Final Fantasy IX
|Final Fantasy IX|
Final Fantasy IX (ファイナルファンタジーIX Fainaru Fantajī Nain?) is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the PlayStation video game console. Originally released in 2000, it is the ninth title in the Final Fantasy series and last to debut on the original PlayStation console. In 2010, it was re-released as a PSone Classics title on the PlayStation Network. The game introduced new features to the series like the "Active Time Event", "Mognet", and a unique equipment and skill system.
Final Fantasy IX's plot at first centers on a war between nations in a medieval fantasy world called Gaia. Players follow bandit Zidane Tribal after the thief troupe to which he belongs is hired to kidnap Garnet Til Alexandros XVII, the princess of Alexandria. He goes on to team up with Garnet and a growing cast of characters on a quest to take down Queen Brahne of Alexandria, the one responsible for starting the war. The plot shifts, however, when it is revealed that Brahne was only working alongside a much more menacing threat, Kuja, who shares a mysterious history with Zidane spanning two worlds.
Final Fantasy IX was developed alongside Final Fantasy VIII, but took a different approach by returning to the more traditional style of the early Final Fantasy games. Consequently, Final Fantasy IX was influenced significantly by the original Final Fantasy game, and features allusions to other titles in the series. It was released to critical acclaim and holds the highest Metacritic score of all Final Fantasy installments. Final Fantasy IX was commercially successful, selling over five million units worldwide by March 2003. Ports for iOS and Android were released in February 2016, while a port for Microsoft Windows was released in April 2016.
In Final Fantasy IX, the player navigates a character throughout the game world, exploring areas and interacting with non-player characters. Most of the game occurs in towns and dungeons which are referred to as "field screens". To aid exploration on the field screen, Final Fantasy IX introduces the "field icon", an exclamation mark appearing over their lead character's head, signalling an item or sign is nearby. Players speak with moogles to record their progress, restore life energy with a tent and purchase items—a deviation from previous installments, which used a save point to perform these functions. Moogles may request the playable character deliver letters to other Moogles via Mognet, playable characters might also receive letters from non-playable characters.
Players journey between field screen locations on the world map, a three dimensional, downsized representation of Final Fantasy IX's world presented from a top-down perspective. Players can freely navigate around the world map screen unless restricted by terrain like bodies of water or mountain ranges. To overcome geographical limitations, players can ride chocobos, sail on a boat or pilot airships. Like previous Final Fantasy installments, travel across the world map screen and hostile field screen locations is interrupted by random enemy encounters.
Final Fantasy IX offers a new approach to town exploration with the introduction of Active Time Events (ATE). These allow the player to view events unfolding at different locations, providing character development, special items and prompts for key story-altering decisions. ATE are occasionally used to simultaneously control two teams when the party is divided to solve puzzles and navigate mazes.
Whenever the playable character encounters an enemy, the map changes to the "battle screen". On the battle screen, the enemy appears on the opposite side of the characters; each battle uses the familiar Active Time Battle system that was first featured in Final Fantasy IV. The character's command list is presented in a window opposite the ATB gauge list; while all characters can physically attack the enemy or use an item from the player's inventory, they also possess unique abilities. For example, the thief Zidane can steal items from the enemy, Eiko and Garnet can summon "eidolons" to aid the party and Vivi can use black magic to damage the opposition.
These character-specific commands change when the player goes into "Trance mode", which is activated for a short duration when an uncontrollable gauge fills as character sustains damage in a style similar to the Limit Breaks used in Final Fantasy VII. When the gauge is full, the character's strength is amplified, and the player can select special attack commands. Zidane's "Skill" command list, for example, changes to "Dyne", allowing him to execute powerful attacks; Vivi's "Black Magic" command evolves into "Double Black", allowing him to cast two magic spells simultaneously. Through the Configuration screen, the player can change the Battle Style from Normal to Custom, which allows two players to control any combination of characters during battle. However, two controllers must be plugged into the PlayStation.
A character's performance in battle is determined by numerical values ("statistics") for categories like speed, strength and magical power. Character statistics are driven by experience; when players win battles, they are awarded "experience points", which accumulate until characters gain "experience levels". When characters "level up", the statistics for their attributes permanently increase, which may also be amplified by the types of equipment the character is wearing. Winning battles also awards the player money (Gil), Tetra Master playing cards, items and ability points (AP).
