Impulsive and intense, he breaks whatever he needs to in order to make clear what's right and wrong. Not one for thinking, he would rather jump into the fray and just start tearing it up with his lance.
Nine has messy blond hair, light blue eyes and a scarred face. As a member of Class Zero he wears its uniform, though his is disheveled with the black jacket with the gold-padded shoulders left unfastened, and his white trousers slouching over his shoes. He wears a black belt with a red belt buckle, a red cape and wields a spear.
His summer uniform has a white jacket with a black print on the side, a black shirt, black trousers with white shoes, black gloves and a red cape. Nine is the only member not to wear a tie.
His dress uniform has a red jacket with black padded shoulders and cuffs, black shirt, white cape and gloves, black trousers with silver decoration at the bottoms and black shoes. If Nine becomes a l'Cie, his brand is located on his right forearm.
Impulsive and very intense, Nine shoots from the hip and doesn't really worry about the consequences. In fact, he prides himself in his ability to act without overthinking--even though some of his classmates chide him for not thinking enough. Nine rebuts, however, that his seemingly rash decisions usually work out for the best...most of the time, anyway. He has a hard time dealing with situations that aren't black and white, and he'll break whatever he needs to in order to make clear what's right and what's wrong.
Nine is impulsive and straightforward, viewing the world in black and white and only feels satisfied when things are not complicated. Although he is seen as brutish and dense, having a foul mouth and is considered not very booksmart by fellow classmate Queen, Nine plays it straight as a man of action and his courage boosts Class Zero's morale on the battlefield. Though easily angered and quick to lash out at others, he bears love for the class's adoptive Mother, Arecia Al-Rashia, respect for his classmates, and pride in his country. He has a constant appetite.
Nine has been described by his English voice actor Orion Acaba thusly: "He is a tough guy with a little underbelly of sweetness. He tries to hide it, but is not that good at it because he wears his emotions on his face. He is loyal to a fault to his friends, and he is honorable and truthful, and even though it might not be the smartest thing to say at the time, he doesn't pull his punches if it is speaking the truth. Nine is such a gruff that when he does [speak his mind despite social faux pas] it comes across as endearing."
Nine is a member of Class Second and dons an indigo blue mantle.
He can be found in the Backyard during the morning, afternoon and evening.
You say I ain't cultured? Well, I don't like to brag, but... I can name all Four Crystal States in Orience, yo!
Hoping to channel his abundant energy into something more productive, Dr. Arecia Al-Rashia adopted Nine and moved him to a facility outside Akademeia at the age of eight, offering him a rigorous training regimen. Nine joined Class Zero, a group of Arecia's adopted Agito Cadets from Akademeia, the magic academy of the nation of Rubrum, that fights the invasion by Milites Empire. As part of the "Operation Apostle," he and his comrades seek to become the Agito, a messiah prophesied in ancient mythology to appear at the time of Tempus Finis, an apocalyptic calamity.
When the empire invades Rubrum Nine is deployed to the battlefield to liberate the capital. Nine, like his fellow classmates, has been augmented by Arecia to use magic independent of Rubrum's Vermilion Bird Crystal. When the empire deploys the crystal jammer to cut Rubrum's forces off their Crystal, Class Zero is their only hope. The cadets drive the imperial forces out and are officially enrolled to Akademeia with two new cadets, Machina Kunagiri and Rem Tokimiya, to be deployed to the battlefield to help retake the areas conquered by the empire.
When Kurasame Susaya introduces himself to Class Zero as their commanding officer, Nine tells him to "take a hike" and says they will only listen to mother. Kurasame slaps Nine into a wall, prompting him to rush forward and attack Kurasame a second time, but he again throws Nine aside. Fellow classmates Cater and Ace rush to Nine's defense, but are overpowered, and the cadets grudgingly accept Kurasame as their superior.
After the cadets help liberate Rubrum Region Nine hangs out at the Lounge, cutting class. He and Deuce run into Naghi Minatsuchi from the clandestine Class Ninth, whom Nine finds annoying. During the capture of Togoreth Stronghold, Nine helps defeat the imperial General Qator Bashtar and his flying magitek armor. When the Vermilion Bird Primus l'Cie Zhuyu Voghfau Byot intercepts the White Tiger Crystal Primus l'Cie Nimbus, Nine, Queen and Sice watch the showdown until they are called to retreat.
