Dev Game Club 012: Final Fantasy IX (part 2)

In this second episode discussing Final Fantasy IX, Tim believes he has fallen into an alternate reality where a whole different RPG genre has flourished (also known as: actual reality). Much of our discussion turns on the themes of the story and also turning to the tactical battles. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
From first battle with Beatrix to Black Mage Village

Podcast breakdown:
0:30      Intro
3:20      Segment 1: game play discussion
33:56    Break 1
34:15     Segment 2: themes and story
1:15:08   Break 2
1:15:28   Next time/outro

Issues covered: In Memoriam Clarence Johnson, overlevelling and grinding, min/maxing, JRPG vocabulary vs Western RPGs, unskippable cutscenes summoning Eidolons in FF VIII, Active Time Battling and tactics, auto battles, inventory management, how big is this game, merging of multiple modes of play, one-off moments ("taking time to dance"), economy and personality of emotes, Noh and Kabuki and paper/shadow puppets (abstraction), darker undertones, taking over the world with Eidolons, anime character focus, Cleyra design and the merging of ideas, culture shock, leveling as player choice points, Chocobo forest, overworld aging, proscenium and theater, the music, Shakespearean ties, density of stories, power and corruption, "voiceover," determining primacy of storylines, Quina's special ability and trance, "hot" culture vs "cool" culture, localization and translation challenges, Hollywood sources, slavery and duty, Beatrix changing sides and a taste of power, choosing your equipment, arithmancy and prime numbers, the ecosystem of numbers, Detect, content variety (battle arenas) and art requirements, genres growing up over time on different hardware (and format/tradition), 25-way rock-paper-scissors.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Andrew Kirmse, Starfighter, Clarence Johnson,, Secret Level/Sega, Golden Axe, Iron Man, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy XIII, Skyrim, The Witcher series, Hitman 2, Miyazaki, Disney, Ni No Kuni, Akira, Tolkien, Shakespeare, Frozen, Tetsuya Nomura, Hamlet, Justin Bieber, Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Metal Gear series, Elite Beat Agents/Osu Tatakae Ouendan, Suda 51, No More Heroes, Deadly Premonition, Swery65, Hideo Kojima, Fallout series, Indiana Jones, Final Fantasy Tactics, Dark Cloud, Wild Arms 3, Dragon Quest VIII

Next time:
Play up through Mt Gulug!

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub