My only real gripe with FFIX was Amarant Coral. I understand they needed a counterweight for a character like Zidane but for god's sake. They should've at least TRIED to incorporate the character in an even slightly believable way. Amarant never fucking did anything except whine about how he doesn't need anyone (we've heard those speeches 10 times before from more interesting characters) and came out of nowhere ("Uh . . . I'll send these two mercenaries after Zidane.")
Anyone else thought that the Shrines sequence was very cool? I was thinking I'd have to do other 4 dungeons and was pleasantly surpised by the cool montage and the awesome music. Still, doesn't beat this scene
. So epic.
I think this is the forgotten FF because it came out when the PSX was giving its final breaths and the PS2 (And FFX) were in everyone's minds. And of course the whole "Gaiden" aspect (apparently originally it was going to be a separate game but they liked it so much they decided to add it to the main numbered canon; Sakaguchi claims IX is his favorite FF of all).
I loved the references to FF games past.
"I knew of a spikey haired guy who used one like this." and "No squall or cloud shall hinder us." were two of my favorites.