#throwbackthursday, Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy IX, Gaming

#ThrowbackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 25

I’m going to start by saying that I totally expected to have had this playthrough wrapped up by now, but taking notes and typing up has definetly added to the play time.

The hunt for the third and final ingredient that I need to create the potion needed to cure Cid, or at least Doctor Tot believes it will cure him. I ask all over the Business District but nobody seems to have a clue what Zidane is on about, eventually I make my way to the weapons shop, the guy in there suggests I speak to Alice, who just so happens to be stood outside. She stands out a mile too as she’s dressed in a beautiful gown and it just so happens the potion I’m missing is the “Beautiful Potion”. Alice claims she actually has it! She then drags Zidane around the corner and begins to search through her dress for it, once she finds it she gives it to him for free saying that “it’s too old to sell anyway”.

Before heading back to the castle I have the Synthesist craft me some more equipment. I live his workshop with a Pearl Rouge, Anklet, Reflect Ring, Extension, Fairy Earrings, Burette and Gold Choker, then I make my way to deliver the ingredients to Minister Artania and Doctor Tot.

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The Doctor mixes the three potions together and applies the mixture to Cid straight away. The potion does indeed change him, but not back into a human, instead he’s been turned from an Oglop into a Frog, Quina better not get to meet him in this state. Anyway, he’s understandably far from happy and he summons everyone to the conference room, he’s had enough of potions and medicines. He declares that they must find Kuja, Steiner reminds him they don’t have a ship, but the Regent instructs Master Artania to “ready the ship we stole in Alexandria”. Vivi is still upset about the revelation that Black Mages were aboard Kuja’s ship during the attack on Alexandria, he wants to go to the village to find out more, the rest are in agreement that this is a good idea and Cid agrees to let them go, instructing everybody to meet at the harbor.

We get a brief glimpse of where Quina’s been, s/he is currently lost in Lindblum but they seem perfectly content, especially as they get to try Lindblums local delicacy “Gysahl Pickles” which you may remember Steiner once filling a big with and hiding Dagger amongst them when he was trying to smuggle her back into Alexandria.

Once at the harbor Zidane boards the Blue Narciss and is surprised to see Quina there too (to be fair, he’s not the only one considering the little scene we’ve just had). When s/he see’s Cid for the first time s/he is almost speechless, s/he’s amazed at a talking frog and whilst they pondor whether to eat him or not, Zidane warns Cid of their love for frogs.

For the first time in ages I get to choose my party. This time I go with Zidane, Freya, Vivi and Eiko, for not at least. I’m heading for the Black Mage Village on Outer Continent. Once I disembark the Blue Narciss I come across a Ladybird who wants some Ore (rather than me fight it) which I obviously hand over.

The village appears to be deserted and Vivi races off to investigate. Zidane also takes a look around, every building is vacant, well apart from all the owls. However one Mage has stayed behind. No. 288 is at the cemetary with Vivi, he tells them everyone else bar himself and two others went with Kuja after he had promised to be able to extend their lives. 288 refuses to tell Zidane where Kuja took them as he doesn’t want to betray the others, after that he refuses to speak at all.

Vivi heads to the Chocobo Shack to speak to the other two Mages who have stayed behind. Zidane follows behind and finds Vivi banging on the door, there’s quite a while before anyone answers but eventually one of the two Mages bursts out and declare’s “It’s born!”. Inside both the Black Mages are celebrating the birth of a baby Chococbo, No. 111 tells Vivi that they were going to leave with the others, but someone needed to stay behind for the Chocobo, so they did. Vivi then find 288 stoof outside, he asks him if he’s also going to “stop” soon, but 288 can’t answer his questions. He does however reveal the location of Kuja’s “secret palace”. He says its on the eastern side of the continent, buried underneath quicksand.

