Thank you for all the tips! I'm going to play blind, using the advice you guys gave. Probably do a few "new game journals", for people to hear a fresh take on the game.
Please do, it'd be great to discuss your experience. FFIX is my favorite FF of all time! Definitely let me know what you think of the beginning! It's my FAVORITE part of the game.
My suggestions are (and I know you've heard them at least once):
Steal often. (but definitely steal at least 3 items from bosses)
Take your time. (Your first FFIX experience > Excalibur II)
Watch ATE's/cutscenes/etc. Idk who wouldn't but still.
Important: Donate your money if someone needs it, money isn't an issue in this game. You'll know what I mean as you play, so don't feel too stressed about this suggestion.