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Final Fantasy IX a long form playthrough

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I've recently restarted Final Fantasy IX. I'm playing the PSOne Classics version released on PSN back during the PS3/psp era but via my Vita and then writing about what's happening on my blog. It's mostly been telling the story as it happens, the conversations that take place, plus the letters sent between the Moogles. I update every Thursday.

 

Here's part 1 from a fortnight ago

 

https://barharukiya.wordpress.com/2019/07/04/throwbackthursday-final-fantasy-ix-playthrough-part-1/

 



Why pick IX when all the attention at the moment is on VII, VIII and XIV? Well, I’m playing XIV at the moment anyway, although I’m not upto the most recent expansion yet, hell I’m still at the closing stages of A Realm Reborn and not at the Heavensward content yet. As for VII and VIII, I bounced off the former when I first played it (I’ve played through it since) and it was IX that really got me interested in both the series and the genre, so it seems like the perfect game to return to. I’ve played in the years since, but never documented my play throughs, and in all honesty didnt make it very far before being distracted by something else. Not this time though, I’m intent on finishing what I still regard as my favourite Final Fantasy.

 

Current Play Time: 3:51
Current Location: World Map outside Evil Forest

 

Whats been happening:

We start the game watching a small boat being thrown around in a storm, a young lady in a white hooded cloak is attempting to steer it. We cut to day time outside a large city and we follow an airship into Alexandria. Inside the airship a young boy with a tail descends a ladder and goes through a door, we follow him into a room of darkness. After lighting candles we head straight into a battle with a humanoid with a long dinosaur like neck and head. The group of characters, Zidane, Cinna, Blank and Marcus all attack, although Cinna’s really rather useless. I actually have the Official Strategy Guide from Piggyback (two copies, in fact, although I don’t know why) but I won’t be using it. I do remember though that by using Steal on the beast before us I can steal a Mage Masher, Zidane’s next weapon, although I don’t manage to achieve this before breaking open the mask to reveal a red bearded man who only then unleashes his strength on the party, winning and leaving you all windless, it was a test all along, with the Tartarus Theatre Troupe being put through their paces by their leader, Baku.

 

In a side room the Troupe reveal that they are heading to Alexandria to perform the popular play “I Want To Be Your Canary”, but thats not their only intention, they also plan to kidnap the Queen of Alexandria’s daughter Princess Garnet Til Alexandros XVII.

Shortly after we head onto the streets of Alexandria and see this city from the eyes of a small boy wearing a striped blue cloak and point hat. As we explore we are introduced to Final Fantasy IX’s main mini-game, a card game called Tetra Master, and through searching through certain locations I’ve now ammassed a very small deck of cards thats just enough to play and win a few games. Shortly after I head to a ticket stand in the centre of town and our character, Vivi, shows the vendor his ticket to see “I Want To Be Your Canary” unfortunately Vivi’s been duped and has a fake ticket, his head sinks as the realisation he wont be able to see the show sinks in and we trot off to look around Alexandria a little more. Why? I do not know, probably because he has nothing else to do.

 

Anyway we come across a character only known as Rat Boy who’s aware of Vivi’s dissapointment, he tells him that non-nobles tend to watch the play from the rooftops of Alexandria, but he knows a way into the palace and enlists Vivi’s help to get there.

 

Now we switch back to watching the play and acting certain scenes out before Zidane and Blank begin to put the plan to kidnap Garnet into play by knocking out two guards, who are later revealed to be from the Knights of Pluto. Blank heads off to cause a distraction, Zidane heads to Garnets quarters to take her prisoner.

 

Theres a bunch of other stuff happening at this point, the story of the play is progressing, Steiner has to search for his Knights of Pluto (finding the two who have been stripped by Zidane and Blank in the process) and then he gives chase to Zidane and Garnet, not aware of her wishes, with the chase leading them all onto the stage where they are forced to play along with what is happening there to avoid anyone else figuring out whats really going on. Theres a staged battle thats a show for the audience but ultimately Zidane with Vivi and Blanks help take on a traditional Final Fantasy Bomb whilst trying to convince Steiner to look behind him (very Panto) and join them. But the Tarturus is hit and crashes into Evil Forest with Zidane, Garnet, Steiner, Vivi and the crew all thrown out.

Zidane goes in search of Garnet and finds Vivi and Steiner tring to fight off a creature, which eventually escapes with Garnet then comes back to try and take Vivi. You fight it off again but Steiner and Vivi are infected. Zidane is told by Baku that if he wants to find Garnet then he has to leave Tartarus as their concern right now is escaping Evil Forest and Zidane heads off to give Vivi and Steiner the cure to their ailments and begin the search for Garnet, who the group find and recover with help from Blank, who then sacrifices himself as the Forest begins to turn on the group and is Petrified.

 

Now, I generally think that Final Fantasy IX has quite a sedate opening, especially compared to Final Fantasy VII’s opening Mako Reactor attack. But all that up there, in less than four hours? Thats a whole lot of action going on and yet we know barely anything about the cast at this point. Garnet is a princess who wants to run away from her royal duties for some reason, Zidane is a thief and an actor who see’s himself as a bit of a ladies man, Steiner is bound by his honour to serve the Queen but is a bit of clumsy leader of a group of men who are equally useless and Vivi does magic. Blank, Marcus, Cinna and Baku have even less character development and we’re briefly introduced to Beatrix (who is General of the Alexandrian soldiers who are far better at their job than the Knights of Pluto, they’re also all female), Zorn and Thorn (who appear to be more than their Court Jester appearances imply) and Queen Brahne.

 

We’ve barely “played” the game at this point either, its all been action sequences to grab the player by the balls and throw the world and the situation at the them, which I’ve absolutely no problem with, but its at this point I decided to leave the game as it is to begin this particular series. There are some nice early touches though, the newly introduced “Active Time Events” or ATE’s are an excellent touch that fill out the world a bit more, even at this early stage.

 

So, I’m now outside the Evil Forest, I’ve been given the Moogle Whistle and the World Map at my feet, I know I can’t go far, but I know now that this coming week I’ll actually be playing Final Fantasy IX rather than being a semi-active passenger.

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Part 2:

https://barharukiya.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/throwbackthursday-final-fantasy-ix-playthrough-part-2/

 



Current Play Time: 06:35
Current Location: Village of Dali

 

Whats Been Happening:

After camping out outside of Evil Forest, Zidane tells the group (Garnet, Vivi and Steiner) that North and South Gates are closed and the only way out of where they are is to head through a cavern that Blank marked on the map he threw to Zidane before he was Petrified. Rather than heading south I decide to have a bit of an explore of the portion of the World Map I can access. It’s mostly empty, a few small wooded area’s are around, but to the West set against the cliff wall is an arch way. When we approach Zidane says this is Melda Arch, a footpath entrance for North Gate, but again, its closed. Steiner notes there is smoke coming from behind the gates and that the Alexandrian War Banner is flying above which angers him. Zidane knocks on the gate and a womans voice is heard, she cant let the party through but she can sell us Potions. After topping my hoard of Potions up to 40 we retreat and I spend a little time grinding to get the party up to level 5 before heading into Ice Cavern.

 

As we enter Vivi tell’s the group that his Grandpa told him about Ice Cavern:

“He said the Cavern takes travellers to the top of the Mist”

Garnet remarks how beautiful it is and how she’s so pleased she can see it with her own eyes as all she’s ever had available to her are books. This is the first time there’s any puzzle element to any of the locations. Zidane notices some of the walls look different to others and persuades Vivi to us his Fire magic to melt them, revealing chests behind each time. What amuses me is that every time Vivi does this Zidance jumps back and shouts “Whoa!” in surprise, never seemingly getting used to it. It’s through this that Zidane finally gets his Mage Masher (which you may remember I tried to steal from Baku last week with no success). There’s also small pockets of Mist that flow and thens top, then begin flowing again, the point is to avoid them as if they touch you you are automatically thrown into a battle, there’s still random battles but no point making things harder for ourselves right?

