We took a break last week to take a look at SEGA’s Daytona USA which had been selected as August’s Retro Game Club title. When we last on Final Fantasy IX things weren’t looking good for Cleyra after the sandstorm surrounding and protecting it had died alongside the strings on their magical harp breaking.
This week we start in Alexandria, though not for long, when we were here previously Zorn & Thorn had taken Garnet, Steiner and Marcus prisoner. The latter two are being held in a cage thats being suspended from the ceiling of one of the castle’s halls with two of Beatrix’s soldiers keeping guard, Steiner is still, somehow, completely delusional about the Queen’s recent actions. Garnet has been confined to her quarters and has alot of questions for her mother whom she hopes will listen to her. She noticed her mother began to change around a year prior to the events we’ve experienced so far, coinciding with her fifteenth birthday, which is also when Professor Tot left Alexandria and “that tall man” (must be Kuja) appeared at the castle.
Zorn & Thorn are sent by the Queen to summon Garnet to see her, despite wanting to speak to her mother she is aghast at how Zorn & Thorn have spoken to her and shouts “Get off me scumbag” which leaves the pair a little confused (it confused me too as it didn’t really fit in with this particular situation). Regardless, they apprehend her and escort her to see her mother who tries to tell Garnet she’s been worried about her whereabouts but Garnet gets straight into the questioning. Brahne denies her attack on Burmecia, to a degree anyway, she claims it was in retaliation as, according to her, the Burmecians were planning to destroy Alexandria and she was acting in the best interests of her kingdom. Garnet doesn’t believe a word of this and begins to say as much when Kuja enters the room
“May I also play a part in this act?”
He then uses a spell to send Garnet to sleep, declaring
“She is beautiful, even in sleep”
Zorn & Thorn are then summoned to extract the eidolons from the Princess. It would seem that the Queen, Zorn, Thorn and Kuja had been awaiting Garnet turning sixteen to perform some kind of spell on her to remove some mystical power that she holds.
Back in Cleyra, Freya is pondering why the storm has disappeared, she tells Zidane that the sandstorm had been protecting Cleyra for a thousand years and not once had it disappeared, she believes Brahne is behind it all, Zidane wonders how the “guy that was with Brahne” could also be involved. The pair decide to head down the tree to investigate why the sandstorm has stopped. As Freya I talk to everybody in Cleyra, the over riding belief is that Cleyra will be invaded. The Cleyrean High Priest gives Freya an emerald which can teach Haste, MP+ 10% and White Draw. Stiltzkin has also now made an appearance at the inn and has a combo of Hi-Potion, Ether and Phoenix Pinion for sale for 444 Gil. Mopli also has a letter from Monev:
“To Mopli to Monev
People are climbing up to Cleyra since
the sandstorm disappeared… kupo.
I have a bad feeling about this.
Whats going to happen?
Will Cleyra end up like Burmecia?
Isn’t there anyone who can help us?
Mopli decides he’s going to pack up and leave Cleyra when Stiltzkin moves on.
At the foot of the settlement, Zidane, Viva and Quina have all gathered and are waiting for Freya. Vivi, who had been searching for Puck after the antlion attack, informs everybody he was unable to find the young prince, so we all head off down the tree to figure out just whats going on.
As the group enters the area that previously had the sand whirlpools they are attacked by Alexandrian soldiers. That kind of confirms what everyone was thinking, but as we progress back through the root system there’s not a whole lot of them, Freya and Zidane are wondering about the seriousness of this attack when Puck appears, he’s apparently been looking for them since they left the settlement as shortly after leaving Cleyra has been attacked. Everyone rushes back the way they came, but the camera lingers as Beatrix steps into shot, she seems to be rather pleased with how things are unfolding.
