#ThrowbackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 34

I decide not to begin the grind immediately. Now that the whole map is open to me I can get a bunch of other things done before its too late, things like side quests and a whole bunch of shopping. I pick a point on the map and just head there to see what there is to do/buy, starting with Alexandria, though there’s nothing her to do at all due to the place needing some serious repair work, though I do have a letter for Kupo so I deliver that:

“From Kuppo to Kupo

Fossil Roo is very comfortable!
I like it here, Kupo!

We play hide-and-seek every day!
The most important things in life are to work hard and play hard! Kupo””

I head to Quan’s Dwelling next, making sure to have Vivi and Quina in my party. Doing so activates a little bit of story, fleshing out Quina’s character in particular. S/he can smell something delicious, though Zidane can’t. They begin to hallucinate, seeing food everywhere despite the place being abandoned since Vivi left after Quan passed away. Quina comes too, and is a little confused, though they detect another smell coming from outside and rushes off in that direction. Zidane follows, Quina’s talking to another gourmand who reveals themselves to be Quan (whom we thought was dead). Quan tells Quina

“Is illusion only if you see illusion. You saw becayuse you travel around world”

Quina’s tribe master, Quale, appears in the doorway behind Zidane. They reveal that Quan is Quales former master who ran away and “escaped” training. Quan says they didn’t run away and says Quale is mistaken in their approach to life

“To eat everything not true way of gourmand”

They tell Quina that by travelling the world they gain imagination and that people who have no imagination can’t taste until they actually develop their imagination. Vivi runs onto the balcony where this lot have gathered and is surprised to see his Grandpa. Quan says that its thanks to teaching Vivi about life and the world that he was able to develop his own imagination and that to see and think is life, but that life ends when you die. However, imagination can be shared with others and thus lives forever. Quan tells Vivi

“No be sad…Vivi, as long as you imagine, I by your side”

With that, Quan vanishes, Vivi, Quina and Quale leave and Zidane stands alone on the balcony scratching his head in confusion as he couldn’t see who they were talking to.

I quickly hop to Qu’s Marsh to see if this has activated anything new there, I have to tell Quina that we’re not going to be catching frogs, I just don’t have the patience to play that mini-game! Anyway, Quale has nothing new to say, so I leave again.

In Treno I take on the monster in the basement of the weapons shop and beat it easily, my reward? 15000 Gil. Then I essentially give the sales woman most of it back by buying one of everything I don’t currently have in my inventory, the plan is now to spend a few hours grinding everyone outside Oelivert as most of the gang have loads of abilities that they are yet to learn, once that is done I’ll check other stores around the World Map, repeat this system and then visit a Synthesist to craft any gear I’m don’t currently have and again, do some grinding. I pick Oelivert because the balance between EXP gain and difficulty of enemies seems to be pretty fair and I can chip away at it whilst watching a movie.

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