Weekly Famitsu in its recent issue talked about the world of Final Fantasy IX. Here is a summary of what was revealed about Kingdom of Alexandria, an important center in FF9's world.
Firstly, a hat shop was revealed. Will hats be part of the equipment list? Or will they be for a more - glamorous - affair? In a similar vein there is a florist, perhaps reminiscent of Aeris from FF7? Naturally, there is also a weapons and armor store, as well as an inn with a restaurant. Apart from the usual array of shops, Final Fantasy IX features a ticketbooth. Once engaged in a coversation with the ticketseller, there will be options on what to say, such as "What play are you showing today?" Undoubtedly, this is where you buy the ticket for the plays staged on the Primavista, the theater airship.
Alexandria also has its share of minigames. If you talk to a girl on the street, she asks, "You want to play?" Answer "Yes", and Vivi will start to play. This is a skipping minigame. As Vivi jumps, they will be counted. One can assume that you will be awarded something after beating that minigame. Whether this is an item or such is unknown, but it is interesting how minigames will be incorporated into the game. Sakaguchi has already mentioned that there will be many minigames in FF9, and this is just one of those. Even if they do not have an important part in the story, it makes a good break from the action. As any good RPG player knows, it is best to talk to everyone even if they do not seem important.
An important part of the kingdom is the Castle, and this is situated in the northern parts of the town. This is where the princess character, Garnet, lives. Garnet, however, becomes tired of day-to-day life in the castle, and decides to escape.
Sometimes when characters walk around, an exclamation mark appears above their heads. This means that they have found something. Whether it be an item on the ground, a sign on the street, or a switch to press, it makes the game more user-friendly, as it is sometimes difficult to see where things are just by looking at the screen. It can also be guessed that secret items will be found this way. Wandering aimlessly has never been more important!
Sakaguchi has said, "I want players to thoroughly explore each place", and this shows. Just as he has said, you will find things in the most unthought of places. If one examines near the door of a house, for example, he will find a letter. This may lead to more interesting events. Furthermore, in one scene, Vivi enters a house and sees an old lady hide some money. After investigating the spot, an exclamation mark appears and he finds 9 Gil.
In FF9, there will be cards found in all sorts of places. Whether this is an extensive card game like in FF8 is unknown, but it is known that there are many of them.
Although there seems to be a lot of mention of Vivi, this does not necessarily mean that he is the main character. In FF9, there is no single main character like Cloud or Squall. The character you control on the screen depends on the scene or where you are in the story. But we can assume that the player will be controlling the following characters in the beginning of the game: Garnet, the princess; Steiner, the knight; Vivi, the black mage; and Zidane, the bandit.
Final Fantasy IX is gearing up to be one of the most anticipated of games, with information now starting to trickle out. RPGamer will be there to report everything about the latest Final Fantasy.