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by bover_87

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Guide and Walkthrough by bover_87Donate directly to the author of this contribution

Version: 1.5 | Updated: 11/02/2020
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Introduction

Final Fantasy IX is, as the name would have you believe, Square's ninth installment in the famous Final Fantasy series. Unlike the other PSX Final Fantasy titles, IX uses a number of throwbacks to the NES and SNES games (for instance, the battle system is heavily based on FFVI's, while the character "job" system resembles FFIV), as well as a more traditional medieval setting rather than a modern or post-modern one, and various references to all the Final Fantasy games made up until then.

On the other hand, FFIX brings plenty new to the table. The story and playable characters are all completely new, as is the setting. The game's excellent story, character development, and gameplay make it a contender for one of the best games in a series that already contains a number of classics.

Note that this guide is written with the original NTSC PSX version in mind. If you're playing a different version (that is, the iOS or PC versions), you may see some minor differences.

World/Field Map Controls

ButtonWhat it Does
CircleCancel button; hold with D-Pad to run
XOK button, talk, examine, interact, open chests
SquareChallenge NPC in Tetra Master; on World Map, summon Moguo to Save and/or Tent
TriangleOpen menu
D-PadMove around; if a choice is offered, use to select an option
SelectDisplays your location
StartPauses the game, stopping all timers
L1/R1On World Map, changes camera angle
L2/R2On World Map, changes camera angle

In-Battle Controls

ButtonWhat it Does
CircleCancel button
XOK button
SquareHold down to hide menu and HP/MP display
TriangleSwitch to another character with full ATB gauge
D-PadSelect option in menu
SelectToggle description of menu item
StartPauses the game, stopping all timers and ATB gauges
L1/R1Switch between single-target (ST) and multi-target (MT) (does not work with all skills)
L2+R2Hold down both to flee battle

General Strategy

  • Early- to mid-game, your focus should be on getting good equipment and teaching your characters their Abilities. Leveling is not particularly helpful until very late, when you'll have the ideal equipment for raising stats. If you master an ability, change out that piece of equipment for something better, preferably one that teaches another ability.
  • Watch out for missable items! FFIX has a lot of them, very often because of changing shop inventories. The walkthrough will tell you what needs to picked up when.
  • Early on, watch your MP. In some cases, it may be better to have your mage characters attack physically instead of casting spells.
  • Remember that your mages need good spells to be effective, so teaching Action Abilities is especially important to them. For your fighter-type characters, Support Abilities tend to take precedence over their skillsets.
  • Quina learns skills from enemies, so be sure to keep up with skills. None are missable, but some will become unavailable for long periods if you miss them.
  • Once you're able to select your party, in most cases you'll want a reasonably balanced party, both in terms of physical/magical prowess and offense/defense. There are exceptions, which are covered in the walkthrough.
  • In most parts of the game, you won't need to worry too much about status defense against random encounters. Early on, status attacks are very rare, while in most later areas only one or two defendable statuses are used.
  • Later on, you'll often find that there are no more abilities available in a given equipment slot for a given character. In these cases, either equip to boost stats (recommended), or just equip the strongest available piece.
  • Generally, the least important pieces of equipment on a character in terms of equipment strength are the arm slot and weapons for mages, so feel free to make sacrifices here (to defend elements, learn abilities, etc.) to improve your setup elsewhere.
  • Bosses in Final Fantasy IX tend to be rather strong, but they frequently have crippling status weaknesses. Be sure to take advantage of them (the walkthrough will list status vulnerabilities for bosses).
  • In most cases, Trances in FFIX aren't all that useful strategically (contrast to their equivalents in games like VII, VIII, and X). It tends to take a long time to build up your meter, especially early in the game. That being said, a Trance can greatly augment your power, so use it wisely once you get it. If you fill your Trance gauge and the battle ends before finishing the Trance, remember it resets to zero.
  • Most normal encounters have very few status protections, so feel free to throw around status attacks if you're having problems.
  • On that note, using Zidane's Sargatanas weapon with Soul Blade late-game is horribly broken. It inflicts Petrify with 100% accuracy (never fails barring immunity), instantly defeating nearly every normal enemy in the game. Note that you don't receive Exp, Gil, or Drops this way though (AP will still be awarded).

The next few sections cover various administrative aspects of the guide. To skip to the main walkthrough, click here.