Playing a Play: Final Fantasy IX y Shakespeare
Candles wave violently in the storm and light curtains sway into the public attentive. Tonight, on this occasion, the faces of the actors do not light up by candlesticks, but by the light of a screen. A light that bounces on the viewer and makes it partner of the function. Thus begins Final Fantasy IX, a spectacle plagued by references and characters so deep that you can hardly make mutes in the memory of the players. This adventure, launched by SquareS oft (currently Square Enix) in 2000/2001 for the original PlayStation, has transcended, not only as an essential in the evolution of the saga, but by its palpable and constant reference to Theater.
Part of the Idiosyncratic del Title resides in its form of revisiting the beginnings of the saga, to honor them in a special way. This game can be considered as A theatrical work about Final Fantasy Classics. Hirobumi Ito himself manifested in the twentieth anniversary of Fix that the creation process was wrapped in a strong nostalgic atmosphere. This commemoration is not carried out with vain allusions, but uses more sophisticated theatrical resources. The comedy of art, a theatrical variety of the sixteenth century, provides the ideal means to bring that reminiscence to the followers of the first games. FIX feeds on the archetypal representation of canonical characters, through the costumes and certain events that present us to our interpreters, as if of a function it was. The design of the heroes is a caricature of the recurrent figures in the original games: we find a black magician (Vivid) with his recognizable aesthetic, to a hooded White MAGA (Garnet) and the classic soldier with helmet and armor (Steiner), Even a Parody Villeins (Brahe) with his image Rocambolesca. However, not only the visual resource is served delivery to configure this idea, it also uses methods such as the combat tutorial, with a Shakespearean work within the work, to present Titan as our undisputed bandit, although its efficiency in Praxis is questionable. As history progresses, we see that this pattern in the protagonists fades, being able to be a freak the last to reference this with its dragon-gentleman spear and its uniform similar to the red magician.
The influence of Shakespeare, theatrical techniques and carnival features become very remarkable. From mere winks to the work of the dramatist until reaching the existentialist depth of some characters. During our adventure, we will run with figures that will remind us of Shakespeare s most famous works: Marcus and Kinney, members of Tantalus, extract their names from Julio César, just as the little puck is part of The dream of a summer night. We also find an undoubted reference at the beginning of the game with I want to be your canary, which serves as a combat system tutorial. Shakespeare fans will soon be realized that the work represented by Tantalus alludes to the tragedy The King Lear, with characters like the King and the daughter of Him Cornelia (Cordelia). In case this was not enough tribute, the author seems to be such a Lord Avon, Even in the Spanish version, name that was also granted Shakespeare to nickname him as the Bard of Avon. The troop of the work within the work is recurrent in Shakespearean Librettos, with a band of artisans, or thieves in the case of FIX, as actors. However, the relationship of delivery with the scenic aspect goes beyond mere mentions.
If we contemplate the frame plots, we can make a much more acute analysis of them. First, we find a different and innovative mechanics in the franchise: the sequences in a current time (STA). This resource, sometimes optional and other mandatory, provides more nuances to the narrative and the development of the characters, since it allows us to visualize simultaneous situations to the main history. Real-time sequences are those that, more remarkable, place the player in the position of a spectator. This swap is due to the fact that the interaction is limited while the scene is played. This allows the public to discover other subframes or details without being forced to handle another character. Thus, not only the game time does not extend unnecessarily, but it is also avoided generating more confusion in the user, which is constantly oscillating between different figures. Thanks to this mechanics, we can access moments of history that, be more or less transcendent in the main narrative, make it easier for us to create a link with the characters. Maybe in other games this is not a priority, however, in FIX it is essential that each character, from protagonists to mere companions or citizens, have a life and that the player is aware of it. In this way, you can better appreciate the message of the delivery and experience with great intensity the most emotional events of it.
On the other hand, different carnival aspects cross on our way. The characters disguise themselves to flee and change their identity, as it happens with Princess Garnet / Data or with the already mentioned puck, heir of the Armenian throne, of incognito. In the carnival, an investment of roles is presented, it is the maximum exponent of a farce in which the king is a beggar and vice versa. This is appreciated in the Map of Trend itself, in which to meet with the aristocracy we will have to descend by the stairs of the square, while, if we ascend, we will find ourselves in the suburbs. We went down to raise and upload to fall. We also see Cid, recurring in the saga, become a comic Burn Bic ho through magical arts, which can remind us of The dream of a summer night. With all this, the game implies that what we see is nothing more than an illusion and that it is the spectator who must form his own idea about things. Other iconic and representative characters of this theme are ton, and they are, who bring us close to the archetypical Shakespeare jet. These pantomimic figures have an important role in the game as Chief Brahe minions, sowing chaos while controlling Garnet s movements, such as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern do in hamlet.
But Final Fantasy IX is not reduced to a list of topics that agglomerate to give a theatrical atmosphere, but goes far beyond. The adventure is a history of shipwrecks, not only in the literal sense suffered by several characters, but also in a metaphorical aspect. The protagonists are lost in a sea, sometimes calm but many others rambling, and their only desire seems to be to find a port where you can find answers. Without going any further, the endearing Vivid is involved in an aura of sadness that makes him question the audacity of his life and the sense of it. The leitmotiv of this little black magician is to be or not be... How can we prove our existence? These words resonate in our mind because we have heard them before, not only Vivid s voice is Hamlet s voice. Despite being a child, Vivid is forced to face the idea of death and this generates doubts about him and the way of proceeding from him. He becomes aware that everything can end at any time, that, perhaps, he is nothing more than a product with an unknown expiration date. In the visit to the village of the black magicians, he breathes a state of ataxia and resignation, because what good is it to do anything else than wait for the end to fall on oneself? Hamlet himself says to die-to sleep, not more (die-sleep, nothing more) and it arises if death can be the solution for pain. This is a turning point for our character, who decides to take the reins of life that he already has, to exploit it to the fullest and not succumb to the knowledge of his own disappearance.
The question of who we are and what is our destiny floats in the environment of the narrative. Black magicians are not the only ones who face their nature and raison d être as a weapon, it also happens, as we will see later in the game, with UJA and Titan. These two characters, brothers with the same mission and, at the same time, counterparts with each other, are part of a race of genocide. UJA and Titan are created by Garland as emissaries of death to help the Terra world to assimilate other planets to survive. However, these figures, conscious of themselves, refuse from their function, either by the eagerness of domination or by the abnegation that characterizes them. Again, Final Fantasy IX presents a challenge to the prescriptions and acts as a song to determination and self-knowledge. UJA is imposed on what has been written for him and, for it, gets rid of his brother, as Antonio does with prosperous in The Tempest ad. In the soul of Titan prevails the desire to help others regardless of who they are or who have done.
In general, the work speaks with great depth of the importance of appreciating life, to share it with others and learn from them, not to submit to the idea of death, despite being aware of it. The final chief of the game, eternal darkness or neuron, is the maximum representation of the death drive known as the grants. This enemy argues that the strongest and most natural desire of being living is to return to nothing, that is why it will be the last thing we should fight to reach the end. The approach of Eternal Tiniest resembles a well-known Soliloquy of Macbeth in Act 5 of the Homonymous Work: Life is but a passing shadow, a poor actor who contains and consumes his hour in the scene, and then not He listens to him more. It is a story told by an idiot, full of sounds and fury, and that nothing means. This figure is not a personal rival of the protagonists itself, but an antagonistic idea of everything that the premise of the game defends: wanting to live, because you always have to find a place to return.
Special interview for the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy IX (Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3) Final Inside Fantasy IX