The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy IX

by Mega64

Part 53

We're back at Treno! Well, some are, some are here for the first time.

I apologize for the lack of space.
It's fine...
Hey, Amarant, have you been here before?
...What about you?


Looks like Zidane got his swagger back, at least.

Oh, of course. There's no hurry.

Wh-Who? Me?
Yes, you! This is my first time in Treno. Show me around.

What about you, Amarant?

I think he said "......".

Well, then I better go register.
I'm a skilled card player. Please let me know if you need assistance.
Hey, I'm not so out of practice that I'd need your help.
I see. Good luck.

Note: I haven't played Tetra Master since the second update when it first comes up.

We're not going to play today. Instead we're gonna watch lots of cutscenes as we've been doing the past several updates.

First ATE involves Eiko and Vivi.

Why didn't I invite Zidane?

...What do you mean?
Aaargh! You big dope!

But Zidane wants to act cool, so they misunderstand each other and end up fighting. Now do you understand?

See, a freaking six-year-old can see through Zidane's bullshit facade. For someone who's been isolated from people for pretty much her entire life, Eiko's pretty damn good at reading people.

It's so hopeless...

H-Hey, wait...!

Hey! You're...

To be continued in a moment.

If you run low on cards, I will give you some of mine.

I've won enough from monsters and stealing from Hippaul that I'll manage. Plus winning the first two matches are mandatory anyway to progress the story so you can just use the cards you win from them for the final match and just play shitty cards for the first two until you win from blind luck. Which is pretty damn easy considering this is Tetra Master and all.

Let's check back up with Vivi.

Um, thank you very much for your help on the airship.
Hey, no worries. My master is a good man. Anyone else would've refused.


This ATE is backstory as to how Vivi went to Alexandria and the play there in the first place. I don't think there's anything on who this master is, though maybe it was someone who knew of the black mages and assumed he was one of the "lifeless puppets" and took him there. Don't know how likely that is, though.

Wasn't there an accident during the show? Were you okay?
Oh, um... Well, yeah, I was okay.
Good! Well, I gotta get back to work.

Yes, I do...
Your family must be worried. Go home soon! See ya!

This choice changes the game slightly. The latter choice apparently gives us another ATE involving Hippaul which lets us win a rare card in the tournament later, only one of two in the game. However, there's a bit more backstory for Vivi for the former option so let's go home.

Well, since I'm so close to home, I might as well stop by.

We're done with Vivi for now. Let's check in with the others.

Gotta find my next scam...

Hey, I'm talkin' to you! Don't you know who I am!?
What!? I'm the infamous...

Y-You're... the Flaming Amarant!

Seems Amarant's reputation precedes him. The guy's certainly not a no-name, unlike the other guy, who is a no-name because we can't find it out yet.

Oh, I know! You were being a bully, weren't you?
My grandpa always told me that bullies are actually cowards.
Just leave me alone...

I never knew the Flaming Amarant had a soft spot for kids!

Amarant? Where are you going?

The conclusion in a moment. Let's chat with the locals.

Charming as ever.

I have to get my usual...

The synth and equipment shops have the same stuff from Alexandria, so this guy's kinda lying.

We have three more Stellazzio to turn in, netting an Elixir, 10000 Gil, and another Black Belt if we missed the one from Black Mage Village.

Now for the last ATE for today. There's more to come but we can't trigger those until after we do the stupid card tournament.

How wonderful! I'll bet it's gorgeous.
Indeed, it is. I had to add a room to my mansion for it!
Oh, my...
Everything costs so much!
I am also thinking about buying a behemoth statue for our mansion.
Everything costs so much!

I thought they would be more carefree.

Hey... What are you doing?

Oh, you're the one who was being pushed around by Amarant.
Ha ha ha... D-Don't be silly!

...Alright. Hey, are you new here?
Uh-huh. I'm sightseeing.
Hey, why don't I show you around?
No thanks. I'm fine by myself.

(I just need to nab her and get even with Amarant... That bounty on his head is mine for the taking!)

W-Wait! I'll take you out to dinner.

Treno gelato, seaweed pasta... The choice is yours.

Oh yeah, Quina apparently found their way back from Madain Sari to Treno. Sure, why not.

Yeah, lots of delicious...

Hey, Quina.
You say you have delicious food?
Wha- Who the heck are you!?
I want delicious food.
Wh-Why do I gotta... A-Are you part of Amarant's posse?


The abilities on the Chimera Armlet, Add Status and Mug, aren't new. It's still a nice upgrade though, and it nullfies Holy damage, which is kinda handy.

Family's strong as ever. As I said, I've got more important things to do first.

There's a new monster here.

Catoblepas is another series staple, so much so that it's even a summon in a couple of games. It's also known as Shoat.

Its main gimmick is petrification, so Jelly is handy here, as is Beast Killer.

It also has Thunder spells, so the Coral Ring combined with the above abilities make this fight pretty easy.

As I mentioned before, Thievery's damage is (Number of Successful Steals * Zidane's Speed)/2. Zidane's speed is 25, so we can see how many times Zidane has stolen so far this LP by dividing the damage by 12.5.

Thievery's effect isn't that exciting...

...but that damage certainly is. Apparently I've stolen...225 times. In all of Disc 1 I pretty much had Zidane exclusively stealing from random encounters. That tapered off after Zidane ended up being my only physical offense, but all that early stealing is paying off now.

I'm kinda surprised at that total, but definitely not complaining! That's 225 instances of free shit.

Another crazy-powerful physical attack (the Killer abilities are great) and Catoblepas is down.

Our reward is slightly less underwhelming than last time we did this. Gil's not exciting, but it's better than a damn card.

Why did you buy it if you were going to sell it off so quickly!?

But honey, we might use it someday!

A couple new items here. First, the Rat Tail, another rare item we can get, and like the others, this one's also a nice callback reference.

The Rat Tail appears in FF1 as the item you need to retrieve in order for your party to class change into your upgraded jobs. It's also in FF4 and is traded for a chunk of metal that ends up becoming FF staple Excalibur. Here, Baku almost eats it.

You can sell it like the others.

Also, I mentioned these four jewels in the previous update, but we've got them all listed now.

The pendant and earring are old news, but might as well include them anyway.

Dark Matter only really does one thing: Teach Dagger the Odin summon. Kinda weird since she's gonna be a queen now and thus she's never rejoining the party, but I guess this game was kinda rushed near the end maybe?

Dark Matter is a neat little staple item in the series, starting with FF4 where you could steal it from the final boss for no reason (until the 3D remake made it the key to unlocking a super-boss). It also appears in FF5 (as a Mix component) and FF8 (teaches Quistis a powerful Blue Mage spell and can be refined to some awesome magic), as well as many games since. If used as an item, it deals 9999 damage. Which is neat, but you can only get three of them, and two are from this game's super-boss so, uh, good luck there.

...And that's life!

Pfft, only a 10k gil bounty on Amarant. That's chump change.

That can't be right, though. Why would a wanted man come back here?

Let's see, your treasure hunter rank is...

The game keeps track of all the items you find during the game. You get 2 points for every chest you dig up with Choco in the overworld and 1 point for basically everything else. If you hit Rank S, you get a special key item and get a nice cameo.

Dunno how good Rank E is for this part of the game, but I've gotten most of the treasure I could've gotten so far and we haven't even gotten started yet on Chocobo Hot & Cold, so I'm not worried.

Anyway, we're done with everything we can do in Treno that doesn't involve the terrible card game.

So let's leave Treno, because there's some stuff to do.

First, let's check in on Vivi.


Zidane... How did you find me?
What are you doing in a dump like this?
I... I used to live here.
Really? You used to live near Treno?
Yeah, with my grandpa.
So how did you end up living with your grandfather?


As you might remember, Vivi's grandfather was a Qu.


Is no possible to prove theory of nourishment with no eating...


Maybe I fell off a cargo ship...


You no need be so afraid...


I see...

So Vivi's grandfather raised him solely so he could later eat him.


So yeah, this gives us a nice small peek into Vivi's life before this game.

This came up when Dagger came here in Disc 2, but might as well show it off again.

On the way back, Zidane goes into Trance and I decide to show off Grand Lethal, his final Dyne attack.

Hello, sweet damage cap.

Transportation between Alexandria and Lindblum is more difficult now thanks to us. Oops.

Anyway, we can go back to Dali, and in fact there's stuff to do here that we can only do now, while the mayor is gone. Once the card tournament is over, our brief window is done as well.

Note the game never tells you this or even hints toward you taking a side-trip to Dali. It is very easy to miss this unless you know beforehand or really like to explore. Granted, what you miss isn't a big deal as far as gear or anything, but you can still miss a key item permanently.

I can still run around 'cause I don't have to help tend the farm!

I'd love to take my daughter on a trip with the money I saved, but...we have our store. We can't leave.

Nah I've got things to do.

Oh, I was only joking. I'm sorry.

She'd sarcastically thank you if you took her offer.

Gotta do this, of course.

Again, this evolves along with the game. Card strength is kinda meaningless with the wide range of randomness this game has.

Today is the last day of registration but we can nap for a few days and of course the tournament still waits for us.


Sigh... Chocobo hasn't got a care in the world. Mayor Kapu is our only hope now that the factory is gone. The mayor's brother? He became a useless drunk after the factory shut down. There's nothing to do...

The lack of Mist and the new leadership means no more Black Mage factory, which also means all the adults are out of a job. So we just ruined Dali's economy as well.


He's a special case.

It's always like this! I missed out on a financial opportunity!

I'm so glad the Mist is gone, but I've lost all enthusiasm for work. We haven't even run the windmill in days.

This means we can finally get the treasures here. The other treasure is a Cachusa.

With the mayor gone for this brief time, we can loot his place.

Ladder and Shelf have nada.

Desk has this. Lovely.

Keep checking the desk until the boy falls asleep, then check the Heater.


Gogo is a secret character in FF5 and FF6, a playable character in the latter. In both, he's a famed mimic and in FF5 guards the Mime job. Makes since he'd make skilled replicas in FF9.

Anyway, we can use the key here to get the mayor's secret treasures.

30k gil is pretty damn good, even as rich as we are. Also I don't feel guilty stealing this guy's entire wealth since he's kind of a dick.

More importantly, there's coffee.

This is the third and last set of coffee needed for Morrid's sidequest. Since he's just a short walk away, let's check up on him!

Sure are!

Morrid is outside enjoying the sun. I'm worried about Morrid, because he seems so depressed once the cargo ship stopped coming.

Those are the legendary coffee beans I've been looking for!

Not like I'm gonna drink them. Well, I would but Zidane probably wouldn't, he's hyper enough whenever he sees someone with breasts.


This is me drinking coffee.

I never imagined I'd get to drink all of the rare coffees of the world...

I am ready to join my dearly departed wife now.


Our only reward is decoration for the Tantalus pad in Lindblum, and fulfilling the dying wishes of an old man.

Still not as nice a feeling in my heart as sending the mayor's family into crushing poverty though.

It sure is.

Next time, we learn about Amarant's backstory, Quina confronts the horrors of life, and we run into some more familiar faces. Also, fucking Tetra Master. Fuck.