#throwbackthursday, Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy IX, Gaming

#ThrowbackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 24

In Lindblum Cid is overseeing the reconstruction of his kingdom after Queen Brahnes attack. He’s also started building a third airship, with engineers from the Industrial District having volunteered their services. Baku interupts Cid’s conversation and asks how Zidane is doing, it seems he ahs been recovering form the events in Alexandria within the walls of Lindblums castle. Baku send Blank to visit him.

At the castle Zidane is just waking up, his immediate concern is for Dagger and Eiko, though he’s also confused to how he got to Lindblum in the first place. In a chest near to Zidanes bed is an Egosits Armlet, which teaches the Beast Killer and Level Up abilities, another chest nearby contains an Elixer. Mogki, who is also in the Guest Quarters, wants me to deliver a letter to Mudoon.

As Zidane goes to leave the bed room, Blank rushes up the stairs to ask how he is. Zidane tells him he’s okay and asks where Dagger is, Blank thinks she’s upstairs by the telescope and before the conversation can continue, Zidane barges past to see the Princess, en route a guard instructs Zidane that Cid wants to see him in the Royal Chambers, though I think I’ll try and see Garnet first.

Up on the roof of the castle Zidane does indeed find Garnet looking out over Lindblum, Zidane literally talks at her, the poor thing, but she only seems to be replying by nodding or shaking her head. He tries to play it cool, stating she loves him so much that she’s speechless that he’s okay, but he’s quietly worried that he’s done something wrong. When he outright asks her this, she still doesn’t answer. He tries to cheer her up by offering to take her out but when she still doesn’t talk to him he decides that maybe she wants to be alone.

After that Zidane heads back down to see what Cid wanted from him.

In the Royal Chamber Cid greets Zidane as a hero, he’s discovered something about the attack in Alexandria and escorts Zidane to the conference room so everyone can learn what hes found out all at the same time.

Everybody bar Dagger is waiting, Eiko runs out to fetch her, triggering an ATE which shows Dagger deep in thought, she reveals that Alexandria is gone, leaving many dead and others homeless, she blames herself for everything, if only she hadnt run away (at the beginning of the game) then none of this would have happened.

Back in the conference room, Steiner is clearly very upset, he says he gave his all but it wasn’t enough and he doesn’t know what happened to Beatrix either. Freya wonders what Kuja is trying to accomplish as he’s already suceeded in destroying the four kingdoms (Alexandria, Burmecia, Cleyra and Lindblum). Zidane doesn’t care, his emotions have gotten the better of him, he just wants to “go and get” Kuja. However, Amarant of all people, state its not that easy because Kuja’s powers are far beyond theirs.

Cid reveals he witnessed Kuja escape from Alexandria aboard the stolen Hilda Garde I and that he had Black Mages on board, though these were able to “talk normally” unlike the ones he’d previously enslaved, this upsets Vivi and he becomes concerned about the friends he made in the Black Mage Village.

Eiko interupts the meeting and tells everyone that Dagger has lost her voice (tut tut Zidane, now you should feel like a dick). Quite rightly Zidane and Doctor Tot then visit Dagger in the Guest Quarters, with Steiner also tagging along. Eiko leads the way. The three guys obviously don’t understand and all try and get Dagger to talk to them. Doctor Tot explains that the trauma and grief she has suffered has led to her losing her voice, he believes it could take months or even years to recover, though in the typical fasion of a Doctor, he speaks about Dagger like she isn’t there, directing all of this at Zidane rather than his poor patient.

Zidane immediately comes up with a plan, first he needs to cure Cid so he can build him an airship, then he’ll go and “beat the crap out of Kuja”, Tot tells him to calm down before the two of them visit Cid to discuss this plan and fill him in on Dagger’s condition. Doctor Tot also thinks he has a cure for Cid, though he’s not sure about the reliability of its source. We need to find three ingredients, mix them together and then apply them to the Regents body, the items we need to find are “Unusual Potion”, “Beautiful Potion” and “Strange Potion”, then mix them in a 5:2:3 ratio. Apparently these aren’t common items, but rather handily Zidane believes Cinna may have some Unusual Potion.

