Necron: The Really, Truly, Seriously Most Underrated Villain in All of Final Fantasy

Hi Everybody!

I was thinking about the feedback that I got from the Kuja post, and I was amazed by the response;  I’m glad I got people to look a little further into the character of Kuja, and see that he wasn’t all pomp and flair, and could actually stand on his own as a great Final Fantasy villain.

That said, I was just talking with a buddy of mine, and we were talking about the end of FFIX.  We are both huge IX fans, and the subject turned to the final boss, Necron.

“Yeah, the less said about Necron, the better,”  he said.  “He was definitely just thrown in there.”

Now, I think this was the first time we had truly disagreed on something FFIX-related.

“Wait, what?  What are you talking about?”  I sputtered, and we proceeded to have a heated debate about Necron’s purpose for a few minutes.

After these few minutes, my friend said, “y’know, I think this would make a great blog post.”

SO HERE I AM!  😀

Anyway, here goes:

Yeah.  Necron.  Gets shit on by pretty much everybody, right?  You may think he’s one or more of the following:  useless;  never referenced;  no purpose in the game?

Image

Let me begin, like I did with my Kuja post, by saying that I don’t expect to turn you into a huge Necron fan.  I’m just trying to give you a bit of my perspective on why I think he’s fantastic.  Maybe I’ll even get you thinking that there is a bit more to him than you previously thought.  That’d be great.

From what I’ve read, it seems like Necron may be mentioned once or twice throughout the game, but these claims seem shaky at best.  My question is, how is one supposed to know of the existence of an entity that exists outside of normal spacetime?  This, of course, is kind of a flimsy excuse for making a final boss, but, in Pixar’s “22 Rules of Storytelling“,  #19 says “Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great;  coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.”  Again, not saying that this is a great excuse to just throw a final boss into the mix, but this is the perspective with which I look at the final battle.

I’ve read that Necron is “summoned” by Kuja’s hate and fear.  I have a different perspective.

kuja ultima
Kuja, right after he casts Ultima.

Now, here’s what I see in the above gif:

–  The main characters disappear.  The only time you see that in-game thus far is when someone or something dies.

–  The Crystal is no longer behind Kuja.

So, here’s what I’m thinking:

–  When Kuja casts Ultima, it destroys the Crystal.  The Crystal’s destruction is what prompts Necron to come start kickin’ ass, not just Kuja’s massive amounts of butthurt.

–  The heroes were the first people to die after the destruction of the Crystal, which is why they’re in this weird quasi-death-realm thing.

–  When Necron is defeated, the crystal is restored due to the “nothingness-vacuum” caused by his absence.  Because Necron is the personification of oblivion/nothingness, when he is defeated, he’s gotta be replaced by… somethingright?

Huh.  Weird.  Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that Necron made… some sort of sense existing, at least.  He’s also a great foil for…  well, every protagonist in the game.

These characters have been through hell.  Homelands have been laid to waste.  Family members, loved ones, and thousands more have been slaughtered, many of which were at the hands of Garnet’s own mother, gone mad with greed.  Freya’s lover, Sir Fratley, who she has been searching for for years, has no memory of their past.  Eiko’s family was dead or missing.  Steiner and Amarant’s most long-standing philosophies, one of blind loyalty to another, and one of blind loyalty to self, that had kept them alive through the most dire of circumstances, are dissolved before their eyes;  the same thing happens with Vivi and Zidane, except instead of their philosophies, they face an even more harrowing question:  the status of their humanity itself.

I don’t think Necron is a useless, no-purpose final boss.  Quite the contrary – I think he’s the linchpin of the game, the story, and the transcendent theme of Final Fantasy IX.  Without Necron, the game would cease to have the exact quality which I think makes it the greatest video game in history:  the absolute, against-all-odds, blindingly-bright love of life itself that finally answers the great question that each of our protagonists face when they are staring down the seductive peace of utter oblivion:  “is life worth the pain it brings?”.  Each of the characters above have fan-fucking-tastic reasons to say, “Hey, nothingness sounds pretty great, compared to the shitstorm that I’ve been through!”.

Not one of them does.

After everything they’ve been through, each and every one chooses life.

I think this has a two-pronged effect.  If thought of in this manner, the choice shows more starkly than ever before the fortitude of the heroes, as well as making Kuja slightly more sympathetic and less villainous.  He’s just scared, guys.  He’s been dealt much the same hand as Zidane, and he’s scared.  He doesn’t want to die;  more importantly, he doesn’t want the fear of death.  Who can be blamed for trying to escape fear?  Not that Kuja went about it the right way or anything, but still, he was misguided and scared, and I can’t blame him for that.