Back in Akademeia Nine visits the library with Queen and marvels he would never have the time to read all the books if he read for the rest of his life, and voices his dislike of reading, saying that instead of book-learning they should be graded on how many troopers they waste in the field. They run into Quon Yobatz, a magic researcher and a fellow cadet, who berates Nine's ignorance, angering him.
After the mission to liberate Iscah Ace has a chance to snooze in the back garden and relive some of his lost memories with the late Izana Kunagiri. Nine nearby states his theory that the Crystal doesn't remove the memories of the deceased from the minds of the living, but the memories with them, leaving behind phantom recollections and feelings that are difficult to place. He laments memories are not much worth in the afterlife, anyway.
When the cadets are sent to sabotage the imperial magitek armor program they get orders to cease fire due to a newly wrought armistice mid-mission. Kurasame travels to the imperial capital as Chancellor Khalia Chival VI's aide and negotiates for the cadets' safety, and afterward explains the situation to them: the empire had proposed peace before the cadets' mission was underway, but they could not contact them in time to halt it. The cadets disagree with the treaty, positing that the empire has no right to ask for peace for being the initial aggressor.
They meet Queen Andoria of the Kingdom of Concordia. The encounter shocks Nine who had thought she never left her castle. The queen explains that peace is the Will of the Crystals, and that the cadets' opposition would only lead to Tempus Finis. Yet, the cadets struggle accepting that what they have been fighting for is against the Crystal's will.
Nine explores the Militesi capital of Ingram but gets lost and has to ask for directions to get back to the hotel. A Militesi trooper derides Nine and calls him the Vermilion Bird Crystal's lapdog, deeming the empire superior as they have instead harnessed their Crystal's power for their own use. As Nine interprets the soldier's attitude as a challenge and draws out his spear, King steps in-between them and derides the soldier's blind loyalty to the Militesi Marshal Cid Aulstyne. A confused Nine follows King as he directs them to leave the soldier alone.
Queen Andoria is assassinated and Class Zero is blamed for it. The cadets are ambushed at Hotel Armada and escape the city while unable to contact Central Command, raising the possibility they have been abandoned to fend for themselves. They face off against Celestia, Queen Andoria's aide, who, at first, holds the cadets culpable for the regicide and knocks down Rem and Machina. She is convinced otherwise and helps the cadets escape the city to a deserted house in the Old Lorica Region, Nine carrying the unconscious Machina to safety.
After Machina comes to Nine tries to talk to him but is rebuffed. After an argument over Machina holding the rest of Class Zero culpable for his brother Izana's death, he marches off. Nine takes over the watch duty with Seven, although he considers himself better suited for face-to-face battles than for waiting around on guard. When Nine claims Machina thinks too much, Seven retorts Nine "doesn't think enough." Machina returns in the morning, and the cadets can move on as Deuce exclaims the COMM is working again and she has reached the dominion.
Kurasame organizes for the cadets to be rescued by airship and back in Akademeia explains there will likely be an investigation, and implies the cadets switched off their COMM to avoid being contacted. The cadets find the accusations ridiculous and Nine raises his voice in anger, but is held back by King. Nine later says they owe it to Kurasame for having sent help.
Nine and Queen meet Quon at the library, and Nine is angered Quon ignores him when he tries to talk to him. Nine accuses Quon of having no friends, but Quon is bemused, as he finds the books all the friends he needs. During free time Nine hangs out with Sice at the Ready Room and runs into Carla, Sice warning Nine of her gil-grubbing ways.
After the cadets return from a mission to reclaim Eibon, they assemble in the classroom to hear their next orders from Kurasame, but Machina has gone missing. Kurasame explains to the rest the upcoming battle plan against the joint Militesi-Concordian forces. Class Zero is to be sent with Lord Zhuyu to fight off the Concordian dragons with an airship fleet, while Kurasame will accompany the rest of Rubrum's legionaries, as well as Akademeia cadets and trainees, to the Militesi border for Vermilion Bird Secundus l'Cie Lady Caetuna to summon a Verboten Eidolon. Nine is shocked they would be aided by a l'Cie.
Nine confronts Kurasame over rumors the latter is being sent to the front lines as punishment for Class Zero's failings. Kurasame denies this and is bemused his cadets would worry over him, as even if he did die the Crystal would remove all memories of him from the living. Nine doubts they could forget someone as annoying as Kurasame who takes it as a compliment. Afterward Nine declares Kurasame an "upstanding guy" for taking the fall for his cadets.