Abilities and equipment
Final Fantasy IX deviates from the style of customisable characters featured in the last two titles by reviving the character class concept, which designates a character to a certain role in battle. For example, Vivi is designated as a black mage and is the only character who can use black magic, and Steiner is a knight and is the only character who can use sword skills.
The basic function of equipment in Final Fantasy games is to increase character attributes; arming Zidane with a Mythril Vest, for example, increases his base defense statistic. In Final Fantasy IX, weapons and armor include special character abilities, which the character may use when the item is equipped (permitting the ability matches their class). Once the character accumulates enough ability points in battle, the ability becomes usable without having to keep the item equipped. In addition to granting abilities the equipment in Final Fantasy IX determines the statistical growth of the characters at the time of level up. Armor not only raises base defense or evasion statistics but raises defense and/or other statistics at level up.
Abilities are classified into action and support categories. Action abilities consume magic points (MP) and include magic spells and special moves that are used in battle. Support abilities provide functions that remain in effect indefinitely and must be equipped with magic stones to be functional. The maximum number of these stones increases as the characters level up.
Tetra Master is a card-based minigame that can be initiated with various non-playable characters in the field. Players assemble a deck of five cards, which can be obtained via chests, given as a reward, or earned from fighting monsters. Each card has various arrows which point to the four sides and four corners of the card, and various stats that vary between cards, with rarer cards being more powerful. Players take it in turns to strategically place cards on a 4x4 playing grid based on the available directions. Battles can occur when players place a card next to another card, depending on where the player places it. If the defending card has no arrows whilst the attacking card has an arrow pointing towards it, that card is placed under the player's control. When two arrows meet with each other, the cards do battle based on their point values, with the losing card coming under the winning player's control, sometimes triggering combos that put multiple cards in the winner's control. After all cards are played, the winner is the player who has the most cards under their control, with a draw occurring if they have the same number of cards. The winning player may choose a card from their opponent's deck out of the ones they put under their control. If the winning player scores a perfect win however, in which all ten cards are put under their control, they will win all five cards from the opponent's deck.
Final Fantasy IX takes place primarily on the four continents of a world named Gaia. Most of Gaia's population reside on the Mist Continent, named so because the entire continent is blanketed in thick Mist. Lands outside the Mist Continent—the Outer, Lost and Forgotten continents—are uncharted territories not explored until midway through the game. Several locations on the parallel world of Terra and the dream land of Memoria round out the game's areas. The Mist Continent features four nations: Alexandria, Lindblum, Burmecia, and Cleyra. Alexandria is a kingdom to the northeast of the Mist Continent ruled by a monarchy located in Alexandria Castle. The technologically advanced Lindblum, ruled by a regent, is nestled on a plateau to the southwest where airships regularly fly by. The Kingdom of Burmecia, whose capital is showered by eternal rain is to the northwest and nearby to the isolated Cleyran civilisation, which is nestled in a giant tree in the desert, protected by a powerful sandstorm. Treno, a large, perpetually dark city, heavily populated by both aristocrats and paupers, is located on the southeast part of the continent. The Mist Continent is extremely mountainous resulting in a natural barrier between many of the ruling nations.
Gaia is inhabited by humans and various non-human races. Alexandria, Treno, and Lindblum are populated by a mix of humans and anthropomorphic animals. The Burmecians are anthropomorphic rats who value dance, thus accounting for their general aversion to footwear, and live in both Burmecia and Cleyra. The Cleyrans split from the Burmecians when the latter started to appreciate "the art of war". The dwarves are short humanoid creatures who appear as inhabitants of the village of Conde Petie on the Outer Continent. There is also a village of black mages that have gained self-awareness, who reside in the Outer Continent, as well. The Genomes, an artificial race of soulless vessels inhabit Terra; they will house the once-dormant Terran souls when Terra assimilates Gaia. Summoners are similar to other humans, but with a horn on their forehead. In the story, only two summoners remain (Garnet and Eiko); the others were exterminated when the Terran warship Invincible destroyed their homeland of Madain Sari. Lastly, the Qu are large, seemingly androgynous humanoids, who are recognised as fine gourmands. They inhabit marshlands throughout the world where they catch their main source of nutrition: frogs.