 

As we progress through the Ice Cavern we reach a point where there’s an incredibly strong blizzard, the group are already incredibly cold, and one by one they collapse and fall asleep. Zidane is the last to fall and first to awaken, doing so by being alerted by the sound of a jingling bell. He stumbles through the blizzard in the direction of the noise and discovers Black Waltz No.1 (a much larger Black Mage like Vivi) who doesn’t understand why Zidane is awake. Immediately the boss battle music starts and Black Waltz No.1 summons his Icelion to help him fight Zidane. I focus my attacks on Black Waltz No.1 until Zidane’s Trance is activated allowing me to hit both enemies at once and the pair fall quickly. As he vanishes a voice is heard, Black Waltz No.1’s attempt to retrieve Garnet was unsucessful, but there are still two more Waltz’s who will succeed. Zidane heads back to check on the others and the camera pans to reveal Zorn and Thorn watching from a ledge above, theres more to both of those than their appearance suggests.

 

As Zidane approaches the rest of the group awakes, Steiner accuses Zidane of trying to touch Garnet who in turn tells Steiner to stop as Zidane’s already told them nothing happened (he didn’t mention the the Black Waltz) and the group head out of Ice Cavern. As they emerge into the sunlight, they spot a village in the distance and decide thats where they should head next. Zidane tells Garnet that she needs to be more inconspicuous, once again Zidane angers Steiner (although the fact Zidane is still breathing probably angers Steiner) who wants Garnet to return to Alexandria. As he pushes Zidane the latter drops his weapon which Garnet picks up, she asks what its called and is informed its a dagger (whilst Steiner shouts that she should put it down before she harms herself). After thinking on this Garnet decides she wants to change her name (at which point the player can name her anything they want, I’ve stuck with the default) and chooses Dagger as her new title. In order to help her hide a little better Zidane suggests she speaks a little more like himself or Vivi and she promises to try. We then head off toward the village.

 

Before doing so however, we’re again on a part of the World Map and situated along the coast before we reach the village is a small “mountain”, this Observatory Mountain is an airship port allowing for deliveries for the village to be dropped off and other supplies collected. The only habitant is an old man by the name of Morrid, who just so happens to love his coffee. Zidane spots a model airship, similar to one a friend used to own, and the old man offers to trade it if Zidane can get him three types of coffee: Moccha, Kirman and Burman.

 

After leaving the Observatory, Zidane and co. head to the nearby Village of Dali. Before we go ahead I have to say this place has one of my favourite pieces of music from the Final Fantasy franchise, its just a really nice peaceful tune that perfectly suits what appears to be a rather dreamy little village.

 

As we enter Vivi notices a windmill and is rather excited to see it, however the rest of the group think it best they rest first, and then come up with a plan before they look around the village. As they head into the local Inn, they speak to the Innkeeper about hiring a room, there’s only one available, which Dagger is a little uncomfortable with, but there’s little choice. The Innkeeper appears to be staring at Dagger, does he recognise her?

 

Once in the room the conversation turns to why Dagger wanted to leave Alexandria Castle, she says she wanted to escape to Lindblum, which is where the Theatre ship Tarturus would have gone next if it hadn’t have crashed. However, thats all she’s willing to divulge at this point in time. Steiner still doesn’t trust Zidane and tells Dagger she must do the same as he and goes as far as to accusing Zidane of exposing her to danger, particularly in Evil Forest, and requests she returns to the castle with him, seemingly ignoring what she’s already tried to tell everyone, but Steiner still doesn’t have a plan as to how to get back to Alexandria. To his credit, Zidane admits to screwing up in Evil Forest and swears to protect Dagger with his life from this point onwards. As the conversation dies down, the group decide to get some sleep.

 

The next morning Zidane is awoken by the noise of a woman singing a song, he notices that everyone has left already, and once searching the room for any items, leaves and the attention switches to a series of ATE’s. The first of which show’s Vivi meeting the village children who seem both afraid and excited about his appearance. Dagger is trying to blend in, and finds herself at a small vegetable patch where she wonders to herself if her mother had gone too far in attacking the Tartarus ship. Her thoughts are interrupted by an old lady who appears to tend to the patch and kill the bugs, Oglops, infesting it. She’s surprised to see Dagger isn’t scared of them, but then, in an attempt to try and blend in, Dagger feigns being scared, throws the Oglop into the air and screams.

 

Back to Zidane, I head to the Moogle in the corner, his name is Gumo, and he has a letter from Mois who was in the Ice Cavern, Gumo doesn’t like Mois. The letter reads:

 

“From Mois to Gumo

Yo! Man, I got totally iced up by some dude with wings on his back!

Stitlzkin passed by me without doin’ anything! Is he rude or what?

Of course I couldn’t say nothin’ ’cause I was trapped inside the ice!”

 

We go back to Dagger, who is now in a shop listening in on a conversation between the shopkeeper and one of the local kids, nothing is particularly said as the scene is cut short and we’re back in control of Zidane again who heads out of the Inn. Another ATE focuses on the Innkeeper talking to his cat, he tells the feline that he’s feeling under pressure from his brother, but he doesn’t say why, and that, unlike the rest of the village, he isn’t making any money. He decides to tell “them” about Zidane and the others. He doesn’t say this, but perhaps he’s hoping for some kind of reward for finding Princess Garnet.

 

Zidane finds Dagger in the shop still, she’s looking at something on the wall and takes a while to notice him. He praises her on her attempts to blend in, but also says she was “good at faking it” when she had to act out “I Want to be your Canary” which she’s insulted by. Zidane asks her to head back to the Inn whilst he looks for Vivi and Steiner, she agrees and heads off. I look at the wall she was studying prior and theres some information about equipping items and abilities, and then a theory about Tetra Master:

 

“Do you play cards?

My theory is that the first number written on the card represents the card/s attack power.

The third and fourth numbers are probably defence power. I still don’t know what the second character means.

Please press [] to play a game with me

by Eve Subboard”

 

I’ve not actually played any Tetra Master since those opening moments in Alexandria prior to meeting Rat Boy, its a game I quite like, I definitely preferred it at the time to Final Fantasy VIII’s offering Triple Triad, although I’ve grown to like the latter in Final Fantasy XIV. Now seem’s as good a time as any to have a go, so I challenge the shopkeeper, the aforementioned Eve, which I easily win (although I only win one card from her, not the full set), and then I buy a new Iron Sword for Steiner and a Feather Hat each for the others. Outside the shop, Zidane peaks through the window of the room at the Inn at Dagger, who is practicing how she should be speaking whilst on the run from Alexandria Castle. I explore the village a little more, there’s a well in the centre, and I head into the second building on the left of the main path through the village. Inside a man introduces himself as Mayor Kapu and asks who Zidane is, Zidane merely shakes his head and Mayor Kapu demands he leaves. Outside again, I speak to the two kids who are running around:

 

“I wonder if he’s one of them?”
“He’s definitely one of ’em”

 

We find Vivi seemingly staring at an empty plot of land, he tells Zidane he’s been thinking and Zidane asks him if its about a girl. Vivi says he doesn’t’ really think about things like that and Zidane admits to think about girls all the time then boasts that he’s popular with “ALL the girls in Lindblum”. Zidane asks Vivi to head back to the Inn whilst he searches for Steiner. Before they seperate Vivi tells Zidane he heard a

“sound like ‘kweh'”

Zidane says thats the noise a Chocobo makes, but Vivi’s never seen a Chocobo and wonders what they are, Zidane heads off but before Vivi can make his way back to the Inn someone runs, grabs him and runs away again. Zidane turns around briefly and wonders what just happened, but heads back to Dagger at the Inn.

