I’m ready for the Final Fantasy 9 Remake announcement, Square

When I looked through the list of games leaked from Nvidia’s database last year, I felt like I needed a series of progressively bigger 👀 emojis—or a Vince McMahon meme—to properly convey my reaction. Could they all truly be real? Based on how many leaks from the list have now proven to be true: Yes. I’m confident that nearly every item on the list is real—or was real at some point (a few were likely old entries that have been canceled). And for the past few months, I’ve worked myself up to a borderline frenzy thinking about one game on the list: Final Fantasy 9 Remake.

That name thrills me. It also haunts me. Final Fantasy 9 is my favorite Final Fantasy and my favorite JRPG. It’s a game made when Squaresoft was at its creative peak in the year 2000. It was the last Final Fantasy with the direct involvement of series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. To me it’s a game that embodies “they don’t make ’em like they used to,” ironic considering it was, at the time, designed as a throwback to the Final Fantasys of the ’90s.

There’s no remake I can imagine being higher stakes for me personally.

I don’t know if I believe modern Square Enix can do a Final Fantasy 9 Remake justice, because so much of its spirit is rooted in its “retro” design. I don’t think Final Fantasy 9 is Final Fantasy 9 without its turn-based battles, painterly cities, playful script or comically proportioned characters. If the Final Fantasy 7 Remake is the template, a remake would push for more realistic graphics and more actiony combat. The game would be largely or completely rewritten. That path would lead to a Final Fantasy 9 that was 20 years newer, sure. But better? That I very much doubt.

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