I’ve now spent three weeks with Final Fantasy IX and progress has been slow, but thats because I dont want to speed through it, plus taking notes adds to the play time and lastly I don’t want to include too much in one post. As things stand theres alot going on in this first disc of the game and this post, just judging by my notes, is going to be even longer than the last one which was rather lengthy. So, lets get on with it shall we?
Current Play Time: 11:05
Current Location: Lindlbum
Last week I left things in the Village of Dali, we’d discovered a hatch in the windmill and upon opening it Zidane and Dagger headed down the ladder which takes the two into what initially appears to be a Mine. We progress through the tunnel ahead and come out in an open area with a shed like structure tucked away in a corner and next to it is a pen with a Chocobo in. As Zidane tries to walk past the shed we hear voices from inside so Dagger and Zidane hide behind a nearby barrel. The voices seem to be discussing the Innkeeper and his discovery, the dispute between the Innkeeper and his brother and how this could mean the Innkeeper is joining the rest of the village in whatever it is they’re up to, that once they’ve dealt with this shipment then its up to the castle to deal with, and with that the leave the shed, with Vivi following them. It is then that Dagger notices the pattern printed onto the barrel they’ve been hidden behind, she recognises it and believes she’s seen similar barrels at Alexandria Castle, she tell’s Zidane that their must be a link between Alexandria and whatever it is that is happening in Dali. Zidane wants to go and rescue Vivi, but Dagger makes him promise to wait before he causes any trouble so she can try and find out more about whats going on, Zidane makes the promise but with the caveat that if he thinks Vivi is in danger (isn’t he already?) then he’ll be putting Vivi’s rescue first.
I remember to equip Dagger and Zidane with the Feather Hat’s I bought in the village shop earlier on, Dagger only gets a small increase in her Spirit and Magic Defence stats, Zidane gets the same increase but can also learn Bright Eyes and Add Status.
As we make our way through this underground area Zidane notices loads of boxes scattered around that also happen to look a bit like coffins. Kumop the Moogle is hiding in a nearby barrel, he has a letter that needs to be delivered to Mogki. There’s also a treasure chest suspended in the air in the background which I manage to access by kicking an old rusted up winch, allowing the chest to drop to the ground, it’s only got a potion inside. There’s another chest I have to climb to too, which rewards me with an Ether. Further chests in this underground area result in me getting a new Iron Helm for Steiner and a Leather Wrist that allows Zidane to learn “Beast Killer”.
Dagger and Zidane find Vivi stuffed into one of the coffin’s, once freed Zidane tries to give Vivi some advice about standing up for himself and fighting off anyone who tries to harm him in future, I’m not entirely sure Vivi takes it all in though but with Vivi safe the group decide to investigate further. In this same room there’s a door with Mist pouring through the gap beneath it and theres also some machinery pumping out egg like things onto a conveyor belt. I open the door and defeat the pair of Ghosts that I’m thrown into battle against. Through the door is a cave like entrance leading to the surface but Mist is pouring in through it and being sucked in by another machine that seems to be sending it to the egg machine in the previous room. I head back and follow the route the conveyor belt is taking the “eggs”, along this route is another Chocobo whom is being used to power the conveyor belt by being forced to run in an oversized hamster wheel, maybe the other Chocobo we saw was being rested? The eggs are disappearing into yet another Mist powered mechanicsm, it seems as though this one is used to hatch them in some way. Horribly, coming out of the otherside on claws, are Black Mages. Zidane notes (to himself) that they look alot like Vivi, there are differences: they’re larger and dressed in different colours. Vivi is visibly disturbed by what he is seeing, and who can blame him? Dagger’s also concerned and questions her Mothers involvement. Zidane hears someone approaching and drags the other two into another machine in order to hide, it sounds like its almost time for the cargo ship to collect its shipment, which it now seems will also include Dagger, Vivi and Zidane as they are boxed up by the machine they were hiding in.
Whilst all of this has been happening Steiner has gone back to the Observation Mountain to visit Morrid who is uncooperative with Steiners demands by ultimately tells him the Cargo Ship has already arrived. Back on the outskirts of the village, near the vegetable patch, Steiner watches as a trap door opens and barrels are loaded out of it nearby to the airship. Whilst inspecting one of the barrels it begins to move and tip over followed by the other three all pouring out of it. Zidane asks Steiner if he knows where the ship is going to, Steiner lies and tells them its going to Lindlblum, however, before they can climb aboard the airship they are attacked by Black Waltz No.2, who reveals it has been sent by Queen Brahne.
My power, magic and speed make me far superior to No.1!
Resistance is futile!”
