Name: Princess Garnet or Dagger
Game: Final Fantasy IX
Job Class: Summoner
Equipment: Rods and magical rackets
***NOTE: For those who have not played Final Fantasy IX, you may want to tread lightly as this will contain spoilers. While I won’t directly reference anything huge this will contain some spoilers.***
Princess Garnet is one of those characters who goes through some rather large personal transformations throughout the game and it was a pleasure for me to be able to go on this journey with her. Many people see Garnet as a character who starts out a bit shallow or meek and who then blossoms into the woman she was meant to be. I however, see her as a character who started out strong and got even stronger. The reason I say this is that even in the beginning she is willing to see what is going on around her without rose-colored glasses.
When the game first starts out Garnet is blaming herself for the ill goings-on. She feels that if she had been stronger, more aware and etc. that she could have had some impact on the horrible things that were happening around her and possibly stopped them before they got started. Keep in mind that this is before she truly knows exactly what is going on, and that she has led the sheltered life of a Princess.
She sets out on her journey to figure out what exactly is going on, not only to save those who are in harm, but to prove to herself that she can. Her first orders of business once she sets out on her trip are to blend in and to start doing what she wants. In order to blend in she first changes her speech patterns from those of royalty to someone who has lived a more common life. Even these acts show her strength. Anyone who has ever tried to change anything, no matter how small, about themselves knows how difficult this can be. Trying to break lifelong patterns is not something that is easily accomplished. She manages to do this, and do it well. She also reminds Steiner throughout the game to call her Dagger and not Princess. Among the craziness going on and her having to remember for herself to act more as a common person she manages to make sure Steiner helps her with this mission as well.
Garnet forms an attachment to those around her rather quickly, but when push comes to shove she is willing to do whatever she has to in order to go on with her journey. The Princess laces her friend’s food with a sleeping weed thus allowing herself the opportunity to sneak away and set out with just herself and Steiner. This one act shows us all how far she is willing to go to find the truth. Being all alone in a world with which she is not familiar she sets off with the fury of a woman on a mission.
Princess Garnet finds out some disturbing things throughout the course of the game. Things that, in all honesty, would make most of us pack up shop, head home and stay under the covers until… forever. Even after everything that happens with her mother (adopted mother or not the things that happen would still be painful) Dagger attempts to comfort her in her final moments of life. Regardless of how they got into the situation they were in, regardless of what outside influences had made things transpire how they happened, most of us would have held a grudge. Dagger tries to overcome this and comfort her mother, showing us once again how deep her compassion can go.
Throughout the game as more and more details are revealed, I found myself staring at the screen in awe and wondering how in the world someone could continue on this path for the truth. This quest for the truth that is going to lead you into some murky territory and very literally bring question to who you are, why you are here and what your purpose is in life. Princess Garnet manages to not only complete her journey but flourish as well.
It is my belief that as a female game character Princess Garnet offers us a plethora of reasons to look up to her, respect her and give her the full credit she deserves. Garnet does have moments of self doubt throughout the game, as anyone would. What is important is that she overcomes these thoughts and does what needs to be done in order to right the wrongs of the world. For those of you who have not played the game, this is one I would suggest as much for the female power as for the good story with great companion characters.