Before we get underway with part 19 of my Final Fantasy IX playthrough I’d like to say Happy New Year to you all. 2019 was the year I threw myself back into my writing after stopping towards the end of 2016 on my previous website, and, well, the fact I’m still at it is a big positive, that I still enjoy it is an even bigger plus and that as far as statistics go, I’ve had a far better reception than I ever thought I’d have, personal feedback has been positive too, so thank you to everyone that reads my stuff, thank you to everyone who comments and clicks that Like button and thank you to those of you who also follow me on my social media platforms. I’d do this stuff anyway, but you make it all worth it.
I do have one more thing to add before we go onto the game stuff, normally the first #ThrowbackThursday of the month is used to talk about the Retro Game Club game that I’d been playing prior to that month, but as December is such a busy time (for everybody), I just didn’t have the time nor energy to join in with that, so that feature should be back at the start of February.
Onto Final Fantasy IX then.
Back in December, prior to Christmas and prior to my Albums of the Year countdown, I’d literally just finished Disc Two, an excellent place to end the year. Zidane, Vivi, Eiko, Amarant and Dagger had gone to the Iifa Tree to take on Kuja, though before they could select the battle music, Brahne appeared with a navy, she unleashed Bahamut, but Kuja turned the eidolon back on her fleet resulting in the death of the Queen of Alexandria.
Disc three opens with Beatrix, Doctor Tot, Steiner and Garnet arriving at Alexandria Castle by boat/ The Princess hasn’t yet been crowned, her coronation will be in three days time.
Elsewhere Zidane has managed to meet up with Cinna, Marcus, Ruby and Blank, though he’s hardly in a talkative mood. They decided to leave Zidane to it and go visit Ruby’s theatre. En route Blank bumps into Vivi and the two quickly fill each other in on what they’d been doing since Garnet had been freed from her imprisonment at the castle. Marcus tells Blanbk to hurry up as Ruby hates them being late, so he bids farewell and follows after his Tantalus companion.
Vivi heads into the bar but Zidane still doesn’t want to talk, I have a couple of quick games of cards with the other people there and lose both, though I pull things back in games elsewhere in Alexandria, ultimately playing 6, winning 3 and losing 3.
Out on the streets, there’s a bit of excitement building surrounding Garnets coronation, one little girl declares she wants to grow up to be as strong as the soon to be crowned princess.
An ATE shows Eiko visiting the castle, she meets the kitchen staff who realise shes rather hungry, but then declare that to be “too bad” and head back to their kitchen.
Hippolady tells Vivi that her son, Hippaul, plays too many card games and asks Vivi to have a race against him, which Vivi agrees to do. The race requires me to hammer the square and circle buttons alternately, like in the old Track & Field games from the arcades (and home consoles), this isn’t the easiest thing to do on the Vita as its face buttons are rather small but still, I beat Hippaul rather easily, though Vivi doesn’t receive anything for his troubles. I do the race again and purposely lose, but again, Vivi doesn’t get any reward. Hippaul does have “(Level 5)” next to his name so there’s probably more to it than just running it a couple of times, but I decide to move on. After all, Hippaul doesn’t even like running.
After exploring Alexandria for a while, Blank encourages Vivi to enter Ruby’s theatre, he’s not dared to go in so far as he knows Ruby will be angry at him being late, indeed, when Vivi descends the stairs Ruby begins to tell him off, thinking he’s Blank and Marcus but is surprised when she turns around and see’s Vivi there. Not knowing him she calls him “kind strange” but before long Cinna arrives and introduces the two to each other properly and Ruby invites him to see her play.
Back in the castle, Garnet wants Steiner to find Zidane, he tries to tell her she has more important matters to attend to and that she lives in a different world now. Tot and Beatrix arrive and tell the princess it is time that she got changed, with Tot handing her stones of Opal, Topaz and Amethyst, which contain the power that Brahne (and Kuja) had removed from her. Steiner and Tot then excuse themselves, leaving Garnet with Beatrix. She asks the General to see Zidane but Beatrix also denies this request.
