While most of the last week was spent on finishing up Persona 5, my handheld game of choice has still been Final Fantasy IX. I'm looking head at my next few games for this feature, and I'm debating between either restarting Final Fantasy X HD or Final Fantasy X-2 HD, so if you have a preference don't just tell me which, but tell me why. I'm happy to listen.
If you want to catch up on my prior pieces, here's a link to last week's Issue 16.
Final Fantasy IX (PSP, PS1 Classic)
This week has been very plot-heavy. It started with a return to Madain Sari where Zidane was attacked by Amarant. For being such a brute, he didn't stand a chance against against me. During this downtime, we found out more about Dagger's background, as she is apparently from Madain Sari, but doesn't recall much about her past life there. After a little bonding time, the group headed back to the Iifa Tree again to try to find Kuja, and lo and behold he arrived on the back of his silver dragon, spouting philosophical pleasantries. Instead of having a face-off against the silver-haired warrior, he started a war against his one-time ally, Queen Brahne. She summoned Bahamut to take him out, but he turned the dragon king on her and ripped through her forces. Despite her being a tool for the entire time we've seen her in the game, it was still touching to Dagger saddened by her loss, as she wasn't always like this. Anyway, that's all for the second disc.
Starting disc three finds the crew back home in Alexandria with Dagger getting ready to take over as queen and Zidane deeply depressed by this. After a few cute scenes, especially the love letter mix-up that is trying to pair off Beatrix and Steiner, the crew minus Dagger decides to head to Treno to get out of the royal realm for a bit. Here we are forced to suffer through a few rounds of Tetra Master (Triple Triad for life!) to progress the story, which I begrudgingly did. After a few reloads to actually win the championship with a horrible set of cards, Eiko comes running back to let us know there's trouble brewing in Alexandria. Here, Kuja attacks again with the goal of capturing the city's castle, the eidolon Alexander. He's thwarted by a mysterious figure named Garland, but things still end up going badly and the area is destroyed, but not before Zidane can rush in at the last minute to save Dagger from falling. That's where things ended this week.
Final Fantasy IX is so odd for me, because I love so much about it, but at the same time it never really pulls me forward in a way that makes me want to play it in long bursts. The game has everything I love, especially the split party focus where characters juggle around, but I just can't seem to marathon it. While I hadn't planned for this to be as long of a slow play as it has become, I at least wanted to share why.