Maybe Necron could have been referenced more in-game;  maybe he should have been somehow hinted at, if only for the player’s knowledge;  maybe it’s not an original idea.  But Necron is the character who poses, once and for all, this final question to the protagonists of Final Fantasy IX, providing the single most intense experience I have ever felt from a piece of media in my life.  I was 11 when I experienced this;  it was the first time I had encountered such a question, and Zidane’s response left me in tears.

“I’m gonna live!”.

I can’t call that useless.

0 Replies to “Necron: The Really, Truly, Seriously Most Underrated Villain in All of Final Fantasy”

  1. Nooo gutted, don’t post stuff while on the train people, godamn.

    Anyway.. Great post! I was saying how I love these in depth discussions about sigle elements of the game. I actually don’t know anyone in real life who even plays theses games.

    It was a couple years ago I played ffix so I’m rusty on the subject although I do remmeber necron being a bit random.

    When I first started playing these games I used to get stuck all the time, and wouldn’t play for days but now they seam really easy.

    I can’t wait to play ffix again, I’m halfway through 6 on my ps vita, after that it’s just number 4 to go 😀

    I recently downloaded ff9 on my vita, booted it up and got to the dark Forrest to have a sneak peak and omg it’seven better than I remember it!!

    Especially on the vita it’s so nice. I don’t know whether it’s because iv recently completed ff8 with 90 hours and now playing through 6 that iv missed the graphics/ game mechanics but it’s so nice I can’t wait. I advise anyone to go play the ff series on a vita it’s beautiful. And they’re only £8 each.

    Anyway great post! 😀 I could read all day about ff9

    Thanks

    Kieran

  2. I don’t know… This game is full of callbacks and references to the previous games. It was intended to be (and really still is, in spite of the Final Fantasy name fraudulently being slapped on nearly every game by Squaresoft these days) a great finale to a great franchise.

    However, this callback to ExDeath just seemed to be contrived and forced to fit where it didn’t. That’s just how it felt to me. Maybe you just see something everyone else doesn’t.

    But, if only a small portion of your audience is picking up on the intent of your story, and everyone else is just not seeing how it makes sense, it’s probably a problem with your storytelling.

  3. I read that Necron is in fact Soulcage.
    http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/197338-final-fantasy-ix/44836156
    The evidence doesn’t seem solid, though my FFIX lore is too rusty for me to know for sure.

    Thanks for the theories anyway. I love them! I want more! Final fantasies are somewhat deep, and they’re Japanese making them very not self-explanatory to Western audiences, in my opinion.

    (btw I’d love to have your take on the Squall is dead theory because the Orphanage/Not remembering we grew up together feels like a plot hole and the Ending really hints towards reaching heaven, though after that they’re all back on the flying school)

    1. I’ll look into it! Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, I haven’t posted in a while – I’ve been super busy working on other projects. However, I’m working on one now, and hope to have it up at some point in the next few weeks 😀

  4. Awesome theory!!!! I always thought the necron = soulcage theory was the best. But after reading your theory I’m going to have to rethink Some things LOL have you heard of the necton=soulcage theory? I’m sure you have seeing as how much you love FF9. If so can you write about that (unless you did IDK) and can you do a OZMA theory (Unless you did that too) anyway great theory It made me rethink some stuff about FF9 and that’s a good thing.

    1. Cool! Glad to hear you enjoyed it 🙂 I’ve heard of Necron=Soulcage, but not the Ozma theory, what’s that about?

      Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to check out my other articles, the “Gaming Inspirations” series is my favorite ^_^

  5. The long-held fan theory that FF9 Necron is a space-flea-from-nowhere-inserted-in-FF9’s-home-stretch was dispelled when it was found out that the game’s true villain Kuja unsealed him from his imprisonment in the Lifestream to destroy Gaia after the previous plots failed such as destroying Madain Sari, turning the three kingdoms against each other by manipulating Sarah’s late stepmother Brahne, and amassing a legion of Silver Dragons to destroy the three kingdoms while they’re in the middle of their reconstruction.

  6. Excelent. I’m from Argentina… played FFIX when I was 12… and I still think about the deep story. Necron It’s a great boss. I think he ‘is’ “the answer”. To what? Well, to that question whe all have inside… at the end of the road (after kuja’s fight) the characters are confronted to their own selves…

    Congrats for the post! Please, keep writing about this incredible game!

    1. Thanks a lot for the comment! You gave me an interesting idea about Necron… if you haven’t checked it out, I’ve made a lot of posts about how the main 8 characters inspire me. Now, I’m thinking about how Necron is antithetical to all of the things that makes them human! That might be the next post 🙂 thanks again!

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