#ThrowbackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 31

Inside Mount Gulug I find an old shanty town that is basically abandoned. Wraiths give me a few problems here, they can cast death which puts a 10 move countdown over a characters head, once it reaches 0 that character dies, another move they use: Devils Candle casts berzerk on the targeted character and as I don’t have a dedicated healer due to Eiko having been kidnapped and Dagger still being mute, I’m using up rather alot of items just to get through this section of the game.

As I explore the ruins in this town a shadow flies over head, startling Zidane, I come across a rope and slide down it. When Zidane jumps off I find a lever, but pulling it does nothing, in a nearby house I find a note:

“The well didn’t work until I pulled the lever 3 times! – Louie the Mole”

Before going to inspect the lever again I visit Moolen, he’s complaining that he’s not received any mail lately either, though what does he expect, he’s ont written anything for me to deliver and he’s chosen to live in this place!? Exploring the houses around here rewards me with some Gaia Gear, Demon’s Mail and a Red Hat and I find another note:

“I heard you should pull the lever down a second time – Une the Mole”

As I make my way back to the well rubble falls from the ceiling and I’m attacked by a pair or Red Dragons, was this the cause of the shadows that flew over before?

Anyway, they’re pretty tough, most of my party takes heavy damage, though for some reason Vivi (the weakest in my current group) is the only one left standing, pretty much because one of the attacks they use fully heals him every time but causes 2,000 HP of damage to the others, so the battle becomes an excercise of chipping away using Blizarra until both dragons are felled. I head straight back to Moolen to use a Tent and heal the party, I quickly check through Vivi’s abilities but can’t find anything that would result in him being healed by any of the enemies attacks.

Heading back to the well, I pull the lever three times like the first note said and the rope Zidane climbed down previously drops further and provides access to the area below. When I climb down another pair of Red Dragon’s attack, I quickly switch everyone to the back row and this time survive with the entire party alive, combining Vivi’s Blizaga and Steiners Blizaga Sword Magic means this fight is over much quicker than the previous one.

Once these are seen off, the party moves on and finds Eiko. Kuja’s with her and she’s lying on the ground, he seems to be performing some kind of spell on her with the help of Zorn and Thorn. This angers Dagger and she tries to rush to the little girls aid, but Zidane blocks her path and tells her to leave it to the rest of them.

Judging by Zorn and Thorns reaction to their attempt to extract Eiko’s eidolons, the spell was a failure. They begin to bicker and blame each other, Kuja’s far from pleased, especially when they tell him that the eidolons can only be extracted once the “host” turns sixteen. Kuja doesn’t care, he needs an eidolon stronger than Alexander and that has the power to “bury Garland”, he needs to destroy him “before Terra’s plan is activated,, or my soul willl no longer be my own”. He tellls them that he life doesn’t matter and to continue with their attempts. But before they can do so, Mog jumps to her defence, Kuja screams at them to kill the Moogle

“Eiko,
Thank you for everything
Don’t worry, kupo
I will always be with you, kupo.”

Sparks appear around the Moogle, Zidane bursts into the room just as there is a huge flash, and where the Moogle once stood is a bright light. The Battle music kicks in and Eiko takes on the two clowns by summoning an Eidolon

“I wanted to be by your side, Eiko…
so I became Mog
Don’t worry
I’ll always watch over you, kupo.”

Mog saved Eiko’s life by sacrificing herself, or did she? Was that eidolon actually Mog!? Thats what Eiko seems to believe as Mog’s ribbon falls into her hands. Mogs reaction, and how she went into Trance intrigues Kuja, he comes to the conclusion that all he needs is a powerful spoul and that it doesn’t have to be his own. He begins to laugh to himself like the maniac that he is, then as he walks away he says something odd about Zorn & Thorn

“I hear these two put on a good show, though they’re not even twins at all”

Vivi runs off after Kuja, but before Zidane can follow, the floor beneath Zorn & Thorn begins to pulse, they rise from the floor and the boss battle music fires up. Now Zidane, Eiko, Steiner and Amarant find themselves facing into a mutation of the clowns called Meltigemini (melted Gemini, because they’re twins that have melted together, geddit?). However, this fight doesn’t prove much of a challenge, certainly in comparison with the Red Dragons I was fighting earlier.

Once the Meltigemini is defeated Zidane is stood alone, Vivi approaches him with two Black Mages following behind. Vivi looks unhappy, he says everyone knew Kuja was lying but followed him anyway and that Kuja said that their lives cannot be extended, he tells Zidane that the other Black Mages are all in shock, then decides to go and sit with them in support.

A Woman’s voice comes from behind Zidane, so he follows it (of course), Dagger and Eiko join him, the find a lady in an extravagant dress, she asks where Kuja has gone and when Zidane tells her he’s gone she tanks him for “chasing him away”. She somehow recognises Princess Garnett, saying its been years since she last saw her and is amazed at how much she’s grown. Just as Zidane is about to ask who she is, Cid comes into the room, the lady just happens to be his wife, Hilda, thoughy she claims to never have married a toad, once Cid tells her who he is though, she knows he’s telling the truth due to his moustache. Eiko asks if Hilda can tell her more about Kuja, Lady Hilda says she can, but that it’ll have to wait for them to be back in Lindblum.

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