Back in Cleyra again, Black Mages are appearing in magical orbs from the sky and begin attacking the people. they’re new “Type C” variants so are stronger and can cast Thundara, Blizzara and Fira. It would seem Alexandria have pulled of some kind of pincer attack, sending soldiers from below, which anyone would assume is the natural method, but also sending in Black Mages from above, the odds on anyone surviving don’t look particularly good. Burmecian Soldier Dan’s wife is trying to flee with her children and as Zidane I try to point her in the best direction to go, but I must have picked wrong as Black Mages block her path forcing her to sacrifice herself to save her children, before she is killed she begs Zidane to get them to safety. As everybody reaches the cathedral, hoping its a safe space, more Black Mages appear and surround everybody, however, their is somebody atop the Cathedrals spire who declares:
“My spear will purge this land of you!”
and dispatches the Black Mages easily, telling everybody else to run. After Zidane tells the stranger he owes him one, he retreats into the cathedral with everybody else. It would seem though that Freya recognises their saviour, it would appear the warrior is Sir Fratley, she tells him how she had heard he had died but had spent years searching for him, never believing the rumours to be true. He doesn’t seem to know who she is, Zidane reacts angrily and tells him how Freya is her lost love, but still he doesn’t remember. He doesn’t remember the King of Burmecia either Puck appears again, and fills everybody in, he managed to find Sir Fratley, but he had no memory of Puck, Burmecia or Cleyra, nor indeed who he was himself. However, once they heard of the attack on Burmecia and Cleyra he immediately returned, maybe because of faint memories of being a Dragon Knight, and with that Sir Fratley leaves again with Puck chasing after him.
Despite this news, Freya’s resolve returns and she tells Zidane that they must regroup and protect Cleyra, however, Beatrix suddenly appears through the catherdral window and steals the magic stone from the broken harp before fleeing with Zidane, Quina, Freya and Vivi in pursuit. As we chase after her, the Burmecians and Cleyrans give us a bunch of items that they hope will help in the battle that is to come and Mopli asks me to deliver a letter to Serino.
Freya, Zidane, Vivi and Quina give chase and engage Beatrix in battle on the steps of the cathedral. The fight itself, like the prior one against Beatrix, is one of survival. I can do plenty of damage, forcing her to use Cure, but her Shock ability takes out whoever she uses it on, forcing me to use Phoenix Downs and Potions to get them back in the fight and putting us on the back foot whilst we do all of that. Once the battle gets to a certain point she unleashes yet another attack that, like in the last fight, leaves everybody on 1HP before leaving with the stolen stone whilst instructing the Black Mages to leave immediately. Which they begin to do so by summoning the same orbs that they arrived in. Zidane manages to jump into one, with Freya and Vivi following behind. Quina, who states s/he doesn’t like heights, chooses to head down the tree instead.
The scene goes to Queen Brahnes airship, the Red Rose, she appears to have been watching events unfold in Cleyra from this vantage point. She declares she has some Dark Matter, that I presume is what Zorn & Thorn “extracted” from Garnet. She says it gives her the power to summon an eidolon and then does indeed do that, summoning Odin to destroy Cleyra.
The orbs that Zidane, Freya and Vivi had taken arrive onboard the airship, Zidane tries to rush off to find Beatrix but Freya lags behind devastated at what they’ve just witnessed. She feels like she has now failed both Cleyra and Burmecia, but when Beatrix appears on the balcony above the trio have to quickly hide beneath a staircase and listen in on her conversation with her soldiers. It seem’s Beatrix is beginning to question the queen’s behaviour, believing that she used too much force on Cleyra and that he soldiers would have been more than enough to take it. Then Brahne begins to call for her, she wants the stone that Beatrix stole from Cleyra, then commands her to find the “last jewel”. She then tells Beatrix that she plans to have Garnet executed for “stealing the jewel”, which shocks Beatrix, she begins to object but is shot down and told to follow orders. Zidane now needs to get to Alexandria before Brahne does, but he’s stuck on the Red Rose with her, Dagger needs saving before its too late. Vivi knows how they can get there first and suggests using the “telepods” (the orbs they used to get aboard the Red Rose), at which point Serino appears, so I give him his letter
“From Mopli to Serino
By the time this letter reaches Serino,
Cleyra may be destroyed…
Stitlzkin keeps saying
‘I’ve been through stuff like this before,
we’ll be fine’
But what if we wont be okay this time!?
