- See also: I Want to Be Your Canary/Script
- “I'm a big fan of Lord Avon's plays. I have - I mean, I've seen all of them. 'I Want to Be Your Canary' is one of my favorites!”
- —Princess Garnet
I Want to be Your Canary (君の小鳥になりたい, Kimi no Kotori ni Naritai?, lit. I Want to be Your Bird) is a fictional theater play featured in Final Fantasy IX. It was written by Lord Avon, which is a reference to Shakespeare's birthplace, and tells the story of the romance between a noble and a peasant.
The game's heroine, Princess Garnet, and her mother, Queen Brahne, love this play. Due to unforeseen events during the kidnapping of the princess, the play's script is partially improvised with Garnet playing the role of Cornelia, initially to be played by Ruby, and Steiner playing the role of Prince Schneider (though he does not realize that he is in the play). Queen Brahne comments that it is the best version of the play she has ever seen.
The young black mage, Vivi, goes to Alexandria to see the play but is refused entry. He does not realize he has a forged ticket that reads, "I Want to be Your Crow." He later sneaks into the play with Puck by walking on the rooftops.
Impressing the NoblesEdit
Depending on how well the player does, a number of nobles in the audience are impressed, as well as the queen herself. Later, when the player is in control of Steiner, the player will receive a reward if they talk to the queen. Button pressing accuracy alone is not enough to get 100; speedy button input is required as well.
|Number of Nobles||Reward|
|Trouble with the audio sample?|
A number of themes play during I Want to Be Your Canary in Final Fantasy IX: "Tonight" plays when King Leo captures Marcus; "Vamo Alla Flamenco" plays during Blank and Zidane's sword fight; "Swords of Fury" (also known as "Feel My Blade") plays during the battle versus King Leo; "Thy Warmth" plays when Zidane, Garnet, and Steiner enter the stage by accident; "Tragic Love" plays when Garnet, as Cornelia, jumps in front of Marcus' blade and dies. During the performance at the end of the game, "I Want to be Your Canary" plays.
The play is similar to William Shakespeare's King Lear and Romeo and Juliet, with the hero, Marcus, in love with Cornelia, the daughter of his enemy, King Leo. Leo wishes Cornelia to marry Prince Schneider, a man she does not love. Both Cornelia and Marcus end up dying for their love. In the original Japanese version, the king in I Want to Be Your Canary, played by Baku, is King Lear, which is a direct reference to Shakespeare's character.
In an old development memo Hironobu Sakaguchi shared online, the play Tantalus performs at the beginning of the game is a "special play at night when two moons are full once a year". This refers to the twin moons of Gaia. The initial idea for the play also appears to have been a different play altogether, as it is described as: "A theme of a play is 'Moon Light Love Romance' which is very hot now." In the final game, the play is being performed to honor Princess Garnet's birthday.
The excepts of the dialogue of the original play memo reveal that the play would start with the rescue of a princess confined in "Gulug castle", and that with the "hostage exchange" the "Sassoon country" would be be reconstructed. Mount Gulg is a recurring location in the Final Fantasy series, and also appears in the final version of Final Fantasy IX as the Mount Gulug volcano near Esto Gaza. "Sassoon country" refers to Sasune from Final Fantasy III.
- During the ending, one of the lines of the play is, "No cloud, no squall shall hinder us". This is an allusion to the protagonists of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII, Cloud Strife and Squall Leonhart, respectively.
- It is possible that many of the members of Tantalus were named by Baku after the characters from I Want to Be Your Canary and thus play the characters they were named after.