Ultima Final Fantasy | The Ultimate Final Fantasy Podcast
  • Final Fantasy XV Is 60 Percent Finished

  • The new Gold Saucer will bring chocobo racing from Final Fantasy VII, Triple Triad from Final Fantasy VIII, and a bunch of other mini-games and activities. Final Fantasy XIV patch 2.51 is due out next week, on 24 February.

  • During camping, players will be able to have their party eat meals cooked by Ignis, the driver and chef of the group. Eating will give status buffs and other effects to aid in the party's travels.

  • 'Final Fantasy Type-0 HD' Gets Rather Bleak In New Trailer

  • What you may have noticed about the video, which was from the recent Active Time Report Page 4.0 broadcast, is that its somewhat choppy in places and seems to jitter and jumper a bit. Well the game’s director, Hajime Tabata, has since mentioned that the demo build of the game won’t reach 1080p and won’t even be running at 30 frames per second.

  • you'll be able to save and load your progress.

  • As reported by Nova Crystallis, Square Enix announced at the Taipei Game Show over the weekend it has partnered up with XPEC. XPEC is a Taiwanese company that will help finish off developing Final Fantasy XV.

  • Final Fantasy XV director, Hajime Tabata, said it was important to collaborate with XPEC. He described the game as a “large scale project” and it was necessary to have XPEC there to help them finish off its development.

  • XPEC themselves explained it was an honor to work on a project like Final Fantasy XV. They said most of the staff are big fans of the Final Fantasy series. XPEC were responsible for working on the train station level that was revealed over the weekend. They couldn’t show much footage though as they are heavily involved with the second half of the game.

  • Honors to the best games of 2014 won’t be the only thing handed out at the 15th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards on Wednesday, March 4 in San Francisco, with Final Fantasy Creator Hironobu Sakaguchi set to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the world of gaming.Meggan Scavio, General Manager of all GDC events, talked about Sakaguchi:

  • Over his illustrious and thriving career, Sakaguchi-san has established some of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time, and helped cement the RPG genre in Japan and around the world. But the gaming world owes an even greater debt to Sakaguchi-san and team for making a compelling game narrative as important to game development as its graphics and sound.

  • Final Fantasy helped pave the way for game stories that dealt with death, regret and character development in a mature and significant way, and we’re proud to honor Sakaguchi-san as a true leader in the space, and an inspired game developer.

  • During a livestream from the Tokaigi Japan Game Party, Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida appeared to tease an upcoming Xbox One port of the game by holding up an Xbox One controller. While of the course the controller is compatible with the PC version of the game, it was never used during the demonstration. Additionally, Yoshida-san has previously explained that while Square Enix was ready to work on an Xbox One version of the game, it would only do so once Microsoft allowed cross-platform gameplay. He even went so far as mentioning the possibility of having servers with only Windows and Xbox One gamers. With Microsoft recently announcing cross-platform play, perhaps this is the sign that we will soon hear about FF XIV’s Xbox One release.



Here are a few quick pointers for racing the Chocobo Trainer on its highest difficulty:


If you are trying to get the sun sigil, you will need to finish this race with a time UNDER 0.0 seconds. I have had a race time that finished at exactly 0.0 seconds and I only won a shitty item. In order to achieve this time you need to shoot to get between 12 and 15 balloons, while only getting hit once or twice if you are fast enough to the finish. It's very difficult but these tips will help you. And remember, use the DPad, it makes maneuvering your chocobo a little easier. Also remember that if you run into an invisible "wall" it will cause your chocobo to make a hard turn back on course. This is sometimes useful when you need a quick dodge.


The first ramp like area will try and trick you into thinking you can pickup a balloon or two by moving left. DONT do it! This will cause the trainer to move ahead of you and you won't get a single balloon. Instead stay right, as your goal is to gather a couple balloons and be in front of the trainer as you round the corner.


Being ahead of the trainer as you round the corner will cause most of the birds to target the trainer. This helps free you up to gather more balloons without the risk of getting hit yourself. It is very important that you attempt to stay to the right as much as possible, as moving more to the center or left will cause the birds to start targeting you. It is also important to note that while there are some sets of birds that target the trainer while you are in the lead, some will aim for you regardless. These usually give you enough time to dodge them if you are paying attention.