Eiko is still walking around the castle and she’s still intent on “winning” Zidane, she believes that Garnet is now out of the picture as she’s to become queen and see’s this as the perfect chance to write him “the most romantic letter ever”. She spies Doctor Tot coming down the stairs from Garnets quarters, though she doesn’t know who he is, she decides he must be intelligent of his “big beard, nerdy hat and thick glasses”, she asks him if he’s a writer, which he confirms, and enlists him in writing her letter. As she leads the way to where she wants to do this he notices her horn.
This triggers a memory of a ship washing up in Alexandria after a storm, inside were a woman and a baby girl. Unfortunately, the woman was dead, but when he looked at the baby’s face he was surprised to see she looked exactly like Princess Garnet, who had just passed away. However, this child had a horn. When the baby was presented to the king he ordered for the horn to be removed, then he and Queen Brahne raised the child as Princess Garnet (and nobody asked any questions or raised any objections!?)
After getting into her coronation dress, Garnet reveals to Beatrix that Brahne wasn’t her real mother. However Beatrix had already been told this by Doctor Tot, Beatrix tells Garnet that he allegiance will remain to her rule and she will continue to serve the new ruler of Alexandria.
Eiko finishes her letter (well, Doctor Tot writes it all), and runs off to give it to Zidane. Unfortunately, she somehow bumps into Baku on the balcony above the main staircase in the castle, this throws her over the side of the balcony and she gets caught on something, leaving her hanging in the air and dropping her letter. For some reason, Baku can’t help her down, but he agrees to deliver the letter to Zidane instead.
Baku then stumbles across Steiner who tells him to leave the castle as thieves do not belong there. Baku reminds him that “one of his boys” saved the kingdom, which Steiner reluctantly agrees with (he still doesn’t like Zidane) but he believes once a thief, always a thief and he can’t possibly let “their kind” roam about the castle, before leaving though, Baku somehow drops Eiko’s letter.
Trying to figure out what all the commotion is, Beatrix also arrives at the docks, though this is just after Baku and Steiner leave. She realises that was all Steiner though. Thinking to herself she acknowledges that Alexandria is at peace again, though she wonders why it is that she still feels sorrow in her heart, it is then she spots Eiko’s letter on the ground and assumes it was Steiner who dropped it, she picks it up and reads it:
“When the night sky wears the moon as it’s pendant, I shall await you at the dock.”
She thinks that Steiner has written her a love letter.
Back at the bar, Zidane is pining for Garnet. Ruby, Marcus, Blank and Cinna all burst in and start shouting things like “you can do it” though exactly what they think he can do is unclear. When Baku arrives Zidane begs him to allow him back into Tantalus. Baku refuses by saying “A Tantalus always gets what he sets his eyes on.” “If you can’t even capture a canary, you ain’t got what it takes to join Tantalus!” Vivi also arrives and asks if they can go to see Dagger. Zidane agrees to go, saying they could go cheer her on before she becomes queen.
We’re really getting to see all the main cast now (Quina’s classed as an optional character I believe). Freya is by the docks, staring at the water complaining Zidane hasn’t visited her to say hello, as she turns to leave Amarant is walking towards her, she stops (having not met him before) to ask him what he’s staring at, Amarant takes this as a challenge and the two warriors square up to each other until the Alexandrian soldiers keeping watch over the docks threaten to arrest them. Zidane and Vivi arrive, with Freya trying to leave. Zidane tells her to stop being mad, this irritates Freya and she tells him that he is the reason she is mad because he’s been off wandering around, avoiding Dagger and probably hasn’t found anything else out about Kuja (and Freya is the first person since Brahne died to even mention Kuja!)
She believes Kuja will attack again, he’s already taken Garnets eidolons once (or coerced Brahne to do so) and has now killed the queen, so there must be more to come. Zidane gets all that, but he can’t even talk to Garnet and doesn’t know if he can protect her, plus now she’s becoming queen, she’ll have all the guards she needs. Vivi clearly disagrees with Zidane, and rather bravely for the little guy, tells Zidane he thinks Garnet will want to see him and then encourages him to take to the boat to the castle.