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R P G A M E R . C O M   -   E D I T O R I A L S

Necron's Role
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Glenn Morrow
FAN EDITORIALIST



The purpose of this document is to offer the world an explanation for the most enduring mystery of Final Fantasy IX: The purpose and role of Necron within the story. Often believed to either be a random boss thrown in without any actual storyline basis for its presence, or a cosmic being who -- from boredom -- chose to interfere in the natural order, I here attempt to dispel these misconceptions and offer the truth behind this being's presence in the game and explain why the being not only had a basis in the storyline, but an important role at that.

Analysis

I believe Necron, the final opponent fought in Final Fantasy IX, is the central function of the Iifa Tree, the mechanism that interfered with the Cycle of Souls.

For evidence of this, we must first look to Garland's observations and conclusions concerning life:

(In Pandemonium on Terra.)
"But think for a moment... Isn't life death itself? It must kill other life-forms to survive..."
"Sometimes it even kills those with whom is shares blood..."
"To live is to give life meaning, yet one must take others' lives to survive..."
"A mature civilization becomes aware of this paradox..."
"Terra's souls will sleep until they forget such nonsense. They will begin a new life in a new dimension."
"It's a world in which life and death become one..."
"That is the dimension in which we are meant to live, as beings that transcend life and death!"

We find very similar conclusions stated by Necron:

(Above the Hill of Despair.)
"All life bears death from birth."
"Life fears death, but lives only to die."
"It starts with anxiety."
"Anxiety becomes fear."
"Fear leads to anger... anger leads to hate... hate leads to suffering..."
"The only cure for this fear is total destruction."

"...Now, the theory is undeniable."
"Kuja's action proves it. All things live to perish."
"At last, life has uncovered this truth. Now, it is time to end this world."

....

"I exist for one purpose..."
"To return everything back to the zero world, where there is no life and no crystal to give life."
"In a world of nothing, fear does not exist. This is the world that all life desires."

Something else to consider is that Garland states that the Iifa Tree's true form was not the Tree itself, that only being its material form:

Garland
"We must sort the souls."
"I want to disrupt Gaia's cycle and drain its souls, filling the void with the souls of Terra."
"To speed the cycle of souls is to speed the work as a whole. Thus, war..."
"And in time... Gaia's souls are gone, and Gaia becomes Terra."

Garland
"You saw it with your own eyes. You saw the Iifa Tree and the Mist it emits."
"The role of the Iifa Tree is that of Soul Divider. The Mist you see comprises the stagnant souls of Gaia..."

Zidane
"Oh yeah? But we stopped the Mist! So much for that!"

Garland
"ALL YOU SAW WAS THE BACK OF THE TREE..."
"Even now, the Iifa Tree blocks the flow of Gaia's souls, while it lets those of Terra flow freely."
"Come and see for yourself. See the true form of this planet."

Zidane
"What is this?"

Garland
"Think of it as an observatory. A place to measure the radiance of Gaia and Terra."

Zidane
"What are you talking about? And what is this weird light?"

Garland
"That is the center of the planet. The end and the beginning of the cycle of souls."
"The light remains Gaia's, for now, but when the blue changes to crimson, all will belong to Terra, and its restoration will be complete."
"THAT IS WHY I WRAPPED UP THE LIGHT IN THE IIFA TREE, TO PREVENT THE CYCLE OF THE JUDGEMENT OF SOULS ON GAIA FROM INSIDE THE PLANET."
"SUCH IS THE IIFA TREE'S TRUE PURPOSE, ITS TRUE FORM. ALL YOU SAW WAS ITS MATERIAL FORM."

"The flow of Gaia's souls cannot be changed simply by stopping the disposal of Mist."
(Capitalized for emphasis.)

