#ThrowbackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 27

The Hilda Garde I takes off and flies me beyond the Outer Continent to the Forgotten Continent. Onboard, Zidane tries to engage the Black Mages in conversation, but just like the ones on the airship when we left Dali, they all ignore his questions. Zorn and thorn appear and tell him the mages only respond to their orders, Zidane gets pissy with them and calls them backstabbers, they remind him he needs to behave or his friends’ lives will be put in danger.

They begin to fill Zidane in on a few things, mostly that they have total control over these mages, this is because unlike the Waltz’s, they have no sense of will, their only purpose is for war. Zidane counters and calls them pawns, which displeases them further.

Once we land I check the map, it’s a long trek to Oelivert and there are some strong enemies along the way. Armstrong, in particular, cause some a few problems, especially as I can only use items for healing, though having auto-potion equipped to a couple of my party members helps! But to add to Daggers issues, not only can she not cast, sometimes (actually, quite often) she won’t do anything because she “can’t concentrate”.

Oeilvert itself is situated in a deep canyon, luckily there’s already a Moogle there waiting for me so that I can save. He also happens to run a shop so I can stock up on potions and other items that I’m going to require without a functioning healer. The shop also has a whole load of weapons and armour. I make sure I buy a Healing Rod for Dagger, as I think I can hit my party members with it to cure them. Before I head further through the canyon Momoza asks me to deliver a letter to Mooel. I’m now down to around 20,000Gil from 80k.

The first battle I get into I test my theory about the Healing Rod, it does indeed work! It heals about the same amount as a Hi-Potion, which isn’t too shabby and will certainly help me not use up too many items.

Before long we reach an enormous door, Zidane says there’s no way he can open a door that size, but it then opens by itself. One annoying enemy type here is the Epitaph, its main two moves include petrifying your party members and summoning a mirror image of one of the characters, which is fine if its an Eiko or Dagger as their damage output is low, but Freya, Amarant or Steiner can lead to trouble. If that character also happens to be in your party, then instant death can be cast on that party member.

Stiltzkin has made it all the way here too! He gets around quicker than I can, I wonder how he does it? Anyway, he sells me a Hi-Potion, Emerald and Elixer for 888Gil, buying these allows him to continue his travels. I deliver Momoza’s letter to Mooel, but before he reads it he tells me “Artemecion” hasn’t been delivering mail lately, whatever that means.

“From Momoza to Mooel

I haven’t received any mail lately, kupo.
What’s going on?

Hey, Mooel, would you go to Mognet Central and complain for me?

I’m so mad about it! Kupo!”

I think this is the first I’ve heard of Mognet Central, if they have a proper postal system, then why am I doing all this work? Oh and Momoza us a girl, I wish I knew how to tell.

In this same room, I find some Gaia Gear, there’s also a huge circular indentation in the floor with a triangular pattern that’s not too far removed from the Deathly Hallows symbol. Above is its a huge dome lighting structure, whilst int he next room is a huge shaft with a small circular platform suspended at the top of it, there’s nothing else to do here yet so I head back to the main area from before I met Mooel. In a room off to the left I find a Diamond Sword, which I’ve already bought for Steiner, as I circle the room a ball of light appears, Zidane notes that it looks like a plant, red writing appears upon it.

“…Mother Terra…”

There’s more but the group can’t decipher it. However, Zidane says he’s not really reading it, the words are 2talking” to him. elsewhere there are four lights, touching one does nothing, but Zidane says they should be touched in a certain order. The order is simple to do, its merely Top Left, Top Right, Bottom Left, Bottom Right. Touching each one reveals more dialogue:

TL “Ancient Ship…Oldest in history”
TR “The Ship…For War…”
BL “Battleship… Invincible…prototype
Prototype failure…”
BR “The first…battleship…Invincible
Improved version…currently…in use…”

Once all four are pressed a ball at the top of an arched staircase lights up revealing another planet

“Beginning…of the city…”

It dulls, Zidane knocks on it and it begins to play a slideshow

“At first the city flourished soon began to decline

At its peak cities all over Terra

Then the decline began”

Just what is going on!?

When I re-enter the room with the original globe a blue door unlocks, inside is a room full of stone faces, the floor is covered in something resembling Mist. One face lights up, it says something

“Visitors, climb atop the stone”

The group do as they are told and the blue platform lifts into the air

“Visitors, listen well…
This is the record of our civilization
The seeds decline was not our fault…
All vegetation and… vessels… died out…
The decay of Terra… triggered it all…
In order to stop the decay, many methods were considered…
Ultimately, the best minds of Terra’s civilization gathered…
Then, a final resuscitation was attempted on the mother continent…
Unfortunately, it ended in failure…
It was later discovered to have been the catalyst…
Subjects were selected…
After five tremendous sacrifices, eternal prosperity seemed within reach…
Flora and fauna were revived but… is still in stasis
Final results are still pending…
In order that our glorious history not die with us, we were constructed…”

Nobody knows what any of this means, so for now, Zidane tells them all that the best thing they can do is save their friends. Back in the room where Mooel resides Zidane notes that the central area with the triangular pattern looks different. Another planet appears, it looks like the previous one, but then a second planet appears alongside if and I can no longer step into the circular area, again, no one is sure what is going one. I head into the huge shaft and the platform descends it. At its base is a triangular statue and inside is the Gulug Stone. Zidane tries to take it but is knocked back, the room begins to shake and we’re suddenly attacked by Ark.

Thankfully, Ark doesn’t really cause me too many problems, it does have an attack that takes one party member down to 1hp, but using Freya’s Reis’ Wind plus Daggers Healing Wand (when she is able to concentrate…) keeps everyone ticking, whilst Steiner entering into Trance and being able to output 4k of damage gets things over with pretty quickly allowing Zidane to retrieve the Gulug Stone.

The complete Final Fantasy IX playthrough

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