Musings: The ‘joys’ of yesteryear

Recently, Max (the best non-identical twin brother a person could hope for) and I got stuck back into Final Fantasy IX (9). This was for analysis/review purposes, so expect something on the other site at some point, but also because it’s one our favourite of the Final Fantasy games.

Max and I share the opinion that there is a golden trio of Final Fantasy games: VII, VIII and IX.
I don’t mean to say the others are bad by any stretch, just that we both love those three to death in particular. We played the ever living hell out of them as kids, despite the fact that we weren’t smart enough to figure out how to save; we’ve become intimately familiar with the first couple of hours of each game, though.

Out of that golden trio, IX always stood as my personal favourite. I love me some fantasy settings, and while the futuristic and fascinating worlds of VII and VIII are impressive, the varied races and locations in IX always gripped me more thoroughly. Not to mention the playable cast are a colourful and ultimately lovable bunch, with fairly realistic motivations and desires.

(Though, Quina’s expression haunts me slightly…)

It was because of this that I was giddy when we booted up the old Playstation 2, sat down, and got ready for of a tale of princess, a thief, and a LOT of attempted/successful genocide…

Things were pretty great for a while. The FMV’s were showing their wrinkles but not to a disastrous degree, the character models were still pretty (if more polygon-y then I remember), and the backgrounds…

Good lord, they haven’t aged a day. They’re still as colourful and vivid as I remember them being. I understand that they’re difficult and ultimately expensive to make, but a part of me regrets that pre-rendered backgrounds have faded from use in modern videogames. These things are damn near ageless, and the care and time put into making each screen unique shows through.

Anyway, things were progressing smoothly. Max and I rediscovered the joys of a Final Fantasy card game (Triple Tirade is good, but Tetra Master will always have this special place in my heart), and were determinedly hunting down all of those early game freebies.

Arms full with early game potions and cure items (but lighter on a few cards), we finally came across our first Moogle save point. Another thing I greatly liked about IX: the save points were adorable and full of charm.

Naturally, we saved, and move on with-

…Why was the memory card not being recognised?

More than slightly perturbed, we fiddled around with the memory card for few seconds.
Still nothing.
I broke out the spares we had lying around, trying a few in the second slot.
No reaction.
I tried to jigger them around a bit, thinking maybe they were placed oddly.

And accidently hit the reset button.

For a long few moments, we simply stared at the Playstation’s booting up screen.

We hadn’t exactly gotten far, but the fact remains that I just erased whatever progress we had made. Including all the time spent scrounging for items and several card games.

We eventually laughed the whole thing off, and said we’d have another crack at it another day, hopefully after finding a way to save our progress. We weren’t naïve kids anymore after all: we actually wanted to make some progress, damn it.

So, in summary:
We’re greatly enjoying rediscovering a childhood game that still holds up to this day, but we’re also rediscovering the faults in the tech from that era, and I’m rediscovering to be careful where the hell I put my fingers.

Hopefully, I should have something review/analysis based up regarding the experience on the other site, which in turn should hopefully be up and running in the not too distant future. It’s probably going to be on Freya, knowing that she’s still my favourite member of the group even to this day, but we’ll see.

Thanks for taking the time to read this idle musing, and I wish you a good morning, afternoon or night.

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