Everyone then jumps into the giant jugs that hold the telepods (or are the telepods? I don’t know how this technology works!!) and are taken, hopefully, to Alexandria.
Back in Alexandria, Steiner and Marcus are still imprisoned in the same cage as before, however Steiner has decided its finally time for them to escape and the two begin leaning side to side in order to make their cage swing, the goal is to smash it against a wall and thus free them. Once this is achieved, the guards rush to investigate and are easily seen off by the two men and once to safety Marcus leaves Steiner behind to head to Evil Forest to free Blank, Steiner tries to call him a coward but is ignored and is then surprised by the sudden appearance of Zidane, Vivi and Freya in the floating orbs. Zidane tells him they don’t have much time, that Garnets life is in danger and a timer of 30 minutes appears in the top left corner of the screen and immediately begins counting down.
After reaching the queens chambers, Garnet is no where to be seen. After searching around we activate a switch by moving a candle that opens up a hidden passageway behind the fireplace. The passageway leads to a spiral staircase so we begin to descend to the bottom, once there we find Zorn & Thorn standing over Garnets body, after being surprised by Zidane and co’s appearance we are thrown in to a battle, its actually pretty easy, the point of it is to attack which ever one has been given the more powerful attack but Vivi goes into Trance allowing me to cast double magic, so I just let loose with that and also have Freya cast Reis’s Wind to give everybody Regen.
Once beaten, Zorn & Thorn tell us its too late anyway, they are done with the princess, they then flee from the chamber. The group approach Garnet, who is unresponsive, Steiner believes her to be dead and starts shouting how he’s failed her and all sorts of things along those lines, but Freya and Zidane notice that her heart is still beating. Zidane picks her up and begins to leave the chamber, however a Moogle appears and has a letter
From Kupo to Mosh
Kupo! Whats going on in Alexandria!?
Soldiers are everywhere!
I heard a rumour that Princess Garnet
returned to Alexandria!
I guess Princess Garnet left the castle
because she suspected Queen Brahne!”
They all head back up the staircase back to the queens chambers where Zidane chooses this time to lay her on a couch to rest. Steiner has a bit of a breakdown, shouting into the air demanding to know what the queen is trying to do and why she would hurt Garnet. Surely all of this, Steiners shouting, Zidane letting Garnet rest, is better suited to once they’ve actually escaped the castle. He does however blame himself for Garnets condition, say he should have gotten to her sooner. Steiner accuses Zidane of not being himself and demands blame him and his incompitence for Garnets condition but Zidane refuses to do so.
Then, to no ones surprise (well, certainly not to mine) Zorn & Thorn reappear with Beatrix following behind. She tries to get Steiner to come over to her side and another battle with the general begins. This battle is tougher than the previous two, I have to revive Steiner twice and Freya once, but it again ends in a similar manner to those other engagements, with Beatrix unleashing a devastating attack that leaves everybody on 1HP, but again, she doesn’t finish them off. She tells everyone to never step into Alexandria again though Zidane challenges her duty to Alexandria and Princess Garnet, pointing out Garnets unconscious body lying on the couch. Beatrix, shocked at what she see’s, says she didn’t believe it when Brahne said she wanted Garnet dead. Steiner is still, despite everything he’s experienced, in disbelief, but Beatrix tells him he must accept it as so, then asks for Burmecia’s forgiveness. Freya tells her it is too late for that, but that its not too late for her to save Dagger, so Beatrix attempts to heal the princess despite Zorn & Thorn’s protestations that it is useless. However, on the third attempt, Dagger awakens, at which point Queen Brahne now enters the room, (seriously, I think we’re only missing Kuja and the members of Tantalus and the whole cast would be here in this one room in the castle!)