 

Another ATE shows the Innkeeper acting a bit suspicious, he seem’s really pleased with himself, it sounds like he may have had something to do with whatever has just happened to Vivi. As Zidane enters the Innkeeper is asleep (well, pretending to be), and Zidane heads to the room to wait with Dagger for Vivi. Whilst waiting the pair discuss the village, Dagger has noticed that despite there being kids running around, there doesn’t seem to be many adults, Zidane remembers he used to see the adults working the farm but this confused Dagger as the only farmland she’s seen is the tiny vegetable patch the old woman was tending to. They  both agree that something is going on in the village of Dali, but Zidane quickly moves on to reveal he has a plan to get the party, minus Steiner, through South Gate.

 

Speaking of Steiner, it appears he’s been helping out at the local pub, doing chores for the young girl who is working there. It seems he’s doing this in order for her to put him in contact with the adults of the village, but she tells him that they’re all away working and wont be back till the evening. He reveals who he, Aldebert Steiner, Commander of the Knights of Pluto from Alexandria blah blah, and says he needs transportation to take somebody back to the castle (he doesn’t tell her its the Princess). The girl informs him that he’d be best served speaking to Morrid at the Observation Tower we visited previously as he looks after the cargo ship.

 

Back at the Inn and Zidane and Dagger have begun to worry about Vivi and decide to go look for him. The local kids  deny seeing him, so the pair head to the spot Zidane last saw him. The spot where Vivi had been thinking and had heard the Chocobo. Zidane notices he can hear crying, its coming from a small pipe leading underground and the pair soon find its Vivi who is crying, he’s been told not to move from where he is and he tells Zidane he’s not hurt. Zidane promises to get him out of wherever he is, and we head off to investigate the village. The first place I try is the well in the centre of the village, but its too small for Zidane to go down.

 

I head off to inspect the rest of the village, starting with the pub, then the village patch, Inn, shop and the Mayor’s house, again he tells us to go away, this time I notice there’s somebody laying on his sofa, I can’t recall if they were there the first time I went in though. Somehow I’ve missed exploring the building directly next to the patch Vivi went missing from, its the windmill Vivi wanted to look at. Once in I try the door at the north of the mill, but its locked and requires the “Mayors Key” to open, which I don’t have. Near to the door I find an item called “Aries”, which goes straight into my Key Items section of my inventory. It’s description reads:

 

“Aries

The story of 12 Zodiacs.
The 11 Zodiqas pondered.
How best to catch Virgo’s heart?
Aries headed east.

-Stellazio Story-

 

Which I think reads like a Haiku?

 

Up a ladder are two treasure chests that I can’t access right now as the mill is working. Back down the ladder and I get to the very obvious hatch over in the bottom corner (Zidane even comments on how obvious it looks), open it up and head down.

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Just published part 3 of my playthrough, in this part we rescue Vivi, find out whats been going on in Dali and arrive in Lindblum where Garnet asks for help

 

https://barharukiya.wordpress.com/2019/07/18/throwbackthursday-final-fantasy-ix-playthrough-part-3/

 

I’ve now spent three weeks with Final Fantasy IX and progress has been slow, but thats because I dont want to speed through it, plus taking notes adds to the play time and lastly I don’t want to include too much in one post. As things stand theres alot going on in this first disc of the game and this post, just judging by my notes, is going to be even longer than the last one which was rather lengthy. So, lets get on with it shall we?

 

Current Play Time: 11:05
Current Location: Lindlbum

 

Last week I left things in the Village of Dali, we’d discovered a hatch in the windmill and upon opening it Zidane and Dagger headed down the ladder which takes the two into what initially appears to be a Mine. We progress through the tunnel ahead and come out in an open area with a shed like structure tucked away in a corner and next to it is a pen with a Chocobo in. As Zidane tries to walk past the shed we hear voices from inside so Dagger and Zidane hide behind a nearby barrel. The voices seem to be discussing the Innkeeper and his discovery, the dispute between the Innkeeper and his brother and how this could mean the Innkeeper is joining the rest of the village in whatever it is they’re up to, that once they’ve dealt with this shipment then its up to the castle to deal with, and with that the leave the shed, with Vivi following them. It is then that Dagger notices the pattern printed onto the barrel they’ve been hidden behind, she recognises it and believes she’s seen similar barrels at Alexandria Castle, she tell’s Zidane that their must be a link between Alexandria and whatever it is that is happening in Dali. Zidane wants to go and rescue Vivi, but Dagger makes him promise to wait before he causes any trouble so she can try and find out more about whats going on, Zidane makes the promise but with the caveat that if he thinks Vivi is in danger (isn’t he already?) then he’ll be putting Vivi’s rescue first.

 

I remember to equip Dagger and Zidane with the Feather Hat’s I bought in the village shop earlier on, Dagger only gets a small increase in her Spirit and Magic Defence stats, Zidane gets the same increase but can also learn Bright Eyes and Add Status.

 

As we make our way through this underground area Zidane notices loads of boxes scattered around that also happen to look a bit like coffins. Kumop the Moogle is hiding in a nearby barrel, he has a letter that needs to be delivered to Mogki. There’s also a treasure chest suspended in the air in the background which I manage to access by kicking an old rusted up winch, allowing the chest to drop to the ground, it’s only got a potion inside. There’s another chest I have to climb to too, which rewards me with an Ether. Further chests in this underground area result in me getting a new Iron Helm for Steiner and a Leather Wrist that allows Zidane to learn “Beast Killer”.

 

Dagger and Zidane find Vivi stuffed into one of the coffin’s, once freed Zidane tries to give Vivi some advice about standing up for himself and fighting off anyone who tries to harm him in future, I’m not entirely sure Vivi takes it all in though but with Vivi safe the group decide to investigate further. In this same room there’s a door with Mist pouring through the gap beneath it and theres also some machinery pumping out egg like things onto a conveyor belt. I open the door and defeat the pair of Ghosts that I’m thrown into battle against. Through the door is a cave like entrance leading to the surface but Mist is pouring in through it and being sucked in by another machine that seems to be sending it to the egg machine in the previous room. I head back and follow the route the conveyor belt is taking the “eggs”, along this route is another Chocobo whom is being used to power the conveyor belt by being forced to run in an oversized hamster wheel, maybe the other Chocobo we saw was being rested? The eggs are disappearing into yet another Mist powered mechanicsm, it seems as though this one is used to hatch them in some way. Horribly, coming out of the otherside on claws, are Black Mages. Zidane notes (to himself) that they look alot like Vivi, there are differences: they’re larger and dressed in different colours. Vivi is visibly disturbed by what he is seeing, and who can blame him? Dagger’s also concerned and questions her Mothers involvement. Zidane hears someone approaching and drags the other two into another machine in order to hide, it sounds like its almost time for the cargo ship to collect its shipment, which it now seems will also include Dagger, Vivi and Zidane as they are boxed up by the machine they were hiding in.

 

Whilst all of this has been happening Steiner has gone back to the Observation Mountain to visit Morrid who is uncooperative with Steiners demands by ultimately tells him the Cargo Ship has already arrived. Back on the outskirts of the village, near the vegetable patch, Steiner watches as a trap door opens and barrels are loaded out of it nearby to the airship. Whilst inspecting one of the barrels it begins to move and tip over followed by the other three all pouring out of it. Zidane asks Steiner if he knows where the ship is going to, Steiner lies and tells them its going to Lindlblum, however, before they can climb aboard the airship they are attacked by Black Waltz No.2, who reveals it has been sent by Queen Brahne.

