from Susanne Braun
Final Fantasy 9 has just celebrated its twentieth birthday and one or the other fan who works on a gaming website was offered an interview with the creators of the adventure around the group Tantalus and Zidane Tribal. The authors of RPGSite wrote an interesting review of the development – and character artist Toshiyuki Itahana would still like to continue the story in a sequel today.

It was twenty years ago that the ninth Final Fantasy celebrated its release under the premise "Back to the Roots". Back to the Roots meant that Square Enix's developers for the adventure of Zidane Tribal and his friends focused on the earliest parts of the Final Fantasy series. This is reflected in the design of the characters and the world, but also in the gameplay mechanics. Twenty years is a long time, and yet Final Fantasy 9 is still one of the most popular games in the series. Some real hardcore fans were given the opportunity to interview some developers who still work at Square Enix as part of the anniversary. These fans also include the RPGSite authors, who came together 20 years ago because of their love of Final Fantasy to make a Final Fantasy 9 fansite.

Based on the interview with Final Fantasy 9 producer Shinji Hashimoto and character artist Toshiyuki Itahana, they are dedicating a comprehensive special to Final Fantasy 9, which deals primarily with the challenges during development. After the success of Final Fantasy 7, the series split in different directions. While the developers and producers whose names are still associated with the series are slowly emerging in Tokyo, there were a few developers in an office in Honolulu, Hawaii, who wanted to work on the next contribution to Final Fantasy. In Hashimoto's eyes, it was a glorious time, a "dream project where Japanese and American developers work together." The internationality of the team was not only reflected in the art style of FF9, but also in the design of characters. Bounty hunter Lani, for example, is inspired by the goddess Pele, who is said to live on the Kilauea volcano. The Complete story can be found in English on RPGSite read – it's worth it!

The stylized and less photorealistic design of Final Fantasy 9 still appeals to Itahana today: "Final Fantasy IX has a style that appeals to both adults and children, so I would like to have the opportunity to work in the same style again, whether it’s Final Fantasy or not, ”he notes. "Final Fantasy IX is very much loved by the fans, but also by us, the development team," continues Itahana. "I would be very happy if, given the wishes of the original development team, one day there was an opportunity to continue the story of Final Fantasy IX that meant so much to all of us." Given that the people at Square Enix have also succeeded in remaking Final Fantasy 7 with respect to the original, a late sequel to Final Fantasy 9 might be an option – many people at Square Enix already wish that the series returns to the fantasy roots. It is up to debate what happens to the series anyway. Officially, "only" Final Fantasy 14 and Final Fantasy 7 Remake Episode 2 are being worked on.

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