This would mean that the mechanism which interrupts the Cycle of Souls was something not on the physical plane. With this in mind, recall that when Kuja is defeated, he says that he if he is going to die, he isn't going alone, meaning he intended to kill Zidane and the others with his final attack. He then proceeds to blast them with an Ultima Spell, their bodies disappearing after the blast hits them. Now keep in mind further that after the screen fades out, when it fades back in, we find Zidane and the others laying in an area that ISN'T the area where Kuja was fought, and which is called the "Hill of Despair" according to the Menu Screen. In addition to this, the moans of tormented souls can be heard in the background.

In other words, the implication is that when Zidane and the others were hit by Kuja's Spell, they were KILLED, and then came face-to-face with the Iifa Tree's true form on the spirtual plane, it attempting to dismiss them from Gaia as it had done to all the souls up to this point, as was the purpose Garland said the Tree had been given.

Also consider that after the defeat of Necron, Memoria explodes and the Iifa Tree goes into a spasm, flailing its vines and roots about, dying soon after. We can be certain that the Tree died, as Mikoto can be seen briefly during the ending walking across a vine of the Tree, with it looking withered and dead, no longer violent and thrashing. For that matter, had the Tree not been undone, we would be left to wonder why Gaia's assimilation by Terra was never completed, seeing as how Kuja said that the assimilation was nigh at hand before the final battle with him.

Necron being the core mechanism of the Tree would account for the Tree's demise, whereas Necron not being so would leave us to question why the Tree died for seemingly no reason, first going into violent spasms immediately after Necron was defeated, then being dead shortly thereafter.

Something else possibly worth consideration is what Garland says concerning the radiance of Gaia and Terra:

Garland
"That is the center of the planet. The end and the beginning of the cycle of souls."
"The light remains Gaia's, for now, but when the blue changes to crimson, all will belong to Terra, and its restoration will be complete."

The radiance of Gaia is blue, whereas the radiance of Terra is red. Necron is blue, yet when casting certain Spells, changes its color to red.

Points That Would Possibly Contest This Concept:

Point: Necron says "I am eternal" when defeated. Would this not immediately disprove Necron as being the central mechanism of the Iifa Tree, seeing as how Garland created it?

Response: Not necessarily. Necron says "I am eternal" upon being defeated, yes, but that does not necessarily mean that Necron was saying "I have always been and always will be." "Eternal" is ambiguous. It CAN mean "Always has been and always will be," but it can also mean "Having no end." In other words, Necron might have been saying "I will never perish." This certainly isn't a foreign declaration to villains upon their demise. For that matter, Zeromus, the final opponent of Final Fantasy IV, and the incarnation of Zemus' hatred, made a similar declaration at the moment of his own death:

(Zeromus' final words.)
Zeromus: I will not...perish...so long as evil...dwells in the hearts...of mankind. G...gh... GRRRAAGH!

(Necron's final words.)
"This is not the end."
"I am eternal..."
"...as long as there is life and death..."

However, there's little question as to whether or not Zeromus was simply making a boast before his death, something which he did not anticipate. Something else to keep in mind is that Final Fantasy IX was a game designed to pay tribute to past Final Fantasy games. The ending boss battles of Final Fantasy IV and IX are very similar in that in both the party is wiped out, only to be brought back from defeat by other party members lending their strength. Also in both cases, the defeated final foe declares their self-proclaimed eternal nature, despite all indication and the context of the situation suggesting it to not be the case.

Point: If the party members died, then how were they suddenly back alive after Kuja teleported them out of Memoria? For that matter, how did their souls return to their bodies with their bodies healed? Certainly this would suggest that the concept is false.

Response: Again, not necessarily. The point could as easily be posed in response "Why then do the bodies of Zidane and the others vanish after they're blasted by Ultima, and why do they awaken in a different location than the one where they had fought Kuja, with it being called the 'Hill of Despair' and the sounds of anguished souls audible?". The notion that Zidane and the others DIDN'T die requires more explanation than one that would argue they did. While certainly odd that Kuja was able to teleport souls and then place them back into their [healed] bodies that had been killed moments before, that can possibly be explained away by the fact that Kuja had absorbed a multitude of souls from the Invincible:

Kuja
"Yes! This is the power I've longed for!!!"
"The mighty power of souls! They assault any threat that tries to destroy them!"

