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So what are your favorite dungeons in the game? These are my favorites ^_^
This game has a lot of awesome places.
Burmecia: the music, the feel of something even more bad will happen, the rain...
Conde Petie: what a relaxing place for a dungeon.
Oeilvert: this place is fantastic, it's so Alien/Lovecraft.
Terra: one of my favourites tunes of the game, and a very eerie place.
Memoria: FF meets Dali!
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There are quite a few places I’m fond of. In no particular order:
Oeilvert - I just love the atmosphere of this place, particularly with its many allusions to Terra, and the history of the Invincible et. al. Encountering it for the first time as a child was quite an interesting experience; almost as though I was being presented with a puzzle wherein all the pieces don’t quite fit. In addition, fighting Ark as a boss was a serious mindscrew when I discovered it was also an Eidolon (isn’t it referenced or drawn on the wall at Madain Sari? I can’t remember.) I kept trying to look for connections. Also, ‘oeil vert’ is French for ‘green eye’. What could this be referencing? (I’d have thought ‘oeilbleu’ would have made more sense…)
Desert Palace - Kuja’s theme is playing everywhere, right? Isn’t that awesome enough? Also, it’s usually a party of magic users romping through, at least for me, which is always fun. I remember serious summon abuse, and I also kept Freya behind so she could blaze a trail with her newly… uh, ‘acquired’ Holy Lance. Plus, the grandiose gothic stylings make me go weak at the knees every time. Stained glass windows, biblical references, organ music? Aww yeah.
Ipsen’s Castle - This place was just seriously bizarre. Much as it’s a shame that the weapon base power formula is (60 – wpn pwr) so nobody has especially high attack compared to what you might have farmed from Chocobo Hot and Cold, it’s still a fascinating premise. It’s also got some serious gravity warping going on – I like how symmetrical and messed up everything is.
Burmecia - Oh god, the ambience. It’s difficult to put into words, but everything is just perfect – the music, the invasion, the stage in the game, everything so much. I almost felt like I could have been there myself.
One place I love despite not really being able to count it as a dungeon:
Terra - Uematsu is a genius. Purely on the strength of the music alone, I utterly adore it. It feels so ethereal, so tranquil and so indescribably otherworldly. It’s probably one of my favourite pieces, not just in VGM, but full stop. It really gives the sense of being in an alien world, removed from ordinary reality.
And one place I absolutely detest:
Fossil Roo - I don’t care how well designed it is as a dungeon, this place is a pain. In. The. BACKSIDE. So unbearably tedious, I don’t even. Its only saving grace is the ability to grind on Griffins for Peridots :p
"Perfectionism becomes desirable when it stimulates the healthy pursuit of excellence."
Well, for me, a dungeon usually has some puzzle(s) involved, and maybe some unique mechanics for getting around, exploring etc. Like in Zelda, or Tales Symphonia.
I can understand that. I am of the mind that any area set aside for the sake of treasure hunting/monster fighting is a dungeon. Thus, the Elder Scrolls series is a series that features many dungeons, although they are more like instances.
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Evil Forest - I like the scenery, plus the forest has a nice feel of mystery about it, mostly thanks to that music...not only that, it marks the beginning of the adventure, and who can forget that epic escape scene?
Burmecia - Great music, great atmosphere. Love all the rain.
Iifa Tree - Not sure why I like this one. Probably because the farther into the dungeon you get, the weirder and more alien it becomes.
Desert Palace - Though it was a source of frustration for me as a kid due to choosing the wrong party and getting confused with the candle puzzle, I've come to appreciate it a lot more these days. Could also be because I really like Kuja as a villain and the entire dungeon reflects him very well.
Mt. Gulug - Mostly for the music.
Terra - The music, and the mysterious atmosphere.
Pandemonium - Awesome for many reasons. The music, the struggle Zidane endures, then everyone once again coming together and climbing to the very top to face Garland...Honestly I would have been fine with it being the final dungeon, it was so climactic.
Memoria - IF this place didn't exist, of course! Memoria was an amazing final dungeon. The idea of playing through a world made up of everyone's memories is pretty epic...plus, that music always makes me think back on my own memories and past..gets me kinda nostalgic.
Crystal World - I dunno if this really counts as a dungeon since it's so short and pocketed inside the Memoria dungeon, but I just have to add it for 1 simple reason: Those backgrounds. The ominous clouds, the lightning, the huge floating crystal structures...the music is pretty good too. Yeah music has a lot to do with many of these picks, I know, but FFIX has the best soundtrack in the entire FF series IMO, mostly for how fitting and appropriate it is for the areas and the world. Not that Nobuo didn't make fitting music for the other games as well, but I believe he did it best with FFIX.
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I tend to like all of 'em though, except the one that never did anything for me and most people adore (Terra).
Take me down from the ridge where the summer ends
And watch the city spread out just like a jet's flame
Mt Gulug, looks cool and has incredibly well composed music, absolutely love the music in fact.
The thing I love about FF9 and that, IMO, makes it the best FF for PSX, is the designs. There's no screen in this game that hasn't been given weeks or months of attentions. Every dungeons feels "alive". Either by the music, by the art style or by the themes.
Oilvert has an amazing atmosphere. Desert palace is a masterwork of gaming design. It feels like you're playing an medieval art museum inspired game. Ipsen Castle has a great concept and an incredible design. Pandemonium has a tone that cuts through the bones. Ice Cavern really stands and feels unique.
To sum it up: there's no "bland" place in FF9. Every location has a life and story of its own. There are no recycled textures and designs for the sake of it. And that's why I love the design and art style of the game. It's priceless.
Oeilvert/Desert Palace: Favorite section of the game hands down, wish they were more multiparty scenarios in this game, one of the reasons I love FF6.
Mount Gulug: Great enemy formations, awesome design, sweet music.
Gizamluke's Grotto: another great part of the game, damn good music here.
"Rampant ninja-related crimes these days... White House is not the exception."
I like the Iifa tree. Killing giant penis monsters with a soft is just too priceless.