Baby Deep Look: Final Fantasy 9- Protect Girls

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thatpinguino

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Edited By thatpinguino  Staff

Hey Duders,

Here is a Baby Deep Look! My usual Deep Look videos focus in on a cool gameplay mechanic or story element from a game I have played the heck out of, in the hopes that I can share what makes that mechanic so cool. This Baby Deep Look is just as deep as a normal video, but I focus on a mechanic or ability that is so small that the video is much shorter than usual. I aim to keep Baby Deep Looks around 5 minutes long. These videos should be small little observational nuggets that hopefully give you some useful insight into a game's design that you might not have noticed otherwise.

In this teensy-weensy Deep Look, Rothgar and I show off one of the most interesting passive abilities in FF9: Protect Girls. We show off how early in the game you can get this ability and how the game uses this ability to define its main character. We also point out how unique this ability is its deployment. (I know that my pronunciation of Zidane is not "correct" but I've been pronouncing the name the wrong way for so long that I didn't notice while recording so sorry if it bothers you.)

I have a full Deep Look processing right now that should go up later this week as well. Thank you magical El Gato for allowing me to record consoles!

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I've never knew this ability existed

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@bocam said:

I've never knew this ability existed

Does it count if I did, but only because he'd mentioned it before?

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@bocam said:

I've never knew this ability existed

Does it count if I did, but only because he'd mentioned it before?

Are you Rothgar?

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thatpinguino

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#4 thatpinguino  Staff

@video_game_king: Yes it counts. I want everyone to know this example exists since it is such a good example of intermingling storytelling with gameplay. Also I wanted to bring one of my favorite gameplay examples to video. It didn't warrant a full 10-15 minutes though so I created a new video name just for something like this, thanks to @rothgar for the great name idea. That was some spontaneous genius.

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#5 thatpinguino  Staff

@bocam: It is one of the first two passive abilities that Zidane starts with. Though to be fair it very rarely impacts gameplay.

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Still doesn't stop Garnet getting shanked in the play.

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#7 thatpinguino  Staff

@shindig: She only gets play shanked though. If she was gonna get real shanked he would have done something.

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Also, thanks again @thatpinguino for having me on show. It is always a pleasure and I hope we can make more content soon!

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As Final Fantasy IX is the one non-MMO blind-spot in my Final Fantasy-playing experience, it's interesting to hear about how the game utilizes mechanics like this.

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@thatpinguino:

I totally forgot that was in the game, man I don't think that would fly today. I'd love to "personality traits" passives like this merged with FF Xii's gambit system somehow.

@rothgar said:

@bocam:

I am Rothgar...

hello good friend Rothgar, welcome to Giant Bomb!

@hailinel said:

As Final Fantasy IX is the one non-MMO blind-spot in my Final Fantasy-playing experience, it's interesting to hear about how the game utilizes mechanics like this.

Whoah really?

Man whenever you get the chance you need to remedy this (says the guys who still hasn't finished Lightning Returns).

Imo FF IX is in many ways the quintessential Final Fantasy (i.e. if you are going to play one and only one Final Fantasy which one would give the best picture of the entire series) and yet perhaps the least Innovative?

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@slag: A couple of Final Fantasy-loving friends of mine that have played IX have stated opinions that really make me curious and at the same time uneasy. To hear them talk about it, FFIX is one of those games where all of the best content is on the first disc, and it suffers from a serious third disc syndrome of unnecessary padding. And then you get to what you think is the final boss and then they drop the true final boss on you with zero warning or plausible explanation as to why this guy is even a boss you should be concerned about.

It's like, I want to try the game, but there are things I've heard that just make me very hesitant about it despite the great things I've heard from other people. It's an absolutely bizarre situation to be in with a Final Fantasy game, and that one in particular.

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@hailinel said:

@slag: A couple of Final Fantasy-loving friends of mine that have played IX have stated opinions that really make me curious and at the same time uneasy. To hear them talk about it, FFIX is one of those games where all of the best content is on the first disc, and it suffers from a serious third disc syndrome of unnecessary padding. And then you get to what you think is the final boss and then they drop the true final boss on you with zero warning or plausible explanation as to why this guy is even a boss you should be concerned about.

It's like, I want to try the game, but there are things I've heard that just make me very hesitant about it despite the great things I've heard from other people. It's an absolutely bizarre situation to be in with a Final Fantasy game, and that one in particular.

I won't disagree with that characterization, I suspect @thatpinguino might though.

And what you said could certainly be said to some degree about Xenogears too, and I certainly don't think that made that a game worth skipping either.

I guess though I mean if you can stomach Final Fantasy II, III, V and X-2 (all of which I found to be far worse FF games than IX) I wouldn't think this one would be very difficult to play. Given the artstyle it used I'd imagine it holds up pretty well visually (better than Vii or Viii I'm sure). I dunno man you've played them all, why not just complete the set just because?

And of course there's this guy

No Caption Provided

Who might be one of the very best characters in the entire series and in my book makes the game easily worth experiencing.

Just saying the game isn't perfect, but the highs are pretty high in this one

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Its my personal favourite. Calls back a few thing from the 16-bit games and doesn't feel like there's too many lulls of the player doing tedious things to advance.

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@hailinel said:

@slag: A couple of Final Fantasy-loving friends of mine that have played IX have stated opinions that really make me curious and at the same time uneasy. To hear them talk about it, FFIX is one of those games where all of the best content is on the first disc, and it suffers from a serious third disc syndrome of unnecessary padding. And then you get to what you think is the final boss and then they drop the true final boss on you with zero warning or plausible explanation as to why this guy is even a boss you should be concerned about.

