#ThrowbackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 42

Well, its been a long time coming, and though we’ve not reached the end yet, we’ve finally finished Disc 3 of 4! This is going to be a long, long one I reckon, so get yourself a drink and let’s get on with it.

We leave Moorock, for now at least, it’s probably best he stays here, to be honest as there are Malboro’s here. One room of Garland’s castle is filled with eggs that remind me of those from the Alien movies, though that also sparks a realisation that the decor of this place is very much like something H.R Giger would have come up with if asked to create a Final Fantasy location. There’s also a button in this room, pressing it makes the eggs light up and a 3o second counter appear in the top left of the screen. I try to move and am thrown into a fight with one of those big-chinned turtle things from before, the counter depletes before the fight even starts. After a couple more attempts I figure out that some of the lit-up eggs turn off and a pathway is formed, coming into contact with a lit-up egg (which change) triggers a fight, though it takes me over a dozen attempts to get from one side of the room to the other. Once there I also have to rush across a bridge of light before the counter reaches zero, I’ve no idea what happens if it does, but I’m not risking it after the ordeal around getting to this point in the first place.

Once across, I’m faced with another puzzle involving multiple platforms and a lift. I have to input a specific number for the lift to come down to the correct floor and then take me to the floor I need to be on to progress, I’ll admit to using the Official Strategy Guide that I’ve owned since the games original release just to get me past this part. I’m eventually led to another room, this time full of teleport plates that I have to navigate, once I’m in the right place I’m also able to talk to Mozme the Moogle, I have a letter from Moorock for her.

“From Moorock to Mozme

This is my first time using Mognet!

And my first letter! Kupo!

Hmm, what shouls I write about? Kupo?”

Mozme is as baffled as we are

“What the heck was that all about? Kupo?”

She gives me a kupo nut in exchange for delivering her the letter and then warns me that there’s danger ahead, but I carry on anyway. We next see Garland, stood alone, though he’s talking to someone

“There’s the observatory…
You told me you’d become my angel of death. But think for a moment…
Isn’t life death itself..? It must kill other life forms to survive…
Sometimes it even kills those with the same blood…
To live is to give life meaning, yet one must take others lives to survive…
A mature civilizations becomes aware of this paradox…
Terras souls will sleep until they forget such nonsense. They will begin a new life in a new dimension. It’s a world in which life and death become one…
That is the dimension on which we are meant to live, as beings that transcend life and death!
I’ll ask you one more time, who are you!?”

Zidane: “You’re a sad man Garland…
We know more than you…
We’re not perfect, but we have friends who help us. That is reason enough for us to live!”

Steiner backs Zidane up, which is funny to see but shows just how far their relationship has come on this journey, he says its not for him to question who he is, but for others to decide, or something. Quina says s/he exists to eat but also “to live” and Dagger admits that they may be weak, but that makes them all help one another.

Garland: “…Then show me! Lecture me again when you are on the verge of death!”

Kuja’s Silver Dragon is summoned from the skies and I’m pitched in battle against it. Whilst I wouldn’t say the fight was easy, it also didn’t pose much of a challenge either.

Z: “Garland, tell me… What is it that you want to accomplish?”

G: “The restoration of Terra! Isn’t it obvious?”

Z: “No! That’s what the people of Terra want. Why aren’t you asleep with the rest of them?”

G: “I was crfeated to oversee Terra…
I exist to wait for a time when this world is without life or death…
I am the absolute controller of this planet!”

The boss fight music kicks in and the gang: Quina, Steiner, Dagger and Zidane take on Garland. He causes more trouble than Kuja’s dragon did as he has a few high powered magic attacks such as Flare. He can also use Stop, though Dagger, who I’m using solely as a healer, can guard against it. The entire fight though is over much quicker than I’d anticipated.

G: “You fight well…”

Z: “Give it up, Garland!”

Garlands begins to glow red, which he didn’t seem to expect and the Invincible appears in the skies above with Kuja onboard.

Kuja: “Hahahahahahaahahahaha….
This is too easy! The Invincible is mine! Now, I have the poiwer to control all souls! Garland gave me everything without a fight. The old fool was too busy dealing with him, Now, only death awaits him. Poor Garland… Bitten by his own dog… This is no accident. Fate has chosen me to become the new ruler of Terra! Time for me to put on the finishing touches”

He descends from the ship and begins to speak to Zidane

K: “I must say…
I truly love you all. You not only break the seal to Terra, but did me the favour of defeating Garland! Zidane… You are truly an extraordinary Genome, deserving of my love!”

Zidane asks Kuja why he’s one Terra

“Thats not a very nice way of to greet your brother.”