I immediately head to the cab and go and visit Cinna in the Theatre Distrct where he is busy helping repair the Tantalus hideout.

An ATE fills us in on the state of Burmecia, most of its citizens took refuge in Lindblum after the destruction of both their home and Cleyra, but they’re not sitting back and taking advantage of Lindblum’s generosity, instead they’re rallying as many of their own people together as they can and plan on rebuilding their city.

At the hideout, Zidane just out right asks Cinna if he can “borrow” the Unusual Potion, Cinna agrees, no questions asked and and its over. That’s great, thats one of the three items gained rather easily. I’ve no idea where to start with the others, and thats only if I don’t have to collect enough to fit the ratio’s mentioned previously. I start by asking around outside the cab station and head into the Artists studio. He says he’s never heard of any of these items, nor the potion we want to create, but says if I find anything in his studio I’m welcome to keep it. Thankfully I do indeed find a Strange Potion in the corner by the stairs. No one else knows anything in the Theatre District, so its off to the Business District, though as soon as I arrive there I head for the inn to save my game and give Moodon a letter:

“From Mogki to Moodon

Alexandria is in a horrible state right now…
I wonder if Kupo and Mosh are okay?

Let me know when you have more info!
I heard that Stiltzkin was also in
Alexandria! Kupo!”

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#ThrowbackThursday: Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 23

It’s been a while, for reasons, some of them I discussed here, but also because I really got put off this for a while, which I’ll come to later. So let’s get to it, though you might want to read my last update to remind yourself where I’m at.

Kuja watches on as the Invincible disappears, he accuses Garland of being reponsible, though he questions why he would come to Gaia in the first place, I presume this garland is the mystery man we were inroduced to in my last update.

Zidane arrives at the castle with Cid, Vivi, Freya and Amarant, they immediately decide to search for #dagger and Eiko. In the library Zidane hears a voice, “Challenge me if you dare!” it says. When I accept the challenge I’m thrown into a battle against Tantarian that I’m not prepared for. Tantaraian initially appears to be a huge book which opens on random pages. It’s defence is very high as I’m barely scratching it, with attacks only resulting in taking off double figures of HP. Eventually though, it opens on a page and inside is a blue spherical monster, which when attacked does take alot more damage. Vivi is the strongest here, his Blizarra deals damage somewhere in the region of 1500HP, however I spend most of the fight healing and ultimately I’m defeated.

It’s here where the game tests my resolve, I hadn’t saved in a while, in fact I hadn’t saved since the final round of the card tournament so I have to do all of that again, sit through all the talky sections again and play out Steiner and Beatrix’s last stand just to get back to this point. I do a little research and I could have saved in one of the rooms in the castle once I had control of Zidane, I’d just not done so as I went straight into the library, it being the closest room to where you have this party and ended up in the battle with Tantarian.

I also decide to Google some tactics on how to defeat this optional boss, its something I’ve refrained from doing up until now, but then most of the fights I’ve been able to brute force my way through.

This time out I stick everyone in the back row, Optimise their equipment and also equip the Devil Killer, Counter, Auto-Potion and Antibody abilities for those characters who have them. Once the battle begins I have Zidane stick to using Steal, with Freya casting Reis’ Wind to give provide all of the party with Regen, she also takes over duties of using Phoenix Downs and Ether’s when the need arises. Amarant, usually used for just hitting stuff, now uses his Chakra ability to heal a party members HP and MP, Vivi is the only one who can actually attack Tantarian, with the suggestion being that I use Bio whenever the book opens up on the pages that reveal the creature hidden inside, until that point the party just Defend unless healing is required.

Vivi’s Bio ability allows him to deal out around 1800 damage, though I also start to use Focus when the book is closed, which when I can attack again, increases his damage output to 3800, and so the fight actually becomes a walk in the park despite only one party member actually dealing out any punishment.