During the second turn, try to stay to the right as you head into the final leg of the race. This last stretch is where a bit of luck comes in as the birds are a little more unpredictable. If you stay the right you will have a better chance of avoiding the birds, but the balloons are scattered all over the place. Only make very calculated attempts at collecting balloons in this last area as you can be hit multiole times in a matter of seconds and end a promising run.


A last bit of advice, if there are a few balloons in a row at the very end of the race on the left hand side, you can attempt to collect them as the birds don't always have the time to fly into this area. It can be dangerous getting over here so only do it is you need that last balloon or two to get your target time.


Good Luck!



FFIX - Final Battle (Necrons Theme) - Remake #133


Direct download: necron.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST


I was recently playing FFIX with my brother and thought that it was really odd on how many child characters there were. Honestly, it seems that every child character besides Rydia and Vivi just diminishes the story. To me they are annoying. I'm wondering if anyone else feels this way or what your thoughts are about age and playable characters?



Long time listener, first time question asker.

I started out on Final Fantasy VI with friends before graduating to the PS games. When Final Fantasy VIII came out, it was a graphical dream. Character design was getting more and more realistic. Then I saw the first new about Final Fantasy IX in video game magazines and was a bit disappointed. . Steiner with his frighteningly feminine eyes. And what was Quina anyways?

Some see the character design of Final Fantasy IX as a hiccup in the more realistic design since Final Fantasy VIII. Was this a welcome vacation from reality or a disappointment for you guys?



What were your favorite dungeons and bosses in the game?

Which bosses and dungeons did you find the hardest?


What are your thoughts on the final bosses and final dungeon area?


What about the music for the final bosses, did you like it?

Did you notice that the Kuja's last boss battle had Nobuo Uematsu get inspired by Black Sabbath's Iron Man song?

Did you fight any of the secret bosses like the Tantarian, Hades or Ozma? Hehe Hades was a lot of fun to discover by accident in the final dungeon.

Ozma is insane though.


I enjoyed the trek through the final dungeon area, having to fight a certain amount of classic FF bosses up to the next checkpoint and I really liked the environments.


Necron was insane the first time I fought him, that Grand Cross attack is scary with all those status ailments. I would grip my controller in fear every time he did that attack.

A lot of people say Necron was random but he was hinted at a few times in the game if you read the writing on the dungeon walls talking about the god of death. The game does deal with the themes of life and rebirth and death so I never felt that it was weird to have Necron as a final boss. Plus FF9 was paying tribute to past FF games and we all know how FF3, FF4 and FF5 had random final bosses appear out of nowhere so it was trying to recreate that again.


How did you guys do against him and what was your final party? Where you doing 9999 Damage with Steiner?



I know that this is a commonly debated concept from FFIX, but Kuja is a character that really pushes the gender roles. When I first played this game, I thought to myself that was a weird looking female character. Eventually, I was more and more confused as they dialogue indicated that Kuja was in fact a male character. What are your thoughts on Kuja as a "David Bowie as Goblin King - esque" androgynous villain?



Final Fantasy IX is, in many ways, a throwback to the older Final Fantasy games.  What did you think about the old school style and throwbacks in the game?



The Active Time Events are a really cool way to get to know the characters in Final Fantasy IX.


What did you guys think of them?  Did you feel that they're an effective way of fleshing out characters?



I love FFIX, it's my favorite Final Fantasy game.  But my major complaint about the game is how slow the battle system is.  Not only is the game slow to load into every battle, but a lot of time is spent waiting for ATB gauges to fill up or watching needlessly long attack animations.


It is, by far, the thing I dislike most about Final Fantasy IX.


So, two questions:


Did the slowness of the battle system in FFIX drive you crazy by the end of the game?


If that wasn't your biggest complaint about the game (and I don't know how it couldn't be) what is?

Direct download: ffix2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

Final Fantasy IX began development shortly before the release of Final Fantasy VIII.


A small glimpse into the early process of the game was revealed on the internet by Sakaguchi in 2010.


On Mistwalker’s blog (Sakaguchi’s company), Sakaguchi posted early notes for the opening of Final Fantasy IX. Although the blog post is now impossible to find, an amature translation was jotted down in a forum deep inside the internet:


This is probably the biggest glimpse we’ll ever get into the process of the making of any of these games:


The game’s title and then fade to black.


-Movie 1-


Light emerges as the camera glides over an ocean following a landscape of trees, rivers, and fountains. The sky nears sunset as the camera moves onto the surface of a light fog and behind an airship called the Utsutsu. A large shadow approaches from behind revealing the Theatre ship.




