Here’s a post from my dear brother and Final Fantasy IX fan, Cody. Enjoy!
I am seeing a lot of similarities between Final Fantasy IX and the Fox TV show, “FRINGE”. To any fan of J.J. Abrams, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I see a lot of “pseudo-science” usage in Final Fantasy IX including, but not limited to, the facility where black mages are being “produced”, and the home planet of the Genomes, a race as we all know Zidane is a member of. Science, in the classical sense, is a logical system of inputs and outputs, in which the system will generate outputs based on what is input. In “pseudo-science”, like they show in the show “FRINGE”, the same type of principle applies, but only in the vaguest of senses. For example, in FFIX, the production facility where the black mages are, for lack of a better word, “manufactured”, presumably from eggs on an assembly line. It’s a rather strange phenomenon where you put an egg of mist and otherwise unknown origin, and come out with a fully grown, conscious being. Whether or not it is aware of its own existence is beside the point I am attempting to make. I am merely looking at it in a “logical” perspective in comparison to the methods explored in “FRINGE.”
This event in FFIX was similar to an episode of “FRINGE” in which epidemiologists were poisoned with a genetically-augmented common cold virus, which they ingested via a glass of water. Once the sample was ingested, it grew to term, and exited the host as a fully grown, single-cell, slug-like organism of about 1.5 feet in length and weighing close to 30 pounds. Needless to say, the epidemiologists did not live through this process, but nonetheless, the concept is the same. The only difference between the epidemiologists and the production plant for the black mages that I can see are the fact that the production plant does not die or fail of any cause. Otherwise, the system, be it the production plant or the human stomach, takes in a strange input and produces an output which does not have a readily accessable connection to the input without further investigation in the story.
It seems like that is how, if I’m not mistaken, the Genomes were created, which we saw when Zidane interacted with Garland in Terra, the “home-world” of the Genome. It seems as though the Genomes and the Black Mages were customizable (i.e., Zidane and Kuja having apparent free will and the black mages not) by those who are in control of the status of the input before entering it into the system, which is similar to the genetically altered common cold virus previously mentioned.
Ok, enough gross stuff. Now onto a subject we can all agree on: steampunk.
It may have already been mentioned previously in this blog, but there are a lot of direct correlations between the core concept of the steampunk universe and their usage throughout FFIX. More specifically, I have noticed a similarity between FFIX and the movie “Steamboy” (a great animated film which I highly recommend). In “Steamboy”, the characters utilize steam to power all kinds of mechanical devices, from toasters to airships. True to this form, FFIX machines and airships are powered chiefly by mist. This tells me that this was a huge theme that came into play when designing the game itself. I think the “vision of the future” Final Fantasy model, as well as the “medieval Final Fantasy”, model has been done to death. Why not something a little more rustic? Why not turn-of-the-20th-century Final Fantasy? I think that would be a cool idea to explore because not only would the environment and mood change, but I also feel that this kind of change would provide a different social dynamic in which the characters in the story need to adjust to in order to be as accurate as possible, while at the same time being as abstract and free-form as we have come to expect from the Final Fantasy franchise as a whole.
Anyway, those are my ideas. I’d love to read what is written next.