Final Fantasy 9 Switch Is The Same Version As PC And Mobile, Bugs And All

You might think that a publisher with as much prestige as Square Enix would want to preserve its history in as smart a way as possible, allowing new generations of video game fans to discover and fall in love with Final Fantasy. But... nope.

Final Fantasy 9 launched on Switch and Xbox this week, and as I loaded up the Switch version on Thursday (via code provided by Square Enix), I was unsurprised but still disappointed to see that it was the same port that Square had put on PC and PS4, which itself was based on the versions the publisher developed for iOS and Android.

The character models are higher-resolution than they were in the original, but that graphical improvement comes with some drawbacks. Final Fantasy 9 on Switch retains that ugly interface and font (seen above) and has a few quirks that make it clear this was meant to be a mobile game, such as warning you in the character naming screens that emoticons aren’t allowed.

What’s irritated people most might be the music bug. All the modern versions of Final Fantasy 9 have come with the same annoying flaw — after every battle, the field music track will start from the top.

So if you run into battles every 10 seconds on the world map, you’ll only get to listen to the first 10 seconds of the world map theme — my favourite track in the game — before it starts all over again.

As pointed out by a ResetEra poster, this bug has been prevalent not just in previous ports of FF9, but in other new Square Enix ports of Final Fantasy games. For Final Fantasy 10, they patched it out. It’s a bug that isn’t easy to notice, but once you do spot it, it’s impossible to stop hearing the problem.

Even the good new features in this version of Final Fantasy 9 are implemented in a frustrating way. For example, there’s a fast-forward toggle in the console ports of Final Fantasy 9. Which is fantastic — the best way to play many of these old role-playing games in 2019 is to speed through the many, many random encounters.

But rather than letting you fast forward combat at varying speeds with the press of a button, the way the excellent Final Fantasy 12 remake does, this version of the game adds an extra step.

To toggle fast forward, you need to pause the game, then press R. It’ll make everything super-fast, not just combat, which essentially makes the game unplayable outside of battles. Then, to turn it back off, you need to pause the game again and press R again. That extra button press is more annoying than it seems.

And, hey, as I was testing out the buttons in the previous paragraph, my game crashed on this screen, which seems fitting:

When Square Enix released Chrono Trigger for PC last year in horrible shape, fan outcry led the publisher to put out a series of patches that fixed many of the problems. Here’s hoping they can do the same this time around, because Switch users can’t just mod this into a good port.


Comments

    You might think that a publisher with as much prestige as Square Enix would want to preserve its history in as smart a way as possible, allowing new generations of video game fans to discover and fall in love with Final Fantasy. But... nope.

    Well now I think they do, the problem is they didn't back then, they are pretty infamous for not taking care to preserve or copy the masters for most of their games, it's why we always get a strange Frankenstein of a game that pulled and ripped all its assets and code from multiple courses and then filled in the gaps, they were doing it right up to Kingdom Hearts 2 and probably beyond.

    The problem is the Japanese arm of Square Enix is very traditional Japanese, they aren't transparent, they don't talk publicly. Fans have asked these questions about the poor ports for ages, and receive no response. Square Enix will spend tens of millions of dollars remaking Final Fantasy VII, but refuses to acknowledge and fix the PS4 port restarting music after every battle (same as IX). Even if the problem is not a simple one, at least explaining why the problem persists would help the matter. Also, I think they fixed it in X for PS4 (well after that port was first released on PS3) but they never did for X-2.

    Considering that SE decided to release DQXI on PS4 before announcing a "Definitive" version a few months later, I'm no longer surprised by any of their crapulence.
    An RPG should be definitive upon release. I wasn't a fan of FFV's "Kanye West's TLOP" approach to finishing the product on the go, and I'm not a fan of playing a 100+ hour game only to find out I've started my way through an inferior version of the product.

    Honestly, I feel like I've got an unfinished POS crammed in my PS4 I wasted money on at the moment. It's a turn off, man. I'm not gonna bother with DQ anymore. It can stay popular in Japan.
    There should never have been a PS4 release if it was going to be missing so much content.

    Last edited 17/02/19 3:39 pm

    I think the interesting thing to note is that they are not really developing a new FF game. (well remaking FF7 is debatable) They've released every game on PC/console/tablet, and apart from them running there really is no upgrade to any of them in relation to what they are currently running on. They are lucky that FF (one) actually kept the original Squaresoft in business because if this current state happened back then, I'd say the rest of FF would never have happened at all.

    So if you run into battles every 10 seconds on the world map, you’ll only get to listen to the first 10 seconds of the world map theme — my favourite track in the game — before it starts all over again
    Why is that a problem exactly? Like I get it can be frustrating to hear the same opening bars of over the knoll over and over again, but its not like you can't mute the sound.
    Also don't know if that happened in the original, its been a while since I've put my discs into my PS3 to play the traditional way. Bought the game 3 times now, debating going for the Switch port too as I just love the game.

      There's a 2-3 minute piece of music in the game that you're meant to listen to, but instead you only ever get to hear 5% of it. People care about music in games, which is why the developers bothered to record it in the first place, so muting the sound is not a great solution.

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