Once the fight is over I’m rewarded with a pair of Running Shoes, which allow the wearer to learn Auto-Haste, unfortunately Zidane only manages to steal a few Ether’s and a couple of Elixers. I save again and head in the direction that Dagger originally took, finding my way to the roof where Zidane tells the others to leave him to rescue her and escape from the castle before Kuja destroys it. The rest are reluctant to leave him, but he tells them this is important to him and he needs them to go, Freya resigns herself to leaving her friend behind, though she does so on the condition that Zidane doesn’t confront Kuja alone, he just gets Dagger and Eiko and flee’s the castle with them.

As he climbs the staircase, Alexander covers the castle with its wings in order to try and protect it, though it does so too late, allowing the Invincinble to unleash a pillar of light, blowing up parts of the castle in the process. As Dagger and Eiko are thrown from the balcony they were previously stood on, Zidane arrives in the nick of time to rescue them, using some bunting to swing them to safety. Once on some slightly more solid ground, Zidane apologises to Dagger for not being truthful about his feelings for her, but they’re not out of the woods yet as the remains of the castle begin to shake. The Invincible unleashes another attack, this one more powerful than the last and a huge shockwave spreads throughout the kingdom. On board the ship Garland talks of souls “returning” and states that in time, they will no longer belong to Gaia.

#throwbackthursday, Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy IX, Gaming

#ThrowbackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 20

I took a week off last week, I just didn’t get much opportunity to actually play and didn’t want to just upload a couple of hundred words. So, two weeks ago, we were in Alexandria, awaiting Princess Garnet’s coronation, though none of the gang had spoken to her since she had arrived back home, well other than those that were also in her employ such as Doctor Tot, Steiner and Beatrix. The others had decided they should go and visit her though, and that’s where we left things.

Zidane, Vivi, Amarant and Freya all arrive at the Castle docks and explore the grounds. We use the Neptune statue to go to the harbour, though there’s currently nothing to see, the Alexandrian soldier on guard there tells Zidane that the Ruby Rose can’t fly now due to there being no Mist. Everything else on the castle grounds is locked down. Before we enter the castle itself, we come across Steiner manhandling Eiko, he threatens to throw her into the dungeons, but Zidane intervenes. Steiner hasn’t met Eiko before, nor has Freya, and whilst Eiko is introducing herself to the dragon knight Steiner loses his rag. He’s definitely not pleased to see them all, well, apart from Vivi that is, who explains why they’re all at the castle. Steiner agrees to arrange a meeting, purely because it was at Vivi’s request.

Steiner tells the group to wait at the foot of the stairs and trots off to tell Garnet they are there. She stands on the balcony above them, thanking them for her visit, everyone compliments her on how she looks, and everything is conducted very formally, although Zidane never speaks. After a very brief amount of time, Steiner tells her that she must go. Eiko rushes up the stairs, asking if its the last time they’ll see each other. Garnet claims it won’t be, she says she won’t be able to journey around the world with them anymore, but she’ll never forget the time she did. Garnet then trades two of her jewels for two of Eiko’s before bidding her goodbye.

Vivi and Freya demand to know why Zidane didn’t say anything. He says he had a whole speech prepared but he just couldn’t say anything, he wanted to say “Good luck Dagger! I’ll be watching you from afar”. But he says it would have just been a lie because that’s not how he feels at all.

This upsets Eiko, because she now realises that Zidane is besotted with Garnet. She wishes that she never wrote her letter, not knowing it never reached Zidane and has instead been mistaken for a letter from Steiner to Beatrix. So, whilst sat at the dock and expecting Zidane’s arrival, she decides to hide before he does to save her embarrassment. Whilst hiding, she hears someone coming, its not Zidane though, its actually Marcus and Blank. The latter has also gotten hold of the letter and thinks it’s for him, Marcus has just tagged along for the LOLs, but when they hear someone coming, they also hide.

