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

When I was going through the list of leaked games in Nvidia’s database last year, I felt I needed a series of bigger and bigger 👀 emojis – or a meme by Vince McMahon – to properly convey my reaction. Could they all really be real? Based on the number of leaks in the list that have been proven to be true: yes. I am confident that almost all of the items on the list are real or been real at some point (a few were probably old entries that got cancelled). And over the past few months, I’ve been working into borderline frenzy thinking about one game from the list: Final Fantasy 9 Remake.

This name delights me. It haunts me too. Final Fantasy 9 is my favorite Final Fantasy and my favorite JRPG. It’s a game created 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 epitomizes “they don’t make ’em like they used to,” ironically given that it was, at the time, designed as a throwback to 90s Final Fantasy.

There is no remake that I can imagine being a higher stake for me personally.

I don’t know if I believe modern Square Enix can do Final Fantasy 9 Remake justice, as 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, pictorial towns, playful storyline, or comically proportioned characters. If the Final Fantasy 7 Remake is the model, a remake would push for more realistic graphics and more active combat. The game would be largely or completely rewritten. This path would lead to a Final Fantasy 9 that was 20 years newer, of course. But better? That I highly doubt.