playable fairy tale. Compared to VII and VIII it is almost never sad or angsty, but instead it’s comfortable, warm and caring, and it feels like a grand adventure.

    • deadlybydsgn says:

      The PSX Final Fantasies have their merits (and I am partial to Tactics), but FF VI on the SNES will forever hold the favorite FF spot in my gaming heart. Sure, it sounds sappy, but I mean it. For its time and platform, I think it struck a pretty good balance between lighthearted and mature.

      None of the remakes really interest me unless it gets fully redone like VII is (which won’t happen). The additional artwork and changes seem to detract more than improve, at least IMO.

        • deadlybydsgn says:

          Serious may have been a better word, but mature isn’t inaccurate. I don’t mean it in the gaming/media rating sense of gore or nudity.

          It’s been a while, but I recall there being some fairly dark story material in there between Terra’s personal struggles, a villain poisoning an entire town, a character’s family being murdered, and the entire world getting wrecked. While it had moments of levity to balance things out, FFVI was a far cry from the usual fairy tale plot.

          It was also a nice mix of an industrial revolution era and magic, which makes it one of my favorite RPG settings.

          • JarinArenos says:

            Yeah, that’s probably a proper use of “mature”. While I tend to prefer IX’s somewhat more lighthearted outlook, I can recognize that VI was a hell of a great story.

          • mattevansc3 says:

            FF9 was equally mature. If you take away the levity you’ve got two main characters dealing with existential crisis (don’t know the plural for crisis, sorry) as one’s been created purely to house the soul of a random member of a dead race and he shouldn’t even be sentient. The other was created from somebody’s soul, therefore preventing them from reincarnating, for the purpose of becoming a weapon and was never meant to be “alive”. You’ve then got two others who are dealing with the conflict between doing what they are honourbound to do and going against the person they are honourbound to serve. There’s multiple cases of genocide, sacrifice, personal loss, betrayal, use of nukes/WMDs and redemption.

            If it wasn’t for the chibi graphics this game would be outright horrifying.

          • noodlecake says:

            I liked VI. I thought it wasn’t a patch on VII, VIII or IX. There were tons of playable characters and most of them hardly had any depth at all.

            I think VII was a much more fleshed out, solid game with a world you could really lose yourself in.

            It may just have been down to the limitations of a SNES cartridge though. FFVI is my favourite JRPG from that era, with maybe the exception of Chrono Trigger.

          • deadlybydsgn says:


            Well, that’s fair. I played VII, VIII and FFT on the Playstation, but it was on a borrowed machine, which means it wasn’t a platform I was invested in.

            It probably also has to do with the fact that I was 11 or 12 when playing VI, and those are pretty formative years. By the time the others were coming out, I was taking my first steps in what would be my transition to PC gaming. That’s likely why FFVI and Chrono Trigger have a much stronger hold on me than their PSX descendants.

    • Anti-Skub says:

      Never sad? Are you kidding me? What about Vivi? Freya? Eiko? Just because they are as down beat as Cloud or Squall doesn’t make them any less tragic.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Jekadu says:

    I’ll have to pick it up at some point — aside from XI, which I haven’t played at all, IX is the only Final Fantasy game where I haven’t played through the majority of the game (Lightning Returns doesn’t count). I think I might just have been sick of PSX-era loading times by the point I got to disc 2.

    Also, Final Fantasy XII was the best Final Fantasy. One of these days I will finish the delightful Revenant Wings as well.

    • JarinArenos says:

      … how on earth can you compare FFXII and Revenant Wings? That thing was an abomination; a profanity against both the game it was a follow-up to and to tactics games in general.

      • Premium User Badge

        Jekadu says:

        It’s delightful and cleverly adapts the RTS genre to a handheld console. It expands on Ivalice without feeling weird.

    • TheTingler says:

      I think XII is the last one now, then we’ll have all the recent Final Fantasies? I’m hoping it will, really want to play that one.

  3. Zankman says:

    The graphics/aesthetic design look(s) nice.

    Then I remember that it is an JRPG, so, nope, lol.

    • JarinArenos says:

      … why are you here?

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      The Playstation 1 Final Fantasy games are the top crop of the JRPG golden era, FF9 in particular.
      Dismissing them *because JRPG* is doing yourself a disservice by generalising like expecting Big Rigs to be awesome because a racing game was great that one time.

  4. Hangedman says:

    I think I can sum up why I prefer FFIX in a few short points:
    1. It makes subtle use of JRPG tropes (like each character basically embodying a classic FF job class) in service of understanding the game, but never dumps those tropes on your head. Affordances!
    2. It’s got lovely character and world design; instead of aiming for realism, which was hilarious at the time, instead they just tried to make something simple and distinct. No 6000 belts here.
    3. It’s the best implementation of the ATB battle system: it’s less standing in line taking turns, and more stacking turns up three moves ahead of the action and intuiting enemy attack rhythm. A big part of the difficulty curve comes from grokking this.

