#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!”

#throwbackthursday, Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy IX, Gaming

#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 19

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

#throwbackthursday, Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy IX, Gaming

#ThrowBackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 18

Yes, I know, it’s not Thursday any longer, the title is merely there for continuity, this should have gone up yesterday but I time got away from me and I was watching Rise of Skywalker last night, my opinions on that will go live tomorrow, making this the first of 12 consecutive posts as Sunday is the start of my Albums of the 2019 countdown.

Last week Zidane had to rescue Eiko from one of Brahnes bounty hunters, then fight the other to recover the stone that had been stolen from her home, the latter bounty hunter was called Amarant and, through shame at losing to Zidane, has now joined the party.

On the way back to the Iifa Tree the group bump into a Yeti, who rather than fighting us, demands some Ore. Vivi throws this to it and the creature demands more, which Dagger hands over, the “battle” then ends with the Yeti asking us to say hi to Nymph.

In my first proper battle with Amarant in the party, I check out what he can do. His key skill appears to be throwing items from my inventory at enemies (this is in addition to his normal physical attack), I’m not sure how I’d use this as I don’t think the item set is similar to that in Final Fantasy X where Rikku’s similar ability can come in handy. He also has a skill called Chakra that allows him to heal an allies HP & MP, which could come in really useful as things progress. He’s not as physically strong as I’d hoped, standing below Zidane and thus making him only the fourth-strongest potential party member (with Steiner first, then Freya, Zidane, Amarant) for physical attacks, but with that Chakra skill it means I don’t always have to have both Eiko and Dagger in the party.

As expected, Kuja arrives at the Iifa Tree on the back of his silver dragon, he delivers some kind of monologue, though I think he’s talking to himself, saying that its finally time to reveal his true self, stating his plan is to “watch the drama unfold from the trunk of Iifa” as he expects no one will interrupt him there.

The group head to the Iifa Tree to confront Kuja, I’m given a chance to change my party, but stick with the line up I mentioned last week of Zidane, Dagger, Vivi and Amarant, though I do wonder if it would be better to have two healers if I do have to fight Kuja as I’ve not used Amarants Chakra yet so have no idea how powerful it is and the two healers are also summoners so they have some extra power there if I’m in a bit of a pinch.

Zidane and co need to climb the tree, rather than descend into it like they did previously, but there’s no obvious path and Dagger, Vivi and Eiko say they can’t climb it. Amarant thinks Zidane should go it alone, though Zidane says they all stick together and instructs the newcomer to find a Gargant as he’d spotted some Gargant Grass around, instead of doing this though, Amarant picks up “the kids” and carries them to the top of the tree himself, leaving Zidane to give Dagger a piggyback.

Kuja notices the ragtag bunch climbing and decides that they’ll be the perfect warm-up, he’s waiting for the “elephant-lady” to show up. I’m given one last chance to change my party, but again stick with Zidane and Amarant in the front row with Dagger and Vivi taking up the back row, but I do make sure everyone is fully healed before continuing.

The party have a lot of questions for Kuha, but his answers are either cryptic or absolving himself of the majority of the blame, for example, Vivi asks what about the Black Mages and is told that he “only provided the recipe. He tells Dagger that Brahne is greedy and that she always wanted war because she has to have everything, he just gave her a push.

His dragon suddenly lets out a roar and Kuja notices that Brahne, along with her new navy, are arriving. The queen herself is at the command of a gunship and it seems she may have chosen to turn on Kuja as she believes he is all that stands between her and domination. She orders her navy to open fire on him and has her Black Mages instructed to focus all of their energy into one combined spell.

Despite the Iifa Tree not producing Mist, Kuja says he can still create monsters, after all, there is still Mist lying dormant in some areas, such as caves, that he can harness and he then sets a pair of Mistodons on Zidane and friends.

Brahne hasn’t quite opened fire yet so Amarant suggests leaving whilst she’s getting everything into position, thinking it would be best if both of Zidane’s adversaries fight things about between themselves, especially as Kuja has now taken to goading Brahne, Zidane agrees and the group begin their escape from the battle. However, Dagger wants to save her mother, despite everything she has done. Dagger doesn’t want her to die and her plan is to try and summon the Eidolon that the summoners had imprisoned in the Iifa Tree.

