There is a group of developers and passionate Final Fantasy IX fans who are recreating the game in a modern capacity for a project known as “Final Fantasy IX: Memoria Project.”
On June 10, project lead and 3D character artist Dan Eder shared a beautiful screenshot of Vivi in the project’s version of Lindblum on Twitter. “I’m incredibly excited to share some of the progress we’ve made on FFIX: #MemoriaProject over the past couple of months,” he writes in a tweet. “Working on this passion project with some of the best talents in the industry is truly a privilege, and I can’t wait to show you what else we have in store.”
“Final Fantasy IX: Memoria Project” is stated on its website to be “a non-playable passion project led by a team of professional developers and artists in the video game industry that aims to reimagine what the legendary game would look like if it was remade with modern graphical capabilities.” It’s a “non-profit love letter” that is being created as a tribute to the original game, which was released in 2000. The team states it is meant to be a “proof of content,” not a playable product that would infringe on Square Enix’s copyright.
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In the two months since the project was formally announced and its website was formed, the team grew from a small group of three to a development crew of 15 members. This has allowed the team to make steady progress on the project “and move on to the Unreal stage earlier than expected,” leading them to achieve milestones such as this:
Our progress over the past 3 months. pic.twitter.com/9azXgvkWzk
— Dan Eder (@3DanEder) June 10, 2021
You can browse through more screenshots of the project, including several images of Final Fantasy IX characters Garnet Til Alexandros and Vivi, here. According to the update posted on the project’s website on June 16, as well as another tweet from Eder, the team is currently looking for a 3D character artist, 3D environment artist, and 3D prop artist.
Notably, among the project’s team members is Alex Moukala, a music producer and composer known for his often viral analysis, reactions, and remixes of iconic video game songs on YouTube and Twitter. While he creates content for many video game franchises, his love for the Final Fantasy series has made him a widely recognized figure within the community.
Information on the “about” and “FAQ” pages for “Final Fantasy IX: Memoria Project” is stated to be “coming soon,” as the project is understandably in its early phases. To learn more about the project as it comes, you can subscribe to the newsletter advertised at the bottom of the site.
It’s hard, if not straight-up impossible, to pick the “best” Final Fantasy game. But ask me on any given day and I’ll tell you that it’s Final Fantasy IX. It’s largely a truly flawless game in my opinion, with some of the best writing the series has offered to this day. (Though Final Fantasy XIV, especially Shadowbringers, comes very close!)
As much as I’d love to see a remake of Final Fantasy IX someday, I have no expectations of that happening. In the meantime, looking at the beautiful images coming out of “Final Fantasy IX: Memoria Project” will have to do.