 

My power, magic and speed make me far superior to No.1!
Resistance is futile!”

 

However, the battle is fairly easy, Zidane faced No.1 alone, this time he has Vivi providing his black magic, Steiner’s strength and Dagger’s white magic, and thus the fight doesn’t really last very long. Upon victory we decide to rest back at the Inn before we depart for “Lindblum”, the Innkeeper seems surprised to see Vivi, although Zidane inteprets his staring as being him gawping at Dagger and Zidane tells him off for this. Unfortunately I’ve done everything I think I can do in Dali for now, theres the chests in the mill I couldn’t reach and finding the Mayor’s Key but I can’t seem to do anything about either of those right now, so we head off to the cargo ship.

 

Dagger and Zidane think they know what Steiner is up to, they definetly know the ship is heading for Alexandria rather than Lindblum, but Zidane has a plan and asks Dagger to trust him. Vivi finally manages to speak up about what they have seen in Dali and asks if Zidane thinks the mages they saw really look like him, Zidane thinks they do but lies to Vivi and says they’re just dolls (as they had no life in them). Suddenly the airships engine starts up and Zidane, Dagger and Vivi have to rush to get on board, Dagger is hesitant as she doesn’t want to go back to Alexandria and Zidane tells her he doesn’t have time to explain and that she needs to trust him. He doesn’t really help matters by grabbing her backside as they climb the ladder to board the ship, he claims its an accident but I’m certain Dagger doesn’t believe him. But he promises to get her to Lindblum.

 

Onboard, the ship appears to be manned entirely by Black Mages, Vivi keeps trying to get their attention but his attempts are unsuccesful. Zidane inspects the engine and wonders where and how Alexandria got the technology they saw underground in Dali as Mist engines are built in Lindlum and Alexandria isn’t a technologically advanced kingdom. He also wonders if the remaining members of Tantalus (minus himself and Blank) managed to escape the Evil Forest, then heads up onto the deck where he finds Steiner who is on his knee’s cursing himself, seemingly unaware that Dagger is onboard the ship after all, and is thus surprised to hear Zidanes voice accusing him of almost leaving them all behind, he angrily tells Zidane his plan to return the Princess to the Castle. Zidane heads over to the cabin with the ships controls in and takes over and the Black Mages pen him into the cabin, before they can do anything Black Waltz No.3 lands on the ships deck, attacks Vivi and laughs at him, labeling him a small child. But before it can finish Vivi off, the Black Mages rally together and stand between Black Waltz No.3 and Vivi. Black Waltz No.3 attacks and kills them instead, damaging the ship in the process, allowing Zidane and Steiner to come to Vivi’s aid and the three take on the creature, leaving Dagger in control of the ship and the decision of whether to change course and head to Lindblum or carry on and head back to Alexandria.

 

As the battle begins Vivi enters Trance, which allows him to cast his magic twice per turn. This battle changes things up slightly as Black Waltz No.3 takes off at times which renders physical attacks useless, during these spells Steiner uses his Sword Magic (getting Vivi to cast magic onto his sword before attacking their opponent), Vivi continues with his Black Magic and Zidane is relegated to using items to heal the party. I also managed to get Zidane to steal a Linen Cuirass and, unlike the previous Waltz’s, Black Waltz No. 3 retreats from the battle. Zorn and Thorn have been watching this battle from afar, like they did with the fight against Black Waltz No.1, however, instead of retreating fully, Black Waltz No.3 goes rogue, attacks the pair and steals their ship to give chase to the Zidane and company, Dagger has turned to head towards South Gate and onto Lindblum, and during the chase Black Waltz No.3 manages to set fire to the craft its commandeered and crashes into South Gate with the Cargo Ship just about squeezing through as the gates shut. Somehow, despite everything, Dagger has managed to finally make it to Lindblum!

 

Upon arrival Dagger immediately demands to see Regent Cid, not knowing who she is the gurards refuse this but Minister Artanis arrives and recognises Garnet and her Falcon Claw necklace and asks the party to follow him. Whilst in the lift to Cid’s throne room, Zidane asks Garnet what Cid is like, as despite living in Lindblum for a long time, he’s never seen him. Dagger states that whilst he’s very wise, he can come across as a little odd, but thats because he’s always thinking ahead of everybody else. As they disembark the elevator Garnet finds that the throne room is mostly empty, theres an Oglop with a huge moustache sat where Cid should be seated. The creature tries to approach the Princess so Steiner punches it and sends it flying just as Zidane walks into the room. It is as this point that the Oglop introduces itself as Cid Fabool, Regend of Lindblum. Minister Artanis fills everybody in, telling them that six months ago somebody snuck into Regent Cid’s quarters attacking him and turning him into an Oglop, they then abudcted his wife, Lady Hilda. Cid also hints that he knows why Garnet needs to speak with him, but says that they all need some rest and discussions can wait till tomorrow.

 

Zidane decides he doesn’t want to stay and eat at the Castle and heads to a pub within the city of Lindblum, after trying to chat up the barmaid he’s scolded by another woman at the bar whom he then very nearly picks a fight with. She seems to know who he is but he pretends he cant recall her name, eventually he gives in and addresses her as Freya, and it seems she’s

in Lindblum to take part in the Festival of the Hunt.

 

The following day Garnet tells Cid of her concerns for her Mother, shes been behaving erratically ever since her husband passed, she’s also been seeing a strange man around the Castle. Garnet is worried that she’s planning something terrible but everyone she has raised her concerns to so far hasn’t listened. She believes Queen Brahne would listen to Cid and tells him of how she arrived in Lindblum, Tantalus’ attempt to kidnap her and what they witnessed in Dali. Cid reveals that he had hired Tantalus to kidnap Garnet, he had promised her Father he would protect her should anything happen and he’d been watching Alexandria’s actions from afar, but felt that direct action would lead to war which he would ideally avoid. He takes Garnet down to Airship Dock 1 where Lindblum develop and research new airship technology. The latest model they’d constructed doesn’t require Mist to run, but was stolen by whomever it was that attacked Cid six months prior, or so Garnet thought. Actually, what had happened, according to Cid, is that he had met another woman in a pub shortly before all of this, Hilda had discovered this and used her magic to turn Cid into an Oglop, she then ran away in his new airship which he’d named the Hilda Garde.

 

In a Inn in Lindlum Zidane is given a letter by Moodon, its from Ruby who is still in Alexandria:

 

From Ruby to Zidane

Ain’t y’all comin’ back to Alexandria?
I’m so lonely!

Just kiddin’! I’m openin’ up a l’il theatre in an alley here.

(A bartender pal o’mine is quittin’ the saloon and gettin’ into showbiz. He asked me to help.)

 

Zidane asks Vivi if he wants him to show him around Lindblum but Vivi declines and heads off to explore on his own, in a shop, the shop keeper gifts him a Kupo Nut, which she says is the Moogles’ favourite food.

 

As Zidane explores Lindblum there’s alot of excitement around the Festival of the Hunt starting, from what I can gather Lindblum was originally a settlement of hunters and its first Regent, Cid I, started the Festival. I pop in and out of whatever buildings I can access, in the church I find a Leather Plate, whilst in the weapons shop Zidane looks at a wall of swords

“I remember a guy with spiky hair who carried something like this”

 

In the shop I buy a Mythril Dagger for Zidane, Glass Armlets and Steepled Hats for Zidane, Vivi and Dagger and Silver Gloves for Steiner. I also visit the Synthesist and create a pair of Desert Boots. Whilst visiting the Tantalus Hideout Zidane notes that the troupe haven’t made it back to Lindblum yet but an ATE shows that they’ve found their way out of Evil Forest. Baku and Marcus discuss Blank’s petrification and they plan ot try and find a way to cure him without doing the same for Evil Forest.

