I’m ready for the announcement of the Final Fantasy 9 Remake, Square

When I looked through the list of games leaked from Nvidia’s database last year, I felt like I needed a series of gradually larger 👀 emojis – or a Vince McMahon meme – to properly convey my reaction. Could they all really be real? Based on how many leaks from the list have now been proven to be true: Yes. I’m convinced that almost all the items on the list are genuine – or was genuine at some point (a few were probably old records that have been canceled). And for the past few months, I’ve been working my way up to a cross-border frenzy by thinking of one game on the list: Final Fantasy 9 Remake.

That name excites me. It haunts me, too. Final Fantasy 9 is my favorite Final Fantasy and my favorite JRPG. It’s a game made when Squaresoft was at its creative peak in the year 2000. It was the last Final Fantasy with the direct involvement of series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. To me, it’s a game that embodies “they do not make them the way they used to,” ironically considering that at the time it was designed as a return to Final Fantasys from the 90s.

There is no re-recording, I can imagine being higher stakes for me personally.

I do not know if I think modern Square Enix can do a Final Fantasy 9 Remake justice because so much of its spirit is rooted in its “retro” design. I do not think Final Fantasy 9 is Final Fantasy 9 without its turn-based battles, picturesque cities, playful script or comically proportioned characters. If Final Fantasy 7 Remake is the template, a remake would push for more realistic graphics and more actiony combat. The game would be largely or completely rewritten. That road would lead to a Final Fantasy 9 that was 20 years newer, for sure. But better? I very much doubt that.