#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, Gaming

#ThrowbackThursday: Captain America and the Avengers

Last week I wrote about Gregory Horror Show when normally it would have been an update on my Final Fantasy IX playthrough. This week is the first Thursday of the month, and like with yesterdays Book Club update, that means its Retro Game Club time. Octobers game, voted on by the rest of the group is Captain America and the Avengers which comes from a time before Marvel licenses were the biggest thing in the world.

Originally released in the arcades, Captain America and the Avengers was ported to a variety of the early 90s platforms, though its the Mega Drive/Genesis version of the game that I chose to play.

What we have then is a fairly basic side scrolling beat em up, you choose from Cap, Thor, Hawkeye or Vision and take on a variety of lesser known Marvel villains that have been hired by the Red Skull in another attempt to take on the world. Each of those villains acts as an end level boss that you fight after working your way through a variety of robot like opponents. This was probably chosen as a means to keep the license family friendly.

I’ve already said that the game is fairly basic, you have a jump button, a punch button and a projectile attack, though despite the Mega Drive having three buttons on its controller (and probably as many buttons as they wished on the arcade cab) Data East have chosen to attach the projectile to you having to press both the jump and punch button at the same time, this is all the more baffling when you consider the inclusion of Hawkeye, rather than his default attack being his bow and arrow he’s forced to punch his way through the game as the only difference in the four characters is purely cosmetic.

So game play wise, its fairly dull, though it does throw an odd curve ball by turning into a side scrolling shooter for a few of its levels. It’s the games presentation that make it stand out. Whilst the general enemies are non-descript, the main cast of heroes and villains really pop off the screen and the inclusion of comic book sound effects as you punch your way through levels is a nice touch though in my opinion the sound effects sound a little muddy.

I didn’t manage to stick Captain America and the Avengers out until its end, but I cant really see it throwing much else at me that could have changed my impressions of it. Last months ESWAT was flawed but tried to play about with its mechanics, this doesn’t try anything brave at all and is largely forgetful.

#throwbackthursday, Gaming

#ThrowBackThusday Gregory Horror Show

We can’t do a #ThrowBackThursday in October without playing something horror-themed and searching through my collection at the beginning of the month I had a wealth of options including popular classics such as Silent Hill or Resident Evil 4. However, I ultimately decided upon a game that has maybe been forgotten about in recent years, Capcom’s Gregory Horror Show.

Wikipedia defines Gregory Horror Show (or Gregory Horror Show: Soul Collector as it is known elsewhere) as a Survival Horror, placing it in the same camp as your Resident Evils. However, most Survival Horror games have you gathering resources and attacking various monsters alongside puzzle-solving. Gregory Horror Show differs in this respect by being all about puzzle-solving. You see, as the unnamed player character, you have to collect the souls that are being protected by the oddball guests at Gregory’s House, a hotel hidden in a forest. Once you collect all twelve for Death (who, inexplicably, wears a hat bearing markings very reminiscent of the Swedish flag) he will tell you how to escape Gregory’s House.

Collecting a soul is achieved by spying on each individual guest, figuring out their routine and what it is that would enable them to abandon the soul they are protecting for just enough time for you to snatch it. Once this has been achieved, you move onto the next individual and so on, though the further you progress the more complicated it becomes to not only find that opening but to also just walk around the hotel, with the guests going about their daily routines but also keeping an eye out for you. If you’re spotted they chase you and if caught you’re submitted to their “Horror Show” (a short video showing them performing something horrific on you, each guest has a unique Horror Show).

I remember when this originally came out, with it getting some respectable scores despite being very much a niche sort of game. Of course, if it came out today it would rightfully receive a lot more attention for being so different to everything else available.

The thing is, it actually really stands up well today, this is largely thanks to two factors, the first is its visual design, the papercraft look that they went for means the lines are almost always clean and facial expressions are clear and crisp, okay the textures are typically PlayStation 2 in that they can be a little muddy but overall, its still a good looking game. The other factor that makes it work well today is its Capcom-ness. Now, this may come as a criticism, but I’ve always found that Capcom games have a certain clunkiness to them, in some games, it’s a bad thing, in others it works. In Gregory Horror Show it most definitely works.

