Last time, we rescued Eiko from Kuja at the cost of Mog, but we found Hilda as a bonus.
His soul was filled with hate, but he was polite to me.
What about? <Ribbit!>
Well, he divulged his master plan to me. I didn't even have to ask. It was tiresome. But what he spoke of... It was truly a scene from a nightmare.
What did he say?
The taking of Hilda Garde 1 was a part of this process.
We must tell Zidane about this! <Ribbit!> You have valuable information!
Which lead me to believe that my abduction wasn't a part of his plan.
Everything we know so far makes the "Kuja's a space alien looking for great power to kill some guy" reveal not that shocking. It's interesting that Kuja told his plan to Hilda and simply let her go, though. Did he really think nothing of her, or is she a lure to keep Zidane following him for whatever reason? Then again, Kuja telling a random person his entire plan as an excuse to produce theatrics is definitely not a stretch.
...Ugh! You just hit me where it hurts most.
Oh, really? Are you sure you weren't there to take back Hilda Garde 1?
I'm not lying! <Ribbit!> I apologize!
I'll never cheat on you ever again! <Ribbit!> I promise!
...Can your words be trusted?
I don't lie! <Ribbit!> I swear on my father's name!
Alright. I'll turn you back.
I...I understand! Now turn me back!
Erk... P-Please, no! <Ribbit!> Now turn me back!
I must stop that.
Yep, we're finally done with the transformations. Cid is a full-fledged human again.
Mr. Zidane! Please get up!
Lady Hilda is calling a meeting. Please go to the conference room.
Okay. I just wish I could've dreamt a bit longer...
Oh, it's nothing. Don't worry about it.
We have control of Zidane, but not really anything to do besides get another letter.
So let's go ahead. We've got a lot of plot to go through today. That'll be pretty much this entire update.
...It's Regent Cid.
You can stop the frog-talk now.
Ugh... I didn't gather you all to talk about that.
I called for this meeting to tell you about what I learned while in Kuja's captivity. It may provide a hint about where he may be. Listen carefully.
I shall look for her.
Now, Hilda will tell you the rest. Hilda?
Some parts of the story may be hard to believe, but please hear me out.
Greater power? What would he do with it?
We call our world Gaia. But he called his birthplace Terra.
Let's fade from that into an ATE.
They're going really slow.
We can't rush 'em, or everything will probably fall apart again.
We're not gettin' anywhere.
I've been up here forever. I wanna switch places with someone.
I guess the damage is a lot worse than we expected.
Where could she be...?
Why are you all gathered here? Are you scheming another abduction or something?
Hey, watch your mouth.
We were just discussing ways to restore this district.
Old timer, you've got us all wrong.
We're just tryin' to rebuild our home. That's all.
What's troublin' you? Maybe we can help.
Err... Can I really trust you?
She is not in the castle, so I figured she would be in town.
Why don't you go back to the castle before you get lost?
We'll find her. This is like our backyard.
Well, well, well. Looks like Rusty's finally getting soft around the edges.
I don't know where Kuja went, but maybe we can find him if we go there...
...Unfortunately, you can't get directly to Terra from the Shimmering Island.
Everyone would've discovered this 'other world' by now if it were that easy.
So, what do we do?
...I'll tell you. The gateway that connects the two worlds is sealed, but Kuja said there is a place where the seal can be broken.
An explorer left a record of his trip to this particular castle on the Forgotten Continent. If I remember correctly, he wrote that the cliffs were too steep to explore. Other than that, very little is known about the Forgotten Continent...
Ipsen's Castle, huh...?
Remember that story Zidane told Dagger back in Madain Sari, about the explorer Ipsen? That's why that name is kind of a big deal, even though it's very likely he actually had nothing to do with the castle. Some explorer randomly found this castle, Ipsen is a famous explorer, so hey, Ipsen's Castle.
There's only the Mist Continent and Esto Gaza on the Lost Continent that modern society understands. The Forgotten Continent has very little information, and don't forget that few knew that even Madain Sari existed despite being founded 500 years ago. Sailing is apparently dangerous business, not to mention you can't easily access the Forgotten Continent by boat (at least our party can't). Meanwhile, there's one whole airship that's not powered by Mist.
Yes. Now we can concentrate on building the ship.
We're having problems with the construction of the hull, though.