After exploring Lindblum and its three districts: Theatre, Business and Industrial, and playing everybody I can in Tetra Master (In 15 games I only won 6, drew 1 and lost 8, earning me 3 Zombie card, 1 Bomb card, 1 Cerberus card and 1 Lizard Man card and bringing my stats to P22 W10 D1 L11), Zidane heads back to the Castle to visit Garnet, but when she arrives she is no longer in her quarters, only Steiner is there. Unsurprisingly he blames Zidane for her latest disappearance, he then leaves to search for her. In Garnets quarters are two chests, one contains a Glass Armlet, the other an Ether. There;s also a Moogle called Mogki, I happen to have a letter for him from Kumop.

 

“From Kumop to Mogki

Stiltzkin visited me!
Kupo!

He said he found a place that seemed interesting, and then he left.

I wish he stayed longer, kupo.
Where did he go, anyway?
Let me know when you find out! Kupo!”

 

Whilst conducting his own search for Garnet, Zidane hears the song he heard back in Dali. It sounds like it’s being sung by the same person so it must be Garnet, she’s upstairs, but the guard wont allow Zidane through as he’s not “authorised personel”. I remember seeing a guard sleeping nearby and approach him, Zidane wakes him by saying he saw someone suspicious heading upstairs and instructs the guard to follow him, leading him to Garnets quarters where Zidane knocks him out and steals his uniform. Now in disguise Zidane can board the lift, once its in motion he changes out of the uniform then heads for the roof where he does indeed find Garnet singing, she seem’s unhappy. She asks Zidane if he helped her because he was told to do so, but he tells her how once they’d crashed in Evil Forest he chose to help her, that Baku didn’t agree with his plan so he left Tantalus. When she asks what Tantalus’ plan was to kidnap her entailed, he tells of how they were going to use Sleep Weed to knock her out. Garnet asks for some Sleep Weed as “she’s been having trouble sleeping lately”, Zidane doesn’t think her using it is such a good idea as he’s worried she could become addicted to it and offers to keep her company at night instead. She brushes off his advances so Zidane asks her to sing again and whilst she does we get to see brief snippets from other characters we’ve met along the way. Steiner is looking at armour and gets angry at a comment another customer makes about Queen Brahne. Vivi finds some toys left behind by some bickering children and wonders again about the Black Mages and Dali, we also get very brief moments with Freya on the roofs of Lindblum and Cid in Dock 1 trying to get his latest design to work.

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Part 4, I take part in the Festival of the Hunt and leave Lindblum after hearing shit has gone down in Burmecia

 

https://barharukiya.wordpress.com/2019/07/25/throwbackthursday-final-fantasy-ix-playthrough-part-4/

 



Last week we left the story in Lindblum, Zidane and Princess Garnet/Dagger had had a heart to heart of sorts whilst we also saw other characters in and around Lindblum itself. We pick up the plot during preperations for the Festival of the Hunt.

 

Current Play Time: 14:57
Current Location: Gizamalukes Grotto

 

Whilst still on the rooftop of Lindblum Castle Zidane asks Garnet about an airship date he’d apparently planned, however it seems that she wasn’t the girl he’d actually invited on this date

and Garnet appears to be upset by this. Zidane tries to style it out and declares that if he wins the Festival of the Hunt then he’ll take her out on a date.

The following day is the morning of the Festival of the Hunt. It seems the goal is to fight as many of the beasts that have been let loose in Lindblum as possible within the alloted time,

“The bigger the catch the higher the score!”

 

“Festival of the Hunt.

The time limit is 12 minutes.
Use air cabs to go to other districts.
Once you lose in a battle you will be forced to retire.

The winner will be crowned Master Hunter and receive the hunter’s reward.
Who will come out on top!?

 

Participants get to choose their reward, Zidane opts (unsurprisingly) for Gil, Freya says she’d like an “add-on” (an accessory) and Vivi, who wasn’t even aware he was entering but Zidane had put his name forward, chooses to receive a card in the event that he wins. Zidane also promises him a date with Garnet if he wins, although Garnet isn’t aware of this as its kept hush-hush between the pair. Each has a different starting point, as Zidane I start in the Theatre District. As it all kicks off, Garnet and Steiner cheer Vivi on.

I optimize Zidanes gear so battles are over quicker, although they’re still agonisingly slow when you’re sat there watching the clock tick, you lose time to the game loading between screens and the ATB gauge always takes ages to fill up and there’s very little you can do about it. After clearing the Theatre District, I head to the Business District. I see Vivi being chased across the square and then on the next screen Zidane and Freya team up to take down a Zaghnol thats a little more than the organisers expected, however the timer runs out before we can finish it off. Ultimately Freya wins the Hunt and is awarded with a Coral Ring.

 

During the ceremony a Burmecian soldier staggers into the Throne Room, interupting proceedings, he’s severely injured. He has grave news from the King of Burmecia, their Kingdom has been attacked and the Burmecian soldiers are no match for whomever it is conducting the attack, the King requests reinforcements. Though from what the soldier says the enemy forces are comprised of Black Mages. Cid wants to recall one of his aerial divisions but is reminded that would mean they can no longer monitor Alexander. Garnet wonders if her Mother is somehow involved in the attack on Burmecia.

 

Freya decided she needs to head home to Burmecia immediately and Zidane opts to go too, though Freya initially refuses his help Zidane manages to persuade her otherwise. Vivi and Garnet want to go to, Vivi wants to find out more about the Black Mages whilst Garnet thinks she can talk to and stop her Mother if she is involved. However, Steiner tells her she can’t go and much to her surprise Cid agrees, she turns to Zidane for support but he too believes its too dangerous for her to go and so she is resigned to staying behind in Lindblum where she can be better protected. Cid invites the group to finish the celebration of Freya winning the Festival, despite all of this news, and as it will take some time for Dragons Gate to open, allowing them a route to Burmecia, the rest of the group agree’s to join him in the traditional feast.

 

During the feast Steiner notices Garnet isn’t eating, so she begins to pick at her food. Shortly afterwards everybody, aside from Garnet and Steiner, collapses. Steiner starts shouting in a panic, believing everybody has been poisoned and falls to the floor clutching his throat. Garnet looks at him, surprised, and tells him she didn’t put anything in his food, then tells him she put Sleep Weed, that she got off Zidane, in everybody elses food. She tells Steiner that she needs to escape Lindblum and head back to Alexandria to talk to her Mother. He tries to explain to her that its safer for her there in Lindblum, despite his earlier attempts to return her to Alexandria, but soon submits and obeys his Princess’ demands.

When the rest awake, they soon cotton on to whats happened, though it seems they believe Garnet is heading for Burmecia and decide they can hold on no longer and depart as soon as possible. Freya suggests heading to Gizamalukes Grotto in order to go under the mountains and get to Burmecia.

 

Before heading to the Dragon’s Gate, I return Zidanes equipment back to its pre-Festival state so he can continue to learn the abilities that were tied to that gear. I also take the cable trolley in the opposite direction and head to Serpent Gate first, which leads to Lindblums Harbour, which is barely used now because of the Mist and the airships.