At the base of the tree, Dagger finds a statue and preys to it, it begins to glow and she receives an Aquamarine stone. This is no good, the stone holds the power of Leviathan inside it and if Dagger uses this then her Mothers navy will be destroyed by the great tidal wave that Leviathan will unleash.

Whilst Dagger and Eiko have been discussing this, Kuja has obviously been fighting with the fleet, leaving the latter in a bad shape as smoke and fire cover the decks of the ships. They’ve used up all of their ammunition in fighting off Kuja’s monsters, however, the Black Mages have finished combining their power and manage to summon Bahamut, who is instructed to attack Kuja, though the effect it has is minimal, with Kuja only taking on a small head wound.

Then it gets weird, Kuja summons some kind of giant eye in the sky. It’s huge and red and manages to kill the Black Mages, not only that but it turns Bahamut back onto Brahnes navy, the screen fades to black and next, we know Vivi, Eiko, Zidane and Dagger have found Brahne washed up on a beach. An inner-monologue suggests one of the party, I think its Vivi, wanted this to happen to the queen, they say they should be happy as they hate her so much, but then they say Dagger crying and didn’t know what to feel any more.

Brahne is still alive, just about, she tells Dagger she is free of her greed now, she says she hasn’t felt like this for a long time, not since she “saw that play with you and your father”, she realises that she has let Alexandria down a path of ruin, but believes the people will be happier with Dagger on the throne. The group decide they must return to Alexandria, bringing the queen’s body with them.

In Alexandria, Garnet is reunited with Steiner and Beatrix, they both dutifully try to take some blame for all that has happened. However Garnet asks them both to help her rule over Alexandria, the three then join Doctor Tot in laying a wreath of roses that the townspeople had sent as an offering for Queen Brahnes grave, Garnet promises her she will become a great queen and with that, we (finally) reach the end of Disc Two.

#throwbackthursday, Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy IX, Gaming

#ThrowBackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 16

A new week and another update, last week we got to spend some time with Eiko and the Moogles. The little girl has been living alone (well aside from her Moogle friends) for around a year now after the passing of her Grandfather and there’s the hint that she may be able to teach Garnet a thing or two about summoning, that is if she’s not distracted by trying to avert Zidane’s attention away from the Princess.

After leaving Madain Sari we take to traversing the world map again and head back in the direction of the Conde Petie Mountain Pass in order to take the second path that leads to the Iifa Tree. We get closer to its huge mass of roots but can’t get any further as there’s an impenetrable force standing in the way, Eiko says this is the seal that her tribe placed on Iifa Tree.

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Eiko tells the others that to break the seal, she has to ask the Eidolon to “come back”, that the Summoners Horn allows “us” to communicate with eidolons and wild animals. She performs a chant and we receive a Ruby, the seal is now broken. Vivi asks if the chant was used to break the seal, but it wasn’t, Eiko just had to focus her thoughts in on her horn, the chant was just for show. I check out the Ruby we obtained and it will allow Eiko to learn Carbuncle and also teach her and Dagger Reflect.

It takes me a while to climb the Iifa Tree (which I still keep misreading is Lifa Tree, which I also think makes more sense). I mean, it’s like five or six screens just to scale its roots and get inside the tree itself and the Stropers I encounter along the way seem to have a lot of HP and so take a while to defeat. I eventually come across Mocchi and can’t help thinking that these Moogles don’t half hide out in some weird places, plus how did he get beyond the seal the Summoners placed on the entrance? Anyway, I have a letter for him:

“From Mogryo to Mocchi

A kid named Vivi came to the Black
Mage Village. His eyes were so sad…
Like he had the weight of the world on
his shoulders, kupo.

I wanted to say ‘Good luck!’ to him,
but I couldn’t… kupo.

I’m on your side, Vivi!”

Once inside the tree, Zidane touches a circle platform in the centre of the floor which begins to glow. He stands on it and it descends, so he quickly jumps off. When it comes back up again the entire party climb on it. At the bottom of the shaft is another root system, this one covered in what looks like cobwebs, we work our way down this makeshift pathway, fighting Dracozombies (undead dragons) as we go. These are tough as they can instakill the entire party and can also cast Zombie on them, which makes any healing items have the opposite effect. It occurs to me that I can use healing items on the Dracozombies to make defeating them a little easier, I have to use Magic Tag’s to remove the status effect from the inflicted part member.