I’ll give you an example. In most games of this era, there would have been some kind of mini-map or some “Live” way of knowing where guests were, or at least which ones were nearby. In this you find yourself having to constantly refer to the actual map by pressing the Select button, then checking a few moments later to get an idea of a guests route. Thankfully they mostly stick to a routine, but with 10 of them wandering the halls for you to avoid by the time you’re reaching the end, it can be hard to remember exactly who’s doing what and when, and that’s if you’ve even done your homework and been spying on the guests regularly.

What I find most interesting about Gregory Horror Show is its difficulty level, unlike other games everything you can do is available to you from the very beginning, so you’re not constantly having to learn new skillsets etc, the difficulty comes from the hotel becoming increasingly crowded and guests daily routines overlapping whilst you attempt to figure out and perform a plan to steal another guests soul. I’m going to spoil one of the later guests here, so if you plan on playing this and don’t want it ruined skip the next paragraph entirely.

An example of this difficulty was raised when trying to get the soul of the 11th guest Angel/Devil Dog. By listening to conversations and observing her I learnt that she likes to watch the same TV show at 6pm in the lounge each day. However, Gregory likes to clean the lounge at that time. Mummy Papa also jogs around the corridors at this time whilst Catherine walks past the lounge to go to the Medical Room around 6pm too. So I have to avoid the latter two and find a way to distract Gregory and that’s without even distracting Angel/Devil Dog long enough to take her soul away.

So there’s a lot of multi-tasking going on and the games systems don’t make doing that easy (you can only see a breakdown of each characters routine by visiting your room and each page is only filled in if you’ve spied on the specific character at specific times), the fact that its mechanics are all time based too, with few options too fast forward time (and those that are available do more harm than good), mean there will also be moments where you’re literally waiting for time to pass, but thankfully it doesn’t really manage to outstay its welcome and you’ll be escaping Gregory House before you know it.

 

 

#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.

Disc2-pt11-conde_petie_01

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

Gaming

#ThrowBackThursday ESWAT: City Under Siege

Retro Game Club this week, this time the group voted to play a SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis game I’d never heard of before: ESWAT:City Under Siege. This Mega Drive version is based on the arcade game Cyber Police ESWAT that also saw ports to a variety of other systems including SEGA’s own Master System.

As mentioned above, I’d never heard of ESWAT so I’d gone into this without any nostalgia attached to the title. First impressions are that its what I’d describe as a side scrolling action game. It’s not an all out ” run ‘n’ gun” like Metal Slug and its not a side scrolling brawler like Streets of Rage, its also not a “proper” platformer. It does, however, feature platforms to jump across and shooting, the group has likened it to SEGA’s Shinobi games, but with a futuristic setting and I’d have to agree with that, though my experiences with Shinobi are very limited.

First start off fine, you control a typical cop looking character, walk from right to left (and then left to right as you make your way up the platforms in the first level) and shoot enemies as you go. The second level is a little more technical and it took me a while to get past the second levels boss. This was because I knew you could crouch, then I figured out you can walk and shoot whilst crouched, but I kept standing up to turn and being shot, I’d like to blame the PSP’s d-pad for this, as just holding crouch and moving felt cumbersome, but it was all on me really as it took me ages to realise you could also change the direction your facing whilst crouched. It still took me a few attempts to get past though.

However, its the third level where things really take a turn. You’re suddenly put into what looks a little like a Robocop suit but with jet thrusters on the back. This allows you to stay in the air but you only have a set amount of fuel and, honestly, its best saved for the boss battle, provided you can get there as the difficulty level really gets ramped up with the number of on screen enemies increased greatly and all placed at very different positions. It’s also the first time you have to select different weapons but the game never tells you any of this so there’s alot of trial and error involved that would have, if I weren’t using save states via my emulator, seen me just quit and not bother returning.

Level 2 is the interesting, with you having to nagivate a prison rail system through multiple directions before entering the cells themselves and dispatching the enemies, I ultimately gave up at the boss for level 5.

