My favorite Final Fantasy game ended up being Final Fantasy X, but Final Fantasy IX is close behind. Final Fantasy IX features my all time favorite Final Fantasy character ever, Vivi.
Final Fantasy IX follows Zidane and his party on a quest to stop the Queen from starting a war using black mages. These black mages were created by the Queen while she was under the influence of Kuja. Kuja’s ultimate goal is to acquire eidolons and rule Gaia.
Final Fantasy IX is the only game to showcase black mages as their own race, rather than a job. It is here where Vivi comes in. Vivi is a prototype black mage who fell out of his cargo ship and was later found by a Qu named Quan.
Quan raised Vivi as his own. His indention was to eat Vivi, but Vivi never grew to be big enough. Vivi remained unaware of Quan’s intentions, referring to him as his grandfather. Quan taught Vivi a lot about the world which made Vivi want to see it for himself. After Quan’s death, Vivi left for Alexandria.
It is here where he ties into the rest of Final Fantasy IX’s main story. Throughout the game, Vivi struggles with existence and fear of his own abilities. Once Zidane began to treat Vivi like a brother, he decided to use his magic to help Zidane and his friends.
Vivi’s Importance Final Fantasy IX’s Story
Vivi’s story is extremely important to me personally, but it is also important to Final Fantasy IX‘s story. The main story is all about stopping the Queen from using these black mages in war. Vivi’s character directly ties into that by showing Zidane and the other party members that the black mages don’t have to be bad.
Vivi has to overcome so much, especially when he realizes why he was made. To add to that, in Black Mage Village he learns that black mages typically only have a lifespan of about one year. This all adds to his identity struggle and sense of purpose.
Seeing Vivi and the other awakened black mages deal with their creation is what makes his story so unique. The opportunity to get inside an enemy’s mind like that is pretty rare in video games. Especially when that enemy is man-made. Without Vivi, the game just wouldn’t be the same at all.
Vivi opened my mind to his race’s struggle and the toll it took on them. It actually drove me more to take down Kuja, because I really sympathized with these black mages.
Vivi’s Influence On Other Characters
Vivi certainly effected how the other party members viewed black mages, as well. His pure-heart and timid demeanor was not like the black mages they were used to fighting. While Vivi struggled with his own sense of purpose and belonging, I think the party members could feel his anguish.
After Zidane discovered that he was also created, Vivi was able to sympathize with him. Their relationship in this games is extremely touching. They both help each other through so much.
Vivi constantly asked other members what their purpose was, in search of his own. Ultimately I think he discovered that it was a question he’d have to answer on his own. There’s no doubt in my mind that everyone who had the pleasure to meet Vivi was forever changed.
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