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After a while, we come to another chamber with a massive vertical root going through it. There’s a leaf-like platform connected to it that when stood upon by the entire group takes them to the roots base. Mog tells Eiko he senses a lot of life beneath them, she says Moogles are Faeries and can detect life, but that he senses a lot more than normal here.

Zidane and Dagger wonder what this could all have to do with Kuja. Just then they are attacked by Zombies, like the Dracozombies, these have a weakness to healing items and magic, but I don’t want to use my items or MP up as I suspect there will be a boss fight soon.

Dagger, Eiko and Zidane begin to wonder about the Mists effect on monsters and about how it reaches Mist Continent, but there’s none on Outer Continent, then Dagger notices that Vivi is acting a little oddly. He’s lost in thought again, thinking about the Mist, he asks Zidane if he remembers the factory in Deli. Vivi remembers there was a lot of Mist inside the factory, Zidane remembers the machines were using a lot of it and Dagger reminds them of the eggs that they saw. Vivi believes there’s a connection between the Mist, Kuja and the Black Mages (though I thought this had already been established?), but before the conversation can go any further the party is attacked by a Dracozombie.

Once this has been seen off, Zidane notes he can finally see the bottom of the Iifa Tree, Dagger feels that the tree looks more like a machine than a plant, Vivi and Eiko are watching some sparkling water at the base of the tree and Vivi wonders aloud if its the origins of the Mist. Eiko invites Ziudane to watch it with her, he tries to resist but she refuses to let him go. Zidane then notices that she’s not watching the water and she tells him that she’s watching it sparkling in his eyes. Zidane thinks they may need to go deeper somehow, then Mog senses something coming their way from above.

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The walls around them begin to shake and a tree-like monster appears, though it seems to have been expecting Kuja, it tells the group that it creates the Mist as a “by-product of the refining process”, whatever that means, it says that Kuja has found another use for it as a weapon, “his Black Mages”, if we can defeat this creature, known as Soulcage, it says there will be no more Mist and “no more weapons like this puppet here”, referring to Vivi.

Now, because of how things have moved along I know I’ve gone into this fight unprepared, nobody has been healed since the last Dracozombie fight, I’ve used some of Vivi, Dagger and Eiko’s MP up too, though Vivi is close to going into Trance. I can’t really justify using Eiko or Daggers summons now either as their MP cost is too high and I’m probably going to need to heal lots and the Soulcage can cast Lv5 Death which can kill in one hit.

So I’m not surprised when Soulcage defeats me, though there is one moment where I think the tide could turn as the whole party if revived by a randomly occurring move called Rebirth Flame, which can apparently happen if you have Eiko in your party and she has the Phoenix summon. But that hope is short-lived and he defeats me fully at the second attempt. This throws me right back to the entrance of the Iifa Tree where I met Mocchi so I’m forced to make my way back down again.

On my next attempt, I decided to see if the methods I could have used on the Zombies and Dracozombies would work on Soulcage and get Dagger to cast Life on it. This is normally reserved for reviving party members, but it does indeed work and Soulcage is defeated in one move

The Iifa Tree begins to shake violently as the Mist pouring from its roots begins to dissipate, leaving clear blue skies behind. Zidane thinks the Mist on Mist Continent should be gone too and Vivi fears that this means that there will be no more Black Mages. Moco turns up unexpectedly, he tells Eiko that someone has stolen something valuable from the village so she needs to rush back.

#throwbackthursday, Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy IX, Gaming

#ThrowbackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough Part 15

Wow, Fifteen parts and I’ve still not made it to the end of disc two! Last week was the journey to Eiko’s home, which means we’ll now be arriving at Madain Sari, Village of the Summoners.

After leaving the Mountain Pass we have to traverse the World Map just a little, nestled away on the coast is the village of Madain Sari, Eiko’s home. The place looks like a complete ruin, though there appears to be a small army of Moogles living here. Mog has also arrived and after being reassured by Eiko that she’s not mad at him for running away (though to be fair, he was chased by Quina) he vanishes inside her clothing as Eiko says its safer for him there, she then sends the rest of the Moogles off to work.