Being honest, it was a trek getting that far, ESWAT is very much of its time, its also cashing in heavily on the popularity of the Robocop movies in the late Eighties (this version of the game was released in the same month as Robocop 2 premiered in cinemas in 1990, whilst the previous versions of the game arrived the year following the first films release). It’s a competent game at best and its certainly showing its age, that the difficulty level ramps up so drastically in level 3 gives the impression that there was very little outsourced playtesting going on for this version of the game, and its not as though its a properly difficult level, as once you know the mechanics, progression is as simple as before, the issue with it is that the game play changes with brand new mechanics thrown in with no introduction to the player (beyond the suit appearing on the idle and title screens).

I was trying hard not to write it off, but was struggling to find the enthusiasm to play it after an initial couple of plays and its only really with the end of the month arriving and me wanting to write this post that I gave it any more time. It’s easy to see why I’d never heard of ESWAT, I was normally a generation behind during this period in gaming and it seems that even then ESWAT was the type of game that pretty much found its way to the dusty cupboard of games no one really talked about, which whilst I’m all for preservation of gaming history, its hard to make a case for anyone really missing this or of it being a bad game that ought to be remembered.

#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 10

Ten weeks in, I’m still on disc 2, though I’ve not had much time with Final Fantasy IX this week so its only going to be a short update. Last week we reached Pinnacle Rocks and that is where I’ll be for the entirety of this post.

When we were last with Dagger, Zidane and Vivi they had been thrown out of the Gargant they had been riding in through Gargan Roo, they landed with a bump at Pinnacle Rocks, further than they had wanted to go as the Gargant had ran past the stop at Treno due to being chased and some mischievous Oglops. Pinnacle Rocks, it would seem, is home to Ramuh, the God of Thunder, whom has tasked Dagger with finding five manifestations of himself in the surrounding area, each manifestation has a part of a story to tell and its up to Dagger to then recite that story to Ramuh himself before he will decide whether or not to teach her how to summon eidolons.

The manifestations themselves aren’t difficult to find, mostly as when you approach an empty area that one happens to be hiding in they reveal themselves and all thats left to do is approach them, talk to them and listen to their slice of the story. The first one I find is near Monty the Moogle:

“Once upon a time, 33 small countries fought together against an empire. One day, a rebel troop visited a man named Joseph, who lived with his daughter. Owing a debt to the troop, he gladly accepted their plea for help. They headed for a cavern in the snow field.” – Beginning

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Number two was at the bottom of a ramp in a pool in the same area as the first

Historians Explanation:
“The fact they didn’t report Joseph’s death to his daughter was indicative of their guilt for failing to protect him. In the end, heroes are also human.” – Human

Numbers three and four are in the following area, one beneath a ramp, the other at the top of it

“With Joseph’s help, the troop defeated the adamantoise in the snow field cavern and acquired the Goddess Bell they needed to enter the empire’s castle.” – Co-operation

 

“On their way home, they fell in to a trap set by a traitor. Joseph gave his life to save the troop. The troop left without telling Joseph’s daughter, Nelly about the tragedy.” – Silence

Whilst the last part of the story to be told is by a manifestation that was at the original place that we met Ramuh

Historians Explanation:

“Although Joseph’s death was not reported to his daughter, the manner of his death speaks for itself. This is the story of a true hero.” – Hero

As I’ve said, I have to put these into the correct order, though it turns out there’s a trick here. Ramuh reports that there are actually only four parts to the story, though I have five, and that one of them doesn’t belong. I choose to go with the following:

  • Beginning
  • Co-Operation
  • Tragedy
  • Human

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As I feel the conclusion in Human feels more natural and more fitting with the tone of the story, Ramuh asks Dagger why she chose that particular conclusion:

People pass down stories of other people to whom they feel an affinity. The people in the story had flaws, as we all do. That is why they come heroes in the people mind.”

Whilst Ramuh sort of accepts this answer from her, he also wants her to tell him what she really thinks after hearing the story, in her own words

I am away from my country, but I haven’t forgotten my people.”

Ramuh feels that her soul is very tense and he hopes that by becoming her eidolon that it will become more relaxed, he fades from view and Dagger is rewarded with the Peridot jewel that allows her to become his master. Once she has met this challenge, she decides that the three of them, Dagger, Zidane and Vivi, must now head to Lindblum.

