The lost art of Final Fantasy IX (Mama Robotnik Research Thread)

DiipuSurotu

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This thread is amazing.

I'm actually in the process of doing something similar for FORTRESS, the scrapped Western FFXII sequel that was in development by Grin. Lots of cool stuff too although obviously the game was far from the full production phase.

What blows me away is that westerners worked on FF9. I thought it was purely a Japanese endeavour.
FFIX was developed in the United States by a combination of the usual FF designers and American/European designers.

Cool, thanks! It'd be nice to know more about the development process. For example, we know that some original ideas on FFVII went to PE, something like that.
The way ideas went from projects to projects back then was really nice. Some of the ideas for Parasite Eve were originally from FFVII and Chrono Trigger. Some of the ideas for Chrono Trigger were originally from Secret of Mana. Actually, Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana were literally the same project at first, titled Maru Island.
 

AmanoBuff

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The way ideas went from projects to projects back then was really nice. Some of the ideas for Parasite Eve were originally from FFVII and Chrono Trigger. Some of the ideas for Chrono Trigger were originally from Secret of Mana. Actually, Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana were literally the same project at first, titled Maru Island.
I didn't knew that. Thanks for the lesson! ;)
 

Dunan

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Diipu, as a FFXII fanatic, I'm eagerly awaiting your findings on Fortress. If only that game had come to fruition...

And this is a pretty interesting screenshot:



Look carefully at that clock. It's 24 hours, and it appears to be Roman numerals, going in the opposite direction from how our clocks usually go.

I love little subtle details like this. In the final version of the game this must have been about 10 pixels wide.
 

neoism

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Hugs his FF 9 art book.... :D

This was the first game I played on my PS2.. it took me 2 months to beat it. I took my time and loved every minute... Loved this FF, and this art is magical.
 

Mama Robotnik

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Another bump for a discovery I accidentally made during my research for a completely different upcoming thread.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENbYVtrEKSM

This is from Final Fantasy IX artist Issun Kang, and shows some of the environments created for Final Fantasy IX's CG cutscenes rendered at 720p with fantastic clarity. A considerable amount of this detail was lost during the compression needed to get the CG working on the PSX.
 
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Another bump for a discovery I accidentally made during my research for a completely different upcoming thread.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENbYVtrEKSM

This is from Final Fantasy IX artist Issun Kang, and shows some of the environments created for Final Fantasy IX's CG cutscenes rendered at 720p with fantastic clarity. A considerable amount of this detail was lost during the compression needed to get the work onto the PSX.
That's really cool, but could you use it as 3D environments?
 

Skyfireblaze

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Well one of the best threads I have ever seen for my favorite Final Fanatasy :D Great work finding all this, you really should have a TV show or stream where you talk about all the lost things of games! It's a shame that this will probably never see a HD re-release, I would easily pay 50€ for it :/

So the PS1 fucked it all up.

shiet this looks amazing.
And that's what I was thinking too :(
 

DiipuSurotu

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Another bump for a discovery I accidentally made during my research for a completely different upcoming thread.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENbYVtrEKSM

This is from Final Fantasy IX artist Issun Kang, and shows some of the environments created for Final Fantasy IX's CG cutscenes rendered at 720p with fantastic clarity. A considerable amount of this detail was lost during the compression needed to get the work onto the PSX.
That looks amazing. Also, wow only 23 views. That guy's portfolio isn't being viewed much.

So the PS1 fucked it all up.
Even the gameplay was affected by the platform, as they slowed the battle speed down partly because of performance issues. Maybe FFIX should just have been the first PS2 game :(
 

hateradio

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This is from Final Fantasy IX artist Issun Kang, and shows some of the environments created for Final Fantasy IX's CG cutscenes rendered at 720p with fantastic clarity. A considerable amount of this detail was lost during the compression needed to get the CG working on the PSX.
I wish they would release the original videos for VII-IX, because the compression was just awful on the PS.
 

MYE

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My favourite Final Fantasy.

I weep when I see what the series has become. Teen j-pop drama shit :(
 

Kongster

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I commend those who have unearthed these beautiful pieces of artwork. FFIX is one of my favourite games of all time and to find out that all this stunning imagery was hiding behind technology that could not keep up at the time, makes me love it even more. My mind goes wild with what a HD revision would look and play like.

Even all those years ago however, when I first played this game; one could feel the level of detail and craft that pours out. It felt like a real, lively world with all its secrets and mystery.

Until my last breath I will remember this game. After I have forgotten my mother's face.
 

papiGiulio

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May 29, 2013
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I just signed up to say:

Fantastic collection and thread. Never knew so much detail went lost in the game. IF only there is something similar like this for FF8.

mad props TS.
 

Lethal

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I remember thinking about how new and fresh the artstyle looked in IX but not knowing why it was different from previous titles.

An HD remake with hi-res assets would rule.
 