Loud rings of machinery fill the area. A dark figure walks forward curiously.


The player makes an input for the character’s name. The default name is Zidane.




The protagonist Zidane lights a match brightening the room with a dim glow. (The match can be moved without the risk of the flame extinguishing, but it will go out in a short period of time. Ignite the match quickly and light the lamp at the center of the room.)


The lamp brightens the room completely revealing an arrangement of strangely shaped vases and boxes crawling on the pipe wall at the end of the room.


This is the cargo bay area of an airship.




Three thieves walk in when the player opens the door. One of them jokingly asks Zidane for an autograph. The player can respond to it.


Thieves: “Zidane, a Hayakatta.”


Zidane: “What happened to the boss?”


At that moment, footsteps sound from the ascending staircase. Zidane and the thieves turn towards the interruption.


“Achoo!” The sneeze sounds boss lol.


Thieves: “Boss!”


A tall rotund man with a thick beard steps down from the staircase. He runs toward the gang of thieves and the battle transitions to the battle screen.


-Boss Battle- Boss


Sometime during the fight; “Oh, you guys are pretty good,” “I like it!” says the Boss. After a certain amount of damage is dealt, Boss leans over weak and says “That’s enough for today.” (Toitaro???)


Inside the airship (continued)


Boss: “Ha ha ha,… Nice shot as usual.” (“I’ll ask today.” Almost loud, Zidane nodded???)


“Everyone, gather around!”


The screen fades and transitions to Zidane and the thieves gathered around a table with a map spread across it. Boss sitting at the head of the table, initiates the meeting revealing a plan to kidnap a princess during a play held on a theatre ship.


The screens transitions to the play. The first act has just ended at a pulling scene and the audience stands up with applause as the lights dim and the curtain closes. The stage director steps forward and informs the audience that there will be a short intermission before the second act begins. At the balcony sits the queen and her daughter Princess Garnet. The knight standing beside Garnet, asks her and the queen if they would like some more tea. The queen answers yes and insists her daughter to have some.


The knight fixes the tea and slips a drug into Garnet’s cup. He hands the cups to them and watches carefully when Garnet takes a sip.

She yawns a couple of minutes later after a few more sips. About a minute later another knight walks in from behind carrying a present. The knight that fixed the tea takes the package and presents it to the queen.


“A gift to you, from the theatre,” he says.


The queen hurries to open the lid and a dozen of oglops jump out. The queen jumps out of her seat panicking. The other guards hurry to her aid. With this distraction no notices that Garnet has fallen asleep and that the knight has run off with her.


Inside the airship (continued)


Boss: “Hmm, perfect.”


Thief: “It’s a brilliant plan.”


Thief 2: “This is very rich--!” (or maybe “This will make us rich!” ???)

 (Pose to pose a big jump in one of the robbers.

  Vibration, the model falls theater airships.


Sakaguchi’s notes for movie 4:

Close up of Princess Garnet Close up of her breasts. View of her breasts inside the clothes (a little). Also a view of her pendant of royalty....  

-Hallway- She rushes away from the hallway. Two stare at each other.

Zidane: “Hey, was that..”

Thief: “Her breasts look comfortable..”

Zidane: “No, no, she was wearing the pendant of the summons permitted by only royalty.”

Thief: “I fell in Love at first sight..”

Zidane: “Deep blue stone… “The Legend of Leviathan”, was it Princess Garnet?”

Thief: “What are you talking about?”

Zidane: “Never mind, change of plan, let’s follow after her”.


Final Fantasy IX would be the last Final Fantasy on the Playstation, and as the series planned to move on into the next generation, it was 9 that was left to fittingly end the single-digit series of Final Fantasy games.


Here’s a little excerpt form a Famitsu interview with The Gutch.


Sakaguchi:  I was thinking [of] it as an end. FF10 and FF11 are going to be on PS2 as well as PlayOnline. So with those, we were wanting to concentrate less on the feel of a world but more to use visuals which would push the hardware's ability. In that sense, because FF9 is the third in the series on PlayStation, instead of making it by pushing the abilities of the present hardware, we thought of making the feel of a Final Fantasy world once more...


Interviewer: In the previous interview, it was explained that it [FF] was going back to its roots. And when you look at the logo, the crystal is there. It really is going back to the roots of the FF series. Why is that?