This time it’s Steiner, who is merely patrolling the grounds. He now finds the letter on the floor, as Blank had dropped, and when he reads it he convinces himself that someone must have dropped it knowing that he would pick it up. Beatrix arrives next, he thinks its from her (and as we already know, she’s previously read the letter and thinks its from him). Eiko, Marcus and Blank are all listening in, but before anything can happen Baku appears and lets off a huge sneeze.

At the bar, Freya, Amarant and Vivi are all wondering where Zidane has gone. Vivi decides to go search for him, but before he can leave Eiko bursts in and the two bump into each other. She’s in a bad move as she thinks Zidane stood her up and tells Vivi to keep out of her way. Tot then enters the bar, he’s searching for Eiko. He wants to talk to her about Madain Sari. She agrees to tell him about her home but only if she can go to his home, though that’s all the way in Treno. She thinks visiting Treno is a great idea as she “enjoys sight-seeing”. Zidane finally shows his face and says that he’s planning on going to Treno anyway, there’s a card tournament on that he wants to enter and head to the Gargant station to make their way there.

#throwbackthursday, Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy IX, Gaming

#ThrowBackThursday: Final Fantasy IX playthrough Part 12

Two weeks ago we left Lindblum, walked through Qu’s Marsh again and found a tunnel entrance that had been cordoned off. We made our way inside…

Through the tunnel we arrive at an excavation site where we are chased by a monster on a monster drawn carriage, it ultimately catches us throwing the group into battle. Defeating it stuns it for a while, leaving us to a chance to create some space whilst trying to escape which is finally achieved when Zidane jumps a gap in the bridge we’ve been running along.

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However, there’s little chance to rest a Lani, one of Brahnes bounty hunter appears in a staircase. She declares shes been looking for the Princess and when Zidane asks if he has met her before Dagger tells him off for flirting. Lani isn’t trying to return Garnet to Alexandria, she wants the pendant the Princess wears around her neck, she threatens Dagger and we’re thrown into another battle. Thankfully Vivi enters into Trance and the whole thing is over quite quickly with Lani retreating, stating she’ll “let you guys go for now”.

We head down the staircase Lani appeared from, this leads us to Fossil Roo, where wild Gargants follow roots in the ceiling. Picking flowers for them to eat allows Zidane to ride them around the tunnel system. There’s a treasure hunter in the cave system who is baffled that we aren’t there to look for treasure, Zidane tells him they’re tying to get to the Outer Continent and he replies that the caves are like a web, he dosn’t know how far it goes, but has a rough idea of what direction they should head in.

Nearby I notice two Moogles, one is Stiltzkin, so it looks like he did make it out of Cleyra after all! He tells Zidane he had been hurt so bad that he couldn’t move but he’s now recovered and back on his travels, then sells me a pack containing a Phoenix Pinion, Remedy and an Ether for 555 Gil. The other Moogle is Mogki, who Kumop asked me to deliver a letter to:

“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!”

He also has a letter from Kuppo, though he doesn’t know who Kuppo is

“From Kuppo to Mogki

I’m bored, kupo!

I’m so bored, I’m going to hide away!

Try finding me inside the cavern!

Hint: I’m behind a wall…”

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As before I pick flowers to attract the Gargants in order to ride them. There’s currently two routes, on to the North and one to the South, I take the Southern route first, which splits but the Gargant will only follow the route that isn’t blocked off by water, activating switches changes which route is open. For now, the route I can take only takes me to a treasure chest which only contains a set of Fairy Earrings. Status effects really play a part in Fossil Roo, I regularly have to use Echo Drops to cure Silence and keep having Trouble cast on me, Trouble leads to the affected character sharing any damage received with the rest of the party. I go back to the central area and take the Northern path and activate the switch there. Following the new route gets me an Ether and takes me to another switch which changes the path for the Southern route.

