Hey y’all. So now I’m playing Final Fantasy IX because I was getting depressed and bored playing XII on what was basically God Mode (see previous post before ridiculous hiatus).
Fucking Final Fantasy IX… My life and Final Fantasy IX — what we did, where we met, all those bitches we fucked… It seems so unimportant, but then, this is a blog! And now I will treat myself to writing down the history of my encounters with this most terribly traditional game.
It came out in 2000 — I had just finished my second year of college and was preparing to go to Japan on an exchange program. When I got to Japan, it was out and had completely passed me by. For those two semesters in Nagoya, my gaming consisted of a shitload of Crazy Taxi, Code Veronica, Sonic Adventure, and Space Channel 5 on the Dreamcast, the launch of the Gameboy Advance with Castlevania: Circle of the Moon and Nekketsu Dodgeball Fighters, and slight delvings into Pokemon and Mario Golf on the Gameboy Color. Oh yeah, and Pop’n Music Animelo. Fuck, did I play a lot of Pop’n Music that first year in Japan.
I remember seeing the game for sale in a convenience store of all places. That’s Japan for you — you can seriously buy brand new video games at a convenience store. I happened to see FFIX’s display box in a rotating bookshelf at a Circle K by Irinaka Station, to be precise about it. “Huh, damn — new Final Fantasy,” I thought. “Hope it’s out in the States when I get back.” And not only was it out, but my sister had already bought it, and it was just there at home, waiting for me. If it hadn’t been, there is a very good chance that I would have just forgotten about it altogether. I kind of had a lot of shit going on that summer.
The summer of 2001 was the one where I lived and died more than any other summer in my life. I can’t really go into it, but I’ll say that after many a long night of drinking, smoking, and basically killing braincells pinch by pinch by pinch, I would come home from the rollicking night at our nightly party pad (christened the “crack house” for reasons we may never know), go downstairs, sprawl out on the couch, and make tracks through Final Fantasy IX. It was a tradition that outlasted the summer itself, and when it was time to go back to school, I naturally took the Playstation with me.
But down in my old college town, where I was about to take on my last year as an undergrad, I all but forgot Final Fantasy IX and though I had made some incredible progress — all the way to the last area, I couldn’t bring myself to pick up the game again. The mood wasn’t right. It was as if the only way you could get me to pick up that Playstation controller would be to get me high with my friends and then drop me off in front of the TV. And since two of them had since moved out to California, it would have been quite a feat.
But one weekend, one of these friends that remained in our motherland came down to visit me in the college town where we played Smash, recorded music, and basically got stoned out of our gourds. The next morning, I woke up inexplicably early, and to make a long story short, finished Final Fantasy IX. A fine game, although the last boss didn’t make any sense to me. But I suppose that’s the price of hiatus.
And now, I am broken of two hiatii: this blog, and playing FFIX — I bought this Japanese copy first at a flea market on the day my English school had a company picnic in the park next to the fleagrounds. It was a sunny day and I got very drunk. Some dudes had FFIX lying out there on their carpet for like ¥200 or ¥400 or ¥500 or ¥900 or something ridiculous and I fucking had to buy it. Had to. Unfortunately, the second disc was scratched, and it was impossible to proceed through the Cleyra episode, so I stopped.
Then, months and months later, I found a copy of the game used with no cover or instruction book — just the naked discs in a 4-CD holder for ¥500 and I bought them, and started up again, only to stop when I… hmm… probably started playing some other fucking game. I’ma capricious fuck, all right — and my games suffer for it.
But I’m back — full swing — even made it to the third disc. I had forgotten how much non-fighting bullshit there is to start off the third disc. And a card game tournament, Jesus wept, it’s so fucking boring. And just as soon as I made it though all this shit and was about to start levelling again, I find that I have missed a missable subquest, and that it has basically cost me a Ribbon.
Don’t fund Stiltzkin the Moogle right before Alexandria gets her tits blown off? It means you can’t buy a Ribbon from him in Disc 4. That’s all it means. And those tits are gone, now, brother.
I have a save game file right before the end of Disc 2. I am seriously just killing time writing this shit now to avoid going back to it. I am very very not looking forward to doing the end of Disc 2 and the beginning (3/4ths for all I know) of Disc 3 again, but it is a fucking Ribbon we’re talking about. And mang, if you don’t know the significance of a Ribbon in Final Fantasy games, why are you the other person reading this blog?
Somebody get me high with my friends so’ze I can collect this Ribbon right.