Eiko tries to separate Zidane from the others, she wants him to tell her all about himself, Dagger watches on in amusement as he is bombarded with questions by the young girl. Though she then goes into a slight daze, Zidane thinks she might be jealous, but she denies this, it’s only then that they all realise that Vivi has wandered off.

Mocha arrives and tells Eiko he has finished cleaning, so Eiko announces she is going to start cooking and invites Zidane to eat at her place. Zidane accepts the invitation as he has a lot of things he wants to ask her (and hasn’t been able to get much of a word in otherwise) The group finds Vivi staring off over the sea, thinking to himself about all he had learned back at Black Mage Village, he has so many existential questions he needs answering, the most pressing of all being where he came from and where he goes when he dies.

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Zidane finds Libra at the fountain in the centre of Madain Sari

“Libra
Libgra was a perverse fellow.
He would always
walk in the opposite
direction of the sun.
Would he ever see Virgo?

=Stellazzio Story=”

Dagger seems to be giving Zidane the silent treatment, though an ATE then shows he wondering about Madain Sari and the summoners who had lived here. She says knowing she had eidolons inside her, like the summoners had, didn’t bring her any joy. But now that Brahne has taken them from her to be used as part of Kuja’s war machine, she feels like she’s lost a piece of herself. She feels that Maidain Sari feels familiar to her but doesn’t understand why.

Moco the Moogles stands guard outside a cave, he says its a restricted area, Quina arrives and complains that this place is only rocks and sand with no food, though the water looks clean, this prompts him/her to jump in for a swim.

Eiko is busy in her kitchen with a trio of Moogles, they’re preparing a meal for her “hero Zidane” who she appears to she wants to fend off Dagger for the attention of. She plans to get between the pair by cooking lots of food and showing Zidane that she’s a good homemaker. The Moogles seem to lack confidence in her cooking abilities though, which, she says, is why she’s enlisting their help. She has to decide which Moogle does which job, Momatose is sent to catch fish for the “Barbecue Fish”, Mocha goes to dig up potatoes for the “Rock Potato Stew” and Chimomo helps Eiko in the kitchen. Chimomo’s job appears to be put enough water on to boil to make enough stew for everyone. Eiko lists everybody’s names though she misses Quina, which makes 10 diners, though I instruct Chimomo to boil enough water for 11. Eiko then puts an Oglop into the water for seasoning.

Momatose snags a fish, it’s a big one, Eiko rushes to help reel it in while Chimomo continues to cook, its not a fish though, its Quina! Eiko thinks Quina is Kuja because of their white hair and strange clothes. Quina tries to correct her and tells her that Zidane is looking for Kuja and that s/he is called Quina. Eiko then remembers Quina chasing Mog, then introduces herself before whispering an instruction to Mog to never come out of hiding whenever Quina is around. Quina notices the food, commenting that it smells good, but informs Chimomo that the heat is too low on the water, s/he tells Eiko they need Vivi’s black magic to create more heat and then continues helping Eiko out in the kitchen.

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Zidane tries to enter the kitchen, but Morrison won’t let him until the food has finished cooking, and so he takes him to the Eidolon Wall. Turns out the cave that Moco was guarding wasn’t actually a cave, it’s actually an amphitheatre that contains the Eidolon Wall. Morrison instructs Moco to let them through, then tells Zidane that Eiko’s summoner tribe has protected the wall for generations, Zidane decides Dagger needs to see this and goes to fetch her.

Inside, the walls are covered in paintings of the Eidolons that the summoner tribe had discovered during their research. It’s considered a holy place for summoners and Eiko visits every day to pray to her ancestors, Dagger decides to stay here and study the mural some more, at least until Eiko has finished cooking anyhow.

Finally, the food is done and everyone sits down to enjoy the meal, Zidane comments that Eiko should open a restaurant. He then asks where all the other summoners are, Eiko replies that they’re all “sleeping the eternal sleep” and that she’s the last survivor of her tribe, she’s been living with the Moogles since her Grandpa died last year.