However, the battle is fairly easy, Zidane faced No.1 alone, this time he has Vivi providing his black magic, Steiner’s strength and Dagger’s white magic, and thus the fight doesn’t really last very long. Upon victory we decide to rest back at the Inn before we depart for “Lindblum”, the Innkeeper seems surprised to see Vivi, although Zidane inteprets his staring as being him gawping at Dagger and Zidane tells him off for this. Unfortunately I’ve done everything I think I can do in Dali for now, theres the chests in the mill I couldn’t reach and finding the Mayor’s Key but I can’t seem to do anything about either of those right now, so we head off to the cargo ship.
Dagger and Zidane think they know what Steiner is up to, they definetly know the ship is heading for Alexandria rather than Lindblum, but Zidane has a plan and asks Dagger to trust him. Vivi finally manages to speak up about what they have seen in Dali and asks if Zidane thinks the mages they saw really look like him, Zidane thinks they do but lies to Vivi and says they’re just dolls (as they had no life in them). Suddenly the airships engine starts up and Zidane, Dagger and Vivi have to rush to get on board, Dagger is hesitant as she doesn’t want to go back to Alexandria and Zidane tells her he doesn’t have time to explain and that she needs to trust him. He doesn’t really help matters by grabbing her backside as they climb the ladder to board the ship, he claims its an accident but I’m certain Dagger doesn’t believe him. But he promises to get her to Lindblum.
Onboard, the ship appears to be manned entirely by Black Mages, Vivi keeps trying to get their attention but his attempts are unsuccesful. Zidane inspects the engine and wonders where and how Alexandria got the technology they saw underground in Dali as Mist engines are built in Lindlum and Alexandria isn’t a technologically advanced kingdom. He also wonders if the remaining members of Tantalus (minus himself and Blank) managed to escape the Evil Forest, then heads up onto the deck where he finds Steiner who is on his knee’s cursing himself, seemingly unaware that Dagger is onboard the ship after all, and is thus surprised to hear Zidanes voice accusing him of almost leaving them all behind, he angrily tells Zidane his plan to return the Princess to the Castle. Zidane heads over to the cabin with the ships controls in and takes over and the Black Mages pen him into the cabin, before they can do anything Black Waltz No.3 lands on the ships deck, attacks Vivi and laughs at him, labeling him a small child. But before it can finish Vivi off, the Black Mages rally together and stand between Black Waltz No.3 and Vivi. Black Waltz No.3 attacks and kills them instead, damaging the ship in the process, allowing Zidane and Steiner to come to Vivi’s aid and the three take on the creature, leaving Dagger in control of the ship and the decision of whether to change course and head to Lindblum or carry on and head back to Alexandria.
As the battle begins Vivi enters Trance, which allows him to cast his magic twice per turn. This battle changes things up slightly as Black Waltz No.3 takes off at times which renders physical attacks useless, during these spells Steiner uses his Sword Magic (getting Vivi to cast magic onto his sword before attacking their opponent), Vivi continues with his Black Magic and Zidane is relegated to using items to heal the party. I also managed to get Zidane to steal a Linen Cuirass and, unlike the previous Waltz’s, Black Waltz No. 3 retreats from the battle. Zorn and Thorn have been watching this battle from afar, like they did with the fight against Black Waltz No.1, however, instead of retreating fully, Black Waltz No.3 goes rogue, attacks the pair and steals their ship to give chase to the Zidane and company, Dagger has turned to head towards South Gate and onto Lindblum, and during the chase Black Waltz No.3 manages to set fire to the craft its commandeered and crashes into South Gate with the Cargo Ship just about squeezing through as the gates shut. Somehow, despite everything, Dagger has managed to finally make it to Lindblum!
Upon arrival Dagger immediately demands to see Regent Cid, not knowing who she is the gurards refuse this but Minister Artanis arrives and recognises Garnet and her Falcon Claw necklace and asks the party to follow him. Whilst in the lift to Cid’s throne room, Zidane asks Garnet what Cid is like, as despite living in Lindblum for a long time, he’s never seen him. Dagger states that whilst he’s very wise, he can come across as a little odd, but thats because he’s always thinking ahead of everybody else. As they disembark the elevator Garnet finds that the throne room is mostly empty, theres an Oglop with a huge moustache sat where Cid should be seated. The creature tries to approach the Princess so Steiner punches it and sends it flying just as Zidane walks into the room. It is as this point that the Oglop introduces itself as Cid Fabool, Regend of Lindblum. Minister Artanis fills everybody in, telling them that six months ago somebody snuck into Regent Cid’s quarters attacking him and turning him into an Oglop, they then abudcted his wife, Lady Hilda. Cid also hints that he knows why Garnet needs to speak with him, but says that they all need some rest and discussions can wait till tomorrow.
Zidane decides he doesn’t want to stay and eat at the Castle and heads to a pub within the city of Lindblum, after trying to chat up the barmaid he’s scolded by another woman at the bar whom he then very nearly picks a fight with. She seems to know who he is but he pretends he cant recall her name, eventually he gives in and addresses her as Freya, and it seems she’s in Lindblum to take part in the Festival of the Hunt.