Zorn & Thorn fill her in on whats happening and also tell her that they succesfully extracted the eidolons. Brahne tells them to throw Garnet in prison but Beatrix stands in the way and refuses to let it happen, Freya joins her in finishing off Zorn & Thorn, allowing Vivi, Zidane, Steiner and Dagger to escape through the fireplace passageway. Zorn & Thorn set their pet Bandersnatch on Freya and Beatrix, but the latter has it defeated in one move. As the other group makes their way down the staircase a Bandersnatch also chases them, but again, its easily beaten. However, at the bottom of the staircase Steiner has a sudden change of heart, he can’t stand by and watch Freya and Beatrix make a stand whilst he escapes and runs back up the staircase to aid them telling Zidane to get Garnet to Treno and to Professor Tot, being sure he can come up with a way to save the kingdom. Zidane has to persuade Garnet to leave them behind, saying they are performing they duty to her and to the kingdom in order that she can escape and survive, another Bandersnatch then attacks and is again easily seen off, and the group run to make their way to Gargan Roo.
However they are trapped by the same trap Zorn & Thorn used previously on Dagger, Marcus and Steiner, the annoying duo can’t believe their luck that it worked again and are so distracted that Marcus and Blank manage to sneak in and knock them out, freeing Zidane, Dagger and Freya to escape to Gargan Roo. They climb on board the Gargant who takes off in the direction of Treno, but then stops suddenly. Why can’t this escape just be simple? In the way is a much bigger worm like creature than the one that scared the Gargant previously. Both Dagger and Zidane enter Trance whilst fighting the Ralvuimago and despite it coiling to protect itself each time its attacked, the battle isn’t too taxing, however once back aboard the Gargant it begins to move off slowly, much to Zidanes (and mine!) annoyance, though it begins to speed up because the Ralvuimago starts to chase us. This leads to the Gargant running straight through Treno station, though some Oglops messing with the switch that would allow it to stop certainly didn’t help!
It’s soon apparent that the creature is out of control and as the ride becomes more and more violet, everyone is thrown from the carriage, the screen turns white and we’re taken back to Alexandria with Zorn & Thorn being refused an audience with the queen. They’re only really there to tell her her guests have arrived. Brahne wishes for them to be sent straight to her but essentially banishes Zorn & Thorn. Her guests, it would seem, are a pair of bounty hunters “Boisterous Woman” reveals her name to be Lani, whilst her companion is only referred to as “red-headed man”. She instructs them to retrieve Garnets pendant and to also assassinate the “black mage travelling with them” whom she calls a “soulless golem” and a “defect running free”. The “red-headed man” asks if there was a boy with a tail travelling with the princess, which the queen confirms and adds that he will receive an extra reward if he is taken care of too. A soldier then reports that the fleet has arrived back in Alexandria and requests the queen prepares to depart on the Red Rose.
It seems the Gargant took them further than Garnet, Zidane and Vivi has wanted to go as they were thrown out of its carriage at Pinnacle Rocks, which lies closer to Lindblum than Treno. Garnet still wants to go to Treno and asks Zidane if they could borrow an airship, though before he can think of a plan an old man appears, floating in the air and introduces himself as Ramuh. Garnet recognises the name from her books and identifies him as Ramuh the Thunder God.
He tells her that her summon magic was used to destroy Cleyra, which she was obviously not aware of, Ramuh asks her what she will do now and she begs him to help her become strong enough to wield summon magic. Ramuh challenges her to find five manifestations of himself to prove her worth and only upon completing this task will he help her.
#ThrowBackThursday – Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 1
#ThrowBackThursday: Final Fantasy IX Playthrough Part 2
#ThrowBackThursday: Final Fantasy IX playthrough Part 3
#ThrowBackThursday: Final Fantasy IX playthrough Part 4
#ThrowBackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough part 5
#ThrowBack Thursday: Final Fantasy IX playthrough Part 6
#ThrowBackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough Part 8
#ThrowBackThursday Final Fantasy IX playthrough Part 8