Vivi says to Zidane that he thinks Ramuh would have become Dagger’s eidolon regardless of whether she chose “Human” or “Hero” as the ending to the tale. Ramuh’s disembodied voice confirms this to the two of them and says that the test was about whether or not she knew her true self.

She may not have realised it, but when she wished to learn how to use summon magic, the summon power returned to her. Summon magic can be used for good or evil. She is still young, but there is room for growth… So I chose her as my master. I’ll be watching over her. I hope you two will also protect her.

Before leaving Pinnacle Rocks I make one last sweep to make sure we haven’t missed anything and speak to Monty to save the game, he has a tattered letter from Stiltzkin:

From Stiltzkin to Monty

“This…

Might be…

The end of me…”

Which doesn’t bode well, but there’s nothing we can do for Stiltzkin and there’s definitely nothing left to do at Pinnacle Rocks so I guess its off to make the journey to Lindblum.

#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

 

Gaming

#ThrowBackThursday Daytona USA

It’s that time of the month again where we take a break from my Final Fantasy IX playthrough to cover the retro game I’d been playing over the past month as part of a Retro Games Club I join in with. For August we voted to play the classic SEGA racer Daytona USA. Ladies and Gentleman, Start you engines!

I’ve owned this on Saturn for years, in fact alongside SEGA Rally (also on Saturn) and F-Zero (on SNES) its one of the games I’d sneak into my brothers bed room to play whilst he was working. Anyway, I own the Championship Circuit Edition on Saturn but the disc has seen better days and could do with having a bit of a skim so my Saturn can read it properly. I also own the game on Dreamcast, which we’ll come to later, and PSN, which is the version I spent the most time with this month.

Actually, I didn’t get as much time with it as I’d have liked, even so, the blue skies SEGA racer feeling was the perfect solution for a game to play during this rather odd summer we’ve had. So the time I did spend on it I only really sunk into the famous Novice course: Three Seven Speedway. Apparently, and I didn’t try this, its possible to take a shortcut through the pits, but it only works on certain laps. One thing I did know about though is that as you approach Sonic Turn there’s a slot machine built into the rock that goes over the circuit. As you approach, if you press the select button on the PS3 pad (it works on Saturn too, but I can’t recall what button it is) three times, you can stop the wheels from turning, the aim being to get 3 three’s or 3 seven’s which then add that amount of time to the counter as a time bonus, you can only do it once per race and I couldn’t get it right on my attempts this month but I definetly recall doing it on the Saturn.

Another thing you can do is the famous powerslide, its only really worth doing at Sonic Turn and is initiated by dropping to second gear, turning heavily into the apex of the corner then working your way back up to fourth gear as you exit the corner. Again, I got good at doing this back on the Saturn and was getting some real good lap times back then, usually in high 15 seconds/ low 16 seconds, but this time out my fastest time was a 17.56 but usually I was hitting low 18 seconds.

On to the Dreamcast version and I remember not liking it back in the day, I certainly remember thinking they’d really messed it up. Returning to it though and it just doesn’t feel like Daytona USA at all. Oh don’t get me wrong, everything that should be there is there, but it doesn’t feel as over the top as the arcade/Saturn versions (the PSN version is a port of the arcade version with a few bits added) and the handling model is atrocious. There’s the saying that the mark of a bad race car is that it both understeers and oversteers in the same corner and thats exactly what happens with the cars in Daytona USA 2001, trying to navigate traffic is a horrible twitchy mess then when you get to a corner the car initially dives to which ever side you’re steering but then doesn’t continue that turn and goes in pretty much a straight line.

As part of the discussion around the game, a few of us discussed this, and the consensus was that it performs better using the Dreamcast steering wheel, which I’ve never owned, though one voice said it still handles like arse with the wheel.

In short then, if you want to play Daytona, don’t pick up the Dreamcast version, it may look lovely and sharp, but its just not fun to play, a replication of the arcade version is available on both Sony and Microsofts stores for PS3 and XBox 360 respectively (its wont work on PS4 but it is on the Backwards Compatability list for XBox One), so go with that one. It’s a game I’d love SEGA to return to though, I think gaming could do with more old-skool SEGA blue skies racing games.