The following day Garnet tells Cid of her concerns for her Mother, shes been behaving erratically ever since her husband passed, she’s also been seeing a strange man around the Castle. Garnet is worried that she’s planning something terrible but everyone she has raised her concerns to so far hasn’t listened. She believes Queen Brahne would listen to Cid and tells him of how she arrived in Lindblum, Tantalus’ attempt to kidnap her and what they witnessed in Dali. Cid reveals that he had hired Tantalus to kidnap Garnet, he had promised her Father he would protect her should anything happen and he’d been watching Alexandria’s actions from afar, but felt that direct action would lead to war which he would ideally avoid. He takes Garnet down to Airship Dock 1 where Lindblum develop and research new airship technology. The latest model they’d constructed doesn’t require Mist to run, but was stolen by whomever it was that attacked Cid six months prior, or so Garnet thought. Actually, what had happened, according to Cid, is that he had met another woman in a pub shortly before all of this, Hilda had discovered this and used her magic to turn Cid into an Oglop, she then ran away in his new airship which he’d named the Hilda Garde.
In a Inn in Lindlum Zidane is given a letter by Moodon, its from Ruby who is still in Alexandria:
From Ruby to Zidane
Ain’t y’all comin’ back to Alexandria?
I’m so lonely!
Just kiddin’! I’m openin’ up a l’il theatre in an alley here.
(A bartender pal o’mine is quittin’ the saloon and gettin’ into showbiz. He asked me to help.)
Zidane asks Vivi if he wants him to show him around Lindblum but Vivi declines and heads off to explore on his own, in a shop, the shop keeper gifts him a Kupo Nut, which she says is the Moogles’ favourite food.
As Zidane explores Lindblum there’s alot of excitement around the Festival of the Hunt starting, from what I can gather Lindblum was originally a settlement of hunters and its first Regent, Cid I, started the Festival. I pop in and out of whatever buildings I can access, in the church I find a Leather Plate, whilst in the weapons shop Zidane looks at a wall of swords
“I remember a guy with spiky hair who carried something like this”
In the shop I buy a Mythril Dagger for Zidane, Glass Armlets and Steepled Hats for Zidane, Vivi and Dagger and Silver Gloves for Steiner. I also visit the Synthesist and create a pair of Desert Boots. Whilst visiting the Tantalus Hideout Zidane notes that the troupe haven’t made it back to Lindblum yet but an ATE shows that they’ve found their way out of Evil Forest. Baku and Marcus discuss Blank’s petrification and they plan ot try and find a way to cure him without doing the same for Evil Forest.
After exploring Lindblum and its three districts: Theatre, Business and Industrial, and playing everybody I can in Tetra Master (In 15 games I only won 6, drew 1 and lost 8, earning me 3 Zombie card, 1 Bomb card, 1 Cerberus card and 1 Lizard Man card and bringing my stats to P22 W10 D1 L11), Zidane heads back to the Castle to visit Garnet, but when she arrives she is no longer in her quarters, only Steiner is there. Unsurprisingly he blames Zidane for her latest disappearance, he then leaves to search for her. In Garnets quarters are two chests, one contains a Glass Armlet, the other an Ether. There;s also a Moogle called Mogki, I happen to have a letter for him from Kumop.
“From Kumop to Mogki
Stiltzkin visited me!
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!”
Whilst conducting his own search for Garnet, Zidane hears the song he heard back in Dali. It sounds like it’s being sung by the same person so it must be Garnet, she’s upstairs, but the guard wont allow Zidane through as he’s not “authorised personel”. I remember seeing a guard sleeping nearby and approach him, Zidane wakes him by saying he saw someone suspicious heading upstairs and instructs the guard to follow him, leading him to Garnets quarters where Zidane knocks him out and steals his uniform. Now in disguise Zidane can board the lift, once its in motion he changes out of the uniform then heads for the roof where he does indeed find Garnet singing, she seem’s unhappy. She asks Zidane if he helped her because he was told to do so, but he tells her how once they’d crashed in Evil Forest he chose to help her, that Baku didn’t agree with his plan so he left Tantalus. When she asks what Tantalus’ plan was to kidnap her entailed, he tells of how they were going to use Sleep Weed to knock her out. Garnet asks for some Sleep Weed as “she’s been having trouble sleeping lately”, Zidane doesn’t think her using it is such a good idea as he’s worried she could become addicted to it and offers to keep her company at night instead. She brushes off his advances so Zidane asks her to sing again and whilst she does we get to see brief snippets from other characters we’ve met along the way. Steiner is looking at armour and gets angry at a comment another customer makes about Queen Brahne. Vivi finds some toys left behind by some bickering children and wonders again about the Black Mages and Dali, we also get very brief moments with Freya on the roofs of Lindblum and Cid in Dock 1 trying to get his latest design to work.