Remembering Final Fantasy IX

The man in the silver dragon
WHAT IF those fictional places you've always keep dreaming of suddenly passed the fine line that separates fantasy and reality? Your reaction would be what? Happy, right? Yours truly is a very imaginative person. Sometimes, I can't help but think about the places I read, watched, or even played, hoping that someday I'll go there and have a picture with each landmark behind me, or even towering me. However, that's a downside of being fantasy: Intangible. They will only exist in our mind as a main product of what the experts call imagination.

It's been been a decade since I played Final Fantasy IX on the Playstation. As I fairly recall, one of my friends gave me the game as a gift for Christmas. I was in my first year in high school back then and thinking of it now after so many years puts me in a state of disenchantment and insanity (that isin a good way); that no matter how I bind myself to a different world, reality will nevertheless kick in and strangle me back undeniably. Reality sucks, so they say. Even so...

My imagination takes me to some places which in real sense, it is unmistakably impossible. Impossible for me to step my feet and walk around, nurturing the feeling of incomparable happiness and contentment. That makes me sad. If only those places are real. If only those places exists. If only fantasy is reality. If I were to travel another world, it would be the beautiful planet of Gaia in Final Fantasy IX. Why, you ask?

Grab my hand. Let's take a walk.

Why didn't I bring my umbrella?
Almost all places in the whole Final Fantasy universe has its own sense of uniqueness and intrigue. Some can really capture someone else's heart in a flash. Burmecia, for instance, has been one of them. Outside Gizamaluke's Grotto lies the realm of eternal rain -- Burmecia. Believe me when I say so that it's kind of literal. The rain never stops enticing the ambiance of sadness and sorrow to whoever that sets his foot into this faraway land. Aside from the never-ending drops of water from the sky above, the way doors open in this unique town is somehow magical yet simple. You'll open locked doors by way of using bells. Yes, bells. The sad part, however, is that after ringing one for a certain door, the bell will shatter into pieces -- like a memory that is to be forgotten.

A paradise inside a sandstorm
Next stop on my list would be the glorious settlement of the cleyrans. Cleyra is one of the jaw-dropping sites in FFIX. Being a gigantic tree that is enveloped with a magical twister/sandstorm in the Mist Continent, Cleyra is definitely a must-seen landmark. This said sandstorm actually protects the tree's inhabitants from harm and chaos. Basically, if there's such a peaceful place, Cleyra would be it. Unfortunately, in the game where the Queen of the Alexandrian kingdom summons the eidolon Odin, the tree was ultimately destroyed leaving a mushroom cloud in its wake. Wanna watch it? Click the video below.

The tree of souls
Moving along, yet another tree challenges Cleyra. The Iifa tree is, in my own humble opinion, the popular tree in the planet Gaia. This said tree is not ordinary like the other trees. Even Cleyra cannot match the significance and role of Iifa in FFIX. It's actually a tree... a tree of souls. Yep, you read that part right. It's a tree that filters Gaian souls and hinder them to go forth the planet's core thus destabilizing the planet's cycle. The tree is also called a sanctuary because newly-wed couples, as part of their marriage ceremony, will journey to the tree to inscribe their names and let the ancient souls witness their undying vows.

The Dark Tower of FFIX
Last but not the least would be the place where memories are contained and relived -- Memoria. Memoria is like a database for all the memories of the planet Gaia since time immemorial. Every Gaian soul has their own memory that Memoria can capture and store. Crystals represent these memories. And like some 'planetarium' where you can see heavenly bodies, Memoria has its own version. The very beginning of the planet's life can be viewed and studied. The somehow 'fusion' of both planets Gaia and Terra is also showcased. Memoria is not only a record-keeper place but also a tremendous landmark suitable for reflecting, meditating, and yes, visualizing.

In the end, like I said earlier, it's impossible for all of these to be visited. But actually, we can. Use the right-side brain.

Thank you for reading. 



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