Zidane as he appears in Final Fantasy IX.

Game Series Final Fantasy
First Appearance Final Fantasy IX
Japanese Name: ジタン・トライバル
Jitan Toraibaru
Occupation: Thief
Species: Genome
Home: Terra
Power: Trance
Weapon(s): Daggers
Skill(s): Steal
Special Skill(s): Dyne
Creator(s): Yoshitaka Amano
Tetsuya Nomura
Voice Actor(s): Bryce Papenbrook (NA)
Romi Park (JP)

Zidane Tribal (ジタン・トライバル Jitan Toraibaru?, Template:IPA-en) is a fictional thief in the Final Fantasy series, and the protagonist of Final Fantasy IX.

Concept and creation

Zidane, along with other characters, was 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.[1] Both Zidane and Vivi's size and age were less than that of the characters from the above-mentioned other titles. He was one of the original three characters revealed, along with Vivi and Steiner.[2] His appearance was originally designed by Yoshitaka Amano, and his womanizing personality was designed by Hiroyuki Ito.[3] Series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi described him as a person who "likes girls and doesn't care for much", lacking any objective and being carefree, but a key character nonetheless.[2] Zidane has shoulder-length blonde hair and a prehensile monkey-like tail, as witnessed in game when Zidane hangs from his tail to evade Steiner. He can either use two daggers or a single swallow-blade as weapons. In trance form Zidane's hair becomes longer, and his clothing is replaced with fur. Zidane is identified as a thief and has the unique ability to steal items from enemies.[4] He was redesigned by Tetsuya Nomura in the video game Dissidia Final Fantasy.[5] He is voiced by Romi Park and Bryce Papenbrook in the Japanese and English versions of Dissidia respectively.


Zidane is a Genome, created by Garland on the planet Terra to replace Kuja as a more powerful "Angel of Death".[6][7] Jealous of his successor, Kuja casts Zidane down to Gaia, where he is found and adopted by Baku and his group of thieves, Tantalus. Before the events of the game, he leaves Baku to search for his real home, his only memory being a blue light.[8] Unsuccessful, he returns to Baku and rejoins Tantalus.[9]

At the age of sixteen, he becomes involved in a scheme to kidnap Princess Garnet the XVII of Alexandria, organised by Regent Cid in order to distance the princess from her increasingly war-like adoptive mother, Queen Brahne.[10] Zidane first encounters Garnet when she tries to sneak out of the palace, and, at her request, promises to do his best to kidnap her.[11][12] He takes an instant liking to the princess and does not hesitate to flirt with her throughout the game, much to her bodyguard, Aldebert Steiner's dismay. His dagger is the inspiration for Garnet's alias.[13]

Zidane naturally adopts his role as party leader, and his personality draws many characters in the game. Eiko joins the party after becoming infatuated with him, and Amarant follows him out of curiosity.[14] He provides much emotional support for Garnet, Vivi, and Freya. He is only seen uncharacteristically somber at two points in the game: before Garnet is to be crowned Queen of Alexandria, and when the true reason for his existence is revealed. The latter event drives him to briefly abandon the party; however, the group manages to mollify him and he returns.

After the party is rescued from the Iifa Tree by Kuja, Zidane chooses to go back inside the collapsing structure to save his arch rival. For many years it is believed that he did not survive; however, he makes a dramatic reappearance on stage in Alexandria at the end of the game.

Zidane is the hero representing Final Fantasy IX in Dissidia: Final Fantasy. Along with the entire cast, Zidane has been confirmed to appear in the sequel Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy.[15] He also appears in Itadaki Street Portable as a playable character.

Reception and promotion

File:Zidane Tribal concept artwork.png

Zidane was featured amongst three other protagonists of the video game Dissidia Final Fantasy as figurines, including Cloud Strife, Squall Leonhart, and Tidus to celebrate the Final Fantasy series' 20th anniversary.[5]

Michel S. Beaulieu, co-author of the book "Final Fantasy and Philosophy: The Ultimate Walkthrough" described Zidane as a revolutionary, fighting against the upper class, represented by Queen Brahne.[16] Mia Consalvo, an author for the book "The video game theory reader", described his appearance as feminized, referencing his small stature, long hair, clothing with laces, and lack of obvious muscles. She questioned whether heterosexual players may identify less with a character like this, and whether homosexual players may. She added that his relationship with female protagonist Garnet saves him from being considered "abnormal", and that the ultimate goal is for the players to relate to Zidane as best as possible. She added that no matter how the players proceed, Zidane always hooks up with Garnet, and players are encouraged to insert themselves into the character. Because of this, she questions how females and homosexuals would feel about their relationship, which she states would destroy the immersion.[17] GamesRadar listed the relationship between Zidane and Garnet as one of the worst, citing the fact that they were creeped out by their appearance, as well as the lack of chemistry between them.[18] They also listed him as one of the best Final Fantasy heroes, describing him as a breath of fresh air compared to the "uptight anti-heroes" Squall Leonhart and Cloud Strife.[19]