Zidane
"Wh-What do you mean...?"

Kuja
"It's Trance! You know how it works."
"But a normal Trance won't be enough to defeat you... You're all as resilient as oglops."
"Even tiny moogles possess the power of Trance... When I saw that in Gulug Volcano, I came up with a plan."
"It was easy. I just needed to borrow the power from wretched souls that can't die..."
"Where did I acquire it? It was the Invincible, or should I say, that large eyeball in the sky?"
"The ship sucked up the souls of Madain Sari, the Iifa Tree, Alexandria to feed upon them..."
"When it fought Bahamut at the Iifa Tree, the Invincible drew in a powerful spirit... Can you guess to whom it belonged?"

With that much power, perhaps the power to reach out and touch souls was not beyond Kuja, him then teleporting the souls to the same location as Zidane and the other's bodies, the bodies healed. While that's conjecture and Zidane and the others dying WOULD make a plothole of Kuja rescuing Zidane and the others, them having not died and Necron not being the core mechanism of the Iifa Tree would make a plothole of what Necron is, why the Iifa Tree died after his defeat, why Zidane and the other's bodies disappeared after being blasted by Ultima when Kuja attempted to kill them, why Necron and Garland express a similar view of life, with there being no connection between the two, and why some random cosmic being was so cosmically bored as to be observing Kuja to make a determination about the nature of humanity and deemed it appropriate to step-in to perform what it deemed to be a "boon" to humanity. Logically, the explanation that left the smallest amount of plotholes would be the best one, especially when it IS supported by in-game dialogue and events.

Point: Garland says he wanted to place all creatures into a world in which life was combined with death, while Necron spoke of returning all life into a world without life. That wouldn't suggest similar goals.

Response: Once again, not necessarily. This is what Garland says concerning his ultimate goal for living beings:

"To live is to give life meaning, yet one must take others' lives to survive..."
"A mature civilization becomes aware of this paradox..."
"Terra's souls will sleep until they forget such nonsense. They will begin a new life in a new dimension."
"It's a world in which life and death become one..."
"That is the dimension in which we are meant to live, as beings that transcend life and death!"

This is what Necron says concerning its intentions:

"I exist for one purpose..."
"To return everything back to the zero world, where there is no life and no crystal to give life."
"In a world of nothing, fear does not exist. This is the world that all life desires."

Necron speaks of placing life in a dimension of no life, with no Crystal to give life. Does that necessarily mean that all things are non-existent? Would souls cease to exist simply because they do not inhabit living vessels? Or, perhaps, would they be without life, and, thus, without death, as well? Would they not have transcended life and death, as Garland sought to accomplish? Granted, this is only speculation, but to transcend life and death would mean to be beyond both, and from my own interpretation, for there to be no life would also mean there would be no death: To exist without either, but beyond their reach.

In conclusion, I feel that the simplest explanation for Necron's role and the only one which is supported by the story itself is that Necron was the core mechanism of the Iifa Tree. Any other explanation I've ever become aware of -- such as Necron being the opposite of the Crystal, or ferryman of Death, so to speak, or being some random cosmic being that was randomly observing Kuja -- are explanations that lie outside the story and aren't supported by it, nor do they really serve to clear anything up, as they merely raise more questions than they answer.

-Acknowledgements and Dedication- I wish to thank Eriatarka of Gaia Online's Forums most of all for this document I have compiled. It is numerous arguments with this esteemed fellow that eventually resulted in the document that lies before you. It was he who set me on the road to finding the truth. For that, Sir Eri, you have my thanks. This document is dedicated to you.

I also wish to thank my sweetheart, Carys, for always being there for me and giving me the strength to face every obstacle and come through it looking ahead to every tomorrow with a smile on my face. I love you, sweetheart. Thank you for everything.




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