The eight main playable characters in Final Fantasy IX are Zidane Tribal, a member of a group of bandits called Tantalus masquerading as a theatre troupe; Garnet Til Alexandros XVII (alias Dagger), the Princess of Alexandria who has a strange connection to "Eidolons", Vivi Ornitier, a young, timid, and kind black mage trying to find the meaning of his existence; Adelbert Steiner, the Captain of the Knights of Pluto and loyal servant of Alexandria and Princess Garnet; Freya Crescent, a dragon knight from the city of Burmecia looking for her lost love; Quina Quen, a Qu whose master wants him/her to travel the world so that s/he will learn about cuisine; Eiko Carol, a six-year-old girl living in Madain Sari, the lost village of the eidolon summoners, and along with Garnet, one of the last two remaining summoners; and Amarant Coral, a bounty hunter hired to return Garnet to Alexandria. Other main characters include Regent Cid Fabool, the charismatic leader of Lindblum; Queen Brahne, Garnet's mother and the power-hungry Queen of Alexandria; General Beatrix, the powerful leader of the female knights of Alexandria; and antagonist Kuja, an arms dealer and enemy of Gaia. Other minor characters and groups also appear, such as Blank, Zidane's good friend and band partner, but their significance and back-stories are revealed as the game progresses.
Final Fantasy IX opens with Zidane and the Tantalus Theater Troupe attempting to kidnap Princess Garnet during her sixteenth birthday celebration in the city of Alexandria. Upon reaching her, they discover that Garnet, who is concerned about Queen Brahne's increasingly erratic behavior, had planned on escaping the city and is willing to be kidnapped, especially as their employer, Regent Cid of Lindblum, is who she wanted to run to.[q 1] During the escape from the city, the troupe is joined by Vivi, who is looking to explore, and Steiner, who decides to travel with Garnet for her protection rather than take her back against her will. After the group flees the city and its guards, their damaged airship crashes, and Zidane, Garnet, Vivi, and Steiner travel on together.[q 2] During their journey to Lindblum, Garnet takes the alias Dagger,[q 3] and the group discovers a factory in the village of Dali that is manufacturing soulless black mage soldiers that look similar to Vivi.
In Lindblum, the party meets with Cid, who explains that he hired the group to kidnap Garnet to get her away from Brahne, who also worries him. Upon learning that Alexandria has invaded the city-state of Burmecia, the party splits in two. Zidane, Vivi, and new joinee Freya investigate Burmecia, while Dagger and Steiner journey back to Alexandria to try to stop Brahne from starting a war.[q 4] Zidane's group finds that Burmecia has been conquered with help from a man named Kuja, and refugees have fled to the nearby city of Cleyra. They rush to Cleyra to defend it from the encroaching forces. Dagger, meanwhile, is ignored and captured by Brahne, who extracts powerful magical weapons called eidolons from her.[q 5] Brahne proceeds to use one to destroy Cleyra. Zidane and company escaped the city on Brahne's airship and rescue Garnet, but while they do so Brahne attacks Lindblum with another eidolon.[q 6]
Cid informs the group, when they reach Lindblum, that Kuja is Brahne's arms dealer.[q 7] Believing him to be from one of the other continents, normally inaccessible by airship, the party travels through a tunnel with Quina to the Outer Continent.[q 8] There they meet Eiko, discover a village of black mages, and find the Iifa Tree, which produces a fighting-stimulant called Mist. They learn that Kuja uses Mist to create the Black Mages, and Vivi was a prototype.[q 9] After stopping the Mist creation, the group meets Amarant, hired by Brahne to capture Garnet, who joins them instead. They also learn that Garnet is originally from the same destroyed village as Eiko, and has the power to summon eidolons, which was the reason she was adopted by Brahne. Brahne and Kuja then reach the Iifa Tree, but Brahne attempts to kill him with an eidolon; Kuja instead takes control over it and destroys her and her army instead.[q 10][q 11]
The party returns to Alexandria to install Garnet as queen, but are assaulted at her coronation by Kuja.[q 12] Garnet and Eiko summon an eidolon to combat Kuja's; when Kuja tries to take control of their eidolon, he is stopped by an old man named Garland, who then uses Kuja's ship to destroy Garnet's eidolon and damage the city.[q 13] Kuja flees with the intent to fight Garland for power.[q 14] Seeking to stop both of them, the party gets an experimental airship from Cid that runs on steam rather than Mist, which will allow them to journey to the other continents. Chasing Kuja, they find a portal to the parallel world of Terra; there they discover that Terra is dying, and its people created Garland to orchestrate merging the two worlds. Garland in turn created Genomes, self-aware soulless beings which would be taken over by Terran souls after the merging.[q 15] The Iifa Tree serves to block Gaian souls from leaving Gaia but letting Terran souls in to be reborn into the Genomes, with the Gaian souls transformed into the Mist.[q 16][q 17] Kuja and Zidane are Genomes, and Kuja turned against Garland to avoid being taken over at the conclusion of the plan.[q 18] Kuja kills Garland with his newly gained powers, then destroys Terra as the party flees to Gaia with the Genomes.
