Sakaguchi’s Notes About Final Fantasy IX’s Opening Highlight Cuts And Differences

By Spencer . November 28, 2010 . 4:25pm

Digging through old hard drive backups, Hironobu Sakaguchi posted development notes about Final Fantasy IX online.


This memo appears to be quite early in the game’s development cycle since Zidane’s thief buddies, Cinna, and Marcus, aren’t named yet. The document details the scene with Vivi and the rat boy explaining that Vivi is "the type to listen to everything his juvenile boss says. He is introversive, quiet, obedient, indecisive, pure in heart and kind."


Sakaguchi also has specific notes for the theater fight like giving players extraordinary magic to use. This is probably the "SFX" command during Zidane and King Leo have access to during the battle.



It’s interesting to see how Final Fantasy IX changed. The early plan mentions the fight with Steiner where Oglops freak him out was supposed to be a movie. It’s playable in the final build. Also, the battle where Vivi, Zidane, and Dagger take on Steiner and two Pluto Knights is different. The original plan was to have Zidane trap Steiner in a pincer attack where he would retort, "Darn it. Attacking from both sides, that’s a coward act!" Instead, the battle is just a regular fight with the SFX command in Final Fantasy IX.


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  • Testsubject909

    “The early plan mentions the fight with Steiner where Oglops freak him out was supposed to be a movie. It’s playable in the final build.”

    Excellent. Absolutely excellent. The more control you provide to the player while being able to remain true to your original plans, the better the result becomes.

    One need not sacrifice their story for gameplay or vice versa, and it saddens me ever more so to know that Sakaguchi is no longer with Squaresoft… And saddens me even more that Squaresoft no longer exist.

    And reminds me that there’s a Last Story Wii Bundle coming up that’s a perfect excuse for me to finally get my grubby paws on a Wii (And the many other games that I’ve been wanting to get for it.)

    … At least, if I had the money for it… *sigh*

    • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

      I’m on the same battleship. The list of good Wii games has become so immense over these few years I can’t help but not want to buy one (despite my prejudices against the system itself).

      You can read Japanese or are you just that desperate? I pray the Last Story will make it over here (with the bundle)… alongside Tales of whachamaXilliat and Ni No Kuni.

      • Tales of Graces might never see a localized Wii release ’cause I’ve heard it was pretty buggy. Here’s hoping for Graces F though.

        • neocatzon

          I think Graces F might never get localized at all just like PS3 Vesperia. Our only hope for seeing Graces in english is (currently working) translation project by some obedient fans for Graces wii

        • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

          Yea I figured. I don’t think either Tales of Graces will make it over here though. From what I’ve noticed, here’s the general criteria for each Tales game’s chance at localization over the years:-1st Tales game on the system (few systems get more than 1 localized)-Console (rather than handheld; big budget needs to be recouped)-Precedent of selling well on the system-Not a port (1st version of the game)-3D (not sprite based)The more bullet points it has of the above, the more likely it will make it here. So I think the next Tales on the PS3 has a better chance than the other 2.

          EDIT: 1 and 3 are contradictory, 1 like a better indicator because 3 never happens.

  • malek86

    Sakaguchi should try digging on his old hard drive some more, and see if he can find anything about how the fourth disc was originally supposed to play out. Because the final version definitely didn’t make any sense.

    Then again, plots were never FF’s strong suit.

  • cmurph666

    He find anything on the third Chrono game, Chrono Break that never came out~?!

    • Testsubject909

      He should make a spiritual successor to the Chrono series… Seriously, they’d sell like hotcakes made out of minecraft.

      • Aoshi00

        I thought Blue Dragon was a bit of that, but the story kind of missed the mark because he just wanted to do a lighthearted adventure instead of an epic one (the scale of the world was big, but I was expecting a Chrono Trigger spiritual successor at the time so I was a bit disappointed even though the game was fun). Well, at least we have Last Story instead of FF13/14 :)

        • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

          Do we though? Have Last Story I mean? Before you say yes think of us poor children who can’t read Japanese! *shake fist of jealousy*

          • Aoshi00

            lol.. but knowing Jpn ultimately makes me spend more, much more *.*.. I hope so, it would be a travesty to have the mediocre FF13 and not this. Nintendo could advertise this like “from the creator of Final Fantasy” if that phrase still means anything… at least we could all hear Uematsu’s beautiful soundtrack, that’s universal :)

          • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

            Oh I see, well rich people spend much, much more than poor people. *sneer sneer* >:) Nah I know. I have a backlog anyway… *sniffle*

            My decision to get a Wii pretty much sits on Nintendo’s localization decision. There are other games I want to play for it, but none as badly as this one. I have much more faith for The Last Story being good than I have for Versus.

          • Aoshi00

            Nah, I’m not rich at all.. I’m just not frugal, I know I should be… huge backlog here too, technically I should stop buying games for the next 2 yrs and just enjoy what I have alrdy..