 

At Dragon’s Gate Moonte has a letter from Stiltzkin:

From Stitlzkin to Moonte

I left Lindblum and headed north,
I walked through the Mist and Gizamalukes Grotto to reach Burmecia for the very first time.
It’s raining, as expected.
I’m going to look for shelter now…

 

On the World Map I find my way to Gizamaluke’s Grotto by following roots growing out of the ground. However, before entering I decide to explore my surroundings a little more. i move Freya into the front row for battles, her Jump move is good, but its not really needed in most random battles and I’m better served having her at the front of the party alongside Zidane where she can do more damage. If I need to play more defensively I can always move her back at any point. There’s Chocobo tracks, but I cant use them just yet.

Whilst wandering around the World Map, I happen upon Qu’s Marsh where I bump into Mogster and his brother from the games tutorials, he doesn’t have anything new to teach me/his brother yet. There’s also a strange, large blue creature with a large tongue, chefs hat and a red/pink cardigan. It tell’s Zidane that it’s hungry, so when Zidane catches a frog it asks Zidane if he can eat it. It then introduces itself as Quina. Another of these creatures appears and lambastes Quina for not being able to catch food for itself, and then sends Quina off into the World with Zidane in order for it to experience different food (and frogs, which are apparently this species’ favourite) from the rest of the World.

 

As we leave Quales hut something appears to be bothering Vivi, he tells Zidane that Quale looked alot like his Grandpa and wonders if he knows him. We go back into the hut to question Quale, who tries to make out like he didn’t know Quan (Vivi’s Grandpa) but gives us just enough information that its clear that he does. He calls Quan a bigot and spills that they are from the same clan. Quale also refers to Quina as “S/he” but also as “him”. What a confusing bunch this lot are.

 

Back at the pond  where we met Quina I play a mini-game that involves catching frogs, I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of the game is, its one of those games where you have to wait for the right moment to strike to catch your prey and in all honesty I’m not very good at it.

 

Back out on the World Map, I enter random battles and I should mention at this point that Quina is a Blue Mage (Freya is a Dragoon/Dragon Knight), and in order for Quina to learn new abilities, Quina has to eat enemies, which means I have to weaken them sufficiently first, which is easier said than done. Even so Quina manages to learn three new abilities:

Pumpkin Head

Aqua Breath

Mighty Guard

 

I suddenly remember that when Zidane and Garnet were talking on the roof of Lindblum Castle the pair took some time to look through a large telescope and that I spotted various locations through it. So, again, before I head to Gizamaluke’s Grotto I check the map to see what I can access now and see Chocobo Forest on there. Once there I meet Mene the “Master of this forest” and he introduces me to his friend Choco the Chocobo. He tries to convince Choco to let me ride him but Choco runs away, Mene then gives me some Gysahl Greens, a Chocobo’s favourite food, that will allow me to summon Choco on the World Map, thus allowing me to travel faster and avoid random battles, he tells me that when I return he’ll tell me a secret. So I leave the forest, head to the nearest set of tracks, summon Choco and go straight back in.

 

The secret is another mini-game, Chocobo Hot and Cold, where I get Choco to run around the forest pecking the ground in the hope of finding hidden treasures, again, I’m not particularly good at this sort of mini game, mostly as I lack the patience for it.

 

Outside Gizamaluke’s Grotto two guards lay dead at the entrance. Freya demands to know who the Black Mage’s are, seemingly directing her question at Vivi, but runs ahead as she becomes ever more worried that the King is in danger. Inside there’s a door with a bell design carved into it, pushing the door wont open it, so there must be another way. We find another injured Burmecian soldier who, just before he dies, gives Zidane a bell and tells the group to go to Burmecia. We ring the bell outside the door we couldn’t open previously and the door begins to chime too, then once the bell in Zidane’s hand shatters, it opens and allows us through, I’ll be needing a bell for each door I find in the Grotto.

 

Through the door Black Mage’s are killing Burmecian soldiers. Zorn & Thorn notice Zidane and the rest and are unsure if they recognise the group or not. They send a pair of Black Mages to kill them anyway, but I deal with them easily, which leads to Zorn & Thorn running away.

 

In one room within the Grotto, there is a Moogle frantically running around a large bell, it appears it has fallen and trapped her husband inside. Her name is Mogmi and she’s desperate for some help, its then that she notices something about Vivi, and after giving him a good sniff she realises he’s carrying a Kupo Nut. Vivi hands over the nut and she approaches the bell with it, which excites her husband enough that he finds the strength to tip the bell over, thus freeing himself. The couple are called Mogmi (the female Moogle) and Moguta (her husband). Mogmi also happens to have a letter from Moodon

 

From Moodon to Mogmi

This years Festival of the Hunt was sooo exciting! Kupo!
The highest score was 132 points!
A woman named Freya won the title!

Last years winner, Belma, only got 88 points!
Oh, it was so much fun!!!

 

In a room that is filled with water another soldier warns Freya to be careful, something is wrong with “Master Gizamaluke” and at that moment the party is attacked by a large serpent, the aforementioned Gizamaluke. This is the first challenging battle I’ve experienced in the game thus far, the Black Waltz No. 3 fight threw a bit of a curve ball, but in this I had to revive party members using Phoenix Downs quite regularly, even so, the beast is felled. Freya declares that they must hurry due to the king being in danger and, before I can explore the Grotto any further, the scene changes and we are now with Steiner who is carrying a large bag over his shoulder.

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Part 5 was published last night, I've finally reached Burmecia and also the end of disc one.

 

https://barharukiya.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/throwbackthursday-final-fantasy-ix-playthrough-part-5/

 

 



Last week we took a break from this playthrough of Final Fantasy IX to focus on July’s Retro Games Club game – Parodius (well, Sexy Parodius, the version I played), but now we return to Final Fantasy IX and when we last played Zidane, Freya, Quina and Vivi had just defeated Gizamaluke in Gizamaluke’s Grotto and the action then switched to Steiner carrying a bag outside on of the foot gates to South Gate, namely Bohden’s Gate.

We’re now in Alexandrian territory, at least according to Steiner. As Steiner approaches the gates he is stopped by two guards who are looking for a “middle aged man with a young girl”, which Steiner certainly fits the description of, though Garnet isn’t with him, Steiner pretends he is a labourer looking for work (though how the guards fall for that considering he’s wearing a full suit of armour I don’t know), this pleases the guards qas South Gate is still in a state of disrepair after Black Waltz No.3’s attack. One of the guards questions Steiner whilst the other (“Short Guard”) investigates his bag, but only discovers it to be full of Gysahl Pickles (much to “Short Guard”‘s disgust). Steiner is allowed through and it is then we discover Garnet is also in the bag, somehow hidden among all the pickles. So, we need to find a place to hide so she can get out of the bag, but there’s a guy and a girl near to the only suitable spot, an alleyway. Turns out the guy is Chief Engineer on the rebuild of this particular area, and it seems his apprentice isn’t doing his job properly (instead of repairing one of the gateways, he’s merely polishing it). Informing the Engineer of this sends him on his way to go sort the apprentice out.

There’s also a shop keeper who has gone out of business, turns out the girl knows him and is worried for him, Steiner persuades her to help the shop keeper out, which leaves the alleyway clear for Garnet to climb out of Steiners bag, once out she tells Steiner he must call her Dagger, at least until they reach Treno.

Through the alleyway is Bohden Station, with a tram car available to climb the hill, Grimo asks me to deliver a letter to Nazna. After restocking on Potions and Phoenix Downs, Steiner and Garnet board the tram and depart from the station. Steiner praises Dagger for her strength and intelligence, saying they wouldn’t have gotten this far if it weren’t for her abilities as a White Mage nor her plan to hide in a bag of pickles, he then resorts to his favourite past-time, ranting about Zidane and his lack of manners.

