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Final Fantasy 14 producer teases "secret" Final Fantasy 9 connection in Dawntrail expansion

Kuja believe it?

A male hero from Final Fantasy 14
Image credit: Square Enix

On top of announcing the release date for Final Fantasy 14's next expansion, Dawntrail, at PAX East over the weekend, producer Yoshi-P set Final Fantasy tongues wagging even further by mentioning the words "Final Fantasy 9" and "secret" in the same sentence. Many of the pre-order and special edition bonus items players can get with the upcoming Dawntrail expansion are suspiciously FF9-themed, you see, but when pointing this out to PAX-goers, Yoshi-P said "the reason is a secret" for now, sparking fresh rumours about Square Enix's supposed Final Fantasy IX remake/remaster.

"You may have noticed a lot of Final Fantasy 9 references here, but the reason is a secret," he said via translator (skip to 1.03.35-ish for the exact moment during the panel).

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The items in question include a mount version of FF9's Ark eidolon summon (which can transform into an airship and mech-like robot at will) and wind-up minions of both Zidane and Garnet, the game's two lead protagonists. I'm not going to pretend I know what a wind-up minion is or does, but the Ark mount certainly cuts a striking portrait out on the battlefield.

Of course, while the reason behind their inclusion in FF14 may be a secret for now, the reason why everyone's so excited about Yoshi-P's tease is, thankfully, much easier to get to the bottom of. Back in 2021, you may remember the big Nvidia leak of upcoming games supposedly coming to its cloud-based GeForce Now subscription service, and yep, on that list was a remake of Final Fantasy IX. Rumours have been swirling ever since, even though we've seen hide nor hair of such a remake, either from Square Enix themselves or other sources.

A screencap of the Final Fantasy 9-themed collector's edition in-game items in Final Fantasy 14's Dawntrail expansion
A screencap of the Final Fantasy 9-themed pre-order and in-game bonus items in Final Fantasy 14's Dawntrail expansion
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Square Enix

There's been a lot of chatter about Final Fantasy remakes and remasters lately, and most of it has come straight from series producer Yoshinori Kitase himself in the run-up to the release of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. In February, he said we shouldn't expect a FF8 Remake after the FF7 project wraps up as it's "simply too much work", and that remaking FF6 would likely take 20 years or more to actually complete - and that's despite Square Enix staff asking for it as well.

It therefore seems unlikely that a full-blown remake of Final Fantasy 9 is on the cards somehow - I'd say a remaster in the vein of Final Fantasy 8 Remastered is probably more likely, if we get anything at all - but I guess as is always the way with these things, we live in hope, don't we? The more likely scenario is that Yoshi-P is simply just teasing a FF9-themed crossover event in Square Enix's ongoing MMO - we'll have to see what comes of it when Dawntrail launches on June 28th.

The current version of Final Fantasy IX on PC is still eminently playable as far as I'm concerned - in fact, it's one of the best Final Fantasy games you can play today.

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