The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy IX

by Mega64

Part 62

While we're exploring the Forgotten Continent, we get Kuja's theme instead of the normal overworld music.

The twins will sell basic consumables. Zidane's stolen like fifty of everything at this point so it's unnecessary.

The last of the four Qu marshes is here, but without Quina it's pointless to visit.

The only notable enemy here is a particularly weird one. This is Armstrong, which is...a house with a cannon attached. It's an evolution of another weird enemy, FF7's Hell House.

We also managed to get the drop on it. Alright, then?

That cannon attack can halve a character's HP, plus it can render the entire party berserk and lower HP to single digits with Matra Magic. Otherwise, nothing too bad.

One nice thing about No Mercy is it appears to be ranged, so it can hit the whole two out-of-reach enemies that may or may not exist.

Also, damn, Amarant.

North of that Qu Marsh are chocobo tracks. This is great because we get to avoid fighting sentient houses and because there's treasure here.

The first of two Chocographs is southwest of our ultimate destination.

12 Phoenix Down, 14 Ores, an Iron Man card, and Kaiser Knuckles. Amarant's third-strongest weapon, they're wind elemental and can inflict Trouble with Add Status. In addition to Curse and Counter, these teach Countdown, which lets Amarant inflict the Doom status (target dies once the timer reaches 0, starts at 10) at 50% accuracy. Has this status ever actually been useful in a FF game? Enemies can wreak havoc with it, but I've never really seen much use for it in any game.

Also I maxed out cards from having a ton of dumb flan drops so I'm missing out on rare cards. Oh dear, I'm so worried. There's a whopping one card I'd actually want that actually does something outside of being only useful to play more Tetra Master, and I'll get that in the dungeon after this one.

The other chocograph is in the northwestern peninsula of the continent.

17 Ores, 5 Ethers, 14 Opals, and Demon's Mail. This is your first chance to get it if you didn't bother trying for Tantarian's rare steal. It teaches High Tide to Steiner and Freya, but it's mainly useful for absorbing Shadow attacks while boosting Shadow damage, plus it's our best heavy armor for now. Absorbing Shadow damage is actually very helpful in a couple situations, though not for awhile.

While we're done with Chocographs, the final two of the three Mountain Cracks are both on the Forgotten Continent. This one is in the northeastern area.

19 Eye Drops, Madain's Ring, Hilda Garde 1 card, and the Genji Helm. The second-best helmet in the game, it boosts Magic and teaches HP +20%.

The last mountain crack is northwest of Oeilvert.

This is probably the best individual cache we've found out of anything so far, as it has three great items. It also has an Odin card, which we don't care about.

First, the Maiden Prayer, an add-on for the women that teaches the very-useful Auto-Regen. It boosts Holy damage and if equipped on Eiko changes Fenrir into a different, wind-elemental summon.

Next, the Gauntlets, heavy-armor gloves with the best evasion in the game (though magic evasion is lacking compared to a lot of other stuff). Halves Fire, Water, Earth, and Wind damage, plus teaches Cover. Pretty good find.

The biggest get is the Dragon's Hair. It doesn't have any special properties, except this is Freya's ultimate weapon. Yep, we're not even halfway through Disc 3 yet and we've got Freya's best weapon. So now we've got 3 of the 9 ultimate weapons so far (Dagger's Whale Whisker, Eiko and Dagger's Tiger Racket, and Freya's Dragon's Hair). It teaches Dragon Breath, where Freya selects a monster and then does damage to all enemies equal to (Target's Max HP - Target's Current HP). This is mainly useful for bosses since once you've done at least 10k damage you can start shitting out 9999 damage with reckless abandon. Well, you could if it weren't so crazy-expensive at 78MP. Still, it's pretty damn good for Freya's ultimate ability, even if there's a much cheaper one that is better with some effort.

Last thing I do is search for one of the friendly monsters. It's not in this forest it seems like, but I did run into Ragtimer again.

I could finish all his questions now, but

This is true. Got 2000 gil for memorizing air cab schedules.

Eventually I find my way to the next friendly monster.

This is Jabberwock.

He wants an Emerald. You should have one from Nymph if you've been doing these quests.

The last friendly monster we've got access to is Feather Circle, on the Lost Continent. We'll meet that one in a couple updates.

40AP and a Moonstone is our reward.

Anyway, we've done all the side-stuff there is to do here. Let's get on with our mission.

This is Oeilvert. The music is straight from the game's title screen, since Uematsu really loves to reuse songs in games to build upon those games' themes.

Awaiting us is a moogle.

She wants us to deliver a letter to Mooel. Sure, why not.

She also has a Mogshop with some new items for sale.