At the Iifa tree, the party defeats Kuja, preventing him from destroying Gaia as well. The fight, so near what they find to be the Crystal, the source of life,[q 19] summons Necron, a force of annihilation.[q 20] Its defeat destroys the Tree; the party flees, while Zidane stays behind to rescue Kuja.[q 21] In the epilogue one year later, the fates of all of the characters are shown, and Zidane reappears in Alexandria to see Queen Garnet.[q 22]
Development of Final Fantasy IX began before Square had finished development on Final Fantasy VIII. The game was developed in Hawaii as a compromise to developers living in the United States. As the series' last game on the PlayStation, Sakaguchi envisioned a "reflection" on the older titles of the series. Leading up to its release, Sakaguchi called Final Fantasy IX his favorite Final Fantasy game as "it's closest to [his] ideal view of what Final Fantasy should be". This shift was also a response to demands from fans and other developers. Additionally, the team wanted to create an understandable story with deep character development; this led to the creation of Active Time Events. The scenario for the game was written by Sakaguchi. He began early planning on it around July 1998. Director Hiroyuki Ito had the idea to make the protagonist Zidane flirtatious towards women.
In the game's conceptual stage, the developers made it clear that the title would not necessarily be Final Fantasy IX, as its break from the realism of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII may have alienated audiences. This led fans to speculate that it would be released as a "gaiden" (side story) to the main series. By late 1999, however, Square had confirmed that the game would indeed be published as Final Fantasy IX, and by early 2000, the game was nearly finished. The developers made several adjustments to the game, such as changing the ending seven times. Director Ito had designed the battle system used in the game.
The game's developers sought to make the game's environment more "fantasy-oriented" than its PlayStation predecessors. Since the creators wanted to prevent the series from following a redundant setting, Final Fantasy IX distinctly breaks from the futuristic styles of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII by reintroducing a medieval setting. In the game, steam technology is just beginning to become widely available; the population relies on hydropower or wind power for energy sources, but sometimes harness Mist or steam to power more advanced engines. Continuing with the medieval theme, the game's setting is inspired by Norse and Northern European mythology. According to Ito, "[The development team is] attracted to European history and mythology because of its depth and its drama". The main Final Fantasy IX website says the development of the game's world serves as a culmination of the series by blending the "successful elements of the past, such as a return to the fantasy roots," with newer elements. The creators made the characters a high priority. The return to the series' roots also affected the characters' designs, which resulted in characters with "comic-like looks". Composer Nobuo Uematsu commented that the design staff attempted to give the characters realism while still appearing comic-like. To accomplish this, and to satisfy fans who had become used to the realistic designs of Final Fantasy VIII, the designers stressed creating characters with whom the player could easily relate.
The music of Final Fantasy IX was written by series regular Nobuo Uematsu, with the title being his last exclusive Final Fantasy score until the release of Final Fantasy XIV in 2010. In discussions with game director Hiroyuki Ito, Uematsu was told "It'd be fine if you compose tracks for the eight characters, an exciting battle track, a gloomy, danger-evoking piece, and around ten other tracks." However, Uematsu spent an estimated year composing and producing "around 160" pieces for Final Fantasy IX, with 140 appearing in the game.
Uematsu composed with a piano and used two contrasting methods: "I create music that fits the events in the game, but sometimes, the event designer will adjust a game event to fit the music I've already written." Uematsu felt Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII had a mood of realism, but Final Fantasy IX was fantasy, so "a serious piece with silly, fun pieces could fit in." He felt the theme was medieval music, and was given a break to travel in Europe for inspiration—"looking at old castles in Germany and so on". The music was not entirely composed in the medieval mode; Uematsu claims "it would be unbalanced" and "a little boring". He aimed for a "simple, warm" style and included uncommon instruments like the kazoo and dulcimer. Uematsu also included motifs from older Final Fantasy games "because Final Fantasy IX was returning to the roots, so to speak" and incorporated ideas like "the old intro for battle music" and arranged the Volcano theme from Final Fantasy and the Pandemonium theme from Final Fantasy II. Tantalus' band is also heard playing "Rufus' Welcoming Ceremony" from Final Fantasy VII near the beginning of the game.