            Man, you should’ve gotten a Wii though (or a 360, a 4Gb was only $200 w/ $60 credit!), nothing better than Thanksgiving console deals, a red Wii w/ NSMB Wii and motion plus remote would’ve run you only $150, it has a good library (I’m not a fan of the Wii either) even if Last Story’s localization is not certain at this point.

            Same here, I definitely have more faith in Last Story, Sakaguchi keeps saying he gave it his best makes me even more confident (from Iwata asks, it sounds like he was being pretty tough on Uematsu), Versus is a big question mark given the last 4 FFs.. and it’d be probably another 2 yrs before it hits the US if we’re lucky…

      • fallen

        CT Sequel – Yuji Horii = not CT, IMO. One of the many reasons CC was a disappointment to me.

  • Best FF of all

    • BadenBadenPrinny


  • SneakyHawk

    Now I really want to play/finish FF9…but Disc 3 doesn’t work. D:

    • Aoshi00

      Come on, it’s just $9.99 on PSN, definitely worth buying again even if you have the old PSX game somewhere.. I’m looking forward to playing FF 7-9 again on my PSP Go :)

      • Arcm

        Replaying FF 7, 9, and Grandia recently on the psp has been amazing since, it’s been so long since I played them. All, square enix and Konami need to do is release Xenogears and Suikoden 2 on PSN and I’ll replay them too.

        Although, if I wasn’t so lazy I would just go and dig out my original copies from the closet and not spend money….. nah I love playing them on the go.

        • Aoshi00

          I never thought about Xenogears because I alrdy got it from Jpn PSN. I think we should get them on the US PSN eventually, just a matter of time. Yea, I’d just replay 7 & 9 mostly, maybe a little bit of 8 (not my fav). I still think $10 is great to play these classics on your PS3 or PSP w/o needing to dig out the multiple-disc copies, plus they look better on the small screen too, especially on the narrower PSP Go screen I think (too bad its battery life sucks I heard)..

        • gatotsu911

          Don’t forget Vagrant Story. And Chrono Cross.

  • [The Hunter] Doomrider

    Such nostalgia, wow.I remember using SFX over and over in the in the “I want to be your Canary” battle, just to listen to the battle music. Uematsu at his best. The “You are not alone” segment was also extremely well done, really memorable. And again, beautiful music. Sakaguchi & Uematsu Dream Team <3Fond memories of this one! I’m gonna go hug my copy now, excuse me.

    • leeorv

      “You are not alone” is definitely one of my favorite FF tunes of all times, along with “Laguna’s Battle Theme” and “FF7 Boss Battle”

  • This just reminded me that I need to find that Battle Theme…Hopefully it’s in Duodecim by default; I know I’d use it on Prima Vista EVERYtime. FFIX is just too sweet; oddly enough, this info came out about 2 weeks after I started replaying FFIX again. Nothing wrong with a little FFIX love for a change (As opposed to FF7).

    “[MOVIE] 4: Close up of Princess Garnet
    Close up of her breasts. View of her breasts inside the clothes (a little). Also a view of her pendant of royalty….”

    Oh Sakagoochi. So it WAS intentional! I love how the pendant is put as an afterthought to her breasts ;P


    “She rushes away from the hallway. Two stare at each other.
    Zidane: “Hey, was that..”
    Thief: “Her breasts look comfortable..”
    Zidane: “No, no, she was wearing the pendant of the summons permitted by only royalty.”
    Thief: “I fell in Love at first sight..”
    Zidane: “Deep blue stone… “The Legend of Leviathan”, was it Princess Garnet?”
    Thief: “What are you talking about?”
    Zidane: “Never mind, change of plan, let’s follow after her”.
    Theif put the bag with Oglops back in his stomach, and begin to run behind Zidane.”

    Ah Blank. I guess during production, they switched Blank and Zidane’s personalities. I guess it’d be weird to be a wannabe playa when you can’t even see past the BELT OVER YOUR EYES!

    • Aoshi00

      I prefer Queen Ming’s royal crest on her chest :) There was another scene that was even funnier, the guards and Jansen were staring at the mark (ooh, shiny..) authenticating her identity but I can’t find that on youtube…@1:38

      Garnet/Dagger is nice too..

  • This makes me want to finsh FF9…but im too lazy to finsh the last disc :/ heck im not even done with FF8 disc one lol i should start working on that…

    • thaKingRocka

      abandon 8. just play 9.

  • My favorite Final Fantasy out of all of them. It was such a magical and wonderful ride to go through….

  • joesz

    I finished FF9 5 times.
    And I think I’m going to finish it next year as well.
    playing anniversary?

  • I never thought of FFIX as a favourite, yet it’s a game I keep coming back to. The world and the music are really magical.

  • AaqibRawat

    why cant the new final fantasy games borrow ideas from this one ?

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