    • Hangedman says:

      Oh, also: the main character isn’t an emotionless lump of fightgood (and arguably, isn’t even the main character.)

  5. Elgarion says:

    FFVII : a corrupted save ended my game after dozens of hours of play (tried twice to overcome the time it happened in the game, broke twice). I won’t buy any FF on PC anymore.

  6. PancakeWizard says:

    My favourite FF. The ONLY thing I ever disliked about it is the cut-scenes kept the ‘chibi’ look that the in-game characters had. That never looked right. FF3’s revamp got it right in that regard. As it is, it makes the characters look like abominations.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Hum. It’s interesting to me to read this, because for me the stylistic consistency is one of the things IX got right that most FFs get wrong.

  7. Urthman says:

    Don’t be misled by the cheesy song in that trailer. FFIX has one of the greatest game soundtracks I’ve ever heard. The complete OST is like 4 CDs, each of which has more great tracks with wonderful melodies and arrangements than most games. It’s a masterpiece of a soundtrack.

    • Premium User Badge

      boundless08 says:

      Yes! Some of the music gave me chills. I think it’s because it was a very light hearted game compared to 7 and 8 when the bad things do happen, it resonates a lot more. Not unlike the very last scene in the fourth series of Black Adder.

      This music is amazeballs and the part of the game it happens in just perfect: link to

      • tiltaghe says:

        Uematsu sensei!!

        my favorite:

        • tiltaghe says:

          Oooops I meant Place of memory

          • JarinArenos says:

            Huh, I never noticed how reminiscent the Memoria theme was to FFVII’s Temple of the Ancients.

          • mashakos says:

            Oooops I meant Place of memory

            what’s amazing is that the entire soundtrack is custom MIDI, not mp3 or wav audio.

  8. Harvey says:

    It’s been a long time since I played the game, but my memory of it is not fond. That’s not to say I disliked it, but I think perhaps after playing FF7 and FF8 I was starting to get tired of the things you accept that a Final Fantasy game provides.

    Wasn’t the bad guy bad just because he was crazy? Seen that before, but Sephiroth he wasn’t. Heck I barely remember him, which says something about the game (or at least its ability to engage with me specifically). It just never felt like anything was really at stake.

    Anyway I got to the end, dutifully completing the game and disposing of the threat, or so I thought.

    Then my party was dropped in this black emptiness, and faced with some faceless nameless entity that was what, “Entropy?”
    No mention of this throughout the game, it nonetheless declared itself my enemy and demolished my party.

    This is the well-established trope we all know and love where you set about the world completing side quests and becoming stronger in order to return and finish the final boss. Instead I sighed, turned my console off, and never played the game again.

    • mattevansc3 says:

      The bad guy just wanted to take over the world. Then he found out he was a soulless vessel created to house the soul of a member of a dying race from and was placed on that world to kill of it’s inhabitants. After this was done he’d no longer exist…he didn’t take that news well.

    • Ashabel says:

      “Wasn’t the bad guy bad just because he was crazy? Seen that before, but Sephiroth he wasn’t.”

      I’m not sure how that line makes even a remote lick of sense. Sephiroth isn’t crazy, neither is he a character unless you count those three lines of dialogue during the Niffleheim flashback. He’s a zombie that waddles about and serves as a plot device that lures characters into one area or another.

  9. airtekh says:

    One of only two final fantasy games I have played (the other being VII), but I remember it very fondly indeed. Great characters, decent gameplay (I really liked the change from VII’s materia-based system), and a well-told story with plenty of humour and drama.

    The best part though is the incredible soundtrack; there’s so many memorable tunes and themes throughout. It surely must rank up there as one of the best videogame soundtracks ever.

  10. Dugular says:

    One of my favourite FFs by far. Unlike 7 and 8 before it, it felt more of a grand fairytale and wasn’t pretentious. It was also very upbeat both in mood and the set pieces. Scenes would contain everything from excitement, bit of emotion and humour. On that note, it’s the only FF game where I laughed out loud at some of the lines. Not because they were telling jokes, but the way the characters bounced off each other was fantastic and rare in most JRPGs. It had one of the simpler combat\levelling systems. But it was satisfying increasing your power.

    • tiltaghe says:


    • Anti-Skub says:

      I’m not sure it made me laugh, but it definitely made me smile.

