Final Fantasy IX
, I'm happy to report (only 8 years after its release!) is up to snuff. The manic pace and plot is thoroughly in tune with the various oddball characters. There's stuff in here I've never dreamed†
of, to slightly misquote C. S. Lewis' recommendation of his friend J. R. R. Tolkien's LOTR
. Dunno how it comes out yet. I'm only just leaving Eiko's kitchen for the Conde Petie mountain pass. My 14yo tells me she has a friend who's played this game front to back eight times over, and I can well believe it.†FFXII, with Vaan and Penelo, Balthier and Fran, wasn't truly odd. Grand, yes. Odd, no. More like a culmination of enormous but familiar themes. FFIX, on the other hand, flickers near a natural history of the cultural imagination. It feels like discovery, not revelation.