Ten years ago, four years before she was born, the village was hit by a “natural disaster”. The Summoners suffered a great deal. Her Mum and Dad fell in love and started a family, though they both died when she was very young. She believes she was left alone in the village to meet Zidane, her “beautiful shooting star” before she can continue though, Vivi finds the oglop in his stew, Eiko claims that they’re a Conde Petie delicacy, but everyone seems to be put off by the discovery.

Zidane helps Eiko take the dirty plates through to the kitchen, there Zidane asks Eiko if she knows anything about the Iifa Tree. She tells him they can’t get in as it’s been sealed with an eidolon. Zidane wonders if Eiko did this, she tells him it happened before she was born, the tribe sealed an eidolon they had failed to summon inside the Iifa Tree as it’s their custom to seal failed eidolons where the attempted summon had happened. Zidane wants Eiko to break the seal for them, though she refuses, calling him crazy.

That night Zidane finds Vivi alone, thinking to himself once again. He tells the little guy he should get some rest as they’re leaving tomorrow but Vivi tells him that he tried to stop worrying about things but he just can’t do it. He wants to be more like Zidane but finds it difficult. Zidane tells him that it’s simply because they’re different people and that he doesn’t have to do everything Zidane’s way.

“I want to stop…
I don’t wanna feel like this any more.” says Vivi.

Zidane tells him is boils down to two simple choices, either he does, or he doesn’t. That you’d think with all the problems in the world there would be more answers. It’s not fair, but that’s the way things are. The choice is Vivi’s, Zidane just wants to protect the people he is with, it doesn’t matter whether he can or not. That’s just what he believes in, Eiko is listening in on the pair and decide3s she “wants to go with Zidane”. Zidane then tells Vivi he has an age-old ritual that helps take a mans mind off his problems and then shows him how to urinate over the side of a cliff (or that’s what the game seems to be alluding to), its very nearly like the scene in Titanic where Jack teaches Rose how to spit over the side of the ship.

Next morning Dagger tells Zidaneshe wants to come back to Madain Sari, the Eidolon Wall scared her at first but the murals then began to soothe her. Zidane says they have to come back for Quina anyway.

#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 IX playthrough Part 12
#ThrowBackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 13
#ThrowBackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 14

#throwbackthursday, Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy IX, Gaming

#ThrowBackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 14

It’s been a few weeks since my last update on Squaresoft/Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy IX, the past two weeks I’d taken a look at other games for #ThrowbackThursday, but we’re back now, and I’ll be honest, I’ve not made as much progress as I’d have hoped, both since I last updated and overall, I’m not quite at the end of disc 2 yet.

Last time out Dagger, Zidane, Quina and Vivi had met Eiko for the first time, she had been stealing from the village of Conde Petie and whilst being chased had gotten stuck on a branch, once freed Dagger decided that we were going to take her home.

We make our way through the mountain pass, Quina had gone chasing after Eiko’s Moogle friend Mog and so Eiko has now joined the party. Like Dagger, she has access to white magic and summons, she also has an auto-regen ability, its not very powerful but its better than nothing. On the mountain path en route to Eiko’s home I spot a stone altar, embedded into it is a red stone that I remove, it goes into my key items menu but I’m not sure what its for right now. Further along I find another altar, this one rewards me with a blue stone.

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I find Suzuna talking to Siltzkin, (I presume Suzuna is female as she has a pink belly, I think all the others have had white bellies, but I could be wrong) she has been awaiting a letter I have for her from Mogmatt:

“From Mogmatt to Suzuna

It’s been six months since I started
living in Conde Petie…

The food here is great, and the
people are very nice. Kupo.

But… But… The only thing I can’t get used to is the ‘Rally-ho!’

I keep saying ‘Rally-kupo!'”

Stiltzkin has another bundle for sale, this time it consists of a Magic Tag, Tent and an Ether for 666 Gil, the Magic Tag cures the Zombie status effect.

I find another altar that I can place both the red and blue stones in, thought it doesn’t seem to do anything right now. Zidane notes there there’s a hole so maybe I’m missing a stone or two. We cross a bridge made of large roots and in the background is a very large tree surrounded in Mist, Zidane wonders if it’s the Sanctuary, a little further ahead the ground begins to shake and the group is attacked by Hiligigars, a giant green troll like creature.