I eventually come across a miner who lets me use his pickaxe in exchange for a potion. Whilst chipping away I free Kuppo from the wall he had been hiding behind. I don’t have any mail for him but he does want me to deliver a letter to Kupo, who if I remember rightly is in Alexandria. I spend a further ten minutes or so chipping away at the rock face but only get a few Ores for my troubles, there’s probably something better there but I haven’t got the patience to keep at it and leave the area. Theres also a Lamias Tiara in a chest near here, this item allows Dagger to learn Clear Headed, Confuse and Float. Once I’ve gotten that I activate a switch that opens up the route that takes me to the exit of Fossil Roo.

Leaving Fossil Roo does in deed bring us out at the Outer Continent, just as Cid thought it would, and just like he said, there’s no Mist here. Outer Continent is a brown rocky land, this is the first time I come across a Cactuar, which I stupidly think I can take on, then it uses 1,000 Needles on Quina and wipes them out, so I try to flee but am unsuccessful in doing so which leads to what I think is my first Game Over.

When I load back up, I explore what I can off the Outer Continent at this point and come across a marsh, here I find Mogster (though I’m not sure how he got here from Qu’s Marsh on Mist Continent) who gives me directions to a “flat shaped building like a bridge” saying I should go there first. Looking at the map I head in a Westerly direction to where Mogster told me to go and discover Conde Petie.

#ThrowBackThursday – Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 1
#ThrowBackThursday: Final Fantasy IX Playthrough Part 2
#ThrowBackThursday: Final Fantasy IX playthrough Part 3
#ThrowBackThursday: Final Fantasy IX playthrough Part 4
#ThrowBackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 5
#ThrowBack Thursday: Final Fantasy IX playthrough Part 6
#ThrowBackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 7
#ThrowBackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough Part 8
#ThrowBackThursday Final Fantasy IX Playthrough part 9
#ThrowBackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 10
#ThrowBackThursday Final Fanatasy IX playthrough Part 11

#throwbackthursday, Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy IX, Gaming

#ThrowBackThursday Final Fanatasy IX playthrough Part 11

As Dagger, Zidane and Vivi leave Pinnacle Rock, where last week Ramuh became Dagger’s eidolon, Queen Brahne’s airship the Red Rose flies over their heads in the direction of Lindblum, it then opens fire, sending Telepods into the kingdom which allow Black Mages to get inside and begin to attack, taking out Cid’s fleet of airships and leaving Lindblum in a position they cannot defend. Brahne then summons Atomos, which looks like a giant mouth, to cause as much destruction as possible.

when the trio eventually arrive in Lindblum via Hunter’s Gate, Zidane notes how quiet things are, however there are Alexandrian guards everywhere, buildings lie in ruin and there are also Black Mages lying on the floor, either dead or unconscious. Zidane tells Vivi he needs to hide, its too dangerous for him to be spotted here, though Vivi tries to protest but Zidane persuades him it would be for the best, so Zidane and Dagger make their way through the streets together. One soldier if Zidane plans to resist them, Zidane replies that he will do so “to the death” which amuses the soldier who is confident in the strength of her colleagues and Brahnes Mages and summon magic. One thing that is unchanged is Moodon the moogle is still in one of the rooms at the Inn, he has another letter from Ruby:

“From Ruby to Zidane

Oh, I’m havin’ a terrible time finding
actors! I’m willing to take anyone
who can read at this point!

What was his name? That narcissist
from Lindblum? I’d even take him!
Get him over to my mini theatre!
We need to get some business!”

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Outside on the Inn on Main Street there are a group of people gathered round an unconscious Black Mage hitting it, Zidane shouts at them to stop, telling them that its been killing people because the Queen has programmed them to do so, that they’re unable to think for themselves. An old man who is part of the mob doesn’t believe him and his anger at losing his family to them gets the better of him and he doesn’t seem to want to understand what Zidane is trying to tell them. I try to take an aircab to the Theatre District to pop in to the Tantalus Hideout. I can’t do that at this time however as the cab service was also attacked, the Theatre District was seriously damaged whilst the Industrial District has completely gone thanks to the attack from Atomos. There is a sign nearby that states the cab system will be up and running tomorrow, but under new management (i.e. Alexandrian management) and will cost 200gil per trip.