IGN editor Ryan Clements described Zidane as a "laid back, flirtatious character and one full of energy and enthusiasm", unlike other protagonists found in Dissidia Final Fantasy. He adds that seeing his "short blades spin in a dizzying frenzy is definitely a sight to behold."[20] GameSpot editor Andrew Vestal called Zidane's "instinctive womanizing" as an amusing trait of his.[21] IGN editor David Smith called him charming, adding that he breaks the streak of "reluctant Final Fantasy heroes", by "injecting a touch of redder blood back into the series".[22] GameCritics editor Erin Bell called Zidane the "strangest looking Final Fantasy hero to date", citing his "nondescript features and monkey tail". However, she did describe him as a hero that is easy for one to understand and sympathize with.[23]


  1. Square Haven News / Final Fantasy IX Interview. Retrieved on 2010-08-05
  2. 2.0 2.1 Final Fantasy 9 / IX / FF9 - Interview. Retrieved on 2010-08-05
  3. Final Fantasy 9 / IX / FF9 - Interview. Retrieved on 2010-08-05
  4. FINAL FANTASY IX Official Strategy Guide. Brady Publishing, 2001.
  5. 5.0 5.1 DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY Announced for Mid-Year 2009 Release in. Bloomberg. Retrieved on 2010-08-05
  6. Zidane: So...Kuja is just an angel of death who sends souls to the Tree of Iifa. / Garland: Yes, my angel of death. But only until you came of age. / Zidane: What do you mean!? / Garland: His soul is not eternal... I was going to create you next, after all.
  7. Garland: "When you received the gift of life in Bran Bal, Kuja could not bear it. He could not bear to see a Genome with more power than his own; he felt threatened. Kuja discarded you. He dropped you onto Gaia, the world he would destroy."
  8. Zidane: "Once upon a time... ...there was a man. There was a man who didn't know where he came from..." / Dagger: "...Zidane?" / Zidane: "This man had longed to find his birthplace ever since he was a small child. His birthplace. A place he only remembered in his dreams..." / Dagger: "Why...?" / Zidane: "He wanted to know more about himself, maybe. About his place, the house where he was born... One day, the man left the home of his adoptive father and went on a quest to find the answer. His only clue was the blue light he saw in his dreams..."
  9. Zidane: "Hey, you're jumping ahead. A lot of things happened along the way. Alright, we can skip ahead... No, he never found it. How could he? His only clue was a colored light. So he went back to the home of his adoptive father... What do you think his father did when he came home?"
  10. Regent Cid: "I once promised your father <gwok>, that should anything happen, I would protect you. We've known about the disturbances in Alexandria for some time. But had we acted directly, it would've started a war. So, I asked Baku for help. He and I go way back. The play was the perfect cover to enter Alexandria and get you out. No one would suspect Lindblum was behind it. We were <gwok> forced to take action, because we knew Alexandria would never seek our help. I'm relieved we were able to get you here."
  11. Hooded Girl: "As you have no doubt suspected... ...the truth is that... I am actually... Princess Garnet Til Alexandros, heir to the throne of Alexandria. I have a favor I wish to ask of you... I wish to be kidnapped...right away."
  12. Zidane: "Alright then, Your Highness! I shall hereby do my best to kidnap you!"
  13. Garnet: "Stop it, you two! ...Steiner, I do not intend to return to the castle. And I do see Zidane's point. I need a new name... Zidane... What is this called?" Zidane: "That? That's a dagger. All knives of that length are called daggers. Short swords are a bit longer. The big sword you hold with both hands is called a broadsword. And..." Garnet: "Oh, okay... I understand now. So this is called a 'dagger'..." Steiner: "Princess! It's a weapon! Please be careful." Garnet: "I've decided! From now on, my name is..."
  14. Red-headed Man: "What are you after?" / Zidane: "Follow me and maybe you'll understand. Besides, you're pretty good in a fight. We could use someone like you. We're hunting a man down." / Red-headed Man: (Hmph. His only constant is his unpredictability...) / Zidane: "Huh? You say something'?" / Red-headed Man: "Very well. I'll find out what makes you so strong."
  15. Gantayat, Anoop (September 14, 2010). This Week's Pre-TGS Flying Get. Andriasang. Retrieved on September 14, 2010
  16. Final Fantasy and Philosophy: The ... - Google Books. Retrieved on 2010-08-05
  17. The video game theory reader - Google Books. (1999-07-22). Retrieved on 2010-08-05
  18. The 5 worst Final Fantasy couples, Final Fantasy 9 Retro Features. GamesRadar. Retrieved on 2010-08-05
  19. The five best Final Fantasy heroes. GamesRadar (2010-03-02). Retrieved on 2010-08-05
  20. Clements, Ryan (2009-08-20). Dissidia Final Fantasy: Zidane - PlayStation Portable Feature at IGN. Retrieved on 2010-08-05
  21. Final Fantasy IX Review for PlayStation. GameSpot (2000-11-13). Retrieved on 2010-08-05
  22. var authorId = "" (2000-11-22). Final Fantasy IX - PlayStation Review at IGN. Retrieved on 2010-08-05
  23. Final Fantasy IX. (2003-02-05). Retrieved on 2010-08-05

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