The reference to their relationship pisses Zidane off somewhat

K: “Oh, such ferocity… Master Garland, he intends to fight Terra!”

G: “Kuja… what are you scheming?”

K: “Scheming? Me? Watch me as I defeat these enemies of Terra!”

He turns to address the gang

K: “Come on, now! You may sleep alongside the souls of Terra! For all eternity!”

I’m thrown into the third boss fight with a break! Throughout the fight, Kuja laughs off my attacks and taunts the parties strength whilst using moves like Demi forces me to have both Quina and Dagger on healing duties. Zidane and Steiner then gradually chip away until Kuja goes into Trance.

“I’ll show you my true power”

A huge fireworks display wipes out the whole party and the screen turns completely white.

K: “Yes!
This is the power I’ver longed for!!!
The mighty power of souls! They assault any threat that tries to destroy them!!”

Z: “Wh…What do you mean…?”

K: “It’s Trance! You know how it works!
But a normal Trance wasn’t enough to destroy you… You’re all as resilient as Oglops. Even tiny Moogles possess the power of Trance…
When I saw that in Gulug Volcano, I came up with a plan.
It was easy. I just needed to borrow the power from wretched souls that can’t die… Where did I acquire it? It was the Invincible, should I say, that large eyeball in the sky?
The ship sucked up the souls of Madain Sari, the Iifa Tree, Alexandria, to feed upon them…
When it fought Bahamut at the Iifa Tree, the Invincible drew in a powerful spirt…
Can you guess to home it belonged?”

Dagger: “No…”

K: “That'[s right! It was your mothers soul. A wretched soul that clung to life to the bitter end. The souls trapped inside the Invincible welcomed me with open arms. They were fed up with being your prisons, Garland! So Master Garland. You are no longer needed. And after you’ve worked so hard…
I shall rule Terra and Gaia with my unconditional love from now on…”

G: “What will you do with such… power?”

K: “Master Garland… You, of all people, should accept defeat gracefully!”

Kuja gives the stricken Garland a kicking. Garland tells him how his power is meaningless, so Kuja gives him a second kick and sends him off the side of the platform to his death in the abyss below.

K: “Now, its your turn. Should I kill you quickly to show my appreciation for all you’ve done? Or should I kill you slowly and painfully to show you my love…
Oh, I’ve got a great idea! Hows this? I’ll make you pillars for my castle! You’ll decorate my castle as a symbol of my eternal kingdom… How do you like that?”

Z: “No… Never!”

“You could never build an eternal kingdom…”

K: “That voice… Garland!? Did you leave something behind?”

G: “Do you think a defect like you could last forever?”

Garland begins to tell Kuja the truth, Zidane was created to replace him, Kuja was too dangerous to allow him to last beyond Zidane’s maturation, his time is limited, he’ll die soon and he’ll do so without leaving a mark on the world. Kuja doesn’t believe him though, Garland continues and says he was only created to destroy and that he is a mortal. This seems to break Kuja, though not completely, he laughs and shouts he finds the whole thing comedic, that he of all people is just like his Black Mages, that he’s a “worthless doll”, but he remains defiant, he won’t let it happen, that “this world” won’t exist without him and he then begins to float into the air, firing blasts of light from his palm at every structure in Terra.

Zidane wants to rescue all the injured Genomes before Terra is destroyed completely so Eiko encourages the thief to steal the Invincible. He instructs Eiko and the others to go and get the ship whilst he and Dagger head back to Bran Bal, en route he thanks Dagger for coming back to save him after his length chat with Garland. Once in Bran Bal, the two tell the Genomes of their plan, but one is missing: the girl who had led Zidane to Bran Bal, Zidane finds her in the underground lab and tries to persuade her to go with him. She refuses, telling him that she was created to replace both him and Kuja and that now Garland is dead she has no purpose.

Zidane asks her name, he is adamant she has one as Garland named all of his Genomes with souls. She tells him its Makoto and he replies that lots of people will call her that from now on and that her new purpose will be to figure out who she is and find other people on the “new world”, this helps her to decide to go with him and they head to the Invincible just before its too late. On the bridge, the others manage to pilot the ship back to Gaia, whilst Zidane, Amarant and Freya discuss whether Kuja survived or not, they think he has and believes his next plan is to destroy Gaia. At this point, Steiner rushes into the conversation and demands they come and look at something. Looking out of the viewscreen/window all they see is clouds, Zidane instructs them to go lower and below them but Steiner says they’re as low as they can possibly go, Vivi speaks up and tells them all that its Mist and that it’s not just covering Mist Continent as it was before they visited the Iifa Tree, but it’s now covering the whole of Gaia!


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