Released in 2000, the ninth Final Fantasy looked at its older sisters and said, Whoa there, lets dial it back a notch. Final Fantasys VII and VIII had embraced modernity, filling their worlds with cars and flying schools, and there was some concern on internet message boards that the series had lost its way. Why were the swords suddenly also guns? Where were all the dwarves and paladins? Why had Final Fantasy turned into Final Sci-Fi?
Likely anticipating those reactions, Square developed Final Fantasy IX alongside FFVIII with plans to release them one year apart. (Incredible to think about now, isnt it? Two Final Fantasy games coming out in two years?) Under series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, the goal was to make a game that paid tribute to all of its predecessors, and as a result, Final Fantasy IX was as old-school as it got.