#ThrowbackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 30

Part 30! And I’m still not at the end of disc three, I’m 60 hours in too, though How Long To Beat suggests I’m taking a long, long time to get through this (not to mention I started back in July!). In fairness, it’s not my main game and I am taking notes almost constantly, plus some updates are shorter than others depending on how much time I get with the game, last week is a prime example of that, I made almost no progress and literally only got a chance to play it on the Wednesday evening before I publish on Thursday. This week has been similar, it’s down to a combination of the kids all being home due to the lockdown and me having lots of other things on the go at once to stop myself getting stressed out, plus PSO2 is taking up some time and Square-Enix have launched a new Moogle Treasure Trove event on FFXIV.

So, let’s get on with it.

The Blue Barciss follows the Hilda Garde I to the Lost Continent, the latter is apparently heading towards a “weird-looking structure”. The group discuss the reason for Kuja kidnapping Eiko and its unanimously agreed on that he wants to try and extract the Eidolons she holds, much as he did to Dagger. We arrive on dry land and I spin the camera around to look for the nearest landmark and spot a building that resembles a fortress nestled in amongst the icy mountains that litter the terrain, this is where I head. I have a couple of small battles against random mobs on the way but ultimately arrive in Esto Gaza. It looks abandoned, but there’s light coming from one particular doorway. Upon entering we receive a rude greeting from a man who labels us beggars. I soon discover that he is a Bishop and he tells us that Esto Gaza is a place of worship and we’re to keep our noise down.

Zidane tries to pump him for information, asking if he’s seen a little girl (Eiko), but the Bishop is more concerned with Vivi’s appearance, labelling him as being “as rude as the other pointy-hats”. Kuja’s definitely been through here and Vivi begins to help Zidane try to get more information, the screen flashes white and we’re shown a flashback of a horde of Black Mages marching through the temple

“They barged in, hundreds of them!

So, that was the dreaded black mage army…

They headed straight to Mount Gulug without even looking at me”.

He tells Zidane that Mount Gulug is an enormous volcano that “went extinct in the days of old, legend has it that a race of great moles once lived within the caverns”, and of course, Kuja has the Gulug Stone, though we don’t know what its use is right now.

The Bishop says this all happened a long time ago and that no one has entered since it’s entrance was mysteriously sealed.

After the conversation with the Bishop has dried up, I head to the right and find a shop, the shopkeeper has improved equipment for nearly the whole party, I could really do with going through and making sure everyone has learned everything they can from the equipment I now have. Tucked away to one side of the room is a chest and inside is a Wing Edge.

I leave through the back of the building and find Mogrika waiting, she’s received a letter, but doesn’t know who it’s from and is scared to open it, though with Zidane there she musters up enough bravery to read it with him

“From Artemicion to Mogrika

Mogrika! I’m in trouble…

I used too much.

Do you have more? You don’t, do you?

Oh, what am I gonna do?”

Mogrika says she told Artemicion not to use “it”, though she doesn’t clarify what “it” actually is.

After speaking with Mogrika our next destination is Mount Gulug.

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