FF9 is a family game. You can tell
because all of the families are broken.
Let's run through it, shall we?
Garnet: Her father's dead. Her mother is evil and, for some reason,
blue. (But she can cut a rug, which I respect.) Her uncle is a womanizer
and an oglop.
Zidane: He's a throwaway who was brought up to be a thief and a
bit player by a team of bandits-cum-theater majors. His family--every
single member of them sans one, a group which can number in the
thousands depending on how loosely you want to define descent--is
FREAKING INSANE. And by insane, I don't mean cute All-Purpose Cultural
Cat Girl Nuku-Nuku insane. I mean, IT WOULD BE A SPOILER IF I TOLD
Vivi: He was raised in a cave by a mad chef who planned to eat
him. His siblings, once we find them, are BLOODY FUCKING AIEEK WHAT
IS THAT I'M BEING BURNT ALIVE BY A SIX-FOOT-TALL UFO CATCHER DOLL
We don't know anything about Quina. We don't want to know. It's
Freya: We know nothing about her family, which is probably a sign
of health. On the other hand, Freya's own family-building skills
leave something to be desired, what with the pining and the sighing
and the hunting high and low for a man who didn't even have the
sense to legally change his name once he hit majority.
Steiner: ...Again, not important. He's middle-aged, he's cut his
apron strings, he's devoted to his work. He's probably never gotten
laid. He might make a good father, provided he didn't stomp on one
of the rug rats when he went into a hissy fit, but marriage? Steiner?
The King of Burmecia: His son is barely kickin' height, but he
ran away from home three years ago and has been wandering the world
ever since. The King's reaction is to moon about asking, "Have
you seen my son?" Dude, you're the king of Burmecia. Send out
a search party. Before your son becomes a M:TG whore peddling
his tail in Lindblum for cards. Thank you.
Kuja: Let's talk sibling rivalry. Let's talk a father who's an
archetypal user. Let's talk group therapy, maybe some hugs. Maybe
a little private therapy to work out why his hostility at his father
has caused him to heavily armor his upper half and let his butt
hang out his skirt. Is it another way of saying, "You've shafted
me so much, here, do it again"? Are you feeling a little aggressive
toward your father? What was your toilet training like? Here, take
a tissue if you need one.
There are several other families in the story belonging to secondary
characters, but they're all doomed: The Moogle wedding destroyed
by Black Mages. The grandmother who was blinded and will never see
her grandchild's face. The Burmecian families who are missing fathers
or (if you pick the wrong path like me) mothers, too. We never see
a family unless the plot's setting up for a chance to KILL KILL
KILL KILL KILL. At this point, just the sight of something family-related
makes my heart sink; it's like seeing a Moogle. Death and destruction
are on their way.
No wonder Zidane's a hopeless womanizer. Sleeping with everything
that moves is the only safe relationship in the game.