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\'Final Fantasy IX\' tells the story of Zidane, the member of a team of theater actors who also happen to be a gang of thieves, and Garnet, the princess of Alexandria. Zidane and his friends first plan to kidnap Garnet from her mother\'s palace. But shortly after the kidnapping, they realize the queen of Alexandria is up to something evil.

Story

It is nearly impossible to tell about the story without giving out a spoiler. The game is supposed to be reminiscent of the SNES Final Fantasy games. So the story goes rather slow until about the end of the 2nd disc. However, the story is incredibly moving and well thought out. Once you can overlook the fact that the \'crystal\' the tag line does not appear until the end (and even then, it\'s purpose isn\'t completely explained), and that the final boss isn\'t mentioned at all in the game, it is quite possibly the best FF game for the first Playstation. The character development is good as well, Zidane, goes from lecherous thief to a quite likable protagonist, just as Garnet and Vivi. 18/20

Gameplay

You don\'t fix what isn\'t broken, I suppose. The only differences in gameplay separating this from most other PSI era RPG\'s is the fact you can use 3 members in a battle instead of 2, and your powers are acquired through weapons and armor. If you use the weapon(s) and armor enough, you can learn the power it has to offer and get a new weapon, if you so desire. If you attack often, eventually a \'Trance\' meter will fill up. Unlocking, temporarily mind you, special powers and extra strength. It is quite fun. The only complaint I have is that near the end, Garnet casts spells and summons randomly. Meaning, if you tell her to do one of the before mentioned, chances are she won\'t do it. The excuse? \'Garnet can\'t concentrate!\' 17/20

Sound

Even on 4 discs, there was too much content to include voice-overs, much to my relief. Battle sounds are typical \'Hack Slash Hack\' sounds, but I don\'t recall being annoyed by them. The music on this game is wonderful, in my opinion. \'Melodies of Life\' suits the game nicely, and is very beautiful. The battle music isn\'t exactly noticeable, but still nice. I believe I will be the first to admit I died on purpose several times to hear a certain villains\' theme music. 8/10

Graphics

As mentioned before, the game is based of the old FF games, so the color is somewhat washed out, but the character models, pre-rendered backgrounds, etc. are nice themselves. The Full Motion Videos (FMV\'s) look like some sort of 3D anime so, being an anime fan/collector, I found them fun to watch. 8/10

Content

You can cast spells, summon up monsters (and gods), drink beer and the like, but this is true with most RPG\'s. Zidane, is a bit of a pervert in the beginning, but not much is ever made of it. In a certain part of the world, people can be found praying to a sandstorm. Eiko and Garnet pray to their ancestors, something I found a bit disturbing. A group of people talk of going down \'The Path of Souls\' when you die, and other such nonsense. In an important plot point, Cid talks of his wife leaving him after he had an affair. At one point, everyone in your party, except Zidane, passes out. And after they wake up, one of the members accuses Zidane of erm?\'touching\' Garnet. In a strange sequence, Zidane and Vivi urinate on the side of Eiko\'s house. We don\'t see anything, but it is an embarrassing scene. Zidane is a thief, but the enemy you steal from is going to die anyway, so does it really matter? There is mild innuendo, but nothing horrible. There are some mild references to demons, like a piece of armor called \'Demon Mail\' You can battle an optional boss called \'Hades\', but now I\'m being nitpicky. There is swearing, about PG-13 level, nothing horrible, but not so good for the kids.

Violence 7/10 Language 6/10 Sexual Content 8/10 Occult/Supernatural 6.5/10 Cultural/ Moral/ Ethical 7.5/10

Overall

This is a wonderful game if you have the time to play it, and it is very cheap now. However I wouldn\'t recommend it to young kids for some confusing false religion and innuendo. As I said before, this is possibly the best game for the PS1. So if you are over 12 or so, I recommend it highly. As a game: 41/50 According to the CCGR rules: 36.5

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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