Speaking of Zidane, we now go back to the group in Gizamaluke’s Grotto. Freya swears to protect Burmecia and leaves the grotto with the rest following behind her, however I’ve not done exploring so send everybody back in. Within the Grotto the one creature I’ve had trouble with in battles is the Lamia’s, so I spend a bit of time fighting these over and again in order to raise the party’s levels. Unfortunately the other doors in Gizamaluke’s Grotto are still locked and I can’t get any more bells to unlock them, I must have done things in the wrong order before, so I decide to leave and head for Burmecia.

Before we continue, I’d like to take a moment to discuss FFIX’s Trance system, this is the games equivalent of the Limit Break. A bar under your characters HP and MP gradually fills up by being hit by an enemy, there are other times where Trance is triggered, usually during a heightened emotional state within the story, and once the bar is full it auto-triggers itself increasing the party members damage output and unlocking special moves (for example Vivi can cast two lots of magic per turn whilst in Trance), the system itself isn’t bad but you can’t save it up and use it when needed and there have been a few occassions where its triggered right at the end of a fight but that character has been unable to take their turn and then the bar is depleted at the start of the next battle. It’s a sometimes frustrating design choice, and whilst I’m sure there’s ways to play the system and work it to your advantage, such as maybe taking a party member out of the group when you have the numbers to do so and then putting them back in if you know theres a boss coming up, but as I’m playing this sans walkthrough and pretty much relying on my memory from playing FFIX properly nearly 20 years ago, I’m not likely to be able to do that. I’m surprised by how much of it I actually remember so far, but there’s been a few bits that have been a surprise too (I’d completely forgotten about Gizamaluke’s Grotto being before Burmecia for example).

Once I finally arrive at Burmecia, it’s clear all is not okay, even the weather is depressing, Stiltzkin was right when he mentioned it raining in one of his letters! Barrels of fruit lay upturned, their contents spilling onto the wet cobble stones with no concious citizens in sight. Freya reveals she has been away from he homeland for five years. As we walk through the streets, the party is attacked by some Magic Vices that have a particularly horrible attack that takes almost all of a characters MP, thus rendering Vivi pretty much useless as I know that Ether’s are hard to come by in this game.

As I approach one building, Zorn and Thorn appear on a balcony above, their Yoda like manner of talking is wearing incredibly thin really fast. Once again, they set their Black Mages on us, but as usual these are easily dispatched, Zorn & Thorn then threaten me with the “General” who is apparently “very scary” when mad, I suppose I’ll find out who their referring to later as they then flee, again.

Burmecia has other enemies other than the Magic Vice’s that are annoying, Basilisk’s can petrify party members, though this takes 10 turns to take effect and their easily dispatched in 2 or at the most 3, and some of the treasure chests that are left for you to open in the hope of finding an item are actually Mimics. Though I think the offending chests are a slightly darker shade of brown compared to the normal chests, but that could be my imagination and me remembering where the Mimics were (and still fighting them).

After exploring any open buildings I gain a “Protection Bell” which opens a gateway leading to the Palace and works in the same way as the bells in Gizamaluke’s Grotto. Inside the Palace gates “Burmecian Soldier Dan” challenges us, he believes Zidane and co are in league with the Black Mages, mostly because of Vivi’s presence. Fortunately Freya steps forward and he backs down, he instructs us to flee because of the number of enemy forces, but we must press on.

Zidane saves an injured male Burmecian who was trying to persuade his pregnant wife to leave him behind, a large altar collapses and Zidane manages to drag him out of the way in time. Another Burmecian appears to see what the noise was and Zidane tells the three to head to Lindblum where Regent Cid will provide them with refuge. The pregnant Burmecian tells Zidane he must visit them once all of this is over with and that their child should be born by then.

Atla wants me to deliver a letter to Monev. Before I leave Atla, Stiltzkin appears and sells me a Soft, Hi-Potion and Ether for 333 Gil, I also buy a Needle Fork for Quina, a couple of Magus Hats, a Barbut for Freya and an additional Bronze Vest from the shot Atla has set up, I also stock up on Potions again before using a Tent and saving. In the armoury nearby Freya finds a Mythril Spear that also allows her to learn her first Dragon Knight ability: Reis’s Wind, then we head to the Palace itself.

Hidden amongst the shadows cast by some suits of armour, Zidane and Freya watch Queen Brahne talking to General Beatrix, whom Zorn & Thorn must have been referring to earlier on. But the story quickly cuts to Freya having a flashback talking to another Burmecian, revealed to be Sir Fratley, who has decided to leave Burmecia in order to grow stronger in order to protect his homeland, spefically citing strong warriors such as Beatrix as his reason for believing he can grow stronger. The news leaves Freya devastated, she loves Sir Fratley. She later hears rumours of his death, and being unable to accept the news, leaves Burmecia herself to search for him. When we return to her in the Palace with Zidane, its clear shes been unable to verify these rumours.

He thoughts, however, are distracted by the entrance of a man neither Zidane nor Freya recognise. Queen Brahne refers to him as Kuja and praises his Black Mages, though it seems neither Brahne, Kuja nor Beatrix know the whereabouts of the Burmecian King, whom she wants rid of. Kuja says “Rats often look for new homes when they sense an earthquake. They probably moved to the sandy treehouse by now”, this is probably a reference to Cleyra, or at least thats how Freya and Brahne both interpret it. Apparently Cleyra is protected by a huge sandstorm, rendering it impossible to attack, though it seems Kuja believes otherwise and asks Beatrix to gather her troops nearby.

Freya tells Zidane a little about Cleyra, she says that its people were once Burmecians, but they severed ties with Burmicia over a “trivial conflict”, but the kingdom is at peace and shielded by a sandstorm. At that moment a Burmecian soldier storms in and makes a move to attack the Queen, before he does Freya and Zidane launch to his aid, Vivi and Quina also finally catch up and join them, and we’re thrown into a battle with the formidable General Beatrix.

This particular battle is essentially one of survival, knocking down the turns until Beatrix unleashes an attack that leaves the party struggling on the floor, at which point her and Brahne leave to ready the Alexandrian troops for the attack on Cleyra. Before leaving Kuja stops to examine the group, he seems concerned that one of the group could cause a problem, I assume he’s talking about Vivi as he looks alot like the Black Mages Kuja and Brahne have been creating and using, he then climbs on to an Ironite and departs into the sky.

End of Disc One.

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Off to Treno this week in search of some Supersoft to cure Blanks petrification

 

https://barharukiya.wordpress.com/2019/08/15/throwback-thursday-final-fantasy-ix-playthrough-part-6/

 



Last week we finished off Disc 1. Zidane, Vivi, Freya and new companion Quina were defeated in battle by Alexandrian General Beatrix, and the trio of Queen Brahne, Kuja and Beatrix had stated they were to move on to Cleyra in pursuit of the Burmecian King.

As Disc 2 starts we are once again outside Bohden Gate, the two guards that searched Steiner’s bag of pickles are discussing the rumours surrounding recent events. The Short Guard is frustrated at being on guard duty and wants to join the front lines in war, his colleague however doesn’t understand why anyone would want to go to war, and with that we join Steiner and Dagger aboard the Cable Car.

 

Steiner has his doubts around everything they’ve heard about Queen Brahne and doesn’t believe she is capable of starting a war, however, he decides his duty is to protect the Princess whatever it takes. It seems the cable car only goes so far on its journey to Alexandria, and stops half way there, this is because the journey is split into two with a cable car for each half of the journey, as one reaches the station in the middle, the other reaches either Lindblum (the cable car Dagger and Steiner are aboard) or the station that leads to Treno within the kingdom of Alexandria.