Another Alexandrian soldier asks me if I’ve heard of a group calling themselves the “Vigilantes”, I genuinely haven’t so I get Zidane to say as much. An officer tells Minister Artania about the conditions of the Theatre District (heavily damaged) and Industrial District (gone) and that the Business District, where we are currently, is in need of serious repair. Artania tells him to allocate soldiers to reconstruction in order to get citizens’ lives back to some level of normality as soon as possible. Dagger cries out to Artania who is happy to see that she and Zidane are safe and informs them that Regent Cid is also safe and that the castle had been spared, he then takes the pair to see the Regent.

Cid is surprised to see them, he through Garnet had been imprisoned by the Queen so she quickly fills him in on her escape. He admits he knew the Queen was after the eidolons but that he underestimated their power. A Lindblum soldier interrupts the conversation to say he’s captured a Black Mage, though it’s smaller than the others. As he escorts the Mage into the room it’s evident that the Mages he has captured is actually Vivi. Minister Artania instructs him to let Vivi go, telling him that he isn’t an Alexandrian Soldier and that Vivi is actually in disguise to deceive the enemy.

With that the soldier leaves to continue his patrol and Cid reveals he has more information about Queen Brahne. He has discovered a weapons dealer named Kuja is behind the recent attacks, though Zidane knew that already. He has been supplying Brahne with highly advanced magical weapons, the Black Mages are just one of these weapons. Eye witnesses in Treno say that he appeared in the Norther Sky riding on a silver dragon. Minister Artania believes he may have come fro the Outer Continent, an uncharted continent located north of Mist Continent, where the kingdoms of Alexandria, Burmecia and Linblum lay.

A plan is formulated, the aim is to defeat Kuja, doing so removes his influence over Brahne and also her supply of weapons, which would allow Cid’s remaining forces to perform some kind of counter attack. If they were to defeat Brahne first, the risk would be that Kuja would be able to sell his weapons to other clients. Zidfane, Vivi and Dagger decide to start the search for Kuja, they ask for an airship to allow them to reach the new continent, but are informed that even if the fleet hadn’t been destroyed, it wouldn’t work as airships require Mist to operate and there isn’t any on the Outer Continent. Cid’s new Steam powered airship isn’t an option either as that has been commandeered by Alexandria as part of the conditions for Lindblum’s surrender. Zidane asks if they could leave by boat, but the harbour has also been seized.

Cid also reveals that the other condition for their surrender was that he must also hand over the Falcon’s Claw. Zidane can’t think what Brahne would want with the stone, nor can Cid.

Cid tells them the only way they could reach the Outer Continent is via an excavation site located north of Lindblum. Monsters not native to Mist are rumoured to have been spotted near a cave system that was uncovered there. The cave system itself is rumoured to lead to another continent, though nobody knows if it is the Outer Continent, theres a chance it isn’t, but its literally the only option they have of being able to put their plan into action. Cid then gives Dagger 3000gil to “prepare” for their journey, which by this stage of the game isn’t really alot and is almost the equivalent of an Aunt sellotaping a £1 coin inside a birthday card.