The cadets help Rubrum secure victory on the eastern front by defeating Shinryu Celestia. The western front is falling back and Class Zero is recalled as reinforcements to destroy the empire's crystal jammer allowing for Lady Caetuna to begin summoning Alexander for which Kurasame and many cadets give their lives to complete the summoning. After Alexander obliterates the Militesi forces, Caetuna enters crystal stasis and Class Zero visits the numerous new graves in the Akademeia cemetery.
Nine cannot comprehend the losses as all memories of Kurasame as well as the others perished have been removed from them. He visits Kurasame's grave with Cater out of Queen's request, but only feels empty. Cater explains she had looked Kurasame up and deems him a jerk who had left them behind in Ingram when they had been blamed for the regicide. Nine feels he has forgotten something important that compels him to not badmouth a commander he cannot recall.
After the dominion invades Concordia, Nine and Queen find Quon outside their classroom, eager to join Class Zero. They are surprised and ask why he wants to join. Quon's research has let him in on the knowledge that Class Zero is the only class in Akademeia to harvest phantoma, the mystical life energy, or "souls" of all living beings. Nine and Queen are shocked Quon is privy to such confidential information, and Nine says he could get in trouble. Nine is shocked Queen lets Quon join the class anyway.
After Class Zero helps Rubrum invade Concordia, Nine visits the cemetery and runs into Trey and Rem. Rem ponders her inability mourn for the deaths of people she cannot remember. Trey believes the memory erosion is a blessing granted by the Crystals, as the sad memories would make them unable to go on, but is rebuked by Nine who reminds him that their choice to become cadets, and in turn, soldiers of the state, demands respect and reprieve for those who have fallen before them.
As the final showdown against the empire and Cid Aulstyne begins, the class is sent to help conquer the imperial capital. As Class Zero is to be deployed Machina disappears. The others go without him and best General Qator Bashtar in his new and improved MA. The empire falls and Orience is united under the Vermilion Bird banner, but as the cadets return to Akademeia they find its cadets and legionaries slain by the Rursus and the dominion commanders gone: Tempus Finis has begun.
Other cadets reveal the once Code Crimson missions, which Class Zero partook, making the remaining cadets turn against them, blaming them for the ensuing apocalypse. Rem's illness reaches its final stages and she collapses. Nine asks where Machina is now that Rem would need him. Arecia explains the cadets have lived their lives according to the Will of Crystals recorded in the Akashic Records, but now that the "souls have been released" they can write their own ending, as humans have the power to decide how they live or die, hinting at a vital decision the cadets would soon need to make. Nine is utterly confused, saying she made even less sense than usual.
Sice and Nine learn from Cinque Concordia has likely capitulated to the Rursus. While Sice says they have finally met their match, Nine disagrees, saying Class Zero will kill every last one of them. Queen calls everyone to the Altocrystarium room where she tells them about the Judge who resides in the newly appeared sanctuary, Pandæmonium, to make the Final Decision: if there is no Agito, Orience will be destroyed by the Rursus. The cadets plan to infiltrate the sanctuary to speak to the Judge while knowing that without Arecia they will not be revived if they fall in battle. Nine is unbothered by the idea of fighting without been given orders, saying it will be like any other mission.
The cadets are taken to Pandæmonium by Celestia, who loses her humanity for having defied her Focus to the Azure Dragon Crystal. Nine is gobsmacked and asks what the hell happened when Celestia turns into Shinryu Celestia.
As the cadets head to the top of the temple guided by Cid's voice, who had entered Pandæmonium ahead of them, the Vermilion Bird Crystal asks them to become l'Cie. If they accept the cadets are slain by the Rursus, Arecia deems it yet another failed experiment, and Orience and, eventually, Class Zero, are reborn in wait for another Tempus Finis.
If they choose to remain mortal, the Vermilion Bird brands Rem, still slumped in Arecia's office back in Akademeia, in their stead, and sends her to intercept a White Tiger l'Cie it had sensed in Pandæmonium, wanting one of the Vermilion Bird to become Agito. As Rem engages the l'Cie she is impaled by his rapier, and it turns out the l'Cie was Machina who had willingly inherited the White Tiger Secundus l'Cie Qun'mi Tru'e's Focus to become strong enough to protect Rem. As Rem dies, both enter crystal stasis, the cadets mourning the sight when they happen upon their crystal.
