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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Should The Number Nine Be Nixed?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - We discuss the results of skipping 9 and embracing 9.

One of Earth's worst corporations, Apple, had a big conference today that I didn't watch. They announced the iPhone 8, along with the iPhone X (otherwise known as the iPhone 10, or Ten — click that only if you need proof, 'cause that Apple video is INCREDIBLY PRETENTIOUS and unbearable). Two devices at the same time — the iPhone 8 will be released this month, while the iPhone X will be releasing November, 2017. The X is the more expensive one, starting at $999, while the 8 is also expensive, starting at $699.
All of those 9s in the pricetag make me wonder: There clearly is no opportunity for an iPhone 9, is there? Microsoft did the exact same thing in skipping from Windows 8 to Windows 10.

What the hell is with this nine-skipping? Is this COLLUSION? Am I missing something? Well, I'll try to investigate, but I'm more interested in if the number nine deserves to be skipped. Since this is a gaming site, I'll focus my thoughts around games.

As it stands, there aren't really any game series that come to mind that skipped 9. A fun example is how CAPCOM went from Mega Man V right to Mega Man X, which would be skipping VI, VII, VIII, and IX. With the part of the series that actually uses numbers and not numerals, they didn't skip Mega Man 9, but they tried to have the series die right before it, which doesn't quite count.

Mega Man V to X roman numerals CAPCOM
V goes right to X? What about W?! ...Oh, and IX?

I asked around for why 9 gets skipped. KoopaTV staffer RawkHawk2010 claimed that all of these companies have big markets in Japan, and in Japan, 9 is a bad number. According to Wikipedia, for the Japanese, 9 is both simultaneously a good number and a bad one. It sounds similar to both the words for “relief” and for “agony.” I don't think you should be condemning numbers based on what they sound like. That's not a problem with the number. That's a problem with your language being shit.

Also, you didn't see Apple or anyone skipping 4, which is a bad number in ALL of the Oriental cultures for resembling the word for “death.” In fact, the iPhone 4 had the longest lifespan of any iPhone ever produced, at almost four years. (My gosh, almost four years is supposed to be impressive for these devices? I'm sitting here as a gamer and just yesterday I snubbed the Wii U for not being able to reach a bare minimum 5 years.)

There are several examples of where going with 9 was a bad idea. Just to get it out of the way, we suggest not looking at KoopaTV's ninth article. While it's novel to see Kamek contribute something to KoopaTV, that article is full of broken promises, a broken image, and even broken English. #9 didn't work for us.

Take a look at my votes for this year's GameFAQs Best Year in Gaming contest. 1979, 1989, 1999, and 2009 were all pretty abysmal years in gaming. I wouldn't say they were worth skipping entirely, but... they're all weak. The gaming industry as a whole just likes to release their games in years ending in 8 or 0! (Such as the contest's ultimate winner, 1998.)

Additionally, there was Mighty No. 9, which went so full-in on 9 that they skipped right from nothing to 9. There's no “Mighty No. 1” or “Mighty No. 8” or “Mighty No. X” or something. For Comcept's nonary dedication, all we ended up with was an embarassing disaster.

Mighty Number Nine logo No. 9
Perhaps if Mighty No. 9 had eight predecessors, it would've been better by virtue of learning from your mistakes?
(Image source: That Masterclass trailer for Mighty No. 9 we wrote about here.)

Let's move to good examples of nines. Since I just used the word nonary, I want to give a shout-out to the Zero Escape series. Despite the zero there, that is the most nine-dedicated franchise in gaming. The first game there is called Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, also known as 999. There's no 888 or 101010 or anything. The game is fascinatingly obsessed with all of the things you can do with nine, from digital roots to Sudoku. If 9 wasn't already really high on my digits tier list, then the Zero Escape series would've brought it up.

I guess Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan is also greatly responsible for my liking the number 9 and bringing it into the forefront of culture. Just listen to the cheers as Fox News moderator Chris Wallace just says the number 9:

There are few games that actually have nine or more numbered titles in the franchise. Final Fantasy is one of them. I have not actually played the Final Fantasy games, but I've had the impression for YEARS now that Final Fantasy IX would be my favourite Final Fantasy game if I did. I mean, I kind of just assumed that I would like Final Fantasy IX more than what a plurality of people consider to be the best game of all time. (...And I don't mean Undertale, though it's better than Undertale.)

Meanwhile, critics apparently consider Mario Party 9 to be the best Mario Party since Mario Party 3. That might not be saying much since they're all rated mediocre to bad, but Mario Party 9 has a 73 on Metacritic while Mario Party 8 has a 62 and Mario Party 10 has a 66.

All in all, I think nine has a better track record than no nine. Should the number nine be nixed?


Here's to Windows 9 being something I'll actually get.

...I'll never get an iPhone though, even if they call it the iPhone 9. 

If you're really interested in Ludwig's digits tier list, he'll give you it in the comments section. His opinion may change depending on what day you ask, however, but he has a copy of one that he made in late 2015, before he played Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. Nine was rated the third highest. Please understand that Ludwig knows that Mega Man X is in a different series than Mega Man V, but it's funnier to pretend otherwise, and that KoopaTV believes in humour.

The next day has a Nintendo Direct which picks up on many of the themes in this article, ranging from Kamek appearing, to skipping MANY numbers, to Japanese still being bad.
Ludwig did finally buy, play, and finish Final Fantasy IX, and he likes it.
Ludwig dedicated much of the nine-year KoopaTV anniversary to Herman Cain and to Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors.


  1. Why isn't nine used much? That's because Seven ate Nine. Get it?

  2. *whispers* What if that's a χ instead of an X? Apple didn't skip 9, they've fallen into Xehanort's trap! (It makes sense in a Kingdom Hearts context.)

    Side note: I must play 999.

    1. If it's a χ, then you'd think they'd spell it that way.

      Side note: Yes you must.

    2. Xemnas, Xigbar, Xaldin, etc. all have X's in their name because of χ.

      Side note: At least I finally bought it.

    3. No, I bought the Nonary Games collection that has the first two games.

    4. Excellent. Good job.

      999's Nonary Games edition has the same timeline jumping that its sequels have, which removes a lot of the game's artificial length.

      That said, according to my 3DS's Activity Log, 999 and Zero Time Dilemma were both around 23–24 hours to 100%, and VLR was... much longer, at like, 44 hours. So 999 without artificial length is probably gonna be a lot shorter.

  3. I paid a tenth of the price of the iPhone X for my Android phone and it will last me for years. I just can't see who in the market is willing to trade their fully functional phone for an overpriced ios device when there are a variety of options at much better prices.

    1. $1000 for an iPhone that you'll be encouraged to replace in a year or two anyway.

      Why do people say they can't afford a Nintendo Switch but they buy iPhones?

  4. I'll never get an iPhone 9 either. I have a blanket lifelong boycott on any electronic device with the Apple i prefix because it's primarily an excuse to make those products significantly more expensive without proportionately increasing their quality. And my parents have iPhones and their voice recognition absolutely sucks compared to my Android phone.


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