Sakaguchi: Well, I wanted to try it out. (laughs) I said that it was because it was the last single numbered FF, but, yes, I like the number 9...(laughs)


Sakaguchi served as producer of the game (with Shinji Hashimoto), and was the scenario writer for this “send-off”. It was not originally planned to be a main line final fantasy game, and had been given the title “Final Fantasy Gaiden” during the conceptual stages of the game. It wasn’t officially announced as Final Fantasy IX until late in 1999 when Final Fantasy IX, X, and XI were announced simultaneously.


As a return to the fantasy genre that began the series, Final Fantasy 9 may not seem like the natural sequel to FF6, 7, or 8. The most notable difference is of course the controversial design and look of the game. Anime, realism, and steampunk gave way to old castles and more of a western fantasy approach. Hiroyuki Ito stated that they pulled from Norse and Nothern European Mythology, and to cap off the retro feel, there were some nice deformed character models to match the pre-FF8 Final Fantasy games.


Hideo Minaba: Art Director:As this is the last single-digit Final Fantasy, we wanted to give the feeling of a series watershed, a sort of grand collection of what has come before.


This old fantasy feel, not only affected the look of the game, but also the soundtrack as scored by Nobuo Uematsu. “I was shooting for subtle, classical-sounding tunes that fit the general setting and feel of the game…” he states, although he did start to steer clear of that feel. This departure and “boredom” with the sound he was originally going for may have to do with the 160 tracks he recorded for the game. The game ended up using around 140, including some remixes of other FF Soundtracks.


Uematsu: I wanted to remix some of the older songs. Some of the character and location names were the same, so I thought that it would cool to use something from the past series.


Some staff for Final Fantasy IX were returning from other Final Fantasy games. However as Yoshinori Kitase (Dir. FF7 and FF8), was moving onto FFX, the directing duties, as well as battle design duties, were put onto the shoulders of Hiroyuki Ito. Ito took much of the staff of Final Fantasy Tactics to work on the game. And as the game was mostly created in Hawaii (possibly due to Sakaguchi’s involvement with both FF9 and Spirits Within), many of the staff members were not Japanese. Yet another reason the game has more of a “western” sensibility.


Many take umbridge in the speed of the battle system of Final Fantasy IX: At one time designed to be the fastest battle system in the series, yet turned out to be the slowest. The reason for this, apparently (according to a superfan, Alex Donaldson, that was interviewed on the podcast “My Favourite Game”), was that the system couldn’t handle the battle system, and the framerate wouldn’t be acceptable at that speed. Sakaguchi said, with the speed down, the game almost feels like turned based. *personally, I think he’s talking out of his ass.


Despite the slow system, which we’ll talk about plenty in this episode, Final Fantasy IX was still a success.


Delayed to avoid conflict with the release of Enix’s Dragon Quest, the game was released on July 7th, 2000 in Japan, and made it to North America on November 13th. A couple months later, Europe got it February 2001.


The game didn’t sell as well as the previous 2 entries in the series, but it was still a hit. ultimately selling 5.3 Million copies by 2003.


Its legacy now is a quiet one. It’s never had a sequel, it was the smallest release on the Playstation, and was released when the PS2 had already arrived on store shelves. Many gamers, perhaps unfamiliar with the roots of the series, were turned off by the art design. Perhaps something as simple as a logo not designed by Yoshitaka Amano could throw someone off.


But alas, the game was still critically acclaimed, receiving many accolades at the playstation awards, and having very positive reviews from multiple gaming publications. As it now stands, Final Fantasy IX has the highest Metacritic score of any Final Fantasy.


If anything, there’s at least one person who thinks the game a bigger success than 7 or 8....


IGN interview with The Gutch:


Sakaguchi: The upcoming Final Fantasy IX. This title (currently under development) is based on a reflection of all the previous works in the series. The coming installment is my "favorite," it's closest to my ideal view of what Final Fantasy should be.





"Rose of May" from Final Fantasy IX (acoustic guitar solo)



Final Fantasy IX - You're Not Alone! (Vose Dubstep Remix)

Direct download: ffix1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

Join us as we discuss the Final Fantasy VIII theory in which Rinoa becomes Ultimecia in the future! We discuss our thoughts on the theory, as well as read a statement from Square Enix themselves on the matter. We also catch up on past segments, including the beloved questions segment. Enjoy!!

Succession of Witches - Final Fantasy VIII - Heavy Metal Guitar Cover


Direct download: rinoaisultimecia2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST