You! What just happened?
It was no big deal.
You're hiding something!
Hey, nothing happened. You heard me.
You...didn't touch the princess, did you?
Just what are you accusing me of?
...My apologies, Princess.
Well, I'm glad everyone is safe. Shall we move on?
No... It's nothing.
So just gonna keep that "randomly attacked by a rogue black mage" thing to yourself, huh? Eh, whatever.
Definitely equipping this and never taking it off again. Now we're guaranteed at least something when we steal as long as the enemy has something to steal in its common slot.
I forgot to come up here last time so let's do that.
There's a frozen moogle here.
So let's free it.
At least everything turned out alright.
Time for more tutorials.
Card Game just explains basic rules for Triple Triad. Since this is a short update, I'll go ahead and let the game discuss status effects and elements.
Your standards FF status effects are here and are as dangerous as usual, like Poison's kind of a non-issue, only hitting for 1/16 your Max HP, while Berserk's usually pretty bad unless it hits someone like Steiner since it boosts physical damage by 50%.
Of these, Poison, Sleep, and Slow will wear off over time. That makes Stop especially nasty in this game since a stopped character can't act for the rest of the battle. It can be healed out of, though.
These are the really nasty status effects. Heat will kill a character if they do anything. Freeze will stop a character from doing actions and will result in death if they get hit with a physical attack. Fortunately, ice attacks heal Heat and fire attacks heal Freeze. Mini's worse than usual in this game because unlike in most games, Mini also reduces your magical attack by 50% in addition to weakening physical offense and defenses. Mini stays until the end of combat while the other two can wear off over time.
All of these status effects go away at the end of battle. The next set however will stay after combat's over.
Petrify and Silence are the same as usual. Virus simply removes a character's evasion and causes them not to be able to gain EXP or AP in battle, which really sucks for obvious reasons. Venom is Stop except with the Poison effect for both HP and MP. Pretty nasty to have, though easily cured with Antidotes and Garnet's Panacea spell.
Darkness reduces hit percentage of physical attacks by 50% and nullifies evasion. Trouble transfers half the damage a character takes to all other party members, which is pretty nasty. Zombie essentially makes the infliced undead with the usual caveats associated (curing stuff hurts, instant death heals), except Zombies cannot achieve Trance and have their Trance gauge reset to 0, and also they can't gain EXP or AP.
That's enough bad stuff, let's see the good in life.
Unlike in most games, many of these status effects will wear off over time. Auto-Life lasts until the end of battle, but the other three will all wear off over time. Auto-Life revives the character with 1HP, which is actually useful for certain situations, while Regen restores 1/16 Max HP every now and then. I believe Regen can be gamed a bit with this game's long animations and ATB system, but I don't know the specifics right now.
Protect/Shell reduce physical/magical damage by 50% respectively. Vanish has the bonus property of letting the user always hit enemies with physical attacks. Reflect has the usual "bounce spells" thing but there's a bit more synergy with it in terms of passive abilities that we'll run into later on. All of these effects can wear off over time.
These are your two countdown attacks. When the timer reaches 0, the target is KOed or Petrified.
If no characters can act, then you lose. Pretty simple.
Now for the elements.
This is bog-standard stuff for a FF game, though in other games you'll usually have Poison instead of Shadow. Vivi will mainly have access to the three basic elements, though he also gets access to water and shadow damage later on.
And that's it for Mogster's lessons for today.
We need to talk to this guy to continue the Mognet quest.
And with that, we're done with the cave! Time for another cutscene.
Oh, the sun feels great!
Look, there's a village.
It sounds like you've been everywhere, Zidane. The only other worlds I've visited are in books.
You're a princess! You can't just go rushing in there. People are looking for you. You need a new identity.
Besides, we're heading back to the castle. You leave her alone. And you will address her as "Princess" from now on, you silly peasant!
Who do you think you are? I don't take orders from a stuck-up jerk like you!
And I do see Zidane's point. I need a new name...
That? That's a dagger. All knives of that length are called daggers.
Princess! It's a weapon! Please be careful.
So while it's kinda obvious Garnet's a permanent character like the other three, this is the first time we really get a chance to name her.
While I'm one of those who usually goes default for any game I play, I also usually keep her as Garnet simply because I like the name better than Dagger, even if it makes no sense in the narrative since she's trying to not be discovered (not to mention it makes the current scene look silly). But for the purposes of the LP I'll keep her as Dagger since it's actually kinda important story-wise.
And you can change it for some reason if you really want to.
So now I have to remember to refer to her as Dagger so catch me if I mess up like I inevitably will.
Try to sound more casual. Like me.
I shall try.
No, no, no...
Just say... "Alrighty."
Well... Let's go.
Got a whole new area to explore, including the start of a couple of side quests. I'll show off one in a bit.
While walking around, you may occasionally see airships flying about. A pretty nice detail in a game full of them. I think FF2's the only other FF that actually had an airship fly around you in the overworld.
There's a new enemy here, the Carve Spider. No big deal.
It has Potions and Tents to take from it. Pretty much every enemy at this stage has a Potion and a decent consumable like a Tent or Hi-Potion or whatever as an Uncommon Steal in case you want to put effort into it.
And of course it has an appropriate death animation.
It can also use Web, which inflicts Slow on a character. As you may expect, Slow sucks.
You might see Ore start popping up at this point. These have several functions I'll get to, though in battle they'll heal HP equal to "Number of Ore" x 4. That's less than a Hi-Potion though so you likely won't use them much for healing.
Now we can visit the other side of this gate.
And there's a guard to talk to here that we can't actually see the face of.
Let's try to pass through.
You gotta have a Gate Pass to pass through here. There's no work here right now. Try again when they need construction workers.
Now let's try to take a break.
Might as well wait. In the meantime, let's talk to the guard.
South Gate is the border of Alexandria and Lindblum. We check every airship and person crossing the border. We're doing the best we can to keep the two nations safe. Have you ever been on an airship?
If we wait a moment after asking to take a break...
She sells the same stuff we've seen by now. I take the opportunity to buy some Antidotes.
We can also rest here for 100 Gil. I don't know why we need to pay someone money to sleep next to a gate but sure, why not.
Next up, let's visit this hill next to the town.
Let's visit the house first.
This guy's part of a side quest we might as well kick off now.
I bought it at an auction in Treno. I have money to spend these days. What I really wanted was some rare coffee.
My friend used to have one, too, but I bet he lost it in the incident...
I'll give it to you if you get me some rare coffee.
I don't lie. Let's see...
If you find all of them, bring them back to me.
So now we're gonna hunt for coffee for an old man so we can trade it for a model airship. Only in FF9. It'll be awhile before we can really do this, though, so it's on the backburner for now.
There's also this.
There's a Hi-Potion and some gil around here.
And nothing too interesting up at the top.
So, one last thing. There's a special battle around here (well, there can be a second special battle but I'll hold off on that for now).
We can encounter a Mu out here, but not just any Mu.
This is a Friendly Mu, and he kicks off the Friendly Creatures quest line. If you remember Magic Pots from previous FF games, these guys are like those except they're nice enough to not want your freaking Elixirs.
This guy wants Ore, for instance, and it's not like we're doing anything with it.
You always want to give them what they want.
And then they'll give you a hint to who to look out for in the next part of the quest.
This guy also gives 10AP, which is enough to top off all the abilities I was learning.
Next time, we'll pay a visit to the quiet village of Dali.