Weapons-wise, we've got the Diamond Sword (teaches Steiner Power Break), the Trident (20% chance of inflicting Darkness, teaches Freya Luna, which inflicts Berserk on everyone, friend and foe), and if you didn't grab the rare steal from Hilgigars, the Fairy Flute (teaches Eiko Esuna, Haste, and Regen).

Armor-wise, the Green Beret teaches Ability Up and Clear Headed while boosting Speed and Strength slightly. We stole a Cross Helm from Beatrix, but I don't think I mentioned that it teaches Devil Killer and MP Attack, so there you go. The Judo Uniform teaches Distract and HP +10%. Finally, there's Gold Armor that teaches Stone Killer, an ability that would be really useful here if, you know, Softs weren't instant-death for stone enemies anyway.

While we're outside, we can still use magic just fine. There are three enemy types around Oeilvert, with Ogres being the first.

Mph! Open up!

I dunno what's going on, but I guess we gotta go inside. It's an honor to be here, hehe.

So, Oeilvert.

Fister Roboto posted:

In case anyone was wondering, Oeilvert means "green eye" in French. I have absolutely no idea what the significance of that is.

There's also apparently a sound novel called Oeilvert in the Japanese versions of FF Tactics, but I haven't really bothered looking into that one much.

From this point on, magic is sealed and inaccessible, though other abilities still work fine. First thing we want to do is head east.

Somehow Stiltzkin has beat us here. An Emerald and an Elixir? Fantastic deal.

We could've accessed Mognet earlier, but I forgot about that so eh. We can do it later.

Mimoza is scary when she gets mad... I'm not sure where Mognet Central is, though.

The big enemy of Oeilvert is the Epitaph. By itself, it's not very threatening.

Its big gimmick is sending out clones of your party members, whether they're in your party or not. I believe it's based on what room you're in, but I'm not 100% sure on that.

Normally, this character won't do much damage. However, if the mirrored character is someone in the party, then the mirror will attack that character for 9999 damage and kill them.

Alternatively, you can skip all that bullshit and just throw Softs on the Epitaphs to kill them immediately for free AP.

During one battle, we end up triggering Amarant's Trance, which changes his Flair ability to Elan.

It's pretty simple, changing all of Amarant's normally-single target Flair attacks to multi-target. Thus I'd consider Amarant's Trance the best in the game since it's actually useful in random battles, if only to refresh everyone's MP with Chakra.

Man, I hate Trance.

Back in the starting room. Nothing special in this chest, I just like the view for this. Oeilvert's architecture is quite different from what we've seen so far. You'll probably see why soon enough.

We want to trigger this before we go to the west.

And once we go left and pass by here, a holographic image of a planet appears.

That looks like writing... the likes of which I have never seen.

Aww...I can't make it out...

It's not like I can read it... It's more like the words are talking to me. I don't even know why...

Only Zidane can hear these words. There's some connection between Zidane, Kuja, and Garland we know nothing about. The planet of this holograph is called Terra, and considering the focus on this planet it's likely Oeilvert is related to Terra.

HMMMM. Hmm, hmm, HMMMM.

Southern room has four of these stations, two upstairs and two downstairs.

The Power Vest boosts Strength and teaches Counter, Gamble Defense, and Stone Killer.

Maybe there's a proper order to it all.

It's basically farthest to closest from where we just entered. history...


Improved use...

So this looks like an evolution of Terran ships. The last one, the one currently in use, is the battleship Invincible. You might remember that name as that massive ship with the weird red eye, the one that enslaved Bahamut and, once taken over by Garland, destroyed Alexander and Alexandria with it. That ship must originate from Terra.

Next up, let's go through here.

This room actually connects to the upstairs portion of the airship room we were just in. We've got quite the perspective for this one.

And in the middle, a lighted orb.

That's also a projector, it seems.

Huh? Now it's gone again.

At first...the city...flourished...

Then...the decline...began...

Terra prospered and soon began a decline for some unknown reason. Imagine that.

The last enemy here is Garuda. You can actually first find it in that area right above Gizamaluke's Grotto where the Grand Dragons hide out. It can do some bad stuff between Firaga, Stop, and Maelstrom (reduces target to single-digit HP).

Amarant can also do bad stuff with Bird Killer.

Doing all that story stuff unlocks this blue door. Let's check it out, shall we?

This room Alright, then.

A strange room, this is... The faces disturb me.

Amarant is the best.

Wait! It's saying something...

Huh. I guess it's speaking directly into our minds.

Yeah, weird sentient wall face speaking into my mind, that's normal, no biggie, used to that sort of strange shit by now.

This is the record of our civilization...

All vegetation and...vessels...died out... The decay of our Terra...triggered it all... In order to stop the decay, many methods were considered...

Then, a final resuscitation was attempted on the mother continent... Unfortunately, it ended in failure... It was later discovered to have been the catalyst... Subjects were selected...

