Final Fantasy IX is my second favourite game from the series. It was a return to the series roots with a fun, whimsical world to explore, unique and interesting character and creature designs and a wonderful soundtrack that is easily some of Uematsu's best work. However, there is one song on this album that is only slightly better then the rest and that is You're Not Alone.
For those who have not played the game, this next part will be spoiler. You've been warned.
This song plays while in the last dungeon of Disk 3 and penultimate dungeon of the entire game. The main character Zidane has met his father and it was not what he expected. His father, for lack of a better term, was actually a scientist from an ancient race who was hell bent on reviving said race and needed the souls of a nearby planet to start rebuilding the race. To acquire the souls, Garland (great name for a villain) sent two of his “sons”. Kuja, being the first and flawed design and Zidane, the more perfect design. However Kuja was jealous of Zidane and abandoned him on the planet and had forgotten his original mission.
So when Zidane finally meets up with Garland, the elder scientist completely rips apart all of Zidane's ideals and explains to the thief what he truly is; an Angel of Death. After ripping Zidane's soul out, the scientist drops him into a pit, devoid of emotions, and questioning his very existence and its meaning. He is hurt and he doesn't acknowledge his friends and has now lost the will to live. He is taking on various enemies and with each subsequent fight, he loses health and strength while the creatures grow in power. It's not until Garnet comes to save him from oblivion that he snaps out of that state.
This entire scenario is one of the series finest moments. There are very few moments in the Final Fantasy series that could top it and what sells it is the music. You're Not Alone is quite possibly my favourite track from Final Fantasy IX. The music is very melancholic, expressing Zidane's shattered soul. Before going on this journey, he was a free-spirited 16year old and even after all that has happened, he had remained optimistic and supported his friends when they were going through their own personal crisis. After Garland however, all that remained of Zidane was a hollow shell.
What You're Not Alone does in game is showcase that while Zidane is at his lowest, he has friends willing to help him. He rejects their help thinking that he does not need their help, but they continue to stand by him. You're Not Alone exemplifies that. Not only does it speak to Zidane, it also can speak to the player. As long as people have loved ones, they are not alone.
Listening to this song has me realize that. There are times in the past that I have felt absolutely alone, but then I remember I have a family and friends who love and care for me.
No one is alone.
This is Daimo Mac and I am Lost in the Music.