The cadets face off against Cid who has become the Rursan Arbiter, possessed by the fal'Cie Gala. He deems Class Zero unfit to be Agito, and thus sets out to destroy Orience. Machina and Rem's crystal bestows the cadets with their power allowing them to prevail, but like the rest of Class Zero, Nine meets his end after they vanquish the Judge. When Nine and his classmates are on the verge on death he remains calm as he feels they did the right thing. When they talk about all the things they would have done in a war-free Orience, Nine is shocked when Eight suggests they should study.
The mysterious Tiz and Joker, who had been observing the class's progress, ask for Arecia to listen to the class's wishes from beyond the grave. By listening to their souls Arecia learns the class loves her, but have made their own decision on how they met their end and do not wish to be revived. Arecia releases Machina and Rem from crystal stasis and instead of restarting the spiral, departs from Orience, abandoning the experiment to find Etro's gate with the Agito. The Crystals fade and people are allowed to remember the dead, Machina and Rem holding dear the memories of Class Zero.
In the alternate ending where the war never started due to Arecia removing the Crystals from Orience, Nine lives in Akademeia and develops feelings for instructor Emina Hanaharu. After what is speculated to be a confession to Emina is turned down due to her having a boyfriend (revealed to be Izana Kunagiri), Nine takes out his anger by throwing his spears.
Nine wields a spear in battle, and has an accessible close-range aggressive and powerful battle style resembling that of a Dragoon. His style is similar to Queen's, but with more emphasis on strength. He can spin his weapon around to attack and is good with critical hits.
Nine has high Attack and Defense, although his power might be weaker than Sice's or Jack's, but he is more durable than Cinque. His HP pool, defense, and attack damage are high, making him an ideal tank during boss fights or a good partner for long-ranged characters, such as Ace, Dauce, Trey, and Cater, while they dish out damaging spells and attacks.
Nine's tank-like build is offset by his low MP pool and magic defense as well as speed. His attacks often have a delay, which means timing is crucial for him. As such, players should keep in mind to keep Nine safe when facing magic-based or quick enemies.
Nine is one of the weakest characters alongside Cater, Eight, Trey and Mutsuki. He retains most of his javelin skills and his strongest raises his attack power in a glowing red light to augment his javelin. He is not useful in later chapters and is seen as a weak opponent in other events.
Creation and developmentEdit
Nine is a "rude but funny tough guy" archetype and the only character who swears in the game.
He is voiced by Orion Acaba in English, who has described Nine as his favorite character to have voiced during his career, and a big departure from his previous roles as a voice actor. Acaba had been a Final Fantasy fan since childhood, and when he heard Square Enix was taking auditions for Final Fantasy Type-0 he was thrilled and auditioned for most of the game's male lead roles. Acaba has stated that being a gamer himself influences his auditioning process, as he has his own idea on what would or would not sound good in a game from a player's perspective. When rehearsing for the audition for Nine Acaba did improv among himself to figure out the character and came up with the voice that led to him being booked for the role. One of the cues Acaba got was "think of [Nine] as a Canadian thug". Playing a tough guy who was also funny gave Acaba room to play around and ad lib.
Acaba's approach to the role was to mostly not plan out the sessions too much beforehand to keep his delivery for the more comedic scenes fresh. For the more emotional scenes he studied the script more before the recording. Acaba has said Nine was easy to connect with as he considers the character similar to himself as a person.
Nine has appeared in the following games throughout the Final Fantasy series:
- Final Fantasy Type-0 HD Twitter Battle as a playable character.
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Artniks as a series of cards.
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Brave Exvius as a summonable vision.
- Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as a series of cards.
- Triple Triad as a series of cards.
- Final Fantasy Type-0
- Final Fantasy Agito
Etymology and symbolismEdit
"Nine" is one of the trumps of a traditional set of playing cards.
By the prophecy of the Nameless Tome, Nine bears the Power of Action. His power lies in the matter of doing rather than describing. Within Japanese superstition, the number nine is an inauspicious number due to it sharing a homophone with the word for suffering. In the face of that belief, another saying goes "if you're going to be dumb, you've got to be tough."
- According to the Final Fantasy Type-0 novel, Nine is not sure about what he wants to do after leaving Class Zero. After asking the other cadets, Machina suggests that he become a farmer as he is strong and spends most of his time eating, and thus it can be motivating to grow his own crops.
- The Final Fantasy Type-0 art book mentions that manly characters like Nine and King are popular among the female gamers, contributing to their high rankings in the popularity contest.