Problem is it's only a small part of the background images. Unless someone managed to unearth more or Square mysteriously finds it in some files, I doubt we will get all of them. At least the bigger more 3D areas with textures will be easy for modders.
Probably a long shot, but since a lot of that work was done by American freelancers, do you think there's any way modders can get in touch with them to get some of the files? I don't know if they'd still have the files or if they'd even legally be allowed to share them, but since we know who designed most of these backgrounds, maybe they can lend a hand in getting the large scrollable images.
What about the original full motion videos? Did they lost those too? Because if you search carefully you'll find "HD" resolution (1280*768) of official Squaresoft wallpapers that I suppose are taken from those FMVs. They were on the original US(and japanese I think) website back at the time. http://www.ffshrine.org/ff9/ff9_wallpapers.php
Look at the one with Vivi on the floor, Steiner or Bahamut with Alexander, you can clearly see that those are not upscaled screenshots.
There are some little different details(most noticeable the missing moon in the Bahamut fight with Alexander). Or maybe those were just "mockups" for marketing?
Apologies for the late bump, but I was looking through this incredible art and it got me wondering about Blank. Does he have some kind of backstory to explain why he looks the way he does? Why is he so stitched up, is he some kind of Frankenstein thing? I don't recall them ever really explaining that in the game, and with the limited detail at the time it was difficult to really even see his stitches.
Very belated bump, but I've signed up to NeoGaf to say that this is a lovely thread and was a great resource for an article I've written on the lovely FFIX backgrounds and the specific game feel they give the game! Thank you!