It's like, I want to try the game, but there are things I've heard that just make me very hesitant about it despite the great things I've heard from other people. It's an absolutely bizarre situation to be in with a Final Fantasy game, and that one in particular.

I say just go for it. Don't go into it trying to hate it and you'll be fine-- and hey, if all the best content is on the first disc at least you'll see a lot of what the game has to offer straight up even if you don't finish it (I don't really agree with that statement but I do really love the game so take that as you wish).

And yeah, the final boss comes from nowhere, but that's literally 10 minutes at the very end of a good story. You still get your big boss fights with the main villain right before it, too. And after he's beat, you get right back to all the characters and story threads that matter for the ending. If anything's going to stop you from playing this game, please don't let it be something like that.

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#16 thatpinguino  Staff

@slag: You know me too well! I would say that FF9 doesn't blaze a whole lot of new mechanical ground, but it does find inventive ways to use the old tools. Like the Trance system replaces limit breaks from other games, but Trances are used to punctuate emotional moments in the game. Also 9 makes great use of guest characters, party breakups, and temporary changes in main characters.

I agree with the Vivi sentiment. He is probably the best developed child character that Square has ever put together. Heck he might be the best FF character period. I might need to replay this game and make a few more deep looks!

@hailinel: I think 9 isn't any more front loaded than 8 or 7, though that game definitely starts strong. As far as the final boss is concerned I would say that had the game ended one boss early then no one would complain about the final boss. The very last boss comes into the game as a consequence of the actions of the game's primary antagonist so it isn't like there was some secret mastermind behind everything that you never knew about. I would equate it to Yu Yevon being the final boss of FF10 after Sin and Jecht being the focus of the game for 99% of the time. The rest of FF9 is so exceptional that I think that the game is well worth playing. Though its systems don't break completely new ground, the balance between story, exploration, and combat has never been stronger in the series. FF9 gets even better the more familiar you are with the series since it is a game that focuses on nostalgia as a central theme.

@teddie said:

I say just go for it. Don't go into it trying to hate it and you'll be fine-- and hey, if all the best content is on the first disc at least you'll see a lot of what the game has to offer straight up even if you don't finish it (I don't really agree with that statement but I do really love the game so take that as you wish).

And yeah, the final boss comes from nowhere, but that's literally 10 minutes at the very end of a good story. You still get your big boss fights with the main villain right before it, too. And after he's beat, you get right back to all the characters and story threads that matter for the ending. If anything's going to stop you from playing this game, please don't let it be something like that.

I 100% agree with the sentiment here. The final fight is so not the focus of the game that that fight shouldn't get all the guff it seems to. The ending sequence is probably one of the hardest hitting pieces that Square has ever put together, on par with FF10's climax.

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#17 thatpinguino  Staff

@slag: By temporary changes in main characters I mean the story stuff that happens to Garnet over the course of the game and how it changes her abilities. Though some of the other scripted fights could be included in the list of cool moments in FF9.

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@slag: You know me too well! I would say that FF9 doesn't blaze a whole lot of new mechanical ground, but it does find inventive ways to use the old tools. Like the Trance system replaces limit breaks from other games, but Trances are used to punctuate emotional moments in the game. Also 9 makes great use of guest characters, party breakups, and temporary changes in main characters.

I agree with the Vivi sentiment. He is probably the best developed child character that Square has ever put together. Heck he might be the best FF character period. I might need to replay this game and make a few more deep looks!

@hailinel: I think 9 isn't any more front loaded than 8 or 7, though that game definitely starts strong. As far as the final boss is concerned I would say that had the game ended one boss early then no one would complain about the final boss. The very last boss comes into the game as a consequence of the actions of the game's primary antagonist so it isn't like there was some secret mastermind behind everything that you never knew about. I would equate it to Yu Yevon being the final boss of FF10 after Sin and Jecht being the focus of the game for 99% of the time. The rest of FF9 is so exceptional that I think that the game is well worth playing. Though its systems don't break completely new ground, the balance between story, exploration, and combat has never been stronger in the series. FF9 gets even better the more familiar you are with the series since it is a game that focuses on nostalgia as a central theme.

I forgot about Trances, yeah 9 had some interesting quirks. I had a lot of fun with that game.

If ViVi is not the best FF character ever he has to be in the top 3. I'd have to think about what "best" exactly is before saying he is definitively, but I can't imagine any definition where he doesn't finish very high on that list.

I will say I do think @hailinel's friends are right about that last disc having some serious padding though perhaps the most egregious amount in the series. Granted it's pretty much all optional and you can make a beeline for the finish if you rather, but if you are a completionist type like me who almost feels compelled to chase down every collectible etc, That last disc is a real slog. Not too mention especially gearing up for that superboss Ozma, which imo is the roughest boss fight in the entire series.

Granted I played it trying to avoid GameFaqs and without a guide, so it's probably not as bad today if you are willing to let yourself use those kinds of resources.

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#19 thatpinguino  Staff

@slag: I don't know what qualifies as padding then since their aren't any huge red flags like a long fetch quest or repetitive encounters in the back half of FF9. The game might last longer than you might expect, but if the Chocobo side quest and Ozma are the main time sinks then maybe skip some of them? I have never beaten that optional boss so maybe that is why I don't find the game to drag. Also if you take full advantage of the Chocobo stuff the rest of the game's combat becomes such a joke that the main story stuff goes a lot faster. I also have always had a guide so I never really struggled to find things.

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