Preparations mean stocking up, leaving Dagger at the castle, Zidane heads to the Business District to do some shopping. After stocking up on the basics: Potions, Antidotes etc, Zidane also visits the Synthesis and gets him to create some Magician Shoes and Silk Rovers, then from the weapons store I buy two Magical Vests. I pop back to the inn in order to save my progress with Moodon, he now has a letter that he’d like me to deliver to Moonte, then Zidane heads to the aircab station again, first speaking to a young man stood outside who reveals his name to be Justin. Justin, it would seem, is the leader of the “Vigilantes” group Zidane was asked about earlier, sniffing a side story I head back to that guard and dob him in. Though it doesn’t really lead anywhere, the soldier asks me to tell Justin to “stop what he’s doing” and that “Nicole said so”. Justin obviously refuses to heed her request and tells Zidane he’ll never stop fighting for a cause he believes in even if it means fighting Nicole. This particular interaction doesn’t go any further than this so Zidane takes the aircab and visits the Theatre Distritct.

Once there it would seem the Theatre itself has gone, one soldier tells Zidane Brahne plans to build an Opera house in its place. Zidane bumps into Lovell, the famous actor and the guy Ruby called a narcissist in her letter, he happens to be looking for work due to the Theatre being destroyed so Zidane tells him about Ruby’s theatre. Now Lovell’s a bit up himself and see’s the audiences of Alexandria as being beneath his talent, but work’s work so he decides to leave Lindblum to hopefully teach Alexandria about culture. There are only two people in the Tantalus Hideout, a pair of young children, who tell Zidane that they will protect the place until the other members of the group return, there are three chests here with different amounts of gil in each one.

Unsurprisingly there aren’t many people in Lindblum willing to play cards, though I do find two people willing to give Zidane a game, both of which I surprisingly beat.

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With all preparations made, Zidane heads back to the castle. As he and Dagger take the elevator the two discuss the journey ahead. Dagger is apprehensive about going to the Outer Continent, she’s worried that if something happens to Zidane or Vivi that she might not be okay on her own. But then gets all flustered when Zidane asks if she’s worried about him. Ultimately though she decides that she needs to go if she is to stop her mother committing any more atrocities. Down at the trolley station beneath the castle, Cid has managed to sabotage one trolley, leaving it stranded between the castles platform and Serpents Gate. This allows Zidane, Vivi and Dagger to take the other trolley to Dragons Gate and out into the wider world  though before departing Cid gives Zidane a map of the entire world.

At Dragons Gate is Moonte

“From Moodon to Moonte

Oh it’s terrible! Kupo!
Mogki, from the castle, is missing!

Did the Alexandrian soldiers kidnap him?
Or did the Black Mages eat him? Kupo!

I’m so worried!!!”

From Dragon’s Gate we head out onto the World Map and I spot Qu’s Marsh in the distance, so I make that my first place to visit, wondering if Quina has made their way back home after s/he had left Cleyra on foot rather than taking a Telepod with Zidane, Vivi and Freya. Sure enough, s/he’s exactly where I expected to find them, by the pond trying to catch frogs to eat. Zidane tells them of the plan to head to the Outer Continent, which Quina likes the sound of as it means more chances to find new frogs to eat. We then visit Quale and ask him about the excavation site, but the chief replies that “maybe I hear about it, maybe not” though there may be a road to it hidden in Qu’s Marsh, the chief believes Quina might know.

As we begin to search the marshes, Quina catches scent of some frogs and rushes off, Zidane chases after them, and in this manic moment they all accidentally stumble across a tunnel entrance thats been chained off, Quina claims they’ve never seen it before.

#ThrowBackThursday – Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 1
#ThrowBackThursday: Final Fantasy IX Playthrough Part 2
#ThrowBackThursday: Final Fantasy IX playthrough Part 3
#ThrowBackThursday: Final Fantasy IX playthrough Part 4
#ThrowBackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 5
#ThrowBack Thursday: Final Fantasy IX playthrough Part 6
#ThrowBackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 7
#ThrowBackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough Part 8
#ThrowBackThursday Final Fantasy IX Playthrough part 9
#ThrowBackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 10

Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy IX, Gaming

#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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

#ThrowBackThursday – Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 1

#ThrowBackThursday: Final Fantasy IX Playthrough Part 2

#ThrowBackThursday: Final Fantasy IX playthrough Part 3