Uematsu was twice reported claiming without hesitation that Final Fantasy IX was his favorite score. "Melodies of Life" is the theme song of Final Fantasy IX, and consists primarily of two themes that were frequently used in the game itself, the overworld theme, and a lullaby that is sung by Dagger. It was performed by Emiko Shiratori in both the Japanese and English versions and arranged by Shirō Hamaguchi.
Final Fantasy IX's release was delayed to avoid a concurrent release with then rival Enix's Dragon Quest VII. On October 7, 2000, a demo day for the North American version of Final Fantasy IX was held at the Metreon in San Francisco, California. The first American release of the game was also at the Metreon; limited edition merchandise was included with the game, and fans cosplayed as Final Fantasy characters in celebration of the release. In Canada, a production error left copies of Final Fantasy IX without an English version of the instruction manual, prompting Square to ship copies of the English manual to Canadian stores several days later.
The game was heavily promoted both before and after its release. Starting on March 6, 2000, Final Fantasy IX characters were used in a line of computer-generated Coca-Cola commercials. Figurines of several characters were also used as prizes in Coca-Cola's marketing campaign. That same year, IGN awarded Final Fantasy dolls and figurines for prizes in several of their contests.
Final Fantasy IX was also the benchmark of Square's interactive PlayOnline service. PlayOnline was originally developed to interact with Final Fantasy X, but when those plans fell through it became a strategy site for Final Fantasy IX. The site was designed to complement BradyGames' and Piggyback Interactive's official strategy guides for the game, where players who bought the print guide had access to "keywords" that could be searched for on PlayOnline's site for extra tips and information. This caused fury among buyers of the guide, as they felt cheated for the expensive print guide. The blunder made GameSpy's "Top 5 Dumbest Moments in Gaming" list, and Square dropped the idea for Final Fantasy X, which was under development at the time.
On December 18, 2012, the game was re-released as part of the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Ultimate Box Japanese package. On February 10, 2016, ports for iOS and Android were released. A port for Microsoft Windows was released on April 14, 2016.
Final Fantasy IX sold over 2.65 million copies in Japan by the end of 2000, making it the second-highest selling game of the year there. Although it was a top-seller in Japan and America, Final Fantasy IX did not sell as well as Final Fantasy VII or Final Fantasy VIII in either Japan or the United States. As of March 31, 2003, the game had sold 5.30 million copies worldwide. The game was voted the 24th-best game of all time by readers of the Japanese magazine Famitsu.
Final Fantasy IX was released to critical acclaim both in Japan and the US. On the review aggregator Metacritic it has achieved a score of 94%, the highest score for a Final Fantasy game on the site. On GameRankings it has received a score of 93%, the second highest of any Final Fantasy title, behind Final Fantasy VI for the Super NES.
Across the reviews, praise was given to the graphics and nostalgic elements. Critics pointed out the strength of the game within its gameplay, character development, and visual representation. GameSpot noted that the learning curve is easily grasped, and that the ability system is not as complex as in Final Fantasy VII or Final Fantasy VIII. Each player character possesses unique abilities, which hinders the development of an over-powered character. GameSpot describes the battle system as having a tactical nature and notes that the expanded party allows for more interaction between players and between enemies. Nevertheless, IGN disliked the lengthy combat pace and the repeated battles, describing it as "aggravating", and RPGFan felt the Trance system to be ineffective as the meter buildup is slow and unpredictable, with characters Trancing just before the enemy is killed.
The characters and graphics received positive reviews. Although IGN felt that the in-depth character traits in Final Fantasy IX could be generally found in other Final Fantasy games, it still found the characters to be engaging and sympathetic. GameSpot found the characters, up to their dialogue and traits, amusing and full of humor. IGN also noted that the Active Time Event system helps to expand the player's understanding of the characters' personalities as they question many ideas and emotions. Their semi-deformed appearance, which also covers monsters of every size, contain detailed animation and design. They gave praise to the pre-rendered backgrounds, noting the careful attention given to the artwork, movement in animations and character interactivity. The movies are seen as emotive and compelling, and the seamless transition and incorporation to the in-game graphics helped to move the plot well.