I’ve not used either Dagger nor Eiko’s summons so far, so I guess this is as good q time as any to unleash Ramuh and Fenris. Laughably both do less damage than Zidane does with his normal attack, but it still far more than either of them would normally deal out. Whilst still in battle Dagger shows surprise that Eiko can use summon magic. The battle takes a while, enemies are starting to get a little tougher to take down, even so I don’t ever feel like I’m being tested.

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After the battle Eiko tells us the monster turns up every now and then, but she normally just runs away. Zidane compliments her on her fighting ability and Dagger asks her how it is that she can summon eidolons. Eiko’s is surprised that Dagger hasn’t always been able to do it as she has, just as her Grandpa had and “everyone else”, they all summoned eidolons “all the time”.

When asked what she means, she changes subject, they’re going the wrong way to her home, the path they’re on goes to the Iifa Tree. Apparently the Iifa Tree and the Sanctuary are one and the same. There’s another of those altars here that Zidane takes a yellow stone from before backtracking the the altar I left the red and blue stones in. Once again, though, nothing happens, but a little while later I find a green stone and when I place this into the altar, something falls out of the back of it. I retrieve the item and find its a Moonstone that can be equipped to teach Shell and Beast Killer.

#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 IX playthrough Part 12
#ThrowBackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 13

#throwbackthursday, Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy IX, Gaming

#ThrowBackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 13

It’s been a couple of weeks since we last visited Final Fantasy IX, last week was a pretty busy week so not only did I not get as much time with the game as I’d have liked, the opportunity didn’t arise to actually do a write up on what I had played, so this week is a bumper post. There’ll be another break after this one too, as I have something seasonal planned for next week’s #ThrowBackThursday and the week after that will be a Retro Games Club edition.

Last time out we had discovered, but not entered, Conde Petie.

Outside Conde Petie Quina decides there must be some delicious food inside and rushes off with Zidane voicing the obvious “all s/he thinks of is food” and Dagger responds that all Zidane thinks about is girls to which Zidane tries to smooth things out by saying he only thinks of her, however she’s already made her way into the village, completely ignoring Zidane. Inside everybody is greeted by a green skinned man who calls out “Rally-ho!”. Apparently this is their sacred greeting, which we’re informed “If ye dinnae say RallyHo, then ye cannae enter Conde Petie, hametoon o’ the dwarves!”. Not sure who was doing the translation on this game but thats a real mish-mash of dialiects there, though I’m sure it sounds like “The North” to anyone with an SW postcode. The Moogle here is called Mogmatt, I don’t have any mail for him but he would like me to deliver a letter to Suzuna. Quina gets accused of being a thief by the shop owner as s/he doesn’t really understand why you need Gil for food, though I should point out s/he hasn’t actually taken anything. Vivi feels like, for the first time, people aren’t afraid of him and Dagger gets stuck in a discussion regarding being married off to a village called William, she tells the village women she’s not marrying anyone, but it intrigued when they mention a place called Sanctuary.

The people here recognise Vivi as they talk about items they’ve traded with him and really liked, but Vivi has no clue what they are on about. After exploring Conde Petie for a while, Zidane returns to the shop where Quina was accused of stealing and happens upon a Black Mage trading with the shopkeeper. Vivi see’s him too, but he runs away before we can try to speak to him. Zidane chases after Vivi, with Dagger also joining him, as he pursues the Black Mage through Conde Petie to its entrance, though we don’t follow the Mage out of the village. Zidane is worried that the appearance of a Black Mage could mean Brahne has found them. “Harold Pathknower” says the “Pyntie-Hats” often come from the south east forest to trade with Conde Petie, apparently there’s more of them that live so deep in the forest that “not even the owls dinnae live there!”.

Final Fantasy IX (Disc 2) 2016-04-08 23.17.17

We leave Conde Petie and follow the cliff edge round to the forest south east of Conde Petie, as we progress through the tree’s the path begins to split into two with a sign post pointing down either side, one arrow says “Where there are owls” whilst the other says “Where there are no owls”. Remembering what Harold told me, we go down the path with no owls, though I can’t help wondering whats down the other path.