I realized that the Blue Narciss was a well-built ship when I rode in it. There are other reasons, but we must hurry.
Let's get ready!
Looks like things are finally coming together for the next steam-powered airship.
You may find a clue if you go to Ipsen's Castle.
Did you ask Kuja about all of this?
These are all things he discussed voluntarily. He became very impassioned as he spoke... And he volunteered information without even my asking. He probably thought telling me his plans wouldn't affect his grand scheme.
He's right. His power is great, and we're at a disadvantage.
But I can't forgive Kuja! He toyed with my friends' lives!
Now we know where we need to go. The problem is getting there.
Yeah, we still have some time before we can finally get our damn airship. If only there were some plot padding we could insert as an excuse to make such a time leap sensical while still keeping the player engaged with the plot...
What? What now?
I cannot find the princess! I've looked all over Lindblum! The members of Tantalus aided me in my search, but...
She's not in Lindblum?
Do you know where she is?
I think so...
We're gonna look for Dagger!
Is there anyone else we need to look for?
No! But we looked over there already! Go someplace where we haven't already looked!
Blank! Marcus! How y'all doin'?
We're doing alright. How's show business, Ruby?
Well, the money ain't no good, but I'm havin' fun. I like it.
Have you seen Dagger?
Dagger...? Naw, I ain't seen her. What about her? You fixin' to kidnap her again?
No, we're just looking for her this time.
I was only kiddin', Marcus. I'll ask the patrons to be on the lookout.
I was sure that she'd be back in Alexandria... Where else can I look?
Boss! Have you found Dagger?
Nah... Can't find her anywhere! I didn't find Dagger, but...
I'm gonna check again.
Is she here?
She was standin' over there just a second ago...
Is that who I think it is?
Wacky hijinx ensue.
Yup, I'm the man who abducted yer princess!
Let us forget about that. It happened a long time ago...
You got a big heart, unlike that knucklehead, Steiner. No wonder the women are runnin' the show here. Gwahahaha!
Steiner and I did our best to protect Alexandria...but our efforts were in vain.
Steiner was worried about you. Why haven't you contacted him?
She is...? Then it is better for her not to return to this city for a while... It won't do her any good to see Alexandria like this...
Well, here's the thing... We can't find her. I thought she'd be back here, but I can't find her anywhere.
She is back in Alexandria? But she's nowhere to be found...?
Yes, if she is back in Alexandria, I am certain that she will be there.
If you see Princess Garnet, please tell her not to worry about Alexandria... She must take care of herself first.
Sure. What else?
I'd like you to give something to her.
This real Garnet teaches the fake Garnet Bahamut.
At least Beatrix is alive, so there is that.
At last. We've found Dagger...again.
I...I've been thinking since...the disaster.
That's why I came back here, but...
Can I ask why?
When my mother was still alive... My primary concern was how to talk and look like a princess. Those were the only things on my mind... That didn't change when my mother died and I was about to become a queen... I only thought about how to look and act like a queen.
I don't know about that.
I have no right to rule over this country...
Hmm... Oh, I almost forgot!
That's right... Isn't it pretty?
That gem used to be just another ordinary stone... The stone made a wish...
The stone traveled from person to person, in keeping with its wish... And now, it shining in your hand, Dagger. If you're willing to make an effort...
The day will come when Alexandria needs you! There's no rush. The important thing is to have the desire.
You'd think Zidane would be out of these types of stories by now, but hell if he doesn't know how to cheer someone up at their lowest.
Hey, what's important is that you honestly want to stay with us...
Can I borrow that knife again...?
The one that helped me make my last big decision...
So to summarize, Dagger's making another big decision, which she needs Zidane's knife to do, and asks Zidane to remember her the way she was.
Zidane is...a tad freaked out at the moment.
But no, Dagger's big decision is a tiny bit less drastic than what he expected.
No, Dagger simply decided to get a haircut using the least-practical method possible. I've heard plenty of horror stories from people giving themselves similar cuts partly due to this cutscene. It doesn't work out quite as well in real life, you see.
Dagger's dead hair flies toward the ruins of Alexandria.
One day, Dagger will be Queen of Alexandria. But that moment can wait. For now, Dagger's still one of us.
And I don't think Zidane would have it any other way.
But enough of that shit.
For next time, we get our fucking airship.