To commemorate Final Fantasy IX’s release on the PlayStation Now service, the game’s Event Designer, Kazuhiko Aoki, shared her memories of its development. While Aoki worked on Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy IV, and Final Fantasy VII, she was unsure about the development process for Final Fantasy IX, given it was occurring in Hawaii. Still, she managed to make it work, alongside helping develop Chocobo’s Dungeon 2 shortly beforehand.
Regarding character design, the team had to basically start from scratch despite their experience because it was determined that FFIX would return to the franchise’s roots, following how FFVII and FFVIII had science-fiction contexts.
Further, development was stressful due to the limited capacity of the original PlayStation’s storage. Even with 4 discs, they constantly had issues fitting everything together, leading to cut content that Aoki intricately dives into on PlayStation Blog.
Interestingly enough, her favorite part of the game is the Credits due to the cathartic achievement she felt when viewing the finalized product on screen.
Aoki then dives into more personal memories, such as her time in Hawaii during development and how grateful she is to fans all these years later.
You can read the entirety of Kazuhiko Aoki’s account of her Final Fantasy IX-related memories on PlayStation Blog.
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