 

Whilst the pair wait for the Alexandrian cable car to arrive Dagger hears a familiar voice, Cinna and Marcus have arrived at the station from Evil Forest, just missing the cable car to Lindblum (because Cinna wanted to eat Bundt Cake), they head into the rest area and bump into Steiner who is far from pleased to see them. He accuses them of being there to try and kidnap the Princess again. Nazna the Moogle sits in the corner of the rest area and I have a letter for her (I don’t know why I assume Nazna is female, I guess the name sounds more feminine?)

 

From Grimo to Nazna

I feel so sad whenever I see
Mary, that part-time worker.

Have you ever fallen in love?
I’ve never fallen in love before, kupo.
If watching someone else in love
is so difficult, I wonder how difficult
it is to actually fall in love myself?

 

Nazna gives Dagger a Kupo Nut as thanks for delivering the letter. From the shop here I buy Dagger an Air Racket, Mythril Rod, Glass Armlet and a Magus Hat, for Steiner I purchase Mythril Gloves and a Barbut.

 

Every time Dagger tries to speak to Cinna and Marcus, Steiner interupts and tells her not to interact with them, she ultimately has to put him in his place, asks why she can’t talk to her friends, which leaves him essentially speechless, seems Garnet is becoming less the Princess he expects her to be and more the Dagger that Zidane has tried to teach her to be. At that there’s a rumble and the Station Attendant announces that the cable car to Alexandria has arrived. It turns out that whilst Cinna was heading to Lindblum (and missed his cable car), Marcus actually wants to go to Treno. Marcus reveals to Dagger that the reason he is heading to Treno is because he is trying to locate an item called Supersoft that he can use to cure Blanks petrification. Dagger offers to help but Marcus refuses, and before she can make her claim for why her help could be useful, the Cable Car comes to a sudden halt.

 

The Conductor thinks the reason could be engine related and leaves the cable car to investigate, but quickly re-enters saying that there’s a “demon with a pointy hat outside” Dagger, Steiner and Marcus all rush out to see whats going on and are confronted by an injured Black Waltz No.3 blocking the tracks.

 

This battle is literally just Marcus and Steiner smacking the thing with Dagger on healing duties, Black Waltz No. 3 wont hurt her either, so its fairly easy to keep the other two on their feet and the fight is over in four or five turns.

 

Back on board the Cable Car, Marcus comes to the conclusion that Dagger knows what going on with her Mother and Alexandria in Burmecia, though none of them know whats really gone down there just yet, the pair also understand that Steiner is in denial about it all. Marcus guesses that he will be unable to stop Dagger helping him find the Supersoft and notes that she’s changed (albeit it that there’s still some of Princess Garnet still there when she talks about the Nobles of Treno).

 

On the World Map I encounter a Ghost, the music is different in this battle, and rather than attack me the Ghost says it “could really go for some Ore” so rather than attack it I throw some Ore from my inventory to it, the battle ends with the Ghost saying “Give my regards to Ladybird”. After this I spend some time levelling up as Steiner and Dagger are only level 7 compared to the group in Burmecia all being at level 11 or thereabouts. Whilst levelling I come across Quan’s Dwelling, I find three Ethers and “Scorpio”

 

Scorpio

Scorpio was very timid.
He always looked at his
shadow, until one day,
he decided to look away.
He walked up a hill.
=Stellazzio Story=

 

I also found some markings on a wall

 

“Six months since I adopted Vivi. Still too small to eat?”

 

In Treno Marcus and Steiner argue about how to obtain the Supersoft, Marcus plans to find it and steal it. Steiner won’t allow him to do that and goes off on one, whilst his back is turned, Dagger wanders off.

 

A series of ATE’s follow Dagger as she explores Treno. In the first a thief pick pockets her, stealing 500 gil, you can prevent this but my timing was off. the following ATE has her attempt to chase the thief, but he manages to hide and she turns down a different path. The thief decides its about time he left town. She then asks an old man about the Supersoft, but he’s partially deaf and confused and talks about his deceased wife before telling Dagger that she’s still young and not to give up, lastly she finds her way to the Auction house and spots a man that she recognises up on the balcony (it’s Kuja but she doesn’t know of him properly yet, though I assume its the man she referred to back in Dali that she had seen around Alexandria Castle).

 

I explore Treno as Steiner and come across the Pick Pocket, Steiner asks him if he’s seen a pretty girl with long hair, which the Pick Pocket tries to deny but keeps blurting out information about her, that he stole nothing from her, then he gives Steiner a Power Belt (that he bought with the 500 Gil) before running away. The Power Belt allows Steiner to learn MP Attack and Counter, it can also teach Fira, but Steiner can’t learn that particular ability. From the auction room below, Steiner overhears two Noble’s discussing the nights auction and how the main attraction is a Reflect Ring.

 

Marcus also has a series of ATE’s. In his he heads to an Inn and meets Baku downstairs. Baku has discovered where they can get the Supersoft they’ve been searching for, it’s in a Nobleman’s home and its up to Marcus to break in and steal it. Baku tells Marcus that he’s got “two liabilities coming along”, I think he’s referring to Steiner and Dagger.

 

Treno’s resident Moogle is Mogrich and I have a letter for him

 

From Stitzkin to Mogrich

There’s trouble in this rainy city.
The guys I saw were heading
towards Vube Desert, west of Burmecia.

They’ll only find sandstorms.
What could the possibly want?

I’m gonna follow them and see…”

 

In the item shop the floor is like a huge cage, there’s a monster beneath it that the clerk says belongs to the store owner who likes to get people to battle it. From the shop I buy a Mythril Sword, Flame Staff, Ice Staff, Bone Wrist, a Bandanna and some Chain Mail.

When Steiner finally reaches the auction house, he also finds Dagger there who lambasts him

 

“How can I find the Supersoft when I keep having to listen to your complaints?”

 

Steiner is visibly deflated, she asks him where Marcus is but Steiner doesn’t know. Dagger decides shes going to go and try and find him and see if he’s found the Supersoft, she tells Steiner she’s going with or without him, ever dutiful, Steiner follows after her. Before leaving though I join in with the auction, I am outbid on everything bar a Mini-Cid, which is the only thing to go for less than 10,000 Gil, maybe I shouldn’t have bought all that equipment before.

 

As expected I find Marcus at the Inn, he informs Dagger he knows where the Supersoft is and he is ready to depart when she is. He leads her to Baku at the Dock, Steiner pleads with her for her to listen to his counsel and turn back, agreeing takes us back to the Inn and gives us another opportunity to prepare for whatever lies ahead, but I think I’ve done all I can in Treno for now and have taken an absolute hiding at Tetra Master, losing nine battles, drawing one and only winning three. And whilst I found a Yeti card and won a Sand Golem card (plus a Goblin and a Flan) I also manage to lose both those cards, plus my Cerberus, Ironite and Mimic plus others that I happened to have multiple of, leaving my collection pretty weak now. Baku asks if Dagger understands that breaking and entering is a crime but Dagger merely informs him that shes coming along as she needs to make sure that they don’t steal anything else.

 

Meanwhile, Kuja is talking to the auctioneer. The music during this scene is oddly reminiscent of the Shinra music from Final Fantasy VII,. Kuja reports that things went well in Burmecia, though it would have been better if he hadn’t seen “those vermin and the ugly elephant-lady”, the auctioneer is instructed to prepare something ahead of Kuja’s appearance in Cleyra and is then asked if a “pretty lady was in the crowd today?”. He talks about how the canary has flown into his cage willingly and bigs her to fly home to her Mother. I can only assume he is talking about Garnet.

 

The screen fades to black with the text:

 

“I, too, will welcome
you home with open arms”

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