With only six short weeks until Final Fantasy IX's Japanese launch, more game details have emerged. The game will feature mini-games galore, although most of these are still unknown. One mini-game that has been announced, however, is a version of Final Fantasy VIII's popular "Triple Triad" card game, which will feature a new set of rules and a new look.
One of the new exploration features in Final Fantasy IX is best described as a cross between Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time's "Stone of Agony" rumble feature and Metal Gear Solid's surprised guards. If a hidden item is located nearby, an exclamation point will appear above the player's head. This new item alertion system will definitely bring a new level of ease to treasure hunting.
The ability system of Final Fantasy IX will combine some of the most popular aspects of previous ability systems from the series while adding several new features. Characters can use new abilities while certain weapons, armor, or accessories are equipped, and after gaining so much experience, the ability will be mastered for permanent use. A unique aspect of this equipment-based ability system is the fact that it may affect different characters in different ways. For example, equipping an iron shield may give one character a summon ability, while giving a different character the ability to cast ice magic.
Final Fantasy IX is looking more intriguing than ever, and importers and Japanese gamers alike are surely in for a treat when the game hits Japan on July 7. As the release approaches, count on RPGamer to bring you all of the new details on this highly anticipated title from Square.