Concept and creation
The main characters were based on the character class archetypes from previous Final Fantasy games (for instance, Zidane is based on the Thief class while Steiner was based on the Fighter class.) The zelie Final Fantasy series has used the same menu operated battle system in most of the games with a few minor adjustments. Each character in Final Fantasy IX has his/her own unique ability; these include summoning, black magic, white magic, blue magic and techniques such as "Jump". The characters were designed after the creation of Final Fantasy IX's plot, unlike its predecessors, Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII, which had its protagonists created before the story. Both Zidane and Vivi's size and age were less than that of the characters from the above-mentioned other titles. Zidane was one of the original three characters revealed, along with Vivi and Steiner.
Original concepts and designs were created by Yoshitaka Amano. The in-game version of each character was completed by Toshiyuki Itahana, Shunkou Murase and Shin Nagasawa.