Critics acknowledged that the overall storyline was mainly built upon elements found in previous Final Fantasy installments, such as evil empires and enigmatic villains. The main villain, although considered by GameSpot to be the least threatening in the series, was seen by IGN as an impeccable combination of "Kefka's cackling villainy" and "plenty of the bishonenosity that made Sephiroth such a hit with the ladies". Mixed reactions were given to the audio aspects of the game. Some reviewers, such as RPGFan felt that the music was "uninspired and dull" whilst GamePro praised the audio for evoking "emotions throughout the story, from battles to heartbreak to comedy". Some criticism was leveled on composer Nobuo Uematsu who reused some tracks from past iterations of the series. Still, reviewers have come to agree that this and many other elements are part of the overall effort to create a nostalgic title for fans of the older Final Fantasy titles.
The strategy guide also received criticism; it urged buyers to log onto an online site to gain the information, instead of providing it within the actual guide. The book's given links are no longer accessible on the PlayOnline website. Tetra Master was seen by GameSpot as inferior and confusing compared to Final Fantasy VIII's minigame Triple Triad, as the rules for it were only vaguely explained in the game and there were very few rewards earned from playing it despite its expansive nature.
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Toshiyuki Itahana: Je ne suis pas sûr, car le scénario a été écrit par Hironobu Sakaguchi / I am not sure because the scenario was written by Hironobu Sakaguchi
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- Garnet: I am actually... Princess Garnet til Alexandros, heir to the throne of Alexandria. I have a favour I wish to ask of you... I wish to be kidnapped...right away.
- Baku: So, you're leaving, eh? / Zidane: Yeah...I promised Garnet I'd kidnap her.
- Garnet: I will be called Dagger from now on.
- Dagger: I have to help Mother... I don't want to see anything happen to her... / Steiner: Very well. Princess, I will follow you wherever you choose.
- Queen Brahne: Zorn, Thorn! Prepare to extract the eidolons from Garnet.
- Minister Artania: Yes, Princess. The castle was spared. Regent Cid is alive.
- Regent Cid: I believe Kuja is the only one supplying <gwok> Brahne with weapons.
- Minister Artania: That he came from the north suggests he's from the Outer Continent.
- Zidane: What kind of weapons did Kuja make? / Soulcage: Kuja called them black mages, dark spawn of the Mist.
- Queen Brahne: Kuja! So you finally decided to show your girly face here! You're all that stands between me and total domination!
- Kuja: Excellent, Bahamut! Power, mobility... You truly are the best! You even hurt me...a little. And you, Brahne... Your tragic role in this drama now comes to an end!
- Kuja: What an auspicious day for Alexandria. Dagger's accession to the throne has brought hope and peace to this kingdom. The people are overjoyed; they believe a wonderful future is ahead of them. ...But the celebration isn't over yet. It's time to really light things up! Your former master is here, Bahamut. Play a requiem for her and all of Alexandria!
- Garland: You have gone too far, Kuja. I granted you the freedom to do as you wish in Gaia for one purpose alone. Now that you have lost sight of your mission, I will no longer tolerate your actions.
- Kuja: I need an eidolon more powerful than Alexander! An eidolon with the power to bury Garland! His powers are so incredible; I cannot even come close. I must destroy him before Terra's plan is activated, or my soul will no longer be my own!
- Garland: I constructed the Genomes to be vessels for the souls of the people of Terra when they awaken.
- Garland: the Iifa Tree blocks the flow of Gaia's souls, while it lets those of Terra flow freely.
- Garland: The role of the Iifa Tree is that of Soul Divider. The Mist you see comprises the stagnant souls of Gaia...
- Zidane: So...Kuja is just an angel of death who sends souls to the Tree of Iifa. / Garland: Yes, my angel of death. But only until you came of age.
- Kuja: It's the original crystal... This is where it all began... The birthplace of all things... Once I destroy it, everything will be gone. Gaia, Terra, the universe, everything...
- Necron: I exist for one purpose... To return everything back to the zero world, where there is no life and no crystal to give life.
- Zidane: ...Kuja's still alive. I can't just leave him.
- Robed performer: I beseech thee, wondrous moonlight, grant me my only wish! [removes robe, revealing himself as - ] Zidane: Bring my beloved Dagger to me!