Neat Machine

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This...this is beautiful.

FFIX is one of my favorite games of all time. Maybe my single favorite game. Thank you for this thread.
 

Agent Gibbs

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wow just WOW, this thread has made my day! FF IX is easily the best Final Fantasy game, and the last time a Final Fantasy was just all round awesome, from this point on they went down hill getting more and more lacking until we are at the current Square Enix level of FF...

This stuff could honestly be made into a wonderful art book
 

byropoint

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All this made me really nostalgic so I started FFIX on my phone yesterday, what an amazing game it is, just beautiful. The thought of not getting a FF like this ever again saddens me :(
 

bakeray

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between the art and that sidequest video above, I think I'm going to have to bust out FFIX sometime soon.
 

DiipuSurotu

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Wasn't there a planned ps2 port at one point?
Yeah, at a press conference in early 2001, Square made tons of announcements, including PS2 ports/remakes of FFVII, VIII and IX, handheld remakes of FFIV, V and VI, and WonderSwan Color remakes of FFI, II and III. That day, they had 23 games in development, eleven of which were ports or remakes.
 

Aureon

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Ugh, i'm gonna have to open up the ISO's and get the hd backgrounds in, am i not : (
 

Mama Robotnik

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A few newly discovered renders I missed first time round.













If Square Enix had just kept these assets, the result could have been the easiest and best-looking HD remaster ever.
 

Timeaisis

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Ah...so glad this thread got bumped. Love it. Makes me want to play this game again, for like the 6th time.

Will always be my favorite in the series.
 

kurbaan

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Been replaying this on Vita last few weeks. Man what an amazing game, the characters, the music, the world. Best FF game.

JRPGs and FF these days really missing that light heartedness of this game. Actually all the PS1 FF games even if they were serious had lots of just good light fun moments especially FF7 and FF9. Made them really special.
 

BlazeBreak

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This thread is absolutely amazing. It's a shame that Spirits Within tanked both Square's Honolulu studio and Sakaguchi's tenure with the company.

It also kinda makes me think. The idea of a FFVII remake gets frowned upon (by Squeenix, that is, as an endeavor) because the expectation would be to do it as "modern" game - something with the visual approach of XII and XV. FFIX, I think, wouldn't need anywhere near the same treatment. I'd kill for what people have basically mentioned here already; FFIX, in its original form, just not held back by the limitations of the PS1.

Seriously doubt it'll ever happen though. Anything (non-iOS cashgrab) seems to be an unnecessarily major undertaking for Square nowadays (how long ago was the FFX remaster announced? >_>) and FFIX seems to be a... forgotten game. It didn't sell as well in the west as VII and VIII, which would immediately be frowned upon by Squeenix nowadays. I know it's a game that was near and dear to a lot of people who worked on it within Square... but most of those people don't seem to be with the company anymore.
 

Timeaisis

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This thread is absolutely amazing. It's a shame that Spirits Within tanked both Square's Honolulu studio and Sakaguchi's tenure with the company.

It also kinda makes me think. The idea of a FFVII remake gets frowned upon (by Squeenix, that is, as an endeavor) because the expectation would be to do it as "modern" game - something with the visual approach of XII and XV. FFIX, I think, wouldn't need anywhere near the same treatment. I'd kill for what people have basically mentioned here already; FFIX, in its original form, just not held back by the limitations of the PS1.

Seriously doubt it'll ever happen though. Anything (non-iOS cashgrab) seems to be an unnecessarily major undertaking for Square nowadays (how long ago was the FFX remaster announced? >_>) and FFIX seems to be a... forgotten game. It didn't sell as well in the west as VII and VIII, which would immediately be frowned upon by Squeenix nowadays. I know it's a game that was near and dear to a lot of people who worked on it within Square... but most of those people don't seem to be with the company anymore.
Yeah, probably won't ever happen. It's for whatever reason the black sheep of the PS1 FF games. Even though I love it the most. I know a few people that worked on it feel it's their best work: Sakaguchi says its his personal favorite, Uematsu says its his as well. I believe I read somewhere Ito said it was his favorite as well, and while he's still at Square, they've relegated him to mobile games it seems like, which is unfortunate.

Ah...but I can dream. FFIX HD and Tantalus Tales are coming in the future. And Mistwalker is collaborating with Monlith on it, and it's just published by Squeenix.
 

Solid Samus

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That is amazing! Imagine if VII and VIII also had an archive of highly detailed backgrounds? If Square were a better company we would be getting HD collections of their PS1 Final Fantasy games.
Ha, yeah. If Square were a better company maybe we could expect another legitimately amazing single player Final Fantasy at some point, too. Maybe if Square were a better company they'd be a little truthful and maybe a bit novel and just rename the series or
any
future games in the series Final ScienceFiction; Spoiler Alert The Main Threat Is
Idol Aliens Sacrificing Humans
BC I Don't Think We Done That In Three Other Games