The PlayStation had a heck of an RPG history, and Final Fantasy 9 was a royal send-off. Sony's upstart system practically groans under the strain of everything Final Fantasy 9 throws at it, including tons of pre-rendered cutscenes. Seriously, Final Fantasy 9 has a lot of cutscenes, and most of them are great. They're even better than you remember now thanks to a little 4K upgrade magic.
Beyond Midgar, a YouTube channel that upscales and otherwise edits videos related to Final Fantasy, posted a collection of Final Fantasy 9's Disc 1 cutscenes, all upgraded to 4K. That's nearly 15 minutes of footage overall, from the opening storm scene to the villain Kuja flying away on his silver dragon at the end of the disc. The upgrade looks great, but it still doesn't answer one long-lived question: Are those Vivi's coattails we see at the 13-minute mark, or is it just his bare butt hanging out?
I'm team coattails. Vivi is unfailingly pure and good despite the trials and tribulations he goes through in Final Fantasy 9. Let him have his dignity.
Final Fantasy 9 received an injection of new life in 2017 when it was cleaned up for release on modern consoles. It got another boost after it hit the Switch earlier this year, which let Kuja spread the Gospel of Perfect Goth fingernails more efficiently than ever. It's at the top of many Final Fantasy fans' "Best Of" lists, and we keep learning new things about it all these years later. Did you know its character designs are inspired by the Gelflings from Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal?
I played Final Fantasy 9 for the first time when it came to PlayStation 4 in 2017. I chronicled my journey from start to finish.