Funnily enough the “no owls” path feels like it loops back round, though really its just a re-use of assets and I have to keep checking the sign post each time and taking the relevant path until eventually a Black Mage appears on one of the forks and we follow him further.

We find the Black Mage in a clearing, and watch as he uses a spell to reveal a further path through the tree’s, Zidane and Vivi rush through before the path closes and find themselves in a village with the Black Mage they’d been following stood in front of them with its back to them. Another mage spots them, cries out and all the other mages run and hide whilst screaming “Humans!”. Vivi begs them to wait, but they don’t hear him. He remarks to Zidane that they were talking, then runs off excitedly to try and find out more. Dagger wonders why someone would build a village in a dying forest, then runs after Vivi and, unsurprisingly, Quina goes off to search for food again . Zidane is left to explore on his own.

An ATE shows the mages all hiding. Vivi finds some that will talk to him though, they don’t seem to have names and refer to each other by number. 288 tells Vivi the mages here all escaped from Alexandria and the cargo holds together, they came this far as they wanted to live in a world without humans, somehow they crossed the ocean. Vivi is shown their cemetery and 56 tells him he came with “Mr. 36”, they had so muchy to learn and were scared at first.  But they helped each other, however Mr 36 stopped moving one day and it was then that 56 learned what death was and was told he had to bury 36, though he doesn’t really seem to understand why and think’s his friend is going to come out from the ground again one day.

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Dagger meets two other mages and tries to convince them she’s there to stop Brahne using them, but they don’t believe her, meanwhile Quina tries to persuade another pair to give up their Chocobo egg so that they can eat it. As Zidane leaves the synthesist shop Vivi runs past, Zidane heads in the direction he came from and finds 56 and 288 at the cemetery still. Zidane asks 288 why it is they can talk and is told they just became aware one day, each under different circumstances. He asks Zidane if he remembers being born, which of course he doesn’t, 288 says its the same for the Black Mages. He just woke up one day and there was a human body lying next to him covered in blood, this scared him and he ran as fast as he could and when he looked around again he was far away from the front line. He found many others like him and so they decided to escape together.

Zidane searches the village for Vivi and finds him at the inn, Zidane tries to find out whats wrong but Quina interrupts by complaining about the food in the village. Dagger also arrives and asks Vivi what’s wrong, though Vivi doesn’t answer. Zidane covers for him, tell her he’s tired, Dagger says she is too and thinks they should all get some rest. Quina doesn’t want to and heads back to the forest to search for food.

That night Dagger see’s Vivi leaving the inn and tells Zidane who jokes that “maybe he’s letting us have some romantic time”. Dagger’s response is to do her hands on hips (no doubt pouting) angry pose, so he tells her not to worry too much and to let Vivi try and figure all this out for himself

Zidane: “Think about it…

Vivi’s never met Black Mages like himself before.”
Dagger: “But what if they’re being mean to him or saying nasty things”?

Z: “Do you reall think the people of this village gathered to do something like that?”

D:”…”

Z: “Maybe… Just maybe, he’ll find what he’s been looking for.”

D: “…Find what?”

Z: “A place to call home.”

D: “Home…?”

Z: “Yeah… A place where he belongs…”

Zidane then tells Dagger a story about a man (Zidane) who had longed to find his birthplace ever since he was a small child. He only remembered it in his dreams. He wanted to know more about himself, his parents, the home where he was born. One day he left the home of his adoptive father (Baku) to look for answers, his only clue being blue lights he saw in his dreams, though he never found it. He returned to his adoptive father who beat him and then smiled after doing so. The man couldn’t believe it, but thought to himself “This is my home. This is the place I call home”. He is still looking for his birthplace, but he has a home.maxresdefault (3).jpg

Vivi returns to the cemetery and talks to 288 again. He asks him how many people have stopped moving.288 says its very kind of Vivi to use their words, but he knows that Vivi knows what it means to live and die, he tells Vivi that seven of their friends have “stopped” recently, and that he thinks their lifespan is limited. It varies but most stop moving one year after “production”. 288 feels fear when he thinks of this, he doesn’t want to “stop” and would like to run away from if all but living in the village fills him with joy, which outweighs his fear of death, he wonders if Vivi’s travels with his friends give his life meaning.