      *Spoilers for a 16 year old game*

      I challenge anyone to name a more heart warming moment in any game than the part where Steiner and Beatrix find Eiko’s letter and realise that they love each other.

  11. SMGreer says:

    Final Fantasy IX is perfect. It’s just the best one. Sakaguchi and Uematsu have both said it’s their favourite and it shows. This game more than any in the series before it and easily more than any installments after it, is packed to the rafters with love and charm.

    The soundtrack alone is worth a gander but for me, everything about it is just wonderful. I still remember every moment I spent with these characters, on a cherished adventure. If you’ve never played it before it’s worth trying. I loathe turn based combat and random encounters but I rank FFIX up there as an all time favourite.

  12. Wowbagger says:

    Yay! I can play as my favourite video game rat again.

  13. Agnol117 says:

    I gotta say: I really don’t get SE’s pricing on these. The game is great, but the price seems rather steep considering both the age of the game and the general lack of “real” enhancements. Not that this is likely to stop me from getting it, but SE seems to rather overvalue their games.

    • Aerothorn says:

      I don’t get it either – the MSRP on the digital downloads of these on PSN has been $10 forever, and because this isn’t a proper remaster nothing can really justify the doubled cost.

    • tiltaghe says:

      I agree. I owned it on Playstation, the hardware being dead I can just play it on emulator.

    • Jalan says:

      Basically what’s keeping me from buying it for now. I bought the game on release for the Playstation in my region years ago and never really enjoyed it (stopping at the end of the first disk and never having the desire to go back and continue on) and figured this might be a good opportunity to revisit the game to see if my opinion of it has shifted any (I don’t think I was necessarily unfair with it originally, but my appreciations for some of the things it did weren’t exactly the same back then) but I’ll be waiting until there’s a more sizable discount attached to it (potentially) later in the year.

  14. DaceX says:

    I was waiting for this. Ever since the anouncement for the port was made, I wanted this to be my first venture into video-making, to record a blind run. Happy I tried something differnt first instead,because they took their sweet time. lots to learn, and now I have more of an idea what I am doing.
    Now to edit the first one and a half hours I accidently recorded, something for the weekend. Fun so far,looking forward to really start the game proper.

  15. Kaeoschassis says:

    It’s nice to see such a positive response on here. I kind of felt like IX was one of the less loved Final Fantasies and it’s nice to be proven wrong.

    I’ll be picking this up sooner or later, I have no doubt.

    • Anti-Skub says:

      I would say that, objectively IX might be the best Final Fantasy. Whenever you ask people which is their favourite it’s always going to be VI or VII (and occasionally VIII but those people are just wrong) but it’s mostly nostalgia, because those games came first.

      If you’d never played any Final Fantasy game and you wanted to know which one to play that would give you the definitive Final Fantasy experience…it’s definitely IX. Sakaguchi (the lead designer on all of the good FF games) claims it’s the best game he made.

      • mattevansc3 says:

        FFIV – The hipster response
        FFVII – The teenager wearing a Nirvana hoodie response
        FFIX – The person who’s played and enjoyed FF games response.

    • Emeraude says:

      I think it’s hard to hate IX. Hard to hate the love letter to a dying recipient.

      There’s a sense that it is going to be the last of its old-school genre, a self-consciousness that things will have to evolve and transform after it, and a celebration of the past for that reason. But it never gets too serious or self-absorbed. No gravity to it. There’s grace.

  16. vegeta1998 says:

    it wasn’t that good, but was the last of the good ones.

    (Seriously, why is it so hard to make a good one these days?)

    • mattevansc3 says:

      Because of the rose tinted specs applied to FFVII and the popularity of FFX.

  17. diamondmx says:

    Warning, Square Enix adds pointless always online DRM to these PSX ports, you need a Square Enix account to be able to start the game.

  18. Tony M says:

    Best post intro I’ve seen in ages. Pure gold Alice

  19. Premium User Badge

    Alfy says:

    I loved it to pieces, but would only ever replay it if there is a “less random battles” mode, like there is on the iPad version. FFIX pushes this mechanic to the point of silliness. I remember entering a room, BAM, battle, I go to the opposite door, BAM, battle, I notice a chest in a corner but before I can reach it, BAM, battle. It was heavily criticized when it came out.
    But the story is great and the characters are lovely. One of the nicest romps between over-serious VIII and over-sad X.

    • tiltaghe says:

      I’m gonna replay it anyway because it’s been a good while :) but… I’m surprised! That’s not the impression the game left me in terms of volume of combat. On the contrary, the combat never takes much precedence over the storytelling and I really liked its pacing. To each his own, but really if FF9 overwhelmed you with random battles, what would it be with the series’ predecessors?!