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Topics - Clem Fandango

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Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition

What is this?

Final Fantasy IX: David Bowie Edition (DBE) is a gameplay mod that is a remix of the original game, aiming to keep the overall essence and feel of FF9, but with some new options for the player and an overall higher difficulty. The mod is now up to 2.0 after years of off-again, on-again iteration.

This mod requires the latest version of Memoria and is compatible with Moguri. The mod has been fully playtested with Memoria's Turn-Based Difficulty option, which is pretty fun if you want a slightly different flavor than usual. Downloading and installing the mod is done through the Memoria mod manager, more on that below.

As of 2.0, nearly every battle has been altered further, character abilities/stats have been tweaked, various bugs have been squashed and there's a wide variety of minor changes beyond that.

What's with the name?

I like David Bowie.

Is this meant as a hardmode mod?

It's meant to be harder than FF9, but not so hard that it no longer resembles FF9 at all. Combat is meant to be more substantial on a per-fight basis compared to the original game, largely due to the lower encounter rate of the newer releases of FF9. The idea is that the game should have some degree of friction throughout, especially if the player is not grinding.

The level of difficulty I was going for would be similar to FF4, specifically the DS version of FF4, but without the infamous "got ambushed by a bunch of dogs that were on fire and got instantly wiped" kind of thing.


- All characters have been looked at and rebalanced, with more of an emphasis on buffing characters rather than nerfing them. Abilities that range from "mostly useless" to "literally does not work" have been either improved or completely replaced. Character skill sets in general have been reworked, with an emphasis of characters having a wide variety of possible uses at all parts of the game, for instance I didn't want Steiner to just turn into a Shock-bot like he does in Vanilla, although you can still totally do that if you want.

- Some characters can actually play quite different from they do in vanilla. For instance, Dagger now has Red Magic and Amarant has a particular focus on his Trance abilities that he never had before.

- Enemies generally hit harder, hit faster and are more durable. In some cases they gain new abilities, elemental traits, classifications and so on. Nearly every encounter from the Evil Forest onward has been modified, generally to make enemies more dangerous than before.

- Weapons and armor have been modified, sometimes with different stat changes, other times with new names and effects. The abilities learned by equipment have been changed quite dramatically as well. End game weapons have been changed quite a bit, since I wanted there to be multiple potential options for a character to use at end game.

- Support abilities have different AP costs and characters don't necessarily have the exact same options as in vanilla. For instance Quina can learn Long Reach and actually learns it far earlier than other characters, which can give them some unique options should you want to gamble with their physical attack. Additionally the effect for some skills has changed, for example Stone Killer is now gone and replaced with Armor Killer, which now applies to various enemies with natural armor like shells and carapaces, which winds up being a much more numerous crowd than the three monsters Stone Killer works on in vanilla.

- AP requirements for abilities are cut down across the board, to encourage both experimentation in using different characters (doesn't take as long to build someone up), as well making it easier to shift around pieces of equipment as needed.

- Chocographs now have different rewards, with them largely being more incremental improvements rather than the sometimes over the top upgrades that they can be in vanilla. For the most part, a player getting Chocographs as soon as they can will be better off than a player who is not playing the mode at all, but it's less "Freya gets the Holy Lance early and now skips like three of her spears" and more "Freya gets a really good and cool spear, but it's not going to be a total blow out."

- The specific Chocographs that allow Choco to change his form are available at different times. Basically what this means is that Choco is no longer able to go from his Mountain form to his Sea form over the course of like, ten minutes, instead this can only occur if the player has already completed the events at Mount Gulug.

- The final dungeon has a number of new random battle formations, with larger enemy counts per battle.

- There's a number of little quality of life changes to make parts of the game feel a bit better. Dagger no longer has performance issues half way through the game (although I admit I like that whole thing as a concept). Vivi no longer asks for a card during the festival of the hunt and asks for something that's actually worth getting. If you're catching frogs you only need to get 69 frogs to finish the end of the sidequest, which is Nice, and also makes the whole thing drag considerably less than it normally does. Frog Drop is not a thing anymore so you don't really need all of those frogs anyway.

Known Bugs

Presently the area around the Village of Dali sometimes softlocks the game upon loading a battle. It's not 100% guaranteed to happen and I've not been able to figure out the cause of it. It's the only major bug I've been able to replicate.

That being said, please let me know of other issues that you may encounter.

Special Thanks

I just want to throw out a shout out to Tirlititi, for not only developing the Hades tool and its various documentation, but also for answering the mountains of questions I had while I was working on this. Also a big shoutout for showing me how to make the mod compatible with Moguri, as well as allowing it to be listed in the Memoria Mod Manager. None of this would be possible without Tirlititi's work. Also thanks to Caledor for providing some solutions for some issues with Chocobo Hot and Cold, it was a huge help. Also a big thanks to anyone out there who has provided feedback and pointed out bugs to me.

Standard Installation

1. Download and run the latest version of the Memoria patcher from this page: Note that when you run the patcher, Windows may pop up a dialog saying the file is unsafe; this appears to be a false positive and is probably not unexpected given how the patcher works. If you've got an older version of Memoria, make sure to update to the newest version.

2. Launch FF9. You should now see a different looking screen from what you would normally see, what you'll want to click is the "Install Mods" button in the upper right-hand corner. From there, click the Browse Catalog tab and you should see the mod listed.

3. Select David Bowie Edition in the mod manager and install it. Should be good to go from there.

4. Note that this should not be used with existing save games, unless updating from a previous version.

Additionally, you can download mod data at the following link:

It says 1.6, but it is 2.0. I'd recommend installing the mod through Memoria instead.

Moguri Installation

This is largely the same as the standard install, but you've got an additional step before doing starting the process. First install the newest version of Moguri from here:

Once you finish installing Moguri, proceed with the steps seen in the Standard Installation section. At the end you can enable whichever Moguri components you'd like to use in the Mod Manager. I don't think load order should matter, keeping David Bowie Edition loading before Moguri will work fine.


To update the mod, simply uninstall it in the Memoria Mod Manager's Installed Mods tab, then redownload it in the Browse Catalog tab. Also make sure to be running the latest version of Memoria, as DBE makes use of features from the most recent release.

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