Next morning Dagger is talking to 144 and discovers someone saw a silver dragon in the “northwest part of this continent”, she also tells Zidane about the Sanctuary she head about in Conde Petie. 144 also says he thinks he heard “this Kuja” mention a secret being hidden on this continent that may have something to do with the source of the Mist. The plan is to head back to Conde Petie and find out more about the Sanctuary. Before leaving, I visit Mogryo, who wants me to deliver a letter to Mocchi and also has a letter:

 

“From Stiltzkin to Mogryo

I’m becoming familiar with the geography of the Outer Continent. My next destination is Conde Petie.

They exchange a special greeting with each other before entering the village… What was it?

I think it was ‘Rally-Ho!'”

I pop back to the Inn and find Virgo near the bunk beds

“Virgo

Watching the sunset from the cape, Virgo whispered

‘My only wish is to be with you now…’

=Stellazzio Story=”

Which means I now have four of the Stellazzio’s and with that its back to Conde Petie.

There were two area’s of Conde Petie I couldn’t access before, and at present I still can’t. Both are guarded but the group believe one of these will lead to the valley on the other side of this bridge based settlement and then onto the so-called Sanctuary.

“Jenny Greet” tells a tale of a man who tried to head east of Conde Petie, however he hadn’t undergone the “ceremony” so he wasn’t allowed passage through.

I speak to Shamis Gatekeeper, who also says that only people who have received ceremony can pass. To find out more about this ceremony I have to speak to His Holiness, though Shamis doesn’t know where he is. Richard and Matthew Watchman, the guards near the weapons shop, also tell me to speak to His Holiness but again, neither of them knows of his whereabouts. I eventually find Father David Heavenguard pacing up and down a corridor, Zidane tells him they want to pass through the village and is told

“Tradition sates that only those who undergo the ceremony can approach the Sancturary”

when pressed for more information on this ceremony they are told that hwen a man and a woman are blessed in holy unison, they undertake a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary, so, as Zidane observes, a wedding and a honeymoon. Zidane suggests to Dagger that they get married, though he doesn’t even finish his sentence before she agrees leaving Zidane both staggered and confused, but the ceremony does indeed go ahead. Funnily enough though, despite it being his suggestion and the only way they can pass through, Zidane begins to display signs of itchy feet, wondering to himself whether Dagger really means it, whether she really likes him, though he does settle on that last point, deciding it was him showing her that he was deep back in Black Mage Village that woo’d her “I’m such a stud!” he tells himself. When he goes in for the kiss, Dagger just walks off. Apparently there’s a few other things they have to do before they can take their pilgrimage to Sanctuary and Dagger takes this time to remind Zidane that they’re only married whilst they’re in Conde Petie. Vivi and Quina figure out they can’t come along so Zidane suggests that they get married too.

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An ATE shows us their ceremonry, Quina reveals that s/he feels really happy and Vivi says he does too. As Zidane and Dagger speak to Matthew and Richard about passing through they hear cries of “Thief!” and a young blue haired girl with a Moogle following behind, is chased past the two newly weds, with Matthew and Richard joining the pursuit. Zidane and Dagger follow the chase out of Conde Petie, Matthew and Richard believe the young girl has gotten away, but it sounds like she regularly steals food from the village (and is probably the thief Quina was confused for last time we were here). Once the guards have gone we spot the young girl hanging from a branch by her clothing.

She seem’s to like to talk to herself, or at least vocalises every thing she see’s, noting that Zidane doesn’t have a horn but that he does have a tail, though I’m not sure why she’d notice the lack of a horn. Her Moogle friend has abandoned her, but Quina mentions it was a “funny colour” and decides s/he might like to eat it, as she runs off to chase down the Moogle she knock the tree the girl is hanging from freeing her and she then tells us her name is Eiko.

Dagger offers to take her home, with Zidane agreeing by saying “Yes, yes, anything for my lovely wife”. Eiko asks if they’re married, Zidane says yes, but Dagger speaks over him and says no, they’re just friends, at this Zidane hangs his head in disappointment. With our next destination  decided (Eiko’s home, where we hope to find her Moogle friend, Mog, and Quina) the group with their new friend as part of the group heads off.

#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 IX playthrough Part 12

#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