Flora and fauna were revived, still in stasis. Final results...are still pending...

So we saw earlier that civilization was declining in Terra. Apparently some mysterious crisis put the Terran civilization on the brink of extinction, causing them to try various options. Their final, best chance...still seems to be in progress. At any rate, in case they do croak, Oeilvert is a monument to the history of Terran civilization for other races to discover.

Of course, what it's doing on Gaia is a damn good question.

Freya's got a point. Only Zidane, the person with a mysterious past he cannot remember, could understand the runes written by this ancient civilization. Zidane, who somehow has a connection with the guy piloting the warship that originated from Terra. Zidane, who was the only person the contraptions at the Iifa Tree would respond to. What do you make of all this, Zidane?

So let's save them first!

That's right, fuck you.

Anyway, to further progress, we need to go back to the eastern room where Stiltzkin was. He's gone now, but as we pass that giant circle on the ground...

Hmm... It looks different than before.

There's two planets, huh. One must be Terra, but I wonder what the other could be. Maybe, just maybe, it could be Gaia?

Let's talk FF5. Once upon a time, there was a planet. A dark sorcerer named Enuo wanted to control the Void, but was stopped by warriors wielding twelve legendary weapons. After stopping Enuo, they decided to split the world in two to prevent access to the Void. On one of those planets, humanity decided the best way to stop further evil spirits is to shove them all into a tree. Unfortunately, all the evil souls brought the tree to life and the tree became an entity known as Exdeath. No, I'm not making this up. Exdeath decided to start declaring war on that world because he was a prick, and it resulted in four warriors chasing him to the other planet and sealing him there. One of those warriors felt guilty about leaving an evil tree man sealed there and remained, fathering the protagonist of FF5, Butts Fartz Bartz. Exdeath then manages to get Bartz's world's crystals shattered, freeing him from his prison and going back to the second world. Bartz and company arrive and eventually kick his ass, only for the other planet's crystals to shatter. This ends up merging the two worlds back together, which is why I'm bringing it up now, and opening up the path to the Void for Exdeath to control, at least until the heroes kick his ass again and then kick Enuo's ass in the bonus content for starting this stupid shit.

So there is precedent in merging two worlds. However, if the other world is indeed Gaia, it doesn't seem like the two worlds have actually merged. Kuja talks about leaving Gaia and things going on beyond Gaia, presumably talking about Terra as if it still exists.

Mega64 posted:

Also this giant red thing may very well be Terra (and I'm sure now that you've probably gotten the hint drilled into your head you can appreciate the relative subtlety in these images).

That said, there's nothing we can really get from this world-merging business other than Garland also possibly being an evil tree man, which...probably not. All we can do is move on.

Another circular-pathed elevator similar to the one at the Iifa Tree.

And it leads us to our end goal.

Time to head back.


This is our boss for the dungeon.

It's a sentient airship with a large sword penis. Sure, whatever, I don't fucking care anymore.

Photon reduces a character to 1HP. Nothing a Chemist-boosted Hi-Potion can't cure (also, this dungeon is the sole reason White Mages learn Chemist).

Reis's Wind and Chakra also help out a lot here, as you may expect.

Whirlwind doesn't do much damage, but it does give your party Float status. Now, I've mentioned that Float nullifies Earth attacks, but FF9 is special because Float also increases damage from Wind attacks. And hey, guess what element Ark loves to inflict?

Boomerang doesn't do much damage, but it sure does look cool.

Propeller Wind inflicts Confusion on the entire party. Thus, you probably want Clear Headed equipped for this battle.

Elixir, Power Vest, and the Semi-Rare is the Holy Lance. This holy-elemental lance teaches Freya Dragon's Crest, a very powerful ability that does damage equal to (# of Dragons Murdered)^2. Thus if you kill 100 dragons, it'll do 9999. There are several ways to boost this up efficiently, but more on those later.

Anyway, this thing has 20k HP and a few key status vulnerabilities (though good luck inflicting them without magic). I plink away at it (Ark is weak to Wind, so the Tiger Racket does quad-digit damage here) and after Zidane's done stealing I finish it off with a Dragon's Breath. Hell yeah.

It drops a very rare item, the Pumice Piece. There's only three of these, one from a Chocograph, one is the rare steal for the game's superboss, and the one that always drops after this boss. It absorbs Holy and Shadow damage, plus boosts Strength and Magic. It teaches Boost to Dagger and Eiko, a passive that guarantees summons to have their longer animations every time, rather than usually getting the shorter ones that do less damage. Not too shabby.

Anyway, we're done now. We've discovered a very weird culture's museum and fought a bizarre sentient airship. It's time we get back to some normalcy.

Next time, we play as a frog.